Archive for March 18th, 2010

Health Care Reform Vote Possible Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Looks like the Dems are going to vote one way or another, either on the actual health care bill, or their unconstitutional procedural smoke and mirrors, on Sunday, March 21.

House Democrats said Thursday that their revamped health care reform bill would achieve the deficit reductions needed to push forward with a delicate plan to finalize the package, setting up a possible vote for Sunday.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the updated package would cost $940 billion over the next decade without adding to the deficit.

Sources said the estimate shows the bill would save $130 billion over the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion over the second decade. It is estimated to expand health insurance coverage to 32 million more Americans — or 1 million more people than the original Senate bill.

The numbers from the Congressional Budget Office were highly anticipated, since a failure to control costs had the potential to spoil Democrats’ plans for finishing their work on the bill. But House Democrats described the results as very positive.

“We are absolutely giddy over the great news that we’ve gotten from the CBO,” House Democratic Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said Thursday.

Republicans still pledged to do whatever they can to defeat the bill and were unimpressed by the CBO numbers.

“They’re still going to spend a trillion dollars so we impose government-run health care on the American people,” House Republican Leader John Boehner said.

Here’s why the budget estimate was so critical: House Democrats want to pass the “side-car” package of changes to the Senate-passed health care bill under “reconciliation” rules, which would allow the Senate to pass it with just 51 votes, instead of 60. However, in order to qualify for the process, the CBO estimate needed to show that the bill saves at least $1 billion over five years and creates absolutely no deficit after that period of time.

In the run-up to the release of the estimate, Democrats were potentially jeopardizing that by squabbling over the Senate-passed tax on high-value insurance plans that ensured the bill is paid for — liberal Democrats and unions long had issues with that tax and originally called for a straight tax on the wealthy in the original House bill.

Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., conceded Wednesday night they were having “technical” issues with provisions like the excise tax.

But the CBO numbers showed the bill could meet the requirements for reconciliation.

“This is good news,” Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., said Thursday.

With the release of the estimate, the earliest a vote on the House floor could happen is Sunday. The plan is for lawmakers to post the reconciliation bill online Thursday afternoon, starting the 72-hour timeframe Democrats say they will allow for the public to review the language.

Some fiscally minded lawmakers wanted to see the CBO numbers before deciding how to vote and it’s unclear whether the estimate changes any minds. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still several votes short of the 216 needed to pass the Senate-approved package.

Original Link.

Mark Levin: We Will Sue Over Health-Care Trick – To Be Filed ‘The Moment the House Acts’

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Not just the states are threatening to sue if the health care bill is passed. Private citizens are preparing to take the battle to the courts as soon as the house “votes” on it.

A lawsuit has been prepared by the Landmark Legal Foundation to be filed immediately – if members of the U.S. House use a trick that has been dubbed the “Slaughter rule” to advance President Obama’s vision of government-run health care in the United States.

The action was announced today by Mark R. Levin, attorney, top radio talker and president of the foundation, who said the use of the so-called “deem and pass,” “self-executing,” or “Slaughter rule” to enact H.R. 3590 would result in an instant legal challenge.

“If this tactic is employed, Landmark will immediately sue the president, Attorney General Eric Holder and other relevant cabinet members to prevent them from instituting this unconstitutional contrivance,” the announcement said.

The law firm, in fact, already has posted a draft of its legal challenge online.

The plan, which has found favor with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because “people won’t have to vote on the Senate bill,” would allow the U.S. House to simply “deem” the Senate proposal approved in the House without an up-or-down vote on the plan.

As prepared, the lawsuit alleges that Congress and the president “are presently intending to transgress the requirements of the U.S. Constitution, rendering the liberty of United States citizens at stake.”

“The conduct of the House of Representatives and the president of the United States violates plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution, which provides that ‘No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…

“Under color of law, the defendants intend to collect taxes, remove and replace insurance benefits, and re-write health insurance contracts affecting plaintiffs and Landmark’s employees. The Senate bill enacts broad and encompassing regulation of health care in this country. It changes the law and places new regulatory and tax burdens on millions of Americans, including large and small entities of which Landmark is one as a not-for-profit organization,” it alleges.

“Because the House violated the Constitution by never voting on the Senate bill, the Senate bill cannot be and is not a law of the United States. Defendants, charged by law and the Constitution with enforcing the law, must be prevented from treating the Senate bill as a law of the United States. Any signature by the president is a nullity, and the piece of paper he has stated that he will sign or has signed is nothing more than that: a piece of paper,” it continues.

Levin, who also hosts the top-rated Mark Levin Show, said the lawsuit will be filed “the moment the House acts.”

“Such a brazen violation of the core functions of Congress simply cannot be ignored. Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution is clear respecting the manner in which a bill becomes law. Members are required to vote on this bill, not claim they did when they didn’t. The speaker of the House and her lieutenants are temporary custodians of congressional authority. They are not empowered to do permanent violence to our Constitution,” he said.

Founded in 1976, the Landmark Legal Foundation is a nonprofit, public interest law firm with offices in Kansas City and Virginia.

The prepared document cites the “Bicameralism and Presentment Clause of the Constitution of the United States” which requires that “Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the president of the United States.”

That means each house of Congress must vote on the same text, the document further explains.

But the House Rules Committee this month suggested a “rule” to the full House that would allow “certain legislation” to be considered by the House.

“The rule provided that, upon adoption by the House on a vote of the yeas and nays of one bill (the ‘Reconciliation Bill’), an entirely different bill, H.R. 3590 (the ‘Senate Bill’) would be ‘deemed approved’ by the House,” the case alleges.

“The constitutionally protected liberty interests of the American public are at risk because the Senate Bill undermines investments in contracts which must be re-written, taxes health insurance plans into the future which businesses must account for immediately, employees may be terminated, and myriad business relationships and investments may be undermined by the contents and through the enforcement of various provisions in the 2,000-plus page Senate Bill, which was formed from concentrated power in the Senate and not through the extension of the will of the people in the House of Representatives,” the case alleges.

It also warns that if the courts do not act, “then the House and Senate will be free to adopt any such procedures in the future, assured that they will be immune from judicial review under any and all circumstances.”

Original Link.

Health-Care ‘Trickery’ Called Overthrow of Constitution

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

More people weigh in on the use of the “Slaughter Strategy”, aptly named for what it’s attempting to do to the United States Constitution.

America’s system of government based on the U.S. Constitution is being overthrown through illegal legislative “trickery” Congress is using to pass controversial health-care reform.

That’s the conclusion of some on the political right who are calling for the impeachment of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi along with the defeat of the health legislation.

“This is the overthrow of the U.S. constitutional system, orchestrated from the White House through the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid,” said radio host Rush Limbaugh today. “This is beyond rational explanation and description. This makes Watergate look like Romper Room.”

At issue is the possibility that reforms pushed by President Obama and other Democrats will be approved without ever actually having a direct vote, but could be “deemed” to have been passed, then signed into law by Obama. The process is called the “Slaughter Strategy,” named for Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Rules Committee.

The clowns in Washington obviously have no clue about our founding document. Send them copies of the Constitution today!

Discussing the need for this procedure, Pelosi said: “I like it, because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.”

Indeed, Democrats could actually vote for the rule, yet still claim they’re against the Senate bill.

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., agrees with Limbaugh that the “deem and pass” method is ludicrous and worthy of impeachment.

“The other thing is treason media,” Bachmann told radio host Sean Hannity. “Where is the mainstream media in all of this not telling this story? This is a compelling story, that the speaker of the House would even consider having us pass a bill that no one votes on? That should laugh her out of the House and there should be people that are calling for impeachment off of something like this. That’s how bad this is. I mean, trust me. Dennis Hastert could have never gotten away with this. President Bush never could have gotten away with it.”

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said, “In our lifetime, this is the most undemocratic, un-American step that we’ll have ever seen our Congress take. It’s appalling. It takes my breath away that they would think that this is OK to do. But again, we can’t feign surprise. Remember this is what Barack Obama had promised in the campaign. He said as a candidate that he was just days away from beginning the transformation of America.”

In a commentary posted at Carolina Journal, John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation, said he’s simply not going to comply with the legislation if it’s not properly voted on:

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not planning to recognize such a result as legally binding. I’m not going to pretend to obey any dictates from federal health-care bureaucrats that have never been authorized by a constitutional vote of both houses of Congress. I will not submit to any extra-constitutional order to dismantle the consumer-driven health plan I have set up for my employees.

I will not comply. If the government tries to make me comply, I’ll sue. And I’ll win.

This is not (yet) a banana republic where constitutions are seen as inconvenient impediments to the rule of the despot. This is not (yet) a European-style welfare state where some powerful parliament can exercise legislative, executive, and judicial power all in one stroke.

Limbaugh expounded on the “deem and pass” procedure the House is considering, saying, “The word ‘deemed’ means what? It means pretend!”

“Maybe we can just deem our tax returns to have been filed. But we don’t actually file ’em. We just deem our taxes to have been paid. We just deem it! I mean, if they can deem to have passed laws, we can certainly say that we are ‘deemed’ to have complied with them.”

The Wall Street Journal noted the “deeming” procedure is unprecedented, since Congress has never before passed a comprehensive reform bill using the method.

According to the Constitution itself, “Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States.”

In an interview with Bret Baier of Fox News today, President Obama indicated he did not have a problem with the “deem and pass” method, and said, “By the time the vote has taken place, not only I will know what’s in it, you’ll know what’s in it because it’s going to be posted and everybody is going to be able to evaluate it on the merits.”

Former Clinton adviser Dick Morris told Fox anchor Bill O’Reilly the Slaughter tactic is “a ruse that is gonna fall apart of its own weight. People are massing against it as they see how phony it is.”

He said it was based on the “ridiculous assumption” the public won’t know a vote for the rule is actually a vote for the health-care bill.

O’Reilly agreed, noting, “This sneaky ‘deem’ deal isn’t going to happen because the folks will not tolerate it.”

The controversy is inciting plenty of comments on Internet messageboards, including:

* “The enactment of Obamacare by a budgetary ‘reconciliation’ process in the Senate and by the ‘Slaughter’ process in the House makes the U.S. Congress a parliament of whores. I blame the San Francisco Democrats headed by Pelosi and Reid as well as Obama, who hails from the bowels of the Chicago political machine as the culprits responsible for tearing apart the U.S. Constitution in order for them to put into place their socialist, borderline fascist agenda. For the first time, I fear for my country.”

* “Appears constitutional to me. Now that Democrats are in the majority, [Republicans] seem to respond in a negative way to every proposal recommended. Health-care reform is needed in this country now. … Stop griping.”

* “If this unconstitutional move gets pushed through, there needs to be an organized effort to impeach both Nancy Pelosi and President Obama for not standing by their swearing in pledge to ‘uphold the Constitution of the United States.’ We must hold Congress and those that represent the people accountable for their actions, and the action needs to be immediate!”

* “It appears we are headed full-circle back to taxation without representation. Does anyone remember how that turned out the first time?”

Original Link.

Israeli Man Killed by Gaza-Fired Rocket

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

The Pali terrorist better be careful or they will be receiving more “cast lead”.

JERUSALEM — A rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip killed a man inside Israel Thursday, Israeli medics said, in the first death from such an attack since Israel’s Gaza offensive last year.

Such rocket fire once common but have become rare since the Israeli military’s campaign in the Gaza Strip last year, which aimed to bring an end to the attacks.

Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom said the man killed was about 30 years old and appeared to be a farm worker from Thailand employed in an agricultural community just north of Gaza.

Thursday’s attack came on the same day as a visit to Gaza by Europe’s top diplomat, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the first such visit by a senior official in more than a year.

Ashton had just crossed into Gaza when the attack took place.

A small Islamist faction calling itself Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the rocket in a text message sent to reporters.

There was no immediate response from Israel to the attack.

The thousands of crude rockets that hit Israel over a seven-year period sparked the Israeli military’s three-week offensive in Gaza in late 2008 and January 2009. The brief war devastated Gaza, killing 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians. Thirteen Israelis were killed.

Rocket attacks have dropped steeply since the campaign.

Gaza is ruled by the Islamic militants of Hamas, but the sporadic attacks over the past year have generally been claimed by smaller militant factions.

Original Link.

Obama: ‘Procedural’ Spat Over Health Bill Vote Doesn’t Worry Me

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Obama is leading the charge in using sneaky and conniving “procedural” methods to pass this trillions of dollars takeover of the health care industry. He’s not worried about it, because if it was up to him, he would have declared it law from this throne, ah, I mean the Oval Office, months ago. In his opinion, there’s no reason to have to deal with that pesky thing called “The Constitution of the United States of America”.

President Obama is not worried — and doesn’t think Americans should worry — about the “procedural” debate over whether House Democratic leaders should go ahead with a plan to approve health care reform without a traditional vote, he told Fox News on Wednesday.

The president, in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, responded for the first time to the controversy over a plan to use a parliamentary maneuver to allow the House to pass the Senate’s health care bill without forcing members to vote for it directly.

The esoteric procedure has drawn fierce protest from Republicans, who say Democrats are trying to avoid accountability. But the president said there will be no doubt about where lawmakers stand on health care reform.

“I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or Senate,” Obama said. “What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise. And if they don’t, if they vote against it, then they’re going to be voting against health care reform and they’re going to be voting in favor of the status quo.

“So Washington gets very concerned with these procedures in Congress, whether Republicans are in charge or Democrats are in charge,” he said.

Indeed, House lawmakers would be going on record for health care reform. But they wouldn’t be casting a vote for the Senate bill alone.

Instead, under a process called a “self-executing rule,” the House could simultaneously approve the Senate bill while voting on a package of changes to it. This would “deem” the Senate bill to be passed, without compelling members to vote for it directly.

Democratic leaders are considering the option because many House Democrats don’t want to cast a vote in favor of the unaltered Senate bill, which they oppose for numerous reasons. But the House must pass the Senate bill in order to move on to the package of changes intended to correct all the things about it that they don’t like.

The tactic would allow members to temporarily accept the Senate version while keeping it at arm’s length.

But there are no guarantees the second measure would make it through the Senate or be signed by Obama if it did. I believe that it will fail, leaving the complete Senate version the law of the land.

Several states have passed legislation to challenge the health care reform, in court, if it does get passed. Virgina and Idaho have fired the first shots in this with a total of 38 states in the process of passing this type of legislative “protest”.

Brian Darling, director of Senate relations for The Heritage Foundation, has weighed in on the constitutionality of the “Self-executing” rule:

The Constitution requires that a bill has to pass both the House and Senate to become law, but House Democrats are planning to simply “deem” that the House has passed the Senate healthcare bill without members even voting on it, and then send it to President Obama to sign.

New York Democrat Louise Slaughter, who chairs the House Rules Committee, may use a “self-executing rule” to say the Senate bill is approved by the House, even without a formal up or down vote on the measure. The House would then only vote on the “reconciliation” corrections to the bill.

“If the House takes up a bill – the Senate-passed Obamacare – refuses to have a direct vote on it, yet sets up a mechanism to send it to the president and admits as much as Democratic leadership is admitting that the House members do not want to vote directly on the Senate-passed bill, that is a violation of the Constitution, the letter and the spirit. It’s not something that individuals should tolerate. The courts should get involved in this, hopefully.”

Never in my forty plus years on this earth have I ever seen anything like this.

“The President and the Speaker of the House Are Lying to Us” by Janet Mefferd

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Here is really the crux of the whole health care reform debate:

Mefferd: If this was such a good deal for all of us—young, old or in between—I don’t think they would be pulling the stunts they are pulling. When they are talking about this “Slaughter solution,” which would have the House deem the Senate bill passed without actually voting on it, which is unconstitutional. It just shows that this is not on its face a good idea that the American people support.

Dobson: Isn’t it amazing that they know that the American people don’t want this to happen and that’s why some commentators are calling it “cram down legislation.” The price the Democrats are willing to pay to pull off this coup is nothing I have ever seen in my lifetime. They know they are going to get massacred in the elections in November, but it doesn’t matter if that is what it takes. They have tried to force universal health care on the American people for more than 40 years, and now they have it in their grasp. Nothing is going to stop them except an outpouring of opposition from the voters, and that’s why I am glad to have this opportunity to talk to you today, because maybe we can influence 50,000 people to make phone calls.

Mefferd: I absolutely agree. We are working on that here. We have a “Say No to Obama” link on our website and we are trying to get emails to Congress because a lot of people feel powerless. You are not completely powerless. It’s really important to do everything that you can, because I think Dr. Dobson—I’m sure you are like this with your children and your grandchildren—it’s one thing to worry about your own health care, but it’s another thing to look at those precious ones in your family who are coming along in the next generations and you think, “What will their lives be like if this becomes reality?”

Dobson: And look what has already been spent in the last year. It is breathtaking what they have done. They are turning us into a socialistic nation. That is why they are so anxious to get this health care passed, because this will be a gigantic step in the direction of getting us into socialism.

Mefferd: I think you are right because they are already talking about immigration reform following this. Everything they do seems to be some huge transformation of a portion of the American economy, and I just don’t understand why those who voted for Barack Obama are not standing up more and saying, “Wait, this isn’t what we voted for.”

Dobson: Well, apparently a lot of people are, but not enough, and especially this week. Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address that this is a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” That means us. Those people in Washington work for us. We don’t work for them. They can’t make decisions that we are largely opposed to. We have got to stand up and be counted.

ORead the complete article here.