Tuesday, December 29, 2009
White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers reportedly told a meeting of former secretaries that the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display - a suggestion that was greeted by an "audible gasp" from her audience.
The White House confirmed that there had been discussion regarding whether to make Christmas more "inclusive."
Despite such discussions, the White House eventually bowed to tradition, reports the NY Times; the creche scene is now on display.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
The Washington Secretary of State's Office says Washington is in line to pick up a 10th congressional district. The allotment of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives is based on Census population data.
According to a report by analysts at Election Data Services, Washington, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah are in line to gain a seat, while Texas would gain three.
Eight states would lose single seats. They include Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Ohio is projected to lose two seats.
The data shows that Washington's projected new seat almost went to Oregon, but the Evergreen state won out by a margin of less than 25,000 people.
This report is not official and the results could change when the final Census numbers come in next year.
It would be the first new district for Washington in 20 years.
The U.S. Senate has 100 seats, with each state automatically getting two members.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Just when you thought secret deals with the industry, closed-door meetings and Chicago-style backroom politics couldn't get any worse... they did.
According to Reid, "A number of states are treated differently than other states. That's what legislation's all about: compromise".
Really? Rather than thoughtful policy, H.R. 3590 is the result of Democrat desperation and includes countless political handouts. In an effort to meet an artificial holiday deadline, the bill itself has come to look like a Christmas tree with goodies for all Democrat holdouts.
While over 10 states receive special deals, Senators from neglected states should be appalled, as their home state constituents will wind up paying for those "sweet deals" in other states, resulting in higher costs for their already-strapped Medicaid programs.
Click here to read entire message.
As the Democrats give us "a gift that keeps on giving" - mandated healthcare - for Christmas, two Senators are raising serious Constitutional questions and need to hear the support of the American people. Here is their contact info and I hope you will contact them.
Sen DeMint - 202.224.6121
Sen Ensign - 202.224.6244
There are serious issues about the constitutionality of the individual mandate portion on the Health Care bill Democrats are about to pass.
The federal constitution sets forth the limited powers of the federal government and not one of those powers seems to suggest that the Congress of the United States can compel the citizens of the nation to buy certain products.
Senators Jim DeMint and John Ensign are going to force a vote on the issue. Democrats will be forced to take a position on whether or not the federal government can force individuals to buy products on pain of criminal penalty.
“I am incredibly concerned that the Democrats’ proposed individual mandate provision takes away too much freedom and choice from Americans across the country,” said Senator Ensign.
“As an American, I felt the obligation to stand up for the individual freedom of every citizen to make their own decision on this issue. I don’t believe Congress has the legal authority to force this mandate on its citizens.”
“Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect,” said Senator DeMint.
“This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance.
This is nothing more than a bailout and takeover of insurance companies. We’re forcing Americans to buy insurance under penalty of law and then Washington bureaucrats will then dictate what these companies can sell to Americans.
This is not liberty, it is the tyranny of good intentions by elites in Washington who think they can plan our lives better than we can.”
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
“Unfortunately there are those in the Democratic Leadership that continue to push an agenda focused on massive new spending, tax increases, bailouts and a health care bill that is bad for our healthcare system,” Griffith said in a statement.
“I have always considered myself to be an independent voice and I have tried to be that voice in Congress – but after watching this agenda firsthand I now believe that the differences in the two parties could not be more clear and that for me to be true to my core beliefs and values I must align myself with the Republican party and speak out clearly on these issues.
Griffith’s party switch comes on the eve of a pivotal congressional health care vote and will send a jolt through a Democratic House Caucus that has already been unnerved by the recent retirements of a handful of members who, like Griffith, hail from districts that offer prime pickup opportunities for the GOP in 2010.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
The Senate version of the Democrats’ so-called health care reform is so unpopular, Nevada’s Harry Reid finds it necessary to vote on it at 1:00 a.m.
David M. Herszenhorn reports the Democrats must conduct six votes to pass their Obamacare — one of the crown jewels of Obamaism:
1 a.m. MONDAY – To end debate on “a manager’s package” that includes all the latest changes to the bill. 60 votes required.
7 a.m. TUESDAY – To approve the manager’s package. Simple majority required.
Also TUESDAY – To end debate on Mr. Reid’s original health care proposal, as amended by the manager’s package. 60 votes required.
1 p.m. WEDNESDAY – To approve Mr. Reid’s original proposal. Simple majority required.
Also WEDNESDAY – To end debate on the finalized health care legislation. 60 votes required.
7 p.m. THURSDAY, Christmas Eve (or anytime after the prior vote if all senators agree) – To approve the final bill. Simple majority required.
Reid’s 400 pages of changes to the Obamacare legislation the Democrats are rushing through the Senate were revealed only this morning, so vote the Democrats scheduled for the middle of the night will come less than 40 hours after the amendments were made available — well short of the 72 hours Democrats promised the bill would be available before any vote:
The Senator mentioned, I note, having in mind the managers’ amendment, which he has not seen and, frankly, this Senator has not seen either. I have some ideas what is in it, but I have not seen it myself. I think as a practical matter this will be available for 72 hours, as the Senator suggests. Why do I say that? I say that because it is my expectation that Senator Reid’s managers’ amendment will be filed very quickly, maybe in a day or two [emphasis added]. (Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Congressional Record, S.13289, 12/16/09)
"We're there," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), as he headed into a special meeting to outline the deal.
Democratic leaders spent days trying to hammer out a deal with Nelson, and worked late Friday night with him on abortion coverage language that had proved the major stumbling block. Nelson also secured other favors for his home state.
Friday, December 18, 2009
If you can’t understand conceptually why a Cap and Trade system is such a bad deal, how about a concrete example?
The European Union is a signatory of the Kyoto Protocols and have been dealing with a Carbon Cap and Trade system for several years. This article in today’s Wall Street Journal shows how the potential profit from the sale of carbon credits directly led to the loss of 1,700 jobs in a British steel plant.
Usually, we worry about the unintended consequences of new, far-reaching regulation. As the article makes clear, however, crippling the economies of the Western Democracies for the benefit of the “developing world” (read: China and India) is precisely the intent of Cap and Trade.
… Corus, Europe’s second-largest steel producer, is shuttering a giant U.K. steelmaking plant at Redcar, cutting 1,700 jobs. Corus blames the recession that has cut steel demand and says the British government hasn’t done enough to help it.
Whatever the truth of that, there’s little doubt that cap and trade made the closure much easier. The decline in steel production means European steelmakers have surplus carbon allowances. According to Carbon Market Data, a European research firm, in 2008 Corus had the second largest surplus of EU carbon allowances—7.5 million.
… By closing Redcar’s annual capacity of three million tons of steel, Corus will produce six million fewer tons of CO2. That means more carbon allowances, which could translate into about $300 million a year if credits hit $50. Corus is essentially being paid to lay off British workers. …
Corus was bought in 2007 by Tata, India’s largest steel company. The Indian steel industry is set to more than double production to some 124 million tons a year by 2011-2012. Were Corus to move production to a “clean” Indian factory, it could receive hundreds of millions of dollars annually from the Clean Development Fund.
The kicker is that none of this results in fewer carbon emissions. A Corus plant in India might be more efficient by Indian standards, but it will be no more efficient than Redcar. …
To summarize: Cap and trade is a scheme that would impose heavy carbon taxes and allowances on U.S. industries, which would then have an incentive to move overseas themselves, or to sell those allowances to overseas companies that could use them to become more competitive against U.S. companies. Like the 1,700 Brits at Redcar, American workers would be the big losers.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Less than a year after Inauguration Day, support for the Democratic Party continues to slump, amid a difficult economy and a wave of public discontent, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
The findings underscored how dramatically the political landscape has changed during the Obama administration's first year. In January, despite the recession and financial crisis, voters expressed optimism about the future, the new president enjoyed soaring approval ratings, and congressional leaders promised to swiftly pass his ambitious agenda.
In December's survey, for the first time, less than half of Americans approved of the job President Barack Obama was doing, marking a steeper first-year fall for this president than his recent predecessors.
Also for the first time this year, the electorate was split when asked which party it wanted to see in charge after the 2010 elections. For months, a clear plurality favored Democratic control.
The survey suggests that public discontent with Mr. Obama and his party is being driven by an unusually grim view of the country's status and future prospects.
Democrats' problems seem in part linked to their ambitious health-care plan, billed as the signature achievement of Mr. Obama's first year. Now, for the first time, more people said they would prefer Congress did nothing on health care than who wanted to see the overhaul enacted.
"For Democrats, the red flags are flying at full mast," said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. "What we don't know for certain is: Have we reached a bottoming-out point?"
The biggest worry for Democrats is that the findings could set the stage for gains by Republican candidates in next year's elections. Support from independents for the president and his party continues to dwindle.
In addition, voters intending to back Republicans expressed far more interest in the 2010 races than those planning to vote for Democrats, illustrating how disappointment on the left over attempts by party leaders to compromise on health care and other issues is damping enthusiasm among core party voters.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Still, the sponsors are a pretty mainstream bunch and there has been some movement in other states to stop treating pot use and possession as a criminal offense. The six are Mary Lou Dickerson and Scott White of Seattle, Roger Goodman of Kirkland, David Upthegrove of Des Moines, Sherry Appleton of Poulsbo and Mary Helen Roberts of Lynnwood.
House Bill 2401 is 78 pages long. But most of that is to find every reference to marijuana in state law and either remove it from criminal codes or add it to liquor laws. They also would regulate the farming, production and distribution. - The News Tribune
Monday, December 14, 2009
In addition to spending hundreds of billions (or trillions) of dollars on a government takeover of healthcare, and in addition to spending hundred of billions of dollars on failed economic stimulus programs, and in addition to implementing worthless environmental regulation that has the effect of a massive tax increase, the Democrats are still wildly in favor of massive increases in government spending on, well… everything!
Senate Democrats overcame a Republican filibuster to clear the way for a vote Sunday on a huge end-of-year $1.1 trillion spending bill that gives budget increases far exceeding inflation to much of the government.
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 60-34 on Saturday to end the GOP filibuster that threatened to hold up the legislation. The final vote would send the measure to President Barack Obama.
The measure pays for Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and boosts spending for the Education Department, the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services and others.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Yesterday Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stood on the Senate floor and compared health care opponents to the old supporters of slavery.
"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Republicans can come up with is this: slow down, stop everything, let's start over," Reid said.
"If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said slow down, it's too early, let's wait, things aren't bad enough."
Today, his office may have defended those remarks, but what they cannot defend is Sen. Reid's distortion of the facts.
It was his party--not the GOP--who stood in the way of American freedom.
Every vote against the Thirteenth Amendment to free the slaves was cast by a Democrat.
Every vote against Lincoln 's Emancipation Proclamation was cast by a Democrat.
In 1922, when Republicans tried to outlaw lynching, Senate Democrats filibustered the bill until it died and continued filibustering against it until it was approved in 1957.
When the great Civil Rights Act of 1964 finally passed, Republicans in the Senate backed it 23-6, but Democrats in the majority approved by only 44-23. Without the Republican Party, it wouldn't have become the law of the land.
Sen. Reid isn't making history--he's making it up!
If his party shows this much disregard for the past, then Americans should be terribly worried about their future. When the Majority Leader is willing to rewrite history to score cheap political points, how can we trust him with something as vital as health care? We can't.
Until then, I have a suggestion. Senators who want to be on the right side of history can start by supporting innocent human life.
And if anyone deserves to be freed, it's U.S. taxpayers who want no part of abortion's bloody business.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
What are we up to now, six different names for the public option?
Let us count the ways desperate Democrats have tried to re-brand, re-tool, re-name or re-invent what is, by all accounts, a plot that will ultimately force millions of Americans into the waiting arms of government health care bureaucrats.
During the 2008 campaign, the public option was described as “government-run plan similar to Medicare.” Whoa…really? The same Medicare plan that cannot now meet its own financial obligations and is projected to be come up short by $38 trillion by the time the youngest Americans will need it? No wonder we haven’t heard that description much lately.
After the presidential inauguration, talk of the public option steadily picked up steam, reaching a fever pitch in August when senior citizens were shouting down their elected officials and canceling their AARP memberships in droves, and while Tea Party activists were getting their fingers bitten off at town hall meetings - all due to strong opposition against any form of government-run health care.
By late October, Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew it was a tough sell. She began slathering lipstick on the public option pig, calling it both the “consumer option” and the “competitive option.” It didn’t stick, and it didn’t matter, because a large number of House Democrats are hell-bent on getting the government’s foot in the door of private health care so they would have voted for it no matter what it was called.
But the Senate is a different ballgame, and that 60-vote hurdle is looming. To clear it, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has some serious sugar-coating to do before his colleagues will choke down any version of the public option. So far, it’s been floated as an “opt-out” public option, an “opt-in” public option, and a “trigger” public option.
Next week, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) will, as he says, attempt to “thread the needle” by recasting the public option yet again. Thus far he’s been tight-lipped about his plans, but it really doesn’t matter.
A bait-and-switch can only work when it takes the victim by surprise, an opportunity Sen. Carper and the Democrats lost months ago. Even House Finance Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has admitted that the public option will lead to government-run health care and may even be the best way to get there.
They can sugar-coat the public option all they want, but it’s still a poison pill.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A new study shows Obama has fewer advisors who’ve made a living in the private sector than any other American President in the last 108 years — since the turn of the 20th century when the business of America became business.
This is not to say that the Chief Executive should have private sector experience. And this is not to say that the Chief Executive should employ only people from the private sector.
But it is to say that we should not trust a Chief Executive to know how to fix the private sector or “create competition” in health care when there is hardly a person near him who knows anything about job creation.
That is the key. More Americans than every before are on government handouts and the Democrats intend to take over 1/6th of the American economy — health care.
This is an administration that has no understanding of and no commitment to the free market and the private sector, both of which are, at best, academic studies to ninety percent of Obama’s top advisors.
The American people, at the end of the day, believe in, work in, and want to support the private sector. The American people do not want to be dependent on the government for their food, health care, or income.
But that is Obama’s solution.
To every problem, Obama offers government. He can offer no other because he has surrounded himself with no job creators, no producers, no captains of industry, and no free market champions. That’s not the change the American people were hoping for.