With Shutdown, Your Pain is Obama’s Gain

At the time of this writing, there seems to be some movement on the “government “shutdown” (the shutdown in which 83% of government continues to operate), mainly in the form of Republicans regrouping yet again to come up with yet another offer for Obama, every one of which he has thus far rejected, demanding the GOP unilaterally surrender before he will he “talk” with Republicans about issues concerning them, like a monstrous and growing national debt, entitlement spending which pushes America into bankruptcy, and Obamacare, which has been disastrous (to use CBS News’ description) and which is killing jobs and raising health insurance costs drastically.

Why would Republicans continue to negotiate against themselves, when it is Republicans who have fulfilled their constitutional obligations by passing four major appropriations bills and a dozen or so “mini-CR’s” (smaller Continuing Resolutions to fund every operation of government except Obamacare)? That would be because Obama and his media lapdogs continue to spin this as a “Republican” shutdown, regardless of the fact that it is the Democrat-controlled Senate which has refused to vote on these bills, demanding House Republicans pass a single, massive bill to fund ALL of government, including Obamacare.

With Republicans negotiating against themselves so often in trying to find an offer Obama would accept, it might make one wonder why we are still at an impasse, and why Obama still refuses to negotiate with them at all. In order to understand that, you first have to understand that Obama, all the way back to his pot-smoking college days, has been a disciple of leftist radical Saul Alinksy, who wrote the guidebook for other leftist radicals hell bent on destroying the social order.

Don’t Settle for One-Year Individual Mandate Delay

Let’s get one thing straight: Any compromise on the CR that fails to block the ObamaCare exchange subsidies is unacceptable.

On Saturday afternoon, Speaker Boehner and the House Republican leadership issued a joint statement indicating their intent to vote on two amendments to the Senate CR that was denuded of its key provisions to defund ObamaCare:

“The first amendment delays the president’s health care law by one year. And the second permanently repeals ObamaCare’s medical device tax that is sending jobs overseas.”

Early Sunday, the House Republicans followed through on the plan. The key amendment is the first one referred to above, which delays most of ObamaCare’s core 2014 provisions, including the exchange subsidies and individual mandate, for one year.

The amendment is the product of Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).  You can read the full text of the Blackburn Amendment on, and you can view her floor speech offering the amendment on YouTube.

Defund ObamaCare: Showdown at the OK Corral

On March 23, 2010, Barack Obama signed into law his signature legislative achievement, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed by friend and foe alike as “ObamaCare.” In doing so, Obama accomplished what socialist liberals before him, from Hillary Clinton to the Communist Party of America, had been unable to do…enact government-controlled, nationalized health care. It was a glorious moment for the government-is-god crowd, as they had finally attained the means to show the rest of us ignorant hoi polloi just how wonderful health care would be when run by a small, elite group of enlightened bureaucrats and bean-counters.

After waging a fierce battle in the courts, the Supreme Court eventually upheld the law, and specifically the legality of the “individual mandate” (which the Obama administration had alternately argued was a tax, and NOT a tax), with Chief Justice John Roberts discovering his inner emanations and penumbras in deciding that the individual mandate was indeed a tax, and therefore justified under Congress’s Article I taxing power.

Liberal Democrats had their victory, and ObamaCare would go forward as planned, and despite the fact that the law had never enjoyed majority approval by the American people, and despite the fact that it was passed without a single Republican vote (the only major legislation ever to be enacted without bipartisan support), Democrats would now be able to show the American people just how wonderful socialist, nationalized health care could be.

Except something unexpected (for them) and unfortunate (for us all) happened on the way to the victory parade…

Budget deadline approaches, some sequester cuts could be nixed

There is a lot going on surrounding the budget as Congress approaches the December 13 deadline for lead negotiators — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chairs of their respective budget committees — to reach an agreement, per the October deal that ended the government shutdown.

Republicans in Congress are, generally, ready to deal on the budget, one way or another, after the hit in the polls they took in October. But discussions current taking place between Ryan and Murray would undo tens of billions in sequester cuts, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal:

Lawmakers must still overcome significant obstacles, including last-minute pressure from Democrats seeking a renewal of expanded federal unemployment benefits and labor unions opposed to proposed cuts in federal employees’ pensions.

Still, officials close to the talks say that Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), chief negotiators for their parties, are closing in on a deal that, while smaller in scope than past budget deals, would mark a rare moment of bipartisanship in a Congress that has been lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next.

NRCC goes on the offensive, blames Reid for government shutdown

 Reid's Shutdown

The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) has launched a new ad that touts the spending bills that House Republicans have passed to fund parts of the federal government, including Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health, and slammed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for refusing to bring them to the floor for a vote:

Reid refuses to bring any of the piecemeal bills to the floor, demanding that House Republicans pass a so-called “clean” Continuing Resolution (CR). Including the three CRs passed before the government shutdown, the House has now passed 12 different measures that would open all or parts of the federal government.

Sticking to funding levels already approved by Congress isn’t a “compromise”

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid

One of the lines frequently espoused by congressional Democrats as their Republican counterparts hammer them for their refusal to negotiate on the impasse that’s led to the government shutdown is that they’ve already compromised on funding the federal government.

“You know that our Members do not like the $988 billion [Continuing Resolution], most of them have dug in their heels to say they would never support the $988 billion,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said last week of mood in her conference. “But to open government that, in my opinion is a luxury we can’t afford on the side of the Democrats, or the Republicans, so we’re willing to compromise to accept their number.”

“The bill before the House represents a compromise by Democrats – a compromise it was very difficult for my caucus to accept,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) recently said from the floor of the upper chamber. “But now that Democrats have compromised, [House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)] won’t take yes for an answer.”

What these comments are referring to the tax-hike filled budget that the Senate passed back in March. The budget would’ve funded the government at $1.058 trillion, around $91 billion more than the spending levels set by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

This isn’t a compromise, folks.

Government shutdown continues, furloughed workers likely to be paid

If you were hoping the impasse over the Continuing Resolution (CR) and ObamaCare would be solved over the weekend, you no doubt woke up to disappointing news this morning. Today is the seventh day of the government shutdown and it appears that the White House and Congress are no closer to a resolution.

While ObamaCare was the initial focus of House Republicans, they’ve now shifted their strategy to get a deal that would fund the federal government and raise the debt limit, which will be reached in 10 days.

The White House believes that they “are winning,” according to an anonymous source quoted in the Wall Street Journal, and that “[i]t doesn’t really matter” how long the government shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.” Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had harsh words in response to that quote, telling reporters on Friday that “[t]his isn’t some damn game.”

CBS News: Just 18% of the government has actually shutdown

CBS News -- 18% of government is shutdown

Despite all the doom and gloom rhetoric, the “government shutdown” isn’t actually a government shutdown in the true sense of the term as the vast majority of federal spending is exempt from the budget battles raging in Congress.

“So how much of the government is shutting down? We were surprised when our research department came up with this. Turns out 82 percent of spending is exempt from the shutdown; that includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the debt,” noted Scott Pelley of the CBS Evening News. “The part subject to the shutdown is only 18%.”

Obama invites congressional leaders to White House, Boehner talks of a “grand bargain”

Wednesday didn’t bring much in the way of a resolution to the government shutdown. There was, however, some talking between the White House and congressional leaders, the first real discussion since the government shutdown began.

As the second day of the government shutdown began, it seemed that the war of words between all sides would continue. In an op-ed at USA Today yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wrote that President Barack Obama. “For years, the president has said that in a divided government, no one gets 100% of what they want,” he wrote. “But when will his words match his actions?”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) floated the idea of opening negotiations on tax reform, through a conference committee, if House Republicans would pass a so-called “clean” Continuing Resolution (CR) and bring the government shutdown to an end. That idea was quicky dismissed by a spokesman for Boehner.

Word broke in the afternoon that President Obama would host congressional leaders from both parties to the White House to for talks on ending the shutdown, which was the first real discussion since the shutdown began on Tuesday.

While the meeting lasted for 90 minutes, there were no signs that the sides were any closer to an agreement. The Hill reports that the White House now wants to tie the debt ceiling to the CR while Boehner is sticking by his guns, demanding concessions on ObamaCare.

Legendary journalist knocks Obama for refusal to negotiate with Republicans

Bob Woodward spared no side from criticism over the fiscal debates raging in Washington, during an appearance yesterday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Woodward, a Washington Post columnist renowned for his coverage of the Watergate scandal, criticized Republicans for their handling the budget situation and debt ceiling negotiations. But he reserved heavy criticism for President Barack Obama, noting that his failure to strike a deal is ultimately a failure of leadership on his part.

“[T]here is something [President Obama] could be doing. He said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling — a reasonable position. But he should be talking,” Woodward explained to other panelists. “They should be meeting, discussing this, because…the American economy is at stake and the president, if there is a downturn or a collapse or whatever could happen here that’s bad, it’s going to be on his head.”

Drawing from history, Woodward notes that the onus is ultimately on President Obama to make sure that these debates are settled, regardless of House Speaker John Boehner’s role in the situation.

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