Tag Archives: obama

In Case you Still Think Obama’s Healthcare Plan is a Good Thing

Obama says The time for debate has ended but Pelosi says: “We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It.” If they do not know what is in the bill, how can the debate about it be over?

16,500 more IRS agents needed to enforce Obamacare

New tax mandates and penalties included in Obamacare will cause the greatest expansion of the Internal Revenue Service since World War II, according to a release from Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

A new analysis by the Joint Economic Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee minority staff estimates up to 16,500 new IRS personnel will be needed to collect, examine and audit new tax information mandated on families and small businesses in the ‘reconciliation’ bill being taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives this weekend. …

Scores of new federal mandates and fifteen different tax increases totaling $400 billion are imposed under the Democratic House bill. In addition to more complicated tax returns, families and small businesses will be forced to reveal further tax information to the IRS, provide proof of ‘government approved’ health care and submit detailed sales information to comply with new excise taxes.

Americans for Tax Reform has a good breakdown of the bill by the numbers.

Isn’t it reassuring that at a time of recession, government will do what’s necessary to ensure its growth?

Final health bill omits some of Obama’s promises

It was a bold response to skyrocketing health insurance premiums. President Barack Obama would give federal authorities the power to block unreasonable rate hikes.

Yet when Democrats unveiled the final, incarnation of their health care bill this week, the proposal was nowhere to be found.

Ditto with several Republican ideas that Obama had said he wanted to include after a televised bipartisan summit last month, including a plan by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to send investigators disguised as patients to hospitals in search of waste, fraud and abuse.

And those “special deals” that Obama railed against and said he wanted to eliminate? With the exception of two of the most notorious — extra Medicaid money for Nebraska and a carve-out for Florida seniors faced with losing certain extra Medicare benefits — they are all still there.

For the White House, these were the latest unfulfilled commitments related to Obama’s health care proposal, starting with his campaign promise to let C-SPAN cameras film negotiations over the bill. Obama also backed down with little apparent regret on his support for a new government-run insurance plan as part of the legislation, a liberal priority. Full Story

Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill

The Firedoglake health care team has been covering the debate in congress since it began last year. The health care bill will come up for a vote in the House on Sunday, and as Nancy Pelosi works to wrangle votes, we’ve been running a detailed whip count on where every member of Congress stands, updated throughout the day.

We’ve also taken a detailed look at the bill, and have come up with 18 often stated myths about this health care reform bill.

Real health care reform is the thing we’ve fought for from the start. It is desperately needed. But this bill falls short on many levels, and hurts many people more than it helps.

A middle class family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income — out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible. Many families who are already struggling to get by would be better off saving the $5,243 in insurance costs and paying their medical expenses directly, rather than being forced to by coverage they can’t afford the co-pays on.

In addition, there is already a booming movement across the country to challenge the mandate. Thirty-three states already have bills moving through their houses, and the Idaho governor was the first to sign it into law yesterday. In Virginia it passed through both a Democratic House and Senate, and the governor will sign it soon. It will be on the ballot in Arizona in 2010, and is headed in that direction for many more. Republican senators like Dick Lugar are already asking their state attorney generals to challenge it. There are two GOP think tanks actively helping states in their efforts, and there is a booming messaging infrastructure that covers it beat-by-beat. Entire Article and Fact Sheet

See Also:

What the Liberal Media Aren’t Telling You About Obama’s Healthcare Plans for tons of links on the healthcare bill
Obama’s Health Care Plan Highlights- Read me and write your congressman and tell him vote NO
Healthcare Bill – HR3200

Related:
Buy Government Insurance or be Fined or Go to Jail
IRS Will Punish Americans Without Acceptable Health Insurance

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Indefinite Detention on Suspected Activity

A Detention Bill You Ought to Read More Carefully

Why is the national security community treating the “Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010,” introduced by Sens. John McCain and Joseph Lieberman on Thursday as a standard proposal, as a simple response to the administration’s choices in the aftermath of the Christmas Day bombing attempt? A close reading of the bill suggests it would allow the U.S. military to detain U.S. citizens without trial indefinitely in the U.S. based on suspected activity. Read the bill here, and then read the summarized points after the jump.

According to the summary, the bill sets out a comprehensive policy for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected enemy belligerents who are believed to have engaged in hostilities against the United States by requiring these individuals to be held in military custody, interrogated for their intelligence value and not provided with a Miranda warning.

(There is no distinction between U.S. persons–visa holders or citizens–and non-U.S. persons.)

It would require these “belligerents” to be coded as “high-value detainee[s]” to be held in military custody and interrogated for their intelligence value by a High-Value Detainee Interrogation Team established by the president. (The H.I.G., of course, was established to bring a sophisticated interrogation capacity to the federal justice system.)

Any suspected unprivileged enemy belligerents considered a “high-value detainee” shall not be provided with a Miranda warning.

The bill asks the President to determine criteria for designating an individual as a “high-value detainee” if he/she: (1) poses a threat of an attack on civilians or civilian facilities within the U.S. or U.S. facilities abroad; (2) poses a threat to U.S. military personnel or U.S. military facilities; (3) potential intelligence value; (4) is a member of al Qaeda or a terrorist group affiliated with al Qaeda or (5) such other matters as the President considers appropriate. The President must submit the regulations and guidance to the appropriate committees of Congress no later than 60 days after enactment.

To the extent possible, the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Team must make a preliminary determination whether the detainee is an unprivileged enemy belligerent within 48 hours of taking detainee into custody.

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Team must submit its determination to the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General after consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General make a final determination and report the determination to the President and the appropriate committees of Congress. In the case of any disagreement between the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General, the President will make the determination.

Note that the president himself doesn’t get to make the call.

Obama Freezes Food Programs, Exempts Military Budget

Obama to Seek Freeze on Some Spending to Trim Deficits

President Obama will call for a three-year freeze in spending on many domestic programs, and for increases no greater than inflation after that, an initiative intended to signal his seriousness about cutting the budget deficit, administration officials said Monday.

The officials said the proposal would be a major component both of Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address on Wednesday and of the budget he will send to Congress on Monday for the fiscal year that begins in October.

The freeze would cover the agencies and programs for which Congress allocates specific budgets each year, including air traffic control, farm subsidies, education, nutrition and national parks.

But it would exempt security-related budgets for the Pentagon, foreign aid, the Veterans Administration and homeland security, as well as the entitlement programs that make up the biggest and fastest-growing part of the federal budget: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The payoff in budget savings would be small relative to the deficit: The estimated $250 billion in savings over 10 years would be less than 3 percent of the roughly $9 trillion in additional deficits the government is expected to accumulate over that time.

The initiative holds political risks as well as potential benefits. Because Mr. Obama plans to exempt military spending while leaving many popular domestic programs vulnerable, his move is certain to further anger liberals in his party and senior Democrats in Congress, who are already upset by the possible collapse of health care legislation and the troop buildup in Afghanistan, among other things. Full Story

One Million Troops Ordered for Civil War?

Is Obama Really Preparing For Civil War?

According to an obscure report in the European Union Times (EUTimes.net), “Russian Military Analysts are reporting to Prime Minister Putin that US President Barack Obama has issued an order to his Northern Command’s (USNORTHCOM) top leader, US Air Force General Gene Renuart, to ‘begin immediately’ increasing his military forces to 1 million troops by January 30, 2010, in what these reports warn is an expected outbreak of civil war within the United States before the end of winter.

“According to these reports, Obama has had over these past weeks ‘numerous’ meetings with his war council abut how best to manage the expected implosion of his Nation’s banking system while at the same time attempting to keep the United States military hegemony over the World in what Russian Military Analysts state is a ‘last ditch gambit’ whose success is ‘far from certain.'”

The EU Times article continues by saying, “To the fears of Obama over the United States erupting into civil war once the full extent of the rape and pillaging of these peoples by their banks and government becomes known to them, grim evidence now shows the likelihood of this occurring much sooner than later.”

The Times story goes on to say that there are “over 220 million American people armed to the teeth and ready to explode.”

The Times article concludes by saying, “Though the coming civil war in the United States is being virtually ignored by their propaganda media, the same cannot be said of Russia, where leading Russian political analyst, Professor Igor Panarin has long warned that the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the US is heading for collapse.”

Many of us would be inclined to pooh-pooh such a story, but then there is this column from Bloomberg.com entitled “Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public,” written by Alice Schroeder. According to Ms Schroeder:

“‘I just wrote my first reference for a gun permit,’ said a friend, who told me of swearing to the good character of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who applied to the local police for a permit to buy a pistol. The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.” Full Story

A Million Children go to Bed Hungry in U.S.

Record numbers go hungry in the US
Government report shows 50m people unable to put food on the table at some point last year

More than a million children regularly go to bed hungry in the US, according to a government report that shows a startling increase in the number of families struggling to put food on the table.

President Barack Obama, who pledged to eradicate childhood hunger, has described as “unsettling” the agriculture department survey, which says 50 million people in the US – one in six of the population – were unable to afford to buy sufficient food to stay healthy at some point last year, in large part because of escalating unemployment or poorly paid jobs. That is a rise of more than one-third on the year before and the highest number since the survey began in 1995.

The agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, said: “These numbers are a wake-up call … for us to get very serious about food security and hunger, about nutrition and food safety in this country.”

Vilsack said he expected the numbers to worsen when the survey for this year is released in 2010.

The report said 6.7 million people were defined as having “very low food security” because they regularly lacked sufficient to eat. Among them, 96% reported that the food they bought did not last until they had money to buy more. Nearly all said they could not afford to eat balanced meals. Although few reported that this was a permanent situation throughout the year, 88% said it had occurred in three or more months.

Nearly half reported losing weight because they did not have enough money to buy food. Full Story

Household Food Security in the United States, 2008

‘The Notion that we are in Afghanistan to Make our Country Safer is Bullshit’

Rethink Afghanistan

Afghanistan + More Troops = Catastrophe

Here’s Why Obama Is “Gravely Concerned” About Pakistan

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 3): Cost of War

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 4): Civilian Casualties

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 5): Women of Afghanistan

Rethink Afghanistan: (Part 6) Security

Soldiers Speak Out While Obama Escalates War on Afghanistan

Veterans to Congress: Rethink Afghanistan Now

Military Escalation: Obama okays $130 b for Afghanistan, Iraq wars

President Barack Obama Wednesday signed the fiscal 2010 National Defence Authorization Act during a ceremony at the White House.

Obama hailed the act, which contains $680.2 billion in military budget authority, as transformational legislation that targets wasteful defence spending.

The authorization act contains $130 billion to fund overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and it also provides $6.7 billion for thousands of all-terrain, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles now arriving in Afghanistan.

The president was accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, congressional leaders and other senior officials, including Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“There’s still more waste we need to cut; there’s still more fights that we need to win,” Obama said, noting he and Gates will continue to seek out unnecessary defence spending.

Obama said he has ended unnecessary no-bid defence contracts and signed bipartisan legislation to reform defence procurement practices so weapons systems’ costs do not spin out of control. “Even as we have made critical investments in equipment and weapons our troops do need, we’re eliminating tens of billions of dollars in waste we don’t need,” Obama said.
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“As commander in chief, I will always do whatever it takes to keep the American people safe to defend this nation,” Obama said. “That’s why this bill provides for the best military in the history of the world.”
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Money also is budgeted to fund programs that address “real and growing threats,” Obama said. Such systems, he said, include the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, the littoral combat ship, and more helicopters and reconnaissance support for deployed U.S. forces.

Obama praised Gates and Mullen for their hard work in developing the 2010 defence budget. “I want to thank, publicly, Bob Gates for his service to our nation,” he said, and he added that Mullen has “provided wise counsel and stood with us in our efforts to initiate reform.”