Archive for the ‘health care’ Category

Gregg Goes From Bipartisan Symbol to Top Obama Critic

March 28, 2009

Sen. Judd Gregg, who was President Obama’s commerce secretary nominee until withdrawing his name from consideration, has emerged as the toughest critic of the president’s handling of the economy and has helped galvanize Republican opposition to Obama’s policies.

Fox News
At first, the relationship between President Obama and Sen. Judd Gregg looked like love at first sight, proof that opposites do attract.

Obama is a 47-year-old left-leaning Democrat who believes in the power of government to solve people’s problems. Gregg is a 61-year-old New Hampshire Republican who advocated limited government and made millions through business investments.

Their unlikely partnership seemed destined to transcend partisan lines and symbolize the change that Obama promised to bring to Washington.

But Gregg, who was Obama’s commerce secretary nominee until withdrawing his name from consideration, has emerged as the toughest critic of the president’s handling of the economy and has helped galvanize Republican opposition to Obama’s policies.

He warned on Monday that Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal will lead to unsustainable debt levels and send the country on a fiscal path resembling that of a “banana republic.”

Gregg kept up his attacks on Obama’s budget request Saturday in the weekly Republican radio address, saying the path to prosperity is not the excessive spending proposed by the president but limited spending that holds down the growth of government, taxes and debt.

The senator said Obama’s proposals “represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.”

He said Obama “is not trying to hide this; in fact, he is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.”

Like most relationships, this one began with mutual admiration, respect and trust, with flowery compliments flowing between each other.

At their first public appearance together a week-and-a-half before Valentine’s Day, Obama called Gregg “a master of reaching across the aisle to get things done. He will be an astounding addition, a trusted voice in my Cabinet and an able and competent ambassador … I can think of no finer steward for our nation’s commerce.”

In turn, Gregg praised Obama’s economic stimulus proposal to stabilize the economic slide and pull the country out of recession as an “extraordinarily bold, aggressive, effective and comprehensive plan.”

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100d
ays/2009/03/28/gregg-goes-bipartisan-sy
mbol-obama-critic/

In his radio address Saturday, Gregg countered each of Obama’s policy principles:

— “It is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.”

— “We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy … while also conserving more.”

–“We also believe you improve everyone’s health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.”

Leave The Lights On: There’s Work To Do That Is Worth Doing, Even If We’re Tired

March 28, 2009

I am tired of meaningless, symbolic acts and endless political promises and blather and lack of taking responsibility in the year of the Oh-Bombastic.

I am tired of Barney Frank and Tim Geithner…..

And I am tired of just refusing to do the hard work to figure out how we could make America better.

This presidency has become “The Obama Show.”  When does he work and stop talking?

We’ll leave the lights on for THAT, Barack…..

If we work, and leave the lights on, and read and think we mights have some better ideas.

I fear Barack is talking to people with no lights on….

Here are a few more reasons to leave the lights on:

–To figure out how to handle global warming without ending productivity and growth in the USA….or anywhere else…
 U.N. ‘Climate Change’ Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy

This is a developing essay and not yet finished…..

–To figure out how to have health care reform without having health care rationing….
How Health Care Reform Can Kill Good Medicine

Natasha Richardson’s Story Saves Girl’s Life

–To figure out how to focus upon students and learning and not just teachers and money….

–To figure out, as we just passed the 30th anniversary of Three Mile Island, how to get past our fears of nuclear power (as the French have) and light up our world forever….We are not in the Jane Fonda world of the China Syndrome: just ask the U.S. Navy or any nation with nuclear power….

–To figure out when we’ll drill in the Arctic Reserve….safely… I mean we went to the moon and I am expected to believe Obama’s “Big Oil” lie that we can’t get money and oil out of Alaska without killing the planet?

–To figure out how to get the Republicans in America to wake the f &*^%$# up…….

–To teach the Congress why a 90% tax on anyone is a bad idea…..

Do we want to revive our economy, or do we want to punish the bankers?

As Joe Biden says, “Are you f ^%$#*& ing kidding me?”

I am tired of capers like the stimulus: my money gone and congress didn’t have time to read the bill and the president said it was a really super-duper crisis like all his others…. so we have NO HOPE of getting it right…. like Afgahanistan and now we have adopted Pakistan too?  I thought this was the anti-war president?

Obama Stimulus Job Numbers for Massachusetts “Manufactured in Washington DC”

I’m tired of class warfare….

Class Warfare? Obama Tears Down Rich Instead of Inspiring Others To Get Rich

I am tired of looking at my children and grandchildren while I know I am living a lie because they will have to pay off the debt someday….and my house is paid for…I’m talking about the Obamadebt….
The Democratic Congress’s Cover-Up; Our Biggest Danger

I’m tired of fakes who lip synch and are praised as entertainers…. and for giving a complete show….

Britney Spears delivers a complete show

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/28/leave-the-lights-on-celebrat
e-human-achievement-hour/


At the top of the U.S. government we have this guy, Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.  Really?

How Health Care Reform Can Kill Good Medicine

March 28, 2009

Here is what I know about managed health care in places like communiss Vietnam and China and also in Canada.

In Vietnam and China health care is uiversally bad and universally available.  The elite of the society pay their way, get the best medical care, and often end up in places like the Cleveland Clinic or the Mayo Clinic for big surgical procedures.

Big shot Arab oil people show the same pattern….

In China, I investigated the SARS outbreak in China more than four years ago.

SARS is a deadly viral infection know by its full name as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

We learned that China lacks sufficient medications, medical staff and hospital facilities to properly service their own population.

The World Health Organization estimated that only about 4% of China’s medical professions were prepared for a disease like SARS.

The most interesting and surprising thing we learned was this.  Although China trains enough high quality doctors and competition is keen for medical school educations, many of the best doctors find ways to get out of China to a place where they can earn more money.  The Chinese government system is actually holding back good medicine; while it thinks it has a system far superior to that in the U.S.

The situation in Vietnam is much the same.

The recent tracic death of Natasha Richardson and the timely treatment given subsequently to little Morgan McCracken brought this all back to me.

Natasha Richardson’s Story Saves Girl’s Life

Michelle Malkin asked the question, “Could Canada’s Medical Sysytem Have Killed Natasha Richardson?”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/27/did-canadacare-kill-natasha-
richardson/

That’s a question every American should ponder some before we launch pell mell into a wildly expensife effort of health care reform.

We also noted someone who commented on that article in Michelle’s blog.

“My wife who’s a doctor and Canadian citizen graduated from McGill University went to school with a friend who became a neurosurgeon and just like the article states, he left Canada upon graduation and now practices in Texas. He is well renown and has published many articles in medical journals and such.”

“Why did he leave his country? The same reason my wife did, why go to school for 7 years do a residency, be taxed heavily and in the end only to make as much as someone with much less education, responsibility and commitment.”

“By the way my wife left Canada right after graduation also and did her residency in New York. It’s called the “brain drain” in Canada and is very common.”

The brain drain is a real problem for Vietnam, China and Canada…..

Of course, whean all of President Obama’s fixes are put into American life, nobody will want to leave….

Related:
China’s Effort to Resolve Food, Product Safety is Questionable
(Medical system and SARS)

Liberal Dream Agenda

March 28, 2009

Government-run health care, a cap-and-trade carbon tax, a vast array of personal and business tax increases, and government authority to seize financial institutions in addition to banks…..

By Fred Barnes
Weekly Standard

Once the House passed a 90 percent tax on AIG bonuses, a mad rush was on in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the Senate floor to propose a quick vote on similar legislation. A single senator could object, delaying a vote for weeks. But fear of siding with reviled AIG executives prevailed, and no senator stepped forward–until Republican whip Jon Kyl finally did. “I don’t believe Congress should rush to pass yet another piece of hastily crafted legislation in this very toxic atmosphere,” he said. “Therefore, I object.” A vote was put off, the AIG furor abated, and the tax on bonuses is now probably dead.

That was easy. A nervy act by a single senator stopped the scramble to punish AIG. That was two weeks ago. Last week, the decision by Republican senator Arlen Specter to oppose card check legislation was similarly decisive. He relegated that bill, designed to let labor organizers form unions without a secret ballot vote by workers, to the unlikely-to-pass bin. Senate Republicans had worked diligently to produce unanimous opposition to card check. But again, the act of one Republican senator was crucial.

So much for easy victories. Republicans now face the most important test of their opposition to liberal legislation since they blocked President Clinton’s health care scheme–HillaryCare–in 1994. This time the task is far greater and the number of Republican senators is fewer (41 now, 44 then). And the only hope is the Senate. House Republicans, lacking the power to filibuster, can’t help.

The iberal onslaught comes in four parts: government-run health care, a cap-and-trade carbon tax, a vast array of personal and business tax increases, and government authority to seize financial institutions in addition to banks. This is the liberal dream agenda. If passed, it would do what conservatives fear most. It would make America more like Europe, with growing nanny statism and more reliance on government, considerably less on individuals. Let’s look at the four.

Health care. President Obama is fond of saying his plan allows people to choose between the health insurance they get through their employer and a government program currently limited to federal workers. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? It’s not. Rather, it’s the path to a single-payer health care system–the kind Obama has said he prefers but isn’t actually proposing.

His program would have the distinct advantage of not having to make a profit. So it would always be able to offer greater benefits at lower cost (with taxpayers taking up the slack when it lost money). Businesses would have….

Read the rest:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Conten
t/Public/Articles/000/000/016/336gisqv.asp

Read the rest:
 U.N. ‘Climate Change’ Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy

Obama Talks About “Making Hard Choices,” But Budget Is “Have It All Now”

March 26, 2009

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.
Hamlet, I, iii, 51-55

Standing before millions of cheering admirers on January 20, the newly christened President Obama decried “our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.” This idea — that our nation has suffered because we have punted for too long on difficult decisions — was a key theme during Obama’s campaign, and it has been repeated with the frequency of a corporate ad jingle in the early days of his presidency.

By Philip Klein
American Spectator

At last month’s White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit, Obama declared that, “In the coming years, we’ll be forced to make more tough choices, and do much more to address our long-term challenges.” He reiterated this point during Tuesday night’s primetime press conference.

“What I’ve said here in Washington is that we’ve got to make some tough choices,” Obama said. “We got to make some tough budgetary choices.”

Obama is correct in his diagnosis. The central failure of the Bush era was the belief that we can do everything we want — cut taxes, expand military and homeland security spending, fight two wars, give prescription drugs to senior citizens, increase federal funding for education and energy — and do it all without facing any long-term costs. It was a philosophy that was also reflected in Americans who bought houses that they couldn’t afford and financial institutions that issued loans on borrowed money at an unsustainable pace.

The $1.3 trillion deficit and the weakened economy that Obama is all too eager to remind us he inherited has been the direct result of a stubborn refusal to accept necessary tradeoffs and face the reality that we can’t have everything that we want.

Unfortunately, while he fancies himself a courageous leader, Obama’s budget does not reflect hard choices. He is telling the American people that we can spend trillions of dollars on an economic stimulus package, a housing bailout, and multiple financial bailouts without experiencing inflation or requiring broad tax increases. He is insisting that we can save money by providing health care for every American, that we can accomplish this without rationing care, and that the quality of medical treatment will improve. He is promising that we can save money by throwing more federal dollars into energy and that we can increase federal spending on education while cutting taxes on 95 percent of Americans.

The White House has not offered actual numbers to back up Obama’s claims about this utopian fiscal future, and the only numbers we do have undercut his points entirely.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of his budget, and it found that his policies would more than double the public debt to $17.3 trillion by 2019, equal to a staggering 82.4 percent of the economy.

While Obama’s budget is named, “A New Era of Responsibility,” when questioned about his deficit claims, his first instinct is to point fingers. During Tuesday’s press conference, he snapped, “as I recall I’m inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit.” This may be true, but since taking over, Obama has already increased the projected 2009 deficit to $1.8 trillion, according to the CBO. As comedian Jackie Mason quipped recently, “If I inherited a fire, does that mean I have to make the fire bigger and worse?”

Obama also reiterated his claim that he will cut the deficit in half within five years. It’s true that according to projections, the deficit will drop during that time period, but this argument is a red herring.

Given that the annual deficit will be jacked up to $1.8 trillion in 2009, cutting it in half within five years is no landmark achievement, because the deficits are expected to shrink naturally assuming the economy recovers. In fact, if we were simply to follow current laws, the CBO estimates that the cumulative deficits for 2010 to 2019 would be $4.4 trillion, or less than half the $9.3 trillion that would result from Obama’s budget. Also, while the deficit does decrease in 2011 and 2012, it starts to grow again the following year.

On the campaign trail last June, Obama declared that the Bush administration was “the most fiscally irresponsible administration in history.” At the time he made that statement, Bush’s record deficit was $413 billion in 2004. Yet according to the CBO, if Obama’s budget gets passed, the deficit will never be lower than $658 billion during his time in office should he serve two terms.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Obama argued that part of the reason that the CBO’s data is worse than the White House projections is that the CBO assumes a lower rate of economic growth. But even looking at the rosier estimates, the Obama administration still projects the public debt exploding from $8.4 trillion in 2009 to $15.4 trillion by 2019.

Related:
The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

March 26, 2009

In attempting to harness public anger over the financial crisis on behalf of his budget, President Obama is confronting the politically uncomfortable fact that the success of his long-term agenda and Wall Street’s recovery are intertwined.

By Alec MacGillis and Scott Wilson
The Washington Post

That acknowledgment is reflected in the president’s shift in tone from his tempestuous town hall appearances in California last week to Tuesday evening’s more sober appraisal of who is responsible for the frozen credit markets, insolvent banks and burst real estate bubble.

He condemned Wall Street “Ponzi schemes, even when they’re legal, where a relatively few do spectacularly well while the middle class loses ground” during a March 18 town hall event in California’s Orange County, which is now closing elementary schools because of falling property tax revenue. Back inside the Beltway, the president said during his prime-time news conference that some of us “can’t afford to demonize every investor and entrepreneur who seeks to make a profit.”

In the balance as he attempts to walk this line is Obama’s long-term agenda, embodied in the budget he was selling on Capitol Hill yesterday and which a House panel passed on a party-line vote late last night. To build public support for his $3.6 trillion package of plans to reform health care, energy and education, Obama is attempting a kind of transference — persuading Americans that the excesses crystallized by bonuses for the AIG unit at the center of the financial collapse can only be fixed by the systemic overhaul of the economy represented by his budget.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2009/03/2
5/AR2009032503117.html?hpid=
topnews

Obama, Economy: So Much Uncertainty Spins Off More…. Uncertainty

March 25, 2009

Barack Obama seem prepared to chage everything about everything.

Just today he set out to reform the tax code at the IRS.  Since Tim Geithner is busy and was never good at taxes anyway, Paul Volker will head a commission.

But Geithner added uncertainty of his own today saying it was OK by him if China replaced the dollar with something else as a reserve currency.  When the dollar pitched downward, Geithner had to ‘clarify’ his first statement to get markets going again.

But it is just part of an ever swirling vortex of change, tinkering and tampering that makes businesses and investors shudder.

We’ll provide health care to all, we’ll reform education, we’ll take care of climate change, we’ll do away with gas and oil and coal, we’ll….well it looks like we’ll do everything.  We’ll use embrionic stem cells to cure Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and then we’ll cure cancer.

And what will it all cost?  Who cares, really.  It isn’t our money……

Well, people do care like China, the nation that holds most of our debt….

Just today FedEx said it might back off on billions of dollars of aircraft sales planned to go to Boeing.  The reason?  Card check.  FedEx is worried that fast unionization of its work force will dramatically change its bottom line.

The Dow was way up today and then way down.  Why?  In one word?  Uncertainty.

Today on the Dow: uncertainty

“A weaker interest or wider spread in a Treasury deal today could certainly cause some angst,” said Warren Koontz, chief investment officer for large-company value stocks at Loomis Sayles & Co., which manages $106 billion in Boston. “As anxious as the market is after the run we’ve had here, it gives people an excuse to step back.”

Late on Wednesday the Associated press said this about the stock market today: “Trading was extremely erratic….Analysts said weak demand during an auction of government debt stirred up worries about how easily Washington will be able to raise money to fund its economic rescue program. The fear in the market is that the government might not be able to easily raise the hundreds of billions of dollars it needs.”

Anxious, cautious, uncertain, confidence: they are all part of the stew that’s boiling; which might be good and might not.

The economic recession gave us uncertainty enough.  Now the president has himself compounded the problem.

If the United States was an aircrft, Obama has already touched every dial and lever in the cockpit.  And what does that mean?  Only one thing for sure: Uncertainty.  And a lack of confidence.  That’s why businesses are not yet rehiring and people are holding on to their money.

First Obama said we were in a crisis and he was all gloom and doom.  Then he spoke of confidence and Biden even mentioned the “Obama factor” when the markets went up.  Last night he exhibited neither confidence nor gloom; but instead a kind of boredom.

The president is overexposed and not helping.  This is a time to lower uncertainty and emphasize confidence: and do the hard work necessary to move the nation forward.  Enough of the media events, press conferences and fake bipartisanship.  Get to work already.

Primum non nocere

*******************

The uncertainty that the president has mentioned himself,  just a little, is what militay people call the “unknown unknowns.”  While we have so much economic uncertainty compounded by self imposed uncertainty, we should have some money saved for a rainy day like an new war on terror, a troop deployment to the border with Mexico or some other really far out scenario…..Putin and Hu Jintao like American uncertainty and they aren’t the only ones…..We live in an uncertain world and we have added to the uncertainty since January….

**********************

FedEx Corp is threatening to cancel the purchase of billions of dollars worth of new Boeing Co cargo planes if Congress passes a law that would make it easier for unions to organize at the package-delivery company, the Wall Street Journal said.

FedEx may cancel plans to buy as many as 30 new Boeing planes should Congress pass a bill that would remove truck drivers, couriers and other employees at FedEx’s Express unit from the jurisdiction of the federal Railway Labor Act of 1926, the paper cited the company spokesman as saying.

In January, FedEx said its express unit exercised options to buy 15 more Boeing 777 freighters, worth $3.75 billion at list prices.

However, the company deferred delivery of some of the planes as the U.S. economy faces a bleak outlook.

FedEx’s actions raise the stakes in an increasingly bitter battle involving chief rival, United Parcel Service Inc, and the Teamsters union, which has been trying for years to organize at FedEx, the Journal said.

FedEx and Boeing could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

******************

Bloomberg

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent the dollar tumbling with comments about China’s ideas for overhauling the global monetary system, only to drive it back up by affirming that it should remain the world’s reserve currency.

Geithner was initially asked at a Council on Foreign Relations event in New York about proposals from People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan for a new international reserve currency. He said “as I understand his proposal, it’s a proposal designed to increase the use of the IMF’s special drawing rights. And we’re actually quite open to that.”

The dollar slid as much as 1.3 percent against the euro within 10 minutes of news accounts of Geithner’s remarks. The U.S. currency was down 0.6 percent at $1.3553 as of 12:31 p.m. in New York.

Roger Altman, who worked with Geithner as deputy Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, later asked Geithner whether he wanted to “clarify” his remarks.

“I’d like to ask one final question, in effect on behalf of the market,” said Altman, founder of Evercore Partners Inc. “Let me ask the question this way. Do you see any change over the foreseeable future in the basic role of the dollar as the world’s key reserve currency?”

‘Strong’ Dollar

Geithner responded by saying that “I think the dollar remains the world’s dominant reserve currency.” In an interview with CNBC broadcast after the event, the Treasury chief said that a “strong dollar” is in “America’s interest.”

In his earlier response, Geithner said an increased use of SDRs should be “rather evolutionary, building on the current architecture, rather than moving us to global monetary union.”

Those remarks don’t indicate Geithner favors moving to a system with the SDR as a reserve currency, strategist Lee Hardman at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd. wrote in a note.

“That was the big concern amongst the confusion,” London- based Hardman said. “A move to an SDR-linked system away from the dollar would naturally lead to a reduction in the dollar’s share of global reserves.”

Geithner, a former Treasury undersecretary for international affairs and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which carries out U.S. interventions in currency markets, also said that “we will do what’s necessary to make sure we’re sustaining confidence in our financial markets.”

Bernanke, Obama

Geithner and Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke both told lawmakers yesterday that they expected the dollar to remain the most important global currency. President Barack Obama said at a news conference late yesterday that “the dollar is extraordinarily strong” because investors are confident in the ability of the U.S. to lead a worldwide recovery, and also rejected calls for a new global currency.

China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasuries, and Premier Wen Jiabao earlier this month expressed concern about the value of its investment. Central bank governor Zhou this week advocated a “super-sovereign reserve currency” that’s disconnected from any individual nation.

Zhou said, in an essay posted on the PBOC’s Web site, that the IMF’s special drawing rights, a unit of account at the fund used for member countries’ reserves with the IMF, offer “light in the tunnel for the reform of the international monetary system.” He said the SDR has yet to be “put into full play due to limitations on its allocation and the scope of its uses.”

Geithner said in his interview with CNBC that “China is playing a very important stabilizing role in this financial crisis we’re seeing globally.” U.S. officials are “working very, very closely with them. I think they have a lot of confidence in the policies we’re pursuing,” he also said.

See Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/25/wonderboy-strikes-again/

Obama Throws In The Towel

March 25, 2009

So much for “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Despite a huge Democratic majority in the congress and an undeniable bank of public (and media) adulation, Barack Obama looked like a scared rat at his news conference last night.

He is confident of one thing: his teleprompter.

Teleprompter White House: Packaged People, Messages

And his carefully polished speeches.

It looked to us that he is in over his head.

At least he is realizing now that this presidency gig is a lot harder than it looks.

For public officials, we like to ask after the event: “What was the message.”

What was the point?

Troops at war and we’ll win?  Nope.

We can climb any mountain?  Better bring the ski patrol.

He was aloof: retreating into his professor persona and talking past the reporters in the room.

We’re in a heap of trouble?  Maybe…

The New York Times reporter said:

“In the president’s news conference, Americans saw not the riveting speaker who addressed Congress last month, but the return of Barack Obama the lecturer.”

This was a news conference the president didn’t need to make — and should have avoided.

See:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/0
3/25/us/politics/25obama.html?_r=1&hp

On the same day that a lawmaker offered to bailout newspapers, we saw why they are failing: even the president ignores them….

Who got the questions last night,  Ebony, Univision and other minority media…..

http://rightvoices.com/

****************

Editorial
The Washington Post

WITH CONGRESS poised to rewrite his budget, President Obama subtly signaled last night that he understood that he could not have everything on his ambitious wish list. Granted, you had to be listening pretty closely to hear that. Mr. Obama reaffirmed his triumvirate of spending priorities — health care, energy and education — as essential to avoiding a repeat of the boom-and-bust cycle that helped produce the current economic crisis. “That’s why this budget,” he said, “is inseparable from this recovery: because it is what lays the foundation for a secure and lasting prosperity.”

But asked twice whether he would accept a budget that did not include provisions for additional tax cuts for the middle class, or that did not launch a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Mr. Obama demurred. Instead, he called for “a serious energy policy that frees ourselves from dependence on foreign oil and makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy” — implicitly suggesting that cap-and-trade, though he supports it, might have to wait. As for the middle-class tax cut that Mr. Obama would pay for with revenue from a cap-and-trade program, the president said, “we already had that” in the stimulus package. “We know that that’s going to be in place for at least the next two years. We had identified a specific way to pay for it. If Congress has better ideas in terms of how to pay for it, then we’re happy to listen.”
When Mr. Obama ticked off his “bottom line,” he included “serious efforts to reduce our budget deficit,” but the efforts in his budget are not serious enough. Cutting the deficit in half is an unimpressive promise given the state of the deficit; the more important question is getting deficits down to a sustainable level. Instead, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, Mr. Obama’s budget envisions spending over 23 percent of gross domestic product almost every year, while collecting less than 19 percent of GDP in taxes. If his priorities are important enough to spend money on, the president owes Congress and the country a vision of how he would generate sufficient revenue to meet the needs.

Mr. Obama appeared to signal flexibility in another area, too: stem cell research. When he announced a new policy on March 9, he said he would approve federal funding on stem cells derived from embryos, with no mention of limitations or restrictions; he said he would ask the National Institutes of Health to draw up regulations. Last night, unlike in his original announcement, he referred to “embryos that are typically about to be discarded,” of which many thousands exist in fertility clinics. Does that mean he might draw a line at the creation of embryos for the purpose of research? That’s unclear, but it would be a positive step if his comment means he will decide, rather than leaving to scientists, the question of whether to limit the research to embryos already slated for destruction.

You would not have known from the nearly hour-long news conference that Mr. Obama is commander in chief at a time when U.S. forces are engaged in two wars. He did not mention them, except to refer to veterans coming home, and, surprisingly, no one asked, even though his administration is nearing the end of a review of its strategy in Afghanistan. The questions reflected, perhaps, a country understandably preoccupied with its own problems; the world isn’t likely to indulge that inattention for long.

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/24/and-so-it-has-come-to-pass/

Re;ated:
Telepromter President Goes Jumbotron!

Obama: Press Conference Hints at Class Warfare

President Obama failed to sell his budget plans to the American people

 President, Congress, Media “Vacant” in Time of Crisis

Brawl over Obama budget brews in Congress

March 24, 2009

Barack Obama is preparing for one of the toughest fights of his young presidency as Congress begins work on a budget that may trim his spending plans but back his healthcare, energy and education proposals.

By Richard Cowan
Reuters

Obama will meet fellow Democrats in the Senate on Wednesday to try to shore up support for a budget blueprint that likely would increase the deficit more than initially estimated by the White House — it was forecast at $1.4 trillion for next year.

 

The House Budget Committee will begin a marathon session on Wednesday to write its version of the budget plan, followed a day later by the Senate Budget Committee’s unveiling of its budget plan for fiscal 2010 and the four subsequent years.

 

Republicans say Obama’s budget plan expands government and raises taxes on the rich and small businesses at a time when the country is mired in a deep recession. Obama, for his part, is trying to keep fiscally-conservative Democrats on board.

 

Democrats, who control Congress, are looking for ways to shave some of the spending requests in a bid to persuade enough fiscally-moderate members of their party to support a $3.55 trillion budget next year.

 

“I’m hopeful we can have a majority of the House and Senate support” a budget plan, said a cautious-sounding House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

 

Democrats, said Senator Patty Murray of Washington, a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee, want to “put the middle class first and bring the country out of the recession.”

 

To do that, Murray told reporters, Congress must invest more in education, healthcare and alternative energy to create jobs, while shoring up domestic programs that she said were largely ignored in the eight years of the Bush administration.

 

“Now is not the time to sit back and criticize,” Murray said in a open warning to Republicans.

Read the rest:
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/id
USTRE52G3OX20090324?feedType=RSS&feedN
ame=politicsNews&rpc=22&sp=true

10 questions for Obama (That won’t be asked or answered tonight)

March 24, 2009

Politico has offered ten possible questions for the media to ask of President Obama tonight.

Here are a few of my own:

Why should we enact card check?

China says their factories make goods for the U.S., thus the pollution in China is U.S. pollution and Americans should pay to clean it up.  What say you President Obama?

What in the consitution gives the U.S. the right to tax anyone like AIG executives at 90% and what gives the U.S., in the constitution, the authority to take over businesses?

Your kids go to private schools in Washington DC.  But poor parents will lose their vouchers if the government of the District has their way.  If this a good thing?

See:
http://www.politico.com/news/st
ories/0309/20422.html

From Politico (the entire essay is very good and is at the link):

1) You’ve dismissed the stock market’s frequent zig-zags, but do you think Monday’s rally in the Dow amounted to a Wall Street stamp of approval for your bank bailout plan?

2) Given that 15 of the top 20 AIG bonus recipients are now returning their bonuses, do you think the House acted too hastily to pass a bill levying a punitive tax on those individuals?

3) You talked on “60 Minutes” about missing the ability to talk to everyday Americans, but can you tell them for a moment how this economic downturn is impacting you and your family? 

4) Wall Street is, understandably, coming in for significant blame over the current financial crisis. But what responsibility, if any, do average Americans bear for the problem?

5) On health care, you included a government-run insurance option in your campaign platform. Is that a must for comprehensive legislation? Also, some in your own party have expressed concern about paying for healthcare by, in effect, raising taxes on upper-income taxpayers, as you have proposed. Are you willing to pay for it through other means?

6) How many appointees have received waivers from your new ethics rules barring lobbyists from working in government?

7) Larry Summers told New York Magazine last summer that he hoped you didn’t believe what you said about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, while you were touting your opposition to the treaty on the campaign trail. So where do you stand now — will changing NAFTA become a priority for you, or not?

8) Throughout the campaign, you said Afghanistan represented the central front in the battle against Islamic terrorism but on “60 Minutes,” you said there must an “exit strategy.” How long do you expect to keep American troops on the ground there?

9) Appearing before a crowd chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei rebuffed your video outreach to this country last week. Is there any hope of reaching a new, less contentious relationship with Iran?

10) Most modern presidents have found it useful to confer with the other living presidents because of their unique insights and perspective. Can you tell us which presidents you have consulted since entering the White House and generally what you discussed?

Related:
Obamagasm Media: Start Asking Questions; The Budget Is Full of Them

Obama Believers Thought They’d Hear More On Immigration By Now

Teleprompter White House: Packaged People, Messages

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/24/bre
aking-news-arlen-specter-acts-like-a-c
onservative-for-once/