POLITICAL NEWS UPDATES Page 7
Obama Uses Op-Ed to Criticize Health Insurance Industry
President Obama took aim at the health insurance industry Sunday, using an op-ed to accuse the insurance companies of discriminating against millions and rally support for a comprehensive reform package to hold them "accountable."
White House appears ready to drop 'public option'
Bowing to Republican pressure and an uneasy public, President Barack Obama's administration signaled Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new health care system.
Rasmussen: 0bama Presidential Approval Index rating –8
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 30% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -8 (see trends).
E-mails from public overload House Web site
Amid a boisterous debate on health care reform, people flooded members of Congress on Thursday with so many e-mails that they overloaded the House's primary Web site. Technical support issued a warning to congressional staff that the site - - may be slow or unresponsive because of the large volume of e-mail being sent to members.http://www.house.gov
Reid: Protestors are "evil-mongers"
Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, was having second thoughts – or was he? – about the way he had characterized people who are disrupting town halls with "lies, innuendo and rumor," and not letting others speak. They are, he had said, "evil-mongers." A day after tossing out the term "evil-mongers" in the closing speech of his annual clean energy conference, Reid was alternating between pride in his coinage and knowing that he probably should be trying to defuse, not escalate, the turmoil erupting at town meetings across the country on health care reform.
A Special Message from the American Political Action Committee:
80% of the ENERGY TAX INCREASE is slated for the General Federal Budget. Just 20% of the Increased Energy Tax Revenue is directed at Obama’s green economy and jobs. The Obama Health Care Tax scam will cost billions and a new revenue source is needed according to Obama Treasury Sec. Geithner who didn't rule out new taxes as a means to do so.
Cap-and-Trade's Unlikely Critics: Its Creators
In the 1960s, a University of Wisconsin graduate student named Thomas Crocker came up with a novel solution for environmental problems: cap emissions of pollutants and then let firms trade permits that allow them to pollute within those limits.
Obama Says Grandmother’s Hip Replacement Raises Cost Questions
President Barack Obama said his grandmother’s hip-replacement surgery during the final weeks of her life made him wonder whether expensive procedures for the terminally ill reflect a “sustainable model” for health care. The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had a hip replaced after she was diagnosed with cancer, Obama said in an interview with the New York Times magazine that was published today. Dunham, who lived in Honolulu, died at the age of 86 on Nov. 2, 2008, two days before her grandson’s election victory.
Obama Claim of AARP Endorsement 'Inaccurate'
A group usually seen as one of Barack Obama's allies in the health care debate -- AARP -- says the president went too far Tuesday when he said the seniors lobby had endorsed the legislation pending in Congress. AARP is sensitive to the issue because polls show that Medicare beneficiaries are worried their health care program will be cut to subsidize coverage for the uninsured.
A Special Message from the American Political Action Committee:
To All Concerned Americans: Congress has started their August recess... but it's NO VACATION! At "town hall" meetings all across America, the grassroots -- ordinary patriotic Americans like YOU -- are coming out by the hundreds... and they are ANGRY.
House Leaders Drop Plans to Buy Fancy Jets
House Democratic leaders said Monday that they will not force the Pentagon to buy four new passenger jets used to ferry senior government officials. Democrats have been criticized for adding $330 million to the Air Force's 2010 budget to buy the jets even though the Pentagon didn't request the money.
Obama Heads to Town-Hall Meetings
President Barack Obama will spend the week trying to convince Americans with health insurance that legislation in Congress would benefit them, holding three town-hall meetings, a venue where Democrats have faced loud complaints. Mr. Obama plans to hold the town-hall meetings Tuesday in Portsmouth, N.H., Friday in Bozeman, Mont., and Saturday in Grand Junction, Colo. A White House official said participants wouldn't be screened to keep out opponents.
Drooping polls undercut scripted protest claims
The White House's claim that large and boisterous protests against health care reform over the past week have been scripted performances, underwritten by industry lobbyists and the Republican Party, continues to run into a stubborn reality check: public polling on the matter. For more than two weeks, polls have consistently shown growing resistance to President Obama's reform proposals, largely because of concerns about the nation's deficit and debt.
Obama Rewards North Korea with Direct Talks
One week after North Korea released two imprisoned American journalists, the Obama administration announced its willingness yesterday to hold direct talks with the rogue nation over its nuclear weapons. "The ball is in their court," said America’s UN ambassador, Susan Rice, on CNN’s "State of the Union" yesterday.
Ben Cardin (D-MD) is desperate for Obamacare Supporters to Rally at ACORN & SEIU sponsored Senate Townhall
Below is an email chain forwarded to me. It originated with a Ben Cardin staffer. The Cardin staff is desperate to make his Senate townhall tonight look like a rally for Obamacare. Isn’t this astroturfing, Senator? You, a United States Senator, using a network of liberals to gin up support for Obamacare?
Outrage: Obama says he saved US Economy
President Barack Obama said Friday his administration had saved the US economy from catastrophe and the worst of the recession may be over, after a surprise drop in the unemployment rate. "This morning we received additional signs that the worst may be behind us," said Obama in remarks in the White House Rose Garden after new figures showed the jobless rate slipped to a better than expected 9.4 percent in July.
Fear or Loathing: Democrats Raise Specter of Swastikas to Cancel Town Halls
In a rhetorical argument that is unlikely to yield any winners, Democratic lawmakers and their opponents in the health care debate have descended into a war of words over the symbols of Nazi Germany. Town hall audiences and conservative bloggers protesting a Democratic-sponsored bill on health care reform have used the disturbing imagery to compare the plan championed by President Obama to how the Nazis treated prisoners in concentration camps.
Difficult Times? House Orders Up Three Elite Jets
Last year, lawmakers excoriated the CEOs of the Big Three automakers for traveling to Washington, D.C., by private jet to attend a hearing about a possible bailout of their companies. But apparently Congress is not philosophically averse to private air travel: At the end of July, the House approved nearly $200 million for the Air Force to buy three elite Gulfstream jets for ferrying top government officials and Members of Congress.
‘Cash for Clunkers’ Puts the Brakes on Donations
Riteway Charity Services in Sun Valley, Calif. turns thousands of donated cars into money for local food banks, homeless shelters and Boys and Girls clubs. They say the recession put a dent in donations; they're down 30 percent from last year.
As Health Care Issue Heats Up, Congressmen Turn to Tele-Townhall Meetings--Where They Control Audience
Members of Congress are increasingly turning to virtual townhall meetings--conducted by telephone--in an effort to reach more constituents while avoiding the potential that informational meetings might be disrupted by angry and persistent questioners or protesters.
A Special Message from the American Political Action Committee:
The radically liberal administration of Barack Hussein Obama -- with the help of his partners-in-crime Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid -- is trying to FORCE Americans to accept socialized health care like Canada and Europe... But we have a chance TODAY to stop them!
Sestak challenges Specter, defies Obama
Sen. Arlen Specter is running out of political parties he can leap to. After switching from Republican to Democrat to avoid a tough primary rival on the right, Mr. Specter now faces a challenge on the left from Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak.
Senate will OK "clunker" extension this week: Reid
The U.S. Senate will approve a $2 billion extension of the "cash for clunkers" auto sales incentive by week's end, Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday, giving new life to a successful program that has boosted industry sales to a 2009 high.
GOP activists form group to oppose Reid
Two top Republican activists have formed a nationally based independent expenditure group dedicated to taking down Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, in the 2010 elections.
'Clunker' sales nearing quarter-million; what now?
The White House warned Monday that the "cash for clunkers" program, already zooming toward a quarter-million trade-ins with the initial $1 billion in rebates, could sputter to a stop by Friday unless the Senate quickly approves $2 billion more.
Health Care Bill Says Sebelius Must Develop ‘Measurements of Gender;’ Sebelius Says She Has ‘No Idea’ What That Means
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she has “no idea” about a section of the Senate health-care reform bill that requires her to “develop standards for the measurement of gender”—as opposed to simply relying on “male” and “female”—for use in a new federal database that will collect information about all beneficiaries of government-run or government-supported health care programs.
2 Obama officials: No guarantee taxes won't go up
President Barack Obama's treasury secretary said Sunday he cannot rule out higher taxes to help tame an exploding budget deficit, and his chief economic adviser would not dismiss raising them on middle-class Americans as part of a health care overhaul.
Stimulus Bill Funds Go to Art Houses Showing 'Pervert' Revues, Underground Pornography
Talk about a stimulus package. The National Endowment for the Arts may be spending some of the money it received from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund nude simulated-sex dances, Saturday night "pervert" revues and the airing of pornographic horror films at art houses in San Francisco.
Senator asks Clinton to explain Honduran policy
A key U.S. senator asked the Obama administration on Thursday to explain in detail its policy on the Honduran political crisis, warning that otherwise Senate confirmation may be delayed for a U.S. diplomatic nominee for Latin America.
Recession Worse Than Prior Estimates, Revisions Show
The first 12 moths of the U.S. recession saw the economy shrink more than twice as much as previously estimated, reflecting even bigger declines in consumer spending and housing, revised figures showed.
Poll: Bring Down Debt, Don’t Spend More
Most Americans continue to want the federal government to focus on reducing the budget deficit rather than spending money to stimulate the national economy, a new New York Times/CBS News poll finds. Yet at the same time, most oppose some proposed solution for decreasing it.
Bend Over For "ObamaCare"
Traffic to Obama's White House Web Site Has Plummeted
The traffic at President Obama's official White House Web site--whitehouse.gov--has fallen from a post-Inauguration peak to nearly the same level it was during the waning days of the Bush administration. The dramatic drop in traffic has happened despite the Obama Administration's complete redesign of the site.
Dems Won’t Sign On to 'Obamacare'
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) is a practicing family physician of 33 years. He is serving his freshman term in the House, first elected to Congress in late elections from the Bayou State in December of last year. Fleming currently practices medicine in Minden, La.
Democrats urge GOP to back Sotomayor
The Senate debate over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor turned bitter Wednesday, after Democrats warned the GOP it would pay a steep price for opposing the judge who would be the first Hispanic justice, and a top Republican charged they were playing destructive racial politics.
Conyers to Introduce Constitutional Amendment Making Health Care a ‘Right’
During his speech at a recent National Press Club luncheon, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) said he is introducing a constitutional amendment that would establish health care as “a right” for all Americans.
White House Defends Biden as 'Asset' After Controversy Over Russia Remarks
White House Press Secretary Roberts Gibbs on Monday called Vice President Biden an "enormous asset to the administration," insisting that the loose-lipped No. 2 is not a distraction even after the State Department had to walk back his thorny comments on Russia. The vice president is known for his blunt, and sometimes off-color, commentary on issues ranging from swine flu to immigrants to President Obama's teleprompter. The latest surprise came when he suggested that Russia will cooperate with the United States on a range of issues because the country is a mess.
Testimony: Sens. Conrad, Dodd told of VIP loans
Two influential Senate committee chairmen were told they were getting special VIP deals when they applied for mortgages, an official who handled their loans told Congress in closed-door testimony. Democratic Sens. Christopher Dodd and Kent Conrad had denied knowing they were getting discounts when they negotiated their loan terms.
Plastic Surgery Tax Eyed As Revenue Raiser
Face-lifts, tummy tucks and hair transplants could be hit with a new tax to help finance the trillion-dollar healthcare overhaul plan, according to sources familiar with the Senate talks. The Senate Finance Committee has discussed imposing a 10 percent excise tax on cosmetic surgery deemed unnecessary for medical purposes. The idea was broached in a meeting with OMB Director Orszag in mid-July, after which Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus told reporters he had heard some "interesting," "creative," and "kind of fun" ideas.
Most panel Republicans to oppose Sotomayor
On the eve of their panel's vote, top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee announced Monday that they'll oppose Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, joining a growing list of conservatives ready to vote against the judge who's virtually certain to become the first Hispanic justice. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the committee's top Republican, and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, its No. 2, both said Sotomayor left them doubting her pledge of "fidelity to the law," and wondering whether she'd let her personal biases and prejudices interfere with her rulings.
Hillary's Mideast Defense Claims Set Off Tremors
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton set off tremors in the Middle East this week when she said a nuclear Iran could be contained by a U.S. "defense umbrella" -- an offhand remark that appears to have emerged from obscure Washington policy debates and her own presidential campaign rhetoric. Clinton's comments raised eyebrows because they seemed to go beyond the Obama administration's current thinking on Iran, which has been strictly focused on preventing the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Dems alone can't deliver Obama health care win
President Barack Obama's push to overhaul health care needs Republican votes, lawmakers from both parties say. Democratic and GOP officials acknowledged Sunday that Obama's ambitious plan would not pass without the aid of a doubtful GOP, whose members are almost united against the White House effort.
Palin formally steps down as Alaska governor
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sarah Palin stepped down Sunday as Alaska governor to write a book and build a right-of-center coalition, but she left her long-term political plans unclear and refused to address speculation she would seek a 2012 presidential bid. In a fiery campaign-style speech, Palin said she was stepping down to take her political battles to a larger if unspecified stage and avoid an unproductive, lame duck status.
Cambridge Police Unit Wants Apology From Obama for 'Stupidly' Remark
The Cambridge and area police unions voiced their support Friday for Sgt. James Crowley and called for an apology from President Obama for saying officers "acted stupidly" for arresting black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. at his home. "His remarks were obviously misdirected but made it worse yet by suggesting somehow this case should remind us of a history of racial abuse by law enforcement," Dennis O'Connor, president of the Cambridge Police Superior Officers Association, said at a news conference. O'Connor also referred to statements made by Governor Deval Patrick -- the state's first black governor -- who called the arrest "every black man's nightmare."
Some Gitmo detainees may come to US jails
The Pentagon's top lawyer says the Obama administration is considering transferring some prisoners from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base to a detention facility in the United States despite congressional opposition. Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Charles Johnson told the House Armed Services Committee Friday that it is possible some prisoners may be transferred to the U.S. for prosecution and others may be transferred to a facility inside the U.S. He said no prisoners would be released from custody inside the country.
Rep. Waxman Makes Health Offer to Blue Dog Democrats
The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said on Friday he would take a proposal to a group of fiscally conservative Democrats that he considered to be a "significant breakthrough" on regional disparities in the funding of a proposed new public healthcare plan. "This proposal, worked through by the Speaker (Nancy Pelosi) and members who participated, would address that matter by solving the disparities within Medicare for all regions of the country," Representative Henry Waxman said. But he admitted he did not know whether the group, known as Blue Dogs, would accept the proposal and allow the panel to vote on the healthcare overhaul legislation.
Obama pays parking tickets 17 years late
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama got more than an education when he attended Harvard Law School in the late 1980s. He also got a healthy stack of parking tickets, most of which he never paid. The Illinois Senator shelled out $375 in January - two weeks before he officially launched his presidential campaign - to finally pay for 15 outstanding parking tickets and their associated late fees.
FACT CHECK: Obama's health care claims adrift?
President Barack Obama's assertion Wednesday that government will stay out of health care decisions in an overhauled system is hard to square with the proposals coming out of Congress and with his own rhetoric. Even now, nearly half the costs of health care in the U.S. are paid for by government at all levels. Federal authority would only grow under any proposal in play.
COMMENTARY: How Not To Pay For Health Care
President Obama has noted that his health care plan will "probably include some additional revenue from well-to-do people." The numbers that are being discussed in policy circles will increase marginal tax rates among the highest earners substantially. The House version of the health care plan will place a 5.4% income surtax on the highest income earners, and this surtax, combined with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, will raise marginal tax rates about 10 percentage points.
Palin to feds: Alaska is sovereign state
Gov. Sarah Palin has signed a joint resolution declaring Alaska's sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution – and now 36 other states have introduced similar resolutions as part of a growing resistance to the federal government. Just weeks before she plans to step down from her position as Alaska governor, Palin signed House Joint Resolution 27, sponsored by state Rep. Mike Kelly on July 10, according to a Tenth Amendment Center report. The resolution "claims sovereignty for the state under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States."
Obama Admits He’s “Not Familiar” With House Bill
With the public’s trust in his handling of health care tanking (50%-44% of Americans disapprove), the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to pass Obamacare: all Obama, all the time. As part of that effort, Obama hosted a conference call with leftist bloggers urging them to pressure Congress to pass his health plan as soon as possible. During the call, a blogger from Maine said he kept running into an Investors Business Daily article that claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance. He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” President Obama replied: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.” (quote begins at 17:10)
2012 Match-ups: Obama, Romney Tied at 45%; Obama 48%, Palin 42%
If the 2012 presidential election were held today, President Obama and possible Republican nominee Mitt Romney would be all tied up at 45% each, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. The president, seeking a second four-year term, beats another potential GOP rival, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, by six points – 48% to 42%. In both match-ups, seven percent (7%) like some other candidate, with three percent (3%) undecided.
Administration Delaying Release of Key Economic Report
The Obama administration is delaying release of a congressionally mandated report on the nation's economic conditions, spawning speculation that it is trying to tamp down bad economic news to avoid further complicating the already fraught legislative debate over health care reform. The report, which is normally published by late July, is being delayed by several weeks, the administration acknowledged on Monday. Officials said the hold-up is not unusual in presidential transition years, noting that Presidents George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton each published their initial budget updates weeks late.
Perils Of Obamacare: The Three Big Lies
In making his case for a gov ernment takeover of the US health-care system, President Obama is going far beyond the usual Washington truth-stretching. Take a look at just a few of the most common claims: "If you like your current health-care plan, you can keep it." Even White House spokesmen have said that Obama's oft-repeated pledge that you can keep your current insurance isn't meant to be taken literally. The reality is that millions of Americans -- perhaps most Americans -- will be forced to change insurance plans.
Democrats' New Worry: Their Own Rich Voters
A group of Democrats elected in recent years from some of the country's richest congressional districts have emerged as a stumbling block to raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for President Barack Obama's ambitious health-care overhaul just as the plan has begun to meet increasing resistance over its cost.
Obama losing some support among nervous Dems
Could it be that President Barack Obama's Midas touch is starting to dull a bit, even among members of his own party? Conservative House Democrats are balking at the cost and direction of Obama's top priority, an overhaul of the nation's health care system. A key Senate Democrat, Max Baucus of Montana, complains that Obama's opposition to paying for it with a tax on health benefits "is not helping us." Another Democrat, Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, tells his local newspaper that Obama is too liberal and is "very unpopular" in his district.
Stimulus: Neediest areas not first for money
Under the Obama administration's economic stimulus plan, needy communities were supposed to be first in line for money to rebuild highways and jump start the economy. It hasn't worked out that way. The rules required that states give priority to counties considered "economically distressed." Yet less than half the federal highway money announced so far is directed toward those high-unemployment, low-income areas, according to an Associated Press analysis of more than $16 billion in spending announced by the U.S. Transportation Department.
RNC chairman attacks Obama on health care
The chairman of the Republican party is accusing President Barack Obama of conducting "risky experimentation" with his health care proposals, saying they will hurt the economy and force millions to drop their current coverage. Michael Steele, in remarks prepared for delivery at the National Press Club, also said the president, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and key congressional committee chairmen are part of a "cabal" that wants to implement government-run health care.
Obama Raises An Army Of Czars
Candidate Barack Obama criticized President Bush for trying to increase executive power. Now President Obama finds himself the target of similar criticism as his growing army of czars raises concerns and questions about his authority. Candidate Obama's complaints were usually about Bush excluding Congress from national security and civil liberty matters. But Republicans say his czars are shutting Congress out of health care and environmental issues.
Editorial: Pelosi Censors Republicans
Monday night Democrats voted to shut down the U.S. House Representatives rather than allow a handful of Republican Congressmen to speak on the floor. What could have been so offensive or frightening about our discourse that Speaker Pelosi felt she had to protect her party by gagging free speech in the House? In fact, we had planned to speak on the lack of transparency of the House since Democrats took control. We had planned to criticize Speaker Pelosi for repeatedly denying Members, the media, and the public to right to read legislation before it was voted on. We were set to discuss House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s statement last week that if his Members were required to read the Democrats’ healthcare reform package before it was voted on, it would fail.
Centrist Dem Leader: Has Committee Votes To Block Health Bill
U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., a leader of fiscally conservative House Democrats, said Wednesday a House plan to overhaul the U.S. health-care system is losing support and will be stuck in committee without changes. "Last time I checked, it takes seven Democrats to stop a bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee," Ross told reporters after a House vote. "We had seven against it last Friday; we have 10 today."
Biden vs. Cantor
Friday, July 17, 2009
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) landed a fresh blow in a tit-for-tat battle with Vice President Biden today after the latter accused the senior Republican lawmaker of smearing the administration's $787 billion stimulus package. Cantor called an afternoon news conference to pre-empt remarks Biden is expected to make today in Richmond in support of the recovery bill, excerpts of which were obtained in advance by The Washington Post.
Joe Biden: ‘We Have to Go Spend Money to Keep From Going Bankrupt’
Vice President Joe Biden told people attending an AARP town hall meeting that unless the Democrat-supported health care plan becomes law the nation will go bankrupt and that the only way to avoid that fate is for the government to spend more money. “And folks look, AARP knows and the people with me here today know, the president knows, and I know, that the status quo is simply not acceptable,” Biden said at the event on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. “It’s totally unacceptable. And it’s completely unsustainable. Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it now. It can’t do it financially.”
Romney Edges Palin, Huckabee in Early 2012 GOP Test
About one in four Republicans and Republican-leaning independents make Mitt Romney their top choice for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, giving him a slight edge over Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the choice of 14% of Republicans, with much smaller numbers choosing current Govs. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Haley Barbour of Mississippi.
Dem Health RX a Poison Pill In NY
Congressional plans to fund a massive health-care overhaul could have a job-killing effect on New York, creating a tax rate of nearly 60 percent for the state's top earners and possibly pressuring small-business owners to shed workers. New York's top income bracket could reach as high as 57 percent -- rates not seen in three decades -- to pay for the massive health coverage proposed by House Democrats this week.
Dem Health RX a Poison Pill In NY
Congressional plans to fund a massive health-care overhaul could have a job-killing effect on New York, creating a tax rate of nearly 60 percent for the state's top earners and possibly pressuring small-business owners to shed workers. New York's top income bracket could reach as high as 57 percent -- rates not seen in three decades -- to pay for the massive health coverage proposed by House Democrats this week. The top rate in New York City, home to many of the state's wealthiest people, would be 58.68 percent, the Washington-based Tax Foundation said in a report yesterday.
49% Oppose Health Care Reform Plan, 46% Favor It
Forty-nine percent (49%) of U.S. voters now at least somewhat oppose the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, while 46% at least somewhat favor it, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just two weeks ago, 50% were for the reform plan, and 45% were opposed. The “nays” also continue to have the edge in terms of intensity. While 22% strongly favor the Democrats’ health care reform plan, 38% strongly oppose it, up four points from the previous survey. Among those voters who have health insurance, opposition is even higher: 43% favor the plan, but 52% oppose it. Those who strongly oppose it outnumber those who strongly favor it by two-to-one – 40% to 20%.
Liberals Gone Wild: Pelosi and Reid Hit Health Care Panic Button
Earlier this week, the warning signs were clear to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (perhaps made clearer after a visit to the White House): the liberal dream of a government health care takeover was headed down the same path trod by the Clinton Administration some 15 years earlier -- skyrocketing cost projections in the trillions of dollars, talk of an ever-expanding government bureaucracy, and plummeting support from the American public as the details began to trickle out.
Republicans keep heat on Sotomayor
Republicans kept pressure on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday, hoping to use her confirmation hearing in Congress to paint her as judicial activist who will help President Barack Obama stamp the court with a liberal agenda. On her third day before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sotomayor rejected suggestions that she had been vetted by the Obama White House for her stance on issues such as abortion.
House Plans to Tax Millionaires to Fund Health Care
House Democrats plan to fund the broadest U.S. health-care expansion in four decades by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans, imposing a surtax of 5.4 percent on couples with more than $1 million in income. The legislation unveiled yesterday would place additional taxes on households with more than $350,000 a year in income and calls for further increases if the measure doesn’t hit a target for cost savings. The provisions are intended to raise $544 billion over 10 years.
House rolls out plan to make health care a right
House Democrats on Tuesday rolled out a far-reaching $1.5 trillion plan that for the first time would make health care a right and a responsibility for all Americans, with medical providers, employers and the wealthiest picking up most of the tab. The federal government would be responsible for ensuring that every person, regardless of income or the state of their health, has access to an affordable insurance plan. Individuals and employers would have new obligations to get coverage, or face hefty penalties.
Obama: Unemployment Likely to Keep Ticking Up
President Barack Obama on Tuesday declined to predict how high unemployment will climb but made clear he expects it to keep worsening for a while as hiring lags behind other signs of economic recovery. "How employment numbers are going to respond is not year clear," the president said on a day when he was headed to Michigan, home of a particularly battered economy. "My expectation is that we will probably continue to see unemployment tick up for several months."
Bloomberg Slams Clinton: She Stabbed NYC In Back
Hillary Clinton was accused Monday of stabbing the Big Apple in the back. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said her betrayal has cost the city $260 million in lost tax revenues and counting. It didn't take long for Clinton to double cross New York City. Six months into her tenure as secretary of state she has suddenly exempted diplomats from paying some property taxes here. "It is totally unfair," Bloomberg said.
TIME: Obama's Stimulus Plan: Failing by Its Own Measure
The $787 billion stimulus plan is turning out to be far less stimulating than its architects expected. Back in early January, when Barack Obama was still President-elect, two of his chief economic advisers — leading proponents of a stimulus bill — predicted that the passage of a large economic-aid package would boost the economy and keep the unemployment rate below 8%. It hasn't quite worked out that way. Last month, the jobless rate in the U.S. hit 9.5%, the highest level it has reached since 1983.
Palin: Obama's Energy Plan a Threat to Economy
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who says she'll leave office at the end of the month, is already taking on one national issue, calling the Obama administration's plan to reduce greenhouse gases a threat to the U.S. economy. In an op-ed piece in Tuesday's Washington Post, Palin attacks the administration's so-called cap-and-trade plan that would allow industrial sources to buy and sell pollution permits. The plan, Palin writes, is "an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage."
EDITORIAL: Sotomayor in review
The Senate Judiciary Committee today opens hearings on the most radical Supreme Court nominee in memory. Despite her compelling story of personal accomplishment, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has proved by her own words and actions that she is unfit for the nation's highest court. On gun rights, we learn from U.S. v. Sanchez-Villar that Judge Sotomayor sees no "fundamental right" at issue. On property rights, we learn from Didden v. Village of Port Chester that she thinks a town can seize land from its owner to give to another private developer for the same basic purpose, without a public hearing.
Health care is crippled by foes
The health care battle in Congress is getting hotter, fueled by growing opposition to taxing health insurance benefits, mandating small-business coverage and cutting Medicare payments and by creeping doubts about a public plan for the uninsured. And this is just among Democrats. In the past week alone, President Obama's proposal for full-scale health care reform has been taking a beating from members of his own party who are unhappy with one or more parts of the draft bills being circulated on Capitol Hill, including a suggestion from his own chief of staff that hinted of backing away from a single-payer federal insurance plan strongly supported by his party's liberal base.
Obama wants Senate health bill quickly
Moving forcefully on his top domestic priority, President Barack Obama told a powerful Senate chairman on Monday he wants health care legislation ready in the Finance Committee by week's end, according to numerous Democratic officials. These officials said Obama made his wishes known directly to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., at a White House meeting attended by administration officials and senior Democratic lawmakers.
Higher Taxes, Anyone?
Economic policy, which became startling when Washington began buying automobile companies, has become surreal now that disappointment with the results of the second stimulus is stirring talk about the need for a ... second stimulus. Elsewhere, it requires centuries to bleach mankind's memory; in Washington, 17 months suffice: In February 2008, President George W. Bush and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who normally were at daggers drawn, agreed that a $168 billion stimulus -- this was Stimulus I -- would be the "booster shot" the economy needed. Unemployment then was 4.8 percent.
Graham predicts Sotomayor OK 'barring meltdown'
Senate Democrats praised Sonia Sotomayor as a Hispanic pioneer well qualified for the Supreme Court on Monday, but Republicans questioned her impartiality and President Barack Obama's views as well at the start of confirmation hearings. Despite Republican misgivings, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Sotomayor, "Unless you have a complete meltdown, you're going to get confirmed.
The Era of Obama, Pelosi and Reid
President Barack Obama has governed as a liberal, not the moderate senator he portrayed himself as during the campaign. Now, Democrats and liberal Independents have 60 votes in the Senate and the power to stifle debate. In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dominates the legislative process. The far left-controlled federal government is on the verge of implementing an agenda of government run health care, another federal spending program disguised as a “stimulus,” a Federal Reserve with no transparency and a frightening weakening of America’s military.
'Ration' is GOP's weapon in health care war
In political combat, there are few more potent weapons than a single word or a catchy phrase that can be used to target a proposal and drive it into the ground. For Republicans, "rationing" could be that poison-tipped arrow for the Democratic-led health care bill, much as "amnesty" was the club with which conservatives beat President Bush's attempt at immigration reform into a bloody pulp in 2007.
GOP Unifies Against More Stimulus Spending
Republicans lined up Sunday in opposition to a second economic stimulus package, a rare demonstration of unity from an out-of-power political party in search of a rallying cry against President Obama. Republicans called Obama's $787 billion spending plan a "flop" and said it hasn't fulfilled its hype. They criticized the White House for increasing the federal deficit and doing little to combat an unemployment rate that hit 9.5 percent in June.
Obama: Suppresses EPA Global Cooling Data
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