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
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Friday, March 5, 2010
ConservativeChristianRepublican-Report - 20100305
Promoting "God's Holy Values and American Freedoms"!
"It is in many people's best interest for you not to find yourself, but it only matters that it is in yours, and the whole world's, to proceed." -- Anne Lamott
Commit to taking total responsibility for everything that happens to you. This one change in thinking has the power to launch you to the world-class level faster than any other single idea. -- Steve Siebold
"Action is the foundational key to all success." -- Pablo Picasso
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
God, who calls you, is faithful... (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Most of us understand at least a little bit of how an automobile engine functions. Pistons, fan belts, water pumps, and thousands of moving parts all whirl around within a small space, creating power. Each piece in the motor has a different part to play in helping the engine function. If one piece gets out of line, the engine malfunctions. At the same time, oil and coolant circulate to keep the engine running smoothly. The parts must all work together harmoniously.
That is the way God's attributes function too. If you took away love, God's character would not be complete. God's love works with all other attributes, like His justice, to produce the right kind of results. We can compare God's faithfulness to the oil in the engine that keeps the internal parts running smoothly. God's faithfulness means that each attribute in His character is working at full capacity at all times. Therefore, you can count on Him to keep His promises.
In fact, God's faithfulness is at the core of God's nature. He is always all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, holy, righteous, merciful, and loving because He is faithful to His own character. He never changes any of His attributes to accommodate someone else's wishes.
So when you get up in the morning and the sun is shining, thank God for His faithfulness. When you look outside and find it raining, thank God for His faithfulness in watering the earth. Truly, God's faithfulness is new every morning and refreshes us every night.
Your View of God Really Matters …
Today, rest in the certainty of God's great faithfulness to you if you are one of His children. No matter what happens, He will prove Himself faithful. Be at peace in response to His faithfulness.
"The Patriot Post"
"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." --James Madison
"Industry is increased, commodities are multiplied, agriculture and manufacturers flourish: and herein consists the true wealth and prosperity of a state." --Alexander Hamilton, Report on a National Bank, 1790
Government & Politics - A 'Party of No' Could Get 'Yes' Votes in November
A winning message for Republicans In a Super Bowl pre-game interview, Barack Obama announced that he wants to have a televised meeting with both Republicans and Democrats to discuss ideas about crafting health care legislation. Imagine that -- an open debate with both parties equally represented, hashing out plans and crafting a bill using the best ideas brought to the table. In 2008, Candidate Obama told us that was how health care reform would come to pass in his new bipartisan and transparent Washington. The reality has been far different, though entirely predictable to those who recognized him for what he is: a socialist.
Legislation was crafted not to reform health care, but to put it solely under government control. Deals were made behind closed doors, and yet, even with bulletproof majorities in both chambers, the Democrat Congress has not passed a health care bill.
Now Obama is pretending to play the role of peacemaker, but he views bipartisanship as Republicans submitting to his will. Indeed, he won't agree to scrap the existing legislation and start from scratch, even though the public has made its distaste for the bills quite clear.
House Minority Leader John Boehner has made dropping the current legislation a prerequisite for Republicans to come to the table. It is, after all, a waste of time to debate a bill that's essentially dead. Republicans want to cut costs while Democrats want a health insurance entitlement for all. Both sides want to prevent insurance companies from rejecting ill customers, but Democrats, beholden to trial lawyers, reject the common-sense cost-cutting idea of tort reform, among other free-market measures. Unfortunately, neither side is talking about the constitutional role of government.
Even if the meeting happens, both sides are so deeply entrenched that a compromise is rather unlikely. Besides, Obama may be trying to set a political trap of sorts for Republicans by wooing them to the table, offering them a bad deal, then once again accusing them of being "The Party of No," that mantra so often repeated by his accomplices in the Leftmedia.
Such a label wouldn't be bad, however, considering that the alternative means going along with a plan that would raise taxes, remove competition in the insurance industry, drive down the quality of health care in our country, and add hundreds of billions -- if not trillions -- of dollars to the national debt.
In fact, when combined with advocating fiscal responsibility and constitutional Rule of Law, "Just Say No to Socialism" sounds like a winning formula for Republicans come November. Of course, the GOP would have to awaken from its stupor first.
New & Notable Legislation
Senate Democrats had hoped to offer President Obama a legislative victory with an $80 billion "jobs bill," otherwise known as "Stimulus II" (or is it III, IV or V?). But Thursday, they dropped the bill in favor of a leaner version without unrelated pork. The centerpiece is still $13 billion to exempt companies from Social Security payroll taxes for previously unemployed new hires in 2010. Other incentives include renewing expired business tax credits, extending unemployment benefits, and suspending a cut in Medicare payments to physicians. The White House is predicting growth of 95,000 jobs per month in 2010, but not even the Associated Press buys that. The AP notes the obvious: "[C]ompanies are unlikely to hire workers just to receive a tax break." Besides, after hiding the loss of over 800,000 additional jobs in 2009, who can trust any figures that these elitists produce?
Blue Dog Democrats plan to propose a bill that will cap discretionary spending at specific levels, going further than the president's anemic $250 billion decade-long non-discretionary spending freeze. The sheer size of the Blue Dog coalition -- 54 House Democrats -- means that whatever proposal they come up with will have to be given serious consideration by the majority.
A bill by Rep. Peter King (D-NY) to prevent federal funding for civilian trials of Guantanamo Bay detainees in civilian courts is picking up steam. Sixteen Republican and two Democrat cosponsors have joined King, and he is confident the bill will pass if it is brought to a floor vote. Beyond the House bill, both U.S. senators from New York, the New York City mayor, police commissioner, and the state Senate have voiced opposition to holding the 9/11 terror trials in Manhattan.
National Security - Countdown to Nuclear Iran
On Thursday, Iranian Wing-Nut-in-Chief Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had enriched uranium to 20 percent and could, if it wishes, enrich to 80 percent. During remarks in Tehran amid the celebrations surrounding Revolution Day, Ahmadinejad also claimed Iran would soon greatly increase its production of 3.5 percent enriched uranium.
Ahmadinejad's defiant claim came just days after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that the "only path left" is more diplomacy and more sanctions to force Iran into compliance with its Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations. Gates went on to opine, "If the international community will stand together and bring pressure on the Iranian government, I believe there is still time for sanctions and pressure to work. But we must all work together."
Apparently Secretary Gates missed the memo regarding the five existing UN Security Council Resolutions urging Iran to desist from making nukes; also Iran's kidnapping of 15 British sailors and marines, Iran's Revolutionary Guard being officially listed as a terrorist organization, Iran's providing anti-ship missiles and long-range rockets to Hezbollah, Iran's providing explosively formed penetrators and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to al-Qa'ida in Iraq, Iran's providing weapons and training to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, Iran's secret nuclear facility at Qom, Iran's attempted shipment of arms to Hamas onboard the merchant ship FRANCOP intercepted by Israel, Iran's blatantly fraudulent election last June, Iran's receipt of Russian SA-15b surface-to-air missile system and rumored receipt of the even more capable SA-20, Iran's numerous ballistic missile launches, the hundreds of statements by Iranian leaders that they will never give in to outside pressure, and, finally, China's continued veiled threats to veto any further sanctions against Iran.
All of these and more occurred during the previous six and a half years of "bringing pressure on the Iranian government," a period in which the "international community" most assuredly did not work together. Why in the world would Gates think things will be different now, especially after Obama spent his first year in office bowing to every foreign leader on the planet?
Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons will not be stopped by UN talk or the "international community." It will be stopped only by American resolve, or perhaps Israeli resolve, though we have wasted nearly seven years so far.
Department of Military Readiness: Missiles in Romania
Romanian President Trian Basescu recently announced approval of U.S. plans to install missile defense sites in his country aimed at thwarting potential Iranian missile threats. Our readers may recall that Barack Obama reversed earlier agreements to site defensive missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic as a worthless gesture to Russian President Putin.. The Russian response was less than encouraging to our EU allies, and in a surprising (and dare we say encouraging) turn of events, Obama's DOD has now agreed to a four-phased defensive missile plan for Romania and the region.
Such a plan should be seen as less intrusive to Russian ballistic missile capability and would actually improve response times to any Iranian missile launch. Naturally, however, Moscow still doesn't see it that way and has raised new veiled threats concerning the future of any new START talks and perhaps even our agreements over Black Sea deployments of Aegis cruisers.
How Obama responds to this renewed Russian intransigence will be interesting to watch, especially in light of recent news from Iran. Russian threats worked once. Any more such about-faces will surely decrease our EU allies' reliance on U.S. security assurances and may even lead to an unwanted rapprochement with Russia by some of the former Soviet states.. Stick to a good plan, Mr. President.
This Week's 'Braying Jackass' Award
"I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration." --Vice President Joe Biden
Which administration, exactly?
Profiles of Valor: WWII Vet Louis Stamatakos
On Feb. 28, 1945, Louis Stamatakos saved a B17 Flying Fortress crew from sure disaster in the skies over Germany. The 19-year-old from Dayton, Ohio, was trained as a tail gunner and survived 31 missions over Europe with the 8th Air Force, which flew out of England. While bombing railroad yards in Kassel, Germany, on his 23rd mission, two 250-pound bombs failed to drop. One was stuck by a single shackle and the other by both shackles. "Everyone went crazy when they heard that," Stamatakos said, "and then somebody said, 'Hey, get the Greek, he's been going to armament school.' I took a look and said, 'Well, maybe I can break them loose.'"
Break them loose he did -- with a short-handled fire ax.. The wind had spun a small propeller on the nose of one bomb, which armed it and meant one false move would detonate it. At 20,000 feet and 20 below zero, Stamatakos kept swinging until the shackles released both bombs. "That's back when I was young and dumb," said Stamatakos. Crewmate Richard Rainoldi, a retired Air Force colonel, said, "If he hadn't done it, it was either bailing out or blowing up."
Stamatakos's three sons were so impressed with their dad's story that they tracked down Rainoldi, who had been the plane's navigator, and he gave a sworn statement that was delivered to the Army. On Christmas Eve, 2009, Stamatakos, now a retired Michigan State University professor, received a letter from the Department of the Army saying he would be awarded the Silver Star in a ceremony on Feb. 17 at Michigan's state capitol in Lansing.
Business & Economy - Income Redistribution: Expect to Fail if You Plan to Fail
Leftists consistently deny that raising taxes harms the economy, insisting instead that higher taxes and draconian government regulations boost the economy. This, of course, runs contrary to the actual outcome that the tax-and-regulate approach has incurred every time it's been tried.
The Laffer curve -- the theory that reducing tax rates causes economic growth and a corresponding growth in overall government taxation revenues -- and supply-side economics inspired the Reagan tax cuts of 1981, which significantly lowered the Carter administration's high tax rates and sparked an unprecedented 25 years of economic prosperity. Counterintuitive though it might be for liberals, these cuts generated higher tax revenues for the federal government by increasing overall economic activity and growth.
The Obama administration is being forced to face these previously established hard truths. The Congressional Budget Office forecast in August that 2010 tax collections would bring in $2.264 trillion. Only the government has grown over the last year, however, not the economy. Therefore, tax revenues are down and, this week, the CBO revised its estimate down to $2.175 trillion.
Sadly, the Obama administration's insanity continues with its willful ignorance of the third prong necessary for economic growth, which is a reduction of government spending. So long as overspending, high-taxing and over-regulating leftists are in power, the economy will suffer.
This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award
"The small businesses I've talked to -- and I've been talking to a lot of them as I have been traveling around the country -- their biggest problem is right now they can't get credit out of their banks, so they're uncertain about that, and they're still uncertain about orders. You know, do they just have enough customers to justify them doing more? It's looking better at this point, but that's not the rationale for people saying I'm not hiring. Let me put it this way: Most small businesses right now, if they've got enough customers to make a profit and they can get the bank loans required to boost their payroll, boost their inventory and sell to those customers, they will do so." --Barack Obama, the man who has never even had a job in the private sector, much less had to meet payroll
Memo to BO: If you need to take a loan to meet payroll, you're well on the way to going out of business.
When Reassurance Isn't Reassuring
"Absolutely not" -- "That will never happen in this country." So said tax cheat Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner when asked whether the United States is at risk of losing its AAA debt rating in light of the projected $1.6 trillion budget deficit for 2010. Apparently, Geithner thinks himself wiser than Moody's Investors Service, which recently indicated the government's rating will suffer unless action is taken to cut projected budget deficits. Unfortunately, Geithner also opposes cutting spending, as he believes it could harm the economy.
To Keep and Bear Arms
As Matthew Alan Clinage and Christopher Polson attempted to steal battery packs from a golf cart in the wee hours of the morning, 70 year-old property owner Robert Rowley in Winter Haven, Florida heard his motion sensor alarm sound. Rowley immediately took his handgun and flashlight outside to evaluate the situation. When he saw the two men, both in their early-20's, he asked them to leave, but one of the suspects began approaching him. In an attempt to scare away the thieves, Rowley fired a shot into the air, the ground, and the suspect's truck as they tried to escape. He was unaware that the bullets had hit the suspects, but the two soon showed up at a local hospital with gunshot wounds.
Clinage was taken to jail after treatment; Polson remains in a hospital and will be taken to jail once he is released. Both were charged with grand theft and burglary of an occupied residence, while Clinage was also charged with violation of community control due to a prior conviction of grand theft of a firearm.
First Lady Michelle Obama has taken up childhood obesity as the cause worthy of her attention. As ABC News reports, "The far-reaching, nationwide campaign called 'Let's Move' calls for ... myriad initiatives that target what Obama calls four key pillars: Getting parents more informed about nutrition and exercise, improving the quality of food in schools, making healthy foods more affordable and accessible for families, and focusing more on physical education."
We have to give Michelle credit for acknowledging that it'll take far more than government to tackle such a problem. "There's no expert on this planet who says that the government telling people what to do actually does any good with this issue. This is going to require an effort on everyone's part." However, her husband has a few connections and has created the first-ever federal task force for "optimal coordination" between private companies, nonprofits and government agencies. Optimal coordination doesn't sound like a phrase that describes government, but who knows super-sized better than Barack Obama?
In other news from the Village Academic Curriculum, the 2011 Obama budget makes further funding cuts for the District of Columbia's Opportunity Scholarship Program, an education voucher system for low-income, mostly minority students. The 2010 budget had cut funding altogether, but in response to protests, some funding was restored. Now that amount will face an additional 30 percent cut. So, while these kids may not receive a good education, at least they'll be skinny.
Judge rules against religious expression
Bill Bumpas - OneNewsNow
A judge in Montana has ruled against a high school valedictorian who wasn't allowed to speak at her graduation ceremony because she wanted to give God credit for her success. (See earlier article) http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=519090
Rennee Griffith is now in her second year of college. She graduated from Butte High School in 2008 as one of the valedictorians, but when she submitted a draft of her speech to school authorities, her First Amendment rights were violated.
"She was asked, as were the other valedictorians, to speak about what helped them get through school. Some people wanted to thank the football coach or the track coach or their uncle or a particular teacher, and they were permitted to do that," explains Griffith's attorney, Bill O'Connor. "The only thing they would not permit, by their own admission, was...her to attribute any achievements to her belief in God."
The attorney reports that Griffith wanted to mention Christ once and God once in her speech, something he believes was well within her rights. "She was not doing what was forbidden by the Supreme Court or the Constitution, which is proselytizing," he argues. "She wasn't asking people to join her in her beliefs, and she wasn't praying, she wasn't asking people to join her in prayer."
O'Connor adds they plan to appeal this case to the Montana Supreme Court.
Morning Bell: Obamacare’s Kabuki End Game
The doctors in lab coats surrounding President Barack Obama as he gave his latest health care speech yesterday were not there to give the President a physical; that happened Sunday. No, these doctors were props, dressed to impress for what the White House claims is their “final push” for the President’s government take-over of the health care industry. The President again repeated the same old tired claims he has been making for months: “The proposal I’ve put forward gives Americans more control over their health care,” “our proposal is paid for,” and “my proposal would bring down the cost of health care for millions.” We, and plenty of others, have refuted all these claims before, but this time they are particularly easy to expose as patently false. President Obama gave away the game when he said:
Our cost-cutting measures mirror most of the proposals in the current Senate bill, which reduces most people’s premiums and brings down our deficit by up to $1 trillion over the next two decades. And those aren’t my numbers – they are the savings determined by the CBO, which is the Washington acronym for the nonpartisan, independent referee of Congress.
But there is one huge difference between the Senate bill and what the President kept referring to as my/our proposal: the Senate bill actually exists. For all the talk in Washington about Democrats in the Senate using reconciliation to pass a final version of Obamacare, one key fact has been overlooked: no reconciliation bill exists. Not in the House. Not in the Senate. Nowhere. It simply has not yet been written, and there are plenty of reasons to believe it never will.
The White House is telling the public they expect the House to pass the Senate bill, and then both the House and Senate would pass the yet-to-be-drafted reconciliation, all before Easter recess. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) simply does not have the votes to pass the Senate bill. If she did, it would already be law. To convince her fellow wayward Democrats to vote for the Senate bill, the yet-to-be-drafted reconciliation bill is expected to: 1) scale back the tax on high-end health insurance policies (decreases revenue); 2) close the Medicare D loophole (costs money); 3) boost insurance subsidies (costs money); and 4) increase Medicaid payments (costs a ton of money). Where exactly do House and Senate aides writing this new bill expect to come up with the money to pay for all these new goodies? And they have to find that cash because all reconciliation bills must be certified by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to reduce the deficit by $1 billion over five years. And that CBO score will take at least a week, or possibly two to complete.
So when will the public get to see this reconciliation bill? The Wall Street Journal reports that “Democrats have started writing the formal reconciliation bill” and “intend to send it to the Congressional Budget Office for evaluation by the end of the week.” But The Los Angeles Times reports that: “Senior Democrats on Capitol Hill will not finish writing the reconciliation package until next week at the earliest.” Our advice: don’t hold your breath.
In the meantime Speaker Pelosi is bleeding the votes she needs to first pass the Senate bill, by an up or down vote, in the House. Just 220 members of the House voted for their version of Obamacare in November. Since that time, Reps. Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) have left the House; Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) has passed away; and Joseph Cao (R-LA) has said he will vote against the bill. That leaves Pelosi 216 votes, which would be exactly enough to pass the Senate bill. But then there is Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) who will not vote for the Senate bill since it uses taxpayer money to fund abortion. And Stupak says he has a dozen other members that will switch from yes to no with him. And Rep. Michael Acuri (D-NY) now says he is likely to switch his vote from yes to no. And Rep. Shelly Berkley (D-NV), who voted yes the first time, says she is “not inclined to support the Senate” bill. And Rep. Gerry Connolly says he could “absolutely” switch his vote from yes to no. And now Congressional Progressive Caucus Rep. Raúl Grijalva, (D-AZ) says he’s less likely to vote for the final health care reform bill if the reconciliation bill contains the ideas President Obama outlined yesterday.
One House Democrat tells the LA Times why the White House is facing such a tough sell: “It’s a no-win situation for those of us in moderate districts. If you vote no, your base is upset. If you vote yes, everyone else is upset. You almost couldn’t design a legislative vise more damaging to moderate Democrats — or that puts our majority more at risk.” But don’t worry House Democrats, the Senate is going to do everything it can to convince you that you aren’t going to walk the plank alone again. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) tells Politico that Senate Democrats are planning a gesture some time next week that will guarantee to House Democrats the Senate will act: “I don’t know what the gesture will be but it will be a convincing gesture.” Kabuki theater indeed.
Obama Is Doing His Best Jimmy Carter: Are Dems Worried Yet?
By Peter Wehner
The Obama White House -- having been battered for months by falling poll numbers, rising public opposition to its signature domestic initiative, massive defections by Independent voters, and election defeats in New Jersey, Virginia, and (especially) Massachusetts -- is beginning to fray. The smooth-running Obama team we witnessed during the 2008 election is stumbling around in the dark, making mistakes in judgment that are compounding the problems.
For example, during the State of the Union address, President Obama declared that "jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010." That was a message echoed by Democrats across the land who knew that many (though not all) of their problems can be traced to Obama's relentless effort to pass health insurance legislation the public has rejected and considers, at a time of nearly 10 percent unemployment, to be beside the point. These members of the president's own political party wanted to turn their attention to jobs rather than health care, reasoning that hanging a lantern on a policy that is crippling their party is a prescription for a disastrous midterm election. Yet this week -- fully a month after the State of the Union address -- attention is once again focused on health care. And if Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid get their way and use the reconciliation process to pass ObamaCare, Democrats will be forced to spend the next several months still talking about it. This will lead Democratic lawmakers to ponder whether their leadership has a political death wish.
Another sign of a White House that is beginning to unravel is the emergence of internal feuding in No-Drama Obama Land. According to Politico, critics left and right are accusing Rahm Emanuel of disloyalty-by-proxy after a Dana Milbank column in Sunday's Washington Post defended the White House chief of staff -- while trashing reputed Emanuel rivals Valerie Jarrett and Robert Gibbs:
The key paragraph contained high praise for Emanuel -- at the expense of his boss: "Obama's first year fell apart in large part because he didn't follow his chief of staff's advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter." In the piece, the longtime Post politics watcher portrays a White House filled with Obama's Chicagoland sycophants, and idealists veering the White House dangerously off to the left -- with Emanuel the only forceful voice of pragmatism and moderation.
When knives are unsheathed in an administration, with key aides distancing themselves from presidential failures and impending political defeat, it's a bad sign. That is doubly the case when the White House chief of staff is at the center of the infighting. It has radiating effects; morale plummets, trust dissipates, and people begin to take sides. Time and energy are spent battling colleagues instead of working in unison with them.
Then there is that old reliable comforter to reach for: self-delusion. In this case it comes in the form of the belief that your troubles are caused by a "communications problem." According to a recent Washington Post story, Obama aides are aggressively "retooling" the administration's communications strategy in ways that mirror a successful campaign more than they do a confident White House operation. The president's advisers are said to be focused on producing a faster turnaround in responding to critics and more discipline in channeling the president's schedule, so as to stay on message. This strategy was said to be the result of an end-of-the-year analysis in which White House advisers concluded that "the president's communications team had not taken the initiative often enough and had allowed drawn-out debates in Congress, and relentless criticism by Republicans, to drown out his message."
"It was clear that too often we didn't have the ball -- Congress had the ball in terms of driving the message," communications director Dan Pfeiffer told the Post. "In 2010, the president will constantly be doing high-profile things to be the person driving the narrative."
I recently had a conversation with a journalist who has close ties to the Obama White House and asked him if they really believed that at the core of their difficulties was a communications problem rather than a substance problem. He indicated they do.
Having worked in three administrations and two terms in the White House, I understand the temptation to believe that all that is needed to bend public will your way is one more clever argument, one more uplifting prime-time speech, a more aggressive and disciplined rapid-response team. But at some point, after enough time and trials, you need to make peace with certain hard truths.
In this instance, the Obama administration needs to accept the fact that the public has rendered its verdict on ObamaCare. They do not like it and they do not want it. No health care "summit," no new speech in Elyria, Ohio, or Las Vegas, no 2.0 version of the original plan will change any of that. Don't just take my word for it. Listen to the widely respected political analyst Charlie Cook, who told National Journal in an interview:
I sort of reject the notion that there is a communications problem with President Obama. I think it's just fundamental, total miscalculations from the very, very beginning. . . . This isn't a communications problem. This is a reality problem. And I think they just made some grave miscalculations and as it became more clear that they had screwed up, they just kept doubling down their bet. And so I think, no, this is one of the biggest miscalculations that we've seen in modern political history.
It is hard to think of another president who has dropped this far this fast, who after a year has done as much to hurt his party and his cause. Some of that damage is repairable; other presidents have come back from significant setbacks and imposing challenges. But from all appearances, the Obama White House still doesn't get it. It looks for all the world like health care is the whale to Barack Obama's Captain Ahab. He is determined to press ahead with his health care agenda come what may. Well, what may come is an epic midterm election loss, the repudiation of liberalism, and deep damage to the Democratic Party. The specter of Jimmy Carter is beginning to haunt the Obama presidency. And the worst is yet to come.
Peter Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He served in the Bush White House as director of the office of strategic initiatives.
Will Bishopgate Finally End Congressman Delahunt’s Career?
by Charles C. Johnson
Yes, the Chavez-supporting Bill Delahunt I wrote about several weeks ago is the same Bill Delahunt who when he was district attorney let Amy Bishop, the neurobiologist who gunned down her colleagues, get away with murdering her brother in 1986. Delahunt and the ex-chief of police are pointing fingers about who screwed up what, while the State’s U.S. Attorney looks into Bishop’s possible involvement with an attempted bombing. Brought into the mix most recently, is Amy Bishop’s mother, the political big wig, Judith, who may have had a role to play in the younger Bishop’s release.
It remains to be seen who dropped the ball on Bishop, but what’s without question is that Delahunt has been a horrible public servant — and that’s not even counting his failure to prosecute career criminal-murderer, Myles J. Connor Jr., who Delahunt not only failed to prosecute, but even went so far as to testify on his behalf!
No, unfortunately, Delahunt has a long, long record of shaddy ties and incompetence, as he tries to keep the country safe.
According to the book, Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice, Delahunt was working on a bill with Rep Lungren to “require the FBI to report to state law enforcement serious violent felonies” committed by its informants and would impose criminal penalties on agents who failed to do so. In a radio interview, Delahunt said,
“What is totally unacceptable is having violent criminals out on the street, preying on American citizens everywhere, while there is information that isn’t being disclosed to local and state law enforcement authorities that have the primary responsibility in this country to protect us from violent crime.” (p. 145)
Well said, Congressman, so why did you fail to protect the people from Amy Bishop? (The truth of the legislation is that it would have imposed insurmountable costs to FBI agents trying to protect the nation. While far from perfect, the informant system saves lives as FBI agents go after the big fish.)
Bill Delahunt is a far leftist on issues of crime. In 2007, a bill he co-sponsored was aimed at reducing recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance through a failed rehab program. Unfortunately, it became law.
He has also called for a moratorium on the death penalty at the federal level. Delahunt helped a Marine in his district avoid the death penalty after he murdered an Iraqi civilian in cold blood. The Marine, Lawrence G. Hutchins III of Plymouth, tried to cover up the killing.
Had Ms. Bishop received the death penalty for murdering her brother, it is likely that this sad day in Alabama would never have happened. Unfortunately, an activist Massachusetts Supreme Court invalidated Massachusetts death penalty law in 1984 and recent efforts to re-establish it have not been successful. Fortunately, the people of Alabama know how to treat murderers.
It remains up to the people of Massachusetts 10th congressional district as to how they are going to treat Bill Delahunt, assuming he doesn’t step down, as rumors suggest he might. (A possible Democratic replacement announced that she wasn’t running for his seat earlier last month and another Kennedy turned down running for the seat, meaning that the Democrats don’t really have any plausible candidate other than Delahunt in Massachusetts. Yes, gentle reader, the end days are upon us.)
Delahunt wouldn’t be hurting much if he lost that $165,000 federal paycheck. The Boston Herald reported that he receives a $57,623 annual pension from the Massachusetts treasury. (Dave Wedge, Boston Herald, July 20, 2008). He could always go back to Massachusetts and hang out with his pal, former Congressman Amory “Amo” Houghton (R-NY), for whom Delahunt snuck in a $1.1 million earmark to stop flooding on a pricey Cohasset street.
Or maybe he could advise other Massachusetts Democrats on how to fudge vote counts after he lost a 1996 primary bid to Phil Johnston by175 votes in the initial count, went on to win it by 108 votes after Judge Elizabeth Donovan of the Superior Court had mysteriously found that some 900 votes had not been properly read by an electronic scanner.
Or maybe Bill Delahunt could get a cushy job with the Local 25, after he interceded on behalf of George Cashman, a convicted union embezzler that shook down movie studios wanting to shoot films in the Bay State. Delahunt asked federal Judge Douglas Woodstock for leniency for him.
Most disturbing of all, though, was the glee that Delahunt expressed at a House Judiciary Subcomittee when David Addington, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, explained that he could not discuss certain interrogation techniques because Al-Qaeda may be watching C-Span, to which Delahunt responded:
Delahunt responded: “Right, well, I’m sure they are watching, and I’m glad they finally have a chance to see you Mr. Addington.”
In the 2008 election, Bill Delahunt explained that Obama was carrying on in the Kennedys footsteps after Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama. “The America of Jack and Bobby Kennedy touched all of us. Through all of these decades, the one who kept that flame alive was Ted Kennedy. So having him pass on the torch [to Obama] is of incredible significance…” (Leadership the Obama Way, p. 114)
Let’s hope that torch is finally going out and that Delahunt is yet another casualty of the nation’s souring on Obama. It’s time for Delahunt to go.
Nealz Nuze: Today's Nuze
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it."
By Neal Boortz
Back to this whole healthcare debate ...
While Barack Obama didn't explicitly say it, he opened the door for Democrats to use reconciliation to pass healthcare reform. And that is exactly what they intend to do. Obama says:
"[N]o matter which approach you favor, I believe the United States Congress owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. We have debated this issue thoroughly, not just for a year, but for decades. Reform has already passed the House with a majority. It has already passed the Senate with a supermajority of sixty votes. And now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that was cast on welfare reform, the Children's Health Insurance Program, COBRA health coverage for the unemployed, and both Bush tax cuts -- all of which had to pass Congress with nothing more than a simple majority ... I have therefore asked leaders in both of Houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks."
Never mind the .. dare I say it .. hypocrisy surrounding this approach. Here is not one but four different examples of Obama demagoguing the use of reconciliation.
CBS Interview 11/2/04
My understanding of the Senate is that you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen, which means that Democrats and Republicans have to ask the question, do we have the will to move an American agenda forward, not a Democratic or Republican agenda forward?
Change to Win Convention 9/25/07
The bottom line is that our healthcare plans are similar, the question once again is, who can get it done? Who can build a movement for change? This is an area where we're going to have to have a 60% majority in the Senate and the House in order to actually get a bill to my desk. We're going to have to have a majority to get a bill to my desk. That is not just a fifty plus one majority.
Obama Interview with the Concord Monitor 10/9/07
You've got to break out of what I call the sort of fifty plus one pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory of fifty plus one. Then you can't govern. You know, you get Air Force One, there are a lot of nice perks, but you can't deliver on healthcare. We are not going to pass universal health care with a fifty plus one strategy.
Center for American Progress Conference 7/12/06
Those big-ticket items: fixing our health care system. You know, one of the arguments that sometimes I get with my fellow progressives, and some of these have flashed up in the blog communities on occasion, is this notion that we should function sort of like Karl Rove where we identify our core base, we throw 'em red meat, we get a fifty plus one victory. See, Karl Rove doesn't need a broad consensus because he doesn't believe in government. If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a sizeable majority.
And then lest we forget this from Robert Byrd in 2005. When Republicans wanted to use reconciliation to stop the Democrat filibuster of Bush judicial nominees, Robert Byrd compared the strategy to Nazi tactics. Seriously! Here's what he had to say back then:
Many times in our history we have taken up arms to protect a minority against the tyrannical majority in other lands. We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men.
But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends. Historian Alan Bullock writes that Hitler's dictatorship rested on the constitutional foundation of a single law, the Enabling Law. Hitler needed a two-thirds vote to pass that law, and he cajoled his opposition in the Reichstag to support it. Bullock writes that "Hitler was prepared to promise anything to get his bill through, with the appearances of legality preserved intact." And he succeeded.
Hitler's originality lay in his realization that effective revolutions, in modern conditions, are carried out with, and not against, the power of the State: the correct order of events was first to secure access to that power and then begin his revolution. Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.
Please, folks; if you won't fight for your liberty, how about fighting for the future of your children and grandchildren.
George Stephanopoulos Frets Over Bart Stupak and His 'Mutiny' Over Health Care
By Scott Whitlock
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Thursday put the responsibility for passing health care on the shoulders of the pro-life Bart Stupak, worrying that the Congressman is "now threatening a mutiny over the issue of abortion." The GMA host interviewed Stupak and pressed him three times on voting for the legislation. [Audio available here.]
At one point, he solemnly queried, "If the President doesn't change the language, if your language is not accepted, you and your 11 colleagues who voted yes the last time will vote no this time. Does that mean you're prepared to take responsibility for bringing down this whole bill?"
Notice that Stephanopoulos placed the obligation on Stupak and not on pro-abortion Democrats who, one could argue, are more concerned with that issue than with passing health care. Earlier in the segment, the ABC journalist grilled, "So, if the President doesn't change the Senate bill, you can't vote for it?"
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In the previous segment, Stephanopoulos talked with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Pivoting off her denial that the bill funds abortion, the former Democratic operative turned journalist focused, again, on whether Stupak could vote for the legislation.
Stephanopoulos insisted to the Michigan Congressman, "She said the President's bill, the President's proposal, does not change the status quo on abortion, does not have federal funding on abortion. Do you agree? And can you vote for it?"
Now, the network anchor did challenge Sebelius by wondering, "Well, as you know, Congressman Stupak simply disagrees. He says the Senate bill does do that [fund abortion] and President's proposal does do that."
But, Stephanopoulos did not press the HHS secretary on whether abortion was more important to Democrats than a bill. And, considering that the restrictions on abortion funding were in the House bill, but have been stripped out of the Senate version, he didn't ask if pro-choice Democrats were "mutinying" against their pro-life colleagues.
A transcript of the Stupak interview, which aired at 7:09am EST on March 4, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's bring in Congressman Stupak now. And, Congressman, you heard Secretary Sebelius there. She said the President's bill, the President's proposal, does not change the status quo on abortion, does not have federal funding on abortion. Do you agree? And can you vote for it?
BART STUPAK: Well, no one has seen the President's bill yet. We've seen proposals. The President indicated yesterday four more proposals he'd like to incorporate. So, we want to see the bill. But, the bill that they're using as the vehicle, is the Senate bill. And if you go to page 2,069, through page 2,078, you will find in there, the federal government would directly subsidize abortions. Plus, every enrollee in the Office of Personnel Management enrolled plan, every enrollee, has to pay a minimum of $1 per month toward reproductive rights, which includes abortions.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, if the President doesn't change the Senate bill, you can't vote for it?
STUPAK: No. We're not going to vote for this bill with that kind of language in there. The President says no federal funding for abortion. I have eight pieces of legislation we currently have in federal law that says no public funding for abortion. Take any one of these and insert the language. And we'll be happy. We can support this legislation. We voted for health care before. I want to see health care pass. I agree with the Secretary. People are being priced out of the market. We must have health care. But, boy, there's some principles and beliefs that some of us are not going to pass.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Congressman, how can you do that? As I understand the process, that kind of abortion language cannot be tied to the reconciliation bill. It would be knocked out of the reconciliation bill. So, there's no way to change the Senate bill.
STUPAK: We did welfare reform under reconciliation when President Clinton was in. SCHIP SCHIP, the State Children's Health Initiative Program was passed through reconciliation. You can do it. If there's a will, there's a way. That's just an excuse they're giving. Look, give us the language. Let's keep the current law. No public funding for abortion. Let's pass health care. Affordable, quality health care for all Americans. That's what I want to see done.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Have you asked the President to put your language in the bill?
STUPAK: We've repeatedly told his staff, here's what we need. Yes, I had a discussion with the President back in September, before we had our amendment back on the House floor. You know, it's there in current law. They keep saying they want to maintain current law. Take their choice. There's eight programs out there. Just keep the language.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, let- Let me be clear here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: If the President doesn't change the language, if your language is not accepted, you and your 11 colleagues who voted yes the last time will vote no this time. Does that mean you're prepared to take responsibility for bringing down this whole bill?
STUPAK: Yes. We're prepared to take responsibility. I mean, I've been catching it ever since last fall. I mean, lets face it: I want to see health care. But we're not going to bypass some principles and beliefs that we feel strongly about. And the President, he has shown flexibility. He's putting in Republican proposals. Look, let's keep current law. No public funding for abortion. Lets pass health care.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And if he accepts your abortion language, quickly, will you vote for the bill?
STUPAK: We'll read it. We'll make sure it's a quality piece of legislation. Members are not interested in voting for the Senate bill. That's for sure.
"The e-mail Bag"
You Might Be A Redneck
Thank you Jeff Foxworthy!
You've ever given rat traps as gifts.
You clean your fingernails with a stick.
Your coffee table used to be a cable spool.
You keep a can of RAID on the kitchen table.
Your wife can climb a tree faster than your cat.
Your mother has "ammo" on her Christmas list.
Every socket in your house breaks a fire code.
You've totaled every car you've ever owned.
There are more than five McDonald's bags in your car.
The Home Shopping operator recognizes your voice.