Time To Pay The Piper

Back in February, Obama created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to come up with solutions to our $14 trillion national debt problem, a good chunk of that debt created by Obama himself. Anyway, after ten months of deep thought, the commission has released a report that they don’t even agree on.

Presenting plan to cut deficit, commission members offer surprising compromises

Members of President Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission expressed a surprising willingness Wednesday to compromise on issues that have long divided Republicans and Democrats, including raising taxes and cutting Social Security.

Confronted with a deficit-reduction plan loaded with political dynamite, members from both parties set aside ideological orthodoxy at least briefly, sparking hope that their work could ignite a serious effort to reduce government debt and spare the nation from a European-style fiscal crisis.

While only seven of the 18 members endorsed the package outright, others staked out positions that could change the terms of the well-worn Washington debate over taxes and spending

Read the report:

The Moment of Truth
REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND REFORM

See also:
Map is offered to slash deficit
Deficit Plan Released by Obama Commission, Few Expect Consensus
A time to govern
Deficit Commission Report receives mixed support
The Deficit Commission Report Is Dead Before Arrival
Deficit Panel Ideas to Lack Needed Support: Conrad
Obama Deficit Commission Plan Won’t Win 14 Votes
U.S. Deficit-Cutting Panel’s $3.8 Trillion Plan on Brink of Being Rejected
Deficit commission: four reasons it could fail
Majority on deficit panel expected to back its recommendations
Obama’s fiscal commission to win majority for deficit cuts
Vote set for controversial debt-slashing plan
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Even though no one seems to agree on exactly what to do about the deficits and debt, at least they’re starting to talk about it. That’s a good thing. The longer we wait to make the hard choices that are absolutely necessary for the country’s long term fiscal survival, they harder the choices get, and they’re already hard now. If it was easy to solve this problem, it would have been solved by now.

/according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt”

What The Hell Are They Thinking?

Is this really a good idea? Does Adolph Hitler really need to be put in “context”?

Germany’s first Hitler exhibition opens in nervous Berlin museum

A groundbreaking exhibition about Adolf Hitler opens in Berlin tomorrow, the first time since the war that a major museum has explored the relationship between the Führer and the German nation.

Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime, at Berlin’s German Historical Museum, has been praised for smashing taboos and opening afresh the debate about how Hitler managed so successfully to seduce a nation. “Whether we like it or not he remains our strongest trademark,” said Karl Schnorr, a 68-year-old retired engineer at the preview. “Maybe it’s time we shook him off, but first we need to understand how we fell for him so utterly.”

The opening coincides with a study published this week in which one in 10 Germans professed they would like a “Führer” figure to “govern Germany with a hard hand”, while 35% said they considered the country to be “dangerously overrun” with foreigners.

The exhibition sets out to explain how the persona of Hitler and his ideals infiltrated the furthest corners of Germans’ lives. Among the hundreds of exhibits are collections of Nazi memorabilia and propaganda, including beer mats, postcards, playing cards, lead soldiers and swastika lampshades.

See also:
German Historical Museum breaks taboos with exhibition on Hitler
Germans nervously put Adolf Hitler on display
Berlin Exhibition Views Hitler’s Hold On Germans
Exhibition breaks with German Hitler taboos
Berlin exhibition views Hitler’s hold on Germans
Hitler exhibition breaks taboos in Berlin
German History Museum Tells Story of Hitler’s Life
Germany’s 1st Hitler expo recalls dark past
Controversial Hitler Museum Exhibit Opens in Berlin
Have the Germans got over Hitler?
German Historical Museum
Hitler and the Germans. Nation and Crime

Is there not already enough history written about Hitler and the Nazi era? If you ask me, this exhibition is of dubious historical value and in questionable taste, especially in Berlin. Remember what happened the last time someone opened a Hitler display in Berlin? In my opinion, this is a bad idea, I don’t see what good can come of it.

/oh, and good luck trying to keep the neo-Nazis and skinheads from turning this Hitler exhibition into a shrine

One Step Closer To Socialized Medicine

Health Care Bill Moves Forward

Sweeping health care legislation has cleared its first hurdle in the full Senate on a party-line vote.

The 60-39 vote clears the way for a historic debate after Thanksgiving on the legislation. The measure is designed to extend coverage to an estimated 31 million Americans who lack it and crack down on insurance industry practices that deny benefits.

The White House released a statement saying, “The President is gratified that the Senate has acted to begin consideration of health insurance reform legislation. Tonight’s historic vote brings us one step closer to ending insurance company abuses, reining in spiraling health care costs, providing stability and security to those with health insurance, and extending quality health coverage to those who lack it. The President looks forward to a thorough and productive debate.”

The rare Saturday session amounted to a first round in the fight to pass the bill in the full Senate, with the remaining Democratic holdouts announcing they would support at least the measure to open debate on the bill, avoiding an early knockout by Republicans.

Sens. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana waited until Saturday to say they would vote yes for a floor debate. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska announced Friday his support for moving the bill forward.

All three cautioned that their votes to start debate should not be construed a support for the bill in its current form.

“It is a vote to move forward to continue the good and essential and important and imperative work that is under way,” Landrieu said on the Senate floor. “I’ve decided that there’s enough significant reforms and safeguards in this bill to move forward but more work needs to be done.”

Lincoln said she still would support a filibuster if the so-called “public option,” a government-run insurance plan, remains in the health care bill.

“I along with others expect to have legitimate opportunities to influence the health care reform legislation that is voted on by the Senate later this year or early next year,” she said.

While the vote is only a procedural one, Republicans haven’t backed down.

“This is a vote about whether or not you want to fundamentally change the way health care is delivered in this country in a way which massively expands the size of government, the role of government and significantly increases the tax burden, especially for small businesses and cuts Medicare by a dramatic amount of money,” Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., told Fox News before Saturday’s session began.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill “monstrous” and, citing the Congressional Budget Office, said it would not bring down costs.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, now Harry Reid’s passing out taxpayer funded bribes to jam this health care travesty through.

Sen. Landrieu flaunts purchased vote: “It’s not $100 million; it’s $300 million!”

Facing fallout from an apparent sale of her health care vote to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Democratic Caucus, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) took a shocking approach in response to the payoff allegations: she flaunted it!

To help secure her vote, Reid included a provision in the bill sought by Landrieu to provide increased Medicaid funds for states recovering from major disasters such as 2005’s Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. When the bill is closely examined, however, the provision provides immense financial support for only one state: Landrieu’s Louisiana.

Landrieu defended the inclusion of the provision and said Republican critics who accuse her of selling her vote for $100 million are wrong and that she has the support of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Then, in a statement sure to be repeated by Republicans endlessly over the coming weeks of Senate health care debate, the senator flaunted the inclusion of the provision. “I will correct something. It’s not $100 million, it’s $300 million, and I’m proud of it and will keep fighting for it,” Landrieu told reporters after her floor speech. “But that is not why I started this health care debate; I started this health care debate for all the reasons I just mentioned in my statement” on the floor.

The apparent purchase of the senator’s vote is already garnering significant response from Republicans as well as taxpayers footing the bill for this provision. The nickname for the provision? “The Louisiana Purchase.”

Unreal, this is just out of control. Never in U.S. legislative history have so many been screwed by so few, at such a high cost.

See also:
Historic health care bill clears Senate hurdle
Senate Health Care Reform Bill Vote, 60-39 Brings Reform Bill to the Floor
Healthcare bill advances in Senate, in 60-39 vote; it got ‘failing grade’ from healthcare experts
Biden says Senate handed Obama a big victory
Senator Corker Reacts to Senate Health Care Vote
Senate moves health care bill forward for debate
FACTBOX: Details of Senate healthcare reform bill
Landrieu votes in favor of health care debate
GOP hits Landrieu for $100 million ‘new Louisiana Purchase’
Thanks to100 million dollar bribe, Healthcare reform cloture passes Senate!

/trillions of taxpayer dollars, added to the national debt, so we can all pay more, to wait longer, for less health care, whee!