FOR SALE - FOR SALE - FOR SALE- FOR SALE
FOR SALE: ONE SENATOR (D-Neb.) NO PRINCIPLES, LOW PRICE
By Michael Gerson
THE WASHINGTON POST
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Sometimes there is a fine ethical line between legislative maneuvering and bribery. At other times, that line is crossed by a speeding, honking tractor-trailer, with outlines of shapely women on mud flaps bouncing as it rumbles past.
Such was the case in the final hours of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's successful attempt to get cloture on health-care reform. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the last Democratic holdout, was offered and accepted a permanent exemption from his state's share of Medicaid expansion, amounting to $100 million over 10 years.
Afterward, Reid was unapologetic. "You'll find," he said, "a number of states that are treated differently than other states. That's what legislating is all about."
But legislating, presumably, is also about giving public reasons for the expenditure of public funds. Are Cornhuskers particularly sickly and fragile? Is there a malaria outbreak in Grand Island? Ebola detected in Lincoln?
Reid didn't even attempt to offer a reason why Medicaid in Nebraska should be treated differently from, say, Medicaid across the Missouri River in Iowa. The majority leader bought a vote with someone else's money. Does this conclusion sound harsh? Listen to Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who accused the Senate leadership and the administration of "backroom deals that amount to bribes" and "seedy Chicago politics" that "personifies the worst of Washington."
This special deal for Nebraska raises an immediate question: Why doesn't every Democratic senator demand the same treatment for his or her state? Eventually, they will. After the Nelson deal was announced, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa enthused, "When you look at it, I thought well, God, good, it is going to be the impetus for all the states to stay at 100 percent (coverage by the federal government). So he might have done all of us a favor." In a single concession, Reid undermined the theory of Medicaid -- designed as a shared burden between states and the federal government -- and added to future federal deficits.
Unless this little sweetener is stripped from the final bill by a House-Senate conference committee in January, which would leave Nelson with a choice. He could enrage his party by blocking health reform for the sake of $100 million -- making the narrowness of his interests clear to everyone. Or he could give in -- looking not only venal but also foolish.
How did Nelson gain such leverage in the legislative process in the first place? Because many assumed that his objections to abortion coverage in the health bill were serious -- not a cover, but a conviction. Even though Nelson, a rare pro-life Democrat, joked in an interview that he might be considered a "cheap date," Republican leadership staffers in the Senate thought he might insist on language in the health-care bill preventing public funds from going to insurance plans that cover abortion on demand, as Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak had done in the House.
Instead, Nelson caved. The "compromise" he accepted allows states to prohibit the coverage of elective abortions in their insurance exchanges. Which means that Nebraska taxpayers may not be forced to subsidize insurance plans that cover abortions in Nebraska. But they will certainly be required to subsidize such plans in California, New York and many other states.
In the end, Nelson not only surrendered his beliefs, he also betrayed the principle of the Hyde Amendment, which since 1976 has prevented the coverage of elective abortion in federally funded insurance. Nelson not only violated his pro-life convictions, he also may force millions of Americans to violate theirs as well.
I can respect those who are pro-life out of conviction and those who are pro-choice out of conviction. It is more difficult to respect politicians willing to use their deepest beliefs -- and the deepest beliefs of others -- as bargaining chips.
In a single evening, Nelson managed to undermine the logic of Medicaid, abandon three decades of protections under the Hyde Amendment and increase the public stock of cynicism. For what? For the sake of legislation that greatly expands a health entitlement without reforming the health system; that siphons hundreds of billions of dollars out of Medicare instead of using that money to reform Medicare; that imposes seven taxes on Americans making less than $250,000 a year, in direct violation of a presidential pledge; that employs Enron-style accounting methods to inflate future cost savings; that pretends to tame the insurance companies while making insurance companies the largest beneficiaries of reform.
And, yes, for $100 million. It is the cheap date equivalent of Taco Bell.
BARRY SOETORO aka BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
He is not eligible to be
President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five of the United States Constitution.
This is a fact REGARDLESS of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).
He is not eligible
because he was not born of
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH
as required by the Constitution.
Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is not eligible to be President of the United States because – according to public admissions made by him – his “birth status was governed” by the United Kingdom. Obama further admits he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth.
Since Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was, if born in the state of Hawaii, a dual citizen, who – according to his own State Department – owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at the time of his birth – he cannot therefore be a “natural born” citizen of the US according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution.
His father, who did not live in the United States for more than a couple of years, was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of Barack’s birth and afterwards, AND further, as Barack himself admitted on his website during the 2008 campaign, Barack was therefore born SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNANCE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Here is a direct quote from Obama's "Fight the Smears/Fact Check" 2008 website:
‘When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children…’ “
The FACT that he was not born of TWO US CITIZEN PARENTS is all that matters. The question of his birth certificate is a distraction (a distraction fostered by Obama’s supporters?) that ought not to occupy our time and resources. BUT if you are really convinced of the value of the COLB (certificate of live birth) that Obama posted on his website, see this:
Also, it is possible that he is not a United States
citizen at all through his mother if he was born in Kenya, as three witnesses have testified. The reason is because his mother could not pass her US citizenship on to her son because she did not live continuously in the United States for five full years after her fourteenth birthday as required by the US immigration law in effect during that period of time.
Check it out:
Also, an excellent introductory primer on Obama Presiidential Eligibility is to be found at:
His usurpation can only be corrected (1) by Congress through his Impeachment and Removal [something which will never happen in a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid], or (2) it can be
corrected by his resignation, which could happen if the public presssure on him to resign becomes great enough, or (3) by his removal by the United States Supreme Court affirming a Quo Warranto decision of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia [which process Attorney General Eric Holder would never allow to even begin] or (4) by an amendment to the Constitution,
which will never happen because that again would require the agreement of a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid.
HERE IS THE QUESTION WHICH EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN SHOULD BE ASKING HIS OR HER CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS
“During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama published a statement at his website which said that his birth status was ‘governed’ by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Can you please tell me, and the American people, how a person governed - at birth - by British law, can be a natural born citizen of the United States and thus constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States?”
- Leo Rugiens