Get ready for Detroit-style labor relations in our hospitals.

Read the Union Health-Care Label

Get ready for Detroit-style labor relations in our hospitals. 

In the heated debates on health-care reform, not enough attention is being paid to the huge financial windfalls ObamaCare will dole out to unions—or to the provisions in the various bills in Congress that will help bring about the forced unionization of the health-care industry.

Tucked away in thousands of pages of complex new rules, regulations and mandates are special privileges and giveaways that could have devastating consequences for the health-care sector and the American economy at large.

The Senate version opens the door to implement forced unionization schemes pursued by former Govs. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois in 2005 and Gray Davis of California in 1999. Both men repaid tremendous political debts to Andy Stern and his Service Employees International Union (SEIU) by reclassifying state-reimbursed in-home health-care (and child-care) contractors as state employees—and forcing them to pay union dues.

Following this playbook, the Senate bill creates a “personal care attendants workforce advisory panel” that will likely impose union affiliation to qualify for a newly created “community living assistance services and support (class)” reimbursement plan.

The current House version of ObamaCare (H.R. 3200) goes much further. Section 225(A) grants Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius tremendous discretionary authority to regulate health-care workers “under the public health insurance option.” Monopoly bargaining and compulsory union dues may quickly become a required standard resulting in potentially hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses across the country being forced into unions.

Ms. Sebelius will be taking her marching orders from the numerous union officials who are guaranteed seats on the various federal panels (such as the personal care panel mentioned above) charged with recommending health-care policies. Big Labor will play a central role in directing federal health-care policy affecting hundreds of thousands of doctors, surgeons and nurses.

Consider Kaiser Permanente, the giant, managed-care organization that has since 1997 proudly touted its labor-management “partnership” in scores of workplaces. Union officials play an essentially co-equal role in running many Kaiser facilities. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney called the Kaiser plan “a framework for what every health care delivery system should do” at a July 24 health-care forum outside of Washington, D.C.

The House bill has a $10 billion provision to bail out insolvent union health-care plans. It also creates a lucrative professional-development grant program for health-care workers that effectively blackballs nonunion medical facilities from participation. The training funds in this program must be administered jointly with a labor organization—a scenario not unlike the U.S. Department of Labor’s grants for construction apprenticeship programs, which have turned into a cash cow for construction industry union officials on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

There’s more. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has suggested that the federal government could pay for health-care reform by taxing American workers’ existing health-care benefits—but he would exempt union-negotiated health-care plans. Under Mr. Baucus’s scheme, the government could impose costs of up to $20,000 per employee on nonunion businesses already struggling to afford health care plans.

Mr. Baucus’s proposal would give union officials another tool to pressure employers into turning over their employees to Big Labor. Rather than provide the lavish benefits required by Obamacare, employers could allow a union to come in and negotiate less costly benefits than would otherwise be required. Such plans could be continuously exempted.

Americans are unlikely to support granting unions more power than they already have in the health-care field. History shows union bosses could abuse their power to shut down medical facilities with sick-outs and strikes; force doctors, nurses and in-home care providers to abandon their patients; dictate terms and conditions of employment; and impose a failed, Detroit-style management model on the entire health-care field.

ObamaCare is a Trojan Horse for more forced unionization.

Mr. Mix is president of the National Right to Work Committee.

Obama heckled by GOP during speech: ‘You lie!’

By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer Laurie Kellman, Associated Press Writer 32 mins ago

WASHINGTON – A South Carolina Republican lawmaker shouted “You lie” at President Barack Obama as he addressed Congress on Wednesday. The congressman later apologized for his “lack of civility.”

In his speech in the House chamber, Obama was telling lawmakers that the Democratic plans for health care overhaul do not cover illegal immigrants.

“The reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally,” Obama said.

“You lie!” Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouted from his seat, jabbing a finger in the air.

In a statement, Wilson said later that he regretted the incident.

“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me,” Wilson said. “While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

Wilson’s outburst caused Obama to pause briefly and say, “That’s not true.”

Behind him House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., could be seen glaring in Wilson’s direction, but there was no move by Democratic leaders to censure Wilson. First lady Michelle Obama, in the visitors’ gallery, shook her head from side to side disapprovingly.

Neither the House nor the Senate health care overhaul bills would provide coverage for illegal immigrants.

Wilson’s wasn’t the only interruption during Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress.

Earlier, Republicans laughed when Obama acknowledged that there still were significant details to be worked out before a health overhaul can be passed.

Following the speech, it was Obama’s Republican rival from last year’s presidential race for the White House who defended the president.

It was “totally disrespectful,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said on CNN of Wilson, a conservative who has opposed Obama’s economic remedies. “There is no place for it in that setting, or any other, and he should apologize for it immediately.”

___

Associated Press writer Ben Evans contributed to this report.

Obama’s media skills face pivotal test

Obama’s media skills face pivotal test
By: John F. Harris and Jonathan Martin
September 9, 2009 05:12 AM EST

This summer marked the fifth anniversary of the Democratic Party’s swoon for Barack Obama, who thrilled millions of people hearing the young state senator for the first time with words that set his image as a dazzling unifier in an age of mean and divisive politics:

“Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes,” Obama told the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. “Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America — there’s the United States of America.”

Five years later — amid declining approval ratings and an increasingly polarized debate over health care — President Obama is losing his argument. Far from taming the forces of accusation, personal malice and ideological fervor, Obama and his signature health care agenda this summer became their target — and at least partly their victim.

What’s more, as he prepares to address Congress in a nationally televised speech Wednesday, one of the main pillars of Obama’s reputation — that his gift for healing words would combine with the power of his biography to transcend the rancor of modern politics — has never looked more wobbly.

Even some Democratic strategists say Obama and his vaunted political and communications teams should have seen it coming.

“The true impact of congressional or party leadership is declining every day compared to the power of blogs and talk radio,” said longtime Democratic pollster Paul Maslin. “It was surprising to me that Obama and company were caught unaware by this. They should have been first to realize you can mobilize people and use forms of communication to get people riled up.”

Maslin, who resides in Madison, Wis., said he’s seen the power of the right wing even in his liberal college town, where there have been conservative tea parties to rail against Obama’s plans to increase taxes on the wealthy to pay for his expansive agenda.

“They’re not the majority, but they’re vocal,” Maslin said. “And they’ve used guerrilla tactics to dominate the debate.”

One of the summer’s surprises has been the degree to which angry “town halls” filled with opponents of health care reform has driven the political narrative — no matter that Democrats own both the White House and Congress, no matter that many news organizations were slow to reckon with the consequences of a movement gathering power far from the traditional corridors of power.

Similarly, it was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, out of office and using her Facebook page, who pushed into broad circulation the discredited notion that health care reform would include “death panels”. More recently, it was Palin’s right-wing media allies who drove White House environmental adviser Van Jones out of office and created fear about Obama’s ultimately innocuous back-to-school speech.

Most Washington oddsmakers consider it more likely than not that some compromise on health care will reach Obama’s desk this fall — a big victory, if it comes, and one that would easily chase away this summer’s headlines.

But what’s been lost in the furor — perhaps irretrievably — is the idea that Obama might represent a transformational brand of politics of the sort he envisioned five years ago in Boston.

White House aides counsel patience.

“Obama is the only modern Democrat to take on the right-wing noise machine and win — and he has done so repeatedly,” said a senior White House official. “And we always take the long view: Win the war, not the battle. It’s how we won the campaign, it’s how we will pass health reform.”

The summer storms, however, highlighted two realities. One is that — for all Obama’s campaign team was celebrated for its use of “new media” and “social networking”— his White House is split along generational lines that may limit its dexterity.

While some aides heavily promote the use of new media technology to combat viral political assaults, other top aides like White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel devote their most concerted messaging efforts to established news outlets like the major broadcast networks and, most of all, The New York Times.

 

Even the congressional speech — while giving Obama a powerful platform in which to prove anew the power of his own voice and skill at describing complex policies — is a familiar format.

What’s more, Obama is learning that its most ardent foes are in some ways impervious to the usual tools at a president’s disposal — not susceptible to persuasion or reasoned argument and only too happy for the attention that comes from being attacked head-on.

Bill Carrick, a veteran Democratic strategist, said Obama faces a “big dilemma” in determining whether to take on the likes of Glenn Beck, Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh.

“To do that he has to consider, a) does it diminish me and b) does it make it harder to create a bipartisan legislative environment,” he said.

Part of the problem, said Democratic communications strategist Phil Singer, is that the nature of the office can limit how hard Obama hits back against the nontraditional opposition.

“For example, if Glenn Beck goes on the attack in a campaign setting, you might do a full [opposition] file on him and fight fire with fire,” said Singer. “But now picking a fight with a media figure might leave the White House vulnerable to charges that it is chilling free speech, which in turn fires up those who would be anti-Obama under any and all circumstances.”

When the White House sought to combat chain e-mails propagating health care falsehoods, Singer noted, it was accused of compiling an “enemies list.”

“Having said that, it’s important to correct the record when falsehoods are being spread,” he said. “The trick is finding a happy medium.”

It is clear that simply ignoring what West Wing aides sometimes dismiss contemptuously as “cable chatter” is not a wise option.

Consider an August Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that showed half or more of those surveyed believed health care reform would offer benefits for illegal immigrants and use taxpayer dollars for abortions, and even 45 percent thought the government would make decisions about when to stop paying for care for the elderly.

But Republicans say the White House is mistaken if it thinks trotting out Obama for another high-stakes appearance can reverse the tide.

“They’ve already way overplayed the Obama card,” said GOP ad man Stuart Stevens. “Obama has an opinion on everything from how to grow organic food, to what jazz to listen to, to who should win NCAA basketball playoffs. He’s way overexposed.”

Mary Matalin, another Republican strategist, said the Obama White House took away two “false narratives” from his electoral success last fall: “that he could use his personal popularity to sell unpalatable policies and that he had a mandate to push a liberal agenda.”

And when there was blowback to that agenda and the president’s numbers began to sag, the White House was at a loss, Matalin said.

Obama, she added, is “getting through loud and clear, it’s just that the dogs won’t eat the dog food.”

But it also may be that a potent opposition is getting through louder and more clearly.

“Yes, some of the town halls were set up, and yes, the media did go overboard,” added Maslin. “But that’s the way of the world. [Reagan image guru] Mike Deaver figured that out a long time ago. You can say that they fought with crazy rumors and they fought with untruths, but they fought.”

“The education process is difficult,” a White House aide acknowledged. “Does it make it tougher with people who are saying things that are demonstrably untrue and when those same people have a megaphone? Sure.”

This aide also promised “to be forceful in making our case. … Online, Facebook, Twitter — whatever it takes to make sure our message is going to all corners that we can get it to.”

– Kendra Marr contributed to this story.

Congressman wants all ‘czars’ to testify

Congressman wants all ‘czars’ to testify

By Jordan Fabian – 09/09/09 10:11 AM ET

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) on Wednesday called for President Obama’s “czars,” or appointed high-level advisers, to testify before Congress about their “authority and responsibilities” in the executive branch.

The president’s “czars” have become a point of controversy among his opponents because they do not have to be confirmed by the Senate as cabinet-level officials do. 

McHenry wrote to committee chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and ranking member Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asking the appointed officials to testify.

“If the czars have high-level, decision-making authority as their titles would indicate, then it is my concern that their appointment without Senate approval represents a circumvention of our Constitutionally-mandated confirmation process,” McHenry, who is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in his letter.

Czars were in the spotlight again after “green jobs” czar Van Jones’ resigned this weekend. It was revealed that Jones made harsh comments about Republicans and signed a “truther” petition alleging that the government played a role in the 9/11 attacks.

“His ability to slip into a position of power without due Congressional diligence only further underscores the necessity for a confirmation process,” the third-term Republican said of Jones.

However, the actual number of czars in the administration is a disputed matter. McHenry requests that all of President Obama’s 44 czars testify before Congress. But other reports put the number at around 30.

The North Carolina Republican did not provide a list of the 44 czars he wants to testify.

11 accused of faking voter registration cards in Miami-Dade–The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office issued arrest warrants for each of the 11 suspects, all of whom worked for the local chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, (ACORN).

11 accused of faking voter registration cards in Miami-Dade

By JENNIFER LEBOVICH
jlebovich@MiamiHerald.com

Eleven people hired to register potential voters in Miami-Dade County before last year’s presidential election were being sought Wednesday for falsifying hundreds of voter registration cards.The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office issued arrest warrants for each of the 11 suspects, all of whom worked for the local chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, (ACORN).

By early Wednesday morning, six were in custody, authorities said.

ACORN came under fire during last year’s presidential campaign when Republicans and other conservative groups accused the national organization of committing fraud in its aggressive voter registration efforts in various cities and counties nationwide, including Florida.

But ACORN officials said they had alerted authorities about the alleged illegal activity among some canvassers in Miami-Dade after finding “numerous discrepancies” on voter cards collected from the Homestead area.

The arrests are “further evidence we’ve been policing our own folks and report people attempting to commit voter registration fraud,” said ACORN spokesman Brian Kettenring. “This was really some individuals who were trying to defraud their employer.”

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle praised ACORN.

“We’ve been very aggressive about a lot of these cases,” she said. “But we would not have known about these workers unless ACORN brought it to us.

“It’s really minor, ineffectual attempts to justify getting paid an hourly basis. It could not have impacted the voting process whatsoever. Nonetheless, we cannot turn a blind eye to this,” Rundle added.

ACORN quality control workers found the discrepancies in the cards turned in by 10 canvassers and contacted authorities in June 2008, authorities said. The group turned in 1,400 cards, of which 888 were found to be fraudulent.

An analyst with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement later reviewed a random group of cards, searching databases to find a record of the voter.

The majority of those sampled “contained registrant information that was not able to be matched to a living person,” the warrant said.

The workers, who were paid between $8 and $10 an hour, registered names of nonexistent people — in one case, Paul Newman and James Taylor appeared on cards — or simply filled out several cards for the same real voter, authorities said.

Those arrested are charged with several counts of false swearing in connection with voting or elections and submission of false voter registration information, both third-degree felonies.

Miami Herald staff writer David Ovalle contributed to this report.

Obama Vs. Democracy

Obama Vs. Democracy
By: Ralph Peters / New York Post
Wednesday, September 09, 2009

 


The administration sides with anti-American dictators.
President Obama’s State Department waited until the cusp of Labor Day weekend before publicly backing Latin America’s dictators in their assault on democracy.

Our thug-worshiping diplomats figured they’d slip it by us. With the nation focused on barbecues and the beach, they announced that, if Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez’s client, Manuel Zelaya, isn’t returned to power in Honduras, the United States won’t recognize the results of that country’s upcoming free elections.

Why was former president Zelaya driven from his would-be throne in Tegucigalpa? He tried to subvert Honduras’ Constitution and set himself up as president-for-life.

In June, the elected legislators and the Honduran Supreme Court had enough. As Zelaya aligned with Chavez, the Castro regime, Nicaraguan caudillo Daniel Ortega and other extreme leftists, the Honduran government gave the would-be dictator the boot.

Acting under legal orders, the army peacefully arrested Zelaya and shipped him out of the country. No murders, no Chavez-style imprisonments.

It was not a military coup. An elected congress and interim president, not a general, run the country today.

But the Obama administration has decided that this “violation” is so dreadful that we won’t even recognize future free elections in Honduras.

Well, President Obama’s taste in elections is finicky:

* He’ll recognize the utterly bogus results of Afghanistan’s corrupt election.

* He initially blessed the results of Iran’s rigged election. (He was for it before he was against it.)

* He hasn’t spoken one word of criticism as Chavez continues to strangle Venezuelan democracy.

* He hasn’t questioned the divisive, racist politics of Presidente Evo Morales in Bolivia.

* He hasn’t demanded free elections in Cuba — instead, he’s easing up on the Castro regime.

But we’re going to show those wicked Hondurans, by George! They can’t boot out a crazy leftwing president just because he’s trying to subvert their Constitution.

Honduras is a small country. But the principle and precedent loom hugely. Have we abandoned democracy entirely? In favor of backing anti-American dictators?

This is beyond madness.

Did our president’s (self-avowed) Marxist friends convince him that Che Guevara really was a hero?

Just because the Bush administration tried to spread democracy doesn’t mean that defending democracy is a bad idea. At present, free elections are under siege south of the Rio Grande — from narco-gangs in Mexico, from Venezuelan-backed Marxist terrorists in Colombia, from the kleptocrat Kirchner-family regime in Argentina and from Castro clones in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Hugo Chavez is not only buying extensive weaponry from Russia, but distributing arms to the FARC terrorists in Colombia next door and equipping the Bolivian military for a confrontation with Chile — while accusing the United States of plotting multiple invasions.

Chavez has murdered, kidnapped, jailed and tortured political opponents. He’s seized control of the economy (and not just health care), wrecking it in the process. Dissent has been crushed, with even old comrades of Chavez jailed without trial on trumped-up charges. Venezuela’s media, once vibrant and free, has been destroyed.

This is the guy with whom our president’s siding on the Honduras crisis.

But if Obama thinks that handing over a “little” country he couldn’t find on a map is going to win him enduring applause and cooperative friends in Latin America, he’s crazy. What he’s actually doing is frightening our friends. If democratic governments south of the border can’t rely on US support, to whom can they turn?

The increasingly left-wing tone from the White House may be satisfying to ideological activists, but it’s doing tremendous damage to the cause of freedom in our hemisphere.

What’s next? Will Obama withdraw support for democratic Colombia? After Honduras, is El Salvador next? Will we be complicit in turning back Latin America’s political clock by 50 years?

For shame.


Ralph Peters is a New York Post Opinion columnist and the author of “Looking For Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World.”

Obama’s school speech and the reaction.

Obama’s school speech and the reaction.

Ari Kaufman
Many journalists, politicians and regular folks have been whining about those “intolerant” parents who hate President Obama so much that they did not send their kids to school Tuesday in order to avoid the broadcast of the president’s “historic” speech. Others bemoaned why those “reactionary” schools elsewhere, likely “stirred up by conservative commentators,” did not show his 20 minute address at high noon eastern to their classes.

Unsurprisingly, these people missed the entire reason for the public uproar, even if that uproar was rather tepid by noon eastern when the president took the stage in Arlington, Virginia.

 

The speech itself — its text, that is – was not a huge deal. I could complain about a line or two, but mostly I found it fine and dandy: unmemorable, unnecessarily authoritative and riddled with ancient clichés like any pre-written speech penned by historically-challenged neophytes that The One reads from his teleprompter.  

 

Indeed, the only Marxist line I found sneaked in was, “You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair…”

 

That’s really all history is about, Mr. President?

 

But truly, those schools not showing Obama’s speech (many in major cities are not yet even in session either), and those parents who don’t wish their children to view it, are not hate-filled, intolerant or, as the left often says, “racist.” Rather the idea of such an unprecedented speech was again redolent of more indoctrination of impressionable youths into the dreaded cult of personality. Other “great” orators were very adept at this, and our current Statist-in-Chief is hardly different.

 

As usual, Obama’s narcissism has begun a bad precedent. Adding to the fire, as hotair.com pointed out, in the speech, he used an iteration of “I” 56 times. 

 

Aren’t our schools are bad enough as left-wing PC factories with error-laden textbooks? This will just continue disaster and, as importantly, wastes valuable time.

 

There’s thus a reason, on the first day no less, many schools like one I know in South Carolina, opted out with fair reasons:

 

“The school is going to record it, and if segments or the entire speech correlate with our studies, we may use it in the future,” the principal noted. “If we use it, I will communicate to you ahead of time, and your child will have the opportunity to opt out and have an alternate assignment.  It will be airing on C-SPAN, and you may record it and watch it with your child when they come home from school.”

 

No racism, no intolerance, no hatred. I read the same type of sound rationale from schools in Medina, Ohio, and Aurora, Colorado, among others.

 

And it goes without saying in the world of Statist hypocrisy, when Bush the Elder spoke to students 18 years ago, panicked Democrats investigated and held hearings. 

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/obamas_school_speech_and_the_r.html at September 09, 2009 – 11:32:09 AM EDT

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