Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Photo credit: Senate Democrats (Flickr)

On the eve of her election defeat, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) appeared as a guest on my radio program, Ringside Politics, on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans.

Over the past 16 years as host of Ringside Politics, I have interviewed Senator Landrieu over a dozen times. In the past, she would call in to promote a particular issue or cause, usually engaging in pleasant conversation or good-natured debate.

Our relationship certainly changed in our last radio interview, which occurred over a year ago on the contentious topic of Internet taxes. It was a testy exchange as the Senator and I clashed on whether the government should extend its reach into Internet commerce and tax consumers who purchase goods online.

After our on-air tax debate, the Senator refrained from appearing on my program, even though she had an open invitation. She finally relented on election eve and called in for an interview, which was a sign of her last minute desperation facing a major political loss. At the time of the interview, no respectable political analyst gave her any chance of winning re-election.

With her losing badly and battling a cold, it was clear from the beginning of the interview that Senator Landrieu was unhappy.

Initially, we discussed her infamous decision to support Obamacare–and later her 97% support for President Obama and finally the shocking allegations made by State Senator Elbert Guillory (R-Opelousas) that there was rampant election fraud in her last election. In fact, Guillory alleged that 10% of Landrieu’s votes were fraudulent in the last election.

The Senator abruptly left the conversation before I could ask the dozens of questions submitted by listeners, who wanted to know why she supported the President on issues such as gun control, amnesty for illegal aliens, higher spending, more taxes, etc.

In our 11 minute exchange, she had to defend her vote on Obamacare and was unable to engage in her favorite topic of recent days: Bill Cassidy’s LSU payments and potential billing discrepancies.

Here is a link to the heated interview, which showed how much pressure Senator Landrieu felt with her 35 year political career ending. However, she had no one to blame but herself for her political downfall.

While she was surely abandoned by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and her fellow Democratic Senators on the Keystone Pipeline issue, she would not have been so vulnerable if she would have listened to the people of Louisiana.

In the end, she was too invested in liberalism to connect with the voters of her state. She supported President Obama 97% of the time, while Louisiana voters only give President Obama a 37% approval rating; so it was clear she did a very poor job of representing her constituents.

She has a lifetime American Conservative Union voting record of only 20%. While that might work in Vermont, it is miserably out of step in the red state of Louisiana.

The majority of Louisiana voters were very motivated to vote against Mary Landrieu and Barack Obama for a variety of reasons, but the most important one is Obamacare. During the deliberations on the legislation, voters throughout the state bombarded Landrieu’s office with postcards, emails, and calls demanding that she vote no on the bill.

Instead of listening to our concerns, she voted with President Obama. The result has been much worse than a billion dollar waste of a website; it has been massive job losses, work hours being cut, many Americans losing their doctor, and millions of people facing higher insurance premiums. Today, doctors are fleeing an industry in turmoil thanks to Mary Landrieu and President Obama.

Sadly, Senator Landrieu was irritable on the air last Friday. It was not the way she should have ended her political career. Maybe she had regrets about her poor decisions in office, or maybe she was just upset that her privileged lifestyle will be coming to an end. Either way, it was a good lesson for Bill Cassidy.

Hopefully, our new Senator will never forget that he works for the people of Louisiana, not a political party–and certainly not a politician or a President.

Photo credit: Senate Democrats (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Issa Refutes Gruber’s Testimony That Insurance Costs Have Decreased

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Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had his chance to question the architect of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, who embarrassed the Obama administration with his inflammatory comments about “the stupidity of the American voter.”

ISSA: The night before last I was at the Kennedy Center Honors where they honored Tom Hanks, famously Forrest Gump, the ultimate in successful stupid man. Are you stupid?

GRUBER: I don’t think so, no.

ISSA: Does M.I.T. employ stupid people?

GRUBER: Not to my knowledge.

ISSA: OK, so you’re a smart man who said some, as the ranking member said, some really stupid things. And you said the same, is that correct?

GRUBER: I…the comments I made were really inexcusable.

Rep. Issa asked the former healthcare law advisor about the cost-shifting aspects of the Affordable Care Act in which one person would get a reduction in their insurance rate while someone else would have to pay more to off-set that person’s decrease.

Gruber explained that the ACA set up insurance exchanges that pooled risks for the healthy and less-healthy which, on average, resulted in lower health insurance costs. Issa immediately corrected the M.I.T. economics professor, saying that total costs did not decrease, but actually increased.

ISSA: I’m a taxpayer, Mr. Gruber. Trust me, people are not paying less; people like me are paying more for those, because taxes are, in fact, a cost that’s paid. Total costs did not go down. Cost shifting occurred in your model, isn’t that true?

GRUBER: The amount that individuals have to pay for health insurance, on average, fell in my model.

ISSA: Well, but it didn’t fall in reality.

Issa questioned why the American public should believe the accuracy of his model if deception, by Gruber’s own statements, was part of the process. He suggested that the Committee and the next Congress conduct an independent audit of Gruber’s insurance model.

 

h/t PJ Media

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

WATCH: Judge Nap Just Revealed What ObamaCare’s Gruber Might Tell Congress That Could Destroy The Law

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When ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber shows up on Capitol Hill today to testify before a congressional committee, he will be greeted by members of a Tea Party group wearing t-shirts that read, “I’m with stupid.”

So reports the Washington Times in an article about the highly anticipated testimony of the MIT professor who finds himself at the center of a political storm over his “stupidity of the American voter” comments on the passage of ObamaCare.

In a discussion with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, Judge Andrew Napolitano explains why Gruber’s scheduled appearance before Rep. Darrell Issa’s Oversight Committee could present more than a further political problem for President Obama and his allies who support ObamaCare.

The Senior Judicial Analyst for Fox News says Gruber’s testimony will result in a serious legal problem if it’s revealed that Justice Department officials were aware of the deception and misled the Supreme Court — leading to the high court’s controversial 2012 ruling upholding ObamaCare.

“If the court relied on a trick that was put in the document in order to trick the court, they will want to reexamine their decision immediately.”

You can watch Judge Nap’s argument regarding Jonathan Gruber’s testimony and the future of ObamaCare by clicking on the video above.

 

Image Credit: Fox News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Jonathan Gruber: Lies And Glue

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The recent revelations of statements by a professor from MIT named Jonathan Gruber, about how the Obama White House purposefully deceived the American people concerning the costs associated with Obamacare, are intriguing on a few levels.

Mr. Gruber’s statements about the deceptive intent of the drafters of the Affordable Care Act are, of course, outrageous and insulting on their face.

But it is interesting to note the attitude of Mr. Gruber and the apparent attitude of the audiences he addresses about the lies he and others told to get the bill passed.

There seems to be no amount of guilt or remorse for these deceptions at all.  On the contrary, the entire affect presented in the tone and attitude of Mr. Gruber and those who defend the deceptions reveals a blasé, smug, implicit pretext.

Simply stated, it goes like this:

We are the ruling class, and we will lie to you for your own good.  Further, if you catch us at it, it doesn’t matter at all.

We will have our way.  You will do our will. We will lie to you if it suits us.

The dangerous result of this approach is that truth — and truth telling — are no longer things that we can rely on when we deal with government.

This is most serious and most dangerous.

Why?

Because truth telling, and the reliance on truth telling, is the glue that holds a society together.

Without the “glue” of truth telling, our transactions and interactions with government (and with each other) become extremely burdensome and eventually impossible.

Frederic Bastiat, in his famous work “The Law”, wrote that “No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree.”  The way to make laws respected, Bastiat said, “is to make them respectable.”

But “when law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”

When those in authority show their contempt for truth-telling, as Jonathan Gruber and his boss at the White House have done, then the “glue” – the respect for lawful authority – cannot long survive.

If we can’t rely on those in authority to tell us the truth, then we will very soon lose faith in their leadership. When we lose faith in their leadership, we will stop following their dictates. To keep us following their orders, they must then resort to despotic, tyrannical force.

That’s why truth-telling is so important. That is why these revelations are so damning.

Mr. Obama said he was going to transform the country.  He is doing so by tearing it apart.

 

Learn more about your Constitution with Michael Anthony Peroutka and his Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Gruber Has Contracts Terminated In Vermont And North Carolina

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MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, architect of President Obama’s health care law, saw contracts with two states terminated inside of one week: Vermont on Wednesday and North Carolina on Thursday.

Lawrence Miller, chief of health care reform for Governor Pete Shumlin (D-Vermont), said Wednesday they would cease payment of a $400,000 contract to Gruber. $160,000 of the contract has been paid, which started July 21. The contract was slated to continue through February 15, reported Watchdog.org.

Miller said:

“As the Governor and I have said, the comments by Mr. Gruber are offensive, inappropriate and do not reflect the thinking of this administration or how we do things in Vermont.”

He added: “As we have also said, we need solid economic modeling in order to move forward with health care reform.” Watchdog also pointed out that Gruber has contracts with the federal government in at least eight states totaling about $6 million.

On Thursday, state Auditor Beth Reid (D-North Carolina) terminated a contract with Gruber in which he agreed to analyze the state’s Community Care of North Carolina program. This specific program provides managed care to the poor and disabled, as noted by The Washington Post. Bill Holmes, a spokesman for Reid, told WRAL: “We can’t use you on a project where you have a bias or where people might even think you have a bias.”

Gruber was hired as a consultant on November 4, 2013, just one month after he made his “stupidity of the American voter” comment in Pennsylvania. He was paid $100,000 from a $400,000 contract.

And on Thursday, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-California) asked Gruber and administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Marilyn Tavenner to testify next month at a hearing “related to the transparency failures related to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

H/T The Washington Post

Photo credit: YouTube

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom