Video: Rep. Paul Ryan Says The House Still Does Not Have The Votes To Pass Obamacare

The thing is, while Ryan is correct that Pelosi is good at “muscling votes”, there’s a world of difference between the present, and last June when Cap and Tax passed the House.

Now, we’re living in post VA, NJ, and MA special elections, with  the President’s and Congress’s approval ratings at all time lows. I’m not sure she’s going to have the same amount of persuasive power, she did eight months ago. Especially in light of the fact that the electorate, besides not wanting the crap bill, is incensed about the corruption and back door deals that went into it.

Hat tip: Breitbart TV


Via HotAir, another minor roadblock – a key Dem says reconciliation is off the table :

No wonder the Times was so pessimistic about reconciliation.  Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), who runs the committee that would have to run a reconciliation push, says that the budgetary process can’t be used for ObamaCare.  It would only address the actual budgetary issues, which leaves a lot off the table.  The Budget Committee chair told CBS’ Face the Nation audience that reconciliation wasn’t designed for this purpose, nor is it appropriate for such sweeping legislation:


He said/she said:

Pelosi says Obama has the votes to pass health reform

Pelosi, in an interview with ABC television’s “This Week” program, said Democrats would succeed in passing a bill despite concerted Republican efforts to derail Obama’s top domestic priority ahead of crucial mid-term elections.

“We’re here to do the job for the American people — to get them results that gives them not only health security, but economic security, because the health issue is an economic issue for America’s families,” she said.

President Barack Obama has the votes in the House of Representatives to force his flagship reform of US healthcare through without Republican support, House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday.


Michelle Malkin is calling the DEms out on the bravo sierra:

This is the new strategy of the Dems — to keep repeating out loud that they have the support and they have the votes (even as they urge their members to commit health care hara-kiri and go down with the ship against the will of their constituents).

Pelosi is looking into her mirror and into the cameras and repeating: I have the votes.

They are counting on wearing down their opponents, catching them off-guard, and taking their silence as consent.


Why aren’t the Republicans using Robert Byrd’s  opposition to using  the reconciliation process to pass Obamacare? GJ Merits of The Substratum argues that the American people should hear that the architect of  reconciliation is strongly against using it to pass the bill, calling it a “tyrannical act”:

Senator Byrd best expresses why using Reconciliation to jam ObamaCare down America’s throat degrades the U.S. Senate and violates the spirit of our system of checks and balances. Why is Senator Byrd’s opinion so important in the matter? Because the Senator from West Virginia is one of the authors of the reconciliation process and a current serving U.S. Senator. He is also a Democrat. Let’s see what the Senator says about reconciliation and healthcare:

Using reconciliation to ram through complicated, far-reaching legislation is an abuse of the budget process. The writers of the Budget Act, and I am one, never intended for its reconciliation’s expedited procedures to be used this way. These procedures were narrowly tailored for deficit reduction. They were never intended to be used to pass tax cuts, or to create new Federal regimes. Additionally, reconciliation measures must comply with Section 313 of the Budget Act, known as the Byrd Rule, which means that whatever health legislation is reported from the Finance Committee or legislation from any other Committee that is shoe-horned into reconciliation will sunset after five years. Additionally, numerous other non-budgetary provisions of any such legislation will have to be omitted under reconciliation. This is a very messy way to achieve a goal like health care reform, and one that will make crafting the legislation more difficult…

…It is the one place in all of government where the rights of the numerical minority are protected. As long as the Senate preserves the right to debate and the right to amend we hold true to our role as the Framers envisioned. We were to be the cooling off place where proposals could be examined carefully and debated extensively, so that flaws might be discovered and changes might be made. Remember, Democrats will not always control this chamber, the House of Representatives or the White House. The worm will turn. Some day the other party will again be in the majority, and we will want minority rights to be shielded from the bear trap of the reconciliation process…

…While I support the admirable budget priorities outlined in this resolution, I cannot and will not condone legislation that puts political expediency ahead of the time-honored purpose of this institution.

Newsmax also reports the Senator as stating that using reconciliation in this manner is

an outrage that must be resisted.

See Also:

Jennifer Rubin, who thinks the jig is just about up:

Reconciliation has been the buzzword of late, but it is becoming apparent that it’s a dodge intended to keep the hopes of the liberal base alive and to force the House to go first, which then might produce some magic key to unlock health care. But if the Senate budget chair is forcefully calling foul on the process, what then is the point of the House vote? According to Conrad, whatever the House came up with will have to go back and be put through the normal legislative process, subject to the filibuster.

Well, as with so much else on ObamaCare, one has the sense that this is a charade. No bill, no clear process, no public support, and no House majority. Had the summit been the breakthrough moment the Obami had hoped for maybe a groundswell of support could have shaken the pieces loose and then sharp deal makers could have sifted among the debris and constructed an ObamaCare III or whatever they would have called it. But the summit was a bust for the Democrats, and we’re talking specifically about Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, who proved to be just as unlikeable and ineffective as many suspected.

There simply may not be any way for this unpopular  monstrosity to get though both houses, and it won’t be because the Dems didn’t try every trick in the book to try to ram it through.  In the end, the will of the American people will have triumphed over the tyrannical designs of the Obama Dems.


Joke of The Day

The International Olympic Committee announced Monday that it has taken back the gold medal previously awarded to American skier Lindsey Vonn and given it to U.S. President Barack Obama.

Olympic officials said Obama deserved the medal more than Vonn because no one has ever gone downhill faster than he has.

Hat tip: Old Geezer


Joseph Stack, “Tea Party Terrorist”

Even though Joseph Stack had no tea party affiliations, many commentators in the MSM are determined to paint him as “the first tea party terrorist”, because he railed  against certain taxes he had to pay. Of course, there were some other nuances in his demented manifesto that these  people somehow missed, that were decidedly not teapartyish, as this totally unphotoshopped, recently discovered photo shows:

Ace is still pretty ticked off about it. His latest rant, here.



Posted in MSM. 6 Comments »

Al Gore Speaks

Al Gore has been largely silent since the Climategate scandal broke last Fall,  surfacing  briefly to attend the doomed climate change summit in Copenhagen, some sparsely attended book signings, and at one point, a dramatic poetry reading from his  book.

But as the country experienced one of the coldest and snowiest winters in years, he was so sorely missed, his face was put on the back of a milk carton.

He finally surfaced again at an Apple Shareholder meeting, on Thursday, where a fellow shareholder called him a laughingstock and urged against his reelection to the board. Despite the controversy, he was reelected.

Earlier this week,  Investors Business Daily made note of Al Gore’s strange silence in the face of the collapse of his pet issue:

The godfather of climate hysteria is in hiding as another of his wild claims unravels — this one about global warming causing seas to swallow us up.

We’ve not seen or heard much of the former vice president, Oscar winner and Nobel Prize recipient recently as the case for disastrous man-made climate change collapses.

Perhaps he’s off reading how scientists were forced to withdraw a study on a projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding two “technical” mistakes that undermined the findings.


Two years ago, Justice Michael Burton of London’s High Court ruled Gore’s film could be shown in British schools only if material explaining its errors were included in the curriculum. Burton documented nine significant errors in Gore’s film and wrote that some of Gore’s claims arose from “alarmism and exaggeration.”

The first error Gore made, according to Burton, was in his apocalyptic vision of the devastation caused by a rise in sea levels caused by melting polar ice caps. Burton wrote that Gore’s predicted 20-foot rise could occur “only after, and over, millennia” and to suggest otherwise “is not in line with the scientific consensus.”

One by one, Gore’s prophecies of doom and those of the climate charlatans he inspired are being exposed as the work of con artists. From the CRU to the IPCC, the climate dominoes are falling one by one. His silence speaks volumes.

Well, Al Gore has officially ended his silence with this oped in (what else) The New York Times. If you were hoping for him to tone the alarmism down a notch in the wake of  Climategate, you’ll be sorely disappointed. This my friends, is what we call “doubling down on teh stupid”:

It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.

Note – the exposition of  climate science fraud in what has been dubbed, “Climategate”, is deemed “recent attacks” by Gore… mmmkay…

But what a burden would be lifted! We would no longer have to worry that our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands. We could instead celebrate the naysayers who had doggedly persisted in proving that every major National Academy of Sciences report on climate change had simply made a huge mistake.

You know…I do worry about my children and some day, grandchildren’s futures…because of the criminal gang that has taken over the government. These  miscreants are happy to use junk science as their pretext to “fundamentally change” the United States (lower living standards, curtail freedoms, and tax us all into oblivion), ostensibly in order  to “protect civilization as we know it”.

The burden for me would be lifted if they were all voted out of office…I guess you could say we have a fundamental difference in opinion on this point, because  Al Gore says:

“Public officials must rise to this challenge by doing what is required; and the public must demand that they do so — or must replace them.”

See what I mean?

And see if you can guess who he could possibly be referring to, here:

“[C]hanges in America’s political system — including the replacement of newspapers and magazines by television as the dominant medium of communication — conferred powerful advantages on wealthy advocates of unrestrained markets and weakened advocates of legal and regulatory reforms. Some news media organizations now present showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment. And as in times past, that has proved to be a potent drug in the veins of the body politic. Their most consistent theme is to label as “socialist” any proposal to reform exploitive behavior in the marketplace.”

Paging Glenn Beck…

I don’t remember calling Bush’s repeated attempts to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Socialist. But then…Bush isn’t a socialist. Al Gore on the other hand…..doth protest too much.

It goes on and on, in its utterly unconvincing fashion. Read it in full at your own risk…of falling asleep.

Al Gore claimed in the oped that the warmists have only made 2 minor errors. Bullcrap says Ace, who corrects him, here.


A Majority of Americans Say “Scrap the Bill” – Dems Determined to Ram it Through, Anyway

John Fund reports on the latest numbers in his  WSJ column, today:

When Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander opened the Republican response to President Obama’s remarks at yesterday’s health care summit, he asked Democrats to renounce the idea of using parliamentary maneuvers such as reconciliation to pass health care with a simple majority vote.

Mr. Obama tried to swat him down by claiming Americans wanted a straight up-or-down vote on his health care bill and don’t care about what methods are used to get it. “You know, this issue of reconciliation has been brought up. Again I think the American people aren’t always all that interested in procedures inside the Senate. I do think they want a vote on how we’re going to move this forward,” he told the 40-plus summit participants.

The “Americans want a straight up-or-down vote” line is apparently a talking point being pushed by the White House, as Axelrod said the same exact thing, yesterday. But polling is showing otherwise:

The only problem is the latest polls provide no support for his position. A new Gallup Poll finds that, by 52% to 39%, those surveyed oppose attempts by Democrats to circumvent a filibuster by passing health care by a simple majority vote. A separate poll by CNN found that only 25% of voters want Congress to pass a bill similar to the ones already voted on by the House and Senate. A full 48% want Congress to start over, and 25% want lawmakers to stop working on health care altogether.

That voters don’t understand “procedures inside the Senate” is also belied by the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, who attracted even Democrats to vote for him by promising to be the 41st vote to uphold a Senate filibuster of ObamaCare.

Frank Luntz’s Thursday focus group (divided equally between McCain and Obama voters)  showed unanimous opposition to the use of reconciliation to pass the bill.  A “Scrap the Bill” Facebook page has sprung up, which has already garnered 16,693 fans. You can sign an online petition calling on Democrats to scrap the bill and start over, here.

John Boehner made the case to scrap the bill during the health care summit:

Senator Tom Colburn said in the Republican weekly radio address:

“While we listened to one another, I’m concerned that the majority in Congress is still not listening to the American people on the subject of health care reform. By an overwhelming margin, the American people are telling us to scrap the current bills, which will lead to a government takeover of health care, and we should start over.

“Unfortunately, even before the summit took place the majority in Congress signaled its intent to reject our offers to work together. Instead they want to use procedural tricks and backroom deals to ram through a new bill that combines the worst aspects of the bills the Senate and House passed last year.

“The American people have rejected the majority’s plan for good reason. Their plan includes half a trillion dollars in new tax increases, a half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare, job-killing penalties for employers, taxpayer funded abortion and new boards that will ration care to American citizens. At its core, their plan continues a government-centered approach that has made health care more expensive. Federal and state governments already control 60 percent of health care. If more government spending and control was the answer we could have fixed health care long ago.

Democrats don’t  care what the American people think, though. This isn’t really about us. It’s about them. This is a naked grab for power, and they know that their opportunity to control another large portion of the economy is within their grasp. The radicals who are leading the Dem party right now have no compunction about losing control of Congress in the short term. Andrew McCarthy explains their thinking:

The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership’s statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work. I’m glad Republicans have held firm, but let’s not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority. This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you’ve calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state.

Consequently, the next six weeks, like the next ten months, are going to be worse than we think. We’re wired to think that everyone plays by the ususal rules of politics — i.e., if the tide starts to change, the side against whom it has turned modifies its positions in order to stay viable in the next election. But what will happen here will be the opposite. You have a party with the numbers to do anything it puts its mind to, led by movement Leftitsts who see their window of opportunity is closing. We seem to expect them to moderate because that’s what everybody in their position does. But they won’t. They will put their heads down and go for as much transformation as they can get, figuring that once they get it, it will never be rolled back. The only question is whether there are enough Democrats who are conventional politicians and who care about being reelected, such that they will deny the leadership the numbers it needs. But I don’t think we should take much heart in this possibility. Those Democrats may well come to think they are going to lose anyway — that’s why so many of them are abandoning ship now. If that’s the case, their incentive will be to vote with the leadership.

And Dennis Prager on the same wavelength:

Most people on the Left are True Believers. This is critical to understand. They are willing to lose Congress; Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are prepared to lose both houses to get this through. Why? Because losing an election cycle means nothing compared to taking over more of the American economy.

I can give you an example from our side. There are many folks on our side who, if they could pass an amendment against abortion, would happily sacrifice both houses for a period of time. Understand that just as strongly as some are pro-life or religiously Christian or Jewish, that is how strongly many leftists believe in leftism. Leftism is a substitute religion. For the Left, the “health care” bill transcends politics. You are fighting people who will go down with the ship in order to transform this country to a leftist one. And an ever-expanding state is the Left’s central credo.

So the question becomes…what can the Republicans, and Americans who want to hang on to their freedom do to stop the Dems?

Republicans can use some “parliamentary maneuvers” of their own:

Republicans say they have found a loophole in the budget reconciliation process that could allow them to offer an indefinite number of amendments.

Though it has never been done, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he’s prepared to test the Senate’s stamina to block the Democrats from using the process to expedite changes to the healthcare bill.n
Experts on Senate procedural rules, from both parties, note that such a filibuster is possible. While reconciliation rules limit debate to 20 hours, senators lack similiarconstraints on amendments and could conceivably continue offering them until 60 members agree to cut the process off.

As for the American people…I say we keep doing what we’ve been doing. I predict that there will be some massive tea parties in our very near future.

Hat tip to Ed Morressey for McCarthy and Prager articles.


Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert Strangely Silent In Wake Of Patterico’s $100 Dollar Challenge

I can’t imagine why.

You see, if you follow Andrew Breitbart’s Twitter feed, (and if you don’t, you’re really missing out on some highly entertaining stuff), you know that Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert, and other bottom feeders on the left have been taunting Breitbart about what they think is a monumental  debunking of  James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles’ ACORN sting operation. They’re pretty sure they’ve got him on the ropes.

Eric Boehlert has written a number of Media Matters posts triumphantly exposing the massive “ACORN Pimp hoax”, based on (what he deems) the explosive revelation that James O’Keefe didn’t wear the pimp outfit you see below, during the stings , even though he wore them in the promos!!!111!:

Now, I followed and blogged about the ACORN sting operation since the very first video came out. I’m pretty sure I always knew that the theatrical pimp outfit was used for promotional purposes, and O’Keefe was not actually dressed that way in the ACORN offices. I’m not sure why I knew that, but…wait, yes I do - because it was too utterly ridiculous?—oh, and because the very first video shows him dressed in a normal button down shirt, and  trousers?

It was understood.

I’m not sure how  O’Keefe’s wardrobe invalidates what the videos make clear: that the ACORN workers in all but one of the stings were more than happy to assist a pimp and prostitute in  buying a house and in setting up a brothel filled with underage girls from El Salvador. Some of the  criminal activities the ACORN workers were cheerfully willing to facilitate: prostitution, organizing prostitution, bank fraud, filing false documents with the federal government, impairing the welfare of a minor,   immigration violations, and bringing women and minors over state lines for immoral purposes.

But, apparently because O’Keefe didn’t actually wear the outlandish outfit you see above during the stings, none of that matters? LOL.

Seriously, though…this is how Media Matters operates. They will endeavor to invalidate the larger truth of a story, based on one minor flaw, or error that they can sniff out, and then they blow it out of proportion.

Here’s is Patterico’s challenge:

I am offering Eric Boehlert of Media Matters the easiest $100 he ever made.

All he has to do to earn the $100: unequivocally state whether James O’Keefe pretended to be a pimp at ACORN offices. If Boehlert makes the statement publicly — with no weasel-words, no two-stepping, and no qualifications — I will PayPal him $100.

That’s all he has to do….but the only response, Patterico has gotten so far, is: “Leave me alone.” which is really sad, because I think Patterico is a pretty fair and reasonable guy.

I feel perfectly confident that he will never act to collect the C-note I am offering — even though it would require nothing more than typing a simple 8-10 word sentence. For example, this sentence would earn Boehlert $100:

James O’Keefe did not pose as a pimp at ACORN.

That’s $10 a word! Or Boehlert could earn himself a picture of Ben Franklin with this sentence:

James O’Keefe posed as a pimp at ACORN.

UPDATE: Patterico posts Boehlert’s latest lame  response, here.

Sheesh.  Can someone please tell the guys at Media Matters that their Alinsky tactics are old and busted?

See also, Big Fur Hat’s take on this:

Soon They’ll Be Wearing Training Bras


David Axelrod Says The American People Want Dems To Invoke Reconciliation; The American People Say, ” No We Don’t”

Who does Axelrod think he is, speaking for the American people? Especially on a day when a poll comes out, showing a clear majority of us sees the government as a threat to our rights?

This Frank Luntz focus group was  evenly split between Obama and McCain voters.  If you’re not interested in watching the entire  clip, fast forward to their reaction to the idea of reconciliation at starting at 5:30 in:

And they’re also unanimous in their desire to scrap the bill entirely, and start from scratch.

Sorry, Axelrod. It looks like you’re out-voted.

Thanks to Weasel Zippers and Hot Air (via Johnny Dollar) for videos.


Video: Boehner Confronts Obama On Abortion Funding In Health Care Proposal

At the health care summit, yesterday, Rep. John Boehner told Obama to his face that his health care proposal uses taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

Note that Obama doesn’t deny that what Boehner says is true. He merely dismisses it as a “talking point”.

This particular “talking point” is one that Obama has been lying about for over a year, now. He has repeatedly claimed that Obamacare would not use taxpayer money to fund abortions.

He  made the claim during his speech to the joint session of congress, for example:

Obama said “One more misunderstanding I want to clear up — under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”

This is a man who told the Pope to his face, that  “he would like to reduce the number of abortions in the United States” while promoting a plan that could create the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.

And during his “mythbusting” conference call with religious leaders last August,  he addressed what was reported at the time as “false claims”:

He also rebutted false claims that health coverage would be provided for undocumented immigrants, that there would be government funding for abortions and that there would be a “government takeover” of health care.

I have no idea if Obama’s proposal provides coverage for undocumented immigrants, but the House bill certainly does, and he denied it when it was the only bill being considered. The Reid and Obama bills provide funding for abortions. Since Obama is willing to lie about these points, why should we believe his repeated denials that the Obamacare is designed to lead to a government takeover of health care?

In ObamaCare Subterfuge Explained, I reported what a rare honest lefty who writes for the New Yorker, admitted was going on:

Mr. Cassidy is more honest than the politicians whose dishonesty he supports. “The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment,” he writes. “Let’s not pretend that it isn’t a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won’t. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration . . . is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind.”

Why are they doing it? Because, according to Mr. Cassidy, ObamaCare serves the twin goals of “making the United States a more equitable country” and furthering the Democrats’ “political calculus.” In other words, the purpose is to further redistribute income by putting health care further under government control, and in the process making the middle class more dependent on government. As the party of government, Democrats will benefit over the long run.

In other words, they want to enslave as many of us as possible so we will be beholden to them for future “entitlements”, or as Obama calls them,  “positive liberties”. This is how they meet their ultimate goal of one party rule. Remember, the radical left is all about power. They look at everything within the framework of “power”; how to get to keep it.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers


Genius Envy Is At It Again

He really doesn’t deserve this attention. In my opinion, the right wing blogosphere should just ignore the guy. I think his shtick is to get attention and ratings by being outrageous. He brings nothing to the table. Why feed the troll?


Posted in Dumb!. 1 Comment »

Silly Season talk: Crist Says He’s not Switching Parties

Thank God for small favors:

Crist said any talk about party-switching “probably comes from my opponents. It’s the silly season.”

When asked about whether he plans to switch parties, he replied: “I sure don’t. I’m happy where I am and how things are going.”

Of course, all of this will be moot very very shortly. Under Florida law – 99.021 – someone has to switch parties 6 months in advance of the general election in order to run on the ballot with a different party affiliation. That date would be May 2.

Hat tip: The Corner.


Posted in Repubs. 1 Comment »

Dems vs The CIA (Again)

Remember a few days ago, when White House Chief Technology Officer, Andrew McLaughlin challenged Republicans and tea party activists to push the administration to make its policies more open?:

White House Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin said Republicans and conservative Tea Party activists should strive to push the administration to make its policies more open.

He also suggested Tea Party activists, who have called for broad changes to the government, could push the GOP to be more aggressive on the issue.

“I would be thrilled to make this a type of political competition … to see who can be more radical in their openness, in their data distribution models … trying to prove to the citizens they can run a better government,” said McLaughlin, a former executive at Google.

Well, we had a little situation, earlier today, that involved a profoundly wrong headed provision that was sneaked into the annual intelligence bill – a provision that would have weakened national security. It was added to the bill, in the dead of night, without the Republicans’ knowledge.

Hows that for transparency?

Andrew McCarthy reports tonight:

The Obama Democrats have outdone themselves.

While the country and the Congress have their eyes on today’s dog-and-pony show on socialized medicine, House Democrats last night stashed a new provision in the intelligence bill which is to be voted on today. It is an attack on the CIA: the enactment of a criminal statute that would ban “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

The provision is impossibly vague — who knows what “degrading” means? Proponents will say that they have itemized conduct that would trigger the statute (I’ll get to that in a second), but it is not true. The proposal says the conduct reached by the statute “includes but is not limited to” the itemized conduct. (My italics.) That means any interrogation tactic that a prosecutor subjectively believes is “degrading” (e.g., subjecting a Muslim detainee to interrogation by a female CIA officer) could be the basis for indicting a CIA interrogator.

Democrats can not be trusted with national security. It’s that simple.

The act goes on to make it a crime to use tactics that have been shown to be effective in obtaining life saving information and that are far removed from torture.

Democrats also offer “findings” that the tactics they aim to prohibit cause terrorism by fueling recruitment (we are never supposed to discuss the Islamist ideology that actually causes terrorist recruitment, only the terrible things America does to provide pretexts for those spurred by that ideology). These “findings” repeat the canards that these tactics don’t work; that they place our captured forces in greater danger (the truth is our forces captured by terrorists will be abused and probably killed no matter what we do, while our enemies captured in a conventional war will be bound to adhere to their Geneva Convention commitments — and will have the incentive to do so because they will want us to do the same); and that “their use runs counter to our identity and values as a nation.”Unmentioned by the Obama Democrats is that officers of the executive branch have a solemn moral duty to honor their commitment to protect the American people from attack by America’s enemies. If there are non-torture tactics that can get a Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to give us information that saves American lives, how is the use of them inconsistent with our values?

Here is the fact: Democrats are saying they would prefer to see tens of thousands of Americans die than to see a KSM subjected to sleep-deprivation or to have his “phobias exploited.” I doubt that this reflects the values of most Americans.

Thank God the Republicans were able to catch the provision, and stopped the bill cold:

A controversial bill that would have levied criminal punishments on intelligence officers for harsh interrogations was pulled Thursday evening.

House Republicans charged Democrats with trying to sneak a provision into the intelligence authorization bill that would establish criminal punishment for CIA agents and other intelligence officials who engage in “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” during interrogations.

Democrats inserted an 11-page addition into the bill late Wednesday night as the House Rules Committee considered the legislation.


Republicans criticized the language and the way it was introduced.

“This will fundamentally change the nature of the intelligence community by creating a criminal statute governing interrogations,” said Rep. Pete Hoesktra (R-Mich.).

Rep Peter Hoesktra issued this statement:

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R., Mich.) issued a statement following the successful defeat of a Democratic provision in the annual intelligence bill that would have criminalized an ill-defined range of “degrading” behavior by CIA interrogators:

“That Democrats would try to bury this provision deep in the bill, late at night, when they thought everyone’s attention would be focused on the health care summit is a testament to the shameful nature of what they were attempting,” Hoekstra said.

“Republicans brought this to the attention of the American people, who were rightly outraged that Democrats would try to target those we ask to serve in harm’s way and with a unified push we were successful in getting them to pull the bill.”

So….I would like to take Andrew McLaughlin up on his idea for tea partiers to push Dems to be more open. Hey, I’m a tea partier.

I hereby challenge the Obama Democrats to be more  transparent in their deliberations and policies.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin


Obama Puts Politics Before National Security

Does The President Hate His Own Country?

Movie Magic: Nancy Pelosi vs The CIA

Video: What Did The Speaker Know And When Did She Know It?

The Truth Comes Out: Nancy Pelosi Knew about The Waterboarding

Now We’re Talkin’

Dem Leaders Briefed 30 Times On Enhanced Interrogation Techniques


By The Way – Obama Was Wrong About Insurance Premiums

I linked to the ABC fact check, in an earlier thread – but did any of you click on it? Huh? I didn’t think so…

Times Online thought that this exchange between Obama and Lamar Alexander went badly for Alexander:

…Alexander made the fatal mistake of claiming that even Congressional Budget Office thought Obama’s healthcare reform plan would result in more expensive health insurance premiums.

Quite the opposite, interjected Obama, suddenly in his legal scholar element: the Budget Office said that premiums would fall, which would then inspire middle class families to purchase better, more expensive insurance policies. “This is an example of where we’ve got to get our facts straight,” he chided, in the tone you might use while encouraging a toddler to eat all his peas.

Alexander attempted a flustered response, before declaring that he would like to submit his rebuttal in writing at a later date, instead of “arguing in public”. Obama, now sounding like the leader that has been mostly absent from the White House for the past year, declined the offer. “I’d like to get this issue resolved before we leave today, because I don’t believe I’m wrong,” he said.

For the Democrats, it was a long overdue moment of victory.

Not so fast, according to the fact check:

Who is right?

Well, the CBO analysis does say, flatly, that “the average premium per person covered (including dependents) for new nongroup policies would be about 10 percent to 13 percent higher in 2016 than the average premium for nongroup coverage in that same year under current law.”

Why are premiums going up?  CBO cites the combination of three factors:

  1. Premiums would be 27-30% higher because coverage would be better. The law, for example, requires that all policies cover maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health & substance abuse and no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  2. Premiums would be 7 to 10 percent lower b/c of changes to the way the individual market is structured.
  3. Premiums would be 7 to 10 percent lower b/c of an influx of more people, many of them healthy, into the insurance market.

The net effect of those three factors: Premiums would be 10 to 13 percent higher for the average policyholders.

President Obama’s claim of premium reductions of “14 to 20 percent” comes from adding factors two and three. The problem: You can’t ignore factor one. That’s why CBO’s conclusion is that, on average, people in the individual market would see their premiums go up 10 to 13 percent. You can keep your old, less generous plan, but only until 2018.

But it doesn’t end there.

The bill also includes generous subsidies for families with incomes under $88,000.  Those who get taxpayer subsidies would see their out-of-pocket premium cost reduced by “roughly 56 to 59 percent.”  And 57 percent of those in the individual market would be eligible for subsidies.

What more: “CBO says its estimates include “a substantial degree of uncertainly.” Not even the wizards at CBO can say for certain what will happen to your premiums”. But we can safely guess that their estimates are going to be lower than the eventual reality.

So the Dems have a “moment of victory” because Obama is able to lie unflinchingly? I guess congratulations are in order. He sure fooled Times Online.

MORE fact checks at the GOP  blog.


More Videos From The Health Care Summit: Issues vs Tissues

The Democrats today spent at least half of their time recounting health care sob stories, an ineffective ploy in my estimation, since everyone agrees that the system needs reform.  Red State’s Caleb Howe summed it up on Twitter: Republicans come to summit with issues, Democrats with tissues.

I’m baffled as to why the Democrats chose this woman to argue for their side, but they did. Here’s Rep Louise Slaughter (D-NY), sharing a tale of woe allegedly from one of her toothless constituents:

Rep Paul Ryan (R-MI)was solid in his dissertation about the difference in in Repub/Dem philosophies. Yes, there are differences. No we are not close to agreeing on this bill:

It seems to me that the Republicans did a better job choosing their Reps for this Kabuki show.


See Vodkapundit for Obama’s reaction to Ryan’s words: Obama’s Death Stare

Hat tip: Pundette for Ryan video.


Video: Fireworks Between McCain and Obama During Health Care Summit

After McCain spends time complaining about the process, a petulant Obama alludes to “talking points” (everything Repubs say is a “talking point”), and tells him “We’re not campaigning anymore – the election is over”… Obama comes in at 4:30:


Jim Geraghty writes at The Campaign Spot:

I’m sure Obama wanted to paint McCain as bitter about his defeat, but in a way, it just underlines one of my favorite points about Obama: Everything he says sooner or later reaches its expiration date and gets forgotten when it becomes inconvenient.

His response really didn’t have anything substantive about McCain’s legitimate complaints about the process; he just said that he wanted to move on to the policy.

What else can he say?

He’s reduced to refuting  Republican points by calling them “talking points”, “stagecraft”, “props”, “campaigning”.  Alinsky would be proud.

Ace says:

Pretty good moment. After mentioning the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback, McCain noted, to Obama’s grimacing face, the deal with Phrma, in which Phrma agreed to cut costs $80 billion and run $150 million in ads supporting ObamaCare in exchange for an agreement to limit competition on prices in Medicare and opposition to drug re-importation from Canada.

Obama’s answer? “We’re not in campaign mode anymore.”

He doesn’t answer the charges. He just claims that to talk about how corrupt the process is would be unhelpful.

Unhelpful for him, he means.

True. And McCain was way too gracious about it.

Click on the link to see Gabe’s list of rules, Obama has enacted for the Republicans.


Mike at Cold Fury is a little peeved…Arrogant, obnoxious swine: STRONG MESSAGE FOLLOWS


Live Blogging The “Blair House Project”

The Obama Health Care Summit, or as Congressman Pete Sessions called it yesterday, “The Blair House Project” has just begun.

Chris Dodd set the tone for the meeting, yesterday, making this charming quote at a rally: “Tomorrow we’ll have that meeting …. But far more important after that meeting, you can either join us or get out of the way”

…Obama starts off by magnanimously ceding that Republicans care about health care, too. Big of him. Wants to focus, today on areas where both sides agree. Sounds nice, but my greatest fear is that he throws the Republicans a bone here and there, making small but negligible changes in the plan that do not in any serious way improve the plan, but the Republicans are tricked into going along.

…”We all know that this is urgent,” he said. Of course.

…Lamar Alexander went overtime in his comments- clearly the Repubs are not taking the advice Dennis Miller offered, yesterday during his Miller Time segment on The O’Reilly Factor. He suggested that the Repubs keep it short and sweet. Let the Dems be the long winded ones.

…San Fran Nan doesn’t disappoint with sob story after sob story. Is this what the summit was supposed to be about? Invokes Ted Kennedy’s “Health care is a right, not a privilege” quote. Of course. We’ll probably hear that one again. Claims: “This bill creates 4 million jobs.”  Please!

…Dingy starts right in with the sob stories. Dude.

…Ugh!!! Reid utilizes the Dems’ favorite overused tropes: “You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts”…and “Facts are stubbern things..”

…”If you have a better plan for fixing health care ,let’s hear it”. Dude!

…Matthew Continetti at The Weekly Standard also found Reid’s hyper-partisan approach to be a bit much, and corrects him on his “stubbern facts”: HCR Summit: When Harry Reid Attacks I can’t believe this man is the leader of the Senate.

…Dem theme of the day seems to be: we’re not that far apart…we already have the things the Repubs want in our bill…

…Ha: Michelle:

11:47am Eastern. McConnell notes that Dems have had 52 minutes. GOP has had 24. Obama snips: “There was an imbalance in the opening statements because I am the president.” In other words: I WON.

Obama remedies the partisan time imbalance by…launching into another long-winded insurance anecdote. HE WON.

I’ve also noticed that he likes to cut the Republicans off when they start making too many good points: “We’ve addressed that….”, or we’re going to address deficits later...”

…Fireworks while I was in the shower between Obama and McCain:

Michelle again:

12:32pm Eastern. McCain talks about backroom deals. Irritable Obama snaps: “We’re not campaigning anymore.” (McCain: “I’m reminded of that every day.”) O flips papers. Jeers at GOP “talking points.” Gives the ball to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Will have a video up, soon.

The morning session minute counts:

Obama 58 minutes

Republicans: 56 minutes

Democrats 50.

Obama says he doesn’t count ’cause he’s the Prez.

Yuval Levin at The Corner thinks the Repubs are skunking the Dems:

…an important part of the Democrats’ problem is that Obama himself is their only star, and this format is not working for him. He certainly seems engaged and well informed (even given a few misstatements of fact, at least one of which John Kyl made very clear.) But he doesn’t seem like the President of the United States—more like a slightly cranky committee chairman or a patronizing professor who thinks that saying something is “a legitimate argument” is a way to avoid having an argument. He is diminished by the circumstances, he’s cranky and prickly when challenged, and he’s got no one to help him. The other Democrats around the table have been worse than unimpressive. The Republicans seem genuinely well-prepared, seem to have thought through the question of who should speak about what rather carefully, and several of them have done quite a good job making their case against the Democrats’ approach. If we were to judge by debating points, Republicans certainly won the morning handily.

I agree.

…ABC News factchecks the exchange between Obama and Alexander about insurance premiums: Health Care Summit Fact Check: Will Premiums Go Up?

Guess which one was not telling the truth.

Related reading:

A live blog of the proceedings, featuring Newt Gingrich, here.

You can also follow this Twitter feed:#thfsummit

Also live blogging: Michelle Malkin: Blowhard-a-thon at Blair House: Health care summit open thread

Hot Air: Open thread: Obama health-care summit; Update: Video link added

House Leader Boehner has a good op-ed today: Who’s Listening to the American People?

Politico: W.H. punts on key cost-saving move

The Chicago Trib: Price controls? Obama is offering Republicans something they don’t want.

The Detroit News: Editorial: Obama’s compromise health care proposal looks too much like the old plan

The Hill: Poll: Most Americans think Congress should start over on healthcare

The Foundry: The President’s Health Summit Proposal: Rhetoric vs Reality

The Delaware News Journal: Biden signals willingness to compromise on health

“This could end up not being good,” Biden said in an exclusive interview with The News Journal.

The Heritage Foundation: Fix health care policy

Philip Klein, The American Spectator: At Summit, Sen. Alexander Calls on Obama, Dems to Renounce Reconciliation

Ace: Cantor: The Bill’s Dead


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