Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is interviewed on Fox News and discusses his new immigration book
These are my links for February 28th through March 5th:
- Jeb Bush’s False-Flag Operation – Jeb Bush generated quite a bit of publicity for his new book yesterday by suggesting that amnestied illegal immigrants should not be eligible for citizenship. Instead, he’s suggesting they be given some kind of permanent status that would provide them work cards, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and the right to travel abroad and return, but not allow for eventual naturalization — in effect, a kind of permanent guestworker program or a green-card-lite, rather than an actual green card. This is consistent with suggestions from other pro-amnesty Republicans, including Senator Rubio and a group of House members working up an amnesty deal.Unfortunately, it’s a trick.
- A Market Solution to Immigration Reform – Since the recession formally ended in June 2009, the American economy has been growing at a rate of 2%, about one percentage point below its long-term average. To improve this performance, the U.S. needs more people with skills, vision and a drive to improve themselves—qualities that lead to innovation, business creation, increased employment and higher wages. One quick way to get such people is through immigration. A market approach would do this.We propose that, instead of the current maze of rules and formulas, the U.S. should sell the right to become a citizen. Setting a price of perhaps $50,000 would attract those who place the highest value on citizenship.
- Jeb Bush’s Poorly Timed Flip -Flop on Immigration – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s new book was aimed at nudging a reluctant Republican Party toward reforms that would allow illegal immigrants to live and work without fear of deportation.But by recommending only legal residency and backing off his past support for citizenship, Bush is throwing cold water over a fledgling deal in the Senate, denting his own reputation as a bold policymaker and stoking speculation that he will run for president in 2016.None of those things were supposed to happen.The stunning reversal by one of the Republican Party’s leading champions of immigration reform and Hispanic outreach, at least in part, comes down to a colossal political miscalculation.When Bush and coauthor Clint Bolick were writing the book during the 2012 presidential campaign, the GOP was veering far to the right. Republican nominee Mitt Romney had staked out a hard-line position against illegal immigration, blasting his primary rivals as pro-amnesty and promoting “self-deportation” for undocumented workers. Bush sent the book to the printer before Christmas – weeks before a handful of Senate Republicans embraced a sweeping overhaul that, like the proposals backed by Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush, would allow illegal immigrants to earn citizenship.
In other words, Bush’s party unexpectedly moved a lot faster than the book-publishing world.
- Video: Jeb Bush Promotes Comprehensive Immigration Reform
- Obama job approval tumbles After Sequester Debate – President Obama’s job approval rating took a hit over the weekend, falling to its lowest level in the Gallup three-day average since his reelection.His approval rating was 46 percent between Feb 29 and March 2, down from 53 percent a week earlier.The drop comes after Obama and Congress failed to reach a last-minute deal and automatic sequester cuts kicked in across the government on Friday.His disapproval rating also jumped to its highest level since November, hitting 46 percent over the weekend, up from 40 percent a week earlier.
- Ashley Judd’s War With Kentucky’s Coal Industry Could Doom Candidacy – Comments Ashley Judd made in 2010 comparing the mining practices of Kentucky’s coal industry to rape could sink her much buzzed-about Senate candidacy before it even begins.In a 2010 speech to the National Press Club in Washington, Judd called mountain top removal — the controversial but principal type of surface mining in Appalachia that involves the removal of mountaintops to extract coal — “the state-sanctioned, federal government-supported, coal industry-operated rape of Appalachia.”Coal mines employe more than 19,000 people through
the year in Kentucky according to a report from the state, and the mining directly contributed approximately $4 billion to the state’s economy while accounting for 1 percent of the state’s employment. Kentucky’s economic reliance on coal ranks in the top three in the United States, behind only West Virginia and Wyoming.Judd’s use of rape to define the mining practice wasn’t a slip of the tongue. Later in her speech she doubled down on her remarks.
- Tag-teaming Obama – John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are currently mopping the floor with Barack Obama – Don’t tell the Tea Party, but the tag team of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are currently mopping the floor with Barack Obama.The president convincingly won a second term in November, but since that time, the congressional Republican leadership has outfoxed, outmaneuvered and plain out-strategized him on just about every issue.
- What’s Jeb Bush up to?
- Wait: Jeb Bush now opposes a path to citizenship for illegals? – So his plan is DOA in Congress, but he knows that already. The point here isn’t to float a viable compromise that might make comprehensive reform more salable to the base, it’s to give Bush a way to hit Rubio from the right in the primaries two years from now — which is ironic, because in another segment this morning, Bush told Lauer that Romney got in trouble with Latino voters by tacking a bit too far right on immigration in the debates in 2011. I assume he thinks he’s built up enough cred with Latinos over the years that backing away from a path to citizenship now won’t cost him many votes. We’ll see.
- Jeb Bush pushes back against pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants – Former Florida governor – and potential GOP presidential candidate – Jeb Bush said this week that a pathway to citizenship should not be a component of an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.Bush, a Spanish-speaker who’s wife is Mexican-born, has long-been viewed as one of the more liberal-minded GOP leaders when in comes to immigration policy, warning Republicans for years that they oppose significant reform at their own political peril.
- Official Website for IMMIGRATION WARS by Jeb Bush & Clint Bolick – RT @JebBush Honored to work w/my friend Clint Bolick. #ImmigrationWars hits shelves tomorrow.
- Ow.ly – image uploaded by @JebBush – RT @JebBush Honored to work w/my friend Clint Bolick. #ImmigrationWars hits shelves tomorrow.
- Doctors report first cure of HIV in a child – Doctors report first cure of HIV in a child #tcot
- Exercise, less sitting time, linked to better sleep
| Reuters – Exercise, less sitting time, linked to better sleep #tcot
- Journaling helps woman lose half her body weight – CNN.com – Journaling helps woman lose half her body weight #tcot
- Republican Consultants Plot New Tech-Savvy Infrastructure – After last year’s blowout election, the Republican digital strategist Patrick Ruffini went on a not-so-secret mission to find out how to fix what was wrong with his party. “In less than 12 hours, the #infiltration begins,” he tweeted, the day before the start of RootsCamp, an annual conference for Democratic digital, data and grassroots strategists that is held by a liberal non-profit group called the New Organizing Institute.What he found at the event came as a sort of revelation: A vast liberal brain trust bursting with young talent who had advanced far beyond Republicans in the art and science of using data, analytics and voter outreach. He live-tweeted his observations, and then began meeting with other young strategists in his party, like Katie Harbath, who handles Republican campaign outreach for Facebook, Kristen Soltis Anderson, a pollster at the Winston Group, and Reihan Salam, a political columnist for the National Review.
- Chris Christie will have an uphill battle for the 2016 nomination – Also of note?Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Daniel Henninger , claimed Christie has an “uphill battle” for the 2016 nomination, thanks to his conservative competition.”This is going to be a different group of people that Chris Christie will be competing against, and he’ll be competing as a governor from the liberal Northeast.I think it’s an uphill battle.”Finally, one more thing of note?
Gigot pointed out that New Jersey’s 9.6% unemployment rate was “one of the worst records in the country.”
- Tim Carney: Health industry pushes GOP states toward Obamacare | Mobile Washington Examiner – Health industry pushes GOP states toward Obamacare #tcot
- Health industry pushes GOP states toward Obamacare – Republicans around the country railed against President Obama’s health-care law for four years, but in recent weeks, GOP governors and state legislators have embraced some of the bill’s provisions.
How did Republicans learn to stop worrying and love Obamacare?
In a word: industry.Hospitals, insurers and drug companies have lobbied in state capital after state capital, leaning on Republicans until they agreed to create insurance exchanges or expand Medicaid as Obamacare prescribed.
- Moderate Ex-Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado “seriously” considers run against Jerry Brown | Politics Blog | an SFGate.com blog – Moderate Ex-Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado “seriously” considers run against Jerry Brown
- Allysia Finley: The Reverse-Joads of California – WSJ.com – The Reverse-Joads of California
- Gallup Poll: Asian voters lean Democratic, but are not strongly committed – A new poll found that Asian-Americans lean Democratic, but that they are not strongly committed to either the GOP or the Democratic Party.Fifty-seven percent of Asian-Americans lean Democratic, compared with 28 percent who lean Republican and 13 percent who are independent, according to a Gallup poll released Monday. The remaining are undecided or did not respond.
- Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/03/5229747/cancer-stole-her-voice-but-tv.html#mi_rss=Opinion?utm&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed&u – Untitled (… #tcot
- (500) http://flapsblog.com/2013/03/04/flaps-blog-flap-twitter-daily-digest-for-2013-03-03/ – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-03-03 #tcot
- Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/03/5229747/cancer-stole-her-voice-but-tv.html#mi_rss=Opinion?utm&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) – Untitled (… #tcot
- Untitled (http://www.sacbee.com/2013/03/03/5229747/cancer-stole-her-voice-but-tv.html#mi_rss=Opinion?utm&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) – Untitled (… #tcot
- At state convention, Republicans try to chart a new way forward – latimes.com – At state convention, Republicans try to chart a new way forward
- Calif. GOP seeks answers for turning party around – San Jose Mercury News – California GOP seeks answers for turning party around
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-03-02 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-03-02 #tcot
- CA GOP Convention delegates urge retired congressmen to help party’s finances | CalWatchDog – CA GOP Convention delegates urge retired congressmen to help party’s finances
- Gregory Flap @ Glendale-Hyperion Bridge – Finished the almost 10 miles of hills at Dodger Stadium. Now, some good food at Walt’s studio. [pic]:
- Gregory Flap @ Dodger Stadium – Getting ready for hill training with LA Roadrunners (@ Dodger Stadium w/ 3 others) [pic]:
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-03-01 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-03-01
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-03-01 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-03-01 #tcot
- Joshua Treviño Admits to Shilling for Malaysia – Conservative commentator Joshua Treviño admitted today that he’s spent years doing down-low PR work for the government of Malaysia, and received $389,724.70 for the trouble. Some of that, but not most, was paid to writers who wrote negative pieces about the country’s opposition leader for the likes of the Huffington Post, National Review, and RedState. BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray, in a report on the scam this afternoon, picks up where her boss Ben Smith left off. In 2011, Treviño told Smith, “I was never on any ‘Malaysian entity’s payroll,’ and I resent your assumption that I was,” which he now admits was a lie. But he’s not particularly sorry.
- Covert Malaysian Campaign Touched A Wide Range Of American Media – A range of mainstream American publications printed paid propaganda for the government of Malaysia, much of it focused on the campaign against a pro-democracy figure there.The payments to conservative American opinion writers — whose work appeared in outlets from the Huffington Post and San Francisco Examiner to the Washington Times to National Review and RedState — emerged in a filing this week to the Department of Justice. The filing under the Foreign Agent Registration Act outlines a campaign spanning May 2008 to April 2011 and led by Joshua Trevino, a conservative pundit, who received $389,724.70 under the contract and paid smaller sums to a series of conservative writers.
- Political Cartoons / So, you think Obama is over-hyping this sequestration thing? – So, you think Obama is over-hyping this sequestration thing? via @pinterest
- Twitter / SpaceX: LIFTOFF of Falcon 9 and #Dragon … – Beautiful! RT @SpaceX LIFTOFF of Falcon 9 and #Dragon to the International Space Station
- Twitter / NASA: Liftoff of the @SpaceX Falcon … – RT @NASA: Liftoff of the @SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and #Dragon spacecraft to the #ISS!
- Watch Live: SpaceX’s Dragon Blasts Off to Space Station | Wired Science | Wired.com – RT @wired: Watch Live now: SpaceX’s Dragon Blasts Off to Space Station
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-28 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-28
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-28 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-28 #tcot
- ASICS Support Your Marathoner – I’m running the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon sponsored by ASICS. Cheer me on at via @ASICSamerica
- Club for Growth President Chocola: ‘Sooner or Later, They Won’t Want You to be their Speaker’ – I will be surprised if Boehner survives as Speaker more than through the summer.
These are my news headlines for February 25th through February 26th:
- Kerry defends liberties, says Americans have right to be stupid – Secretary of State John Kerry offered a defense of freedom of speech, religion and thought in the United States on Tuesday telling German students that in America “you have a right to be stupid if you want to be.”
- Rothenberg: Can Obama Put the House In Play in 2014? – It’s far too early to know whether Democrats will have some, or even any, chance to win back the House next year; candidate recruitment has just begun, the number of retirements (and open seats) is uncertain and the president’s popularity more than 20 months from now is an open question. But we do know that history, as The New York Times’ Nate Silver pointed out in a column last November, suggests that Democrats will have a very tough road to 218 seats.Going back to the election of 1862, the only time the president’s party gained as many as 10 seats was, well, never. Even in 1934, the best showing by the president’s party in House elections since the Civil War, the president’s party gained only nine seats.
- Infantile Conservatism – Pat Buchanan goes after Jennifer Rubin’s = The Washington Post’s Conservative – We outlasted the evil empire of Lenin and Stalin that held captive a billion people for 45 years of Cold War, and we are frightened by a rickety theocracy ruled by an old ayatollah?Rubin’s blog may be the Post’s idea of conservatism. Ronald Reagan wouldn’t recognize it.
- America’s Red State Growth Corridors
- Ron Johnson: John Boehner could lose post
- Poll: Hispanics heavily Democratic – Hispanics in America are more than twice as likely to lean Democratic than Republican, a new poll says.Fifty-one percent of Hispanics identified as Democrat or leaned Democrat, compared with 24 percent who said they were Republican or leaned GOP, according to a Gallup poll out Monday. Twenty percent identified themselves as independent. The rest are undecided or did not respond.
- Napolitano warns that sequester would affect border security – I thought the Obama Administration said the Mexican border was already secure and that illegal crossings had decreased?
- Dems, GOP tee up rival sequester bills in Senate as deadline nears –
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-25 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-25
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-23 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-23
- Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-24 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2013-02-24
- tOscars 2013 Live Commentary — Nikki Finke’s Live Snark – Oscars 2013 Live Commentary — Nikki Finke’s Live Snark #tcot
- Oscars 2013 Live Commentary — Nikki Finke’s Live Snark – Four Hours Of Unfunny Seth MacFarlane; Unnecessary Michelle Obama; ‘Argo’ Wins Best Picture #tcot
Sequestration from Wall Street Journal
These are my news headlines for February 21st through February 22nd:
- With Axelrod At NBC News, The Marriage Of Media And Politics Becomes Complete – What’s more, Team Obama has declared it has no intention of dismantling its campaign apparatus post re-election. Put Axelrod in the catbird seat at a news outlet and the “narrative” continues. Combine that with Team Obama’s masterful manipulation of journalists, its command of social media, and an ugly picture emerges of a press indistinguishable from the political establishment.This has happened in banana republics, but never in a Western democracy. Already it’s making old-school journalists who value news gathering over politics, such as the New York Times’ Roger Cohen, ABC’s Ann Compton and the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, uncomfortable. The one thing that will stop it is a press that won’t cooperate. So where is that press?
- Budget hawks question Pentagon’s doomsday scenarios – But perhaps the biggest example of the Washington Monument maneuver is coming from the Defense Department, where it goes by another name. Over many decades of defense budget battles, the Pentagon has often used a tactic known as a “gold watch.” It means to answer a budget cut proposal by selecting for elimination a program so important and valued — a gold watch — that Pentagon chiefs know political leaders will restore funding rather than go through with the cut.So now, with sequestration approaching, the Pentagon has announced that the possibility of budget cuts has forced the Navy to delay deployment of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman to the Persian Gulf. With tensions with Iran as high as they’ve ever been, that would leave the U.S. with just one carrier, instead of the preferred two, in that deeply troubled region.
- What Unites Obama’s Coalition — and What Could Divide It – Overall, the survey put Obama’s approval rating at 51 percent — almost exactly replicating his share of the vote last November. For all of his key groups, his approval ratings today remain close to his vote shares against Republican Mitt Romney. The survey put his approval among African-Americans at 91 percent (compared to his vote of 93 percent in November), among Hispanics at 68 percent (compared to 71 percent in November), college-educated white women at 48 percent (compared to 46 percent), and adults ages 18 to 29 at 57 percent (compared to 60 percent). Considering that several percent of those in each group described themselves as undecided on Obama’s performance, those numbers suggest almost no change from his support in the election.
- Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? – Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016? #tcot
- Noonan: Government by Freakout – The president’s sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in “Network”: “Woe is us. . . . And woe is us! We’re in a lot of trouble!”It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout.
That’s what’s happening now with the daily sequester warnings. Seven hundred thousand children will be dropped from Head Start. Six hundred thousand women and children will be dropped from aid programs. Meat won’t be inspected. Seven thousand TSA workers will be laid off, customs workers too, and air traffic controllers. Lines at airports will be impossible. The Navy will slow down the building of an aircraft carrier. Troop readiness will be disrupted, weapons programs slowed or stalled, civilian contractors stiffed, uniformed first responders cut back. Our nuclear deterrent will be indefinitely suspended. Ha, made that one up, but give them time.Mr. Obama has finally hit on his own version of national unity: Everyone get scared together.
- Is President Obama overplaying sequestration hand? – President Barack Obama’s greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn’t the Republican leadership in Congress — it’s his confidence in his own ability to force a win.He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn’t open a line of communication with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell until Thursday, a week before the spending ax hits. And when they did finally hear from Obama, the calls were perfunctory, with no request to step up negotiations or invitations to the White House.
- Why Obama and Rove Should Sit Down and Keep Quiet
- Fewer Americans Getting Health Insurance From Employer – Fewer Americans reported having employer-based health insurance in 2012 than did in 2008, 2009, and 2010, but at 44.5% it is unchanged from 2011. At the same time, more Americans continue to report having a government-based health plan — Medicare, Medicaid, or military or veterans’ benefits — with the 25.6% who did so in 2012 up from 23.4% in 2008.
- H.R. 6684: Spending Reduction Act of 2012 – Legislative Digest – GOP.gov – RT @robertcostaNRO Text: the GOP’s sequester replacement, which was passed in Dec. 2012
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-02-21 #tcot
- Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid » The Right Scoop – – RT @trscoop: Mark Levin schools Charles Krauthammer on why it’s not “honorable” for governors to expand Medicaid
- A Tax By Another Name – Writing in the New York Times yesterday, Yuval Levin made the case for means-testing Social Security and Medicare. As you’d expect from Yuval the case is well made and elegantly thought-through. It’s also, if I may respectfully say so, misguided. Partly as a consequence of the refusal to make consumption take its fair share of the tax load, the US already taxes income on a pretty progressive basis (even more so, I suspect, if, just for the sake of argument, you excluded the very richest from the equation—highly taxed wage income generally makes up a lower percentage of their total take). Means-testing these two programs would only tighten the screws still further.
- Capitol Alert: Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move – Kristin Olsen to move to smaller office after failed GOP move
- Charles Krauthammer: Immigration — the lesser of two evils – The president suggested he would hold off introducing his own immigration bill as long as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace — until his own immigration bill mysteriously leaked precisely as bipartisan Senate negotiations were proceeding apace.A naked political maneuver and a blunt warning to Republicans: Finish that immigration deal in Congress, or I’ll propose something I know you can’t accept — and flog the issue mercilessly next year to win back the House.
- The 60th vote: Republican Richard Shelby to vote for cloture on Hagel; Update: Deb Fischer too? « Hot Air – Looks like Chuck Hagel is the next Sec Defense. Let the sequestration begin:
- 6 Questions for the Immigration Reformers – From border security to H1-B visas, much needs to be answered in the looming immigration debate.
- Obama reaches out to Boehner, McConnell as sequester cuts loom – The Hill – Obama symbolism over substance: #tcot
- DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider – DIGITAL 50: The Hottest People In Online Politics – Business Insider #tcot
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case – Dentist Acquitted and Wins $7.7 Million Judgment in New York Medicaid Fraud Case
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse? – Chicago’s Dental Health Safety Net on Verge of Collapse?
- Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United – Flap’s Blog – Ed Markey: Dred Scott = Citizen’s United #tcot
- ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ – ‘The Great Sequester Panic’ #tcot
- The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors – NYTimes.com – The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors #tcot
- Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years – Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within five years #tcot
- Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery – latimes.com – Study disputes long-term medical savings from bariatric surgery #tcot
- Harry Reid says he’ll run for re-election in 2016; won’t comment on Sandoval as opponent – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the capital press corps at the Nevada Legislature Wednesday night that he will seek re-election in 2016.The news conference came after he gave a speech to state lawmakers, like Reid does every legislative session.When asked if he would run for re-election, Reid said, “Sure, why not?”
When asked if he thought Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval would run against him, Reid said, “Oh, I don’t know.”
When asked if he could beat Sandoval, Reid said, “Hey, I don’t get involved in fights I don’t have to.”
When reminded that he was a boxer in his youth, Reid replied, “But I’m not stupid.”
- 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: 15 GOP senators call for Hagel to withdraw:
These are my news headlines for February 21st:
- Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us | TIME.com – 1. Routine Care, Unforgettable Bills
When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.
- GOP Has Trouble Settling on Candidates Who Can Win – One of the interesting things about recent elections is that Republicans have tended to do better the farther you go down the ballot.They’ve lost the presidency twice in a row, and in four of the last six contests. They’ve failed to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, something they accomplished in five election cycles between 1994 and 2006.But they have won control of the House of Representatives in the last two elections, and in eight of the last 10 cycles.And they’ve been doing better in elections to state legislatures than at any time since the 1920s.
One reason for this is that, as I have written, Democratic voters are clustered in large metropolitan areas, which helps them in the Electoral College but hurts in legislatures with equal-population districts.
But there’s another reason, which has been particularly glaring in races for the U.S. Senate: candidate quality.
- The future of free-market healthcare – Over nearly a century, progressives have pressed for a national, single-payer healthcare system. When it comes to health reform, what have conservatives stood for?For far too long, conservatives have failed to coalesce around a long-term vision of what a free-market healthcare system should look like. Republican attention to healthcare, in turn, has only arisen sporadically, in response to Democratic initiatives.Obamacare is the logical byproduct of this conservative policy neglect. President Barack Obama’s re-election was a strategic victory for his signature healthcare law. Once the bulk of the program begins to be implemented in 2014 — especially its trillions of dollars in new health-insurance subsidies — it will become politically impossible to repeal. And as the baby boomers retire and Obamacare is fully operational, government health spending will reach unsustainable levels.The great irony of Obama’s triumph, however, is that it can pave the way for Republicans to adopt a comprehensive, market-oriented healthcare agenda. The market-oriented prescription drug program in Medicare has controlled the growth of government health spending. Similarly, conservatives can use Obamacare’s important concession to the private sector — its establishment of subsidized insurance marketplaces — as a vehicle for broader entitlement reforms.
- The Pro-Growth Sequester – The Obama administration is whipping up hysteria over the sequester budget cuts and their impact on the economy, the military, first providers, and so forth and so on. Armageddon. But if you climb into the Congressional Budget Office numbers for 2013, you see a much lighter and easier picture than all the worst-case scenarios being conjured up by the administration.For example, the $85 billion so-called spending cut is actually budget authority, not budget outlays. According to the CBO, budget outlays will come down by $44 billion, or one quarter of 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP is $15.8 trillion). What’s more, that $44 billion outlay reduction is only 1.25 percent of the $3.6 trillion government budget.
- Ted Cruz knocks Obama on immigration – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says President Barack Obama wants to “scuttle” immigration reform by injecting a path to citizenship into the debate so Democrats can keep the issue alive for political gain.“The president has been focusing on amnesty — a path to citizenship that skips ahead of the line,” the freshman tea party senator said Wednesday at a speech in Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News. “That, he knows, is a position not supported by a great many Americans and not a position that will achieve bipartisan cooperation. It’s designed to scuttle the bill.”
- Foreign Buyers Hop on Rental Trend – US Masters, a real-estate investment trust that has raised $276 million, primarily from Australian retirees, is one of a handful of foreign firms that are betting on the U.S. housing recovery by buying houses at discount prices.The business of buying-and-renting houses, long dominated by local mom-and-pop investors, has morphed over the past two years into one of the hottest investments on Wall Street. Dozens of pension investors and private-equity firms, such as Blackstone Group LP BX -2.19% and Colony Capital LLC, are clamoring to buy homes in beaten-up markets, sometimes using money from foreign co-investors.
- Majority of U.S. citizens say illegal immigrants should be deported – More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday that highlights the difficulties facing lawmakers trying to reform the U.S. immigration system.The online survey shows resistance to easing immigration laws despite the biggest push for reform in Congress since 2007.
- Missile Defense Tests Successful, but Future of Program in Doubt – The unanswered question is whether the Missile Defense Agency will be permitted to advance this space-based missile defense capability—whether through the STSS program or the PTSS program—to a deployed constellation at all. There should be little doubt that arms control advocates, both inside the Administration and out, are livid that this test took place at all, let alone that it was successful. This is because a space-based missile defense capability is incompatible with the Administration’s arms control agenda.
- Gov. Scott agrees to expand Florida Medicaid program – Gov. Rick Scott announced plans Wednesday to expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 900,000 more people under the federal health overhaul, a surprise decision from the vocal critic of President Barack Obama’s plan.Scott said he will ask the Legislature to expand the program under a bill that would expire in three years, after which it would require renewed legislative support. He’s the seventh Republican governor so far to propose expanding the taxpayer-funded health insurance program.
- Tea Party and Republican groups launch Hispanic outreach – Tea Party and Republican groups launch Hispanic outreach #tcot
- How former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Spent His Campaign Funds – Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) pleaded guilty today “to a conspiracy to siphon about $750,000 in federal campaign funds for their personal use,” the Chicago Tribune reports.”About 3,100 personal purchases were made on campaign credit cards, totaling $582,772.58… Prosecutors said $60,000 was spent on restaurants, nightclubs and lounges; $31,700 on personal airfare; $16,000 on sports clubs and lounges; $17,000 on tobacco shops; $5,800 on alcohol; $14,500 on dry cleaning; $8,000 on grocery stores and $6,000 at drug stores.””In one of the more exotic purchases, Jackson used campaign funds in the spring of 2011 to pay a taxidermist in Montana $7,058 for two mounted elk heads to be shipped to his office in Washington. This was the beginning of an FBI sting, according to court documents.”
- California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’ | The Weekly Standard – California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’
- Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians – Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians #tcot
- The sequester blame game – Much depends on the timing of any economic turndown. If it occurs this year, but is followed by improvement in 2014, the political consequences are not likely to be significant. If the economy is in trouble in mid-2014, then all bets are off. For this reason, among others, Republicans should reject out of hand the president’s efforts to postpone the sequester for a year. In any event, the sequester would make the Republicans a full partner with Obama when it comes to the state of the economy.In the end, though, Republicans are committed, as they should be, to cutting government spending. This is never a politically risk-free proposition. But it’s better to get a head start now, when blame might well be shared, than to save all the work for when (if) Republicans gain control of the government and will absorb all of the blame.JOHN adds: My own view is that Republicans should happily take credit for the spending cuts represented by the sequester. They aren’t anywhere near enough, but they are the most substantial spending cuts, I believe, in my lifetime. I think 75% of the population will be pleasantly surprised to learn that Congress is actually capable of cutting spending.
- The GOP’s astonishingly bad message on sequester cuts – None of which addresses the Republican problem on the sequester. If the problem is one of substance — that is, if GOP leaders truly believe the cuts threaten national security but are nevertheless supporting them — then Republicans have put themselves into an untenable situation. If, as is more likely, the problem is one of message — that is, if Republicans believe the cuts are not only manageable without threatening national security but are also desirable as a first step toward controlling spending — then the Boehner article is sending all the wrong signals.
- Video: John McCain Gets Testy With Arizona Voter Questioning Immigration Amnesty – Flap’s Blog – Video: John McCain Gets Testy With Arizona Voter Questioning Immigration Amnesty #tcot
- Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy | KQED News Fix – Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy
- Second cap and trade auction needs big bucks | news10.net – Second cap and trade California auction needs big bucks
- We predicted there was no tax ‘windfall’ | CalWatchDog – We predicted there was no California tax ‘windfall’
- The Morning Flap: February 20, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: February 20, 2013 #tcot
- A Mighty Wind by Ben Boychuk – City Journal – A Mighty Wind – California Flatulence Jokes