Congressman Says Guam Might Tip Over
"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
Like Genghis Khan?
It’s been more than 20 years, but “Desperate Housewives” star Dana Delany still won’t spill about her date with Sen. John Kerry - a night so strange it could have happened on Wisteria Lane!
“Oh, it’s ancient history,” Dana demurred yesterday when we again tried to get her to give it up. “And it wasn’t really a bad date - it was just a good story.”
The Phillips Andover alum met Kerry, then a bachelor, at a veterans event in D.C. when she was starring in the Vietnam-themed TV drama “China Beach.”
The senator invited her to dinner then back to his apartment to see his “war films.” (Why, oh why, did Kerry bring a video camera to war, Dana wondered . . .) Apres screening, the senator attempted to, shall we say, storm “China Beach.”
Pepsi Cola does sterilize black men. And white men too it turns out.
According to the Thurston County Republican chairman.
"I think Rossi is in. … He doesn't get seen in D.C. unless he is in," Roberts said Saturday at the Thurston GOP's county convention in Olympia. "He would definitely be a viable candidate."
Hot Air » Blog Archive » CMS suspends doctor-reimbursement cuts used to calculate ObamaCare
Can we call them anti-American yet?
A team of CIA counterintelligence officials recently visited the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and concluded that CIA interrogators face the risk of exposure to al Qaeda through inmates' contacts with defense attorneys, according to U.S. officials.
The agency's "tiger team" of security specialists was dispatched as part of an ongoing investigation conducted jointly with the Justice Department into a program backed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The program, called the John Adams Project, has photographed covert CIA interrogators and shown the pictures to some of the five senior al Qaeda terrorists held there in an effort to identify them further.
Details of the review could not be learned. However, the CIA team came away from the review, conducted the week of March 14, "very concerned" that agency personnel have been put in danger by military rules allowing interaction between the five inmates and defense attorneys, according to an intelligence source close to the review.
Why we need the Tea Party.
Over the past 14 months, our political debate has been transformed into an argument between the heirs of two fundamental schools of political thought, the Founders and the Progressives. The Founders stood for the expansion of liberty and the Progressives for the expansion of government.
It's an argument that has been going on for a century but was largely dormant over the quarter-century of low-inflation economic growth that followed the Reagan tax cuts. It's been raised again by the expand-government policies of the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders.
The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday.
The proposal — a compromise that will please oil companies and domestic drilling advocates but anger some residents of affected states and many environmental organizations — would end a longstanding moratorium on oil exploration along the East Coast from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean.
Under the plan, the coastline from New Jersey northward would remain closed to all oil and gas activity. So would the Pacific Coast, from Mexico to the Canadian border.
Headline of the day.
ACLU debunks ACLU claim that federal courts have prosecuted 400 terrorists
Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project, tells Fox News:
Federal courts have successfully prosecuted more than 400 terrorists; military commissions have prosecuted only three.
This claim has been debunked by the mythbusters over at…the ACLU. As Andy McCarthy has pointed out, “On its website, the ACLU pronounces that only 39 cases tried in federal courts were related to terrorism and the median sentence was just eleven months. As the organization elaborates in a “Myth v. Reality” feature:”
Lose the debate, win by force.
To declare such a close contest -- during which the president was reduced to begging Democratic members to save his presidency -- to be a triumph is reminiscent of Pyrrhus of Epirus. He fought and defeated Rome, but at such a cost in casualties that upon hearing of his success, he said, "One more such victory and I shall return to Epirus alone."
In fact, though the Democrats achieved a narrow victory by passing their health care behemoth, they lost the argument. Despite some 58 presidential speeches, vigorous press cheerleading, and more than a year of ceaseless lobbying, the Obama administration and the Democrats were never able to convince a majority of the American people to believe in a fairy tale. Voters were never persuaded that the government that brought us a $107 trillion unfunded liability in the Medicare and Social Security programs was going to provide subsidized coverage to 32 million uninsured; create 4 million new jobs; produce, as Mrs. Pelosi put it, "a healthier America through prevention, wellness, and innovation;" make insurance more affordable for the middle class; and "save the taxpayers $1.3 trillion."
It's a long, long list.
HEALTH CARE MANDATES
STATEMENT: “We've got a philosophical difference, which we've debated repeatedly, and that is that Senator Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. And my belief is, the reason that people don't have it is not because they don't want it but because they can't afford it.” Barack Obama, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate, February 21, 2008.
EXPIRATION DATE: On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the individual mandate into law.
HEALTH CARE NEGOTIATIONS ON C-SPAN
STATEMENT: “These negotiations will be on C-SPAN, and so the public will be part of the conversation and will see the decisions that are being made.” January 20, 2008, and seven other times.
EXPIRATION DATE: Throughout the summer, fall, and winter of 2009 and 2010; when John McCain asked about it during the health care summit February 26, Obama dismissed the issue by declaring, “the campaign is over, John.”
STATEMENT: “No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase.” (multiple times on the campaign trail)
EXPIRATION DATE: Broken multiple times, including the raised taxes on tobacco, a new tax on indoor tanning salons, but most prominently on February 11, 2010: “President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.”
STATEMENT: Then-Senator Obama declared that a recess appointment is “damaged goods” and has “less credibility” than a normal appointment. August 25, 2005.
EXPIRATION DATE: March 27, 2010: “If, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis.”
Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has summoned some of the nation's top executives to Capitol Hill to defend their assessment that the new national health care reform law will cost their companies hundreds of millions of dollars in health insurance expenses. Waxman is also demanding that the executives give lawmakers internal company documents related to health care finances -- a move one committee Republican describes as "an attempt to intimidate and silence opponents of the Democrats' flawed health care reform legislation."
One of the winners in the health care battle was Eric Holder, who no doubt appreciated having the spotlight taken off his incompetence.
When Attorney General Eric Holder first decided to send KSM to federal court in Manhattan, his reasoning was simple. "We know that we can prosecute terrorists in our federal courts safely and securely because we have been doing so for years," Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee last November. "There are more than 300 convicted international and domestic terrorists currently in Bureau of Prisons custody including those responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the attacks on embassies in Africa."
It sounds convincing -- until you ask about those 300 convicted terrorists. Who are they? Are they big-time terrorists of the KSM variety -- the kind Republicans believe should be tried by military commissions -- or are they defendants guilty of less serious offenses who can reasonably be tried in civilian courts?
Republican Sen. Jon Kyl was skeptical from the start. "It's a disingenuous argument," Kyl told me in February. "There haven't been 300 high-profile, dangerous terrorism cases in the United States -- if there were, we would have heard about them."
Among one of Obama's few remaining loyal demographics.
Under the health care overhaul, young adults who buy their own insurance will carry a heavier burden of the medical costs of older Americans — a shift expected to raise insurance premiums for young people when the plan takes full effect.
Beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. That’s when premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average, or roughly $42 a month, according to an analysis of the plan conducted for The Associated Press. The analysis did not factor in tax credits to help offset the increase.
The higher costs will pinch many people in their 20s and early 30s who are struggling to start or advance their careers with the highest unemployment rate in 26 years.
Maybe Obama should have read the bill before he signed it. At least he should have read it before shooting off his mouth about it.
I didn't really expect to see it. And neither did anyone else. So Mark Tapscott wrote it for the Times.
"It is disturbing that President Obama has exhibited a grandiose vision of executive power that leaves little room for public debate, the concerns of the minority party or the supervisory powers of the courts. But it is just plain baffling to watch him take the same regal attitude toward a Congress in which his party holds solid majorities in both houses.
"Seizing the opportunity presented by the Congressional holiday break, Mr. Obama announced 15 recess appointments -- a constitutional gimmick that allows a president to appoint someone when Congress is in recess to a job that normally requires Senate approval. The appointee serves until the next round of Congressional elections.
"This end run around Senate confirmation was built into the Constitution to allow the president to quickly fill vacancies that came up when lawmakers were out of town, to keep the government running smoothly in times when travelers and mail moved by horseback and Congress met part time.
"Modern presidents have employed this power to place nominees who ran into political trouble in the Senate. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton made scores of recess appointments. But both of them faced a Congress controlled by the opposition party, while the Senate has been under Democratic control for Mr. Obama's entire first year in office."
One can see in the Democrats’ fury the desperate attempt to conceal the implications of their monstrous legislation, to maintain as long as possible the fiction that ObamaCare is a great cost-saver, and boon to employers. It’s going to be hard to keep up the charade, for as the editors note, ObamaCare “was such a shoddy, jerry-rigged piece of work that the damage is coming sooner than even some critics expected.”
In that regard the adverse consequences of ObamaCare will likely be more apparent than those of the ill-conceived stimulus plan, which “merely” added to the ocean of red ink. How will shareholders, small-business owners, employees, and retirees react as they see the damage pile up, and learn that there is more in store if the bill is fully implemented? Well, they might find “Repeal and Replace!” an attractive message.
James Clyburn claims that Tea Party protesters called him a "nigger." The press was there. The reporters didn't hear it. Their microphones didn't record it. No evidence was recorded on their cameras. But rather than believe the evidence of their own senses or what was recorded on their own equipment, they believed a man who has a long record of making gratuitous accusations of racism. And now, they demand that Andrew Breitbart "prove" that nobody said what no one has any evidence of anyone saying.
“Conservative columnist Andrew Breitbart disputed accounts that tea party activists in Washington shouted racial epithets at black members of Congress amid the health care debate, although he didn’t provide any evidence.” – AP, 12/27/10
In 2006. It will be interesting to read tomorrow morning's Times.
President Obama, making a muscular show of his executive authority just one day after Congress left for spring recess, said Saturday that he would bypass the Senate and install 15 appointees, including a union lawyer whose nomination to the National Labor Relations Board was blocked last month with the help of two Democrats.
Only about $400,000,000 per vote.
A day after Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and ten other House members compromised on their pro-life position to deliver the necessary yes-votes to pass health care reform, the “Stupak 11″ released their fiscal year 2011 earmark requests, which total more than $4.7 billion–an average of $429 million worth of earmark requests for each lawmaker.
The eleven members were the focus of high level pressure by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats because they threatened to vote against the health care reform bill, whichpassed the House on Sunday, March 21, by a seven vote margin. Granting earmark requests are one of the ways leadership can encourage members to vote their way.
Stupak requested more than $578 million in earmarks, including $125 million for a replacement lock on the Sault Ste. Marie, $25.6 million to build a federal courthouse in Marquette, Mich., $15 million to repaint the Mackinac Bridge and $800,000 to preserve the Quincy Mining Company smelter near Hancock in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Restoring civility to politics.
President Obama’s political arm, Organizing For America, says it’s “powered by hope.” But for Republican congressional aides on the other end of its phone calls, it feels like it may be powered by sailors with a blue streak.
Four GOP aides told The Daily Caller they’ve borne the brunt of cursing and insults from phone callers sent their way from Organizing for America, which they identified as part of the same class of callers because individuals started calls by reading from a script hundreds of others also did.
One aide, who works for a California Republican, says he was called “every name in the book” in the run-up to the health-care vote. “I don’t endorse” any of the over-the-top threats and other things opponents to the health-care bill have said to congressional offices, the source said, “but people ought to at least know we were dealing with the same thing.”
Other aides shared less dramatic accounts. A staffer who works for a powerful appropriations committee Republican said, “it was a mixed bag” – the majority of callers simply read the script but a few that chose to debate “became belligerent,” including swearing at aides and calling them liars.
No, there are not "hundreds of terrorist" in US custody. Holder was making it up.
The Friday data dump is a joke. No wonder they waited til everyone was headed out of town to dump it.
An honest disclosure would have said, “OK, you got us. There are not hundreds of convicted terrorists in custody. That was an exaggeration. The critics were right when they said we were rigging the numbers and inflating our count with hundreds of cases that did not involve terrorism convictions — as well as other cases which, while colorably related to terrorism, are not in the same league as cases involving alien enemy combatants like the 9/11 plotters.” But that’s not what Justice did. Instead, it leaked its disclosure to friendly media (see, e.g., here) which dutifully spun the story to say Justice was “calling the bluff” of its critics. Plainly, Holder & Co. are trying to shape the narrative before anyone actually reads the underlying data. (After watching the media’s shoddy coverage last week of the CBO report on Obamacare, who could blame them for figuring they’d get away with it?)
What is it with this guy? Isn't he supposed to be smart? He certainly doesn't act that way.
Attorney General Eric Holder is apologizing for failing to send the Senate Judiciary Committee Supreme Court briefs he signed regarding the case of convicted terrorism plotter Jose Padilla.
Then you just might be a racist. In fact, you might be a racist for just about anything.
As you know, if you disagree with a black person about Obamacare, you’re a racist. But did you know all the other reasons you’re a racist? Just ask House Majority Whip James Clyburn!
Here’s Rep. Clyburn in April 2008, talking to Wolf Blitzer about Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to call a vote on the Colombian free trade agreement, and President Bush’s criticism of her:Well, I think Nancy Pelosi was absolutely right to do what she did. The fact of the matter is she and the president spoke two or three days before he sent the agreement over. However, she asked him to give her time to work with her caucus.
We have a very diverse caucus, Wolf — 42 African-Americans in our caucus. The president is used to working with the Republican conference, where there are no African-Americans. We have 22 Latinos, 48 Blue Dogs. We have around 39 so-called New Dems, who are the trade people.
She wanted time to work with all of these elements to try to create a climate to do what the president would like to see done. However, he ignored all of that, sent the document up, and tried to set our agenda for us. And Nancy was right to push back.
That’s right: George Bush only wanted to make a trade deal with the Colombians because James Clyburn is black.
Is the Democrat talent pool really so shallow that they can't find a decent nominee?
Harding retired from the Army in 2001, ending a three-decade career during which he served as the Defense Department’s top human intelligence officer, managing a $1 billion intelligence collection program.
He became a government consultant on human intelligence and counterintelligence, selling his company in 2009.
Questions arose after his nomination about a contract his company had with the government to provide interrogators in Iraq. After the government ended the contract early, in 2004, Harding Security Associates claimed more money from termination of the contract than the Defense Department’s inspector general said it was entitled to get. The firm refunded $1.8 million of that money in a 2008 settlement with the Defense Intelligence Agency.
“I feel that the distractions caused by my work as a defense contractor would not be good for this administration nor for the Department of Homeland Security,” Harding said in a late-evening statement released by the White House. The Transportation Security Administration is part of Homeland Security.
A little over two months ago, Erroll Southers withdrew his nomination to lead the TSA after it became apparent he would have trouble winning confirmation. Questions were raised about a reprimand that Southers, a top official with the Los Angeles Airport Police Department, had received for running background checks on his then-estranged wife’s boyfriend two decades ago. He acknowledged giving Congress inconsistent answers on the matter.
Harry Reid doesn't have a snowflake's chance in hell of winning an honest election this November. So one of his stooges was dispatched to run as a Tea Party candidate and split the opposition vote. Unfortunately, Reid's choice of a candidate has his ethics.
A Nevada asphalt contractor who faces a legal challenge to his Tea Party of Nevada candidacy for U.S. Senate was hit Friday with felony theft and bad check charges in Las Vegas that allege he bounced a $5,000 business check last year.
Scott Ashjian is one of a record 22 candidates, including 12 Republicans, running for the seat held by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is seeking a fifth term.
Bernie Zadrowski, head of the Clark County district attorney's office bad check unit, said he would seek an arrest warrant Monday in Las Vegas Justice Court. Ashjian could face up to 14 years in state prison if convicted.
The tea party movement is a disparate coalition of conservative groups angered by federal spending, rising taxes and the growth and reach of government. Other tea party activists have been distancing themselves from Ashjian, and an ad targeting him has been sponsored by the Tea Party Express, one of the most visible factions of the national tea party movement.
In a separate matter, a Carson City District Court judge on Friday set an April 14 hearing on a lawsuit that challenges Ashjian's membership in the Tea Party of Nevada and his place on the ballot. Documents filed with the lawsuit appear to show that Ashjian changed his voter registration on March 2, the day after he filed his declaration of candidacy.
Now they tell us.
Democrats are "overpromising" about the benefits of healthcare, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said this morning.
The Missouri Democrat said her party has probably oversold the legislation that just became law.
"The side on which I'm on, that voted for the bill, probably is overpromising, [has] not been clear enough about the fact that this is going to be an incremental approach over time, [and] the benefits aren't going to be felt by most Americans immediately," McCaskill told MSNBC's Mornine Joe.
It's all your fault. He meant to stab us in the back all along.
The true motives of many blogs and organizations claiming to be pro-life have become clear in recent days: to politicize life issues as a means to defeat health care reform. One group even sent an e-mail to supporters saying they are "working feverishly to stop this legislation from going forward."
The pro-life groups rallied behind me -- many without my knowledge or consent -- not necessarily because they shared my goals of ensuring protections for life and passing health-care reform but because they viewed me as their best chance to kill health-care legislation.
Guess what was just found in the legislation that Congress passed without reading, that the president signed without reading, and the mainstream news media extolled without reading.
The health care overhaul will cost U.S. companies billions and make them more likely to drop prescription drug coverage for retirees because of a change in how the government subsidizes those benefits.
In the first two days after the law was signed, three major companies — Deere & Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Valero Energy — said they expect to take a total hit of $265 million to account for smaller tax deductions in the future.
With more than 3,500 companies now getting the tax break as an incentive to keep providing coverage, others are almost certain to announce similar cost increases in the weeks ahead as they sort out the impact of the change.
Figuring out what it will mean for retirees will take longer, but analysts said as many as 2 million could lose the prescription drug coverage provided by their former employers, leaving them to enroll in Medicare’s program.
Harsanyi: Masters of distraction - The Denver Post
The mob is furious. And while it hollers on about "killing" bills, Republicans stoke the fury by calling on citizens to "target" races in "battleground" states.
Get it? "Target." The violent intentions are palpable.
Most Americans abhor violence and no serious person has offered excuses or rationalized the actions of the smattering of loons who have threatened politicians who voted for health care reform.
But this campaign of distraction mounted by Democrats meaning to smear millions of Americans involved in legitimate political expression is as transparent as it is distasteful.
The narrative: Fearful underdog Democrats (true if you ignore their notable majorities in both houses of Congress and control of the presidency) are fending off hordes of ferocious, irrational detractors to do what's right.
Democrats insist Republicans must condemn — over and over — this imaginary rise of widespread radicalism. In doing so, they are implicitly accusing Republicans of controlling the aforementioned radicals.
Other Democrats, like Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, went as far as to claim that Republicans were "aiding and abetting terrorism" against Democrats.
This is called "success" in Wisconsin. And you want government running your health care?
State elections officials are calling a campaign to review voter information a success, despite finding more than 70,000 voter entries still do not match up with information in other state databases.
The report released by the Government Accountability Board says the names, driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers and birth dates of the voters differ from those stored elsewhere. A nonmatch does not automatically disqualify someone from voting.
Many of the voters failed to respond to mailings asking them to verify information, and other letters were returned as undeliverable.
Ed Schultz admits that he'll need Obama to get an audience. Congress needed to "equalize the audience."
Don't fall for this fraud.
A national Tea Party group is calling for voters in Nevada to reject the candidacy of Scott Ashjian, whose challenge of Democratic Sen. Harry Reid on the Tea Party ticket has been called a “fraud.”
“We at the Tea Party Express have a message for Scott Ashjian, whose been trying to pretend he’s in the Tea Party Movement: Get lost,” Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams says in the ad that’s set to be released Thursday by the group and its Our Country Deserves Better PAC.
Ashjian, who is said to be little known among Tea Party groups in Nevada, has been accused of getting in the race to split the conservative vote with the Republican candidate and actually help keep Reid in office.
“Dozens of Tea Party groups across Nevada have spoken out against your candidacy,” Williams continues. “None of us has even heard of you or seen you at a Tea Party rally. Nothing. We think you’re a fraud whose trying to split the vote and help re-elect Harry Reid.”
But he'll throw your ass in jail if you screw up (unless you get a job in the Obama Administration).
IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman practically ran away when The Daily Caller asked him whether he prepares his own taxes. Millions of Americans struggling through complicated IRS forms in the weeks leading up to tax day — April 15 — might like to know.
“I don’t have time for this … If you want an interview, you can call my office,” he said, speed-walking down an ornate hallway in the Longworth House Office Building. Shulman had just testified to the top tax committee in the House about steps he was taking to make it easier for people to file their taxes.
Shulman’s spokesman later said he employs an accountant to prepare his tax filings, as does about 60 percent of the country who shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars each for such services.
Rep. Xavier Becerra, a top Democrat on the Ways & Means Committee that was holding the hearing, is keeping a watchful eye on those tax preparer services, who he says sometimes fleece unwitting customers. “Americans who could fill out a simple [tax forms] are being charged hundreds of dollars to do what they” could on their own, he said.
So does Becerra prepare his own taxes?
“No. I have a tax preparer back home who’s been doing it for me for many years,” he told The Daily Caller. Becerra explains that his finances are more complex — and his tax filings fall under far greater scrutiny — than ordinary Americans who could figure out the forms if they tried.
The Chicago Way comes to the State Department. This is smart diplomacy?
“Netanyahu is being treated as if he were an unsavory Third World dictator, needed for strategic reasons but conspicuously held at arm’s length.”
Democrats killed an amendment by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn to prevent the newly created insurance exchanges from using federal money to cover Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs for rapists, pedophiles and other sex offenders. The amendment failed 57-42
"The vast majority of Americans don't want their taxpayer dollars paying for this kind of drug for those kind of people," Coburn said.
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus urged his colleagues to defeat the amendment.
Dean Nelson says as far as he knows, there have never been as many black Republicans running for Congress as there are this year.
Asked why that’s the case, the vice chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a conservative group of black people who promote smaller government, pointed to an unlikely inspiration for the Republicans: Democratic President Barack Obama.
“I think with his success, it has given a level of hope and expectation for African-American candidates, whether they’re Republican or Democrat that you know hey, this is something that can be done,” Nelson said in an interview with The Daily Caller.
Because many black conservatives share the same type of political experience Obama had at the state level before going to Washington, Nelson said, many are saying, “doggone it, I should throw my hat into the ring and I might be able to have success.”
Of the more than 30 black Republican congressional and senatorial candidates running for office this election cycle, the Frederick Douglass Foundation held a leadership summit for more than 15 of them this weekend.
A CBS News poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans want Republicans to keep fighting Obamacare.
A CBS News poll released Wednesday finds that nearly two in three Americans want Republicans in Congress to continue to challenge parts of the health care reform bill.
The Senate version of the legislation was passed by the House Sunday night, and President Obama signed it into law on Tuesday. The House also passed a separate reconciliation bill, which cannot be filibustered, that is now being debated in the Senate. That bill would make changes to the bill already signed into law.
Senate Republicans are now challenging whether the bill is truly a budget reconciliation bill (which is what makes it filibuster-proof) and inserting amendments designed to slow down passage. Republican attorneys general are also planning to challenge the constitutionality of the law.
The poll finds that 62 percent want Congressional Republicans to keep challenging the bill, while 33 percent say they should not do so. Nearly nine in ten Republicans and two in three independents want the GOP to keep challenging. Even 41 percent of Democrats support continued challenges.
Back to horse drawn carriages?
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that federal transportation policies will no longer favor “motorized” transportation, such as cars and trucks, over “non-motorized” transportation, such as walking and bicycling.
Barack Hussein Obama: "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."
After boasting that Obamacare would almost immediately mandate that insurance companies sell policies that cover children with pre-existing conditions, somebody actually read the bill and discovered that it doesn't.
Hours after President Barack Obama signed historic health care legislation, a potential problem emerged. Administration officials are now scrambling to fix a gap in highly touted benefits for children.
Obama made better coverage for children a centerpiece of his health care remake, but it turns out the letter of the law provided a less-than-complete guarantee that kids with health problems would not be shut out of coverage.
Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main congressional panels that wrote the bill Obama signed into law Tuesday.
If you believed that Barack Hussein Obama was going to make your health insurance more affordable, then you deserve this.
[P]remiums will continue to rise. How much? No one's certain. To pay for this sweeping reform, here's what will change: Those tax-free flexible spending accounts will be cut in half. They reimburse some medical bills not covered by insurance. The new cap: $2,500....
Starting in 2013, individuals earning more than $200,000 a year - and families earning more than $250,000 - will pay almost one percent more on their Medicare payroll tax. For a family earning $500,000 it means an extra $2,250 a year.
Those same high-earners will face an extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax on their net investment income....
"Somebody will have to pay for it - for the uninsured to be insured," Teresa said. "I just don't want it to be the middle class."
David Griffin knows he'll pay more. His family built DH Griffin. But his higher income faces higher taxes.
"We've been successful and we don't feel like we should be penalized the more successful we are," Griffin said. "It's not the American way."
It's negative. Big time.
Not many people noticed amid the Democrats' struggle to jam their health care bill through the House, but in recent weeks United States Treasury bonds have lost their status as the world's safest investment.
The numbers are pretty clear. In February, Bloomberg News reports, Berkshire Hathaway sold two-year bonds with an interest rate lower than that on two-year Treasuries. A company run by a 79-year-old investor is a better credit risk, the markets are telling us, than the United States government.
Buffett's firm isn't the only one. Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Lowe's have been borrowing money at cheaper rates than Uncle Sam.
Democrats wary of voting for the health care bill may have been soothed by the Congressional Budget Office's report that it would reduce federal deficits over the next 10 years. But bond buyers know that the Democrats gamed the CBO system to get a good score.
The realities, as former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin pointed out in the New York Times, are different. The real cost is disguised by the fact that the bill includes 10 years of revenue but only six years of spending. It includes $70 billion in premiums for long-term care that will have to be paid out later. It excludes $114 billion in discretionary spending needed to run the program. It includes nearly half a trillion dollars in unrealistic Medicare savings.
Yes, there is a clause in Obamacare that provides funds for the rehabilitation of Native American child molesters.
How can Bart Stupak look anyone in the eye, let alone criticize all those he lied to.
Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat whose support for President Obama’s health bill ensured it was passed into law Sunday, on Tuesday accused the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and pro-life groups of “hypocrisy” for condemning the executive order that sealed the deal.
From the office of Representative John Dingell (D-Michigan).
Let me remind you this [Americans allegedly dying because of lack of universal health care] has been going on for years. We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you're going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.
Disturbing news for the easily troubled.
Has even the Last Supper been supersized?
The food in famous paintings of the meal has grown by biblical proportions over the last millennium, researchers report in a medical journal Tuesday.
Using a computer, they compared the size of the food to the size of the heads in 52 paintings of Jesus Christ and his disciples at their final meal before his death.
If art imitates life, we're in trouble, the researchers conclude. The size of the main dish grew 69 percent; the size of the plate, 66 percent, and the bread, 23 percent, between the years 1000 and 2000.
Supersizing is considered a modern phenomenon, but "what we see recently may be just a more noticeable part of a very long trend," said Brian Wansink, a food behavior scientist at Cornell University.
NASA admits to USA Today that its data is even worse than the CRU's Climategate data.
NASA’s temperature data is so woeful that GISS’s Reto Ruedy tells the USA Today weather editor in this email that “My recommendation to you is to continue using…Phil Jones’ data for the global mean [temperatures].” You see, “what we do is accurate enough” — left unspoken: for government work — “But we have no intention to compete with either of the other two organizations in what they do best.”
Yikes. Yes, he said that. NASA’s is worse than the ClimateGate temperature data. According to NASA.
Apparently, and although this was never stressed before in all of the hysterical media that they get for proclaiming to have discerned temperature record after hottest year after exhibit of proof of catastrophic man-made global warming,NASA’s GISS is really just “basically a modeling group forced into rudimentary analysis of global observed data” back in the day but, “Now we happily combine [the National Climatic Data Center's, or NCDC's] and Hadley Center’s data to get what we need” for purposes of evaluating their models.
NASA’s reference to NCDC invokes the third of four data sets pointed to by our apologist friends who claimed that, well, there really was nothing to see here about that whole CRU thing, because of all that other independent data. Except that here we read that NASA’s data is not independent at all, but thoroughly dependent upon the non-existent/phonied-up CRU numbers, slapped together with what GISS’s Reto Ruedy refers his inquiring (ok, fairly credulous) reporter to as the gold standard for US temperatures, NCDC.
I'm voting all of the above.
Wheeling and dealing is the norm in the political world. It’s how business gets done. But regardless of one’s views on the substance of the issue, when it comes to an issue as fundamental as whether the government should fund abortion, is it really too much to expect our elected representatives to have some conviction? Apparently so. Ben Nelson clearly wasn’t motivated by his views on abortion; it was just the best card he had to play. Now it seems the same may be true of Bart Stupak. We will likely find out in the coming days and months. Maybe Congressman Stupak got himself a deal?
Lindsey Graham doesn't get it yet, but the French do.
France is to abandon its planned carbon fuel tax which aimed to curb global warming, members of parliament quoted the prime minister as saying on Tuesday.
A tax would have to be introduced at a European level in order "not to harm the competitiveness of French companies," Francois Fillon was quoted as saying by several MPs of the governing UMP party who attended a meeting with him.
The carbon tax would have made France the first big economy to tax harmful carbon emissions, aiming to encourage French consumers to stop wasting energy.
The government was forced to amend it after its proposals were rejected by the high court in December, days before it was to kick in -- an embarrassing setback for President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The court ruled then that too many exemptions created inequalities and unfairly placed the burden of cuts on a minority of consumers.
Apparently, it is possible for one to be too incompetent to work in the Obama Administration.
According to Michael Gerson, a former Bush adviser, Holder is now "the most endangered member of the Obama cabinet."
"Just about everything he has touched has backfired," Gerson wrote in The Washington Post, adding that the White House has shown little inclination to defend Holder against his latest critics.
Holder's spokesman Matthew Miller declined to comment.
The IRS is hiring thousands of armed enforcement agents.
Top IRS officials have been working with Democrats on Capitol Hill to determine how the agency will enforce President Obama’s new health care law. Republican lawmakers estimate the legislation will require the hiring of many thousands of new (and armed) tax enforcement agents.
While it’s still not known exactly how many will be hired, here’s what’s clear: Under the new law, the IRS is required to fine taxpayers thousands of dollars if they do not purchase health insurance. In order for the government to enforce compliance, tax authorities will need information, for the first time, about people’s health care. Collecting that data will require more IRS personnel.
Did you know that? I'm still hearing mainstream media types trying to convince me that Obama is politically moderate.
"First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama," Sharpton said. "Let's not act as though the president didn't tell the American people - the president offered the American people health reform when he ran. He was overwhelmingly elected running on that and he has delivered what he promised."
Now it's time to pay up. Meanwhile, Obama wants to start on amnesty for illegal aliens.
"The American people got too close a look at how Congress actually legislates and that's an ugly thing," said Jim Jordan, a Democratic campaign strategist. "Once the legislative process is done, the debate turns to what's in the bill," adding that what's in the bill is, "by and large, extremely popular with the public."
But in fact, the political battle is just beginning.
The party now must live or die with its landmark legislation in hundreds of congressional districts across the country, in the most hostile midterm election climate Democrats have faced since the Republican landslide year of 1994.
Democrats who signed their own political death warrants.
It's not just for speculation anymore.
Today's new-media ethical quandary: Should a nonprofit news outlet dedicated to public-interest investigative journalism extract substantial amounts of funding from the government it's covering?
That's the question being confronted by the award-winning San Francisco Public Press, which, according to director Michael Stoll, is now paying the salary of one of its editorial employees with money from a San Francisco jobs-stimulus program.
Stoll would not disclose how much money multimedia producer Monica Jensen is receiving through JOBS NOW!, saying the the information is a private personnel issue. However, he said that the city is currently paying her entire salary, which he described as "competitive." An official at the city's Human Services Agency, which oversees JOBS NOW! -- administered through the city, the program's money comes from federal stimulus funds -- did not disclose the grant amount by press time.
On Morning Joe today, Stahl--her 40 years or so as a reporter notwithstanding--said she "can't tell" if ObamaCare raises taxes and that her "head is hurting" from trying to figure it out. But so what if it does? Stahl had a sudden bout of nostalgia for the good old days when people didn't mind paying "a little more" for "something really important in return."
That's a crime. If Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid use my money to bribe one of their colleagues, then that's just politics as usual.
Don't blame the Democrats for this incredibly horrible Obamacare bill. It's actually the Republicans' fault.
We should also, however, spare a thought for the unsung hero of comprehensive reform, McConnell and his GOP colleagues, who pushed their “no compromise” strategy to the breaking point and beyond. The theory was that non-cooperation would stress the Democratic coalition and cause the public to begin to question the enterprise. And it largely worked. But at crucial times when wavering Democrats were eager for a lifeline, the Republicans absolutely refused to throw one. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and other key players at various points wanted to scale aspirations down to a few regulatory tweaks and some expansion of health care for children. This idea had a lot of appeal to many in the party. But it always suffered from a fatal flaw—the Republicans’ attitude made it seem that a smaller bill was no more feasible than a big bill. Consequently, even though Scott Brown’s victory blew the Democrats off track, the basic logic of the situation pushed them back on course to universal health care.
Then denies it. The indignity of getting caught.
Most interesting rumor from the Hill yesterday: Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) who announced his retirement from Congress has been promised the job of NASA administrator in exchange for his vote, and Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), another retiring Democrat, has been promised an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to NATO in exchange for his vote.
It will be interesting to note any job announcements from this Tennessee duo post-House retirement. Both voted against passage of the House bill back in November.
Joe Biden on Obama's latest takeover plan. Let's see. They've nationalize two car companies, they're trying to run the banks and now they want control of the insurance companies. Who's next?
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” Biden said. “You know, pre-existing, they’re going to be covered. You know we’re going to control the insurance companies.”
43% approval. 56% disapproval. Those are Bushian numbers.
Obama lies. Hoyer lied. They all lied. Obamacare doesn't reduce the deficit. It worsens the deficit.
Responding to an inquiry from Rep. Paul Ryan, the Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that when you remove certain accounting gimmicks from the Democrats' health care legislation, it actually increases the deficit.
Democrats have touted a CBO report that found that their health care bill would reduce the deficit by $138 billion from 2010 to 2019. But that number assumes that hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts would be used to pay for the new health care entitlement. In a letter to Ryan, the CBO estimates that if the Medicare cuts were used to help shore up the effectively bankrupt Medicare trust fund instead, then the Democrats health care bill would run $260 billion in deficits over the next decade.
According to John Garamendi's office.
I called one more time. This time she said, “If you call one more time, we will notify Capital Police.” I asked why my conduct warranted involving federal law enforcement agents. She said I was “harassing” her. I tried to explain that trying to convince a representative to change his or her vote didn’t constitute “harassment.” Before I could fully explain, she hung up again.
I called back. This time, I asked to speak to her supervisor in order to report her repeated hanging up as well as the threat she made. I was placed on hold. Thinking I was holding for her supervisor, I was shocked when a Federal Agent with the Capital Police picked-up the telephone.
At first, the Agent was curt with me. He claimed I was harassing Mr. Garamendi’s staff by continually calling after being told to stop calling. I asked him when it became a federal crime to lobby a congressman. He said that it wasn’t but it was a crime to “harass” congressional members and staff pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 223. I told him I was an attorney (which I am) and that I would research the statute he had cited.
Obama has been repeating the lie that socialized medicine will be good for business and will even result in employees getting raises. Not so says Caterpillar.
Caterpillar Inc. said the health-care overhaul legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would increase the company’s health-care costs by more than $100 million in the first year alone.
In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio, Caterpillar urged lawmakers to vote against the plan “because of the substantial cost burdens it would place on our shareholders, employees and retirees.”