Friday, March 19, 2010

Massachusetts Administration Blames Mass Health Plan for Huge Budget Deficit - Previews of Coming Attractions

From the Springfield Republican: The State of Massachusetts, who's budget is overwhelmed by the rising cost of the Massachusetts Universal Health Care program, is another $295 Million in the red. The administration blames the increase in the number of low income residents using the program as part of the problem. The balance of the blame lays in the increase in needs for homeless shelters and a drop in fees collected by the state. With the rate of unemployment in the majority of Massachusetts at the national average or more (See the 4th District), the ability to collect taxes has had a real impact on the program.

This raises the question: with the Obama Health Care Program, and across the board taxes to take place immediately, how on earth are they going to pay for this when unemployment is at 10% nationwide, and there is no indication that the situation is going to ease anytime soon? As companies either close or layoff workers in order to avoid having to go bankrupt - (See manufacturer Caterpillar estimates cost at $100 millionChicago Tribune)with the new mandates, the situation will only worsen - increased unemployment with an increase in taxes.

It boggles the mind that any one group of individuals who are allegedly so bright have made such as mess of this great nation in so short a time.

Congress Suspends Rule – For Deem and Pass Measure – Health Care Reform without a Vote!

How the Evangelicals Helped to Elect Barack Obama

Yesterday, 222 Congressional Representatives, gave there “Yeas” to a resolution to suspend the rules under HR1190. This was sponsored by Massachusetts 3rd Congressional District’s Democrat James McGovern. vote tally here.
This resolution sets in motion the ability for the Speaker to move legislation through the Congress without one member taking a vote. It is known as the Slaughter Rule.

The Slaughter rule is defined as follows :(Benjamin
“The Slaughter rule is only a simplifying mechanism that allows the House to pass its version of the bill using the reconciliation procedure without having to take a separate vote on the politically difficult Senate bill. In fact, Members will still be on the hook for voting for “health care reform” no matter which way you slice it: they’ll have voted on both the adoption of the Slaughter rule and on the fix bill, which constitute the whole thing.”

In other words, those Democrats who are up for re-election in 2010, would, in essence, be able to pass a bill without voting on it, thereby, saying to constituents: “I did not vote for the Health Care Reform Bill”. The problem with this scenario is that many American’s are paying attention, and understand that by voting to use the bill, in order to dodge having to take a vote on it, is basically the same as voting for this piece of legislation in the first place. To find out if your congressional representative is that type of coward a list of those voting Yea, is to be found at the end of this article.

In addition, one this particularly ill-crafted, patched together, piece of legislation is thrown at the American public (while still be written), all bets are off for the November election. Anyone with a “D” next to their name will be finding it difficult to impossible to retain their seats in November.

Perhaps ironic that the dodge tactic is entitled “The Slaughter Rule”, when it comes to the general election. The angst towards this particular piece of legislation is so high; there is no way that it won’t spill into the 2012 elections. In other words, the damage done to the Democrat brand will be so severe, that they may end up being a third party behind the new Tea Party by the time this is over.

This was predictable in April of 2008. At that time a group of evangelical leaders, including one James Dobson outlined the evangelical plan to bring down the Democrat Party in total - by allowing Barak Obama to become President. The premise: Once Obama and his merry men got their hands on the country, it would be destroyed and the people would be so fed up that they would, in turn, vote the entire bunch out of office. This group planned not to endorse one Republican in 2008, and by doing so, they used their influence on a huge block of voters to either stay home or vote for Obama. It was a set up of grand proportions and it appears to be working.

Although one would point this individual in the direction of a rubber room for suggesting that a handful of Evangelical Church leaders had the ability to outsmart Obama and his handler, David Axelrod, hold onto that straight jacket a second – It is suggested that one view the chilling video of Dobson with Sean Hannity, in which Dobson states his intentions quite clearly. (Available by searching YouTube, or this blog). Therefore, the allegedly intelligent Barak Obama (grades not produced), along with Axelrod (who tried the whole how to elect Obama out on Massachusetts with Deval Patrick, including using the same repetitive slogan of “yes we can”), we’re not the masterminds of electoral politics, but pawns in the broader scheme of things.

Can this health care reform bill (and the immigration reform and the cap and trade), be reversed? Absolutely, once the Congress is in the control of semi-sane men and women, who are not afraid to stand and vote, or not vote if the occasion arises. How hard it is to pull back legislation? Historically, not that difficult, as bad bills passed have been rescinded several times. The most recent rescission was Barak Obama’s rescission of a Bush Bill which did not allow global funding for abortion. The process: Write a new bill over-riding the old bill. This requires a presidential signature, and one must understand that Hades would freeze over before Obama saw a second term. Therefore, any bad bill (and we can expect a host of them) can be undone – it is not a quick fix, but a process is in place to correct mistakes made.

What must be a priority and a lesson to every single American eligible to vote, is that researching ones potential choice for Congress, Senate, or the Presidency, is imperative, before one pulls that lever – and that is regardless of political affiliation, although as previously stated, one might have more choices, rather than fewer, should this bill pass either by straight vote, or by no vote at all. Those choices will be: Republican’s, some form of the Tea Party and lastly, what’s left of the Democrat Party.

House members who voted to use the Slaughter Rule and leaning towards retirement if up for re-election (many of these are retiring) in 2010:
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Brady (PA)
Braley (IA)
Brown, Corrine
Carson (IN)
Castor (FL)
Connolly (VA)
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
Davis (TN)
Donnelly (IN)
Edwards (MD)
Edwards (TX)
Frank (MA)
Gordon (TN)
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Hall (NY)
Hastings (FL)
Jackson (IL)
Jackson Lee (TX)
Johnson (GA)
Johnson, E. B.
Kilpatrick (MI)
Kirkpatrick (AZ)
Klein (FL)
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee (CA)
Lewis (GA)
Markey (CO)
Markey (MA)
McCarthy (NY)
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Miller (NC)
Miller, George
Moore (KS)
Moore (WI)
Moran (VA)
Murphy (CT)
Murphy (NY)
Murphy, Patrick
Nadler (NY)
Neal (MA)
Obey Olver
Pastor (AZ)
Pingree (ME)
Polis (CO)
Price (NC)
Rothman (NJ)
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Scott (GA)
Scott (VA)
Smith (WA)
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Van Hollen
Wasserman Schultz
Wilson (OH)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

From Gallup to Rasmussen - Obama Approval Plummets - Drags Party With Him - Analysis

Romney and Obama, writing on the wall for 2012

Rasmussen now has Obama’s approval rating at 44%, with disapproval at 55% of the population, while Gallop shows the President’s approval rating at 47%with 46% disapproval.

Although pundits have noted that the health care reform issue is built along partisan divides, it is apparent that given the aforementioned statistics, the numbers of identified Republicans and Democrat are insufficient to complete a poll; therefore, the administration has lost the independents, along with moderate Democrats.

The other problem the administration faces is the fact that those who would have followed blindly in the past are now paying attention to every facet of the news (media) regarding health care reform. From boomers to current retirees, the local news, Network nightly news, no longer is sufficient in order to keep them informed. The scope of attention paid to this particular bill by the “masses” (Socialist term for those thought to be too simple not to understand what’s going on), has increased to the point where should the President and like-minded Congress continue to ram legislation through that the majority of people are not keen on, then 2010 will be an historical election. The norm for mid-terms is that party in power (so to speak), will lose a number of House and Senate seats; it is the ebb and flow of the Congress that has been in force since the two major political parties solidified their hold on the American public.

Should this shenanigans (there is no other word for what is going on now), continue, then 2010 will be a bloodbath for the Democrats, no matter what procedural “tricks” of rule bending the Democrats try to pull in order to get the bill passed without actually voting on it in the House. That tactic is in place two reasons, one: they may or may not have the number of votes necessary to bring it to the floor in order to pass, and two: this will allow those members who would have voted for the Senate version of the bill (sight unseen mind you), to say “I didn’t actually vote for it”. That will not fly with the public. What will occur and is now occurring is a total collapse of the Democrat brand, whereby, the local dogcatcher would be better off changing political parties in order to retain his position.

American’s have the ability to paint one political party with the same brush – one need only look back at the Bush Administration to understand that the media driven frenzy against Bush and all “Republican’s” in general resulted in the losses in 2006 and 2008; other forces aiding in degrading the brand included the ever-present Progressive leadership at the nations universities, the power mad, no longer relevant unions, and a host of groups such as “Emily’s list” (pro-democrat/pro-abortion), drove public perception of the administration and anyone associated with the brand down to the point where it was a “crap shoot” (shades of Barney Frank) for any incumbent Republican electability during those two election cycles.

The Democrats saw both election cycles through rose colored glasses, however, believing that by merely attaining control, they were given a mandate to do what-ever they felt they could get away with. The old “middle class tax burden” was played to the hilt by Obama and any other Democrat campaigning, until the people (masses) bought it. Now, as in any other product that is deficient, the buyer’s remorse has set it, and in spades. The independent is not the only identified voter that has begun to jump ship. Moderate Democrats have been changing parties, from unaffiliated or Republican, on the local city levels, in of all places, Massachusetts; desperately trying to distance themselves from the “brand”.

The problem with this, as with any brand gone bad, is that returning buyer loyalty is a long tough road. The severity of the distaste for the party vis a vis Obama and key members of Congress, has reached a point where it may not be possible for a Democrat to win a seat, or retain a seat, within the next four to eight years. The problem arises when any party gains strength based on a bad brand, thereby having total control of the nation. One can be assured however, should the Republicans return to power (and that is a given as of this moment), then it will take a long time to unseat them, regardless of the media, and regardless of other sources – including unions, to sway or change voters’ minds. Once they have that power, it is hoped they will use it judiciously – first and foremost by immediately repealing the legislation on Health Care Reform, or more to the point, opting for reform that will truly make a difference (tore reform, allowing carriers to sell across state lines – and staying out of state business. A return to fiscal conservatism is what is needed, along with an appreciation for our nation, one which allows us to be “proud of our country”, somewhere along the line, a mandate should be passed regarding curriculum taught in all public schools to include civics from an early age.
In Massachusetts and states across the nation, individuals are looking at their government closely for the first time, and whoever holds the reigns will be reminded from now to eternity that those that attain as seat by election, did so by the people and for the people.

To those Democrats in Congress and the Senate, no matter how “blue” a state may appear, the simple fact is that retirement is the only option, if and only if, they do not begin to distance themselves and make it plane to the people they represent that they are either against or for unpopular policies such as the current brand of health care reform. These statements need to be made now and they need to be made public across their districts, that may save a seat, although one can hazard to guess it may also be too little too late.

To get a clear picture of how badly the brand is degrading, visit the election polls at Real Clear Politics. This particular Internet service combines all polls taken to produce an average. What makes this site the most unbiased is that it includes polls from organizations that are clearly partisan (both from a Conservative and Liberal standpoint). The designation of party in any particular poll is by color, the same red and blue (and grey for independents), that has become the norm identifier. Understand that these polls are based on internal party (primary) races as well; therefore, one is seeing some blue designations. However, most of the data is red.

Prediction: 2010 – both the House and the Senate are now in play.
Prediction: 2012- Obama will be challenged by a member of his own party, possibly Hillary Clinton, and may not make it out of the primary. However, regardless of who runs, the nod will go to a Republican. As of now, the front-runner appears to be Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts. Additional House and Senate Seats will so go to the Republicans.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Idaho and Virginia to Sue Federal Government To Stop Forced Health Care

The State of Idaho'sgovernor has required the State's Attorney General to file suit if President Obama's Health Care Reform Bill forces the citizens of that State to purchase health insurance. The Commonwealth of Virgina followed suit this afternoon. There are thirty-seven other states that are looking at the same option.

Although Democrats consider the suits frivolous, these governors should be applauded for standing with their people. The majority of Americans are opposed to the current legislation.

Richard Neal (D-MA) To Vote for Health Care Reform – Richard Neal is Up for Re-election in 2010

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Massachusetts, 2nd Hampden Congressional Representative, Richard Neal, intends to vote for the Health Care Reform bill. Neal was one of the House members who were originally opposed to the Senate version due to opposition by Catholic bishops to federally funded abortion. He voted for the House version once the Stupak amendment was added. Neal has a 50% score with pro-abortion activists (John Kerry scores 100%). Apparently, abortion is no longer an issue of concern for Neal, as he has changed his mind, and will now vote for the Senate version.

Opposition to the Senate version is based upon budgetary concerns, the elimination of the Medicare Advantage program, which covers wellness benefits for our seniors, and the impending taxes that will begin immediately once the bill is signed. Neal’s voting record has been strictly along party lines for his entire career, so a yes vote for the Obama's Health Care Bill, should come as no surprise to anyone.

Neal, who is up for re-election this year, faces stiff opposition from two Republican challengers: Dr. Jay Fleitman and Tom Wesley.

To reach Richard Neal and voice ones opinion of his decision to vote Yes on Obama’s Health Care Bill: Washington office: 202) 225-5601 (202) 225-8112 fax, Springfield: (413) 785-0325 (413) 747-0604 fax and Milford: (508) 634-8198 (508) 634-8398 fax

To learn more about what you can do in November:

Visit: Dr. Jay Fleitman for Congress

or Tom Wesley for Congress.

Richard Neal faces no known opposition from a Democrat.

Independents are able to vote in the Primary for any party affiliation
Massachusetts Primary: September 14, 2010

Democrats wishing to change party affiliation to Independent or Republican may do so by Wed., August 25th.

Regardless of Political affiliation, anyone can vote for any candidate in the general election. Therefore, a registered Democrat can vote for a Republican in any general election, they do not have to change party affiliation in order to vote in November, 2010. The only time someone has to change their political party is when they wish to vote in a different political party's primary.

Chris Christie, NJ Governor, Get’s it Right – Budget That the U.S. Congress, Senate and the President should follow.

New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie gave the State’s budget address yesterday, taking New Jersey on the path to fiscal responsibility and stating his case for sacrifice, ending bloated pensions, and reducing every single department. In addition, Christie noted that the State of New Jersey can’t do it alone, that all towns and municipalities must do the same in order to get the job done. The video of his address is shown below – what can be seen is that Christie gets “it” – it would be the overburdened tax payer, the fact that taxing businesses to death results in job losses, the fact that there is plenty of fat to be trimmed from State Budgets, and that going bankrupt is not an option.

One has to consider that the Federal government has embarked upon a mad spending spree, the likes of which may be of historical proportions; legislation that has passed in the last year, has led to an insurmountable debt, that continues to grow, despite public outcry and political consequence. The Obama administration and like minded members of Congress are prepared to saddle Taxpayers with increased debt (meaning increased taxes across the board) in order to continue to legislate huge government reforms that include expanded bureaucracy. They are either punch drunk with power, ideologically challenged, or more to the point, plain stupid. In any event, those that are currently driving their Party members to vote for massive spending bills, including and specifically the Health Care Reform Bill, are dooming their Party to obscurity.

Christie gets “it” – the people will drive the “machine” as they no longer feel they are being fairly represented. Taxing the people to the point of penury has been the norm in New Jersey, as well as Massachusetts and California, to name a few more states on the brink of bankruptcy. Should a State budget fail, where will the money come from? Certainly not the Federal government which is currently stretched to the limit, adding trillion upon trillions of dollars to its own deficit – with a shrinking tax base (unemployment and bailing businesses) – sooner than later, with the present course, there will be nothing available to bail out these States that consistently depend on what they can get from “Washington”.

Will it be painful, yes, obviously, Christie makes that quite clear, but will it work to trim the fat, and make for a government that better serves the people – not those who would stand to represent or work for those who represent the people (list includes all State employees). Would the federal government have the courage and the intelligence to reverse a years’ worth of damage and get our house in order!
A full text of Christies speech is available here at The Trentonian. Some excerpts follow:

"Today, we begin doing what we promised we would do. The defenders of the status quo have already begun to yell and scream. They will try to demonize me. They will seek to divide us rather than unite us. But even they know in their hearts, if not yet in their minds it is time for a change.

Never forget, some of those shouting the loudest are the architects of the disaster we are now suffering. Do we really want another decade of economic failure? No, this spring it is time to clear away the underbrush to make room for growth.

So, today, we stop sweeping problems under the rug. We will not hide our problems until another day. And we are certainly not increasing the tax burden we place upon our people.

Today, we are taking necessary and decisive action to reduce state spending and reform state government. The problems we have hidden for twenty years are evident for all to see. The day of reckoning has arrived.

Some are saying, by their choice of policies, that we should descend further into debt and deficit, and risk driving more people out of the state with "temporary" tax increases that always turn out to be permanent.

I say we must face up to our responsibility:

— Cut government spending and end public union excesses that we can no longer afford;

— Reform government to cost less and operate better;

— And restore some sense of balance to the obligations we take on -- so that in the future they are both sensible and sustainable.

In short, we can forge a new course. One that brings spending in line with revenues. One that attacks our problems directly so they are shrinking, not growing. And most importantly, one that lays the groundwork for a better tomorrow.
Therefore, our solutions must set a historic new course directly away from the failed tax and spend policies of the past.

In recent years, we have allowed the problem to become bigger through a series of one-time gimmicks that have worsened our situation.

This year, for example, some state employees will be given an 11% salary increase, at a cost of $300 million to the taxpayers, while many New Jerseyans are lucky to even have a job. Incredible.

$700 million in one-time revenues came in from granting amnesty to tax cheats in another gimmick that was used to paper over problems. As usual, our government spent it all in one year, and built that much more spending into the budget for this coming year, with no way to pay for it now or in the future.

So too were federal stimulus funds for education irresponsibly spent all in one year -- and then simply added into the budget, with no way to pay for it this year.
One reason is that some people who could leave New Jersey have left the state. A recent study documented this trend. It found that from 2004 to 2008, New Jersey experienced a net outflow of wealth of $70 billion.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you tax them, they will leave.

In the past two and one-half years, New Jersey's unemployment rate has more than doubled from 4.4% to 9.9% --. From below the national average to above the national average.

There is a cost to all this taxing and spending. It is costing us jobs.

That price is unacceptable. I want to put New Jersey back to work.

So today, as promised, I am proposing a new course -- an entirely different course.

My budget proposes to review state government from top to bottom, and bring it under control. My budget proposes that we reform the way New Jersey government operates; and that we demand reform from the local governments we fund as well.
$2.9 billion of the budget gap was closed by reforming programs to make them better and more efficient than ever before.

Every single department of state government will be reduced: Agriculture, down 24%; Banking, down 12%; Children and families, down 4%; Community affairs, down 35%; Corrections, down 7%; Environmental protection, down 2%; Education, down 8%; Health and senior services, down 6%; Human services, down 4%; Labor, down 6%; Law and public safety, down 7%; Military affairs, down 2%; The public advocate, down 25%. State, transportation and treasury, down 11, 3, and 39%, respectively.

Every department of state government has been asked to tighten its belt. And we will demand local governments do the same. We cannot and should not make state government shrink only to let local government expand.

$3 billion in savings results from recognizing that our pension system must be reformed before we can or should fund a broken, out of control system. The pension system has been so generous that it has created a flood of liabilities. From 2002 to 2008, pension payments to retirees grew 56%, triple the inflation rate. Our benefits are too rich, most public employees contribute too little, and the taxpayers have had enough -- enough of out of control pensions to public sector unions while they are losing their own jobs, enough of losing their homes, and then being told by the union bosses that they must pick up the tab for rich pensions at the same time."

Finally, someone who, from a state that at times may have made the Massachusetts Legislature blush (not quite), stands up to those who would continue on a train to nowhere, and offers the path to freedom. Kudos to Chris Christie for looking out for his constituents. Would that the Federal Government and states such as Massachusetts, New York, California et al, would do the same, not in year, but now, as the time for action is never past – it is before us.

Christie challenges teachers union on benefits

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Health Care Reform Before Congressional Budget Committee – How They Voted on Health Care Motions – The Details and the Disgust

An empty House Budget Committee Hearing Room - Image Rep. Spratt

As Obama’s extremely unpopular Health Care Reform bill has been pushed to the House, and members are being asked to sign onto a major overhaul of our Health Care System, sight unseen, the Budget Committee in hearings took a look at certain items thatmay or may not be included in the package. The Republican’s introduced several motions, all of which were summarily declined by the Democrat controlled Committee. These motions and how members voted are as follows:

1. Prevent Government from Interfering with Doctor-Patient Relationship
Mr. Hensarling moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request, on behalf of the Committee, the rule to be reported by the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives for the consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 provide that the legislative text to be included in that Reconciliation measure that amends H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, prohibit the use of comparative effectiveness research or other measures to restrict medical professionals from providing and/or prescribing the care they believe to be medically necessary.

Defeated: Straight Party Line

2. Put the Federal Government on a Sustainable Fiscal Path First
Mr. Campbell moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request, on behalf of the Committee, the rule to be reported by the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives for the consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 provide that the legislative text to be included in that Reconciliation measure that amends H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, delay the implementation of both legislative measures until Congress has enacted legislation to put the Federal budget and U.S. economy on a sustainable fiscal path.

Defeated: Straight Party Line

3. No Medicare Cuts to Pay for a New Entitlement
Mr. Ryan moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request, on behalf of the Committee, the rule to be reported by the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives for the consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 provide that the legislative text to be included in that Reconciliation measure that amends H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, prevent Medicare cuts from being use to offset or fund a new entitlement program, reduce new government spending in such legislation by that amount, and direct all Medicare savings to the Medicare program to make that program fiscally sustainable.

Defeated: With Two Democrats Voting Aye: Boyd, FL, and Edwards, TX

4. Prevent Government from Limiting Choice and Competition
Mrs. Lummis moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request, on behalf of the Committee, the rule to be reported by the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives for the consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 provide that the legislative text to be included in that Reconciliation measure that amends H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, prohibit the government from controlling health plan choices and restricting competition among health plans and delete any provision, including section 124 of H.R. 3590, that gives the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and a new Health Benefits Advisory Committee unprecedented power to create and change the requirements for “acceptable coverage.”

Defeated: Straight Party Line

5. Prohibit Federal Funding of Abortions
Mr. Jordan moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request, on behalf of the Committee, the rule to be reported by the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives for the consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 provide for legislative text that amends H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, by adding the language of the amendment offered by Representative Bart Stupak, offered on November 11, 2009 and numbered as House Amendment 509 to H.R.3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, to prohibit federal funding of abortions.

Defeated: Democrats Voting Aye: Kaptur (OH), Berry (AR) & Langevin (RI)

6. No Raising Taxes During a Recession
Mr. Nunes moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request, on behalf of the Committee, the rule to be reported by the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives for the consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 provide that the legislative text to be included in that Reconciliation measure that amends H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, protect American jobs and families by striking tax increases and mandates in both legislative measures that would hinder job creation and reduce workers and families income during a period of high unemployment and economic weakness

Defeated: Edwards (TX) Voting Aye

7. Health Care Reform Must Bend the Cost Curve
Mr. Garrett moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request, on behalf of the Committee, the rule to be reported by the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives for the consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 provide that the legislative text to be included in that Reconciliation measure that amends H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, make the provisions of both legislative measures contingent upon the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary issuance of a report that such measures will not increase national health care expenditures or increase the federal commitment to health care, and that such measures will succeed in bending the “health care cost curve” downward by lowering the projection of such expenditures.

Defeated: Straight Party Line

8. Require Up-to-Date Estimate on Full Cost of Bill
Mr. Simpson moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request on behalf of the Committee that the Committee on Rules not make in order consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 or H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, until a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of both measures relative to its March 2010 baseline, including estimates of the budget impact of authorization of appropriations in such measures, and the text of such reconciliation legislation are made available to Members and the public at least 72 hours before being considered on the House floor and that there be separate votes on each measure.

Defeated: Edwards (TX) voting Aye

9. No Raising Health Insurance Premiums
Mr. McHenry moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request, on behalf of the Committee, the rule to be reported by the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives for the consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 provide that the legislative text to be included in that Reconciliation measure that amends H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, ensure that the Federal mandates in both legislative measures do not cause an increase in projected health care insurance premiums.

Defeated: Edwards (TX) voting Aye

10. Eliminate New Bureaucracies Devoted to Expanding the Federal Government
Mr. Latta moves that the Committee on the Budget direct its Chairman to request, on behalf of the Committee, the rule to be reported by the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives for the consideration of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 provide that the legislative text to be included in that Reconciliation measure that amends H.R. 3590, the Senate-passed health care bill, eliminate the creation or expansion of government bureaucracies in such measures.

Defeated: Straight Party Line

Therefore, in the last week of the latest Deadline imposed by the President on the Congress to pass a bill that will ensure his Party’s defeat in 2010 and 2012, certain members in the budget committee, feel that there is no time to discuss options, that the American Taxpayer is more than capable of taking on more in this economy and that their Senior Citizens do not merit protection (although most of these members are eligible for social security, Medicare and Medicare Advantage, no data on who is actually receiving checks and or benefits). Apparently, a few, but very few, do understand that the nation is not ready to move forward with this particular bill, and although reform is essential, would prefer more of a bi-partisan effort, one where everyone’s ideas are brought to the table – and a well crafted bill can be produced. Listed below are the members, their state and their district. It is easy enough to send a note of thanks to those who have the courage to stand up for the American people (speaking to those Democrats that voted Aye on some extremely sensible Motions, while the others should be summarily thrown out with the bathwater – for playing party politics over the needs of their constituents. A note stating such might be in order.

Where to find the addresses: – contact your officials

The members of the Committee Include: (Designation by Party, State and Congressional District)

John Spratt, SC - Chairman (D-SC 5th)
Allyson Schwartz, PA - Vice Chair (D-PA 13th)
Marcy Kaptur, OH – (D-OH 9th)
Xavier Becerra, CA (D-CA 31st)
Lloyd Doggett, TX (D-TX 25th)
Earl Blumenauer, OR (D-OR 3rd)
Marion Berry, AR (D-AR 1st)
Allen Boyd, FL (D-FL 2nd)
James McGovern, MA (D-MA 3rd)
Niki Tsongas, MA (D-MA 5th)
Bob Etheridge, NC (D-NC 2nd)
Betty McCollum, MN (D-MN 4th)
Charlie Melancon, LA (D-LA 3rd)
John Yarmuth, KY (D-KY 3rd)
Rob Andrews, NJ I(D-NY 1st)
Rosa DeLauro, CT (D-CT 3rd)
Chet Edwards, TX (D-TX 17th)
Robert "Bobby" Scott, VA (D-VA 3rd)
Jim Langevin, RI (D-RI 2nd)
Rick Larsen, WA (D-WA 2nd)
Tim Bishop, NY (D-NY 1st)
Gwen Moore, WI (D-WI 4th)
Gerald Connolly, VA (D-VA 11th)
Kurt Schrader, OR (D-OR 5th
Paul Ryan, WI - Ranking Member (R-WI 1st)
Jeb Hensarling, TX - Vice Ranking Member (R-TX 5th)
Scott Garrett, NJ (R-NJ 5th)
Mario Diaz-Balart, FL (R-FL 21st)
Michael Simpson, ID (R-ID 2nd)
Patrick McHenry, NC (R-NC 10th)
Connie Mack, FL (R-FL 14th)
John Campbell, CA (R-CA 48th)
Jim Jordan, OH (R-OH 4th)
Devin Nunes, CA (R-CA 21st)
Robert Aderholt, AL (R-AL 4th)
Cynthia Lummis, WY (R-WY – At Large)
Steve Austria, OH (R-OH 7th)
Gregg Harper, MS (R-MS 3rd)
Robert E. Latta, OH (R-OH 5th

Monday, March 15, 2010

Texas Takes Lead in Revising Social Studies Curriculum - Pundits Cry “Right-Wing” Re-writing of History - Analysis

The Texas State Board of Education recently voted on new curriculum standards for the subject of “Social Studies” (previously known as History). The revisions are being hailed as a controversial revision of historyhowever, one must ask two question – have not changes to all curriculum been made over the years and who is responsible for making these changes?

When it comes to history, very few outside of the university level of a history major, truly understand that revisions have been made across the board for years, in order to frame a “message” rather than to teach about the past. Some professors believe that history is for the “elite” (those who have a minimum of a four-year degree), and that the “masses” (the “rest of the population”) would be overwhelmed if they were to learn the “truth” – it is also of note that most of these individuals are political “Progressives”. One need only look at a history book from 1955, to understand the broad changes that were made in the 1970’s forward. History morphed from a single subject to the broader social studies, which takes a deep look at how decisions made by some, directly impact society.

Anyone over a certain age (40) knows that history was taught to be dates and facts about the glory of the United States. There was little to no mention of women in history, with the notable exceptions. Additionally, culture was not addressed. With the design to address cultural and social issues as they relate to history, the changes made over the years have startled some, but for the most part, have gone unnoticed by the majority. The U.S. was studiously painted as a villain, and suddenly those who were lauded as heroes, were found to be evil incarnate (See Christopher Columbus in new textbooks).

The Texas State Board of education made some conscious decisions to tweak the textbooks to include some figures which have been pushed to the wayside, disclude others with whom they felt were not necessary, and on cultural issues, chose to ignore the musical form of “hip-hop”.

Some revisions are: (Texas Statesman:

Civil rights movement
• Among his recommended revisions was a reference to the changes and events that resulted from the movement, "including increased participation of minorities in the political process and unrealistic expectations for equal outcomes."
America is Exceptional
• "The section in the high school U.S. government standards will explore why American values are unique from those of other nations and touch on Alexis de Tocqueville's five values crucial to America's success as a democratic republic.
Words Matter
• In all grades, most references to "capitalism" were eliminated. The term has a negative connotation, said Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio. Instead, the U.S. economic system is defined throughout as a "free enterprise" system.
• The standards were once littered with references to the U.S. as a democracy. No more. In an early draft, the U.S became a "democratic republic" but now will be termed a "constitutional republic."
• American "imperialism" in an early draft of the high school U.S. history standards became "expansionism" because the original term projected an inaccurately negative view of American policy. The word "propaganda" will be stricken in reference to America's entry into World War I.
The Middle East
• High school world history students will be expected to "explain how Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict" and no longer will be asked to "explain the origins and impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on global politics".

All revisions will be available online here at the Texas Board of Education.

The hue and cry that has been raised is based on the premise that Texas holds sway over the nations text book manufactures, as the state purchase the largest percentage of text books nationwide. That said, most states can no longer afford to purchase new textbooks, and many cities, refuse to supply students with textbooks, as they may become “lost” and they are too expensive to replace – ergo no homework (May account for some higher than average drop-out rates).

As the President produces national standards for education that has the Commonwelath of Massachusetts up in arms, as too low, one has to wonder why the Texas Board of Education’s decision to change their curriculum, has been such a huge story – after all, Texas, along with other states, will be required to follow standardized material handed down by the U.S. Government – albeit, lower standards.

Some truths about history and historians: From Social Studies textbooks to Presidential biographies, history is, as one might say, in the eye of the beholder. Generally speaking these books are written by individuals how have a specific political point of view, rather than a scientific point of view. History should be approached as a science, whereby certain facts are affirmed through the written record, and similar studies such as archeology. It’s dry stuff, boring to the point of tears for many. However, that said, those Historians who write the biographies, will either place the subject in a grand light or make the subject appear to be the worst of villains, all based on an individual political perspective. How easy it is to write and leave out facts that may either enhance or detract from one’s subject or one’s “cause”. That is exactly what has happened over the years, and the Texas Board has done nothing more or less than any other “group” that has played fast and loose with the education of the general public.

From this perspective, textbooks should be tested for fact over opinion, and fact-checked to include all specifics of an historical event or personage. As to adding hip-hop culture into a textbook – from this perspective, the hip-hop culture has done nothing to elevate the nation, and if it were to be included should point out how it denigrates women, and has had little positive impact on society. That said most hip-hop is great on the dance floor – who doesn’t like rap? Once one gets through all the expletives, it’s music, an art-form of sorts, but the impact of “hip-hop” on our culture, has yet to be determined, it is “too new” from this perspective, to be “history”.

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