Archive for the ‘Laws’ Category


Stuck

Nov20

By John Feehery

stuck

We are stuck in 2009 and we can’t get out. (more…)

Making Ron Burgundy Proud

Nov15

By John Feehery

ron-burgundy-2

The commercials are frickin’ hilarious.

Ron Burgundy, Anchorman, selling the Dodge Durango. (more…)

G-Care

Oct10

By John Feehery

gov_payscale

I know I am asking a lot here.

But the new health care needs a new name.

Let’s stop calling it Obamacare.

Here is my reasoning.

If you want to repeal a law, you need Democratic help.   They will never vote to repeal a law named after a President that they nominated twice and got elected twice.

The term Obamacare came initially from a health care lobbyist named Jeanne Schulte Scott, according to Wikipedia.   She was describing a series of health care proposals put forward by  various politicians and Obamacare turned out to candidate Obama’s take on it.

It was Mitt Romney who first used Obamacare as part of a political attack.  In 2007, before Mr. Obama had won his first primary, Romney accused candidate Obama of pushing for socialized, government-run health care, which of course, is distinct from whatever Romney did in Massachusetts (or at least, that’s what Romney tried to convince people).

After the President successfully enacted his proposal, a competition developed between proponents and opponents of the law.  The President memorably said that he supported the term “Obamacare”.  “I have no problem saying Obama cares.  I do care.”

The Department of Health and Human Services, in fact, bought Google Ads tied to the keyword “Obamacare”, to steer people back to the official HHS site.  The Obama campaign also embraced Obamacare as if it were a positive accomplishment.

But the Tea Party was born thanks to Obamacare.

Tea Party patriots (as they like to call themselves) were mobilized chiefly by opposing the President’s new law.  Sarah Palin talked about death panels,  Rush Limbaugh warned about the dire impact of Obamacare, and lately, Ted Cruz did a fake filibuster promising to stop the President’s law by defunding it.

Obamacare didn’t dominate the Presidential debate, as much as some folks would have liked.  But now that we are getting closer to implementation, we should think clearly about whether the energy that is expended in complaining about it actually helps or hurts the cause in changing it.

There is a bit of a Obama derangement syndrome.

Anything associated with this President drives conservatives absolutely batty.  They go nuts and they can’t think rationally.

That derangement syndrome actually helped to drive the right wing on this silly effort to shut down the government to force the President to defund his own law.

That was never going to happen, and it has proved to be a serious distraction from the very real troubles that have dogged the new law.

We might be better off taking the President’s name of the law, and trying to approach this debate more rationally.

There is another reason why it might behoove us to change the terms of the debate.

What if the law turns out to be amazingly popular?

That probably won’t happen, but then again, people said the same thing about Social Security.

We don’t call the Social Security program, Roosevelt-care, do we?

So, let’s stop calling the Affordable Care Act Obamacare?

Let’s call it G-Care, short for government health care.

That’s what it is and it might be easier to get Democrats to repeal parts of the G-Care than it will be to get them to repeal Obamacare.

Confab on Immigration

Jul10

By John Feehery

Immigration Reform

Republicans are having a confab on immigration as I write this entry.

I imagine that none of them like the Senate product.

I don’t blame them. I don’t like what the Senate produced, even though, had I been in the Upper Body, I would have voted for it.

The bill needs to be fixed.

The border surge is a complete waste of money. The internal security stuff is way too intrusive. I don’t like the e-verify provisions, especially on small businesses.

I don’t think the Senate bill does enough on assimilation. You should have a conversational understanding of English if you are going to be a citizen.

You should understand the basics of personal finance if you get your citizenship. You shouldn’t be eligible for welfare benefits for an extended period of time (maybe five years), if you were once an illegal alien.

But we need more than sticks to fix our immigration laws. We need some incentives to get the undocumented to go through the sometimes painful process of getting their citizenship. The whole point of this exercise is to get people out of the shadows and into the mainstream of society.

The Senate bill is pretty bad, but it is the start of the process. Like most things that come from the Senate, there is plenty of bad stuff in there.

But there is some good stuff too, and as the process unfolds, protecting some of that good stuff will be paramount.

Rich Lowry and Bill Kristol released a joint op-ed where they both came out against the Senate bill. That didn’t take a lot of courage, since they are preaching to a base that is virulently against the bill.

The question today is what’s next?

Should the House do nothing and let the Senate bill die along with it? Or should the House pass something and then go to conference with the Senate and hammer out something that is more workable?

Our immigration system is broken. We don’t allow enough farm workers in, nor high-tech workers. We have 11 million people in this country who live in the shadows. They don’t have any legal protections, so they are often exploited by unscrupulous employers. That drives down wages for all Americans.

Having so many here who don’t have a solid hold on the American dream destabilizes this nation. It leads to pockets of people walled away from the mainstream. It breeds suspicion. It makes it harder for law enforcement to do its job.

It also leads to higher health care costs. Illegal aliens don’t have insurance so when they get really sick, they go to emergency rooms. They don’t get shots because they live in the shadows.

People who live in the shadows seek protection from wherever they can get it, and if it isn’t law enforcement, it is criminal gangs. Immigration reform will help with disrupt gang recruitment.

If we fix the immigration laws, we make it easier for Hispanics and Asians to assimilate into America. If they assimilate and gain a piece of the American dream, they just might give the Republican Party a second look, especially if it is the Republicans who help make that assimilation happen.

But if Republicans continue to express disgust with illegal immigration, if they continue to oppose comprehensive immigration reform, if they continue to show disrespect for folks who should be their natural political base, they will be a minority party at the national level, and they will never win back the White House.

I hope somebody says that at the Conference today.

Focus on the Underclass, Not the Upper Class

Jan23

By John Feehery

How-To-Blog-For-Money

Reflecting his political upbringing, Barack Obama spends an inordinate amount of his time worrying about how the rich are getting richer.

He practices envy politics.  The poor are poor not because of their own pathologies, but because the rich are getting richer.

It’s all bullshit.  The rich get rich, by and large, by making smart investments, by going to school and getting a good education, by keeping their families together, by not getting addicted to drugs or alcohol, or by having a parent who did all of those things and who passed the wealth down.

The poor stay poor because they make dumb investments (spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need), they drop out of school, they have kids out of wedlock, they get addicted to drugs or alcohol, and they usually have a parent who passes on all of those bad habits.

Barack Obama has focused almost exclusively on the rich getting richer.  He has ignored completely what often makes the poor poorer.

Obama spent his early political years as a community organizer, so he knows how poverty happens in the big city.   It is the same poverty that infects rural America.

People don’t get jobs if they can’t keep jobs.  They can’t seize opportunities if they don’t understand what they are.  They can’t get the most out of education if their parents are addicted to crack or meth or crank or pot or booze.

Single motherhood is probably the greatest predictor if a child is going to end up poor.  Single motherhood doesn’t work as a social experiment.   The government should figure out a way to discourage it from happening.

A kid can’t learn in school if he or she is worried about the gang-banger down the street.   The President has said nothing about fighting crime in crime-ridden neighborhoods.  He has said nothing about the killing spree that has infected his hometown.   Nothing.  It is stunning.

The President talks a lot about education reform and many of his ideas are good ones.  But the biggest problem facing our schools is not the teachers.  The biggest problem facing our worst schools is the students and what the students learn from their parents (or in most cases, parent).   This is not a resource problem.  This is a habits problem.

Obesity is not the biggest problem facing America.  It is a symptom of the biggest problem facing America, which is the passing down of bad habits.

Obama likes to talk about how the rich are screwing America, and how they need to be punished with higher taxes.  There are some bad actors in the upper classes, some rip-off artists, some scammers, some greedy S.O.B.’s.  But rich people, by and large, got rich because they did it the right way.

There are some poor people who have bad luck.  But most have bad habits.  And we need to teach them good habits if we want them to advance to the middle class.

 

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