Such is the debased state into which U.S. foreign policy and constitutional governance have descended. Continue reading
“What a way to celebrate a birthday!” — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) after the House passed bipartisan health care legislation
Sorry, Nancy. It’s not about you.
The $141 billion health care bill that cleared the House last month and that is expected to win Senate approval next week is a tribute from the GOP-controlled Congress to former Congressman Henry Waxman, a man who worked tirelessly – and with great success – to expand health care-related welfare spending. Continue reading
To recover from his exertions, he and his family then “ventured to the white-sand beach at Bellows Air Force Station, which is on the windward side of the island of Oahu and features turquoise water and a stunning view of the Mokulua Islands,” the Washington Post reported.
That tranquil scene augured the best year for U.S. employment growth since 1999. According to the Labor Department, the economy added more than 3.1 million jobs in 2014. The topline unemployment rate was 5.6% in December, down from 6.7% the prior December and the lowest rate since June 2008.
And here is the surprising major reason for the resurgence in employment: Congress spurned the President’s entreaties and let extended unemployment benefits expire. Continue reading
The Constitution offers no remedy for presidential impatience. Presidents, Members of Congress and judges are sometimes constitutionally required to “just keep on waiting.” And that is something officeholders of both political parties seem increasingly unwilling to do. When it comes to circumventing the rules to achieve the political objectives of the moment, the President and some of his most strident conservative foes are soulmates.
After speaking at length today with Jeanne and our other policy folks, I do not think I have any more to add. They seem to have given you 80 percent of what you requested and I am not in a position to second guess there [sic] analysis.
“Valerie” would be Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama’s closest advisers. “Chet” would be Chet Burrell, CEO of CareFirst Blue Cross. In the April 15 email, Jarrett advised the insurance executive that he would have to live with 80 percent of what his industry asked the White House for.
A month later, the Administration relented and gave the industry 100 percent of what it asked for – a regulation that will involve the giveaway of an additional $1 billion in taxpayer funds to insurers participating in the Obamacare exchanges.
If the Speaker intends to file a lawsuit against the Administration for abuse of power, as a resolution adopted last evening by the House authorizes him to do, he should sue over this. Continue reading
The habit of inflaming passions for political purposes was on display again this week in the US Senate. Wednesday’s show vote ostensibly concerned the right of women to receive “free” birth control from their employers. But the legislation, as its authors surely knew, would not become law. If it did, it would result, not in employers buying more contraceptives for their employees, but in more workers losing employment-based health insurance.