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Polite people are saying that Tim Kaine is a perfect running mate for Hillary, then adding that he’s definitely qualified to be president if, God forbid, anything happened to Hillary. After reading this article, it’s painfully obvious that he’s nothing more than a mouthpiece who reads spin-script well but couldn’t think his way out of a wet paper bag.

Friday morning, Mike Pence appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s show. During the interview, Pence said “The speech last night was nothing new. It was just more of the same, more government, more of the same failed foreign policy” before adding “I mean, you’ve got to hand it to Hillary Clinton last night. She doubled down on their big government, liberal agenda, on a weak foreign policy on the world stage.”

Tim Kaine wouldn’t hear any of that, saying “The thing I thought was great is it set such a contrast with what we saw in Cleveland last week. The Cleveland convention was dark and depressing, and she said it was kind of midnight in America. And her speech was morning in America. It was about the everyday struggles that people have, but the fact that we don’t have a single issue in this country that our people can’t tackle, because we have the greatest pool of just human resources, human capital, human talent that any nation has ever had.”

First, to hear a Democrat say that “we don’t have a single issue in this country that our people can’t tackle” is more than a little bizarre after what we heard 4 years ago in Virginia:

Second, saying that Hillary’s speech was “morning in America” is proof that Democrats haven’t told the truth. ISIS is killing people in France, California and Orlando. Sen. Kaine, does that sound like “morning in America”? Police officers are getting shot in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Does that sound like morning in America, Sen. Kaine? The governor of Minnesota, who addressed the Convention, accused police officers of racism, saying that Philando Castile would probably still be alive if he was white. Sen. Kaine, is it morning in America when governors accuse Hispanic police officers of racism?

Terrorist attacks are happening in western Europe at a faster rate than ever before. Ditto within the United States, though not at as fast a rate as in western Europe. What part of that sounds like morning in America, Sen. Kaine?

Democrats might settle for that, saying that it’s the new normal. Conservatives reject that foolishness because we can do dramatically better with the right leadership. Stephen Miller nailed it with this statement:

Hillary Clinton says America is stronger together. But in Hillary Clinton’s America, millions of people are left out in the cold. She only stands together with the donors and special interests who’ve bankrolled her entire life. Excluded from Hillary Clinton’s America are the suffering people living in our inner cities, or the victims of open borders and drug cartels, or the people who’ve lost their jobs because of the Clintons’ trade deals, or any hardworking person who doesn’t have enough money to get a seat at Hillary Clinton’s table.

Simply put, Hillary Clinton is an elitist and a snob. Imagine the thinking that went into her statement on national TV that she and Bill left the White House “dead broke”:

I get it that Hillary thinks it’s morning in America. I get it that Sen. Kaine does, too. They’re both living around the Capitol, where everything is going beautifully. Living near DC, which hasn’t experienced the Obama economy, it’s easy to believe that life is fine. Beyond the Potomac, something that Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Kaine aren’t familiar with, things aren’t going nearly that well. Living near the White House explains why they think it’s morning in America. We don’t need a president that’s unfamiliar with flyover country’s hardships. We need someone who understands what people living in the Heartland are dealing with.

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After Jeb Bush suspended his campaign, Sen. Rubio praised him profusely. Almost instantly, the Bush money machine started supporting Sen. Rubio.

While that’s the most noticeable benefit for Sen. Rubio, it isn’t the only benefit Sen. Rubio will get from Jeb’s decision. Other than in Nevada, where Gov. Bush was in the low single digits, Sen. Rubio will pick up most of Jeb’s support, especially in the important state of Florida. Further, while Trump is gaining momentum by winning, he isn’t expanding his support. Leon Wolf’s post highlights something of a struggle for Mr. Trump when Wolf writes “John McCain’s standing in the national polls went up 10% (per RCP average) between the day of the Iowa caucuses and the day of the South Carolina primary. Mitt Romney’s went up 8.5%. Donald Trump’s went down 1.5%. Donald Trump is not building momentum. He is bitterly opposed by a huge remaining contingent of Republicans.”

South Carolina was a damaging blow to the Cruz campaign because the state should’ve been right in Sen. Cruz’s wheelhouse. Instead, he finished third while losing support all week. As Charles Hurt said last night, if Sen. Cruz can’t win in a state rich with evangelical Christian voters, where can he win? That’s a legitimate question but I don’t want to overreact just on the basis of a single primary.

What’s likely to happen, as I wrote here, is that Sen. Rubio will start picking up endorsements from reform-minded governors like Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Mike Pence in Indiana. He’s certain to gain Mitt Romney’s endorsement soon, too. When/if Scott Walker endorses Sen. Rubio, Sen. Rubio will be able to say that he proudly stands with another great pro-reform governor whose state is working infinitely better than DC. If/when Gov. Pence endorses him, Sen. Rubio will be able to deliver the same message.

Most importantly, though, Gov. Bush’s withdrawal from the race raises the floor of support for Sen. Rubio. If/when Sen. Cruz withdraws, Sen. Rubio will pick up a portion of Sen. Cruz’s supporters. That’s before factoring in the negative ads that will certainly pound Mr. Trump.

Jeb’s attacks weren’t sharp. They certainly didn’t put Trump on the defensive. Imagine a Rubio ad showing Trump taking different positions on different days, then Trump denying that he’s shifted in an interview with Sean Hannity. Then see a question pop up on the screen asking “Mr. Trump, were you lying the first time or were you lying the other time?” You could do that with Iraq, Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, just to name a few targets of opportunity.

Thus far, the punditocracy has said that the rules of politics don’t apply to Mr. Trump. I question that because Mr. Trump hasn’t been hit with barrage after barrage of negative advertising exposing him as a liberal. Mr. Trump’s nutroots base won’t abandon him because they’re delusional. Will that apply to Mr. Trump’s sane supporters? At this point, we don’t know. It will be interesting to find out.

This video shows how little provocation it takes to get progressive totalitarians in a tizzy:

This week’s big flashpoint moment came from Indiana, when a progressive ‘reporter’ played into the storyline that Indiana’s RFRA law was horrible. John Hinderaker’s post is must reading on the subject:

Yesterday Minnesota’s governor, Mark Dayton, joined the chorus of denunciation: “‘I abhor the actions taken by the Legislature and governor of Indiana,’ Dayton told the Star Tribune.” Dayton, like a number of other governors, says he is considering a ban on official travel to Indiana. So Minnesota’s bureaucrats may no longer be able to take junkets to Terre Haute.

The hysterical reaction to Indiana’s law can only be described as insane. As we noted here, there is a federal RFRA that governs federal laws, 19 states have their own RFRAs, and ten other states have adopted the “strict scrutiny” standard of the Indiana statute by judicial opinion. Governor Dayton is perhaps unaware that Minnesota is one of those ten states. Hill-Murray Fed’n of Teachers v. Hill-Murray High School, 487 N.W.2d 857, 865 (Minn. 1992); State v. Hershberger, 462 N.W.2d 393, 398 (Minn. 1990).

Today, Michael Barone’s article offers this explanation for what’s at stake:

The Indiana law is substantially identical to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Congress by a near-unanimous vote in 1993 and signed with brio by Bill Clinton. It was a response to a Supreme Court decision upholding an Oregon drug law against members of the Native American Church who had claimed their religion requires drug use.

RFRA sets up a balancing test, to be employed by courts. Government cannot enforce a statute requiring people to violate their religious convictions unless it can demonstrate a compelling interest in doing so, and proceeds to do so by the least restrictive means possible.

This is in line with longstanding American tradition. The First Amendment, ratified in 1790, guaranteed Americans the “free exercise” of religion. The Framers knew that their new republic included Quakers, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, atheists, even perhaps a few Muslims. They wanted all to be free to live, not just worship, but live, according to their beliefs.

There’s little doubt that this week’s firestorm is purely political. These LGBT organizations know the laws on the books, though I can’t say the same about Gov. Dayton. As Barone says, RFRAs impose “a balancing test” for the judiciary to follow in determining whether the government can limit a person’s right to live out their religious beliefs. What RFRAs do, too, is tell government that they must use the least most intrusive remedy if they can demonstrate a “compelling interest” in limiting a person’s right to practice their religion.

This isn’t new. As Mr. Barone highlights, this “is in line with longstanding American tradition.” I’d hope that the judiciary wouldn’t take a sledgehammer to people’s religious rights. Apparently, that’s the remedy these LGBT activists want.

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Jay Cost’s article verifies what I’ve been saying for months: that Hillary Clinton is the Democrats’ frontrunner because the Democrats’ bench is exceptionally weak, not because she’s a powerful, impressive candidate:

What it really suggests is: the Democratic bench is now so thin that the party cannot even give its voters a real choice. At this point, the only three other candidates seriously considering the race are: Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor who is decidedly lackluster; Jim Webb, the quirky one-term senator who — oh by the way! — used to work in the Reagan Administration (Democratic voters will love that); and Bernie Sanders, who does not even call himself a Democrat (he’s a socialist).

I’m not the first person to offer that opinion. Far from it. This is what happens, though, when you’ve gotten hit with 2 landslide victories at the state level. In 2010, Republicans picked up a net 3 governor seats. Democrats lost 2 more governorships in 2014. That’s just the start of the Democrats’ problems:

Now take a gander at the party’s Senate caucus. If you squint really hard you might imagine some of them could be presidential material, but not really. The overwhelming majority are too old, too dull, too new, or barely won reelection. Elizabeth Warren is the only exception out of these 45 senators, and she looks like she is not going to run.

It’s apparent that the vast majority of Democratic senators are fossilized old farts that are best categorized as yesterday’s news. That’s if the political analysts are being charitable.

By comparison, the Republicans have a lengthy list of impressive candidates. Governors like Scott Walker, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal are top tier candidates for president. Susana Martinez is frequently mentioned as a potential VP pick. Brian Sandoval is seen as the candidate most likely to unseat Harry Reid in Nevada.

That’s before talking about Marco Rubio and Mike Pence as potential presidential candidates. Jeb Bush didn’t jump into the race early from a position of strength. He did it out of necessity.

Finally, there’s this: Hillary will face a distinct enthusiasm gap between herself and the Republican nominee as long the nominee isn’t Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. Candidates like Scott Walker and Marco Rubio have a youthful energy about them. Hillary will cruise through the Democratic nomination without getting challenged. That’s a big problem because competition sharpens candidates.

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It was inevitable that the Democrats’ divide would deepen after their trouncing in this year’s midterms. This article highlights some of the infighting within the Democratic Party:

Tensions within the Democratic Party over policy and strategy have begun to surface after a midterm defeat that saw the party lose control of the Senate after eight years and cede more seats to Republicans in the House of Representatives.

The most glaring example came Tuesday, when Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, criticized President Barack Obama over the 2010 health care overhaul. Schumer said the party should have focused on helping more of the middle class than the uninsured, whom he called “a small percentage of the electorate.” Schumer added that Obamacare was just one of a “cascade of issues” that the White House had bungled, a list that included the scandal over wait times at VA hospitals and responding to the threat of the Ebola virus.

Does this mean that the Democratic circular firing squad will report to the range ASAP? I’d argue that the signs indicate that they’re already at the range. I’d argue that they’re in the ‘target acquisition’ phase of the operation. This year’s exit polling showed rampant dissatisfaction with Democrats:

If Republicans win 35-40% of the Hispanic vote and win a majority of the Asian-American vote, Democrats will find 2016 to be difficult terrain. If that happens, the infighting that’s happening right now will only intensify.

This graphic shows another Democratic vulnerability:

This graphic is proof that demographics aren’t destiny. Actually, both graphics send the same message. What this exit polling shows is that candidate quality and issues matter. In 2016, especially with presidential candidates, Democrats have a virtually nonexistent bench.

While it’s undeniable that Hillary has 100% name recognition for people who haven’t spent the last 20 years living under a rock, that hardly proves she’s a quality. She’s famous because Bill Clinton is a popular ex-president. She’s famous for being one of the worst secretaries of state in the last century. She isn’t famous for being a competent secretary of state. Political junkies saw how untalented she is during her book tour. The number of deer-in-the-headlights moments easily outdistanced her ‘Hillary looks competent’ moments.

Hillary will lose if Republicans pick a talented governor who doesn’t come with a ton of baggage. That eliminates Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Mitt Romney. If Republicans pick either Scott Walker, John Kasich, Mike Pence or Bobby Jindal, Republicans will defeat Hillary and send the Democratic Party into a tailspin.

President Obama’s SOTU Address was predictable. Reaction to President Obama’s SOTU Address was predictable, too. Here’s what Chip Cravaack said:

“Simply put, the President’s economic policies have failed. With over an 8.5% unemployment rate for the past 34 straight months, a $15.2 trillion national debt, and the lack of a Senate budget for the past 1,000 days, it’s time to put American workers first not crisis politics.

We can and must do better. The President promised to cut the deficit in half during his first term, meanwhile the past three years have produced the largest budget deficits in U.S. history. The President says ‘we can’t wait,’ but he then rejects the Keystone XL Pipeline and creation of 20,000 jobs. In the meantime, American taxpayers are on the hook for the $500 million he awarded to the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.

Right now we need leadership. We need a united America, a united people, to solve the pressing problems that face all of us. It is my sincere hope that the President will commit to common sense solutions with bipartisan results that put Americans back to work, and protect the prosperity of future generations.”

Here’s John Kline’s reaction:

“President Obama’s inauguration was a historic day of hope for America. At the time, I expressed a desire shared by many for Washington to put principles above partisanship. Unfortunately, Americans have since grown accustomed to failed policies and broken promises from the White House as 14 million have fallen victim to 35 straight months of unemployment greater than 8 percent.

“The rhetoric of the past three years has not matched reality: This administration has given us stimulus spending that created debt, not jobs; health care “reform” that has led to 10,000 pages of business-stifling regulations; an activist National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with the power to tell businesses where they can and cannot create jobs; and the audacity to circumvent the people’s elected representatives by granting No Child Left Behind waivers to states with special strings attached.

Thad McCotter’s statement was particularly harsh:

“Tragically for the American people, in our unfolding globalized century the President remains wedded to a failed “Great Society” government: specifically, Washington elites dictating who gets someone else’s money. For the sake of our country’s economy and security, this President must learn that the great American tradition isn’t redistributionism; the great American tradition is exceptionalism.

The sooner he does, or is relieved of the burden of governing, the sooner the American people will build a 21st Century of unprecedented liberty, prosperity and security.”

As harsh as McCotter’s statement was, Sen. Rubio’s statement was even harsher:

I’m actually very disturbed by the speech tonight. The President is on the verge of committing economic malpractice. How does raising taxes create jobs? How does raising my boss’s taxes help me keep my job? Why is he advocating policies that will punish people that are investing in American businesses that are creating middle class jobs?

It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s the kind of policies that have taken a bad economy over the last four years and made everything worse.

Mike Pence issued this statement:

Tonight, like millions of Americans, I was disappointed to hear more of the same from this president: more borrowing, more spending and more taxes, which stood in stark contrast to the common sense message of fiscal responsibility and reform from America’s best governor. Gov. Mitch Daniels’ plainspoken call for fiscal discipline and reform was the right message during these difficult times and must be heeded if we hope to put an end to the mountain range of debt that threatens the prosperity of our children and grandchildren.

Here’s Speaker Gingrich’s reaction:

We have a crisis of work in this country and tonight President Obama proposed nothing in the way of policy changes that will get us to robust job creation and dramatic economic growth.

Instead, the president described his conviction that his big government is built to last and should be paid for with higher taxes.

But bigger government and higher taxes will not lead to jobs and growth. Bigger government and higher taxes will instead lead to more people on food stamps, a situation which the President and his party defend as a fair outcome.

Here we have to confront the truth about President Obama. Economic growth and prosperity is not really at the top of his agenda. He will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair.

For the president and a large part of the political class, it’s about their power, their right to rule. They just want to take money from Joe the Plumber, the small business people who makes over 90 per cent of the new jobs, and redistribute it to the government bureaucracy and their political friends and allies. That’s why so much of that nearly trillion-dollar stimulus didn’t create jobs but just went into the pockets of special interests who support President Obama and the leadership of the Democratic Party.

No better example of this exists than in the crisis of American energy. President Obama and his political allies, not of few of whom love living in energy inefficient houses or driving gas-guzzling luxury vehicles, openly admit they want gas prices to remain high so that the rest of America will learn to live more modestly. They think it’s good for rest of us. Only recently, the president canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have created countless new jobs and helped America on the way to energy independence because he wanted to appease the far left of his party. And yet not a single word on the Keystone XL pipeline tonight.

To create jobs and growth in this country, we must start with dramatic tax reform that lowers taxes and maximizes capital investment and job creation. We must return to a dollar as good as gold whose purchasing power is the same in thirty years as it is today. We must dramatically expand American energy production. We must have smarter regulation at the same time we abolish destructive and costly regulatory systems beginning with Obamacare,Dodd-Franks and Sarbanes-Oxley. And finally, unlike the current administration, we must have faith in job creators.

With these policies the state of the union will be much better. They will create an explosion in job creation and lead to robust economic growth and a return to prosperity. Furthermore, a paycheck economy will put us on a path to balanced budgets and paying down our national debt.

My own impression of President Obama’s speech was that he must’ve been beamed down from the Starship Enterprise to have made some of the statements that he made.

When he talked about the military returning home from WWII, he talked about soldiers using their GI Bill benefits to get the training to build a great an prosperous nation. What he did’t say, though, was that the level of regulations then was miniscule then compared with now.

If President Obama wants to return to the policies of that era, then let’s roll the regulations back, too. Otherwise, the comparisons don’t fit.

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Thanks to Jim Jordan, Speaker Boehner’s debt ceiling third plan DOA in the House. Thanks to Harry Reid’s statement, Speaker Boehner’s plan is DOA in the Senate. Thanks to President Obama’s statement, Speaker Boehner’s plan is DOA if it makes it to his desk:

The White House threatened on Tuesday to veto emergency legislation pending in the House to avert a threatened national default, a pre-emptive strike issued as Republican Speaker John Boehner labored to line up enough votes to pass the measure.

Boehner faced criticism from some conservatives in advance of an expected vote on Wednesday.

The bill would raise the debt limit by $1 trillion while making cuts to federal spending of $1.2 trillion — reductions that conservatives say aren’t enough.

The measure also would establish a committee of lawmakers to recommend additional budget savings of $1.8 trillion, which would trigger an additional $1.6 trillion increase in the debt limit.

The White House objects to the requirement for a second vote before the 2012 elections.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said the measure stood no chance of passing the Senate even if it clears the House. He pronounced it “dead on arrival.”

Washington and the nation are staring down an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt limit or face national default.

Flanked by conservative colleagues, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters he could not back the Boehner proposal and said it doesn’t have the votes to pass in the Republican-controlled House. In a two-step plan, Boehner is pressing for a vote on Wednesday and a second vote Thursday on a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

“We think there are real problems with this plan,” said Jordan, who heads the Republican Study Group. He argued that the spending cuts are insufficient and expressed opposition to likely tax increases.

The reality is that Rep. Jordan is the only person in this story that’s thinking straight. President Obama and Sen. Reid are buffoons playing politics with the American credit rating. If Republicans stand strong a little while longer, they’ll win this fight. If they win this fight, they’ll win next year’s election war.

I wrote this in an Examiner.com column:

Frankly, Republicans need to tell President Obama to get serious. The notion that a lovely sounding speech is all that’s required is foolishness. It’s time they told President Obama that he isn’t doing the things he’s required to do.

What Speaker Boehner should’ve done after passing Cut, Cap & Balance is tell Democrats that they need to put a detailed budget together in legislative language. I’d tell them that they needed to put something forward with spreadsheets detailing what things they’re cutting, etc.

I would’ve highlighted the fact that Senate Democrats entered the debt ceiling countdown without having passed a budget in over 800 days. I would’ve called them out on being such reckless spenders that they didn’t put their spending plans on paper.

I’d pound them with that message morning, noon, afternoon and night day after day after day until their grandchildren are born with headaches. If this administration and Senate Democrats want to play rough, let’s get out the baseball bats and let them know that we’re prepared to pummel them with truths they dearly don’t want the public to know about.

When people find out that Republicans, led primarily by Paul Ryan but also with the help of fiscal conservatives like Dave Camp, Mike Pence and Jim Jordan, have worked hard in putting together reforms and responsible budgets, this election cycle will turn on a dime. And it won’t be in the Democrats’ direction, either.

It’s time for the Republicans to stop pussyfooting around. It’s time for them to take the gloves off and embarrass the daylights out of this party of clowns. The Democrats are a fiscal disgrace. They should be highlighted for being the incompetent clowns that they are.

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Jim Galloway’s post is sure to excite a big portion of the GOP base:

Just got off the phone with Rick Tyler, spokesman for Newt Gingrich.

I’d called to see why the former U.S. House speaker was passing on the first GOP debate of presidential candidates on Thursday, in Greenville, S.C., and broadcast on Fox News.

Entry requirements required a declaration of candidacy that Gingrich was not prepared to make, Tyler said. “We decided to stick to our time line.”

And what is that time line? Tyler wouldn’t say much, but Gingrich is scheduled to speak to Georgia Republicans at their state meeting on Friday, May 13. “By the time Newt speaks to the Georgia convention, he’ll be a candidate,” Tyler said.

That news alone would make this a big news day that essentially says that the 2012 presidential campaign has all-but-officially started. This news is even better news for Republicans:

Representative Mike Pence announced on Thursday he’s in the running for the Republican nomination for Indiana governor in 2012.

The six-term congressman made it official this morning in a long-expected announcement to supporters via conference call, e-mail, Facebook and video.

The conservative Republican also filed papers with the Indiana Secretary of State forming the “Mike Pence for Indiana” committee.

Pence said a formal campaign kickoff will follow but said he wanted supporters to know “I’m in this race.” Making reference to the Indianapolis 500, he told supporters “any real Hoosier knows that every big race begins in May anyway.”

Barring something unforeseen, the day before Rep. Pence’s announcement was the best shot Democrats had of winning this election. Pence is immensely popular and charismatic. If Pence works hard, which I’m certain is a given, the only question left is what Pence’s margin of victory will be.

“Our state is on the edge of an era of growth and opportunity like no other in our lifetime,” he told supporters.

Under Daniels’ leadership, “Indiana has set the pace in fiscal responsibility, job creation and reform,” Pence said. “But our work is not over.”

Gov. Daniels has a lengthy, impressive record of reform. It’s an agenda I anticipate Rep. Pence will continue.

After we elect a Republican president in 2012 and the economy finally gets straightened out, governors like Pence, Chris Christie and John Kasich will have a great time innovating and improving people’s lives.

What’s significant about today’s announcements is that Newt and Rep. Pence will connect with independents. Democrats should be afraid of that.

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If there’s anything that the American people are pissed about, it’s the rate at which the federal government spends money. That’s why Republicans should be thanking their lucky stars for the upcoming deadline for the CR.

This isn’t something that should be dreaded. Why wouldn’t we want to pick this fight? If the Senate insists that they won’t go along with deep spending cuts, then we should have Paul Ryan on every Sunday morning show and have him holding daily press conferences, talking about the virtues of cutting spending.

Karl Rove and Dick Morris agree that we should fight this fight to the end. Here’s Rove’s take:

President Obama’s 2012 budget is not a serious governing document. It’s a political one, designed to boost his re-election chances.

By repeatedly saying that his budget reduces the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years, he hopes the numbers make him sound fiscally conservative. But he puts off 95% of the deficit reduction until after his term ends in 2013. And he assumes that economic growth in the next few years will be at least 25% higher than credible economic forecasters estimate.

Mr. Obama’s budget includes $1.6 trillion in tax increases that are real enough—but most of the spending cuts are not. For example, as Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman pointed out to me, the administration projects war costs for Iraq and Afghanistan at surge levels for the next decade, and then conjures up about $1.3 trillion in defense savings by assuming drawdowns in each theater—drawdowns that were already in the cards. Outside of this sham transaction, according to Mr. Ryan, there are only $104 billion in real spending cuts over the next 10 years.

This is why Paul Ryan must be the Republican face of this fight. The Obama administration’s con game is being exposed, thanks to Chairman Ryan’s work. Why would the administration argue that drawdowns that are already scheduled should count as budget savings? This is insulting.

Here’s a key portion of Morris’ post:

The Republican leadership needs to make a bold statement and send Obama a bill that sticks in his big-spending throat. If the Senate won’t pass it or the president threatens a veto, even better. Obama’s approval ratings, recently rising to 51% from 41% in the past two months according to the FoxNews poll will fall back down again, and lower, if he gets into a fight against cutting government spending. The Republicans in the House will have called his bluff about moving to the center and will force the kind of fiscal belt-tightening they heralded during the campaign.

And if the government has to operate in a state of crisis, with continuing resolutions keeping it funded day after day, so much the better! It will call attention to how intractable the Democrats are in resisting any cut in spending.

President Obama isn’t moving to the center. When Clinton moved (relatively) to the center, he supported the death penalty; he “ended welfare as we know it”; he balanced the budget. President Obama’s ‘move to the center’ has been saying that he’d consider other people’s good ideas for health care reform.

Mind you, he didn’t say he’d say that he’d agree with anything beyond the most minimal change in provisions. He said he’d consider other people’s ideas. How noble of him.

This isn’t a fight the Republicans should shy away from. This is a fight they should run towards, provided they put their best people at the front. That means putting Paul Ryan, Dave Camp, Mike Pence, Thad McCotter and Jeb Hensarling at the front to argue the Republicans’ case.

If they do that, they’ll win this fight and the 2012 election. It’s just that simple.

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Sunday am, Esme Murphy interviewed Sen. Franken, starting with a question on whether last weekend’s assassination attempt in Tucson changed how he’s meeting with constituents. Sen. Franken said that he’s been in touch with the Capitol Police since then but that he didn’t intend on changing anything in terms of meeting with constituents.

That makes sense because I’ve yet to see him hold a public get together with constituents. When he’s met with people here in Minnesota, it’s mostly been with union members in their union hall or other special interest groups in a relatively protected environment.

The next question for Sen. Franken was about repealing Obamacare. The first thing Sen. Franken mentioned was that it wouldn’t be wise to repeal it because of a misleading (my term) CBO report that shows repealing it now would add $230,000,000,000 to the deficit over the next 3 years.

That’s misleading because the only financial transactions happening right now are 2 states opting into the Early MA receiving money and the collection of huge tax increases. In other words, the $230,000,000,000 being added to the deficit is a reflection of the federal government collecting revenues from the tax increases while not having any expenses.

How many businesses would show a profit if they were collecting revenues but they didn’t have any expenses? That’s how silly a question that is.

Sen. Franken then started talking about all the terrific provisions that’d be lost if Obamacare was repealed, including the provision that doesn’t let insurance companies drop people if they have a pre-existing condition. What Sen. Franken didn’t mention, intentionally, is that the Republicans’ replacement legislation would have the same provision in it.

The other thing that Sen. Franken didn’t mention is that Obamacare’s way of insuring people with PEC’s is to tell insurance companies that they must cover these people and to tell them that they can’t charge a penny more in premiums for people with PEC’s than they charge for healthy customers.

If car insurance companies were forced to cover drivers with multiple DUI’s but they couldn’t charge them higher insurance premiums, how long would they last? The end result would be that everyone would be charged higher premiums.

Think about it. If Company A had to charge the same rate for drivers with high risk profiles as they pay for people who have a lengthy record of driving responsibly, they’d have to charge safe drivers higher premiums to compensate for the dangerous drivers.

That’s why HHS Secretary Sebelius recently announced price control regulations. She knows that insurance companies will have to charge higher health insurance premiums to pay for the additional customers with PEC’s.

There’s even a name for this phenomenon: cost-shifting. It isn’t that I’m surprised with Sec. Sebelius’s announcement. It’s quite predictable. I’d argue that it was inevitable considering how Obamacare was constructed.

It’s important that people understand the difference between price controls and cost controls.

When Insurance Co. A is forced to cover High Risk Customer 1 for the same price as Save Driver 1, Insurance Company A’s cost for High Risk Customer 1 didn’t decrease. The only thing that changed was the price Insurance Company A could charge High Risk Customer 1. The cost is still high. The insurance premium price charged isn’t.

Sen. Franken is peddling a series of vastly inferior products to a needy public. I’d love seeing him debate Paul Ryan, Dave Camp, Thad McCotter or Mike Pence on this issue. He’d be mocked by the public after the debate.

Watching that debate would be torture for the DFL, delightful for free market capitalist conservatives.

Conservatives should thank Esme for her interviewing Sen. Franken. By the time he’s up for re-election, we should have a ton of ammunition to run in campaign commercials against Sen. Franken.

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