Day: December 23, 2009

The Big Lie Revived As Last Ditch Effort By Critics Of Health Care Reform

Earlier today, I wrote about the number one political lie of 2009–the claim by Sarah Palin that the health care legislation under consideration provided for “death panels”.

As the year ends and the health care legislation is about to pass the Senate, the opponents are reviving this ridiculous, completely unfounded lie!

At this late moment, Sarah Palin is reasserting her belief in this total fabrication, and she has been joined in this effort by Michele Bachmann, and Fox News Channel!

Why is it that these women and the so called “news channel” have no decency and dignity, and are willing to perpetuate a lie, and promote fear and division and uncertainty and insecurity among the American people?

In the long run, these sources of division and manipulation will suffer in the public estimation once the health care legislation is in full swing and seen as a positive development for the American people. That day coming cannot be soon enough!

Revival Of The John Birch Society At The Upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference

The upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference in February will be co-sponsored by an organization thought to be dormant, if not extinct–the infamous John Birch Society formed in 1958 to fight the “ongoing Communist conspiracy”.

This despicable organization opposed flouridation of the water supply and the desegregation of public schools as “Communist conspiracies”. They accused all government agencies of being filled with Communists.

Also, the John Birch Society called for the impeachment of Chief Justice Earl Warren, and called President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Senators John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey part of the “great Communist conspiracy”!

Can one possibly imagine that such an organization with Joseph McCarthy type rhetoric and tactics AFTER the fall of McCarthy would be permitted to co-sponsor CPAC, where most Republican politicians planning to run for President regularly appear and speak?

How will such Republican luminaries as Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and others explain their appearances before a conference backed and supported by such a disreputable organization?

It will certainly be an interesting time to see who agrees to appear and whether they will go along with the propaganda that this disgraceful organization has been promoting for the past fifty years.

Is a new Joseph McCarthy in the offing, as a result of this upcoming CPAC? We shall see! 🙁

Most Notable Legislation 2000-2009

When one analyzes the most notable legislation of the decade now ending, it is clear that the national government has seen growth in its responsibilities and powers, ironically under a Republican President (George W. Bush) and Congress, with only two pieces of the top ten being under Democratic Congresses, and only the last one signed by a Democratic President (Barack Obama).

In chronological order, the legislation would be as follows:
1. Economic Growth and Tax Relief Act of 2001
2. Use of Military Force Against Terrorists in 2001 (Afghanistan) and 2002 (Iraq)
3. Patriot Act of 2001
4. No Child Left Behind Act of 2002
5. Homeland Security Act of 2002
6. Partial Birth Abortion Ban of 2003
7. Medicare Overhaul Prescription Plan (Part D) of 2003
8. Theresa Marie Schiavo Legislation of 2005
9. Emergency Economic Stabilization (TARP) of 2008
10.American Recovery And Reinvestment (Stimulus) of 2009

When one looks back on these pieces of legislation, it is clear to the author that most of these laws were destructive of the country’s economy, foreign policy, and civil liberties. No wonder that Time Magazine called the decade now ending the “Decade of Hell”!

Hints On The Census Effect On Reapportionment Of House Seats In 2012

The Election Data Service in Virginia has come up with estimates of how population shifts will affect reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives in 2012.

The estimates are based on the Census Bureau figures of July 1, 2009, which shows more than 307 million Americans.

The indications are that ten seats are likely to switch from one state to another, with the most likely scenario being that Texas will gain three seats; and all of the following states will gain one seat each: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.

Nine states are likely to lose seats, with Ohio losing two, and the following eight states losing one each: Louisiana, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

It should be noted that all states gaining seats are in the Sun Belt, and the only Sun Belt state to lose a seat is Louisiana, certainly due largely to the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This continues the long range switch of population from the Frost Belt Northeast and Midwest to the Sun Belt South and West.

At the same time, since there is still another nine months after the Census Bureau estimate to the actual Census Bureau count, there is a potential for some other changes based on small switches in population and the level of accuracy of the census count on April 1, 2010.

Texas and Arizona could gain one extra seat each beyond the projections. And Rhode Island could become the eighth state to have only one House seat if population projections go badly. Also, California, which has always gained a seat in every census since statehood in 1850, could actually lose a seat, and is not projected to gain a seat in any case. Finally, Minnesota is in danger of losing one of its eight House seats.

The housing market downturn and the recession can certainly have an effect on the final population totals for several states. Also, the more homeless people there are makes an accurate population count ever more difficult. So the future makeup of the House of Representatives is certainly still in play!

The Hypocrisy Of Michele Bachmann: Government Handouts For Her Family Farm

Conservative Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a major critic of the Health Care Reform legislation, and a leading firebrand accusing the Democrats of being “socialistic”, has now been shown to be a true hypocrite.

While she opposes government “handouts”, it turns out her family farm received a subsidy of $251,000 under the agricultural subsidies program from 1995-2006. At the same time, she has voted against every foreclosure relief bill designed to help families in danger of losing their homes!

So it is fine to take a government subsidy, collect a full salary as a Congresswoman, and get federal health benefits, but deny any kind of assistance to Americans in trouble. Is this anything else other than hypocrisy? 🙁

The hope is that Bachmann can be defeated in 2010 because even many leaders of the Republican party think she has been a detriment to the GOP message with her firebomb throwing types of statements!

The Leading Political Lie of 2009–Sarah Palin And “Death Panels”

PolitiFact, the organization which tracks politicians’ statements for their veracity, has determined that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had the leading political lie of the year 2009.

Palin’s contention that the pending health care legislation would promote “death panels” for senior citizens and the handicapped had a dramatic effect this summer and fall, encouraging and stirring the Tea Party/Freedom Works crowd, and causing the rowdy town halls during August and September.

A total fabrication by Palin, it promoted an ugly atmosphere and delayed health care reform, and is totally untrue as every thinking person realizes. But there are still morons in this country who will continue to believe what they want to believe, such as there is no global warming, and the earth and mankind was created six thousand years ago, and man never went to the moon from 1969-1972, and September 11 was a government plot! For some people, there is no hope of rational thought! 🙁

Republican Concession On Health Care Reform’s Future

It is very interesting that some Republican senators are admitting that the party is gambling its future by being in total opposition to the Health Care Reform working its way through Congress.

The admission has been made that it is highly unlikely that the legislation, once passed, could or would be repealed in the future, as it would require a President willing to sign the repeal, and a 60 vote margin in the Senate for the GOP with total loyalty to overcome a Democratic filibuster. The odds of a 60 member Republican Senate are near zero!

This conclusion has been stated by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and Wyoming Senator John Barrasso. It makes a lot of sense, and it means the Democrats will gain the credit for the passage of health care reform long term, even if short term they might suffer electorally, which is still very much up in the air.

Again, it will be the Democratic Party which will be seen historically as the party of reform–Social Security, Civil Rights, Medicare and Medicaid, Environmental laws, Consumer laws, Labor Reforms, and dealing actively with the effects of the Great Depression and now the Great Recession!

On Top Of Copenhagen Embarrassment, Now James Inhofe Is Absent From Senate!

When Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn prayed the other day that some senator in the majority would be absent so that there would not be 60 votes for passage of the Health Care Reform, he had no way of knowing that his own colleague, James Inhofe, just back from the embarrassment of his ridiculous presence at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, would decide to be go home for Christmas early, leading to a procedural vote of 60-39 in the Senate on the health care bill.

For a senator supposedly so committed to his whacko views, it is ironic that Inhofe would fail to sacrifice his time at home, as the other 99 senators are doing, having their final vote on passage scheduled for 7 am on Christmas eve, before they go home.

Senator Inhofe, obviously, does not care how his colleagues in the Senate feel, as he is an arrogant, strange character. It adds to the image that although I believe both senators from Oklahoma are the worst tandem of any state in the Senate, that Inhofe is indeed WORSE than Tom Coburn, and that is not easily accomplished! 🙂

We can only hope that Oklahoma will some day wake up from its stupor and defeat Inhofe, but unfortunately he was just reelected in 2008, so can afford to be as arrogant, ridiculous, stupid and irrelevant as he wishes to be for the time being! 🙁

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe Made Himself A Fool In Copenhagen!

The leading anti environmentalist in the Senate, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, made a total fool of himself at the recent Climate Change summit in Copenhagen.

Going there with Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker and Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, both freshmen members, Inhofe had trouble even gaining attention from news reporters, and ended up being called “ridiculous” and “stupid” by foreign reporters who wasted their time listening to what he had to say.

What it comes down to is that Inhofe contributed carbon dioxide and hot air to the meeting, and came across as a whacko who has no credibility at all on the issue of the environment and climate change. He wasted taxpayer money going to the summit without the ability to have a hearing, because no one who is serious thinks his total opposition on all environmental issues is legitimate.

The Rising Political Stars Of The Decade 2000-2009

MSNBC has come up with a list of political “risers” who were unknown at the beginning of the decade and have become its stars, all with the potential to become more significant in the coming decade.

At the top of the list, of course, is President Barack Obama, who was an unknown state senator from Illinois when the decade began, and who almost no one would ever have predicted would be President by the end of the decade!

Other Democrats on the list are Chuck Schumer, Senator from New York, who is number four, and seen as a potential Senate Majority Leader, and who has already helped to elect 14 Democratic senators as head of the Senate Campaign Committee.

Also, outgoing Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, number eight on the list, was a finalist for Vice President, and is now head of the Democratic National Committee. And number ten is Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, who has been noticed nationally for his leadership, despite the small population of his state, and some see as a Presidential candidate in 2016.

The other six on the list are Republicans, headed by number two, Sarah Palin, who can been as a positive and negative force at the same time. She could be a leading factor in the 2012 presidential sweepstakes, although it is hard at this point to imagine her winning the Presidency or even the nomination of her party.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is number three, despite his poor speech after the State of the Union speech this past spring. He also adds diversity to the GOP, with his ancestry from India, and his youth, being still under 40.

The newly elected Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, is seen as a bright light for the future, and sometimes called the next George W. Bush, but one wonders if that is a positive or negative assessment!

Two young bright stars of the future, at least on paper, are South Dakota Senator John Thune and Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, the House Minority Whip. Both are in their 40s and are seen as potential presidential material in the future, and Cantor as a possible future Speaker of the House, if the Republicans were to win back control of that chamber.

The oddest person on the list, and all based on promise and expectation, is Florida senatorial nominee Marco Rubio, former State House Speaker, who has tied Governor Charlie Crist in polls for the Senate race for November 2010. Were he to win that Senate seat, he would be another young bright conservative star in the GOP lexicon, along with Thune and Cantor, and he is only 38!

Interestingly, Rubio is listed as number five, Thune as number six, and Cantor as number seven on this MSNBC list. This may be partially due to Rubio coming from a larger populated state than Thune by far, and Cantor being a Congressman, not a Senator.

Honorable mentions on this MSNBC list are GOP Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who is seen as very conservative; former Utah GOP Governor Jon Huntsman, who is now Ambassador to China under President Obama; Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, interestingly the only woman on the list other than Saran Palin; and Virginia Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb.

Overall, this is a very interesting list, and of course others could be named to the list as the next year moves on toward the midterm elections of 2010. Particularly, I would note New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is seen as likely to challenge and defeat Governor David Paterson in a Democratic primary, and go on to win a landslide victory over former Congressman Rick Lazio, who has no challenge after former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the race. Of course, Lazio lost to Hillary Clinton for the 2000 Senate race, and is not given much of a chance to defeat Cuomo, although if Paterson was in the race, Lazio would have a fighting chance to win the governorship. The belief is that if Cuomo won the governorship, he would be a possible contender for the White House in 2016.

As always, the politics of the future will be as fascinating as the politics of the past! 🙂