Saturday, March 20, 2010

Political Digest March 20, 2010

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.

Welcome Spring
Snow predicted here inChicago.

House leaders announce $940 billion health-care compromise bill
They can’t really believe it will be politically possible to cut billions from Medicare, or that a massive new government program will cut the deficit. I think this legislation will be the tipping point, that the collapse of the American Republic into fiscal chaos and perhaps civil war is close to being inevitable.

From a Reader
The best way to find out if they really believe the BS about the bill reducing the deficit would be to ask them if they would resign if the deficit increases following the bill’s passage. I doubt anyone in leadership would be willing to put their job on the line for that (even as they are willing to risk all the other Democrats who vote for this unconstitutional monstrosity). --Howard

Bob: Yes, except they would claim the deficit would have been higher if the bill had not passed. Plus it doesn’t take effect for several years, by which time the culprits will be retired full of wealth.

"Politically speaking, [the Slaughter Rule] is beyond sleazy. It's meant to protect House Democrats, who are all running for re-election in November, from having to make a tough vote up or down on health care reform. Pelosi says of this process, quote, 'I like it, because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill,' unquote. In Nancy Pelosi's world, accountability is a dirty word. ... This tactic has been used in the past, but never -- never -- for something as big and important as the $900 billion health care reform bill -- never. Republicans are jumping all over this, rightfully so. They're painting it as a way for Democrats to avoid taking responsibility, which is exactly what it is. Some even suggest it's unconstitutional. Meanwhile, President Obama's campaigning relentlessly, calling on lawmakers to pass health care reform, quote, 'I want some courage. I want us to do the right thing,' unquote. Well, the irony here is if Nancy Pelosi gets her way, it won't take much courage at all on the part of our so-called representatives, will it?" –CNN commentator Jack Cafferty, who is by no means a conservative. The Patriot Post

How to Protect Your Stock Profits From Health Care
Excerpt: After a year of some of the most sadly entertaining partisan theater ever seen in Washington, health-care reform is very close to becoming law. Democrats look ready to hold a vote as soon as Sunday, which means Monday’s opening bell could signal the beginning of a very different world for investors. If that’s the case, Cramer said during Mad Money, then they better prepare their portfolios. He expects a sell-off, “maybe even a big one,” if a new health-care bill passes.

Much Less Access To Decent Health Care Under Obamacare
Excerpt: Left-wing supporters of Obamacare like Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times wants us to believe that Obamacare will improve “Americans’ access to decent medical care.”That is another in a long line of lies, manipulation and deceit being used to push Obamacare over the finish line. While cheap insurance will be made available to some thirty million more Americans, starting in about four years, the eighty percent of us who have insurance coverage that we are satisfied with will have far less access to quality care under Obamacare. There are two reasons for this.

Democrats frustrated with ‘no’ health votes
If the weather’s nice, they could do all this outdoors, selling the nation’s future in a kind of open-air bazaar of deal making for short-term political advantage. Excerpt: Democratic strategists are growing frustrated with some members from safe districts who are threatening to vote against the healthcare bill. “Some of the ‘no’s are, frankly, kind of frustrating,” a senior Democratic strategist said.

Why physicians are working fewer hours
Excerpt: Physicians are working fewer hours than they once did, the result of a decade-long decline that coincided with lower fees for their services, a study showed.
After two decades of stable hours, a steady decrease began in 1997, according to Douglas Staiger, PhD, of Dartmouth College, and colleagues.

CBO: Health Bill Would Force Families to Buy Insurance Costing a Minimum of $12,000 Per Year--Whether Government or Employer Helps Them or Not
Excerpt: If Congress passes the Senate health-care plan, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, American families will be required by federal law to buy a federally approved health insurance plan that will cost a minimum of $12,000 per year--and, on average, will cost $15,000 per year -- whether their employer or the government helps them with the premium or not. Beginning in 2014, the Senate plan would require all individuals to buy health insurance. Anyone who does not obtain insurance through an employer would be forced to buy it out of their own pocket. Families of four that make up to 400 percent of poverty level--currently $88,200 per year--would receive a subsidy from the government to help pay for their premiums. That subsidy would attenuate as their income increased and would disappear when their income reached the 400 percent of poverty level.

Coburn Promises to Hold Future Nominations of Ex-House Democrats
Excerpt: Excerpt: Senator Tom Coburn Thursday put his colleagues in the lower chamber on advance notice, vowing to torpedo any promises of patronage made by President Barack Obama to wavering House Democrats. Coburn promised at a health care presser on Capitol Hill today that he would exercise his senatorial prerogative to hold all nominations of vote-switching House Democrats who lose their reelection bids this Fall. The new maneuver aimed at scuttling Democratic vote whipping efforts sent an unmistakeable message to the White House: Senate Republicans will do everything in their power to prevent the bill’s passage, even if that means preemptively expending political capital. “I want to send a couple messages to my colleagues in the House. If you voted no and you vote yes and you lose your election, and you think any nomination to a federal position isn’t going to held in the Senate, I’ve got news for you,” Coburn, a physician whose been among the Senate’s most vocal opponents of the bill, said. “It’s going to be held.”

New Dem lawmakers feeling heat on health care
Excerpt: Freshman Rep. Steve Driehaus is getting it from all sides on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The Ohio Democrat opened his local newspaper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, on Wednesday to find a giant ad urging him to vote against the bill — featuring a photo of him with his two young daughters. Tea party protesters stormed his office and berated his staff. On the other hand, he was heading to the White House Thursday to be wooed by Obama. And there was talk of Catholic nuns in his district organizing a candlelight vigil supporting the bill. Of the few dozen House Democrats who could cast the deciding votes on health care, none are getting more pressure than the first- and second-term moderates like Driehaus who gave the Democratic Party control of Congress in the past two elections — and whose fate in November could decide who's in charge next year. While many of these lawmakers are the young, rising stars in the party, they also are often the most vulnerable. They lack the name recognition and political identity that long-term incumbency affords, and many represent swing districts that could easily shift to the right on Election Day. Until now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has given them a long leash to vote in their own best interests, and many opposed the health care bill last November. But as Democrats scramble for votes — and advocacy groups unleash furious lobbying campaigns — the newcomers are coming under a spotlight like they've never seen.

Rep. Paul Broun, MD, rips ObamaCare

With Medicaid Cuts, Doctors and Patients Drop Out
Excerpt: Carol Y. Vliet’s cancer returned with a fury last summer, the tumors metastasizing to her brain, liver, kidneys and throat. As she began a punishing regimen of chemotherapy and radiation, Mrs. Vliet found a measure of comfort in her monthly appointments with her primary care physician, Dr. Saed J. Sahouri, who had been monitoring her health for nearly two years. She was devastated, therefore, when Dr. Sahouri informed her a few months later that he could no longer see her because, like a growing number of doctors, he had stopped taking patients with Medicaid. Dr. Sahouri said that his reimbursements from Medicaid were so low — often no more than $25 per office visit — that he was losing money every time a patient walked in his exam room. The final insult, he said, came when Michigan cut those payments by 8 percent last year to help close a gaping budget shortfall.

Rep. Darrell Issa: The lackluster record of government-run health care
Before the Democrats who control Congress push through a trillion-dollar expansion of government-run health care, they might want to know the facts about how efficiently the government has handled health care in the past, and how much bigger the government will grow once the bill becomes law. When all is said and done, President Obama's plan mandates dozens of new entitlement programs and creates scores of new government offices, bureaus, commissions, and programs, all of which will have to be funded, staffed and managed at taxpayer cost. Moreover, an expansion of the federal bureaucracy at that rate will greatly increase the incidence of waste, fraud and abuse in health care. Already Medicare, which accounts for 14% of all federal spending, is rife with waste, fraud and abuse. Even Attorney General Eric Holder has said, “By all accounts, every year we lose tens of billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid funds to fraud.” A recent analysis by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated that federal subsidy programs cost taxpayers about $100 billion every year in improper payments, with Medicare and Medicaid accounting for more than half of that. Harvard Professor Malcolm Sparrow, a specialist in health care fraud teaching at the Kennedy School of Government, has estimated that as much as 20% of the federal health program budgets – or approximately $150 billion – is eaten up by improper payments every year.

Democrats know better on health care
Americans resoundingly reject ObamaCare. What, then, accounts for the Democrats' determination? Democrats believe health care is a right. Start with that premise and everything else makes complete sense. Rights -- whether the right to vote or to freely assemble or to avoid self-incrimination -- exist independent of popular feeling, poll numbers or even, in the case of health care, the Constitution. Democrats don't care how much ObamaCare costs. When President Barack Obama addressed Republicans, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., carefully outlined the costs of this "reform." He explained why costs figure to go up, not down. To someone truly interested in a cost-benefit analysis, these points warrant a rebuttal. But as MSNBC host Ed Schultz said, when it comes to health care reform and money, "I don't care how much it costs." An owner of an NFL team fired his coach despite the team's winning record. He explained, "I gave him an unlimited expense account -- and he exceeded it." To Democrats, "economic justice" knows no price tag. Democrats consider election losses a small price to pay for health care "reform." Predictions range from moderate fall election losses to a bloodbath resulting in a Republican takeover of the House and possibly even the Senate. To this Democrats say, "So what?" Once health care reform becomes law, that's that. Only a Republican charge with a filibuster-proof Republican supermajority in the Senate could undo it. Besides, President Bill Clinton got re-elected when the Republicans took over the House. And although he gives Republicans no credit, Clinton thereafter governed closer to the center, turned House Speaker Newt Gingrich into a convenient whipping boy, cruised to re-election and left office with a budget surplus. Obama, Democrats figure, could do a lot worse.

16,500 more IRS agents needed to enforce Obamacare
Guess this is the pivot to jobs BO promised. Excerpt: New tax mandates and penalties included in Obamacare will cause the greatest expansion of the Internal Revenue Service since World War II, according to a release from Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. A new analysis by the Joint Economic Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee minority staff estimates up to 16,500 new IRS personnel will be needed to collect, examine and audit new tax information mandated on families and small businesses in the ‘reconciliation’ bill being taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives this weekend.

Mark Steyn’s Mailbox
Always worth reading. Excerpt: 'In Ireland, the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs' - Sir John Pentland Mahaffy I don't know why Sir John restricted that observation to Ireland. He could've easily applied it to history in general. Nothing is trickier than predicting the future. That's why so much "classic" science fiction is now hopelessly dated. You, yourself, have made many (gloomy) predictions about the future, based on current trends - the demographic decline of the West, the rise of Radical Islam, and the social / cultural / economic / political collapse of the West. You have established, beyond all reasonable doubt, that these trends exist. In that, your observations are on absolutely solid ground. But trying to draw longterm conclusions from those trends leads one onto the shifting sands of History - where the fate of nations has all too often been decided by unforeseen events - world conquerors, natural disasters, charismatic demagogues, qreat leaps in technology, critical assassinations, etc. This is not to suggest that I think your predictions are necessarily "wrong" or unduly pessimistic. Far from it. I foresee an extremely violent 21st Century ahead of us. There will be "pushback" against current trends. I see many Western countries sinking into chaos and outright civil war - including America. Whole cities will be destroyed by WMDs - launched by terrorists and sovereign nations. Millions of Moslems will die, most of them "moderate " Moslems, dragged into the abyss by their Islamofascist brethren. And there is no guarantee that the "good guys" will win. Things will be bad. They will be very bad, in unexpected, nightmarish ways. --David C Parsons

Reflections on the Revolution in America
Excerpt: These are exciting though scary revolutionary times, akin to the constant acrimony in the fourth-century BC polis, mid-nineteenth century revolutionary Europe, or — perhaps in a geriatric replay — the 1960s. This is an era when the fundamental assumptions of the individual and the state are now being redefined, albeit in a weird, high-tech, globalized landscape. A word of caution: we are not talking about hoi polloi versus hoi oligoi, or the commune on the barricades fighting the estate owners. No, not this time around. Instead, the present attempt to remake America is the effort of the liberal well-to-do — highly educated at mostly private universities, nursed on three decades of postmodern education, either with inherited wealth or earning top salaries, lifestyles of privilege indistinguishable from those they decry as selfish, and immune from the dictates they impose on others. Such are basically the profiles of the Obama cabinet and sub-cabinet, the pillars of liberalism in the Congress and state legislatures, the public intellectuals in the universities and foundations, the arts crowd, and the Hollywood elite. Let us be clear about that. They are all battling on behalf of “them,” the poorer half of America, currently in need of some sort of housing, education, food, or legal subsidy, whom the above mentioned elite, in the way they live, send their children to school, socialize, and vacation so studiously avoid. (The New York Times owners are likely to follow the cut-throat business practices of Wall Street, live in the most refined areas of New York, and assume privileges indistinguishable from other CEOs; the difference is that they so visibly care about those they never see or seek out). Note well the term “poor.” These are not Dickensian or Joads poor, but largely Americans who by the standards of the 1940s would be considered lucky.

National Debt Up $2 Trillion on Obama's Watch
The latest posting from the Treasury Department shows the National Debt has increased over $2 trillion since President Obama took office. The debt now stands at $12.6 trillion. On the day Mr. Obama took office it was $10.6 trillion. President George W. Bush still holds the record for the most debt run up on his watch: $4.9 trillion. But it took him over four years to rack up the first two trillion dollars in debt. It has taken Mr. Obama 421 days.

I got a letter from the government telling me my census form was coming. Then I got the census form, and filled it out, checking “other” for race and writing in “American,” and mailed it back. Yesterday I got a post card telling me who to call if I have questions. I do have a question. If the government s broke, how can they afford to spend all this money on one census form?

Rasmussen: 43% now strongly disapprove of Obama, same as Bush when he left office
Excerpt: When George Bush left office he was deeply unpopular: in Bush’s last month, according to Rasmussen 43% strongly disapproved of the job Bush was doing, while only 13% strongly approved, for a staggering negative rating of –30%. Rasmussen’s Thursday release shows that after 14 months in office President Barack Obama has achieved Bush’s 43% of the people strongly disapproving of his performance, but Obama is still 10% ahead of Bush in those who strongly approve (23% v. 13% for Bush).

Global Warming on Trial
Excerpt: In 2005, the late Dr. Michael Crichton wrote a book of fiction called State of Fear. The plot of the storyline is the exposé of the fraudulent science behind the global warming theory in the middle of a fictitious court case. The book was a bestseller, and in a strange twist of circumstances, it landed Dr. Crichton in front of a Senate committee. Now it seems that life is indeed imitating art. In the past few years, there have been many court cases concerning the actions of governments to the alleged threat of global warming. The latest has been filed by Texas against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with respect to the Endangerment Finding of Carbon Dioxide (CO2).

The Rowdy Republican
Good blog.

Dem Congressman: "If You Don't Tie Our Hands, We Will Keep Stealing"
A bit of honesty.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read
Excerpt: 1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. 2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. 3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. 4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. 5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

The Slaughter on the Southern Border
Excerpt: At a joint press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon last year, President Obama vowed to make ending border violence a “top priority.” How’s that hope and change working out? Drug-related crime is out of control, the State Department is warning spring-break vacationers to avoid the Mexican states of Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua, and the bloodshed has now reached the U.S. consulate’s office. A young American consulate worker and her unborn baby were slain this weekend in Mexico, along with her U.S. detention officer husband and the Mexican husband of another consulate worker. The wanton murders appear to have been a coordinated drug cartel hit; the victims had all just left a children’s birthday party in Juarez and were headed across the border back into Texas. The pregnant American official, Lesley Enriquez, is reportedly the first consulate employee to die in drug-related violence since 1985. Her 7-month-old daughter, terrorized by the gunfire while strapped in her car seat, was the lone survivor of the attack. The State Department has now authorized the evacuation of dependents of U.S. personnel in six Mexican cities along its northern border with the U.S. And the resort town of Acapulco saw at least 13 murdered over the past week — including four beheadings. The total death toll over the past three years is nearing 20,000. Mexican government officials have been quite content to blame their neighbors for the outbreaks; to play the race card; to demand blanket amnesty for illegal aliens from their country trying to flee the violence and misery; and to collect massive infusions of U.S. aid that have fallen into the wrong hands. The question for this White House is: How many more Americans will be targeted for execution before we stop rewarding such fatally arrogant behavior?

Democracy Denied: The Obama Chart
Excerpt: The below chart shows how it has become standard procedure in the Obama administration not to take no for an answer. When Obama's radical agenda is rejected by Congress and the American people, he goes around the democratic process to do what he wants anyway.

The Great Reneger
Obama’s promises in his own words.

How Obama created the Biden incident
Juden raus! Excerpt: The next day, however, the administration went nuclear. After discussing with the president specific language she would use, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Netanyahu to deliver a hostile and highly aggressive 45-minute message that the Biden incident had created an unprecedented crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations.
Clinton's spokesman then publicly announced that Israel was required to show in word and in deed its seriousness about peace. Israel? Israelis have been looking for peace -- literally dying for peace -- since 1947, when they accepted the U.N. partition of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. (The Arabs refused and declared war. They lost.) Israel made peace offers in 1967, 1978 and in the 1993 Oslo peace accords that Yasser Arafat tore up seven years later to launch a terror war that killed a thousand Israelis. Why, Clinton's own husband testifies to the remarkably courageous and visionary peace offer made in his presence by Ehud Barak (now Netanyahu's defense minister) at the 2000 Camp David talks. Arafat rejected it. In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered equally generous terms to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Refused again. In these long and bloody 63 years, the Palestinians have not once accepted an Israeli offer of permanent peace, or ever countered with anything short of terms that would destroy Israel. They insist instead on a "peace process" -- now in its 17th post-Oslo year and still offering no credible Palestinian pledge of ultimate coexistence with a Jewish state -- the point of which is to extract preemptive Israeli concessions, such as a ban on Jewish construction in parts of Jerusalem conquered by Jordan in 1948, before negotiations for a real peace have even begun.

Obama blocks delivery of bunker-busters to Israel
Teaching the Jews a lesson. Excerpt: The United States has diverted a shipment of bunker-busters designated for Israel. Officials said the U.S. military was ordered to divert a shipment of smart bunker-buster bombs from Israel to a military base in Diego Garcia. They said the shipment of 387 smart munitions had been slated to join pre-positioned U.S. military equipment in Israel Air Force bases. "This was a political decision," an official said.

Iran's link to China includes nukes, missiles
This doesn’t scare me—that’s how pessimistic I am about the future. What’s one more disaster? Besides, I’m sure President Wobbly’s Kumbaya foreign policy will fix everything. Excerpt: Recent developments in Iran confirm that China is providing Tehran with critical defense technologies and weapons systems, including some that violate stated Chinese policies aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation. The disclosure of Chinese military aid comes as the Obama administration is trying to persuade Beijing to join other members of the U.N. Security Council, European Union member states and major non-aligned states such as Brazil to adopt a new set of tough sanctions to punish Iran for its nuclear-arms program.

"The Muslims were...commanded to fight not only those who fought against them but also those who did not, in order to establish the word of Allah"
excerpt: In traditional Islamic theology there is the idea that the teaching on jihad was revealed in stages: first, tolerance; then, defensive warfare; then, offensive warfare to establish Sharia over the world. Many, many Islamic authorities, ancient and modern, teach this -- and it belies the soothing Religion of Peace™ lies and half-truths that Islamic apologists peddle so successfully in Western countries. Here is yet another Islamic authority teaching the same thing. "This is an article from online Arabic magazine Moheet, which has offices in Egypt and the UAE." "Moheet: 'The Purpose of Jihad Is to Establish the Word of Allah,'" from Translating Jihad, March 18:

No comments:

Post a Comment