“To model our political system upon speculations of lasting tranquility, is to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character.” –Alexander Hamilton
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Democrats Panic Over ObamaCare
On Friday, the House of Representatives voted 261-157 in favor of the “Keep Your Health Plan Act,” authored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). Some 39 Democrats joined all Republicans in voting yes just a day after Barack Obama announced his own unilateral and illegal “fix”1 for his ailing law.
The Wall Street Journal summarized Upton’s bill2:“The one-page bill would allow insurers to continue offering for sale in 2014 the policies that ObamaCare terminated, exempting them from federal regulatory edicts.” However, because insurance companies have spent the last three and a half years working to comply with ObamaCare regulations, Upton’s bill is unlikely to actually save many plans. Such is the nature of Obama’s “you can keep your plan” lie.
By contrast, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) offered her own version of a “keep your plan” bill in the Senate. In this case, the Journal writes, Landrieu’s bill “would order insurers to continue to offer the dumped plans that in many cases no longer exist. This is also a substantive due process violation for business and unconstitutional commandeering of state regulators.” That would be par for the course.
Unfortunately, but predictably, the House vote didn’t come close to a veto-proof majority as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) did the necessary nagging to prevent a caucus-wide jackass stampede. Furthermore, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) vowed that he won’t take up the House bill. Either way, Obama would never let Congress compromise his legacy when he can come to the rescue himself.
But the House vote does indicate that, thanks to the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, at least 39 Democrats are in near-total panic3 over their election prospects in 2014. Nearly all of them barely won their 2012 elections, and many are in Republican-leaning districts. Their short-sighted scrambling is quite a shift from 2010, when Democrats gleefully used their Washington hegemony to realize the 100-year-old progressive dream of “universal” health care. Recall that Democrats lost a near-record 63 seats in 2010 after passing the law.
It’s also clear that ObamaCare will hang like an albatross around Democrats’ necks. They’ll never admit it – in fact, DNC chair Debbie Wassermann Schultz swears Democrats will run on ObamaCare next year – but they all know it’s true.
Immigration Reform Dead This Year?
House Majority Leader John Boehner announced last week that the House has no intention of conferring with the Senate over its immigration reform bill, effectively killing the legislation for this year. Boehner’s words may be anticlimactic since many inside and outside the Swamp had figured immigration reform a dead issue anyway. No movement has been made since the Senate passed its comprehensive reform package in June. Since that time Syria, the government shutdown and the ObamaCare implosion have served to push immigration further down the list of priorities.
House Republicans were never fans of the comprehensive approach to immigration reform and with good reason. Large sweeping bills like the one proposed by the Senate’s so-called Gang of Eight are too complex to work effectively (ObamaCare, anyone?). They ultimately become little more than vehicles to shovel gobs of money in numerous directions that have nothing to do with the intended alleged purpose of the legislation. Furthermore, in this particular case the Senate provision did not properly address the issue of border security which the House GOP considers to be the top priority.
The House also had its own Gang of Eight working in secret on a bill for much of Obama’s first term. The idea at the time was to produce a piece of legislation that focused on the enforcement issues that the House GOP wanted to see in any final bill. Their package would provide a counterweight to the Senate’s liberal proposal and give the House leverage in negotiations. But the White House and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) put pressure on House Democrats to slow down its progress. They feared losing the support of Senate Republicans like Marco Rubio (FL) if the House brought a more conservative bill into the final conference. The Senate got their way, and the House Gang fell apart through attrition from election losses and lack of interest among its members. Fortunately, the White House and the Senate had no strategy beyond getting a bill out of the Senate, and they never realized just how toxic their plan was in the House. Had they known, Boehner’s announcement wouldn’t have come as such a shock.
ECONOMY, REGS & TAXES
Around the Nation: UAW Closer to Unionizing Tennessee VW Plant
Generally when one thinks of automotive labor strife, it’s a picture of a rusty old car plant somewhere in the bowels of Detroit. But there’s now a push to unionize the workers in a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and it’s being backed by an unusual source: management.
Because of a German law that allows their union leaders up to half the seats on a “supervisory board” that dictates how production would be allocated, company leaders argue that, in order to have a better opportunity to benefit from any increases in production, workers will have to accept representation from the United Auto Workers union here in America. In June it was reported that a second assembly line for the plant was at stake, held hostage by the demand that the plant unionize.
Yet workers in this right-to-work state are cool to the demands. While UAW organizers like Gary Casteel claim support is there, they’re reluctant to push for a vote6. “We know if we go for a traditional election where the outside organizations could campaign against us, we’d probably lose,” admitted Casteel. Instead, they’re attempting to deem the matter decided through the notoriously anti-democratic “card check” process. Casteel added, “We’ve determined we definitely have a majority of employees who favor this representation.” So they “have a majority,” but they’d “probably lose” an actual vote. Get it?
The UAW is very interested in how this process plays out as they eye other German automakers who own plants in the United States. If Volkswagen succumbs, BMW and Mercedes-Benz may follow suit. At stake are millions of dollars in coerced union dues that Big Labor can use to shore up failing pensions and reward friendly politicians. It’s not about the workers. It’s about the Benjamins.
CULTURE, SCIENCE & FAITH
China Revises One-Child Policy
More than 30 years ago, Communist China instituted its infamous one-child policy for married couples. As did many Western leftists, party leadership feared pure population growth, but they also feared losing control over a hugely populous country. China’s population as of 2010 had still grown to 1.34 billion, the largest in the world. Yet millions of unborn children have been killed since 1980 in forced abortions, and countless other babies were abandoned.
The only previous exceptions to the one-child policy were for some rural couples, or for couples that were both only children themselves. Now, President Xi Jinping has announced that couples can have two children if only one parent is an only child. The longstanding policy has left China with a growing labor shortage and an aging population. According to the document making the change, China’s new policy will “gradually adjust and improve family planning, promoting the development of [a] balanced population.” It’s a travesty that the policy was not scrapped altogether, though it’s so culturally engrained now that couples still may not take advantage of the shift.
Another change for China is that Xi says he will end forced “re-education” labor camps, a relic of Mao Tsetung’s reign of terror that have been used to punish millions – from religious activists (especially Christians) to human-rights advocates and those who would dare to object when mistreated by party bureaucrats. Some 190,000 at a time were cycled through the system for as long as four years, all without trial. Still, don’t expect persecution of Christians and other “enemies of the state” to stop. The Communists have other ways of causing suffering.
For the Record
Columnist Mark Steyn: “[H]aving ordered America’s insurance companies to comply with Obamacare, the president announced [Thursday] that he is now ordering them not to comply with Obamacare. The legislative branch … passed a law purporting to grandfather your existing health plan. The regulatory bureaucracy then interpreted the law so as to un-grandfather your health plan. So His Most Excellent Majesty has commanded that your health plan be de-un-grandfathered. That seems likely to work. The insurance industry had three years to prepare for the introduction of Obamacare. Now the King has given them six weeks to de-introduce Obamacare. … Later that day, anxious to help him out, Congress offered to ‘pass’ a ‘law’ allowing people to keep their health plans. The same president who had unilaterally commanded that people be allowed to keep their health plans indignantly threatened to veto any such law to that effect: It only counts if he does it – geddit?”
Re: The Left
Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “A remarkable quote from president’s speech last week further underscores the bankruptcy of progressivism. After once again blaming everyone else for the debacle of the website’s rollout, he said something that should stun every American. ‘What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.’ Obama and Democrats concoct a 2000 page healthcare bill and another 11,000 pages of regulations that apply to it, and the president is just now discovering that buying insurance is complicated? A gargantuan case of hubris, coupled with stunning level of ignorance about how the real world works, is the essence of progressivism. … Are you aware of that fact that even if this disaster comes to full flower, the Congressional Budget Office projects that 32 million people will still be uninsured ten years from now, even as an additional $1.8 trillion will be spent by the federal government to achieve that result? How come our progressive champions never mention thatreality? Because, in the end, what’s going on isn’t really about healthcare. It’s about control. And if 32 million people are left out in the cold? So what.”
“There are a great many God-fearing, dedicated, noble men and women in public life, present company included. And yes, we need your help to keep us ever-mindful of the ideas and the principles that brought us into the public arena in the first place. The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself, is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of Go0d are avidly sought and humbly accepted. The American experiment in democracy rests on this insight. Its discovery was the great triumph of our Founding Fathers, voiced by William Penn when he said: ‘If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants.’”
For more, visit The Right Opinion7.
H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956): “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”
The BIG Lie
Barack Obama: “I was not informed directly that the website [Healthcare.gov] would not be working the way it was supposed to. I’m accused of a lot of things. I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity a week before the website opens if I thought that it wasn’t going to work. Clearly we, and I, did not have enough awareness about the problems with the website.”
From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File
Barack Obama: “What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “I stand by what I said [in 2010]. When people see what is in the bill, they will like it, and they will. … And the fact is, it doesn’t matter what we’re saying here. What matters is what happens at the kitchen table of the American people and how they will have more affordability, more accessibility, better quality care, prevention, wellness, a healthier nation honoring the vows of our founders. That life, a healthier life, liberty to pursue their happiness not be chained by a policy.”
Rep. Jim McDermott: “I thought Republicans believe in the free-enterprise system. [The ‘Keep Your Health Plan Act’] is socialism. This is government saying to insurance companies, you must sell an insurance policy to somebody next year that you sold to them this year. When did we shift on the Republican side to the Congress telling an insurance company who they have to sell an insurance policy to or what’s in the policy?”
Associated Press’ Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar: “President Barack Obama’s health care law risks coming unglued because of his administration’s bungles and his own inflated promises.”
By asserting Obama’s BIG lies8 are simply “inflated promises,” the AP is mirroring the New York Times who recently claimed that BO simply “misspoke.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “There is no question that the dysfunction in Washington that the American people have seen is taking its toll on everyone. And while the president’s ratings are low for him, they’re sky high in comparison with Congress, and in particular Republicans in Congress. That’s not satisfactory to us, only because it reflects a feeling among the American people that this place is not working for them.”
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein: “[T]his is the only the country in the world where we don’t have healthcare. Countries embarrass us around the world. And this is the only country in the world, we don’t have gun law. … You know, quite frankly it’s embarrassing. Obama was not embarrassing. The country is embarrassing.”
Education Secretary Arne Duncan: “It’s fascinating to me that some of the pushback [against Common Core] is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who – all of a sudden – [realize] their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary.”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “President Obama said he’s sorry Americans are losing their health care plans under Obamacare after he said they could keep them. He’s in a tough spot. PETA’s not going to like it next week when President Obama decides to pardon Obamacare and eats the turkey.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.