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I hope this site actually works. I am glad someone is intelligent enough to realize the crisis our country faces. We are almost as bad off as Greece. Greece deficit vs. GDP is 118 percent. The USA by the end of 2010 with be 92 percent vs GDP. Our country is near bankruptcy. Every one in the United States needs to go to this website, Watch the video and VOTE !!.. Hopefully it will work and will get something done in Washington and hold our leaders accountable. YOUCUT – Visit it NOW !! Click Here

YOUCUT – Visit it NOW !! Click Here

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I read in the media that the politicians in power keep saying that the recession is over and the economy is recovering. I just can’t understand how they come to that conclusion as everything else I read points to the opposite.

The one thing the media is reporting is consumer spending is up. Of course it is, everyone is getting their tax refund right now and are buying something they would otherwise not be able to afford. It happens every year at this time then slows down again.

The politicians were happy that only ### thousand people lost their job last week and that unemployment is still around ten percent. They are happy about that? What about the 8 million that are still unemployed? What about those thousands that just lost their jobs?

The politicians don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or how they will pay for those medications for the month, they just want to feed us the spin that the economy is recovering and things are looking rosy so they all high five each other. Well, things aren’t rosy and whatever economic recovery we are starting to experience will be ended when the commercial real estate crisis is in full swing and hits us like a ton of bricks along with consumers being faced with high gasoline prices…again.
What happened the last time gas reached $3 a gallon? People stopped spending as much because they lost the extra money they had when gas was reasonable under $2.50 a gallon.
What happened when it reached $4 a gallon? They quit spending on all unnecessary items, which in turn caused businesses to go bankrupt, etc.
Well, I keep hearing that gas is on its way back to $4 a gallon by summertime, how they can predict this is beyond me other than they know that nothing has been done about the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 and speculators driving it up since the last time gasoline reached $4 a gallon. Too many politicians friends making money hand over fist for our representatives to do anything. If you look back at when oil and gasoline prices started going up, it was right after the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 took effect when it opened the door for speculators driving the prices up just in time for the 2 oil men in the White House, Bush and company, to start making money hand over fist at the expense of the consumer (us) and it has been going on ever since. Of course the stock market was up today and it wasn’t a surprise to see Chevron and Exxon stock going up and up. Ever wonder why that is? I just wonder if they will have another record year at our expense?

Moving on to banking, the regulators just shut down another bank, the 42nd failure of this year. I thought the recession was over. Here is the link for the article about the latest bank failure. Here is the link for the bank closures since 2000. Notice all of the banks closing starting in 2008 to present.

The media and politicians keep shoving the news down our throats that the recession is over thanks to the massive bailouts and stimulus spending and then I see headlines like this one, “Gold settles at four-month high as recovery concerns resurface” and the end of recession talk just doesn’t make sense to me.

When the AIG, wall street and bank fiasco first surfaced along with the political cries of action when gasoline reached $4 a gallon, we heard from most politicians about reform for wall street, reform for the banking industry and reform for the commodities market to stop speculators. Those politicians that were shouting the loudest are now in office and they haven’t done sh*t to reform the problems which means more trouble in the future.
I read another article (link here) about banks still fudging their debt to make them look more fiscally sound than what they really are and nobody is concerned about it now until they need another taxpayer bailout with congress going through the motions of appearing outraged to garner votes the next time they are up for re-election and not really giving a damn or doing anything about the root of the problem.

The people that are the backbone of our nation (each one of us that works hard at our jobs for just enough to barely survive but too much to qualify for a government handout) are constantly getting screwed by the politicians that promise to represent us while lining their pockets with money along with the big wall street banking ceo types with their outrageous bonuses because our representatives fail to look out for us and truly reform the things that need it so badly.

I hope anyone that reads this vote against every incumbent the next time they are up for re-election. Now is the time to raise hell and demand better for each of us.

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I agree 100 % with this article. Government needs to repeal the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which allows for speculators that drive up the price of oil. Oil changes hands so many times on paper/electronic trading before it reaches the refinery that it is ridiculous and it is all to make a buck at the expense of the consumer. People need to write their representatives, not emails, about this unless you like paying $4 a gallon of gasoline and high heating costs.
——————————————————————————————————————
Drill Now? Try Regulate Now.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A13 Write to thomas@wsj.com.
Thomas Frank
By the standards of Washington, President Obama’s decision last week to open new areas off the nation’s coasts to oil drilling was something of a master stroke. With one deft move he both swiped a strong Republican issue from 2008 and defied environmentalists, an element of his coalition that is roundly despised on the right. The president also extended a hand to the people he trounced in the health-care debate, setting the stage for possible acts of bipartisanship in the future.

For a city that regards this kind of calculated “pivot” as the noblest form of statesmanship, the announcement was almost Clintonesque in its brilliance. Triangulation is back and the cherry trees are a-bloom as though in celebration.

The actual results of the offshore drilling itself are secondary considerations, if they come up at all. Essentially, we are going to allow drilling off the coast because “drill here, drill now” was a slogan that polled well during the last presidential campaign—which unfolded, you will recall, as gasoline prices were hitting $4 a gallon.

Now, I don’t know whether offshore drilling will be an environmental catastrophe; maybe if it’s done carefully everything will be fine. And while ending our dependence on OPEC would be a marvelous thing, I have no idea whether offshore drilling will do much in that regard.

But I have my doubts. “Drill here, drill now” was itself a purely political gesture, not a real solution to the problem. It was a way of pinning blame for the insane price of gasoline on liberals, who, according to legend, hold squishy pink ocean creatures in higher esteem than American consumers. Those who popularized the phrase were not asking us so much to resolve the energy question as to spit a little hate at an ugly stereotype.

But if what the president wants to do is to make sure that another oil shock of the 2008 variety doesn’t happen again, this is not the way. After all, oil didn’t zoom to $147 per barrel in ’08 and then plummet to $35 the next year because OPEC declared an embargo and then suddenly lifted it. Nor did it happen because Chinese motorists decided en masse to junk their cars.

We may never know for sure the combination of circumstances that brought on the energy crisis of that year. But one factor was almost certainly the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which allowed unprecedented levels of speculation in oil futures by investment banks and pension funds, bringing the familiar boom-bust cycle home to the gas pump.

To understand this we need only turn to the business section of the Washington Post on the very day that Mr. Obama’s new offshore drilling policy was announced. There, reporter David Cho described the history of the deregulatory measures, their probable effect on the zany oil-price swings of recent years, and the low-profile battle that is currently under way at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to re-regulate energy markets. If the Obama administration succeeds in bringing oil prices under control, this is where they will do it.

“Wall Street failed America,” CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler told Mr. Cho. That comment could apply to countless aspects of the economy these days. “And Washington’s regulatory system failed America. And if we don’t fix it, it’s going to happen again.”

The essential similarities between the oil fiasco and the larger financial crisis are striking. Both episodes showed us the same cast of characters—Goldman Sachs, AIG and the rest—taking advantage of deregulation.

And the whole rotten thing was then defended by the same bunch of free-market wise men, who brushed off doubts with a condescending laugh and a snort of indignation. How little critics know about the fantastic complexities of markets. And how arrogant they are as they threaten our freedom to speculate.

But the heyday of that perfect faith is behind us now. Today we must answer this question, put to me by hedge fund manager Mike Masters, a well-known critic of commodity-market deregulation: “How long is the lady in Maine supposed to pay higher prices for her heating oil to accommodate the asset allocation needs of the world’s pension funds?”

And how long are the rest of us supposed to sit passively as we watch gas prices zoom up again? Countries have fought wars for oil, but what is required of us is that we dump the shibboleths of the last 30 years. We should drill if we must, but the best slogan would be: Regulate here, regulate now!

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MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT RATES 2010 Update 08: The House passed legislation

(H.R.4851) to delay until 1 MAY the 21% cut in Medicare payments to

doctors now scheduled for 1 APR and forwarded the bill to the Senate. The intent

was to allow more time for Congress (which went on a two-week recess 26 Mar) to

work out a longer-term fix. But a Senate effort to approve the bill quickly by a

“unanimous consent” procedure hit a snag when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) refused to

consent. Under Senate rules, any senator can object to bringing a bill to the

floor for action. Coburn objected on the grounds that the cost of the bill is

not offset by other spending reductions. Senate leaders could not work out an

agreement on 26 MAR, the last day before their scheduled two week Easter recess.

Thus, the 21% cut will take effect prior to their return on 12 APR. Ironically,

the Senate already passed a six month fix two weeks ago (H.R.4213), but the

House didn’t agree with the funding for the bill and in turn passed only a

one-month fix.

Failure to reach an agreement on an extension on the eve of the

congressional two-week Easter recess could prove detrimental to

Medicare beneficiaries even if Congress applies a retroactive solution when they

return in mid-April. Doctors have become weary of the increasing number of

short-term patches applied by Congress rather than a long-term solution. Some

are already limiting the number of patients who use these programs.

Congress has to find a way to end these monthly crises under which

millions of Medicare beneficiaries are held hostage to the

prospect of devastating payment cuts that will cause their doctors to stop

seeing them. [Source: MOAA Leg Up 26 Mar 2010 ++]

========================================================================================


HEALTH CARE REFORM Update 25:
National health care reform has a key new

benefit for families that will not apply to military families enrolled in the

Tricare health insurance program. A key expansion of benefits in the Patient

Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.. 3590, is a requirement for health

insurers to cover unmarried children up to the age of 26 who are carried on the

policy of a parent. This change, like the rest of the bill, does not apply to

Tricare, according to Defense Department and congressional sources. But

congressional aides, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said several

lawmakers have begun investigating how to alter Tricare so that it also covers

older children who do not have their own coverage. A change is being considered

for inclusion in the 2011 defense authorization bill, which the House and Senate

armed services committees will begin writing later this year. Currently, Tricare

covers unmarried children up to age 23 if they are attending college or up to 21

if they are not. Tricare spokesman Austin Comacho said he could not give a

definitive statement about whether Tricare’s age limit for children would be

changed. “The only thing we can be sure of is that there will be no adverse

impact to our beneficiaries,” he said.

Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, released a statement on 21 MAR2010

which stated: “Our troops and their families can be re-assured that the health

care reform legislation being passed by the Congress will not negatively impact

the Tricare medical insurance program. In the interim, Rep. Martin Heinrich

(D-NM) introduced a bill on 25 MAR that would extend TRICARE health coverage to

dependent children from age 23 to age 26. The Comptroller estimates this

additional cost would be in excess of $600 million per year. The TRICARE

Dependent Coverage Extension Act (H.R.4923), would require Defense to provide a

key benefit created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act President

Obama signed into law which allows parents to keep dependent children on family

health insurance plans up to age 26. TRICARE is governed by Title 10 of the U.S.

Code and is not affected by the new health care law. H.R.4923 would amend Title

10 to reflect the new requirement, which would take effect 1 OCT 2010. [Source:

NavyTimes Rick Maze & GovExec.com Today articles 22 & 25 Mar 2010 ++]

===============================


HEALTH CARE REFORM Update 26:
Here are the effective dates of major

provisions of the health care overhaul legislation approved 21 MAR:

90 days after enactment:

• Provide immediate access to high-risk pools for people with no insurance for

at least six months because of pre-existing conditions.

• Impose a 10% excise tax on indoor tanning for services provided on or after

1 JUL 2010

Six months after enactment:

• Bar insurers from denying people coverage when they get sick.

• Bar insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

• Bar insurers from imposing lifetime caps on coverage.

• Require insurers to allow people to stay on their parents’ policies until

they turn 26.

Nine months after enactment – 50% of the donut hole will be covered. Eventually,

the health care reform bill will close the donut hole entirely

Within A Year:

• Provide a $250 rebate this year to Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries

whose initial benefits run out when they enter the donut hole.

• Require new insurance policies to cover certain preventive-care measures

with no out-of-pocket cost to the consumer.

• Require Insurance companies to stop imposing lifetime coverage limits on

your insurance.

• Sharply limit annual caps on your insurance.

• Require Insurers with unusually high administrative costs to offer rebates

to their customers, and every insurance company has to reveal how much it spends

on overhead.

2011:

• Require individual and small group market plans to spend 80% of premium

dollars on medical services. Large group plans would have to spend at least 85%.

• Taxes begin being levied on drug manufacturers.

• Physicians’ Medicare fees will be cut more than 25% unless the sustainable

growth rate is permanently repealed by Congress; –

• Initiate Medicare bonus of 10%over five years for primary care and general

surgery (family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics and pediatrics)

2012 – Businesses must file Form 1099s for all business-to- business

transactions of $600 or more.

2013 :

• Increase the Medicare payroll tax and expand it to dividend, interest and

other unearned income for singles earning more than $200,000 and joint filers

making more than $250,000.

• Require public reporting of physician performance to begin.

• Begin testing Medicare pilot programs care payments based on “quality over

quantity” of services rendered.

• Make fewer medical expenses tax deductible.

• Raise wage taxes from 1.45% to 2.35%; – New tax of 3.8 percent levied on

unearned income streams like interest and dividends; – New tax of 2.9 percent

on medical device sales.

2014:

• Provide subsidies for families earning up to 400% of poverty level,

currently about $88,000 a year, to purchase health insurance.

• Require most employers to provide coverage or face penalties.

• Require most people to obtain coverage or face penalties for noncompliance.

• Create state insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses to

purchase coverage.

• Prohibit Insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing

conditions.

• Expand Medicaid to all Americans under age 65 earning up to 133% of the

federal poverty level.

• Increase Subsidies for some small business providing coverage to employees.

2015 – Initiate independent Payment Advisory to make recommendations for cutting

Medicare costs.

2016:

• Penalties for individuals refusing to purchase insurance rise to 2.5% of

taxable income or $695, whichever is greater.

• Multi-state compacts allowed to sell policies across state lines

2018 – Impose a 40% excise tax on high-end insurance policies.

2019 – Expand health insurance coverage to 32 million people.

[Source: Speaker of the House, Congressional Budget Office, Kaiser Family

Foundation via McClatchy Newspapers article 21 Mar 2010 ++]

===============================

HEALTH CARE REFORM Update 27: The Obama Administration’s health-care reform,

which passed 219-212 in the House of Representatives 21 MAR and has been signed

into law by the President, will lead to significant changes in the way millions

of people find and buy health insurance. Advocates for consumers and patients

hailed the overhaul’s passage. “While the new reforms won’t solve all the

problems in our nation’s broken health-care system, they will go a long way

toward achieving the goal of affordable, reliable health care for all

Americans,” Jim Guest, chief executive of Consumers Union, said in a statement

after the vote. Immediately following President Barack Obama’s signing of the

bill 12 states filed a lawsuit challenging several provisions of the new law.

The suit alleges, among other things, that unfunded state Medicaid mandates and

forcing individuals to purchase health insurance are unconstitutional. The

lawsuit was filed by the participating states’ attorneys general and names the

U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor. States

joining in the lawsuit include Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana,

Nebraska, Texas, Michigan, Utah, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington and

Colorado. In the interim here’s an outline of what you can expect depending on

your employment, income, health and lifestyle factors. The exact timing of

several provisions has yet to be determined:

• If you have employer-sponsored coverage: Any lifetime caps on how much your

health plan will cover, often set between $1 million and $5 million, will be

eliminated in both group and individual health plans starting later this year.

Employers will have to disclose the cost of workers’ health coverage on their

W-2 tax forms starting in 2011.

• If you have a small business: Small firms starting this year may be eligible

for new tax credits that would cover up to 35% of health-insurance premiums for

businesses that have fewer than 25 employees. Workers at small businesses

eventually will be able to buy policies on new health-insurance exchanges, where

health benefits will have to meet a new minimum standard.

• If you’re uninsured: Over the next 10 years, the bill will extend coverage

to an estimated 32 million people who would otherwise lack coverage. It does

this by expanding the government safety net and providing subsidies for low- and

moderate-income people without employer health benefits to buy private plans on

health-insurance exchanges, which are due to start in 2014. For the first time,

all citizens and legal residents will have to buy health insurance — with

financial aid from the government if they can’t afford it, on a sliding scale up

to 400% of the poverty line — or face a penalty starting in 2014, with some

exceptions for low-income people. The amounts are set to rise annually,

beginning with a fine of $95 or 1% of income, whichever is greater, and growing

to as much as $695 or 2.5% of taxable income by 2016.

• If you’re low-income: The law significantly expands Medicaid, the

federal-state health program for the poor, making it available to an estimated

16 million more people with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level.

Adults without dependent children will qualify for the first time. In addition,

community health centers, on which many of the working poor rely, will receive

enhanced funding.

• If you’re a young adult: Starting six months after enactment, kids can stay

on their parents’ policies until age 26. Individuals younger than 30 who don’t

have insurance also will have the option of buying catastrophic coverage on the

exchanges, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Tax-related changes

• If you have a flexible-spending account for health expenses: Nothing changes

for three years. A $2,500 cap on contributions to these accounts, which allow

users to sock away money pretax to spend on qualified health expenses, appears

likely to go into effect in 2013. The cap will receive annual cost-of-living

adjustments.

• If you have a health savings account (HSA) or Archer medical savings

account: In 2011, the penalty for withdrawing funds for nonqualified medical

expenses increases to 20% from 10% for HSAs and from 15% for Archer MSAs.

• If your earned or investment income exceeds $200,000: In about two years,

the Medicare payroll tax will rise nearly 1 percentage point to 2.35% on wages

of individuals with earnings greater than $200,000 and married couples earning

more than $250,000. A new 3.8% Medicare tax will be levied on investment income

including interest, dividends and capital gains that exceed those thresholds.

• If you itemize deductions for income tax: Starting in 2013, medical expenses

have to reach 10% of your adjusted gross income to qualify for a tax deduction,

as opposed to today’s 7.5% standard. But seniors age 65 and older would be able

to claim an itemized deduction at 7.5% of income through 2016.

• If you have high-cost health insurance: A so-called Cadillac tax of 40% on

plan administrators offering the richest job-based health benefits will take

effect in the next few years and apply to the amount of annual premiums

exceeding $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families. The thresholds are

higher for retirees and workers in certain high-risk jobs.

Medicare, preventive care and tanning

• If you have Medicare: This year, beneficiaries with the Part D drug benefit

who fall into the coverage gap that for 2010 is between $2,700 and $6,154 of

spending will receive a $250 rebate. In 2011, those who hit the gap will receive

a 50% discount on their brand-name drugs. The so-called doughnut hole gradually

will close by 2020.

• If you take advantage of preventive care: Full coverage for some services is

slated to take effect in six months. At that time, all new insurance policies

will have to make certain preventive-care visits and screenings exempt from

health plans’ deductibles and other cost-sharing.

• If you go to a tanning salon: A 10% excise tax on indoor tanning may kick as

early as this summer for services provided on or after 1 JUL 2010.

[Source: Wall Street Journal MarketWatch Kristen Gerencher article 22 Mar 2010

++]

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How Did Your Representative Vote on Health Care?

Updated: 4 hours 57 minutes ago AOL News / AP

(March 22) — The House of Representatives approved a sweeping health care reform bill without a single Republican vote Sunday night. The legislation passed by the Senate in December cleared the House by a 219-212 vote, with 34 Democrats joining 178 Republicans in opposition. (There are four vacancies in the 435-member House.)

Check the list below to see how your House member voted. If you don’t know who represents you in Congress, click here and enter your ZIP Code. To see how your representative voted on the Reconciliation Act to make changes in the Senate bill, see this list. That measure passed 220-211.

ALABAMA

Democrats — Bright, N; Davis, N.

Republicans — Aderholt, N; Bachus, N; Bonner, N; Griffith, N; Rogers, N.

ALASKA

Republicans — Young, N.

ARIZONA

Democrats — Giffords, Y; Grijalva, Y; Kirkpatrick, Y; Mitchell, Y; Pastor, Y.

Republicans — Flake, N; Franks, N; Shadegg, N.

ARKANSAS

Democrats — Berry, N; Ross, N; Snyder, Y.

Republicans — Boozman, N.

CALIFORNIA

Democrats — Baca, Y; Becerra, Y; Berman, Y; Capps, Y; Cardoza, Y; Chu, Y; Costa, Y; Davis, Y; Eshoo, Y; Farr, Y; Filner, Y; Garamendi, Y; Harman, Y; Honda, Y; Lee, Y; Lofgren, Zoe, Y; Matsui, Y; McNerney, Y; Miller, George, Y; Napolitano, Y; Pelosi, Y; Richardson, Y; Roybal-Allard, Y; Sanchez, Linda T., Y; Sanchez, Loretta, Y; Schiff, Y; Sherman, Y; Speier, Y; Stark, Y; Thompson, Y; Waters, Y; Watson, Y; Waxman, Y; Woolsey, Y.

Republicans — Bilbray, N; Bono Mack, N; Calvert, N; Campbell, N; Dreier, N; Gallegly, N; Herger, N; Hunter, N; Issa, N; Lewis, N; Lungren, Daniel E., N; McCarthy, N; McClintock, N; McKeon, N; Miller, Gary, N; Nunes, N; Radanovich, N; Rohrabacher, N; Royce, N.

COLORADO

Democrats — DeGette, Y; Markey, Y; Perlmutter, Y; Polis, Y; Salazar, Y.

Republicans — Coffman, N; Lamborn, N.

CONNECTICUT

Democrats — Courtney, Y; DeLauro, Y; Himes, Y; Larson, Y; Murphy, Y.

DELAWARE

Republicans — Castle, N.

FLORIDA

Democrats — Boyd, Y; Brown, Corrine, Y; Castor, Y; Grayson, Y; Hastings, Y; Klein, Y; Kosmas, Y; Meek, Y; Wasserman Schultz, Y.

Republicans — Bilirakis, N; Brown-Waite, Ginny, N; Buchanan, N; Crenshaw, N; Diaz-Balart, L., N; Diaz-Balart, M., N; Mack, N; Mica, N; Miller, N; Posey, N; Putnam, N; Rooney, N; Ros-Lehtinen, N; Stearns, N; Young, N.

GEORGIA

Democrats — Barrow, N; Bishop, Y; Johnson, Y; Lewis, Y; Marshall, N; Scott, Y.

Republicans — Broun, N; Deal, N; Gingrey, N; Kingston, N; Linder, N; Price, N; Westmoreland, N.

HAWAII

Democrats — Hirono, Y.

IDAHO

Democrats — Minnick, N.

Republicans — Simpson, N.

ILLINOIS

Democrats — Bean, Y; Costello, Y; Davis, Y; Foster, Y; Gutierrez, Y; Halvorson, Y; Hare, Y; Jackson, Y; Lipinski, N; Quigley, Y; Rush, Y; Schakowsky, Y.

Republicans — Biggert, N; Johnson, N; Kirk, N; Manzullo, N; Roskam, N; Schock, N; Shimkus, N.

INDIANA

Democrats — Carson, Y; Donnelly, Y; Ellsworth, Y; Hill, Y; Visclosky, Y.

Republicans — Burton, N; Buyer, N; Pence, N; Souder, N.

IOWA

Democrats — Boswell, Y; Braley, Y; Loebsack, Y.

Republicans — King, N; Latham, N.

KANSAS

Democrats — Moore, Y.

Republicans — Jenkins, N; Moran, N; Tiahrt, N.

KENTUCKY

Democrats — Chandler, N; Yarmuth, Y.

Republicans — Davis, N; Guthrie, N; Rogers, N; Whitfield, N.

LOUISIANA

Democrats — Melancon, N.

Republicans — Alexander, N; Boustany, N; Cao, N; Cassidy, N; Fleming, N; Scalise, N.

MAINE

Democrats — Michaud, Y; Pingree, Y.

MARYLAND

Democrats — Cummings, Y; Edwards, Y; Hoyer, Y; Kratovil, N; Ruppersberger, Y; Sarbanes, Y; Van Hollen, Y.

Republicans — Bartlett, N.

MASSACHUSETTS

Democrats — Capuano, Y; Delahunt, Y; Frank, Y; Lynch, N; Markey, Y; McGovern, Y; Neal, Y; Olver, Y; Tierney, Y; Tsongas, Y.

MICHIGAN

Democrats — Conyers, Y; Dingell, Y; Kildee, Y; Kilpatrick, Y; Levin, Y; Peters, Y; Schauer, Y; Stupak, Y.

Republicans — Camp, N; Ehlers, N; Hoekstra, N; McCotter, N; Miller, N; Rogers, N; Upton, N.

MINNESOTA

Democrats — Ellison, Y; McCollum, Y; Oberstar, Y; Peterson, N; Walz, Y.

Republicans — Bachmann, N; Kline, N; Paulsen, N.

MISSISSIPPI

Democrats — Childers, N; Taylor, N; Thompson, Y.

Republicans — Harper, N.

MISSOURI

Democrats — Carnahan, Y; Clay, Y; Cleaver, Y; Skelton, N.

Republicans — Akin, N; Blunt, N; Emerson, N; Graves, N; Luetkemeyer, N.

MONTANA

Republicans — Rehberg, N.

NEBRASKA

Republicans — Fortenberry, N; Smith, N; Terry, N.

NEVADA

Democrats — Berkley, Y; Titus, Y.

Republicans — Heller, N.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Democrats — Hodes, Y; Shea-Porter, Y.

NEW JERSEY

Democrats — Adler, N; Andrews, Y; Holt, Y; Pallone, Y; Pascrell, Y; Payne, Y; Rothman, Y; Sires, Y.

Republicans — Frelinghuysen, N; Garrett, N; Lance, N; LoBiondo, N; Smith, N.

NEW MEXICO

Democrats — Heinrich, Y; Lujan, Y; Teague, N.

NEW YORK

Democrats — Ackerman, Y; Arcuri, N; Bishop, Y; Clarke, Y; Crowley, Y; Engel, Y; Hall, Y; Higgins, Y; Hinchey, Y; Israel, Y; Lowey, Y; Maffei, Y; Maloney, Y; McCarthy, Y; McMahon, N; Meeks, Y; Murphy, Y; Nadler, Y; Owens, Y; Rangel, Y; Serrano, Y; Slaughter, Y; Tonko, Y; Towns, Y; Velazquez, Y; Weiner, Y.

Republicans — King, N; Lee, N.

NORTH CAROLINA

Democrats — Butterfield, Y; Etheridge, Y; Kissell, N; McIntyre, N; Miller, Y; Price, Y; Shuler, N; Watt, Y.

Republicans — Coble, N; Foxx, N; Jones, N; McHenry, N; Myrick, N.

NORTH DAKOTA

Democrats — Pomeroy, Y.

OHIO

Democrats — Boccieri, Y; Driehaus, Y; Fudge, Y; Kaptur, Y; Kilroy, Y; Kucinich, Y; Ryan, Y; Space, N; Sutton, Y; Wilson, Y.

Republicans — Austria, N; Boehner, N; Jordan, N; LaTourette, N; Latta, N; Schmidt, N; Tiberi, N; Turner, N.

OKLAHOMA

Democrats — Boren, N.

Republicans — Cole, N; Fallin, N; Lucas, N; Sullivan, N.

OREGON

Democrats — Blumenauer, Y; DeFazio, Y; Schrader, Y; Wu, Y.

Republicans — Walden, N.

PENNSYLVANIA

Democrats — Altmire, N; Brady, Y; Carney, Y; Dahlkemper, Y; Doyle, Y; Fattah, Y; Holden, N; Kanjorski, Y; Murphy, Patrick, Y; Schwartz, Y; Sestak, Y.

Republicans — Dent, N; Gerlach, N; Murphy, Tim, N; Pitts, N; Platts, N; Shuster, N; Thompson, N.

RHODE ISLAND

Democrats — Kennedy, Y; Langevin, Y.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Democrats — Clyburn, Y; Spratt, Y.

Republicans — Barrett, N; Brown, N; Inglis, N; Wilson, N.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Democrats — Herseth Sandlin, N.

TENNESSEE

Democrats — Cohen, Y; Cooper, Y; Davis, N; Gordon, Y; Tanner, N.

Republicans — Blackburn, N; Duncan, N; Roe, N; Wamp, N.

TEXAS

Democrats — Cuellar, Y; Doggett, Y; Edwards, N; Gonzalez, Y; Green, Al, Y; Green, Gene, Y; Hinojosa, Y; Jackson Lee, Y; Johnson, E. B., Y; Ortiz, Y; Reyes, Y; Rodriguez, Y.

Republicans — Barton, N; Brady, N; Burgess, N; Carter, N; Conaway, N; Culberson, N; Gohmert, N; Granger, N; Hall, N; Hensarling, N; Johnson, Sam, N; Marchant, N; McCaul, N; Neugebauer, N; Olson, N; Paul, N; Poe, N; Sessions, N; Smith, N; Thornberry, N.

UTAH

Democrats — Matheson, N.

Republicans — Bishop, N; Chaffetz, N.

VERMONT

Democrats — Welch, Y.

VIRGINIA

Democrats — Boucher, N; Connolly, Y; Moran, Y; Nye, N; Perriello, Y; Scott, Y.

Republicans — Cantor, N; Forbes, N; Goodlatte, N; Wittman, N; Wolf, N.

WASHINGTON

Democrats — Baird, Y; Dicks, Y; Inslee, Y; Larsen, Y; McDermott, Y; Smith, Y.

Republicans — Hastings, N; McMorris Rodgers, N; Reichert, N.

WEST VIRGINIA

Democrats — Mollohan, Y; Rahall, Y.

Republicans — Capito, N.

WISCONSIN

Democrats — Baldwin, Y; Kagen, Y; Kind, Y; Moore, Y; Obey, Y.

Republicans — Petri, N; Ryan, N; Sensenbrenner, N.

WYOMING

Republicans — Lummis, N.
Filed under: Nation, Politics, Health

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This is a note found posted on Facebook
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Health Care bill passes, what a sad time for our country. My rant.

Today at 12:58am
I hope our country survives. Our representatives that won’t listen to us, will not reply to us, have voted to pass this supposed health care reform. I am ashamed of it, but I am registered as a Democrat. I believe in helping my fellow man but this is ridiculous. This bill is not reform. It does nothing to address the rampant prescription drug costs or the ever increasing insurance premiums or any other aspect of the health care industry that is the true cause of the health care crisis. All this bill does is expand medicaid with taxpayer money and special pork projects, such as a new multi billion dollar medical center for UConn.
==============================================================
Here is an article listing some of the pork. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=10091470

‘The Senate-approved health measure lawmakers hope to send to Obama soon would steer $600 million over the next decade to Vermont in added federal payments for Medicaid and nearly as much to Massachusetts.

Connecticut would get $100 million to build a hospital. About 800,000 Florida seniors could keep certain Medicare benefits. Asbestos-disease victims in tiny Libby, Mont., and some coal miners with black lung disease or their widows would get help, and there are prizes for Louisiana, the Dakotas and more states.

“We’re going to do what we have to do to get a bill out of the House and Senate,” said James Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. As for Obama’s wish list of deletions: “We’ll certainly keep it in mind as we pull together a final bill.”‘
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Now, what pisses me off is the fact that this bill just throws more money at medicaid, expanding is drastically and cutting medicare payments to providers. What does this mean for us? Insurance companies determine their payments to your doctor and health care providers based on the medicare amount. If medicare payments are cut, your insurance will pay less to your doctor/health providers giving you a larger bill to pay after your co-pays. Plus, many economists/mathematicians have stated the so-called reductions to pay for this pork-filled bill will only cover a small percentage of what this bill will cost. What does this mean? Taxes for the working class will eventually be increased to pay for the cost. Our taxes will increase. The only good thing about this bill is the fact that those with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied and it increases the lifetime amount of your benefit your insurance company has to provide you. Other than that, it is not reform. With less money being paid to providers by medicare and the insurance companies, some will close their practice, lay people off, etc. This bill doesn’t take into account its consequences. It was just thrown together and shoved down everyone’s throats just so the democrats can give themselves a pat on the back and have a “talking point” to try to win re-election. what a crock.

So, now comes my rant. My wife, who works for a health care provider, was told they will face layoffs if this bill is passed or if the medicare payments are cuts. I’m hoping my wife can keep her job.
BUT, what pisses me off is the fact that I have a job. It doesn’t pay much and for a family of four, well really barely make it. In fact, with the increase in our last electric and gas bill, I didn’t have enough to pay my van payment. Now it is going into the repo stage because at midnight on the 23rd, it will be officially 2 months behind. I don’t have the money for it because the rent is due out of my next check. I don’t qualify for any help because I make just a little too much.
I feel that I work hard in a stressful job for my money to try to raise my family but what pisses me royally are the people that make welfare a career. They are too lazy to work. The most are able bodied but won’t work or are too damn stupid to get a job and we pay for them and their big screen tv’s. Our taxes give them money to “live on” every month, food stamps for their food (they eat better than me), pays their rent each month, clothing vouchers, utility assistance,free school lunches and free, 100 percent with no co-pay medical insurance and our government representatives just made this group of people bigger by passing their bill.
These people have better stuff than I do. Better cars, bigger TV’s, better clothes, better cell phones and service plans and the list goes on and they do it by screwing the system and lying about everything on the government forms. The so-called welfare reform under Clinton did nothing. You still get more money every time you breed with the childbirth bills paid in full. You still get to collect your check after the “3 years” passes. I am just fed up.

Case in point, a woman who lives in a government housing development calls for a police officer because she and her boyfriend (who isn’t on the lease but has been living with her for the last 3 months) are in an argument because he has been drinking. He gets angry and throws her cell phone into the big screen tv breaking it. She is upset because the small child they have together (paid for by taxpayers) had to witness this argument and her tv and cell phone is busted. She called on her apartment land-line phone for assistance. He then leaves in his car (with out of state plates because that state doesn’t require vehicle inspections.) She wants a report because the tv is a rental and she will have to have a report for the rental company.

Hell, I can’t afford a land line phone at my house, I’m lucky to make the monthly rent payment, utility payments, auto insurance payments, car payments,etc. After paying, or trying to pay all of my monthly bills, I’m lucky to afford food let alone new clothes, TV’s, electronics, etc. This is what pisses me off and our representatives just added to it.

I’m sorry but this to mean does not seem fair and I am voting against my representatives the next time they come up for re-election. Senator Rockefeller and Congressman Mollohan do you hear me now???

I just don’t think this is reform at all, it is just more government spending and with all of the spending in the last ten years by our government, we can’t afford this. We are going to be in the same boat that Greece is in very soon. Our debt vs our GDP is getting closer and closer which basically means we are on the brink of bankruptcy. Ok, I think my rant is over.

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Rep. Jason Altmire Decides to Vote ‘No’ on Health Care Bill – AOL News.

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I have thought about the health care reform the Dems are trying to pass. It may have some good ideas, but the bottom line is more government spending. Representative Dennis Kucinich, one of the most liberal in Congress voted no on the first attempt and still opposes these bills. This should make people question why one of the Dems own is so adamantly against this bill. His reasoning was it does nothing to address the insurance premiums that keep going higher and higher. It doesn’t address any of the health care problems such as rampant prescription drugs, insurance premiums and all facets of health care. For the government to throw money at health care, which is basically what they are doing, will do nothing other than put our country closer to bankruptcy and four years down the road make it hard on the states after the government “help” for medicare runs out.
I have always thought that there are two major factors at the root of the health care problem. Welfare and Illegal Aliens. The welfare reform under President Clinton was a joke. Supposedly after three years of being on the welfare rolls you were to be “retrained” for a new job, you couldn’t get any extra money for having additional children, etc. Yeah, right. There are still career welfare recipients collecting, recipients having kids to get more money and people basically screwing the system by lying to and cheating the State and Federal governments. Another problem is medicaid for these welfare recipients. I don’t know of anyone who has an insurance plan that pays 100 percent with no co-pays, except medicaid. Even Medicare has co-pays without real prescription coverage as the majority don’t qualify for it.
So why is it that social security recipients on medicare have co-pays while welfare recipients do not. A lot of welfare recipients get more money monthly than some social security recipients but yet they have free health care and free prescription drugs and the majority abuse the system with their non emergency ambulance rides to the emergency rooms.

So, the first health care problem reverts to welfare/medicaid. There needs to be true welfare reform in this country instead of just throwing money at medicaid thereby expanding it and those that are on welfare should be working at government funded programs. It would not hurt these recipients to be a “gopher” for a highway construction crew or the flagman just to give you an idea.

The second problem would be illegal aliens. I say aliens and not immigrants because they are not immigrants. They are criminals who are in our country illegally. If there were 500 Arabs here in our country illegally, people would be raising hell. So why is it with the hundreds of thousands of illegals from Mexico in our country, they call it illegal immigration and offer them welfare and free health care to them and their families? Mexicans are no different than an Arab, Asian or European in our country illegally. They are criminals and should be deported and told to come back when they obtain a Visa and/or take the legal steps to come to our country legally. To allow them to remain here is a slap in the face of every immigrant that came to our country legally before them.

To figure out the problem the states will face with expanded medicaid and allowing illegals to remain and have welfare and health care for free, one only has to look at the financial mess in the state of California. The state could save billions if they would cut welfare/medicaid to illegals. They could save billions more by deporting all of the illegals in the state including the ones in the prison system. Of course you have those that argue the illegals do jobs that no one else will. How do we know this? If the job was available and somebody needed work, especially in this economy, I believe there are those that would jump at the chance to work.

Yes we need real health care reform but it needs to start with welfare, medicaid and immigration reform. Then the entire health care field needs to be looked at as far as ways to contain medical costs including but not limited to prescription medication costs, insurance premiums, hospital charges, medical clinics and medical equipment costs. Both parties need to work together and come up with a viable plan that benefits everyone and not just the lower income and poor. The taxpayers are overburdened already and it is just a matter of time before taxes will increase to payoff all of the bailouts under Presidents Bush and Obama.
It appears that nothing was learned from the great depression when the government threw money at the economy then with no change for over a decade in unemployment and jobs. The same is holding true now. The government has thrown all of this money at the economy while saying how many jobs it has save and how it avoided bank collapse. Well, Unemployment is at ten percent and banks are still closing every month. They tell us that spending was up for February and it shows the recession is over. I beg to differ. Spending was up in February because people received their tax refunds. Housing is still down and went down again last month. Gasoline is going back up which will stall any hope of a recovery because people do not have the money to spend after paying the higher prices. The government most likely manipulates the statistics so we hear what they want to tell us. One can only wonder what the true unemployment rate is, those that no longer receive benefits because they ran out, those who are underemployed, those who have given up and the list goes on. I am anxious to see what the statistics are for March that the government releases. So far there has not been any reform on Wall Street or in Banking like was promised. It is more of the same, meanwhile, speculators continue to drive up the cost of oil and gasoline because there sure isn’t any demand for it.

I am ashamed of my representatives and their out of control spending. I want better for my children and grandchildren than a huge bill payable in full when they reach adulthood. The buck stops here. Everyone needs to contact their Congressional representatives and the White House and demand better. If you are like me, then you are tired of the shenanigans in Washington and tired of them living the high life with the lobbyists. We need to send a message to them that the party is over.

I am a registered Democrat but soon to switch to Independent.

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An interesting article about Health Care. The government berates the Insurance companies but what about the drug companies and their high cost for medication and the other health care companies. One of the most liberal representatives in Washington still votes NO on this health care that the democrats are trying to ram down our throats because it won’t do anything to reduce the rampant costs of premiums, medications and every other aspect of the health care industry.

Here is the article:

White House Confronts Insurers on Premiums
Obama Cites Rising Rates in Push for Health Overhaul, as Industry Executives Say Hospitals, Drug Makers Are to Blame

By JANET ADAMY and AVERY JOHNSON

WASHINGTON—The government’s top health official summoned health-insurance chief executives to the White House Thursday and told them they need to disclose more data justifying sharp premium increases.

The dressing-down, part of which was televised, was part of a campaign by the White House to build support for its health overhaul as President Barack Obama presses Congress to deliver final legislation to his desk in the next few weeks.

Mr. Obama met at the White House Thursday with more than a dozen House Democrats to begin his last round of lobbying. Some liberals who have expressed concern that the overhaul doesn’t include a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers said they felt better about the bill after hearing the president’s pitch.

However, Dennis Kucinich, one of the House’s most liberal members who voted no when the House passed its version of the overhaul last November, said he is still opposed. The latest version of the legislation would do nothing to “effectively control the pace of increased premiums and increased profits that go with it,” Mr. Kucinich said.

The White House says its bill will rein in private insurers and has been pointing to a series of premium increases as high as 39% in states like California to back its case for an overhaul.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called five insurance company executives, including the heads of UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc., to the Roosevelt Room to request explanation on the recent rate increases.

Mr. Obama dropped by and read them a letter from a 50-year-old cancer survivor from Ohio whose premiums rose 40% this year. He told the group that such rate increases are “unjustifiable,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Insurers said the drug makers, medical-device makers, hospitals and other health-care companies are driving up the underlying cost of medical care. They said that trying to lower premiums without addressing those costs was destined to fail.

“The rate is really reflective of our other parts of the health-care delivery system,” Ron Williams, chief executive of Aetna Inc., told the group at the beginning of the meeting. In an interview after the meeting, Mr. Williams said the secretary should have included representatives from those industries.

The day started with gracious exchanges followed by sharper words afterwards

Ms. Sebelius asked the companies to begin posting information online for consumers to explain how much of their revenue goes toward administrative costs, marketing and actual care, along with other details of the rate increases. She called for “greatly increased transparency about what indeed is going on.”

Several executives at the meeting said they didn’t immediately commit to posting the information but were open to the idea. Much of that data is already detailed in filings to state insurance regulators, though they are difficult to access. Publicly traded companies report executive compensation and national cost trends, but keep some other measures under wraps as trade secrets. “There might be more transparency out there than you might realize,” said UnitedHealth Chief Executive Stephen Hemsley.

The two sides couldn’t agree whether insurers are highly profitable or just scraping by. Industry executives rolled out data showing their average profit margin was 2.2% last year, lower than other health industries. Ms. Sebelius cited figures showing that top insurers earned a collective $12 billion in profits last year, a 56% increase from the prior year, but that didn’t account for one-time gains.

The health overhaul, if passed, would require most Americans to carry health coverage or face a fine, meaning insurers would get more business.

However, insurers would be required to accept all applicants, including those who are sick. And they would see tougher restrictions on premium increases, particularly through the new state-based insurance exchanges.

The White House has also proposed a new federal body with power to review premium increases. But that may not end up in a final bill due to procedural regulations that might require it to be jettisoned. That would be a relief for insurance companies, who say the panel would duplicate the rate regulation they already get from individual states. “If you have the rules written in the states and the prices written in Washington, there might be a disconnect,” said Angela F. Braly, chief executive of WellPoint Inc.
—Laura Meckler and and Jonathan Weisman contributed to this article.

Write to Janet Adamy at janet.adamy@wsj.com and Avery Johnson at avery.johnson@WSJ.com

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I am a registered Democrat, however, I do not feel that the Democratic party or the Republican party represent me in congress. I am tired of bigger government, more spending and representatives that do not listen to us.

It is definitely time for meaningful change. Check out the Libertarian party. More Freedom, Less Government

check them out here: LP.org

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Senator Bayh is my hero for today. I am so sick of Congress and the White House. Everything he said is true. I am a registered democrat (soon to change) and I am ashamed of the democratic party and I am ashamed of the Republican party as well. We, the people, need to think for ourselves for a change and stand up to the business as usual and say that “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore” and vote out them all. I want to see representatives in Washington from the Green Party, The Libertarian party, the Constitution party and independents running our country instead of the Democrats and Republicans who can’t make a simple decision without constant bickering. Neither of these 2 parties care about our country. The Dems/Repubs only care about themselves, about staying in power, about making the other look bad and about making a buck for themselves and their good ole boys. Obama isn’t about change other than making our inept government even bigger with more spending while in the process creating more havoc. There is no transparency in his administration like he promised (closed door meetings) He is just like the rest. He wants a pat on the back from his fellow cronies at the end of the day instead of doing what is good for us and our country. I even voted for the man but will not make that mistake again. I will not vote for a republican either. Senator Bayh hit it on the head about our government in Washington, DC and people will still vote for “their party” or whatever name they saw on a sign last or whatever mudslinging ad they last heard on tv instead of actually doing their homework and finding a candidate that will work for us. We, the people, are to blame as well as Congress and the WH.
Below is the story about Senator Bayh
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The Newsroom
Disillusioned Bayh advocates electoral “shock” to broken system

In an interview on MSNBC this morning, newly retiring Sen. Evan Bayh declared the American political system “dysfunctional,” riddled with “brain-dead partisanship” and permanent campaigning. Flatly denying any possibility that he’d seek the presidency or any other higher office, Bayh argued that the American people needed to deliver a “shock” to Congress by voting incumbents out en masse and replacing them with people interested in reforming the process and governing for the good of the people, rather than deep-pocketed special-interest groups.

Bayh’s announcement stunned the American political world, as up until just last week he looked to be well on his way to an easy reelection for a third term in the Senate, and his senior staff was aggressively pursuing that goal.

But Bayh had apparently become increasingly frustrated in the Senate. In this morning’s interview he noted that just two weeks ago, Republicans who had co-sponsored a bill with him to rein in the deficit turned around and voted against it for purely political reasons. He also stated repeatedly that members of his own party should be more willing to settle for a compromise rather than holding out for perfection.

“Sometimes half a loaf is better than none,” Bayh insisted.

It’s no secret that the Senate has struggled to take action this year. With the two major parties unusually far apart in their substantive proposals for the direction of the country, even finding half a loaf to agree on has been difficult. Though the Democrats have had a substantial majority in the Senate for the last year, Republicans have escalated their threats to use filibusters (by forcing a cloture vote, see the graph below) to force Democrats to come up with 60 votes to pass any major legislation. And after Scott Brown’s election to the Senate last month gave Republicans a 41st seat, health-care reform and other Democratic goals were stopped dead in their tracks.

Bayh blamed the current atmosphere of intense partisanship on the need for senators to constantly campaign to be reelected to another six-year term. Citing his father, a popular liberal senator in the ’60s and ’70s, he noted that “back in the day they used to have the saying: ‘You campaign for 2 years and you legislate for 4.’ Now you campaign for 6!” He noted that the need for constant fundraising made it nearly impossible to focus on passing legislation.

Frustration over the increasing amount of money being spent on political campaigns isn’t exactly a new thing, as spending by candidates in the 2008 presidential election nearly quadrupled the amount of money spent by candidates in the 2000 election. Additionally, winners of House races in 2000 spent an average of $849,158 to do so, while House winners in 2008 spent an average of $1,372,591. Enhancing the concerns of many on the left and the right has been a recent Supreme Court decision to strike down the country’s existing campaign finance laws. Put simply, the ruling opens the door for an even greater influence of money by allowing corporations spend money directly on campaigns.

Meanwhile, voter frustration is high, making the fight for campaign cash all the more crucial to politicians hoping to remain in office. A recent poll found that 44% of Americans believe incumbents should be voted out of office.

However, reforms of Congress appear unlikely. There doesn’t appear to be any significant momentum at this time behind efforts to change the rules that govern passing legislation or Congress’s need to constantly campaign and fundraise. With an election year beginning, it’s also unlikely that congressional leaders will begin to see eye to eye more often on major legislation.

Perhaps a “shock” is indeed called for in order to change that.

— Andrew Golis is the Editor of and Brett Michael Dykes is a contributor to the Yahoo! News blog

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It is amazing to me that we may be facing another terrorist attack and our senators are arguing with one another instead of listening, deciphering and acting on this information from our intelligence agencies. Congressional leaders do not give a damn about our country, they have 2 goals, 1 is to stay in power and 2 is to make a name for themselves. They are all out of touch with what the majority of the country wants and I, for one, am sick of politics and politicians in Washington. Both parties should be ashamed of the way they act and the way they are ruining our country. Vote them all out. Vote Libertarian or some other 3rd party to get action for the good of our country.

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Senators Warned of Terrorist Attack on U.S. by July
By MARK MAZZETTI
Published: February 2, 2010

WASHINGTON — America’s top intelligence official told lawmakers on Tuesday that he was “highly certain” that Al Qaeda or one of its affiliates would attempt a large-scale attack on American soil within the next six months.

US Intelligence officials wait for senators to stop bickering while delivering a debriefing


The assessment by Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, was much starker than his view last year, when he emphasized the considerable progress in the campaign to debilitate Al Qaeda and said that the global economic meltdown, rather than the prospect of a major terrorist attack, was the “primary near-term security concern of the United States.”

Citing a recent wave of terrorist plots, including the failed Dec. 25 attempt to blow up an airliner as it approached Detroit, Mr. Blair and other intelligence officials told a Senate panel that Al Qaeda had adjusted its tactics to more effectively strike American targets domestically and abroad.

“The biggest threat is not so much that we face an attack like 9/11,” said Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director. “It is that Al Qaeda is adapting its methods in ways that oftentimes make it difficult to detect.”

As the C.I.A. continues its campaign of drone attacks aimed at Qaeda operatives in the mountains of Pakistan, the officials also said that the network’s splinter groups in Yemen and Somalia were taking on more importance.

But Mr. Blair began his annual threat testimony before Congress by saying that the threat of a crippling attack on telecommunications and other computer networks was growing as an increasingly sophisticated group of enemies had “severely threatened” the sometimes fragile systems undergirding the country’s information infrastructure.

“Malicious cyberactivity is occurring on an unprecedented scale with extraordinary sophistication,” he told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

His emphasis on the threat points up the growing concerns among American intelligence officials about the potentially devastating results of a coordinated attack on the nation’s technology apparatus, sometimes called a “cyber Pearl Harbor.”

He said that the surge in cyberattacks, including the recent penetration of Google’s servers from inside China, was a “wake-up call” for those who dismissed the threat of computer warfare.

“Sensitive information is stolen daily from both government and private sector networks, undermining confidence in our information systems, and in the very information these systems were intended to convey,” Mr. Blair said.

In another departure from last year’s testimony, Mr. Blair appeared alongside other top intelligence officials, including the heads of the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Last year, the intelligence director sat alone before the committee, a partly symbolic gesture intended to demonstrate the authority of the director of national intelligence, whose office has been criticized for commanding little power over America’s 16 intelligence agencies.

At times, the senators seemed more interested in debating one another than in hearing testimony from the assembled witnesses. Midway through the hearing, partisan bickering broke out about whether terrorist suspects ought to be tried in civilian courts and whether the man charged as the Dec. 25 bomber should have been given Miranda rights that could protect him against self-incrimination.

As senators traded barbs, the intelligence officials stared stonily ahead or shuffled their notes.

The intelligence chiefs also raised warnings about nuclear proliferation, particularly focusing on the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.

Mr. Blair said that Iran “has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons,” and that the recent discovery of a secret enrichment plant near the city of Qum heightened suspicions about Iran’s intentions to build a nuclear bomb.

Still, he said that Tehran was following a “cost-benefit approach” to its nuclear decision-making and that it remained unclear whether Iran’s leadership would make a political calculation to begin producing weapons-grade uranium, giving other nations the opportunity to “influence” that decision through a variety of diplomatic steps.

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Had enough ?


What has our government done to our country? Do you trust the Repbulican and Democrat parties? People need to start looking at a third party choice otherwise our country will continue to go to hell quickly while the Dems and Repubs care only about dissing each other and winning. None of them give a shit about us. The things they do cost us billions and does little if anything. Here are some headlines (links included in the headline) just from recent events in our country regarding our illustrious do nothing but make money at our expense leaders. After the $912 billion price tag for the latest health reform bill, it is expected to only cover 2 percent of those without insurance and those on welfare will have expanded benefits, meaning more free rides by ambulance to the hospital at our expense. I am so sick of politics as usual in Washington. We need a change that both major parties cannot provide us. Please, consider voting for someone other than the status quo in the next election or we may not have a country left or maybe will have one with the flag of China flying over us. Save the stars and stripes before it’s too late.
Check our these headlines and give some serious thought to what is going on in our country today and over the last decade. I for one am tired of Washington greed.

Geithner says banking system now ‘more stable’

Geithner: Deficit too high, but avoids tax talk

As jobs vanish, factory towns slow to see stimulus

After all the fuss, public health plan covers few

Republicans aim for rival health plan in House

Third party challenges in NJ, NY are warning sign

CIT files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Flex spending accounts face hit in health overhaul

Republicans eye Obama revenge in off-year elections

Future of GOP and moderate Republicans uncertain

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No representation for the people. Congress sucks !

No representation for the people. Congress sucks !

A letter from a woman in Arizona . She writes an open letter to our nation’s leadership:

You should really pay attention. MANY of us agree 100% with this lady.
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“I’m a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you’re willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?
Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration.. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I’m not a racist. This isn’t to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the STIMULUS bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don’t you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don’t you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don’t trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why — what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions.. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we’ll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band-Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let’s have it. Let’s say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try — please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me..

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.
Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let’s just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I’m busy. I’m busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill.. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington . Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding.. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don’t want your overpriced words Stop treating us like we’re morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we’re so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic freedom spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long.. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn’t ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don’t care. Political parties are meaningless to us Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.”

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burning money = federal stimulus bill

burning money = federal stimulus bill


It appears that Obama will create 273,000 new federal jobs giving us even bigger government instead of scaling it back and inevitably at taxpayer expense. If our country doesn’t go bankrupt first, then it’s only a matter of time before he raises everyones taxes including the tax burdened middle class.
Where are the private sector jobs? Why hasn’t the stimulus money being spent on projects other than upgrading government buildings with stronger exteriors and bulletproof glass and telling everyone it is a “green” project? They were wanting to pass the stimulus bill so quickly that the majority of congress didn’t even read it so it is hard to tell what surprises they have included in it for us all. I don’t know of many projects that are using stimulus monies.
As for Obama’s health care, It needs to be across the board and should not penalize anyone that doesn’t want it like the current bill that is being considered does. This administration needs to actually find a real way to pay for the health care instead of using estimates from cuts to other programs. It never works that way and always comes back to taxpayers. I worry about the current administration starting new government programs which possibly could take away our freedoms such as his brainchild of a national security force. Hitler started the same thing called the
I also read where the market is up because they think the retailers report for August was good news. If you think about it, it isn’t. Most retailer sales in August were from school sales due to families getting ready for the new school year to start. I expect that sales for September will drop. We are not out of the woods yet as far as this recession and it may still get worse. Banks took more money from the Federal Reserve emergency program and Obama seems more concerned about the federal reserve and banks giving them more power and more money, etc. than showing concern and working for the people. Thus far, Obama has been no different than Bush and actually worse in some instances such as another record deficit. It is only a matter of time before we see the TAX part of the tax and spend that Washington loves so well. A scary outlook in my opinion.

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Links of interest that make you think about the current administration, congress and events in our country.

Obama and his National security force

stimulus money for readying government buildings for riots in the US?

Stagnant stimulus and health care funding

Somewhere Castro is smiling


Silence at our own peril

Opinions and links of interest

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Hope fading with Obama

Hope fading with Obama

Below is an article on Obama and his dropping approval rating. Is the honeymoon over? Obama, stuck in a health-care reform quagmire and doing little to address a deficit ballooning at a record pace, appears to be falling out of favor with Americans.

As a registered democrat, I probably would have cast my vote for McCain had Palin not been on the ticket. I was hoping for a running mate with experience in something other than hunting, fishing and creating ethics questions, but we got Palin instead. Yes, to me, McCain’s age was a big factor and that is why I wanted a running mate with experience, someone who could take over easily and handle the pressure of the position. We got Palin instead.

To me, a gut feeling, but something didn’t seem quite right with Obama. I fear that his true color is way, way, way left and his stimulus to jump start the economy will do nothing but increase the taxpayer burden. I feel that he is a racist at heart after hearing him speak out against the Gates arrest without knowing or caring about the circumstances surrounding this arrest. Regardless of what transpired, the incident should not have warranted the attention of a President. The President should be working on things that matter such as the budget deficit, the economy, foreign policy and many more issues facing our nation. I fear that government will continue to get bigger, the tax burden will increase and the middle class / working class will have to pay for it all. Hope has faded with Obama. I hope our country can be saved soon before we reach the end of our march toward bankruptcy.
Obama had numerous promises, high expectations, hope and change but all we’ve had is a continued “business as usual” in Washington. I know the President has to have help from Congress to be effective but when you have dems vs repubs fighting constantly and trying to push their own agenda (Pelosi) regardless of what is good for the nation or what the nation needs then you have ineffective government. We have had ineffective government for the past decade and it always seems to get worse. Maybe it’s time for a strong third party to offer a candidate that will address the problems we face instead of promises, out of control spending and continued partisan politics.

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Barack Obama ratings fall as polls show honeymoon may be over

Barack Obama’s honeymoon period appears to be coming to an end in America as polls have shown his ratings have fallen to their lowest point yet.

By Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 7:02PM BST 21 Jul 2009

A USA Today/Gallup survey suggested that six months into his presidency, his popularity was lower than George W Bush’s at the same stage of his tenure.

Amid rising unemployment and falling confidence in his economic plans, Mr Obama’s job approval rating has dropped by nine points since January to 55 per cent, a point below his predecessor in mid-2001.

Other polls by ABC News and the Washington Post also showed Mr Obama’s job approval falling below 60 per cent for the first time since he was sworn in as the nation’s first black president, with a marked drop in the last month.

The president is facing criticism about how he is going to pay for $1 trillion plans to reform the US health care system. Half of respondents in one poll disapproved of his health care policy compared with just 44 per cent who approved.

Mr Obama admitted there was work to do and said he would not sign any of the bills currently being considered in Congress.

“Right now, they’re not where they need to be,” he told NBC. He has already admitted that his August deadline for draft legislation could “spill over” into the autumn.

Mr Obama is due to hold a prime time televised press conference on Wednsday designed to restate his case to an increasingly sceptical nation.

Whit Ayres, a pollster, said: “His ratings have certainly come back down to Earth in a very short time period.”

Mr Obama is said to be losing the most support among independent voters and moderate Democrats, whose votes were crucial in winning him swing states in November’s election. In those states, where congressmen face re-election next year, Democrats are already concerned.

Steve Glorioso, a Democratic strategist in Missouri, said devout Democrats were as enthusiastic as ever for Mr Obama but that the less committed were feeling disappointed.

“People are scared,” he said. “This is the worst economic time anyone under the age of 80 has ever experienced, and you can’t discount people being afraid.

“Now that we are in July, the fear is turning to disappointment that the president hasn’t fixed everything yet. I don’t know why they thought he could change everything by now, but some did.”

Although Mr Obama inherited immense economic troubles from Mr Bush, the economy is now seen as almost solely his responsibility.

Experts say that White House reassurances about “the green shoots” of economic recovery are sounding hollow as unemployment has now risen to more than ten per cent in 15 states,

Chris Redfern, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman, said: “When it’s the president’s economy, it’s the president’s trouble. Americans are eager for the change that they voted into office. They support him, they just want to see results sooner rather than later.”

Even Democrats have privately criticised the president for not taking firm control of health care reform. Congress is now working on three different bills but has been stuck on who to tax to pay for expanded coverage.

Eager to avoid the mistake made by the Clintons in 1993, who handed a vast health care bill to congress with little consultation, Mr Obama has been accused of straying too far in the other direction.

This week he has delivered a tough message on health care on a daily basis, reminding Congress that 47 million uninsured Americans cannot wait for reform.

John McHenry, a Republican strategist, said: “At some point he needs to decide if he is taking ownership of this or contracting it all to the Democratic congress.

“This autumn will tell if his honeymoon is well and truly over. He has been more popular personally than many of his proposals were, but there is only so long you can continue that.”

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I’ve heard many people saying that the government should bail out GM because it will save people’s jobs.
I have a hard time swallowing that pill. First off, why is GM different than other companies that have filed bankruptcy in the past? Why didn’t the government bail them out? Second, why should taxpayers pay for GM’s mismanagement. They saw this coming years ago when they failed to turn a profit during the boom years of the mid 90s. If Ford can renegotiate contracts with the union to actually save some jobs, then why can’t GM.
Another question that really bothers me is why AIG is so special that millions of dollars are used to bail them out? They should have made changes long ago but didn’t. Even with the bail out monies they haven’t differed in their line of thinking.
They still hold their meetings and training at the most exclusive resorts. The CEO should have told the top level administrators that there would be no bonuses and if they didn’t like it, find another job. Instead, they paid bonuses to “keep the brightest and the best”. Apparently they aren’t the brightest and the best seeing as they were close to failing and needed government money to stay afloat and then more money. They also lied to Congress about the amount of bonuses paid out. They finally fessed up on the third time.
With all of the money given to banks, it hasn’t helped either. First, they aren’t lending it, they are using it to buy other banks, which does nothing for the economy. Second, 36 banks have already failed in 2009 so how big of an impact is the money making?
In the past I don’t recall the government bailing out companies. The companies would file for bankruptcy and either close or come out stronger on the other side. Are these bailouts part of our march to a socialist government where the government has ownership in everything and tells people what they can and can’t do, what to think and how to live?
Government is too big as it is, we don’t need them meddling in running big corporations. It’s pretty much a given that anything government touches turns to crap.
If government wants to do something helpful, stop the oil and gasoline speculators as they are back at it again driving up the prices. That, I believe, is the real reason we entered a recession, everything else like the banks, housing, etc, are secondary. Consumer spending is 2/3 of the economy. When an average family spends $250 per month on gasoline when it’s $2 per gallon, when it reaches $4 a gallon, your gasoline bill doubles to $500 per month. So now you have $250 less to spend per month than before. That’s quite a bit. People think that a .10 or .20 increase here and there doesn’t matter but if you look at the long term monthly amounts, those increases are quite a bit.
It appears that the government may take a large part of GM shares and Obama and gang are already telling them they have to close up to 14 plants and then open a small car plant. They are already telling us that we should have small cars and get rid of SUV’s. They want the suv plants closed. More government meddling.
Obama promised change but it’s politics as usual in Washington, DC. We need to hold all of the Washington elite accountable. Vote every single one of them out. Just say no to incumbents.

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