Sunday, April 30, 2017

Progress Report: 100 days later...

Over the weekend, we hit President Trump's first 100 days in office. One might recall Donald Trump's Contract with the American Voter, of which I posted on this blog back in November just a few short days after the election. At the time, I also stressed the necessity for as much of this action plan to be put into place within the allotted first 100 days, else the new president's agenda finds itself at risk.

So how are things progressing? See for yourself! A checkmark or an X is obvious (done or not done); while a diamond means incomplete or in progress.

Page 1 was primarily a list of personal items to be implemented upon taking office...

Most of the dones were a result of executive orders, as were some of the incompletes. Others of the latter were a result of either negotiations or compromise with lawmakers and executive interests, and then much of the immigration-related items are being blocked by federal judicial fiat. Finally, the not dones are from either inaction as of yet, kicking the can down the road, or the unfortunate change of mind after taking the presidency. That's Page 1.

Page 2 was entirely dependent on working with a Republican-controlled Congress, and that same Congress working with the new Republican hasn't gone so well either way... 

I don't think I have to do the math for a current score. You get the picture. This progress, or lack thereof in many areas, should serve as a serious warning. 

Certainly, there's some time for refocus and correction...but realistically, it's limited. The current majority is only guaranteed through the end of 2018. Now, the party may go on to experience further majorities beyond that, but there's no guarantee. Regardless of any future outcome, shouldn't there be a greater sense of urgency to push this action plan through NOW from both a Republican President and a Republican-controlled Congress?!

But for the CRAP experienced throughout the primary season, it would be incomprehensible that such a majority would continue these levels of disunity, disorganization and disingenuousness. Likewise, as easy as it is to blame the majority Congress, their President should be the driving force behind a shared agenda. When it comes to Democrats, no matter how wrongheaded, subversive and socialistic the policies, they move in lockstep. Hence, Obama never faced near the dissidents within Democratic ranks. Of course, Principle demands more, and it's likely the variety and plain lacking throughout an opposition party speaks toward the abandonment of essentials in liberty, republicanism (little 'r') and promises made within a party that prescribes to be Republican!

Under the current leadership of Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, all their lieutenants, and yes, even President Trump, there's much work to accomplish...and 100 less days to accomplish it.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Texas House PASSES Senate bill prohibiting 'sanctuary city' policies, demanding accountability in law enforcement

On the heels of a federal judge's rule by fiat to block President Trump's executive order aimed at withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities and counties, the Texas legislature has nonetheless demanded the Rule of Law in the Lone Star state...God Bless Texas!
TheDC: The Texas House after an emotional day of testimony passed a sanctuary city bill early Thursday morning that would make it a crime for local law enforcement officials to not cooperate with federal authorities on immigration.

The bill would allow local peace officers to question the immigration status of those they legally detain and not arrest. It would also allow for the removal from office any law enforcement official who does not cooperate with federal immigration officials. Those who do not comply also could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and could face jailtime.
House passage of the bill came after Gov. Abbott addressed the illegality of sanctuary policies as an emergency item in January's State of the State, with legislation then being approved in February by the Texas Senate. At this point, the bill goes back to the Senate to approve an amendment, then on to the governor's desk, who will indeed sign it.

Don't be at all surprised if/when before the ink is dry on this lawful legislation that a federal Obama-appointed judge attempts to block this too. 'Tis the lib's unethical way.

Related link: Texas, California take very different approaches to 'sanctuary city' debate

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Freedom Caucus tried its best, but Obamacare bill is still lousy

Sigh...there's gotta be more to a 'Round 2' than this, right? Come on!
CR: What is a conservative member of Congress to do when his party makes it clear that, despite campaign promises, hell will freeze over before it fully or even significantly repeals Obamacare?

That is the quandary the leaders of the Freedom Caucus find themselves in today. Some members might decide it’s not worth giving their conference cover for a phony repeal bill that will never survive in the Senate, and may instead try to expose their duplicity and elect likeminded patriots. Others feel it’s better to make the best of a bad situation and try to secure a deal that might offer some outlet for some potential easing of pain in a handful of states. Moreover, they have the weight of the entire Republican Party, a president, and rich Republican voters blaming them for stalling “tax reform” all on their shoulders. It’s a tough decision, and I personally respect members who choose either path.

But for those supporting this latest Obamacare bill, let’s be clear to call it what it is: a potential 10-30% repeal rather than definitive full repeal. Unlike the original version of the bill, which manifestly had no chance of ever reducing premiums and creating more choice, this bill — in the estimation of its supporters — at least gives us some fighting chance. A hail mary. That is a fine pragmatic choice … so long as the American people don’t think that this is our vision for health care or what repeal of Obamacare looks like. To its supporters, this is the cost of trying to get the best they can for consumers when dealing with lying weasels in their conference. I don’t envy their position.
Horowitz goes over the details of the new amendment, but reminds readers that "the proposed amendment is not a replacement of the original bill, it is added to the original RINOcare bill."
Therefore, it still maintains Medicaid expansion and the entire premise of subsidies for the middle class, which distort the market. In terms of Obamacare’s regulations, the bill still maintains every morsel of the ACA and its exchanges. What the amendment does is grant states the opportunity to request a waiver from HHS from some of the regulations — community rating and essential health benefits — if they register in the federal high risk pool program funded in the broader bill or implement their own risk pool to deal with the chronically ill.
Horowitz rattles off a litany of political and policy reasons this bill falls far short with the current irremediably broken Republican Party. But here's the bottomline:
The entire premise of these negotiations is backwards. The real question should be how Trump and Ryan “get to yes” on the conservative plan, which was their own promise: full repeal and the starting over on high risk pools as the replacement and broader free market reforms. If they have no intention of fully repealing Obamacare, they must honestly go before the American people and say they have changed their mind and will spend the right amount of time to fully vet an alternative plan. To break from that pledge and pass some half-assed and insolvent patchwork, all the while demanding that members do it immediately without any policy analysis and scoring, is weapons-grade stupidity, a betrayal of their promise, and an unfair request of individual House members.

Nonetheless, the Freedom Caucus has done everything they can do with their limited platform to make this runaway train better. Now it’s time for Senate conservatives (the few who remain) to step up to the plate and restart the narrative from a position of strength. They should use the House bill as a floor, not a ceiling for repealing Obamacare. And that floor must spring forth an array of ideas to move health care away from government control instead of doubling down on it.
Else, even with R's in power, we'll still be served up a sh*t sandwiches...and expected to take a bite.

Related links: Freedom Caucus rescues GOP on latest Obamacare screwup
BREAKING! Freedom Caucus APPROVES new TrumpCare bill!!

ADDENDUM: On Wednesday, Rep. Mark Sanford explained to Glenn Beck why the Freedom Caucus has now signed on to the health care bill via the MacArthur amendment:
TRS: Sanford doesn’t sugar coat this. He laments that Republicans won’t repeal Obamacare, despite the fact that they said they were and that they even sent a full repeal bill to Obama’s desk [but won't to Trump's].

That said he feels that the MacArthur amendment, which gets at Title I funding, which is at the heart of what drives up cost, is about as good as the Freedom Caucus is going to get from Republicans at this point. He described it as an experiment with federalism in that states will be able to choose which path they want to take with respect to letting insurance be insurance, a more free market based system or a more socialist model.

It's so PATHETIC that a majority-ruled Republican Party, led by Paul Ryan in the House, led by Mitch McConnell in the Senate, and under the presidency of Donald J. Trump, absolutely refuse to repeal Obamacare. It's stunning that we find ourselves here today on an issue like this.

There's no doubt about it; the party is stuck. But just imagine how stuck we'd be but for the Freedom Caucus!
If it weren’t for them we’d be stuck with the earlier Republican version, Obamacare lite, with Republicans lying to us and telling us it’s a full repeal.
So, as disheartening as it may feel now, thank God for the Freedom Caucus! Thank you for attempting to drive Republicans towards principles and promises, even if they're kicking, screaming and stabbing you in the back all along the way. Now, it'll be up to the handful of Senate conservatives to polish this.

I don't enjoy comparing being conservative to being Christian, but I can't stop thinking about Matthew 10:22 in cases similar to this that call for principled stands when we receive the lack thereof from those who supposedly represent us.

Related link: 20 ideas to crush Obamacare and cure America's health care crisis

This problem is WAY BIGGER than the 9th...

Another agenda item thwarted by another Obama appointee, but as most of us have come to realize, this problem is way bigger than a mere liberal hack in a black robe. It's time for Congress to get off its duff and do something about it, specifically in the form of its rightful, constitutional job!
CR: With the clock ticking ever closer to the 100-day benchmark, a federal judge thwarted yet another of President Trump’s key agenda items on specious 10th Amendment grounds Tuesday night. Judge William Orrick, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, blocked an executive order meant to strip federal grants from sanctuary cities.

True to form, POTUS responded to the judicial rebuke with a series of early-morning tweets calling out the widely criticized Ninth Federal Circuit and alluding back to the even more dubious rulings against his two travel moratoria earlier this year. (The Ninth Circuit is the federal appeals court to which any appeal of this ruling will go.)
Once again, Trump’s agenda has found itself hamstrung by the machinations of a judge in the circuit whose rulings have been overturned more than any of its counterparts.

While the president claims that his administration will appeal the case and take it to the Supreme Court, his chances of success are questionable, even with the addition of Justice Gorsuch to the bench.

Yes, the kind of judge-shopping used to undermine his executive authority is “messy business,” but simple appeal alone will simply play into the system of judicial tyranny while alleviating none of it. These kinds of “ridiculous rulings” will continue, and the future of the republic – and the very nature of a government by consent of the people – will remain in the hands of black-robed overseers, the majority of which have long left the business of mere application and interpretation of the law for the allure of legislature by fiat.

The real remedy here is to invoke the power of the legislative branch to curb the power that lower judges...

As outlined by Article III of the United States Constitution, every federal district and circuit court is a creation of the legislative branch, which decides their number and jurisdiction. In fact, one of the reasons that the so-called “Ninth Circus” is such a clown show is this very congressional action.

And what Congress giveth...Congress can take away, or at least restrict and limit. ...

As long as both the Left and the American Right perpetuate the idea that the courts are, as Horowitz puts it, “the sole and final arbiter of every public policy issue, no matter how divorced from the Constitution and inimical to national interests those decisions may be,” as long as the myths persist that the problems can be fixed with the right judge appointments alone, be prepared for judicial tyranny to continue and for the sovereignty of the American people to remain at the capricious whims of progressives wielding wooden gavels.
Reacting to a federal judge blocking President Trump’s recent sanctuary city executive order, Levin commented on “the extent to which the Left will bastardize” the rule of law to impose “the all-powerful administrative state. The fourth branch of the federal government.”:

We gonna miss this opportunity too?

Related links: “See you in the Supreme Court” – Trump reacts to Obama judge who blocked Sanctuary Cities defunding
Judge Who Blocked Trump’s Sanctuary City Executive Order a Major Obama Bundler

ADDENDUM: Do it...DO IT NOW!! (although, constitutionally, that should be directed toward Congress, not the President)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Obamacare showdown round 2 coming soon?

Well, after the unwarranted RINO backlash against conservatives for daring the GOP to keep a campaign promise towards substantive REPEAL of Obamacare, something more than Obamacare with an extra letter or the next iteration of Swampcare 2.0, it looks like a new proposal is being brokered. Will it be worth it? Perhaps...
TheResurgent: Get ready for round two of the Obamacare replacement battle. Following the embarrassing legislation fondly remembered as “Swampcare” offered by House Republicans — less replacement than a reupholstering of something structurally unsound — President Trump shelved his attempt to repeal and replace for the foreseeable future.

Now White House officials have announced that the fight will continue next week, Politico reports, apparently as an attempt to keep Trump’s promise to repeal and replace the so-called Affordable Care Act within his first 100 days — a deadline that is fast approaching.

The text of the bill will circulate if not Friday, then by the weekend. Will we see Swampcare 2.0 or a plan focused on free markets, rather than the sorry premises on which Obamacare was fabricated? So far, all that is known for certain regarding the details, is that, according to the Politico report,
"the deal…proposes giving states more flexibility to opt out of major Obamacare provisions, while at the same time preserving popular protections like the law’s ban on discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions."
Rather than offend the principles of the Freedom Caucus, this bill is the product of centrist Tom MacArthur and Freedom Caucus head Mark Meadows, which suggests a greater likelihood that members will back the proposal. However, if the bill shifts too far to the right, it may lose moderates. For its part, the White House believes they are “close” to having the votes, but “people don’t want to commit without seeing the text.” In other words, wait and see.
This doesn't have to be a 'fight' if Republicans would stand united behind Principle instead of cowardice and lies. And the mention of moderates...please, just say what we all know it means, liberal Republicans. Constantly having to appease these old bulls throwing obstacles in the way of getting a conservative agenda pushed through, when the other side marches lockstep towards Commieville. If only they had moderates in their midst!

It is a good sign, though, that the Freedom Caucus has finally been invited to the table. We shall surely see what comes of this. Pray that it looks closer to what we were promised.

Related links: REPORT: Pence has negotiated Obamacare replacement amendment with Freedom Caucus!
Bill signed by President Trump will allow veterans to seek healthcare outside of VA system

“This is a win-win!” – Freedom Caucus member says health care compromise WILL pass soon
Freedom Caucus leader Brat predicts health care passage within weeks
Trump: Health Care Reform Before Tax Reform

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Out of office...

Sorry, folks, but I've taken the week off from politics in observance of...

...see ya back soon enough. God Bless.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Gorsuch officially confirmed to SCOTUS

Tit for tat. Following a series of procedural votes yesterday to invoke the so-called 'nuclear option', the Senate has voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch as the 113th justice to serve on the Supreme Court.
ZeroHedge: After weeks of endless rhetoric and party bickering over the controversial usage of the 'nuclear option', Neil Gorsuch has officially been confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States with a largely partisan vote of 54-45.

Done! One promise kept.

Related link: How Senators Voted on the Gorsuch Confirmation

ADDENDUM: Confirmed on Friday, sworn in on Monday...

TheBlaze: Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice on Monday, filling the vacancy left on the nation’s highest court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year.

Gorsuch took two oaths in order to serve on the court, the first constitutional oath in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court, the second judicial oath during a ceremony at the White House.

Syria: WMD all over again?

As Admiral Ackbar aptly stated, "It's a trap!" I hope that this is just a one-off like Reagan with Libya or Clinton in Sudan, but it's difficult not to think a few things: Could this be a wag the dog moment? Or is this gonna escalate into something bigger? Or as UK Daily Mail blogger Peter Hitchens seems to think, It's WMD all over again. Why don't you see it?
Actually knowing something, remembering history or having experience of the world is becoming a disadvantage. How much easier it would be to join in with the flow of opinion about Syria, to listen happily to, and read contentedly, media reports on the subject.

As it is, I feel something close to physical pain as I do this.

Today’s frenzy over alleged use of poison gas in Syria is the 2017 version of Anthony Blair’s WMD in Iraq. Why can you not see it? Did you think they would do it in exactly the same way again? You are being assailed through your emotions, to act first and think long after, and far too late.
A lot of ifs still out there with little-to-no substantiated confirmations, but just after 9pm Thursday night, it began (again). I fail to see how this is helpful towards the success of the president's first 100 days or an America First agenda. The rinse/repeat is frustrating, folks.

Related links: PolitiFact Retracts ‘Mostly True’ Ruling That U.S. Removed ‘100 Percent’ of Syria’s Chemical Weapons
Susan Rice Pushed False Claim About Obama Admin Getting Rid Of Chemical Weapons In Syria
Syria strike reactions: what top Republicans and Democrats in Congress are saying
‘Where will it end?’ Nigel Farage casts doubt on pal Donald Trump's strike on Syria

ADDENDUM: With the passage of a week, a constitutional conservative stalwart sees the impossible options this engagement faces...

“We are trapped between impossible options,” Cruz said. “On one hand, Bashar al-Assad is a monster … on the other hand, the opposition … are radical Islamic terrorists. They are people like al-Qaida, al-Nusra terrorists. They are even worse … The worst outcome would be to topple Assad and to see those chemical weapons fall into the hands of ISIS or al-Qaida”. ...

“I look forward to the commander-in-chief laying out a vision, presenting a plan to the American people, to Congress about how we go forward and protect our national security interests.”

Cruz did, however, lay some basic groundwork for how he believes that vision should be developed, saying, “the central lodestar for any U.S. military involvement must be protecting the vital national security interests of the United States.”

Behind the 'RussiaGate' subterfuge

Skip all the BS reporting out there. Here's an exceptional summary of what we actually know to date on the so-called 'RussiaGate' via caller Rob to Thursday's Chris Salcedo Show on WBAP (4/6/17 podcast @10am segment):
"We know that Susan Rice cannot be trusted. We know that John Podesta was not hacked, he was fished. We know that our intelligence agencies did not look at the DNC server or Podesta's server. We know that Hillary Clinton trafficked in classified information. We know that Trump reset relations and sold them 20% of our uranium, oh no, I'm sorry, that was Obama and Hillary! We know that President Trump has been surveilled whether indirectly, incidentally or directly for eight months. We know that Americans were unmasked. We know that through Vault 7 and WikiLeaks, our spies are capable of attacks leaving breadcrumbs of other foreign states. We know that Obama's homeland security made a play for our voting apparatus as critical infrastructure. These people did not believe for one moment that they were gonna lose this election. They thought they had it in the bag. And with all that said, what if RussiaGate is the subterfuge for the ObamaGate espionage?"
For thinking folks, there's little doubt as to what this is all about and how the Obama regime throughout its eight years bent our country over to placate and appease Russia. Democrats know it. And if that message could break through a Democratic-controlled media propaganda machine, it'd be extremely damaging to the Democratic Party, but that's a huge IF. Salsedo went on to describe the Democrats history of colluding with the Soviet Union and the Russians, pointing out Ted Kennedy's collusion with the Soviet Union to oust Ronald Reagan! So this is nothing new with the Democrats.

Related links: HUGE: Fox News Reports Intelligence Community ‘Stonewalling’ Investigation Into Obama Administration Leaks About Trump
Cover-Up: 11 Things the Media Won't Tell You About Obama Spying On Trump