News for 07/22/2009-Broken Promises and Oligarchy

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: General Info, Soapbox | Tags: , , , , , , , |

PROMISES- Is Obama Breaking His Pledges? at Breitbart.com
http://www.breitbart….
WASHINGTON(AP) – In cutting deals with hospitals and drug makers, 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 news media 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. Instead, the 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. When cutting special interests out of his campaign and then his administration, Obama targeted people currently registered as Washington lobbyists. He never said he would cut off the companies, unions, trade associations and others that employ lobbyists—just lobbyists themselves. And even then, he has made exceptions here and there. Presidents, regardless of party, prefer to keep their dealmaking private, obscuring what’s being said, what’s being taken and given, and by whom. It’s messier and less practical to open the door to a lot of public input, particularly on a national scale. It’s much easier to use polls to gauge what the public thinks. That means the interests whose ideas make it into national policy are usually those with the money and clout to press their case in Washington and the power to block any idea they haven’t helped shape.

Impending Media Bailout
http://ow.ly/15IqIe… Letter To Timothy Geitner from Minority Owned Media Outlets Seeking Funds
MRC President’s Letter To Timothy Geitner seeking funds for Conservative Media Outlets http://ow.ly/15IqIb…

Health Care Bill Outlaws the Private Individual Medical Insurance Market by Investors Business Daily
http://www.ibdeditori…
When we received a copy of the House’s 1,018-page health care reform legislation, it didn’t take us long to find a passage that made us wince. On Page 16, the language indicated to us that once the bill became law, insurers would no longer be permitted to sell new private individual coverage. While we were expecting the worst out of this legislation, we really didn’t anticipate anything quite so radical. Had we simply misread the bill? Not fully trusting our own interpretation, we asked for confirmation from the House Ways and Means Committee. Sources there agreed: The bill would indeed shut down the individual private health care insurance market. Our impression was further confirmed Monday when Rep. Dave Camp, the ranking member on Ways and Means, told us that “any existing plan will not be able to enroll members.” There will be “a prohibition,” the Michigan Republican said, “on enrolling individuals in private health plans” after the bill becomes law in 2013.

The Economist and Ron Paul on Auditing / Abolishing The Fed at Reason Magazine
http://reason.com/blo… Video

OLIGARCHY – The Definition
A form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society. Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist. According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered as elected oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an ‘acceptable’ and ‘respectable’ political position, and politicians’ careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites.

Stimulus Spending Includes Rental Cars, Outhouses, and ‘Sediment Removal’ by Matt Cover at CNS News
http://ow.ly/hMJL…
Among the 3,266 entries in a government database detailing to-date spending under the Democrats’ stimulus law are expenditures for concrete outhouses, “deli-sliced” turkey, and hotel bills. Passed in February, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA) – also called the “stimulus package” — was sought and signed into law by President Obama, who declared at the time, “We have begun the essential work of keeping the American dream alive in our time.”
Among the many things that have been built with stimulus money so far are:
– $971,711.42 to “replace pond liners” at the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery in Cole Harbor, N.D.
– $193,077 for a “double-vault toilet building” at the Hoyer Campground in Spokane, Wash.
– $487,944 for “toilet buildings and vaults” in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests
– $254,000 for “pre-fabricated restroom facilities” in Atlanta, Ga.
– $17,110 in hotel bills at a Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va., for the Employment Standards Administration’s annual “Prevailing Wage Conference.”
– $1.8 million for the “renovation of Slate Hill Barn and Hay Shed” in Front Royal, Va. According to the database the money was requested by the Smithsonian
– $326,304 for “roadside vegetation removal” in the Six Rivers National Forest in Eureka, Calif.
– $928,194.50 to nine different firms to provide an “increased level of effort for dtv [digital television] installation”
– $25.3 million for the National Institutes of Mental Health to study schizophrenia
– $65 million for NASA’s James Webb telescope project
– $20 million for “sediment removal” at the EPA’s Iron Mountain Mine Superfund site
– $6,066.18 to buy “three laptop computers” for the National Fish and Wildlife Service
– $4,250 for “short-term vehicle rental” from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in order to “run errands” in Kings Canyon National Park in King’s Canyon, Calif.
– $840 to “disassemble” one desk and “properly reassemble and relocate” 2 other desks in Reston, Va.

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