How desperate is the Senate to force Obamacare down everyone’s throat? VERY. Now that it is clear pro-life Democrats won’t budge on their principles, the Senate is considering to trick the American people with a deceptive move dubbed the Slaughter solution.
House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter is prepping to help usher the healthcare overhaul through the House and potentially avoid a direct vote on the Senate overhaul bill, the chairwoman said Tuesday.
Slaughter is weighing preparing a rule that would consider the Senate bill passed once the House approves a corrections bill that would make changes to the Senate version.
Each bill that comes before the House for a vote on final passage must be given a rule that determines things like whether the minority would be able to offer amendments to it from the floor.
In the Slaughter Solution, the rule would declare that the House “deems” the Senate version of Obamacare to have been passed by the House. House members would still have to vote on whether to accept the rule, but House members would be able to say they only voted for a rule, not for the bill itself.
Democrats who think the Senate bill doesn’t sufficiently limit abortion rights would never have to be on record as having voted for it. (Because the Senate abortion language can’t be fixed in [the reconciliation bill] for procedural reasons, some Democratic aides say there is talk about a later bill that would handle these issues.)
What a transparant Congress we have. I’m glad they drained the swamp. On the bright side, if Democrats do this you can all but call it a Republican Congress next year.
U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, a popular Democrat seen as having a good shot at a third term, said Monday he won’t run again because of the kind of bitter politicking that has put President Barack Obama’s whole agenda in jeopardy….
“I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress,” Bayh said at a news conference in Indianapolis, making little effort to hide his frustration at the slow pace in the Senate….
His statement was believable to me, because the most recent polls showed his declared Republican challenger, former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, running way behind:
Bayh is ahead by 20 percentage points in the poll, leading Coats by 55 percent to 35 percent, with 10 percent of respondents undecided. The second-term Democrat holds a 40-point advantage among independent voters, who back him 64 percent to 24 percent. Bayh currently draws a substantial number of Republicans away from Coats, taking 26 percent of GOP votes to Coats’s 68 percent.
Only a narrow plurality of voters — 38 percent — say they have a favorable view of Coats, with 34 percent viewing him unfavorably. Bayh, meanwhile, has an approval rating of 61 percent, with just 33 percent holding a negative opinion of him and 6 percent undecided….
Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., “shocked” President Barack Obama and his party by announcing his plan to retire from the Senate. Appearing on CBS’ “The Early Show,” Bayh explained: Washington suffers from acute partisanship. Washington doesn’t work. It is broken.
How noble — a principled position against “divisiveness.” Let us honor a good man standing tall against the lack of “bipartisanship.” Pass the barf bag….
Could it be that the “fed-up” senator feared losing re-election? Don’t ask. CBS didn’t. The possibility that Bayh faced a tough re-election wasn’t even hinted at….
In a hypothetical race against undeclared candidate Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. — according to a recent Rasmussen poll of likely voters — Bayh was down 3 points. Against another possible opponent, former House Republican John Hostettler, he was only ahead by 3 points. Welcome to the new normal. No Democrat or squishy Republican is safe….
Democrat Martha Coakley, just two months before the Massachusetts special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, was ahead by 20 points. She lost. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is in deep trouble in Nevada. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is retiring, as is Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I. In California, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer leads her possible Republican opponent by only 4 or 5 points. In New York, former Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Democratic replacement faces stiff opposition. Obama’s Illinois seat is up for grabs.
Florida’s Republican governor/Senate candidate, Charlie Crist, who hugged Obama and supported the bailouts and the “stimulus,” is down in the polls against a more conservative Republican. Even Sen. John McCain, 2008′s GOP presidential candidate, faces vigorous opposition in his primary against a self-described “consistent” conservative.
In Bayh’s case, how embarrassing would it be to outspend your opponent … and lose? Makes it tough for donors to kick in for a presidential run. Why take the chance?
If he bows out now, with the traditional media helpfully painting him as a lock for re-election, Bayh can go around the country unshackled….
When I listened to Bayh’s press conference I was favorably impressed … and almost fooled. But when polling him against an undeclared candidate, we discern that he is just another democrat leaving a sinking ship, hard on the heels of Dodd and Dorgan. The scandal-ridden Dodd was in trouble even within his own party, and December polls showed undeclared Republican Hoeven beating Dorgan 58%-36%.
By Max Rugemer | Monday, February 15th, 2010 at 1:40 pm
Breaking news: Sen. Evan Bayh will announce his retirement this afternoon. We just received this news alert from the Washington Post:
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D) will not seek re-election this year, a decision
that hands Republicans a prime pickup opportunity in the middle of the
Bayh will announce the decision at a press conference later today. He was
first elected to the Senate in 1998 and was re-elected easily in 2004.
National Republicans had recruited former Sen. Dan Coats to challenge Bayh
in 2010 although polling suggested Bayh began the race with a 20-point
edge. He also had $13 million in the bank at the end of the year.
This is BIG! Now, Republicans should be able to retake the Senate.
The returns are in from yesterday’s primary elections in the state of Illinois. The US Senate seat formerly held by Barack Obama will be in play this fall. It is currently being kept warm by Roland Burris, who was appointed to fill the remainder of Obama’s term by disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich under dubious circumstances.
In the five-person Republican primary, current US Congressman Mark Kirk (IL-10th) won in a landslide:
U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk — 56%
Developer Patrick Hughes — 19%
Retired circuit judge Donald Lowery — 9%
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency researcher Kathleen Thomas — 7%
Former city alderman John Arrington — 3%
Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias — 39%
Chicago City Hall inspector general David Hoffman — 34%
Former Chicago Urban League Chief Cheryle Jackson — 19%
Those are the facts and figures. But what is especially interesting is the way that the Democratic primary in-fighting has given the Republicans an advantage. Although he emerged the winner, Giannoulias was left covered with the stink of corruption by primary opponent Hoffman, who ran ads tying the Giannoulias banking family to the now-imprisoned Obama confederate Tony Rezko.
So going into the general election this fall, Illinois voters are confronted with a US Senate seat
currently filled by the now disgraced and ousted former Democratic governor Rod Blagojevich,
Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat Mr. Obama once held. He will face Republican Mark Kirk, a moderate five-term congressman who is likely to question the 33-year-old Mr. Giannoulias’ experience and judgment.
Losing the Senate seat in the increasingly Democratic-leaning state would be a bigger personal embarrassment for Mr. Obama than Republican Scott Brown’s upset victory last month in Massachusetts for the Senate seat held for decades by the late Edward M. Kennedy….
Republicans hope to win the Senate seat … in November by exploiting Democratic turmoil and scandal, including former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s ouster over corruption charges that include the allegation he tried to sell Mr. Obama’s seat.
Never ending ethics scandals and the near insolvency of the state government burst the bubble of any post Obama euphoria months ago. On Saturday, Chicagoans awoke to these stories: a suburban mayor sentenced for bribery; a Chicago alderman taking a bribery plea deal, and a former alderman learning he may face prison time for a real estate kickback scheme.
Illinois Democrats are splintered and frazzled in the wake of the impeachment of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who will be tried this summer on federal public corruption charges for, among other items, trying to auction off Obama’s seat….
…Republican governor victories last year in Virginia and New Jersey, and the stunning loss earlier this month in Massachusetts of the Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy to Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown have moved Illinois to the top of the GOP priority list.
Massachusetts furthered emboldened the Republicans; they knew they had an Illinois senate game months ago….
Kirk is the first serious GOP Senate nominee Illinois has seen in years. Seven of the last nine U.S. Senators elected from this state have been democrats. Democrats hold every major state office. But, while the president is personally popular here, his policies are not.
Unemployment is over 10%, corruption runs rampant, and like the federal budget, the state budget has massive deficits. Taxes are sky high and voters are furious….
OK, dear readers, just look at the pictures of the two candidates. If you didn’t know anything else about them, but just had this one glance, which one would you vote for?
The Democratic candidate is the one on the left. ‘Nuff said.
By Dr. Ron Hei | Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at 3:04 pm
The Massachusetts senate race divides between Dem voters who believe in entitlement and Pubs who trust democracy.
Liberals are worried about the election three days from now. This is what they are up to!…..
Organizing for America
There’s a crucial Senate election in Massachusetts in just three days. We need your help to win it.
The polls are tightening as right-wing money floods the state, and one even shows the race to be a dead heat between progressive champion Martha Coakley and her extreme opponent. The truth is, special elections often have very low turnout and are notoriously unpredictable.
The stakes are just too high to leave Martha’s victory to chance.
If we lose, Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat will be in the hands of someone who opposes everything he fought for. We’ll lose a key vote for the President’s agenda in the Senate — and put all the progress we’ve made toward health reform at risk.
That’s why OFA is putting together a massive voter turnout effort to make sure Obama voters get back to the polls this time around…
OFA is going all out in Massachusetts — we’re sending organizers, knocking on doors, and making phone calls by the tens of thousands to make sure that folks know how to participate.
It’s a huge effort, it’s expensive, and time is short. But with the outcome uncertain and the stakes sky high, I don’t want to wake up the morning after the election thinking that we could have done something more….
Scott Brown has a fighting chance in the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat from Massachusetts.
At first, it didn’t seem very likely that he could break the “filibuster-proof” Democratic majority in the Senate. Ted Kennedy won reelection in 2006 with 69% of the vote. In 2008 Barack Obama beat John McCain 62% to 36%. But the times are changing.
Since he tossed his hat in the ring, Republican Brown has closed the traditional gap with Democratic opponent Martha Coakley. By January 5, Rasmussen reported:
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds Coakley ahead of Brown 50% to 41%.
That’s likely voters. But there’s more:
Special elections are typically decided by who shows up to vote and it is clear from the data that Brown’s supporters are more enthusiastic. In fact, among those who are absolutely certain they will vote, Brown pulls to within two points of Coakley.
This is beginning to be doable. It is time, as they said in the days of steam railroading, to “pour on the coal.” And Coakley comes with dubious baggage — her negatives have been thoughtfully documented by Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, an excellent blog authored by Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson:
We encourage our readers to visit Jacobson’s blog — it has an exciting “you are there” ambiance and he really covers the ground. The opposition is resorting to all sorts of dirty tricks — phony “push polling”, SEIU and MoveOn skullduggery — and he covers it all.
And here’s one more reason for the ladies to support Brown. Forgive me, dear readers, but I just couldn’t resist. When Scott Brown was a 22-year-old law student at Boston College, he posed nude for the centerfold of Cosmopolitan magazine.
There. That should drive our traffic numbers up today!
UPDATE, 9PM: Public Policy Polling is now reporting that the race is a toss-up.
The Massachusetts Senate race is now a toss up.
Buoyed by a huge advantage with independents and relative disinterest from Democratic voters in the state, Republican Scott Brown leads Martha Coakley 48-47.
Here are the major factors leading to this surprising state of affairs:
-As was the case in the Gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia last year, it looks like the electorate in Massachusetts will be considerably more conservative than the one that showed up in 2008….
By Jim Simpson | Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 at 5:33 am
Barack Hussein Obama will cede US sovereignty to the United Nations at the December “Climate Summit.”
Not content with his humiliation in Copenhagen, Denmark this past September, President Obama will be traveling there again in December to attend the UN COP15 Climate Change Conference. This agreement would commit the United States to punitive and expensive greenhouse gas regulations dictated by the United Nations without recourse.
COP stands for “Conference of the Parties” and the December Copenhagen conference will be the 15th under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hence COP15. According to their website, it will be one of the largest conferences ever held outside the New York or Geneva headquarters, with an anticipated attendance of over 10,000 people, including governmental representatives from 189 countries, industry groups, and other non-governmental organizations.
The theme of the December 7 – 18 conference is “Hope,” so perhaps Mr. Obama will have more luck this time. Instead of soliciting the International Olympic Committee with trite clichés and getting no payoffs, he will be doing something much easier: selling out our country. After all, ceding power, relinquishing billions in U.S. tax dollars and destroying U.S. economic competitiveness is a pretty easy sell to the countries that will benefit, and he has had a lot of practice doing the same thing here at home. He will have a hard time screwing this one up.
The Hope site optimistically pronounces:
On 7 December, leaders from 192 countries gather for UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and decide the fate of our planet…
Decide the fate of our planet… Do these people have any idea how mindlessly grandiose they sound? Of course not. They are out to save the planet,just like Nancy Pelosi! It is hard for a normal person to imagine making such proclamations without embarrassment. But this is today’s political class.
Lord Monckton was former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s science advisor. He has lectured and written extensively on the issue, including an in-depth scientific critique to the 50,000 member American Physical Society, a serious side-by-side comparison slap-down of Al Gore’s global warming assertions, and a recent summary of the global warming issue. In introducing his topic at Bethel University, he states unequivocally:
…and I am going to show you the latest science, which now doesn’t leave the question unsettled any more, this is now settled science, it is now settled science that there is not a problem with our influence over the climate. The science is in, the truth is out, and the scare is over.
You can watch his entire presentation (1:35:33) on the Webcast Page here — well worth the time if you can spare it. The slideshow he frequently points to in this presentation can be viewed along with the video, here. Lord Monckton presents a series of statistics, charts and studies making a compelling case that not only is global warming insignificant — if it exists at all — but is likely not manmade, and more importantly, that the global warming alarmists have repeatedly, blatantly, deliberately lied, suppressing the facts to promote the myth.
Despite his effective refutation of manmade global warming, his closing remarks about the Copenhagen treaty are chilling:
I read that treaty. And what it says is this, that a world government is going to be created. The word “government” actually appears as the first of three purposes of the new entity. The second purpose is the transfer of wealth from the countries of the West to third world countries, in satisfication of what is called, coyly, “climate debt” because we’ve been burning CO2 and they haven’t. We’ve been screwing up the climate and they haven’t. And the third purpose of this new entity, this government, is enforcement.
So, thank you, America. You were the beacon of freedom to the world. It is a privilege merely to stand on this soil of freedom while it is still free. But, in the next few weeks, unless you stop it, your president will sign your freedom, your democracy, and your prosperity away forever. And neither you nor any subsequent government you may elect will have any power whatsoever to take it back. That is how serious it is. I’ve read the treaty. I’ve seen this stuff about [world] government and climate debt and enforcement. They are going to do this to you whether you like it or no.
Watch him make his powerful concluding remarks in the following video (4:12 min):
You might call it a bit of rhetorical overkill, but given everthing else this administration and Congress have already done, only a bit. As Monckton later stated in a Q & A session, for such a treaty to be ratified requires a positive vote from a two-thirds majority in the U.S. Senate.
It seems difficult to imagine Democrats convincing seven Republicans to assist them in committing national suicide that way. Indeed, a recent Wall Street Journal article quoted Senate Republicans as saying that whatever deal Obama cut at Copenhagen would be dead on arrival:
Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the top Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, predicts “a repeat of Kyoto — namely an environmentally ineffective agreement that cannot be ratified” by the Senate.
However, perhaps an easier option would be for Democrats to pass legislation enacting some or all of the proposals. The House has already passed the Waxman-Markey (Cap and Trade) bill. This onerous legislation calls for an 83 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses from 2005 levels by 2050. That means almost complete elimination of carbon based fuels, and parallels the goals identified in COP15, which asks participating countries to reduce global emmissions 50-85% by 2050.
Such reductions would essentially bring our economy to a screeching halt, as Lord Monckton states in his speech. Even the more modest goal for 2020 of a 17 percent reduction will force radical changes in how we do business and conduct our daily lives.
Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and the increasingly addled Lindsay Graham (R-SC), put out an Op-Ed in the New York Times last week, under the frighteningly Obamanoid title “Yes We Can,” indicating that perhaps Senate Republicans shouldn’t be so sanguine either. Their article concludes thusly (emphasis added):
We are confident that a legitimate bipartisan effort can put America back in the lead again and can empower our negotiators to sit down at the table in Copenhagen in December and insist that the rest of the world join us in producing a new international agreement on global warming.
So if Kerry and Graham get their way, not only is America going to agree to UN global warming regulations, we are going to lead the charge in getting them imposed!
And the UN panel is fully anticipating a more conciliatory approach from the US. Recognizing Kerry’s efforts, as UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer stated:
I think that a major shortcoming of Kyoto was that the official delegation came back with a treaty they knew was never going to make it through the Senate. And this time I have the feeling that the communication is much stronger, that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, through John Kerry, is really expressing strongly what they feel needs to be done in Copenhagen.
Thank you John Kerry.
The UN website states the following about COP15 (emphasis added):
This [the 2009 Bangkok climate change talks] was the penultimate negotiating session before COP15 in Copenhagen in December, at which an ambitious and effective international climate change deal is to be clinched.
Before COP15, there will be a final round of negotiations November 2-6 in Barcelona, Spain at the Barcelona Convention Center.
The most recent UNFCCC Working Group report (181 pages) can be accessed here in PDF format. Much of it references earlier documents, of which there are many. To fully assess the ramifications of this proposal would likely require referencing these earlier documents as well.
While the prospects for Senate ratification of this treaty are probably in doubt, it seems likely the US Congress may try to pass Waxman-Markey or some other hybrid legislation using the same underhanded tactics now in play on healthcare. All the more reason to redouble our efforts at getting them out in 2010.
Suffice it to say that if the carbon reduction targets already discussed are adapted by this country, nevermind whatever other onerous provisions are in this treaty, we might as well all buy a horse and buggy — sorry, rickshaw; horses create methane — because we will be headed back into the 18th century.
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, a Fox News analyst, places Sunstein on the far left of the Democrat Party, to the left of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
“We have never had anybody in a regulatory position with this kind of power that is this far to the left of the American people,” says Napolitano. “His potential damage is limitless.”
Sunstein’s nomination had been put on hold in the Senate since late April, but Senator John Cornyn (R–TX) decided to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and assure the radical’s nomination by lifting the hold.
Cornyn wasn’t the lone Party sell-out. Senate Republicans could have held up the Sunstein nomination but for the seven magnificent RINOs — Susan Collins (R-ME); Olympia Snowe (R-ME); Bob Bennett (R-UT); Orin Hatch (R-UT); Judd Gregg (R-NH); Richard Lugar (R-IN); and George Voinovich (R-OH) — who joined with all but three — Mark Pryor (D-AR); Blanche Lincoln (D-AR); and Jim Webb (D-VA) — of their “enlightened” statist brethren Democrats to invoke cloture and guarantee Sunstein’s nomination before the Democrat controlled Senate.
The Senate is expected to have an up or down vote to rubber-stamp the nomination of the leftist radical tomorrow.
Watch Glenn Beck Clips – Andrew P. Napolitano Interview:
Watch Glenn Beck – Cass Sunstein – The Regulator Czar
Bypassing the authority of Congress, Barack Obama rules through czars — the beginnings of dictatorship. (Most recent update — Sept. 9.)
[The spelling of the title is a literary allusion to The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton, circa 1653, a staple of English literature. The variant spelling "compleat" signifies "quintessential," the be all and end all, the last word.
This is an updated list. The original post is below the fold. Normally, we write about something and move on, but so many people have been using this list for reference that we feel an obligation to keep it current. We cannot do this as a new post without being unfair to the many fellow bloggers who have linked to the URL of this post. Also, we have a policy of never erasing something that we have posted, because it confuses readers who come back looking for something they remember reading, and we put courtesy to our readers ahead of everything. To accomodate these two constraints, we will keep a current list above the fold continually updated, and leave the original post unchanged below the fold.
The 8/06/09 update reflects the impending departure of the cybersecurity czar, Melissa Hathaway, adds the new "disinformation czar" and clarifies the media caused ambiguity between the "auto recovery czar" and the "car czar" -- see full discussion of this in update following the original post.]
Car czar, Ron Bloom [Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury , under Senate oversight]
UPDATE, 9/07/09: Obama announced his appointment of Ron Bloom as “senior counselor for manufacturing policy,” a move that will eliminate Senate oversight. This position has been dubbed “manufacturing czar” and so this listing moves to a different alphabetical location.
UPDATE, 9/08/09: My bad. Ron Bloom continues as car czar and takes the appointment as manufacturing czar. He will be double dipping.
Intelligence czar, Dennis Blair [Director of National Intelligence, a Senate confirmed position. He is a retired United States Navy four-star admiral]
Latin-American czar, Arturo Valenzuela (nominee) [although this post is referred to as a czar, he is nominatied to be Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and so is subject to Senate confirmation. Voting on his confirmation was delayed to clarify his position on Honduras. Watch WaPo's Head Count to track status of confirmation.]
Manufacturing czar, Ron Bloom, formerly a “car czar” under Senate oversight, now reporting directly to the President.
UPDATE from Labor Day.
Safe schools czar, Kevin Jennings [appointed to be Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, a newly created post (that does not require Senate confirmation); openly gay founder of an organization dedicated to promoting pro-homosexual clubs and curricula in public schools]
Radio-internet fairness czar
UPDATE, 7/29/09: Mark Lloyd was appointed FCC diversity czar.
Student loan czar, to oversee a program of mandatory service in return for college money (source)
Voter list czar
Obama has moved swiftly to concentrate power in the White House, bypassing the review of our elected representatives in Congress in most of the posts listed above. Even though cabinet positions are part of the executive branch, the cabinet secretaries must be approved by Congress, they are funded by Congress, and they can be called before Congress to testify. Most of these czars, on the other hand, are appointed by Obama at his sole discretion, and are answerable only to him. If subpoenaed by Congress, they can claim executive privilege.
On July 15, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) introduced H.R.3226, the Czar Accountability and Reform (CZAR) Act of 2009, with 34 co-sponsors. There is some comfort in knowing that there are still a few folk in the House of Representatives who are fighting for constitutional government.
This new list is alphabetized by the czar positions, to facilitate comparison with the excellent research on the duties of each office done by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton at Noisy Room. Below the fold is the earlier list sorted by the last names of the appointees.
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