Tag Archives: policy

Senate Rejects Full ObamaCare Repeal but Votes To Kill ‘1099’ Provision

By a vote of 51-47, the Senate today rejected a full repeal of ObamaCare. A second vote, 81-17, did repeal the 1099 tax paperwork provision.

No surprises here. This just illustrates the need to throw more of these clowns out of office in 2012. For one thing, many of the 81 Senators who voted to repeal the 1099 tax provision had voted for it only 10 months ago. Have they finally learned to read?

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White House quietly exempts friends from Obamacare

Repeal the damn bill! And even the White House agrees as it quietly exempts its political friends from Obamacare. Key quote:

How can you get your own free pass from Obamacare? Maybe you can just donate $27 million to President Obama‘s campaign efforts. That’s what Andy Stern did as president of SEIU in 2008. He has been the most frequent guest at Mr. Obama‘s White House.

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Congressman says that Congress has the right to force people to buy insurance

Behind the curtain, a dictator: Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia) said yesterday that he not only thinks that Congress has the power to make people buy insurance according to the Constitution, it is his obligation to force them to do so. In his own words:

“I think people should be required to get health insurance. We require people to get insurance for their automobile state by state but the federal government has an obligation to encourage by law, moral persuasion, to get people to get health insurance,”

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Climate change study had ‘significant error’: experts

Climate scientists admit that a climate change study which claimed the Earth would warm by more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit in about a decade had “significant errors”. Key quote:

Scientist Scott Mandia forwarded to AFP an email he said he sent to Hisas ahead of publication explaining why her figures did not add up, and noting that it would take “quite a few decades” to reach a warming level of 2.4 degrees Celsius. “Even if we assume the higher end of the current warming rate, we should only be 0.2C warmer by 2020 than today,” Mandia wrote. “To get to +2.4C the current trend would have to immediately increase almost ten-fold.”

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200 Economists Ask Lawmakers to Repeal Obamacare

I’m not the only one saying it: Two hundred economists ask lawmakers to repeal Obamacare. Key quote:

The letter from economists said the law is “fiscally dangerous at a moment when the United States is already facing a sea of red ink. It creates a massive new entitlement at a time when the budget is already buckling under the weight of existing entitlements. At a minimum, it will add $1 trillion to government spending over the next decade,” the letter stated. “Assertions that these costs are paid for are based on omitted costs, budgetary gimmicks, shifted premiums from other entitlements, and unsustainable spending cuts and revenue increases.

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What Congress Should Cut

What Congress should cut. And they find $3 trillion in only 14 paragraphs. Key quote:

None of this will be easy. Many will likely demagogue any reduction in the rate of growth of spending as a devastating “cut.” But the politics of spending has changed, and there is an expectation among fiscally conservative voters—Republicans, independents, tea partiers and even Democrats—that the government tighten its belt, just as American families have been forced to do. Some in the Republican establishment have already started complaining that this is too politically difficult. These naysayers misread today’s political climate. Should they succeed in blocking change, tea party voters will hold them just as accountable as big-spending Democrats.

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Nearly 3000 doctors surveyed believe ObamaCare will hurt care quality and doctor pay

Repeal the damn bill! By large majorities, surveyed doctors believe that ObamaCare will hurt care quality and doctor pay. Key quote:

During the next 5 years, the quality of health care in this country will improve (18%) stay same (17%) deteriorate (65%).

The Affordable Care Act will result in physician reimbursement becoming more fair (9%) neither fair nor unfair (17%) less fair (74%).

Overall, the impact of the Affordable Care Act for patients will be positive (27%) neutral (15%) negative (57%).

Overall, the impact of the Affordable Care Act for physicians will be positive (8%) neutral (14%) negative (78%).

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Sheila Jackson Lee says that repealing the national health care law would violate the Constitution

An idiot on parade: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said on Tuesday that repealing the national health care law would violate the Constitution. From the comments:

What’s even scarier than this speech, given by crazed Marxist ideologue Lee: The voters who re-elect her, over and over again.

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Confessions of a Greenpeace founder

The confessions of a Greenpeace founder. Key quote:

The truth is Greenpeace and I had divergent evolutions. I became a sensible environmentalist; Greenpeace became increasingly senseless as it adopted an agenda that is anti-science, anti-business, and downright anti-human.

Other quotes of interest:

The collapse of world communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall during the 1980s added to the trend toward extremism. The Cold War was over and the peace movement was largely disbanded. The peace movement had been mainly Western-based and anti-American in its leanings. Many of its members moved into the environmental movement, bringing with them their neo-Marxist, far-left agendas. To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anti-capitalism and anti-globalization than with science or ecology.

And:

There is no cause for alarm about climate change. The climate is always changing. Some of the proposed “solutions” would be far worse than any imaginable consequence of global warming, which will likely be mostly positive. Cooling is what we should fear.

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Astronaut Tim Kopra, member of next shuttle crew, injured in bike mishap

The lead spacewalker for the next shuttle mission, the long-delayed last flight of Discovery, has apparently broken his hip in a bike accident. Key quote:

NASA does not train backup crews and a replacement, even a recently flown veteran, would need time to rehearse spacewalk scenarios and receive mission-specific training for Discovery’s flight. How long that might take, if required, and what impact it might have on the shuttle’s launch date is not yet known.

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More battles in space war

More battles in the space war over NASA:

  • Bill Nelson blasts NASA’s claim that it needs more time and money to build the program-formerly-called-Constellation.
  • The NASA inspector general has urged Congress to stop wasting money on the program-formerly-called-Constellation (which NASA is still required to build because of legal language inserted in the 2010 budget appropriations bill, passed in late 2009).
  • HEFT, Lies and Videotape. Paul Spudis lays into NASA over the entire crazy situation.
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Bad news for NASA, good news for private space

Earlier this week NASA submitted a report to Congress reviewing the design and construction status of the heavy-lift rocket and manned capsule that Congress has required them to build and launch by 2016. NASA’s conclusion: the space agency doesn’t think it can do the job in the schedule or budget that Congress has provided.

NASA does not believe this goal is achievable based on a combination of the current funding profile estimate, traditional approaches to acquisitions and currently considered vehicle architectures. . . . We will not commit to a date that has a low probability of being achieved.

NASA’s conclusions here are not surprising. The agency had been having trouble building Constellation on the much bigger budget and longer schedule given to them by past Congresses. For them to build the-program-formerly-called-Constellation for less money and in less time is probably impossible.

Nonetheless, this was the response of the Senate Commerce committee:

The production of a heavy-lift rocket and capsule is not optional. It’s the law.

This is why I have been saying that the money for this program is nothing more than pork. Congress knows that nothing can be built on this budget, but wants the money spent nonetheless, to keep people employed in their districts.

Meanwhile, in sharp contrast, Space Adventures yesterday announced a new deal with Russia, whereby the Russians have agreed to build and launch one extra Soyuz capsule per year, beginning in 2013, to fly 3 tourists to ISS. In addition, there is this report today about how SpaceX is successfully meeting all its milestones in building its cargo ferry for ISS. An earlier report last week also noted how Orbital Sciences is also moving forward with its cargo ferry, with a planned first test launch by the end of 2011.

All in all, this news is not good news for NASA. The space agency’s manned spaceflight program appears to have two futures, neither of which will involve it continuing to build rockets or fly humans into space. In one option, the new Congress, when it finally sits down to write a budget, will decide that pork and happy constituents are more important than a balanced budget, and will appropriate the money for the-program-formerly-called-Constellation. NASA will struggle hard to build it, but will not succeed. Thus, no government-built manned space program.

In the second option, Congress will agree with me and decide that it just doesn’t have money for pork, especially considering the terrible state of the federal budget. Moreover, seeing the success of the private efforts of SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, and Space Adventures, Congress will wonder why it needs to pour more billions into a vain effort by NASA to build something it can’t, when there are other private companies that can do it, and do it for less. In this circumstance, it will be very easy for them to cut the-program-formerly-called-Constellation. Once again, no NASA manned program.

Neither scenario is actually a bad thing. What we are actually seeing play out here is the free competition of different companies attempting to provide a service to a customer, and the customer eventually picking the best company from which to buy the product. NASA, as a government agency, simply can’t compete, and unless Congress decides to provide them welfare, will lose this competition hands down.

The U.S. will still have the capability of getting into space, but for far less money. And having multiple private companies competing to provide this service will also encourage innovation, something the rocket industry has sorely needed these past five decades.

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NASA submits its Heavy Lift rocket proposal to Congress

NASA has submitted its Heavy Lift rocket proposal to Congress. However, NASA also noted bluntly that:

“Neither Reference Vehicle Design currently fits the projected budget profiles nor schedule goals outlined in the Authorization Act.”

In other words, they can’t build it for the money or in the timeframe they’ve been given by Congress.

Didn’t someone say this already? Several times?

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