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Republican lame-duck session priorities should be the wall, tax cuts, and defunding Planned Parenthood

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Republican lame-duck session priorities should be the wall tax cuts and defunding Planned Parenthood

Lame-duck sessions in Congress are abominable. When many members of the voting body are no longer accountable to voters because they’re leaving, that’s usually the worst time to be pushing legislation. But when the lame-duck session precedes a power change, it’s the final opportunity for a party to make an impact. When the opportunity is fleeting, you take it. That’s politics.

Unfortunately, many Republicans on Capitol Hill seem reluctant to get their act together and push conservative initiatives while they still have time. Mitch McConnell wants to push through more judicial nominees. Why? Because it’s a popular move to the base. They love hearing about more originalists confirmed to the various courts of the land.

This is ludicrous. They don’t need the House to confirm nominees and their Senate majority will be larger next session. There’s absolutely no good reason for McConnell to be pushing confirmations during the lame-duck other than solidifying his reputation as a confirmation king. I’ll acknowledge he’s been very effective so far with judges, but he can be just as effective doing it next year. Instead, he’s squandering time and efforts on it now.

The other big time-waster is the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, the First Step Act. If it’s bipartisan, it can be passed when the Democrats take control of the House in January. Why in the world would that be a top priority during the lame-duck session? It’s not a slam dunk among Republicans with a handful wanting public debate that will cost them precious time. If it can pass in the future, they need to put it off until then.

Don’t even get me started on the Mueller “protection” bill. Even if we ignore the Constitutional ambiguities associated with it, we can’t ignore the fact that outbound Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is the one pushing for it from the Republican side. His threat? Holding up confirmations. McConnell’s response should be, “go for it.”

The judges can be confirmed on the other side of the break.

What should Republicans be doing over the next 2-3 weeks? First, they need to get their priorities straight. Then, they need to inform everyone that Christmas break is on hold until they get their agenda complete. Longer hours and working weekends are required.

Does that sound too harsh ahead of Christmas? Boo hoo. These are representatives who have done such a foul job while they had control of both chambers of Congress that one of those chambers was taken away from them. They screwed up the last two years despite a small handful of victories, and now they want to rush home to be with their families. I have no sympathy for them. Do your jobs. Set your priorities and get to work.

Here are those priorities. There should be more, but we can’t expect so much from the incompetent band on Capitol Hill. Keep it simple and they might be able to get it done.

Priorities during lame-duck session

Senator Ted Cruz seems to be one of the only Republicans calling for conservative measures to be taken before they lose control of the House. He’s absolutely right and has listed many things he’d like to see accomplished before they go home for the rest of the year.

We can’t expect them to get many things done, but at the very least they need to do these three things:

Fund the wall. Period.

Heck, if they can do this I’d actually be only mildly upset if they missed everything else.

Here’s the reality. If they do not fund the wall now, there is zero chance soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will do anything but laugh at funding it in the future. This is the last chance for the next two years at least.

Fund the wall. President Trump has threatened to shut down the government if they don’t. Let’s not test him. Just fund the damn wall like you promised through two elections now..

Cut taxes again

They did it once. They can do it again. It worked the first time. It’ll work again. This should be a no-brainer, unless somehow they believe Pelosi has changed. She’s never seen a tax she thought was too high.

Stop using taxpayer dollars to murder preborn babies or fund Democrats’ election campaigns

The federal dollars given to Planned Parenthood aren’t allocated for abortions or giving money to Democratic election campaigns. Those dollars come from different accounting lines.

Guess what. If they defund Planned Parenthood, that money will get replaced by funds that currently go towards killing preborn babies and funding Democrats. It may not be direct funding, but the source of this dollar going to that part of Planned Parenthood is all basic accounting tricks.

Just like the wall and tax cuts, Republicans will not have another chance at defunding Planned Parenthood for at least two years if they don’t do it now.

If the GOP would stop doing the things they can do next year and focus on the things they can only do while they still have control, then maybe they can make an impact. As of now, they’re acting like they’re ready to throw in the towel.

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Economy

Progressive think tanks: If the economy holds strong, Trump should win in a landslide

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Progressive think tanks If the economy holds strong Trump should win in a landslide

Tribalism makes it challenging to gauge where the sentiment of the most important voting blocks stand. Hyper-leftists would vote for a broken refrigerator before voting for President Trump in 2020, while the MAGA crowd would stand in line with no food, water, or a bathroom for two days if that’s what would be required for them to vote for their man.

But these won’t be the people who determine the results of the 2020 election. They never are, even if their numbers are greater on both sides as noted by Ben Shapiro in his new book. The rabid Republicans and determined Democrats may ebb and flow in size, but it’s the people in the mushy middle who win elections.

Knowing this, it’s often difficult to determine what the sentiment is if we go solely based on the news. Just as with the dedicated tribes, so too are media outlets generally spun in how they present the news. This is why a story from today on left-leaning Politico prompted a read. It was worthwhile going through the leftist spin to reach the meat of the story, which basically says if conventional wisdom about incumbents and the economy hold up and the economy can remain strong through the election, President Trump should win in a landslide regardless of who the Democrats nominate.

Models from multiple think tanks conclude the conventional model favors the President, but these are unconventional times. It’s still very possible for the economy to remain strong and for the President to be hit with another onslaught of scandals, as he was in 2016. Then, there’s the “it” factor of the Democratic nominee. Someone like Senator Kamala Harris throws in the minority-female combination as an appealing wildcard in the mix. Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke and Senator Bernie Sanders still have incredible fundraising infrastructures that could help them dominate the money battle through the primaries and during the general election.

Of course, there’s always the possibility the economy could fall. Analysts have been predicting it in a way that’s vulgar, as if they hope the economy falls and people are hurt by it just to make sure President Trump loses in 2020.

If Republicans can put on a full-court press on the economy, something they failed miserably at in the 2018 midterms, they may be able to ride the President’s wave to victories on Capitol Hill as well. November 2020 will sneak up very quickly.

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Democrats

TIL the famous bar AOC worked at shut down over rising costs, minimum wage increase

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TIL the famous bar AOC worked at shut down over rising costs minimum wage increase

Today I learned something that surprised me, not because of the event itself but because so few people have talked about it. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is known for being a leader of the socialist movement in Washington DC after rising from the humble status of bartender to the Congresswoman of the 14th district in New York. Her policies include a push for a “living wage” of $15 per hour. I’ve always thought the wording was odd considering Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and others have been calling for a rise in “minimum wage.” Today, I found out why she’s shying away from that phrase.

When New York City raised their minimum wage $15, many businesses were hit hard, especially in the hospitality industry. Restaurants and bars started cutting hours and often even closing their doors over the increase. One of those hit hard by the massive bump was The Coffee Shop. Owner Charles Milite blamed the closure on high costs, with the rise in minimum wage as the last straw.

“The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees,” he said.

The Coffee Shop is the bar where AOC once worked.

Keep in mind, this wasn’t some random bar. The Coffee Shop in Union Square was considered a high-end establishment, buzzing all the time with “A-list” patrons. It was featured many times in the HBO show Sex and the City and had built a reputation as an “it” spot for Manhattan residents and tourists alike. In other words, this wasn’t a hole in the wall hanging on by a string. It was a vibrant, successful business for almost three decades before New York City’s untenable leftist policies, including a $15 minimum wage, became more than the bar could bear.

On the surface, many voters may see the very basic math of “oh, Democrats want to pay me more” and assume there’s no repercussions for such actions. This is why Democrats prey on those people who currently make lower wages. They feel if they can promise them something that sounds good even if they know with 100% certainty based on empirical evidence that it will actually hurt them, these new socialists are willing to make that trade. They figure they can blame the conservatives later for why the place they were working at before cut their hours, removed their jobs, or shut down because of raising the minimum wage.

As usual, socialists rely on ignorance and emotion as the driving forces behind their plans. They’re not stupid. They know their ideas won’t work. But they’re willing to push them on people anyway in hopes that ignorance will keep them in power.

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Economy

Thomas Sowell makes a clear point about Medicare-for-All

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Thomas Sowell makes a clear point about Medicare-for-All

How was the left able to take heat away from their Medicare-for-All proposal, and more specifically the estimated $32 trillion price tag over a decade? They tripled down with the Green New Deal, which some estimate would cost upwards near $100 trillion.

So, the price tag of the Democrats’ desired replacement for utterly failing Obamacare is to take current government control over healthcare and put it on a regiment of steroids and methamphetamine. When you’re going through Hell, keep going, I suppose.

But all of this could be alleviated if voters and politicians took a moment to think about the prospects of Medicare-for-All logically. Let’s erase, for a moment, the Utopian notion that taxing rich people extreme amounts will give us enough money to make healthcare free for everyone while also improving the quality. That’s the goal, right? Cheaper, better healthcare is what most people want. Conservatives believe it’s best to pull government administration out of the equation and put it all on a competitive capitalist model that has worked for nearly every other industry for over a century. Hyper-leftists want to add more government control.

Conservative commentator Thomas Sowell has some thoughts on the matter. One in particular can be wrapped up into an eloquent quote that should be ideological checkmate allowing us to win the healthcare debate.

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

Of course, our version of checkmate requires common sense, logic, and basic math skills. These attributes aren’t as readily present on the left, therefore they might hear this logic and still think single-payer makes sense.

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