GOP’s Dilemma on Obamacare – What Would Become Its Replacement

It is without question the GOP loathes Obamacare. The plan is seen as an abuse of the Constitution’s Interstate Commerce Clause by compelling Americans to buy a product (health care) for the express purpose of subjecting them to regulations. Still, the Supreme Court failed to rule on the nature of the interstate commerce clause instead declaring the health care law as being a set of taxes; Congress already has the right to tax its citizens. That hasn’t stopped the GOP from multiple attempts to repeal the law in part of total.

Notwithstanding, the issue taking greater prominence as of late is what would Republicans replace Obamacare with if they could successfully repeal it. Thus far, the party hasn’t offered up a plausible solution. This is mainly because of ideology. The GOP believes in limited government and promotes private sector solutions. If the highly bureaucratic health care program were to be replaced, it would leave a void which would have to be filled. Neither the House nor Senate has been able to pass a replacement solution.

In a matter of a few short weeks, the Supreme Court will announce their ruling on King vs. Burwell. This case centers on whether the IRS was bound to apply the explicit intent of the Affordable Care Act which only stipulated that state-run health care exchanges could receive premium subsidies. Obamacare Architect James Gruber was video recorded stating the purpose in the requirement was to compel states to run their own exchanges. However, 75% of states refused to create their own exchanges. This prompted the IRS to extend the subsidies to people regardless of the exchange used to purchase the insurance. Critics charge the law must be abided even if the law results in unintended consequences. If the high court rules against the Obama administration, the health care law will suffer a possible death blow. Daniel Amen understands the way in which this will squarely put the onus on the GOP to arrive at a solution.

Senator Warren Against Uber and Lyft

Speaking at a conference for coders in California, Senator Elizabeth Warren said that contract employees and 1099 contracts have gone out of control. They exist well beyond what they were intended for, according to the Democrat, when specifically talking about Uber and Lyft drivers. In the ride sharing applications, drivers are contracted to the app, they are not officially employees claims Alexei Beltyukov. This means Uber and Lyft do not have to protect their workers in the same way, or provide health insurance for their contracted drivers. These companies are in legal battles, and conflicts with taxi drivers across the globe, with large protests breaking out in Paris, New York and Washington over the last year.

Senator Warren is an active advocate for workers’ rights, and was a leading proponent for Wall Street regulation. She has made a case to be one of the most influential Democrats in Washington, however she has specifically stated that she is not going to run for president next year. The common inference is that while speaking against contracted workers in these large businesses, she is advocating for those workers to be considered employees, to be paid as employees and to gain the protections in the workplace like an hourly employee. She has said that the 1099 tax documents, which are for contractors, has been extended too far beyond what it was originally intended. Certain states, including Florida, have already determined that Uber drivers should be classified as employees.

Senators Draft Letter to Pentagon on Gay Rights

Lead by Senator Chris Murphy, a group of 24 Senators has written a formal request to the Pentagon to create an official nondiscrimination policy for gays and lesbians. Since the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell,” which was widely considered a failed policy, no action has been taken by the Pentagon to make a new policy. The Senators, including Democrats and republicans, wrote their letter on Thursday to Ash Carter the Defense Secretary. They urged action to the Defense Department leader, because the rights of homosexuals in the military lags far behind the policies in place to protect their civilian counterparts. More specifically, the senators stated “The absence of formal equal opportunity protections not only undermines foundational American principles of fairness and equality, it also presents an unneeded risk to national security by negatively impacting the morale and readiness of our all-volunteer force.”

The Senators were later questioned about the absence of transgender service members and their protections. They claimed that this letter was specifically to counter the inaction on homosexuals’ right to equality, and while transgender equality is important it is a separate issue that will need to be resolved with another policy. The letter specifically confronts the failure to provide a new policy after “don’t ask don’t tell” which was repealed in 2010, and is headed by the same Senators who lead the charge against that policy. NJSpotlight in coalition with Boraie Development LLC believe that the equal rights for homosexuals in the military is largely a Democratic principle and is expected to gain support by the president.

Not So Good Score

When US citizens are born they are given a Social Security card and a Social Security number. That’s social security number identifies them as United States citizens and they are given a credit score for what should they will shape their financial future. Credit scores are to be used by company’s corporations and banks to make the decision on whether to deny or prove an applicant for loans and other financial practices. Recent studies show that companies are now looking at credit scores as a factor to deny or approve the application of potential employees. One of the communities hardest hit by these practices is the African American community. Statistics show that the African American community is 30 years behind all other communities due in part to their disadvantage in earlier centuries, there are reasons to this day why African Americans are financially, educationally and socially behind. When employers use credit scores against African American applicants, it makes it that much harder for people affected by this socioeconomic plate to get a hold of their financial future. If an unemployed applicant is denied a job based on their credit score, how are they to improve on their credit score? Employers who are not giving chances to these people prove that qualifications for a job don’t matter as much and their financial have it. Financial advisors have noted that is extremely easy for people in Hollywood in sports to bounce back from scandals, but don’t understand why it’s hard for a community of people who want to work to get a job. The same researchers behind these statistics are hoping to introduce legislation that would make it illegal for employers to deny applicants based on their credit scores according to Freedompop. Lawmakers will vote on this bill in the next few months. Financial advisors are hoping that once the bill passes, more people can begin working and get the economy back on the fast track.

McConnell Tells Senators Eager to Leave D.C. for the Memorial Day Weekend: Not So Fast

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admonished the senate body against making plans to leave town for the Memorial Day weekend. The holiday is amongst the most traveled in the nation. It is a holiday marked by cookouts & barbeques. Naturally, senators are eager to return to their home states and spend the long weekend with their loved ones. However, there is work to be done on three contentious bills: the highway funding extension, extension of the Patriot Act, and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).

In short, the Senate’s majority leader has made it clear he will use the “homeward bound” sentiment of his fellow senators as a means of prodding them into action before letting the senate go into recess. The first priority the majority leader sees is securing fast-track authority (Trade Promotion Authority) for President Obama. Keith Mann has learned that the bill, currently being filibustered by Democrats, is seen as vital towards ultimately securing passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. Democrats, who are distrustful of the free trade agreement, want to see a companion set of bills designed to address the treaty’s short-comings get voted on before relenting on TPA.

The highway funding extension would allow current infrastructure priorities to move forward for the next 60 days. Thus far, the Senate has approved 32 extensions. It is quite likely Democrats will relent on their opposition to yet another extension. The Patriot Act is a divisive bill. The GOP is split with McConnell and others wanting to extend the bill as-is. Other Republicans and many Democrats want to make substantial changes to the program to address privacy concerns. This bill seems the least likely to get resolved before the holiday weekend.

George Zimmerman Is Shot At While Driving, Suffers Minor Injuries

“Zimmerman was also arrested on charges of aggravated assault, battery, and criminal mischief after another girlfriend said he pointed a gun at her face during an argument, smashed her coffee table and pushed her out of their house” Buzzfeed reports.

From the time Zimmermann was accused of killing Trayvon Martin in 2013 until now he has constantly been in the news. Not on commendations of doing good, saving someone’s life, or anything you would expect a neighborhood watchman to do! No he has been committing crimes, causing mischief and really proving himself to be no more than a common criminal. The statement above proves this, and now he is in the news again for a road rage incident. The bazaar thing about this incident is Zimmerman has had an ongoing battle with this same individual, their second road rage run in. This time Zimmerman almost lost his life by being shot at. Bruce Levenson asks what is it going to take for this man to walk the straight and narrow? Hopefully not his life.

Student confronts Jeb Bush over ISIS

The problem of ISIS will be a major area of conversation during the upcoming Presidential campaigns and prospective Republican nominee Jeb Bush was faced with the first vice of descent at a recent rally. Former Florida Governor Bush had given a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada and was signing autographs when 19 year old Political Science Major Ivy Zeidrich confronted the candidate over his statements regarding the establishment of ISIS, The New York Timesreports.

Mr. Bush had claimed the establishment of ISIS could be placed firmly at the door of President Obama after he allowed the removal of a peace keeping force to occur in Iraq according to Bernardo Chua on PRNewsWire. Miss Zeidrich countered that the blame could be placed with Bush’s brother President George W. Bush who began the conflict in the Middle East and destroyed the Iraqi army totaling more than 30,000 troops. Bush and the University of Nevada student discussed the situation in a brief exchange before the former Governor turned his back on the student and ended the conversation.

Younger Americans View Socialism in a Better Light Than Others

A poll has come out from yougov.com that shows younger Americans have a better view of socialism than older Americans. They are also more likely to have a dim view of capitalism. As far as Americans overall, capitalism still comes out on top with a 52 percent favorable attitude toward capitalism and only 26 percent favorable for socialism. Even among younger Americans under 30 years of age a minority of 36 percent have a favorable view of socialism, but that is still much higher than middle-aged or old people.

This view of socialism versus capitalism may actually hold true through generations. There is a famous saying my friend Bruce Karatz always brings up that “If you are not a liberal at 25, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative at 35, you have no brain.” For whatever reasons, people seem naturally more attracted to a socialist mentality when younger and then, perhaps after seeing how much of their paycheck disappears to the government year after year, become a little jaded toward it. There is also the factor that many people may be confusing our current system of crony-capitalism with actual free market capitalism. When you believe that capitalism is a system in which the company with the most lobbyists wins, then of course you will have a dim view of it. This is, however, not how it’s supposed work. The damage to the good name of true capitalism may be more harmful than the corruption itself of crony-capitalism.

Jeb Bush Points Out That Both He and Hillary Would Have Authorized 2003 Iraq War

The 2003 Iraq war is arguably the most transformative event in US history of the past decade second only to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Since that time, the war vote has been a point the political left uses to rail against presidential candidates. Now, the Iraq War is resurfacing as a presidential issue. This is because former Florida Governor Jeb Bush acknowledged tapping into his brother George W. Bush for advice on Middle East affairs. Rather than allow the left to use that acknowledgement to define him unfavorably, Jeb Bush is proactively defending the Iraq War. In an interview set to air on Monday night, Bush explained that given the intelligence the United States possessed in 2003, he too would have asked for an authorization of war against Iraq.

In fact, Bush went on to say that even Hillary Clinton would have done the same thing if she were president in 2003. His remark is bolstered by the fact that she voted for the Iraq War resolution. At the time, Clinton was the junior senator from New York, and she presented a hawkish view of national defense. Bush’s words were crafted to put Clinton on the spot. If she will defends her 2003 Iraq War vote, she risks alienating the Warren-wing she desperately needs. Alternatively, she may flip-flop on the vote to pander to the liberal base, but alienate herself to moderates and undecided voters.

Thanks to Bernardo Chua for showing me Bush’s remarks.

Bernie Sanders Signs up Thousands of Supporters

Much has been made in recent days of Bernie Sanders entry into the U.S. presidential race. He will be a challenging opponent, no doubt, to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary process trying to get their party’s nomination. This is augmented by the fact that Senator Sanders has said 200,000 people have signed up to help his campaign. Sanders has a reputation of being an advocate for the little guy as a proponent of increases in the minimum wage, raising the cap on the social security tax and tougher regulations on big business. He is clearly the huge challenge from the left that Hillary Clinton will have to get past in order to get her party’s nomination.

That said, does Bernie Sanders really have a chance of ever becoming the next president of the United States? He will certainly drive the debate in the Democratic primary process and will make Hillary Clinton have to mouth support for left-wing positions that she would then have to defend against a Republican opponent in the general election. However, do enough Democrats think that a man who once ran as an avowed socialist will actually get elected to the highest office in the land? Both parties nominating processes tend to weed out the more extreme left or right wing contenders and result in a more moderate candidate emerging with the nomination. Bernie Sanders may be many things but moderate is not one of them.

Thanks to my friends at the real estate developer Boraie Development LLC for showing me this.