Obama Offers GOP Advice On Governing. No, Really. Stop Laughing, You’ll Hurt Yourself

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Thank you Politico for publishing the funniest story of at least the past month. It’s not quite as delusional as the one about Nancy Pelosi (Pelosi and company being delusional, not the Politico, and, make sure to check out Nancy P’s San Francisco), but, well, you have to see this President Obama offered a lesson [...]
Pirate’s Cove

Tea Party leader says health care could hurt any Romney bid in ’12

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Washington (CNN) - The head of one of the best known national Tea Party groups predicts that a potential White House bid by Mitt Romney could face pushback from Tea Party activists because of the health care plan implemented in Massachusetts during Romney’s term as the state’s governor.

Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer, asked during an interview by David Brody on CBN’s “The Brody File” if the Massachusetts health care situation will fly with Tea Party activists, responded by saying “Absolutely not. You can’t get away from that.”

“These people don’t have short memories. They’re digging up everything from the past and they’re not going to let go of the health care,” added Kremer.

Tea Party Express is best know for its four well-publicized cross country bus tours and for its role in helping to oust some top Republican Senate incumbents, such as Bob Bennett of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, during the GOP primary process. Murkowski went on to run for her seat as a write-in candidate in the general election. The group’s support also helped Sharron Angle in Nevada and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware win Republican Senate nominations.

Romney, who made a bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, is considering another run for the White House.

“The Massachusetts health care law came up in the 2008 campaign, and if Mitt Romney decides to run again, I’m sure it will be discussed again,” said Romney Spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom, in a statement to CNN. “Everyone who runs for president is going to have to discuss their record, whatever it is.”

This spring, around the time of the passage into law of President Barack Obama’s health care proposals, some of Romney’s possible 2012 opponents described what they called the similarities between the health care reforms passed by Democrats in Congress and the Massachusetts model passed while Romney was governor of the Bay State.

At the time, Minnesota Gov. and possible Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said, “Looking at the Massachusetts experience, it would not be one I would want for the country to follow any further.”

Fehrnstrom responded to Pawlenty’s comments by saying that “while there are some similarities between the two plans, the differences are far more profound.”

According to CNN national exit polls from the midterm elections, the vast majority of people who voted for the Republican candidate in their congressional district said the new health care law should be repealed.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

CNN Political Ticker

To Help His State Budget, Gov. Rick Perry Wants To His Hurt State Budget By Opting Out Of Medicaid

November 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) is a leader in the pack of “tenther” politicians who believe that pretty much everything the federal government does is unconstitutional. Hoping to start a “10th Amendment movement,” Perry has proposed opting out of Social Security, called constitutional amendments “mistaken“, and offered secession as a way to avoid the “oppressive” federal government. Particularly piqued by the passage of health care reform, Perry is now setting his “tenther” sights on a specific target: Medicaid.

As Mother Jones’s Suzy Khimm notes, “one of the hallmark accomplishments of health-care reform” was the expansion of Medicaid. Under the new health care law, new insurance subsidies “will add an estimated 16 million new Medicaid enrollees.” While many GOP and Democratic-led state governments oppose the expansion, Perry is pushing Texas to drop out of Medicaid entirely.

First floating the idea on CNN last Sunday, Perry told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren yesterday that states should “be given the opportunity to opt-out of the Medicaid program we are looking at today”:

VAN SUSTEREN: Health care, there’s going to be a lot of challenges in the next two years. What is your view of the health care program?

PERRY: I’d like to see states be given the opportunity to opt-out of the Medicaid program that we are looking at today. We think in Texas over the next six years that we could take and find a private insurance solution and better serve our people, put more people under coverage, and save $ 40 billion for the state of Texas and $ 40 billion for the federal government because it is a matching program.

Watch it (starting at 3:22):

As Khimm notes, Perry’s only “underlying rationale” for “sacrificing the health coverage” of Texas’s 3.6 million poor people dependent on Medicaid would be “if it solves the state’s budget crisis.” But as WonkRoom’s Igor Volsky explains, none of Perry’s proposal actually makes any sense. Rather than “bankrupting the state” as Perry’s legislative pals may claim, 95 percent of all new spending would actually be footed by the federal government. Indeed, as Health Beat’s Maggie Mahr notes, Texas would actually benefit more than most states because while Medicaid enrollment will rise by 46 percent, “state spending on Medicaid rises by about 3 percent. Meanwhile, Federal spending in Texas is expected to increase by 39 percent.”

Not only would Perry be turning away millions in federal spending, Perry would actually be “taking billions out of the state economy that goes on to support hospitals and other providers,” Volsky notes. Thus, “hospitals and doctors would have to swallow the costs of caring for uninsured individuals who will continue to use the emergency room as their primary source of care,” which further burdens the state budget.

The actual “lose-lose” outcome of Perry’s proposal has led many health policy experts to question its legitimacy and sincerity. Perry’s eagerness gut Medicaid while providing no actual viable alternative to cover the poor pushed one Texas hospital’s chief to call his idea “so bizarre as to be unworthy of consideration.”


Kaiser health tracking poll: ObamaCare hurt Dems in midterms

November 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In March soon-to-be former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in response to ObamaCare critics, said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” Well, voters know what’s in it-and that’s why Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) is replacing her in January.

From the Kaiser Family Foundation:

The November 2010 tracking poll was conducted in the days following the mid-term election that resulted in major gains for Republicans, including a shift in control of the House of Representatives. The survey attempts to gauge what role health reform played in voters’ decisions, and to measure the current public mood about the health reform law.

The poll finds that voters say health care reform was a factor that influenced their vote, but not a dominant one. The economy/jobs was the factor mentioned by voters most often (29%), followed by party preference (25%) and views of the candidates themselves (21%). Health care ranked fourth at 17 percent. Those 17 percent of voters who named health care as one of their top voting factors were more likely than non-health care voters to back a Republican candidate for Congress (59% vs. 44%), and to say they have a “very unfavorable” view of the law (56% vs. 33%).

ObamaCare faces more trouble. The GOP tidal wave means there will be more Republican governors. And While they can’t fully block implementation of ObamaCare, they can stimy it.

From the Washington Post:

Republicans’ consolidation of power in state capitols is likely to expand the number of states that employ a far more limited, free-market-oriented approach to implementing the nation’s new health-care law than the robust regulatory model favored by its supporters.

Although the law is a federal statute, it tasks states with administering many of its most important provisions and grants them considerable leeway.

It is up to states to run markets, known as “exchanges,” through which individuals and small businesses will be able to buy health insurance plans, often with federal subsidies, beginning in 2014. States will also oversee a mostly federally funded expansion of Medicaid to cover a far larger share of the poor.

Many incoming Republican governors made their antipathy to the law a plank of their campaigns. Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Haslam denounced it as “an intolerable expansion of federal power.” Wyoming Gov.-elect Matt Mead promised to join 21 states contesting its constitutionality in federal courts. And Maine, one of the first states to set up a task force to implement the law, will now be led by Paul LePage,a tea-party favorite who vowed to work against the legislation and predicted that voters would soon see headlines about him telling President Obama to “go to hell.”

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Marathon Pundit

Will Losing The House Hurt Obama?

October 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

John Sides digs through research on divided government and gridlock. His bottom line:

Under divided government, [Obama will] have less power but no less accountability. Of course, if the economy turns around, a Speaker Boehner won't matter one way or the other. But if the economy continues to stagnate, blaming a Republican-controlled House or even Congress won't help Obama.

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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Kilmeade Offers Half-Hearted Apology: ‘I’m Sorry If I Offended Or Hurt Anybody’s Feelings. But That’s It.’

October 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Last week, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said on ABC’s The View that “Muslims killed us on 9/11,” prompting The View co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar to walk off the set in disgust. Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade defended O’Reilly the next day, making an equally idiotic and “obviously false” statement that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” Kilmeade even defended that statement a few hours later on his radio show, saying it’s a fact “you can’t avoid.” But today, after having the weekend to think it over, the Fox and Friends host offered a half-hearted apology:

KILMEADE: On the show on Friday, I was talking about Bill O’Reilly appearance on the View and I said this: “Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims.” Well, I misspoke. I don’t believe all terrorists are Muslims. I’m sorry about that if I offended or hurt anybody’s feelings. But that’s it.

Watch it:


Pathetic Dutch criminal standard: Statements might hurt Muslims’ feelings

October 14, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Geert Wilders trial is unmasking some interesting positions within the criminal code that could be used to send this politician to prison:

[P]ublic prosecutors Birgit van Roessel and Paul Velleman noted that the statements for which he is on trial referred to Islam and the Qur’an, not to Muslims as people – although they did add in the politically correct observation that Wilders’ statements might nevertheless hurt Muslims’ feelings.


When I was young someone called me “dirty” just because I am Lithuanian:  ”My father says you people never take baths.  There’s no point.  You’re always dirty no matter how hard you scrub.”  I was 8; it hurt my feelings.  Is there a statue of limitations?  Has Obama given the International Criminal Court jurisdiction yet so I can file a complaint?

During law school in California, we were doing mock deps.  I was a witness.  I used my Scranton accent.  My classmate said after, “You were great!  How were you able to sound so stupid?”  Kinda stung.  And while her intent was harmless, the Dutch standard is how someone is made to feel.

The Wilders trial is serving a purpose much broader than the prosecution intended.  It is showing the world the joke that is their criminal code: Left behind is mens rea and any semblance of actor intent, replaced with not just a nebulous “victim impact” standard but also with the equivalent of a soft-tissue injury … prove it doesn’t hurt!

From Lord Chief Justice Edward Coke to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., graves are stirring at this usurpation of logic.

Liberty Pundits Blog

Study: Immigration helps, offshoring doesn’t hurt

October 12, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Immigration, Offshoring and American Jobs,” by Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, Giovanni Peri and Greg C. Wright:

How many “American jobs” are taken away from US-born workers due to immigration and offshoring? Or is it possible, instead, that immigration and offshoring, by promoting cost-savings and enhanced efficiency in firms, spur the creation of native jobs? … The model predicts that while cheaper offshoring reduces the share of natives among less skilled workers, cheaper immigration does not, but rather reduces the share of offshored jobs instead. Moreover, since both phenomena have a positive “cost-savings” effect they may leave unaffected, or even increase, total native employment of less skilled workers. Our model also predicts that offshoring will push natives toward jobs that are more intensive in communication-interactive skills and away from those that are manual and routine intensive.

We test the predictions of the model on data for 58 US manufacturing industries over the period 2000-2007 and find evidence in favor of a positive productivity effect such that immigration has a positive net effect on native employment while offshoring has no effect on it. We also find some evidence that offshoring has pushed natives toward more communication-intensive tasks while it has pushed immigrants away from them


Ezra Klein

Nevada Senate Election 2010: Sharon Angle (R) Now Ahead of Harry Reid (D) … Rory Reid Says Obamacare Could Hurt Nevada

October 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Polls for Nevada US Senate Race, Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady!

The tide is turning in favor of Tea Party favorite and Republican candidate Sharon Angle in the Nevada US Senate Race. Angle even found support from her rivals son when Rory Reid, Democrat running for Governor of Nevada, stated that Obamacare would harm Nevada.

Sharon Angle

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats have thrown everything at challenger Sharon Angle including the kitchen sink. The result … Sharon Angle is now in the lead in the polling for the Nevada US Senate seat and the polls are trending in her direction.  In the most recent Rasmussen poll, Angle leads the incumbent Reid 50% to 46%. Sharon Angle also leads Harry Reid in the recent CNN poll 42% to 41%. In the Fox News Opinion Dynamic poll Angle leads Reid 49% to 46%.

Not only is the trending toward Sharon Angle important, but the fact that Reid as an incumbent cannot draw more than 46% in the polls is troublingfor Democrats. Angle now finds herself ahaead in the RCP average polling.  What also should be troubling for Reid and Democrats is that no one wants the ick of Obamacare attached to them. Harry Reid has tried to avoid the issue like the plague; however, his son Rory Reid made a comment in a recent debate that will most likely all but cost his father the race.

Nevada Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid (who is losing badly to Republican Brian Sandoval) admitted Obamacare was politically motivated, it wont lead to the resolutions of the probelms in Nevada and will not bring down costs. Oops. Imagine what the sit down is going to be like at the Reid residence at Thanksgiving?


From The Hill:

During a televised debate, Rory Reid, the son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said he does not support the legal challenges against the health overhaul. Yet, he does believe that President Obama’s signature achievement could negatively affect Nevada.

How bad is Obamacare if even your own son trashes the Democrat masterpiece of the Obama Presidency that Harry Reid advocated so hard for? Rory Reid admitted that it was politically motivated. Who actually thought it was to reduce costs and provide insurance?

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Scared Monkeys

Reid v Reid: Harry’s boy says ObamaCare could hurt Nevada

October 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Isn’t this interesting?

“I don’t deny, however,” Rory Reid said, “that Nevada needs to be vigilant on this issue. The law that was passed gives time for the new system to go into effect, but there is potential for it to put significant pressure on states because Medicaid rates could go up significantly.”

It’s OK, Rory.  We’ll take it from here.  You can talk to your dad about it at length.  You’ll both have plenty of time available come January 2011.

Liberty Pundits Blog

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