Friday, October 9, 2009

Replacing Slander Laws/More Songs To Obama

The American Thinker: In his new book [by Cass Sunstein, Obama's Regulatory Czar], harsh penalties would be meted out for those that "spread rumors about an appointee of a Democratic president," an occurrence likely to increase if Sunstein continues to assault the very foundations upon which America is built.[2] Sunstein will have to accuse millions of Americans of "spreading rumors." Perhaps Sunstein even dreams of an eventual final solution for rumor perpetrators.

The flaw in Sunstein's logic should be obvious to even the mildly literate: libel and slander laws already exist to address Sunstein's alleged concerns. What Sunstein is after is not merely a redress of disinformation, or even the ability to dismiss critics as liars, but rather the actual power to threaten critics with the penalty of law. No due process need be given to those Sunstein accuses of lying. All that will be required is a "notice to take down," in the case of the Internet. As Sunstein writes, "Those who run websites would be obliged to take down falsehoods upon notice." But who determines falsehoods? Not a court of law, if Sunstein's proposal is enacted.

Sunstein, arguably the most powerful bureaucrat in America at present, will decide who is lying and who is telling the truth. At present, if someone lies, there is a sure remedy already in existence: Sunstein, President Obama, or any other official about which a deceptive statement is made, can provide information to contradict the claims of the "liars." The only problem for Sunstein and Obama is the frequency with which accusers are telling the truth, and no contradictory information exists.
o we still wonder why our children are not learning how to read and write and do arithmetic at school - or why some kindergartner's parents are being told that it is they who much teach their children the alphabet because they just don't have time to do it in school? Just check out the following on UTube:

Republican House Leaders joined U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter yesterday in sending a letter to the White House outlining substantive ideas on how to help turn around our nation's economy and boost the number of new jobs.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the letter (again) outlined the Republicans willingness to work with the Administration to move America forward. Included, several public policy proposals were outlined, including:

  • Give small businesses a tax deduction equal to 20% of their income.
  • Let small businesses band together in associations to buy health insurance more cheaply.
  • Curb civil lawsuits.
  • Lower individual income tax rates.
  • Expand health savings accounts, which are being squeezed in some of the current health-care reform proposals.
  • Increase businesses' ability to recover current losses by refiling prior tax returns.

Earlier this year, Representative McCotter participated in a work group crafting many of these initiatives which could have, in turn, provided twice the jobs at half the cost of the Administration's stimulus package.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Health Care Bill

The Politico reports that: Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., warned Americans that "Republicans want you to die quickly" during an after-hours House floor speech Tuesday night.

His remarks, which drew angry and immediate calls for an apology from Republicans, were highlighted by a sign reading "The Republican Health Care Plan: don't get sick - but if you do, die quickly."

[He also compared the Republicans' plan to a Holocaust! He refuses to apologize, except for the Holocaust reference, even though several weeks ago, with tears in her eyes, Nancy Pelosi asked for a toning down of rhetoric so that the violence of the 70's is not renewed by hateful speech. So - when will Nancy ask Grayson to apologize?]

- Sen. Thomas Carper (D.-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, told that he does not “expect” to read the actual legislative language of the committee’s health care bill because it is “confusing” and that anyone who claims they are going to read it and understand it is fooling people.

“I don’t expect to actually read the legislative language because reading the legislative language is among the more confusing things I’ve ever read in my life,” Carper told
Last week, the Finance Committee considered an amendment offered by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) that would have required the committee to post the full actual language of the proposed legislation online for at least 72 hours before holding a final committee vote on it. The committee defeated the amendment 13-10.

From Tim Reid: There has been a growing narrative taking hold about Barack Obama’s presidency in recent weeks: that he is loved by many, but feared by none; that he is full of lofty vision, but is actually achieving nothing with his grandiloquence.

Chicago’s dismal showing yesterday, after Mr Obama’s personal, impassioned last-minute pitch, is a stunning humiliation for this President. It cannot be emphasized enough how this will feed the perception that on the world stage he looks good — but carries no heft. Mr Obama was greeted — as usual — like a rock star by the IOC delegates in Copenhagen — then humiliated by them. Perception is reality. A narrow defeat for Chicago would have been acceptable — but the sheer scale of the defeat was a bombshell, and is a major blow for Mr Obama at a time when questions are being asked about his style of governance. [Perhaps if Mr. Obama had highlighted the greatness and goodness of America and Chicago (a hard thing to do after trashing the USA in the last year) instead of saying what it means to him and his wife and daughters (another example of his narcissism), the Committee might not have been turned off by his arrogance.]


From Expose Obama: Humana [Health Insurance Co.] published a letter to its members warning them of potential drastic cuts to Medicare (specifically the Medicare Advantage program) under ObamaCare and urged its members to contact Congress. Specifically, Humana said; “if the proposed funding cut levels [in the current health care legislation] become law, millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable.”

It was a very valid point to raise... such proposals are on the table... and it makes all the sense in the world to alert people to what is going on and motivate them to call their elected officials... but it didn't take the long for our government to come down hard on Humana.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiated an investigation and sent an ominous gag-order to Humana:

“As we continue our research into this issue, we are instructing you to immediately discontinue all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your Web sites.”

And Senator Max Baucus demanded that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launch an "investigation" against Humana as well, claiming the letter put forth "false information," Baucus rhetorically asked, "does the first amendment include lies?”

Of course, there's just one small problem with Baucus' ranting accusation. Humana was voicing an opinion that was well grounded in fact. Even the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) made the point.

The memo went on to say that the government might take legal action against insurers that are mobilizing opposition to the legislation by sending 'misleading and confusing' messages to seniors.

As Dick Morris explains:

Why is Congress so eager to cut $160 billion-plus from Medicare Advantage? The program does things that President Obama and other liberals normally praise. Is the cut simply the price charged by AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons) for overlooking the rest of the $500 billion in Medicare cuts meant to finance “health-care reform”?

Medicare Advantage offers a range of benefits beyond basic Medicare. It combines many elements Obama and other liberals like — such as subsidized premiums for low-income elderly, “pooling” of insurees to provide bargaining power and managed care that emphasizes prevention, treatment of chronic conditions and coordination among doctors.

As a result, it keeps the cost of care, and thus insurance premiums, much lower than do policies.

Ten million seniors have voluntarily enrolled in Medicare Advantage and realized savings of about $1,000 a year in enhanced benefits over and above what Medicare itself provides. These extra benefits include reduced out-of-pocket costs and comprehensive drug coverage, as well as vision, dental and hearing benefits — plus programs promoting wellness (such as gym memberships) disease management and care coordination.

It essentially implements all the economies and efficiencies that Obama preaches nonstop. Doctors speak to one another, duplication is avoided, care is managed, and there is an emphasis on prevention.

Yet the Democratic health-care bills targets Medicare Advantage for drastic cuts — which would force up premiums and drive millions of seniors to drop it.

Which brings us to AARP — which makes a hefty profit selling Medigap coverage, the chief alternative to Medicare Advantage.

Michael Moore, in town for the premiere of his new movie, stopped by a rally at the offices of Public Citizen on Tuesday to deliver a stark warning to any congressional Democrats who would dare oppose a government-run insurance plan as part of health-care legislation. "I and a lot of other people have every intention of removing you from Congress in the next election".

The discovery that Countrywide Financial Corp. recorded phone conversations with borrowers in a controversial mortgage program that included public officials -- and that those recordings have been destroyed -- has prompted new congressional calls for more information about the program.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is trying to subpoena the remaining records of Countrywide's VIP loan program. So far, the committee's chairman, New York Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns, has turned down that request. [This pertains to the loan received by Senator Chris Dodd, among others].