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So, This Happened

Posted by V the K at 5:05 pm - June 24, 2014.
Filed under: 113th Congress

Democrats and Republicans holding hands and singing. I figure this has either got to be about Amnesty or some new massive pork-laden stimulus bill.

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Didn’t House Republicans attach this to a “Continuing Resolution”?
(And didn’t Democrats find it unacceptable?)

Just caught this on Yahoo!:

The Obama administration may give Americans extra time to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, postponing when penalties for failing to buy coverage will go into effect, MarketWatch has learned.

The health care law requires most people to have health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, but allows for “short coverage gaps” of up to three months before imposing the penalty, which is $95 or 1% of an individual’s income (whichever is greater) next year. That means someone must be covered by March 31, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed, which is the final day that people will be able to purchase health insurance on the public exchanges, or marketplaces, created by the ACA.

Thomas Roberts of MSNBC Dresses Up as Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Well, almost.

Golfing while a government shutdown looms

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:02 pm - September 29, 2013.
Filed under: 113th Congress,Media Bias,Obama Watch

While House Republicans have been burning the midnight oil trying to reach a compromise on the continuing resolution to keep the government funded, President Obama yesterday “went golfing for four hours at Fort Belvoir“.

Via Instapundit.

Do wonder how many news outlets (besides Pjmedia) are reporting this fact.

Reconsidering Ted Cruz’s Filibuster

No, I don’t like Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s plan to filibuster the House resolution to keep the government open. I would like to see the Senate vote of the legislation, forcing Democratic Senators to choose between their party’s priorities (an increasingly unpopular law) and their constituents’ concerns (the growing cost of healthcare and their diminishing options caused by said legislation).

I wish that the government could defund Obamacare, but, as Thomas Sowell and Tom Coburn have pointed out, it’s not going to happen.

Still, for all the Texas Senator’s posturing, he has done something the legacy media fail to do–bring the unpopular health care law into the news. It does seem our broadcast media are downplaying (or outright ignoring) the problems with the president’s signature achievement.

Like John Hinderaker,

I am not crazy about Cruz’s plan to block cloture on the House resolution, but I applaud his speech. Obamacare is unpopular, and Republicans should pound away at it non-stop. Within the last few hours, reports have surfaced that House Republicans may attach a one-year delay in Obamacare’s individual mandate to the Senate’s “clean” continuing resolution. Obamacare may also feature in upcoming debates over raising the debt ceiling.

Via Instapundit.  If the compromise continuing resolution forces the Democrats to sign on to anything scaling back Obamacare, that may be due in part to Cruz’s grandstanding.

RELATED:  Glenn notes the different coverage the media accords to filibusters by Texas politicians:

DYLAN BYERS IN POLITICO: Ted Cruz, Wendy Davis and media bias. “When a Democrat like Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis filibusters against abortion restrictions, she is elevated to hero status, her tennis shoes become totems. When Cruz grandstands against Obamacare, he is a laughingstock in the eyes of many journalists on Twitter, an ‘embarrassment’ in the eyes of The New York Times editorial board. . . . Davis wasn’t viewed through a critical lens at all. Her willingness to stand for 11 hours was evidence of the American dream in action. Period.”

Once you understand that the trad-media are, in Scott Johnson’s words, “a Democratic protection racket,” it all makes sense.

UPDATE: Well, maybe our friends in the legacy media will continue to ignore the issue. As Jim Geraghty reports, they are making Cruz the issue and not Obamacare’s implementation: (more…)

Obama upset by House vote to prevent government shutdown

Surprised that the left-leaning Huffington Post chose a picture wherein their man look like a petulant child.

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Given all that we heard (in the 2008 campaign) about Mr. Obama’s temperament and his ability to bridge the partisan divide, shouldn’t he know be putting those skills to use in keeping the government open instead of lashing out at the House majority supporting a bill consistent with the views of its constituents?

RELATED: You mad, bro? @BarackObama throws snicker-worthy tantrum over defund Obamacare vote

The Obamacare implosion

A number of conservative commentators and writers have been speculating for some time how long it will be from the time it is implemented until Obamacare collapses under the weight of its own poorly-conceived structure.  I think few have anticipated the situation we’ve been witnessing in the past two weeks, where first the administration announces that businesses won’t have to comply with the “employer mandate” until January 2015, and more recently, that the administration won’t be investigating eligibility for Obamacare subsidies, thereby opening the door to massive fraud and abuse.

Although the reasons that the Obama administration is making these changes are cynically transparent to anyone who realizes that the Democrats don’t want to lose big in the 2014 election cycle when voters will have a chance to express their displeasure with Obamacare at the ballot box once again, the more interesting question at the moment concerns the meaning and implications of the administration’s latest maneuvers for its ability to enact policies and govern going forward.

I think some people believe the public is paying closer attention to all this than is most likely the case, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the triumphalism and mockery of the administration’s opponents.  After the last election, it’s refreshing to see the administration increasingly on the defensive over the actions it has taken with regard to its signature piece of legislation.  Even better is getting to watch the likes of Dick Durbin (D-IL) admit that the disastrous bill “needs changes and improvements.”

But beyond getting to see and hear the bill’s defenders feel the heat, it is gratifying to see pieces like this one speculating that the Republicans in Congress may wise up enough about the administration’s actions to finally kill “immigration reform”:

“They have shown no respect for traditional Constitutional separation of powers,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., told National Review‘s John Fund about the impact of the Obamacare delays on the immigration debate, “and that makes it difficult to pass laws where the fear is that they will simply ignore the parts they don’t like.”

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who is on the House Judiciary Committee and had been a member of a bipartisan group working on immigration reform, echoed Roe’s concerns on Meet the Press. “In fact, if you look at this Obamacare debacle that they have right now, this administration is actually deciding when and where to actually enforce the law. And that’s what some of us in the House are concerned about. If you give to this administration the authority to decide when they’re going to enforce the law, how they’re going to enforce the law … what’s going to happen is that we’re going to give legalization to 11 million people and Janet Napolitano is going to come to Congress and tell us that the border is already secure and nothing else needs to happen.”

Even the Wall Street Journal is writing about the administration’s actions in language reminiscent of that we saw with the rise of the Tea Party four years ago:

President Obama’s decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government

Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so.

This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked. King James II’s use of the prerogative was a key grievance that lead to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The very first provision of the English Bill of Rights of 1689—the most important precursor to the U.S. Constitution—declared that “the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal.”

Needless to say we can certainly hope that this lively piece by Tony Katz on Townhall.com is more than just a humorous reflection on the administration’s latest foibles:

For years the Right has said that the Obama Administration was thuggish, was hell bent on revenge, and was vindictive.

The IRS scandal was perhaps the tipping point. At first, The Left tried claimed that not just conservative and tea party groups, but progressives as well had been targeted. But, as the Inspector General’s report showed, that was not the case. Obama’s minions attacked Americans who disagreed with him. The Left knows they voted for hate.

Obama is not the man (messiah) they thought he was. The Left was blinded by his skin color and duped by mainstream media.

But now they know he lies. And now they know he surrounds himself with sycophants, ready and willing to lie for him, in poetry and prose.

Lets not let them ever forget it.

Is Obama’s Press Secretary a “paid liar”?
(or does he just not know the truth about the IRS scandal)

I tend to admire House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa. He is a smart and (normally) savvy California Republican determined to oversee the executive branch. Yet, he went too far in calling White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar“.* A political leaders should be more circumspect in his public statements.  Not just that, with the accusation, he gives Democrats another means to attempt to discredit his investigations.

And as we know, they will use whatever means they can to attack their Republican critics.

But, the question which I put to you, my readers, is this: Is Issa Right? Is the president’s Press Secretary a liar?

Is he just making things up?  Or is he repeating things his White House superiors told him to be true, but aren’t?  (That is, is someone a liar if he says something he believes to be true, but is, in fact, not?**)

* (more…)

On the retirement of the media face of the GOP

Take a gander at this screen capture from the Washington Post web=site (taken at 7:32 PM GayPatriot blog time on 05/30/13):

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The editors of the left-of-center Washington Post and its readership are all abuzz about the retirement of a four-term Republican Congressman from Minnesota, a woman who withdrew from the only race for House leadership she entered and came in sixth place (with only 5% of the vote) in the one presidential caucus she contested. During her congressional tenure, Mrs. Bachmann neither moved a major piece of legislation nor  spearheaded efforts to promote conservative legislative initiatives.

Like other charismatic former legislator from the Midwest, she won her prominence not based on her work product, but on her public appearances. She is an effective speaker who can move a partisan crowd.

Her departure should not generate this much media attention.  Her charisma notwithstanding, she is not a leader of the GOP.  Yet, despite the failure of her congressional colleagues to support her bid for leadership and of Republican voters to embrace her, manyliberal activists (just check your Facebook feed) as well as their allies in the media have tried to portray her as the face of the GOP.

And in so doing, they have unfairly maligned and otherwise mocked her — and have failed to fault crazy left-wing activists from publicly insulting her. With her outlandish claims, Mrs. Bachmann has a great deal in common with such Democrats as California’s Barbara Boxer, Iowa’s Tom Harkin and Florida’s Alan Grayson, the primary difference being that the media downplay rather than highlight those Democrats’ odd statements and don’t pretend they are the leaders of their party. (more…)

This seems more of an Obama than a Ryan Problem

Just caught this on AOL. Isn’t it the president’s job to reach out to the leaders of the opposition:

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Why Don’t Bush-Haters LOVE! Rand Paul?

Perhaps like me, you’re enjoying this great new TV show I just found on C-SPAN2 called Mr. Paul Goes to Washington where my favorite Senator is currently filibustering President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan. As I write this, he’s currently about to ring in his sixth hour. The goal of Senator Paul’s soliloquy is, as he has stated several times since I’ve been watching, simply to elicit one thing: A straight-forward answer to the question, (to paraphrase) ‘Does the president believe he has the legal authority to execute through drone strike non-combatant citizens on American soil?’

Brings up a very interesting point: For eight solid years, we heard screeching and gnashing of teeth from the Left about how George W. Bush wants to kill us all and eat our babies and of course shred the Constitution through wars based on lies and the horrible PATRIOT Act. But in the end, who is it who’s actually standing up for these ideals? Well, so far I’ve seen Senator Paul in exchanges with Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Pat Toomey. Odd, don’t you think, that it’d be these ‘Tea Party right-winger knuckle-draggers’ who are actually doing the work that the Bush-haters allegedly wanted done while the leaders of their nominative party are lining up with their president in his expansion of Bush’s ‘unitary executive’ policies?

Clearly it’d be expecting waaay too much for the addlepated adherents to the Bush-is-Satan school of political thought to recognize the irony of the situation, let alone find that realization a great opportunity for self-reflection. Sad, that.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)

NB: I had originally written the paraphrase of Sen Paul’s question as “power” to execute. Clearly that’s within the president’s power, but I’ve clarified (I hope) by changing my original post to read “legal authority”, which I think is likely more to his point.

The president who prefers campaigning to governing

In an article posted today on the Natonal Review’s website, Mona Charen quips that there “are two major parties in the United States: the party that wishes to govern, and the party that wants only to campaign.

And to show that the latter party is that of the incumbent President of the United States, one need not turn to the commentary on various conservative blogs, but instead to the reporting of the left-of-center Washington Post:

After delivering his election victory speech in November, Obama walked off the Chicago stage and made two phone calls related to his political plans — one to Israel and one to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the last Democratic House speaker.

Israel said Obama told him “how focused he would be on winning a House majority for the Democrats,” many of whom complained that the president did not do enough during his first term to help members on the Hill.

In other words, in the immediate aftermath of his election victory this past November, the president already started looking ahead to the next election.  Since the people didn’t elect the Congress he wanted, he chose to start focusing on electing that Congress, even if the 2014 elections were two years hence.

No wonder he is blaming the sequester on the current Republican House even though he made little effort to work with the leaders of that chamber after it passed the “fiscal cliff” legislation at the end of the last Congress, delaying the sequester until last week.

RELATED: GOP accusation confirmed: Obama out to break it

Krauthammer: Just make the Senate deliver a freakin’ budget

Charles Krauthammer suggests that the GOP House play it small:

Can you govern from one house of Congress…shrink government, restrain spending, bring a modicum of fiscal sanity to the country when the president and a blocking Senate have no intention of doing so?

…The more prudent course would be to find some offer that cannot be refused, a short-term trade-off utterly unassailable and straightforward. For example, offer to extend the debt ceiling through, say, May 1, in exchange for the Senate delivering a budget by that date — after four years of lawlessly refusing to produce one.

Not much. But it would (a) highlight the Democrats’ fiscal recklessness, (b) force Senate Democrats to make public their fiscal choices and (c) keep the debt ceiling alive as an ongoing pressure point for future incremental demands.

Read the whole thing. Agree/disagree?

Do legacy media prefer stories about crazy Republicans to ones about Democratic incompetence?

Two days ago, the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reminded us of a Democratic failure our friends in the legacy media tend to neglect:

Lawmakers are required by law to pass a budget each year by April 15, but there’s no provision to punish them, or even slightly inconvenience them, if they don’t.  In [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid’s case, the Senate last passed a budget in April 2009, 1,351 days ago as of Wednesday.

Not quite sure how to refine a google news search to compare the number of articles written about and amount of broadcast “news” time devoted to Todd Akin’s crazy comments on rape and those on the failure of Reid’s Senate Democrats to meet their legal obligations in passing a budget.

Seems the Missouri Republican fit the legacy media narrative about Republicans being fringe characters, but somehow Mr. Reid’s inaction is at odds with their conviction about the Democrats being the more responsible party.

Just a thought.

Random Friday Evening Thought

So Barney Frank wants to be appointed Senator for Massachusetts if/when John Kerry is relieved of duty confirmed as Secretary of State.

Now, I know it’s not as simple as one person bearing total responsibility, but there is no person in America who is more responsible for the 2008 financial collapse than thankfully former Congressman Barney Frank.

My first thought: Well, Massachusetts deserves him, so why not?

My second thought: Wait, a second, never has there been a better personification (well, maybe not never) of the sort of corruption and simple wrongness of Washington, DC than the undistinguished gentleman from the Fourth District. If Massachusetts deserves him, he should be governor!

So what about it, Deval? How about stepping aside for someone your constituents can really be proud of?

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)

Tim Scott – US Senator from South Carolina

I didn’t want the post below to be the lead item on what is a very historic day for my state.  So I want to add some brief personal thoughts about Tim Scott.

He is an awesome pick.  Unlike most of the politicans who embraced Tea Party, limited government principles AFTER the movement forced them to, Tim Scott already possessed those principles.  He is a smart, funny, engaging guy who has a way of making everyone around him feel included.

I daresay that he will rival some of the more notable Senators as one who will go into the history books based on his record and accomplishments.

I had the unfortunate pleasure to follow US Rep. Tim Scott at the October 18 Charleston Tea Party rally.  He had the crowd on its feet, singing and full of energy; he was a hard act to follow.

It is worth noting that Tim Scott is the only black Senator from the Confederate South since Reconstruction.  And the only black Senator from the South since the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed.  Only Illinois and Massachusetts have had African-American Senators in modern America.

Until today.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

The only black man in the 113th Senate . . .

. . . will be the only man ever appointed to the Senate by an Indian American woman.  South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, reports, Ed Morrissey

will appoint Rep. Tim Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint in the US Senate, making Scott the upper chamber’s only African-American member, and give him a boost in the 2014 special election for the rest of DeMint’s term. ..

(Via Instapundit.)  Oh, and Scott is a Republican.  Just as there are no African-American Democratic Senators, there are no Indian-American or Hispanic Democratic governors.  Two of the three Senators of Hispanic background are Republican.

Some news reports notwithstanding, Scott will not occupy the Senate seat once held by Strom Thurmond.  Lindsay Graham sits in that chair.

Nancy Pelosi’s Spendthrift Record as Speaker

Just caught this in a Washington Examiner editorial on Nancy Pelosi’s determination to stay on as House Democratic Leader:

Just look at Pelosi’s record as speaker. When she first took the gavel on Jan. 3, 2007, the federal government was on track to spend just $2.7 trillion that year. The federal deficit was a mere $160 billion, and the cumulative national debt was $8.7 trillion. Only 7 million Americans were unemployed, and the nation’s unemployment rate was just 4.6 percent.

Four short years later, when Pelosi handed the gavel back to the Republicans, the country looked a bit different. Spending had soared to $3.6 trillion. The federal deficit was $1.3 trillion, and the national debt was $14 trillion. Fourteen million Americans were unemployed, and the unemployment rate had almost doubled to 9.1 percent.

Wonder why Democrats don’t hold this politician to account for her record.

Obamacare: the “single worst piece of legislation . . . passed in modern times”

“Sometimes,” I blogged, quoting Amartel, a commenter from Ann Althouse’s site, “knowledge has to be obtained empirically“, that is, only when Obama’s are fully implemented, will people realize how bad they are — and become upset enough to vote his fellow partisans out of office.  (No wonder he delayed implementation until after the 2012 elections.)

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal‘s Stephen Moore, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spells out how Obamacare not just increases the expense of the federal government, but also how it creates complications for health care providers in his state:

Any tax and entitlement deal would likely leave unresolved the newest budget-busting entitlement: ObamaCare. “It’s the single worst piece of legislation that’s been passed in modern times,” Mr. McConnell says, “and the single biggest step in the direction of Europeanizing the country. It can’t possibly work.” Democrats don’t understand that now, he continues, but “people are going to be coming at us in hordes asking for us to revisit it” and fix the mounting problems.

He says that in the towns he visits in Kentucky, “the health-care providers who are dealing with patients on a daily basis—big hospitals, rural hospitals, nonprofits—are all freaked out about virtually every aspect of the Medicare cuts that affect today’s seniors and today’s providers. Seven of nine justices on the Supreme Court said the Medicaid part of it is genuinely optional. Smart states won’t take this additional burden.” Employers are dropping their coverage. He predicts the law will come apart on its own.

Emphasis added.  Sounds like we’ll have to wait until it’s implemented to see those people coming at us in hordes.  Read the whole thing; shows how reluctant the president is to work with Congress.

Wonder why that didn’t come out in the campaign.

Nancy Pelosi’s Plan to Increase GOP House Majority in ’14

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - November 14, 2012.
Filed under: 113th Congress,2014 Elections,Pelosi Watch

The San Francisco Democrat announced today she’s staying on as House Democratic Leader.  Ed Morrissey thinks this “sounds like a pretty bad idea for a couple of reasons“:

First, the most likely successors to Pelosi will come from current leadership within the caucus, which isn’t exactly a youth movement.  Steny Hoyer has the inside track for Pelosi’s job, and he’s 73 years old, one year older than Pelosi herself.  Jim Clyburn might make a bid for the leader position and become the first African-American to chair a House party caucus, but he’s 72 years old.  John Larson, the caucus chairman, is a relative youngster at 64 years old.  None of these leaders will gain much more than pension benefits by waiting another two years.

Second, another two years gives Republicans another two years to make Pelosi the face of the party.  Every Democrat in a purple-to-red district who votes for another Pelosi term will end up having to defend that vote in the next midterm election.  Without Obama at the top of the ticket, the turnout in 2014 is going to look somewhat different than 2012, and some of those new freshmen coming into the House on a platform of change might not be able to explain why their first vote was to support a sclerotic and failed status quo within their own party.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  Contrast the ages of the House Democratic leadership with that of the House Republicans.  Speaker John Boehner at 62, is the oldest, two years younger than the youngest Democrat in their leadership.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is 49.  House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is just 47.

UPDATE:  Writing before Mrs. Pelosi decided to stay on for another term, Townhall’s Guy Benson offered that he’d “be amazed if she stays on as minority leader.  She’s unpopular and polarizing, and she’s presided over two consecutive unsuccessful cycles for House Democrats.”  Well, the unpopular and polarizing leader is staying on.