Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Here is POLITICO: Barack Obama struggles to capitalize in polls
Here is Rasmussen: One Week Later, 54% Favor Repeal of Health Care Bill
Why can't he make the sale?
There are three reasons:
1) The process stunk. We spent weeks watching Dem leaders buying votes such as the infamous Nebraska and Louisiana deals.
2) The voters are not buying the numbers. In other words, you can't run these deficits on top of more deficits. (USA Today: "Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government's role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.")
3) The voters do not believe that "federalizing" something will improve quality or reduce costs.
That's the story of 2010.
Yes, Pres BO and the Dem congressional leaders managed to pass a bill by 4 votes, despite a 40-seat majority.
However, the public continues to be skeptical!
P.S. It won't be easier with stories like these: Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults
Check out "Monday Morning thoughts":
"Partly behind this is the fact that, as former British ambassador to Washington Sir David Manning pointed out, Mr Obama has no "sentimental reflexes" towards the UK.
He was born in Hawaii, had little experience of foreign affairs and his grandfather had suffered at the hands of British colonialists in Kenya."
Harnden is not alone.
Over here, Michael Barone blasted it too:
"Some may attribute these slights to biases inherited from the men who supplied the titles of Obama's two books.
Perhaps like Barack Obama Sr., he regards the British as evil colonialists.
Or perhaps like his preacher for 20 years, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he regards Israel as an evil oppressor.
But the list of American friends Obama has slighted is long. It includes Poland and the Czech Republic (anti-missile program cancelled), Honduras (backing the constitutionally ousted president), Georgia (no support against Russia), and Colombia and South Korea (no action on pending free trade agreements).
In the meantime, Obama sends yearly greetings to (as he puts it) the Islamic Republic of Iran, exchanges friendly greetings with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, caves to Russian demands on arms control and sends a new ambassador to Syria."
Again, we have never seen a US president who has adopted such an adversarial relationship with our allies.
Let's not forget Mexico and Canada, our neighbors and largest commercial partners.
A year ago, Pres BO violated NAFTA by refusing to let Mexican trucks enter the US and bowing to labor unions over the "buy American" clause in the so-called stimulus.
Did I tell you that Sec Clinton just got into it with Canada over some Artic issues? Bill Katz has a post on this! Did Sec Clinton forget that Canada has 3,000 soldiers and Sweden/Finland/Iceland don't have enough guys to play a hockey game?
To be fair, there will differences with allies from time to time. Every president had them!
However, Pres BO does not seem to understand that Canada and the UK are the only two NATO countries actually fighting in Afghanistan. He does not understand how "free trade" is essential to create the jobs that will allow Mexicans to stay home rather than come north.
PM Harper and PM Brown have gone against public opinion to maintain their military presence in Afghanistan.
Wonder how they feel when Pres BO treats them like this?
OK. We passed it by 4 votes despite a 40-plus majority.
OK. We ask again: Did anyone read it or consider how it would impact industry?
The NY Times has an interesting article: Coverage Now for Sick Children? Check Fine Print
How can this be?
Before I go on, let's define bipartisanship. It loosely means that both parties work together or try to come up with laws that have support on the Dem and Rep corners.
Have we ever had it?
We did on the invasion of Iraq. Pres Bush got huge majorities to support his resolution to invade Iraq.
We had it after 9-11.
We did for major legislation like Medicare and The Civil Rights Act.
Back to the present.
A week ago, 37 Dems joined 100% of Republicans in voting against BO-Care.
Yesterday, another large groups of Dems voted to tell Pres BO that they disagreed with his Israel policies:
"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will continue discussions with his senior ministers in the coming days, looking for a way out of the crisis with the US.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Prof Samuelson has more on the budget outlook:
"Should the United States someday suffer a budget crisis, it will be hard not to conclude that Obama and his allies sowed the seeds, because they ignored conspicuous warnings.
A further irony will not escape historians.
For two years, Obama and members of Congress have angrily blamed the shortsightedness and selfishness of bankers and rating agencies for causing the recent financial crisis.
The president and his supporters, historians will note, were equally shortsighted and self-centered -- though their quest was for political glory, not financial gain."
Fred Hiatt writes this:
The United States would have to borrow so much money that in interest alone the government would be spending 4.1 percent of GDP -- compared with 1.4 percent this year."
That's it! Most of us are concerned about spending money like this. You can't spend money that you don't have, no matter how noble the objective may be!
The second reason is the "process", a corrupt performance that has left a bad taste in people's mouths.
How can anyone support the way that votes were bought and deals were made?
And last but not least! What exactly is in this bill? Does the language of the bill match the political promises?
For example, there appears to be a contradiction on pre-existing conditions:
"William G. Schiffbauer, a lawyer whose clients include employers and insurance companies, said:
“The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy.
But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition.
And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost.”" (NYTimes)
Check out "Monday morning thoughts":
"Yesterday AT&T announced that it will be forced to make a $1 billion writedown due solely to the health bill, in what has become a wave of such corporate losses....
On top of AT&T's $1 billion, the writedown wave so far includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million.
Verizon has also warned its employees about its new higher health-care costs, and there will be many more in the coming days and weeks." (WSJ)
And there will be more!
Unfortunately, we also got this report about the economy:
"Most of last quarter's growth came from a large bump up in manufacturing - but not because consumer demand was especially strong.
In fact, consumer spending weakened at the end of the year, even more than the government previously estimated, contributing to the slightly lower reading on overall economic growth." (CBSNews)
And we also learned this via Glen Reynolds:
Sunday, March 28, 2010
It was a great song:
We remember "Let it be", released this month in 1970:
"The single reached number one in the U.S., Germany, Australia, Italy, Norway and Switzerland and number two in the UK.
It was the final single released by the Beatles while the band was officially considered an active group.
Both the Let It Be album and the single, "The Long and Winding Road", were released after McCartney's announced departure from and subsequent break-up of the group." (Wiki)
There were two versions of the song. The single was shorter. The album version was longer and it included a nice guitar solo.
I like the single version better, or the second one below.
Here is Paul, the Beatles and both versions of "Let it be":
Saturday, March 27, 2010
It's Friday so it must be Charles Krauthammer:
"So you want to have "progressive" health care like the Euros? Get ready to pay taxes like they do!"
Today, we got some news about our debt:
"President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday." (WashTimes)
We also learned today that the 2009 4th quarter growth was not a sign of a recovery after all:
"Most of last quarter’s growth came from a large bump up in manufacturing — but not because consumer demand was especially strong.
In fact, consumer spending weakened at the end of the year, even more than the government previously estimated, contributing to the slightly lower reading on overall economic growth." (via EdM)
Where are we a week after Pres BO and the Dems passed health care by 4 votes despite having a 40-seat majority?
Where are we after 37 Dems joined all Republicans in the only bi-partisan vote last weekend?
First, we have just added a unsustainable huge entitlement.
Second, our debt will be higher than anticipated.
Third, the 2009 4th quarter GDP growth was a fluke, an inventory fluke that is!
We don't do doom and gloom in this blog. However, I don't like where we are going!
Speaking of BO-Care, Fidel likes it.....Americans do not!
"It perhaps was not the endorsement President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.
Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform "a miracle" and a major victory for Obama's presidency, but couldn't help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago."
We also learned this from Rasmussen:
"The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, conducted on the first two nights after the president signed the bill, shows that 55% favor repealing the legislation. Forty-two percent (42%) oppose repeal.
And we also learned this:
"AT&T, the biggest U.S. phone company, joins Caterpillar Inc., AK Steel Holding Corp. and 3M Co. in recording non-cash expenses against earnings as a result of the law.
Health-care costs may shave as much as $14 billion from U.S. corporate profits, according to an estimate by benefits consulting firm Towers Watson. AT&T employed about 281,000 people as of the end of January."
What's going on? Quite a bit specially all of the jobs killing provisions in BO-Care! The WSJ has a great editorial today: The corporate damage rolls in, and Democrats are shocked!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
"Yes, threats are despicable and should be denounced by all.
First, we have several states suing the federal government over the "mandate" to purchase insurance.
Second, we see that BO-Care was passed with a lot of sweetheart deals:
"We started to see the answer today, as Republicans proposed a series of amendments and made motions that were designed to expose the corruption at the heart of the Democratic Party's legislation.
The amendment repeals the following "sweetheart deals" included in the health care law and the reconciliation bill:
1. Increase in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments just for Tennessee (Section 1203, page 71 of H.R. 4872);
2. Increase in Medicaid DSH payments just for Hawaii (Section 10201, page 2132 of H.R. 3590);
3. The "Louisiana Purchase" to increase Medicaid funding just for Louisiana (Section 2006, page 428 of H.R. 3590);
4. Increased Medicare reimbursement just for frontier states (Section 10324, page 2237 of H.R. 3590);
5. Medicare coverage just for Libby, Montana residents exposed to environmental hazards (Section 10323, page 2222 of H.R. 3590);
6. A $100 million hospital funding provision intended to benefit Connecticut (Section 10502, page 2354 of H.R. 3590); and
7. Extension of Section 508 hospital reimbursement provisions just to Michigan and Connecticut (Section 10905, pages 2205-06 of H.R. 3590)" (via Power Line)
Third, it's still unclear how we are going to pay for this or how states will deal with the unfunded mandates.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
We spoke about Gov Christie and the financial situation in New Jersey.
In part 2, Mario Yngerto continued his commentaries on our federal deficit and debt.
Here is the show:
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Let's check with Jenniffer Rubin:
Let’s be clear: the pro-life movement will never fall for this, and Stupak and his ilk will be the subject of his pro-life constituents’ ire.
I think that Rep. Stupak was desperately looking for a way to vote for this bill.
Last week's killing of a pregnant woman and her husband in Juarez has put Mexico back on our front pages.
Frankly, why did it take this awful killing to put Mexico on our front page?
Here is the bitter truth: Our consumption is financing this war.
Here is bitter truth # 2: We could cut our consumption in half and it would still be a huge business.
The US GDP is approximately US$ 15 trillion, or about 14 bigger than Mexico's.
Therefore, anything that we consume, from avocado to beer to chips, is a huge business opportunity for Mexico.
And illegal drugs is no exception! (estimated at US$ 10 billion)
So how do we help Mexico?
We can continue our military assistance, although I agree with Prof Ackerman that this is not a magic bullet.
We can continue to monitor the border to curtail drug traffic into the US!
This is going to be long and difficult. Check out Mary O'Grady's op-ed in The WSJ: The War on Drugs Is Doomed
P.S. Check out "Monday morning thoughts":
Monday, March 22, 2010
On Sunday night, we spoke with Bill Katz of URGENT AGENDA about the state of US-Israel relations.
We discussed some of the recent stories about VP Biden's visit.
Chris Corbett, delegate to the Texas GOP Convention, joined us in the round table.
Here is the show:
Sunday, March 21, 2010
"First, the bishops argue that health care reform “must protect life and conscience, not threaten them."
The Senate bill "extends abortion coverage, allows federal funds to pay for elective abortions (for example, through a new appropriation for services at Community Health Centers that bypasses the Hyde amendment), and denies adequate conscience protection to individuals and institutions."
"Simply put," the letter to Representatives continues, "health care reform ought to continue to apply both parts of the Hyde amendment, no more and no less."" (CNA)
We are a pro-life blog. We do not believe that government should pay for abortions.
We stand with the bishops: respect life!
P.S. Here is a little memory lane to remind you that Pres BO is the most pro-abortion candidate in US history:
Once spring arrives, we have a lot of activities over at The Dallas Arboretum and Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens. They are wonderful places to visit before it gets too hot to enjoy the outdoors, i.e. after Memorial Day.
According to a recent poll:
".....64% of Americans say the arrival of the new season will put them in a better mood.....
Twenty-eight percent (28%) of all adults say spring is their favorite season of the year." (RR)
Spring is also about spring break, and the kids being out of school.
What's the best "feel good song" about spring?
Let me try "A beautiful morning" by the Rascals:
"It's a beautiful mornin',
I think I'll go outside a while,
And just smile.
Just take in some clean fresh air, boy!
Ain't no sense in stayin' inside
If the weather's fine and you got the time.
It's your chance to wake up
It's a beautiful mornin',
I've got to be on my way, now.
Ain't no fun just hangin' around,
I've got to cover ground,
It just ain't no good if the sun shines
When you're still inside,
Shouldn't hide, still inside, shouldn't hide,
There will be children
Seems to me that the people keep seeing
More and more each day,
monday, wednesday, friday, weekday,
Saturday, March 20, 2010
What else can you say about a president who has a House majority of 40-plus seats?
How can it be so hard to get 216 votes or just a simple majority?
There are several reasons for this:
1) No one understands the 2,500 pages. Wonder how many members have even read them?
2) In fact, you can expect massive lawsuits if the Dems manage to pass something on Sunday and there is little support for it:
FOX: "55% Oppose Health Care Reform"
3) The process stinks. It smells bad because of political bribery, such as the infamous Nebraska deal, and budget gimmicks that understate taxes and over promise benefits.
4) Today's WSJ editorial is correct. BO-Care is a budget buster:
"Once the health-care markets are put through Mr. Obama's de facto nationalization, costs will further explode.
Soon the public will reach its taxing limit, and then something will have to give on the care side.
In short, medicine will be rationed by politics, no doubt with the same subtlety and wisdom as Congress's final madcap dash toward 216 votes."
5) In the past, "historic" bills meant bi-partisan support. It meant that both sides got together and came up with something that enjoyed broad support.
Bill Kristol wrote today:
"The Civil Rights Act of 1964 originally passed in the House by 290-130.
Cloture was achieved in the Senate by a vote of 71-29, and the Senate then passed its version of the legislation 73-27.
The House took up the Senate bill and passed it 289-126.
Substantial majorities of both parties supported the legislation at every stage.
This is what allows historic legislation to become historic -- it achieves broad support, is passed without parliamentary tricks, and becomes the broadly accepted law of the land."
Bipartisan? Going to war with Iraq passed the House, 296-133, and the Senate, 77-23.
Perhaps, there is a Dem in the House who understands what passing this bill will ultimately mean.
It will divide the country.
It will see lots of Americans rushing to the courts to challenge the mandates to purchase insurance.
It will see states challenge the federal government's authority to pass all of the unfunded mandates.
It will bankrupt the nation. We can't afford another entitlement!
Let's hope that there are 216 House members who vote "no"!
John recently wrote: Defeating Mexico's Drug Cartels (Los Angeles Times)
Here is the show:
Friday, March 19, 2010
How did he do? He did not answer questions. He was on defense the whole time. He also did not look like a man who knows the details of what he wants Congress to vote on this weekend.
First, let's check Ann Althouse:
"And so Bret Baier never gets an answer to that question.
Second, let's check with The Corner:
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