Saturday, October 24, 2009

Political Digest for October 24, 2009

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Public Option
If we have a public option in health insurance, will it follow the different health insurance mandates of each of the 50 different states? Will it thus cost more in a high-mandate state, or will taxpayers in low-mandate states pay for those in high-mandate states? Or will there be one level of mandated coverage for the country? If so, will it be low in mandates, making the public option cheaper than private insurance in the expensive states, or will it have a lot of mandates, making the public option expensive in low-mandate states?

Kyl on Medical Liability Reform: “We All Work For The American People, Not The Trial Lawyers.”

Excerpt: “A goal shared by all of us in the Senate is making healthcare more affordable for Americans. “So why hasn’t there been more bipartisan support for medical liability reform, a popular, cost-free measure that would unquestionably yield significant savings for patients and doctors? “The most honest answer to this question came from former Vermont governor and national Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, who said at an August town hall meeting in Virginia, that medical liability reform has not been included in any of the Democrats’ bills because they don’t want to take on the trial lawyers. “Protecting trial lawyers should not be a goal of healthcare reform. Their multi-million dollar ‘jackpot justice’ lawsuits drive up the cost of healthcare for everyone and are a big reason Americans’ healthcare premiums have soared.

Constitutional asked the only truly relevant question in the health care debate: Where in the Constitution is the authority to mandate that Americans buy health insurance?
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was befuddled and deflected: Where, in your opinion, does the Constitution give specific authority for Congress to give an individual mandate for health insurance?
Leahy: We have plenty of authority. Are you saying there is no authority? I'm asking-
Leahy: Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, there's no question there's authority, nobody questions that. The Patriot Post ( )

Czar Trouble

Excerpt: "The title 'czar' has been used more in Washington in recent years than anywhere, anytime since 1917, when Czar Nicholas II of Russia came to his unhappy ending," Chairman Lieberman said after his duma was gaveled to order. "The main questions raised in what might be called the current anti-czarist uprising seem to be one, have presidents of both parties, including President Obama, consolidated power excessively in the White House through the appointment of these officials, and, if so, is there anything Congress can or should do about it?"

Md. scientist tried to spy, indictment says

If convicted, shot. Simple.

Palin Endorses Hoffman

Excerpt: Sarah Palin's decision to endorse the Conservative party candidate over the Republican nominee in a special House election in upstate New York is the latest example that the former Alaska governor's allegiance is to her conservative principles rather than the edicts of the party. "Republicans and conservatives around the country are sending an important message to the Republican establishment in their outstanding grassroots support for Doug Hoffman: no more politics as usual," wrote Palin on her Facebook page.

Nobody remembers Obama at Columbia

Excerpt: don't have a classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia . Ever! Nobody recalls him. I'm not exaggerating, I'm not kidding."Root adds that he was also, like Obama, "Class of '83 political science, pre-law" and says, "You don't get more exact or closer than that. Never met him in my life, don't know anyone who ever met him. At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack! And five years ago, nobody even knew who he was. The guy who writes the class notes, who's kind of the, as we say in New York, the macha who knows everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him. Is that not strange?

The Chicago Way

Excerpt: When Barack Obama promised to deliver "a new kind of politics" to Washington, most folk didn't picture Rahm Emanuel with a baseball bat. These days, the capital would make David Mamet, who wrote Malone's memorable movie dialogue, proud. A White House set on kneecapping its opponents isn't, of course, entirely new. (See: Nixon) What is a little novel is the public and bare-knuckle way in which the Obama team is waging these campaigns against the other side.

WH tries to muzzle media

Excerpt: So this administration had what passes for a brainstorm among that group: now that they’ve made it clear that they disapprove of one particular news network, why, there would be nothing stopping them from stepping up their attempts to marginalize said network. So the White House announced today that a specific White House Press Pool access - Ken Feinberg, who is one of the myriad ‘czars’ so beloved of this administration - would explicitly exclude Fox News. Despite the fact that the Press Pool is supported in part by Fox News. And the media refused to play along.

Saudi concern rises over Al Qaeda activity in Yemen

Excerpt: The men, one of whom spent several years in the US detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had been sent to Saudi Arabia by an Al Qaeda affiliate based in Yemen, according to a Saudi Interior Ministry statement. Their foiled attack was the second close call for Saudi security forces in less than two months involving Saudi militants from the Yemen-based group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). (Another Gitmo Grad in the killing fields.)

An Inconvenient Rebuttal

Excerpt: Ann McElhinney's low-budget documentary refuting the global warming hype and hysteria arrives in Washington just in time to break Al Gore's crystal ball. "Not Evil Just Wrong," the feature-length film she made with her husband Phelim McAleer, coolly reveals how Al's disguise of hot fanaticism as cold fact arrives as the Senate begins to gear up for debate on "climate change" legislation. "We know you can't teach religion in school," McElhinney says. "But there is a religion being enforced, a green religion." Her film illustrates just how schoolchildren have been indoctrinated with fear, loathing and foreboding, as Al's film attempts to recruit them as tiny prophets of doom. Her camera shows children in Northern Ireland describing how the sea level rises when the ice caps melt and polar bears drown. "It may (happen) here, and we will all die," says a little girl on the verge of tears, trying hard to look as though she understands what she has been taught. Pipes up an earnest little boy: "And most of us can't even swim."

The Rule of Law

Excerpt: Of late there has been some reporting and much talk of an Administration "campaign" or "war" against Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and others who believe less government automatically creates more freedom. At the moment, the attacks appear to be limited to smear tactics, rumor - mongering and planting false quotations. One is left to wonder, though, how long it will be before the White House slips into full Nixonian mode, attempting to use the IRS and other agencies to crush its opponents.

Ayann Hirsi Ali: Feminism’s Freedom Fighter,0,4356705,full.story

Excerpt: For five years she's lived under the threat of death from Islamic radicals, and in those five years, she has become an acclaimed and provocative author on matters about Islam and the West. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born into a Somali Muslim family and eventually made her way to the Netherlands as a refugee. There she wrote a screenplay for a short film about women's treatment under Islam. Just over two months after it aired, the filmmaker Theo van Gogh was assassinated. A letter threatening Ali's life has meant she has lived under guard ever since -- most recently thanks to a fund set up by private donors. (Her book “Infidel” is an inspiring must read.)

"We get the joke. We know that the free market is nonsense. We know that the whole point is to game the system, to beat the market or at least find someone who will pay you a lot of money because they're convinced that there is a free lunch. We know this is largely about power, that it's an adults-only, no-limit game. We kind of agree with Mao [Tse-tung] that political 'power comes largely from the barrel of a gun.'" --Comrade Ron Bloom, the White House manufacturing czar, in February 2008 when he was president of the United Steelworkers Union. The Patriot Post ( )

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