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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Statistics Show Stimulus Package Results Have Gone From Bad to Worse

Posted by: Peter Roff on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 7:39:16 pm Comments (0)

All the attention being paid to the healthcare debate has sort of pushed the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--also known as the stimulus--off the front page.
It's a shame really, because the latest employment figures--real unemployment figures--show it is still failing to deliver as promised. According to a table put together last December by the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, payroll employment declined everywhere except for North Dakota and the District of Columbia in the nine months since the stimulus had been signed into law.
As I wrote at the time, "It is not just that the $789 billion package has not had the effect the White House promised it would; it's that it may actually have been counterproductive, actually lengthening the recession by effectively taking money out of the private economy, where it could have been used to create jobs and for investment purposes."
...continue reading.

Boehner to GOP: Focus on Jobs, Even When Talking About Healthcare

Posted by: Peter Roff on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 3:16:29 pm Comments (0)

House Minority Leader John Boehner is urging his Republican colleagues to keep their focus on the need to create jobs--even as they talk about the just-passed healthcare law while meeting with constituents over the Easter break. In a memo, Boehner--who says President Barack Obama "abandoned our founding principle that government governs best when it governs closest to the people"--outlines a program for job creation that he says members of the GOP should talk up as they attempt to establish a meaningful contrast with the Democratic majority in Congress.
If they regain the majority as the result of the next election, Boehner says, the Republicans will fight to

...continue reading. 
 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Win Healthcare Fight With Elections, Not Threats and Violence

Posted by: Peter Roff on Friday, March 26, 2010 at 8:47:07 am Comments (0)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is warning his Democratic colleagues that their vote in favor of healthcare reform might make them targets of violent protest when they go home for the Easter break.
Calling on the Republicans to denounce violence as a means of protest against the bill, Hoyer told reporters, “I would hope that we would join together jointly and make it very clear that none of us condone this kind of activity.”
According to Politico, the FBI, the Capitol Police, and the Office of the House Sergeant at Arms have all briefed members about violent incidents that have already occurred, including bricks that were thrown through the windows of the district office of New York Democrat Louise Slaughter and several of members who backed the Obamacare bill that is now law.
Joining him in agreement is House Minority Leader John Boehner, who said separately, “I know many Americans are angry over this healthcare bill, and that Washington Democrats just aren’t listening,” the Ohio Republican said. “But, as I’ve said, violence and threats are unacceptable. That’s not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change. Call your congressman, go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a political campaign, make your voice heard--but let’s do it the right way.”
...continue reading.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On U.S. News now -- Will Stupak's Healthcare Deal Be Worth Its Socialist Price?

Posted by: Peter Roff on Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 9:36:40 am Comments (0)

After a yearlong, rancorous debate--and over the objections of the American people--the House of Representatives voted to establish a socialized healthcare system in the United States, something that has been a dream of progressives and Democrats for at least the last 60 years.
The new program, which by most measures is the largest single new entitlement program to be enacted since the New Deal, is a giant leap down the road toward making the United States a European-style social democracy in which the government, organized labor, and big business work together to reach welfare state objectives at the expense of economic growth and considerable personal liberty in the marketplace.
...continue reading.
 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Will Stupak’s Healthcare Deal Be Worth Its Socialist Price?

Posted by: Peter Roff on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 3:49:00 pm Comments (0)

 

After a yearlong, rancorous debate--and over the objections of the American people--the House of Representatives voted to establish a socialized healthcare system in the United States, something that has been a dream of progressives and Democrats for at least the last 60 years.
The new program, which by most measures is the largest single new entitlement program to be enacted since the New Deal, is a giant leap down the road toward making the United States a European-style social democracy in which the government, organized labor, and big business work together to reach welfare state objectives at the expense of economic growth and considerable personal liberty in the marketplace.
...continue reading.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pelosi was Against ‘Deem and Pass’ Before She Was For It

Posted by: Peter Roff on Monday, March 22, 2010 at 12:39:37 pm Comments (0)

Signaling her growing desperation, Nancy Pelosi said Monday that a Rules Committee scheme to "deem" the healthcare bill as having passed the House without being voted on had won her support. "I like it," the speaker of the House told a roundtable of bloggers Monday, "because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill." For Pelosi, winning is no longer the most important thing. It has become the only thing--and apparently by any means necessary. The White House and congressional Democratic leaders like Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talk like the changes they are proposing are wildly popular, that they have a mandate to implement them. Their behavior, by contrast, tells a different story.

Continue reading....

 

House Democrats’ Healthcare Reform Plans Are Unconstitutional

Posted by: Peter Roff on Monday, March 22, 2010 at 12:02:10 pm Comments (0)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her allies, in an effort to be clever, have overstepped their constitutional bounds. The plan they have put forward for getting Senate-passed healthcare legislation through the House is, according to one prominent constitutional scholar, “unconstitutional.” Writing in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Michael McConnell, the former federal appellate judge who is now director of the prestigious Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, explains that the path Pelosi and company have staked out to move the bill to the finish line doesn’t pass the smell test.
To become law—hence eligible for amendment via reconciliation—the Senate health-care bill must actually be signed into law. The Constitution speaks directly to how that is done. According to Article I, Section 7, in order for a “Bill” to “become a Law,” it “shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate” and be “presented to the President of the United States” for signature or veto. Unless a bill actually has “passed” both Houses, it cannot be presented to the president and cannot become a law.
...continue reading.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Government’s GM-Chrysler Ties Make Toyota Probe Look Bad

Posted by: Peter Roff on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 10:00:13 am Comments (0)

There are a lot of places a politician does not want to get caught in Washington. One is leaving the scene of an accident. Another is coming out of a strip club. A third is in the middle of an apparent conflict of interest.
The charge that an appearance of a conflict of interest exists is, more often than not, used as a smear, as a way to blacken someone's reputation without having all the facts in order. It's hard to defend against, something on the order of deciding how answer the question "Hey buddy, when did you stop beating your wife?" in a way that doesn't add to your troubles.
An apparent conflict of interest, being largely subjective and based on the way an aggrieved party or crusading journalist interprets the facts, is a difficult thing to explain. Which makes it far more difficult to deal with than an actual conflict of interest--which these days is usually dispatched easily by admitting to it or reporting it, apologizing, and then seeking and receiving a waiver from the controlling legal authorities, which allows everyone to go forward as if nothing untoward happened.
For that reason, apparent conflicts get far more attention than actual conflicts. And it's a shame.
Take the case of Toyota. The giant Japanese automaker is now being investigated by several federal agencies and--thanks at least in part to pressure from the White House--at least one committee of the U.S. Congress, which are looking into allegations that many of the cars it currently manufactures have safety problems.
...continue reading. 
 

Pelosi: Pass Health Reform So You Can Find Out What’s In It

Posted by: Peter Roff on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 9:54:31 am Comments (0)

It has been said well and famously that politicians only really commit a gaffe when they tell the truth without meaning to. Add House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the list.
Speaking Tuesday to the 2010 Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties, Pelosi began the windup of her healthcare pitch by alluding to the controversies over the healthcare bill and the process by which it has reached its current state. Then, just after saying, "It's going to be very, very exciting," Pelosi gaffed, telling the local elected officials assembled that Congress "[has] to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it, away from the fog of controversy."
...continue reading.

Senate’s Weak Abortion Language Could Kill Obama Health Reform Bill

Posted by: Peter Roff on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 9:50:20 am Comments (0)

Though President Barack Obama and the White House would have people believe otherwise, the anti-abortion funding provisions included in the Senate-passed version of the healthcare bill are significantly weaker than the so-called "ironclad" prohibitions that Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak added to the bill in the House. The differences matter, so much so that Stupak and a handful of colleagues--enough to kill the Senate bill if it is brought up in the House--are threatening to vote 'No' unless the language to block federal funds from paying for abortions and abortion-related services is strengthened.
They have the votes to do it. The bill only passed by the barest of margins the first time. Now, Pelosi has to find four additional "aye" votes on top of her original majority because the only Republican to vote for the bill--Louisiana's Joseph Cao--has announced his opposition while three other votes in favor have been lost due to death or resignation from Congress.
...continue reading.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Use Stimulus Money for Tax Relief

Posted by: Peter Roff on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 10:15:55 am Comments (0)

In the battle of ideas over the best ways to stimulate the still lagging U.S. economy, South Dakota Sen. John Thune is attempting to get to the head of the pack by proposing a series of tax incentives to help small business.
As part of the current Senate debate over the so-called "tax extenders bill," Thune has proposed a series of incentives designed to help small business invest in new capital and hire more workers.
Specifically, Thune is asking the Senate to approve language that would:
...continue reading.

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