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Informing Hawaii's voters

Doing the Vote Math

Are there enough votes in the House to pass health care?
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ABC's David Chalian reports: President Obama and Speaker Pelosi (with an apparent assist from Mrs. Kucinich) successfully convinced Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, to change his position and support the Democratic health care reform bill making its way to the finish line in Congress. It was a mini victory and a demonstration of momentum for Obama and Pelosi.

Kucinich’s announcement marks the first previous no vote to publicly declare he is flipping to yes. But if Speaker Pelosi is to successfully pass the bill, she will need a handful of more members to do the same.

Read more . . . [ABC News]

Rep. Kucinich Caves to Pressure on Health Care

Dennis Kucinich

After ride on Air Force One with President Obama on Monday, the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate changes "no" vote to "yes."
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U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) waited until Democrats had won last November's health care reform vote before casting his ballot against it on the House of Representatives floor.

This time around -- pressured by everyone from President Obama to Moveon.org -- the Cleveland Democrat had no luxury to dawdle before taking a stance. He announced at a Capitol news conference this morning that he'll vote "yes" on the bill's latest draft.

Read more . . .

Limbaugh Call to Action Prompts House Phone Deluge

E-mail system also flooded

House phone lines were nearing capacity on Tuesday as conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh encouraged fans to call in their objections on healthcare legislation.

The House e-mail system was also deluged in what the House’s technology office called “a very significant spike” in traffic.

Read more . . . [The Hill]

Obama Refuses to Campaign for Democrats Who Vote No on Health Care

The gloves are off
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Barack Obama is battling to save US health care reform

The president will refuse to make fund-raising visits during November elections to any district whose representative has not backed the bill.

A one-night presidential appearance can bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds which would otherwise take months to accumulate through cold-calling by campaign volunteers.

Read more . . . [The Daily Telegraph] (U.K.)

The Destruction of the Constitution

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

by Michael Connelly

Mr. Connelly teaches law, including constitutional law, through Education to Go, an online company that provides courses to numerous universities, including the University of Hawaii system. The author of three books and publisher of a website, he resides in Carrollton, Texas, and can be reached by email.

What many Americans have feared for years may be about to come to pass. We have an out of control Congress and an arrogant, elitist President who believes it his destiny to transform the United States from a republic to a socialist system of government where individual freedoms are severely restricted. Congress is preparing to give the President and his Executive Branch of government what amounts to dictatorial powers over one-sixth of our economy and the private health care decisions of everyone who lives in the United States.

Congress is not only going to pass legislation that will severely damage the balance of power established in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers, but it is going to go about in a manner that violates Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution. Among other things, that article provides for each law passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate to be then sent to the President for his signature. The key word here is “passed”. It appears that there are not enough votes in the House to pass the Senate version of the health care bill so House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will continue to show her disdain for both the American people and the Constitution by ignoring Article 1, Section 7 of one of our most sacred documents and send the bill to the President for his signature without an actual vote on it in the House.

Instead she will use something being referred to as the “Slaughter Solution” named after Louise Slaughter, a member of the House from upstate New York who proposed that the idea be used to avoid a formal vote. This is also referred to as the “self executing” or “deeming” rule. The members of Congress will be allowed to vote to change the rules and authorize Pelosi to deem the Senate version of the Bill passed and send it to Obama to be signed into law. The fact that this ploy has been used in the past with other much less important legislation does not make it Constitutional. This action also allows the members of Congress to avoid another “troublesome” provision of our Constitution, Article 1, Section 5, that allows one fifth of the members of the House present to demand that the vote on any piece of legislation be recorded so the American people can know how their elected representatives voted.

The theory is that members of the House who live in districts where the majority of people oppose the health care legislation can go back to their districts and say that they did not vote for the bill. Instead, they will have just voted for a rule change. Of course, this ruse also makes the elitist assumption that “we the people” are too dumb to know that a vote to change the rules to allow the health care bill to go forward is the same as a direct vote for the legislation. By the way, if you want to read the new version of this legislation, forget it. Even though the vote to send it to Obama is scheduled to take place in just a few days, the text of the bill has not yet been made available to members of Congress or the American people.

The magnitude of this is almost incomprehensible. Nancy Pelosi and the leadership in the House of Representatives are telling us four things.

First and foremost, we are being told that members of Congress will no longer abide by the Constitution of the United States and are thereby violating their oath of office.

Second, members of Congress will no longer be representing the will of the American people who elected them but instead are representing the will of President Obama and his vision of a socialist America.

Third, members of Congress are done with allowing the American people to even participate in the process. Everything will be done in secret and your right to know what is being done to you will be ignored.

Last, but not least, members of Congress have concluded that we are not bright enough to know what is happening anyway so they think we will reelect them and be grateful for all they have done for us.

I just have this to say to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the other current “leaders” of our country. Over 230 years ago an English King and Parliament made similar assumptions about a group of people who called themselves Americans. Those assumptions were wrong and things did not end well for those who underestimated the passion of Americans to be a free people. If you continue on this course it will not end well for you either. To this I pledge my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor, as did my forefathers before me.

It is not too late to stop this abomination. Contact members of Congress now and tell them that you are not fooled and consider a vote for the Slaughter Solution to be a vote for the unconstitutional health care bill. You should further inform them that you consider such a vote to be a violation of their oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States and you will hold them accountable on Election Day.

For my part, I talked to Gary Kreep at the U.S. Justice Foundation today and we are already preparing the lawsuit that will challenge the Constitutionality of the passage of the health care bill under the “Slaughter Solution” and on other Constitutional grounds. If you want to contribute to this effort you can go to the U.S. Justice Foundation Website at: www.usjf.net. The fight to defend our freedom is not over, it is just beginning.

Jesse Ventura's 9/11 Story Censored by Huffington Post

Jesse Ventura's article on 9/11 was pulled within hours from The Huffington Post, which labeled it a "conspiracy theory." His reaction is shown in the following video.

Polls show that most Americans have questions about 9/11, yet the mainstream media remains silent on it or aggressively treats those who are open about their questions as kooks and nut cases, shutting off any further discussion. The Administration and Congress are reticent on the subject, even though some who were on the 9/11 investigating committee have since publicly said they were duped.

For example, John Farmer, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission stated that the Commission "discovered that . . . what government and military officials had told Congress, the Commission, the media, and the public about who knew what when — was almost entirely, and inexplicably, untrue." Farmer continues: "At some level of the government, at some point in time . . . there was a decision not to tell the truth about what happened." — St. Louis Post Dispatch

"The (NORAD) tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public . . . " — The Washington Post

Thomas Kean, head of the 9/11 Commission: "We to this day don’t know why NORAD told us what they told us, it was just so far from the truth." — The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11

Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, Co-Chairmen of the 9/11 Commission, have declared that the Commission was “set up to fail.”

Wouldn’t any reasonably informed person of sound mind wonder what the real story is of 9/11?


Links:

Aaron Russo, Nick Rockefeller and the Council on Foreign Relations (1-hr-9-min video)

Mineta tells 9/11 Commission Cheney knew exact flight path [YouTube]

Professor Steven Jones of Brigham Young University says that the evidence shows that the three World Trade Center buildings were brought down by other means than the two planes. [YouTube]

Larry Silverstein, owner of Building 7 and leaseholder of Buildings 1 and 2, all three of which collapsed on 9/11, recounts giving the order to “Pull it” for Building 7, which had not been hit by a plane. [YouTube]

Danny Jowenko, a Dutch demolition expert, gives his opinion on the Building 7 collapse, saying it was definitely controlled demolition that brought it down. [YouTube]

Thomas Kean Chairman 9/11 Commission Report Discusses What He Didn't Know [YouTube]

Glenn Beck Goes after Debra Medina on 9/11 [HPI]

House Health-Care Vote: A Question of Constitutionality

Michael McConnell, a Stanford University constitutional law professor, writes in The Washington Post that “No bill can become law unless the exact same text is approved by a majority of both houses of Congress.”

Further, a Democrat proposal seeks to have the Senate’s health-care bill pass the House without the House actually voting on it, the better to obscure the representatives’ actual stance and actions with their constituents. This “cannot be squared with Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution,” states Professor McConnell.

Read more . . .

Alice in Wonderland Health Care

While the Obama administration is desperately doing everything they can to ram through health care that most of the public doesn’t want, and while spin and obfuscation pour out at high volume, along with tales of congressional backroom deals and arm twisting, Thomas Sowell slogs through the morass to get down to some common-sense essentials.

”One of the biggest reasons for higher medical costs is that somebody else is paying those costs, whether an insurance company or the government. What is the politicians' answer? To have more costs paid by insurance companies and the government.”

“Back when the ‘single payer’ was the patient, people were more selective in what they spent their own money on.”

Read more . . . [Jewish World Review]

Links:

Alice in Health Care, Part II

Alice in Health Care, Part III

Alice in Health Care, Part IV

Most Americans oppose health care plan [Rasmussen Reports] March 15, 2010

Whatever It Takes: Ramming Health Care Through [HPI]

Supporting the War Instead of the Troops

by Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

Last week, Congress debated a resolution directing the President to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan no later than the end of this year.  The Constitution gives the power to declare war to the Congress, so it is clearly appropriate for Congress to assert its voice on matters of armed conflict. In recent decades, however, Congress has defaulted on this most critical duty, essentially granting successive presidents the unilateral (and clearly unconstitutional) power to begin and end wars at will.  This resolution was not expected to pass; however, the ensuing debate and floor vote served some very important purposes. 

First, it was important to finally have an actual floor debate on the merits and demerits of continuing our involvement in the conflict in Afghanistan.  Most congressional action regarding Afghanistan has concerned continued funding for the conflict.  Thus, members of Congress have cloaked their support for an increasingly unpopular war in terms of financial support of the troops.  But last week’s resolution had nothing to do with funding or defunding the war, but rather dealt directly with the wisdom of an open-ended commitment of U.S. troops (and hundreds of billions of tax dollars) in Afghanistan.  Members opposing the resolution had to make their case for the ongoing loss of American lives as well as the huge expenditures required for an intractable conflict.

In my opinion, this was an impossible case to make.

Supporters of the war made the same intellectually weak arguments for continuing our occupation of a nation with a long and bloody history of resisting foreign occupation.  Ultimately, the war supporters in Congress prevailed in the vote on the resolution.  Still, the vote was significant because it places every member of Congress on the record as supporting or not supporting the unconstitutional, costly, violent occupation of a country that never attacked us.  This vote should serve as an important reminder to the American people of where their representatives really stand when it comes to policing the world, empire building, and war.

The War Powers Resolution was passed in 1973 in the aftermath of Vietnam.  It was intended to prevent presidents from slipping this country so easily into unwinnable wars, wars with indistinct enemies and vague goals.  Unfortunately, it has had the opposite effect by literally legalizing undeclared wars for 90 days.  In the case of Afghanistan, 90 days has stretched into nearly a decade.  The original purpose of the initial authorization of force – to pursue those responsible for the attacks on September 11 – is no longer applicable.  Al Qaeda has left Afghanistan; we are now pursuing the Taliban, who never attacked us.  The Taliban certainly are not our friends, but the more of them we kill, the more their ranks grow and the stronger they become.  Meanwhile, we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars in Afghanistan and accelerating our plunge toward national bankruptcy.  Whose interests do we serve by continuing this exercise in futility?

Osama Bin Laden has said many times that his strategy was to bankrupt America, by forcing us into protracted fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan.  The Soviet Union learned this lesson the hard way; and ultimately was forced to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in defeat and humiliation.  This same fate may await us unless we rethink our policy and resist any escalation of our military efforts in Afghanistan.  Our troops should be used for defending our country, making us safer and stronger at home- not for occupying foreign nations with no real strategy or objective. 
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Links:

Copy of Resolution (pdf) [house.gov]

Rep. Mazie Hirono (D - Hawaii Congressional District 2) voted nay. Hawaii has no representative for Congressional District 1 since the resignation of Neil Abercrombie (D) to run for governor on February 28.

Definition of Concurrent Resolution [Wikipedia]

Kucinich Forces Debate On End To Afghan War [News Junkie Post]

Gibbs: Health Care Will Pass ‘This Week’

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told Bob Schieffer that "we believe" health care reform will pass the House in one week. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that House Democrats are being asked to "jump off a cliff".



Story [CBS]

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