San Diego Comic-Con is a fun destination for fanboys and fangirls, but it is also big business for Hollywood. Studios now use Comic-Con to unveil and promote the latest tentpole blockbusters, whether the films are based on comic books or not. Filmmakers at the event will be fighting to build buzz for their projects with trailers, trailers for trailers, early footage and panel discussions. WSJ’s Michelle Kung previews this weekend’s biggest movie panels, including “The Hobbit” and “Pacific Rim.” You can see a quick guide to the event here.
My latest at the Liberty News Network about Obama playing politics with border security
Border Patrol Closing Nine Stations, Four in Texas
After announcing what basically is amnesty to many young illegal aliens, the Obama Administration has decided to shut down nine border patrol stations crossing four states:
The Obama administration is moving to shut down nine Border Patrol stations across four states, triggering a backlash from local law enforcement, members of Congress and Border Patrol agents themselves.
Proposes multiple debates in locations across the state
(Las Vegas, NV) – Today Dean Heller’s campaign sent a letter to Shelley Berkley’s Campaign Manager proposing seven different debates to be held across the state. The letter reports that Dean Heller is ready to begin debating the seven-term Congresswoman as early as July, and is willing to debate many times in order to reach a maximum audience.
Heller’s campaign proposed debates in Carson City, Elko, Las Vegas, and Reno as well as on statewide and national outlets.
Full text of the letter below:
July 12, 2012
Berkley For Senate
7437 S. Eastern Avenue #427
Las Vegas, NV 89123
Dear Ms. Mackler,
With November quickly approaching, Dean Heller is looking forward to opportunities to debate Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. Our campaign is eager to move forward and establish a robust debate schedule for the coming months.
We suggest that debates begin in July, with no more than two debates per month until early voting begins on October 20, 2012.
We intend to be flexible regarding formatting specifics. We do require that all debates be televised, either live or live to tape. We also require that every debate be broadcast on a major broadcast station in Nevada. Other details – length of debate, whether the candidates are sitting or standing, and length of response and rebuttal, just to name a few, all remain open for discussion.
Our proposed debates, in no particular order:
1. Face to Face Debate:
Our campaign would agree to a debate hosted by Jon Ralston to air on his show, “Face to Face.”
2. Las Vegas — Channel 8/KLAS:
Our campaign would agree to a debate to air on Channel 8 in July or possibly early August. The debate would be one hour, commercial-free, either live or live to tape.
3. Las Vegas — Nevada Broadcasters Debate:
Our campaign would agree to a debate hosted by the Nevada Broadcasters Foundation. The debate would be aired live or on tape delay on a mutually agreeable day.
4. Reno Debate:
Our campaign is proposing a debate in Reno. We are ready to accept an invitation from Mitch Fox on behalf of Vegas PBS to participate in a statewide debate on Nevada’s Public Television stations. This debate would take place in Reno at the KNPB studios. Vegas PBS proposed that Mitch Fox moderate the debate on Thursday, September 27 from 8-9pm.
5. Carson City Debate:
Our campaign is proposing a debate in Carson City. We suggest that Nevada Newsmakers host the debate, with Sam Shad and Ray Hagar as moderator(s).
6. Elko Debate:
Our campaign is proposing a debate in Elko. A possible broadcast opportunity includes KENV (NBC) with Lori Gilbert.
7. Meet the Press Debate:
We will agree to a debate on “Meet the Press” if asked.
The order and timing of these debates remain open for discussion. We look forward to your timely response.
Heller for Senate
Dems ‘Packing The Summer Schedule With Symbolic, Campaign Trail-Themed Votes’
“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is packing the summer schedule with symbolic, campaign trail-themed votes… Democrats also plan next week to force a vote on a new version of the DISCLOSE Act, a bill to require disclosure of campaign spending by corporations and other groups.” (“Reid Might Bring Tax Cuts for Senate Vote In 2 Weeks,” National Journal, 7/11/12)
· “…Democratic aides say there is no expectation any of them will pass this summer.” (“Analysis: Little Hope For Compromise In Congress,” CBS News, 7/8/12)
GALLUP: The Economy And Unemployment… ‘Most Important Problem’
The unemployment rate has stood above 8% for 41 months (Feb. 2009 – June 2012). (BLS, Accessed 7/10/12)
Average duration of unemployment was 39.9 weeks in June 2012. (BLS, Accessed, 2/3/12)
· “More workers joined the federal government’s disability program in June than got new jobs, according to two new government reports, a clear indicator of how bleak the nation’s jobs picture is…The economy created just 80,000 jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. But that same month, 85,000 workers left the workforce entirely to enroll in the Social Security Disability Insurance program, according to the Social Security Administration.” (“Disability Ranks Outpace New Jobs In Obama Recovery,” Investor’s Business Daily, 7/6/12)
GALLUP: “Sixty-eight percent of Americans mention some aspect of the economy when asked about the most important problem facing the country today with the economy in general (31%) and unemployment (25%) most often mentioned as specific concerns.” (“U.S. Satisfaction Slips Slightly To 20%,” Gallup Poll, 6/13/12)
Similar Efforts To Limit Speech Were Rejected By Congress & The FEC
Congress Rejected The DISCLOSE Act Twice
JULY 2010: REJECTED By U.S. Senate (S. 3628, Roll Call Vote # 220: Cloture Motion Rejected 57-41: R 0-40; D 56-1; I 1-0, 7/27/10)
SEPTEMBER 2010: REJECTED By U.S. Senate (S. 3628, Roll Call Vote # 240: Cloture Motion Rejected 59-39: R 0-39; D 57-0; I 2-0, 9/23/10)
The FEC Refused To Impose DISCLOSE By Regulation
“A year after the Supreme Court made a landmark decision to ease campaign spending restrictions for corporations and interest groups, the Federal Election Commission has not issued regulations… the effort to write new regulations has been halted…” (“FEC Is Stalled On Election Rules,” The Washington Post, 3/28/11)
· “Democratic commissioners are demanding that the FEC consider rules that would require interest groups to reveal who is underwriting campaign advertising. … The disclosure provisions proposed by commission Democrats closely resemble those in a bill pushed by congressional Democrats last year, which has prompted complaints from Republicans.” (“FEC Is Stalled On Election Rules,” The Washington Post, 3/28/11)
The U.S. Supreme Court Has Overturned Unconstitutional Free Speech Restrictions
U.S. SUPREME COURT: “The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each… We find no basis for the proposition that, in the context of political speech, the Government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers.” (“Citizens United, Appellant V. Federal Election Commission,” Supreme Court Of The United States, 1/21/10)
· U.S. SUPREME COURT: “The question presented in this case is whether the holding of Citizens United applies to the Montana state law. There can be no serious doubt that it does.” (“American Tradition Partnership, Inc., V. Bullock,” Writ Of Certiorari, Supreme Court Of The United States, 6/25/12)
Congresswoman’s Ethics Troubles Not a Free Pass to Lie to Nevadans
(Las Vegas, NV) – As Congresswoman Shelley Berkley’s ethics investigation looms over her campaign, the seven-term Congresswoman has launched ads that knowingly mislead Nevadans.
“How about the truth, Congresswoman? For the first time since 2009, a bipartisan committee of five Democrats and five Republicans unanimously decided Congresswoman Berkley’s actions required a formal investigation on the basis of a non-partisan report. In the very same ad she asks for the ‘truth,’ Shelley Berkley desperately tries to shift blame and repeats Politifact’s Lie of the Year over and over again. No matter how much she may want to distract from her own problems, Congresswoman Berkley’s ethics troubles do not give her a free pass to lie to Nevadans,” said Chandler Smith, Heller for Senate spokeswoman.
- “The complaint about Shelley Berkley was filed by the Republican Party:” The House Ethics Committee is comprised of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans. The Committee voted unanimously to create a subcommittee to further their investigation:
“The bipartisan House Ethics Committee has voted unanimously to proceed with a full-scale investigation into whether Rep. Shelley Berkley used her position in Congress to benefit her husband’s medical practice.” (Erin Kelly, “House Ethics Committee appoints panel in Shelley Berkley case,” Reno Gazette Journal, July 9, 2012)
“The committee’s leaders said the panel voted unanimously to establish a four-member subcommittee armed with subpoena powers to conduct the probe, a process expected to stretch through the summer and fall and cloud the Las Vegas Democrat as she campaigns for the U.S. Senate House panel to investigate allegations against Berkley.” (Steve Tetreault, Laura Myers, “House panel to investigate allegations against Berkley,” Las Vegas Review Journal, July 7, 2012)
“In a fairly unusual move after reviewing a subsequent report from the Office of Congressional Ethics, the House Ethics Committee has formed a subcommittee to launch a formal investigation…” (Anjeanette Damon, “For State GOP, a Rare Coup,” Las Vegas Sun, July 12, 2012)
“This is the first time the ethics panel has empaneled a formal investigative subcommittee based on an OCE report since October 2009, when it agreed to probe allegations against Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Laura Richardson (D-Calif). In recent years, the committee also has launched formal investigations against Rep. Charles E. Rangel (D-N.Y.). (Washington Post, Shelley Berkley faces formal ethics investigation, Ed O’Keefe, July 9, 2012)
· “Dean Heller is attacking Berkley for trying to stop cuts to Medicare”: Wrong again. The fact is Congresswoman Shelley Berkley singlehandedly wrote a letter to Rep. Pete Stark, the chairman of the Subcommittee with jurisdiction over Medicare “warning him to move carefully in considering changes in compensating doctors who provided dialysis treatments.” The letter was sent the same day she received “a series of campaign contributions.”
“In early February 2008, for example, Ms. Berkley received a series of campaign contributions, first $1,000 from Amgen, then $2,000 from Kidney Care Partners, a trade group backed by Amgen and DaVita, then $3,000 from DaVita, and then $1,000 from Dr. Lehrner’s group, the Renal Physicians.
“The day that two of those checks were delivered, Ms. Berkley sent a letter to Representative Pete Stark, Democrat of California, then chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee with jurisdiction over Medicare, warning him to move carefully in considering changes in compensating doctors who provided dialysis treatments.” (Eric Lipton,“A Congresswoman’s Cause Is Often Her Husband’s Gain,” New York Times, September 5, 2011)
- “Dean Heller voted twice to end Medicare”: False. This statement was labeled Politifact’s 2011 Lie of the Year. But even knowing this statement is false, Berkley’s campaign decided not to split those hairs.” (Anjeanette Damon, “Berkley launches new ad campaign to defend against ethics charge,” Las Vegas Sun, July 12, 2012)
- The ads repeat the same claims from previous ads that Factcheck.org found to “twist the truth:” (“Outside Groups Twist Truth in Nevada Senate Race, Factcheck.org, June 21, 2012); (“No End to ‘End Medicare’ Claim, Factcheck.org, July 6, 2012)
Shelley Berkley supported the President’s health care law that cut $500 billion out of the Medicare program. It also created a panel of 15 unelected bureaucrats that have the power to deny health care for seniors. (House Vote 165 – HR 3590, HR3590, March 21, 2010)
In fact, the government takeover of healthcare’s cuts to Medicare could put Medicare Advantage benefits at risk, including for 110,000 Nevadans: “Seniors in a number of states risk losing their Medicare Advantage benefits because of cuts in President Obama’s healthcare reform law, according to a new report from Avalere. The law contains about $200 billion in direct and indirect cuts to private Medicare plans through 2017.” (Julian Pecquet, “Report: Healthcare law cuts put Medicare Advantage benefits at risk in some states,” The Hill’s Healthwatch Blog, 3/12/12)
Shelley Berkley voted for a 2% cut from the Medicare program which would restrict seniors’ access to care.
· Sequestration as a result of the Budget Control Act would require Medicare cuts of up to $11 billion a year (about $140 billion over ten years) if deficit reduction targets are not reached (RC #123, 112th Congress, 1st Session).
In fact, Dean Heller has repeatedly voted to preserve the Medicare programs, voting against $1.6 trillion in proposed Medicare cuts:
· Opposed legislation that proposed expanding the SCHIP program by cutting Medicare by nearly $200 billion (RC #787, 110th 1st Session).
· Voted against ObamaCare, which cut half a trillion dollars from the Medicare program (RC #165, 111th Congress, 2nd Session).
· Opposed the Budget Control Act, which provides for possible Medicare cuts of up to $11 billion a year (about $140 billion over ten years) if deficit reduction targets are not reached (RC #123, 112th Congress, 1st Session).
Dean Heller has consistently voted to ensure physicians are properly reimbursed so they will continue participating in the Medicare program and provide necessary services for seniors.
· (RC #1184, 110th Congress, 1st Session; RC # 443 and 491, 110th Congress, 2nd Session; RC #985 , 111th Congress, 1st Session; RC #211, #393, and #626, 111th Congress, 2nd Session; RC #232, 112th Congress, 1st Session).
Today is a day we can give back to those that protect our freedoms. Today is Troopathon. Give a little so we can send some Care Packages to the soldiers. WE owe them more than just this little token, but sending these Care Packages shows that we care for them and will bring a smile to their faces.
Even Though Berkley Keeps Voting for It
(Las Vegas, NV) – Seven-term Congresswoman Shelley Berkley keeps voting for ObamaCare with no regard for the devastating consequences the law has for Nevadans.
Devastating tax hikes:
- ObamaCare mandates 21 tax hikes that are either in effect or on the way. (“Supreme Court’s Health Law Decision Leaves in Place 21 Tax Hikes Costing More Than $675 Billion,” House Committee on Ways and Means, 6/28/2012)
- Just part of the ObamaCare tax hikes are estimated at $675 billion. (Thomas A. Barthold, “Revenue Estimates,” Joint Committee on Taxation, 6/15/2012)
Harms benefits for seniors:
- ObamaCare cuts $500 billion from Medicare: “It would cut an additional $60 billion from Medicare, bringing total cuts to the program to more than $500 billion over the next 10 years.” (Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery, “With Senate ‘Fixes’ Bill, GOP Sees Last Chance to Change Health-Care Reform,” The Washington Post, 3/24/2012)
- ObamaCare created a panel of 15 Washington bureaucrats that puts government between doctors and seniors: “The IPAB really does embody ObamaCare’s innermost values and beliefs—to wit, that health decisions are too important to leave to the people receiving the care (patients), the people providing the care (doctors and hospitals), the people paying for the care (taxpayers), or even the people who got the government involved in the first place (politicians).” (Editorial, “Independent Payment Advisory Revolt,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/9/12)
Forces insurance premiums higher:
- Some insurers plan to increase rates by 6.8% in Nevada. (Health Insurers Plan Hikes, Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2010)
Costs jobs and keeps businesses from growing:
- ObamaCare costs 800,000 jobs at a time when Nevada leads the nation in unemployment. (Jeffrey H. Anderson, “CBO Director Says ObamaCare Would Reduce Employment by 800,000 Workers,” The Weekly Standard, 2/10/2011)
- ObamaCare is forcing one in eight small businesses to either terminate their plan or notify employees it is going to be eliminated. (“Some Small Businesses Say Health Insurers Are Dropping Their Coverage, Kaiser Health News, July 25, 2011)
Bigger government, bigger deficit:
- ObamaCare ads $340 billion to the deficit. (Lori Montgomery, “Health-care Law Will Add $340 Billion to Deficit, New Study Finds,” The Washington Post, 4/9/2012)
- ObamaCare forced the Internal Revenue Service to request 1,270 new positions to implement the law, and could require as many as 16,500 agents to enforce the individual mandate and other related provisions. (House Committee on Ways and Means, “The Wrong Prescription: Democrats’ Health Overhaul Dangerously Expands IRS Authority,” March 18, 2010)
- ObamaCare regulations total 5,931 pages. (David Hogberg, “ObamaCare’s 5,931 Pages of Regulations,” Investor’s Business Daily, 3/23/2012)
ForAmerica Chairman, L. Brent Bozell III Statement Responding To House Vote To Repeal ObamaCare; Warns Majority Leader Reid And Senate Democrats
July 11, 2012
BOZELL: “If Mr. Reid does not allow for a fair up or down vote on the House repeal bill, he will be putting Democrat control of the U.S. Senate in jeopardy.”
“The House of Representatives today lived up to its name by listening to the American people and overwhelmingly voted to repeal ObamaCare. For over two years now, the American people have spoken consistently in opposition to ObamaCare and its massive tax increase, its crippling impact on our economy, and its trampling of each and every American’s individual rights.”
“The ball is now in Harry Reid’s court and the American people are demanding that there be a fair up or down vote in the Senate on the House repeal bill. It is time for Mr. Reid to stop thwarting the democratic process and allow for a fair up or down vote with no amendments, no tabled motions, no more Washington funny business—just a fair, straight, up or down vote. If Mr. Reid does not allow for a fair up or down vote on the House repeal bill, he will be putting Democrat control of the U.S. Senate in jeopardy.”
“ObamaCare is now THE issue in Congress and the over-riding issue in the 2012 campaign. Every Senator up for reelection will be held accountable by his/her constituents if Majority Leader Reid fails to allow a fair vote in the Senate and if they fail to vote to overturn a law that has punishing consequences on the American people, freedom, and our national economy.”
“These Senators can’t hide either. Any Senator who does not publicly fight to repeal ObamaCare, will be held responsible for this massive, crippling tax increase to pay for a law a majority of Americans don’t want. They correctly view it as a major intrusion on our individual rights and a trampling of our Constitution. ForAmerica and our 2.7 million members are organizing now and will be sure to educate constituents in key battleground states that these Senators are not representing them but simply acting as ObamaClones occupying a seat in the U.S. Senate.”
Votes against Repealing ObamaCare Even Though She Isn’t “Proud” of It
(Las Vegas, NV) – Seven-term Congresswoman Shelley Berkley yet again voted with President Obama and Nancy Pelosi rather than choosing to repeal Obamacare, legislation that imposes 14 tax increases on the middle class and 21 tax increases overall. Even though she couldn’t admit she was proud of her vote for ObamaCare, Congresswoman Berkley has repeatedly voted the party line.
“Middle class Nevadans just can’t afford Shelley Berkley and her lockstep support for President Obama and Nancy Pelosi. This massive government health plan makes insurance more expensive, forces Nevadans out of health care plans they like, cuts funding for Medicare and raises taxes by more half a trillion dollars. Remind us again, Congresswoman, why you keep voting the party line? Was it because you were afraid Nancy Pelosi would punish you?” said Chandler Smith, Heller for Senate spokeswoman.
When asked on Jon Ralston’s “Face to Face” if she was “proud of voting for the Affordable Care Act,” on June 25, 2012, Congresswoman Berkley responded “Look…” Full transcript below:
RALSTON: “Are you proud of voting for the Affordable Care Act?”
REP. BERKLEY: “Look…”
RALSTON: “Are you proud of it?”
REP. BERKLEY: “I’m proud I’m in a position to help patients get the care that they need in this country….”
Shelley Berkley’s Long Record on ObamaCare:
July 15-16, 2009: House Ways & Means Committee considers health care legislation. Shelley Berkley offers no amendments to the bill.
November 7, 2009: Shelley Berkley tried to sell health care legislation to Nevadans with false promises, saying: “This bill is good for Nevada. Over 400,000 uninsured Nevadans will be able to get health insurance because of this bill.” (www.berkley.house.gov, accessed June 13, 2012)
November 7, 2009: Berkley voted for health care reform law that imposes a tax on anyone who does not have health insurance. (House Vote 887 – HR 3962, HR3962: Health Care Overhaul – Passage)
March 21, 2010: Shelley Berkley votes for final passage of ObamaCare. This legislation cut $500 billion from Medicare and created a panel of bureaucrats that have the power to deny care for seniors. (House Vote 165 – HR 3590, HR3590, March 21, 2010)
March 22, 2010: Shelley Berkley attends signing ceremony for ObamaCare at the White House.
March 24, 2010: Shelley Berkley voted against efforts to reverse the Democrats’ health care reform’s cap on the amount that can be deposited in flexible spending accounts. (House Vote 181 – HR 4849: Small-Business Tax Credits – Recommit)
June 15, 2010: Shelley Berkley voted against repealing the individual mandate to purchase health insurance. (House Vote 362 – HR 5486: Small Business Tax Relief – Recommit)
January 19, 2011: Shelley Berkley refused to repeal the President’s health care law. (House Vote 14 – HR 2, HR2, January 19, 2011)
April 13, 2011: Shelley Berkley voted against repealing ObamaCare slush funds. (Roll Call 264, Clerk of the U.S. House, 4/13/2011)
May 3, 2011: Shelley Berkley voted against repealing funds for ObamaCare state exchanges. (Roll Call 285, Clerk of the U.S. House, 5/3/2011)
October 24, 2011: Steve Wynn reports that Shelley Berkley voted for ObamaCare because if she didn’t, Nancy Pelosi would “punish” her. (Link here.)
March 22, 2012: Shelley Berkley voted against repeal of IPAB, a panel of 15 bureaucrats that have the power to deny care for seniors. (House Vote – HR 5 Roll Call Vote 126)
April 16, 2012: Shelley Berkley “stopped short Wednesday of urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the federal health care law supported by Democrats and abhorred by Republicans” and “declined to defend the law” even after voting for it so many times. (Cristina Silva, Rep. Berkley champions small businesses in Vegas, Associated Press, 4/16/12)
April 27, 2012: Shelley Berkley voted against repealing ObamaCare slush funds to prevent student interest rate hikes. (Roll Call 195, Clerk of the U.S. House, 4/27/2012)
June 8, 2012: Shelley Berkley voted against repealing a 2.3% tax on medical devices created by ObamaCare, even though she said that the tax “will be very detrimental to patients.” (Steve Tetreault, “Berkley shifts on medical equipment tax,” Steve Tetreault, June 7, 2012)
WASHINGTON – Earlier today, the House of Representatives voted on a bipartisan basis to repeal the president’s health care law.
Following the repeal vote, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan issued the following statement:
“Despite the Supreme Court upholding much of the health care law, it is not its role to determine the policy merits of the law. That falls to the elected representatives of the people. For that reason, the House acted to repeal this misguided law to begin replacing it with patient-centered solutions.
“The president’s health care overhaul is already hurting workers, seniors, taxpayers and our future fiscal health. This law fails to slow down the unsustainable growth in health care spending and completely dodges the necessary reforms to preserve the Medicare guarantee for future generations of seniors. Its taxes, penalties, fees and regulations will stifle job creation and its budget gimmicks can’t hide the trillions of dollars of new government spending that will only cause our dire fiscal situation to further erode.
“We must advance common-sense solutions to tackle the challenges in health care by inviting choice and competition into the system. True reform will fix the inequities in our tax system while addressing the structural flaws in Medicare and Medicaid to give patients and doctors greater control of their health care decisions. We can provide universal access to health care without a budget-busting takeover by the federal government.
“With the right kind of leadership in place, I am confident that we can advance real health care solutions in this country. The power now rests with the American people to decide the ultimate fate of this disastrous law.”