In case you forgot.

What is the current healthcare “law of the land?” That’s right! It is still Obamacare!

Obamacare created 23 co-ops and gave them $2.4 billion in taxpayer-funded loans. How’s that going? Well, 18 went belly-up! That leaves 5 and one of them, Minuteman Health, a co-op that serves New Hampshire and Massachusetts, projected losses of $39 million in its 2016 annual financial statement. And this is despite increasing its membership by 12,438 and adding health care providers to its network. So, number “19” is on its way out the door!

You may be a “repeal – no replacement” American or a “repeal and replace” American, but Obamacare is toast!

Roy Filly

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Democracy. Checks and balances. Yikes!

The American people (including me) are getting a chance to see the Constitution and American Democracy in action. As it turns out they needed to see the Republican Party (not the Democrat Party) to witness democracy in action.

When a Republican House, Republican Senate, and Republican President were seated this year, Americans were ready for the rubber stamp. The purported “strongman,” Donald Trump (you remember – Mussolini reborn) would steamroll Congress into anything and everything he wanted. Wow! Was that ever wrong!

When did Americans forget that Washington was a sausage factory – with all the puns that went with it? They forgot when in 2009 we had a Democrat House, Democrat Senate, and Democrat President. They watched with fascination. Want a trillion dollar “stimulus” to fund “shovel ready” projects? No problem. Want to take over 18% of the US economy with a 2000 page healthcare bill? No Problem. Want to give defacto “citizenship” to illegal immigrants? No problem.

Now witness the Republicans. Want to repeal and replace Obamacare? Problem. Want to submit a budget proposal? Problem. Want to pass a trillion dollar infrastructure bill? Problem. Want to enhance military funding? Problem. Want to limit visas to “government-less” countries loaded with terrorists? Problem.

I know on which side of these issues I stand (and so do you because I write them down and publish them daily). But pro or con, we are seeing checks and balances in full view.

Mirabili dictu! Madison was right! “Madison’s genius was to understand that the best bulwark against tyranny was not virtue (and definitely not “virtue-signaling”)… but ambition counteracting ambition, faction counteracting faction” (Charles Krauthammer).

I find it both incredibly frustrating and wonderful!

Roy Filly

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Liberals are held to a lower standard.

If we moved the clock back to the Obama inauguration but instead Republicans emulated the behavior of liberals following the Trump inauguration, can you even imagine the media outrage? Consider for a moment that Tea Party members assaulted Obama supporters, set fire to automobiles, or stoned police. Suppose Republicans/conservatives were filmed carrying “F— Obama” signs or yelling into a microphone about “blowing up the White House.” The lame-stream media would have had a field day.

[Source: Lower Conduct Standards for Liberals, by Walter E Williams]

As Republicans/conservatives we would not have been labeled “protesters.” Vile names would spew forth. “Racist” would, as usual, lead the list.

Occupy Wall Street seems a distant memory (liberals lack what my grade school teachers called “stick-to-itiveness”). But during their brief tenure they befouled many cities. They defecated and urinated on police cars. Their “encampments” were pigsties. And let us not forget the rapes, assaults, robberies and holdups.

By contrast, every Tea Party rally I attended was devoid of such despicable behaviors and left the area clean. Where are the videos of Republicans/conservatives breaking store windows, looting, screaming obscenities, turning over police cars, etc., etc?

[From the Williams article] … Have you ever seen conservatives marching with chants calling for the murder of police officers? You may have heard liberals yelling, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” In fact, virtually all of the violence against police — whether it’s throwing stones, ambushing or murdering — is committed by liberals or people who’d identify as Democrats. The fact of the matter is that if we were to examine criminality in America — whether talking about murderers, muggers or prisoners — it would be dominated by people who would be described as liberals, Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters.

Democrats and liberals accuse Republicans of conducting a war on women. Assault, rape and murder are the worst things that can be done to a woman. I would bet a lot of money that most of the assaults, rapes and murders of women are done by people who identify as liberals, and if they voted or had a party affiliation, it would be Democratic…

I cannot attest to the above allegations by Dr. Williams. However, he is not a man prone to falsehood or hyperbole. Personally, I am proud of the fact that conservatives hold themselves to a higher standard of behavior.

Roy Filly

 

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What is the biggest entitlement reform ever? “Trumpcare.”

I am proud to be a Republican. But if there is one thing that really irks me about my Party it is the constant battle among our “leaders,” each of whom wants to state “I am more conservative than he/she is!” “I am a bigger budget hawk!” “I want to spend more for defense that Senator (fill in the blank) does!” And very important for this discussion, “I want to reform entitlements to a greater degree than (fill in the blank) does!”

I like a good argument as much as the next blogger. However, repealing and replacing Obamacare is necessary for the health (pun intended) of our nation.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin was Director of the Congressional Budget Office under President George W. Bush. He is a well known budget hawk. Furthermore, I would not describe him as a Trump “fan.” He was interviewed on the Journal Editorial Report regarding the repeal and replacement of Obamacare vis a vis the recent CBO report.

Regarding the 24 million who will “lose insurance” by 2026:

  • We need to compare next year under Obamacare to the current Republican replacement plan
  • Next year nearly all of Obamacare is intact, except that the mandate to purchase insurance has been eliminated by President Trump’s executive order.
  • The same subsidies and the same insurance regulations will remain in place sans the mandate.
  • CBO says 5 million will choose not to buy insurance.
  • Further, 6 million will choose NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FREE MEDICAID PROGRAM!

One must reasonably ask whether these 11 million have chosen this path because they see themselves as better off than they would be by purchasing Obamacare insurance or joining Medicaid? The logical conclusion is that they see the choice as better for themselves. A critical point is that Obamacare DOES NOT PROVIDE BETTER HEALTHCARE, just more insurance (and more expensive insurance with fewer choices, at that)!

The next point is that there is virtually no chance that Medicaid can survive in its current state for 10 years. It’s broke. Therefore, one would need to compare the next iteration of Medicaid to “Trumpcare,” not compare it to today’s Obamacare. As well, the original CBO report on Obamacare believed that in this coming sign-up period 12-16 million more Americans would get health insurance than did. Not exactly a stellar record.

So let’s look at the at the CBO prediction:

  • 2 million fewer Americans in the individual market (essentially a rounding error).
  • 7 million fewer in the employer market.
  • 14 million fewer in Medicaid (but as noted above, Medicaid would necessarily need to change even if Obamacare was left intact).

Here is the most important takeaway! The CBO predicts federal spending on healthcare to fall by $1.2 trillion over 10 years (yes with a “T”). That is despite the fact that “Trumpcare” repeals $900 billion in taxes. The deficit would fall despite a large tax cut.

The budget hawks are all complaining that the Trump budget does not address entitlements. That is complete nonsense. Mr. Holtz-Eakin states categorically, “This (Trumpcare) is the single biggest entitlement reform ever contemplated!” Let us not forget that Obamacare is a massive entitlement. And let us not forget that Obamacare will implode.

Roy Filly

 

 

 

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The 9th Circuit Court and the Trump Travel Ban.

Headquartered in San Francisco, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is by far the largest of the thirteen courts of appeal. It houses 29 active judgeships. According to the most current count, the Ninth Circuit has among the highest percentage of sitting judges appointed by Democrat presidents and is considered the most liberal court. Of those cases reheard by the Supreme Court 79% of 9th Circuit rulings are overturned.

Recently in the news this court upheld a temporary restraining order of the Trump administration travel ban from 6 nations known to export terrorists. Although there are 29 judges, only three heard the case against the Trump administration travel ban; Judges William Canby Jr., a Jimmy Carter appointee, Michelle Friedland, a Barack Obama appointee, and Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee.

Below is an article stating the opinion of other judges among the 9th Circuit who strongly disagree with the ruling.

[Source: Five 9th Circuit Judges Dish Out Ruthless Take Down to Anti-Trump Travel Ban Decision, by Robert Barnes]

[From the Barnes article] Five judges from across the political spectrum in the Ninth Circuit went out of their way to issue an opinion about a dismissed appeal, to remind everybody just how embarrassingly bad the prior Ninth Circuit stay panel decision was on Trump’s travel ban. The five judges included the famed, and most respected intellectual amongst the Ninth Circuit, Alex Kozinski. The others included Jay Bybee, Consuelo Callahan, Carlos Bea and Sandra Ikuta.  Nobody other than the original panel came to the defense of the original panel decision, a less than promising start for future approvals of district court interference in Presidential immigration policy.

… The five panel jurists noted the deep legal problems with the (original) panel’s order: its a-historicity, it’s abdication of precedent, and its usurpation of Constitutionally delegated Presidential rights. Mirroring much of the Boston judge’s decision, the five judges then detail and outline what other critics, skeptics and commentators have noted of the prior panel decision, including critical commentary from liberal law professors and scribes Jonathan Turley, Alan Dershowitz, and Jeffrey Toobin. The original 3-judge panel “neglected or overlooked critical cases by the Supreme Court and by our making clear that when we are reviewing decisions about who may be admitted into the United States, we must defer to the judgment of the political branches.” Of particular note, the five panel judges note how the 3-judge panel decision in “compounding its omission” of Supreme Court decisions and relevant sister Circuit precedents, also “missed all of our own cases” on the subject. The 5 judges conclude the panel engaged in a “clear misstatement of law”…

Indeed, these judges go much further in their condemnation of the original ruling. Interested parties can read the entire Barnes article for further information.

And thanks to HP for sending to me.

Roy Filly

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NAFTA.

You may be pro “free trade” (I am) or you may believe that the term is an oxymoron. For a variety of reasons I am coming to believe that true “free trade” cannot exist in the milieu of fiat currencies.

NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, is a three-country accord negotiated by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States that entered into force in January 1994. NAFTA fundamentally reshaped North American economic relations. It was negotiated by Republican President George H.W. Bush and passed through Congress and implemented under Democratic President Bill Clinton. It encouraged a more than tripling of regional trade and cross-border investment.

I am awaiting further information to decide whether or not the USA is getting the short end of the stick on NAFTA. But for your information I present the graph below,

Roy Filly

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Politics in cartoon form.

Guess what, Democrats? William Jefferson Clinton’s statement is about to come true. In his 1996 State of the Union Address he proclaimed, “We have to give the American people (a government) that lives within its means. The era of big government is over.”

President Trump just defunded “Climate Alarmism” research. I wonder why?

Democrats are easy to spot. Even subhuman species get the picture.

Roy Filly

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The California 2018 Midterm Elections.

One political rule is that “The party in power typically losses seats during a midterm election.” Another rule that “Trumps” this rule (pun intended) is that “All politics is local.”

[Source: Trump Tremors Will Cause Cracks in California’s Blue Wall, by Patrick Bobko]

California is the land of “virtue-signaling.” As you are likely aware, virtue-signaling is the practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue. The “cost” to the virtue-signaler is typically nil.

The California Democrat Party is intent on “doing battle” with President Trump. They went so far as to hire Eric Holder to be their “general” – bad choice. What might this foreshadow in the November 2018 election? It has the potential to be for the Golden State what November 2016 was for the rest of the nation.

[From the Bobko article] Here’s how it could happen. And if it does happen, it will happen first at the local level. Let me explain:

The Trump earthquake that shook the nation last November apparently stopped at the California state line. People in Michigan and Pennsylvania actually felt the tectonic political plates move. California didn’t. In fact, California’s voters went in exactly the opposite direction from the rest of the country and awarded the state’s Democrats a legislative supermajority. Republicans play approximately the same role in Sacramento that the Washington Generals did for the Harlem Globetrotters – and win just about as often.

Emboldened by these results and whipped into a demagogic lather by their constituents, California’s Democratic politicians are now tripping over themselves to “resist” President Trump. To date, the “resistance” has largely taken the form of cities declaring themselves “sanctuary cities…” There are now approximately 40 such cities in California, including a number of less-affluent, predominantly Latino cities in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

On its face, this is good politics. Like Horatio at the gate, local politicians who declare theirs is a “sanctuary city” have the opportunity to symbolically place themselves between their constituents and the Manhattanite ogre in the White House.

Two such cities are Maywood and Santa Ana, California where the local politicians sound like they are literally prepared to draw guns against ICE agents. However, this particular “virtue-signal” will have a cost and that cost will be significant. In Santa Ana, for example, ICE leases detention space in the city’s jail (more than $2 million per year in city revenue). As well, Santa Ana gets $146M in funding from the federal government.

How will Santa Ana pay for these shortfalls. Well they shouldn’t expect the local public employee unions to help by accepting reductions in pay and pension benefits.

Maywood has an annual budget of approximately $13M, and about 10% of that comes from the federal government. Its decision to be a “sanctuary city” has likewise put those funds at risk.

When 2018 rolls around the services and jobs that have been lost because the elected officials decided to “virtue-signal” will be front and center in voters minds. The Democrats won’t lose the State House but local officials will start falling by the wayside.

[From the Bobko article] Politicians impelled to declare their cities “sanctuary cities” will be undone by the day-to-day reality of governance. Politics is the art of the practical, and what really matters to residents of any city are things such as the trash being picked-up once a week and potholes getting filled. If it isn’t, or they aren’t, even the most popular local politicians are held accountable at the ballot box regardless of the symbolic stands they’ve taken.

All politics is local.

Roy Filly

 

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It never fails!

The Democrat Party ALWAYS chooses the one thing in any plan they dislike that they interpret as “throwing Granny over a cliff.” A classic example is the budget cut to the severely abused Community Development Block Grant program (administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development).

[Source: UPDATED! Seniors won’t starve if Meals on Wheels loses government grants, by Nick Gillespie]

The Community Development Block Grant program is rife with waste, fraud, and abuse (type “Community Development Block Grant program corruption” into Google and you get 863,000 hits) but… it funds the popular Meals on Wheels, which delivers food to housebound seniors. OMG, scream the Democrats! Who could be so heartless?!?!?!

So let us see what all of the fuss is about. How much of Meals on Wheels is funded by the Community Development Block Grant program, ask you? Good question, answer I. [From the Gillespie article] There are hundreds of Meals on Wheels organizations around the country… Overwhelmingly, the groups get the majority of revenue from charitable giving, not government funds. In 2015, for instance, the national Meals on Wheels reported that government grants accounted for just 3% of its annual revenues of $7.5 million. Meals on Wheels for San Diego County in California says that government grants made up just 1.5 percent ($68,534) of its revenues of $4.4 million…

Because the financial reports from Meals on Wheels groups often do not list funding sources, it is difficult to over generalize. Nonetheless, the cut in funding is hardly a death blow to the program. Because the Democrat Party always wants to spend more – not less (unless, of course, it is for defense of our nation) they automatically cast all social spending cuts in apocalyptic terms.

Even the Meals on Wheels organization concurs that federal contributions are relatively small. Here’s a statement from Meals on Wheels America, the national coordinating group for the service, on federal funding.

“The nationwide Meals on Wheels network, comprised of 5,000, local, community-based programs, receives… funding for the provision of congregate and home-delivered meals from the federal government through the Older Americans Act… Community Development Block Grant, Community Services Block Grant and the Social Services Block Grant… Programs rely on contributions from state or local governments, private donations and other resources to cover the rest… Meals on Wheels America, the largest and oldest national organization… receives only 3% of its funding from the government…”

Roy Filly

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OMG. A politician that says what he/she means.

Who is Mick Mulvaney? John Michael “Mick” Mulvaney is the new director of the Office of Management and Budget. He was confirmed by a Senate vote of 51–49. That means the Democrat Party didn’t like him that means that I do like him. Formerly, he was the first Republican since 1883 to represent South Carolina’s 5th congressional district.  He was a member of the Freedom Caucus, The Tea Party Caucus, and the Republican Study Committee so, suffice it to say, he is a staunch conservative.

LAME-STREAM MEDIA QUESTION: Can you explain a little bit more about what message the President is trying to send by eliminating a lot of funding for science and climate change research, as you mentioned earlier?

DIRECTOR MULVANEY: Sure. A couple different messages. When we talked about science and climate change, let’s deal with them separately. On science, we’re going to function — we’re going to focus on the core function. There’s reductions, for example, I think, in the NIH — the National Institutes of Health. Why? Because we think there’s been mission creep, we think they do things that are outside their core functions. We think there’s tremendous opportunity for savings. We recommend, for example, that a couple of facilities be combined; there would be cost savings from that.

Again, this comes back to the President’s business person view of government, which is if you took over this as a CEO, and you’d look at this on a spreadsheet and go, why do we have all of these facilities — why do we have seven when we can do the same job with three, won’t that save money? And the answer is, yes. So part of your answer is focusing on efficiencies and focusing on doing what we do better.

Regarding the question as to climate change, I think the President was fairly straightforward — we’re not spending money on that anymore; we consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that. So that is a specific tie to his campaign.

“Amen to that, Brother Mulvaney!” And thank you for saying what should have been said years ago.

Roy Filly

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