Howard Dean admitted tort reform was left out of the health care bill because Dems fear lawyers.
In response to a local resident’s question at a town hall meeting, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean admitted that tort reform was left out of the health care bill because Democrats were afraid of “taking on” the trial lawyers.
Roland Tulino, a local resident who attended the August 25 meeting sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jim Moran (VA-8th) at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia, asked the following question:
“There’s $200 million over 10 years in savings if we had tort reform and nobody loses but the lawyers,” said Tulino. “Why have we not even considered that tonight in the discussion sir? Tell the American people that.”
Moran offered the podium to the former governor of Vermont, and Dean gave the following response:
“Here is why tort reform is not in the bill. When you go to pass a really enormous bill like that the more stuff you put in, the more enemies you make, right? And the reason why tort reform is not in the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everybody else they were taking on, and that is the plain and simple truth. Now, that’s the truth.”
Although Moran praised Dean for giving an “honest answer,” his answer actually raises a more important question. Why do the Dems fear the trial lawyers more than they do the doctors whose profession, after all, is the one on the block for “reform?”
Democrat Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1) had guards arrest a retired cop from her town hall in Manchester yesterday. Carl Tomanelli, a retired New York City policeman, had complained because she handed out green stickers for her supporters to wear, so that members of the audience could be differentiated. Also, there were out-of-state Service Employees International Union members in the audience, while many residents of the district were excluded.
There’s some hypocrisy to this — Shea-Porter was a disruptive demonstrater at the town halls held by her Republican predecessor in the New Hampshire district. She was a vocal opponent of the Iraq war, and was described as stalking Jeb Bradley, the previous congressman:
The irony is … that Shea-Porter … stalked then-congressman Jeb Bradley at town hall-style meetings the 1st District Republican incumbent held throughout his district.
Shea-Porter’s passion against the Iraq war and other Bush policies made her a darling of the liberal throng that came out to rock the house in September 2006….
Here’s video from the meeting, showing the guards hustling the retired cop out of the room:
The executive editor/publisher of a Tennessee newspaper disparaged ordinary citizens in a Sunday opinion piece. Tom Griscom, head of the Chattanooga Times Free Press called the behavior of town hall attendees civil disobedience. He portrayed them as not being serious about the issues, but just shouting to get in practice for upcoming football games.
So much for the cacophony of voices at town hall meetings in Kimball, Winchester, Cleveland and other communities across Tennessee.
Public option? Who cares?
Death panels? Yesterday’s news.
Uninsured or health care for illegal immigrants? No big deal.
It’s football time in (fill in the state).
Recession? What’s a recession when it’s time to don your favorite extreme color scheme and watch men in their late teens and early 20s run up and down a field to the delight of some and the disappointment of others?
One wonders whether a few of the shouters at the health care town hall meetings that have dotted the countryside were wannabe football fans merely warming up for the sound of popping shoulder pads.
Actually, the civil disobedience that has been on display at the health care forums may be a great warm-up to carry over to stadiums in the Southeastern Conference this fall football season….
It’s Tea Party time in Tennessee and elsewhere.
Perhaps this piece — somewhat incoherent and internally inconsistent — was just sloppy writing by a busy fellow under pressure to crank out some filler for the Sunday edition. If not, the man is an arrogant jerk who insults his readers, at a time when print media is losing ground, not a good business move. One offended subscriber said:
Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of a government, or of an occupying power, without resorting to physical violence.
I intend to write Mr. Griscom and ask him what it was about the town halls that constituted “civil disobedience.” What law did we break, accepting the invitation of our elected representatives to meet? Perhaps it is that he perceives the Obama Administration as being an “occupying power” rather than the duly elected servant of the people who runs the executive branch of the government which, last I heard, was a free republic.
Anyone who receives the Chattanooga paper should make a point to read his column and see the political cartoon he ends with. He has the town hall participants drawn as CLOWNS!!
A New Hampshire court has ordered a 10-year-old home schooler to attend public school for defending her Christian faith a bit too vigorously. The official said the girl’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.”
In addition to homeschooling, the girl attends supplemental public school classes and has also been involved in a variety of extra-curricular sports activities…
But during the process of negotiating the terms of the plan, a guardian ad litem appointed to participate concluded the girl “appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith”…
According to court documents, the guardian ad litem earlier had told the mother, “If I want her in public school, she’ll be in public school.”….
The guardian ad litem had an anti-Christian bias, the documents said, telling the mother at one point she wouldn’t even look at homeschool curriculum.
“I don’t want to hear it. It’s all Christian based,” she said.
Attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund are challenging the decision on behalf of the girl and her mother, saying:
“The order assumes that because Amanda has sincerely held Christian beliefs, there must be a problem that needs solving. It is a parent’s constitutionally protected right to train up their children in the religious beliefs that they hold. It is not up to the court to suggest that a 10-year-old should be ‘exposed’ to other religious views contrary to the faith traditions of her parents….
“Absent any other clear and convincing evidence justifying the court’s decision, it would appear that the court has indeed taken sides with regard to the issue of religion and has preferred one religious view over another (or the absence of religion). This is impermissible.”
Forcing children into a public education system controlled by the state to balance worldviews is a tyrannical attempt to replace an individual’s belief system with that of the state. State mandated education paves the way for totalitarianism regimes in that nation. Adolf Hitler clearly understood the importance for mandating state-controlled education as this brief excerpt from a May 1, 1937, address shows:
“The youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled… This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.”
President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802 attempting to assuage their fear of the new federal government by stressing the importance of the First Amendment “wall” protecting their church liberties from state power. Obviously, the decision by the New Hampshire judge runs directly counter to Jefferson’s notion of the First Amendment.
New evidence has surfaced, thanks to the Attorney General’s war on the CIA, confirming what most already know. Nancy Pelosi is a hypocritical liar.
Remember last April when Nancy Pelosi was cornered exposing her hypocrisy on the enhanced interrogation techniques used against terrorists? She had been crying how evil Bush was and pretending she was in the dark on the issue. The CIA let the world know she had been briefed on the techniques and that they were being used. She claimed the CIA was lying.
“In that or any other briefing we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used. What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel opinions that they could be used.”
Uh oh! Documented evidence has surfaced! In a report given to congress by the National Intelligence Director this week, on September 4th 2002 Nancy Pelosi was briefed. Her name is in the column stating:
“Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed.”
Now new evidence has come to light. In the Attorney General’s war against the CIA for using these enhanced techniques documents have been revealed showing Pelosi’s hands are not as clean as she would like people to believe.
The newly declassified CIA report on the interrogation of Islamist terrorists notes “in the fall of 2002, the agency briefed the leadership of the Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of both standard techniques and EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques).”
The CIA, according to the report, “continued to brief the leadership of the Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of EITs and detentions in February and March 2003.”
And here’s the zinger: “The general counsel says that none of the participants expressed any concern about the techniques or the program….”
For months, Speaker Pelosi has claimed she and other high-ranking Democrats in Congress who were briefed by the CIA during President Bush’s first term “were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used.”
Others present with her at CIA intelligence briefings, like former House Intelligence Committee Chairman and CIA director Porter Goss, say otherwise.
Her credibility was also rattled by the revelation that Rep. Jane Harman, the California Democrat who succeeded Pelosi as ranking Democrat on the House intelligence panel, sent a classified letter to the CIA in February 2003 objecting to EITs.
Speaker Pelosi’s behavior reeks of the kind of cynicism and hypocrisy Americans have become used to seeing in Washington.
Her liberal instincts were to object to the CIA’s tough interrogation of terrorists.
But those briefings took place not long after the 9/11 attacks; the war in Afghanistan, home to al-Qaida and shelter for Osama bin Laden, was going well; and the Iraq War had not yet begun.
So there was no way for an ambitious politician like Pelosi to know which way the political winds would end up blowing.
At the time, President Bush was basking in popularity, and the nation was in lockstep behind his aggressive approach to waging the global war on terror — including in Iraq. For all Pelosi knew, it might stay that way for many years to come.
So she stayed quiet, keeping her options open. Now, with Democrats running the whole show in Washington and a Justice Department poised to criminalize CIA interrogators in a politicized national security witch hunt, she has chosen to revert to those liberal instincts.
Solid evidence showing what we already knew. Pelosi is a hypocritical liar. She should be held accountable.
The Bay Patriots of Panama City, Florida held their long-scheduled town hall yesterday. Democrat Rep. Allen Boyd (FL-2nd) was a no-show:
Bay Patriots Hold Town Hall Despite Absent Congressman
08/28/09 – 06:24 PM
A Panama City town hall meeting continues tonight, despite an absent congressman.
Representative Allen Boyd is in the process of rescheduling, but the Bay Patriots press on. The group gathered at Gulf Coast Community College.
Congressman Boyd was not at this event. He says he’s heard the concerns of the Bay Patriots, and those concerns are part of the reason to reschedule and relocate.
According to the Patriots, it was still a town hall. Congressman Boyd, who was in Panama City today, was invited to attend.
This discussion isn’t just about health care, participants say they have many issues they want to discuss with Boyd.
“I was going to go either way … my plan was to come to the town hall and actually talk to Boyd … but that was cancelled but we’ll still get information,” said Bay County resident, William Horvat.
“I just feel like he kinda chickened out,” said Bay Patriot, Ed Willis.
“We’re here because we feel like we’re losing some freedom in this country and we want all the information that we can get,” said Bay County resident, Beverly York.
Despite Boyd absence, all are eager to have him come back to the panhandle and say they would attend a rescheduled town hall.
Our correspondents who were at the meeting estimate the crowd at between 1,000 and 1,500. It was an orderly, typically American group, carrying signs, waving flags, cooking hamburgers and hot dogs and listening to speakers.
Sixteen percent of Americans are actually out of work, according to Atlanta Federal Reserve chief Dennis Lockhart. That figure compares with the official July jobless rate reported by the government as 9.4 percent.
The real US unemployment rate is 16 percent if persons who have dropped out of the labor pool and those working less than they would like are counted, a Federal Reserve official said Wednesday.
“If one considers the people who would like a job but have stopped looking — so-called discouraged workers — and those who are working fewer hours than they want, the unemployment rate would move from the official 9.4 percent to 16 percent, said Atlanta Fed chief Dennis Lockhart.
Sean Hannity reports:
The situation may be even worse than the estimate by Lockhart, according to our own research. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the unemployment rate each month based on interviews with 60,000 households including 110,000 individuals (out of a population of 307,297,404 at the time of this writing). These folk respond to interviews with “2,200 highly trained and experienced Census Bureau employees.”
As a result of a fixed set of questions, the respondents are divided into three groups:
People with jobs are employed.
People who are jobless, looking for jobs, and available for work are unemployed.
People who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force.
Those “not in the labor force” include all children under sixteen, adults attending school, homemakers, retired persons, those institutionalized in prisons or asylums, and the incapacitated.
Certainly there is wiggle room in estimates extrapolated from small sample size, especially in the hands of politically motivated bureaucrats who are in a position to “massage the data.” Moreover, the survey counts everyone who helped a few hours in a family business without pay as employed. And what even Lockhart has not taken into account is the fact that the census does not distinguish foreigners with legal status and illegal aliens, a demographic that is “in country” specifically for jobs. The percentage of deserving United States citizens who are unemployed is obviously higher than even the 16% figure, when employed aliens are subtracted from the mix.
Add to this these facts:
Our population is on average aging, with the number of retired persons increasing and the proportion of workers decreasing.
Our national debt obligations (to China and others) are growing exponentially from interest owed.
Our national debt is growing in an unpredictable way from the government spending spree into the incalculable trillions.
Productivity and tax revenues are overall declining.
One must conclude that our feckless government has plunged the nation into an almost inescapable downward economic spiral.
Obama’s crew pressured advertisers to dump The Glenn Beck Program. Beck’s ratings soared, over three million viewers in non-prime-time by Wednesday. An appetite for truth has been rekindled in America. To put this in perspective, Beck left Anderson Cooper and Larry King in the dust, and they both air in prime time when the pool of TV viewers is much larger. (Big Beck)
The current flap began when Beck did a program exposing the communist affiliations of Van Jones, Obama’s “green jobs czar.” In 2005, Jones co-founded ColorOfChange, an African American political advocacy group. ColorOfChange sent a petition signed by some of their members to all of Beck’s advertisers, urging them to withdraw support from Beck’s cable television program.
According to news sources, some companies did pull their ads — Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Best Buy, Broadview Security (formerly Brinks), CVS, GEICO Insurance, Healthy Choice (a division of ConAgra Foods), the advertising service Lawyers.com (run by LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. and misspelled Nexus Lexis in news reports), Men’s Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Re-Bath, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis (Plavix), Sargento Foods, SC Johnson, State Farm Insurance, Travelocity, Wal-Mart.
In response, Beck’s viewers organized a boycott of those companies. Websites supporting Beck sprang up. Two really good ones are:
Defend Glenn, which got 850,000 page views during its first day online, and
Support Glenn Beck, which includes a pro-Glenn-Beck petition to advertisers and great contact information.
There is just one problem for those companies that bowed to the pressure to suppress free speech. ColorOfChange claims that they have over 600,000 members, and that 75,000 of those signed their petition in response to an email request sent to all the members. Beck has over three million viewers, most passionately loyal. On top of that, ColorOfChange draws membership from a demographic that is on average less affluent than Beck’s largely middle class viewership. So advertisers who withdraw are shooting themselves in the foot.
And cost them it has. In the first three days of the DefendGlenn movement:
9,000 GEICO accounts gone
297 Ally Bank accounts closed
7,200 boycotting CVS
14,700 boycotting Sargento
10,000 Travelocity accounts cancelled
And now it appears that claims made by ColorOfChange about the success of their effort to silence Glenn Beck were somewhat exaggerated (I’m being kind here). Several of the companies they claimed to have influenced did not advertise on the Beck program in the first place. It appears that the mainstream media just accepted the list of companies in the ColorOfChange press release and reported them without checking.
BOND Action, Inc., a national cultural action organization, has come out in support of FOX News Channel broadcaster Glenn Beck. Beck has been under attack from the radical left-wing group ColorOfChange.org after he said last month that he believes President Obama is “a racist.” ColorOfChange.org was founded by Van Jones; a self-described “rowdy black nationalist.” Jones now serves as White House environmental advisor (czar). So far advertisers including Geico, Ally Bank, and Sargento Cheese have been intimidated into pulling ads off The Glenn Beck Show. “BOND Action, Inc.,will be working to expose the source behind the boycott and counter it,” said Founder and President, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson.
“Glenn Beck is right, Obama is a racist!” added Rev. Peterson. “Where were the boycotts and outraged activists when President George W. Bush was being falsely maligned as a ‘racist’? This is a blatant double standard. This boycott is an attempt to silence Beck from continuing his expose’ of Barack Obama’s socialist agenda and his radical ‘green jobs czar’ Van Jones.”
ColorOfChange.org claims some 33 advertisers have pulled their ads off The Glenn Beck Show, but that number is reportedly exaggerated. ColorOfChange.org has a checkered past. The group reportedly endorsed outrageous statements by rapper Kanye West that former President Bush gave troops permission to go to New Orleans and shoot black people during Hurricane Katrina. Beck’s television program draws more than 2 million viewers and BOND Action, Inc., is calling on advertisers not to cave in to pressure.
Rev. Peterson said, “ColorOfChange.org claims that it exists to ‘strengthen Black America’s political voice’ — but it’s clear that they are a left-wing, racist political group that deal in lies. This attempt to silence Beck is an attack on free speech and must be countered.”
Dems are down one critical Senate seat until January, due to their own Machiavellian ways. Don’t you just love it when their “chickens come home to roost?”
After the last election, Dems assumed virtually dictatorial powers, because they controlled the presidency, had a majority in the House of Representatives, and had a filibuster-proof majority of sixty seats in the Senate.
With the passing of Ted Kennedy, they have lost that critical edge by one senate vote. Now the governor of Massachusetts is a Democrat, Deval Patrick, and under normal circumstances, as it is in most states, he could appoint a Democrat to fill the remainder of Kennedy’s term. But the Dems have already shot themselves in the foot.
Back in 2004, incumbent US president Republican George W. Bush was running for a second term. And John Kerry, a sitting Democrat senator from Massachusetts, challenged him. If Kerry had been elected president, that would have left his Massachusetts Senate seat vacant. And that would have been a problem for the Dems.
Massachusetts is a heavily Democratic state. Seldom has the state gone for a Republican president — Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 and Ronald Reagan in 1980 in recent memory. But there was a rare period from 1991 to 2007 when the state had Republican governors (due to successive Democrat administrations running it down into junk bond ratings).
William Weld from 1991 to 1997
Argeo Paul Cellucci from 1997 to 2001
Jane Maria Swift from 2001 to 2003
Mitt Romney from 2003 to 2007
So in 2004 Mitt Romney, a Republican, was governor. And he could have filled Kerry’s seat with a Republican. Not wanting to allow that normal political process to unfold, Ted Kennedy strong-armed a law through the heavily Democratic Massachusetts legislature to take the appointment power away from the governor and not allow a vacant seat to be filled by appointment:
Prior to 2004, the replacement would serve out the remainder of the term of that Senate seat and also be eligible to run for it at the next regular election. The 2004 law, now in effect, does not allow a temporary replacement to be appointed and instead requires that a special election be held within 145 and 160 days….
In the summer of 2004, the law taking away the governor’s power and providing for a special election was approved by the House 122-30 and the Senate 31-7. It was supported overwhelmingly by all but seven of the House Democratic representatives and senators and opposed by all Republicans. Democrats at that time feared that then Republican Gov. Mitt Romney would have the opportunity to appoint a Republican to fill Sen. John Kerry’s seat if Kerry won the 2004 November presidential election. That GOP appointee, under the pre-2004 law, would have served in the U.S. Senate for four years until the regular Senate election in 2008.
During debate on the 2004 law, supporters of repealing the appointment power said that the temporary appointment system was archaic and takes power away from the voters by allowing a governor to make a political appointment that could last for several years….
So under the current law, which the Dems themselves voted in specifically to disadvantage the Republicans, the Dems cannot get back their sixty Senate seats before January. And this just at a time when they are trying to ram their unpopular health care bill down the American throat.
But now, in a revealing display of crass opportunism, the Dems are frantically trying to get legislation passed to allow the Massachusetts governor appointment power once again. We shall see. Even if they manage to manipulate the system one more time, it will take awhile, and that will be time taken from the health care battle.
An interesting sideshow will be the choice of appointee. Ted Kennedy had designated his second wife Victoria Reggie Kennedy as his successor in the family seat. If she is not interested, Ted’s nephew Joseph P. Kennedy II is a possibility.
Outside the family, names mentioned include US Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, US Rep. Michael E. Capuano, and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Former US Rep. Martin Meehan has also been suggested.
If a Kennedy offers, all bets are off, of course. The family seat is regarded as hereditary, such is the mentality of Massachusetts.
The Congressional Research Service confirmed yesterday that illegals would benefit under the House version of the Heath Care Bill. From a press release issued today by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR):
(Washington, DC) Tuesday, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the “research arm” for the United States Congress, issued a report validating an analysis by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), that illegal aliens would be able to receive benefits under the House health care reform bill, America’s Affordable Health Care Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200).
The report, Treatment of Noncitizens in H.R. 3200, states definitively, “H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitizens – whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently – participating in the Exchange.” H.R. 3200 establishes a Health Insurance Exchange which would provide individuals and small businesses with access to health care plans, including the “public option” to be managed by the government.
CRS also confirms FAIR’s assessment that the House bill does not include a mechanism to prevent illegal aliens from receiving “affordability credits” that would subsidize the purchase of private health insurance. CRS specifically noted the absence “of a provision in the bill specifying the verification procedure.” Because the language is ambiguous, all CRS could reasonably conclude is that any eligibility determination would be the responsibility of the Health Choices Commissioner.
The CRS analysis comes after weeks of denials by Members of Congress that illegal aliens could receive benefits under the House bill. These denials were echoed by countless media and health care “experts” who dismissed public concerns as myths, or as politically orchestrated attacks.
“Case closed. Illegal aliens will be eligible to participate in the health care program offered by the House bill unless Congress acts to amend the bill,” stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “The loopholes and omissions in the House bill are not there by accident,” continued Stein. “These loopholes were intended to extend benefits to illegal aliens while allowing Members of Congress to deny those facts to the American people.”
Only six days ago, Barack Obama publicly denied that illegals would receive taxpayer-funded health care:
Last Thursday, President Obama appeared on the Michael Smerconish radio show and stated that none of the health care bills in Washington D.C. would give illegal aliens taxpayer-funded health care. … The truth is that the House health reform bill (H.R. 3200) will allow illegal aliens to access taxpayer-funded health insurance benefits….
When pressed by a caller to Smerconish’s radio show, President Obama suggested that organizations that correctly explain the illegal alien coverage loophole are spreading misinformation….
So the President and the Congressional Research Service have completely opposing stories. Which one do you believe?
Also issued today was an announcement by Numbers USA urging the public to Fax to Keep Up Pressure and Defeat Health Insurance for Illegal Aliens:
Your work is having some success in creating opposition to health insurance for illegal aliens. But more work is needed. Many of you who have contacted your elected officials on this issue are hearing repeated denials that the health care bill will cover illegal aliens. Our job is to continue to hammer the following message until every Member of Congress can no longer deny the fact:
We know that the plan does not REQUIRE the inclusion of illegal aliens but it does ALLOW the inclusion. That is, any illegal alien willing to lie will get the plan because the plan does not provide for any verification or even require that a person be asked if they are legally in the U.S.
Just about the time the Center for Immigration Studies was holding a press briefing at the National Press Club about the immigration and health reform connection, proponents from President Obama on down were denying that illegal aliens would receive taxpayer-funded health care under pending legislation.
I’m here to tell you, as I told the Press Club crowd, the legislation on the table does, honest to goodness, effectively extend coverage to illegal aliens.
Media Footnote: As a courtesy to our dial-up visitors, our audio and video media are configured to download completely before play is enabled. The control buttons in the media bar will highlight when the selection is ready for playback. Selections must be started manually by clicking the PLAY button.
License: Unless otherwise expressly stated all original material, of whatever nature, created by the American Daughter staff and included in this website, its related pages and archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons License, some rights reserved.
Disclaimer: This is a personal website. The views expressed here are those of the authors and no one else. This is also an experiment in thinking out loud, so there are no warranties as to the reliability or accuracy of anything presented here. Source material -- references, citations, quotes, photos, and other elements -- is gathered from publicly available materials and some of this material may be restricted. Any trademarks used are the property of their respective creators or owners. All are reproduced under the principle of Fair Use.