Red State: Obama’s better than Rand Paul on security


Not content to let Rand Paul have his minor, temporary Patriot Act sunset victory, conservative blogger and video auteur Ben Howe took to Red State just minutes before the expiration of the act’s surveillance powers to proclaim the Kentucky senator and presidential candidate worse than Obama on national security.

As far as I’m concerned, Rand Paul’s view of ISIS and our role in “creating” them is pretty much a deal breaker. It shows such an uninformed and naive view of radical Islam that it makes me expect President Paul to be as dangerous as a President Obama in this regard. In fact I’ve reached the point where I question whether Obama might actually keep us safer than Rand Paul would.

Howe joins a crescendoing chorus of Republicans who might have a hard decision to make come November 2016 if Rand Paul is indeed the party’s nominee. I predicted this intra-party schism almost two years ago, but I’m stunned by the accelerated timeline. I expected Republicans hawks to flip to Hillary if Rand was the nominee. I didn’t expect them to all but do so 8 months before any primary votes are cast.

Whether or not you think it’s outrageous for Rand to have said “hawks in our party” “created” ISIS, let’s review the evidence. (Because that’s what thinking people do. We don’t just hear something that sounds outrageous, gasp, and shun the speaker.)

ObamaCare will cost Delta Air Lines $100 million

Delta Air Lines sent a letter to the Obama Administration in June warning them that the mandates and taxes in ObamaCare will cost the company $100 million.

The letter, which was made available via Erick Erickson at RedState, followed a meeting between Robert Knight, a Delta executive, and an Obama Administration official at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, where the airline is based. In the letter, Knight breaks down the various provisions of the law and associated costs that ObamaCare will impose on the airline and what it could mean for employees.

“The [Affordable Care Act] requires large employers to pay an annual fee of $63 per covered participant in 2014,” wrote Knight to the unnamed Obama Administration official with whom he met. “For Delta’s roughly 160,000 enrolled active and retired employees and their family members, this represents more than $10 million added to the cost of providing health care next year.”

Knight noted that the fee, which is essentially a tax, provides no benefit to Delta’s workers and is “a direct subsidy” from the company and its employees “to those who participate in [ObamaCare’s state] exchanges.” He also explained that the requirement to cover children until they’re 26 years-old and the individual mandate will cost the company a total of $28 million.

Erick Erickson nails the current state of conservatism

Erick Erickson

It’s been obvious to many that modern conservatism has, to a large degree, become bereft of ideas and more about cultural issues, and opposing Barack Obama more out of personal dislike than principled opposition.  On the right you’ll hear a lot of shouting and yelling, but almost no one is making a reasoned, optimistic pitch for why conservative ideas are better for actual people.  It’s become all about firing up the base, which has been shrinking for years to the point where it is no longer enough to win elections.

But it’s one thing for a libertarian like me to say it.  It’s another for Erick Erickson at the major conservative blog Red State to say it.  I disagree with Erick most of the time, but he has just about nailed exactly what the current state of the Right is:

What I am finding is that among conservatives there is too much outrage, piss, and vinegar. It makes our ideas less effective. We have become humorless, angry opponents of the President instead of happy warriors selling better ideas. We are not even selling ideas.

Conservatives, frankly, have become purveyors of outrage instead of preachers for a cause. Instead of showing how increasing government harms people, how free markets help people, and how conservative policies benefit all Americans, we scream “Benghazi” and “Fast & Furious.”

Exactly.  We see this all over the place.  Obama is not simply just someone to disagree with, but someone to hate, to view as a literal traitor and evil person.  Surely the left was guilty of this to some extent in the Bush years, but never to this degree.  Frankly, the right has become exceedingly boring, and most of the country agrees.

Bayh’s Retirement Not Hurting Democrats As Much As Most Think It Will

After absorbing the news from every outlet on earth yesterday, even our own editor’s take, on the “surprise” retirement of Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh, I have to say that analysts are not considering all the “good” that can come from his retirement from the U.S. Senate.  It seems that everyone predicts a Republican to pick up his seat in November.  Lately, I have been among the few to see some things that ebb against the accepted flow in analyzing races and situations.  This is another such ebb.

I think the reason that Bayh waited until Presidents’ Day to announce his retirement was to prevent someone relatively unknown, like Tamyra d’Ippolito, from garnering the nomination without a primary election AND without their seal of approval by collecting the requisite signatures necessary to get on the primary ballot.  The Democrats have an opportunity to select a candidate, since it seems that d’Ippolito did not achieve the 4500 signatures necessary to get on the ballot.  If she had, that is the WORST CASE SCENARIO for Democrats.  By waiting, Bayh almost assured that the state Democrat Party could spend time vetting, choosing and fundraising for someone “moderate” enough to win the state, but “progressive” enough to fully support the agenda of the party for the next six years.  While d’Ippolito likely fills out the latter, there is no chance she can accommodate the former.

AL-06: Dr. Chad Mathis makes Obamacare the focal point of campaign

Chad Mathis: Fight Obamacare

In a crowded Republican field, Chad Mathis is setting himself apart from other candidates running in Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District (AL-06), a seat left open by the retirement of Rep. Spencer Baucus (R-AL).

Like most Republican candidates, Mathis has made repealing Obamacare a main focus of his campaign. But what sets him apart from pack is that he is a surgeon and small business owner who believes that Obamacare “will smother the last flame of economic freedom from America.”

In a new web ad from his campaign, Mathis announced the endorsements of 53 doctors and called Obamacare the “issue of our generation.”

“Barack Obama lied to us. He told us that we could keep our doctors, keep our healthcare plan, they wouldn’t pay for abortions, and our premiums would go down,” says Mathis in the web ad. “Obamacare is a wedge between the physician and the patient, and it will destroy the physician-patient relationship.”

Mathis announced endorses for his campaign the Alabama Orthopedic Society, he Alabama State Society of Anesthesiologists, and other physicians from around the state. He also touted endorsements from Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Phil Roe (R-TN), both of whom are doctors.

“The law is about giving power to the secretary of Health and Human Services and to expand the government. It is not about access to healthcare,” said Mathis. “Obamacare is the issue of our generation.”

“For our children and our grandchildren, I will continue my fight to repeal and replace Obamacare,” he added.

Paul Ryan urges Obama to discuss entitlements in op-ed, doesn’t mention ObamaCare

One of the most notable absences from the debate over funding the federal government has been Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee and House Budget Committee Chairman.

Aside from participating in a photo op last week with other House conferees ready to negotiate with their missing Senate counterparts, Ryan has been relatively quiet as of late, which is peculiar since he is one of the most prominent Republicans in Congress and the architect of two House-passed budget plans.

But Ryan spoke out about the budget stalemate yesterday in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and urged President Barack Obama to talk with Republicans, who he said are ready to negotiate, and also noted precedent for such discussions in a divided government. The Wisconsin Republican also talked up the idea of reforming entitlements, which are the drivers of federal spending.

“The president is giving Congress the silent treatment. He’s refusing to talk, even though the federal government is about to hit the debt ceiling,” wrote Ryan in an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal. “That’s a shame—because this doesn’t have to be another crisis. It could be a breakthrough.”

Ryan noted that President Obama is misleading the public he says that negotiations on the debt ceiling would be “unprecedented,” pointing to agreements forged under Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He also pointed out that President Obama himself has negotiated on the debt ceiling in the past, citing the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was passed with bipartisan support and backed by the White House.

GOP leaders backing Obama on Syria to gain political leverage

Eric Cantor and John Boehner

Despite initially expressing skepticism, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced on Tuesday that they would back President Barack Obama’s planned military intervention in Syria when it comes up for a vote.

The logic in the decision is hard to understand, especially since their is tepid support at best for intervention inside the House Republican Conference. But now we know why Boehner and Cantor are on board. They want leverage on the Continuing Resolution and debt ceiling battles looming on the horizon, as RedState reported yesterday.

“Was just told by a K Streeter [with] ties to Boehner that Boehner views war approval as giving GOP leverage in CR/debt limit negotiations,” tweeted Sean Davis, a former advisor to Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).

“According to this K Streeter, Boehner thinks Obama will have less ability to attack House GOP for obstruction post-war approval,” he added. “Basically: We’ll scratch Obama’s back on this and we’ll expect Obama to do the same for us in the coming weeks/months.”

Senate to Push Online Sales Tax This Week

online retailer

Not only will the budget being pushed by Senate Democrats raise taxes by nearly $1 trillion, they want to make it easier for states to go after tax dollars from online sales.

The budget proposed is in the Senate is bad enough. As noted, it’ll raise taxes by $1 trillion, it doesn’t balance the budget or set a path to pay down the national debt, and many of the savings in the proposal are double-counted. How could they possibly make it worse? By adding the Marketplace Fairness Act, which will apparently be presented as an amendment to the budget as early as this week.

While the bill has nice name, it’s protectionist in nature. It’s being pushed by traditional, brick-and-mortar retailers who have seen their business slide due to the popularity and convenience of online retailers. Many governors — including some Republicans — also like it because it would give them a new revenue stream.

RedState opposes Boehner’s “Plan B”

Erick Erickson

We’ve already noted that some conservative organizations — including Americans for Tax Reform — are supporting Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B,” which includes tax rate hikes on those earning more than $1 million. However, Erick Erickson, editor of the influential conservative blog,, announced his opposition to the plan just moments ago:

Republicans in Congress intend to vote today on Plan B, John Boehner’s fall back plan on the fiscal cliff.

The President says he will veto it.

In other words, the Republicans are going to go on record that they will sell out their last remaining principle — no tax increases — and get nothing from the Democrats in return. Nothing.

There’ll be no Democrat deal on entitlements. There’ll be no Democrat deal on spending. There will only be the GOP’s sell out.

Click here to call your congressman. Tell him to oppose this Republican deal.

Erickson isn’t alone in his opposition to Boehner’s “Plan B” as the Heritage Foundation, which is headed by former Sen. Jim DeMint, and the Club for Growth isare also opposing the plan.

Jim DeMint leaves the Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation

Jim DeMint

There is a lot of hullabaloo today in the conservative movement. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), perhaps the most conservative member of the Senate, has resigned his seat this morning to succeed Ed Fuelner as President of the Heritage Foundation, the leading conservative think tank:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has resigned from the Senate to take over the conservative Heritage Foundation.

DeMint’s decision to leave the Senate after only eight years shocked Washington. DeMint had been seen as a future Senate leader for his party and was already a leader to a growing number of conservatives in the House and Senate.

“It’s been an honor to serve the people of South Carolina in the United States Senate for the past eight years, but now it’s time for me to pass the torch to someone else and take on a new role in the fight for America’s future,” DeMint said in a statement explaining his resignation.

“I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight. I’ve decided to join the Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.”

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