It’s getting better every day. Who needs Congress anyway?
(Washington Post) — After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate’s health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.
Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers “deem” the health-care bill to be passed.
The tactic — known as a “self-executing rule” or a “deem and pass” — has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.
“It’s more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know,” the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. “But I like it,” she said, “because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.”
Republicans quickly condemned the strategy, framing it as an effort to avoid responsibility for passing the legislation, and some suggested that Pelosi’s plan would be unconstitutional.
“It’s very painful and troubling to see the gymnastics through which they are going to avoid accountability,” Rep. David Dreier (Calif.), the senior Republican on the House Rules Committee, told reporters. “And I hope very much that, at the end of the day, that if we are going to have a vote, we will have a clean up-or-down vote that will allow the American people to see who is supporting this Senate bill and who is not supporting this Senate bill.”
Facing razor-thin margins in the House, Democratic leaders are hoping to convert the sole liberal who opposes their health care bill, but it seems they have their work cut out because he isn’t budging.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) on Monday defended his opposition to the proposal in an appearance on MSNBC’s Countdown With Keith Olbermann, citing as his central concern its lack of a robust public option to provide competition for insurance companies.
“This bill represents a giveaway to the insurance industry,” Kucinich said. “$70 billion dollars a year, and no guarantees of any control over premiums, forcing people to buy private insurance, five consecutive years of double-digit premium increases.”
Far from being a necessary part of the US’s national security strategy, the Afghanistan war is actually a threat to it, says Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich.
In a statement released two days after President Barack Obama announced a 30,000-troop surge for the war effort and a July, 2011, beginning for troop withdrawal, Kucinich argued that extending the war would destabilize the United States at home.
“America is in the fight of its life and that fight is not in Afghanistan — it’s here,” Kucinich declared. “We are deeply in debt. Our GDP is down. Our manufacturing is down. Our savings are down. The value of the dollar is down. Our trade deficit is up. Business failures are up. Bankruptcies are up.
“The war is a threat to our national security. We’ll spend over $100 billion next year to bomb a nation of poor people while we reenergize the Taliban, destabilize Pakistan, deplete our army and put more of our soldiers’ lives on the line. Meanwhile, back here in the USA, 15 million people are out of work. People are losing their jobs, their health care, their savings, their investments, and their retirement security. $13 trillion in bailouts for Wall Street, trillions for war; when are we going to start taking care of things here at home?”
This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast Dec. 2, 2009.
Only 100 Al Qaeda fighters remain in Afghanistan, while number of private Pentagon contractors tops 104,000.
In an address to the nation on Tuesday, President Obama declared, “As commander in chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interests to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. … After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.” For Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), however, if the ultimate goal is to get out of Afghanistan, then the sooner the better.
“Why are we still in Afghanistan?” Kucinich asked on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning. “Al-Qaeda has been routed. Our occupation fuels a Taliban insurgency. The more troops we send, the more resistance we meet.”
“The people of Afghanistan don’t want to be saved by us,” Kucinich continued. “They want to be saved from us. Our presence and our Predator drones kill countless innocents, creating more US enemies and destabilizing Pakistan.”
This video was broadcast by MSNBC on Friday, Oct. 30, 2009.
According to Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), the Democrats’ health reform legislation is basically a sham.
Appearing on MSNBC’s The Ed Show on Friday night, the House’s most unabashed progressive condemned Democratic leadership for removing his amendment that would allow states to create their own single-payer systems. Then he called the entire legislative package “a bailout for insurance companies.”
Under a single-payer system, like those in Canada and the United Kingdom, the government pools taxpayer funds to pay for citizens’ health care and fees are not collected by health care providers. The Kucinich amendment would allow individual states an opt-in to such a system.
“Representative Kucinich was livid when he found out that his provision to allow states to create a single payer system was stripped,” News Junkie Post noted. “Kucinich’s amendment passed the House Labor and Education Committee in July. ‘No one gave me any rational reason,’ Kucinich said. ‘I can only assume the insurance company interests brought pressure to take it out. Otherwise I would have heard from someone.'”
“The [committee] vote was 25 to 19, with support coming from an odd mix of liberal Democrats who support single-payer on its merits and conservative Republicans who want to preserve the rights of states to regulate themselves,” The Washington Independent noted at the time.
“The removal of the Kucinich amendment constitutes yet another capitulation to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries who are already reaping billions of dollars from the bill,” reads a statement from the congressman’s office on Thursday.
Under the revised public option, “Pelosi and her team have proposed a plan that would not make payments for care based on Medicare rates …” CBS News’s John Nichols noted. “Rather, under the Pelosi plan, the rates be tied to those of the big insurance companies. That’s a big, big victory for the insurance industry, as it will undermine the ability of the public option to compete — and to create pressure for reduced costs.”
Speaking to liberal MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz on Friday, Kucinich continued his assault on the legislation.
“I think we need the support of the American people to say, look, you need that state single-payer amendment in the bill to make it credible,” the congressman said. “I mean, what are people giving up already? They’re being mandated to buy private insurance. If you read the bill, the people are going to end up paying — the insurance companies can raise rates 25 percent right off the bat, if you read the bill.”
Schultz encouraged Kucinich to repeat himself on that point.
“It’s on page 22 of the bill,” he replied. “Right here, it says that rates shall be set at a level that does not exceed 125 percent of the prevailing standard rate for comparable coverage in the individual market. Now … It’s very easy to understand what that means.”
“It’s not reform,” Schultz insisted.
“It means a 25 percent increase, they’ll have the ability to execute and since insurance companies have already raised rates for the last four years by double-digits, we can expect — based on the bill — another rate increase by the insurance companies.”
Schultz called the bill a “sellout” to insurers because the bill only allows 11 million people into a limited government-run health insurance option, and includes a mandate for Americans to buy private policies.
“Maybe instead of a sellout it’s a bailout,” Kucinich responded. “Maybe what we’re looking at here is another way that Wall Street’s speculative engine can be fueled, this time with the help of the premiums of tens of millions of Americans.”
“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Added: 22. October 2009
Fall Of The Republic documents how an offshore corporate cartel is bankrupting the US economy by design. Leaders are now declaring that world government has arrived and that the dollar will be replaced by a new global currency.
President Obama has brazenly violated Article 1 Section 9 of the US Constitution by seating himself at the head of United Nations’ Security Council, thus becoming the first US president to chair the world body.
A scientific dictatorship is in its final stages of completion, and laws protecting basic human rights are being abolished worldwide; an iron curtain of high-tech tyranny is now descending over the planet.
A worldwide regime controlled by an unelected corporate elite is implementing a planetary carbon tax system that will dominate all human activity and establish a system of neo-feudal slavery.