Things have been so disappointing for people that lean right for so many years now that there’s a general tendency toward hopelessness and cynicism when it comes to believing that anyone on the Hill represents their interests. After all, it’s tough to battle brute accusations of racism and obstruction with reasoned arguments concerning economic struggles and the inefficiencies of wealth transfer.
At some point, people just get angry and lose faith. But take heart conservatives and libertarians: there are people within the district and around the country working on your behalf:
A federal judge in the District of Columbia will hear oral arguments on Tuesday in one of several cases brought by states including Indiana and Oklahoma, along with business owners and individual consumers, who say that the law does not grant the Internal Revenue Service authority to provide tax credits or subsidies to people who buy insurance through the federal exchange.
…The subsidy lawsuits grow out of three years of work by conservative and libertarian theorists at Washington-based research organizations like the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The cases are part of a continuing, multifaceted legal assault on the Affordable Care Act that began with the Supreme Court challenge to the law and shows no signs of abating.
As arguments over the problems with ObamaCare are raging, there was another discussion occurring on the Hill in the Rayburn Office building. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to explore whether or not Barack Obama has been overstepping his limits during his tenure as president. Not surprisingly, two out of three Constitutional scholars were of the opinion that he certainly has, and not only with his various extensions, waivers, and fund shuffling over his landmark legislation.
Of course, the hearing was split, just as everything else has been - on party lines, with Democrats leaving the room for at least portions of the questioning. That was predictable, and while it could be slightly satisfying to point out the adolescent nature of that behavior, it’s far more important to point out some of the more interesting statements made by the scholars.
Mediaite latched onto the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon, and his contention that this reckless power grab could lead to another revolution. While that might be the extreme, the concept that people may stop paying attention to laws isn’t such a stretch. Lawlessness breeds lawlessness, and when the example is the man that is supposed to be upholding the laws of the land, it is a dangerous situation.
When essential service providers don’t have competitors to worry about, consumers become hopelessly dependent and often frustrated, wondering how much better life could be if they were offered the opportunity to choose.
The service offered by the monopoly also becomes extremely expensive and less efficient. After all, the sole service provider has nothing to worry about. Where are consumers going to get what they need? The monopoly can always afford to be ineffective but it can only continue to be a monopoly while government keeps competitors out of the game.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001 as a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In 2002, the agency was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security. The service that the TSA provides should be a simple yet vital one: operating security screenings at commercial airports in order to avoid the same type of terrible occurrence that devastated the country back in 2001.
But the problem is: TSA hasn’t proven to be any more efficient than private contractors were before the creation of the special bureau. Instead, the U.S. spends about $7.9 billion a year to maintain an agency that is widely known for poor screening performances, mismanagement, security failures and somewhat suspicious investments.
At this point, everyone generally accepts that the President’s purported one-year delay in forcing you to lose your individual health insurance policy (and, more importantly, corralling you into the Obamacare exchange) was political grandstanding amounting to almost no practical benefit. At last check, 19 states had rejected the so-called “fix.” For those that have adopted it, congratulations on delaying the inevitable.
The Obama administration has recently tried to reframe the narrative of this fiasco by focusing on the fact that only 5% of Americans purchase an individual health insurance policy. After all, why concern ourselves over the health plan of 14 or 15 million Americans when their sacrifices will benefit the much grander scope of universal utopia?
In spite of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ promise that the HealthCare.gov website’s relaunch on November 30th would offer a much better experience to users, tech-security experts have claimed that some of the exchange website’s bugs haven’t been properly tackled yet.
According to Reuters, experts who testified before Congress during a hearing by the House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee said that HealthCare.gov still poses threats to the personal data of Americans who sign up.
According to Morgan Wright, one of the tech-security experts that testified before Congress, the risks the website pose to citizens’ financial and Social Security data continue to be limitless. He also pointed out that a memorandum issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services was signed off on a finding that Americans’ personal data would be at risk of falling into the hands of hackers.
Despite the experts’ testimonials, White House Press Secretary stated that consumers can “trust that the information that they are providing is protected by stringent security standards” after the hearing.
A report provided by David Kennedy, a former U.S. Marine Corps cyber-intelligence analyst, highlighted the many issues with the website and that they would require the administration a minimum of seven to 12 months to make sure they are actually fixed.
It’s tough being a smarty-pants, know-it-all, dismissive-of-logic-in-favor-of-groupthink, 25-35 year old true believer in Hope and Change this holiday season. Because that conservative and close-minded family of yours is about to hammer you at the Thanksgiving table over Obamacare, and it’s going to be hard to hear — and we know how difficult hard things are for you to hear.
But chin up little camper! The machine you believe in has some talking points to toss around in response — with your trademark false intellectual snobbery and Kruschev-like, self-righteous table pounding — when grandpa starts in on what a wreck that new healthcare system has turned out to be. And, lucky for you, there’s no thinking required at all. Just memorization and regurgitation. A common core of policy response, if you will. The Huffington Post makes it easier for you by including all those .gifs you like, and using some of your vernacular.
Emily: GOP Governors are largely responsible for the struggling health care rollout in the first place. And Democrats are wimps, so that’s not a surprise to anybody.
A frequent epithet thrown around on the right is “RINO!,” Republican In Name Only, meaning that the target calls themselves a Republican but isn’t ideologically or even tactically dedicated to the party’s platform. The irony is that the such intraparty purity tests distract from the real political target: DINOs, Democrats In Name Only.
Over the last few years, our friends on the left have become increasingly brazen about how little they value actual democracy. They may be called “Democrats”, but their latent fetish for (benevolent?) autocracy and fascism (minus the mass graves…mostly) belies the name. Just last night the President “joked” about eliminating the legislative branch of our government, and on cue his Volk brayed and whinnied at the idea:
Pres addressing DNC fundraiser at San Francisco Jazz Center. Some 400 supporters paying from $500 to $15,000 each.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 25, 2013
Pres Obama said he can’t sign an Executive Order to nullify Congress, though Dem donors applauded the concept that he should.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 25, 2013
The manufactured crisis last week that led to extraordinary, unprecedented change to the filibuster, prompted by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Democrats, is the first step down a road that undermines the nature of the chamber and will, almost certainly, lead to bigger changes.
The Senate was meant to be the more prestigious body of Congress and its members, given six-year terms, were selected to be responsive to state interests in Washington. Members of the House of Representatives, on the other hand, were meant to serve as the voices of the people, subject to re-election every two years.
Contrary to what President Obama said in his statement after the filibuster change, that “if you got a majority of folks who believe in something, then it should be able to pass,” the upper chamber was never meant to serve as a “voice of the people,” nor was meant to rubber stamp majoritarian views or interest.
It was meant, as James Madison once said, “to consist in its proceedings with more coolness, with more system and with more wisdom, than the popular branch.” Passing legislation and approving nominees based on consensus. The filibuster — which has existed as a concept since the chamber was created and in practice since 1837 — was a tool to achieve consensus.
But, over time, the Senate has become more and more like the House, beginning in 1913 with the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment, which mandated direct election of senators by voters in their respective states.
The Founding Fathers were concerned about a legislative branch that was too responsive to the whims of majority views, which could potentially be dangerous to essential liberty. In Federalist 10, Madison warned about the problem of faction.
What happens when businesses aren’t able to provide the service that customers were promised? That’s right: customers get mad.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a report indicating that the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance programs aren’t simply putting an end only to our privacy rights; they are also causing major damage to the economy.
Once revelations surfaced and the public was made aware that the spying programs were collecting phone and Internet data from average Americans, major sectors of the U.S economy started to feel the financial damage caused by the loss of consumer confidence. According to EEF, companies that have been compromised by the revelations regarding the surveillance programs are watching as U.S. trade partners simply distance themselves to avoid any potential problems or even lawsuits in the future.
Vodafone, a major European company, was on its way to becoming a sister company to AT&T, whose desire to purchase the European giant was well documented, until the moment details concerning the NSA’s data-collection programs came to light. According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T could face major issues trying to purchase Vodafone since the company has been under scrutiny for participating in the NSA’s surveillance programs.
A new strategy has emerged from conservative groups over the debt ceiling as they emerge from a fractured fight over the government shutdown. The message to Congress: spend one dollar less than last year.
The coalition of 20 groups, first reported by National Review, has written a letter to lawmakers urging them to take caution in their approach on the debt ceiling and government funding as House and Senate tackling the budget.
“The undersigned public policy organizations are writing to you today about the upcoming debt ceiling debate and our belief that Congress has a moral obligation to pursue additional spending reductions before taking on additional debt,” wrote the organizations in the letter to members of Congress.
“Specifically, we propose the following: If Washington wants to take on more debt, isn’t it fair that they at least be forced to spend One Dollar Less next year than they’re spending this year?” the letter continued. “Most families are reducing their budgets by far more than one dollar, shouldn’t Washington at least do this much? The American people certainly think so.”
Signers to the letter include Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Andrew Moylan of the R Street Institute, Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Phil Kerpen of American Commitment.