It’s Monday!

…and all the news that happened over the weekend is…or isn’t, being reported.

In case you haven’t heard, there was a First Amendment event in Garland, TX, over the weekend. A couple of RIFs decided to crash the event with gunfire and a carbomb. The event was an art show. Nice liberal ring to that event, wasn’t it? It was a collection of cartoons about mohammad.

The RIFs drove up, fired one shot that lightly wounded a security guard, and fifteen seconds later, according to some commentators, they were DRT. It seems that some heavily armed police was on site. Just waiting for trouble.

I guess it’s open season for RIFs in Texas. Perhaps those heavily armed police were trolling for terrorists? Whichever, it worked.

I’ve noted the MSM has yet to identify the two shooters as Islamic. One, it was announced over the weekend, had been on the FBI’s watch list for some time when he attempted to travel to the middle east for training as a jihadi.

The libs are blaming the organizer of the event, Pamela Geller, for the attack. However, she was a darling of the media when she presented an anti-mormon musical, called, The Book of Mormon. I guess the media is fine attacking religions as long as they aren’t islamic and don’t shoot back.

***

Ferguson, MO, is and has been in deep financial trouble. They can, however, afford to hire a $1330 an hour lawyer to defend the city against the upcoming DOJ lawsuit.

FERGUSON • In the days following a Department of Justice report accusing Ferguson’s police and municipal court of widespread abuses, the city made a series of conciliatory moves. Three employees involved in racist emails were forced out. The city manager stepped down. So did the police chief and municipal judge.

Less than a month later, on March 27, a City Council that’s been grappling with declining revenues voted unanimously in a closed meeting to hire one of the nation’s most distinguished and highest-paid trial lawyers to navigate what could be a prolonged and expensive reform process.

His name is Dan K. Webb.

The city of Ferguson is paying him $1,335 an hour. — St Louis Post-Dispatch.

I suppose funding priorities are fluid in Ferguson. As I said in a recent post, People get the government they vote for.”

***

The eastern GOP establishment is firmly back in power in Jeff City. Liberal ‘pubs filed a bill to increase the state’s gas tax another 10¢ a gallon. The bill passed in the senate along philosophical and geographic lines. The dems and the eastern GOP senators voted for it guided by GOP Senators Ron Richard and Tom Dempsey.

After passing the bill, they allowed an amendment to be added to convert I-70 to a toll road. In essence, the Dempsey, Richard and the dems would sell I-70 to a private group who would then charge taxpayers to use the road their taxes had built.

With the selection of John Hancock to the GOP State Central Committee, there is not a single ‘pub from the western side of Missouri in the party’s leadership. The bad old days of GOP crony politics has returned to the detriment of rest of the state. That the GOP would allow a tax increase is one sign of the return of GOP collusion with democrats that we had hoped would never return to Jeff City.

Phoggy Monday

Sigh…

Daylight Savings Time started yesterday. My body clock is still on Standard Time. It’ll take me a few days to sync the two.

***

On the local front, Harbor Freight is coming to Cass County! Specifically, it’s moving into a spot in Belton, Missouri, that formerly housed a hardware store. Why my exaltation? Harbor Freight is like a toy store for men. Harbor Freight has a number of hard-to-find items not normally found in hardware or tool stores. There was a small flyer in yesterday’s Sunday paper. On it was a digital multi-meter, a drill press, solar-powered lights, and a solar-panel to power or recharge 12VDC devices. I have ordered some items from them on-line in the past. Now I can just drive a couple of miles and browse with my Mk1 Eyeball.

The local store is still being fitted out. I drove past it late last week and the staff was assembling shelving inside. I didn’t see an opening date but I’d hazard a guess that it won’t be too long until that day. A ham buddy and I are waiting when we can visit and drool.

***

The next big political crisis looming in Washington is the upcoming debt limit review. Mitch McConnell vows no fight. He’s shown no backbone to date, why should he change now? He caved on the DHS funding. Holding the debt limit is a much, much, much bigger budget issue.

The daily FOX Newsletter had this to say.

MCCONNELL VOWS NO SHUTDOWN AS DEBT LIMIT FIGHT NEARS
Fox News: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday that the Republican-controlled Congress won’t allow the government to default as the Treasury Department quickly approaches its so-called ‘debt ceiling.’ ‘I made it clear after November that we won’t shut down the government or default on debt,” the Kentucky Republican told CBS’ ‘Face the Nation.’ McConnell’s promise came two days after Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Capitol Hill that the government loses its authority after March 15 to borrow money to cover approved congressional spending and that his agency would have to resort to ‘extraordinary measures’ as a short-term solution.” — FOX Newsletter, March 9, 2015.

***

Something strange is happening with my blog. Starting late last week, my hit count sky-rocked. At first my ego told me it was due to the quality of my topics and writing skills. Then reality set in and I started looking for the source.

I do collect the usual statistics as do all blogs, how many visitors come, what they looked at, how long did they stay. All that info didn’t indicate who were the visitors. The standard software said Google News was the source. I activated some additional tracking software and found something interesting.

The visitors were coming from Facebook! Now I do have a plug-in that echoes by blog to my Facebook page. Most bloggers do. But that link has been in place since I moved from Google’s Blogspot service to WordPress a few years ago. Why the sudden increase?

I don’t know. If I had advertisers, they’d be pleased at the sudden increase in my hit-count. But, I don’t have advertisers; I’ve turned down all offers. I thought it might be robots, I do see some every day. It’s how the search engines know what I’ve posted. No, the pattern isn’t that of a robot. Whomever, or whatever it is that is looking via Facebook is looking at individual posts via tag lines, one such tag is my posts concerning Right-to-Work.

Is it unions, the NLRB, or other RTW organizations? I don’t know. I do not, however, expect the trend to last. In a day or two (yesterday, on Sunday, was the highest visitor count this year,) the hits will drop back down to their former levels. My ego may suffer a minor twinge but I will understand it was an unusual occurrence. At least it has given me a blog topic today.

Monday’s Review

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSczwSA0_rO4tNqCsfF0bhYNTWsKfo5QUvhJPa-LhNzsXjcI8ABJust after Thanksgiving I read an article that predicted gas under $2/gallon by Christmas. I didn’t believe it. My wife told me that price of unleaded regular at our neighborhood gas ‘n grub was $2.149 this morning. That’s down 11¢ since Saturday, the last time I remember seeing a gas price. OPEC’s oil war against our fracking and oil-shale technology continues. The US will cave as soon as OPEC complains to Obama. In the meantime, enjoy the low gas prices while you can.

***

Quote of the Day from Bloomberg News…

Bloomberg: “Of the 23 Republican senators up for re-election in 2016, 16 voted for Cruz’s parliamentary objection, known as a point of order, against what he called Obama’s “amnesty.” Two of them, Rand Paul [R-Ky.] and Marco Rubio [R-Fla.], are — like Cruz — considering presidential bids…”

Bloomberg News appears to think this action is negative, limiting spending, pandering to the voters of 2016. On the contrary, I think these Senators heeded the voices of their constituents and their votes should be lauded, not ridiculed.

***

There was a terrorist hostage incident in Sydney, Australia. Five people were shot, two killed including the RIF who started it all. From initial reports, their other person fatally shot was killed by the RIF. The Sydney Police, in another report, admit using live ammunition.

 

To be Grubered…

http://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2014/12/09/Editorial-Opinion/Images/205733974.jpg?uuid=BU9scn_pEeSfOJWhh-TB9w

Jonathan Gruber, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), listens during a House Oversight Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

A new verb and noun has entered our political lexicon, “Gruber.” In the verb form, it means to frankly speak the truth in an extremely stupid manner. An example of this is when MIT Professor Jonathon Gruber admitted he thought Americans were stupid to believe the claims of the White House on Obamacare.

“He’s a gruber,” is another form of the word. In this case it describes someone who makes an utterly stupid statement that revealed a truth the speaker had intended to conceal.

Gruber had his time before Congress yesterday. He continued to dig himself deeper. Congressman Darryl Issa also had some pithy comments.

Gruber apologizes for ‘mean and insulting’ ObamaCare comments

Published December 09, 2014

MIT economist Jonathan Gruber tried to explain and even justify his controversial comments about ObamaCare during a profuse apology on Tuesday before a House committee — as Rep. Darrell Issa accused him of creating a false model as part of “a pattern of intentional misleading” to get ObamaCare passed. 

Gruber, himself a well-paid consultant during the drafting of the law, was hammered by Republicans on the House oversight committee at his first appearance on Capitol Hill since videos of his remarks surfaced.

Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also came down hard on Marilyn Tavvener, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who he has accused in the past of allegedly inflating enrollment numbers and “cooking the books.”

Issa told Gruber: “You made a series of troubling statements that were not only an insult to the American people, but revealed a pattern of intentional misleading [of] the public about the true impact and nature of ObamaCare.” 

Gruber has come under fire for claiming ObamaCare’s authors took advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter.” 

He delivered a mea culpa of sorts in his opening remarks on Tuesday for what he called his “mean and insulting” comments, explaining some of his remarks while trying to take some of them back. After once saying a lack of transparency helped the law pass, Gruber said Tuesday he does not think it was passed in a “non-transparent fashion.” 

He also expressed regret for what he called “glib, thoughtless and sometimes downright insulting comments.” 

“I sincerely apologize for conjecturing with a tone of expertise and for doing so in such a disparaging fashion,” Gruber said. “I knew better. I know better. I’m embarrassed and I’m sorry.” 

He said he “behaved badly” but stressed that “my own inexcusable arrogance is not a flaw in the Affordable Care Act.” 

Gruber’s appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Tuesday marked one of Issa’s last, high-profile shots at the health care law before he hands over his chairmanship next year. Issa, R-Calif. — who has led the committee through controversial probes of the Benghazi attacks, the IRS scandal and more — led the questioning of Gruber, an MIT economist. 

The videos of Gruber’s remarks have renewed Republican concerns over the health care law, and the way in which it was drafted and passed. Lawmakers also have obtained videos that show Gruber saying the act was written in a “very tortured way.” 

Issa and democrat Elijah Cummings questioned Gruber when he appeared before the Committee. Cummings was more concerned about the truth revealed, the democrat view of voters, than the fact that the entire concept of Obamacare was a fraud.

The column continues.

During questioning, Issa asked Gruber, “Are you stupid?” 

“I don’t think so, no,” he responded. 

Issa added: “So you’re a smart man who said some … really stupid things.” 

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., top Democrat on the committee, also criticized Gruber for giving opponents of the law a “PR gift.” 

“You wrapped it up with a bow,” Cummings said, while claiming the controversy “has nothing to do with the substance of this issue.” 

Business as usual in Obama’s Washington.

***

For my Navy and Marines friends…

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/navy/sports/m-footbl/auto_player/10613312.jpeg

Navy’s new “Don’t Tread on Me” football uniform.

At the 115th meeting of the football teams from the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy on Saturday, the Midshipmen will be decked out in special uniforms featuring a stylized version of the First Navy Jack, the rattlesnake flag first flown at the bow of naval vessels during the Revolutionary War warning foes “DON’T TREAD ON ME.” Navy leads the series 58-49-7.

***

Boehner is planning on selling out conservatives with his newly announced budget. The budget contains funding for Obamacare and Amnesty and provides funding through September, 2015. Boehner fears the MSM and is giving in to the democrats. He should fear us, those who voted for the new GOP-led Congress, instead.

BUDGET DEAL: WILL THE FAT LADY SING?
Though we have seen similar deals evaporate before, an agreement has reportedly been reached on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that, if passed, would avert a partial government shutdown while delaying a fight over President Obama’s immigration actions until early 2015. Fox News: “The GOP-led House Appropriations Committee released the plan, which would keep most of the government funded through September 2015, following days of backroom negotiations. The government technically runs out of money at midnight Thursday. The narrow window raises the likelihood that lawmakers will have to pass a stopgap spending bill to buy time…. Strong opposition to the House budget plan from the Republicans’ conservative caucus could force GOP chamber leaders to rely on Democratic votes to avert a government shutdown. House Speaker John Boehner can afford to lose only 17 caucus votes before he must turn to support from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi, D-Calif., has said her party would be willing to help but has signaled she may make some demands.” — FOX Newsletter.

Boehner is not without opposition, however.

GOPers push amendment to defund temporary amnesty DailyCaller: “[N]ew anti-amnesty language is being pushed by Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, South Carolina’s Rep. Mick Mulvaney and Virginia Rep. Dave Brat…The draft amendment [to the budget bill] bars various agencies from spending any money to implement Obama’s amnesty, including any fees paid by legal immigrants to immigration agencies…The amendment will be examined on Wednesday by the powerful rules committee, which sets the rules for debates.” — FOX Newsletter and The Daily Caller.

Boehner and McConnell are working to tighten their control of the House and the Senate. Representative Darryl Issa is being shuffled off to an “Intellecutal Property” committee and Senator Jeff Session is being booted off his Budget Committee.

Intended Consequences

http://www.millcreekrc.org/cms/index.php/mcrc-photo-gallery/image?view=image&format=raw&type=img&id=162Saturday was a range day. I’m in the process of joining a new rifle club. Saturday was the time for the required safety class. It’s a growing range with pistol, shotgun and rifle ranges up to 500yds.

A club member and shooting buddy joined me after the class. We did a bit of pistol shooting (my Colt Commander does give me hammer bite!) and then shot 10″ steel gongs at 200yds. I surprised myself with hits using the iron sights on my AR Frankengun (Olympic upper and lower receivers plus the barrel, with DPMS innards.)

One of my to-does is cleaning my pistols and rifle. That also means I have to clean up my office to free up needed space.  What a way to force me into Spring cleaning!

***

I wrote about the Kelo Decision last week in a post titled, Boundaries. The decision allowed the municipality of New London in Connecticut to seize private property (Kelo’s) for a developer’s use. The argument was that the developer would put the property into better use (read generate more tax revenue to the city,) than the private owner. The suit went to SCOTUS and was upheld. A travesty. It was a win for the left who believe everything belongs to government and government allows ‘private’ owners to use their property only under governmental ‘guidance.’

That line of thought has arisen here in Missouri—St. Louis, to be specific.

St. Louis County Abrogates Property Rights

By Timothy Birdnow, April 29, 2014

St. Louis County, Mo. is planning to force property owners to purchase a landlord’s license to rent out or even allow friends or family to inhabit a privately owned domicile.

Not content with collecting fees for “safety” inspections and occupancy permits, the county government is now intent on imposing a landlord’s license and extracting yet another fee.  Duplication of current law aside, this new requirement strikes at the heart of a fundamental legal right: the right to ownership of property.

Private property is the most basic principle in American jurisprudence.  When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he borrowed from the philosopher John Locke, who asserted three fundamental rights enjoyed by all: life, liberty, and property.  Jefferson, at the urging of Benjamin Franklin, changed the last to “pursuit of happiness” because he did not want to give slaveholders any sort of legal justification should abolition finally overtake the “peculiar institution.”  Still, everyone knew what Jefferson was getting at here, and though the Declaration is not a foundational legal document, it does illustrate the mindset of the Founders, who clearly believed in ownership of property.

As John Adams stated:

The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.

And so it is; without a sacred view of property, a society inevitably slides into despotism.

The first property right is self-ownership.  We have seen the left nibble away at this concept, and the ObamaCare mandate has effectively tipped the scales toward state ownership of American citizens.

With that under their belts, the Progressives can now turn their lustful eyes back toward real estate.  Actually, they have been nibbling away at the rights of property owners for decades.  Eminent domain, the Fair Housing Act, zoning restrictions, occupancy permits, “safety” inspections (which are more often than not also about cosmetics), property maintenance codes – all circumscribe the rights of owners to have final say on the use of their property.  Yes, many of these things were well-intentioned and have contributed to a more pleasant society, but the movement has been ever toward government regulation of private property.  While property rights are not absolute, where does ownership end?  If government tells the owner how he can use his property, can it be said that we have private ownership at all?

We’ve seen some huge leaps in recent years: the Kelo decision allowing property to be taken from the lawful owner and given to a developer, for instance, or the declaration of property as environmentally sensitive and so not allowed to be developed.  We have the Cliven Bundy affair; Bundy had purchased grazing rights, which are in themselves a contractual interest.  We’ve seen government shut off water to farmers , or allow lands to be flooded, bankrupting farmers and forcing them off their lands.

Now we witness the imposition of licensing requirements for property owners.  The issuance of a license presupposes that government holds the rights and that the “owner” is being granted a privilege.

Read the bill here.

The bill is chock-full of “at the discretion of the Administrator.”

The column continues at the website, but that last sentence is crucial—“at the whim…” In short, the rules can change any at moment for any reason or for no reason at all! The result is total governmental control. He or the agent who makes the rules is the true owner of the property. If this is passed, the county will be the owner of your property, not you.

Wake-up Call!

Remember Obama’s tax on tanning salons? It includes some gym memberships, too. A Falls Church, VA gym posted this notice to their members. Some membership fees were going up. Why? Because those memberships included access to tanning machines.

“Some people who are members of the health club Planet Fitness are finding their membership costs have gone up because of [ObamaCare]…A sign posted at a Falls Church, Va. location says ‘Holders of Black Card memberships will be required to pay a tax on these memberships Starting January 1, 2014 as required by the implementation of provisions of [ObamaCare]…This is not a change in your membership fee but rather a tax required by the government. The reason these accounts are forced to charge the new tax is because they include the option for members to tan at the clubs.  Obamacare has a tax on tanning salons.  It doesn’t matter if the member uses or does not use the tanning facilities.” — FOXNews.

Obamacare taxes, oh, excuse me, user fees, are everywhere and are insidious.

***

Remember Obama, yesterday, declaring another one-year delay on employer mandates for Obamacare? Well, there is a hitch. Businesses can only receive the delay if they declare to the IRS, on pain of perjury, that Obamacare had nothing to do with any layoffs or changes in employment.

Obama’s unlawful declaration forces businesses to lie and committee perjury if Obamacare’s costs forces them to layoff or change working conditions and still receive the mandate delay.

FIRMS MUST SWEAR OBAMACARE NOT A FACTOR IN FIRINGS
Is the latest delay of ObamaCare regulations politically motivated? Consider what administration officials announcing the new exemption for medium-sized employers had to say about firms that might fire workers to get under the threshold and avoid hugely expensive new requirements of the law. Obama officials made clear in a press briefing that firms would not be allowed to lay off workers to get into the preferred class of those businesses with 50 to 99 employees. How will the feds know what employers were thinking when hiring and firing? Simple. Firms will be required to certify to the IRS – under penalty of perjury – that ObamaCare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions. To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs. You can duck the law, but only if you promise not to say so. — FOXNews.

The Wall Street Journal added this to Obama’s offer.

“Changing an unambiguous statutory mandate requires the approval of Congress, but then this President has often decided the law is whatever he says it is. His Administration’s cavalier notions about law enforcement are especially notable here for their bias for corporations over people. The White House has refused to suspend the individual insurance mandate, despite the harm caused to millions who are losing their previous coverage. Liberals say the law isn’t harming jobs or economic growth, but everything this White House does screams the opposite.” — WSJ.

Pure lawlessness.

***

Boehner and Cantor are giving away the farm again. They say they will hold hostage the Debt Limit Increase if it doesn’t include a delay in the implementation of Obamacare and approval of the Keystone pipeline. They refuse to consider that Obama just declared a delay (with strings attached, see above,) and the Canadians are now shipping their oil to China. The impact of Keystone to the US economy is much less now than when it was proposed—and killed by Obama.

What will happen is that any provision added by the House will be removed by Reid when the bill arrives in the Senate. Then, Boehner and the House RINOs will rubber stamp the change. The debt limit will go up, no cuts in spending, no Keystone approval, and Obama agrees to delay Obamacare employer mandates for a year. Oh, yes, toss out that last one, Obama says he did that yesterday.

But the RINO leadership in the House should take heed of other House ‘Pubs. Some are fomenting revolt.

Conservatives revolt over lack of cuts

 

By Pete Kasperowicz, February 11, 2014, 09:09 am

Rank and file House Republicans opposed to their leadership’s debt limit plan are brainstorming new ways to limit federal spending.

Even as GOP leaders seem intent on pushing through a debt ceilng bill this week that doesn’t demand any new spending curbs, several conservative lawmakers are pressing for new ideas.

A few Republicans are hoping to to tie a debt ceiling increase to a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Late Monday, Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) proposed legislation that would require both the House and Senate to vote on a balanced budget amendment.

Crawford’s bill is an attempt to put limits on congressional spending habits that have pumped up the national debt to more than $17.2 trillion.

On the House floor Monday, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said he could support tying a balanced budget amendment to the debt ceiling, but that it would have to cap spending at 18 percent of gross domestic product. King also said he wants a supermajority requirement for any new tax increases.

“This would get me to vote for a limited debt ceiling increase… a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution,” he said.

Another proposal would link Congressional pay to spending cuts…Congressmen’s pay would be cut whenever promised spending cuts fail to happen. Another Congressmen quipped that the provision wouldn’t last the ten-year period of the proposal.

UPDATE: Just now, Boehner admitted he couldn’t make a deal with House ‘Pubs so he is now caving to democrats on a ‘clean’ debt limit increase with no strings by leveraging democrat votes to force passage of the bill.

***

The American Thinker posted a column today on their website titled, “Dead Souls in the Republican Leadership.” It’s too long to post here. Go to the website and read the column there. It’s accuracy is amazing.

Dead Souls In the Republican Leadership

By John T. Bennett, February 11, 2014

“America cannot become the world and still be America.”

So warned the late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington in his 2004 article “America’s Dead Souls.” Huntington’s article was prophetic, and it explains why some GOP pols have taken the side of big business and illegal immigrants over the interests of our nation.

“In a variety of ways, the American establishment, governmental and private, has become increasingly divorced from the American people,” Huntington wrote.

Huntington’s core point was that the American elite has grown extremely distant — socially, economically, morally, and politically — from the public. This trend, he warned, undermines our democracy and harms the interests of the majority.

Huntington wrote that the American majority is concerned with “societal security,” meaning sustaining “existing patterns of language, culture, association, religion and national identity.” Elites, however, placed societal security behind “supporting international trade and migration” and “encouraging minority identities and cultures at home.”

The framework laid out in “America’s Dead Souls” is crucial to understanding how to respond to the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

You can finish the column at the website.
 

***

A parting note. Shirley Temple died today at age 85. Too many today have never seen any of the movies she made as a child star between 1934 through 1938. Shirley continued to act for a few years more but ‘retired’ at age 22. She married, raised a family and later in life became the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

She was one of a few child stars who wasn’t ruined by their popularity.

Democrats Lite

Judge Napolitano appeared last night on FOX news debating Juan Williams on the passage of the Ryan-Murray budget bill in the House. Boehner gained kudos from  Juan Williams and the Left.

Judge Napolitano On Budget Deal: “No Distinction Between Boehner And Pelosi”

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: The speaker has demonstrated a poverty of leadership. The speaker has demonstrated that he can. —

BRET BAIER: Wait a second, he just got 332 votes.

NAPOLITANO: Well, he did get 332 votes because he got the Democrats to vote with him and he scared — and he lost the Republican who retain the value of small government. This doesn’t decrease the deficit, it adds to it. It doesn’t decrease the debt, it adds to it. It spends $63 billion more than we are spending now. It obliterate the concept of the sequester which they said was going to decrease all this stuff two years ago. This is an absolute fraud. They’re afraid of reality. They have no sense, the Republican establishment. They have no sense of small government values that they were elected to put into law.

JUAN WILLIAMS: Wow, tell us how you feel.

NAPOLITANO: This is basically Democrat lite. There is no distinction between John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi on this.

BAIER: What about the argument that Charles makes, Judge, that holding off the government shutdown allows Republicans to focus on what they want to focus on, which is Obamacare and other things to win elections because they need W’s on the board.

NAPOLITANO: It used to be a basic tenet of Republican principles you don’t have what you don’t have and you don’t go in more debt. They are spending a trillion and a half more than they are taking in and that is simply unacceptable. It’s going to make matters far worse. That $17 trillion will be $20 trillion at this rate at the end of President Obama’s term.

WILLIAMS: Listen, they are doing the right thing finally. Let me just tell you something, they’re doing the right thing for the American people and for Republicans. You have just written off, by the way, the majority of the Republicans on the Hill because the majority voted for this bill.

— RealClearPolitics, December 12, 2013.

Yes, Juan, perhaps we should just write off the majority of the ‘Pubs on the Hill. They aren’t representing us!

In other news, Texas Senator, and McConnell’s #2 in the Senate, John Cornyn acquired a strong primary opponent.

Stockman issues serious challenge to Cornyn in Texas senate race

Thursday, December 12, 2013 – Liberty In Our Time by Dave Nalle

AUSTIN, Texas, December 10, 2013 — One minute before the Texas filing deadline for primary candidates on Monday, Senator John Cornyn received a serious primary challenge from conservative Congressman Steve Stockman.

Stockman declared war on Cornyn in an uncompromising press release, calling Cornyn a “Harry Reid Republican,” calling him a “liberal” in almost every sentence and referencing Cornyn’s record of supporting Obamacare and big government in the Senate and his opposition to conservative candidates like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Stockman’s comments point pretty clearly at his strategy for the campaign with multiple references to recently elected Senator Ted Cruz. Despite the attacks he has faced from the left and in the national media, Cruz is hugely popular among conservatives and Republican voters in Texas. Stockman’s goal in the campaign will be to convince voters who like Cruz that they would like to have another Senator like Cruz to replace Cornyn.

When reached for a comment Monday evening, Stockman said “John Cornyn seems to only be a conservative around election time. For the other five years of his term he spends his time violating Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment and undermining conservative Republicans as we saw with his misguided attack on Ted Cruz.”

Cornyn’s record in the Senate gives Stockman plenty to work with. With votes for Medicare Part D, TARP, the NDAA and PIPA, Cornyn seems to line up with Democrats and Senate moderates like John McCain and Lindsey Graham pretty consistently. Cornyn has a record as a big spender, raising the debt limit 8 times, voting for the Fiscal Cliff deal that raised taxes on 77% of Americans and voting against fiscally responsible Senate budget proposals. Cornyn’s recent vote against defunding Obamacare and his derisive public attack on Ted Cruz after his record setting floor speech against the president’s troubled healthcare plan have made Cornyn particularly unpopular with Texas voters.

Although Cornyn had drawn no major challengers prior to Stockman’s last minute filing, a poll taken by Public Policy Polling a month ago showed that 49% of Republican primary voters wanted a major conservative candidate to run against Cornyn. Cornyn’s approval rating has dropped to 33%. The poll also showed that 62% of Republican primary voters prefer Cruz to Cornyn.

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