I don’t make it a practice to comment on potential legislation before reading it. Speculation takes too much bias and rumors into account which tends to sway the reader (and author) in directions before the truth is even known. I’m making this exception because if reports that Vice President Mike Pence has negotiated a deal with the Freedom Caucus turn out to be true, it could be the best move made by the administration on health care since taking office.

Then again, it might be a big nothingburger.

The good news: limited waivers for the states. This means states have opportunities to bypass certain provisions of the AHCA that would allow them to help drive down premiums.

The bad news: essential health benefits carry over from Obamacare. This will limit the decrease (and even perpetuate increases) in premiums for the vast majority of Americans.

We’ll see how it pans out, but here’s the thing. I know many if not most Republicans are in favor of repealing and replacing Obamacare with the AHCA. It would boost morale and take away certain chunks of the oppressive economic burden that Obamacare has placed on us. However, the details are terrifying to anyone who believes in limiting government and defending the freedoms we hold dear. The original AHCA was a repackaged version of nationalized medicine that would push us further down the road towards financial oblivion and what we’ve seen of the proposed changes don’t change that. It would potentially slow down skyrocketing insurance costs, but it wouldn’t reverse them. In essence, it’s not a solution to Obamacare but a way to spread out the ill effects. We will still be paying way more than we were just a few years ago. We will still be ballooning the national debt and making little impact on our outrageously unbalanced budget.

Full repeal is the right way to go. That’s not to say that we need to return to the pre-Obamacare era. Changes need to be made, but those changes should come based upon reactions and analysis once it’s repealed rather than trying to plug all of the potential holes ahead of time. If we repeal Obamacare and allow the free market to guide the government on changes to be made, the end result will be much better. We can already plan for some of the changes such as opening up competition across state lines. We can work with charities, communities, and local governments to fill the gaps and prevent people from falling through the cracks. By repealing Obamacare fully in stages over the next 1-3 years and then watching how consumers, health insurance companies, and markets react, we can make intelligent decisions rather than speculative ones.

Of note is that the Freedom Caucus is supporting the amendments to the bill. We’ll see what that really looks like. Getting government out of health care is the only truly conservative/federalist way of fixing it. If they’re willing to negotiate, I would hope it’s because they believe in the plan and not because they’re feeling pressure from donors and the White House.

Only time will tell and speculation at this point is premature, but it will be interesting to see just how revamped Ryancare 2.0 really is. The bright spot I’ve seen in initial reports is that leftist publications like WaPo and HuffPo seem to hate the idea, so that’s good.

Because if they were then a person with the faith of a Mike Pence who spoke at the March for Life wouldn’t cause this reaction:

“For me personally, represents the larger Trump administration,” Imanne Mondane told the Observer, Notre Dame’s student newspaper, adding that “for many people on our campus, it makes them feel unsafe to have someone who openly is offensive but also demeaning of their humanity and of their life and of their identity.”

as a daily mass Catholic I was really insulted over was this.

Williams added to the Observer that Pence as commencement speaker is a violation of the college’s Catholic mission — “something the University likes to broadcast that it stands behind, but it picks and chooses when it wants to stand behind” its mission.

I suspect Williams didn’t have a problem with Barack “We love abortion” Obama when he showed up.

This is the type of thing that happens when a Catholic University spends decades secularizing itself. Ed Morrissey nails it here:

the constant refrain of protesting because opposing political views makes someone “feel unsafe” is laughable on its face, and (to borrow a phrase from protesters in my day) evidence of a crypto-fascist approach to political discourse.

If a speech by Mike Pence truly makes you feel unsafe rather than just annoyed by hearing political opposition to your own positions, then you should really consider a lifetime of crayons rather than pencils, and padded rooms to boot. The obvious solution to that situation is.. don’t attend the speech. If one argues that the public square and political discourse should be limited to each individual’s perception of “safety,” then they’re arguing against all political discourse — and the very protests they are carrying out now.

Apparently, Notre Dame has stopped teaching critical thought. Or preparing students for the real world, where the unsafe feelz are not anyone else’s problem.

Personally I think this what’s going on isn’t so much fear but the anger that Solomon predicted in the book of Wisdom:

Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training.

He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, Because his life is not like other men’s, and different are his ways. He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father. Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes.

With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.”

Exit Question: If you were a hiring manager, would you ever hire such people like these fear ridden students for any position of responsibility?

 

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the proximate occasions of sin.

Catholic act of Contrition said at the end of confession

Why, sir, because I like the taste of them, and when I discovered that to be the case I made up my mind at once to do without them altogether.

Stonewall Jackson on why he didn’t drink whiskey

What’s the easiest way to avoid sin, avoid the cause of temptations toward sin, and this is what the Vice President does:


What is Mike Pence’s alleged “medieval vision?” As Parker reported, “In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.”

 

This isn’t just protecting against the sin of adultery but the sin of pride, the “Hey I’m cool or sexy or powerful enough to draw the attention of a beautiful woman.”  That is an incredible temptation and remember of all the sins Pride is the first of all the deadly sins.

This is not only the right thing but the smart thing. There is nothing like power to make you look more attractive to women and there is nothing like being a person who makes decisions about the spending of million to cause major companies to provide such women.

So of course the left finds it creepy

Here’s Paul Waldman at the Washington Post arguing that Pence isn’t much different from Muslims who insist women wear a full body veil at all times in public:

Let’s take just a moment to consider this pair of rules Mike Pence has for himself. He obviously thinks that every interaction he has with a woman is so sexually charged that it’s only safe to be around them if there are other people there, too. Unless someone might be drinking, in which case even the presence of a crowd isn’t enough to prevent…something from happening. There’s little distance between that perspective and that of the ultra-orthodox Jews who refuse to sit next to a woman on an airplane, or the fundamentalist Muslims who demand that women be covered head to toe to contain the unstoppable sexual allure that renders men unable to control their urges.

This pretty much consolidates much of the reaction from the left to this micro-story. Every bit of this seems written to intentionally misunderstand Pence’s views, to compress things that are in no way alike into a false similarity and to mock Pence without even pausing to think about the issues

 

They seem not to understand that such actions are not only good for a man like Pence but good for the women who work for him as explained here

I have a friend with the same rule, he’s one of the finest men I know.

Exit question. Given that the left in general and feminists in particular has portrayed all men as dangerous predators for decades don’t you find it odd that they are so upset over this?

Last word goes to Michelle Malkin

There’s one overarching philosophy that mainstream media will rarely cover and never in a positive light: social conservatism. If an event or newsworthy occurrence is pro-life, in favor of traditional marriage, or in defiance of the LGTQ agenda, the media will find some way to hate on it while covering up or avoiding altogether any positive message that can come from it.

We’ll get to see this clearly tomorrow as March for Life hits DC. It’s newsworthy by itself, but this year there are three factors that make it an even bigger story. First, it follows last week’s pro-abortion Women’s March. That was covered by every news outlet in America. The only comparison coverage March of Life will receive will be estimates of attendance that makes it look as small as possible.

The second factor is the new President. For the first time in 16 years, there’s a freshly inaugurated President with a pro-life agenda to promote. That should pull in coverage if only to see how hopeful the participants are knowing they have an opportunity this year to truly fight abortion at the national level.

Lastly, this will be the first time that a sitting Vice President speaks at the event. Mike Pence will be on stage. Certainly, that means every network will cover him just as they covered Ashley Judd and Madonna, right? No. They may show him speaking briefly before cutting away and talking about how small the crowd is compared to the Women’s March.

The last eight years have empowered the media to believe their own personal agendas are fair to promote through the free press. Technically, they are correct. From the perspective of an expectant populace that desperately craves unbiased reporting in the age of fake news, it seems like everyone’s now a commentator. Editorializing everything has become the status quo. For Pence and March for Life, that means that they will have any credit they’re due minimized while any criticism they’re open to (whether deserved or not) will be magnified.

The sad state of our national media means that the pro-life movement is on its own. Those of us who fight for life must learn to assume most of mainstream media’s storytellers are against us. That’s why it’s so important to read more from sites like this one and less from the New York Times or TMZ.

By John Ruberry

A couple of headlines caught my attention this afternoon. Here’s one: “WikiLeaks Releases More Purported Emails, Bringing Total To More Than 11,000,” comes from NPR. Wow. This federally funded news outlet I guess “forgot” that the victim of the hack, Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, admitted that his private emails were illegally breached. But he added, without evidence, that some of that correspondence may have been altered. Bloomberg writes, “WikiLeaks Releases More Alleged E-Mails From Top Clinton Aide.” Bloomberg: Are you paying attention?

So yes, Podesta’s emails were hacked. By whom? The Clinton campaign is blaming the Russian government, offering little in proof, although this morning on Fox News Sunday, Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence says “the evidence continues to point in that direction.” The Clinton campaign, outside of Podesta, refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of these emails, claiming that the Russians are trying to sway the results of this autumn’s election, while deflecting findings from those emails, which include Bill Clinton receiving a $1 million birthday check for the Clinton Foundation–the charity is really a slush fund, by the way–from the government of Qatar, which we learn from another email, is funding ISIS, or at least Hillary Clinton believes so.

Did Russia write that $1 million check?

John ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Also learned from those purported emails was that there was an anti-Catholic email exchange between Podesta, Jennifer Palmieri, communications director of the campaign, and John Halpin of the leftist Center for American Progress. If the trio had discussing Islam in the same manner, they’d almost certainly be looking for new jobs now.

And those revelations are just the ones on the top of the Podesta email pile.

But a couple of media outlets, probably more, apparently believe that by questioning the legitimacy of these alleged emails, people may doubt their veracity.

I don’t think it’s going to work. Not this time. We’re not as dumb as the media elites believe.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Employment Counsellor: …your report here says that you are an extremely dull person. You see, our experts describe you as an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful. And whereas in most professions these would be considerable drawbacks, in chartered accountancy they are a positive boon.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus 1969

There are a lot of considerations to be made when picking a vice president, does the candidate bring a state or a constituency? Can the candidate do the heavy lifting of attack? Would that candidate make a good president and does it placate a group that might not like the top of the ticket.

Donald Trump’s selection of Mike Pence fits some of those bills, He is strong on social issues and on faith (although he did fold like a cheap blanket on religious liberty) issues that Trump is weak on with. He has experience on both the state and federal level which is a plus, but the most interesting thing about Mike Pence that I think makes him a wise pick is this.

He’s dull.

Dull, dull my GOD he’s dull. You couldn’t have found a more white bread candidate if you went to a wonder bread bakery.

Now under normal circumstance such a characteristic would be a liability but for several reasons it’s a positive plus.

There is a 0% chance that a fellow like Pence is going to overshadow the Trump

There is only a tiny chance that Pence is going to make a critical mistake to hurt the ticket.

Pence can deal with the traditional fundraising wing of the party in a way that Trump can’t.

All of these attributes are good but there is one thing that he has already managed to do that bodes well.

He drives the left absolutely nuts!

Because Pence is a social conservative and an unapologetic Christian in an age where the media and the left culture believe abortion, gay marriage, transgenderism etc are sacraments he is the type of man who they absolutely loathe and this prompts attacks of incredible silliness.  Such as this from John Podesta:

“Pence is the most extreme pick in a generation and was one of the earliest advocates for the Tea Party.

Now the left calling a republican “extreme” is about as rare as me turning down a piece of Kentucky Derby Pie and in most election years they would get away with it, no trouble.

But can you, after a year of Donald Trump’s candidacy and after the um colorful adjectives thrown at him by the press the reaction of the general public to that same press pointing to Mike “Whitebread” Pence and shouting “extremist!”

Every single time they go after him I can see Trump on stage saying something like:  Have you heard the media talking about my VP pick?  They’re calling him an “extremist” I mean seriously, have you looked at this guy?

They’d be laughed out of the room.

Our friends in the media are already dealing with serious credibility issues that Mr. Trump has managed to highlight.  The attacks on Pence that the media  are sure to bring won’t help matters for them.

IndianaBy John Ruberry

When Indiana governor Mike Pence signed into law a Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Thursday, the Hoosier State became the 20th state to enact such a law.

More from the Weekly Standard:

The first RFRA was a 1993 federal law that was signed into law by Democratic president Bill Clinton. It unanimously passed the House of Representatives, where it was sponsored by then-congressman Chuck Schumer, and sailed through the Senate on a 97-3 vote.

The law reestablished a balancing test for courts to apply in religious liberty cases (a standard had been used by the Supreme Court for decades). RFRA allows a person’s free exercise of religion to be “substantially burdened” by a law only if the law furthers a “compelling governmental interest” in the “least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

So the law doesn’t say that a person making a religious claim will always win. In the years since RFRA has been on the books, sometimes the courts have ruled in favor of religious exemptions, but many other times they haven’t.

This law protects a bakery owned by devout Christians from, let’s say, not baking a wedding cake for a gay union because it violates their religious belief that marriage should be reserved only for one man and one woman, but this law does not permit to exclude gays as customers in all cases. What that business receives is protection from a discrimination lawsuit.

White River, Indianapolis
White River, Indianapolis

As for that gay couple, they can always find another bakery–that won’t be very hard to do–and the newlyweds can write a nasty Yelp review about the first one while on their honeymoon. Interestingly Yelp is one of those businesses considering a boycott of Indiana because of the its new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  But just three weeks ago with great fanfare, Yelp opened an office in Chicago. Illinois, yep, you guessed right, has an RFRA law on the books.

In a statement released on Friday, Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppleman said:

[It] is unconscionable to imagine that Yelp would create, maintain, or expand a significant business presence in any state that encouraged discrimination by businesses against our employees, or consumers at large.

I guess Stoppelman needs to write a snarky review about himself.

As for Gov. Pence, he’s not helping his case. This morning on ABC’s This Week, Pence was asked six times if the new law will allow businesses to completely refuse services to gays. He couldn’t answer.

No matter: This Hoosier hysteria is misplaced.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

…yesterday with the reports that he will not run for president this year:

Three sources close to Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana tell CNN they are told he will announce he is not running for president in 2012 and will instead begin exploring a run for governor.

These sources say he has been flattered by the efforts to nudge him into the GOP presidential race but, as one of the sources put it, “he is a realist and kept coming back to questions about the fund-raising.” The second source said some around Pence also have reminded him of the difficulty of mounting a presidential campaign from the House, and noted that, at age 51, he would have a better platform to explore a presidential run if he first was elected governor.

There is a fair amount of disappointment in the CPAC community over this today but I think this is a great development. The easiest way for a non-conservative to win the Republican primary is for too many strong conservatives splitting the vote. I suspect that some good conservatives who have no prayer of winning are going to find themselves well-financed early by people who want that vote divided to allow an establishment candidate some space. That’s how you win a nomination with only 35-40% of the vote.

I think this is good news for us. Of course we haven’t heard the actual announcement so this could all be smoke.