Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Press Largely Ignored Incendiary Rhetoric at Bush Protest News outlets that are focusing on the incendiary rhetoric of conservatives outside President

News outlets that are focusing on the incendiary rhetoric of conservatives outside President Obama's town hall meeting Tuesday ignored the incendiary rhetoric -- and even violence -- of liberals outside an appearance by former President George W. Bush in 2002.

When Bush visited Portland, Ore., for a fundraiser, protesters stalked his motorcade, assailed his limousine and stoned a car containing his advisers. Chanting "Bush is a terrorist!", the demonstrators bullied passers-by, including gay softball players and a wheelchair-bound grandfather with multiple sclerosis.

One protester even brandished a sign that seemed to advocate Bush's assassination. The man held a large photo of Bush that had been doctored to show a gun barrel pressed against his temple.

"BUSH: WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE," read the placard, which had an X over the word "ALIVE."

Another poster showed Bush's face with the words: "F--- YOU, MOTHERF---ER!"

A third sign urged motorists to "HONK IF YOU HATE BUSH." A fourth declared: "CHRISTIAN FASCISM," with a swastika in place of the letter S in each word.

Although reporters from numerous national news organizations were traveling with Bush and witnessed the protest, none reported that protesters were shrieking at Republican donors epithets like "Slut!" "Whore!" and "Fascists!"

Frank Dulcich, president and CEO of Pacific Seafood Group, had a cup of liquid thrown into his face, and then was surrounded by a group of menacing protesters, including several who wore masks. Donald Tykeson, 75, who had multiple sclerosis and was confined to a wheelchair, was blocked by a thug who threatened him.

Protesters slashed the tires of several state patrol cruisers and leapt onto an occupied police car, slamming the hood and blocking the windshield with placards. A female police officer was knocked to the street by advancing protesters, badly injuring her wrist.

The angry protest grew so violent that the Secret Service was forced to take the highly unusual step of using a backup route for Bush's motorcade because the primary route had been compromised by protesters, one of whom pounded his fist on the president's moving limousine.

All the while, angry demonstrators brandished signs with incendiary rhetoric, such as "9/11 - YOU LET IT HAPPEN, SHRUB," and "BUSH: BASTARD CHILD OF THE SUPREME COURT." One sign read: "IMPEACH THE COURT-APPOINTED JUNTA AND THE FASCIST, EGOMANIACAL, BLOOD-SWILLING BEAST!"

Yet none of these signs were cited in the national media's coverage of the event. By contrast, the press focused extensively on over-the-top signs held by Obama critics at the president's town hall event held Tuesday in New Hampshire.

The lead story in Wednesday's Washington Post, for example, is headlined: "Obama Faces 'Scare Tactics' Head-On."

"As the president spoke, demonstrators outside held posters declaring him a socialist and dubbing him 'Obamahdinejad,' in reference to Iran's president," the Post reported. "People screamed into bullhorns to protest a bigger government role in health care. 'Nobama Deathcare!' one sign read. A young girl held up a sign that said: 'Obama Lies, Grandma Dies.' Images of a protester wearing what appeared to be a gun were shown on television."

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that a Democratic congressman discovered that "an opponent of health care reform hanged him in effigy" and was confronted by "200 angry conservatives." The article lamented "increasingly ugly scenes of partisan screaming matches, scuffles, threats and even arrests."

No such coverage was given to the Portland protest of Bush by The New York Times or the Washington Post, which witnessed the protest.

Palin got it right Democrats can take a lesson on cap-and-tax By Rep. Don Young | Sunday, August 9, 2009

On July 24, Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and John Kerry of Massachusetts took to The Washington Post to attack former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's opposition to the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax legislation and her overall energy philosophy.

Mrs. Palin correctly criticized the scheme presented in the legislation sponsored by Democratic Reps. Henry A. Waxman of California and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. By only citing a report from the left-of-liberal Center for American Progress, Mr. Kerry and Mrs. Boxer naively underestimate the effects the legislation will have on the American economy. Other, more mainstream organizations, such as the Brookings Institution and the Black Chamber of Commerce, disagree.

Waxman-Markey artificially creates competition between cheap, abundant energy and unreliable, expensive renewable forms, compelling utilities to use heavily subsidized, politically correct "renewable energy" while thousands who work producing traditional energy lose their jobs.

All the while, American industry will flee to other countries where they can power their assembly lines with cheaper energy. Because nearly four decades of obscene subsidies for wind and solar power haven't worked, Waxman-Markey ups the ante and engages in societal re-engineering and fundamental restructuring of America's energy supply.

According to the Energy Information Administration, wind and solar receive 55 times more in subsidies than coal and 100 times more than oil and natural gas. Yet today, wind and solar barely make up 1.5 percent of America's electricity supply and 0.5 percent of the total U.S. energy supply, while 85 percent of the U.S. energy supply originates from fossil fuels. These figures make clear to what extent the Waxman-Markey bill must give a leg up to wind and solar to force their success. The simple fact is that these so-called industries would not survive without mandates and subsidies.

Mrs. Boxer and Mr. Kerry seem ignorant of the fact that wind and solar fail to power America's trucks, planes, trains and ships. In reality, wind and solar will not displace the energy necessary for moving people and products around the country.

Nevertheless, while mocking Mrs. Palin's good sense, they choose to advocate legislation and policies that will drive U.S. dependence on foreign oil through the roof. The senators seem oblivious to the fact that nearly one-fourth of every barrel of oil goes to producing the asphalt on which their electric cars drive, the lubricants that enable the blades on their windmills to spin and the plastics that are used in the medical supplies, fabrics and raw materials Americans cannot live without.

In 1995, Congress passed legislation to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas development. In fact, legislation to open ANWR has passed the House 10 times and the Senate once. Unfortunately, President Clinton vetoed that attempt, and today, Americans fail to enjoy the hundreds of millions of barrels a year that would be flowing had the bill become law.

Now, for the first time since 1982, we have the ability to develop our offshore resources. In 2008, President George W. Bush let the Executive Moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf Development expire, and Congress did not renew the legislative moratorium. However, the Obama administration and the radical environmentalists have other plans, and a de facto moratorium remains.

American energy marvels such as the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) are the real drivers of the American economy. TAPS didn't require a government mandate; it required the federal government to get out of the way. This pipeline would never be built today. TAPS was successful only because of the oil embargo and, more significantly, because the legislation curtailed the ability of environmentalists to file lawsuits to block the project -- an effort in which, unfortunately, they have become well versed. This summer, as TAPS prepares to send its 16 billionth barrel to the consumer, I am reminded that Sarah Palin is correct and Mr. Kerry and Mrs. Boxer are again on the wrong side of energy issues.

Healthy markets succeed when the federal government steps back, not when it picks winners and losers. If history has demonstrated anything, it's that economies cannot be centrally planned by legislative bodies or bureaucrats -- even though some in the majority party seemingly disagree. The market, coupled with the ingenuity and enduring spirit of hardworking Americans, always wins.

Cheap energy means a strong economy. This is something we've learned firsthand in Alaska. In our villages, where gasoline or heating oil can top $7 a gallon, jobs are hard to come by.

The senators write that climate legislation will "ensure that the United States -- not China or India -- will be the leading economic power in this century." But the truth is, they already are.

The United States was the dynamic economic power in the 20th century without cap-and-trade. I know Mrs. Palin and I are both committed to ensuring that America's economic dominance continues into the 21st century rather than embarking blindly down the road to serfdom offered in Waxman-Markey and by the aforementioned senators from Massachusetts and California.

A Duke Professor Explains What the Health Care Bill Actually Says

"This bill is 1017 pages long. It is knee-deep in legalese and references to other federal regulations and laws. I have only touched pieces of the bill here. For instance, I have not considered the establishment of (1) 'Health Choices Commissioner' (Section 141); (2) a 'Health Insurance Exchange,' (Section 201), basically a government run insurance scheme to coordinate all insurance activity; (3) a Public Health Insurance Option (Section 221); and similar provisions. This is the evaluation of someone who is neither a physician nor a legal professional. I am citizen, concerned about this bill's effects on my freedom as an American. I would rather have used my time in other ways -- but this is too important to ignore. We may answer one question up front: How will the government ... pay for all this?

"Higher taxes, more borrowing, printing money, cutting payments, or rationing services -- there are no other options. We will all pay for this, enrolled in the government 'option' or not." So, when we talk about how we're going to pay for it, "How will the government ... pay for all this?" it's all of the following: "Higher taxes, more borrowing, printing money, cutting payments, or rationing services -- there are no other options" to pay for it. "We will all pay for this, enrolled in the government 'option' or not." The first question that he wanted to discover here is: "Will the plan ration medical care?" Then he cites the relevant passages from the bill and then evaluates the passages in real language, not the legalese that he found. This section, rationing medical care:

"1. This section amends the Social Security Act. 2. The government has the power to determine what constitutes an 'applicable [medical] condition.' 3. The government has the power to determine who is allowed readmission into a hospital. 4. This determination will be made by statistics: when enough people have been discharged for the same condition, an individual may be readmitted." In other words, there's nothing personal about this. That's why Obama's answer to the woman with the 100-year-old mother, "Are you gonna take into account the spunk and spirit, the will to live?" was, "I don't think we can do that." It's going to be statistic based. "5. This is government rationing, pure, simple, and straight up."

There is no other way to analyze this section of the bill. "6. There can be no judicial review of decisions made here. The Secretary is above the courts." All this language is in this piece. The language from the bill is from the piece. I'm not just going to read that to you. I'm reading his evaluation, stripping away the legalese, what it all means. "7. The plan also allows the government to prohibit hospitals from expanding without federal permission: page 317-318." The next question that the classics professor at Duke researched is: "Will the plan punish Americans who try to opt out?" and then he gives the relevant portions from the bill as it's written followed by his evaluation. Number one... Remember the question here is: "Will the plan punish Americans who try to opt out? ... 1. This section amends the Internal Revenue Code.
"2. Anyone caught without acceptable coverage and not in the government plan will pay a special tax." Now, this we know. We've seen this ourselves. "3. The IRS will be a major enforcement mechanism for the plan," as written in this bill. The IRS will be a major enforcer. The next section that he analyzed: "What constitutes 'acceptable' coverage?" Because, in the previous passage the bill said: "Anyone caught without acceptable coverage and not in the government plan will pay a special tax" So, what is "'acceptable' coverage"? Here are the relevant passages, sentences from the bill. "Evaluation of the passages. 1. The bill defines 'acceptable coverage' and leaves no room for choice in this regard. 2. By setting a minimum 70% actuarial value of benefits, the bill makes health plans in which individuals pay for routine services, but carry insurance only for catastrophic events, (such as Health Savings Accounts) illegal."

Let me read that again: "1. The bill defines 'acceptable coverage' and leaves no room for choice in this regard. 2. By setting a minimum 70% actuarial value of benefits, the bill makes health plans in which individuals pay for routine services" out of their own pockets, "but carry insurance only for catastrophic events ... illegal." That is one of the solutions to the problem we have now. Pay for what you want -- a standard checkup, a standard visit to the doctor -- and catastrophic insurance for when that could break your bank. Doing that will be illegal in the House bill. In other words, paying for your own routine day-to-day services but only having insurance for catastrophic events will be illegal. The next section that our classics professor, an average citizen, was curious about: ""Will the PLAN destroy private health insurance? Here is what it requires, for businesses with payrolls greater than $400,000 per year. (The bill uses 'contribution' to refer to mandatory payments to the government plan.)

"Pages 149-150, SEC. 313, EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS IN LIEU OF COVERAGE," and then the relevant passages from the bill. Here is the evaluation of those passages. Again, what we're talking about here is: "Will the PLAN destroy private health insurance?" "1. The bill does not prohibit a person from buying private insurance. 2. Small businesses -- with say 8-10 employees -- will either have to provide insurance to federal standards, or pay an 8% payroll tax. Business costs for health care are higher than this, especially considering administrative costs. Any competitive business that tries to stay with a private plan will face a payroll disadvantage against competitors who go with the government 'option.'" Now, let me explain this. Small businesses, say eight-to-ten employees, will either have to provide insurance up "to federal standards." If they don't, they will pay an additional 8% payroll tax.

"Business costs for health care are higher than [what will be charged], especially considering administrative costs. Any competitive business that tries to stay with a private plan will face a payroll disadvantage against competitors who go with the government 'option.'" If they go to the government option, they're fine. If you don't and you stay private, you're going to pay a penalty. The penalty will make it ridiculous and stupid business-wise to stay with your private plan. Therefore, you will -- your small business will -- be forced out of private insurance onto the government option. "3. The pressure for business owners to terminate the private plans will be enormous," the financial pressure, the business pressure. "4. With employers ending plans, millions of Americans will lose their private coverage, and fewer companies will offer it."

Now, none of this is anything new. Everybody showing up at these town halls knows this. This is nothing that has already been learned when discussing it. That's why when Obama is saying, "If you like your plan you can keep it, it's not true, because the meat and potatoes of the bill is going to make it impossible." If your private plan is from an employer, your employer is going to find it very difficult to hold onto private insurance and remain competitive with businesses that opt out and go in the government option. When Barney Frank or Obama himself says, "We can't do this immediately. It's going to take 10 to 15 years," this is what they're talking about: Eventually forcing small businesses and others out of private insurance because they won't be able to remain competitive with competitors who go the public option.
"5. The Commissioner (meaning, always, the bureaucrats) will determine whether a particular network of physicians, hospitals and insurance is acceptable" even if you do stay private. "6. With private insurance starved, many people enrolled in the government 'option' will have no place else to go" if they don't like it. So all this talk from Obama about adding to competition is the exact opposite, which is what everybody who's read this understands and which is why they know he's lying to them when he says, "If you like your plan you can keep it." Another way to look at that, "If you like your plan, you can keep it," is: What if everybody decided to do that, but he says the health care plan, the system we have now is unsustainable. It's horrible.

Yet if you like your plan you can keep it? How do those two go together? The next question that our classics professor at Duke wanted to figure out by reading the bill: "Does the plan TAX successful Americans more THAN OTHERS? Here is what the bill says, pages 197-198, SEC. 441. SURCHARGE ON HIGH INCOME INDIVIDUALS 'SEC. 59C. SURCHARGE ON HIGH INCOME INDIVIDUALS," and then it has the legalese. Here's the evaluation of what it says: "1. This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code. 2. Tax surcharges are levied on those with the highest incomes. 3. The plan manipulates the tax code to redistribute their wealth. 4. Successful business owners will bear the highest cost of this plan." Successful small business owners, will bear the highest cost of this plan.

"Does THE PLAN ALLOW THE GOVERNMENT TO set FEES FOR SERVICES? What it says, page 124, Sec. 223, PAYMENT RATES FOR ITEMS AND SERVICES," and then the legalese of the bill. The analysis or the evaluation: "1. The government's authority to set payments is basically unlimited. 2. The official" commissioner, bureaucrats "will decide what constitutes 'excessive,' 'deficient,' and 'efficient' payments and services. Will THE PLAN increase the power of government officials to SCRUTINIZE our private affairs? What it says, pages 195-196, SEC. 431. DISCLOSURES TO CARRY OUT HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE SUBSIDIES," then the legalese in the bill.

The evaluation: "1. This section amends the Internal Revenue Code 2. The bill opens up income tax return information to federal officials. 3. Any stated 'limits' to such information are circumvented by item (v), which allows federal officials to decide what information is needed. 4. Employers are required to report whatever information the government says it needs to enforce the plan," meaning your medical records, your employment records, how you're living your life, what kind of risk that's posing to the health care system. Next: "Does the plan automatically enroll Americans in the GOVERNMENT plan? What it says, page 102, Section 205, Outreach and enrollment of Exchange-eligible individuals and employers in Exchange-participating health benefits plan," then the legalese. Here's the evaluation: "1. Do nothing and you are in" the government plan. "2. Employers are responsible for automatically enrolling people who still work. Does THE PLAN exempt federal OFFICIALS from COURT REVIEW?

"What it says, page 124, Section 223, PAYMENT RATES FOR ITEMS AND SERVICES," then the legalese and the evaluation. "1. Sec. 1123 amends the Social Security Act, to allow the Secretary to identify areas of the country that underutilize the government's plan 'based on per capita spending.' 2. Parts of the plan are set above the review of the courts." So the question, "Does THE PLAN exempt federal officials from court review?" and parts of the plan do. This is Mr. Lewis again. His name is John David Lewis, professor of classics at Duke University. He's a common, average citizen. He's not a lawyer, not a doctor. What this goes to show is, just about anybody can figure out what's in this bill if they just take the time to read it. And a lot of people have, and the people showing up at these town hall meetings saying "no," already know what this bill says and the elements to it, or of it, that I just shared with you.