Sabotage, and Where We go From Here

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Elections, Issues, News

Throughout the past few weeks, we witnessed the train wreck of the stupid party colliding with the evil party.  The stupid party made sure to tell the evil party that they just need to reject their offer and there will be a new watered-down iteration in a flash.  Finally, it got so bad that they couldn’t even draw a line in the sand on delaying just the individual mandate, even at a time when most individuals can’t comply with it if they tried.  The irony is that the President will undoubtedly delay it (illegally) himself after the battle is over, making fools of the Republicans.

But amidst all the focus on Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans, we cannot lose focus on Mitch McConnell and the GOP Conference in the Senate.  McConnell and his henchmen sabotaged House Republicans at the two most critical points.

Headed into October 1, the House was the only body that had the ability to pass a funding bill.  Republicans had enough votes to block Harry Reid from reinserting funding for Obamacare.  Instead, McConnell and the gang acted in solidarity with fellow Senate Democrats instead of House Republicans.  That dynamic was only accentuated as the showdown dragged on.

Aside for Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, nobody else paid more than lip service to fighting Obamacare.  Worse, the overwhelming majority of Republicans in the Senate sabotaged the effort.  One after another, they would go on TV and trash House Republicans and echo Harry Reid’s talking points.  Reid and Obama just sat back and let Senate Republicans blow up their colleagues.  Then in the eleventh hour, instead of at least demanding delay of the individual mandate (which McConnell touted months ago as the alternative to defund), McConnell gave Harry Reid everything he wanted.

House GOP leadership was never going to change, but there was a sense that we got as much unity out of the House conference as we will ever get for battles like this.  Some House Republicans might be spineless, but the Senate Republicans are rotten to the core.  We will never change the status quo in Washington unless we completely shake up the Senate Republicans.  Anyone who thinks that by merely seeking 51 GOP senators next year we will suddenly obtain more leverage is mistaken.  Harry Reid will still be the defacto leader unless we get rid of Mitch McConnell and as many of his backbenchers as possible.

It’s time to support Matt Bevin or go home.  It’s time to continue plugging for all of the other challengers.  In some states there are already multiple candidates.  There are also some more impressive challengers that are set to announce soon.

We must also never give up the fight against Obamacare.  This is not the farm bill or flood insurance.  This will permanently crush the dignity and self-sufficiency of the middle class, destroy the entire healthcare system, and degrade the broader job market in every other field.  This cannot stand.  We must continue to fight the law at every turn and use every leverage point possible.

But ultimately, this is not just about Washington.  The Constitution references three branches of “government.”  I’m not referring to the executive, legislature, and judiciary.  They have all become incorrigibly malignant.  At this juncture, they are beyond repair.  I am referring to the federal government, state government, and the individual.  We must continue to fight this out in the states and with individuals.

Sadly, some states are completely hopeless until they collapse under their own failed policies.  But there are a number of states where we can still protect from the relentless federal tyranny.  Yet, in so many of these states, we are underutilizing our potential.  We need to elect men and women with courage to state legislatures (a much easier goal than congressional elections) – people who are willing to reassert state powers as prescribed by the Tenth Amendment.  We need to start in states like Texas and Oklahoma, and elect governing majorities who will just say no to Obamacare at every possible turn.

Moreover, state legislative elections are the front lines in the battle to restore our Republic through state-directed constitutional amendments, as recommended by Mark Levin.  I know some people are skeptical of Article V conventions, but we have no choice.  We have hit rock bottom.  If the Obamacare tragedy doesn’t expose the failure of our current strategy nothing will change the inevitable march to full tyranny.  There is no better long-term solution.

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Halloween Mitch: Only Tricks, No Treats

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News

He is invisible.  He vanishes from the scene.  He lurks in the shadows to sabotage conservatives at the most crucial points.  Then he swoops down and picks up the carcasses he helped create.

He is Mitch McConnell.

Here are the latest tricks in the invisible man’s grab bag:

  • Pass a Continuing Resolution to fund all of government, including every aspect of Obamacare, until January 15.  This date coincides with the activation of the 2014 sequester and is designed to set up a new fiscal cliff.
  • The January budget bill will be worked out by an oligarchy in a conference committee by mid-December.
  • Pass a debt ceiling increase into February with no strings attached.  And with extraordinary measures, Jack Lew will once again extend the disaster date until some politically advantageous time.
  • So what do Republicans get for the surrender?  They will verify that recipients are eligible for Obamacare before dolling out the subsidies.  The only problem is that verification is already the law on the books, yet Obama won’t follow it.  I’m sure he’s given his promise that he will follow this new iteration.

There you have it.  After holding almost the entire GOP conference in line for the past few weeks in order to ignore Obamacare and sabotage House Republicans, McConnell is now feasting on the carcasses.

Senate Republicans have worked to buttress the Democrats and undermine Republicans throughout this showdown.  This is Speaker Boehner’s time to shine.  He must tell McConnell to shove it.

The only way Republicans should sign onto this deal is if we have a budget conference on each of the twelve appropriations bills independently.  That way HHS and the IRS can be isolated.  Let’s discuss funding for Obamacare without Democrats holding everything else hostage.  Enough of this CR nonsense.  If we are going to pass a four-month budget in order to work out a deal, let’s do it properly – each bill independently. If we can make that demand as a precondition, then we could fight on the HHS and Financial Services bills, only shutting down HHS and IRS if Democrats continue to throw people of their health insurance.

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Fighting Obamacare: The Difference Between Cutting Spending and Limiting Harmful Government

Monday, October 14th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, News, Obamacare

As Mitch McConnell puts the finishing touches on his terms of surrender, here are some thoughts to ponder.

Republicans and conservatives have spent the past few years messaging their platform to the American people built upon budget-speak.  It’s all about the debt and cutting spending.

In reality, we don’t have a spending problem per se, we have a big and harmful government problem.  The two are not always the same.

All of us who follow policy issues very closely understand that debt in itself is not just a problem for the federal balance sheet, it will have to be paid back by our children and grandchildren.  However, most people don’t see it that way, at least not in a meaningful way.  What people care about is loss of employment, lower/stagnant wages, the rising cost of living, and personal liberty.  It is our job to prioritize an agenda both in substance and messaging that directly addresses the harmful effects of government on jobs, standard of living, and personal liberty.  The federal budget is secondary, and will take care of itself once we restore government to its proper role.

For example, we spend roughly $8 billion in discretionary spending funding the EPA each year.  Now, is that $8 billion in wasted spending contributing to our debt?  You betcha.  But the more serious problem with the EPA is not the $8 billion in discretionary spending, but the hundreds of billions that are removed from the private economy in the form of lost jobs and higher cost of living (not to mention personal liberty), as a result of the regulatory regime.

Hence, when we cut the operating budget of the EPA from $8.4 billion to $8 billion via the sequester, are we really limiting government?  Not really.  We are cutting spending, which slows the debt crisis ever so slightly, but we are not really providing relief to the American people in a way most people understand or feel in any tangible way.

Which brings me to the current showdown and Obamacare.  Mitch McConnell is getting ready to completely surrender on Obamacare so long as the sequester is preserved.

Let’s lay some facts out on the table:

1)      There is nothing that will destroy more jobs, lower wages, raise the cost of living, and disrupt personal liberty than Obamacare.  Not to mention the fact that it’s costly to the federal budget.

2)      Due to the new coverage of Obamacare over the past few years, the importance of healthcare, and the immediate deleterious effects of the law, this is something that is easily understood and vividly felt by the broad populace.

3)      If we are resigned to letting go of the Obamacare fight in the budget, there is no way it will ever be repealed, even partially repealed.  By 2017, the first possible opportunity for full GOP control of government, there will be over 30 million people either willingly or unwillingly dependent on Obamacare.  Even if it is barely workable, it would be the only care they have.  We cannot repeal it.

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Mitch McConnell Working to Surrender on Obamacare

Thursday, October 10th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare, Press

For Immediate Release

October 10, 2013

Contact: press@madisonproject.com

 

Mitch McConnell Working to Surrender on Obamacare

Washington, D.C. – The Madison Project PAC released the following statement regarding Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) quiet maneuvering to fund Obamacare in the budget bill:

“After remaining largely silent when conservatives were fighting Obamacare, Senator Mitch McConnell is, once again, re-emerging from the shadows to sell out conservatives in the eleventh hour,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project.  “He has made it clear from day one that he had no intention of fighting Obamacare in the budget, and has even suggested that parts of the law are ‘okay.’ Well, now it appears that by parts, he means the entire thing.”

According to Politico and The Hill, Senator McConnell is preparing to pass both a debt ceiling increase AND a long-term budget bill that completely funds every aspect of Obamacare.   The only concession he is pushing for in return is repeal of the medical device tax.  This approach will not bring any relief to families languishing from loss of coverage and skyrocketing premiums. It also won’t fundamentally alter or delay the law.

“It is extremely dishonest for Mitch McConnell to tell Kentucky voters he is in favor of defunding Obamacare while refusing to fight for a mere delay of the law or even significant parts of the law,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project.  “If McConnell is going to undermine the work of conservatives he at least needs to level with Republican primary voters and divulge his alternative plan to get rid of Obamacare.”

The Madison Project supports and raises money for conservative candidates that have demonstrated a commitment to full-spectrum conservatism. The Madison Project website can be found at http://madisonproject.com/
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Republicans Must Keep Focus on Obamacare

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Obamacare

Here is our the latest Madison Project op-ed posted at Investors’ Business Daily. 

Conservatives across the country have risen up to make Washington, D.C., listen to their grievances about ObamaCare. And after pressure, cajoling and infighting, House Republicans are indeed listening.

They have united behind a strategy to fund all of government sans those agencies responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Despite almost 20 years of incorrigible fear of a government shutdown, many Republicans now realize that the dire predictions were greatly exaggerated.

According to some estimates, only 17% of the federal government has stopped operating. With the cessation affecting only the most nonessential functions, few outside metropolitan Washington are feeling the effects.

Consequently, the Obama administration has engaged in puerile political stunts to ensure more pain is felt. It has ordered barricades to close outdoor parks and monuments that need not be shut down. It has also closed more than 1,000 private parks and even forced private landowners out of their homes.

Presumably, it would take too much manpower to drop a cloth over Mount Rushmore, so the park police have blocked off a scenic overlook.

Meanwhile, the administration uses the shutdown to selectively promote its priorities.

While the National Mall has been closed to visitors, for example, illegal immigrants were granted a permit to hold a rally there promoting amnesty. Armed Forces Radio was also plagued by the selective shutdown. While broadcasts of football games were suspended, NPR was still going strong.

Read more at Investors’ Business Daily

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Obama’s Debt Ceiling Mendacity

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt

Earlier today, the ever melodramatic president suggested that it is unprecedented for an opposing party in Congress to deny a request for a clean debt ceiling increase.  He asserted that “nobody in the past has ever seriously threatened to breach the debt ceiling until the last two years. and this is the credit worthiness of the united states we’re talking about.”

Actually, as Sean Davis noted, there have been a number of epic budget battles over the debt ceiling dating back to President Eisenhower.  Many of them resulted in some serious concessions by the sitting president.  But what is more important is Obama’s amnesia from his own days in the Senate.

The President had few accomplishments in his brief time in the Senate, but one of his most public moments was when he spoke out against President Bush’s request to raise the debt ceiling from $8.184 trillion to $8.965 trillion.  He sounded like a tea partier.  Here are some of the highlights:

“It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. Over the past five years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is  ‘‘trillion’’ with a ‘‘T.’’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers.” […]

“Our debt also matters internationally. My friend, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, likes to remind us that it took 42 presidents 224 years to run up only $1 trillion of foreign-held debt. This administration did more than that in just five years.”[…]

“Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Ultimately, Obama not only “threatened to breach” the debt ceiling, he voted against the increase.

Let’s put this in perspective.  Obama opposed a debt limit increase from $8.2 to roughly $9 trillion because President Bush increased the debt by $3.5 trillion in 5 years.  Well, President Obama increased the debt from $10.6 trillion to $16.7 trillion in less than five years.  If increasing the debt from $8.2 trillion “weakens us domestically and internationally,” increasing it from $16.7 trillion would be cataclysmic.

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The Debt Ceiling is the Law of the Land

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, Debt, Obamacare

Over the past few weeks, Democrats have indicated that they have no intention of negotiating over Obamacare, opting instead to shut down the government.  They are justifying their obstinacy by asserting that Obamacare is the law of the land.  Well, if that is the game they want to play, we should return the favor with the debt ceiling.  The debt ceiling, pursuant to the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917, is the law of the land.  And it has been so for far longer than Obamacare.

Throughout this debate over funding Obamacare in the budget bill, House GOP leaders have stressed how the debt ceiling was the more appropriate means of fighting Obamacare.  After all, it was “the next fight.”  But as if on cue, some Republicans are already using the same Democrat talking points about the risk of default.

We are going to hear this erroneous talking point propagated by both parties over the next few weeks, so let’s put the myth to rest.  The only way we default on the debt is if we fail to pay the interest on the public debt.  According to the updated budget projection from the CBO, interest on the debt will be roughly $237 billion for 2014.  Thanks to the short-term revenue benefits of the fiscal cliff and Obamacare tax hikes, the federal government is expected to rake in a record $3.042 trillion from the private economy this year.

Let’s engage in a simple math exercise.  $3.042 trillion – $237 billion = $2.805 trillion.  As long as the Treasury pays the first $237 billion in revenue to the shareholders of our debt, there will be no default, and we will have $2.805 trillion left to spend.  Again, default is taken off the table.  Discussion over.

What do you do with the remaining funds?  You start funding core functions of government and those programs that people are already dependent on.

Social Security (retirement and disability) – $848 billion

Medicare – $505 billion

Medicaid – $298 billion

Defense – $582 billion

Veterans – $83 billion

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Democrats and their Budget Hypocrisy Leading to #DemocratShutdown

Monday, October 7th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News

Throughout the past week, Democrats leaders have justified their refusal to negotiate with Republicans as a natural response to hostage taking.  They claim that the fight over Obamacare is extraneous to the budget, and as such, they should not have to talk to Republicans until they agree to pass a “clean” CR.  There are two points they are obfuscating in the context of the budget battle.

1)      Obamacare was passed through budget reconciliation.  So when they felt it was convenient for them to inject Obamacare into the budget process; namely, for the purpose of avoiding the 60-vote threshold, they were more than happy to do so.  Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.  Now that we have approached the implementation date, which coincides with the budget deadline, it’s time to use that same process to uproot a law that is unworkable and unpopular.

2)      Democrats say they are refusing to pass individual funding bills for vital services because Republicans are manipulating the process to cherry pick what they want to fund.  Instead they are demanding that Republicans just pass a catch-all CR.  In reality, they are the ones who have the process backwards.  Regular order means passing individual appropriations bills one at a time.  This business of funding the government with endless continuing resolutions is nonsense.  Granted that we are past the deadline, but whose fault is that?  Senate Democrats have refused to go through regular order and send the 12 individual bills to conference.

Now that Democrats have refused to follow regular order, it’s time we focus on each funding bill one at a time.  Republicans have already passed bills to fund the DC government, NIH, national parks, military, and veterans.  Today they will pass many more funding bills, including some aspects that conservatives would like to reform or eliminate:

  • H.R. 3223 – Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (Rep. Moran, D-VA)
  • H.J. Res. 75 – Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act (Rep. Aderholt, R-AL)
  • H.J. Res. 76 – Nuclear Weapon Security & Non-Proliferation Act (Rep. Frelinghuysen, R-NJ)
  • H.J. Res. 77 – Food and Drug Safety Act (Rep. Aderholt, R-AL)
  • H.J. Res. 78 – Preserving Our Intelligence Capabilities Act (Rep. Young, R-FL)
  • H.J. Res. 79 – Border Safety & Security Act (Rep. Carter, R-TX)
  • H.J. Res. 80 – American Indian and Alaska Native, Health, Education, and Safety (Rep. Simpson, R-ID)
  • H.J. Res. 82 – National Weather Monitoring Act (Rep. Rogers, R-KY)
  • H.J. Res. 83 – Impact Aid for Local Schools Act (Rep. Rogers, R-KY)
  • H.J. Res. 84 – Head Start for Low-Income Children Act (Rep. Rogers, R-KY)
  • H.J. Res. 85 – National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act (Rep. Carter, R-TX)

Why are the Democrats so scared to fund these vital services, national security interests, and some of their own pet projects – all for the purpose of protecting Obamacare?  Let’s pass each bill one by one and restore the full function of government until we reach the funding for HHS, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the IRS.  If Democrats are so confident that Obamacare is working and resonating with the public, why not have a focused debate directly on funding for Obamacare without holding the rest of government hostage?

Why do they suddenly fear the budget process they so eagerly embraced in 2010?

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Fox News Op-Ed: In Obamacare Battle GOP Falls Victim to Lack of Commitment

Friday, October 4th, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

Below is our latest op-ed for Fox News Opinion:

As the fight over ObamaCare reaches its apex, conservatives are looking for elected leadership to give voice to their concerns about the future of our country.

Unfortunately, many Republican lawmakers are giving voice to the other side.

While Democrats remain united in their intransigence, these Republicans are busy scoring points for the other team instead of fighting with a united front.

When Democrats proposed the federal takeover of the healthcare sector in 2009, they all remained united behind an uncompromising position and aggressive tactics.

Every Senate Democrat, even those from red states, voted to ram ObamaCare through the Senate using extraordinary parliamentary procedures. They were all willing to walk the plank for the broader goal of creating dependency; even though they knew the majority of their constituents vociferously opposed their proposal.

Read more at Fox News:

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Welcome to the Harry and Barry Shutdown Show

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 by and is filed under Blog, News

What a difference a sense of conviction and the presence of a Republican backbone brings to a debate in Washington.  Democrats are beginning to slowly grovel back to the negotiation table, barely able to contain their show of bravado.  We are now having a national discussion about Obamacare, something that would have never happened had we not chosen to fight on the budget bill.

As we conclude day two of the partial government shutdown, we’ve seen that the Obama administration is forced to employ insidious tactics to ensure that people will feel the effects of the shutdown, and that their willing accomplices in the media will broadcast the pain.  Senator Harry Reid and President Barack Obama are refusing to support targeted funding bills for veterans, the NIH, and national parks unless we all agree to fund every last penny of Obamacare, even as the law is universally regarded as ‘not ready for prime time.’  They are placing the priorities of their special interests ahead of the commitments to our veterans.

To make matters worse, the administration has sent out government workers to actively shut down outdoor memorials, such as the World II Memorial in Washington.  The administration erected barriers to block veterans from merely walking through their own memorial.  Hence, Obama is creating “essential workers” for the purpose of actively shutting down something that doesn’t need to be shutdown. We are seeing government websites going dark, even though a lapse in funding would merely engender a suspension in updating the website, not a closure.

The Harry and Barry Shutdown show is political theater at its worst, but is nothing new.  They employed the same tactic early this year when the sequester cuts took effect.  Much to the chagrin of the left, nobody noticed when the tree of excess government spending fell in the forest.  So Obama took it upon himself to release thousands of criminal illegal aliens onto the streets in order to contrive a crisis and link it to the modest spending cuts.

Something funny occurs when we actually stand and fight.  Democrats are put on defense, and they begin to make mistakes.  We begin shifting the polls, public perception, and even the media cycle.  This shift became apparent today when a flummoxed Harry Reid became unhinged with a CNN reporter, suggesting that he would not want to help one kid with cancer and pass an NIH funding bill.  They are completely on the run.  Now the narrative is all about the Democrats refusing to fund vital services for the purpose of preserving every penny of Obamacare.  Even President Bill Clinton agreed to pass some small funding bills for essential services during the 1995 standoff.

We are witnessing more House Republicans waking up to another day of the shutdown with the realization that the entire narrative of Republicans losing this battle is complete bunk.  Even the Republican National Committee is jumping in to this battle, something we would never have expected just a few weeks ago.

Imagine where we would be in this fight if we didn’t have the breakdown of leadership in the Senate led by Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator John Cornyn?  One senator after another – from Pat Toomey and Jeff Flake to Tom Coburn and John McCain – are openly siding with Harry Reid, publicly cosigning us to defeat, or undermining our position.  Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin are reading off the names of the dissenters on the Senate floor.  Imagine if the Senate Republicans would join the House in fighting the Harry and Barry Obamacare shutdown show?

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