Following up on a move by the Virginia Senate last month, today the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would make it illegal to force any resident of the Commonwealth to purchase health insurance:
RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s General Assembly is the first in the nation to approve legislation that bucks any attempt by President Barack Obama and Congress to implement the national health care overhaul in states like Virginia.
Without debate, the House of Delegates voted 80-17 Wednesday to accept Senate amendments to a bill that supporters say preserves Virginia’s prerogatives as a state.
Thirty-four other legislatures have filed or proposed similar measures rejecting health insurance mandates.
But Virginia’s legislature, scheduled to adjourn Saturday, is the first to finish work on a bill. The measure goes to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, who plans to sign it.
While I still have doubts about the Constitutionality of a law like this given the Supremacy Clause, it is nonetheless a fairly powerful indication of the voter disdain for a plan that, inexplicably, the Democrats continue to try to push through Congress.
Over the past few weeks I have had quite a few conversations with Conservatives which have led to a debate about interventionist versus non-interventionist foreign policy. It usually starts with them attacking Ron Paul for one reason or another (check out this article on Midwest Spin for an example). After I respond and question their criticism, it usually ends up being their disagreement with his foreign policy.
Foreign policy can be a very complex topic. I think that non-interventionists, for the most part, know why they support that policy much better than your typical interventionist. Many interventionists do not even understand the difference between non-intervention and isolationist.
If you support non-intervention you either have found yourself in a debate and had to defend non-intervention, or you will find yourself in one sometime in the near future. I have found there are a few things to keep in mind when you are in these debates:
1) Be ready to explain the difference between non-interventionism and isolationism. Isolationism is the foreign policy of North Korea. Non-intervention involves open dialogue, free trade, and minding your own business overseas. Two vastly different approaches. Just because you don’t support having a global military empire does not mean you are an isolationist.
2) Know some facts and figures. The United States has over 700 permanent military bases spread out across over 100 nations. Roughly 20% of the federal budget is military expenditures. There are facts and figures that give proof that 1) our military expenditures are financially unsustainable and 2) we most certainly have a foreign policy of intervention and global imperialism.
The latest on ObamaCare: Republicans ready for war in the Senate, pro-life Dems say no deal in place
Given all the news surrounding the future of ObamaCare, it’s hard to tell what exactly is going on. On one hand, Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has the votes and could pass the bill today if she really wanted to. On the other hand Rep. Bart Stupak, who is holding out over abortion language in the Senate verison of the bill, told the Weekly Standard that there is no deal with Democratic leadership and that he has 12 colleagues that orginally voted for the bill ready to vote against it this time around.
It also appears that Senate Republicans are prepared to force parliamentary points of order on reconciliation, which would keep non-budget related items out of the proposed fix (known as the Byrd Rule) provide the Senate parliamentarian agrees. This would include abortion language that pro-life Democrats are holding out for.
Assuming the parliamentarian rules against Democrats and Vice President Joe Biden attempts to overrule, Republicans claim they have the 51 votes necessary to sustain the point of order. Democrats could attempt to waive the Byrd Rule, but that requires 60 votes.
Mitt Romney is still parading the health care reform bill passed in Massachusetts when he was Governor as “the ultimate conservative plan”:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney insisted on Sunday that the health care reform plan he implemented in Massachusetts had no similarity to the one President Obama is championing, in part because Romney’s was state-based and Obama’s is a national overhaul.
Romney refused to acknowledge that his plan was similar to Obama’s. Though, as host Chris Wallace point out, on many key measures — an individual and employer mandate, subsidies for those who would have trouble buying insurance, and minimum standards for coverage — the two plans converged. The likely 2012 presidential candidate pointed out that the president’s plan included cuts to Medicare and additional taxes. But both of those measures are designed, in part, to provide funds to keep per capita spending down — something that the Massachusetts plan failed to do. Finally, Romney touted the fact that his plan included “no controls over insurance premiums, price controls,” which provides some explanation for why premiums in the Bay State are the highest in the nation.
The individual mandate is diametrically against what free-market conservatives believe in than I think he is in the wrong party.
It appears that Senate Democrats are planning to move forward on eliminating or reducing the number of votes required for a filibuster:
Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is planning a series of hearings on changes to the chamber’s filibuster rules in response to Democratic concerns over GOP obstruction.
Schumer will announce the hearings during a meeting between Democratic leaders and the Conference’s 22 freshman and sophomore Members on Wednesday, according to a Senate Democratic aide.
Schumer decided to hold the hearings after witnessing increasing frustration from his colleagues over GOP filibusters of their agenda this Congress. “Tom Udall and [Sen.] Carl Levin [D-Mich.] have discussed with Schumer a desire to hold hearings on the various filibuster reform proposals that have been introduced by Democratic Members,” an aide acknowledged.
Despite the hearings, Democrats would have a tough time enacting changes to the chamber’s rules as they would require a supermajority vote.
They don’t like the rules that have been traditionally used in the chamber, so they want to change them. The point that many Democrats are missing is that making law is supposed to be a hard, difficult process.The Founding Fathers placed checks and balances, one of which was allowing states to appoint Senators. Unfortunately, that was removed with the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment.
It’s often said by critics of Barack Obama that the president seeks to turn the United States into Europe. In Europe, everyone is taken care off from cradle to grave with welfare, leaving no incentive to have children, work or do much of anything necessary to keep their society on a productive self-replicating path.
There are partial truths there, but there’s also another phenomenon. Europe, and most of the Anglosphere aside from the United States, have been drifting rightward after years of socialism. The Conservative Party in the United Kingdom is enjoying high hopes, Canadian Conservative PM Stephen Harper is in his second term and France and Germany now have their most center-right leadership in recent memory.
What have been the fruits of European center right policy? You’d be surprised.
School choice - Just as the Washington D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program has been dismantled by Democrats, Sweden has enjoyed a successful program. From the Washington Times:
No, I don’t make these things up. All children throughout Sweden get education vouchers. It seems that the citadel of socialism can teach our Congress and teachers unions quite a bit about education choice.
Sweden introduced school vouchers throughout the country in 1992 to deal with exactly the same quality problems we face in our public schools.
Under the program, enacted by a center-right coalition government, children can use a voucher to go to either public schools or one of the growing number of private schools.
Private schools include religious schools and even for-profit schools. One of the largest for-profits - Kunskapsskolan (or “Knowledge School”) - runs 32 schools with about 10,000 students ages 12-18.
It looks like another hot button issue will be coming to the forefront of American politics this year as the Senate is planning on tackling immigration. You may recall that President George W. Bush tried to tackle this issue with the Democratic-controlled Congress in 2007. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), was meet with fierce opposition by conservatives and Republicans and ultimately defeated.
Reform that makes it easier for immigrants to come to seek the American Dream, should be welcome. Unfortunately, much of the opposition (though not all) was rooted in xenophobia, nativism and, in some cases, racism. Because of this there was no opportunity to have a substantive debate on the points of the bill, such as provisions of McCain-Kennedy dealing with REAL ID, which was a defacto national ID card approved by Congress in 2005.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Chuck Schumer may be incorporating a biometric national ID card in his proposal:
Under the potentially controversial plan still taking shape in the Senate, all legal U.S. workers, including citizens and immigrants, would be issued an ID card with embedded information, such as fingerprints, to tie the card to the worker.
The ID card plan is one of several steps advocates of an immigration overhaul are taking to address concerns that have defeated similar bills in the past.
Recently, the TEA Party movement celebrated its first anniversary. At first the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party activists were dismissed as a few grumpy right-wingers upset that America elected a black president. They were given little credence beyond being an amusing political side show. That soon changed. On April 15th hundreds of thousands of average Americans showed up at protest rallies across the nation, outraged at the “stimulus” package of goodies doled out to special interests, liberal activism organizations and Democrat pet projects. CNN reported that a few thousand people showed up at the rally in Atlanta, but I was there and can assure you that it was close to ten-fold that amount. It was shoulder-to-shoulder for about four blocks in one direction, not counting the people on the side streets.
Once they could no longer be dismissed as a fringe element, TEA Party activists were labeled as “Astro-turf” (fake grass roots), accused of being flunkies of Big Corporate America, mindlessly doing the bidding of their masters. They were accused of being a fabrication of FOX News and the Republican Party. They were accused of being everything except what they are…average Americans, generally with traditional conservative values, who were fed up over 20 years of Bush-Clinton-Bush politics, two political parties who paid only lip service to the people they claimed to serve while engaging in a bacchanalian orgy of political perks, who had finally been pushed over the edge by a pork-laden spending bill of almost $800 billion. They were saying “Enough is enough!”, and they were going to make their voices be heard.
As the business community and more public polling shows opposition to ObamaCare, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tells us, “[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”
President Barack Obama made a promise to promote transparency by having negotiations broadcast on C-SPAN. Even though C-SPAN encouraged President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress to let people see the process, they failed to follow through. Even if they had made good on the promise, certain aspects of ObamaCare are going to be controverisal, such as the individual and employer mandates and breaking the pledge not to tax the middle class.
You don’t hide the process. That’s how you make sausage, not health care policy.
Charlie Crist is getting desperate. Any candidate who goes to such great lengths to insinuate that his opponent isn’t a fiscal conservative because he gets expensive haircuts must be, oh I dont know…30 points down in the polls?
Yeah, that sounds about right.
Take a shot every time you hear the phrase “back wax.” Double shot when Greta says it. You’ll need it.