Friday, October 30, 2009

FRC Responds to Dept. of Education Request; Urges Kevin Jennings Removal

Earlier this month, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins received an invitation to participate in a discussion of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) scheduled to take place today. Perkins declined the invitation and instead sent a letter which includes detailed recommendations and specific concerns about the office, its programs, and its leadership.

Perkins made the following comments in a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan:

"The drug prevention program you now administer was created by Congress to
combat the illegal use of drugs. Since this was its original purpose, it should remain the principal one. Unfortunately, the life and writings of Kevin Jennings, whom you appointed as Assistant Deputy Secretary to direct OSDFS, have contradicted this Congressionally mandated message. In his memoir, Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son, he wrote several times about his own use of alcohol and marijuana as a high school and college student...

"While many people may experiment with drugs and alcohol in their youth and later come to regret it when they have reached a higher level of maturity, the light-hearted tone of these excerpts-written only three years ago-does not suggest any regret whatsoever...

"Surely we can agree that all students deserve to attend 'safe schools' that are free of violence. Therefore, I urge you to reject initiatives such as the model legislation proposed under Mr. Jennings' leadership at GLSEN-namely, to create special categories of protection...We should extend protection to all students based on the nature of the victimizing conduct, rather than the characteristics of the victim.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Jennings' own behavior in an incident when he was a teacher, which he has recounted on a number of occasions, draws into sharp question his willingness and ability to fulfill [these] recommendations. By his own (conflicting) accounts, it appears that when he met with a male student (aged 15 or 16) who admitted to finding a same-sex sexual partner in the bus station in Boston, Mr. Jennings'only advice to him was, 'I hope you knew to use a condom.'

"...However, for America to have confidence in his commitment to the 'safety' of our children, it is vital for him to enumerate in greater detail what he should have done...

"Unless Mr. Jennings is willing to admit that he should have taken most or all of the steps listed...I would submit that he is unfit to protect the 'safety' of American school children, and he should resign or you should remove him from office."

To read the full letter, click here.
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

AUL's Statement on New House Health Care Bill

/PRNewswire/ -- Statement by Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest:

"Just as Americans United for Life had expected, the new House health care bill unveiled this morning includes the Capps Amendment language added during the Energy and Commerce Committee mark-up. This bill will explicitly allow federal funding of abortion through the public option and permits federal subsidies to go to private insurance plans that cover abortion. The bill also ensures that at least one health insurance plan must cover abortion in every area of the country."

Dr. Yoest continued, "These provisions create a dramatic change from the status quo -- currently no federal dollars are used to pay for elective abortions or plans that cover abortion. Now, more than ever, pro-life members of Congress must demand the opportunity to vote on the Stupak/Pitts Amendment to prohibit abortion funding. Explicit language must be added to this health care bill to prevent unprecedented federal funding of abortion."

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Heads up Georgia, Tea Party Express here Nov 9th

Atlanta, GA is our 33th stop on the Tea Party Express national bus tour.
Monday, November 9th at 5:30 pm
Rally Location:
Atlanta State Capitol
214 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334

Hope to see you there! Not from Georgia? Visit to find out if and when the Tea Party Express is coming to your area. We're in a fight for everything our country was founded upon. Doing nothing is aiding and abetting in the loss of those very freedoms that allow you to do nothing (try and follow that logic ;-) You may not be able to attend a tea party, you may not care to attend a tea party, but you can blog, you can call your elected representatives, you can write to them, you can write letters to the editor, vote, help get out the vote... there's something you can do that fits your abilities.

Georgia: Countdown to Judgement Day

Monday, November 2 at 6:00pm.
Event: Countdown to Judgement Day
"One Year till the 2010 Election - Featuring Herman Cain and Tom Graves!"
What: Rally
Start Time: Monday, November 2 at 6:00pm
End Time: Monday, November 2 at 9:00pm
Where: Capitol Steps - Atlanta, GA

Statement from 60 Plus Association President Jim Martin on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's New Health Care Proposal

/PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from 60 Plus Association President Jim Martin:

"There is an old saying that a lie can travel half-way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. The truth has its shoes on and is trying to catch up to Speaker Pelosi. I'm putting the wood to this lie right now, the Speaker's plan WILL hurt seniors by cutting half a trillion dollars from Medicare.

"Speaker Pelosi, I challenge you to tell the truth to our Greatest Generation, and be honest about the cuts to Medicare."

The 60 Plus Association is a 17-year-old nonpartisan organization working for death tax repeal, saving Social Security, affordable prescription drugs, lowering energy costs and other issues featuring a less government, less taxes approach. 60 Plus calls on support from nearly 5.5 million citizen activists. 60 Plus publishes a magazine, SENIOR VOICE, and a Scorecard, bestowing awards on lawmakers of both parties who vote "pro-senior." 60 Plus has been called, "an increasingly influential senior citizen's group" and since 1992 "the conservative alternative to the AARP."

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don Blankenship Op-Ed: 'No Harm from Cap and Trade? You Lie!'

/PRNewswire/ -- In an opinion piece published in The Hill newspaper, Don Blankenship, chairman and CEO of Massey Energy, recently quoted the "You Lie" outburst from Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) to characterize the current debate over cap-and-trade legislation pending in Congress.

"As chairman and CEO of Massey Energy, the nation's fourth-largest coal company, I aim to be as clear as Rep. Wilson relative to the theory of global warming," Blankenship said. "Speaking plainly and clearly is a rarity in politics and business -- particularly among CEOs of publicly traded companies."

Blankenship noted that many corporate executives privately acknowledge that global warming legislation will have a devastating effect on their companies. Yet these executives fear that if they express opposition to legislation like cap-and-trade, they will be subject to additional punitive regulation. Furthermore, Blankenship noted that corporate proponents of cap-and-trade are often motivated by personal gain or a desire to appear sophisticated.

"The truth about global warming alarmists in the business community who say Congress must pass laws immediately to stop the planet from warming is that they are driven more by pursuit of profit than pursuit of science and real atmospheric temperatures," said Blankenship. "These companies lie for profit and at the expense of American families' budgets, American's homeland security, and the quality of the world's air and water."

"You see, they know cap-and-trade will hurt the American economy," continued Blankenship. "That it will cost American jobs. That it will increase our dependency on foreign energy. And yes, they know that it will increase global pollution by moving production to unregulated countries like China. They also know the world is cooling. They know that cap-and-trade won't lower the earth's temperature. To those saying otherwise I say simply, 'You lie.'"

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Opinion: The Better Way: Fair Elections Gains Momentum

/PRNewswire/ - The Arms Race Returns (or It Never Went Away)

Our elections are an arms race to see who can raise the most campaign cash -- and today's political strategy is to promote a high cash intake and downplay fundraising efforts that fall short of that goal. Candidates promote these dollar figures as "proof" that their campaign is viable.

Recent Federal Election Commission filings are once again serving as a litmus test for which candidates for Congress are "real" and which are in trouble for next year's congressional races.

The most recent numbers are also a reminder that the problem of big money in politics is getting worse. The FEC reported last month that fundraising for U.S. House and U.S. Senate candidates had topped $250 million over the first six months of the year. Despite the economic downturn, we're on track to have one of the most expensive midterm election cycles ever. That translates into candidates spending more time than ever before dialing for dollars and rubbing elbows with the wealthy and powerful rather than listening to regular voters concerned about jobs and the economy, health care, and the need to address our nation's energy policy.

Meanwhile, in Congress...

Health care reform. Money continues to pour into the campaign coffers of members of Congress from the health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies. This year alone, the health industries have spent more than $260 million on lobbying and have given almost $29 million in political contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

To what end? A majority of Americans support comprehensive health care reform, but far too many elected officials in Washington, D.C. seem to side with the health industry's positions. Campaign cash is used to curry favor and buy access that Main Street Americans just can't get.

Exempting auto dealers? Last week, the House Financial Services Committee passed a piece of legislation creating a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Among the amendments offered in committee was one authored by Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), a former car dealer, to exempt auto dealerships from the agency's oversight.

Not only was Rep. Campbell the recipient of $170,550 in campaign donations from auto dealers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics; he received between $600,000 and $6 million in rent from auto dealers in 2008. If that's not a conflict of interest, we don't know what is.

Only in Congress is this business as usual. Rep. Campbell's amendment passed 47-21. The final bill passed by a 39 to 29 vote. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, those voting against the bill "received an average of 20 percent more in contributions from financial interests over the past two-and-a-half years than the bill's supporters."

Fair Elections Gains Momentum

Fortunately, it doesn't have to be this way. There is a bill that is making it's way through Congress that would allow candidates to run for office without having to rely on big campaign contributions from those with interests before Congress.

Called the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752 and H.R. 1826), the bills would create a voluntary system in which candidates could run for office on a mix of small donations and public funding. Candidates would qualify for the public grant by collecting a set number of contributions of $100 or less. Qualified candidates could also supplement the grant with small donations of $100 or less from people in their states that would be matched 4-to-1 by a new Fair Elections fund.

The size of the grant, coupled with the matching fund system, provides candidates with enough resources to mount competitive campaigns without relying on special interests or donations from those with business before Congress. The bipartisan Fair Elections Now Act is sponsored in the Senate by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) in the House.

From David Donnelly
Source: Public Campaign Action Fund
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Family Reserach Council's Tony Perkins Denounces Senate Vote on 'Hate Crimes' Legislation

/PRNewswire/ -- Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement reacting to today's passage of "Hate Crimes" legislation as attached to the Defense Authorization Bill.

"In a slap to the face of our servicemen and women, they attached 'hate crimes' legislation to the final defense bill, forcing Congress to choose between expanding hate crimes or making our military go without. This hate crimes provision is part of a radical social agenda that could ultimately silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality. Expanding hate crimes puts America in lock step with the stated agenda of homosexual activists who will turn next to the so-called Employment Non-discrimination Act, followed by the repeal of the ban on homosexuality in the military and then the Defense of Marriage Act. We call on President Obama to veto this legislation which violates the principle of equal justice under the law and also infringes on the free speech rights of the American people."

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

'Acorn Lied': News Conference

If the filmmakers are indeed pulling a scam, then why are ACORN employees so happy to play a prominent role in the undercover videos? Again and again. Just wondering....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Op-Ed: Rep. Myrick Responds to CAIR Attacks

Last week, I held a press conference on Capitol Hill attended by three of my colleagues in the House of Representatives to call for a federal investigation (s) into a non-profit group called the Council on American Islamic Relations (C.A.I.R.)

Here are the facts:

1. CAIR has documented ties to the terrorist organization HAMAS. This is stated fact by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In an April 28, 2009 letter to US Senator Jon Kyl, the FBI wrote the following:
“As you know, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in the United States v. Holy Land Foundation et al. (Cr. No. 3:04-240-P (N.D.TX.). During that trial, evidence was introduced that demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders (including its current President Emeritus and its Executive Director) and the Palestinian Committee. Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestinian Committee and HAMAS, which was designated a terrorist organization in 1995. In light of that evidence, the FBI suspended all formal contacts between CAIR and the FBI.”

In case you are not familiar with the Holy Land trial referenced above, it was a Dallas, Texas trial that ended with guilty verdicts on 108 counts of funneling money ($12 million) to HAMAS.

2. The purpose of our press conference was to make public an internal CAIR memo that documented CAIR's stated goal of placing CAIR interns in the offices of members of Congress, especially the members who serve on the Homeland Security, Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Let me be clear here, CAIR, a group whom the FBI says is affiliated with the terrorist group HAMAS, is trying to place their interns in the offices of those members who serve on the three committees that handle national security related issues. National Security is the first responsibility of the federal government.

3. Following our press conference, CAIR, immediately labeled we four members as bigots and started their public relations campaign to discredit us by claiming that we were against Muslims working on Capitol Hill. We never said that. At no time during our press conference did we even insinuate that we were investigating Muslims being interns on Capitol Hill. Go to and watch the press conference yourself.

Our focus was and is on CAIR and CAIR alone, not Muslims.

Likewise CAIR tried to make this a Republican vs. Democrat thing, because the four members at the press conference happened to be Republican.

How then does CAIR explain Democrat Senator Charles Schumer’s call earlier this year for a government-wide ban on CAIR in the federal government due to their ties to HAMAS? Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer has likewise made public her opinions of CAIR and any Google search will find her remarks.

4. CAIR is spending time, money and energy to position themselves as the spokespeople for the moderate Muslim community. Problem is CAIR is not a moderate Muslim organization. It is a radical front group for HAMAS. So who is CAIR competing with for this designation? The real moderate Muslim groups/individuals in America. Groups and individuals like the following who are committed to countering Islamist extremism:

Dr. Hedieh Mirahmadi – President World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE)
Zeyno Baran – Director for the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute
Farid Ghadry – President of the Reform Party of Syria
Manda Zand Ervin – Founder and director of the Alliance of Iranian Women
Omran Salman – Arab Reformists Project, 'Aafaq (Arabic for “horizons”).
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser – American Islamic Forum for Democracy
Karim Bromund – Director of Inter-Religious Affairs for the Islamic Supreme Council of America

I SUPPORT the Muslim individuals and groups mentioned above. These groups renounce terrorists and their radical ideology. They are trying their hardest to be heard and recognized in America, but are being overshadowed and out-funded by CAIR. Today, when something happens that impacts the Muslim community, the media calls CAIR (an unindicted co-conspirator to terrorism and a HAMAS front group) for comment on behalf of American Muslims. What an insult the media is performing on the Muslim community. Instead they should be calling Muslim groups/individuals like those named above. This is part of the reason we are focusing our attention on CAIR and exposing them for who they are. For one they pose a threat to our national security, and two, they deny the ability of legitimate Muslim groups to gain credibility.

5. In July of this year I held a summit on Capitol Hill where I introduced the leaders of eight moderate Muslim organizations to the heads of several US Agencies, Members of Congress and congressional staff. For example, they met with representatives from the State Department, USAID, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. How can I be against Muslims working on Capitol Hill and hold such an event? Go to and read for yourself about this summit.

See through the lies and realize what is really going on here.

We are trying to expose a HAMAS Front Group (CAIR) for who they are, and they are crying we are anti-Muslim hoping that media outlets will ignore the terrorist claim and instead pick it up as a race/religion story. When those claims don’t work, they claim it’s a Republican political thing.

Americans, on this subject we need to stop the Republican vs. Democrat, Conservative vs. Liberal, Christian vs. Muslim division and unite on one simple point…. CAIR is a front group for HAMAS. It was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in a terrorism case that lead to 108 convictions of funneling $12 million to HAMAS. Because of the evidence produced in that case, the FBI severed all ties with them. This same CAIR, by their own admission, is trying to place people inside the offices of members of Congress who deal with national security issues (judiciary, homeland security and intelligence committees). I serve on one of those committees, Intelligence, am the co-chairwoman of the House Anti-Terrorism Caucus, and have spent the better part of the last four years working every day on terrorism related issues.

If we Americans fail to set aside our political, religious and ideological differences and unite when we encounter the enemy in such stark and plain terms, then God help us.

Rep. Sue Myrick

Gibbs Admits White House Doesn't Like Truth in Media

Monday, October 19, 2009

Concord Coalition Says That Medicare 'Doc Fix' Should Be Paid For

/PRNewswire/ -- The Concord Coalition said today that if Congress raises physician reimbursement rates in Medicare, it should spell out how to pay for the changes.

The Senate is expected to consider a bill this week that would permanently increase physician reimbursement rates relative to the current Medicare "sustainable growth rate" (SGR) formula and exempt this "doc fix" from pay-as-you-go budget rules (PAYGO). This exemption would increase federal deficits by roughly $250 billion over 10 years.

Concord said that changes in the payment formula should be included and paid for as part of comprehensive health care reform. The issue of how Medicare reimburses physicians is central to the broader effort to get Medicare and health spending in general onto a more sustainable path.

"Dealing with the 'doc fix' in a separate bill, outside of health care reform, would change the scoring of the bills but not the effect on the deficit. If policymakers believe that the current SGR formula is unrealistic, they should replace it with a more appropriate policy and pay for the change in keeping with their pledge to reform health care in a deficit-neutral way. If paying for this SGR change means there would be fewer offsets on the table to pay for expanded coverage, then policymakers would be forced to appropriately weigh their priorities and make the necessary tough choices -- either scale back other costs in the health reform package or find more ways to pay for the larger bill," said Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert L Bixby.

Bixby said that deficit-financing a permanent increase in Medicare physician payments does not bode well for eventually "bending the health cost curve" and improving fiscal sustainability more generally.

"The current SGR payment formula was originally enacted as part of the 1997 balanced budget agreement to slow the growth of physician payments. Exempting a change in that formula from PAYGO would undermine the credibility of promises now being made to restrict provider payments in the future. Why should anyone believe that Congress will enforce future promises to limit provider payments when it cannot summon the political will to enforce the limits it has already enacted?" Bixby said.

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Consumer Watchdog Names 'Top 5 Time Bombs' in Senate Health Plan

/PRNewswire/ -- The leading health reform proposal in the Senate contains numerous industry-demanded "time bombs" that will harm consumers in years to come, Consumer Watchdog said today. The measure, from the Senate Finance Committee, was heavily lobbied by insurance and pharmaceutical companies and large employers.

Consumer Watchdog said the proposal's top 5 health time bombs are:

-- Elimination of a public health insurance option;
-- Evasion of state patient-rights laws;
-- Weak "employer mandate;"
-- Omission of price regulation of insurance;
-- Lack of recourse to hold insurers accountable.

"If this bill becomes law, consumers will find themselves still at the absolute mercy of private insurance companies," said Judy Dugan, research director of Consumer Watchdog. "Premiums and co-pays will be uncontrolled, even as patient rights are eliminated. Congress must stand up to the corporate lobbies and add better consumer protections, or pay the price in voter anger at being stuck with a bait-and-switch reform."

Here are details on the Top 5 "Health Reform Time Bombs" in the Senate Finance Committee bill:

1. No public option. Stopping a public option is the No. 1 demand of the insurance lobby. So despite public support at 65 percent for a public option, and even higher support among doctors, there is no effective competitor to private insurance companies in the bill. The bill's alternative --voluntary purchasing cooperatives formed by consumers -- was dismissed as ineffective even by the Congressional Budget office.

The budget office's financial report on the bill said of such co-ops:

"[A]s they are described in the specifications, they seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country...." Yet the CBO report says the attempt to establish such destined-to-fail cooperatives would cost taxpayers $3 billion.

However, the bill does include a framework for states to do better, offering to waive certain rules to allow stronger experimentation, even single payer health care systems, by vote of a state's citizens. States, under such a waiver plan, should be able to combine existing federal funding into a single pot to fund the larger-scale reforms. This state option must be strengthened in the final bill, with or without a national public option, said Consumer Watchdog. The Senate Finance bill should also be clarified to grant states automatic Medicare, Medicaid and ERISA waivers that are necessary to implement state single payer and state public option programs.

2. State regulations preempted. Currently, many states including New York, California and Massachusetts have robust requirements for what insurance must cover, including decent maternity care, hospital care for surgical patients, cancer treatment and chronic disease care. The Senate bill circumvents these patient rights by:

a. Allowing insurers to forming "interstate compacts" to sell across state lines, while being subject only to the laws of the state in which the insurance policy is "written or issued." Insurers would certainly choose to be regulated by the weakest state.

b. Allowing insurers to sell so-called national plans in every state unless a state's legislature opts out. The bill says explicitly that such plans would "preempt state benefit mandates" and be governed only by new and undefined federal guidelines that are certain to be weaker than many states'.

The national policies would also degrade many employer-offered health plans. Patients would likely be unaware that their insurance was riddled with holes until they needed to use it, and would have no local enforcer to turn to. The cheaper premiums offered by such plans would be achieved by degrading coverage, raising patient costs and depriving consumers of state enforcement.

Both concepts are similar to a failed 2006 bill by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), who was a key figure in writing the new Senate bill. The unregulated policies are now being championed by Sen. Olympia Snowe, a critical swing Senate vote.

See a news analysis of Enzi's previous measure at:

3. No employer mandate. Employers, even large employers, would not be required to offer any health insurance. The only penalty would be a small fee to cover any government subsidies provided to lower-wage workers. The fee is capped at a maximum of $400 a year per employee, and only for companies with more than 50 employees. The amount is a fraction of employers' share of actual insurance coverage.

This would encourage companies to drop employee coverage and pay the fee instead -- saving the employers millions, because the low cap would cost taxpayers billions, even if employers slightly raise salaries to compensate for the lack of insurance.

Other bills, particularly the House version of health reform, have more realistic employer penalties for failing to cover employees based on a percentage of payroll. But business groups will demand the ineffectively small penalty in the final bill, unless the president and Congressional leaders stand firm.

4. Health premiums unregulated. With no public option to provide competition and no direct regulation of private insurance rates in the Senate bill, insurers will be free to charge what they choose. Health insurance premiums have risen 131 percent over the last decade, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation -- far above general inflation, wages and even overall medical inflation. The premium increases do not include rising deductibles and co-pays. See more on the Kaiser survey at

The only effective curb on this price spiral is direct regulation of premiums and rates, which would be most effective if carried out by the states.

California's 20-year-old law governing property and casualty insurance, including mandatory auto insurance, provides the best model. Insurers have to seek permission through an elected insurance commissioner prior to raising premiums. Members of the public can challenge unnecessary premium hikes, similar to systems in place in many public utility commissions, providing an effective check against any government collusion with insurance companies.

The Consumer Federation of America reported in 2008 that the regulation had saved Californians $61.8 billion on their auto insurance alone. That doesn't mean auto insurers aren't prospering. California is America's fourth most competitive insurance market, while completely unregulated Illinois, home of Allstate, ranks 44th. Fewer California drivers are thrown into the high-risk pool and insurers' average profit of 13.9 percent in the state from 1989 to 2005 is double the national level of 6.5 percent. The law regulated all major lines of insurance, except for health and workers compensation, which are the only two consistently dysfunctional insurance markets in California.

See the Consumer Federation study at

Congress and the president must not just encourage state regulation of health insurance rates, but set a floor for such regulation. Otherwise, government is no more than a customer delivery system for private insurance companies.

5. No insurer accountability. A recently dismissed California case involving the death of a teenager after her insurers' denial of liver transplant has highlighted the need for greater legal protections for consumers.

Seventeen-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan died in 2007 after Cigna's denial of the transplant, but the law prevents her family from taking the insurer to court because of a legal loophole banning lawsuits if insurance is provided by a private employer. Thus 132 million Americans have no remedy if an insurer's denial kills their loved one. This is due to an errant Supreme Court ruling on the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. The lack of accountability allows HMOs and insurance companies to deny access to care without fear of reprisal.

Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive-turned whistleblower, has stated that insurers pay closer attention to grievances by people whose health insurance policies do allow patients to hold the insurer accountable in court -- for instance government employees and people buying individual policies.

The Sarkisyan family was allowed to continue a lawsuit for emotional distress -- but only because an insurance executive made an obscene gesture to the family at a rally outside of CIGNA's headquarters. So currently a family can sue an insurance executive if he flips you the bird, but not if the insurer kills a loved one. Perhaps Cigna would prevail over doctors' recommendations in the Sarkisyan case in a court of law, but without the ability to even go to court, the limits of insurers' control over our health care goes untested.

In a system where Americans have no alternative to private insurers, the president and Congress should call explicitly for this change rather than trying to further limit patients' access to the courts.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Would You Like to Save Georgia from Obamacare?

If you didn't think you had it in you - YOU DO! The North Georgia 912 Project has signed on with the Cobb County 912 Project to support the Georgia Healthcare Freedom Act.

The Georgia Heathcare Freedom Act was originally proposed by candidate for State Insurance Commissioner Gerry Purcell. His campaign has seen the amount of interest and effort the 912 Project has in free market healthcare solutions, so they gave it to us. We are in the midst of a statewide campaign to collect as many signatures as possible on a petition that will get state legislators from Georgia behind a statewide opt-out of Obamacare:


Download copies of the petitions at:

Ask your friends, neighbors, family , business associates and more to sign the petition and then return the signed cards to your 912 Project leader. They will get them submitted to the volunteer who is maintaining the petition.

It's NOT TOO LATE to save free market healthcare! GET INVOLVED TODAY!!!

Senate Dems Stealing $247 Billion from Your Children to Pay for Obamacare

According to the Associated Press, at the direction of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Senate Democrats are plotting to pass a bill, by as early as next week, that grants doctors a $247 billion increase in Medicare fees over a decade. This will no doubt add to the deficit. Why are the Democrats so intent on spending $247 billion in one week? To pave the way for the White House to claim that Obamacare is deficit neutral.

Read the rest: Senate Dems Stealing $247 Billion from Your Children to Pay for Obamacare

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Consumer Watchdog: White House Should Respond to Health Insurer Scare Tactics by Supporting 'Prior Approval' Rate Regulation

/PRNewswire/ -- The White House and Congress should embrace "prior approval" regulation of health care rates in response to the health insurance industry's threat that costs will increase under a reform plan being considered by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee today.

Consumer Watchdog, which pioneered the most successful insurance premium regulation law in the nation, said that strong "prior approval" regulation should be extended to health insurers in every state. Such regulation has saved drivers in California $62 billion on auto insurance rates since 1988 under Proposition 103, and similar savings would be expected for health insurance rates.

"There is a simple response to the insurance industry's threat to raise our health care premiums: require insurance companies to justify those increases and allow consumers to intervene to block excessive charges," said Jerry Flanagan, health policy director of Consumer Watchdog. "California's 'prior approval' rate regulation is the nation's most successful insurance regulation in the nation and a successful model to restrain rampant insurance company profiteering and waste."

Since 2003, Consumer Watchdog has saved $1.7 billion by challenging unnecessary premium increase and insufficient decrease requests using the public intervention process.

A 2008 Consumer Federation of America report detailing the savings of Proposition 103 can be downloaded at: A related press release is available at:

21 states have some form of "prior approval" regulation for health insurance rates, but none are as effective as California's Proposition 103 which applies to property and casualty insurance. The key components of California's landmark Proposition 103 are:

** A prior approval system for rates requiring insurers to seek permission from government regulators and justify rate increases. Since 1988, California's Proposition 103 has saved drivers $62 billion while fostering a competitive and still profitable insurance market.

** An intervenor system that allows the public to challenge unnecessary premium hikes. Since 2003, Consumer Watchdog has saved $1.7 billion by challenging unnecessary premium increase and insufficient decrease requests using the public intervention process.

** An elected state-level commissioner accountable to the public directly for premium hikes. To ensure that the reforms would be properly enforced, Proposition 103 made the state insurance commissioner an elected position accountable directly to the voters, not a political appointee.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Restoration Weekend Nov. 19 - 22

The David Horowitz Freedom Center will be holding its Restoration Weekend November 19 - 22, 2009 at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Prominent authorities and political figures will enlighten audiences at this important annual event. The Center will be celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of this event. Its theme will be "Defending Our Country and Our Culture."

The Weekend activities begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday the 19th and conclude at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday the 22nd.

We are excited to announce that among the confirmed speakers are: Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter, Fred Thompson, Geert Wilders, Phyllis Schlafly, Andrew Klavan, George Gilder, Jonah Goldberg, Robert Spencer, Frank Gaffney, Steve Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Bruce Bawer, Congressmen Ed Royce and Thaddeus McCotter, General Paul Vallely, Liz Cheney and Senator Jim DeMint.

We will also be hosting the Citizens United Productions Film Festival on Friday and Saturday afternoons.

For more information, please contact Michael Finch at (818) 849-3470 x212 or e-mail
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Friday, October 9, 2009

Libertarians suggest Nobel announcements should be moved to April Fool's Day

The Libertarian Party today suggested that, in the future, the announcement date every year for Nobel Prizes be moved to April 1.

"Unlike the gullible people who listened to The War of the Worlds radio broadcast in 1938 and thought Martians really were attacking the United States, when I heard this morning that Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, I changed the channel in disbelief. But, the same thing was being said in multiple places," Libertarian National Committee Chairman William Redpath said.

"The gravity of the Nobel awards has not been augmented by some of their recent selections, including today's announcement, last year's award of the Economics prize to Paul Krugman, or the 2007 Peace Prize to Al Gore, whose global warming theories he will not defend in open debate. Maybe an early Springtime announcement date would be more appropriate."

Redpath continued, "I didn't know that it was the role of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to be handicapping the future performance of individuals and organizations. Nonetheless, we congratulate President Obama on his award and hope that three-and-a-quarter or seven-and-a-quarter years from now the Nobel Peace Prize Committee will be seen as prescient.

"President Obama will best fulfill the promise of peace that the Nobel Committee apparently sees in him by not trying to cure all the ills of the world, but by working to make the United States an example for the other nations of the world through implementation of a Libertarian foreign policy--military non-interventionism combined with free trade policies in fact, and not just in rhetoric. With those guiding principles, the world will be a freer, safer and more prosperous planet at the conclusion of the Obama Administration."

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ethnic Americans Support Federal Stimulus Spending; Most Americans Question Current Impact of Package

/PRNewswire/ -- Ethnic Americans have a far better image of the $787 billion stimulus package than their white counterparts, with 84 percent of African Americans saying it was "a good thing" for the country, while only 45 percent of white adults agree with that statement, according to a recent poll commissioned by New America Media (NAM).

In total, the poll conducted by Bendixen & Associates found that more than two-thirds of Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans and Native Americans said the legislation was a "good thing" for their families and communities. And most Americans have a positive outlook about the future. More than three-fifths of adults from all ethnic and racial groups were optimistic that their personal financial situation will improve over the next year.

Nevertheless, most ethnic adults agreed with whites that, as of now, they are not aware of actual benefits from the legislation. These poll results strongly indicate the Obama administration has failed to inform the American public on ways that the stimulus spending may be having a positive impact on families and the national economy.

Moreover, the poll painted a picture of many ethnic Americans struggling to survive in the difficult economic times. More than 60 percent of Hispanics worry about their ability to pay housing expenses; 50 percent of Native Americans worry whether they can afford basic food, medicine and clothing for their families; and more than 30 percent of African Americans and Asian Americans worry about losing their current full-time job.

"Our poll shows the Obama administration has not done a good job of informing Americans about the economic opportunities that currently exist because of the stimulus package," said Sandy Close, executive director of NAM, which represents the interest of more than 2,500 ethnic media outlets.

"Across the country," she said, "the Recovery Act has made billions of dollars available for extended unemployment benefits and health insurance for laid off workers. It has appropriated money for small businesses and arts organizations. It has prevented thousands of teachers from being laid off and kept firehouses from closing. Our poll shows that across the racial and ethnic spectrum most Americans remain unaware of the actual impact on their communities."

In some instances, perceptions towards the stimulus package appear to be shaped by factors well outside of its influence. Two-thirds of Americans say their monthly take-home pay has "stayed the same" or actually "decreased" in the last six months, even though the administration said the stimulus package would cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans.

Overall, approximately half of Hispanics, Asian Americans, whites and Native Americans say that - as of now - the stimulus package has had "no effect" or that it has "made the economy worse." Only African Americans believe the stimulus package "has made the economy better." There are also regional differences regarding the impact on the economy: 48 percent of those polled in the Northeast said the economic stimulus had made the economy better but only 29 percent felt that way in the Midwest.

The poll is based on 1,000 interviews with whites, Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans during the last week of August and the first two weeks of September, and has a margin of error of three percent. It is the first poll to measure public attitudes about the stimulus package along racial and ethnic lines, with questions administered in English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese or Vietnamese depending on the language of preference of the respondent.

The survey also found that:

-- Americans doubt the effectiveness of the direct relief to state
governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters and police
officers. Large majorities of whites, Hispanics, Asian Americans and
Native Americans say the stimulus package has not had a significant
impact on avoiding dismissals of public employees. Only African
Americans give the legislation credit for having been effective on
this front.
-- Two-fifths of whites and Asian Americans and one-third of Hispanics
said they were aware of newly-created projects, such as construction
at military bases, ports, bridges and tunnels, while only one-fourth
of all Americans are aware of "green jobs" that have been created in
their community during the last six months.
-- Only about one-third of African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans
and Native Americans believe contractors and businesses in their
communities know how to access stimulus dollars.
-- More than four-fifths of all Americans do not know of any small
business that has received a government loan over the last six months.
-- Approximately two-thirds of all respondents say that they are also not
aware of any arts programs, environmental projects, health research
centers or affordable housing programs in their community that have
received stimulus dollars.
-- One-quarter of Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans and
two-fifths of whites and African Americans believe there is still time
for local businesses and community groups to apply for economic
stimulus dollars. The rest either think that most of the money has
already been spent or have no opinion on the matter.

"The good news is that there's still time for all Americans to get help from the Recovery Act," said Ms. Close, noting that less than half of the stimulus funds have been spent so far. "The problem is that across racial and ethnic lines most Americans don't know this. They feel like the stimulus train has left the station and they're still waiting on the platform."

Sergio Bendixen, president of Bendixen & Associates, noted that the poll found that the nation's economy remained under a "black cloud" as the anniversary of the 2008 stock market crash approached. "A majority of whites, Hispanics and Native Americans think that the American economy is off on the wrong track," said Mr. Bendixen. "And only four percent of all Americans say there are a lot of jobs available in their community."

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Monday, October 5, 2009

President Obama Mistakenly Invites OPPONENT To Stand Up for Him at White House Today: AAPS Doctors Ask, Is He Having Trouble Finding Supporters?

/PRNewswire/ -- One of the doctors who will NOT be standing behind the President today is one of his most vocal opponents. But he would have been there if the White House had its way.

Dr. Eric Novack was one of the 50 doctors invited to the White House photo op today. But he turned down the invitation, because he has lead the fight to pass state legislation and constitutional amendments to prohibit individual insurance mandates.

"They had 16 hours to Google me, but I guess no one bothered," Dr. Novack told Kathryn Serkes, Director of Policy and Public Affairs for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in a video interview available at

Dr. Novack says that it was very tempting to accept the "once-in-a-lifetime" invitation, but in the end, he had to say no. But it also makes him question whether the doctors who will be there today actually support the President, or even understand all of the details of the bills.

"Are these doctors just star-struck, or do they have real knowledge about what they are supporting?" asked Serkes. "It's looking like another dog-and-pony-show, and doctors should not be used in this shameful manner. First the President vilifies them, now he wants their help."


Serkes also rebuts the White House claims that doctors overwhelmingly support the public plan. A recent poll on the AAPS web site, shows that 93% of the doctors polled are even more adamantly against the President's plans after his national address to Congress and the country on Sept. 9.

Further, pre-publication results of an AAPS survey show that about 80% of doctors would refuse to VOLUNTARILY take part in a public plan.

So what will Dr. Novack be doing on Monday instead of standing behind the President? "I'll be taking care of patients -- because that's what it's all about."

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Senate Cap-and-Trade Bill Favors Corporate Interests Over National Interest

/PRNewswire/ -- The "Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act" introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) favors corporate interests over our national interest, says the Free Enterprise Project of the National Center for Public Policy Research. The bill calls for a 20% reduction in emissions, exceeding the 17% target in the House Waxman-Markey legislation passed in May.

Boxer-Kerry lacks many important details, including a disclosure of which industries will benefit from free emissions credits.

"In the rush to legislate, the Boxer-Kerry bill is silent on key elements, such as how the government will hand out free emissions allowances that are worth billions of dollars. With that amount of money left on the table it opens the door for a behind-the-scenes lobbying fest that will reward well connected companies while looting taxpayers," said Tom Borelli, PhD, director of the Free Enterprise Project.

Waxman-Markey awards most of the estimated $777.6 billion of free allowances to industry between 2012-2020. Utilities were the biggest winner in the "House bill lottery," receiving 35% of allowances.

President Obama originally wanted to auction all the emission credits with the revenue going to reduce the budget deficit.

In addition to the allowance windfall, a few select companies will benefit from specific provisions. Caterpillar would gain from sales of its newly-developed hybrid bulldozer, because the bill empowers the EPA to issue new emissions standards for "new heavy-duty vehicles and engines and for nonroad vehicles and engines."

The Caterpillar hybrid bulldozer is priced about $100,000 more than conventional bulldozers -- an added cost that will be passed on to construction projects.

According to the Free Enterprise Project, the Boxer gift to Caterpillar may be a reward for CEO Jim Owens. Under Owens, Caterpillar is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) -- a coalition of corporate and environmental special interest groups lobbying for cap-and-trade. Owens is a member of President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

"Owens is putting his personal short-term interest over our national interest. He has previously acknowledged that cap-and-trade can harm the competitiveness of our manufacturing industries, yet he remains a member of USCAP," added Borelli. "Owens' thirty pieces of silver is a hybrid bulldozer."

"It's clear the only winners with cap-and-trade will be the lobbyists, CEOs and their environmental allies. The bill represents a huge transfer of wealth in the amount of hundreds of billions of dollars to industry. While the Washington elite benefit, the rest of America will end up paying the cost through higher energy prices, slower economic growth and sending jobs overseas," said Borelli.

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