Saturday, July 29, 2017

McCain’s Revenge ("He's no hero")

american spectator ^ | Ross Kaminsky 

For Republicans and our country, turnabout is not fair play.
Senator John McCain waited two years to get his revenge against Donald Trump for saying that McCain is not a war hero. But with a giant middle finger — or more precisely a thumb — McCain, perhaps assuming that he’ll never run for election again, showed Donald Trump that repealing and replacing Obamacare would not be the “so easy” venture that the great “deal-maker” promised.
I understand that these two men don’t like each other. I understand that revenge is a dish best served cold. But by looking to hurt President Trump — which I have no doubt was one motivation of the “maverick” Senator — John McCain cemented his reputation as a politico who always talked a good game and who traded on his former heroism but who in the end was a harmful influence in American politics. (I say cemented because McCain’s reputation had already gone substantially in that direction with his involvement in the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act — which may not be its official name — his incessant efforts to get and keep America in wars, and his mindless desire to promote “bipartisanship” over principle, party, and, in this case, country.)
In the closing moments of his “triumphant” return-to-the-Senate speech on Tuesday night, Senator McCain said that after the debates and votes on health care reform, he planned to stay in D.C. for a few days managing the Senate approval of the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”), normally a fairly non-controversial process, before returning home for treating for his recently diagnosed brain cancer.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...

NFL Owners Apparently Not Interested in Colin Kaepernick...wonder why!

SBNation ^ | 27 Jul 2017 | Adam Stites 

Colin Kaepernick is likely being blackballed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. There have been plenty of other reasons and excuses provided by NFL teams to explain why the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is still a free agent, but Kaepernick’s protests from the 2016 season loom large.
In a Thursday morning appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike, Adam Schefter said he believes that NFL owners have tried to keep coaches and front-office personnel from going after Kaepernick.
“Do I think that certain owners have blocked teams from visits or interest? I do, I do believe that,” Schefter said. “And I think that there has been more interest in him from the coaching and front office level than there has been at the ownership level. So it was always going to take a unique opportunity for him to be brought in, in the right place, at the right spot, at the right time.”
Many others believe NFL owners have halted general managers from signing Kaepernick, but Schefter is one of the most connected reporters in the league and one of the few to actually say that owners are likely the reason Kaepernick is still a free agent.
(Excerpt) Read more at sbnation.com ...

Donald Trump Threatens to Cancel Some Health-Care Benefits for Lawmakers!

Wall Street Journal ^ | July 29, 2017 | Louise Radnofsky 

President Donald Trump made one of his most explicit threats to cut off payments to insurance companies to force senators and lobbyists back to the bargaining table for a GOP health-care bill, and saying, for the first time, that he was also willing to cancel some of lawmakers’ health-care benefits.
“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday.
For months, Mr. Trump has threatened to stop reimbursements to insurance companies—a part of the ACA—but his administration has always paid them in the end, including amid significant uncertainty in June and at a crucial moment in GOP negotiations just a week ago in July.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...

Liberal news outlets work overtime to hide a huge Democratic scandal and more!

Fox News. com ^ | July 29, 2017 | Dan Gainor 

Watching news outlets go out of their way to hide a potentially huge Democratic scandal is almost funny. So-called journalists are too busy covering presidential tweets to report on a topic that might embarrass their friends.
Welcome to the Imran Awan-Debbie Wasserman Schultz scandal or Compugrab, as I like to call it.
Awan was the top IT aide to Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The FBI reportedly “seized smashed computer hard drives” from his home. He was “arrested trying to flee to Pakistan after wiring almost $300,000 to the country,” according to The Daily Caller, which has owned the story because it does actual news reporting.
Here’s an amazing paragraph from the Caller: “Awan and members of his family received $4 million from the Democratic congressmen they were working for since 2010. Wasserman Schultz has been especially uncooperative with the probe into her staffers and even threatened the Capitol Police chief for gathering evidence. She refused to fire Awan until after he was arrested, even though Capitol Police had already revoked Awans’ access to the congressional IT system in February in relation to a major security breach.” ($4 million, and you wonder where your tax dollars go.)
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...

Ditch Mitch

Townhall.com ^ | July 29, 2017 | Jeff Crouere 


Yesterday morning, the rationale for why conservatives across the country should support Republican Party candidates and enable the GOP to control Congress was completely shattered. By losing a 49-51 vote, the Republican led U.S. Senate failed a pass a “skinny” repeal of Obamacare, condemning the nation to more suffering from the horrors of socialized medicine.
It was a stunning failure for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who was tasked with crafting legislation that would attract at least 50 Republican votes. In the end, McConnell was only able to muster 49 Republican votes, so the reform measure failed. Three turncoat Republicans joined all 48 Democrats to defeat the best chance to repeal at least some of the most offensive aspects of Obamacare.
It was a bitter defeat for the GOP, the President and all healthcare reform supporters. Now, health insurance premiums and deductibles will continue to increase. Insurance companies will continue to withdraw from certain states and choices for struggling Americans will become more limited.
For Americans who do not want health insurance, they will continue to be mandated to buy the product. Others who cannot afford the skyrocketing premiums will have to pay an outrageous fine to the IRS. In addition, many employers will be forced to trim the number of full time workers to escape their expensive Obamacare coverage mandate. Thus, the lack of GOP leadership in the Senate will result in real pain for the American people.
Most of the blame for this debacle rests squarely on the shoulders of Majority Leader McConnell. Since the November 2016 election of Donald Trump as President, McConnell has had over eight months to develop legislation that would pass the Senate. With such an embarrassing failure, McConnell should be removed as Senate Majority Leader. Republicans need a leader who can deliver for not only the country, but also for the Republican Party.
Mitch McConnell has enjoyed over 10 years as Republican Party leader in the Senate. First as Minority Leader and since January of 2015 as Majority Leader. In that time, he has not been an advocate for conservative reform. In the presidential election, he was not a strong advocate for Donald Trump. In fact, he spent the entire presidential campaign trying to distance himself from the populist oriented GOP nominee.
McConnell is the ultimate insider, he is a creature of the swamp that controls the Beltway and our federal government. As a Senator for 33 years, McConnell long ago ceased being a reformer and became part of the dreaded Republican Party establishment. He is ill-suited to promote Donald Trump’s “drain the swamp” agenda.
Along with his failure to pass the Obamacare repeal, McConnell has allowed the Senate to delay action on dozens of Trump administration nominees. What is the use of having Republican leadership of the Senate when its’ leader cannot produce any legislative accomplishments?
On the major items in the President’s agenda, the Senate has not been able to provide victories on even one of them, except the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. At least the House passed a healthcare reform bill, even though it was imperfect. Unfortunately, the Senate seems incapable of doing anything, which is why McConnell should be fired as Majority Leader. If he had any decency, he would resign his post, but we should not expect such a selfless act from a lifelong politician like Mitch McConnell.
Under McConnell’s leadership, the Senate has produced six months of worthless talk and debate, but no legislative victories for President Trump. If this continues the GOP will suffer the same result in the 2018 mid-term election as what happened in the 2006 election, after four years of Republican Party leadership of the Congress and the White House.
In that period, Republicans used their majorities to deliver more debt, grow government, increase federal regulations and bureaucracies, add entitlement programs and start a brand-new government department. Thus, the Republicans acted like Democrats and the base reacted by withdrawing support for the party.
Eventually, this GOP abandonment of their principles paved the way for the 2008 election of President Barack Obama and Democrat majorities in Congress. The result was a hard-left agenda and possibly the most damaging President in our nation’s history.
Similarly, the current failures will probably ensure Democrats make gains in the 2018 mid-term elections and possibly take control of Congress. In this case, with the GOP Congress doing nothing, the GOP base will be demoralized and will not turnout in substantial numbers in the next election. In contrast, the left is stark raving mad about Donald Trump and is very energized to elect a Democrat Congress in 2018.
Liberals know that if Democrats are elected to Congress, they will deliver legislative victories for their base. For example, the stimulus bill and the “Affordable Healthcare Act” were rammed through in the first two years of the Obama presidency. In contrast, conservative voters should have no confidence that congressional Republicans will deliver anything of real substance. The sobering result is that no matter which political party controls Congress, the federal leviathan grows.
Until the Republicans remove ineffective leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they will accomplish absolutely nothing and only set the stage for the Democrats to achieve full power once again.

The 7 Republican Obamacare Judases in The Senate

Townhall.com ^ | July 29, 2017 | John Hawkins 


The Democrat Party has run into trouble largely because it became way too radically liberal, way too fast. The Democrat Party of the Clinton years would have been terrified of publicly supporting many of the abominations forced down the throats of the American people during Obama’s tenure as President.
However, the Republican Party has almost the exact opposite problem.
They’re married men who don’t want to stop dating. They’re singers who can’t carry a tune. They’re preachers who are no longer men of faith. The GOP is run by men who find sincerely held Republican beliefs to be mildly embarrassing in a, “You can’t seriously believe that, can you?” sort of way. I know this for a fact because I’ve been on email lists with Capitol Hill staffers. Some of them were EXACTLY what you’d hope they would be: conservative, respectful of the people who got their bosses elected and serious about helping the country. Some of them were squishy, but at least listened to the opinions of the base. Unfortunately, quite a few of the others were smug, acted like the voters owed their bosses instead of the other way around and seemed to think of themselves as part of a feudal over-class that deserved to rule over the rest of us peasants because they’re in D.C., duh! When you see that attitude in the staffers, what it really tells you is what they’re hearing from their bosses in the office every day.
That contrasts with what WE, the VOTERS, have been hearing from their bosses every day. During the Obama years, there was one message we heard over and above all others. One that was repeated time and time again. One that was repeated so often that EVERYONE knew that’s what the Republican Party wanted to do. It was that if the Republican Party had its way, it was going to torpedo Obamacare. By 2014, the GOP had tried to defund Obamacare at least 6 times, and by the Democrats’ count, had tried to gut the law more than 50 times. Republican candidates across the country promised to repeal Obamacare. Mitt Romney promised to repeal Obamacare. Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare. It was as close as possible to a central message of the GOP beyond, “Obama? Aren’t you sick of that guy? And Hillary? Seriously? She gives me the creeps!”
So, what happens when Republicans FINALLY control the House, the Senate and the presidency and vote on repealing Obamacare? Seven Republican senators VOTED AGAINST a straight repeal of Obamacare with a two year window to come up with a replacement. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Dean Heller, R-Nev.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Rob Portman, R-Ohio all decided that after years of claiming to oppose Obamacare at every turn, they now want it to stay in place. Why, it’s almost as if they’ve been lying to you for years about their opposition to Obamacare! In fact, it reminds me of something that Ted Cruz once said that rings true right now,
“Part of what’s so problematic with Washington is how many Republicans want a show vote to pretend to their constituents they’re fighting for what they say they’re fighting for, rather than actually fighting for it and actually winning. In both parties, you’ve got entrenched politicians who have barely veiled contempt for the American people. They think their voters are gullible rubes – and you give them a little ‘show vote,’ you tell them, ‘Hey, I’m totally with you,’ then they go to Washington and they don’t actually do what they say.”
This SHOULD BE a big deal. It’s like the Pope coming out as a Satanist. It’s like walking into your bedroom and finding your wife and best friend both naked. It’s like being the last man on earth and hearing a knock at the door. So what price are these Republican Judases paying? Did Mitch McConnell threaten to try to cut them off from their donors? Did the National Republican Senatorial Committee tell them not to expect their support the next time they run for office? Did anything of consequence happen to any of them at all beyond Trump firing off a mild (for him anyway) tweet against Lisa Murkowski? This is so big that Republican Congressman Mo Brooks called for Mitch McConnell to be kicked out of his leadership position for this failure.
“If they’re gonna quit, well then, by golly, maybe they ought to start at the top with Mitch McConnell leaving his position, and letting somebody new, somebody bold, somebody conservative take the reins so that they can come up with a plan that can get through the United States Senate and serve the needs of the American people."
Isn’t he right? Mitch McConnell has a backbone made from butter and cream cheese; he couldn’t talk a telemarketer into taking his money and other than his correct, but not extraordinary decision not to move on Merrick Garland, his reign has been nothing but one long string of losses, punishing failures and missed opportunities. I’m sure he probably remembers to send a card to everyone on his birthday and does a great teenage mutant ninja turtle impression, but we should expect more out of our leaders. It’s fine to criticize Trump for his staff shake-ups, failures and Twitter obsession, but at least he’s trying to do SOMETHING other than sit on his butt and soak in the ambience of his important job. Can anyone say the same of Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lamar Alexander or Lisa Murkowski?
There is nothing these senators who voted against the repeal of Obamacare have ever done or will ever do that can make up for their betrayal. None of them should ever represent the Republican Party in a general election again. That shouldn’t just be the position of the voters they have lied to; it should be the position of the REPUBLICAN PARTY. If this vote isn’t stepping over a bright red line for a Republican in Congress, then nothing does. The GOP shouldn’t aspire to be a pure party full of Jim DeMint and Rand Paul clones, but there should at least be some core tenets it believes in. It should be honest. It should mean well. It should represent something more than running the country into the ground to maximize the chances of a few stuffed shirts keeping their cushy jobs. If that isn’t what the GOP is really about, then prove it. Punish the Republican senators who sold all of us out on Obamacare and show that the GOP at least wants to be something more than all talk and no action.