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  • We are proud to announce that the 2014 Ronald Reagan Gala will honor Gary Sinise. For over thirty … [more]

    2014 Reagan Gala with Gary Sinise
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Liberalism as an Instrument of Coercion

Free speechby Michael Barone

Liberals just aren’t very liberal these days. The word “liberal” comes from the Latin word meaning freedom, and in the 19th century, liberals in this country and abroad stood for free speech, free exercise of religion, free markets, free trade — for minimal state interference in people’s lives.

In the 20th-century, New Dealers revised this definition by arguing that people had a right not only to free speech and freedom of religion but also, as Franklin Roosevelt said in his 1941 Four Freedoms speech, freedom from fear and from want. [Read more...]

Obama Hasn’t Hit Rock Bottom Yet

obama_frownby Alex Castellanos

Ordinarily, being ranked as the worst modern president of the United States would be considered unfortunate. For you Mr. President, that’s the good news.

As painful as it is to note, your presidency has not yet hit bottom. You’ve got a long way to go in your descent.

Everywhere you walk, Mr. President, the world unravels. Americans are whispering that each political missile you fire seems to hit not its target but our own house.

You have undone the core idea you’ve advanced, that a larger public sector can save us. You are becoming the one-man Keystone Cops of an experiment in weakness and incompetent government. [Read more...]

Selling Obamacare

The weird, misleading propaganda behind the federal health care law

ObamaCare Cartoonby Mark Hemingway

It might seem odd that Joanna Coles, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan, was invited to the White House for lunch. After all, why would the most powerful person in the world bother meeting with the editor of a publication that specializes in hot summer sex tricks and the year’s most dangerous diet? Particularly on May 2, 2014, when just about every important political journalist was in town for the White House Correspondents Dinner, the annual gala where pols and press rub shoulders and bond over bottomless booze.

But Coles had a big favor coming to her. In 2013, she publicly pledged her magazine’s ad space and editorial content to help promote the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. There are now more than 100 references to Obamacare on Cosmo’s website, almost all of them glowing. [Read more...]

Megyn Kelly’s Critique of Obama’s Presidency

Is Barack Obama’s presidency imploding? Al Qaeda is resurging. Iraq is disintegrating. And now we may look to Iran to help us stop it. Iran – a terrorist regime responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. What could possibly go wrong? We have drawn red lines in Syria we refuse to enforce. We stood by as Russia ceased part of Ukraine. And now we are releasing top Taliban leaders as the Afghanistan war is still going. Not to worry, they tell us Cutter’s gonna watch ‘em. For a year. We hope. Domestically, we have a president who has lost the trust of the American people by repeatedly misleading them. He bypasses Congress, the people’s representatives, on matters ranging from Obamacare to immigration law, to the point where one of the most respected liberal law professors in the country has called our president “the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid”. The American public overwhelmingly regrets Obamacare. Our veterans are dying waiting to see doctors. The IRS intimidates conservative groups. The southern border is compared to a sieve. And the president assures us not to worry – smiling, golfing, and, at this very moment, partying with fashion queen Anna Wintour. Because the fundraising never stops – not when four Americans died at Benghazi and not when Baghdad is at the brink.

5 Major Takeaways From The Hobby Lobby Decision

HobbyLobbyStowOhioby Sean Davis

The Supreme Court this morning issued its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. At issue was whether closely held companies like Hobby Lobby could be forced by the government to provide abortifacient coverage to its employees, in defiance of its owners’ deeply held religious beliefs.

In a 5-4 ruling written by Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby and other closely held companies do not have to provide contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the religious beliefs of the companies’ owners. Here are 5 major takeaways from the Supreme Court’s decision. [Read more...]

Cronyism and Coercion

by Jeffrey H. Anderson

obamacare pay less for healthcareAfter the upset of House majority leader Eric Cantor at the hands of GOP primary voters, many congressional Republicans may be looking for ways to show they are listening to their constituents. One way they can do so is to take renewed aim at Obamacare.

Obamacare’s risk-corridor program is serving as a slush fund for President Obama. He is using that fund to placate his insurance company allies whom he double-crossed. After Obama declared last fall that insurance policies banned by Obamacare would be unbanned by presidential proclamation, insurers were understandably alarmed. Obama’s lawless decree meant that millions of people who already had insurance—and who were likely to be healthier on the whole than those who didn’t—would not be forced into the Obamacare exchanges after all. His decree, therefore, likely made the exchanges’ risk pools even worse. [Read more...]

ObamaCare is harming millions of Americans

ObamaCare Cancelled Policiesby Byron York

To hear administration officials and their supporters in the press tell it, this is a great time for Obamacare. People who signed up for coverage are actually paying for it; more insurance companies are joining exchanges; some consumers have more choices than originally envisioned. “The news surrounding the Affordable Care Act has been so good this week, it’s almost hard to know where to start,” wrote MSNBC’s Steve Benen in a recent post headlined “Everything’s Coming Up Aces for the ACA.”

Not so fast. Yes, Obamacare is a big help for those now receiving something substantial from the government — large subsidies for the lowest-income Americans who purchase coverage on the exchanges, free health care for people eligible for the expanded Medicaid program.

But for millions of other Americans, it’s a different story. In fact, one respected analyst worries that Obamacare, while helping some, is actually “creating a chronically uninsured class” of those ineligible for its taxpayer-paid assistance. [Read more...]

Canada Is No Model for Health Care

obamacare logoby Jason Clemens and Bacchus Barua

The heated and often emotionally charged debate over the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) hasn’t subsided despite it being the law of the land for more than four years. Indeed, with the VA scandal, continuing problems in the rollout of aspects of Obamacare and the upcoming mid-term elections, the likelihood of increased acrimony is high.

One aspect of the health care debate in the United States that is, unfortunately, riddled with misinformation is the state of Canada’s single-payer health care system. Too often advocates of Canadian-style health care in the U.S. present limited or even misleading information about the true state of Canada’s health care system and worse, often times present the ideal of Canadian health care rather than its reality. [Read more...]

America: Beware of Single-Payer Health Care

The real lesson of the VA scandal.

POW_veterans affairs_VA scandal_by W. James Antle III

Before Bowe Bergdahl dominated the headlines, the country was engrossed by the Veterans Affairs scandal. The VA was subjecting veterans to onerous wait times while massaging the data to show otherwise.

Much has been said about how poorly this reflects on President Obama’s managerial prowess. Secretary Eric Shinseki, a hero of the last war, has already been forced to resign. And the conduct of the bureaucrats involved was, in Shinseki’s own words, “indefensible.”

The real lesson of the VA scandal, however, is even more sobering. It’s that a single-payer healthcare system would be a calamity in the United States. [Read more...]

VA Scandal Further Discredits Obama’s Big Government Policies

Long queues are the price of free care.

veterans affairs_obamacare_healthcareby Michael Barone

President Obama evidently was caught by surprise by the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

So, apparently, was VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who evidently took at face value the corrupt VA statistics — and who, after a distinguished military career, resigned last week.

One who was probably not taken by surprise is longtime Yale Law Professor Peter Schuck, who identified the problems at the VA before the scandal broke in his recently published book, “Why Government Fails So Often and How It Can Do Better.” [Read more...]

What Obama’s Many Messes Really Mean

Dems blame . . . big government?

bureaucracy_big governmentby S.E. Cupp

Another week, another scandal.

From Fast and Furious at the ATF to the Pigford fraud at the Department of Agriculture, the IRS’ political targeting to the State Department’s Benghazi mess, the healthcare.gov debacle at HHS to spying at the NSA and the DOJ, President Obama is running out of agencies and departments to defend in his two years left in office.

This White House has either had the worst luck in recent memory or it is responsible for breaches of public trust so vast, it’s no wonder public faith in our government is at a record low.

And now, we must add the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs — one so singularly sad, offensive and disappointing it almost feels wrong to put the callous deaths of at least 40 veterans who served our country in the same category as political tax targeting. Still, in some ways it is more of the pitiful same. [Read more...]

The VA is Socialist Health Care Paradise

veterans affairs_obamacare_healthcareby Rich Lowry

For the left, the Department of Veterans Affairs is how health care is ideally supposed to work. No insurance companies, no private doctors, no competition — just the government and the patient.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has held up the VA as a model for the entire country. The Washington Monthly ran a famous article in 2005 arguing that the VA was leading the way for U.S. health care. The socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, is such a reflexive defender that in an instantly notorious interview on CNN he pooh-poohed the burgeoning scandal that may involve fatalities with the undeniable observation that “people die every day.”

The VA is an island of socialism in American health care. It generally provides adequate care — to a limited universe of people and for only certain conditions — but has long been plagued by scandal. It is perhaps the worst bureaucracy in the federal government. As with all such single-payer-type systems, the cost of the notionally free health care is in the rationing, in this case the wait times that have had desperately ill vets hung out to dry for months. [Read more...]

More Problems and Arguments Lie Ahead with ObamaCare

Those who want to leave ObamaCare as it is are outnumbered more than 5 to 1 by those who want to repeal or change it.

Obamacare Hurtby James Taranto

President Obama keeps insisting the debate over ObamaCare is “over.” That declaration, wish, exhortation or command does not correspond with reality. A new Politico poll of voters in “hotly contested areas”–states and congressional districts thought to have competitive Senate or House contests–finds that 60% “say they believe the debate over the law is not over,” whereas only 39% “echo the president’s position” that the “debate has effectively concluded.”

The areas sampled are probably a bit more Republican than the nation as a whole: Of the 16 states chosen on the Senate side, Obama carried only seven in 2012. (On the other hand, they include Minnesota, Oregon and Virginia, which most handicappers currently list as “likely” Democratic holds.) Obama’s approval rating among the Politico respondents is 40%; RealClearPolitics had his nationwide average at 44% as of yesterday.

“At the same time that the health care law is plainly a political anchor for Democrats,” Politico’s Alexander Burns argues, “the poll signals that fully killing the ACA”–that’s the abbreviation for the law’s euphemistic formal name, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–”may not be a slam-dunk as a political proposition”:

Among voters who had an opinion of the ACA, the electorate was almost exactly split between those who want to repeal the law entirely and those who favor either leaving it alone or keeping it in place with modifications.

Forty-eight percent of respondents endorsed repeal, versus 35 percent who wanted to modify the law without repealing it and just 16 percent who said it should be left unchanged. [Read more...]

There Is No Better Predictor of Obamacare Than the Veteran Affairs System

ObamaCare IRS Cost Compassion

 The VA offers precisely what Obamacare offers: not a guarantee of treatment in time of need, but a guarantee of a place in line for treatment at a time of the bureaucracy’s choosing.

by Kevin O’Brien

The White House says Americans can’t draw any conclusions yet about just how screwed up is the Department of Veterans Affairs medical care system.

Well, yes, Americans can. And if they have any sense — always a debatable proposition — Americans will.

One conclusion we can draw is an old, familiar one: No matter what the issue or activity, bureaucracy’s first and strongest instinct is to protect itself in the face of a perceived threat. [Read more...]

The Left Mistakes 8 Million “Sign-Ups” as Happiness with Obamacare

Just because people have purchased something — in the case of Obamacare, under penalty of law — doesn’t mean they like it.

ObamaCare Costs Pork

by Byron York

There’s been a dramatic turnaround in some Democrats’ thinking about Obamacare and the 2014 elections. Where lawmakers once sought to avoid blame for their national health care overhaul, they are now confident, energized and ready to rub the supposed success of Obamacare in their Republican opponents’ faces.

At least that’s how the party’s most visible leaders would have it. President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats are urging candidates to run proudly on Obamacare. And in the cheerleading section of the press, Obamacare is not just a benefit for Democrats but a disaster for the GOP.

“The early plan for Republicans to run on the failure of Obamacare has collapsed underneath them,” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said last week. “Now…they are slowly, gently, kind of sadly backing away from something that is working for millions of people.” [Read more...]