Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday's wash

"Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor declined repeatedly at Senate confirmation hearings Wednesday to disclose her views on abortion rights and said President Barack Obama never asked her before he chose her for the bench."

Of course he didn't. He didn't have to. He knew very well she's pro-choice and would satisfy his pro-choice constituency, otherwise he never would have asked her to be a candidate for the bench.

It's interesting though that she's busily sidestepping questions. I remember when Clarence Thomas did that, and a lot of Democrats claimed he was hiding his true beliefs and it was a reason to vote against him. I wonder if they'll feel the same way now...


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants back in the limelight, and she's sounding a bit frustrated about things, perhaps due to her apparently-small role in White House policymaking:

"Clinton's frustration was perhaps evident Monday when in a rare fit of pique, she lashed out at the White House for failing to quickly nominate someone to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development. In rather undiplomatic comments, Clinton criticized the White House vetting process as a "nightmare," "frustrating beyond words" and "ridiculous." She added that overly burdensome financial and personal disclosure requirements had led several candidates to withdraw. And, in an unusually blunt description of an administration squabble, she allowed that she had "tried very hard" but had been denied permission by the White House to tell USAID employees that they would soon get a new boss."

I wonder whether Mrs. Clinton will even make it through one term as part of the Obama administration...

Republicans go on the attack vs the Democrats' health care plan:
"House Democrats' health care reform bill would create a mind-boggling "web of bureaucracy," Republican critics charged Wednesday as they sought to block Democrats from hastily passing a costly and sweeping health package on orders from President Obama."

Read the whole thing. See especially the flow chart the Republicans created, which shows the complexity and bureaucracy such a plan as the Democrats' propose would create. Great visual...

"Take Medicare. The Government Accountability Office reports that the program makes about $17 billion in improper payments each year. And that doesn’t include problems in the new $60-billion-per-year prescription-drug plan, which is a juicy target for criminals. Harvard University’s Malcolm Sparrow, a specialist in health-care fraud, recently testified to Congress that official estimates are “lacking in rigor,” are “comfortingly low and quite misleading,” and exclude many kinds of fraud and abuse. He thinks that as much as 20 percent of the federal health-care budget is consumed by fraud, which would be $85 billion a year for Medicare.