Speaker Boehner’s plan that was earlier approved by the House was short-lived as Senate Democrats voted to kill it. And, one would think that after all the ideas and planning that had been laid out on the table something could be agreed upon. But in typical Washington cat and mouse games, it all will be decide on at the last minute. And Americans will be left wondering if they would have been better off if nothing was done at all. [Read more…] about Boehner Debt Plan Blocked by Senate Democrats
Senate Votes to Extend Patriot Act
The US Senate has just voted to extend provisions for the Patriot Act, following the House vote from Monday. The vote extends certain provisions for 90 days that were set to expire at the end of February.
In addition to roving wiretaps for multiple electronic devices, the provisions deal with court-approved access to business records and surveillance of non-U.S. “lone wolf” suspects without known ties to terrorist groups. Senate Democrats are working on a multi-year extension plan that tightens oversight of the measures.
Republicans Projected to Take Control of House
Fox News is projecting that the Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats with a likely pick-up of around 60 seats, give or take a few.
As it is likely that the power in the Senate will be retained by Democrats, the overwhelming sweep by the Republicans an their takeover of the House is major news. As is the transfer of power from Pelosi to Boehner.
Topics that helped get voters out include the economy and health care. And, it is these hot issues, among others, that helped get people out early and in advance.
It is only the hope of many people across America that the outcome and enthusiasm from these elections is carried through to 2012.
What’s Next For GOP?
Over at Townhall.com, Michael Barone pointed to the idea that the GOP doesn’t know what to do next. And, the answer is: They really don’t know.
In times past, the nation came to a head as to what direction it needed to go and again it seems to be at a crossroad. However, the GOP isn’t clear on what direction to take. With major issues on the table – the ever increasing debt, looming unemployment numbers, a stagnant economy, and a war that the public doesn’t support – not one person has come out in the name of the GOP and laid down his/her plan.
There is a quote in that all proplems are a management problem, and this quote is rather fitting for the GOP. There is NO clear leader in the party, and those that are supposed to be don’t seem all that interested.
Time is not on the side of the GOP. Faced with the probability of taking over in Washington, they still are not taking cues from the public. The public is clear in that they want to know a plan. The GOP fails to understand that the public will be the one to put them in office, or take them out.
Regardless who the frontrunners are for 2012 Presidential nomination, a clear stance needs to be public. The GOP has failed in uniting the voters. One way for them to do that would be to take those frontrunners and have them lay out their plans and formulate them into one. They could still differ as to their oppinions on how they would handle the issues, but at least they would finally show unity and direction. Most of all, the GOP would show a sense of leadership.
2010 Elections, Change Brought by the People
The direction of the 2010 elections look to shape a new change. A change lead by the people, which the Founding Fathers were prepared for. They laid out the direction in the Declaration of Independance.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
That is exactly what is going on today. There is an uprising of people, namely those associated with the Tea Party movement. They have become so against the current direction of the current administration that now they are putting a lot of pressure on those elected officials facing re-election in 2010.
So much pressure in fact that some of them have bowed out before their term is up. The most current being Evan Bayh, and others like Chris Dodd. Even the Kennedy clan is taking heat, with the only remaining Kennedy stepping down.
So, what does all of this mean? A simple look at the current polls show that Republicans are ahead. In the most recent Rasmussen telephone poll, 45% of the people would vote Republican while only 36% would vote the Democrat. The people are fed up. That’s why the Tea Party movement is so popular. People are ready. They are becoming more educated on what their elected officials are trying to do, and the Democratic party is getting worried.
That is the reason they are stepping down. They don’t want to lose. Nobody wants to lose. However, the people are starting to realize that if the Democrats continue to stay in power, the only one that will lose is the people themselves.
Republican Scott Brown Wins Senate Seat
Republican Scott Brown has won the Mass. senate seat, and now that the controvercial election for the late Ted Kennedy seat is decided, there are certain issues that are now coming forward.
One of the main concerns is when Scott Brown will be sworn in to his newly elected position. And with health care reform at its most pivotal moment, the democratic party is seen scrambling for the next step to radically change the U.S. health care system.
Fox News – Brown Beats Coakley in Massachusetts Senate Race
He also breaks the Democrats’ 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in Washington, posing big problems for Obama’s agenda. Most immediately, Brown’s win sends Democrats into a scramble to pass health care reform before he arrives in Washington. Democrats were already weighing options for how to fast-track the bill before polls closed Tuesday.
The other thing that will be the talk of the town is how this monumental election could be a blueprint for future elections withing the GOP.
Wall Street Journal – Steele: Massachusetts Race ‘A Model for Campaigns of the Future’
In a memo to RNC members today, Steele said the national committee has been “working very diligently behind the scenes” with the Massachusetts Republican Party for the past three months to make the race what it is today—a likely Republican takeover in one of the bluest states in the nation.
“Never in the history of our party have so many fellow Republicans from all over the country worked so hard to help another state,” he wrote. “This is a model for campaigns of the future.”
For more commentary:
Sen. Harry Reid Declares Health Care A Right
Today, the Senate passed yet another hurdle over health care reform, taking yet again the 60 votes needed for this go around. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement following the vote that it was “long past time we declare health care a right and not a privilege.”
It is fundamentally wrong to declare health care as a right. To say that health care is a right is to say that it is a right for everyone to have the greatest and latest flat panel television. Health care is not a right. It is more to say that it is a luxury, just like that new-fangled flat panel. Health care is a want, not a need.
This is a definite attack on the very Liberty that our Founding Fathers so declared years ago.
Reason – The folly of a “right to health care”
Since more than four-fifths of Americans already have medical insurance, and even those without “great wealth” have been known to enjoy “good health,” Reid was laying it on a little thick. But his premise, which is shared by President Obama, explains the moral urgency felt by supporters of the health care overhaul that is making its way through Congress. It also reveals a radical assault on the traditional American understanding of rights.
The Framers believed the Constitution recognized pre-existing rights, protecting them from violation by the government. The common law likewise developed as a way of protecting people from wrongful interference by their neighbors. If people have rights simply by virtue of being human, those rights can be violated (by theft or murder, for example) even in the absence of government.
By contrast, notwithstanding Reid’s claim that government-subsidized health care is a fundamental human right, it does not make much sense to say that it exists in a country too poor to afford such subsidies or at a time before modern medicine, let alone in the state of nature. Did Paleolithic hunter-gatherers have a right to the “affordable, comprehensive and high-quality medical care” that the Congressional Progressive Caucus says is a right of “every person”? If so, who was violating that right?
While liberty rights such as freedom of speech or freedom of contract require others to refrain from acting in certain ways, “welfare rights” such as the purported entitlement to health care (or to food, clothing, or shelter) require others to perform certain actions. They represent a legally enforceable claim on other people’s resources. Taxpayers must cover the cost of subsidies; insurers and medical professionals must provide their services on terms dictated by the government.
A right to health care thus requires the government to infringe on people’s liberty rights by commandeering their talents, labor, and earnings. And since new subsidies will only exacerbate the disconnect between payment and consumption that drives health care inflation, such interference is bound to increase as the government struggles to control ever-escalating spending. Rising costs will also encourage the government to repeatedly redefine the right to health care, deciding exactly which treatments it includes.
Welfare rights? That’s right. Welfare rights. The “rights” that the Obama administration wants to share with everyone. The “rights” that make a majority of the people dependant upon the government.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Why did they write into the bill that they are not subject to the mandates of the bill?
- Why did they write into the bill that it cannot be repealed by future sessions?
For more commentary:
The Constitutional Side Of The Health Care Reform Bill
In what appears as a neverending bill, packed away deep within the health care reform bill will prevent future Congresses will not be able to reform a single word. This was brought to light by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.
How tyrannical is that? Preventing changes whether the would be for the good or for the bad. Preventing changes to something that is in opposition by the majority of the people.
This little provision that is being brought forward by DeMint is bringing quite a buzz. Especially with regards to the constitutionality of the bill. Not only with it written so changes are not allowed, it is also being debated over how they can mandate that everyone must be covered or you will be fined.
That’s Right – Jimmy D to force a vote on ObamaCare’s Constitutionality
Here’s the Senate version:
(2) SPECIAL RULES.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law—
‘‘(A) WAIVER OF CRIMINAL PENALTIES.— In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.
‘‘(B) LIMITATIONS ON LIENS AND LEVIES.—The Secretary shall not—
‘‘(i) file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section, or
‘‘(ii) levy on any such property with respect to such failure.
There’s no penalty at all for failing to get insurance or failure to pay the penalty. It’s not a mandate.
Here’s the House version:
Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses. Depending on the level of the noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual:
• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.”
Now, this is something that will become an issue once the two health care reform bills are merged. So, currently Jim DeMint and John Ensign have raised a Constitutional Point of Order on the Senate floor that will be voted on tomorrow. Here are their statements:
“Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect,” said Senator DeMint. “This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance. This is nothing more than a bailout and takeover of insurance companies. We’re forcing Americans to buy insurance under penalty of law and then Washington bureaucrats will then dictate what these companies can sell to Americans. This is not liberty, it is tyranny of good intentions by elites in Washington who think they can plan our lives better than we can.”
“I am incredibly concerned that the Democrats’ proposed individual mandate provision takes away too much freedom and choice from Americans across the country,” said Senator Ensign. “As an American, I felt the obligation to stand up for the individual freedom of every citizen to make their own decision on this issue. I don’t believe Congress has the legal authority to force this mandate on its citizens.”
For more commentary:
Also take a look at what Heritage has on this very issue.
Religious Leaders Issue Declaration Over Federal Abortion Funding
In an effort to declare opposition over federally funded abortions, a coalition of Christian leaders have united and released their declaration.
Fox News – Bishops Press Obama to Strike Senate Provision Allowing Federal Abortion Funding
More than 150 Christian leaders, most of them conservative evangelicals and traditionalist Roman Catholics, issued a joint declaration Friday reaffirming their opposition to abortion and gay marriage and pledging to protect religious freedoms. The 4,700-word document, called “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience” was unveiled on Capitol Hill during a press conference Friday.
Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience
We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered, beginning in New York on September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but speaking to and from our communities. We act together in obedience to the one true God, the triune God of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on our lives and by that claim calls us with believers in all ages and all nations to seek and defend the good of all who bear his image. We set forth this declaration in light of the truth that is grounded in Holy Scripture, in natural human reason (which is itself, in our view, the gift of a beneficent God), and in the very nature of the human person. We call upon all people of goodwill, believers and non-believers alike, to consider carefully and reflect critically on the issues we here address as we, with St. Paul, commend this appeal to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.
Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.
While this is not the declaration in its entirety, it is a ver compelling read. It is highly suggested that it is read. If you value the meaning of life, you should read this. If you value that sanctity of marriage, you should read this.
The Pelosi Health Bill Option
Health care reform takes new form today with the release of the Pelosi Option.
This 1990 page option convieniently falls below the $900 billion limit imposed by President Obama at a cost of $894 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). However, the CBO indicates more analysis is needed and that the report was not final.
Certainly more time is needed with a bill staged at a whopping 1990 pages. Everyone needs more time to read and dissect this new proposal that is said to be praised by Obama. The Pelosi Option had no Republican input.
So, what can be expected in the Pelosi Option?
- require everyone to sign up for insurance from their employer, a government program or a pool
- an expansion of Medicaid
- penalties for employers who don’t provide health care for employees
- higher taxes
Is this the end of the list? No, but rather a simple start. Pleanty of time should be allowed in order to read this version, but Pelosi reportedly would like to have it voted on by Veteran’s Day.
If you have the time to read the Pelosi Option, please do. They have proven in the past that they are unwilling to take the time to. If something sticks out to you, and think it deserves more attention, feel free to contact me. Together we can dissect it and share what we find.