Obama’s Health Care Hell

Shortly after midnight Dimocrats in the Senate will build a mausoleum commemorating their stupidity – to house the suicided corpse that once was the great Democratic Party. There will be a vote to end the debate and pass a Senate version of Obama’s health care scam and it will likely pass.

Long ago we stated that we did not know what was worse for Dimocrats – to pass the health scam they call “reform” or to fail to pass the health scam. We believe that failure to pass will be worse because it will effectively end the present administration Dimocrats are heavily invested in.

These same Dimocrats decided last year to destroy a great woman from becoming president in 2008 because she knew what to do and she would lead the nation, not them. These same Dimocrats decided to inject Chicago corruption into the national bloodstream because they would then be in charge, not the neophyte, unqualified, inexperience flim-flam man from Chicago.

There are voices who disagree with us that stopping the health scam is worse for Dimocrats than passage. Matthew Dowd, the chief strategist for George W. Bush is one such voice. Ordinarily, such a voice is suspect, but Dowd makes a strong case. Dowd argues:

Unlike many other pundits and political experts in both parties, I think that passage of a bill by the Democrats at this point will be politically damaging to both the president and congressional Democrats. Conversely, defeat of the legislation is much more likely to hurt Republicans in Congress.

Dowd’s discusses the drop in support for Obama among independent and swing voters who oppose the legislation.

As Wednesday’s Post-ABC poll shows, a majority of Americans believe that if this bill passes, their health-care costs will rise, the federal deficit will increase, the costs of the overall health-care system will climb, and their own care would be better if the system stays as is.

Dowd’s main point is this:

If this legislation passes, Democrats will be held accountable for any failures or problems in the system. So if Americans’ insurance premiums rise, they will blame the Democrats. If patients have to wait in line at emergency rooms, it will be seen as the Democrats’ fault. If health-care costs don’t drop, the Democrats will face the wrath of the electorate.

The other side of the coin according to Dowd is this:

If the legislation fails, Democrats can blame Republicans by saying reform was in sight and the GOP blocked it without offering a real alternative to decrease costs and increase access.

Dowd, recalling George W. Bush’s Pyrrhic victory in the Iraq War bestows this curse for the future:

Democrats pushing so hard for success on health care could find themselves in a situation resembling President Bush’s situation on Iraq. They could topple the statue and win the day, but lose politically over the coming months and years.

Dowd does mention Bill Clinton’s second statement in support of the legislation,

Democrats (including former president Bill Clinton) claim that they need this bill to pass for political reasons. But let’s examine that. At present, a majority of Americans are against the effort, the legislation lacks bipartisan support, the costs of the reforms are upfront, and the benefits won’t kick in until after the 2012 elections. When has that ever been a formula for political success?

On Bill Clinton, we believe that “the medium is the message”. Bill Clinton has spoken in private, behind closed doors, to Senate Dimocrats (the same ones who stood by while Obama supporters called Bill a “racist”) and also issued a statement. Bill Clinton has not been campaigning or touring and giving public speeches at rallies to support the legislation. This pro forma, almost ministerial, verbiage is interpreted by the desperate as a full-throated battle cry. It isn’t. When Bill fully supports a cause, it’s full throttle, not half measure, or half statement, as in this case.

Bill does understand that failure to pass the Obamination will be Obama’s Waterloo. But the question remains, is Obama’s Waterloo preferable for Democratic interests to passing the Obaminable legislation? A conservative Republican is sure passage will be a Pyrrhic victory. Bill Kristol:

When a fellow conservative tried to cheer me up this morning by assuring me that the Senate Democrats’ victory on health care was going to be a Pyrrhic one, I realized I didn’t remember much about Pyrrhus.

I went of course to Wikipedia. That fine reference work defines a Pyrrhic victory as “a victory with devastating cost to the victor.” It also provides this quotation from Plutarch’s Life of Pyrrhus, describing the aftermath of the battle of Asculum in 279 BCE:

“The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the loss they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.

So: Pyrrhus’s victory became Pyrrhic because the victorious party lost many of its supporters–but also because the opposition didn’t abate in courage, was able to gain new recruits, and had the force and resolution to go on.

Kristol cites facts to affirm that Obama has lost supporters already. Kristol then makes these shrewd suggestions:

1. Keep fighting on health care. Fight for the next few days in the Senate. Fight the conference report in January in the Senate and the House. Start trying to repeal the worst parts of the bill the moment it passes, if it does. [snip]

Making the 2010 elections a referendum on health care should work–if Republicans don’t let up in the debate over the next year.

2. But don’t fight only on health care. Republicans need to expand the battlefield. The rest of the past week’s news–some Gitmo prisoners being released back to the battlefield, while others are to be brought to the U.S.; the Copenhagen farce and the EPA CO2 regulation; an Obama-appointed “safe schools czar” who’s more interested in safe sex than safe schools–reminds us that there are many fronts for conservatives and Republicans to fight on, ranging from economic policy to social issues to national security. The criticism of the Obama administration needs to be broad-based, because you never know just what issue is going to take off, and because the opposition needs to knit together all those who object to the Europeanization of America.

3. And broaden the base for the fight. Many Republicans–especially Republican elected officials–fret that the Republican party remains unpopular. Don’t worry about that. It will take a while longer to repair the damage that’s been done in recent years. So what if the GOP has a favorable/unfavorable rating in this week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of 28-43 percent? The good news is that, for the first time in more than two years, the Democratic party has a negative favorable/unfavorable rating, of 35 to 45 percent. The Democrats’ decline is evening up the playing field between the two parties.

The most striking result in the NBC/Journal poll is that the Tea Party movement has a net-positive 41 percent to 23 percent score. The American public is in a populist/conservative/libertarian mood. Republicans need to adopt that mood, channel it into sound policies, and learn to trust the people, without worrying that they haven’t all yet signed up to GOP orthodoxy.

So: Fight on with respect to health care. Fight on other fronts. And recruit new fighters. In a word: Fight.

We use the word “resist” because we’re Democrats. “Fight” will do just as well.

Some Dimocrat “intellectuals and writers” argue that repeal will never happen. That’s because these Dimocrats don’t understand the concept of “fight”. Steve Benen has made the “repeal will never happen” argument:

For one thing, if anyone thinks the year-long effort to pass reform was difficult, just imagine trying to un-pass it. Are Republicans going to craft a new health care plan that can pass the House, get 60 votes in the Senate, and gain approval from some other, future president? They shouldn’t count on it.

For another, any Republican “replacement” health care plan would invariably want to curtail efforts to cover the uninsured — which is exactly why it’s a political impossibility. There will be precious few politicians willing to proudly proclaim to tens of millions of Americans in 2012, “Know that health coverage you’re about to get for you and your family? I’m about to take it away.”

It’s why conservatives have spent the year fighting, lying, and screaming — they know how limited their options will be going forward. Republicans might be able to gut a public option, undermine consumer protections, or make it harder on middle-class families to afford coverage, but those efforts would be difficult, and bring their own political penalties.

Once this bill is done, changes will be incremental and a major overhaul will be all but impossible anytime soon.

A commenter on that site make the logical and obvious counter-argument, which we agree with:

Repeal is NOT difficult. It takes a majority in both houses. You think Republicanms would not go to a nuclear option if they wanted to repeal. You’re in LaLa land. Republicans may be insane and not know how to govern, but they do have guts that Democrats lack.

It’s sad but true. Dimocrats have not guts, just weakness to offer. We also have no doubt that after the 2010 election losses Obama will fold like a cheap whore, a broken tent, a bad gambler. We’ve seen Obama “fight” when he has overwhelming majorities. Imagine the weakness we will see when the majorities are removed.

Sean Trende at RealClearPolitics thinks the Obamination health scam is political suicide too:

If Democrats need to appeal to Independents and moderates to hold their majorities, then passing this bill is a terrible idea. The most recent polling shows that 81% of Republicans and 69% of Independents oppose the healthcare plan (with 74% of Republicans and 57% of Independents strongly opposing it). With majorities of Independents strongly opposed to the bill, it’s really hard to imagine any boost in Democratic turnout from passing the plan being enough to surpass the ensuing backlash from Republicans and Independents.

It isn’t even clear that there will be a boost in Democratic turnout. The latest version of the Senate bill holds little appeal for progressives. As I noted on the blog, without a public option, this bill becomes a wet, sloppy kiss to the insurance industry. It doesn’t even represent a substantial triumph for liberalism by significantly expanding government through taxing the wealthy; there are large new subsidies, but for the most part the subsidies are paid for by gouging Medicare and taxing union health benefits. It really reads like a bill a moderate Republican would propose; it is a slightly stronger version of RomneyCare at this point. In other words, the only remaining group that might have even arguably been excited to vote for Democrats on this bill is now at best lukewarm on it.

This bill may encourage a few Democratic policy wonks to run to the polls, but this trickle will be nothing compared to the flood of angry Republicans and Independents. And this is all analysis conducted before election ads begin to run telling voters about how the Democrats will jail them if they don’t buy health insurance. To which the Democrats will respond “no, you see, it’s only a big fine.”

I suspect that most of the left intuits this. That’s why the other argument you’ll see – and this is especially true of the Administration and the leadership – is that the Democrats should pass this bill because they have a chance to make history: Do something the Democrats have wanted since the Truman Administration. [snip]

They’ll even let the press start describing them, with reason, as allies of Big Pharma to achieve the win. The train is simply running out of control at this point, and all Pelosi can do is stand at the front and repeat increasingly out-of-touch talking points about the American people wanting them to enact this bill and standing up to the insurance industry.

I don’t think they’re close to finding their Grail. I think the better analogy is probably that they’re close to their Moby Dick. And we all know what happens to Captain Ahab once he finally harpoons his white whale.

In defense of the Obamination, Jacob Hacker, the “thinker” most associated with the public option is back urging passage. Hacker deludes, or is deluded, when he states the bill must be fixed then passed. Then, the defender of this legislation writes this, which to us hardly sounds like a positive for the scam:

The federal government is the only entity big enough and powerful enough to ensure a highly consolidated private insurance industry follows the law. It can and must demand transparency and obedience to the new rules. Insurers must open their books, and subject their rates, administrative costs, and profits to federal review. These new rules must apply to all plans, not just those within the exchange. And states should have authority not only to enforce these rules, but to innovate beyond them as well.

These are not politically unrealistic goals. Most are already embodied in the House bill. In bridging the differences between the two bills, Democratic leaders and the President must insist on a final bill that delivers on these fundamentals.

If it does not deliver–if the new options offered through the exchange do not attract broad enrollment, if insurers continue to undermine health security with impunity–then the worst fears of progressives will come true. Coverage will be too expensive because only those with the highest health costs will sign up. Fewer Americans will obtain insurance than expected. Small employers won’t want to take advantage of their ability to buy insurance through the exchange. And Americans will become increasingly disillusioned with the promise of reform. [snip]

So a bill must pass. Yet it must be a better bill that passes.

That is hardly a rousing, or inspiring, battle cry for passage.

Jay Cost writes the rousing, inspirational battle cry – for the Republicans:

Then, in an instant, simply to win the vote of Joe Lieberman, the Senate leadership drops the public option element. There was no talk about whether what was left was perverse, whether this is a compromise in the worst sense of the word. And now, there is a push to get the bill passed before Christmas, not because that’s best for the country – but because the startlingly irresponsible 44th President correctly intuits that health care is pushing his numbers down, and he wants to move on to talk about jobs.

Amazingly, this bill has produced the broadest political coalition I have seen in my lifetime. Peruse the liberal blogs and you’ll discover widespread disgust at this corporate boon. Cruise over to the conservative sites, and you’ll encounter much the same thing. Then, check out the opinion polls and you’ll find a mass public that is staunchly opposed to this bill.

And yet Democrats in the Senate have decided that all of us – left, right, and center – are wrong. We need this bill.

Cost summarizes the Obamination:

This has to be one of the biggest giveaways to corporate interests in the nation’s history.

Andrew Jackson must be spinning in his grave this evening. The Democratic Party was founded in opposition to “corrupt bargains” among entrenched interests that Democrats believed were undermining the will of the people. Today, such interests are called “stakeholders.” They are to be wooed, bought off, and neutralized. Can’t afford a K Street lobbyist? Sorry, you’re not a stakeholder. Don’t like this bill? Eh…you don’t know what’s good for you. You’re either a tea-bagging moron or a gutless liberal who will fold sooner or later.

Like I said, Jackson must be spinning.

Cost does not understand that the Democratic Party committed suicide in Denver in 2008. What we have now is the Obamination Party, the Dimocrats. The winning FDR/Hillary Clinton coalition is despised by the new Obama situation comedy coalition.

I wonder what FDR and LBJ would think of this, too. As we all know, the Democrats plan to cut nearly $500 billion from Medicare to fund this monstrosity. Medicare is a single-payer system for seniors. It’s the ultimate “public option,” a product of Johnson expanding Roosevelt’s social insurance concept to medical care for the elderly. Today’s Democrats plan to reduce its revenues by $500 billion to pay for subsidies that will ultimately find their way over to…private insurance companies.

Again, the Pyrrhic victory is sounded by Cost:

Many Democrats on Capitol Hill have talked themselves into the absurd notion that this is better than doing nothing. That kind of myopia is a typical symptom of the Swamp Fever, so I’m not surprised. Still, they had better look out. Above all, they are grossly underestimating the wisdom of the American people, and they are ignoring the power that the Constitution grants them. This is a grave error. When the people catch wind of the full scope of this bill, and they will, there will be hell to pay. The public has been known to vote against big business and big government. Somehow, this compromised bill manages to deliver both – big government and big business, joined together, with the little guy forced to participate.

Here is what will happen if the Obamination passes:

If the Democrats pass this bill, the Republicans will pound them relentlessly and mercilessly in next year’s midterm campaign. All across the country right now, would-be Republican candidates can sense that this is their chance finally to get into Congress. They’re already starting to toss their hats into the ring. Many more will follow because they know what the public thinks of this. They know that they’ll find plenty of donors to bankroll those ads talking about the individual mandate, the insurance company giveaways funded by Medicare cuts, the victory for special interests, and how it all happened behind closed doors. And they know what kind of effect these ads are going to have.

Democrats were bound to lose seats next year because it is a midterm and they’re in charge. They were bound to lose extra seats because it’s a recession. But if they pass this bill, God help them. The people sure as hell won’t.

To borrow from Obama’s mentor, Jeremiah Wright, “God Damn This Obamination”.

Even the “creative class” dunces at Nothing Left write: “…every outcome to the health care fight will have severely negative political consequences for the Democratic Party. There is no happy political ending at this point; it is a matter of picking your poison.

The battle against the Obamination health scam will continue. It is not yet over. Even congressional leaders know the battle is not over by a long shot:

Congressman Bruce Braley expressed doubts today about the chances the Senate health care compromise bill, as it now stands, could pass the House. [snip]

Braley said he respects what Harkin, a fellow Democrat, is trying to do to get the bill passed. But, he said, “I can tell you I think the bill the Senate is talking about passing is not very likely to pass in the House, at a conference committee, if that’s the final product.” [snip]

“But I think the real test is going to be at the conference committee and if it doesn’t improve significantly, I think health care reform is very remote based on what I’m hearing in the House.” [snip]

He also said they need more leadership from President Obama and the White House: “I think there’s been great frustration about when the White House and the president are going to set their clear expectations about what it is going to take for them to have a health care bill that meets their criteria for meaningful and comprehensive reform.”

Braley belongs to the majority party. Howie Dean, in the Washington Post simply says “kill the bill”, and this time he does not mean Bill Clinton:

Real health-care reform is supposed to eliminate discrimination based on preexisting conditions. But the legislation allows insurance companies to charge older Americans up to three times as much as younger Americans, pricing them out of coverage. The bill was supposed to give Americans choices about what kind of system they wanted to enroll in. Instead, it fines Americans if they do not sign up with an insurance company, which may take up to 30 percent of your premium dollars and spend it on CEO salaries — in the range of $20 million a year — and on return on equity for the company’s shareholders. Few Americans will see any benefit until 2014, by which time premiums are likely to have doubled. In short, the winners in this bill are insurance companies; the American taxpayer is about to be fleeced with a bailout in a situation that dwarfs even what happened at AIG.

Dimocrats will continue to build their mausoleum tonight. But tomorrow, as Scarlet O’Hara said, “is another day.”

Share

134 thoughts on “Obama’s Health Care Hell

  1. The fight is not yet over. And abortion rights is only beginning to be mentioned.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30844.html

    Despite a last-minute weekend deal that put the Senate on the brink of passing health care reform this week, liberal and moderate Democrats remain on a collision course over the bill, as both sides dug in Sunday for the next phase of negotiations.

    President Barack Obama’s liberal base and powerful union leaders once hoped the expected House-Senate conference would partly undo a year of retreats and compromises, with Obama weighing in to nudge the moderate Senate bill to the left.

    But the titanic struggle to lock in Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) as the 60th senator for the first key test vote early Monday morning has changed all that. The need to hold Nelson and other moderates in line means major changes on the public option, abortion, taxes, Medicare and Medicaid are unlikely — and that the Senate’s vision of health reform is likely to prevail over the House’s in the final talks.

    “It is very clear that the bill — the final bill — to pass in the United States Senate is going to have to be very close to the bill that has been negotiated here,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Otherwise, you will not get 60 votes in the United States Senate.”

    Nelson, who received assurances of a “limited conference” to secure his vote for the Senate bill, has already laid down at least two deal breakers in the House bill that he can’t support: the inclusion of a government insurance plan and an income tax increase on wealthy individuals.

    “That would break it,” Nelson said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    House Democrats acknowledge that they will be limited in how far they can tweak the Senate compromise. But House leadership also knows that its rank and file need to force some changes, however small, before they will accept the final package — as a face-saving measure to be able to swallow late changes to the bill in the Senate, most notably the decision to eliminate a public option.

    But on the left, the sentiments of a liberal base that revolted over concessions to moderates were channeled Sunday by Howard Dean, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, who last week repeatedly called on Democrats to scrap the bill.

    “This can’t be the final version of the bill,” Dean said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It simply sets us on a track in this country which is expensive and where we’re going to have lots more political fights.”

  2. 60 minutes this evening featured Wilmington, OH. If you don’t remember, this is the small town west of Columbus, Oh which as a mecca for a package delivery company which sold to DHL, a German company, who ran it into the ground, and 10,000 people have lost their jobs. 60 minutes has been following the town. 56 homes were actioned off recently. The Mayor put in for stimulus money, and got it. It will result in only 100 construction jobs. The local health clinc just had to close. They are no different than many other small communities in this country who are dying. The stimulus bill will not save this community, and they are fearful that unemployment will run out, and they have lost their medical benefits. THIS BILL WILL DO NOTHING FOR THIS COMMUNITY

  3. 60 minutes this evening featured Wilmington, OH. If you don’t remember, this is the small town west of Columbus, Oh which as a mecca for a package delivery company which sold to DHL, a German company, who ran it into the ground, and 10,000 people have lost their jobs. 60 minutes has been following the town. 56 homes were actioned off recently. The Mayor put in for stimulus money, and got it. It will result in only 100 construction jobs. The local health clinc just had to close. They are no different than many other small communities in this country who are dying. The stimulus bill will not save this community, and they are fearful that unemployment will run out, and they have lost their medical benefits. THIS BILL WILL DO NOTHING FOR THIS COMMUNITY

  4. Admin: Great article! I had no idea that the insurance companies can charge up to 3x more for preexisting conditions or that CEO’s make 20mil a year. This is total Bullshit and is nothing more than capitalism at its very WORST!

  5. New Mexico Fan, So what I can imagine after your comment is more little hospitals and clinics closing because of unemployment. Correct??

  6. Admin. excellent article. In my view, it is better for democrats if this bill fails and better for Republicans if it passes. And if that is true what does this tell us?

    Well, it tells me something that I learned very early on in my career as a negotiator. If you do not set internal parameters, you are screwed. Deal heat will push you past the limits of common sense. You tell yourself we must have an agreement, so I will give a little more, and then a little more, and then a little more until you lose the benefit of the bargain.

    What should have Obama done? First, he should have proceeded incrementally and addressed issues like portability, pre existing conditions, etc, where there was bi partisan support. That way he could build momentum for the more contentious issues. Second, he should have told Reid and Pelosi what his bottom line was. He should have said if you exceed it I will not sign the bill, and if you put me in that position, then I will use my influence as leader of the Party to remove you from your chairs. Third, he should neva evah cut an under the table Rezko type deal i.e. reward big business at the expense of his constituents with Big Pharma. That agreement makes of him both a hypocrite, a liar, and a traitor to those who trusted him and supported him. told the two idiots in charge of Congress what his bottom line. Fourth, he should have told his own party that no senator would get a better deal than the rest of them, which makes those who supported him initially look like rubes in front of their constituents was. He should have told Nelson I cannot do what you are asking because whatever I do for you I will have to do for everyone else and if this thing goes down I will hang that albatross around your fat fucking neck and let it make a birds nest in your toupee. Your move senator.

  7. Confloyd: you and I know that is what LBJ would have done. No way in Gods green earth would he let a guy like Nelson hold him hostage like Obama did.

  8. wbboei, Your right about LBJ, that would not have happened. Obama is BAMBI! A weak little fawn barely able to navigate the great forest in Washington without Rahm and Valerie helping him.

    How about that lifetime benefit for Nebraska, that is outright Chicago style payolla. Its in your face payoff. I mean, OMG!! The taxpayers in America should scream bloody murder, protest in front of the capital, have a sit-in somewhere, we shouldn’t take it. If anyone now think Chicago style politics is not be played in the WH they need a brain scan!!

  9. Are the voting tonight at 1am for cloture?? Is there any way to watch it from the computer?? I am at work again, thankgoodness!

  10. confloyd

    I know that hospital in is bad shape along with the closed clinic, as 10K people lost their medical benefits.

    I know this is going on in other small town areas that have a factory, and it has pulled out.

    OOs administration has no idea what will save these areas.

  11. Please don’t degrade an innocent little fawn like Bambi with a fraudulent, lying, sociopathic, Chicago thug!

    Just teasing, Confloyd. But let’s think of another animal to compare BO with…how about a weak little baby snake?

  12. wbboei, Obama did none of what you suggest, because the current bill is what he wanted. See the latest post at TC
    —————————————————-
    I agree with part of what is in that article. Certainly Mr Obama is an ambitious principled man, and after all I have said about Soros I can hardly pretend otherwise. You could certainly argue that this was the bill he wanted because it wouuld line up campaign money and reward the monied interests.

    But I wonder is it is true that the Democrats are unconcerned about their job security. If they are not concerned about that now they soon will be. By the same token, the so called progressives have been kicked in the teeth. Some of them ma crawl back to the party, but many will just stay home. WHAT HAS CHANGED by virtue of this action is that obama has ceased to be a political movement, and will have a hard time commanding the enthusiasm and suspension of disbelief it had before. When insiders become cynical about the leaders of a political movement, the party is over.

  13. jbstonesfan, Perhaps when Hillary says “it never crosses my mind” running for Potus again, maybe its because she already knows she is and doesn’t think about it. Lets hope!!

  14. I just figured what the poverty level was for 2 in the US and this bill is going to kill those folks that are just over the poverty line. The poverty line for two is a job paying 7.00 an hour. These people can’t even buy their own groceries, much less pay 200. or 300. a month for insurance and still have meds and copay on top of that. This is a travesty.

  15. Wbboei, here is what we wrote in Grand Unifed Theory on May 18, 2009 which answers your question about Dims “unconcerned about their job security”:

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/2009/05/18/grand-unified-theory-the-obama-scams-and-the-dimocrat-scams-exposed-and-why-you-can-ignore-the-side-stories-like-nancy-pelosi-notre-dame-torture-gay-rights-the-cia-wall-street-gm-chrysler/

    Why won’t the Dimocrats do what they have been saying they would do for decades? Because the fundraising must go on. The money must flow. The promises must be broken.

    Dimocrats also understand that accomplishments must meet expectations and that trying sometimes means failure – which could cost them at the ballot box.

    Dimocrats also understand that fulfilling a promise to a constituency means that constituency might become satisfied and walk away to other pursuits and other fundraisers.

    Dimocrats also understand that fulfilling a promise to one constituency often means angering another constituency. Money might then flow to opponents.

    Dimocrats also understand that they didn’t really mean all that stuff they said – that was only meant for the gullible.

    All the frou-fra about health care was about fundraising – getting Big Pharma and insurance company money and keeping it away from the Republicans. It’s all about money. Nothing else matters, including the alleged base of the party.

  16. More on “job security” versus money:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/12/cbo_real_10year_cost_of_senate.asp

    The Democrats are irresponsibly and disingenuously claiming that the bill would cost $871 billion over 10 years. But that’s not what the CBO says. Rather, the CBO says that $871 billion would be the costs from 2010 to 2019 for expansions in insurance coverage alone. But less than 2 percent of those “10-year costs” would kick in before the fifth year of that span. In its real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), the CBO says that the bill would cost $1.8 trillion — for insurance coverage expansions alone. Other parts of the bill would cost approximately $700 billion more, bringing the bill’s full 10-year tab to approximately $2.5 trillion — according to the CBO.

    In those real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), Americans would have to pay over $1 trillion in additional taxes, over $1 trillion would be siphoned out of Medicare (over $200 billion out of Medicare Advantage alone) and spent on Obamacare, and deficits would rise by over $200 billion. They would rise, that is, unless Congress follows through on the bill’s pledge to cut doctors’ payments under Medicare by 21 percent next year and never raise them back up — which would reduce doctors’ enthusiasm for seeing Medicare patients dramatically.

    And what would Americans get in return for this staggering sum? Well, the CBO says that health care premiums would rise, and the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says that the percentage of the Gross Domestic Product spent on health care would rise from 17 percent today to 21 percent by the end of 2019. Nationwide health care costs would be $234 billion higher than under current law. How’s that for “reform”?

    Even MoveOn.org says that the bill is “a massive giveaway” to private insurance companies. The CBO estimates that, from 2015-25, private insurers would receive $1.0 trillion in subsidies from the American taxpayer — the insurers’ apparent price for giving up their freedom and being controlled by the government. Congress would mandate that Americans buy the insurers’ product and would redirect massive sums of taxpayer money to make that mandate more feasible. So, if insurance companies are your idea of a worthy object of philanthropy, then Obamacare is for you. [snip]

    As Harry Reid keeps senators in session rather than letting them go home to be with their families and celebrate Christmas, it’s important to remember that this bill would not go into effect in any meaningful way until more than an Olympiad from now. Thus, it is the American voters — and not the current Democratic Congress or the current president — who will ultimately decide its fate. Providing reminders to representatives in both chambers of that in the coming days will be crucial to beating back the onslaught of proposed legislation that, even if it passes the Senate, would at least have to passed again by the House and would likely have to go back through both chambers in compromised form.

  17. I am listening to callers from C-span. There is a split in who is for the bill and who is against the bill. The A.A.’s are for the bill, the white’s are not.

    Wait til the A.A.’s find out how much the premiums. One man called in and said he holds down two jobs and can’t afford insurance, well he won’t be able to with this plan either.

  18. This is like finding out someone you supported is a child molester. I never would have guessed that Sheldon was a race baiting demogogue. But if you read what he said on the floor of the Senate tonight it is hard to believe otherwise.
    The plain meaning of his remarks is that anyone who disagrees with this pro business bill is ipso facto a racist. That includes the people in Rhode Island, many of whom voted for him.

    This is not the kind of thing Hillary would support. She has spoken to the issue and has declared that it is patriotic to dissent on issues of public policy, rather than following in lock step when you know it is wrong. Here is what she said about that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CzteDucRHo

    We need a full transcript of Sheldon’s remarks. If they are as represented then they need to go viral, and every voter in his state needs to be aware of them. These were prepared remarks, as opposed to offhand comments so there is no question that the is how he feels. This is an example of what power does to some people. (Note: there is no indication that the Republicans bothered to object.)

    I will call his office and fax this to him tomorrow.
    ———————————————————————————————————————

    IF YOU OPPOSE THIS HEALTH CARE BILL THEN YOU ARE A RACE BAITING HATE SPOUTING ARYAN

    From the floor of the United States Senate, today Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse proclaimed as much about opponents of health care, including his Republican colleagues inside the United States Senate.

    The President of the Senate let him get away with it.

    Senator Whitehouse specifically said, “They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one.”

    There you have it — gone are the days when Democrats compared American soldiers to Nazis on the floor of the Senate. Today, Democrats condone one of their own calling, from the floor of the Senate, the majority of American citizens Aryan hate mongers rooting for the assassination of the President of the United States.

    And yes, Whitehouse was referring to the majority of American citizens. How do I know? Because every single poll is showing the majority of Americans opposed to this health care deform legislation. Whitehouse labeled everyone opposed to the legislation as racist hatemongers rooting for bullets against the President.

    That is sad, sick, pathetic, and should be condemned by every other Senator.

    In fact, you should call your Senator at 202-224-3121 and ask if he condemns Senator Whitehouse for saying, from the floor of the Senate, that opponents of the Democrats health care legislation want Barack Obama to be assassinated — the only clear interpretation of his remarks.

  19. admin
    December 20th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    All the frou-fra about health care was about fundraising – getting Big Pharma and insurance company money and keeping it away from the Republicans. It’s all about money. Nothing else matters, including the alleged base of the party.
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    Yep, this is it in a nutshell. Follow the money. It is all about keeping the special interest money away from the republicans, who would love to have it.

  20. Concerning the above, I hope there is more to his comments. This was taken off a conservative site, so it is possible that there was selective editing. But if this is what Sheldon really said, then I think he is loco en la cabeza. It is a big problem when politicians go down this path. It is a slippery slope. And besides which, who does Mr Whitehouse think he works for? The administration or the American People and the Constitutuion. If he has forgotten what his oath says I would be glad to fax him a copy of it.

  21. I am sick of John McCain, standing there irate, the man rolled over for Obama, he did not even put up a fight. Its all theatrics!

  22. All the frou-fra about health care was about fundraising – getting Big Pharma and insurance company money and keeping it away from the Republicans. It’s all about money. Nothing else matters, including the alleged base of the party.
    ————————————————
    Admin. I agree with you on that point. This was about campaign money.

    But money alone is no guarantee of success at the polls. The best example of this was Hillary when she prevailed in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, South Dakota. Puerto Rico by wide margins even though Obama (Soros and his cohorts) were outspending her 3, 4, or 5 to 1.

    If he does a rezko deal to get campaign money and the other side defines him to the American People in tnose terms like they are doing now then he is toast. I do not think the American People will support a president who picks their bones clean to reward his campaign contributors. Maybe I am wrong, maybe the people are really that stupid, but I doubt it.

  23. I am sick of John McCain, standing there irate, the man rolled over for Obama, he did not even put up a fight. Its all theatrics!
    ————–
    yes

  24. Senator Dodd is a windbag, all they are doing is shouting Ted kennedy, Ted Kennedy fought his entire life for healthcare. Not one word about Hillary, once they mentioned the Clinton administration along with all the other Presidents that tried to get hc thru.

  25. Wbboei, the black folks I heard call in on Cspan are still drinking the kool-aid. I am waiting until they get the mandate with a huge premium. What will they say then.

  26. @confloyd
    I thought it was some sort of like affirmative action part in this bill so maybe that is why?…Or to be un-pc a bit maybe its they don’t understand politics or policy’s….

  27. Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis:

    U.S. 65%

    England 46%

    Canada 42%

    Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months:

    U.S. 93%

    England 15%

    Canada 43%

    Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months:

    U.S. 90%

    England 15%

    Canada 43%

    Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month:

    U.S. 77%

    England 40%

    Canada 43%

    Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:

    U.S. 71

    England 14

    Canada 18

    Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in “excellent health”:

    U.S. 12%

    England 2%

    Canada 6%

    Naw I dont want our health care nothing like a Canada or cold wet England ….But I believer Harry Reid said it best “”Elderly Americans must learn to accept the inconveniences of old age”basically die off you old hags…Maybe his old arse should move over there

  28. Connie–here is how I see it. This is how it is when war comes, or there is an election:

    Tommy

    Author: Rudyard Kipling [More Titles by Kipling]

    I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
    The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
    The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
    O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
    But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
    But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
    But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
    The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
    O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

    Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
    An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
    Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
    But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
    Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
    While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
    But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
    There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
    O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

    You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
    We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
    But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

  29. Mitch McConnell is giving a good speech, I just can’t stand that damn McCain. He rolled over when he had our support, he should have won had he let Sarah have her head.

  30. Wbboei, the black folks I heard call in on Cspan are still drinking the kool-aid. I am waiting until they get the mandate with a huge premium. What will they say then.
    ——————————————
    Afraid to hold on. Afraid to let go.

  31. confloyd
    December 21st, 2009 at 1:09 am
    They are voting from their desks so no one will see who votes which way
    ———————————————————————–

    What a bunch of chickens. what are they voting on?

  32. Well, I am wrong on that, they are calling their names, so it puts them on the spot. It really interesting. The speeches except for McCain’s were really good.

  33. 60 minutes this evening featured Wilmington, OH. If you don’t remember, this is the small town west of Columbus, Oh which as a mecca for a package delivery company which sold to DHL, a German company, who ran it into the ground, and 10,000 people have lost their jobs. 60 minutes has been following the town. 56 homes were actioned off recently. The Mayor put in for stimulus money, and got it. It will result in only 100 construction jobs. The local health clinc just had to close. They are no different than many other small communities in this country who are dying. The stimulus bill will not save this community, and they are fearful that unemployment will run out, and they have lost their medical benefits. THIS BILL WILL DO NOTHING FOR THIS COMMUNITY
    ———————————————-
    New Mexico–I am intimately acquainted with the Wilmington situation. It closely resembles the left wing takeover of the democratic party. For me it is deja vu all over again.

    DHL bought Airborne in 2003. It spun off its airline subsidiary, which had a fleet of airplanes (DC-8s, 9’s. and 767s). As a matter of fact, Lady Lynn de Rothchilde’s law firm was involved on the other side of the transaction–Simpson Thatcher. Small world isn’t it.

    DHL never understood the business they were buying or its culture. Airborne was a high volume low cost operator and a discounter. DHL was a premium provider who never succeeded on its own in the North American Market. The parent company got rid of the Airborne management and brought in people who did not understand the business. Empty suits just like Obama. They now admit this was a fatal mistake. But it was too late.

    What made Airborne successful was operational excellence, rigorous cost control and customer intimacy. Indeed, these qualities were mentioned in a number of business books. However, DHL did not value these qualities. They was an arrogance to them. They were determined to do things there way, regardless of what the customers wanted. And the customers were very responsive–they took their business elsewhere. The losses were staggering and eventually they had to shut down most of their North American operations. The real number of lost jobs was 15-20,000 range.

    This is how I know Obama will fail. It cannot be otherwise. But the damage he will do to this country is apt to be severe. That is my prime concern.

  34. There are so many parallels. One of them was rather than listening to people who had run the business and made it the darling of Wall Street for many years, they brought in management consultants like McKensie who never ran so much as a hot dog stand. It is the same thing we see with Obama who brings in people like Chicago academic like Cass Sunstein or that idiot he is married to Monster Power from Havadh understand. Their theories have the smell of the lamp to them. I have nothing against Cass personally, and I acutally enjoy some of his work intellectually. But I would not give him the power Obama has done. It is a mistake.

  35. Thank goodness a certain woman was not there and forced to cast a vote for this Obamination.
    ————————————–
    Amen Admin Amen.

  36. This misbegotten bill will be box office poison next fall. For Republicans it will be the gift that keeps giving. For insurance companies it will be manna from heaven. And for the Amrican people it will be a financial burden and a loss of liberty. It is reason enough to vote all democrats out of office. And if the republicans who supported the bill in the hoyse should be primaried.

  37. Jay Cost has just published a new article. This one is about tonight’s vote and it echoes our article of today:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2009/12/democrats_risk_another_jackson_1.html

    This is why Democratic leaders are courting disaster with this health care bill. With it, they’ve moved their questionable wheelings and dealings from the margins to the center of American life. And because of this, they risk being swept away in another Jacksonian moment.

    Make no mistake. This bill is so unpopular because it has all the characteristics that most Americans find so noxious about Washington.

    It stinks of politics. Why is there such a rush to pass this bill now? It’s because the President of the United States recognizes that it is hurting his numbers, and he wants it off the agenda. It might not be ready to be passed. In fact, it’s obviously not ready! Yet that doesn’t matter. The President wants this out of the way by his State of the Union Address. This is nakedly self-interested political calculation by the President – nothing more and nothing less.

    What makes this all the more perversely political is that the bill’s benefits do not kick in for years. Why? Politics again! Democrats wish to claim that the bill reduces the deficit, so they collect ten years worth of revenue but only pay five years worth of benefits.

    The Congress and the President are rushing to wait – not because that’s best for health care, but best for the political careers of Washington Democrats.

    It stinks of influence peddlers. Reviewing winners and losers in the Senate health care bill shows clearly that it was written with the full advice and consent of privileged interest groups. [snip]

    Big corporations get nice paydays, too. Private insurance industries get the public option eliminated. Meanwhile, PhRMA made sure that there would be no significant prescription drug re-importation provision in the bill. Byron Dorgan said the FDA might have put the kibosh on it because of pressure from the White House.

    Yet when it comes to big, wet kisses for entrenched interests, you can’t beat the individual mandate. People will soon have to buy health insurance from private companies, or else face a tax penalty from Uncle Sam. Democrats who think they can come back later to fix this perverse result are kidding themselves. The insurance lobby is already so powerful that Democrats couldn’t get the public option through now – what makes them think they’ll be able to later, after they’ve given insurers 30 million additional customers, and required every last American to do business with them? The insurance companies are going to be to the 21st century what Standard Oil was to the 19th. [snip]

    We might be on the verge of another Jacksonian moment: a time when the people awake from their slumber, angrily exercise their sovereign authority, and mercilessly fire the leaders who have for too long catered to the elites rather than average people. The first time this happened was in 1828 – when the people rallied to the cause of Old Hickory to avenge the “Corrupt Bargain” of four years prior. It’s happened several times throughout the centuries. Most relevant to today, it happened time and again in the 1880s and 1890s, as the people hired then fired one Republican and Democratic majority after another in search of leaders who could attend to the people’s interests instead of the special interests. That age saw the birth of the Populist Party. It was a time when so many felt so disgruntled by the political process that young William Jennings Bryan – just thirty-six years old and with only two terms in the House – came within a hundred thousand votes of the presidency.

    I wonder if we’ve returned to that kind of dynamic. In true Jacksonian fashion, the country fired the Republicans in 2006 and 2008 because they bungled the war in Iraq and allowed the economy to sink into recession. They might soon have another Jacksonian moment, and fire these equally useless Democrats for hampering the recovery, exploding the deficit, and playing politics with health care.

  38. Southern Born, Sorry, I guess we shouldn’t call him Bambi, that’s too nice of an animal. Maybe we should call him something that is more fitting of his personality, would you consider calling him “the shaft”??? He certainly seems to constantly do it to the American people.

  39. admin, great article. I hope we can clean all these lazy good for nothing pols out of there. I was thinking today how a Paul/Palin or a Palin/Paul ticket sounded. He garnered quiet a bit of money and a huge following and so did Sarah.

    I also know soon after Sarah quit her governorship she came to Texas, lets hope she met up with someone worthwhile.

    The only thing I don’t like about Paul is his aversion to war. I think we must continue to be strong militarily, but I like everything else including the flat tax and especially getting rid of the damn IRS.

  40. Admin: never before have I seen Jay Cost size up a situation with as much insight as we see here. He has absolutely nailed it. He must be reading your blogs.

    This deal stinks and it stinks to high heaven. Everyone except the most ignorant members our society see it for what it is. A bill that rewards elites and takes it out of the hide of the American People. It is the opening salvo in Obama’s War On The Middle Class. It is in short Rezko writ large.

    As Cost points out this is not an issue on the margins. It is central to peoples lives and well being. For Senator Whitehouse slander those people as he most definitely did is a mark of his delusion, and the delusion of his colleagues. They are like Hilter at the Wolfs Lair grinning, goosestepping and saluting his subordinates. By the end of that war, he was cowering in a bunker, like these dims will be.

    The wrath of the American People will descend on them. I reasonably certain that they will pass cap and trade, and this immigration reform. I would urge the giveaway artists like Lindsey Graham and those two imbeciles from Maine (too much in breeding there in those long winters) to keep their powder dry. Let the dimocrats do it to themselves. No deals–not after this. Just take a position and freeze. Force them to find the 60 votes in their own ranks. If they can get those silly bastards to vote again and again and again against the American People without bipartisan cover they will be looking at something H G Wells described as the wild eyes of a cave man, and I would not advise Senator Whitehouse to call him a racist.

  41. We might be on the verge of another Jacksonian moment: a time when the people awake from their slumber, angrily exercise their sovereign authority, and mercilessly fire the leaders who have for too long catered to the elites rather than average people. The first time this happened was in 1828 – when the people rallied to the cause of Old Hickory to avenge the “Corrupt Bargain” of four years prior. It’s happened several times throughout the centuries. Most relevant to today, it happened time and again in the 1880s and 1890s, as the people hired then fired one Republican and Democratic majority after another in search of leaders who could attend to the people’s interests instead of the special interests. That age saw the birth of the Populist Party. It was a time when so many felt so disgruntled by the political process that young William Jennings Bryan – just thirty-six years old and with only two terms in the House – came within a hundred thousand votes of the presidency.
    —————————–
    poetry.

  42. From a commentor on Huff n Puff,

    They did stop the pre-existing condition, they renamed it and will charge the person 2 – 3 times the premium. Its called high risk.

  43. I also read if your female and over 50 your rates will be high, why?? I thought men had more problems at that age than women, maybe I am wrong. I guess its those mammograms they don’t want to pay for. They can just do a PSA blood test for a man or a digital exam.

  44. HillaryforTexas
    December 20th, 2009 at 10:30 pm
    wbboei, Obama did none of what you suggest, because the current bill is what he wanted.

    ===============================

    That’s what I suspect. He does what big money wants — while pretending to oppose them but fail.

  45. wbboei, this is off topic, but I have been doing a little digging into this Farouk Shami, he is running for Gov. of Texas. He is a Palestinian and I think he is OK, he has given money to the republicans and he also gave money to Hillary, so I think he is safe. He also moved his company from China mainly because there was always someone trying to steal his name brand, so he came back here and wants to get into politics. I think he is safe. I will continue to monitor.

  46. http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3002/

    Introduction

    Lake ice-out dates, or the dates of ice break-up, are the annual dates in spring when winter ice cover leaves a lake. [….] For some lakes in New England, such as Moosehead Lake in Maine, ice-out dates were important for local steamship transportation. Data from other lakes, such as Richardson Lake, Maine, were important for annual log drives. Individuals have collected and saved extensive data because of general curiosity and community interest. For Damariscotta and West Grand Lakes in Maine, the same family has been collecting ice-out data for three generations.

    DOUBTLESS ALL THIS COLLECTION, GOING BACK TO THE 1800S, IS PART OF A CRU CONSPIRACY.

    Ice-out dates have become significantly earlier in New England since the 1800’s. Ice-out dates changed between 1850 and 2000 by 9 days in northern and mountainous areas of New England (primarily northern and western Maine) and by 16 days in more southerly locations

    Graphs, details, references at the site. Note that the graphs need to be turned upside down to match the graphs on another site I’m about to post. Doubtless that is a “Trick” to do something dishonest, and means that the ice has in fact never left those lakes at all, and is getting piled higher and deeper.

  47. I found some interesting things about the Federal Reserve, but too lengthy to post, but I found this in Wikipedia and I wonder why they are not getting this done.

    In mid-December of 2009, Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Maria Cantwell, who represents Washington State, jointly proposed re-enacting the Glass-Steagall Act, to re-impose the separation of commercial and investment banking that had been in effect from the original Act in 1933, to the time of its initial repeal in 1999[21] [22][23]

    Paul Volcker has been an outspoken advocate of the reenactment of Glass-Steagall.[24].

    The dims are sitting on this and if they don’t get this done the rethugs will blame them for the repeal of this act which the rethugs repealed in 1999.

  48. Meeting of the Diplomats: Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger talk about presidents, priorities­–and the difficulty of winding down wars.

    By Jon Meacham | NEWSWEEK
    Published Dec 21, 2009
    (From the magazine issue dated Jan 4, 2010)

    Two of the most prominent secretaries of state in recent history sat down with NEWSWEEK’s Jon Meacham to discuss their relationships with their respective presidents and the difficulties of managing diplomacy during wartime. Excerpts:

    Meacham: What has surprised you most since becoming secretary of state?

    Clinton: Well, probably the intensity of the work. It’s just a 24/7 job. It sounds almost banal to say, [but] it’s a really big world out there, and the United States has responsibilities practically everywhere. And the nature of the challenges we’re facing are not only bilateral and multilateral, but they are transnational. One of the biggest challenges for me personally is to keep trying to present an affirmative agenda, not a reactive one, because you could end up being kind of an inbox secretary of state. You are never off duty. Because you land, you begin to work, and you go the next place and you land and begin to work. When you come back, your inbox is a foot high.

    Kissinger : That is very comparable to my experience. I had been national-security adviser before I became secretary of state. So I saw the issues that reach the White House and the issues that reach the secretary. The issues that reach the White House are most frequently strategic, while as secretary of state, as Hillary has pointed out, there are as many constituencies as there are countries with which we have relationships. So at the end of every day you almost have to make a decision—whom are you going to insult by not dealing with his or her problems? [Clinton laughs.] Because there’s no possible way you could get through. It’s a job that requires 24-hour attention.
    One of the problems of government is to separate the urgent from the important and make sure you’re dealing with the important and don’t let the urgent drive out the important. Another challenge one has as secretary is that I think it’s the best staff in town, but it’s also the most individualistic staff …

    Clinton: Mm-hmm.

    Kissinger: … in town. With so many constituencies, to get them to work toward a coherent goal is a huge assignment for the secretary.

    Clinton: It is.

    Kissinger: Even though I had been in the White House for four years before, I didn’t realize the magnitude of it until I actually got to the seventh floor [of the State Department].

    Clinton: I would add to what Henry said that in addition to the urgent and the important, you try to keep your eye on the long-term trend lines because what is neither urgent nor important today might become one or the other by next year or the year after. And that’s a whole different set of skills that is required. I’m always reaching down into the building and saying, “What are we doing on energy security and independence? What are we doing to work with Europe so that they will come up with a common policy through the EU on their own energy needs? What are we doing on food security?” There were riots last year. You look at changing climate patterns, migration patterns. Food is going to become more and more of an issue. What are we doing on pandemic disease with the H1N1 danger, with the problems that global health presents? An area that we’re beginning to pay attention to, which is not in the headlines, is the Arctic. With the melting of the ice, with sea lanes opening that were never there before, or only-seasonal lanes becoming more all-weather, with five countries ringing the Arctic, which is an ocean, not a land mass like Antarctica. With Russia saying that they are going to have an expedition next year to plant their flag on the North Pole. With Canada saying, “No, you’d better not.” This is an area that we have to pay real attention to, but it’s not an area that I get called about by reporters or have to answer questions about at the White House yet.

    So there’s a matrix of issues. It is exactly how I think about it: the urgent, the important, and then the long term.

    How important is the relationship between the secretary and the president?

    Clinton: Oh, I think it’s critically important. First of all, it’s critical to the formulation of policy and the giving of advice and having the perspective of diplomacy and development at the table when decisions of moment are made. Speaking for myself and I think other secretaries with whom I’ve spoken, including Henry, it is such a key relationship that you really have to invest time and effort in it. I work closely with not only [national-security adviser] Jim Jones but also [Defense Secretary] Bob Gates. But at the end of the day, it’s that sort of funnel; the tough decisions end up in the Oval Office. And you can’t just walk in and say to the president, “Here’s what I think you should do.” It takes a lot of thought and effort. I meet with the president one-on-one once a week. I’m in other meetings with him with the national-security team. It’s a constant conversation.

    Kissinger: I fundamentally agree—the relationship of the president and the secretary is absolutely key. The State Department has a tendency to insist on its prerogative that it is exclusively entitled to conduct foreign policy. My view is that when you assert your prerogatives you’ve already lost the bureaucratic battle. I saw the president every day when we were both in town because I felt it was absolutely essential that we thought along the same lines. I was lucky. I had extraordinarily close relationships with the two presidents I served. In fact, if one looks at the history of the secretaries of state, it’s rare. If they don’t have a close relationship, they don’t last.

    Clinton: What I have found hardest to balance is the amount of travel that is expected today. One would think that in an era where communication is instantaneous, you would not have to get on an airplane and go sit in a meeting. But, in fact, it’s almost as though people are more desirous of seeing someone in person.

    Kissinger: Because they have to have explained to them what is really being thought, which you can’t put through cables.

    Clinton: You can’t. And because press coverage, with all due respect, often raises fears and anxieties that are not rooted in any decision process. People sit around in capitals all over the world reading tea leaves, trying to make sense of what we’re doing. We have to go and meet and talk and listen, and it is a challenge to manage all of the relationships you have to manage when you’re on an airplane as much as I am these days. But that’s why having the trust and confidence of the president means that you can do the travel, check back in, report back in without worrying that you’re not on the same page because you’ve talked at length about where you’re headed before you go.

    I think that, of course, countries make decisions based on their own assessment of their national interests. But part of what you can attempt to do when you’ve developed a relationship is to offer different ways of looking at that national interest, to try to find more common ground. And it’s going to be a more likely convergence if the person with whom you’re talking feels that they’ve already developed a personal understanding of you and a personal connection with you. And I’ve spent, as Henry has, an enormous amount of time just building those relationships. Because it is all about having enough trust between leaders and countries so that misunderstandings don’t occur, but also on the margins, there can be a greater appreciation of the other’s point of view.

    Kissinger: The difficulty here is in the relations between countries. Very often there arises a gray area where the national interest is not self-evident or [is] disputed, where there is sort of a 2 percent margin of uncertainty. It’s very important to establish relationships before you need anything, so that there is a measure of respect in negotiations once they occur or when a crisis develops. When you travel as secretary, one problem you have is that the press comes with you and wants an immediate result because it justifies their trip. And sometimes the best result is that you don’t try to get a result but try to get an understanding for the next time you go to them. I don’t know whether that would be your experience.

    Clinton: It is exactly my experience.

    What is the role of theory and doctrine when you are behind the desk or on the plane?

    Clinton: Well, Henry’s the expert on theory and doctrine. I’m someone who thinks that it could help provide a framework and direction and lessons from history. There are patterns that can be discerned, but the ingredients for every single challenge that you face are not cookie-cutter. You have to be able to be creative and agile and responsive and have enough instincts to recognize the opportunities when they arise and then retrospectively fit it into a doctrine is what I would probably say [laughs].

    Kissinger: Because I started life as a professor, I was concerned with doctrines and theory. But professors have a hell of a time getting their concepts relevant to a contemporary situation. They don’t always understand that as a professor, you have all the time in the world to write your book. As a professor, you could come up with absolute solutions. As a secretary of state, there is almost no solution that you could achieve in one blow. You could only achieve it in a series of steps.

    You are both wartime secretaries of state. You have nothing to compare it to, but what complications do you think warfare adds to diplomacy?

    Clinton: Well, I can only speak from the experience we’ve had this past year where President Obama inherited two wars and had to make some early fast decisions that were waiting for him, not of his making. I give him high marks for taking the time and putting in place a process for us to examine the assumptions and ask the hard questions. Because the war in Iraq is winding down, but as the war winds down and our military troops leave, the State Department and USAID [United States Agency for International Development] are expected to assume even more responsibility. I’ll give you one example: the military has been doing the police training in Iraq. They have a lot of resources to do these jobs. Not only tens of thousands of bodies but all kinds of equipment and flexibility in funding streams that are not part of the experience of the State Department or USAID, and I’m having to accept the responsibility, which is going to be handed off. That’s a very daunting undertaking.

    In Afghanistan, we were all part of the lengthy analysis to determine the way forward. And on both the military and the civilian side there was a conclusion reached that military force alone would not be successful. Perhaps it’s an obvious conclusion, but it is one that raises a lot of questions that then State and USAID have to answer. It is so much easier to get resources when you are in the Defense Department than it is when you are in the State Department and USAID. So a huge part of your budget becomes Iraq, Afghanistan, and then the civilian assistance going into Pakistan. In a time of budget constraint like we’re facing now, it’s just much more difficult for us to get the resources that we’re expected to have, but the responsibilities still remain. So, it’s the tension of the stress that comes with any kind of wartime situation, because when our young men and women in uniform are put in harm’s way, increasingly so are our civilians because they are expected to go right out there with the military. If we say we’re going to work on agriculture in Afghanistan, the agronomist is there the next day after the fighting stops. So it adds to the complexity and the sense of responsibility.

    Kissinger: I would say the special experience of American wartime policy in the last 40 years, from Vietnam on, is that the war itself became controversial in the country and that the most important thing we need in the current situation is, whatever disagreements there may be on tactics, that the legitimacy of the war itself does not become a subject of controversy. We have to start with the assumption, obviously, that whatever administration is conducting a war wants to end it.

    Clinton: Right.

    Kissinger: Nobody has more at stake than the administration in office. But if you look at the debates we had on Vietnam, Iraq, and so forth, ending the war became defined as the withdrawal of forces and as the primary if not the exclusive exit strategy. But in fact the best exit strategy is victory. Another is diplomacy. Another is the war just dying out. But if you identify exit with withdrawal of American forces, you neglect the political objective. In such circumstances you trap yourself in a position in which the administration in office gets assaulted for insufficient dedication to ending the war, [and] it has to do things that can be against its better judgment. We often found ourselves there.

    This is my attitude toward the administration on the war, whether I agree with every last detail or not. The second point that Hillary made is about the civilian side of it, and there is a third element, which is the war will have to find, at some point, a diplomatic outcome. There has to be something that recognizes what the outcome is, in the name of which it can be defended. The disaster after Vietnam was that we would not support what had been negotiated. Whatever emerges in Afghanistan has to be supported, and it needs a legal framework internationally, and that couldn’t exist yet. I would think that it’s a big challenge that the secretary faces. But the debate ought to be in that framework and not “Do we want to end the war? How quickly can we end the war?”

    I take it for granted that the administration wants to end it as quickly as is at all possible. Why would they not? In the popular mind, I think there’s sometimes a sense that there’s diplomacy and then there’s military force. There’s a hawk-dove simplicity. What would be the message you would want voters and Americans to have in their heads as they are evaluating Afghanistan, Iraq, the negotiations with Iran going forward?

    Clinton: I want people to know we may be sending more troops [to Afghanistan], but we’re also intensifying our diplomatic and political efforts and doing what we can alongside the people of Afghanistan to deliver results in terms of better services for them, all of which are part of our strategic view of how you reverse the momentum of the Taliban. So it’s all connected. It’s not either/or any longer.

    Kissinger: Whenever one creates a diplomatic forum, one has to understand that there has to be a combination of rewards and penalties and that the other side will make its conclusions on the basis of benefits and risks. One has to be able to construct that, and one should never put a poor negotiator in the room and say, now you will start making compromises. Create the impression of endless willingness to compromise and you almost invite deadlines. That’s the challenge we now have in North Korea and have had in North Korea for 10 years. In this sense, diplomacy and foreign policy and other elements of political activity have to be closely linked and have to be understood by the negotiators. That’s why Hillary has the most exciting job in the government.

    Clinton: But it’s also more like a conductor than a soloist.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/227739

  49. wbboei

    Thanks for the additional information on Wilmington, OH. There was a great TV story on that also. Many of the good people that worked with the original group are still there, without jobs. You are right, they took over the company, disregarded what worked well, even though they had no experience, and ran it into the ground. The people who devoted their lives to that company were Scrxw.

  50. CNSNews.com

    Nearly 60 percent Say President Obama’s Decisions ‘Bad for America’

    Monday, December 21, 2009
    By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer

    A majority of Americans believe an increased government role in health care would lead to more government corruption, while a plurality of Americans think that scientific data supporting man-made global warming is “mostly falsified.” That is what a new poll by Survey USA reveals.

    The poll also shows that 58 percent of Americans believe that decisions by the Obama administration have been “bad for America,” as opposed to 37 percent who think Obama’s decisions have been “good for America.”

    These poll numbers come at a time when President Barack Obama is pushing for international agreement to address apparent global warming and is also advocating for a major overhaul of health care in America.

    The poll of 1,450 adults by Survey USA was conducted Dec. 11-14, and was commissioned by the conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch. The poll asked questions on several topics, including government corruption, transparency, illegal immigration and the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN).

    Specifically, the poll asked, “Do you think data suggesting global warming is the result of human activity is mostly genuine? Or mostly falsified?” A plurality of 49 percent answered “mostly falsified,” while 41 percent answered “mostly genuine” and 10 percent were unsure.

    Evidence about global warming has come under fire in recent weeks after hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit apparently revealed that contrary evidence was suppressed while organized efforts apparently were made to discredit critics.

    The health care overhaul proposal supported by Obama and congressional Democrats has been unpopular in most polls. This poll, however, asked, “Would an increased government role in the health care system lead to more corruption? Less corruption? Or will it make no difference?”

    An overwhelming 62 percent said “more corruption,” just 14 percent said “less corruption” and 21 percent said it would “make no difference.” Four percent were unsure.

    While other polls have showed Obama’s approval rating slipping below 50 percent, this poll asked, “As a whole, are the decisions being made by the Obama administration good for America? Or bad for America?” To that, 58 percent answered “bad for America,” 37 percent said good and 6 percent were not sure.

    “On virtually every single issue polled, the Obama administration appears to be completely out of step with the prevailing views of the American people,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It ought to be an especially troubling sign for President Obama that the majority of likely voters believe his decisions have been bad for the country. Frankly, these poll results suggest that President Obama and many other politicians ought to rethink their approach to government.”

    The poll further showed that 64 percent of voters think the government is too big and that 62 percent think that bigger government leads to more corruption. Also, 72 percent think political corruption play a “major role” in the financial crisis last year.

    The poll also found that 56 percent think the federal government is operating “out of line” with the U.S. Constitution.

    In regards to the scandal-plagued ACORN, just 8 percent have a favorable view of the liberal activist group currently under investigation in several states for alleged voter registration fraud. A clear majority of 56 percent have a negative view of ACORN.

    Obama also supports a comprehensive immigration reform package, which opponents believe is “amnesty” for illegal aliens. The poll showed an unfavorable rating here too, as 59 percent disapprove of the way the administration is handling illegal immigration.

    Among those polled, 1,020 said they were likely to vote in the 2010 elections for U.S. Congress. The margin of error for the poll ranged from 2.6 percent to 3.1 percent.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/58787

  51. Admin,

    I strongly believe that the Dems would be much better off if they defeat this bill and this is why.

    Democrats should hold out for a bill that lowers drug costs by negotiating with drug companies, allowing reimportation of drugs, a public not for profit comprehensive insurer (expanded medicare) for private providers and provides universal coverage for all legal residents.
    If it fails for lack of votes, then the dems have reason to ask for REAL democrats to be elected so that the job can get done. If the dems passs bills that don’t reflect their core values, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to vote democratic.

    Passage of this bill will insure democratic defeats….and deservedly so.

  52. Dodd’s Vote bought for $100,000,000

    Sunday, December 20, 2009; 11:32 PM

    (No doubt it will be named: “The Christopher Dodd University Hospital”)

    WASHINGTON AP– A $100 million item for construction of a university hospital was inserted in the Senate health care bill at the request of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who faces a difficult re-election campaign, his office said Sunday night.

    The legislation leaves it up to the Health and Human Services Department to decide where the money should be spent, although spokesman Bryan DeAngelis said Dodd hopes to claim it for the University of Connecticut.

    The provision is included in a 383-page series of changes to the health care bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., outlined Saturday. Scattered throughout are numerous items sought by individual lawmakers, many of them directing money explicitly to programs or projects in their home states.

    The one sought by Dodd provides $100 million for “a health care facility that provides research, inpatient tertiary care, or outpatient clinical services.” It must be affiliated with an academic health center at a public research university in the United States “that contains a State’s sole public academic medical and dental school.”
    ad_icon

    The money can cover a maximum of 40 percent of the facility’s construction costs.

    Based on the criteria set out on the bill, it appeared that state-affiliated hospitals in about a dozen states could compete for the funds.

    Dodd has played a key role in development of the health care bill in the Senate. He wielded the gavel earlier in the year when the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee spent weeks drafting its version of the measure. The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., was chairman at the time, but unable to preside.

    Dodd, who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is seeking a new term in 2010, but polls so far show him in a tight race.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/20/AR2009122002956.html

  53. Mrs. Smith,

    All of these bribe votes are directly linked to restoring the reputations of those politicians most likely to lose in 2010. The monies will be lavished on their states to show that they really do care about the people.

    All the while America sinks further and further into debt, doling out monies they don’t have.

  54. Dodd, who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is seeking a new term in 2010, but polls so far show him in a tight race.
    —————————–
    That is a very qualified statement

    polls “so far”?

    in a “tight race”?

    the last time I looked he was behind by double digits

    why would washpo protect this Whore of Babylon?

  55. All of these bribe votes are directly linked to restoring the reputations of those politicians most likely to lose in 2010. The monies will be lavished on their states to show that they really do care about the people.

    All the while America sinks further and further into debt, doling out monies they don’t have.
    ————————————
    Which means those voters need to understand that it is coming out of their hides. The right hand giveth and the left hand taketh away. Besides, voters are cynical enough to say, I know what this is costing me but I do not see any benefit coming to me. This hospital is great for construction companies but I will not be able to afford the insurance or to go there.

    They also need to understand this:

    The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
    Alexis de Tocqueville.

    If they vote this whore dodd back into office after what he had done, and the bribes he extracted from Countrywide and others then they are destroying our country.

  56. Hillary Clinton to visit Australia in new year

    December 22, 2009

    HILLARY Clinton is expected to make a lightning visit to Australia early in the new year as part of an Australasian tour by the US Secretary of State.

    It would be Mrs Clinton’s first trip to Australia as Secretary of State and would follow the trip last year by George W. Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, just after the election of the Rudd government.

    Although there was speculation earlier this year that Mrs Clinton would visit Australia after a sweep of North Asia, that trip did not eventuate. There is now speculation Mrs Clinton will come to Australia before or after a two-day official visit to New Zealand about January 11. The US State Department has refused to comment on any travel plans.

    Stephen Smith’s office said last night that the Australian Foreign Affairs Department would not comment on a proposed trip. Ms Rice visited the Foreign Minister in Perth in January last year.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/hillary-clinton-to-visit-australia-in-new-year/story-e6frg6nf-1225812571093

  57. JanH
    December 21st, 2009 at 10:42 am

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I agree, JanH. There should be a caveat in the bill saying: “If you are re-elected, your application for the $100Mil available for a new hospital is void and you are automatically ineligible. If you lose the election, the application process will continue along with the other qualified candidates until a designee is chosen.” 🙂

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    wbboei
    December 21st, 2009 at 10:49 am

    “the last time I looked he was behind by double digits”

    Yes, with little hope of re-election due to the scandal of his preferred status as a Countrywide customer when he applied to them for a mortgage.

  58. Change Nobody Believes In

    A bill so reckless that it has to be rammed through on a partisan vote on Christmas eve.

    And tidings of comfort and joy from Harry Reid too. The Senate Majority Leader has decided that the last few days before Christmas are the opportune moment for a narrow majority of Democrats to stuff ObamaCare through the Senate to meet an arbitrary White House deadline. Barring some extraordinary reversal, it now seems as if they have the 60 votes they need to jump off this cliff, with one-seventh of the economy in tow.

    Mr. Obama promised a new era of transparent good government, yet on Saturday morning Mr. Reid threw out the 2,100-page bill that the world’s greatest deliberative body spent just 17 days debating and replaced it with a new “manager’s amendment” that was stapled together in covert partisan negotiations. Democrats are barely even bothering to pretend to care what’s in it, not that any Senator had the chance to digest it in the 38 hours before the first cloture vote at 1 a.m. this morning. After procedural motions that allow for no amendments, the final vote could come at 9 p.m. on December 24.

    Even in World War I there was a Christmas truce.

    The rushed, secretive way that a bill this destructive and unpopular is being forced on the country shows that “reform” has devolved into the raw exercise of political power for the single purpose of permanently expanding the American entitlement state. An increasing roll of leaders in health care and business are looking on aghast at a bill that is so large and convoluted that no one can truly understand it, as Finance Chairman Max Baucus admitted on the floor last week. The only goal is to ram it into law while the political window is still open, and clean up the mess later.

    ***
    • Health costs. From the outset, the White House’s core claim was that reform would reduce health costs for individuals and businesses, and they’re sticking to that story. “Anyone who says otherwise simply hasn’t read the bills,” Mr. Obama said over the weekend. This is so utterly disingenuous that we doubt the President really believes it.

    The best and most rigorous cost analysis was recently released by the insurer WellPoint, which mined its actuarial data in various regional markets to model the Senate bill. WellPoint found that a healthy 25-year-old in Milwaukee buying coverage on the individual market will see his costs rise by 178%. A small business based in Richmond with eight employees in average health will see a 23% increase. Insurance costs for a 40-year-old family with two kids living in Indianapolis will pay 106% more. And on and on.

    These increases are solely the result of ObamaCare—above and far beyond the status quo—because its strict restrictions on underwriting and risk-pooling would distort insurance markets. All but a handful of states have rejected regulations like “community rating” because they encourage younger and healthier buyers to wait until they need expensive care, increasing costs for everyone. Benefits and pricing will now be determined by politics.

    As for the White House’s line about cutting costs by eliminating supposed “waste,” even Victor Fuchs, an eminent economist generally supportive of ObamaCare, warned last week that these political theories are overly simplistic. “The oft-heard promise ‘we will find out what works and what does not’ scarcely does justice to the complexity of medical practice,” the Stanford professor wrote.

    • Steep declines in choice and quality. This is all of a piece with the hubris of an Administration that thinks it can substitute government planning for market forces in determining where the $33 trillion the U.S. will spend on medicine over the next decade should go.

    This centralized system means above all fewer choices; what works for the political class must work for everyone. With formerly private insurers converted into public utilities, for instance, they’ll inevitably be banned from selling products like health savings accounts that encourage more cost-conscious decisions.

    Unnoticed by the press corps, the Congressional Budget Office argued recently that the Senate bill would so “substantially reduce flexibility in terms of the types, prices, and number of private sellers of health insurance” that companies like WellPoint might need to “be considered part of the federal budget.”

    With so large a chunk of the economy and medical practice itself in Washington’s hands, quality will decline. Ultimately, “our capacity to innovate and develop new therapies would suffer most of all,” as Harvard Medical School Dean Jeffrey Flier recently wrote in our pages. Take the $2 billion annual tax—rising to $3 billion in 2018—that will be leveled against medical device makers, among the most innovative U.S. industries. Democrats believe that more advanced health technologies like MRI machines and drug-coated stents are driving costs too high, though patients and their physicians might disagree.

    “The Senate isn’t hearing those of us who are closest to the patient and work in the system every day,” Brent Eastman, the chairman of the American College of Surgeons, said in a statement for his organization and 18 other speciality societies opposing ObamaCare. For no other reason than ideological animus, doctor-owned hospitals will face harsh new limits on their growth and who they’re allowed to treat. Physician Hospitals of America says that ObamaCare will “destroy over 200 of America’s best and safest hospitals.”

    • Blowing up the federal fisc. Even though Medicare’s unfunded liabilities are already about 2.6 times larger than the entire U.S. economy in 2008, Democrats are crowing that ObamaCare will cost “only” $871 billion over the next decade while fantastically reducing the deficit by $132 billion, according to CBO.

    Yet some 98% of the total cost comes after 2014—remind us why there must absolutely be a vote this week—and most of the taxes start in 2010. That includes the payroll tax increase for individuals earning more than $200,000 that rose to 0.9 from 0.5 percentage points in Mr. Reid’s final machinations. Job creation, here we come.

    Other deceptions include a new entitlement for long-term care that starts collecting premiums tomorrow but doesn’t start paying benefits until late in the decade. But the worst is not accounting for a formula that automatically slashes Medicare payments to doctors by 21.5% next year and deeper after that. Everyone knows the payment cuts won’t happen but they remain in the bill to make the cost look lower. The American Medical Association’s priority was eliminating this “sustainable growth rate” but all they got in return for their year of ObamaCare cheerleading was a two-month patch snuck into the defense bill that passed over the weekend.

    The truth is that no one really knows how much ObamaCare will cost because its assumptions on paper are so unrealistic. To hide the cost increases created by other parts of the bill and transfer them onto the federal balance sheet, the Senate sets up government-run “exchanges” that will subsidize insurance for those earning up to 400% of the poverty level, or $96,000 for a family of four in 2016. Supposedly they would only be offered to those whose employers don’t provide insurance or work for small businesses.

    As Eugene Steuerle of the left-leaning Urban Institute points out, this system would treat two workers with the same total compensation—whatever the mix of cash wages and benefits—very differently. Under the Senate bill, someone who earned $42,000 would get $5,749 from the current tax exclusion for employer-sponsored coverage but $12,750 in the exchange. A worker making $60,000 would get $8,310 in the exchanges but only $3,758 in the current system.

    For this reason Mr. Steuerle concludes that the Senate bill is not just a new health system but also “a new welfare and tax system” that will warp the labor market. Given the incentives of these two-tier subsidies, employers with large numbers of lower-wage workers like Wal-Mart may well convert them into “contractors” or do more outsourcing. As more and more people flood into “free” health care, taxpayer costs will explode.

    • Political intimidation. The experts who have pointed out such complications have been ignored or dismissed as “ideologues” by the White House. Those parts of the health-care industry that couldn’t be bribed outright, like Big Pharma, were coerced into acceding to this agenda. The White House was able to, er, persuade the likes of the AMA and the hospital lobbies because the federal government will control 55% of total U.S. health spending under ObamaCare, according to the Administration’s own Medicare actuaries.

    Others got hush money, namely Nebraska’s Ben Nelson. Even liberal Governors have been howling for months about ObamaCare’s unfunded spending mandates: Other budget priorities like education will be crowded out when about 21% of the U.S. population is on Medicaid, the joint state-federal program intended for the poor. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman calculates that ObamaCare will result in $2.5 billion in new costs for his state that “will be passed on to citizens through direct or indirect taxes and fees,” as he put it in a letter to his state’s junior Senator.

    So in addition to abortion restrictions, Mr. Nelson won the concession that Congress will pay for 100% of Nebraska Medicaid expansions into perpetuity. His capitulation ought to cost him his political career, but more to the point, what about the other states that don’t have a Senator who’s the 60th vote for ObamaCare?

    ***
    “After a nearly century-long struggle we are on the cusp of making health-care reform a reality in the United States of America,” Mr. Obama said on Saturday. He’s forced to claim the mandate of “history” because he can’t claim the mandate of voters. Some 51% of the public is now opposed, according to National Journal’s composite of all health polling. The more people know about ObamaCare, the more unpopular it becomes.

    The tragedy is that Mr. Obama inherited a consensus that the health-care status quo needs serious reform, and a popular President might have crafted a durable compromise that blended the best ideas from both parties. A more honest and more thoughtful approach might have even done some good. But as Mr. Obama suggested, the Democratic old guard sees this plan as the culmination of 20th-century liberalism. So instead we have this vast expansion of federal control. Never in our memory has so unpopular a bill been on the verge of passing Congress, never has social and economic legislation of this magnitude been forced through on a purely partisan vote, and never has a party exhibited more sheer political willfulness that is reckless even for Washington or had more warning about the consequences of its actions.

    These 60 Democrats are creating a future of epic increases in spending, taxes and command-and-control regulation, in which bureaucracy trumps innovation and transfer payments are more important than private investment and individual decisions. In short, the Obama Democrats have chosen change nobody believes in—outside of themselves—and when it passes America will be paying for it for decades to come.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704398304574598130440164954.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

  59. The below is current Dimocratic thinking and why they seem intent on pushing the health scam. The Dimocrats think the anger will go away or dissipate. This is delusional but it is what the Dimocrats think or pretend to think:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1209/Dems_anticipate_a_health_care_bounce.html

    There’s no point in the White House saying this, so it won’t.

    But an official predicted to me the other day that Obama’s numbers would hit 60 after the health care bill passes, and Chuck Schumer seems to think roughly the same thing: that the public polling on the Democratic reform bill will turn around “soon.”

    When people see what is in this bill and when people see what it does, they will come around,” Schumer said. “The reason people are negative is not the substance of the bill, but the fears that the opponents have laid out. When those fears don’t materialize, and people see the good in the bill, the numbers are going to go up.”

  60. When people see what is in this bill and when people see what it does, they will come around,” Schumer said.

    Then what is Schumer waiting for? Tell them what is in the bill NOW and turn them around before you vote, you fucking fool!

    {Sorry, Admin, like Violet at Reclusiveleftist would attest, the f word flows without much effort.}

  61. Years ago, my father used to say that the democrats would destroy this country. I don’t even think that he could have imagined that it would be this bad.

  62. I just called senator Cardin’s office and asked the woman what he got for our state in exchange for his vote. You know Nelson fucker got a 100 million and Dodd about the same and Stupak will get something if he raises a ruckus and so on, and on. Call your senator and ask them what bribe they got your state for their vote. Tell them bigger the better and you won’t vote for them unless it is huge.

  63. About the IEA charge, from a comment at
    h/ no w
    blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/12/17/randi-and-global-warming/

    A spokesman for the Hadley Centre said it did not choose which weather stations to collect its data from.: “The World Meteorological Organisation chooses a set of stations evenly distributed across the globe and provides a fair representation of changes in mean temperature on a global scale over land. We don’t pick them so we can’t be accused of fixing the data. We are confident in the accuracy of our report.”
    /moved/
    There is no evidence the Hadley centre preferred urban data. Not that it would matter, because (Duh!) they adjust for urban effects.
    [….]
    The IEA was created by Andrey Nikolayevich Illarionov , a Russian libertarian economist and former economic policy advisor to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. A well known global warming skeptic, Illarionov is currently employed by the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute, a pro-free market, libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C.

    The IEA retains close links with the Cato Institute, who have in turn received funding from the American Petroleum Institute. The IEA website reports on a recent cozy joint conference.

  64. From Politico:
    “When people see what is in this bill and when people see what it does, they will come around,” Schumer said. “The reason people are negative is not the substance of the bill, but the fears that the opponents have laid out. When those fears don’t materialize, and people see the good in the bill, the numbers are going to go up.”

    ==================

    That could be a point, if the bill when passed is actually readable, which seems unlikely.

    With these big unreadable bills, it boils down to “Who do you trust?”

  65. confloyd said:
    I was thinking today how a Paul/Palin or a Palin/Paul ticket sounded. He garnered quiet a bit of money and a huge following and so did Sarah.
    ….
    The only thing I don’t like about Paul is his aversion to war. I think we must continue to be strong militarily, but I like everything else including the flat tax and especially getting rid of the damn IRS.

    ==============================

    Oh, what a great thought!

  66. confloyd
    December 21st, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Southern Born, Sorry, I guess we shouldn’t call him Bambi, that’s too nice of an animal. Maybe we should call him something that is more fitting of his personality, would you consider calling him “the shaft”??? He certainly seems to constantly do it to the American people.

    =============================

    Obama is like Puzzle the Donkey in Narnia. That was a donkey wearing a lion skin, manipulated by people who were logging old growth forests!

    (And Narnia was written in the 1940s! There’s prediction for you!)

  67. Here is what just came to mind a few minutes ago-

    Congress will not be subject to the NEW Health Care Ins passed for the public. They will continue on with the best Health Care Plan Blue Cross has to offer that we pay for out of our pockets.

  68. turndownobama
    December 21st, 2009 at 1:48 pm
    From Politico:
    “When people see what is in this bill and when people see what it does, they will come around,” Schumer said. “The reason people are negative is not the substance of the bill, but the fears that the opponents have laid out. When those fears don’t materialize, and people see the good in the bill, the numbers are going to go up.”

    —————————————————–

    Bullsh*t. How can a 500 billion dollar cut from Medicare do anyone any good? Taxing middle class health benefits is good? Mandating that people buy crappy insurance for minimal coverage and high co-pays and deductibles? Stricter abortion language restricting a woman’s reproductive freedom of choice? Strong arming senators and congresspeople to vote for this debacle is good? People with pre-existing conditions and older people will be charged 3 times as much for their premiums. How many people will be able to afford to buy high priced insurance? If not, they will face a stiff fine. Decreasing Medicare payments to physicians is not going to help the elderly and disabled receive better care. If anything, access and quality of care will decrease.

    Flexible Spending Accounts will no longer receive coverage for OTC medications, but only prescribed medications. How does this control costs? It doesn’t. If someone wants to treat his/her cold, flu, allergy with OTC meds, they will have to receive a prescription for a higher price medication.

    No importation of less expensive medications.

    No public option.

    This bill has no cost controls to it.

    We pay taxes now and people don’t receive any benefits until 2014. This is good??? How political can one get?

    Tell me again, how good this bill is.

  69. Blagojevich aide’s computer yields new secrets

    Chief of staff surfed Web on Emanuel vacancy, ‘King Madigan’

    December 21, 2009
    BY DAVE McKINNEY AND NATASHA KORECKI Staff Reporters

    Did then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich try to work out a plan to keep White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s old congressional seat warm for him if Emanuel decided in a few years to return?

    Computer records, newly obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, offer the latest evidence the ousted governor did. On the day last year that Emanuel was named White House chief of staff, John Harris, the top aide to then-Gov. Blagojevich, began researching whether Blagojevich had the authority to appoint someone to temporarily fill Emanuel’s Northwest Side congressional seat, according to records that show the Web browser history on Harris’ state government computer.

    The records show that Harris, who was Blagojevich’s chief of staff, Googled this exact search term on his state computer on Nov. 6, 2008: “temporary appointment to fill vacancies in the house of representatives.” The confirmation of Harris’ Google search — which, by the way, yielded 308,000 hits — lends credence to previous Sun-Times reports that Blagojevich’s office was working with Emanuel at that time on a strategy that would enable Emanuel to one day reclaim his old House seat and vie for the powerful post of speaker of the House.

    In September, the newspaper reported that Emanuel wanted Blagojevich to appoint Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool to fill his soon-to-be-vacant 5th Congressional District seat. Emanuel broached the idea with the then-governor just days after last year’s presidential election, the paper reported. The proposal was for Claypool to serve one or two terms, then to be considered for a spot in President Obama’s Cabinet, which would give Emanuel the option of returning to Congress and making a bid for speaker, sources told the Sun-Times.

    Emanuel had hoped Blagojevich had the authority to appoint someone to serve the remaining weeks of his House term before a new Congress was seated in January — which would have given Claypool an incumbent’s advantage heading into last February’s special election, the sources said.

    Claypool said he only briefly considered a run to fill Emanuel’s seat and had no role in any plan to keep the seat warm for the top Obama aide’s eventual return.

    Blagojevich, it turned out, did not have the authority to appoint someone to replace Emanuel.

    Claypool’s fellow county Commissioner Michael Quigley ended up winning the seat in Congress.

    Blagojevich was arrested Dec. 9, 2008, on charges that he’d sought to sell Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat for a personal benefit — including trying to get a presidential Cabinet post for himself. Blagojevich subsequently was impeached and booted from office.

    A spokeswoman for Emanuel declined to comment on whether her boss spoke with Harris or Blagojevich about a temporary appointment — or whether Emanuel knew that Harris had researched the issue.

    Harris’ lawyer, Terry Ekl, also declined to comment. Previously, Ekl has said that Harris — who was arrested with the former governor and pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud, agreeing to testify against his old boss in exchange for a reduced sentence — would testify truthfully against Blagojevich and that Harris never did anything to benefit himself.

    The Sun-Times obtained records of the Web browser history on Harris’ state computer through a Freedom of Information Act request to the office of Gov. Quinn, Blagojevich’s successor. Those records also have been subpoenaed by federal investigators.

    Surfing the Net, the records show, another Web site Harris visited was http://www.kingmadigan.com — which depicts Blagojevich’s arch political enemy, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, as a greedy “king” decked out in a jewel-studded gold crown. “He has graciously used his supreme power and influence in Illinois to instill members of the Royal Family into high positions within State Government,” the Web site reads. It also describes Madigan’s daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, as the speaker’s “little princess,” and the speaker’s wife, Shirley, as “the Queen” who heads the Illinois Arts Council, “to which King Madigan steers $20 million each year. They must need many tapestries for the castle.”

    The Sun-Times could not determine who’s behind the Web site.

    Asked about Harris’ Web-surfing, Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said: “We learn almost every day these are very troubled people, and it’s probably the biggest reason Illinois is in the jam it is in today. Too bad they didn’t spend that much time trying to run the government efficiently.”

    Harris also used his state computer, the records show, to:

    • Look up campaign contributions to Madigan and to Mayor Daley.

    • Check prices for a Mini Cooper car on eBay.

    • And research a trip to his native Greece.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/watchdogs/1950212,blagojevich-aide-computer-watchdogs-122109.article#

  70. December 21, 2009

    Toxic Green Cloud Over Copenhagen

    By Ken Silverstein

    Wonkette had a funny pre-climate change summit item about members of congress, even conservative Republicans, fighting to go to Copenhagen. The story was headlined “Not EVERYONE In Congress Can Go On Class Trip To Denmark.” Last week, twenty House members joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a junket to Copenhagen, where they accomplished absolutely nothing.

    The same battle for a ticket to the summit took place at environmental groups around Washington (and the world), and green groups also didn’t accomplish anything in Copenhagen, other than burning vast quantities of jet fuel to get there. Two people I know described a generalized clamor among D.C.-based greens to trek off to Copenhagen, with the World Resources Institute alone reportedly sending a delegation of about two dozen people.

    Mostly the green groups sat around and waited to be briefed about the summit proceedings by the official delegations, then sent out emails asking their members to contact President Obama and demand action (or, in the case of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, to send a video message to its “Repower Wall” and tell world leaders “that you are committed to bold action on climate in America.”)

    Was the summit outcome changed in any way by the presence of thousands of greens from the U.S., and around the world? Not likely by one bit, other than for propping up the Danish hotel, restaurant and bar industries. An international group called Avaaz.org sent out a mass email Sunday claiming victory even though world leaders “reached a weak agreement in Copenhagen that fails to set the emissions targets needed to prevent catastrophic global warming”:

    But while leaders failed to make history, people around the world did. In thousands of vigils, rallies and protests, hundreds of thousands of phone calls, and millions of petition signatures, an unprecedented movement rose to this moment. After hearing the result of the talks, one member from Africa wrote “It takes a lot to get an elephant moving, but when you do it is hard to stop…the elephant is moving…”

    And fo course there was a link to click on “to say ‘thank-you’ to all the other amazing people who participated, see pictures, video and reports on what we’ve done in the last week, and join a global, instant translation multilingual live chat where we can all exchange words of wisdom for the road ahead.”

    I witnessed a similar phenomenon in Brazil in 1992, when I was a reporter for the Associated Press during the Earth Summit. Thousands and thousands of greens poured in for that affair, spending enough organizational and personal money to preserve most of the Amazon rain forest.

    Meanwhile, keep your eyes open for fundraising letters from all those green groups on their way home from Copenhagen. Somebody has to pick up the Danish bar tab.

    http://harpers.org/archive/2009/12/hbc-90006210

  71. Hooboy, the Dims have really miscalculated this time. They haven’t a clue how angry the public is – none. They are living in a dream that has nothing to do with reality. These boobs actually think that passing this boondoggle is going to IMPROVE Obama’s popularity.

    White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been telling Democrats a win on the health issue will reverse the slide in public opinion, just as passage of another controversial proposal, the North American Free Trade Agreement, lifted President Bill Clinton in the polls.

    I got news for Rahmbo – healthcare is not NAFTA, it’s much more personal and closer to home, and the public HATES this bill. This is not a dispassionate “I disapprove, I think it’s a bad idea, policy-wise….” as it was for NAFTA. People are FURIOUS over this, and it will bite the Dims and Bambi in the ass so bad in 2010 that their heads will spin.

  72. I think Obama will get a slight bump as the mainstream democrats really wanted this bill at all cost…if the economy improves, this health care battle will soon be forgotten as we Americans have the attention span of a nat. The fact that most don’t think or care about Iraq/Afghanistan/ Iran shows it comes down to pocket book issues…with billions left to dole out in stimulus funds, a stock market over 10k, and unemployment cannot get much higher before it comes down, I think Bambi has a game plan he thinks will in the long tern work in his favor.
    Bush left us , whether his fault or not, in a climate that allows almost everything Obama does seem like some incredible feat, when he is as we all knew, a ordinary politician, with a Chicago political “get the thing done or else” mentality.

  73. I don’t think so jbstonesfan. So you think that ramming down the collective throats of a people who are against the healthcare bill is going to give Obama a slight bump?

    Though I hope the economy improves, I don’t think it will. The policies of this administration HAS an impact on the economy and none of what they are doing is helping it. Also, unemployment CAN get much worse. With HC bill in place, unemployment can certainly get worse.

  74. The Socialist Revolution Has Come to America

    Remember those heady days of 2008 when Barack Obama successfully painted himself as a moderate?

    December 21, 2009 – by Matt Patterson

    The socialist revolution has come to America. It has been a long time coming.

    On Christmas Day 1991, the Soviet flag flying over the Kremlin came down — the Cold War was over. In the United States, the political left, dismayed from the collapse of its great patron, retrenched and transmogrified with the times, choosing for their president a free-trading, welfare-reforming moderate.

    But this was but a feint; the era of big government was not over. The left had not learned its lesson, had not abandoned its dreams of absolute control. It seethed and stewed … and waited.

    The new century dawned in fire when the twin towers came down. America lashed out, sending large armies into Asia and Arabia. Like all wars, fortunes waxed and waned. But the iPod generation has not the capacity to endure the waning. By the time Mesopotamia was stabilizing, it was too late; the American public had abandoned the war it had once supported. The commander-in-chief who took America into battle with Congress and the people behind him left office ridiculed and reviled.

    Many will tell you that it was the financial crisis that led to the election of Obama in 2008. It is certainly true that John McCain’s erratic response to that meltdown did nothing to enhance his chances. But the Republican goose was cooked long before Lehman by years of war, seemingly endless reports of our soldiers struggling valiantly to hold back chaos in faraway lands for reasons that were growing less clear by the day, and a Republican president who seemed frighteningly inarticulate and uncomprehending throughout. The public had simply had enough.

    Into this breech stepped a charming, charismatic, seemingly moderate Democrat (he even promised tax cuts!). Barack Obama made everyone feel good — about him, about themselves, about themselves for supporting him. And America wanted, needed to feel good again; they had spilled too much blood, had too much of their own blood spilled, in the preceding eight years.

    A Republican Party in tatters, a nation exhausted and desperate. Are there any other conditions under which the American people could have turned to a man like Barack Obama? For just under the smooth, smiling facade lurked a man of deep allegiance to the radical left, counting among his associates both an avowed terrorist and a raving, racialist preacher.

    But Americans didn’t want to hear it and the media obliged them. The ideologue was soon ensconced in the White House, where he acted swiftly to upend the entirety of American society through a comprehensive, two-pronged assault:

    1. The government moved to take greater control of medical care and thus one-sixth of our entire economy. The excuse? Some people don’t have insurance, don’t you know? What are the details? Good question: specifics hatched in back rooms behind closed doors, utterly incomprehensible bills that may as well be carved in hieroglyphics. What will it mean for you? Why, whatever they want it to mean, of course.

    2. Efforts to criminalize a particular naturally occurring compound, CO2, picked up pace. Why have they so singled out this substance? Because it is a byproduct of work and, indeed, life itself — every time you turn on your heater, every time you drive to work, every time you sit down to eat: don’t you know these sinful behaviors must be curbed, because you are “poisoning the planet” with your every move?

    Success in this double strategy would amount to nothing less than a socialist revolution. A revolution of legislative opacity and bureaucratic fiat, to be sure, but a revolution just the same, for there is literally no part of your existence they couldn’t justify controlling under the cover of “health care” and “emissions” reform. Resistance would be met at first with peaceable punishments, fines and such. But the history of such revolutions shows that, sooner or later, they enforce their dictates with bars and boots.

    Think it can’t happen here? History is littered with the wreckage of free states that gave way, sometimes with a scream, often with a whimper, to autocracy and absolutism. The city that gave birth to the world’s first and greatest republic was also home to Caesar and Mussolini.

    America is not immune to these forces. The tides of history are inexorable and sooner or later pull every edifice into the sea.

    Matt Patterson is a National Review Institute Washington fellow and the author of “Union of Hearts: The Abraham Lincoln & Ann Rutledge Story”. His email is mpatterson.column@gmail.com.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-socialist-revolution-has-come-to-america/

  75. The Socialist Revolution Has Come to America

    Remember those heady days of 2008 when Barack Obama successfully painted himself as a moderate?

    December 21, 2009 – by Matt Patterson

    The socialist revolution has come to America. It has been a long time coming.

    On Christmas Day 1991, the Soviet flag flying over the Kremlin came down — the Cold War was over. In the United States, the political left, dismayed from the collapse of its great patron, retrenched and transmogrified with the times, choosing for their president a free-trading, welfare-reforming moderate.

    But this was but a feint; the era of big government was not over. The left had not learned its lesson, had not abandoned its dreams of absolute control. It seethed and stewed … and waited.

    The new century dawned in fire when the twin towers came down. America lashed out, sending large armies into Asia and Arabia. Like all wars, fortunes waxed and waned. But the iPod generation has not the capacity to endure the waning. By the time Mesopotamia was stabilizing, it was too late; the American public had abandoned the war it had once supported. The commander-in-chief who took America into battle with Congress and the people behind him left office ridiculed and reviled.

    Many will tell you that it was the financial crisis that led to the election of Obama in 2008. It is certainly true that John McCain’s erratic response to that meltdown did nothing to enhance his chances. But the Republican goose was cooked long before Lehman by years of war, seemingly endless reports of our soldiers struggling valiantly to hold back chaos in faraway lands for reasons that were growing less clear by the day, and a Republican president who seemed frighteningly inarticulate and uncomprehending throughout. The public had simply had enough.

    Into this breech stepped a charming, charismatic, seemingly moderate Democrat (he even promised tax cuts!). Barack Obama made everyone feel good — about him, about themselves, about themselves for supporting him. And America wanted, needed to feel good again; they had spilled too much blood, had too much of their own blood spilled, in the preceding eight years.

    A Republican Party in tatters, a nation exhausted and desperate. Are there any other conditions under which the American people could have turned to a man like Barack Obama? For just under the smooth, smiling facade lurked a man of deep allegiance to the radical left, counting among his associates both an avowed terrorist and a raving, racialist preacher.

    But Americans didn’t want to hear it and the media obliged them. The ideologue was soon ensconced in the White House, where he acted swiftly to upend the entirety of American society through a comprehensive, two-pronged assault:

    1. The government moved to take greater control of medical care and thus one-sixth of our entire economy. The excuse? Some people don’t have insurance, don’t you know? What are the details? Good question: specifics hatched in back rooms behind closed doors, utterly incomprehensible bills that may as well be carved in hieroglyphics. What will it mean for you? Why, whatever they want it to mean, of course.

    2. Efforts to criminalize a particular naturally occurring compound, CO2, picked up pace. Why have they so singled out this substance? Because it is a byproduct of work and, indeed, life itself — every time you turn on your heater, every time you drive to work, every time you sit down to eat: don’t you know these sinful behaviors must be curbed, because you are “poisoning the planet” with your every move?

    Success in this double strategy would amount to nothing less than a socialist revolution. A revolution of legislative opacity and bureaucratic fiat, to be sure, but a revolution just the same, for there is literally no part of your existence they couldn’t justify controlling under the cover of “health care” and “emissions” reform. Resistance would be met at first with peaceable punishments, fines and such. But the history of such revolutions shows that, sooner or later, they enforce their dictates with bars and boots.

    Think it can’t happen here? History is littered with the wreckage of free states that gave way, sometimes with a scream, often with a whimper, to autocracy and absolutism. The city that gave birth to the world’s first and greatest republic was also home to Caesar and Mussolini.

    America is not immune to these forces. The tides of history are inexorable and sooner or later pull every edifice into the sea.

    Matt Patterson is a National Review Institute Washington fellow and the author of “Union of Hearts: The Abraham Lincoln & Ann Rutledge Story”.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-socialist-revolution-has-come-to-america/

  76. There is a misleading article in The Hill which says the Republicans are throwing in the bill on health care, and then a series of updates which repudiate that false story. That is The Hill for you.

    I think they should fight the bill all the way up to the vote and then walk out. Do not vote. To vote at all on this demonic piece of legislation will have the inevitable effect the process by which it was reached. That process was not bi partisan. It was confined to democrats only in secret meetings with lobbyists and a division of spoils between the thieves who raped the American People. If the Republicans vote at all on this legislation they are idiots. If someone says why did you throw in the towel the answer is I do not agree with your question. I stood on principle and reject this misguided legislation procedurally and substantively. Since we were not allowed to participate in the crafting of this bill, since we were frozen out of the deliverative process, since we believe this bill is contrary to the interests of the American People, and since we do not have the votes to stop it we decline to participate in the ratification process.

  77. My point is the Republicans must attack not only the bill but the process by which it was reached. If they vote at all then they ratify a perverse legislative process which excluded them from any role in the design of the bill. If they don’t play hardball now they had better turn in their charter. It would be interesting to know how men with consciences like Jim Webb feel about this thing. He represents conservative democrats and surely he knows this bill has AIDS.

  78. wbboei, I was thinking about what you said today about Reagan deciding to make American the financial empire of the world instead of the manufacturing empire. I was thinking that we know that is what the big bankers wanted. During the Clinton administration he Glass-Steagall Act was repealed at the bequest of the big bankers and the Republican controlled house and senate ablidged and passed it by astounding numbers and BC signed into law. So now the big bankers could speculate and could be a lending instution as well as a market institution and we had prosparity during Bill’s and most of GWB’s administrations. Well the crap hit the fan with these dirivities and the bankers knew they needed some new area to speculate in so they decided carbon would be the best way. So with this in mind I want to say I think Crap and trade will pass and they also agreed to meet again to discuss the new Kyoto treaty.
    What do you think???

    ALSO another question, did the govt not pass a bill recently talking about making it illegal to not pay your income taxes and that they will now send people to jail if left unpaid?? We thought they were going after some of these senators and such for not paying, but in essence they did this before HC so they don’t really have to say that if you don’t get health insurance you will be charged on your income tax. Put 2 and 2 together, they really mean we will get health insurance and if you don’t pay your taxes because you can’t afford to buy insurance we are coming after YOU?? Let me know what you think??

  79. wbboei
    December 21st, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    The above video speaks to some of the horrors in the Bill.

    Click on the link for now, in case admin can’t post it-

  80. Wbboei, I have sent you another email, this time on the IMF. OMG, no wonder the third world countries call us the “Great Satan”, but the only thing is, its not the US, its the folks that have us by the throat and the same ones that are Obama’s puppetmasters. ITs the IMF, which is run by powerful bankers, almost like the Federal Reserve. Volcker is horrible.

  81. How China Stiffed the World in Copenhagen

    Why Beijing insists, “Don’t look at our books!”

    BY JOHN LEE | DECEMBER 21, 2009

    During the frantic final two days of negotiations at Copenhagen over the weekend, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton set a clever trap for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Having just announced that the United States would establish and contribute to a $100 billion international fund by 2020 to help poor countries cope with the challenge of climate change, Clinton added a nonnegotiable proviso: All other major nations would first be required to commit their emissions reduction to a binding agreement and submit these reductions to “transparent verification.” This condition was publicly reaffirmed by Obama, who argued that any agreement without verification would be “empty words on a page.”

    Everyone in the room knew that “all other major nations” primarily meant China. From the beginning, China has steadfastly refused to place its commitments within a binding framework or accept outside monitoring and verification of its progress toward any promised targets. But the eleventh-hour U.S. proposal immediately isolated China. The onus was now on Beijing to agree to standards of “transparent verification.” If it did not, poorer countries standing to benefit from the fund would blame China for breaking the deal. Clinton’s proposal had cunningly undermined Beijing’s leadership over the developing bloc of countries.

    Chinese officials retreated to their well-worn negotiation mantra, namely arguing that such demands were an insult to China and would be a violation of Chinese sovereignty and national interests. Wen had been outflanked and was angry, even leaving the conference center and subsequently snubbing Obama in a couple of previously planned bilateral and multinational meetings involving the U.S. president.

    Which raises the question: Why such an extreme response? As Mark Twain reportedly said, there are three kinds of deceptions: lies, damned lies, and statistics. China has long been engaging in a dangerous game of manipulating important economic numbers and concealing domestic commercial realities. Despite all its progress over 30 years, Beijing is afraid to shine too bright a light in dark places, and even more afraid that outsiders might be allowed to do so. In important respects, the government actually embraces opaqueness as a perceived advantage. The thought of “transparent verification” was seen as the thin end of the wedge, allowing outside experts broad authority to peer into the workings of middle China. It would have caused Wen to feel the distinct pang of panic that guilty men feel when they realize the jig might soon be up.

    For two decades, NGOs operating within China have struggled not only with wary officials in Beijing but more trenchantly with local officials for access and information. But teams of international economists, scientists, inspectors, and statisticians roaming China to gather information on carbon emissions and reduction initiatives would have been unprecedented. In promoting China, Beijing projects an image of order and competence to the world. In parts of its wealthier coastal cities, China is that. But these international teams would undoubtedly discover exactly how dysfunctional the heart of the country really is. They would see firsthand and report back how China’s 45 million local officials remain the most formidable obstacle to improving transparency in China’s sprawling economic structure — protecting their turf, defending their privileges, arbitrarily enforcing the law, and when it comes to economic performance, blatantly cooking the books.

    Indeed, China’s economic numbers and statistics ought to be viewed as the most unreliable of any major economy in the world. For example, every quarter, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) goes through the same ritual. Statistics come in from all over the country. The provinces take about two weeks to compile them, three times as fast as many smaller, developed economies with much more efficient processes for data collection. The NBS sorts through them, “consults” with senior government officials, applies a mysterious methodology to trim them into shape, and then spits out an annual GDP figure, always in the neighborhood of 8 percent, that is then diplomatically endorsed by organizations such as the World Bank andthe OECD.

    Incredibly, provinces rarely fail to hit economic targets set for them by Beijing each quarter despite few changes in policy. Inaccuracy is also perpetuated by the fact that local officials are praised and promoted according to their capacity to meet centrally issued targets, while central officials themselves have limited means with which to verify local figures. Beijing is completely aware that these numbers are wildly inaccurate despite aggressively defending them after release. For the sake of its image and reputation, Beijing still wants to assure outsiders that it remains in charge even though in important respects it is not. It would not want a team of independent experts seeing for themselves the deception, dysfunction, and lawlessness that takes place throughout China under the watch of unaccountable local officials.

    This lack of transparency strikes at the heart of China’s credibility in any global climate-change agenda. Wen would not want foreign experts reporting to political masters in America and Europe that Beijing’s capacity to compel local officials and locally managed, state-controlled enterprises — some 120,000 companies and countless other subsidiaries — to implement climate-change initiatives is extremely poor. This would simply strengthen suspicions that decentralized China cannot actually honor future commitments despite promises that it intends to.

    Then there is the further problem of cheating in current and future carbon reduction schemes. Developed countries must feel confident that incentives offered to developing countries to cut emissions (in both absolute terms and emissions relative to economic growth) can be verified. Indeed, earlier this month, the U.N. body in charge of the Clean Development Mechanism, a proviso under the Kyoto Protocol allowing developed countries to purchase carbon offsets for funding “clean energy” developments elsewhere, suspended approvals for dozens of Chinese wind farms over suspicions that China had held back the building of planned wind farms and deliberately lowered previously allocated subsidies to make the wind farms eligible for funding — industrial policies that would disqualify these farms from benefiting under the scheme. China has so far received carbon credits worth more than $1 billion, which is almost half of the total issued under the U.N.-run program.

    China’s government has vigorously denied that it is attempting to illegitimately manipulate the scheme. But the point is that there is no system for independent and external verification; nor is Beijing proposing to allow one. Meanwhile, China had previously pledged that up to 15 percent of its energy would come from renewable sources by 2020 and special efforts would be made to close dirty power plants, impose world-class vehicle-efficiency standards, and proposed various other measures to cut emissions. Again, developed countries suspect that China will receive plaudits and concessions from any future carbon emissions regime without actually keeping its promises.

    Alas, given the desperation to announce a “deal,” Obama backed down. The so-called Copenhagen Accord merely compels developing countries to self-report their emissions every two years and allow outside scrutiny of the data. China is off the hook for the moment, but whether this is enough to satisfy the U.S. Congress when deciding whether to approve any future binding agreement is another matter.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2009/12/21/how_china_stiffed_the_world_in_copenhagen?print=yes&hidecomments=yes&page=full

  82. Steele: Supporters of health reform can expect ‘pink slip’ in 2010

    Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele promised on Monday political repercussion for lawmakers who support healthcare reform.

    Steele said that the GOP would seek to ramp up pressure on centrist lawmakers who could still oppose the health bill in Congress, but said they would more likely face a “pink slip” from voters if they stick with the legislation.

    “The fact that they (the democrats) have total disregard for the concerns and interests of the American people by pursuing this boondoggle of a healthcare bill,” the party chairman said in a conference call on Monday. “I plan to have my foot on the throats of Democrats in this issue, and hold them accountable.”

    Steele said that pressure in the near term would amount to publicity for the bill’s costs and other GOP clams about health reform’s effects, as well as seeking to hold senators to pledges to have the bill available for 72 hours before a final vote.

    But lawmakers who support the bill in the end “can look for the pink slip next year,” Steele said.

    “It’s game on. Harry Reid: Take comfort,” Steele said of the Senate majority leader, a Nevada Democrat who’s expected to face a difficult reelection battle next fall. “You’ve got a lot of friends but you and your friends are going to be looking for work in January 2011.”

    “Guess what: you’re going to have a lot more to fear and a lot more to explain over the next year when you get home,” Steele said of lawmakers who support health reform. “Come next November, they’ll speak. And they’ll speak very loudly, and very clearly.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/73223-steele-supporters-of-health-reform-can-expect-pink-slip-in-2010

  83. Patriot Call To Action

    * * * Telephone Tea-Party * * *

    Call Congress Today And Tell Them To
    “Kill The Pelosi/Reid/Obamacare Bill”

    Call Congress Now (202) 224-3121

    Are we Venezuela Yet?

  84. Larry @ No Quarter

    Pity the poor souls of Delaware Rhode Island. They have an uber moron for Senator. Sheldon Whitehouse. Hatemonger. Someone tell this clueless clown that there is this magical device called a video recorder. Not only does it capture images of people–Senator Nitwit Whitehouse for example–but it also can record audio and preserve for those with Alzheimers or short attention spans the chance to hear what someone claims they never said.

    So, you did not say what you said but you stand by your speech?

    No wonder our country is at peril. With an unintelligent bald face liar like this getting elected we should harbor no doubt whatsoever that our democracy is dysfunctional. Senator Whitehouse is guilty of hate speech. Someone needs to prosecute him.

    Trackback URL
    8 COMMENTS »
    Comment by Retired | 2009-12-21 20:09:46

    Well, Shelly, whoever you opponent is going to be, he will be thanking you for taping his ads for him free of charge. Are you paying attention, Rhode Island?

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by Jay in Delaware | 2009-12-21 20:39:44

    Whitehouse is not a dimocrat from DE. Being from the great state of Delaware our contribution to this admin is Propagandist Plouffe and Vice Doofus Joe Biden!

    Reply to this comment

    Comment by lizzy | 2009-12-21 21:11:51

    Good thing that he told us the insurance industry is in its death throes. It seems to me that they and the pharmacutical companies are the ones getting fat. The bill certainly won’t solve any health care problems.

    Rep

  85. If you look at Sheldon in the video you would swear he is on drugs. I do not know what game he is playing, but he comes across as totally repulsive. He looks Viccchi to me, as in Vicci France which sided with the Nazis.

  86. “Steele said that pressure in the near term would amount to publicity for the bill’s costs and other GOP claims about health reform’s effects, as well as seeking to hold senators to pledges to have the bill available for 72 hours before a final vote.”

    ——————–

    I hope the Republicans go all out with bad publicity of this bill. I was worried that once it is passed the media would either whitewash the whole thing or refuse to report on it so that the public would lose interest. The Republicans are just as bad as the dims, but maybe they can knock each other out with this mess.

  87. Sheldon Whitehouse’s rantings are of no consequence to me unless he votes “NO” on the Health Care Bill.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “I hope the Republicans go all out with bad publicity of this bill. I was worried that once it is passed the media would either whitewash the whole thing or refuse to report on it so that the public would lose interest. The Republicans are just as bad as the dims, but maybe they can knock each other out with this mess.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I can only hope Steele is replaying the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill and shouting to his cohorts, “don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.” That day cometh on Christmas eve.

  88. wbboei, These two emails I have sent you, they do make me believe that something big is going to happen here in the USA, but I am not sure when since the HC fiasco won’t come into effect til 2014. It will probably be my luck that is will 2016 since that is the year I will officially retire. I think this is all leading up to getting rid of social security and medicare as we know it today. Well we may have social security but it will be severely cut. The folks that are controlling this country don’t want to pay for the baby boomers and this I believe is what it is all about.

  89. Mrs. Smith, I would like to send you those emails I sent to Wbboei, ask him to forward them or ask him for my email address and I can send them to you. They are very interesting.

  90. confloyd
    December 21st, 2009 at 4:52 am
    wbboei, this is off topic, but I have been doing a little digging into this Farouk Shami, he is running for Gov. of Texas. He is a Palestinian and I think he is OK, he has given money to the republicans and he also gave money to Hillary, so I think he is safe. He also moved his company from China mainly because there was always someone trying to steal his name brand, so he came back here and wants to get into politics. I think he is safe. I will continue to monitor.
    ***********************

    HE IS AN OBAMA SUPPORTER, BIG TIME. HE DOESN’T HAVE A CHANCE.

    AND RON PAUL IS NUTS…

  91. Gonzotex, Thanks, I have very leary of this guy Farouk Shami, and have been trying to find out if he is Obama’s Texas connection. If you have anymore information on this please post it as I am researching him. I will NOT vote for the idiot we have in right now, have always figured I would vote for Kay Bailey-Hutchinson. I don’t want to see another Soros generated Governor get in office especially here in Texas as the Trans Texas highway is going in.

    Ron Paul is too antiwar for me, but his other ideas are OK.

  92. Vanity4 usa, I read that piece it seems that they are going to put in special provisions the HC bill for AA’s and Hispanics and thereby giving Acorn a say so in the HC. Its kind of vague.

  93. Mrs. Smtih, Who is Obama giving the one finger salute too?? Was this in Copenhagen??

    You should see the pic at Obamafile, its really scary!

    Be sure you get Wbboei to forward that information I sent him today. It will go with the above posted video.

    The Federal Reserve is not the federal govt. it a group of commercial banks that is owned by the Rothchilds,inc. The Bilderberg group.

  94. wbboei, OMG, that was the funniest video I have seen lately. All they need is a efagy of their leader “Obama” and the scene would be complete. ROTFLMAO!! I forgot,the also need one of Al. Now they are screaming at their posters of their leader saying WHY< WHY have you forsaken us!!

  95. Mrs.Smith, That was some kind of article in HuffnPuff. That guy left no stone unturned and he threw every single one of them at Barack Obama.

  96. Chalk up one for The People:
    …Indeed, it seems mainly to be congressional Democrats who favor this bill. After decades of failure, they are desperate to pass the bill, but they are placing their zeal ahead of true reform. Thus, they gave in to Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who represents the insurance companies and objected first to a public option that could have restrained costs and then to expanding Medicare. Both were scrapped, though the public option remains in the House bill. Then they let Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., hijack the bill. To secure his vote, they made abortion coverage more difficult and then finished the deal by buying him off with $100 million in additional Medicaid funding for Nebraska. Taxpayers of the other 49 states will pay for that.

    The problems are multiple, but they flow from Obama’s lack of leadership on the plan and from Congress’ resulting willingness to give the store away to the usual special interests — insurers, trial lawyers and drugmakers. The legislation that took shape in the Senate last week throws millions of Americans and businesses overboard to protect the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies that Lieberman serves….

    http://www.buffalonews.com/149/story/901525.html

  97. confloyd
    December 22nd, 2009 at 3:04 am

    Blago’s the one- I’m sure he realizes he is not part of the Obama/Soros future by now. He is also aware Obama thinks nothing of throwing old “friends” under the bus. Blago, unlike Obama, does have a conscience. He has helped people who are in dire straits in the past if for nothing else, he adores himself when playing the role of a larger than life super-hero.

    He is the one to get-to to take Obama down. Give him the whole nine yards- immunity from prosecution, the entire stimulus pkg money whatever he wants, whatever it takes- But do it.. America is in dire peril of losing it’s freedom, democracy, it’s respect and strength as a country more than ever before in our history.

    Blago was a prosecutor. He knows the drill. He also knows our country is at a tipping point. One more push and we all go over the cliff. He’s the one that can save America and be written about in the history books as the Governor who trumped the President.

  98. Mrs. Smith

    I agree tht Blogs the one to take OO down. He knows the criminal system just as well as O does. He knows where the bodies are buried, and he just need to be offered the right incentive.

  99. White House blocks testimony by former top aide to First Lady

    By: Byron York
    Chief Political Correspondent
    12/22/09

    The White House counsel’s office has barred congressional investigators from interviewing Jackie Norris, former chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama, about events leading to the firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin. Republican investigators from the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform have wanted to question Norris since they learned earlier this month that she met with Alan Solomont, chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that oversees AmeriCorps, on June 9, the day before Walpin was summarily fired. Solomont was heavily involved in the Walpin dismissal.

    News of the White House action comes in a letter to Norris from Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House committee. “Our request to meet with you was denied by [Corporation for National and Community Service] general counsel Frank Trinity,” Issa wrote to Norris. “Mr. Trinity told my staff that the White House counsel’s office has advised him that they were not permitting the Corporation to make you available for an interview.” Issa wrote that the counsel’s office further said it would “consider” the interview request and let Issa know its decision. But Issa added that, “It has been some time since we made our initial request to Mr. Trinity, and we have not heard from him or the White House counsel’s office.” Issa made the interview request on December 9.

    Republicans are particularly curious about Norris because of discrepancies in accounts of the Walpin firing given to them by Solomont. When investigators first interviewed Solomont, on July 15, he denied having talked to Norris. Then, after White House visitor logs showed that Solomont visited Norris three times, including the day before Walpin was fired, Solomont acknowledged meeting with Norris and discussing Corporation business with her. Solomont said he did not discuss the Walpin matter with Norris, but when pressed, he conceded he might have made an offhand comment about it, or a mention in passing. Still, Solomont insisted that he and Norris did not have a discussion about it.

    GOP investigators are also interested in Norris because First Lady Michelle Obama has taken a special interest in national service, and notes from a March conference call of the Corporation’s board said that Mrs. Obama “will be playing a central role in the national service agenda.” Investigators also discovered that the First Lady had been “tasked with appointing the Corporation’s next Chief Executive Officer,” according to a report released last month by Issa and Republican Sen. Charles Grassley. In addition, on June 4, the White House announced that Norris was leaving the First Lady’s office to become a senior adviser at the Corporation. Taken together, those events prompted investigators to ask whether the First Lady’s office, through Norris, played any role in the Walpin affair.

    Republican investigators do not know the legal basis for the White House decision declining to make Norris available for an interview. The White House counsel’s office has also declined to hand over some documents requested by GOP investigators, but has never made a claim of executive privilege. White House officials have long said that neither the First Lady nor anyone in her office had anything to do with the Walpin firing.

    President Obama fired Walpin on June 10 in the midst of an intense dispute over Walpin’s aggressive investigation of misuse of AmeriCorps money by Obama political ally Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/White-House-blocks-testimony-by-former-top-aide-to-First-Lady–79891752.html

  100. Obama faulted on handling of health care, economy

    December 22, 2009

    Even as the Senate sleepwalks toward handing him a major victory on health care, President Obama isn’t inspiring confidence among voters on his handling of the issue, or of the economy for that matter, according to a new poll.

    The Quinnipiac University survey released today found that 56 percent disapprove of Obama’s performance on health care and 53 percent oppose the bill, which the Democratic-controlled Senate moved forward with another procedural vote this morning.

    “As President Barack Obama’s numbers on health care have declined so has his margin over Republicans on whom American voters trust most on the issue,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “In July he enjoyed a 20-point edge on the trust question, and that margin has been narrowing, to 45 – 40 percent today.”

    The poll also found that 51 percent of respondents don’t like how the president is handling the economy and 56 percent disapprove of how he is trying to create jobs. More than nine in 10 voters rate the economy as either “not so good” or poor.

    The poll was conducted Dec. 15-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2009/12/obama_faulted_o.html

  101. confloyd, that video of Blago is amazing. I hope he sings like a canary. I was totally unaware that he stood up to Bank of America and called out the bailouts, and threatened to remove the billions in Illinois state business from their coffers. If other governors had followed suit, they would have been F*CKED. It is really weird that he got arrested and the villification began the very next day.

    And BTW, Hillary also stood up and made a speech saying that she thought there was market manipulation going on, and vowed to investigate it if she won. It was the very next day that the DNC and the media began their intensified HOWLS to hound her out of the race.

  102. NewMexicoFan
    December 22nd, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Where enough time has passed since Obama was elected, I’m sure the plan Obama laid out to Blago during the campaign included him in a future Cabinet position. As we know, that didn’t materialize because it was preempted by the Fitzgerald sting operation. Obama has kept Blago in limbo since that time with promises of making his troubles all go away in return for his continued silence. Obama is a cold blooded killer. The only one that matters is him and Soros.

    Blago’s mental state is prime for another request by someone he trusts that can articulate the seriousness of our state of affairs with conviction. (I’m thinking Carville) Obama needs to be removed as well as Rahm Emanuel. I don’t think there is much love lost between Blago and Emanuel. It may even be plausible Emanuel fingered Blago to get rid of him permanently because he’s dangerous, he knows too much. If that can be convincingly proven to Blago, we might just have a chance turning things around for the citizens who suffer (us included) because of the insanity of a brain behind a brain Obama/Soros presidency we are bound to because of Soros’s obsession with destroying America.

    How in God’s name can we deal with other countrys when we are dealing from weakness? In the game of politics, the only way for our country to prevail is restoring her strength as the Leader of the Free World. Restoring the respect she commands with the knowledge we are capable of creating a better life throughout the planet for ALL people in World.

  103. The Dimwittedness of the Left is quite laughable if not pathetic. The are just waking up to the realities of Obama now that Obamacare is revealing itself as a corporate give away. Over at Firedoglake you’ll find the following epiphanies:

    “I really think we might have a cult of personality forming here.” (“Obama’s Health Care Cult of Personality” http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/20489 )

    And this gem:

    between the populist right, the authentic populist, antiwar Left, folks who will very much be ready to hear about Single Payer after a few years of being forcibly reamed by the crapptastic individual mandates, the millions and millions of disaffected Americans who don’t bother with the nearly pointless Sacrament on Nov 2nd, and the countless thousands Obama and his thoroughly corporatized Democrats have been shaking off of the Donkey, we have the makings of a fantastic coalition! (“To Progressives: Not That Guilt Trip Again!” http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/20486 )

    Had they listened to critics of BO during the primaries and to PUMAS, they would not look so dumb and gullible now.

  104. The Dimwittedness of the Left is quite laughable if not pathetic. The are just waking up to the realities of Obama now that Obamacare is revealing itself as a corporate give away. Over at Firedoglake you’ll find the following epiphanies:

    “I really think we might have a cult of personality forming here.” (“Obama’s Health Care Cult of Personality” http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/20489 )

    And this gem:

    between the populist right, the authentic populist, antiwar Left, folks who will very much be ready to hear about Single Payer after a few years of being forcibly reamed by the crapptastic individual mandates, the millions and millions of disaffected Americans who don’t bother with the nearly pointless Sacrament on Nov 2nd, and the countless thousands Obama and his thoroughly corporatized Democrats have been shaking off of the Donkey, we have the makings of a fantastic coalition! (“To Progressives: Not That Guilt Trip Again!” http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/20486 )

    Had they listened to critics of BO during the primaries and to PUMAS, they would not look so dumb and gullible now. Cult of personality and coalition, indeed!

Comments are closed.