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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list

WEDNESDAY through MONDAY, November 18 through 30, 2009


We who are fortunate enough to live in America have a great deal to be thankful for.  All it takes to realize this is to review the history of the rest of the world.  In fact, my recent viewing of two documentaries ("Commanding Heights", and the retrospective by Stephen Ambrose published in 2002) as well as a reading of David Finkel's book entitled "The Good Soldiers" demonstrates that the history of humanity so far has been the history of war.  And America has had it fairly easy so far. 
But that may be only because we are just a little over 200 years old.  America is now facing a watershed moment in our history that will set the course for decades to come.  We are divided and weakened internally at precisely the same time that we are facing our greatest challenges since World War ll. 
Now is not the time for partisan politics or for demands for compliance with "non-negotiables" which are actually negotiable.  Now is the time for leadership and compromise in order to restore the unity - and thus the incomparable strength - of these United States.  Must things get much worse before such real leadership arises?


TUESDAY, November 17, 2009


Report: States set low bar for student achievement

By LIBBY QUAID, AP Education Writer Libby Quaid, Ap Education Writer Thu Oct 29, 3:16 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Many states declare students to have grade-level mastery of reading and math when they do not, the Education Department reported Thursday.

The agency compared state achievement standards to the more challenging standards behind the federally funded National Assessment of Educational Progress.

State standards were lower, and there were big differences in where each state set the bar.

The Obama administration said the report bolsters its effort to persuade all states to adopt the same set of tougher standards for what students should know.

"States are setting the bar too low," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "We're lying to our children when we tell them they're proficient, but they're not achieving at a level that will prepare them for success once they graduate."

The federal government can't impose a set of standards, because education is largely up to states.

But Duncan noted he is offering millions of dollars in grants to encourage states to accept a set of standards being developed by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. The grants come from the federal stimulus law, which set aside $5 billion to push Obama's vision of educational reform.

While the standards are not yet final, every state but Texas and Alaska already has committed to work toward adopting them.

The head of the department's Institute of Education Sciences said the biggest concern should be the wide disparity in standards among the states. A student who is proficient in one state might not be proficient in another, the report said.

"Why are these performance standards so far apart, and why are expectations set so widely from one place to another?" IES director John Easton said.

House Education Committee chairman George Miller said a child's education should not be determined by zip code.

"If we are serious about rebuilding our economy and restoring our competitiveness," Miller, D-Calif., said, "then it's time for states to adopt a common core of internationally benchmarked standards that can prepare all children in this country to achieve and succeed in this global economy."

The report by the department's statistics arm compared state achievement levels to achievement levels on NAEP. It found that many states deemed children to be proficient or on grade level when they would rate "below basic," or lacking even partial mastery, in reading and math under the NAEP standards.

Among the findings:

• Thirty-one states deemed fourth-graders proficient in reading when they would have rated below basic on NAEP. Mississippi's standards were lowest, and Massachusetts' were highest.

• Seventeen states deemed eighth-graders proficient at reading when they would have rated below basic on NAEP. Tennessee's standards were lowest, and South Carolina's were highest.

• Ten states deemed fourth- and eighth-graders proficient at math when they would have rated below basic on NAEP. Tennessee's standards were lowest; Massachusetts had the highest fourth-grade math standards, and South Carolina had the highest eighth-grade standards.

In addition, the report said more states lowered standards than raised them from 2005 to 2007.

North Carolina state education official Lou Fabrizio said states face a dilemma because of No Child Left Behind, the 2002 federal law that prods schools to boost test scores to meet annual improvement goals.

States can set easier standards that ensure schools will meet the federally mandated goals, or they can set more challenging standards that help kids improve.

His state chose the latter, but Fabrizio said it was tough to explain that higher standards meant lower scores.

"That was a really difficult job for us to do and communicate to the public that students did not all of a sudden become very ignorant," he said.

North Carolina still has below-basic achievement standards for fourth- and eighth-grade reading.

MONDAY, November 16, 2009


Republican bashes Dems over health care proposals

Sat Nov 14, 12:10 pm ET

WASHINGTON – House Democrats missed opportunities to improve the House-passed health care bill when they rejected Republican ideas to limit lawsuits and give states more flexibility to enact innovative changes, a GOP lawmaker said Saturday.

Delivering the Republicans' weekly radio and Internet address, Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois said health care costs could be lowered by "reining in lawsuits" and allowing consumers to buy coverage from across state lines. Kirk promoted several provisions in the House GOP health care bill, which was rejected a week ago when the House passed the Democratic plan.

"Unfortunately, all of these commonsense Republican reforms were rejected by Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi," Kirk said in the address. "The Pelosi health care bill has no significant lawsuit reforms and does not guarantee your medical rights from government waiting lines or restrictions."

Kirk, who is in his fifth House term representing the suburbs north of Chicago, is a candidate for the Republican nomination to run for the Senate seat that was held by President Barack Obama. He called the House Democrats' health plan "a new massive spending program, supported by heavy taxes and cuts to senior health care."

"In sum, the bill opens a new trillion-dollar entitlement just as our national debt tops $12 trillion," Kirk said.

The House Democrats' bill would cost $1.2 trillion over 10 years and expand coverage to an additional 36 million people. The Republican plan would reduce federal deficits by $68 billion over the 10-year period and push down premiums for privately insured people but would reduce the number of uninsured by just 3 million, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.

The House Democrats' bill would raise $460 billion over the next decade from new income taxes on single people making more than $500,000 a year and couples making more than $1 million. There are also more than $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and a new $20 billion fee on medical device makers.

The House GOP bill had no new taxes. Republicans would get savings by capping medical liability awards, stepping up efforts to fight Medicare and Medicaid fraud, and setting up an approval process for generic versions of high-tech drugs.

SUNDAY, November 15, 2009

Today's comment, relating to Eric Holder's decision to bring the major 9/11 terrorists to trial in New York City rather than in a Military Court, is a no-brainer: YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR MIND.  And the transparent effort to provide Barack Obama with "plausable deniability" will not work. 
Every day a new outrage from this administration.  That's "change", alright.


SATURDAY, November 14, 2009

Subject: Twas the month before Christmas*
Twas the month before Christmas*

*When all through our land,*

*Not a Christian was praying*

*Nor taking a stand.*

*See the PC Police had taken away,*

*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*

*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*

*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*

* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*

*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*

*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*

*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*

*Something was changing, something quite odd! *

*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*

*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*

* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*

*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*

*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*

*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*

*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*

*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*

*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*

*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*

* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*

*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*

*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*

*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*


not Happy Holiday !*

Please, all Christians join together and

wish everyone you meet during the


Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!

FRIDAY, November 13, 2009

A few topics come to mind today. 

THURSDAY, November 12, 2009

ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
News Agency

Migrants a Resource, Nothing to Fear, Says Pope
Calls Faithful to Open Their Hearts

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 10, 2009 ( Migrants must not be regarded as a problem or people to fear, but rather a resource to be valued with a spirit of hospitality for the promotion of genuine development.

Benedict XVI stressed this Monday when he addressed participants in the 6th Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, which is considering migration in the context of globalization and the implementation of the instruction "Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi," five years after its release.
The conference has brought together some 300 people from 81 countries, among whom are cardinals, bishops, priests and laypersons, as well as fraternal delegates representing the Orthodox, Anglicans and Lutherans, and experts, academics and envoys of international organizations and ecclesial movements.
The Holy Father told the participants that in the present context, dominated by the world economic crisis and by a growing economic divide between poor and industrialized countries, "many migrants leave their country to escape from humanly unacceptable conditions of life, but without finding in other places the hospitality they expected."

True development
The Pontiff contended that "genuine development always has a solidary nature" and globalization "can be a propitious occasion to promote integral development, but only if cultural differences are accepted as occasions for meeting and dialogue, and if the unequal distribution of world resources sparks a new awareness of the necessary solidarity that must unite the human family."

Benedict XVI called for "adequate answers to the great social changes under way, taking into account that there cannot be effective development if the meeting between peoples, the dialogue between cultures and respect for legitimate differences are not fostered."
"Migrations are an invitation to perceive clearly the unity of the human family, and the values of acceptance, hospitality and love of neighbor," he added.

The Pope reminded the faithful of the Church's invitation to "open their hearts to migrants and their families, knowing that [...] they constitute a resource that must be valued at the proper time for humanity's journey and its genuine development."
In his opening address, Archbishop Antonio Vegliò, president of the pontifical council that organized the conference, explained that among its objectives is addressing the reality of departure, transit and arrival, which goes across society and Christian communities.
"The present movements of peoples make it necessary to further knowledge," he said, "on topics such as the fundamental unity of the human race, freedom of religion and worship, universal fraternity, the universal destiny of the goods of this world, the right to liberty of movement, the centrality of the human person and the protection of his fundamental rights everywhere, as well as the reunification of families, an education that respects the native culture of migrants and, finally, the responsibility of political leaders to find stable solutions, in the socioeconomic field, which do not oblige citizens to emigrate."

WEDNESDAY, November 11, 2009

Dr. Krauthammer is on Fox News . He is an M.D. and a lawyer and is paralyzed from the neck down.  A friend went to hear Charles Krauthammer. He listened with 25 others in a closed room. What he says here, is NOT 2nd-hand but 1st. The ramifications are staggering for us, our children and their children.

Last Monday was a profound evening, Dr. Charles Krauthammer spoke to the Center for the American Experiment. He is a brilliant intellectual, seasoned & articulate. He is forthright and careful in his analysis, and never resorts to emotions or personal insults. He is NOT a fear monger nor an extremist in his comments and views . He is a fiscal conservative, and has received a Pulitzer Prize for writing. He is a frequent contributor to Fox News and writes weekly for the Washington Post.
The entire room was held spellbound during his talk. I have summarized his comments, as we are living in uncharted waters economically and internationally.  Even 2 Dems at my table agreed with everything he said! If you feel like forwarding this to those who are open minded and have not drunk the Kool-Aid, feel free.
                      Summary of his comments:

                      1. Mr. Obama is a very intellectual, charming individual. He is not to be underestimated. He is a cool customer who doesn't show his emotions. It's very hard to know what's behind the mask.The taking down of the Clinton dynasty             was an amazing accomplishment. The Clintons still do not understand what hit them. Obama was in the perfect place at the perfect time.

                      2. Obama has political skills comparable to Reagan and Clinton . He has a way of making you think he's on your side, agreeing with your position, while doing the opposite. Pay no attention to what he SAYS; rather, watch what he DOES!

                      3. Obama has a ruthless quest for power. He did not come to Washington to make something out of himself, but rather to change everything, including dismantling capitalism. He can't be straightforward on his ambitions, as the public would not go along.
He has a heavy hand, and wants to level the playing field with income redistribution and punishment to the achievers of society. He would like to model the USA to Great Britain orCanada .

                      4. His three main goals are to control ENERGY, PUBLIC EDUCATION, and NATIONAL HEALTHCARE by the Federal government. He doesn't care about the auto or financial services industries, but got them as an early bonus. The cap and trade will add costs to everything and stifle growth. Paying for FREE college education is his goal. Most scary is his healthcare program, because if you make it FREE and add 46,000,000 people to a Medicare-type single-payer system, the costs will go through the roof. The only way to control costs is with massive RATIONING of services, like in Canada . God forbid!

                      5. He has surrounded himself with mostly far-left academic types. No one around him has ever even run a candy store. But they are going to try and run the auto, financial, banking and other industries. This obviously can't work in the long run. Obama is not a socialist; rather he's a far-left secular progressive bent on nothing short of revolution. He ran as a moderate, but will govern from the hard left. Again, watch what he does, not what he says.

                      6. Obama doesn't really see himself as President of the United States , but more as a ruler over the world. He sees himself above it all, trying to orchestrate & coordinate various countries and their agendas. He sees moral equivalency in all cultures. His apology tour in Germany and England was a prime example of how he sees America , as an imperialist nation that has been arrogant, rather than a great noble nation that has at times made errors. This is the first President ever who has chastised our allies and appeased our enemies!

                      7. He is now handing out goodies. He hopes that the bill (and pain) will not come due until after he is reelected in 2012. He would like to blame all problems on Bush from the past, and hopefully his successor in the future. He has a huge ego, and Dr. Krauthammer believes he is a narcissist.

                      8.. Republicans are in the wilderness for a while, but will emerge strong.. Republicans are pining for another Reagan, but there will never be another like him. Krauthammer believes Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty & Bobby Jindahl (except for his terrible speech in February) are the future of the party. Newt Gingrich is brilliant, but has baggage. Sarah Palin is sincere and intelligent, but needs to really be seriously boning up on facts and info if she is to be a serious candidate in the future. We need to return to the party of lower taxes, smaller government, personal responsibility, strong national defense, and state's rights.

                      9. The current level of spending is irresponsible and outrageous. We are spending trillions that we don't have. This could lead to hyperinflation, depression or worse. No country has ever spent themselves into prosperity. The media is giving Obama, Reid and Pelosi a pass because they love their agenda. But eventually the bill will come due and people will realize the huge bailouts didn't work, nor will the stimulus package.These were trillion-dollar payoffs to Obama's allies, unions and the Congress to placate the left, so he can get support for #4 above.

                      10. The election was over in mid-September when Lehman brothers failed, fear and panic swept in, we had an unpopular President, and the war was grinding on indefinitely without a clear outcome. The people are in pain, and the mantra of change caused people to act emotionally. Any Dem would have won this election; it was surprising it was as close as it was.

                      11. In 2012, if the unemployment rate is over 10%, Republicans will be swept back into power. If it's under 8%, the Dems continue to roll. If it's between 8-10%, it will be a dogfight. It will all be about the economy. I hope this gets you really thinking about what's
happening in Washington and Congress. There is a left-wing revolution going  on, according to Krauthammer, and he encourages us to keep the faith and join the loyal resistance. The work will be hard, but we're right on most issues and can reclaim our country, before it's far too late.

                    Do yourself a long term favor, send this to all who will listen to an intelligent assessment of the big picture. All our futures and children's futures depend on our good understanding of what is really going on in DC, and our action pursuant to that understanding!! It really IS up to each of us to take individual action!! Start with educating your friends and neighbors!!!

TUESDAY, November 10, 2009

The original comment being replied to is way beyond "STUPID", the word that increasingly comes to my mind when observing my fellow citizens.  Maybe we should re-impose a literacy test before allowing the right to vote!  GS

This  Cindy Williams is NOT the "Laverne & Shirley" Cindy Williams.  She is a Assistant Director  for national Security in the Congressional Budget Office...

Military Pay 

This is an Airman's  response to Cindy Williams' editorial piece in the Washington Times  about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers across America  

Ms. Cindy Williams wrote a piece for the Washington Times,  denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members' way this year citing  that she stated 13% wage increase was more than they deserve. 

A  young airman from Hill   AFB responds to her  article below. He ought to get a bonus for this. 

"Ms Williams:  I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GIs earn enough" and  I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment  is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between  DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account.  Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before  taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through  the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before  taxes, and $10,490.40, after. 

I work in the Air Force Network  Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host  computer network I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically  with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs For Network  Technicians in the Washington ,   D.C. Area reveals a  position in my career field, requiring three years experience with my job.  Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being  offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum........... I'm sure you can draw  the obvious conclusions. 

Given the tenor of your column, I would  assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her  armed forces. Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate  congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the  military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that  you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN ; I leave the  choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make, though, opt  for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible  time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment  experience." 

As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure  to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved  ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how  they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone  obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government  has been giving them. 

Try to deploy over a major holiday;  Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites.. And  when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against  the cold desert night; and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't  enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade  whatever MRE (meal-ready- to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle  casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything.  This gives some flavor. 

Talk to your loved ones as often as you  are permitted; it won't nearly be long enough or often enough, but take  what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the  fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your opened  piece. 

But, tomorrow from KABUL , I will defend  to the death your right to say it. 

You see, I am an American  fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment rights and every other  right you cherish. On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers  worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective  nose at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under  conditions that would make most people cringe We hemorrhage our best and  brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and  pay of civilian companies. 

And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to  say that we make more than we deserve? You can kiss my royal red a**!!!  

A1C Michael Bragg Hill AFB AFNCC

MONDAY, November 9, 2009

Could this be the "smoking gun"?  GS

Whether the Obama Birthers are right or not, all the President has to do is answer one Question


Paul Hollrah
While I've little interest in getting in the middle of the Obama birth issue,
Paul Hollrah over at UTFSM did so yesterday and believes the issue can
be resolved by Obama answering one simple question:
What passport did he use when he was shuttling between New York ,
Jakarta, and Karachi ?
So how did a young man who arrived in New York in early June 1981,
without the price of a hotel room in his pocket, suddenly come up with
the price of a round-the-world trip just a month later?
And once he was on a plane, shuttling between New York , Jakarta ,
and Karachi , what passport was he offering when he passed through
Customs and Immigration?
<>The American people not only deserve to have answers to these questions,
they must have answers. It makes the debate over Obama's citizenship a
rather short and simple one.

Q: Did he travel to Pakistan in 1981, at age 20?
A :Yes, by his own admission.

Q: What passport did he travel under?
A: There are only three possibilities.
1) He traveled with a U.S. Passport,
2) He traveled with a British passport, or
3) He traveled with an Indonesian passport.
Q: Is it possible that Obama traveled with a U.S. Passport in 1981?
A: No. It is not possible. Pakistan was on the U.S. State Department's
    "no travel" list in 1981.
When Obama went to Pakistan in 1981 he was traveling either with a
British passport or an Indonesian passport.

If he were traveling with a British passport that would provide proof
he was born in Kenya on August 4, 1961, not in Hawaii as he claims.
And if he were traveling with an Indonesian passport that would tend
to prove he relinquished whatever previous citizenship he held, British
or American, prior to being adopted by his Indonesian step-father in 1967.
Whatever the truth of the matter, the American people need to know
how he managed to become a "natural born" American citizen between
1981 and 2008..

Given the destructive nature of his plans for America, as illustrated by
his speech before Congress and the disastrous spending plan he has
presented to Congress, the sooner we learn the truth of all this, the better.

SUNDAY, November 8, 2009

Without knowing what the Senate and a Conference Committee will do, this bill as passed by the House seems desireable...exepet for the unintended and predictable consequences of inplementation: much greater Federal deficit; generally higher cost, lower quality and less access.  But doesn't it feel really good?  GS

House health care bill has nowhere to go in Senate

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press Writer Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press Writer 17 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The glow from a health care triumph faded quickly for President Barack Obama on Sunday as Democrats realized the bill they fought so hard to pass in the House has nowhere to go in the Senate.

Speaking from the Rose Garden about 14 hours after the late Saturday vote, Obama urged senators to be like runners on a relay team and "take the baton and bring this effort to the finish line on behalf of the American people."

The problem is that the Senate won't run with it. The government health insurance plan included in the House bill is unacceptable to a few Democratic moderates who hold the balance of power in the Senate.

If a government plan is part of the deal, "as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote," said Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent whose vote Democrats need to overcome GOP filibusters.

"The House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said dismissively.

Democrats did not line up to challenge him. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has yet to schedule floor debate and hinted last week that senators may not be able to finish health care this year.

Nonetheless, the House vote provided an important lesson in how to succeed with less-than-perfect party unity, and one that Senate Democrats may be able to adapt. House Democrats overcame their own divisions and broke an impasse that threatened the bill after liberals grudgingly accepted tougher restrictions on abortion funding, as abortion opponents demanded.

In Senate, the stumbling block is the idea of the government competing with private insurers. Liberals may have to swallow hard and accept a deal without a public plan in order to keep the legislation alive. As in the House, the compromise appears to be to the right of the political spectrum.

Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who voted for a version of the Senate bill in committee, has given the Democrats a possible way out. She's proposing to allow a government plan as a last resort, if after a few years premiums keep escalating and local health insurance markets remain in the grip of a few big companies. This is the "trigger" option.

That approach appeals to moderates such as Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. "If the private market fails to reform, there would be a fallback position," Landrieu said last week. "It should be triggered by choice and affordability, not by political whim."

Lieberman said he opposes the public plan because it could become a huge and costly entitlement program. "I believe the debt can break America and send us into a recession that's worse than the one we're fighting our way out of today," he said.

For now, Reid is trying to find the votes for a different approach: a government plan that states could opt out of.

The Senate is not likely to jump ahead this week on health care. Reid will keep meeting with senators to see if he can work out a political formula that will give him not only the 60 votes needed to begin debate, but the 60 needed to shut off discussion and bring the bill to a final vote.

Toward the end of the week, the Congressional Budget Office may report back with a costs and coverage estimate on Reid's bill, which he assembled from legislation passed by the Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The Finance Committee version does not include a government plan.

Reid has pledged to Obama that he will get the bill done by the end of the year and remains committed to doing that, according to a Senate leadership aide.

Both the House and Senate bills gradually would extend coverage to nearly all Americans by providing government subsidies to help pay premiums. The measures would bar insurers' practices such as charging more to those in poor health or denying them coverage altogether.

All Americans would be required to carry health insurance, either through an employer, a government plan or by purchasing it on their own.

To keep down costs, the government subsidies and consumer protections don't take effect until 2013. During the three-year transition, both bills would provide $5 billion in federal dollars to help get coverage for people with medical problems who are turned down by private insurers.

Both House and Senate would expand significantly the federal-state Medicaid health program for low-income people.

The majority of people with employer-provided health insurance would not see changes. The main beneficiaries would be some 30 million people who have no coverage at work or have to buy it on their own. The legislation would create a federally regulated marketplace where they could shop for coverage.

The are several major differences between the bills.

_The House would require employers to provide coverage; the Senate does not.

_The House would pay for the coverage expansion by raising taxes on upper-income earners; the Senate uses a variety of taxes and fees, including a levy on high-cost insurance plans.

_The House plan costs about $1.2 trillion over 10 years; the Senate version is under $900 billion.

By defusing the abortion issue — at least for now — the House may have helped the long-term prospects for the bill. Catholic bishops also eager to expand society's safety net may yet endorse the final legislation.

Lieberman appeared on "Fox News Sunday," while Graham was CBS' "Face the Nation."

WEDNESDAY through SATURDAY, November 4 through 7, 2009

Well, the elections are over...and the election campaigns are over for about a month before the next round.  I was travelling this week, thinking and reading a lot. 
So, what are the messages:?
One basic message: this country is in big trouble...not because it is in a Great Recession, and not because the Democrats are in control, and not because we have our people fighting outside this country...but because we are badly divided.  This occurred twice before here: between the Revolutionaries and the Loyalists in the 1770's; and regarding Slavery for too much of our history, leading to the most tragic war we ever fought...and having resolved little for another 100 years afterwards.  Must we go through that again?


TUESDAY, November 3, 2009

And once again the American Medical Association, representing less than 20% of this nation's doctors, and always doing whatever is necessary to be "at the table", finds itself under the table.   You've been duped, you dopes.


SUNDAY and MONDAY, November 1 and 2, 2009

The following is another statement on the current Health Care "Reform" debacle that simply cannot be improved on nor added to. 
See: "THE WORST BILL EVER", Wall Street Journal, Review and Outlook, November 1, 2009.


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