It looks like the effort to repeal Obamacare is completely dead, and that says a lot about the current state of the Republican Party. For decades, RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) have been using labels such as “Republican”, “conservative”, “pro-gun” and “pro-life” to get elected, but then once they get into office they govern like Democrats. There was so much hope when Donald Trump won the election last November, but thanks to the RINOs in Congress not much has actually been accomplished so far. In fact, this is being called “the most unproductive Congress in 164 years”. The following is an excerpt from an article published by The Week…
Just six months ago, it looked like the Republican Party was about to go on a legislative blitzkrieg, shredding law after law passed by the Obama administration. ObamaCare would be vaporized and replaced with a nickel rattling inside an empty Mountain Dew can. Dodd-Frank was sure to be tossed aside for a transparent giveaway to Wall Street. And Republicans would pass their regressive tax reform, their perplexing border-adjustment tax, and so much more. The GOP hadn’t held total power in American politics since 2006, and the party had become much more conservative in the interim.
Most of us were anticipating that so much would get done over the past 6 months, but instead we have seen nothing but gridlock.
The most recent example of this has been the Obamacare debacle. After failing to push through “Obamacare 2.0”, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided that he would switch gears and try to get a clean Obamacare repeal bill through the Senate, but unfortunately that effort has already failed…
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s sudden move to try to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan appeared doomed Tuesday as at least three moderate Republicans rejected the idea.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said they will not support a motion to proceed to the bill, which would repeal Obamacare in two years. Without their support, McConnell cannot get the 50 votes he needs to pass a repeal bill.
Collins, Capito and Murkowski are perfect examples of what I am talking about when I use the term “RINOs”. They are essentially Democrats, but they have been able to successfully use the Republican label to get elected.
Unless we are able to start kicking the RINOs out of Congress, most of Trump’s agenda is going to go nowhere.
Obviously Trump is not happy about what has transpired in the Senate, and now his plan is to basically sit back and let Obamacare fail…
Now his plan is to “let Obamacare fail; it will be a lot easier,” he said. “And I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail.”
“We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it,” the president said. “I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”
But will the Democrats come to the Republicans ready to compromise as Obamacare comes apart at the seams?
I seriously doubt it.
I think that they are convinced that they can successfully point the blame at the Republicans as our health care system continues to deteriorate.
Personally, I believe that the more the federal government gets involved in health care the worse it is going to get.
Unfortunately, once you establish a program that gives out free goodies to people it is hard to take that back. For RINOs such as Collins, Capito and Murkowski, one of the biggest obstacles to repealing Obamacare is that it would roll back the Medicaid program to pre-Obamacare levels.
Today, more than 74 million Americans are on Medicaid and CHIP, and more than 58 million Americans are on Medicare. That means that more than 130 million Americans are enrolled in these government programs at this point.
That is nearly half the country.
Of course many Democrats would like to go all the way and put everyone in such programs, but then we would have a completely socialized health care system.
The big problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. Everybody likes free stuff, but somebody has to pay for all of that free stuff somewhere along the line.
And if people are forced to expend time and effort in order to get their free stuff, interest in the free stuff drops substantially. In Alabama, food stamp enrollment plunged dramatically once work requirements were re-instituted…
Alabama began 2017 by requiring able-bodied adults without children in 13 counties to either find a job or participate in work training as a condition for continuing to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
According to AL.com, the number of those recipients declined from 5,538 to 831 between Jan. 1 and the beginning of May – an 85 percent drop.
Similar changes were implemented in select counties in Georgia and by the end of the first three months, the number of adults receiving benefits in three participating counties dropped 58 percent, according to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
In my brand new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters”, I open up about why I want to run for Congress. For way too long we have had a federal government that has just gotten bigger and bigger and bigger. We need to swing the pendulum way back in the other direction, and we need to educate people on the benefits of having a very limited central government.
If you take the shackles off, the free market system works incredibly well. And once upon a time, the United States actually had a free market health care system and it was the best on the entire planet.
We can get there again, but first we need to get rid of the RINOs in Congress and replace them with people that deeply believe in true conservative values.
Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.
The Senate health care bill was unveiled on Thursday, and it appears to be dead on arrival. At least four conservative senators say that they can’t vote for the current version because it doesn’t go far enough, while several moderate Republicans are expressing concerns that it goes too far in repealing popular Obamacare provisions. You can read the full text of the bill here. Since Democrats are going to be united in voting against any bill that the Republicans put forward, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two Republican votes if he wants something to pass. I don’t know how that is going to be possible, and so in the end we may be stuck with Obamacare for the foreseeable future and that would be a total disaster.
It is astounding to me that Republicans don’t want to pass the exact same clean Obamacare repeal bill that they got to Obama’s desk in 2016. If they got that same bill to Trump’s desk, he would sign it. Instead of trying to do everything at once, just repeal Obamacare and then start working on various pieces of the health care system one at a time.
According to Real Clear Politics, Congress currently has an average approval rating of just 17.6 percent. It is an institution that has failed the American people over and over again, and we are never going to move things in a positive direction in this country until we do something to clean up that cesspool of filth and corruption.
If we truly want to fix health care in this country, we need to rebuild the entire system from the ground up based on free market principles. But of course the bill that was just unveiled in the Senate simply tries to patch up the system we already have, and that ultimately won’t work…
The bill is very similar to the version of the House bill that passed last month but with some key changes. The text released Thursday showed the Senate legislation would still make major changes to the nation’s health care system, repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate, drastically cutting back federal support of Medicaid, eliminating Obamacare’s taxes on the wealthy, insurers and others. The Senate plan however would keep Obamacare’s subsidies to help people pay for individual coverage.
One thing that is good about the Senate bill is that it would eliminate Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood for 12 months, but of course this is something that would need to be made permanent as soon as possible.
A more detailed list of major changes that the Senate bill makes was posted on Zero Hedge…
- Gives subsidies illegal immigrants if they are working in the United States
- Subsidies based on 350% Federal Poverty Level, not 400%.
- Gets rid of business and consumer mandates with no penalty
- Qualified plans don’t need to provide abortion coverage unless it’s to save the life of the mother
- Each state gets 15-10 Billion for uninsurables
- Cadillac tax is gone
- OTC med tax is gone
- HSA penalty tax is 10%
- Prescription tax is gone
- Medical device tax is gone
- Business owners can deduct part d expense again
- Deductible medical expenses are back to 7.5% instead of 10% AGI
- Tanning tax is gone (ironic)
- Net investment tax is gone
- HSA deductibility will be adjusted every year for COLA
- Both spouses can now make catch-up contributions to a family HSA
- 60 day limitation to setting up an HSA account when first getting the plan for purposes of a current claim
- No coverage for abortion clinics
- Repeal of cost-sharing subsidy
- MLR set by states
- Grants for states battling opiod addiction (like mine)
- CHIP is reauthorized
- $5,000 app fee to create small business association health pool
- Psychiatric coverage is limited to institutionalized individuals only, and for stays up to 30 days but not to exceed 90 days
- The Senate draft health-care bill doesn’t currently include a provision penalizing people who don’t maintain continuous coverage
Overall, the Senate bill would be a bit of an improvement over Obamacare.
But a slight improvement over a major disaster is still a disaster.
Shortly after the bill was unveiled, four conservative senators announced that they cannot vote for the bill the way that it stands now…
However, four conservative Republican senators —Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Mike Lee of Utah— said they “are not ready to vote for this bill” because it does not go far enough in repealing Obamacare. Separately, moderate GOP Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said he has “serious concerns” about the bill’s impact on Medicaid patients.
“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor,” Paul, Cruz, Johnson and Lee said in a joint statement. “There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.”
On the other end of the spectrum, a couple of RINO (Republican in name only) senators are expected to object to the bill because it would reduce funding for Planned Parenthood…
The Senate bill would cut Medicaid funds from organizations that provide abortions for one year. It does not mention Planned Parenthood by name, but the legislation is clearly targeting the organization, which Republican leaders have promised to defund.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have both expressed concerns about any legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood. Murkowski said Thursday she was still reviewing the bill’s provisions.
President Trump says that the Senate bill is not a finished product and that it is open for negotiation.
But I don’t see how in the world anyone is going to be able to craft something that will be acceptable to at least 50 Republicans in the Senate.
Unfortunately, even if the Republicans pass a health care bill somehow it will not fix the giant mess that our system has become.
One step in the right direction would be to legalize the kind of national buying groups that Rand Paul has proposed…
Imagine if the tens of millions of people who belong to Credit Unions, or organizations like the NRA or ACLU, could negotiate as a group for health insurance and drug prices! Imagine the insurance executives and drug companies coming on bended knee to negotiate for the business of tens of millions of people!
I have proposed legalizing nationwide Association Health Plans. My Senate Bill 222 does just that. I have advised the President to act through his Secretary of Labor to review existing law and make it explicitly known that national associations can negotiate as one to bring down insurance prices.
And I would also like to see an expansion of direct primary care and other models that bypass the health insurance companies entirely.
The health insurance companies collectively make a profit of 15 billion dollars a year, and they are a big part of what is wrong with our current system.
There is so much that needs to be done to fix things, and both parties are failing the American people.
So let’s hope that we can remove a lot of these incumbents in 2018, because we definitely need some fresh thinking in Washington.
It has become exceedingly clear that the Democratic Party is in deep trouble. Close to 55 million dollars was spent on the race in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, and that shattered all kinds of records. Democrat Jon Ossoff was able to raise and spend six times as much money as Karen Handel and yet he still lost. This was supposed to be the race that would show the American people that the Democrats could take back control of Congress in 2018, and so for the Democrats this was a bitter failure. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee actually injected almost 5 million dollars into the race themselves, and Planned Parenthood threw in another $700,000. But after all of the time, effort and energy that was expended, Handel still won fairly comfortably.
The Democrats are trying to spin this result as some sort of “moral victory”, but as Dan Balz of the Washington Post has pointed out, there are “no moral victories in politics”…
There are no moral victories in politics. Republicans won on Tuesday in the most important special election this year. Democrats lost, as they have done in the other special elections in GOP-held seats this year.
For the national Democratic Party, the debate continues about developing a message that goes beyond attacking Trump, or assuming dissatisfaction with the president will be enough.
It has been a very long time since there has been so much national attention on a single House race. A number of high profile Hollywood celebrities became personally involved in Ossoff’s campaign, and they were absolutely devastated when he lost…
Celebrities who donated time and money to Ossoff’s campaign, including actresses Alyssa Milano and Rosie O’Donnell, used their social media accounts to react to the Democrat’s loss shortly after the election results were confirmed late Tuesday night.
Milano, who personally drove voters to the polls in April’s preliminary election and was actively campaigning for the Democrat for most of Election Day, tweeted simply: “Grouphug” and “Get in.”
Meanwhile, electronic music producer Moby and vocal Trump critic O’Donnell appeared to be frustrated by the results, with Moby questioning how Democratic “still can’t win” even with “buffoon” Donald Trump in the White House. O’Donnell tweeted: “DONALD TRUMP IS THE DARKNESS ITSELF.”
Where does the Democratic Party go from here?
Their anti-Trump message is not working, and their usual divide and conquer tactics are not working either.
At this point either the Democratic Party is going to have to reinvent itself, or they could be facing a long, painful string of election defeats for the foreseeable future. To say that things have not been going well for the Democrats lately would be a major understatement. I really like what Rush Limbaugh had to say about this on his radio show…
“You have no idea the degree to which the media and the Democratic Party are destroyed today. I’m talking about how they feel … which is complete and utter defeat, frustration and devastation,” he said on Wednesday, hours after Republican Karen Handel was a multiple percentage point winner over defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff.
“The dirty little secret is the media and the Democratic Party is turning off average Americans. They are not persuading, they are not convincing people Trump is a reprobate,” he continued. “They do not know how to beat Donald Trump. There are depressed and despondent.”
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why Jon Ossoff lost.
All of the anger and violence that we have seen lately has greatly tainted the Democratic Party.
The Democrats have become the party of Kathy Griffin.
The Democrats have become the party of Antifa and mock Trump assassinations.
And the Democrats have become the party of James Hodgkinson.
U.S. Representative Tim Ryan was right on the ball when he admitted that his party’s brand has now become “toxic” in much of the nation…
Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who tried to unseat Ms. Pelosi as House minority leader late last fall, said she remained a political millstone for Democrats. But Mr. Ryan said the Democratic brand had also become “toxic” in much of the country because voters saw Democrats as “not being able to connect with the issues they care about.”
“Our brand is worse than Trump,” he said.
As I have discussed repeatedly, the left doesn’t have any positive vision for the future to offer the American people. They cannot win in the marketplace of ideas, and so they use anger, frustration, intimidation and violence as weapons. For quite a while the Democrats successfully used “the blame game” and divide and conquer tactics to win elections, but now the American people are seeing through the charade.
The more angry and violent the left becomes, the more the American people are going to turn against them. The following comes from Daniel Greenfield…
But Trump Derangement Syndrome is a symptom of a problem with the left that existed before he was born. The left is an angry movement. It is animated by an outraged self-righteousness whose moral superiority doubles as dehumanization. And its machinery of culture glamorizes its anger. The media dresses up the seething rage so that the left never has to look at its inner Hodgkinson in the mirror.
The left is as angry as ever. Campus riots and assassinations of Republican politicians are nothing new. What is changing is that its opponents are beginning to match its anger. The left still clings to the same anger it had when it was a theoretical movement with plans, but little impact on the country. The outrage at the left is no longer ideological. There are millions of people whose health care was destroyed by ObamaCare, whose First Amendment rights were taken away, whose land was seized, whose children were turned against them and whose livelihoods were destroyed.
Of course it is quite true that the Republican Party needs to be cleaned up as well. Many establishment Republicans use labels such as “conservative” and “Pro-Life” to win elections, but then they end up government like Democrats. And so many members of Congress in both parties spend far more time and energy raising money for their next elections than they do serving the American people.
There is a reason why Congress only has a 17.6 percent approval rating at the moment. Both major parties should take that as a sign that they need to clean up their acts, because the American people are sick and tired of the status quo.
What in the world did the left think would happen? When Kathy Griffin posed for a photo with “Trump’s bloody head”, that sent a message. And the twisted version of “Julius Caesar” that is currently being put on by a New York theater group in which a character meant to closely resemble Donald Trump is brutally assassinated sends a message. At any time of the day, you can find leftist radicals openly discussing violence against Trump and Republicans on Facebook and Twitter, and groups like Antifa have been employing extremely violent tactics ever since the Inauguration. So it is not much of a surprise that a huge Bernie Sanders supporter decided that it would be a good idea to try to mow down Republican members of Congress as they were practicing for an upcoming charity baseball game on Wednesday. 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson was simply the product of a political movement that is absolutely seething with hate.
This is not a game. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip, and four others were injured. You can see some footage of Scalise being taken to an ambulance here. When Hodgkinson arrived at the practice field, he specifically asked which party was using the practice field at that moment…
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) recounted an “odd” encounter he had as he was leaving the field just minutes before the shooting: “There was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there, and it was just a little odd,” DeSantis told Fox News.
According to news reports, Hodgkinson fired dozens of shots. This wasn’t a case of targeting a particular individual. Rather, it was obvious that he intended to kill as many Republicans as he possibly could.
But instead of showing remorse, many on the radical left were actually celebrating the shootings on Twitter. And there were even some that were disappointed that it wasn’t Trump that had been shot.
I hate to say this, but it is likely that this is just the beginning of the violence by the radical left.
So what would make a 66-year-old man suddenly snap like this?
His Facebook page has now been taken down, but when it was up Hodgkinson had an enormous photo of Bernie Sanders as his banner image. And it turns out that he was a huge fan of Rachel Maddow…
So, where did Hodgkinson draw inspiration for his “progressive” political beliefs? Well, according to a letter to the editor published in the “Belleville News-Democrat” in July 2012, Hodgkinson’s favorite TV show was MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show.”
What you consistently feed your mind determines what you eventually become, and this case is a perfect example. On Facebook, Hodgkinson regularly shared his hate-filled beliefs…
In a March 22 Facebook post, Hodgkinson, who turned his ire against Trump, who he described as a “traitor.”
“Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy,” he said. “It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”
In a post earlier this week, the suspect highlighted a campaign calling for the president’s impeachment.
“Trump is Guilty & Should Go to Prison for Treason,” Hodgkinson wrote.
And just check out some of the Facebook groups that Hodgkinson belonged to…
▪ “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans”
▪ “Donald Trump is not my President”
▪ “President Bernie Sanders”
▪ “Illinois Berners United to Resist Trump”
▪ “Boycott the Republican Party”
▪ “Expose Republican Fraud”
▪ “Terminate the Republican Party”
The hate-filled ideology of the left is intellectually and morally bankrupt, and the only thing all of this violence is going to do is to drive the American people away from their cause.
I must say that I agreed with U.S. Representative Steve King 100 percent when he told reporters that “violence is appearing in the streets”, and that it is “coming from the left”…
“America has been divided,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who, in suit and tie, stopped by the crime scene to pray and was viscerally angry about his colleagues being attacked. “And the center of America is disappearing, and the violence is appearing in the streets, and it’s coming from the left.”
And of course there has been a pattern of violence against Republican lawmakers in recent months. The following compilation comes from Natural News…
Last month, as noted by The Daily Caller, GOP Rep. Tom Garrett’s town halls were replete with heavy security and police presence after he and his family were repeatedly threatened with death. “This is how we’re going to kill your wife,” some disgusting coward wrote, Garrett told Politico.
Also last month, Tennessee police arrested and charged a 35-year-old woman, Wendi Wright, with felonious reckless endangerment after she allegedly attempted to run GOP Rep. David Kustoff off the road following a raucous town hall event featuring the Republican health care legislation.
That same day, North Dakota police escorted a man out of a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Kevin Cramer after a man became physical with him, shoving a fistful of dollars into Cramer’s shirt collar.
I almost didn’t want my wife to see what happened in Alexandria this morning, because I am very, very strongly considering running for Congress here in Idaho.
I couldn’t help but think that it could have been me out on that baseball field.
It would be naive to think that more Republican lawmakers won’t be targeted. Just like radical Islam, the radical left in this country will never be satisfied until they completely eradicate our way of life. The radical left uses tools such as threats, violence and intimidation because they simply do not have the ammunition to win in the marketplace of ideas. And so anyone that tries to stand up to them will become a potential target.
But if we just sit back and do nothing, they will win by default.
In the end, Hodgkinson and others like him will fail. Because every time they strike us, all they are doing is waking up a sleeping giant called “the American people”. We will not bend, we will not bow, and we will not break, and no matter how violent they become our resolve will not waver.
Every since the very beginning of our nation Americans have had to stand up against tyranny, and we aren’t going to back down now.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives finally approved a bill that would repeal and replace significant portions of the law that created Obamacare. But it was a very close vote. On Donald Trump’s 105th day in the White House, 217 members of the House voted in favor of the bill, and 213 members of the House voted against the bill. Of course “Trumpcare” is far from perfect, and it actually does very little to fix our rapidly failing healthcare system, but the reason why this is the best thing that Trump has done so far is because this bill would greatly reduce federal funding for Planned Parenthood. But first this bill must get through the Senate before it can become law, and that is looking extremely doubtful at this point. In fact, The Hill is reporting that one Republican Senator has said that this bill has less than a 20 percent chance of succeeding in the Senate…
A senior GOP senator said the chances of getting 51 votes for legislation based on the House healthcare bill are less than 1 in 5.
The senator also put the chances that the House bill will meet Senate budgetary rules preventing a filibuster at less than 1 in 5, meaning portions of the legislation would have to be removed.
Lawmakers are keeping quiet about their concerns because they want to help Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), whose job they fear may be in jeopardy if the House fails again to approve an ObamaCare repeal bill.
Yes, I know that Trump and the Republicans in the House were greatly celebrating on Thursday, but there really isn’t anything to celebrate yet.
The Senate is probably going to come up with an entirely different version of this legislation, and it is likely to look far different from the bill that just passed the House.
If a bill of some sort can actually get through the Senate, and that is a huge “if”, then an attempt would be made to reconcile the differences between the two bills, and then the final version would be submitted to both the House and the Senate for an up or down vote.
The problem is that the Senate is not going to pass anything like the version that the House just came up with, and conservatives in the House are likely to balk at anything that the Senate comes up with.
So please don’t think that an Obamacare repeal is a done deal.
The truth is that it probably is not going to happen any time soon.
But for the moment, I am going to applaud President Trump and House Republicans for doing something right. I have been very tough on them in recent weeks, and rightly so, but when they do something good I am certainly going to give them the praise that they are due.
The bill that the House just passed would greatly reduce federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and that fact alone more than makes up for all of the other flaws in it. The following comes from CNS News…
The American Health Care Act—the Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill that the House of Representatives passed by a 217-to-213 vote this afternoon–will temporarily and significantly reduce, but not eliminate, federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The bill will prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving funding through “mandatory” federal funding streams—primarily Medicaid—for exactly one calendar year after the president signs it.
But it does not prevent Planned Parenthood from getting “discretionary” funding through the Title X family planning program.
It is just for one year, which is far from ideal, but at least for 12 months Planned Parenthood would see their funding go down by hundreds of millions of dollars…
The pro-life bill would eliminate more than $390 million (over 86%) of over $450 million in annual federal funding to Planned Parenthood, from all mandatory spending programs. The measure also redirects funding to community health centers which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1 and offer a wider array of health care services, but not abortion.
Of course this is one of the provisions in the bill that some Republicans in the Senate want to eliminate.
It is extremely unlikely that any bill that even defunds Planned Parenthood in part will ever get through the Senate, but Trump should make an all-out effort to get this accomplished anyway.
And if Republican leadership can somehow get a bill through the Senate and signed into law that at least significantly reduces federal funding for Planned Parenthood, I will officially take back all of the negative things that I have said about the Republicans so far this year.
This week President Trump also signed a landmark executive order that does a great deal to protect religious liberty…
The order, signed during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, directs the Internal Revenue Service to exercise “maximum enforcement discretion” over the so-called Johnson amendment, which prevents churches and other tax-exempt religious organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. The order also provides “regulatory relief” for organizations that object on religious grounds to a provision in Obamacare that mandates employers provide certain health services, including coverage for contraception.
All Americans, including Christians, should be free to express their political beliefs without fearing repercussions from the federal government. The Johnson Amendment was probably always unconstitutional, and that is one of the reasons why it has never really been enforced. Congress should go even farther and completely repeal it, and hopefully that will happen someday.
So once again I want to take this opportunity to applaud Trump for doing something right. This is a good executive order, although it doesn’t quite go far enough. A major war against people of faith is being waged by very powerful forces in this country, and I am thankful for a president that is at least trying to keep some of the heat off of our backs.
I tend to get criticized by both the pro-Trump and anti-Trump camps because I try to be objective.
When our politicians do things that are wrong, I am going to say that they are wrong.
And when our politicians do things that are right, I am going to say that they are right.
We lose credibility when we act as cheerleaders for politicians that are “on our side” no matter what they say or do.
In our society today, there is a desperate need for people that are willing to think critically and that are willing to cling objectively to the truth.
Because once we let go of the truth we are all in trouble…
Is this the beginning of the end for the United States of America? It has been said that a house divided against itself will surely fall, and today we live in a shattered union. In all my years, I have never seen so much strife, discord, bitterness and resentment in this country. Everyone can see what is happening, but nobody can seem to stop it. Politically, you have got tens of millions of people trying to pull America one way, and you have got tens of millions of people trying to pull it the exact opposite way. As I discussed in a previous article, the term “civil war” is now being thrown around by some pundits even though nobody has started shooting yet. We are a deeply divided and broken nation, and if we don’t find a way to fix things America will not survive.
Every survey and opinion poll that has been taken recently backs up what I am saying. For example, a Gallup survey that was conducted after the election in November found that an all-time record high 77 percent of all Americans believe that “the nation is divided on the most important values”…
Seventy-seven percent of Americans, a new high, believe the nation is divided on the most important values, while 21% believe it is united and in agreement. Over the past 20+ years, the public has tended to perceive the nation as being more divided than united, apart from two surveys conducted shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
So how do you fix this?
Nobody can force half the population to suddenly change their views on the most important issues of the day.
Earlier today, I wrote an article about how America is becoming a “politically-correct madhouse“, and there really is no compromising with the forces of political correctness. Either you get in line or you are the enemy.
Once upon a time the values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution by our founders united us, but today about half the country has completely rejected those values.
Those that would like to restore our constitutional values find themselves diametrically opposed to the agenda that progressives are trying to shove down our throats, and personally I don’t see much room for compromise between the two sides.
Given enough time, one side would ultimately vanquish the other side, but I don’t know if America has enough time left for that to happen.
There were some that had been hoping that our new president would unite the country, but you can throw that idea right out the window. According to numbers from Public Policy Polling, nearly half the nation already wants him to be impeached…
On our first poll of his Presidency voters were evenly divided on Trump, with 44% approving of him and 44% also disapproving. Now his approval rating is 43%, while his disapproval has gone all the way up to 53%. If voters could choose they’d rather have both Barack Obama (52/44) or Hillary Clinton (49/45) instead of Trump.
Just three weeks into his administration, voters are already evenly divided on the issue of impeaching Trump with 46% in favor and 46% opposed.
The political divisions in this nation are just going to grow worse and worse.
But just because we vehemently disagree with someone politically does not mean that we should hate that person.
I know that it can be infuriating to see some politician get up and start spouting off ideas that would be extremely damaging to this country. But if we choose to hate our political “enemies”, we become part of the problem.
It is easy to love someone that agrees with you about most things. The real challenge is finding a way to love those that believe things that you may find truly repulsive.
That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what they believe. I am not saying that at all. You can disagree very strongly with someone and still love that person.
Unfortunately, the hearts of most people have grown cold in America. As hatred, anger and frustration continue to grow, it is only a matter of time before we start seeing outbursts of violence. Rioting, looting and civil unrest are going to become commonplace in communities all over the U.S., and eventually some of our major cities will burn. In my latest book I warned that the “thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted will disappear”, and thousands upon thousands of Americans that can see this coming are already fleeing the big cities.
What particularly disturbs me is when I see people that are supposed to be on the same side fighting each other.
If you are around someone long enough, eventually they are going to do or say something to offend you. None of us is going to agree 100 percent on everything, and it is a horrible shame to allow one disagreement to ruin what should be a great relationship.
If you do not learn to forgive, every relationship that you ever have in your life will ultimately fail, because everyone is going to let you down at some point.
And you may think that you are making the other person pay a price by refusing to forgive, but the truth is that you will be the one that will end up suffering. Even medical science has found that there are health benefits to forgiving and that unforgiveness can actually help bring on serious illnesses. The following comes from the official website of Johns Hopkins Medicine…
Whether it’s a simple spat with your spouse or long-held resentment toward a family member or friend, unresolved conflict can go deeper than you may realize—it may be affecting your physical health. The good news: Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress. And research points to an increase in the forgiveness-health connection as you age.
“There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,” says Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.
There are people that are reading this article that need to pick up the phone right now and apologize to someone that they have been refusing to forgive.
Yes, without a doubt that would be difficult. But you might just be surprised how much grace a little humility can unleash.
You may not be able to fix our broken nation, but you certainly can fix the broken relationships in your own life.
And if millions of Americans decided to choose love and forgiveness rather than hatred, anger, bitterness and resentment, it would most definitely have a transformative effect on the entire country.
I would like to close with some very wise words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Are we going to see a dramatic stock market plunge if the effort to get “Obamacare Lite” through the U.S. House of Representatives ultimately fails? On Thursday, a vote on the Republican healthcare bill was postponed once it became clear that there would not be enough votes for it to pass. House Republican leaders are still optimistic that there will still be a vote on Friday, but that is far from certain. Many strong conservatives in the House are balking at supporting this bill because while it does eliminate a few of the most troublesome provisions of Obamacare, it keeps many of the elements of Obama’s signature healthcare law that have proven to be popular with the American people. In other words, this bill is much more about “tweaking” Obamacare than “repealing” it.
This is the first major legislative test for President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, and so far they are failing. House Republican leaders have gone into panic mode, because a “no” vote could have some very serious implications outside of Washington. In fact, one member of Congress is warning that if this bill does not pass that we could see the Dow drop 1,000 points in a single day…
It happened in real life on Sept. 29, 2008, when the House first voted on a Wall Street bailout intended to stem the financial crisis. In a swirl of uncertainty, Republican members stampeded to “no,” defeated the measure and watched the Dow tumble by more than 700 points. The same thing could happen on the GOP health bill, a veteran member told CNBC on Thursday — only bigger.
“If this goes down, we could take a 1,000-point market hit,” the member said. To be sure, traders and investors tell CNBC the market likely will go lower if there is no compromise Thursday, but the decline won’t likely come near a 1,000-point drop. That would represent a nearly 5 percent drop in the Dow, a bit less than the 7 percent decline when the index fell 777 points in September 2008.
And even if this bill does pass, we are probably headed for some sort of significant downturn anyway. Sven Henrich has just told CNBC that he believes that “the market could see a 5 to 10 percent drop in the near term”…
The market has enjoyed a stellar bull run, but a correction is likely looming, according to Sven Henrich, also known as the “Northman Trader.”
A very long-term analysis of the S&P 500, in conjunction with a look at the CBOE Volatility Index, leads Henrich to believe the market could see a 5 to 10 percent drop in the near term.
But fixing our failing healthcare system is far more important than trying to prop up the financial markets, and so the strong conservatives in the House are quite right to stand by their principles.
Simply “tweaking” Obamacare is not going to fix anything, and it is extremely disappointing that President Trump and Paul Ryan are advocating such an approach.
Thankfully, there are a number of strong conservatives in Congress that are willing to take a stand for what is right even if it means standing up against their own party. One of those principled conservatives is Senator Rand Paul, and he says that right now there are at least 35 Republican “no” votes in the House, and that would be enough to kill the bill…
I think there’s easily 35 no votes right now so unless something happens in the next 24 hours, I would predict they pull the bill and start over. I think if conservatives stick together, they will have earned a seat at the table where real negotiation to make this bill an acceptable bill will happen. But it’s interesting what conservatives are doing to change the debate. We went from keeping the Obamacare taxes for a year—hundreds of billions of dollars—but they’re coming towards us because we’re standing firm. So we have to stick together, and if we do stick together there will be a real negotiation on this. The main goal I have is not to pass something that does not fix the situation. If a year from now, insurance rates and premiums are still going through the roof and it’s now a Republican plan it will be a disservice to the president and all of us if we pass something that doesn’t work.
If this bill is ultimately defeated, I have an idea that might work.
Why don’t we get the government out of the healthcare business entirely?
Once upon a time when we actually let the free market determine the allocation of healthcare resources, we had the best healthcare system in the entire world.
But after decades of experimenting with socialist principles and adding mountains of rules, regulations and red tape to the system, we have a giant mess on our hands.
Either we need to go back to a true free market system, or we might as well go ahead and just socialize the entire thing.
Right now, hard working families have to pay for their own healthcare and also pay for the socialized healthcare that more than 125 million other Americans are receiving.
Yes, when you add up all of the Americans that are on Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare and other government programs, it comes to more than 125 million people.
So a lot of hard working families are scared to ever go to the hospital because their insurance deductibles are so high, and yet their taxes go to pay for all of the free healthcare that people on government assistance are receiving.
If the government is going to pay for the healthcare for nearly half the country, why should the rest of us have to pay for ours?
What we have now is such a ridiculous system, and what President Trump and Paul Ryan are proposing is not “free market” in any way, shape or form.
So I say let this horrible bill fail even if it means that financial markets will freak out for a little while.
Hopefully what transpires over the coming days will cause Republican leadership to go back to the drawing board, and a clean repeal of Obamacare would be a really good place to start.
It has been said that “as California goes, so goes the nation”. That is why it is such a shame what is happening to that once great state. At one time, California seemed to be the epicenter of the American Dream. Featuring some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the entire world, the gorgeous weather and booming economy of the state inspired people from all over the world to move to the state. But now people are moving out of the state by the millions, because life in California has literally become a nightmare for so many people.
I certainly don’t have anything against the state personally. My brother and sister were both born there, and I spent a number of my childhood years in stunning northern California. When I was younger I would sometimes dream of getting a place on the coast eventually, but for reasons I will discuss below I no longer think that would be advisable.
In fact, if I was living in California today I would be immediately looking for a way to move out of the state unless I specifically felt called to stay. The following are 16 reasons why you shouldn’t live in California…
#1 The entire California coastline is part of the “Ring of Fire” seismic zone that roughly encircles the Pacific Ocean. The San Andreas Fault has been described as a “time bomb“, and at some point there will be a catastrophic earthquake that absolutely devastates the entire region. In fact, a study that was just released says that a “major earthquake” on the San Andreas Fault “is way overdue” …
A recently published study reveals new evidence that a major earthquake is way overdue on a 100 mile stretch of the San Andreas Fault from the Antelope Valley to the Tejon Pass and beyond.
Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey released the results of the years-long study warning a major earthquake could strike soon.
#2 Out of all 50 states, the state of California has been ranked as the worst state for business for 12 years in a row…
In what is sounding like a broken record, California once again ranked dead last in Chief Executive magazine’s annual Best and Worst States for Business survey of CEOs – as it has all 12 years the survey has been conducted. Texas, meanwhile, earned the top spot for the 12th straight year.
Among the survey’s subcategories, the 513 CEOs from across the nation ranked California 50th in taxation and regulation, 35th in workforce quality and 26th in living environment, which includes cost of living, the education system and state and local attitudes toward business. Notably, California placed worst among the nine states in the Western region in all three categories.
#3 California has the highest state income tax rates in the entire nation. For many Americans, the difference between what you would have to pay if you lived in California and what you would have to pay if you lived in Texas could literally buy a car every single year.
#4 The state government in Sacramento seems to go a little bit more insane with each passing session. This time around, they are talking about going to a single-payer healthcare system for the entire state that would cost California taxpayers 40 billion dollars a year…
On Friday, State Senator Ricardo Lara introduced legislation that would transition California’s healthcare into a single-payer system. (RELATED: Read what a retired colonel said about the real purpose of Obamacare). The system would be very similar to the healthcare system currently in place in Canada and would cost California taxpayers roughly $40 billion for the first year alone. Given the poor economic climate California has already created for itself, this will no doubt be just one more burden on the people of California, and one step closer towards total bankruptcy.
Micah Weinberg, the president of the Economic Institute at the Bay Area Council, raised concerns over the financial consequences of the proposed legislation. “Where are they going to come up with the $40 billion?” he asked. He went on to suggest that adopting a state level single-payer system is “just not feasible to do as a state.”
#5 The traffic in the major cities just keeps getting worse and worse. According to USA Today, Los Angeles now has the worst traffic in the entire world, and San Francisco is not far behind.
#6 A lot of money is being made in Silicon Valley these days (at least for now), but poverty is also exploding in the state. In desperation, homeless people are banding together to create large tent cities all over the state, and the L.A. City Council recently asked Governor Jerry Brown “to declare homelessness a statewide emergency“.
#7 Thanks to unchecked illegal immigration, crime is on the rise in many California cities. The drug war that has been raging for years in Mexico is increasingly spilling over the border, and many families have moved out of the state for this reason alone.
#8 California is one of the most litigious states in the entire nation. According to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, the “lawsuit climate” in California is ranked 47th out of all 50 states.
#9 Every year wildfires and mudslides wreak havoc in the state. Erosion is particularly bad along the coast, and I have previously written about how some portions of the California coastline are literally falling into the ocean.
#10 California has some of the most ridiculous housing prices in the entire country. Due to a lack of affordable housing rents have soared to wild extremes in San Francisco, where one poor engineer was actually paying $1,400 a month to live in a closet.
#11 All over the state, key infrastructure is literally falling to pieces. Governor Jerry Brown recently issued a list of key projects that needed to be done as soon as possible, and the total price tag for that list was 100 billion dollars. Of course that list didn’t even include the Oroville Dam, and we all saw what happened there.
#12 Radiation from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster continues to cross the ocean and wash up along the California coastline. The impact of this crisis on the health of those living along the west coast could potentially be felt for generations.
#13 Illegal drug use in the state is on the rise again, and emergency rooms are being flooded by heroin overdose victims.
#14 On top of everything else, it is being reported that Russia is “quietly ‘seeding’ the U.S. shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles”. The following comes from retired colonel and former Russian defense ministry spokesman Viktor Baranetz…
“What are these mysterious ‘asymmetrical responses’ that our politicians and generals speak about so often? Maybe it’s a myth or a pretty turn of phrase? No! Our asymmetrical response is nuclear warheads that can modify their course and height so that no computer can calculate their trajectory. Or, for example, the Americans are deploying their tanks, airplanes and special forces battalions along the Russian border. And we are quietly ‘seeding’ the U.S. shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles (they dig themselves in and ‘sleep’ until they are given the command)[…]
“Oh, it seems I’ve said too much. I should hold my tongue.”
Hopefully what Baranetz is claiming is not accurate, because if it is even partly true the implications are absolutely staggering.
#15 North Korea is a major nuclear threat as well. It is being reported that the North Koreans are developing an ICBM that could potentially reach the west coast of the United States…
Defense officials have warned that North Korea is on the brink of producing an ICBM that could target the United States. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced in January during his New Year’s address that Pyongyang had “entered the final stage of preparations to test-launch” an ICBM that could reach parts of the United States.
#16 Someday a very large earthquake will produce a major tsunami on the west coast. According to the Los Angeles Times, one study found that a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia fault could potentially produce a massive tsunami that would “wash away coastal towns”…
If a 9.0 earthquake were to strike along California’s sparsely populated North Coast, it would have a catastrophic ripple effect.
A giant tsunami created by the quake would wash away coastal towns, destroy U.S. 101 and cause $70 billion in damage over a large swath of the Pacific coast. More than 100 bridges would be lost, power lines toppled and coastal towns isolated. Residents would have as few as 15 minutes notice to flee to higher ground, and as many as 10,000 would perish.
Scientists last year published this grim scenario for a massive rupture along the Cascadia fault system, which runs 700 miles off shore from Northern California to Vancouver Island.
Over the past decade, approximately five million people have moved away from California.
After reading this article, perhaps you have a better understanding why so many people are getting out while they still can.
To me, one of the greatest concerns is the rise in seismic activity that we are seeing all over the world. In my latest book I express my belief that the United States will be greatly affected by this increase in seismic activity, and California is going to get hit harder than just about anywhere else.
Once again, I don’t have anything against California or the people that live there. It is such a beautiful place, and it once held so much promise.
Unfortunately that promise has been shattered, and there is a mass exodus out of the state as families flee the horrific nightmare that California is in the process of becoming.
Top Republicans are now publicly saying that Obamacare will never be fully repealed. In fact, many Republicans in Congress are already using the term “repair” instead of “repeal” to describe what is going to happen to Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. Without a doubt, the Republicans in Congress are eventually going to do something, but strategists in both parties are now suggesting that most of the key elements of Obamacare are going to remain once everything is all said and done. It will be put into a more “conservative” package, but it will still be Obamacare.
On Thursday, former House Speaker John Boehner made headlines all over the country when he said that a complete repeal of Obamacare is “not what’s going to happen”. Instead, Boehner said that Republicans are going to “fix Obamacare” and that they will “put a more conservative box around it” in order to keep their constituents happy.
Of course this isn’t what we voted for. For years, Republican politicians all across the country have been promising that Obamacare would be repealed once they got control of Congress, but now Boehner is telling us that all of that was just “happy talk”…
Earlier in the panel discussion, Boehner said he “started laughing” when Republicans started talking about moving lightning fast on repeal and then coming up with an alternative.
“In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, one time agreed on what a health care proposal should look like. Not once,” Boehner said. “And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal—yeah, we’ll do replace, replace—I started laughing, because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. You broke it.”
When the Republicans finally get around to doing something, they will inevitably declare it to be a great victory, but will it actually be that much different from what we have now?
Yes, the IRS penalty for not having health insurance will probably go. But there will still be coverage for children up to the age of 26, there will still be mandatory coverage for preexisting conditions, there will still be mandatory coverage for maternity expenses, there will still be some form of Medicaid expansion and there will still be subsidies for the poor.
In the end, we are still going to have a healthcare system where half the country pays for the healthcare for the other half of the country.
That isn’t fair, and it never will be. One half of the country shouldn’t have to pay much higher rates for their own health insurance and also pay for the healthcare of everyone else in the nation as well. Either we should go back to a free market system, or they might as well go ahead and socialize the entire thing.
The thought of sticking with what we have right now is utter insanity, but unfortunately that is what top Republicans mean when they speak of “repairing” Obamacare. The following comes from the New York Times…
“When you talk about ‘repeal,’ you have just used a word that is very polarizing,” said Representative Tom MacArthur, Republican of New Jersey, who meets weekly with moderate Republicans and Democrats of equal number. “When you go to Democrats and say, ‘Help us repeal,’ that puts them in a box. If you say, ‘Would you help us repair something?’ people start listening in a whole other way.”
How in the world do you “repair” a steaming pile of garbage?
I just don’t understand.
What the Republicans need to do is very simple. As Jim Demint has suggested, the Republicans in Congress simply need to pass the same Obamacare repeal that Barack Obama vetoed not too long ago…
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina Republican senator, called on activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference to push their members of Congress to send to President Donald Trump the same legislation that dismantled the law and was vetoed by President Barack Obama with all due haste.
“We must and we can repeal Obamacare now,” DeMint said. “They should send that same bill to President Trump right now.”
So what is keeping Republicans in Congress from moving forward?
One thing is the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Some liberal Republicans are promising to vote against any Obamacare repeal bill that defunds Planned Parenthood…
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says she will not vote for an ObamaCare repeal bill that defunds Planned Parenthood.
In her address to Alaska’s state legislature Wednesday, the moderate Republican offered her firmest commitment yet that she will not support defunding Planned Parenthood.
“I, for one, do not believe that Planned Parenthood has any place in our deliberations on the Affordable Care Act,” she said.
Another thing that is giving some Republicans pause are the angry protesters that they are running into at town hall meetings…
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Tom McClintock of California are among Republicans who faced hostile audiences at recent town hall meetings.
This comes after the Women’s March on Washington that drew hundreds of thousands of protestors the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“Republicans need to be paying attention and doing their best to understand the energy from the town halls,” said Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, a Washington-based publication that tracks congressional races.
Of course a lot of those “angry protesters” are from Barack Obama’s private army of more than 30,000 volunteers that are being deployed around the nation in a desperate attempt to defend Obamacare.
In the end, the truth is that the Republicans should be listening to the voters that sent them to Washington in the first place. Most of those voters expected an immediate Obamacare repeal, and now that it has not happened it is making for a very confusing tax season. The following comes from Politico…
Republicans’ stalled campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act is sowing confusion among those now trying to do their taxes.
Many taxpayers believe Republicans have already repealed the law, tax preparers say, and they’re surprised and upset to learn they are still subject to Obamacare’s penalty for failing to have health insurance — a charge that climbed this year to more than $2,000 per family.
Until it is repealed, Obamacare will continue to kill jobs and will continue to kill the middle class.
It was one of the worst pieces of legislation ever written, and it boggles the mind that so many Republicans in Congress are hesitant about repealing it.
Unfortunately, just as I portray in my novel, America is rapidly going crazy.
We have been given over to a reprobate mind, and our leaders can’t even seem to think straight any longer.
If Obamacare is going to be repealed, now is the time. Please contact your representatives in Congress and tell them that a “fix” will not work and that we want Obamacare to be completely repealed and replaced with a free market alternative.