Breaking from Politico:
House Republicans released a short-term spending bill Tuesday containing language designed to speed confirmation of retired Gen. James Mattis to be Donald Trump’s defense secretary. The move will force Senate Democrats to decide whether to oppose the budget legislation over the matter — and risk a government shutdown — ahead of a Friday deadline.
By now, everyone knows that a Texas elector (whom I will not dignify by naming) has decided to violate his pledged commitment to Texas voters by elevating his conscience over theirs (core questions are debated in two lively conversations posted here and here). This faithless elector’s conscience also led him to trumpet his decision on The New York Times opinion page.
Fulfilling his duty by casting a conscientious vote was apparently not enough to satisfy his conscience. He had to openly declare a campaign against the President-elect, calling for other electors to also follow his conscience. With enough GOP defectors (37), the President-elect could be held under the required 270 vote threshold. The likelihood of pulling this off is infinitesimally small, but even if the stunt were to succeed the election would then be determined by a vote in the House (with one vote per state), and Donald Trump would certainly emerge the winner. In other words, this faithless elector is exploiting his position to lead a campaign for the purpose of creating controversy around the President-elect. Some conscience.More
In a surprising twist on the usual social media pile-ons, a left-wing Alabama man has just lost his job after posting mean comments about the victims of the Sevier County, Tennessee fires on Facebook. Bringing to mind the Left-wing social-media-fueled persecutions of Justine Sacco and Brendan Eich, this case is one where the Right has done the pile-on, and the man has apparently lost his job.
Perhaps it’s easier for me to make my point when I might be expected to be on the other side of this, and I can stand up for principle without people thinking that I have an interest in this man’s case.More
A new and perhaps unique health care service is now available to those who are in need of palliative care services. Palliative care is defined in this way :
Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other specialists who work together with a patient’s doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.More
Strangely, healthcare reformers — both the Obamacare and the emerging Trumpcare varieties — still speak in pious terms about the importance of the primary care physician to whatever plans they have in store for our American healthcare system. These people are lying. Many of them are members of the enlightened leadership that has purposely and systematically wrecked primary care medicine. The primary care physician is dead, and the reformers know it. The obituary has not only been written, but has been duly published in the Federal Register as the law of the land.
The death of primary care was a culmination of two fatal disorders. The first was a chronic, debilitating illness that systematically deprived the practice of primary care medicine of its very purpose and meaning. This illness took hold long ago, back when Mr. Obama was still organizing sundry communities, and Mr. Trump was still enthusiastic about the casino business. Consider the long-term effects of this illness. if you ask a primary care physician what their medical practice is like today, you are likely to get an answer like this:More
On November 30, leaders of the House Budget Committee released a “discussion draft” of prospective reforms to the congressional budget process—a step that represents a solid foundation for addressing a perennially thorny and problematic issue. It is critical, however, that fiscal conservatives recognize that this discussion draft is only the starting point; the House Budget Committee leadership is actively seeking suggestions to strengthen the package. Fiscal conservatives, your voices need to be heard. Comments can be sent to this address.
The budget reform proposal was developed around the following principles:More
Michael Walsh of PJ Media asks “What, Exactly, Is the #NeverTrumpumpkins’ Problem?”
It’s a serious problem, it seems, because he doesn’t just call people “NeverTrumpumpkins” (is that hashtag a thing?), but “Vichycons — the collaborationist #NeverTrump crew whose views are increasingly indistinguishable from the hard Left.”More
Following Donald Trump’s electoral upset over Hillary Clinton, and his lack of securing the popular vote, there’s been a lot of talk about “faithless electors.” These are members of the Electoral College who refuse to vote for their state’s chosen candidate, and in 2016 the left has worked hard to shake the faith among pro-Trump electors.
In American history there have only been 157 faithless electors, only half of whom changed their minds on personal initiative (the others resulted from a candidate dying before taking office or abstentions.) None of these renegades have changed the course of a presidential election. Could this year be the first?More
President elect (almost, EC hasn’t voted yet) Trump went on a Twitter rant this weekend. High on the praise of Carrier only losing half the jobs it had in Indiana, The Donald took to his iPhone to warn American businesses that a firm cannot move manufacturing outside the U.S. without “retribution or consequences.” Here’s a picture of the tweetstorm.More
I run an Austin-based public policy nonprofit called Texas Action and I am hiring policy analysts for the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature.
We provide state legislators with bill analysis and liberty-minded vote recommendations for bills they are required to vote on. The Texas legislature only meets for five months every other year which means when they do convene, thousands of bills are filed with only a narrow window of time to work them through the legislative process.More
America’s immigration problem raises a huge set of thorny issues. At a theoretical level, it is difficult to articulate, let alone implement, the ideal immigration policy. While there are compelling arguments in favor of the basic norm of free trade, an open immigration policy could lead to massive political dislocations. Allowing the free flow of goods across borders is quite unlike allowing people to do the same. Goods do not put potential burdens on educational, health, and social service institutions; they do not participate in political activities, lobby to become citizens, or vote. By the same token, goods do not bring with them entrepreneurial skills and professional expertise like that possessed by immigrants; and, at the other end of the economic ladder, they help to fill many low-wage positions. Anyone who thinks they can come to a categorical judgment on immigration policy has not thought hard enough about the problem.
These difficulties work themselves into the fabric of our current immigration law. Right now, enforcement of immigration law is entrusted to ICE, the eerie acronym for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE is responsible for border protection and dealing with aliens already in the country. Its portfolio of duties involves the enforcement of over 400 different federal statutes. To get the barest sense of the massive size of this apparatus, just leaf through the major provisions of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which addresses border control, smuggling, document fraud, employment restrictions, and, with renewed urgency given the imminent arrival of the Trump administration, the “inspection, apprehension, detention, adjudication, and removal of inadmissible and deportable aliens.”More
It is time for conservatives to ask themselves the big questions. In many ways, people who profess to be conservatives are lazy. They found a philosophy where the main action is to say “No, bad idea.” Then they can tell you why it is a bad idea. Everyone can find the reason things will fail. Easy stuff.
In discussion with many here, most hold Ronald Reagan in a place of honor. One of his best lines was about “That Shining City on The Hill”, the America we all belonged to in our hearts.More