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GOP Leader Juggles Misinformation And Lies In Message To Public On Abortion Language In Senate Bill

Saturday, November 21, 2009

By Media Matters

In an online post and email, the office of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) grossly misinforms and flat out lies about the abortion language in the new Senate health care bill.  Unfortunately for the Republicans, the facts are against them.

House GOP Lies About HHS Secretary's Jurisdiction Over Abortion Coverage Changes

House Republican Leader Blog: "Beginning on line 7, p. 118, section 1303 under 'Voluntary Choice of Coverage of Abortion Services' the Health and Human Services Secretary is given the authority to determine when abortion is allowed under the government-run health plan.  Leader Reid's plan also requires that at least one insurance plan offered in the Exchange covers abortions (line 13, p. 120)." [RepublicanLeader.House.gov, 11/19/09]
The Bill Clearly States The HHS Secretary Cannot Allow Federal Funds To Pay For Abortions.  Page 118, Lines 4-25 through Page 119, Lines 1-8 reads:
(C) PROHIBITION ON FEDERAL FUNDS FOR ABORTION SERVICES IN COMMUNITY HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION -


(i) Determination by Secretary. - The Secretary may not determine, in accordance with subparagraph (A)(ii), that the community health insurance option established under section 1323 shall provide coverage of services described in subparagraph (B)(i) as part of benefits for the plan year unless the Secretary - (I) assures compliance with the requirements of paragraph (2); (II) assures, in accordance with applicable provisions of generally accepted accounting requirements, circulars on funds management of the Office of Management and Budget, and guidance on accounting of the Government Accountability Office, that no Federal funds are used for such coverage; and (III) notwithstanding section 1323(e)(1)(C) or any other provision of this title, takes all necessary steps to assure that the United States does not bear the insurance risk for a community health insurance option's coverage of services described in subparagraph (B)(i). [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, accessed 11/19/09]

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Sen. Inhofe (R-Exxon/Mobile) Deceives On Clean Energy Legislation

By Media Matters

On November 18, 2009, Sen. James Inhofe falsely stated clean energy legislation would kill jobs and drastically increase expenses. Contrary to Inhofe's statement, legislation increasing our investment in clean energy technologies would create jobs in every state and help America become more energy independent, all for less than a quarter a day.

Sen. Inhofe Repeats Debunked Falsehoods About Clean Energy

Sen. James Inhofe:
Given the unemployment rate of 10 percent, and given all of the out of control spending in Washington, the last thing we need is another thousand-page bill that increases costs and ships jobs overseas. [Inhofe Floor Speech, 11/18/09]

Millions Of American Green Jobs

As Media Matters Action Network has noted, a recent study from UC Berkeley found that pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create up to 1.9 million jobs, boost GDP by up to $111 billion and increase families' incomes by nearly $1,200 per year!

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Will Create Over 1.7 Million American Jobs.  According to the Center for American Progress: "Investments in a clean-energy economy will generate major employment benefits for the entire U.S. economy. Our research finds that spending $150 billion on clean-energy investments would create roughly 1.7 million jobs. This is even after assuming a reduction in fossil fuel spending equivalent to the increase in clean-energy investments." [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]
  • Every Single State Will Gain Jobs From An Investment In Clean Energy Technologies. According to the Center for American Progress, investments in clean energy projects would create 1.7 million American jobs in every state in the country. [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]

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J Street Blasts Palin Views As "Misinformed And Dangerous"

By MJ Rosenberg
Media Matters

Jeremy Ben Ami, Executive Director of J Street, is appalled that some leaders of the pro-Israel community have praised Sarah Palin for endorsing expanding Israeli settlements, despite long-time US policy opposing settlement expansion and the opposition of much of the Israeli public.

He has written Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, who praised Palin's statements, explaining why Palin's views are objectionable.

Here is an excerpt:
Dear Abe,


I am deeply troubled by your attack on J Street for opposing Sarah Palin's unqualified support for settlement expansion on the West Bank.


Last I checked, it has been United States policy under every President since 1967 to oppose the development and expansion of settlements on the West Bank - and, yes, J Street along with a sizeable portion of the Israeli and American Jewish public also opposes settlement expansion.


Sarah Palin - recently nearly Vice President of the United States and doubtless soon to be a candidate for President - appears to disagree with this long-established, deeply bipartisan consensus on settlements - and seems further to imagine that large numbers of Jews around the world are packing their bags to move to the West Bank in the coming days and weeks.


Her views are outside the mainstream of American and Israeli thinking and her statements lack understanding of either the Jewish community or the meaning of the settlement issue to the chances of Israel's survival as a Jewish democracy.


In our view, those views when introduced into the national policy debate by a potential leader of our country need to be called out for what they are: misinformed and dangerous.
Read the rest of the letter HERE.

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Missouri State Rep. Continues Her Assault On Social Services

By Walid Zafar
Media Matters

A few months ago, Republican Missouri State Representative Cynthia Davis triggered the ire of many in her state when she explained her opposition to a summer feeding program for children by saying that hunger could serve as "a positive motivator.

Her rationale was not only abhorrent, but it sought to dismiss a growing problem in her state.  More than 20% of Missouri's children go hungry and according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "in Missouri, the number of people without enough to eat grew at four times the national average over the last decade."  At the time, Davis had this sage advice for her constituents that go hungry: "If you work for McDonald's, they will feed you for free during your break."  Most disturbing for the people of Missouri is that Davis chairs the House's Committee on Children and Families.

Interestingly enough, Davis also sits on the Health Care Policy Committee so it would only make sense that her position on health care would be similarly antiquated, misinformed and dangerous.  And it is.  Earlier in the year, she warned her constituents that Democratic health care reform proposals would "encourage people to die prematurely.

Davis also has a rather unique perspective on vaccines.  According to local blogger Randy Turner, Davis writes: "It is not the job of the government or the schools to provide vaccines."  "Ultimately" Davis goes on to say, "this decision should be worked out between you and your doctor....(Remainder.)

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Constitution Hating Rep, Mike Pence: 9/11 Trials "The Most Naïve And Dangerous" Decision Ever

By Matt Finkelstein
Media Matters

Yesterday, two former officials in the Bush justice department became the latest conservatives to voice support for the Obama administration's decision to prosecute five alleged 9/11 conspirators in criminal court.

Writing in the Washington Post, former Deputy Attorney General Jim Comey and former Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith argued: "[T]here is no question about the legitimacy of U.S. federal courts to incapacitate terrorists.  Many of Holder's critics appear to have forgotten that the Bush administration used civilian courts to put away dozens of terrorists."

Those critics, of course, include the entire House Republican Caucus, whose members didn't object when the tough-on-terror Bush-Cheney regime convicted 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Mousaoui and several other notable terrorists in U.S. courtrooms.  Indeed, Republican lawmakers are falsely insisting that the administration's decision is unprecedented and using outrageous rhetoric to stoke fear about the potential for disaster.

Today, Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) added to the already impressive list of ridiculous statements made by conservative lawmakers.  In a press release, Pence suggested that putting the 9/11 terrorists on trial is "the most naïve and dangerous decision" the U.S. government has "ever" made:
"Trying terrorists like ordinary criminals puts international public relations ahead of public safety and makes a mockery of American justice.  This administration's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and his cohorts, in our civilian criminal courts is the most naïve and dangerous decision I have ever witnessed the United States government make.  We should not be granting terrorists their wish to be tried at the scene of the worst enemy attack in American history."

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For This Bounty ...

By Ed Stein
Ed Stein Ink


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Obama's Afghan Dilemma: The Only Real Exit Strategy Is Political Suicide

By Dan Froomkin
The Washington Post

President Obama said yesterday he is still several weeks away from adopting a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

What's taking so long? Obama wants his plan to include an exit strategy -- or an "endgame" as he put it yesterday. And there isn't one -- at least not one that's politically palatable.

Obama has talked about the need for an exit strategy before, dating back at least to a "60 Minutes" interview in March, during the rollout of his initial Afghan plan. He made the point pretty emphatically: "There's gotta be an exit strategy."

Up until a few months ago, Obama evidently thought he had one. Presumably, it involved handing the country back to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's stable, united government in fairly short order.

But then Karzai's re-election turned into a fiasco, exposing Afghanistan's still-deep divisions and still-profound corruption -- and making it abundantly clear to everyone that there will be no exit under those conditions, certainly not anytime soon.

In fact at this point, according to Paul R. Pillar, a Georgetown University professor who formerly served as the CIA's chief intelligence analyst for the Middle East, it's pretty clear that the goal of leaving behind a stable, democratic Afghanistan is unattainable.

"With the application of military force, some degree of short-term stability over some portion of Afghanistan is probably achievable," Pillar told me. "That is not to say that we have stabilized Afghanistan or that whenever we get out we'll have established some long-term basis for peace and stability. I don't think we can do that."...(Remainder.)

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