Archive for March 12th, 2010

“Pelosi’s Arrogance Knows No Bounds” By Colin Hanna

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Several public opinion surveys over the last ten or eleven months make it clear the American people do not want the health care reform legislation currently before Congress to pass. It’s a sea change in the public’s attitude since from the days immediately following the 2008 election, when Democrats from the newly-elected Barack Obama on down universally proclaimed that the people had given them a mandate, that they had embraced the idea that the government should increase its control of the health care system and, with it, nearly one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

Those claims were smoke and mirrors then and they are smoke and mirrors now. Utilizing a process that, contrary to the claims of leading Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has been anything but transparent, a bill has been produced full of special interest carve outs, tax increases and pork-laden political payoffs that, according to those who have studied the bill closely, will only make matters worse.

The American public has grown cynical about the whole business. Who can blame them — especially when a majority of those in Congress will not even promise to read the bill before voting on it? Unfortunately for the people’s interests, the trickery appears to be getting worse. Nothing exemplifies the contempt that Speaker Pelosi has for the public and everyone outside her little circle of intimidated puppets better than her arrogant assertion that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.” What she calls the fog of controversy is actually the process of painstakingly deciphering 2,700 pages of arcane obfuscation. The bill contains one simple reality that Pelosi and team desperately want to conceal: it will dramatically expand government’s reach into the private sector of our economy and dramatically reduce individual liberty.

Up to now, political analysts on both sides of the aisle believed the only way to get a bill to President Obama’s desk for his signature was if the House voted to approve, without amendment, the health care bill that passed the Senate last Christmas. And enough votes could be secured to do that only if the House and Senate leadership — in order to win the votes of Democrats who continued to have concerns about provisions included in the Senate bill like the infamous “Cornhusker Kickback” and its lack of sufficient protections to block federal funds from being used to pay for abortion and abortion-related services – promised to fix the issues that caused them concern through a legislative process known as “reconciliation.” But that may no longer be the case.

In another arrogant display of legislative power and contempt for the ordinary citizen, Rep. Louise Slaughter – the Pelosi ally who chairs the all powerful House Rules Committee – is said to be preparing the way for the Senate health care bill to pass the House without ever being voted on in order to overcome the fact that they don’t have the votes to pass it.

According to National Journal’s Congress Daily, Slaughter is giving serious consideration to a plan that would ” usher the health care overhaul through the House and potentially avoid a direct vote on the Senate overhaul bill” by manipulating the rules of the chamber in such a way that the Senate bill would be “deemed” as having passed once the House approves a bill that would make the corrections certain members want.

It is now more apparent than ever that Pelosi and Reid are the White House are committed to passing the health care bill by whatever means necessary, even if they have to pull the wool over the public’s eyes to do it. In essence, members of the House are being asked to base their next vote on health care on a bill they and the American people have not read and which has not, as yet, been written.

Congress’s arrogance has been on full display throughout this debate, making clear that it will pass a healthcare bill that a majority of Americans oppose by any means necessary. Now, more than ever in this debate it is important that the everyone say “no!” to this kind of political chicanery in a loud, clear and united voice. What the Democrats are doing is no longer simply a matter of passing a bill; they are threatening to undermine 200 years of legislative process and Democratic traditions in order to get their way.

Original Link.

Dems Abandon Abortion Deal, Ready Health Vote

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Despite massive public protest against health care “reform” the Democratic leadership is preparing to vote on basically the same bill that they have touted all along.
On top of that, they have decided to hang their own people out to dry.
The “Blue Dog” Democrats, especially those who have misgivings about the abortion support contained in this legislation, have now been shut out of the process.
The Democrats are determined to ram this legislation down our throats, no matter what.

WASHINGTON — House Democratic leaders Thursday abandoned a long struggle to strike a compromise on abortion in their ranks, gambling that they can secure the support for President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care legislation with showdown votes looming as early as next week.

In doing so, they are all but counting out a small but potentially decisive group whose views on abortion coverage have become the principal hang-up for Democrats fighting to achieve the biggest change in American health care in generations. Congressional leaders are hoping they can find enough support from other wavering Democrats to pass legislation that only cleared the House by five votes in an earlier incarnation.

The concession came as House Democrats attended a lengthy meeting with White House health adviser Nancy Ann DeParle, who tried to answer questions, resolve differences and calm nerves, especially for lawmakers expecting tough challenges in November. Participants said they generally embraced White House-brokered compromises on prescription drug benefits for the elderly and new taxes on generous insurance plans.

At stake is the president’s call to expand health care to some 30 million people who lack insurance and to prohibit insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people who have been sick. Almost every American would be affected by the legislation, which would change the ways many people receive and pay for health care, from the most routine checkup to the most expensive, lifesaving treatment. And most Americans would be required by law to get health insurance.

Republicans continued their fierce criticisms of the president’s efforts, vowing to make Democrats pay dearly in the fall elections if they don’t back off from what they brand a government takeover of health care. But senior Democrats predicted they can convince their colleagues that doing nothing is the worst option of all, politically and substantively.

“The stars are aligning for victory on comprehensive health reform,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel emerged from a meeting in the Capitol with top Democratic lawmakers Thursday night saying, “We made a lot of decisions. We’re getting towards the end.”

The end might be near, but the outcome remains uncertain. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., must round up at least 216 votes when the real nose-counting and arm-twisting begin in a few days, after final cost estimates arrive from the Congressional Budget Office. All House and Senate Republicans have vowed to oppose the legislation.

With Senate Democrats no longer able to block Republican filibusters, the strategy calls for House Democrats to embrace a health bill the Senate passed in December, despite their numerous objections. Democratic senators in turn would promise to make a limited number of changes under “budget reconciliation” rules, which bar filibusters.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers quarreled Thursday over whether Obama must sign the Senate bill into law before Congress can make the changes, which Democrats see as crucial to making the overall package more politically palatable. Republicans plan to pounce on Democrats the instant the Senate bill becomes law, and House and Senate parliamentarians eventually may have to determine the allowable sequence of legislative actions.

Original Link.

Russia Blasts ‘Unacceptable’ Israel Settlements Plan

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Another player in the end times is growing ever increasingly critical of Israel.

MOSCOW: Russia criticised as unacceptable Thursday a decision by the Israeli government to build new settlement homes in annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

“We consider such actions by Israel as unacceptable,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that Moscow had learned of the decision with “great concern”.

“The actions contradict the generally accepted international legal basis for a (Middle East) settlement (and) predetermine the results of the negotiating process,” it added.

Israel’s interior ministry said Tuesday it had approved construction of 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish settlement in the mainly Arab eastern sector of Jerusalem.

A permanent UN Security Council member, Russia is also part of the international quartet for peace in the Middle East that includes the European Union, the United Nations and the United States. — AFP

Original Link.

“The World Isn’t Going To End” by Michael G. Mickey

Friday, March 12th, 2010

It isn’t the first of its kind to be seen by me in the aftermath of destructive earthquakes that have struck Haiti, Chile and Turkey to name a few recently, but an Associated Press article on the topic of global earthquake activity indicates that what’s going on of late is “probably just coincidence”.

Coincidence? I highly doubt it.

Jesus Christ said of the last days, as recorded in Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8, and Luke 21:11, great earthquakes in diverse places would play a recurring role in demonstrating to believers the time of His return was drawing near, along with famines, pestilences, nation rising against nation and more. I’d be remiss not to point out that the news of our world today is rife with evidence of Christ’s return drawing near, to the extent I want to caution everyone who reads these words against believing any of these indicators to be the product of mere coincidence.

Only three paragraphs in length, the AP article touched on an aspect of the killer quakes of today that would make them far more noteworthy than at any recorded time in history, even if these quakes weren’t becoming more frequent and violent in intensity. The effects of these quakes, according to the article, “illustrate how increased construction up and down the world’s fault lines can translate into massive casualties.” Why do we see increased construction in earthquake-prone regions of the world? Because of a soaring global population necessitating it, in my humble opinion.

On March 9, 2009 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the Earth’s human population to be 6,807,300,000. Three sources project that number to soar to at least 9,149,984,000 by the year 2050 which is going to naturally raise the populations of areas prone to earthquakes, increasing property destruction as well as casualties if and when future quakes occur. Logically, even if those who claim earthquake activity isn’t rising around the world are correct (and I don’t believe they are based on information I’ve read), the impact earthquakes are going to have on mankind is going to increase all the time from this point forward, highlighting the accuracy of Christ’s end times prophecy on this topic.

Looking beyond earthquakes briefly, the more people there are, the greater demand there is going to be for food. With hunger and famine already a critical concern in many regions of the globe, how much more dramatic is that crisis going to become with every passing year? Ditto where pestilences are concerned. The more dense human population becomes, the greater impact communicable disease is going to have on our world. Again, Christ’s end times prophecies make perfect sense of what we see taking place in the world around us, as even casual examination of these facts reflects.

Bob Holdsworth, an expert in tectonics at Durham University, is quoted in the AP article as saying, “I can definitely tell you that the world is not coming to an end.”

What would I say in response to Mr. Holdsworth?

“While I can definitely tell you that the world is not coming to an end, the end of the world as we presently know it definitely is.”

Original Link.

Indiana Council Nixes Problematic Oordinance

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Fort Wayne City Council members rejected a proposed ordinance which would have granted special behavior-based protections to people with gender identity disorders. The city already has non-discrimination ordinances for sexual orientation on the books, but the proposal would have expanded that protection.

“People are [generally] free to do as they choose…in private, but when you ask the government to applaud your behavior, that goes too far,” [Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana] comments. “And the council rejected [the] adding [of] gender identity and that type of thing into their statutes to allow special protections for people who choose their [sexual] identity.”

Clark adds that there were major problems with the proposal. “What you’re really having to defend is allowing a man dressed as a woman to enter a public bathroom for women, for example, and the effect that could have on children,” he explains. “Or to have an employee — male employee with male features — dressed up as a woman and the employer not be able to correct that or to discipline that individual.”

Original Link.

Obama Administration Places Three-Year Moratorium on Offshore Drilling

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Some of you might be wondering about the recent spike in gas prices. Well, you can blame Obama for this one.
In my life, I have never seen a president, administration and legislature more determined to destroy the United States as this one.

As the rest of the nation buzzed about matters of health care reform and political gamesmanship, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar quietly explained to reporters last week that the United States government will delay any new lease plan for oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf until at least 2012. This is a significant change from the 2010-2015 OCS lease plan left by the Bush administration and, at what essentially equates to a three-year ban on offshore drilling, an unfortunate extension of what was already an unfortunate six-month delay.

Furthermore, even if a new OCS lease plan is released by the administration in 2012, not a single offshore lease will be sold during Barack Obama’s first [and hopefully only] term in the Oval Office. So much for the president’s promises to incorporate at least a reasonable amount of offshore oil and gas drilling as part of a comprehensive strategy for energy independence. So much for this administration’s feigned concern about the scourge of joblessness in America.

Washington State Congressman Doc Hastings, ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement today:

Secretary Salazar has finally confirmed what had long been feared – that the Obama Administration has no intention of opening up new areas for offshore drilling during his four years in office. In 2008, in a bipartisan agreement, the decades-long ban on offshore drilling was lifted [and] opened 500 million additional acres for new energy production. This area contains an estimated 14 billion barrels of oil and 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The American people expected the Administration to seize this incredible opportunity, not keep the ban in place for years down the road. This is now the “Obama Moratorium” on offshore drilling and the responsibility for this delay lies squarely at his feet.

Despite public comments that favored a new leasing plan by a 2-to-1 margin, the Administration has decided to disregard the overwhelming opinion of the American people who support opening additional areas to drilling. By extending this drilling ban to 2012, the Administration is single-handedly preventing new job creation, billions in new government revenue and increased energy security.

And he’s right. According to Rasmussen, a whopping 68 percent of Americans support offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. True energy independence is the key to everything in this nation — it’s the key to national security, as we would no longer be beholden to nations which do not have American interests at heart; it’s the key to economic security, as we are sitting on enough resources to not only provide for ourselves but, counting oil shale and coal and our capacity for nuclear energy, also enough to serve as a distributor of energy across the world; it’s the key to job growth, as opening up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for drilling alone would create close to 300,000 new jobs.

But don’t listen to me. According to a recent report from the American Energy Alliance, permanently lifting the moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf drilling would facilitate the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and result in billions of dollars in new wages and tax revenues. From the report:

By the present estimates, increased production is likely to contribute an additional 0.5 percent of GDP in immediate new economic activity each year and will ultimately contribute more than 2 percent of GDP each year for thirty or more years of production. That magnitude of economic growth is expected to contribute federal and state and local tax revenue from production equivalent to approximately $350 per person over the age of eighteen per year over a similar time horizon. The total incremental contribution of increased OCS Planning Area production to GDP is more than $8 trillion (in current dollars), and total tax benefits amount to some $2.2 trillion. Total royalty revenues amount to over $400 billion.

Importantly, those benefits would be realized without any increase in direct government spending. Rather, increased OCS output would refill national, state, and local government coffers—currently depleted by the real estate and credit crises—without additional government outlays. The effects of such a stimulus are particularly attractive in the face of a severe economic downturn.

It’s the same thing I’ve been saying here at America’s Right from the very first day the president discussed the possibility of a so-called “stimulus” package more than a year ago — true stimulus, true economic growth does not come from government spending. Sure, government spending might artificially prop up GDP numbers for the sake of some positive headlines from the mainstream press, but true stimulus comes only from the facilitation of private-sector growth by fostering competition, by allowing access to resources, and by taking the leash off of the greatest economic powerhouse in the world and allowing this nation to do what it does best: grow, and blow past the rest of the world as though it is standing still.

Congressman Hastings is absolutely right to lay responsibility and blame for the delay in OCS lease planning at the feet of Barack Obama and his administration. As with any policy and decision coming from the Democratic Party leadership, the best thing we can do is ensure that they own it. Remember back in 2008 when America was faced with $4-per-gallon gasoline at the pumps? Remember what it was that began to bring the price down? That’s right — it was George W. Bush repealing a moratorium on offshore drilling put into place by his father. Showing the rest of the oil-producing world that we were serious about beginning to take control of our own energy destiny was enough to start the price of oil in a downward slide — imagine if we actually began to travel the road toward true energy independence.

There’s a reason that gasoline is as cheap as it is in Riyadh. Instead of looking for ways to make the American people more dependent upon the American federal government and the American federal government more dependent upon other regimes across the globe, this administration needs to focus on energy independence and what it would bring — jobs, growth, prosperity, security and stability. Those things, however, run afoul of the agenda espoused by the American political left. If it didn’t, Ken Salazar would have been singing a different tune last week.

Original Link.