What Now, Transitiongate Continues, Sessions vs. Sanctuary Cities, Manipulating Mosul
Speaker Ryan and the White House argued that the proposed legislation was the most that could be done when not one Democrat would vote for any meaningful reform of Obamacare. In addition, Republicans only have a two-vote majority in the Senate, and at least five unreliable senators from purple states. Susan Collins of Maine, for example, voted against the 2015 repeal bill.
The Freedom Caucus argued that the legislation did not do what Trump and Republicans promised to do during the campaign -- repeal and replace Obamacare. There is conflicting evidence as to whether it would have lowered premiums. By passing a half measure, conservatives feared that we would end up going into 2018 on the defensive because Obamacare wasn't completely replaced.
There is logic in both arguments. The problem is that our opponents, including the media, are using Friday's failure as evidence that Republicans can't govern. They are charging that Donald Trump can't deliver on one of his major strengths -- making deals. His entire agenda, including tax reform and border security, is now being called into question.
In addition, Republican spokesmen on both sides of the issue spent the weekend attacking each other, instead of aiming their fire at the left.
Everyone should just step back and take a deep breath. We are only 69 days into the Trump presidency. There is no reason to give up. Virtually everyone agrees that Obamacare is a disaster.
In fact, even Bernie Sanders concedes that. He told CNN this weekend, "Obamacare has serious problems. Deductibles are too high. Premiums are too high. The cost of health care is going up at a much faster rate than it should."
Speaker Ryan, the White House and the Freedom Caucus should reopen negotiations as soon as possible to see if there is something they can agree on that can pass.
Finally, when the media attempt to bait them into blaming other Republicans, they need to redirect the discussion and put the blame where it belongs -- on the left. Every Republican must remind the public that not one Democrat in the House or Senate was willing to work in a constructive manner to clean up the Obamacare mess they created.
"Progressives" celebrated the preservation of the Obamacare disaster, which has resulted in millions of people losing their doctors and being forced to buy insurance they can't afford to use. Republicans are trying to save a healthcare system the left wrecked. There is no time for circular firing squads. Our country is suffering.
Transitiongate Continues - Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law, will reportedly be questioned by Senate Intelligence Committee investigators. It turns out that Mr. Kushner, who is a close advisor to the president, met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak . . . after the election. So this has nothing to do with Russia's alleged interference in the campaign, which is what I thought the investigation was all about.
Moreover, the New York Times adds, "Members of presidential transition teams routinely meet with foreign officials, and there is nothing inherently improper about sitting down with the Russian ambassador."
This obsession with anyone who met with a Russian at any time looks a lot like McCarthyism.
Meanwhile, Democrats are ramping up their attacks on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes after reports broke that he was seen on the White House grounds the day before his stunning announcement last Wednesday that the Trump transition team was being monitored by the Obama Administration.
Nunes told reporters that he was not in the White House. Instead, he was next door at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in order to access "a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source."
Sessions vs. Sanctuary Cities - Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced at the White House today that the Justice Department would begin taking action to hold sanctuary cities accountable for "policies designed to frustrate" the enforcement of America's immigration laws. Sessions said that the Justice Department was preparing to release $4 billion in grants to cities and states, but he added that sanctuary cities would be denied funds.
The issue is making headlines after an adult illegal immigrant brutally raped a 14 year-old girl in a Maryland public high school. The attack occurred just as left-wing legislators in Annapolis were considering a bill to declare Maryland a "sanctuary state."
Asked about Maryland becoming a sanctuary state, Sessions said it would be a "terrible mistake."
"Such policies cannot continue," Attorney General Sessions said. "They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets."
The American people overwhelmingly agree. A recent Rasmussen poll found that only 35% of voters want to live in a so-called "sanctuary city." Moreover, only 17% of voters accept the left's "logic" that sanctuary city policies make a community safer.
Manipulating Mosul - Coalition forces led by the United States recently bombed a location in Mosul in which dozens of civilians reportedly died. Yesterday's Washington Post featured a front page article suggesting that the Mosul attack was just the latest in a series of mishaps in which civilians were caught in the crossfire of Donald Trump's "get tough" approach to radical Islam. The media are grossly manipulating these events.
What other events are they referring to? Well, there was the raid in Yemen in which civilians were killed after jihadist women picked up guns and fought our Navy SEALs.
Some reports have said as many as 200 people were killed in the Mosul bombing. But officials now say that represents the number of people killed over several days of fighting, not just in one incident.
Moreover, the airstrike in Mosul took place because Iraqi intelligence said this area was a hotbed of ISIS resistance, and they were right. In fact, the latest reports indicate that what killed the civilians was "an ISIS truck laden with explosives."
ISIS is refusing to let civilians evacuate the war zone. They are using them as human shields. They are putting explosives in homes and snipers on roof tops. To the armchair generals at the Washington Post and the ACLU, those acts are war crimes and are prohibited under international law.
This is no different than what takes place in Gaza whenever the terrorists of Hamas fire rockets at Israel from civilian neighborhoods. When Israel responds and civilians are killed, Hamas is responsible for those deaths, not Israel.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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