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New spate of bombings strikes Baghdad, killing 49
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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Home Front: Politix
Is Harry Reid in Total Denial?
In an interview with Greta Van Susteren, Harry Reid says the people just love his new health care bill:


"Now that the [health care] legislation passed, it's amazing how much different people's attitude is. I mean, traveling on airplanes, people are so nice to me - and it wasn't that way before....

Everybody acknowledges, with rare exceptions, that what we did with our immediate deliverables are terrific. And if there are some problems in the out years, we'd be happy to take a look at that."

Clearly, not everyone thinks what the Democrats did in passing health care - be they "immediate deliverables" or anything else - is a good thing. Just look at polling from CBS News - an organization that will never be accused of having a conservative bias:

Immediately Before HC Passed (Mar 18-21)
37% in Favor of Bill
48% Opposed to Bill

Immediately After HC Passed (Mar 22-23)
42% in Favor
46% Opposed

One Week After HC Passed (Mar 29-April 1)
32% in Favor
53% Opposed

So according to CBS's surveys, the public is actually a net 10 points less favorably disposed to the Democrats' health care law than they were two weeks ago to the Democrats' health care legislation. Harry Reid may have had a recent warm and fuzzy encounter with someone on an airplane, but he'd be a fool to mistake that for an "amazing" change in attitude about health care.

Reid may be proud that the Democrats' legislation has, in his words, "changed America forever," but that's precisely why there is such animated opposition to the law - and why there's a very good chance it will put an end to Harry Reid's political career in just a few short months.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 04/06/2010 16:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yes.

Next question?
Posted by: Mike || 04/06/2010 17:39 Comments || Top||

#2  I only thought he was incredibly stupid. Now I know he is.
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 04/06/2010 17:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Is Harry Reid in Total Denial?

Well, it's either that...or he lies.
Posted by: tu3031 || 04/06/2010 19:06 Comments || Top||

#4  Ssshhhhhhhh

Let it be our little surprise in November
Posted by: Frank G || 04/06/2010 19:18 Comments || Top||

#5  Just remember it doesn't matter who votes, it matters who counts the votes.
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/06/2010 21:24 Comments || Top||

#6  Well, it's either that...or he lies.

Or both.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 04/06/2010 21:26 Comments || Top||


Labor to Get Another Hand Up; Contractors to Get More Regs
For months, few concrete details have emerged about the Obama administration's controversial, but as yet unannounced High Road contracting policy, which would allow agencies to favor labor-friendly firms when evaluating bid proposals. But documents obtained last week by Government Executive could shed some light on the proposed initiative. The documents detail how the policy change could be implemented and its implications for the federal acquisition environment.

One document, dated June 25, 2009, states positive weight in the source selection process would be given to bidders based on the labor standards for their workforce. The criteria would include whether the bidder pays a livable wage, provides "quality, affordable health insurance," an employer-funded retirement plan and paid sick leave. Other factors would include the company's record in complying with tax and labor laws.

The labor and employment information would be systematically collected from all contractors and be made available through a public database, according to a second, undated memo.
Of course, the database would be error-free.
"These policies will create an incentive for federal contractors to improve compensation and benefits across their entire workforce, a universe which could include as many as 26 million people, according to the [Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs]," the June 2009 memo states. "This is a significant step toward rebuilding a middle class and sets a powerful example for state and local procurement authorities, which may be inspired to take similar action."

But critics suggest High Road is merely a thinly veiled attempt by the administration to reengineer private sector compensation. The plan, as described in the documents, would apply not only to employees working on government contracts but also to all company staffers. Several large corporations, such as Exxon Mobil and General Electric, contract with the government but earn an overwhelming majority of their revenue from nonfederal sources.

"This is a social policy goal," said Glenn Spencer, executive director of the Workforce Freedom Initiative at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "The objective is to impact wages nationwide using the backdoor of contracting."

Office of Management and Budget spokesman Thomas Gavin said the administration has not made any final decision on the High Road policy and much of the speculation regarding the plan is "premature."

According to the June memo, the High Road initiative would be run out of a central office, possibly at OMB, which would collect information on the labor records of potential bidders. Based on this information, each employer would be assigned a numerical score using a standardized formula. Contracting agencies then would receive this score and determine the minimum grade necessary for bidding eligibility.

Each agency's labor standards evaluator - a new position created through the policy that would be modeled after federal small and disadvantaged business officers - would have the authority to vary this score to a reasonable extent, "taking into account bidders' credible commitments to implement good labor standards on the contract in question and/or to address the deficiencies [that] reduced the original score," the document said.
Another bureaucracy! More jobs!
A "labor standards evaluation factor" would be mandatory for all competitive source selections, according to the memo. Agencies already consider a contractor's price, technical ability and past performance when evaluating bid proposals.
An advisory council would be appointed to help guide implementation of the policy and would include representatives from business, labor, government, local communities, and experts in employment and contracting policy, documents said.
Even more jobs!
The June memo acknowledges, "some part of the resulting increase in labor costs is absolutely, you morons likely to be passed on to the government in the form of higher bid prices. ... In addition, modest staff increases may be necessary to administer the policy. However, these increases would be substantially offset by public cost savings, productivity gains through reduced turnover, and increased price competition between bidders as more 'high road' bidders enter the market. Higher wages will also stimulate economic demand."
Better living through hope and change.
A third memo, titled "Draft High Road Contracting Policy," notes the plan could be implemented by executive order. One source familiar with the proposal, however, said attorneys at OMB have expressed concerns with that approach.

Perhaps sensing that implementing the High Road policy could face legal, procedural or political hurdles, the June memo argues there is precedent for including socioeconomic goals in the bid evaluation process. The document notes that to be eligible for prime contracts, firms must submit a plan for subcontracting with small and disadvantaged businesses and prove they comply with nondiscrimination regulations.
Ah, so they can just step up MBE/DBE/SWaM and HUB requirements.

In December 2000, the Clinton administration suggested a change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation requiring contracting officers to take into account a firm's compliance with tax, labor and employment, environmental, antitrust, and consumer protection laws before awarding a contract. The proposed rule produced more than 1,800 comments, including many critics who suggested it would be used to blacklist certain contractors.

Nonetheless, the rule went into effect on Jan. 19, 2001, the last full day of the Clinton administration. Six days later, the Bush administration postponed implementation of the rule and by April 2001, the policy was permanently suspended.
Dusting off one of Slick Willy's last hurrahs.
Posted by: Bobby || 04/06/2010 14:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6492 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The cost of the database alone is gonna kill us.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 04/06/2010 15:15 Comments || Top||

#2  My brother and I recently started a security company in California. We have just emerged from the license and incorporation phase and are in the process of searching for workable contracts. Many of the public bid disclosures show people winning bids with a price that is below our cost. Our COST. This is a home based, family owned, zero overhead business, and they are below our COST. I'm pretty sure they aren't providing health care, 401K matching and paid sick leave for that price, so as a small business fledgling, I'd be interested in seeing someone at least keep a record of this. I'd really like to be able to turn in a bid that allows me to pay an armed guard over $15 an hour, it would be nice to offer benefits and vacation as well. But for a winning bid price of $23 an hour I'd have to take $10 an hour out of my pocket to make that happen.
Posted by: Snater Smith6428 || 04/06/2010 15:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Wonder if the Obamamites have considered the possibility that some of the bigger firms will do the calculation that the cost of complying with this across the entire spectrum of their business will outweigh any profit made from Government business and just cease to bid on Government procurements.
Posted by: rwv || 04/06/2010 23:03 Comments || Top||


MA ObamaCare lite health insurers sue to raise rates
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 04/06/2010 13:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6484 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I see lots of lawsuits in the future. I doubt that any of that was figured in the cost of BO's healthscare scam. Good for attorneys and that is about all.
Posted by: JohnQC || 04/06/2010 15:49 Comments || Top||


Funny - Hannity puts together lowlights of Obama's 17 min teleprompterless ramble
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 04/06/2010 12:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6488 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Man Obama loves the sound of his own voice doesn't he.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 04/06/2010 14:55 Comments || Top||

#2  Watching the faces of the afflicted audience members is priceless. Particularly, the silver-haired woman in black on the left.
Posted by: SteveS || 04/06/2010 15:28 Comments || Top||

#3  Insufferable. I can't bear to listen to this guy's voice.

What a vain and foolish little man.
Posted by: lex || 04/06/2010 15:33 Comments || Top||

#4  Oddly enough, the exact amount of time needed to play:
Kitty, Lump, Peaches, We Are Not Going to Make It, Candy, Naked and Famous.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 04/06/2010 21:43 Comments || Top||


Obama slim margin race issue: GOP leader
[Iran Press TV Latest] The issue of race plays a crucial role in assessing President Barack Obama's general conduct, says Republican Party leader Michael Steele, citing his own experience as an African American.

Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday, the embattled GOP leader blamed President Obama's small margin on his race as an African American.

"Barack Obama has a slimmer margin. We all, a lot of folks do. I mean, it's a different role for, you know, for me to play and others to play. And that's just the reality of it," he told the TV talk show, admitting that race is a factor in public perceptions, AFP said.

"But you take that as part of the nature of it," said Steele, the first African American head of the Republican National Committee (RNC).

The White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, reacting to Steele's comments, described them as "very silly."

"I think Michael Steele's problem is not the race card, it is the credit card," Gibbs added.

Steele was elected as the RNC chief shortly after Obama took the oath of office in January 2009.

He has been under attack over a series of gaffes and a violent row with senior Republicans over RNC expenses, notably a 2,000-dollar RNC tab at a sex-themed Hollywood nightclub.
Posted by: Fred || 04/06/2010 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The issue of race plays a crucial role in assessing President Barack Obama's general conduct

Who knew?
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/06/2010 4:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Gibbs is such a f*ck-stick.
Posted by: Boss Phineck7819 || 04/06/2010 16:47 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
IRS chief: Buy health insurance or lose your tax refund
Posted by: Frank G || 04/06/2010 08:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6505 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So...limit your withholding to the point where you owe a small amount on your annual filling. If everyone did that then the government loses millions/billions in the zero interest loan it gets with the 'overpayment' it currently enjoys.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/06/2010 9:02 Comments || Top||

#2  I sense the American people getting creative about civil disobedience.
Posted by: JohnQC || 04/06/2010 11:07 Comments || Top||

#3  let's do away with the IRS too help pay for health insurance big bad IRS chief
Posted by: chris || 04/06/2010 11:18 Comments || Top||

#4  The all-too-obvious solution is to withhold a tax to pay for health insurance, exactly the way a tax is currently being withheld to pay for Medicare. Except the new tax will be way, way bigger.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 04/06/2010 11:38 Comments || Top||

#5  In other words, you work for the Socialists now. And don't expect much in return. kiss your *ss goodbye.
Posted by: Speath Smith5003 || 04/06/2010 11:54 Comments || Top||

#6 

"I am Obama of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward you will service us."
Posted by: DMFD || 04/06/2010 20:12 Comments || Top||

#7  yeah, but Borgs didn't assimilate pantywaists
Posted by: Frank G || 04/06/2010 20:17 Comments || Top||

#8  Tax Refund? Who said the gov is gonna have money to give back? Gonna keep my gold-covered lollypops as well chief?

Jackass sayz "Get health insurance or we'll release ton-tons into your backyard!"
Posted by: swksvolFF || 04/06/2010 21:36 Comments || Top||


Biometric National ID Proposed by Lindsey Graham and Chuck Schumer to Give Millions Amnesty
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/06/2010 05:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Schumer up for election in 2010. Graham is not.
Posted by: JohnQC || 04/06/2010 10:45 Comments || Top||

#2  Is this for real? It seems more like an advertisement for "Blast Fax" or whatever scam it is that probably wants your email or other personal ID in order to "blast" all of Congress with your personal opinion.
Posted by: gorb || 04/06/2010 11:20 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Two weeks of WOT
Tue 2010-04-06
  New spate of bombings strikes Baghdad, killing 49
Mon 2010-04-05
  Karzai raves at Western interference
Sun 2010-04-04
  Triple car boom in Baghdad
Sat 2010-04-03
  Qaeda Gunmen, Dressed As Iraqi Army, Slaughter 24 Sunni Iraqis
Fri 2010-04-02
  Pak-origin Chicago cab driver indicted for supporting al-Qaeda
Thu 2010-04-01
  US Navy Frigate Captures 5 Pirates and Mother Ship
Wed 2010-03-31
  Dronezap greases 6 in N.Wazoo
Tue 2010-03-30
  ETA brass hat arrested in Caracas
Mon 2010-03-29
  Two boomers, 38 dead in Moscow metro
Sun 2010-03-28
  Dronezap kills four in N. Wazoo
Sat 2010-03-27
  Allawi wins Iraq election by two seats
Fri 2010-03-26
  B.O. snubs Netanyahu, dines alone
Thu 2010-03-25
  Nativity Church deportee dies alone, unloved in Algeria
Wed 2010-03-24
  Saudis break up 101-strong Al-Qaeda cell
Tue 2010-03-23
  Hekmatyar dispatches peace delegation to Kabul

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