Dem Governor Inslee Blames GOP for His ‘Climate Change’ Legislative Failures

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Washington State’s Democratic Party holds the record for longest uninterrupted control of the Governors office for nearly half a century, longer than any other state in the United States.

SEATTLE (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee has “gained national attention” for rolling out some of the “most ambitious” climate initiatives in the country.

“Inslee blamed the Senate Republican majority for the failures, saying the party ‘is now in the stranglehold of the oil and gas industry.’”

But Inslee has failed to pass ‘bold’ proposals, including the centerpiece cap-and-trade plan to charge emissions from oil refineries, power plants and fuel suppliers.

The Democratic governor also conceded to Republican demands and approved a transportation revenue package that included what he called a “poison pill” preventing a state agency from taking action on a low carbon fuel standard for eight years. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PARTY OF NO: Top Senate Dem Threatens To Shut Down Government

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Read it here, at National Review Online

Joel Gehrke writes: Patty Murray, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the Senate, threatened today to provoke a government shutdown this fall if the Republican-controlled Congress won’t agree to a budget more in line with President Obama’s priorities.

“Republicans have a choice,” Murray said in a Wednesday speech, per the Huffington Post. “They can either work with us early on a bipartisan budget deal that will set the topline budget levels and allow the Appropriations Committee to work on bills that can be signed into law. Or, they can wait until we reach a crisis, until we approach or hit another completely unnecessary government shutdown — and work with us then.”

[Read the full story here, at National Review Online]

Obama has promised to veto any spending bill that does not totally reverse the sequestration spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act, which he signed in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »


Charles C. Cooke: What Does the Left Think the Supreme Court Is?

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Hobby Lobby exposes mass incomprehension of the role of courts in a constitutional republic. 

A question for readers: Do public schools teach civics? They did when I was in school, but it’s been a long time. Has basic civics been fully removed from public education? Or still taught, but overridden by progressive counter-programming? I’d like to hear.

I read this last night, and marveled. NRO‘s Charles C. Cooke writes like the last sane man in America. I enjoy Cooke’s thinking, but I sometimes forget how funny his writing is. The left’s reaction to the SCTOTUS decision was expected to be exaggerated, dishonest, political, and theatrical, that’s a given. But I didn’t imagine it would become this disassociated from the actual legal question involved, seemingly clueless about (or intentionally misrepresenting) the role of courts in the democratic process itself. Read the whole thing here.

“The justices are jurists not doctors — they are nine appointed attorneys whose role in the American settlement is to provide legal answers to legal questions.”

Charles C. W. Cooke writes: 

Conspicuously absent from yesterday’s post-Hobby Lobby hullabaloo was the acknowledgment on the left that the decision was the product of a court. Distilling into a single line what was a popular and widely disseminated critique, the New York Times’s Nick Kristof tweeted a picture of Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, sardonically labeling the quintet as “The experts on women’s health on the Supreme Court who ruled today against contraception coverage.” A few hours later, Senator Harry Reid’s office pushed out an assessment that was cut from the same unlovely cloth. “It’s time that five men on the Supreme Court stop deciding what happens to women,” Reid tweeted. Among the hysterical, that sentiment was ubiquitous.

Note: Many on the right, too, are misreading or misrepresenting the perceived ‘victory’ in this narrow decision. Obamacare’s vast regulatory reach remains undiminished by this ruling, there’s not a whole lot to celebrate.

One cannot help but wonder whether Kristof and Reid are aware of what the Supreme Court actually does — which, as anybody who has even a fleeting grasp of American civics knows, is not to set American policy, on health or anything else, but to interpret and uphold the law. In this particular case, the justices were called to judge whether a mandate that was pushed out by the Obama administration in 2012 was in conflict with another law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that was added to the books in 1992. This being so, the degree to which those who decided the case are “experts on women’s health” is wholly immaterial. The justices are jurists not doctors — they are nine appointed attorneys whose role in the American settlement is to provide legal answers to legal questions. Man or woman; straight or gay; handsome or ugly; Jew, Catholic, or protestant — the law must remain the law, regardless of in whose name its intricacies are decided. The alternative would be disastrous. Does Harry Reid aspire to see Roe v. Wade, which was decided by nine men, overturned?

“Senator Patty Murray issued a wild and overwrought statement…At no point did she even come close to mentioning the legal case.”

Identity politics notwithstanding, the central implication of the Kristofs and Reids of the world — that the very involvement of the Court in this area is uncouth — is a rather strange one. Read the rest of this entry »


Senator Patty Murray’s Ignorance of Supreme Court Review of Regulation ‘Stunning’

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

CNSNews has the video

“I’ve worked hard to make sure that women have access to the right kinds of health care, and it’s their choice, not their employer’s choice,”

— Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

“Sitting in that court today, it was stunning to me to recognize that nine people are going to make that decision — and will decide for a long time to come — whether women have to question when they go to work every day what the shareholders of that company’s religious views could be.”

Hot Air‘s Ed Morrissey comments:

Well, that problem wouldn’t exist had Congress not given HHS the power to mandate that employers provide specific products and services to their employees in the first place. Prior to the passage of ObamaCare, most employers already provided some form of health insurance to their employees, and most of those already covered birth control, albeit with co-pays. Those employers who object to abortifacients found other health plans, but that doesn’t prevent men and women from acquiring birth control of their own volition — or finding other work based on competitive compensation packages, for that matter. This became an issue only when Democrats forced the creation and participation of a command economy in health insurance and gave bureaucrats the power to issue regulations such as the HHS contraception mandate, for no rational reason except as political demagoguery. Read more…Hot Air 

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a critical religious freedom case. The court will decide whether the government may compel family-owned companies to provide employees with health insurance that covers no-cost birth control and other medical procedures that violate the owners’ religious beliefs.

The plaintiffs argue that a 1993 federal law on religious freedom extends to private, for-profit businesses…Read more….CNSNews

Completely unrelated, but too good not to share. A Patty Murray Freudian slip:

…CNSNews ..Hot Air


Déjà Vu All Over Again: Senate Democrats Decide Not to Write a Budget Again

 (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senate Democrats will not write a budget for 2015

One year after writing and passing the first Senate Democratic budget resolution in four years, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said her conference will not make an effort in the 2014 midterm election year.

clock-roomIn a statement, Murray said there was no reason to do a fiscal 2015 budget after the two-year deal struck in December with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

That deal set budget ceilings for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. The 2015 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

“Fiscal Year 2015 is settled, the Appropriations Committees are already working with their bipartisan spending levels, and now we should work together to build on our two-year bipartisan budget, not create more uncertainty for families and businesses by immediately relitigating it,” Murray said.

“I went into my negotiations with Chairman Ryan hoping we could give the American people some much bigcloc2needed certainty after years of lurching to crisis to crisis, and I was very glad that our two-year budget deal accomplished that,” she added.

House Republicans are planning to do a budget, however. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday he “expects” it to be done.

That will set up a contrast with the Senate, where Republicans for years criticized Democrats for not doing a budget. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama in Wonderland Budget 2015: It’s Time to ‘End to the Era of Austerity’

wonderlandPresident Obama’s forthcoming budget request will seek tens of billions of dollars in fresh spending for domestic priorities while abandoning a compromise proposal to tame the national debt in part by trimming Social Security benefits.Obama-roll-of-diceWith the 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency and to his efforts to find common ground with Republicans. Instead, the president will focus on pumping new cash into job training, early-childhood education and other programs aimed at bolstering the middle class, providing Democrats with a policy blueprint heading into the midterm elections.

“This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis”

–Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner

As part of that strategy, Obama will jettison the framework he unveiled last year for a so-called grand bargain that would have raised taxes on the rich and reined in skyrocketing retirement spending. A centerpiece of that framework was a proposal — demanded by GOP leaders — to use a less-generous measure of inflation to calculate Social Security benefits.

President Bambi

It’s not just Congressional Republicans objecting to catastrophic levels of spending. The most influential critic of irresponsible budgets now holds the nation’s highest office:

“We’ve lived through an era of easy money, in which we were allowed and even encouraged to spend without limits; to borrow instead of save….

Once we get past the present emergency, which requires immediate new investments, we have to break that cycle of debt.

–Barack Obama, 2008

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey notes:

…If the new budget ends “austerity” by returning to Obama’s original top-line outlay demand of last year’s budget request, that will mean an additional increase of federal spending of 6.7% in just one year. If it’s just $56 billion more than the actual FY2014 outlays, then the notion that this ends “austerity” is doubly laughable.

The notion that we’ve been laboring under an “era of austerity” is as ridiculous and out of touch as … well, as most of Obama’s budget requests during his presidency…”

Republicans said emerging details of the president’s budget prove he was never serious about addressing the nation’s long-term debt problems.

Reality check:

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“This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis,” Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), said in a statement. “The one and only idea the president has to offer is even more job-destroying tax hikes, and that non-starter won’t do anything to save the entitlement programs that are critical to so many Americans.”

Read the rest of this entry »


House Approves $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

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David Rogers reports: House-Senate negotiators rolled out a $1.1 trillion spending bill Monday night — a giant package that fills in the blanks of the December budget agreement and promises to restore some order to government funding over the next year.

Under pressure from Republicans, the measure keeps a tight rein on new funding for Wall Street regulators and effectively freezes appropriations for President Barack Obama’s health care program at the reduced, post-sequester level.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: Only 3% of Americans Believe Immigration Most Important Issue

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Tony Lee reports:  Though Republicans and Democrats in favor of comprehensive immigration reform are ready to make a final push next year, a new national Gallup poll released on Thursday found that only 3% of the country believes immigration reform is the most important issue that needs to be addressed.

The top concern of Americans who were surveyed was “dissatisfaction with the government” (21%). That was followed by the economy (19%), healthcare (17%), unemployment (12), the budget deficit (9%), moral/ethical decline (7%), poverty/hunger/homelessness (5%), and education (4%).

Immigration also does not register among the top-five most important issues to Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

Read the rest of this entry »


Liberals are the Real Culture-War Aggressors

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And they’re wrong to get deeply involved in the reproductive choices of Americans.

Jonah Goldberg writes: Maybe someone can explain to me how, exactly, conservatives are the aggressors in the culture war? In the conventional narrative of American politics, conservatives are obsessed with social issues. They want to impose their values on everyone else. They want the government involved in your bedroom. Those mean right-wingers want to make “health care choices” for women.

Now consider last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to consider two cases stemming from Obamacare: Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius and Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores. Democratic politicians and their fans on social media went ballistic almost instantly. That’s hardly unusual these days. But what’s revealing is that the talking points are all wrong.

Suddenly, the government is the hero for getting deeply involved in the reproductive choices of nearly every American, whether you want the government involved or not. The bad guy is now your boss who, according to an outraged Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would be free to keep you from everything from HIV treatment to vaccinating your children if Hobby Lobby has its way. Murray and the White House insist that every business should be compelled by law to protect its employees’ “right” to “contraception” that is “free.”

Birth control not a right

I put all three words in quotation marks because these are deeply contentious claims. For starters, the right to free birth control — or health care generally — is not one you’ll find in the Constitution. And even if you think it should be a right, that is hardly a settled issue in American life. Read the rest of this entry »


Did the Shutdown Even Matter?

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 writes: When budget negotiations began last month, Democrats felt confident that public opinion surrounding the government shutdown would force Republicans to the table, eager to prove their party could compromise.

But today, there’s little sense of urgency on a budget deal. With less than four weeks to go before the conference committee’s deadline, the public focus has shifted to the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act and pressure on Republicans has subsided.

“The shutdown is history. We are moving forward to try to get the next thing done,” William Allison, a spokesman for House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, said last week.

Asked whether Ryan and others feel pressure to get something done because of the shutdown, Allison was blunt: “Nah,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »