Friday, March 5, 2010

Buying Health Care Bill Votes, The Problems With Reconciliation, SEIU & Fundamentally Transforming America

The Weekly Standard reports: "Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he's obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson's brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. “Scott Matheson is a distinguished candidate for the Tenth Circuit court,” President Obama said."

As Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has said, 'Whatever it takes to get healthcare done”

And as Nancy Pelosi said,“You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.
The Obama administration is working on a plan to give preference to Union Shops for ALL federal contracts via the “High Road Contracting Policy.” According to multiple sources familiar with the discussions, the proposal would give preference to government contractors that pay their hourly workers a “living wage” and provide additional benefits such as health insurance, employer-funded retirement plans and paid sick leave. In other words, they will be "cutting out" the non-union shops and raising the price of jobs, and increasing the federal deficit.
As part of the implementation, the Department of Labor would be responsible for collecting and scoring the labor records of all federal contractors, giving the department an unprecedented amount of influence in deciding who receives federal contracts. Each agency would be required to establish a labor advocate, who would have the discretion to increase a bidder’s labor score based on the company’s commitment to implementing the new labor standards. Professional Services Council Vice President Alan Chvotkin said such an arrangement would effectively make the Department of Labor the gatekeeper to the $523 billion federal marker.
“I think Senator Collins and the others are rightly concerned about that,” Chvotkin said. “I can’t think of another example where a [separate] federal agency rates a company in advance of a procurement.”
Andy Stern, President of the large Union SEIU, and the most frequent visitor to the White House has been newly appointed by Barack Obama to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Part of a recent speech by Andy includes the following: “We are at the historic crossroads, economically speaking, in my lifetime in terms of what this President is trying to do. We are witnessing the first new American plan, led by the government, not the private sector”.

Van Jones, Obama’s Green Jobs Czar and an admitted communist,is infamous for saying, “We’re going to change the whole system! We want a new system!” This echoes Barack Obama’s campaign pledge: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United State of America!” And still the voters didn’t listen…. At a recent presentation, Jones surprised a person who stood to ask a question, by saying: “How’s that Capitalism working for you this year?” Do you believe yet that Capitalism is under assault by our government?
After hearing Barack Obama say recently that he is ready for reconciliation to be used in order to pass the health care bill, for he has given the Republicans their chance to cave in to him, I looked up just what our President said when he was a Senator, about a “simple majority”.
2004: "My understanding of the Senate is that you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen, which means that Democrats and I have to ask the question: Do we have the will to move an American agenda forward, not a Democratic or Republican agenda forward?"

2007: Obama in Chicago at the Change to Win Convention.
"Those big-ticket items, fixing our health care system. You know, one of the arguments that sometimes I get with, uhh, my fellow progressives and -- and some of these have -- have flashed up in the blog communities on occasion -- is this notion that we should function sort of like Karl Rove, where we -- we identify our core base, we throw 'em red meat, we get a 50-plus-one, uhhh, victory. See, Karl Rove doesn't need a broad consensus because he doesn't believe in government. If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a -- a sizeable majority."

2007: "The bottom line is that our health care plans are similar. The question, once again, is: Who can get it done? Who can build a movement for change? This is an area where we're going to have to have a 60% majority in the Senate and the House in order to actually get a bill to my desk. We're going to have to have a majority to get a bill to my desk that is not just a 50-plus-one majority.
You gotta break out of what I call the sort of 50-plus-one pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory with 50-plus-one but you can't govern. You know, you get Air Force One and a lot of nice perks as president but you can't -- you can't deliver on health -- we're not going to pass universal health care with a -- with a 50-plus-one strategy."

David Broder of the Washington Post wrote: “In the space of 10 days, thanks in no small part to my own newspaper, the president of the United States has been portrayed as a weakling and a chronic screw-up who is wrecking his administration despite everything that his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, can do to make things right.
This remarkable fiction began unfolding on Feb. 21 in the Sunday column of my friend Dana Milbank, who wrote that "Obama's first year fell apart in large part because he didn't follow his chief of staff's advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter," i.e., a one-term failure.
A week later, presumably the same anonymous sources persuaded Milbank to pronounce that Obama "too often plays the 98-pound weakling; he gets sand kicked in his face and responds with moot-court zingers."
And on Tuesday, The Post led the paper with a purported news story by Jason Horowitz saying that a president with Obama's "detached, professorial manner" needed "a political enforcer" like Emanuel to have a chance of succeeding, "because he [Emanuel] possessed a unique understanding of the legislative mind." Unfortunately, the story said, "influential Democrats are -- in unusually frank terms -- blaming Obama and his closest campaign aides for not listening to Emanuel." For more, go to
From Politico: Legislation that would force government and Hill staffers to pay back taxes or lose their jobs was pulled from House committee markup today after Democrats hit the brakes. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees government workers, told POLITICO he was concerned that the legislation would kick workers to the curb before it could be determined if the IRS had erred. “The employee can fight it, but they don’t have a job,” Lynch said during a committee markup today.
The Canada Free Press writes: "When Obama says that his Obamacare healthcare plan isn’t a big government take over of healthcare he really is simply lying outright to the nation (well, let’s be honest, it’s not really his plan because the Democrats wrote it and he had no real input into it). Here is a list of 159 new programs, administrative boards, and bureaucracies that the Democrat Party’s healthcare bill creates: (PS, remember that all the tax increases start NOW, if this bill is passed, but none of the coverage starts for four years!)" For the list, go to:
Fox News reports a few snippets from the book by Karl Rove, who was the top political strategist to former President George W. Bush. "He uses his memoir, “Courage and Consequence,” to settle some scores with Obama, including a shot that Obama once took at Rove in his own memoir, “The Audacity of Hope.” Specifically, Obama accused Rove and fellow conservatives Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist in the 2006 book of declaring, “We are a Christian nation.”

“I certainly don’t believe and have never said, ‘We are a Christian nation,’” Rove insisted in “Courage,” which is scheduled for publication next week. “What happened to the Jews? The Muslims? The Hindus? The Buddhists? The skeptics and nonbelievers?”

"Though we didn’t discuss it in our West Wing encounter, Obama also went on in his book to describe me and other conservatives as ‘eerily reminiscent of some of the New Left’s leaders during the sixties,’ who ‘viewed politics as a contest not just between competing policy visions, but between good and evil,’” Rove wrote.

“Now, that’s rich, isn’t it?” he marveled. “The last time I checked, I hadn’t bombed any government buildings (like, say, Obama’s great friend William Ayers); or asked that God ‘damn’ America (like, say, Obama’s former pastor and close friend Jeremiah Wright); or declared that I was proud of my country for the first time in my life only when I was in my forties (like, say, Obama’s wife, Michelle).”

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Expense of Obamacare, Bi-partisanship, Al Gore, Alcohol, Safe Schools, Land Grabs

Juan Williams of Fox News said, "the people aren't eating the dog food" (Obama's health care plans).
Here's an excellent speech on the expense of Obama care from the Budget Committee's Ranking member, so it should be correct!   Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is impressive in his speech-making without having to use tele-prompters, and he is right on in his message. 
The Hill reports:  "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Republicans have left their mark on the healthcare bill and should accept that the bill will go forward.

"They've had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard," she said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday morning. "Bipartisanship is a two-way street. A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint."
Investor's Business Daily writes of Al Gore's Sunday Op-Ed in the NYT:  Climate Fraud: "Al Gore resurfaces in an op-ed to say that nobody's perfect, everybody makes mistakes and climate change is still real. And he has some oceanfront property in the Himalayas to sell you. If hyperbole and chutzpah had a child, it would be the opening paragraph of Gore's op-ed in Sunday's New York Times. Gore surfaced from the global warming witness-protection program to opine that despite admissions of error and evidence of fraud by various agencies, we still face "an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it."  [He must be afraid of not continuing to personally benefit by having lucrative cap and trade funds enriching his company.  Isn't  this a conflict of interest?]
Washington Times, by Jim Robbins    Original Article
"The Guardian reports that President Obama's doctors have recommended he moderate
his "alcohol intake." Most reportage on the president's recent physical has focused on Mr.
Obama's continuing smoking habit, but revelation of a potential drinking problem is a much
bigger story. How much "alcohol intake" does it take to get a doctor's attention? And what
did the president drink and when did he drink it?"
Big Government reports that Safe Schools Csar Kevin Jennings' will be getting millions
more next year to promote his agenda.  As they wrote: "Under Jennings’ leadership,
GLSEN has provided students with a “school climate” continuum measurement tool.
This tool reveals a lot about Jennings’ true goals: A positively rated “inclusive school,”
for instance, is defined as one where “LGBT themes are fully integrated into curricula
across a variety of subject areas and grade levels.”

This may appear innocent enough until you take a closer look at the radical GLSEN
agenda. Kevin Jennings, the founder of the GLSEN organization, has a long history
of promoting sexual material in classrooms including books that describe sex between
first graders and books that promote S&M. The GLSEN group also pushes books
that romanticize child rape and books that show men having sex with boy scouts in the
background. Jennings’ GLSEN group also organized student-teacher seminars where
instructors held fisting lectures. He sounds like just the person who deserves a fat $45
million raise, huh?"  [This proves again my long-held belief that the progressive 
agenda of America has been fomented in our public schools for decades, and is 
continuing apace with Obama's appointments.]
"You'd think the Obama administration is busy enough controlling the banks,
insurance companies and automakers, but thanks to whistleblowers at the
Department of the Interior, we now learn they're planning to increase their
control over energy-rich land in the West.
A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal
government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico,
halting job- creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development.
Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that's essential for funding schools,
firehouses and community centers.
President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen,
without any input from the communities affected by it, [just as Presidents Carter 
and Clinton did during their administrations].
From the AP: "A group of Democratic senators is urging the Obama administration
to suspend an economic stimulus program aimed at financing renewable energy,
complaining that money is going to projects that are creating jobs in foreign countries.
The four senators, led by Chuck Schumer of New York, wrote to Treasury Secretary 
Timothy Geithner on Tuesday to request a moratorium on the Recovery Act program.
They asked that the moratorium remain in place until they can pass legislation mandating
stimulus aid flow only to projects which preserve and create U.S. jobs."
The NYT writes: "To meet the Obama administration’s targets for cutting greenhouse
gas emissions, some researchers say, Americans may have to experience a sobering 
reality: gas at $7 a gallon. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation 
sector 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, the cost of driving must simply increase,
according to a forthcoming report by researchers at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science
and International Affairs.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Health Care Bill and Reconciliation

Spending so much time parsing one word, reconciliation,  is ridiculous in the face of the real problems here.  However, knowing that reconciliation is now a powerfully negative word, the Democrats are now calling it a "simple majority".   Following is a little history on reconciliation from Wikipedia:
"Reconciliation is a legislative process in the United States Senate intended to allow consideration of a contentious budget bill without the threat of filibuster. Introduced in 1974, reconciliation limits debate and amendment, and therefore favors the majority party. Reconciliation also exists in the United States House of Representatives, but because the House regularly passes rules that constrain debate and amendment, the process has had a less significant impact on that body.
The Byrd Rule (described below) was adopted in 1985 and amended in 1990. Its main effect is that reconciliation cannot be used for provisions that would increase the deficit beyond 10 years after the reconciliation measure. [Thus, President Bush's tax cuts are due to expire, for they were passed by reconciliation.]

Congress used reconciliation to enact President Bill Clinton's 1993 (fiscal year 1994) budget. (See Pub.L. 103-66, 107 Stat. 312.) Clinton wanted to use reconciliation to pass his 1993 health care plan, but Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) insisted that the health care plan was out of bounds for a process that is theoretically about budgets.  [Well, that is, until that is the only way they can pass this bill which Americans don't want....]

Let’s set the record straight. 

  The intent of reconciliation was to allow a simple majority of 51 Senators to pass a small part of a large bill, or to appoint a new judge. With apparent lack of understanding (or perhaps with clear intent to confuse and deceive), President Obama in 2005 described reconciliation as being a "Majoritarian absolute power, and not what the Founders intended".  And yet now the Congress, with the approval of our President, intends to employ reconciliation to pass a sweeping reform affecting 16% of our economy, and against the wishes of over 60% of Americans.  Let me now ask the obvious question…  Just WHO is assuming Majoritarian absolute power?
    And to those who distrust Republicans and denigrate them for standing in the way of health care reform, consider that it was President Obama who promised that we would be able to keep our current health insurance under his brand of health care reform:  "We said from the want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it.”  That was until he had to say: "And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge."  The truth is that when one loses his job or quits his job, he MUST go on government health care.  The truth – as those who actually read the bill know – is that provisions that violated that pledge were in there the entire time.

Our President says we the people don't know enough.  I say we know more than he thinks, and we are smart enough to know that our national debt cannot be lowered by insuring  37 million more Americans. 
The pure arrogance of our President was once again on display during the "summit" when he agreed that, "there wasn't a balance on time on the opening statements because ------------------------------------I'm the President."  OH, that's right, as he is wont to say:  "I won....." - as in bow down, give in, and don't argue.  As a moderator of this health care summit, Barack Obama was totally inappropriate, as he is NOT uncommitted to its outcome.  His behavior proved the case, challenging and chastising instead of leading, and failing to give equal time to both sides.  He is in over his head.