When the GOP tries to…

…out liberal the democrats, can any good come from it?

Many insiders believe SCOTUS is going to declare Obamacare subsidies to be unconstitutional. ‘Pubbies everywhere should celebrate! Let Obamacare implode and when the screams get the loudest push through a total repeal and allow insurance companies to provide healthcare insurance like they did before Obamacare. Those companies who dropped out of the healthcare market will return when there’s money to be made once again. The greatest healthcare system in the world, available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay, will return, albeit over a couple of years.

What is the GOP establishment doing? They are planning to pass legislation to reinstate subsidies!

House Republicans craft Obamacare subsidies alternative ahead of Supreme Court ruling

– The Washington Times – Wednesday, June 17, 2015
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“I think it’s a good plan. It’s a good start,” Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., Louisiana Republican, said after huddling with the GOP caucus behind closed doors. (Associated Press)

House Republicans settled on the outlines of a plan Wednesday to wean the country off of Obamacare’s subsidies in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling this month that could throw the massive health program into chaos.

Described as a “work in progress,” the plan would continue to pay full subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to all beneficiaries regardless of where they live, but starting next year states could begin to opt out of Obamacare, taking the money as a block grant to help their residents obtain insurance however local officials see fit. (Read the entire column here.)

Conservative groups, like the Heritage Foundation, are agast!

Don’t Fix Obamacare

Many Republicans are watching ongoing developments in the King v. Burwell Obamacare case with trepidation. In the abstract, most recognize the opportunity such a case represents to roll back Obamacare and force a debate about real, pro-market insurance reform.

But as the decision looms, many now have second thoughts, convinced that the country will blame them for disruption in the ruling’s wake and that eventually, the only politically tolerable option will be to cave and restore the Obamacare subsidies eliminated by the Supreme Court.

That assumption is wrong, and Republicans will do more harm than good for their cause if they act on it.

According to a new poll conducted by the American Perceptions Initiative at The Heritage Foundation, the fear that Republicans, not Democrats, will take the blame for any disruption caused by the ruling appears to be unfounded. Only 36 percent of Americans will blame congressional Republicans, with 58 percent of the blame split between President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Also wrong is the presumption that most Americans will look past their general opposition to Obamacare and push for Congress to extend the subsidies to prevent disruption. A staggering supermajority—69 percent—told pollsters they agreed that “Passing new legislation to continue the Obamacare subsidies doesn’t fix the problem – it just prolongs it.”

Moreover, restoring the subsidies appears likely to shift more rather than less blame to Republicans for the situation. According to Heritage’s survey, 67 percent of Americans agree that if Republicans extend the law’s subsidies for the short term, “they will bear the blame when the time comes to take those subsidies away.” (more here.)

By reinstating the subsidies, the GOP will then own every piece of Obamacare. It was the GOP who kept it in force. It was the GOP who provided funding for Obamacare in last year’s Cromnibus bill instead of allowing Obamacare to starve for funds. Now if they provide funding for subsidies, Obamacare will not be a democrat albatross, it will a republican one—exactly what the GOP establishment claims to fear!

Last week the House voted to kill, with a number of democrats, the TPA portion of Obama’s trade bill. Obama’s bill was split into two parts, TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) the fast-track trade authority, and the TPP (TransPacific Pact).

The TPP was filled with kickbacks, union payoffs and a multitude of items unrelated to trade. TPA, on the other hand, gave Obama a rubber stamp to do whatever he wanted to do. Congress would NOT be able to make any amendments to future trade bills, just an Up/Down vote. With the well-demonstrated lack of backbone among the GOP leadership in both Houses of Congress, any trade bill brought before them would likely be approved.

When you see the GOP supporting Obama against the democrats, you know something is very, very wrong in the GOP DC establishment. Now, McConnell and Boehner are about to try again.

GOP leaders vow to resurrect Obama trade deal

– The Washington Times – Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Republican leaders will try to resurrect the trade deal Democrats sank less than a week ago, planning a revote Thursday and insisting they will corral enough votes to approve fast-track negotiating powers that President Obama needs to complete a legacy-building Pacific Rim agreement.

Mr. Obama met Wednesday afternoon with Democratic lawmakers who support free trade to make sure they will vote for the plan, and House Republican leaders began the process of forcing a revote on powers known as Trade Promotion Authority, which is favored in their party, and Trade Adjustment Assistance, which is generally a Democratic priority.

Democrats last week voted against Trade Adjustment Assistance as a way of poisoning the package, so Republican leaders have decided to split the bill and pass Trade Promotion Authority first, then leave it to Mr. Obama to rally enough Democrats to pass Trade Adjustment Assistance.

“We are committed to ensuring both TPA and TAA get votes in the House and Senate and are sent to the president for signature,” said a joint statement by House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, rejecting claims that the issue was dead.

The republican party appears to have made an alliance with democrats and the GOP establishment is acting in concert with democrats to fulfill democrat agendas and policies. That begs the question, “Are there two political parties in Washington or only one?” More and more it appears to be just one.

Being a Republican (note the capital R) is more than just winning elections, it is a political philosophy. It does no one any good to win elections if the result is the same as if democrats had won.

I used to think a 3rd party would allow democrats to control Congress for at least two election cycles before being effective and in that time, democrats could gut our liberties and the Constitution blocking any 3rd party from power. Watching the actions of McConnell, Ryan, Boehner, et. al., I’m beginning to believe that has already happened.

Bullet Points

There are a number of items in the news today. The top story is the rebellion in the GOP House ranks against John Boehner. The MSM, including FOX, poo-poos the idea that Boehner can be turned out. Other commentators, however, believe there is a significant chance to oust Boehner.

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Reps, Ted Yoho, R-Fla., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas., and House Speaker John Boehner. (Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov; Alan Youngblood/Ocala Starbanner/landov; Shawn-Thew/epa/landov)

Two GOP candidates have stepped forward to run against Boehner. The strongest is Louis Gohmert (R-TX). But there is a second candidate, too, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL). Gohmert is a strong conservative track-record. I don’t know much about Yoho other than he’s running against Boehner.

In the end, it matters not, who of these candidates receives the votes. The important thrust is that at least twenty-nine GOP Representatives—DON’T VOTE FOR BOEHNER! If Boehner loses the first vote, then the GOP can consolidate with another candidate, Gohmert I would hope, to choose another Speaker and put Boehner out on the curb.

I’ve already heard some RINOs say that a vote against Boehner is a vote for Pelosi. Not true, it’s another lie by the GOP establishment. The only way a ‘Pub can vote for Pelosi is to actually vote for her, or, to vote, “Present,” to reduce the number of votes cast. Boehner needs the majority of the votes, not just the highest number of votes. If he doesn’t get a majority, he loses.

A number of Representatives have already announced they won’t vote for Boehner. Many more have quietly let it be known they probably won’t. There are fifty new representative coming to Congress. Many of them ran on a ticket of opposing John Boehner. At first look, getting twenty-nine ‘Pubs to vote against John Boehner seemed impossible. When you look more closely, that impossibility fades.

A number of talk show hosts, Glenn Beck for one, are telling their audience to call the Capitol switchboard,1-877-762-8762, to speak to their representatives and to tell them to not vote for Boehner. The switchboard is being flooded and was shutdown once already this morning.

Go make that call!

***

Sarah Palin is back in the news against. Not for something she did but for something her son did. He used the family dog as a foot-stool.

PETA is outraged. Ho-hum.

The real thing that has the left outraged is not the photo of her son stepping on the family dog (it was a big dog. PETA looked the other way when Ellen Degenerate posted one like it,) but her 2014 award of being the top American Achiever.

The left rejects achievement. It is their antithesis. Achieving, in their minds, means someone loses, therefore achievement must be limited to be ‘fair.’

American Achiever of 2014: Sarah Palin

By M. Joseph Sheppard, December 27, 2014

It would be the height of churlishness for even the most inveterate leftist to deny the import of someone who made Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list, and then the Smithsonian Institution‘s “100 Most Significant Americans Of All Time” list.  Both affirmations were earned by former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

To then accept Governor Palin as “American Achiever of the Year 2014” would be for most, if not all on the left (and to be fair, many in the GOP) no doubt a bridge too far.  However, such partisanship should not stand in the way of a general acknowledgement of what was a remarkable year for Palin.

Palin achieved what such luminaries as President Obama did not: a place in the Smithsonian’s prestigious “Most Significant” list.  After being written off by many in the media, and especially the left, as “irrelevant” and predicted by MSNBC’s Krystal Ball as “not going to have an effect on the [2014] midterms,” Palin’s record of success of her endorsed candidates was nothing short of phenomenal. (The article continues on the American Thinker website.)

Sarah Palin is never far from conservative’s minds. She is the epitome of conservatism. Maligned and slandered by the left, she continues on, unrepentant, and speaks her mind. The left hates her with a passion because she is the standard the left hates and cannot beat.

The Many Memes of Sarah Palin

By M. Joseph Sheppard, January 5, 2015

Defining a politician’s personality, whether positively to build them up, or negatively to tear them down, is a basic rule of politics. Themes can define an image e.g. “Roosevelt’s categorization of Al Smith as “The Happy Warrior” or Democrat folklore depicting William Jennings Bryan as “the Great Commoner” are two classic positive examples. On the negative side, Mitt Romney never recovered from being defined as “Mr. 1 percent”, nor did John Kerry from being “Mr. Flip Flop.”

Once a politician is defined (fairly or unfairly doesn’t enter into the picture) as say, Rick Perry was as a forgetful ditherer, it becomes extremely difficult to shake off the perception — even though in his case it was based on a single, admittedly important, debate moment. Such is the power of media defining that an entire career as a successful governor of a major state can have that whole positive history shrouded in the fog of a slip of the tongue or a moments’ forgetfulness.

This eternal and unshakable truism seems to have one, and perhaps the only one exception to the rule, and that is Governor Palin. Once the media got over their initial shock at her 2008 convention address, the entire subsequent campaign was involved in a liberal media/blog attempt to stick a permanent, negative label on her. That a flow of constant new Palin memes continues to this day shows that for all their efforts nothing has stuck irrevocably and fatally detrimentally.

Before Palin’s convention address there was some flailing about by a confused media and a number of memes were tried out. “Palin’s a bad parent neglecting her children, especially the special needs one, for a campaign”. That such nonsense has never been used against a man, and the anger of many women at such a ridiculous concept put paid to that quickly. Next was “Palin’s a hypocrite because her daughter is pregnant” which quickly died after Palin describe her family as “having the same ups and downs as all families” which, rightly received an understanding and warm reception. There was even a despicable campaign from the likes of Daily Kos and the even wilder “progressive” fringes, which suggested Trig might not even be Sarah’s child.

After the Gibson interview the left crowed “Palin doesn’t even know what the Bush doctrine is”. As it turned out neither did 90% of the population either — it being unlikely that if the question was put to those crowing they could have answered it, so that quickly died the death. What did have legs, and is only 6 years later fading from the arsenal of even the lowest information voters, was the “I can see Russia from my house” statement. This line, of course, was not even spoken by Palin but had a life of its own, which is a sad reflection on some segments of the population.

No matter the lies, no matter the numerous slanders, no matter the accusations, Sarah Palin continues on, a stalwart pillar of American Conservatism.

Twenty-Fifteen is starting off with a bang!

Recap…

I blogged (yes, it’s a verb!) yesterday about gas prices dropping below $2/gallon by Christmas. I was pessimistic. In thirteen states, including Missouri, that goal has already been reached.

In These 13 States, Gas Is Selling for Below $2 a Gallon

Just two weeks ago, a sole gas station in Oklahoma swept headlines for dropping gas prices below $2 a gallon. Today, 13 states have joined that list, and the trend is expanding.Gas for less than $1.90 a gallon can be found in at least one station in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Ohio, according to CNN. CNN cites 10 additional states– Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas and Virginia– that now have gas below $2 a gallon.“What we’re seeing is markets at work,” Heritage Foundation economist Nick Loris said. “Significant increases in supply and a relatively weak demand is lowering prices not just at the pump, but for most of the goods and services we pay for.”

The national average has dipped to $2.55 a gallon, marking the lowest drop since October 2009, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report. Just a year ago, that average was $3.23.

“Oil prices are plunging because there is so much oil in the market,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a press release. “It’s unclear exactly how long this will continue, but gas prices will keep falling as long as oil prices do.”

Jenkins said oil prices are predicted to continue dropping through the first half of next year, increasing the “likelihood of $2 gasoline.”

CNN partially attributes this drop in prices to decreased oil demand because of the “economic slowdowns” across Europe and Asia along with increasingly fuel-efficient vehicles.

Another key reason for the drop is the increase in U.S. output. Domestic oil production is at a three-decade high, contributing to the increase in supply and driving down costs.

But Loris cautions against celebrating too soon.

“The falling prices are certainly a welcome relief,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean policymakers should ignore the government-imposed regulations and restrictions that artificially inflate prices and prevent markets from working more efficiently.”

Low gas prices is a Christmas gift to us all.

***

I’m a Mark Levin fan. I have most (all?) of his books. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I do believe most. He is one of the stalwarts of conservatism in the country. His Landmark Legal Foundation is in the forefront litigating for our liberty and the retention of our constitutional rights.

He also has a temper.

Mark Levin slams GOP: ‘The Constitution is in tatters’

– The Washington Times – Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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Conservative Talk Show host and founder of the Landmark Legal Foundation, Mark Levin.

Conservative talk radio icon Mark Levin blasted his fellow Republican Party members during his most recent show, slamming the leadership for caving on the budget and for, time after time, ignoring basic constitutional principles.

“The Constitution is in tatters,” he said, adding that he was “one inch away” from breaking with the Republicans.He went on, Newsmax reported: “I want to tell the Republican leadership, the RNC, the NRSC, the NCCC, the NAACP — whatever they call themselves in the Republican Party — I am one inch away from leaving you. And I bet I speak for hundreds of thousands of people. One inch. You think this is a joke? You think you can lie to the American people?”

He spoke specifically to Republican promises to defund Obamacare and fight President Obama on immigration amnesty — and the recent failures of GOP leadership to take advantage of the budget dealings with Democrats to do just that.

“Do you think you can lie to … conservatives about how you’re going to defund Obamacare, run millions of dollars on ads on that to get re-elected, on how you’re going to fight unconstitutional amnesty? Tooth and nail? You think you can lie to us with impunity? And repeatedly? I don’t care how many millionaires and billionaires you have in your damn back pocket,” he said, Newsmax reported.

Mr. Levin then blasted the Republicans for speaking ill of Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in Politico and other media outlets.

“You sound like a bunch of munchkins,” he said. “Backbenchers. Immature! Stupid! Childish comments. I don’t know what this is going to add up to. I don’t know why we’re here. I’ve seen this movie before, and you’re so ineffective. You’re so impotent.”

Mr. Levin also said that he “worked for a president who shut down the damn government over half a dozen times. It’s not the end of the world. … Our Constitution is in tatters.”

Levin’s rant comes on the same day RINO Jeb Bush announced the formation of an “exploratory committee,” i.e., how many donors he can corral. Levin carries a lot of clout. His ‘Convention of States’ continues to gather more support. If another Romney or Bush RINO gets the nomination on 2016, the GOP is dead.

Monday’s Talking Points

Headlines on various news outlets this morning: 

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Hagel Fired for Contradicting Obama over ISIS threat!

From FOX News…

OBAMA FINDS MIDTERM SCAPEGOAT IN HAGEL
In another strong sign of President Obama’s hard tack left in the wake of a midterm drubbing, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is heading for the exits. First reported by the NYT, the cashiering of the Pentagon boss comes after “the two men mutually agreed” that it was time for the only Republican in Obama’s cabinet to go. But given the fact that the White House was the one pushing out the story, it seems more likely that the president had grown tired of the ongoing pressure from Hagel and members of the top brass to take a more aggressive stance on national security threats abroad. The conflict went public back in August when Hagel openly contradicted White House talking points on the threat posed by Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria. While Obama succumbed to the pressure, Hagel’s ouster shows the president seeking to reassert control over his foundering foreign policy. — FOX Newsletter, November 24, 2014

Never let it be said that Obama lets anyone on his staff disagree with him. I wonder which hand-puppet will be chosen next for Sec’y of Defense?

***

Rand Paul has been the fair-haired boy of Libertarians and the Paulbot wing of the GOP. He has been viewed as an opponent of the GOP Washington establishment. When Ted Cruz and Mike Lee stood up in opposition to Harry Reid, and occasionally Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul stood in the background giving the impression of supporting Cruz and Lee but seldom actually doing so on the floor of the Senate.

I’ve never trusted Rand Paul. In my view, he is too much like his Dad—inconsistent, a bit unstable with a tin-foil hat firmly in place. My view, again, has been vindicated. The reports today have Rand Paul cozing up to Mitch McConnell, worming his way into the establishment and the Ruling Class.

Paul strengthens McConnell ties with fundraiser hire – National Review: “[Sen.] Rand Paul [R-Ky.] is bringing on [Sen.] Mitch McConnell’s [R-Ky.] national finance director, Laura Sequeira, to play a key fundraising role at his political-action committee ahead of an expected 2016 presidential campaign.”

[Flashback: “We’ve developed a very tight relationship, and I’m for him…I don’t think he’s made a final decision on that. But he’ll be able to count on me.” – Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell in a post-election interview.] — FOX Newsletter, November 24, 2014.

McConnell, immediately following the election, betrayed the GOP by publicly stating the Senate would not use the only real weapons of Congress against a rogue President—impeachment and removal from office, and the power of the purse—defunding Obama’s acts of defiance to Congress and strictures of the Constitution. When asked what McConnell would do to oppose Obama, McConnell, in essence, said he’d rollover and do nothing. That allows Obama to continue his lawless edicts without opposition…and now Rand Paul will help McConnell to do…nothing.

***

I have been called, on occasion, a Grammar-Nazi. I accept that label. Why is grammar necessary, and spelling, too? Because correct grammar and spelling enhances communication and decreases confusion and misunderstanding.

It is a failing of education when schools no longer teach grammar, sentence structure and construction, spelling and writing. Not cursive hand-writing, although that should be taught, too, but writing as in Writing an Essay. Clear, concise writing, with proper sentence and paragraph structure, is fading. Others agree with me.

Descriptive versus Prescriptive: Another Left-Wing Scam

By Bruce Deitrick Price, November 24, 2014

Everywhere we look, we’ve got pompous professors telling us they don’t dare prescribe what’s right in language.  No, no, no, no.  It’s not their role.  Nor yours either, that’s for sure.  People can express themselves as they wish.  It’s America, the 21st century.  God forbid we should tell anybody how to do anything.“Weird Al” Yankovic put out a popular video called “Word Crimes.”  It’s gotten almost 20,000,000 views.  In effect, he says: “Hey, moron, do it the right way.”  He got everybody talking about correct grammar.  Boy, we needed that.  Thanks, Weird Al.

Naturally, all the primly pontificating nuisances crawled out of the woodwork to tell us: hey, stop all that prescribing!  You can only describe. 

And why?  Because when anthropologists go in the jungle to study a primitive culture, they must remember that the natives are the experts on their own language.  Great.  That’s fine and dandy.  But that has nothing to do with how we should deal with our own language. In our case, you ask the relevant experts (teachers, novelists, journalists), average the answers, and that’s probably a good guide.  But you certainly don’t listen to left-wing scam artists telling you that our experts are not allowed to speak, because anything they say would be prescriptive, and we don’t allow that when we go into the jungle on anthropological expeditions.  Doesn’t this sophistry almost make your head spin?

But look again, and it turns out there is a second sophistry on top of the first one.  These discussions about natives, experts, and ourselves casually presuppose that we are talking about adults.  But many times, without ever acknowledging it, the discussion shifts over to school and the teaching of children.  Isn’t it obvious that the freedom you might give to adults is not appropriately given to children?

In other words, when liberal sophisticates start discussing this issue, they always pose it in terms of freedom, creativity, self-expression, laissez-faire, do your own thing, and gather ye rosebuds while ye may.  Sure, if you insist, adults can wear clothes inside-out and stay drunk.  Let’s not waste time discussing it.  If you want to arrange your sentences backward and break every grammatical rule, go for it.

What we’re discussing now is what’s appropriate in the early grades at school.  Teaching is typically prescriptive, and that’s how it should be.  Schools should teach the right ways to do things.  (This approach has got to be far more efficient than what many public schools are now doing: teach no ways at all, or teach all the ways as if none is preferable.) 

Bottom line, what newspapers call Standard English should be taught first.  That seems to be what our left-wing professors are eager to stop.

So what are the pros and cons?  Do you let a child do anything the child wants?  Are you doing children a favor if you allow them to go out with dirty faces or raggedy clothes?  Isn’t it foolish to pretend that children live and learn in a vacuum?

It seems to be common sense and common decency to tell children what is typically done.  With regard to language, this might require explaining regional variations, work-related slang, and even class differences.  Most children can understand these ideas at a fairly young age.  They probably already speak a different way with their friends from how they do with their parents.

To pretend that all these nuances don’t exist is the opposite of teaching.  To pretend that everything is equally acceptable is a nasty sort of nihilism.

Question is, why are liberals so eager to drown children in permissiveness and relativism?  Who is being served?  Just recently reports came out about a Chicago school that was teaching anal sex to fifth-graders.  And this would be for whose benefit?  The children’s?  No, this is surely liberals trying to break down the last barriers.

Presumably we’re seeing that same worldview when schools refuse to teach grammar.  The point, always, is power – in this case, the power to make the rules.  That’s why the left always maneuvers to control language, semantics, and education.

The sophistry prohibiting prescriptive grammar is not about grammar at all.  It’s about the left being able to tell everybody else how to talk, and how to think.  (Note that the anti-prescriptive diktat is itself prescriptive.)

Liberals always want to play their ideological games, using kids as guinea pigs.  If you don’t tell the kids what the prevailing rules are, the kids will be left in an intellectual wasteland.  To excuse this, you have a whole Education Establishment boldly proclaiming that whatever little children say is just fine, whatever it is.  No rules, guessing, and invented spelling – that’s what elementary education is for many.

But how can they justify all this logically?  Well, some genius thought, why don’t we just bring back anthropological field work to our own society?  We’ll announce (and argue with great indignation) that professional authors, English professors, and smart citizens who have used the language expertly for a lifetime have absolutely no special standing.  They should shut up, lest they be guilty of the crime of prescription.  The left has gotten away with this fluff for 75 years.

Aren’t you tired of left-wing professors using lame sophistries to dumb down the schools and the society?  Here’s a plan: don’t accept lame sophistries.

Sophistry. That’s a word I’ve not seen for a long, long time. Truthfully, now, how many of you know what it means? Don’t know? Here’s the definition. If you and your children don’t know, it’s a good topic for teaching both of you.

soph·ist·ry
ˈsäfəstrē/
noun
noun: sophistry
  1. the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving.

They’re scared

The political future of democrats continues to slide. In Missouri, State Treasurer, Clint Zweiful, has announced he won’t run again for any office. Zweiful is term limited as Treasurer.

[Zweiful] told The Associated Press he considered running for U.S. Senate or lieutenant governor in 2016. But he said he opted against a campaign partly because he wants to continue to be involved with the activities of his two teenage daughters. — KY3 TV.

Staying home with the family is the usual political cop-out when a politico thinks he is toast.

But Zweiful isn’t the only democrat running scared. McCaskill is too. How to I know? I observe her actions before and after the last election.

http://images.politico.com/global/2014/11/13/claire_mccaskill_ap_629_956x519.jpg

Senator Claire McCaskill, D-MO

Before the election, an election that did not include McCaskill running for re-election, she was the dems fair-haired girl. Her prospects were good. She was rumored to be in the fast-lane as Missouri’s next democrat candidate for Governor or Eric Holder’s replacement as AG.

Then came the 2014 mid-terms elections. McCaskill did a 180º turn. The democrats were out. McCaskill started talking like a ‘Pub. She was against Harry Reid for Minority Leader, she was for passage of the Keystone XL pipeline. There were rumors, unsubstantiated so far, that she’d flip parties (gag!).

No, with the temperament growing in Missouri, McCaskill knows she’s toast when her term is up. Her plans for running for Missouri Governor dissipated with her criticism of Reid and other high-level dems in Washington. Her statements didn’t go well with the democrat establishment within the state. Those facts leave McCaskill with few options.

One democrat finally has gotten over his panic.  Mark Begich has tossed in the towel and has conceded his run for Alaska Senator to ‘Pub Dan Sullivan.

After holding on to dwindling hope for days, Sen. Mark Begich on Monday conceded he had lost his U.S. Senate race to Republican Dan Sullivan.

With the concession coming nearly two weeks after the Nov. 4 general election and with few votes left to count, the statement was largely a formality.

The Associated Press called the race nearly a week ago. Soon after, Sullivan attended orientation meetings in D.C. to prepare to take office and voted for Republican leaders in the new Senate majority that takes power in January.

The democrat who is running most scared is Mary Landrieu. She’s so scared she’ll lose next month to ‘Pub Bill Cassidy, that she’s suddenly embraced the Keystone XL Pipeline. Landrieu hopes voters will forget that she was the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and did nothing about the Keystone project…until she failed to win reelection.

The ‘Pub controlled House has aided her flip-flop by passing, again, a bill to allow the project. Landrieu has latched onto the Keystone pipeline as a last desperate attempt to gain some supporters. I doubt it will work. The last poll I saw, a week after the mid-term, had Landrieu down 16 points behind Cassidy and abandoned by her party.

The ‘Pubs won. Now they need to decide what to do with their success. Whatever it may be, we can be assured that Mitch McConnell will screw it up.

 

Friday Follies for November 14, 2014

I haven’t used the ‘Follies’ headline for awhile. I do so when there are a number of items appearing on the ‘net but none worthy for a longer post nor discussion.

We won the mid-term ten days ago. We should be celebrating but we’re not. Why? Because we are watching the Washington GOP leadership selling us down the river0—again. The day after the election, McConnell tells a reporter he will not use Congress’ more potent weapon, the power of the purse. “We won’t shut down the government!” he declares meaning he will continue with the stream of CRs and upholding Harry Reid’s plan for funding everything we’re against—Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, open border, and governmental tyranny across the nation.

“Throw the bum out!”  Too late, McConnell has been re-elected as Majority leader. Boehner was re-elected Speaker of the House with only three dissenting votes.

McConnell chosen as next Senate majority leader, Boehner re-elected as House speaker

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell joined House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio on Thursday at the pinnacle of the congressional and Republican power structures in Washington — two establishment deal-cutters, each on occasion frustrated by the other’s inability to rein in their party’s most zealous ideologues.

The pair, formally selected Thursday to lead their party’s new majority control of Congress, will be charged with guiding Republicans on Capitol Hill for the final two years of President Obama’s presidency. Their success or failure could determine whether the GOP can take back the White House in 2016.

McConnell, 72, is taciturn and rarely cracks a smile. “Why don’t you get a life?” he joked to photographers trying to snap photos of him after he was unanimously chosen by his Senate GOP colleagues Thursday to serve as the new majority leader starting in January.

The article blathers on here, if you’ve the stomach to read it.

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For some good news, Sullivan has been declared the winner in the Alaska Senate race. Begich continues to wallow in his fantasy and has not, as far as I know, conceded the race. No class. A common fault of democrats.

Sullivan brings up the number of GOP Senators to 53. The last race still to be determined is Cassidy vs. Landrieu in Louisiana. Landrieu is pushing the Keystone Pipeline bill in an attempt to gain votes but it doesn’t appears to have helped.

  • Poll commissioned by GOP candidate’s campaign shows massive advantage leading up to Dec. 6 runoff 
  • Win by GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy would bring total Republican pickup to a whopping 10 seats
  • Landrieu is hoping a long-awaited vote on the Keystone XL pipeline will improve her fortunes
  • Poll was leaked in Washington to send a message to energy lobbyists who think she can prevail
  • Survey is an ‘automated’ phone poll that Landrieu’s campaign considers less credible than traditional surveys conducted by voice
  • ‘Her campaign is running on fumes,’ the pollster told MailOnline 

Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is trailing her Republican challenger by a giant 16-point margin in a runoff for one of Louisiana’s two U.S. Senate seats, according to poll results obtained by MailOnline.

The survey, commissioned by GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy’s campaign, was leaked to media in order to fire a shot over the senator’s bow and send a signal to energy lobbyists that her ship is taking on water.

It suggests that Democrats’ worst fears have been realized even though Landrieu edged Cassidy by 1 percentage point on Election Day.

A second Republican candidate, Rob Maness, won 14 per cent of the vote on Nov. 4, enough to deny them both the 50-percent showing required to avoid a December 6 runoff. 

Now Maness has endorsed Cassidy, helping him erase his 1-point deficit with Landrieu and adding far more.

Cassidy is ‘trying to shut K Street down for Mary’ by selectively releasing the polling data, a source close to his campaign in Louisiana told MailOnline.

‘The energy folks, the lobbyists, keep trying to say she has a chance to win. That’s why it was leaked.’

Landrieu has lined up for what Republican Capitol Hill aides are calling the ‘Hail Mary XL,’ a legislative strategy to save her Senate seat by winning a vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring 700,000 barrels of oil daily from the Canadian province of Alberta to the Gulf coast.

From the information I’ve been able to gather, Landrieu is toast. Cassidy will bring the total number of GOP Senators to 54. It would be nice if McConnell would use that number as leverage dealing with Obama and the democrats but my expectation for that is…nil.

One question I have…why do we see these breaking news stories in the UK Daily Mail instead of a US news outlet? Our country is in sad shape when we have to use foreign sources for news here in the US.

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I wrote yesterday about the push to expand Missouri’s medicaid using the three-year funding promised as part of Obamacare. What the advocates for that expansion don’t bother to tell you is that the state would be responsible for the added ocsts after that third year. Why is Jackson County and Truman Medical Centers in such dire straits? Increased cost of medical care compounded by the cost of complying with federal regulations.

Those increased cost are having another negative medical impact—rural hospitals.

Rural hospitals in critical condition

Rural hospitals serve many of society’s most vulnerable.

Jayne O’Donnell and Laura Ungar, USA TODAY

RICHLAND, Ga. — Stewart-Webster Hospital had only 25 beds when it still treated patients. The rural hospital served this small town of 1,400 residents and those in the surrounding farms and crossroads for more than six decades.

But since the hospital closed in the spring of last year, many of those in need have to travel up to 40 miles to other hospitals. That’s roughly the same distance it takes to get from Times Square to Greenwich, Conn., or from the White House to Baltimore, or from downtown San Francisco to San Jose.

Those trips would be unthinkable for city residents, but it’s becoming a common way of life for many rural residents in this state, and across the nation.

Since the beginning of 2010, 43 rural hospitals — with a total of more than 1,500 beds — have closed, according to data from the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. The pace of closures has quickened: from 3 in 2010 to 13 in 2013, and 12 already this year. Georgia alone has lost five rural hospitals since 2012, and at least six more are teetering on the brink of collapse. Each of the state’s closed hospitals served about 10,000 people — a lot for remaining area hospitals to absorb.

The Affordable Care Act was designed to improve access to health care for all Americans and will give them another chance at getting health insurance during open enrollment starting this Saturday. But critics say the ACA is also accelerating the demise of rural outposts that cater to many of society’s most vulnerable. These hospitals treat some of the sickest and poorest patients — those least aware of how to stay healthy. Hospital officials contend that the law’s penalties for having to re-admit patients soon after they’re released are impossible to avoid and create a crushing burden.

“The stand-alone, community hospital is going the way of the dinosaur,” says Angela Mattie, chairwoman of the health care management and organizational leadership department at Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University, known for its public opinion surveys on issues including public health.

The closings threaten to decimate a network of rural hospitals the federal government first established beginning in the late 1940s to ensure that no one would be without health care. It was a theme that resonated during the push for the new health law. But rural hospital officials and others say that federal regulators — along with state governments — are now starving the hospitals they created with policies and reimbursement rates that make it nearly impossible for them to stay afloat.

Low Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements hurt these hospitals more than others because it’s how most of their patients are insured, if they are at all. Here in Stewart County, it’s a problem that expanding Medicaid to all of the poorest patients -– which the ACA intended but 23 states including Georgia have not done, according to the federal government — would help, but wouldn’t solve.

“They set the whole rural system up for failure,” says Jimmy Lewis, CEO of Hometown Health, an association representing rural hospitals in Georgia and Alabama, believed to be the next state facing mass closures. “Through entitlements and a mandate to provide service without regard to condition, they got us to (the highest reimbursements), and now they’re pulling the rug out from under us.”

For many rural hospitals, partnering with big health systems is the only hope for survival. Some have resorted to begging large hospitals for mergers or at least money to help them pay their bills. But Douglas Leonard, president of the Indiana Hospital Association, said these days, “I’m not sure they can get anyone to answer the phone when they call.”

The article continues at the website. Obamacare does not just increase the cost of an individual’s medical care, it also reduces the reimbursement of those services to hospitals and physicians. In the end, we all suffer. The institutions with tighter cash flows are hit first and worse.

Mississippi Primary just won’t go away

The NRSC, Haley Barbour, Thad Cochran and Karl Rove wish they’d been more…clandestine in their behind-the-scenes maneuvering in this past primary election. In fact, I’ll bet they hope to survive their fiasco without spending time in the gray-bar hotel.

http://images.politico.com/global/2014/06/28/140628_thad_cochran_gty_605.jpgYesterday, a black minister accused the Cochran campaign of vote buying. That is illegal at both the state and federal level.

Democrat Pastor Accuses Thad Cochran Campaign of Vote-for-Pay Scheme

 

 

A black Mississippi pastor has emerged to claim Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) campaign paid “thousands” of Democrats $15 each to vote in the June 24 GOP runoff – and that he was Rev. Stevie Fielder, an associate pastor at First Union Missionary Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, says Cochran’s campaign “told me to offer blacks $15 each and to vote for Thad.”

Fielder, who was paid by freelance journalist Charles C. Johnson for the story, provided a new outlet launched by Johnson—GotNews.com—with four text messages from a person purporting to be Cochran campaign staffer Saleem Baird.

The messages cite an official Cochran campaign email address—Saleem@ThadForMs.com—and include detailed discussions of the campaign providing envelopes of money to distribute to people who vote.

“Send me individual names and amounts along with home address to saleem@thadforms.com and I’ll have money separated in envelopes at the office waiting for you,” one message, sent three days before the runoff, says.

Fielder said he helped distribute the Cochran cash for votes on a promise of eventually getting paid $16,000—and because a key Cochran campaign staffer convinced him that Cochran’s conservative challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel was racist.

“They sold me on the fact that he was a racist and that the right thing to do was to keep him out of office,” Fielder said.

But Cochran’s campaign never paid, Fielder said.

Today, it has been disclosed that Haley Barbour was behind the racial robot calls against McDaniel.

On the Tuesday broadcast of his FOX News show, host Sean Hannity played a radio ad that aired in Mississippi during the Republican primary which clearly pitted State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Miss.) as a racist that wants to take away government benefits. The group responsible for that ad, Citizens for Progress, is reportedly backed by Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi and former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“He’s got some answering to do on that,” Hannity said. — Real Clear Politics.

Neither story bodes well for Cochran, Barbour, et. al. There appears to be concrete proof supporting the accusation. It does not bode well for the NRSC, either, nor the GOP Washington establishment. More reports from Mississippi by McDaniel supporters say they will not vote for Cochran if he is still on the ballot come November. It could well be that a democrat is elected to the Senate this year in Mississippi.