Monday, March 29, 2010

Obama Staffer to Head Baron's Campaign

Earlier, I blogged about Brian Howey's observations about Brad Ellsworth's hard time with voting on ObamaCare.

That paragraph, quoted here, was preceded by a couple of other interesting sentences that I missed:

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: As we noted in Tuesday's weekly Howey Politics Indiana, the fate of the health reforms could rest on the Hoosier Blue Dogs - U.S. Reps. Baron Hill, Joe Donnelly and Brad Ellsworth. Reading Hill taking on the "myths" leads us to believe he'll be a yes vote (this is pure speculation). The fact that Nick Buis from the Obama organization may take the helm of his reelection bid reinforces that speculation. Donnelly appears to be settling in as a "no" vote in a fashion similar to how he approached a potential Senate run. Ellsworth appears to be wavering, not only to just HPI, but to a number of Democrats we talked to during all the St. Patrick's Day events yesterday. The Ellsworth office/campaign no longer returns calls just seeking his current status. We heard this over and over from Democrats who hope he succeeds: that Ellsworth may be in over his head with the Senate run. He doesn't have the astute political operatives and braintrust surrounding him, unlike Hill and Donnelly. He struggles making tough decisons and the one coming up this weekend will be the toughest of his career.

That's right.

Baron Hill's reelection campaign is going to be run by the Indiana state director for Obama for America (now Organizing for America).

Buis was recently quoted by Fox 59 in Indy on the Tea Party and the astroturf Obama response "coffee party":

Dr. Graham calls the planned rallies at the Indiana Statehouse on Monday afternoon the squaring off of the coffee and tea parties. Pence will speak in support of the tea variety.

Organizing For America's Indiana director Nick Buis prefers coffee in this case.

"We've been talking about this day for 9 months. Its time for an up or down vote. Who is with President Obama or with the insurance companies."

Buis better get used to being with the insurance companies; along with other aspects of the health industry (drug companies, medical supply companies, hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, etc) they are among the top contributors (both in this and past election cycles) to Baron Hill's campaign. You know, the campaign Buis is apparently going to be running.

Looks like a match made in heaven.

At least Baron isn't running away from Obama. He's running right back into his arms.

We'll see how long that lasts.

Look at the Bright Side

Or not.

Mark Steyn:

I try to be a sunny the-glass-is-one-sixteenth-full kinda guy, but it's hard to overestimate the magnitude of what the Democrats have accomplished. Whatever is in the bill is an intermediate stage: The governmentalization of health care will accelerate, private insurers will no longer be free to be "insurers" in any meaningful sense of that term (ie, evaluators of risk), and once that's clear we'll be on the fast track to Obama's desired destination of single payer as a fait accomplis.

If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in history. It's a huge transformative event in Americans' view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn't be doing what they're doing. Their bet is that it can't be undone, and that over time, as I've been saying for years now, governmentalized health care not only changes the relationship of the citizen to the state but the very character of the people. As I wrote in NR recently, there's plenty of evidence to support that from Britain, Canada, and elsewhere.

More prosaically, it's also unaffordable. That's why one of the first things that middle-rank powers abandon once they go down this road is a global military capability. If you take the view that the U.S. is an imperialist aggressor, congratulations: You can cease worrying. But, if you think that America has been the ultimate guarantor of the post-war global order, it's less cheery. Five years from now, just as in Canada and Europe two generations ago, we'll be getting used to announcements of defense cuts to prop up the unsustainable costs of big government at home. And, as the superpower retrenches, America's enemies will be quick to scent opportunity.

Longer wait times, fewer doctors, more bureaucracy, massive IRS expansion, explosive debt, the end of the Pax Americana, and global Armageddon. Must try to look on the bright side...

Sigh.

50% of GOP State Legislative Incumbents Presently Unchallenged, GOP Challenging 78% of Democratic Incumbents

Nice numbers from GOPAC (which is getting back to, you know, its mission of helping to elect Republicans after being led for a couple years by Michael Steele):

Republican state legislative campaign committees and state parties have filed a record number of candidates for state legislative seats in key chambers across the United States, according to a study conducted by GOPAC. After a review of filings in 10 key chambers where filing deadlines have closed, Republicans have filed to run for 678 of 812 seats up for election this year — nearly 10 percent more seats than Democratic candidates. Equally impressive, Republican candidates are contesting 289 of a possible 368 state legislative seats currently held by Democratic incumbents who are seeking reelection in 2010 for a challenge rate of 78 percent. Democrats, by contrast, are contesting 172 of a possible 344 seats currently held by Republican incumbents who are seeking reelection in 2010 for a challenge rate of 50 percent.

Geraghty adds:

When I saw "record number of candidates," I wondered how much the number was being boosted by multiple candidates in GOP primaries; in some House districts, you've got small armies of candidates competing for the nomination, with a certain number certain to finish in the low single digits.

What impresses me about this is that it isn't counting multiple candidates; this is just making sure that as many Democratic incumbents earn it as possible.

Good news for redistricting come 2011.

Ingrid the Out-of-Work Health-Care Sales Rep

Meet Ingrid Martin, ordinary health care worker who doesn't believe Obama's health care rhetoric:

"I didn't clap and I didn't smile, and I just sort of held firm to my beliefs and held my tongue so I didn't get into any trouble," she recalled. "And I think that, being in the front row, he noticed that because when he came down off the stairs and started shaking hands, when he got to me, he said, 'Thanks for coming,' and he looked at me and said, 'Are you OK?' And I said, 'Yes sir, I just don't support your bill'."

Martin said she then entered into about a 2-minute debate reminiscent of Obama's meeting with another Ohioan, Joe Wurzelbacher (aka "Joe the Plumber"), telling him she worries about the long-term implications of his sweeping legislation. She told the president he was focused on insurance reform, as opposed to the rising cost of health care, which she believes to be the fundamental problem. Martin stressed her view of the need for tort reform. She also noted: "He said things like, 'Medicare is not going to be affected by this bill,' which is not right."

When Obama said that his bill addressed her concerns, "I just kind of shook my head and said, 'I don't believe it does' -- oh my gosh, I'm calling the president a liar," she added with a nervous laugh. Obama then took Martin's business card and promised to send her information on the bill. While she was not persuaded to change her mind and support Obama's policy, she was impressed with him for engaging her. "He took the time to stop and listen, which I appreciated," she said.

White House officials had no comment on the exchange between the president and Martin, but did confirm for Politics Daily that it took place. Besides its similarity to Obama's exchange with Joe the Plumber two years ago when Obama was a candidate, the situation reminded some longtime White House observers of two previous presidents, including Bill Clinton, who would often spend the most time working the "rope line," speaking to dissenters, almost as though he believed he could change America's mind one voter at a time.

Martin didn't buy Obama's rhetoric.

And why should she? He was lying about Natoma Canfield, after all.

Money Well Spent

Geraghty, on the cost of suing to block ObamaCare:

The Republican party of Virginia notes that while Democrats are howling about state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli "wasting" taxpayer money on a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal government forcing you to buy health insurance, the cost of filing the suit is $350.

By contrast, Obamacare is slated to cost Virginia $1.1 billion over the next 12 years.

Cuccinelli's lawsuit could end up to be the biggest money-saver in the state's history.

This Fall, You Write the Headline

Welcome to Animal Farm

Welcome to Animal Farm
Wonderful:

With legislation encompassing almost 3,000 pages, it will take time to find out exactly what the mandates in the newly passed health care law mean for America. After all, it wasn’t until the end of last week that the reconciliation bill was even made public. But here’s something we already have uncovered. And it’s shocking. — In addition to all the special favors doled out to various congressional districts, it turns out that the congressional staff who wrote the health care bill put in special favors for themselves, too.

While everyone else in the United States — from the top corporate executives to the grocery store checkout clerk — will be forced to buy their insurance through heavily regulated state-run exchanges, the health care bill excludes one group: the leadership and committee staff. Yes, that’s right. The very people who wrote up this bill are refusing to be included themselves. Given the narrow definition of “congressional staff” on page 158 of the health care bill, the Congressional Research Service memo believes that courts will not require “professional committee staff, joint committee staff, some shared staff, as well as potentially those staff employed by leadership offices” to go through the exchanges. President Obama and his family are also exempt from the law.

Now Let's Try This with Health Insurance...

Now Let's Try This with Health Insurance...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Obama: “I'm Here Because of Natoma” But He Won't Tell You the Truth About Her Situation

Missed this back during Obama's "campaign" to get ObamaCare passed (a campaign which, interestingly, is continuing despite it having been passed).

Obama's version of events:



The truth, courtesy of a little real reporting from Fox News:

Natoma Canfield, the cancer-stricken woman who has become a centerpiece of President Obama's push for health care reform, will not lose her home over her medical bills and will probably qualify for financial aid, a top official at the Cleveland medical center treating her told FoxNews.com.

Though Canfield's sister Connie Anderson said her sibling is afraid she'll lose her house and Obama warned at an Ohio rally Monday that the patient is "racked with worry" about the cost of tests and treatment, she is already being screened for financial help.

Lyman Sornberger, executive director of patient financial services at the Cleveland Clinic, said "all indications" at the outset are that she will be considered for assistance.

"She may be eligible for state Medicaid ... and/or she will be eligible for charity (care) of some form or type. ... In my personal opinion, she will be eligible for something," he said, adding that Canfield should not be worried about losing her home.

"Cleveland Clinic will not put a lien on her home," he said.

So she is getting financial aid for her health care, and she isn't losing her home.

But wait! There's more!

Under the system set by Obama, Natoma Canfield would be really screwed according to Gateway Pundit:

“Canfield, who had breast cancer 16 years ago...”

Lets see, if my rudimentary math skills don’t fail me, that would mean she was diagnosed at age 34. How fortunate for her that the current American Cancer Society recommendations for regular mammographies only after age 50 weren’t in effect then. She’d probably be a dead woman today if Obamacare had been in effect then.

And then there's the lie about her losing her house:

Barack Obama talked about Natoma’s mortgage today... Natoma is living in a house her parents built. Something isn’t adding up.

And the kicker:

Barack Obama came to Ohio today to prop Natoma up on stage with him. But, Natoma Canfield couldn’t make it. She is back in the hospital. (Our prayers for a quick recovery) She is getting cared for despite the fact that she has no insurance. She’s not out on the street. She’s not a statistic like Rep Alan Grayson would have you believe. Natoma is getting the care she needs. Her sister met with Barack Obama instead.

Oh, irony. I thought you had left us.

Everything Obama said about her, from her not getting care to her losing her house to ObamaCare actually creating a worse situation for her (due to changes in screening procedures) is simply untrue.

Mitch: We Good Europeans

Mitch Daniels rips ObamaCare in the Wall Street Journal:

As if governors these days don't have enough on their plates. Now that ObamaCare has become law, there's a whole new to-do list for my state:

1) Plan for the termination of our Healthy Indiana Plan. This is the program that's currently providing health insurance to 50,000 low-income Hoosiers. With its health savings account-style personal accounts, it has been enormously popular among its participants. I hope those folks will do all right when they are pitched into Medicaid.

2) Start preparing voters for a state tax increase. The axe won't fall until someone else is governor. But when we are forced to expand Medicaid to one in every four citizens, the cost will add several hundred million dollars to the budget.

3) Check to see if Indiana should drop its health insurance plans and dump its government workers into the exchanges. Paying the new tax penalty might actually be cheaper for the state, as it will be for many private firms. I'm not certain the same rule applies to government as to business, but since no member of Congress read this entire bill before the vote, I don't feel embarrassed about not knowing.

4) Ramp up our job retraining programs to handle those who will be fired by our medical device companies, student loan providers, and small businesses as they wrestle with new taxes, penalties, or in the student loan case, outright nationalization of their business.

5) Call the state's attorney general to see if we can join one of the lawsuits to overturn ObamaCare. Yes, it's a long shot. But why not try?

6) Investigate an offset to all this extra cost. We may no longer need the Department of Insurance since insurers will now be operating as regulated utilities under the thumb of the federal government.

It's discouraging that all of this could have been avoided. Congress could have done what Republicans should suggest now: Shift to a system that allows individuals—not businesses—to buy health insurance tax free. They could also create tax credits for buying health insurance based on income and health status to guarantee everyone coverage and encourage medical care and insurance competition. Republicans should push to lower barriers for buying insurance across state lines, create incentives for states to repeal mandates, and limit frivolous lawsuits that increase the price of insurance.

But for the moment, our federal overlords have ruled. We better start adjusting to our new status as good Europeans.

Sarah Palin Targets Baron Hill

From her Facebook page:

With the president signing this unwanted and “transformative” government takeover of our health care system today with promises impossible to keep, let’s not get discouraged. Don’t get demoralized. Get organized!

We’re going to reclaim the power of the people from those who disregarded the will of the people. We’re going to fire them and send them back to the private sector, which has been shrinking thanks to their destructive government-growing policies. Maybe when they join the millions of unemployed, they’ll understand why Americans wanted them to focus on job creation and an invigorated private sector. Come November, we’re going to print pink slips for members of Congress as fast as they’ve been printing money.

We’re paying particular attention to those House members who voted in favor of Obamacare and represent districts that Senator John McCain and I carried during the 2008 election. Three of these House members are retiring – from Arkansas’s 2nd district, Indiana’s 8th district, and Tennessee’s 6th district – but we’ll be working to make sure that those who replace them are Commonsense Conservatives. The others are running for re-election, and we’re going to hold them accountable for this disastrous Obamacare vote. They are: Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1), Harry E. Mitchell (AZ-5), Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8), John Salazar (CO-3), Betsy Markey (CO-4). Allen Boyd (FL-2), Suzanne M. Kosmas (FL-24), Baron P. Hill (IN-9), Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL), Charlie Wilson (OH-6), John Boccieri (OH-16), Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3), Christopher Carney (PA-10), John M. Spratt, Jr. (SC-5), Tom Perriello (VA-5), Alan B. Mollohan (WV-1), and Nick J. Rahall II (WV-3).

We’ll aim for these races and many others. This is just the first salvo in a fight to elect people across the nation who will bring common sense to Washington.

Stand tall, America. Real change is coming!

- Sarah Palin

Well, this won't be the first time that she's campaigned in southern Indiana with Mike Sodrel.

Indiana University Student Paper Asks Baron Softball Questions about ObamaCare

Baron Hill and Barack ObamaUnless you want to see your Congressman struggle to answer simple questions, don't bother to read it.

It's sort of like watching a kid in tee-ball keep swinging the bat at the ball up on the stand, and yet keep missing.

Baron, of course, has trouble keeping his story straight depending on who he is talking to.

In the IDS above:

IDS: How will your vote in support of the bill affect your reelection campaign?
Hill: Well that’s a question I can’t answer. I didn’t look at this piece of legislation through the scope of the next election. I’ve been talking about health care ever since I started running for Congress 10 years ago. I believe that we need it. And I was completely on the issue of public policy. Politics did not enter into the equation of my decision making.

To the Courier-Journal:

"National Republicans targeting Baron is nothing new for him," Hill campaign spokeswoman Katie Moreau said in an e-mail. "And, it's not a distraction. He is very focused on his reelection campaign."

So, depending on who he's talking to, Baron's either "very focused on his reelection campaign" or "politics does not enter into the equation of my decision making."

Interesting contradiction.

Sort of like how he felt that his vote on ObamaCare was forcing him to walk a plank, but arrogantly sneered "then so be it" when asked about whether that vote might cause him to lose reelection.

Paging Doctor Coburn, Paging Doctor Coburn...

Back during the run-up to the House vote on ObamaCare, Senator Tom Coburn threw down the gauntlet:



“I want to send a couple messages to my colleagues in the House. If you voted no and you vote yes and you lose your election, and you think any nomination to a federal position isn’t going to held in the Senate, I’ve got news for you,” Coburn, a physician whose been among the Senate’s most vocal opponents of the bill, said. “It’s going to be held.”

“If you think you can cut a deal now and it not come out until after the election, I want to tell you that isn’t going to happen and be prepared to defend selling your vote in the House,” warned Coburn.

He didn't have to wait long for some of those deals to come out, and one of them includes Indiana Congressman Joe Donnelly (though I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg).

From the bipartisan Sunlight Foundation:

A day after Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and ten other House members compromised on their pro-life position to deliver the necessary yes-votes to pass health care reform, the "Stupak 11" released their fiscal year 2011 earmark requests, which total more than $4.7 billion--an average of $429 million worth of earmark requests for each lawmaker.

Of the eight lawmakers whose 2010 requests were available for comparison, five requested more money this week than they did a year ago: Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa., Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., and Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Ohio.

The eleven members were the focus of high level pressure by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats because they threatened to vote against the health care reform bill, which passed the House on Sunday, March 21, by a seven vote margin. Granting earmark requests are one of the ways leadership can encourage members to vote their way.

Donnelly's earmark requests almost doubled from 2010 to 2011, going from around $11 million to just shy of $20 million.

Donnelly's earmarks include such pressing spending as an "innovation park proof of concept center" for Notre Dame, money for a women's entrepreneurship initiative, a sewer line for a county fairgrounds, a highway overpass, and (of course) money for Ivy Tech.

Lefty IU Law Prof Dawn Johnsen Not Among Obama's Recess Appointments

From Indiana Law Blog:

President Barack Obama is using his recess appointment power to install 15 stalled nominees, including labor lawyer Craig Becker and Georgetown University law professor Chai Feldblum.

Not included in the list are several nominees for the U.S. Department of Justice, including Dawn Johnsen, a law professor at Indiana University at Bloomington, for the Office of Legal Counsel.

Irony: Mike Sodrel Opens Campaign Office in Baron Hill's Hometown

From the email bag:

GRAND OPENING !!!

Mike Sodrel’s
SEYMOUR CAMPAIGN OFFICE

APRIL 2, 2010
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

122 WEST SECOND STREET
SEYMOUR, INDIANA 47274
(CORNER OF SECOND STREET AND CHESTNUT)

HOT DOGS, CONEY DOGS, CHIPS AND LEMONADE WILL BE SERVED

Contact Us:
Wes Ford, Jackson County Campaign Manager email: wford32@msn.com
Pete Burgmeier, Jackson County Asst. Campaign Manager email: burgmeier@hotmail.com
Feel Free to Call Us at 812.528.6420 or visit Us online at: www.mikesodrel.com

A List of ObamaCare Myths & Lies

Helpfully provided by the lefty (and anti-ObamaCare) website FireDogLake.

Tweet of the Day: Already Measuring the Drapes

From CNN's Dana Bash:

Just ran into rep. Brad Ellsworth. He's running for senate, but already attending senate democrats lunch. He joked "I'll see how it feels"

It's a bit premature for Brad the Beautiful to be measuring the drapes to move into Evan Bayh's office, particularly given how far behind he is in polling and how his campaign needed a million-dollar bailout from Birch's Boy.

Random Thought about iCaucus

It occurs to me that the same people that believe in having iCaucus "vet" the candidates (and do their thinking for them) would be up in arms if some GOP county chair (or group of county chairs, or any other group for that matter) did the same thing.

Nothing about such groups (whether iCaucus or some bunch of GOP party types whether in DC or Indianapolis) should be making decisions for people about how they should vote. Individuals should research the facts and come to those decisions on their own.

Deciding who to vote for is an important responsibility; one of the most important responsibilities of an American citizen. It shouldn't be abrogated and it shouldn't be outsourced.

ObamaCare & the Greater Fool Theory

Legal Insurrection:

Party Like It's 2005

The housing bubble peaked in 2005. The bubble reflected a fiscal lack of reality built upon the greater fool theory, that there always would be another buyer foolish enough to pay more.

We [have now passed] a health care bill built upon a similar irrational foundation.

The Democrats presume that there always will be taxpayers and purchasers of U.S. Treasury securities foolish enough to fund the trillions of dollars in spending.

Been there, done that.

Even if ObamaCare was to be as wonderful as Democrats all seem to believe it will be, that would still not make its passage a good idea because we can't afford it.

And if you're actually naive enough to believe that ObamaCare will cut the deficit, read this.

Jackpot Justice

Jackpot Justice

Photo of the Day: Real Hope and Change

Ronald Reagan Real Hope and Change Billboard

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

That's Not a Bribe, That's a Bailout

Brad EllsworthLots of attention has been given to the interesting timing of Evan Bayh to give a million dollars from his defunct campaign to the Indiana Democratic Party to help Brad the Beautiful's Senate bid.

The Hotline has the story:

Sen. Evan Bayh (D) announced today that he has contributed $1M of his campaign cash to help Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) succeed him in the Senate.

"This is a million dollar vote of confidence in Brad Ellsworth and Indiana Democrats," said Bayh. "Though I am leaving the Senate at the end of my term, I am determined to help Brad Ellsworth and the 2010 Democratic ticket with the financial resources they need to run a successful campaign."

The contribution is "the largest donation ever by an individual not on the ballot," according to a press release from the IN Dems.

"This unprecedented contribution will be put to good use in electing Brad Ellsworth ... and in helping Democrats from the top of the ticket on down," said IN Dem Chair Dan Parker.

The decision follows weeks of speculation over what Bayh would do with his almost $13M campaign warchest following his Feb. announcement that he would not run for re-election.

Coming as it did on the heels of the health care vote, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a bribe to get Ellsworth to vote for ObamaCare.

I think you'd be wrong. Ellsworth, ultimately, had no choice when it came to voting for ObamaCare. If he didn't vote for it, then the state committee of the Indiana Democratic Party was going to punish him by picking somebody else to run for the United States Senate.

When you have that sort of leverage over somebody, you don't need to worry about bribing them. It's not like Ellsworth could just go back to running for his House seat (somebody else is already running for it on the Democratic ticket). Nope. Ellsworth's political career is over if the state party denies him the Senate bid.

So there was no need for Birch's Boy to bribe Brad the Beautiful. And that's why this wasn't a bribe.

It's a bailout.

Brad Ellsworth's campaign, according to recent reporting by Brian Howey, it hasn't been going very good:

Ellsworth appears to be wavering, not only to just HPI, but to a number of Democrats we talked to during all the St. Patrick's Day events yesterday. The Ellsworth office/campaign no longer returns calls just seeking his current status. We heard this over and over from Democrats who hope he succeeds: that Ellsworth may be in over his head with the Senate run. He doesn't have the astute political operatives and braintrust surrounding him, unlike Hill and Donnelly. He struggles making tough decisions and the one coming up this weekend will be the toughest of his career.

Ellsworth trails badly in polling. He is eighteen points behind his old opponent former Congressman John Hostettler. He is fifteen points behind former Senator Dan Coats. He is seven points behind State Senator Marlin Stutzman.

Evan Bayh's million-dollar check isn't a vote of confidence in Brad Ellsworth.

Far from it.

It's an indication of how genuinely bad Ellsworth's political situation has become in the past few weeks.

It's a candidacy in trouble, and it's one that Democrats in Indiana can't afford to have fail. A bomb of a Senate campaign by Ellsworth will wipe out what's left of the Democratic Party in Indiana. It will cripple their always weak statewide field and it will destroy their slim chances of holding on to a majority in the House.

For Indiana Democrats, Brad Ellsworth is too big to fail.

Baron: “I Feel Like I Am Walking the Plank”

Baron Hill and Barack ObamaPoor Baron.

Now he says that they made him do it.

Those mean Washington liberals made him vote against his constituents.

They're making him walk the plank.

Business Week:

Said Representative Baron Hill, an Indiana Democrat, “I feel like I am walking the plank.”

“In the short term, it’s going to cost me,” Hill said. “It remains to be seen whether or not people will see the benefits that are in the bill 10 years out.”

That's an interesting contrast with Baron's bold and defiant arrogance just hours before voting for ObamaCare, when the same man who thundered to a crowd of angry constituents that "you're not going to tell me how to run my Congressional office" told a Louisville TV reporter that he was more than willing to walk this very plank of his own accord.

"Then so be it," Baron said when confronted with the possibility of defeat in November for defying the wishes of his constituents.

And now, after the vote, he wants us to believe that it's not his fault?

Not hardly.

Charlie Cook: Health Care Is Obama's Iraq



Cook said it (full interview text here; interesting reading) before the monstrosity passed, but the Iraq comparison remains apt. Despite widespread popular opposition, George W. Bush persisted in the Iraq surge. He was able to accomplish it despite bad polling, Democratic opposition, and everything else. But it did no favors to his popularity while in office.

Of course, the surge was good policy and it worked. There's no indication that ObamaCare is good policy and no indication that it will work as intended, but the immediate near-term political outcomes of Iraq and ObamaCare might still be the same for both Presidents (namely, sweeping victories for the party out of power at the time).

The Hoosier Three

From National Review:

The Hoosier Three
Republicans may well pick up a trio of House seats in Indiana.

Call them the Hoosier Three. Four years ago, Indiana Democrats Joe Donnelly, Brad Ellsworth, and Baron Hill won election to Congress as part of a Democratic tidal wave. They are all avowedly pro-life Blue Dogs who represent conservative-leaning areas. But on Sunday night, they all voted to pass Obamacare.

Needless to say, their seats are juicy targets for Republicans. Though Donnelly won reelection by 37 percentage points in 2008, his northern Indiana district (the 2nd, which borders on Lake Michigan and includes South Bend) went for Barack Obama by only 9 points. The corresponding gap was even bigger in the 8th district, stretching from west-central Indiana down to Evansville on the Ohio River, where Ellsworth romped his way to a 30-point win and John McCain beat Obama by 4 points. In the neighboring 9th district, home to Indiana University at Bloomington, Hill cruised to victory by 20 points while McCain edged Obama by 2 points.

“There’s a very real possibility that we can pick all three of those [seats] up,” says an Indiana GOP official. The leading Republican candidate in the 2nd district is state legislator Jackie Walorski, 46, who traveled to Washington for the anti-Obamacare protests this past weekend. A former TV reporter, she has secured endorsements from the district GOP and various Republican county chairmen. Walorski has been hammering Donnelly, 54, over health care, and her campaign website is promoting a petition that calls for the legislation to be repealed.

The 8th district has been dubbed the “Bloody Eighth” due to its competitive and volatile nature. This year, there will be no incumbent candidate, since the 51-year-old Ellsworth, who previously served as Vanderburgh County sheriff, is vying to replace retiring Democrat Evan Bayh in the U.S. Senate. The GOP frontrunner to fill Ellsworth’s seat is cardiothoracic surgeon and former naval reservist Larry Bucshon, 47. Last month, National Republican Congressional Committee chief Pete Sessions described Bucshon as “an accomplished, independent leader who has already built significant momentum behind his campaign.” Assuming he wins the primary, Bucshon will probably face off against Democratic state representative and former Posey County prosecutor Trent Van Haaften, 45, in the general election. The Bloody Eighth is known for its large and influential pro-life movement; indeed, Vanderburgh County Right to Life (VCRL) is among the strongest local anti-abortion groups in the country. (Sarah Palin made headlines when she addressed a VCRL banquet in April 2009.)

Next door in the 9th district, the 2010 campaign will most likely be a rematch of the 2008 race — and the 2006 race, and the 2004 race, and the 2002 race. Republican Mike Sodrel, first elected to Congress in 1998, lost his seat to Hill in 2002, reclaimed it two years later in a photo finish (Sodrel triumphed by less than 1 point), was defeated for a second time by Hill in 2006, and then lost badly in 2008. Now he’s running again. As the Indiana GOP official notes, Sodrel, 64, has a populist, blue-collar appeal that may play well in the current political environment. He is favored to emerge from the Republican primary. Last June, Hill, 56, backed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade energy bill, which Donnelly and Ellsworth both opposed. That vote may haunt him: Indiana generates nearly all of its electricity from coal.

For Hoosier State Republicans, as for Republicans elsewhere, “2008 was just a hard year to recruit,” the Indiana GOP official says. “This year, we have no problem.”

Photo & Video of the Day: Dead Birds

Todd Young hunting with a Hummer.
Which reminds me of this hilarious bit from the movie Dumb and Dumber (YouTube embedding was disabled for the video).

Ronald Reagan: The Real Freedom Fighters

Social Security Trust

Social Security Trust

But Obama's a Constitutional Lawyer, Right?

But Obama's a Constitutional Lawyer, Right?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baron “My Congressional Office” Hill on Possible Defeat After ObamaCare Vote: “Then So Be It”

This video clip is from before the vote, but the audio from Baron Hill is classic (it's about a minute from the end):



WHAS:

So, what if this vote means Hill isn't re-elected?

"Then so be it. I'm convinced that 10 years from now, I'll look back on this knowing full well that I made the right vote and I believe it's unfortunate I would not get elected at some point people along the line would realize this is a good thing not a bad thing," says Congressman Baron Hill.

Baron's defenders will depict this as some sort of perverse form of political courage.

However, it only takes a quick review of the facts of Baron's history on ObamaCare to see this not as courage but as arrogance.

It's his Congressional office, after all, and we won't be telling him how to run it or how to vote.



And now we have the second statement right from Baron's own mouth to reiterate his arrogance.

If you don't like how he voted and want to vote him out?

"Then so be it."

He just doesn't care what we think.

Zoeller Readies Legal Challenge to ObamaCare

From the email bag:

Attorney General reviewing options for legal challenge to health care bill
Constitutionality questionable, so courts should review legislation, Zoeller says

INDIANAPOLIS – Now that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the federal health care bill, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said he is considering the options available for legal challenges to the legislation.

Zoeller and a group of other state attorneys general nationwide have expressed concern that the federal health care legislation may be an infringement upon individual rights and state sovereignty. The Attorney General’s Office is studying the legal options available to Indiana for possible legal challenges.

"There are significant constitutional questions regarding the federal government's authority raised by the legislation passed Sunday. I believe it is necessary that these ultimately be brought before the United States Supreme Court; and as Indiana Attorney General I will join in the most appropriate legal actions available to represent the significant interests of our state in this matter," Zoeller said.

In February, at the request of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Zoeller prepared a 55-page report and legal analysis on the Senate version of the health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Among other things, the Attorney General’s report to Lugar found that the bill’s individual mandate requiring everyone to buy health insurance or face a penalty would be unprecedented; never before has the federal government required Americans to purchase any good or service as a condition of U.S. residency.

The U.S. House on Sunday passed the Senate version of the health care bill and forwarded it on to President Obama, and at the same time the House also passed a series of clean-up measures to the bill that would be voted on again by the U.S. Senate.

State attorneys general in at least 13 other states have indicated they intend to file a legal challenge to the federal health care legislation due to the questions about its constitutionality.

NOTE:
Attorney General Zoeller’s February 5 report to Senator Lugar on the Senate version of the health care bill is found here.

A February 5 news release summarizing the report to Lugar is found here.

Zoeller will be joining (perhaps not officially in a joint case as yet, but in common cause) with attorneys general from a dozen states.

Virginia is suing in one case. Florida and nine other states (South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alabama) are suing in another. With Indiana, that's 12 states so far, and there might be others that I've missed in my quick search.

Polling: Life Is Good Politics

From National Review comes some interesting polling, worth keeping in mind after Baron Hill, Joe Donnelly, and Brad Ellsworth sold their supposed Hoosier values down the river and (more than just proverbially) threw the baby out with the bath water.

They not only voted for a pro-abortion bill, they (at least Ellsworth and Hill) then went on to vote against a motion that would have restored the Stupak language to the bill. No longer can Ellsworth, Donnelly, or Hill claim to be pro-life. They're pro-abortion, and their voting record clearly reflects that.

Polling on Donnelly in Indiana's 2nd District:

IN-02 Joe Donnelly

- 80% oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions (66% strongly oppose)
- 78% oppose taxpayer funding of abortions as part of healthcare reform (66% strongly oppose)
- 70% agree that abortion and abortion funding have no place in healthcare legislation (58% strongly agree
- 60% would be less likely to vote to re-elect Congressman Donnelly if he votes for healthcare legislation that includes federal government funding of abortion (47% would be much less likely)

Polling on Ellsworth in Indiana's 8th District:

IN-08 Brad Ellsworth

- 80% oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions (69% strongly oppose)81% oppose taxpayer funding of abortions as part of healthcare reform (71% strongly oppose)
- 72% agree that abortion and abortion funding have no place in healthcare legislation (60% strongly agree)
- 65% would be less likely to vote to re-elect Congressman Ellsworth if he votes for healthcare legislation that includes federal government funding of abortion (53% would be much less likely)

Of course, Ellsworth is hoping to move up in the world and be anointed by Democratic Party bosses as the successor to Evan Bayh. But it's foolish to think that the guy they anointed to replace Ellsworth Trent "I Love Lobbyists and the Things They Give Me" Van Haaften will fair better.

Polling on Baron in Indiana's 9th District:

IN-09 Baron Hill

- 77% oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions (67% strongly oppose)
- 75% oppose taxpayer funding of abortions as part of healthcare reform (66% strongly oppose)
- 72% agree that abortion and abortion funding have no place in healthcare legislation (61% strongly agree)
- 61% would be less likely to vote to re-elect Congressman Hill if he votes for healthcare legislation that includes federal government funding of abortion (51% would be much less likely)

The abortion elements of the ObamaCare legislation that these guys voted for is nuclear.

I can see the attack ads, the direct mail, and the billboards already.

Dick Morris on ObamaCare Vote Fallout

With its passage, a couple of things will happen, Morris says.

Either the Democrats will vote to postponing cuts to Medicare (which will explode the deficit, expose the lies about ObamaCare, and anger many voters), or they will vote to cut Medicare (which will expose the lies about ObamaCare and anger many voters, too). Neither outcome will help Democratic political fortunes in November.

If the House Democratic majority passes Obama’s health care proposals, one of two things will happen by Election Day, 2010 - and neither one will be healthy for the Democrats seeking re-election.

Either the Medicare cuts will take effect or they will be postponed by a terrified Congress.

If they take effect, physicians’ fees will be slashed 21 percent and hospital reimbursements for Medicare patients will be cut by $1.3 billion. Tens of thousands of doctors and thousands of health care institutions - hospitals, hospices, outpatient clinics and such - will refuse to treat Medicare patients.

Entire cities will be without one doctor in important specialties who will take care of the elderly on Medicare. Particularly in fields like G.I. care or arthritic and joint pain, doctors will simply refuse to accept the low reimbursement rates they are being offered and hospitals will refuse all but emergency care to Medicare patients. In effect, the elderly will experience a doctors’ strike against Medicare patients.

Congress, faced with this massive revolt coming right on the verge of the election, may back down and postpone the cuts. Originally, doctor reimbursement rates were scheduled to drop on March 1 of this year, but Congress postponed it until the fall. Now the Democrats in Congress will face not only cuts in doctors’ fees but in all forms of Medicare reimbursement - the so-called “market basket” of cuts programmed into Obamacare.

Congress, being Congress, will probably seek to postpone the cuts until after Election Day. But in doing so, they would expose the deficit reduction and cost containment features of Obama’s bill for the fraud that they are. The news media headlines would blare that Congress just voted to add tens or hundreds of billions to the deficit and the big spending, high borrowing image of Congress will worsen. All pretense that Obamacare is not a reckless spending bill will be stripped away and we will be face to face with the reality that it will add hugely to the deficit.

All this will come at precisely the time that House and Senate Democrats are scrambling to rebut the attacks of their Republican challengers over these very issues. If Congress votes to postpone the Medicare cuts, as a former Secretary of HHS predicted to me, they will have to answer for their fiscal irresponsibility right before the election.

Either poison - the cuts or the deficit - will be enough to eradicate an entire generation of House and Senate Democrats.

And these cuts will take place against a backdrop of continuing increases in health insurance premiums, no expansion of coverage (it doesn’t kick in until 2013), and no tangible benefit from the Obama bill.

This is the prospect the House and Senate Democrats who vote for Obamacare will face in the fall of 2010. This is the record they will have to defend.

He's Setting New Records: Obama Runs Up Bigger Deficit in 421 Days Than Bush Did in 4 Years

Hot Air:

CBS’ Mark Knoller reports that Barack Obama has set a new record for adding to the national debt, smashing the old one set by George Bush:

The latest posting from the Treasury Department shows the National Debt has increased over $2 trillion since President Obama took office.

The debt now stands at $12.6 trillion. On the day Mr. Obama took office it was $10.6 trillion.

President George W. Bush still holds the record for the most debt run up on his watch: $4.9 trillion. But it took him over four years to rack up the first two trillion dollars in debt. It has taken Mr. Obama 421 days.

But the Obama Administration routinely blames the Bush Administration for inheriting a budget surplus and turning it into years of record-breaking deficits and debt — and then leaving it on the doorstep of the new president.

Unfortunately, both CBS and Obama get this one wrong. Deficits don’t come from Presidents. They come from Congress, which passes budgets and sets tax policy. While the White House proposes budgets, Congress actually debates, modifies, and then passes them, usually with some resistance from the President.

In both Bush and Obama’s cases, the records reflect the party in power at the time. Republicans ran up the $2 trillion in debt in those first five years. However, Democrats controlled Congress in the final two years of Bush’s presidency, including a Senator named Barack Obama, who voted in favor of the FY2008 budget approved by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. And George Bush never saw the FY2009 budget, as the Democrats played an elaborate game of keep-away, using continuing resolutions to fund the government. Obama signed an omnibus spending bill in March 2009 to raise the level of FY09 spending to Democrats’ liking.

So how much did each party raise the federal debt over the past nine-plus years? According to Treasury figures:

If one counts the Republican debt as the time they were in control of the House and the White House from 1/20/2001 to 1/2/2007 (although the Democrats actually controlled the Senate until 2003), Republicans were entirely responsible for adding $2.95 trillion to the national debt in six years.
Counting it by fiscal year, from 10/1/2001 to 10/1/2007 (since Republicans passed the FY2007 budget before the 2006 midterms), Republicans added $3.26 trillion to the national debt in six years.

Neither of those figures showers the GOP in any glory. However, both of those figures pale in comparison to the damage Democrats have done in half the time:

Counting Democratic control from their ascension after the 2006 midterms (from 1/2/2007 forward), Democratic Congresses have added $3.96 trillion in just over three years.
Counting it by fiscal years, Democrats have added $3.57 trillion since 10/1/2007 (the beginning of their FY2008 budget) in 30 months.

Let’s compare rates:

Republican rate of debt: $45.2 billion per month (fiscal year), $41 billion per month (control of Congress)
Democratic rate of debt: $119.1 billion per month (fiscal year), $104 billion per month (control of Congress)

Democrats have added to the national debt at a rate greater than twice that of Republicans, and have exceeded the debt added in less than three years that Republicans managed to add in six. That may not be President Obama’s fault entirely, but since Obama was part of the Democratic majority in Congress that spent wildly over the last three years, he certainly owns a big part of it either way.

Whenever you hear a Democrat (perhaps one that claims to be a "Blue Dog") harping on the deficit or blaming George W. Bush for these huge deficits, just throw a few of these facts their way.

By whatever standard you want to use, Obama and the Democrats have spent more money faster than any Congress in history, and more than twice as fast as Bush and the Republicans.

A Bit about Vote Centers

The Corydon Democrat has an article discussing the possibility of vote centers in Harrison County. It quotes yours truly, so I figured that I'd be shameless and do a post about it.

Rokita endorses 'vote center' idea

In today's economic climate, no stone is left unturned when it comes to finding avenues to saving money.

Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita believes he's found a voting method that could save counties money during election years.

"Vote centers save taxpayers money, period," Rokita, in a release, said. "We have years of actual data and now a solid projection for each county to show how much could be saved by adopting vote centers."

A vote center is an alternative to traditional precinct-based elections. If the General Assembly gave local officials the option of vote centers, and the county, in turn, adopts the centers, local election officials would replace traditional precincts with multiple centers strategically placed in various locations throughout the county.

The main difference be-tween precinct voting is that voters could visit any vote center and receive the correct ballot on election day.

Rokita said vote centers would make elections more accessible to everyone since any voter can cast their ballot at any vote center location. There is no "wrong precinct" for a person to vote in, he said, and a voter can choose to cast their ballot at a center near work or home.

The use of a centralized electronic poll book ensures election security by preventing double voting, Rokita said.

Harrison County Circuit Court Clerk Sherry Brown said the courthouse would have to be electronically connected to each of the centers and each would have to be connected to one another so that, in "real time," each location could know that an individual had cast his/her ballot and is not eligible to vote at any other location.

Harrison County would save nearly $18,000 with the implementation of vote centers, according to a study conducted by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute.

Vote centers would give local election officials more flexibility, the study said, as the number of locations and level of staffing would be fixed.

It also determined that election administrators could anticipate turnout and modify the number of locations and staffing to suit their needs. It would also significantly reduce the number of voting machines needed, Rokita said.

"I think, in the long run, Harrison County would save tax dollars on election expenses," Brown said. "But to acquire the equipment needed for vote centers would be a relatively large expense initially."

Plus, Harrison County purchased new voting machines in October for nearly $230,000.

"I think we would probably have some happy and some unhappy voters if we went to vote centers be-cause, for some, it would be much more convenient to vote at whichever center was on their way to work," Brown said. "Others are spoiled by having a polling location in close proximity to their home."

Not everyone thinks vote centers would be a good change.

"There are already three ways for people to vote," Scott Fluhr, Harrison County Republican Party chairman, said. "They can vote absentee via mail, they can vote early at the clerk's office at the courthouse and they can vote at their precinct on election day. That's a lot of flexibility already."

Fluhr also said he thought people seem to like the familiarity of the precinct system.

"In the past, when polling locations have been moved, it has caused anger and frustration among voters who are used to going to a given place to vote," he said.

Fluhr also said reducing locations to vote would most likely not help improve the long line situation.

(Barbara Black, chair of the Harrison County Democrat party, chose not to comment on the issue.)

Brown said the biggest hurdle for vote centers in Harrison County, if the state ever allowed it to be an option, would be the availability of high-speed Internet countywide.

"So, right now, it wouldn't work," she said.

The full Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute study conducted on vote centers can be accessed online at www.in.gov/sos/elections/3574.htm.

The Indiana General Assembly is considering measures to expand the pilot program that authorizes the centers in only three counties. The option is included in Senate Bill 241. A new law would be needed to allow vote centers statewide.

Short summary: It won't happen here.

Bucshon on ObamaCare

From no less than the Washington Examiner:

For some of the brightest, most politically aware people in the country, the yearlong debate over the Democrats' national health care plan has been an inspiring experience. It has inspired them to run for Congress as Republicans.

Dr. Larry Bucshon is one of them. A heart surgeon in Evansville, Ind., Bucshon watched the first months of Barack Obama's presidency with growing alarm. "It became clear to me that what he said in the campaign -- big government, more spending, more federal government control -- was what he was really going to do," says Bucshon. By last summer, as the president and congressional Democrats turned to health care, Bucshon was thinking about running for the House from Indiana's 8th District. By October, he was in the race.

Bucshon is just one of what House GOP leaders believe is the best class of new candidates in many years. "So far, our successful recruitment efforts have helped produce over 95 top GOP recruits," says Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is leading the recruitment drive for the National Republican Congressional Committee. And those are just the hot prospects in potentially winnable districts; there will also be Republican challengers for even the safest Democratic seats.

Talk to the new candidates, and they're worried about the entire scope of Obama policy. But an indicator of the specific effect of Obamacare is the unusually large number of new recruits -- 31 -- who come from the medical profession. Twenty-four are doctors. The GOP already has a significant advantage in the number of physicians-turned-lawmakers -- at the Obama health care summit, the Republicans brought three doctors to the table, while the Democrats brought none -- and that advantage will probably be larger in 2011.

That gives them a special authority on what will surely be a continuing debate over Obamacare. "I think it will basically decimate the health care system in America," says Bucshon. "The number of doctors who are going to retire, and the number of young people who are no longer going to go into medicine, will be massive."

Reagan vs Obama

Reagan vs Obama

Nancy Pelosi: The Red Queen

Nancy Pelosi: The Red Queen
Nancy Pelosi: The Red Queen

Monday, March 22, 2010

Morning Pep Talk: It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn

Parting thoughts on the passage of ObamaCare from Professor William Jacobson:

Last night was bad. The law passed by the Senate and House really is that horrible.

But it's the morning after, and your mourning should be over.

The mainstream media and the nutroots will try to demoralize you, and there will be plenty of gloat to go around.

But remember how we got to last night.

November 4, 2008, was the culmination of multiple generations of journalistic and educational malpractice and liberal guilt, malfeasance by Republicans who lost their way while in power, and a mass delusion on par with the tulipomania of 17th century Holland.

On November 5, 2008, did any one of you think that over 16 months later Obama would barely be able to pass a truncated version of his dream of single payer, and that dozens of Democrats would join Republicans in opposition?

As the mainstream media celebrated the permanent Democratic majority in the weeks after the 2008 election, did any of you think that in March 2010 we would be talking about the Democratic majority being in danger?

On January 20, 2009, when Obama took office, and then again in April when Arlen Specter jumped ship, did any one of you think we could hold off Obamacare beyond July?

In August and September, did you think we would make it to the end of the year, and then in early January 2010, did any of you (other than me) think Scott Brown could win and we could prevent a Democratic super-majority?

Your hard work has paid off, even if the end result was not what we wanted. But trust me, without you it would have been much, much worse.

For over a year Obama has not been able to push through other destructive aspects of his agenda, and the clock is running out before the mid-term elections.

The hard work must continue through the November elections because Democrats know they have just a few more months.

So shake off the gloom, get your asses in gear, get over it, and get to work continuing to fight the worst government policies "since the Great Depression."

We have no other choice.

And Michael Cannon (who heads up health care studies at the Cato Institute):

Grant this: The good news is that this legislation would provide medical care to many who otherwise could not purchase it. The bad news far outweighs the good, but let’s be clear-eyed about both.

The bad part of the bad news is that this legislation would nevertheless inhibit our nation’s ability to meet the basic human needs of its citizens. It would deny needed medical care to millions, even as it causes health-care costs to rise. It would sap individual initiative, destroy jobs, trap the poor in poverty and dependence, block innovations that would make us healthier and wealthier, and politicize matters that should not be politicized.

The good part of the bad news is that most of these provisions do not take effect for almost four years. That leaves time to educate the public and, hopefully, time to repeal them.

I am reminded of the line by Aaron Eckart's Harvey Dent in "The Dark Knight."

It's always darkest before the dawn.

We've got a lot of work to do between now and November to make sure that there is a new dawn, and not more years of darkness.

In Case You're Angry about the Vote...

Go here to help fire Nancy Pelosi.

And in case giving to the Republican National Committee still makes your skin crawl after seeing Democrats take over one sixth of the economy:

House Conservatives Fund

Senate Conservatives Fund

Baron's Statement on ObamaCare Passage

Baron Hill and Barack ObamaIs available here.

It basically repeats the lies he made when he announced that he would vote for it (lies I refuted here).

The entire statement is basically theater of the absurd.

I would like to thank the people of Indiana’s Ninth District for allowing me to be part of this historic vote. It is in their public and fiscal welfare that I cast my vote for both the Senate health insurance reform legislation and the reconciliation bill.

Translation: "It's my Congressional office, and you're not going to tell me how to run it, but thanks for letting me collect a paycheck on your dime for all these years. And thanks for giving me the chance to ram down your throats a new government program that polls show everybody in southern Indiana overwhelmingly opposed. Oh, and thanks for letting me vote to kill more unborn babies, too."

And, it is fiscally sound. In fact, the revised legislation, strengthened by the reconciliation bill and manager’s amendment, reduces the deficit by one hundred and forty three billion dollars during the first ten years of the program, and reduces the deficit by more than one trillion dollars in the second ten years, effectively making it the biggest deficit reduction legislation since 1993.

Baron's going to throw around some numbers. They're invented and have little basis in reality, because they assume things that just aren't going to happen.

And that big deficit reduction Baron always talk about way back in 1993? That's Baron's preferred way of "deficit reduction."

It's called a tax increase.

The one he referenced in 1993 is the largest one in American history, in fact. I guess Baron views ObamaCare as more of that.

As I addressed in my statement yesterday and would like to reiterate again, this bill strictly and specifically prohibits any federal funding of abortions. Bolstering the reform bill, the President plans to issue an executive order clarifying any ambiguous language ensuring that no federal subsidies can be used for abortion-related services and that federal funds received by community health centers are subject to the Hyde Amendment.

National Right to Life and other pro-life groups disagree, obviously.

Besides, executive orders can't trump Federal law or acts of Congress, something Baron would be reminding everyone right here if the President was a Republican and not a Democrat with whom he loves to shoot hoops.

This has been a long, deliberative and passionate process that has rendered a fiscally-responsible, inclusive and effective final product. I would like to thank the thousands of Southern Indiana residents who contacted me to voice their opinions and actively participated in this process.

Baron's glad that he didn't listen to the overwhelming majority of his constituents back in southern Indiana who disagreed with how he voted. We spoke. Baron didn't hear us. It's his Congressional office, after all, and Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi needed his vote (and he never tells them no when they need him).

A Date Which Will Live in Infirmary

Hat tip to Matt Drudge for the amusing title.

Roll call of shame here (second link is here). All five Hoosier Democrats, including Donnelly, Ellsworth, and Hill, voted for it.

And the roll call on the motion to recommit, which was just the Stupak-Pitts pro-life language prohibiting taxpayer dollars from going to abortions, is here.

The motion to recommit was, essentially, a vote on whether pro-life measures should have been in the bill or not. Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill voted against the motion to recommit; apparently, assertions about being pro-life aside, they don't care about the Stupak-Pitts language being law.

Joe Donnelly, interestingly, apparently did care; he voted for the motion to recommit (which means that he voted for abortion funding being included in the bill before he voted against abortion funding being included in the bill).

National Right-to-Life said "a vote for the Senate-passed health bill (H.R. 3590) is a vote for the most expansively pro-abortion legislation ever to come before the House of Representatives." Brad Ellsworth, Joe Donnelly and Baron Hill were apparently fine with that. Donnelly may have had second thoughts, but to little avail.

As for Stupak's precious executive order? Pro-life leader Phyllis Schlafly destroys that notion:

"It is naive for any elected official, especially one who describes himself as 'pro-life,' to expect that a promise to issue an Executive Order that reasserts the intentions of the Hyde Amendment will be fulfilled by the most pro-abortion president to ever sit in the White House. Perhaps Mr. Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats forget that President Obama's first Executive Order was the repeal of the Mexico City Policy to allow for international funding of abortion."

"Not only would an Executive Order be rendered meaningless in the face of Congress passing legislation which actively provides for the massive expansion and funding of abortion services, but anyone who doubts the abortion tsunami which awaits this bill becoming law lives in a fantasy world."

"Barack Obama has lined every existing federal agency with the most dedicated pro-abortion ideologues, and we know that he will continue this pattern of pro-abortion appointments when it comes time for him to fill the over-100 bureaucracies created to administer his socialized health care program."

"Any formerly pro-life Democrat who casts a 'Yes' vote for this Senate health care bill tonight will be forever remembered as being among the deciding votes which facilitated the largest expansion of abortion services since Roe v. Wade."

"Mr. Stupak and his Democrat followers have now clarified that you cannot be pro-life and be a Democrat. If abortion was truly their biggest issue, they wouldn't willfully align themselves with the Party of Death."

"This vote will expose the myth of the 'pro-life Democrat.' With this single vote, the Democratic Party will divide our nation into the Party of Death and the Party of Life, and future elections will never be the same."

The craven, treacherous Bart Stupak and his pack of half-a-dozen cowards--so-called pro-life Democrats--gave this thing its margin of passage. It would not be on its way to the White House for Obama’s signature without their support for it.

It is entirely their doing.

And that's why there is no such thing as a pro-life Democrat.

Certainly not after March 21, 2010.

No. Such. Thing.

Hostettler Calls for Repeal of ObamaCare

From the NWI Times:

On the eve of the anticipated vote on health care reform, former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler told a local group Saturday he will work to repeal any of the legislation passed if he is elected to replace U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.

Hostettler, a Republican, predicted the "federal intrusion" into health care would result in large job losses as business look for ways to respond to tax increases and other mandates.

He proposed instead lawmakers focus on allowing the purchase of health insurance policies between states and reforming medical malpractice laws to eliminate the need to carry out costly medical tests simply for liability purposes.

Health care reform was among the issues topping the list as Hostettler hosted a town hall-style meeting at Valparaiso University that attracted an estimated 70 people. The program was delayed a short time while an attempt was made to locate an American flag, but was under way after a prayer was recited that referred to taking back the country.

Hostettler served six terms in Congress between 1995 and 2007. He was defeated by Democrat Brad Ellsworth, who is also seeking Bayh's Senate seat. Hostettler said the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq along with a growing deficit are current issues he faced during his years in office.

The Posey County resident said in addition to health care reform, he opposes the proposed cap-and-trade approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

"We will cripple our economy," he said.

He said he has experience working in the industry, and power providers are burning less coal to generate the same amount of energy.

"It's just good business sense," he said.

Hostettler also spoke out against attempts at granting amnesty to illegal immigrants in this country. He said their presence dilutes the labor pool and disagreed with claims the jobs they fill are unattractive to legal U.S. residents.

Hostettler went on to discuss the need to reduce the deficit and reel in the judiciary, which he said has too much power intended for elected lawmakers.

No Surprise Here: Andre Carson Is a Liar

Strange, I don't hear anyone shouting the racist statements Carson claimed were hurled at him on his way to the Capitol Building.

International Talk Like William Shatner Day

The second annual, it seems (warning, language):



And one of them makes fun of Obama.

The video for the first-ever International Talk Like William Shatner Day:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Study Says ObamaCare to Destroy 700K Jobs

Nice.

Even better, 130 economists have signed a letter calling ObamaCare "a jobs killer."

More on the Coffee Party

Hilarious video about the Coffee Party being a therapy session for depressed Obama supporters:



Watch the whole thing. It's well worth it.

Hot Air:

Their idea of democracy is also interesting. “Democracy isn’t supposed to be about two teams fighting … it is about [a] community of people advancing common good.” Besides the fact that we’re a representative republic (with democratic processes), the notion that democracy is all about agreement certainly has the virtue of novelty. After all, if everyone agreed on how to advance the common good, you wouldn’t need democracy. This sounds very similar to Barack Obama’s continued insistence that people need to stop talking about health-care reform and just accept his proposal.

Besides, why does the Coffee Party need to “restore democracy in America”? The candidate they backed won the last election, as did the party they backed for Congress. Do the Klatschers believe that Democrats have destroyed democracy in America?

Some of the best reporting on the Coffee Party has come from, of all places, the Palm Beach Post:

A 2009 rant by MSNBC’s Rick Santelli helped launch the conservative tea party movement.

Now an Obama supporter’s Facebook rantings have launched an alternative “coffee party” that will try to gain traction Saturday with gatherings across the U.S., including one in West Palm Beach.

A local organizer said the group doesn’t have specific policy aims other than to promote civil dialogue, which he said is in contrast to the “obstructionism” of the tea party movement.

“We don’t have an agenda. Our agenda is cooperation,” said George Papison, a telecommunications consultant from West Palm Beach.

The coffee party movement was started by filmmaker Annabel Park, who volunteered for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and is a contributor to the United For Obama channel on YouTube.

“I kind of lost it and started ranting on my Facebook page about frustration I felt listening to news coverage that made it seem like the tea party was representative of America. I completely disagree with this,” Park says in a video on the Coffee Party USA Web site.

Park says the federal government is the “expression of our collective will” and should play a role in solving problems. “If you don’t believe that the government has any role, then, yeah, you should join the tea party.”

Park’s partner, filmmaker Eric Byler, co-directed the viral “Si Se Puede Cambiar” video in support of Obama in 2008. Park and Byler both volunteered on Democrat James Webb’s 2006 U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia.

West Palm Beach organizer Papison, 59, said he supported Obama in 2008 but also supported John McCain’s failed 2000 bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Elections records show Papison switched his voter registration from Republican to the Independent Party in September 2008. Papison said he has also been registered as a Democrat in the past.

Papison said he read about Park’s efforts last month and decided to get involved.

“Philosophically what I want to see is open communications,” said Papison, who criticized the “very right-wing” tea party and its boisterous opposition to health care at town hall meetings last summer.

“We don’t believe in going to events and shouting people down and obstructing conversation. Their objective is to close the lines of communication,” Papison said.

“That’s not what our objective is,” said South Florida Tea Party Chairman Everett Wilkinson.

“I’m for dialogue, too. It’s unfortunate our government’s not listening to us,” Wilkinson said.

Smell the astroturf!

But wait! There's more:

Venting about the conservative tea party movement and talking — at times heatedly — about the need for civility in public discourse marked the debut meeting of a local "coffee party" group today.

About 40 people showed up for the meeting at a Panera Bread restaurant, where organizer George Papison had booked a small room in expectation of a dozen or fewer.

The meeting was one of hundreds planned for today across the nation by Coffee Party U.S.A., a group that sprang from Facebook rantings against the tea party movement by filmmaker and Obama supporter Annabel Park.

"Frankly, we are petrified by the tea party and what they stand for and what they're talking about," said Monte Carmel, a retired business executive from West Palm Beach.

"I'm tired of all the misinformation, the cute little labels the fright-wing has thrown on everything," said a man named Russ.

"To me, government is the answer. I'm really sort of perplexed," said a man named Joe who said he had been a teacher for 44 years.


Participants broke into groups and wrote their priorities on white posters, then shared them with the larger gathering. Several called for passage of health care overhaul, which has galvanized tea party opposition. Others called for campaign finance reform and curbing the influence of lobbyists and corporations.

"We have to stop the mantra of no taxes, no taxes, no taxes," said Marcia Halpern of Palm Beach Gardens.

A few of the issues could have come straight from a tea party gathering, including criticism of the media and calls for term limits and for publicizing congressional earmarks.

Papison and several others said they hope to foster civil political debate.

But Art Brownstein of West Palm Beach, who described himself as a lifelong Democrat and a Vietnam vet, said civility has its limits.

"Sometimes it bothers me when the word 'civility' comes up," said Brownstein, who said people on "the other side....are not civil to us."


Brownstein, who is white, said "white southerners in this country are going nuts" because of the popularity of black figures like President Obama and Oprah Winfrey. He said he raised the issue because "you have to know who your enemy is."

Alana Milich, a high school teacher from Boynton Beach, agreed with Brownstein.

"The foundation of all of this is racism," said Milich, who is white.

Mary Castronuovo of Palm Beach Gardens said she doesn't want the coffee party to be defined by its criticism of the tea party.

"I would be discouraged if this group became just a counter to the tea party," she said. "We can't make them the enemy."

They don't make much sense, do they?

Hat tip: Ace.

Hilarious ObamaCare Video

Self-Execution Rule

Self-Execution Rule

Barbarians at the Gate

Barbarians at the Gate

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hilarious: Senate Letter Mocking the House

It's off the wall, but still funny given that the House is about to vote on the Senate language and the Senate is about to screw the House over (again).

From Ace:

An Open Letter to the House of Representatives from the United States Senate,

Dear Revolutionary Comrades in the House of Representatives,

How. Do. You. Like. Me. Now?

With the dropping of DemonPass, order has been restored. Once again, it is the Senate's way or the highway. Which is only fair, since my Appropriations Committee does a better job of funding highways than yours does anyway (which is why my requests typically prevail in conference committee).

As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end. It is not for nothing that I am the "upper chamber." I am the Master of the Universe. To put it in terms that even you can understand...I have the Power of Grayskull. You fetch Skeletor's juice boxes.

For, you see, no one on this side of the Hill takes you seriously. How could they? I am the body from which future Presidents emerge. You are the body from which Dennis Kucinich wages a constant battle against the mind control rays of Planet Nebulon Alpha VI.

In fact, were it not for how precious your antics are, I might not even keep you around at all! Sure...revenue bills have to originate within your body, but, c'mon, it's not like I was ever gonna have a problem with raising taxes over here anyway.

No...it's your insistance that you should be allowed to prevail on matters of policy that is truly amusing. Did you really think your trifling concerns on the health care bill were ever going to override mine?

After all, the founders didn't even trust you bozos to have a hand in approving nominees or ratifying treaties! In modern lingo, our Parents refused to give you the keys to the car. You will forever be counting on your more responsible big brother in the Senate to give you a ride to get to where you want to go.

Which I will be more than happy to do. Provided there isn't anything good on TV, and you cough up the gas money.

I know it has to hurt. You threw your cute little tantrum, got your panties all in a twist, and held your breath until you turned blue.

Well, I heard you did this. Truth be told I really didn't notice. It was fajita day in the Cloakroom, and pretty much all I could concentrate on was salsa, salsa, salsa!

But in the end, you are left without a say. You now have to pass the Senate's much better, wiser, and gosh darn it, handsome, legislation (which, in another sign of your penchant for adolescent, emo rage you hate) if you wish to proceed further on health care.

"But the unions hate the Cadillac tax!" you shout. Oh, you'll have time to win them over before you are up for election.

Oh that's right...you have to stand for election in November while 2/3's of the Dems in the Senate don't face voters for several more years. When you have a full 6 year term (they give anyone who is important at least 4 years) it's easy to lose track of time.

By the way, I keep meaning to ask this. Why are you hitting yourself? Do you like to hit yourself? You really should stop hitting yourself. What do you mean I am hitting you? I'm just standing in front of you, waving your arms around. It's your clenched fists hitting your goofy face that you refuse to move out of the way! Do you enjoy pain?

I digress. You have to go on record on our legislation now. Your proposed changes? Never gonna see the light of day. Well, that's not true. I may print them out and hang them on the refrigerator. Right next to the "executive order" made out of macaroni and glue that President Obama is reportedly considering giving you during recess.

You see, like your proposed changes, executive orders are just the cutest little things! They are like the finger-painting of the starfish you made, which I pointed out looked just like a turkey. "No", you insisted, "today it's a starfish!" "But it's an outline of your hand,"I said, "it looks more like a turkey!"

And then the neighbors came over, and they looked at the refrigerator. And they said "isn't that a cute Turkey!" and I said "it sure is" because I was ashamed to be associated with such a crappy piece of "art". Why do you bring such shame upon the family?

The important thing, tho, is that every time the neighbors look at the "painting" they see a turkey. And they always will, thanks to me.

Which reminds me. Remember that time you stayed up all night drawing a 1/1000 representation of the Capitol Mall on the Etch of Sketch, and before you could show it to anyone we erased it. Sure, you cried. But I laughed. So I deem that a good time was had by all.

See, who says I don't pay attention to what you little guys get up to over there.

Now be good little Representatives and follow my lead once again. Sure, people will wonder how you could vote for something you hate, but you can just tell them "because the Senate is smarter and better at legislatin' and stuff" and they will certainly understand.

Or stand up for yourselves and vote our Senate bill down. Maybe, just maybe, you could force me to start all over.

HAHAHAHAHHAH. As if. Once a red headed step-child, always a red-headed step child.

Love ya lots, lil'bro. Now fetch me a juice box.

Your Better,

The Senate