Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi’


Cartoon: You’re Gonna Have to Trust Us

January 25, 2010


Cartoon: Congressional Rebuke?

September 16, 2009


Flying Miss Nancy

August 12, 2009

IBD                          6 Aug 09

Washington: The Democrat-controlled House wants to buy nearly $200 million worth of private jets so lawmakers and a few high-level bureaucrats can travel in style. We truly have an imperial Congress.

Just last week Washington announced it would cut $100 million from the federal administrative budgets and acted like that was some big achievement. Now this week we learn that about the same time those cuts were made public, the House OK’d the purchase of the private jets.

The taxpayer money the House plans to spend is to be used to buy three Gulfstream G550s at roughly $65 million each. These are long-range business jets with large, palatial interiors and three temperature zones. Company literature says the “impeccably equipped cabin” of a G550 offers “best-in-class comforts” and can be configured “with up to four living areas.”

“At Gulfstream,” the company says, “we have anticipated your every need.”

Sounds like just the sort of plane the House speaker, Senate majority leader and their extended entourages could enjoy on a nonstop junket to Asia — or merely for a quick turnaround to visit constituents in San Francisco or Las Vegas.

The notion that some lawmakers feel it beneath their dignity to travel with the masses on commercial jets is nothing new. But news of the House plan does bring to mind three salient facts, all of which the Democratic leadership hopes the public does not think of in relation to the jet purchase.

Congress isn’t short of hypocrisy. Most of the Democrats and their environmentalist allies are reflexively opposed to private jet travel because of its excessive carbon footprint. Or, at least, they are opposed to private jet travel for others.

Neither does it recognize irony. CEOs of the Big Three automakers were excoriated for traveling in their private jets last year to testify in Washington.

And some have an outsized sense of privilege. In 2007, just a month into the new Democratic majority, Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked that taxpayers provide a jet that could make a nonstop flight to her Bay Area district. She reportedly wanted a luxury, stateroom-outfitted version of Boeing’s 757-200 like those the vice president, first lady and Cabinet officials fly on.

And there was a lot of foot-stamping when the Bush White House said no.

At least one of the three jets approved by the House will be sent to the Air Force’s 201st Airlift Squadron, which, among other duties, shuttles members of Congress.

It seems Pelosi One might yet get off the ground.


Pelosi’s Villainy

August 3, 2009



Pelosi’s Villainy


Demagoguery: The speaker of the House says insurers are “villains” for opposing Democratic plans for overhauling the health care system. Nancy Pelosi needs to rethink who the bad guys really are.

IBD Exclusive Series: Government-Run Healthcare: A Prescription For Failure

It would be more understandable if health insurers considered elected officials the villains. After all, it’s the 50 state legislatures and Congress that have twisted the industry into a regulatory pretzel subject to an exhaustive list of can’t-do’s and must-do’s.

It is Congress, not the industry, for example, that passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in 1996 that drove up health insurance premiums in the small-group market.

The law requires insurers to offer plans to any small employer that applies no matter what the group’s health status might be. This provision, called guaranteed issue, gives healthy groups an incentive to wait until they’ve developed high-cost conditions before they buy insurance. Such a practice increases carriers’ costs significantly, which in turn causes premiums to escalate.

In addition to the higher costs, guaranteed issue actually forced small businesses that couldn’t afford the larger premiums to drop their plans. It also caused providers to quit the small-group market, which diminished competition, yet another factor in growing costs.

It’s also Congress, not the industry, that has mandated that legislatures require insurance providers in their states to cover various conditions. These requirements run up the cost of premiums.

And it’s Congress, not the industry, that’s done its best to ensure that health savings accounts never become a workable option. It has refused to give HSAs the same favorable tax treatment it gives job-based coverage — which just happens to be provided by the “villains.”

This has effectively killed a market-based solution that would give patients control over their health care decisions and, just as importantly, keep costs down.

Finally, it is Congress, not the insurance industry, that will not allow Americans to buy individual plans without a tax penalty.

If possible, state lawmakers might be even more villainous than Congress. Legislatures have enacted a staggering 2,133 coverage mandates on insurance carriers. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance figures the mandates increase the cost of premiums by almost 20% in some states and as much as 50% in others.

The mandates are particularly unfair to those who will never use the benefits but have no choice but to be a part of the pool because the coverage is mandated.

For instance, teetotalers in 45 states have to pay for plans that include coverage for alcoholism even though they’ll never use the benefit. In 23 states, a single man has to be a part of a plan that includes maternity coverage. Non-drug users in 45 states have to be in pools that include drug-abuse treatment. The list goes on.

Banning the sale of individual health care plans across state lines is another poor practice at the state level. Residents in one state where mandates force premiums higher are unable to shop for a less-costly plan in other states where mandates are less onerous.

This is a hardship that Congress could remove. Lawmakers have the authority to lift what is clearly an unconstitutional restraint of trade. Yet they leave the barrier in place, year after year.

So who are the villains in this story? The facts say they’re not who Pelosi says, and the right answer is much closer than she thinks.


Cartoon: The Hokey Pelosi

June 2, 2009

the hokey pelosi

27 April 09

From IBD


Is China As Suicidal As We Are?

May 28, 2009


Energy Policy: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi goes to China seeking help in fighting climate change. It’s doubtful the world’s No. 1 polluter will agree to follow us over the economic cliff.

In the summer of 2007, a report by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency announced that China had officially become the world’s biggest polluter after its CO2 emissions rose an astounding 9% the year before. Since then, China has shown no signs of slowing down in its commitment to both economic and energy growth.

Between 1980 and 2006, China increased its carbon emissions by 321%. China is adding 100 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity capacity annually. That’s like adding the entire capacity of the United States every three years. The irony is that this powers Chinese factories that export goods to the energy-starving and economically beleaguered U.S.

This isn’t all China exports. As Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation reports, , sulfur from China alone reaches 10% to 15% of the EPA’s allowable levels in California, Oregon and Washington. Estimates are that a third of California’s air pollution and a fifth of Oregon’s come from China. Sensors in the Sierra Nevada Mountains have identified huge Chinese pollution clouds that traverse the Pacific.

Apparently tired of breathing exported Chinese pollution in her San Francisco district, Speaker Pelosi found herself on Tuesday attending the U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum.

She brought along other members of Congress, including Ed Markey, D-Mass., co-author of an economy-killing cap-and-tax bill that just passed a key House committee.

This is the latest effort trying to persuade the Chinese to adopt the U.S. policy of restricting economic growth by accepting draconian caps on carbon emissions with no scientific evidence that it will measurably affect global temperatures. So far the Chinese aren’t buying it.

As Fareed Zakaria notes in his book “The Post-American World”: “The combined carbon dioxide emissions from the 850 new coal-fired plants that China and India are building between now and 2012 are five times the total savings of the Kyoto accords.”

So why are we sacrificing our economic growth to fight their pollution?

China is exempt from Kyoto as a “developing” nation, which is one of the reasons the U.S. Senate once voted 97-0 not to consider it for ratification. China doesn’t mind seeing the U.S. economy handcuffed as it races to make this century a Chinese century. As it is, our states and taxpayers struggle to clean up imported Chinese pollution.

In fairness, China is pursuing other, cleaner forms of energy. It has 11 nuclear power plants on line. Another 22 are under construction. Fu Manchang, the secretary-general of the Chinese Nuclear Society, says: “We have the ability to raise our nuclear power capacity to at least 60 or 70 gigawatts.”

China’s all-of-the-above energy approach to exploiting all its resources is part of its commitment to both economic and energy growth and stands in stark contrast to our none-of-the-above approach to proven energy sources. We are committed to pricing coal and other fossil fuels out of existence with no feasible substitute.

We are reminded of Vice President Joe Biden’s comment in a rope line during the campaign:

“We’re not supporting ‘clean coal.’ Guess what. China’s building two every week. Two dirty coal plants. And it’s polluting the United States. It’s causing people to die.” He went on to say, “No coal plants in America. Build them, if they’re going to build them, over there. Make them clean.”

They are building them over there and not here. That’s not an energy policy. That’s economic suicide. Clean energy and economic growth are not incompatible.

We should be trying to get China to reduce its pollution. But we should also be expanding our own domestic energy resources, including building at least as many nuclear power plants as China is.

China is unwilling to commit economic suicide. Why are we?


Pelosi: Liar?

May 15, 2009


Intelligence Trail

What Pelosi said she knew

  • August 2002: Justice Department authorizes waterboarding and other ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques (EITs). The CIA uses the technique.
  • September 2002: Nancy Pelosi, ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, is briefed on the techniques.
  • February 2003: A Pelosi aide attends a briefing with the new ranking member on the committee, Jane Harman. Pelosi later says that she learns after this meeting that the techniques have already been used, and that she ‘concurred’ with Harman’s letter to the CIA protesting the decision to use them.
  • December 2007: A news report quotes two officials who say Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding and raised no objections. Pelosi issues a statement confirming she was briefed on one occasion in the fall of 2002 ‘on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future.’
  • April 23, 2009: After the Obama administration releases four memos approving the use of waterboarding, Pelosi says that in September 2002, ‘We were not …told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used.’
  • May 5, 2009: Intelligence officials send lawmakers a list of 40 congressional briefings on EITs, saying lawmakers ‘will have to determine whether this information is an accurate summary of what actually happened.’ The list says Pelosi was told that some EITs had been employed, but doesn’t specify waterboarding.
  • May 8, 2009: Pelosi repeats that she was briefed on techniques that would be used in the future.
  • May 14, 2009: Pelosi says she wasn’t told in September 2002 that waterboarding was being used, and says ‘the CIA was misleading Congress.’