A phrase oft heard during any given sporting event where the heavily favored team finds itself on the score’s short end is “the other team practices too.” Meaning: nothing is a given and no matter how talented, or better on paper, someone or a collection of someones is than the competition, if you dismiss the other team out of hand and don’t compete up to your ability level you will not win. Ever.

The same principle applies to life. We all have our burdens and battles; our private little hell that can and all too frequently does consume us. These must be tended to, otherwise they can severely damage us. Sometimes irrecoverably.

This duly noted, it is easy but dangerously shortsighted to exclusively focus on our own situation, neglecting to note that the other person has problems too. John Donne was right; no one is an island. We all have oppressive elements besetting our every day and every step.

To behave as though we alone are suffering while everyone else is on their own under the veneer of “they know their problems and I don’t” is pathetically short-sighted. Empathy is not contingent on complete understanding of someone else’s pain. We are all human, and we all share humanity’s common threads.

It is equally short-sighted, with a hefty dose of narcissism on the side, to focus so heavily on our own problems while neglecting to value others sufficiently to, at the least, inquire as to how they are doing that our life becomes a one-note samba of “woe is me.” The other person hurts too. Their hurt is equally important as ours. Ignoring them while bemoaning our state helps no one. It makes the other person quite apt to wonder why they should help, or care for, us when our actions and words make it apparent our concern for them extends only as far as their willingness to feel sorry for us. And, simply put, in such a scenario we are doing more than enough feeling sorry for ourselves to where the other person has zero inclination to join our pity party regardless of how deeply they care for us. We are pushing them away at a time when we most need them.

The other person matters too. Ask them how they are doing. You will be surprised how much it helps you both face the wounds and scars we all – all – bear.

As I write this, the House is pushing for a floor vote on the American Health Care Act. It “hangs in the balance” as some mainstream media news outlets are saying, but that doesn’t really paint the picture properly. In reality, it hangs over the GOP’s head in two major ways.

If it passes, things get really interesting in the Senate. There, the GOP cannot afford more than a couple of internal detractors and in the current form, there are more than enough. We haven’t seen the final version, but unless major changes were made, it’s very possible it could pass the House and get shot down in the Senate.

If it doesn’t pass the House, the spotlight is on the Freedom Caucus. President Trump has allegedly threatened Congressman Mark Meadows and others with losing their seats in 2018 if they don’t vote for it. Just as in the Senate, it would take major revisions for most Freedom Caucus members to reverse their publicly stated stance that they will vote against it.

This bill in its current known form is not what conservative/Federalist voters have asked for, nor is it what they were promised. I’ve gone on record as calling it Obamacarelite, RINOcare, Ryancare, and Swampcare. Based upon the latest push by the President, I’m calling it Trumpcare. He didn’t write it, but he’s pushing for it hard. President Obama didn’t write the Affordable Care Act, but he pushed for it just as hard as Trump is pushing for the AHCA.

Here’s the thing. People weren’t dying on the streets before Obamacare. I’m not so naive as to think we can or even should go back to the previous system. In fact, I think the previous system was already too burdened by government regulations. As conservatives who believe in the free market economy, we recognize that the best way to make health care truly affordable for the masses is to get government out of the picture. They need to open it up to competition across state lines.

Some will point out that tens of millions of Americans will “lose” their health care if we don’t pass something. They’d be technically right. However, a large bulk of those “losing” their health care coverage will do so willingly, as should be their right. There are conservatives who point out that it’s not fair for people to not carry health insurance and rely on taxpayers to pay big for their emergency care when they need it, but that’s singular and very shortsighted. The cost to taxpayers to cover uninsured emergency procedures is infinitesimally small compared to the cost we pay for ACA or the cost we would pay if AHCA passes.

What about pre-existing conditions? I have some experience with that, though I won’t bore you with the details. I’ll tell you this: government should be the last line of defense only. With both ACA and AHCA, they are inserting themselves into the front lines for health care. The community, charities, family, friends, and organizations designed specifically for such things will help those who cannot get their health needs met due to not being able to get covered. In a world with GoFundMe, it’s very unlikely that anyone who needs something won’t be able to get it. For those who do, that’s when the government as the bottom safety net can come in and save the day. This level of engagement should be very rare. If there’s minimal involvement by government to simply keep people from falling all the way through the cracks once they’ve failed to receive enough help through all the other options, that’s still a fraction of the cost to taxpayers.

The net result of full repeal would be to allow the consumer-driven market to push competition and make insurance companies beholden to the people. It amuses me when people say, “But repeal will only make the health insurance executives richer!” As Trump would say… “Wrong!” They love having millions of Americans who would never willingly purchase health insurance being forced to buy it by their government overlords.

Get government out of health insurance and premiums will go down for a vast majority of Americans. Allow the free market economy and the crowdfunding power of 2017 (plus charities, family, and community) to help those who need it the most. Government’s only role should be as the absolute last resort. Just repeal it.

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Olimometer 2.52

And if you aren’t inclined or in a position to kick in financially, we will happily accept your prayers

If you are a person who is invested in the memes of the left Wednesday was a very bad day.

Disaster 1 took place in London when an islamic terrorist managed to kill five in London

Police have named the officer who was killed by a knifeman terrorist in London today and revealed the death toll in the attack has risen to five.
Keith Palmer, 48, was stabbed to death outside Parliament by the attacker who brought carnage to London, mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing three and injuring around 40 more.
A 4×4 drove along the pavement on the crowded bridge, knocking down and seriously injuring pedestrians before crashing into a fence below Big Ben.

As normal our friends in the media

and elsewhere

went into damage control

The first argument drew interesting reactions asking not only who “they” were but the belittling of the murder of folks as for the second comparison:

But the real problem is every time such an attack takes place, it demonstrates the difference between those on the left committed to defend the communities that produce the terrorists, vs folks like Trump who are committed to defending their targets.

This would be bad enough but things got a lot worse when the chairman of the House intelligence committee said this

The story

The FBI is not cooperating with the House of Representatives’ investigation into the NSA’s surveillance of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, the chairman of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), said today.

During an explosive press conference outside the White House, Nunes told reporters that communications from the Trump team were picked up and disseminated within the government during the 2016 campaign. Nunes said sources within the intelligence community presented him with the information. He spoke to the press after briefing the administration.
“We don’t actually know yet officially what happened to General Flynn,” Nunes said of how communications from Gen. Flynn’s calls were leaked to the press. “We just know that his name leaked out but we don’t know how it was picked up yet. That was one of the things that we asked for in the March 15th letter, was for the NSA, CIA, and FBI to get us all the unmasking that was done.”
“And I’ll tell you, NSA is being cooperative,” Nunes continued, “but so far the FBI has not told us whether or not they’re going to respond to our March 15th letter, which is now a couple of weeks old.”
Nunes also reported that as of now, he “cannot rule out” President Obama ordering the surveillance.

The President is of course claiming vindication, the left’s reaction, grave concern

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that he has “grave concerns” over Chairman Devin Nunes’s (R-Calif.) handling of the Trump Tower wiretapping investigation.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) criticized Nunes for his surprise announcement earlier in the day that he had seen intelligence intercepts that showed authorities had incidentally gathered information on members of the Trump transition team during investigations that the chairman said were not related to Russia.

The reaction from Trump’s enemies on the right? Concern:

Hey if I had spent weeks saying there was no evidence that Trump had been wiretapped and this broke I’d be concerned too. Charlie Martin has nailed it:

So, this is getting even more interesting now. It appears now that a number of Trump insiders were intercepted, and no, I’m not buying the argument that Trump saying “wiretapped” was wrong, especially since that’s exactly what was reported. And it appears now that people trying to maintain that Trump was “lying” about being wiretapped are being driven to the interesting defense that it was a lie because the U.S. wasn’t actually wiretapping Trump people when the U.S. was wiretapping Trump people.

Which is, at least, good for a laugh.

Both of these stories have one thing in common.

The left, in both cases are trying to make a complicated case 1st that an islamic terror attack isn’t really an islamic terror attack and that to suggest otherwise is unfair, 2nd that the wiretapping of Trump’s people doesn’t really count as wiretapping.

Meanwhile the administration is making an easy case saying directly that a terror attack is terror and wiretapping counts as wiretapping.

Guess which one will play with most voters busy living their lives?