Because only Democrats face political harassment …

Audio of the unedited call to Rep. Jean Schmidt’s (R-OH) office (asterisks added by me for clean-up purposes):

Speaker: “Yeah, I’m glad the president passed health care. Yeah. Funky a**, racist-a** Republicans hate that, don’t you? Jean Schmitt, when you got hit by that car, you should’ve broke your back, b*tch. And Boehner, motherf*cker…that Mitch McConnell. All you racist f*cking Republicans. Why don’t you just change your party name to racist? Cuz if one of those f*cking Tea baggers had spit on me, I’d have shot all them in the f*cking face with my f*cking 9 millimeter. F*ck all you racist motherf*ckers.”

The audio is at that same link.

So far, I’ve only seen this reported via one MSM outlet – Fox. Wonder why other MSM outlets have failed to report this? Well, not really. I know why. x( Surprisingly, the AP reported on this but made it a minor part of their reporting on recent political harassment and threats.

This is just getting nuts. The violence and the threats need to stop. So does the left’s demagoguing them for political gain.

I appreciate how Rep. Cantor used the opportunity to today after the reporting of the shot fired at his campaign office not to politicize but instead to condemn Democrat politicizing of some people crossing the line:

At his news conference, Cantor went on to scold Democrats, saying some were trying to use the threats and violence to make political hay. Such “legitimate threats should be treated as security issues. …It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain.” He named Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Democratic National Campaign Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, saying the two “are dangerously fanning the flames by suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon.”

Both Van Hollen and Kaine have decried the heated statements from health care opponents.

Democrats shot back. “Let’s be clear: calling on Republican leaders who have contributed in part to this anger by wildly mischaracterizing the substance and motives of health reform to condemn these acts is entirely appropriate,” DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement. He called on Republicans to “ratchet down the rhetoric, condemn deplorable behavior.”

Van Hollen’s office had no immediate comment.

UPDATE: The Richmond Police Department released the following statement:

The Richmond Police Department is investigating an act of vandalism at the Reagan Building, 25 E. Main St., Richmond, Virginia. A first floor window was struck by a bullet at approximately 1 a.m. on Tuesday, March 23. The building, which has several tenants including an office used by Congressman Eric Cantor, was unoccupied at the time.

A Richmond Police detective was assigned to the case. A preliminary investigation shows that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds. There was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman.

The Richmond Police Department is sharing information about the incident with appropriate law enforcement agencies.

At this time there are no suspects.

UPDATE #2: Van Hollen spokesman Doug Thornell released this statement: “Yesterday, Congressman Van Hollen called upon Republican leaders to condemn the harsh rhetoric that is fanning the flames of extremism around the country. Today, Mr. Cantor had the opportunity to join Mr. Van Hollen in calling for restraint. Instead, he chose to use his press conference to level false accusations. This is straight out of the Republicans’ political playbook of deflecting responsibility and distracting attention away from a serious issue.”

UPDATE #3: Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring responds: “With all due respect, perhaps the DCCC Chairman should listen to Mr. Cantor’s statement where he repeatedly called for restraint and condemned violence. It’s very simple. If Chairman Van Hollen misspoke, he should correct the record, and if not, he and the DCCC should accept responsibility for their actions.”

Won’t happen.

Businesses already announcing hits as a result of the passage of ObamaCare

Via the Wall Street Journal:

Democrats dragged themselves over the health-care finish line in part by repeating that voters would like the plan once it passed. Let’s see what they think when they learn their insurance costs will jump right away.

Even before President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, Caterpillar said it would cost the company at least $100 million more in the first year alone. Medical device maker Medtronic warned that new taxes on its products could force it to lay off a thousand workers. Now Verizon joins the roll of businesses staring at adverse consequences.

In an email titled “President Obama Signs Health Care Legislation” sent to all employees Tuesday night, the telecom giant warned that “we expect that Verizon’s costs will increase in the short term.” While executive vice president for human resources Marc Reed wrote that “it is difficult at this point to gauge the precise impact of this legislation,” and that ObamaCare does reflect some of the company’s policy priorities, the message to workers was clear: Expect changes for the worse to your health benefits as the direct result of this bill, and maybe as soon as this year.

Mr. Reed specifically cited a change in the tax treatment of retiree health benefits. When Congress created the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003, it included a modest tax subsidy to encourage employers to keep drug plans for retirees, rather than dumping them on the government. The Employee Benefit Research Institute says this exclusion—equal to 28% of the cost of a drug plan—will run taxpayers $665 per person next year, while the same Medicare coverage would cost $1,209.

In a $5.4 billion revenue grab, Democrats decided that this $665 fillip should be subject to the ordinary corporate income tax of 35%. Most consulting firms and independent analysts say the higher costs will induce some companies to drop drug coverage, which could affect about five million retirees and 3,500 businesses. Verizon and other large corporations warned about this outcome.

U.S. accounting laws also require businesses to immediately restate their earnings in light of the higher tax burden on their long-term retiree health liabilities. This will have a big effect on their 2010 earnings.

CNBC reports John Deere will be taking an ObamaCare hit as well:

Farm equipment maker Deere expects after-tax expenses to rise by $150 million this year as a result of the health care reform law President Barack Obama signed this week.

Most of the higher expense will come in Deere’s [DE 60.20 -0.29 (-0.48%) ] second quarter, the company said on Thursday. The expense was not included in the company’s earlier 2010 forecast, which called for net income of about $1.3 billion.

Ed Morrissey breaks it down:

Now we have two American-based manufacturers that suddenly have a quarter of a billion dollars less capital than they did on Saturday. That’s just two companies. How much more capital will that grab from American businesses? We’ll start seeing it in their financial disclosures soon enough, and it will run into the tens of billions of dollars, perhaps more.

Some may say, Well, great! It pays for ObamaCare. It also takes the cash that would have fueled expansion, new job creation, and retirement income and sticks it into the hands of government bureaucrats. It will massively bleed the economy at a point in time where we desperately need the private sector to invest in itself and create new jobs and new opportunities.

Instead, those manufacturing jobs will simply go outside the US. If John Deere or Caterpillar doesn’t move them overseas, then foreign manufacturers will take up the slack instead. There would have been no good time for ObamaCare, but this is the absolutely worst time of all to impose these backbreaking taxes on the private sector. Expect unemployment to remain high, and perhaps even go higher, as a result of Congress’ work.

To describe this administration as mind-numbingly clueless is an understatement.

What will be another negative and dangerous side effect from these businesses seeing ballooning costs in their healthcare coverage? Again, back to the WSJ, which hints around at the consequences:

While the drug tax subsidy is for retirees, companies consider their benefit costs as a total package. The new bill might cause some to drop retiree coverage altogether. Others may be bound by labor contracts to retirees, but then they will find other ways to cut costs. This means raising costs or reducing coverage for other employees. So much for Mr. Obama’s claim that if you like your coverage, you can keep it—even at Fortune 500 companies.

In its employee note, Verizon also warned about the 40% tax on high-end health plans, though that won’t take effect until 2018. “Many of the plans that Verizon offers to employees and retirees are projected to have costs above the threshold in the legislation and will be subject to the 40 percent excise tax.” These costs will start to show up soon, and, as we repeatedly argued, the tax is unlikely to drive down costs. The tax burden will simply be spread to all workers—the result of the White House’s too-clever decision to tax insurers, rather than individuals.

Simply put, the cost of the employer-based healthcare coverage could be too expensive for many employees, so some will either drop or waive coverage from their employer and instead seek to be covered by – you guessed it – a “public option” healthcare plan, a “public option” that could eventually lead to single payer. And does this come as a shock to anyone? Nope, considering that our very own celebrity President said this three years ago:

“As I indicated before, I think that we’re going to have to have some system where people can buy into a larger pool. Right now their pool typically is the employer, but there are other ways of doing it. I would like to — I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort. But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out where we’ve got a much more portable system.”

Mission soon to be accomplished?

Breaking: Eric Cantor’s VA campaign office shot at

Just got the email alert from Fox News but as of yet no story link.

Update – 12:28 PM: Here’s the link/story:

Republican Rep. Eric Cantor’s Richmond campaign office was shot at Wednesday night, Fox News has learned, the latest in a rash of apparent threats and acts of intimidation against members of Congress.

Most of the threats so far have been reported by Democrats, but Cantor — the No. 2 Republican in the House — is one of about 10 lawmakers who has asked for increased security protection, Fox News has learned. As a member of the House leadership, U.S. Capitol Police already provide Cantor with a security detail around the clock, but he has asked for more security.

As House Republican whip, Cantor is the highest elected Jewish politician in the country.

The Department of Homeland Security is involved in the Cantor case because he is a member of the House leadership.

Fox News has also obtained a threatening message left Friday on the voicemail of Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio.

Politico, Rep. Carnahan smear ObamaCare opponents over “coffin” incident

Sigh:

A coffin was placed on a Missouri Democrat’s lawn, another in a string of incidents against lawmakers after their vote Sunday on a health care overhaul.

Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) had a coffin placed “near his home,” a spokesman said Wednesday evening.

The coffin was from a prayer vigil.

This came after Rep. Tom Perriello’s (D-Va.) brother’s gas lines were cut, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) received death threats and Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) received a message saying snipers were being deployed to kill children of those who voted for health care overhaul.

Several other Democrats have had threats leveled against them, prompting a closed-door briefing of Democratic members by the FBI, Capitol Police and the House Sergeant at Arms.

The St Louis Tea Party blog slams the Politico report and has a screen cap of the original story published at the Politico’s webiste, which mentioned nothing initially about the fact that the coffin was -as the Tea Party blog noted – part of a well-publicized prayer vigil, rather than being put there by some fringe loner as a threat to Rep. Carnahan. Strangely enough, even in light of this evidence, Politico still felt the need to keep this story, which clearly equates a prayer vigil that included a coffin that was supposed to symolize future deaths as a result of the ObamaCare bill to actual threats of violence towards members of Congress, posted on their website. If this bothers you, make sure you let them know.

For more on the Politico smear – and the false report filed by Carnahan – click here and here.

Lastly, the gents at Power Line have a must-read on the issue of political threats:

We condemn political violence in virtually all circumstances; certainly in all circumstances that could arise in our democracy. Threats of violence, sadly, are not uncommon in politics; let alone “harassment.” Even insignificant conservatives like us have been threatened with violence on several occasions, and the linked article notes that Jim Bunning received threats after he temporarily held up the extension of unemployment benefits a few weeks ago.

The current threats (assuming they are real, as I assume some of them are) are being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted over their adoption of a government medicine program through a series of legislative maneuvers that are in some respects unprecedented. It is important for the Democrats and their press minions to understand that there are many millions of Americans who regard Obamacare not just as misguided public policy, but as an illegitimate usurpation of power. I am one of the many millions who are outraged at the Left’s attempt to destroy the private health care system that has served my family so well, and who regard Obamacare as illegitimate.

As for the threats, we will take them more seriously if they result in the cancellation of a public appearance by a liberal due to security concerns. But that never happens to liberals, only to conservatives. It happened again last night. That was in Canada, of course; the home of government medicine and little regard for free speech. No coincidence, that.

In large part, the current focus on threats of violence is aimed at the tea partiers, just as they were accused, apparently falsely, of racism. It is not hard to understand the Democrats’ motives; the tea parties are the most vital force, and likely the most popular force, in American politics, so smearing them is mandatory. But anyone who has attended a tea party rally will consider laughable the idea that the movement somehow tends toward violence.

Make sure to read the whole thing.

ObamaCare monstrosity will have to be sent back to House for another vote

Teehee. I love it:

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans learned early Thursday that they will be able to kill language in a measure altering President Barack Obama’s newly enacted health care overhaul, meaning the bill will have to return to the House for final congressional approval.

It appeared initially that deleting the provisions, dealing with Pell grants for low-income students, should not cause major problems for Democrats hoping to rush the bill to Obama and avoid prolonging what has been a politically painful ordeal for the party. Democrats described the situation as a minor glitch, but did not rule out that Republicans might be able to remove additional sections of the bill.

This is what happens when you don’t read the bill for which you’re voting. Maybe we should “thank” Nancy Pelosi, who suggested a couple of weeks ago that Congress must pass the bill so America could find out “what was in it.” What she didn’t say was that it apparently needed to be passed so that members of Congress who voted for it could find out what was in it, too.

Michelle Malkin burned the midnight oil last night and has the latest developments on the various amendments to the bill proposed by Senate Republicans, all of which (I believe) were defeated going into the wee hours of the morning. And they said that the GOP were the “obstructionists” …