Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Railroading Is Now Complete: Baron Declines Senate Bid, Backs Brad the Beautiful

From the Hoosierpundit:
Evan Bayh 1, Baron Hill 0

Well, that's that. Baron Hill will not run for Senate and will defer to Brad "the Beautiful" Ellsworth, effectively guaranteeing the end of his political career.
Baron's decision to decline a run amazes me; he had to be under enormous pressure from Birch's Boy and Brad the Beautiful not to run.

Baron is the loser in this no matter how you think about it.

Despite his vocal desire to run for Governor in 2012, Baron is likely to see that dream crushed by a bid by Bayh to return to the Statehouse. Every Democrat I talk to takes it as an article of faith that Evan Bayh is going to run for Governor in 2012; that has the effect of sucking the air out of the room regardless of how true (or not) it might be. No future for Baron there.

Also, Ellsworth currently trails badly in Senate polling, but it's still early. Ellsworth will likely lose in November, though perhaps by a much smaller margin than the 20% or so he is currently polling behind Coats, Hostettler, or whichever other Republican comes out of the primary.

So long as the 2010 Senate race is relatively close, Ellsworth will be the de facto Democratic nominee to challenge Dick Lugar (or whichever Republican gets the nod to run to replace him). No future for Baron there, either.

That leaves Baron stuck here in southern Indiana to face Mike Sodrel again in November, and lose. Such a defeat will be the end of Baron's political career, as Monroe County will be drawn out of the 9th District in redistricting next year, effectively making the 9th into a safe Republican seat.

And if, by some miracle, Baron were to beat Sodrel (or face a weaker opponent), Baron would only find himself with a two-year respite thanks to redistrict that will see him defeated in 2012 anyway.

No matter how you slice it, this whole thing has been bad for Baron Hill. He got railroaded out of a chance for a Senate seat, his gubernatorial ambitions have probably been crushed by Democratic dreams of a Bayh Restoration, and the train of Mike Sodrel and redistricting is racing down the track toward him at full speed.

If Baron Hill was a stock, I'd be selling him; it's not going to get any better.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

200 turn out for Senate debate in Henry Co.

At the Indy Star:
NEW CASTLE, Ind. -- A packed room of Republicans is awaiting the start of a five-way debate between GOP U.S. Senate candidates.

About 200 people have filed into the Moose Lodge #147, just off Ind. 3, New Castle's main drag. They were eating a lunch of chicken, green beans, rice chicken, dinner rolls and brownies as they await the start of the debate.

Five microphone stands are set up on the stage for each of the candidates:

Indiana Tea Party founder Richard Behney, Richmond financial advisor Don Bates, Jr., former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman.

The debate, which begins at 2 p.m. And is expected to last an hour, is part of the Henry County Lincoln Day Luncheon.

Hill out of running, endorses Ellsworth

From the Indy Star:
U.S. Rep. Baron Hill (D-9th District) announced Saturday that he has decided not to seek the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Evan Bayh, and endorsed fellow congressman Brad Ellsworth.

Hill, of Seymour, released a statement today taking himself out of the running.

"My focus has been, and will remain, on fulfilling my job as the congressman from Southern Indiana and continuing to address the most pressing issues our nation and great state face, like deficit reduction, health care reform, energy independence and entitlement spending,'' Hill said in the statement.

"That said, I will not seek the nomination for the United States Senate, and will continue my efforts to be re-elected to another term representing the Ninth District of Indiana. I believe my friend and colleague, Congressman Brad Ellsworth, is the right man to fulfill the task of ensuring a Democrat is elected to succeed Senator Bayh.

Translation:  Since my former good friend Evan Bayh threw me under the bus while I was halfway around the world and because the majority of Indiana Democratic chairs have already decided that Brad Ellsworth is to be their nominee, I guess that I'll take one for the team (even if it does run counter to my old glory hog basketball inclinations) and continue my doomed race for re-election in the 9th District.  That way I can collect on this favor when I run for Governor in two years.-SP

Freedom is a Right, and Any Health Care Bill That Takes Away Americans’ Freedom is Wrong by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)

From Breitbart's Big Government:
After the conclusion of yesterday’s nationally-televised health care “summit” hosted by President Obama, in a video for YouTube’s Citizen Tube I answered five health care questions submitted and voted on by the You Tube community. The questions posed on You Tube are the same questions and concerns I hear from Americans across the country. They want to us scrap the current bill and start over with common-sense, step-by-step measures that lower health care costs. And they want to know why Congress insists on passing massive bills that no one in America has time to read or understand. My Republican colleagues and I agree a different approach is needed – not just to health care reform, but to the way Congress works on every issue.

In the video, I respond to citizens’ questions about health care reform. On one question, for example, about whether I believe that health care is a right, I said that, “I believe that freedom is a right, and that any health care bill that takes away Americans’ freedom is wrong.” I also answered questions about my support for health care reforms aimed at lowering Americans’ health care costs, such as medical liability reform and allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, and pledged I will insist on smaller, simpler bills and implement a mandatory 72-hour online reading period for all bills if Republicans are entrusted with the majority.

Over the past year, Republicans have used new media tools to interact directly with the American people. Whether on Twitter, where House Republicans outnumber their Democratic counterparts two-to-one, or YouTube, where eight of the top 10 most-viewed and most-subscribed YouTube channels in Congress are from the GOP, House Republicans are listening to and learning from the American people.


Andy McCarthy nails it at NRO:
On Sean's panel last night, when the conversation turned to how nervous Democrats supposedly are over what for now is teeing up like a very bad November, I felt like I was channeling Mark Steyn, Mark Levin and Rush. That is, I think our side is analyzing this all wrong: Today's Democrats are controlled by the radical Left, and it is more important to them to execute the permanent transformation of American society than it is to win the upcoming election cycles. They have already factored in losing in November — even losing big. For them, winning big now outweighs that. I think they're right.

I hear Republicans getting giddy over the fact that "reconciliation," if it comes to that, is a huge political loser. That's the wrong way to look at it. The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership's statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work. I'm glad Republicans have held firm, but let's not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority. This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you've calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state.

Consequently, the next six weeks, like the next ten months, are going to be worse than we think. We're wired to think that everyone plays by the ususal rules of politics — i.e., if the tide starts to change, the side against whom it has turned modifies its positions in order to stay viable in the next election. But what will happen here will be the opposite. You have a party with the numbers to do anything it puts its mind to, led by movement Leftitsts who see their window of opportunity is closing. We seem to expect them to moderate because that's what everybody in their position does. But they won't. They will put their heads down and go for as much transformation as they can get, figuring that once they get it, it will never be rolled back. The only question is whether there are enough Democrats who are conventional politicians and who care about being reelected, such that they will deny the leadership the numbers it needs. But I don't think we should take much heart in this possibility. Those Democrats may well come to think they are going to lose anyway — that's why so many of them are abandoning ship now. If that's the case, their incentive will be to vote with the leadership.
This ties in with the previous post - these people don't care about what happens in November.  They are willing to throw everyone under the bus to get this win on healthcare!  Like Gollum, they covet "the Ring".  They will do anything to get it! -SP

Emanuel, Pelosi Meet In Capitol To Chart Health Care Course

From The Huffington Post (the Dark Side):
Rahm Emanuel ventured to the Capitol Friday evening to hash out health care strategy with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a White House aide confirmed.

The meeting comes as Democrats are searching for a way to get to the health care finish line, though neither chamber wants to move first. Senate leaders want the House to pass the Senate bill first, after which the Senate would use reconciliation to fix the legislation to the liking of the Senate. House leaders contend that the votes aren't there for the Senate bill if the upper chamber doesn't move. The House, after two centuries of watching the Senate lag behind, doesn't trust that it'll act.

Senior Hill aides speculated to HuffPost that Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, would bring the message that the House must move first, with a pledge from Senate Democrats that they would follow. It's hard to make amendments to a law through reconciliation if that law hasn't been made official yet, they argue.

Pelosi's office wouldn't confirm that the meeting, which was still ongoing as of the early evening, was taking place or comment on what Pelosi's reaction might be. A White House aide said he was unsure what message Emanuel would deliver.

The meeting comes after Pelosi got under the skin of Senate Democrats on Wednesday by making a veiled challenge at a press conference. "We can't say to [the American people], at the end of the day, well, we had an idea, we had a vision, we had a majority, but the process did not allow us to make a change for your lives," she said. "We need to have the courage to get the job done, and I think we will. And I think today took us a step closer to passing health care."
If Rahm is going up to the Hill to see Nancy on a Friday evening and he's still there after 8:00 P.M., then you can bet that something is going to break NEXT WEEK on this reconciliation deal - not "a month or six weeks from now" like Obama stated at the "Summit".  These two are the ultimate "Washington Insiders" and they MUST have a win on this or they become weak, in the eyes of the "power players".  They will do ANYTHING to get it! - SP

Rebuttals To Ryan? We're Still Waiting

In case you missed the post showing Paul Ryan explaining the costs of the Senate Healthcare bill to the President at "the Summit", here it is again.  Watch it and then check out this post from Investors Business Daily that spells it all out in writing. - SP

From IBD:
It was the Wisconsin congressman who made the most pointed remarks about Obama's reform proposal. For example:

• "This bill does not control costs (or) reduce deficits. Instead, (it) adds a new health care entitlement when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have."

• "The bill has 10 years of tax increases, about half a trillion dollars, with 10 years of Medicare cuts, about half a trillion dollars, to pay for six years of spending. The true 10-year cost (is) $2.3 trillion."

• "The bill takes $52 billion in higher Social Security tax revenues and counts them as offsets. But that's really reserved for Social Security. So either we're double-counting them or we don't intend on paying those Social Security benefits."

• "The bill takes $72 billion from the CLASS Act (long-term care insurance) benefit premiums and claims them as offsets."

• "The bill treats Medicare like a piggy bank, (raiding) half a trillion dollars not to shore up Medicare solvency, but to spend on this new government program."

• "The chief actuary of Medicare (says) as much as 20% of Medicare providers will either go out of business or have to stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries."

• "Millions of seniors who have chosen Medicare Advantage (Medicare through a private insurer) will lose the coverage that they now enjoy."

• "When you strip out the double-counting and ... gimmicks, the full 10-year cost of the bill has a $460 billion deficit. The second 10-year cost of this bill has a $1.4 trillion deficit."

• "The 'doc fix' (restoring cuts in Medicare reimbursements) costs $371 billion ... a price tag (that) made the score look bad. (So) that provision was taken out, and (put) in stand-alone legislation. But ignoring these costs does not remove them from the backs of taxpayers. Hiding spending does not reduce spending."

• "Are we bending the cost curve down or are we bending the cost curve up? If you look at your own chief actuary at Medicare, we're bending it up. He's claiming that we're going up $222 billion, adding more to the unsustainable fiscal situation we have."

In response to all this, Obama basically talked up the benefits of Medicare Advantage. Call us sticklers, but we expected something a little more, uh, professorial.

Mitch for Prez?

There is a lot of hubbub right now about Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels running/not running for President in 2012, generated  in large part by his comments to the press while attending  the National Governors Conference in Washington this past week.

Personally, I think it's a bit premature to get all excited about such a possibility but for those out there who are, here are some links.  First Mona Charen covers it for NRO with "The Anti-Obama".  At Politico Jonathon Martin has "Mitch the Knife eyes 2012 Run". For a more local perspective check out Matthew Tully at the Indy Star "How real is Daniels' reluctance to run".

When Responsibility Doesn’t Pay

While we may think that Greece is a long way from Seymour and Jackson Coounty and the events that are taking place there really are of no consequnce to us here,  Mark Steyn explains the consequnces of  an entitlement state and what can happen to us here if we don't heed the mistakes of the European social democracy model.

Welfare always breeds contempt.

Mark Steyn at National Review Online: (excerpted, read it all!)
While Barack Obama was making his latest pitch for a brand-new, even-more-unsustainable entitlement at the health-care “summit,” thousands of Greeks took to the streets to riot. An enterprising cable network might have shown the two scenes on a continuous split-screen — because they’re part of the same story. It’s just that Greece is a little further along in the plot: They’re at the point where the canoe is about to plunge over the falls. America is farther upstream and can still pull for shore, but has decided instead that what it needs to do is catch up with the Greek canoe. Chapter One (the introduction of unsustainable entitlements) leads eventually to Chapter Twenty (total societal collapse): The Greeks are at Chapter Seventeen or Eighteen.
What’s happening in the developed world today isn’t so very hard to understand: The 20th-century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to. In America, the feckless, insatiable boobs in Washington, Sacramento, Albany, and elsewhere are screwing over our kids and grandkids. In Europe, they’ve reached the next stage in social-democratic evolution: There are no kids or grandkids to screw over. The United States has a fertility rate of around 2.1 — or just over two kids per couple. Greece has a fertility rate of about 1.3: Ten grandparents have six kids have four grandkids — ie, the family tree is upside down. Demographers call 1.3 “lowest-low” fertility — the point from which no society has ever recovered. And, compared to Spain and Italy, Greece has the least worst fertility rate in Mediterranean Europe.

So you can’t borrow against the future because, in the most basic sense, you don’t have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when ten grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?

The problem is there are never enough of “the rich” to fund the entitlement state, because in the end it disincentivizes everything from wealth creation to self-reliance to the basic survival instinct, as represented by the fertility rate. In Greece, they’ve run out Greeks, so they’ll stick it to the Germans, like French farmers do. In Germany, the Germans have only been able to afford to subsidize French farming because they stick their defense tab to the Americans. And in America, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are saying we need to paddle faster to catch up with the Greeks and Germans. What could go wrong?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oops! As Obama talks healthcare again, new jobless claims rise again

From Top of the Ticket at LA Times:
Remember in the messy, fingerpointing aftermath of the Democratic debacle in the Massachusetts Senate election, President Obama said that after nearly a year of healthcare speeches, healthcare town halls and secret healthcare legislative meetings, he'd gotten the message and for 2010 his Job One was what Joe Biden calls that three-letter word: J-O-B-S?

Well, that voter-driven focus lasted about a week.

Now here we are today with another carefully stage-managed healthcare summit across the street from the White House because there hasn't been enough healthcare talk.

And the overwhelming congressional Democratic majorities that Americans believed they elected in 2008 to break partisan gridlock and finally get something done in Washington can't agree enough among themselves to pass the legislation they wrote themselves. So why not drag in the Republicans as nationally-televised patsies?

And, lo and behold, what happens? Wouldn't you know. Someone at the Labor Dept. didn't....

...get the healthcare summit memo.

At the very same hour as Obama is talking about his beloved healthcare plan , out come surprising new federal numbers showing that last week new J-O-B-L-E-S-S claims unexpectedly went up -- as in more of them -- to nearly a half-million, 22,000 more than the previous week. And nearly 8% higher than the expected 460,000 new claims.

That puts the new continuing unemployed number at 4.617 million.

Add that discouraging news to other recent figures such as a further decline in consumer confidence and a new record low for new home sales in January. Other than that though, things seem to be maybe hopefully perhaps picking up, Democrat incumbents are hoping.

The official unemployment rate stands at 9.7%, somewhat higher than the maximum 8% promised last year if only the Democratic Congress would hurry up and pass its stimulus bill so the Democratic president could fly off and sign it in Denver for some reason. And Biden could start cutting ribbons at shovel-ready construction sites.

But the actual unemployment rate, including folks who've given up looking or have settled for parttime instead of fulltime work, is really 16.5%.

If this was private business instead of the federal government, old Joe 'This Economic Stimulus Is Working Just Fine' Biden might find himself on the unemployment line for his year-long economic stimulus work. But this is incumbent White House politics, so Joe's VP job is good until mid-2012 when Obama announces his new second-term running mate, who wasn't a senator when Obama was in the sixtrh grade.

We now return you to the regularly-scheduled healthcare summit yada-yada.

-- Andrew Malcolm
Two thoughts come to mind after reading this post - 1. "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" and 2. "It's the economy stupid"! - SP

High court to define reach of gun-control laws

From USA Today (surprisingly objective):
The case marks the second round of high-stakes litigation over the breadth of the Second Amendment — and will likely have wider impact nationwide than the first. In June 2008, the justices struck down a Washington, D.C., handgun ban and declared for the first time that the Second Amendment covers an individual right to keep and bear arms.
The new question is whether the 2008 decision also applies to cities and states, or only to laws in the federal government and its enclaves, such as Washington. It sets up another major constitutional question with ramifications for scores of mostly urban gun regulations.
This is going to be a major case in the quest to solidify 2nd Amendemnt rights to keep and bear arms.  Of particular interest will be new Justice Sotomayor. - SP

CNN Poll: Majority says government a threat to citizens' rights

From CNN:

A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government's become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken - though the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what's broken can be fixed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.
This should give the liberals/progressives something to chew on for awhile.-SP

Seymour state police post closes Sunday

From the Indy Star:
The Indiana State Police post in Seymour will shut down over the weekend as its operations are consolidated with a neighboring district.
Seymour post commander Lt. Mark Davis says its dispatch service will end about 11 p.m. Sunday and the doors will close at midnight. The responsibilities for Bartholomew, Jennings and Jackson counties will then be taken over by the post in Versailles.
The agency announced plans last month to close the post, which opened in 1937 just four years after the state police was organized.
Troopers, civilian staffers and retirees gathered at the post on Wednesday for a final reunion there.

This really sucks, but it's a done deal.  More detail on this in The Tribune here.   I only hope that something can be done quickly to find an agency/agencies to occupy the property.  I know there has been talk about The Red Cross occupying some of the property (specifically the Disaster Response vehicles) and a reader response to one of the stories in the Tribune suggested that the Post become a satellite Sheriff's Office.  (An idea that I REALLY think has some merit).  My question is who retains title to this property - the State, the city, the county or private owner?  What is the status after Sunday?-SP

What Was Obama Thinking?

From Tunku Varadarajan at The Daily Beast:

The marathon TV teach-in—in which Obama was more schoolmarm than president—should be regarded by Democrats as a great disappointment. They made no clear gain, and won no clear argument. It became apparent from the very beginning—when a testy Obama said “Let me finish, Lamar!” to the courtly Lamar Alexander—that this was not to be an open-minded exploration of the issues in question. It was, instead, a simulacrum of a debate, a pretend-conversation, one in which Obama established, yet again, his command over fact and detail, but in which he also revealed reflexive superciliousness, intolerance of different opinions, and a shortness of patience unbecoming of a president. (He also showed that he’s a tedious clock-Nazi, cutting people off all the time, while showing no inclination to edit himself.)

Even Jim Shella Sees that Dan Coats Has a Washington Insider Problem

From The HoosierPundit:
At some point, Dan Coats has to answer this. He promised that he would do so. And through all of the spin and covering by his myriad of newly-hired flacks, he still hasn't.
Now it's just starting to get silly.
The whole campaign is on the verge of becoming a walking punchline.
It's like they're trying to see how DC insider they can be, as if they would get an Olympic medal for most Beltway insider connections or something.

Jim Shella:

When Dan Coats filed his petitions to be on the ballot for U.S. Senate I asked him how he would deal with being labeled the “Washington Candidate” in this race. He responded by saying only, “We’re back in Indiana and we’re here to stay.”

Today I received my first “Coats for Senate Morning Update.” It discusses an interview the former Senator did with a Washington publication (Human Events.) It attacked Democrat Brad Ellsworth by quoting two Washington blogs.
It was sent to me by a public relations person in Washington, DC.
Maybe he likes the label.

At summit, Obama mostly hears Obama

From the Washington Times:

President Obama pledged to "listen" at the outset of his much-ballyhooed bipartisan health care summit on Thursday. Turns out he meant he'd be listening to his own voice.
By the end of the televised event, Mr. Obama had spoken for 119 minutes - nine minutes more than the 110 minutes consumed by 17 Republicans. The 21 Democratic lawmakers used 114 minutes, giving the president and his supporters a whopping 233 minutes, according to a "talk clock" kept by GOP aides.

Alice in HealthCare Land!

For Dr. Rick Wiethoff from Gary Varvel:

5 GOP Senate candidates to debate Saturday

At the Indy Star:

Indiana's five GOP hopefuls for the U.S. Senate will gather Saturday in New Castle for their first debate.

The Henry County Lincoln Day luncheon is sold out, and organizer Nate LaMar said he expects a standing-room-only crowd at the Moose Lodge.

Candidates Don Bates Jr., Richard Behney, former U.S. senator and ambassador Dan Coats, former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman will attend the 12:30 p.m. luncheon and participate in an hourlong debate at 2 p.m., LaMar said.

Henry County Republican Chairman Todd Hiday said the last luncheon ticket was sold Tuesday. The Moose Lodge's capacity is about 150 people, LaMar said.

Note cards on which questions can be written will be distributed during the luncheon. LaMar said he will sort the cards to determine the four most popular issues, and those will be the four questions each candidate will respond to.

The debate is limited to an hour because Senate candidates will attend the Lake County Lincoln Day Dinner in Merrillville that evening.

Hopefully the good folks in New Castle will hold Dan Coats' feet to the fire about trying to come back to the state and seat he left over 12 years ago!-SP

Hill hopes to decide today on Senate run

At the Indy Star:

"I'm trying to do this week what I was not able to do last week, and that is to call committee members, call people back home and ask them what they think. I'm still going through that process," Hill said Thursday in an interview with The Star.
"I was definitely at a disadvantage, there's no question about that."
Hill said he hopes to make a decision today but acknowledged that could be delayed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Senator Lamar Alexander 1, President Obama 0

From Kevin Holtsburg at RedState:

If you are scoring at home for this particular “inning” as it were … Get our facts straight indeed.

David Gergen on the summit: Republicans had their best day in years

From Hot Air via Instapundit:

Via Hengler, a succinct statement of Jay Nordlinger’s point and of what I suspect will be the media consensus tomorrow. Not the only kind words he had for the GOP either:

The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.
I don’t think they seriously expected it to revive health care but they did expect enough pwnag3 by The One to buy them some extra cover on using reconciliation. Didn’t happen. (Not that that will stop them.) Obama’s problem today was that he couldn’t fly solo; he tried to, speaking for more minutes at the meeting than either the Democrats or Republicans did, but surrounding him with sad sacks like Reid and Harkin was bound to dilute the effect. Lotttt of water mixed in with the Hopenchange whiskey today.

My favorite reaction thus far comes from Marc Ambinder, echoing Kevin Kline talking about Vietnam at the end of “A Fish Called Wanda”: It was a tie!

Update: Media consensus status check: Building!

Paul Ryan to Obama: You realize your bill is a fiscal disaster, right?

From Hot Air:
Via the Standard, this was the most buzzed-about moment among righties on Twitter this afternoon, and with good reason. Now that you’ve laughed at the freak-show stuff, settle in for six minutes of Ryan wonking out about what’s destined to happen to the “cost curve” and our annual deficits if The One’s leviathan bill passes. This has always been a core problem of Obama’s health-care pitch: He knows that the moral argument for the bill — sure, it’ll cost us dearly but it’s worth it to insure the uninsured — is a political loser so he resorts to preposterous assertions about how our giant new federal entitlement will actually save us money in the long run. It’s win-win, you see. (Kaus dubbed this nonsense “Orszagism” after The One’s budget chief.) I think I’ve said before that it reminds me of the left’s arguments about enhanced interrogation. They won’t acknowledge that intel could be lost if detainees aren’t pressured because the public will blanch at that trade-off. So voila: Simply insist that enhanced interrogation never, ever, ever works and the circle is squared. Win-win again. There are no trade-offs in Candyland.

So unpersuasive is his argument that a clear majority of 53 percent says America can’t afford to take these vital “cost-saving” measures right now. (The same poll puts Obama’s health-care approval rating at 35/55.) Viva Orszagism.

Obama to deliver health care The Chicago Way

John Kass at The Chicago Tribune knows what happens next:

President Barack Obama will star in his very own televised entertainment spectacular on Thursday — let's call it Federal Health Care Kabuki Theater.
The Republicans wanted to dance. Now they'll have to step lightly. They were foolish to get trapped in his so-called summit on national health care. Or did they actually think they could outperform the skinny fellow from Chicago?
 The president is taking this one last chance to push his health care agenda, which by his own estimate will cost about $1 trillion over 10 years. That's money America doesn't have, but he could probably just print some more.

Obama will be in his element, talking and lecturing, the law professor framing the debate. He'll spend hours being seen as reasonable. The Republicans will balk and the president will shrug. He'll sigh and say he tried to reason with them but they refused.

Then once the cameras are turned off, he'll take out the baseball bat and explain how things get done The Chicago Way.

It's all about muscle. As an acolyte of the Chicago Democratic machine, he's seen muscle at work in Daleyland. Now he's in the White House, and he's going to use muscle too. (my emphasis-SP)
Read it all.-SP

Exclusive: What happens next in health care

Mike Allen at Politico tells that it's already been decided:

After a brief period of consultation following the White House health reform summit, congressional Democrats plan to begin making the case next week for a massive, Democrats-only health care plan, party strategists told POLITICO.

A Democratic official said the six-hour summit was expected to “give a face to gridlock, in the form of House and Senate Republicans.”

Democrats plan to begin rhetorical, and perhaps legislative, steps toward the Democrats-only, or reconciliation, process early next week, the strategists said.
What a surprise!

Anthony Weiner Sets the Tone for Bipartisan Meeting

From The Weekly Standard blog via Instapundit:

On the eve of the bipartisan health care summit at the Blair House, Democrat Anthony Weiner of New York took the floor of the House to attack "every single Republican" he has "ever met" as a "wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry."

The health care industry was Weiner's second biggest industry backer in 2008, so I guess that makes him just a "partially-owned subsidiary" of the industry.

More "bi-partianship".-SP

ObamaCare at Ramming Speed

From an editorial in  Tuesday's Wall Street Journal:

The White House shows it has no interest in compromise.
The larger political message of this new proposal is that Mr. Obama and Democrats have no intention of compromising on an incremental reform, or of listening to Republican, or any other, ideas on health care. They want what they want, and they're going to play by Chicago Rules and try to dragoon it into law on a narrow partisan vote via Congressional rules that have never been used for such a major change in national policy. If you want to know why Democratic Washington is "ungovernable," this is it. (my emphasis-SP)

Read it all -SP

They don't care what we think!

From Mark Silva at Swamp Politics:

NPR's Steve Inskeep asks Durbin, one of President Barack Obama's strongest supporters and political mentors: "Are you willing to say flat out, 'Democrats are willing to pass this bill that most Americans tell pollsters they oppose, even without a single Republican vote. We're prepared to do that, if that's what's necessary?'

"I hope it doesn't come to that,'' Durbin replies in the interview, "but I can tell you, at the end of the day, if we end up doing nothing, the American people have a right to be upset. In the end, many of those who are critical of that package, I think when they see it in action are going to feel a lot different, more positive."(my emphasis-SP)
They don't care what Republicans, Independents or Libertarians think - they only care about what THEIR constituency thinks, LIBERAL/PROGRESSIVES!  They know what is best.  Heaven forbid that anyone else have an opinion unless it is in line with theirs.  Bi-partianship my ass! -SP

From the other side..."Time to Crash Health Bill Over the Finish Line"

From David Corn at liberal Mother Jones:
So the summit will be both show and showdown. Obama will make it appear he is reaching out to the Republicans. The GOPers will try to depict the president as stubbornly moving ahead with a lousy plan. Each side will contend the other is being more partisan than bi.
Yet the time for bipartisanship is done. The Republicans think their opposition to Obamacare is a winning ploy. They're not going to abandon it. And Obama's not going to trash his signature issue. So once the summit concludes, it's back to the real show: power politics. If Obama and the Dems want major health care reform legislation, they will have to run over the not-dead bodies of Republicans. To do so, they will likely need to employ reconciliation, a legislative procedure that allows the House and Senate Democrats to resolve the differences between their already-passed bills on a majority vote (and duck a Republican filibuster). This is a slightly complicated maneuver -- but quite feasible -- and Senate Democratic aides say they are close to rounding up at least 50 D's. But they're not there yet. Consequently, the real challenge for Obama is not conjuring up a last-minute bipartisan breakthrough at this summit, but getting his own party lined up and ready to roll. (my emphasis-SP)
So this "summit" is just the second act of this three act drama.  We have seen the first act play out over the last year.  The third act is yet to come!  The Epilogue will be in November! -SP

Healthcare Reform Polling...

From Jim Geraghty at Nation Review Online:
Obama and the Democrats to Public Opinion: Drop Dead
The support/opposition split on the health care bill, according to various pollsters:
 Rasmussen: 41/56
Newsweek: 40/49
Public Policy Polling: 39/50
Pew: 38/50
Quinnipiac: 35/54
Ipsos/McClatchy: 37/51
NBC/WSJ: 31/46
CNN: 38/58
NPR: 39/55

Through the reconciliation talk, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid are sending a very important message to the American people: Shut up.

With numbers like these the question becomes why are they having this "Healthcare Summit"?  Because, as Rush explained the other day - the President HAS TO HAVE THIS BILL!  The Dems are obsessed with this healthcare reform.  They are closer than ever to getting SOMETHING passed that they have become obsessed with getting anything.  Obama must have  something to show for the past year's efforts.  Todays 'summit" IS nothing more than PR.  No matter what happens today the Dems will continue pushing on, through reconciliation or ANYTHING else that they can come up with in order to tout a victory.  That is why the GOP must continue hammering this for what is is - a massive transfer of wealth and power anad SPENDING BEYOND OUR MEANS!  And WE must continue resisting this or we (and our children/grandchildren) will be saddled with the costs FOREVER!  The Dems don't care if they are voted out in November!  They are now suicidal about this.  The ones now there will gladly vote for this and get beaten in November if they can win this now - for they will consider themselves matyrs for the just cause and will BRAG ABOUT HOW THEY GOT IT DONE! -SP

Dilbert on Congressional Hearings

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Speaking of reconciliation...

From Powerline:
Watching this video assembling the vehement pronouncements of prominent Democrats inveighing against circumvention of the filibuster, It would be easy for a citizen to become cynical about politics. It would be easy, but it would be right.

Naked Emperor News has compiled the wise words of Democratic worthies including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, Christopher Dodd (who is in especially good form) and Max Baucus denouncing the threat that Senate Republicans might abolish the use of the filibuster to obstruct judicial nominations.
The video leads off with Barack Obama worrying about "majoritarian absolute power" -- you know, the kind the Founders warned against. And it continues with timely thoughts from relevant actors, most of whom have continued in the Senate and will have the opportunity to adapt their past wisdom to current needs. It's a living Constitution, after all!
This is an impressive and educational highlight reel.

So, it's OK five years ago for the Dems to be righteously indignant about the GOP using reconciliation but now the GOP needs to "quit crying about reconciliation"?  Give me a break!

Mitch Daniels' Rules for Republicans

Some excerpts from Fred Barnes at The Weekley Standard:
Daniels has two basic ideas for the next Republican presidential candidate. One, the candidate should have a plan for solving the spending, deficit and debt crisis that has “intellectual credibility” and “holds water.” This mean the candidate would “campaign to govern, not merely to win” on what Daniels calls a “survival” issue for the country.
The second idea: The candidate should “speak to Americans in a tone a voice that is unifying and friendly and therefore gives you a chance of unifying around some action.” In his campaigns for governor, Daniels never ran a single negative TV commercial attacking an opponent.
Asked about the traits a president should have, Daniels mentioned a willingness to “accept criticism and alternative views.” He said Reagan used to remind aides that in America “we have no enemies, only opponents.” That, Daniels said, is “one of the best rules I know.”

"It's the Lord of the Rings being played out right before our very eyes."

From Rush yesterday:

Daniels suggests White House bid is unlikely

From the Indy Star:
Focusing on what he can accomplish as governor is more appealing than "taking the longest of long shots" in running for president, Gov. Mitch Daniels said Tuesday.
"The simple fact is, I don't plan to do it. I don't expect to do it. I really don't want to do it," the Indiana Republican told reporters at a breakfast gathering after several days of meetings with the National Governors Association.
"I'm just very concerned about the condition and direction of the country and would like to have some input into a constructive Republican alternative that is presented in a way that has a chance of actually being enacted if a campaign is successful."
Personally, I would like the Governor to have A LOT of input into a constructive Republican alternative, given his track record here in this state with helping weather the current fiscal mess. -SP

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The China Syndrome No More? - Political Punch

From the " well, it's about time" category, Jake Tapper (ABC News) informs us that Michael Douglas (star of The China Syndrome) is now in favor of nuclear energy. Also, Greenpeace is giving the blessing. Imagine that! 35 years behind the curve!

Read it all here (video included). -SP
The China Syndrome No More? - Political Punch

CNN: Hill says he has support for Senate bid and expects to make decision soon

From the Seymour Tribune:
CNN reports today that Indiana 9th District Rep. Baron Hill said he's talking to Democratic state officials about whether to pursue a campaign to replace outgoing Sen. Evan Bayh.

"Hill acknowledged his House colleague Brad Ellsworth, who announced last week he was running for Bayh's seat, has some support, but said he has received encouragement as well," CNN reports online.

"A lot of people are undecided on the state committee. Some are favoring me. Some are favoring Brad," Hill told CNN.

The Seymour Democrat was in Afghanistan when Bayh made his surprise announcement last week that he would retire in November and not seek re-election to a third term. Hill said a decision on his own political plans will come in the next few days.

"I think I have to make it sooner rather than later. I think I need to make it this week," Hill said.

The Indiana Democratic Party's Central Committee will select the party's senate candidate, since no candidate filed the needed signatures to qualify for the primary ballot. The committee must wait until after the May 4 primary to select their candidate.

Demcoratic State Central Vommittee member Jeanette Hackman, chairwoman of the Jackson County Democratic Party, said Tuesday she knows Hill is interested but has not spoken with him.

Hill and Hackman differed on their choice for a Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, with Hill endorsing Barack Obama and Hackman endorsing Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Would Hackman support a Hill bid for the Senate?

"Baron would be a good candidate" she said Tuesday. "I haven't talked to him though, so I don't know what he's going to do. If he chooses to throw his hat into the ring, there will be upport for him from the 9th District, I'm sure."

Hackman is on the state committee as the 9th District vice chair. The 9th District chairman is Mike Jones of Switzerland County. Both are among the 32 members of the state central committee.

Pin the Bogeyman On the Tea Party

Some excerpts from Bill Frezza at RealClearPolitics:
Have you watched with amusement as various political commentators have tried to demonize the amorphous Tea Party movement by outing behind-the-scenes bogeymen allegedly pulling the strings of this latter day Great Awakening? 
Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck. Dick Armey. Newt Gingrich. Grover Norquist. Jack Abramoff. Lyndon LaRouche. The John Birch Society. The list goes on.
 None of it is sticking.

From time to time one professional politico or another may try to jump out in front of the parade. But everyone knows that the Tea Party has no leader, and with a little luck never will. That's because it's not a political party. In the best tradition of the American Revolution, it's an angry mob. Hence, the name.

The Tea Party is not a political party. It does not seek power and money. The Tea Party is the primal voice of "No." It is the embodiment of the admonition that when you find yourself at the bottom of a hole you should stop digging. It is the realization that when a giant Rube Golberg machine starts to come apart at the seams, patching it up with more hairy contraptions designed to hold the monstrosity together until the next election almost always makes matters worse.
The Tea Party does not want Congress to do the People's business. It wants the People to do the People's business, each minding his own.
 The Tea Party will never actually elect its own candidates to office. If it tries it will implode. But it may find its voice and change the course of history if it can keep its message both simple and faithful to the one and only issue that unites its members.
Read it all - SP

The Glenn Beck Factor

The Fox News commentator has called on Republican politicians to have a come-to-Jesus moment.

From John Fund at WSJ:
Congressional Republicans viewed the raucous Conservative Political Action Conference that concluded this weekend with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the presence of 10,000 enthusiastic people in Washington's largest hotel showed just how reenergized the conservative movement has become. Republicans had to be pleased with the wild reception given Dick Cheney and Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown when they appeared as surprise guests. Mr. Cheney even predicted that Barack Obama would be a one-term president.
But incumbent GOP members of Congress had to be nervous about the undertone of distrust directed at them by many conference attendees, fueled by suspicion that the same members who went hog wild on spending during the Bush years haven't really learned their lesson. The CPAC presidential straw poll for 2012, dominated by students, saw their rigidly libertarian colleague Rep. Ron Paul come in first place with 31%, besting even Sarah Palin by a ratio of five to one.
Then there was Glenn Beck, who gave a tumultuous closing address at CPAC. GOP members have long welcomed the Fox News host's frontal attacks on the Obama administration, but they cringe when he doles out equal-opportunity criticism to Republicans. He was in bipartisan bashing mode on Saturday, as he called on Republican politicians to have a come-to-Jesus moment and renounce profligate spending, end bank bailouts and resist the "progressive" agenda of the Obama Democrats. Mr. Beck even said the GOP should confess its own weakness for big government in the way golfer Tiger Woods admitted his penchant for adultery -- and show the same remorse.

Republicans in Congress will no doubt view Mr. Beck's comments as unhelpful. They feel the time for ritualistic self-flagellation is over, and they should be judged by their success in mobilizing nearly every Republican in Congress to vote against last year's stimulus package and the Obama health care bill. Several GOPers complained that Mr. Beck is indirectly encouraging third-party candidates to challenge them this year, threatening to divide the conservative vote.

In reality, the Tea Party activists who are the core of Mr. Beck's viewing audience have made a pragmatic decision to forswear splinter-group politics and work within the Republican Party. It's true Mr. Beck's words sting and may show insufficient appreciation for recent GOP solidarity against big government. But given the powerful pressures in Washington for even conservatives to backslide when it comes to spending, the Fox News firebrand is probably doing GOP members a favor by keeping the heat on them. When he was president, even Ronald Reagan expressed private appreciation for activists who made it uncomfortable for the "weak sisters" in the Republican Party who didn't back his agenda.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Issa vs. ACORN

A new report claims ACORN and SEIU are part of a criminal conspiracy.

From Kevin Williamson at Nation Review Online:
Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, have issued a scalding report on ACORN and the SEIU. The main thesis — that ACORN and SEIU are, operationally, in effect the same organization, an organization that illegally channels restricted money into political activity — is argued persuasively, but the authors slopped the report up with tangential complaints and grossly exaggerated claims about ACORN’s role in the housing bubble.
The odds are vanishingly small that Eric Holder’s Justice Department, which could not be bothered to prosecute armed New Black Panther–party thugs brandishing weapons to scare off would-be voters, is going to do much about an organization at the heart of its boss’s political coalition and fundraising operation. Issa’s report may be the closest thing to an indictment ACORN ever sees — which makes its flaws all the more of a shame.

As for his primary argument, Issa pulls no punches, writing: “ACORN is a single corrupt corporate enterprise composed of a series of holding companies and subsidiaries that are financially and operationally dependent upon the main corporation. . . . ACORN and SEIU’s illegal agreements, and the crimes committed in furtherance of these agreements, constitute a criminal conspiracy.”
Read it all.-SP

Start Over on Health Care Reform!

Sign the petition here!

Start Over on Health Care Reform


President Obama's initial attempt to seize control of one-sixth of the U.S. economy by nationalizing the American health care system has failed.

But serious issues continue to plague our health insurance system, and they must be addressed.

Now is the time to start over on health insurance reform and do it right.


We ask that President Obama and Congressional Democrats join with Republican leaders to start over on health insurance reform.

We ask that they help craft sensible reforms designed to lower costs and expand access without violating individual rights or the integrity of the market.

We ask that they enact medical liability reform and put an end to frivolous lawsuits that drive up the cost of medicine.

We ask that they allow individuals and small businesses to pool together to purchase high-quality affordable health care coverage.

We ask that they allow Americans to shop for health care coverage from coast to coast and purchase insurance policies across state lines.

We ask that they create new incentives to save for current and future health care needs by allowing people to use their health savings accounts funds to pay premiums for high deductible health plans.

We ask that they guarantee individuals with pre-existing conditions or past illnesses access to affordable coverage through the expansion of state-based, high-risk pools, and reinsurance programs.

We reject any attempt by the federal government to force any American to purchase an unwanted insurance plan.

We reject any attempt to implement a government-run insurance program.

We reject individual mandates, rationing, and special deals for any state.

We reject a separate set of rules for government and private sector health insurance purchases.

We oppose any plan that betrays our senior citizens by cutting Medicare coverage, or that allocates taxpayer funds to pay for abortion.

We reject any proposal that authorizes a government takeover of any portion of our health care system.

We ask that Congress and the President above all pledge to ensure the constitutionality of any health insurance reform legislation considered by the federal government.

We implore the President and his allies to listen to the will of the American people and start over on health insurance reform.

Here is a chance to do something, go to the link and sign the petition!-SP

Boehner: President’s Health Care Proposal Jeopardizes Summit, Doubles Down on Failed Approach Americans Have Already Rejected

Press release from John Boehner, House Republican Leader:
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement in response to the partisan health care proposal posted online by the White House for discussion at the upcoming bipartisan health care summit:
“The President has crippled the credibility of this week’s summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected. This new Democrats-only backroom deal doubles down on the same failed approach that will drive up premiums, destroy jobs, raise taxes, and slash Medicare benefits.
 “This week’s summit clearly has all the makings of a Democratic infomercial for continuing on a partisan course that relies on more backroom deals and parliamentary tricks to circumvent the will of the American people and jam through a massive government takeover of health care.

“The best way to protect families and small businesses in this time of economic uncertainty is to start over with a step-by-step approach to health care reform focused on lowering costs, and that’s exactly what Republicans are fighting for. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that the Republican bill reduces premiums for families and small businesses by up to 10 percent. The Republican bill reduces premiums by implementing common-sense reforms such as allowing Americans to purchase insurance across state lines. Despite their rhetoric to the contrary, none of the Democrats’ proposals – including the President’s – provides this much-needed reform in a manner that can actually be effective.

“Republicans are also standing with the American people by calling for health care reform to protect human life and not use taxpayer money to fund abortion. The Republican bill would codify the Hyde Amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion, which the President’s proposal would allow. Pro-life Democrats in the House have already pledged to vote against this provision. Health care reform should be an opportunity to protect human life – not end it – and the American people agree.”
For more background go here or here. or here.-SP

Ted Nugent on PBS defending the Second Amenedment

This clip has been around by email but in case you missed it check it out:

Don't Cry for Him Indiana: The Truth Is Evan Bayh Was Never Bipartisan

From the Hoosier Pundit:
You've got to admire the brazen chutzpah of Evan Bayh. Even as he whines about the partisanship of Congress in announcing his retirement from the Senate, Bayh timed his departure to be the ultimate partisan act.

By leaving when he did, Bayh completely deprived hundreds of thousands of Hoosier Democrats of the chance to have a say in who will replace him. That decision will now be made by 32 of Bayh's closest cronies on the Indiana Democratic Party's State Committee.
Read it all, great post.-SP

The System Is Working Exactly as Planned

By Jennifer Ruben at Commentary via RealClearPolitics:
Attorneys David B. Rivkin and Lee A. Casey rebut the punditocracy’s favorite theme these days: Washington is “broken.” Those annoyed with the failure to jam through controversial legislation bemoan the “gridlock” and urge all manner of parliamentary tricksterism to get what they want — the passage of Obama’s radical agenda. But Rivkin and Casey remind us that this is precisely how the system is supposed to work. It was designed to make swift passage of ill-conceived measures difficult, by ”generally requiring a high level of consensus in support of governmental action.” The Constitution sets up an intricate framework of checks and balances and the Senate “did the framers one better” with the filibuster, which the Left wants now to abolish. The result, the attorneys explain, is that “the government established by the U.S. Constitution, as well as the document itself, is ‘conservative.’ Its default is the status quo, unless and until the advocates of change can secure a sufficient consensus to support their idea.”
The failure then is not of the “system,” but rather of the Obami and of the congressional Democrats — in eschewing the center and trying to push through a far-reaching agenda with no popular consensus, and, indeed, in the face of a great deal of opposition.

Read it all.  It explains how the state have been and continue to come up with their own programs - some that work and some that don't.  But we don't need "one size fits all" solutions from Washington. _SP

Hill: 'Open' to running for Senate

From the "Tell us something we don't know" department!

At the Indy Star:
U.S. Rep. Baron Hill said today that he isn't ruling out a run for the U.S. Senate now that Evan Bayh has said he won't seek re-election and will retire at the end of his term.

Hill -- in his first public event since Bayh's announcement a week ago -- said he needed time to speak with the senator and others about the possibility before making a final decision.

"I'm open to the idea," said Hill, D-9th District. "It doesn't mean that I'm going to do it."
Yeah right! -SP

Beck at CPAC: The problem is progressivism

At Hot Air:
“It’s not enough to not suck as much as the other side,” said Beck, on how Republicans can regain their ideals. “The first step to redemption is admitting you have a problem. … When they do say they have a problem, I don’t know if I believe them. … They’ve got to recognize they have a problem. … ‘I’m addicted to spending and big government.’”…
Beck went on to compare GOPers to Tiger Woods, who recently gave his first public apology for his cheating candal. Beck said some people believed he was only sorry because he got caught. Beck, to GOPers in Congress: “You got caught. Are you sorry?”…
More Beck: “One party will tax and spend. The other party won’t tax, but spend. It’s both of them together. I’m tired of feeling like a freak in America.”
There is a video at this link showing Beck' entire address.  Check it out. -SP

Long backs Stutzman: ‘This is his time’

From the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette via Red State:
Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, threw his support to Sen. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe, in the now-crowded race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.
Long previously had talked about how he was torn between the candidacy of Stutzman – a friend and colleague – and former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats.
But last week he called Stutzman young, bright, articulate and “exactly the kind of fresh face that we need to send to Washington.”

Long stressed that he has great respect for Coats but essentially said his time is past.

“This is 2010, and Marlin Stutzman is our Scott Brown,” Long said. “This is his time. He not only has my support but my vote as well.”
I agree. -SP

Sunday, February 21, 2010



Check this out from Dick Morris and start making calls and writing letters. They may not listen but at least they won't be able to do it while everyone is distracted by something else. ONE LAST PUSH! -SP

"Missing Bush?" Why Republican Revisionism Won't Sell

By Howard Rich at NetRightNation:
As America loudly repudiates the leftist agenda of President Barack Obama and his Congressional allies, a group of partisan GOP opportunists is busy promoting a theory of "Republican revisionism."
What does this theory hold?
Namely, that the GOP wasn't "all that bad" -- and certainly not as bad as the socialist hordes who have ostensibly pushed America to the brink of financial ruin over the last year. In advancing this theory, the GOP is looking to recast itself as a party that can be trusted with your tax dollars -- while simultaneously attempting to reframe the legacy of the President (and dozens of other GOP politicians) who couldn't be trusted with your tax dollars.

This effort is most clearly visible in the GOP's recent attempts to co-opt the Tea Party movement. It can also be seen within the opportunistic machinations of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been pushing a new “Contract with America” in spite of his obvious betrayal – and subsequent scuttling – of the original movement fifteen years ago.

The GOP’s new revisionist message was summed up in a billboard that appeared recently on Interstate 35 in Wyoming.

“Miss me yet?” a smiling picture of former President Bush asks passing motorists.

In a word? “No.”
What this theory of “Republican revisionism” lacks is even a tangential basis in fact. That’s because Republicans – at least prior to the election of a Democratic Congress in 2006 and a Democratic President in 2008 – were engaged in precisely the same policies they now spend all of their time railing against.

Honestly – why do you think they were booted out of power in the first place?

Republicans are no strangers to massive government overreaching.
Read the rest at the link above for the specific examples and don't be afraid to remind our present GOP candidates. -SP

Obama Declares Legislative War

From Legal Insurrection via Instapundit:
I have to hand it to team Obama. They do not give up on Obama's goal of remaking the health care system into the image that Obama wants.

Even if Obama doesn't get everything he wants, if either of the current House or Senate versions passes, or some combined version, we will have government control through legislation and regulation over the most minute aspects of the health care system, and the people who use that system (i.e., everyone).

There simply is nothing to negotiate if the plan includes, as it likely will, a big government approach.

The latest "transparent" ploy is the televised "negotiation" on February 25. But Obama does not intend that event as a negotiation.

The Democrats apparently already have decided to try to push their version of the bill through the Senate using the reconciliation process:

Cook: Health Care Is Obama's Iraq

Some excerpts from an interview with Charlie Cook by Theresa Poulson at National Journal:

NJ: How seriously should we be taking the Tea Party movement?
Cook: Well I think in politics in general and particularly in midterm elections, intensity matters. And whether a movement is constituted by tens of millions or hundreds of millions of people or not, if it's a sizable enough group with enough intensity, they can make a huge impact.

 ...I think the Democratic problems and the president's problems, they, by a factor of a hundred, go beyond the Tea Party movement, but the Tea Party movement is sort of the tip of the sword.
NJ: If Obama has a communications problem as you suggest, then what should he do to reach out to the American people? Should he try to appear more populist?
Cook: 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. Of proportions comparable to President George W. Bush's decision to go into Iraq.  

And 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.
NJ: Are there areas where you might see a Republican nominee who is too far to the right?
Cook: Where you have Republican incumbents who may have voted for TARP, you're going to have some potential probleme spots. Part of it is, we're reaching here a little bit. Because, yes, the Republican Party, they've got some huge brand problems, where their brand got badly damaged during the eight years of President Bush and the six years the Republicans had the majority in Congress.... But if I had a choice of the Republican Party's problems right now or the Democratic Party's problems, I think you could triple the Republican Party's problems and I'd still rather have their problems than the problems facing Democrats.

A social experiement by Penn and Teller

Would you sign a petition to ban "dihydrogen monoxide"?

Then watch here.

This is why we need to always be asking question and continue educating ourselves to the issues placed before us. -SP

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gotta love Gary Varvel!

On Fiscal Conservative Hypocrites

Excerts from David Paul Kuhn at RealClearPolitics:
The majority party was pushing the largest entitlement expansion since the Great Society. The minority attempted byzantine legislative maneuvers to obstruct the vote. The majority never relented, even taking unprecedented action to ram the bill through Congress.
This was not 2009 but 2003. Republicans controlled the White House and Congress. And with that power they passed the $400 billion Medicare prescription drug bill.
Fast forward to February 2010. Here is Missouri Republican Sen. Kit Bond railing against Barack Obama: "While pretending to get serious about our spiraling deficit there is nothing in the budget to tackle the greatest threat – runaway entitlement spending."
Bond was one of the 42 Republican senators who voted for the historic Medicare entitlement expansion.
Americans crave leaders from both parties, who will sit down together and take the hard stands.
But until those leaders emerge, we will likely suffer the fiscal hypocrites. A Democratic president who said "I don't" believe in big government in the same 2009 budget address that heralded the return of big government. And we will suffer the Republicans who lecture, "do as I say, not as I do" about spending, without recalling what they did and what they said.
This kinda goes back to Erick Erickson's post here.  Beware incumbent Repubs who talk fiscal responsibility now, check their votes!  Just because they say they are conservative doesn't necessarily make it so.  Witness Charlie Christ, Arlen Spector,et al.  And don't let the "elites" from EITHER party lead you into believing they know who is the "best" or "most electable" candidate.  DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!

Lest we forget!

Rick Santelli's "Rant Heard 'round the World":

Why the Tea Party Movement Matters

This is a very good and (believe it or not - objective) analysis from Time Magazine (of all places).  Follow the link, there are lots of other links to videos, etc. about the TEA Party movement.  It covers all the bases.-SP
Some excerpts:

From David Von Drehle at Time:
Egged on by conservative interest groups and leveraging Barack Obama's digital-networking strategies, grass-roots opponents of the President's agenda have made themselves a major factor in U.S. politics.
Naming the Tea Party movement, however, is easier than defining it. Tea Partyism covers a lot of ground and a world of contradictions.
Whether bitter or sweetened, the tea is winning admirers. According to the latest CBS News/New York Times poll, roughly 1 in 5 adult Americans identifies with the Tea Party movement, which scored its first major victory last month when Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate seat long held by the late Democrat Ted Kennedy.
The Tea Party is not a political party, not yet, and maybe never will be. Rejecting the idea — widely held by Democrats — that a government of brainy people can solve thorny problems through complex legislation, the Tea Party finds its strongest spirit among conservative Republicans. Yet a powerful current of "blame both sides" also pulses through the movement. "We're equally disgusted with Republican and Democrat Congressmen," says Lynne Roberts, a volunteer organizer of a Tea Party gathering in Albany, N.Y. Her group is one of hundreds, maybe thousands, animated by Tea Party energy — millions, perhaps, if you count the groups of just one or two people perusing the daily news and muttering, "They've got to be kidding."

"The Tea Party movement isn't a party at all. I'd like politics without parties."

George Washington wanted the same thing, but history went in another direction. It gave us Democrats and Republicans, and we're likely to be living with them for a long time to come. What the Tea Party movement tells us, though, is that the hold those traditional parties have over politics is never as tight as their leaders would like to believe, and that in times of trouble — times like these both R's and D's are well advised to be afraid. Very afraid.

Obama Is Already Achieving Bipartisanship

From Libby Sternberg at RealClearPolitics:
If his goal is truly bipartisanship, President Obama should relax. On his major policy initiatives, he's achieved it. Democrats have successfully reached across the aisle to work with Republicans to oppose initiatives such as cap-and-trade, health care reform, and now the administration's handling of terror suspects' trials.
The president's ability to achieve this oppositional bipartisanship goes beyond Congress. He's managed to unite the electorate as well, bringing substantial numbers of Democrats and independents to agree with Republicans -- on opposing his agenda.
The president seems to be defining bipartisanship as a one-way street: principled opponents dropping their legitimate concerns so as to pass the president's agenda. (my emphasis-SP)
Instead of viewing bipartisanship through this skewed lens, the president, along with House and Senate Democratic leaders, might want to look at the cooperative spirit of opposition and ask not what bipartisanship can do for them, but what they should be doing for bipartisanship.

Evan Bayh and the Legends of The Fall

Good stuff from Peter Wehner at Politics Daily:
The resignation of Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana has sparked a debate about bipartisanship, ideology, and the institution of Congress. According to Bayh, "There is much too much partisanship and not enough progress, too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving. Even at a time of enormous national challenge, the people's business is not getting done."

The dominant narrative manifests a particular cast of mind, one that equates "the people's business" with passing legislation that increases the size, cost, and reach of government. In fact, sometimes the people's business involves stopping bad ideas from becoming law.
We are not facing a governing crisis today. What we are seeing is an emerging crisis for modern liberalism. And the reason is fairly straightforward: the public, having been exposed to a liberal governing agenda for the last year, is repudiating it. Liberals cannot seem to accept that, so they are lashing out at everything else. It is unwarranted and somewhat childish; and it will only accelerate The Fall.
Read it all, these are few excerpts.-SP

Ellsworth takes risk by getting into race

Some excerpts From The Indy Star:
But his entry didn't persuade other Democrats to drop their own plans.
Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. said Friday he will join the race. Former Secretary of State Joe Hogsett said he's keeping his options open. And the wait continues to learn whether U.S. Rep. Baron Hill will join the fray.
Charlie Cook, who handicaps political races for his Washington-based Cook Political Report, already has switched the Senate race to "leans Republican."
And with Ellsworth's jump to the Senate race, Cook switched the 8th District from "likely Democrat" to "leans Republican."
Without incumbent Ellsworth on the ballot, he said, Democratic chances in a year when Republicans are on the rise are slim.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why Red State supports Marlin Stutzman

From Erick Erickson at RedState:   Passion, Risk and Reward (excerpts)
At this point, I hope you are following along and paying close attention — particularly if you work for a conservative group or are an active tea party activist.
Let me repeat myself first. Sometimes, just sometimes when the moon hits the water just right, our guy enters the arena. Our guy decides he will take the slings and arrows, suffer the insults, and risk embarrassment and defeat, because he decides we are right. Good men sometimes need to take a risk, be bold, and enter the arena come what may.
But then you know what? The conservative movement’s system breaks down around them.
The activist and the organization say, “Well, let’s see how much money he can raise before we get on board.” Then they say, “Well, he doesn’t poll as well as the other guy so let’s sit on the sidelines.” Or worse they say, “Let’s go with the safer bet. Too much risk.”
In Indiana, Marlin Stutzman is running against a congressman who lost re-election and a Senator who left office more than a decade ago. Stutzman has a great narrative. Granted there are also a few others in the race, but Stutzman is best positioned and conservatives should not divide up their vote risking someone else getting elected. 
 But again, conservatives are sitting on the sidelines in what should be a no brainer race. Every conservative group is waiting for every other conservative group to go first in endorsing Stutzman. They want him to raise a million first, or just half a million. They wait and take no risk. And if they keep waiting, they will be out of any hope for a reward on a candidate who will be with them out of sheer gratitude.
So take a chance. Take a risk. Support people like Nikki Haley, Marlin Stutzman, Mike Lee, Pat Toomey, and Marco Rubio.
Remember — this time last year, Marco Rubio could not win
Except he will. Let’s not make Marco Rubio an anomaly.
Read it all-SP

Where the Tea Parties Should Go From Here

The power of the movement is its independence from Democrats and the GOP.
So writes Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal:
There has been a lot of talk about combining the tea party movement with the Republican Party. And on a small scale, that seemed to happen last week in South Carolina after state GOP representatives agreed to create a "Tea Party Republicans" group to coordinate activities with tea partiers in Greenville and Spartanburg.
This week, however, those arrangements fell apart as some tea party groups dissented from the decision. Other attempts to draw tea party groups into formal alliances are running into similar difficulties. That is a good thing. The tea party movement will be more effective than it otherwise would be if it refuses to allow itself to become an appendage of either major political party.
The tea partiers have made an important splash because they are not yet another auxiliary to the Democratic or Republican parties. Like the pro-life and Second Amendment movements before it, the tea party movement will have a bigger impact if it holds the feet of politicians in both parties to its fire. Each party must know it can win or lose swing tea party voters.
My advice to them is to keep their distance from any single party and instead influence both parties on debt, spending and an over-reaching federal government. (my emphasis-SP)
Good advice, in my humble opinion.  The attempt to  use the excitement and motivation that has been generated, for the benefit of a party has already begun, even here in Jackson County.  And that's OK.  But we as an organization (We The People) must not be pulled into endorsing or supporting any one candidate.  If there are those of us who want to support a particular candidate - GREAT!, that's what the movement is about - getting people involved in the system.  But, as an organization, we  must maintain our independence and hold ALL candidates to the principles that we espouse.  We will have a much greater impact if we do that. -SP

Democrats' choice is on hold

Not so fast.  Mary Beth Schneider reports in the Indianapolis Star this mornning:

Attorneys discover state law won't allow party to pick nominee for Bayh's seat until after primary.
Democrats will have to wait until after the May 4 primary to officially pick their nominee to replace Sen. Evan Bayh.
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker, who had said he wanted a candidate quickly, said Thursday that "the sooner rather than later has now become later."
Parker had hoped to call a meeting of the Democratic Party's state central committee's 32 voting members as early as next week. But after party attorneys researched state law, they discovered they could not fill the ballot vacancy until after the primary.
Well, won't this fit nicley into Baron Hill's future plans.  The cynic in me says that this was known (by some) all along.  Don't be surprised to see Ellsworth step aside in favor of Hill.  Remember, Baron came up in politics at the feet of Evan Bayh and Lee Hamilton.  I suspect that Hill has been the first choice all along.-SP

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Here is an op-ed from Dr. Richard Weithoff at The Seymour Tribune, one of our local surgeons with his take on the present healthcare debate:
How many of us have actually read the classic fable “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” shortened to “Alice in Wonderland,” which was written in 1865 by the English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, pen name Lewis Carroll? It’s a story about a young woman who, bored by the happenings around her, falls asleep and enters into a dream state that takes her into another world. In her journey, she encounters many curious and unexpected characters with whom she must try to reason.
One of those figures is the Cheshire Cat. Remember him? He’s the enigmatic figure who smiles with teeth and gums but isn’t actually attached to his body. In chapter 6, the Cheshire Cat’s disappearance causes Alice to say, “.... a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!” To Alice, Wonderland was a marvelous imaginary place that had dream-like qualities. But then she realized the reality of the place in which she found herself, and it wasn’t at all like she thought it should be.
This is the place in which we find ourselves in the present-day health care debate.
Proponents claim that the Obama plan will actually decrease our federal deficit by $129 billion over the next 10 years. Really? When was the last time you saw a government program actually save Americans money? The costs of defending medical malpractice claims alone have been estimated to be a half-trillion dollars over the next 10 years. Many other necessary expenditures have been totally ignored by both the House and Senate bills under consideration. Flannery O’Conner wrote that “Distortion is often a way of leading the people to the truth.” The figures with which the Obama administration is pushing this plan are not only totally unrealistic, they are untrue. Many learned and objective economic scholars have studied the plan, and have condemned it.
Despite all the polls that show the American people don’t want it, our president and his Congress are still trying to force this abomination upon their perceivably dumb and naive public. Charles Krauthammer said the bill “... should be immolated, its ashes spread over the Senate swimming pool.” I agree. Choose me to be a spreader. My passion regarding this very bad idea for America is not based on any motive other than knowing it will increase costs, decrease efficiency and lead to more problems with our health care delivery system than we already have. It will also assist in the bankruptcy of our country, which, with the present spending policies, seems to need no more help.
Alice finally woke up from her dream into Wonderland. It’s now time for us all to wake up and see the Cheshire Cat for what he is, a temptation that would take us into an unaffordable and dangerous world of make believe. There are ways of solving our health care problems. I suggest we start with tort reform, which will lead to an unbelievable decrease in the costs of health care, then health savings accounts, then allowing access to health insurance across state lines, then tax breaks for small businesses that offer health insurance, then insurance reform to prevent denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, then decreased taxes for those who choose to purchase affordable health insurance, then increased incentives for young people to become doctors, then ways to increase our output of quality doctors. All of these are common sense solutions to the problems facing the best health care system in this world.
I would love to see some of these ideas embraced by our leaders.
But then, maybe like Alice, I’m just dreaming.

Dr. Richard A. Wiethoff is a Seymour resident.