Friday, January 29, 2010

President Obama Highlights Bipartisan Policy Center Health Care Reform Plan in Remarks to House Republicans

/PRNewswire/ -- In today's remarks at the House Republican Issues Conference, President Obama praised the Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) plan for reforming health care, entitled: "Crossing Our Lines: Working Together to Reform the U.S. Health System," as a bipartisan health care proposal that is worthy of consideration by both Republicans and Democrats. According to President Obama, the plan, which was developed by former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle and Bob Dole, members of the BPC's Advisory Board and Leaders' Project on the State of American Health Care, is "pretty similar" to the legislation currently being considered by Congress. The President urged bipartisan cooperation in reforming the U.S. health care system and said, "We've got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality."

Quotes from President Obama's remarks:

"The component parts of this thing are pretty similar to what Howard Baker, Bob Dole and Tom Daschle proposed at the beginning of this debate last year.

"Now, you may not agree with Bob Dole and Howard Baker and Tom -- and certainly you don't agree with Tom Daschle on much ... but that's not a radical bunch. But if you were to listen to the debate, and, frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot."

"And so I'm thinking to myself, 'Well, how is it that a plan that is pretty centrist...'

"No, look, I mean, I'm just saying -- I know you guys disagree, but if you look at the facts of this bill, most independent observers would say this is actually what many Republicans -- is similar to what many Republicans proposed to Bill Clinton when he was doing his debate on health care. So all I'm saying is we've got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality."

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pelosi Statement on Senate Passage of Pay-As-You-Go Legislation

/PRNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today after the Senate voted to approve pay-as-you-go legislation:

"Today the Senate joined the House in taking a critical step toward ensuring fiscal discipline for the long term by passing pay-as-you-go budget rules into law.

"Strict pay-as-you-go budget rules created record surpluses in the late 1990s. And when this standard was abandoned under President Bush, it created record deficits. One of the first actions Democrats took when we assumed the majority in 2007 was to make pay-as-you-go fiscal discipline the rule of the House. Now it will be the law of the land, and our future generations will benefit. Like every American family, Congress cannot make spending commitments it cannot afford.

"As the President made clear last night, we must make tough decisions to get our fiscal house in order after a decade of failing to do so. We can strengthen our nation without undermining our future; with pay-as-you-go spending rules, we will."

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Libertarians respond to State of the Union address

Libertarian Party (LP) Chairman William Redpath issued the following statement today in response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address:

"Tonight's speech was a reminder that, for decades, the policies of Republicans and Democrats alike have failed. Libertarians are asking people to take matters into their own hands. Instead of just complaining, we're encouraging ordinary Americans to step up and run for Congress on the Libertarian Party ballot line.

"I can say exactly the same thing about President Obama's speech tonight that I said about George W. Bush's State of the Union speech in January 2008: 'Tonight's State of the Union address went much as expected. Instead of calling for a more limited role of the federal government in American society, the President laid out plans that would only increase the government's intervention into the realm of economics, health care, education and foreign policy.'

"I am weary of the President's unspoken premise that only government--indeed, only the federal government--can accomplish good in our society.

"President Obama seems to be totally blind to the concept that government can cause problems rather than solve them. His speech was filled with 'More': more handouts, more spending, more programs, more bailouts, more regulations. We Libertarians want less government, not more.

"Not to be outmatched by the Democrats, the Republican Party conveyed its lack of seriousness in addressing this nation's government spending problems by having Bob McDonnell, Virginia Governor for eleven (11) days, deliver its rebuttal to the President. If they were really serious about addressing the dire fiscal circumstances of this nation, they would have had Paul Ryan, a six-term congressman from Wisconsin, who has proposed the most serious plan of anyone in the two older parties to keep us from going off a fiscal cliff.

"Last week, Alan Auerbach, Professor of Economics and Law at UC Berkeley and US government fiscal policy expert, said that the Democratic and Republican parties are in a 'death embrace' with their government spending. The only political party that is rationally and forthrightly addressing the need to cut government spending and end our culture of ever expanding entitlements is the Libertarian Party.

"As Americans lose hope in Obama, we Libertarians are warning voters against running back to the Republicans who got us into such big messes in the first place. Republicans started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans made the false intellectual case for bailing out banks and car companies. Republicans argued that deficits don't matter. Republicans gave us the giant Medicare expansion bill.

"The President's suggestion of a 'spending freeze' was especially ludicrous and insulting to the intelligence of Americans. The amounts involved are minuscule, and Congress won't accept them anyway. Will Obama sign the spending bills that ignore his 'freeze'? You bet he will. Instead, the President should demand across-the-board cuts in all areas, including entitlements.

"The President talked a lot about jobs. Unfortunately, the policies he supports are responsible for most of the unemployment we see today. High taxes, minimum wage laws, hiring regulations, firing regulations, mandatory unemployment benefits, and other government interference make it much more difficult for businesses to hire and keep employees. As expected, the President's prescription is to increase the dosage of this government poison.

"While our nation is declining dangerously right now, a turnaround could be straightforward and simple with steps like these: 1. Bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan; 2. Stop rewarding failed companies with bailouts; 3. Cut taxes and spending and let the free market work.

"Finally, on the matter of political rhetoric, I call upon the two older parties to stop spoon feeding politics to the American people as if we are a bunch of overgrown children. These are difficult times that call for more than rhetorical flourish or positioning a group of diverse people around a politician. Older party politicians need to be specific about their proposed policies, as Libertarians are.

"And, I know I'm probably just wasting electrons, but can't we go back to the days in which the President sent a copy of his speech to Congress and left it at that. The speech last night took 1/7000th of an entire year. I think the vast majority of the American people would agree that we have better ways to spend our time."

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WNEG-TV to originate, televise Democratic gubernatorial debate

The University of Georgia’s WNEG-TV will originate and televise the Democratic debate of gubernatorial candidates on Tuesday, Feb. 2, from the Athens campus.

The one-hour debate will begin at 7 p.m. with WNEG-TV news anchor Ray Metoyer moderating. A panel of journalists, comprised of Tim Bryant of WGAU/Cox Radio, Stephanie Fisher of WGCL-TV, Atlanta, and Dawn Hobby with WALB-TV, Albany, will present questions to the candidates.

The state Democratic Party and the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is sponsoring the campus event in the South Auditorium, Psychology-Journalism Plaza.

All five announced gubernatorial candidates are confirmed participants in the Athens debate. Attending will be State Attorney General Thurbert Baker, former Georgia governor Roy Barnes, former Georgia Secretary of State David Poythress, House Minority Leader Dubose Porter, and Ray City Mayor Carl Camon.

While the event is not open to the general public, it will be broadcast live on Athens’ WNEG, WALB of Albany, WGCL of Atlanta, and WMAZ of Macon. The Georgia News Network also will carry audio of the debate live over its coverage area.

Georgians will elect a new governor on Nov. 2. Incumbent Republican Governor Sonny Perdue is term-limited and unable to seek re-election.

For more information on the debate, contact Democratic Party of Georgia staffer Eric Gray at 678/278-2108.

WNEG-TV also sponsored and broadcast the GOP Gubernatorial Debate on Tuesday, Jan. 19, from the UGA campus.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Judicial Watch Sponsors National Tea Party Convention

/Standard Newswire/ -- Judicial Watch, the non-partisan public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it will serve as a major sponsor for the upcoming National Tea Party Convention to be held February 4-6, 2010, at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton will also address the convention on how to uncover and combat government corruption. Former Alaska
Governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is set to provide the keynote address.

The purpose of the convention is to bring "Tea Party Movement leaders together from around the nation for the purpose of networking and supporting the movement's multiple organizations' principal goals."

The convention will feature speakers, workshops, information centers, and will provide organizational tools for those who support the Tea Party movement.

"We're proud to stand with other Americans who respect the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, and the need to limit the size and scope of the federal government," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Most Americans, especially the Tea Party movement, understand that big government leads to big corruption. So as the Obama administration inflates the size of government to unprecedented and dangerous levels -- Americans' concern about corruption is rightly increasing. As a group that has taken on both Republican and Democratic corruption,
Judicial Watch is honored to support the independent Tea Party movement."

According to a recent Judicial Watch poll conducted December 11-19, 2009, in partnership with Survey USA, a majority of likely voters believe that government is too big (64%) and that bigger government leads to more corruption (62%). Overall, 65% believe political corruption in the federal government is a "very serious" problem. Sure enough, most Americans(62%) believe increasing government's role in healthcare will lead to more corruption in the healthcare system.

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Isakson Co-Sponsors Constitutional Amendment to Balance Federal Budget, Give President Line-Item Veto Power

‘The Way the Government Is Operating Is Not Only Unsustainable, It Is a Recipe for Disaster and Failure’

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today announced that he is again co-sponsoring a constitutional amendment that would allow the President to use the line-item veto to either eliminate or reduce appropriations in any bill passed by the Congress. The amendment would also require Congress to balance the federal budget.

“As a businessman, I more than recognize that the way the government is operating is not only unsustainable, it is a recipe for disaster and failure,” Isakson said. “This amendment will force Congress to become better stewards of the taxpayers’ money and give the President much-needed authority to remove items from appropriations bills that are considered wasteful on a national perspective.”

Isakson noted that governors in 43 states – including Georgia – have line-item veto authority.

Congress passed a line-item veto bill in 1996, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. The 1996 bill allowed the president to cancel, but not reduce, spending items in appropriation bills. The legislation Isakson is co-sponsoring would give the President more flexibility by allowing him to cancel or reduce any appropriation passed by Congress.

“One of the problems we have in America with deficit spending is spending money on projects that by anybody's definition are unnecessary projects,” Isakson said. “We need to have politicians justifying what they just spent rather than promising what they will spend.”

Isakson said he is committed to trying to pass legislation to curb federal spending and to demand more accountability from programs that receive federal dollars. In addition to cosponsoring the line-item veto legislation consistently during his time in the Senate, Isakson also has introduced legislation to reform the federal budget process by converting it from an annual spending process to a two-year cycle, with one year for appropriating federal dollars and the other year devoted to oversight of federal programs. Isakson also has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that would establish a task force charged with making recommendations on how to improve the government’s long-term fiscal imbalances.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tea Party Patriots of Covington County Alabama Monthly Meeting

Thursday, February 18 at 6:00pm.
Andalusia says, "Hope to see you there. Everyone is welcome".
Event: Tea Party Patriots of Covington County Alabama Monthly Meeting
What: Club/Group Meeting
Start Time: Thursday, February 18 at 6:00pm
End Time: Thursday, February 18 at 8:00pm
Where: 1852 East 3 Notch Street; Andalusia, AL 36420

Dade County TEA Party Patriots Meeting

Thursday, January 28 at 6:30pm.
Dade County TEA Party Patriots Meeting
71 Case Avenue Trenton, GA 30752

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Alabama becomes 8th state to pass 10th Amendment Resolution

Alabama lawmakers pass historic resolution
Alabama state leaders sent a strong message to Washington, reminding our nation's leaders that the state can secede from The Union if people here don't like what's going on at the capitol.

Not since the civil war has a state tried to leave the union, but after Tuesday's vote on the Alabama State Sovereignty Resolution cleared both state legislative chambers, local lawmakers sent a strong hint they're watching what's going on in the nation's capital and they know their constitutional rights.

Alabama Affirms Sovereignty
Yesterday, the Alabama House voted to approve Senate Joint Resolution 27 (SJR27) which “claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.” (h/t Jan Lane)

Background / history:

Alabama to Consider Sovereignty under the 10th Amendment
On August 10, 2009, Alabama State Representative Mac Gipson along with 22 other co-sponsors, introduced House Joint Resolution 10 (HJR10). The purpose of the resolution is to “affirm the rights of all states including Alabama, based on the provisions of the ninth and tenth amendments to the United States Constitution.”

Loftman, Candidate District 9 (GA) Signs Repeal It Pledge

Bert Loftman signed the Club for Growth, “repeal it pledge:”

“I, Bert Loftman, hereby pledge to the people of my District 9 of GA upon my election to the U.S. House of Representatives, to sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.”

This would repeal Obamacare, a plan that would make our health care system even worse. Our problem is a chaotic system of third party health care providers: Medicare for the retired, Medicaid for the poor, job-based health care for workers, and mandated emergency health care for the uninsured Americans and our illegal aliens.

I am a physician who is trained to solve problems and for years have dealt with the problem of our health care delivery system. Our third party payer system drives up costs to where health care is about 18 percent of our economy. It used to be 9 percent when patients paid for their own health care in a free market. Left alone, the free market will give us affordable health care and put patients in control of their own health care choices.

Other candidates want to “reform” health care by using unconstitutional means. The government caused our health care problems by using the income tax codes to encourage job-based health care. The income tax and Federal Reserve Bank discourage saving and people without savings are dependent and need Medicare and Medicaid.

The solution is not more unconstitutional manipulations of the income tax codes. The solutions are the FairTax, which replaces the income tax, and the control of the Fed. The Fed prints legally counterfeited money that causes inflation, and inflation eats away at our savings. This will encourage people to save and people with savings are in control. They have the means to be responsible.

I also pledge to the citizens in the ninth district of Georgia that I will honor our Constitution and not advocate unconstitutional so-called “conservative” health care plans. I believe in term limits and pledge to stay in office no more than six years.
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NY Coalition Opposes Governor Paterson's Proposed Sugar Sweetened Beverage Tax

/PRNewswire/ -- New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes, a coalition formed in opposition to taxes on food and beverage products, today announced its disappointment in Governor Paterson's proposal to place a tax on sugar sweetened beverages of 12 cents per 12-ounce can. This tax would be 10 times higher on a 12 pack of non-alcoholic beverages, like soft drinks, than the state tax on a 12 pack of alcoholic beverages, like beer.

The coalition's members -- including thousands of New York residents across the state and business groups such as the New York State Restaurant Association, The New York Association of Convenience Stores, The Business Council of New York State and The National Supermarket Association -- agree that this is not the time to tax the groceries of hardworking New Yorkers. Last year Gov. Paterson claimed to have heard the voices of the New York people, but once again he is trying to fix his budget problems by taxing New Yorkers and putting thousands of instate jobs at risk.

"New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet in this economy and we shouldn't bear the burden of fixing the Governor's budget problems," said Nelson Eusebio, Chairman of New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes. "Another tax will be detrimental to hardworking New York businesses and residents."

The beverage industry currently supports thousands of well-paying jobs in New York, totaling some $6.7 billion in wages. These statewide jobs are held by hardworking New Yorkers in manufacturing, distribution and retail. The non-alcoholic beverage industry in New York State has a direct economic impact of $7 billion per year and supports an additional $18 billion in economic activity.

New Yorkers can join the coalition's fight at in order to declare their support, sign the petition, and make their opposition known to the Governor and their State Representatives.

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DC Elites Look to 2010 Election

/PRNewswire/ -- According to StrategyOne's recent Beltway Barometer survey of DC's elite, the question Washington elites are pondering is not IF Democrats will lose seats in the House, but HOW MANY seats they will lose.

The survey, conducted January 14-17, 2010, finds Republicans and Democrats at odds on how many seats Democrats will lose.

So what are the DC insiders thinking?

Both parties think Democrats will lose seats in 2010, and only 7% of Democratic elites think Nancy Pelosi will maintain (5%) or increase (2%) her seat margin in the House.

Elite Republicans in Washington generally expect to see their party gain between 20 and 39 seats in November. In fact, 56% of elite Republicans expect Democrats to lose between 20 and 39 seats, and 25% of elite Republicans expect Democrats to lose 40 or more seats and with this their majority.

At this stage the majority of elite Democrats in Washington expect to keep the losses under 20 seats. Specifically, 62% believe Democrats will lose fewer than 20 seats and 28% believe Democrats will lose between 20 and 39 seats. Only 2% of elite Beltway Democrats currently think that Democrats will lose the House majority in November. This sentiment may change depending on the election results in Massachusetts today.

StrategyOne will be tracking elite DC opinion on the 2010 elections and reporting this data first to our clients and then to the media.

The warning signs are clearly present for Democrats at this point, and although wild card events could easily change the arc of the 2010 election season, the trend is certainly beginning to suggest a Republican wave.

Question Text & Data:

Now, looking ahead to the 2010 elections to the House of Representatives... As you know, Democrats control the House of Representatives with a 40 seat majority at the present time. Which ONE of the following do you think will happen in the 2010 elections?

  Answer                                              DEM      GOP
------ --- ---
Democrats will increase their number of seats in
the House 2% 1%
------------------------------------------------ --- ---
Democrats will maintain their current number of
seats in the House 5% 1%
----------------------------------------------- --- ---
Democrats will lose fewer than 20 seats, but
maintain their majority 62% 16%
-------------------------------------------- --- ---
Democrats will lose between 20 and 39 seats, but
maintain their majority 28% 56%
------------------------------------------------ --- ---
Democrats will lose 40 or more seats and lose their
majority 2% 25%
--------------------------------------------------- --- ---
Unsure/Refused 2% 3%
-------------- --- ---

Survey Methodology:

StrategyOne conducted 400 telephone interviews among 200 Republicans and 200 Democrats. The overall margin of sampling error for the total N of 400 is +/-4.9%. The margin of error for the N of 200 per party is +/-6.9%. Interviews were conducted January 14-17, 2010. The full (crosstab) results can be found here: For more information on the Beltway Barometer, please visit

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Libertarians applaud Joe Kennedy for standing firm

The Libertarian Party (LP) today expressed its support for independent Libertarian Joe Kennedy's determination not to drop out of the Massachusetts special election for U.S. Senator.

The New York Times recently published an article that considered Kennedy's effect on the January 19 election. While some claim that Kennedy will steal votes from Republican Scott Brown, others think his strong support for civil liberties and his anti-war position will cause him to steal votes from Democrat Martha Coakley.

Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the LP, commented, "In fact, no one is 'stealing' anything. The votes belong to the voters, not the candidates. If voters choose Kennedy over Brown, it's probably because they understand that Brown is a typical big-government Republican. If voters choose Kennedy over Coakley, it's probably because they understand that Coakley is a typical big-government Democrat."

Benedict added, "If the next Massachusetts senator gets elected with less than 50 percent of the vote, blame the foolish plurality election system implemented by Republicans and Democrats -- not Joe Kennedy."

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Georgia’s Kidney Care Community Praises Introduction of Legislation to Improve Patient Access to Quality Kidney Dialysis and Transplant Care

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Members of Georgia’s kidney care community – including patients, physicians, providers, and kidney transplant groups – today applauded State Senators Don Thomas (R-Dalton) and Ed Harbison (D-Columbus) for introducing bipartisan legislation to help approximately 2,000 Georgians suffering from kidney failure who are having difficulty accessing health insurance for their dialysis care or needed transplant medications. If enacted, this legislation could result in a positive fiscal impact of approximately $20 million over five years for Georgia’s Medicaid system. In addition to helping people with kidney failure, the legislation will also help any Georgia citizen who is under 65 and has Medicare as a result of a disability.

“I am proud to introduce legislation today that would provide thousands of Georgians with the financial assistance needed to access life-saving kidney care.”

Secondary coverage – known as Medigap insurance – is designed to help patients pay for medical expenses that Medicare does not cover, such as co-insurance, deductibles and co-pays. Under current federal law, only Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 65 are able to purchase this insurance as secondary coverage; however, patients under the age of 65 do not have this same option. This coverage provides patients with essential access to needed medical treatments, including kidney transplant, without cost being a barrier to care. Medigap coverage protects patients from having to “spend down” their income to become eligible for state Medicaid assistance. The legislation (S.B. 316) would provide Georgia end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients under the age of 65 and those deemed disabled access to Medigap coverage.

“I fully understand the vital role dialysis and transplant care play in the lives of individuals affected by this disease,” said Sen. Don Thomas. “I am proud to introduce legislation today that would provide thousands of Georgians with the financial assistance needed to access life-saving kidney care.”

Under current Medicare law, two populations qualify for coverage: individuals over the age of 65, and those under 65 who meet certain conditions, including the diagnosis of ESRD, also known as kidney failure. While Medicare covers most medical costs, it requires patients to pay deductibles and co-pays, which most patients pay for with the assistance of secondary insurance. However, more than 2,000 kidney patients in Georgia under age 65 have no secondary insurance coverage and cannot afford Medicare deductibles and co-pays. As a result, they often experience financial delays and roadblocks for critical medical services because of the upfront payments that are required and are forced to turn to the Medicaid program for support. To qualify for Medicaid, patients have to impoverish themselves, and often their families as well, to qualify. This, in turn, leads to severe health risks for patients who are unable to afford drugs or who forego treatment, which can result in emergency care and a higher cost to Georgia’s taxpayers.

In addition to granting coverage assistance to patients who are unable to pay expensive deductibles and co-pays, this legislation will lead to significant decreases in Medicaid spending for ESRD patients under the age of 65, resulting in approximately $20 million in Medicaid savings for Georgia taxpayers over five years.

“The ability to acquire Medigap insurance will significantly improve kidney care patients’ access to care across Georgia,” said Chad Lennox, executive director of Dialysis Patient Citizens, a national nonprofit patient organization. “No patient or family should have to jeopardize their financial future in order to receive the care they need, which is why we fully support this legislation. All dialysis and kidney transplant patients deserve the same level of access to care.”

If passed, Georgia will join 29 other states across the country that have already passed similar reforms. Most recently, the Florida Legislature unanimously passed the “The Alonzo Mourning Access to Care Act” – named for NBA All Star Alonzo Mourning who received a kidney transplant in 2003 – which will allow Florida’s ESRD patients and those disabled under age 65 to purchase Medigap insurance as secondary coverage for their kidney care.

“Access to quality dialysis and transplant care is absolutely critical to the more than 14,000 chronic kidney disease patients across the state of Georgia,” said Marlin R. Gottschalk, vice-president and legislative coordinator for the Georgia Association of Kidney Patients, a patient advocacy and support group. “Kidney disease knows no boundaries in terms of age, race or economic condition, so we must work together to ensure that policies are put in place that allow all patients, of every age, to access the coverage they need to receive quality medical care.”

To view the legislation, please visit

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pelosi and Hoyer Announce 72-Hour Online Posting of Health Insurance Reform Legislation

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer issued the following statement today on health insurance reform legislation:

"The House Democratic Leadership is committed to having the final health insurance reform legislation online for 72 hours before the House votes, for all Members and the American people to review. We will continue the transparent process this landmark legislation has had for months."

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Tea Party Nation Would Like to Announce the Following Efforts and Status of the Nationwide TEA Party Convention

PRNewswire - First, we are pleased to announce that the convention has sold out and we now have a waiting list which we will continue to try to clear as opportunity presents.

In this light, we have had numerous requests for press passes and the resulting expected coverage. However, as we have set expectations that this is a working convention, we have tried not to make it a media event.

In fact, Tea Party Nation has received hundreds of requests for press credentials to cover this convention. Everyone from a small town newspaper in Iowa to Fox News has asked for press credentials. We have had requests from Canada, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, Croatia and Japan. We have been hard pressed to accommodate all of these requests and do not have the space or resources to support the entirety of the press corp. Indeed, we have asked the hotel if they would be willing to provide a press room during the convention.

However, given these practical limitations, we have approved the following press organizations:

Fox News

The Wall Street Journal

World Net Daily

About Tea Party Nation:

Tea Party Nation is a C-Corp. We do not focus on donations, and provide a service and network for like-minded conservatives and TEA Party leadership. TEA Party Nation is operated entirely by volunteers.

Tea Party Nation has an Advisory Board made up of nine (9) individuals who have been with Tea Party Nation since its formation. This Advisory Board is instrumental in greeting new members, moderating the site, putting out our newsletter and making the policies and decisions for Tea Party Nation.

Between last February and the present, Tea Party Nation has seen members come and go. We have tried to deal fairly with our present and former relationships, however, not without some criticism. This criticism has been unfortunate and we believe, unwarranted. However, it is the policy of Tea Party Nation not to focus on past challenges, but to stay focused on the task of advancing the conservative cause and defeating liberalism.

With that in mind, we will not be making any comments regarding former members.

The National Tea Party Convention

Last summer, our founder, Judson Phillips, approached the Advisory Board about a need for the Tea Party movement to move beyond holding rallies. At this time, the Tea Party Nation Advisory Board discussed the need for a Tea Party Convention. We envisioned a convention where delegates from the various Tea Party groups could gather, network, gain training and discuss the advancement of the movement. In this light, we began development of the plan resulting in the current incarnation of the event.

Certainly, we are not professional event planners. We have been most appreciative of the many members, volunteers and professionals who have helped us bring this vision to fruition. These people have managed a tremendous task and put a convention together in a matter of weeks that normally takes a year to plan.

As stated, the convention is now sold out. There is an extensive waiting list. We have delegates coming from Maine to California and as far away as Hawaii. And as of this morning, we invited RNC Chairman Michael Steele and DNC Chairman, Tim Kaine to come and have a dialogue with the attendees. We are awaiting a response and are looking forward to an excellent event with the excitement of the attendees, leadership and speakers. We are grateful for the overwhelming response and appreciate the positive results expected from this convention.

In the end, we appreciate the fact that differences of opinion exist, but our leadership and our volunteers are committed to the successful conclusion of this convention. We appreciate the interest of all those associated with this event.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bank Execs Testify at First Financial Inquiry Panel Hearing

Senators Conrad and Isakson Created the Bipartisan Commission to Investigate Causes of Financial Meltdown

Senators Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., released the following statement today after members of the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission questioned top Wall Street executives at its first hearing to investigate the circumstances that led to the near total collapse of the nation’s economy. Senators Conrad and Isakson teamed up last year to write legislation that created the commission.

“Even as the economy begins to turn the corner, it is more important than ever to understand what factors contributed to the near total collapse of our financial system. The American people have every right to know where mistakes were made. If it is discovered that laws were broken, those bad actors must be held accountable,” Senator Conrad said.

“Based on the questions that members of the commission are asking today, it is clear they understand the critical importance of making sure we stay focused and we get the answers to what caused this financial collapse. It’s what the American people deserve,” Senator Isakson said. “There are many ideas about what happened and what should be done to fix it, but let's first get all the facts on the table so we can move forward with due knowledge and in due course.”

Senators Conrad and Isakson said the 10-member, bipartisan Financial Crisis Commission is modeled after the 9-11 Commission, which thoroughly and independently investigated the failures leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and made recommendations to prevent another attack in the future.

Along those lines, the Financial Crisis Commission has until December of this year to investigate the circumstances that led to the current economic crisis. The panel has full subpoena power and the authority to refer to the U.S. Attorney General and state attorneys general any evidence that institutions or individuals may have violated existing laws. The Commission will report its findings to the President, the Congress and the American people by the end of 2010.

The special independent commission is made up of leading experts in the field, including economists, academics and former members of Congress.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

President Obama Signs Executive Order Establishing Council of Governors

The President today signed an Executive Order (attached) establishing a Council of Governors to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State Governments to protect our Nation against all types of hazards. When appointed, the Council will be reviewing such matters as involving the National Guard of the various States; homeland defense; civil support; synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.

The bipartisan Council will be composed of ten State Governors who will be selected by the President to serve two year terms. In selecting the Governors to the Council, the White House will solicit input from Governors and Governors’ associations. Once chosen, the Council will have no more than five members from the same party and represent the Nation as a whole.

Federal members of the Council include the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs, the U.S. Northern Command Commander, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The Secretary of Defense will designate an Executive Director for the Council.

The Council of Governors will provide an invaluable Senior Administration forum for exchanging views with State and local officials on strengthening our National resilience and the homeland defense and civil support challenges facing our Nation today and in the future.

The formation of the Council of Governors was required by the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act which stated, “The President shall establish a bipartisan Council of Governors to advise the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the White House Homeland Security Council on matters related to the National Guard and civil support missions.” (NDAA FY2008, Sec 1822)

Office of the Press Secretary
The White House

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Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor Has Wide Bipartisan Support on Capitol Hill

/PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of the critical importance freight rail transportation offers shippers throughout the U.S., Norfolk Southern's (NYSE:NSC) Crescent Corridor program has been endorsed by 60 legislators on Capitol Hill as 2010 begins.

"Norfolk Southern's Crescent Corridor program comes at a critical time for our nation's economy, environment, and transportation infrastructure," said NS CEO Wick Moorman. "The Crescent Corridor will stimulate job growth, economic development, and local tax revenues, while delivering substantial public benefits for communities and shippers. We are grateful for the wide bipartisan support the Crescent Corridor is receiving on Capitol Hill."

Members of the U.S. Congress supporting the Crescent Corridor are:

Alabama: Sens. Shelby and Sessions. Reps. Rogers, Aderholt, Griffith, Bachus, and Davis.

Delaware: Sens. Carper and Kaufman. Rep. Castle.

Georgia: Sens. Chambliss and Isakson. Reps. Westmoreland, Johnson, Deal, Gingrey, and Scott.

Maryland: Rep. Bartlett.

Mississippi: Sens. Cochran and Wicker. Reps. Childers and Harper.

New Jersey: Reps. LoBiondo, Garrett, Lance, Pascrell, Payne, Rothman and Sires.

North Carolina: Sens. Burr and Hagan. Rep. Myrick.

Pennsylvania: Sens. Specter and Casey. Reps. Brady, Fattah, Gerlach, Murphy, Shuster, Schwartz, Dent, Holden, and Platts.

Tennessee: Sens. Alexander and Corker. Reps. Roe, Duncan, Wamp, Gordon, Davis, and Cohen.

Virginia: Sens. Webb and Warner. Reps. Wittman, Nye, Scott, Perriello, Goodlatte, and Boucher.

West Virginia: Rep. Capito.

The Crescent Corridor is an existing 2,500-mile rail network supporting the supply chain from Memphis and New Orleans to New Jersey designed to handle more rail freight traffic faster and more reliably, creating or benefiting some 73,000 jobs by 2030, and producing these estimated annual benefits:

-- $326 million in tax revenues to states and communities
-- 1.3 million long-haul trucks diverted from interstates
-- $146 million in accident avoidance savings
-- 1.9 million tons in CO2 reduction
-- $575 million in congestion savings
-- $92 million in highway maintenance savings
-- 169 million gallons in fuel savings

This past September, lead state Pennsylvania, joined by Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia, applied for federal stimulus money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program. The application seeks $300 million in support of new independent intermodal facilities at Memphis, Birmingham, and Franklin County, Pa.; and the expansion of intermodal terminals in Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Track improvements in the five partner states will include 10 passing tracks, 557 individual speed improvements, and 393 miles of track improved with upgraded rail.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dodd's Retirement Highlights Untenable Campaign Finance Regime

/PRNewswire/ -- Sen. Chris Dodd's (D-Conn.) retirement has led many observers to suggest that overhauling our financial system will be easier, a clear sign that our money-driven political system is broken, according to campaign finance watchdogs Public Campaign and Common Cause.

"As the Senate begins work on the financial system overhaul, a tough reelection battle would have had Sen. Dodd dialing for dollars and attending fundraisers with the same interests he would be working to regulate," said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. "That it takes retirement to boost the likelihood of good policy is an indictment of our broken campaign financing system."

"It's a sad commentary that many think that Sen. Dodd's announced retirement will free him to act in the public interest, since he doesn't have to worry about special interest campaign donors," said Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause. "We need a system that allows members of Congress to act in the public's interest at all times. It's time for Congress to change the way Washington works by passing the Fair Elections Now Act."

The Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752, H.R. 1826) would give candidates for Congress the option to run a competitive race with a blend of small dollar donations and limited public funds. Sen. Dodd, a co-sponsor of the legislation, has long supported the measure. "Whether you're a Washington lobbyist or a Chicago lobbyist, what we ought to have is public financing for congressional and presidential campaigns. That would solve the whole problem," Sen. Dodd told an audience at the YearlyKos convention in 2007.

Sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), this legislation would put people in office unencumbered by special interest campaign cash. In addition to Rep. Larson, the House bill has the broad bipartisan and cross-caucus support of 124 co-sponsors.

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Libertarian Party wants open health care negotiations

The Libertarian Party (LP) calls on President Obama to not break yet another campaign promise by directing Congress to have an open, televised format for all future negotiations on the health care overhaul bills under consideration in Congress.

In 2008, then-Senator Obama promised at least eight times on the campaign trail to have open, transparent negotiations regarding a health care overhaul bill. That promise has been broken. Most substantive negotiations have occurred behind closed doors, not "on C-SPAN" as the President repeatedly promised.

The LP urges President Obama and Congressional leaders to hold all future negotiations in an open, televised format, as the President promised.

William Redpath, LP National Chairman, commented, "The President has no power to force Congress to hold televised negotiations, but he is clearly the driving force behind the health care legislation being considered by the Congress. Unfortunately, the President doesn't want to keep his promise. And, we all know why. Public approval of health care overhaul is down to about 40% and is sure to plummet further once a little sunshine is inserted into the legislative process."

Redpath continued, "Open negotiations would let Americans see how esthetically pleasing sausage making is when compared to Congress' negotiation process and the details of the health care legislation. The public would gain a much better understanding of how horrible this legislation is. President Obama and Democratic Party leaders probably think open negotiations would create a public groundswell that would effectively kill their ill-considered remake of one-sixth of the American economy that would likely bring the day of our next financial crisis that much closer."

Redpath concluded, "Government has an enormous cost estimate credibility problem. When Medicare Part A started in 1965, the projected cost in 1990 was $9 billion. It turned out to be $67 billion. When Medicaid's special hospitals subsidy was added in 1987, it was only supposed to cost $100 million per year, but, by 1992, it cost 110 times that amount. If the government is wrong by a factor of 7.5 or more this time, the result will truly be catastrophic for the US economy."

The LP opposes both the House and Senate versions of the current health care overhaul bill.

On the subject of health care, the LP Platform states:

We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Statement from Rep. Jim Cole Concerning the GA Secretary of State's Position

"Governor Perdue has been a great friend and mentor for years now, and I have the utmost respect for him. While it was a great honor to be considered for the position of Secretary of State, after much prayer and reflection with my wife and family, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my name from consideration.

For the last six months, my wife Gaylyn and I have been planning to transition out of public service. Over the last several months, I have been exploring many different opportunities at Mercer University that would afford me more time with my young children and at the same time provide exciting career opportunities. We had planned to announce after the legislative session that I would not seek re-election in order to take one of these opportunities at Mercer.

The vacancy of the Secretary of State's office and the Governor's consideration of me for this position has been an unexpected whirlwind. At first, it seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. Yet, as the emotions of the moment settled down over the weekend, Gaylyn and I thought through this issue carefully and knew that it would be best for our family to continue with our original plan.

This has not been an easy decision. I am profoundly grateful to the Governor for his confidence in me and the opportunities he has given me.

Serving middle Georgia in the House has been a tremendous honor. The future will hold many things, and I hope to return to public life when my most important priority - my children - are well on their way to success in life.

Jim Cole

Rep. Jim Cole
Administrative Floor Leader
Georgia House of Representatives
P.O. Box 787
Forsyth, GA 31029"