IMPORTANT WARNING:
Nasty Worm Attacks Facebook Users
Facebook users are getting worms again. A new, nastier version of the Koobface worm is targeting Facebook users. The attackers are posting malicious links on Facebook wall pages enticing folks to click on a cutesy Christmas video. Attempts to play the video turns over control of the PC to the attacker. The victim next sees a Windows warning message requiring them to solve a CAPTCHA puzzle within three minutes. Read more here.

TWO 'GOOD NEWS' FLASHES:

New Jersey Senate Drops Same-Sex 'Marriage' Bill
Two New Jersey senators who sponsored a gay marriage bill unexpectedly pulled the measure today before it could be put to a vote.  The bill was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, but Len Deo, president and executive director of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said the sponsors expected the bill to die on the Senate floor, so they pulled it from the agenda.   "Their strategy is to take it to the Assembly Judiciary Committee for it to be heard," he said.  "The earliest it could be done would be Jan. 4." Gay activists expect to garner a few more votes in the Assembly.
After Jan. 19, experts say the measure has no chance, when conservative Republican Chris Christie becomes governor.

ACLU loses one-fourth of yearly donations
The American Civil Liberties Union has lost a quarter of its yearly donations after a major donor cut off $19 million in annual donations because of economic difficulties.

David Gelbaum, a wealthy California conservationist, said he was indefinitely stopping the donations that had made him the New York-based group's largest anonymous donor.
"For a number of years, your organization has received very substantial charitable contributions from me," Gelbaum said in a statement. "My investments in alternative, clean energy companies have placed me in a highly illiquid position as a result of the general credit crisis in the American and world financial systems."
Read more here.

COMMENT: We have received word that a nefarious plan may be afoot in DC to pass this terrible legislation.  Now I know it comes as a BIG surprise that some of these folks would even dream of doing something like this.

The cloture vote to end debate on the Senate floor is THE only vote to watch right now
. That may come early next week.

I have previously written about the House and Senate versions going to a Conference Committee to resolve the differences, which are significant, then that report going back to the respective bodies for an up or down vote.
 
However, because the Dems want this done by Christmas, we are hearing that they are planning on bypassing the conference committee process.  That means, all this talk of having to meld the House and Senate bill together and reconcile will not happen.  Rather, Harry Reid, should he muster together the 60 votes to pass, will immediately go to Nancy Pelosi with the bill and say, “Here’s the bill, vote on it now, no amendments.” As you can see from one of the articles below, Pelosi is signaling support for the Senate version. So, if the House votes and passes the exact version of the Senate bill, then it will go directly to Obama’s desk for signing.  Never mind that the American people OPPOSE this travesty. Never mind that the cost may top $6 Trillion.  Never mind that these bills contain a 'marriage penalty'.

Senator Mitch McConnell has it right:
Start Over and Get it Right

Click on their names to thank Senator Alexander and Senator Corker for their continued leadership against this legislation.

Out-of-State subscribers go HERE to find and contact your two Senators.
The message: Vote NO on cloture.
 

1. Pelosi Indicates Support for Senate's Medicare Deal  


WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed support Thursday for a Senate Democratic proposal to expand Medicare, raising prospects that the two chambers of Congress can work out differences on health-care legislation.

  •  

The proposal would open Medicare to some people ages 55 to 64, and is a key feature of a deal among senior Senate Democrats that would abandon efforts to enact a big government-run health-insurance program. The deal would also empower the government's Office of Personnel Management to contract with private insurers to offer new low-cost insurance plans.
The deal is a key difference between the Senate bill and the House's measure, which was passed in November and includes a direct government-run insurance plan.
Ms. Pelosi (D., Calif.) stopped short of endorsing the full Senate compromise, saying she needed to see "something in writing." But she said "there is certainly a great deal of appeal" in expanding Medicare.
Other House Democrats were more cautious. Jim Cooper of Tennessee, a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog coalition, said he was "watchful and hopeful" about the idea, but couldn't commit to supporting it.
Top Democrats want to wrap up action on the health bill quickly and turn to other priorities, including jobs. Senate Democratic leaders hope to pass a bill as soon as late next week, though they have yet to lock up the 60 votes they need to ensure passage.
Read more here.

2. Polls show dim support for health care bill

3. MARRIAGE PENALTY IN HEALTH CARE BILL?
In the House version, an unmarried couple each making $30,000 a year would pay $1,320 combined each year for private health insurance.  If that couple chose to marry, their premium would jump to $12,000 a year, a difference of $10,680.
Allen Quist, a former Minnesota State legislator and current candidate for Congress, discovered the penalty while looking at numbers from the Committees on Ways and Means, Energy & Commerce, and Education & Labor.
"This extraordinary penalty people will pay, should they marry, extends all the way from a two-person combined income of $58,280 to $86,640, a spread of $28,360," he wrote in a blog post.  "A large number of people fall within this spread. As premiums for private insurance escalate, as expected, the marriage penalty will become substantially larger."
The Senate bill includes a similar penalty.
"The Senate bill stipulates that two unmarried people, 52 years of age, with private insurance and a combined income of $60,000, $30,000 each, will pay a combined cost of $2,483 for medical insurance," Quist wrote.  "Should they marry, however, they will pay a combined cost of $11,666 for insurance — a penalty of $9,183 for getting married."
Read more here.

4. ObamaCare's Cost Could Top $6 Trillion
Congressional Democrats are using several
budget gimmicks to disguise the cost of their health care overhaul, claiming the House and Senate bills would cost only (!) about $1 trillion over 10 years.  Now that critics have begun to correct for those budget gimmicks, supporters of ObamaCare are firing back.

One gimmick makes the new entitlement spending appear smaller by not opening the spigot until late in the official 10-year budget window (2010–2019).  Correcting for that gimmick in the Senate version, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) estimates, “When all this new spending occurs” — i.e., from 2014 through 2023 — “this bill will cost $2.5 trillion over that ten-year period.” Read more here.

Details Schmeetails

While Some Democrats Express Concern With Health Care “Deal,” Others Sign On Without Even Reviewing The Bill

 

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY):  “So What’s Becoming Abundantly Clear Is That The Majority Will Make Any Deal, Agree To Any Terms, Sign Any Dotted Line That Brings Them Closer To Final Passage Of This Terrible Bill. They are, for lack of a better term, winging it on one of the most consequential pieces of domestic legislation in memory.” (Sen. Mitch McConnell, Press Release, 12/8/09)

 

 DEMOCRATS ADMIT THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE SUPPORTING

 
SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “If There's 60 Senators Who Can Reach Agreement, I'm For It.” (“Senate Democrats Satisfied With Deal,” The Washington Post, 12/10/09)

 
SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): “Any Big Agreement Is Progress … Even If We Do Not Know Any Of The Details.” (“Senate Democrats See Room For Hope On Health Care Bill,” The New York Times, 12/10/09)

 

The Washington Post: Democrats Doing Health Care “On The Fly.” “The only thing more unsettling than watching legislative sausage being made is watching it being made on the fly. The 11th-hour "compromise" on health-care reform and the public option supposedly includes an expansion of Medicare to let people ages 55 to 64 buy into the program.” (Editorial, “Medicare Sausage?” The Washington Post, 12/10/09)

FACT CHECK: “CONSENSUS”

Democrats Say They “Haven’t Signed On To The Proposal,” “There’s No Specific Compromise,” “I Will Not Vote For It” And Opposition “Remains” 

 SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “This Has Been A Long Journey. We Have Confronted Many Hurdles, And Tonight I Believe We Have Overcome Yet Another One. … [We] Have Come To A Consensus.” (Sen. Reid, Press Release, 12/8/09) 


“CONSENSUS”

 SEN. BEN NELSON (D-NE): “I Haven’t Signed On To The Proposal.” (“Nelson Still Withholding Cloture Vote,” Lincoln Journal Star, 12/9/09)

 SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D-LA): “There’s No Specific Compromise. There Were Discussions.” (“Landrieu, Lincoln: No 'Compromise' Made On Health Bill,” The Hill, 12/9/09)

 “According To Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Sending The Bill To The CBO Was About All The 10 Senators Agree To Do.” (“Landrieu, Lincoln: No 'Compromise' Made On Health Bill,” The Hill, 12/9/09)

 SEN. ROLAND BURRIS (D-IL): If “It Does Not Have A Public Option In It, I Will Not Vote For It.” (“Burris Threatens To Filibuster Health Care Without Public Option,” The Huffington Post, 12/9/09)

 SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): “I Do Not Support Proposals That Would Replace The Public Option.” (Sen. Feingold, Press Release, 12/8/09)

 SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): “I Understand That The Leadership Wants To Move This Bill Forward As Quickly As Possible. I Understand That. But In My View, We Have A Lot Of Work In Front Of Us … In My View, The Only Way We Are Going To Provide Comprehensive, Cost-Effective, Universal Care Is Through A Single Payer.” (Sen. Sanders,Congressional Record, S.12698-9, 12/8/09)
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (ID-CT): “My Opposition To A Government-Run Insurance Option, Including Any Option With A Trigger, Has Been Clear For Months And Remains My Position Today. Regarding the 'Medicare buy-in' proposal that is being discussed, we must remain vigilant about protecting and extending the solvency of the program, which is now in a perilous financial condition.” (Sen. Lieberman, Press Release, 12/9/09)