Is Obama Retreating on ‘Public Option’?

Is Obama Retreating on ‘Public Option’?
by Connie Hair, Human Events
There was startling news out of the Obama camp over the weekend as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on a Sunday talk show appeared to back away from the so-called public option being vital to their heath care plan. Sebelius said it was “not the essential element” of Obamacare. Are they really backing away from the crown jewel of the Democrats’ statist plan: government-run heath care? Not so fast.The most important part of the Obama administration sales pitch on their “public option” has been to increase competition so price would come down. That’s what they tell us. Yet if that were really the aim of Democrats, they would break down the barriers that would allow the purchase of heath insurance across state lines, like your car insurance options. Democrats aren’t really interested in thousands of health insurance choices. What they are interested in is control of every health care dollar spent in this country. Instead of offering tax credits to the poor to purchase their own health insurance and making health insurance tax deductible for workers, Democrats have been demanding a “public option” that facilitates a government takeover of the entire heath care economy. Watch what Democrats do, not what they say.
Read the Rest of the Story:


Cartoon of the Day
-Nate Beeler, The Washington Examiner


Five Things Congress and the President Are Doing to Bring Back Sky-High Gas Prices From The Heritage Foundation

Five Things Congress and the President Are Doing to Bring Back Sky-High Gas Prices
WebMemo #2587

Gasoline prices are up since the start of the year, but the summer of 2009 has thus far been a bargain at the pump compared to a year ago when prices exceeded $4 a gallon. However, the respite from sky-high prices is likely temporary.

A return to $4 a gallon gas–or higher–will be made even more certain if Congress and the President succeed in enacting a host of proposals to crack down on domestic energy supplies. Instead, the federal government should support several pending pro-domestic energy measures that would help meet the nation’s growing demand in the years ahead.

Proposals That Would Raise Gasoline Prices

1. Pump price-boosting global warming legislation. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454, commonly known as Waxman-Markey after its two main sponsors) seeks to limit how much gasoline and other fossil fuels Americans can use. The aim is to cut America’s emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use, which proponents of the bill claim is warming the planet to dangerous levels. As with electricity rates, gasoline prices would have to rise high enough so the public would be forced to use less and meet the bill’s ever-tightening energy rationing targets. It is literally a deliberate effort by the U.S. government to make gasoline less affordable.

According to a Heritage Foundation analysis,[1] the bill would boost the price at the pump by 20 cents per gallon when the provisions first take effect in 2012. The targets get tougher each year, and by 2035 the increase would be an inflation-adjusted $1.38 per gallon–and that is on top of any other price increases that might occur.

2. Regulation of hydraulic fracturing. Bills have been introduced authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act.[2] This could greatly reduce future onshore drilling for oil (and even more so for natural gas), thus lowering domestic supplies and adversely impacting gasoline prices.[3]

Hydraulic fracturing is a process by which pressurized water and other substances are injected into wells to facilitate the flow of oil and natural gas. It has been widely used for decades and is necessary for the majority of new wells in the U.S. It is currently regulated at the state level, and its environmental and public safety track record is nearly spotless.[4]

Nonetheless, proposed legislation seeks new federal regulation by the EPA based on concerns about contamination of drinking water supplies, even though such water contamination has never occurred and is highly unlikely.

3. Increased red tape and costs on domestic drilling. A draft bill from the House Natural Resources Committee seeks to discourage domestic oil production by adding a host of new regulatory requirements on top of those already in place.[5] The result would be more paperwork, delays, and litigation, but lower domestic supplies of oil.

The bill also creates new regional councils (above and beyond the many existing opportunities for state and local participation) with control over offshore oil and gas leasing. Though couched in terms of allowing public input, these councils would be susceptible to dominance by anti-energy activists not in step with the pro-domestic energy sentiment of the American people.

The proposal would restore unnecessary and redundant environmental reviews that had been eliminated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This policy change has proven very helpful for new domestic energy production since 2005, and its reversal would be a serious blow to future oil and natural gas drilling.

The bill also raises many fees on oil production in areas with existing leases. These increases would be particularly burdensome for the smaller energy companies that account for most of the domestic oil and gas activity. In some cases, these provisions would be enough to make oil leases too costly to pursue. While discouraging existing oil activities, the bill does nothing to open up currently off-limits areas to new production.

4. Raising energy taxes. Although President Obama has spoken frequently about the need to reduce imports of oil, his first budget proposed a host of punitive taxes aimed at domestic oil and natural gas production. For example, the budget eliminates several deductions against income for energy producers, most notably the manufacturer’s deduction under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. Under the budget proposal, this deduction, which applies to all domestic industries, would specifically exclude domestic exploration and production of oil and natural gas.

Overall, the budget uses the domestic oil and natural gas industry as a source of $31 billion over 10 years in additional revenues. It should be noted that this industry already faces effective tax rates that are higher than the manufacturing sector as a whole.[6]

These energy tax hikes, which of course do not apply to foreign sources of oil, also put domestic production at a comparative disadvantage. For example, the 1980 windfall profits tax on oil companies (an excise tax that kicks in when the price of oil exceeds a certain amount) was found by the Congressional Research Service to have “reduced domestic oil production from between 3 and 6 percent, and increased oil imports from between 8 and 16 percent.”[7] The newly proposed tax changes would have the same effect.

5. Administrative delays on drilling. Last year, in the wake of public outrage over $4 gas, President Bush and Congress repealed the restrictions on leasing in 85 percent of America’s territorial waters. However, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has already reversed the pro-energy momentum from last year, stalling on opening any new areas to leasing and even cancelling some existing leases. He has also blocked the leasing program for oil shale, a promising source of oil trapped in massive deposits of rock under parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. If progress can be made on technologies to efficiently extract the oil from the rock, oil shale could single-handedly supply America’s oil needs for many decades and possibly a century or more.[8]

What to Do Instead

Instead of clamping down on domestic energy supplies, American energy policy should embrace these ideas:

  • Expand offshore and onshore oil production into previously restricted areas, including Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil–16 years of current imports from Saudi Arabia–lie beneath a few thousand acres that can be accessed with minimal environmental impact;
  • Reduce the regulatory and legal delays that can slow and sometimes stop production;
  • Allow further progress on oil shale; and
  • Prevent costly new anti-energy regulations from being imposed in the name of addressing global warming.

These principles are contained in bills such as the American Energy Innovation Act (H.R. 2828), the No Cost Stimulus Act (S. 570 and H.R. 1431), and the American Energy Act (H.R. 2846).

Smart Energy Policy Should Be Obvious

It should be obvious, but in Washington it is often not: Discouraging domestic oil supplies with access restrictions, regulations, fees, and taxes will add to the future price at the pump, while streamlining these impediments to increased production will do the opposite. Congress and the President should be enacting measures that allow oil and gasoline to be as plentiful and affordable as possible to meet the nation’s energy needs. Instead, they are doing the opposite.

Ben Lieberman is Senior Policy Analyst in Energy and the Environment in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

[1]David Kreutzer et al., “The Economic Consequences of Waxman-Markey: An Analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis Report No. CDA09-04, August 5, 2009, at

[2]The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009, H.R. 2766, 111th Congress, 1st Sess.; the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2009, S. 1215, 111th Congress, 1st Sess.

[3]Global Insight, Measuring the Economic and Energy Impacts of Proposals to Regulate Hydraulic Fracturing, 2009, at
(August 13, 2009).

[4]Scott Kell, “Statement on Behalf of the Ground Water Protection Council,” testimony before the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representatives, June 4, 2009, at
(August 12, 2009); U.S. Department of Energy, State Oil and Natural Gas Regulations Designed to Protect Water Resources, May 2009, at (August 12, 2009).

[5]The Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2009, 111th Congress, 1st Sess.

[6]Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, “Performance Profiles of Major Energy Producers 2007,” table 1, at
(August 12, 2009).

[7] Salvatore Lazarri, “The Windfall Profit Tax On Crude Oil: Overview of the Issues,” Congressional Research Service, Sept. 12, 1990, Summary.

[8]Congressional Research Service, “Oil Shale: History, Incentives, and Policy,” April 13, 2006, pp. 1-2, at
(August 12, 2009).

The Islamic Republic of Iran Reality Check

The Islamic Republic of Iran Reality Check Print
Saturday, 15 August 2009
The Iranian people are calling for help and much of the world either turns a deaf ear or feels it has its own priorities to worry about. Then, the horrors keep playing out, unabated, in the streets, prisons and dungeons of the Islamic Republic of Iran. A reality check.

A 19-year old beautiful Taraneh was not shot with a single bullet to her chest as was the case with Neda Soltani. There were no bystanders in the dungeon with a cell phone to capture the prolonged torture, rape, and sodomy of this teen-ager.According to reports, as well as testimony on the House floor from the honorable U.S. Congressman McCotter, on June 28, 2009, Taraneh Mousavi, a young Iranian woman, was literally scooped off the streets without any provocation on her part and with no arrest warrant. This young woman was taken to one of the Islamists torture chambers where she was repeatedly brutalized, raped, and sodomized by Ahmadinejad’s agents and with the consent of  the “supreme leader” Ali Khamenei.

Near death from repeated beating, raping and sodomizing, the fragile young woman, bleeding profusely from her rectum and womb, was transferred to a hospital in Karaj near Tehran. Eventually, an anonymous person notified Taraneh’s family that she had had an “accident” and had to be taken to the hospital.

The devastated family rushed to the hospital only to find no trace of their beloved daughter because, the gang of Islamic thugs, the foot-soldiers of Allah’s “divine representative” Ali Khamenei, decided to eliminate all traces of their savagery. These beasts of Allah removed the dying woman from the hospital before the family’s arrival, burned it beyond recognition and dumped her charred remains on the side of the road.

Taraneh means melody in Persian. According to her bereaved family and friends, true to her name, she used to sing with a beautiful warm voice and played the piano with skill. It is beyond imaginable cruelty to have her precious young life extinguished after an extended period of torture and rape.

Like Neda, another young woman, whose chest was ripped by the bullet of a murdering Islamist as she peacefully walked along with a throng of peaceful demonstrators, Taraneh’s tragedy gives a glimpse of the true face of Islamic fascism and its brutality. The Taranehs and Nedas of Iran shall remain as eternal testaments to the depravity of Islamic fascism and the horrors it has visited on innocent people. And these young victims of the Islamic tyranny are by no means isolated cases. Tragically, women as a gender bear the brunt of Islamic misogyny. Women are systematically exploited, maltreated and disenfranchised from their God-given rights.

How did Taraneh end up in the hands of the Islamist murderers?  According to reliable reports, the 19-year-old Taraneh Mousavi, was among hundreds arrested on June 28, 2009 in Iran’s post-election aftermath. She was standing outside her school when she was arrested, along with a group of about 14 others, blindfolded and taken to an interrogation and torture center.

Witnesses present at the scene have reported that the basijis militia—hired government thugs–were giving the exceptionally beautiful Taraneh a particularly hard time. When the other detainees were allowed to contact their families and she was not, she sensed there would be trouble and gave her parents’ telephone number to a few of the women there who in turn contacted her family after being released.

Our great Zoroaster, the luminous ancient prophet of Persia, spoke of the ongoing battle between the forces of good under Ahuramazda—God, and the forces of evil directed by Ahriman—the Satan. Zoroaster warned us not to fall for the enticements or be deceived by the machinations of Ahriman.  He further informed us that evil can be recognized by the deeds of its people; people who would oppose the precepts of Ahuramazda.

The savage Islamists killed the magnificent child-woman Taraneh, after a long period of tortuous imprisonment and rape. By killing her, the agents of evil aimed to silence freedom loving Iranians. But assuredly they can never kill freedom. They only kill the body, but the spirit of freedom lives on.

According to the Islamic Sharia practiced by the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is impermissible to execute a woman if she is virgin. A handy excuse for the torture savages to satisfy their beastly lust by arranging a “wedding” ceremony before the eventual execution of the victim. The female prisoner is forced to consummate the “marriage” by submitting sexually to one of the chosen jail-keepers. A virgin woman gets forcibly raped before being hanged. This is yet another gift from Islam to humanity!

Lest reports of horrific mistreatment of innocent prisoners of conscience be taken as baseless rumors and innuendoes, in a letter dated June 12, 2009, a Presidential candidate, Mehdi Karoobi, explicitly states the violations. The letter addressed to the head of the Assembly of Experts on Leadership—the highest body of the ruling gang of clerics—Karoobi demands that an impartial commission be appointed to investigate the torture and rape reports of detainees, both women as well as men.

Mr. Karoobi writes: “I do not think that prisoners in the pre-revolution regime (i.e. the Shah’s) had seen or heard of such crimes. Some detained individuals have reported such savage rapes that have left the women victims with physical scars and ruptures in their reproductive systems. At the same time, young imprisoned boys have been raped in such atrocious ways causing them depression, physical and psychological pain, leading to their complete withdrawal from everybody.”

The Islamists’ ruling Iran—the curse of Allah—heartlessly hang gays  on the grounds that same sex relationship is a capital offense according to the Islamic ethos. Yet, these same beasts gang-rape innocent young men in their medieval dungeons, after having arrested them for participating in peaceful demonstrations.

The horrors visited on innocent Iranian detainees by the goons of the Islamic Republic with the consent of the head-criminal, Ali Khamenei, and the orders of the brutal “President” Ahmadinejad, make every decent human shudder with revulsion. It is sadly reminiscent of Nazi Germany. The Nazi’s use of piano wires for nooses to torment maximally their victims by slow death has been matched by the Islamist Fascists’ resort to sexual brutalization that eventuates in death.

Freedom-lovers and decent humans like Taraneh and Neda, like millions of others, did not believe that a murdering Islamist Ahmadinejad was their President. They did not approve of his rabid attacks on Israel, demanding its eradication; they did not condone his largess on Islamist terrorists such as Hizbollah and Hamas; they did not want religious minorities, such as Baha’is, to be deprived of their rights of citizenship simply because they did not belief in his religious zealotry; they did not want to live as second class citizens because of their gender.

Tragically, there are people in position of power who turn a blind eye to these horrors with their sole concern for their own self-interests. When Robert Gibbs, spokesman for the White House, shamelessly declares that Mahmood Ahmadinejad, the fraud, is the elected President of Iran, one wonders about Gibbs’ humaneness. How would Gibbs feel if Taraneh was his daughter and Ahmadinejad had her blood on his hands? Would Gibbs, or for that matter President Obama, call this murderer Ahmadinejad, a duly-elected President worthy of shaking his blood-stained hand?

Reality check shows that fascism is being practiced once again, this time in Iran, and once again, many powerful people such as Gibbs of the White house and Ban of the United Nations fail not only to express their condemnation, they proceed by bestowing legitimacy on the murderers and their rule.

White House public option ploy: A trial balloon, not a white flag

Michelle Malkin 

White House public option ploy: A trial balloon, not a white flag

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 17, 2009 01:07 AM

Do you believe the Sunday spin on the White House’s alleged “retreat” from the Obamacare public option?

Video of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s pooh-poohing of the public option provision is here.

Drudge illustrated the AP story with a white flag.

Politico says the White House has “backed away.”

I’m not buying the hype. Are you?

The real Obama is a declared proponent of single-payer and universal health care Trojan Horses. All else is political theater.

Late Sunday, the health care czar’s office said Sebelius “misspoke.”

It’s not a misstatement. It’s not a surrender flag. It’s a trial balloon to measure the potential nutroots backlash versus the potential Senate pick-ups.

Besides, the public option provision can always be stuffed back in via a 3am manager’s amendment or during the House/Senate conference to reconcile each chamber’s Obamacare bills.

As for Democrat Sen. Kent Conrad’s health care “co-op” idea, the devil — as always — is in the details.

Edmund Haislmaier pointed out a few weeks ago at The Foundry:

If by health care “co-op,” Congress means allowing private associations to collectively buy health insurance for their members or operate a health insurance exchange, or allowing people to buy health insurance from a non-profit, member-owned private insurer, then those would be positive, pro-consumer developments.

However, simply slapping the word “cooperative” onto a new “insurer,” but then specifying that the government — not the policyholders — picks the board of directors (as Sen. Schumer wants), or that taxpayers will subsidize it, or that it has to pay doctors and hospitals at Medicare rates, would just be an exercise in trying to disguise a “public plan.”

Distrust and verify.

Cash for Clunkers: An exercise in futility

Cash for Clunkers: An exercise in futility

By Frank Ryan

The Obama Administration and Congress have added a $2 Billion increase in the cash for clunkers automotive program. 


The first Billion was touted as being extraordinarily successful by the administration.   With such success behind them, they decided in their infinite wisdom to expand the program to $3 Billion.


Apparently a $2 Billion increase in this program will improve the automotive industry — or so we are told.  The Czar of the automobile industry and the Administration hope that the increase in demand will revive the floundering industry.

Hat tip: John McMahon


I am almost numb from watching our government interfere in markets it does not understand.


Why we are not reeling from disbelief with all the government intrusion in banking, health care, and automobiles is beyond me.  This is the same government that brought us unfunded social security promises, the Vietnam War, nationalized railroads, and $600 ashtrays.  Why would anyone conceivably believe that government can solve an automobile problem?  If past performance is an indication of future results, we are in trouble.


Cash for clunkers is likely to cause additional pain to an already troubled automobile industry in general and for General (Government) Motors in particular.  Let me be very clear (where have I heard that expression before?), the government’s cash for clunkers will likely cause greater problems for the industry.


The perceived success of cash for clunkers will be offset by forces which will be troubling for the industry and our economic recovery in the not too distant future.


  • Cash for clunkers mostly shifts demand for cars. Very few people who would never have bought a new car will be motivated. Most users of the program will buy cars today and not tomorrow because of the incentive. They will not buy today in addition to tomorrow. The program does not increase underlying demand very much.
  • Cash for clunkers increases production at suppliers today at the expense of demand tomorrow.
  • The dealers were dealt with arrogantly by General Motors prior to bankruptcy and dealers have long memories. Remaining dealers are nervous about the way former dealers were treated and are looking to reduce their risk with GM and the industry.
  • The supplier base to General Motors was dealt with harshly as well. Suppliers will see a temporary increase in demand at a very high cost to produce today with the offset being reduced sales in three to six months from a newly saturated car market.
  • GM’s foreign competitors are benefitting. GM has yet to effectively deal with its excess capacity. I still do not believe that GM understands that when it shut down so many dealers that it fired its sales force. GM needed to reduce productive capacity and not sales capability.
  • There is still excess capacity in the industry, which means fixed costs are still significantly out of control and will be a drag on the industry for years and decades to come.
  • Finally, the American taxpayer is angry about bailouts, government intervention, special deals, and continued intrusion in our lives. The automobile industry lost a long term friend in the American people with these bailouts.
 Until government understands that intruding in markets today is a trade off for the disaster of tomorrow, we are likely to get more bad decisions from DC.   Bad decisions do not get better with time.


Failed business models kept alive by taxpayer funds are still failed business models. 


The automotive industry needs to establish viable, profitable relations with suppliers. 


The industry must recognize the value of the dealer.   The direct customer of the automobile manufacturer is the dealer and not the car buyer.  The car buyer is the customer of the dealer and everyone must benefit from a mutually profitable relationship for the industry to survive. 


Automobile executives need to deal with their capacity and recognize that economies of scale is as potent a force as fixed cost absorption.  Boosting sales artificially to keep factories busy is a disaster in the making.


Finally, the great workers who helped build the auto industry must recognize that the car buyers are hurting, that markets have changed, and that you cannot legislate people to buy cars that they cannot afford.


Only when all parties to the automobile industry decide that they want to fix this market will the industry solve its problems.    Bailouts and cash for clunkers only make matters worse.


Col. Frank Ryan, USMCR (ret) CPA specializes in corporate restructuring and lectures nationally on ethics.  He is on numerous boards of publicly traded and non-profit organizations.  He can be reached at

Page Printed from: at August 17, 2009 – 08:58:32 AM EDT

On being ruled by fanatics

On being ruled by fanatics

By James Lewis

“At a dinner to celebrate Bill Clinton’s first presidential victory [Rahm Emanuel] began to reel off the names of those who had ‘crossed’ him. He grabbed a steak knife and began plunging it into the table shouting “Dead! Dead! Dead!” after each name.

“When he was done the table looked like a lunar landscape,” a witness relates. “It was like something out of The Godfather. But that’s Rahm for you.” Times of London
Fanatics have their uses. I want my brain surgeon, if I need one, to be fanatically dedicated to his craft. I’m happy if my airplane pilot loves his job with total dedication. And sports “fans” were called that because they are fanatically dedicated to their teams.  Go for it, sports fans!


When it comes to politicians I feel a lot more dubious about fanaticism. Zealots always have blind spots.  I don’t mind total dedication in monks or in US Marines. But leaders are supposed to be mature, wise, and thoughtful. They are supposed to be open-minded about policy choices, so they can figure out the best ones to go for.  That’s what we elect them for.


The looming ObamaCare fiasco is a classic example of a public policy plan that has never been weighed against the alternatives.  Even liberal economists are saying it. Any consistent reader of the Wall Street Journal knows more about healthcare options than the Obama administration’s “experts” do. That’s why ObamaCare fails so badly against choices that are more practical, far less expensive, and much more humane and respectful to all concerned. O-Care is simply not a result of a balanced, fair-minded assessment of human needs and costs.


On the contrary. It is a plan so single-minded, so monomaniacal, so disruptive, grandiose and blind to the alternatives that it is even now crashing in the minds of a shell-shocked  public.


This is the result of fanaticism, not balanced thinking. That seems to be President Obama’s way. This White House defines a goal like Arab-Israeli Peace in the Middle East, or Health Care for All, and goes hell for leather, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead — without ever pausing to think, or to listening to people who have spent decades dealing with these questions — if they dissent from Obama orthodoxy. Any opposition is interpreted as bad faith rather than reasoned disagreement. Critics must be evil or racist.  That is the state of mind of jihadis going on suicide missions. It is not how intelligent policy makers operate


This White House knows no limits. It is endlessly self-aggrandizing. And it is contemptuous of dissent. Add that to fanatical thinking and huge mental blind spots, and you have a recipe for disaster.  The captain is drunk on power and heading straight for the iceberg


Our best presidents have not been fanatics: On the contrary. Lincoln did not rush into the Civil War. The most famous fanatic of that time was John Brown, who tried to start a war at Harper’s Ferry at the very time that Lincoln was desperately trying to avoid a clash.  Our Constitution was also not written by zealots. Just the opposite: It was carefully designed to place brakes and counter-weights on the single-minded fanatics who arise in every generation. The Constitution was written by men who had outgrown their self-centered teenage stage. The fanatics of that time were kept out of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.


I think we have some classical fanatics in this White House. But it’s not just the White House. We have a Speaker of the House who replied to a press question she didn’t want to answer, “I’m trying to Save the Planet.” Seriously. We have a US Senator from Michigan who has just been quoted as saying,


“Climate change is very real,” she confessed as she embraced cap and trade’s massive tax increase on Michigan industry – at the same time claiming, against all the evidence, that it would not lead to an increase in manufacturing costs or energy prices. “Global warming creates volatility. I feel it when I’m flying. The storms are more volatile. We are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes.”


And of course we have a Secretary of State who wrote her Wellesley thesis on on Saul Alinsky. She used an Alinsky quote for her title, in big capital letters:




That is a pretty good definition of fanaticism.

Page Printed from: at August 17, 2009 – 08:56:02 AM EDT

The Array of WH ObamaCare Tactics Grows

The Array of WH ObamaCare Tactics Grows

By Lee Cary

The White House is deploying an array of tactics to promote ObamaCare.

Here’s the list to date.


1.  Warn about the cost of inaction.  Or the, “Sure it’s expensive, but just think of how much it’ll cost if we don’t do anything!” argument. It’s a false dichotomy. Many of those who oppose Obamacare believe healthcare reform is in order – just not the nationalized medicine approach proposed by Obama and the Democrats.


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. President Obama appears to have fixed on a new strategy to counter what he has called fear-mongering by his opponents in the national health care debate: Try to convince the public that making no change would be scarier. (Source)


2.  Use Grandma to build empathy through association.  Or the “I wouldn’t deny healthcare to the elderly for I once had a sick grandma, too” argument. 


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. | President Obama for the first time invoked the death of his own grandmother to strike back against opponents of his health care plan who have tried to claim it would create government “death panels” to “pull the plug on grandma.” (Source)


3.  Accuse opponents of racial prejudice – play the race card.  In an article entitled “Fear for Obama’s Safety Grows as Hate Groups Thrive on Racial Backlash,” ABC News alleged a link between racial prejudice and anti-Obamacare sentiments.


Experts who track hate groups across the U.S. are growing increasingly concerned over violent rhetoric targeted at President Obama, especially as the debate over health care intensifies and a pattern of threats emerges.


4.  Shift the focus of the debate.  The White House has shifted the focus away from the positive – improving healthcare for all Americans – to a negative – reining in the evil health insurance industry.


5.  When accused of having a controversial proposal, just say “No we don’t.”  This tactic is popular with some Senators and Representatives when constituents push back against specific proposals in Obamacare.  It’s the “No, it doesn’t say that” response. It’s dependent on tactic #6.


6.  Hide the plan.  When the House version of the plan is criticized, just say that the Senate has a different version, but then don’t reveal that version. And, if you’re Obama, say, “Well, that’s not in my plan.”  It’s all a shell game – plan, plan, who’s got the plan?


7.  Hide key congressional proponents.  For example, Rep. Harry Teague (D. NM) is just one among those Democrat members of Congress hiding from their constituents during the recess. Callers asking to know his schedule are referred to the Congressman’s website for a list of town hall meetings on ObamaCare. His last “Harry in your hometown” event was August 8th. Where’s Harry now?


Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D. CA.) is also hiding from his constituents. According to the Merced County News:


Normally this is the one time of the year that we can expect to hear from our Congressman. Traditionally there are Town Hall meetings to give the constituents a one on one with their Congress in discussion of the various topics being debated on Capitol Hill.  Our Congressman Dennis Cardoza says there will be no Town Hall meetings. He is not expected to return to Merced County over the summer recess.


8.  Pretend to give up on controversial issues that were never acknowledged in the first place.  We’ve heard that the alleged Senate bill has omitted the controversial “death committee” provision that was never acknowledged to have existed in the first place. This offers the illusion of compromise.


9. Hold pro-Obamacare pep rallies that profess to be open town hall-like events. Obama is reverting to the campaign style that brought him success during the election.  Fill a room full of supporters, answer stacked questions, claim that support is widespread, and attempt to build positive momentum.


10. Blame the media for focusing on the opponents.  Since the legacy media is decidedly pro-Obama, this accusation doesn’t provoke their ire. It should, but it doesn’t.


11. Demonize the opposition.  This is, perhaps, the most consistent and frequently used tactic designed to weaken the opposition to Obamacare. Rush Limbaugh is accused of inflammatory language, and his alleged minions dutifully march into the contentious town hall meetings that surface on YouTube.


12. Make false claims for Obamacare.  This tactic is close to #5.  It’s represents the dissemination of misinformation about the House bill, pertaining to the bill’s costs and provisions. This tactic provoked angry pushback at some town hall meetings. People had read the bill, while their congressional member clearly had not.


So what other tactics are yet to be deployed? 

Page Printed from: at August 17, 2009 – 08:54:04 AM EDT