Obamacare: A Call for Action

Obamacare LogoIt’s time to take stock of where we stand with Obamacare. It’s also time for both Democrats and Republicans to consider the steps they need to take in this present crisis. And crisis is not too strong a term to use for this disaster. Millions are losing their healthcare plans and have nowhere good to go to replace them. That’s just the individual plans. Next year, this law will begin to affect employer plans, which will multiply the anguish nearly twentyfold.

What do we know for sure right now? First, as almost everyone on any place on the political spectrum admits, the promise that we could keep our healthcare plans if we liked them was either a gross misunderstanding of what was going to transpire or an outright lie. I opt for the latter. When we have President Obama in a video telling congressional leaders three years ago that 8 or 9 million individual plans will probably have to be scrapped, what else can the promise be but a blatant lie?

Second, Democrats are in panic mode. It’s as if they once were blind but now they see. But if they were blind, it was a willful blindness. Remember the classic statement from Nancy Pelosi—Speaker of the House at the time—informing us that we have to pass this law in order to find out what’s in it? In what universe does a congressman vote for a law first, then figure out what’s in it? Only in Nancy Pelosi’s alternate universe. And all those promises were no more than fantasy.

DC World

Democrats, my first admonition is to you: you put yourselves in this fix by your willingness to line up unquestioningly behind your leader, giving him your trust without taking responsibility for your own vote. You are fully to blame for what you are now experiencing. The only reason, it seems, that you now are frantically running here and there to find a fix is your fear of losing your seat of power. Well, frankly, you deserve to lose. No one who has done what you did should ever be entrusted again with the authority to pass laws for the rest of us.

What should you now do? Come to the realization that this entire thing called Obamacare needs to be scrapped. Your fearless leader came out yesterday and made a pronouncement from on high that he would deign to allow people to keep their plans for one more year. If you go along with this, you are making it pretty clear that your only priority is to put this off long enough to win reelection. If that’s all that matters to you, I pray you will lose, and lose big time.

Your obligation now is to make this right. Sign on to Republican efforts to overturn this destructive law. Laws, by the way, can be overturned, in case you didn’t know it. Don’t listen to Pelosi and Harry Reid say “settled” law is sacred. Slavery was once settled law. It’s time for you to set the captives free again.

Now, for you Republicans. First, congratulations that you have a solid record in opposition to Obamacare. Not one of you voted for it to become law when it sneaked through three years ago. But here is your real test. Will you now avoid the temptation to “fix” something that cannot be fixed? Will you put an ineffective bandaid on this cancer or will you root it out completely? Only the second option will work.

Another important point you Republicans need to make is that no president, regardless of political party, has the authority to simply declare a change in a law. Only totalitarian dictators can do that. We live in a constitutional republic where the rule of law must prevail. Make a strong case before the public that Obama has stepped so far out of bounds with his latest pronouncement that he has taken on the air of a dictator. Convince the citizens that this must be stopped at all costs. The very future of our form of government is at stake.

Prayer for NationFinally, for those of you who claim the name of Christ, now is the time to pray. That’s not just some pious platitude. I’m beginning to hope that the reason we are seeing this Obamacare monster blow up/disintegrate before our eyes may be the result of the fervent prayers of many. Those pleas to the God of heaven must continue, coupled with humility and a sense of our own culpability for ever permitting this nation to fall to this low ebb spiritually and morally. For some, the following Scripture may have become a cliché, but it’s worth repeating:

If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Lord, as a people, we lack humility. Wicked ways permeate our society. Yet Your promises of forgiveness and healing remain. Please forgive us and start the healing we so urgently need.

Immigration Reform Again?

President Obama has given notice that his next priority is to return to immigration reform. Not sure the Congress will agree with that priority, but he’s going to push for it. There’s no question something needs to be reformed, even if it’s just enforcing the laws already in place, but conservatives are wary of the Senate-passed bill that they say is nothing more than amnesty. While it gives lip service to securing the border first, it doesn’t really accomplish that. They foresee greater problems unless the border is secured before we even consider anything else:

Secure the Border

I believe that concern is legitimate. Another concern is the path to citizenship that will allow those who broke the law to get here to be voters eventually. Some argue that Hispanics, in particular, will be more conservative in their voting habits, but I don’t think that’s a cogent analysis. They’re going to be far more apt to vote for the party that promises everything while requiring little:

Electing Democrats

Meanwhile, the media and the Democrats will paint those who want to be more cautious and who believe in the rule of law as hard-hearted, mean-spirited, narrow-minded [have I captured the most prominent of the clichés?] bigots/racists. It’s all part of the strategy for “winning” the politics of the situation:

Just a Bigot

It would be nice for any upcoming debate to be focused on the merits of the proposed policy rather than ad hominem attacks on the personal character of those who oppose the comprehensive package being promoted. It would also be highly unlikely. The attack dogs are just waiting to be loosed, and the media will play their game.

Pray for common sense to prevail, which would include upholding the rule of law.

Ted Cruz & His Detractors

Ted CruzThe lines are drawn, and they aren’t strictly Republican vs. Democrat, at least not when it comes to tactics. While most Republicans want to get rid of Obamacare, they disagree on how to do so. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has become the leader of the “defund Obamacare now” approach. He has been criticized for this because Republicans control only the House, and that this tactic will not succeed. Further, all it can do, the critics say, is lead to a government shutdown for which Republicans will be blamed.

I have been one of those critics, not because I disapprove of measures to get rid of Obamacare—it has to go—but because I want to be sure such measures don’t make things worse politically for Republicans. The problem is the uninformed, ignorant public that will follow the lead of the media and unscrupulous Democrats in casting aspersions on those seek to overturn this disastrous law.

House Republicans took the step of passing a continuing resolution to fund all government operations except Obamacare. That’s hardly a shutdown of the government. But will the public understand that? If the Senate refuses to go along with that bill—and it most assuredly will not due to Democrat control of that chamber—how can the Republicans be blamed for any so-called shutdown? Wouldn’t this simply be an impasse with both sides having a different idea on just exactly what should be funded?

By the way, it’s misleading to even use the term “shutdown.” The government will go on operating. All essential services will be offered, despite the dire threats emanating from the Capitol and the White House. The scenario being painted is somewhat phony.

I wish the general public would pay more attention to the tone of the two parties. Republicans are focusing on the real issues, whereby individuals and families are being removed from their current healthcare insurance or are being informed that premiums are rising astronomically due to the Obamacare requirements. One family’s story, told on Fox last evening, showed a spike in monthly premiums from about $330 to nearly $1000. Companies are either dropping coverage or reducing the hours of their employees to part-time. Forcing people into the ephemeral exchanges will also force them into higher healthcare costs than they have currently.

REIDYet what do we hear from Democrats like Harry Reid, Majority Leader in the Senate? He accuses Ted Cruz and others of being “anarchists.” Let’s define that term. An anarchist is someone who wants to throw off all government. Anarchists seek to get rid of all restraint on personal actions so they can do whatever they wish, even if to the detriment of all others. Is that really what Cruz and his allies are bent on doing? Or are they merely trying to reverse a devastating law that will help sink the entire economy?

As Obamacare goes, so goes the American economy, since it affects directly about 1/6 of that economy. But that’s only the direct effect. The indirect damage is incalculable.

Treading Water

Yet President Obama acts like this is some kind of civil war brought on by Republicans:

Civil War

He’s always ready to negotiate with foreign leaders over anything, but when it comes to working with Republicans, his attitude is rather different:

No Negotiating

While I haven’t been won over to the defund tactic, my heart certainly is sympathetic to the aims of that tactic. And I’m more disturbed by the potshots being taken at Cruz and others by erstwhile Republicans. When Cruz appeared on Fox News Sunday this past week, the host, Chris Wallace, let it be known that he received damaging background info on Cruz, not from Democrats, but from fellow Republicans. That’s outrageous. Even if you disagree with a tactic, you don’t try to destroy someone who is working to achieve the same goal you say you are also seeking.

Listening to Cruz, I don’t see a fanatical firebrand who doesn’t understand consequences. What I see is a leader who is hoping to ignite the troops in the general populace. He wants to alert them to the dangers and get them to inundate their representatives with their concerns, thereby forestalling the unfortunate future that awaits us under Obamacare. He’s principled. Unlike the supposed leaders of his party, he’s actually demonstrating leadership. While I’m still unsure as to whether this was the best tactic to achieve the overall goal, I do admire him for putting himself on the line on an issue that others are apparently too timid to tackle.

Battling Ignorance & Foolishness

The gun-control debate is not going to end, although I have trouble believing Congress will do anything drastic. There are simply too many Democrats who are hesitant to go with the flow of the emotional appeal on this subject. The emotional argument is all gun-control advocates have on their side; the statistics and the Constitution stand firmly opposed to the emotional approach. Considering what Congress accomplished with healthcare, I’m relieved by its reluctance to step into uncharted territory this time:

They also have to listen to their constituents, and most Americans recognize the importance of self-defense, even if they are generally ignorant of constitutional guarantees. Still, one never knows if ignorance and foolishness will once again prevail:

Even President Obama seems to be feeling some heat on this one. In an attempt to sound like a regular guy, he commented that he goes shooting “all the time.” We then discovered that meant he has done some skeet shooting at Camp David. One source, though, indicates he was rather uncomfortable doing it and didn’t stay more than five minutes. So we have no knowledge of how good a shot he may be. However, given the appropriate target, I’m sure his accuracy would be excellent:

Battling ignorance and foolishness can be a full-time job. We’ll need to stay on top of this fight for at least another four years.

Concerns–Weather & Otherwise

President Obama addressed the admiring throng last night at the 20,000-seat indoor arena in Charlotte rather than the Bank of America stadium [the name of which was never to be mentioned because it smacked too much of the one-percenters]. That stadium would have held more than 70,000, which is slightly less than the outdoor venue four years ago in Denver when he walked out onto the stage decorated with Greek columns. Now that I think of it, a Greek motif kind of fits this administration, considering what has happened to Greece in the past few years and that path we’re on to emulate that bankrupt nation.

Here’s a view of what was supposed to have been the scene of the coronation:

The official explanation for the last-minute change of plans was concern for the weather. I’m writing this at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, about the time the president is supposed to speak. According to the Weather Channel online, there is currently a 10% chance of rain in Charlotte. One meteorologist in the Charlotte area expressed his puzzlement about the weather concerns; he didn’t see any real threat to the outdoor event. I wonder if there could be a deeper reason for the switch? What do you think?

There just isn’t the same magic in the air this year. It might have something to do with all the high expectations being dashed by reality. Perhaps a $16 trillion-dollar deficit is throwing a wet blanket over the masses. Or could it be the 40+ months of unemployment over 8%? What about the real unemployment rate of over 15% when you take into consideration those who have given up looking for a job and those who are trying to scrape by on part-time work? Maybe that’s having a dampening effect—an appropriate term given the weather concerns. Then there’s the price of gasoline now standing at double what it was when Obama took office. That can give people pause. And what about the median income falling from $54,000 to $50,000 during his tenure? Things like that can get one’s attention. People actually might be thinking, “Do we really want another four years of this?”

Regardless of what the president may claim in his acceptance speech, his approach has been an unremitting failure. He had a line in the speech that bowed to the idea that not all problems can be solved by a government program. It’s always good to have a couple of those throw-away lines—you know, the ones you have to say to prove you are balanced, regardless of how you actually have governed. Anyone listening to the speeches at this convention can’t help but come away with a few basic themes: there is a war on women, so we must press our “right” to abortion on demand; equality requires same-sex marriage; we all belong to the government.

Here’s a suggestion for making it easier to grow our government:

Now, wouldn’t that be much simpler?

President Obama declares that this election presents a clear choice between two futures. I couldn’t agree more. But if we follow his lead, our future will be shorter, nastier, and darker. Yes, Mr. President, we do have a clear choice. I only pray the voters will understand precisely what perils await if we choose your path.

The New Reality & Hypocrisy Unmasked

Yesterday, I attempted to ward off the collective amnesia much of the nation is experiencing with respect to the “glories” of the Clinton years. I thought it was appropriate timing since he is being showcased at the Democratic National Convention. I neglected, in my litany of Clinton’s policies, to mention his support for the Community Reinvestment Act, which strong-armed the lending institutions into giving home loans to almost anyone without worrying about their ability to make the payments. That act was the basis for the bursting of the housing bubble at the end of Bush’s second term. While Bush himself was seeking more caution in making those loans, Democrats in the Congress fought for the unfettered loan access. This was a major ingredient in the economic downturn that gave rise to the election of a man who promised hope and change.

Thank you, Bill Clinton.

Yes, Obama inherited a bad situation. Four years later, though, his policies have enshrined the economic downturn into a “new reality.” He seems intent upon making the bad situation permanent. At the convention, his supporters are reduced to chanting his name and promising that the turnaround can only occur if he has another four years at the helm:

Yeh, just think.

He has a lot of celebrity backing. Now that’s really impressive.

And there’s one subject that is forbidden to mention at this convention:

If you do mention it, you can be sure of the response:

The late-breaking convention news yesterday is that a hurried change was made in the party’s platform. The one that came from the committee had made some changes to platforms in earlier years by omitting any mention of God and not including a statement of support for Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. They received a lot of blowback on those changes. Sensing the ill political wind in the offing, they reverted back to previous language and included both. The walkback on these was so obviously political, it’s rather humorous.

Frankly, I prefer that the platform leave out God and Jerusalem, since we know that’s what they intended to do, and that their inclusion now is pure hypocrisy. Besides, does God really want to be part of a platform that makes abortion on demand and same-sex marriage cornerstones of the party’s beliefs? The Lord I know weeps over the abortion carnage we’ve engendered, and He’s never endorsed moral degeneracy.

Bill Clinton & the Collective Amnesia

Bill Clinton is going to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention. The leaders of the party have concluded that he is the man to inspire the minions. They believe he is popular enough in the country at large to draw significant numbers to their side. If that last assumption is true, we are a country that is suffering collective amnesia. Somehow we have forgotten this man’s arrogance, his attempt to radicalize policy (until he realized it wasn’t working), and his moral degeneracy that brought the presidency to a new low. The Clinton years, in the haze of our lack of historical scrutiny, now seem to be a time of peace and prosperity. A wave of nostalgia appears to have overtaken the reality of those years. It’s time for a reminder.

First, the only reason he won the highest office in the land was because of Ross Perot, who, as a third-party candidate in 1992, siphoned off 19% of the popular vote—most agree that the overwhelming percentage of his vote would have gone to the reelection of the first President Bush. Perot’s strength allowed Clinton to take the prize with only 43% of the overall vote.

Second, he ran as a flaming moderate, hiding well his true agenda. Many who voted for him believed they were getting a president who would ensure basic cultural values. They soon discovered they had been duped. On policy, he immediately reversed his moderate image with the following actions:

  • He attempted to repeal the ban on homosexuals in the military. This shocked most people at the time; the military itself protested and he had to settle for a compromised “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. This attempt to normalize homosexuality set the stage for Obama two decades later.
  • He tasked Hillary with overhauling the healthcare system in the nation. She set up a secret committee that unleashed upon the populace a massive government bureaucracy that threatened to stifle the private medical establishment. Again, he was rebuffed, and the plan was scrapped. However, this also prepared the way for Obamacare. Clinton dreamed the dream; Obama forced it into reality.
  • In the campaign, he said he would give the middle class a tax break. Two weeks into his first term, he “sadly” announced that even though he had never worked harder for anything in his life, it wasn’t going to happen. The financial mess he inherited was just too great. No tax break would occur; in fact, he pushed through a tax increase.

Actions like these led to this political cartoon:

Then, of course, there were the scandals and investigations that began in the first term and never let up throughout his presidency:

  • Whitewater—a land deal in Arkansas that bilked a lot of investors; a governor of Arkansas and others went to prison for their roles, but the Clintons escaped. Certain documents needed by the investigators mysteriously disappeared and then were just as mysteriously “discovered” after sufficient time had elapsed to “cleanse” them of any indication of Clintonian involvement.
  • The death of Vincent Foster, the personal lawyer for the Clintons. This was ruled a suicide. I’m not a conspiracy theorist by trade, but I’ve never understood how a man who committed suicide could be found lying flat on his back with both arms down at his side and the gun still in one hand. An amazingly neat trick.
  • The firing of the White House Travel Office staff and the prosecution of the head man on the staff. They brought in their Arkansas cronies to fill the spots. When the trial of the head man was over, the evidence of wrongdoing against him was so flimsy, the jury acquitted him with almost no discussion.
  • The presence of raw FBI files in the White House, contrary to the law. Strangely, all the files were on Republicans, and ripe for being used to carry out smear campaigns against them. The man whose job it was to rummage through these files was hired by Hillary.
  • Then there was the tackiness of using the Lincoln bedroom in the White House as a bed and breakfast for donors. All it cost them was $50,000, and they could spend a night in that famed room.
  • And of course the myriad tales of Bill Clinton’s sexual dalliances, which led to the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit and the revelations concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. When the special prosecutor, Ken Starr, took his job seriously, he, not Bill Clinton, was the subject of ridicule and innuendo from the national press. He was made into the “heavy” in the court of public opinion.

To top it all off, his actions, particularly perjury and obstruction of justice, led to his impeachment by the House and a trial in the Senate for removal from office. Those were brave House Managers who pled the case for his removal, having to weather the disdain of the media and public opinion polls that showed 2/3 of the people didn’t want him forced out. In the Senate, not even one Democrat could bring himself or herself to vote in favor of removal, even though his own VP, Al Gore, would have taken over. And what was Clinton’s attitude during the hearings and trial?

Was there prosperity during the Clinton years? Yes, but keep in mind the voters threw out Democrat control of Congress in the 1994 elections and Republicans ruled both the House and Senate for the first time in forty years. The one signature piece of legislation from the Clinton years, the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, was a Republican measure—vetoed twice by Clinton until he signed it just prior to the 1996 election when he could take credit for it. It’s that very act that President Obama has moved to gut by liberalizing the work requirements to the point of silliness.

This is the man the Democrats have chosen to lead the charge this year. It’s time to rip away the fog of forgetfulness and come to grips with the folly and embarrassment of those years. I’m not nostalgic for Bill Clinton. Not one little bit.