Posted By J. D. Longstreet On April 30, 2010 (6:38 am) In Top Page News

I really hate to direct your attention to yet another crisis in America, but we have one headed our way. Yes, it is down the road aways – but it is a monster and will very likely set the USA down amidst the biggest constitutional crisis this nation has ever seen. It has the potential of becoming our undoing as a nation. And it is out there — just staring us in the face.

I know you have heard it all before, but sooner or later we, as a nation, are going to have to deal with it. Yes, I am writing about the lingering question of whether or not the man formerly known as Barry Soetoro, now known as Barack Obama, is legally qualified to hold the office of President of the United States. And who the hell is he, anyway? WHERE did he come from? WHAT has he done to America?

“He has, inside of a year, destroyed our alliances, abandoned our allies, nationalized banks, insurance companies, and the automotive business, and rammed communist healthcare down our collective throats. He has bankrupted this country and stolen the wealth of our nation and our children. He has embraced Islamic anti-Semitism, sanctioned the Islamic bomb of the Iranian mullahcracy, handed Russia Eastern Europe on a plate, thrown away our nuclear advantage, and despised us for our superiority. And then contemptuously told us to thank him and kiss his Marxist ass. “ — Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs (SOURCE).

But WHO IS HE? Barry Soetoro? Did the President legally change his name from Soetoro to Obama? Well, we know that when Barack/Barry and his mother lived in Indonesia, with Oil executive father, Lolo, he went by the name Barry Soetoro.

So, where was Soetoro actually born? According to an article at “ Indonesia Matters” “Barrak Hussein Obama II was born to a white American Ann Dunham and Kenyan Barrak Hussein Obama Senior, in Nyang’oma Kogelo now in Kenya.” You’ll find the entire article HERE.

From the same article there is this: “In his tellingly-titled Memoir, Dreams from My Father, Obama describes his Indonesian interlude as “one long adventure, the bounty of a young boy’s life”. But he also recalls being troubled by the poverty around him: “the empty look on the faces of farmers the year the rains never came,” and the desperation of the disabled beggars who came to the family’s door.

“The world was violent, I was learning, unpredictable and often cruel,” he writes. Obama and his mother thus we were very well acquainted with the harsh realities of indigenous Indonesians.
Fermina Katarina Sinaga, recalled yojhng Obama in her class: in the common task of class to write an essay titled “My dream: What I want to be in the future.” Obama “wrote ‘I want to be a president,’ ” she said. During a later writing assignment on family, he wrote, “My father is my idol.” You will find the entire article HERE.

Above, I referred to a constitutional crisis in America’s future. Here’s what I mean: Just suppose the courts rule that Obama/Soetoro is NOT legally qualified to be President of the United States? What is to be done about all the bills he has signed into law? What is to be done about all the Executive Orders he has issued over his signature? What about all the military commands, appointments, promotions, etc, he has made? What about all the negotiations associated with treaties, international agreements, etc, Obama/Soetoro has been involved in as the US President? Are they not, at the least, null and void, and, at the worst – illegal?

Do you begin to sense the monumental “MESS” the country will find itself?

And what about the Vice-Presidency? How would a court finding that Obama/Soetoro was not legally qualified to be President affect the Vice-Presidency? Should Obama/Soetoro be forced to step down, would the court order Vice-President Biden to step down as well? If so, will Nancy Pelosi move into the Oval Office as President of the US? Talk about a nightmare!

There are some who believe that officials within the current government already KNOW Obama/Soetoro is NOT the legal President of the US and yet they are keeping quiet and not coming forward with the evidence.

J. B. Williams has written an article that will shake you to your core. In the article he states his opinion that THAT is exactly what is happening in our national government. This is a “Must Read” article. The title of the article is: “DC Knows that Obama is Ineligible for Office.” You will find Mr. Williams’ article HERE. We urge you to read it.

The next question is: who, if anyone, will go to jail? Even more importantly – what do we do to ensure a candidate for President of the United States is properly “vetted” and his natural born citizenship confirmed well before he stands for election?

It may require an amendment to the US Constitution to guarantee this never comes up again. Then so be it! Let’s get her done!

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URL to article: http://www.smallgovtimes.com/2010/04/the-constitutional-crisis-in-america%e2%80%99s-near-future/

Posted By Will Bridges On March 18, 2010 (4:49 pm) In Voices and Choices

Throughout the course of his pitch for Universal Healthcare, President Obama has repeatedly impugned the character of the health insurance industry. The President’s onlookers have been regaled with tales of health insurance providers nefariously stripping their customers of coverage in pursuit of their allegedly massive profit margins.

Reality, as is often the case, has something different to say than the President.

Current market data, as of today, shows the healthcare insurance industry coming in at 88th place among industries for profit margins, at 4.4%.

Last week, the industry ranked 86th.

If the Health Plan providers are as sinister as the President claims, then what industries are apparently even worse?

Air Services, Railroads, Biotechnology, Auto Parts Stores, Toys and Games, Cleaning Products, Restaurants, and many more ALL routinely boast significantly higher profit margins on average than the likes of Aetna, AMERIGROUP, Humana, and United Healthgroup.

Yet, while crusading against private industry and lamenting the denial of claims, the President fails to mention one of the worst offenders of all. Namely, because this offender happens to be the one he supports – government. The American Medical Association’s 2008 National Health Insurer Report Card showed that Medicare topped all the major private providers in percentage of claims denied for the year.

Of course, in fairness to the president, things aren’t going so well for Medicare. Far from enjoying 4.4% profit margins like its private counterparts, Medicare is itself bankrupt, and simultaneously helping to bankrupt America. The President’s 2011 budget shows over $1.4 Trillion in expected expenditures for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Interestingly, there is one related industry that ranks very highly. Major drug manufacturers, coming in at 3rd place with 22.2% profit margins. Last week the industry ranked 6th, with 21.6% profit margins. While much of those impressive margins can be attributed to those firms’ intellectual property rights and ability that dominate the markets for the new drugs they create (those margins, in turn, allowing for reinvestment into research that will develop the new drugs of tomorrow), some can also be attributed to the lack of free trade in America when it comes to prescription drugs.

Limited government advocates have long called for free trade, specifically with Canada, for prescription drugs. Competition leads to lower drug prices for consumers; and the lower the cost for consumers – both individuals and the insurance providers who cover them – the lower the costs of Healthcare. The same effect could be felt in Healthcare plans themselves through instituting free trade within our own borders and allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines.

Lowering costs – isn’t that what the President claims this is all about?

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URL to article: http://www.smallgovtimes.com/2010/03/the-truth-about-health-insurance-profits/

Posted By Julian Sanchez On March 9, 2010 (7:20 pm) In Voices and Choices

Here’s how it was supposed to be. Under his administration, candidate Barack Obama explained in 2007, America would abandon the “false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide.” There would be “no more National Security Letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime” because “that is not who we are, and it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists.”

Even after his disappointing vote for the execrable FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which expanded government surveillance power while retroactively immunizing telecoms for their role in George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping, civil libertarians held out hope that the erstwhile professor of constitutional law would begin to restore some of the checks on government surveillance power that had been demolished in the panicked aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

The serial betrayal of that hope reached its culmination last week, when a Democratic-controlled Congress quietly voted to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act without implementing a single one of the additional safeguards that had been under consideration — among them, more stringent limits on the national security letters (NSLs) Obama had once decried. Worse yet, the vote came on the heels of the revelation, in a blistering inspector general’s report, that Obama’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) had issued a secret opinion, once again granting retroactive immunity for systematic lawbreaking — and opening the door for the FBI to ignore even the current feeble limits on its power to vacuum up sensitive telecommunications records.

NSLs have been around for decades, but their scope was radically expanded by the Patriot Act and subsequent intelligence bills. They allow investigators to obtain a wide array of financial records and telecommunications transaction data without a court order — revealing the phone numbers, e-mail accounts, and Web addresses with which their targets have been in contact.

But as a detailed report released last month by the office of the inspector general (OIG) revealed, between 2003 and 2006, the FBI sought to stretch its NSL powers beyond even these ample boundaries. Investigators obtained thousands of records from telecommunications providers using a made-up process called an “exigent letter” — which essentially promised that a proper NSL would be along shortly. Among those whose records were obtained in this way were reporters for The Washington Post and The New York Times — in violation of both the law and internal regulations requiring that the attorney general approve such requests.

Still more incredibly, investigators sought records pertaining to more than 3,500 telephone numbers without any process at all, simply requesting records verbally or via scrawled Post-It notes. Many of those data requests were either unrelated to any authorized investigation or had to do with domestic criminal investigations — meaning they could not legally have been made via NSLs. Despite this, the letters would routinely, and falsely, claim that an NSL or subpoena was already being sought.

When the OIG interviewed the agents responsible, it found that “no one could satisfactorily explain their actions,” instead offering only “unpersuasive excuses.” When supervisors attempted to implement a database to track these requests, agents revolted, refusing to use the new system “because they did not want the responsibility for inputting the data,” which suggests either an extreme aversion to clerical work or an awareness that something not quite Hoyle was afoot. When information obtained by these extralegal means was later cited in warrant applications to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the applicants falsely claimed that legitimate NSLs or subpoenas had been used.

All of this, the OIG report noted, constituted a gross violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which clearly stipulates that subscriber records may only be turned over to the government pursuant to legal process. There’s an exception for genuine emergencies, as when an attack is believed to be imminent, but that exception was not invoked and would not have applied to only a tiny fraction of the putatively “exigent” cases.

Following standard practice, the OIG sent a draft copy of its report to the FBI for comment before publication. Understandably distressed by the watchdog’s finding that analysts had broken the law repeatedly and systematically over a period of years, FBI attorneys scrambled for retroactive cover. As a heavily redacted section of the report explains, they hatched a novel theory, according to which some broad class of records was actually exempt from the requirements of the ECPA, and therefore eligible to be handed over “voluntarily” by the telecoms. Even in the freewheeling days of the Bush administration, apparently, nobody had come up with this particular rationalization for evading federal privacy statutes — but it would still serve as a retroactive excuse if Obama’s Office of Legal Counsel could be persuaded to bless the new reasoning.

Shamefully, the OLC appears to have done just that in a secret opinion issued in January, just weeks before the publication of the OIG report. While it’s impossible to know the precise scope of this novel legal loophole — sufficiently clever parsing of the statutory definition of “subscriber” or “record” might generate a good deal of wiggle room — the OIG stressed that this freshly discovered power “has significant policy implications that need to be considered by the FBI, the Department, and the Congress.” It was a page straight from the John Yoo playbook: When intelligence agencies are discovered to have broken the law, simply reinterpret the law!

Though the NSL provisions were not among those slated to expire, previous OIG reports documenting widespread abuse of NSL authority had placed them at the center of the reauthorization debate, even before this latest bombshell. The Justice Department, meanwhile, had declared its openness to “modifications” of the Patriot Act to better protect civil liberties but took no overt position on the competing proposals.

Indeed, by the time the House Judiciary Committee took up the question of reauthorization in early November, legislators of both parties were venting their frustration about the scant guidance they’d gotten from the administration.

Behind closed doors, however, the administration was anything but silent. Instead of openly opposing civil-liberties reforms that had been under consideration in the Senate, The New York Times reported in October, the Obama administration opted for a kind of political ventriloquist’s routine. The Justice Department wrote a series of amendments diluting or stripping away the new protections, then laundered them through Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, who offered them up verbatim.

It’s worth taking a closer look at one such reform proposal — again, predating the latest and most damning OIG report — to get a sense of the disconnect between the administration’s public and private stances. Some legislators had wanted to require the FBI to develop “minimization procedures” for NSLs, as they do when full-blown wiretaps are employed, to ensure that information about innocents is not circulated indiscriminately and that irrelevant records are ultimately discarded. This would only bring NSLs in line with other Patriot provisions compelling production of business records, where minimization is already required, and in principle, the Justice Department is already on board with this plan: As Inspector General Glenn Fine noted in his testimony before the Senate in September, the department’s NSL working group was already laboring to develop such procedures in response to the abuses documented in previous OIG reports — but the working group had been dragging their heels for more than two years.

The task of blocking any legal requirement that the Justice Department pick up the pace fell to Rep. Dan Lungren, a Republican from California. At a House markup session in November, Lungren offered up an amendment that would strip away the minimization mandate and even argued, bizarrely, that the very concept of “minimization” was inapplicable in the NSL context. He was visibly confused when Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers, after making a point of praising Lungren’s “scrupulous study” of the issue, pointed out that the Justice Department itself had publicly accepted the need for such procedures.

“This is the first I had heard that the Justice Department was either considering it or had not raised any objections to this,” a visibly perplexed Lungren stammered, “because it was my understanding they felt this was an inappropriate transfer of a process that is used in the electronic surveillance arena.” The talking points with which Lundgren had been supplied, it seems, had not been checked against the official assurances the department had been providing.

It seems the administration need not have troubled itself with torpedoing civil-liberties reforms one at a time. Despite the publication of the OIG’s blistering January report — which warned that the OLC’s new secret opinion “creates a significant gap in FBI accountability and oversight,” making it “critical for the Department and Congress to consider appropriate controls” — even the flaccid reforms approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee appear to have fallen by the wayside for the time being. The only silver lining for civil libertarians is that the expiring Patriot provisions have only been reauthorized for one year, meaning Congress will have to take up these issues again relatively soon.

The question, given the muted public reaction to the abuses that have already been disclosed, is why we should hope legislators will be any more willing to expend political capital resisting the intelligence community’s demands a year from now. The “choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide” may be a false one, but in the current political climate, it appears to be an easy one as well.

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Posted By Neal Boortz On March 4, 2010 (6:28 am) In Voices and Choices

While Barack Obama didn’t explicitly say it, he opened the door for Democrats to use reconciliation to pass healthcare reform. And that is exactly what they intend to do. Obama says:

“[N]o matter which approach you favor, I believe the United States Congress owes the American people a final vote on health care reform. We have debated this issue thoroughly, not just for a year, but for decades. Reform has already passed the House with a majority. It has already passed the Senate with a supermajority of sixty votes. And now it deserves the same kind of up-or-down vote that was cast on welfare reform, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, COBRA health coverage for the unemployed, and both Bush tax cuts — all of which had to pass Congress with nothing more than a simple majority … I have therefore asked leaders in both of Houses of Congress to finish their work and schedule a vote in the next few weeks.”

Never mind the .. dare I say it .. hypocrisy surrounding this approach. Here is not one but four different examples of Obama demagoguing the use of reconciliation.

CBS Interview 11/2/04
My understanding of the Senate is that you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen, which means that Democrats and Republicans have to ask the question, do we have the will to move an American agenda forward, not a Democratic or Republican agenda forward?

Change to Win Convention 9/25/07
The bottom line is that our healthcare plans are similar, the question once again is, who can get it done? Who can build a movement for change? This is an area where we’re going to have to have a 60% majority in the Senate and the House in order to actually get a bill to my desk. We’re going to have to have a majority to get a bill to my desk. That is not just a fifty plus one majority.

Obama Interview with the Concord Monitor 10/9/07
You’ve got to break out of what I call the sort of fifty plus one pattern of presidential politics. Maybe you eke out a victory of fifty plus one. Then you can’t govern. You know, you get Air Force One, there are a lot of nice perks, but you can’t deliver on healthcare. We are not going to pass universal health care with a fifty plus one strategy.

Center for American Progress Conference 7/12/06
Those big-ticket items: fixing our health care system. You know, one of the arguments that sometimes I get with my fellow progressives, and some of these have flashed up in the blog communities on occasion, is this notion that we should function sort of like Karl Rove where we identify our core base, we throw ‘em red meat, we get a fifty plus one victory. See, Karl Rove doesn’t need a broad consensus because he doesn’t believe in government. If we want to transform the country, though, that requires a sizeable majority.

And then lest we forget this from Robert Byrd in 2005. When Republicans wanted to use reconciliation to stop the Democrat filibuster of Bush judicial nominees, Robert Byrd compared the strategy to Nazi tactics. Seriously!Here’s what he had to say back then:

Many times in our history we have taken up arms to protect a minority against the tyrannical majority in other lands. We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini’s Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men.

But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends. Historian Alan Bullock writes that Hitler’s dictatorship rested on the constitutional foundation of a single law, the Enabling Law. Hitler needed a two-thirds vote to pass that law, and he cajoled his opposition in the Reichstag to support it. Bullock writes that “Hitler was prepared to promise anything to get his bill through, with the appearances of legality preserved intact.” And he succeeded.

Hitler’s originality lay in his realization that effective revolutions, in modern conditions, are carried out with, and not against, the power of the State: the correct order of events was first to secure access to that power and then begin his revolution. Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.

Please, folks; if you won’t fight for your liberty, how about fighting for the future of your children and grandchildren.

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Article taken from SmallGovTimes.comhttp://www.smallgovtimes.com
URL to article: http://www.smallgovtimes.com/2010/03/using-reconciliation-to-smash-through-unpopular-legislation/

Read the Glenn Beck article provided by Fox News here.

Posted By Steve Adcock On April 15, 2010 (8:24 am) In Voices and Choices

SOUTHERN ARIZONA – Small government activist and Texas Representative Ron Paul has introduced a bill that would reverse the health care mandate that was passed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this month, calling it a “blatant violation of the Constitution”.

“Defenders of this provision claim the Congress’s constitutional authority to regulate “interstate commerce” gives Congress the power to mandate every American obtain a federally-approved health insurance plan,” Paul said on the House floor on Tuesday.  ”However, as Judge Andrew Napolitano and other distinguished legal scholars and commentators have pointed out, even the broadest definition of “regulating interstate commerce” cannot reasonably encompass forcing Americans to engage in commerce by purchasing health insurance.”

The new health care law requires that all Americans carry “minimum essential coverage”, which places additional requirements on businesses and individuals to pay for “approved” coverage plans based on the number of employees in the company, incomes and several other factors.

“When the cost of government–mandated insurance proves to be an unsustainable burden on individuals, small employers, and the government,  Congress will likely impose price controls on medical treatments, and even go so far as to limit what procedures and treatments  mandatory insurance will reimburse,” Paul argued.

“Congress made a grave error by forcing all Americans to purchase health insurance. The mandate violates fundamental principles of individual liberty, and will lead to further government involvement in health care.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

lp.org News

WASHINGTON – After President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan over the weekend, Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict issued the following statement today:

“President Obama just called the Afghanistan War ‘absolutely essential.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. The U.S. armed forces are being used for nation-building. The president, as commander-in-chief, has the power to end this war, and he should begin doing so immediately.

“The cost of this war, in both lives and money, is staggering, and it will become more so if the president maintains his current course. Forcing current and future American taxpayers to turn over hundreds of billions of dollars for this counterproductive effort is deeply unjust.

“Even worse, the American effort in Afghanistan is propping up a hopelessly corrupt government, which is alienating the Afghan people and causing them to blame the United States even more for their problems.

“There is zero chance that American military power will create a stable and honest government in Afghanistan. But even if that were possible, it would still lie completely outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. government.

“The Libertarian Party recognizes that United States faces some threat of terrorism, but we think that fighting foreign wars is one of the worst possible ways to deal with that threat.

“Disturbingly, President Obama is demonstrating a complete faith in government power in almost every aspect of American policy. From foreign wars, to the economy, to health care, the president thinks that government power is always the solution. Libertarians disagree: we believe that government power, which is always coercively enforced, is usually the problem.

“War supporters often say that if we leave Afghanistan without ‘winning,’ it would be a slap in the face of the soldiers who have fought and died there. But there’s nothing in Afghanistan to win. The only winning move is for our military to come back to America. American soldiers have been brave enough to fight and die in Afghanistan, but cowardly politicians want to send more to their deaths just so they can save face at home. I hope American citizens and politicians have the guts to admit it’s time for a new strategy: bring our soldiers home from Afghanistan without delay.

“Sooner or later, politicians will be forced to admit that Afghanistan is a mistake. They’re already admitting that Iraq was a mistake. At a recent event sponsored by the Cato Institute, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said, ‘In retrospect, almost all of us think [Iraq] was a horrible mistake…Now that we know that it cost a trillion dollars, and all of these years, and all of these lives, and all of this blood…all I can say is everyone I know thinks it was a mistake to go in now.’ Republican Congressman Tom McClintock agreed, saying, ‘I think everyone [in Congress] would agree that Iraq was a mistake.’

“It’s too bad they didn’t listen to the Libertarian Party before they started that disastrous war. Maybe they’ll listen to us now.”

In September 2008, the Libertarian National Committee adopted the following resolution opposing the war in Afghanistan:

“WHEREAS the government of the United States should return to its historical libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, foreign quarrels, and military adventures; and

“WHEREAS the stability and security of Afghanistan lie outside the jurisdiction of the government of the United States; and

“WHEREAS the Libertarian Party recognizes that the only legitimate role of the military is to defend America against direct attack or the imminent threat of attack;

“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Libertarian National Committee calls on the government of the United States to withdraw the armed forces of the United States from Afghanistan, without undue delay.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.

Posted By Steve Adcock On April 19, 2010 (6:53 am) In Top Page News

SOUTHERN ARIZONA – Although the American people continue to re-elect largely the same Congress every election cycle, a Pew Research Center survey found that 4 out of 5 Americans, or 80%, do not trust Washington D.C.

“Trust in government rarely gets this low,” said Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center. “Some of it’s backlash against Obama. But there are a lot of other things going on.”

“The survey illustrates the ominous situation President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party face as they struggle to maintain their comfortable congressional majorities in this fall’s elections,” wrote the Associated Press.  ”This anti-government feeling has driven the tea party movement, reflected in fierce protests this past week.”

Democrats and Republicans alike are growing increasingly frustrated with Washington D.C. and career politicians.  ”The government’s been lying to people for years. Politicians make promises to get elected, and when they get elected, they don’t follow through,” a Democrat voter who joined the Tea Party rally on “Tax Day”, April 15th.  She wants government out of her business, and concedes Obama is doing nothing to help fix the problem.

Posted By Steve Adcock On April 5, 2010 (11:45 am) In Top Page News

Michael Barone wrote an excellent piece in the Washington Examiner yesterday that indicates young people, who had previously thrown their support behind Barack Obama in fairly large numbers, may be realizing the magnitude of their mistake.

When people actually begin to pay attention, you know it is bad.

“The Pew Research Center’s poll of the millennial generation, which voted 66 to 32 percent for Obama in 2008, found that they identify with Democrats over Republicans by only a 54 to 40 percent margin this year,” he wrote.

“Perhaps they are coming to realize that the burdens the Obama policies are placing on the private sector economy are reducing their choices for the future.”

As Obama and Congress continue to pound home the idea that success in this country is something to be punished, so goes the desire to strive for bigger and better things among our younger population – heck, among our entire population.

There is a quite significant reason why unemployment continues to flirt with double digits.  The policies from Washington that punish success and reward underachievement are archaic job killers.  They fundamentally destroy the natural desire to work hard and succeed.  They remove the very motivation that most people need to make their societies and communities a great place to live – for better or worse.

I reported recently that the public sector is alive and well, while the private sector continues to struggle.  The government is systematically developing an environment where government is the entity that provides for the livelihood of Americans.  This includes the recent passage of nationalized health care, and certainly includes the collective implementation of an environment that strangles private sector investment and enhances areas for government bureaucracy.  This is accomplished through excessive taxation, scores of rules and mountains of bureaucracy that do nothing but cost businesses money – costs that those businesses ultimately pass on to the consumer.

CNN reported recently that even many Democrats, disgruntled with the heavy hand of our government, are beginning to join the much-maligned tea party movement.  When you see people from both ends of the political spectrum banding together to fight back against obscene government encroachments into the lives of the American people, then you know firsthand how serious the situation is.  When people actually begin to pay attention, you know it is bad.

As popular radio talk show host Neal Boortz likes to write, how’s that hopey changey thing working out for you?

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer declined to say Wednesday if Democrats have enough votes to pass historic health care legislation, but hinted that they’re poised to use an arcane parliamentary process to get it done.

Hoyer’s Republican counterpart, Rep. Eric Cantor, acknowledged that such a process is permissible under House rules. Under the procedure, a Senate-passed health bill would be “deemed” to have passed if House members voted in favor of a rule governing a separate bill with amendments to it.

Cantor, R-Va., said he couldn’t understand why Democrats would use such a parliamentary detour with a bill of this magnitude and reach.

Asked on ABC’s “Good Morning America” to say if he had the 216 votes necessary to pass the legislation in the House, Hoyer, D-Md., replied, “I don’t have a precise number. Having said that, we think we’ll get the votes. … We think we will have the votes when the roll is called.”

Appearing on the same show, Cantor asserted: “They don’t have the votes yet … The problem is, there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding this bill. The American people think there’s a better way.”

The partisan parrying has increased in intensity in the past few days as President Barack Obama and House and Senate Democratic leaders have increased pressure to at last resolve the health care issue, which has been before the Congress for over a year. Obama is due to leave Sunday on a trip to Asia, and he has said he wanted it finished by then.

In the interview Wednesday, Hoyer, D-Md., maintained that support for the 10-year, $1 trillion health care remake has gone up in recent weeks.

“We’re going to have a clean up or down vote on the Senate vote,” he said. “That will be on the rule. … This is not an unusual procedure.”

Cantor retorted that “this is a process that you can avoid a direct up or down vote on a bill.”

Democratic Party chairman Tim Kaine voiced confidence on NBC’s “Today” show that the bill will pass, saying “we’re in the last throes of labor before something good happens. … We’re not taking anything for granted but we feel good about the outcome.”

Asked if “deem and pass” is being used to provide cover for Democrats worried about voting for the measure, Kaine replied, “I don’t think there’s any cover to be found. Everyone’s accountable.”

At stake is a bill that would cover some 30 million uninsured people, end insurance practices such as denying coverage to those with a pre-existing conditions, require almost all Americans to get coverage by law and try to slow the cost of medical care nationwide. The comprehensive legislation could affect nearly every American, from those undergoing annual checkups to people facing major surgery.

Activists on both ends of the political spectrum are energized. Tea party volunteers, who rallied Tuesday in Washington, are planning to flood congressional offices with e-mails opposing the legislation as a step toward socialism. And some on the political left have joined in calling for the bill’s defeat because it leaves out a federal insurance option.

White House aides said Obama and senior advisers are making clear to lawmakers that they will not be left standing alone in a difficult election year if they cast a tough vote for health care overhaul. The aides spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meetings.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is trying to keep wavering lawmakers in line, meeting with them individually and in groups. And she summoned female Democrats to her office for a meeting Wednesday morning.

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