by Bill Smith: When polling numbers shows a senior senator in difficulty against potential candidates over a year out from the election, the news is bad news for that senator. And that is what is being projected for Arkansas’ U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln who is up for election in 2010 and has been feverishly raising funds and avoiding the public at town halls and TEA Parties in Arkansas. Public Policy Polling latest polling data released August 26th shows that Obama campaigning for Sen. Lincoln in in Arkansas would sink her race. While Barack Obama’s National approval rating of 52%, in Arkansas, Obama has only a 40% approval rating. And that is expected to continue to fall in Arkansas. In fact, the polling numbers showed that a majority of voters in Arkansas think Rush Limbaugh has a superior vision for the country than Barack Obama.
Blanche Lincoln’s approval rating has dropped 9% since March. Currently, Lincoln has 36% approval rating and a 44% disapproving rating of the job she’s doing. Currently, with no candidates formally filed for office against her, she’s in a statistical tie against three potential Republican opponents. And there are as many as eight candidates considering running against her.
Gilbert Baker leads her 42-40, Curtis Coleman has a 41-40 advantage, and Tom Cotton trails Lincoln slightly 40-39. The numbers of course are more a reflection on Lincoln’s unfavorable standing than that of the Republicans at this time.
“You couldn’t get a clearer indication that the national momentum is with Republicans right now than a poll showing some guys with single digit name recognition running even with an incumbent Senator,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “This is going to be a very closely contested race if the eventual Republican nominee does a good job of raising money.
Other indicators of running against Lincoln is that 53% of the people polled were women. In addition, 48% of those polled identified themselves as conservative, and 39% as moderate, leaving 12% of her liberal friends. At the beginning of 2009, voters returned Senator Pryor to a new six term without opposition; however, , his approval rating, although higher than Lincoln, is now only 47% with a disapproval rating of 32%. The voters disappointment with a previously considered “more conservative” Sen. Pryor may weigh heavily on voters in 2010 when considering returning a more liberal Senator Blanche Lincoln .
There is a growing “vote the bums” out feeling among the voters in Arkansas. Also, in Arkansas, continued open endorsement and support of Senator Lincoln by incumbent State constitutional officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, etc.) may place them at risk in 2010 if viable conservative candidates step forward to oppose them.
As summarized by Tom Jensen, Public Policy Polling, “Clearly Lincoln could be beaten, but there are several reasons why she might survive too. The first is that none of her potential Republican opponents have shown the ability yet to raise the money to run a strong campaign. Whoever emerges as her opponent is also going to need to be able to keep their foot out of their mouth, something that’s been a problem for some potential foes. The second is that Democrats nationally are in a recession right now and that goes a long way toward explaining these numbers.. . . Republicans have an opportunity here but it remains to be seen whether they can take advantage of it.”
A quarter century ago, Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi served as the Osama Bin Laden of the time. Brazenly sponsoring acts of terror against the US and other Western countries, he was responsible for the deaths of many Americans. Ronald Reagan described him in these terms, “…Qaddafi was an unpredictable fanatic. He believed any act, no matter how vicious or cold-blooded, was justified to further his goals.”
Any head-of-state embracing the recently released convicted killer in the Pan Am flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland would have been offensive to those of us who remember the wave of terror attacks against the US that culminated in 9/11. But for Qaddafi, who sponsored the killings, to publicly embrace Abdel Baset al-Megrahi upon his release is even more disturbing, especially when one considers how the Libyan leader had been distancing himself from terror against the US for decades.
After Qaddafi sponsored the bombing of a Berlin night club in an attack targeting US servicemen, President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing of military targets in Libya that included the leader’s compound. Though he didn’t renounce terrorism at that point, he was humbled to say the least. He retreated to the desert, living in a tent as a Bedouin after he realized how vulnerable he was to American military power.
Following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi almost immediately volunteered to give up his age old pursuit of nuclear weapons and renounce terrorism. Though the dictator hadn’t been a prominent director on the terrorism stage since Reagan nearly obliterated him, he had never given up his pursuit to make Libya a nuclear power. US willingness to stand up to those who threaten or attack us convinced him.
Though it was a long, slow process, Qaddafi was clearly retreating from sponsoring or embracing terror and had come a long way in the process of bringing his country to a respectable status. Then this. The embrace of a convicted terrorist on camera for all the world to see.
Talk about turning back time! How did this happen?
Just last year, then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice paid an historic visit to the north African country and announced the relationship between Libya and the US “has been moving in a good direction for a number of years now.” Now the dictator of 40 years honors the convicted killer of innocent women and children in an obvious show of respect for the murderer and his crime.
Weak-kneed liberals won’t understand how this happened, but bullies and dictators can only be controlled when they know there’s a real danger of their being defeated. Reagan’s flexing of American muscle sent Qaddafi to ground, hiding in his desert tent surrounded by his camels and goats. He popped his head up once in a while to rail against the US, but didn’t show it long for fear of having it shot off. Bush II made a believer of the Libyan leader when the US overthrew Hussein. For all of Qaddafi’s bluster, he always knew he didn’t stand a chance against us if we ever made up our minds to take him out. So he opted for self-preservation by turning from his evil ways that had made him our enemy for so long.
All of the respect built over the past three decades may now be fading fast as President Obama grovels at the feet of two-bit dictators around the third world, bows to foreign kings, and even denigrates our country abroad. Obama claims his foreign policy will result in better relationships with countries around the world. However, Qaddafi’s reversal and renewed support of a known terrorist lends credence to the hypothesis of the President’s critics–that demonstrating weakness will only embolden those who wish to do us harm.
After all, since Obama took office, Qaddafi has not only watched the US President wreak havoc on respect for America in the world, but he’s seen previously controlled tyrants slap the world’s most powerful country square in the face and get away with it. The Libyan dictator must have wondered why he’d acquiesced on the weapons of mass destruction issue when Kim Jong-Il’s nuclear tests and missile launches earned him nothing more than a slap on the wrist. And Qaddafi likely regretted turning his back on his terrorist allies when he watched Obama ignore those who stood and died in an effort to bring democracy and freedom to the world’s best known state sponsor of terror.
In short, he’s lost the respect for the US that previously encouraged him to give up his evil ways and tow the line that had begun to earn Libya a place among lawful nations.
Thanks to President Obama and his feeble foreign policy, we may once again suffer at the hand of a Libya that aids and abets those who seek to destroy us.
OPINION: August 24, 2009
By Congressman John Carter
There was an old country judge that had the highest criminal conviction rate in the state. When a reporter from the state capital came down investigate this judicial phenomenon, the judge explained that he simply instructed the jury to listen very carefully to what the prosecutor had to say, then make their decision. The reporter cried indignantly, “don’t you also tell them to listen to the defense?” The judge replied, “well, I used to, but it just confused ‘em.”
20 years as a Texas judge taught me a few things about listening to both sides of an argument. In most cases, both sides truly think they’re right. Then they start presenting arguments and evidence to try to prove their case. Naturally, neither side will present anything remotely supportive of their opponent, even if they know it’s true. So as a judge, you sit there and weigh the evidence presented by all with a grain of salt, knowing that either side is capable of stretching the limits of veracity and withholding relevant information if not in their favor.
That’s precisely the kind of case that all Americans are having to judge right now concerning the healthcare reform proposals being pushed by Democrats in Washington.
We hear it everyday in the press – the President says anybody who likes their current health insurance will get to keep it, while opponents say all private health insurance will be gone by 2013. Democrats in the House say their plans will control rising healthcare costs, while opponents say it will drive costs even higher. Opponents say the new system will eventually start denying care to elderly, and encourage euthanasia, while supporters say it won’t.
Who’s right? With our very lives at stake, along with 19% of our gross domestic product, being wrong could be deadly for us personally as well as our free market economy.
Let’s examine the evidence together. In looking at the both sides of this case, let’s leave out the emotion and political rhetoric, and try to look at just the facts on each major point.
To begin, we can only examine the bill passed by Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee in late August, HR 3200. That will not be the final bill, if there is a final bill. The current House version would first be voted on by the entire House, where changes would be made, then reconciled with whatever the Senate passes, changed again, then brought to a final vote in both Chambers. But this Committee version is all we have in writing, so that’s what we must judge.
Can You Keep Your Current Health Plan?
The bill contains no provision that would specifically abolish any health plan. But it would require all individuals and employers to purchase health plans approved by a new federal agency starting in 4 years, or pay a heavy tax penalty. It is not enough to require a health plan be purchased – it must be a federally approved plan to avoid paying an 8% payroll penalty by employers or a 2% income tax penalty by individuals. The bill allows the new federal agency to set any requirements they like on what constitutes an “approved” plan. Whether a current individual plan could survive and be approved by this new bureaucracy is suspect, as is whether an employer will continue to offer any current plan under these circumstances.
Verdict: PROBABLY Not
Will This Help Control Health Care Costs?
This issue is one of the most clear. After extensive research, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is currently overseen by the Democrat majority, officially reported to Congress that not only would it not hold down health costs, it would push them even higher than doing nothing. The number one problem with American health care is high cost, and this bill would make it worse.
Does The Bill Encourage Denial of Care and Euthanasia for the Elderly?
There is no language specifically calling for denial of care or euthanasia. But language was added requiring Medicare to pay for “end of life counseling” that will include educating senior citizens on the option of pre-authorizing the cessation of life-sustaining care, and in states which allow physician-assisted suicide, education on that option as well. President Obama has made repeated references to avoiding costly treatments for elderly patients, and other nations that have adopted this same style health system do in fact limit medical treatments and encourage euthanasia for elderly patients. These facts, coupled with the creation of a new federal agency that will unilaterally determine what benefits are included in “approved” health plans AFTER the bill passes, is heavy evidence that the bill may encourage denial of care and euthanasia. But in this issue there is even more – a proverbial “smoking gun.” The very advocacy groups like the now-defunct Hemlock Society that have historically lobbied for legalized suicide were instrumental in adding the “end-of-life” counseling section to the legislation.
Does the Bill Use Federal Funds to Pay for Abortions?
There is nothing specific in the bill to fund abortions. However, the yet unspecified new rules for all “approved” health plans – rules that will be written by Obama Administration appointees AFTER the bill passes – could include abortion coverage. Over concerns on this issue, an amendment prohibiting abortion funding was submitted in the House, and subsequently voted down by Democrat members of the Committee. This provides substantial evidence that the new federal health plan rules could require abortion coverage by all health plans in the country, while the final decision remains unknown.
Is This the Beginning of Single-Payer Healthcare?
Like most issues concerning this bill, there is no specific provision that would mandate single-payer socialized medicine and the shutdown of private sector healthcare. But as early as 2003 then-Senator Barack Obama was advocating single-payer healthcare publicly, and has recently stated along with key House Democrats that this bill would lead eventually to single-payer healthcare, over a period of 10-20 years. All of these comments are on tape and available to the public.
Verdict: Likely Over Time
Will the Bill Increase the Federal Deficit and Federal Taxes?
No argument here from either side. The bill will cost $1.28 trillion in the first 10 years according to CBO, and raise taxes $818 billion on those who cannot afford to buy insurance, not counting surcharges on small business income.
Will the Bill Cost American Jobs?
No argument here either. The Obama Administration’s own White House Council of Economic Advisors has estimated 4.7 million Americans will lose their jobs if the bill passes, as employers who cannot afford health insurance or the 8% payroll tax penalty will have to fire their employees, move overseas, or go out of business.
There are many more issues to this bill than seven, but in my opinion the answers to just these are enough to reach a final judgment on HR 3200: NO.
HR 3200 is fatally flawed, does not provide the health reforms we truly do need in this country, and should be buried. It is one of the worst pieces of legislation I have examined since being elected to the House. It would destroy the finest quality health care system in the world, undermine the free market, throw Americans out of work, and violate the moral principles of the majority of this country in the process.
Examining all the evidence is not just important in determining action on legislation, but in writing that legislation to begin with. Like the story of the old judge who only listened to one side of a case, this bill was written without any consideration of opinions from anyone other than the liberal Democrat faithful, with a resulting faulty outcome.
We can do better. We don’t need the federal government to take over the healthcare industry, we just need some commonsense bipartisan reforms.
First, we are already in bipartisan agreement to make affordable health insurance available to folks with pre-existing health conditions who are presently barred from buying a health plan.
We can let small businesses and organizations join together to purchase group insurance at the same affordable rates as big business, allowing more small employers to offer coverage.
We can remove restrictions on buying health insurance across state lines, letting families in prohibitively high-cost states purchase affordable plans in other states.
To pass these reforms will require a simple concession from the Democrat majority. That is to agree to work with Republicans in a bipartisan effort, and listen to both sides of the case before reaching a verdict.
U.S. Rep. John Carter (TX31)
Secretary, House Republican Conference
from Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON – An independent senator counted on by Democrats in the health care debate showed signs of wavering Sunday when he urged President Barack Obama to postpone many of his initiatives because of the economic downturn.
“I’m afraid we’ve got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy’s out of recession,” said Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. “There’s no reason we have to do it all now, but we do have to get started. And I think the place to start is cost health delivery reform and insurance market reforms.”
The Senate requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and advance a measure to an up-or-down vote. Senators from both parties said that Democrats might use a voting tactic to overcome GOP opposition, abandoning the White House’s goal of bipartisan support for its chief domestic priority.
by Steve Chapman at Townhall.com
The American medical system has the latest technology, the greatest variety of new drugs and unparalleled resources. But anyone who thinks we’re getting something great for our dollars inevitably encounters a two-word rebuke: infant mortality.
The United States is the richest nation on Earth, but it comes in 29th in the world in survival rates among babies. This mediocre ranking is supposed to make an irrefutable case for health care reform. If we cared enough to insure everyone, we are told, we would soon rise to the health standards of other modern nations. It’s just a matter of getting over our weird resistance to a bigger government role in medical care.
But not every health issue is a health care issue. The reason boxers are unusually prone to concussions is not that they lack medical insurance. Doctors may treat head injuries, but it’s a lot easier to prevent them. Absent prevention, we shouldn’t blame the medical industry for punch-drunk fighters.
We don’t want government run health care!
Rasmussen’s Presidential Approval Index has Obama hitting his lowest point ever today!
From Boot Berry
Approximately 100 people who our Democratic elected officials would call right-wing extremist un-American members of an angry mob gathered today outside Congressman Marion Berry’s office in Cabot, AR yesterday. The exercise of their 1st Amendment right to peaceably assemble and voice their grievances with government by these concerned citizens earns them such monikers from President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and even their own Arkansas delegation in DC.
The Good Lord blessed rallygoers with outstanding weather for the Cabot, AR Recess Rally. After several weeks of 90+ temperatures, high humidity, and rain, they had sunshine, low humidity, and a high in the mid 80′s.
Speakers at the rally included Jacque Martin, Buddy Rogers, Dr. James McNair, and organizers John Allison and Belinda Whitley.
Martin organized the Heber Springs Tea Parties and serves as a coordinator for the organization, Secure Arkansas. She passionately explained to the crowd that Obama’s government-run health care plan is less about providing quality care than it is about controlling the American people. Rogers and Dr. McNair are both exploring the possibility of seeking the GOP nomination for the 2010 Senate race against Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln.
Dr. McNair is a practicing opthamologist in Heber Springs and Rogers is currently working as a financial adviser in Rogers, AR. Rogers is an Army veteran who served 21 years as a medical officer in health care administration. For almost a quarter of that time he worked as a professor in a Baylor University-US Army master’s degree program in health care administration, teaching, advising graduate students, and conducting research. Rogers and Dr. McNair proposed alternative solutions to the Obama plan for health care reform, which proved Obama and congressional Democrats are lying through their teeth when they state Republicans have no alternatives to offer. The alternatives proposed at the rally did not include a government-run or single-payer system.
Whitley, a Registered Nurse, read several quotes from one of Obama’s top health care advisers, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, which make clear the doctor’s vision for our health care system will deprive the elderly and the very young of quality care, in order to preserve those “productive” citizens who contribute to the US Treasury.
Allison kicked off the rally by debunking the myth propagated by Democrats that rallies such as this are “astroturf” campaigns, implying special interest backing from lobbyists and other DC political interests. He explained that he spent his entire life in Arkansas with the exception of four years he served in the US Marine Corps. Allison told the crowd prior to taking on his current career as a high school math teacher at Vilonia High School, he and his wife owned and operated a chicken farm in north central Arkansas. He stated, “Folks, it doesn’t get much more grassroots than chicken farming.”
Allison and Whitley said they’d hoped for a larger crowd, but this was a start. Compared with other rallies held across the country, the turnout was pretty good on a per capita basis. Cabot, AR has a population of less than 24,000 compared to almost twice that in Salina, KS. According to one internet article, the rally in Salina also had approximately 100 in attendance. It was estimated about 2,000 showed up for rallies in Chicago which has a population of almost 2.5 million. So, for a small town like Cabot, the turn out was good and organizers consider the rally a success.
Only time will tell if Berry will listen to his constituents. Rallies held in Jonesboro and Mountain Home outside Berry’s other Arkansas offices coincided with today’s event in Cabot. Berry was invited to address the crowd but refused.
Thanks to Erick Erickson at Redstate for putting this out there.
Here’s the story of a government (state of Oregon) run health care system that told a woman they wouldn’t pay for her life-saving chemotherapy drugs, but would be happy to pay for a physician assisted suicide! It can and will happen in the single-payer system Obama and the Democrats are trying to force us into.
“If we invest thousands of dollars in one person’s days to weeks, yet…we are taking those dollars away from someone,” says the chairman of the Commission that sets policy for the Oregon health plan.
Oh. Who do you think offered to supply the woman with the drugs, free of charge?
The big, mean pharmaceutical company that makes the drug.
So the government health care system is really the bad guy, the pharma company the good.
The campaign organization that secured the White House for then-candidate Obama wasn’t dismantled after the November elections of 2008. Instead, the outfit was converted to a propaganda machine for the man who now resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
When Arkansas’ Democratic Representatives and Senators decided not to face the fury of constituents who oppose their party’s proposed government-run health care program, Organizing for America (OFA) quickly announced it would embark on a “Listening Tour” across the state. It appeared the President’s continuous campaign organization was offering itself up as shock troops in the health care battle to take the heat off the Democratic legislators in a red state.
Tonight we attended one of the OFA events to get an idea what the other side is up to. Kyle Simon, Arkansas State Director of OFA, addressed 16 audience members, at least 13 of whom were ardent supporters of Obama’s attempt to impose a government-run health care system on the American people. Simon defined the mission of OFA as pushing Obama’s agenda by lobbying Congress, engaging people, and generating positive news coverage for the President and his policies.
We had hoped the event would have been better attended by both sides, and even some who have yet to determine where they stand on Obamacare. However, it quickly became clear this event wasn’t designed to stimulate debate on whether government-run health care would be good or bad for the country. Instead, it was a session intended to teach Obamacare supporters to be more effective in overcoming the majority of Americans who now oppose the President’s attempts to Socialize 1/6 of the American economy.
Parroting the President’s talking points, Simon took shots at opponents of Obama’s plan. Referring to conservatives who express concerns about the bill as fearmongers and accusing them of disseminating misinformation, he elicited calls to “demand proof” of challenges to the plan, to ignore the will of the majority of Americans who now oppose Obamacare, and even to insult opponents as Barney Frank (D-MA) did his constituents earlier this week. Never did Simon reference any specific text of the bills to support his points, nor to refute any of the charges levied by conservatives against the plan.
Simon also dispersed more Democratic misinformation. Latching onto Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) favorite line of late, he referred to vocal opponents of Obamacare as part of an “astroturf” movement and claimed that many were bussed in from out-of-state. This of course insinuates opponents are all backed by deep pockets, sometimes even paid to protest. Again, he failed to produce any evidence to support his claims and seemed not to realize how hypocritical such statements are in light of internet ads placed by liberal organizations offering to pay protesters to support the President’s plan.
Simon and several in the audience repeatedly stated that opponents “don’t know why they’re against” a public option and that Republicans can’t offer an alternative plan. Often insinuating, and sometimes plainly stating, that opponents are uneducated and/or ignorant, they claimed socialism and Obama’s idea of a government-run health care system are unrelated. Perhaps they should read the definition of socialism. Once, while working to convince the audience that a majority of Americans support Obamacare, Simon even made the statement, “The minority only wins in Florida.”
I guess liberals will never admit to themselves they lost the 2000 election.
All of that garbage was pretty difficult to listen to, but I did come away with some useful information. Simon called on the group to help the administration implement it’s plan by writing letters to the editor and contacting their members of Congress. When he told the group many Congressmen were receiving 200 calls opposed for every 1 call supporting the President’s plan, they still didn’t believe a majority of Americans just don’t want the government involved in their health care decisions.
We need to keep that level of resistance up. OFA is gathering strength in the hopes that we will tire of the fight and abandon the field. Now that we have the momentum, we must not relax until this fight is won!
Let’s write 200 letters to the editor for every one they write and continue to let our Congressmen know where we stand. We have the numbers and we must prevail.
Will Vic Snyder Support Nancy Pelosi’s Government-Run Healthcare [i.e, Obamacare]? He voted for Nancy Pelosi’s TRILLION DOLLAR Simulus, her wasteful budget, even her wasteful National Energy Tax. Time to call Vic Snyder and ask him if he will now support Nancy Pelois’s Government-Run Healthcare?
ARRA News Service