Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Obamacare
Democrats are stewing in the misery of Obamacare’s disastrous side effects. We have a solid point of leverage coming in January to fight Obamacare in the budget. As we’ve explained, we have stronger leverage this time around than we did in October. However, that leverage is only predicated upon a united Republican Party committed to getting rid of Obamacare. Sadly, the recent comments by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) suggesting that we should help fix the law serve as a vivid illustration of why we failed the battle to defund the law:
“A lot of conservatives say, ‘Nah, let’s just step back and let this thing fall to pieces on its own.’ But I don’t think that’s always the responsible thing to do,” he added.
“I think we need to be looking for things that improve healthcare overall for all of us. And if there is something in ObamaCare, we need to know about it.”
Kingston was speaking prior to a field hearing in Gainesville, Ga., of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight focused on ObamaCare.
While he had some criticism for the law — he said he believes the demand on Medicaid could overcrowd the system — he also expressed hope that Democrats would bring to the hearing some good feedback they’ve received on ObamaCare.” [The Hill]
Good feedback? According to the latest polling on Obamacare, Americans disapprove of the law 65-32%. Nothing in the country ever polls worse than that. Almost as many people believe in UFOs.
Sure, we should go on offense with healthcare policy and explain how anti-market interventions are hurting the uninsured. We should make insurance portable by allowing a national market and by eliminating the government-created disadvantage for those who buy insurance on the private market. We should expand tax-free health savings accounts. We should have less mandates like community rating and guaranteed issue, not more. But we should never acquiesce to a permanent structure of government-run healthcare.
Coming to terms with Obamacare is nothing new for Kingston. At the beginning of the year, he said “I don’t want to go in there saying, ‘By golly, there’s a new sheriff in town.’” “Obamacare has been the law of the land, and it is getting implemented. We have to work in that context.”
The scary thing is that Kingston is the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on healthcare. What is ever scarier is that he wants to be the next U.S. Senator from Georgia. We all know that the Senate has a way of turning those who are conservatives into statists. See Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for a vivid example. If Kingston is starting out his campaign with a mindset of surrender on Obamacare, it is clear he will never move this seat one inch to the right from Senator Saxby Chambliss. And that is an extremely low bar to cross.
Monday, November 25th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News
Evidently, when negotiating with Iran, President Obama thought he was dealing with Obamacare. He ostensibly told them they can keep their bombs if they like them. Indeed the Iranians like their centrifuges, and now that the sanctions will be suspended for six months, they can continue creating bombs and exporting terror with more breathing room.
Let’s first recognize the most salient part of the Geneva deal. Iran is not required to destroy a single centrifuge it has already produced. Even with the future promises to curtail their nuclear program, the Iranians probably have enough material to create a bomb. They are just working on a warhead and delivery capabilities, which will not be curtailed by the Geneva deal.
Moreover, are we supposed to believe the promise of the world’s most prolific terror funders concerning future uranium enrichment? What will happen if they violate the terms of the agreement after six months? Does anyone think that Russia and China, which have permanent veto power over any sanctions, would agree to re-impose the international sanctions on a rogue Iran? This deal is eerily reminiscent of the one Bill Clinton cut with the North Koreans in the ‘90s. That did not work out too well.
This deal is also an imprecation to the many American soldiers who were killed by Iranian bombs in Iraq. It is a disgrace to all those who perished in the Beirut bombing in 1983. This deal fails to recognize all of Iran’s other terror-related activities that are killing Americans around the globe even today. We are ostensibly rewarding their international terror with economic benefits that will further facilitate their proliferation of Islamic jihad against the West.
If Reagan’s motto was peace through strength; Obama’s motto is chaos through feebleness.
It’s amazing how Obama said during the government shutdown that he would not negotiate with terrorists. Well, maybe if we change the name of the Republican Party to the Republic of Iran he would change his tune.
Friday, November 22nd, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues
Who can blame Harry Reid for pulling the nuclear option, eliminating the filibuster on judicial nominees? He has punched Senate Republicans in the face all year and they have failed to respond. In fact, Senate Republicans have turned around and fought their fellow Republicans in the House, jamming them with bad legislation which they helped Harry Reid pass out of the Senate.
Throughout the past few years, aside for a few judicial nominees, Republicans have been willing to grant Democrats a super-majority on major liberal initiatives. They helped Reid pass amnesty. They gave him the votes for the massive farm/food stamp bill. They were all in the tank for the deceptively-named Violence Against Women Act. They recently gave him the 60 votes for ENDA. And most importantly, they stood shoulder to shoulder with Reid against House Republicans during the most important time when conservatives were united behind defunding Obamacare.
So why would Harry Reid fear reprisal from Republicans? What would stop him from pulling the nuclear option?
When he threatened the nuclear option earlier this year, Republicans agreed to let through the most radical nominees for Obama’s second term cabinet. Reid figured he’d go all the way this week.
And based on Mitch McConnell’s reaction, his wager was correct. Instead of fighting fire with fire, McConnell is basically saying we can’t do anything until after the elections:
“The solution to this problem is an election,” McConnell said at a Thursday press conference after the Senate voted to go nuclear, changing the rules of the filibuster.
“The solution to this problem’s at the ballot box,” McConnell said. “We look forward to having a great election in November 2014.” […]
“I don’t think this is a time to be talking about a reprisal,” he said. “I think it’s at time to be sad about what’s been done to the United States Senate.” [Daily Caller]
I’m sure Harry Reid is scared to death.
There is one simple thing Republicans can do to retaliate. They can start by ending the Democrat super-majority on legislative issues. They can easily pledge to filibuster every piece of legislation and deny all requests for unanimous consent until the rules change is overturned.
How would Harry Reid respond to a complete shutdown of the Senate? Would he abolish the filibuster even for legislation? Let him try. But for now, he has nothing to fear from just eliminating the filibuster on judges because he knows Republicans will not retaliate. Reid knows that there is not a single issue where McCain, Corker, Graham, and Alexander will now withhold support simply because they were stiffed with the nuclear option.
Just an hour after Reid blew up the Senate, Republicans rewarded him by not objecting to the first unanimous consent. Every day, standing committees need consent to conduct hearings. This is a prime opportunity to grind the Senate to a halt until Reid changes his ways.
Harry Reid has identified a soft target. And until we change GOP leadership in the Senate, he will keep punching.
Thursday, November 21st, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy, Immigration, News
One question about our broken immigration system that cuts across all ideological lines is why we continue to let in people from countries and regions that represent a security risk. That is the obvious question that comes to mind when examining the story at the top of Drudge last night about Al Qaeda in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
In 2011, two Al Qaeda terrorists were arrested in Bowling Green for allegedly shipping weapons to the insurgents in Iraq. The two terrorists were Iraqis who were let in through our front door under our ridiculously abused refugee policy. Yesterday, ABC News obtained the FBI video showing these terrorists in action in heartland Kentucky.
An al Qaeda-linked terrorist, who was resettled in the U.S. as an Iraq War refugee after allegedly killing American soldiers, was caught on camera in Kentucky handling heavy weapons that the FBI said he believed would be sent to insurgents back in Iraq.
The 2010 video, obtained exclusively by ABC News, was part of a broader ABC News investigation into the flawed refugee vetting program, which officials said may have let “dozens” of terrorists into the country.
In the video, Waad Ramadan Alwan is seen expertly field stripping what the FBI identified as a Russian PKM machine gun. Other still images provided by the FBI from hours-worth of surveillance footage show Alwan and an accomplice, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, handling a Stinger missile launcher and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher.
The amazing thing is that the entire GOP establishment and donor class is pushing the Obama-Senate amnesty bill, which exacerbates our already-flawed refugee and asylum policy. The Senate bill expands refugee status in a number of ways, including for those “whose resettlement in the United States is justified by humanitarian concerns.” It also creates a new category for “stateless persons.” And it allows all illegal aliens who have been in the country for one year to apply for refugee status.
In light of the new focus on the Bowling Green terrorists, it is important to remember that the senior senator from Kentucky privately supports the Senate bill. Many of his donors, alumni, and associates are invested heavily in the amnesty lobby. His former chief of staff, Billy Piper, along with former NRSC Executive Director Rob Jesmer, lobbies for Zuckerberg’s group, which has now resumed a barrage of deceptive ads touting the Senate bill.
Even when McConnell begrudgingly voted against the bill at the last moment (after praising it), he lauded the legal immigration provisions in the bill as a move towards merit-based criteria. Never mind that only roughly 7.8% of future flow over the next 10 years under this bill – about 2.5 million of 30 million – would be merit-based. The bill completely blows up our refugee and asylum policy and worsens our national security problems.
The ticking time bomb of radical terrorists in our country is just another casualty of a political class that cares more about special interests than the American people and our security.
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues, Obamacare
Now that the entire country sees the ten-alarm fire that has set our healthcare system ablaze, Democrats feel compelled to do something. Their Mr. Fix It plans are akin to an arsonist posing for a photo op with a 2-liter pitcher of water to put out the wildfire. Will Republicans continue to pose with them in the photo op or will they kick them aside and smother the fire?
There are two clear observations about Obamacare at this point: it cannot be fixed and it will not collapse on its own. As we are now seeing from the cancelled insurance plans, the industry has been working on revamping the insurance market for three years. Obamacare has already collapsed the healthcare system. It can only be rebuilt by completely repealing the law.
Similarly, the law won’t go away by itself. They will fix the website one day, and the mandates and regulations on insurance will continue to force people into dependency on subsidies and Medicaid expansion. Worse, on the actual healthcare side of the equation, scores of doctors will leave the field of medicine due to the onerous burdens that go well beyond the insurance regulations. Yes, in some sense you can refer to this as a collapse of the system, but that is exactly what Obamacare was designed to do with its inexorable path towards single-payer.
As we’ve said many times, we cannot afford to wait until the website is fixed and the dependency takes root. It’s tempting for Republicans to just sit back and enjoy the polling data, but polling data will not get rid of the law. Polls are not elections. And even 2014 will not save us. In the best case scenario, we will have 51 seats in the Senate with a unified filibuster-strong Democrat minority that, when coupled with the wayward Republicans, will give Senator Harry Reid a defacto majority. Moreover, President Obama will still be president. Waiting until 2017 is simply unacceptable.
In a sane world, Republicans would utilize this time to force the issue on Obamacare using our leverage points, not just to talk about it or help Democrats fix it. One challenge conservatives had with making Obamacare the centerpiece of the October budget showdown (aside for Senate Republicans sabotaging the effort) was that Republicans failed to prep the ground for the fight over the past few years. In fact, thanks to Mitt Romney, Obamacare was not part of the political discourse for an entire two years.
That has all changed over the past month. While we were stymied by fellow Republicans during the actual showdown, we did succeed at restarting the national discussion on Obamacare. The ensuing breakdown of the private insurance market has given us tailwinds like never before. For the first time in Obama’s presidency, even some of the low-information voters have finally realized the failure of Obama and his signature legislation. Moreover, we know now that the shutdown polling was off base and superficial.
Accordingly, it makes no sense why Obamacare should not be a part of the budget discussions. Most people have forgotten or don’t know that the budget impasse was not solved last month. The new budget deadline is January 15 and the new debt ceiling is February 7. The deadline for reaching a budget conference deal is just two weeks after Thanksgiving.
But, alas, we have no leverage. Senator Mitch McConnell has made it clear to Senate Democrats that he would never fight any budget or debt ceiling. They have completely echoed the scandalous Democrat talking points about default. In fact, they have publicly declared that they will lash out at conservatives who try to fight Obamacare and prevent endless increases or “suspensions” of the debt ceiling.
Consequently, even with Obama’s approval rating sinking into the 30s, and Obamacare as toxic as ever, Democrats have no reason to fear the budget deadlines next year. The only points of contention are locking in the sequester cuts that were already locked in and extending super-long-term unemployment benefits for yet another year. When it comes to fighting Obamacare, it’s all hat and no cattle.
At the very minimum, conservatives need to push for two concessions:
- Even if they already surrendered the budget battle, they must secure an agreement from Democrats to pass all of next year’s 12 appropriations bills in regular order and go to conference on each bill individually. This will lay the groundwork for fighting Obamacare in one or two bills without having the rest of the government as collateral damage in a shutdown. That would give us the opportunity, at the very latest, to fight Obamacare right before the mid-term elections without the specter of a full government shutdown.
- Republicans always said they wouldn’t mind fighting just the debt ceiling because there is no direct government shutdown. Well, now is the time to start debunking the myth of default and committing to ending this practice of suspending the debt ceiling law. The debt ceiling fight will coincide with the period of time when American workers begin to receive their first paychecks for 2014. Most people will incur a large bite out of their pay due to the increased withholdings for higher premiums. This will augment the public disquiet that is already brewing from the destruction of private insurance.
Any Republican who blithely ignores Obamacare when it really counts and when we really have leverage does not deserve your vote. Obamacare will not collapse on its own. We must force the fight once and for all – without the full-scale sabotage campaign from the GOP establishment.
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections
It’s not too often that a new conservative candidate surges to a near-tie with a 35-year incumbent in a Senate race. But Chris McDaniel, who we were proud to endorse last month, is nipping at the heels of Thad Cochran, and is leading other potential candidates in the event that Cochran retires. Here are the topline numbers from Politico:
There’s still no official word on whether Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran will retire, but a poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling suggests he’d have a real fight on his hands if he decides to stay in the race. In a two-way race against Chris McDaniel, Cochran would have just a 6-point lead, 44 percent to 38 percent. When asked if they want to vote for Cochran or “someone more conservative,” 55 percent of GOP primary voters chose the generic more conservative option. If Cochran retires, McDaniel would lead primary voters’ list of ideal candidates to replace him: he takes 25 percent, compared with 23 percent for Delbert Hosemann, 15 percent for Gregg Harper, 13 percent for Steve Palazzo, 8 percent for Alan Nunnelee, 5 percent for Stacey Pickering and 3 percent for Tate Reeves.
As we’ve noted before, the GOP Conference in the senate is completely broken. Anyone who doesn’t enter the senate with that mindset is bound to become part of the cesspool. Chris McDaniel is the only candidate committed to changing the status quo of the failed GOP establishment. You can listen to our radio ad here:
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Economy
There is nothing that exemplifies the feckless and deleterious effects of government intervention in private enterprise more than the Renewable Fuels Standard. Using the boot of government to mandate that private enterprise use an inefficient product of a special interest to the detriment of consumers and job creators is the worst form of tyranny. James Madison is rolling over in his grave.
Yet, much like Obamacare, the ethanol mandate has become unworkable even from a liberal perspective. Given that most car engines cannot handle more than a 10% ethanol blend, there is simply not enough demand to fill the targeted quota of 18.15 billion gallons in 2014 as prescribed by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). As such, the Obama administration was forced to lower the standard to 15.21 billion gallons.
Many conservatives are heralding this as the first victory over the intractable ethanol lobby. However, rather than celebrate an infinitesimal decrease in the mandate, we should work to repeal the remaining 15 billion gallons worth of statism.
Last year, PricewaterhouseCoopers published a study detailing the harmful effects of the ethanol mandate. They found that the increase in food prices from the ethanol mandate costs a restaurant $18,000 per year. Needless to say it hurts the average consumer at the grocery store. When you take 40% of the corn crop and shove it into our engines, it creates an undeniable inflationary effect down the food chain. Had food prices continued on the same downward trend-line since 2005 (when the ethanol mandate was enforced), families would be paying $2,055 less for food every year, according to a study cited by the Heartland Institute.
Only in Washington can the prevailing wisdom dictate that corn be used in our engines instead of on our kitchen tables. Only in Washington can they raise the cost of food for the average family by over $2,000, and then increase spending on food stamps to cover the poverty they engender.
It’s time to kick the ethanol beast while it’s down. If ethanol is really God’s gift to the world, as industry lobbyists suggest, why do we need a government mandate to push their product? Fuel blenders would clamor for it on their own.
The House is considering several good energy bills this week. They should add in a full repeal of the RFS. Do they stand with free markets, consumers, and small businesses or do they stand with Soviet-style central planning and special interests?
Monday, November 18th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections, News, Press
For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2013
Contact: Mary Vought
Madison Project PAC Endorses
Colonel Rob Maness for Senate in Louisiana
Fort Worth, TX – The Madison Project PAC, the first conservative PAC to endorse Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Matt Bevin (R-KY), announced today that it is supporting Colonel Rob Maness for U.S. Senate against Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in Louisiana.
“Rob Maness provides conservatives with a refreshing change from typical senatorial candidates,” said Drew Ryun of the Madison Project. “As a career Air Force officer who fought in combat for our country, constitutional principles are more than just a talking point. With a dearth of courage within the ranks of the Senate GOP Conference, Maness would bring his leadership skills to a group of elitists who know nothing but capitulation and surrender on first principles. His energy and unapologetic Louisianan conservative values are a bold contrast to Landrieu and make him the best candidate to win back this seat for Republicans. We are proud to support Colonel Rob Maness.”
The official endorsement can be viewed here.
Our full report on Sen. Mary Landrieu’s record of supporting big government can be viewed at LandrieutheLiberal.com.
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/
Monday, November 18th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Elections
As we all suffer the dire consequences of a Congress full of power-hungry politicians in Washington more concerned with their “Beltway status” than the impact of their bad policies back at home, it has become clear that it is time we have the resolve and audacity to start electing more citizen legislators to the U.S. Senate. Why should the Senate function like the House of Lords? Has it served us well? Why not elect more outsiders? Why not elect more people with bona fide leadership qualities such as military officers? Why not elect Colonel Rob Maness in Louisiana?
Next year, conservatives will have a number of solid opportunities to pick up Senate seats from Democrats in conservative-leaning states. Chief among them is Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) who supports 100% of President Obama’s agenda and is completely out of touch with the values of Louisiana.
But as we’ve witnessed from the current crop of GOP senators, it’s worth very little to replace a Democrat with a Republican who refuses to fight the Democrats. Moreover, we learned last cycle from former Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Rick Berg (R-ND), we are not going to beat a well-funded savvy Democrat, even in a red state, with a deadbeat establishment politician who stands for nothing and appeals to nobody. If we don’t step up in support of Rob Maness, and leave the task of defeating Landrieu to the establishment pick, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), we will not win this seat.
In order to beat Mary Landrieu, we need to present voters with a compelling contrast. Bill Cassidy is another trite establishment congressman with no passion for conservatism. He has supported debt ceiling increases, green energy subsidies, and is in favor of clamping down on gun sales. He has been wishy-washy about fighting Obamacare, and has worked with Senator Landrieu to get his ‘fair share’ of Obamacare subsidies for the state. The lines of contrast are so blurred that Cassidy actually donated to Landrieu’s campaign, as well as to Kathleen Blanco against Governor Bobby Jindal. Worse yet, in 1988, he wrote a letter bashing Republicans and endorsing Democrat Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.
But more than the fact that Cassidy would just be another yes-man for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and GOP leadership, he is a lackluster candidate. As the Times-Picayune has noted, Cassidy has been missing in action in aggressively pursuing Landrieu on the issues. As she has supported every aspect of Obamacare, amnesty, the abortion and anti-marriage agenda, and endless debt, Cassidy has failed to prosecute the case against her. Even his fundraising is unimpressive for a sitting Member of Congress. Cassidy is not the candidate Louisiana deserves.
This is why we need a bold contrast. This is why we need Rob Maness.
There is no candidate who is more antithetical to a career politician like Mary Landrieu.
Mary Landrieu comes from a family of career politicians but Rob Maness comes from a family of military servicemen. Maness, the son of an Air Force officer, decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and signed up when he was 17 years old. He served for 32 years until retiring in 2011 to help his wife, Candy, fight off a bout with breast cancer. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Medal for his combat service. During his time in the military, he managed to complete Masters’ degrees from Harvard University’s Kennedy School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the U.S. College of Naval Warfare. Rob now has two sons serving in the military.
Despite never serving in elected office, Rob has a better command of all the policy issues than most career politicians. His experience as a squadron commander, Joint Chiefs of Staff Operations Officer, and a family-farm owner have equipped him with the requisite skills to be a principled citizen legislator.
Through several meetings with the candidate, we found him to be uniquely knowledgeable about both national security and free market issues. Not only is he solid on all three legs of the conservative stool, he moves beyond the platitudes to actually tackle tough issues, such as free market reforms for agriculture, flood insurance, and transportation. Maness is one of the few candidates to fill out our survey and pledges on the spot.
Louisiana holds a jungle primary in which all candidates – regardless of party affiliation – are placed on the same ballot next November. The top two vote-getters will head to a runoff a month later if no one secures 50% of the vote. The first step is to make Rob the defacto GOP nominee. He has worked hard to create a competent campaign out of nothing, beginning with zero name recognition. If we want more regular citizens to enter the halls of the U.S. Senate, we must be there for them when they are willing to take the risk and when they need the help the most. We can start now by supporting Rob Maness, and sending a strong message to the big-government politicians in both parties.
Monday, November 18th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Immigration
Last week, in one of the most bizarre columns he’s ever written, George Will inadvertently blew Mitch McConnell’s cover as the prince of amnesty. As Democrats languish from the negative consequences of the Obamacare rollout, and amnesty legislation is left for dead, George Will is looking for a way to revive “comprehensive immigration reform.”
Comparing Mitch McConnell to Henry Clay, the ultimate compromiser, Will suggests that McConnell’s great achievement as Majority Leader- in-waiting would be to pass amnesty and save America from a civil war:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell does know. The most important Kentuckian since Henry Clay, McConnell knows that his hero Clay, who was called “the great compromiser,” failed to engineer Senate passage of a comprehensive compromise in 1850. McConnell, who wrote his senior thesis at the University of Louisville on the Compromise of 1850, knows that this was achieved by the canniness of Stephen A. Douglas. His is a name not much mentioned on Capitol Hill since he died in 1861 at age 48.
In 1850, the “Little Giant” — he stood 5 feet 4 — was in his first term as senator from Illinois. He would win his third term in 1859, defeating the tall man who was president when Douglas died. Douglas’s great achievement — the compromises of 1850 — helped save the union by releasing steam from the sectional crisis. This delayed the Civil War — the “irrepressible conflict” — until a decade of immigration and industrialization had made the North more prepared to win it, and until two other Illinois men, Abraham Lincoln and U.S. Grant, emerged.
Putting aside the uncanny comparison to the civil war, George Will is actually dead on about McConnell. He is the King of K Street, and thus, the prince of amnesty. There is no question he would forge a deal to bail out Democrats from their misery were he to become Majority Leader. Although Will never explains why he thinks McConnell would pursue immigration deform, he is very close to the Minority Leader and understands that he is the strongest undocumented supported of Obama’s prized second term initiative.
One thing is clear: you don’t raise the type of money McConnell rakes in every cycle if you oppose the endless supply of cheap labor. It happens to be that so many of McConnell’s associates and alumni work for amnesty groups like Zuckerberg’s PAC or the Chamber of Commerce. They always know he is in their back pocket, but is unable to vocally support them because his Kentucky constituents don’t appreciate illegal immigration.
After voting for the 2006 amnesty, McConnell backed away from the 2007 version as he faced a tough reelection campaign. He ultimately voted against the 2007 amnesty bill. According to Robert Novak, “Not only did the minority leader end up voting against an immigration bill that he said was better than the 2006 version he supported, he abandoned his post, staying off the floor during final stages of the debate.” Also, “McConnell was among six switchers who voted no after the 40 senators needed to kill the bill were recorded.”
Once again, earlier this year, after soliciting Marco Rubio to join the gang and after praising the bill in committee and on K Street, McConnell voted against it.