Thursday, September 17, 2009

Political Digest September 17, 2009

Thanks, Joe
The House of Representatives spent the afternoon debating a resolution slapping Rep. Joe Wilson on the wrist for saying out loud that President Obama lied. (Democrats insisted BO didn’t lie, but then changed the bill to make him retroactively truthful.) Fox News asked if that was a good use of Congress’s time. I think it was a damn good use. While they were doing that, they didn’t make the deficit worse, or pass any legislation eroding our freedoms.

Reality Check
Excerpt: I’m told that Wilson now has collected just under $2 million dollars online and has “mountains” of mail to be opened with lots of checks there.

Young Adults Likely to Pay Big Share of Reform's Cost
Excerpt: As health-care legislation advances through Congress, the young adults who were so vital to President Obama's election are emerging as a significant beneficiary of his top domestic priority, but they are also likely to play a major role in funding any reform….Depending on how Congress requires insurers to price their policies, this group could even wind up paying disproportionately hefty premiums -- effectively subsidizing coverage for their parents. (Well, they voted for him. What goes around….)

Blue Dog Statement on Senate Health Care Reform Legislation
Today, Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration, issued the following statement after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus introduced the “America’s Health Future Act.”: “Today, the Senate took an important step forward as Congress moves to send responsible health care reform legislation to the President’s desk. The draft released by Chairman Baucus addresses two central goals of the Blue Dog Coalition and the Administration: It is deficit neutral, and it takes real steps to bring down the cost of health care over the long term. Meeting these standards, also set forth by the President, is critical to reining in deficits and protecting our economy for future generations of Americans. I applaud Chairman Baucus and his colleagues in the Senate for their progress today and look forward to working together as we move to make health care reform a reality.” (Saving face for the big cave.)

Senate Bill Would Tax Those Who Heal
Excerpt: Just in time for President Obama's address to Congress, some key points in the forthcoming bill were unveiled. The final bill is expected to be released this week. Unfortunately, it features a number of provisions that would hamstring medical innovation. Baucus' overhaul would be partially funded by new fees on the health care industry. Starting next year, medical device makers would be forced to pony up $4 billion annually to the federal government. Biopharmaceutical firms would be on the hook for $2.3 billion each year. Clinical labs would have to shell out $750 million a year. All this in addition to the taxes they already pay. (Let’s see if I understand. We’ll lower the cost of health care by taxing providers, who will have to increase prices to patients to get the money, thus raising the cost of health care. Got it. TANSTAAFL.)

Klobuchar, Franken oppose device-firm tax
Excerpt: In a bid to protect one of Minnesota's signature industries and major employers, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken on Tuesday said they oppose a tax on medical device companies -- part of a proposal being considered by Congress to pay for health care reform. In a letter to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the Minnesota Democrats claimed the proposed $4 billion tax "will seriously threaten thousands of American jobs and deter innovation" in the heavily research-focused device industry. (But will Al Franken vote against a HCR bill with this in it? Increasingly, it looks to me that to get a bill through, some Democrats are going to have to sacrifice their careers.)

It’s all about race
Excerpt: 1. Black citizen elected to office. 2. Black official runs into opposition to policy objectives or has a problem with corruption. 3. Black supporters and liberals blame the problems on race. One-two-three. This scenario has been played out so many times in modern American history it would have been impossible to keep count. (And, of course, it breeds racism. But maybe they want to keep racism alive as a policy and funding tool.)

Iraqi Shoe Thrower Is Out of Prison
Democrats thought this was great—Rep. Joe Wilson should have thrown his shoes.

Morning Fix: A McMahon in the Senate?
Excerpt: World Wresting Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon (R) will formally enter the Connecticut Senate race today, adding a celebrity element to a contest that promises to be among the most competitive in the country. "Washington is out of control, and sadly, Senator Chris Dodd has lost his way and our trust," McMahon will say, according to a copy of her remarks obtained by the Fix. "I can't sit by on the sidelines anymore knowing that I have both the experience and the strength to stand up to special interests and bring badly needed change to Washington." McMahon, who is one half of the husband and wife duo that run the WWE wresting empire out of Stamford, Conn., brings deep pockets and potentially heavy baggage to the race.

The link below is to a petition from the Vets for Freedom urging thePresident to give our commanders and troops in Afghanistan what theyneed. Please take a moment to sign it and pass it on.

Ten in '10: Winning Washington by Empowering Americans
Excerpt: Remember the days when the press ooohed and aaaahed every time Barack Obama and Michelle went out to dinner? The President's jump shot … the First Lady's arms … the adorable kids … the dog search … the vegetable garden … it was Operation Razzle Dazzle run by an image machine working overtime. Team Obama believed that if people saw the First Family as cool and fun, they would be more likely to think Obama's "remaking of America" was cool and fun, too. Of course, it didn't work out this way. Americans, it turns out, are sophisticated enough to separate their personal appreciation for the Obamas from their views on the President's policies. At this point, the entire White House operation is starting to have the look and feel of a tired Vegas lounge act. The economic forecast looks grim to most of us, who wonder why Washington can't cut back on spending in the same way our own families have. Everything Obama proposes carries a hefty price tag … which ends up further burdening already beleaguered taxpayers and small businesses, who sooner or later pick up the tab for this profligate spending. The health-care debate has turned out to be a referendum on how well Washington manages big programs. The answer? Not well.

A Warrior Switches Battlefields
Excerpt: On Sept. 11, 2001, Marshall watched on television with the rest of the world as the events in New York, Arlington and Pennsylvania unfolded. The following day, he went to a Marine Corps recruiting office and signed up. He was an 18-year-old senior at Broomfield High School, just outside Denver. Three days after graduating, he left for Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Medicare Waste & Fraud?
Excerpt: Why the hell would you appoint as your health policy czar who will focus on rooting out Medicare’s waste, fraud, and abuse the woman who ran Medicare for Bill Clinton and utterly and completely failed to root out waste, fraud, and abuse?...After leaving government, DeParle accepted director positions at half a dozen companies suspected of violating the very laws and regulations she had enforced for Medicare.

The Real Political Divide: Attitudes Toward America
Excerpt: Podhoretz wrote: The great issue between the two political communities is how they feel about the nature of American society. With all exceptions duly noted, I think it fair to say that what liberals mostly see when they look at this country is injustice and oppression of every kind economic, social and political. By sharp contrast, conservatives see a nation shaped by a complex of traditions, principles and institutions that has afforded more freedom and, even factoring in periodic economic downturns, more prosperity to more of its citizens than in any society in human history. It follows that what liberals believe needs to be changed or discarded and apologized for to other nations is precisely what conservative are dedicating to preserving, reinvigorating and proudly defending against attack.

SOF Targets and Soft Targets
Excerpt: The drama was palpable. U.S. SOF used helicopters to attack a vehicle carrying Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a notorious al-Qaida-affiliated killer currently aligned with the Somali Islamist militia, Al Shabab. After the copter attack on Nabhan's vehicle, a commando team landed and retrieved his body. This daring raid sounds like the work of U.S. Navy SEALs, but in complex missions in complicated places like the Horn of Africa, the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) makes use of elite SOF units from all services.

Surprise gathering at airport greets Marine
Excerpt: Cottle, a Marine, lost both his legs - above the knee - when a bomb exploded beneath him in Afghanistan on July 19. He has been in hospitals in Afghanistan, Germany, Maryland and San Diego, where he has undergone six surgeries. Tuesday was Cottle's first chance to get back to his parents' home.

Jihad terror plot in New York part of Denver-based cell plotting attack on 9/11 scale
It's a good thing the war on terror is over, or we would be seeing many more plots like this. I guess these guys are kind of like the Japanese soldiers who hid so deep in the jungle for so many years that they didn't know World War II had ended until many years later.

A fresh, new Pete Stark Raving Mad moment
Excerpt: Stark attended a town hall meeting on health care in Fremont, Calif. over the weekend. A senior citizen lit into various Obamacare talking points and told Rep. Stark: “Don’t pee on my leg and then tell me it’s raining.” Stark grabbed the microphone and lashed back: “I wouldn’t dignify you by peeing on your leg. It wouldn’t be worth wasting the urine.”

Good for the goose…
On Tuesday, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a two-page amendment, courtesy of Republican Tom Coburn which would require all Members of Congress and their staff members to enroll in any new government-run health plan. Congressman John Fleming (Louisiana physician) has proposed an amendment that would require Congressmen and Senators to take the same health care plan that they would force on us. (Under proposed legislation they are exempt.)Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go to his Website and sign his petition.

What Advocates of Public Plans Don't Know About Public Plans
Excerpt: By public plan, the left envisions a Medicare-type plan for young people. They argue that it will lower costs and put competitive pressure on private insurers to become more efficient. So here is an exercise for the reader: Comb through everything you’ve ever read on this subject and see if you can come up with even one reason why a public plan would be more efficient than private plans.

Newest video ACORN confession: 'I shot him'
Excerpt: An ACORN worker in San Bernardino, Calif., says she built the groundwork for a case of self-defense, then picked up a gun and shot her former husband. The statements by a woman identified as Tresa Kaelke at an ACORN office in California come in a new video released on Andrew Breitbart's website.

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