« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Morning Briefing for August 12, 2009

REDSTATE MORNING BRIEFING

FOR AUGUST 12, 2009

Sign up to get the morning briefing by email here.

HEALTHCARE FACT OF THE DAY

Billions in Pork Barrel Spending for ‘Community Transformation’ and ‘Beautification’

Under the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee’s “Affordable Health Choices Act,” local governments can apply for “community transformation” grants to build jungle gyms, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and grocery stores, to install streetlights, and to establish new farmers’ markets.

The dollar amount of these grants, and of the total “community transformation” earmark program, is left to the discretion of the Obama administration.

Cities can also apply for “community makeover” grants, which can provide them with up to $10 per resident in taxpayer dollars for “beautifying streets.”

Sen. Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK) sponsored an amendment to the HELP Committee bill that would have prevented any funds it made available from being used “to build, develop, or maintain sidewalks, parks, bike paths, or street lights.” The amendment was defeated by party-line vote.

The “Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” the House of Representatives’ health overhaul legislation, also contains an earmark for these grants. The House bill sets the amount available for their funding at $1.6 billion.

Sources: “Affordable Health Choices Act,” Title III, Subtitle C
HR 3200, § 3151

Please click here for the rest of the post.

1. Miracle on Wacker Drive

2. You Won’t Be Able to Keep Your Insurance

3. Obama’s Doublespeak on Single-Payer Health Care Systems

4. To Channel Michael Dukakis: I Seriously Can’t Believe We Lost to This Guy

5. It May Surprise You to Learn This, but Barack Obama Does not Always* Keep His Promises

6. Rep. Bishop, Boswell having health care meetings allllll the way over *there*.

7. DHS Imprisons Refugees, Asylees, War Heroes. But Don’t Worry About Gov’t Run Healthcare

8. Creigh Deeds’ Desperation Grows: From Babies to the Confederacy

———————————————————————-

HEALTHCARE FACT OF THE DAY

Billions in Pork Barrel Spending for ‘Community Transformation’ and ‘Beautification’

Under the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee’s “Affordable Health Choices Act,” local governments can apply for “community transformation” grants to build jungle gyms, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and grocery stores, to install streetlights, and to establish new farmers’ markets.

The dollar amount of these grants, and of the total “community transformation” earmark program, is left to the discretion of the Obama administration.

Cities can also apply for “community makeover” grants, which can provide them with up to $10 per resident in taxpayer dollars for “beautifying streets.”

Sen. Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK) sponsored an amendment to the HELP Committee bill that would have prevented any funds it made available from being used “to build, develop, or maintain sidewalks, parks, bike paths, or street lights.” The amendment was defeated by party-line vote.

The “Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” the House of Representatives’ health overhaul legislation, also contains an earmark for these grants. The House bill sets the amount available for their funding at $1.6 billion.

Sources: “Affordable Health Choices Act,” Title III, Subtitle C
HR 3200, § 3151

Please click here for the rest of the post.

1. Miracle on Wacker Drive

For all the flack that President Obama gets here on Red State, he does propose some amazing things that deserve recognition. Today, for example, he said concerning his health care reform plan, “You will not be waiting in any lines.” Let’s be honest: we Republicans would not know how to do that. If we added 47 million more people to the health care system, there would be lines. We wouldn’t even know how to send 47 million more people to McDonald’s without causing lines.

I’m unfamiliar with the details, but apparently there is some provision in Obama’s plan that expands the number of doctors, nurses, hospital beds, etc., to instantly accommodate 47 million more people. It usually takes eight to ten years to school a new doctor, so whatever the Democrats are doing here is a major advance. We should begin sharing it immediately with the Third World, where doctor shortages have long been a problem. Thank goodness they won’t be here, if this plan passes.

The other good thing the plan will do is spend an additional 1.6 trillion dollars. This will prevent Medicare and Medicaid, the government’s previous health care initiatives, from going bankrupt. I know this because the audience in New Hampshire cheered when Obama said that a bankrupt Medicare was not a future he wanted for his children. I wish I could have been there, because we Republicans need to learn how adding 47 million more people to the system will lower costs. And for all the deficit spending that George Bush did, we never figured out how to avert bankruptcy by spending even more money, faster. I wish the reporters would ask Obama how this works, but they never do. I guess they figure everybody already knows.

Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. You Won’t Be Able to Keep Your Insurance

Americans are rightly concerned that a government-run health care plan will lead to changes with their own health insurance. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to draw the conclusion that employers will drop coverage once the government starts meddling with the financial incentives.

This is a problem for the White House, and it’s why President Obama uses every opportunity to tell Americans, “If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance.”

Unfortunately for Obama, Americans don’t believe him. Why? Maybe because he’s done nothing to back it up. Propaganda czar Linda Douglass’ “reality check” video is comical in that her defense of “You can keep your own insurance” cites nothing but Obama’s own statements as evidence — as if he’s an independent arbiter.

The Heritage Foundation last month asked The Lewin Group, a highly respected health care policy and management consulting firm, to examine the impact of H.R. 3200 on private insurance. Lewin reported 88.1 million Americans could be transitioned out of their current plan as employers opt out of continuing their existing coverage.

Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. Obama’s Doublespeak on Single-Payer Health Care Systems

At a health care town hall today, President Barack Obama told a New Hampshire audience that he has never claimed to be an advocate of a single-payer health care system, alleging that his Republican opponents were employing “scare tactics” to derail substantive health care reform.

“I have not said that I am a supporter of a single-payer system,” he said, channeling former presidential contender John ‘I voted for it before I voted against it’ Kerry.

But in August of last year, Obama touted single-payer systems as a promising solution to the ailing health care system at a New Mexico town hall. Eliminating private insurance companies and instead opting for a pseudo-Medicare system with the government footing the bill for all health care-related expenses, he said, would be a more effective means to provide greater coverage than our system’s current iteration.

“If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system,” said then-Senator Obama. “I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody.”

Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. To Channel Michael Dukakis: I Seriously Can’t Believe We Lost to This Guy

I don’t know if I’ve seen a worse public speaker in my lifetime more lionized for his public speaking ability than President Barack Obama (D-IL). The homage paid to him by pundits and anchors across the country for his supposedly unique combination of intelligence and eloquence is shown almost by the day to be as misplaced as effusive praise for Vice President Joe Biden’s (D-Slave State) thoughtful, precise manner of speaking would be.

The difference is, you don’t see people tripping all over themselves to praise Biden’s wisdomousness (to use a term from “Friends), or calling for him to make more public appearances as a counter to dipping personal and proposal popularity numbers. You do — inexplicably — see that with Obama, the architect of so many gaffes just one national campaign into his career (and six months into his presidency) that he already rivals the eight years of President Bush in quotable foibles.

“Fifty-seven states”? “Good morning, Sunshine”? “Ten thousand dead – and entire town destroyed”? Give an asthmatic “a breathayzer–inhalater–er, inhaler”?

Now the latest: Today, in defense of his unwavering determination to establish a government-run health insurance entity to compete with existing private insurers (which his Congressional allies are firmly behind as a means to government-run health care as the only option), Obama made a classic argument for…keeping the government out of the market.

Check out the post to see the video.

The quote:

If you think about it, uh…uh…uh, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine.

[pause]

Right? Th-The, uh, no, they are! I mean, i-it’s-it’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.

That statement was followed by a long pause, during which one can only assume Obama was struggling to keep up with what he had just said and wondering why he left his Binky home for this appearance (and, perhaps, was wishing Joe Biden was there to take some attention away from his abject blunder).

Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. It May Surprise You to Learn This, but Barack Obama Does not Always* Keep His Promises

Let me be clear at the outset of this post that there is no objectively valid reason whatsoever to object to the use of Presidential Signing Statements, whether it is done by Republicans or Democrats. It is axiomatic that in the course of executing the laws that Congress has passed, the Executive Branch, as a co-equal branch, must necessarily interpret the law before deciding what the law requires them to do.

Unfortunately, Obama’s campaign was all about appealing to people who don’t think through the consequences of their positions. And so on the campaign trail, it was expedient for Obama to appeal to the herd by sanctimoniously lecturing the Bush administration on the evils of Presidential Signing Statements, and promising unequivocally not to use them.

The only problem with this promise is that, like most Obama promises, he had no intention of actually keeping it. And so the NY Times reports that some Democratic members of Congress find themselves in the uncomfortable position of being forced to criticize their own President over something that they must surely know is BS.

Please click here for the rest of the post.

6. Rep. Bishop, Boswell having health care meetings allllll the way over *there*.

Tim Bishop (D, NY-01) is having something called a “health care reform rally” on Thursday, at (of all things) SEIU’s Hicksville NY offices (1199 Duffy Ave, starts at 1 PM). This is otherwise known as “over twenty miles outside the borders of NY-01.” Bishop is of course one of the first Democrats holding down a Red district (NY-01 is a R+0) to discover that his constituents are paying attention to his votes: he rather famously canceled his future in-district meetings. Presumably he assumes that his constituents won’t drive twenty miles to complain.

Please click here for the rest of the post.

7. DHS Imprisons Refugees, Asylees, War Heroes. But Don’t Worry About Gov’t Run Healthcare

“The Homeland Security Department, which includes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has been unable to provide permanent residence status to more than 7,000 eligible refugees and asylum seekers [Senator Patrick] Leahy said in a Senate floor speech last week.”

The problems with the resettlement process are not some new development. Senators have been pressing Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano for months. Instead, many refugees who bravely stood up to dictators and terrorists are being jailed due to the Obama administration’s inefficiency or indifference. Why has the Obama administration gone on jailing those who have earned our thanks?

And in case you’re wondering why so many Americans are leery about granting vast new powers to federal bureaucrats to take care of our medical needs, incidents like this one are a major reason.

Please click here for the rest of the post.

8. Creigh Deeds’ Desperation Grows: From Babies to the Confederacy

Creigh Deeds, Democrat gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, is running the most pathetic campaign for anything since Alan Keyes challenged Barack Obama for the Illinois Senate.

According to Creigh Deeds’ campaign and the Democrats, Bob McDonnell flew the Confederate flag at the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show.

The Democrats — more likely than not the Deeds campaign — sent a picture of the McDonnell booth to left-wing Virginia blogger Ben Tribbett, who blogs as “Not Larry Sabato”. Tribbett tried his best to blow up the story as something worth noting.

Turns out the confederate flag in question was at the adjacent booth, “which was selling confederate flags and other paraphernalia, though the angle of the photo makes it appears as if the flag was McDonnell’s.”

Hugh Crittenden, the guy who started and runs the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show, said there was no other available booth for the McDonnell campaign except the one next to the Confederate memorabilia reseller.

The real story here and the one the Washington Post did not report is that Bob McDonnell showed up at the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show and Creigh Deeds did not. Bob McDonnell actually cares about their issues and Creigh Deeds just sends out press releases on their issues.

But kudos for the Washington Post reminding the same voters Creigh Deeds wants thinking McDonnell is an unrepentant racist that “[a]ccording to a 1999 Roanoke Times article, Deeds told legislators during that debate that: “I grew up in a house with a portrait of the Confederate flag on the wall. I grew up in a house with a portrait of Robert E. Lee on the wall over my bed.””

Please click here for the rest of the post.

Get Alerts