Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Political Digest August 19 2009

Bill Cahir Memorial Fund
Burke & Herbert Bank, c/o Mark Ragland, P.O. Box 268, Alexandria, VA 22313.
Marine KIA in Afghanistan, wife pregnant with twins.

Till Death Do Us Part
Excerpt: Ultimately, because of the business we are in, expected to fight, suffer and die without complaint, we also cultivate this bond to call on when needed. At times, it means being ruthlessly hard, as at Balaclava in 1854. When the "thin red line" of the 93rd Highlanders were all that stood between the Russian onslaught and the British camp, Sir Colin Campbell commanded the regiment he loved, "there is no retreat from here, men -- you must die where you stand."

At times, it means having compassion, as on Tulagi Island in the South Pacific in 1942. After an all-night attack, Marine PFC. Edward "Johnny" Ahrens lay quietly in his foxhole. He'd been shot twice in the chest, and blood welled slowly from three deep bayonet wounds. Thirteen dead Japanese soldiers lay nearby; two others were draped over his legs. Legendarily tough Lewis Walt -- later assistant commandant of the Marine Corps -- gently gathered the dying man in his arms. Ahrens whispered, "Captain, they tried to come over me last night, but I don't think they made it." Choking back tears, Walt replied softly, "They didn't, Johnny. They didn't."

For the Left, war without Bush is not war at all
Excerpt: Remember the anti-war movement? Not too long ago, the Democratic party's most loyal voters passionately opposed the war in Iraq. Democratic presidential candidates argued over who would withdraw American troops the quickest. Netroots activists regularly denounced President George W. Bush, and sometimes the U.S. military ("General Betray Us"). Cindy Sheehan, the woman whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, became a heroine when she led protests at Bush's Texas ranch. That was then. Now, even though the United States still has roughly 130,000 troops in Iraq, and is quickly escalating the war in Afghanistan -- 68,000 troops there by the end of this year, and possibly more in 2010 -- anti-war voices on the Left have fallen silent.

Enthusiasts Re-enacting Vietnam War
Hard to know what I think.

U.S. unions aid anti-democratic forces in Latin America
Excerpt: Anti-democratic forces working to de-stabilize the new government in Honduras have attracted U.S. labor unions as allies in their cause. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), UNITE HERE, and the United Steelworkers (USW) have lined up behind Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega to express their support for Manuel Zelaya, the former president of Honduras Although that country’s constitution stipulates a ban on second terms, Zelaya sought to remain in power. The Honduran Congress, Supreme Court and military decided they were having none of this and removed Zelaya from office, as provided by the county’s constitution.

Public Option Called Essential
Excerpt: Several leading Democrats voiced concern Monday about an apparent White House shift on health-care reform, objecting to signals from senior administration officials that they would abandon the idea of a government-run insurance plan if it lacked the backing to pass Congress. View Only Top Items in This Story In the Senate, where negotiations are now focused, John D. Rockefeller IV (W.Va.) said that a public option, as the plan has become known, is "a must." Sen. Russell Feingold (Wis.) said that "without a public option, I don't see how we will bring real change to a system that has made good health care a privilege for those who can afford it." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said that the plan will be included in whatever bill is voted on in the House. "There is strong support in the House for a public option," she said, though she did not demand that the administration express support for the idea. One Democrat predicted that without the provision, the bill could lose as many as 100 votes in the chamber.

The Public Option Goes Over
Excerpt: There are plenty of other ways of "getting there" without a public option—namely, through the federally chartered insurance cooperatives now gathering momentum in the Senate. The idea of creating member-owned co-ops in the states, as Senator Kent Conrad originally proposed, isn't necessarily harmful. But if regulated as advertised by Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid, they'd be satellites of Washington and have 50 open checks drawn on the Treasury, creating the insurance industry equivalents of Fannie Mae. "We're going to have some type of public option, call it 'co-op,' call it what you want," Mr. Reid said in July. From the start, the Administration has always held that "the goal is non-negotiable; the path is," as Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel put it. Another path may be to convert private insurance companies into public utilities outright. In a New York Times op-ed on Sunday, Mr. Obama reiterated his plan to regulate who the insurers must cover, how generous the benefits must be and how much they can charge, including a limit on out-of-pocket spending. If Democrats decide to centrally plan the insurance market, in what sense is that different from a public option?

Pelosi digs in on public option
Excerpt: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she will forge ahead with a health insurance bill that includes a robust government-run insurance plan, despite signals from Senate negotiators that they may exclude a government plan from legislation it is drafting. "There is strong support in the House for a public option," Pelosi said on Monday, referring back to a statement President Barack Obama made in March in which he declared a public option will "give consumers more choices" and "keep the private sector honest." Pelosi pointed out that a public option is the main component of all three versions of health reform legislation that are circulating in the House as well as the committee-passed Democratic version in the Senate.

Howard Dean: Democrats should try to “tackle health reform another time”
Excerpt: Carville was there for the HillaryCare flame out. And, when you are already planning to blame the Republicans for the coming health care failure, you have to be pretty clear about where the politics of continuing down this road will lead — so, it is natural for Carville to blame the Republicans. In other words, let’s keep health care alive as a political issue that can win elections, even if we let, er, uh, I mean, blame the GOP for killing it dead. These two leading Democrats, Carville and Dean, are really telegraphing warnings and caution to their elected Democratic friends: let’s wait, let’s not pass anything, we can blame the Republicans.

ABC's John Stossel on Obama's 'Health Care' Plan

A Mistake or a Trick: When is Rep. Martin Heinrich’s (D-NM) Townhall Meeting? Let supporters in first.

Whose Medical Decisions?
Excerpt: There was a time when rushing a thousand-page bill through Congress so fast that no one has time to read it would have provoked public outrage. But now, this has been attempted twice in the first 6 months of a new administration. The fact that they got away with it before, with the "stimulus" bill, may have led them to believe that they could get away with it again. But the first bill simply spent hundreds of billions of dollars. The current "health care" bill threatens to take life-and-death decisions out of the hands of individuals and their doctors, transferring those decisions to Washington bureaucrats.

The "Preventive Care" Myth In the 48 hours of June 15-16, President Obama lost the health care debate. First, a letter from the Congressional Budget Office to Sen. Edward Kennedy reported that his health committee's reform bill would add $1 trillion in debt over the next decade. Then the CBO reported that the other Senate bill, being written by the Finance Committee, would add $1.6 trillion. The central contradiction of Obamacare was fatally exposed: From his first address to Congress, Obama insisted on the dire need for restructuring the health care system because out-of-control costs were bankrupting the Treasury and wrecking the U.S. economy -- yet the Democrats' plans would make the problem worse.

Taking Obama on faith
Quiz: Whose “Faith Based” program was largest, Bush’s or Obama’s? Which president appointed a 27-year-old Pentecostal preacher to head the program? Which appointed a Democrat political science professor? Which president invokes Jesus more often in his speeches? Which program got the most media coverage? Which President’s program pushed the President’s agenda hardest?

The One Lesson Democrats Never Learn
Now ask yourself this question: If conservatives like Gov. Sarah Palin are such vaporous fools, then how can they “hijack” a national debate from the most powerful man on the planet…and all with a simple Facebook posting no less? Indeed, if Sarah Palin is the “whack job” and “intellectual lightweight” Mr. Begala claims her to be, then what does that make Mr. Obama who, according to Ms. Dowd, just got his clock cleaned by a Facebook message written by the unserious likes of a “nutty puppy” like Ms. Palin?

The Economic Consequences of Waxman-Markey
Excerpt: All of these costs will be paid for no more than a 0.2 degree Celsius moderation in world temperature increases by 2100, and no more than 0.05 degree reduction by 2050. Saddling the next generation with higher prices, higher debt, less income, fewer jobs and more taxes does not seem like a worthy legacy, say researchers.

Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He's the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war. – Allan Massie

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy your blog, and wanted to take a moment to let you know I appreciate the posts. I've started to respond a couple of times and each time they've turned into a letter I decided was just tmi.
    Thank you for being out there for me.