His fourth revision by (the questionable authority of) executive order since he signed it into law. (H/T, CatholicVote.org.)
Liberals think they have a monopoly on compassion. They may be right . . . if one defines compassion by how much of other people's money you spend. But even that was called into question today by the far left Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who exposed the Left's hypocrisy by refusing to pass bills sent to it by the House of Representatives to keep specific federal agencies open during this so-called government. By the way, the Senate majority party also refused to go to a conference committee with the House on any number of spending bills the House has passed to keep the government open, as if it's an insult and not the normal legislative process, demanding the House pass exactly what Senator Reid wants — or it will do nothing at all. So, who exactly is responsible for the shutdown? Conference committees happen every day in state legislatures and used to be a common occurrence in Washington. At the General Assembly they occur with great frequency at the end of session, under tense deadlines, and bills of all kinds get passed — including budgets. (Yet, some running for statewide office this year want to bring the Washington model to Richmond.)
Earlier today, in a random act of journalism, Dana Bash of CNN asked Senator Reid why not pass a House spending bill to fund the National Institute of Health to help children with cancer if he was so concerned about healthcare (i.e., Obamacare). Senator Reid's comments were chilling, the words of ruling parties in despotic countries. See the video below, especially toward the end:
Senator Reid on helping children with cancer during the shutdown: "Why would we want to do that?"
Apparently, then, it's not about healthcare. It's about control — the right of the government to control us and our healthcare decisions, while it exempts itself from Obamacare. Yet, how many times do we hear liberals say, about any issue, "If it can save just one life"?
It's not hypothetical, either. Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius ruled (there's that word again) under her Obamacare powers, that a young girl could not receive a lung transplant. (What in the world is a cabinet secretary doing meddling in an individual medical case?) Fortunately, the girl's parents went legal on the Death Czar and a federal judge rebuked her order prohibiting the procedure.
In addition to Senator Reid's callous, cold determination to deny children cancer treatment, he did another demeaning thing at his news conference. For someone so eager to accuse his political opponents of waging a "war on women," notice his patronizing, belittling verbal joust at Ms. Bash toward the end of the video. It reminded me of this classic remark made four years ago, which also demeaned a woman reporter, by another verbally bumbling liberal politician at a news conference, which made the news as well.
Tell us what you really think: Liberal pols revealing their hypocrisy on healthcare and women.
Why do we, as conservatives, oppose Medicaid expansion in Virginia (speaking generally, not for any TFF position)? This chart from Drew Gonshorowski at the Heritage Foundation's Foundry Blog (via John Taylor of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy) demonstrates why, in very stark terms. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, in a desperate attempt to get governors to adopt the Obamacare state health insurance exchanges, has peddled the fallacy of "free money" (direct funding from the federal government) for Medicaid in the short term (thus the net savings through 2016). In essence, it's a bribe with taxpayer money at the cost of massive debt her administration won't have to pay back. After that, though, the states face the obligations of the expanded government-run health program on their own, which sticks them with unconscionable costs and burdens for years to come — not to mention the crowding out of traditional services state and local governments provide, such as police, fire, rescue, transportation and education.
There's no such thing as free money. There is something called unsustainable debt. But try telling that to proponents of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion.
In an another Internet exclusive, just as with the July 1 hearing on the federal government's motion to dismiss Virginia's constitutional challenge to the new federal health care law, we have Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's entire post-hearing news conference. The meeting with the media took place at about 12:30, about an hour after Federal District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia Henry Hudson heard two hours of oral arguments from the Department of Justice, representing U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and the Office of the Attorney General, representing the Commonwealth of Virginia. The news conference is in five parts below. We will have comment tomorrow. No need to sort through what the mainstream media tells you. Hear and see it for yourself, right here. Attorney General Cuccinelli's statement and questions from the media take about 42 minutes. His statement is in the first two parts, and takes about 18 minutes. A good portion of his statement recaps the hearing (which was good since seats in the courtroom were limited and the overflow room's audio failed) and then lays out the historical and legal basis for the constitutional challenge. Whatever one thinks of the Attorney General Cuccinelli's positions, no one can doubt his preparation and knowledge of the legal, historical and constitutional context of the matter at hand.
Virginia's law suit against the new health care law — known officially as "Commonwealth of Virginia, Ex Rel. Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II vs. Kathleen Sebelius, Civil No. 3:10CV188, Motion Hearing" — will proceed Monday morning at 9:00 in Judge Henry Hudson's Richmond courtroom. The hearing is on the heels of yesterday's decision by Federal District Judge Roger Vinson in Florida to allow the 20 State Law Suit to proceed as well (21StateLawsuit.com). While that case is behind the Eastern District of Virginia's famous "Rocket Docket," and is where the Virginia case stood about a month ago, the fact that the weight of 21 states now are at full trial over the constitutionality of Obamacare was welcome news to Attoreny General Cuccinelli (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). We will be there in the courtroom Monday (or, most likely, in a satellite room with a video feed), and provide our impressions later in the day (electronic equipment is not permitted in the courtroom). So please check in with us. We also hope to be at any post hearing news conference the attorney general may hold, just as we were after the hearing on the federal government's motion to dismiss in July. We were the only media anywhere to post video of the entire news conference (see it here, as relevant points to Monday's hearing were discussed).
We expect Attorney General Cuccinelli will be on several television interview shows throughout Monday afternoon and evening, so there will be plenty of opportunity to hear straight from the source. In the meantime, here's a video of a speech he made at a freedom rally in D.C. last month:
Getting his day in court. More precisely, the people getting their day in court against the government's unprecedented power grab over individual liberty.
Below is the news release issued by the Office of the Attorney General regarding today's hearing on the federal government's motion to dismiss Virginia's lawsuit against the health care law. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli emphasized and elaborated on the quotes below at his post-hearing news conference, which you can see here.
Virginia defends health care lawsuit for first time in court this morning; Federal judge heard feds’ Motion to Dismiss
- Feds say individual insurance mandate is a tax -
Richmond (July 1, 2010) - Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and his legal team made their first defense of Virginia’s lawsuit against the federal government’s new health care act this morning. Federal district court judge Henry E. Hudson listened to Virginia’s and the federal government’s arguments on U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s motion to dismiss the suit.
The federal government argued that Virginia lacks the standing to bring a suit, that the suit is premature, and that the federal government has the power under the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause to mandate that citizens must be covered by health insurance or pay a civil penalty. The government also made alternative arguments based upon its taxing power and the Necessary and Proper Clause.
“If the government prevails and Congress may use the Commerce Clause to order Americans to buy private health insurance, then Congress will have been granted a virtually unlimited power to order you to buy anything. That would amount to the end of federalism and our more than 220 years of constitutional government,” Cuccinelli said following the hearing.
Part of the commonwealth’s argument in court was that “the government can’t draft an unwilling citizen into commerce just so it can regulate him under the Commerce Clause.” E. Duncan Getchell, Jr., Solicitor General of Virginia, argued on behalf of the Commonwealth.
When questioned by the judge whether the individual insurance mandate was a tax or a penalty, the attorney for the federal government said it was both, even though members of Congress specifically said they did not pass it as a tax, and President Obama has stated it was not a tax, to appear to keep the president’s promise not to raise taxes on the middle class.
“One mile from the U.S. courthouse where we just argued this case is St. John’s Church, where Patrick Henry gave his famous ‘Give me liberty or give me death’ speech. So it’s fitting that in that courtroom today, just one mile down the road, we were fighting the greatest erosion of our liberty since our country’s founding,” said the attorney general.
Courtesy of our friends at the Family Research Council, below are eight documented facts about the inclusion of abortion funding or mandates in the so-called health care "reform" bill. You can click here, as well, to get them in a PDF document.
Eight Reasons Abortion Is in the Health Care Overhaul
1. The legislation specifically includes it. The President’s bill to amend the Senate bill leaves several abortion provisions in place. In Section 1303 it allows tax credit subsidies for plans that include abortion and leaves the abortion surcharge in place. It maintains the proposal to create a multi-state plan that includes abortion in Sec. 1334. Even worse, it would increase the Senate bill funding from $7 billion to $11 billion for community health centers in Sec. 10503 without any abortion funding restrictions. (H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.)
2. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said it is. "And I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women’s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment, and I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women. ... That would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund." (HotAir.com: "Sebelius: Everyone will pay into abortion-coverage fund".)
3. Senate Democrats refused to ban it. Instead of allowing for an up or down vote on a Senate amendment similar to the Stupak Amendment in the House which bans federal funding of abortion, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) "tabled" the amendment, effectively killing it. This was the only amendment dealt with in this way. (Vote No. 369 S.Amdt. 2962 to S.Amdt. 2786 to H.R. 3590.)
4. House Pro-life Democrats, who support a government takeover, say it is. "The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable." (U.S. Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), February 23, 2010, CBS News) … "I think abortion’s wrong. The problem is that I’ve lived too long. When they say they can keep this money separate, I just don’t believe it." (U.S. Representative Marion Berry (D-Ark.), March 6, 2010, Arkansas News.)
5. House Pro-abortion Democrats say it is. "The good news is that the Senate bill does allow [abortion coverage]," (Chairwoman of the House pro-abortion caucus, Dianne DeGette (D-Colo.), March 5, 2010, Washington Post.)
6. The Abortion industry has sent out alerts in favor of it. The abortion giant Planned Parenthood sent out alerts on March 6, 2010: "President Obama’s health care reform proposal would make a real difference for the women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood. . . . and [the bill] significantly increase access to reproductive health care." (Planned Parenthood alert, March 6, 2010.)
7. Candidate Obama said it would be included, and the Obama administration includes it in its definition of reproductive health care. Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated he "believes that reproductive health care is basic health care." (Rhealitycheck.org questionnaire, 2008.) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed up on this in 2009: "Reproductive health care includes access to abortion." (The Cloakroom Blog: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, April 22, House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing.")
8. House Democratic Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has indicated he wants to "fix" the abortion coverage problem in the Senate bill. "House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that lawmakers could draft separate pieces of legislation with abortion language to earn the support of anti-abortion rights Democrats on healthcare reform legislation." (March 4, 2010: The Briefing Room, The Hill's blog.)
But if those eight facts aren't enough to convince your "pro-life" friends who are convinced that anything out of "the annointed one's" mouth is truth, or just can't bring themselves to doubt such "moderate" and "Blue Dog Democrats" such as U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) or our own Mark Warner, here's 12 more facts and reasons, courtesy of The Cloakroom.
Still not sure? Then check out FRC Action’s resource page: "Standing Against the Government Takeover of Health Care," as well as why the Hyde Amendment does not apply to the current bill: "Q and A: Government Health Care and Abortion." Please disseminate this information by using the share program, e-mailing this link to friends and/or posting it to your own social networking sites.
Annotations & Elucidations Breaking News: Next Budget Shortfall $3.5 Billion!
Breaking news this evening: Senate Finance Committee analysts told that committee's members this afternoon that the next two-year budget will be $3.5 billion short, not to mention the current budget lacking another $209 million.
In other news, Governor Tim Kaine told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he has concerns with some of Governor-elect Bob McDonnell's positions. He is afraid the new governor will sign certain bills he vetoed, not continue his executive order banning "sexual orientation discrimination" in state government hiring, and fears meat ax budget cuts (apparently only Mr. Kaine knows how to cut spending correctly). He also said he's not afraid of being unpopular. Good thing.
Speaking of cuts, one state budget analyst told the House Appropriations and Finance Committees yesterday the commonwealth of overbuilt for prisons and that perhaps construction and maintenance costs could be pared for the time being. A harmless cut, manna for pols!
In national news, the Senate showdown on health care approaches and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius tries to put out a fire by now saying, of course the administration wants women to get mammograms by age 40. Uh-huh, right. Meanwhile, the public embraces common sense proposals, such as tort reform, but no one's listening, and the president has hired another tax cheat at the Treasury Department.
In Commentary, Larry Kudlow, Michael Barone and Michelle Malkin take on different aspects of President Obama's bowing and tripping Asia excursion, Walter E. Williams excoriates the horrendous moral relativism taught to our students, and Christopher Adamo explains the GOP-Palin disconnect.
State facing $3.5 billion shortfall in next budget (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Virginia's road budget slashed another $851.5M (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
State transit plan faces $851.5 million cut (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Analyst proposes putting corrections projects in Va. on hold (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Gov. Kaine cites concerns on Virginia's budget, roads (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Gov. Kaine wants ethics probe of ex-delegate Hamilton to continue (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Federal grand jury subpoenas Hamilton documents (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Study highlights tax burden disparity (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
The GOP: Luddites or high tech? (Washington Post Politics and Policy Blog)
Senate girds for historic debate on health bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)
Thousands cheer Palin in Mich. for book tour (AP/GOPUSA.com)
AP Poll: Support for curbs on malpractice lawsuits (AP/GOPUSA.com)
Another Obama (Treasury) nominee runs into tax problems (AP/GOPUSA.com)
Sebelius: Women should get mammograms by age 40 (AP/GOPUSA.com)
President Zero Sum Goes to Asia(Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)
Obama Bows, but the World Refuses to Bow Back(Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)
Excused Horrors (Walter E. Williams/GOPUSA.com)
Obama's Doubletalk On Political Dissent(Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)
Palin, Conservatism, And The Disconnected GOP (Christopher Adamo/GOPUSA.com)
We all say, at one time or another, especially during times of political idiocy, "It would be funny if it wasn't so sad." But sometimes, it really is funny! Check out these three videos of liberal officials — U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen ("All Abortion All The Time") Sebelius, and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D- Md.) — all get laughed at and jeered for their implausible defenses of ObamaCare Socialized Medicine. Carnahan ridiculously claims that this colossal government takeover will run a surplus. So, watch and enjoy, and while it is sad we have elected and appointed officials this clueless and/or devious, don't cry over it — unless it's from laughing too hard.
Rep. Carnahan shows his sense of humor. Too bad he was being serious.
Sec. Sebelius shows why she's an out-of-touch elitist.
Neil Cavuto from Fox News interviews a gentleman who had the nerve to tell Sen. Cardin that the government has no right to impose upon his health care freedom.
Thanks to our friends at The Virginia Catholic Conference — who do fantastic work keeping up with federal issues, especially regulatory matters that don't require Congressional action and therefore aren't in a big a media spotlight — we have an urgent reminder that the Obama Administration is losing no time in trying to force medical workers of faith into providing services they find objectionable. On February 27, it announced its intention to remove current regulations, put in place by the Bush Administration late last year, that protect conscience rights in health care. On March 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a formal proposal to rescind these regulations, thereby activating a 30-day period for the public to submit comments.
The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has devised an Action Alert explaining why the regulations should be retained and providing directions on how to submit comments to HHS (click here). E-mail messages can be sent directly through the NCHLA Action Center. A preset message is provided, to which the sender can add personal comments.
Please submit your comments before the April 9 deadline!
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up a special Web site with that provides a wealth of information and resources on conscience protection (click here), including a link to the NCHLA Action Center message. We encourage you to visit that site and others to fully arm yourself on the issue.
Churches are encouraged to display the NCHLA and USCCB links on their Web pages. Highlighting the critical importance of the current conscience regulations, Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said:
They are "one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers — for doctors, nurses and others — who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith in God."
Removing these conscience regulations "would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism."
The Obama HHS promises to be as destructive as ever toward the unborn. Its secretary-designate, Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic, was the most pro-abortion-on- demand governor in the country before her nomination. He extremist policy positions prompted Archbishop Raymond L. Burk to call her an "embarrassment" (Catholic News Agency). It will take every possible effort to counter the new adminstration's pro-abortion initiatives. Pro-life Virginia activists responded in numbers to impress upon the Bush Administration how important these medical professional conscience protections are (see previous commentary). A redoubled effort is required to convince the Obama Administration to retain them.