The Obama Cult At Demon Pass

The Obama Hell’s Gate cult is at Demon Pass. The Harmful Narcissist from corrupt Chicago sells his massive transfer of wealth from the American taxpayer to Big Insurance and Big PhaRma as a “Save Me” scheme.

The “Save Me and vote for my health scam” plea from Barack Obama will doom Dimocrats and loot Medicare. The Obama health scam will hurt the elderly who are not part of the situation comedy Obama coalition , and invoke a “deem and pass” parliamentary shortcut which henceforth will be known as “Demon Pass”.

The Barack Obama Heaven’s Gate Cult hopes to abduct America into the abyss of Mess-iah. It’s not about health care or what is good for America – it’s about the cult of Obama, Obama,Obama (which Kucinich invoked when he attacked the scam but still joined the cult).

Like any cult the first step is to isolate recruits. In this instance, the recruits are congressional representatives not yet decided on their vote on the Obama health scam. The congressional recruits will be kept isolated from their constituents who loathe and fear the Obama health scam. The next steps are misinformation and misplaced Hope.



* * * * * *

What is forgotten in all the Demon Pass debate and the “Save Me” claptrap is the notion of congress as a check on the executive.

It’s about Obama’s political health, not what is good for the American people. That’s what it’s always been. As Michelle Obama warned ““She was angry at his selfishness and careerism; he thought she was cold and ungrateful.”

Obama did not care when Jeremiah Wright said “God Damn America” on the Sunday after 9/11. Obama dumped Wright with these words:And what I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks was somehow political posturing.” “I don’t think that he showed much concern for me.”

It’s always about Obama to Obama. Dennis Kucinich cited Obama’s political health as the reason for changing his vote even as he denounced the actual legislation. Other Dimocrats also sayGod Damn America, I’ll vote for the noxious bill in order to save Mess-iah Obama.Obama is terrified of a one way ticket to Waterloo.

This morning Americans were subjected to rumor disguised as fact by the “Save Obama, Damn America” Dimocrats. The Congressional Budget Office released a preliminary report but it was treated as final by Dimocrats. The CBO cover letter to the preliminary report stated:

Although CBO completed a preliminary review of legislative language prior to its release, the agency has not thoroughly examined the reconciliation proposal to verify its consistency with the previous draft. This estimate is therefore preliminary, pending a review of the language of the reconciliation proposal, as well as further review and refinement of the budgetary projections.

The CBO preliminary report signaled the release of the actual legislation, finally. The bill (HERE) is supposed to be voted on this Sunday, if the votes can be found. They still don’t have the votes.

They still don’t have the votes and the numbers are cooked. Included in the health scam is a provision about student loans. The student loan provision is yet another scam insert – the reason why the student loan provision is included, is not based on the supposed benefits or supposed detriments of the program – it’s a scam to make the CBO projections look reasonable.

“Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews said the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimate has been long in coming because Democrats have been forced by procedural rules to draft the reconciliation bill in a way that reduces the deficit each year for the next decade.

“It’s not a policy problem. Technically, the student loan bill gets us another $64 billion or something in defecit reduction,” Andrews said. “The addition of the student loan part has complicated everything. This is a process where one little thing affects everything else or at least there has to be an analysis of whether it affects everything else. So that’s been the principal problem.”

The student loan provision has nothing to do with healthcare but it is part of the scam to make the numbers look good. Add to this the fact that about half of the supposed savings come from looting Medicare and you will get some idea of how big this Obama scam is.

Trolling for votes in order to “Save Me”, Barack Obama was forced to postpone his vacation until June.

“Postponing a presidential trip overseas is a dramatic step, and the move — decided on by Obama at 9:45 a.m. Thursday, official said — speaks to the importance health reform has taken on for the president. [snip]

Gibbs insisted that the delay in the trip didn’t mean trouble for the House passing reform. “The president still believes we will have the votes,” he said. [snip]

But House leaders say they’re still short of the 216 votes needed to pass reform in the House.”

Recall, the first Obama deadline for health care was July of 2009. The last deadline was yesterday because Obama was to go on his vacation today. Now, the latest deadline, after many in between July and yesterday, is Sunday.

Today, The Dimocrats also were forced to vote to proceed to Demon Pass.

“In a 222-203 vote, Democrats beat back a GOP resolution offered by Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Parker Griffith (Ala.) that would have forced lawmakers to vote on the Senate healthcare bill separately from the series of fixes they hope to make to that legislation.”

That will be another vote held against Dimocrats by the voters this November. Those who voted to march into Demon Pass will be held to account. Demon Pass is a gateway to Hell:

“The co-chairwoman of the Blue Dog Coalition says that using a controversial “deem and pass” mechanism to pass healthcare reform would be “poison.”

In a conference call with reporters today, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.), who is a “firm no” on the bill itself, said the process Democrats are considering would spell disaster for the climate in Congress.

“While deeming, like reconciliation, has been used by Republicans and Democrats in the past, the context in which it would be used in this case leads me to conclude that it would poison an already terribly partisan atmosphere and leave the Congress even less able to find bipartisan solutions to fiscal problems that are on the verge of becoming overwhelming,” Herseth Sandlin said.”

Sandlin is not alone:

“Even one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s floor whips, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, says a proposed parliamentary move to pass health-care reform would be “disingenuous” and harm the credibility of Congress.

In a sign of how tough it’s been for Pelosi to round up votes for the massive bill, Lynch – a South Boston Democrat who supported a House reform package last year – said he’ll probably vote against a key Senate version of the legislation, unless unexpected major changes are made soon.

Lynch, who serves as one of Pelosi’s key vote counters, said he also can’t support a proposed “deem and pass” procedure that would allow Democrats to vote to strip out controversial portions of the Senate bill and then “deem” that the entire package has passed without a second, direct vote.

“It’s disingenuous,” said Lynch, who considers unfair a Senate provision to tack a surcharge on higher-end health plans. “It would really call into question the credibility of the House.”

Lynch is a completely unexpected “NO” vote in an already close battle. Michael Arcuri is also a brand new and unexpected “No” vote. Arcuri is from New York State and has a particularly important perch:

“A key House Dem has begun informing party leaders he plans to vote against health care legislation both on the House floor and in the rules committee, on which he sits.

Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-NY), a sophomore Dem who had a tougher-than-expected re-election bid in ’08, has told the Dem caucus he will vote against the bill.

He becomes the 3rd member, along with Reps. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), to have switched from supporting the first bill, in Nov., to opposing the Senate version.”

Remember: They Don’t Have The Votes – not yet, maybe never. They Don’t Have The Votes. Politico and others are only now following our lead and echoing our Copenhagen/Waterloo:

“The decision to cancel his trip may look like a sign of urgency but it’s also, in the language of Washington, a sign of tremendous confidence: You don’t set the President of the United States up to experience humiliation in person. It’s being taken right now by people on both sides of the fight as the clearest sign yet that Nancy Pelosi has the votes.

UPDATE: And yet. Kate Pickert notes that Obama personally intervened in the lost Coakley cause, and flew to Europe in a fruitless quest for the Olympics. So don’t rule humiliation out entirely.”

They Don’t Have The Votes. Protests will take place this weekend to cut them off at Demon Pass.

They Don’t Have The Votes.

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105 thoughts on “The Obama Cult At Demon Pass

  1. I knew your next post would be a good one. LOL I’m lovin’ this and I wondering if those..uh, what was the phrase? Oh yeah… “aging white women from battleground states” are causing problems for the administration. I’m seeing it in my neighborhood. Obama is losing the 50+ women in spades as this moves forward. And these are women who volunteered for the campaign, and in at least one case, maxed out in contribution. Oh, they are mad. Cali may not be a battleground state but I think there’s going to be some real battles here, nonetheless.

    Interesting that Mathews used the word “impeach” in that segment. That’s some pretty bold rhetoric from a historical, world class sycophant.

  2. If even Tingles won’t cross into Demon Pass, things must be really bad. Who would have thunk it?

  3. This is just hysterical. I’m enjoying my schadenfreude. It’s like a new favorite toy. I turn on the news and see the fuckers squirm.

  4. Hey- Okie….

    “They Don’t Have The Votes.”
    _______________

    And BO doesn’t want to fly all those miles smack dab into flaming protests in Indonesia, where he’s been labeled a TERRORIST.

  5. Watching these vote counts as the ranks close in is so reminiscent of the primary. Real sense of impending doom.

  6. Clinton was smart (politically) to back out of it gracefully in ’93. This inexperienced wuss has a lot to learn — he has backed himself into a corner and “begging” the Dims to save him.

  7. mj
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:26 pm
    Watching these vote counts as the ranks close in is so reminiscent of the primary. Real sense of impending doom.
    ——————————————————

    I have had the same exact feeling. Like it is a done deal. What a bunch of cowards and spineless creepos.

  8. #
    birdgal
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    mj
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:26 pm
    Watching these vote counts as the ranks close in is so reminiscent of the primary. Real sense of impending doom.
    ——————————————————

    I have had the same exact feeling. Like it is a done deal. What a bunch of cowards and spineless creepos.

    It’s sick.

  9. Actually, BC was pissed that they didn’t put the measure to an up or down vote. Obama’s delighted they are not putting the measure to an up or down(demon pass). Ironic.

  10. ” Now, we can fix this in a way that is sensible, that is centrist. I have rejected a whole bunch of provisions that the left wanted that are — you know, they were very adamant about because I thought it would be too disruptive to the system.”

    I love how he continually spits in the face of the Left and they just lap it up. They love it! They can’t get enough of it. Pathetic fools.

  11. Republicans assail IRS provision in health care bill

    By Vicki Needham – 03/18/10 03:22 PM ET

    House Ways and Means Republicans on Thursday assailed a provision in the proposed health care reform bill under consideration this week.

    Subcommittee on Oversight ranking member Charles Boustany (R-La.) said the IRS provision in the bill “dangerously expands, in an ominous way the tentacles of the IRS and it’s reach into every American family,” he said today during a press conference.

    “This is a vast expanse of power,” he said.

    Boustany said the bill would allow the IRS to confiscate refunds if there are penalties for not buying health care.

    Lawmakers have questioned whether the IRS can handle the increased workload to oversee, administer and collect penalties for people who don’t buy health insurance.

    “This is increasing tax liability and tax scrutiny,” said Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).

    Ranking member Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said many Americans have already rejected the call for health care reform for other reasons and an expansion of the IRS should only add to call to “kill the bill.”

    Taxpayers could be required to buy insurance under President Barack Obama’s reform proposal by 2014 or face penalties of roughly $325 per individual that the IRS would collect.

    Assuming it becomes law, the Congressional Budget Office expects the IRS will need roughly $10 billion over the next 10 years and nearly 17,000 new employees to meet its new responsibilities under health reform.

    “We’re going to fight to the end to see that this does not pass,” Boustany said.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/87697-republicans-assail-irs-provision-in-health-care-bill-?page=1#comments

    … just about every comment calling for a Revolution IF the bill is passed….

  12. Mrs. Smith:

    If the bill passes, we can expect a real tea party protest where folks will refuse to pay taxes until the bill is repealed.

  13. #
    IndyPUMA
    March 18th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Mrs. Smith:

    If the bill passes, we can expect a real tea party protest where folks will refuse to pay taxes until the bill is repealed.
    ______________________

    Does anyone really believe the money collected over the next 4 yrs for the HCPlan will be allocated towards funding it by 2014? What happens if in 2014 the HC treasury is empty? So far, the only vote I have for this administration is a vote of NO Confidence.

  14. The demo rats keep playing those mind games…

    We’re playing those mind games together,
    Pushing barriers, planting seeds,
    Playing the mind guerilla,
    Chanting the Mantra peace on earth,
    We all been playing mind games forever, … John Lennon

  15. I come here almost everyday and read admin’s always spot-on analysis and enjoy the posts. I am so sick of this travesty administration and while it used to be hard for me to find anyone who did not favor Obama, now I’m finding that everyone I know is really upset at seeing our government behave in this manner, and they are putting the blame squarely on Obama. I have always had a “jury’s still out on Kucinich” for example. Just wating for something solid to see if he really was a man of principle. And he turned out to be the absolute weenie everyone said he was. Like the biggest weenie ever, an airplane ride with a flim-flam man is all it took! Oh well.
    I am really glad that Hillary is out there taking care of us with the rest of the world right now, because lord knows Obama could care less about what’s going on anywhere if there is no immediate pay-off for him involved with anything. Looking back, under the circumstances, becoming SofS was the absolute smartest move she could have made and if we come out of this ‘obamination’ in anywhere near one piece it will be due, in no small part, to the work that Hillary is doing behind the scenes. That’s how I see it anyway. I just wish that she was being more recognized for this work. Glad you are her to keep the flame for her.

  16. wbboei
    March 18th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    ***************

    I love your stories
    ***************

    I think I said a few days ago, this is just a repeat of the primaries. If 222 Dems voted for the slaughter rule and they only need 216, consider it done.

  17. WE ARE NOW A DICTATORSHIP

    It’s offical, we have lost the Republic. All hands on deck!
    ********************
    http://tiny.cc/iNbW0

    The White House declined on Thursday to rule out that President Barack Obama might sign future legislation, such as an immigration reform measure, that has not been put to a recorded yea-or-nay vote in both houses of Congress.

  18. Just so no one freaks out, a quick word about the latest New York Times humbug.

    The NYT has published an article with this headline: “From Bitter Campaign to Strong Alliance”

    However, the text of the story says something else.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/19/us/politics/19policy.html?hp

    Still, there is none of the deep familiarity or the tight bonds — the round-the-clock, back-channel access — of their predecessors, Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush, or going further back, James A. Baker and the first President Bush or Henry A. Kissinger and Richard M. Nixon.

    “Hillary Clinton is the secretary of state,” said David Rothkopf, a former Clinton administration official who has written about the shaping of foreign policy. “The question now is whether she becomes a real adviser, and whether he trusts her.”

    Mr. Obama has jealously guarded his prerogatives as the architect of American foreign policy, concentrating decision-making on crucial issues like Iran, Iraq and the Middle East in the White House. And Mrs. Clinton has yet to stake a claim to a core foreign-policy issue, the kind of signature role that would allow her nascent partnership with Mr. Obama to become a truly historic alliance. [snip]

    Interviews with more than a dozen senior White House and State Department officials, and friends of Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, suggest that the president and his top diplomat are still easing into their alliance. Most of those interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, but their accounts have been matched against those of other participants whenever possible. The officials and associates tell a story of painstaking cultivation and sublimated ambition, seat-of-the-pants diplomacy and ritualized White House meetings (she sips water; he munches an apple).

    While their underlings at times grouse about one another — some Clinton supporters call White House officials “The Cardinals” (to suggest that they are too controlling), and some Obama staff members refer to the State Department as “Hillaryland” (the campaign’s leftover name for the enemy camp) — Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton both have compelling reasons to make their relationship work. [snip]

    Even on small matters, the White House has been intent on getting its way. One of Mr. Obama’s key foreign-policy advisers, Denis McDonough, has clashed over ambassadorial appointments with Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl D. Mills, a negotiation that is more delicate than usual because the secretary of state, like the president, wants to reward political supporters. And Mr. Obama’s advisers rejected a plan to give Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton family confidant, a consulting job at the State Department.

  19. larkspar

    I am really glad that Hillary is out there taking care of us with the rest of the world right now, because lord knows Obama could care less about what’s going on anywhere if there is no immediate pay-off for him involved with anything. Looking back, under the circumstances, becoming SofS was the absolute smartest move she could have made and if we come out of this ‘obamination’ in anywhere near one piece it will be due, in no small part, to the work that Hillary is doing behind the scenes.

    ————-
    I totally agree with you. Smart move for Hillary. If she had gone back as a Jr. senator and had to watch this travesty with O’health care…it would have been too outrageous for her and for all of us Hillary supporters.

  20. It can’t be easy for the Fraud to work with someone as well loved around the world, intelligent, hard working and a real Democrat…as Hillary.

    Besides, the New York Times has lost it’s credibility and is going down hill as a news organization.

    Obama is and always has been jealous of Hillary and he knows she has shown him up in everything she does. Approval rating shows he has a real reason to be concerned with his poor performance.

    He thinks he deserves to be admired, he thinks he is clever and deserving.

    He is wrong.

    He is a Fraud and we all know it.

  21. Poor Bambi: he is stuck in Washington and forced to confront mean journalists like Bret Baird, angry tea parties, and recalcitrants in his own party, when all he really wants to do is fly the coup. Better to confront angry mobs in Indonesia, than angry mobs at home.

    Cudos to Okie for saying it better than I could: “I’m enjoying my schadenfreude. It’s like a new favorite toy. I turn on the news and see the fuckers squirm.

    From the gas light era comes a song which sums up Obama’s present dilemma: He’s Only A Bird In A Gilded Cage. And in his case alas he sold his soul for an old man’s gold he’s a bird in a gilded cage–1600 Pennsylvania Avenue/

  22. Missing in his impressive list of Tsars is someone who can advise him what it is like to be a four year old in America today. Therefore, I move that he appoint a five year old to be his Tsar and that this expert advise him on that important subject. Notice he is appointing lots of thirty one year olds, and in the fast paced technology driven world we live in today thirty-one is like eighty year olds used to be. I wonder if Dr. Death is included in the health care deform bill. If so then the thirty year olds need to take a number and get in line.

  23. Admin:

    Could you please post the video at:

    Mrs. Smith
    March 18th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Theres something about protesters in a foreign country standing shoulder to shoulder welcoming Obama..

  24. Mrs. Smith, we would like to embed the video but the code has been disabled by Reuters. Too bad because it is a good video and it would get more views if Reuters did not have such a narrow view of its copyright claims.

  25. Thanks admin for posting the John Lennon video. I haven’t seen it in ages, and I forgot how much I like the song. Maybe when this Obamascare nightmare is defeated, you can post Here Comes the Sun because I know that I’ll feel like one heck of a storm has passed, and it will recharge my spirit for the future battles that I know are just around the corner. 🙂

  26. Admin: the corrupt New York Times will do anything to prop up their Frankenstein/ In fact they are now so desperate that they have cast aside the old meme that she is the old discredited status quo and their Frankenstein was the wave of the future. That one does not work so well anymore. So comes now the new meme which is to say they have a strong partnership in the vain hope that her credibility and world standing will be associated with him. What I do worry about, however, is that the Republicans who are trying to tie Hillary to Obama so she goes down with him will seize upon this. This is why it is imperative that she keep her distance from him and this dim ritual of self immolation.

  27. Ace
    ***********

    March 18, 2010
    CBO: Obama/Pelosi? Ummm…they lie.
    —Purple Avenger
    Actual ObamaCare™ 10 year cost is well over $2,000,000,000,000 and that’s using the insane Alice in Wonderland scoring rules congress compels the CBO to use.

    …To see the bill’s true first-decade costs, we need to start the clock when the costs would actually start in any meaningful way: in 2014. The CBO says that Obamacare would cost $2.0 trillion in the bill’s real first decade (from 2014 to 2023) — and much more in the decades to come.

    But $2.0 trillion wouldn’t be the total ten-year costs. Instead, that would merely be the “gross cost of coverage provisions.” Based on earlier incarnations of the proposed overhaul, the total costs would be about a third higher (the exact number can’t be gleaned from the CBO’s analysis, which is only preliminary and is not a full scoring) — making the total price-tag between $2.5 and $3 trillion over the bill’s real first decade.

    How would we pay for all of this? According to the CBO, by diverting $1.1 trillion away from already barely-solvent Medicare and spending it on Obamacare, and by increasing taxes on the American people by over $1 trillion….

    …And what would we get for all of this? The CBO says that health insurance premiums would rise by 10 to 13 percent in the individual market, in relation to current law. The Medicare Chief Actuary says that the percentage of the gross domestic product spent on health care would also rise in relation to current law, increasing from 17 percent today to 21 percent in 2019. And, as the CBO reports in its latest scoring, as of 2019 there would still be 23 million people in America lacking health insurance…

    Such a deal eh? Never before has “pay more get less” tasted so good! If the Robber Barons of old were alive to see this they’d bow their heads in awe of the shear brazenness and magnitude of this public fleecing and realize they’d operated like amateurs even during their heyday.

  28. NoMoBama, “Here Comes The Sun” is for a Hillary-nother day. This JBStonesFan song might be more appropriate these days: 🙂

  29. Wbboei, Hillary is in Moscow and Bill is on his way to Haiti along with George W. Bush. It’s a big enough story to draw news cameras and show Bill is far away from Washington disasters.

    Great timing by Hillary and Bill.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/nationworld/stories/0319dnnathaiti.1bc9d6845.html

    Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will visit Haiti together on Monday, in their first joint visit to the disaster zone. [snip]

    Members of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund board will join them Monday.

    The six-member board includes Laura Graham and Bruce Lindsey, former Clinton administration aides and now top executives at Clinton’s own foundation; Joshua Bolten, former Bush chief of staff; Bill Frist, the former Senate Republican leader and a physician; Henrietta Fore, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development under Bush; Clinton’s labor secretary, Alexis Herman; and Gary Edson, a deputy national security adviser to Bush.

  30. From Admin’s NYT article:

    “At last week’s session, for example, the two discussed rebuking Israel for its plan to build Jewish housing units in East Jerusalem, and Mrs. Clinton followed up with a stern phone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
    _______________________

    As I mentioned the other day, Hillary would never out of the clear blue call Bibi and issue him a rebuke for his housing plans unless she was told to do so. And apparently, Bibi is taking responsibility for the ill timed announcement coming just as the Bidens arrived for a weekend visit announcing a continued moratorium on any new construction ..

  31. This excerpt from a longer article which was a rah rah rah speech which connected with the authors audience but was too bland for me. These people are stuck on the socialist groove and that is simply not accurate. But this part of that bloviation is worth posting:
    —————————————————————

    Many have asked how it could be possible for us to lose the vote on the Slaughter Solution today and still win the battle. I never said or thought this would be easy, but folks, that was a procedural vote. No matter what one’s vote on a particular piece of legislation, legislators are expected to support the party line on procedural votes. To not do so is to invite the wrath of the party leadership upon your head, and doesn’t do much for your standing within the caucus either.

    Folks, the wonder of the vote today isn’t that we “lost” it; it’s that 28 Democrats broke with their leadership on a procedural vote. That’s virtually unheard of. I went back and cross-checked lists and at least nine of the Democrats that voted for the SS (that would be the Slaughter Solution voted ‘no’ in November and announced in the last 48 hours that they were firmly against the bill.

    On the other hand, Lipinski (who recently announced a switch from yes to no who I personally thought was an awfully squishy no) voted against the SS as did Harry Mitchell from Arizona (who also voted ‘yes’ in November) Could that be a covering vote to ‘mitigate’ a vote for the Rule itself? Maybe. But I don’t think so.

    All I know is that the whip counts I follow show there are 36 firm no’s; only two no’s from the November vote (Kucinich & Gordon) have announced as a ‘yes’. But there are 10 yes’s from November that have flipped to ‘no’. There are nine no’s from the November vote listed as undecided. Within the ‘undecideds’ are “yes’s” that are part of the Stupak dozen who Stupak says are standing firm. Stupak continues to claim that there are Congressmen on his list that aren’t on anyone else’s, and people who are thought to be part of his coalition who are not. And he continues to maintain that the 12 he has are all holding firm. Folks – the Dems have to run the table on virtually all them because they can only afford to lose two of these people to garner the votes to pass this. And you wonder why The One has postponed until June his trip to Indonesia, and the Democrat leadership is now starting to court Joseph Cao (R) from Louisiana?

  32. Mrs. Smith –

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8573657.stm

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has distanced himself from his brother-in-law’s description of US President Barack Obama as anti-Semitic.[snip]

    In an interview with Israel Army Radio, Mr Ben-Artzi said his brother-in-law should learn from previous Israeli prime ministers.

    “Once the Americans tried to intervene in anything related to Jerusalem we told them one simple word: ‘No’,” he explained.

    Mr Obama, he added, not only disliked Mr Netanyahu personally, but “dislikes the people of Israel“.

    For 20 years, Obama sat with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who is anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, and anti-Jewish.

    He said it was clear Mr Obama agreed with Rev Wright because he had remained a member of his congregation.

    “Think about it. If you had heard of someone who for 20 years sat in church and heard anti-Semitic sermons and didn’t get up to leave after two weeks, wouldn’t you think he identifies with it?” he asked.

    “As a politician running for presidency he had to hide it, but it comes out every time and I think we just have to say it plainly – there is an anti-Semitic president in America,” he said.

    “Unfortunately this creates a difficult situation for Israel, but we will never give up our deepest interests – Jerusalem and our ties with it.”

  33. Wbboei, Hillary is in Moscow and Bill is on his way to Haiti along with George W. Bush. It’s a big enough story to draw news cameras and show Bill is far away from Washington disasters.

    Great timing by Hillary and Bill.
    ————————-
    Admin> yes it is good timing. And in Washington the cherry blossoms are in bloom and Obama is having a bad day at black rock. His megalomania has landed his sorry ass on the horns of a dilemm. On one horn is abject political failure if Obamacare does not pass. On the other horn is the destruction of his party, a perception of tyranny and a growing sense that he is an enemy of the American People if it does pass. Either way he is a big loser. On fourth down it is customary to punt, but not in his case.

  34. Thanks Wbboei, for that count. Obama does not have the votes, yet, and may not ever. The question will begin to be resolved this weekend, maybe, and then maybe during the rest of the week in the Senate, maybe.

    Peggy Noonan, who attacked this website and has defended Obama, and mocked McCain, and hates Hillary, has this:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704207504575130081383279888.html

    Excuse me, but it is embarrassing—really, embarrassing to our country—that the president of the United States has again put off a state visit to Australia and Indonesia because he’s having trouble passing a piece of domestic legislation he’s been promising for a year will be passed next week. What an air of chaos this signals to the world. And to do this to Australia of all countries, a nation that has always had America’s back and been America’s friend.

    How bush league, how undisciplined, how kid’s stuff.

    You could see the startled looks on the faces of reporters as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who had the grace to look embarrassed, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon. The president “regrets the delay”—the trip is rescheduled for June—but “passage of the health insurance reform is of paramount importance.” Indonesia must be glad to know it’s not.

    The reporters didn’t even provoke or needle in their questions. They seemed hushed. They looked like people who were absorbing the information that we all seem to be absorbing, which is that the wheels seem to be coming off this thing, the administration is wobbling—so early, so painfully and dangerously soon.

    Thursday’s decision followed the most revealing and important broadcast interview of Barack Obama ever. It revealed his primary weakness in speaking of health care, which is a tendency to dodge, obfuscate and mislead. He grows testy when challenged. It revealed what the president doesn’t want revealed, which is that he doesn’t want to reveal much about his plan. This furtiveness is not helpful in a time of high public anxiety. At any rate, the interview was what such interviews rarely are, a public service. That it occurred at a high-stakes time, with so much on the line, only made it more electric. [snip]

    And so it ends, with a health-care vote expected this weekend. I wonder at what point the administration will realize it wasn’t worth it—worth the discord, worth the diminution in popularity and prestige, worth the deepening of the great divide. What has been lost is so vivid, what has been gained so amorphous, blurry and likely illusory. Memo to future presidents: Never stake your entire survival on the painful passing of a bad bill. Never take the country down the road to Demon Pass.

  35. Admin:

    “I think we just have to say it plainly – there is an anti-Semitic president in America,” he said.

    And of course, Bibi is right!

    There has to be so much jealousy and consternation surrounding Hillary at these meetings by BO’s advisers, meaning Jarret and Power. I’m sure Obama uses them as an excuse pressuring Hillary into doing things she really is not too comfortable doing. However, it’s times like these, the political capital and personal relationships Hillary has accrued and developed over the years, as the face of America, she is treated like family rather than a government official doing their job.

  36. admin
    Mrs. Smith, we would like to embed the video but the code has been disabled by Reuters. Too bad because it is a good video and it would get more views if Reuters did not have such a narrow view of its copyright claims.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEofePJ9j9I

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

    Sounds like a case for some screen captures. (Not by me, I can’t play videos anyway.)

  37. Admin:

    “And so it ends, with a health-care vote expected this weekend. I wonder at what point the administration will realize it wasn’t worth it”
    _________________

    First the Olympics are deep sixed.. Then Copenhagen is put on ice… Now Health Care is becoming a beached whale on the steps of the White House.

    Just think, all of these three examples are major government/private plans sold to major investors for beau-coup bucks with projected BIG RETURNS…. gone awry, hopefully never to see the light of day…

  38. wbboei
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Great work, wbboei-

    Can you give Telly… bird-dog lessons? 🙂

  39. Right on Mrs.Smith: Hillary truly is looked upon as a close friend rather than an adversary political figure.THe Saudi’s call her Hillary not SoS.The following is a great example of her diplomatic skills.

    ——————————————————

    However, it’s times like these, the political capital and personal relationships Hillary has accrued and developed over the years, as the face of America, she is treated like family rather than a government official doing their job.

  40. This is what Hillary does best DIPLOMACY.

    -Secretary Clinton Meets With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

    Posted: 18 Mar 2010 02:52 PM PDT

    Interactive Travel Map | Trip Page

    Today, Secretary Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. Following their meeting, Secretary Clinton said, “Since our first meeting in Geneva, a little more than a year ago, Minister Lavrov and I, along with our respective governments under the leadership of both President Medvedev and President Obama, have worked toward a new beginning in the relationship between the United States and Russia. We believe that this reset of the relationship has led to much greater cooperation, coordination, and a constructive ongoing consultation on numerous issues that are important to our bilateral relationship and to the global issues that we both are facing.”

    Secretary Clinton continued, “I think it’s critical that Minister Lavrov is hosting the Middle East Quartet. When we begin our meetings with Quartet members this evening, we’ll have the chance to explore in depth the way forward in the Middle East, but these talks are yet another reminder that the United States and Russia, together, face global challenges, and that there are many people not only in Russia and the United States, but, literally, throughout the world who depend upon the ability of the U.S. and Russia to work together.”

    Secretary Clinton then addressed several topics she and Foreign Minister Lavrov discussed, including the upcoming nuclear security summit, Iran’s nuclear program and cooperation on Afghanistan. Secretary Clinton said:

    “We discussed the upcoming nuclear security summit. Fifty heads of state, including President Medvedev, will be in Washington. And it especially is important for the United States and Russia, who bear the responsibility, to continue the way forward on nonproliferation and to work as partners in the global effort to secure fissile materials and counter the threat of nuclear terrorism. So this is another initiative that both President Obama, who suggested it, and President Medvedev, who embraced it, can see the cooperation between us. We are making substantial progress on the new START treaty; that’s the word from our negotiators in Geneva. And the results from the latest negotiating rounds lead us to believe we will be reaching a final agreement soon.

    “We discussed at length Iran’s nuclear program, which remains an issue of grave concern for the international community. We are still committed, as we have been, to a diplomatic solution, but there must be a solution. Iran is not living up to its international obligations and, therefore, we’re working together with our other partners in the P-5+1 to bring together a very clear international consensus in the Security Council that gives Iran the message it needs to hear that its behavior does have consequences and that its pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a direct threat both to regional and global security.

    “I thanked Sergey for the cooperation between the United States and Russia with respect to Afghanistan. The transit agreement that our two presidents announced has resulted in troops and material now moving across Russia in support of coalition operations in Afghanistan. As of this week, 111 flights have ferried more than 15,000 soldiers. And we have also increased our cooperation and launched a joint exercise to share financial intelligence related to the flow of narcotics into Russia, an issue that is very important to the Russian people, and that we have pledged to work with the Russian Government to address.

    “We are also looking for ways to increase our cooperation on disaster response. The devastating earthquake in Haiti was a clear indication of why we need to be working more closely together. Russian emergency relief teams were among the very first on the ground in Haiti after that disaster. This is a particular concern of Minister Lavrov’s, and I believe it’s another area where we should deepen and broaden our working together.

    “The Bilateral Commission that our two presidents established is working well, and we’re pleased by the results of the efforts of the working groups. This goes far beyond traditional foreign issues. We are exploring new opportunities for collaboration in the fields of energy efficiency and nanotechnology. A United States delegation made up of executives from the information technology companies recently visited Russia to explore joint private sector-led initiatives in education, e-government, and other fields. We’re increasing partnerships between Russian and American universities. And there are growing interactions between American and Russian people, including an upcoming sports exchange for young people using basketball as the means of communications.”

    Secretary Clinton concluded, “Now, there are differences in our relationship. We know that. We’ve raised them and we have had very frank conversations about them. But they are raised within the context of an overall approach that looks for ways to narrow the areas of difference and disagreement, that looks to enhance the cooperation and partnership between our two countries that we are building…. [W]e have made real strides in the relationship over the past year, but we still have a lot to do. And many of the challenges facing the world today can only be addressed through greater cooperation between Russia and the United States. That’s the commitment of our two presidents. That’s the commitment that Sergey and I have made over and over again. And we look forward to continuing to work together in the months ahead.”

    —————————————————–

  41. Admin’s link to the Michelle Malkin piece lead to three other referred to links. Here’s the first…

    WILL CBO USE THE “I WAS TOO TIRED TO BE CAREFUL” EXCUSE WHEN LATER HAVING TO EXPLAIN THE FUNNY MATH?

    politico.com/news/stories/0310/34571.html

    By ERIKA LOVLEY | 3/17/10 2:05 PM EDT

    The Democrats’ push to get health care reform passed through Congress is putting incredible strain on staff in the Congressional Budget Office — a stressor that may have contributed to the recent incorrect scoring of a draft House provision.

    CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told House Appropriations Legislative subcommittee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) that his staff has been working “100-hour weeks” and cannot keep up with the budgetary and economic impact queries lawmakers have about health care.

    “Analysis of competing health care proposals absorbed a huge share of the agency’s resources, and CBO analysts in that area have worked flat out for more than a year,” Elmendorf said today. “…Considerable congressional interest in analysis of health care issues is likely to persist and …the almost round-the-clock schedule maintained this past year by CBO’s current staff cannot be maintained much longer.”

    The CBO is under immense pressure from Congress to release the cost estimate of the reconciliation bill for the House legislation. Some lawmakers expect a vote over the weekend.

    The budget office is responsible for providing Congress nonpartisan analysis and cost estimates for legislation, but the CBO has been in the limelight in a much greater way as Democrats desperately try to keep the cost of the health care bill in check.

    But the CBO admits that the quantity of analysis hasn’t been enough to meet the needs of Congress.
    Wasserman Schultz said she was concerned that Elemendorf’s office had recently sent a scored legislative summary to a House office that later needed to be significantly amended.

    Wasserman Schultz’s aides wouldn’t specify where the error occurred, but one aide said that the cost estimate differences were “significant.”
    “Can we be sure in the future that’s not going to happen again?” Wasserman Schultz asked Elmendorf, noting that factual errors are a “big concern. This was a dramatic change…That, to me, should be avoided at all costs.”

    “I wish I could guarantee that,” Elmendorf said.
    “The committee was simply frustrated because they thought that the number provided was a final number, when really it was a preliminary number and that was not adequately conveyed to the committee. The chair’s question was merely a way to communicate the need for better delineation of final vs. preliminary numbers,” Wasserman Schultz spokesman Jonathan Beeton said in a statement after the hearing.

    Elmendorf said the error might have been partially due to a miscommunication between a House aide who received the information, which he said was only an initial projection on the complicated legislative issue.

    Congress granted the CBO a supplemental $2 million appropriation in fiscal 2009 to beef up the office’s health care team and other staffing needs.

    But in its FY 2011 budget proposal, Elmendorf said he is still looking for funds to add an additional four employees, bringing their number to 258.
    The office expects to tackle roughly 600 formal cost estimates, hundreds of informal estimates, about 100 analytical reports and substantial congressional testimony requests in the coming year.

  42. Second link…

    ow.ly/1nTkU

    Five Reasons The CBO Figures Are Phony

    By Ed Carson
    Thu., March 18, ’10 12:20 PM ET

    The Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary “score” says the health care overhaul will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years, saving $138 billion over that time. But the CBO must assess legislation as written, rather than whether it will actually be carried out. Or, as the Economist put it, “The CBO is required to pretend to believe many impossible things before breakfast.”

    1. Medicare cuts

    The Senate health care bill relied heavily on unprecedented cuts in Medicare spending increases. If implemented, this would have a huge impact on seniors’ care. But Congress has always balked at Medicare cuts. (See No. 3).

    2. Delayed start

    To make the budget math work, Democrats plan on delaying the start of subsidies and other costly provisions for several years. (The bill spends just $17 billion through 2013). The true 10-year cost is far higher.

    3. The “doc fix” is excluded

    The Sustainable Growth Rate imposes automatic cuts in Medicare payment rates to doctors.
    For several years, fearing a revolt by doctors — and seniors — Congress has suspended those cuts. The original draft of the House health care bill included a permanent “doc fix.” But that ballooned deficits, so Democrats dropped it, even though everyone knows Congress isn’t going to slash doctors’ rates. The CBO has estimated a “doc fix” would cost $247 billion over 10 years.

    4. Student loans are included

    Doctors’ payments are excluded from the health bill, but major student loan program changes are included? Yep. The reconciliation bill will end student loan subsidies to lenders. The CBO says this will save $19.4 billion over the first decade, accounting for virtually all of the $19.8 billion in deficit reduction from the health care reconciliation bill. Reconciliation bills must cut the deficit by at least $1 billion. So, without the non-health care items, the health care reconciliation bill would not pass muster.

    5. It’s a CLASS act

    In the Senate health bill, a new, voluntary long-term care insurance program called CLASS accounted for some $72 billion of the deficit reduction. The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program is supposed to be deficit-neutral long-term. But Democrats are counting the upfront premium surplus in the short term and ignoring the significant operating deficits after 2029. Update: Democrats also are counting on projected additional Social Security revenues from payroll taxes on higher wages in lieu of lower health benefits. Again, those benefits have to be paid out.

    But wait, there’s more! Let’s assume that the cost savings materialize as planned. It still makes the long-term fiscal outlook worse. Why? Democrats are using up a lot of tax hikes, spending cuts and upfront payment just to get barely better than deficit-neutral. That leaves future lawmakers less scope to bring the nation’s finances into order.

    On a related note, Democrats continue to maintain the health bill would extend Medicare’s solvency by several years. But they plan to use those as-yet-unrealized Medicare cost savings for a huge new entitlement and to reduce the overall deficit.

    Update: Megan McArdle offers her first impressions:

    * “The CBO process has now been so thoroughly gamed that it’s useless.”

    * “Medicare Advantage is being effectively outlawed–in some areas, the reimbursements will actually be below those of the fee-for-service programs.”

    * I think this is a fiscal disaster waiting to happen. But no one on the other side cares, so I’m not sure how much point there is in saying that any more.

  43. Megan McArdle:

    First Thoughts on the CBO Score
    Mar 18 2010, 2:50 PM ET
    As fate would have it, on the day that the CBO report is released, I am in standby hell, and running low on laptop juice. So my thoughts on the CBO score, and the revised reconciliation bill, are necessarily somewhat preliminary. But here is what I’ve noticed so far:

    1) Thanks to reconciliation instructions, they needed to improve the budget impact by at least $1 billion in the sidecar. They improved it by exactly $1 billion. Which goes back to what I’ve now said several times: the CBO process has now been so thoroughly gamed that it’s useless.

    2) The proposed changes increase spending dramatically, most heavily concentrated in the out-years. The gross cost of the bill has risen from $875 billion to $940 billion over ten years–but almost $40 billion of that comes in 2019. The net cost has increased even more dramatically, from $624 billion to $794 billion. That’s because the excise tax has been so badly weakened. This is of dual concern: it’s a financing risk, but it also means that the one provision which had a genuine shot at “bending the cost curve” in the broader health care market has at this point, basically been gutted. Moreover, it’s hard not to believe that the reason it has been moved to 2018 is that no one really thinks it’s ever going to take effect. It’s one thing to have a period of adjustment. But a tax that takes effect in eight years is a tax so unpopular that it has little realistic chance of being allowed to stand.

    3) As I expected, the size of the magic asterisk–the modern equivalent of David Stockman’s infamous “savings to be named later” in the Reagan budgets–has had to be beefed up to offset the new spending.

    4) Medicare Advantage is being effectively outlawed–in some areas, the reimbursements will actually be below those of the fee-for-service programs.

    5) A disturbingly high percentage of the revenues still come from insurance premiums for other programs. About $53 billion of the net deficit reduction is from Social Security taxes collected on the wages people will now be getting in lieu of health care benefits. But since those contributions raise the amount Social Security will eventually have to pay out, the Republicans convincingly argue that this is not true “deficit reduction”; it’s just deficit shifting. Ditto the premiums for the new long-term care insurance.

    6) Ultimately, this rests on the question: are we really going to cut Medicare? If we’re not, this gargantuan new entitlement is going to end up costing us about $200 billion a year next decade, which even in government terms is an awful lot of money. There are offsetting taxes, but they’re either trivial or likely to be unpopular–look forward to a 4% rent increase when your landlord has to stump over the same amount for the new tax on rents. Then look forward to repeal of same.

    I think this is a fiscal disaster waiting to happen. But no one on the other side cares, so I’m not sure how much point there is in saying that any more.

  44. SHE who should be President is thought of as family in foreign nations, not just a government official; and she is the Face of America and they call her by her first name.
    RUN, HILLARY, RUN!!!!! The children of America need you to save our country!

  45. Neil Cavuto on yesterday’s show said that he heard from Pelousy’s office. Pelousy is ‘upset’ with Cavuto about having the speed reader who is reading the Reconciliation of the Senate bill. roflmao.

  46. THE OBAMA INTERVIEW: BAIER EXPOSES O’S LIES, MISDIRECTIONS AND OBFUSCATIONS.

    Nice quotes from Obama ($$$ are my inserted comments):

    The vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health-care reform.” We shouldn’t, he added, concern ourselves with “the procedural issues.”

    $$$ He wants Democracy in other countries, but here, not so much.

    Mr. Baier again: So you’ll go deem-and-pass and you don’t know exactly what will be in the bill?

    Mr. Obama’s response: “By the time the vote has taken place, not only will I know what’s in it, you’ll know what’s in it, because it’s going to be posted and everybody’s going to be able to evaluate it on the merits.”

    $$$ Nice to know that at some point, they’ll have a vague idea of what is actually in the bill. The “devil is in the details” en route to Demon Pass.

    &&&
    Here’s the whole deal:

    online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704207504575130081383279888.html

    Now for the Slaughter On the road to Demon Pass, our leader encounters a Baier.
    =======================

    Excuse me, but it is embarrassing—really, embarrassing to our country—that the president of the United States has again put off a state visit to Australia and Indonesia because he’s having trouble passing a piece of domestic legislation he’s been promising for a year will be passed next week. What an air of chaos this signals to the world. And to do this to Australia of all countries, a nation that has always had America’s back and been America’s friend.

    How bush league, how undisciplined, how kid’s stuff.

    You could see the startled looks on the faces of reporters as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who had the grace to look embarrassed, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon. The president “regrets the delay”—the trip is rescheduled for June—but “passage of the health insurance reform is of paramount importance.” Indonesia must be glad to know it’s not.

    The reporters didn’t even provoke or needle in their questions. They seemed hushed. They looked like people who were absorbing the information that we all seem to be absorbing, which is that the wheels seem to be coming off this thing, the administration is wobbling—so early, so painfully and dangerously soon.

    Thursday’s decision followed the most revealing and important broadcast interview of Barack Obama ever. It revealed his primary weakness in speaking of health care, which is a tendency to dodge, obfuscate and mislead. He grows testy when challenged. It revealed what the president doesn’t want revealed, which is that he doesn’t want to reveal much about his plan. This furtiveness is not helpful in a time of high public anxiety. At any rate, the interview was what such interviews rarely are, a public service. That it occurred at a high-stakes time, with so much on the line, only made it more electric.

    I’m speaking of the interview Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report With Bret Baier.” Fox is owned by News Corp., which also owns this newspaper, so one should probably take pains to demonstrate that one is attempting to speak with disinterest and impartiality, in pursuit of which let me note that Glenn Beck has long appeared to be insane.

    That having been said, the Baier interview was something, and right from the beginning. Mr. Baier’s first question was whether the president supports the so-called Slaughter rule, alternatively known as “deem and pass,” which would avoid a straight up-or-down House vote on the Senate bill. (Tunku Varadarajan in the Daily Beast cleverly notes that it sounds like “demon pass,” which it does. Maybe that’s the juncture we’re at.) Mr. Obama, in his response, made the usual case for ObamaCare. Mr. Baier pressed him. The president said, “The vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health-care reform.” We shouldn’t, he added, concern ourselves with “the procedural issues.”

    Further in, Mr. Baier: “So you support the deem-and-pass rule?” From the president, obfuscation. But he did mention something new: “They may have to sequence the votes.” The bill’s opponents would be well advised to look into that one.

    Mr. Baier again: So you’ll go deem-and-pass and you don’t know exactly what will be in the bill?

    Mr. Obama’s response: “By the time the vote has taken place, not only will I know what’s in it, you’ll know what’s in it, because it’s going to be posted and everybody’s going to be able to evaluate it on the merits.”

    That’s news in two ways. That it will be posted—one assumes the president means on the Internet and not nailed to a telephone pole—should suggest it will be posted for a while, more than a few hours or days. So American will finally get a look at it. And the president was conceding that no, he doesn’t know what’s in the bill right now. It is still amazing that one year into the debate this could be true.

    Mr. Baier pressed on the public’s right to know what is in the bill. We have been debating the bill for a year, the president responded: “The notion that this has been not transparent, that people don’t know what’s in the bill, everybody knows what’s in the bill. I sat for seven hours with—.”

    Mr. Baier interrupts: “Mr. President, you couldn’t tell me what the special deals are that are in or not today.”

    Mr. Obama: “I just told you what was in and what was not in.”

    Mr. Baier: “Is Connecticut in?” He was referring to the blandishments—polite word—meant to buy the votes of particular senators.

    Mr. Obama: “Connecticut—what are you specifically referring to?”

    Mr. Baier: “The $100 million for the hospital? Is Montana in for the asbestos program? Is—you know, listen, there are people—this is real money, people are worried about this stuff.”

    Mr. Obama: “And as I said before, this—the final provisions are going to be posted for many days before this thing passes.”

    Mr. Baier pressed the president on his statement as a candidate for the presidency that a 50-plus-one governing mentality is inherently divisive. “You can’t govern” that way, Sen. Obama had said. Is the president governing that way now? Mr. Obama did not really answer.

    Throughout, Mr. Baier pressed the president. Some thought this bordered on impertinence. I did not. Mr. Obama now routinely filibusters in interviews. He has his message, and he presses it forward smoothly, adroitly. He buries you in words. Are you worried what failure of the bill will do to you? I’m worried about what the status quo will do to the families that are uninsured . . .

    Mr. Baier forced him off his well-worn grooves. He did it by stopping long answers with short questions, by cutting off and redirecting. In this he was like a low-speed bumper car. In the end the interview seemed to me a public service because everyone in America right now wants to see the president forced off his grooves and into candor on an issue that involves 17% of the economy. Again, the stakes are high. So Mr. Baier’s style seemed—this is admittedly subjective—not rude but within the bounds, and not driven by the antic spirit that sometimes overtakes reporters. He seemed to be trying to get new information. He seemed to be attempting to better inform the public.

    Presidents have a right to certain prerogatives, including the expectation of a certain deference. He’s the president, this is history. But we seem to have come a long way since Ronald Reagan was regularly barked at by Sam Donaldson, almost literally, and the president shrugged it off. The president—every president—works for us. We don’t work for him. We sometimes lose track of this, or rather get the balance wrong. Respect is due and must be palpable, but now and then you have to press, to either force them to be forthcoming or force them to reveal that they won’t be. Either way it’s revealing.

    And so it ends, with a health-care vote expected this weekend. I wonder at what point the administration will realize it wasn’t worth it—worth the discord, worth the diminution in popularity and prestige, worth the deepening of the great divide. What has been lost is so vivid, what has been gained so amorphous, blurry and likely illusory. Memo to future presidents: Never stake your entire survival on the painful passing of a bad bill. Never take the country down the road to Demon Pass.

  47. NOW, FOR SOMETHING (ALMOST) DIFFERENT:

    AFTER TRYING TO IMPLEMENT A BAD HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL, A BOTCHED FINANCIAL OVERHAUL WILL BE NEXT

    Money quote excerpted from below:

    “Simplifying all of this is a no-brainer for any would-be reformer. Yet Dodd’s plan — despite its focus on structure — does little to put things right. The senator has retreated from his earlier view that nearly all federal oversight should be united in a single body.”

    nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/wn_20100320_9861.php

    Dodd Misses The Point Of Financial Reform
    Under the Dodd plan, although the senator denies it, many big financial firms would indeed be declared too big to fail.
    by Clive Crook

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    The overhaul of financial regulation that Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., proposed this week would probably improve the present system, if it is enacted. Give the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee credit, too, for saying that the government can never totally prevent financial crises — that the right goal is to make them rarer and less severe, partly by having better tools to use when they arise. Even by that wisely modest standard, however, his proposal is mostly beside the point.

    All through this debate, Congress has obsessed over structure (which regulators supervise what) and paid too little attention to content (what the rules actually say). Having focused too much on the less important question, the Senate plan, like the House bill passed last year, is too timid.

    By any standards, certainly as compared with other advanced economies, the United States has a bizarrely fractured financial regulation structure. To name just a few components, the system includes state banking regulators, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

    This complexity is bad because activities can fall into unregulated spaces. There is also the opposite problem. Responsibilities overlap, leading one regulator to think another agency is in the lead. Worst of all, financial firms can shop around for regulators, causing a race to the bottom in oversight. Migration to the most-forgiving supervisors has been a persistent issue in the United States.

    Simplifying all of this is a no-brainer for any would-be reformer. Yet Dodd’s plan — despite its focus on structure — does little to put things right. The senator has retreated from his earlier view that nearly all federal oversight should be united in a single body.

    His proposal follows the Obama administration’s earlier blueprint and the House-passed bill in suggesting just one big structural simplification: folding the much-criticized OTS into the OCC. But then it adds new bodies — notably, a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — to stop predatory lending and other supposed abuses, and a Financial Stability Oversight Council to coordinate the policing of systemic risks. Overall, after much shuffling of duties among this expanded list of regulators, the plan makes the system more complicated, not less.

    Some of the shuffling is questionable in its own right. For instance, instead of taking all bank supervision duties away from the Federal Reserve as he had originally proposed, a move one could defend on grounds of simplicity and avoiding conflicts with the Fed’s monetary policy role, Dodd leaves the Fed to oversee bank holding companies with assets of more than $50 billion. Smaller banks will be supervised either by the OCC or the FDIC.

    In prepared testimony for the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke argued against taking oversight of small banks away from the Fed. “The insights provided by our role in supervising a range of banks, including community banks, significantly increase our effectiveness in making monetary policy and fostering financial stability,” he said. Paul Volcker, a distinguished predecessor who is a top adviser to President Obama, backed him up. “The Fed’s regional roots would be weaker and a useful source of information lost…. Neither monetary policy nor the financial system will be well served if our central bank is deprived of interest in, and influence over, the structure and performance of the financial system,” he said.

    Of course, you would expect past and present Fed chairmen to defend their institution’s turf, but what is the point of carving out the smaller banks? It makes sense to have one regulator oversee all banks, just as Dodd once argued. Better, surely, to have the Fed do it all than divide the responsibility.

    This is not just a matter of avoiding “regulatory arbitrage,” shopping around for a softer supervisor. It also bears on the critical question of “too big to fail.”

    This is the overriding challenge for financial regulators. If the system deems particular firms too big to fail — so that the government must step in to rescue them — dangerous incentives kick in. The firms’ creditors will be reassured, and therefore more relaxed about lending to them. The firms’ managers will be able to place riskier bets. The firms benefit from a huge public subsidy: the taxpayers’ implicit promise to bail out their creditors if they get into trouble. Tapping this subsidy gains these firms a competitive advantage over smaller ones. The result is that they will get bigger still, and take ever-larger risks. When they eventually fail, as they will, taxpayers are on the hook.

    Under the Dodd plan, although the senator denies it, many big financial firms would indeed be declared too big to fail. The market would put banks that meet the assets threshold for Fed supervision into this category. Other financial firms would be viewed the same way if the Financial Stability Oversight Council designates them as “systemically significant.”

    Admittedly, you do not solve the too-big-to-fail problem simply by refusing to draw up a list of systemically significant firms. Such huge institutions as Citibank and Bank of America, to take the most extreme cases, will always be seen as too big to fail whether or not they are on a regulator’s list. But in the gray area between huge and big, lists can make the problem worse.

    Dodd’s plan addresses the issue, but its proposed remedy is flawed. The key question is, what happens when a highly interconnected financial firm gets into trouble? (As the crisis showed, if confidence in the system as a whole is weak, it need not be one of the biggest.) The administration has proposed a new resolution authority, whose role would be like that of the FDIC in shutting down ordinary banks. The idea is that early intervention, assisted by “living wills” (plans for the orderly demise of the institution), would prevent outright bankruptcy and the wider disruption it might cause.

    Dodd’s plan correctly recognizes the drawback of this approach. By itself, it might reinforce the perception that the biggest firms are safe borrowers, lessening market discipline over their activities. So his bill departs from the administration’s blueprint in making “enhanced resolution” very much a last resort. Dodd’s plan wants bankruptcy — in which creditors’ claims are written down — to be the standard resolution procedure for failing nonbank firms. It wants the firms’ counterparties to feel at risk.

    The sentiment is correct, but this approach is simply not credible. When financial catastrophe next looms, the government will not let firms that it sees as systemically significant go bust. Looking back, most analysts say that the biggest single error the authorities made, once the crisis was under way, was letting Lehman Brothers fail. This history cannot be unlearned. The point about enhanced resolution is that if it is going to work at all it must be early, maybe not the first resort, but certainly not the last. As with FDIC resolution, it must start before the firm is insolvent, not after.

    You do not deal with “too big to fail” by keeping a list of systemically significant institutions: By itself, that makes things worse. You do not deal with it by promising to let most failing financial firms, including those on your list, go bankrupt: Nobody will believe that promise. You deal with it by combining early FDIC-like resolution for all financial firms, banks and nonbanks alike, with stricter and smarter requirements on their capital, liquidity, and leverage.

    First, stricter: The rules should demand more capital, more liquidity, and less leverage. Equally important, smarter: These requirements should rise or fall in proportion to the size of the firm and in relation to conditions in the market for credit. The bigger the firm, the higher the requirements. When the economy is booming and lending is growing fast, required capital and liquidity should be increased; in downturns, the requirements should automatically relax. In this way, the rules would lean against the business cycle, instead of amplifying it as they do at present.

    With this flexibility, you would make it less likely that firms will get into trouble in the first place, and the bigger the firm, the bigger the margin of safety you build in. With these defenses in place, early resolution, which avoids the disruption of outright bankruptcy, can be adopted without making the too-big-to-fail problem unmanageable.

    Make no mistake, a regime like this is not painless. Credit will be more expensive. Profits in finance would be smaller because aggressive capital and liquidity requirements act like a tax. But the system would be safer. And the authorities would not need to make promises that nobody believes they will keep.

    There is some good news in all of this. The single most important change in the financial rules — higher, cyclically adjusted requirements for capital and liquidity — does not demand a thousand pages of new legislation. The prospects for Dodd’s bill or any other look poor this year. It does not matter. Given the will, using their existing powers, the authorities can do what most needs to be done.

  48. AND NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM: “WHY OBAMACARE SUCKS SO BAD”

    WSJ documents the seemy bribes and horse trading.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704207504575129560620280910.html

    March Madness
    ============
    Scenes from a devolution as Democrats writhe toward 216 votes.
    &&&

    Has there ever been a political spectacle like the final throes of ObamaCare? We can’t recall one outside of a banana republic, or, more accurately, Woody Allen’s 1971 classic “Bananas.” Capitol Hill resembles nothing so much as that movie’s farcical coup d’etat in San Marcos as Democrats try to assemble the partisan minimum of 216 House votes—if only for an hour or so at some point on Sunday—and no bribe is too costly, no deal too cynical, no last-minute rewrite too blatant.

    Yesterday, Democrats defeated 222 to 203 a GOP resolution that would have required them to vote up-or-down on the text of the Senate’s Christmas Eve bill. Big Labor hates that bill’s tax on high-cost health coverage, and rank-and-file Members are so embarrassed by its kickbacks that Democrats are resorting to the procedural trick of “deeming” it passed instead. Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually told reporters this week that “nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill,” but she’ll do what it takes to impose it anyway.

    The Commander in Chief even felt obliged to cancel his overseas trip so he could personally explain to Members why this Presidential legacy project is worth their defeat in November. Four separate workout sessions, including an Air Force One trip to hometown Cleveland, were enough to convert Dennis Kucinich. The supposedly principled Ohio liberal had opposed ObamaCare in the House’s November vote because it still preserves a vestige of a private health-care industry. But a vast expansion of the welfare state as a consolation prize is now good enough for his government work.

    That’s only the start of the logrolling, if that’s not an insult to logs. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced on Tuesday that central California would get extra public water allocations. This was apparently the price for Democrats Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa to vote something other than their consciences. We will hear about many more in the coming days.

    Also yesterday the white smoke rose up from the Congressional Budget Office, which released its cost estimates for the “reconciliation” bill and the sundry fixes without which Mrs. Pelosi can’t deem the Senate bill passed. Democrats pre-emptively released the topline numbers, which by themselves took weeks of tweaking to game the CBO’s accounting conventions and officially stay under $1 trillion in spending for 10 years. (The real cost over a decade once all the spending kicks in: $2.4 trillion.)

    CBO Director Doug Elmendorf was thus obliged to release a “preliminary estimate,” having “not thoroughly examined the legislative language.” Mr. Elmendorf said at a hearing that his health-care staff members were close to burning out under “the almost round-the-clock schedule” of unrelenting Democratic demands about the budgetary effects of this or that provision. And all for a bill whose subsidies don’t begin until 2014.

    By the way, to make the deficit numbers “work,” Democrats decided at the 11th hour to increase their new tax on investment income to 3.8% from 2.9%. Congratulations.

    White House budget director Peter Orszag quickly declared that “The CBO score today should leave no doubt that we are operating in a new fiscal era,” and no kidding. One thing the score also made clear, however, is that Mrs. Pelosi’s reconciliation fixes could easily be blown to pieces in the Senate. While the Democratic strategy is already a wholesale abuse of the traditional reconciliation process, it now bids to violate the actual rules of reconciliation as well.

    In a carom shot if there ever was one, the excise tax on gold-plated health coverage has received one last tweak. It is expected to fund ObamaCare as employees take more of their compensation in wages rather than health insurance, thus exposing more income to ordinary taxes. The House demand to delay that tax until 2018 from 2013 in the Senate bill—to appease the likes of AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who met one-on-one with Mr. Obama on Wednesday—therefore reduces Social Security payroll tax revenues. But reconciliation expressly forbids such changes to Social Security, and CBO says this change will drain some $53 billion from the program’s trust fund.

    Senate Republicans will therefore be entitled to raise a budget “point of order” against the entire reconciliation bill if it does arrive in the upper chamber. That will let them strip out the offending provision—which will offend the labor movement, to say the least—or even send the entire bill back to the House, forcing another round of agony on the gullible rank-and-file.

    North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad admitted the risks yesterday, asking rhetorically if he expected that some GOP “challenges will be upheld? Yeah. I do.” By the way, Mr. Conrad and his House North Dakota colleague Earl Pomeroy are getting a special provision that exempts a state-owned North Dakota bank from the unrelated private student loan takeover that Democrats have included as part of ObamaCare. That multibillion-dollar baby was added to further rig the budget numbers and win over conflicted Members.

    ***
    Even the political panic over the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program, amid an incipient financial collapse and a Presidential election, looks like regular order compared to this ObamaCare mayhem. That the White House and Mrs. Pelosi are still running into such resistance after a year of pleading reveals what an historic blunder ObamaCare really is.

    This is what happens when a willful President and his party try to govern America from the ideological left, imposing a reckless expansion of the entitlement state that most Americans, and even dozens of Democrats in Congress, clearly despise.

  49. Obama is a man of false moral equivalencies. He compares Obama care to the status quo. That is a false comparison. We all agree the status quo needs to be fixed. The question is whether the fix he proposes is the optimal one.

    Some enterprising interviewer should look The Great Deceiver in the eye and ask him the following questions:

    Q-1: Sir, we all agree the status quo must change. That is not the issue. Okay? (a simple yes or no will do)

    Q-2: Sir, the issue is whether as between the competing proposals to fix the problem your “fix” is the right fix. Okay? (no filibuster please.)

    Q-3: Sir, others have proposed a more incremental approach which would begin by addressing the most critical areas right now For example, portability, competition across state lines, tort reform etc. Correct? (repeat: my question to you sir is )

    Q-4: Sir, these proposals do not impose a heavy burden on the American People, withhold medical treatment, turn the IRS into a bigger Gestapo than they already are, impose significant cost, and reward insurance companies like yours does. True?

    Q-5: Sir, in fact those proposals would address the immediate problem with a scalpel whereas yours does so with a meat ax. True? (Shut the fuck up and answer the question, as you told McCain the campaign is over)

    Q-6: Sir, isn’t it true that you have an agenda, which is for the government to take over three vital sectors of the economy–energy, education and health care? Yes or no?

    Q-7: Then Obamacare is not really about solving the health care problem is it? It is more about a government take-over?

    Q-8: The financial industry has done more to sink the American People than those three sectors based on recent events. Yet you propose no similar government take-over of that industry do you. Is that because they are the cronies who put you in office, and you are unwilling to bite the hand that feeds you?

  50. Thanks sdmin…much needed after the way those kids butchered it the other night.
    By the way, I went to my doctor yesterday as I have IBS. I pay 3053 a month for health insurance for a family of five(5), and I get a call this morning from the pharmacy that the medication he precribed is NOT covered!!!! I have to pay $350 DOLLARS OUT OF POCKET FORM SOME GEL TABS TO HELP IRREGULARITY!!! You would think 36k a yr would be enough!!!! So, I wonder how this new health care bill is going to help me??? My understanding is that since I have a “cadillac” plan, I will be paying more and receving less????

  51. jbstonesfan
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:08 pm
    Thanks sdmin…much needed after the way those kids butchered it the other night.
    By the way, I went to my doctor yesterday as I have IBS. I pay 3053 a month for health insurance for a family of five(5), and I get a call this morning from the pharmacy that the medication he precribed is NOT covered!!!! I have to pay $350 DOLLARS OUT OF POCKET FORM SOME GEL TABS TO HELP IRREGULARITY!!! You would think 36k a yr would be enough!!!! So, I wonder how this new health care bill is going to help me??? My understanding is that since I have a “cadillac” plan, I will be paying more and receving less????
    ———————————————————

    See if you can get a generic equivalent. It would be much less expensive and most likely, work just as well.

  52. Does anyone know if the fix is in for the Insurance companies on the Generics. The last discussion I remember on the blog, they had it worded that a generic could not be developed until a drug had been on the market 20 years. The governement was negotiating for 10 years.

  53. …I found this new Obama policy article quite disturbing. Mostly because it involves young children. It is happening right now under the radar and under our very noses..

    The research for this article was done by Atlas Shrugged blogger Pamela Gellar.

    Americorps: Obama’s Scandal-Plagued Indoctrination Machine

    It’s great to be a prisoner in Obama’s America: you get stimulus dollars, preferential job placement, and a place in AmeriCorps. But if you’re a child in public school, watch out.

    Obama said he was going to build a civilian army — and he is using our children. He is recruiting in public school classrooms: I exclusively broke the story about how his group Organizing for America is recruiting in the classroom. But AmeriCorps (can Obama pronounce the second syllable?) is the primary machinery for his youth army. And there is huge dough behind it — yours and mine. And that money is now being used to mandate service programs that indoctrinate our children to work for “the common good.”

    America is the most beneficent nation in the world. We give the most to charity (though Republicans far out-give Democrats), and whenever there is a disaster in the world, we are there. On a local level, we donate a ton of money to community programs.

    So why is service being mandated? Mandated service is slavery. Voluntary service is empathy. Empathy is the positive result of a moral value system, as taught in a proper educational curriculum.

    We give to our community because we want to (not because we have to) — but this new AmeriCorps program appears to be mandatory. What ever happened to parents teaching their children to help out in the local community? Why is community service being defined, controlled, and essentially even regulated and dictated by the Federal Government? What ever happened to people buying groceries and dropping them off at St. Vincent’s Kitchen — or privately sponsoring a homeless family for Christmas at the local shelter, or helping a neighbor who is out of work and needs food? Or working in the food bank at the local church or synagogue?

    Is it truly community service of the heart if it is passed off for a mandatory grade at a public school?

    Youth Service America (YSA) is starting the indoctrination early, offering a “webinar” entitled “Engaging Elementary Age Children as Service Leaders.” It speaks of “eight year olds and elementary school-age children in general” as “our invisible partners in improving communities,” and laments that “too many educators do not consider children ready to participate in service-learning.” It makes an outlandish claim: “There are numerous examples over the centuries of children leading social change, but they don’t make it into the history books nor do we seek to learn from them.” (nightmares of Adolf Hitler) Then follows a promise: “Through specific and little known examples and resources, this webinar will help you discover new ways of thinking about and working with children as equal partners in service.”

    If the prospect of this socialist indoctrination doesn’t scare you in itself, the huge amounts of stimulus money going to this also ought to. This money is going to a scandal-ridden organization. Last June, AmeriCorps was hit with another scandal, when the AmeriCorps Inspector General Walpin(IG) (remember he was fired without cause?) accused a prominent Obama supporter of misusing AmeriCorps grant money. This prominent Obama supporter has to pay back more than $400,000 of that grant money.

    In response, Obama abruptly fired the AmeriCorps IG, Gerald Walpin. Obama sent letters to House and Senate leaders informing them that he was firing Walpin, effective 30 days from the date of the letters.

    Meanwhile, a great deal of stimulus dollars and AmeriCorps resources are going into prisoner re-entry. AmeriCorps’ VISTA program handles re-entry of convicts into society. “Faith based” groups and other “stakeholders” often work in partnership with AmeriCorps in VISTA re-entry programs.

    Many of the ex-cons are being recruited for AmeriCorps — ex-offenders are NOT prohibited from serving in AmeriCorps.

    A Labor Department document spells it out. The Department offers a course called “AmeriCorps*VISTA and Prisoner Reentry.” This course, it says, “is designed to assist private, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations as well as federal, state, and local agencies in applying to sponsor AmeriCorps*VISTA members.” The focus of this sponsorship is particularly upon ex-cons: “Members will serve in community projects focused on prisoner reentry: the process of transitioning from prison back into the community.”

    What could go wrong? The Department implies what could go wrong in trying to explain the need for the program: “It has been estimated that approximately 1,600 individuals are released from prisons daily, and nearly two-thirds of all released prisoners will be re-arrested within three years. Fostering an individual’s transition from prison life to mainstream society can be challenging, especially when working with young offenders. However, recent study has shown that intervention that is supported through post-release supervision is most effective at reducing recidivism…. Many ex-offenders leave prison with no job prospects and no money, support system, or adequate housing. Consequently, they are at risk of reoffending when they return to their neighborhoods.”

    What this amounts to is another robbery of the taxpayer: now we have to pay these ex-cons not to commit new crimes.

    Are you an ex-con? Need dough? The American taxpayer is only too happy to help. Stimulus grants almost all include funding for ex-offender reentry programs. Stimulus money is pouring into these programs: the city of Dallas has devoted over $9 million of its stimulus grants to prisoner reentry. Washington state’s $22 million stimulus grant includes funding for offender re-entry. $62 million of stimulus money that is going to New York state corrections programs includes funding for offender reentry. Minnesota is setting aside $660,000 for prisoner reentry; North Carolina, $900,000. Texas’s Department of Criminal Justice is getting $4.9 million both to combat narcotics and promote prisoner reentry. The $3.1 million that is going to Montana includes funds for rehabilitation and reentry.

    That is not Obama’s only plan for ex-cons. Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Representative John Conyers (D-MI) are pushing the Democracy Restoration Act, which will restore voting rights to nearly four million ex-prisoners.

    The flow of stimulus money to AmeriCorps for prisoner reentry and the indoctrination of children must be stopped. It’s partisan, it’s irresponsible, and its implications are ominous. It needs to be said: Obama, get your hands off our kids. Seriously. Stop the socialist/internationalist recruitment now.

    Linkto article

  54. Also, does nayone know the # of employees necessary for the mandates to kick in? I have a staff of 40, so am I now going to have to cover them? I give each employee a monthly check, in addition to their pay checks, of $100 for insurance. It is taxable income, but they can use it as they wish. That is another 48k a yr . I heard on Fox if you have a 100employees and do not cover, it is a 65k fine penalty? I will have to have my human resource dept(i.e. office manager) find out how this effects me. I hope I do not have to let people go.

  55. By the way, I know my posts are always filled with spelling errors and I apologize. I dictate everythingthing, and have a great secreatary. <MY typing, obviously is embarrassing. I just don't want you all to think I am stupid.

  56. I was told an average HMO costs a person around 3k a yr. So If I give 1200, I thought that was fair? Am I mistaken?

  57. jbstonesfan
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:17 pm
    There is no generic equivalent…..
    —————————————————

    Ask for a generic. There has to be something that they used, before the new medication came out. Medicare doesn’t cover brand name medications, so mds presribe generics. There probably is a generic that can be used.

  58. I don’t know what an HMO costs. Tried to look it up but all I found were those free quote scams where you have to put in all kinds of info. It’s definitely going to cost you quite a bit more if this scam is passed.

  59. NewMexicoFan
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:16 pm
    Does anyone know if the fix is in for the Insurance companies on the Generics. The last discussion I remember on the blog, they had it worded that a generic could not be developed until a drug had been on the market 20 years. The governement was negotiating for 10 years.
    ——————————————————

    I thought it was 12 years.

  60. I also don’t think the number of employees is the issue I think the fines are based upon the amount of money made with the penalties increasing as the businesses revenues go up.

  61. I passed by the tube at work (cnbc or cnn) and saw Oblahblah yammering on in front of yet another assemlbed bunch of “concerned Americans” (stooges).

    Can this guy do anything else than give campaign-style speeches?

    In contrast, Hillary is dealing with Israel (mending fences) and our frenemy Russia. Thanks ABM90, for keeping tabs on Our Girl while the rest of us are keeping a very wary eye on Obama.

    When Obama talks, the goal is to extract applause and adulation from them.

    When Hillary speaks, people listen, and it is worth a purpose larger than “Look at me”.

  62. jbstonesfan
    h t t p://rules.house.gov/bills_details.aspx?NewsID=4606

    page 179
    PART 2—EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITY
    11 SEC. 411. ELECTION TO SATISFY HEALTH COVERAGE PAR12
    TICIPATION REQUIREMENTS

    Page 188

    16 Subtitle B—Credit for Small Busi17
    ness Employee Health Coverage
    18 Expenses

  63. wbbeoi
    I stand corrected pretty much everything from the video you posted yesterday is in the bill. Including the fact that “community organizations” will be utilized to provide/ensure that access will be provide for non english speaking patients. What a joke. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just require the hospitals to have persons who speak req’d languages on staff. What a waste.

  64. Good job in Moscow Madame President.

    ——————————————————

    Daily Appointments: Daily Appointments Schedule for March 19, 2010
    Fri, 19 Mar 2010 08:40:36 -0500

    Daily Appointments Schedule for March 19, 2010

    Washington, DC

    March 19, 2010

    ——————————————————————————–

    SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON

    9:30 a.m. LOCAL (EDT + 7 hour) Secretary Clinton lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden, in Moscow, Russia.
    (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

    10:00 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends a Quartet Meeting, in Moscow, Russia.
    (POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

    11:45 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton participates in a Quartet Press Availability, in Moscow, Russia.
    (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

    2:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a Bilateral Meeting with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, in Moscow, Russia.
    (POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

    3:15 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a Joint Press availability with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow, Russia.
    (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

    4:40 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton conducts a Taped Interview with Vladimir Pozner of First Channel Television, in Moscow, Russia.
    (POOLED PRESS COVERAGE)

    6:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a Bilateral Meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, Russia.
    (POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

    PM Secretary Clinton returns from Foreign Travel.

  65. BO arranging to get early releases for his many supporters that are in the slammer and build up his base in case he survives his first term.In the mean time his self employed parolees will spur the economy
    with weapons drugs and convenience store holdups.His community organizing efforts in Chicago are serving him well in his efforts to destroy America.

    Hillary we need you NOW.My solution remains first and foremost DRAFT HILLARY -IMPEACH OBAMA

  66. IRS will collect $325 from individuals who do not buy health insurance

    Taxpayers could be required to buy insurance under President Barack Obama’s reform proposal by 2014 or face penalties of roughly $325 per individual that the IRS would collect.

    Assuming it becomes law, the Congressional Budget Office expects the IRS will need roughly $10 billion over the next 10 years and nearly 17,000 new employees to meet its new responsibilities under health reform.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/87697-republicans-assail-irs-provision-in-health-care-bill-?page=1#comments

  67. You guys talk about Obama like he’s some Lex Luther character with the vision, the intellect and the will to dramatically change our nation. He isn’t. He’s a guy striving to be Reagan-lite and not even rising to that. What he wants to do is spend his eight years (god help us) making rich people richer and the media village all fat and happy so that rich people and reporters say nice things about him, personally. That’s all this is. He has no grand vision because if he did, there would be innumerable social service programs that he would have started and guided before now and there isn’t a one.

    If the health insurance reform is as god-awful as it looks like it’s going to be, it will fail. It will not hold or last.

    Obama is a simple thug. We can ride this out just like we rode out Pierce, Buchanan and the Civil War. We’re on Buchanan right now. Lincoln hasn’t gotten elected yet and our Secret Service is a lot better than it used to be. But there is a Lincoln around the corner, and we just have to wait this out.

  68. Sorry if this has already been posted:

    Democrats plan doc fix after reform

    Democrats are planning to introduce legislation later this spring that would permanently repeal annual Medicare cuts to doctors, but are warning lawmakers not to talk about it for fear that it will complicate their push to pass comprehensive health reform. The plans undercut the party’s message that reform lowers the deficit, according to a memo obtained by POLITICO.

    Democrats removed the so-called doc fix from the reform legislation last year because its $371-billion price tag would have made it impossible for Democrats to claim that their bill reduces the deficit. Republicans have argued for months that by stripping the doc fix from the bill, Democrats were playing a shell game.

    “Most health staff are already aware that our health proposal does not contain a ‘doc fix.’ … The inclusion of a full SGR repeal would undermine reform’s budget neutrality. So again, do not allow yourself (or your boss) to get into a discussion of the details of CBO scores and textual narrative. Instead, focus only on the deficit reduction and number of Americans covered,” the memo, sent Thursday to Democratic staff, said.

    “As most health staff knows, leadership and the White House are working with the AMA to rally physicians for a full SGR repeal later this spring. However, both health and communications staff should understand we do not want that policy discussion discussed at this time, lest (it) complicate the last critical push to pass health reform,” according to the memo.

    {snip}

    http://www.politico.com/livepulse/0310/EXCLUSIVE__Democrats_plan_doc_fix_after_reform.html?showall

    Yup, smoke and mirrors…

  69. http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/03/19/fact-sheet-the-truth-about-the-health-care-bill/

    Fact Sheet: The Truth about the Health Care Reform Bill

    By: Jane Hamsher Friday March 19, 2010 8:58 am Tweet7 Share69

    I’ll be on the new CNN show with Jon King that premieres at noon ET, available for live stream here — jh

    The Firedoglake health care team has been covering the debate in congress since it began last year. The health care bill will come up for a vote in the House on Sunday, and as Nancy Pelosi works to wrangle votes, we’ve been running a detailed whip count on where every member of Congress stands, updated throughout the day.

    We’ve also taken a detailed look at the bill, and have come up with 18 often stated myths about this health care reform bill.

    Real health care reform is the thing we’ve fought for from the start. It is desperately needed. But this bill falls short on many levels, and hurts many people more than it helps.

    A middle class family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income — out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible. Many families who are already struggling to get by would be better off saving the $5,243 in insurance costs and paying their medical expenses directly, rather than being forced to by coverage they can’t afford the co-pays on.

    In addition, there is already a booming movement across the country to challenge the mandate. Thirty-three states already have bills moving through their houses, and the Idaho governor was the first to sign it into law yesterday. In Virginia it passed through both a Democratic House and Senate, and the governor will sign it soon. It will be on the ballot in Arizona in 2010, and is headed in that direction for many more. Republican senators like Dick Lugar are already asking their state attorney generals to challenge it. There are two GOP think tanks actively helping states in their efforts, and there is a booming messaging infrastructure that covers it beat-by-beat.

    Whether Steny Hoyer believes the legality of the bill will prevail in court or not is moot, it could easily become the “gay marriage” of 2010, with one key difference: there will be no one on the other side passionately opposing it. The GOP is preparing to use it as a massive turn-out vehicle, and it not only threatens representatives in states like Florida, Colorado and Ohio where these challenges will likely be on the ballot — it threatens gubernatorial and down-ticket races as well. Artur Davis, running for governor of Alabama, is already being put on the spot about it.

    While details are limited, there is apparently a “Plan B” alternative that the White House was considering, which would evidently expand existing programs — Medicaid and SCHIP. It would cover half the people at a quarter of the price, but it would not force an unbearable financial burden to those who are already struggling to get by. Because it creates no new infrastructure for the purpose of funneling money to private insurance companies, there is no need for Bart Stupak’s or Ben Nelson’s language dealing with abortion — which satisfies the concerns of pro-life members of Congress, as well as women who are looking at the biggest blow to women’s reproductive rights in 35 years with the passage of this bill. Both programs are already covered under existing law, the Hyde amendment.

    But perhaps most profoundly, the bill does not mandate that people pay 8% of their annual income to private insurance companies or face a penalty of up to 2% — which the IRS would collect. As Marcy Wheeler noted in an important post on the entitled “Health Care on the Road to NeoFeudalism,” we stand on the precipice of doing something truly radical in our government, by demanding that Americans pay almost as much money to private insurance companies as they do in federal taxes:

    When this passes, it will become clear that Congress is no longer the sovereign of this nation. Rather, the corporations dictating the laws will be.

    I understand the temptation to offer 30 million people health care. What I don’t understand is the nonchalance with which we’re about to fundamentally shift the relationships of governance in doing so.

    We started down a dangerous road with Wall Street banks in the early 90s, allowing them to flood our political system with money and write our laws so that taxpayers would subsidize their profits, assume their losses and remove themselves from the necessity of competition. By funneling so much money into the companies who created the very problems we are now attempting to address, we further empower them to hijack our legislative process and put more than just our health care system at risk. We risk our entire system of government.

    Congress may be too far down the road with this bill to change course and save themselves — and us. But before Democrats cast this vote, which could endanger not only their Congressional majority but their ability to “fix” things later on, they should consider the first rule of patient safety: first, do no harm.

    Myth Truth
    1. This is a universal health care bill.

    The bill is neither universal health care nor universal health insurance.

    Per the CBO:

    Total uninsured in 2019 with no bill: 54 million
    Total uninsured in 2019 with Senate bill: 24 million (44%)

    2. Insurance companies hate this bill

    This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.

    The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint VP. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.

    3. The bill will significantly bring down insurance premiums for most Americans.

    The bill will not bring down premiums significantly, and certainly not the $2,500/year that the President promised.

    Annual premiums in 2016, status quo / with bill:

    Small group market, single: $7,800 / $7,800

    Small group market, family: $19,3oo / $19,200

    Large Group market, single: $7,400 / $7,300

    Large group market, family: $21,100 / $21,300

    Individual market, single: $5,500 / $5,800*

    Individual market, family: $13,100 / $15,200*

    4. The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.
    The bill will impose a financial hardship on middle class Americans who will be forced to buy a product that they can’t afford to use.

    A family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income — out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible.

    5. This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable. Many Massachusetts residents forgo health care because they can’t afford it.

    A 2009 study by the state of Massachusetts found that:

    21% of residents forgo medical treatment because they can’t afford it, including 12% of children
    18% have health insurance but can’t afford to use it

    6. This bill provide health care to 31 million people who are currently uninsured.

    This bill will mandate that millions of people who are currently uninsured must purchase insurance from private companies, or the IRS will collect up to 2% of their annual income in penalties. Some will be assisted with government subsidies.
    7. You can keep the insurance you have if you like it. The excise tax will result in employers switching to plans with higher co-pays and fewer covered services.
    Older, less healthy employees with employer-based health care will be forced to pay much more in out-of-pocket expenses than they do now.

    8. The “excise tax” will encourage employers to reduce the scope of health care benefits, and they will pass the savings on to employees in the form of higher wages.

    There is insufficient evidence that employers pass savings from reduced benefits on to employees.

    9. This bill employs nearly every cost control idea available to bring down costs.

    This bill does not bring down costs and leaves out nearly every key cost control measure, including:

    Public Option ($25-$110 billion)
    Medicare buy-in
    Drug reimportation ($19 billion)
    Medicare drug price negotiation ($300 billion)
    Shorter pathway to generic biologics ($71 billion)

    10. The bill will require big companies like WalMart to provide insurance for their employees

    The bill was written so that most WalMart employees will qualify for subsidies, and taxpayers will pick up a large portion of the cost of their coverage.
    11. The bill “bends the cost curve” on health care.

    The bill ignored proven ways to cut health care costs and still leaves 24 million people uninsured, all while slightly raising total annual costs by $234 million in 2019.

    “Bends the cost curve” is a misleading and trivial claim, as the US would still spend far more for care than other advanced countries.

    In 2009, health care costs were 17.3% of GDP.

    Annual cost of health care in 2019, status quo: $4,670.6 billion (20.8% of GDP)

    Annual cost of health care in 2019, Senate bill: $4,693.5 billion (20.9% of GDP)

    12. The bill will provide immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition. Access to the “high risk pool” is limited and the pool is underfunded. It will cover few people, and will run out of money in 2011 or 2012

    Only those who have been uninsured for more than six months will qualify for the high risk pool. Only 0.7% of those without insurance now will get coverage, and the CMS report estimates it will run out of funding by 2011 or 2012.

    13. The bill prohibits dropping people in individual plans from coverage when they get sick. The bill does not empower a regulatory body to keep people from being dropped when they’re sick.

    There are already many states that have laws on the books prohibiting people from being dropped when they’re sick, but without an enforcement mechanism, there is little to hold the insurance companies in check.

    14. The bill ensures consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to challenge new insurance plan decisions. The “internal appeals process” is in the hands of the insurance companies themselves, and the “external” one is up to each state.
    Ensuring that consumers have access to “internal appeals” simply means the insurance companies have to review their own decisions. And it is the responsibility of each state to provide an “external appeals process,” as there is neither funding nor a regulatory mechanism for enforcement at the federal level.
    15. This bill will stop insurance companies from hiking rates 30%-40% per year.

    This bill does not limit insurance company rate hikes. Private insurers continue to be exempt from anti-trust laws, and are free to raise rates without fear of competition in many areas of the country.
    16. When the bill passes, people will begin receiving benefits under this bill immediately

    Most provisions in this bill, such as an end to the ban on pre-existing conditions for adults, do not take effect until 2014.

    Six months from the date of passage, children could not be excluded from coverage due to pre-existing conditions, though insurance companies could charge more to cover them. Children would also be allowed to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26. There will be an elimination of lifetime coverage limits, a high risk pool for those who have been uninsured for more than 6 months, and community health centers will start receiving money.

    17. The bill creates a pathway for single payer.

    Bernie Sanders’ provision in the Senate bill does not start until 2017, and does not cover the Department of Labor, so no, it doesn’t create a pathway for single payer.

    Obama told Dennis Kucinich that the Ohio Representative’s amendment is similar to Bernie Sanders’ provision in the Senate bill, and creates a pathway to single payer. Since the waiver does not start until 2017, and does not cover the Department of Labor, it is nearly impossible to see how it gets around the ERISA laws that stand in the way of any practical state single payer system.

    18 The bill will end medical bankruptcy and provide all Americans with peace of mind.

    Most people with medical bankruptcies already have insurance, and out-of-pocket expenses will continue to be a burden on the middle class.

    In 2009, 1.5 million Americans declared bankruptcy
    Of those, 62% were medically related
    Three-quarters of those had health insurance
    The Obama bill leaves 24 million without insurance
    The maximum yearly out-of-pocket limit for a family will be $11,900 (PDF) on top of premiums
    A family with serious medical problems that last for a few years could easily be financially crushed by medical costs

    *Cost of premiums goes up somewhat due to subsidies and mandates of better coverage. CBO assumes that cost of individual policies goes down 7-10%, and that people will buy more generous policies.

    Documentation:

    **********************************

    the democratic party has sold us out…they have the WH, the Senate and the House and this is what they have produced…they are stealing what little money reserve the hardworking people have and enslaving them to private insurance companies…many insurance companies that are such frauds and manipulators to begin with…this whole gang have to be defeated and thrown out…what is the point of the dems being in control when all they have done is protect O and sell the rest of us down the river?

  70. [Amnesty International] report, titled “Deadly Delivery,” notes that the likelihood of a woman’s dying in childbirth in the U.S. is five times as great as in Greece, four times as great as in Germany and three times as great as in Spain. Every day in the U.S., more than two women die of pregnancy-related causes

  71. wbbeoi
    I stand corrected pretty much everything from the video you posted yesterday is in the bill. Including the fact that “community organizations” will be utilized to provide/ensure that access will be provide for non english speaking patients. What a joke. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just require the hospitals to have persons who speak req’d languages on staff. What a waste.
    ———————
    That is fine Henry. I hope that video clip goes global because it is easier to grasp than pouring over a bill which is Byzantine in complexity and larded with land mines.

    But that does not mean I agree with everything in it.

    In fact, I deeply resent their effort to tie this to Hillary when in fact this is not the kind of health care reform she envisioned through that one frame.

    That is the same crap that Glenn Beck peddles when he tries to tie Hillary to Mao under the label “progressive”. There is a profound difference between a bona fide progressive like Hillary, a business cartel shill like Obama, and a mass murderer like Mao. It is utterly unreasonable to say they are all progressives. It is about like saying two men are alike becasuse neither one of them is named John.

  72. Even the rag the NYT had Hillary and Obama at the top, noting that they’ve mended fences and are getting on with a shared view of the world.

    Except that it seems to glaze over reality: Obama is busy coddling dictators and screwing over friends, and then Hillary has to mop up all his screw ups.

  73. As I understand it, this cut to Medicare payments to doctors was passed some years ago but Congress has been routinely postponing it each year. Which means it is NOT really something new in the HC bill.

    Do we WANT this cut to Medicare? Iirc it’s 21% less that Medicare would pay the doctor than now. So quite a few doctors would stop accepting Medicare patients at all.

    That’s my comment on what’s described at:
    http://www.politico.com/livepulse/0310/EXCLUSIVE__Democrats_plan_doc_fix_after_reform.html?showall

  74. S

    March 19th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Fact Sheet: The Truth about the Health Care Reform Bill
    ________________________________

    Thanks- S, for posting the fact sheet.

    Also if anyone thinks their employer will continue paying for their agreed upon health care package; they had better ck again. In the last published bill, the government takeover of corporate/employee Health care (included as part of a hiring perc for employees) will cease for all corporations/employees within the next 5 yrs.

    Employees will be automatically enrolled individually in the government’s HC program.

  75. Mrs. Smith
    March 19th, 2010 at 3:01 pm
    S

    March 19th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Fact Sheet: The Truth about the Health Care Reform Bill
    ________________________________

    Thanks- S, for posting the fact sheet.

    Also if anyone thinks their employer will continue paying for their agreed upon health care package; they had better ck again. In the last published bill, the government takeover of corporate/employee Health care (included as part of a hiring perc for employees) will cease for all corporations/employees within the next 5 yrs.

    Employees will be automatically enrolled individually in the government’s HC program.
    ——————————————————–

    Do you have a cite for this?

  76. basement angel
    March 19th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    You guys talk about Obama like he’s some Lex Luther character with the vision, the intellect and the will to dramatically change our nation. He isn’t. He’s a guy striving to be Reagan-lite and not even rising to that.

    ———

    Amen!

  77. US PUBLIC “TOO STUPID” TO REALIZE HOW WONDERFUL THE HEALTHCARE BILL IS?

    Nice data, charts, etc.

    people-press.org/report/?pageid=1682

    March 18, 2010
    Gloomy Americans Bash Congress, Are Divided on Obama
    ============================

    Public views of the health care bills being discussed in Congress have remained quite stable over the past few months. As has been the case since last July, there is more opposition than support for these proposals Currently, 48% say they generally oppose the health care bills in Congress while 38% say they generally favor them. That is almost identical to the balance of opinion in February and January.

    When opponents are asked about what they prefer Congress to do, somewhat more (28% of the public) say they would prefer that Congress begin working on a new bill rather than pass nothing and leave the current system as it is (18% of the public).

    As has been the case since last summer, there are wide partisan divisions in opinions about health care legislation. Republicans continue to overwhelmingly oppose the health care bills in Congress (by 81% to 13%) while Democrats favor the measures by a smaller margin (62% to 22%). A majority of independents (56%) generally oppose the bills while 32% generally favor them. The balance of opinion within all three partisan groups is largely unchanged in recent months.

    A 42% plurality of Republicans would prefer that Congress begin working on new health care legislation, while 35% would prefer that Congress pass nothing and leave the current system as it is. Looking specifically at conservative Republicans, 85% of whom oppose the health legislation, preferences are divided almost evenly – 42% want to see new legislation started, while 39% would prefer that Congress pass nothing and leave the system as it is.

    Regardless, Most See Their Health Costs Rising
    About half of Americans (51%) say that if the health care bills in Congress become law, they expect their own health care costs would go up in coming years; nearly a third (32%) say their health costs would go up a lot. Fewer than one-in-five (17%) say their health costs would go down if the legislation passes, while 22% say they expect their costs would stay the same.

    But the public’s predictions about future health care costs are even more negative if no changes are made to the health care system: 63% say their own costs would go up in coming years, while 37% say they would go up a lot. Just 6% see their future costs decreasing if the status quo continues, while 25% say they would stay the same.

    Opponents of the current bills overwhelmingly believe that passage of health care legislation will raise their own health costs in coming years: 71% expect their costs would go up with 52% saying they would go up a lot. But a sizeable majority of those who generally oppose the health care bills in Congress (62%) say they expect their future health care costs would rise if no changes are made in the health care system; however, far fewer (32%) say their costs would increase a lot under this scenario than if the bill passes.

    Those who generally favor the health care bills being discussed in Congress mostly say they expect their costs to stay the same (36%) or decrease (31%) if the legislation passes; just 27% expect their health costs to rise in coming years. Two-thirds (67%) of supporters of health care legislation say their costs would rise in coming years if no changes are made in the system; 46% say their costs would increase a lot if the status quo continues.

    [snip]

  78. I just want to point out that several items in the fact sheet, particularly big ticket, money saving items, were indeed absolutely championed by Hillary, so to those who said they had the same position on this issue, they could not have been more wrong. This issue, health care finance, is actually an issue of economic fairness for the middle class, and with Obama, we continue to be screwed.

    Public Option ($25-$110 billion)(Cornerstone to her plan)
    Medicare buy-in (this was championed by BC for 55-64 year olds for the last six years of his presidency)
    Medicare drug price negotiation ($300 billion) (Remember Hill actually voted against the Med D because it didn’t allow the government to use it’s negotiating power.
    Shorter pathway to generic biologics ($71 billion) (HUGE, absolutely HUGE issue for Hill)

  79. OBAMA KNOCKS DOWN THE STRAW MAN AGAIN!!!

    Fake enemies, fake issues, faulty logic. But the man sure like hearin’ himself talk.

    realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/politics/2010/Mar/19/obama_rallies_support_for_final_health_care_votes.html

    March 19, 2010
    Obama rallies support for final health care votes
    The Associated Press

    Counting down to the final votes on his health care legislation, President Barack Obama says the only question left to answer is: Will the country let the insurance companies win again?

    Rallying support at a campaign-style rally in northern Virginia on Friday, Obama said the insurance industry will continue to “run wild” if the House vote set for Sunday fails.

    Republicans are united in opposition to Obama’s proposal, and House Democrats are still searching for the 216 votes they need to pass the Senate version of the sweeping overhaul bill and send it to the president for his signature.

    Without change, Obama says insurance companies will continue to deny people coverage and care and impose stiff premium hikes.

  80. TELEGRAPHING A LOSS?

    abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Politics/vice-president-joe-biden-tells-abc-exclusive-passing/story?id=10139848

    EXCLUSIVE: Biden Says White House Getting Earful from Nervous Lawmakers Over Health Care
    ========================

    Biden Tells ABC Passing the Legislation Will Help Stem Democratic Losses in November

    Vice President Joe Biden said today that vulnerable members of Congress, worried that the health care reform legislation will cost them their jobs, have expressed their frustrations to the White House and have been critical of how the issue has played out over the last year.

    They say, ‘Well Joe, look man, I mean, you know, you guys haven’t messaged this very well,'” Biden told ABC News’ Jake Tapper in an exclusive interview in Durham, N.C. “And, ‘You know, this thing has gone on so long.'”

    Biden said his response to worried lawmakers is simple: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

    “I’m telling you, you know, pre-existing [conditions], they’re going to be covered. You know we’re going to control the insurance companies,” the vice president said. “You know people aren’t going to lose their health care with their employer like is being advertised.”

    Biden said once these provisions take effect and the American people feel the impact, lawmakers who vote “yes” will reap the benefits.

    “They’re going to see right off the bat the horrible [things] aren’t real and there are some very good things that become apparent immediately,” Biden said. “Once the American public realizes that … [legislators are] going to be rewarded.”

    A 36-year veteran of the Senate, Biden said he was sympathetic to the position some lawmakers are now in.

    “I really, truly believe that the worst place to be, as a legislator, is being in the position where your side is being pummeled for an idea and there’s misrepresentations about all the bad things the idea is going to generate,” Biden said.

  81. I’m not sure he even rises to the level of Reagan-lite wannabee. Imo at best he’s Mayor Daley wannabee (world scale of course). He talked about Daley bringing rival factions into the same room and walking out and they would magically find their own solutions and Daley would get the credit.

    At most he might have some idea of himself, or what he symbolizes, as some sort of stone in the stone soup, catalyst.

    But really do we need to look further than the fact the the real Daley rewarded him for being a useful tool, and so did Ted Kennedy, and now the insurance companies, etc etc. Chicago Combine. John Kass of Chicago was saying something that fitted with this.

  82. Constituent threatened with federal charges for calling congressman

    h t t p://biggovernment.com/capitolconfidential/2010/03/19/the-heat-is-on-congressmans-office-says-constituent-calls-are-harassment/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BigGovernment+%28Big+Government%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

  83. birdgal:

    This link refers to the original 1,100 pg version of the HCR Bill published on the Internet Aug 10, 2009.

    The article was published in Money.com and FORTUNE

    5 freedoms you’d lose in health care reform

    If you read the fine print in the Congressional plans, you’ll find that a lot of cherished aspects of the current system would disappear.

    In promoting his health-care agenda, President Obama has repeatedly reassured Americans that they can keep their existing health plans — and that the benefits and access they prize will be enhanced through reform.

    A close reading of the two main bills, one backed by Democrats in the House and the other issued by Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Health committee, contradict the President’s assurances. …. page by page, the bills reveal a web of restrictions, fines, and mandates that would radically change your health-care coverage.

    If you prize choosing your own cardiologist or urologist under your company’s Preferred Provider Organization plan (PPO), if your employer rewards your non-smoking, healthy lifestyle with reduced premiums, if you love the bargain Health Savings Account (HSA) that insures you just for the essentials, or if you simply take comfort in the freedom to spend your own money for a policy that covers the newest drugs and diagnostic tests — you may be shocked to learn that you could lose all of those good things under the rules proposed in the two bills that herald a health-care revolution.

    In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive, and highly subsidized coverage — including a lot of benefits people would never pay for with their own money — but deliver it through a highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and tests you can and can’t have. It’s a revolution, all right, but in the wrong direction.

    Tully then lists and discusses the five freedoms lost under ObamaCare:

    1. Freedom to choose what’s in your plan
    2. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs
    3. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage
    4. Freedom to keep your existing plan
    5. Freedom to choose your doctors

    The following paragraphs from Tully about Point 4 should be enough to shut down the nonsensical claim that ObamaCare won’t ultimately end up being state-controlled and state-run, whether you’re currently in an ERISA (i.e., company-sponsored) plan or not (bolds are mine):

    The bill gives ERISA employers a five-year grace period when they can keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the “qualified” policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we’ve already discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, “keeping your own plan” has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you’ll get dumped into the exchange. As we’ll see, it could happen a lot earlier.

    The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who aren’t under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to offer only “qualified” plans to new customers, via the exchanges.

    The employees who got their coverage before the law goes into effect can keep their plans, but once again, there’s a catch. If the plan changes in any way — by altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug — the employee must drop out and shop through the exchange. Since these plans generally change their policies every year, it’s likely that millions of employees will lose their plans in 12 months.

    Wow. After ready Tully’s column, even those who have deeply imbibed the kool-aid won’t be able to say they weren’t warned.

    Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

    http://www.bizzyblog.com/2009/08/10/fortune-editor-breaks-with-cnners-on-obamacare-details-freedoms-lost-inevitable-state-control/

  84. Tonight is the perfect night for the “Save Obama” votes to declare themselves. It’s Friday news dump after all.

    The state of play is still fluid. Early evening it appeared to be a done deal. Then not a done deal. Later in the evening, DireFogFake wrote this:

    UPDATE: If you look hard at the numbers, you can see why Pelosi is talking with Stupak and pro-choice women. With 214 No or lean No votes (including the Stupak bloc), Pelosi would have to prevent Dahlkemper and Kaptur from joining them. Then she would need all the other uncommitted votes, save one. That means she would have to get everyone who voted yes last time, plus Jim Matheson or Harry Teague (and all the lean Yes votes who went No last time, like Brian Baird and John Tanner). It’s just not that plausible.

    They also report that Arizona has dropped their CHIP program and think more states will do the same.

    Also their latest vote count is 202-209 (208-214 with leaners).

    Rules Committee meets tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

    Stupak has a press conference tomorrow morning.

    The Hill still has the NOs and leaning NOs and Likely NOs at 36 (after dropping to 35, then back to 36). The Undecideds are down to 36 as well. The Hill seems to be behind the times because they still list Scott Murphy as undecided even though he is now a “Save Obama”.

    Bottom line: They still don’t have the votes, and it is getting tighter and tighter. Only a Stupak cave-in or a Dimocratic cave in to Stupak can “Save Obama”.

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