Water Cooler

WATER COOLER

The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

  • Dems look to muzzle businesses taking hits from health care law

    By Kerry PicketPublished March 29, 2010 Comments

    Congressman Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, and Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak called on CEO's of AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Deere & Co., and Caterpillar Inc. to give proof that the businesses' claims that under the new health care act the companies would lose millions if not billions of dollars. Under the new health care act, businesses will lose a tax deduction on tax-free government subsidies they always had when they give retirees a Medicare Part D prescription-drug reimbursement. This retiree tax deduction for businesses was previously established by the last Bush administration. Mr. Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and subcommittee Chairman Stupak released letters they wrote to the executives, saying their plans to record expenses against earnings as a result of the law contradict other estimates. The lawmakers requested the executives appear at hearing Stupak plans on April 21, Businessweek reported. “The new law is ...

  • Instituting law . . . the Obama way

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 27, 2010 Comments

    *Updated with link and credit 3/31/10 A graphic created by Americans for Prosperity does a great job showing how the Obama administration manages to create law without going through the usual legislative process. President Obama just made 15 recess appointments, which means the candidates for the government positions skip the usual Senate confirmation process. One is Craig Becker, who was appointed to head up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). A bipartisan majority in the Senate previously held up Mr. Becker's confirmation. Concern over Mr. Becker stems from his intent to alter labor law through the NLRB as opposed to the normal congressional channels. This would mean that the Employee Free Choice Act (aka "Card Check"), which deals with the relationship between an employer and his nonunion employees, could be instituted administratively, without congressional approval. This particular example of the Obama administration's working around the legislative process is not unusual. Check out ...

  • Forget about 'Earth Hour', turn everything on

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 27, 2010 Comments

    While the World Wildlife Fund is encouraging everyone all over the planet to shut off their lights and anything else running on electricity at 8:30 P.M. in any time zone tonight to celebrate "Earth Hour," the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. based think tank, is telling everyone to turn everything on at that time instead and celebrate "Human Achievement Hour." The video above by CEI (celebrating Human Achievement Hour last year) shows a timeline of how far human beings have come due to the amazing technological advances over various eras. In fact, it is likely those turning everything off will actually expend more energy than anything else. The UK Telegraph reports: Ross Hayman, of the National Grid, said only a small fall in demand is expected in the UK, meaning the event will not cause less energy to be put into the grid. However, he warned that even if ...

  • Tea Party Express tells 'faker' Scott Ashjian to 'Get Lost!'

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 27, 2010 Comments

      The Tea Party Express and other conservative Nevada-based groups are telling self-proclaimed "Tea Party" candidate for the U.S. Senate, Scott Ashjian, to take a hike. A TV ad (above) by the group is currently airing showing TPE's condemnation of Mr. Ashjian: "This man is trying to split the vote to ensure Harry Reid wins re-election in Nevada. We are calling this man out, who has never been involved in the tea party one iota, but started a bogus "Nevada Tea Party" so he could get on the ballot and ensure Reid's re-election." According to the Associated Press, Mr. Ashjian is currently facing felony charges: A Nevada asphalt contractor who faces a legal challenge to his Tea Party of Nevada candidacy for U.S. Senate was hit Friday with felony theft and bad check charges in Las Vegas that allege he bounced a $5,000 business check last year.  

  • Rep. Grayson says Jewish congressman used Nazi tactics

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 26, 2010 Comments

      Yid with Lid has posted audio of further vitriol coming from liberal Democrat Congressman from Florida Alan Grayson towards Republican House GOP whip from Virginia, Eric Cantor. Mr. Grayson called for Mr. Cantor's resignation over the Republican's statement regarding a bullet that was shot at his campaign office in Richmond. In this clip, Mr. Grayson compared the statement of fellow Jewish congressman, Mr. Cantor, to the Nazi's burning of the Reichstag: COLMES: I want to talk about what happened with Eric Cantor's office, and what Eric Cantor said today. It sounds like he's accusing Democrats of inciting violence.GRAYSON: Ah yes, I recall that happening, well, what is it now, 80 years ago - the burning of the Reichstag. COLMES: I was really surprised that Eric Cantor, who is the Minority Whip, says his office was shot at, OK, and then he literally points fingers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ...

  • Lib talk radio host calls for deaths of Limbaugh, Beck, and O'Reilly

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 26, 2010 Comments

    Liberals continue to accuse conservatives of fanning the flames of violence following the passage of the health care legislation last week. Yet,  Radio Equalizer's Brian Maloney captured some audio today of liberal talk radio host Mike Malloy. Mr. Malloy spews vitriolic rhetoric in the clip and calls for violent deaths of notable TV and radio personalities Rush Limabaugh, Glenn Beck, and Bill O'Reilly. Radio Equalizer's Maloney provides the transcript below: MALLOY (31:30): It took these filthy Republicans about 48 hours- 72 hours to come up with the 'oh, yeah, well, you know, we're getting bad phone calls too, yes we are.And then this John Boner, this John Boner [sic] these guys created this. they created this atmosphere, they did it because Limbaugh and Beck told them to!MALLOY (36:25): Well, keep it up boys, just keep it up, um except for one thing: you rat bastards are going to cause another Murrah federal ...

  • Dems bring race issue into A.G. healthcare lawsuits

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 26, 2010 Comments

    At a press conference on Thursday morning, Democratic Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green, both from Texas, equated the suits filed by fourteen state attorneys general, particularly that of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, fighting the health care bill recently passed in Congress, to the suits that were filed following the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. (all emphasis is mine) “...[with] the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act--lo and behold states' rights activists wanted to use the Commerce Clause then. Then, African Americans were second class citizens. That legislation was to bring them into then the 20th Century and provide them with first class rights,” she said. “Now it seems that sick Americans are second class citizens, and these attorneys generals will use the same arguments made against the civil rights legislation to be able to fraught this empowerment of Americans…all Americans ...

  • Off the beaten path online: Former N.J. Gov Jon Corzine's pay package is $5M-plus...

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 26, 2010 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: Former N.J. Gov Jon Corzine's pay package is $5M-plus, Scozzafava may face primary challenge, Tea Party rally draws more than 400 in Old Town. NJ.com: Former N.J. Gov Jon Corzine's pay package is $5M-plus Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine could make as much as $5 million in salary and bonus from his job as chief execitive at MF Global Holdings, according to a report on Philly.com. Syracuse.com: Scozzafava may face primary challenge Blankenbush said he collected signatures on Scozzafava’s petitions when she ran for the House of Representatives. But he’s ticked off that she endorsed Owens and appeared on stage with Vice President Joe Biden at an Owens rally in Watertown. Bangor Daily News:  Tea Party rally draws more than 400 in Old Town OLD TOWN, Maine — Seven months ago Gene Goodine invited eight people to his home in LaGrange ...

  • Baucus: People will be 'wealthier' under new health care act

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 25, 2010 Comments

      President Barack Obama made a campaign promise that he would not raise  taxes on individuals making under $200,000 or couples under $250,000. However, Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat,  made a statement on the floor this week that seems to dispute Mr. Obama’s tax pledge. “One other point I think that is very important to make is that it's true in certain cases taxes will go up for some Americans who may be making less than $200,000," said Mr. Baucus. I asked Senator Baucus on Thursday to elaborate further on his statement. “It’s complicated. The wages go up when your health care policies are less expensive,” he said. “Employers will make up the difference often, according to the CBO, with wage increases, and when wages go up, sometimes people pay a little more in taxes, but on a net basis they’re ahead.” Mr. Baucus disagreed that his statement on ...

  • Off the beaten path online: McConnell eyes majority...

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 25, 2010 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: McConnell eyes majority, Birthday cake awaited suicide bomber, Pulling the plug on the "living" Constitution. Politico: McConnell eyes majority, bill repeal Refusing to concede permanent defeat on health reform, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell wants to “repeal the whole bill” and replace it with insurance reforms and other measures that could get bipartisan agreement. AP: Birthday cake awaited suicide bomber CIA officers in Afghanistan were so eager to meet the spy they believed would help them crack al-Qaida's leadership they planned a birthday celebration for his visit in December, current and former U.S. officials said. American Spectator:  Pulling the plug on the "living" Constitution Barack Obama has long seen the U.S. Constitution as an obstacle to what he considers progress. In a 2001 interview that surfaced during the presidential campaign, he made this very clear: the Supreme Court under Justice ...

  • Video: Was spitting incident toward lawmaker intentional?

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 24, 2010 Comments

    Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat, is shown walking past protesters on Saturday, where it seems the alleged spitting incident he says occurred. Questions remain, however, whether or not the spitting was a result of intense yelling and spitting happened by accident or if the spitter in question intentionally spit on the lawmaker. (h/t hotairpundit) Ultimately, Mr. Cleaver could not identify the individual who spit on him and did not press charges. Fox News reported: Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, spokeswoman for the Capitol Police, told FoxNews.com the individual was released because Cleaver couldn't identify him. "There were no elements of a crime, and the individual wasn't able to be positively identified," she said. "(Cleaver) was unable to positively identify." Asked about the Capitol Police account, Petrovic said it's not that Cleaver couldn't identify the suspect. It's that he wouldn't identify the suspect, because the police would have been "obligated" to make ...

  • Video: School House Rock's 'I'm Just a Bill' gets updated

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 24, 2010 Comments

    School House Rock was a television series of animated musical educational shorts that aired on Saturday morning children's programming in the 1970's and 1980's. One of the more popular pieces of programming, "I'm Just a Bill," taught children how the U.S. Congress creates laws. Times have changed some, so a parody video of the original recently appeared on You Tube. The parody version, however, appears to be a more accurate version of how our laws are made today.

  • Stupak: Pope doesn't control Catholic lawmakers

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 24, 2010 Comments

      Congressman Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, railed against pro-life groups on Tuesday, calling them hypocritical for supporting President Bush's executive order on stem cells and not believing that President Obama's executive order regarding abortion funding in the health care act is "good enough." Mr. Obama is expected to sign the executive order today:    PICKET: There’s the motion to re-commit, in which you voted against your own… STUPAK: Voted against my own language. In the motion to re-commit…yes because I feel that we have adequately—more than adequately protected life, the sanctity of life especially with the executive order, the colloquy on the floor. And as I said on the floor, the right to life groups applauded George Bush in 2007 when he did his executive order, and now we did our executive order, suddenly its not good enough? I believe some groups politicize life. As I said in my motion , ...

  • Off the beaten path online: Rep. Dingell: It's taken a long time to 'control the people'...

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 24, 2010 Comments

    Today's Water Cooler lineup of off the beaten path online stories are: Rep. Dingell: It's taken a long time to 'control the people', Karzai's tilt toward Tehran, Some may face penalty for shunning health insurance. American Thinker: Rep. Dingell: It's taken a long time to 'control the people' "Let me remind you this [Americans allegedly dying because of lack of universal health care] has been going on for years. We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you're going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people." NY Post: Karzai's tilt toward Tehran It's wretched enough that our "friend" Ahmed Chalabi has become Iran's point man in Iraq. Now "our man in Kabul," President ...

  • Stupak defends district's Planned Parenthood clinics

    by Kerry PicketPublished March 23, 2010 Comments

    ***Updated 9:42 p.m. 3/23/10*** Congressman Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, is drawing fire from pro-life groups for his support of the health care act he previously was against before President Obama promised to issue an executive order addressing Mr. Stupak's concerns regarding the federal funding of abortions. I spoke with Mr. Stupak on Tuesday about the issues surrounding his vote.  Mr. Obama has yet to sign the executive order as of this posting:  PICKET: There are two things that have surfaced right after you made your decision to support the bill. One is the video of that town hall meeting. STUPAK: In Cheboygan…yeah. PICKET: Can you tell me about that? STUPAK: That’s a town hall meeting, and that was in the fall before we had the Stupak amendment, and the question was, ‘Would I vote against the health care bill if it funded abortions?’ I said I would cross that when ...

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