6 Responses to Al Franken Takes a Nap During Elena Kagan Testimony

Robert Byrd, Requiescat In Pace

Monday, June 28, AD 2010

Kristina Peterson of the Dow Jones Newswires writes for the Wall Street Journal this synopsis of Robert Byrd’s life:

Robert Byrd, the 92-year-old West Virginia Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate for 51 years, died Monday.

A spokesman for the family, Jesse Jacobs, said Mr. Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va. His health had been failing for several years.

A master of Senate procedures and orator whose Stentorian tones aimed to evoke the roots of the republic (if not Rome), Mr. Byrd served longer, voted more frequently, and probably used the arcane Senate rules to more effect any previous denizen of the nation’s senior legislative house.

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4 Responses to Robert Byrd, Requiescat In Pace

  • Mortuis nil nisi bonum, for today at any rate.

  • I pray that he’s in the company of the angels and the saints rejoicing in the eternal peace of God — the end that I a poor sinner hope to share in as well.

    I’m glad this post is not what I saw on LifeNews (i.e. “Pro-Abortion Senator Robert Byrd Dies”); I couldn’t fathom how there is absolutely no condolences, no mention of prayer or best wishes to his family or loved ones. The entire piece focuses on how pro-abortion he was, how many seats the Democrats now have, and how the Governor of West Virginia doesn’t know yet (the man died this morning, sheesh) who is going to replace Byrd with.

    I’m obviously pro-life, but respect and prayer for the dead should be embraced.

  • Eric,

    I agree.

    Hence why I chose the WSJ article instead of some others.

  • Prayer for the dead, yes. Silence in the presence of those who loved him, yes. Respect for a man like Byrd, too much to demand…

Political Miscellania 5/12/10

Wednesday, May 12, AD 2010

A wrap-up of various items of political interest.

1.  The video that heads this post is one of the reasons why my vote for McCain in 2008 was a two handed vote, with one hand holding my nose.  McCain has long been an ardent supporter of amnesty and open borders.  Now that he is in a tough primary race with J.D. Hayworth, he is a born again believer in locking down the border against illegal aliens.  I certainly favor in making it tougher for illegals to get across the border, but I do not favor politicians who embrace positions simply to save their political skin.  I hope that the voters in Arizona will finally bring McCain’s political career to a screeching halt  by voting for his opponent in the primary.

2.  It looks like Hawaii will soon have a new Republican Congressman.  The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling out of Hawaii 1 and basically conceding that Republican Charles Djou will win the special election on May 22. The Democrats have two candidates running who are splitting the vote and thus allowing the Republicans to take a Congressional seat that has been in Democrat hands for two decades.

3.  The tea party movement claimed another scalp by causing the defeat of Republican Senator Bob Bennett at the Utah Gop Convention in his attempt to get the Republican nomination for a fourth term in the Senate. This should be a warning for all politicians:  this year is different, no re-nomination or re-election can be taken for granted.

4.  Faithful readers of this blog will know that I have quite a bit of respect for blogger Mickey Kaus who is taking on Senator Barbara Boxer in the Democrat primary in California.   Shockingly last week the LA Times refused to endorse Boxer:

On the Democratic side, we find that we’re no fans of incumbent Barbara Boxer. She displays less intellectual firepower or leadership than she could. We appreciate the challenge brought by Robert “Mickey” Kaus, even though he’s not a realistic contender, because he asks pertinent questions about Boxer’s “lockstep liberalism” on labor, immigration and other matters. But we can’t endorse him, because he gives no indication that he would step up to the job and away from his Democratic-gadfly persona.

To have the LA Times refuse to endorse Boxer is a strong indication of just how weak she is this election year.  She is probably strong enough to defeat Kaus (sorry Mickey!) in the primary, but there is blood in the water for the general election.

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5 Responses to Political Miscellania 5/12/10

  • Bob Bennett is a bit of an outlier. The Utah Republican party is becoming VERY VERY conservative, and there was an organized effort to push him out because of TARP and his Appropriations Committee role. It began two years ago when Jason Chaffetz beat Chris Cannon for his Congressional seat. While there may be a grassroots movement to “throw the bums out” Utah’s movement has been going on a bit longer.

  • Newsweek was put up for sale by the Washington Post last week. Last year the news magazine adopted a strategy of serving as an opinion journal of the Left. The decision has proven a disaster in the marketplace, although to be fair Newsweek has been losing money for quite a while.

    And a strange decision it was. The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker are about the only publications directed at that sort of audience which have been aught but philanthropic concerns during the lifetime of Newsweek‘s current editor, and the latter two are leavened with considerable reportage and fiction and offer little straightforward commentary. Comparing Newsweek to The New Republic also demonstrates that their is an art to producing an opinion magazine that not every collecting pool of journalists has; there would not be much point in a patron like Arthur Carter or Mortimer Zuckerman employing this crew.

  • The Hawaii election is very special to me.

    Having been raised the majority of my life in the Aloha State, we have never had a Republican elected to Honolulu’s 1st congressional district.

    Inouye’s “pre-selected” appointee, Hanabasu, is power hungry and feels entitled to that position held by the granola-eating Abercrombie.

    Case also feels a sense of entitlement, but then again, many Punahou School grads feel they are entitled to many things in life (Case is AOL founder Steve Case’s cousin; Punahou is the elite private school that silver spooned Obama attended as well).

    GOP Djou needs all the support he can get to rip that seat from the most powerful Democratic machine in the nation!

  • Re: #3… Here in WA, the state GOP (executive board) is looking at automatically endorsing whomever the GOP incumbent may be, even in the presence of a stronger, more conservative challenger… even if the PCO’s overwhelming support the challenger. It will be up to the voters both in the primary and the caucuses to decapitate weak incumbents.

  • McCain has proven he works for the people that voted him to office. The media would say this is flip flopping, I would say, any politician that thought one thing and turned around when hearing what his constituents believed, is exactly what govt is about. As for JD, well that is a long story that should not even be an issue. JD is as bad as they come…JD cannot find an endorsement, I am sure he will start paying people to say they like him! JD leaves us with many great memories, whether it be Abramoff, losing his seat to a democrat, ethical issues, issues about his lack of intelligence, being a huge blowhard, being a huge boozer, being a continuous egomaniac who does not have the experience needed to succeed in Washington (and he has already proven that to us!) I had decided JD was far too inexperienced, immature, egotistical and unethical to vote for him. McCain is the third most fiscally conservative member in Senate and that along with his integrity, we have a solid Senator.

Senator Nelson Sells Out Unborn, Health Care Bill Heads to Vote

Saturday, December 19, AD 2009

(Updates at the bottom of this article.)

Harry Reid was able to make huge concessions to the state of Nebraska and bought Senator Ben Nelson’s vote a la Mary Landrieu.  The vote seems headed to the floor with all 60 votes secured to impose on American’s draconian laws that would hike insurance rates and begin the downward slope towards European style socialism.

Nelson secured full federal funding for his state to expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Other states must pay a small portion of the additional cost. He won concessions for qualifying nonprofit insurers and for Medigap providers from a new insurance tax. He also was able to roll back cuts to health savings accounts.

What’s in the bill that I’m aware of?  I’ve broken down the Washington Post article almost verbatim below:

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29 Responses to Senator Nelson Sells Out Unborn, Health Care Bill Heads to Vote

  • Senator Nelson said this, this morning:

    “Let me be clear. This cloture vote is based on the full understanding that there will be a limited conference between the Senate and the House.

    If there are material changes in that conference report different from this bill that adversely affect the agreement, I reserve the right to vote against the next cloture vote.

    Let me repeat it: I reserve the right to vote against the next cloture vote if there are material changes to this agreement in the conference report. And I will vote against it if that is the case.”

    I am not thrilled with his decision. I am happy that his mailbox is full and so is Senator Casey’s. But this is not a done deal. The legislation has to be reconciled — the slightest appeasement of liberals in the House can kill this thing in the Senate. Better yet, the abortion language is not going to fly well in the House. The first go round there were 64 Democrats to vote for the Stupak amendment and at the end of the day with 39 Democrats voting “NO”. To see this thing fail, there needs to be merely 2 upset Democrats to vote the other way.

    This isn’t over.

    Moreover, I am not surprised. Recent stories in the press suggest that Senator Nelson was being threatened. Maybe they were true. Maybe they weren’t.

    Either way, hopefully this will not succeed.

  • Eric,

    I think you’re absolutely right on this. I think Stupak and the pro-life Dems in the House will hold the line on this.

  • Let’s see. The Democrats, if they can pass this stripped down bill through the Senate, still have to convince the House Dems to scrap their much more ambitious bill. Then there will be a huge fight over the Stupak amendment.

    If this bill passes it will then not be fully implemented until 2014, coincidentally, I am sure, two years after the Presidential election of 2012.

    I do have to hand it to the Dems if they pass this for doing what I considered impossible. They have crafted a bill which is opposed by a majority of the American people, liberal Democrats and virtually all Republicans. They have all the signals known to political man flashing red and saying that this is a one way ticket to a crushing defeat in 2010. Passage of this bill will depress liberal Democrats, the base of the Democrat party, unify and inflame Republicans, and cause Independents to desert the party of the donkey en masse. Never has a political party in my lifetime labored so strenuously to implement a policy that guarantees them an extended vacation in the political wilderness. Democrats have nothing on Lemmings at the moment when it comes to survival instict.

  • I am actually more surprised that Lieberman is voting “Yes.”

    Actually I am shocked they killed the public option.

    ALL THIS POLITICAL AMNESIA DRIVES ME CRAZY!

    We have Republicans defending Medicare (since when?!) and Democrats supporting insurance companies offering national plans that do not have to adhere to state laws (what the…?)

    Our Congressmen need to have their heads examined.

  • Wait…how do they expect to get a bill without a public option through the House?

  • lol Eric, good question. You already have some Dems who pledged to vote it down if abortion funding was scrapped… imagine what they will do with no public option!?

    This whole thing is going to fall apart.

  • I’m trying to understand the bill. So states will able to prohibit subsidized plans from covering abortion. In those states that will allow abortion coverage, individuals will be able to purchase abortion coverage on top of their regular coverage.

    If that’s right, I don’t see what’s so objectionable. Sure, it’s not as good as barring coverage altogether but this is not bad. Those who want abortion coverage will have to pay extra for it. In practice, few would buy the supplemental abortion insurance.

  • I am not sure if that’s how it works. I read something a moment ago suggesting people would have to send two checks — one for abortion coverage, the other for the whole policy. I think it is still account gymnastics.

    I am not sure.

  • So it depends on whether it’ll be the individual’s choice or the insurer’s choice. If the individual gets to choose whether to send that abortion check, this bill isn’t so bad. If everyone has to pay the same premium and the insurers segregate it, that’s unacceptable.

    Need more clarity.

  • Any reaction from the USCCB on this one???

  • Your blog managed to list on google search for reaction to the health care debate.

    As an Irish Catholic who use to be republican, its always distressing to encounter members of holy church who have been utterly beguiled by the evangelical right, I pray for such folks.

    While the issue of abortion is a serious moral lapse in our society, the lies and deception of the GOP and evangelicals pose a more serious danger to both the republic and freedom of faith.

    Pettifogging health care as an element of the debate over abortion is rank hypocrisy and not worthy of big or little C catholicism.

    One can only hope other Catholics who have followed the disciples of the lie into the modern GOP tent will like Paul have their eyes opened to the reality they adhere to a political theology crafted by the Father of lies and promoted by his agents in the GOP.

  • Republicans as agents of Satan? Mr. Keller, it is never a good idea to blog drunk.

  • Mr. Keller would appear to be Gerald L. Campbell’s doppelganger.

  • When I stop Chuckling, Mr. McClarey I assure both lucidity and habitual tea tootling, Nor did I offer implication all republicans serve as agents of the diabolical any more than all members of the German Army were responsible for the Holocaust,

    Art Deco’s reference to Campbell is pithy oh so pithy still I wish you both a merry Christmas

  • Well Mr. Keller, now we have Republicans compared to members of the Wehrmacht and the Holocaust. As I have said to some of my clients when they have committed some felony or misdemeanor sober, “I would prefer that you would at least have had the small excuse that you did this drunk”. And the merriest of Christmases to you.

  • Last one Donald, may I call you Donald? I’m in Phoenix and have to get ready as I prefer Saturday mass, Clients, felony? are you an attorney Don?

    Funny if you are as I find it difficult to distinguish between modern republican leaders and lawyers, both have the tendency when they lack points of authority or a cogent argument to pound the table and besmirch the character of the opposing advocate.

    Please trust me when I say unlike politicians, I will accuse directly when the occasion calls for it.

    Oh I hear the GOP has invited the John Birch society back into the fold, yea that will help.

    Really I try to treat all people as individuals worthy of respect but every time I hear Glen Beck or Sister Sarah Palin speak I think of Forest Gump, White trash is as White trash does, yea that’s going to cost a few hail Mary’s but it had to be said but at least the Merry Christmas was sincere

  • “both have the tendency when they lack points of authority or a cogent argument to pound the table and besmirch the character of the opposing advocate.”

    I am an attorney. The legal saw you are recalling is that when the facts are against you, you argue the law, when the law is against you, you argue the facts, and when both are against you, you pound the table and abuse your opponent. Mr. Keller, as you called Republicans agents of Satan and compared them to members of the Wehrmacht during the Holocaust I would suggest that it is you who have been pounding the table. Of course we also have your charming White Trash reference.

    As for the John Birch society, I can imagine few organizations with less significance for the Republican party. Back in the Fifties William F. Buckley wrote them out of the conservative movement after they accused Ike of being a Communist. Their influence on the conservative movement and the Republican party has been nil since then.

  • Yeah, it’s Campbell.

  • Oh, and Campbell’s referring to CPAC (not the GOP, but who needs facts when you have a hatchet?) having the Birchers as one of their many sponsors. They also have a gay lobbying group as a sponsor this year, so I wonder how he’d process that.

  • Well Mr. Keller or Gerald Campbell or whoever you are, I’ve deleted your last comment since it was an attempt to hijack this thread as part of your effort to convince people that Republicans are evil incarnate. Due to the content of your posts I am also banning you from this blog. Mere invective simply leads to futile combox feuds and we try to avoid that on this blog.

  • “Passage of this bill will depress liberal Democrats, the base of the Democrat party, unify and inflame Republicans, and cause Independents to desert the party of the donkey en masse.”

    I hope so, Don, but I wouldn’t count on it; never underestimate the ability of the GOP (particularly in Illinois, but this is true elsewhere also) to snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory.

  • In Illinois Elaine I grant you, although even here I think the Republicans will gain two house seats and make take the Senate seat. As for the rest of the country, I think the Democrats are in worse shape than they were in going into the 1994 elections when the Republicans took Congress

  • This will go-down in history as but a Pyhrric victory where political costs outweigh the benefits to the Democrats… if people weren’t pissed at the power-drunk Dems before, they likely are now…

    These tools like Nelson will soon regret the day they did this for Obama, he’ll pull all these fools right-over the abyss with him… and the coming GOP majority will rescind it anyway…

  • At this stage there will be a bill with features somewhere between the House and Senate bills. Illinois will see the Dems pick up Kirk’s seat, the GOP pick up one, and even odds for the pro-choice Republican senate candidate beating the Dem.

  • I see the GOP in Illinois picking up Halvorson’s seat, Bean’s seat and Foster’s seat. They will probably lose Kirk’s seat. I think they have a decent chance of picking up Hare’s seat also. Kirk is a pro-abort which is why I oppose him in the primary and will not vote for him in the general election.

  • Eric Brown writes Saturday, December 19, 2009:
    “Our Congressmen need to have their heads examined”.

    I am at a loss to understand that a college education has failed to make an impression. A simple review of the behavior of Congress throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries would demonstrate that these behaviors are par for the course.

    Senator Nelson was bribed. So also was Senator Landrieu. What’s new about the behavior of “our only professional criminal class”?

    I suggest that we make a point of asking our senators if they voted for this “compromise” [lege sell-out. Think Munich] what they got for it for their states.

  • It is curious to consider that this bill scheduled to be signed on the day of the Holy Innocents:
    “Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

  • Very well said Gabriel for something so tragic and sad.

Senator Nelson Shoots Down Latest Compromise on Health Care Bill

Thursday, December 17, AD 2009

Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska said ‘no-go’ on the most recent health care bill that Harry Reid and the Democrats have compiled.  This most likely will derail President Obama’s efforts to have a Senate health care bill done by Christmas.

“As it is, without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient,”

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5 Responses to Senator Nelson Shoots Down Latest Compromise on Health Care Bill

  • Pingback: “Not to be outdone by Lieberman, Nelson demands more anti-choice language in Senate Bill” and related posts « Twitter
  • The rumor regarding Offutt Air Force Base being threatened with closure is almost certainly wrong. It was first reported by political gossip columnists who are not always reliable.

    The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission process required by federal law takes years to complete and requires Congressional approval of any proposed list of base closings in full on a straight up or down vote.

    No military base can be closed on the orders of the POTUS alone. Even if Obama tried to start a new BRAC Commission today and get Offutt AFB placed on the closure list he would probably be long out of office before any decision was made. If Sen. Nelson says this rumor is not true I would take his word for it.

  • Actually, I need to correct my previous post.

    The BRAC process is normally initiated by either the Department of Defense or (in the most recent BRAC round in 2005) by Congress itself. The actual process of appointing the commission, visiting bases proposed for closure, making recommendations, etc. usually takes 1 to 2 years. If the POTUS approves a final list of BRAC recommendations, then Congress must either accept or reject the list in its entirety. Then the actual process of carrying out any closures on the list can take up to 5 years longer.

    My point remains, though, that the POTUS cannot unilaterally decide to close ANY military facility. If a new BRAC process were started tomorrow, it would take until at least the end of 2011 or early 2012 to get a list of proposed closures. Even the small to medium size facility closures on past BRAC lists have been controversial; an attempt to close a facility as huge and strategically significant as Offutt AFB (home of the Strategic Air Command) would be a political disaster of Biblical proportions.

  • All that being said… the bottom line is that Sen. Nelson is under tremendous pressure from the White House and from fellow Dems to change his vote, and he does urgently need our prayers and support.

  • Elaine,

    Thanks for clarifying the situation concerning the base closure. I posted the updated link that showed Senator Nelson debunking this, but as you said, he is under a tremendous amount of pressure and the left-wing zealots will do every evil thing imaginable to get their baby killing legislation in the ‘health care’ bill.

Fiscal Health Care Reform: The Publics Option

Friday, December 11, AD 2009

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama continue to spend, spend, spend away money we don’t have.  With the public option now firmly established in the current Senate version of the health care bill, Election 2010 comes to mind.

Kick the bums out.

I love democracy.

(Biretta Tip: Glenn Foden of NewsBusters)

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13 Responses to Fiscal Health Care Reform: The Publics Option

  • Give me an alternative to Republicans, and I’ll happily comply. Let’s not forget that the borrow-and-spend mantra was begun by Mr Reagan, and continued by both Bushes, especially the last one.

    Lucky thing for the GOP that in our political system, you might be in last place, but you’re never more than one election from ascendancy.

  • Borrow and spend began with Reagan Todd only if Reagan’s name is spelled Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s Depression deficits, not including World War II, peaked at 5.4% of gdp. Obama’s deficit this year was 7.2% gdp. During Reagan and the first Bush the deficits averaged 4.3% gdp. Both parties have done a lousy job since the onset of the Great Depression of balancing tax receipts and spending, with the exception of Eisenhower and for a few of the Clinton years due to the dot.com bubble, and we are all going to be paying a high price for this for a very, very long time.

  • Running a deficit during a war of national mobilization, a banking crisis, or an economic depression is not unreasonable. During nearly all of Mr. Roosevelt’s tenure, the country was either producing below capacity (and had latent unemployment of such a level that public expenditure might actually be ‘stimulating’) or engaged in a war global in scope. Please note, the Roosevelt Administration did make a serious attempt to balance the federal budget in 1937.

    What has been troublesome has been the inability (since 1960) of the political class to balance the federal budget over the course of any one of the seven business cycles which have run their course since that time. We have had a few balanced budgets near business cycle peaks.

    It is not that difficult to manage. You have to fix your expenditure stream at where your revenue stream would be if the economy were producing at mean capacity. They do not do it because they just don’t feel like it.

  • Let’s not forget that the borrow-and-spend mantra was begun by Mr Reagan, and continued by both Bushes, especially the last one.

    Todd, you are of an age to recall that during a period of economic expansion lasting ten years and featuring improvements in real domestic product a mean of 4% per annum, the administration and Congress balanced the budget just once. Name the political party which had majorities in the upper and lower chamber of Congress during that entire period, and held the presidency for eight of those ten years.

  • When was the last time anyone heard of Congress raising our debt limit to aproximately 2 Trillion dollars. With our debt cost apprroaching 50% of our national income, and the new health bill
    and more stimulus spending to come..some thoughs..the
    government takes money from someone, it has none of its own, and giving money to others has to come from those who work for a living. When those who work for a living realize that if they didn’t and then the government would care for them, then what is their incentive to work and that is the begining of any nation to fail..the fact is that you can not mutiple wealth by spending it and dividing it.

  • I should have added that Medicare’s chief actuary states that Medicare under the proposed bill would spend 35.8 Trillion from 2010 to 2019. Wonder where the money is going to come from?

  • “Name the political party …”

    I would love to see national politics turned on its head, and some degree of sanity restored to foreign and economic policies.

    That either major party will effect that change is a vain hope. Given an alternative to an incompetent, lawless GOP, I’d prefer to hold my nose and take my chances with the current status quo. If nothing else, seeing the Republicans whine in defeat is more entertaining than the alternative.

    Seriously, I do think 2010 and 2012 will be an outlet for much anger if the job market doesn’t perk up. The feds borrowing money isn’t news; it’s been SOP for the last three decades. But unemployment is a crusher right now. The federal deficit? That’s just a useful tool for partisans. As of right now, it still means nothing, and either party is as much to blame as the other.

    Now let’s get back to Obama’s one-child policy.

  • I do not think it will be all that amusing if the U.S. Treasury suffers a failed bond sale. When the ratio of public debt to domestic product comes to exceed 0.9, the willingness of participants in the bond market to buy your scraps of paper diminishes considerably. And that won’t mean ‘nothing’.

    Quite a number of us have had occasion to assess what causes you to hold your nose.

    http://amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook/2005/11/settlement_in_s.html

  • Excellent research, Art. With the change in topic to Catholics behaving badly, I’ll accept your concession on my point that major party politics are bad news for economic good sense. I’m really curious about one point. Stocks are up forty-some percent and the Christmas bonuses for bankers are rolling through the economy. Just what is it that the GOP would have done differently? Mr Bush and the Fed starting the bailout to the tune of a third of a trillion last Fall. Would Mr McCain have ended all that?

    Now can we please get back to the secret Muslim/socialist takeover?

  • Stocks are up forty-some percent and the Christmas bonuses for bankers are rolling through the economy. Just what is it that the GOP would have done differently?

    I am not making any concessions, Todd.

    Counter-factual speculation is usually idle.

    Barney Frank was one of the obstacles to implementing debt-for-equity swaps to recapitalize the bulge bracket banks and in general casino bankers like Robert Rubin have more intimate relations with the elites of the Democratic Party; however, it is true that debt-for-equity swaps for these institutions and for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were also rejected for obscure reasons by Mr. Paulson and his camarilla.

    I have a suspicion a Republican Congress and Administration would have told the United Auto Workers to pound sand. They’d have had to accept a pre-packaged legislated re-organization or the corporations would have had to trudge through the standard proceedings of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, not to mention the ministrations of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. It would have been a good deal less sweet for General Motors’ legatees.

    As for the stimulus, by what accounts have appeared in the newspapers, it appears to have been an omnibus of programs Democratic members of Congress have had on their wish lists for some years. A Republican Congress and Administration would likely have preferred a legislated tax cut.

    There is quite a bit of dispute between economists as to the actual value of the multipliers associated with public expenditure in these circumstances, which is to say a dispute about the degree to which public spending crowds out private spending (one macroeconomist who has written on the subject has said recently that crowding out vitiates the effect of public spending so long as unemployment rates are below 12%). A suspension of payroll tax collections could have been implemented rapidly and would have dispensed a disproportionate share of its largesse to the segment of the population with the highest propensity to consumption, thus having the most impact toward the goal of maintaining aggregate demand. There was the anxiety that the demand for real balances was so intense last year that such would simply be added to people’s stock of cash reserves. The results of monetary policy innovation since then indicate that that concern was misplaced. I do not think the Republican caucus would have favored a payroll tax cut over an income tax cut.

    I think the Republicans, given a free hand, might have put the kibosh on scheduled increases in the minimum wage. The labor market would be in less parlous condition for a’ that.

    The Republicans likely would not have pissed away valuable time on a tar baby like Mr. Obama’s medical insurance proposal.

    I have no clue about what sort of mortgage modification plan might have been drawn up by a Republican Administration.

    So, we did not get debt-for-equity swaps, we got fleeced by the United Auto Workers, the Democratic Party got to do $787 bn in favors for their friends, we priced a good many low wage workers out of the market, we were saddled with a means-tested mortgage modification program that encouraged people to restrict their earnings, and we have had no action as yet on a revised architecture for the banking system or a general plan for working out underwater mortgages because Congress has wasted so much time debating a non-acute problem. It is possible that a Republican Congress and Administration could have done a worse job. It is also possible that I am Marie of Roumania.

  • “It is possible that a Republican Congress and Administration could have done a worse job. It is also possible that I am Marie of Roumania.”

    Ouch! Give it up Todd! You are batting way out of your league with Art. (When it comes to economics, so would I if I tangled with Art!)

  • No, president is can solve these problems. There is more going on behind the scene that we can’t see. Why don’t movie stars like Oprah and Jolie and many other people in the US try to help but stand and watch our country go down and stand before the camera with six kids from all around the world. Im sorry Oprah im black and I may just have to mail her. Why do people from out of the country get free education but not homeless vets? Or just homeless people?. And Obama is making it worse sending troops because he just gonna piss off those people and that’s the last thing we need here in America along with a race war. America is fake, why would anyone believe any presedent. Denmark, France are happy countries with healthcare but they pay a lot in taxes, not many people want to do that in America. America is not use to change. Change is easier for an eastern countries philosophy speaking.

  • “I am not making any concessions, Todd.”

    Then on the next thread we find ourselves conversing, I suggest you stick to your expertise, as Donald terms it, and set aside the desperate historical research.

Cardinal Rigali: Catholic Politicians Cannot Support Senate Health Care Bill with Abortion

Thursday, November 26, AD 2009

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.4019473&w=425&h=350&fv=]

Justin Cardinal Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia emphatically stated that no Catholic can vote for a health care bill that carries abortion.  He did say that the American bishops have been working diligently in getting health care for all individuals here in America and that the Catholic bishops do support a health care bill that does not provide or pay for abortions in anyway possible.

Cardinal Rigali’s comments came at the press conference announcing an unprecedented coalition of Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant leaders uniting behind a call to Christian conscious, the Manhattan Declaration.

Senator Bob Casey, Jr., I hope you’re listening, your soul is on the line.

_._

To read about the Manhattan Declaration click here.

(Biretta Tip: CNSNEWS.COM)

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2 Responses to Cardinal Rigali: Catholic Politicians Cannot Support Senate Health Care Bill with Abortion

  • Unfortunately the lack of moral values and ethics of most of our elected officials today don’t allow them to be able to determine right from wrong. Even many Republicans have lost sight of reality. It is up to the new conservative movement to filter out the bad seeds in the upcoming election to get our country back on track to what our forefathers intended it to be. We have to learn from the community organizing powers of Acorn and connect with our people to get things right. God bless America!

  • Good video. I think I see our Fr. Chad Hatfield behind the Cardinal.

$100 Million: Enough to Buy Landrieu Vote

Sunday, November 22, AD 2009

Democrat Party Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana cast her vote for Harry Reid’s health care bill and became the biggest purchased vote in American legislative history.  She sold her vote for a cool $100 million in order to begin debate on the anti-life health care bill.

As of 24 hours ago Senator Landrieu was still wavering on whether to vote for the health care bill.  But in a dark smoke filled room away from the lights and cameras of the media a deal had been struck which bought the senators vote.  Surprising considering President Obama promised an open and lively debate throughout the entire process and he has failed miserably in delivering on this promise.

Lies, corruption, and blatant disregard for the American people, in this instance, the people of Louisiana was in full display as Senator Landrieu cast bought vote for the health care bill.  She was so brazen about selling out her soul for money the U.S. government does not have that she proudly declared, “And it’s not a $100 million fix. It’s a $300 million fix.”  Bragging that she was bought for $300 million.  Some have called it the great new Louisiana Purchase.

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26 Responses to $100 Million: Enough to Buy Landrieu Vote

  • Tito, she didn’t vote for the health care bill itself, she voted on a “cloture” motion to begin DEBATING it, which is not necessarily the same thing. While it might be logical to assume that anyone who voted for the cloture motion is in favor of the bill itself, that could change at any time, especially if they start getting flak from their constituents.

    You criticize Obama for not delivering the “open and lively debate” he promised; well, isn’t this exactly what we’re going to get with this cloture motion having passed?

  • “she sold her vote against the wishes of the Louisiana people for an outrageous $300 million.”

    Am I missing something? I thought she got $300 million for Louisiana out of it.

  • and she got $300 million for her vote, not $100,000!
    Where in the ten commandments does it say that one can sell integrity if the price is high enough? Or is an honest politician a contradiction of terms? It’s said that the average payment in the house for a vote for health care destruction was $150 million. My how 30 pieces of silver has escalated.
    Yes this was a ‘start debate’ vote but historically,
    97% of bills getting through this hurdle, get passed!
    I’m amazed at how quickly the Democrats have been able to destroy the country we love.

  • To Elaine Krewer,

    I don’t want an open and lively debate on the health care bill. I want it defeated along with Barack Hussein Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Joe Biden and every other liberal politician who legitimatizes (1) experiments on unborn babies for “medical research”, (2) extraction of the brains of unborn babies as a “right to choose”, (3) murder of the aged and infirm as some sort of “death with dignity”, (4) sanctification of sodomy as a “human right”, and (5) all the other madness they extoll as “human rights”.

    One does NOT debate with the satanic legions of hell. One prays for their utter, total and complete defeat.

  • Paul, I’d rather it had never even been debated either, and were I one of Landrieu’s constituents I’d be disappointed in her decision as well.

    However, the fact remains, this was NOT a vote on the bill itself and it’s premature to portray it as such. Even if historically 97 percent of bills advanced to this stage pass, there’s still that other 3 percent.

    Needless to say, this bill is probably in the top 3 percent (or less) of most controversial bills ever and as such has a higher chance of still being defeated. Also, opening debate allows amendments to be offered, including pro-life amendments. Plus the Senate and House versions of the bill would still have to be reconciled in conference committee and voted on again. So this is NOT a done deal yet.

  • At the risk of sounding like an apologist…

    How is this payment for a vote different than the regular pork projects that constituents readily, and greedily, accept from their representatives? As a Pennsylvanian, I consider Rep. Murtha to be an embarrassment. He specifically called us racists and ignorant hicks and yet, he retained his seat. Why, because he continues to “bring home the bacon.”

    Frankly, We the People are getting EXACTLY what we deserve in our legislators because we are the ultimate recipients of what is, in essence, bribery. I think we, and the people of LA, have given up the right to claim righteous indignation at the high price paid for this vote. Or, to steal a Casablanca quote: “I am shocked! Shocked! To discover gambling is going on!”… Or something like that.

  • he retained his seat. Why, because he continues to “bring home the bacon.”

    I think that would be of interest to local politicos and for people in favored constituency groups, not to the general public. I think you will find that general public demobilization, not authentic public admiration, accounts for the degree to which incumbents are impregnable. Advertising costs for electoral contests are prohibitive. Also, Congressional districts in densely populated areas are either fairly uniform on certain variables or are seriously gerrymandered. The practical route to removal of the representative is a party primary, something which (I submit) seldom happens unless you alienate identifiable party factions or irritate some individual who can self-finance a run for Congress. An additional problem you have (where I live) is the culture of the press corps. They are often in the pocket of the legislator, and treat him boosterishly as an ‘area man’. Chaps like John Murtha get re-elected (by and large) because the self-selected class of people involved in electoral politics do not generate alternatives.

  • Biographical information on Landrieu indicates that she is 54 years hold, has drawn salaries from political office since she was 24, and has (apparently) had no other occupation since she was 32. She is a cut above Barney Frank, a 69 year old man who has held office since he was 28 and whose antecedent employment history consisted of the sort of part-time and seasonal positions you hold while a student. Still, she is a recognizable type. Jerry Springer explained his departure from electoral politics in Cincinnatti as follows, “if you’re doing this to put bread on the table, you’ll say anything.”

  • First let me make the point that Landrieu is not up for relection 2010. She just got put back into office last years. So while she is feeling heat the fact that 5 years is lifetime in politics is mitigating some of the influence of the people of the State. WHich to be honest is how the Founders intended it I guess

    I was not pleased with this vote but as much as I have opposed Landrieu I don’t find her corrupt. The fact that she received something for the State in exchange for her vote does not strike me as corrupt. Though if I was her I would have held out for more!!

    How she got in again (this is her third term) is a whole different story. She had a tough race 7 years ago. Her Repubican opponent this time ( a former well liked Democrat) ran a horrible race that many were not expecting. Still the race was closer than expected.

    How Mary Landrieu will vote on this at the end is well up in the air. She is pretty cozy with Insurance companies that has made the left very mad at her.

    One factor that might influence her is how her actions affect her brother Mitch Landrieu. Current Lt Governor of Louisiana. Mitch has gained some popularity after being defeated for Mayor of New Orelans (Lt Governor is a nice job not much controversy) He has his eyes on the Governor mansion after Jindal leaves. So that factor might be in play too

  • Though if I was her I would have held out for more!!

    BAH! Can we please give the state and local governments a standard subsidy based on per capita income and population, let them build their own frigging public works, and put federal facilities where they serve to best perform institutional missions? The last reason in the world you want a military base at locus x is to make advertising fodder for Congressman Suckupthecash.

  • Elaine,

    She did sell out her vote.

    She could have easily defeated the bill without it having to be debated on the floor.

    As far as President Obama’s promise of open view of the process, he has failed miserably. None of the behind the door negotiations were on C-SPAN as he claimed would happen.

  • “Can we please give the state and local governments a standard subsidy based on per capita income and population”

    That was my first thought but then I thought, “why give any money to the states and local governments?” Give it to individuals based on individual income and family size. Any state or local projects can be financed by state or local taxes.

  • Give it to individuals based on individual income and family size. Any state or local projects can be financed by state or local taxes.

    State-to-state variation in per capita income in considerable, with Mississippi’s about half that of Connecticut. A program of income redistribution necessary to counteract that would require the assessment and disbursement of ~22% of personal income each year. (Social Security implicates the assessment and disbursement of 5%, btw). The marginal tax rates necessary for such a project of equalization would make for a decidedly anemic economy, I would think. The ratio of state-and-local expenditure to domestic product is 0.17, so the necessary assessment and disbursement would be smaller. When I last checked, intergovernmental transfers amounted to about 3% of domestic product. You would not have to increase these much, just repartition them and remove the conditionality.

  • Art Deco, I read your reply four times and I’m still not sure I’m understanding you correctly. I’m not advocating complete income equalization between the states (which I imagine your idea of state subsidizing wouldn’t do either), just some redistribution.

  • Voting for the cloture motion IS voting for the bill. If Democrats vote it down after the fillibuster-proof, 30 hours MAXIMUM “debate” that will follow, a lot of people will die of shock — me included. There is not going to be a debate. There will be the usual bunch of speeches and then they will pass it because they can.

  • I know it is standard but where do the Constitution, the Ten Commandments or Church Teaching set up politicians to go to Washington to steal as much from everyone who does not live in your state?

    It seems wrong to me, don’t you think?

    I also think that giving scandal to Catholics isn’t helpful. If I was Christian and not Catholic I would see the behaviour of Landrieu, Pelosi, Biden and the rest of the devil’s rejects as a great reason to levy the label, “whore of Babylon” against the Church. Is that ignorant? Of course it is. But is it any more ignorant than being a pro-gay, pro-murder, pro-socialist Catholic?

  • How is it stealing to secure more funding for Medicaid, a program the helps poor people to buy health care?

    That’s as absurd as the notion that voting to allow debate renders one amoral. Where do you people get the idea that hyperbole is effective? It makes you look like nuts (this being the charitable explanation that you aren’t actually nuts). Thank goodness for some people with common sense like Elaine and jh.

  • Zak: “How is it stealing to secure more funding for Medicaid, a program the helps poor people to buy health care?”

    When one is coerced by threat of force to part with private property that is theft, no matter the reason. We can argue about the degree, context, etc. But is still theft.

    Now if Medicaid was actually a program to help the poor have access to health care it may not be so bad. But it isn’t. Medicaid is self-perpetuating bureacracy designed to increase its constituency by making and keeping people dependent on it for access to basic, necessary services (including Family Planning). It is the modern day plantation and seeks to increase power by making more slaves. Do not confuse stated intentions with practical results.

    Setting that aside, Let us assume that Medicaid is good for the poor of Louisianna. How is it just to acquire $100mil, which we don’t have, to purchase the cooperation of a Senator in order to legislate the murder of the pre-born? The poor we will always have with us, the preborn we won’t especially if we are forcibly caused to pay for their deaths. Maybe that is how we solve the problem of the poor – kill them before they are born! Does that make sense?

  • http://forthegreaterglory.blogspot.com/2009/11/louisiana-purchase.html

    And yes, she comes up for election in 2014 next. Sen. Vitter from LA is up in 2010 and he will probably be re-elected, unfortunately.

  • American Knight, have you ever, once, found a doctor of the church or a pope who has condemned taxation as theft? And what is your interpretation of Christ’s teaching about “rendering unto Caesar” which was given in the context of a discussion of taxation.

    It is not yet determined whether the healthcare legislation will include any funding for abortion, so voting to allow debate isn’t legislating the murder of the unborn.

    Regarding whether Medicare makes people slaves, I do think it’s an imprudent, if not absurd, means of argument. Here – “we’ll pay your son’s doctor’s bill when he has the flu so you don’t have to choose between that and food” doesn’t sound quite the same as “pick cotton in the field and if you don’t pick enough I will whip you.” There are certainly major flaws in the welfare state, but a slave plantation it is not.

  • Zak,

    Taxation is a pretty general term. What kind of tax are we talking about? Income taxes are not beneficial in any way shape or form and they constitute a confiscation of wealth from the aggregate economy. People’s wages are income to the worker; however, they are an expense to the producer who pays those incomes. By taxing what is effectively, at a macro-level, an expense the government is stealing from the commonwealth of America. Taking that which does not belong to you is stealing, especially when it is illegal and without consent. Hence any type of income tax on the earnings of a natural person is not a revenue tax but rather an additional expense, hence a burden, on the aggregate wealth. Payroll taxes are especially pejorative because they raise the tax burden on the poor far more than anyone else and along with mandatory minimum wage laws create most of the unemployment for the least skilled, usually the poor and undereducated.

    Federal money units fund Medicaid. These units are fabricated dollar units in the form of notes (debt) owed to the private, illegal Federal Reserve by the US Treasury on behalf of the people of the USA without our consent. The servicing of that debt is income taxes on natural persons (currently over 66% of income tax revenue and headed to 100% very soon). Therefore, it is a confiscation of the aggregate wealth of America in order to service a usurious debt burden based on nothing other than paper (or digital ledger entries).

    While Medicaid allegedly provides for the poor, it is burdened with fraud and self-serving bureaucratic costs. It distorts the natural price system creating over production and service in some areas while creating shortages in others. The former attracts fraud and the latter raises costs and reduces service to the poor. Additionally, each dollar unit fabricated out of thin air dilutes the dollar value and raises the costs, which is a more severe burden on the poor.

    By creating this unethical program and couching it in terms that are appealing to social justice the perpetrators of this fraud are robbing all Americans and doing the most damage to the least advantaged while making them think they are providing a benefit for them. This is unethical and immoral on so many grounds.

    Adding to this crime, we now have an additional $300 million burden to secure the vote to proceed on a bill that includes the murder of the most innocent and vulnerable Americans. How much will it cost to bribe her to vote for the bill proper? It is also horrible that this bribe bought the vote of a Catholic Senator. Did she vote for the bill? No. No one has. Did she vote to discuss, which is an implicit vote for the bill? Yes. Does the bill include murder? Yes. Does the removal of the abortion-funding make this bill better? Yes, in that it will not be directly killing babies; but that does not make it good. It only makes the bill less bad and since abortion is one of the highest sins of our culture and our government, it is first on the list. Do not think the fact that the removal of abortion-funding has prominence means that this bill is not offensive to Catholic teaching in many other areas. It is a horrible bill that creates an apparatus for a secular (often hostile to Christians) government to have control over a large part of our economy and considerable if not total control over our lives.

    To think that a government run by sinners and not only sinners but secular progressive sinners hostile to Christ, His Church and His people will use the power it has for our benefit is naïve at best and more than likely delusional.

    Government has a specific and necessary function and it needs to be funded by taxes to perform those functions. Providing health care and taxing the incomes of natural persons does not fall under the legitimate authority of government and most certainly it does not fall under the authority of our government as established by the Constitution of 1789, properly amended.

    Christ did tell us to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but He also warned us not to render to Caesar what is God’s. Our health and our lives belong to God and not to Caesar.

  • BTW – Zak, you have an incorrect view of what a slave plantation was like. Sure some slaves were physically abused and wipped and raped, etc. Horrible.

    But that is a small percentage of slave owners who treated their slaves that way. Most slave owners considered their slaves as their property and a key factor in the plantation’s prodcutive capacity. So physical abuse would be the same as a farmer starving his ox or modern day farmer taking a sledge hammer to his tractor.

    Slaves where actually physically rather well off becuase they were beasts of burden. Ratehr than most slaves suffering physical abuse what they were suffering was abuse of their human dignity.

    People on Medicaid, food stamps and other government welfare programs are suffering the same abuse to their human dignity.

    In fact one could say that African slaves suffered less attack on their dignity than the victims of the modern welfare state becuase at least the African slaves knew they were slaves. Also, since the slavery was more personal, human emotion often got the better of the master’s household. Some slaves were taught to read and write, some were offered a portion of the land to grow their own crops and even sell them. No social worker affords modern-day welfare-slaves that dignity. Some slaveowners even insisted that their slaves be taught the Christian faith – imagine a government worker reading Scripture to a Medicaid recipeint. Gimme a break.

    Before anyone jumps on me for being a racist: I am Southern and I am also an immigrant to the Southland (by the Grace of God) from the lands that Christ walked so I am not exactly white and to my knowledge my family hasn’t owned any African slaves in the last couple of centuries if ever.

    I am also not stating that ante-bellum African slavery was dignified. I am not. It was horrible. I am merely saying it is less bad than the modern day welfare-state slavery of blacks and North and South American Indians and poor whites.

    My plantation analogy still stands. The difference is the plantation is nationwide and the master is the secular progressive government and the slaves are all sorts of different colors.

  • one could say that African slaves suffered less attack on their dignity than the victims of the modern welfare state

    I haven’t been taking American Knight seriously for a while now but this just blew my mind.

    Before anyone jumps on me for being a racist: I am Southern and I am also an immigrant to the Southland (by the Grace of God) from the lands that Christ walked so I am not exactly white and to my knowledge my family hasn’t owned any African slaves in the last couple of centuries if ever.

    Yes, because what determines whether you’re racist is your location, complexion, and whether your ancestors owned slaves.

  • All,

    Be very careful in what you say in the commboxes.

    You’ve been duly warned.

    I don’t take PC-speak from anyone, especially on my post.

  • rr,

    “I haven’t been taking American Knight seriously for a while now but this just blew my mind.”

    Coming from you that is probably a compliment; however, I have taken your posts seriously – otherwise why should I bother responding? If we are searching for truth and debating how our Catholic faith informs our political and cultural involvement we should all take each other seriously. That comment is more a reflection on you than it is on me.

    I share my views here becuase I want to know if I can defend them or if they have flaws. You and I may not agree on practical methods, but I would hope that we agree that we are called to inform our minds and actions with orthodox Catholic teaching. Unless a moderator, whose guest I am on here, tells my that I am out of line then I would appreciate it if you would respond sensibly to my posts, especially those you disagree with, or kindly ignore them.

    “because what determines whether you’re racist is your location, complexion, and whether your ancestors owned slaves.”

    No it doesn’t. But I post on here anonymously so I very few actually know me. I though some generic information may help move the focus on to the veracity of the argument instead of an attack on ‘a typcal southern racist descendant of slave owners’ approach. I feared that small-minded people may decide the post was racism directed at blacks because labeling anything that offends egalitarian political thought racist is a common and easy distraction. I actaully expcted better from you. You won’t dissappoint me again.

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Bishops Call Reid Health Care Bill Worst of the Bunch

Friday, November 20, AD 2009

Extremist Democrats and liberals are hailing Harry Reid’s Health Care bill as a victory for pro-abortion activists.  Though the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called it “completely unacceptable“.

…Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops’ conference Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said Reid’s “is actually the worst bill we’ve seen so far on the life issues.”

He called it “completely unacceptable,” adding that “to say this reflects current law is ridiculous.”

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7 Responses to Bishops Call Reid Health Care Bill Worst of the Bunch

  • I have always been pro-life and frankly, this bill is really scary.

  • Well this is what you get when you support a party that has abortion, gay Marrage and stem cell research as part of their party plank…Is it not Polosi is Catholic?,,Kennedy’s all Catholic…Yep.. This is the same group that voted to limit tax deductibility of donations to the church…Their only church is the church of government

  • It’s not over yet! If the bill goes back to the House without pro-life provisions, I am going to have a little faith in the pro-life Dems to hold the line and kill the bill. They said they would.

    It only passed last time by 5 votes in the house. Surely there at least 6 Stupak Democrats who will switch their votes if federal funding for abortion is back in.

    And for those who hate the whole bill, 40 progressive Dems say they will vote against it if abortion funding ISN’T in – so either way, this thing could be dead.

  • Joe,

    From my understanding, Rep. Cao of Louisiana only voted for the bill after he saw that it couldn’t be defeated. So in theory you’ll only need four votes to switch.

  • Precisely. The bill barely survived the House because the Stupak language superseded the Capps amendment.

    We should also be conscious of the fact that the Senate operates differently than the House. We aren’t going to have a closed rule amendment. Moreover, I do not think Nelson would vote for final cloture to vote on a final legislation that had less-than-acceptable language on abortion. Reid has absolutely no room for margin of error. I think the Democrats will have to sacrifice the Planned Parenthood wishlist to some extent in order to pass something.

    It must be said that I think much of the conference speculation is missing the mark. In conference, yes, there is no reason to keep the legislation as is. In fact, in conference the entire health care bill can fundamentally be re-written with no regard to any amendments that passed or the original provisions of the bills. However that is not going to be the case with health care. Say that pro-life provisions pass in the House and in the Senate as well. The Democrats will find it incredibly difficult to strip that language at conference. A brand new bill that is markedly different than the originals will likely fail in one or bother chambers. A bill that reverses the abortion language in one or both chambers will fail in one or both chambers. The Stupak amendment clearly took the bill over the top. It will die in the House without it. Less than acceptable language on abortion will surely not allow the final conference bill to reach cloture in the Senate. Perhaps I have too much faith in Senator Nelson, but I cannot see how he will not hold out. He is incredibly consistent and principled on this issue. I will not blindly trust such a hope, but I have every reason to have this hope.

    Moreover, an incredibly liberal “robust” public option that leaves out opt-out and opt-in clauses is sure to die in the Senate. So again, the theorists speculating that this is a game of “bait” and “switch” — give in to the pro-life Congressmen to win their votes and then remove it, give in to the more moderate members and “water down” to the public option to win their votes only to switch it blatantly and manifestly in conference is absurd.

    After conference there are no amendments. It is a closed-rule vote entirely in both chambers. The moderate and pro-life Democrats will be needed again, to motion to vote on the legislation and to vote for the final legislation. I don’t think it reasonable to conclude that a hyper-liberal bill will come flying out of conference because in what world could it possibly pass?

    If anything, the Senate legislation will have the greater influence. The final conference legislation must conceivably be able to pass in the Senate which is a much more difficult task — in that, it must gain 60 votes before it only needs 51.

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