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Ashcroft Passes on Opportunity to Deny Medicaid Expansion Fix

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Last week, I wrote about the Missouri Republican Establishment’s plan to win a windfall for lobbyist Kit Bond via Senate candidate Jay Ashcroft. Not that the Establishment cares about Bond, but they want Medicaid expansion passed before they beg for money for 2016 from the Missouri Hospital Association and Chamber of Commerce.

Well, the St. Louis Post Dispatch asked Ashcroft about the deal, and he couldn’t quite bring himself to deny that he would pass Medicaid expansion if elected.

Noting Bond’s lobbying role, Tea Party leader Bill Hennessy alleged in a recent column that Ashcroft has already committed “to help push Obamacare in the Missouri Senate.”

Ashcroft laughed at that accusation.

“I haven’t agreed to anything with regard to Medicaid expansion,” he said.

If helping people get quality medical care is the goal, “Medicaid expansion is one way to do that, and I’m open to talking about that. But I’m afraid we’re focusing on one of the potential solutions instead of saying, ‘Here’s the problem, what are the whole myriad of solutions we could use?’”

So a Medicaid deal is still in play, Jay?

For the record, none of the Missouri US Congress Republicans who attended a fundraiser for Ashcroft have denied Kit Bond’s influence in the event. Or on Ashcroft’s last-minute decision to run.

I understand it will be difficult to fill John Lamping’s shoes, but evading questions about backroom deals on Obamacare is a step in the wrong direction for Ashcroft.

I was talking about defunding Obamacare before it was cool

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Okay, I’m fired up. I’m fired up about Obamacare.

I don’t know what got me onto this, exactly. I talked to Jim Durbin tonight, so maybe that was it.

I’ve been looking for video of a speech I gave at the Million Med March in Clayton, MO, in 2009.  Two-friggin-thousand-and-nine. (I’m a quarter German, so I hold a grudge.)

I found it. Here’s the clip I’ve wanted to show Congress since last August. Again, this is November 21, 2009–four months before the House finally passed Obamacare.

Man, I wish I’d found this last August. I knew in 2009–before the damn thing became law–that we’d eventually be fighting over funding.

And I know now that promoting defund was the right thing to do. Here’s why.

Obamacare is a nightmare. Very few previously uninsured people have obtained insurance under Obamacare. Most of the enrollees who’ve actually paid a premium were already insured. They lost their insurance because of Obamacare.

The uninsured ante Obamacare are uninsured post Obamacare. The big change is that those who lost their pre-Obamacare insurance face much higher premiums and deductibles now than before.

Plus, the CBO says Obamacare will reduce the workforce by 2.5 million. And it will cost trillions more than Obama told you when he was lying about “you can keep your plan.”

At some point, young people are going to ask Congress, “Did you do everything in your power to stop this travesty?”

Rand Paul, Mike Lee,  Ted Cruz, and a few others can say, “Yes! I used every weapon at my disposal to spare you the horror story you’ve experienced.”

But 90% of Republicans can’t say that. Senator Roy Blunt has to admit, “I folded up like a cheap suit.”

Leadership often requires standing for something uncool and sticking with it until it becomes cool. Like birth-control glasses and stubble. Now that people see the horrors of Obamacare, Republicans who wanted to be cool in the moment look like parents who teach their kids the dangers of heroin by giving them clean needles and an ounce of Mexican Brown.

Guest Post: An Open Letter to Millennials from Bob the Retiree

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Submitted by Bob, the retiree:

To the Millennials of America,

All you sniveling, whining, crybaby Millennials need to quit your complaining and get signed up with Obamacare as soon as possible.

We really don’t care what it costs you. I am retired now and drawing my Social Security and will sign up for Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and any other Social program available, as soon as I can qualify. I’m entitled, you know!

We need you bunch of sniveling crybabies to get on board so you can pay for these programs. How else am I going to be able to siphon off your wealth? You do believe in wealth redistribution don’t you? You don’t deserve all that wealth you have now or will earn in the future. It’s your obligation to share it with us. We’re entitled to some of it.

Quit griping, quit sniveling, quit complaining and get signed up now, you hear! That’s an order.

Bob, The Retiree

William F. Buckley clipped from

What Would Buckley Do?

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I wanted to be William F. Buckley Jr. All I lacked was his intellect, education, and unique experiences.

Well, I didn’t want to be him. I wanted to be the next one.

Every day, I wrote a 750-word piece. Poorly. I believed that practice would improve my writing.

It didn’t.

One day, I realized, as long as I tried to be the next William F. Buckley, I was destined for frustration and failure. The same would have applied had I chosen to be the next Wayne Gretzky or the next George Carlin.

In the pantheon of great political writers, a William F. Buckley comes along precisely one time. The “next one” will be as different from Buckley as Gretzky was from Howe or Daniel Tosh is from Carlin.

And I won’t be the next one. No one will.

I didn’t know at the time, but trying to be something inhibits progress toward that goal. The writer who wants to be the next anyone mires himself in the bog of his present ineptness.

Success comes from practice, but from an instructive practice. It comes from a desire to improve. Improvement comes from a desire to learn. To learn, one must take risks and make mistakes. And he must be humble enough to recognize his mistakes. Or to accept as instructive the criticism of others. (See, I can still channel Buckley for a sentence or two.)

All of that humility stuff goes against my nature.

I tend toward opportunities to prove my skills, not to improve them. I seek the judgment of people who, I know, will skip the flaws and praise the (scant) successes. Like mom and dad. I gravitate toward activities I do objectively well. And I tend to satisfy myself with mere competence; reaching excellence takes too much work.

With Buckley’s birthday approaching (November 24) and the events of the day, I was pleased to see so many Buckley references in my Twitter timeline today. No human being so influenced America’s right thinking. No human being so elegantly bridged the chasm between high-brow intellectualism and bare-knuckle political brawling. And no person earned more of my admiration. After all, I wanted to be him.

Of all his accomplishments, Buckley’s role in founding Young Americans for Freedom might be his greatest achievement. With the present mess in Washington and Obamacare’s sword dangling precariously above our national head, we’d all do well to review the Sharon Statement, the organization’s founding manifesto, released from Buckley’s home in Sharon, Connecticut, on September 11, 1960:

IN THIS TIME of moral and political crisis, it is the responsibility of the youth of America to affirm certain eternal truths.

WE, as young conservatives, believe:

THAT foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force;

THAT liberty is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom;

THAT the purpose of government is to protect those freedoms through the preservation of internal order, the provision of national defense, and the administration of justice;

THAT when government ventures beyond these rightful functions, it accumulates power, which tends to diminish order and liberty;

THAT the Constitution of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power;

THAT the genius of the Constitution – the division of powers – is summed up in the clause that reserves primacy to the several states, or to the people in those spheres not specifically delegated to the Federal government;

THAT the market economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government, and that it is at the same time the most productive supplier of human needs;

THAT when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation, that when it takes from one to bestow on another, it diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both;

THAT we will be free only so long as the national sovereignty of the United States is secure; that history shows periods of freedom are rare, and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their rights against all enemies…

THAT the forces of international Communism are, at present, the greatest single threat to these liberties;

THAT the United States should stress victory over, rather than coexistence with this menace; and

THAT American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: does it serve the just interests of the United States?

I feel a great temptation to expound on each paragraph, but I’ll home in on one.

THAT when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation, that when it takes from one to bestow on another, it diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both.

And there lies the “eternal truth” that Obamacare hopes to frustrate and corrupt.

Obamacare is, in its conception, incubation, and emergence, an abomination. An affront to freedom, to the individual, and to the moral philosophy of natural rights. America cannot exist without deference to natural rights, making Obamacare an existential threat to our nation.

By that measure, those who support Obamacare are, unarguably, anti-American. Their hearts might be in the right place, but their bodies are on the wrong continent.

So, John Boehner said a lot when he said on ABC’s This Week:

“I and my members decided the threat of Obamacare and what was happening was so important that it was time for us to take a stand. And we took a stand.”

The stand Boehner and his colleagues took was to stand athwart the dismantling of the American Experiment, yelling, “STOP!”

With Obamacare, Barack Obama seeks to undermine and destroy the moral autonomy of every American. That’s a big ambition, on par with Khrushchev’s promise that the Soviet monster “will bury you.” Obama’s dream of a Soviet America fulfill’s Tocqueville’s warning:

the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

Put aside your petty grievences against Speaker Boehner and his leadership team. This is a war for America’s existence against the most formidable foe we’ve ever faced. Obama is more ruthless than Hitler, more crafty than Tojo, more brutal than Stalin, and more arrogant than King George.

This menace, this threat, to America is not a foreign enemy risen in a distant land from which the Americans escaped; Obama is a monster raised among us. Obama threatens to fulfill Khrushchev’s other famous boast:

We cannot expect Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism.

In this present battle, we have no enemies who fight that monster hunkered down at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And in this battle, for now, John Boehner is our Patton.

At the risk of putting words in his mouth, Buckley would agree.

Shutdown Week Could Turn Into Big Win for Republicans

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“I shouldn’t have to offer anything.”  Barack Obama on why he’s shutting down the government.

Obama keeps forgetting he’s not a dictator. Or maybe I keep forgetting he is.

Democrat Speaker Tip O’Neill shut down the government 12 times.

Did you see that list of government shutdowns?

1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1995.

Those first four shutdowns came with Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress.

And none of them affected the next election. None.

John Boehner just gave the speech of his life on the floor of the House. He demonstrated what a belligerent, spoiled child Obama is. He explained what fair means. He described the numerous concessions and attempts to negotiate initiated by the Republicans.

And every single outreached Republican hand came back slapped by Obama and Harry Reid.


Because Obama and Reid want a shutdown.

Let them have it.

Just don’t stop reminding people that the House has passed three bills to fund the government. All three bills reflected the will of the people. All three bills were less than conservatives wanted.

And all three bills were rejected by Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

Tell @BarackObama to stop acting like a tin-horn dictator and start acting like a man.

BUT . . .

If the House caves and passes a “clean” CR, 2014 could look like 1974.

I’ve Learned the House GOP Is A Lot Tougher Than Senate

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I was wrong.

As the continuing resolution fight approached, I expected House Republicans to cave. I expected Boehner to make a half-hearted attempt to use debt ceiling, instead of continuing resolution, as leverage to stop Obamacare. And I expected Republican Senators to make a stand.

But that’s not what happened.

In reverse order, Senate Republican leadership ran away from confrontation like schoolgirls spying a snake. Led by Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, and Missouri’s Junior Senator Roy Blunt, the GOP attacked Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz instead of Obamacare.

I’ve already written how despicable, lame, and cowardly Senate Leadership has been. Frankly, I don’t want a Republican majority in the Senate if it’s a bunch of self-serving pansies. I’d like to see McConnell, Blunt and crew visit their Obamacare-exempt doctors for testosterone replacement therapy before the UN gun control treaty comes up for debate.

Strategic Thinking Says Stay Away From Debt Default

Based on several boneheaded moves by Boehner in the past, I expected the House to punt on the CR and, instead, fight Obamacare with the debt ceiling. While I’m not a fan of increasing the debt limit, I’m not a fan of defaulting on debt, either. Two thumb rules of strategy tell us why.

First, if you have to take a risk, take it early. The best demonstration of this was Tom Oborne’s famous fail in the 1984 Orange Bowl. In that game, Nebraska needed two touchdowns and three points-after to win. That meant, if Nebraska scored two unanswered TDs, Osborne must go for two point conversion after one of them. It didn’t matter mathematically which touchdown was followed by the two-point attempt.

What did Osborne do?

He chose to go for the one and then the two. If both attempts were made, the order in which they were made becomes irrelevant. If the one-point conversion was missed but the two-point was successful, here too the order is irrelevant and the game ends up tied, with Nebraska getting the championship. The only difference occurs if Nebraska misses the two-point attempt. Under Osborne’s plan, that results in the loss of the game and the championship. If, instead, they had tried the two-point conversion first, then if it failed they would not necessarily have lost the game. They would have been behind 31– 23. When they scored their next touchdown this would have brought them to 31– 29. A successful two-point attempt would tie the game and win the number-one ranking!*

Source: Dixit, Avinash K.; Barry J. Nalebuff (1993-04-17). Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life (Kindle Locations 832-838). Norton. Kindle Edition.

Since the debt limit deadline is after the CR deadline, gamble with CR.

Second, take risks you know over risks you don’t. We’ve been through budget-based shutdowns at least three times in the past. We have never defaulted. No one knows how a US default might go. It could be a meaningless blip. It could trigger global depression and war. No one knows.

House Republicans Show Their Mettle

My last of three big errors in predicting how the Obamacare fight would unfold embarrassed me. I grossly underestimated House leadership resolve. Or maybe I underestimated the influence of Ted Cruz. Or the power of grassroots when backed by groups like Heritage Action.

But here we stand. After the Senate punted, the house boldly asserted its solidarity with the majority of Americans who want Obamacare stopped.Tonight, the House will pass a continuing resolution that delays Obamacare for a year, restores military cuts, and other wonderful things.

Just two weeks ago, many of us were bombarding House members, including my Representative Ann Wagner. I thought at the time the House was wink link.

As I said, I was wrong.

Boehner and crew have stiffened while the Senate Republicans softened.

So this post is a long way to say “thank you” to House Republicans. They realize that a government shutdown hurts less than Obamacare. In fact, the worst thing about the shutdown will be the anticipation. That shows courage, consistency, and compassion.

Now, send a thank you tweet or call to @RepAnnWagner.