Tag Archives: lobbyists

Justice’s Wife Launches Tea Party Group

Posted by: Bluedog89

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with wife Virginia.

Story by Kathleen Hennessey of the Los Angeles Times

As Virginia Thomas tells it in her soft-spoken, Midwestern cadence, the story of her involvement in the “tea party” movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.

“I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you,” she said at a recent panel discussion with tea party leaders in Washington. Thomas went on to count herself among those energized into action by President Obama’s “hard-left agenda.”

But Thomas is no ordinary activist.

She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.

In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative “core principles,” she said.

The group plans to issue score cards for Congress members and be involved in the November election, although Thomas would not specify how. She said it would accept donations from various sources — including corporations — as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court.

Read the entire story at the Los Angeles Times.

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President Obama’s Saturday Address + Ben Nelson “Yes Man”

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WhiteHouse.govThe Patient’s Bill of Rights and Health Reform

December 19, 2009

The President looks back to the bipartisan Patient’s Bill of Rights, a bill that was defeated in Congress at the hands of special interests and their supporters, and notes that health insurance reform covers the same ground and much more in terms of giving the consumers the upper hand over their insurance companies. He calls on the Senate to allow an up-or-down vote, and for those opposing reform to stop using parliamentary maneuvers to drag it out.
Read the Transcript

December 19, 2009.

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Related Story: AP sources: Sen. Nelson to support health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic officials say Sen. Ben Nelson intends to support health care legislation backed by President Barack Obama, giving the measure a 60th and decisive vote.

These officials say the Nebraska Democrat will make an announcement later Saturday. Marathon negotiations with the White House and Senate Democratic leaders produced fresh concessions that will mean additional abortion restrictions in the legislation.

source:

Budget office: Democrats’ bill covers 94 percent of population

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional budget scorekeepers say the latest Democratic health care bill would cover 94 percent of eligible Americans while reducing the federal deficit.

The Congressional Budget Office said Saturday the changes announced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would cut the deficit by an additional $2 billion, bringing the 10-year total reduction to $132 billion.

The nearly $900 billion bill would be paid for by $483 billion in cuts to Medicare and other federal health programs, as well as tax increases.

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Filed under Banking, Barack Obama, Change, Congress, Conservative, Economics, Economy, Entertainment, Greed, Jobs, Lobbyist, Media and Entertainment, Money, Partisan Politics, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Republicans, United States, Video/YouTube, Weekly YouTube Address

President Obama’s Saturday Youtube Address 10/17/09

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WhiteHouse.gov—In his weekly address, President Barack Obama praised the progress that has been made on health insurance reform, and spoke out against those who defend the status quo in order to score political points and protect their profits. With reform the closest it has ever been to becoming law, the insurance companies are rolling out deceptive ads, paying for misleading studies, and flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists. Now, Washington needs to serve the American people, not the special interests.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 17, 2009

Over the better part of the past year, a great debate has taken place in Washington and across America, about how to reform our health care system to provide security for people with insurance, coverage for those without insurance, and lower costs for everyone. From the halls of Congress to the homes of ordinary Americans, this debate has helped us to forge consensus and find common ground. That’s a good thing. That’s what America is all about.

Now, as the debate draws to a close, we can point to a broad and growing coalition of doctors and nurses, workers and businesses, hospitals and even drug companies – folks who represent different parties and perspectives, including leading Democrats and many leading Republicans – who recognize the urgency of action. Just this week, the Senate Finance Committee approved a reform proposal that has both Democratic and Republican support. For the first time ever, all five committees in Congress responsible for health reform have passed a version of legislation. As I speak to you today, we are closer to reforming the health care system than we have ever been in history.

But this is not the time to pat ourselves on the back. This is not the time to grow complacent. There are still significant details and disagreements to be worked out in the coming weeks. And there are still those who would try to kill reform at any cost. The history is clear: for decades rising health care costs have unleashed havoc on families, businesses, and the economy. And for decades, whenever we have tried to reform the system, the insurance companies have done everything in their considerable power to stop us.

We know that this inaction has carried a terrible toll. In the past decade, premiums have doubled. Over the past few years, total out of pocket costs for people with insurance rose by a third. And we know that if we do not reform the system, this will only be a preview of coming attractions. A new report for the Business Roundtable – a non-partisan group that represents the CEOs of major companies – found that without significant reform, health care costs for these employers and their employees will well more than double again over the next decade. The cost per person for health insurance will rise by almost $18,000. That’s a huge amount of money. That’s going to mean lower salaries and higher unemployment, lower profits and higher rolls of uninsured. It is no exaggeration to say, that unless we act, these costs will devastate the US economy.

This is the unsustainable path we’re on, and it’s the path the insurers want to keep us on. In fact, the insurance industry is rolling out the big guns and breaking open their massive war chest – to marshal their forces for one last fight to save the status quo. They’re filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads. They’re flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists and campaign contributions. And they’re funding studies designed to mislead the American people.

Of course, like clockwork, we’ve seen folks on cable television who know better, waving these industry-funded studies in the air. We’ve seen industry insiders – and their apologists – citing these studies as proof of claims that just aren’t true. They’ll claim that premiums will go up under reform; but they know that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that reforms will lower premiums in a new insurance exchange while offering consumer protections that will limit out-of-pocket costs and prevent discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. They’ll claim that you’ll have to pay more out of pocket; but they know that this is based on a study that willfully ignores whole sections of the bill, including tax credits and cost savings that will greatly benefit middle class families. Even the authors of one of these studies have now admitted publicly that the insurance companies actually asked them to do an incomplete job.

It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, “Take one of these, and call us in a decade.” Well, not this time. The fact is, the insurance industry is making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health care dollars continue to be poured into their profits, bonuses, and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy – that often actually go toward figuring out how to avoid covering people. And they’re earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exception from our anti-trust laws, a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing.

Now, I welcome a good debate. I welcome the chance to defend our proposals and to test our ideas in the fires of this democracy. But what I will not abide are those who would bend the truth – or break it – to score political points and stop our progress as a country. And what we all must oppose are the same old cynical Washington games that have been played for decades even as our problems have grown and our challenges have mounted.

Last November, the American people went to the polls in historic numbers and demanded change. They wanted a change in our policies; but they also sought a change in our politics: a politics that too often has fallen prey to the lobbyists and the special interests; that has fostered division and sustained the status quo. Passing health insurance reform is a great test of this proposition. Yes, it will make a profound and positive difference in the lives of the American people. But it also now represents something more: whether or not we as a nation are capable of tackling our toughest challenges, if we can serve the national interest despite the unrelenting efforts of the special interests; if we can still do big things in America.

I believe we can. I believe we will. And I urge every member of Congress to stand against the power plays and political ploys – and to stand up on behalf the American people who sent us to Washington to do their business.

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TRMS Takes Down Another One: Rachel Maddow vs Tim Phillips

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Revealed by British Press: Millions Spent by Lobby Firms Fighting Obama Health Efforts

Posted by Audiegrl

A demonstration in Washington against Obama's healthcare reform plan. Photo: Rex Features

A demonstration in Washington against Obama's healthcare reform plan. Photo: Rex Features


I know…you are probably asking yourself why the American press is not writing a story about this. Essentially with this article, the British press is blowing the whistle on corporate interests that are waging a $380 million (so far) crusade against President Obama and progressive Democrats, who want to pass real health care reform. The article explains that there are ‘six lobbyists for every member of Congress as healthcare industry heaps cash on politicians to water down legislation‘.

Just think about that for a second…outnumbered six to one…and that’s just the beginning of the story…

Guardian.co.uk—America’s healthcare industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to block the introduction of public medical insurance and stall other reforms promised by Barack Obama. The campaign against the president has been waged in part through substantial donations to key politicians.

Supporters of radical reform of healthcare say legislation emerging from the US Senate reflects the financial power of vested interests ‑ principally insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms and hospitals ‑ that have worked to stop far-reaching changes threatening their profits.

The industry and interest groups have spent $380m (£238m) in recent months influencing healthcare legislation through lobbying, advertising and in direct political contributions to members of Congress. The largest contribution, totalling close to $1.5m, has gone to the chairman of the senate committee drafting the new law.

A former member of Bill Clinton’s cabinet says fears that the industry could throw its money behind the populist rightwing backlash against public insurance have scared the Obama White House into pulling back from the most significant reforms in return for healthcare companies not trying to scupper the entire legislation.

Drug and insurance companies say they are merely seeking to educate politicians and the public. But with industry lobbyists swarming over Capitol Hill ‑ there are six registered healthcare lobbyists for every member of Congress ‑ a partner in the most powerful lobbying firm in Washington acknowledged that healthcare firms’ money “has had a lot of influence” and that it is “morally suspect”.

Reform groups say vast spending, and the threat of a lot more being poured into advertisements against the administration, has helped drug companies ensure there will be no cap on the prices they charge for medicines ‑ one of the ways the White House had hoped to keep down surging healthcare costs.

Insurance companies have done even better as the new legislation will prove a business bonanza. It is not only likely to kill off the threat of public health insurance, which threatened to siphon off customers by offering lower premiums and better coverage, but will force millions more people to take out private medical policies or face prosecution.

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Democrats Move Swiftly To Trash Pawlenty

Posted by Buellboy

Minnesota  Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty

Minnesota Governor and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty

Huffington Post—Democrats moved swiftly on Thursday to frame potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty as a political creature cut from the same cloth as George W. Bush and the rest of the GOP.

Just hours after news broke that the Minnesota governor was setting the stage for a White House run with a new leadership PAC and a host of new advisers, officials at the Democratic National Committee peppered reporters with opposition research and acid-laced quotes. The committee’s press secretary, Hari Sevugan, accused Pawlenty of “recycling advisers from George W. Bush and relying on Washington insiders and lobbyists” to propel his political career.

The push continued late into the afternoon, when the DNC sent over copy of a new web video, in which it went through the list of T-Paw advisers, tying each one either to the Bush administration or the 2008 McCain campaign.

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“There’s a joke out now that says the main value of the Cash for Clunkers program may be that we’ll get a lot of cars with Obama stickers off the road.”~Governor Tim Pawlenty

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Sex, Lies, and a Hot ‘Mike’

CA State Rep. Michael Duvall

CA State Rep. Michael Duvall

Posted by Audiegrl

Who knew that Republican’s were so freaky? I thought we Democrats had all the fun. This summer we had the sex scandals with some of the members of the Prayboy Mansion (that’s what I call the C Street House). We were told of extra-marital affairs of Sen John Ensign and Gov. Mark Sanford, ending their 2012 Presidency ambitions.

But Michael Duvall, a conservative Republican state representative from Orange County, California, has risen to the top of the list of hypocritical-family values Republican office holders. Mike Duvall has put the real ‘hot’ and the real ‘Mike” in hot mic stories.

Duvall owes his notoriety to a conversation at a council meeting that was caught on a hot mic. You might say, so what… people get caught on ‘hot mics” all the time. I remember when MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Republican strategist Mike Murphy, and Conservative Columnist Peggy Noonan were captured on a hot mic during last summers Republican National Convention. They were talking amongst themselves and saying how the really felt about the Palin pick, which was curiously the opposite of what they had just said to viewers on air. Sometimes ‘hot mic’ events are a good thing, because it tells you what the Media or our Elected Officials really candidly think. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for honesty and keeping it real, but Mike Duvall took it a bit too far. All I can say to Mike is TMI. Too Much Information

Keep in mind, Mike is not talking about having sex with just anybody. He is talking about having sex with two different women that are lobbyists for utility companies! Coincidentally, Duvall is vice chairman of the Utilities and Commerce Committee….

Some of ‘hot Mike’s’ excerpts:

“She wears little eye-patch underwear. So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And
 so, we had made love Wednesday–a lot! And so she’ll, she’s all, ‘I am going 
up and down the stairs, and you’re dripping out of me!’ So messy!”

“So, I am getting into spanking her,” says the Orange County Republican. “I like spanking her. She goes, ‘I know you like spanking me.’ I said, ‘Yeah! Because you’re such a bad girl!'”

Like I said, TMI.

Local CBS affiliate KCAL9 had the scoop. Here’s a video of their segment, showing the reporter desperately trying to interview the Rep. Duvall.

Hi-jinx ensue…

Talking Points Memo has much more on the story.

***Update III–Recorded sex comments cost Calif. lawmaker his job

Mike Duvall stepped down Wednesday after a videotape surfaced….

Duvall said Thursday that his “decision to resign is in no way an admission that I had an affair or affairs.”

“My offense was engaging in inappropriate storytelling and I regret my language and choice of words. The resulting media coverage was proving to be an unneeded distraction to my colleagues and I resigned in the hope that my decision would allow them to return to the business of the state”

***Update II: Duvall, who is married with two adult children, received a 100 percent rating from a conservative advocacy group for his votes on legislation considered pro-family. He represents parts of Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Anaheim, Placentia and Orange in Orange County.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, a Democrat, removed Duvall from two committees, and the Assembly Ethics Committee was investigating.

***Update
On Wednesday, Assemblyman Mike Duvall of Yorba Linda released the following statement in response:

“I made a mistake and I sincerely apologize. I deeply regret the comments I made in what I believed to be a private conversation. This is a private matter and I ask that everyone respect the privacy of all involved.”

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