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>Can We Trust Newsmax Anymore Than Bill McCullom?

> Rick Scott may or may not be guilty of the fraud allegations found in Steve Forbes article below. But as he says, “Legally the other participants in this case are bound by confidentiality agreements that won’t let them explain what really happened. Scott can waive that restriction – but won’t even though he is a candidate for governor.” 


   Steve Forbes isn’t an attorney and has no right advising us as if he were. I doubt he went to law school. But he knows that anyone involved in a fraud case has the right and the duty to the court not to reveal to editorial boards, reporters, and e-zines like Newsmax any particulars of the case. Notice, Scott hasn’t made counter allegations against anyone. This is a law suit, and if Scott or anyone else revealed that kind of information the Judge could hit them with stiff penalties and maybe even jail time. 

   It isn’t the case against Rick Scott that bothers me and the real Tea Party people (not the phony Florida one that has been discredited even by Dick Armey) so much. In the end the people will decide who will face the Democrat in the elections. But it is the persistent way Newsmax has attacked this man, not looking at the positives about having a non-career politician running for governor, that bothers me. Is it because Newsmax is really not a conservative news organ? 
   Who are you working for, the Bilderberg Club? Forbes doesn’t live in Florida. How much did you pay him to write that article.

   When the Tea Parties emerged, we the common folk thought people would turn their backs on career politicians like Bill McCollum. He’s been in Congress way back when Reagan was president. That’s not a plus in our minds, but a negative. Why couldn’t you have backed a citizen candidate who promised two terms only? And backed a new face? 
   Why so much of the negative about Rick Scott and nothing on the negatives about McCollum? Fair and balanced reporting, remember?
   They are out there if you look. But you don’t. Your man Bill isn’t shinny, faultless, and without glitches. What about the fact that he took a long time coming around to the idea that he was for an Arizona-type immigration bill? Then at the last minute, he made a political decision, not one that was made for the good of the people of Florida. We’re way ahead of him on many issues. Lest you conveniently forgot or don’t know, he flip-flopped on that issue, saying Arizona’s bill was too far out there for him. But why isn’t it too far out now? Is that the kind of true leadership we can expect from Bill McCollum? I hope not. If it is, all of us might as well vote for the Democrat in November.
   Power corrupts. He’s a long-time poilitician. If we examined him and found him to be perfect and that power hasn’t corrupted him, all of us would be mighty surprised. The longer we examined Bill McCollum the more glitches we would find. I’m a conservative who is very disappointed in the outsiders like Romney, Newt, Forbes, and the entire Republican Party 
(that has been as crooked at times as hell taking kickbacks, earmarks, and making deals) — that they should decide for us Floridians who who we should vote for and who should govern us in Tallahassee?
   Why don’t you write an article and tell us why Obama visited Newsmax and what shady deals you made with him? Obviously, all Newsmax is interested in is making money. The news and editorials are merely teasers to get people to read. That’s okay, if you are fair and balanced, which I haven’t seen.
Don White
Windermere, FL

— On Mon, 8/23/10, Newsmax.com  wrote:

From: Newsmax.com
Subject: Forbes: You Can’t Trust Rick Scott
To: “dusanotes@yahoo.com”
Date: Monday, August 23, 2010, 1:15 PM

Newsmax.com
Breaking from Newsmax.com

Forbes: You Can’t Trust Rick Scott

By Steve Forbes
As someone who twice ran for president, I understand the circus atmosphere that can surround a campaign, but I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like the week Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott has had. Even as Scott remains unwilling to address his true role in the HCA/Columbia hospital chain’s criminal conduct when he was its CEO, new questions have been raised about allegedly similar fraudulent practices at his most recent healthcare venture.
Being a much bigger fan of disclosure than Scott is, I’ll say up front that I am supporting his opponent, Attorney General Bill McCollum. I’ve known Bill for many years. He’s an experienced leader with a fine record on conservative issues.
It’s going to take a lot of hard work for Florida to replace the more than 900,000 jobs the state lost during the recession. Bill’s economic plan, which will cut taxes, freeze property tax increases and remove regulatory roadblocks, will help get Florida’s economy moving again.
Rick Scott could have heard more about that economic plan had he not skipped out on the only statewide debate. Scott’s absence also deprived Florida’s voters of a golden opportunity to hear him answer the questions that continue to dog his campaign, like:
What did he know about his HCA’s criminal conduct?
Scott was CEO of HCA at a time when the company was systematically overcharging Medicare with fraudulent claims. Although Scott says he accepts responsibility for what happened, he refuses to explain what that actually means, since he also claims he never knew anything was amiss, right up to the point when the company pleaded guilty to 14 felonies in five states. How can Scott run on his record of managerial competence when he had no idea his company was engaged in widespread illegal activity? Of course, Rick Scott wasn’t done after HCA.
Since the last company Scott ran racked up unprecedented fines, shouldn’t he have been extra careful to make sure his new company didn’t repeat those mistakes?
So you’d think. However, two former doctors for Solantic, a chain of walk-in urgent care centers Scott co-founded after HCA’s board of directors dismissed him, describe a variety of unethical and fraudulent business practices in lawsuits against the company.
According to media reports, one doctor says he saw evidence of systematic overbilling, with Solantic charging Medicare for doctors’ visits when the patient had only been treated by a nurse. A former operations manager confirmed that these types of practices were “rampant” and amounted to “tens of thousands of dollars a month” in fraudulent government reimbursements.
A second doctor sued Solantic, claiming his medical license had been used without his permission in an effort to circumvent Florida’s legal safeguards for clinics. Just six days before entering the race, Scott was deposed in this case. But Scott refuses to discuss the case and will not release the videotape deposition or its 75-page transcript, calling it a “private matter.” Scott, though, voluntarily made himself a public figure when he ran for governor. Voters rightfully want to know what kind of person this wannabe governor truly is. Fraud allegations are no “private matter.”
Legally the other participants in this case are bound by confidentiality agreements that won’t let them explain what really happened. Scott can waive that restriction – but won’t even though he is a candidate for governor.
Just like Scott skipped out on the debate, he’s also refusing to meet with newspaper editorial boards, and is spending the limited time he talks with reporters stonewalling. Which leaves just one more question for Republican voters to ponder.
What else don’t they know about Rick Scott?
Steve Forbes is editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine and a former presidential candidate. 
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>Not All Democrats Are In Love With Obama

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Democrat Blue Dogs Fewer in Number, But Stronger in Bite

Who are the real Blue Dogs?

The question irks leaders of the fiscally conservative coalition of House Democrats, which made solid gains in 2008 and now includes 49 members. Every one of them is sincerely committed to reducing the federal deficit, they say. Of the 49, however, only six of them voted against President Obama’s $789 billion economic stimulus package despite their stated, laser-like focus on balancing the budget. Obama’s plan, by his own acknowledgement, will increase the deficit in the short term by roughly $200 billion. (Another five Blue Dogs who had opposed Obama’s original plan switched to “yes” votes on the final version).
Obama is working to court Blue Dogs. The president invited them to the White House on Feb. 10 and focused their hour-long meeting on curbing federal spending rather than boosting the deficit. “We feel like he is committed to fiscal responsibility,” Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), one of the Blue Dogs who switched to ultimately support the president’s plan, told reporters after the meeting.
Blue Dogs claim Obama’s recent promise to cut the deficit in half by 2012 is a result of their efforts. “This week alone, President Obama is doing more to address the serious long-term fiscal problems facing our country than former President Bush and his congressional allies did during his entire 8-year tenure in office,” said Blue Dog Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.).
Read the Newsmax story.

>Rahm Emanuel Is Going Down

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Breaking from Newsmax.com

Emanuel Pushed Blagojevich to Appoint Obama Loyalists
Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama‘s incoming chief of staff, held numerous conversations with indicted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich pushing candidates for Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. Those conversations are on tape and in the hands of federal investigators.
Read the Full Story – Go Here Now
Special: Obama’s Illegal Donations Ignored
Illinois Scandal’s Weight Grows on Obama
The Healing Powers of Vinegar: Immunity, Heart, Weight Control

>Four Big US Automaker Lies

>Newsmax gives us four reasons for opposing a bailout for American auto makers. All signs point to a government-backed auto industry bailout, but Newsmax makes a great argument that this crisis is swaddled in myth, spin, and outright lies.

1. Detroit’s wages really aren’t out of sync with those of auto workers in other countries.

It has been well established that total compensation for U.S. auto workers, including pensions and benefits, comes in around $70 per hour. That compares to $45 per hour for Japanese workers.

But some auto industry supporters have distorted the argument. They use the American workers’ hourly wage without benefits – about $30 an hour – and compare that number to the $45 hourly total compensation for Japanese workers. Then they claim that U.S. auto makers are actually more labor efficient than their Japanese counterparts.

2. The auto industry is unique and therefore must be bailed out.

It’s true that auto companies, including suppliers, etc., account for about 3 percent of economic output and employ at least 1 million people. But those numbers aren’t dependent on the financial status of the Big Three.

If the companies go into bankruptcy and come out stronger, the industry will employ about the same amount of people. If not, foreign auto makers will produce more cars in the U.S. and pick up many of these workers.

Plenty other uniquely American industries are taking it on the chin, and no one is calling for a bailout of those sectors. Take newspapers for example. One could argue they are far more important for the functioning of our democracy than the Big Three auto companies.

3. Bankruptcy for the Big Three will mean the end of the U.S. auto industry.

That is simply poppycock. A prepackaged bankruptcy actually could leave the major automakers in better shape than they were prior to the financial crisis. Since the mid-1990s, the Big Three made most of their money on gas guzzling SUVs and trucks. That simply won’t cut it anymore. Bankruptcy will force the auto makers to quicken their shift to smaller cars.

Plenty of companies have emerged stronger from bankruptcy. Nearly all the major airlines have gone through that process and came out stronger than when they entered.
4. A limited aid package now will ensure the industry’s long-term future.

The amount of money being bandied about, $15 billion to $25 billion, is chump change. GM and Chrysler are bleeding $2 billion in cash a month. So the high end of the bailout range keeps them in business for about a year. Then what? Without major changes in their business model, they’ll simply be coming back to Washington with their hands out again.

Newsmax says automakers should follow Chrysler’s 1980s success story: create a viable business plan for the future and get private sources to fund it.

>Some Don’t Want A Financial Bailout

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Newsmax’s Ben Stein is angry that the Treasury Department is bailing out the banks and Wall Street.

Now, that’s a new twist. Are there others of you–especially taxpayers–who feel a bailout is not in order?

Apparently Stein, an economist, author, former presidential speech writer, and occasional actor, is angry about the current “economic earthquake” that he says has rattled U.S. and global markets and he wants everyone to know.

Newsmax says Ben is particularly peeved with the $700 billion proposed Wall Street bailout and its architect, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, but it appears he’s most peeved about the fact that Paulson in 2006 as CEO of a large Wall Street firm, Goldman Sachs, took an eighteen million bonus. But nowhere do I see where the government is contemplating the bailout of Goldman. They haven’t even been mentioned, and we all hope they are in the clear. So what’s all this shouting by make believe school teacher Ben Stein about? Apparently, it’s his way of getting his writing career off and running with Newsmax, but it isn’t selling.

Bloomberg.com has weighed in with an article headlined “Wall Street’s Woes May Be Wall Street’s Fault, U.S. Chiefs Say.” Written by Christopher Donville and Chris Burritt, the article says that the

“At the end of the day we are here because we have moved from sound fundamentals of doing business to shady get-rich- quick programs,” Dan DiMicco, chief executive officer of steelmaker Nucor Corp., said in an e-mail Sept. 19. “It is very discouraging that we have come to this point through gross mismanagement and greed and the wrong kinds of regulatory rules changes over the last several years.”

As we reported in earlier blogs, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson devised a proposal over the weekend aimed at averting a credit freeze that would bring the financial system and economic growth to a halt. The plan, which is being considered and elaborated on by lawmakers, follows the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the government takeover of American International Group Inc. last week.

A collapse of the financial industry might leave U.S. corporations unable to raise money to build new plants, invest in research or even pay salaries, and might threaten to throw the country into an economic depression.

The Securities and Exchange Commission banned short selling — the sale of borrowed shares by investors betting on a drop in the stock — on shares of 799 financial companies through Oct. 2 to limit declines. Meanwhile, Paulson, who headed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. until two years ago, called for the use of public funds to buy $700 billion of bad mortgage investments by financial institutions.

In a CNN interview, Stein said Paulson should be “fired yesterday.” If Stein had a brain he would tell us why, when all the evidence points at his being able to keep the company he led out in front and profitable despite other firms that have gone under.

“Paulson is a disgrace to the Republican Party and to his country,” said Stein. Another target of Stein’s ire is Wall Street itself.

Stein says he’d like to see President Bush on national TV “with Mr. Obama to his left and Mr. McCain to his right and say we are going to make sure that you Americans are going to stop being looted by Wall Street.” Now, this is something I can agree with him on. It’s high time the Administration takes a strong stand against using taxpayer money to bail out business.

This bail-out stuff is not a Republican principle, and it sure as heck isn’t what we learned in college “Private Enterprise 101” because the next step is printing a big red sign on the Statue of Liberty calling “America, The Land of Political Takeovers and Bailouts.”

“It’s a first-class disaster. The worst Treasury regulation of the economy in my lifetime…” says Stein. “The effect of this on the ordinary investor and pre-retiree … is just catastrophic for the free enterprise system.”

John Gapper, the Financial Times columnist, has a simpler solution: Get Henry Paulson to give some money back.

Well, Gapper, that would be appropriate if Paulson had done anything to break a law or make the bailouts unnecessary. But he didn’t. He ran a tight ship at Goldman Sachs. The worst we can say is that he isn’t a prophet and didn’t see this coming. But, then, neither did Congress, the president and millions of Americans.

“Mr. Paulson now declares himself shocked,” says Gapper, “shocked that structured finance was going on Wall Street but he was there at the time, and the $18.7 million bonus he received for the first half of 2006 presumably reflected it.” That’s what Gapper wrote on his FT blog, but I don’t think he knows what he’s talking about. He’s just like a lot of other Americans, angry, and wants to lash out at anyone in sight.

Yes, Paulson was “there” for two years. But this didn’t come about overnight. We were heading into it during the administration of Bill Clinton and Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin who, with Alan Greenspan’s help, printed up all that money to make the dollar worth next to nothing, to make the stock market soar out of control.

Then there were Congressmen Barney Frank, Charlie Rangle and their ilk with their left-wing liberality, their shouts that down echoed down the halls of Congress calling for looser loan requirements for the “poor” and Bush fell for it. That’s really what caused this problem. And it all stems from the Democrats’ innate desire to get re-elected at all costs and to patronize poor black folks, many of whom felt they couldn’t get those bank loans more qualified people were getting bcause of racial discrimination. At least that’s what Frank and Rangle pounded into their heads.

Listen to Gapper speculate: “I wonder if, as a public gesture, Mr. Paulson might consider handing that bonus over to the Treasury’s fund and lowering the U.S. taxpayer’s bill by $18.7 million?” Now, Mr. Gapper, that would be very fine and I’m all for it, but to be fair, every person who made profits on Wall Street the past ten years–especially since 2005–should do likewise and then we the taxpayers wouldn’t have to shell out anything, now would we?

>Profiling By Secret Service?

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Secret Service Denies Ron Suskind’s Account

Aug 28, 2008
The Secret Service has no record that supports a central claim in Ron Suskind’s new book that the agency detained and interrogated a Pakistani man in the basement of the White House, Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan tells Newsmax.

In “The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism,” Suskind alleges that President Bush ordered the CIA to forge a letter to demonstrate a link between Iraq and al-Qaida in the run-up to the Iraq war — an assertion that the Bush White House and a string of former CIA officials have called absurd.

But the tale Suskind tells about the Pakistani man is even more absurd.

Read the full story by Ronald Kessler.