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....And the Race is On

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Balladeer
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0 posted 12-17-2009 07:06 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yep, the push is on to get the defense spending bill and the health care bill signed by Christmas Eve.

The defense spending bill is interesting. It calls for buying 10 C-17s for 2.5 billion, 9 f-18s for 500 million and an F-35 engine for  465 million. What do these things have in common? What they have in common is that the Pentagon claims they don't need or want any of these things. Why, then, does Congress insist on having it passed so quickly. Easy....it contains 4.2 billion dollars encompassing 1700 earmarks. These earmarks include:

20 million for a World War II museum in N.O. sponsored by Landrieux and Bitters
5 million for the  Presidio Heritage Center in S.F. sponsored by Pelosi
18 million for the Edward M. Kenedy Institute sponsored by Kerry and 3 others.

Since these are piggy-backed onto the defense spending bill, THAT is the reason why the bill must be passed so quickly. Obama, in an interview on ABC, basically said that he had over 500 congressmen he needed to keep satisfied. I must suppose keeping the citizenry satisfied comes in a distant second.

The health care bill? Even Charles Gibson, one of Obama's strongest supporters, asked on the nightly news "WHY this incredible rush to get this bill passed by Christmas?" He only needs to go back to the Stimulus and cap and trade bill tactics to get his answer. He's finally questioning something.

Congress and the Pesident are on a shopping spree unmatched in American history and the pretense of doing it for job creation is not even used any more. They are simply gorging themselves while they can before they have to go on a diet in the coming election year.

You wanted change? You have it.
Balladeer
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1 posted 12-19-2009 10:13 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, congrats, Democrats. Nelson has just been bought off, surpassing the shortly-held title as the highest paid prostitute, previously held by the gal from Louisiana. One could wonder how much the administration, or the bought-off congressmen, really care about the good of the country or is their own personal kudos and rewards their main concern?

The desperation to get this passed by a fake deadline should tell people something. The fact that they are being asked to pass a bill they haven't yet seen should tell people more. They fact that it takes bribes of hundreds of millions of dollars to win over their own party senators should tell people even more.

Take a bow....
Denise
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2 posted 12-19-2009 04:38 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

These people are even more despicable than ever before imagined.

They would all definitley lose re-election next year, except that's probably already been bought and paid for as well.
Ron
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3 posted 12-19-2009 08:36 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I'm curious. Do you guys vote for politicians who promise to NOT do anything for your state or district? What part of "bread and circuses" has you confused?

Or have I just reached the age of cynicism?
Balladeer
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4 posted 12-19-2009 09:38 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Actually, Ron, to be honest I vote for politicians that I think will do the best for the country. If that doesn't include any perks for me personally or my town or state, that's ok with me. If they do the best for the country, then they will be doing the best for me.
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5 posted 12-20-2009 12:31 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I don't see this as anything other than bribery to get some hold out votes in order to ram through this very bad piece of legislation, and the 'sweet deals'/payoffs given to Louisiana and Nebraska come at the expense of the other States whose budgets will have to pick up the deficit created by the payoffs, and also come at the expense of more of our liberties lost to big government.
Ron
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6 posted 12-20-2009 12:34 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

We need more people like you, Mike.

I don't, however, expect to see that happen in my lifetime. So long as most people "want" something from their government they're going to keep right on electing politicians who promise to give them that something. And they're going to be especially fond of the few who actually deliver on their promises.
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7 posted 12-20-2009 02:19 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     When I talk about civil liberties, and government encroachment and stuff like that, Mike almost always confronts me about it.  I generally come back with a decent reply, to my mind at least, because I really do feel that the government is chewing away at our civil liberties and this is one place where I think the left and the right have some agreement.

     Denise, I haven't really spoken with you about this sort of stuff, and I'm nervous about doing so because I'm afraid that we'll bump heads before we can get any areas of common understand laid out.  But I am curious if you see any areas of commonality here as well?

Curiously, Bob Kaven

    
Klassy Lassy
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8 posted 12-20-2009 08:24 AM       View Profile for Klassy Lassy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Klassy Lassy

1700 Earmarks????   Whew!  I read these discussions with interest. It truly is a dig anymore to get close to the truth about bills being "pushed" through.  It's been a long time since I've read about one that wasn't full of ulterior motives and special interests--that actually had the best interest of the people at heart.  The rich get rich and the poor get poorer.  And that seems to be the bottom line.  We aren't allowed much voice these days in the name of "expediency."  

I agree that we need more minds that question and contend... like Mike.
Denise
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9 posted 12-20-2009 04:05 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I don't know, Bob. I'm for as little government in our lives as possible, just as the founders had intended. With the way things are going we will be just as bad off as we were under King George, if we aren't already....taxation without representation, taxation with representatives who don't represent us...not much difference that I can see.

Do you see any common ground?
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10 posted 12-21-2009 11:24 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Actually, Denise, I do.  I am not certain that you would agree.  I believe we have both shared concern about having our  points of view shut down by the government at one time or another, for example.  You have seen that as resulting from intrusion from the left.  I have seen that as a result of intrusion from the right.  But the basic concern is the same:  A basic assault on our personal liberties by the government.

     I'd also include a sense that the government is not particularly reflective of the will of the people but more reflective of the will of people with checkbooks large enough to influence election outcomes.  I'd suspect that we share a frustration about that.

     This isn't to say that we agree on what actual positions the government should take.  I think we part company on many of those issues.  I don't want to force artificial agreement here.  I simply want to acknowledge that there is common ground to work from.  And to ask you if you saw it or if it was simply my own fevered invention.  And then to ask where you saw it, if indeed you saw it at all, and where our views might overlap.

     I'm ready enough to rumble, I should also be ready to see common ground where it exists.  That's about it, really.

Bob Kaven

  
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11 posted 12-21-2009 11:34 AM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Time for a pig roast, yeah?

Mike I think you bring up a good arguemment though. I mean how can you rate an earmark as being good or bad.  

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thoughts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

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12 posted 12-21-2009 06:52 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, the bill gets passed at 1 am on a weekend morning, after having paid off dissident senators of their same party for hundreds of millions of dollars to get it through and the press calls it a great victory for Obama. The bill, wherever it is, has been butchered in order to get votes, public option cut out, abortion lopped off, pre-existing conditions for adults delayed for 4 years....and it's a great victory for Obama.

I see it as a victory for republicans. This entire ordeal has shown the country exactly how Chicago politics, embodied by Obama, works.  This sneaking through of unread bills in the middle of the night by congressmen paid off like prostitutes for their support or threatened for their lack of it clearly shows that this is an Obama ego trip only and it's effect on the country or it's citizens is secondary. For people of decency and integrity, this will be seen for what it is....shoddy politics and, hopefully, it will expose him and come back to haunt him and his Democrat cohorts.
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13 posted 12-21-2009 11:18 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

You're dreaming again, Mike. This bill is what it is not because of the people who supported health care reform but rather because of the people who opposed it. They've taken a poor idea and compromised it into a truly horrendous idea. When the bill fails it won't be the supporters who will be blamed. It will be the opposition.

That's not a victory for anyone.


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14 posted 12-22-2009 03:10 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

          You're right, I'm afraid.

     I'm also afraid that many of the Republican politicians agree with Mike in this, and that they feel that the damage done to the country was worth it.  They are trumpeting the same sort of Democratic loss — and it is a Democratic loss, I'm afraid — that Mike is trumpeting, and are blind to the damage done to the country in the process.

     The Democratic talking points on the radio this morning focused on the fact that this stuff wasn't even on the agenda until the Democrats brought it up, and that it's now clearly very much a part of the agenda.  These are true but are have a hefty element of spin, as well as being true.  If the Bill had been done right, the point would never have had to have been raised.  Overall, it's a victory for the insurance companies and those whom the insurance companies have in their pockets, regardless of party.

     As they used to say in the detox, in less polished language, Money talks and bull frisbees walk.  That would be an extraordinarily loose translation.  Then we'd bring them some extra niacin tablets and a little bit more minor tranquilizer, to keep the little crawling things moving in the other direction, te dum, te dum.

     This is not may favorite moment in history.  I wish my fellow Democrats had gotten an injection of lumbar fortitude or six.  Maybe somebody will wake up and start enforcing, good luck, some anti-trust provisions on the insurance companies and the communications companies as well.

     Grrr, I say, and repeat again, Grr.

Sincerely; nay, More Sincerely Than Usual, Bob Kaven
Huan Yi
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15 posted 12-22-2009 12:33 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


‘At least the president got a health-care bill through the Senate. But what problem does it "solve" (Obama's word)? Not that of the uninsured, 23 million of whom will remain in 2019. Not that of rising health-care spending. This will rise faster over the next decade.

The legislation does solve the Democrats' "problem" of figuring out how to worsen the dependency culture and the entitlement mentality that grows with it. By 2016, families with annual incomes of $96,000 will get subsidized health insurance premiums. Nebraska's Ben Nelson voted for the Senate bill after opposing both the Medicare cuts and taxes on high-value insurance plans -- the heart of the bill's financing. Arkansas's Blanche Lincoln, Indiana's Evan Bayh and Virginia's Jim Webb voted against one or the other. Yet they support the bill. They will need mental health care to cure their intellectual whiplash.

Before equating Harry Reid to Henry Clay, understand that buying 60 Senate votes is a process more protracted than difficult. Reid was buying the votes of senators whose understanding of the duties of representation does not rise above looting the nation for local benefits. And Reid had two advantages -- the spending, taxing and borrowing powers of the federal leviathan, and an almost gorgeous absence of scruples or principles. Principles are general rules, such as: Nebraska should not be exempt from burdens imposed on the other 49 states.

Principles have not, however, been entirely absent: Nebraska's Republican governor, Dave Heineman, and Republican senator, Mike Johanns, have honorably denounced Nebraska's exemption from expanded Medicaid costs. The exemption was one payment for Nelson's vote to impose the legislation on Nebraskans, 67 percent of whom oppose it.

Considering all the money and debasement of the rule of law required to purchase 60 votes, the bill the Senate passed might be the only bill that can get 60. The House, however, voted for Rep. Bart Stupak's provision preserving the ban on public funding of abortions. Nelson, an untalented negotiator, unnecessarily settled for much less. The House also supports a surtax on affluent Americans and opposes the steep tax on some high-value health insurance plans. So to get the bill to the president's desk, the House, in conference with the Senate, may have to shrug and say: Oh, never mind.”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/21/AR2009122102244.html  

.
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16 posted 12-22-2009 01:16 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

When the bill fails it won't be the supporters who will be blamed. It will be the opposition.

You could be right, Ron, but I happen to think not. First, unfortunately, I don't think the bill will fail. If the Democrats do not maintain the 60 votes, they will go the other route which requires only 51. They can't afford to let this bill fail and become a defeat for Obama.

If it DOES fail, I think people will be breathing a sigh of relief. No doubt the Democrats will try to blame the defeat on the republicans but I think people will also remember the closed door manipulations, the payoffs, the midnight votes, the vote on Christmas Eve at 9 pm, the bribes and threats used by Reid and Pelosi to bring their own rogue congressmen on board and they will be thankful of the bill's failure.

I'm also afraid that many of the Republican politicians agree with Mike in this, and that they feel that the damage done to the country was worth it

I really don't know what that means, Bob. The "damage" to the country would be the democrat push for this bill. The republicans are guilty of trying to STOP the damage. You sound like the boy who killed his parents telling the judge, "Go easy on me. I'm an orphan." I see no damage the republicans have done at all. If  you want to see real damage, let this bill pass. Then you'll see plenty.
Mysteria
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17 posted 12-22-2009 01:35 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

I have read all these anti-Obama threads with great interest, as you know I think he is the greatest thing since the wheel.  He has not even been in office long, fell into a pile of (well I can't say that here,) and still smiles like a politician should.  

I shouldn't even get into this but as a Canadian, we, (most of us.) won't even take a job unless there is medical and dental offered.  I worked over 50 years, and never had a job without it.  Yes, we pay a bit to have it, but brother when you need it - it is there for you!  I was talking to Nan yesterday, who informed me that Maine is one of the first states with medical insurance, and I was wondering why it can't start state by state and give it a shot?  I actually picked Florida for the trial run Michael because of all the seniors there.  

Perhaps I think to simply to grasp the resistance to the Health Bill, and I do keep trying to see your viewpoint, I really do.

Seems to me even your private health insurances writes their own rules when they feel like it, here it is the same all across the country - but, you can upgrade to private rooms either by paying, OR being so sick you are in isolation as I was last year for 10 days, with a paid private nurse.  If I had to pay that bill I would be homeless I am sure!  

Joni Mitchell sings,
"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone

This is the age unfortunately of dying "Baby Boomers" me being one of them, and I am so grateful my family won't be left with medical bills, or funeral bills, only memories of love!

You know, I love your President, and am behind him 100%, and have been behind that man since he was elected a Senator.  I didn't see color, I saw a man with a vision for a better America, and my bet is still on him, regardless of all the propaganda out there.

Please hold the eggs and tomatoes, this is just my viewpoint, which I know is different.  That is the greatest thing of all about American, I can speak it!

I love my health care and dental.  That $50 a month is worth it to me to protect my family and myself from hardships that would develop without it.  I spend more than that at Starbucks!


            
Happy Holidays
♥ Mysteria ♥
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18 posted 12-22-2009 01:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Democrats have shown the country that their interests relate to only what's best for them, on a power level, and not the country. This is nothing more than a Pelosi-Reid-Obama power play, nothing more, and they will do whatever necessary to get it through. They will ignore the polls, which indicate the public is against it in every major poll, they will make behind closed door deals with Big Pharma, the AMA and AARP....they will buy off their own congressmen with bribes in the hundreds of millions of dollars...whatever it takes, they will do - and it has nothing to do with the good of the country. The congressmen who have taken these bribes have shown that their concern for the country, which had been causing them to oppose the bill, is secondary to what they can get for themselves and their state, even at the expense of the rest of the country. The democrat logo should be a donkey laying on it's back with it's legs spread because they have shown that they will prostitute themselves if the price is right. It is also a good example for the younger generation on what it takes to get ahead in this country.
If I were to bribe a congressman to get concessions on something I was trying to get passed, I'd go to jail. Reid, Pelosi and Obama do it and receive applause. It would be bad enough if they were trying to bribe Republicans to cross over to the dark side but they are bribing their own party members to "get them in line".

If I were a Democrat, I wouldn't be  proud of that fact right now.
Ron
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19 posted 12-22-2009 03:32 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
You could be right, Ron, but I happen to think not. First, unfortunately, I don't think the bill will fail.

Clearly, I wasn't clear. Let me rephrase.

When the program fails, it will be the fault of the health care reform opposition who compromised the bill half to death. You won't be able to blame Obama, Mike, because he didn't get what he wanted. He settled for a consolation prize that is much worse than what the Administration originally proposed. We went from the frying pan into the fire, and while you might blame Obama for the frying pan, the fire is only peripherally his fault.


Balladeer
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20 posted 12-22-2009 08:22 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, I see your point and that clarification DOES make a difference.

Denise
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21 posted 12-22-2009 08:52 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

But it really will be his fault, Ron, even though he will scapegoat it somewhere else. He's the one twisting the arms of the Democrats with bribes, at the expense of taxpayers, to bend them to his will to pass something, anything, for his own political gain through his surrogates, Pelosi & Reid, isn't he? I mean, really, what is the rush for something that won't even go into effect until 2014, if not for political face-saving, to put this health care 'reform' feather in his cap, to give himself that solid A- grade. Isn't that what he said to Oprah last week? And I guess the fact that the tax increases and surcharges on everyone and their mother beginning this January has something to do with it too. What a bunch of crooks and charlatans.  Yes, he'll take whatever glory he can, for as long as he can, and all the problems that arise from it due to its very nature, whether it be to personal choice, liberty, quality and availability of health care services, or to the economy and our paychecks, will be somebody else's fault. Typical Obama.

If I could give him to you for Christmas with gold and silver bows and ribbons, Sharon, I would! Just kidding! I wouldn't do that to a friend. I wouldn't even do that to an enemy. I've never seen a more blatant example of contempt and disregard for the Constitution as he displays, along with his cohorts in Congress.

I do believe something like this has been tried in a couple of States, with not too  much success.

I do have health coverage with my job that I like. I think that is where most Americans get their health coverage. I pay around $34 towards it per month, while my employer pays the balance of $300 plus. It is considered a part of my compensation, in lieu of dollars.

Premium costs are expected to rise about 108% to 174%, depending on individual circumstances, when the government takes control of the health care and insurance industry, which they will do even without any public option.

So premiums will increase, the employee paid portion will most likely increase, taxes will increase, personal choice in health care decisions will decrease as government bureaucrats will be issuing payment and treatment guidelines to insurers and doctors, complete with compliance reporting by doctors to the government bureaucrats. And then down the road when the whole thing collapses in upon itself, it will be sombody else's fault.

We share some common frustrations, Bob, but from different sides of most issues, I would guess. But I'm not much in the mood to rumble anymore.
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22 posted 12-22-2009 10:26 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Wasn't offering to rumble, Denise; just the opposite.

     Mike, if the Democrats could have gotten the bill through with 51 votes, this whole thing wouldn't have been necessary.  There has been the constant threat of Filibuster that has made the notion of majority rule a thing of the past in this country.  Filibuster is much easier, and tying up the senate is much easier.  The mutual acrimony has made it much more likely.

     I'm ashamed that the Democrats haven't gotten the right bill through, one with a strong public option.  Better would be something like the Canadian or the English system.  I think the Democrats could likely have gotten 51 votes for that, though I don't know for sure.  But I think, yeah, maybe likely.  I am very unhappy with the conservative Democrats.  I think they're idiots.  But that's nothing like the feelings that I have for the Republicans in the Senate.  I believe they are pretty much as happy as you are about all this.  

     With the current solution, you can bet that premiums will go up.  There's no serious competition to bring them down.

Holy cow! Guys.  Bob Kaven
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f the Democrats could have gotten the bill through with 51 votes, this whole thing wouldn't have been necessary.

Not true, Bob. The 51 vote ploy is to be used only as a last resort. It is recognized by all as an act of desperation, one that no one really wants to be attached to. They know how they will look by going that route but, in their desperation, they may attempt it.

The republicans SHOULD be happy. If they can get this bill voted down, they should be ecstatic....and with good reason. They will have saved the country from one of the worst bills in the history of the country. I would call that more than enough reason to celebrate.
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24 posted 12-22-2009 11:46 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A U.S. House Democrat who opposes the health care overhaul announced Tuesday he is defecting to the GOP, another blow to Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.

U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith spoke to reporters at his home in northern Alabama, a region that relies heavily on defense and aerospace jobs.

"I believe our nation is at a crossroads and I can no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy, and drives us further and further into debt," Griffith said as his wife Virginia stood by his side.

Griffith also slammed the health care overhaul making its way through Congress. He was one of 39 House Democrats to vote against a version of the bill that narrowly passed.

"I want to make it perfectly clear that this bill is bad for our doctors," he said. "It's bad for our patients. It's bad for the young men and women who are considering going into the health care field."


Looks like one that Pelosi forgot to bribe...or perhaps one of the few honest ones.
 
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