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3601  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: March 03, 2009, 10:19:33 AM
Of course everone has heard of the Steele Limbaugh thing and of course all the Democrat bent talk shows are having a field day with this. 

I agree with those who say listen to Limbaugh and the Rebs are doomed to minority status. Rush is not going to win anyone new over with this stuff.  But if the economy continues to tank and BO gets the blame than there is a chance for a Republican come back.  The only one of prominence who I see gets it is Newt who was on the other day saying that we need new ideas, we need to take conservatism, Reagonism to the next level.  We can't just throw out the same old song and dance. Newt is the only one of prominence who I agree with.  I think Steele is on the right track but I don't think he is quite level of spokeperson needed.  Only Newt can IMO that I can see.  Romeny might be able to but I am not sure if he can attract new faces.
 
****RUSH: I was not going to talk about Michael Steele. I have had e-mails from the Drive-By Media. I have had interview requests to be on television shows to talk about Michael Steele and what he said about my speech Saturday night. He was on CNN and I was going to ignore it, but so many of you are e-mailing me asking me to respond to this that I have changed my mind and I'm going to do so. Here is what has prompted all of the irritation at Michael Steele. He was on the D. L. Hughley show on CNN Saturday night, and the other voice you'll hear is the other guest, the rapper Chuck D. They had this exchange about me.

HUGHLEY: Rush Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the Republican Party --

STEELE: No, he's not.

HUGHLEY: Well, I'll tell you what, I've never --

STEELE: I'm the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

HUGHLEY: Then you know what? Then I can appreciate that, but no -- no one will -- will actually pry down some of the things he says, like when he comes out and says that he wants the president to fail, I understand he wants liberalism to fail.

STEELE: How is that any different than what was said about George Bush during his presidency? Let's put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, the whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it's incendiary, yes, it's ugly --

RUSH: Okay, so I am an entertainer, and I have 20 million listeners, 22 million listeners because of my great song-and-dance routines here. Yes, said Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I'm incendiary, and yes, it's ugly. Michael Steele, you are head of the RNC. You are not head of the Republican Party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the RNC and right now they want nothing to do with it, and when you call them asking them for money, they hang up on you. I hope that changes. I hope the RNC will get its act together. I hope the RNC chairman will realize he's not a talking head pundit, that he is supposed to be working on the grassroots and rebuilding it, and maybe doing something about our open primary system and fixing it so that Democrats do not nominate our candidates. It's time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you're having a tough time pulling off. I hope you figure out how to run a primary system. But it seems to me that it's Michael Steele who is off to a shaky start. 
 
 
My parents taught me when I was growing up that you always stood behind people who defended you, you never abandoned people who stood up for you and who defended you against assault. Michael Steele was a candidate for the Senate in Maryland. Michael Steele was on this program, he got airtime on this program to attempt to refute the lies being told about him by Michael J. Fox in those famous ads way back when that were also run against Jim Talent in Missouri. I personally took time to defend Michael Steele and to rip the substance of those ads, had him on the show. I went after Chuck Schumer when Chuck Schumer's former employee stole Michael Steele's private credit record information and released it. When I went to Washington a couple years ago for a personal appearance from my station there, WMAL, WMAL arranged for a number of dignitaries to meet me backstage. One of them was Michael Steele, who thanked me very much for coming to his defense. Something's happened. Now I'm just an entertainer and now I am ugly and my program is incendiary.

Michael Steele has been around long enough to know that the liberal media will use him by twisting what I say or what others say. He took the bait, he bit down hard on the bait, he launched an attack on me even though the premise of what was said to him was false. He took the bait and he went for it. Now, Mr. Steele, if it is your position as the chairman of the Republican National Committee that you want a left wing Democrat president and a left wing Democrat Congress to succeed in advancing their agenda, if it's your position that you want President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid to succeed with their massive spending and taxing and nationalization plans, I think you have some explaining to do. Why are you running the Republican Party? Why do you claim you lead the Republican Party when you seem obsessed with seeing to it that President Obama succeeds? I frankly am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda. I have to conclude that he does because he attacks me for wanting it to fail.

This isn't complicated stuff here, folks. It's difficult to organize the defeat of Obama and the Democrat Congress in 2012, if we want to. It's going to be difficult enough, but on one hand it shouldn't be difficult at all. But it's going to be really hard, Mr. Steele, if you, as the chairman of the RNC, want Obama to succeed. Where does the Republican Party go if you, who are supposed to be redesigning our primary system and helping reestablish our grassroots movement, how are we going to retake elective office if you want this agenda of Obama's and Pelosi's and Reid's to succeed. My colleagues in talk radio can attest to this next point. We get press release after press release after press release from the Republican National Committee attacking the Democrat agenda. They send us points of refutation. I never use them 'cause I don't need them. But they send out all these points of refutation about how this part of what Dingy Harry wants or Pelosi wants is wrong, is wrong, is wrong. Why are you sending out these things, Mr. Steele? Why is your office sending out all these talking points to defeat the Democrat agenda in Congress if your position is you want it to succeed? And I don't understand why you're asking Republicans to donate to the Republican National Committee if their money is going to be spent furthering the agenda of Barack Obama.

If we don't want Obama and Reid and Pelosi to fail, then why does the RNC exist, Mr. Steele? Why are you even raising money? What do you want from us? If I want Obama and Democrats to succeed, I suppose we should be sending the RNC donations? You know, these people, it's a bizarre discussion to have because there's a news story on this, on this feud now between me and Michael Steele. And listen to this. This is a quote from RNC spokesman, Alex Conant, I'm not sure how he pronounces his last name. "The feud between radio host Rush and Rahm makes great political theater, but it is a sideshow to the important work going on in Washington. RNC Chairman Michael Steele and elected Republicans are focused on fighting for reform and winning elections. The Democrats' problem is that the American people are growing skeptical of the massive government spending being pushed by congressional leaders like [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi."

Mr. Steele, your spokesman sounds like the RNC wants 'em to fail, to me. You're opposing 'em. You say the American people are growing weary of it, getting suspicious of it. But it's not just Pelosi's spending. It's Obama's. Where are your guts? Why can't you tie Obama to these policies? They're his! Where are your guts? (interruption) Snerdley, they don't want me doing the dirty work because when I go out there and, quote, unquote, do the dirty work, they try to cut me off at the knees for doing so. The point is, when you read that statement from Alex Conant, they're opposed to the Obama agenda, too, they're just too gutless to say so, and they get frightened when they hear the words, "I want Obama to fail." "Oh, no, no, no, we can't be associated with that." Yet you're sending out all these talking points designed to help people explain to other people why the Obama agenda is wrong. So I think it's bizarre. They put out statements and press releases damning Obama and Pelosi policies and they object when somebody like me says he doesn't want them to succeed.

Now, if it's the purpose of the Republican National Committee to urge the success of the Obama and congressional agenda, then stop sending these press releases here. I don't want 'em anymore. Stop sending all these quotes and facts and figures to prove how the Obama and Pelosi agenda is full of lies. I don't want to see it anymore, because you don't believe it. Why are you even sending these things out, Mr. Steele? It's amazing how many Republican politicians contact this show wanting on it. It's amazing how many Republicans want to come on this show. It's amazing how many send this show an endless number of press releases, their PR flacks are constantly sending me press releases and points, Congressman X saying this, special interest group X saying that, hoping I will mention it, hoping I will promote their cause. Why do they work so hard to be on this show? Why are they so eager to get me to take up their cause? I'm just an entertainer, ugly, incendiary, they say. We don't discuss current issues or policies or history or economics. So on the one hand, they had their PR flaks inundating me every day with this group or this congressman's doing that. I'm supposed to take it and make this or that congressman look good or this or that RNC chairman look good. And then they do what they do.

They chicken out when I happen to articulate exactly what their agenda really is. They don't have the guts to admit it, and I do. I'm going further and telling you today it's not that I want Obama to fail; that's not it anymore. The president is presiding over economic failure. The president is watching it, doing nothing about it. He's watching unemployment grow; he's watching the stock market plummet; he is watching people sign up for unemployment. The president of the United States is doing nothing to stop the downward spiral of this economy. He has no economic recovery plan. The truth is, the president of the United States and Rahm Emanuel, who, remember, said, "Crisis is too great a thing to waste." What does that mean? They want you suffering, they want you miserable, they want it worse, they want you rejecting conservatism. They want you rejecting capitalism. They want you turning to them in fear and desperation and angst for an immediate fix to the problem. They want you thinking you have no ability to fix your own problems. They think you have and they want you to have no ability to take care of yourself. So as the stock market now approaches minus 2,800 since Obama was elected, the statement today is to speed up the economic recovery, we're going to focus on health care. Ask yourself how that is going to get you your next job.

One other thing. Mr. Steele, if you want to lead the Republican Party, as you say you do, then you need to run for and win the presidency. You are chairman of the Republican National Committee. That is your job. To run the Republican establishment bureaucracy and prove you can defeat Democrats and elect Republicans, to come up with a new primary system that eliminates Democrats participating in ours and choosing our candidates and getting the grassroots revved up again. This is how you're going to be measured, not by how entertaining or cute you are on talk shows. By the same token, I'm not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don't want to be. I would be embarrassed to say that I'm in charge of the Republican Party in the sad-sack state that it's in. If I were chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it's in, I would quit. I might get out the hari-kari knife because I would have presided over a failure that is embarrassing to the Republicans and conservatives who have supported it and invested in it all these years. I certainly couldn't say I am proud of the Republican Party, as I am leading the Republican Party. Right now the Republican Party needs to be led, and it will be. The next Republican president is going to be the head of the party. Last time I checked, I don't think Mr. Steele is running.

And finally, Mr. Steele, we do like to entertain people here. The audience is very smart, sir. They know the difference between entertainment, and they know the difference between deadly serious issues that affect their country. Don't underestimate the intelligence of this audience or Republicans and conservatives generally. The biggest problem with all of you who live inside the Beltway is you look out over America and you think you see idiocy and unsophisticated people, ignorant people, and when you're looking at liberal Democrats, largely you're correct, but your own voters are every bit as informed, involved, engaged, and caring, if not more so than you are. We don't care, first and foremost, about the success of the Republican Party. We care about the United States of America and its future, because we cherish it and love it, and we know what it is that made it the greatest nation on earth, and we don't hear you articulating that you understand that, not just you, Mr. Steele, but hardly anybody else in Washington, DC. So send those fundraising requests out, and, by the way, when you send those fundraising requests out, Mr. Steele, make sure you say, "We want Obama to succeed." So people understand your compassion. Republicans, conservatives, are sick and tired of being talked down to, sick and tired of being lectured to, and until you show some understanding and respect for who they are, you're going to have a tough time rebuilding your party.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT
 
 
RUSH: Hey, psst, folks, just a little secret between us. Don't tell anybody, all right? This is just between us. Don't tell the Drive-Bys. The Drive-Bys were tuning in for that because they've been asking me for quotes on this. So the way they're gonna interpret -- and really don't tell anybody, this is between us, because I don't want this getting out beyond the show -- the way they are going to interpret what I just did in response to Michael Steele is, "Oh, this is great, this is great! Emanuel's strategy is working great, the Republican Party and Limbaugh are splitting apart, there's a feud, there's infighting." They will miss the whole point, and even if there are any Drive-Bys listening while I tell them the real point, they will reject it because it doesn't fit their template. What happened starting Saturday -- actually, CPAC started on Thursday, but what culminated with my speech on Saturday at CPAC was the reawakening of a huge sleeping giant that is ready to rumble, and that is American conservatism, which is found in the Democrat Party, it's found among independents, and it's found in the Republican Party.

More Americans live their lives as conservatives than you would believe. They don't get their paychecks and walk down the street and say, "Hi, you want some of this?" They'll vote for people who will do it for them, but they're trying to raise their kids right and make money, save money. They've got morality and values, most of them, not all, but most, they may not vote that way, but they live that way. They're waiting to be awakened and that awakening has started. The pressure is on the Republican Party to be more Democrat Party-like, and too many Republicans in Washington want to make that happen. Well, just the opposite is going to happen. The sleeping conservative giant has been awakened here. It's a beautiful thing. ****
 
 
END TRANSCRIPT
 
3602  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 01, 2009, 09:13:59 PM
Another sensible analysis of BO's diatribe.  When you think in these terms one can only come to the conclusion the BO is nuts and a total BS artist.   Endless contradictions:

***Jan. 26, 2009
Obama shoots for Mars

By Larry Elder

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Barack Obama, on Tuesday night, gave his first presidential address before Congress. He looked good, sounded great, and delivered his address with poise and confidence. He entered the Capitol and made his way through the applauding throng like a modern-day Moses slowly parting the Red Sea.

The moment was certainly historic, and all Americans — or at least nearly all Americans — took pride in living in a country that went from a Constitution that defined a black as three-fifths of a person to one where a black person could be elected President of the United States. Some journey!

But when the applause died down, the President took out a scattergun and attempted to hit everything in sight. He confidently asserted his and our intention to overcome the current economic downturn and march toward an even brighter future.

How? Government/taxpayers will spend our way to the summit.

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.
 
He/Congress/we will "invest" in health care and education; "save or create" 3.5 million jobs; "cure cancer within our lifetime"; provide assistance to the states; "save our planet from the ravages of climate change"; save banks and other financial institutions while holding "accountable those responsible" for their problems; increase the size of the military; end torture (presumably he meant of our enemies); and cut the size of the deficit.

What?! Nothing about crafting a college football playoff?

After the President's speech, the political commentators fell over themselves in complimenting the President. Many said things like "he aimed high," "he set out an ambitious agenda," and "he outlined a vigorous list of expected accomplishments."

Economist Thomas Sowell uses a three-pronged test to examine government's "new ideas." 1) How much will it cost? 2) Who pays? 3) Will it work? Few of the post-speech analysts seemed to care.

One waited in vain for the political experts to point out that the President's spending spree must come from somewhere — taxes or borrowing or printing.

And, as an aside, how would the press have reacted had former President George W. Bush claimed — as did Obama — that America "invented the automobile"?

Suppose Bush steered a shopping cart down the aisle, packed it with everything in sight that he could grab, pushed it to the cashier, and then said, "You mean I gotta pay?"

The President, on Tuesday night, promised to both lower taxes and raise taxes. He promised to both reduce spending and increase it. He promised to expand education while simultaneously claiming that education begins in the home. He promised to bail out homeowners — "responsible" ones — while insisting that Americans take responsibility for living beyond our means and making bad choices.

He promised to provide financial assistance to states while never mentioning the states' fiscal irresponsibility. He said, "There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their department was about to make," yet said nothing about whether that state budgeted or spent responsibly.

He unilaterally abolished the notion that "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Under his administration, the free lunch not only exists, but government bureaucrats provide takeout or delivery.

The President, last night, mentioned no total price tag for all this largesse. He did say, however, that he intends to raise taxes on the 2 percent of Americans making more than $250,000. Somehow he expects to burden "the rich" still more and not affect their behavior. Already, the top 1 percent pays nearly 40 percent of all federal income taxes.

The President, as he said during the campaign, promised to lower taxes on 95 percent of Americans. Of course, nearly 30 percent of working Americans pay zero in federal income taxes. But they, too, will get checks. And, Obama said to applause, the "checks are on the way."

The President sketched out a federal government grab larger than any in the history of our nation. His administration intends to bail out and oversee everything from banks to car manufacturers to lemonade stands.

Be not afraid about waste, mismanagement or politically directed spending. To ensure that our money is spent properly, the Obama administration intends to post the allocations on the Internet, ensuring wise and appropriate fund distribution.

Do those who voted against the President "want him to fail"? No, those who opposed the President want America to succeed. The formula for that success has a long and impressive track record: lower taxes, rein in government spending, and promote free trade. Let's put it another way: Remove government's boot from the neck of the American worker, businessperson and entrepreneur.

Set them free. Watch what happens.****

3603  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 01, 2009, 08:50:30 PM

I heard on a cable show yesterday Hitler and the occult how is was the "opportunity" of the Great Depression that directly led to the proliferation of Nazi after 1929.  The Nazi party was not a serious contender for power until after the collapse of the stock market.  While the Democrats are not Nazis there is this similarity with using an economic crash as a means to shove through soical change along with demogagory, propaganda, and centralization of power to the government.

Here is one piece to that effect though others can be found:


***Nazis on the Rise

The Great Depression

When the New York stock market crashed in October of 1929, the Great Depression struck Germany like a thunder bolt splitting a tree. Unemployment rate, poverty, hunger, and chaos increased rapidly. On the other hand, the Nazi party was delighted to see this occur. Bad times for Germany meant good times for the Nazis. Before the depression, the Nazi party was never much of a factor in the politics of Germany without much success in winning the government over the new Weimar Republic. However, when the depression hit, it gave the party a wonderful chance to shine and it ultimately paved a passage for the Nazis to ride all the way to the top.

By 1930, millions and millions of unemployed and poverty strickened citizens wanted changes to be made by the new Republic to help with the bad conditions. The Republic, however, was unable to make any effective changes to assist the people. At the same time, both sides of the extremist, with the communists on one end and the Nazis on the other end, promised extreme and drastic changes that might resolve the bad situations. In the 1930 election, both extreme parties won big over the Republic. However, the Nazis were extremely overjoyed as they beat the communist party by more than two million votes. This would begin a stretch of Nazi rule. Three years later, Hitler's dream finally came true. He was finally appointed as the chancellor or the head of the government. This would begin a reign of terror.

Propaganda

 The propaganda of the Nazi party during and after the Great Depression was very successful. It appealed to many German citizens especially to their needs during those poor conditions. The propaganda ususally stressed improvements on unemployment, social security, war reparations to foreign countries and tariffs. However, the Nazi propagandist also influenced the general public on the Nazi concept of antisemitism against the so called "inferior race." The propaganda throughout the Nazi regime were mainly antisemitic against the Jews. However, the success of the propaganda and the great influence of the Nazis all led to the horrifying event of the Holocaust.

Nazi Theories

After Hitler's rise to the seat of the chancellor, the Nazi party fully adopted the racial theory of a race being more superior than another. It was this theoretical basis that led to the destruction of so many millions of Jews, Gypsies, handicapped, Soviet P.O.Ws, homosexuals, and other so called "inferior race." The idea of the Aryan race being the purist was fully planted into the minds of many Nazis including Hitler. Another theory Hitler believed in is total dictatorship. In his book Mein Kampf Hitler described the concept of unconditional authority belonging to the leader which in turn creates a totalirarian government and a dictatorship. Besides that, he also mentioned the Darwinistic concept of survival of the fittest with life always being a struggle. Again, his Darwinistic concepts allowed him and the Nazi to rise to the top creating a dominant and dictatorial government and also to terminate the so called "weaker race" and that was one of the reason that enabled the Nazis to be a huge success.

Hitler in Control

 After Hitler came to power, situations began to change in the country of Germany. For beginners, Hitler called for a free election to be held in March. It was the last free election until 1949. Nazis, trying to ensure on the winning side, did everything to gather voters. Besides that, they also tried to eliminate their opponents. Just one week before the election, the government building of Reichstag caught fire. The Nazis, who most likely set the fire, blamed and accused the Communists for the fire. This way, the Communist were prevented from being at the election and the seats in the government. Hitler then slowly took control of the government after the election , but was able to do it without gaining power illegally. He, somehow was able to pass the Enabling Act through the cabinet which gave hime dictatorial power. The provisions of the legislature was unable to stop Hitler to become a dictator. Thus the legislature gave Hitler the absolute power to the country.****


3604  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 01, 2009, 08:14:19 PM
The Broder piece IS a "knock me down with a feather" piece.  The libs can deconstruct Republican criticism as obstructionist and party hack stuff but not Broder.

He stated the problem very well indeed.

BO, as my sister has pointed out, has ensured we will unlike the "greatest generation" of our parents and grandparents be know as the worst, "most selfish" generation.

I have come to the conclusion that BO has to fail and fail now.  It will result in great pain but it is better if we get him and Pelosi and the other lunes out now rather again kick the can down the road. 

But I have no faith in Republicans either.  They blew it when they had the chance.  To hear Tom Delay ciriticising the spending spree on cable the other day was weird being his own history of corruption and wildly spending bedfellows.  We need a real Abe Lincoln.

When we start hearing Blacks criticising BO (other than the few tokens like, Michael Steele) than we know that Americans have awakened to the craziness of this spending spree.  But I am not holding my breath.

As of now most Blacks are convinced that the time for reparations has come and they are mostly euphoric with the concept of evening the score (IMHO).  I am saddened that so many of them still feel this way.
3605  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 27, 2009, 04:17:04 PM
***Correct me if I'm wrong, but liberal American Jews would rather stand quiet while Israel is destroyed before they would ever support a moose hunting, peace through strength, conservative for Commander in Chief, just as Catholics pull the lever for for abortionist supporting candidates at the same rate as the rest of the country because of other liberal priorities.***

I am afraid so.  Republicans are worse than Nazis to the far left liberal Jews.
3606  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 27, 2009, 02:14:41 PM
***Congressional staffers and mid-level bureaucrats will be making very important decisions for people they never met.***

They will be getting their advice from ivory tower New England liberal health care policy types a few are MDs and most are phDs who write the flow charts and policies with the idea of providing as much universal coverage in a cost effective way.  They are looking at populations, and budgets, not individuals.  These people are from Harvard Yale the usual know it all suspects.

 
3607  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 27, 2009, 08:54:18 AM
Only one question.
Why are they blasting Hillary?
The anger should be directed at the source - BO.
Are they afraid to go after him?  Politically incorrect?
Because he is black?
Because he is otherwise the liberal socialist they dreamed of for decades?
I don't recall ever hearing a black express sadness by the Jewish holocaust.  Yet I hear about the "Black holocaust".
I happen to agree the blacks did have a form of holocaust and this deserves the recognition but I say Jews and Blacks are not as aligned as the liberal Jews run around spouting for whatever their motives in so doing.
3608  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 26, 2009, 06:39:35 PM

There is simply no way to provide health care to 48 million more people without taking money or benefits from those who already do have paid coverage

How is the 634 billion health care proposal going to be funded?

Much of the money is to be generated from squeezing private insurers who are in the Medicare Advantage program.  They now get more than Medicare alone pays but will soon get no more than 100% thus to make money they will have to cut costs more than Medicare.  This will no doubt result in less benefits, more costs to patients, and much more controlled care.  If yo think your HMO is controlling you now this will be child's play to what we will see. 

The smaller players will fail.  There will be consolidation and the around 15 big players who provide around 70% of it now may stop providing this service to Medicare recipients altogether.  More Hospitals will go out of business. Most are in the red now anyway.
Most physicians will already get further squeezed more than they already are.  As a primary care physician I am one of the few that may get a pitance more (5% is tossed about).  But the big BO gov. will simply find another way to get it back somewhere else so this essentially meaningless raise is just that.   


*****Obama health plan opens tough negotiation
 President Barack Obama's prescription for the nation's ailing health care system comes with Medicare cuts and tax hikes — usually poison pills that doom any overhaul effort in Congress.

But the budget Obama proposed Thursday is not a finished blueprint for overhauling health care. Rather it's the opening bid in a tough negotiation. Anybody who's been in a bargaining session knows you never end up with your opening bid.

Obama is asking Congress: If you're going to cover an estimated 48 million uninsured Americans in the world's costliest medical system, how do you pay for it?

Obama's plan would set aside $634 billion over 10 years in a major effort to cover all Americans — a goal that could cost more than $1 trillion. Half the money would come from tax increases on upper-income earners; the other half from cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Private insurance plans serving Medicare seniors would take the biggest hit, but hospitals, drug companies and home health agencies also face cuts.

Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats are sure to disagree with Obama's specifics, but they may quietly applaud his determination to pay for health care reform, instead of adding to the deficit.

"This is a serious effort to get the process moving," said Mark McClellan, a doctor and health economist who ran Medicare for former President George W. Bush. "The specific financing proposals are going to have a very tough time."

Obama's approach is a conscious departure from the path former President Bill Clinton took in the 1990s. Clinton's 1,300-page health care bill tried to answer every question and ultimately went nowhere. Obama is asking Congress to fill in the blanks.

"He's outlining these cuts as examples of places where savings can be accrued," said Christine Ferguson, a health policy professor at George Washington University. "You put those on the table, and if people want to have this discussion, they have to propose alternatives."

Whether that dialogue succeeds depends not just on Obama, but on Congress and interest groups representing insurers and doctors, hospitals and drug companies, consumers and small business.

Clinton's top priority was to get everybody covered quickly. Obama has framed the problem differently, focusing on how to slow rising costs, so that everybody can eventually be covered.

"What the president is doing is bold, but it's not overreaching," said economist Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute research center. "The administration is coming to grips with the reality that this will cost a lot of money, and it's committed to paying for it."

The tricky part is in the details.

For example, more than half of Obama's spending cuts would come from Medicare managed care plans. The private plans cost the government 14 percent more on average than care for seniors in traditional Medicare. That translates into lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors, who in a bad economy have been flocking to the plans, increasing enrollment to about 10 million.

"People are flooding into the program," said Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health, an information company serving government and the health care industry. "I don't think cuts of this magnitude ultimately are going to be palatable to Congress."

Obama would replace the current payments with a competitive bidding system estimated to save $177 billion over 10 years. That sent insurance company shares skidding Thursday on Wall Street. But some market analysts said there may be a silver lining: While competitive bidding could decrease profit margins, it might generate higher revenues for insurers if seniors keep signing up.

America's Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry trade group, wasn't ready to leave the bargaining table.

While warning that Obama's cuts would "jeopardize the health security" of seniors, the group's president, Karen Ignagni, said insurers "are committed to doing our share" to expand coverage.****


3609  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 26, 2009, 05:04:09 PM
Moved to "The Electoral Process" thread:  Marc
3610  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: February 26, 2009, 04:58:37 PM
If Ronald Reagan didn't pursue what the left derided as "star wars" we wouldn't be able to do this now would we?

****ABC News' Martha Raddatz, Adm. Timothy Keating, head of the U.S. Pacific Commands, said that the military is prepared to shoot down any North Korean ballistic missile -- if President Obama should give the order.

There are reports that Kim Jung Il is advancing his nuclear plans for North Korea and Washington is watching closely. Admiral Keating says that the U.S. military is ready and prepared to respond to the launch of any missiles by North Korea.
(AP Photos)"If a missile leaves the launch pad we'll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president," Keating told ABC News. "I'm not a betting man but I'd go like 60/40, 70/30 that it will, they will attempt to launch a satellite. There's equipment moving up there that would indicate the preliminary stages of preparation for a launch. So I'd say it's more than less likely."

"Should it look like it's not a satellite launch -- that it's something other than a satellite launch -- we'll be ready to respond."

Intelligence reports suggest that North Korea is preparing a long-range missile test. Earlier this week, North Korea announced its plans to send a satellite into orbit as part of its space program.

However, many in the international community assert that North Korea's satellite test is simply a means of concealing a long-range missile test -- a move that would flare existing tension in the region.

Related
Will North Korea Launch a Long-Range Missile?NKorea Building Underground Fuel Facility?Clinton Fears North Korean Power StruggleKeating said that the military is ready to respond with at least five different systems: destroyer, Aegis cruiser, radar, space-based system and ground-based interceptor. All of these work in conjunction with one another to protect against any missile threat.

 Destroyers are fast, multi-purpose warships that can be used in almost any type of naval operation. They would likely play a defensive role, helping to repel an air attack and offering a platform for gunfire and missiles to hit airborne objects.

 The Aegis cruiser is part of the Navy's computer-based command and control system that integrates radar and missiles to fight against land, air and sea attacks. For Keating, the Aegis combat system can tracks threats and counter any short- or medium-range missiles.


 Radars vary in type and design, but the military would likely employ a range of sea-based and early warning radars to detect the presence of a North Korean missile, track warheads' movement and more easily home in on the position of a missile to knock it down.

 Space-based infrared system is a defense system that provides warning of any missile launches, detecting the threat and employing other tools to obliterate it.

 Ground-based interceptor is a weapon that seeks and destroys incoming ballistic missiles outside of the earth's atmosphere. Its sensors give the military the ability to locate and obliterate a North Korean missile.

"We will be fully prepared to respond as the president directs," Keating said. "Everything that we need to be ready is ready. So that's ready twice in one sentence, but we're not kidding, it doesn't take much for us to be fully postured to respond."****
3611  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: February 26, 2009, 03:50:01 PM
****More surprisingly, they also differ rather sharply from the views -- or at least the views stated during the campaign -- of the president who has invited him to serve.****

More evidence of the real intent and devious nature of BO.
Remember Alinsky - pretend you are one of them and then you can change them - or in this case screw them.
This is BO's true intent.

This is in perfect sync with the 900 million BO is giving to Hamas/Gaza for humanitarian aid.

I don't believe this will end well.

When I meant that republicans need to alter their thinking I menat to do more to reach out to Blakcs and Latinos who are becoming an increasing proportion of the population.

I didn't mean we should roll over and become liberals and fools.  Or that Rep should simply agree with the Dems. 
3612  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 26, 2009, 03:14:51 PM
***Obama has soft-pedaled Iran's nuclear efforts, for which that country slapped him in the face for his naïveté by stepping up their program, including an operational test this week and a promise to redouble enrichment efforts***

What would anyone with a brain expect?  The only surprising thing is that Iran is open about its intentions.  IF they were really wise they'd pretend they want to dance with the BO.

He may have been brought up a Christian but his middle name is still Hussain.
The Blacks he hung out with hate Jews.  Many of my co Jews like to explain that we have a lot in common with Blacks and all being both groups have been oppressed.  Yet they fail to see that Blacks don't see it that way - bieng Jews are so successful, well to do and educated etc and they are not.  Many Jews had blacks clean their homes, due their gardening etc.   Wasn't Joe Louis and many other famous blacks in the entertainment industry robbed totally blind by their Jewish managers?  Remember Spike Lee said Hollywood is controlled by the Jews?

Blacks do not see the similarities with the Jews as the liberal Jews see with them.

So all my Jewish friends who love BO - you are being taken.

3613  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / animals on: February 25, 2009, 06:47:01 PM
I recall watching a cable show on chimps (animal planet, nat geo, or discovery - I don't rmember which one) and they show how chimps from one clan I think literally butchered a baby chimp from another.  It was rather brutul and not the charming portrait we usually see of Tarzan and Cheetah.  I think it was a territorial issue like noted below:

****Health & ScienceAdd Time News
Why the Stamford Chimp Attacked
By Bryan Walsh
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009
In this Oct. 20, 2003 photo, Travis, then a 10-year-old chimpanzee, sits in the corner of his playroom at the home of Sandy and
The 200-lb. chimp named Travis, whose owner, Sandra Herold, 70, raised him as part of her own family, had no history of violence — aside from one incident in 2003, when he escaped and stopped traffic in Stamford for hours. But when Charla Nash, 55, a friend of Herold's, visited on Monday afternoon, Travis suddenly lashed out at her. The 14-year-old chimpanzee latched onto Nash's face and tore it apart. (See pictures of animals facing extinction.)

The victim's injuries were reportedly gruesome; the head paramedic who treated Nash on the scene told the New York Times that he had "never seen anything this dramatic on a living patient." Nash remains in extremely critical condition. The chimp was shot dead by a police officer, who was also attacked.

But even as investigators try to figure out exactly what triggered Travis's attack (he had been suffering from Lyme disease, which in rare cases is linked to psychotic behavior), the reality is that a chimpanzee living among people is simply a ticking time bomb. No matter how many years it has lived peacefully as a pet, a chimpanzee is not a domesticated animal and can snap without warning. "They are wild animals, and all wild animals are potentially dangerous," says Colleen McCann, a primatologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and New York's Bronx Zoo. "They are not pets. This is tragic, but it's not surprising." (See pictures of animals in space.)

It might be hard to imagine that a chimpanzee — familiar from zoos, animal shows and slapstick comedies like Cannonball Run — could be capable of the kind of savage violence inflicted on Nash. Travis himself was reportedly a beloved figure around Stamford; he was recognizable from television commercials, could bathe and dress himself and use a computer — qualities that made him seem dangerously close to human.

But adult chimpanzees might be better described as superhuman — a 200-lb. chimpanzee is five to seven times stronger than a person of the same size, especially in the upper body. "They are incredibly powerful, and people underestimate that," says McCann. "An adult male chimpanzee is a formidable animal. I would not want to be standing next to one." (See pictures of animals with prosthetic limbs.)

Nor are wild chimpanzees the docile, childlike creatures portrayed on TV. Highly territorial, chimpanzees will attack and kill other chimps. Though mostly vegetarian, they will also hunt and kill other animals for food; young male chimpanzees in Africa have been known to fashion crude weapons and use them to hunt bushbabies for meat. Attacks on human beings are rare, but they do happen — and the results are often catastrophic. The former NASCAR driver St. James Davis, who raised a chimpanzee as a pet, was attacked by escaped chimps at an animal sanctuary in 2005; he was left with injuries and disfigurement so severe that doctors kept him in a medically induced coma for three months. (See pictures of the 50th running of the Daytona 500.)

Pet chimpanzees are also reservoirs of disease and can pass along infections like yellow fever, monkey pox and the Marburg virus to their human keepers.

Despite the potential threat chimpanzees pose, many U.S. states, including Connecticut, legally allow people to raise them as pets. Primatologists like McCann argue that chimpanzees should never be kept privately, and the WCS supports the Captive Primate Safety Act, a bill pending in Congress that would ban the private selling of primates as pets. The bill has stalled since it was introduced in 2005, but the Stamford assault may well renew its debate. "This is a tragedy for the families involved, for the animal and for the community — but it's not a unique story," says McCann. "When humans keep wild animals as pets, they pose a danger, and more times than not it will end in tragedy."

In Travis's case, his owner was forced to call 911, then attack and repeatedly stab him — a cherished pet she had reared for years — with a butcher knife in a desperate attempt to save her friend.****
3614  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: February 25, 2009, 10:24:48 AM
Lincolnesque he certainly is not.  Clintonesque he certaily is.  No wonder when he has an army of the Clinton gang advising him.

When I heard this statement I had to turn him off last night:

"Not because I believe in bigger government - I don't."

What a bold faced lie.

Clinton tried to con us with the same story.  Most of any of his government cuts were military related.

Now BO, the most liberal guy out there with a history drenched in support of goernment programs, who recently signed on to the largest government spending bill in history, with loads of support for big government political programs has the nerve to stand up there and state this.

I know of no evidence wherein Abe ever made this kind of phoney statement to Americans.

And as predictable the Dem talking heads are and will continue to be out in droves,
"oh he said everything he had to"
"he was marvelous at going out of his way to alleviate our fears"
" he laid out his agenda parcel and post"
"he was reassuring to all Americans"

Despite a record of trashing American values and for the last month doing the opposite.

Do others see this is just me?

 
3615  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bamas "war" on: February 23, 2009, 03:58:53 PM
Lets see if Tom Hanks makes a movie based on "Bamas war".  Ayers (I wonder if he will picket the WH now):

Ayers to Alan Colmes: Obama Making 'Colossal Mistake' sending additional troops to Afghanistan
Mon Feb 23 2009 14:00:00 ET

In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Hannity at 9:00pm ET on FOX News Channel, Bill Ayers spoke with Alan Colmes on a wide range of issues including his past with the Weather Underground and President Obama.Ê

Ayers on President Obama sending 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan:

"It's a mistake. It's a colossal mistake. And, you know, we've seen this happen before, Alan. We've seen a hopeful presidency, Lyndon Johnson's presidency, burn up in the furnace of war."

"I fear that this brilliant young man, this hopeful new administration, could easily burn their prospect of a great presidency in the war in Afghanistan or elsewhere."

On setting bombs as part of the Weather Underground:

"I don't regret anything I did it to oppose the war. It was -- I did it to oppose the war. I don't regret it."

"I don't look back on those things and regret them, but I'm willing to rethink them. And there are many things which I'm going to rethink."
3616  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nation of cowards? Yes on: February 23, 2009, 01:15:29 PM
I really doubt the Post cartoon was meant to demean BO with the monkey.
No major newpaper would have purposely done that in this day and age.

Eric Holder is correct.  Whites are a nation of cowards  But not for the reason he states.  But for our willingness to continue to put of with this kind of crap:

***REV. AL SOAKS UP BOYCOTT BUCKS
BIZ GIANTS PAY OR FACE RACE RALLIES
By ISABEL VINCENT and SUSAN EDELMAN
 June 15, 2008

Anheuser-Busch gave him six figures, Colgate-Palmolive shelled out $50,000 and Macy's and Pfizer have contributed thousands to the Rev. Al Sharpton's charity.

Almost 50 companies - including PepsiCo, General Motors, Wal-Mart, FedEx, Continental Airlines, Johnson & Johnson and Chase - and some labor unions sponsored Sharpton's National Action Network annual conference in April.

Terrified of negative publicity, fearful of a consumer boycott or eager to make nice with the civil-rights activist, CEOs write checks, critics say, to NAN and Sharpton - who brandishes the buying power of African-American consumers. In some cases, they hire him as a consultant.

The cash flows even as the US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn has been conducting a grand-jury investigation of NAN's finances.

A General Motors spokesman told The Post that NAN had repeatedly - and unsuccessfully - asked for contributions for six years, beginning in August 2000.

Then, in December 2006, Sharpton threatened to call a boycott of the carmaker over the closing of an African-American-owned GM dealership in The Bronx, and he picketed outside GM headquarters on Fifth Avenue.

Last year, General Motors gave NAN a $5,000 donation. It gave $5,000 more this year, a spokesman said, calling NAN a "worthy" organization.


In November 2003, Sharpton picketed DaimlerChrysler's Chicago car show and threatened a boycott over alleged racial bias in car loans.

"This is institutional racism," he bellowed.

In May 2004, Chrysler began supporting NAN's conferences, which include panels on corporate responsibility and civil rights and a black-tie awards dinner to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Last year, Sharpton gave Chrysler an award for corporate excellence.

In 2003, Sharpton targeted American Honda for not hiring enough African-Americans in management.

"We support those that support us," wrote Sharpton and the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, president of NAN's Michigan chapter, in a letter to American Honda. "We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner."

Two months after American Honda execs met with Sharpton, the carmaker began to sponsor NAN's events - and continues to pay "a modest amount" each year, a spokesman said.

"I think this is quite clearly a shakedown operation," said Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center in Virginia, a conservative corporate watchdog. "He's good at harassing people and making noise. CEOs give him his way because it is a lot easier than confronting him."

Sharpton denies his organization pressures corporations for cash.

"That's the old shakedown theory that the anti-civil-rights forces have used against us forever," he told The Post yesterday. "Why can't they come up with one company that says that? No one has criticized me."

A businessman who hired Sharpton as a consultant says the flamboyant leader skillfully persuades CEOs by wielding the statistic that African-Americans spend $738 billion a year.

"His way of doing things was, 'If we're going to support you and you're not going to support us, then we have to focus on telling the African-American community not to spend their money,' " said La-Van Hawkins, a partner in Hawkins Food Group, which owns and operates fast-food franchises nationwide.

Hawkins spoke from the Yankton Federal Prison in South Dakota, where he's serving time for attempted bribery.

After Hawkins lost an attempt to sue Burger King in 2000 for denying him franchises, he sent Sharpton, attorney Johnnie Cochran and a Miami lawyer to meet with the company's top execs.

"They ended up settling with me for $31 million," Hawkins said.

Sharpton did not get a cut, but Hawkins Food Group paid him an annual $25,000 fee, Hawkins said. He said he has donated "over $1 million" to NAN.

Sharpton has snagged other gigs as a consultant. Less than a year after he threatened to call for a consumer boycott of Pepsi in June 1998 because the company's ads did not portray African-Americans, the company hired him as a $25,000-a-year adviser until 2007.

Sharpton made the same complaint against Macy's in 1998. The company appointed Sharpton an unpaid adviser on diversity, but also funds NAN's annual conference. Last week, Macy's Senior Vice President Ed Goldberg praised Sharpton as "the kind of guy you can sit down and talk to."

In a dramatic flip-flop, Sharpton in 2000 blasted New York developer Bruce Ratner for paying low wages to workers at his Atlantic Mall in Brooklyn.

"We will not allow you to enslave our communities, Mr. Ratner," Sharpton told a rally. "You must meet with us - you must come to terms with the poverty you are creating using public dollars."

By 2004, the developer's company, Forest City Ratner, had begun to fork over thousands of dollars to NAN. Sharpton now strongly supports Ratner's proposed Atlantic Yards project, which includes a new arena for the New Jersey Nets.


"Just because Pepsi and other companies had me on their board advising them didn't mean that I wasn't blasting them all the time," said Sharpton.

"Look at Forest City Ratner. I blasted them and they came up with one of the best community agreements for blacks and Latinos."

NAN, which began humbly in Harlem in 1991 with Saturday-morning rallies at PS 175, now boasts 45 chapters across the country. The group lobbies for African-American rights and raises awareness of issues such as police brutality and racial profiling.

"Sharpton went national just like a franchise," said Flaherty. "Each of these local chapters can now hit up businesses for support in their communities."

In 2002, NAN launched a Las Vegas chapter that solicits corporate and individual donations of up to $5,000 on its Web site. NAN spokesman Charlie King said all donations go through the New York office.

It's unclear how much the chapter has raised, because Nevada does not require charities to report their revenues. King would not give numbers.

Sharpton vowed to call a national boycott against MGM Mirage in 2001 and 2002 if it refused to meet with him to discuss alleged racism in hiring and employment at the company's Detroit casino.

In 2003, MGM named NAN one of its diversity "partners" in Detroit.

Sharpton sticks up for his corporate patrons.

Since 2005, Wal-Mart has given yearly support to NAN, including sponsorship of last April's conference, without disclosing the amounts.

In 2006, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Sharpton rival, accused the retailer of buying silence from critics of its employment practices by trying to "throw money at us."

At the time, Sharpton rushed to the company's defense. "Wal-Mart has in no way tried to persuade me with money," he declared.

NAN, a tax-exempt nonprofit, closely guards its corporate largesse. Most companies also keep the sums secret, and some would not divulge them. The corporations interviewed by The Post viewed their relationships with NAN as friendly and beneficial.

Anheuser-Busch states on its Web site that it gave the group "between $100,000 and $499,000" last year.

Last year, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo found NAN had failed to file years' worth of financial reports. The group has filed more records, but the AG's office said it won't release them pending the US attorney's probe.

In its 2006 IRS filing, the latest available, NAN reported about $1 million in contributions and $1.1 million in expenses and programs. It owes the IRS $1.9 million in payroll taxes, The Post has learned.

A NAN spokesman said the group is cooperating with authorities "to pay whatever obligations it owes and continues to do so."

susan.edelman@nypost.com***


3617  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: February 20, 2009, 04:23:59 PM
"It was propped up artificially by government policies"

good point


"Sorry I'm having so much trouble adapting to our new fascist-socialist system"

So am I.  Every day I keep hearing about one new goernment take over program after another.  Today was the one about they are going to monitor every mile to tax us.  I suppose the GPS systems will be tied directly into our credit cards so they can bill us that way like an EZPass card.

We will not be able to do anything without consent, without taxation, without political correctness.

Yet the disgusting hypocrisy of it all is the Left's criticism of the Bush administration for monitoring of people while looking for terrorists.  Yet they are happy to monitor us and control what they do as so long as it is within their view of correct behavior and "social justice".


3618  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 20, 2009, 04:16:07 PM
***Bill Clinton has since chimed in, complaining about the lack of balance on radio***

I would say that Rush saved me during the sliminess of the Clintons.  Listening to his talk show helped me live through Bill/Hill.  Without it and just watching main stream media,  I would have wondered if I was almost the only one who saw through the Clinton BS/swindel machine.

I loved him then.  And I like him now.  But I don't agree with him as much anymore.

Talking theories and ideals while otherwise promoting "you gotta fail, maybe lose everything, come back and work three times as hard to be able to do better..."

Just doesn't sound as pleasant as "don't worry the government will bail you out of all your troubles."

Rush just doesn't get it this time around.
 
3619  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 20, 2009, 12:23:48 PM
This is part of the reason we have will have autos required to have the means to track our miles.  so we can be taxed. Folks this is the most outrageous crap I have heard so far. 

By JOAN LOWY

Associated Press Writer

12:54 PM EST, February 20, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he wants to consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive rather than how much gasoline they burn — an idea that has angered drivers in some states where it has been proposed.

Gasoline taxes that for nearly half a century have paid for the federal share of highway and bridge construction can no longer be counted on to raise enough money to keep the nation's transportation system moving, LaHood said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"We should look at the vehicular miles program where people are actually clocked on the number of miles that they traveled," the former Illinois Republican lawmaker said.

Most transportation experts see a vehicle miles traveled tax as a long-term solution, but Congress is being urged to move in that direction now by funding pilot projects.

The idea also is gaining ground in several states. Governors in Idaho and Rhode Island are talking about such programs, and a North Carolina panel suggested in December the state start charging motorists a quarter-cent for every mile as a substitute for the gas tax.

A tentative plan in Massachusetts to use GPS chips in vehicles to charge motorists by the mile has drawn complaints from drivers who say it's an Orwellian intrusion by government into the lives of citizens. Other motorists say it eliminates an incentive to drive more fuel-efficient cars since gas guzzlers will be taxed at the same rate as fuel sippers.

Besides a VMT tax, more tolls for highways and bridges and more government partnerships with business to finance transportation projects are other funding options, LaHood, one of two Republicans in President Barack Obama's Cabinet, said in the interview Thursday.

"What I see this administration doing is this — thinking outside the box on how we fund our infrastructure in America," he said.

LaHood said he firmly opposes raising the federal gasoline tax in the current recession.

The program that funds the federal share of highway projects is part of a surface transportation law that expires Sept. 30. Last fall, Congress made an emergency infusion of $8 billion to make up for a shortfall between gas tax revenues and the amount of money promised to states for their projects. The gap between money raised by the gas tax and the cost of maintaining the nation's highway system and expanding it to accommodate population growth is forecast to continue to widen.

Among the reasons for the gap is a switch to more fuel-efficient cars and a decrease in driving that many transportation experts believe is related to the economic downturn. Electric cars and alternative-fuel vehicles that don't use gasoline are expected to start penetrating the market in greater numbers.

"One of the things I think everyone agrees with around reauthorization of the highway bill is that the highway trust fund is an antiquated system for funding our highways," LaHood said. "It did work to build the interstate system and it was very effective, there's no question about that. But the big question now is, We're into the 21st century and how are we going to take care of our infrastructure needs ... with a highway trust fund that had to be plussed up by $8 billion by Congress last year?"

A blue-ribbon national transportation commission is expected to release a report next week recommending a VMT.

The system would require all cars and trucks be equipped with global satellite positioning technology, a transponder, a clock and other equipment to record how many miles a vehicle was driven, whether it was driven on highways or secondary roads, and even whether it was driven during peak traffic periods or off-peak hours.

The device would tally how much tax motorists owed depending upon their road use. Motorists would pay the amount owed when it was downloaded, probably at gas stations at first, but an alternative eventually would be needed.

Rob Atkinson, chairman of the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, the agency that is developing future transportation funding options, said moving to a national VMT would take about a decade.

Privacy concerns are based more on perception than any actual risk, Atkinson said. The satellite information would be beamed one way to the car and driving information would be contained within the device on the car, with the amount of the tax due the only information that's downloaded, he said.

The devices also could be programmed to charge higher rates to vehicles that are heavier, like trucks that put more stress on roadways, Atkinson
3620  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Repub message we have to crash and burn before we can rise back up on: February 19, 2009, 03:59:30 PM
Last night on Fox they had their panel discuss what they thought of the mortgage bailout to homeowners that BO claims will keep 7 to 9 million in their homes.  Krauthammer stated "I am a Republican" and I am for it only because while it is unfair to most people who have not taken out unreasonable mortgages it tries to get to the root cause of the problem starting at the bottom. Another panelist stated that it helps those whose do not have a mortgage problem by maintaining the value of their home by hopefully preventing further home value drops.  Juan Williams who I think tends to feel the exact way I feel the Rep party's problem is that while he doesn't necessariy agree with the plan or that Reps are wrong "they really offer no other solutions".

Saying basically, we all have to crash and burn before we can rise from ashes (which is the repubs message) is a pretty tough act to sell. Sorry but I don't think that the answer of tax cuts is stimulating too many people by itself.  And what about the what, 40% who pay no taxes.  They don't give a hoot about that.  And this group is being widely expanded as we speak.

I thought this is the delemma in a nutshell.
Why do Reps even have to sell the American dream to minorities?  Aren't we ALL Americans?  Why does the pitch have to be different for specific groups?

Obviously the root cause is minorities and immigrants views of America is or should be about are different from conservatives.
So Republicans are faced with how to bridge this gap.  Is it even possible?

How can we sell the American dream as it was meant to be to all Americans?

The answer is we may not be able to.  We keep hearing about social injustice....


 This will require more thought and more time than I have at the moment.
 


3621  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives on: February 18, 2009, 06:44:19 PM
Hi Doug,  I am tired at the end of along day but I hope this sort of helps explain the mindset.  Sometimes I lament and think out loud but I am trying to figure out how to better the republican party.
Powell's talk with Zakaria:

***“I think the party has to take a hard look at itself,” Powell said in the interview… “There is nothing wrong with being conservative. There is nothing wrong with having socially conservative views — I don’t object to that. But if the party wants to have a future in this country, it has to face some realities. In another 20 years, the majority in this country will be the minority.”

Powell, who crossed party lines and endorsed President-elect Barack Obama just weeks before the election, said the GOP must see what is in the “hearts and minds” of African-American, Hispanic and Asian voters “and not just try to influence them by… the principles and dogma.”***

I agree with him that "dogma and principles" is just too abstract to appeal to most people. How can this message be expanded so all groups that Powell talks about can relate to it?  I don't know.  Maybe Michael Steele will help us sort it out.  How can we change the 70% Latin and 90% Black vote to republican? 

What is wrong with that question?  It seems to me that is what Powell is saying. 

And to me that is where Limbaugh fails.  He just cannot appeal to all except a small minority of these groups. 

On the other hand W tried to reach out to minorities and it appears to have mostly failed. 
3622  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives on: February 17, 2009, 10:20:51 AM
Actually no.  This is the opposite of what I was suggesting.  Sure Repblican governors have to suck up to BO because if they don't the electorate will vote them out and vote in crats who are more than happy to buy their votes with taxpayers (the fewer and fewer of us) dollars.  How can this be stemmed if not stopped?  There seems no end.

"The states’ reliance on the federal government in times of distress will be showcased this weekend"

This may be the problem.  Why do States suck up and go begging for Federal dollars every five minutes?
It is always for entitlements.  For education?  you mean property tax does not cover this?
How come every time money goes into education we hear that money is not the answer.
Maybe it is for teacher unions?
Infrastructure is a code word for union jobs - no?
Medicaid?

When did it become the role of the Federal government to bail out states for every darn thing?

Is this good?  Is this necessary?  Will not local and state pols endlessly ask for Federal dollars to buy votes for themselves?
Isn't this part of the problem?

It seems reasonalbe to have some Federal disaster relief but everything now is a disaster.  It seems like evwery week we are hearing another Disaster.  Every flood, every fire, every earthquake, tornado hurricans storm you name is now a "disaster" it seems to me.

3623  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jewish Reparations, the model for Black reparations on: February 17, 2009, 09:01:05 AM
I did a search for "reparations" but no topic for this comes up so I will put here.

It is only natural for Black Americans to see this and think, "why not us".  Why don't we get in on the action?

If I recall Elie Weisel thinks this form of reparations actually cheapens the memory of the Holocaust.  To some degree I agree but not completely.  In any case BO's policies are actually reparations in a stealth mode. 

****February 17, 2009

'Jewish war victims have had enough compensation' French court saysCharles Bremner in Paris
The French State was responsible for deporting Jews during the Second World War, the top judicial authority ruled for the first time yesterday, but it dismayed families of victims by declaring that they had already been compensated.

The decision by the Council of State, the final arbiter on civil law matters, made formal a doctrine that has been accepted by successive governments since 1995.

It was advising on a case brought by Madeleine Hoffman-Glemane, 75, one of hundreds of victims who have sued recently for damages over their arrests and deportation during the Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1944.

The council called for a “solemn recognition of the responsibility of the State”. France was “responsible for damages caused by actions which did not result from the occupiers' direct orders but facilitated deportation from France of people who were victims of anti-Semitic persecution”, it said.

Related Links
Anti-Semitism reminds France of darker times
Multimedia
Charles Bremner's Paris blog
The ruling endorses a view that was proclaimed by the former President Jacques Chirac when he took office in 1995. Before that the crimes of the collaborationist Vichy Government had been acknowledged but they had been ascribed widely to an outlaw regime and not to the French State.

The late President Mitterrand who left office in 1995 and who served as an official of the Vichy regime, refused to accept the responsibility of the nation for more than 75,000 people who were taken to Nazi death camps. Most were arrested by French police on the orders of state officials and few survived.

Since taking office in 2007 President Sarkozy, whose mother is Jewish, has ordered acts of remembrance of the French role in the Holocaust but during his election campaign he said that France should stop apologising for itself because it had never been involved in a policy of genocide.

To the anger of campaigners the council advised the court dealing with Ms Hoffman-Glemane's case that deportees had already received enough compensation. “The different measures taken since the end of the Second World War have made reparation as much as possible,” it said.

The Paris court had sought the opinion of the council on the request of Ms Hoffman-Glemane, whose mother died at Auschwitz, for material and moral damages for the suffering of her and her father. She is suing the state and the SNCF, the national railways, for 200,000 euros (£180,000) for Joseph Kaplon, her father, and 80,000 euros for herself. Anne-Laure Archambault, the lawyer for Ms Hoffman-Glemane, said that she would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Avi Bitton, another lawyer who represents 600 deportees and plaintiffs, said: “We are simply asking to be treated like any other citizen who is a victim of asbestos poisoning or a road accident. When you suffer damage, you should be able to seek recourse.”

For more than a decade Holocaust survivors and their families have been waging legal battles in French and US courts. In 2007, however, an appeal court reversed a Bordeaux court conviction against the railways for holding and robbing two Jews. The court ruled that the SNCF was not an arm of the State.

A New York Federal Court judge also ruled in December that France was shielded as a sovereign state from action in US courts over its wartime conduct. Since then Senator Charles Schumer of New York has tabled a Bill in Congress to exempt the SNCF from the sovereign immunity.****

3624  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives on: February 17, 2009, 08:53:08 AM
You know Crafty,
I think the Republicans could get popular again if they get new blood and if they get take "Reaganism" to the next level.

We need a national effort for the party to get new people who are committed not just in talk but in deed to stop the corruption in Washington.  Unfortunately we hear this every cycle - yet we need to find a way to break this.   

We need to get rid of the the financial interest in lobbyists  - they can be heard but not able to buy representatives.  One way this would work is to legislate that bills only tackle one issue at a time.  We can't pass bills that have hundreds of pages with benefits to local districts of the influenced.

We need to legislate the Federal dollars only really gets spent on Federal issues.  Why and where did become the norm for Federal government to be spending Federal tax dollars that goes out to state or local programs.  That is the root of the corrupt process in my opinion.  This is a real opportunity for Republicans to clean house.  Yet to do so they need to clean there own house.

Limbaugh IS wrong.  Reaganism is NOT enough.  I just got a Hillsdale College report with Rush's dissertation on how "moderate" repblicans are not conservatives and we are wrong.  I beg to differ. 

Colin Powell is right.  If we don't change our message we are destined to continue losing market share.  Yes we can hope for a catastrophy that will spell doom for BO but is that what we want?
3625  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: February 16, 2009, 12:00:27 PM
You know Crafty,
I think the Republicans could get popular again if they get new blood and if they get take "Reaganism" to the next level.

We need a national effort for the party to get new people who are committed not just in talk but in deed to stop the corruption in Washington.  Unfortunately we hear this every cycle - yet we need to find a way to break this.   

We need to get rid of the the financial interest in lobbyists  - they can be heard but not able to buy representatives.  One way this would work is to legislate that bills only tackle one issue at a time.  We can't pass bills that have hundreds of pages with benefits to local districts of the influenced.

We need to legislate the Federal dollars only really gets spent on Federal issues.  Why and where did become the norm for Federal government to be spending Federal tax dollars that goes out to state or local programs.  That is the root of the corrupt process in my opinion.  This is a real opportunity for Republicans to clean house.  Yet to do so they need to clean there own house.

Limbaugh IS wrong.  Reaganism is NOT enough.
3626  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 15, 2009, 10:32:32 AM
"Let’s not go there."

Unfortunately we are.  It is all getting rammed down our throats with a complicit media.
By the time the public gets it it will probably be too late.
3627  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: February 14, 2009, 12:23:13 PM
It really is amazing how these musicians who are on the receiving end of music that is stolen are so idolized and honered.

I heard a story from a law enforcement person how he was convinced it was obvious based on the evidence he saw that Wonder stole another man's music. It went to civil trial and of course the jury sided with the "lovable" Wonder.  You know the jury gets "star struck", probably get offers for backstage passes, think he is so wonderful and would never steal others' music ("hey he doesn't need it he is so rich"), or are simply bribed which is rampant in the music industry.  Katherine also states she recently heard him come out with a "jingle" that is right out of one of her songs though she said another also used it.

Anyway, musicians like many of our sports "heroes" are fasely idolized, have phoney facades.  They are often even thieves. AS the saying goes, there is no honor amongst thieves.  Nor with those who lie like the wind blows:

****Obama plans concert for Stevie Wonder
        AP – Stevie Wonder performs at the 40th NAACP Image Awards on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009,in Los Angeles. (AP …
 Play Video Barack Obama Video:Obama's Valentine's Vacation ABC News  Play Video Barack Obama Video:AP Top Stories AP  Play Video Barack Obama Video:Obama: Stimulus passage is a 'major milestone' AP WASHINGTON – The White House is planning a concert this month to honor Stevie Wonder, whose music provided part of President Barack Obama's campaign soundtrack.

The White House says the president and first lady Michelle Obama will present Wonder a Library of Congress award on Feb. 25. The concert will be broadcast the next day on PBS as part of its "Performance at the White House" series.

The award-winning and chart-topping Wonder performed at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on the night Obama accepted his party's nomination. He also performed at a concert during the week of Obama's inauguration.

His song "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" became a theme song during the campaign. Obama also used "Higher Ground" during campaign stops.****

3628  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dr Suleman alias Dr Frankenstein. on: February 14, 2009, 11:38:19 AM
Apparantly there are no laws governing in vitro fertilization.  Usually medical malpractice is a civil liability.  Since the lady with the loose screw has no apparant intention of claiming harn from the doctor who performed the procedure it would be up to the state llicensing board to sanction him or revoke his license as IMO they absolutely should do.

But it appears the "good" doctor is a tax fraud as well.  So fortunately he may, afterall, get the jail time he deserves.  His wife too:

Medical society probes octuplet fertility doctor By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER, Associated Press Writer
Tue Feb 10, 6:55 PM ET
 
LOS ANGELES - A national medical society is investigating whether a fertility doctor followed its guidelines when he implanted six embryos into a Southern California woman who gave birth to octuplets last month.

 The American Society for Reproductive Medicine confirmed Tuesday that it's investigating because Nadya Suleman says she received in-vitro fertilization for all 14 of her children at the same Beverly Hills fertility clinic.

Suleman, 33, told NBC's "Today" show that she was implanted with six embryos in each of her six pregnancies, resulting in four single births, a set of twins and the octuplets. No more than three embryos are considered the norm for a woman her age, and fertility experts and medical ethicists have been critical of the Jan. 26 birth of the octuplets.

The society has contacted Suleman and her doctor, and is prepared to assist the Medical Board of California, which is also looking into the pregnancy, the society's president, Dr. R. Dale McClure, said in a statement.

"Our guidelines provide the flexibility to give each patient treatment individualized to her needs, and her best chance to become pregnant without risking high-order multiple pregnancy," said McClure. "However, it seems that the guidelines may not have been followed in Ms. Suleman's case."

Neither the society or the medical board identified Suleman's physician, Dr. Michael Kamrava.

Kamrava, a specialist who pioneered a method of implantation, was identified Monday as a result of an NBC interview with Suleman, who said she went to the West Coast IVF Clinic in Beverly Hills and that all 14 of her children were conceived with help from the same doctor. In 2006, Los Angeles TV station KTLA ran a story on infertility that showed Kamrava, the center's director, treating Suleman and discussing embryo implantation.

Kamrava, 57, did not return calls seeking comment Monday or Tuesday. When confronted by reporters outside his clinic Monday, he said he had granted a television interview but would not give details.

The state medical board said last week it was looking into the Suleman case to see if there was a "violation of the standard of care." The medical board said it had not taken any previous disciplinary action against Kamrava.

Kamrava's clinic is a member of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, a sister organization of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Clinics that clearly violate guidelines can be kicked out of SART. Neither group is a regulatory agency so a removed doctor could still practice medicine.

The state medical board cannot close the clinic if it is found at fault, but it can censure the doctor, putting the violation on his record.

Kamrava's clinic performed 52 in-vitro procedures in 2006, according to the most recent national report compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those, five resulted in pregnancies and two in births. One of the births were Suleman's twins.

Kamrava's pregnancy rate that year was among the lowest in the country. Experts say many factors affect a clinic's success rate, including a patient's health and types of procedures done.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Kamrava over the past two decades, including one in which a former employee accused him and his wife of hiding income to avoid taxes and defrauding insurance companies.

Former office administrator Shirin Afshar sued Kamrava in 1998, claiming discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and infliction of emotional distress.

Over a seven-year period, Afshar said, Kamrava and his wife didn't report about $400,000 in income to the state and the Internal Revenue Service. Afshar claims Kamrava made patients who had no insurance pay in cash and that money was turned over to Kamrava's wife. The transactions were neither entered into an office computer nor deposited in a bank, the lawsuit said.

She said she was fired when she complained to Kamrava about what was going on.

Afshar also claimed she had an abortion in 1992 because she feared she would lose her job. When she told Kamrava she was pregnant, she claims her boss chastised her.

"How can you take care of this baby with no job, no family and no money?" Afshar claimed Kamrava said.

The lawsuit was settled in 1999 for an undisclosed amount.

___

Associated Press Television News videographer John Mone and Associated Press Writers Alicia Chang, Thomas Watkins and Greg Risling contributed to this report.
3629  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Interrogation methods on: February 14, 2009, 11:29:01 AM
May I add another torture techinique.

Make me have to listen TO BOs crap for 8 years.

Or make him listen to Rush Limbaugh over and voer again daily.
3630  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: February 14, 2009, 10:23:07 AM
Good thing we freed Iraq!

Good point.
So we can increase our dependence on foreign oil till we can develop alternative fuels (if ever).
It sounds to me that it would be decades before alternative will be able to replace and not cmplement oil.

I hate to say it but I hope BO *fails"!  I have come to the conclusion that it would be better for the US to go through more pain now than for us and our children to have a future that is controlled by the likes of BO.

Maybe the conservatives are closer to the truth about going back to conservative basics.  I just don't know.  I just can't see how calling for tax cuts is anywhere enough of an answer to our problems and additionally that will NOT IMO increase the Republican base and the demographics are changing.  And of course crats are doing everything they can to speed this up.

Medical  care is already so regulated that I am resigned to socialized care.  I don't think most doctors and even most of my patients seem to understand what we are in for with regards to big goernment takeover of medicine.  Yet I admit costs are out of control and the private sector has not stemmed the increase. 


3631  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: February 13, 2009, 10:02:15 AM
Doug,

"The reason the WHite House wants greater control is to make a more aggressive count of the 'new people' in the country."

But why do they need to bring Census into the White House to accomplish this?  After 200 years of census taking.

What are they really up to?  Why would we trust them to not *manipulate* data for redistricting purposes and other political maneuvers?

If this was a Republican doing this the MSM would be all over this.  I think Lou Dobbs has brought this up.

MSNBC is already congratulating BO for his achievement with the spending bill.  But what is the great achievement when you have the same parties controlling both houses on your side? This is nothing like when Reagan came in and got opposing parties to agree.

While I don't think the Republicans just calling for tax cuts as the answer to everything a gigantic spending bill so huge and long that those voting on cannot even read it or know what is in it was not the answer I had in mind.  The comparisons to Lincoln boggles the mind for anyone who knows anything about history.  Yet probably most youngsters today know little if anything about Lincoln. But they all know about Phelps.  I lamment.  I will be doing that a lot for the next eight and probably 12 or 16 yearss.


3632  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / False claims about Lincoln on: February 13, 2009, 08:33:25 AM
BBG,

IF you saw BOs speech yesterday it was exceptionally presented.  His use of Abe Lincoln to try to justify big government was interesting for its paradox, contradictions and outright deception.  Like Alinskly said, convince your adversaries you are one of them and you will be able to change them (more or less).
The speech included tons of rhetoric that any conservative would have loved to hear regarding personal responsibility, "bootstraps", the American spirit and yet in the same speech he claims we need big government to "save the Union".  I don't recall hearing one iota of the class warfare his policies engender.
When Abe Lincoln was President there were no such things as entitlements.  I know of zero evidence Lincoln would have ever thought that was necessary.  It was also extrememly galling to here him use Lincoln's temporary suspension of habeus corpus during wartime as justification for going outside the bounds of the Constitution during his administration push for policies that are top heavy with a political agendas.
Yet this same stunt man will gladly and quickly admonish W for using boderline legal tactics against those who threaten and plan to kill Americans and our allies as a stain on our reputation.
Yet it is no problem when it is him using it for political gain.

This guy is worse than Clinton to me.  Not only is he vastly narcissistic but he is supremely arrogant.  I can't see Clinton seemed arrogant.  FWIW I didn't Reagan as either.

3633  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: February 12, 2009, 07:58:54 PM
If only...

I am no expert but it seems to me,

if US oil producers could only start investing into drilling off the continental shelf our ability to reduce our dependence on foreign oil would probably be faster than by doing anything else (like Brazil).

Why O'Reilly and other sensible people keep making excuses for BO; that is he is really more moderate than Pelosi....
This guy is just as much a far left loon as the rest of the Pelosi et al.
He was the most liberal voter in the Senate.  When Pelosi says she will watch BO's back she meant she will help him appear to be the moderate when in fact he is rooting/supporting for her policies hook line and sinker.
 

3634  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "post partisan" on: February 12, 2009, 06:55:07 PM
CCP:

I've moved your very good post to the Electoral thread:  http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1709.new#new
3635  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 10, 2009, 12:16:28 PM
***Well, consider what would happen if we felt the same way about food:***

Well the Dems have already decided that owning a home is an entitlement.  Thanks to them and the Republicans that were afraid to stand up to them because essentially they are the minority party in the US today and were afraid of upsetting those who would benefit from the give aways, we are going broke.

It is happening with health care.  It is the most massive social engineering we have ever seen.  And the Dems keep increasing their constituent base that would benefit from this and would love to have the minority who pay for it continue to do so and to an even larger extant.

Michelle BO is ashamed of our country.  So I guess now she can be proud that we are turning to socialism.
That's what she and BO wanted all along.  Even with all their constituancies they are only getting it because of the impending collapse of the economy.  That is remarkable to me.  That most Americans still would not support them if it were not for the crash of banks.
3636  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 10, 2009, 10:16:45 AM
***One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446).***

Well yes.  Of course.
Electronic medical records will also be used to store, centralize data, and have all this at the government's fingertips to so they can find ways to reduce costs by rationing care.

Nurses will replace doctors by simply following algorithms, cheaper and sometimes less effective drugs will be preferred, more services will not be paid as deemed inappropiate, patients will be forced to do preventative care (with financial incentives) and maybe even their habits, such as cigarettes, diets, exercise patterns will be tracked and their rates adjusted "accordingly".

I don't like it.  But the system is totally out of control.  Without some form of rationed care we will go bankrupt.

I believe the best hope is actually the pharmaceutical industry to find drugs that actually work to combat obesity and cancer and arthiritis that keeps as healthier and only in that way can we get what we want.  Otherwise its rationed care or we all go bankrupt.

Offering health care to illegals doesn't help but that is probably only a small part of the problem.
3637  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Daschle's loss to BO on: February 09, 2009, 12:40:25 PM
Dashcle was felt to be in position with his influence peddling contacts and experience to be able to push through heatlh reform.  Whether or not we would like his reforms is open to debate.  For those who have no insurance they would likely be pleased.  For those with existing medicare, they would likely get rationed care.  And for those who pay for commercial insurance they would get screwed most likely.  That said the system is broken and something has to change but what I don't know:

Losing Daschle Hurts, but Won't Kill Health Plans
Posted Feb 3, 09 4:13 PM CST in Science & Health,  Opinion,  Politics 
(Newser) – The loss of Tom Daschle is a blow to President Obama’s plans for health-care reform, but the administration still has the resources to get the job done, Jonathan Cohn writes in the New Republic. Daschle was not only to head the Department of Health and Human Services, but also a White House office on health reform—which is where his political know-how would’ve come in handy.

“Daschle had a combination of talents not easy to find in one person,” Cohn writes. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t replace those skills, particularly if you’re willing to find several people instead of one.” While number of current or former governors could take over the cabinet position, Cohn pushes scholar Jeanne Lambrew for the reform office: “In fact, based on things I’ve heard, she’s been doing much of it for a while.”
Source: New Republic

 
3638  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why not simply give every household the balance of their due mortgage debt? on: February 09, 2009, 09:34:15 AM
BO and his buddies in the House and Senate are getting their way to turning this country into a complete socialist state:

U.S. Taxpayers Risk $9.7 Trillion on Bailouts as Senate Votes

By Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- The stimulus package the U.S. Congress is completing would raise the government’s commitment to solving the financial crisis to $9.7 trillion, enough to pay off more than 90 percent of the nation’s home mortgages.

The Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have lent or spent almost $3 trillion over the past two years and pledged to provide up to $5.7 trillion more if needed. The total already tapped has decreased about 1 percent since November, mostly because foreign central banks are using fewer dollars in currency-exchange agreements called swaps. The Senate is to vote early this week on a stimulus package totaling at least $780 billion that President Barack Obama says is needed to avert a deeper recession. That measure would need to be reconciled with an $819 billion plan the House approved last month.

Only the stimulus package to be approved this week, the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program passed four months ago and $168 billion in tax cuts and rebates approved in 2008 have been voted on by lawmakers. The remaining $8 trillion in commitments are lending programs and guarantees, almost all under the authority of the Fed and the FDIC. The recipients’ names have not been disclosed.

“We’ve seen money go out the back door of this government unlike any time in the history of our country,” Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, said on the Senate floor Feb. 3. “Nobody knows what went out of the Federal Reserve Board, to whom and for what purpose. How much from the FDIC? How much from TARP? When? Why?”

Financial Rescue

The pledges, amounting to almost two-thirds of the value of everything produced in the U.S. last year, are intended to rescue the financial system after the credit markets seized up about 18 months ago. The promises are composed of about $1 trillion in stimulus packages, around $3 trillion in lending and spending and $5.7 trillion in agreements to provide aid.

Federal Reserve lending to banks peaked at a record $2.3 trillion in December, dropping to $1.83 trillion by last week. The Fed balance sheet is still more than double the $880 billion it was in the week before Sept. 17 when it agreed to accept lower-quality collateral.

The worst financial crisis in two generations has erased $14.5 trillion, or 33 percent, of the value of the world’s companies since Sept. 15; brought down Bear Stearns Cos. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.; and led to the takeover of Merrill Lynch & Co. by Bank of America Corp.

The $9.7 trillion in pledges would be enough to send a $1,430 check to every man, woman and child alive in the world. It’s 13 times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office data, and is almost enough to pay off every home mortgage loan in the U.S., calculated at $10.5 trillion by the Federal Reserve.

‘All the Stops’

“The Fed, Treasury and FDIC are pulling out all the stops to stop any widespread systemic damage to the economy,” said Dana Johnson, chief economist for Comerica Inc. in Dallas and a former senior economist at the central bank. “The federal government is on the hook for an awful lot of money but I think it’s needed to help the financial system recover.”

Bloomberg News tabulated data from the Fed, Treasury and FDIC and interviewed regulators, economists and academic researchers to gauge the full extent of the government’s rescue effort.

Commitments may expand again soon. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner postponed an announcement scheduled for today that was to focus on new guarantees for illiquid assets to insure against losses without taking them off banks’ balance sheets. The Treasury said it would delay the announcement until after the Senate votes on the stimulus package.

Program Delay

The government is already backing $301 billion of Citigroup Inc. securities and another $118 billion from Bank of America. The government hasn’t yet paid out on any of the guarantees.

The Fed said Friday that it is delaying the start a $200 billion program called the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, to revive the market for securities based on consumer loans such as credit-card, auto and student borrowings.

Most of the spending programs are run out of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where Geithner served as president. He was sworn in as Treasury secretary on Jan. 26.

When Congress approved the TARP on Oct. 3, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson acknowledged the need for transparency and oversight. The Federal Reserve so far is refusing to disclose loan recipients or reveal the collateral they are taking in return. Collateral is an asset pledged by a borrower in the event a loan payment isn’t made.

Fed Sued

Bloomberg requested details of Fed lending under the Freedom of Information Act and filed a federal lawsuit against the central bank Nov. 7 seeking to force disclosure of borrower banks and their collateral. Arguments in the suit may be heard as soon as this month, according to the court docket. Bloomberg asked the Treasury in an FOIA request Jan. 28 for a detailed list of the securities it planned to guarantee for Citigroup and Bank of America. Bloomberg hasn’t received a response to the request.

The Bloomberg lawsuit is Bloomberg LP v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 08-CV-9595, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

3639  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 06, 2009, 05:05:35 PM
Huss,

Interesting take on Emanuel.  A weasel?  No wonder he fit right in with the Clintons.  I am not as convinced BO is as wise as some give him credit for.

What are their thoughts on Netenyahu who according to drudge appears to be headed for a win to be Israeli Prime minister again?
I liked his comment that Israel's survival trunps the global economy with its implications clear.

Comments like these may just pressure the US as well as other nations like even China and Russia to pressure Iran to back down lest their economies go further down the garbage can.

I wondered if that was not his goal.  I full confidence he will have what it takes to do what is necessary.
3640  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 06, 2009, 09:05:20 AM
***The solution methinks is to be found in a blend of supply side and Austrian economics***

Please tell me more of Austrian economics.
3641  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 05, 2009, 08:56:14 PM
 ***I can't recall a similarly disastrous start in a half-century (far worse than Bill Clinton's initial slips).***
I agree with all about this piece but in defense of BO I would say I don't recall a similarly disastrous economic situation in half a century.  People are trying to convince us the late 70s was worse when Reagan took over but that is horse feathers.

Yeah we had inflation, gas lines, unemployment but I don't remember anyone saying then that the world economy could collapse.
I don't remember this kind of fear and near panic.  It seems far worse now.  I don't remember deficits of a trillion the closing in on the financial collapse of social security, medicare, the investment banking system, healthcare systems, and the rest.
I also don't recall the impatience we see now.  I don't recall everyone hanging on every word, every breadth, every heartbeat coming out of DC like now.  The 24 hr news cycle, or maybe it isn't really "news" but the 24 hr endless information cycle has helped drive us all nuts.   If there was no FDIC, and government stimulus we would already have had 1929 all over again.  Everyone would have been stepping all over each other to withdraw every thing they had out of the banking system.  I the big question still remains - are we just delaying the inevitable or actually preventing the collapse?

So while I do agree with the criticism of BO I must admit he is taking the helm at the worst possible time in over half century.
3642  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: February 05, 2009, 11:18:35 AM
Doug,
I agree with you.
If only the government would oversee what they are supposed to.  But the media is less about news now than entertainment. The SEC reminds me of the copyright office. The system is broken.  Even those with integrity are not inclined to risk jobs, speak out, "get involved", or are hamstrung by lack of authority, lack systems in place to deal with the problems, etc.
We don't need bigger government just better and more transparent.  But this is all a dream.  BO certainly is not going to do anything when he brings in many of the same unethical characters as before.
3643  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: February 04, 2009, 10:13:43 AM
The next time posters here get annoyed when I mention the system is rigged in favor of those with money and there does need to be better oversight and a leveler playing field you may want to read this.  The music/entertainment industry is all the same.
This is only the tip of the iceberg.  "Free markets" only rants for Hannity, Limbaugh et al is nice and ok up to an extant, but does not address this crap.  And most people know this and that is why there is an audience for the politicians who play to the "little guy" and because conservatives refuse to address this they will have a hard time growing their base.  Colin Powell is right!  Limbaugh helped me survive the slime of the Clinton years, but he is actually more idealistic than the left but in a different way.     

****AP  – Executive: SEC ignored warnings about Madoff
 Reuters – Accused swindler Bernard Madoff enters a car at the rear service entrance to his home at a luxury apartment … WASHINGTON – The man who waged a decade-long campaign to alert regulators to problems in the operations of fallen money manager Bernard Madoff told Congress Wednesday that he had feared for his physical safety.

Harry Markopolos also assailed the Securities and Exchange Commission in his first appearance before lawmakers. The SEC failed to act despite receiving credible allegations of fraud from Markopolos about Madoff's operations over a decade.

Because of the agency's inaction, "I became fearful for the safety of my family," Markopolos said.

He told a House subcommittee hearing that "the SEC is ... captive to the industry it regulates and is afraid" to bring big cases against prominent individuals. The agency "roars like a lion and bites like a flea," Markopolos said.

Madoff, a prominent Wall Street figure, was arrested in December after allegedly confessing to bilking investors of more than $50 billion in what the authorities say was a giant Ponzi scheme, possibly the largest ever. His repeated warnings to SEC staff that Madoff was running a massive pyramid scheme have cast Markopolos as an unheeded prophet in the scandal.

"The SEC was never capable of catching Mr. Madoff. He could have gone to $100 billion" without being discovered, Markopolos testified at the hearing. "It took me about five minutes to figure out he was a fraud."

Markopolos, a securities industry executive and fraud investigator, brought his allegations to the SEC about improprieties in Madoff's business starting in 2000. He fruitlessly pursued the quest through this decade with agency staff from Boston to New York to Washington, but the regulators never acted.

Now thousands of victims who lost money investing in Madoff's fund, which was separate from his securities brokerage business, have been identified. Among them are ordinary people and Hollywood celebrities — as well as big hedge funds, international banks and charities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Life savings have evaporated, foundations have been wiped out and at least one investor apparently was pushed to commit suicide.

And the SEC has been sustaining volleys of criticism from lawmakers and investor advocates over its failure to discover Madoff's alleged fraud, which could be the biggest Ponzi scheme ever, despite the credible allegations brought to it over years.

Markopolos said he determined there was no way Madoff could have been making the consistent returns he claimed using the trading strategy he touted to prospective investors.

Madoff, who was at one point chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market and sat on SEC advisory committees, was "one of the most powerful men on Wall Street and in a position to easily end our careers or worse," Markopolos said.

Calling the SEC "nonfunctional" and harmful to the reputation of the U.S. as a global financial leader, Markopolos recommended ways to revamp the agency, including replacing its senior staff and establishing a central office to receive complaints from whistleblowers.

Also due to testify before the House Financial Services subcommittee were five top SEC officials, including the agency's enforcement director Linda Thomsen, and the head of its inspections division Lori Richards.

In December, Christopher Cox, then the SEC chairman, pinned the blame on the agency's career staff for the failure over a decade to detect what Madoff was doing. He ordered the SEC's inspector general, H. David Kotz, to determine what went wrong. Kotz has expanded his inquiry to examine the operations of the divisions led by Thomsen, who has been the enforcement chief since mid-2005, and Richards, who has held that position since mid-1995.

Thomsen and Richards defended their actions at a Senate hearing last week over the SEC's failure to uncover Madoff's alleged fraud scheme. Members of the Senate Banking Committee were scarcely satisfied with explanations given by the two officials and by Stephen Luparello, the interim chief executive of the brokerage industry's self-policing organization.

That organization, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, was headed until December by Mary Schapiro, President Barack Obama's new SEC chief. Schapiro has said that because Madoff carried out the scheme through his investment business and FINRA was empowered to inspect only the brokerage operation, it wasn't possible for the organization to discover it.****

3644  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: February 03, 2009, 01:39:47 PM
I'm surprised the people on the bus weren't clapping and foot tapping to the beat.  grin
3645  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 12:23:49 PM
The reason I wonder about the hoopla with Phelps and post it here is because I contrast his use of marijuana with a President who additted not only to this using cocaine.  It seemed as though it was never an issue with the new Abe Lincoln ("a youthful indiscreetion").  So why should anyone care about this which in my opinion is about as serious as getting a speeding ticket?

Michael Phelps MILWAUKEE – Michael Phelps doesn't seem to be in much hot water with his sponsors despite being photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe. From apparel company Speedo to luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega, several sponsors are standing by the 23-year-old swimming phenom — at least for now — and have accepted his public apology. Other big companies, like Visa Inc., Subway and Kellogg Co., aren't talking yet.

Experts say if Phelps doesn't stick to the straight and narrow, he could hurt his chances at future endorsements. And there's no guarantee he won't be dropped quietly once the furor dies down.

Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at this summer's Olympics in Beijing, acknowledged "regrettable" behavior and "bad judgment" after the photo appeared Sunday in the British tabloid News of the World.

The paper said the picture was taken during a November house party while Phelps was visiting the University of South Carolina.

Phelps handled the situation well by apologizing and saying he regretted his actions, said John Sweeney, director of sports communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Phelps went a step further and promised "it will not happen again."

In 2004, after the Athens Games, a then-underage Phelps was arrested for drunken driving. He pleaded guilty, apologized and again said he wouldn't make the same mistake again.

Sweeney said if Phelps is caught transgressing a third time, he could stand to lose many sponsorships — and the public's trust. For now, the public and his sponsors could look past it. After all, he said, President Barack Obama has acknowledged using marijuana and he still got elected.

"My prediction would be that this will pass," he said with caution. "If it does happen again, it'll be twice the story and it will hurt him."

Swiss watchmaker Omega said Phelps' actions were a private matter and "nonissue" while Speedo called Phelps a "valued member of the Speedo team."

Sports performance beverage PureSport's maker, which tapped Phelps to be spokesman for its first national advertising campaign, also said Monday that it stands by him but it said it does not condone his behavior.

"We applaud the fact that he has taken full and immediate responsibility for his mistake and apologized to us, his fans and the public and we support him during this difficult time," said Michael Humphrey, chief executive of Human Performance Labs.

Hilton Hotels Corp., whose relationship with Phelps dates to 2007, likewise stuck with him.

"We continue to support Michael Phelps as an athlete whose numerous athletic feats outshine an act of regrettable behavior," the statement said.

But former sponsor Rosetta Stone, the foreign-language tutorial vendor, which had a one-year deal with the athlete that ended Dec. 31, did not like the news.

"We do not condone his activities and are disappointed in his recent judgment," Rosetta Stone said in a statement.

Both AT&T Inc. and PowerBar nutrition bar makers Nestle SA, two other big sponsors, quietly ended their relationships with Phelps at the end of 2008. Neither company would comment on the photo or describe the duration or value of their contracts.

Companies are getting pickier about their marketing and sponsorships amid the recession, when they need to get the most impact for what money they do spend on marketing, said Joe Terrian, assistant dean in the college of business at Marquette University.

It makes sense that, say, Speedo and PureSport would continue to support Phelps because their products are ones that he uses for his sport, Terrian said. But companies with products not directly linked to athletics, like foodmaker Kellogg and credit card company Visa, may not see him as kindly.

Terrian said that, given the 2004 incident, sponsors may look to cut their ties soon.

"Do you want to risk those sponsorship dollars when money is really, really tight?" he said. "I think that some of them will think twice."

Visa, Kellogg, Subway and 505 Games did not immediately return multiple messages left by The Associated Press seeking comment.

A spokesman at sports marketing agency Octagon, which represents Phelps, said the athlete is taking this seriously.

"He has spoken with his sponsors to personally apologize. We are encouraged by their support," the spokesman said.

Terrian said Phelps's sponsors could be looking in their contracts for so-called 'morality clauses' — ways that they can back out of deals if certain instances happen. Those became more widespread after Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was charged with rape in 2003. Those charges were dismissed.

More companies could choose to end their relationships with Phelps quietly. And those whose ads he stars in could publicize such a move as evidence of "their goodwill and social responsibility," Sweeney said.

But Sweeney said companies may be willing to overlook indiscretions depending on how prominent an athlete is. A minor indiscretion could get a minor athlete tossed from a sponsorship, but it could take a bigger incident to bring down a bigger athlete, he said. Considering Phelps's unique accomplishment, sponsors still may want him.

"There's only one of him," Sweeney said of Phelps. "There's only one person with eight gold medals, and there's probably going to be one for a long time."

AP Sports Writer Rob Harris in Manchester, England, contributed to this report.
3646  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: February 02, 2009, 12:04:54 PM
Tell me this is not the exact frown Clinton used to express his "heartfelt" remorse and sorrow:

http://www.welt.de/english-news/article3133031/Tom-Daschle-apologizes-for-tax-issue.html
3647  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: February 02, 2009, 09:35:45 AM
Well I am glad Charles is saying it like it is despite being at George Will's dinner with BO the Great.
I was also highly offended by BO's interview with the Arab news program, as should all of those US men and women who died and fought in the noted engagements.

Naturally not one peep from the MSM.  I coudn't imagine any other President going abroad and insulting his own country like this and *getting away with it*.

Not even Jimmy Carter.
3648  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Ripley's believe it or not. on: January 31, 2009, 12:21:25 PM
"they either don't have any balls or can deal with the pain."

Well one of the demonstrators was a woman.  I wasn't clear why we were suposed to be impressed by her taking a kick to the down under.  I guess it was supposed to be a politically correct comment on gender equality.
3649  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: January 31, 2009, 12:09:04 PM
"The new administration of Obama has also refused to rule out any options -- including military strikes"

Empty bluffs like these are nothing short of ridiculous.  Now if BO really wants to scare the beegeebees out of Ahmadinejad he should challenge him to a one on one game of HOOPS - winner take all.  Now that is scary (and believable).
3650  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another liberal hypocrit on: January 31, 2009, 08:42:15 AM
And as you have probably already seen you can add another hypocrit to the list of, as long as they got their stash.... liberals:

Editorials Columns Advertise on NYTimes.comUse of Free Car Lands Tom Daschle in Tax Trouble
 Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Tom Daschle, the latest Obama cabinet pick to face a snag, at a Senate confirmation hearing.

Published: January 30, 2009
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s pick for health and human services secretary, Tom Daschle, failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes, partly for free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by a prominent businessman and Democratic fund-raiser, administration officials said Friday.
Election Results | More Politics NewsMr. Daschle, concluding that he owed the taxes, filed amended returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest on Jan. 2, the officials said.

The car and driver were provided by Leo Hindery Jr., a media and telecommunications executive who had been chairman of YES, the New York Yankees regional sports network. In 2005, Mr. Hindery founded a private equity firm known as InterMedia Advisors. Mr. Daschle was chairman of InterMedia’s advisory board.

In a financial disclosure statement filed this month with the Office of Government Ethics, Mr. Daschle reported that he had received large amounts of income from InterMedia, including more than $2 million in consulting fees and $182,520 in the form of “company-provided transportation.”

The belated tax payments help explain delays in the confirmation of Mr. Daschle, a former Senate Democratic leader who had been expected to win swift approval. Despite the embarrassing admission, the second for one of Mr. Obama’s cabinet choices, the White House and Democratic senators issued statements on Friday supporting Mr. Daschle.

In an e-mail message, Mr. Daschle referred questions to Jenny Backus, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department. Ms. Backus said that he had cooperated with the Senate Finance Committee, was answering its questions and expected to be confirmed.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Daschle’s tax problems would derail his nomination. The confirmation of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner was held up only briefly after the disclosure that he had failed to pay more than $34,000 in taxes owed to the federal government.

On Friday, members of the Finance Committee received a report on the vetting of Mr. Daschle, done by members of the committee staff from both parties. The report says that he paid back taxes and interest totaling $32,090 for 2005, $38,507 for 2006 and $69,570 for 2007.

The Finance Committee document said Mr. Daschle had amended his tax returns to show “unreported income from the use of a car service in the amounts of $73,031, $89,129 and $93,096 in 2005, 2006 and 2007, respectively.”

An administration official said Mr. Daschle’s failure to pay the taxes was “a stupid mistake.” But, the official said, Mr. Daschle should not be penalized because he had discovered the tax liability himself, paid up and brought it to the committee’s attention.

The committee report said, “Senator Daschle filed the amended returns voluntarily after Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate the senator to be the secretary of health and human services.”

The committee report said Mr. Daschle had told the committee staff that “in June 2008, something made him think that the car service might be taxable, and he disclosed the arrangement to his accountant.”

“Under Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code, the value of transportation services provided for personal use must be included in income,” the report said. “Senator Daschle estimated that he used the car and driver 80 percent for personal use and 20 percent for business.”

The car and driver were not Mr. Daschle’s only problems. The Finance Committee said he failed to report consulting income of $83,333 on his 2007 tax return and overstated the deductions to which he was entitled for charitable contributions from 2005 to 2007. In his amended tax returns, he reduced the deductions by $14,963.

Under his consulting arrangement with InterMedia, the report said, Mr. Daschle received $1 million a year, or $83,333 a month. The payment to Mr. Daschle for May 2007 was omitted from the annual statement of income sent to him by InterMedia. Ms. Backus said the omission resulted from “a clerical error by InterMedia.”

The White House and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, affirmed their support for Mr. Daschle.

James P. Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid, said: “Senator Daschle will be confirmed as secretary of health and human services. He has a long and distinguished career in public service and is the best person to help reform health care in this country.”

The tax problem is the latest road bump for Mr. Obama’s cabinet selections. His nominee for commerce secretary, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, withdrew his name amid a federal investigation into state contracting, and Mr. Obama has yet to name a replacement. His designated attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., has also not been confirmed.

Mr. Hindery and family members have contributed money to many Democratic candidates, including at least $42,000 to Mr. Daschle from 1997 to 2004.

Mr. Daschle is still waiting for the Finance Committee to hold a hearing on his nomination. Members of the committee staff from both parties have been examining a number of other issues, including his relationship with EduCap, a student loan company.

Some members of the staff have also been asking whether Mr. Daschle should have registered as a lobbyist while working at the law firm Alston & Bird, which itself was registered as a lobbyist for EduCap and for many health care companies.

In his financial disclosure report, Mr. Daschle said he received compensation of more than $5,000 for providing “policy advice” to EduCap. The exact amount was not disclosed.

In reports to the Internal Revenue Service, EduCap says it does business as the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation. The foundation is the principal underwriter of annual meetings held by the American Academy of Achievement, which has honored Mr. Daschle on several occasions.

In its report, the Finance Committee said its staff was still reviewing “whether travel and entertainment services provided to the Daschles by EduCap Inc., Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation” and the Academy of Achievement “should be reported as income.”

In his financial disclosure statement, Mr. Daschle said he had received $2.1 million in “wages and bonuses” from Alston & Bird and more than $390,000 for speeches to groups like America’s Health Insurance Plans. He also said he had received more than $5,000 for giving “policy advice” to the insurer UnitedHealth.

An aide to Mr. Daschle said he had been preoccupied in recent days with the need to help a brother who was being treated for a brain tumor.

Asked about the delay, Carol Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the Finance Committee, said, “There’s been a lot on the committee’s docket.”

Carl Hulse, Ron Nixon and Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting, and Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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