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Archive for November 5th, 2009

Speaker Pelosi’s Government-Run Health Plan Will Require a Monthly Abortion Premium

From John Boehner’s Office

Health care reform should not be used as an opportunity to use federal funds to pay for elective abortions. Health reform should be an opportunity to protect human life – not end it.

Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s 2,032-page government takeover of health care does just that.  On line 17, p. 110, section 222 under “Abortions for which Public Funding is Allowed” the Health and Human Services Secretary is given the authority to determine when abortion is allowed under the government-run plan.  The Speaker’s plan also requires that at least one insurance plan offered in the Exchange covers abortions.

What is even more alarming is that a monthly abortion premium will be charged of all enrollees in the government-run plan.  It’s right there on line 16, page 96, section 213, under “Insurance Rating Rules.”  The premium will be paid into a U.S. Treasury account – and these federal funds will be used to pay for the abortion services.

Section 213 describes the process in which the Health Benefits Commissioner is to assess the monthly premiums that will be used to pay for elective abortions under the government-run plan.  The Commissioner must charge at a minimum $1 per enrollee per month.

A majority of Americans believe that health care plans should not be mandated to provide elective abortion coverage, and a majority of Americans do not believe government health care plans should include abortion coverage.

Currently, federal appropriations bills include language known as the Hyde Amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, while another provision, known as the Smith Amendment, prohibits federal funding of abortion under the federal employees’ health benefits plan.

Speaker Pelosi’s 2,032-page health care monstrosity is an affront to the American people and drastically moves away from current policy.  The American people deserve more from their government than being forced to pay for abortion.

House Republicans are offering a common-sense, responsible solution that would reduce health care costs and expand access while protecting the dignity of all human life. The Republican plan, available at HealthCare.GOP.gov, would codify the Hyde Amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. And under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage may not receive federal funds.

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IRANIAN DIPLOMACY

The Israel Navy intercepted the “Francop” cargo ship, which had roughly 500 tons of weapons hidden among civilian cargo. The 36 weapons containers were sent from Iran and meant for the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon. The weapons included 107-millimeter rockets, 60-millimeter mortars, 7.62-rifle Kalashnikov-ammunition, F-1 grenades and 122-millimeter Katyusha rockets.

Israel Navy Intercepts Iranian Weapons en route to Hezbollah, 4 Nov 2009

 


 

IDF commandos uncover hundreds of tons of Iranian weapons on ship

By Yaakov Katz and Tovah Lazaroff

Hundreds of tons of weaponry, the largest arms seizure in Israel’s history, were intercepted overnight Tuesday in a daring raid by Israeli naval commandos aboard a cargo ship sailing 100 nautical miles west of Israel.

The arms shipment was 10 times the size of the cache found on the Palestinian arms ship Karine A in 2002.

The cache was hidden inside shipping containers belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) which departed from the Badar Abbas Port in Iran some 10 days ago, were unloaded in the Egyptian port of Damietta and then loaded onto the Francop, a German vessel flying an Antiguan flag.

The operation had been in planning for several days and was dubbed “Four Species,” for the recent Succot holiday.

Two Israel Navy missile ships approached the Francop late Tuesday night as it passed Israel some 100 miles off the coast. One of the ships raised the captain, of Polish origin, on the radio and asked for permission to board. Once he gave permission, the second ship, carrying several teams of commandos, closed in.

The soldiers boarded without encountering resistance and were given the cargo certificates, which indicated that some of the hundreds of containers on board had originated in Iran and were on their way to the Lattakia Port in Syria, where Israel believes they would have been unloaded and then transferred to Hizbullah.

The total shipment was estimated to weigh over 500 tons and included thousands of rockets and shells of various types, including 122 mm. Russian-made Katyushas, which have a range of some 30 kilometers.

Upon receiving permission from relevant authorities, including the political establishment, the ship was commandeered and brought it to Israel. The Foreign Ministry had a representative in a special command center that was set up, who contacted the countries involved with the ship – Germany and Antigua.

The ship’s crew were unaware of the weapons on board, as the armaments were disguised as humanitarian aid. Some of the other containers contained toilets, milk powder and piles of sacks – each weighing 25 kilograms – filled with polyethylene and made by the Amir Kabir National Petrochemical Company based in Teheran.

The transfer of such a large amounts of weapons was “part of Iran’s effort to create a balance of terror with Israel,” said Brig.- Gen. Rani Ben-Yehuda, deputy commander of the Israel Navy.

“What we discovered is likely just the tip of the iceberg,” Ben-Yehuda said, adding that it was “10 times the amount caught on the Karine A,” a reference to the Palestinian arms ship that was carrying 50 tons of weaponry and was intercepted in 2002 in the Red Sea, on its way to the Gaza Strip.

“This is the third time this year that Iran has disregarded international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions that forbid it to transfer weaponry,” Ben-Yehuda said.

The navy, he said, regularly conducted operations hundreds of miles from Israel’s shores to inspect ships suspected of carrying illegal weapons from Iran to terror proxies like Hizbullah and Hamas.

Ben-Yehuda said that there was regular intelligence indicating that Iran was continuing to support terror groups with large amounts of weapons intended for use against Israel. Furthermore, it was likely that additional shipments from Iran would be shipped, he said.

Ben-Yehuda called the shipment “very advanced weaponry.”

He added that even though the Iranian containers were loaded at port of Damietta in Egypt, the Egyptians were totally unaware of the ship’s contents.

Hilary Leila Krieger and Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.

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Celebrating Limits

By Quin Hillyer

The single biggest myth in American politics is that advocacy of limited government is a fringe position. The way to attract “moderates” and “independents,” we are told, is for conservatives to adopt some sort of stratagem that involves using government actively but wisely and efficiently, for the right ends, in order to attract the target audience du jour: suburbanites, exurbanites, Bobos, soccer moms, Hispanics, metrosexuals, or any number of other strata of supposedly poll-tested exotica.

Balderdash.

As Tuesday’s elections showed, support for limited government remains a mainstream position. Deficit-spending makes majorities angry. Leviathan’s tentacles, its rules and regulations, infuriate most Americans. Big bureaucracies are as popular as swine flu. And far more people than not still just want to be left alone.

Nearly a year ago I traced the electoral success of Republicans when they do restrain spending versus those times when they don’t. Hint: When they save, they win; when they spend, they lose.

The swing voters in most elections aren’t David Brooks’s mythical Bobos in paradise; the swing voters are the Ross Perot/Jesse Ventura “raging moderates” who think that if they must pay their bills, then the government darn well ought to pay its bills as well. But not by raising their taxes, because that makes it harder for them to pay their own bills. These voters work hard; they already give to government far more, financially, than they will ever get in return from it in either cash or services (with the exception that they know they can never repay the unquantifiable sacrifices or risks taken by our uniformed personnel); and they resent like hell when some pencil pusher tries to tell them what to do. They tend to be disaffected voters who wish poxes on both major political houses: Sometimes they stay away from the polls in large numbers, but at other times they turn out en masse, sometimes in favor of a candidate who galvanizes them but often just to “send a message” against incumbents, against the status quo, or against Washington in general. Even when they are “aginners,” though, they also are motivated more by love than hate: love for their country, their freedom, or their families. They are angry not as much because of what they want to tear down, as because they feel a threat to or diminishment of what they most fiercely want to protect.

And these voters insist on balanced budgets. They hate government bailouts and takeovers. They despise government mandates. And they really, really, really hate government pork.

While it would be a mistake to type-cast these voters too narrowly, it is fair to say that one reasonably representative example is Joe the Plumber Wurzelbacher. John McCain was flailing around like a drowning drunk until he grabbed onto Wurzelbacher as if Joe the Plumber were a life-preserver. And Joe struck a chord, clearly stopping McCain’s free-fall last year and starting a belated comeback that made the election a six-point affair rather than a 12-point loss. Joe was, by any measure, a fiscal conservative — and he also was, attitudinally, a Perotista through and through.

Bob McConnell in Virginia ran on a platform of limited government without tax hikes. He won in an unprecedented landslide. Chris Christie in New Jersey lost an immense lead until, in the final ten days, he finally started emphasizing conservative economic positions. Just as had happened when Christine Todd Whitman embraced that low-tax emphasis 16 years ago, also in the very closing stages of what had been a floundering campaign, Chris Christie’s greater focus on limiting government came just in time to pull out a victory.

In the New York congressional special election, Doug Hoffman’s ability to vault past Dede Scozzafava was fueled largely by his insistence on fiscal propriety. Had Scozzafava not supported the Obama stimulus package, she may well have found a way to win the race. As it was, Hoffman earned 46 percent of the vote despite being less-than-familiar with some important local issues, despite being buried on an unfamiliar ballot line, despite lacking polish or experience as a candidate, despite having Scozzafava take 6 percent of the vote on the GOP line, despite not technically living in the district, and even though Scozzafava endorsed his Democratic opponent. As it was, the Democrat, Bill Owens, publicly rejected the “public option” on health care and worked hard to present himself as a proponent of a sound fisc.

Much more could be said about that race, and about the media’s misrepresentation of its dynamics and of the entire narrative of the various races nationwide. Much more will be written on those subjects in this very space. For now, though, Beltway Republicans should learn the lesson, once and for all, that if they do not fight to limit government, there is no other good reason for them even to exist as a party. And voters will recognize that the GOP solons have no reason to exist, and treat them accordingly. [emphasis mine]

Quin Hillyer is a senior editorial writer at the Washington Times and senior editor of The American Spectator. He can be reached at QHillyer@gmail.com.

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Jack Welch blasts President Obama, Barney Frank

By Thomas Grillo

Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, blasted the Obama administration and Congressman Barney Frank this morning telling a banking audience that the Democrats’ actions to restructure the entire economy are “insane.”

“I hope that the New Jersey and Virginia governor’s race will put some realism into this administration,” Welch told an enthusiastic crowd at the Bank Administration Institute convention at Boston’s Convention and Exhibition Center. “I hope it will cause them to pause and not just jump into anything they encounter.”

Welch was referring to the races on Tuesday where Republicans bested Democrats, a sign some say that voters are unhappy with President Barack Obama’s handling of the country.

“I desperately want more thought so we don’t throw out some of the great things we have in this country,” Welch said to more than 1,000 bankers who watched the 73-year-old via video hookup. “Right now, Barney Frank has the floor. He can send us down paths that might be bad for us. That’s frightening. I hope the elections in those two states will slow the speed at which we are attacking climate change, financial regulations and health care. We can’t just pile up deficits and restructure the entire economy in 12-18 months. It’s not doable. It’s insane.” [emphasis mine]

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Club for Growth Is on Hunt for Republicans Who ‘Don’t Fit the Bill’.

Jonathan Weisman

After pumping more than $1 million into an upstate New York House race to elect the Conservative Party’s Doug Hoffman, the Club for Growth is on the hunt again.

Chris Chocola, president of the conservative political action committee, made it clear the PAC is looking for more GOP targets who don’t embrace the Club’s limited-government approach.

Priority No. 1 is likely to be the Senate contest in Florida, where Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who embraced President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, is being challenged by former State House Speaker Marco Rubio. [emphasis mine]

Chocola said the Club will jump in “where there is a viable candidate and a stark contrast.”

“It’s no secret we like Rubio a lot and we have great concerns about Crist,” he said, adding that a decision will come in “no more than weeks.”

Beyond Florida, other establishment Republicans may be looking over their shoulders. Chocola, a former House Republican from Indiana, noted that he served with Rep. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and former Rep. Rob Simmons (R., Conn.), both running for the Senate.

“They’re both good guys, but they don’t fit the bill as Club for Growth candidates,” he said.

Before his organization decides to jump in, however, he said the group has to see how those races develop, and whether a clear “Club” alternative surfaces.

“The best Kirk and Simmons can expect is that we leave them alone,” Chocola said.

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