political roundup

Political Roundup: 2-17-10

Some highlights and lowlights...

Planned Parenthood has the keys to the White House

At least metaphorically speaking, that is.  White House visitor logs reveal that, since Obama became President, the folks from Planned Parenthood have pretty much come and gone as they pleased, having access to top White House staffers throughout 2009.  Their first meeting there?  January 20 - Inauguration Day.  (And who says the White House can't get things done quick when they want to?)

As you can imagine, a lot of the meetings seem to have centered on Obama's proposed health care "reform" bill...and the desire of the Planned Parenthood folks to have abortion included as a covered "service" in any new health care system, (government run, or otherwise). And, for the record, it doesn't seem that the pro-life groups have had that kind of access.

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Political Roundup: 2-12-10

The latest from the world of politics...

The last of the Kennedy's decides to retire from Congress

Connecticut Representative Patrick Kennedy, (son of former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy), has decided not to run for re-election this year - which means this will be the first time in almost fifty years that a member of the Kennedy clan has not been in Congress.  Kennedy issued a statement announcing his decision, saying that his life was "taking a new direction".

Of course, this is best viewed in the light of the recent stunning upset victory by Scott Brown for his dad's old Senate seat...and the fact that recent polls all point to a tough re-election fight this November for Kennedy.

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Political Roundup: 2-3-10

Political odds and ends...

US triple-A credit rating at risk?

You've got to wonder how long we can keep going down the fiscal road we're on and still maintain a AAA credit rating, which enables us to sell our bonds at higher rates of interest, and keep financing our big spending ways.  Turns out that thought has occurred to the people who hand out those ratings.

Moody's Investor Services, (the bond rating service), has said that the top debt ratings for the United States and the United Kingdom may "Test the AAA boundaries" due to the condition of their public finances.

Terrorists staying at Gitmo?

That's what the number two Democrat in the House of Representatives seems to be saying.  House Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said: “I think the administration realizes that this is a difficult issue,... And I think that they are assessing where they are and where they
think we ought to be, and I think that’s appropriate and I look forward
to discussing it with them.”

The brick wall the administration is running up against is that, no matter what they decide they want to do with Gitmo, Congress has to fund it.  And Republicans have introduced measures to deny funds to move the terrorists...and to deny funds for conducting trials of terrorists in US courts (as opposed to in military tribunals).

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Political Roundup: 1-21-10

From 'round the sphere...

White House Dems not learning the lesson of Massachusetts?

At least some of them don't appear to have learned much...or maybe they just don't want to give anyone the satisfaction of acting as though there was anything to learn. 

David Axelrod stated: "I think that it would a terrible mistake to walk
away now. If we don't pass the bill, all we have is the stigma of a
caricature that was put on it. That would be the worst result for
everybody who has supported this bill."  In other words, they need to push it in order to get rid of the bad taste everyone has in their mouths about it?  (Wouldn't want that bad taste lingering 'til November?)

Spokesman Robert Gibbs was still full speed ahead, suggesting that they wouldn't "...abandon our pursuit on things that are important to the middle
class."

As for the folks in the press, the Boston Globe doesn't appear to have learned much eaither, saying that Brown's win didn't "negate the
resounding mandate that President Obama and Democrats in Congress
received in 2008 to address escalating health costs."

Some people are just hard-headed.

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Political roundup: 1-12-10

From 'round the world of politics....

Rangell says ObamaCare is in trouble

For what it's worth, one of the leading liberal lights in the House (and one of those taking part in the closed door meetings on ObamaCare) Charlie Rangell says that health care "reform" is in trouble.

“We’ve got to get a bill that’s more compatible to the House,” Ways and
Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday. “Forget
all the other questions. Two-hundred-eighteen [votes] is the most
important issue we are dealing with… We have serious problems on both
sides of the Capitol. Serious problems.”

Rangel’s comments come a day after Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said health reform is “hanging by a thread.” ...

Well, we can only hope.  But in the meantime...

Senator Nelson says he may not vote for ObamaCare

You remember Senator Ben Nelson...the Democrat from Nebraska that provided the 60th vote in the Senate in order to overcome the filibuster of the health care bill.  He's also one of the senators who "sold" (or rented?) his vote in that case, by getting Nebraska a free pass on paying for Medicaid expansion.  And of course, he's the same guy who's been in hot water with voters back home ever since.

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Political Roundup: 12-16-09

From 'round the world of politics...

Stimulus Money Used to "End" Jobs?

The Des Moines Register reported that the good folks at the Iowa University system have used over 43 million in "stimulus" money (read: taxpayer dollars) to as inducements to encourage employees to take early retirement.

So let's get this straight, the money that was supposed to be used to "create" jobs was used to pay people to quit their jobs?  That makes (Washington) sense.

Liberals against Obamacare?

Yes, believe it or not, there are now some key liberal voices coming out against Obamacare.  Not for the same reasons that conservatives oppose it of course.  But because they feel the Senate leadership has crossed the liberal line in the sand in terms of the latest version (such as it is) not going "far enough". 

The latest big-time liberal to voice opposition was former DNC Chairman and Vermont Governor Howard Dean.  From the AP:

Former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean argued Wednesday that
the health care overhaul bill taking shape in the Senate further
empowers private insurers at the expense of consumer choice.

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Political Roundup: 12-4-09

Who needs Washington?

Time magazine seems a bit surprised the fewer Americans want Washington's "help".  In an article entitled "The End of Audacity", they cite a "startling" poll showing just that...

...In today's hard economic times, something startling began showing up in public-opinion polls: fewer people than in the past wanted Washington to step in. In the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, only 23% of respondents said they trust the government "always or most of the time"--the smallest proportion in 12 years. The percentage of voters who think government should "do more to solve problems and meet the needs of people" has dropped 5 points since Obama's first weeks in office, while that of those who think government should leave more things "to businesses" rose 8 points. The shift is especially noticeable among independent voters, a small plurality of whom wanted government to "do more" after Obama took office; now--by a margin of 17--they think government does "too much".

I guess these guys need to get out in the real world more...

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Political Roundup: 11-20-09

Super Boots

Just how many jobs has the "stimulus" created?  Today's Wall Street Joural points to an interesting claim by the Obama administration...

"...how many Americans does it take to make nine pairs of work boots? According to the White House's recovery.gov site, an $890 shoe order for the Army Corps of Engineers, courtesy of the stimulus package, created nine new jobs at Moore's Shoes & Services in Campbellsville, Kentucky. ..."

Yep.  Super Boots.  Able to create multiple jobs in a single laceup.

Guess who's not arresting illegal aliens...

Well, I'll give you three guesses, and the last two don't count.

(Via the WashTimes) It seems that arrests, indictments and/or convictions of illegal immigrants have fallen by over 50% since this time last year.  And we all know what happened about a year ago.

GOP Representative Lamar Smith points out that lax enforcement on illegal alien workers means less jobs for Americans - in a time when (ahem) jobs are getting harder to come by. 

CNN forced to admit the truth

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Political Roundup: 11-5-09

Interesting tid-bits in the wake of Tuesday's election...

Election already having consequences for Obamacare?

Maybe.  The Hill reports that Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) on Wednesday indicated that he was opposed to the House version of Obamacare: "I oppose the creation of a new government-run public option and continue to have serious concerns about its unintended consequences for Missourians who have private insurance plans they like. I remain concerned about the bill's impact on rural hospitals and doctors."   The dominoes may be starting to fall.

Super stimulus...saves more jobs than actually exist!

Beware all ye who doubt the power of the super stimulus.  The Associated Press documents the proof. 

President Barack Obama's economic recovery program saved 935 jobs at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council, an impressive success story for the stimulus plan. Trouble is, only 508 people work there.

Political Roundup: 10/29/09

Spending, schmending...

The Wall Street Journal has a great op-ed out today looking at government spending, as in how high it already is, and how much more the DC crowd wants to pile on top of it.

"The White House disclosed the other day that the fiscal 2009 budget deficit clocked in at $1.4 trillion, amid the usual promises to do something about it. Yet even as budget director Peter Orszag was speaking, House Democrats were moving on a dozen spending bills for fiscal 2010 that total 12.1% in more domestic discretionary increases. "

Yep, you read that right.  12.1%  And how much of that do you think is "one time only" spending, instead of "systemic"?  (hint: none)

They point out that from 2001-2008, the GOP raised spending at about double the rate of inflation...while the current crop of Democrats are besting inflation by six to one.

Quote of the Week:

The big spending ways of Congressional Democrats brings us to this quote of the week from New York's Church Schumer on Meet the Press.

He stated that:  "Barack Obama and we Democrats-this is counterintuitive but true-are really trying to get a handle on balancing the budget and we're making real efforts to do it."

No shame.

Poll: 33% Say U.S. Is Heading In The Right Direction (67% really paying attention...)

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