Friday, March 5, 2010

Buying Health Care Bill Votes, The Problems With Reconciliation, SEIU & Fundamentally Transforming America

The Weekly Standard reports: "Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he's obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson's brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. “Scott Matheson is a distinguished candidate for the Tenth Circuit court,” President Obama said."

As Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has said, 'Whatever it takes to get healthcare done”

And as Nancy Pelosi said,“You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.
The Obama administration is working on a plan to give preference to Union Shops for ALL federal contracts via the “High Road Contracting Policy.” According to multiple sources familiar with the discussions, the proposal would give preference to government contractors that pay their hourly workers a “living wage” and provide additional benefits such as health insurance, employer-funded retirement plans and paid sick leave. In other words, they will be "cutting out" the non-union shops and raising the price of jobs, and increasing the federal deficit.
As part of the implementation, the Department of Labor would be responsible for collecting and scoring the labor records of all federal contractors, giving the department an unprecedented amount of influence in deciding who receives federal contracts. Each agency would be required to establish a labor advocate, who would have the discretion to increase a bidder’s labor score based on the company’s commitment to implementing the new labor standards. Professional Services Council Vice President Alan Chvotkin said such an arrangement would effectively make the Department of Labor the gatekeeper to the $523 billion federal marker.
“I think Senator Collins and the others are rightly concerned about that,” Chvotkin said. “I can’t think of another example where a [separate] federal agency rates a company in advance of a procurement.”
Andy Stern, President of the large Union SEIU, and the most frequent visitor to the White House has been newly appointed by Barack Obama to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Part of a recent speech by Andy includes the following: “We are at the historic crossroads, economically speaking, in my lifetime in terms of what this President is trying to do. We are witnessing the first new American plan, led by the government, not the private sector”.

Van Jones, Obama’s Green Jobs Czar and an admitted communist,is infamous for saying, “We’re going to change the whole system! We want a new system!” This echoes Barack Obama’s campaign pledge: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United State of America!” And still the voters didn’t listen…. At a recent presentation, Jones surprised a person who stood to ask a question, by saying: “How’s that Capitalism working for you this year?” Do you believe yet that Capitalism is under assault by our government?
After hearing Barack Obama say recently that he is ready for reconciliation to be used in order to pass the health care bill, for he has given the Republicans their chance to cave in to him, I looked up just what our President said when he was a Senator, about a “simple majority”.
2004: "My understanding of the Senate is that you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen, which means that Democrats and I have to ask the question: Do we have the will to move an American agenda forward, not a Democratic or Republican agenda forward?"

2007: Obama in Chicago at the Change to Win Convention.
"Those big-ticket items, fixing our health care system. You know, one of the arguments that sometimes I get with, uhh, my fellow progressives and -- and some of these have -- have flashed up in the blog communities on occasion -- is this notion that we should function sort of like Karl Rove, where we -- we identify our core base, we throw 'em red meat, we get a 50-plus-one, uhhh, victory. See, Karl Rove doesn't need a broad consensus because he doesn't believe in government. If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a -- a sizeable majority."

2007: "The bottom line is that our health care plans are similar. The question, once again, is: Who can get it done? Who can build a movement for change? This is an area where we're going to have to have a 60% majority in the Senate and the House in order to actually get a bill to my desk. We're going to have to have a majority to get a bill to my desk that is not just a 50-plus-one majority.
You gotta break out of what I call the sort of 50-plus-one pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory with 50-plus-one but you can't govern. You know, you get Air Force One and a lot of nice perks as president but you can't -- you can't deliver on health -- we're not going to pass universal health care with a -- with a 50-plus-one strategy."

David Broder of the Washington Post wrote: “In the space of 10 days, thanks in no small part to my own newspaper, the president of the United States has been portrayed as a weakling and a chronic screw-up who is wrecking his administration despite everything that his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, can do to make things right.
This remarkable fiction began unfolding on Feb. 21 in the Sunday column of my friend Dana Milbank, who wrote that "Obama's first year fell apart in large part because he didn't follow his chief of staff's advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter," i.e., a one-term failure.
A week later, presumably the same anonymous sources persuaded Milbank to pronounce that Obama "too often plays the 98-pound weakling; he gets sand kicked in his face and responds with moot-court zingers."
And on Tuesday, The Post led the paper with a purported news story by Jason Horowitz saying that a president with Obama's "detached, professorial manner" needed "a political enforcer" like Emanuel to have a chance of succeeding, "because he [Emanuel] possessed a unique understanding of the legislative mind." Unfortunately, the story said, "influential Democrats are -- in unusually frank terms -- blaming Obama and his closest campaign aides for not listening to Emanuel." For more, go to
From Politico: Legislation that would force government and Hill staffers to pay back taxes or lose their jobs was pulled from House committee markup today after Democrats hit the brakes. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees government workers, told POLITICO he was concerned that the legislation would kick workers to the curb before it could be determined if the IRS had erred. “The employee can fight it, but they don’t have a job,” Lynch said during a committee markup today.
The Canada Free Press writes: "When Obama says that his Obamacare healthcare plan isn’t a big government take over of healthcare he really is simply lying outright to the nation (well, let’s be honest, it’s not really his plan because the Democrats wrote it and he had no real input into it). Here is a list of 159 new programs, administrative boards, and bureaucracies that the Democrat Party’s healthcare bill creates: (PS, remember that all the tax increases start NOW, if this bill is passed, but none of the coverage starts for four years!)" For the list, go to:
Fox News reports a few snippets from the book by Karl Rove, who was the top political strategist to former President George W. Bush. "He uses his memoir, “Courage and Consequence,” to settle some scores with Obama, including a shot that Obama once took at Rove in his own memoir, “The Audacity of Hope.” Specifically, Obama accused Rove and fellow conservatives Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist in the 2006 book of declaring, “We are a Christian nation.”

“I certainly don’t believe and have never said, ‘We are a Christian nation,’” Rove insisted in “Courage,” which is scheduled for publication next week. “What happened to the Jews? The Muslims? The Hindus? The Buddhists? The skeptics and nonbelievers?”

"Though we didn’t discuss it in our West Wing encounter, Obama also went on in his book to describe me and other conservatives as ‘eerily reminiscent of some of the New Left’s leaders during the sixties,’ who ‘viewed politics as a contest not just between competing policy visions, but between good and evil,’” Rove wrote.

“Now, that’s rich, isn’t it?” he marveled. “The last time I checked, I hadn’t bombed any government buildings (like, say, Obama’s great friend William Ayers); or asked that God ‘damn’ America (like, say, Obama’s former pastor and close friend Jeremiah Wright); or declared that I was proud of my country for the first time in my life only when I was in my forties (like, say, Obama’s wife, Michelle).”

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