Friday, February 26, 2010

The Morning After---A Health Care Summit Hang-over

Analysis

For those of you conservative political junkies that sat through the seven hour drama of President Obama’s Health Care Summit, a big high five. Understanding the stakes involved, (with Obama’s last attempt to re-apply another shade of lipstick), conservatives, strict constitutionalist, independents, and libertarians nervously waited to see whether the Democrats would own the “table of ideas”.

Watching the President’s favored cable news network, (MSNBC), this morning, it seemed there was a consensus that the President and the Democrats did not fair so well in their last attempt to sell the general public on the idea that the government knows best how to make your daily health care choices. Pitting themselves as the champions against the mean and powerful insurance companies, the Democrats appeared to be on the defensive, while Republicans hammered away at the process and contents of the twenty-seven hundred page bill filled with state mandates, unsavory backroom deals, and CBO contradictions.

But the Republicans came far more prepared than they did in the Baltimore “chat” where the President had far more control of the conversation leaving Republicans with little chance to rebut President Obama’s polished rhetoric. Senator Lamar Alexander was given the honor of beginning the opening salvo that set the table for the positions Republicans would carry throughout the day:

“Now, you've presented ideas. There's an 11-page memo on the -- I think it's important for people to understand there's not a presidential bill. There are good suggestions and ideas on the Web. We've made our ideas. But it's said -- it's a lot like the Senate bill. It has more taxes, more subsidies, more spending. So what that means is, that when it's written it will be 2,700 pages, more or less, which means it will probably have a lot of surprises in it. It means it will cut Medicare by about half a trillion dollars, and spend most of that on new programs, not on Medicare and making it stronger, even though it's going broke in 2015. It means there will be about a half trillion dollars of new taxes in it. It means that for millions of Americans premiums will go up because those -- when people pay those new taxes, premiums will go up -- they will also go up because of the government mandates.”
Alexander goes on to point out more controversial substances in the bill, and then produces the “challenge” to the President and the Democrats with their intention to pass this legislation using reconciliation, (also called the nuclear option), where only fifty-one votes are required in the Senate to send it on for Obama’s signature:

“Now, in conclusion, I have a suggestion and a request for how to make this a bipartisan and truly productive session. And I hope that those who are here will agree I've got a pretty good record of working across party lines and of supporting the President when I believe he's right, even though other members of my party might not on that occasion. And my request is this, is before we go further today, that the Democratic congressional leaders and you, Mr. President, renounce this idea of going back to the Congress and jamming through on a bipartisan -- I mean, on a partisan vote through a little-used process we call reconciliation, your version of the bill. You can say that this process has been used before, and that would be right, but it's never been used for anything like this. It's not appropriate to use to write the rules for 17 percent of the economy. Senator Byrd, who is the constitutional historian of the Senate, has said that it would be an outrage to run the health care bill through the Senate like a freight train with this process.”
By using the last “respected senior democrat”, (after Kennedy’s passing), as an example of what could become a fierce battle by Senators in the weeks ahead, Alexander set the table for what the Democrats may be looking at if they use this procedure.

But, let us digress for a moment. In the coined words of the folks at Fox New, to be “fair and balanced”, the Democrats also came to the summit prepared to defend their beleaguered legislation that has become like a jetliner waiting to take off in a blizzard with far too much ice on their wings. Let’s put one “debate” to rest here and now: the Democrats are the undisputed champions when it comes to presenting sob stories. From the Speaker of the House, (Nancy Pelosi), and the Senate Majority Leader, (Harry, I can top that one, Reid), almost every Democrat marched out a plethora of sob stories reaching deep into the emotionalism of the signature liberal’s playbook. Straight from the mid-nineties days of the Gingrich Republican takeover, the Democrats would march to the floor with their mantra of “these mean Republicans are taking food from the mouths of babies” as they sold their sob stories to the public of opinion----and won.

But this time, and in this venue, their ploy of presenting the plight of “the downtrodden” seemed to fall on deaf ears. With close to 80% of the public's satisfaction with their current health care needs, and the safety nets already provided by our government to catch those who were uninsured, Republicans presented the classic argument of an overbearing government intruding into the realm of individual choice and the constitutional liberties our founding fathers wrote to restrict the powers of each branch of government.

Dave Camp (R) Michigan, said the Republicans met several times prior to this summit to split up the crucial points that were to be presented. To maximize their valuable time, they covered each others arguments so that nothing was repetitive of another’s presentation. By using this method, the Republicans came prepared, (this time), to sift threw the Democrat’s rhetoric. It was truly a collective and well organized effort. Congressman Paul Ryan, (R) Wisconsin---the guru of fiscal and budget management---was stellar in his presentation attacking the CBO along with the Democrats plan to “double dip” Medicare to provide “real funds” intended to pay for a portion of the bill:

“Look, we agree on the problem here. And the problem is health inflation is driving us off of a fiscal cliff.

Mr. President, you said health care reform is budget reform. You're right. We agree with that. Medicare, right now, has a $38 trillion unfunded liability. That's $38 trillion in empty promises to my parents' generation, our generation, our kids' generation. Medicaid's growing at 21 percent each year. It's suffocating states' budgets. It's adding trillions in obligations that we have no means to pay for it………..

……..Now, when you take a look at what this does, is, according to the chief actuary of Medicare, he's saying as much as 20 percent of Medicare's providers will either go out of business or will have to stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries. Millions of seniors who are on -- who have chosen Medicare Advantage will lose the coverage that they now enjoy.

You can't say that you're using this money to either extend Medicare solvency, and also offset the cost of this new program. That's double counting.”
No one in the Democratic Party, (or even the President), really want to take on Ryan, (mano a mano), when arguing budgetary matters or the ponzi game the Democrats are playing with the Medicare figures. It’s a losing proposition and they know it.

My new friend Neurosculptor, (a commenter here on Hot Air), and I, had a civil debate the other night on whether the Republicans should have even attended this meeting. Neurosculptor presented excellent arguments against the Republican’s attendance emphasizing, (if I may), that this summit would serve the Democrats and Obama with a revival of a program we all thought should be long dead and buried. My point was the argument that if the Republicans did not attend the summit, there would be more damage incurred by our Party with the cameras on the President, Democrats, and half the room filled with empty chairs. I also submitted that IF the Republicans came to the summit FULLY PREPARED, the “damage” could be either manageable or ever better, a “look” for the public to see Republicans have always had ideas and input into the process, putting an end to the Democrat’s rhetoric calling the Pubs, the party of no.

The questions will remain in the weeks ahead what the viewing public saw or perceived. It is my opinion that the public saw the President and the Democrats in a defensive posture with their emotional sob stories, ("I can tell you many stories as I travel the country where I've seen grown men cry."….Nancy Pelosi), and finally President Obama’s ending “threat”:

"The question I'm going to ask myself and I ask of all of you, is there enough serious effort that in a month's time or a few week's time or six weeks' time, we could actually resolve something. And if we can't, we've got to go ahead and make some decisions."

…….“I think most Americans think that a majority vote makes sense.”
President Obama’s right about one thing he’s over-looked along with his Party-----most Americans think this legislation belongs in the obituaries of political history. R.I P.

Monday, February 22, 2010

No CBO Score On Obama's Plan

New ObamaCare bill: Are you ready for price controls on insurance premiums? Update: CBO can’t score bill this weekposted at 11:45 am on February 22, 2010 by Allahpundit

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rush Limbaugh Introduces Ed Morrissey---CPAC Blogger of the Year

(via Townhall.com)



Congratulations to "Captain" Ed Morrissey. Extra special thanks to Michelle and Jesse Malkin who created Hot Air, and brought Ed on board with the omnipresent Allahpundit. Together, this duo took Hot Air to the top of its game---into the top ten conservative websites on the Net.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Is Social Security In Trouble?


It seems the day has come a little earier than we thought. Our government has played with the account for years now, and the piper's callin' in the note('s).

Social Security tipping over into the red (by Ed Morrissey)

"Last month, we noted that Social Security had delivered its worst performance in decades. Now, Allen Sloan warns investors at Yahoo Finance that the entire program has gone into the red — and will stay there. Get ready, Sloan says, for the mother of all bailouts".....:
Now let's all stand and cheer for obstructing the first President since Social Security's inception to attempt to put the the program on a survival course. And they're calling Republicans "the party of no" when they were told "this problem is not going away"...... George W. Bush.



Up next: North Carolina thinks "The Constitution Isn't Needed in High School"

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Punxsutawney Phil Sees New Historical Shadow of Debt---Predicting Three More Years of Democrat Spending


2010 Elections Could Be a Reprieve From Insane Spending Practices


Punxsutawney Phil, the legendary weather predictor, came out and saw a different shadow today. It was a dark shadow of national debt, brought about by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and a Democrat administration hell bent on spending future generations into eternal debt. The President's release of a 3.8 TRILLION DOLLAR BUDGET---yes, with a big T, prompted reprisals from thousands across the political spectrum---conservative democrats, libertarians, independents and leading economist.

Barack Obama is banking on a group of us to reach out to the liberal democrats in a sign of compromise and unity for the greater good of this nation. The plan is simple. Reach into the basket of poisonous fruit, and satisfy the hunger of government dependency---the shackles that binds the soul of every American yearning for liberty and freedom.

But there is another road, less traveled, yet far more dangerous to the liberal agenda. The grassroots wave of fiscal conservatism is flowing across this nation. The evidence has already taken place in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. While the media and the Obama administration deny this is a referendum on the spending policies driving this nation into bankruptcy, citizens from every region in this country understand that real change is coming to rein in this runaway government and the socialist policies of an ideology of elitism and collectivism.

Obama's redistribution of wealth is the mirror of communism, where society pays at the cost of free will and choice. When a representative republic is no longer governed by its electorate, only the ruling class will prevail. This is your status quo leadership running this nation into debt and dependency; Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, et al, who claim they are representing the middle class and the downtrodden, the poor, and the disadvantaged, all under the guise of destroying free market principals that distinguished this nation from all others.

Punxsutawney Phil saw this today as he arose from his stump to foresee the weather. Instead Phil saw a much greater threat than six more weeks of winter. The cold hard truth is that Phil's cage and dependency may become our reality.