March 18th, 2010
08:05 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

C.L. "Butch" Otter: The Republican governor signed the Idaho Health Freedom Act, making his state the first to pass a law saying no thanks to part of President Obama's health care proposal.

The law says that "every person within the state of Idaho is and shall be free to choose or decline to choose any mode of securing health care services without penalty or threat of penalty."

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to sign a bill passed in his state last week, and according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, similar proposals have made it through one chamber of the legislatures in Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. While such bills have recently failed in six states, 22 additional states have seen proposals introduced.

CNN: Idaho challenges health care proposal; more states may follow

Marjorie Margolies: The former Pennsylvania Democrat is urging members of Congress to cast votes that they won't regret some two decades later and pass health care reform legislation.

"I am your worst-case scenario. And I'd do it all again," Margolies writes in Thursday's Washington Post. "In recent days I have become something I never imagined: a verb. I hear that when freshmen enter Congress they are told, 'We don't want to Margolies-Mezvinsky you.' I had no idea that when I voted for the Clinton budget, I was writing the first line of my obituary."

Margolies - who was married to former U.S. Rep. Edward Mezvinsky of Iowa, later a convicted swindler - served one term in the House of Represenatatives, from January 1993 to January 1995. Their son, Marc Mezvinsky, is engaged to Chelsea Clinton.

The Washington Post: Democrats, vote your conscience on health care

Jenny Kopfstein: When the former U.S. Navy lieutenant began serving on a ship for the first time, she "realized that concealing her sexual orientation from others was inconsistent with her strong values of honesty and honor," according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

After a few months on board, Kopfstein gave her commanding officer a letter saying that she was a lesbian and that she wanted to continue to serve. Despite the support of her commanding officers and numerous awards, Kopfstein was honorably discharged from the Navy in October 2002.

She is scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the subject of homosexuality in the armed services.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network: Kopfstein bio

Gary Kremen: The first person to register the domain name realized in 1995 that he was no longer listed as the name's owner. According to a report in The Guardian, Kremen battled for 11 years with Stephen Michael Cohen - who also claimed to own the name.

After the case was settled in 2006, Kremen sold the name to a group called Escom LLC.  The name is scheduled to be auctioned Thursday in New York. Bidders are required to appear with a certified check for $1 million to participate.

CNNMoney: domain goes up for grabs

The Guardian: goes under the hammer

Jennifer Granholm: The Michigan governor, at the urging of vegetarians, has issued an official proclamation declaring this Saturday as Michigan Meatout Day.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Granholm, who is not a vegetarian, has angered hunters and meat producers in her state. The president of the Michigan Farm Bureau called the proclamation "unconscionable and insensitive to livestock and dairy farmers."

Many Michigan lawmakers want the governor to rescind the proclamation, according to the Free Press.

Detroit Free Press: Senate has beef with the meatout

soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Bryan

    I thought the mass exodus of Californians to Idaho was winding down. Most of my family and friends have moved there, and with the freedom to not be fined for refusing this steaming pile of crap health bill, I think I will join them.

    March 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SteveFromIdaho

    Butch might be my governer but he doesn't speak for me. I don't agree with the war in Afghanistan and Saturday mail delivery. Can I opt out of these?

    March 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Terry - Indiana

    The governor of Idaho needs to take a vacation to Hawaii. Hawaii has had full healthcare coverage for all residents of Hawaii for years, and it works very well. This matter is not about Healthcare, this matter is about the Republicans not wanting a Black President to be the first president to pass a comprehensive healthcare bill. Yes, the United States of America is still the leader when it comes to racism, and the United States of America Healthcare System ranks 37th in the world. I wonder if the Governor of Idaho ever visited Ellis Island, or understands the history of the American Dream. I am guessing that Idaho is mostly white, except for gardeners, golf course workers, and common day laborers. Idaho folks do not mind hiring illegals, they just don't want to take care of them when they get sick!

    March 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    Thatta way Idaho. Finally, states standing up for their rights again. I thought only Texas and Alaska understood how to stand up. I'm happy to see a few other states are willing to say no to DC lobbyists.

    March 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike


    How do you propose we pay for the health care for the less fortunate? Latest news is that it will cost $940B over ten years. Where will that come from? More debt to pass on to our heirs?

    March 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. shamgar50

    Republicans don't want this to pass now. They want the issue alive, and upsetting the electorate this November (and branding Obama and Democrats as failures). If it passes now, in a few months people will see that the world didn't come to an end, and will start to look at things in a more rational light.The last thing Republicans, and their partners the Teabaggers want, are rational voters on election day.

    March 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Josh

    First, state law cannot trump federal law, so this is no more important than a non-binding referendum. Second, all you parrots for the GOP and the Health Insurance industry, why don't you read the report of the NON-PARTISAN congressional budget office? This plan will REDUCE the deficit, and the overall debt by BILLIONS of dollars. Also, the average American WITH health insurance will see a REDUCTION in their premiums! And finally, I have personally spoken with HUNDREDS of Canadians and Brits who LOVE their socialized medicine. Never have I even heard of of an actual individual who wanted to come to America to pay more for care that is no better and often worse. Please give me the Canadian or British system today! Oh yeah, depsite your protestations to the contrary, the VAST majority of Americans want this bill to pass!

    March 18, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matthew H>

    Wat happened to the ideas of a free market economy? Our current administration is creating "Economic Zombies" (my phrase!). The living dead of the business world. A paradox to to Darwinism itself. If a company fails, it fails. I understand some larger companies have tendrils that will touch every American if they fail. But how is this failure any different than Obama's plan to tax those dollars right out of our pocket? Either way the US populace loses.

    The health care debate, in my opinion, only serves to prove this. If Obama taxes the daylights out of us and then forces healthcare on us it creates the same type of situation. It will falsely enliven a dying industry. Insureres who should fall by the way side will now find new life (like a zombie looking for brains) catching the scraps of the Obama plan.

    Somethings are ment to die. Thinkgs that have false life are really hard to kill ! Don't let Oboma create more zombies.

    March 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RC

    I can't help but chuckle when I hear people say "don't bring socialism into our healthcare system." Maybe I'm missing something here, but don't we already pay federal taxes for socialized healthcare? I think it's called "Medicare…"

    So does this law mean that Idahoans will have the "right" to opt out of Medicare, too? Sure. Next they'll pass a law to opt out of paying federal taxes, period. And it will carry just as much legal weight as this current nonsense – that is to say, none at all.

    I simply cannot understand the resistance to universal healthcare. We're the only industrialized nation that doesn't have it in some form. People in many countries don't even understand the concept of "medically uninsured" – you actually have to *explain* it to them. And they find appalling and downright stupid the idea that a democratic government doesn't – and worse, *shouldn't* – take care of its sick and injured citizens.

    I know, I know: "This is America, and we don't care what other countries think!" Well, think about this: there are tens of millions of people around the world for whom healthcare is a right, not a privilege for the wealthy. Maybe – just maybe – the opinions of so many people make it an idea worth at least mulling over?

    March 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kim

    Those of you who wish you could move to Idaho, good luck finding a job here, unless you'd like to be employed by the 'big govt' you seem to despise. Oh, you could work for the State of Idaho, one of the largest employers here. You could become a farmer. Oh, wait, that's subsidized by the gov't too. How about a teacher? Nope, again, a job supported by 'big govt'. Maybe you could work at one of the institutes of high learner, like BSU. Nope, funded by 'big govt'. Maybe you'd like to start your own busines ... oh, but then you might have to pay for your own health insurance. Boy, times are tough here in the Reddest of Red States.

    March 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
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