Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.
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BARACK OBAMA IN THE WHITEHOUSE

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Kennedy sought pontiff's prayers before death

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote to Pope Benedict XVI, asking the pontiff to pray for him as he dealt with cancer.(CNN) -- Shortly before he died from brain cancer, Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI. President Obama delivered the letter to the pontiff during his visit to the Vatican in July. Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote to Pope Benedict XVI, asking the pontiff to pray for him as he dealt with cancer.


The following are excerpts from the letter as read by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick at Kennedy's private burial service Saturday in Arlington National Cemetery:
"Most Holy Father, I asked President Obama to personally hand-deliver this letter to you. As a man of deep faith himself, he understands how important my Catholic faith is to me, and I am so deeply grateful to him. I hope this letter finds you in good health.
"I pray that you have all of God's blessings as you lead our Church and inspire our world during these challenging times. I am writing with deep humility to ask that you pray for me as my own health declines. I was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago, and although I continue treatment the disease is taking its toll on me. I am 77 years old, and preparing for the next passage of life.
Video Watch mourners pay final respect to Kennedy »
"I have been blessed to be part of a wonderful family. Both of my parents, particularly my mother, kept our Catholic faith at the center of our lives. That gift of faith has sustained and nurtured, and provided solace to me in the darkest hours.
"I know that I have been an imperfect human being, but with the help of my faith I have tried to right my path. I want you to know Your Holiness that in my nearly 50 years of elective office, I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I have worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination, and expand access to health care and education. I have opposed the death penalty, and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and been the focus of my work as a United States Senator.
"I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life. I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field, and I'll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone.
"I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic Your Holiness. And though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings of my faith. I continue to pray for God's blessings on you and on our Church, and would be most thankful for your prayers for me." Video Watch how faith played role in Kennedy's life »
Two weeks later, Kennedy received a response from the Vatican. McCarrick read the response in part, as follows:
"The Holy Father has read the letter which you entrusted to President Obama, who kindly presented it to him during their recent meeting. He was saddened to know of your illness, and asked me to assure you of his concern and his spiritual closeness. He is particularly grateful for your promise of prayers for him, for the needs of our universal church.
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"His Holiness prays that in the days ahead, you may be sustained in faith and hope, and granted the precious grace of joyful surrender to the will of God, our merciful father. He invokes upon you the consolation and peace promised by the risen savior to all who share in his sufferings, and trust in his promise of eternal life.
"Commending you and the members of your family to the loving intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Father cordially imparts his apostolic blessing as a pledge of wisdom, comfort, and strength in the Lord."

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Biography of Senator Ted Kennedy in Video

Friday, August 28, 2009



Ted Kennedy, according to Barack Obama, was one of the most respected people ever to serve in the U.S. Senate. In the following caught on tape in the following link, watch the man from Massachusetts, who served in the U.S. Senate for 46 years and served 8 terms in a wonderful 6 part biography that reflects his life. Also below the link is a video reflecting President Barack Obama reflecting on the life of Senator Ted (Edward) Kennedy.
http://www.biography.com/video.do?name=fullbioepisodes&bcpid=1896837679&bclid=35548115001&bctid=35754739001

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Letter by President Obama concerning the death of Senator Ted Kennedy

To the Readers of 'Obama and the White House Blog' from the editor James..

Please read a note sent to me in a massive reachout from President Barack Obama to his followers......


James --

Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.

For nearly five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.

His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives -- in seniors who know new dignity; in families that know new opportunity; in children who know education's promise; and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just, including me.

In the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth and good cheer. He battled passionately on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines. And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy.

I personally valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've benefited as President from his encouragement and wisdom.

His fight gave us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye. The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we've all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives.

For America, he was a defender of a dream. For his family, he was a guardian. Our hearts and prayers go out to them today -- to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.

Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still.

Sincerely,

President Barack Obama

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Giuliani Invokes Hitler-Rockefeller-Bush Conspiracy to Explain 9/11

Sunday, August 23, 2009

by Robert Lederman
(718) 743-3722
robert.lederman@worldnet.att.net
January 28, 2002

giuliani-line.jpg - 1165 Bytes
Former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani may have revealed a lot more about what happened on 9/11 than he intended this past Saturday while addressing a ConfereConference of Mayors breakfast honoring the WTC ( World Trade Center ) victims.

NY Times 1/27/2002

U.S. Ignored Threat of Terror, Giuliani Says

"In the 1930's, Hitler told us what he was going to do, and we ignored it, for years and years and years. In the 1990's, the terrorists told us what they were going to do. And we ignored it. We glorified Yasir Arafat when he was training terrorists in Palestine. We allowed Saddam Hussein to build weapons of mass destruction as we removed inspectors."
End of Quote from NY Times
When a man who has been publicly compared to Hitler throughout his career invokes the Fuhrer by name we should all pay attention. Giuliani was 100% right that we knew what Hitler, Saddam Hussein and bin Laden were going to do, but he left out how we knew. How we knew is the key to understanding Giuliani, the Bush administration and what really happened on 9/11.
Hitler, Saddam and bin Laden have much in common besides being mass murderers. All worked for, were financed by and were armed at the direction of America's top corporate interests, most conspicuously among them corporations and individuals associated with the Rockefeller and Bush families and with the men who created CIA policy. Giuliani is intimately linked to these families and corporations. The Bush family were Hitler's American bankers, spending more than a decade building up the Nazi war machine until their banking and shipping assets were seized by the U.S. Congress in 1942 under the Trading With the Enemy Act.
Rockefeller's Standard Oil was half owner of IG Farben the chemical and munitions company which formed the industrial basis of the Third Reich and which built and operated 40 slave labor death camps including Auschwitz. IG Farben likewise owned half of Standard Oil.
Most of the world's current leading drug companies such as Bayer were once part of IG Farben. Today, Rockefeller's Exxon/Mobil (formerly Standard Oil) is the world's largest corporation, with his JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup - the two main banks financing Enron - close behind.
Rockefeller's Chase Bank - the main funding source for the Manhattan Institute - has admitted to helping Hitler raid the gold reserves of invaded European nations and voluntarily liquidating thousands of Jewish bank accounts and turning the money over to the Nazis. Rockefeller's intelligence representatives in what later became the CIA imported thousands of former Nazis to the U.S. after WWII, among them major war criminals who participated in the war's worst atrocities. Some of the men who helped import Nazis to the U.S. and conspired to hide this fact from the American people later became CIA directors, Secretaries of State, heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission, presidential advisors and U.S. Presidents.
Eugenics programs in the U.S. were publicly acknowledged by Hitler as the model for what eventually became the Nazi program of mandatory euthanasia, the forcible sterilization of more than 350,000 German citizens and ultimately, the Holocaust. It was the Rockefeller family and their long-time business associates - the Bush and Harriman families who were Wall Street partners in financing Hitler - whose institutions and foundations inspired both the U.S. and the Nazi eugenics laws.
These laws mandating forcible sterilization were in effect in more than 20 states in the U.S. until the Holocaust temporarily gave eugenics a bad name. Eugenics-based ideas have since come back stronger than ever under the guises of population control, the Human Genome Project, eliminating welfare and privatizing prisons, hospitals and schools - which are the preoccupations of the CIA sponsored Manhattan Institute where both Giuliani and GW Bush claim they get all of their ideas.
Contrary to their recent public statements about the sanctity of life, for the past 70 years the Bush family has been among the world's leading proponents of population control policies and abortion. GW's grandfather - the Nazi banker Prescott Bush - was a leading official of Planned Parenthood in the 1950's and lost his seat in Congress because of it. US Ambassador to the U.N. in the early 70's George Bush specialized in promoting a worldwide depopulation program sponsored by David Rockefeller.
Saddam Hussein got his chemical and biological weapons and most of his conventional weapons from the U.S. - specifically from the Bush administration and it's friends in the armaments industry. It was the first Bush administration which indicated to Saddam - after arming him - that we'd look the other way if he invaded Kuwait, thereby starting the Gulf War. It was the Reagan-Bush administration that armed, trained and financed bin Laden, deliberately building up Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan into a force to be reckoned with.
It was the Reagan/Bush CIA director William Casey who orchestrated giving bin Laden and his friends billions in weapons and special military training. That's the same William Casey who founded the Manhattan Institute (MI).
MI has since given us the GW Bush and Giuliani administrations and used them both as testing grounds for a fascistic concept of America featuring eugenics-based social programs, tax cuts for the richest corporations, widespread media censorship, a never-ending war on "terrorism" and the phoniest brand of patriotism ever seen in U.S. history.
It was Giuliani's most important patron, David Rockefeller, who created the World Trade Center with his brother, NY State Governor and Ford Administration vice President, Nelson Rockefeller. The Rockefeller families' oil policies and long entanglement with the Saudi royal family were bin Laden's stated reasons for hating the U.S.
The facts proving these statements are a matter of U.S. history and can be confirmed by anyone with a computer or a library card and an interest in doing so. Thousands of websites are dedicated to this history. There are also thousands of readily accessible mainstream media sources, records of Congressional hearings and books published by respected authors detailing this history. Many of these authors were once U.S. government officials. In the articles on my website http://baltech.org/lederman/ I list hundreds of places where you can find this information.
Admittedly, you won't find any direct reference to these things on the Rockefeller families many websites or in an authorized history of Giuliani or the Bush family. They've spent decades obliterating and whitewashing their record.
As one glaring example of the reach of their censorship consider this simple fact. Since 9/11 not one mainstream U.S. newspaper has reported that the Rockefellers built the WTC yet every history of the WTC and every article from the 1970's on it's construction prominently features this fact, usually in the first paragraph.
Despite his occasional tendency to embarrassing public confession, Rudy Giuliani will never publicly admit his connections to Nazis and the far right or why he is so obsessed with Hitler. He is however, proud to remind us of his close relationship to the Rockefeller families' CIA-initiated Manhattan Institute and to the Bushes.
While leading daily celebrity tours of ground zero, doing hundreds of interviews about his greatness and accepting credit for "saving New York" from the terrorists, Giuliani has never responded to a single question about why he illegally stored 6,000 gallons of fuel in WTC #7 to supply his "bombproof" bunker. That fateful decision caused WTC #7 to collapse thereby conveniently destroying millions of CIA, FBI and Department of Justice files.
Was it a coincidence that the two worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil each destroyed millions of files of criminal evidence that were embarrassing for U.S. government officials and corporations? Is it a coincidence that the so-called "terrorists" in each bombing - Oklahoma City and the WTC - were trained by the U.S. military and/or the CIA?
These millions of files were evidence in criminal cases involving major U.S. banks, US-trained terrorists, the Mafia, U.S. officials and foreign governments who are now our "allies" in the so-called war on terrorism. Giuliani has also refused to answer any questions on why he ordered all of the steel beams from ground zero melted down and destroyed before they could be examined by investigators. Giuliani cleaned up millions of tons of WTC evidence even faster than he cleaned up the "squeegee menace", street artists or topless dancing.
One has to wonder why Giuliani would warn us about imminent terrorist attacks for years, even surrounding his offices at City Hall with concrete barriers and then locate his emergency response bunker in the building complex most expected by U.S. intelligence agencies to be attacked by terrorists. Evidence about what Giuliani himself knew about 9/11 before it happened may be one of the many reasons he recently stole millions of public records on his last active day as Mayor of NYC in order to prevent them from being accessed by the public.
It's tempting to reject all of this material without even looking into it. Like the countless indications in recent years that Enron was a fake, these disturbing truths are hard to face and doing so has serious ramifications for politics, finance, national security and the very idea of what the U.S. government is supposed to stand for.
It's not easy to accept that this nations' biggest enemies are almost without exception puppets of our own wealthiest families but like Giuliani said, we ignore the clear warning signs at our own peril. Our enemies have told us exactly what they intend to do. Isn't it time to take them at their word?

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Views of 'then' Senator Barack Obama on Government Complicity during 9/11

Read the following email, sent by then Senator Barack Obama about Government Complicity during 9/11. 

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
Thursday, February 15, 2007

Democrat Presidential frontrunner Senator Barack Obama has responded to a question posed by an Infowars reader regarding government complicity in the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks. 
Three months after the reader sent Obama a correspondence outlining her great concern that criminal elements of the government were directly complicit in the attacks, the Senator sent the following response via email, which was then forwarded to us:
Dear Penny:
Thank you for contacting me regarding your belief that the U.S. government was complicit in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. I appreciate hearing your passionate views on this matter.
While I do not believe the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks, I do think it should be held accountable for the unacceptable mistakes it made in the run-up to that terrible day. The blunders that occurred prior to the 2001 attacks were inexcusable and often outrageous. The series of clear warnings about the potential use of hijacked planes as weapons is just one example of why the "surprise" of 9/11 should have been anticipated. In my view, proof of government complicity is not necessary when making the argument that the U.S. should accept some responsibility for what happened on 9/11.
Thank you again for writing.
Sincerely,
Barack Obama
United States Senator

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President G W Bush Had Intelligence Facts that Terrorists May ATTACK !

In a few weeks, the United States will again honor the dead, the U.S. victims who were killed in the twin towers and commercial jets on September 11, 2001. 

The one thing that the 43rd President of the United States wants to be known for is how he fought against terrorism. In an 'awareness poll' taken here on this blog, people have voted in conclusion that President Bush condones torture tactics, something that terrorists would perform.  President Bush actually believes that he did what it takes to protect this country. Now let's review the facts. Actually since he was President, he should be held responsible for the attacks, especially since there is so much information pointing to him for doing 'nothing'. Incidentally, President Barack Obama does not believe that President Bush should be held directly responsible, but that government should be held responsible "for the unacceptable mistakes it made in the run-up to that terrible day." says Barack Obama, then U.S. Senator from Chicago.  But I also believe that Bush should also be held responsible for doing nothing for the victims of  Hurricane Katrina in their greatest time of need.

On his watch while visiting a grade school class in 2001, this country was attacked by terrorists, as the towers of the world trade center fell to the ground, killing approximately 6000 people.

How could such a thing happen with the FBI and CIA Intelligence and U.S. forces to protect U.S. citizens?

Answer: President Bush ignored his own CIA intelligence warnings that such an attack was eminent. Can you believe that??  Yes, President Bush actually was told by the CIA and U.S. Intelligence that such an attack may happen. (proof to follow in reports below Youtube video)


What did our 43 President do after finding out these facts?   Absolutely nothing !!! Instead, on the fateful day of September 11, 2001, he elected to attend class at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. The world trade center in New York was then struck by two airplanes, killing hundreds of people on board the planes and thousands of people in the World Trade Center as it crumbled to the ground. Watch the video below to see how President Bush found out that our country was attacked....




Subject: Bush Warned Bin Laden Wanted to Hijack Planes-NY Times
Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 08:19:41 -0400

From: "Robert Lederman" <robert.lederman@worldnet.att.net>

Let's just review a few facts that have recently come out shall we? The FBI knew Bin Laden's people were studying how to fly (but not land) jumbo jets in various US flight schools. The FBI the CIA and even GW knew they planned to hijack jumbo jets. Every security service in the world knew the WTC was the world's #1 target for Islamic terrorists. Yet, they did nothing, ignored all intelligence, issued no warnings, increased no security. Bush announces, "We hit the trifecta!" after hearing of the attacks. No conspiracy, right?
See http://tinyurl.com/5ycv95

NY Times
Bush Was Warned Bin Laden Wanted to Hijack Planes
By DAVID E. SANGER


WASHINGTON, May 15 - The White House said tonight that President Bush had been warned by American intelligence agencies in early August that Osama bin Laden was seeking to hijack aircraft but that the warnings did not contemplate the possibility that the hijackers would turn the planes into guided missiles for a terrorist attack.

"It is widely known that we had information that bin Laden wanted to attack the United States or United States interests abroad," Ari Fleischer, the president's press secretary, said this evening. "The president was also provided information about bin Laden wanting to engage in hijacking in the traditional pre-9/11 sense, not for the use of suicide bombing, not for the use of an airplane as a missile."

Nonetheless the revelation by the White House, made in response to a report about the intelligence warning this evening on CBS News, is bound to fuel Congressional demands for a deeper investigation into why American intelligence agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had failed to put together individual pieces of evidence that, in retrospect, now seem to suggest what was coming.

In the past few days, government officials have acknowledged for the first time that an F.B.I. agent in Phoenix had urged the F.B.I. headquarters to investigate Middle Eastern men enrolled in American flight schools. That
memorandum also cited Mr. bin Laden by name and suggested that his followers could use the schools to train for terror operations, officials who have seen the memorandum said.

Administration officials reached this evening said the warning given to Mr. Bush did not come from the F.B.I. or from the information developed by the Phoenix agent. Instead, it was provided as part of the C.I.A. briefing he is given each morning, suggesting that it was probably based on evidence gathered abroad.

The C.I.A. had been listening intently over the July 4 holiday last year, after what one investigator called "a lot of static in the system suggesting something was coming." But then the evidence disappeared as quickly as it
had arisen, and by August, officials have said, little was heard from Al Qaeda.

The warning of the hijacking was given to the president at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., where he was on vacation.

Taken together, the news of the C.I.A. warning and the information developed separately by the F.B.I. explains Mr. Bush's anger after Sept. 11 that intelligence gathered on American soil and abroad was not being centrally analyzed and that the agencies were not working well together.

Several times he has told audiences that he is working on solving that problem, and these days he is briefed jointly by the F.B.I and the C.I.A., ensuring that each hears information from the other agency.

It was not clear this evening why the White House waited eight months after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington to reveal what Mr. Bush had been told.

But Mr. Fleischer noted that in the daily flow of intelligence information the president receives, the warning of what appeared to be the threat of a conventional hijacking was not as serious as it appears in retrospect. "We
were a peacetime society, and the F.B.I. had a different mission," he said.

Mr. Fleischer said the information given to the president in Texas had prompted the administration to put law enforcement agencies on alert. But there was no public announcement.

Nonetheless, a senior administration official said tonight that there was speculation within the government that heightened security - if it truly existed in August and September - might have prompted the hijackers to use
box cutters and plastic knives to avoid detection.

The C.I.A. warning might also explain why Mr. Bush's aides were so certain that Mr. bin Laden was behind the attacks almost as soon as they happened. "We never had any real doubt," one senior official involved in the crucial decisions at the White House on Sept. 11 said several months ago.

Until recently, Mr. Bush has deflected demands for a lengthy and detailed investigation into the intelligence failures surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks. White House officials were concerned that the investigation would
feed into demands by Senator Richard C. Shelby, the Alabama Republican who is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for the replacement of George J. Tenet as director of central intelligence.

But the news that the hijacking warning was in the president's brief, which Mr. Tenet sees and approves, and that it was linked to Mr. bin Laden is almost certain to widen the scope of the investigation.

Already, several lawmakers who have read the Phoenix memorandum written by the F.B.I. agent have described it as the most significant document to emerge in Congressional inquiries into whether the government might have been warned about possible hijackings.

Now those investigators are almost certain to demand the details of the president's August briefing by the C.I.A. and may ask to hear about how that evidence was developed.

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Obama blog POLL on Bush Torture

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A personal poll  on 'Obama in the White House' blog was taken over the last several months. 149 people entered the poll. The POLL QUESTION was How do you feel about the prior Bush Administration about torture? Did Bush break the law with his methods of torture?
In an overwhelming majority of blog voters, 102 people (68%) out of 149 total people, claim that Bush did break the law with his methods of torture. Only 38 people (25%) believe that he didn't break the law, and 9 people (6%) were undecided. Obviously, this is only a small sample of people, but the numbers prove one thing. A sampled majority of people believe that President Bush broke the law and used torture to get information out of his prisoners. Water-boarding and sleep degradation were at the top of the list. Prisoners were forced to say standing an extended period of time. The Bush rule was to use any kind of force as long as there was no proof of physical abuse to the prisoners. A follow-up article will follow this shortly.

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Obama Health Insurance with the Public Insurance Option

What is a public insurance option?

A public insurance option is one that can provide insurance to Americans who lack employment-based coverage. The public plan would be similar to conventional Medicare (the “public Medicare plan,” as distinguished from private plans that contract with Medicare) in that it would be managed by the federal government and pay private providers to deliver care. The public plan would be offered through a new national insurance “exchange,” where it would compete with private insurance plans. The benefit of this type of plan would be that people who lack employment-based coverage would be able to acquire health care, and could not be turned down because of existing or prior medical condition. All could now have health care. With a so called reformed health care framework, direct competition with private insurance plans would drive down costs.
The case can be made that public insurance options must be modeled after medicare if the broad goals of reform, universal insurance and improved value are to be achieved. Medicare has proven superior at cost control not just to health plans in the private sector, but also to plans that contract with the federal government, such as one offered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).People may not realize it, but if you were to stop and think about it, public insurance has pioneered new payment and quality-improvement methods that have frequently set the standard from private plans. Now with the use of new information technology, comparison of large databases and practices and the outcomes of such practices, can now carry out these vital tasks more effectively.
A public plan is essential to set standards for that private plans must compete with. Without this ability, there would be no way to keep down costs and drive insurance practices and value up. People who have good jobs and elect to keep their present insurance would notice a big drop in premiums due to the competition with public insurance plans that would become available under a public insurance option. 
The public plan choice will allow Americans to realize the benefits of both public and private plans: flexibility and security, innovation and stability, and market and democratic accountability. And, according to opinion polling, this is what most Americans want: public and private insurance competing side by side so that they can choose the best option for themselves and their families.

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Positives and Negatives of President Obama's Health Care Reform Package

Opinion of  'James', editor of  'Obama in the White House' blog

All you hear lately surrounding Barack Obama these days is 'Health Care Reform'. Actually, there are some main reasons for it. It represents Barack Obama's very first main political test as President. You may have thought that the economic stimulus plan would have been his first challenge. Actually, support for the economic stimulus plan was split down party lines, and a few of the right wing activist senators also voted for the bill. So actually it wasn't a very big challenge. But now, in the forefront is his first real test known as Health care reform. Results of Health Care reform whether it becomes law or not has become a major factor that will help determine President Obama's future as President of the United States. With less than 1 year in his presidency in a first term, people are already making predictions of his re-election, and most everyone believes that health care reform success or failure will take a major part in the next presidential election in 2012.
President Obama believes that the present system will not work much longer. He claims that with the present care of today, we now wait until people get sick, then provide them with care. Preventative medicine is almost not heard of these days. Presently, 164 million Americans have insurance through their work. Approximately 14 million people pay for their own insurance. It has been reported that 49 million people in the United States do not have any kind of insurance. It includes people who have elected not to have it, and people who simply cannot afford to pay for it. It includes people who cannot acquire insurance because of existing health conditions. For extreme right wing activists or so called "conservative republicans" support for the bill will never be supported, but President Obama is pretty much determined to get some bi-partisan support for his bill. Without the support, the bill will be almost certain not to pass.
If most everyone agree that health care reform is necessary, then why has this reform bill become President Obama's biggest challenge. It is a fact that insurance costs have more than doubled since 1999, as costs are now up more than 117%. Without a doubt, the main reason for people not supporting the bill is cost. President Obama has claimed time and time again that Nationalized health care can be provided without adding to the deficit in the next decade. This statement so far has almost been impossible to prove on paper. People are becoming skeptical on the Presidents decisions on Health Care reform, and has received less support for the reform bill as each day rolls along.
In a previous administration, namely President Clinton, he tried to get a health care reform bill passed in 1993, but was unsuccessful. People may not realize this fact, but President Clinton came up with the bill and provided it to Congress and it did not pass. This time around, President Obama had decided to let Congress create the bill in hopes that this bill would be better accepted for passage. So both the House and Senate created their own Health Reform bills that must be scrutinized by both sides. Still a bill in any form so far has received less and less support.

In a netshell, here are some of the benefits of the plan if passed.

1) Lower costs of insurance
2) People will be required to have it
3) No discrimination based on existing conditions.
4) Premiums will be drastically reduces so health insurance is affordable.
5) Health Insurance industry supports the bill if it contains 'no public option'
6) Illegal immigrants/aliens will not benefit from medical insurance.

In a nutshell, here are some of the negatives for having the plan if passed:

1) Very high cost, up to 1,000,0000,000,0000 = 1 trillion dollar cost.
2) Higher taxes for the wealthy to help pay for the plan.
3) Backups in medBackups in medical care due to overwhelmed emergency rooms, and the lack of at least 10,000 more doctors are needed now, even before this bill if passed would create a rush of doctor and hospital visits.
4) Premiums will be paid by the uninsured if the insurance is not accepted by the employee from the employer.                
5) Less choices provided by government insured health care.
6) Illegal immigrants/aliens still will drain money from health care as they will still have access to hospital emergency rooms.

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CNN Truth Squad: Will new health bill cover illegal immigrants?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 13, 2009
Posted: August 13th, 2009 05:04 PM ET
The statement: Questions about whether those in the United States illegally would be covered by the health-care bill now before the House of Representatives have been a staple of the raucous public meetings some members of Congress have been hosting during their August break. At least two people raised the issue at a forum held by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, on Wednesday, and Cardin's insistence that "Illegal aliens will not be in this bill — period — the end" was met with a round of jeers.
(Get the facts and the verdict after the jump)

The facts: The bill, HR 3200, specifically bars coverage for illegal immigrants. Section 246, which is included in the part of the bill that sets up a health insurance exchange, forbids payments "on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States." But critics say there is no way to enforce that provision, and the Democratic majority in the House has turned back at least one Republican effort to stiffen citizenship checks.
Henrie Treadwell, a professor of community health and preventative medicine at Atlanta's Morehouse School of Medicine, calls the issue a "red herring." The existing health-care programs Medicare and Medicaid already require those enrolled to provide "a substantial number of documents" to show they're U.S. citizens or legal residents, she said.
On the other hand, doctors are obligated to treat people who show up in emergency rooms regardless of citizenship. Many of the estimated 10 million illegal immigrants in the United States are getting treatment at emergency rooms already, with the costs absorbed by hospitals and state and local governments, Treadwell said.
"It is certainly not just something that disappears," she said. "We are paying now for care that is not preventive, and we are paying millions."
Some Republicans argue that the measure has left a loophole for undocumented relatives of legal residents to be covered. But Treadwell disputes that, telling CNN that based on her reading of the bills, "There is no loophole currently." The language in Section 242 of the House bill limits benefits to family members who are citizens or legal residents, she said.
In addition, a widely circulated e-mail critical of the bill states that a non-discrimination clause in Section 152 would require illegal immigrants to be covered by a public health insurance plan. But the first line of that provision forbids discrimination "except as otherwise explicitly permitted by this act."
The verdict: False. The language of the House version of the bill as it is now written restricts coverage to U.S. citizens and legal residents — and as far as illegal immigrants are concerned, "It simply is not a truthful argument that they will be covered," Treadwell said.

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What's in the health care reform bill for Illegal Aliens?

The health care reform issue is a pretty vast issue, but one part of it has to deal with illegal aliens. One of the questions in my survey located at the top of this blog is whether aliens should also benefit from health care reform. Right off the bat, you may say absolutely not. But the only problem here is that illegal aliens are getting a free ride right now. They can walk into a state run hospital and receive health care for free. Do you think that Barack Obama is going to take health care away from people. All he talks about is being able to supply health care to every person in the United States. That includes aliens. Is that fair. I don't think so. There are so many people that try to do things right, and there are 100X more doing things wrong and getting away with it.

For example in a personal situation, I am now married to my wife who is from the Philippines, who did everything it would take to come here legally, and at a very high cost. In a few years, she will be able to receive her naturalization papers and become a U.S. citizen, and of course I support her all the way. She could not just step across the border as the illegal aliens do from Mexico and take up a new life in this country, along with getting free medical attention. I had to sponsor her as my fiancee so that she could acquire a fiancee visa. The attorney fees and paperwork that I needed to file required a good sum of money. My wife, then as my fiancee, went through the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, and we flew back to the United States together in an 8,000 mile journey. She obtained a work permit first, and it was a little difficult for us and a little costly, as we had to apply twice and pay the fee twice, because the paperwork was originally filled out improperly the first time. Then came the green card which meant another wait and another fee.

I work for IBM, and my medical insurance premiums have been rising year after year, but the insurance covers both my wife and I. But I pay more and more each year. According to President Obama's health care plan, I will have the ability to keep my present insurance, or go with the government assisted health plan if it becomes law. Most people will elect to go to the government assisted health care plans, because they most likely will be allot cheaper.

At the present time, I think that the final version of the new health care plan supported by President Obama would call for illegal aliens to register if they want any medical coverage at all.
If the bill gets proper attention, then most likely illegals will not be able to get medical coverage for free if they now want health insurance coverage. If they are working, their employers should have to supply a policy to them that they can afford. Employers will no longer be allowed to harbor illegal aliens. Actually, they were never permitted to do so in the past, but they got away with it so that they could acquire cheap labor from the illegal aliens. Now it may mean that illegal aliens would would have to register, spelling the beginning of the end for illegal aliens.

So when you hear that President Obama will be supplying health insurance to illegal aliens, it most likely will be for a price. No longer will a person that doesn't even belong here in this country be able to receive health insurance for free. This alone should save substantial money when it comes to health care costs, along with reducing the revenues lost by state run hospitals.

But now here is a sad fact. Since hospitals don’t collect immigration figures… it’s unclear how much people who are in this country illegally add to health care costs — but it’s probably a pretty significant chunk of change.

Consider this: There are about 46-million people without health insurance in the U.S. Of those, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that there are about six-million uninsured adults who are illegal; and 700,000 uninsured children.

These facts just underscore the depth of the problems centered around health insurance. President Obama may have been trying to bite off more than he can chew here in a matter of speaking, but still he has the guts to try. He has allot of supporters, but the figures of people that favor his plans are dwindling every day.

Regardless of what happens here, most people say that something needs to be done regarding affordable health insurance for everyone. But you will still have a few people that are totally against the government becoming involved with medical issues of the American people. Conservatives (Republicans) will most likely fight to the 'death' sort of speaking, to do whatever can be done to stop the President from passing any kind of bill to help the American people receive government sponsored health care coverage.

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Afghan Elections - Terrorism and Death most likely to Follow - Is there an American to blame?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Afghanistan soldiers and NATO forces are preparing for a very difficult time that promises to be difficult by an announcement of the Taliban that they plan on stopping people from voting in the countries elections on Thursday. This information was acquired just one day after the pro-Taliban Hizb-e-Islami militant leader Mr. Gubuddin Hekmatyar stated that he would stop attacks on the Afghanistan people if the Americans would pull out of Afghanistan. He is about to show his force, not against the United States, but against a count of up to 17 million innocent men and women just trying to exercise their right to vote in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, so many people in Afghanistan believe that the Americans should not be there,and no doubt Americans will be also blamed for the deaths of voters, but it's because of people like Mr. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar that the United States needs to stay in Afghanistan. Maybe he forgot about what happened in the United States on the fateful day when the twin-standing towers were toppled by terrorist acts in New York city, causing thousands and people to instantly loose their lives.
I am not a pro-war advocate, and I would do everything possible to pull out of these distant countries if I were the President of the United states, but I also realize that the American soldiers are there in an effort to secure a world peace and to keep Americans safe at home but defeating the Taliban and Al Keida. I am willing to trust our President to make the tough decisions that may even some day cost him his presidency, mainly because I don't know of another man that has the ability to make these tough decisions.
In the grand scheme of things, Obama continues to make decisions that may be unpopular to the American people, but every time he makes one of those decisions, he explains the reasons why they must be made. I expect President Obama to step up the offensive in Afghanistan become successful in his effort to dig out Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates. It is a job that he has inherited from the former President of the United States, George Bush. By a supporter of President Obama and one of my most treasured followers, here is what a special blogger said who also apparently has the answer to the titled question.

Blogger 秘密崇拜者 said...

"I am supporting you Obama with my prayer, wish you success.
And hopefully American economic is getting better and better everyday. But There is something should American people there to hardly remember, that this crisis is begin and tailored made by your silly former president bush, and his arrogant allied. Keep it remember for a life time."

August 13, 2009 2:13 PM

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Afghan Warlord wants to strike a deal with the United States

Monday, August 17, 2009

Which U.S. President gave money to the Taliban militants during the Afghanistan/Soviet conflict in the 1980's? It is unknown by me at this time if it was either President Jimmy Carter or President Ronald Reagan, but it was one of the two. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan on President Carters watch, so most likely it may have been President Carter. How much was given to the Afghanistan's, namely to now the Afghan warlord and former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar? How about $600 million in U.S.funds to help them fight the Soviets. Isn't that an eye opener?!
Now, Mr. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is in the news as a leader with the pro-Taliban Hizb-e-Islami militant group. He now claims that he wants to help us, mainly claiming that the group he represents would stop attacks against coalition forces, and stop recruiting members while stopping the intimidation of local citizens. Wow, he is so gracious. He disgusts me. He is regarded as one of the top maverick militant players in Afghanistan. I guess he must now be feeling the heat as more than 13,000 members of NATO's International Security Assistance Forces are now fighting in Helmand. Over half are American troups. A total of about 21,000 U.S. troops now are fighing in Afghanistan, shifting the focus from Iraq. Most of the others are from the United Kingdom. In actuality, it looks as if he wants us to help him again by leaving Afghanistan. This notion may spark the interest of conservative leaders here at home, but I highly doubt if President Barack Obama would fall for such a trap. What guarantees can President Obama get from a group of militants that cannot be trusted? Maybe the militant leader wants to strike up a deal because he knows that he cannot win against a far superior force, the United States.

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President Obama Weekly Address August 15, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Real Conversations about Health Insurance Reform

Full transcript here.


These are legitimate differences worthy of the real discussion that America deserves – one where we lower our voices, listen to one another, and talk about differences that really exist. Because while there may be disagreements over how to go about it, there is widespread agreement on the urgent need to reform a broken system and finally hold insurance companies accountable.

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Health Care Reform - by David Axelrod - Senior Advisor to the President

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dear Friend,

This is probably one of the longest emails I’ve ever sent, but it could be the most important.

Across the country we are seeing vigorous debate about health insurance reform. Unfortunately, some of the old tactics we know so well are back — even the viral emails that fly unchecked and under the radar, spreading all sorts of lies and distortions.

As President Obama said at the town hall in New Hampshire, “where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that's actually been proposed.”

So let’s start a chain email of our own. At the end of my email, you’ll find a lot of information about health insurance reform, distilled into 8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage, 8 common myths about reform and 8 reasons we need health insurance reform now.

Right now, someone you know probably has a question about reform that could be answered by what’s below. So what are you waiting for? Forward this email.

Thanks,
David

David Axelrod
Senior Adviser to the President

P.S. We launched www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck this week to knock down the rumors and lies that are floating around the internet. You can find the information below, and much more, there. For example, we've just added a video of Nancy-Ann DeParle from our Health Reform Office tackling a viral email head on. Check it out:

Health Insurance Reform Reality Check

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage

  1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
  2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
  3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
  4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
  5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
  6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
  7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
  8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.
Learn more and get details: http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/health-insurance-consumer-protections/

8 common myths about health insurance reform
  1. Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.
  2. We can’t afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.
  3. Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.
  4. Vets' health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.
  5. Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.
  6. Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare "doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.
  7. You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.
  8. No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts.  Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose.  Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.
Learn more and get details:
http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck
http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/realitycheck/faq

8 Reasons We Need Health Insurance Reform Now
  1. Coverage Denied to Millions: A recent national survey estimated that 12.6 million non-elderly adults – 36 percent of those who tried to purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the individual insurance market – were in fact discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/denied_coverage/index.html
  2. Less Care for More Costs: With each passing year, Americans are paying more for health care coverage. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job.  Americans pay more than ever for health insurance, but get less coverage. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hiddencosts/index.html
  3. Roadblocks to Care for Women: Women’s reproductive health requires more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%). While rates of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches and are more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain. These chronic conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up care. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/women/index.html
  4. Hard Times in the Heartland: Throughout rural America, there are nearly 50 million people who face challenges in accessing health care. The past several decades have consistently shown higher rates of poverty, mortality, uninsurance, and limited access to a primary health care provider in rural areas. With the recent economic downturn, there is potential for an increase in many of the health disparities and access concerns that are already elevated in rural communities. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/hardtimes
  5. Small Businesses Struggle to Provide Health Coverage: Nearly one-third of the uninsured – 13 million people – are employees of firms with less than 100 workers. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. Much of this decline stems from small business. The percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to 59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. About a third of such workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through a spouse. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/helpbottomline
  6. The Tragedies are Personal: Half of all personal bankruptcies are at least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not covered by Medicare alone. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/inaction
  7. Diminishing Access to Care: From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%. An estimated 87 million people - one in every three Americans under the age of 65 - were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families. Learn more: http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/inaction/diminishing/index.html
  8. The Trends are Troubling: Without reform, health care costs will continue to skyrocket unabated, putting unbearable strain on families, businesses, and state and federal government budgets. Perhaps the most visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance - projections suggest that this number will rise to about 72 million in 2040 in the absence of reform. Learn more: http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/assets/documents/CEA_Health_Care_Report.pdf
Visit WhiteHouse.gov






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Economic Indicators varying, but looking more positive each month

 Written by the Editor of 'Obama and the White House Blog'   James

About a week ago, President Obama stated that there are now some very good indicators that the economy is already starting to rebound, or at least has stopped it's free fall. The newest unemployment figures show that things are easing up, but President Obama also acknowledged that there is still a long way to go. The jobless rate fell for the first time in 15 months in the month of July.
  But as the saying goes, there is the 'good with the bad'. The housing market last month showed signs of recovery, yet this month the foreclosures skyrocketed. I was thinking that the housing market was back on firm ground. Here in Texas, the housing markets are good, unlike a good part of the country. Dallas has seen its share of foreclosures and bank problems, but nothing like the ravaged places like Michigan and Ohio. But for home buyers and auto buyers, things couldn't be better. Banks are now giving loans, and the government has given incentives to buy both a car and an home to the American people. Up to an $8,000 tax credit that you can apply directly to the purchase of your home, and a $4,500 savings if you qualify to trade in a used vehicle that is considered not gas efficient.
  From my home state known as the  buckeye state, unemployment has skyrocketed. In my home town of Youngstown Ohio, the steel mills were already having problems staying afloat prior to the economic crisis. But now, if you still had any kind of job in the steel industry, you most likely are now visiting the unemployment line. Up in Michigan, the auto industry was hit the hardest, and people are feeling the effects of the dire situation that now faces them, from trying to find places to live, buying food, and even trying to find health care.
  Now more of the good. The stock markets are rebounding in a big way. The DOW now sets somewhere just below 10,000 which should present a welcome sigh of relief to many people and their 401k's that have been hit hard for the last 12 months. On a personal note, within the last 15 months, I've lost a minimum of $12,000 in my 401K. But last week I checked it again and to my surprise, I've gained $4,000 back. I took the gamble and left my 401K options alone, thinking that it would eventually come back, and I was right. Hopefully my 401K will completely recover and will grow again. In my case, that this is a very critical situation, because my goal is to retire in approximately 10 years.
  There are many people that doubled President Obama that he didn't have what it takes to be able to turn back the economy. The signs of economic recovery seem to be good, but the price tag for the economic bailout is very high. Some critics and opponents of President Obama and his policies are very critical in his ability, what he has done so far in his administration, and afraid of what this country will be in by the time he steps down as President. Unfortunately for the right wing party, it looks like this president is well on his way for his second term. Most people will be fast in telling me that I'm rushing into a bad decision about his re-election, but I've seen no indicators that he is failing in his job. The results of the health care reform legislation is still out until Congress returns from the summer break and voting begins on the Health Care reform bill. Many presidents tried to make a health care reform bill that would stick, but all failed, and now it is President Obama's turn to see if drastic changes can be made. So far, he has been more successful, and with the majorities in the House and Senate, there is a very good chance that the health care bill will go through. My only concern is knowing exactly what is in it before Congress votes on it.
  With all that President Obama is doing, his popularity is now dropping lower than ever before, but mainly do to the opposition to his health care reform bill. To be completely anointed as doing the right thing regarding health care reform, the first thing that must happen is that President Obama must get the health care legislation passed, then get re-elected. If the people re-elect him after all the decisions he's made, then he must have done the right thing. Only time will tell.

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Ex-Insurance Agent now finds himself without Life Insurance because of Cost

Reynaldo Hernandez is a retired insurance agent who says rising medical costs are causing him pain.
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The insurance business was very good to Reynaldo Hernandez.
Reynaldo Hernandez is a retired insurance agent who says rising medical costs are causing him pain.

"I loved the business because it rewarded you for your effort. ... I liked the fact that selling insurance was helping people avoid financial loss," the California man says.
He sold insurance in the rural San Diego County town of Ramona for 35 years and retired eight years ago. Since then, he has grown increasingly angry at the business he represented.
And the industry he gave so much to is about to ruin him financially.
"Over the years of my career, I saw the coverage get more expensive, but you got less," says Hernandez.
In 2007, Hernandez, 65, and his wife Janet, 62, spent more than $15,000 on insurance premiums. Add a little more than $8,200 for co-payments and medicine, and Hernandez says they paid about $24, 000 in medical costs that year.
"It took a huge chunk of our income. ... over 25 percent that year."
So the man who sold insurance to so many people had to do without.
"I never thought, in my entire life, that I would ever get to the point that I, as an insurance agent, would ... have problems paying for medical insurance," he says.
"Health insurance for me has been so important. I would never dream of going without.
"Because we could no longer afford that kind of cost, we did the unthinkable. We dropped our insurance," says Hernandez. Video Watch the family's plight »
"It's a little scary not to ... go to the doctor when you think 'I should have his checked,' " says Janet Hernandez, Reynaldo's wife of 43 years.
"I didn't have proper coverage to be able to go to the doctor and get checked. Knowing that you could lose everything if something happened, that was scary."
Janet Hernandez knows quite a bit about the insurance industry, too. She worked with her husband as an agent for 10 years.
The Hernandezes now have medical insurance. Reynaldo has Medicare, the federal insurance program for senior citizens. But Janet is three years from qualifying for that program.
Until then, they have purchased a private policy to cover medical expenses.
But that policy is expensive.
"We pay about ... $850 a month on my insurance and co-pays on prescriptions and doctor visits," says Janet. "And still today, with ... higher deductibles every year ... still the cost keeps going up, up, up."
"At the rate it is going up... I may not be able to keep her covered until she turns 65," adds Reynaldo.
Those added costs have put a pinch on their retirement.
Although retired, Reynaldo is still a licensed insurance agent. "I'm thinking about trying to go back to work full time so that I can maybe get a group plan to cover my wife," he says.
"We had planned so many years for our retirement and to be able to do things, and travel," says Janet. " We've cut way back on most of our expenses and we just don't do the things we used to do because of the costs."
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"Every day I'm looking at our checking account and our saving account and I've become obsessed with it because I see that we don't seem to have it under control," says Reynaldo. "And it's very scary. I shouldn't have to live in fear about our medical expenses."
"I feel very nervous and uneasy about that, and I shouldn't be. I shouldn't have to feel that way in my senior years. I should be able to feel secure."

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David Axelrod - Senior Advisor to the President - Note on HealthCare Proposal

Monday, August 10, 2009

The following note if from Barack Obama's Senior Advisor, David Axelrod. Read his take on the President's Health Care proposal......

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Friend,

Anyone that's watched the news in the past few days knows that health insurance reform is a hot topic — and that rumors and scare tactics have only increased as more people engage with the issue. Given a lot of the outrageous claims floating around, it’s time to make sure everyone knows the facts about the security and stability you get with health insurance reform.

That’s why we’ve launched a new online resource — WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck — to help you separate fact from fiction and share the truth about health insurance reform. Here's a few of the reality check videos you can find on the site:

  • CEA Chair Christina Romer details how health insurance reform will impact small businesses.
  • Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes tackles a nasty rumor about euthanasia and clearly describes how reform helps families.
  • Matt Flavin, the White House's Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, clears the air about Veteran's benefits.
  • Kavita Patel, M.D., a doctor serving in the White House's Office of Public Engagement, explains that health care rationing is happening right now and how reform gives control back to patients and doctors.
  • Bob Kocher, M.D., a doctor serving on the National Economic Council, debunks the myth that health insurance reform will be financed by cutting Medicare benefits.                                                         We knew going into this effort that accomplishing comprehensive health insurance reform wasn't going to be easy. Achieving real change never is. The entrenched interests that benefit from the status quo always use their influence in Washington to try and keep things just as they are. But don't be misled. We know the status quo is unsustainable. If we do nothing, millions more Americans will be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, or see their coverage suddenly dropped if they become seriously ill. Out-of-pocket expenses will continue to soar, and more and more families and businesses will be forced to deal with health insurance costs they can’t afford. 

  • That's the reality.

    Americans deserve better. You deserve a health care system that works as well for you as it does for the status quo; one you can depend on — that won't deny you coverage when you need it most or charge you crippling out-of-pocket co-pays. Health insurance reform means guaranteeing the health care security and stability you deserve.

    President Barack Obama promised he'd bring change to Washington and fix our broken, unsustainable health insurance system. You can help deliver that change. Visit WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck, get the facts and spread the truth. The stakes are just too high to do nothing.

    Thank you,
    David

    David Axelrod
    Senior Advisor to the President

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Sonia Sotomayor becomes the 11th Supreme Court Justice of the United States

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In what is unarguably a big win for Barack Obama's administration, 55 year old Sonia Sotomayor took the oath of office as the first hispanic Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In a ceremony that was the very first to be televised for a Supreme court nominee, Sonia was sworn in as the 11th associate Justice. Under U.S. law, their is only one Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, and he administered the judicial oath to her in the court's wood-paneled East Conference Room. The ceremonial oath was given, along with a constitutional oath that is also a requirement for her to assume her new duties.

On hand to witness the entire moment, her mother Celina held the ceremonial Bible, along with the presence of her brother Juan Sotomayor. The following video was taken as she took the Oath for Justice of the United states.

Biography of Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954 in New York City. She was raised in the South Bronx by working class parents and is of Puerto Rican descent.

Despite her working class background, she attended Princeton University and graduated summa cum laude in 1976. With her stellar credentials, she had her pick of law schools to attend and chose to go to Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation in 1979, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in New York County. Then, she moved on to private practice, working several years for the law firm Pavia & Harcourt. She married while at Princeton, but divorced in 1983.

In 1991, Sotomayor was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was the first Hispanic federal judge in New York. She was confirmed by the Senate in 1992.

In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and confirmed by the Senate in 1998.

For much of her career, she was considered a moderate, hence her appointments by both a Republican and Democratic President. Today, conservatives tend to view her as a judicial activist and a liberal.

For months, she has been named by numerous media outlets, including CNN and Esquire Magazine, as a virtual shoe-in for nomination to the Supreme Court with the retirement of David Souter and the likely retirement of several aging Supreme Court justices (John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and possibly others).

Sotomayor’s appointment seems to make sense for Barack Obama. She would be a liberal, pro-choice justice who would maintain the judicial majority that opposes the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Further, by nominating a Hispanic woman, Obama would potentially gain standing within the Hispanic communities.

Since Obama will likely appoint two if not three Supreme Court justices over the next four years, and has a substantial Democratic majority in the Senate to confirm them, conservatives hoping to overturn Roe v. Wade likely have a VERY LONG wait ahead of them.

Watch the following video on what Obama believes about Supreme Court appointments:


Obama on Supreme Court Appointments - Video

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Obama's first 200 Days as President - His achievements - CNN Poll Taken

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Today marks the 200th day in office for President Obama. He has been to say the least a very busy president, definitely earning his salary. President Barack Obama, like Bush, will be paid $400,000 in monthly installments, and an expense allowance of $50,000 to help defray official expenses. Other perks include the White House, a large staff team, an airplane and an entertainment allowance.
So in a nutshell, what has he accomplished in these first 200 days? To sum it up briefly,

Concerning U.S. policy:

 He signed 21 executive orders, including banning waterboard interrogation, closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and establishing the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He signed 42 bills into law, most notably the $787 billion stimulus package. He visited 18 states ( Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin)

Concerning Foreign policy:

 He traveled to 14 countries. (Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Iraq, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad, Turkey, United Kingdom)
 He met with 39 heads of government. (Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Tanzania, Trinidad, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vatican, Venezuela (not a formal meeting), Zimbabwe)

Concerning Politics:


 He headlines 12 political fundraisers, raising a total of at least $16.3 million. He held four prime time press conferences. and he delivered one nationally televised prime time address.
Two other things that can be also considered as delivered in his first 200 days is the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor, who becomes the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, and that will happen today August 8, 2009 on his 200th day in office. A policy that he was unsuccessful in passing during his first 200 days and almost made it by the skin of his teeth was the passing of a health care reform bill. Most likely the new health care legislation will be signed into law before the end of 2009, way before his campaign deadline date of 2012, before re-election day.

It is without a doubt compared to President Bush, his concerns during his first 200 days have been global. No suprising, his Secretary of State performed the best during this time, as a national CNN poll was taken, concerning President Obama, along with people and issues around him.
CNN sponsored what was called the 'National Report Card: Second 100 Days', and here are the results in this poll which I also participated in.
                                                                                                                     Editor      CNN Poll
                                                                                                                               James


Q1. Grade the Obama Administration's handling of the economy                  -   Grade B      C-
Q2. Grade the Obama Administration's handling of health care reform       -   Grade C+     D
Q3. Grade the Obama Administration's handling of foreign affairs               -   Grade B       C
Q4. Grade the performance of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton                   -  Grade C       C+
Q5. Grade Vice President Joe Biden                                                                -  Grade C       C-
Q6. Grade the performance of YOUR state's two senators                             -  Grade C-      C-
Q7. Grade the performance of the Congress                                                     -  Grade C-      D
Q8. Grade the performance of the Republican Leadership in Congress         -  Grade F        D
Q9. Grade the performance of the media                                                            -  Grade B+     D   
Q10.Grade President Barack Obama                                                                  -  Grade B      C-

As noted, the CNN poll in all areas except 2 were worse than I personally believe. The poll gave Hillary Clinton a slightly higher grade than I did. I also was in agreement with the CNN Poll regarding my state's senators. On all other polls, CNN results were lower. The poll was very interesting, but also note that the most people voted on question 10, obviously interested in grading Barack Obama himself, and there were over 334 thousand votes cast. The least number of people voted for how the President is handling foreign affairs, only 275 thousand people. Also noted, this is the second time that CNN took this poll. It was given at the 100 day mark of President Obama's presidency, and it should be noted that the numbers were allot higher in almost every catagory which was to be expected. Yes, President Obama's honeymoon is definitely over as President of the United States.

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