By ConnPolitics.tv Editor, on Jul 23, 2009
Hamden (AP/WTNH) – A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Connecticut U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd continues to lag behind a potential Republican challenger.
The poll, released Thursday, shows the Democrat incumbent trails former Republican Congressman Rob Simmons 48 percent to 39 percent. The figures are similar to the lead Simmons had in a May 27 poll.
The poll shows that although Dodd is down in a matchup with Simmons he is improving on his approval among voters, but it’s still a negative. Forty-two percent approve of the job he’s doing, up from 38 percent in May.
“Sen. Dodd’s numbers among Democrats are back to where they used to be with over 70 percent of Democrats approving of his job performance and backing his reelection bid,” Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said.
The poll numbers show that Dodd has gained among Democrats, but lost independent support since May 27.
“Perhaps Dodd’s visibility in helping with President Barack Obama’s agenda has brought some wavering Democrats home. But he still is struggling with Independents, who will be harder to win back than his own partisans,” Schwartz said.
Dodd leads businessman Merrick Alpert 52-18 percent in a Democratic primary, the poll showed.
Simmons dominates a Republican primary matchup, but 45 percent are undecided.
The survey of 1,499 voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
Poll details are available at http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1296.xml?ReleaseID=1353
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Chris, have the dignity to resign now and make room for a younger Demoncrat.
Go right ahead guys. You've got my blessings on THAT tax, PROVIDED that you don't let actors take a credit on the tummy-tuck/face-lift tax against their Federal income taxes.
Monday, July 27, 2009Face-lifts, tummy tucks and hair transplants could be hit with a new tax to help finance the trillion-dollar healthcare overhaul plan, according to sources familiar with the Senate talks.
The Senate Finance Committee has discussed imposing a 10 percent excise tax on cosmetic surgery deemed unnecessary for medical purposes. The idea was broached in a meeting with OMB Director Orszag in mid-July, after which Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus told reporters he had heard some "interesting," "creative," and "kind of fun" ideas.
The tax, which has not been officially scored, would plug some of the revenue gap senators are seeking to fill to keep on schedule for a markup the week of Aug. 3. It would target procedures prohibited under Section 213 of the tax code, which deals with itemized deductions for medical expenses not covered by health insurance.
The 1990 deficit-reduction law prohibited taxpayers from taking deductions for cosmetic surgery "unless the surgery or procedure is necessary to ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or a disfiguring disease."
The law defines cosmetic surgery as "any procedure which is directed at improving the patient's appearance and does not meaningfully promote the proper function of the body or prevent or treat illness or disease."
According to the IRS, deductions for procedures such as reconstructive surgery due to cancer or laser eye surgery would be allowed. But nose jobs, liposuction, teeth-whitening procedures and Botox injections to smooth wrinkles would be prohibited under Sec. 213 and subject to the new tax.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Climate Audit Proving to Be Inconvenient (Again) [Edward John Craig]
For all of our UK readers, now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of their country (and science). The Met Office refuses to release data and methodology for their HadCRUT global temperature dataset after being asked repeatedly. Without the data and procedures there is no possibility of replication, and without replication the Hadley climate data is not scientifically valid. This isn’t just a skeptic issue, mind you, others have just a keen an interest in proving the data.
What is so bizarre is this. The FOI request by Steve McIntyre to the Met Office was for a copy of the data sent to Peter Webster. If the restrictions on the data hold for Steve McIntyre, why did they not prevent release of the data to Webster?
When asked by Warwick Hughes for this data, Dr. Jones famously replied:
Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.
This is just wrong on so many levels. This isn’t state secrets, it is temperature data gathered from weather stations worldwide and the methodology of collating and processing it. Much of the weather station data is available online and live via hundreds of Internet sites, so the argument that “strict understanding by the data providers that this station data must not be publicly released” is in my opinion, bogus. You can get a list of CRU stations. Go to: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/landstations/ and download the file: crustnsused.txt
And then look up any number of these stations on the Internet and get the data.
The fact that Hadley/Met Office repeatedly refuses to disclose the data and methodology only deepens the likelihood that there is something amiss and Hadley does not want to be caught out on it.
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Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 29% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11. That’s the first time his ratings have reached double digits in negative territory (see trends).
UK Police Raid Barbecue Because it was Listed as “All-Night Event” on Facebook
By Brad TaylorPublished: 20 July 2009 Posted in: Minor features, News
UK Police recently broke up a barbecue celebrating a 30th birthday because it was advertised on Facebook as an “all-night” event.
The celebration, with all of 17 confirmed guests, was to be held in an isolated field in Devon last weekend. The event was listed on Facebook as being overnight, in case any guests wished to stay over. Unfortunately, police in riot vans, body armor, and a helicopter (!) crashed the party at 4pm, ordering everyone to leave before the hosts had a chance to turn on the music.
The birthday boy, Andrew Poole, was understandably quite surprised by all this: “It was on private land. We were nowhere near anyone. We weren’t even playing any music. What effectively the police did was come in and stop fifteen people eating burgers.”
Police in the UK have been granted special powers to stop “raves.” A rave is defined as “a gathering on land in the open air of 100 or more persons (whether or not trespassers) at which amplified music is played during the night (with or without intermissions) and is such as, by reason of its loudness and duration and the time at which it is played, is likely to cause serious distress to the inhabitants of the locality.” Of course, there don’t actually need to be 100 people for the police to shut down a rave. An officer simply needs to believe that two or more people are preparing for a rave, or that ten or more people are waiting for a rave to begin.
The police are defending their actions by saying that if they hadn’t stopped the party early, more police resources would have been used to break up the inevitable hamburger-fuelled (sic) riots. Don’t you feel safer, Brits?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 30% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-nine percent (39%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -9. (see trends).
The number who Strongly Disapprove of the President has increased slightly following the prime time press conference on Wednesday night. That figure—39%--is now at the highest level yet recorded. As a result, the overall Approval Index has fallen to the lowest level yet recorded for this President.
Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. This is the second straight day that his overall approval rating has been below 50% among Likely Voters nationwide. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove. See recent demographic highlights from the Presidential Tracking Poll. For more measures of the President’s performance, see Obama By the Numbers.
"He fled the "People's Republic of Massachusetts" to escape tyranny. Now he strides the campground in a plaid kilt and mirror shades, an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle across his torso, an immense Scottish sword sheathed between his shoulders."For the rest of Geller's statist inspired tripe, go here
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
By Michelle Malkin • July 22, 2009 01:42 PM
Walter Olson has the scoop on how Dems tried to stuff goodies for trial lawyers in the House Democrats’ health care takeover bill.
Republicans apparently stymied those efforts last week, but like the Terminator, they’ll be back.
Just before the House leadership’s 794-page health care reform bill went to a Ways & Means markup last Thursday, a remarkable provision was slipped in that amounts to one of the more audacious and far-reaching trial lawyer power grabs seen on Capitol Hill in a while. Republicans managed to fend it off for the moment–but don’t be surprised if it shows up again down the road in some form.
The provision would have drastically widened the scope of lawsuits against what are known as Medicare third-party defendants…
…The language slipped into the health bill would greatly expand the scope of these suits against third parties, while doing something entirely new, namely allow freelance lawyers to file them on behalf of the government–without asking permission–and collect rich bounties if they manage thereby to extract money from the defendants. Lawyers will recognize this as a “qui tam” procedure, of the sort that has led to a growing body of litigation filed by freelance bounty hunters against universities, defense contractors and others alleged to have overcharged the government.
It gets worse…
In the 2008 campaign cycle Lawyers (as a subset of campaign contributors) gave to Democrat candidates ($178 Million) at a rate of a little bit more than 3 to 1 over Republicans ($54 Million) See, OpenSecrets .org
Here's a link to the American Association of Justice (f/k/a Association of Trial Lawyers of America) page at OpenSecrets.org.
Open Secrets describes ATLA - oops, that's AAJ, nearly forgot they changed their name to cloak the guilty - as follows:
American Assn for Justice
Formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), this group of plaintiffs' attorneys and others in the legal profession now goes by the name of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and boasts 56,000 members worldwide. A lobbying heavyweight, the association has been battling any attempt at tort reform, including recent proposals to cap awards in medical malpractice lawsuits. AAJ also lobbies Congress on any legislation that may inhibit the ability of consumers to bring lawsuits, particularly against health care providers, asbestos companies or insurance companies processing claims related to terrorism. The association favors Democrats, who oppose most attempts to initiate tort reform.
Hot blonde Shelly Roche of ByteStyle.tv explains that which Congressional Democrats and the White House with all their Ivy educations just can't seem to grasp: The Obvious
The Cato Institute will launch an ad campaign Thursday highlighting under-reported poll data showing Americans’ concerns that current health care reform plans will raise costs, limit choice and reduce the quality of their health care.
The campaign will feature full-page ads in major national newspapers, in addition to radio spots focusing on why government-run health care cannot address the problems of growing costs and lack of coverage for many individuals and families. The campaign will expand in the weeks ahead.
“Our goal is to help the American public navigate terms like ‘a public plan’ and ‘individual or employer mandates’ to understand what is really happening here,” said Ed Crane, founder and president of the Cato Institute. “The bottom line is, most of the plans coming from the White House and congressional leadership will result in a government-run health care system that is really not the best option for most Americans.”
A poll by the Washington Post and ABC News conducted June 18-21 showed that 84 percent of respondents were “very” or “somewhat” concerned that “current efforts to reform the health care system” would increase their health care costs. The survey also showed that 79 percent of respondents were concerned that current efforts would limit their choices of doctors or medical treatments.
As part of the campaign, Cato is running radio ads in major cities across the country. You can listen to them below, and embed them on your own blog using the code on the official campaign site.
More from Rasmussen Reports:
53% of Polled Voters now oppose the Health Care Reform Package that Obama and Congressional Democrats seek to rahm down our throats. Just 44% approve of the plan. To read the whole of Rasmussen's report on this new data, click on the hyper-linked title
July 22, 2009
The health care reform legislation working its way through Congress has lost support over the past month. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% of U.S. voters are at least somewhat in favor of the reform effort while 53% are at least somewhat opposed.
Opposition has grown from 45% in late June to 49% two weeks ago and 53% today.
As in earlier surveys, those with strong opinions are more likely to oppose the plan rather than support it. The current numbers: 24% strongly favor and 37% strongly oppose.
From Rasmussen Reports, comes news that Republicans now lead Democrats by 4% on a Generic Congressional Ballot.
Read it and weep Rahm:
Tuesday, July 21, 2009Republicans Take Four-Point Lead on Generic Ballot
Support for Republican congressional candidates has reached its highest level in over two years as the GOP lengthens its lead over Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Ballot.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 38% would opt for the Democratic candidate.
Support for Republican candidates rose two points over the past week, while support for Democratic candidates is up one point. Last week, support for Democrats fell to its lowest level in over two years.
Democratic support on the congressional ballot has ranged from a low of 37% to a high of 50% in the past 12 months. In that same period, Republicans have been preferred by 34% to 42% of voters nationwide.
Democrats held a six- or seven-point lead over the GOP for the first several weeks of 2009. That began to slip in early February, and from mid-April through June the parties were roughly even. Republicans have now held a lead on the ballot for four straight weeks.
Men prefer Republicans by a 46% to 35% margin. Women have been more evenly divided over the past few weeks, this week favoring Democrats by a 41% to 38% margin.
Voters not affiliated with either party heavily favor GOP candidates by a 41% to 21% margin, showing little change since last week.
Health care remains a top issue this week, and recent polling finds that voters see cost, not universal coverage, as the biggest health care concern. Sixty-seven percent (67%) say that people with chronic conditions such as diabetes should not pay higher health insurance premiums.
Half (50%) now oppose creation of a public insurance company to compete with private insurers. Seventy-eight percent (78%) believe that health care reform is likely to lead to middle class tax hikes.
After a brief burst of optimism in the spring, job confidence has fallen back to first-of-the-year levels.
Following last week's Senate Judiciary
Committeehearings, 43% of the nation’s likely voters favor the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, while 39% are opposed.
If the 2012 presidential election were held today, Obama and possible Republican nominee Mitt Romney would be all tied up at 45% each. The president, seeking a second four-year term, beats another potential GOP rival, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, by six points – 48% to 42%.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Get this out there:
White House putting off release of budget update
Jul 20, 6:20 AM (ET)
By Tom Raum
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.
The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.
The release of the update - usually scheduled for mid-July - has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.
The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.
The White House budget director, Peter Orszag, said on Sunday that the administration believes the "chances are high" of getting a health care bill by then. But new analyses showing runaway costs are jeopardizing Senate passage.
"Instead of a dream, this routine report could be a nightmare," Tony Fratto, a former Treasury Department official and White House spokesman under President George W. Bush, said of the delayed budget update. "There are some things that can't be escaped."
The administration earlier this year predicted that unemployment would peak at about 9 percent without a big stimulus package and 8 percent with one. Congress did pass a $787 billion two-year stimulus measure, yet unemployment soared to 9.5 percent in June and appears headed for double digits.
Obama's current forecast anticipates 3.2 percent growth next year, then 4 percent or higher growth from 2011 to 2013. Private forecasts are less optimistic, especially for next year.
Any downward revision in growth or revenue projections would mean that budget deficits would be far higher than the administration is now suggesting.
Setting the stage for bleaker projections, Vice President Joe Biden recently conceded, "We misread how bad the economy was" in January. Obama modified that by suggesting the White House had "incomplete" information.
The new budget update comes as the public and members of Congress are becoming increasingly anxious over Obama's economic policies.
A Washington Post-ABC News survey released Monday shows approval of Obama's handling of health-care reform slipping below 50 percent for the first time. The poll also found support eroding on how Obama is dealing with other issues that are important to Americans right now - the economy, unemployment and the swelling budget deficit.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
50% Oppose Government Health Insurance Company
Friday, July 17, 2009
Just 35% of U.S. voters now support the creation of a government health insurance company to compete with private health insurers.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 50% of voters oppose setting up a government health insurance company as President Obama and congressional Democrats are now proposing in their health care reform plan. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.
In mid-June, 41% of American adults thought setting up a government health insurance company to compete with private health insurance companies was a good idea, but the identical number (41%) disagreed.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democrats favor the creation of a government insurance alternative. But Republicans (73%) and voters not affiliated with either party (62%) are opposed.
Seventy-one percent (71%) of liberals like the plan for a government insurance company, while 76% of conservatives are against it.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters now at least somewhat oppose the Democrats’ health care reform plan, while 46% at least somewhat favor it.
Seventy-eight percent (78%) of voters say it is at least somewhat likely that taxes will be raised on the middle class to cover the cost of the health care reform plan.
Democrats in the House want to tax wealthier Americans to help fund their health care reform plans, but voters are closely divided over whether that's such a good idea .
Forty-five percent (45%) of Americans believe health care reform will increase the cost of health insurance coverage while just 19% believe it will reduce costs.
Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters say they are following the congressional debate on health care reform at least somewhat closely, with 36% who are following very closely. Just four percent (4%) say they are not following at all.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
There is a new silliness in the Western Anglo Media, comparing the US Emperor's Czar program to the number of Tsars that Holy Russia had. It is a good thing that the US/UK public is ignorant not only of ancient history but also of recent history, otherwise they might start to worry.
So let us go back and establish some historic references. Czar or rather Tsar, is a degradation of the Latin term Ceasar, similar to Germany's Kaiser. Ceasar, originally the family name of one Julious Ceasar, who almost became Rome's first Emperor, before his assassination, lent his family name to the title of Roman emperors.
The first use of the term in Russia was during the reign of Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Feared, which the Anglos mistranslate to "The Terrible") Before this, the term "князь" knyaz or "принц" prince, was used. The Moscow princes, being the new center of the Rus, Kiev being held by Catholic Poles, were called the grand princes (велики князь).
Ivan Grozny got the other princes under his rule, to refer to him as Tsar. They did it to humor their half mad overlord, not realizing the importance of words. Ivan, however, knew their power and that of titles in the human psyche and knew that once the title of Tsar stuck, he and his prodigy would forever be associated as some one absolutely separate and above the regular knyazi: an emperor rather than a challengable grand prince.
Now we forward several hundred years to the Wall Street sponsored Russian Revolution and Civil War and the Marxists take over of Holy Russia.
In order to control the vast nation and its revolutionary reshaping during a chaotic time, Lenin and later Stalin, created a system of Commissars. These were not limited to military and instilling party loyalty, but were used throughout Soviet society. A commissar and his staff had absolute authority, answering only to the dictator and by-passing the various local councils and people's senates. Two things to note here:
1. their spheres were ambiguous and often over lapped responsibilities of other commissars. This in turn caused a large volume of infighting. Sure this is very wasteful of resources and confusing, but what it does do, is allow the dictator to keep ultimate power by keeping his most powerful minions at each others throats with the dictator as the ultimate arbitrator of power.
2. The commissars were mostly young, had little achievement outside the power structure, self assured, true believers. They knew very well that outside their positions, created and granted by the dictator, they had little hope of career success. They were given responsibility much higher then their experience levels, further beholding them to their owner. It made them extremely jealous of their power, which in turn made them vengeful against anyone who stood in their way, especially other power hungry commissars.
Fast forward to modern transitional America. The American Emperor has taken the six commissars of his leftist predecessor and created at least 28 more. Yes, commissars do multiply quickly at first and many more are in the works, until the American parliament (congress) and the oblasts (states) assemblies (state senates) are powerless show pieces and all power centers (commissars) flow only to the dictator.
So while the Anglo owned talking mental traps compare the American commissars to Russian holy emperors (Tsars) answerable to God, the Church, holy and societal tradition, the nobility and popular uprisings (we had plenty).
The Commissars (Czars) of Emperor Obama, answerable to none but the Emperor, consolidate power on a level realizable only in the Marxist, Godless society of absolutes, not in a traditional Orthodox Christian monarchy.
So Americans can call them what they want, but we Russians and the US emperor know their true name: Commissar.
Please, please, please visit her blog and encourage her to keep it going. Becky is a blogosphere treasure and the loss of her voice and perspective on current events and all other matters that picque her interest, hands the trolls exactly what they want: SILENCING OF THE OPPOSITION
DEM HEALTH RX A POI$ON PILL IN NY
By CHARLES HURT IN DC and DAVID SEIFMAN AND JENNIFER FERMINO IN NY, Post Wire ServicesJuly 16, 2009 --
Congressional plans to fund a massive health-care overhaul could have a job-killing effect on New York, creating a tax rate of nearly 60 percent for the state's top earners and possibly pressuring small-business owners to shed workers.
New York's top income bracket could reach as high as 57 percent -- rates not seen in three decades -- to pay for the massive health coverage proposed by House Democrats this week.
The top rate in New York City, home to many of the state's wealthiest people, would be 58.68 percent, the Washington-based Tax Foundation said in a report yesterday.
That means New York's top earners, small-business owners and most dynamic entrepreneurs will be facing new fees and penalties.
The $544 billion tax hike would violate one of President Obama's ironclad campaign promises: No family will pay higher tax rates than they would have paid in the 1990s.
Under the bill, three new tax brackets would be created for high earners, with a top rate of 45 percent for families making more than $1 million. That would be the highest income-tax rate since 1986, when the top rate was 50 percent.
The legislation is especially onerous for business owners, in part because it penalizes employers with a payroll bigger than $400,000 some 8 percent of wages if they don't offer health care.
But the cost of the buy-in to the program may be so prohibitive that it will dissuade owners from growing their businesses -- a scary prospect in the midst of a recession.
Obama took to the airwaves yesterday with ads and TV interviews promoting the need to reform health care.
As a Senate health committee passed a different version of a health-care reform bill - a milestone for the issue - Obama said on NBC, "The American people have to realize that there's no such thing as a free lunch."
And in a Rose Garden speech, he said the "status quo" on health care is "threatening the financial stability of families, of businesses, and of government. It's unsustainable, and it has to change."
Asked if Obama supports the surtax on wealthiest Americans even though it would break a campaign pledge, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said only, "It's a process that we're watching."
Republicans in Washington and small-business defenders in New York said the House legislation would effectively place a stranglehold on businesses while running off top earners.
"Placing a big tax burden on the small-business community would rob them of the resources they need to create the jobs that will lead us out of the recession," said Tom Donohue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce.
"If there's one sure way to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, this is it."
Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist for small stores and businesses in New York City, warned that "in the middle of a recession, it's a very strange way to legislate."
"According to what we've read, the House health-insurance plan would have a job-crippling impact on neighborhood stores and other small businesses because they put mandates on these businesses that would prevent them from hiring people because of the cost of the plan," Lipsky said.
Under the House plan, businesses with payrolls of $400,000 or more would pay an 8 percent penalty for uninsured workers, while companies with payrolls between $250,000 and $400,000 would pay slightly smaller penalties.
Adding to this burden, said Michael Moran of the State Business Council of New York, is that New York is already a high-tax state.
"Any additional taxes make New York even less competitive," he said.
New York would become the third-most-hostile place for top earners to live under the proposed new surtaxes supported by House Democrats and championed by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY).
Also hit would be individuals earning $280,000 annually and families making $350,000 a year.
The profits from small businesses would also be taxed on the back end.
Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, an umbrella organization representing the city's major businesses, said that the estimated top marginal tax rate of 57 percent for New York actually underestimates the potential impact on businesses.
That's because it doesn't include the city's burdensome unincorporated-business tax, which snares many entrepreneurs.
"It could be between 62 and 63 percent," she said.
If the House plan passes, Wylde said, "There literally, at this point, is very strong reason to relocate your family and your business outside New York."
A lot of small businesses would be hit with the penalties for not insuring workers and get hit with the surtaxes, Moran warned.
"Many small businesses file their business taxes under personal income," he said. "That's the way the tax law is written. Small business, which is really where most of the job creation takes place, could be hit hard.
According to the city's Department for Small Business Services, there are some 220,000 small businesses in the five boroughs. The agency does not keep track of how many offer health insurance.
"It's something that's going to kill jobs. That's the result," said Stephanie Cathcart, spokeswoman for the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
Among the most egregious provisions of the House proposal, she said, is a requirement that businesses pay the cost of 72.4 percent of individual health plans and 65 percent of family plans.
Those that don't hit the mark would face the payroll tax penalty.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
By Edwin Chen
July 14 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama may rely only on Democrats to push health-care legislation through the U.S. Congress if Republican opposition doesn’t yield soon, two of the president’s top advisers said.
“Ultimately, this is not about a process, it’s about results,” David Axelrod, Obama’s senior political strategist, said during an interview in his White House office. “If we’re going to get this thing done, obviously time is a-wasting.”
Both Axelrod and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said taking a partisan route to enacting major health-care legislation isn’t the president’s preferred choice. Yet in separate interviews, each man left that option open.
“We’d like to do it with the votes of members of both parties,” Axelrod said. “But the worst result would be to not get health-care reform done.”
House Democrats today unveiled legislation totaling about $1 trillion that would expand health care to millions of Americans over the next decade by raising taxes on the wealthiest households. The Senate has yet to agree on a bill as Democratic lawmakers struggle to get Republican support.
Emanuel, making a theoretical case for a party-line vote, offered a definition of bipartisanship based not on roll-call votes but on whether Democrats have accepted Republican ideas during the process of negotiations.
And he said Democrats already have passed that test, pointing to Republican amendments that the Democratic-controlled Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has adopted.
“That’s a test of bipartisanship -- whether you took ideas from both parties,” Emanuel said. “At the end of the day, the test isn’t whether they voted for it,” he said, referring to Republicans. “The test is whether the final product represented some of their ideas. And I think it will.”
Analysts and some veteran political practitioners have inveighed against a partisan approach on such a contentious issue.
During a joint appearance in June as the two unveiled their own bipartisan health-care proposal, Dole said he believed Democrats could pass a bill by a party-line vote, even as he expressed disapproval of such a tactic.
“I hope it doesn’t come to that,” Dole said. “If there’s not a Senate Republican vote for the package, then the American people are going to be very skeptical.”
Don’t Assume ‘Unanimity’
The Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate to 40 for the Republicans, and have a 255-178 advantage in the House, with two vacancies.
Daschle said he “couldn’t agree more” with Dole’s warning about the political fallout from a partisan vote.
Moreover, he expressed doubt that Democrats alone could prevail, because that scenario “assumes unanimity” he said, and that isn’t the case.
Time is running short for the House and Senate to pass the legislation before their August recess, the deadline Obama has set. In entertaining the possibility of a party-line vote on health care, Emanuel cited “reconciliation,” a parliamentary procedure that a dominant party can use to prevent the other party from blocking legislation.
“It’s not the first priority, or the second priority, or the third priority. We think we can get it done without it,” he said.
Yet reconciliation “exists as an alternative vehicle, Emanuel said. “That’s what it was created for.”
With time running out, some Democrats have urged Obama to get more deeply involved in the nitty-gritty legislative negotiations.
Axelrod said the president is likely to do that.
“I can’t guarantee whether his sleeves will be rolled up or not,” he said. “Obviously, as this process evolves, I think he will be very clear about things.”
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
49% Oppose Health Care Reform Plan, 46% Favor It
Monday, July 13, 2009
Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters now at least somewhat oppose the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, while 46% at least somewhat favor it, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
Just two weeks ago, 50% were for the reform plan, and 45% were opposed.
The “nays” also continue to have the edge in terms of intensity. While 22% strongly favor the Democrats’ health
carereform plan, 38% strongly oppose it, up four points from the previous survey.
Among those voters who have health
insurance, opposition is even higher: 43% favor the plan, but 52% oppose it. Those who strongly oppose it outnumber those who strongly favor it by two-to-one – 40% to 20%.
'Jane Roe' Arrested at Supreme Court Hearing
By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 13, 2009 8:17 PM
The woman at the center of the Supreme Court's landmark abortion rights ruling was arrested today at the confirmation hearing for Sonia Sotomayor among a wave of anti-abortion protesters who lined the sidewalks outside the Senate office buildings and several of whom made it into the hearing room and disrupted in an attempt to disrupt the proceedings.
Norma McCorvey, 61, of Texas, better known as "Jane Roe" in the famous Roe v. Wade case from January 1973, was arrested after she and another protester started yelling during the opening statement of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), according to Capitol Police. McCorvey, whose pursuit of the right to access to abortion in the early 1970s led to the ruling that has been a pivotal part of every Supreme Court nomination process since, eventually become a notable opponent of the procedure.
Sgt. Kimberly Schneider of the Capitol Police said McCorvey and Francis Mahoney, 68, of Florida were charged with unlawful conduct for disrupting Congress, the third and fourth such arrests the police made during the more than five-hour proceedings. McCorvey was part of the group of protesters outside the Hart Senate Office Building throughout the day, a gathering led by Randall Terry, the former head of Operation Rescue, an organization dedicated to ending abortion.
McCorvey, who used Roe as an alias in her court filings for fear of retribution, remained an abortion-rights supporter until the mid-1990s. Working at a women's clinic in Dallas, she befriended some Operation Rescue protesters. In 1995, she was baptized and has been an anti-abortion activist ever since.
The last two rows of the hearing room were reserved today for about 50 members of the public, who rotated into the hearings for short intervals and then were escorted out to allow others to view the proceedings. McCorvey and Mahoney were part of a group headed out as Franken was praising the service of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), a staunch supporter of the Roe decision. Kennedy left the Judiciary Committee earlier this year, making this the first Supreme Court confirmation fight without his presence since 1965.
When McCorvey and Mahoney started shouting, they were quickly removed from the room. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Judiciary Committee chairman, banged the gavel on the crowd for the third time today.
"Officers, please remove whoever is causing the disturbance," Leahy said. "Again, as Senator Sessions and I have said, this is a meeting of the United States Senate. We'll show respect to everybody who is here, we will show respect to everybody, including to Judge Sotomayor, to the Senators on both sides of the aisle, and we will have order in this room."
Monday, July 13, 2009
July 13, 2009 3:48 PM EDT
WASHINGTON - Nine months into the fiscal year, the federal deficit has topped $1 trillion for the first time.
The imbalance is intensifying fears about higher interest rates and inflation, and already pressuring the value of the dollar. There's also concern about trying to reverse the deficit - by reducing government spending or raising taxes - in the midst of a harsh recession.
The Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit in June totaled $94.3 billion, pushing the total since the budget year started in October to nearly $1.1 trillion.
The deficit has been propelled by the huge sum the government has spent to combat the recession and financial crisis, combined with a sharp decline in tax revenues. Paying for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also is a major factor.
The country's soaring deficits are making Chinese and other foreign buyers of U.S. debt nervous, which could make them reluctant lenders down the road. It could force the Treasury Department to pay higher interest rates to make U.S. debt attractive longer-term.
"These are mind boggling numbers," said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at the Smith School of Business at California State University. "Our foreign investors from China and elsewhere are starting to have concerns about not only the value of the dollar but how safe their investments will be in the long run."
Government spending is on the rise to address the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and an unemployment rate that has climbed to 9.5 percent.
Congress already approved a $700 billion financial bailout and a $787 billion economic stimulus package to try and jump-start a recovery, and there is growing talk among some Obama administration officials that a second round of stimulus may be necessary.
This has many Republicans and deficit hawks worried that the U.S. could be setting itself up for more financial pain down the road if interest rates and inflation surge. They also are raising alarms about additional spending the administration is proposing, including its plan to reform health care.
President Barack Obama and other administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, have said the U.S. is committed to bringing down the deficits once the country has emerged from the current recession and financial crisis.
On a related matter concerning Obama's drive up of the National Debt, comes the following YouTube video from 10000pennies who frames the video post this way:
How do the Obama deficits compare with past presidents? And how did the national debt get so big anyway. This video tries to answer those questions by looking at the debt as a road trip and seeing how fast different administrations have been traveling.
Hat tip to an old friend who sent me a link by email and who shall remain anonymous
Just a Girl in short shorts talking about whatever: Property Rights Kiss Off
Looking at the raw numbers, one can see that Obama's Strong Approval numbers are in continual slide with only 28% of voters polled now saying they "strongly approve" of his performance. This is bad news for Boz.The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday [July 13, 2009] shows that 28% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-six percent (36%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –8 (see trends).
Let's see what bogus distraction (hot and stinky stuff) David Axelrod can find to throw at that spinning fan we also loosely call the MSM.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Michigan's unemployment rate could hit as high as 20 percent with the Obama administration to blame, one Michigan congressman warned Friday.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) said that Michigan's unemployment — already the highest in the country at 14.1 percent — could go even higher as General Motors and Chrysler continue to shed jobs after their government-financed bankruptcies.
"Sadly, we've seen estimates, because of the radical restructuring that the auto task force demanded, that this year, Michigan wind up over 20 percent unemployment," McCotter said during an appearance on a conservative news radio program.
The Wolverine State hasn't yet exceeded its previous record for unemployment in modern history, when it reached 16.9 percent in November of 1982.
McCotter warned that the effect of such a high jobless number could spread to other states and cities.
"That cascading effect throughout the entire economy — and throughout other states — that rely in many ways on the manufacturing base is going to have devastating effects not only to state government, it's going to have devastating effects for local government," McCotter explained.