Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Please Ask Obama to Speak!; Anti-gun extremist to be Director of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Don Berwick Out as Admin. for Medicare and Medicaid; Maine Given Waiver for Null and Void Obamacare; Reid Wants to Save Cowboy Poetry Festival With Our Money; Foreclosure Measures Law Not Working; Idaho Passes Union Law; New Hampshire Toughening Voting Laws

CBS News writes: The White House is ramping up an effort to promote a nationwide competition to decide which high school wins a commencement speech by President Obama.
An internal White House memo indicates that the White House is facing a shortage of applications less than a week before the deadline.  A follow-up memo on February 28 reported receipt of 68 applications. Noting the competition among more than 1,000 schools last year, the memo said, "Something isn't working." It called on staffers to ask "friendly congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral offices" to encourage schools to apply. 
The president will travel to the school that is judged to best prepare students for college and careers. The competition is part of Mr. Obama's ultimate goal of making the U.S. the country with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020.
Officials were unable to explain the reason for the apparent lack of interest, beyond pointing to possible procrastination by school systems.
President Barack Obama has nominated anti-gun extremist Andrew Traver to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).

Expose Obama writes: Obama previously used a recess appointment to place Berwick in the prominent position after the Senate couldn’t find enough votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster against his nomination. A recess appointment can be used when the Senate is not in session but the appointment is temporary and Berwick, if not confirmed by the Senate, has to leave the position by the end of the year. In January, Obama renominated Berwick to his current post.  Berwick has been deluged with criticism from pro-life advocates, who cite his fondness for rationing and his failure to level with a Senate committee about his pro-rationing views.
However, a Politico report today indicates Democrats have given up any hope of confirming Berwick following a letter they received signed by 42 Republican senators who said they would continue pressing a filibuster against him.
CNBC reveals: The federal government Tuesday granted Maine a waiver of a key provision in President Barack Obama's [null and void] health care overhaul [law], citing the likelihood that enforcement could destabilize the state's market for individual health insurance.
The U.S. Health and Human Services department said in a letter it would waive the requirement that insurers spend 80 cents to 85 cents of every premium dollar on medical care and quality improvement. Instead, the letter said, the state could maintain its 65 percent standard for three years, with the caveat that HHS intends to review the figures after two years.
National Review writes: Over in the Corner, Bob Costa and Mark Steyn have great laughs about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.)’s furious response to proposed spending cuts, lamenting, “The mean-spirited bill, H.R. 1 … eliminates the National Endowment of the Humanities, National Endowment of the Arts,” said Reid. “These programs create jobs. The National Endowment of the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada every January a cowboy poetry festival. Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.” (h/t Shira Toeplitz) 
McClatchyDC writes: A handful of foreclosure prevention measures run by the Obama administration are so ineffectual, inefficient and complicated that, according to Republicans in the House of Representatives, the programs should be killed outright.
The House is scheduled to vote this week on getting rid of a refinance program for Federal Housing Administration loans and another program, scheduled to begin next month, that would help homeowners with delinquent payments.
Yahoo News writes: The Idaho state legislature approved a bill on Tuesday to strip public school teachers of many of their collective bargaining rights while protesters in six states rallied against Republican efforts to curb union power.
The Idaho bill, which excludes issues like class size and workloads from negotiations for the state's 12,000 unionized teachers, was given final approval by the Republican-led House and is expected to be signed by Republican Governor Butch Otter.
The bill also eliminates teacher tenure, limits the duration of teacher labor contracts to one year and removes seniority as a factor in determining the order of layoffs.

Yahoo News reveals: If some GOP lawmakers get their way, it could be a whole lot tougher for people across the country to cast a ballot in the upcoming 2012 presidential election.
Boosted by major electoral gains in state legislatures nationwide in the 2010 campaign, Republican lawmakers in 32 states are pushing measures that would require citizens to show a state identification or proof of citizenship to vote.  Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, GOP lawmakers are proposing new limits on college students who vote in the state, potentially eliminating a key base of electoral support for Democrats in the state ahead of the upcoming presidential election.
In New Hampshire, Republicans are pushing to end rules that allow same-day voter registration in the state, which has often provided key swing votes for candidates from all parties in the state. State GOP lawmakers are also proposing new limits on students, including a bill that would allow them to vote in college towns only if they or their parents had established permanent residency in the state.


1 comment:

  1. old grizzled veteranMarch 10, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Yeah for Idaho re: teacher's unions!! And, glad to see Berwick's nomination is in trouble--he is a typical East Coast arrogant, liberal (and, of course, best buddy of the President's radical views on life&dealth). Sure am counting on the NRA to expose the nominee for the head of the ATF for what he is--anti 2nd amendment rights !!