FOCUS ON WINNING THE WAR

Obamacare is one of those disasters half of us would just like to go away. The other half either has selfish financial interests or Utopian pipe dreams tied up in such Socialist legislation. Think I am being unfair to the other half? From the beginning we knew Obamacare would not work. Obamacare is economically unsound. So from the beginning we knew what the Democrats wanted was a single payer, government-run healthcare monopoly. Don’t we know how, if Hillary Clinton had been elected, Obamacare would have been fixed? Don’t we already know Obamacare needs to be fixed?

So now we have this stinking albatross around our neck. What is the best way to get rid of it? There is no quick and simple answer.  Budget reconciliation does not clearly provide it.

The reconciliation process, created by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93–344, 88 Stat. 297, 2 U.S.C. §§ 601–688), establishes the mechanism by which Congress can move controversial legislation without it being subject to a filibuster in the Senate. But to use the authority, Congress must take certain prescribed steps and avoid potential pitfalls. (continued here)

Pitfalls! So it is that Congress cannot include matters extraneous to budget reconciliation in a budget reconciliation bill.

Specifically, section 313(b)(1) of the Congressional Budget Act defines “extraneous” matters as those that:

  • do not produce a change in outlays or revenues;

  • produce changes in outlays or revenue which are merely incidental to the non-budgetary components of the provision;

  • are outside the jurisdiction of the committee that submitted the title or provision for inclusion in the reconciliation measure;

  • increase outlays or decrease revenue if the provision’s title, as a whole, fails to achieve the Senate reporting committee’s reconciliation instructions;

  • increase net outlays or decrease revenue during a fiscal year after the years covered by the reconciliation bill unless the provision’s title, as a whole, remains budget neutral; or

  • contain recommendations regarding the OASDI (social security) trust funds.

(from here)

Thus, when Congress tried to repeal Obamacare in 2015 they ran into problems in the Senate.

In October 2015, the House passed H.R. 3762: Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom, which repealed significant portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:

  • the Automatic Enrollment Requirement,
  • the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF, also referred to as the “Obamacare slush fund”),
  • both the Individual and Employer Mandates,
  • the Medical Device Tax, and
  • the health insurance “Cadillac Tax,”.

The bill also prohibited federal funds for Planned Parenthood, its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, and clinics for one year. Instead, the bill designated an additional $235 million for the Community Health Center Fund.

When the bill reached the Senate in January 2016, the Senate parliamentarian reviewed the House-passed bill to see if provisions of the bill met the extraneous matter requirements of the Byrd Rule.  She determined that repeal of the individual mandate and employer mandate, were extraneous policies, and not primarily budgetary in nature.  As a result, they were dropped from the bill and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered an amended version of the reconciliation bill that retained the policy of the individual and employer mandates, but eliminated the penalty for non-compliance.

Final passage from the conference committee occurred January 6, 2016 and was vetoed by President Obama two days later. (from here)

So even if the House passes the bill before it, the Senate may weaken it.  Unfortunately, we have little reason to believe the Senate dislikes big government.

So let consider a solution for this problem. Let’s begin by properly defining the problem. How did Obamacare happen? Democrats, politicians who do not respect the Constitution or our nation’s traditions, got control of the presidency, the House, a 60-vote majority in the Senate, and a practical majority on the Supreme Court. Therefore, to repeal Obamcare, we need control of the presidency, the House, a 60-vote majority in the Senate, and a practical majority on the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, we are not quite there. So, the solution is getting there, getting enough Conservative politicians to pass Conservative legislation.

Why do the American people elect politicians who do not respect the Constitution or our nation’s traditions? That is both a problem of the heart and the heart of the problem. To the extent we can do something about it, it is an education problem. Before the Democrats created budget-busting boondoggles like Social Security, Medicare, and now Obamacare, they took over the education of our nation’s children. So it is we have public funding of schools starting in kindergarten and ending with the completion of doctoral programs. Inevitably, people educated in socialist institutions by people who make their living off socialist institutions have difficulty seeing what is wrong with Socialism.  Inevitably, when the absence of instruction suggests such things don’t matter, children raised in secularized institutions have a difficult time relating to God and God-given rights. Therefore, if we don’t want everything run by our government, we must privatize our education system.

Are you familiar with school choice? Even if you are, you may find it useful to visit What is School Choice?  This is an article provided by Focus on the Family, which some would call a right-wing Christian organization. Here is how that article begins.

School choice is a nationwide movement that empowers parents by enabling them to make the best possible choice for their children’s education. In short, it puts power in the hands of parents to decide which type of education best fits the needs of their particular child – whether that is a public, private or religious institution, or educating their child at home.

School choice also protects parents’ constitutional rights to direct their children’s upbringing in accordance with the values, principles and religious convictions they hold dear. (continued here)

Think about it. Has the notion of the People running the own lives — educating their own children as they see fit — become as scary to our government as it was to the British Crown in 1776?

So what do we do with President Donald Trump’s and Speaker Paul Ryan’s bill, the American Health Care Act? I suggest we help Trump and Ryan pass the bill.  It is not perfect, but we need to keep our allies strong.  Trump and Ryan need the win, and half a loaf is better than none. At this point, half a loaf is all we can expect.

Why must we keep Trump and Ryan strong? Although we must fight our school choice battles predominantly at the state level, we must keep strong advocates for school choice in charge of the Federal Government. Otherwise, Democrats will win the fight to federalize the education of our nation’s children with programs like Common Core. See the following.

Is Common Core is a commie plot? Who knows?  The point is that the Constitution does not authorize a Federally run educational bureaucracy. Even if the Constitution did authorize Federal spending on education, do we actually need massive numbers of bureaucrats to educate our children? What possible good could they do?

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COLLECTIVE AND A COMMUNITY?

Charity without love is not charitable.

More than we know we do combat with words.  Consider the etymology of these ideological words. Consider what happens when the words “collective” and “community” become wrapped into isms.

Collectivism has strong associations with communism.

collectivism (n.)Look up collectivism at Dictionary.com
1880, in socialist theory, from collective + -ism. Related: Collectivist (1882 as both noun and adjective); collectivization (1890).

It seems that some would have us believe that the mere act of organizing people into a group with a common interest is communistic.

The word “community” has multiple associations with isms.

Like communism, communitarianism also emphasizes the community over the individual.

communitarian (n.) Look up communitarian at Dictionary.com
1841, “member of a commune,” from community + ending from utilitarian, etc. The adjective is attested from 1909.

Communitarianism is not the same as communism, but it does emphasize the interests of the community over the individual.

Like Communitarianism, communism is related to community via the word “commune“.

communism (n.) Look up communism at Dictionary.com
“social system based on collective ownership,” 1843, from French communisme (c. 1840) from commun (Old French comun; see common (adj.)) + -isme (see -ism). Originally a theory of society; as name of a political system, 1850, a translation of German Kommunismus (itself from French), in Marx and Engels’ “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” Compare communist. In some cases in early and mid-20c., a term of abuse implying anti-social criminality without regard to political theory.

Each [i.e. socialism, communism, anarchism] stands for a state of things, or a striving after it, that differs much from that which we know; & for many of us, especially those who are comfortably at home in the world as it is, they have consequently come to be the positive, comparative, & superlative, distinguished not in kind but in degree only, of the terms of abuse applicable to those who would disturb our peace. [Fowler]

We even have something called communalism which is similar to communitarianism. Instead of a strong central government, however, both communitarianism and communalism emphasize creating a federation of communes, just not for the same reasons.

communalism (n.) Look up communalism at Dictionary.com
1871 (in reference to Paris), from communal + -ism.

Thanks to all these mushy isms, it is a little difficult to speak of the difference between a collective and a community.  Nevertheless, people form collectives deliberately for a specific purpose. Whereas people form communities by living together and forming strong ties with each other.

Therefore, only when we speak of a community does it make sense to apply this verse.

John 13:35 New King James Version (NKJV)

35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

When we form charitable organizations, because there is a personal relationship it makes sense to provide charity at the community level.  Unfortunately, our political leaders have created new and improved charities.  They have used the state, especially that great collective we call the Federal Government, to give away our tax dollars using expensive health, education, and welfare programs.  Hence we have politicians spending other people’s money on people they don’t even know. The result has been phenomenal fraud, waste and abuse.

Ideally, because the personal relationship between those who give and those who receive charity is so important (It is about love, after all.), charity should only be the function of local, private organizations. Only when we have no other alternative should we involve government, and that should be local government. Only when we have no other alternative should we involve either the state or the Federal Government.

What is the big issue of the moment in Washington DC? It is Obamacare.  What is Obamacare? It is about whether the average American will be able to make his or her health choices without overriding interference from nameless bureaucrats. It about disconnecting the desires of people who pay the bills from the people who provide health care services. It is about giving politicians power just because they want it. It about turning our whole healthcare system into a wasteful and inefficient government-run charity rife with fraud, waste, and abuse.

Please let your senators and congressman know you want Obamacare repealed. You want them to do the same thing they did when they knew Obama would veto their repeal bill. Then you want them to replace Obamacare with laws that allow us to use our own money to make our own decisions. Do we really need their help to provide charity for our neighbors, the people in our communities. No. Not if we actually care about each other. If we don’t, there is nothing they can do anyway. If we don’t care, they won’t either.

 

 

IS IT REALLY ABOUT BEING A GOOD SAMARITAN OR A SUCKER?

heartbleedHere some questions for commenters. What’s the issue? We have a bunch of Americans prominently displaying their hearts decrying the xenophobia of their fellow Americans. They tell us all about what the Good Samaritan and Jesus would do. What is their interpretation of scripture?  Apparently, they want open borders.

Those with their hearts prominently displayed excuse their position by pointing to the needs of the immigrants. They say nothing about the needs of America. After all, are we not a rich country? Are we not a nation of immigrants? How could open borders be a problem?

  • What makes immigration today different from the past BEFORE we had a BIG GOVERNMENT with humongous health, education, and welfare programs?
  • Are there reasonable alternatives? Can we help the world’s poor without bringing everyone and his uncle to the United States?
  • What are those with their hearts prominently displayed for all to see getting out of all those dirt poor immigrants coming to the United States. That is, are their motives as pure as they pretend?
  • What are the people opposed to unfettered immigration more scared of? Is it  immigrants or out-of-control government?
  • With respect to immigration, do Americans have any legitimate right to control immigration? That is, do non-citizens and citizen have equal rights under our Constitution?
  • How did we get into this silly mess?

Are you under the delusion that the men in black robes are always just? Do you think the lawyers who lead our nation are always thinking of our best interests? Read this =>Protecting consumers from swindlers

No. It not related to the subject at hand. It is just a great example of how professional politicians have rigged the system to line the pockets of their buddies.

A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC IN DECLINE

preamble to the constitutionDo I hate the US Catholic Bishops? No. Do I think they are especially bad people? No.  Nevertheless, I think their stance on immigration is stupidly immoral. What is their stance? See for yourself: Catholic Church’s Position on Immigration Reform.

How did I come across the statement the US Catholic Bishops made on immigration. A commenter (here) cited them as some kind of authority and posted a link. I replied (here). Here is the gist of what I said.

The Democratic Party advocates open borders; it just calls it something else. You pointed to a naive front group like the US Catholic Bishops. At the same time those bishops are suppose to be fighting against the killing of babies, abortion, they are working to guarantee Democrat victories at the polls. I don’t have to mock the authority of those men. They do it themselves.

What the US Catholic Bishops want is effectively a second immigration amnesty. SECOND immigration amnesty. We need a second one because the last one worked so well? For whom?

We have always had controlled immigration into this country. Now it is far more difficult. What is different now? People can travel more easily, of course, but what is crucial is our health, education, and welfare programs. Need I say the obvious? Democrats are eager to use these programs to buy the votes of gullible immigrants. (from here)

The US Catholic Bishops have a similar stance with respect to refugees. That is, they disliked President Trump’s Executive Order halting immigration from seven nations that are currently ungovernable. The US Catholic Bishops’ statement on the executive order is available at this post: US Catholic Bishops Publicly Shame President Trump Today At Church by Silence of Mind.

Disgusted, I commented that too. Here is the gist of what I said in my first comment.

What do we call people who substitute weeping emotion for rational thought? Helen Thomas, a White House reporter, ironically invented the expression when she told us how much her heart bleeds.

It is an unfortunate fact of life, but lots of clerics are bleeding hearts. Europe is being overrun by people who do not have any use for democracy. Once their government collapses, where are the Europeans supposed to go? Here? Why would want more brainless fools? Don’t we have enough already?

Seriously, when you play chess, to win you have to think 4 – 5 moves ahead. If we accept millions of refugees, I agree that solves the immediate problem. We have already put who even knows how many such people on welfare, and we are still not bankrupt. Just the same, if we keep accepting refugees and putting them on welfare, the consequences are readily predictable. The refugees will vote Democrat. That’s why the Democrats want them.

In addition, because our taxes are already out of sight because of expensive heath, education, and welfare programs, absorbing endless refugees will just cause our economy will fold up and close shop. We will also become a multilingual nation, a tower of Babel (That’s why the European Union never had a chance.). The collapse will be complete when our government becomes tyrannical. That is the only way it will be able to maintain order. If you have any doubts about the tyrannical part, consider all the disruptions the Democrats are causing Trump. The jackasses are deliberately trying to make the country ungovernable, and they think that is a smart move. The Nazis did the same sort of thing to the Weimar Republic.
🙄 (from here)

The US Catholic Bishops are ignoring the teachings of the Bible.  What is our basic problem? We don’t love each other enough, right? Does putting on a big show that supposedly shows how much we care solve that problem? No. Does overloading our health, education, and welfare systems solve that problem? No. Does electing a bunch of Democrats solve that problem? No. Does creating a situation that is guaranteed to foment immense social strife solve that problem? No.

Here is the other comment I left behind.

Hypocrites, people who only pretend to be highly and even perfectly moral, cannot make a constitutional republic work. The reason is simple enough. They won’t truly abide by the constitution. They will only make the pretense that that is what they are doing. Meanwhile, they will accuse their opponents of every damned thing they can imagine.

Still, the proof of their duplicity comes from their own lips. It is they, to excuse their lies, who call the Constitution a “living document”. With those two words they render the Constitution meaningless, and they think themselves clever. Yet with those two words they also expose the proof of all their own lies. (from here)

The modern Democratic Party and many in the Republican Party engage in legalism.  Like the Pharisees of old, they supposedly uphold a complex legalistic code. This code they tell us is quite honorable, but unlike the nonsense the Pharisees taught their lie can be easily seen. Their code is living; it conforms to the politics of the moment.  As they say, IT IS ALIVE! It is in truth a dishonorable monstrosity.

Should we help refugees from war zones? Of course, we should, but destroying our own culture and almost deliberately sowing social strife into our society will not help anyone. It just spreads the problems the refugees are trying to flee. Don’t we already have enough trouble getting along with each other? Isn’t adding bunches and bunches of poorly educated refugees, many accustomed to violence, like adding fuel to a fire?

Here is the order President Donald Trump issued: EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES. As you read it, consider what the Constitution says in Article I, Section 8. It explicitly authorizes Congress to control immigration policy. Effectively, the Federal Government (unless a Republican is in office) has plenary power over immigration policy.

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States; (from here)

Therefore, the only question before a court should be whether Congress has authorized the president to deny restrict travel to our nation from nations that are deemed threats. In fact, since the president’s primary job is commander-in-chief, doesn’t he have that responsibility already?

So what did the Ninth Circuit Court decide when the Trump administration appealed to it and asked it to stay District Court Judge James L. Robart’s order which had ruled Trump’s unconstitutional and effectively revoked it.  The Ninth Circuit Court let Robart’s order stand.  See Motion for Stay of an Order of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington James L. Robart, District Judge, Presiding. Why? Here are a couple of examples of the ridiculous logic.

  • Foreigners have 5th Amendment rights. Effectively, using such logic, foreigners have the right to enter the United States any time they want to do so. We may as well call them citizens.
  • Foreigners have 1st Amendment rights. Does that mean foreigners have freedom of assembly in the United States. Why don’t we just lay out the welcome mat for foreign armies? Congress has in the past favored immigration from certain nations over others. Why? We shared a similar cultural heritage, including religious heritage. Commonsense, now seemingly in short supply, dictates that immigration from such nations would be less disruptive.

So, do foreigners, foreigners who are not even in our country, have rights under our Constitution? Well, the Framers made it explicitly clear whose rights they wrote OUR Constitution to protect.  See the Preamble at the beginning of this post.

This is not just bad law. It is insane. Those judges need to be removed from the bench. This decision is legal malpractice. If the judges on the Supreme Court don’t have enough good sense to overturn such blatant BS, God help us.  Hopefully, our new Attorney General will take the case over and devise a successful strategy.

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