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Friday, July 31, 2009

Democratic Politicians Don't Want To Hear From Their Constituents

Looks like the friendly lil townhalls meant to pitch Obamacare to constituents are no longer friendly and in some cases are being completely canceled.

Screaming constituents, protesters dragged out by the cops, congressmen fearful for their safety — welcome to the new town-hall-style meeting, the once-staid forum that is rapidly turning into a house of horrors for members of Congress.

On the eve of the August recess, members are reporting meetings that have gone terribly awry, marked by angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior. In at least one case, a congressman has stopped holding town hall events because the situation has spiraled so far out of control.

“I had felt they would be pointless,” Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) told POLITICO, referring to his recent decision to temporarily suspend the events in his Long Island district. “There is no point in meeting with my constituents and [to] listen to them and have them listen to you if what is basically an unruly mob prevents you from having an intelligent conversation.”

In Bishop’s case, his decision came on the heels of a June 22 event he held in Setauket, N.Y., in which protesters dominated the meeting by shouting criticisms at the congressman for his positions on energy policy, health care and the bailout of the auto industry


Within an hour of the disruption, police were called in to escort the 59-year-old Democrat — who has held more than 100 town hall meetings since he was elected in 2002 — to his car safely.

“I have no problem with someone disagreeing with positions I hold,” Bishop said, noting that, for the time being, he was using other platforms to communicate

with his constituents. “But I also believe no one is served if you can’t talk through differences.”

Bishop isn’t the only one confronted by boiling anger and rising incivility. At a health care town hall event in Syracuse, N.Y., earlier this month, police were called in to restore order, and at least one heckler was taken away by local police. Close to 100 sign-carrying protesters greeted Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) at a late June community college small-business development forum in Panama City, Fla. Last week, Danville, Va., anti-tax tea party activists claimed they were “refused an opportunity” to ask Rep. Thomas Perriello (D-Va.) a question at a town hall event and instructed by a plainclothes police officer to leave the property after they attempted to hold up protest signs.

The targets in most cases are House Democrats, who over the past few months have tackled controversial legislation including a $787 billion economic stimulus package, a landmark energy proposal and an overhaul of the nation’s health care system.

Imagine what the actual summer recess is going to be like for these politicians.

It isn't Republicans and Independents alone, it is every day moderate Democrats that are angry and are making their voices heard, loudly in some cases, about the shenanigans going on in Washington.

Spontaneous protests, townhall meetings erupting with anger and constituents letting their elected politicians know they won't be elected again.

Ant estimates on when the news start reporting other townhall events and other events where the public get to make their voices heard to their representatives, get canceled?

I think the summer will be full of that type of news.

A reminder... contact your rep, let them know what you think of Obamacare, and if you attend these type of meetings, no violence, just clear rational objections and the firm threat of no reelection for any politician that goes against their constituents.


Hit Program 'Cash For Clunkers' Suspended

Finally something that worked, a program to turn in your old car (clunker) and get $3,500 or $4,500 toward a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle, has used up it's billion dollar allotment, in just one week.

Of course, naturally when a plan actually works, the most natural thing in the world to do it.... suspend it?

Perhaps if confusion would not have taken front seat to stimulating the economy, this plan could have been instantly extended to keep up the forward motion.

Some car shoppers are finding that their trade-in vehicles, which qualified for a Cash for Clunkers rebate last week, don't this week because of changes in the EPA's fuel economy ratings.

In some cases, car buyers say, dealers are backing out of sales they've already made because the EPA changed the fuel economy figures on their trade-in.

"My wife just received a call from the sales manager saying that our clunker doesn't qualify anymore, and that we could either pay the extra $4,500 or return the new car (and get our old car back)," Greg Straka wrote Tuesday on a message board at the automotive Web site.

He had signed a document agreeing to provide additional documentation needed to process his trade-in, but had not done so yet, Straka wrote.

He had made the deal for his new car last Saturday, the day after program rules were supposed to have been finalized, Straka wrote in an e-mail to But the fuel economy information on the car apparently changed the next day, he said.

Government officials claim they are working on plan to keep the cash for clunkers alive, but nothing firm has been agreed upon yet.

A White House official said, "We are working tonight to assess the situation facing what is obviously an incredibly popular program. Auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid [cash-for-clunker] transactions that have taken place to-date will be honored."

Lawmakers are discussing with White House officials where to find funding -- including possibly tapping the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, a congressional aide said.

The clunkers program, which offers rebates of up to $4,500 to consumers who trade in old vehicles and buy new, more fuel-efficient models, began July 24 and sparked a surge in car sales.

"It was an absolute success," said Michael J. Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation Inc., the U.S.'s largest chain of auto dealerships. "There's a very compelling case the government should put more money into it. It's a great stimulus to the economy."

Congress had expected the $1 billion set aside for the rebates to last several months and set up the program to expire Nov. 1.

Amazing, a plan that showed incredible initial results, stimulates the economy and gets consumers spending again,, without bailouts, and they need to think about it?

In the meantime, businesses that expected this to last until Nov. 1, made plans, created and bought advertising to promote the cash for clunkers deal, just to find out it has been suspended?

Carmakers and dealers have booked expensive advertising to capitalize on buyers' interest in CARS, and now will be left promoting a tie-in with an uncertain government program — one that wasn't supposed to end until Nov. 1. "Disappointed," said Chrysler spokesman Scott Brown.

"It's too late to recall the ads," says Beau Boeckmann of Galpin Ford, the nation's largest Ford dealer, in Los Angeles. Galpin had done about 100 clunker deals and was hoping for more. " We had increased our ad budget to get the word out. We are very heavy on radio, newspaper and getting direct mail together," Boeckmann says.

"Now what do you tell people when they walk in" for a clunker deal? "It's tough."

More on that advertising:

Automakers have ordered millions of dollars in television ads. Dealers had the hot dogs, balloons and full-page Sunday ads in the newspapers ready to pounce on sales opportunities. And it is all in vain: the "Cash for Clunkers" program is on hold.

This would have been the first full weekend for the program. It was only last Monday that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood officially kicked it off. Lots of momentum will be lost from the suspension, confirmed moments ago by sources.

$787 billion dollars on a stimulus program that had no chance to work and they only slap $1 billion into a plan like this that worked immediately..... anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

Quote of the day from Scared Monkeys:

These people can’t properly run “Cash for Clunkers” yet they are going to run GM? That’s priceless. The government cannot properly calculate a budget for the “Cash for Clunkers” program and these are the same people who want to nationalize health care. This program was supposed to run until October; however, after 7 short days they went bust. As Hot Air states, that is some miscalculation.

Just another day in Washington folks, nothing to see, move along now.


A teachable moment about useless symbolic photo ops

Sgt. Crolwey and Professor Gates shared a beer. President Obama had his teachable moment about useless symbolic photo ops that accomplish nothing except stop his slide in the polls.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Bad News For Obama

Wow, over the last few days we have showed multiple polls showing support for Obamacare is plummeting among the American people and Obama's own numbers are seeing a decline.

Gallup, Rasmussen, NYT, WSJ/NBC just to name a few, but now Pew Research is chiming in with their results, which is more bad news for Obama.

Barack Obama’s approval ratings have suffered major declines. The president’s overall job approval number fell from 61% in mid-June to 54% currently. His approval ratings for handling the economy and the federal budget deficit have also fallen sharply, tumbling to 38% and 32%, respectively. Majorities now say they disapprove of the way the president is handling these two issues. The new poll also finds significant declines over the last few months in the percentage of Americans giving Obama high marks for dealing with health care, foreign policy and tax policy.

The honeymoon is officially over.


Protesters Greet Obama In North Carolina

Full story at Randy's Right with video and other photos, so go take a look, but here is a small teaser:

The turn out of conservative protestors was enormous, libs had a small group, plain and simple. Conservative Patriots lined the streets for blocks as Obama’s motorcade went right by seeing all of them. I saw him up close, maybe 15 feet away, he just looked straight ahead and ignored us.

Go read the rest.


Liberal Jews and Battered Housewives

Liberal Jews are like battered housewives, except battered housewives are blameless for their fate. Liberal Jews get repeatedly kicked in the teeth by a liberal President and respond "Thank you sir, may I have another?"

Liberal Jews need to start hating Al Queda and Saddam more than they hate Republicans.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Support For Obamacare Waning With General Public

(Cartoon by Eric Allie, via Townhall)

A couple of polls discussed yesterday showed the American populace learning more about Obamacare and becoming concerned, causing a drop in support for Obama and his health care plan which would socialize medicine.

Today we see more polls showing the same pattern.

New York Times/CBS News poll finds:

Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests, the poll found. The percentage who describe health care costs as a serious threat to the American economy — a central argument made by Mr. Obama — has dropped over the past month.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows a plurality of Americans call the plan a "bad idea."

Support for President Barack Obama's health-care effort has declined over the past five weeks, particularly among those who already have insurance, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found, amid prolonged debate over costs and quality of care.

In mid-June, respondents were evenly divided when asked whether they thought Mr. Obama's health plan was a good or bad idea. In the new poll, conducted July 24-27, 42% called it a bad idea while 36% said it was a good idea.

This is why forcing the politicians to wait before jamming a bill down our throats was the right thing to do, now the public is getting an idea of what is written into Obamacare and they aren't happy with the information they are processing.

This is also why Obama has been pushing so hard to get a vote passed in the House and Senate.

So the American people would not have a chance to understand the plan and would not be able to contact their politicians in time to stop it.

That didn't work, despite Obama's massive push and the numbers are showing the American public is smarter than Obama gave them credit for.


The health insurance divide

That’s especially true on the issue of health care reform. As Congress works on its legislation and as Obama campaigns to get an overhaul enacted, 42 percent now say that the president’s plan is a bad idea, which is a 10-point increase since last month. Thirty-six percent say it’s a good idea.

In addition, 39 percent — a plurality — believe that Obama’s plan would result in the quality of their health care getting worse. That’s 15-point jump since April.

And just 41 percent approve of the president’s job on health care, which is nearly identical to Bill Clinton’s scores from 1994, when he failed to get Congress to pass health care reform.

In order to weed through the bill, the Senate Finance Committee has been working overtime to try to come to a compromise that would see support from all sides to get some type of reform passed and The Hill reports that the compromises being reached are angering liberals, even using the title "Health deal sparks fury on the left."

A House leadership deal with Blue Dogs and an aggressive marketing push by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) shifted the healthcare debate sharply toward centrist positions Wednesday, sparking threats of rebellion from the left.

The day’s events left the Senate Finance Committee’s emergent bill as the most viable vehicle on Capitol Hill, but also made clear that House Democrats are still riven by bitter disagreements. Democrats postponed a floor vote until after the August recess, meeting a top demand of centrist Blue Dogs.

The Blue Dogs’ deal, which cut $100 billion from the healthcare reform price tag, was instantly denounced by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who said, “It’s unacceptable. We’re not going to vote for anything that doesn’t have a robust public plan.”

Liberals aimed to win 50 signatures on a letter to their leaders opposing the deal to make it clear they could defeat the healthcare bill on the floor.

“Fifty is our threshold,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), a co-chairman of the caucus. “That’ll kill anything.”

The White House and Democratic leaders moved quickly to try to quell the liberal insurrection. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called a group of liberals to her office in the mid-afternoon, and Democrats postponed plans to continue a stalled markup of the bill by the Energy and Commerce Committee until Friday. Instead, they held a caucus meeting to answer member questions.

“It’s more important to let members ask questions, raise concerns,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the chairman of Energy and Commerce.

Tensions are rising, arguments and brewing and leadership is trying to put fires out as they threaten to burn out of control.

Some headlines from today, via Memeorandum:

The Politico with "Liberals gag over health deal."

The Hill with "Waxman confident Blue Dog compromise will pass."

The Politico with "Henry Waxman wins breakthrough on health bill."

In going through the discussions in the blogosphere at the moment, the far left is truly on the rampage that the Senate Finance Committee is daring to try to make the plan more cost efficient and tamper down the "public option" (socialized medicine).

The delay in the vote is good, it gives the politicians time to actually read the deal being made, it gives the American public time to understand what is written into the deal and make their voices heard and according to the polls, the more they hear, the less they like the proposals being pushed at them.

The far left will spend the august recess pushing their more liberal members to fight any compromise coming from the Senate Finance Committee and those against Obamacare need to do the same, by contacting their own Representatives and Senators and making their voices heard.

The constituents of the Blue Dogs also need to contact them and show them support so they do not get railroaded by the far left progressive politicians.

The delay may be good, but the fight has just begun and the American people cannot sit back and let the chips fall where they may, because whatever bill gets passed will have something each of you has to live with for a long time to come.

With that said, here is your reminder:

Contact your Congressman, let them hear from you, loud and clear... NO Obamacare.

Then Contact your Senators and tell them the same thing.

If you live in a state with a so-called "blue dog" representative or Senator, then make sure you call to support them.

[Update] The little game of putting ona good show, getting these compromises written in and passing a bill just so Pelosi and the House can shove all the crap back in, is being preempted by U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), who issued a statement and closed with this little tidbit:

“I also need commitments from Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, as well as the Administration, that the bipartisan agreements reached in the Finance Committee will survive in a final bill that goes to the President.”

If you get those commitments Senator, I suggest you make them put it in writing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gallup- Public Not Sold On Obamacare


These results are important because much of the debate on healthcare reform rests on the assumption that it is imperative to fix what is assumed to be a broken healthcare system in the U.S. One aspect of the healthcare debate focuses on the benefits of healthcare reform to the country as a whole, while another addresses the benefits to the average American. Yet the majority of Americans are not sold on the notion that reform would have a positive effect on either.

Obama and the far left Democrats in Congress better understand the American public sees right through their doublespeak and lies.

It is going to be a long tense vacation for their August recess.


Ari David For Congress

My friend Ari David is running for Congress in Los Angeles against Henry Waxboy, who has served in Congress for approximately 847 years. Support Ari David.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Tide Is Turning Against Democrats

A couple recent polls show that it isn't just Barack Obama who is seeing his polls numbers plummet but Congress is as well. A pattern is starting to emerge with each additional poll and the last two are following along that same pattern.

NPR finds that while Republicans on the issues still are rating lower than Democrats on specific issues, for the first time since the 2007 and 2009 elections, we are seeing Democrats losing ground fast.

Despite the overwhelming unhappiness with a Congress now dominated by Democrats, those polled said the majority was slightly better than the minority at addressing the nation's priorities. On a scale of zero (very bad) to 10 (very good), those polled gave the Democrats an average of 4.4, the Republicans an average of 3.9. The Democrats got a rating of 5 or below from 61 percent; the GOP got a rating of 5 or below from 75 percent.

The so-called generic ballot question was also very close. Asked whether they would support a Democrat or a Republican for Congress in 2010 if the election were held today, 42 percent said they would choose a Democrat and 43 percent a Republican, a difference well within the poll's margin of error (plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for each number in each question).

This is also interesting from the same poll:

Greenberg and Bolger found that 38 percent considered the country to be going in the "right direction," while 54 percent saw it on the "wrong track." But that 15-point negative reading was the least negative of any NPR poll in more than year. The portion saying "wrong track" had been nearly 90 percent in the NPR poll done in the fall of 2008.

The second one I saw today was Rasmussen with more bad news for the Democrats:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 39% would opt for their Democratic opponent.

Watching Democrats fighting with each other with the far left liberals trying to spew out only Obama party lines and the moderates trying to rein in the more aggressively progressive liberals and their massive spending, is like watching a freak show and wondering what the hell is going on and how these temper tantrum throwing children were voted in to run a country the size of America.

The more interesting question that keeps popping up in my mind is this "how did the Democrats manage to screw up such a huge lead in favorability in such a short amount of time?"


Democrats Threaten Moderates Over Obamacare

(Cartoon by Brian Farrington, via Townhall)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)has issued a not-so-veiled threat against moderate Democrats over Obamacare regarding more liberal challengers going for their seat in the next election if they don't start toeing the line.

The delay prompted Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to lash out at the Blue Dogs as hypocritical and even hint that more liberal Democrats might challenge them in primaries.

When asked if she would promote that idea herself, she replied "That’s normally not done. There may be people out there listening and observing all of this who may get motivated based on what they’re seeing and throw their hat into the ring."

Then she threw a shot at White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for recruiting moderates for those seats when he headed the House Democrats’ campaign arm, stating "The chickens are coming home to roost."

The ignorance implied in that statement is astounding, or she simply chooses to forget that the reason conservative, moderate Democrats were chosen to run in many of those districts was because those districts were largely conservative and a progressive liberal to the far left wouldn't have stood a chance to win those seats from Republicans.

She forgets also that what would threaten their seats is if they forgot they represent their constituents, not the Democratic party.

So while the media breatlessly reports the "infighting" between Democrats, remember what I wrote yesterday asking if this whole public show, was just that a "show" and if Pelosi and the house would negate all the work the gang of six, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Jeff Bingaman (N.M.) and Republican Sens. Mike Enzi (Wyo.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine, was a waste of time?

Well, we have the answer clearly spelling out in the next The Hill piece:

Even after Reid gets the bill out of his chamber, some expect the real work will begin when House and Senate negotiators hash out a final agreement in conference.

“This is inevitably a process of compromise,” said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a member of the Finance Committee who supports the public option and is expected to offer amendments to Baucus’s draft. “The most important thing to me is to get a bill to the Senate floor and get a bill that passes the Senate to conference.”

Even after the Senate gets a bill they can work with, the House will just try to force the public option and all the other bullshit they are weeding out, right back in.

Do not let up on your Senators and Representatives, call, email, fax and if you live close enough, make a personal appearance to register your wishes.

Below is the reminder I have been giving you with almost all the pieces on Obamacare:

Contact your Congressman, let them hear from you, loud and clear... NO Obamacare.

Then Contact your Senators and tell them the same thing.

If you live in a state with a so-called "blue dog" representative or Senator, then make sure you call to support them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

US Soldier Demands Apology From Senator Claire McCaskill at Town Hall

This could have been part of the previous post about the spontaneous protest that sprung up during Senator Claire McCaskill townhall about Obamacare, but this soldier is well versed and deserves his own space.

Video below.

This is what townhalls should look like throughout the whole summer if the politicians have the gall to face their constituents after trying to jam through Obamacare.


Protest Over Obamacare Breaks Out At McCaskill Townhall

Via Gateway Pundit:

Senator Claire "ACORN" McCaskill's office agreed to hold a town hall meeting on Obamacare.

A massive Tea Party Protest broke out!

This 19 second video clip gives you an idea of how her constituents feel about Obamacare.

A St. Louis Tea Party protester fired up the crowd at the McCaskill town hall when she asked, "Will Pelosi and Reid be reguired to join the same plan that they are requiring us to join?"


Terrorism Arrests Made In North Carolina

The federal indictment says seven men, U.S. Citizens, arrested in North Carolina "conspired to wage jihad overseas."

LA Times:

Federal authorities in North Carolina on Monday arrested seven men who they said had trained with high-powered weapons as part of a terrorist conspiracy to wage an Islamic holy war overseas.

The men -- including a father who, authorities said, trained in jihad camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and his two sons -- sought to provide material support to terrorists and to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people overseas, according to a seven-count federal indictment. The indictment did not allege that the group was plotting attacks on U.S. soil.

If convicted, the suspects, all but one of whom are U.S. citizens, could face life in prison.

At least some of the men were willing to die as martyrs, according to the indictment, which described a plot that began in 2006 and lasted until earlier this month. It said that the North Carolina residents had raised donations to support their training and had recruited and radicalized others -- "mostly young Muslims or converts to Islam, to believe . . . the idea that violent jihad was a personal obligation on the part of every good Muslim."

The men also offered weapons training and helped arrange overseas travel and contacts for others seeking to wage holy war, the indictment said.

No commentary at this time.


Are The Gang Of Six Wasting Their Time On Obamacare

Story after story in the mainstream media are hailing moderates and centrists and their long meetings trying to hash out details of Obamacare, with two major Democratic provisions, the "public option" aka government run healthcare and employer mandated coverage being weeded out.

"Key Democratic provisions fading fast"

Bipartisan negotiations on the Senate Finance Committee are moving closer to eliminating two health care provisions favored by many Democrats – a mandate on employers to provide insurance or pay a penalty, and a government insurance option, a senator and health care insiders said Monday.

That could bring even greater pressure on Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who has been challenged by more liberal senators who say he is sacrificing key Democratic priorities on health care reform to win the votes of a few Republicans.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) confirmed that the three Republicans and three Democrats negotiating the Senate Finance bill are moving away from a broad-based mandate that would force employers to offer insurance. The senators instead are leaning toward a “free rider” provision that requires employers to pay for employees who receive coverage through Medicaid or who receive new government subsidies to purchase insurance through an exchange.

"House inches forward; Senate may scrap public option"

Meanwhile, the AP reported Monday night that the Senate Finance Committee is close to striking a bipartisan compromise that does not include a so-called public option, a top priority of President Obama and House Democratic leaders. AP also reported that the Senate committee will not call for an employer healthcare mandate, which is included in the House measure.

"Health Policy Now Carved Out at a More Centrist Table"

Still, if the three Democrats and three Republicans can pull off a grand bargain, it will have to be more conservative than the measures proposed by the House or the left-leaning Senate health committee. And that could force Mr. Obama to choose between backing the bipartisan deal or rank-and-file Democrats who want a bill that more closely reflects their liberal ideals.

Already, the group of six has tossed aside the idea of a government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers, which the president supports but Republicans said was a deal-breaker.

Instead, they are proposing a network of private, nonprofit cooperatives.

They have also dismissed the House Democratic plan to pay for the bill’s roughly $1 trillion, 10-year cost partly with an income surtax on high earners.

The liberal blogs are seething, how dare them compromise, even some of the conservative blogs are saying "there may be hope," but does it really matter what the gang of six, the three Democrats and three Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee, do or come up with?

Does it matter if Obamacare, once sliced and diced of the more atrocious aspects, comes out of committee in such a way that it can garner bipartisan support?

Nope and that is because one person, one of the most unpopular, mistrusted and disliked politicians, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, is insisting Obamacare will not get passed the House without the public option.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed snags in Senate health care reform negotiations and insisted Thursday the House will pass a bill that includes a government run health care option to compete with private insurers.

"I have every confidence that we will have a public option coming out of the House of Representatives," Pelosi said at her weekly press conference.

What people keep forgetting is that whatever compromise comes out of the "gang of six" on the Senate Finance Committee, whatever eventually garners a bipartisan vote in the Senate to pass, must go back to the House (Pelosi) and they will simply shove everything back into the bill which will leave the Senate right back where it started before the public "show" of sitting down and hashing everything out.

This whole show is nothing more than a way to provide cover to moderates when they go home for their August vacation, so their constituents don't tear them limb from limb (figuratively) for supporting a plan with a trillion dollar price tag which would put the government in charge of their medical health and medical decisions.

Do not let them snowball you, continue to contact your Representatives and Senators, make it clear to them how you feel and what their chances of reelection will be if they allow Pelosi to negate any work the Senate Finance Committee is doing right now.


My Conference Call With House Minority Leader John Boehner

I recently participated in a conference call with House Minority Leader John Boehner.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Friend and Arizona Rising Star

For those that can vote in Arizona, learn about Andrew Friend. For those in the other 56 states (according to our current President), give Andrew Friend money anyway.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Video- Sarah Palin To Media: "Quit Makin' Things Up'

Listen to the applause for Palin when she rips into the media.

Not only does she tell the media to quit making things up, she says her successer, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, "has a very nice family too, so leave his kids alone!"

Video below at YouTube, URL here.


"You represent what could and should be a respected, honest profession that could and should be a cornerstone of our democracy. Democracy depends on you, and that is why-that's why our troops are willing to die for you. So how about in honor of the American soldier, you quit makin' things up."

That is only a small portion of her 20 minute resignation speech.

More at CBS.


Another In A series Of Biden's Gaffes A Minute

Joe Biden is just too easy, he is a one man side show.

Bottom line, Biden now claims, via and op-ed in The New York Times, that the stimulus, the $787 billion stimulus, wasn't intended as an immediate "jolt" to our economy.

Hot Air, as well as others, goes back to some of Biden's previous statements and finds direct contradictions as well as Biden trying to rewrite history and reword previous promises.

As for the “jolt,” Jonathan Adler at The Corner and Mark Silva at Swamp Politics note that just a couple of weeks before that, Biden was Joltin’ Joe when it came to the stimulus:

As recently as June, at a roundtable in New York, Biden called the Recovery Act “an initial big jolt to give the economy a real head start.”

In March, the vice president said ”the Recovery Act, as we call it, provides a necessary jolt to our economy to implement what we refer as ’shovel-ready’ projects.”

And in November, as a new White House in planning was assembling its new economic team, President-elect Barack Obama said: “The most important thing to recognize is that we have a consensus, which is pretty rare, between conservative economists and liberal economists, that we need a big stimulus package that will jolt the economy back into shape and that is focused on the 2.5 million jobs that I intend to create during the first part of my administration. We have to put people back to work.”

All of the above links come from the White House web site. Maybe Biden would like to do a little research at the office before attempting to build the next ridiculous cover story for the failure of Obamanomics.

Amazing that the Obama administration would continue to try to rewrite their own words, their own promises and not assume that anyone will do even the slightest amount of research to see and point out how they continually contradict themselves.

At the rate Biden is going, the "Biden's gaffes a minute" might just become a weekly series.


White House Doesn't Appreciate CBO's Analysis, Claims They 'Overstepped'

(Cartoon by Brian Farrington, found at Townhall)

What is the Congressional Budget Office?

From the CBO website:

CBO's mandate is to provide the Congress with:

* Objective, nonpartisan, and timely analysis to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on the wide array of programs covered by the federal budget and

* The information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.

Simple enough, clear and concise, unless of course the White doesn't like their analysis, then they claim that analyzing those very programs they are set up to analyze is "overstepping".

This is what White House Budget Director Peter Orszag had to say in a letter posted Saturday on the White House website, in response to the latest blow the CBO landed against Obamacare, which we covered yesterday.

Administration officials say the proposed "Independent Medicare Advisory Council" would both improve health care quality and control costs. Some health care industry groups object to the proposal, saying such a council would not be qualified to make those judgments.

The CBO's review of the proposal found that "the probability is high that no savings would be realized … but there is also a chance that substantial savings might be realized," Elmendorf wrote.

"Looking beyond the 10-year-budget window, CBO expects that this proposal would generate larger but still modest savings on the same probabilistic basis."

Orszag, a former director of the CBO, pointed out that "it is very rare for CBO to conclude that a specific legislative proposal would generate significant long-term savings so it is noteworthy that, with some modifications, CBO reached such a conclusion with regard to the IMAC (Independent Medicare Advisory Council concept."

But he also criticized Elmendorf's findings.

"As a former CBO director, I can attest that CBO is sometimes accused of a bias toward exaggerating costs and underestimating savings. Unfortunately, parts of today's analysis from CBO could feed that perception," Orszag said.

"In providing a quantitative estimate of long-term effects without any analytical basis for doing so, CBO seems to have overstepped."

I would love to know how the non-partisan CBO "overstepped" in analyzing the proposal handed to them and to which Congress asked for their analysis.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

NFL Comings and Goings

Today is a day for football. 'Nuff said.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Congressional Budget Office Puts Another Nail In Obamacare's Coffin

(Cartoon by Michael Ramirez found at Townhall)

For the second time in as many weeks, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has issued a letter, sent to Steny H. Hoyer, House majority leader, which deals a "blow" to Obamacare, at a time when the Democratic leaders and Barack Obama are trying to push the proposal through Congress.

The Politico (linked above):

For the second time this month, congressional budget analysts have dealt a blow to the Democrat's health reform efforts, this time by saying a plan touted by the White House as crucial to paying for the bill would actually save almost no money over 10 years.

A key House chairman and moderate House Democrats on Tuesday agreed to a White House-backed proposal that would give an outside panel the power to make cuts to government
-financed health care programs. White House budget director Peter Orszag declared the plan "probably the most important piece that can be added" to the House's health care reform legislation.

But on Saturday, the Congressional Budget Office said the proposal to give an independent panel the power to keep Medicare spending in check would only save about $2 billion over 10 years- a drop in the bucket compared to the bill's $1 trillion price tag.

The initial analysis on the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, as introduced by several House committees on July 14, stated:

According to CBO’s and JCT’s assessment, enacting H.R. 3200 would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010-2019 period. That estimate reflects a projected 10-year cost of the bill’s insurance coverage provisions of $1,042 billion, partly offset by net spending changes that CBO estimates would save $219 billion over the same period, and by revenue provisions that JCT estimates would increase federal revenues by about $583 billion over those 10 years.

By the end of the 10-year period, in 2019, the coverage provisions would add $202 billion to the federal deficit, CBO and JCT estimate. That increase would be partially offset by net cost savings of $50 billion and additional revenues of $86 billion, resulting in a net increase in the deficit of an estimated $65 billion.

The figures released yesterday do not represent a complete cost estimate for the legislation. In particular, the estimated impact of the provisions related to health insurance coverage is based on specifications provided by the committee staff, rather than on a detailed analysis of the legislative language. (The estimates for other spending provisions reflect the specific legislative language. JCT has separately published its estimates of the effects of revenue provisions contained in H.R. 3200.) In addition, the figures do not include certain costs that the government would incur to administer the proposed changes and the impact of the bill’s provisions on other federal programs, and they do not reflect any modifications or amendments made after the bill was introduced. Nevertheless, this analysis reflects the major net budgetary effects of H.R. 3200.

That was on July 17, 2009 and the impact of that analysis was felt in Congress for the following week, with moderate Democrats aka Blue Dogs, becoming increasingly concerned over the massive costs, with very little savings, of Obamacare.

Yesterday's letter to Hoyer included good news for Democratic leaders and Obama saying that the Independent Medicare Advisory Council Act of 2009 "might lead to significant long-term savings in federal spending on health care but would also entail shifting some power from the Congress to the executive branch."

The bad news:

In CBO’s judgment, the probability is high that no savings would be realized, for reasons discussed in the letter, but there is also a chance that substantial savings might be realized. Looking beyond the 10-year budget window, CBO expects that this proposal would generate larger but still modest savings on the same probabilistic basis.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell responded to this analysis by stating "The President said that rising health care costs are an imminent threat to our economy and that any reform must reduce these long-term costs. But CBO has made clear once again that the Democrats' bills in Congress aren't reducing costs and in fact could just make the problem worse."

John Boehner's spokeswoman issued another statement, concluding "This letter underscores the enormous challenges that Democrats face trying to pay for their massive and costly government takeover of health care. In their rush to pass a bill, Democrats continue to ignore the stark economic reality facing our nation.

Let's scrap the current proposal and come together in a meaningful way to reform health care in America by reducing cost, expanding access and at a price tag we can afford."

The PDF of the 8 page letter sent to Hoyer is here.

With the passing of Obama's arbitrary "deadline" with no vote from Congress on America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, it will make August a month where not only Congress goes on their vacation, but a chance for both sides of this issue to push their points home.

Via Politico again we see both have already set their wheels in motion to present their side to the American people.

"The hot days of August are going to be a critical time for every member of Congress," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Maryland Democrat charged with getting his colleagues re-elected next year as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. You don't want to create a political vacuum when you leave Washington."

Van Hollen said he has been assured by the White House it will be actively promoting health care, with the help of outside groups allied with it. And Virginia Gov. Tim Kane, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told House Democrats last week that the committee would help them sell Obama's agenda and as well as bolstering their reelection efforts next year.

A White House official said the administration is still in the process of making plans for the recess, but labor leaders and other administration allies told POLITICO that they’re gearing up to spend millions on television advertisements and grass roots organizing. And, judging by spending already reported by some of these groups, they are off to an impressive start.

“We’re going to fight the fight,” said Gerald McEntee, the president of AFSCME, the public sector workers union. McEntee said his union would send television advertisements and organizers into the districts of more than 40 wavering legislators with the goal of getting their constituents “literally incensed about the fact that they’re standing in the way of health care reform.”

Kaine’s counterparts at the main Republican campaign committees, as a range of conservative groups, are making their own plans.

“There’s a reason why they wanted to pass this before the August break, and that’s because the president continues to see his popularity slowly come down to earth, and the policy continues to grow more unpopular by the day,” said NRCC spokesman Ken Spain, whose committee plans a month-long offensive aiming television ads and other resources at vulnerable Democrats. “It’s going to be much tougher to get these guys to come back and cast a vote for something they’ve been hearing bad things about over the course of August.”

Spain said his message would focus primarily on the cost of health care reform Committee and focus on vulnerable members like Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello and Colorado Rep. Betsy Markey. Key Republican Senate targets include Majority Leader Harry Reid, while Democrats say they hope to exact a price from North Carolina’s Richard Burr, among others, from opposing health care legislation.

Polls, across the board has shown a substantial slip in public support for Obama's handling of the healthcare issue and for Obamacare in general, to which conservatives will continue to pound home the massive pricetag, with very little savings to offset such a high price and the increase in the federal deficit if Obamacare is enacted.

The Swamp:

But, at this juncture in the push for healthcare reform on Capitol Hill, it is the president's handling of healthcare that is making headlines this morning in Washington:

Just 49 percent surveyed by the Post and ABC said they approve of the way Obama is handling healthcare. That is down from 53 percent in June and 57 percent in April.

The share of people voicing disapproval for the president's handling of the issue has risen from 29 percent in April to 44 percent in the newest, July survey.

Gallup, July 21, 2009, "More Disapprove Than Approve of Obama on Healthcare."

As the debate over healthcare reform intensifies, the latest USA Today/Gallup poll finds that more Americans disapprove (50%) than approve (44%) of the way U.S. President Barack Obama is handling healthcare policy. There is a tremendous partisan gap in these views, with 74% of Democrats but only 11% of Republicans approving. Independents are more likely to disapprove than to approve of Obama's work on healthcare.

July 13, 2009, Rasmussen gave a hint to have fast support for Obama on Obamacare is slipping:

Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters now at least somewhat oppose the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, while 46% at least somewhat favor it, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Just two weeks ago, 50% were for the reform plan, and 45% were opposed.

The “nays” also continue to have the edge in terms of intensity. While 22% strongly favor the Democrats’ health care reform plan, 38% strongly oppose it, up four points from the previous survey.

Among those voters who have health insurance, opposition is even higher: 43% favor the plan, but 52% oppose it. Those who strongly oppose it outnumber those who strongly favor it by two-to-one – 40% to 20%.

Is it any wonder he put the pressure on and tried to strong arm congress into pushing the bill through before the August recess?

Zogby, July 16, 2009, via Newsmax:

The year's biggest survey on healthcare reveals most Americans oppose the very reforms that President Obama is trying to push through Congress.

By 52 percent to 40 percent, voters say they are against the healthcare bill introduced July 14 to the House of Representatives, a new Zogby International poll reports.

Co-sponsored by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the survey is based on interviews with nearly 4,000 adults nationwide – the largest such survey conducted this year.

The poll's findings: Americans oppose raising tax rates to pay for a new healthcare system. Instead, they favor innovative approaches that would save money, which in turn could be used to fund health benefits for the poor.

Among those currently insured, Zogby reports, 84 percent are satisfied with their current health care. Also, four out of every five people surveyed agreed that rising healthcare costs are hurting American businesses.

Pollster John Zogby says the results indicate that Americans want costs reduced and wish for everyone to be insured. But they are deeply divided on how to accomplish those goals.

"The likelihood of achieving consensus is low," Zogby says.

One of the concerns: the estimated $1 trillion cost over the next decade of expanding health care coverage.

August is going to see a push from the White House and their allies to get Obamacare passed and those opposed to to the plan in it's present form with be out there countering that.

Make sure your voice, whichever side of the issue you are on, is heard as well, especially while the politicians are home and are forced to face their constituents.

As I have reminded you and said on multiple posts:

Contact your Congressman, let them hear from you, loud and clear... NO Obamacare.

Then Contact your Senators and tell them the same thing.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Arab Festival 2009: Sharia in the US

Video via commenter Daleri

No commentary at this time.


The Krauthammer Index

I have created the intellectual equivalent of a stock portfolio featuring the best and brightest.

Invest in the Wall Street Journal/Charles Krauthammer Index.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Blue Dog Coalition: 'We have not had legitimate negotiations'

Blue Dog Democrats stormed out of a healthcare reform meeting with Democratic leaders, accusing the leaders of negotiating in bad faith.

The Hill:

House healthcare negotiations dissolved in acrimony on Friday, with Blue Dog Democrats saying they were “lied” to by their Democratic leaders.

In advance of a subsequent press conference called by House leadership, Blue Dog liaison Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) said the healthcare bill should be staying in committee.

"I expect the committee process to proceed," Cardoza said.

The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.

“I’ve been lied to,” Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said on Friday. “We have not had legitimate negotiations.

“Mr. Waxman has decided to sever discussions with the Blue Dogs who are trying to make this bill work for America,” Melancon said.

Although those Blue Dogs were supposed to be headed back into another meeting of the Energy and Commerce Democrats, their anger was visible.

If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the only hope for passage of the bill in the House will be to go straight to the floor, an option leaders shied away from endorsing but said was an option.

But the Blue Dogs issued dire warnings to leaders contemplating that approach.

"Waxman simply does not have votes in committee and process should not be bypassed to bring the bill straight to floor,” Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the lead Blue Dog negotiator, said on Friday. “We are trying to save this bill and trying to save this party.”

Seems that according to Waxman if the blue Dog Coalition doesn't fall in line, the party line, they are "aligning" themselves with Republicans.

More from The Politico:

Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, the top negotiator for conservative Democrats in the 52-member Blue Dog Coalition, told reporters Friday that the negotiations "pretty much fell apart this afternoon."

The finger-pointing commenced shortly afterward, with Melancon believing he'd been lied to while Waxman complaining that "some Democrats would rather align with the Republicans."

The breakdown came in a Friday negotiating session after a broad swath of Democrats agreed to iron out regional disparities in Medicare reimbursement rates, a compromise that attracts more lawmakers to the bill.

Asked how this leaves negotiations, Ross said it "leaves the chairman with not enough votes to get it out of committee."

Waxman's own words confirm his mindset when he told reporters "We're either the majority party and work together, or we're not."

That is codespeak for toe the line, no independent thought is welcome and do as we say because we say to do it or you aren't a "real" Democrat.

Democratic leaders also threatened to bring it to a vote without getting it through the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The problem with that is there are between 40 and 45 members of the Blue Dog group that would vote against it and Republicans are united in their opposition to the bill, as written, which means the House does not have the votes needed to pass it.


Barack Obama Racially 'Profiles" White Policeman

Background on issue

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested in his own home on a charge of disorderly conduct, which has since been dropped.

Gates was locked out of his own house, so he and his driver broke into it, something I am sure many people have had to do, but a call was made to the police reporting a suspected burglary. When the police arrived, Gates informed them it was his house but got belligerent when asked to show identification proving he lived there, causing the police to arrest him for loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space. The charges were dropped, but Gates accused the officers of racial profiling.

Enter Barack Obama and his two cents.

Obama turned his attention, after being questioned about it, to this specific case during his Obamacare infomercial on Weds., saying "I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that he Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. "

Obama admitted Gates was a friend, further stating "so I may be a little biased here. I don't know all the facts."

Obama further went on to speak about racial profiling.

This opened a can of worms, which is still being talked about and to which Barack Obama himself is trying to put the lid back on the can, unsuccessfully.

In the meantime, a black officer who was at the scene, Sgt. Leon Lashley, has come out in support of the arrest, saying Gates was "acting strange."

Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates' reaction to Crowley was "a little bit stranger than it should have been."

Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said supported Crowley "100 percent."

Gates has said he was the victim of racial profiling.

President Barack Obama says the officers "acted stupidly." Lashley called Obama's remark "unfortunate" and said he should be allowed to take it back.

Reactions are coming out fast and furiously, with police unions now calling for an apology from Barack Obama as well as from Governor Deval Patrick, for suggesting racial profiling had anything to do with the issue.

Police unions today called on President Obama and Governor Deval Patrick to apologize to "all law enforcement personnel," saying they "deeply resent the implication" of their comments about racial profiling and the arrest of an African-American scholar last week at his home near Harvard Square.

Speaking at a press conference at the Hotel Marlowe packed with local and national media, the union officials also said that the disorderly conduct charge should not have been dropped against professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. The move earlier this week to drop the charges, "was a decision made without our input," said Alan J. McDonald, a lawyer for one of the unions.

The harshest words came from Steve Killion, who identified himself as a third generation Cambridge police officer and president of the city's police patrol officers association.

"As far as the president's comments, the governor's comments, and comments that I did not hear that our mayor made, I think when the time is right they should make an apology to us," Killion said. "I think the president should make an apology to all law enforcement personnel throughout the entire country, [they] took offense to this."

Now Barack Obama, realizing that he has escalated this who issue by inserting himself into it, is trying to undo the damage he has cause and the offense that has been taken to his careless words.


"I obviously helped to contribute ratcheting it up, I wanted to make clear that in my choice of words, I think, I unfortunately, I think, gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sergeant Crowley specifically. And I could have calibrated those words differently. And I told this to Sergeant Crowley."

"I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station. I also continue to believe, based on what I heard, that Professor Gates probably overreacted as well. My sense is you’ve got two good people in a circumstance in which neither of them were able to resolve the incident in the way that it should have been resolved and the way they would have liked it to be resolved."

Sp now, supposedly, Obama has invited the arresting officer and Gates to the White House for a "beer" and everyone can play nice.

The problem here is that Gates and Obama still are trying to connect this to some racial issue that should "teach" people or help them grow, instead of simply as a case of police doing their job.

Both Gates and Obama owe the police a huge apology, not some mealy mouthed explanation of why they are injecting racial profiling and issues into this and acting surprised that they have offended police everywhere by accusing them of racial profiling when their job happens to involve a black man.

Perhaps it was not the police racially profiling anyone, but Gates and Barack Obama who are "racially profiling" the white policeman who made the arrest.


Friday, July 24, 2009

President Obama and Senator Boxer Acted Stupidly

President Obama said that the police "acted stupidly" the other day in Massachusetts when they did their job properly. Talk about the pot calling the kettle African-American. As for Senator Boxer, acting stupidly is her second hobby behind screaming at the civilized world in an uncivilized manner.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

The Big Obamacare Lie

Charles Krauthammer hits the nail right on the head with his Washington Post column titled "Why Obamacare Is Sinking."

It all comes down to the one big lie about Obamacare that the public was fed and that is that it would control costs, help the economy and when that lie was exposed, publicly, with the Congressional Budget Office itself making it clear that pending legislation does nothing to control costs or spending, the public finally understood the lie, became aware of how huge that original lie was and support for Obamacare started dwindling, even within the president's own party.


What happened to Obamacare? Rhetoric met reality. As both candidate and president, the master rhetorician could conjure a world in which he bestows upon you health-care nirvana: more coverage, less cost.

But you can't fake it in legislation. Once you commit your fantasies to words and numbers, the Congressional Budget Office comes along and declares that the emperor has no clothes.

President Obama premised the need for reform on the claim that medical costs are destroying the economy. True. But now we learn -- surprise! -- that universal coverage increases costs. The congressional Democrats' health-care plans, says the CBO, increase costs on the order of $1 trillion plus.

In response, the president retreated to a demand that any bill he sign be revenue-neutral. But that's classic misdirection: If the fierce urgency of health-care reform is to radically reduce costs that are producing budget-destroying deficits, revenue neutrality (by definition) leaves us on precisely the same path to insolvency that Obama himself declares unsustainable.

Read the rest as well as one of the major problems with the medical profession and how Congress, the Senate nor the President is addressing those problems at all in the present proposals.

Joe Biden himself might have added one of the nails into the coffin that was Obamacare, in it's present form, when he tried to justify the costs associated with Obamacare as it is written:

“And folks look, AARP knows and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know, that the status quo is simply not acceptable,” Biden said at the event on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. “It’s totally unacceptable. And it’s completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially.”

“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation,” Biden said.

“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.”

Anyone who has ever had to live on a budget knows you cannot save money by spending more, massively more, than you have in the bank.

There are many things set into this bill that the public is finally finding out about and starting to reject, which is why the ObamaPUSH for Obamacare has been going balls-out, he wanted this passed with Congress and the Senate before people got wind of all the little ins and outs that would costs the American people more money than they ever imagined.

In yet another Washington Post piece, we see the original heading of "Washington Sketch: Has Senate Building Become Funeral Home …" yet when you click the link the title is now "In the Hart Building, Reform's Pulse Weakens," it explains that it is not just the American public rejecting the costs and policies of Obamacare but the politicians, understanding their political careers are on the line, are also rejecting many of the pieces of the bill.

Two hours earlier, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had delivered the bad news: The Senate would not be taking up health legislation before the August recess because Baucus (D-Mont.) and his fellow negotiators (three Democrats and three Republicans in all) needed more time. Moments before that, a meeting of Senate Democrats had dissolved in acrimony.

Things were no better on the House side of the Capitol, where a committee writing health-care legislation again suspended its meeting Thursday because of disagreements, and a gathering of the House Democratic caucus deteriorated into what the third-ranking Democrat called one of the "most contentious" he had ever seen.

It is beginning to look like this bill will not be voted on in the Senate and possibly not even the House before their August recess, despite Pelosi's pushing, which gives voters time to make their voices heard, clearly and loudly and consistently.

The Aug. 7 deadline that President Obama set for House and Senate leaders to move their versions of reform served as a vital tool for congressional leaders in minimizing dissent as the $1 trillion package moved through five committees. But with their hopes of reaching that target date slipping in recent days, a torrent of complaints and concerns began to surface.

The comments by Reid (D-Nev.) confirmed the growing consensus on Capitol Hill that the White House's fast-track approach has failed, and that a more plodding and contentious process has taken hold. Not only would the Senate not meet Obama's timeline for passing a bill, but across the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was struggling to quell an uprising by conservative Democrats that had brought House action to a near halt.

As I have provided before, below is how to contact your Senator and your congressman.

In theory, just saying we would like every American covered by health insurance is a dream come true, no one is against all Americans having access to health care, but in reality, the government cannot afford to pay for it, neither can the American people.

Contact your Congressman, let them hear from you, loud and clear... NO Obamacare.

Then Contact your Senators and tell them the same thing.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Linkfest Of Last Night's 'Obama Show'

The Obama show went live last night and you can find the transcript with questions and answers at NYT.

The blogosphere is having a field day with the previously planned informercial where Obama pitches healthcare reform aka Obamacare as is the media, so below are links and headlines for your reading enjoyment.

NYT with "Experts Dispute Some Points in Health Talk."

Wall Street Journal with "ObamaCare in Trouble."

On Monday, the Washington Post/ABC poll reported that 49% of Americans approve of his handling of health care while 44% disapprove. What many people missed is that those who strongly disapprove of the president’s approach on health care now outnumber those who strongly approve by 33% to 25%. That presages further decline. Already, 49% of independents disapprove of the president’s approach, up from 30% in April, a staggering shift in 11 weeks.

Mr. Obama is also slipping on the economy. Those who strongly disapprove now outnumber those who strongly approve of his handling of the economy (35% to 29%), of deficits (38% to 19%), and of unemployment (31% to 26%). On Tuesday, Gallup showed Mr. Obama’s personal approval was 55%, down from more than 60% a few weeks ago and lower than the 56% George W. Bush had at this point in his first term.

The Politico with "At big moment, Obama goes small"

The president’s remarks on his chosen subject, health care, were cautious and choreographed, hemmed in on one side by the calculations of his professional wordsmiths, on the other by the delicacy of negotiations with two houses of Congress.

He never detailed his own plan or named a single victim of America’s broken system, and he spoke largely in the abstractions of blue pills, red pills and legislative processes. It’s not easy to turn delivery system reform into a rallying cry for change, but at times, it was as if Obama wasn’t even trying.

His dryness was all the more striking by contrast with the press conference’s conclusion, when he suddenly re-engaged with a question that he’s spent much of his life mulling: race, in the form of the arrest of a black Harvard professor.

Despite Democrats attempts to blame Republicans for the delays being seen on getting a vote going on Obamacare, The Weekly Standard has a long list of Democratic politicians who are against Obamacare for one reason or another as well as their full statements as to why they won't vote for it.

Definite must read.

Slate with "Obama's Overreach":

He's still in the thrall of Orszagism! Here we're dramatically changing insurance (no more "preexisting conditions") and insuring the uninsured and creating a health care exchange and promoting a public option and generally telling everyone they can stop worrying about whether they will have coverage. It's all going to be deficit neutral over a ten year period. Why do we have to also dramatically change the "health care delivery system" at the same time (in order to save even more money after ten years)? Doesn't that undermine the reassuring message that if you like your health coverage, nothing will change? Sure. Nothing will change except the entire health care delivery system! Which is going to be redesigned! By experts! Maybe get rid of fee for service--Obama hinted at change along those line. All seemingly on the basis of a single article in the New Yorker that isn't nearly as convincing as it's made out to be. (I would like to see Dems apply Orszag's logic--that all Medicare expenses can obviously, without sacrifice be cut to the level of the cheapest provider--to the school system.) ...

I know I'd like universal health coverage. That's been debated ad nauseam. What hasn't been debated--what have been blessed mainly by pronouncements from on high couched in euphemisms and deception--are Orszag's "delivery system" changes. I'm worried that they will result in denial of treatments that may be useful at saving and prolonging lives. Obama's refusal at his press conference to declare that all covered treatments would still be covered is an example of what people worry about. And Obama knows--or even scarier, maybe he doesn't--that the difficult decisions don't involve cheap blue pills that are as good as red pills, but treatments that are the "best" but also the "most expensive"--including cancer drugs like Herceptin and Sutent. ...

The topic did get changed a bit during the Q & A segment of the Obama show.

NYT again with "Obama Wades Into a Volatile Racial Issue."

Obama: Cambridge police acted ‘stupidly’ -Ben Smith's Blog headline, to which many are pointing out Barack Obama didn't get the full story before putting his foot in his mouth.

Riehl World View takes the story apart piece by piece, with links.

Distractions aside, did his speech manage to change any monds one way or another? Doubtful.

Did it help give political cover to Democratic politicians that have become weary and wary of the cost factor as well as the controversial abortion issue involved?

Seems he didn't, because as The Hill reports "The House Energy and Commerce Committee canceled its healthcare markup session again Thursday."

The committee began its drafting sessions on Friday and Monday. But they were canceled in the following days as Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) negotiated with Blue Dog Democrats, who've complained the bill doesn't cut enough costs and puts too great a burden on employers.

It looks like the Senate, at least, will not be voting on this issue before their August vacations, which is when the politicians go home and get to face their constituents.

That is you.

Reminder from a previous piece:

Contact your Congressman, let them hear from you, loud and clear... NO Obamacare.

Then Contact your Senators and tell them the same thing, kill Obamacare, trash it and burn it.


Hillary Clinton vs North Korea

North Korea is responding to the work Hillary Clinton has been doing, and they are not pleased with her efforts.

The war of words between North Korea and the United States escalated Thursday, with North Korea's Foreign Ministry lashing out at Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in unusually personal terms for "vulgar remarks" that it said demonstrated "she is by no means intelligent."

Clinton, who earlier this week likened North Korea to an unruly child, has rallied international isolation of North Korea at a 27-member regional security forum here. She met with her Russian, Chinese, South Korean and Japanese counterparts -- the other key partners in suspended six-nation disarmament talks -- and won strong statements of support from many delegations.

On Wednesday night, she even sent a delegation of U.S. officials to meet with diplomats from Burma, which has strained relations with Washington, to press for compliance with a U.N. Security Council resolution barring exports of North Korean arms and missiles. The resolution was passed after North Korea detonated a second nuclear device. On Thursday, Burma announced it would comply.

"There is no place to go for North Korea," Clinton told reporters after reading a nearly seven-minute statement outlining U.S. policy on North Korea. "They have no friends left."

Good job Hillary, now if ya'll would just please take that same type of stance on Iran.

CBS News:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made statements about Iran Wednesday that are causing a bit of a stir in Israel.

In a television interview in Bangkok, Clinton talked about extending a "defense umbrella" over U.S. allies in the Middle East in the event Iran develops a nuclear weapon.

"We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment: that if the United States extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to develop the military capacity of those (allies) in the Gulf, it is unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer because they won't be able to intimidate and dominate as they apparently believe they can once they have a nuclear weapon," Clinton said, according to the Associated Press.

The reaction from Israel was swift, with some expressing concern that the comments were an indication that the U.S. would accept a nuclear-armed Iran.

"I heard, unenthusiastically, the Americans' statement that they will defend their allies in the event that Iran arms itself with an atomic bomb, as if they have already reconciled with this possibility, and this is a mistake," Dan Meridor, Israel's minister for secret services, told Army Radio, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

"Now, we don't need to deal with the assumption that Iran will attain nuclear weapons but to prevent this," Meridor added.

Tough on North Korea but laid back about Iran?

Despite North Korea's assertions, Hillary Clinton is a smart women, certainly smart enough to understand that Iran is a threat to the world of massive proportions.

Her hands may be tied a bit because it is not her administration but Obama's, but someone needs to take this situation in hand, pressure China and Russia and cut Iran off at the knees to stop their nuclear weapons program.

There is no "if" Iran obtains nuclear weapons, they cannot be allowed to do so. Period.


The first gasbag in chief spaketh

The first gasbag in chief blathered, lectured and mixed in some platitudes. If I actually covered all of the substance in his remarks, I would have blogged a blank page.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Specter-Toomey Polling

From Quinnipiac University poll:

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's 2010 reelection lead over Republican challenger Pat Toomey has shrunk to a tie with 45 percent for Specter and 44 percent for Toomey, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. And voters say 49 - 40 percent that Sen. Specter does not deserve reelection.

President Barack Obama gets a 56 - 37 percent job approval, compared to 62 - 31 percent in a May 28 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. By a bare 50 - 43 percent majority, voters approve of the President's handling of the economy.

Specter, first elected to the Senate as a Republican in 1980 but who switched to the Democratic Party earlier this year, holds a commanding 55 - 23 percent lead over U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak in the race for the Democratic nomination. On the Republican side Toomey buries Peg Luksik 47 - 6 percent.

On May 4, Specter led Toomey 53 - 33 percent in a trial heat; his favorable unfavorable ratio among Pennsylvania voters was 52 - 34 percent and voters said 49 - 41 percent he deserved reelection. In a May 28 Quinnipiac University poll, Specter led Toomey 46 - 37 percent.

So glad Specter switched parties, the man was a menace to Republicans and now he is the Democrats headache.