Views on the News – 8/1/2009
Obama has accelerated his agenda in the first six months of office, and may have turned himself into a lame duck with his over-reaching hubris and leftist power grab. The Obama administration has used a new tactic (known as the Cloward-Piven strategy), one that has raised the level of concern and the need for action by elevating every issue into a crisis. Since most Americans are happy with their current health care, there is no reason to label it a crisis. The technique postulates that if a problem is regarded as a crisis, the government must act immediately. Although there may be tactical value in claiming a crisis instead of a problem, there is a dangerous side to this approach. Overuse of this pseudo-crisis technique is causing Obama to lose his credibility. This tactic is like crying wolf every time an issue emerges. The question arises that even if there were a crisis, why would you believe this president? If, God forbid, a national crisis does emerge that requires mobilizing public support, a significant part of the population will say: “Not again. This is simply another rhetorical exercise.” Hubris made him reach for too much, too soon; brazenly overpromise about the effects of his programs; overestimate his control of events; think the golden touch of his brilliant team could solve intractable problems; and believe his words could trump reality. The real question is how well Obama is doing as a result of his frantic efforts:
· The 2008 deficit under Bush, the largest in history at the time: $459 Billion. CBO’s estimate of Obama’s 2009 deficit: $1,845 Billion.
· The total cumulative deficit in Bush’s first seven years (2001-2007): $1.5 trillion. CBO’s estimate of Obama’s first seven deficits (2009-2015): $7.1 trillion.
· Average federal debt held by the public from 1980 through 2000: 40.1% of GDP. In 2008: 40.8%. Predicted for 2012: 70.1%.
· Average gross federal debt from 1980 through 2000: 56.3% of GDP. In 2008: 70.2%. Predicted for 2012: 100.6%.
· CBO’s predicted cumulative 2010-2019 deficit under laws prior to Obama’s budget: $4.4 trillion. Under Obama’s budget: $9.3 trillion.
· CBO’s estimate of federal deficit increase over the next 10 years if Obama’s “Affordable Health Choices Act” is enacted: $1.5 trillion. Net gain in number of people covered by health insurance if enacted: 16 million (of the estimated 49 million without insurance today).
· Obama’s January 2009 prediction of peak unemployment if his stimulus is not passed: 9%. If it is passed: 8%. Actual unemployment rate, with stimulus passed, in June, 2009: 9.5%. Obama’s June 2009 prediction of unemployment later in 2009: 10%.
· Non-farm payrolls (total employees) in December 2008: 135,074,000. In June 2009: 131,692,000. Six month job loss (difference): 3.4 million.
· The number of pages stimulus package: 1,071. Number of pages in Obama’s health care plan: 1,018. Number of pages in the “cap and trade” legislation: 1,500. Number of pages in the US Constitution: about eight. Number of these pages read by the average US Congressperson: few, if any.
· Adding insult to injury, Democrat Congressman John Conyers Jr. disparaged lawmakers for even pretending to read the laws they pass, since there is not enough time or knowledge to read and understand these 1,000+ page bills.
President Obama’s performance approval rating has fallen below 50 percent among likely voters, according to the Rasmussen Reports. The Rasmussen Reports showed that 40% strongly disapprove of President Obama’s performance versus 28% who strongly approve, for a net rating of negative 12%. Voters are also beginning to reassess the President’s ideological coloring as politically liberal by 76%. The new USA Today/Gallup poll shows that 59% of Americans say President Obama’s proposals to address the major problems facing the country call for too much spending and 52% say Obama’s proposals call for too much expansion of government power. On a personal front Barack Obama revealed himself as the Reverend Wright trained black racialist by jumping to conclusions on the Professor Gates arrest based on prejudicial stereotypes and then injecting his opinion “stupidly” into this local issue. By the way I believe Barack Obama was born somewhere in Hawaii, but remain mystified why Obama continues to hide all personal records from his youth from public scrutiny? Barack Obama may very well be the Second Coming of J.C. (unfortunately in Obama’s case J.C. is Jimmy Carter) and personal trust may be his first casualty!
The President keeps returning to the same communications tactics over and over, and all the pages of his PR playbook have one thing in common: a big dose of Obama. As Obama’s once-lofty approval ratings dip and voters express skepticism over his plans for health care and the economy, the longevity of the White House’s go-to techniques is being put to the test. One challenge for Obama’s team in coming weeks: not overusing the president. There are diminishing returns if you see the president too much. … Part of this is just because he’s fascinating and popular right now. Inevitably, they’re going to hit some potholes, and they’re going to have to adjust their strategy. Here’s a peek inside the Obama PR playbook and the reasons why the White House keeps rinsing and repeating the same tactics:
· Town-hall-style meeting – evolved into a stage managed infomercial with preselected participants and prepared questions.
· Major address – word tested and lengthy preaching heavy on detail and delivered by the glib “teleprompter-in-chief.”
· Prime-time news conference – another version of the town hall with preselected reporters to ask questions and preselected topics, but losing ratings
· Interviews – Obama has given more interviews than any recent president at this point in his term, since regional and foreign news media tend to be softer interviews and give better play than members of the White House press corps.
· The personal note – Obama usually infuses some type of pop culture element into his communications smorgasbord.
The White House believes its “all in” approach of high-visibility speeches, media appearances, and town hall meetings is the way to overcome the health care’s shortcomings, instead it is accelerating health care reform’s dropping popularity. Obama and his advisers suffer from a fatal political conceit. They believe the power of his personality, the popularity of his brand, or the strength of his rhetoric, can out-muscle public opinion and separation of powers. This miscalculation has not yet killed health care reform, but certainly has slowed things down. Carol E. Lee is asserting that as Obama’s credibility is sinking so over-exposure can only accelerate this erosion.
Despite Obama’s best efforts to prolong the recession with doom and gloom hysteria, the economy appears to have bottomed out and slow growth is expected for the remainder of the year. There are intermittent signs that the recession may be near an end, though darkened by forecasts that the economy will likely take much longer than expected to achieve a full recovery. Companies that a few months ago were too fearful even to project their future earnings are now seeing glimmers of hope in the year ahead. The rate of home sales has risen for three straight months. The number of people drawing unemployment insurance benefits has fallen back to April levels, having receded for the third straight week. Sales of existing homes rose 3.6% in June, the National Association of Realtors reported on Thursday, to an annual rate of 4.9 million homes sold. While that level is very low by historical standards, it is the third straight month of increase — a sign that housing may no longer be a net drain on economic growth. Similarly, the job market remains in terrible shape, but the pace of layoffs appears to be abating, but is still expected to hit 10% by yearend and remain around 9% through 2010. We’re getting more accumulation of evidence that various sectors are stabilizing. The Conference Board Index of Leading Economic Indicators for the U.S. increased for the third consecutive month in June. All those recent signals sent the stock market surging as investors sensed that the worst of this recession is behind us. Recoveries have to start somewhere, and the preliminary signs of modest improvement in some sectors suggest we’re nearing the bottom of this recession. The economy is starting to come back led by the Gross Domestic Product predicted to be flat or a little positive in the third quarter, and pick up a little momentum in the fourth quarter and next year. Predictably, President Obama was taking credit for any improvements, saying they showed that his administration’s policies were working, but there is no evidence that his snail’s-pace public-works plan has created many jobs that made any real dent in the recession. Obama’s stimulus plan (most of which won’t be spent until next year) and the minuscule middle-class tax credits have had little, if any, substantive effect on the economy. As expected this recession is ending naturally and did not require any government stimulus to recover, but the excessive stimulus spending yet to come may still undermine this recovery.
The Waxman-Markey bill, one of the oddest and most far-reaching pieces of legislation advocated by the new administration, is unwanted, ineffective, and unaffordable. It passed the House a few weeks ago by a 219-212 vote with 28 of the 50 state delegations voting no, and one quarter of the 219 majority votes came from New York and California. Pragmatists believe that although global warming is not a fact that the “scientific debate” is over. Global warming is a “religion” and the faith of those who believe in it cannot be changed. However “global warming” is neither a reality nor a religion, it is instead a “superstition.” A reality is something that actually exists and global warming has not existed for at least 7 years. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s internal memos say it does not exist, and so do increasing numbers of noted scientists. A “religion” is a belief in a supernatural being, a system of faith or worship and global warming does not fit this definition. A “superstition” is a fear founded on irrational feelings and marked by credulity. It should be easy for even members of our Congress to understand that no projection of future world temperatures is a scientific reality. The Waxman-Markey bill would be without question the biggest expansion of federal government control over our economy since the 1930s. The Heritage Foundation concludes it would reduce America’s real gross domestic product by $400 billion each year–a cumulative loss of $9.4 trillion by 2035–leading to almost 2.5 million job losses, and raise inflation-adjusted electricity rates by 90%. Our federal government would have full control over global-warming matters and states would not be permitted to create their own “cap-and-trade” programs, but could be given emission allowances by the federal government which they could sell to generate funds for clean energy programs. The federal government would also have control over the carbon permit process giving away 85% of the permits to utility companies, refineries and other politically connected businesses, and these no-cost permits could be used by companies to continue to crank out historically high CO2 emission levels, or be sold to other companies for real money. Next would come the expansion of American protectionism since China and India have declined to participate in global-warming control, so under Waxman-Markey we would be able to impose tariffs on their goods coming into America. The other side of that coin is of course that they could impose tariffs on our exports too which would hurt American businesses and expand government control of our economy, products and businesses, all in the name of fighting global warming. Of course we have seen the predecessor of the Waxman-Markey bill in the European Union’s “cap-and-trade” regulation, a political failure as well as an economic one and the Europeans have not had much success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Waxman-Markey reduction of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions is predicted to reduce temperatures by less than one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit by 2050. Americans should be gravely concerned that Congress might act to deal with a superstitious belief and willfully and knowingly cost Americans their jobs, increase household utility bills, and increase worldwide toxic pollutants that are being released into the atmosphere. The reality is that credulous political elites (whose personal ideology is to transfer wealth not only within classes of American citizens, but from America to foreign countries) will impede domestic energy production and fund countries and technologies that threaten America’s homeland security. The real purpose of Waxman-Markey is to vastly expand the scope, power and authority of the federal government with Washington permanently regulating and dictating the performance of the U.S. economy, rewarding constituencies it favors and punishing those it doesn’t, and make more and more Americans dependent upon federal largesse.
The curtain has fallen revealing the real Wizard of Oz, Barack Obama, as a leftist ideologue trying to scare the United States into adopting his centrally planned, big government solution to all problems. Americans elected Obama to change things that are failing, but the President is not reforming, he’s expanding. He wants the government to set up a parallel health care apparatus, a giant entanglement of entitlements. It’s not only confusion that is causing Americans to bail on ObamaCare. Most of us value freedom and have a healthy distrust of government. If the president’s plan were clearly presented with the costs spelled out, I believe it would have a chance of passing. I find it strange that the Joint Economic Committee chart describing how this health care system would work under the House plan is a bureaucratic mess and Democrats will no longer endorse its use. However just about everybody knows the USA might be facing bankruptcy, which would damage Americans far more than a troubled health care system. Even though he will not admit it, there is huge financial risk in Obama’s health care vision, and Americans are starting to wise up about the danger. Finally, there is the freedom factor. Your health is obviously personal and you want to have as much control as possible when you get sick. Americans fear that if medical choices are dictated by the feds, that the same kind of chaos that Canada endures will happen here. Tennessee piloted TennCare (much like ObamaCare) in 1994 primarily as a budget measure, to address the rising cost of Medicaid, the federally funded, state-administered health care program for the poor. Again like ObamaCare, nine managed care companies participated in the program, essentially as state contractors and gradually were squeezed out. Just as feared in ObamaCare, by 1998, enrollment had grown by 100,000, as employers moved employees into the TennCare system, which cost them less abandoning private insurance for the public plan because it was lower cost. Centrally managed TennCare paid health care providers 10% below what would be considered actuarially sound. It only took ten years for the Tennessee Governor to conclude that it was time to scrap TennCare as unaffordable and unsustainable but has been unable to begin the dismantling due to litigation, which is the dismal Republican forecast for ObamaCare.
ObamaCare is about exerting government control over the entire health care system. If you listen to President Obama, his “reform” will satisfy almost everyone. It will insure the uninsured, control runaway health spending, subdue future budget deficits, preserve choice for patients and improve quality of care. These claims are self-serving exaggerations and political fantasies. They have destroyed what should be a serious national discussion of health care. The goals of communistic governments were not to solve the problems of the masses as much as to shift control from the existing leaders to the new leaders of the country. The leaders of the former communist countries were not living under the same rules as those they were ruling. This same principle applies to what we are experiencing in the debate about health insurance reform. The leaders of the movement who want the current bills in Congress to quickly pass are individuals who have a greater interest in shifting control of the health care system than they do in improving the health care system. There are three simple proof points highlight what are the real objectives of the proposed reforms:
· Only 15 million of the 45 million uninsured Americans are covered by these bills, and there is no explanation of how the others will be covered.
· The proponents say the plan saves money, but in reality it will cost $150 billion a year per year over the next ten years.
· The proposed bill is 1018 pages of legalese that would definitely challenge almost all who read it – if anyone would actually commit to do so, and the President has admitted he has not read the behemoth either.
Combine these three factors; it will cost us a tremendous amount of money to cover only a relatively small portion of the uninsured in a bill that very few if any comprehend. The Democrats want to spend $1.5 trillion over a decade, impose an $800 billion tax increase in the midst of the worst recession in a generation, increase federal borrowing by $239 billion (on top of the $11 trillion the Obama budget already requires us to borrow through 2019), impose costly mandates on employers that will discourage hiring as unemployment nears 10%, force individuals to buy one-size-fits-all government defined insurance, and insert the government in countless new ways between doctors and patients. All of that would occur whether or not the plan includes a “public option,” which at this point it does include and which will exacerbate all of these problems. The people who are attempting to ram this albatross down our throats have little clue of our circumstances. Most of the drafters have never been an employer or even an employee. They are government wonks who crave power and think they know better than the rest of us. Our President asserts his desire to improve the health care system, but why has he allowed Congress to draft such a monstrosity? He can dance around the issue all he wants to, but common sense says this is a naked power grab. There is a group of people in Congress who are convinced that our health care should be run through the federal government. Certainly since the time of the Truman Administration and maybe FDR Administration the Democrats have been attempting to nationalize health care. Until this time they have succeeded in having 50% of health care dollars running through government hands. This is an attempt in one bold stroke to move the other 50% under government control. American people understand that should this pass, they will get inferior care at a higher cost while the designers of this plan will get superior care at no cost at all to them. The latest Rasmussen Reports national survey found that 49% of Americans oppose health care reform vs. 47% in favor, with 41% strongly opposed! Only 23% believe that health care reform will lower costs, while 50% expect the quality of care to go down! Communism is great if you make the laws and control the money, but unfortunately, you and I are going to be waiting in line while the people who stuck us with this have exempted themselves from its coverage.
President Obama has repeatedly reassured Americans that they can keep their existing health plans — and that the benefits and access they prize will be enhanced through reform. After a close reading of the two main bills, one backed by Democrats in the House and the other issued by Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Health committee, Shawn Tully found these bills contradict the President’s assurances. Reading page by page, the bills reveal a web of restrictions, fines, and mandates that would radically change your health-care coverage. In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive, and highly subsidized coverage — including a lot of benefits people would never pay for with their own money — but deliver it through a highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and tests you can and can’t have. There are five current “freedoms” that Americans would lose under ObamaCare:
· Freedom to choose what’s in your plan – The bills in both houses require that Americans purchase insurance through “qualified” plans offered by health-care “exchanges” that would be set up in each state imposing a minimum list of benefits that each plan is required to offer. Today, many states require these “standard benefits packages” — and they’re a major cause for the rise in health-care costs.
· Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs – the Obama plan enshrines into federal law one of the worst features of state legislation: community rating, requiring that all patients pay the same rates for their level of coverage regardless of their age or medical condition. Americans with pre-existing conditions need subsidies under any plan, but community rating is a dubious way to bring fairness to health care.
· Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage – The bills threaten to eliminate the one part of the market truly driven by consumers spending their own money. That’s what makes a market, and health care needs more of it, not less. By requiring minimum packages, they would prevent patients from choosing stripped-down plans that cover only major medical expenses.
· Freedom to keep your existing plan – the bills appear to say otherwise. The legislation divides the insured into two main groups, and those two groups are treated differently with respect to their current plans. The first are employees covered by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974. ERISA regulates companies that are self-insured, meaning they pay claims out of their cash flow, and don’t have real insurance, stating that employees covered by ERISA plans are “grandfathered.” The bill gives ERISA employers a five-year grace period when they can keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the “qualified” policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we’ve already discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, “keeping your own plan” has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you’ll get dumped into the exchange. As we’ll see, it could happen a lot earlier. The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who aren’t under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to offer only “qualified” plans to new customers, via the exchanges. The employees who got their coverage before the law goes into effect can keep their plans, but once again, there’s a catch. If the plan changes in any way — by altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug — the employee must drop out and shop through the exchange. Since these plans generally change their policies every year, it’s likely that millions of employees will lose their plans in 12 months.
· Freedom to choose your doctors – The Senate bill requires that Americans buying through the exchanges — and as we’ve seen, that will soon be most Americans — must get their care through something called “medical home.” Medical home is similar to an HMO. You’re assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you, and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologists or orthopedists. The danger is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were HMO physicians more than a decade ago. It was consumer outrage over despotic gatekeepers that made the HMOs so unpopular, and killed what was billed as the solution to America’s health-care cost explosion. In reality, the flexible, employer-based plans that now dominate the landscape, and that Americans so cherish, could disappear far faster than the 5 year “grace period” that’s barely being discussed.
Companies would have the option of paying an 8% payroll tax into a fund that pays for coverage for Americans who aren’t covered by their employers. Forced migration to the public option won’t happen right away — large companies must wait a couple of years before they opt out, but it will happen, since it’s likely that the tax will rise a lot more slowly than corporate health-care costs, especially since they’ll be lobbying Washington to keep the tax under control in the righteous name of job creation… hence the nickname of Trojan Horse!
President Obama’s sustained push to radically rework American medicine has triggered an enormous backlash among Americans who have come to understand that despite his repeated promises to the contrary, the president’s scheme will cause many millions to lose the health insurance they have and see it replaced by the so-called “government option/public plan.” At the same time Hugh Hewitt sees a spreading recognition that the massive “stimulus” package not only didn’t work, it worsened the jobs situation in the country by signaling businesses small and large that fiscal irresponsibility on a scale never before imaginable had arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and that the years ahead would be rough. Payrolls have been trimmed drastically as a result, and now the Federal Reserve is predicting sustained and high unemployment. The president’s talk of “saving or creating millions of jobs” is just talk, because the jobs crisis is real and continuing and the Obama Administration has no plan to surge employment. This double Democratic whammy on the country’s sense of security has launched two grassroots initiatives, the success of which signals that the GOP’s grassroots are growing again. First, the National Center for Policy Analysis launched a petition to stop ObamaCare which has close to a million signatures and a huge impact on the United States Senate – a million electronic signatures stops them in their tracks. On the jobs front, Newt Gingrich has harnessed the new technology to help rebuild a conservative agenda on jobs. The former Speaker who is now the General Chairman of American Solutions unveiled a concise, four part proposal to ignite job creation along with the brilliant summary point: America can’t work if Americans aren’t working. The centerpiece of Newt’s plan is a two-year, 50% reduction in payroll taxes, which would give an enormous and immediate boost to employers and employees alike, providing not only a huge jolt to consumer spending but also an opportunity for businesses to add the employees they are presently fearful about bringing on because of looming increased marginal costs of employment and general fears about Obama economic policy. It has been a long six months for center-right activists as the greatly diminished ranks of Republicans on the Hill and the dispirited activists in the states have struggled to gear up for what in sports is universally called “a rebuilding year.” Now, suddenly, the president’s and Nancy Pelosi’s incredible overreach combined with the demonstrable disasters that have attended the stimulus and which would follow cap-and-tax-and-tax-and-tax and the radical plans for American medicine have revived and energized the Republican grassroots. The recognition that the stakes are too high to shuffle through an entire cycle has spread quickly, and key organizations like the National Center for Policy Analysis and AmericanSolutions.com have stepped up to provide vehicles through which that energy can be effectively channeled.
The Obama administration lacks a foreign policy ideology as a matter of ideology, but even lacking an ideology, the administration does have a doctrine. Michael Gerson explained that the defining principle of President Obama’s foreign policy is engagement with America’s adversaries. Much of the president’s public diplomacy has been designed to clear a path for such talks, expressing respect for legitimate grievances, apologizing for past wrongs and offering dialogue without preconditions. North Korea responded to administration outreach by testing a nuclear weapon, firing missiles toward U.S. allies, resuming plutonium reprocessing and threatening the United States with a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation.” The Iranian regime’s reaction to engagement was to cut the ribbon on a nuclear enrichment facility, add centrifuges, conduct a fraudulent election, and kill and imprison a variety of political opponents. The problem is not engagement itself, which was, after all, attempted in various forms by the previous administration. The difficulty is that the Obama foreign policy team has often argued that the reason for tension and conflict with nations such as North Korea and Iran is a lack of adequate American engagement, which is absurd, and which has raised absurdly high expectations. Such regimes are often internally preoccupied. Precisely because they lack genuine legitimacy, they spend large amounts of time and effort maintaining their fragile authority, consolidating power and managing undemocratic transitions. And the inherent instability of oppressive regimes also leads them to tighten control by invoking threats from abroad, particularly from the United States. The Obama administration’s public campaign of engaging enemies is headed toward an entirely unintended consequence. Eventually this approach will raise expectations for action. As the extended hand is slapped again and again, the goals of North Korea and Iran will be fully revealed and the cost to American credibility will rise. This is the paradox of the Obama doctrine. By attempting to engage North Korea and Iran so visibly, Obama is dramatically exposing the limits of engagement — and building the case for confrontation.
The United States faces a polarizing dilemma: How can it stop Barack Obama’s relentless course toward Marxism and rebuild this country at the same time? What’s needed now is nothing short of reforming an entire nation, its economy, its politics, and its culture to the critical juncture from which America most recently lurched off course, under the auspices of Obama-ism. The first necessity is to halt that Obama ruination. The next is to reconstitute an entire nation, only the greatest ever known in history. The purpose of that reformation is to set forth, once again, toward the future the Founding Fathers intended for this country. Stopping Obama’s onslaught on capitalism and individual initiative in its tracks, arduous as that obviously will be, is child’s play compared with the far-larger feat: reversing things and restoring them to the status quo ante. Initially, you have to sell most Americans, or at least enough of them short of a majority, that it’s a good idea, let alone a self-survival necessity. It is no exaggeration that government programs, once launched, are near impossible to return to port. What government agency ever died of old age, committed suicide, or was allowed to perish from lack of taxation nutrition? What creates big-government statism is what perpetuates it. Around each new or enhanced program instantly coalesces a protective coating of dependent constituencies, drone-bee lobbyists, and parasitic tributary programs with their own subsets of tax-suckers. It won’t be enough for Republicans just to be “the party of no” and stop there because they will also have to propose national alternatives that begin all over again where Barack Obama first seduced America into his leftward-spiraling, all-consuming maelstrom of latter-day Marxism.
* There is so much published each week that unless you go out of your way to find it, you will miss important breaking events. I package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning for your reading pleasure and to fill in factual vacuums.
If you are sick and tired of government and politics as usual, read my web site with its individual issue analysis and recommendations sections at: http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com . Individual issue updates this week include:
· Elections at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/elections.html
· Healthcare at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/healthcare.html
Week’s Best Articles:
· “Obama’s top five PR tricks” by Carol E. Lee dated July 22, 2009 published by Politico at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25248.html
· “New Media, New Activism, and the New GOP: Newt and the NCPA” by Hugh Hewitt dated July 24, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/HughHewitt/2009/07/24/new_media,_new_ac tivism,_and_a_new_gop_newt_and_the_ncpa .
· “Hope Builds for the Economy As Positive Reports Pile Up” by Neil Irwin dated July 24, 2009 published by The Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/23/AR2009 072301609.html .
· “5 freedoms you’d lose in health care reform” by Shawn Tully dated July 24, 2009 published by Fortune Magazine at http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/24/news/economy/health_care_reform_obama. fortune/index.htm .
· “What Barack Obama Fails to Understand About America” by Bill O’Reilly dated July 25, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/BillOReilly/2009/07/25/what_barack_obam a_fails_to_understand_about_america .
· “No White House Apology for Professorgate” by Erick Erickson dated July 25, 2009 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32866 .
· “Waxman-Markey Deserves to Die” by Pete Du Pont dated July 26, 2009 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204886304574308771420637 620.html .
· “Hoven’s Index: Obama’s First Six Months” by Randall Hoven dated July 27, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/hovens_index_obamas_first_six.h tml .
· “What They Really Want” by Bruce Bialosky dated July 27, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/BruceBialosky/2009/07/27/what_they_real ly_want .
· “All the President’s Debt” by Vasko Kohlmayer dated July 27, 2009 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=35705 .
· “Halt Obama Nation and Rebuild America” by John L. Perry dated July 27, 2009 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/john_perry/Obama_Marxist_ruination/2009/07/27/2 40383.html .
· “Obama’s Crisis Syndrome Will Backfire” by Herbert London dated July 27, 2009 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/herbert_london/Obama_crisis_healthcare/2009/07/ 27/240622.html .
· “Obama’s Misleading Medicine” by Robert Samuelson dated July 27, 2009 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/27/obamas_misleading _medicine_97633.html .
· “Will Obama Continue to Defy Gravity?” by G. Tracy Mehan, III dated July 28, 2009 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2009/07/28/will-obama-continue-to-defy-g r .
· “In the Name of Global Warming” by Don Blankenship dated July 28, 2009 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/in_the_name_of_global_warming.h tml .
· “Just 23% Believe Health Care Costs Will Go Down if Reform Passes Congress” dated July 28, 2009 published by Rasmussen Reports at http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events /healthcare/july_2009/just_23_believe_health_care_costs_will_go_down_ if_reform_passes_congress .
· “Death of a Doctrine” by Michael Gerson dated July 29, 2009 published by the Washington Post at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/28/AR2009 072802110.html .
· “Read the bill, congressman” dated July 29, 2009 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/29/read-the-bill-congress men/ .
· “Fatal Conceit” by Gary Andres dated July 30, 2009 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/789q czld.asp .
· “Wanted: A Modest Obama” by Rich Lowry dated July 31, 2009 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=N2ZiOWI0ZWJlYjViYWUxNmViMjVmYTFhM GFjOTUyZjY= .
· “An anemic recovery, with high unemployment” by Donald Lambro dated July 31, 2009 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/DonaldLambro/2009/07/31/an_anemic_recov ery,_with_high_unemployment .
· “Off the Charts” by Jim Geraghty dated July 31, 2009 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YzE0MjJhNWM5MDEwYzExNDhmNjJlMjY1O Dc5YTBkYTM= .
· “Tried and Found Wanting” by Fred Lucas dated August 3, 2009 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/769n uwys.asp .
· “ObamaCare: It’s Even Worse Than You Think” by James C. Capretta and Yuval Levin dated August 3, 2009 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/764z jvvu.asp .