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Friday, December 18, 2009

Harry Reid Isn't Quite Helping Hold Up Obama's Promise to Cut Earmarks

During the campaign and after , Obama promised to cut down on the number of earmarks coming out of Washington. However, his fellow Democrats aren't cooperating with the President on this. In fact, Harry Reid has increased his pork requests:

President Obama may have asked Congress to reduce the number of earmarks in its spending bills, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, isn't cutting back on his pork.

The Senate's most powerful Democrat secured 36 earmarks worth more than $89 million in the fiscal year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill, according to information provided by his office---a slight increase over the number of earmarks Mr. Reid secured in the fiscal year 2009 Defense Appropriations bill. That year, he secured 33 earmarks worth more than $83 million.

Despite pledges from Mr. Obama that his Congress would reduce the number of earmarks slipped into spending bills, Mr. Reid’s spokesman Jim Manley said in an email to the Washington Times the Majority Leader was “proud” of his earmarks.

“We’re proud of each and everyone because this money means jobs for a state that has suffered from this economy like no other,” Mr. Manley said.

He's "proud" of his sizable contribution to the federal government's massive deficit spending. No wonder Reid is having some serious troubles getting support for re-election in Nevada.

Despite Over 10% Unemployment Democratic Rep, SEIU Seek Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants

The Democratic party and Big Labor have, yet again, come together to throw away the rule in this country. With the passing of Ted Kennedy, Luis Gutierrez has stepped up to become a leader in the effort to make America's immigration laws obsolete:

Democrats on Tuesday begin their new push for an immigration bill, hamstrung by the image of legalizing millions of illegal immigrant workers at a time when the unemployment rate stands at 10 percent -- more than twice what it was the last time Congress tried to act.

"It certainly will confuse the debate a lot more, but at the end of the day what we have to understand is fixing this system will be good for American workers," said Eliseo Medina, executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, which is one of the major advocates for legalizing illegal immigrant workers.

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, the Illinois Democrat who has taken over leadership on the issue after the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, plans to introduce an immigration legalization bill Tuesday, and backers are planning a strategy to avoid repeats of the failed attempts of 2006 and 2007.

To deflect from the conflict between amnesty and the issue of high unemployment, proponents of legalizing the illegal aliens have pushed the idea of legalization is needed in order for them to "pay their fair share" of taxes:

"In these difficult economic times, we must ensure that everyone contributes toward the recovery and prosperity of our nation," they wrote. "To this end, it is imperative that all individuals and employers pay their fair share in taxes."

This is a ludicrous statement. Illegal aliens do pay taxes income, sales, etc. The problem with amnesty lies the fact we are a nation of laws, and we need to enforce said laws, in order to for us to survive.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shocker: Obama Administration's HHS Report: Senate HCR Bill Would Accelerate Rising Costs, Reduce Medicare

There is more bad news about the Senate's health care reform bill. This time it's coming out of Obama's own Department of Health and Human Services:

Dealing an unexpected blow to Senate Democrat's health care bill, administration economists on Friday predicted the overhaul would accelerate rising costs of health insurance and medical services, and that its proposed Medicare cuts could reduce care for senior citizens.

A report by analysts at the Health and Human Services Department said the bill would increase the nation's annual spending on health care beyond the current $2.5 trillion at a slightly faster rate than if Congress did nothing. It concluded that new taxes on drugs, medical devices and health insurance plans would trigger higher insurance premiums for consumers.

Don't worry. It gets worse:

The report also said the Democrats' plan to pay for about half of the $1 trillion bill with Medicare cuts "may be unrealistic" and could undermine the Medicare program, warning the bill could force out of business one in five hospitals, nursing homes and home care providers.

Great! In a time of over 10% unemployment and a fragile economy, the Democrats want to pass a bill that will kill one-fifth of one-sixth (3%) of the overall US economy.

The report was prepared by the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which specializes in long-range cost evaluations for Medicare. It analyzed the total public and private cost of the health care bill over the next 10 years, in contrast to earlier studies by the Congressional Budget Office that said the measure would minimally lower the record-setting federal deficit over the decade.

The effects plan will have catastrophic consequences for our Medicare system and the quality of care for our senior citizens:

Perhaps the most startling revelation in the report, however, was an assessment that cuts to the Medicare program could undermine it.

"Providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable," the report said. "Absent legislative intervention, [physicians] might end their participation in the program, possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries."

Of course, Republicans jumped all over this report:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said the bill got a "failing grade." He said the report, coupled with a CNN poll on Friday that showed 61 percent of Americans oppose the health care bill, was a seminal moment in the debate.

"How much more do we need to hear before we stop this bill and start over?" Mr. McConnell said.

While the report claims that the bill will marginally reduce the deficit and insure many more Americans, it, also, concedes that it will cripple Medicare and kill one-fifth of one-sixth (3%) of the entire US economy by forcing many hospitals, clinics, etc to close. The closures will throw many doctors, nurses, pharmacists into the unemployment line and cause longer wait times as a result of a lack of qualified medical centers and professionals.

This doesn't seem like progress. We would just be exchanging one crisis with another. Then again, it is Rahmbo's motto to never waste a good crisis. Maybe, it is what they want.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hmmm Change: PPP: Who Do Want to Be President: Obama 50%, Bush 44%

Considering that Bush's final approval rating was a beyond dismal 22%, this is an amazing turnaround:

Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama’s declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they’d rather have his predecessor. Given the horrendous approval ratings Bush showed during his final term that’s somewhat of a surprise and an indication that voters are increasingly placing the blame on Obama for the country’s difficulties instead of giving him space because of the tough situation he inherited. The closeness in the Obama/Bush numbers also has implications for the 2010 elections. Using the Bush card may not be particularly effective for Democrats anymore, which is good news generally for Republicans and especially ones like Rob Portman who are running for office and have close ties to the former President.

Hat/tip: Allahpundit of Hot Air

Biden: Dodd Needs Help He's Getting "Living Bejesus Beat Out of Him"

In another moment of candor with the Vice President, he said opined about Senator Dodd's trouble in his 2010 re-election bid:

ABC News' Karen Travers and David Chalian report:

The always-loquacious Vice President Biden today gave an assessment of his good friend Chris Dodd's Senate race in Connecticut – and he didn't mince words.

"Chris is getting the living hell beat out of him, the living bejesus beat out of him," Biden said at a fundraiser Hartford, Conn.  "Why? Because he's being a leader."

"This is going to be a hell of a race and it's an uphill race,'' Biden said, "but Chris Dodd will prevail.''

Apparently, Biden has forgotten about his healthcare reform scandals, Senate ethics investigation, or his gift to AIG.

Biden doubled down on his praise for the endangered senator:

Biden was effusive in his praise today for Dodd, calling him "the single most gifted legislator in Congress, now that Teddy Kennedy's gone."

Dodd wasn't there to hear the compliments or the stark assessment of his re-election campaign. The Connecticut senator stayed in Washington to handle Senate business. His wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, attended in his place.

Biden credited Dodd with having "the guts" to stand up to the banking industry and for his work as a leader on health care reform in the Senate.

"Chris Dodd is the first United States senator that has simultaneously chaired two major committees in a moment of genuine national crisis,'' Biden said. And had he got either of those jobs wrong, the consequences for America would be dire. That is not hyperbole, that is a fact."

Dodd is, more than likely, on his way out. No amount of praise from Biden will change that fact. It's not just hyperbole on my part.

So Much For A Free Press: UN Security Told to Silence Film Maker From Asking "Inconvenient Questions"

The global warming advocates are getting very testy, when it comes to getting questioned about the Climategate fiasco:

Professor Stephen Schneider’s assistant requested armed UN security officers who held film maker Phelim McAleer, ordered him to stop filming and prevented further questioning after the press conference where the Stanford academic was launching a book.

McAleer, a veteran journalist and film maker, has recently made a documentary “Not Evil Just Wrong’ which takes a sceptical look at the science and politics behind Global Warming concerns.

He asked Professor Schneider about his opinions on Climategate – where leaked emails have revealed that a senior British professor deleted data and encouraged colleagues to do likewise if it contradicted their belief in Global Warming.

After giving the reporter "no comment" as his only response to the scandal, Schneider proceeded to throw a fit and get Mr. McAleer thrown out:

During some testy exchanges with McAleer, UN officials and Professor Schneider’s assistants twice tried to cut short McAleer’s question.

However as the press conference drew to a close Professor Schneider’s assistant called armed UN security guards to the room. They held McAleer and aggressively ordered cameraman Ian Foster to stop filming. The guard threatened to take away the camera and expel the film crew from the conference if they did not obey his instructions to stop filming Professor Schneider.

The guard demanded to look at the film crews press credentials and refused to allow them to film until Professor Schneider left the room. McAleer said he was disappointed by Professor Schneider’s behaviour.

“It was a press conference. Climategate is a major story – it goes to the heart of the Global Warming debate by calling into question the scientific data and the integrity of many scientists involved.”

“These questions should be answered. The attempts by UN officials and Professor Schneider’s assistant to remove my microphone were hamfisted  but events took a more sinister turn when they called an armed UN security officer to silence a journalist.”

Two officers corralled the film crew and one officer can be seen on tape threatening the cameraman. The Guard can also be heard warning that if the crew did not stop filming their would seize the equipment and the journalists expelled from the conference.

McAleer says he has made an official complaint tabout the incident.

“I have met Mr Christopher Ankerson the UN’s head of security for the conference and he has confirmed it was Professor Schneider’s staff who asked the security guards to come corral us at the press conference. Mr Ankerson could not say what grounds the security guard had for ordering us to stop filming.”

“This is a blatant attempt to stop journalists doing journalism and asking hard questions. It is not the job of armed UN security officers to stop legitimate journalists asking legitimate questions of senior members of the UN’s IPCC.”

Apparently, this isn't the first time that the global warming gurus have tried to silence him. The Goracle did the same

His microphone was cut off after he asked former vice-president Al Gore about the British court case which found that An Inconvenient Truth had a nine significant errors and exaggerations. Almost 500,000 people have watched the incident on youtube.

McCain: What's In Senate HCR Bill?||Durbin (D): Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

According to Dick Durbin, the he's "in the dark" about what the Senate compromise entails just as much as the rest of America:

The 10 Democratic senators who crafted a healthcare compromise are keeping its details a secret, says Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Friday.

Responding to a complaint by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that Republicans haven't been told what's in the new bill, Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, responded that he's in the same position.

I would say to the senator from Arizona that I'm in the dark almost as much as he is. And I'm in the leadership, Durbin said on the Senate floor.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has submitted the bill to the CBO from scoring, but Durbin said no one involved in the compromise will spill the beans until the score is released.

It makes me wonder what Reid is so afraid of that he won't release it. It couldn't have anything to with his own tanking numbers in Nevada. Could it?

More Bad News For Reid: Trails All Challengers As Obamacare Weighs Him Down

Things are looking bad for Harry's chances to win re-election in November:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continues to lag behind all potential Republican challengers in next year's U.S. Senate race in Nevada, according to new Rasmussen Reports telephone polling in the state.

For now at least, his championing of the president's health care plan appears to raise further red flags for the Democratic incumbent. Fifty-four percent (54%) of Nevada voters oppose the plan, while 44% favor it.

More significantly, however, those numbers include 49% who strongly oppose the plan while only 23% strongly favor it.

This represents stronger and more passionate opposition to the health care plan than Rasmussen Reports has found nationally.

While Nevadans are extremely displeased with the healthcare plan that Reid helped introduce in the Senate, it is not the only reason why Reid looks to be on his way out:

The numbers in this month's survey suggest that the race at this point is a referendum on Reid, who earns 43% of the vote against each of three GOP candidates. Incumbents who get less than 50% of the vote at this stage of the game are viewed as vulnerable. Reid, who is seeking a fifth term, received 61% of the final vote in 2004.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of Nevada voters have a very unfavorable opinion of Reid. Just 21% offer a very favorable opinion of the senator.

The Republicans remain largely unknown, further confirming the notion that the numbers reflect a referendum on the incumbent rather than a choice between competing candidates.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Obama's Fuzzy Math: He's 1.2 Million Short of the 1.6 Million Jobs He Were Claimed Created by Stimulus

The Obama Administration isn't only liberal with their policies, but they are liberal with their counting, as well:

A private-sector company that tracks government contracts says President Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill has created 407,000 private-sector jobs this year, much less than the 1.6 million jobs the Obama administration has claimed.

At the same time, the company's analysts are finding that many businesses are changing their strategies to take advantage of the government funds being dispersed.

Analysts at Onvia, a Seattle-based company, who monitor the government's contracting activity using specialized software say $37.5 billion of stimulus money has flowed to the private sector to date.

"This is quite different than the government's numbers, which claim as many as 1.6 million jobs already created," Onvia said. "The difference is due to the fact that the feds can track only two layers of stimulus money flow, far short of the full paper trail required. Therefore, a lot of guesswork and extrapolations go into the government's math, and the jobs numbers are forecasts more than anything else."

Onvia Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Eric Gillespie explained to The Washington Times, "What the federal government is recording is largely dollars that have left the Beltway. They aren't tracking the projects and contracts on the ground."

"They don't know if those dollars landed on the ground because their reporting requirements say they only have to track two layers beyond the federal level," he said. "So if it goes from the state to a county, they will know that. But if it goes from a county to a city or from a county to a contractor there is no legal requirement for them to track that, which is why the federal views are latent and they get it three, six, or 12 months late."

So, Obama is basically guessing on how many jobs have been actually created by his deficit spendapalooza. He doesn't have any proof to back his claims.

This is why we need an investigation on what is really going on with the dispersion of the stimulus money. We can't totally trust this Administration's guestimations and suspect record keeping. We must know for sure whether Obama and the Democrats kept their promises to put America back to work or wasting all of our money of worthless government programs, yet again.