A Caution To Conservatives

William F. Buckley is said to have stated that Conservatives should ‘support the most viable conservative candidate.’ That’s a very important statement.

The exact quote:

“The wisest choice would be the one who would win. No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest. I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win.”
-William F. Buckley Jr.

Right now there are two parties in Washington–the first is composed of the Democrats and the establishment Republicans, and the second is composed of the conservatives who have been elected since 2010. The 2014 mid-terms are important. They will determine whether the Democrats and establishment Republicans continue their tax and spend ways or if fiscal sanity makes an appearance.

Many Republican candidates who have been in office for a while are being challenged for the first time in primary campaigns by more conservative candidates. There is nothing wrong with the fact that establishment candidates are being challenged, but I have a word of caution.

In a world of instant news, cell phones that record and take pictures, twitter and facebook, candidates need to be more disciplined than they ever have been. Because the opposition is more than willing to take any comment out of context and twist words, candidates need to adhere to a specific group of lukewarm comments in order to get elected. I am not suggesting that candidates lie or misrepresent themselves, but I am saying that discipline on the part of the candidates will be crucial to this election.

Primary elections are important. You can judge a candidate by the way he runs his primary campaign–does he speak without thinking, does he make statements that cause him to have to  backtrack, is he respectful of the people who come out to hear him and eventually support him?

My advice to conservatives is simple–make sure your candidates are ready for prime time. Otherwise, you will be wasting money and time and accomplishing nothing.

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Candidates Forum In New Bern

Last Night I attended the Candidate Forum at the Stanly Hall Ballroom in New Bern, North Carolina. The forum was sponsored by the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. The candidates attending included Republicans and Democrats running for office at various levels of government including the U. S. Senate the U. S. House of Representatives, the North Carolina Senate, the North Carolina House of Representatives, and various other state and county offices. It was a very informative night, and I encourage you if you live in an area that does candidate forums, to attend one–they are worth attending. On May 6th North Carolina voters will go to the polls to vote in a primary election. Many of the candidates for office have primary challenges. Be an informed voter.

It would take forever to detail what each candidate said, so I am going to simply list general impressions of a few candidates who stood out.

Greg Brannon is impressive. His off-the-cuff knowledge of the U.S. Constitution is inspiring. He is definitely ready for prime time. His answers to questions were clear and concise, and there was nothing he had to backtrack on as the questions continued. It was also interesting to see that some of the other candidates deferred to him on Constitutional questions. There were a number of candidates who made statements during the question and answer period that they had to backtrack on. I suspect they will be working on this before the election.

I was also impressed by Norm Sanderson and Michael Speciale. Norm Sanderson is serving is freshman term in the North Carolina Senate, and Michael Speciale is serving his freshman term in the North Carolina House. Both men had clear ideas on what needs to be done in North Carolina and clear plans for instituting those ideas.

I was also impressed by George Liner, running for Craven County Board of Commissioners. When asked a question about the Craven County tall structures laws and how they would protect people and property values from a wind farm, he was already aware of the potential problems that would arise. He seemed well prepared to hold the office if he is elected.

All of the candidates had an opportunity to state their reasons for running and their positions on various subjects. It was a very informative evening. As a new resident of this area, I learned a lot at the forum. It was very helpful to me to see the candidates and hear what they considered the major issues facing the state and local communities.

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The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost

Even though the November election is seven months away, this is the election season. One of the goals of the Democrat party during this season is to convince Americans that ObamaCare is a good thing and that we like it. So far that effort is not going particularly well. Based on some numbers posted by Forbes Magazine, it is about to get worse.

Yesterday Forbes Magazine posted an article with the following headline:

Health Plan Premiums Are Skyrocketing According To New Survey Of 148 Insurance Brokers, With Delaware Up 100%, California 53%, Florida 37%, Pennsylvania 28%

Democrats may be okay with those numbers, but to a lot of Americans, those numbers represent one more broken promise in ObamaCare.

The article reports:

Health insurance premiums are showing the sharpest increases perhaps ever according to a survey of brokers who sell coverage in the individual and small group market. Morgan Stanley’s healthcare analysts conducted the proprietary survey of 148 brokers. The April survey shows the largest acceleration in small and individual group rates in any of the 12 prior quarterly periods when it has been conducted.

The average increases are in excess of 11% in the small group market and 12% in the individual market. Some state show increases 10 to 50 times that amount. The analysts conclude that the “increases are largely due to changes under the ACA.”

Not only has ObamaCare wrecked the American healthcare system, it has spent massive amounts of money to do so and has placed enormous financial burdens on Americans trying to purchase the required healthcare. It is truly time for ObamaCare to go away.

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When Cuts Aren’t Cuts

The CATO Institute posted an article yesterday about Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal.

The article included this chart which tracks spending in the coming years under Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed budget:

The chart below compares Paul Ryan’s budget against the CBO projections of the federal budget:

Notice that there are no actual spending cuts in Paul Ryan’s budget–it simply represents a slower rate of growth.

The article reports:

Chairman Ryan’s budget would spend $42.6 trillion over the next ten years. Opponents will say that Ryan’s budget slashes federal spending, while supporters will say that it includes large budgetary savings. The reality is that Ryan’s budget would increase spending at an annual average rate of 3.5 percent, or from $3.54 trillion in 2014 to $5.0 trillion in 2024. Only in Washington would that be considered substantial restraint, let alone slashing.

Until we change the culture of Washington, we can expect to see Congress drive America into bankruptcy. If you want to see change, you need to change the people you vote for. Continually voting for the people who keep spending high will not result in lower spending.  Most of the establishment Republicans (as well as the Democrats) have forgotten their promises to cut spending. Those Republicans need to be replaced by people who will remember their promises.

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Where Does Your Tax Money Go

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article showing some of the details of President Obama’s proposed budget.

The article includes the following chart:

This chart illustrates the fact that 70% of all the money the federal government spends will be in the form of direct payments to individuals.

The article reports:

In effect, the government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine, taking $2.6 trillion from some and handing it back out to others. These government transfers now account for 15% of GDP, another all-time high. In 1991, direct payments accounted for less than half the budget and 10% of GDP.

…Where do these checks go? The biggest chunk, 38.6%, goes to pay health bills, either through Medicare, Medicaid or ObamaCare. A third goes out in the form of Social Security checks. Only 21% goes toward poverty programs — or “income security” as it’s labeled in the budget — and a mere 5% ends up in the hands of veterans.

The fact that so much of the federal spending is going toward direct payments makes it very difficult to cut the budget. Rather than cut these payments, the government is forced to cut programs it is actually constitutionally required to fund, such as defense.

The bottom line here is simple. We need to elect fiscal conservatives to Congress. We have reached the point where Democrats and establishment Republicans are no longer fighting over cutting spending–they are simply fighting over who will control the out-of-control spending. It is time for a change. It is also time to understand that Democrats and establishment Republicans will be working against that change.

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Things That Happen In An Election Year

Yesterday’s Washington Post reported that seven Senate Democrats voted with the Republicans to block the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile as chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Adegbile voluntarily took up the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, after Black Panther member Abu-Jamal was convicted of the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

The article reminds us that these votes were not about principle, they are about politics:

A senior aide to one of the senators who voted against the nominee said several senators’ offices were “very angry” at the White House for moving ahead with the nomination even though it could leave Democrats who are facing tough reelection races vulnerable to attack ads.

…Reid had spoken in defense of Adegbile and initially voted in favor but later switched his vote to no, making him the eighth Democrat to vote against the nominee. But Reid did so only to reserve his right as Senate leader to bring up the nomination again. Later Wednesday, aides couldn’t say whether that will happen.

Under President Obama, the Justice Department has become very politicized. Had the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile been allowed to proceed, the Justice Department would have become even more political. In the beginning of the Obama Administration, the direction of the Justice Department became clear when the New Black Panthers were not prosecuted for voter intimidation. In the past, the Justice Department has not been a political arm of the President’s political party. Hopefully, when we are free of the Obama Administration in 2016, the Justice Department will go back to being an impartial judge of the laws of America. We can probably expect the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to appear again after the 2014 mid-term elections.

 

 

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Pictures vs. Words

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article quoting a leak to the Washington Post on President Obama’s proposed budget. The Washington Post reported: “With 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to era of austerity:”

It has always been my belief that a picture is worth a thousand words. From Yahoo.com:

federalspending

Where is the austerity?

However, there is more to the problem.

John Hinderaker reminds us:

But wait! Democrats and Republicans agreed on discretionary spending levels that supposedly were binding for a decade to come in the Budget Control Act, which included the sequester. Just a few months ago, the Ryan-Murray compromise modified the sequester and increased discretionary spending. That bipartisan agreement was supposed to put spending debates to rest for at least the next couple of years. Now, apparently, the Obama administration intends to throw all prior agreements into the trash can, and demand still higher spending.

This illustrates a point that I have made over and over: all budget agreements that purport to achieve savings over a long period of time, usually a decade, are a farce. The savings always come in the “out years,” but the out years never arrive. Once you get past the current fiscal year, budget agreements are not worth the paper they are printed on. For Republicans to agree to more spending today in exchange for hypothetical cuts in later years is folly–those cuts will never come.

Leadership in both political parties do not desire to cut federal spending. Their debate is only over which party will control the massive spending. That is why it is imperative that we change the establishment leadership of the Republican party. The Republicans used to be the party of small government, there is hope that they can be again. The Democrats have always supported big government. The only solution to this problem is new leadership in the Republican party.

 

 

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More IRS Abuses Are Coming To Light

On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal posted an article about the IRS targeting conservative groups for audits. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp has stated that the committee’s continuing investigation has found that the IRS also singled out established conservative tax-exempt groups for audits. That is not a surprise when you consider the harassment that donors to conservative causes underwent during the run-up to the 2012 election. As I have previously mentioned, my husband and I were audited for the first time in 45 years. The auditors found nothing, but it took them almost a year to find nothing.

The Democrats in Congress are currently attempting to pass laws that would severely limit the free speech of conservative organizations. Under the new guidelines the Democrats are seeking, the voter guides showing the voting records of candidates would be considered unlawful political activity by organizations that have traditionally distributed them.

The article includes the current spin the Democrats are using to attempt to hide what they are doing and what they have done:

“Instead of this prestigious committee using its broad jurisdiction to address critical issues that confront us, it has been consumed by a tireless effort by Republicans to find political scandal, regardless of what the truth holds, as they look toward the November election,” said Rep. Sander Levin (D., Mich.).

He also chided Republicans for seeking to delay the regulations, noting that “what really remains hidden are donors to groups pouring millions of dollars into campaign advertising.”

The new IRS regulations proposed by the Democrats are a threat to free speech. If they are enacted, most Americans will only hear one side of any political issue.

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We Have A New Crime

Yesterday the Washington Post posted an article about President Obama’s latest “I have a pen and a phone” moment. The President changed the provisions of ObamaCare so that employers with between 50 to 99 employees who don’t already offer health insurance to their employees have until 2016 to comply with the shifting Obamacare requirements. (Notice that this is after the 2014 mid-term elections.) However, there is a caveat on this exemption for businesses with less than 100 employees.

The article reports:

And the fine print of the latest announcement from the Administration is worse than the terrible headlines. This rule includes a provision that says you have to have the right motives for having a certain number of employees to be in compliance with Obamacare. Bear with me, that’s right: You must certify to the IRS – under the threat of perjury – that the reasons for your employee head count have nothing to do with your opposition to or avoidance of Obamacare. This president doesn’t just selectively enforce the law as he sees fit; now he is actually inventing new crimes.  It’s jaw-dropping that if you fall below 100 employees, the burden will be on you to prove that you meant no disrespect to Obamacare.  I can’t wait to see the video of the first Democrat who tries to defend this new threat of prosecution within Obamacare.  In fact, look for the White House to fix this and somehow drop this provision altogether.  It’s completely indefensible.

I disagree with the idea that this provision will be dropped. President Obama has done so much that is indefensible at this point, his making up a new crime as he goes along will probably not get a lot of attention. I suspect most companies who had slightly over 100 employees have already cut their workforce below 100 to avoid the worst of ObamaCare.

Until someone has the gumption (there are a number of other words I could have used, but this blog is rated G) to stand up to President Obama and say that what he is doing is unconstitutional, we will probably continue down this road.

The article concludes:

On the one hand, Republicans are blasted for wanting to repeal Obamacare, and the Democrats and their allies routinely remind us it’s the so-called “law of the land.”  But the president can amend the law, ignore the law and now even create new ways to prosecute you if you try to avoid its burdens, and the Democrats all fall in line.

In politics, one of the worst things you can do is to deny the obvious and defend the indefensible.  Well, the president is putting the Democratic party in the unenviable position of trying to do exactly that.  If it were nine days instead of nine months before the next election, maybe they could pull it off.  But Obamacare is failing in its original purpose of providing insurance for the uninsured, it unnecessarily burdens American families and businesses, and now the White House has opened the door to prosecuting those they deem to be insufficiently committed to Obamacare. When will the nightmare end?

Because I am on Medicare, I don’t have to deal directly with ObamaCare (other than the money it has taken away from Medicare and the Death Panels, which are real), but I pity anyone who runs a business or needs health insurance. ObamaCare is probably the worst mess I have ever seen the government come up with, and there have been a few.

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There Really Is A Plan B

Today’s Weekly Standard posted an article by Bill Kristol and Jeffrey Anderson about the 2017 Project. The 2017 Project has developed an alternative heath care proposal to ObamaCare.

The article explains:

It would solve the three core problems that called out for real reform even before the Democrats passed Obamacare: getting more people insured; dealing with the problem of preexisting conditions; and lowering costs. In providing politically attractive and substantively sound solutions to these three core concerns, it would justify bringing an end to Obamacare, and thus would pave the way for full repeal.

Just as important as what our proposal would do is what it wouldn’t do.  It wouldn’t force anyone to buy insurance. It wouldn’t auto-enroll anyone in any plan. It wouldn’t reduce the tax break for employer-based insurance (aside from closing the tax loophole at the high end). It wouldn’t cost anywhere near the $2 trillion over a decade that Obamacare would cost. It wouldn’t undermine religious liberty. It would allow Americans to keep their current plan if they like it.

It would be wonderful to have a plan that provided health insurance for every American without spending $2 trillion over ten years. It would also be nice to let Americans make their own decisions about what health insurance they need and what health insurance they don’t need.

More information on the alternate proposal to ObamaCare can be found at 2017Project.com. Please follow the link to see the details.

 

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A Vote That Needs To Happen

On Friday, the Military Times reported that this week the Senate will consider the repeal of the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) reductions included in the recent omnibus budget bill.

The article reports:

Majority leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has fast-tracked a bill drafted by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., setting a procedural vote for Monday that paves the way for a vote by mid-week.

The legislation, S 1963, would repeal the portion of the Bipartisan Budget Act that will reduce annual COLA increases by 1 percentage point for “working age” retirees, starting in late 2015.

The Senate Armed Services Committee had scheduled a hearing to consider Pryor’s bill the same evening; that markup has been canceled and the full Senate instead will vote on whether to debate the bill.

Previous attempts at repeal have been unsuccessful–blocked by Senator Harry Reid. It is interesting to me that Senator Mark Pryor is sponsoring the bill that Senator Reid is finally willing to consider. Senator Pryor is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents facing re-election in 2014. He voted for  ObamaCare and has generally supported President Obama’s policies. Recently he has attempted to distance himself from those policies.  He is being challenged for his seat by freshman Republican Representative Tom Cotton. The Democrats do not want to lose that seat, and having Senator Pryor sponsor this bill is one way to make him look good.

The article reports:

Numerous lawmakers have offered other proposals to offset the loss of savings. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., has proposed closing a tax loophole that allows undocumented workers to receive tax credits for their children.

As part of a broad, $30 billion veterans’ bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., proposed to pay for repealing the COLA caps by using wartime contingency funding.

Other legislators, both in the House and Senate, have introduced bills that would offset the cost of repeal by tightening regulations on U.S. companies that shelter funds in foreign tax havens; cutting Saturday postal service; blocking foreign aid to Egypt or Pakistan; and consolidating the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments’ prescription drug purchasing programs.

It will be interesting to see if the COLA caps are repealed and how that repeal is paid for. The COLA caps were the only cut in the omnibus spending bill. If they go away, Congress will have again succeeded in passing a budget without any actual budget cuts. This is what Democrats and establishment Republicans do. We need to vote all of them out of office.

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This Is The Vote On The Omnibus Spending Bill

Taken from The Blaze:

Please remember this vote during the coming election. The people who voted yes voted to increase the budget in every area except one–they cut the retirement benefits of our military.

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Misplaced Priorities

In an article posted yesterday about the omnibus spending bill currently making its way through Congress, John Hinderaker at Power Line concluded:

One wonders, too: why do the Democrats even bother to screw veterans when the dollars involved are such small potatoes? Certainly not because they suddenly had a twinge of fiscal conscience. I think there is only one plausible explanation. The Democrats’ desire to stick it to veterans is much like their insistence on using Obamacare to force religious institutions to violate their beliefs. It is totally unnecessary; in practical terms, there is hardly anything in it for the Democrats. But in both cases, it is the principle that matters: the Democrats want to rub the noses of religious people and veterans in the fact that the Left is in the saddle. It is a raw exercise of power, of the sort that tyrants of all eras would appreciate. Not just opposition, but potential opposition must be stamped out.

So I understand why Democrats would vote for a bill they haven’t read, which cuts nothing except long-promised veterans’ benefits. But–I repeat–why on Earth would any Republican vote for it?

The Heritage Foundation posted a list of some of the pork-barrel spending in the bill on Monday. Included in the list are such things as:

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grants, a program which should instead have been discontinued. DERA grants have been used to pay for new or retrofitted tractors and cherry pickers in Utah ($750,000), electrified parking spaces at a Delaware truck stop ($1 million), a new engine and generators for a 1950s locomotive in Pennsylvania ($1.2 million), school buses in San Diego County ($1.6 million), and new equipment engines for farmers in the San Joaquin Valley ($1.6 million).

This programs allows federal tax payers in some states to pay for pet projects in other states, rather than having private industry, local governments or state governments pay for these projects. Massachusetts took advantage of this idea years ago when the rest of the country paid for the Big Dig.

The omnibus continues to entangle taxpayer funding with an organization that reportedly has ties to China’s coercive family planning regime. The bill appropriates $35 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Despite continued assertions that UNFPA has been involved in China’s coercive one-child policy, the U.S. government persists in sending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to an organization allegedly complicit in forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations. Congress should eliminate all U.S. contributions to UNFPA as long as the organization persists in working with the Chinese family planning administration.

…By continuing to fund implementation of Obamacare, the omnibus bill would continue to entangle taxpayer dollars in abortion coverage. Taxpayers will foot the bill for federal subsidies for the purchase of health plans on the Obamacare exchanges that went live online Oct. 1, and some of those plans could cover elective abortion. This flood of new funding could significantly increase the number of abortions covered by taxpayer-subsidized plans.

…Instead of cutting transportation spending in the FY 2014 omnibus, lawmakers have doubled down on spending on federal programs—many of which are outdated, duplicative, or outside of the federal government’s responsibility. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants are one such program, and lawmakers have awarded it whopping $600 million—up $125 million from FY 2013. Begun in the 2009 stimulus bill to generate economic recovery, this grant program has been reincarnated in fiscal years 2010 through 2013, for a total of five rounds grants. This even though President Obama said, “The private sector is doing fine,” in June 2012 (about when $500 million in FY12 TIGER grants were announced) and continues to assert that the economy is doing well.

The article at Heritage continues with a long list of pork-barrel spending in the omnibus spending bill. Although major spending cuts are needed to the pork-barrel spending, the only spending cuts in the bill are to the retirement benefits of our military. Any member of Congress should be made to understand that if he supports the cuts to military retirement benefits he will be voted out of office.

 

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The Attack Continues

It is becoming very obvious that the Democrats do not want Hillary Clinton to run against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Now Christie is being investigated for his use of hurricane Sandy funds.

CNN is breathlessly reporting today that:

CNN has learned that federal officials are investigating whether Christie improperly used those relief funds to produce tourism ads that starred him and his family.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the scandal-plagued Republican, who is facing two probes into whether his staff tied up traffic near the country’s busiest bridge to punish a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse his successful re-election bid.

N.J. Democratic legislator: “I do believe laws have been broken.”

If the Sandy inquiry finds any wrongdoing, it could prove even more damaging to Christie’s national ambitions. His performance during and after the superstorm has been widely praised and is a fundamental part of his straight-shooting political brand.

Make no mistake–this is about 2014 and 2016 elections. How much coverage has CNN given to either the IRS or Benghazi scandals?

If the American people allow the press to continually destroy Republican candidates for office, they may find that they do not like the choices they have on election day. As I have said, I am not a big Christie supporter, but I recognize coordinated attacks on politicians when I see them.

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Please Remember This In November

On Friday the Washington Free Beacon reported that Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a Republican attempt to restore military pensions cut in last month’s budget deal. The Democrats denied a vote on an amendment that would have ended the loophole that allows illegal aliens to obtain millions in tax refunds and restored the cuts to military pensions.

The article reports:

Among them (the Republican Amendments)  was Ayotte’s (Sen. Kelly Ayotte R., N.H.) measure, which would repeal cuts to military pensions by ending a loophole in the tax code that allows illegal immigrants to receive the Additional Child Tax Credit. Her attempt to get a vote failed 42-54, with only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), voting with Republicans.

“It’s a sad day when a common sense amendment to responsibly pay for legislation that helps struggling Americans, repeals unfair military retirement benefits and reduces the deficit can’t even get a vote in the Senate,” Ayotte said in a statement.

The amendment would have repealed a provision in the budget deal that hits military retirees with a 1 percent decrease in their annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), which could cost servicemembers up to $124,000 in lost retirement pay. Federal civilian retiree pensions were not cut.

The budget agreement also did not exempt disabled military retirees despite early assurances from the House Budget Committee. The cuts will save an estimated $6 billion over 10 years.

There were no cuts made to the pensions of either Congress or civil service employees. Civil servants have unions–the military does not. Cutting military retirement pay is a disgrace.

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Is There Any Part Of This Plan That Will Improve Healthcare?

My husband and I are in the process of moving, which is why posts have been rather erratic lately. In the process of getting everything done, I had a chance to listen to Rush Limbaugh today. He made some very interesting points about ObamaCare. In his comments, Rush Limbaugh mentioned a Forbes article written by Steven Hayward predicting that even if the ObamaCare website is repaired, ObamaCare will be repealed before the 2014 election.

The article states:

Senate Democrats endangered for re-election will lead the charge for repeal perhaps as soon as January, after they get an earful over the Christmas break.  They’ll call it “reform,” and clothe it in calls for delaying the individual mandate and allowing people and businesses to keep their existing health insurance policies.  But it is probably too late to go back in many cases.  With the political damage guaranteed to continue, the momentum toward repeal will be unstoppable.  Democrats will not want to face the voters next November with the albatross of Obamacare.

Rush Limbaugh pointed out some basic facts about this “reform.” He pointed out that if healthy people do not sign up for ObamaCare and pay the higher premiums, there will be no way to pay for healthcare for sick people and the whole system will collapse. The Democrats will probably attempt to solve the problem by offering subsidies to middle class families. America cannot afford to do that–we are already running unsustainable deficits, but the Democrats won’t care about that–they simply will be looking for a way to be re-elected.

Meanwhile, the Western Center for Journalism reported the following:

Lisa Martinson called customer service after she forgot her password. That’s when she was told that three different people were given the password to her account, her address, and her Social Security number. Then she was told it would take up to five days to get her personal information offline.
Please follow the link to the article to watch a short video of her story.
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I Guess Practicing What You Preach Is Just Not In Style Anymore

We have heard a lot of Democrats protesting the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court and also demanding that all groups making political donations be required to name their donors.

Breitbart.com reported yesterday:

Open Secrets describes “dark money organizations” as “501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits that don’t have to disclose their donors.” Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would “require unions, nonprofits and corporate interest groups that spend $10,000 or more during an election cycle to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more.”

Open Secrets posted two interesting graphs yesterday: saveddarkmoney2

darkmoneyConsidering that the IRS targeted conservative groups and asked them to reveal their donors (which is against the law), I find this graph very interesting. Maybe they were targeting the wrong people.

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Somehow The Mainstream Media May Have Missed This

CNS News posted a story today on the latest developments in the government shutdown. There is some information buried in the body of the story that I don’t believe is being widely reported.

The article reports:

House Republicans want to tie the CR to changes on Obamacare, offering proposals to delay the individual mandate by one year and to prevent Congress and congressional staff from getting government subsidies for Obamacare. Senate Democrats refused. The federal government shut down at midnight Tuesday after Congress failed to come to agreement over a CR, which authorizes federal spending after Sept. 30, when the most recent funding legislation expired.

“Last night, Senate Democrats went so far as to reject legislation that would have kept the government running under just two conditions – just two – that families get the same one year relief as employers and that Congress has to follow the same rules on Obamacare exchanges as their constituents. That’s how extreme the Democratic position is. They won’t even accept basic fairness as a principle under Obamacare,” McConnell said.

These two things are important. President Obama already unilaterally delayed the employer mandate in ObamaCare. The Republicans are asking that he give all Americans the same right he gave to their bosses.

On September 16, 2013, National Review reported:

In 1995, the newly elected Republican Congress passed a Congressional Accountability Act to fulfill a promise made the previous year in the Contract with America. For the first time, the Act applied to Congress the same civil-rights employment and labor laws that lawmakers had required everyday citizens to abide by. With some lapses, it’s worked well to defuse public outrage about “one law for thee, one law for me” congressional behavior.

In 2009, Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) decided that the principle deserved to be embedded in Obamacare, and he was able to insert a provision requiring all members of Congress and their staffs to get insurance through the Obamacare health exchanges. “The more that Congress experiences the laws it passes, the better,” said Grassley. Although his amendment was watered down before final passage to exclude committee staff, it still applies to members of Congress and their personal staffs. Most employment lawyers interpreted that to mean that the taxpayer-funded federal health-insurance subsidies dispensed to those on Congress’s payroll — which now range from $5,000 to $11,000 a year — would have to end.

On August 7, 2013, the Daily Caller reported:

Members of Congress and Hill staffers will not lose their health-care subsidies from the government when Obamacare is implemented because of an exception proposed Wednesday by the Office of Personnel Management.

What that says is that Congress and Hill staffers will get subsidies that are not available to average Americans with comparable incomes.
The bill sent to the Senate last night would have corrected that and delayed the individual mandate. The Senate refused to consider the bill.
Don’t blame the Republicans for the shutdown–they are trying to force Congress to be covered by the laws they pass. Unfortunately, most of the media is not interested in reporting that story.
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Where Has All The Money Gone?

Below is a chart posted by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air today:

fred-dc-usa-medianincome

The chart above shows the median household income of the Washington, D.C., area versus the median household income of the rest of the nation.

The article at Hot Air points out a few things about the graph:

From the mid-1980s to around 2007, the median household income rise in DC remained pretty closely linked to that of the nation as a whole.  Anyone remember what happened in 2007, besides the economic slowdown that would turn into the Great RecessionDemocrats took control of Congress and federal spending shot upward ever since.  And at least according to the Fed, that disparity is actually accelerating,  at least to 2012, with DC median income skyrocketing while the rest of us stagnate.

We have a choice to make as Americans. It’s not a Democrat or a Republican choice–it’s an American choice. Do we keep spending ourselves into bankruptcy or do we begin to act like adults and live within our means? The choice is ours. We have an election coming up in about a year. Forget party labels–they really aren’t worth much right now. Find out what the candidate’s position is on spending and formulating a federal budget (we haven’t had one since 2009). Find our what the candidate’s past voting record is on fiscal matters. These things are not hard to find. Thomas.gov is an excellent source of information for votes, sponsors of legislation, and actions of past Congresses. Do your homework–your country depends on it.

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A Little Respect Would Be Nice

Townhall.com reported yesterday that during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Benghazi, many Democrats left before the testimony from the families of the victims. This is unbelievable. First of all, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden lied to these families as the bodies of their loved ones were being unloaded from the plane in Delaware. Clinton and Biden stated that they would bring the creator of the video that caused the riots to justice. Well, the creator of the video was put in jail for a while, but it became apparent in later testimony that even as they said those words, they knew they were not true. Leaders in America used to have respect for the families of those who gave their lives for their country. All of the Congressmen who left should be immediately removed from office.

Below is a photograph of the hearing–the far side of the room is where the Democrats would have been sitting.

View image on Twitter

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Some Perspective On The Rodeo Clown

After being banned from the Missouri State Fair for life for being a rodeo clown with a President Obama mask, Tuffy Gessling is speaking out.

On Monday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story that provides some background on the incident. Tuffy Gessling has been dressing up as sitting presidents as part of his clown act since the days of Ronald Reagan. This is the first time it has been a problem.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

…Gessling figures that people have lost their ability to laugh, at themselves and their favored institutions, and a large amount of their perspective, too…Well … at least during Democratic administrations, anyway.  The hysteria over a silly rodeo skit boggles the mind, and it’s not benign, either.  Despite the fact that presidential face masks have a long history in the US for satire and entertainment, and perhaps especially so during the administration of Obama’s predecessor, this new-found abhorrence of offending the dignity of a sitting President does not bode well for political speech of any kind in the future.  Will wearing a presidential mask for satirical purposes during a possible Hillary Clinton administration be automatically assumed to be an act of unconscionable sexism, too, rather than just humor or criticism?

The lesson here is this: Toughen up, buttercups. And I’m not talking about Tuffy Gessling, either.

The history involved in the clown with a presidential mask incident makes me wonder what has happened to our sense of humor. This act has been perfectly acceptable for more than forty years. Why was the clown banned for doing something that he had been doing since the days of Ronald Reagan? There truly is a double standard here. There are much more important things to worry about in this world than a clown with a President Obama mask.

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More Delays For The Keystone Pipeline

President Obama had a reputation for voting ‘present’ while in the Illinois legislature. He is continuing that tradition in the way his administration is handling the Keystone Pipeline. The real problem with the Keystone Pipeline is that it splits two major groups within the Democrat party. The unions want the pipeline because they understand that it will bring jobs and improve America’s energy independence (which will boost the economy and create more jobs). The environmentalists oppose it because it involves fossil fuel which they are opposed to. As long as the Obama Administration can avoid making a decision on the pipeline, it can collect campaign money from both the unions and the environmentalists. As soon as a decision is made, the donations from one side will decrease significantly. (I’m sorry if that sounds cynical, but that is essentially how Washington works.)

So what is the latest delaying action?

Yesterday’s Daily Caller reports:

For more than 1,800 days, the Obama administration has been analyzing whether the Keystone pipeline is in the national interest. The Department of State’s review of the pipeline found that it would create more than 42,000 jobs and not significantly impact global warming or the environment.

But that seems to be an outlier view within the Obama administration. Soon after the State Department released its review, the Environmental Protection Agency attacked it and said it needed to take a deeper look into the pipeline’s environmental and climate impacts.

This has to be the most studied pipeline in human history.

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Something To Consider

I really haven’t made up my mind as to whether or not it is better to defund ObamaCare or simply delay it. The danger of defunding it is that if that causes a government shutdown, the Democrats have a perfect opportunity to change the subject. If Democrats successfully change the subject, they win, ObamaCare goes into effect, and all Americans lose a great deal of both their freedom and their money.

The Heritage Foundation posted an article today explaining why they believe it is better to defund ObamaCare than to delay it. The article points out that ObamaCare is “a massive, government-centered restructuring of American health care.”

The article lists some of the problems with simply delaying ObamaCare:

Simply delaying Obamacare:

  • …doesn’t stop Obamacare from harming people. Regulators could continue to enforce the Health and Human Services (HHS) anti-conscience mandate and issue new Obamacare rules that raise costs and premiums for struggling businesses and families alike.
  • …is a gift to the Obama Administration. Federal bureaucrats have missed nearly half of their self-imposed deadlines to get the law up and running. Why provide them more time to make sure thousands of regulations are entrenched in the private health care sector?
  • …doesn’t stop Obamacare programs from launching. A 53-page Obamacare timeline shows that in 2014 alone, 27 separate Obamacare programs and requirements are scheduled to take effect.

In the article, Heritage’s senior policy analyst Chris Jacobs explains that defunding ObamaCare should not cause a government shutdown. He points out that conservatives do not want to shut down the government, they simply want to defund ObamaCare. My problem with that is my belief that the Democrat party will not allow the Republican party to defund ObamaCare without shutting down the government. Considering the bias in the American media, there is no way the Democrats would have to take responsibility for shutting down the government–the Republicans would be blamed.

I agree that ObamaCare needs to be stopped immediately. I am just not sure it can be done by Republicans who control one part of one branch of our government. I support their cause, I am just not sure if defunding will be successful, and I wonder what it will cost Republicans in the long run.

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An Invitation To Disaster

Yesterday The Blaze reported a rather serious problem with the implementation of ObamaCare in California. California is moving ahead with its healthcare exchanges and making a valiant effort to make sure that everyone in the state has health insurance. However, they have run into a bit of a snag.

The article reports:

The exchange, known as Covered California, recently adopted rules for a network of more than 21,000 “enrollment counselors” who will provide consumers with in-person assistance. In some cases, they will have access to personal and financial information, from ID cards to medical histories.

But the state insurance commissioner and anti-fraud groups say the exchange is falling far short of ensuring that the people hired as counselors are adequately screened and monitored.

The unemployment rate in California is currently 9 percent. Many of the unemployed in California are highly skilled, ethical people who were employed in the various industries that have left the state due to the high cost of doing business there. There are obviously enough quality people available for these jobs, it seems to me that basic screening of the people who want to be “enrollment counselors” would not be that difficult.

The article notes the potential for disaster:

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, a Democrat, also said the exchange does not have a plan for investigating any complaints that might arise once the counselors start work. That means consumers who might fall prey to bogus health care products, identity theft and other abuses will have a hard time seeking justice if unscrupulous counselors get ahold of their Social Security number, bank accounts, health records or other private information, he said.

Generally speaking, a private company takes the time to do some basic research on a potential employee because their ‘bottom line’ is at stake. One of the problems of a government-run organization is that there is no incentive for profit and also no incentive to ‘protect the brand.’

The article reports:

Covered California spokesman Santiago Lucero said the exchange shares Jones’ concerns and has made consumer safety a priority. The exchange’s board adopted regulations last month requiring enrollment counselors to wear name badges, undergo background checks, and get fingerprinted.

But the exchange’s current rules do not specify what offenses would disqualify an applicant for a counseling position.

The potholes on the path to ObamaCare are big enough to swallow a full-size car.

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We Elected These People…

This is not a joke. This story appeared in the Washington Times on Tuesday. I thought I had heard everything when Hank Johnson said to Admiral Robert F. Willard, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize“, to which Admiral Willard replied, “We don’t anticipate that.” The discussion was part of a House of Representatives hearing on increasing troop strength on Guam. The Admiral’s composure when asked the question was amazing. I would like to point out that Representative Johnson has been re-elected twice since that 2010 comment and still serves in the U. S. House of Representatives.

On Tuesday the Washington Times reported:

Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat, said in The Hill that “food insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy and poor reproductive health.”

Moreover, climate change could turn entire populations into refugees — again, affecting women the most, the resolution suggested, as Newser reported.

So climate change (which isn’t really established as man-made) could result in increased prostitution. I would also like to note that if famine sweeps the world, everyone suffers–not just women.
We are responsible for electing our Representatives. We have only ourselves to blame.
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