News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
The Washington Times: Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, (R_CA) renewed a call for charges to be dropped against three Navy SEALs charged with the unspeakable crime of roughing up a terrorist. The charges grew from circumstances surrounding the capture of Ahmed Hashim Abed, a terrorist mastermind who organized the killing, burning and mutilating of four American contractors in Fallujah, Iraq, in March 2004. Insurgents strung up the blackened remains on a box-girder bridge over the Euphrates River, a grisly event that made global headlines. Abed was brought in by the SEALs in September 2009.
Abed told Iraqi authorities that Special Operations Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe punched him in the gut. That sailor is charged with unlawfully striking Abed "in the midsection with his fist" and with lying to a Naval Criminal Investigative Service officer about the incident. Petty Officers Julio Huertas and Jonathan Keefe are charged with impeding the investigation and dereliction of duty in failing to safeguard a detainee. Trials for these two sailors are set to begin in Iraq in April, and Petty Officer 2nd Class McCabe will be tried in Norfolk in May.
Public support for the three SEALs has grown steadily since the case came to light. Petitions circulated by Mr. Burton and the newspaper Human Events have collected more than 150,000 signatures. Combined Facebook pages supporting the SEALs have over 350,000 fans. . . .
Little evidence has been produced to substantiate Abed's abuse claim, and a planned deposition of the detained terrorist was canceled. Whether anything he says can be believed is highly doubtful anyway. Al Qaeda terrorists are trained to charge prisoner abuse whenever possible to create exactly this kind of situation. For Abed, a U.S. military court simply would be another front in his personal jihad. Some in the SEAL community believe that dropping charges is the wrong approach because it would deny the defendants an opportunity to clear their names. . . . This argument would carry more weight if the SEALs could get a fair trial. But in the current politicized atmosphere and with an administration that goes out of its way to placate Muslim sentiment, it's not a sure thing that the accused would be vindicated. Having the charges dropped is preferable to seeing these young men railroaded to serve the political designs of the White House. That would be a fiasco indeed. . . . [Full Article]
Help Support Our Navy Seals:
Write write to SECNAV and SECDEF:
Ray Malbus, Secretary
Dept of Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon
Dr. William Gates,
Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Wash. D.C. 20301-1400
Tags:Courts Martial, DOD, Islamic terrorist, Navy, SealsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Create A Free Enterprize Video - Could win $50,000
Free Enterprize Video Contest: Are you America’s next great inventor? Have you successfully launched a business or created a new product? Are you generating new jobs to boost the economy? If you have a great story to tell or idea to share, we want to hear it! Make your idea come to life by shooting a 3-minute video explaining what free enterprise means to you by April 9. Any digital video camera will do, be it low-end or professional quality. Provide a virtual tour of your big plans or get some friends together to tell your free enterprise story. Please read the terms and conditions and frequently asked questions for detailed information on the contest.
Tags:contest, free enterprise, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
H/ T Worth Reading - God-hater Michael Newdow was dealt a defeat by the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco today. In 2002, a 9th Circuit panel ruled in favor of Newdow in his claim that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance were a violation of the separation of church and state. Now, in a 2-1 panel ruling, Judge Carlos Bea has determined that the Pledge, with “under God” is constitutional.
The 2002 ruling reached the Supreme Court in 2004. The Court ruled that Newdow had no legal standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place – slapping down the 9th Circuit ruling. Newdow went back to work and found disgruntled atheist parents who claimed they were offended by the words “under God” in the Pledge. He convinced a federal judge in 2005 that the Pledge, as written, was unconstitutional and argued his case before the 9th Circuit in 2007.
Newdow is defeated once again. When Newdow learned of the decision, he responded: “Oh, man, what a bummer.” In addition, the 9th ruled yesterday that the words “In God We Trust” on our coins is constitutional. “We can expect Newdow to start over again,” said TVC Executive Director Andrea Lafferty. “He’s not going to go away. But, today is a good day for religious liberty in America. His hatred of God has been rebuffed by the very court that ruled in his favor in 2002.” Tags:God, SCOTUS, US ConstitutionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Pelois & White House: Obamacare at Any Cost Including Loss of Faith By American Voters
Pelosi: we have to pass the health care bill so that you can find out what is in it
Conn Carroll, Morning Bell, Heritage Foundation: Yesterday the White House circulated a memo by pollster Joel Benenson. It was designed to create momentum for Obamacare by convincing wayward House Democrats that support for the President’s plan has been building since the State of the Union. As with everything else that comes out of the White House on health care these days, the memo is nothing but pure fantasy.
This Tuesday, Gallup released its latest poll showing that by a 48%-45% margin Americans would tell their representative in Congress to vote against President Obama’s health plan. Compare that to the last time Gallup asked the question in January, Americans supported the President’s plan 49%-46%. That’s a net six point loss in support for the President’s plan since the State of the Union. That is momentum. Against Obamacare.
And Gallup isn’t alone. The Associated Press released a poll this week showing that 68% of Americans believe the President and Congressional Democrats shouldn’t pass their health care plan without Republican support. “Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats’ current health-care plan,” Democratic pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen add in today’s Washington Post, “A solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan.”
Yesterday was particularly tough for the President’s plan. First, the White House underwhelmed the Democratic Caucus in a presentation of the new (still unwritten) reconciliation bill. Then, the Senate Parliamentarian killed the Democrats favored procedural path for passage by signaling he would rule that President Obama must sign the original Senate bill into law before the Senate could act on the President’s new reconciliation package. Finally, the Associated Press reported that House leaders have abandoned all hope of finding language to satisfy Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-MI) concerns that the Senate bill funds abortion. By the end of the day, the leftist firedoglake site had dropped its count of committed House Democrats for passage to 189 (Speaker Pelosi needs 216 for passage).
With the loss of Stupak and his 7-12 member caucus opposed to taxpayer-funded-abortions, Speaker Pelosi will have to find the remaining dozen plus votes from the ranks of cost conscious Blue Dog Democrats. For example, Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) who voted against the House bill in the fall explained at the time: “According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House health care bill will actually increase federal health care spending over the long term, while proposals being considered by the Senate would have a net decrease.” But according to a new CBO score of the Senate bill passed on Christmas Eve (the one with the Cornhusker Kickback), it actually increases health care spending. And the reconciliation bill only make things worse, since, among other increased spending measures, President Obama “fixed” the Cornhusker Kickback not by eliminating the new spending, but by extending it to all 50 states.
With no votes piling up, and “yes” votes materializing, the Democratic plans to shove Obamacare down the throats of the American people are becoming more and more desperate. This Monday, the House Budget Committee will begin markup on the new reconciliation bill even though actual legislative text does not exist for it yet. The Democrats plan to pass a shell of a bill through the appropriate committees so that the Rules Committee can then substitute the bill that is being drafted completely behind closed doors by the White House and Senate and Democrat leaders.
Politico reports that despite the Parliamentarian’s initial verbal ruling, they will press on with their Slaughter Rule plan to pass the Senate bill without voting on it. NRO’s Yuval Levin quips: “Democratic leaders should be asking themselves just how they have gotten to the point that their strategy is to amend a law that doesn’t exist yet by passing a bill without voting on it.”
But President Obama’s progressive base is way past rational thought when it comes to health care. They want it passed at any cost. And as George Will pointed out yesterday, the very essence of progressivism sublimates the democratic process to the rule of experts in Washington. No one can say if this bill will finally pass, but if it does, it is abundantly clear that our republican form of government will be permanently damaged by it. Tags:Gallup Poll, Heritage Foundation, Morning Bell, ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: “I mean, in a way, Obama’s standing above the country, above, above the world, he’s sort of God.” That was Newsweek's Evan Thomas’ reaction to President Obama’s visit to Normandy last June. The new president was on hand for ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Less than one year later, our “sort of God” has come on hard times.
At home, one of his leading congressional supporters, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., said all of Obama’s frenetic stumping for his healthcare takeover is not changing many votes on the House floor. But The Washington Post’sJackson Diehl may have had even worse news for the freshman president. This week, Diehl surveyed the world to see how Barack Obama is doing with other global leaders. We were told that George W. Bush was despised by foreign publics and barely tolerated by their leaders. So how, Diehl asked Obama administration bigs, is President Obama doing with world rulers? “A lot of hemming and hawing ensued,” Diehl reported.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is due to arrive shortly at the White House. What? No formal state dinner? Nope. Sarkozy and his glamorous wife, Carla Bruni, are penciled in only for a White House “couples dinner.” There’s a chill in the air. Why are they coming at all? Maybe they want to see the cherry blossoms.
The Obamas are still smarting from the big dinner party they threw for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last November. That’s the one where everyone got to come — even the Salahis, who weren’t invited. That slip-up cost the social director Desirée Rogers her White House pass. We’ve heard about British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Despite the fact that Brown is an old Labour Party man — which means he really isa socialist — he and President Obama have failed to hit it off. America’s relations with Britain could be at a post-World War II low.
President Obama was a no-show at German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s big celebration of 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. He was shown — larger than life — on a Jumbotron delivering a video spiel to the assembled dignitaries. The take-away message from his remarks on that august occasion was that the fall of the wall was really neat, since it made it possible to elect a woman in Germany and a black man in America. Huh? I thought the guys who built the wall were Reds?
One of the hard-pressed Obamatons who got back to Jackson Diehl had this surprise name to offer as President Obama’s really good friend: Dmitri Medvedev. The Russian “president” was said to have a close rapport with our own. That’s certainly comforting. But it’s offset by the frost building up between Obama and Vladimir Putin, the guy who is really running the show in the Kremlin. It’s nice that Barack and “Dima” are pals, but it’s a bit like cozying up to the monkey while spitting in the eye of the organ grinder.
Not to worry. The president has just announced a great opportunity for him to make many new friends for himself and for us. He will preside over an “entrepreneurship summit” next month. He will be reaching out to America’s potential allies in — you guessed it — the Islamic world. Perhaps the president will be able allay our concerns about U.S. corporations becoming more involved in supporting Shariah law. Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center worries about this trend. He’s helping former U.S. Marine Kevin Murray sue Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to stop U.S. funding for “Shariah finance” operations.
“It is outrageous that AIG has been using taxpayer money to promote Islam and Shariah law, which potentially provides support for terrorist activities aimed at killing Americans,” said Thompson. “Shariah law is the same law championed by Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. It is the same law that prompted the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our soil that killed thousands of innocent Americans. We won this skirmish. But the war to stop the federal government from funding Islam and Shariah-compliant financing is far from over.” It seems that Mr. Obama’s “entrepreneurship summit” will be more like community organizing than like real enterprise.
At a time when America’s own economy is in trouble, when the president’s healthcare and cap-and-trade bills threaten our own ability to recover, it is chilling to think that he is stiff-arming all our old allies and seeking relationships instead with Third World rulers who are unelected and unelectable. Americans used to sing, “Thy banners make tyranny tremble.” Now we’re supposed to open our arms to despots and sing the welcoming tune from Oliver: “Consider yourself at home / consider yourself part of the family.” Only a spoilsport would point out that that song was sung to welcome the pint-sized orphan into the gang of pickpockets.
----------------- Mr. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. He submitted this article to the ARRA News Service which also appears in his WorldMag.com. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and American Civil Rights Union. Tags:Barack Obama, healthcare, Ken Blackwell, Politics, Sharia law, The White HouseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 12, 2010 - Dems Plow Ahead On Health Care, Despite American's Objections, Parliamentary Ruling, Public Opinion & Funding Abortions
The Senate is in recess until Monday afternoon when it will take up the House message to accompany H.R. 2847, Democrats’ jobs bill. Monday evening, there will be a cloture vote on the motion to concur with the House amendments. However, the House Democrat leaders continues to to pressure House Democrats to set aside their House Bill and to pass the US Senate bill which would then go directly to the President for signature.
As one House staffer related today, "Seems like it’s always game time in Washington but with the health care bill in critical care, there are no holds barred.; President Obama is delaying his scheduled trip to Indonesia in order to focus on passing health care but what can he do in three days to force the bill through? That’s just it — FORCE the bill through. We know Americans doesn’t want this bill and it’s time again to for Americans to Let Your Voice Be Heard.
Today's networks are reporting that over the last 24 hours, the White House staff, President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have used relentless pressure and deals to seek to overcome the will of House Representatives who may vote no or have a desire to delay voting until after the upcoming recess. The White House gang knows that if the House recesses without a vote then the chances of passing a health care bill are greatly reduced after the Representatives go home and hear again from their constituents. After all, every positions for US. Representatives will be on the ballot in November 2010. Thus, the White House wants ObamaCare passed before the Nov 2010 elections and damn the results in the elections or the will of the American people.
However, there is still hope. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) has said on prior occasions, "A minority in Congress plus the American people equals a majority." Please take a moment to watch the following video and then call your representative, tell your family and neighbor, send emails to your contacts, and if you blog, tweet or post comments on FaceBook. Help again to get the message out again to scrap these health care bill and start over!
Democrats ran into another obstacle on their quest to pass their massive health care reform bill yesterday, this time from the Senate Parliamentarian, yet just as they have with every other setback, Democrats seem determined to ignore it and charge ahead with a bill Americans have overwhelmingly rejected. The Hill reports today, “The Senate parliamentarian has delivered a blow to Democrats by ruling President Barack Obama must sign the broader Senate health care legislation before the upper chamber can take up changes demanded by the House. The ruling means House Democrats would have to rely on a good-faith promise that senators will pass the changes after the health care bill is signed into law, a difficult prospect at a time when lower-chamber lawmakers have grown distrustful of their Senate counterparts.”
Democrat Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad likely has the same view. According to Wednesday’s New York Times, “Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota and chairman of the Budget Committee, said the reconciliation instructions in last year’s budget resolution seemed to require that Mr. Obama sign the Senate bill into law before it could be changed. ‘It’s very hard to see how you draft, and hard to see how you score, a reconciliation bill to another bill that has not yet been passed and become law,’ Mr. Conrad said.” The Hill reports that Conrad “told colleagues about the ruling Thursday afternoon, according to a Democratic source familiar with the meeting.”
Meanwhile, today’s New York Times reports, “House and Senate Democratic leaders struggled Thursday to stitch together pieces of a final health care bill as rank-and-file Democrats demanded more information about the contents of the bill and its cost. . . . ‘Everyone expressed frustration that we do not have comprehensive cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office,’ said Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Democrat of Virginia.” Critically, the NYT points out, “Democrats said they were nowhere near agreement on the explosive question of how to restrict insurance coverage of abortion under the health care bill.”
And yet despite all this, Politico reports, “The House Budget Committee will begin marking up the reconciliation bill on Monday, beginning the first step in the legislative process to pass reform.” Democrats continue to push this bill through backroom deals and arcane parliamentary maneuvers over the overwhelming opposition of the American public.
Polls show over and over that Americans do not want the bill Democrats are determined to jam through Congress. Even in a reliably blue state like New Jersey, a Republican was elected governor for the first time in many years last fall and now a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll of the state shows only 22% support passing the current health care bill. Sixty-eight percent say Congress should start over. On top of that, just yesterday President Obama reached a new low in Gallup’s daily tracking of his approval rating--46%. His previous low came right after Sen. Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post today, Democrat pollsters Pat Cadell and Doug Schoen lay out just how bad it could be if Democrats continue on this course. “Their blind persistence in the face of reality threatens to turn this political march of folly into an electoral rout in November. In the wake of the stinging loss in Massachusetts, there was a moment when the president and the Democratic leadership seemed to realize the reality of the health-care situation. Yet like some seductive siren of Greek mythology, the lure of health-care reform has arisen again.”
They add, “Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats' current health-care plan. Yes, most Americans believe, as we do, that real health-care reform is needed. And yes, certain proposals in the plan are supported by the public. However, a solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. . . . The notion that once enactment is forced, the public will suddenly embrace health-care reform could not be further from the truth -- and is likely to become a rallying cry for disaffected Republicans, independents and, yes, Democrats.”
Americans have made it very clear on want Democrats should do: scrap this health care bill and start over. Yet apparently the increasingly difficult parliamentary gymnastics required, the difficulty in getting members of their own party to agree and support their bill, and the overwhelming opposition of the American public are not enough to make them stop and reconsider. But it’s not too late. There’s still a chance for responsible Democrats to step back from the edge. So let me repeat: Please take a moment to watch the following video and then call your representative, tell your family and neighbor, send emails to your contacts, and if you blog, tweet or post comments on FaceBook. Help again to get the message out again to scrap these health care bill and start over. Tags:government healthcare, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
UH OH:Instapundit reported: Some Democrats shun Obama event in St. Louis. “The Show Me State briefly became the No Show State on Wednesday as some prominent Missouri Democrats decided they’d rather be somewhere else when President Obama came to St. Louis to push his massive health care overhaul plan.” Probably just scared of the St. Louis Tea Party juggernaut.
Thanks to StL Cyclist for a couple of these shots.
The St. Louis crowd came out in force. Bill Hennessy, Dana Loesch, Gina and John Loudon, Adam Sharp, Patch, Jon Burns, Jay Stewart, Robert B., 24th State, Spike, Stephanie Rubach, Ed, Brenda… It was a great event. It’s just too bad the top democrats decided to stay away. We wanted to greet them, too. Sharp Elbows has more photos and video of a revolting leftist trying to start trouble at the protest. Dana Loesch posted some great photos. Keyboard Militia has more great photos from the huge anti-Obamacare rally . . . Tags:Barack Obama, protestors, St Louis, tea party, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 11, 2010 - House GOP Ban All Earmarks - Dems Seeking Special Deals - Call Swing Vote Congressmen
The Senate resumes consideration of H.R. 1586, the vehicle for the FAA reauthorization bill. As reported yesterday, the Senate voted 62-36 to pass the tax extenders bill, H.R. 4213, which extends expiring tax credits, unemployment insurance benefits, and a temporary "doctor fix" until through December 2010. Unfortunately, the bill is not paid for and simply adds $100 billion to the debt. Review yesterday's comment by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who voted against the bill.
This morning, House Republicans Conference adopted a unilateral ban on all earmarks. Yesterday, House Appropriations Committee enacted a ban on for-profit earmarks. However, the House Republicans' moratorium is more extensive and bans all earmarks for all members of the Republican caucus. Previously, While some members of Congress had sought to slow down "pork-barrel." most of the focus was on battles between the parties as to who could best reform the earmark process. The Republicans have drawn a line in the sand and voted to ban all earmarks by their Republican members. House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) said this morning:
Federal spending is out of control and the American people know it. Earmarks have become emblematic of everything that is wrong with spending here in Washington D.C. Today, . . . House Republicans have determined to renounce earmark requests of all kinds in this Congress, and the American people won that debate.
By standing in favor of a moratorium on earmarks in this Congress, House Republicans are making a clean break from the past. We are offering the American people a fresh start on spending in Washington, D.C. We are offering the American people a new way forward. With the health care reform bill being debated and haggled about in these very hallways, no doubt earmarks are being talked about in a different way by the Democrat Majority. After the ‘Cornhusker Kickback,' the ‘Gatorade Deal,' the ‘Second Louisiana Purchase,' the American people want us to change business as usual in Washington D.C.
The contrast will be startling in the days ahead. No doubt as Democrats are making backroom deals, and offering earmarks to pass their government takeover of health care, today with one voice House Republicans have stepped forward and said, "The time has come to set aside earmarking as usual and begin the process of turning federal spending back over to the American people with a new course, new discipline, and new transparency."
With the White House and Democrat leaders leaning on Blue Dog Democrats in the House to vote for Democrats’ unpopular monstrosity of a health care bill, more focus is falling on the outrageous special deals for various lawmakers that helped the bill pass the Senate in December and the potential that more deals might be made to get it through the House.
Politico reports, “President Barack Obama is pushing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to go further than Obama has previously disclosed to strip the final health care reform bill of the narrow deals aimed at appeasing specific senators. The president wants to eliminate more than just Sen. Ben Nelson’s ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ and Sen. Bill Nelson’s agreement to shield 800,000 Florida seniors from Medicare Advantage cuts, the White House told POLITICO Wednesday in response to questions about other deals in the bill.”
So, the White House is apparently embarrassed by the Cornhusker Kickback and the Gator Aid. According to Politico, “Obama tried to publicly distance himself from the deals, saying he wasn’t in the room when they were struck, even though some of his aides were.” But that seems to be the extent of Obama’s chagrin at the deals leaders in his party made to get his signature legislative effort passed. Politico notes, “The so-called Louisiana Purchase is still safe, according to the White House, since the provision requested by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) would apply to any state in which all the counties have been declared a disaster zone. The Medicaid funding formula fix is worth $300 million to Louisiana, according to Landrieu.” Apparently some deals are more equal than others.
But, the backroom deals certainly make life uncomfortable for some House Democrats. Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) told Neil Cavuto yesterday, “The Senate bill contains the Nebraska-Nelson agreement, where all the 49 states subsidize Nebraska’s Medicaid program, that’s unacceptable. And unless those items are guaranteed to be removed by the Senate, I don’t think we’re going to be able to pass the bill.”
And yet, just as some House Democrats and President Obama are calling for the deals to be removed, Obama is apparently offering different deals to other House Democrat members. The Washington Post reports, “Among the rewards Obama is ready to offer [wavering House Democrats], White House officials said, are election-year visits to competitive congressional districts, where a presidential appearance can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds.”
And, these aren’t the only backroom maneuvers going on! House Republicans warned yesterday of a strategy being considered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter (D-NY). The scheme would involve Slaughter’s job to write a rule for debate in the House on the reconciliation bill Democrats want to use to apply some fixes to the deeply flawed Senate bill, such as stripping the Cornhusker Kickback. But in this case the rule, which has to be approved by a majority of the House, would “deem” the Senate health care bill as passed, meaning that House Democrats would be attempting to avoid a direct up-or-down vote on the Senate bill as Obama has been calling for all week. How else would one describe this but a vote-laundering scheme for nervous House Democrats?
All the backroom deals, parliamentary shenanigans, and partisan maneuvering demonstrate just how uncomfortable so many Democrats are with this massive health care takeover that the overwhelming majority of the American public wants scrapped. Democrats should step back from the edge and reevaluate their leaders’ arrogant insistence on pushing a bill that raises taxes, cuts Medicare, increases premiums and is so unpopular it can only get votes through backroom deals involving taxpayer money and promises of the president’s campaign assistance. This is not the reform Americans want.
One Citizens Response to Obama's Campaign for Nationalized Health Care
ARRA News Service - President Obama has spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in his various trips, events, conferences and calls trying to convince Americans to accept turning over our personal health care options to a nationalized health care program controlled by the U.S. Government . Does he care about us or does he just love Big Government?
He has been forced again today to speak out because of the delay in his agenda created by the majority of We the American People have voiced our opposition against his ill conceived nationalized health care system now commonly called ObamaCare. We have voiced our objections at the polls and will do so again on 2010. However, today, the President evidenced once again that he has not listened. He again made another trip. This time it was to in St. Louis, MO to give another national appeal for Obamacare. He brought (or should we say bought) US Sen. Claire McCaskill. After Obama's speech at St. Charles High School, he appeared at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis for a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Supporters could attend in exchange for a contribution ranging up to $32,500.
We have saved the following until now because it is a clear short response to Obama's lasted speech. It is from an unnamed person (unknown - except to God, himself, his family and friends). He holds one sign and we have provided a commonly shared list of citizen points of order. Unlike the President, we do not need a lot of rhetoric to rebut his teleprompter speeches. Here is "one citizen's response:
To President Obama and all 535 voting members of Congress,
The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775 You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.
Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.
Cash for Clunkers & Electric Cars - broke and riddled with fraud, waste and abuse.
You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM?NO! AGAIN - NO! Tags:Barack Obama, nationalized health care, St LouisTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Has Fox News Reporting Been Co-opted by Rupert Murdoch's Business Ventures With Muslims?
Bill Smith, Editor: Below is a video interview with British Islamist Anjem Choudary who declares that: "Freedom and Democracy are Idols that must be destroyed and replaced with Obedience to Allah." After viewing the video, read on and while reflecting on the question: are people whom we have trusted for "fair and balanced" reporting now moderating their voices and avoiding listening to the warnings by experts about the dangers of Islam? More after the video:
Today, Act for America identified their concern that "Fox News now condemns All Critics of Islam:"
On Fox News last night as Glenn Beck, Charles Krauthammer, A.B. Stoddard, and Bill Kristol condemned Dutch activist Geert Wilders as a “demagogue” and a “fascist.”
Mr. Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom in The Netherlands, produced a controversial documentary on Islam in Holland called “Fitna.” In the short film, Mr. Wilders argued that “there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’” and that the Prophet Muhammad would “. . .in these days be hunted down as a terrorist.”
In the past, the former member of the Dutch National Parliament was a frequent guest on Fox News. Last February, Bill O’Reilly welcomed Mr. Wilders to America, while condemning a scared Britain for banning him entrance to the country.
While Mr. Beck labeled Mr. Wilders as a “fascist,” Mr. Krauthammer said that the popular Dutch politician, who is a leading candidate for Prime Minister, doesn’t know the difference between Islam and Islamism. Ms. Stoddard expressed her agreement with Krauthammer and added that “if people like this (Mr. Wilders)) are elected to lead Holland it will suffer the consequences.
The well-orchestrated attacks on Mr. Wilders came in the wake of news that Rupert Murdoch, the CEO and principal stockholder of News Corps, the parent company of Fox News, will make Abu Dhabi, the headquarters of his global media operations in the Middle East. Mr. Murdock has established strong links with the Arab Muslims, last month agreeing to invest 70 million dollars in the Rotana Group, an enterprise is controlled by Saudi tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Prince Talal, in turn, now owns 7% of News Corps. He is #22 on the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people.
The change in Fox News and its stance on Islam has been noted by Walid Shoebat, a former member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who converted to Christianity. Mr. Shoebat says that Fox New now prohibits critics of Islam and Islamic terror from appearing on its broadcasts. He contends that the prohibition stems from the fact that Prince Talal is now the second-largest shareholder in News Corporation, the parent company of the Fox News Channel.
“He himself (Prince bin Talal) said, ‘I just had to make a phone call to [tell them to] stop using the word Muslim’ regarding the rioting in France,” Mr. Shoebad notes. “Bill O’Reilly says to Ibrahim Hooper, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), that he is an upstanding citizen. Since when was the head of CAIR an upstanding citizen?”
Mr. Shoebat adds that viewers will no longer be seeing any so-called “Islamophobes” on Fox. “Today, I’m not invited at Fox News. Neither is Robert Spencer or Brigitte Gabriel,” he laments. “But Ibrahim Hooper is invited to speak at Fox News. It used to be that experts on terrorism who are critical of the Islamic views [were] able to get a voice on Fox News. Those days are gone.”
Paul L. Williams, Ph.D., author of such best-selling works as Osama’s Revenge: The Next 9/11 and The Day of Islam, has also been missing from Fox News in recent years, after making scores of appearances on top-rated Fox broadcasts over the past five years. Mr. Shoebat says that instead of airing those critical views of Islam, Fox News now legitimizes Hooper, the spokesman for CAIR, a group which he maintains is a front for the terrorist group Hamas.
The above information, leaves us with a question about Fox News, one of the last bastions for a "fair and balanced" voice: Has Fox News Reporting Been Co-opted by CEO Rupert Murdoch's Middle East Business Ventures With Muslim Leaders?
While there is no room for racism, there is room for continued "fair and balanced" reporting to include reporting on the dangers of Islam to our American culture. Islam is a religion which has for one its stated purposes the exchanging of our Judeo-Christian basis of law for Sharia law. So I ask, "Who can we trust these days?"
Is Fox News being co-opted by "political correctness"? I hope not! I enjoy regulars like Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham and several others. I tolerate Glenn Beck when he's lucid and focused on the threats to the Republic. And, I suffer through arrogant Bill O’Reilly interrupting his guests when I have nothing else to watch on my DVR.
If Fox News has changed, we may truly be facing the end of an America Republic. Again, I hope not. I PRAY to God in the name of Jesus Christ (my prayers aren't tolerant or politically correct) that we will not! I object to traveling down the road to Big Government influenced by trans-global business and special interest groups. Also, I object to being force fed acceptance of Islam in the name of tolerance and political correctness. I object to any consideration of acceptance of Sharia law in America. And for the present, I expect Fox News to live up to its motto of being "fair and balanced." P.S. After writing the above, I looked for a photo. The photo is from a subject related article posted a month ago. Check it out! By Hyscience: Fox News Promoting Islamic Terror-tied CAIR Tags:America, big government, CAIR, Fox News, Islam, Sharia law, Richard MurdochTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Democrat Leaders Admits Health Care Bill Won't Lower Premiums
THEY SAID IT:DURBIN SAYS HEALTH BILL WON’T LOWER PREMIUMS "Anyone Who Would Stand Before You And Say Well, If You Pass Health Care Reform, Next Year's Health Care Premiums Are Going Down, I Don't Think Is Telling The Truth"
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): "Anyone Who Would Stand Before You And Say Well, If You Pass Health Care Reform, Next Year's Health Care Premiums Are Going Down, I Don't Think Is Telling The Truth. I Think It Is Likely They Would Go Up, But What We're Trying To Do Is Slow The Rate Of Increase."(Sen. Durbin, Floor Remarks, 3/10/10)
PRESIDENT SAID THAT HEALTH BILL “REDUCES MOST PEOPLE’S PREMIUMS”
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 10, 2010 - Are Blue Dog Democrats Becoming Neutered Lap Dogs?
Yesterday, the Senate voted 66-34 to invoke cloture on the Baucus substitute amendment to the tax extenders bill. Prior to that vote, the Senate voted 100-0 to adopt an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) requiring that the amount of new unpaid for spending be posted on the Senate website. Senators rejected a motion to waive the Budget Act to allow an amendment from Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to spend $1.3 billion for workforce development and summer youth jobs programs.
The Senate may take up the FAA reauthorization bill now that it has finished with H.R. 4213. Today, at 2 PM, the Senate resumed consideration and passed H.R. 4213, the tax extenders bill by a vote of 62 to 36. The American Workers, State and Business Relief Act, passed Wednesday, extends unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility for the 65 percent COBRA health care tax credit through Dec. 31, 2010. The COBRA tax credit helps workers who have lost their jobs continue to afford health insurance through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The legislation also retroactively extends tax cuts for middle-class families and businesses that expired at the end of 2009. In addition, the legislation reverses a scheduled 21 percent payment cut for doctors who provide services through Medicare and Tricare to enable seniors and military families to continue to have access to their physicians.
Senate Finance Committee ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA) voted against the measure although he had originally co-sponsored a measure last month with many of the same tax extender provisions. Grassley expressed his reason for not supporting the bill, “I proved my support for extending tax provisions to encourage private-sector job creation, many of which I authored in the first place, and my support for extending unemployment benefits with the bipartisan legislation I proposed in February with Senator Baucus. Our bill did not include $100 billion of spending that was not paid for under federal budget rules. It hurts economic recovery efforts and America’s financial stability for Congress to continue rampant deficit spending. The fact that Democratic leaders let the biodiesel tax credit lapse at the end of 2009 has cost jobs in Iowa and 43 other states with biodiesel production. It was irresponsible and even offensive for congressional leaders to make the extension of important renewable energy tax incentives contingent on adding another $100 billion to the federal budget deficit.”
As Democrats forge ahead in their apparently unwavering determination to pass their unpopular health care bill, Blue Dog Democrats are under fire from all sides and seem to be getting a raw deal from their leadership.
As The New York Times reported last week, “The future of President Obama’s health care overhaul now rests largely with two blocs of swing Democrats in the House of Representatives — abortion opponents and fiscal conservatives — whose indecision signals the difficulties Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces in securing the votes necessary to pass the bill. . . . That leaves Ms. Pelosi in the tough spot of trying to keep wavering members of her caucus on board, while persuading some who voted no to switch their votes to yes — all at a time when Democrats are worried about their prospects for re-election.”
And a Politico story today explains how Republicans are pointing out all the problems with the health care bill that are particularly uncomfortable for Blue Dog Democrats. “Speaking on health care Monday, [Senate Republican Leader Mitch] McConnell suddenly switched gears, for example, and threw in a line about the high cost of the Senate’s $100 billion-plus jobless benefits bill, heading soon to the House. ‘Every dime’ of 10-year savings from health reform would be wiped out ‘with one stroke of the president’s pen,’ he said. And by implication, debt-conscious Blue Dogs can’t assume the country is moving in ‘a more fiscally responsible direction. ... And this undercuts the entire point of reform,’ said the Kentucky Republican.”
Further, The New York Times notes today, “Many rank-and-file House Democrats are reluctant to approve the Senate-passed health care measure without a guarantee that the Senate would follow up with changes in a budget reconciliation bill. The Senate measure included a number of provisions House members dislike, including special deals intended to secure the support of individual senators, like extra Medicaid money for Nebraska.”
“Republican leaders have been working to fan distrust of the Senate among House Democrats,” the NYT explains, “warning that Mr. Obama and the Senate would have little reason to pursue the budget reconciliation process once the House approves the Senate-passed bill. At that point, the Republicans suggest, Mr. Obama might just as well hold a signing ceremony and declare the legislation completed, even though it would include the objectionable provisions that the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, inserted.”
As Politico points out, “The votes of Blue Dogs, representing often rural and more conservative districts, are pivotal; anything to add to their collective angst is game for Republicans.” ♠Blue Dog Democrats would do well to look around and take stock of the situation that Democrat leaders’ quixotic quest for health care reform has put them in. National Review’s Jim Geraghty writes today, “How is health polling in those key swing House districts? Well, as lousy as you might guess. The Start Over! Coalition – a group of 248 employers - contracted the Tarrance Group to gauge support for the health care bill being debated in Congress. On March 7 and 8, they surveyed 300 likely voters in each of 11 key congressional districts. As you would expect, its popularity ranks somewhere between Tiger Woods and Toyoda accelerator pedals.”
Dave Sackett of the Tarrance Group explained just how much of a problem this is: “Outright majorities in 10 of the 11 Congressional Districts polled oppose the Democratic health care bill – there’s a six-point opposition plurality in one – and strong majorities in all 11 districts object to the use of reconciliation procedures to move health care reform through the Congress and to the President’s desk.” Most importantly, Sackett said, “Across the 11 districts polled, over 69% say their Representative’s vote on health care will be ‘very important’ to their voting decision in November. In none of the districts does this number fall below 63%.”
Are Blue Dog Democrats becoming neutered Lap Dogs? We will know for sure if they let their leadership march them over a cliff on health care reform rather than listen to the clear and consistent message of the American people to oppose this government takeover of health care and start over on sensible bipartisan reforms. Tags:Blue Dog, government healthcare, Lap Dog, US Congress, US House, US Senate, 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, Contributing Author: Last week, President Barack Obama declared the healthcare reform debate over, saying, “Everything there is to say about health care has been said.” That didn’t stop him from hitting the road yesterday to say some more about his plan to “reform” nearly 20% of our economy. Not surprisingly, he once again resorted to bashing businesses in a desperate attempt to whip up public support for his failing initiative.
But while President Obama may be convinced that a Big Government entitlement program is the “right thing to do,” folks with more knowledge about how insurance really works are concerned about the president’s plan. Today’s New York Times reports that state insurance officials are raising red flags over “fundamental flaws” in the latest healthcare overhaul proposals. They are worried that new federal powers to dictate insurance rates (government-mandated price controls) will lead to catastrophic unintended consequences.
Here’s how Sandy Praeger, a Kansas insurance commissioner, explained it: “From a consumer protection standpoint, the most important thing we do is ensure the solvency of companies. …You are not necessarily helping the consumer if you keep rates artificially low. What’s worse for the consumer: having a premium increase or having to pay the full amount of a medical expense because the company is out of business?”
But that really doesn’t bother some Democrats. In fact, bankrupting the insurance industry and undermining the free market is a stated goal of some healthcare reform advocates. As you can see here, one liberal Democrat freely admits that the goal of healthcare reform is to create a system that bankrupts private industry and leads to socialized medicine. And that is a goal shared by Barack Obama.
Here’s another example of just how poorly the fundamentals of economics are understood by Washington’s governing elites. The Associated Press reports that the latest draft of the healthcare bill will penalize businesses for not offering benefits to part-time employees. Given the current state of the economy, why are Democrats trying to penalize job creation of any kind? Slapping business owners with healthcare fines for creating part-time jobs is a terrible idea. It’s just one more tax on job creation. I can guarantee you what will happen if Democrats succeed in creating financial disincentives for such jobs. There will be fewer of them, and it won’t result in the creation of new full-time jobs.
TAKE ACTION:The situation on Capitol Hill is very chaotic. With one eye on the calendar and a finger in the air gauging the political winds, many members of Congress are on the fence. The White House is pulling out all the stops to get the votes it needs.Please keep up the pressure on your elected representatives. Call Capitol Hill at 202-224-3121 and urge your representative to oppose this legislation. If you can’t get through to your representative’s Washington office, look up their local office numbers. Firmly but respectfully tell them to oppose the creation of another trillion-dollar entitlement program.
FRC Washington Update: How does President Obama celebrate "International Women's Day?" By leading the effort to pass the most pro-abortion health care plan in U.S. history. With billions set aside for groups like Planned Parenthood, the President's latest bill would trick Americans into funding a procedure that victimizes women and robs them of the physical and mental well-being this legislation promised to advance. Even today, as the abortion industry makes room for a massive influx of federal dollars, the Left's leadership still refuses to admit that such a deal exists. As it has in the past, FRC Action compiled a list of eight new reasons why abortion is included in President's plan.
1. The legislation specifically includes it. The President's bill to amend the Senate bill leaves several abortion provisions in place. In Section 130, the legislation allows tax credit subsidies for plans that include abortion and leaves the abortion surcharge in place. It maintains the proposal to create a multi-state plan that includes abortion in Sec. 1334. Even worse, it would increase the Senate bill funding from $7 billion to $11 billion for community health centers in Sec. 10503 without any abortion restrictions. (H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)
2. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said it is. "And I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray...take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment, and I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women...That would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you're male or female, whether you're 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund." (Sebelius: Everyone will pay into abortion-coverage fund.)
3. Senate Democrats refused to ban it. Instead of allowing for an up-or-down vote on a Senate amendment similar to the House's Stupak amendment, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) "tabled" the amendment, effectively killing it. (Vote No. 369 S.Amdt. 2962 to S.Amdt. 2786 to H.R. 3590)
4. House pro-life Democrats, even those who support the so-called reform effort, say it is. "The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable." (House Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), February 23, 2010, CBS News) "I think abortion's wrong. The problem is that I've lived too long. When they say they can keep this money separate, I just don't believe it." (House Representative Marion Berry (D-Ark.), March 6, 2010, Arkansas News.)
5. House pro-abortion Democrats say it is. "The good news is that the Senate bill does allow [abortion coverage]." (Rep. Dianne DeGette (D-Colo.), March 5, 2010, Washington Post)
6. The abortion industry sent out alerts in favor of it. The abortion giant Planned Parenthood sent an email to supporters on March 6, 2010 , which said, "President Obama's health care reform... significantly increase access to reproductive health care." (Planned Parenthood alert, March 6, 2010.)
7. Candidate Obama said it would be included, and the Obama administration includes it in its definition of reproductive health care. Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated he "believes that reproductive health care is basic health care." (Rhrealitycheck.org questionnaire, 2008.) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed up on this in 2009: "Reproductive health care includes access to abortion." (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, April 22, House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing)
8. House Democratic Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has indicated that he wants to fix the abortion coverage problem in the Senate bill. "House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that lawmakers could draft separate pieces of legislation with abortion language to earn the support of anti-abortion rights Democrats on healthcare reform legislation." (March 4, 2010, The Hill) To share or to post to your site, click on the date / link for the post. Please mention or link to us. Thanks! http://arranewsservice.comTags:abortion, nationalized health care, ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Create a Free Enterprise Video - Contest Winner: $50,000
Free Enterprise Video Contest: Are you America’s next great inventor? Have you successfully launched a business or created a new product? Are you generating new jobs to boost the economy? If you have a great story to tell or idea to share, we want to hear it! Make your idea come to life by shooting a 3-minute video explaining what free enterprise means to you by April 9. Any digital video camera will do, be it low-end or professional quality. Provide a virtual tour of your big plans or get some friends together to tell your free enterprise story. Please read the terms and conditions and frequently asked questions for detailed information on the contest.
Tags:contest, free enterprise, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Growth of Dependency on Government Threatens the Future of American Democracy
Bill Beach, The Heritage Foundation: [This] marks the seventh year that we have published the Index of Dependence on Government. And, for seven years running, our Index shows growing dependence. The Index now stands at 240, up from a value of 19 in 1962, or a nearly 13 fold increase since the Kennedy administration. The rate of growth, however, actually has increased over the last eight years. That period saw the second highest rate of growth in dependency creating programs: since 2001, the Index has increased 31 percent. Most disturbing of all, all of the evidence points to even more rapid increases in dependency ahead, which well could threaten democratic government.
From virtually the first day of his presidency, Barack Obama and his top deputies have advanced programs and initiatives that deepen and expand American citizens’ dependency on government. From new federal programs designed to boost economic activity to health care reform that could place the U.S. government at the center of the nation’s health care system, the central thrust of policy since January 2009 has been to increase Americans’ daily dependency on Washington.
However, the rapid expansion of dependency-creating programs did not begin with Barack Obama’s inauguration. Indeed, President Obama inherited substantial momentum toward greater dependency on government from the George W. Bush Administration and prior governments. President Bush’s years saw growth in all dependency creating categories, but particularly in programs aimed at health, education, and working-age income support.
Even more disturbing is the confluence of growth in the index with increases in the percentage of taxpayers who pay no taxes and Congress’s control over spending. The percentage who pay no taxes jumped from 21.3 percent in 1980 to 34 percent in 2008. In 1980, 20 million tax filers paid nothing; in 2008, 48 million paid nothing. This number will growth dramatically next year when the Index counts for the first time taxpayers who took advantage of Obama era credits, such as Making Work Pay and the first-time homebuyers credits.
Combine these two indexes with the Steuerle-Roeper Fiscal Democracy Index, and you have a perfect storm for the future of our republican form of government. The Fiscal Democracy Index measures the percent of revenues not allocated by previous Congresses to mandatory spending. In short, it measure the control that Congress has over outlays. This Index nearly hit zero in 2009 and is forecasted to be steadily below zero in 10 years.
The steady growth of dependency creating program, particularly the so-called entitlement programs, and the equally steady shrinking number of taxpayers who have any financial stake in the government threaten rapid growth in mandatory, dependency programs and our very democracy. Are Americans closing in on a tipping point that endangers the workings of their form of government? If citizens can vote ever greater outlays for their income, health, housing, education, and food support; will the growth of government overwhelm the delicate political balances between those citizens who provide the means for helping other citizens in need? Tags:Barack Obama, government healthcare, Heritage Foundation, medicare, taxesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Mar 9, 2010 - Obama's New Attacks On Insurers Same As Old
The Senate resumed consideration of H.R. 4213, the tax extenders bill. The bill extends a number of expired tax credits and unemployment insurance, among many other things. Unfortunately, it pays for none of this and simply adds $100 billion to the debt. The Senate is scheduled to begin a series of votes on amendments to the bill. At 2:30 PM, there will be a cloture vote on the Baucus substitute amendment which includes the unpaid for unemployment insurance extension.
In his latest rally for his unpopular health care reform bill yesterday, President Obama launched familiar attacks on insurance companies. According to The Washington Post, “The messages are part of a strategy that Obama and those around him have begun to employ lately, to ratchet up the pace and the populist appeal of their rhetoric against the health insurance industry.”
But there’s nothing new at all about this rhetoric. In fact, last July, the same newspaper, TheWashington Post, reported, “President Obama has framed the health-care debate in Washington as a campaign against insurance companies . . . .” At the time, The Post wrote, “The message is no accident, as the president’s chief pollster made clear in a rare public speech last month. Joel Benenson told the Economic Club of Canada that extensive polling revealed to the White House what many there had guessed: People hate insurance companies.”
Has any of this changed the debate? Apparently not, considering the New York Times/CBS News poll. In July 2009, 46% approved of Obama’s handling of health care, while 38% disapproved. The February 2010 NYT/CBS poll found that 35% approved of Obama’s handling of health care, while 55% disapproved, a 20 point gap. The whole time the president spent attacking insurance companies, his approval on health care dropped 11 points, while his disapproval rose 17 points.
Of course, all of this rhetoric about insurance companies is intended to distract from the core reasons Americans dislike Democrats’ health care plan: it’s a $2.5 trillion takeover of 1/6th of the economy at a time of soaring debt that features half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts, half a trillion dollars in tax increases, does nothing to control costs, and is likely to result in higher insurance premiums.
And yet, as Democrats attack “greedy” insurance companies, they’re overlooking something important about the Senate health care bill. ABC News pointed out last night, “To help pay for the new insurance requirements the government would give to people money to buy insurance - $336 billion over the next ten years. That money, ultimately, would have to go to... drum roll... insurance companies.” So for all their dislike of insurance companies, Democrats have designed a bill that sends money directly to them, something President Obama criticized John McCain for in 2008.
Denunciations of insurance companies from the White House and Democrats in Congress may sound good to some, but in reality the rhetoric is old hat, has done almost nothing to change the debate, and is undermined by provisions in the bill Obama is attempting to sell. Americans aren’t interested in more rhetoric and ever-shifting rationales for passing this 2,700 page $2.5 trillion monstrosity of a health care bill. Americans want Congress to scrap this bill and start over. Tags:government healthcare, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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