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Saturday, August 22, 2009
Sarah Palin and the Death Panels
by Patrick J. Buchanan: "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."
Of Sarah Palin it may be said: The lady knows how to frame an issue. And while she has been fairly criticized for hyperbole about the end-of-life counselors in the House bill, she drew such attention to the provision that Democrats chose to dump it rather than debate it
And understandably so. For if Congress enacts universal health care coverage, we are undeniably headed for a medical system of rationed care that must inevitably deny care to some terminally ill and elderly, which will shorten their lives, perhaps by years. Consider:
Democrats call Medicare the model of government-run universal health care. But Medicare is a system whereby 140 million working Americans pay 2.9 percent of all wages and salaries into a fund to pay for health care for 42 million mostly older Americans. And Medicare is already going bust.
If Obamacare is passed, the cost of health care for today's 47 million uninsured will also land on those 140 million. And if Obama puts 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens on a "path to citizenship," as he promises, they, too, will have their health care provided by taxpayers.
Here is the crusher. The Census Bureau projects that, by 2050, the U.S. population will explode to 435 million. As most of these folks will be immigrants, their children and grandchildren, the cost of their heath care would also have to be largely born by middle-class and wealthy taxpayers.
Now factor this in. In 2000, the average American male in a population of 300 million lived to 74; the average female to 80. But in 2050, the average male in a population of 435 million Americans will live to 80 and the average female to 86. And, according to U.N. figures, 21 percent of the U.S. population in 2050, some 91 million Americans, will be over 65, and 7.6 percent, or 33 million Americans, will be over 80 -- and consuming health care in ever-increasing measures.
Now if a primary purpose of Obamacare is to "bend the curve" of soaring health care costs, and half of those costs are incurred in the last six months of life, and the number of seniors will grow by scores of millions, how do you cut costs without rationing care? And how do you ration care without denying millions of elderly and aged the prescriptions, procedures and operations they need to stay alive?
Consider two beloved Americans: Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Since he was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago, Sen. Kennedy has had excellent care, including surgery and chemotherapy, which have kept him alive and, until very recently, active. For a decade, President Reagan, because of round-the-clock care, lived with an Alzheimer's that had robbed him of his memory and left him unable to recognize his own family and close friends.
In the future, will a man of Kennedy's age, with brain cancer but without the means of offsetting his own health care costs, be kept alive, operated on, given chemotherapy -- by a government obsessed with cutting health care costs? Will a bureaucracy desperate to cut costs keep alive for years the tens of thousands of destitute 80- and 90-year-old patients with Alzheimer's, as was done with Ronald Reagan?
What if, in 2050, Palin and her husband are not here. And 42-year-old Trig, with Down syndrome, has been in an institution for years, and the cost of his care and that of hundreds of thousands like him with Down syndrome is draining the resources of the health care system? Will there not be voices softly suggesting a quiet and merciful end?
In Oregon, the law permits doctors to assist in the suicide of terminal patients who wish to end their lives. Let us assume numerous patients have Alzheimer's and, so, cannot be part of the decision to end their lives. Who then makes the decision to continue or end life? Would it be unfair to call the decision-makers in those cases a death panel?
Almost a third of all unborn babies in America have their lives terminated each year with the consent of their mothers. Fifty million since Roe v. Wade have never seen the light of day. For many, the quality of life now supersedes in value the sanctity of life. That is who we are.
Between 2012 and 2030, 74 million baby boomers will retire, cease to be the major contributors to Medicare and become the major drain on Medicare. How long will an overtaxed labor force in a de-Christianized America be wiling to pay the bill to keep all those aging boomers alive?
Obama Enlists Religious Left to Win Support for Healthcare Reform
by Barbara Sowell: Yesterday’s teleconference with President Obama, "40 Minutes for Health Reform," was organized by a network of religiously progressive faith-based organizations that support Obama’s plan to change our nation’s health-care system.
The 40 minute teleconference was the launch pad for a 40-day push to guilt-trip religiously naive Americans into accepting a public option for health care reform. It is no accident that proponents of Obamacare chose the symbolism of the number 40.
Jesus was tempted by the Devil after fasting for 40- days and nights in the desert. Appealing to pride, Satan challenged Christ to prove that He is the Son of God by jumping off the temple so that all can see the angels catch Him.
The Lord is tempted when He is in a weakened state, after fasting for over a month. Christ's fasting for 40 days and nights is also akin to the fasting of Moses (Ex. 34:28). God had promised that one would come after Moses who was like Moses (Deut 18:18). It may not be too much of a stretch to see this as pointing to the prophecy. In any case, we can expect that Satan will try His tricks when we are physically weak.
Jesus's scriptural response to Satan is a quote from Deuteronomy 6:16, "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test."
The nation is in a weakened state. We are tired of well over 40 days and nights of fruitless health care-reform debate. Obama hasn’t fared well as all polls show that the majority of Americans don’t want a public option. Now Obama is going on the offensive. He is again reaching out to the very churches that got him elected. Can the religiously left turn the tide?
Here’s their simple strategy:
According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Obama, who joined the last few minutes of the teleconference, used religious references such as "I am my brother's keeper" and said that misinformation being spread about reform had "a lot of folks bearing false witness." . . .
The implication is clear. If you think you are your brother’s keeper and you don’t want to bear false witness, then you will jump into the arms of awaiting health-care reform angels.
But, is Obama’s public option going to save our brother or eventually destroy him? Is it bearing false witness to point out that under a public option, health care rationing is a distinct possibility, and that the Democrats have failed to put wording in the current house bill that will insure that we won’t eventually pull the plug on someone’s Grandma???
Many of the 30+ organizations that participated in the teleconference are members of Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which President Obama established by executive order on February 5, 2009. The above link provides a partial list of members.
African Methodist Episcopal Church (Ame)
Catholics In Alliance For The Common Good
Christian Community Development Association
Disciples Center For Public Witness
Disciples Justice Action Network
Evangelical Lutheran Church In America
Faithful Reform In Health Care
Faith In Public Life
Islamic Society Of North America
Jewish Council For Public Affairs
Jewish Women International
National Baptist Convention, Usa, Inc.
National Council Of Churches In Christ
National Council Of Jewish Women
Network, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Pico National Network
Presbyterian Church (Usa), Washington Office
Progressive National Baptist Convention
Religious Action Center Of Reform Judaism
Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference
Sisters Of Mercy Of The Americas
The Episcopal Church
The Latino Leadership Circle
The New Evangelicals
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Church Of Christ
United Methodist Church General Board Of Church And Society
Washington Office Of Women’s Divisions, General Board Of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church
Tags:Barbara Sowell, bearing false witness, Christ, faith-based organizations, health care, Jesus, Obama, religious leftTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Religious Freedom Coalition: It is the duty of the President and the Justice Department to defend the laws passed by the Congress and signed by a president. It is the duty of the Justice Department to defend lawsuits against DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. President Obama and his Justice Department have a funny way of defending the law.
A legal brief filed in "support" of DOMA declared that the administration "does not support DOMA as a matter of policy" and "believes that the Act is discriminatory and should be repealed by Congress." President Obama in a written statement then said that he has "long held that DOMA prevents LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered] couples from being granted equal rights and benefits." This is just one of many instances in which the Obama Administration refuses to abide by the law. The Justice Department also dismissed cases against Black Panthers who had threatened voters at the polls. Apparently the Obama Justice Department believes that threatening voters with baseball bats is part of the Democratic process. Tags:Defense of Marriage, Department of Justice, DOJ, DOMA, gay agenda, Obama administrationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by William J. Murray: Left-wing nutcase billionaire George Soros plunked down many millions of dollars to help Barack Obama win the Democratic primary. The same George Soros owned a huge stake in the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras. Since Barack Obama was sworn into office Soros has bought hundreds of millions of dollars more of Petrobras stock. President Obama, who says he is against drilling for oil offshore in the United States, then ordered the US Export - Import Bank to guarantee $2 billion in loans to Petrobras to drill offshore in Brazil. The loan guarantees by the Obama Administration caused the stock to jump 10% in a day making George Soros more millions of dollars to spend on far left-wing causes. I highly recommend Petrobras stock (PDR). The company is under the wing of the Obama Administration and has huge offshore oil reserves that Obama will help develop. NOTE: some liberal media outlets are reporting that Soros had sold his Petrobras stock. This is NOT true. Just before the US loan guarantee Soros traded some of his common stock for preferred stock which then shot up in value. Tags:Barack Obama, Brazil, crude oil, George Soros, Petrobras, William J. MurrayTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Arkansas Democrats Played Race Card on RNC Chairman Steele
Kenneth Ryan James Blog: RNC Chairman Michael Steele paid a visit to Little Rock last night and held a presser to discuss health care reform, calling on President Obama to quit blaming Republicans and pass a bill. From the Tolbert Report:
Chairman Steele became quite animated when asking about the possibility being discussed of passing the health care bill in the Senate without the sixty votes needed to close debate. “Do it!” said Steele. “We are down 20 votes in the Senate, 78 in the house. Don’t come up in my face talking about how I’m an obstacle and we’re blocking this process. You’ve got the votes Mr. President; pass the bill.” Banging his hand on the table, Steele challenged Obama saying, “Get it to the floor; up or down, baby. And if don’t think you’ve got the votes, enough votes to get to sixty, you’ve got the nuclear option, do 51.”
Given the current events of the day, you would think the state Democratic response would be couched in terms of the health care debate. Instead, the DPA ended up playing a race card against the first African-American GOP Chairman.
#8220;While Chairman Steele is here in Arkansas raising money for the state GOP and its political activities, I hope he will take time to tour Pulaski County and Central Arkansas. I invite Chairman Steele to visit Philander Smith College campus right here in Little Rock to see the importance of the $500,000 investment Philander received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Philander is just one of 37 four-year and two-year institutions of higher learning in Arkansas that will receive a total of $42.5 million in Recovery Act funds, announced in early August. This funding for renovation, energy-efficiency upgrades, and expansion of higher-education facilities will provide jobs in the economic crisis. It will aid us in providing the education necessary to future generations of Arkansans to help them get good-paying jobs and grow our state.
Since Mr. Steele was in Little Rock, why wouldn’t the DPA invite him to tour UALR instead? After all, it received $4 million in stimulus money instead of the much lower $500,000 at Philander.
Could it be that Philander Smith “is the result of the first attempt west of the Mississippi River to make education available to freedmen (former African American slaves)” and an “historically Black, four-year liberal arts institution” Which is “only United Negro College Fund member institution in Arkansas”?
It is indeed sad that DPA Chairman Todd Turner chose to engage in race politics in order to attempt to steer the story away from the abysmal month his party is having relative to the health care debate. Tags:Arkansas, Democrats, Michael Steele, race card, RNC, RPATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Public Policy Polling: Our fifth monthly national survey matching up Barack Obama against some possible 2012 opponents . . . Huckabee comes the closest to Obama that he has yet, trailing just 47-44. That's tightened since the President led 48-42 a month ago. Huckabee also has the best overall favorability rating of the Republican quartet we tested, at 45/28. Huckabee is not the most popular candidate among GOP voters.
While 66% of them have a favorable opinion of him, 72% have a favorable opinion of Sarah Palin. . . . In her head to head contest with Obama, Palin is down 52-38 after her 51-43 deficit a month ago . . .
After Huckabee, Mitt Romney polls the closest to Obama and also has the second best net favorability rating, at 37/34. He trails 47-40 in a head to head. . . . Newt Gingrich, seemingly the least likely nominee of the bunch, trails Obama 49-41 and has a 33/42 negative favorability rating. [Full story]Tags:2012, exit polls, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, presidential candidates, Sarah PalinTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
MSNBC Falsified Story Stirs Up Racial and Anti-gun Hatred
Bill Smith, Editor: In blatant disregard of the truth, MSNBC follows CBS into the annuals of history (the toilet) for falsifying a news story by controlling or editing camera shots and by preparing and presenting a false narrative that seems be the intent on inflaming racial tensions and casting false allegations of threats. Racial bias was deliberately projected by the MSNBC reporters on to a story with blatant statements impugning whites at a rally as potential racist and threats to a black President.
When in fact, the person at the center of the story narrative was hidden from the public by parlor camera tricks and a false narrative. That person was a patriot citizen who happens to be black. MSNBC actions to falsify this story showed its bias against the general public participating in recent rallies and town hall meetings MSNBC introduced its own form of racial bias and evidenced a willingness to smear Americans exercising both their first and second amendment rights.
MSNBC willingness to advance and promote a false story to pursue either a biased agenda or to boost ratings was indeed despicable. This action opens up to question what other lies MSNBC may have perpetrated on the American public with fictitious or edited camera shots and falsified news story narratives. Americans rely on a free free press to report unbiased and truthfully. Media bias in the past years has become a matter of major concern. However, for members of the press to falsify the news, destroys and jeopardizes public trust and places all Americas at risk.
As identified by Adam Bitely at NetRight Nation, "MSNBC is up to their typical routine of running erroneous reports. One from yesterday was particularly troubling." It is unfortunate that Adam and the rest of the public have observed MSNBC as prevaricator of the truth. Let's look at the doctored MSNBC broadcast:
Today, Bill Wilson, President of America for Limited Government sent a letter calling on MSNBC Executive Producer Steven Capus to fire all involved with producing a misleading broadcast that Wilson termed a "nefarious assault on decency." Bill Wilson is right. However, it is also time for the print media, the network media and the cable channels to take seriously false reporting and to police their own actions including calling MSNBC into accountability. A free press will not remain free if society becomes so distrustful that it turns to and trusts in government to monitor the accuracy of the "press." When that happens, the freedom of the press will cease to exist. Tags:false report, falsified reporting, freedom of the press, media bias, MSNBCTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Will Vic Snyder Support Nancy Pelosi's Government-Run Healthcare?
Will Vic Snyder Support Nancy Pelosi's Government-Run Healthcare [i.e, Obamacare]? He voted for Nancy Pelosi's TRILLION DOLLAR Simulus, her wasteful budget, even her wasteful National Energy Tax. Time to call Vic Snyder and ask him if he will now support Nancy Pelois's Government-Run Healthcare? Tags:AR-02, Arkansas, cap-and-trade, congress, Democrats, health care, healthcare, liberal elites, Nancy Pelosi, Obamacare, Pelosi, Snyder, taxes, Vic SnyderTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama Reframes Health Care Message Again; American's Unconvinced
Sam Adams MMIV*: Once again reeling from yet another poll showing public disapproval of President Obama’s handling of health care, The New York Times reports, “President Obama sought Wednesday to reframe the health care debate as ‘a core ethical and moral obligation,’ imploring a coalition of religious leaders to help promote the plan to lower costs and expand insurance coverage for all Americans.” But hasn’t the White House been reframing and retooling its health care message quite a bit recently?
Indeed it has. In just the last month, there have been at least six different reports about President Obama trying to reframe or retool the health care debate. Only yesterday, The Washington Post noted that “the main message on health care shifted from cost containment to attacking insurance companies.” On August 11th,the AP reported, “President Barack Obama is switching his message on his overhaul of the nation's health care system, readying a fresh pitch designed for those who already have insurance.” The same day, another AP story said, “Retooling his message amid sliding support, Obama poked at critics who he said were trying to ‘scare the heck out of folks.’” Previously, The Huffington Post noted, “The administration also sought to reframe the debate on eight core principles for ‘health insurance consumer protections,’ which aides said resonated much better than the ‘health care reform’ push it has made to this point.” At the end of July, the AP wrote, “Barack Obama introduced a retooled message asserting his plan would protect Americans and limit insurers’ power.” And a week before that, a Politico story on Obama’s last primetime press conference noted “He sought to reframe his plans as a matter of improving the lives of most Americans . . . .”
So over the last four weeks, Obama has retooled his message or attempted to reframe the debate from improving the lives of Americans and averting a crisis, to attacking insurance companies, to talking about “health insurance consumer protections,” to attacking his critics, to reassuring Americans with coverage, to dropping talk of containing costs, to now declaring his health reform plans “a core ethical and moral obligation.”
And yet none of this seems to have had much of an impact on a skeptical public. Yesterday’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 47% disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care, with only 41% approving, little change from a 46%-41% disapprovalin July. Also unchanged was the number of Americans who think Obama’s health care plan is a “bad idea,” 42%, compared to the 36% who see it as a “good idea.” Perhaps this says something about the policy Obama is trying to sell, as opposed to the language with which he’s attempting to sell it.
---------------- *Bill Smith, Editor:Who is Sam Adams MMIV? It's a pen name for an un-named beltway source. While receiving information from many sources, this Sam's words have often found there way into much of my writings and I decided that sometimes Sam's words should stand on their own. Thank you to all the Sam Adams patriots, by whatever name they use, for speaking up for America. Tags:Barack Obama, exit polls, health care, nationalized health care, ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Teresa Crossland-Oelke, Americans for Prosperity-Arkansas:Next week,Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Arkansas’ Patients First Bus Tour is rolling into your area! The tour has already visited Virginia and North Carolina and you would not BELIEVE the energy and excitement at these rallies! Hundreds of people have come out to show their support for free-market health care solutions, morning, noon and night, and local news media have been all over it.
As it becomes increasingly apparent that some Congressmen and women intend on voting against the will of the people, it is up to us to remind them who they work for. At each stop, we will have a press conference/rally before rolling onto the next city. Everyone will have an opportunity to sign our petition telling the government to keep their Hands Off Our Healthcare! Look at the list of cities below and see which bus tour stop you will attend! By doing so, signing petitions, and voicing your opinion we will make certain that Congress knows that if they continue to ignore us (their employer) they will find themselves without a job in 2010.
Cabot – 8:00 a.m.
Outside City Hall
101 North Cabot Street
Beebe – 9:00 a.m.
Knight’s Super Foods
1701 W. DeWitt Henry Drive
Newport – 12:00 p.m.
Village Mall Parking Lot
2100 Block Malcolm Ave.
Walnut Ridge – 3:00 p.m.
Lawrence Co. Courthouse
315 West Main Street
Pocahontas – 4:00 p.m.
Across from New Courthouse
107 West Broadway
Paragould – 5:30 p.m.
Greene Co. Courthouse
320 West Court Street
Jonesboro – 8:00 a.m.
Old Courthouse Square
Marion – 10:30 a.m.
Fidelity National Bank
330 West Military Road
West Memphis – 12:00 p.m.
2007 S. Service Road
Forrest City – 2:30 p.m.
Parking Lot N. or Burger King
2400 N. Washington Street
Lonoke – 4:30 p.m.
The Lonoke Depot
102 SW Front Street
Stuttgart – 8:00 a.m.
Stuttgart One Stop
408 E. 22 nd Street
England – 10:00 a.m.
William Foster City park
Hot Springs Village – 12:00 p.m.
Little Rock – 4:30 p.m.
State Capital Steps
P.S. If you can’t make it out to a Patients First Bus Tour stop, go online and sign the petition anyway. www.JoinPatientsFirst.com Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is the nation’s premier grassroots organization committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. Tags:AFP, Americans for Prosperity, Arkansas, bus tour, Patients FirstTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
No matter how big the wave of opposition gets Obamacare doesn't seem to know when to stop. We can all pray and hope that President Obama is not so immature and arrogant so as to ship wreck our country with his Obamacare program. However, one thing that I learned from my wife's observation about people. You can determine the degree of person's willingness to lie about an issue, subject or plan based on the number of times they attempt to re-identify the subject and to parse and discard the truth. Con artists have used this technique for years. Tags:Barack Obama, nationalized healthcare, Obamacare, political cartoon, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Polling Shows Public Skeptical on Obamacare; Moderate Democrats Torn & Nervous
Another week, another bad poll for the health care reform proposals being pushed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress. Today, a new poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal shows more Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care than approve and more think his plan is a bad a idea than think it is a good one. It’s little wonder, then, that nervous Democrats, torn between souring public opinion and the left wing of their party, are considering short-circuiting the legislative process through reconciliation, before it becomes impossible to pass their health bill. But even there Democrats face problems, again with their own party.
Today’s NBC/WSJ poll finds that after weeks of town halls, press conferences, speeches and dozens of interviews, Americans still don’t support the Democrats’ health care plans. Only 41% approve of the president’s handling of health care, while 47% disapprove, largely unchanged from last month. More Americans think “Barack Obama’s health care plan” is a “bad idea,” 42%, than think it’s a “good idea,” only 36%; this is unchanged since last month’s poll, but “bad idea” is up 16 points since April. A plurality, 47% opposed “creating a public health care plan administered by the federal government that would compete directly with private health insurance companies” while 43% supported the idea; in last month’s poll, a plurality favored the government plan by 46%-44%.
The poll also finds majorities with significant concerns -- 54% percent are concerned about government “going too far and making the health care system worse than it is now in terms of quality of care and choice of doctor.” Asked about possible outcomes of the bill, a majority said it was likely to give coverage to illegal immigrants (55%), lead to a government takeover of health care (54%), and fund abortions (50%). Apparently, Americans don’t have a lot of trust that Democrats will keep any of these items out of a health care bill.
Given the public’s continuing disapproval and skepticism of the Democrats’ health care plans, Democrats elected in more moderate or conservative districts and helped put Democrats into the majority are now torn between listening to their constituents, who don’t support President Obama’s health care plans, and Democrat congressional leaders and liberal activists who helped elect them, who are demanding a government-run insurance company.
With so many Democrats in such a tough position, it appears that party leaders and some in the White House would prefer to just push a bill through on Democrat votes alone, according to The New York Times. “Administration officials, who maintain that Republicans are badly mischaracterizing the legislation that has emerged from three House committees and the Senate health committee, said they had hoped to achieve some level of bipartisan support. But they are becoming increasingly convinced that they will instead have to navigate the complicated politics among varying Democratic factions.”
To be successful, Democrats would need to get every one of their 60 senators to vote for the bill, which might not be easy. A word that has resurfaced is the idea of “reconciliation” a deceptive word for a process that allows legislation to be passed with a simple majority vote verses the required 60 votes. But a number of key Democrats are on record opposing such a maneuver, including Senate president pro tempore Robert Byrd and Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad. Rahm Emanuel (not-elected) and other Democrats can complain about Republican opposition to their poorly conceived health care plans all they want, but it’s clear that President Obama’s real obstacles come from the American people and members of his own party. Tags:decline in support, Democrats, Obamacare, polling, polls, SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by K. Ryan James: The first notice came on Drudge just after 8 p.m. Eastern time, but we all knew a long time ago that this was going to happen.
The New York Times is reporting that Democrats in the House and Senate have drawn their line in the sand, tossed any semblance of bipartisanship (not that Republicans were even part of the conversation) and threw their Blue Dog colleagues under the Obamacare bus as they will “go it alone” to ram a health care bill through, even though it is opposed by a majority of the country.
Given hardening Republican opposition to Congressional health care proposals, Democrats now say they see little chance of the minority’s cooperation in approving any overhaul, and are increasingly focused on drawing support for a final plan from within their own ranks.
Top Democrats said Tuesday that their go-it-alone view was being shaped by what they saw as Republicans’ purposely strident tone against health care legislation during this month’s Congressional recess, as well as remarks by leading Republicans that current proposals were flawed beyond repair.
The White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said of Republican lawmakers, “Only a handful seem interested in the type of comprehensive reform that so many people believe is necessary to ensure the principles and the goals that the president has laid out.”
The Democratic shift may not make producing a final bill much easier. The party must still reconcile the views of moderate and conservative Democrats worried about the cost and scope of the legislation with those of more progressive lawmakers determined to win a government-run insurance option to compete with private insurers.
On the other hand, such a change could alter the dynamic of talks surrounding health care legislation, and even change the substance of a final bill. With no need to negotiate with Republicans, Democrats might be better able to move more quickly, relying on their large majorities in both houses. Democratic senators might feel more empowered, for example, to define the authority of the nonprofit insurance cooperatives that are emerging as an alternative to a public insurance plan.
For House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, this means that the Blue Dog Democrats which guarantee her speakership are to be spayed and neutered as Mrs. Pelosi will follow the lead of the liberal members of her caucus and call a vote.
For Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, this likey means that he will invoke the arcane rule known as reconciliation in which the Senate Democrats will drop the health care plan into a budget bill (which can’t be filibustered), thus only requiring 51 votes and not the 60 to invoke cloture. Ezra Klein has a good primer at The American Prospect:
Imagine you want to run health reform through the reconciliation process. Here's how it works: Congress includes reconciliation instructions in the budget. Those instructions direct certain committees - say, the Finance Committee and the Health, Energy, Labor, and Pensions Committee - to produce health-reform legislation hitting certain spending targets by a certain deadline. Once finished, the legislation is tossed back to the Budget Committee, which staples it together into an omnibus bill and sends it to the floor of the Senate for 20 hours of debate followed by an up-or-down vote.
What this means for Arkansans is that Sen. Blanche Lincoln'snewly-announced town hall meetings in September don't mean a hill of beans (or some other useful phrase), since her vote isn't needed to get to 51.
You may have read in [Blanche Lincoln’s ‘town hall-style’ meetings] that Mrs. Lincoln had finally heard the rumblings of the constituency - a portion of whom she once called "un-American” – and scheduled meetings in Jonesboro, Pine Bluff and Russellville (which is in the 3rd District, but not really the heart of Republican-leaning Northwest Arkansas). Apparently, just like the recent SNAFU between Organizing for America and her campaign, it appears that President Obama has once again screwed up her message calendar.
Sen. Lincoln can no longer present the facade that she somehow matters in the fight over health care. The perception that she, who never failed to let us know she sat on the Senate Finance Committee, could actually affect something is no longer valid. The narrative that what was said to her at her April town halls, and what will be said to her in a couple of weeks, will be given a voice in the Senate has proven to be fiction. To sum up, the Empress has no clothes and it is her own fault.
By trying to play politics and threading the needle between the beltway and her constituency - instead of actually standing for them – Sen. Lincoln has allowed today's decision to plow this massive bill through to occur. Her presence as the 60th vote in the Democrat Caucus allows Sen. Reid to set the agenda - which is ultimately determined down the road at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She voted for Mr. Reid to lead the Senate, and that vote ensured that today's decision was able to be made.
Sen. Lincoln's presence in her caucus enabled this reckless action by President Obama and Speaker Pelosi. Because she votes with and is part of the majority, she gives her tacit approval to the liberal leaders of her party to curtail genuine debate and shut out any opportunity for the voice of conservative Americans (regardless of party) to be heard - which is the plan announced in today's New York Times.
When it comes to health care reform, Arkansans no longer have a voice because the Democratic Party doesn't need our assent or input to make sure President Obama gets his political win. Its about time that we change this fact. Since Mrs. Lincoln is no longer a voice in the Senate, I believe it is time she be replaced. Thankfully, we have that opportunity in November 2010. Tags:Blanche Lincoln, health care, How Modern Liberals Think, ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - August 3, 2009 - People's Town Halls Shaping the Discussion
Congress is still on recess. The Senate will reconvene on September 8th. While members of Congress are home or traveling, most of them, especially the Democrats, are hiding from the voters. Regardless, the public is shaping the dynamics of the discussion on health care, and the impact is being felt by the Democrats.
Across the nation the people are now meeting without their elected representative in what has been called "Recess Rallies." As an example, on Saturday at 5:30 PM in the Arkansas Ozarks in Rep. Marion Berry district, the people are no longer waiting. They are holding a rally dubbed “The People’s Town Hall" right outside one of Rep. Berry's offices in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Local organizers, Richard Caster and Chris Tuthill said: "Senator Blanche Lincoln and Congressman Marion Berry have refused to hold any form of a town hall for the people of the Ozarks to voice their concerns; so we will hold a town hall for them. Whether or not our elected representatives show up, is not the point. The speakers will be the people in the crowd who will share their concerns about nationalized health care. This "town hall" is being broadcast live by Mountain Talk 97.1 FM and will be available worldwide on their station website. In addition, CDs will be made and provided to the offices of Rep. Marion Berry and Sen. Blanche Lincoln."
For much of the last month, Democrats spent a great deal of time wrangling with Blue Dogs and other nervous members who have been wary of the health care bills being put forward by party leaders, particularly provisions that would create a government-run insurance plan. But on Sunday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said that it’s “not the essential element” of a health reform bill. And President Obama said on Saturday, “All I’m saying is, though, that the public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform. This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it.” This apparent shift has made liberal Democrats furious and shifted the party’s internal battle from one predominantly with its right flank to one with its left.
Politico reports today, “The White House’s signal that it’s willing to back off support for a public health insurance option has sent congressional liberals into full revolt, bluntly warning the administration that no legislation will pass without a government-run plan.” Politico notes a number of liberal House Democrats declaring that a health bill cannot pass without a government insurance plan: “‘To take the public option off the table would be a grave error; passage in the House of Representatives depends upon inclusion of it,’ wrote Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) in a letter to Sebelius Monday.”
The Washington Post reports, “In the Senate, where negotiations are now focused, John D. Rockefeller IV (W.Va.) said that a public option, as the plan has become known, is ‘a must.’ Sen. Russell Feingold (Wis.) said that ‘without a public option, I don’t see how we will bring real change to a system that has made good health care a privilege for those who can afford it.’” According to The Post, “Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Obama could lose up to 100 Democratic votes in the House by abandoning the option.”
Other prominent Democrats joined the chorus of complaints, an AP report noted. “‘You really can’t do health reform’ without allowing the government to compete with private insurers, said Howard Dean, a former Democratic Party chairman. ‘Let’s not say we’re doing health reform without a public option,’ he added in a slap at the administration’s latest move.” And Politicopointed to a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi strongly backing such a plan.
This cascade of criticism left the White House scrambling to explain things. The Wall Street Journalreports, “The White House sought Monday to reassure allies that its enthusiasm for a government-sponsored insurance plan remains strong, following an uproar over comments by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The White House sent an email to members of Congress and other supporters saying that President Barack Obama wants a public insurance option as part of health-care overhaul.” Theemail sought to reassure Democrats that “Nothing has changed. . . . The President believes that the public option is the best idea he has seen for achieving the goals of lowering costs and increasing choice and competition.”
Faced with an ever-more skeptical public and moderate and conservative Democrats who are uncomfortable with a government-run insurance plan, it appears that the Obama administration’s attempts to shore up support have now touched off a fight on the left. The Wall Street Journal explains, “Liberal activists say they will oppose any overhaul without a public option, while moderates worry it will pave the way for a government-run health system. The White House is trying to keep both factions at the table.” Perhaps it’s time, as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested, “to hit the restart button and begin working on real reforms that would address the problems in our health care system,” rather than bickering over a questionable plan to create government-run health insurance. Tags:townhall, Recess Rallies, Rep. Marion Berry, Arkansas, nationalized health care, Barack Obama, public insurance option, Town Hall, US Congress, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families: With the nation’s attention riveted on unfolding drama over healthcare reform, two issues of tremendous concern to millions of Americans have re-emerged: same-sex “marriage” and religious liberty. As is almost always the case, the Left is re-igniting the culture war by attempting to impose its values on the rest of society through the most undemocratic means possible – the courts.
There are several lawsuits pending in federal court seeking to strike down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In legal briefs filed today, the Obama Justice Department clearly put itself on the side of those seeking to declare the law null and void. While the Administration begrudgingly acknowledged that it was obligated to defend federal laws, including DOMA, it is doing so in this case only half-heartedly. With a wink and a nod to sympathetic judicial activists, Justice Department attorneys told the court, “The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed.” The Obama Administration is begging the court to strike down the only federal law that protects the citizens of 30 states who have voted to protect the traditional meaning of marriage.
One month from today, a north Florida high school principal, Frank Lay, and the school’s athletic director, Robert Freeman, will stand trial in federal court on criminal charges. Their crime: praying on public property. The charges stem from actions instigated by ACLU radicals, who have been cheerleaders for Obama’s leftwing agenda.
According to the Washington Times, on January 28th, the school hosted a lunch for employees and community members who had “helped with a school field-house project.” Before the lunch, the principal asked the school’s athletic director to bless the food. No students were present at the lunch, yet that blessing may cost both men $5,000 in fines and six months in jail. Mathew Staver of the Liberty Counsel is representing the men in court. Staver told the Times, “I have been defending religious freedom issues for 22 years, and I’ve never had to defend to somebody who has been charged criminally for praying.”
Barack Obama promised us “hope and change.” He was supposed to unite the nation, bridge partisan divides and heal wounds. Instead, Obama and his radical allies are trying to redefine marriage and send Christians to jail for praying. That’s certainly change, but not much hope for the millions of Americans who cherish the values of faith, family and freedom. Tags:ACLU, culture war, Defense of Marriage, DOMA, Gary Bauer, gay agenda, gay marriage, left-wing, prayer, prayingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Americans are protesting President Obama's more than a $1 trillion increase in entitlement spending that will result in expanded government and a loss of freedom. Lloyd Marcus sings his "Feet to the Fire"
Tags:Barack Obama, Lloyd Marcus, song, TEA Parties, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Washington, D.C.-Eagle Forum, a conservative public policy organization founded by Phyllis Schlafly, urges grassroots Americans not to fall for the Obama Administration's recent hints that they may drop the public option from the health care bill and replace it with a "co-op compromise" that is more popular with some House Blue Dog Democrats and moderate Senate Democrats.
"Make no mistake, any Democrat health care bill will include both mandates and subsidies for 'eligible' or 'qualified' health insurance," said Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly. "The words eligible and qualified mean that Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Daschle, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and the like, will have the power to decide who gets what medical care."
On Sunday, August 16th, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs again attempted to sell the Democrats' socialist health care plan with capitalist rhetoric when pressed about rumors of dropping the public option. Gibbs stated, "What we have to have is choice and competition in the insurance market." However, that very same day, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' comments essentially reiterated that the government will have a role no matter what: "I think there will be a competitor to private insurers. That's really the essential part, is you don't turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing."
"The important thing that the American people must understand is that when Democrats say there must be a competitor for private sector insurance, the competitor they speak of is the government," said Schlafly. "Any attempt to rename or rebrand the public option as a 'co-op' or something other than government-run is purely cosmetic and a sneaky tactic to lessen grassroots opposition."
"The White House and liberal congressional leaders are desperate to appear as if they are listening and being responsive to the grassroots, especially in claiming to drop the end-of-life provisions from the bill, but name changes are an old trick in the liberal playbook," continued Schlafly. "'Co-op' is nothing more than a euphemism for 'government-run health care,' just like 'undocumented worker' was nothing more than Ted Kennedy's concocted, less obvious term for 'illegal alien.'"
"So-called compromises on contentious pieces of legislation carried out behind closed doors frustrate the grassroots," said Schlafly. "The Democrats will claim to have dropped the public option in order to get enough votes in the Senate to pass it, and then air-drop the public plan language back into the bill in the dead of night before it's signed. Just think back to the 3 a.m., 300-page amendment Nancy Pelosi added to the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax bill the morning of the floor vote."
"No matter what superficial changes are made, this is a bad bill and it cannot be improved without being defeated in its entirety," concluded Schlafly. "I urge every U.S. citizen nationwide to tell their Senators not to compromise on Americans' health care." Tags:Co-ops, Eagle Forum, health care, Obamacare, Phyllis SchlaflyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Update: After the successful establishment of the Arkansas Republican Network, NING opted to stop offering free hosting to sites with large memberships. With the growth of the state's TEA Parties, Patriot Groups and successful growth of the Republican Party of Arkansas, the leadership after coordinating with all members opted to close the online Arkansas Republican Network and to continue activities through the other groups. The actions by members of the network aided the success in the 2010 election when Republicans won more elections in Arkansas than in the previous 128 years. The wins included three US Representatives, a US Senator, three Arkansas State Constitutional offices: Lt. Governor, Secretary of State and Land Commissioner, and the largest gains in history since reconstruction in the State Legislature. Although the network site has been closed, the Twitter @argopnet continued and numerous FaceBook groups were reinforced by the network's members. The Arkansas Republican Network was launched today. It is a network for Arkansas grassroots republicans and helps to build the Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA). While all GOP organizations, campaigns and support group members are welcome, the network was not initiated by the RPA but the Network fully supports the development of the RPA and individual republicans.
The network was established by Dr. Bill Smith* of Baxter County, Arkansas. The Arkansas Republican Network uses NING, an easy-to-use technology platform, which allows people to belong to other NING social networks with one central personal identity and track their membership and friends via a personal NING page. Others organizations using the NING platform are Team Sarah, Smart Girl Politics, Sovereignty Alliance, the 9-12 Program, Resist Net, FairTax Nation, America Coast to Coast, Team Grassfire, and 1.3 million other networks.
When asked about the reason for the creating the new Arkansas Republican Network, Smith said,
"In Little Rock, RPA Chairman Doyle Webb has put in place an excellent team to promote a consistent republican message and to build the formal structure of the RPA. The RPA is addressing issues of concern to Arkansans and is attracting candidates to run for Congress, State and local offices.
"However, the recent increase in the number of interested candidates is to a large degree also a result of the outcry by Arkansans participating in TEA Parties in our state. These citizens are irritated at the failures of their elected officials on the national level to listen to "we the people" and our grievances. Most are either republicans or potential republicans who have awakened to a desire participate and to do something. These people needed a place to network and to share concerns and ideas.
"To sustain this effort, the Arkansas Republican Network was established to give a voice and a platform to republicans using their computers. The Network allows grassroots republicans to exchange ideas and to establish support groups. The Republican Party of Arkansas relies on its state, district and county committees to carry out structured political operations. However, these same committees are formal structures and offer little opportunity for republicans to hold everyday discussions or to network / link up in efforts with like minded people.
"In 2009, the RPA has made great strides in using the Internet to expand its presence via a new website and social networking on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. However, within the traditional structure, the opportunities for interactions, discussions, the building of groups and coalitions within communities and counties are limited. The Arkansas Republican Network provides these opportunities. It gives voice and opportunity to Arkansans to link up and to support events, beliefs, causes, projects and republican candidates of their choosing. Members of the Network may create or join groups that support their County GOP, GOP support groups, caucus groups, candidates, issues, positions, and more. Individuals may post blogs, participate in discussions, share photos, videos, add existing NING friends, invite new friends, message friends and more. And, there is no cost to the members of the network.
"All who generally vote republican in Arkansas as well as non-voting teenage republicans are welcome. To help get the ball rolling, republicans generally fall into one or more of the following generic descriptions -- it is a "big tent":
- Economic Conservatives (i.e., limited government, government transparency, reduced taxes and spending, expansion of access to natural resources like oil, natural gas and coal by private individuals and companies).
- Social Conservatives (i.e., supporting traditional family and community values)
- National Defense Conservatives (i.e., supporting National Defense and the security of our borders from invasion by illegals)
- Constitutional Conservatives (i.e., supporting all of the Bill of Rights, protection of property rights, protection of families and communities, best government is the government closest to the people).
- Libertarian Conservatives (i.e., committed to Republican principles but focusing on the restriction of intrusion by government on personal choices)."
All Arkansas "republicans" with access to a computer are encouraged to join the Arkansas Republican Network. The 2010 elections are fast approaching and every Arkansas Republican voice is important and your involvement is critically needed to stop the rapid expansion of liberal socialism both in our Nation and in Arkansas.
--------------------- *Dr. Bill Smith (Ozark Guru) is a retired military officer and retired professor. He is the editor of the ARRA News Service, America's Best Choice and several political and commercial sites and authors articles on other online sites. He serves as National Political Director for Conservative Solutions and as an adviser to candidates and campaigns. He Twitters @arra and can be found on FaceBook.
Tags:Arkansas Republican Network, Arkansas Republican Party, Bill Smith, grassroots, RPATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Paul Jacob, Common Sense: Scan the history of government programs. The scope and costs usually grow much larger than originally projected. Moreover, ham-fisted government intervention distorts markets, causing shortages or excesses of supply, leading to high prices for goods that should be cheap, and so on.
When the problems pile up one can either repeal the controls or heap on more controls. Guess which “solution” politicians tend to prefer.
Regarding medical care, the politicians’ answer to decades of government bungling is more bungling: regulation, subsidies, rationing, mandates and a new “public option” in health insurance to squeeze out private plans.
That’s how we lose our freedoms. Not all at once, but a slice at a time. Oh, and about employer-provided medical insurance. That’s a clumsy institution that exists because of World War II wage controls. We do have to transition out of that system. But we should “transition” towards more freedom, not less. Tags:lies, Paul Jacob, single-payer, Trojan horseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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