Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day: a day of honor

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” ~ John 15:13
Today is a day of memorialization. A day to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price while fighting for our country, and for those of us who haven’t served, to preserve our freedoms...
RedState: The Veterans Affairs Department reports that of all the wars America has been in, we have lost 700,000 soldiers to battle deaths ( in theater ) and just over 300,000 deaths listed as “other deaths” (in theater ). That is approximately one million people who have died fighting or in combat zones for this country and its ideals. Living to be free from tyranny and to continue the pursuit of happiness spoken of in our Declaration Of Independence.

The men and women who served with those who have died, carry their memory home with them. Memorial Day for them and the families of those who have died is not just the last Monday in May but every day. That the nation takes a moment out of its calendar to remember those that passed matters to them.

I hope it still matters to the majority of this country and we all take more than just a moment to say a prayer but really think about the sacrifice of giving up your life so others can live free.
Among the greatest of sacrifices indeed, and following in the footsteps of our Lord's own saving Grace. Upon the reflection of such a weighty thought, my mind turns toward a common prayer that wholly encompasses today's memorialization...
ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Stop! While Rome burns, federalism fizzles

If you're anything like me, you can't stand to turn on the so-called news as of late. Blah, blah, blah. So much to do, so little time to do it, and so many distractions in the way. These passions may lie somewhere between sarcasm and sentiment, but the disgust with Washington all the way around is real and shared by plenty. In a recent piece entitled, Aesop’s Washington: Perhaps It is Time to Dissolve Our Union, Erick Erickson begins by unravelling the current controversies (phony or otherwise) in D.C. I'd encourage you to read that introduction; however, the teeth of this piece sink in a third of the way through, and that's what I'd like to share to move towards the bigger picture...
Everything in Washington is now relative and tribal. Each side now competes for elections to impose their own morality and choices on the people as a whole. With the left, they demand unending culture war. We must all accept and pay for abortion and we must all accept and provide goods and services to gay weddings. We cannot decide this by state, as the founders intended.

The left and right both want to use Washington as they see fit with no real restraints on their agendas. The founders intended Washington to be useful for little and the states to be useful for much. Not any more. Both sides have incorporated the Bill of Rights against the states, which the founders expressly did not and which was only done through Supreme Court divination in the twentieth century.

The stakes have grown so high as five black robed masters demand their morality be imposed on 320 million people and the federal government insists a heterogeneous people be homogenized. There is no room on either side for diversity of thought. The tribe, not the nation, is all that matters.

Washington is dysfunctional and our President is a dolt well out of his league. The only honest thing he has said of late is that the job is harder than he expected.

The left will give him no benefit of any doubt and the GOP will excuse his every action. Our nation is broken. It does not work. Neither side has an ounce of grace for the other. Traditional values are now bigotry to the left. College campuses silence dissent in ways that would make Hitler proud. Washington is supposed to do everything. And Washington does nothing well. Outrage is defined by party, not objective truth.

Perhaps it is time we end this experience. Few people really want a country as the founders envisioned and those of us who do are assailed from both sides. The stakes have been escalated beyond any amount of reason and should the Democrats eventually take back the White House, which they will, everything they have attacked Trump for will suddenly be embraced and every Republican who has defended Trump will attack the future Democrat President.
Is he saying what I think he's saying? Just bear with it and the point will become clearer...
Let’s not pretend otherwise. We have Democrats running Republican congressmen off the road and reporters writing stories justifying it. We have environmental wackos blaming global warming on too many people, but they refuse to go first and kill themselves. We have Republican congressmen targeting businesses whose employees oppose the congressmen. It is only a matter of time before real shots are fired. Democrats are convinced the President is committing treason and Republicans are war criminals. Meanwhile, conservatives are convinced the left has created an existential threat against their cultural existence. ...

Our national union is fraying at the seams and I think we have reached the point where it is best to go on and tear it into fifty pieces and move on, each state its own.

The only real alternative should be an immediate repeal of the fourteenth and seventeenth amendments so that national elections become more diffuse through state legislative elections and the demands of moral and cultural homogeneity through conjured divinations in equal protection die by the wayside. Force each state, its laws, and its morality to be relevant again. That is the only way to preserve the nation.
To me, this very real frustration makes yet another unavoidable case for the necessity of an Article V Convention of States, lest we see the ideals of federalism and little 'r' republicanism go by the wayside never to return. Time to lift the blinders, admit Washington's irreparable, and embrace genuine solutions to restrain it, reform it, fix it through the powers granted to the states.
If not now, folks, when?

Related links: 12 states in for freedom: Missouri votes for Convention of States
Missouri 12th state to call for convention amending Constitution
Maine Could Be 13th State to Push for Convention of States to Limit Power of Federal Government
Push for Convention of the States to rein in government gains steam
No More Benefit of the Doubt
Disagreement Means Death
An Open Letter to Conservatives: Please, Make it Stop

Friday, May 5, 2017

LEVIN: As DC screws up health care, Texas scores big liberty WIN!

The headline says it all, but here are the details (first on Texas w/ some corrective editing)...
The Texas House on Thursday joined the Senate in voting to call for an Article V Convention of States, making Texas the 11th of the 34 states needed to call a constitutional convention Article V convention to rein in the power of the federal government.
Gov. Abbott really led the way on this, finally gaining approval from both House and Senate in the call for an Article V Convention of States. Levin congratulated Texas on Thursday evening's program, contrasting that with Washington's latest play on healthcare, and really digging into specifics on the latter...
CR: Thursday, the biggest news for conservatives came from the state of Texas, Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin said on the radio.

The Texas statehouse passed a resolution calling for an Article V Convention of States to amend and restore the Constitution. Texas is the 11th state to do so.

“I’m telling you this is going to be an earthquake,” Levin said. “This is the greatest threat against the statist, utopian progressives in 125 years.”

Levin also addressed the biggest news that should upset conservatives. The American Health Care Act has passed the House of Representatives. The Republicans are hailing the legislation as a repeal of Obamacare. Democrats are claiming this bill will kill people.

“Both parties lie through their teeth,” Levin said, before diving into the specifics. “Spin as they might, this Republican bill is about 90 percent Obamacare.”

“In a word, it does not repeal Obamacare. It’s an optional, partial repeal.” And that is not what Republicans promised voters.
Related links: The States Control an Article V Convention
Poll: Swamp Republicans REALLY hate the Freedom Caucus
Levin: Conservatives still under attack for opposing Obamacare
Republicans help promote Obamacare, but hey … tax cuts!
Levin: The GOP doesn’t want to actually repeal Obamacare

Thursday, May 4, 2017

With House passage of AHCA, Republicans now own healthcare

We knew last week that despite improvements thanks solely to the Freedom Caucus, the Obamacare repeal/replace bill (AHCA) was still pretty lousy. Now, that unscored and unread lukewarm Republican bill has passes through the House...
TheResurgent: After making campaign promises after campaign promises, a seven-year effort to replace Obamacare was passed Thursday. Along party lines, House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) 217-213. For better or for worst, Republicans now own healthcare.

With 1/6th of the economy at stake, the vote happened after the CBO did not score the bill. The text of the AHCA was posted late Wednesday evening. The GOP House has a rule that text of a bill must be posted for three days prior to voting. Yet, House Republicans ignored their own standard and barreled forward.

As far as the bill itself, it does not completely repeal Obamacare. The MacArthur-Meadows amendment did move the bill in the right direction which grants states the right to seek waivers on some regulations. However, this is only a partial withdraw which still maintains a number of mandated Obamacare rules. ...

Republicans have improved the bill since March, but this still falls way short of what should have happened. Congress should have fully repealed Obamacare and gotten rid of mandated regulations and rules that keep Washington in control of healthcare decisions.

Like I wrote over a month ago, that is disappointing. We need true reforms to Medicaid and an actual free market solution that drives down premiums. Health saving accounts and insurance that is portable across state lines would also be nice. Instead, Republicans in Washington continue to disappoint with lukewarm reforms. After Democrats jumped off a cliff with Obamacare in 2010, House Republicans are now doing the same in 2017.
Speaker Ryan claimed in his big speech before passage of the Obamacare reform bill that this 'delivers' on Republican promises. What do you think?

TRS: Can you believe the audacity of Ryan? He claims this bill delivers on the promises Republicans made to the American people. Sure, it’s better than it was earlier this year, but it’s FAR from delivering on their promises to repeal and replace Obamacare. Heck, they couldn’t even agree that the EHBs and the Community rating system should be removed from every state. They had to get this watered down amendment just to give states the ability to opt out. For Ryan to act like this bill delivers on Republican promises is a slap in the face to the American people...
I wholeheartedly agree with the Speaker that we should end this failed experiment...but that means FULL REPEAL, not partial; it means free market solutions, not remaining under Washington control.

Related links: BREAKING: House passes Obamacare reform package
In Iowa, Obamacare Is Repealing Itself

ADDENDUM: Here's one caveat that I have absolutely no problem getting behind!
WZ: Congress will no longer be exempt from the healthcare laws they pass!

ADDENDUM II: Oh, Jeeze...

Come on!

Related link: Swampcare 2.0: Treating The Corpse While The Sick Die

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

House passes $1.1 TRILLION OMNIBUST!

I could've sworn we had an election to reign in an out-of-control Washington! Yet, even with a Republican-controlled Washington, we're served a betrayal beyond belief...
CR: Voting has concluded on the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.

The measure passed 309 – 118 Wednesday afternoon, with more Democrats voting for the bill than Republicans. That fact is unsurprising, considering the legislation funded major Democratic priorities.
In this bill:
  • $3.1 billion for refugee resettlement
  • Funding for sanctuary cities
  • Funding for Planned Parenthood
  • A $295.9 billion bailout for Puerto Rico
  • Increased cap on H2-B visas
  • And more money for former President Obama’s priorities
Not in this bill:
  • Funding for the border wall
  • President Trump’s proposed cuts to domestic programs.
Several of the most conservative members of the House pledged to oppose the bill and more than 100 Republicans ultimately voted against the bill.
The roll call is located here if you're so inclined to see how your representative voted. I wouldn't put too much stock in the Senate fixing anything either, because McConnell's holding on to the filibuster excuse. Can't help but ask myself if this is to be the expected outcome from here on out of the People's panic voting from the primaries into the general election, catapulting the same party politicians above the very principle we needed to unravel this mess?
TheResurgent: The Republican Party isn’t so good at governing, but when it comes to making excuses they have no peer. They’re like a less-believable version of John Belushi near the end of The Blues Brothers, mud smeared on their faces and pleading for their political lives, while GOP voters demand to know why the same guys they sent back to Congress to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood didn’t show up like they promised.

The latest episode comes to us courtesy of the new omnibus budget cobbled together by Congress, which really isn’t a budget at all but another continuing resolution to keep the government–plus all of the pork projects and and special-interest favors K Street lobbyists could sneak in there–funded through the end of the fiscal year. Strangely enough, with all the cash appropriated for Planned Parethood’s abortion business and sanctuary cities that flout federal immigration law, there isn’t a penny to be found for the border wall. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that the Democrats were still running Capitol Hill. ...

The only way for Trump to respond to this is with a veto of his own. Don’t sign this monstrosity of a budget, Mr. President. Because if you do, it will have been the Republicans–not the Democrats–who rolled you.
Will the buck stop at the President's desk? We shall soon see...

Related link: Smarter in Texas: Ted Cruz voting NO on $1.1 trillion omnibus