Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Update 1: Crist comes out swinging, accusing Rubio of running only for the purpose of "enriching himself" by using funds to get haircuts and other personal amenities. Rubio counters nicely saying saying that the campaign isn't about personal issues but about the people of Florida.
Update 2: Chris Wallace shows "The Hug" picture leading into a question about Crist's support of the stimulus. 211,000 Floridians have lost their job since the stimulus, Rubio points out. Crist responds by bantering about Rubio's days as a lobbyist. Wallace tries to bring him back to point. Crist says if he hadn't taken the stimulus funds 87,000 more people would be unemployed. Wallace asks Crist if he would have joined the three Republicans in the Senate who voted for the Stimulus and Crist says absolutely he would have.
Update 3: Rubio says his favorite Senator is DeMint; Crist says his favorite is John McCain. Uh, okay.
Update 4: Crist is back to the haircut thing again. Rubio chides Crist for the continuing personal attacks. On health care reform: Crist says pre-existing conditions should be covered. He says repeal and start over, then touts the current program in Florida. Wallace points out that one tenth of one percent of Florida's uninsured have signed up for the Florida program. It's not really covering Florida, Wallace points out.
Rubio says there are so many things wrong with the health care bill, first among them is that we can't afford it. He touts tort reform, portability, etc. He stays the first step is to repeal it. Rubio says people should have the same sort of option members of Congress have; the employer based system should stay, but there should also be a system where small businesses can pool together and set up something as well.
On Twitter, @RubioPress links to a video where Crist says he would NOT repeal Obamacare.
Update 5: On immigration Rubio says the Republican party is not the "anti-immigration" party but is the "pro-legal immigration" party. Rubio says he and Crist disagree on amnesty - Crist would have voted for the McCain plan and Rubio says he would not.
Rubio says we need significant entitlement reform. On social security, Rubio says it cannot survivie in its current form. He advocates increasing the retirement age gradually. He advocates the Ryan Roadmap. Crist does not advocate increasing he retirement age. He would not change the cost of living adjustment. Crist says the answer is getting the waste and fraud out of the system.
Crist is dying to get off topic and talk about taxes. Wallace tries to channel him back but Crist holds firm and moves to taxes.
So, on taxes, Wallace points out that Crist broke his promise to Florida voters when he raised taxes and higher fees at the DMV. Crist says that's "not a tax, it's a fee. If you don't drive, you don't pay it."
Update 6: On the tea party movement: Rubio says the movement has been mischaracterized in the press. Wallace wants to know why Rubio won't allow himself to be vetted by the tea party movement. Rubio says he's unaware of the vetting process.
Update 7: Wallace asks whether or not Crist will switch to Independent. Crist says "I'm running as a Republican...this is a great party, we have a great future. I'm running as a Republican."
Rubio: "The governor likes to call himself a Reagan Republican. I don't recall anyone ever having to ask Reagan if he was going to run as an Independent."
In closing, Rubio's line is "Who do you trust to stand up to Barack Obama?" He says we can't trust Charlie Crist to do that. Crist's closing focuses on personal attacks again and accuses Rubio of "cooking the books."
Overall, I'd give this one to Rubio because he tried to stay focused on the issues. Crist was more interested in running Rubio down than in putting forth his own agenda. I think Crist's choice of McCain as his favorite Senator tells us what we need to know about him, as well as his decision to stand behind the failed McCain/Bush amnesty plan.
Point for Rubio!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I did a post on him a couple of weeks ago and we raised about $100 on this blog to offset the $1200 surgery, the $700 follow-up, and then the $160 boarding fee after the follow up. Taz belongs to my neighbors, Donny and Gena, and they were worried that Taz might have to be put to sleep because of the birth defect affecting his back legs. The expense of getting it repaired has been staggering, and trying to keep a one year old Chow/Shepherd mix still enough to heal has been daunting.
I saw Donny and Taz outside today and went to check on him. They brought him home from the vet this week after the vet insisted on boarding him for a week to help him heal after surgery.
Taz seems just as happy as can be and bounded right up to me for a treat. He limps and walks a little funny; his leg sort of swings out to the side when he walks, but he doesn't seem to be in any pain, which is a good thing. He's got about two more weeks of having to stay kind of still so everything can heal properly inside, but he'll likely never be able to go on walks around the block or do much running. And that's okay, Donny said, as long as he isn't hurting.
Many of you have donated to his expenses and Donny and Gena want to extend their thanks and gratitude. Taz is such a loving and sweet dog. They're glad he seems happy now and doesn't seem to be bothered by his gimpy leg!
Steve and I have been watching The Pacific on HBO. Jules Crittenden has assembled a massive reading list on Pacific related reads.
Doug Ross pairs Obama's rhetoric with the reality of his words in a must read post.
Legal Insurrection has a wonderful post on Bibi Netanyahu and Obama's shabby treatment of him this week:
In Bibi Netanyahu we see something we have lost in our leader, an unflinching sense of national destiny, an unapologetic pride in who we are and why we are, and a willingness to stand up to tyrants and neighborhood bullies regardless of the price.
Don't miss Stacy McCain's reporting from Las Vegas!
Add AT&T to the list of companies getting screwed by Obamacare. Potluck has the story.
Obi's Sister has an awesome quote of the day.
Fishersville Mike has a great blog idea.
No Sheeples Here has an awesome round up this week.
Pundette reports on what's REALLY in Obamacare.
Flopping Aces has a post on yet another Gitmo terrorist who goes free.
Bride of Rove welcomes you to Obama's Fight Club.
Okay, that's got to be it for now. I've got to get back on the couch! Stay well, people, stay well.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Could Delaware be another Massachusetts? O'Donnell another Scott Brown? Castle voted against the Obamacare bill but has recently come out against repeal of the bill which will put him at odds against Senator Jim DeMint who has repeal at the top of his agenda.
Castle's position against repeal fits right in with his moderate label; he also voted FOR Cap and Trade in the House and supports embryonic stem cell research. He's soft on immigration and voted against forbidding interstate transportation of minors to get abortions.
Christine O'Donnell, on the other hand, is a proven vote getter, having run against Joe Biden for the seat in 2008 and garnering 35% of the vote - not enough to win, but quite respectable in a state that is supposedly a blue state.
The political landscape is very different now than in 2008 and O'Donnell looks to be a strong candidate.
She's pro-life, vows to fight to reduce taxes, strengthen national security and support gun rights.
All in all it should make the race more interesting and in today's political climate, anything can happen! If Mike Castle isn't going to join the Republican fight to repeal this job-killing liberty-sucking behemoth that is Obamacare, we don't need him.
Go here to donate to O'Donnell's campaign and put a true conservative in the Senate.
(Cross posted at Not One Red Cent!)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
We have a president who has never left the campaign stump, Obamacare is now the law of the land, Democrats in Congress are blatantly ignoring the will of the people, and the people are fed up.
The battle for public opinion against Obamacare was won long ago by conservatives who pointed out the many flaws and problems in the legislation. Counter to Nancy Pelosi's suggestion that we pass this bill so we "can see what's in it," Americans knew what was in it and we knew we didn't like the increased taxes, the squeezing out of private insurance, the total government control of our health care decisions or the higher premiums that are certain to come before our private insurance companies simply close their doors and add to the unemployment numbers.
We knew that there were better ways to effect health care reform - tort reform and portability to name a couple of ideas.
The ink wasn't even dry on Obama's signature before the backlash started. Via Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, consider this news from Caterpillar:
Caterpillar,Inc. said Wednesday it will take a $100 million charge to earnings this quarter to reflect additional taxes stemming from newly enacted U.S. health-care legislation.
The world's largest construction equipment manufacturer by sales, warned last week that provisions in the legislation would subject the company to federal income taxes on the subsidies it receives for providing prescription drug benefits for its retirees and their spouses.
Since the Medicare Part D program was enacted in 2003, Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar and more than 3,500 companies that already provided drug-benefit expenses to retirees have received tax-free subsidies as an incentive to maintain their drug programs.Caterpillar is not the only company looking at increased expenses coming down on them; John Deere had a similar announcement today:
Farm equipment maker Deere expects after-tax expenses to rise by $150 million this year as a result of the health care reform law President Barack Obama signed this week.
NRO reported on an email received by Verizon employees warning of higher costs and reduced benefits because of Obamacare.
That's just three companies and it's been less than a week. As Ed Morrissey suggests:
Now we have two American-based manufacturers that suddenly have a quarter of a billion dollars less capital than they did on Saturday. That’s just two companies. How much more capital will that grab from American businesses? We’ll start seeing it in their financial disclosures soon enough, and it will run into the tens of billions of dollars, perhaps more.
Some may say, Well, great! It pays for ObamaCare. It also takes the cash that would have fueled expansion, new job creation, and retirement income and sticks it into the hands of government bureaucrats. It will massively bleed the economy at a point in time where we desperately need the private sector to invest in itself and create new jobs and new opportunities.Instead, those manufacturing jobs will simply go outside the US. If John Deere or Caterpillar doesn’t move them overseas, then foreign manufacturers will take up the slack instead.
And don't get me started on the arrogance of Obama gloating today in Iowa with his "Go for it" remark with regard to Republicans fighting for a repeal of the health care bill. I'd prefer to stay away from personality issues and stick to policy disagreements, but his behavior has been most un-presidential.
There's absolutely no question that insurance rates for those of us that already have insurance are going to go up. A lot.
At this point all we can do is look for the silver lining and that is that Democrats have given Republicans much fodder for the fall elections. Any Republican that doesn't fight to repeal this job killing, tax raising, power grabbing, unconstitutional government intrusion into our personal lives and liberty doesn't deserve to be elected.
At any rate, here are some quick links this morning:
Gitmo has been all in the news this week. Andy McCarthy has a must-read piece at NRO. Given that Bart Stupak sold out his health care vote for a worthless Executive Order, it's worth noting that the ExO that ordered the closure of Gitmo hasn't worked out so well.
On that same note, Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio have the story of a former Gitmo detainee released in December by the Obama administration to Afghanistan who has rejoined the Taliban.
Senate Republicans are making the Dems work harder for their reconciliation bill. They found language in the bill which doesn't fit the reconciliation requirements thus sending the bill back to the House. It doesn't really matter in the long run; we're still under Obamacare now. But, making them work harder for it is a small consolation. Senate Dems rejected 29 straight Republican amendments last night.
Karl Rove's WSJ column this week is all about what Republicans should do now, as it relates to Obamacare. He's looking to the fall.
I'm heading back to sick bay. I'll check back in later!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Is there some kind of twisted irony in the fact that Obamacare passed yesterday and I'm sick as a dog today? Seriously. I woke up Saturday with a cold or allergy or what I'm going to now call the ObamaFlu. My throat hurts, I'm feverish, and I'm stuffy. And of course I had to go back to work today after a week of Spring Break.
I'm blaming Obama.
I'm angry at the clueless, yet educated and normally intelligent, people who are gleefully celebrating this shredding of the Constitution and intrusion of government into our lives. I'm depressed about what I know is to come with that intrusion. I expect notices from my insurance company to begin coming any day about rate increases, among other things. How could they not? And then I'm left just shaking my head - "how could this happen?"
Stacy McCain takes the right approach:
What comes next? We fight.
Stacy cites this article from American Spectator in which Phillip Klein looks at how we got here in the first place. Klein says:
President Obama ultimately forced through the health care bill in spite of the political consequences to his party because he’s ultimately a true believing liberal. But it was only because of the failures of Bush-era Republicanism that an ideological liberal with little experience was able to capture the presidency on the abstract notion of change.
I found some good things to look forward to during this debacle. Paul Ryan gives me hope. He fought like a tiger against this thing. He fought every step of the way with eloquence, and with charts. He was informed, prepared and he was right. Take four minutes to listen to his remarks on the floor last night:
The speech was earning high praise for Paul Ryan on Twitter last night. "Rock Star!" "Phenomenal!" "Our next president!" And watch John Boehner's impassioned "Hell No!" speech here.
Sister Toldjah is fighting mad and knows which way she is going:
Senator Tom Coburn promised a couple of days ago that if the Senate bill passed the House, several GOP Senators would work to expose the no to yes Democrat flippers – specifically, those who were promised $$$ for their districts or ambassadorships or positions with NASA or whatever in return for their vote – including you, Bart Stupak. I eagerly look forward to this glaring, necessary exposure of these so-called “principled” Democrats who sold their political souls (not to mention sold out their constituencies) in order for this President to be able to claim an “accomplishment” for the first time since he’s taken office, an “accomplishment” that effectively means the government has now taken over 1/6th of the American economy. I eagerly look forward to watching the Congressional races of the flipper Democrats (the red state flippers, especially) up for re-election in hopes that each and every one of them are soundly defeated. The repeal of this bill must become a centerpiece of any GOP campaign moving forward this election year.
She's right. We can't just sit around licking our wounds. We have to fight. The reconciliation bill goes to the Senate now. If so much as a single comma is changed, it must go back to the House.
It's time to get geared up for fall elections. Find out who is running in your district. Pick some national candidates you can get behind. Get the right people in Washington to help clean up this mess. Expose all the corruption and kickbacks and bribes and crooked politicians in your district. Write letters to your newspaper. Run for local office! Work in someone's campaign. Make a donation to a good conservative candidate (but please, not the NRSC or the NRCC!)
Michelle has the list of states ready to file claims against Obamacare as unconstitutional.
Don't sit around wallowing in how bad this is going to be and how we've lost our country. That's not what the patriots did when they decided to form this country and break away from the tyranny of the mother country. They fought.
And we shall fight.
I'll leave you with these fighting words from Animal House (via Red State):
Sunday, March 21, 2010
We'll be continuing coverage again today on Obamacare. Others will be offering coverage as well, for example, Stacy McCain is hosting a live chat event beginning at 12 noon, I'm assuming ET, at his place.
Michelle Malkin has the day's schedule and some explanation of the upcoming votes.
If anyone else is covering the day's events, drop me an email or a comment and I'll add you here.
So far today there's a lot of crowing about the whip count. Steny Hoyer said on Meet The Press that they don't have 216 yet, but that they "will have the votes" by this afternoon.
There's drama and intrigue with Rep. Loretta Sanchez who was in Florida for a fundraising event yesterday and basically MIA for all healthcare debate issues. Reports are that she will be a "no" vote, but will she even show up for the vote?
The Sunday morning talk shows are full of incredibly lively debate, especially Karl Rove and David Plouffe on ABC News This Week. who went head to head:
Karl and the Republicans would be familiar with that,” Plouffe retorted. “Under their leadership, they took us from big budget surpluses to a $1.3 trillion deficit,” he said.
“Don’t be lecturing us about what you’re doing with the profligate spending that started last year with the failed stimulus bill,” Rove said, “and continued with your budget increases.”
“You will bankrupt the country, if this bill passes!” Rove insisted.
Plouffe responded with another jab: “Karl and the Republicans have zero credibility – about as much credibility as the country of Greece does to talk about fiscal responsibility.”
Rove, brandishing a white board with health care cost figures, interrupted: “For God’s sake, will you stop throwing around epithets and deal with the facts, for once David!”
Plouffe, rolling his eyes, responded: “Let’s put the fanciful chart away…”
Before he could finish, Rove interrupted: “It is not a fanciful chart, deal with the chart!”
It was pretty lively and Rove appeared ready to jump through the screen at Plouffe.
Ed Morrissey is running a thread today as well, and posts that some Democrats prepared to vote "Nay" are also planning to cast their vote early in the 15 minute voting period and "get the hell out" of there.
At this point, right now, they don't have the votes. Keep up the phone calls. Many of yesterday's protesters are descending back on The Hill today to do what they can.
Stay tuned for updates.
Update 10:24: Don't miss Professor Jacobson's post: Freedom So Willingly Relinquished.
Also,, The Daily Caller is providing live coverage.
Update 10:32: The Anchoress offers How to Pray for a Nation. Lovely.
I'll say this before we get too far into the day. I'm so grateful for those Republican leaders who have not backed down on this and who have fought tooth and nail against this takeover of the health care industry. Rep. Paul Ryan has been phenomenal and Rep. John Boehner has been awesome as well. I recognize and appreciate their efforts.
Update 10:46: Don't miss Bride of Rove:
I write this at 10 am on a Sunday before the vote a 6 pm as if the vote is a done deal when it may not be, but I think it is and I think we need to get our feet under us and have a strategy in place or else all hell is going to break loose once the rest of the country wakes up and understands what’s happening and what it really means to them. This will affect every aspect of everyone’s lives. There will be no escaping it, no hiding it, no mitigation of impact is possible to sooth the wrenching vibrations of chains being dragged across a nation’s back. The IRS will be ramping up enforcement protocols for absconders. Employers will be sent literature on compliance guidelines. Banks will be receiving documentation on how to handle the garnishments. Hospitals will be assessing staff and making lists of who will stay and who can be let go on a moment’s notice as they struggle to stay open. Paychecks will be leaner as the withholding increases to start the payments four years before “benefits” theoretically kick in and people will take that initial fight to their HR departments.
Read the whole thing.
Update 11:00: Code Red lists the undecideds here. I've included their phone numbers.
Rep. Brian Baird (202) 225-3536) (360) 352-9768
Rep. Marion Berry (202) 225-4076 (870) 972-4600
Rep, Kathy Dahlkemper (202) 225-5406 (814) 456-2038
Rep. Lincoln Davis (202) 225-6831
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (202) 225-6511
Rep. Michael McMahon (202) 225-3371 (718) 630-5277
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (202) 225-2611 (701) 224-0355
Update 11:22: Red State is reporting multiple sources who say the Dems don't have the votes and that the vote is delayed.
CSPAN is showing the throng of protesters keeping vigil outside Congress. Amazing.
Update 11:56: Stacy McCain's live chat is rolling now.
MSNBC is now reporting Stupak is a "yes". Damn.
Update 12:25: And who was that that said this isn't a government takeover of healthcare?
See more here.
Update 12:51: Reports via Twitter are that Rep. Sanchez is in the building but no word on how she'll vote. The Stupak vote is still going back and forth as media outlets are going both ways on that. He's probably going to go for it, but it's not yet nailed down. Rep. Lincoln Davis is a "No."
Update 1:33: Paul Ryan just spoke on the Floor and had his charts out. He's such a champion for conservatives! Calling this bill "the mother of all entitlements," he listed many of the mandates in the bill and then explained how it lead us into a "tidal wave of red ink" into debt. Ryan closed by making the case that rationing is inevitable under this bill.
He was followed by Louise Slaughter who introduced a single page document into the record as to why the bill is not unconstitutional.
Then Patrick (aka "Patches") Kennedy comes out shouting and bathering about his father and how wonderful this bill is. Overwrought is the word I'd use to describe that young man. Overwrought.
Update 1:49: The Hill is reporting that as of 30 minutes ago they still don't have the votes. It comes down to Stupak.
The decisions of two Tennessee Democrats, Reps. John Tanner and Lincoln Davis, to vote no has put President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her lieutenants in a major bind.
If every member votes, Democratic leaders can only afford 37 defections. According to The Hill's whip list, there are 39 Democrats planning to vote no.
Depending on the deal reached with Stupak, some of those who are currently "yes" could flip back to "no."
Keep the hope alive!
Update 2:46: The shenanigans on the floor of the House are just crazy. With Jesse Jackson, Jr. acting as Speaker, well, he appears to be out of his league. Darrell Issa continues to raise parliamentary inquiries and points of order which Jackson sometimes addresses and sometimes refuses to address.
Issa is making the case that the earmarks in the bill are in violation of the Rule. Louise Slaughter took objection to this and says if the Republicans would just agree to reconciliation then those earmarks could be fixed and removed. This issue seems to be that the Louisiana Purchse, the Cornhusker Kickback, Gator Aide and the Bismark Bank fix are all going to be signed into law in the Senate bill, which would be a violation.
All in all, things descended into chaos and shouting with Slaughter having a near melt down, yelling "You know no such thing!" at Issa as he made his case. Jackson, meanwhile, seems at a loss as to how to control things.
Reports on Twitter are that Dems still don't have the votes; Mike Pence held up a sign to the protesters declaring that they are still short. It comes down to Stupak who has a presser at 4. It seems unlikely he'd have a press conference unless he was falling in line.
Update 3:40: Well of course Stupak caved. He caved for a piece of paper, a non-binding Executive Order. I guess it's going to work about as well as the Executive Order demanding the closure of Gitmo...last January. Last time I checked, Gitmo is still open.
Update 3:53: Yuval Levin at NRO has read the Executive Order and finds it meaningless:
Looking at the executive order (which you can read here), the answer is clearly nothing. The executive order quite literally does nothing that the Senate bill does not already do, and it is careful to say as much. It offers a kind of narrative of what champions of the bill claim it does with regard to abortion (claims that Rep. Stupak among others has disputed for months), and then says the executive branch will make various people aware of this understanding of what the law says. It orders no action (only the usual promulgation of regulations the law requires anyway) and offers no interpretation beyond that.
Rep. Broun is speaking on the floor and says if you vote for this bill "you can NEVER call yourself a pro-life Democrat again!"
Andy McCarthy's remarks here.
Update 5:32: This has been the front story on Drudge all afternoon:
Senate Republicans say they can get the whole package of reconciliation fixes – the fix-its that make the Senate plan palatable to House Democrats - thrown out with a trump card procedural motion. And they say Democrats are slow-walking a decision from the parliamentarian until the House passes the Senate bill.
That means the Senate bill, which everyone in the House seems to universally hate, will be the law of the land....
...For an appetizer, take a look at Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Judd Gregg’s statement tonight.
“Immediately after receiving the final reconciliation bill language, Senate Republican staff was ready and willing to meet with Senate Democratic staff and the Senate Parliamentarian to discuss the fact that the House reconciliation bill may be brought down by the 310(g) point of order in the Senate. Senate Democrats are mysteriously unavailable until after the House votes on the health care bill tonight. The Senate Democrats appear to be pushing off this meeting so that House Democrats will remain in the dark about what is likely to happen to the reconciliation bill on which many have staked their careers in Congress. House Democrats should be alarmed by this latest development, since the survival of the reconciliation bill is clearly at risk in the Senate.”
There's more here.
Allahpundit is having none of it. He says it sounds too desperate. Right now, desperate is about all we've got.
General debate is about to begin.
Endgame: And so it goes.
There is little for me to feel encouraged about here, but I do think that our Republican leadership did a fine job and the best that could be done. Paul Ryan is a bright star and something to look forward to as we move forward. John Boehner WILL be Speaker one day and he delivered a powerful speech tonight.
Many states are already filing challenges to the mandate. Lawsuits and challenges will abound. Democrats will be voted out in the fall in droves.
But the fix is in. The deed is done and we fight another day.
We are all socialist now.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I'm going to be updating this post through the day on developments and I know others will be as well. I want to point you first to, of course, Stacy McCain who has Smitty "on the ground" (lordy I hate that expression!) at the Code Red Rally in Washington. Watch Stacy's place for updates, too.
The Corner, as always, keeps thing pretty up to date also. Kathryn Jean Lopez reports this morning of a potential collapse of the Stupak deal which can either be good news or bad news. Either he's holding his ground, or she already has the votes and doesn't need to dally with him any longer.
K-Lo also reports that "Stupak swingers" who might need phone calls right about now are: Kaptur of Ohio, Berry of Arkansas, Cueller of Texas, and Rahall of West Virginia. If you live in their district, call them!
Berry (202) 225-4076
Rahall (202) 225-3452
The Hill's latest Whip Count is here. Numbers of those we need to keep calling can be found here.
Whip counts vary depending on who you ask. Fox News had it at 214-217, in favor of Pelosi, a little while ago. Firedoglake has is 202-209.
Michelle Malkin has updates and also the list of amendments to the Dems bill that Pelosi wants debated and voted on before tomorrow. The Rules Committee meets at 10 a.m. this morning and Michelle reports that Pete Sessions will be live tweeting from there. The Rules Committee meeting will also be on CSPAN 2.
Rep. Bart Stupak will have his press conference this morning at 11 a.m. ET.
Stay tuned for updates.
Update 10:08: I'm watching the Rules Committee. Rep. Paul Ryan is such an awesome speaker and champion for this fight! He is going head to head with Rep. Slaughter right now and is not backing down one iota. She's arguing with him about Medicare and whether or not his plan phases out Medicare. She's uninformed and not really interested in the answer to the question she's posed as she won't let him answer. He's holding his own though.
She insists that Ryan's plan "does away with Medicare and leaves people with a voucher" to go find their own coverage "if they can."
Ryan: "I realize you want to talk about somebody ELSE'S bill rather than your own legislation and I understand that!"
Update 10:15: Live streaming of the Kill the Bill Rally here.
Update 10:22: Via Robert Costa at NRO:
Two pro-life GOP members close to Stupak tell NRO that any Stupak deals are off. They just spoke with him and they said he's finished with Pelosi. They rejected his enrollment corrections proposal.
Again, she may or may not need his vote(s). Not sure how this will play out yet. He's canceled his press conference.
Boehner tells NRO that Pelosi still doesn't have the votes.
Update 10:35: Hot Air now has a rolling update thread.
Update 11:28: Memeorandum has a growing thread of coverage.
The Rules Committee is in recess at the moment. Pelosi is still blustering and says she will have the votes when she comes to the floor. I guess that means she doesn't have them now.
The Corner reports that " the Majority are working on an executive order with Stupak-like language in an attempt to pacify pro-life Democrats."
Update 11:56: Here's an email comment I just received:
I have met people who lived though the nightmare inflation in Germany in 1922. It really took a suitcase full of german marks to buy a loaf of bread. The price of lunch in a cafe went up before the customer could finish it. When the money ran out the government simply printed more of it. We seem to be headed down the same road. We are making a mad dash toward socialism and financial ruin.
No argument here.
Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin posts on the possible executive order in the works.
At the Code Red Rally, crowd estimates vary from 20,000 to 30,000 with more coming in.
Keep up the heat!
Update 12:08: Fox News has a great livestream of the Code Red Rally here.
Here's some pics from the Rally:
Update 1:05: Daniel Foster points out that military plans may not be covered under Obamacare unless some bureaucrat "deems" it an acceptable plan. Yikes.
Update 3:46: I had to step away for a bit to do the daily check-on-mom thing, and to put on a pot of homemade chicken soup because I feel like holy-crap-warmed-over. Chicken soup with lots of garlic and pepper always helps. At any rate, in my absence I see that Demon Pass has fallen by the wayside. Here's Ed Morrissey on that:
In other words, nobody really knows what this means.
So what does this mean? Hard to say. It could be that the heat on Democrats for using DemonPass made it too difficult to hold onto votes; Pelosi may have calculated that she’d net more votes if she split the bills properly. On the other hand, it could also mean that Pelosi has all the votes she needs and no longer needs the self-executing rule to get the bill out of the House.If anyone wonders which it is, Major Garrett of Fox News helpfully tweeted that he believes that Pelosi now has the votes for tomorrow. If that’s too pessimistic for you, remember that DemonPass was intended to protect Dems opposed to the Cadillac Tax and other issues in the Senate bill. The politics of the bill have only become more fraught since they floated that strategy, which could mean that Democrats now think it won’t pass — and need a reason for its demise other than a failure of Pelosi to whip the count.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Mark Levin called in and tried to clarify some of the issues as well. He's ready to go with his lawsuit should this thing pass on Sunday.
Rush mentioned this site - BarackHatesThis, which has the phone numbers of those we need to keep calling. It's a good, concise list.
As of now, I guess we're all anxiously awaiting the Stupak press conference and hoping against hope that he'll stand firm. It sounds like if he makes a deal with Pelosi, gets the language he wants, and votes for the bill, Queen Nancy is risking the ire and Nay votes of the Pro-life Democrats.
The plot thickens.
We stopped at Dixie Inn and had lunch at Nicky's (yes, I know...we can do that at home, but we love it.)
When we got to Minden we parked at the courthouse and started walking downtown. We didn't get very far before we were drawn into Second Hand Rose Antiques. I guess everyone in Minden must know Milly Rose! She's got one of those larger than life personalities and has a million stories! She's got a website, too - here, which is where I stole these pictures because I didn't have the presence of mind to take one of my own while I was there.
As soon as we walked in we were greeted by her Boston Terrier, Rosalea, who could be a clone for my Checkers. There was another, smaller Boston named Heidi. Wonderful dogs! We spent two hours in that store petting dogs and exploring Milly's four floors of antiques and collectibles. What treasures!
Steve honed in on two Ronald Reagan campaign buttons and a Reagan/Bush bumper sticker. I found a stained glass cardinal to hang in the window - I'm a sucker for stained glass. Milly, knowing our common love for Boston Terriers, found a brass Boston Terrier and tossed that into our pile as well. We came home with a whole bag full of little treasures as well as a new friend.
It's a great stop if you're ever in Minden! Milly says she's sold items and props to lots of the film crews that have come through town and she had lots of stories to share with us. She's a real joy. When it was time to go she gave us both a Coke and walked outside with us, pointing us to another store she thought we ought to check out.
Along the way we passed this storefront which we thought was pretty cool. You might have to click on the picture to read those signs.
After poking around the rest of downtown we headed to another store Steve wanted to check out, then back home. Minden is really a charming little town with lots of potential downtown. Main Street is one of those old, brick streets like Front Street in Natchitoches, and the buildings are old and full of character. One thing Steve and I both noted, though, was how friendly everyone was that we met.
Sandy, I'd have dropped in on you if I knew where you were! Heh!
It was a nice, leisurely afternoon and was good to get away from the news and t.v. for the afternoon.
We went by my mom's on the way home and are now settling in for a quiet night and I'm back to the fight against the socialism takeover. Life goes on, but it slowed down for a little while in Minden!
The first is from Michael Gershon's piece in The Washington Post on the ineptitude of Eric Holder. Gershon lists Holder's blunders and says with regard to Gitmo (emphasis mine):
"Fourth, there is the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the civilian trial for Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other accused Sept. 11 conspirators in Manhattan. Under Holder's direction, this process has collapsed. There is no serious plan to close Guantanamo. Holder has been unable to articulate reasons some terrorism cases are referred to civilian courts while others are tried in military tribunals...."
But that's not what Jonathan Weisman and Evan Perez write in today's Wall Street Journal:
"The White House is nearing a deal with a bipartisan group of senators to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and pave the way for more detainees to be tried before military commissions, a move that would reverse a signature Obama administration security policy."
Sen. Lindsey Graham is leading the negotiations to close Gitmo; he promises to help secure funding for the Thomson prison in return for a negotiated deal on the handling of civilian trials vs. military commissions. Graham wants KSM before a military commission rather than a civilian trial, but he favors civilian trials for lower level al Qaeda operatives.
It appears Gershon is mistaken when he says there is "no serious plan to close Gitmo."
Andy McCarthy, at The Corner, sees this as disastrous:
The good parts of the deal will be either things we'd have gotten anyway (like no civilian trial for KSM) or unenforceable (like promises that the Obama administration will be more open to using options other than the criminal justice system for top terrorists). The bad parts will be horrific, and no matter what Senator Graham says, he can't do a thing about them: The place or places where the terrorists are held will become targets that we will have to spend tons of money to protect; the tons of money we have already spent to make Gitmo a first-rate, ideally secured facility, will be lost; and, most significantly, the physical presence in the U.S. of the detainees will mean they are unquestionably in the jurisdiction of the federal courts, where judges will be able to say the Constitution requires all sorts of remedies, including release.
McCarthy is, of course correct. The left continues to spout the fiction that Gitmo is this huge recruiting too, but so far has failed to explain to my satisfaction what the recruiting tool was before 9/11. Seems like their recruiting was pretty healthy BEFORE Gitmo was established.
Gershon may be mistaken on his assessment of the closing of Gitmo but he's at least correct on the blunders of Eric Holder. I'm tired of the expression, but it's time for Holder to go under the bus.
Ryan is so well spoken and so knowledgeable about this issue that Levin has to slow him down sometimes to clarify.
The first point Ryan makes is that he has the CBO working on a letter for him to clarify their scoring of the bill; he points out that the CBO only scores what is actually written and if the bill is written to disguise things like the "Doc Fix" or the $522 Billion they are pulling from Medicare (which is then counted twice), it alters the scoring of the bill. In simple terms, the bill costs a whole lot more that what CBO says it does - some say at least $2 trillion.
Ryan said in this interview yesterday that the Dems still don't have the votes. We need to stay engaged and turn up the heat. This bill can be defeated. This bill, Ryan says, "is not about health care anymore, it's about ideology," and in the Dems world, "ideology trumps economy" because this bill kills jobs.
One thing Ryan is "digging into" is the Bismark Bank provision which appears to exclude just one bank in from the onerous student loan provisions coming in the new bill. Ryan also points out that some 32,000 jobs of people who now process student loans will go away because of this legislation.
It's an informative interview with the obviously fired-up Paul Ryan and worth ten minutes of your morning. Take a listen.
And as a backup, Levin promises that if this thing passes on Sunday, his lawsuit will be in the 24 hour drop box at the courthouse within the hour.
(H/T: Andy McCarthy - NRO The Corner)
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This afternoon the Republicans forced a vote on the Slaughter House rule, a vote which if successful, would force an actual on the record vote of the Senate Obamacare bill. The bill was defeated 222-203. This means 222 Dems voted to allow the Slaughter House option to proceed. As Ace says, wouldn't these same 222 vote for Obamacare?
222 Dems voted to shred the Constitution. Twenty-eight Democrats broke with their party to vote with Republicans.
Where are we now?
Now we're facing a weekend vote on Obamacare. Do they have the votes? Reports are that they don't at this point. But they're too close for comfort.
Michelle Malkin has the weekend schedule:
Steny Hoyer announces weekend schedule on House floor. House will convene on Saturday at 9am with votes as early as 10am, then on Sunday at 1pm — no votes before 2pm. Possible votes on Monday before 630pm Eastern.
The text of the "wreckonciliation" bill can be found here.
Mark Levin should have his lawsuit ready to go. I suspect he'll get a chance to file it.
Meanwhile, the Constitution is just so much confetti.
Rep. James Clyburn says Democrats "are giddy" with happiness over the figure.
Will the "undecided" Dems start falling into the "yes" column like a bunch of lemmings now?
Allahpundit has three different whip counts you can consider, as of yesterday, anyway. We'll watch to see how they change now.
Melt the phones. Here's The Hill list of who you should call.
Update: Paul Ryan's office says the CBO is NOT finished with their evaluation of the bill. The actual text of the bill should be posted within the hour.
Update II: (10:27 a.m.) CBO is out NOW and says there is no official cost estimate as of yet. Dems to hold press conference shortly.
Update III: (11:56 a.m.) Obama has canceled his overseas trip to stay in DC. Hmmm - what does that mean? He needs to be around for more arm twisting? The vote isn't coming on Sunday as planned?
And so it goes.
Mark Levin has prepared a lawsuit and is ready to go.
Levin, best-selling author, constitutional and legal scholar and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, says
“Landmark has already prepared a lawsuit that will be filed in federal court 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.”
Jeffrey Lord at American Spectator has more.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
We love the Oktoberfest celebration they do on base so we thought we'd give the St. Patrick's day thing a try.
It was "cook your own steak night" so for $5.00 you get a steak to cook, salad, potatoes and baked beans. Also tonight, cabbage,o for St. Patrick's Day. They provide the gas grill, too. I put Steve in charge of cooking and he did a fine job.
Steve had green beer and I had beer sans green. Purist.
There was karaoke and a few brave souls took part which was fun.
I nearly got the bell rung on me: apparently I'm a noob and didn't know that at Hangar 2 if you put your cell phone, purse, or keys on the bar someone can come ring the bell (pictured below left) on you and you have to buy everyone in the house a drink. Ditto if you take a cell phone call inside the bar or wear a hat. There are other rules too, but if you're caught reading the rules (posted on the wall...) guess what..... Yeah. So.
Lord only knows what would have happened to me if they'd seen me snapping photos.
Now that I know the rules, we'll probably be safe to go back. It's really nice sitting on their big deck, watching the sun set, and listening to the big jets and B-52s fly over. I'll never understand those people that complain about the sound of those planes. It's freedom, baby! Love it!
Hope everyone had a happy St. Patrick's Day and some green beer. Or any beer.
Tomorrow, it's back to fighting Obamacare. Carry on.
But whatever else you do, keep melting the phones! We're eleven votes away from killing this bill!
Check out HillBuzz - they have an activism plan going.
And look at that cute puppy in the sidebar. Scroll down for the story. He still needs your help.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Today Eric Holder wows and amazes with his clairvoyant knowledge that Osama bin Laden will not be taken alive. Via Politico:
“Let’s deal with reality,” Holder said. “You’re talking about a hypothetical that will never occur. We will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Obama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom. That’s the reality….He will be killed by us or he will be killed by his own people, so he’s not captured by us. We know that.”Going further, Holder contends that Osama bin Laden and Charles Manson are comparable.
I guess that if Osama WERE taken alive, Holder would be good with him serving life in prison at American taxpayer expense. Rep. John Culberson was incredulous:
“Osama bin Laden, in your opinion, has the same rights as Charles Manson?” a dubious Culberson asked.
“In some ways, I think they’re comparable people,” Holder said.
“That’s incredible,” Culberson replied. “The disconnect—your administration, your mindset is so completely opposite where the majority of the American people are,” the Congressman said, arguing that disagreement with the Obama Administration’s terrorism prosecution policy drove the recent victory of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
Pressing the bounds of reality even further, when questioned about the handling of Christmas Day bomber, Holder insisted that the 50 minutes of questioned endured by Abdulmutallab was "a fairly long period of time":
“I’ve heard a lot said that he was only questioned for 50 minutes. That’s a fairly long period of time,” Holder said. “If you look at the report of interview of what was gotten from him in 50 minutes—an hour, there was pretty substantial amount of information gotten from him.”
I'd venture to say that most common criminals are interrogated longer than 50 minutes.
It defies the imagination where this administration is coming from. Osama bin Laden is comparable to Charles Manson and fifty minutes qualifies as an extensive interrogation of an al-Qaeda terrorist.
What's next? Voting on bills that aren't even written yet?
Since Rush doesn't normally use his show as a call to activism, Michael Calderone asked him why now; Rush's response?
"This is ball game. This is ball game, and Michael, the only reason we're at this point is because the American people have stood up. The Republicans don't have the votes to stop this. And the Martians don't have the votes to stop this. Republicans may as well be Martians on this given their influence. All we can do is continue to have the American people let it be known they want no part of this -- the substance of the bill or the process. They don't like it. And that's why I am urging -- because this is a transformation of our country into something that no one has ever seen it be like. And we don't want that transformation to take place. We like America as it was founded. We don't want to turn it into a third world country."
And the lines have indeed crashed.
Neil Cavuto, on his program this afternoon, has repeatedly tried to call through and all he gets is a busy signal.
The Hill reports that the system began crashing early this afternoon:
The office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) sent out a system-wide advisory to member offices at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, warning them of the dramatic increase in traffic.“Our phone system is nearing capacity,” said Jeff Ventura, spokesman for the CAO. “It got critical enough whereby we notified all systems administrators throughout the House that the phone systems are overloading.”
Here is Rush's Code Red list. Representatives prefer to hear from their own constituents and many of their email contact forms require a zip code or address within their district. Don't let that deter you.
TPM, for example, reports that Rep. John Boccieri (D-NY) is still undecided and has been deluged with calls:
Whether or not you're in some one's district doesn't really matter. You're still an American and a vote FOR Obamacare will change America and put us on the road to catastrophe.
On Monday Boccieri's office received 1,500 calls, nearly all of them about health care and substantially higher in volume than a normal day, according to Jessica Kershaw. A new staffer starting in the Washington office Monday logged 400 of those calls on her own, doing nothing but answering the phone. In addition, aides had 1,200 e-mails in their system sent over the weekend - more than twice the normal volume.
Of the 1,500 calls, 985 were from people calling from outside of the district about health care. The office said many of them were run through an autodial system by various groups. When a real person of the eight answering phones isn't available, the calls kick into a general voicemail box. When that's full, staffers individual voicemails fill up.
The calls are about evenly split on the pro-health care and anti-health care, though Boccieri would prefer to hear thoughts on health care coming from within his district, Kershaw said.
(More at Memeorandum)
(This is a puppy photo - he's a year old now. His back, right leg is shaved from his last surgery. I'd offer a more current photo but we've been trying to keep him very still, and he gets excited when company comes over!)
Donny and Gena took him to the vet this morning for a recheck of his surgery (his second one) from last Wednesday. The doctor wasn't happy with the healing and thinks Taz is moving around too much. He's a one year old Chow/Shepherd mix and it's hard to keep him still!
So the vet decided he needs to be boarded for one week to keep him in a more confined area. They're putting one of those cones on his neck, too, to keep him from licking his stitches.
This new adventure comes at a cost of $100. This is on top of the original $1200 surgery and then the $700 follow-up surgery. They've still got the second leg to do once we get through this!
At any rate, it was a great relief to Donny and Gena when I told them we'd raised enough here to cover the boarding fees! I can't express my appreciation enough to my readers for that!
This is such a sweet dog and as I said the other day, I can't stand that he might have to be put down because of the expense in operating on his back legs.
Lots of people would say, "It's only a dog! Put him down, for cryin' out loud! Get another one!" But as many of you know, your pets become like children to you; they're part of the family. And you'd do anything for them.
So thanks again for your support for Taz and anyone who still would like to contribute, hit the button below or on the side bar. We've got a long way to go!
Ed points to this Army Times article for the story:
The Obama administration says flying the flag could give Haiti the wrong idea.
"We are not here as an occupation force, but as an international partner committed to supporting the government of Haiti on the road to recovery," the U.S. government's Haiti Joint Information Center said in response to a query about the flag.
You will remember that there was some flap from France, Venezuela, and Nicaragua about the U.S. being an "occupational force" right after the earthquake. Ed says:
The decision not to fly the flag is an embarrassment of weakness on the part of Obama. Our nation has conducted relief efforts for decades through our military, saving millions of people from death, disease, and starvation. Like France, Britain, and Croatia, we have flown our flag during those operations not to note occupation but to represent the American people’s solidarity with those suffering from disaster. That historical record is answer itself to the lunatics in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and even France who indulge in paranoid hysteria.
Army Col. Billy Buckner defends the decision and says it's a smart and sensitive decision:
In The Navy Times Buckner says there is no "prohibition" from flying the flag:
“We are respectful as the invited guests of the Government of Haiti,” Buckner said. “Our commanders are smart and intuitively understand their mission here in Haiti and clearly the sensitivities that come with supporting the mission. In most cases, they have operated in a [counterinsurgency] environment in Iraq and Afghanistan and know how to interact with the people. Bottom line is our commanders are using their best judgment to focus on the mission.
“It is no mystery that U.S. forces are on the ground, and we proudly wear an American flag on our right sleeve,” Buckner said.
There is no official prohibition from doing so there or at any of the U.S. operating bases supporting relief operations in Haiti — either by the military or the State Department, officials said. But, said Army Col. Billy Buckner, a spokesman for Joint Task Force-Haiti, “We have just chosen not to do so.”
As Andy McCarthy says, "Day by day, bit by bit..."
This is also confirmed by Steny Hoyer.
Pelosi is still moving toward the Slaughter Rule which would deem the Senate bill passed in the House, saving members from actually publicly voting on a noxious bill.
Clyburn insists that "there is no trickery here" in using the Slaughter Rule and contends that there is "nothing unusual" about it at all.
Of course, this "deem and pass" strategy has never been used on a bill that would take over 1/6 of the American economy, the student loan program, mandate individuals to purchase health insurance, and provide special deals and kickbacks to certain states,among other toxic nuggets.
No trickery here.
Business as usual.
Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin reports that Republicans are working on a measure to force a vote:
House Republican leaders will announce this morning a plan to force a vote this week on a resolution that would require the Senate health care bill to be brought to an actual up-or-down vote...If passed by the House, the resolution would prohibit Speaker Pelosi from implementing the “Slaughter Solution,” the scheme by which House Democratic leaders are seeking to “deem” the Senate bill as passed without an actual vote in the House."
She has the likely text of the measure.
And the March on Washington continues...Stacy McCain has pictures!