Posts Tagged ‘Coburn’

26th January
written by Sean Noble

Bob Robb, one of the best political commentators in Arizona, wrote a very insightful column yesterday headlined “Gingrich anti-establishment?”


There are some real gems worth repeating here:

Sometimes politics is staged as farce, as in the narrative in the Republican presidential primary that Newt Gingrich is the anti-establishment candidate.

The guy is a former speaker of the House of Representatives, for goodness sake. You know, third in line to be president.

Since being ousted as speaker, Gingrich has made himself wealthy as a political entrepreneur and operator. In fact, he got ousted in part because he starting doing too much of that while he was speaker.


Gingrich was as responsible as anyone for turning the Republican Party into the party of pork. Under his speakership, earmarks as a re-election tool proliferated.

In fact, virtually everything the tea party doesn’t like about the Republican establishment can be traced to Gingrich and his Majority Whip, later Majority Leader, Tom DeLay.

I remember the frustration of some of the true believers of the Class of ’94 when Gingrich and DeLay were advising the freshmen that the best way to win re-election was to send the bacon home.  Guys like my former boss John Shadegg and a his cohorts like Tom Coburn and Mark Sanford fought those guys every day.

Gingrich is no conservative.

26th February
written by Sean Noble

I’ll be blogging from CPAC for the next couple days.  I’ll be commenting on speeches by Sen. Tom Coburn, Congressman John Shadegg, RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Gov. Mark Sanford and Rush Limbaugh who concludes the conference on Saturday evening.

For those who don’t know, CPAC is the premiere conservative event each year.  It was at CPAC in 1974 that Reagan launched his Presidential run against Ford in 1976 with a speech about America being the “City upon a Hill” (sound familiar?)

To learn more about CPAC, go here.

9th February
written by Sean Noble

The Senate has passed the cloture motion, thus ending the debate on the stimulus bill, which will pass the Senate tomorrow.


It will be interesting to see if there are any changes in the vote for cloture and final passage.

This whole debate has been surreal.  You know a bill is pretty bad when liberal Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley (R-IA), is arguing vigorously against it.  Amazing.


How bad is this bill?  Most independent economic observers (including a Congressional Budget Office analysis) predict that the jobs created by the bill will be temporary, cost upwards of $300,000 per job to create, and that in the long term, there will be fewer jobs than if we didn’t pass any stimulus.  Truly, change we can believe in.


The scary parts of this bill include something that both Congressman John Shadegg and Senator Tom Coburn have been yelling (in the wind, as it turns out) about.  John Shadegg pointed out two particularly scary provisions:


  • Nearly $100 billion dollars to expand the Medicaid program including providing health care to higher income individuals.  House Democrats rejected an amendment to restrict millionaires from enrolling in a government-run health care program meant for the poor.
  • $1.1 billion to “research” which treatments the federal government will eventually deny to patients. 


Then, Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York, and one of the leading critics to Hillary-care back in 1993 wrote this:

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council.

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.

The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).

Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

Unfortunately, this monstrosity is going to pass tomorrow, and it will put us a few more miles down “the road to serfdom.”


27th January
written by Sean Noble

Georgia Republican Congressman Phil Gingrey is telling Rush Limbaugh to butt out.  Not smart.

Rush Limbaugh has the most listened-to radio show in the history of the earth.  As a result, he is closer to the pulse of conservative, grassroots activist than most Members of Congress. 

Gingrey was elected long after the 1994 GOP Revolution, so he can be somewhat forgiven for not recognizing the power of Rush.  After the 1994 election, the new freshmen held a dinner at Camden Yards that featured Rush.  Rush was made an honorary member of the 1994 Republican Freshman class.  I was there, and it was historic.

(It was also memorable, because it was the first time in my life that I ate an anchovy.  They served a Caesar salad, with, what looked like to me, brownish little bacon strips.  I had a pretty rude surprise when I popped one in my mouth!)

That night, Rush talked about the clamoring for change the American people wanted and it was their desire for change that motivated them to get out and elect Republicans to the majority.  He said that the Members of Congress had an obligation and a duty to hold fast to the principles they campaigned on.

Sadly, very few of the Members listened and absorbed.  Of the 74 there that night, I can name, on one hand, those that have stuck to principle: John Shadegg (still in Congress), Tom Coburn (now in the Senate), Mark Sanford (Governor of South Carolina), and two who have been pretty good: Saxby Chambliss (now in the Senate) and Sam Brownback (now in the Senate).

Others who stayed principled, but who are no longer in office include Matt Salmon (AZ), Steve Largent (OK), J.C. Watts (OK), Mark Neumann (WI) and Gil Gutnecht (MN).

Gingrey should be figuring out ways to follow Limbaugh’s lead – not get in the way.