Another Broken Obama Promise: No Transparency In Health Care Legislation Deals

This is how desperate Barack Obama is getting.

From Sharon Theimer of the Associated Press via Town Hall:

In cutting deals with hospitals and drugmakers, President Barack Obama is giving a private inside track to special interests that’s at odds with his promise to make policy in the open.

Obama promised Americans he would hold special interests at arm’s length _ that it would no longer be business as usual in Washington. He pledged to open government and let the public and press hold his administration accountable.

And just over two months before the 2008 election, Obama promised before an audience in Chester, Va., to hash out a health care overhaul in public. “We’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies,” he said then.

That didn’t happen.

Again, we have to ask why Obama does not want this stuff out in public. Because he does not want the public to analyze what this socialized health care package really means, what it will really costs and what it would do to the quality of health care we receive now under private insurance.

More:

[T]he administration’s multibillion-dollar deals with hospitals and pharmaceutical companies have been made in private, and the results were announced after the fact. Both industries promised Obama cost savings in return for an expanded base of insured patients; beyond that, the public is in the dark about details.

“There’s beginning to be a little bit of, ‘Where are all these deals getting us?'” E. Neil Trautwein, chief health care lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, said recently, referring to business concerns that the hospital and drug company pacts would force employers to pay more for workers’ medical benefits. “Is this going to add to the process or subtract from it?”

The White House had no immediate comment.

Nor will they until after the fact. Obama is hell-bent on forcing this package through Congress before the general public can figure out what Washington is trying to force down our throats.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

PROMISES, PROMISES: Private Deals On Health Care
Sharon Theimer
Associated Press via TownHall.com
July 21, 2009

New Hate Crimes Law Could Politically Target People Who Object To Homosexuality

One thing you can count on from the libs is that their sense of reasoning only makes sense to themselves and no one else. I guess the most prominent example would be taxes. They believe that taxes should always be raised so that the government always has money, but they forget that the people who pay those taxes need the money more than the government does. They also forget that when tax money goes to Washington DC, a good chunk of it stays there to make politicians and bureaucrats a little richer and less than 60 cents on the dollar actually makes back out to those who paid the tax to begin with.

Well, the libs still don’t have any common sense, especially when it comes to writing legislation that promotes the agenda of one of their special interest groups. In this case, it is the gay and lesbian lobby. The new Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), H.R. 1913, is one such case where the special interest group is considered more important than Joe and Jane Average American.

Jillian Bandes gives us some insight on this in her latest column from Town Hall:

One of the most pressing concerns is that the bill, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), could target acts of violence that were carried out for reasons unrelated to sexual preference.

Brian Walsh, senior legal research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said HCPA did not require any proof that a crime was committed because of a person’s sexual identity, so prosecution could be willy-nilly.

The “amorphous standard would federalize almost all incidents of violent crime, even those that have nothing to do with bias, prejudice, or animus toward the victim because of his or her membership in a particular group,” he said.

In other words, a gay or lesbian could be the target of a completely random crime and this law would be used to inflict heavier prosecution and punishment than if the victim were a straight Christian. Now, that doesn’t mean that I think such crimes should go unpunished, but it does mean that I think there should be a fair application of the law across the spectrum.

Even many Democrats are wary of what this bill could portend for the future. Read what Rep. Lamar Smith (D-TX) has to say:

“Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim. It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (D-Tex.), ranking member on the Judiciary Committee.

Smith also said HCPA could target those who opposed gay marriage and forms of unconventional sexual expression.

“Some of my colleagues on the other side claim that the bill protects religious speech. But religious leaders could still be subjected to criminal investigations, and be reluctant to preach the teachings of their faith as a result of this bill,” said Smith.

And that brings us to the true crux of this bill. It is an attempt by the gay and lesbian lobby to stamp out speech that isn’t favorable or complimentary to the gay and lesbian lifestyle. If one were to say they opposed homosexuality on moral grounds, this legislation could be used as an excuse to charge such a person with a “Hate Crime” simply for giving their own personal opinion. George Orwell couldn’t have come up with a better scenario of real-world thought police.

How can I say something that many on the left would deem as far-fetched? Read on:

Republican staff pointed to an amendment that Democrats rejected during the discussion of the bill, which would have prohibited prosecution of those who simply spoke about sexual identity issues. Because of this exclusion, the prohibition against prosecuting speech had no teeth.

That amendment was killed specifically at the behest of the gay and lesbian lobby. There is no other logical reason for tossing that amendment out.

But this will be the first bill that reaches into a church to censor the content of the service.

“It’s going to cause at a critical moment in American history a chilling effect on the pulpit where we cannot preach about biblical morality and sexuality,” said Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md.

bishop2
(Photo: Bishop Harry Jackson)

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Hate Crimes Law May Have Loopholes
Jillian Bandes
TownHall.com
April 30, 2009

The Fierce Urgency Of Pork: Charles Krauthammer Column Could Kill Stimulus Bill

This column is amazing. Not for what it says or who wrote it. But for the fact that it was published in the uber-liberal Washington Post.

Sometimes, someone writes a column that is so hard-hitting, so to-the-point that it cannot be ignored for long. You won’t hear about this column on any of the left-leaning television networks, but you should read it and take to heart what it says.

Charles Krauthammer writes:

“A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe.”

— President Obama, Feb. 4.

Catastrophe, mind you. So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared “we have chosen hope over fear.” Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.

That’s just for starters. Krauthammer rightly asks about why we should be scared into passing this “pork spending” bill.

The column goes on to describe all of the unethical and outright illegal conduct that the Obama administration has been trying to legitimize, as exampled by Timothy Geithner and Tom Daschle’s tax avoidance problems.

More:

And yet more damaging to Obama’s image than all the hypocrisies in the appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama’s name, was not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.

It’s not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections, one of which would set off a ruinous Smoot-Hawley trade war. It’s not just the waste, such as the $88.6 million for new construction for Milwaukee Public Schools, which, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have shrinking enrollment, 15 vacant schools and, quite logically, no plans for new construction.

It’s the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended on the grounds that a national emergency requires an immediate job-creating stimulus — and then throwing into it hundreds of billions that have nothing to do with stimulus, that Congress’s own budget office says won’t be spent until 2011 and beyond, and that are little more than the back-scratching, special-interest, lobby-driven parochialism that Obama came to Washington to abolish. He said.

Now, in the words of the racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s “chickens have come home to roost.” Clearly, Obama lied to America in order to get the votes. But what is really insulting here is that Obama expected to get away with it. Apparently, he expected America to forget about his promises and statments. Instead, Obama forgot about the Internet that he so masterfully used to come to power.

Read on:

The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington. By the time the stimulus bill reached the Senate, reports the Wall Street Journal, pharmaceutical and high-tech companies were lobbying furiously for a new plan to repatriate overseas profits that would yield major tax savings. California wine growers and Florida citrus producers were fighting to change a single phrase in one provision. Substituting “planted” for “ready to market” would mean a windfall garnered from a new “bonus depreciation” incentive.

After Obama’s miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell — and that this president told better than anyone.

I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks.

Two and a half weeks. That would make a great name if someone ever made a documentary about the disaster that Barack Obama is shaping up to be.

This column that Charles Krauthammer wrote is a classic for the ages. It is right up there with the fable about the emperor who wore no clothes.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

The Fierce Urgency Of Pork
Charles Krauthammer
The Washington Post
February 6, 2009

And you might also want to read why this spending bill will mean more inflation for the rest of us:

Why ‘Stimulus’ Will Mean Inflation
George Melloan
Wall Street Journal
February 6, 2009