Saturday, August 15, 2009

Political Digest August 15 2009

Little girl at Obama town hall has not-so-random political connections
The Congresscritters have to face real people, but not “Transparent BO!” Turns out the mother of the little girl who asked a “random” question was the Obama campaign person in Massachusetts. Excerpt: Manning Hall (the girl’s mother) has donated thousands of dollars to Obama, as has her law firm. But, you know, um, like Obama said: “I don’t want people saying I just have a bunch of plants in here.” Right. We have plants, but we don’t want people saying it.

And BO said at that Plant Hall Meeting that surgeons get $30,000 to $50,000 for an amputation, when Medicare actually pays between $740 and $1,140. Is this the kind of “fishy” stuff the White House wants us to report at

Obama's Senior Moment
Why the elderly are right to worry when the government rations medical care.
Excerpt: Elderly Americans are turning out in droves to fight ObamaCare, and President Obama is arguing back that they have nothing to worry about. Allow us to referee. While claims about euthanasia and "death panels" are over the top, senior fears have exposed a fundamental truth about what Mr. Obama is proposing: Namely, once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, rationing care is inevitable, and those who have lived the longest will find their care the most restricted. Far from being a scare tactic, this is a logical conclusion based on experience and common-sense. Once health care is a "free good" that government pays for, demand will soar and government costs will soar too. When the public finally reaches its taxing limit, something will have to give on the care and spending side. In a word, care will be rationed by politics. Mr. Obama's reply is that private insurance companies already ration, by deciding which treatments are covered and which aren't. However, there's an ocean of difference between coverage decisions made under millions of voluntary private contracts and rationing via government. An Atlantic Ocean, in fact. Virtually every European government with "universal" health care restricts access in one way or another to control costs, and it isn't pretty.

Gov. Rick Perry: Tort reform must be part of health care reform
Excerpt: Texas, in fact, stands as a good example of how smart, responsible policy can help us take major steps toward fixing a damaged medical system, starting with legal reforms. Just six years ago, Texas was mired in a health care crisis. Our doctors were leaving the state, or abandoning the profession entirely, because of frivolous lawsuits and the steadily increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums that resulted.
Two thirds of our state's counties had no practicing obstetricians, and for pregnant women that meant long trips in cramped cars and higher fuel bills. Sixty percent of our counties had no pediatricians, which often meant delayed, or denied, health care for sick children. And 24 counties in the Rio Grande Valley had no primary care doctors at all.

$3 billion buys not-so-green vehicles
Excerpt: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the nation's top car salesman in recent weeks, has cited the Obama administration's best-seller list of mostly smaller, fuel-saving cars like the Ford Focus to describe the success of the Cash for Clunkers rebate program. But what LaHood and other administration officials usually don't mention is that some trucks and sport-utility vehicles that get less than 20 miles per gallon, like the Ford F-150 truck and one version of the Cadillac SRX Crossover, also are being purchased with the new government subsidies. Both are bulky vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds when loaded that boast at least 248 horsepower. (Can we turn in our members of Congress as clunkers?)

Morning Fix: Polling the Town Halls
Excerpt: Sixty-one percent of those tested in the Pew poll called the protests "appropriate" while just 34 percent said they were inappropriate. Nearly two-thirds of independents, the critical voting bloc as both parties look to the 2010 midterm elections and the 2012 presidential race, described the protests as appropriate. In the Gallup polling, 51 percent said that "individuals making angry attacks against a health care bill and what it might do" was an example of "democracy in action" (the Republican argument) while 41 percent called it an "abuse of democracy" (the Democratic argument). The numbers were far different when the Gallup sample was asked about the booing of members of Congress (44 percent called it democracy in action while 47 percent said it was an abuse of democracy) or the "shouting down of supporters" of the health care plan when they attempted to speak. (33 percent democracy in action/59 percent abuse of democracy). What does this flood of poll numbers mean? That not only are people paying attention but that the frustration and downright anger being vented is seen as authentic and powerful by a majority of those watching the coverage.
That's not to say, however, that the protesters -- and the conservative groups helping to rally them -- are headed toward a political win, however. The striking numbers in the Gallup survey when it comes to certain behaviors (booing, shouting down dissenting voices) suggest the real possibility that the protesters could overplay their hand on this issue.

In N.D., the Road to Economic Recovery
Woman's Path to Work Ends in Rural, and Job-Rich, North Dakota
Another state with a strong economy, low unemployment and that is cutting taxes. Wonder how they do it. Could it be because they have a Republican Governor, and Republican Legislature with a conservative approach to finances? Nah, the story didn’t mention that.

GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
The polls are definitely moving in the GOP's direction. Just look at the Real Clear Politics average of the generic ballot question, which asks whether, if the election were held today, you would vote for your local Democratic or Republican candidate for Congress. It's been dominated by Democrats for the last few years -- until now. In recent weeks, poll after poll has shown Republicans neck-and-neck, or even ahead, of Democrats. Even a National Public Radio survey found Republicans in the lead. "There's no question that you're seeing a shift across virtually all the polling," says one GOP strategist, "with Democrats losing ground."

Trial lawyers seek return on contributions to Senate Democrats
Excerpt: In February, just two months before he became a Democrat, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania made a passionate plea for a special tax break for plaintiffs' trial lawyers. His bill, S 437, would allow trial lawyers to deduct immediately on their taxes up-front expenses they incur when investing in contingency lawsuits. The tax break is reportedly worth $1.6 billion to trial lawyers. If Specter’s amendment passes, this single provision would more than repay the legal industry for its roughly $762 million in political contributions to Democrats over the last two decades. Which would, in turn, mean more money could be recycled and funneled back to Democrats. (You can’t reduce health care costs without curbing the cost of defensive medicine. You can do that without tort reform. You can’t get tort reform while the League of Leftwing Lawyers controls the White House and both branches of the Congress)

Excerpt: With this analogy in mind, now we can see clearly what's been happening in the United States during the last three decades. While conservatives have been working to improve our democracy and our free-market economy, liberals have been working to replace our democracy with a dictatorship, and our free-market economy with a command economy controlled by the government. The liberals couldn't say this aloud, because if they did the American people would have tossed them out of office on their ears. So the liberals worked covertly, feigning support for democracy and for the free market while working diligently to undermine both.

Obama's "Catholic Plan"

Study: Industrial states will experience severe job loss, higher energy prices under climate bill
Excerpt: America’s industrial states will absorb the worst of the Waxman-Markey global warming bill in the form of acute job loss, reduced income and higher energy prices should it become law, according to a new study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF). Nationwide data on the impact of Waxman-Markey included the following key findings: Cumulative loss in gross domestic product (GDP) up to $3.1 trillion (2012-2030), employment losses up to 2.4 million jobs in 2030, residential electricity price increases up to 50 percent by 2030, gasoline price increases (per gallon) up 26 percent by 2030. Waxman-Markey (H.R. 2494), which passed the House by a 219-212 vote in June, calls for reducing total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. Lisa Jackson, the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has already acknowledged that unilateral U.S. actions will not have a significant impact on Co2 levels. Even so, the Senate is expected to release its own version of the legislation in September.

Mohammed most popular boy's name in four biggest Dutch cities
Excerpt: Mohammed, or other variations of the name of Islam's founding prophet, has become the most popular name choice for baby boys in the four biggest cities of the Netherlands. Information collected by the country's social security agency has found that traditional Dutch names have been displaced in the urban centres of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht as the country's Muslim population grows.
In The Hague variations of the name Mohammed have taken first, second and fifth place in the Dutch capital's league table of most popular names for boys, replacing traditional favourites such as Jan, Luuk, Gijs or Daan.

No comments:

Post a Comment