Category Archives: Health Care Reform

How Advice from Three Frenchmen Could Have Won the Shutdown Battle

Don't let the floppy hats fool you. The Three Musketeers could have helped during the Shutdown fight.

Don’t let the floppy hats fool you. The Three Musketeers could have helped during the Shutdown fight.

Speaker John Boehner is the Adm. Karl Dönitz of Republican politics. Hemmed in on one side by the pounding batteries of the Mainstream Media and on the other by a mob of howling leftists eager to send him to a self–criticism session on MSNBC — Boehner desperately tries to negotiate a surrender to Supreme Commander Obama that will leave him with a shred of dignity and continued access to the Congressional tanning bed.

What really sticks in Boehner’s craw is the realization he’s going to be stuck with the blame for the shutdown defeat! He warned the caucus what would happen if they followed a strategy designed by crazy people. But no, they were intoxicated by the crowds at the rallies and stem–winders on the Senate floor. Victory was at hand!

Yet now the loonies are out of the picture and here Boehner sits in the ruins of the Shutdown Bunker wondering if Harry Reid will allow him to smoke at the signing ceremony.

That’s what Boehner gets for trying to fight a two–front war. The struggle over Obamacare should have been either the continuing resolution shutdown or the debt ceiling. Not a bizarre push–me­—pull–you that blurred the two issues and made the public think the country hitched a ride with Thelma & Louise.

Giving credit where credit is due, Boehner started out well. The House GOP passed the initial continuing resolution with everything funded but Obamacare and sent the bill to the Senate where is disappeared like it was term limits legislation. So the government was at impasse.

It’s possible that if Boehner had donned a turban and started enriching uranium, Obama would have agreed to negotiate with him, but there wasn’t enough time to install the necessary number of centrifuges in the Rayburn office building.

During past shutdowns our leaders attempted to limit the inconvenience. This was a policy the Obama Administration could not afford to follow, as I pointed out last week, because after losing the sequester a painless shutdown would help make the case for even smaller government.

That’s why the Spite House made sure this shutdown hurt as many civilian bystanders as possible. Collateral damage was the order of the day. In total disregard of negative publicity Obama used his human drones in the Park Police to close the WWII monument, national parks, private businesses, roads, athletic fields and anything else they could get away with.

It drove Obama’s approval rating down to Jimmy Carter Land at 37 percent, which is an all time low for the light bringer. Yet he held firm, ironically enough employing the Nixon “madman” strategy. As Nixon once said, “I call it the Madman Theory… I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, “for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button.”

The only difference is Obama — totally lacking a foreign policy — uses the Madman theory to intimidate his Republican domestic opposition. It’s remarkable that a fellow who wears mom jeans and would probably have trouble bench-pressing a juice box, is so eager to roll the dice when other’s futures are at stake.

So as the nation’s busy borrowers at the Treasury threatened to crash into an unyielding debt ceiling, Boehner was genuinely worried that Madman Barack might actually cause the country to default, if it meant he would win the confrontation.

So Boehner blinked and surrendered.

Here is where the Frenchmen could have provided the margin of victory.

If only Boehner had employed the Three Musketeer Strategy the county and the GOP would have won in the long run. The Three Musketeer’s motto was: One for All & All for One.

Instead of allowing craven porkmeister Sen. Mitch McConnell (R–I’m not for sale, but I rent cheap) to seize the agenda and pass a combination government funding and debt ceiling agreement, Boehner should have had the House pass a bill that did that AND required everyone, every company and every member of Congress and their staff to submit to Obamacare this year without any waivers.

One for All & All for One; with the “All” in this instance being Obamacare. That way the fight is still about Obama’s signature bill, the one he shut down the government to save, but in a brilliant bit of political ju–jitsu his bill is turned against him.

Making the entire country suffer under the full Obamacare this year would have resulted in a disaster at the polls for Democrats in 2014. What’s more, the administration knows it, which is why it exempted employers from the mandate until AFTER the election.

Even better the Three Musketeer bill has the virtue of simplicity: all the money and all the Obamacare. With only two elements the MSM could not bury coverage of the Obamacare waiver removal, as it buried Obama’s plunging poll ratings. (Most poll stories trumpeted declining GOP ratings in the headlines and only mentioned the new low for Obama as a passing aside.)

A Three Musketeers bill would have been a poison pill for the administration. Signing it means a disaster at the polls next year. Not signing it and defaulting because Republicans were too bi–partisan and Obama didn’t want his signature bill to take effect for everyone would be a PR disaster even the MSM could not ignore. And Democrats would still face a wipeout in 2014. All victory would have required was for Boehner to hold fast regardless of Obama’s choice.

If the signature bill of the president is so good for the country, as the MSM claims, then Republicans should have done their best to make sure the nation gets it, as H. L. Mencken used to say, “good and hard.” After all, what’s wrong with using “settled law” to unsettle the populace?

Do we know how bad HealthCare.gov really is yet?

For the past two and a half weeks – sadly partially silenced by the government shutdown and debt ceiling drama – Obamacare as an information system has been melting down since enrollment in the “exchanges” or “marketplaces” for health insurance went live at the HealthCare.gov website on October 1, 2013. It’s clear that the situation is bad, and is starting to alarm even the most forgiving to the President and his policies, as liberal Statist sites like The Huffington Post  publish articles with titles like “Obamacare Website Failure Threatens Health Coverage for Millions of Americans”.

The actual file name of that post is simply delicious: “obamacare-train-wreck_n_4118041.html”.

We’re starting to see lots of material being published about how HealthCare.gov came into being, and either baffled disappointment or a sense of “what else did you expect?” at how a web application project that as much as $634 million has been spent on can’t handle user loads, deliver simple web pages, or manage to correctly display drop-down list box contents, much less enroll millions of uninsured Americans for soon-to-be-universally-mandated health coverage.

It’s also been reported that of the people who have managed to actually not have HealthCare.gov error on them and get themselves enrolled that incorrect information has been passed to the insurers via the government’s website and that possible compromises of personal information (leaving enrollees vulnerable to identity theft) have both occurred.

I work in information technology, and while I’m not a software developer, I’ve got a very good handle on the architecture and design that multi-tier application systems employ, of which Obamacare’s HealthCare.gov certainly is one. For those who aren’t as familiar, multi-tier applications use “front ends” (a website through which you enter or view data, for example) and “back ends” (databases or other systems for storing and organizing data). In between the front end and the back end is normally “middleware”; software that analyzes or processes data as it is inputted into the front end or retrieves data from the back end and formats it for the front end user to see. Based on the common problems reported with healthcare.gov thus far, I think it’s obvious that inter-tier communications between layers of the application are responsible for many of the failures.

It’s not like multi-tier applications are anything new. I’ve been working on multi-tier application systems for over sixteen years. Well, it appears that some software developers might need some remedial education on the programming languages, development tools, and multi-tier systems they’re working with. It certainly seems that interfacing with government-produced, supplied, or owned software components designed specifically for information exchange between applications or application tiers are a challenge for some.

Michelle Ray (Twitter’s @GaltsGirl) drew my attention to a support forum post on the Java.net site from September 4, 2013. I’m pretty sure that the author of the thread-opening post is Srini Dhanam, who according to his page on LinkedIn works for a web site called GetInsured.com. They describe themselves as, “the nation’s easiest way to shop for health insurance. Since 2005, we’ve helped more than 2 million people find the health insurance policies that best fit their needs and their budget.” Sounds like they were a private sector (gasp!) health insurance “exchange” before government had the brilliant idea they had to be, uh, invented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Mr. Dhanam is probably in the clear as far as the HealthCare.gov debacle goes for that site directly, but his support forum post indicates use of application code or programming objects that derive from government sources. One namespace URL referred to by the detailed error message he’s trying to get assistance with refers to “applicant-eligibility.ee.ffe.cms.gov” (don’t bother trying to access it; the name does not resolve). However, “cms.gov” is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsible for administering Medicare and working in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid. I’m speculating that Mr. Dhanam’s problem could be related to difficulties getting the government’s systems in the multi-tier HealthCare.gov system to interface correctly with private insurers’ systems, which he could be working with or on.

From a data security/information assurance perspective, Dhanam’s use (as he says in his post) of version 7, Update 21 of the Java SDK and corresponding run time environment is also problematic. It expired on July 18, 2013. Version 7, Update 45 is the current release and includes many security fixes for vulnerabilities found in the earlier code.

Another identifiable organization within the post’s content is “NIEM”, the National Information Exchange Model (pronounced like “neam”). NIEM was created in 2005 as an inter-departmental panel to facilitate information sharing standards between government computer systems, and the primary cabinet-level departments who contribute to the organization are HHS, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Is anyone comforted that with an eight-year old developing standard for information sharing standardization between government departments in place, HealthCare.gov is having problems with…information sharing standardization between government departments and the private sector?

Doing some web searches on the “applicant-eligibility.ee.ffe.cms.gov” string led me to a different support forum post that includes it, plus additional references to NIEM. I tried through various approaches, but I couldn’t shed any light on the identity of that thread’s initiator, known by the handle “wbisantosh”. The first responder to his problem though, shed some interesting light on Mr. wibsantosh’s skills as a programmer (click to enlarge):

overyourhead

“Have you attended the training?…[S]eems you are in over your head.” Whether “wibsantosh” is involved in the coding of HealthCare.gov or one of the multitude of systems interfacing with it or not, that still seems like a fitting description of what has produced the horrific user experience of Obamacare thus far..

Lest anyone think a connection here to the actual HealthCare.gov site is tenuous, there’s one more thing I found. If you Google search for just the “ee.ffe” portion of the cms.gov string found from the support posts, the first item returned takes you to…drum roll, please…HealthCare.gov.

I think we’ve only scratched the surface of the technical disaster, from both information technology operational and security perspectives, that is the roll-out of Obamacare.

What do operations in the HealthCare.gov data centers or technical support centers look like? Probably something like this excerpt from the classic 1957 film starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, Desk Set:

AMAC: there’s a ‘foul odor’ coming from the deal to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling

This was no confrontation between them and the Republicans;

it was a showdown between them and the people of this country.

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct 18 – “There’s a foul odor emanating from the nation’s capital that should have Americans wrinkling their noses. It’s the stench of a political power-grab undertaken by ideologues intent on usurping the Constitutional rights of the people,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

Weber said the bargain that ended the partial shutdown of the government and raised the nation’s debt limit was a “deal with the devil. We, the people, wanted reasonable concessions in exchange for the extension of credit-things like spending cuts and controls, a health care law that would treat us and those who enacted the law the same way and much-needed checks on the growth and power of government. We got none of these things because President Obama and his Democratic henchmen dug in their heels and refused to negotiate with us. This was no confrontation between them and the Republicans on the Hill; it was a showdown between them and the people of this country. They threatened rack and ruin and forced us to give in.”

But the AMAC chief noted, it may all come back to bite them. For example, he said, even the president’s closest allies were “appalled by his mule-headed intransigence regarding the request for a delay of Obamacare. Some of his friends even went so far as to call him an inept leader. And, it’s made the mainstream media see the light.”

Weber cited the newspapers that endorsed him, like his hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, which editorialized this week saying: “There is a growing mountain of evidence that Obamacare has fundamental problems in design and implementation.”

Weber said that the Tribune went on to say what AMAC has been saying all along: “The administration cut a sweet deal for Congress and its staffers, who will continue to get generous federal subsidies. It has allowed any number of carve-outs for special pleaders. A delay in the individual mandate would not be a special favor to American consumers. It’s a matter of fairness.”

Weber said that Obamacare is only part of the problem. “The president has demanded an unfettered trillion dollar extension of his line of credit in the face of dire warnings that upping the debt limit without spending cuts is lunacy. His own Comptroller, Eugene Louis Dodaro, told him that current spending is ‘unsustainable.’ The president’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, meanwhile warned that the size of our national debt is the greatest threat to our national security. But Mr. Obama remains aloof, seemingly disdainful of anyone who dares to criticize his intrusive authority.”

How Obamacare Screws the Working Class…Hard

Now that it is becoming clear that the establishment House Republicans are about to capitulate to the Senate Democrats and Obama Progressives, it is clear that, short of Republicans taking the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, Obamacare is set to sink into the flesh of the American entitlement system not unlike a bear’s claws sink into the flesh of its prey. Regardless of whether or not the federal healthcare exchange website functions adequately or not (get used to it, it’s government inferiority at work), the bureaucracy has just expanded and your wallets are about to do the opposite.

One of the things that people are going to have to come to understand is how the Internal Revenue Service – yes, the same Internal Revenue Service currently under investigation for targeting Conservative political groups – will be assessing the penalties (read: enforcing Obamacare) on those who choose not to “participate.” The fact of the matter is that it is both less ominous, yet more disturbing, than people think.

The penalties levied under the Affordable Care Act, under the usually heavy hand of the IRS, is not so much under the ACA. In fact, the pathway for extracting the Obamacare penalty from non-participants is exclusive to the garnishment of any federal tax refunds due. If one chooses not to acquire qualifying health insurance, the IRS will withhold the amount of the penalty that must be paid from any federal tax return refund that is owed an individual in violation of the statute.

According to BusinessInsider.com:

The IRS will not have the power to charge you criminally or seize your assets if you refuse to pay. The IRS will only have the ability to sue you. And the most the IRS can collect from you if it wins the suit is 2 times the amount you owe. So if you want to thumb your nose at the penalty-tax, the IRS won’t be able to do as much to you as they could if you refused to pay, say, income tax.

So, unlike when an individual fails to pay their federal income taxes, there won’t be a cadre of black uniformed federal agents armed with fully-automatic weapons kicking in your door in the middle of the night. You won’t be “frog-marched” out of your house in irons, past your disenchanted neighbors, to face the swift righteousness of redistributive social justice (I am being sarcastic, but less so than I would have been just a few years back).

But one question that eludes the thoughts of most people where this matter is concerned is this. What happens if you don’t “participate” in Obamacare but you aren’t due any federal tax refund? What if you are one of the 47 percent who does not pay federal income tax? What if you are über-wealthy and can afford a wizard tax attorney who can figure out how you can “zero out” on your federal taxes each year?

Well, the short answer is this. If you don’t pay federal income tax, technically, you don’t have to pay the fines under the Affordable Care Act. If you are one of the hard-working Americans who has federal taxes withheld from your paycheck – oh, you know, like Middle-Class, blue-collar and union workers not covered by the Executive Branch union carve-outs of the law – you will have to pay the penalty out of your tax refunds. If you are one of the 47 percent of the American public who doesn’t pay federal income taxes, you get to “skate” the Obamacare penalty. Ditto for the “One Percenters.”

One has to wonder whether H&R Block is going to be flooded with new clients trying to figure out how to pay their federal income taxes to the penny throughout the year so that they “zero out.”

And let’s be honesty, the IRS is not going to come after every person who “skates” the $95 dollar (or 1 percent of earnings) penalty being assessed in 2014, even if they did seek to hire upwards of 16,000 new IRS agents since the passage of this freedom-crushing law.

So, when one comes to understand this very stark reality, the obvious question is this. If the indestructible demographic (the 21 to 32 year-old demo) doesn’t sign-up for the Obamacare exchanges in droves – and droves upwards of 80% of their demographic, and 47 percent of the country doesn’t pay federal income taxes, who actually pays for the expanded coverage mandated under the Affordable Care Act? Who is on the hook for Obamacare?

The answer – again – is the Middle-Class, blue-collar and union workers not covered by the Executive Branch union carve-outs of the law…and new taxes on everyone. Again, BusinessInsider.com reports:

Here are some of the new taxes you’re going to have to pay to pay for Obamacare:

A 3.8% surtax on “investment income”( dividends, interest, rent, capital gains, annuities, house sales, partnerships, etc.) when your adjusted gross income is more than $200,000, $250,000 for joint-filers. What is “investment income?” (WSJ)

A 0.9% surtax on Medicare taxes for those making $200,000 or more, $250,000 joint. (WSJ)

Flexible Spending Account contributions will be capped at $2,500. Currently, there is no tax-related limit on how much you can set aside pre-tax to pay for medical expenses. (ATR.org)

The itemized-deduction hurdle for medical expenses is going up to 10% of adjusted gross income. (ATR.org)

The penalty on non-medical withdrawals from Healthcare Savings Accounts is now 20% instead of 10%. (ATR.org)

A tax of 10% on indoor tanning services. This has been in place for two years, since the summer of 2010. (ATR.org)

A 40% tax on “Cadillac Health Care Plans” starting in 2018.Those whose employers pay for all or most of comprehensive healthcare plans (costing $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for families) will have to pay a 40% tax on the amount their employer pays. (ATR.org)

A”Medicine Cabinet Tax” that eliminates the ability to pay for over-the-counter medicines from a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account. (ATR.org)

A “penalty” tax for those who don’t buy health insurance.

A 2.3% excise tax on medical devices costing more than $100. (Breitbart.com)

So those are some of the new taxes you’ll be paying that will help pay for Obamacare…

Note that these taxes are both “progressive” (aimed at rich people) and “regressive” (aimed at the middle class and poor people).

The cost of this program will not be affordable for the individuals – almost every story but for those who get taxpayer-funded subsidies is one of tripled premiums and deductibles, and it won’t be affordable for the country, especially when the bureaucrats and elitist political class put the price tag of the whole Obamacare ball of infected earwax at approximately $2 trillion dollars.

Now, President Obama is quoted as having said, in an interview with the Spanish-Speaking television network Univision, that:

Once [the budget impasse is rectified], you know, the day after – I’m going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform…And if I have to join with other advocates and continue to speak out on that, and keep pushing, I’m going to do so because I think it’s really important for the country. And now is the time to do it.

And as the “indestructible” demographic (21-32 years of age) fails to sign-up for the Obamacare exchanges, pro-amnesty Progressives will begin insisting that illegal immigrants (I’m sorry, I mean undocumented uninvited guests) be added to those eligible for Obamacare. Understanding that the 47 percent of those who do not pay federal income tax cannot be fined, and that the One Percenters can affords to have their taxes “zero out,” how long will it be until Progressives scream “crisis” and demand massive, Middle-Class killing. economy destroying, Cloward-Piven-styled tax increases?

Who is John Galt?

Thomas More Society Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Autocam’s Obamacare Case

KENTWOOD, Mich., Oct. 15, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Today, the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm, joined forces with Catholic Vote Legal Defense Fund and a Michigan law firm, to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ recent decision, denying the claims of Autocam, an international automotive manufacturer, and its owners, that Obamacare’s so-called “HHS mandate” abridges their federal constitutional and statutory rights to the free exercise of their religious faith as well as other legal rights. John Kennedy, CEO of Michigan-based family-owned company, Autocam, joined the company as well as its other family owners to urge the Justices to rule that the government has no right to require that Autocam purchase group insurance coverage, providing its employees with morally objectionable contraceptives, including abortifacients (e.g., the so-called abortion pill, Plan B, and “Ella”), and sterilization.

Kennedy and his children, Paul, John, Margaret, and Thomas Kennedy, all faithfully embrace the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church that contraception, abortion, and sterilization are serious wrongs. The HHS mandate, therefore, forces these petitioners to flout their deeply held religious convictions and operate their company in a manner that they sincerely hold to constitute grave wrongdoing.

Prior to the government’s implementation of the HHS mandate, Autocam had specifically designed a health insurance plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan to exclude contraception, sterilization, abortion, and abortion-inducing drugs, in full accord and harmony with its owners’ profound religious beliefs.

“Forcing citizens to violate their conscientious religious beliefs makes a mockery of the very notion of religious freedom,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society. “This cannot be tolerated in a society that professes to honor fundamental civil liberties.” Even apart from the constitutional rights to free exercise of religion and free speech, the company and its owners are also protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits the federal government from substantially burdening the free exercise of religion, absent a compelling interest for doing so and then only by resort to the least burdensome means. But the petitioners for Supreme Court review contend that providing insurance for birth control or other products or services that are widely available and affordable hardly qualifies as a compelling interest, and that even if that interest were deemed compelling, the government could have opted to use other means — such as providing free contraceptives, abortifacients, or sterilizations free of charge, or subsidizing their cheap and easy accessibility for all those desiring them, without burdening or curtailing anybody else’s religious liberties.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the lawsuit on the ground that conducting business for profit is somehow wholly divorced from the religious beliefs of the business or its owners and operators. But Brejcha criticizes this ruling as reflecting a crabbed and unduly narrow view of religion, confining it to the sacred space inside the four walls of houses of worship. He argues that that morals as well as money-making have a key role to play in the marketplace; that religious faith shapes, informs and sustains one’s morals; and that a robust or meaningful religious faith must be practiced as well as professed in every aspect of life. He concludes, “Indeed, our criminal laws demand that American businesses as well as their owners act in accord with myriad laws designed to serve the public welfare and the common good, rather than maximization of profits. People of faith must not be coerced to check their religious liberties at the door when they enter the commercial marketplace.”

Read the Autocam petition filed with the United States Supreme Court here.

Federal Government: Embarrassing to the Point of Painful

As the so-called “government shutdown” drags on, one thing is hard not to admit: the Obama Administration is acting in a manner that is attempting to extract the maximum amount of pain on the American people. While many are wondering how it came to this point, those of us who actually paid attention in Social Studies, Civics and American History classes – school subjects that are, today, given little, if any, attention –
understand it’s because the US Constitution and the purity of the original governmental process has been raped by the opportunistic political class.

Our nation has always had a robust political discourse, commencing from before we were even a documented nation. We have always been represented by a passionate, spirited political class; strong in their beliefs, but educated and knowledgeable enough to legislate and govern for the good of all the people. Today, this is not the case.

Today, we have a political class that insists on the importance of ideologically motivated political “achievements” over the honest representation of the American people; loyalty to political faction – of which each and every Framer and Founder warned – over loyalty to those who delivered them to power via the ballot box.

Today, we literally have people in the political class that have an inferior command of the English language, an inferior and under-performing understanding of the principles of the Constitution and the Charters of Freedom, and a devotion to Progressivism; a non-indigenous, Marxist-based ideology that believes the State is the Alpha and the Omega; the giver of rights and the final arbiter of freedom and liberty.

Today, we have a government that does not – does not – serve the American people, evidenced – in a singular point – by the overwhelming and sustained majority of Americans who do not want the Affordable Care Act implemented on any level.

FOX News reports:

Is the Obama administration employing a make-it-hurt strategy to gain political leverage in the budget battle on Capitol Hill?

Republicans are making that charge as the stalemate drags on, and point to the Pentagon furlough of 400,000 civilian staffers — even though Congress passed and the president signed a bill to supposedly keep them on the job…

Republicans argue that the intent of the law was to keep them on the job, and that the Obama administration “narrowly interpreted” it against congressional intent in order to furlough more employees.

It’s one example of how, Republicans say, the administration is making the partial shutdown of government services worse than it needs to be. Many have complained about the National Park Service cordoning off even open-air monuments in Washington, DC, such as the World War II Memorial.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), responded to criticisms by saying, “It is time for Speaker Boehner to stop the games.”

Shamefully, FOX also reported that correspondence on this situation has stalled because, as Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), stated, “Unfortunately, most of the staff who draft congressional correspondence are furloughed.”

A few notes on this shameful situation.

First, and to be equally critical to both sides, if “staffers that draft congressional correspondence” have been furloughed, perhaps those elected to Congress should learn to (and actually) write their own correspondence.

Second, to the Progressives, Democrats and our embarrassing President, it is never “game-playing” when the taxpayer’s money is being spent. It is “game-playing” when members of our military who have been maimed and permanently injured can’t get medical care because the politically opportune refuse to entertain appropriations passed through a traditional method (not every spending bill has to be an omnibus package, in fact traditionally, the 12 appropriation bills have been passed separately).

House Republicans “screwed the pooch” when they didn’t advance ACA funding as a separate, stand-alone appropriations bill from the start. When House Speaker Boehner stated that this Congress would operate under “regular order” he should have stated that the House would be de-bundling all legislation into stand-alone pieces, shining the light of truth and accountability on everything that passed across the House floor. Sadly, traditional, inside-the-beltway pork politics prevailed and the practice of bundling legislation to appease the politically greedy has delivered us to this point.

Truth be told, had the political class not blindly followed the Progressive Movement into ratifying the 17th Amendment, none of this would have ever come to pass. But, then, the Commerce Clause wouldn’t have even come close to allowing much of what the Federal government has done that encroaches into our daily lives.

Additionally, if Harry Reid would have operated lawfully, the omnibus appropriations package would have already been legislated, as he is – is – bound by law to have produced a budget by April 15 of each year. He has not done so since before Republicans took control of the House.

The sad, but glaringly true, fact is this. Our government has become too big and too bureaucratic. Our government has manipulated and strayed from the boundaries of the US Constitution, which is a mandated blueprint for limiting government.

Until We the People insist on repealing the 17th Amendment so as to re-employ constitutional protections for the States, and until Congress re-visits the Federal government’s grotesquely over-reaching interpretation of the Commerce Clause, it will be up to the States to save the nation, either by Constitutional Convention (which in and of itself is very dangerous were the original words of the Constitution to be manipulated by the opportunistic) or by, God forbid, secession.

And it is with tears in my eyes for our country; for freedom; for liberty itself, that I acquiesce to the notion. Buy, my God, are we to allow the greatest achievement of freedom in the history of the world be extinguished at the hand of ideological bullies?

The words of Patriot Patrick Henry said so very seriously then, are just as cogent today:

“Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! — I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

The Fomentation of a Government Shut Down

Well, it is upon us, the dreaded government shutdown. And yet the Earth still spins, the water still runs, the electric is on and Harry Reid is still tossing verbal grenades at anyone who dares represent an opposing view to the lock-step Progressive agenda. Imagine that! Our daily lives didn’t come to a grinding, catastrophic halt because the big government nanny state was sidelined by the fruits of their own discontent. In fact, to paraphrase an often heard chant at any Leftist-leaning protest march, “This is what not spending looks like!”

Truth be told, if our nation would have stayed true to our Founding Documents, the crisis that delivered unto us this dastardly government shutdown would never had existed. Indeed, if we would have executed government with fidelity to the Constitution, to governmental process and to the legislated laws instead of capitulating to the Progressive’s fundamental transformation of the United States of America (a transformation launched at the turn of the 20th Century), World War II veterans wouldn’t have had to push aside hastily erected barriers meant to shut down the World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC, Tuesday simply to experience the memorial erected in their honor.

I mention a lack of fidelity to the US Constitution and the rule of law because had two specific established protocols – Article I, Section 3 of the US Constitution and The Budget Control Act of 1974 – been honored, not only would the environment in Washington, DC, been devoid of gridlock, but regular order would have mandated the annual delivery of appropriations to the various departments and agencies.

When our Framers crafted the US Constitution they included Article I, Section 3, which reads:

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.” (Emphasis added)

Where the members of the House of Representatives were to serve as the “voice of the people,” the Senate was supposed to act as the protector of States’ Rights. The check-and-balance between the co-equal branches of government was to have a check-and-balance within the Legislative Branch to assure that both the voice of the people and the rights of the States were balanced in any legislation that would emanate from that branch of government. By constructing this internal check-and-balance, the Framers enshrined the power to both force compromise with the Executive Branch and protect the rights of the minority (Read: States’ Rights) in the Legislative Branch.

But with the Progressive Era’s 1912-1913 achievement of the 17th Amendment, that check-and-balance, along with the protection of States’ Rights was obliterated, and a gigantic move toward a centralization of government power at the Federal level was achieved.

The 17th Amendment reads, in part,

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.” (Emphasis added.)

So, by effectively transforming the US Senate from a protector of States’ Rights to a redundant chamber catering to the voice of the people, Progressives created two chambers vulnerable to political faction; two competing political entities that could gridlock because their tasks were the same – their authorities derived from the same source.

Today, had the 17th Amendment not existed, the US House of Representatives would have advanced their bill to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Senate – given that 38 States have indicated they do not support the ACA – would have concurred, sending a Continuing Resolution to fund the whole of government but defunding the ACA to President Obama. The President would have almost certainly vetoed the legislation which, by virtue of the Senates’ loyalty to their respective State Legislatures, would have been overturned by the whole of the Legislative Branch. Of course, this is predicated on the ACA ever having had become law in the first place, which, under the original intent of the US Constitution, would be questionable.

Additionally, had the United States Senate, under the disingenuous and corrupt political hand of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), not insisted on existing in defiance of a federal law – The Budget Control Act of 1974, the entire Continuing Resolution process wouldn’t have taken place.

The Budget Control Act of 1974 mandates that,

“…Congress pass two annual budget resolutions (it later was decreased to one) and set timetables for finishing budget work. The budget resolution specifies spending levels in broad areas and may direct congressional committees to find ways to save money. Initially the date for completing the budget resolution was May 15, but later the deadline was changed to April 15.

“It’s a deadline Congress seldom has met. Since 1974, Congress has only succeeded in meeting its statutory deadline for passing a budget resolution six times. Sometimes it’s months late. Sometimes, as in Fiscal 2011, Congress doesn’t pass a budget resolution at all.

“Another section of the Budget Act of 1974 states that Congress cannot consider any annual appropriations bills until it adopts an overall budget blueprint…In Fiscal 2011 there should have been 12 appropriations bills.”

So, had Senate Majority Leader Reid actually adhered to the law by advancing a budget resolution to be reconciled, this “showdown” might never have come to pass. But, because there are automatic increases built into each annual budget to account for inflation, etc., it was to the benefit of the spendthrifts in Congress to refuse to advance – or even negotiate – a budget resolution. By using a Continuing Resolution they didn’t have to cut any spending in the face of repeated requests from President Obama to raise the debt ceiling even as the citizenry – and the elected GOP – screamed for fiscal responsibility and debt reduction.

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised that Mr. Reid had an underhanded and completely partisan reason for not following the law. We should have come to understand that the Progressives of the 21st Century are vicious, win-at-all-cost, slash-and-burners when then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (P-CA), dismissed the idea of legitimately legislating the ACA by saying,

“We will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit.”

And we should have known that 21st Century Progressives would scald their own Mothers to submission to advance their cause when we were subjected to the over-the-top and venomous assaults they made on duly elected officials who dared to disagree with their political agenda:

“It is embarrassing that these people who are elected to represent the country are representing the TEA Party, the anarchists of the country…” – Sen. Harry Reid, (D-NV)

“Obama will not – he cannot – negotiate with a roving band of anarchists who say, ‘Build our oil pipeline or the troops don’t get paid.’” – Former Obama Speechwriter Jon Favreau

“I have never seen such an extreme group of people adopt such an insane policy.” – Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

“These people have come unhinged.” – Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (P-FL)

“I believe it’s terrorism…This is an attempt to destroy all we know of the republican form of government in this country.” – Chris Matthews, MSNBC

“What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” – Dan Pfeiffer, White House Senior Adviser

“I call them ‘legislative arsonists.’ They’re there to burn down what we should be building up…” – Nancy Pelosi (P-CA)

I could go on but you get the picture.

The bottom line here is this. Progressives will do anything and say anything; they will lie, cheat and steal, to achieve their goals; their agendas. They will alter the Constitution, create new behemoth entitlement programs, spend, raise taxes and amass debt from which there is no return, in any and all efforts to advance their nanny-state, centralized government vision for our country. And if those who believe in Constitutional law, States’ Rights, individualism, personal responsibility the free market and liberty don’t take a stand – now…well, it will all be over very, very soon…at the hands of the Progressives’ ideological death panel.

Of course, these are just the ravings of an “unhinged, roving legislative arsonist touting an insane terrorist policy, a bomb strapped to my chest,” don’t you know…

Durbin Thinks the Gov’t Has Profits to Spend

In a perfect example of Progressive thinking, Sen. Dick Durbin (P-IL), has taken issue with the idea of lawmakers and congressional staff having to be subjected to the mandates of Affordable Care Act, a.k.a., Obamacare. As people like Durbin, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid throw around rhetoric like “hostage,” “extortion,” “legislative arson,” etc., they are – at the very same time – carving out incredible perks for themselves and their staffs, paid for them on the backs of the taxpayers, while creating a super-privileged class.

Since the US Supreme Court, under the direction of SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts, over-stepped their function in literally re-framing the
law as a tax — even as Progressive lawmakers debating the law stated without doubt that is was not a tax, it is fair to assume that this “tax” is covered by the authority of Article I, Section 8, of the US Constitution, which mandates all taxes, “… shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

Specifically:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;…”

Before the rhetorically challenged chime in, an “impost” is, by definition, a “tax.” But I am getting off track on the issue of tax inequity…\

In attempting to create – or, to be more accurate, further the privilege of the elitist political class, Mr. Durbin has suggested that government be treated on an even plane at the private sector.

The Washington Times reports:

“‘If Obamacare is going to force Americans all over this country to lose their employer-provided health insurance, be forced onto the exchange with no subsidies, then the men and women who serve in this body should feel that pain exactly the same,’ said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who on Tuesday staged a filibuster to block the chamber floor and draw attention to his fight to defund the health law.

“Sen. Richard J. Durbin (P-IL), though, said if members of Congress lost their taxpayer subsidies for health insurance, would Mr. Cruz want all workers to be stripped of support from their companies.

“‘You better think twice about this. If you want to stop the employer contribution to health insurance, that is the headline for tomorrow,’ Mr. Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the chamber, said.”

When Sen. “Dickie” Durbin (P-IL), took to the floor during Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX), elongated floor speech to advance this ridiculous notion, he tried to slough off the underwriting of Congress’s health insurance, making a subsidy of 72% sound like Congressmen and their staffs were shouldering some sort of burden. Then he equated it to what large corporations do for their employees.

Note to Mr. Durbin: Corporations make profits out of which they pay for the benefits they provide their employees, or at least they used to before Obamacare, which is making them abandon their employees.

The Federal Government doesn’t make a product by which to create a “profit.” Government “profits” are taxes extracted from taxpayers. So, because government doesn’t create profits they can’t use those profits to pay for your health insurance benefits, or those of your staffs.

That said, there should be no federal health insurance benefits with the advent of Obamacare. All federal – all – should be in the Obamacare exchanges; each and every federal employee – union or not, regardless of branch – should be forced onto the exchanges.

Suddenly Obamacare doesn’t sound so hot, eh, Mr. Durbin?

Ohio’s Public Employee Union (OPERS) Loses Spouse Coverage under Obamacare

Joe Wilson 2009

Joe Wilson 2009

If Ohio’s public employees are concerned about retirement system changes under Obamacare, it seems no one’s talking. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!“ shout-out to Obama from the floor of Congress in 2009 was indeed prophecy. Obama did lie. State of Ohio spouses cannot ‘keep their health insurance because they like it.’ I am one of those spouses.

Lying to America’s elderly about critical services like medical care far exceeds this president’s phony display of self-righteous indignation at Joe Wilson, for outing his lies. Calling out lies is what we expect of leaders. Well, Michelle, I have never been as ashamed of my American government as I am now … of this phony president, his phony policies, his phony Congress, and his phony peddlers.

Apparently the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) is one of those peddlers. Their seminars effectively blanket the effects of Obamacare in shrouds of economic generality, as if We bear some responsibility for this condition. An economic condition which is, in great part, because of Obamacare and is, in all part, because of Obama.

Reportedly Obamacare made it illegal for health plans to disclose all of the health care services that will no longer be covered. Those can’t be shared until October. OPERS instructs us to call our plan provider. OPERS will gradually increase members’ costs for spouse insurance over the next three years, beginning January 2014, until members bear all spouse costs by end of year three. Then their spouses are thrown to the Obamacare exchange wolves.

Spouse Coverage [excerpted] — Beginning in 2016, spouses over the age of 65 and enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B can use the Medicare Connector to select a plan on the individual Medicare market.

But not to worry according to OPERS, they will guide spouses through the even more expensive Obamacare exchanges to see which plan they can afford. Sorry if your conditions aren’t covered or if you can’t afford the plan you need to cover your conditions. That’s just too bad.

OPERS uses a lot of gimmicky words with special, limited meanings and they cloak the bad news in good feeling concepts so you’re still feeling ingratiated when you read about them. MSteyn“Access” does not mean coverage and it does not mean you don’t pay for having “access.” Go to the OPERS web site for more complete information.

Mark Steyn reports that spouses and children losing health insurance are the ultimate “unintended consequence” of Obamacare. Spouses and children are being taken off of employee health plans nationwide. This is said to leave more millions of Americans uninsured than were uninsured before Obamacare.

Employers dropping coverage for thousands of spouses over ObamaCare costs (includes video)

Forbes just released a Medicare/Medicaid study citing Obamacare is estimated to cost American families $7,450. I don’t know about yours, but our young families are doing good to meet survival needs as it is right now. Given our own senior fixed incomes and increasing risks for ailing health, I know we also cannot afford Obamacare. This is the most viciously corrupt transfer of wealth – and imposition of death sentences – as a free people have ever seen.

Most readers will find it easier to think about how this number translates to a typical American family—the very family candidate Obama promised would see $2,500 in annual savings as far as the eye could see. Between 2014 and 2022, the increase in national health spending (which the Medicare actuaries specifically attribute to the law) amounts to $7,450 per family of 4.

Let us hope this family hasn’t already spent or borrowed the $22,500 in savings they might have expected over this same period had they taken candidate Obama’s promise at face value. In truth, no well-informed American ever should have believed this absurd promise.

So that’s three more Obama lies Joe Wilson was remiss in pointing out. Where were the other 534 members of this not-so-esteemed Congress, huh Joe? Not to fear for them, those elitists are covered with expensive, lavish, private health plans outside of Obamacare exchanges, at our expense. I suppose that only matters to tax-payers and even some of those are still dizzy from Obama’s phony Liberal do-gooder ride.

The American people have until this Friday, September 27th, to call and email Senators, asking them to defund Obamacare. Congress listens when they receive thousands of calls. Burn up the phone lines. Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senator. Tell them you want them to defund Obamacare and you will remember their vote when you vote again.

On Sunday Ted Cruz discussed plans that are necessary in the Senate this week:

 

A retired Constitutional lawyer – who actually read the healthcare bill – warns (excerpted):

This legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices.  Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated  If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.

This is not about health care; it is about seizing power and  limiting rights…  Article 6 of the Constitution requires the members of  both houses of Congress to “be bound by oath or affirmation to support the  Constitution.” If I was a member of Congress I would not be able to vote for  this legislation or anything like it, without feeling I was violating that  sacred oath or affirmation.  If I voted for it anyway, I would hope the American people would hold me accountable.

Call. Call Senators every day this week. Go to this link for complete telephone listing.

Cleveland Clinic to make drastic cuts in response to Obamacare

Blaming the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Northeast Ohio’s largest employer is making severe cuts. Even worse – it’s a major medical institution.

According to Fox 8 in Cleveland, the Cleveland Clinic announced that it is cutting $330 million from its budget.

The cuts will force thousands into early retirement, cause a reduction in economy-stimulating business spending and will cause layoffs.

A Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman says that the cuts are to prepare for increased costs and decreased revenue due to President Obama’s signature health care reform.

Drown The GOP In Conservative Tea!

 

 elephant drowning in tea

My new motto is one we conservatives need to live by:  “Drown The GOP In Conservative Tea!”

Conservatism was kicked out of the GOP by a progressive inside machine and Republicans are now joined at the hip with the Democrat Party and it’s progressive policies. So why should we conservatives continue supporting RINOs who sold us out?

There is no difference between the two parties, it’s no longer Democrat versus Republican, its one big party of incestuous bureaucrats whose sole interest is power with life terms. 

gop v tea party

I’ve said it before: John Boehner and Harry Reid are politically incestuous and together they bred Nancy Pelosi’s Flying Monkeys. Unfortunately such ill-breeding gave us RINOs.

karl-rove-mug

Conservatives, let’s be honest with ourselves: The Republican Party is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Calvin Coolidge William  F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.  

Is Marco Rubio really conservative? Rubio sides with the King of Amnesty John McCain, because Rubio only cares about becoming the first Hispanic president. He didn’t even support Rep. Allen West of Florida during the 2012 race. Rubio stood by and let West lose his district.

What about Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy? They want you to believe a government program handing out universal healthcare will simply crumble and go away, so why bother defunding ObamaCare. Europe has proven government programs never crumble but expand out of control and drown economies. 

The only way to destroy government programs controlling people’s lives is to destroy government programs.

Eric Cantor is sell-out, so is Lindsay Graham.

Paul Ryan proved he’s a snake oil salesman when he campaigned against Obamacare. It would hurt his mother Betty’s Medicare. After the election Ryan stopped fighting to defund ObamaCare. He decided to delay it.

In other words: Ignore ObamaCare in favor of a Congressional job that gets to opt out of ObamaCare with fabulous healthcare opportunities.

Joe Manchin shows up for votes, but refuses to take sides in the vote except on voting procedure. Perhaps Manchin should quit his job since he is incapable of doing his job.

Mitch McConnell raised taxes that enable Obamcare expansion. How conservative!

Don’t even get me started on New Jersey’s loud-mouthed beached whale in a suit Chris Christie!

Cry-baby John Boehner wants to wait for another debt ceiling before he considers fighting ObamaCare.

Boehner and GOP leaders, with the exception of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, are siding with Democrats not to shut down the government and defund ObamaCare, as well as holding off employer mandates until the 2014 election is over, because they don’t want the truth–Obamacare will destroy the economy– coming out and destroying vote-grabbing reelections for Republicans and Democrats.

Heaven forbid Tea Party candidates win RINO seats. The country might have leaders willing to serve limited terms doing what is constitutionally right to restore America.

Remember Boehner said he wouldn’t risk anything by pushing to defund ObamaCare:

You’ve got a Democrat president, you’ve got a Democrat Senate. It’s very difficult for us to impose our will on them. There will be opportunities ahead, but do you want to risk the full faith and credit of the United States government over ObamaCare? That’s a very tough argument to make.

The GOP imposing conservatism on progressives? Why that would force the government to acknowledge the Constitution as the law of the land!

And let’s not forget all of these men vilified Michele Bachmann for questioning why Muslim Brotherhood-connected Huma Abedin had top security clearance inside the State Department. These RINOs deemed Bachmann intolerant.

We conservatives better impose our conservative constitutional will on those imposing their progressive, anti-American, anti-Constitution will against America or we will lose this country to tyranny!

Let’s admit the truth conservatives: Republicans are no longer Republicans, they are Democrats disguised as Republicans (in the case of John McCain I would say he’s Hillary Clinton in better man’s drag). The GOP now cares more about reelections so the people serve the leaders for life through tax dollars, stolen from earned paychecks by the Federal Government, then serving the people and states they are supposed to represent, as well as this country.

It’s obvious that was the Democrat goal all along: Destroy the Republican Party’s conservative values and traditions by infiltrating the party with Democrats pretending to be Republicans.

It’s now one big party of progressive bureaucrats against conservatives.

Beohner So Be It

Despite these morons showing their true progressive colors, Republican voters keep reelecting RINOS! Why? Don’t conservatives want the Constitutional Republic (we are not a democracy, the Constitution limits and divides power with separate government branches and forbids the majority to vote to impose its will upon the minority ) founded on liberty restored?

Don’t we want our fundamental rights returned?  Don’t we believe in Nature’s Laws? Or do we prefer the government’s European democracy-style will imposed upon our individual lives?

Do we want We The People or They The Government? Do we want our nation to remain Of the People, By The People, and For The People or Of, By, and For the Government?

Wake up conservatives! We lost our Grand Ole’ Party to progressives whores who married themselves to the ultimate progressive socialists—Democrats.

Conservatives: It’s time we take on a new motto and live by it: “Drown the GOP in Conservative Tea!

Gettig Hammered Radio – Friday, August 23, 2013

photo

 

When: Friday, August 23, 2013 at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Getting Hammered with Steve Hamilton and Stevie J West

Tonight: It’s Friday night…we’re here…and we’re LIVE…from the studios of Casa de Hammy!! Join Stevie and Steve tonight with their guest Christine Harbin Hanson, AFP’s Federal Policy Analyst, discussing ObamaCare and the AFP conferences next weekend in Orlando. Also, we’ve got the news, twisted as only we can, and of course, we’ll Mock the week.

So grab a cold one and join us for the most wasted 90 minutes of your week…and stand by…’cause we’re Getting Hammered!

Obamacare – Good Enough for You, But not Good Enough for Congress

Angry conservatives prepare to attend their local town hall meeting.

Angry conservatives prepare to attend their local town hall meeting.

If you want to get a very clear idea of the utter contempt in which our corrupt political class holds the voters who put them in office, look no further than the Congressional Obamacare exemption. Don’t confuse this with previous exemptions a bystander Congress has allowed the Obama administration to award supportive unions and other politically favored groups.

This exemption is specifically for Congress.

Under Obamacare Members of Congress and staff are required to buy individual health insurance from state insurance exchanges, just like their constituents Ma & Pa Kettle.

Since the majority of members possess Anthony Weiner levels of common sense, this portion of the law they passed created confusion in that august body. What exchange should the staffers use; the one in the District (land of dependency and demagoguery) or the one in their home state designed by people not clever enough to make it to Washington?

Anyone smarter than a 6th grader could see the answer at a glance. Just as the DC staffers by their Viagra from CVS and the staffers back home frequent Wal–Mart, staffers based in DC buy insurance where they live and staffers back at home buy at home.

There you see? All better now.

Even this minor confusion shows why Congress’ used–car–salesman level approval rating is richly deserved. Even Robert Pear, a reporter for the lefty New York Times was moved to observe, “The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?”

Any conservative could easily answer that question. Hell no!

But for the political class the ‘where’ was not nearly as important as the ‘whom,’ as in who pays for this wondrous new insurance coverage a benevolent Obama has given?

Currently Congressional staffers have a great health insurance policy subsidized by you! While they are beavering away, coming up with new ways to control your life, their Cadillac plans are paid for with a 75 percent, tax–free subsidy.

Now the policy and the subsidy disappear. Giving members and staff another chance to be like real Americans when they realize Obama’s promise if you like your doctor and your insurance you can keep both, was just another Choom Gang alumnus blowing smoke.

This created a situation rich in unintended irony. As the Heritage Foundation wrote, “Members of Congress and their staffs are facing the same problems that confront millions of employers and employees—their fellow citizens—throughout America. They will be unable to keep the health coverage they have today, and will instead be consigned to the government health exchanges, whether they like it or not. …In short, Members of Congress will feel the effects of their own legislative handiwork directly.”

Naturally, this caused panic. In fact this unintended consequence was the only positive development to come from Obamacare. According to Politico, “Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.

The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.”

Great, self–induced term limits! Patchwork to be sure and no doubt short term, but a start nonetheless.

Other Congressional “leaders” feared the country would suffer from a “brain drain” as experienced staffers fled for the private sector where they are constantly assuring us they will make so much more money. My comment is, don’t let the door hit you in the behind.

And of course our dynamic Republican leader is on the job. Rep. John Boehner — Mr. Solidarity with the common man — was hoping Sen. Harry Reid would create a legislative fix (apt word that).

When asked about secret talks to rekindle the boiler fire in the federal gravy train, Boehner spokesman Michael Steele said, ““The speaker’s objective is to spare the entire country from the ravages of the president’s health care law. …If the speaker has the opportunity to save anyone from Obamacare, he will.”

Keep in mind the “anyone” escaping in this instance are the same people making you live under the undiluted Obamacare regime.

Fortunately for the hand–wringing Boehner and shameless Democrats the decision has been taken out of their hand. They won’t be forced to vote on Hypocrisy Bill 358. Pharaoh has spoken. President Obama intervened and ordered the Office of Personnel Management to decree the 75 percent insurance subsidies will continue for members and staff.

There is no provision in the law for this exemption, the OPM has no authority to issue the decision, but it’s in keeping with the legal theory that if Obama wants it, it must be OK.

So where does this leave you? It should leave you enraged. These posturing Republicans who bravely talk about repealing Obamacare are as quiet as church mice in regard to exempting themselves. I’ve had enough and it’s high time you felt the same.

Congress will be in recess soon and Senators and Congressman will be returning to their districts for town hall meetings. Go to the meeting. Take off work if necessary. Ask your representative if he and his staff are taking advantage of the Obamacare exemption.

If the answer is ‘yes’ or he avoids the question (which means the answer is ‘yes’) then you have a duty to vote against him. So what if he’s replaced by a Democrat. Better a leftist than a liar.

If Obamacare is a litmus test on liberty, as Republican Members of Congress have been telling us, it’s also a litmus test for those representing us. Any Representative or Senator who accepts the Obamacare exemption is a posturing Washington hypocrite and not fit to represent me.

Dispensing with the ‘It’s the Law’ Rhetoric

Over the past few months, Progressives and Democrats who favor the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – both elected and not – have insisted that the new and expanding entitlement will go forward as planned because, after all, it is “the law of the land.” When I ponder this statement I find myself less inclined to laugh and more inclined to succumb to sadness. That a faction that holds the Constitution in such disregard would so disingenuously foist the hypocrisy of this statement in defense of what is arguably an unconstitutional law, defies humor.

A cursory recollection of how this horrific, economy-killing piece of legislation came to be, not only illustrates a fundamental transgression of the spirit of American government, it shows how the Progressive movement executes an “ends justifies the means” political game plan. Because Progressives believe that the United States should provide socialized healthcare to every living being existing legally in the United States (and some who do not), they purposefully circumvented the legislative process, crafting the legislation with special interest groups – including labor unions, Progressive think tank operatives and foreign aligned special interest groups, behind closed doors and excluding members of the minority party. They then moved the legislation forward – at times threatening to “deem it passed” – along party lines, ignoring the protests of the minority party and howls of discontent from the American citizenry, and into law.

Today, as Republicans in the US House, which has the constitutionally mandated power of the purse, threaten to exclude any aspect of Obamacare from the funding of government operations – which is their constitutional right to do, Progressives and toady Democrats protest that the ACA is “the law of the land.” The proclamation would have even the slightest bit of weight if these same hypocrites always acquiesced to “the law of the land.” The fact is that they transgress the “law of the land” as a matter of policy; to advance an agenda that is often times anathema to the American system of government and the rule of law.

One can look back to the first Obama Administration’s abdication of the rule of law when newly installed Attorney General Eric Holder approved of political appointees at the Justice Department quashing the prosecution of New Black Panther Party members who executed one of the most egregious instances of voter intimidation in modern history. The “law of the land” mandated that the DoJ prosecute these constitutional transgressors to “the fullest extent” of the law. If “the law of the land” was so precious to these Obama-ite Progressives and Democrats, they would have been exploring ways to include charges of racial discrimination (as the perpetrators were Black and targeting White voters) and hate crimes. But, “the law of the land” wasn’t so important as to be followed in this instance.

One could look into the non-enforcement of immigration laws by the Obama Administration to evidence their selective support of “the law of the land.” For the entire tenure of Mr. Obama’s presidency we have witnessed border patrol members and their union representatives catalog a litany of directives emanating from DHS obfuscating efforts to secure our nation’s borders and hold to justice those who have broken our laws to exist here. Yet, in a post-911 world, when we hold proof-positive in our hands that Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda are working with Mexican and South American drug cartels, the “law of the land” isn’t so important to the Progressives and their sycophant Democrats so as to be honored.

The several Congressional investigations into operational and political malfeasance executed under the Obama Administration provide ample evidence that the Executive Branch Progressives have little use for “the law of the land” when it does not suit their need or the advancement of their ideological, globalist or social justice agendas. The US Constitution gives the power of oversight – including subpoena powers – to Congress. Yet today the Obama Administration routinely obstructs congressional investigators, usurping “the law of the land”:

▪ Fast & Furious saw the Holder Justice Department illegally facilitating the movement of banned weapons across the Mexican border. And even in the face of the deaths of US Border Patrol Agents, the Obama Administration – to this day – thwarts efforts to fully investigate the program.

▪ The politically motivated use of the Internal Revenue Service to target what can only be described as opposition groups, i.e. TEA Party, Conservative and Libertarian advocacy groups, stands as one of the more serious misuses of a federal agency to affect politics in the history of the country. In fact, it was the second count in the impeachment indictment leveled against former-Pres. Richard Nixon. Yet, the Obama Administration shows little interest in assisting congressional investigators in their pursuit of protecting the American citizenry from their own government’s unlawful actions. (Note to Mr. Obama…President Nixon at least had the nobility to resign).

▪ The expansion – not just the continuation – of the NSA domestic surveillance program arguably usurps the Fourth Amendment protections provided the citizenry, but under the guise of protecting the country, even some members of Congress who have Top Secret clearances are kept in the dark on the program by members of the Obama Administration.

▪ And as four brave Americans – Amb. Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith & Glen Doherty – lay cold in their graves, exclusively because Mr. Obama and his Progressive crew couldn’t be exposed for their putting politics ahead of protecting American assets overseas; American soil in the form of Embassy grounds, the “most transparent” administration in American history hides behind anything that will give them cover so as not to act in the spirit of “the law of the land”; so as not to afford the justice “the law of the land” is owed those four dead Americans (Note to former-Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: Yes, it does matter, to every American but the Progressive elected class, evidently).

But getting back to Obamacare being “the law of the land,” and the fact that these Progressive ideologues intend to inflict this economy-killing, divisive, wealth-redistributing program onto the American people, regardless of the fact that it has never – never – been popular with over half of the nation, and that it now falls well short of providing health insurance to “every American,” I have two questions:

1) If “the law of the land” is so very important to follow, then how is it that these same people ignore the fact that “the law of the land” allows the House of Representatives to refuse to fund the entitlement program?

2) If the “law of the land” is so sacrosanct then how can these Progressive elitist oligarchs decry any part of the US Constitution – the literal “law of the land” – as malleable; as subject to dictates of the day?

The truth be told, the only time “the law of the land” means anything to Progressives is when it serves their purpose. In any other case it is an edict to be scorned, rebuked, castigated and/or ignored. That Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the White House Communications Office and President Obama himself shamelessly hide behind the “It’s the law of the land” declaration in their defense of the legitimate House effort to save the country from this legislative mistake would be laughable if it weren’t so deadly serious.

So, let’s dispense with this rhetoric, shall we?

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