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Tags: Sarah | Palin | Meet | Thatcher | NRA Director Real Reason Behind Disclose Act | German Press Already Sees Obama as Jimmy Carter | Daniel Ruddy Featured on C-SPAN

Sarah Palin: I’ll Meet With Thatcher

By    |   Monday, 28 June 2010 04:07 AM

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. NRA Director: Real Reason Behind Disclose Act
2. German Press Already Sees Obama as Jimmy Carter
3. Sarah Palin: I’ll Meet With Thatcher
4. Emergency Room Visits to Rise Under Obamacare: Report
5. Mayor Bloomberg Donated to Blagojevich’s Campaign
6. Author Daniel Ruddy Featured on C-SPAN


1. NRA Director: Real Reason Behind Disclose Act

Democrats’ exclusion of the National Rifle Association from the Disclose Act reining in political spending by corporations shows that the bill is in fact a scheme to aid Democrats in the midterm elections, according to a member of the NRA’s board of directors.

The “cynical” decision by House Democrats “to exempt the NRA from the latest campaign finance regulatory scheme is itself a public disclosure,” board member Cleta Mitchell, a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner specializing in campaign finance law, wrote in an opinion piece for the Washington Post.

“It reveals the true purpose of the perversely named Disclose Act — namely, to silence congressional critics in the 2010 elections.”

The Disclose Act is a response to a Supreme Court decision that came down in January allowing corporations to sponsor election-related ads. The bill would require corporations, unions and nonprofit groups to disclose their top five donors if they participate in political activity, and to agree to other disclosures related to expenditures before elections.

The NRA objected to the bill, and some Democrats were wary of crossing the powerful organization by trying to limit its campaign ads.

So supporters of the legislation added language sparing from disclosure any organization that has more than 1 million members, has members in all 50 states, and relies on corporations for 15 percent or less of its contributions — which effectively exempted the NRA. In a later version of the bill, any organization with more than 500,000 members would be exempt.

“The NRA’s wheel-squeaking bought it an exemption,” Mitchell wrote. “Tea party organizations arising spontaneously since 2009? Out of luck. Online organizations with large e-mail followings but no formal dues structure? Forget it.”

She also noted that while the bill technically requires unions as well as corporations to report donors of more than $600 a year, most union members’ dues add up to less than $600 a year and “thus members’ contributions to labor campaign-related spending wouldn’t need to be disclosed.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders had scheduled a vote on the bill for Friday, June 18, but they decided to pull the bill the night before after gun control advocates pledged to oppose it unless the NRA exemption was removed.

The NRA for its part said its position on the bill had been “misstated” by some and “intentionally misrepresented” by others.

A June 21 statement from Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, declared: “The NRA has never supported — nor would we ever support — any version of this bill.”

However, he sought to provide the “proper context” for the NRA’s position.

“We believe that any restriction on political speech is repugnant. But some of our critics believe we should put the Second Amendment at risk over a First Amendment principle to protect other organizations. That’s easy to say — unless you have a sworn duty to protect the Second Amendment above all else, as I do.”

Mitchell, who has served as legal counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, believes the bill should be abandoned permanently.

“The Disclose Act isn’t really intended to elicit information not currently required by law,” she observed. “The act serves notice on certain speakers that their involvement in the political process will exact a high price of regulation, penalty and notoriety, using disclosure and reporting as a subterfuge to chill their political speech and association.

“This is not ‘disclosure.’ It is a scheme hatched by political insiders to eradicate disfavored speech. There is no room under the First Amendment for Congress to make deals on political speech, whether with the NRA or anyone else.”

Editor's Note:

2. German Press Already Sees Obama as Jimmy Carter

“If Barack Obama isn’t careful, he will become the Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century.”

That’s the view of a commentator writing for Germany’s Berliner Zeitung newspaper, who notes that Obama is in danger of becoming a one-term president like Carter.

German media weighed in with commentary after Obama’s June 15 speech about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and America’s energy future.

Der Spiegel magazine’s website observed: “President Barack Obama's address from the Oval Office was supposed to be a moment of leadership during the worst environmental disaster in American history. But critics from across the political spectrum wondered afterwards whether he'd shown leadership at all.

“The geyser of oil in the Gulf of Mexico seems, technologically, to lie beyond anything either BP or the U.S. government was prepared for, and Obama failed to mention any specific new ideas. ‘The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean-energy future is now,’ he declared, without offering policy details.”

Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said Obama was “cautious” and “vague” in his speech, and stated: “This president won’t lead America out of a crisis this way — and he certainly won’t usher in a new era.”

And Berliner Zeitung opined: “In his speech, Obama tried to make a virtue of an emergency. He said a shift to new energy sources was now a 'national mission.' Just as the nation once mobilized its powers for World War II, now it needs to conquer its devilish dependence on fossil fuels . . . If Obama wins this debate, and achieves a true shift in energy dependence, then his name will perhaps be mentioned again in the same breath with great American presidents.

"Politically, though, it's fraught with risk. His opponents have already charged Obama with using the Gulf catastrophe to advance his climate agenda in Congress. Republicans rely on the tendency of Americans to prefer cheap fuel and big cars with a certain level of power.

“Over 30 years ago, after all, another president called for smarter American energy policies in a televised speech from the Oval Office. He wanted to know, 'Why have we not been able to get together as a nation to resolve our serious energy problem?' That president's name was Jimmy Carter."

Editor's Note:

3. Sarah Palin: I’ll Meet With Thatcher

Sarah Palin has confirmed that she has received an invitation to meet former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during a trip to London.

Last week the Insider Report disclosed that the former Alaska governor’s representatives had approached 84-year-old Thatcher to request a meeting, which would be “an enormous publicity coup for Sarah Palin,” a source told Britain’s Daily Mail.

Now Palin on her Facebook page writes: "I've received questions about a possible trip to the United Kingdom. I have received an invitation for a visit to London, and part of that invitation included the offer of arranging a meeting between myself and one of my political heroines, the 'Iron Lady,' Margaret Thatcher. I would love to meet her and hope I'll be able to arrange the trip in the future.

"As I wrote last year when I offered her birthday wishes, Baroness Thatcher's life and career serve as a blueprint for overcoming the odds and challenging the 'status quo.' She started life as a grocer's daughter from Grantham and rose to become Prime Minister — all by her own merit and hard work.

“I cherish her example and will always count her as one of my role models. Her friendship with my other political hero, Ronald Reagan, exemplified the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom."

Editor's Note:

4. Emergency Room Visits to Rise Under Obamacare: Report

Supporters of President Obama’s healthcare reform plan said one benefit would be a reduction in emergency room visits for nonemergency treatment — but the opposite will likely be the case, according to a new report.

The premise touted by proponents of the reform was that Americans who lack healthcare insurance and cannot afford to see a private physician often seek treatment at a hospital emergency room — which cannot turn them away — and then fail to pay their bill.

The thinking went that the 32 million to 34 million currently uninsured people would receive coverage and be able to obtain treatment from a private physician or clinic.

But John C. Goodman, president and CEO at the National Center for Policy Analysis, states: “More people are likely to turn to the emergency room for their healthcare and they are likely to do so more frequently under the new health reform legislation.”

He notes that about half of the newly insured will enroll in Medicaid, and Medicaid patients seek emergency room care more often than the uninsured.

The reason, Goodman suggests, is that Medicaid fees are so low that patients have trouble finding private physicians willing to see them, and find that emergency rooms are the only place where they can receive care.

Also, the reform plan makes no provision for creating more healthcare providers, so as the newly insured seek to increase their access to healthcare, many are likely to turn to emergency rooms when they cannot get care at a doctor’s office.

Goodman points to Massachusetts, which cut the number of uninsured in half by enrolling residents in Medicaid and private insurance plans offered in a health insurance exchange. But no steps were taken to increase the number of healthcare providers, and as a result, the wait to see a new doctor in Boston is twice as long as in any other U.S. city.

Goodman also notes: “The use of emergency rooms for nonemergency care in Massachusetts today is as great as or greater than it was before the state health reform was adopted.”

Editor's Note:

5. Mayor Bloomberg Donated to Blagojevich’s Campaign

Testimony at former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial revealed that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg contributed $25,000 to Blagojevich’s 2006 re-election campaign.

The money Blagojevich received from billionaire Bloomberg just days before the election was one of the largest donations in the governor’s successful campaign.

Bloomberg aides said he has regularly given large contributions to out-of-state politicians who share his views. Blagojevich and Bloomberg both advocate tougher gun control laws, abortion rights, and the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, The New York Times reported.

They have also shared Bradley Tusk, a Bloomberg aide who went on to serve as deputy governor to Blagojevich before returning to New York to run Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election campaign.

Testifying at Blagojevich’s trial on June 21, Tusk was asked by a Blagojevich attorney if he helped arrange for Bloomberg’s contribution. Prosecutors objected and the judge kept Tusk from responding, but Tusk later told reporters he had no role in securing the donation.

Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to scheming to sell or trade the appointment to Barack Obama's Senate seat, and to plotting to launch a racketeering scheme using the powers of the governor's office. If convicted, he could face up to $6 million in fines and a sentence of 415 years in prison, although he would be certain to get much less under federal guidelines.

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

Historian Daniel Ruddy appeared on C-SPAN for a lengthy discussion of his new book about Theodore Roosevelt.

“Theodore Roosevelt’s History of the United States” (published by HarperCollins) draws upon Roosevelt’s own words to construct a unique history of the United States based on Roosevelt’s colorful insights and provocative views.

Ruddy appeared at BookPeople in Austin, Texas, to talk about the book, and “Book TV on C-SPAN2” aired the discussion on June 19.

Ruddy told the audience that Roosevelt had a “great love of history,” and that “maybe Winston Churchill is the only other person who rivals him in his excellence in both areas, writing about history and making history.”

C-SPAN posted the discussion online: 

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris, author of “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” and the acclaimed Reagan biography “Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan,” wrote the Foreword to Ruddy’s book and called it “a splendid piece of work.”

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Insider Report Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. NRA Director: Real Reason Behind Disclose Act2. German Press Already Sees Obama as Jimmy Carter3. Sarah Palin: I ll Meet With Thatcher4. Emergency Room Visits to Rise Under Obamacare: Report5. Mayor Bloomberg...
Sarah,Palin,Meet,Thatcher,NRA Director Real Reason Behind Disclose Act,German Press Already Sees Obama as Jimmy Carter,Daniel Ruddy Featured on C-SPAN,Mayor Bloomberg Donated to Blagojevich Campaign
Monday, 28 June 2010 04:07 AM
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