If you support our national security issues, you may love and appreciate the United States of America, our Constitution with its’ freedoms, and our American flag.
If you support and practice our fiscal issues, you may value worldly possessions.
If you support and value our social issues, you may love Judeo-Christian values.
If you support and practice all these values, that is all good; an insignia of “Wisdom” . - Oscar Y. Harward
National Debt Clock-Click Here-Real Time
Thursday, November 19, 2009
ConservativeChristianRepublican-Report - 20091119
Promoting "God's Holy Values and American Freedoms"!
"Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul." -- Douglas MacArthur
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance. -- Brian Tracy
Leading to Top-Notch Customer Service
Here are two facts you can take to the bank: 1) Superior customer service is critical to your business success, and 2) As a leader, you have an important role in making it happen. So, what can you do to foster the kind of service your organization wants and needs? The following ideas should help:
The first step in providing good customer service is to hire the right people. Make your selection process part of your customer service strategy. During interviews, ask questions like: “If you get this job, describe the kinds of things you will do to provide superior customer service.” Also, pose hypothetical customer service situations and ask candidates to explain how they would handle them.
Clarify your expectations about customer service. Condense them to 3-5 key principles, give them a label (e.g., “The Big Four” or “The Game Plan”), and communicate them to everyone. Then, have follow-up meetings with employees to ensure that they know exactly what is expected of them.
Provide training, resources, and coaching to help your people develop customer service skills. Make sure all training reinforces your specific service expectations.
Remember that people do what’s EXpected when it’s INspected! Include “customer service” in all performance evaluations and feedback sessions. Prior to conducting evaluations, ask team members to submit a list of the specific things they’ve done to help provide superior customer service.
Celebrate successes! Recognize and reward employees who provide exceptional service. Share their stories with others. This will help motivate the entire team. Motivated employees go above and beyond for your customers … and for the organization.
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
I, even I, am the one who comforts you. (Isaiah 51:12)
Perhaps you remember the film The Hiding Place. It tells the story of my dear friend Corrie ten Boom and her sister, Betsy. They were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp because they protected Jewish people during World War II.
One night several women were gathered around Betsy as she led a Bible study. One of them suddenly spoke up bitterly. "If your God is such a good God," she said, "why does He allow this kind of suffering?" She slowly opened her hands to reveal broken, beaten fingers. "I'm the first violinist of the symphony orchestra. Did your God will this?"
Corrie looked sadly at the woman's hands. "We can't answer that question," she said with compassion. "All we know is that our God came to this earth, became one of us, suffered with us, and was crucified and died. And He did it for love."
The Holy Spirit is the One who comes to us today with tender comfort and encouragement. He is the ideal companion when we are beset by misery and grief. He knows us deeply, intimately, better than we know ourselves. He knows exactly what kind of encouragement we need, and He has the power to strengthen and heal us.
It is a wonderful truth to contemplate: we need never again be alone. Where could you go to escape the companionship of the Holy Spirit? What pain could you feel that He would not understand and comfort? Wherever you are, whatever trial you may be facing, the Comforter is right there beside you
Your View of God Really Matters …
If you are suffering, ask God to walk with you and comfort you in the midst of your pain through His Spirit. And after He has brought you safely through, allow Him to use you to comfort someone else.
"The Patriot Post"
"Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country." -- George Washington, upon fumbling for his glasses before delivering the Newburgh Address, 1783
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." -- John Stuart Mill
"A really great people, proud and high-spirited, would face all the disasters of war rather than purchase that base prosperity which is bought at the price of national honor." -- Theodore Roosevelt
"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory." -- George S. Patton
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." -- Sir Winston S. Churchill
"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country ... in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their country, for us. All we can do is remember." -- Ronald Reagan
Gratuitous Christian bashing: "It's looking more and more like [Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan] was just, sort of, a religious nut. And you know Islam doesn't have a majority -- or the Christian religion has its full, you know, full helping of nuts too." -- CBS's Bob Schieffer
What was the tragedy again? "It really is tragic that he was a Muslim." -- NPR's Nina Totenberg
"I cringe that he's a Muslim. I mean, because it inflames all the fears. I think he's probably just a nut case. But with that label attached to him, it will get the right wing going and it just -- I mean these things are tragic, but that makes it much worse." -- Newsweek's Evan Thomas
PC virus: "We cannot call him the shooter until we have a trial. That's the way we work here, you know, that's how it works in America." -- Chris Matthews
Commie apologist: "Many who were raised in the East are still adjusting to the harsh economic realities, especially during this economic downturn." -- NBC's Tom Brokaw, taking the opportunity of the anniversary Berlin Wall's demise to trash capitalism
Because America totally didn't have anything to do with it: "I know, I think it may be a little egocentric but I think most Americans look at that event and they think of it as an American victory." --NBC's Matt Lauer
Sometimes the get it right: "The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment. Let's not pretend that it isn't a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won't. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration ... is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind." -- New Yorker columnist John Cassidy
"President Obama taped a speech to show to the crowd at the Berlin Wall gala Monday. He reminded the viewing audience he too made history as the first black president. The earth wobbled on its axis from the gravitational pull of three billion people rolling their eyes simultaneously." -- comedian Argus Hamilton
"At 69, Pelosi stands a good chance of facing a death panel before she leads a majority of this size again." -- Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto
"Waiting weeks to get an MRI to find out why you are sick, and then waiting months for an operation, as happens in countries with government-run medical systems, can be not only painful but dangerous. You can be dead by the time they find out what is wrong with you and do something about it. But that will 'bring down the cost of medical care' because you won't be around to require any." -- economist Thomas Sowell
"Diversity is good. Maybe not as good as the ability to shoot straight, though in the modern, politically correct Army, you never can tell." -- columnist Wesley Pruden
Recovery.gov - Track the Money
Recovery.gov is the U.S. government’s official website providing easy access to data related to Recovery Act spending and allows for the reporting of potential fraud, waste, and abuse.
From Rep. John Boehner (R-West Chester, Ohio) released the following today:
A lot has been made of the non-existent congressional district in Arizona that the White House claimed received “stimulus” money. So today, we went to Recovery.gov to find out how the state of Ohio - a state with 18 congressional districts - fared. Guess what we found: TEN congressional districts in the Buckeye State that DO NOT exist received stimulus money.
In fact, Ohio has never had more than 24 Members of Congress.
Not soon after the “stimulus” was signed into law in February of this year, stories about “stimulus” funds going to to Wisconsin for a bridge to Rusty’s Backwater Saloon; to North Carolina where “stimulus” funds were reportedly used by one town to hire a new worker whose job is to apply for more “stimulus” funds from Washington; to pay for bonuses for AIG executives, a turtle crossing in northern Florida, install skylights in Montana’s state-run liquor warehouse - and on and on and on.
Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) said in a statement to the Cleveland Plain Dealer today:
Not only has the ’stimulus’ not produced jobs the Administration promised, but now we learn that the Administration’s reports intended to track the effectiveness of government spending are riddled with errors and gross inaccuracies. How many more mistakes have been made? How are Ohioans supposed to take the Administration seriously on the economy when its own Web site credits jobs saved or created in districts that don’t even exist?
The latest example - claiming credit for creating jobs in Ohio Congressional districts that don’t even exist - is just one more sign the “stimulus” isn’t working.
A Message From Shirley Dobson, of Focus On The Family
Thanks and blessings to you.
Fwd: Mom's lawsuit for NDP is next week
From Shirley Dobson, as efforts are being made to do away with the National Day of Prayer!
Tuesday, I am being deposed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation made up of atheists and agnostics. They are sending two lawyers to depose me and the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) are sending two lawyers to defend me. I will be sitting there in the Board Room being grilled and trying to be trapped, starting at 8:30AM until 4:30PM. Looks like this is our time of testing.. My National Area Leaders were on a conference call today and prayed for me. And, of course, my NDP team will be in prayer. Their purpose is to keep us from asking anyone in government i.e., President - Governors, etc., for proclamations to proclaim a day of prayer in their states or in the nation and from participating in the National Day of Prayer in anyway. They want to take away our freedom to gather, to worship and to pray in the public square. I pray that I will be a witness to them, that I will be calm and cautious in what I say. The victory is the Lord's.
ObamaCare: Show Me the SEIU Money!
by Liberty Chick
Throughout the debate over health care reform, there has been a great deal of discussion over the role of special interests in influencing the votes of lawmakers. Liberal democrats, progressive think tanks and mainstream media have repeatedly accused anyone who opposes government run health care of standing with special interests instead of with needy Americans, painting them as greedy and selfish. And now that a bill has passed in the House and is on its way to the Senate, big government proponents of a ‘public option’ are already attacking their fellow Democrats’ own bill, insisting that it may as well have been written by special interests.
Funny they should mention that. Because, just like the stimulus bill,
http://apolloalliance.org/feature-articles/data-points-comparing-senate-and-house-versions-of-stimulus/ it was written by special interests.
While it’s true that Republicans certainly receive their fair share of donations from the health industry, the surprising truth is that Democrats actually receive more. Because there’s one giant special interest sector that everyone seems to be leaving out: Big Labor. And in the monarchy of labor these days, there is one queen that’s at the top of the money chain, and that’s the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the top billing union in its parent coalition, Change to Win. Especially when it comes to the issue of health care.
Let’s start first by breaking down the numbers.
Labor union PACs account for about $305 million in campaign contributions from 2000 to the current 2010 election cycle, 90% of which has gone to Democrats.
Add to that just the top 20 contributing 527 groups, and it throws at least another $470 million into the pot; the majority of which came from big labor and their front groups like “America Votes” and “America Coming Together“.
So, when combined with the health industry donations that are so often the only numbers cited, this paints a bigger – and more accurate – picture and adds at least another $638 million that went to Democrats since 2000, thanks entirely to Big Labor. And that’s actually an understated figure, since I didn’t even include most of the 527 groups (just the top 20).
'SEIU alone has spent at least $187 million through combined lobbying, PAC and 527 group donations and expenses on candidates and policy issues – nearly 100% of which went to liberal policy initiatives and candidates.
So far just in 2009, SEIU has spent more than $2 million on direct lobbying, most of it for health care legislation, the stimulus bill, and the Employee Free Choice Act. And in 2009-2010 Congressional donations, they’ve surpassed $425,000, with 100% of that going to Democrats, especially those crucial to health care votes. And through their various other coalitions and campaigns, like Health Care for America Now and Divided We Fail (with AARP), they’ve expended even more in both financial and people resources. And who knows what those numbers look like when you add up all their coalitions and committees that don’t necessarily bear the SEIU name.
Outside of just health care, these have been some of the top 527s group recipients of their donations. SEIU funnels some of its indirect donations through these groups, among others. If you drill down on groups like America Votes, America Coming Together, and the Media Fund, you’ll also find some of SEIU’s regular financial collaborators, such as ACORN and George Soros:
Accountability Now PAC
Alliance for New America
America Coming Together (PAC)
America Coming Together (527)
Campaign For California’s Future
Citizens for Progress (through Patriot Majority & America Votes)
Citizens for Strength and Security
Democracy for America (PAC)
Democratic Judicial Campaign Committee
Focus South Dakota
Grassroots Democrats - Keep Hope Alive PAC
New Democrat Network
One America Committee
Partnership for America’s Families
Senate Majority Project
Uniting People for Victory
Click to view this report on OpenSecrets.org
In my prior post, “SEIU: Building a New American Health Care Empire?”, I discussed the hidden agenda behind WHY the big purple union is spending so much on political issues, primarily health care.
So, now let’s talk about WHO some of these people are. Who is sharing the shadow with SEIU and helping to shape today’s policies? Just like cogs in a wheel, each is one of the teeth on that wheel that, when engaging the other teeth, sets the others in motion. And that in turn moves other wheels too.
Start with Christopher Jennings, former Clinton White House health care advisor and founder of Jennings Policy Strategies. A SEIU health care strategy presentation was given in November of 2007 by Jennings, who himself is an avid lobbyist for SEIU. Conveniently, Jennings also lobbies for AFL-CIO, General Motors, Federation of American Hospitals, the American Board of Internal Medicine, Siemens AG and many others with interests in health care and retirement benefits, representing a total of more than $440 million for the political process.
Click to view this report on OpenSecrets.org
Then of course, there is the power of purple in the White House, which certainly boosts their personal lobbying status on a number of fronts. As I mentioned before – like cogs in the wheel, they work together.
There’s Andy Stern, SEIU’s President. He’s had over twenty visits to the White House (even more, off-the-books), most of those for health care meetings, and he bragged in 2008 that the SEIU spent $60.7 million “to elect Barack Obama”. Stern is also President of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, Director of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Aspen Institute trustee, Chair of the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics, and Director of Rock the Vote. Dennis Rivera, head of SEIU Health Care, has also been on several trips to the White House for discussions on health care with his SEIU colleagues and the President.
SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger is also chair of SEIU’s parent labor coaltion, Change to Win. She’s also a White House regular, as one of Obama’s personal appointees to the President’s Economic Recovery Board of Advisers (PERBA), where she works with other leaders, including AFL-CIO labor union President Richard Trumka and GE Executive Jeffrey Immelt to help determine the course for America’s economic recovery. (You can judge for yourself how well that’s working out).
Patrick Gaspard, former vice president of politics and legislation for Local 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, now serves as the White House political director after serving as the national political director for Obama’s general election campaign. Gaspard also led lobbying efforts on behalf of SEIU on the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in 2007. He’s also been very actively involved in the past with America Coming Together and Project Vote, and will deflect any ACORN or Working Families Party association, though the trail is all there, but that’s a post for another day.
John Sullivan, SEIU associate counsel, now sits on the Federal Election Commission, appointed by Obama earlier this year. Sullivan’s prior career has also included staunch support for Teamsters union bosses as their Election Officer Counsel, and legal counsel to SEIU and other labor unions on everything from election campaigning rules, to strikes, and union benefits agreements. Perhaps most notably though, under Sullivan’s legal watch, America Coming Together, a Soros & Stern funded 527 group that serves as a financial funnel for donations from big labor, received the largest fine in FEC history – $775,000. And now he helps run the FEC. Keep a close watch on SEIU’s lobbying reports from this point forward…(See this video from the National Right to Work Committee for a fantastic overview on Sullivan).
Craig Becker, associate general counsel of SEIU, was nominated by Obama to the National Labor Relations Board in July. Becker was instrumental in developing SEIU’s legal strategies for organizing informal workers, primarily home health care workers and similar health care industry workers, testifying on Capitol Hill in 2007 in support of unionizing such workers. There has also been separate concern over this appointment, relating to the Employee Free Choice Act and questions about the potential for Becker, whose public writings have stated that he believes “employers should be stripped of any legally cognizable interest in their employees’ election of union representatives”, to implement labor policies that would achieve the same outcome as the EFCA should that bill stall or fail in Congress. Senator John McCain has requested a hold on Becker’s hearings, so the outcome of Becker’s appointment is yet to be determined.
As we move further down this road into the health care debate, all eyes should remain on SEIU, the most special of all special interests. I’ve said it before and will say it again. Do not take your eyes off them. The big labor union has got tentacles into every area of this debate, and they reach from deep inside the communities of working Americans in every facet of our lives, all the way into Congress and the White House Oval Office. What you’ve just read is merely an overview of the money behind SEIU’s policy pushing arm. The people and the power behind the broader scope of SEIU are like pieces of a puzzle – put them each together just a little at a time, and the bigger picture will start to materialize.
Peter Ferrara: The Absolutely Worst Bill Ever
This column originally appeared on The American Spectator website on November 11, 2009.
"The Worst Bill Ever." That is the title the always calm and rational Wall Street Journal put on its editorial on November 1 about the government health care takeover bill that passed the House last week on virtually a party line vote, 220-215. But even this label doesn't fully communicate the outright assault on the American people involved in this legislation. The bill is a serious threat not only to your freedom and prosperity, but to your very life as well.
That is because at the heart of this bill is a cruel perversion. The bill labors mightily (though it actually fails) to expand insurance coverage to everyone (taking the most expensive route possible). But then it is devoted to taking away the very health care that you may need to save your life, or the life of a loved one.
Pelosi's Death Panels
The bill would create 118 new federal boards, bureaucracies, commissions, and programs, which as a group have the power to ration and deny you health care. These are the Pelosi death panels. They include the Health Choices Administration, the Health Benefits Advisory Committee, the Health Insurance Exchange, the Public Health Insurance Option, the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research, the Comparative Effectiveness Research Commission, the Accountable Care Organization Pilot Program, the Community Based Medical Home Pilot Program, the Independent Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot Program, and many others.
One of the ways that health rationing would be carried out is through so-called "Comparative Effectiveness," where national health care bureaucracies will decide what health care treatments, procedures, therapies and drugs work best, and which don't. You would think that is what your doctor is for, using his medical knowledge and direct personal observation of your condition and health history to prescribe what is best for you. But liberal Democrats insist that faraway federal bureaucrats who don't know anything about you will know exactly what health care will work best, in all cases. The House bill says that the decisions of federal bureaucrats on comparative effectiveness "will be delivered to doctors electronically to guide their use of medical items and services," as Betsy McCaughey reports in the Wall Street Journal on November 7. If doctors don't take the hint, and use their own judgment as to your care instead, they will be penalized in their compensation under Pay for Performance.
That policy was explained in a June report from President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), entitled "The Economic Case for Health Care Reform." That report says that 30% of health care in America is waste, and wise government bureaucrats are going to identify exactly whose health care is waste and cut it out. Another policy for accomplishing this is called "Cost Effectiveness," where wise government bureaucrats will decide whether your health care is worth the cost to society. The House health bill creates the bureaucracies with the power and authority to carry out these policies.
But it is far worse even than this. Through the Public Option, the Medicare cuts discussed below, and new rules and regulations imposed on compensation for doctors, hospitals, and other health providers more generally, the resources that sustain our highly advanced, sophisticated, cutting edge, high tech medical system will be sharply constricted. The incentives for investment in new innovations, advanced medical equipment, new miracle cure drugs, and first-rate hospital and clinic facilities will be decimated. Just when the rapid advancement of science and technology is opening up new vistas to counter disease, suffering, and death, self-congratulatory politicians and bureaucrats are stomping in and shutting it down.
In the future, when you or a loved one is struck with cancer, or heart disease, or your premature baby is struggling for life, the surgery, the machine, the pill that could have saved a life, will not be there. When the doctors come to tell you that there is nothing they can do, they are not going to explain whether that is due to medical science, or to politics and bureaucracy, and you will not know. But more and more likely over time, you will be a victim of the declining American standard of living imposed by ideological extremists, as reflected in part in the loss of the best health care possible.
Exactly to the contrary, our public policy should be focused on maximizing the advancement of health care in this new age of modern science by removing government burdens and barriers. We do need to control costs, but by introducing market incentives for patients, doctors and hospitals, so they can be in charge and make appropriate decisions, free of financially interested third party bureaucracies. It's called Patient Power, the true alternative to what Washington is doing now. Jim Pinkerton has been brilliantly making this case for months now on his Serious Medicine Strategy blog, though the argument goes all the way back to John Goodman's book, Patient Power.
But the left-wing extremists currently in complete control of Washington have no understanding of any of this. They are wedded, emotionally and religiously, to outdated ideological crusades of 100 years ago. This is a time of great challenge for the American people, like World War II, the Civil War, or the Revolutionary War. If you are not involved in the solution, then you are not only letting down America, but your family, and yourself.
One confusion arising from the House bill is that its provisions are phased in over several years. Over the first 10 years of full operation, the House bill actually cuts Medicare by $800 billion, as scored by CBO. The cuts for Medicare Advantage plans will be close to $200 billion, and despite President Obama's phony shtick that if you like your health plan you can keep it, the Administration itself estimates that 8 million seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plan as a result, 73% of those with such plans.
This is the beginning of health care rationing for seniors, as the payments to their doctors and hospitals for the care that currently maintains their health will be slashed back. In addition, as Betsy McCaughey explains in the Journal, the House bill
moves Medicare from a fee-for-service payment system, in which patients choose which doctors to see and doctors are paid for each service they provide, toward what's called a "medical home." The medical home is this decade's version of HMO restrictions on care. A primary care provider manages access to costly specialists and diagnostic tests for a flat monthly fee. The bill specifies that patients may have to settle for a nurse practitioner rather than a physician as the primary care provider. Medical homes begin with demonstration projects, but... HHS...is authorized to "disseminate this approach rapidly on a national basis."
What this means is that your doctor is paid a flat monthly fee for your care, and referring you to a specialist or for a diagnostic test effectively comes out of his pocket. So if you need an MRI or a CT scan to see if you have cancer, or to check if that pain in your chest is due to clogged arteries, or if you need to see a specialist to treat cancer or heart disease, the doctor has a financial interest to delay or deny it. Financially, if you are actually this sick, he will be better off if you die sooner rather than later. That is the result of the perverted, inverse incentives the House health bill creates for medical providers.
But the Obama Administration has already started the rationing for seniors on Medicare. The recently adopted Medicare payment rules for next year impose an 11% overall cut on cardiology and a 19% cut on radiation oncology (cancer treatment). Payments for basic tools and treatments for heart disease, such as stress tests and catherization, are slashed by 42% and 24% respectively. Payments for diagnostic imaging services like MRIs and CT scans that help identify cancer early are cut by 24%. Payments for antitumor radiation therapy will be cut by 44%.
AARP shamefully provides cover for this attack on the health care of seniors. That is in part because it has always been a liberal/left front group, like ACORN and SEIU, and it is standing up for its left-wing political allies. But it's also because AARP doesn't sell a Medicare Advantage plan, and it wants to drive out the competition to its overly costly Medigap plans.
Soaring Health Costs
The socialized medicine policies adopted in the House health bill will at the same time cause soaring health costs and health insurance premiums. The House bill provides that you or your employer will be forced to buy the health insurance plan specified by the government, regardless of what you want. This will include all of the politically correct benefits no matter how expensive, such as drug rehab, mental health, maternity benefits even if you are over 50, male, or gay. Coverage for abortion too will ultimately be required with politics involved in the decision, no matter what they say now. Many people today are wisely saving a lot of money with high annual deductibles, paying for routine expenses out of pocket. (Does your car insurance pay for oil changes and new tires?) Forget about that under the House bill.
The House bill further adds costly new regulations on health insurance, such as guaranteed issue, which requires coverage for all new applicants regardless of how sick they already are, and community rating, which requires the same premiums for new applicants regardless of health condition. This regulation is like requiring fire insurance companies to insure new applicants whose houses are already on fire, charging them no more than anyone else. Such regulations have caused health insurance premiums to soar even in the context of broader health reform, as we have seen in Massachusetts.
But health insurance premiums will also rise because of increased cost shifting to private insurance from the Medicare cuts, and from the Public Option. The House bill would also radically increase incentives to demand more health care, with the government paying for everything or paying for health insurance to pay for everything. It would also radically reduce the incentives to supply health care by clamping down more and more on payments to doctors, hospitals and other health providers for their services, as discussed above. Increasing demand while reducing supply will produce skyrocketing health costs, which will further increase health insurance premiums.
Readers of this column know I have been saying as much for months. But now comes expert confirmation in a study from WellPoint, which provides transparent insight from its own health insurance files and experience. Their study shows that health insurance premiums for the young and healthy will triple in some states! Average middle class families will see their premiums more than double. A previous study from Price Waterhouse showed quite similar results. These studies didn't even take into account all of the factors above.
Democrats and their allies have responded with name-calling and libel, with no substantive response. If they pass a final bill without a public option, when premiums do rise as a result for all of the above reasons, they will be back arguing this shows the Republicans were wrong about not needing competition from a public plan. You can't argue with religion.
By the way, the profits of the 10 largest health insurance companies last year totaled $8 billion, combined. That is less than one half of one percent of total health costs. It's not an issue, except for socialists.
Soaring Taxes and Deficits
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims that the House bill is deficit neutral. But that is based on a 21.5% cut next year in payments to doctors under Medicare included in the bill. That is so ridiculous that even the Democrats don't believe in it. So in a separate bill they propose to restore $250 billion of those cuts, adding that entire amount to the deficit! So how can the House bill really be considered deficit neutral, based on a huge cut so ridiculous the Democrats themselves immediately reverse it in another bill? Has our government ever been this brazenly dishonest?
Over the first full 10 years of operation, CBO estimates that the bill will cost $1.8 trillion, not the $829 billion claimed by Speaker Pelosi, actually misrepresenting the CBO score. The actual costs counting all spending increases, which haven't been scored by CBO yet, will be $2.4 trillion to $3 trillion. The bill costs so much because with an overwhelming entitlement crisis already looming, the House bill insists on massively expanding Medicaid, adding 18 million more people, and adopting a new middle class entitlement providing subsidies to buy health insurance for those making up to $96,000 a year for a family of four in 2016.
The $700 billion in tax increases, plus the Medicare cuts, won't be enough to cover all those costs, adding hundreds of billions to the deficit. In particular, the bill relies on an income tax surcharge adding 5.4% to the top income tax rate. Along with the Obama tax rate increases already planned for 2011, the top marginal federal tax rate will soar to almost 48% from 35% today. Counting state income taxes, the average top income tax rate in America would climb to about 52%. The top U.S. income tax rate would then be higher than in France, Germany, Canada, and 23 other countries in the OECD. In five states dominated by Democrats, California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Oregon, the total top tax rate would be higher than in socialist Sweden. That top tax rate increase won't raise nearly the $460 billion CBO now projects because of its uncounted, counterproductive economic effects.
But the total spending and resulting deficits will be far higher than even this. CBO assumes that only 30 million will qualify for the middle class entitlement subsidies, with 162 million in employer provided coverage not eligible for the subsidies as a result. But with employers who drop their coverage subject to an 8% payroll tax, and less for small businesses, many will have an incentive to do precisely that, especially since the workers can then get the government subsidies. If your payroll averages $40,000, then 8% is only $3200 per worker, likely much less than the cost of current coverage. This could more than double the projected cost over the first full 10 years, as millions more lose their employer coverage and become eligible for the subsidies.
Finally, remember President Obama's ironclad election year promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year, in any form, which won him election? Under the House bill, which President Obama has now endorsed, workers who don't buy insurance will have to pay an income tax penalty equal to 2.5% of income, including those in the bottom 50% of income earners who don't pay any income tax now. If they do buy the mandated insurance, then they will bear costs for the premiums of 1.5% to 12% of income for those making less than $250,000. That is effectively a whole new payroll tax on workers.
President Obama, however, says this is not a tax. But, then, President Obama says lots of things we've learned we cannot believe in.
Who is Behind “Media Reform?” (Part Two)
AIM Column | By Cliff Kincaid
The biased programming contradicts the purposes of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.
A professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Robert W. McChesney has said that "media reform" should be part of the march toward socialism in America and that capitalism has to be dismantled "brick by brick." Van Jones, the ousted communist "Green Jobs Czar" of the Obama Administration, served with McChesney on the board of Free Press, a George Soros-funded organization, in 2007 and 2008.
Despite its socialist orientation, Free Press is financially supported by extremely wealthy individuals such as George Soros, the leftist billionaire, and Marcy Carsey, one of the creators of The Cosby Show whose net worth has been estimated at $600 million. Carsey serves on the Free Press board and was a top Obama inauguration donor, having contributed $50,000 to the event.
Where is the Balance?
Jay Pearce, director of creative content of WILL Radio at the University of Illinois and executive producer of McChesney's radio show, declared, "That's a good question," when asked why the radical "media scholar" fails to include interviews with any identifiable conservatives on the air.
Mark Leonard, general manager of WILL, said, "It doesn't concern me," when asked about the complete lack of conservative guests. "What we celebrate is a diversity of points of view," he said, although he couldn't name one conservative on the air on WILL. He said he assumes that conservatives sometimes call into the "Media Matters" program, and that was good enough for him.
The biased programming contradicts the purposes of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and requires objectivity and balance in programs funded by the CPB.
"From its advent more than four decades ago, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has had a legal mandate to ensure 'strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature,'" the CPB says. "This principle is part of the bedrock of public broadcasting in America, a country built upon a foundation of lively and open political and social discourse."
These descriptions of some of his recent shows and guests provide an illustration of the one-sided news and information that he regularly puts on the air:
Wendell Potter speaks out on "the need for a fundamental overhaul of the American health care system..."
Glenn Greenwald "examines the manipulative electoral tactics used by the GOP and propagated by the establishment press."
John Wilson, author of "President Barack Obama: A More Perfect Union."
Robb Weissman examines "the activities of multinational companies."
Kevin Phillips talks about his book on "the global crisis of American capitalism."
Greg Mitchell, author of "Why Obama Won."
Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine, "which is one of the leading voices for peace and social justice in this country."
Interestingly, on February 18, 2007, McChesney interviewed Mark Lloyd, now the FCC chief diversity officer who was then a fellow at the Soros-funded Center for
American Progress. He urged more federal involvement in telecommunications policy, including more tax dollars for a "fully-funded" public broadcasting. McChesney said
Lloyd was so informative that he should be a "permanent guest." Lloyd returned the favor, saying, "Much of what I learned about public broadcasting, early years, came from reading you Bob."
The Partisan Political Agenda
While he postures as a "media scholar," McChesney is himself a political and partisan activist, as demonstrated in Federal Election Commission (FEC) records. These disclose thousands of dollars in financial contributions from McChesney to political candidates, all of them Democrats except for one Green Party nominee in Illinois, a retired visiting professor at the University of Illinois by the name of Carl Estabrook who was known for his far-left perspective on the Middle East.
McChesney used his radio show back in 2002 to promote Estabrook, who holds the view that Israel is "a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United States government" and a "pariah state" engaged in an illegal occupation.
McChesney contributed to Barack Obama in 2004, when he was running for the Senate in Illinois, and then-Rep. and now Senator Bernie Sanders, socialist from Vermont.
But in 2008, he supported Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who advocated a federal "Department of Peace," and former Senator John Edwards, later exposed as an adulterer. Back in 2000, McChesney contributed to Ralph Nader's run for president.
On the Senate level, McChesney contributed financially to Senators Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Jon Tester of Montana, and James Webb of Virginia, and Connecticut Senate candidate Ned Lamont. McChesney featured both Brown and Sanders on his radio show several times.
McChesney also contributed to the Progressive Patriots Fund, the leadership political action committee of Senator Feingold, and the campaigns of Reps. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Illinois), Chet Edwards (Texas) and Donna Edwards (Maryland).
The Center for American Progress
McChesney's well-financed Free Press is not alone in the effort to transform the media along Marxist lines. Supporting the project is the so-called Center for American Progress (CAP), the Soros-funded group that employed Mark Lloyd before he went to work at the FCC as Associate General Counsel and chief diversity officer.
CAP itself released a proposal for "an independent and stable funding stream for public media" in its Change for America book project that was designed to influence the Obama Administration. The sources for the report included books and articles written by McChesney.
The author, Lauren Strayer, was a producer at Air America, the liberal radio network that went through bankruptcy in 2006.
Not surprisingly, Strayer would later surface as a contributor to the Free Press report, "Public Media's Moment," which urged "new public funding for new public media" and the creation of a "White House Commission on Public Media" to bring this about.
This same proposal was recently adopted by discredited former CBS Evening News anchorman Dan Rather, who called for a "White House Commission on Public Media" during an appearance before the Aspen Institute. Rather was a featured speaker at the 2008 conference of McChesney's Free Press and has become a hero of the progressive "media reform" movement
Lawmakers ask IRS to investigate CAIR
Group's lobbying activity illegal, members of Congress believe
By Art Moore
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
Prompted by evidence in a new book, a senator and five Congress members are urging the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations to determine whether the controversial Muslim group's lobbying activities on Capitol Hill violate its nonprofit status.
The letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman is signed by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and members of the House antiterrorism caucus, Reps. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., John Shadegg, R-Ariz., Trent Franks, R-Ariz., Paul Broun, R-Ga., and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.
The Washington, D.C.-based CAIR – which had its relationship with the FBI cut off this year after being named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history – has been under increased scrutiny since the release of "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America," a WND Books publication by former Air Force special agent P. David Gaubatz and "Infiltration" author Paul Sperry. The authors present firsthand evidence CAIR is acting as a front for a well-funded conspiracy of the Muslim Brotherhood – the parent of al-Qaida and Hamas – to infiltrate the U.S. and help pave the way for Saudi-style Islamic law to rule the nation.
Get the book that exposed CAIR from the inside-out, autographed, from WND's Superstore!
The letter, also addressed to the House clerk, Senate secretary and Senate superintendent of records, points to evidence uncovered in "Muslim Mafia" that CAIR may be in violation of both the anti-excessive-lobbying provision of its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 by failing to register with Congress as a federal lobbying organization.
As CAIR's own website states, the group's Governmental Affairs Department "conducts and organizes lobbying efforts on issues related to Islam and Muslims."
CAIR says its department is "active in monitoring legislation and government activities and then, responding on behalf of the American Muslim community. CAIR representatives have testified before Congress and have sponsored a number of activities designed to bring Muslim concerns to Capitol Hill."
As WND reported last month, Myrick, Shadegg, Franks and Broun formally asked the House sergeant at arms to investigate evidence from "Muslim Mafia" that CAIR is conspiring to plant "spies" inside Congress targeting sensitive security-related committees. In another letter, to Attorney General Eric Holder, the House members ask the Justice Department to reveal to Congress members why CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-finance case in U.S. history.
"Muslim Mafia" points out CAIR, as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, is severely restricted from lobbying and expressly prohibited from political campaigning.
By law, the book points out, CAIR must notify the IRS of any intent to lobby by filing a special form.
A 501(c)(3) organization "will lose its tax-exempt status and its qualification to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions if a substantial part of its activities are carried on to influence legislation," the IRS states in Form 5768.
Internal documentation and press releases obtained by "Muslim Mafia" authors suggest a substantial portion of CAIR's operations involve lobbying operations.
In its effort to repeal the Patriot Act antiterrorism law in 2005, for example, CAIR made 72 trips to Congress, according to internal documents. "Muslim Mafia" notes Congress met just 150 days that year.
CAIR also spends $25,000 a year to organize a national "lobby day on the Hill" in which its members nationwide come to Washington – armed with CAIR talking points on a single issue – to meeting with their representatives.
CAIR, which calls its governmental affairs department a "lobbying office," also has created databases to streamline its lobbying efforts, including one to automatically alert staffers on Capitol Hill about its policy issues.
IRS statutes also forbid CAIR from supporting or opposing anyone running for office, but CAIR has held political fundraisers benefiting Muslim U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and other Democrats. The group also has used its resources to get out the vote for Ellison and Democrats in tight races.
In 2004, CAIR bused Muslim voters from mosques to polls to support Democrats in key Florida counties.
The IRS also prohibits CAIR from inviting Democrats to speak at its forums without extending formal invitations to Republicans. But with the exception of GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, "Muslim Mafia" says, CAIR mostly has vilified Republicans rather than reach out to them.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, is suing "Muslim Mafia" co-author P. David Gaubatz and his son Chris over the evidentiary documents they obtained during Chris' six-month undercover penetration of the organization, which both the FBI and Justice Department have branded as a terror co-conspirator. As a result of revelations in "Muslim Mafia," the bipartisan Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus is calling for new, wide-ranging federal probes of CAIR. In the meantime, however, someone has to defend these two courageous investigators who have, at great personal risk, revealed so much about this dangerous group. WND has stepped up to the plate, procured the best First Amendment attorneys in the country and is paying for the Gaubatzes' defense – but we can't do it without your help. Please donate to WND's Legal Defense Fund now. Thank you.
Tea partiers brutally beaten by pro-amnesty group
Shocking! Illegal immigration protesters attacked, pushed into traffic
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Che Guevara supporters with a radical pro-amnesty coalition viciously attacked and bludgeoned tea party protesters at a Florida anti-illegal-immigration rally, including a 62-year-old man who was beaten and kicked in the face.
Americans for Legal Immigration PAC called for "Tea Parties Against Amnesty and Illegal Immigration" to form quickly across the nation on Nov. 14. In less than 30 days, protests were scheduled for more than 50 towns and cities.
But two Fort Lauderdale, Fla., tea party protesters were brutally beaten by pro-amnesty activists on the day of the nationwide rally as they attempted to film Florida's Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition counterprotest.
ANSWER members carried Che Guevara signs and other black and yellow placards that stated "Full rights for all immigrants." They shouted, "Amnesty yes, racists no!"
As the two men attempted to film the protest, an ANSWER member in a black tanktop and blue jeans lunged after one of the cameramen and beat him with a sign, pushing him into traffic. Another ANSWER member in a white T-shirt attacked the same cameraman while the victim defended himself with what appears to be a camera tripod.
A female tea party protester began screaming as Dave Caulkett of Floridians for Immigration Enforcement and the initial ANSWER attacker fought in the middle of the street.
The following is a video of the attack released by ALIPAC:
"Supporters of President Obama's amnesty plans attacked Tea Party Against Amnesty & Illegal Immigration demonstrators in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009. One of the men attacked is 62 years old," ALIPAC reported. "Dave Caulkett of FLIMEN is assaulted and then kicked in the face while he is down. The other cameraman from the tea party is hit with several signs."
ALIPAC revealed that ANSWER Florida sent out an e-mail invitation urging members to join its "protest to shut down racist anti-'amnesty' rally" in Fort Lauderdale prior to the event. ANSWER's letter stated the following:
The ANSWER Coalition is calling on all its members, allies, and friends to join us tomorrow to confront and shut down the racist "Anti-Amnesty Tea Party" in Fort Lauderdale.
The "Anti-Amnesty" rallies being held across the country tomorrow have been initiated by fascist, white supremacist organizations that include the Minutemen and the so-called Americans for Legal Immigration.
Recent months have shown a significant rise in extreme-right activity with hate crimes and attacks on immigrants skyrocketing. White supremacist and fascist organizations have boasted rapid growth since the onset of the economic crisis. The new administration has continued the government's anti-immigrant policies with "desktop raids" – the liberal response to the fascist like workplace raids of the Bush years.
Racism is like anything else in this world: in order to make it fall, you must smash it! That is why we are calling on all people to come out tomorrow, to organize a militant confrontation with the so-called "tea baggers." Beating back these forces will require us to organize together, take the streets, fight the racists wherever they show their faces and drive them out of every community. …
We are building a movement that will beat back racism so that working people of all nationalities can unite and fight against our one, shared enemy: capitalism. Amnesty, full rights for ALL immigrants, is a demand that should be raised not just by the immigrant communities, but by every working class community in our struggle to solve this crisis by our own means.
Join us tomorrow, and join us in building the movement against racism and capitalist exploitation!
As WND reported earlier, ALIPAC Chief William Gheen said his group had been calling for a "peaceful, political revolution and uprising in America."
"The e-mail Bag"
My Daddy is an Exotic Dancer!
One day a fourth-grade teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living.
All the typical answers came up -- fireman, mechanic, businessman, salesman, doctor, lawyer, and so forth.
However, little Justin was being uncharacteristically quiet, so when the teacher prodded him about his father, he finally replied, 'Okay...
My father's an exotic dancer in a gay cabaret, and takes off all his clothes in front of other men and they put money in his underwear.
Sometimes, if the offer is really good, he will go home with some guy and stay with him all night for money.'
The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement hurriedly set the other children to work on some exercises and then took little Justin aside to ask him, 'Is that really true about your father?'
'No', the boy said, 'He actually works for the Democratic National Committee and helped get Barack Obama elected President last year,
"But I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the class.'"