Archive for the ‘John Murtha’ Category

LFR’s ‘early years’ were spent mostly offering opinions on international events. That abruptly changed when John Murtha accused the Haditha Marines of murdering Iraqi civilians in cold blood. That weekend, I spoke with Leo Pusateri about the lies that Murtha was told. Later that weekend, Leo started the Murtha Must Go blog on Blogger. (Actually, the first couple of years of LFR were on Blogger, not on this website.)

Thanks to some committed retired Marines and that website, the Haditha Marines weren’t railroaded by John Murtha. Murtha was the quintessential corrupt politician. I kidded at one time that they should rename his office after he died to the ‘Office of Corporate Welfare’. After he died, Nancy Pelosi didn’t take my advice. The good news is that the Haditha Marines either had their charges dropped or they were acquitted.

The next thing LFR dealt with extensively was the anti-war movement, which started with John Murtha and Amy Klobuchar, who I nicknamed St. Amy of Hennepin County. When she ran for the Senate, St. Amy of Hennepin County said “America needs a change of course in Iraq,” Klobuchar said. The measure “continued an open-ended commitment with no clear transition to Iraqi authority,” she said. “My priority is to transition to Iraq authority by beginning to bring our troops home in a responsible way.” I noted at the time that St. Amy didn’t express an interest in winning the war. Her interest was in bringing “our troops home in a responsible way.” It isn’t surprising that St. Amy has been an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama’s lose-at-all-costs strategy in Iraq.

We’re still paying the price for the 2006 and 2008 elections.

At one point, LFR was hacked, which kept the website down for almost a month. Thankfully, I wasn’t silence thanks to Click on this link to subscribe to my articles. They’re entirely different than the things I publish on LFR.

One of the things that I’m most proud of is the role I played in defeating the School Board bonding referendum here in St. Cloud. The ISD 742 School Board tried passing the $167,000,000 referendum without giving people the opportunity to give input into the project. When the ballots were tallied, 7,393 people voted to approve the bonding while 8,460 people voted to reject the School Board’s proposal.

For a little perspective, most School Board elections and special elections in the St. Cloud area have a turnout rate of 18%. This vote produced a 31% turnout rate. After the measure was defeated, I got an email from a frequent reader of LFR which said in part “They had a turnout strategy and tons of money. You had common sense and the ability to motivate 8400 people to vote. (31% turnout in an odd-year election? with reduced polling places? Just amazing.)”

While it’s nice getting credit for producing those results, the reality is that the ISD 742 School Board was its own worst enemy. LFR was just the amplifier that highlighted their corruption. They tried keeping the vote below the citizens’ radar. They tried making voting as inconvenient as possible. When pressed why people couldn’t see the blueprints for the future Tech High School, the leader of the Vote Yes campaign explained “What a lot of them don’t recognize is, with the cost of designing a building, 80 percent of it isn’t going to be designed until after the referendum. And the plans we’ve got now are still tentative.”

Imagine that. The School Board wanted the citizens, since nicknamed “The Uppity Peasants Brigade”, to give the school board a blank $167,000,000, $115,000,000 of which is for a building that wouldn’t be designed until after the bonds had been approved.

In the past, demented Michele Bachmann haters argued that she didn’t care about her district. While it’s true she took time to run for president, it isn’t true that she doesn’t care about what’s best for her district. Her getting a new Stillwater Bridge built is proof she cares about the Sixth District. This Pi-Press article offers more proof that Rep. Bachmann cares about the Sixth District:

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann sought Monday to muster support in Minnesota and Washington for money to add a new Interstate 94 lane in each direction between the western Twin Cities suburbs and St. Cloud.

The congresswoman came to the state Capitol along with supporters from local government and businesses to talk about the project, as well as a related push to upgrade U.S. 10 that runs parallel to the heavily traveled interstate. Backers of the I-94 project are trying to amass $25 million for the first construction phase of an expansion that could reach $100 million when fully complete. The improvements to U.S. 10 are priced at $300 million.

Of course, the Dayton administration sought to diminish the importance of the I-94 project:

But Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said the I-94 widening doesn’t rank high on the agency’s long-term list of priority projects. “There are projects like this all across the state — really good projects, really important projects, projects that have tremendous support like this,” he said. “It all really boils down to the funding piece.”

It’s interesting that MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht hints that widening I-94 isn’t a good project or an important project. The notion that one of the two busiest highways in the state doesn’t qualify as an important project is utter nonsense.

This stinks of political gamesmanship on behalf of the Dayton Administration. Sixth District voters will remember that when Gov. Dayton asks for their support in 2014. I’m betting they won’t like it that his administration prefered playing political games rather than doing what’s right for economic development in central Minnesota.

The other thing that’s worth noting is that Michele didn’t airdrop an earmark into a transportation bill conference committee report. She’s putting the project through the committee where it can be researched in the light of day. Michele’s projects, including the Stillwater Bridge project and this project, both went through the committee process. The Stillwater Bridge project was signed by President Obama because it withstood the scrutiny of the House and Senate transportation committees.

Years ago, Rep. Bachmann pledged not to be a porkmeister like the late Jack Murtha or Minnesota’s Jim ‘Bike Path’ Oberstar. She’s kept that promise while still looking out for what’s best for her district. Minnesota needs more politicians who are committed to doing things in the light of day rather than away from the people’s scrutiny.

I expect this post to get tons of comments from Michele’s left wing haters. Their comments will expose them for the partisan haters that they are. Remember their hate-filled comments the next time you enter a voting booth.

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In this editorial, the St. Cloud appears to pose the question of whether Michele Bachmann is pro-earmark. They suggest that she’s starting to sound like a corrupt, old-fashioned politician:

Wait. Hold onto your saucer. Upon discovering her district has some transportation needs, she now says she wants to “redefine” congressional earmarks, something she has advocated against? That sounds disturbingly like an old-fashioned Washington politician.

It’s important that people get an accurate perspective on Michele’s position on earmarks. I published Michele’s position on earmarks in this post:

Like you, the status of the DeSoto Bridge repairs is very important to me. There are few arteries or bridges more vital to the St. Cloud area. Regrettably, it’s critical projects just like this that are shortchanged most by rampant pork barrel spending in Washington.

That’s why I’ve taken a pledge to not take any earmarks this year while working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle who are determined to reform the earmarking system. It is our hope to replace a system of backroom backscratching with one in which projects are judged on merit and each of your tax dollars is spent wisely on real priorities.

In my first year in the Congress, I requested local earmarks for my district and was fortunate to secure funding for important local projects, including $803,600 for St. Cloud Metro Bus. I was able to stand confidently by each and every earmark request made, knowing they could stand on their merits withstand public scrutiny. Not all my colleagues could say that. Some sought millions of dollars in funding for golf programs, Christmas tree gift shops and the like.

In other words, Michele’s opposed to the corruption practiced by porkmeisters like the late John Murtha or the vanquished Jim Oberstar. Their type of earmarking was based on buying off votes or helping friends get re-elected, not on the basis of what’s a priority.

Why would Michele support Oberstar- or Murtha-style corruption?

This isn’t news, at least to those who read this blog. I wrote that post in May, 2008. That’s 32 months ago. Had the Times read my post, they would’ve known Michele’s position on earmarks. They wouldn’t have made the mistatement they made.

The TEA Party movement and organizations like the Club for Growth are worried about earmarks, partially for the corruption that’s involved but mostly they’re worried about the air-dropped earmarks that get dropped into a conference report that gets either an up or down vote.

Air-dropped earmarks aren’t debated in committee mark-ups of bills or are rejected in committee because the projects are deemed unworthy. Until recently, the earmarks’ authors weren’t revealed. The system is improving but it’s still far from perfect.

Many of the air-dropped earmarks are put in ahead of requests for DeSoto Bridge-type projects to secure votes for passage. That’s what Michele is fighting against.

The SCTimes editorial board needs to do better research if they’re going to write provocative things about Michele. Why should it be left to me to correct their editorials?

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According to Salena Zito’s column, Democrats know that the stakes couldn’t be higher than they are in the special election in PA-12:

On paper, the nine Western Pennsylvania counties in the 12th Congressional District numerically favor Democrats by a nice margin.

In reality, the 12th’s people could not be more removed from the Democratic Party ruling out of Washington. More rural/suburban than urban/suburban, the district is chock-full of conservative Democrats who believe in hard work, God and guns.

It is a world that elite liberals fail to understand, as one Democrat strategist confessed in an e-mail: “Have to admit that America is about as foreign as France to me.”

On May 18, ex-congressional aide Mark Critz, a Democrat, and Johnstown businessman Tim Burns, a Republican, will face each other in a special election for the unexpired term of the late Congressman Jack Murtha, a contest that will be repeated, for a new two-year term, in November.

Democrats have a long winning streak in House special elections, notes Isaac Wood, a University of Virginia political analyst: “If that ends now, it will be interpreted as a sign of impending Democratic doom in November.”

Thsi figures to be a test of the Democrats’ November strategy. As that anonymous Democratic strategist admits, they’re out of touch with heartland America. Instead, Democrats seem intent on running against evil: evil Wall Street, evil big banks and evil profiteers. (Hint to Democrats: in Heartland America, small businesses making profits aren’t known as evil profiteers. They’re known as employers.)

The Democrats’ problems run far deeper than just their disconnect with Heartland voters. This says everything:

In a year clearly about Main Street’s disconnect from Washington, Critz curiously asked Vice President Joe Biden to raise money this Friday in downtown Pittsburgh, outside the district. If you’re having Biden fundraise for you, why not have “Mr. Scranton, Pa.” stump for you as well, inside the district?

The simple answer: This is coal country, and Biden famously said during the 2008 campaign that he did not support “clean coal,” backing that up emphatically: “No coal plants here in America!”

The Obama administration’s approval rating in coal country is low. (Think lower than Harry Reid. By ALOT.) Two years ago, people ignored what President Obama said about coal. Had they reacted then the way they’re recoiling now, voters would’ve spared us from the Obama administration’s radicalism.

Critz isn’t running a smart campaign either:

Critz is running as the bearer of Murtha’s legacy. Yet Critz is no Murtha and does not have the power to do what Murtha did in this district.

People instinctively know that the ‘heir’ to Murtha’s throne doesn’t exist. When it comes to influence-peddling and corruption, there was only one John Murtha, though other Democrats aspire to that position of influence.

The Biden problem is emblematic of a bigger problem for Democrats. Think of it this way: If Republicans want to help a candidate in a tight race, they can call on Tim Pawlenty, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Pence, Paul Ryan or Sarah Palin to go to that district and fire up the troops and win people over. Democrats facing difficulty with re-election, and there will be many in such a situation this year, can’t call on Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden or President Obama.

If presidential prestige was measured in wins where President Obama campaigned for his candidate, his prestige would be tiny or nonexistent after Virginia, New Jersey and the Massachusetts Senate race. If I’m a Democrat running for re-election in Pennsylvania or Ohio, I’d plead with President Obama to not visit. If he theatened a visit, I’d publicly announce that I’d be out of the country that day.

I don’t know how this special election will play itself out but I’ll confidently say that if Critz loses, it will be an indication that running against Wall Street doesn’t work as well as running on getting government out of the way of job creators.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

I just got TMLC’s press release on breaking news that a Board Of Inquiry, aka BOI, has found Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani not guilty of misconduct. Here’s the heart of their statement:

ANN ARBOR, MI – Late last Friday afternoon (Eastern Standard Time), after three hours of deliberation, the military Board of Inquiry ruled LtCol Chessani was not guilty of misconduct and should not be demoted.

Nevertheless, the Board’s ruling produced a mixed result. It ruled Chessani must now retire because he displayed “substandard performance” by failing to conduct a more detailed investigation of the civilians killed as a result of the house clearing actions of four Marines after they were ambushed in Haditha, Iraq on November 19, 2005.

The Board’s decision came after a 1½ hour impassioned closing argument on behalf of LtCol Chessani made by Thomas More Law Center attorney Robert Muise. Muise argued Chessani was a scapegoat to appease the anti-war media and anti-war politician John Murtha. “Here’s your scapegoat. Here’s your fall guy,” said Muise as he pointed at Chessani, who sat silently at the defense table.

The BOI’s requiring Lt. Col. Chessani to retire is a bitter pill for me to swallow. I can’t even imagine what that ruling means to Lt. Col. Chessani. This is more proof that John Murtha’s anti-war diatribe was politically motivated. It’s further proof that the gutless wonder from Johnstown, PA, doesn’t put the troops first.

There’s no longer any arguing that Murtha put political motivations ahead of his consideration of the Haditha Marines. He didn’t get a single fact straight in making these accusations, as I’ve proved with this timeline. He didn’t wait for the investigation to be completed. He lied about where he got his information from.

“It’s much worse than was reported in Time magazine,” Murtha, a Democrat, former Marine colonel and Vietnam war veteran, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “There was no firefight. There was no [bomb] that killed those innocent people,” Murtha explained, adding there were “about twice as many” Iraqis killed than Time had reported.

According to the findings of facts, there’s no question that there was a firefight that night in Haditha. In fact, then-Capt. Jeffrey Dinsmore refuted Murtha’s allegations with his testimony:

The battalion S2 officer made a full and complete report based on his monitoring of the day’s events and the intelligence he and others had amassed then and previous days. As we wrote at the time, the PowerPoint after-action report he sent up the command ladder proved to all the higher officers that the incident warranted no further investigation.

Capt. Dinsmore watched the firefight by monitoring the drone footage as the UAVs circled over the scene of the firefight. You can’t get more direct refutation of Murtha’s accusations than that.

To review, here’s what Rep. Murtha said when first questioned where he got his information from:

Asked about his sources during a midday briefing on Iraq policy in the Capitol, Murtha confidently replied, “All the information I get, it comes from the commanders, it comes from people who know what they’re talking about.” Although Murtha said that he had not read any investigative reports by the military on the incident, he stressed, “It’s much worse than reported in Time magazine.”

That’s a bunch of BS. We know this because he quickly changed his story:

Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is being sued by one of the accused Marines for libel. He had told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Gen. Michael Hagee had given him the information on which he based his charge that Marines killed innocent civilians.

But a spokesman for the Marine Corps said Hagee briefed Murtha on May 24 about Haditha. Murtha had made comments on the case as early as May 17. On May 17, for example, he said at a news conference, “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

The last I checked, the Commandant of the Marine Corps isn’t an officer in the field. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Marine Corps Commandant is stationed in the Pentagon.

What’s more is that Gen. Hagee didn’t brief Murtha until a week after he’d made his accusations.

The charges have been dropped against Capt. McConnell, Capt. Stone, Sgt. de la Cruz, LCpl Tatum and LCpl. Sharratt. Lt. Grayson was found not guilty. SSgt. Frank Wuterich is the only man left of the 8 Haditha Marines that hasn’t been acquitted or had his charges dropped.

It’s time that the military end this persecution of SSgt. Wuterich. The murder charges have been dropped against the Marines fighting in the firefight. The so-called cover-up has now been dealt with. I’ve said from the start that there wasn’t a cover-up despite what Murtha said. Now that’s an official finding of fact.

It’s also time for the gutless wonder from Johnstown to publicly apologize for his political anti-military accusations. Finally, it’s time for Murtha to retire from the House. He’s exceptionally corrupt in addition to his willing to throw the Haditha Marines under the bus.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

I’m not shocked to find out that John Murtha doesn’t think military victory is achievable in Afghanistan. He’s been a defeatist since the 1980s.

Democratic Rep. John Murtha, just back from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan, said

Monday that he never got a clear definition of what constitutes an “achievable victory” for the United States and fears that American commanders are assuming more time for the war effort than voters at home will allow.

“I am still very nervous about this whole thing,” Murtha told POLITICO. “If you had 10 years, it might work; if you had five, you could make a difference. But you don’t have that long.”

A top Democrat on military matters, the Pennsylvania lawmaker captures the skepticism facing the White House as President Barack Obama prepares to commit up to 35,000 more troops to the war effort. Obama has chosen a military forum, West Point, for his nationally televised speech Tuesday night, but Congress is the real test and a better reflection of the unease among everyday Americans.

john Murtha has been declaring defeat for a long time. He declared defeat in Somalia while our troops were still fighting there. After the Clinton administration pulled out on Murtha’s advice, Osama bin Laden told an ABC correspondent that America was a paper tiger.

Rep. Murtha told the Bush administration that Iraq was fighting a civil war and that a military victory was impossible. Fortunately for Iraq, the Bush administration ignored Murtha’s advice. Instead of following Murtha’s defeatist advice, President Bush doubled down with the surge and won a decisive victory. They defeated the insurgents and the Iranians while giving Iraqis the gift of liberty.

On another note, it’s insulting to hear David Rogers say that “everyday Americans” are uneasy with winning a war. By nature, we LOVE winning wars. It’s true that a small portion of Democratic pacifists are apprehensive but they don’t even make up a majority of their party, much less a majority of Americans.

Rep. Murtha, it’s time you retired. It’s time you quit waving the white flag of defeat. They say that there’s no such thing as an ex-Marine. You’re proof that there is. You’re a national disgrace because you stand in opposition to the U.S. military’s winning wars.

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Once again, Rep. Michele Bachmann is right on the money. This time, she highlights the Democrats’ holding a photo-op vote so their members could say that they voted to defund the corruption known as ACORN:

Although both the House and Senate have voted to de-fund the liberal activist group ACORN, it’s unlikely such a proposal will be enacted any time soon, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told

If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid really wanted to defund ACORN, “we could have done it yesterday,” Bachmann told “It isn’t that I’m saying these votes won’t result in ultimately defunding ACORN, but right now you’ve got a vote on a housing bill and a vote on an education bill. How’s that going to come together?”

I’m totally unsurprised with the Democrats’ photo op votes. They understood that the ACORN scandal was too big to go without action. By holding these votes, they’ve temporarily inoculated themselves. What remains to be seen is whether they’ll follow through on things and actually defund ACORN entirely.

Rep. Bachmann isn’t saying that a real vote won’t happen:

“My point I’m trying to make to people is: Yes, we have a vote. Let’s make sure it’s not a CYA (cover your ass) vote,” she continued. “Let’s make sure that it’s a real vote to defund ACORN. Until it’s on a bill that actually has a chance of passing and that the president is going to sign, this allegedly criminal enterprise is going to continue.”

With Michele, it’s all about eliminating corruption, especially in this instance. This isn’t the first time Michele has taken a stand against corruption. The Club For Growth’s RePork Card gives Michele a 98 percent rating for 2009, voting 57 times in 58 attempts to strip out pork from major appropriations.

The earmark process is fraught with corruption. Just ask John Murtha, Ted Stevens and other earmark kings.

Stopping ACORN’s funding would put a nice dent in DC corruption, though I suspect many of the corruptionmongers would show up working with another K Street special interest groups. (That’s why I’m ambivalent about term limits. Clearing out DC politicians is a step in the right direction but, unfortunately, the special interests remain. They aren’t term-limited.)

That’s why it’s important to elect wave after wave after wave of corruption-fighting politicians like Michele.

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Sunday morning’s Meet the Press gave the world a perfect glimpse at the elitist attitudes of journalists like Tom Friedman. After Jim Hoft kicks the NYTimes’ ass all week on the Van Jones scandal, Friedman has the temerity to say that the internet is an open sewer:

MR. FRIEDMAN: David, when everyone has a cell phone, everyone’s a photographer. When everyone has access to YouTube, everyone’s a filmmaker. And when everyone’s a blogger, everyone’s in newspaper. When everyone’s a photographer, a newspaper and a filmmaker, everyone else is a public figure. Tell your kids, OK, tell your kids, OK, be careful. Every move they make is now a digital footprint. You are on “Candid Camera.” And unfortunately, the real message to young people, from all of these incidents, OK, and I’m not here defending anything anyone said, but from all of these incidents, is you know, really keep yourself tight, don’t say anything controversial, don’t think anything–don’t put anything in print. You know, whatever you do, just kind of smooth out all the edges, and maybe you too–you know, when you get nominated to be ambassador to Burkina Faso, you’ll be able to get through the hearing.


MR. BROKAW: Well, I’ve–one of the things I’ve been saying to audiences is this question comes up a lot, and a lot of people will repeat back to me and take it as face value something that they read on the Internet. And my line to them is you have to vet information. You have to test it the same way you do when you buy an automobile or when you go and buy a new flat-screen television. You read the Consumer Reports, you have an idea of what it’s worth and what the lasting value of it is. You have to do the same thing with information because there is so much disinformation out there that it’s frightening, frankly, in a free society that depends on information to make informed decisions. And this is across the board, by the way. It’s not just one side of the political spectrum or the other. It is across the board, David, and it’s something that we all have to address and it requires society and political and cultural leaders to stand up and say, “this is crazy.” We just can’t function that way.

MR. FRIEDMAN: You know, David, I just want to say one thing to pick up on Tom’s point, which is the Internet is an open sewer of untreated, unfiltered information, left, right, center, up, down, and requires that kind of filtering by anyone. And I always felt, you know, when modems first came out, when that was how we got connected to the Internet, that every modem sold in America should actually come with a warning from the surgeon general that would have said, “judgment not included,” OK? That you have to upload the old-fashioned way. Church, synagogue, temple, mosque, teachers, schools, you know. And too often now people say, and we’ve all heard it, “But I read it on the Internet,” as if that solves the bar bet, you know? And I’m afraid not.

Mr. Friedman doesn’t get it. The Van Jones scandal went unreported in the NYTimes and on MSNBC because of the filters their editors applied. The thing that the American people are rebelling against is the Agenda Media’s filtering out things that they should be reporting on.

I’ll readily admit that I’m a partisan conservative. People who’ve read this blog aren’t surprised by this admission. Still, I’ve always maintained a belief that there’s no such thing as acceptable corruption. When Duke Cunnningham accepted bribes, I said he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I meant it. PERIOD. The net result of that belief is that I won’t bury scandals for partisan reasons.

I was proud of the fact that I was the first blogger on either side of the partisan divide that called on the people of SD-16 to defeat Mark Olson after he won the endorsement to run for the open Minnesota State Senate seat.

The filth that Van Jones mouthed was despicable. He admitted that he was both a revolutionary and a communist. He accused white people of directing pesticides towards communities of color. He was 9/11 Truther. This information begs a simple question: Why didn’t the NYTimes think this information was newsworthy?

Let’s make this more personal. Why didn’t Tom Friedman think this information was newsworthy? Is it because he thinks these are mainstream opinions? Might it be that he’s only interested in this information involves a conservative?

It’s time that elitists like Tom Friedman stopped lecturing bloggers about how unreliable our information is. The last election cycle, I covered more state legislative debates than our local paper covered. I broke stories that never made it into the local newspaper, too. That’s in addition to the news I’ve broken on the Haditha Marines.

When Chrissie Matthews stops getting tingling feelings down his legs when President Obama speaks, I’ll pay attention to Friedman’s diatribes. When Wolf Blitzer or Chrissie Matthews stops accepting every word from John Murtha’s mouth about the war in Iraq being a lost cause or that the Haditha Marines broke under the pressure of combat, then I’ll start paying attention to what elitists like Tom Friedman have to say.

Until then, they can expect me to ridicule them anytime that they try lecturing me about journalistic integrity or their selective censorship of anything truly damaging to liberals.

Putting it simply, it’s time that the media started acting like impartial reporters of fact, not like partisan liberal hacks.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

If you haven’t read Karl Rove’s WSJ article yet, then it’s important you consider it today’s must reading. The Architect outlines the perfect storm heading straight for the Democrats in 2010. It isn’t likely to be a pretty sight.

Mr. Obama’s problems are legion. To start with, the president is focusing on health care when the economy and jobs are nearly everyone’s top issue. Voters increasingly believe Mr. Obama took his eye off the ball.

There isn’t a day that goes by where President Obama says that fixing health care will fix our economy. While there’s no doubt that getting health care under control will improve businesses’ bottom lines, it’s equally true that there’s more to creating a vibrant economy than fixing health care.

Adding to the size of government takes money out of the private sector and permanently puts it into government. That’s never the right way to strengthen the fundamentals of an economy. Obama’s administration will take more money away from the private sector in the first 24 months than President Bush did in eight years.

That’s before we talk about the huge tax increase that Cap and Trade will be. That’s before we talk about letting the Bush tax cuts expire. Yes, I’m fairly certain that all of the Bush tax cuts will lapse because the deficits will force major tax increases. While President Obama didn’t make a “Read my lips” declaration, his repeating the line that 95 percent of Americans won’t get a tax increase will be seen by the public as definitive as “Read my lips.”

Here’s another major problem for President Obama and congressional Democrats:

Families believe they will be pushed into a government plan as the “public option” drives private insurers out of the market. Health-care providers fear they’ll be forced to follow one-size-fits-all guidelines drafted by bureaucrats, instead of making judgments for specific patients.

And seniors are afraid of Mr. Obama’s plan to cut $500 billion from Medicare over the next decade, including $177 billion for Medicare Advantage. It’s simply not possible to cut that much from Medicare without also cutting services seniors need.

That last paragraph is putting grey hairs in Democratic strategists’ heads. If there’s any group that Democrats can’t afford to lose, it’s seniors. They’re currently losing seniors and independents by wide margins. If this trend continues, 2010 will be a difficult year for Democrats.

That’s before noting that Speaker Pelosi has failed in draining the swamp of corruption:

Congressman Rangel has been arrogant in refusing to discuss how, as the man who writes this country’s tax laws, he failed to report over $1 million in outside income and $3 million in business transactions as required by the House, lapses under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

“I recognize that all of you have an obligation to ask questions knowing that there’s none of you smart enough to frame it in such a way that I’m going to respond,” Rangel said.

There may be a reason for Rangel’s arrogance. CBS 2 HD has discovered that since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him.

Charlie’s “angels” on the committee include Congressmen Ben Chandler of Kentucky, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and Peter Welch of Vermont. All have received donations from Rangel.

Rangel might survive this scandal but I’ll guarantee that he’ll be the poster child for the Democrats’ culture of corruption, along with John Murtha, and William ‘Cold Cash’ Jefferson. If Republicans are smart, they won’t use these gentlemen only as proof that Democrats are corrupt but that their leadership team is utterly corrupt and can’t be trusted on important issues like taxes and out-of-control spending.

That’s how perfect storms get built.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Politico is reporting that Democrats are preparing to compromise on ObamaCare. The bad news for Democrats is that the compromises being considered won’t eliminate the existing opposition to the various bills currently making their way through Congress. The awful news for Democrats is that Howard Dean is promising to recruit candidates to run in the primaries against anyone who doesn’t vote for the so-called public option.

With August dominated by angry faces and raised voices at town hall meetings, influential Democrats began laying the groundwork for the fall, particularly with the party’s liberal base, saying they may need to accept a less-than-perfect bill to achieve health reform this year.

“Trying to hold the president’s feet to the fire is fine, but first we have to win the big argument,” former President Bill Clinton said Thursday at the Netroots Nation convention, a gathering of liberal activists and bloggers who will prove most difficult to convince. “I am pleading with you. It is OK with me if you want to keep everybody honest…But try to keep this thing in the lane of getting something done. We need to pass a bill and move this thing forward.”

“I want us to be mindful we may need to take less than a full loaf,” he said after recounting the political troubles that followed his failed reform effort in 1994.

It won’t be an easy sell. Even former national party chairman Howard Dean this week threatened Democrats who don’t support the public insurance plan with the prospect of primary challenges, the first rumblings of what could devolve into a Democratic civil war over health care.

This has all the makings of calling a meeting of DNC superactivists, then putting them in a circular formation before handing out the weapons and ammunition. People are anything but happy. Many are disillusioned. Others are outright frustrated. In the winter of 2008, Democrats held a distinct enthusiasm gap over Republicans. In the summer of 2009, that intensity gap has swung 180 degrees.

Here’s what the Democrats’ disillusionment sounds like:

Let’s face the harsh reality: Obama has blown health care reform, big time. The opportunity of a lifetime has been squandered. The most recent revelations about backroom deals with Pharma and the other vendors of medical services drops the curtain on any hope of serious change in our costly and inefficient non-system. This is a painful admission to make. Not only does the country remain handicapped by grossly sub-par arrangements for health delivery, we also are burdened with a president who has been discredited as a progressive dedicated to a betterment of how we conduct public business.

This Huffington Poster certainly has the right to be disappointed. He’d better prepare himself for greater disappointment, though, because this is just the beginning. Two of the things that aren’t being satisfactorily addressed in the current legislation are tort reform and Medicare. Tort reform won’t happen because Democrats are beholden to the trial attorneys lobby.

President Obama wanted Medicare cuts to pay for a significant chunk of whatever health care reform legislation emerged. That’s what fired seniors up. That’s what motivated them to turn out en masse at the Democrats’ towhall meetings. Until Democrats do something to fix Medicare without simply cutting its budget, the Democrats’ compromises won’t mean a thing. If the Democrats try passing something with significant Medicare cuts, they’d better brace themselves for a disastrous 2010 election cycle.

That’s before we start talking about another important group:

There is no guarantee, either, that progressive House and Senate members wouldn’t make good on their promise to oppose a bill without a public insurance plan.

At this point, Howard Dean is the progressives’ greatest ally. He’s also capable of self-destructive behavior. One thing that I’ve talked with a number of people about recently is what the Obama administration’s strategy is to cobble together a coalition with enough Blue Puppies and enough progressives. At this point, I don’t think that there is a strategy that can be deployed that gets to 218 in the House.

Meanwhile, John Murtha is saying that health care might not get to a final vote until January:

Speaking in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania, Murtha said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted a health-care bill passed before the current August recess. “She said we’re going to have it before we left,” Murtha said. “We said, ‘No, no, we want some time to think about this.’ We’re taking some time to make sure it’s done right. I don’t know that we’ll get something done before January, and even then we may not get it done. We’re going to do it right when it’s finally done.”

Despite all the negativity directed towards the Democrats’ plans, this isn’t a time for Republicans to get complacent. Now’s the time to highlight the Patients’ Choice Act, the bill being co-sponsored in the House by Paul Ryan and Devin Nunes and by Dr. Tom Coburn and Richard Burr in the Senate.

In fact, if I were advising Republicans, I’d advise them to hold lots of townhalls, tarting in October, highlighting the PCA. Holding high profile townhall meetings this fall will get people’s attention. It’ll also prove to people that Republicans are the party of inexpensively-priced solutions.

There’s a saying now that a trillion is the new billion. People are making it sound like huge increases in the budget are inevitable. I’m rejecting that thinking. While I agree that big deficits are part of the future for awhile, I also think that it’s entirely possible that people who are thirsting for inexpensive solutions to today’s problems are willing to see significant cuts in federal spending.

That’s why I think, if we run a smart campaign, we can put Democrats on the wrong side of this important issue. If our campaign message is that bigger government spending, whether it’s local, state or federal spending, erodes our liberties, then we’ll win lots of races in 2010. Part of that campaign requires us to cite specific examples of how government intrusion into our lives reduces the amount of decisions we’re allowed to make. (Notice the wording I just used.)

It’s important that we emphasize the fact that better results happen when we’re making decisions for ourselves rather than entrusting things to bureaucrats. The level of distrust in DC is high. That’s because Democrats have recently relied on provably false talking points too much.
The people attending the townhalls that the Agenda Media, the DNC and Nancy Pelosi are calling angry mobs and the like know more about what’s in H.R. 3200 than do members of Congress. When Claire McCaskill said that President Obama doesn’t want single-payer health care, people immediately replied that they’d seen the videos, one from 2003, the other from 2007.

When we put things in that context, why wouldn’t people want to maintain control of as much decisionmaking as possible?

Public support for the current bill will collapse because it fails the cost-benefit analysis test. Political support for the current legislation will collapse because enough politicians will reject unity and pick re-election.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative