Like Thieves in the Night

Posted on December 20, 2009. Filed under: General Info | Tags: , , , |

According to reports, the Senate is set to vote on cloture for the health care bill at 1:00 AM, a few hours from now.

I view this as another assault on taxpaying Americans, no matter what side of the fence you’re on.

Only thieves and whores do their work at such an hour.

Need I say more on the subject? Those are the kindest words I have for those running the health care “debate”, which is actually no debate at all.

This from an Administration which promised transparency.

After a 17 day debate, or more aptly named “the extortion period” where by no actual “debate” took place, but rather the time spent by Democrats strong arming and purchasing votes from their democrat colleagues, the 2074 page bill, including the new “Manager’s Amendment”, Senator Reid has decided to go for cloture vote overnight tonight. The vote on the actual bill may come as soon as Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas America!

One sixth of our economy will go blindly into the government’s hands should this bill pass. The Senators, just as the Representatives before them, see no need to actually read the bill, nor make an informed vote. Party before people. Zombiehood before Patriotism. Treason before Good Conscience.

The “Manager’s Amendment” was apparently cobbled together by Democrats behind closed doors. National Right to Life presented the following information:

The Manager’s Amendment to the Senate health care restructuring bill offered by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on December 19 contains two provisions that intensify the rationing already present in the Reid Substitute. See http://www.nrlc.org/HealthCareRationing/ReidSubstitute.html .

– Taking a significant step closer to the powerful Federal-Reserve-Board-like Federal Health Board envisioned by former Senator Tom Daschle, Obama’s original nominee for health czar, the Manager’s Amendment renames and expands the authority of what the Reid Substitute called the “Independent Medicare Advisory Board.” Its new title is the “Independent Payment Advisory Board” [Section 10320(b), p. 189] and it is directed to make recommendations to “slow the growth” in PRIVATE (non-federal) “health expenditures . . . that the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] or other Federal agencies can implement administratively.” Section 10320(a)(5), adding Section 1899A (o)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act, p. 188. To the extent these are effective, they will limit the ability of private citizens to spend their own money to protect their own lives, by obtaining health care or health insurance that is not rationed.

– Section 10304 (p. 152) empowers the Secretary of Health and Human Services to impose “efficiency measures,” in addition to the “quality measures” already provided for under the Reid Substitute, on health care providers. Much of the professional literature advocates the use of “quality of life” standards that devalue the lives of older people and people with disabilities in such measures. While there are limits on the use of comparative effectiveness research to justify denial of treatment based on quality of life criteria under Section 6301( c) of the Reid Substitute, the quality and efficiency measures are not made subject to these critically important anti-discrimination protections.

A more detailed analysis of these rationing-promoting elements of the Manager’s Amendment follows:
 

INDEPENDENT PAYMENT ADVISORY BOARD AUTHORITY TO RECOMMEND, AND HHS SECRETARY TO LIMIT, RIGHT TO USE ONE’S OWN MONEY TO SAVE ONE’S OWN LIFE

Under the Reid Substitute’s Section 3403 (pp. 1000- 1053) as modified by the Manager’s Amendment Section 10320 (pp. 180-90), the “Independent Payment Advisory Board” will have sweeping powers.

As originally set forth in the Reid Substitute, the Board was called the “Medicare” Advisory Board, and its mission was focused on cutting Medicare reimbursement rates (see below) – a duty it retains. However, the Manager’s Amendment dramatically expands its authority, so as to work to limit nonfederal health care spending, as well. Starting in 2014, “and at least once every two years thereafter,” the Board is to make recommendations “to slow the growth in national health expenditures” other than Federal health care programs – recommendations “that the Secretary or other Federal agencies can implement administratively,” as well as recommendations for legislative action. To the extent these are effective, they will limit the ability of private citizens to spend their own money to protect their own lives, by obtaining health care, or health insurance, that is not rationed.

For 2015, unless Medicare spending is projected NOT to keep up with the rate of medical inflation (specifically, unless it is projected to come in at or below a “target” set at the midway point between medical inflation and the average inflation rate for all goods and services , the “Consumer Price Index-Urban”), the Board is to specify how to cut Medicare payments by either the difference from the target or half a percent, whichever is less.

For 2016, the Board is to specify how to cut Medicare by the lesser of the difference from the target for that year or 1 percent, and for 2017 by the lesser of the difference from the target for that year or 1.25 percent.

For 2018 and subsequent years, the target shifts to the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, and the Board must specify how to cut Medicare payments by the lesser of the difference from that target and 1.5 percent.

Each year, the Secretary of Health and Human Services must implement the Board’s directives unless Congress, within a given deadline, legislates an alternative set of restrictions to accomplish the same result. However, Congress could not reduce the net of the targeted cuts unless three-fifths of both chambers voted to do so. The bill goes so far as to forbid a future Congress from repealing these provisions, except for a one-time opportunity in 2017! Section 3403, adding Social Security Act Section 1899A(d)(3)( C), p. 1020.

How is the Board to bring about these Medicare reductions? On its face the bill instructs the Board not “to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums . . . , increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing . . . , or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.” Section 3403, creating Social Security Act Section 1899A(c)(2)(A)(ii) , p. 1004. Predominately, the reductions will have to come in reimbursement rates for health care providers.

This is likely to have either – or, more likely, both– of two rationing effects. First, an increasing number of Medicare providers, being paid further and further below their costs of providing care, would stop accepting new Medicare patients. Second, the Board could change the way reimbursement rates are structured, away from a fee-for-service model toward a “capitated” model, for example, under which practitioners are paid a set annual amount per patient, or toward an “episode” model somewhat similar to the DRG payment system for hospitals, under which a set amount is paid per illness or injury. In either of these cases, the physician or other health care provider would have a strong financial incentive to limit treatment, especially if it is costly. So, in compliance with the statute, the Board itself would not be “rationing” treatment – instead, it would be compelling health care providers to do so.

“EFFICIENCY” MEASURES THAT MAY LEAD TO DISCRIMINATORY DENIAL OF TREATMENT BASED ON DISABILITY, AGE, AND OTHER QUALITY OF LIFE CRITERIA

Section 10304 (p. 152) empowers the Secretary of Health and Human Services to impose “efficiency measures,” in addition to the “quality measures” provided for under the Reid Substitute, on health care providers. These measures are to be incorporated “in workforce programs, training curricula, and any other means of dissemination determined appropriate by the Secretary.” Section 3014(b) adding Social Security Act Section 1890A(b)(1)(A) (p. 709). They are to be used in the calculation of value-based purchasing from hospitals, and renal dialysis services must abide by them or be penalized. Health care providers, including hospices, ambulatory surgical centers, rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, physicians and hospitals must provide reports, generally made publicly available, based on these measures. Consequently, they exercise considerable influence on how health care providers practice medicine, and consequently on what treatment patients do – and do not – receive.

In the medical and bioethical literature, quality and efficiency measures are often based on “quality of life” standards that discriminate on the basis of age and disability. See http://www.nrlc.org/news/2009/NRL07-08/CompEff.html . Accordingly, during the period when the group of six Senators were negotiating in an attempt to achieve a bipartisan health care bill, agreement was reached to make anti-discrimination language applicable to the results of comparative effectiveness research. See note 1 at http://www.nrlc.org/HealthCareRationing/SenFinCommBill.html . This language remains in the Reid Substitute, Section 6301( c), adding Social Security Act Section 1182 ( c), (d) and (e) , pp. 1685-87.

However, the quality and efficiency measures are NOT made subject to the same limits on employment of quality of life criteria that are applied to the use of comparative effectiveness research under Section 6301( c) of the Reid Substitute. Consequently, the Secretary is free to formulate such measures in a way that has the effect of rationing treatment on the basis of disability, age, or other “quality of life” criteria, as advocated by many mainstream bioethicists.

According to examiner.com In order to get to the 60 votes needed, at minimum, the following Senators prostituted themselves:

  • Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) got full Federal coverage for new additional Medicaid recipients forever.  That’s estimated at $45 million for the first decade of the bill.  Nebraska’s population is 1,783,432, about 0.5%  of the US population of 304,059,724.
  • Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) got $10 billion increased funding in the Community Health Service clinic system.
  • Ben Nelson and Carl Levin (D-Michigan) got an tax exemption for non-profit insurance companies in their states, only.  Not so much for the other 48.
  • Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) got additional Medicaid funding for Vermont and Massachusetts.
  • Pennsylvania, New York and Florida won protection for their Medicare Advantage funding that no other states got.  In fact, there are cuts in Medicare Advantage programs in the other 47 states.
  • Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) had already won $300 million in Medicaid funding.

 
There’s plenty of whoring going around. These are only the known indiscretions and bribes. According to Reid, it’s just business as usual.
 
 
National Right to Life goes on to point out the following:
 
Limiting Senior Citizens’ Right to Use Their Own Money to Save Their Own Lives

The Reid bill duplicates the House bill provision that would effectively allow federal bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to bar senior citizens from adding their own money, if they choose, to the government contribution in order to get private-fee-for-service Medicare Advantage (MA) plans less likely to ration life-saving treatment.

Medicare—the government program that provides health insurance to older people in the United States—faces grave fiscal problems as the baby boom generation ages. Medicare is financed by payroll taxes, which means that those now working are paying for the health care of those now retired. As the baby boom generation moves from middle into old age, the proportion of the retired population will increase, while the proportion of the working population will decrease. The consequence is that the amount of money available for each Medicare beneficiary, when adjusted for health care inflation, will shrink.

Three alternatives exist.

In theory, taxes could be increased dramatically to make up the shortfall – an unlikely and politically difficult proposition. The second alternative—to put it bluntly but accurately—is rationing. Less money available per senior citizen   would mean less treatment, including less of the treatments necessary to prevent death. For want of treatment, many people whose lives could have been saved by medical treatment would perish against their will. The third alternative is that, as the government contribution decreases, the shortfall could be made up by payments from older people themselves, so that their Medicare health insurance premium could voluntarily be financed partly by the government and partly from their own income and savings. What most people do not realize is that, as a result of legislative changes in 1997 and 2003 undertaken at the instance of the National Right to Life Committee, this third alternative is now law. Under the title of “private fee-for-service plans,” there is an option in Medicare under which senior citizens can choose health insurance whose value is not limited by what the government may pay toward it. These plans can set premiums and reimbursement rates for providers without upward limits imposed by government regulation.

This means that such plans will not be forced to ration treatment, as long as senior citizens are free to choose to pay more for them. For more on the background of this program see here.

Medicare covers everyone of retirement age, regardless of income or assets. Yet, because of budget constraints, the Medicare reimbursement rates for health care providers tend to be below the cost of giving the care—a deficit that can only accelerate as cost pressures on Medicare increase with the retirement of the baby boomers. To cope with this, providers engage in “cost shifting” by using funds they receive in payment for treating privately insured working people to help make up for what the providers lose when treating retirees under Medicare. Thus, comparatively low-income workers often effectively subsidize higher-income retirees.
However, when middle-income retirees are free voluntarily to add their own money on top of the government contribution, through a private fee-for-service plan, they stop being the beneficiaries of cost-shifting and become contributors to it.

This program faces potential elimination under the Reid substitute. Section 3209 indirectly amends the section in existing law allowing private fee-for-service plans to set their premiums without approval by CMS by adding, “Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the Secretary to accept any or every bid submitted by an MA organization under this subsection.” [1] This allows CMS to refuse to allow private-fee-for-service plans that charge what CMS regards as premiums that are too high – or, literally, allows CMS to refuse to allow private-fee-for-service plans (or any other MA plans) altogether, for any reason or no reason.

With this dangerous provision in the Reid bill could lead to elimination of the only way that seniors have to escape rationing – taking away their right to spend their own money to save their own lives.

Limiting Exchange Users’ Right to Use Their Own Money to Save Their Own Lives

In the Reid Substitute, a new provision –Section 1003 — will effectively allow state bureaucrats to limit the right of Americans who are NOT on Medicare to use their own money to save their own lives.[2] With minor modifications, Section 1003 adopts the House bill provision allowing an exchange to exclude “particular health insurance issuers … based on a pattern or practice of excessive or unjustified premium increases.”[3]

Originally, state-based “exchanges” were designed to allow comparison shopping among all insurance plans that provided the basic benefits. Under Section 1003, however, exchanges would be authorized, in effect, to limit the value of the insurance policies that Americans using the exchanges may purchase.
Not only will the exchanges be allowed to exclude policies when government authorities do not agree with the premiums, but they will be able to look at any increases plans charge, outside the exchange – and remove those insurers from the exchange. This would create a “chilling effect,” deterring insurers who hope to be able to compete within the exchange from offering adequately funded plans even outside of it, limiting consumers’ access to adequate and unrationed health care.

When the government limits by law what can be charged for health insurance, it limits what people are allowed to pay for medical treatment. While everyone would prefer to pay less – or nothing – for health care (as for anything else), government price controls in fact prevent access to lifesaving medical treatment that costs more to supply than the price set by the government.

Under a scheme of premium price controls, health insurance companies will ration lifesaving medical treatment as they are squeezed more and more tightly each year by the declining “real” (that is, adjusted for health care inflation ) value of the premiums they take in. These day-to-day rationing decisions will have the most direct and visible impact on the lives – and deaths – of people with a poor “quality of life.”

“Shared Decisionmaking” – Advance Care Planning By Another Name?

The Reid bill does not include provisions paralleling those in the House bill designed to create incentives for “advance care planning.”[4] Instead, Section 3506 provides funding to develop “patient decision aids” that are supposed to help “patients, caregivers or authorized representatives . . . to decide with their health care provider what treatments are best for them based on their treatment options, scientific evidence, circumstances, beliefs, and preferences.”

Under the Reid bill, the Department of Health and Human Services would contract with an “entity” that is to “develop and identify consensus-based standards to evaluate patient decision aids for preference sensitive care . . . and develop a certification process” for these “patient decision aids.” [6] Additional grants and contracts would be awarded to develop such “patient decision aids” which are to include “relative cost of treatment or, where appropriate, palliative care options” and to “educate providers on the use of such materials, including through academic curricula.”[7] Money would be awarded to establish “Shared Decisionmaking Resource Centers . . . to provide technical assistance to providers and to develop and disseminate best practices . . .”[8]

While there is language stating the materials are to be “balanced” to help patients and their representatives “understand and communicate their beliefs and preferences related to their treatment options,”[9] the concern, is the same as that with the promotion of advance care planning: Given the strong views many in the medical community have about poor quality of life and the considerable emphasis on saving costs, these measures will in fact subtly or otherwise “nudge” in the direction of rejecting costly life-saving treatment

The Medicare Commission

The Reid bill provides for an “Independent Medicare Advisory Board,” given the task of ensuring senior’s Medicare meets budget goals (that will tighten each year).

For fiscal years 2015 through 2019, the bill sets a target rate of growth for Medicare midway between medical inflation and average inflation; for subsequent years the target is the growth in Gross Domestic Product per capita plus 1%.[10]
To the extent the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) project that Medicare growth rates would exceed these targets, the Board would have to act to reduce the gap by specified percentages varying by year. This gap-reducing would likely come at the expense of reduction of Medicare Advantage benefits, and reductions in payments to doctors and so forth.

The Congressional Budget Office notes, “The provision would place a number of limitations on the actions available to the board, including a prohibition against modifying eligibility or benefits, so its recommendations probably would focus on [r]eductions in subsidies for non-Medicare benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans; and [c]hanges to payment rates or methodologies for services furnished in the fee-for-service sector by providers other than hospitals [but hospitals would be included beginning in 2020], physicians, hospices [but hospices would be included beginning in 2020], and suppliers of durable medical equipment that is offered through competitive bidding.[11]

The recommendations of the Board would automatically go into effect unless Congress, through an expedited procedure, adopted another means resulting in the same reductions; to waive this would require a 3/5 vote. It would also require a 3/5 vote to repeal or amend the provisions of the Reid bill establishing the Board and its duties and authority; in 2017 there would be an expedited procedure essentially guaranteeing a vote on a proposal to repeal the Board, but this vote would require 3/5 of each House to pass.

Assisted Suicide?

On assisted suicide, the language agreed to unanimously by the Senate Finance Committee that specifically said that federal dollars “shall not pay for or reimburse” any health entity for assisted suicide does NOT appear in the Reid bill. The Reid bill only retains the provision preventing discrimination against those who refuse to participate in assisting suicide.[12]

Why was the prohibition on funding assisted suicide stripped? The argument may be it is “unnecessary” because the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997 (ASFRA) bars such funding by any “funds appropriated by Congress for the purpose of paying (directly or indirectly) for the provision of health care services ,”[42 U.S.C. Sec. 14402(a)] and it states, “The provisions of this Act supersede other Federal laws (including laws enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act [enacted April 30, 1997]) except to the extent such laws specifically supersede the provisions of this Act.” [13]

However, the provision was adopted unanimously in the Finance committee, emphatically affirming federal policy of no funding for assisted suicide, and removes any danger that some administrator or court might say the broad benefit mandates in the health care bill repealed the ASFRA limits by implication. What possible purpose was served by stripping it out?

The Secretary and Quality Discretion

There is language in the Reid bill that protects against discriminatory use of comparative effectiveness research on the basis of age, disability or terminal illness.[14] However, this important language has not been made applicable to the multiple provisions under which the Secretary can impose “quality” measures. [15]

Section 1559 [16] states that on the basis of race, age, sex or disability, [17] “an individual shall not . . . be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under,” health programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance. Perhaps ominously, however, this anti-discrimination language is preceded by “Except as otherwise provided for in this title (or an amendment made by this title) . . . .” That is why it is critical to apply the anti-discrimination language from the Comparative Effectiveness provisions to the indicated provisions in note 15. 

Numbered Notations found here.  They go on to discuss “Comparative Effectiveness” and Rationing”  here.

 

According to the most recent poll, 51% of Americans do not want this bill. I am confident when citizens full understand what’s in this poison pill, the number can only climb from there. Especially given the 13 known tax hikes contained in the bill and estimates of cost up to 2.5 trillion dollars or more. The latest CBO estimates strongly differed from previous estimates.

Reuters synopsized the changes this way:

Here is a summary of those proposed changes and revised cost estimates made public by the Congressional Budget Office on Saturday.

COST ESTIMATES

* The Congressional Budget Office said the legislation, with the proposed changes that are being offered as an amendment to the bill, would cost about $871 billion over the first 10 years. Those costs would be more than offset by $483 billion in spending savings and $498 billion in revenues over the period. CBO said the bill would reduce the deficit by about $132 billion between 2010 and 2019.

PUBLIC OPTION

* The proposed government-run insurance option would be dropped from the bill. Instead, the federal government would contract with insurers for two national or multi-state health insurance plans that would be offered through the new insurance exchanges. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which oversees health policies for 8 million federal workers and their families, would manage the public plans.

One of the plans is to be non-profit. The CBO said it was unclear whether insurers would be interested in contracting with OPM to offer these plans and said the proposal would have little impact on federal costs or enrollment on the exchanges.

ABORTION

* The abortion provision that aimed to ensure public money would not be used to pay for elective abortion services would be changed with more restrictive language that strengthens the firewall against the use of public money for abortion services.

SMALL BUSINESS TAX CREDITS

* The small business tax credit for healthcare coverage would be sweetened so that more firms would qualify. The tax credits would be available in 2010, a year earlier than originally proposed. The income threshold would be increased so that they will be available on a sliding scale to firms with fewer than 25 workers and an average wages of less than $50,000. Employers with 10 or fewer workers and average wages of less than $25,000 can get the full credit.

MEDICAL LOSS RATIO AND INSURANCE COVERAGE

* Insurers’ profits and administrative expenses would be capped by a requirement that they pay a minimum amount of annual premium income on medical benefits. Insurance plans for large groups would have to spend at least 85 cents out of every dollar on medical costs. Small group and individual plans would have to spend at least 80 cents on the dollar for care.

* Insurers would immediately be prohibited from excluding health coverage for children due to pre-existing conditions.

INDUSTRY FEES AND PAYROLL TAXES

* The amendment calls for a slightly higher Medicare payroll tax for high-income people than the underlying bill. Instead of a 0.5 percent increase in the tax for individuals earning $200,000 and couples earning $250,000 or more, the amendment calls for a 0.9 percent increase in the tax.

* A proposed tax on elective cosmetic surgery and treatments would be dropped. Instead a 10 percent tax would be imposed on indoor tanning beds, which health experts say can cause cancer.

* Proposed new taxes on insurers and medical device makers would be delayed by one year under the amendment. But they would be ramped up over time. The bill originally proposed a $6.7 billion a year tax on the health insurance industry. Now the new tax would start in 2011 and gradually increase to $10 billion in 2017. Medical device industry will pay $2 billion a year starting in 2011 and $3 billion after 2017.

 

So much for democracy, so much for freedom, so much for liberty – these are merely a part of history at this point.

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News for 08/02/2009-Nothing Is What It Seems

Posted on August 2, 2009. Filed under: Enemies of The State, Soapbox | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Does AARP Think It’s OK to Kill Granny? Where is the Voice of ACLU on Cars.gov?  Why is the left silent? The more time passes the more I realize NOTHING is about what it seems to be about! Government is smoke and mirrors and EVERYONE needs to pay attention! Unless of course communist America is ok with you.

Cars.gov includes disclaimer they are able to track all your internet moves, computer files forever, just for logging on. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeff-poor/2009/07/31/beck-exposes-cash-clunkers-language-giving-feds-authority-take-control-co “Here is Cars.gov. Let’s say you go in, if I understand this right – I go in and I say, ‘I want to turn in my clunker.’ The dealer goes to Cars.gov, and then they hit submit transaction. Here it says, ‘Privacy Act & Security Statement,’ and you’re just like, ‘Oh, it’s the Privacy Act of 1974. Whatever, I agree. Now, this is how bad this system is.” “A warning box comes up, and it says, ‘This application provides to the DoT CARS system. When logged on to the CARS system, your computer is considered a federal computer system and it is property of the United States government,'” Beck read. “‘Any and all uses of this system and all files on this system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized CARS, DoT and law enforcement personnel, as well as authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign.'” Kimberly Guilfoyle, a legal analyst for Fox News interpreted the language to mean the government has very broad authority over your computer – including the ability to seize personal and private information.

 Blair Holt

Senate Bill SB-2009 will require us to put on our 2009 1040 federal tax form all guns that you have or own. It may require fingerprints and a tax of $50 per gun. This bill was introduced on Feb.. 24. This bill will become public knowledge 30 days after it is voted into law. This is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Act of 1986. This means that the Finance Committee can pass this without the Senate voting on it at all. The full text of the proposed amendment is on the U.S. Senate homepage, http://www.senate.gov/ You can find the bill by doing a search by the bill number, SB-2009. You know who to call; I strongly suggest you do. Please tell every gun owner you know. http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h45/text

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s brother, a physician, appointed to Obama health care job admits killing old people is the only way to cut costs! http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nypost.com%2Fseven%2F07242009%2Fpostopinion%2Fopedcolumnists%2Fdeadly_doctors_180941.htm

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. Emanuel bluntly admits that the cuts will not be pain-free. “Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely ‘lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change,” he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008). Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, “as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others” (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008). Yes, that’s what patients want their doctors to do. But Emanuel wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else. Emanuel, however, believes that “communitarianism” should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia” (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. ’96). Translation: Don’t give much care to a grandmother with Parkinson’s or a child with cerebral palsy. He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years” (Lancet, Jan. 31). The bills being rushed through Congress will be paid for largely by a $500 billion-plus cut in Medicare over 10 years. Knowing how unpopular the cuts will be, the president’s budget director, Peter Orszag, urged Congress this week to delegate its own authority over Medicare to a new, presidentially-appointed bureaucracy that wouldn’t be accountable to the public.

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Two Urgent Calls For Action

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: General Info, Soapbox | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Congressman John Fleming ( Louisiana physician) has proposed an amendment that would require congressmen and senators to take the same healthcare plan they force on us (under proposed legislation they are curiously exempt).  Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go on his Website and sign his petition (very simple – just first, last and email).  I  have immediately done just that at:  http://fleming.house.gov/ .   If Congress forces this on the American people, the Congressmen should have to accept the same level of health care for themselves and their families.  
*******************************************************************

Land Rights Network

American Land Rights Association

PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604

Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973

E-mail: alra@pacifier.com

Web Address: http://www.landrights.org

Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003

Your Senators Will Vote On S 787 (Water Land Grab) In Sept.

Do not take your Senators for granted.  Call, Fax and E-mail them now.

You need to contact your Senators NOW to find out when they will be back in your state over the August-September recess.  Plan to go to one or more of his or her meetings to fire questions about the Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787) and urge a NO vote.  Call any Senator at (202) 224-3121.

S 787 is the biggest Water and Land Grab in history.   The full Senate could vote on S 787 in September.   You must take action.

—–The Senate Committee removed the requirement that the Corps and EPA can only regulate “Navigable” waters.  That means the Corps and EPA will be able to regulate “all waters of the United States.”  That includes rain water and underground water even if you don’t have surface water.

Congress Moves To Seize Control Of All U.S. Waters

—–Do you want the Corps and EPA in your backyard?

—–Do you want the EPA and Corps to control your water?

—–Do you want the Corps and EPA to control all your watersheds that means all your land too?

—- That’s what will happen if the new Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S 787) passes Congress.

See the “letter to the editor” at the bottom of this message.  You should try to write a letter to the editor of any papers in your local area. 

Action Items: 

—–1. Forward this message to your entire list if possible.  Forward it to no less than five other people.

—–2. Call both your Senators immediately to ask for their August and September recess schedule.  Call (202) 224-3121 to reach any Senators office.  Be sure to ask for the staff person who handles the proposed Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787).  When you speak to that person, ask for his or her e-mail address and fax number. 

—–3.  After you call, send a message by fax or e-mail to both your Senators using that staff person’s e-mail or fax address opposing the Clean Water Restoration Act.  Send a new message even if you have written before.  You can write your Senator at:  Honorable ______,

US Senate, Washington DC., 20210.   Try to fax or e-mail it as mail to Washington, DC is slowed by the Anthrax inspections.

—–4.  Send a copy of your letter with a cover letter to the Honorable James Inhofe, Ranking Member, Environment and Public Works Committee, US Senate, Washington, DC 20210.  You can fax it to (202) 224-5167.

—–5.  Organize teams in your area to go to your Senators meetings to discuss the Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787).

—–6.  Also call your Congressman at (202) 225-3121 to tell him or her you are opposed to the Clean Water Restoration Act and urge a NO vote if it comes up in Committee or on the House Floor.  So far it has no number and has not made it out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee thanks to all the calls to Congressmen by you and many others.  Keep it up.  Tell them this is a big issue people will remember in November, 2010.

—–7.  Send a letter to the editor of any newspapers in your local area.  The most read section of many newspapers is the Letters to the Editor. See the real Letter to the Editor we are sending as a sample “letter to the editor” by Randy Dutton at the bottom of this e-mail.  Please do not copy this letter.  Write in your own words.  The Clean Water Restoration Act is S 787 in the Senate.  It does not have a House number yet but it will so contact your Congressman.

The Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787) passed the Senate EPW Committee that failed to hold hearings in this Congress.  You can still ask your Senators and the Senators on the Committee to hold hearings.  Ask them how they could vote on a bill without holding public hearings.  You must deluge both your Senators with calls, letters, e-mails and faxes.  Call your friends in other states and have them call their Senators to oppose S 787.  This is a monster land grab.

 

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News for 07/29/09

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: Soapbox | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Traffic to Obama’s White House Web Site Has Plummeted
http://www.cnsnews.co…
The traffic at President Obama’s official White House Web site–whitehouse.gov–has fallen from a post-Inauguration peak to nearly the same level it was during the waning days of the Bush administration. The dramatic drop in traffic has happened despite the Obama Administration’s complete redesign of the site. According to the web-traffic tracking site Alexa.com, whitehouse.gov was almost the 500th most popular Web site in the world in February. Since then, it has fallen to the 3,732 ranked Web site in the world. Traffic to the site has fallen 51.6 percent in the last three months. People are also spending less time on the site than they did before. Time spent on a Web site is often used as a barometer for how interested visitors are in a site’s content. Time spent on whitehouse.gov declined 15 percent since May to an average of 2.6 minutes per visitor…The decline in White House’s web traffic has coincided with a decline in the president’s approval ratings and the approval ratings for his policies. A Zogby poll released July 24 showed that only 48 percent of Americans approve of the job President Obama is doing, down from 51 percent in mid-June — 49 percent of Americans said they disapprove of Obama’s performance and 4 percent were unsure. When asked to rate Obama’s performance, 53 percent rated it negatively, with 43 percent giving the president a “poor” rating. Other polls show a similar, negative trend for Obama. A Rasmussen tracking poll, published July 27, showed that only 49 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s performance, with a majority of 50 percent disapproving. (Ed note: People, in general, like relationships to be two way. As with any one sided relationship, people stop listening and stop caring. Perhaps the President should, if he cares what the citizenry thinks, take this to heart. People feel as if they are going to do what they are going to do with or without the consent of the voters. Mmmm.. maybe passing legislation like the bailouts, cap and trade, etc.. despite overwhelming opposition by voters should sound some sort of warning??? If not to the President, The Senate, The House, The Cabinet.. then to the people!)

Dallas Tea Partiers Outnumber MoveOn.org Members at Health Care Rally Ten To One
http://www.jbs.org/he…
When Dallas area members of MoveOn.org showed up at a district office of Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) on July 23 for a rally in support of President Obama’s health care legislation, they were surprised by even greater numbers of Dallas Tea Party members on hand to demonstrate against Obama’s health care plan.

Find Out How Your Congressional Members Rate! Michigan Residents Need New Senators- Ours Rated a Big Fat 0
http://www.thenewamer…
The current (July 20) issue of The New American includes our first congressional scorecard on the 111th Congress, which convened in January. The scorecard, entitled “The Freedom Index,” rates congressmen based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements. Our newly published “Freedom Index” shows how every member of the House and Senate voted on key issues, such as the TARP funding to bail out financial institutions, SCHIP (children’s health insurance), the federal budget, and the economic stimulus package.

Michigan Representatives

1 Stupak (D) 20 + – – – – – – – + –

2 Hoekstra (R) 60 + + + + – + + – – –

3 Ehlers (R) 60 + – + – + + + + – –

4 Camp (R) 70 + + + – + + + – + –

5 Kildee (D) 10 – – – – – – – – + –

6 Upton (R) 50 + – + – – + + – + –

7 Schauer (D) 10 + – – – – – – – – –

8 Rogers, Mike (R) 50 + + + – – + + – – –

9 Peters (D) 10 – – – – – – – – + –

10 Miller, C. (R) 40 + – + – – + + – – –

11 McCotter (R) 50 + – + – – + + – + –

12 Levin, S. (D) 10 – – – – – – – – + –

13 Kilpatrick (D) 10 – – – – – – – – + –

14 Conyers (D) 33 + – – – – – – + + ?

15 Dingell (D) 10 – – – – – – – – + –

Michigan Senators

Levin, C. (D) 0 – – – – – – – – – –

Stabenow (D) 0 – – – – – – – – – –

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News for 07/27/2009

Posted on July 27, 2009. Filed under: Enemies of The State, General Info, Soapbox | Tags: , , , , , , |

Good Blog from Peter Fleckenstein .. He’s the One that Read the Health Care Bill and Told Us What Was In It
http://blog.flecksofl…
I put the first five hundred pages in the newsletter the other day.. but here you can see the rest.

Check Out This Very Entertaining Video from a Michigan Resident
http://www.youtube.co…

Son Of Card Check By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
http://www.investors….
Cardcheck may be a dead issue, but companies aren’t yet free of the union threat. An anti-business provision of the perversely named Employee Free Choice Act is still under consideration. If the card check process were to become law, the traditional method for forming a union would be replaced with a pro-union system. In the current practice, workers vote to either join the union or reject it through a secret ballot. A simple majority carries the vote. Under card check, a work force would become unionized if a simple majority signed the cards that are used to measure workers’ interest in voting on unionization. New legislation would contain a provision from the earlier bill requiring federal arbitrators to set the terms of the initial contract if labor and management can’t agree on a deal three months after a union is certified. Based on Washington’s history of pro-union bias, chances are good rulings will favor organized labor. In addition, lawmakers are likely to attach language instituting quicker elections, giving businesses less time to show workers what they’d be getting into, and drop the standard needed to call an election from a simple majority of workers signing cards to 30%. It’s possible the bill could include, as well, a rule that forces employers to grant labor organizers access to company property.

American Thinker on The Health Care Bill
While Americans worry over government insurance plans, longer waits for treatment, and “healthcare rationing,” a more sinister agenda lurks in the shadows of the healthcare bill now before the House of Representatives. Today’s Medicare recipients could be the first to experience our government’s new solution to America’s “useless eaters.”

Section 1233 of HR 3200, the healthcare reform measure under consideration, mandates “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” Under the proposal, all senior citizens receiving government medical care would be required to undergo these counseling sessions every five years. Further reading of the law reveals that these sessions are nothing more than a not-so-veiled attempt to convince the elderly to forego treatment. HR 3200 calls outright for these compulsory consultations to recommend “palliative care and hospice.” These are typically administered in the place of treatment intended to prolong life, and instead focus on pain relief until death. These are, of course, reasonable and beneficial options for terminally ill patients and their families.

But this legislation doesn’t stop there. Section 1233 requires “an explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.” But, under the terms of the section, the federal government can compel more frequent end-of-life sessions if it declares a “significant change” in the health of the Medicare recipient, a change that the bill does not confine to fatal illness, but which encompasses broad and abstract conditions described as “chronic,” “progressive,” or “life-limiting.” The bill even empowers physicians to make an “actionable medical order” to “limit some or all specified interventions…” In effect, the government can determine that a “life-limiting” condition demands the withholding of treatment.

The bill puts the Secretary of Health in charge of life and death decisions coming out of these sessions. Under the heading, “QUALITY REPORTING INITIATIVE,” the bill says, “For purposes of reporting data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished during 2011 and any subsequent year, to the extent that measures are available, the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment.

President Obama has even been so disingenuous as to accuse Republicans of denying medical treatment to people that need it, saying, “The opponents of health insurance reform would have us do nothing. But think about what doing nothing, in the face of ever increasing costs, will do to you and your family.” This is a classic false choice scenario. Either we pass Obama’s legislation, or people will die. In fact, doing nothing is infinitely preferable to doing the wrong thing, especially when we’re being pushed to move too quickly.

It was the same with the stimulus package. And we all know how that turned out: 9.4 percent unemployment and a budget deficit four times larger than when President Bush was in office. Obama has become a master at using false urgency to achieve hidden goals completely unrelated to the issue at hand.The real concern is not the imaginary people who might die without this legislation, but rather those real people who might die because of it. Never before have we been this close to making federal law that formalizes procedures for limiting the care we will provide to certain categories of citizens.

…The language of Obama’s healthcare reform bill should be a warning to us. This is only the first step in a process that spells death to our way of life. This bill is a test to see what the American people will allow. If you treasure the elderly and the wisdom of previous generations, if you value human worth and care about equality for all Americans, oppose this bill.

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News for 07/25/2009- Health Crock

Posted on July 25, 2009. Filed under: General Info, Soapbox | Tags: , , , , |

Peter Fleckstein (aka Fleckman) is reading it and has been posting on Twitter his findings.

This is from his postings (Note: All comments are Fleckman’s)

Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!
Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments and benefits you get
Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!
Pg 42 of HC Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You have no choice!
PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill – HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise
Pg 58HC Bill – Govt will have real-time access to individuals’ finances and a National ID Healthcard will be issued!
Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access to your banks’ accounts for election funds transfer
PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community orgs (ACORN).
Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Govt is creating a HC Exchange to bring private HC plans under Govt control.
PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill – Govt mandates ALL benefit pkgs for private HC plans in the Exchange
PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specs for Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration your Healthcare!
PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill – Govt mandates linguistic-appropriate services. Example: Translation for illegal aliens
Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Govt will use groups (i.e., ACORN & Americorps) to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan
PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specs of Ben Levels for Plans. #AARP members – your health care will be rationed.
PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill – Medicaid-eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice.
pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Govt Monopoly.
pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill – Doctors/ #AMA – The Govt will tell YOU what you can make.
Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST automatically enroll employees into pub opt plan. NO CHOICE
Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for health care for part-time employees AND their families.
Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY employer with a payroll of $400k and above who does not provide pub opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll
pg 150 Lines 9-13 Businesses with payroll between $251k & 400k who don’t provide pub. opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll
Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income
Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)
Pg 195 HC Bill – Officers and employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans’ financial and personal records.
PG 203 Line 14-15 HC – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that.
Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected
Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill – Doctors will all be paid the same, regardless of what specialty you have.
PG 253 Line 10-18 Govt sets value of doctor’s time, professional judgment, etc. Literally value of humans.
PG 265 Sec 1131 Govt mandates and controls productivity for private HC industries
PG 268 Sec 1141 Fed Govt regulates rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs
PG 272 SEC. 1145. Treatment of certain cancer hospitals. Cancer patients: welcome to rationing!
Page 280 Sec 1151 The Govt will penalize hospitals for what it deems preventable readmissions.
Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Doctors who treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission will be penalized by the Govt.
Pg 317 L 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt tells doctors what/how much they can own.
Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand
pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can you say ACORN?!!
Pg335 16-25 Pg 336-339 – Govt mandates establishment of outcome-based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing
Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Adv Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing peeps into Govt plan
Pg 354 Sec 1177 – Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of special needs people.! WTF. My sis has down syndrome!!
Pg 379 Sec 1191 Govt creates more bureaucracy – Telehealth Advisory Committee. Can you say HC by phone?
PG 425 Lines 4-12 Govt mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life
Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!
PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Govt provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death. Excuse me???!?!?!?
PG 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program for orders for end of life. The Govt has a say in how your life ends
Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An “advance care planning consult” will be used frequently as patient’s health deteriorates
PG 429 Lines 10-12 “Advance care consultation” may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV
Pg 429 Lines 13-25 – The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.
PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life
Pg 469 – Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit orgs. Hello, ACORN Medical Svcs here!!?
Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. One monthly payment to a community-based org. Like ACORN?
PG 489 Sec 1308 The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt into your marriage
Pg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those same services

From Fox News:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set the legislative throttle at full-speed-ahead as she plans to bring health care reform to a floor vote by the August recess, a move that could inflame tensions in the party and imperil the bill’s passage since fiscally conservative Democrats say they’re still not satisfied. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday announced that the Senate would wait until after recess to bring the bill to a vote, and President Obama said it was “OK” to miss his deadline so long as lawmakers are working in earnest to reach a compromise. Reid’s announcement led some members of the House to wonder why Pelosi feels it’s necessary to hold to a deadline that’s already been broken. Multiple sources with the Blue Dog Coalition, the group of fiscally conservative Democrats who have been holding up the bill in the only House committee yet to vote on it, said Friday they still don’t have a deal — despite Pelosi’s insistence that she’s got the votes.

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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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News for 07/15/2009- Be your own landlord, Bad to Worse, Up for Some Light Reading?, Give Me Liberty

Posted on July 15, 2009. Filed under: General Info, Soapbox | Tags: , , , , , , |

Obama mulls rental option for some homeowners-sources from Reuters
http://www.reuters.co…
Government officials are weighing a plan that would let borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments avoid eviction by renting their homes instead, sources familiar with the administration’s thinking said on Tuesday. Under one idea being discussed, delinquent homeowners would surrender ownership of their homes but would continue to live in the property for several years, the sources told Reuters. Officials are also considering whether the government should make mortgage payments on behalf of borrowers who cannot keep up with their home loans, tapping an unused portion of a $50 billion housing aid kitty. As part of this plan, jobless borrowers might receive a housing stipend along with regular unemployment benefits, the sources said. (Reporting by Patrick Rucker; Editing by Diane Craft) .
(Ed note: good thing as interest rates climb and unemployment climbs this may become needed more than anyone now realizes)

The Economy Is Even Worse Than You Think by Mortimer Zuckerman at WSJ
http://online.wsj.com…
The Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate for job losses for June is 467,000, which means 7.2 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession. The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.

Ed note- he lists ten reasongs why we’re in more trouble than we think: estimates given are believed low, Employers requesting their workers take unpaid leaves are up, 1.4 million unemployed not counted in figures, many are underemployed and thus not counted, work week now aveages 33 hours for rank and file workers, Avg length of unemployment of 24.5 weeks is highest in history, compensation averages remain flat, goods production sector is way down, hiring after recession lets up will not happen quickly as workers there will have hours increased before hiring begins, unemployment nationwide projected to soon be stagnant at 11%

Read the House Dems’ Health Bill by Kevin Waterman at Americans for Tax Reform
http://www.atr.org/in…
As sad as it is to say, no one really expects that members of Congress are going to read a bill before they decide to pass it. Usually that means they see nothing wrong with pushing a bill out late and then quickly voting before anyone else has a chance to read it either. Lucky for us though, the House Democrats have let slip the full text of their healthcare bill. We know they won’t read it, so it’s up to us.

Americans for Tax Reform has already made note of several serious problems with the bill, including:

insurance mandates for both individuals and businesses
an excise tax on health insurance
steps towards full double-taxing of corporate income earned abroad
and of course, the new surtax on small businesses and high income earners
However, with 1,018 pages there’s bound to be some other surprises left in there. So if you can, do the work Congress won’t and read the bill. Leave a comment to let us know anything you find so we can make sure everyone else knows about it too.
Read the bill here: http://edlabor.house….

Bring Back the Declaration of Independence by Matt Hawes at Campaign for Liberty
http://www.campaignfo…
So, President Obama, we’ve asked if government works, and the answer is a resounding no. Why? Because of the overreaching vs. limited question you claim is outdated. Big government has had decades to make its case, and if its closing argument doesn’t drive our nation over the cliff, let us hope we have learned our lesson. Unfortunately, the president failed to realize he had answered his own question in the preceding paragraph of his statement, saying: “Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.” Our Republic can ill afford any more big plans from the federal government, but it has always needed — and has always had room for — the big plans of the individual, the big dreams of the new arrivals to its shores. From those who would create products for or entertain millions, to the ones who wish nothing more than to be left alone to live their lives in peace, our country does indeed have room. Though our nation can do more than just tolerate big plans, our system is built on the fundamental concept that you should not be able to forcibly take money from others to pay for them. President Obama was correct when he said that free men and women have achieved great things. It is their freedom, and not the government, that works. Why then, does our system insist on regulating and burdening them as much as it can get away with? Because we have allowed it to. So, what can we do to recapture the vision our Founders had when they declared their independence to the world? (the suggested solutions can be found in the full article, linked above)

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