Obamacare: the New McCarthyism?

By Andrew Bruskin

Fox News is at it again. According to Hannity, Obama is “pushing the single biggest power grab and move towards ‘socialism’ in the history of our country.” And according to the right wing blog The American Thinker, their writers have finally figured out what the American people should have known all along: Obama really is a “socialist”! From reading these media outlets, it seems like everyone should quickly gather their belongings and run to…Canada!

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Oh, wait, we can’t go there. Canada is a very socialist country!

Well, then we will go to Mexico!

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Published in: on March 2, 2010 at 5:11 pm Comments Off on Obamacare: the New McCarthyism?
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Why the Senate Has it Wrong on the Stimulus Bill

The House and the Senate have each produced stimulus bills this week, but there are marked differences between the two bills.  The NYT reports:

Congress is racing to finalize the legislation this week, with the price tag for the Senate plan now only slightly more than the $820 billion measure adopted by the House. Both plans are intended to blunt the recession with a combination of quick-acting tax cuts to help increase spending by consumers and businesses, and slower long-term government spending on public works projects and other programs to create more than 3 million jobs.

But the competing bills now reflect substantially different approaches. The House puts greater emphasis on helping states and localities avoid wide-scale cuts in services and layoffs of public employees, while the Senate cut $40 billion of that type of aid from its bill.

The Senate plan, reached in an agreement late Friday night between Democrats and three moderate Republicans, focuses more heavily on tax cuts, provides far less generous health care subsidies for the unemployed and lowers a proposed increase in food stamps. To help allay Republican concerns about cost, the Senate proposal even scales back President Obama’s signature middle-class tax cut.

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Published in: on February 8, 2009 at 5:14 pm Comments Off on Why the Senate Has it Wrong on the Stimulus Bill
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Renewed Vigilance

The Office of Homeland Security was hoping the title of this post would refer to the new level of surveillance they would be making available to state and local law enforcement agencies. Intelligence satellites, which had previously been available domestically only for meteorological purposes, were slated to become accessible through a new program to be launched October 1. Though Congress has already approved funding for this program, which would create a National Applications Office to review requests for the information, it’s currently on hold thanks to concerns from Congress about privacy infringement.

For some in Congress, this brought to mind the domestic wiretapping scandal that arose shortly after September 11. On that topic, Representative Jane Harman (D-CA) said, “Since we’ve been rolled, I intend not to get rolled again.” A comment that amusingly brings to mind a rationale used by President Bush about being fooled once.

It is noteworthy that this is merely a delay and not a cancellation of the program. The Office of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke remains confident that it will ultimately go through once Congress has been satisfied there are sufficient safeguards. (more…)

Published in: on October 3, 2007 at 7:45 pm Comments Off on Renewed Vigilance
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