Click HERE to purchase Newt’s new book titled Breakout: Pioneers Of The Future, Prison Guards Of The Past, And The Epic Battle That Will Decide America’s Fate.
Click HERE to purchase Newt’s new book titled Breakout: Pioneers Of The Future, Prison Guards Of The Past, And The Epic Battle That Will Decide America’s Fate.
H/T The Right Scoop
Wait till those employer provided plans start getting 86ed next year. Then the real caca hits the fan
One of the things you may have noticed in the past couple of weeks is that some liberal pundits are claiming that ObamaCare is essentially a public relations problem: The program is just wonderful, but there have been some P.R. problems with the rollout.
Democrats need to learn that denial is not the name of a river in Egypt:
Democratic leaders claim the bungled launch of Obamacare is just the latest news sensation — a media-stirred tempest that looks in the heat of the moment like it could upend the midterm election, but ends up fizzling well before voters head to the polls.
Some party strategists say they’re in denial.
And that perceived gap between party spin and facts on the ground is fueling worries that the White House and Democratic higher-ups aren’t taking the possible electoral blowback seriously enough or doing enough to shield their candidates. Democratic contenders in the toughest races are distinctly less convinced that Obamacare will fade as an election-year issue — and they can’t afford to just cross their fingers that things get ironed out or that Republicans revert to political hara-kiri.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a forum hosted by BuzzFeed recently that the rollout won’t “hurt us in 2014,” adding that “we’re proud” of the law. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in a recent appearance on CNN, went so far as to assert that Obamacare would be “an advantage” for Democratic candidates next year.
“Democrats will run on the Affordable Care Act and win,” she has also told reporters.
The White House, meanwhile, has come across as equally dismissive of Obamacare’s consequences for 2014.
And the worst news of all came out today in a CNN Poll
And speaking of complete meltdown . . .
We are starting to see a broad polling trend for Barack Obama, and it should have the White House worried — but maybe Obama’s fellow Democrats in Congress even more. The latest CNN poll confirms what the Washington Post/ABC poll first noticed, and what the CBS poll corroborated — Obama’s approval decline involves more than just his performance. The Americans public is souring on Obama as a person and as a brand, and that spells real trouble for his agenda . . . .
President Obama will not be on the ballot in 2014 or 2016, but the American people will be angry with him, and guess who else? His fellow Democrats, and likely any nominee the Democrats put forward in 2016. They will take the losses, and then the only question is will the GOP use enough common sense to reap the electoral benefits?
GREAT Tweet from RS McCain today
Democrat 2014 campaign slogan: “Now That We Totally Fucked Up Your Health Insurance, Give Us a Chance to Fuck Up Everything Else, Too.
Go read the post that goes along with that Tweet, it is pure gold
If you want to see a microcosm of the problems looming for Democrats in their 2014 mid-term campaign to recapture the House, look no further than New York’s 23rd Congressional District:
Martha Robertson is the Democratic candidate challenging Republican incumbent Tom Reed in NY-23, my home district.
We have highlighted Robertson many times before regarding her unsubstantiated fundraising claim that “GOP ops” tried to take down her website. Robertson’s campaign never has provided proof of that claim, leading to a fair amount of negative local television coverage and even national press attention.
The fundraising scandal, which I doubt is over, likely will be overshadowed by a much bigger problem: Robertson is a long-time and vocal supporter of mandates with the ultimate goal of single-payer.
In light of the Obamacare debacle, and the inability of the federal government even to set up a website portal, a complete federal government takeover of the health care system is a hard sell.
Basically, the Democrats own the train wreck that is Obamacare. The GOP has a GREAT opportunity here. Can they take advantage? They damn well better. Here is a bit of helpful advice from me to the GOP establishment. If a long-time Republican gets a primary challenger from the Tea Party, do not whine. If the incumbent is a Conservative they ought to welcome debate, and their challenger as well. And, if the incumbent loses the primary, then the establishment ought to welcome and support the Republican voters choice! Respect your base, without them, the GOP is done. In other words care more about America, than about your power.
To the Tea Party. Feel free to primary a less than stellar Conservative, I think it is great for our party. Challenge them, and debate them, but if you lose to them, support them anyway. Remember, the less Democrats in Congress the better. Basically, we need to have open challenges among ourselves, and then we need to support the winner. Again, recall that not one Republican voted for Obamacare in 2010, NOT ONE! A less than stellar Republican is better than a Democrat!
While our president still enjoys his essential employees and locations: the White House chefs, Camp David, and a military golf course, there doesn’t seem to be any question that in mercenary pursuit of a political win, this White House is determined to unreasonably punish as many everyday people as possible. And this includes children sick with cancer. That might sound like hyperbole, but it is not.
Although Barack Obama’s chefs have been deemed “essential,” employees at the National Institutes of Health who offer last-chance experimental cancer treatments for children suffering from cancer have not. Worse still, House Republicans have offered to compromise with the president and single the NIH out for funding. The White House has threatened a veto.
Using children sick with cancer as pawns is community organizing on steroids. And the media are covering for him. When the media thought they could emotionally blackmail the GOP with these sick children, telling their story was all the rage. Now that it is Obama and Senate Democrats wrist-flicking refusing treatment for these children, suddenly the media aren’t too interested in telling their story.
There are many other examples of this president’s cold-hearted fanaticism and willingness to punish people for reasons that seem to have much more to with spite than what is and is not “essential.” In fact, there are a number of examples where Obama seems to be spending more money and using more resources to close and block and inconvenience than to just leave it alone.
The media may or may not report on these individual occurrences, but what they will never do is provide the American people with the full context and scope of Obama’s shrill pettiness.
Below is a list of illogical, unnecessary, and shockingly spiteful moves our government is making in the name of essential and non-essential.
This list will be regularly updated, and if you have something you feel should be added, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @NolteNC.
1. Treatments for Children Suffering From Cancer – The GOP have agreed to a compromise by funding part of the government, including the National Institutes of Health, which offers children with cancer last-chance experimental treatment. Obama has threatened to veto this funding.
2. The World War II Memorial – The WWII memorial on the DC Mall is a 24/7 open-air memorial that is not regularly staffed. Although the White House must have known that WWII veterans in their eighties and nineties had already booked flights to visit this memorial, the White House still found the resources to spitefully barricade the attraction.
The Republican National Committee has offered to cover any costs required to keep the memorial open. The White House refused. Moreover, like the NIH, the GOP will pass a compromise bill that would fund America’s national parks. Obama has threatened to veto that bill.
3. Furloughed Military Chaplains Not Allowed to Work for Free – Furloughed military chaplains willing to celebrate Mass and baptisms for free have been told they will be punished for doing so.
4. Business Stops In Florida Keys – Although the GOP have agreed to compromise in the ongoing budget stalemate and fund the parks, Obama has threatened to veto that funding. As a result, small businesses, hunters, and commercial fisherman can’t practice their trade. While the feds have deemed the personnel necessary to keep this area open “non-essential,” the “enforcement officers” to ensure no business is done are “essential.”
5. Obama Blacks Out Sports, Entertainment Programming to Overseas Troops – The American Forces Network (AFN) that provides American sports and entertainment programming to our troops stationed abroad, has been shut down. For some reason, though, AFN News will still broadcast news, just not any of the popular and fun stuff.
Camp David is essential, but popular programming for heroes overseas is non-essential.
6. Obama Closes D-Day Memorial – The GOP have offered to compromise and fund the National Parks. Obama has said he will veto this compromise legislation. As a result, along with 24 other military cemeteries, the D-Day memorial in Normandy has been barricaded.
7. Obama Tries to Close Privately-Funded Mt. Vernon – Although George Washington’s Mt. Vernon estate is privately funded, the feds blocked visitors from entering the parking area because the Park Service maintains the lot. Apparently, the New Media publicity resulted in the feds backing down.
8. Obama Closes Over 100 Privately-Managed Parks That Cost No Money to Run – The U.S. Treasury actually makes money from the rent paid by a private company that “employs about 400-500 camp workers and managers across about a dozen states.” No federal money is used to operate these parks. No federal employees are used to staff these parks. Taxpayers make a profit from these parks. Still, Obama had them closed and as a result 400-500 employees and a private business are taking it in the neck.
9. Obama Closes Self-Sustaining Colonial Farm It Hasn’t Supported Since 1980 – “For the first time in 40 years, the National Park Service (NPS) has finally succeeded in closing the Farm down to the public. In previous budget dramas, the Farm has always been exempted since the NPS provides no staff or resources to operate the Farm.”
10. Obama Tries to Close State-Run Parks in Wisconsin – “The park service ordered state officials to close the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine, Devil’s Lake, and Interstate state parks and the state-owned portion of the Horicon Marsh, but state authorities rebuffed the request because the lion’s share of the funding came from state, not federal coffers.”
11. Obama Closes Vietnam Memorial – The GOP have passed compromise legislation that would fund national memorials and parks, and open them to the public. Obama threatened a veto. Apparently, the “essential” government employees are those erecting barricades, not those who could keep the memorial open.
12. Obama Closes Privately-Owned Hotel, Police Block Parking Lot – “The operator of a 51-room inn located on U.S. government-owned land in North Carolina abandoned his defiant stance on Thursday to keep the property open despite being ordered to close as part of the federal government shutdown.”
October is this inn’s prime season. The GOP have offered compromise funding opening the parks. Obama said he will veto that compromise.
State troopers blocked customers from entering the inn’s parking lot.
13. Park Service Ranger: ‘We’ve Been Told to Make Life As Difficult For People As We Can’ – “It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”
The police came and forced both Vietnam veterans and the general public to leave the Vietnam Veterans Memorial after veterans went through the barricades:
WEEKLY STANDARD – After one group of veterans went around the barricade, “the park ranger told them the wall was closed,” NBC’s Mark Seagraves reported. “Later another group of vets showed up and moved the barricades. At that point, the memorial filled with vets and tourists. That’s when police came and moved everyone out.”
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is a black granite outdoor wall on which the names of the 58,272 service members who died or were unaccounted for during the Vietnam war are inscribed.
It takes more manpower and costs the government more money to close down an outdoor wall than to let people walk past it and pay their respects.
The Obama administration has been very selective in devoting resources to shutting down memorials.
Here’s a tweet from Steve King on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial this morning, saying it is indeed open and the guard dogs are only for intimidation. GUARD DOGS?
Vietnam Wall entrance is open to all. Guard dog and guards are solely for intimidation. Go in. God Bless 'em pic.twitter.com/O7XSjOzbtj
- Steve King (@SteveKingIA) October 5, 2013
The Obama Administration is ordering hundreds of parks that sit on federal land to close amid the government shutdown – even though they don’t use any government funding.
Operators of Claude Moore Colonial Farm in Virginia, for example, say they were shocked when the National Park Service ordered their park be shut. That’s because it’s been 80% funded by a local non-profit for years, which agreed to take over 100% of the costs of the facility as of October 1. Still, the National Park Service spent taxpayer money to erect barricades around the park and evict everyone from the farm this week.
“We do not know why CMCF was barricaded from public access or why NPS police escorted staff and volunteers off the property right before a fundraising event on Monday. The National Park Service does not pay CMCFs employees, for its operations, maintenance, events or programs,” Claude Moore Colonial Farm Operations Manager Heather Bodin wrote in an email to FOX Business. “In our 32-year history of running the farm, through other government shutdowns, we have never had to close our doors before.”
The same is true for the more than 100 U.S. Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas run by the Arizona-based company Recreation Resource Management.
In a letter to his congressman, RRM’s owner and president Warren Meyer writes that his parks haven’t been affected by past government shutdowns because “our operations are self-sufficient (we are fully funded by user fees at the gate), we get no federal funds, we employ no government workers on these sites, and we actually pay rent into the Treasury.”
However, Meyer says he too got orders yesterday, directly from the White House, to close up shop.
“I can only assume their intention is to artificially increase the cost of the shutdown as some sort of political ploy,” Meyer said in his letter. “The point of the shutdown is to close non-essential operations that require Federal money and manpower to stay open. So why is the White House closing private operations that require no government money to keep open and actually pay a percentage of their gate revenues back to the Treasury? We are a tenant of the U.S. Forest Service, and a tenant does not have to close his business just because his landlord goes on a vacation.”
A spokeswoman for the National Park Service told MyFoxDC that it is still federal land, and the rule is that if there’s no Congressional appropriation, no visitors are allowed.
In a stunning development, some military priests are facing arrest if they celebrate mass or practice their faith on military bases during the federal government shutdown.
“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”
According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.”
In his piece, Schlageter worries about this restriction as Sunday nears. “If the government shutdown continues through the weekend, there will be no Catholic priest to celebrate Mass this Sunday in the chapels at some U.S. military installations where non-active-duty priests serve as government contractors,” he wrote.
Because of the lack of active-duty Catholic chaplains, the military relies on hiring civilian priests to serve as government service and contract ministers. Those civilian priests are not allowed on the bases during a shutdown, Schlageter wrote.
One Republican lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee told The Daily Caller on Friday that this “crosses a constitutional line.”
“The constitutional rights of those who put their lives on the line for this nation do not end with a government slowdown,” Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, a graduate of West Point and an Army veteran, said in a Friday statement. ”It is completely irresponsible for the president to turn his back on every American’s First Amendment rights by furloughing military contract clergy.”
Added Pompeo: “The President’s strategy during the slowdown, just as during the sequestration, is to create as much pain as possible. However, this action crosses a constitutional line of obstructing every U.S. service member’s ability to practice his or her religion.”
UPDATE: A number of politicians have weighed in on the matter after this story was published:
The House will vote tomorrow morning to affirm the right of all military chaplains to conduct services during the shutdown.
- Eric Cantor (@GOPLeader) October 5, 2013
These priests have 1st Amendment right to practice faith. Hope POTUS takes possible criminal penalties off the table http://t.co/aMqy2zhZgn
- Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 4, 2013
U.S. troops overseas will be probably be unable to watch NFL and MLB playoff games on the Armed Services Network due to the government shutdown while Camp David is kept open in case President Barack Obama wants to go on a retreat.
“GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN. Due to the government shutdown, the Defense Department can only provide limited overseas television, radio, print and web services.”
Intercollegiate athletics at the service academies have also been cancelled but college football games, which are played without appropriated funds, this weekend between Air-Force and Navy and Army and Boston College will go on after there had been much uncertainty.
The AFN station, which allows U.S. troops to have a sense of normalcy by keeping up with sports back home, will face mandatory staff cuts. According to NESN, the only station that is apparently working is AFN News.
- Two Crabs (@twocrabs) October 1, 2013
Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) October 05, 2013
Among the places that have seen “Barry-cades” erected in an attempt to keep people out during the government shutdown is the Iwo Jima Memorial in Rosslyn, Virginia. The blockades didn’t hold up long today.
Once inside the memorial, the vets gathered for a magnificent photo:
The Barry-cades were yet again no match for heroes such as these.
The House on Saturday unanimously passed a bill 407-0 that would retroactively pay furloughed federal employees after the government shutdown eventually ends.
The bill was lauded by both Democratic and Republican leaders.
“The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 3223, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act,” the Obama administration said in a statement. “Federal workers keep the Nation safe and secure and provide vital services that support the economic security of American families.”
“The Administration appreciates that the Congress is acting promptly to move this bipartisan legislation and looks forward to the bill’s swift passage,” it added.
Following passage of the legislation, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he was happy to see both political parties working together.
“It’s encouraging to see both parties come together to provide fairness for the 800,000 federal workers hurt by this shutdown,” he said in a statement. “Now we should do something about the 800,000 jobs being destroyed by the president’s health care law. That’s why Republicans are working every day to reopen the government and provide fairness for all.”
The measure will now head to the U.S. Senate for approval.
The federal government shut down earlier this week after the Senate and House failed to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution bill to continue funding the government.
Whatever the perceived shortcomings of Ted Cruz and his hardy band of stalwarts, they’ve performed a remarkable public service by highlighting the fate that awaits all who rub wrongly the translucently thin skin of King Barack the Petulant. The Spartans may have had their shields, Native Americans their tomahawks and arrows, the Samurai may have wielded his sword with all the deadly grace of a tiger in mid-attack, but pound for pound, nothing comes close to the audacious stupidity of “Barrycades” and people in pointy little Smokey the Bear hats, poised to protect America’s monuments from law-abiding citizens.
Welcome to liberal utopia, where barriers are not erected against terrorists or illegal aliens on our nation’s borders, but rather against citizens, and where wheelchair-bound veterans enroute to honor their comrades face tighter security than terrorists enroute to murder a US Ambassador. This is where up is down, wrong is right, illegality is celebrated as progress, and where Constitutionalism is derided as racist. No longer relegated to the fever swamps of academic fancy, utopia has acquired real estate and made known its demands.
“Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual…” the First Lady warned us, and she wasn’t just whistling Alinsky either. Under King Barack’s Reign of Error, your life is no longer your own, for you are now commanded to enter into private contracts by virtue of your simple existence on the planet. Why? Because our Sovereign and his fellow travelers are compassionate, of course. Their hearts bleed for you… almost as much as your pocketbook will bleed for them.
If you suffered the fate of MSNBC’s anchorwoman, you were lucky. Mara Schiavocampo found the Obamacare website impenetrable, throwing in the towel on live television after 35 minutes and saying, “If I were signing up for myself, this is where my patience would be exhausted.” Unhappily, it isn’t just the citizen’s patience that is being exhausted, as Eric Levy of Seattle, Washington discovered.
Eric, who felt his previous insurance was too costly, managed to access Washington Health Benefit Exchange, where he was confronted with the fiction of the President’s sales pitch that insurance would become more affordable. “It’s another $500 a month that you have to think about how you’re going to pay for,” said Eric, adding, “The real thing that jumped out at me is all of a sudden I’m required to have maternity coverage.”
Even in our enlightened age of trans-gendered confusion, one has to grant that the odds of Eric getting knocked up are pretty slim, but Obamacare is a collective baby with an insatiable appetite for our money on one end and little sense of responsibility at the other.
The information is not very complete as I don’t see anything about deductible or other detailed info, but it does give an actual price as to the “Premium.” It is VERY SCARY!! For example, my insurance plan right now for my spouse and I costs $545 a month with 100% coverage after my $2,500 deductible. We are both 32 years old. When I looked at this site for 80% coverage it says it will be $954.87 a month!!!! So compare my old plan: 100% coverage for $545 a month To New Plan: 80% coverage for $945 a month. This is only an estimate but it is VERY Scary for me see this kind of increase in rates and reduction in benefits!
I am so disappointed. These prices are outrageous and there are huge deductibles. No one can afford this!
What happened to the Yes We Can chorus? Then there’s the single mother of two who works full time and says she earns 75 percent less than the poverty level:
Are you [expletive] kidding me???? Where the HELL am I supposed to get $3,000 more a year to pay for this “bronze” health insurance plan!?!??? And I DO NOT EVEN WANT INSURANCE to begin with!! This is frightening.
Not to worry, Ma’am, because in utopia, it’s the intention that counts. You’ve only to see the obvious empathy in Barack Obama’s eyes, which is especially visible in the morning when he’s freshly rested from a vacation at Martha’s Vineyard. He must care after all, otherwise he wouldn’t punish so severely those who resist his tender advances on their “lives as usual,” to use Mrs. Obama’s ominous phraseology.
Please note that when the people’s representatives actually represent their constituents, the majority of whom want nothing to do with the wretched and wretchedly mis-named Affordable Care Act, it is the people who must be punished. Can you believe that men who conquered Nazi Germany’s barricades on the beach at Normandy 69 years ago actually faced barricades from their own damned government? Can you believe that Vietnam vets, many of whom were rebuked for their service, were removed from their memorial by the police? Do the men and women who are ordered to move against law abiding veterans have no soul?
The federal government has shut down some 17 times previously, and at no time were these memorials closed. Is our Sovereign so besotted with power, has his impudent leftism so robbed him of reason that he fails to understand what is so obvious: That in barricading Americans from memorials and icons that stand as testimony to an exceptional culture founded precisely on liberty from oppressive government, he perfectly validates the arguments of the right?
As one member on Ricochet commented, this is no longer about Ted Cruz. It’s no longer about the animadversions of establishment Republicans who have only to see their political shadow before becoming alarmed and settling in for six more months of concessions to the statist. This is about an arrangement the President and his party mean to consummate with the American people; an illusory promise to take care of us in exchange for our abject obedience and subservience. But as the examples cited above show, it is only the subservience that is achieved.
From barricading memorials to the closing of a private inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway, from threatening Catholic military chaplains with arrest should they celebrate mass on Sunday to taking care of back pay for federal workers at the expense of everyone else, the bleeding heart has become, as it inevitably will, an iron fist. Here and there resistance is bubbling to the surface, with Governor Walker in Wisconsin defying federal orders to close seven state-owned forests and recreation areas, and private citizens rallying to escort veterans to and from their memorials.
What began as an effort to reverse a draconian law that even now exacts a high toll in terms of jobs lost and skyrocketing premiums, has become a contest of wills in which a President instructs his apparatchiks to inflict as much pain on the citizenry as possible. Chiefly instructive in all this is the salient reality that any person capable of wielding the instrumentalities of the state in a despotic manner in the present, will prove equally capable in the future when he controls your health care.
This could be big. This could end up being very, very big because two protests have been planned for the same weekend in Washington DC. On October 13, the Million Vet march will coincide with day 3 of the truckers ride in our nation’s Capital.
There has been righteous indignation and rage simmering just below the surface since the Community Organizer from Chicago began usurping his power, but this past week, his thugocracy went too far. When Obama’s shutdown theater was implemented to make Americans – including 80 to 90 year old WWII vets – feel as much pain as possible – that simmering rage reached a full boil.
While most of the nation’s attention has been on the “barrycaded” WWII Memorial, other war memorials in DC have been shut down as well. Yesterday, Park Police removed Vietnam vets and tourists from the Memorial Wall.
Via Gateway Pundit: ”Unbelievable! Barack Obama brought out the German Shepherds today to threaten US veterans at the Vietnam Memorial.”
Via William Jacobson, NBC’s affiliate in Washington, D.C. reports that police ordered tourists and Vietnam war veterans who were visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to leave the memorial at one point on Friday.
After one group of veterans went around the barricade, “the park ranger told them the wall was closed,” NBC’s Mark Seagraves reported. “Later another group of vets showed up and moved the barricades. At that point, the memorial filled with vets and tourists. That’s when police came and moved everyone out.”
There is a chronic shortage of active duty Catholic chaplains. While roughly 25% of the military is Catholic, Catholic priests make up only about 8% of the chaplain corps. That means approximately 275,000 men and women in uniform, and their families, are served by only 234 active-duty priests.
The temporary solution to this shortage is to provide GS and contract priests. These men are employed by the government to ensure that a priest is available when an active duty Catholic Chaplain is not present.
With the government shutdown, many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer. During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.
Breitbart’s John Nolte is keeping a list of parks, monuments and more UNNECESSARILY SHUT DOWN BY OBAMA TO INFLICT PUBLIC PAIN.
America has had enough of this out and out thuggery.
A “Million Vet March On The Memorials” is being organized for October 13, 2013, at the war memorials in Washington D.C.
We are all military brats, current and former military spouses and some veterans. We cannot express how utterly disappointed we were that our Greatest Generation were being used as political pawns in the ongoing government shutdown and budget crisis. This should never be the case.
We do not care what political leanings you may be; be it liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent or whatever. The actions of the U.S. government this week with regard to barricading and shutting down the World War II Memorial to veterans, that may or may not be on their last trip to Washington DC, is a despicable act of cowardice.
Veterans this week were unwillingly pitted as pawns in this crisis. We feel that this should never be the case. This is why we will go to Congress after the budget crisis and ask for a bill to be introduced that would prevent any member of the government from closing our memorials down to any American, except for maintenance purposes. In the meantime, we will have our March in Washington DC on October 13th! Our veterans deserve that!
Many in our group have decided that enough is enough. We are Americans. We are proud of our heritage and our service. As all of us were military brats and spouses, we have served in some form or another our entire lives. This is our way of life. We will not stand by and let the U.S. government dishonor the legacy of sacrifice of the generations before us. It is time to make a stand! We hope that you will join us in our peaceful protest against anti-American policies.
As thousands of federal employees wonder where their next paycheck is coming from amid a government shutdown, around 3,000 truckers plan to descend on Washington, D.C., in an effort to shut it down further by not hauling freight for a whole weekend.
“The shutdown is actually a traffic jam,” former country music star and event organizer Zeeda Andrews told U.S. News. “This is a three-day traffic jam.”
1. Trucker Earl Conlon is calling on all truckers in their State Capitals to Rally to the Capital to show support. We understand not everybody can afford the fuel to make the DC RIDE but this is a United effort.
Drivers that are working at least fly a flag and RIDE in Convoy formation while on the interstate. There will be Local TV from coast to coast filming this solidarity RIDE and event. It is up to the Truckers Of America to wake up the people as to the harsh regulations and UN-Constitutionals laws against our commerce and its people. We are brothers and sisters of the ROAD!
All truckers in this RIDE are directed to Earl Conlon, he is in charge, email: email@example.com.
2. Washington DC Capital on Constitution St. Show up Friday morning before the convoy gets there with signs concerning our constitution or in support of the RIDE, bring ole glory flags and show your patriotism. If some want to bring the 10 commandments to remind others of God’s Laws feel free to do so.
3. All Truckers, motorcycles, cars, pickup trucks tractors, RV’s that want to participate in this RIDE meet at the All American Truck Plaza off I-95 exit 98 across from amusement park. Most will show up the 10th. The event will start at 7:00 am October 11th.
4. Please dress your RIDE up with Constitutional related signs and or ole glory flags. Some people want to quote the 10 commandment and WE welcome Do what ever the spirit moves you to do.
5. People with Ham radios and Hand Held CB’s will be needed for communication. Harrisburg Pennsylvania Truckers for their State will meet at The Wilco Truck Stop off I-81 exit 78.
7. If you would like to participate in the Overpasses to cheer on our Constitutional Riders or wave your Impeach Obama signs or any other signs please join your State group to get the information where they will be. The group will say closed but join because most will say that, after joining the page will open to you. [Link]
8. If you would like to rally to your nearest Rest Area Brett Backman with The Modern American Revolution said he would work the Rest Areas and the Overpasses in this event. If you want to start a Rally in your area at a Rest Area please let us know and we will post it. On Facebook: Modern Revolution
9. Fred’s Restaurant in Wheelersburg, Ohio will be supporting the Truckers Ride for the Constitution. Truckers traveling to D.C. Oct. 11,12,and 13 th can stop by and receive a Free Personal Pan Pizza, chips and a 20 oz. drink. Plz share so we can get the word out. God Bless America! [Link]
10. Stephanie King: feeding station, I-75 in Kentucky on Jelico Mountain.
It’s time for Americans to PROTEST LIKE EGYPTIANs.
To start, something we can all agree on – Ted Cruz tends to evoke passionate emotions.
The left hates him because, well, he’s a human textbook in the art of annoying liberals. The right is more divided. Some conservatives dislike Cruz because they view him as an agitator for agitation’s sake.
Some conservatives dislike him because, well, they aren’t him. But for many conservatives, Cruz is the ultimate politician; a conservative gunslinger – no excuses, no prisoners, no retreat – quite literally, the Lone Star State Ranger.
Yet, regardless of how we as individuals feel about Cruz’s politics, for five reasons, he deserves our respect.
1) He’s intelligent
As his liberal Harvard Law Professor, Alan Dershowitz, put it, “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant.”
While the Senator often takes flak for his statements in Congress, at speeches off the Hill, he tends to strike a slightly different figure. Passionate yes, but able to articulate the intricacies of his positions to a mix of audiences. If nothing else, we should celebrate the fact that a man who rose from humble beginnings is now at the intellectual forefront of shaping his party’s future.
2) He puts causes above political gain
Soaring speeches, relentless campaigning, marathon filibusters… No one can accuse Cruz of being a political crony. Let’s face it; he doesn’t seem desperate to win powerful friends. In fact, he’s reveled in torching bridges as much as building them.
Cruz’s relentless passion speaks to something. We might disagree with some (or all) of his opinions, –but we should respect Cruz’s commitment. By the authority of Texas voters, Cruz has been sent to Washington for a reason. He’s fulfilling it. Though he’s controversial at home as well as in DC, so far, the defining judges of Cruz’s ‘service’, Texan voters, remain more favorable in their opinion of him than they are negative. Of course, this may change, but until it does, Cruz can point to a continuing base of popular legitimacy. We should respect that.
3) He’s amusing
No one can accuse the Senator of being boring. His speeches are loaded with humor. And impressively for a politician, Cruz’s jokes include references to both modern social trends and cultural Americana. This isn’t silly, it’s crucially important. Regrettably, many Americans are far more interested in the Kardashians than they are in their own government. That’s not healthy for our democracy.
Yet, Cruz is helping to change this dynamic – he’s making politics more accessible and more engaging. When he sends syrup to Jon Stewart, he’s connecting with young Americans. When he compares ObamaCare to Dr. Seuss, he’s introducing levity to a DC dominated debate. Certainly, he’s differentiating himself from the callous, mindless oratory of Republicans like Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock.
4) He’s a political turbine
When it comes to Ted Cruz, you never know what you’re going to get. That makes his politics interesting. In turn, Cruz drags people out of disinterest and into the discussion. These days, Cruz is probably better at stirring up the liberal base than the president. For the well-being of our country, this catalytic quality is priceless. The main problem with contemporary American politics isn’t Cruz style intransigence. Instead, it’s the fact that many Americans ignore politics in general. They care enough to complain, but not enough to demand change. Cruz changes that equation. He’s a grenade against apathy.
5) He’s done nothing wrong
Listening to some commentators, you’d think that Cruz is an American Guy Fawkes. He isn’t. Rather, the senator is doing what most ambitious politician do – he’s applying the system to his own advantage.
It’s true, few of his actions could be regarded as bi-partisan in nature. But political service is about more than deference to common authority (as President Obama recently found out with his Syria authorization request in Congress). In the end, Cruz will be considered just as much for what he has prevented, as for what he has established. His is undoubtedly a risky proposition – 2016 Republican primary voters may come to regard Cruz harshly if the GOP loses key seats in the 2014 midterm elections. But Cruz’s record shouldn’t be written for a few more years.
Ultimately, the people of Texas will decide whether or not he deserves a second term. The American people will decide whether he gets the keys to another house.
In our system of government, Ted Cruz owes deference to two things alone – his oath and his office. Yes, many of us would prefer a more consensus oriented politician. Nevertheless, he’s an elected representative of America’s second most populous state. We don’t have to like him, we don’t have to vote for him, but paying heed to his pivotal role in our national political life, Ted Cruz deserves our respect.
Sadly, Senator Cruz was forced to yield the floor at noon (ET) today after being denied permission to extend his remarks by Majority Leader Harry Reid. Senator Cruz repeatedly requested unanimous consent to continue speaking past 12pm when the Senate usually begins new business with a prayer.
On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to the Senate floor to begin a “talking filibuster” against the funding of Obamacare.
“I rise today in opposition to Obamacare,” Cruz said. “I intend to speak in opposition to Obamacare. I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.”
Cruz said he will “do everything I can to help” Americans stand together against a Washington and “politicians in this body that are not listening to the people.”
Cruz said it was an honor to stand side-by-side with his colleague Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), the architect of the defunding strategy, and said it was time to recognize that this “grand experiment” of Obamacare is not working. Cruz said it was time to “make D.C. listen” and said it was a point that he would make “over and over again.”
On Monday, Cruz demanded a 60-vote threshold for any amendments to the House bill that funds the government except for Obamacare. He said politicians who vote for cloture would be voting to fund Obamacare.
Update: CNN’s Carol Costello and Dana Bash are giggling like mean sorority girls over the empty Senate chamber.
Update: Citing Ayn Rand, Cruz rip the media for focusing on personalities instead of ideas.
In other news…
CNN’s Dana Bash is now mocking Cruz for talking about Star Wars and Ashton Kutcher.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd is focusing on Cruz’s Star Wars comments and White Castle references.
Update: ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein pretends he doesn’t understand the point about putting President Obama on the ObamaCare exchanges his health care act has forced so many on to.
to Cruz/Paul point, Obamacare was always designed to provide coverage to those who don’t have it, not replace for those who do, no?
- Rick Klein (@rickklein) September 25, 2013
This is Klein hoping to appeal to and convince low-information voters that Paul and Cruz are spouting nonsense. Klein knows the point is a good one and rather than share it, he acts obtuse in order to dismiss it.
Update: Sen. Paul suggests President Obama go on the ObamaCare exchange, and that at today’s briefing some reporter ask if Obama is willing to go on the exchange. “Mr. President, if it such a good idea, why don’t you get it?”
Paul is referencing the hundreds of thousands of workers who have lost their health insurance after the costs of ObamaCare forced employers to choose the fines of not insuring over the cost of Obama’s mandated health plans. As a result, Walgreens alone dumped 180,000 into the exchanges.
Update: At 8:41am ET, Cruz officially hit the 18 hour mark. Somehow he looks as fresh as he did at 2:41pm yesterday.
Update: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is mocking ObamaCare for being so bad the administration can’t give it away for free. He is also laying out how businesses can game the system to get an advantage over the competition by dumping employees on to the exchanges or not hiring more than 49 employees.
Update: On Twitter, @Cuffymeh compares CNN’s worship of Democrat Wendy Davis to the objective, not-at-all-liberal network’s attack on Ted Cruz:
Critics question his motives, though – is this about his principles or about presidential aspirations?
CNN political analyst Gloria Borger said his Republican detractors think Cruz is putting his political career above all else.
The Texas state senator whose filibuster of an abortion bill became a national phenomenon has a long history of persisting against tough odds.
Update: Morning Joe and his panel hurled contempt at Ted Cruz all morning; this included Joe, Mika, Chuck Todd, the Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis, David Gregory, Cokie Roberts, and Chris Matthews.
Update: Cruz has been speaking for 17 hours and looks as fresh as he did when this started.
Update: CNN accuses Cruz’s “theatrics” of inviting a government shutdown and then calls the filibuster fake because Cruz negotiated a stop time with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Obviously, CNN is not concerned with contradicting itself in order to tear down Cruz.
Update: Cruz Is Reading from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. He Urges Americans to Buy the Book.
Update: Lee, Cruz Hammer Home Point ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’ Misnomer
In a brilliant discourse, Lee and Cruz made the point that the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is a misnomer and obliterated the back and forth about whether Obamcare was a tax or a penalty.
Lee eventually made the point that just like the Hundred Years’ War did not last 100 years, just like the Chinese gooseberry is from New Zealand, the airplane black box is orange, Panama hats come from Ecuador, camel hair is actually squirrel fur, the purple finch is crimson,and the canary islands are named after a dog, years war did not last 100 years, the “Affordable Care Act” make healthcare less affordable rather than more. Lee had asked Cruz a serious of questions about what color a black box was and where Panama hats come from. Many were impressed with the discourse:
UPDATE: Cruz said there is not a senator who could have given the constitutional lecture Lee did. Cruz also revealed that he did not know there were different shades of white until his wife asked him what shade of white a tile was while they were redecorating their bathroom.
UPDATE: Filibuster Hits 12-Hour Mark
Cruz’s filibuster hits the 12-hour mark at 2:41 AM EDT, as Sen. Lee eloquently speaks about the ratification of the Constitution, limited government, and modern commerce clause jurisdiction.
UPDATE: Palin Watching Filibuster from Alaska: ‘We Can Hear You All the Way in Wasilla.’
UPDATE: Cruz Connects Toby Keith and Hobby Lobby, Rips Obama for Demonstrating ‘Hostility’ to Religious Faith
Cruz read the lyrics to Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” and he spoke extensively about Hobby Lobby and religious liberty. He said they had an awful lot to do with each other ann and talked about how the United States was founded by those who fled religious persecution from across the globe and governments that sought to impose their rules to restrict the religious liberties of men and women. Cruz then said the federal government is telling Hobby Lobby and Catholic hospitals that they must violate their religious liberties because government knows best. Cruz said the Founding Fathers knew that if Americans don’t have the freedom to seek out God, then every other freedom can be stripped away and that is why the First Amendment begins with religious liberty. He then blistered the Obama administration for demonstrating a “hostility” to religious faith “that is staggering.” Cruz said religious liberty is foundational to “who we are” and Obamacare is “pernicious” because of it “disregards religious liberty.”
“If the government can order them to violate their religious beliefs, what’s to stop them from ordering you to violate yours,” Cruz said. “That’s wrong. That is inconsistent with who we are as Americans. It’s one of the many reasons Americans are fed up with what’s happening under Obamacare.”
UPDATE: Cruz Praises Duck Dynasty, Says We’re All Going to Be ‘Happy, Happy, Happy,’ When We Defund Obamacare
Cruz praised Duck Dynasty for being a show about a “God-fearing family of successful entrepreneurs who love guns” and “who love to hunt and believe in the American dream.” Cruz said that’s something that is not supposed to exist, according to Congress.
He quoted some of the show’s main characters. Cruz quoted Duck Commander Phil Robertson, who said, “in a subdivision, you call 911. At home, I am 911.” He also quoted Phil’s famous “Happy, Happy, Happy,” line and told Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), “when we defund Obamacare, we’re all going to be ‘Happy, Happy, Happy.’”
“That kind of homespun wisdom is what this country was built on. It’s who we are,” Cruz said. “There are some things to chuckle on but there’s an awful lot of common sense.”
UPDATE: C-SPAN noted when Cruz surpassed Sen. Sanders’s 2010 filibuster by an hour:
UPDATE: Fox News’s Sean Hannity praises Breitbart News reporter Matthew Boyle:
Update: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) whined about having to preside over the Senate and called Cruz’s filibuster “a pointless fairy tale non-filibuster” even though, as the Washington Post’s Paul Kane noted, mainstream media outlets referred to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speech in 2010 in which he did exactly what Cruz is doing as a “filibuster.”
Walking into Capitol to take 11-1 shift presiding over the Senate for this pointless fairy tale non-filibuster.
- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) September 25, 2013
Update: Cruz: ‘Asinine’ for GOP Pundits to Make ‘Poppycock’ Argument that Republicans Can’t Do Anything Because They Control ‘One-Half of One-Third of Government.”
Cruz said it is “asinine” for pundits always say that Republicans cannot do anything because they control “one half of one-third of government” and said there was a legal term for that argument: “poppycock.” This is an argument often employed by House Republican leaders like House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).
Cruz noted that the House has preeminence on spending and not a single law can pass without the House.
Update: Sen. Cruz: ‘God Bless Talk Radio’
He spoke about the democratization of information and mentioned how talk radio goes right around the media gatekeepers and the Internet, Twitter, and Facebook help people and information bypass the traditional gatekeepers because there are no longer three large networks that monopolize the news.
Update: Sen. Mike Lee Makes Another Appearance on Senate Floor to Join Cruz
Update from Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle: Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) Honored to Have Joined Cruz
Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), a conservative from the state, told Breitbart News he is honored to have joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on the floor to fight to defund Obamacare. Hudson joined Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Paul Broun (R-GA), a few of the House members who came to the Senate floor to support Cruz, on the other side of Capitol Hill. “Last week, the House stood up for the American people by passing legislation to defund Obamacare, control spending and prevent a government shutdown,” Hudson said in an email. “As the fight continues in the Senate, I stand with Senator Ted Cruz and our like-minded colleagues to protect our constituents from this disastrous and intrusive health care takeover.”
Update: As Promised, Cruz Reads #MakeDCListen Tweets on the Senate Floor
Update: #MakeDCListen Still Top Trending Topic on Twitter
Update: Cruz: Americans Expect All 100 Senators on Floor Debating Obamacare
Cruz wondered what could be more important than debating the funding of Obamacare that so few senators would be on the floor debating Obamacare. Cruz said, unfortunately, senators are not listening to Americans concerned about Obamacare, and some would rather be at fundraising dinners.
Update: Picture of Cruz’s Daughters Watching Their Father on Television
Update: Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) supports Cruz on Twitter
Update: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) Claims Cruz is ‘Just Plain Wrong’ to Suggest Congress Received Special Treatment on Obamacare
After Durbin bragged about how the healthcare exchanges would help one of his constituents, Cruz then asked Durbin if he would be willing eliminate the subsidies that congressional staffers are set to receive so Congress plays by the same rules as Durbin’s constituents.
Cruz said he would like to note that it speaks volumes that Congress has been exempted from the Obamacare system Durbin so passionately described.
“I’m curious if the senator from Illinois is such a fan of the exchanges … would the senator from Illinois then support Senator Vitter’s amendment?” Cruz asked. “If we’re going to make rules for the American people, [we should be subject] to the same rules.”
Durbin said Cruz was “just plain wrong” to say that Congress received special treatments and exemptions from Obamacare even though the text of Obamacare does not explicitly allow the federal government to subsidize lawmakers in Congress and their staffs for their insurance plans they must buy on the exchanges.
Update: Pobrecitas: Anonymous Sources in GOP Establishment Whining About Cruz
Going to the left-leaning Buzzfeed, anonymous GOP establishment sources, “most of whom declined to disparage a rising star on the record,” said “the party’s donor class is rolling its eyes at Cruz’s” speech on the Senate floor. Pobrecitas (poor things). They said Cruz’s refusal to be co-opted by the ruling class will discourage the big-money donors, the same types of people who are financing the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform efforts, from financially backing Cruz. As Cruz has repeatedly said, though, there is a paradigm shift that is going on that is empowering the grassroots, to whom Cruz has said he is accountable instead of these big-money establishment donors. Cruz, almost more than any other politician, is a symbol of that paradigm shift.
UPDATE: Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) Communications Director Notices There May Be a Reason Why Members of the Washington Establishment and Their Minions Have Stopped Chirping on Twitter Against Cruz, a Politician They Loathe for Not Kowtowing to Them:
UPDATE: Sens. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) join Cruz on the Senate floor
UPDATE: Cruz Reads Two Bedtime Stories to His Daughters, Caroline and Katherine from Senate Floor
Cruz reads a bedtime story from the Bible and Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to his daughters. Earlier, Cruz spoke about how he always believed his father “invented” green eggs and ham by using green food coloring or spinach in the eggs that he made Cruz when Cruz was a child. Cruz said Green Eggs and Ham is relevant to the Obamacare campaign because Obama and Democrats said “just try” Obamacare over three years ago. Except Cruz said Americans tried Obamacare and did not like it.
Update: Cruz: You Could Not Design a Law That Can Do More Damage to Young People than Obamacare if You Sat Down And Tried
Cruz said Obamacare is a wealth transfer program from healthy young people to others who are not as healthy. He said lawmakers looked at young people and “licked their chops” and emphasized that one could not design a law that would hurt young people as much as Obamacare if lawmakers deliberately tried.
Update: Cruz Speaks Fluently About Football
In discussing all of the establishments and universities that are cutting hours because of Obamacare, Cruz read that the University of Alabama is capping work hours for students at 20. He kidded that that “may be justifiable punishment for their having beaten Texas A&M,” but “it is still not good for students who would like to work more than 20 hours a week.” Earlier, Cruz said he hated the Pittsburgh Steelers because the “Steel Curtain” teams would pound his Houston Oilers, led by Earl Campbell, while Cruz was a child in Texas during the 1970s.
Update: Paul Tweets His Appearance on Senate Floor
Cruz said he would read “#MakeDCListen” tweets on the Senate floor later in the evening and encouraged Americans to use the hashtag that has been the top-trending topic on Twitter.
UPDATE: SARAH PALIN TO CRUZ: ‘Stay Strong’
After an appearance on Fox News’ Cavuto in which she had Cruz’s back and her exclusive op-ed for Breitbart News over the weekend gave Cruz air cover and lit up the political world, the politician whom Cruz said he would not be in the Senate without weighed in on Twitter and supported Cruz, saying that “fortifying caribou jerky” was on its way to Texas as well:
At this year’s CPAC, Cruz said he would not be in the Senate were it not for Palin, who endorsed Cruz during the 2012 Texas Senate primary at a time when Cruz was not assured to make the runoff against moderate Republican Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Former South Carolina Senator and current Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, whose mantle Cruz is taking up in the Senate, said nobody has more influence in a Republican primary than Palin. Cruz’s campaign prominently featured Palin on its website and in radio and television ads, and Cruz eventually made the runoff against Dewhurst and eventually won the nomination and the Senate seat. The Senate’s landscape would be a lot different had Dewhurst been elected to the Senate from Texas, which is what many in the Republican establishment wanted.
Cruz, unlike many who have come to Washington to change it only to be changed by it, has not proverbially seen the Washington, D.C. cesspool as a jacuzzi and has danced with the one that brung him. He repeatedly emphasizes that he is accountable to the grassroots and not the mainstream media and Republican establishment, which has surprised political reporters who are accustomed to conservatives being co-opted by Washington’s establishment.
UPDATE from Breitbart News’ Matt Boyle: Enzi Still Deciding Whether to Stand with Cruz
A spokesman for Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) told Breitbart News that Enzi will likely take a stand one way or the other on whether he supports the strategy from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sometime tonight on the Senate floor or sometime tomorrow morning. Nonetheless, Enzi’s spokesman argued that the senator is ardently opposed to Obamacare. “I can tell you Senator Enzi voted against Obamacare in committee and on the Senate floor,” Enzi’s spokesman said in an email. “Since the majority passed it, Senator Enzi has voted to dismantle it, has supported legislation to repeal it and has signed a letter to Senator Reid with Senators Lee, Paul, Cruz and others that says Senator Enzi will not support a continuing resolution that funds further implementation or enforcement of Obamacare.”
UPDATE: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) echoes many points from his standard speech about how Obamacare makes it tougher for people to live the American dream like Rubio’s and Cruz’s parents were able to do.
Cruz said that Rubio inspired him and was a “critical national leader” and was there from day one with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) on defunding Obamacare. Cruz also noted that “official Washington” did not think Rubio could get elected to the Senate when he was running against then-Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. Rubio won after running on Tea Party principles but has seen his poll numbers among conservatives and Republicans plummet after his enthusiastic support of the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill as a member of the chamber’s “Gang of Eight” that wrote it
UPDATE: #MakeDCListen Blowing Up Twitter.
“#StandwithCruz” and “KeepCruzing” and other hashtags associated with Cruz’s speech have been trending throughout the day:
UPDATE: Cruz Points Out ‘No Consequences’ for Those Who Said House Would Never Pass Bill to Defund Obamacare
Cruz said there are no consequences for people in their “deep baritone voices” who said the House would never pass a bill to defund Obamacare. He noted that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was not initially on board with the initial group that was in favor of the defunding strategy and has now expressed his support.
UPDATE from Breitbart News’ Matt Boyle on Sens. Sessions, Inhofe, Roberts, Johnson
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told Breitbart News on Tuesday shortly after 5 p.m. that he sympathizes with Cruz’s effort but would not specifically agree either way whether he would support Cruz’s strategy. “”I agree with the tens of millions of Americans who believe Obamacare should be stopped. The law is raising their cost of healthcare coverage and forcing businesses to cut back on jobs and to reduce benefits. But Senator Reid and President Obama will keep pushing Obamacare even as its implementation is an obvious train wreck. Unfortunately, Democrats control the U.S. Senate, and I highly doubt they will pass a government funding measure that defunds Obamacare.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) also just promised on Senate floor that he will support Cruz’s strategy. “I intend to support you,” Sessions said. “I don’t intend to vote to” move forward on any bill that leaves the door open to fund Obamacare. “I thank you for you leadership,” Sessions told Cruz.
Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) said they will support Cruz’s strategy too, according to the Senate Conservatives Fund.
UPDATE: Cruz: ‘Filling the Tree’ Example of Politicians Using Positions of Power to Enforce Washington’s Ideological Views
Cruz said the tactic used by the Majority Leader to not allow any other amendments on a bill was a “tool of power” used to silence the people and ensure what the permanent political class wants is imposed on the rest of America.
UPDATE: Matt Drudge Praises Cruz and Paul
Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have taken over the heart of the party. Christie going to have uphill battle against emotion…
- MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) September 24, 2013
UPDATE: Sen. Jeff Sessions Says Obamacare Will Make DC More of a Boomtown
Sessions said Obamacare would create more jobs for bureaucrats and lobbyists in DC at a time when the rest of the nation is struggling economically. Cruz said the “boom business in our economy is government” and that was unfortunate because smart people see gaming the government as a way to enrich themselves. Cruz said the divide between the bipartisan ruling class and the rest of America was the greatest source of the country’s problems and disillusionment.
UPDATE: Sen. Jeff Sessions Joins Cruz on the Senate Floor
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a staunch opponent of the Senate’s amnesty bill, earned the respect of many conservatives with his war-horse like work in opposing comprehensive immigration reform.
He asked Cruz if Obamacare leads to a single-payer system, who would be the payer?
Cruz said that government would be the payer, which means the taxpayers. Cruz noted that once government pays for healthcare it can control it. He had said that the vote for cloture on the bill before the Senate will be the most important vote he will have taken in his nine months in the Senate because it is a question of whether senators will be responding to the “suffering” that Obamacare has wrought across America. Cruz said senators have the “for me but not for thee” mentality on Obamacare, and Cruz said senators would oppose Obamacare more fiercely if their healthcare or that of their children were on the line like it is for many of America’s most vulnerable. Sessions said he intends to support Cruz’s effort.
UPDATE: Cruz Tells Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) that Obamacare Will Lead to Socialized Medicine
After Roberts asked whether Obamacare would lead to socialized medicine, Cruz said Obamacare’s intended purpose was to “unavoidably” lead the country down the path of socialized healthcare. He said Obamacare would fail but would destroy the private sector when it does, allowing for a single-payer system to be ushered in, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said was Obamacare’s goal.
UPDATE: Paul Asks Cruz Questions on the Floor
Paul criticizes Obama for not willing to negotiate with Republicans and for his “my way or the highway” approach. He asked Cruz if he wants to shut down the government and what his intentions were.
Cruz said he is not in his argument boots and instead is wearing black tennis shoes like the ones Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) wears to make himself more comfortable. He said he was in “debt to Rand Paul” for allowing him to speak on the Senate floor in support of Paul’s “tremendous filibuster that mobilized the American people,” which was the first time Cruz spoke on the Senate floor.
Cruz talks about how surprised reporters were that Cruz would want to defund Obamacare even though some of those reporters were on the campaign trail with him when he promised to do so if he got to Washington. He reiterated that he did not wan to shut down the government
UPDATE: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Heading to Floor to Ask Cruz Questions:
UPDATE: Cruz Reads Letters from American People Opposed to Obamacare
Cruz read a letter from an employees of a small business in Texas asking for Obamacare to be defunded. He read another from a commercial real estate broker from Chesapeake, Virginia who was already feeling the disastrous impact of Obamacare in a low-income community. The real estate agent wrote to Cruz that many in the low-income community have seen their hours cut to 29 hours a week because of Obamacare and, as a result, they will be forced into government housing because they are unable to pay their rent and his client will get less income. Cruz said “these cries are coming from all across the country,” but Washington is not listening.
UPDATE: Cruz Discusses Obamacare’s Impact on Cleveland Clinic
Cruz mentioned that the Cleveland Clinic is the second largest employer in Ohio after Walmart and is responsible for 80% of economic output in Northeast Ohio. Because of Obamacare, though, the Cleveland Clinic will be forced to lay off thousands of workers. Cruz said if lawmakers really cared about Ohio other than every four years during a presidential election year the Senate chamber should be filled with senators addressing Obamacare’s impact on the Cleveland Clinic and Ohio’s economy. He noted the Cleveland Clinic also provides healthcare to some of most disadvantaged people as well.
UPDATE: Cruz’s Story About His Father Getting His First Job Washing Dishes for 50 Cents an Hour and Assimilating Resonates:
Cruz said Obamacare threatens the type of jobs that young people at the lower end of the economic ladder need to move up to better jobs and the economic ladder like his father did.
UPDATE from Breitbart News Reporter Matthew Boyle: Chambliss Opposes Cruz
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) came out against Sen. Cruz’s strategy on Tuesday, saying he will vote for cloture.
“He plans to vote for cloture on the House Republican’s continuing resolution, which he supports,” Chambliss’ spokeswoman wrote in an email to Breitbart News.
UPDATE: Cruz: Obamacare Shows There Are ‘Two Americas’
Cruz uses John Edwards’s “two Americas” formulation to describe the country under Obamacare.
“I didn’t agree with a lot of thingns John Edwards said as a political candidate,” Cruz said, noting, though, that he agreed with the “tragic” notion that there are “two Americas.” During the 2004 Democratic presidential primary, Edwards, the candidate George W. Bush’s reelection team arguably feared the most on the top of the ticket, used his “two Americas” speech to rocket up the Democratic field in the waning months of the campaign, eventually securing a spot on the ticket with nominee John Kerry.
Cruz said there are two Americas between the ruling class in Washington and everyone else. Cruz said there is an America for those of wealth and privilege and power and everybody else. Cruz had been saying, without using the explicit Two Americas formulation, that the Obamacare debate has reflected the two Americas divide, where the well-connected groups and businesses have gotten carve-outs and exemptions while the “little people” get stuck with an Obamacare law that is not even good enough for the members of Congress that passed it.
“If you’re lucky enough to be a college graduate, the unemployment rate is 3.5%, pretty good,” Cruz said, noting that the people who are getting “hammered” under Obamacare are the young, single mothers, and minorities who do not have “wealth and privilege” and trying to move up the economic ladder.
UPDATE: Cruz: A lot of people with vested interest in preserving status quo
Cruz said once more Obamacare exemptions are doled out, Americans would be left with a system where Obamacare is a rule for “the little people,” invoking Leona Helmsley, who said only “little people” pay taxes.
UPDATE: Cruz: If Only Senators Were to Behave as if Their Constituents Were at Least as Important as Their Congressional Staffers and They Are
Cruz took a question from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and said that Vitter’s amendment to not allow federal subsidies for those in Congress who purchase health insurance on the exchanges should be voted on and Vitter’s amendment should be expanded to all federal employees. Cruz said if those in Congress say Obamacare is so great, then “they should live under it.” Cruz said if Obamacare is so great, members of Congress, staff members, and federal employees should “eagerly embrace it.” He said “there is not a ruling class in Washington that somehow gets treated differently.” Cruz said behind closed doors, “this issue generates a lot of passion.” He said there are a great many congressional staffers who are great public servants and the Vitter amendment “deeply concerns” them. Cruz said it speaks volumes that some congressional staffers are willing to resign should the Vitter amendment pass because healthcare will be more expensive and not as good. Instead of vilifying Vitter, Cruz said the panic some staffers feel should be directed at working class Americans who are struggling to make ends meet who are very likely to lose their health insurance and put on exchanges.
“If Obamacare were so terrific, why would the president want to delay it ’til the next election?” Cruz said, noting than exemptions for labor unions are on their way.
UPDATE: “Sovereignty Is an Idea We Need to Get Back to”
Cruz said that town halls are not an annoyance and the Senate has not behaved in recent years as if “we the people are sovereign” and it has not acted “as if each of us have 300 million bosses.” Cruz spoke at length about how the idea that rights come from God and not a sovereign is still revolutionary. He said when he asked people and business owners what their greatest concern was, they all said the impact Obamacare would have on jobs.
UPDATE: Cruz takes a question from Lee, the architect of the defunding Obamacare strategy, who mentions that the new media environment allows more people outside of Washington, D.C. to have their voices heard on defunding Obamacare.
UPDATE: Cruz Leads: Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus showed his support for Cruz and his effort to defund Obamacare.
Twitter is lighting up with #MakeDCListen tweets like the one below:
UPDATE: Cruz: Mainstream Media Covers Important Issues like Hollywood Gossip Pages to Distract Americans with ‘Smoke and Mirrors’
Cruz said it is not by accident important issues are covered like the Hollywood gossip pages in order to distract Americans with “smoke and mirrors.” He blasted the “courage” of the anonymous staffers in Washington who have been knifing him in the back behind the scenes; however, he said he has “no intention of engaging in that game” even though rocks will be thrown at him. He said anyone who is trying to make the defunding Obamacare fight about personalities is trying to distract Americans from the fight.
UPDATE: Cruz: Congress like World Wrestling Federation
Cruz is obliterating the ruling permanent political class in Washington, saying that Congress is “a little bit like the World Wresting Federation” where everyone knows the outcome in advance and the rhetoric is “all for show.”
Regarding the defunding of Obamacare, Cruz said, “No more fake fights. No more hiding your votes. No more trying to fool the American people.” He has insisted throughout his speech that it is time to “make D.C.” listen. And he ripped Republicans who will say they voted against Obamacare knowing the predetermined outcome in advance.
Cruz said he wanted to “stand and fight for the more than 1.6 million Americans who signed the national petition against Obamacare” and the millions more who did not sign because they were told by politicians that it was impossible to defund Obamacare.
He said these establishment politicians get annoyed at their constituents (He said he heard senators complain that they were getting “too many phone calls” from constituents) for flooding their offices with phone calls more than they are about Obamacare and are concerned only about being “invited to all the right cocktail parties in town.”
“There are members in this body for whom that is really, really important,” Cruz said. “At the end of the day, we don’t work for those holding cocktail parties. Or the intelligentsia in the big cities writing newspaper editorials.”
Cruz said he was reminded of The Little Engine That Could because a lot of members “of this body… what they’d say to that train at the bottom of the train” is, “No you can’t!”
Cruz said many in Washington think they are the “kings and queens of their own fiefdoms” and said he has “26 million bosses back home in Texas.”
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House Republicans passed their stopgap funding bill Friday to keep government open while terminating the new health care law, setting up a final showdown next week with Senate Democrats and President Obama who have firmly rejected the GOP approach.
The 230-189 vote, which split almost exactly along party lines, is the precursor to the big action next week, when the Democratic majority in the Senate is expected to strip out the health care provisions and send the bill back to the House – where Republicans will have to decide whether they can accept it at that point.
All sides are racing to beat a Sept. 30 deadline, which is when current funding for the federal government runs out. The new measure would fund the government through Dec. 15, essentially at last year’s levels, and would leave the budget sequester cuts in place.
But Republicans on Friday also attached two amendments to the final bill — one to direct how government spending is prioritized in the event the Treasury Department bumps up against its borrowing limit in the coming weeks, and another that strips out funding for President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act, which would effectively stop its implementation.
“The American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, who rallied with fellow Republicans after the vote in a show of unity that seemed designed to quell speculation about a rebellion within the House Republican Conference.
Republicans said the move was designed to put some Democratic senators on the spot. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor named several who are up for re-election next year, including Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Alaska Sen. Mark Begich.
Democrats said the bill was an outrage that exposed Republicans’ true intention of trying to force a government shutdown.
“It is a wolf in wolf’s clothing,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. “Either you don’t know what you’re doing or this is one of the most intentional acts of brutality you’ve cooked up.”
Rep. Nita Lowey, the top Democrat on the House spending committee, said limiting government funding now would immediate consequences, such as preventing federal authorities from being able to help out as Colorado recovers from devastating floods.
Democrats urged the GOP to negotiate with them to raise taxes in order to spend more.
Republicans countered that if they’d wanted to shut down government, they wouldn’t have brought any bill to the floor.
“We are pragmatists. We know we have to pass bills to fund government. Thus this bill,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, Kentucky Republican.
The House will vote on a continuing resolution that will keep spending at sequester levels and defund Obamacare.
Leadership announced the plan to the Republican conference at a meeting Wednesday morning.
“This week the House will pass a CR that locks sequester savings in and defunds Obamacare,” Speaker of the House John Boehner told reporters at a press conference after the meeting. The CR will fund the government until the end of the year.
House leaders had initially proposed a legislative procedure by which the House would have voted on the same thing, except the CR portion and the health-care portion would have been separated.
House leaders felt that, given that the Senate will almost definitely vote against the Obamacare portion, separating the two parts made it more likely that a CR would be passed with spending at sequester levels.
That plan met with huge pushback from the more conservative faction of the party who saw it as a “trick,” and leadership backed off.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said he had never seen the conference so “united” as they headed toward this vote.
It is all but inevitable that the necessary votes will not be found in the Democratic Senate to defund Obamacare, but Boehner declined to say what would happen if and when the Senate sends the bill back to the House, looking very different than when it left.
“The fight over here has been won… It’s time for the Senate to have this fight,” Boehner said, declining to “speculate” on what the Senate might do.
What will not happen, Boehner said, is a government shutdown, which is what would happen if the Senate and the House could not come to an agreement and pass a CR to fund the government past Sept. 30.
“There should be no conversation about shutting the government down,” Boehner said. “That’s not the goal… There is no interest in our part in shutting down the government.”
Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana said that if Senate Republicans like Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, who have been clamoring to defund Obamacare using the CR, are unable to rally the necessary votes to do so, then the back up plan is to pass a clean CR and trade a debt ceiling raise for a one year delay of Obamacare.
“We’d much rather defund it,” Fleming said, “but if we can’t, then we want to delay it.” Fleming said, however, he himself was not sure if he could vote for the CR without the defund component.
A majority of Americans prefer that the government go through a partial shutdown to cut funding for Obamacare, according to a new study by Rasmussen Reports.
The study, which was released Tuesday, found that 51 percent of likely voters nationwide would rather see the government partially shut down when the current continuing resolution expires on September 30 than keep the president’s healthcare law funded at its current levels. Four in ten likely voters believe that we should avoid a government showdown by funding Obamacare at its current levels.
Included in the 51 percent of likely voters that would support the partial government shutdown are 57 percent of Independents and 78 percent of Republicans, as well as 61 percent of likely voters who have family in the military.
In addition, 53 percent of likely voters support a partial shutdown of the federal government so both parties can agree on what spending cuts to make. That includes 52 percent of Millennials, 62 percent of Independents and 59 percent of those who have family in the military.
Passing a continuing resolution by the end of the month is a top priority for Congress, however Congressional Republicans are split on whether or not to shut down the government over Obamacare. Several Tea Party senators including Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky have said that they will support a government shutdown, while House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia is firmly against the government shutdown.
President Obama’s signature legislative act remains widely unpopular among the American electorate. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday found that 44 percent of Americans consider Obamacare to be a bad idea and roughly the same believe that it will have a negative impact on the country’s healthcare system.
Millennials in particular aren’t thrilled about the looming implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as well. Just one in ten young Americans definitely plan on enrolling in the program’s healthcare exchanges in January according to a study released earlier this month by The Morning Consult.
Unfortunately for the president, the viability of the healthcare exchanges is dependent upon having a significant number of Millennials enrolled in the program to offset the costs of older Americans, who generally need more care than younger ones. To that end, the Obama administration and the Department of Health and Human Services has gone out of its way to recruit professional athletes and celebrities to convince Millennials to join the healthcare exchanges, but has seen little success thus far.
Forty-three House Republicans on Thursday endorsed legislation that would keep the government open while defunding ObamaCare.
The sponsorship total reveals that there is a significant bloc of opposition to a plan from GOP leaders that would avoid a government shutdown by requiring that the Senate take a vote on the healthcare law.
Conservatives decried that plan as a “gimmick,” forcing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and his team to push back a vote until at least next week.
The new measure from Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) gives House conservatives the hardline approach they have been seeking by tying the extension of basic government funding to a one-year delay in ObamaCare.
It comes just two days after House GOP leadership pitched to their conference a gambit that would require the Senate to vote on a bill defunding ObamaCare before passing a continuing resolution (CR) on government spending.
Supporters said the plan would force vulnerable Senate Democrats to take a tough vote on healthcare. Any strategy to thwart ObamaCare must involve the upper chamber, they argued.
But conservatives rejected the idea, predicting it would have no effect on the healthcare law.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a leader in the defund ObamaCare movement, blasted House Republicans earlier this summer for taking “empty, symbolic” votes to stop ObamaCare, and many conservatives are heeding his call for real action.
Graves’s more tenacious alternative had 42 co-sponsors upon its introduction. That creates a big problem for GOP leaders, who can only afford 16 Republican defections on any bill that is solidly opposed by Democrats, including a stopgap spending bill.
Speaker John Boehner on Thursday acknowledged the challenge ahead for passing a bill to keep the government funded after Oct. 1.
“There are a lot of discussions going on about how to deal with the [continuing resolution] and the issue of ObamaCare, so we’re continuing to work with our members,” Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a Capitol press conference.
“There are a million options that are being discussed by a lot of people,” Boehner said. “When we have something to report, we’ll let you know.”
Graves’s bill differs from leadership’s plan in several ways. For one, it would fund the government for one year instead of the three months proposed by Cantor.
The conservative measure would essentially implement the House-passed budget by increasing defense spending above sequestration levels while cutting domestic agency spending below the sequester for 2014. This feature should attract defense hawks in the GOP who are otherwise worried about a full-year CR.
In hard numbers, Cantor’s plan would keep the government on a top-line level of $986 billion as dictated by the 2013 sequester. The Graves bill would use the $967 billion level called for by the 2014 sequester, which called for deeper cuts.
Graves’s proposal drew support Thursday from Heritage Action and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the architect of the original conservative defunding plan.
“The House should pass this legislation immediately and send it to the Senate,” Lee said in a statement.
…H/T The Right Scoop