By Bret Baier
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Some Congressional Democrats representing rural America are feeling left out when it comes to the President Obama’s ambitious agenda. The Politico newspaper reports from greenhouse gases and climate legislation, to the closing of hundreds of car dealerships, many within his party aren’t exactly feeling the love from the White House.
California Congressman Dennis Cardoza says, “They don’t get rural America. They form their views of the world in large cities.”
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu adds: “I wouldn’t say it’s a complete strikeout, but they’ve just got a few more bases to it when it comes to the rural community.”
And Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln complains the president has not paid much attention to rural states since his campaign ended, saying: “We’d love to see him out in rural America more.”
The president’s proposal to pay for health care reform in part by cutting government Medicare and Medicaid spending by more than $600 billion over the next decade, has been welcomed by many Democrats.
It’s being called Medicare and Medicaid savings. But, when the Bush administration proposed similar cuts, many Democrats railed against the plan.
North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad said on March 18, 2003 about President Bush’s proposal that: “If the president’s plan is adopted, or anything close to it, very soon our colleagues on the other side will be coming to us with massive cuts in Medicare.”
Later that year, Florida Senator Bill Nelson said on September 10, 2003: “Now is not the time to call for a retreat, a surrender, by slashing Medicare payments.”
And on March 13, 2006, Massachusetts Senator and health care reform advocate Ted Kennedy said, “The president’s budget proposed $36 billion in Medicare cuts over the next five years, and $105 billion over the next ten years.”
Miffed Maple Leaves
We’ve reported that Canada is less-than-thrilled with stipulations in the president’s $787 billion stimulus program requiring the use of American-made parts and materials.
Well, it seems China is also now taking action. Beijing has imposed a requirement in its stimulus package for projects to use domestically made goods.
The move could further strain ties between the U.S. and China, after Beijing also criticized the “Buy American” provision that favored American suppliers of steel, iron, and manufactured goods.
Chinese state-run media labeled the conditions “poison” to efforts to curb the global economic crisis.