Mid-Day Digest

Sep. 21, 2017

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • The Senate may take on last crack at passing something on ObamaCare.
  • Obama just can’t say enough bad things about Republican health care motives.
  • Surveying the good Trump has done on the immigration front.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” —Thomas Paine (1776)

IN BRIEF

Obama’s ‘Real Human Suffering’

As Senate Republicans are again working on a last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare, with a vote planned for next week, Barack Obama has once again jumped to publicly defend his disastrous law and legacy. On Wednesday, Obama spoke at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Goalkeepers,” where he accused Republicans of seeking to bring about “real human suffering.”

Donning the well-worn moniker of “Divider and Chief,” Obama railed against conservative lawmakers, saying, “The legislation that we passed was full of things that still need to be fixed. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better. And so when I see people trying to undo that hard-won progress for the 50th or 60th time, with bills that would raise costs or reduce coverage or roll back protections … it is aggravating. … It frustrates.”

What is actually frustrating is listening to Obama peddle factually vacuous hyperbole regarding a law that has stolen Americans’ freedom and has proven only to substantially increase health care costs, all while he and other Democrats repeatedly claimed it would do the exact opposite. It’s no secret that ObamaCare is failing, and badly. It is untenable, and that’s why we have the likes of socialist Bernie Sanders running around openly calling for “free health care” via a single-payer plan.

But the most offensive comment made by Obama was his elitist moralizing nonsense in accusing Republicans of working to bring “real human suffering.” Obama lamented, “It may be frustrating that we have to mobilize every couple months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on their constituents. But typically, that’s how progress is won.” No, typically that is how an increasingly oppressive and totalitarian government is formed. In fact, no one inflicted more “real human suffering” than Obama and his Democrat posse when they took over health care. Government is not God, Mr. Obama. The more people recognize that distinction, the better off the nation will be.

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The Trump Effect on Illegal Immigration Is Real

One of Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises was his commitment to dealing with the growing problem of illegal immigration. And since he took office there has been significant and measurable improvement — so much so that trying to illegally cross over into America via the southern border has never been more difficult. Here is a brief look at the progress he’s made.

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports that illegal immigration is down 24% from the same time last year.

  • Upon taking office Trump ordered the hiring of 10,000 new ICE agents and 5,000 more Border Patrol agents.

  • The Department of Homeland Security reports that illegal entry into the U.S. is at the lowest level since at least 2000 if not the early 1970s.

  • The apprehension rate of illegals caught crossing the border today (55% to 85%) has increased significantly from just 10 years ago (35% to 70%).

  • The House of Representatives recently passed the Criminal Alien Removal Act. This will give law enforcement tools and resources to specifically move more effectively against criminal gangs, such as MS-13. It will also prevent gang members from gaining eligibility for asylum as well as other immigration benefits.

  • Trump has reversed Barack Obama’s “catch and release” policy, which had allowed individuals awaiting court proceedings to be paroled from detention before their court hearing. He also recently suspended Obama’s illegally implemented DACA program, sending it to Congress — from which laws are supposed to be created.

Getting tough on illegal immigration may be Trump’s most impressive accomplishment thus far.

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Top Headlines

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Monumental Ignorance — Dumbing Down America. At UVA, moronic identity politics takes precedent over knowledge and truth.

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

Last Chance to Tackle ObamaCare?

By Lewis Morris

The window of opportunity is rapidly approaching — and closing — for Senate Republicans to pass their latest attempt to repeal replace reform ObamaCare. After Sept. 30, the opportunity for reconciliation goes away, and with it any chance of passing a bill with a simple majority.

The more cynical among us would say, who cares? We have listened for more than seven years as the GOP made one promise after another to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The electorate handed Republicans both chambers of Congress and then the White House on a silver platter. And yet, they have managed to screw up every attempt to follow through on their promise. Why be concerned about having to face a super majority in the Senate when Republicans can’t even get their own simple majority on the same page?

However, if we were to engage in some cautious optimism for a moment, this time might be different.

Senate Republicans Lindsey Graham (SC), Bill Cassidy (LA), Dean Heller (NV), and Ron Johnson (WI) have introduced a modest proposal that could be the beginning of the end of the Un-Affordable Care Act.

Graham-Cassidy, as it is known, hits a lot of the right buttons in terms of trying to correct the ObamaCare horror show. Individual and employer mandates would be eliminated, as would the medical device tax. It offers block grants to states instead of shoring up their ballooning Medicaid plans with what was essentially bribe money that Barack Obama used to buy state support for ObamaCare in the first place. Health Savings Accounts would be expanded and HSA account holders could spend that pre-tax money on insurance premiums, something that was practically unheard of before.

One of the most attractive elements of Graham-Cassidy is that it allows states to chart their own course to some extent. Block grants would give states the flexibility to experiment with new health care options or keep the ObamaCare model, if for some unholy reason they should so choose. In a more reasonable world, it would offer an excuse for some Democrats to support the bill.

Of course, in the bitter, partisan world in which we live, there will be no Democrat support for this bill. They’re too wrapped up in Bernie Sanders’ single-payer proposal. But that’s to be expected. When it comes to health care, Democrats and Republicans really can’t bridge the ideological gap.

Senate Republicans have a two-vote margin of error to get this bill passed, and Rand Paul and Susan Collins can’t be counted on for support. John McCain appears to be on board after shooting down the last attempt to get a bill through. Lisa Murkowski has yet to declare either way. She ran for re-election in 2016 on a promise to repeal ObamaCare, but let down her Alaskan constituents this past summer when she changed her “yes” to a “no” at the last minute.

Things will get interesting next week as the deadline for passage approaches. The Congressional Budget Office assessment of the bill will be announced, for what that’s worth. The CBO has already stated that its score will not include estimates on the bill’s impact on premiums and the deficit. This makes some wonder: If CBO can’t provide that information, then why bother doing a score at all? Well, the score is better for Democrats to use as a bludgeon on the GOP.

Indeed, while Democrats publicly balked at hearing this news — as if they were going to honestly consider voting for the bill — in reality they just want numbers to wave in front of the media in order to have a tangible excuse for their “no” votes. Now they will just have to stick their fingers in their ears and mumble incoherently during the floor debate.

There are a lot of hurdles before Graham-Cassidy will see the light of day. And should it pass the Senate, it will face an even tougher time in the House.

For the bill to have any chance of reaching President Donald Trump’s desk, it will have to sail through the House without any changes. This is highly unlikely. The House’s ObamaCare repeal bill is quite different from Graham-Cassidy. And it barely squeaked by with a 217-213 vote. Any blue-state representatives will have a tough time supporting a bill that will cost their states billions of dollars in subsidies. Rep. Peter King of New York is one such congressman who can’t be counted on to pull in for the big win.

Funny how all these Republicans were so loud and proud about their opposition to ObamaCare when they didn’t have the power to do anything about it. Where did they all go?

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MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Hans von Spakovsky: “If you have no idea what happened at the second meeting of President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in New Hampshire on Sept. 12, I’m not surprised. Though a horde of reporters attended the meeting, almost all of the media stories that emerged from it simply repeated the progressive Left’s mantra that the commission is a ‘sham.’ Almost no one covered the substantive and very concerning testimony of 10 expert witnesses on the problems that exist in our voter registration and election system. The witnesses included academics, election lawyers, state election officials, data analysts, software experts, and computer scientists. The existing and potential problems they exposed would give any American with any common sense and any concern for our democratic process cause for alarm. … All in all, the Sept. 12 meeting, which was hosted by Bill Gardner, New Hampshire’s long-time Democratic secretary of state, was both informative and comprehensive. But anyone who didn’t attend would never know that based on the skimpy and biased coverage it received in the media. The hearing is evidence of the good work the commission is already doing in bringing to light the problems we face in ensuring the integrity of our election process.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The political mind is the product of men in public life who have been twice spoiled. They have been spoiled with praise and they have been spoiled with abuse. With them nothing is natural, everything is artificial. … They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation, which sooner or later impairs their judgment.” —Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Belly laugh of the week: “I’m cleaning out the White House. We’re going to sanitize the White House. We’re not going to take what is happening in this country. … I know even my colleagues get very upset. Some get afraid when I say ‘impeachment.’ When I get through with Donald Trump, he’s gonna wish he had been impeached. I feel it very deeply. I am so offended by him and I love my people so much that I am not going to put up with it. I’m gonna say, ‘Impeach 45’ every day, ‘impeach 45’ every day, ‘impeach 45’ every day.” —Maxine Waters, whose eulogy at Dick Gregory’s funeral sounded more like a re-election campaign

Pompous Jackass: “About 40% of the country didn’t believe me — until I was gone, and then they believed me.” —Barack Obama

No really — he’s complaining about costs: “The legislation that we passed was full of things that still need to be fixed. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better. And so when I see people trying to undo that hard-won progress for the 50th or 60th time, with bills that would raise costs or reduce coverage or roll back protections … it is aggravating.” —Barack Obama

But it’s better than the status quo: “Many supporters of the Graham-Cassidy health-care legislation are calling it a ‘federalist’ solution for Obamacare. It might be worth supporting … but it isn’t really federalist. A really federalist bill wouldn’t have the states asking the federal government for flexibility on regulations, and it wouldn’t have the federal government collect money from the whole country and then send it back in block grants to the states.” —Ramesh Ponnuru

Non Compos Mentis: “[Dreamers’] families did a great thing for our country bringing these kids here.” —Nancy Pelosi

Village Idiots: “[Putin disliked me] partly because I’m a woman, which seems to get him a bit agitated. … He certainly demonstrated. There’s an expression, we certainly know it in New York, called ‘manspreading.’” —Hillary Clinton

And last… “If manspreading was a distraction during a meeting with former KGB Vladimir Putin, it’s no wonder why Hillary was a terrible Sec. of State.” —Katie Pavlich

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Managing Editor Nate Jackson

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