Sometimes you use carrot, sometimes a stick.
With the chances of passing anything that resembles a healthcare bill looking more "ifie" by the day, the White House's Boss Tweed (Rahm Emanuel) has run out of carrots that appeal to dissident Democrats they absolutely must have to reach the magic 60 votes they need to pass anything that resembles a healthcare package. In the case of Sen. Mary Landrieu [D-LA], the Senate leadership gave her the carrot. Louisiana got a special $300 billion aid package to repair Hurricane Katrina damages. You and I are paying for it. This money will be used to reinforce the levy system that keeps New Orleans, a virtual island almost completely surrounded by waterthe Mississippi River and Lake Pontchatrainfrom becoming an American Atlantis since modern day New Orleans is below sea level. And, while Al Gore and his ilk blamed the flooding of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina on global warming, New Orleans flooded because of human stupidity. Common sense tells you that you simply don't build a chicken coop, let alone a major urban center, in an area where the 100-year storm happens with every major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, and the odds are better than 50-50 that anything in its path will be under 10 to 20 feet of water during a major storm surge that will almost always be sucked into the hurricane funnel that empties somewhere along the US coastline from western Florida to eastern Texas
Last year, to get Landrieu's vote on the pork-laden "stimulus" bill that was supposed to be used to to buy foreclosed mortgages from distressed banks to keep the economy alive (but was used exclusively to payoff Obama campaign contributorsparticularly JPMorgan-Chase, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and of course, Government Motors and Chrysler)Landrieu was among those paid off. Landrieu was viewed as vulnerable in Red State Louisiana last November, until the Democratic Treasurer of the State, John Neely Kennedy, switched parties and ran against her as a caretaker candidate to hold the seat for her. Kennedy claims he was courted by the GOP to switch parties and run against Landrieu, but one wonders why the GOP would court a political loser to take on a member of the most powerful family in Louisiana politics. It appears more likely that Kennedy was courted by the Democrats to switch parties and become a chair-warmer candidate who sits out the campaign and simply does not try to get votes. (When you Google John Kennedy for US Senate, you get www.johnkennedy.coma page that redirects you to www.LATreasury.com. As a candidate for the US Senate, Kennedy was running as a favor to the power barons of Louisiana to guarantee that Landrieu, who won in Nov. 2008 with 52% of the vote against a candidate who was not campaigning for the job, would hold her Senate seat. Kennedy was reelected to his State job in 2007 without opposition and, I expect, that will be the case in 2011.
Louisiana was one of the red states that opposed the bailout of America's biggest banks and Obama's and Sen. John McCain's [R-AZ] biggest contributors, the Democratically-controlled Senate (with a very complicit Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] and Steny Hoyer [D-MD]) gave her $470 billion to help ailing New Orleans. Again, our tax dollars. That's $770 billion dollarsjust a few bucks shy of a trillion dollarsfor two votes on two bills that would help destroy the United States of America and change this nation into an Orwellian nightmare that not even a science fiction writer could concoct. The carrot.
The White House, searching frantically for that elusive 59th and 60th vote they need to pass some semblance of a healthcare plan, decided if the carrot doesn't work, they'd simply use the stick. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Boss Tweed, or someone from the White House who was purportedly representing him, supposedly called Sen. Ben Nelson [D-NE] to lobby him for his vote on Obamacare (theoretically, minus the public option). Nelson, a pro-life Democrat, lobbied the Senate to include a provision in the Senate healthcare plan to deny the use of federal funds for abortions. The measure was defeated in the liberal Senate. As Senate liberals attempted to corner Nelson every time he turned around in the Senate building in order to pressure him for his vote on an Obamacare healthcare package that would provide unbridled abortion, Nelson made it clear he would not vote for any healthcare bill that did not reaffirm the Hyde Amendment (the ban on the use of f federal funds for abortion).
The Weekly Standard reported that in Nelson's case, the White House decided to forego the carrot and go right to the stick. The Standard, who has since changed their story, reported that Rahm Emanuel called Nelson and threatened to put the most important USAF Base in the United States, Offutt Air Force Base (the hub of the US Strategic Air Command for North America) on the base closure list if Nelson didn't cave and agree to vote for Obamacarewithout the Hyde Amendment. Pressured by the White House, the Weekly Standard revised their statement saying that "...a Senate aide [says] the White House is now threatening to put Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base on the [base closure] list if Nelson does not fall into line." The next base closure listings will be posted in 2012when Nelson will be running for re-election.
The White House, through Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, stated that no one in, or connected with, the White House threatened Nelson. But, this is how Chicago politics works, and Emanuel was picked as Obama's chief-of-staff not only because he was a close friend of Obama's, but also because, as a Congressman from Illinois he excelled in the art of political extortion. Nelson told KFAB Radio in Nebraska that "...suggestions by conservative columnists that I've been threatened to lose the base and promised a half million dollars in money is unfounded and untrue. Nobody has threatened me. Nobody has offered me something. I'm looking at this on the merits to... Nebraska and what's best for the country." According to Nelson, Rush Limbaugh suggested that the Senate agreed to vote the money needed to complete the Bellevue Veterans Hospital in Bellevue, Nebraska for Nelson's yes vote on Obamacareminus the Hyde Amendment. Nelson noted that the "...Bellevue Hospital has been under consideration for a long time. They have an extension issue. It's not about getting something for something."
When Nelson suggested that someone was impugning his integrity by suggesting he would sell his vote, KFAB interrupted, telling him that no one was accusing him, but that they were accusing the White House of insincerity. Nelson replied that "...if somebody came to me and offered me something or threatened me, I would go public with it. People know that...but the point is, nobody has suggested it, one way or the other." Nelson's next statement suggests that an accommodation may very well have been offered for Nelson's vote. When asked about his voting for a bill that uses public funds for abortion, Nelson came back and said: "Well, not exactly. That's the way it works, but that's not going to remain the language even though the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment didn't get enough votes. There's still work underway to get language that's suitable to make it clear that no federal dollars can be indirectly or directly used to fund elective abortions." Nelson, like Joe Lieberman, is opposed to Obama's public option which will phase out all private insurance in the United States. Today, Senate Democrats are not only searching for a compromise that will get them 60 votes on Harry Reid's bill (which was larely actually written by SEIU), but a compromise that will get them something they can sign before Christmas, even if it does not include a public option.
What was reportedly suggested in the Democratic closed door healthcare session in early December was how to combine enough of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan with the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 to make it palatable to members of Congress even if the American people don't want what will still contain a poison pill provision for the elderly, for people with catastrophic illnesses and those with severe genetic disorders, or those who have become life patients in mental hospitals.
Not only do the elderly who voted in droves for Obama (but who didn't contribute as many votes to Obama as ACORN did) need to wake up and start demanding his removal from office, but so do the minorities who believed the Kenyan-Indonesian liar when he assured them he would restore pre-Clinton welfare. And so should the gay and lesbian community who fear HIV and AIDS since they are catastrophic illnesses for which those infected will find they, like the elderly, will experience healthcare "rationing." When the elderly and the left wake up, they are going to realize that Kenyan-born, Indonesian-raised illegal alien Barack Hussein Obama lied to all us. The change Obama promised was not the change anyone who voted for him expectedexcept the fat cat bankers who knew the redistribution of wealth that Obama talked about on the campaign trail had nothing to do providing wealth for underclass Americans. It had everything to do with stealing our money to give to tomorrow's consumers in the third world so they could buy the products we used to make that they are now manufacturing in the factories we worked in when they were located here. So, once again, for whatever it's worth, you have my two cents on this matter.