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Democrats Refuse to Post Healthcare Bill Online Before Vote

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:54 pm - September 23, 2009.
Filed under: Congress (111th),Liberal Hypocrisy

Recall Barack Obama’s campaign pledge that he wouldn’t sign any non-emergency legislation passed by Congress until after it has been posted on the web for five days.  On February 5, barely two weeks after the Democrat had been sworn in as President, Politico reported that he had broken that pledge when he signed SCHIP legislation “barely three hours after the House approved the bill.

Reporter Carrie Budoff Brown contrasted the speed of that signing with the text of his campaign promise:

“Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them,” the Obama-Biden campaign website states. “As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.”

Well, Senate Democrats seem to be following in the President’s footsteps. They don’t want to give the public the opportunity to review health care legislation before their elected representatives vote on it.  “The Senate Finance Committee just voted down a GOP amendment requiring that Obamacare legislation be available online 72 hours before the panel votes.”  Democrats opposing the amendment called it   “a delay tactic that could have postponed a vote for weeks,” refusing, in JammieWearingFool’s words “to even let the public see what they plan to ram down our throats.”  (H/t Instapundit.)

What’s fascinating is that

. . the only version of Chairman Max Baucus’s proposal we have is a 223-page draft (PDF) that is written in plain English and explains the bill in conceptual terms. Republicans argued that until the bill is written in legislative language it will be impossible for the CBO to provide an accurate cost estimate.

Senator Jim Bunning’s (R-KY) amendment “would have required the committee to have the legislative language of the bill, along with the CBO cost estimate, posted on the internet for 72 hours before a vote.”   (more…)

Barney Gets One Right, Favors Defunding ACORN

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:24 pm - September 23, 2009.
Filed under: Amazing Stories,Congress (111th)

Well, Barney may not have learned from the role of the Community Reinvestment Act in creating the mortgage meltdown, but he does seem to have learned from the steady drip-drip of untoward practices in various ACORN offices around the country. And not just those uncovered by two twentysomethings dressed as a pimp and his prostitute.

The Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee believes it’s time for the federal government to cut off funding to the controversial and corrupt left-wing organization.  Had the Massachusetts Democrat not been at the White House for a ceremony awarding the Medal of Honor to a soldier who had lived in his district during the House vote to defund ACORN, Frank says he would have voted to cut of funding for ACORN:

I am very disappointed in the actions that were taken by members of ACORN, and I do not believe that ACORN’s response has been adequate for an organization that has received public funding.

There are questions about the constitutionality of Congress passing a law that singles out one organization, but the basic principle that ACORN should not now be receiving public funding is an important one. I have therefore urged the Obama administration to withhold any additional funding for ACORN at least until there is very firm evidence that the abuses of which ACORN members have been guilty have not only ceased, but that procedures are in place to prevent them from happening again…

Kudos, Congressman.

Leading Republican Blasts Election of Anti-Gay Official at UN

As world leaders gather to address the United Nations, few (outside FoxNews, the conservative media and blogs) are paying much attention to the prominence of representatives of repressive regimes in the leadership of the world body.  And most people, including many heads of gay organizations, remain silent as officials from anti-gay governments serve in various councils, including those on human rights.

And while the leader of a national lesbian organization may use 9/11 to rail against alleged right-wing hatred in the United States, a Republican Congresswoman, Florida’s Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, uses the occasion of the opening of latest session of the United Nations General Assembly to chastise that body for electing Ali Abdessalam Treki, a former foreign minister of Libya (i.e., in the government of Muammar Qaddafi) and “a vocal advocate for the criminalization of homosexual behavior” as its new President:

The anti-gay bigotry spewed by this Qaddafi shill demonstrates once again that the UN has been hijacked by advocates of hate and intolerance. Likewise, the leadership of the UN Development Program is held by the Iranian regime, which denies the presence of gays in Iran even as it murders them and other innocent citizens. We must ensure that billions annually in U.S. taxpayer dollars no longer foot the bill for the UN’s anti-freedom agenda without significant reform. Congress must demand better by enacting pending legislation that would leverage our contributions to the UN to produce sweeping, meaningful reform of that body.

Seems a Republican is doing a better job looking out for our interests than is the head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights whose website doesn’t mention Mr. Treki’s election.  (Nor do the websites of HRC or NGLTF.)

I wonder  if any of the supposedly gay-friendly Democratic members of Congress took note of this appointment.  And note as well that none of the national gay groups have joined Log Cabin (whose e-mail alerted me to this election) in saluting this Republican representative for criticizing the prominence of an anti-gay official at the United States. (more…)

Obama Worldview Unchanged Since His College Years?

In his latest post at the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone wonders if the President still shares the prevailing attitude in the 1980s of the smart set in the United States that dictatorships thrived in Latin America because they and their corporate backers were “all propped up by the United States.”  That wold certainly help explain his bizarre reaction to events in Honduras where he favors the reinstatement of a president “ousted by the Supreme Court for violating a constitutional provision that forbids any moves to seek a second term.”

Guess he prefers the amorphous ideology of “the people” to the reality of the Honduran constitution.

The president’s worldview,  Barone believes, seems mired in the 1980s: “But some people, including Barack Obama, whose college thesis written in those years has never been made public*, seem stuck in a time warp in which the United States is the bad guy“:

But on foreign policy as his record emerges — as he reverses himself on missile defense and perhaps on Afghanistan — his motivating principle seems rooted in an analysis, common in his formative university years, that America has too often been on the side of the bad guys. The response has been to disrespect those who have been our friends and to bow to our enemies.

It’s Barone, so it goes without saying just read the whole thing.

* (more…)

Demonizing a Grandma who Paid $63,500 to Dine with Palin

It isn’t just heads of gay groups (and some of our commenters) who fall into its of apoplexy when people express viewpoints with which they disagree, left-wing blogs also attract their share of unhappy Republican-haters.  (And as they spew their bile, they accuse their ideological adversaries, often calling them their enemies, of hatred.)

Now, one of my readers, perhaps the most reasonable (and least oriented to the left) of the Palin critics who frequent this blog, has come across some pretty amazing gay left-wing histrionics in reaction to a contest featuring the former Alaska Governor.  You see, in order to raise money for Ride 2 Recovery, “a charity for wounded veterans that promotes cycling as a means to recovery“, Mrs. Palin had donated a dinner with herself, to be auctioned off on eBay.

Well, Cathy Maples, an Alabama grandmother, won the dinner, bidding $63,500 to dine with that great Alaskan.  And instead of commending her and the Alaska Governor for giving of their money and time respectively to help wounded vets, the gay blog Towleroad chose instead to mock that generous Alabamian.

But, as Sonicfrog, our Palin critic found out, some of the comments were not just mocking, they were just plain mean:

I hope they both choke. and not in a good way. if that old lady can afford $63,500 for dinner, she better not be taking any socialist money for SS or Medicare.

Granny’s gonna have rug for dinner.

These remarks led that blogger to offer:

It’s one thing to go after politicians, who more often than not deserve some ridicule. But a grandma who won a silly contest? And people wonder why it’s so easy for Rush and others to demonize gay activists.

How do these people come to harbor such hate?

Boxer Votes to Prevent California Farmers from Working

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:46 am - September 23, 2009.
Filed under: California politics,Congress (111th)

In an excellent article on the water shortage in the Golden State, Max Schulz gives a brief background on how massive irrigation projects helped transform the desert of the San Joaquin Valley “into a paradise, providing much of the fruits and vegetables and dairy products Americans consume.”  Today, with the help of the entire Democratic caucus of the United States Senate, including the two senators from California, environmentalists may well succeed in using federal law to turn the region back into a desert.

The process began with “litigious environmental groups” going to court, suing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on behalf of a variety of species in order to “dismantle the infrastructure of California’s State Water Project (SWP) and the federal Central Valley Project (CVP).”  Finally, with the delta smelt, a minnow that rarely gets bigger than three inches, they hit pay dirt:

In 2007, U.S. district judge Oliver Wanger ruled that the pumping that annually sent about 6 million acre-feet of water to Kern County and beyond was threatening the delta smelt’s existence by disrupting water flows for the fall spawning season. Citing the protections accorded by the Endangered Species Act, he ordered pumping for agricultural uses curtailed by one-third until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could evaluate the situation. After studying the issue for more than a year, the USFWS determined last December that pumping by the SWP and CVP “was likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the delta smelt and adversely modify its critical habitat.”

Water that would have fertilized fields across the Central Valley, providing jobs to tens of thousands and producing food for (potentially) millions just flows out to sea.  Fields lay fallow, jobs are lost.

Environmental rulings have cost the region as many as 32,00o jobs, with 50,000 more to come if restrictions intensify.  Not just that, the “lack of produce from this formerly successful agricultural area,” Ed Morrissey writes, “will hike prices across the nation — and could make us more dependent on agricultural imports.

You’d think the Senators representing the people in this region would be concerned.  But, as Sonicfrog notes, it took a South Carolina Senator to do what the Golden State Senators would not:

After watching the Hannity show broadcast from the Central Valley on Thursday, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint decided to do something about it. Today he introduced a provision in a bill that would basically suspend the Endangered Species Act in regard to the Sacramento Delta for one year, which would prevent Federally mandated restrictions from shutting off water flow from the Sacramento Delta to the San Joaquin Valley, which has cause a severe shortage of water to farmers on the west side of the valley.

This would not be the first time the Senate suspended the ESA.  Six years ago, it did so “for parts of New Mexico so that people would still get water.”   So, instead of considering an amendment which could have said jobs and increased the food supply, the Senate voted to table the amendment, with both California Senators voting to sideline.

I guess to Mrs. Boxer, it matters more to toe the left-wing environmental line than to look out for her Central Valley constituents.

(H/t Michelle Malkin for Senate vote tails and Schulz article.)