EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for December 19, 2011
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The Republican Party has gone insane.
For the better part of the last three years the Republican Party has exercised itself into a frenzy over the need to repeal Obamacare. For the two years leading up to November of 2010, mostly middle aged working white people took to the streets in sizes rivaling a NASCAR race to protest the socialization of the American health care system.
The individual mandate and TARP draw the ire of scores of primary voters.
And our two front runners for President? They both support an individual mandate and they both supported TARP.
Not only that, just last year Mitt Romney was saying he’d keep parts of Obamacare. Like supporting amnesty, he has changed his position just in time for an election cycle.
Are we really going to do this?
I just want everyone to make sure they understand this and remind them that Perry, Bachmann, Huntsman, and yes, even Rick Santorum are still in the race.
Over the weekend, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans obviated the superior leverage of House Republicans by passing a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, along with a clean extension (no reforms and offsets) of doc fix and unemployment benefits.
In a premature capitulation, they agreed (89-10) to amend the House extenders bill by eliminating most of the spending offsets, all of the UI reforms and the policy riders, with the exception of the Keystone pipeline provision. They will fill in the $33 billion two-month gaping budget hole with nebulous revenue increases from higher Freddie/Fannie mortgages over ten years. To the extent that those revenues will be actualized, this deal will indeed make it harder to shut down these officious venture-socialist enterprises. The Senate action was akin to grounding into a triple play for Team GOP, yet the underlying bill passed with unanimous consent.
Yes – we can already see the ecstatic pronouncements emanating from the McConnell Republican echo chamber. “We got the pipeline,” they will exclaim. But here is the problem: the ship already sailed on that. This issue was such a political liability for Obama that, despite his rhetoric, it was a foregone conclusion he would be forced to cave on it. He was not going to allow this to become an albatross around his neck during the election. Accordingly, the White House is lending enthusiastic support to McConnell’s Senate-passed extension. Besides, due to loopholes in the Keystone provision, the administration is already balking at compliance with the language of the bill.
On Wednesday of the week just past, the Department of the Interior conducted the first sale of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico since BP’s Macondo oil spill. Measured by the statistics touted in Interior’s press release, the sale would appear to be a rousing success.
A detailed look at the leasing history, however, reveals a different story. While deepwater remains active, the shallow water Gulf saw little leasing action. Many of the shallow water bidders from recent sales stayed home for Sale 218.
“Big Oil” rules the deepwater. Shallow water has become the domain of smaller independent companies, many of them privately-held. None of the shallow water operators are household names; nonetheless, their jobs and capital investment supports the economies of several states across the region and contributes to the nation’s domestic energy supply.
If there was ever any question whether the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is a radical and militantly Marxist union, this SEIU job description for a Senior/Lead Internal Organizer, Home Care, posted on the SEIU’s website should remove all doubts.
The SEIU is advertising on its main site for SEIU Healthcare 775NW in Washington State. Among the job duties (screenshot below the fold) listed includes the training of members in civil-disobedience, peaceful resistance (how to get arrested), as well as the occupation and takeover banks and state buildings.
On Thursday, Congress gave the President sweeping new power to detain American citizens indefinitely, without charge or trial. A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) empowers the President to detain anyone who “substantially supported” groups he determines are “associated forces” of terrorists.
The provision at issue, sec. 1021, was tucked into an 1800-page conference report that was shuttled through Congress in a matter of days. Given the complexity and weight of the issue, I was interested to read House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon’s post on RedState explaining the bill’s detention policy. Unfortunately, the post is almost useless because it muddles two separate provisions of the NDAA.