Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are happy the oral arguments against the individual mandate seemed to go well and that even liberals seem resigned to it being struck down by the Supreme Court. They also cringe as President Obama enjoys a 19-pint edge over Mitt Romney on likeability. And Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar gets an enthusiastic but very unhelpful endorsement from former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter.
Archives for March 2012
It’s About the Constitution
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments over the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the new health care laws. Pundits are feverishly making predictions about how the high court will rule based on today’s oral arguments. South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy is a former attorney and prosecutor. He says this case has nothing to do with political preferences but whether the government can force everyone to buy health insurance in order to regulate it. Gowdy says if the government has that power, then why not mandatory dental insurance or exercise or healthy eating requirements. He also responds to the Democratic argument that Republicans warmly embraced the mandate in the 1990s and are now reversing positions because Obama likes the mandate. We also discuss the implications if the court allows the mandate to stand and what happens if the provision is struck down.
Three Martini Lunch 3/27/12
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are cautiously optimistic about today’s Obamacare arguments at the Supreme Court and enjoy a video showing Pres. Obama on both sides of the mandate debate. They also rip Obama for his lame explanation of his comments to Russian President Medvedev and slam Medvedev for lashing out at Mitt Romney. And they’re almost speechless as NBC questions whether Dick Cheney should have received a new heart.
Student Loan Bubble Next to Burst
For the past few years, the U.S. economy has struggled mightily to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis that stemmed in large part from a housing market meltdown. Now some experts say a trillion dollars in student loan debt is the next financial calamity about to strike. John Leo was a longtime columnist for “U.S. News & World Report” and is now a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He has studied higher education for decades. Leo says the dire forecasts are probably accurate and could very well come true in just a year. He also explains why student loan debt has spiraled out of control and why much more pressure must be applied to colleges and universities to bring costs down. Leo says people are seeing the value in community colleges and are souring on traditional schools after many surveys reveal most students aren’t any different four years and $200,000 of investment.
Small Business Help on the Way
House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves says small business owners are badly in need of regulatory relief and contends his committee is providing it in a bipartisan manner. Graves describes five separate bills that have passed his committee and that he will seek to bundle together to secure full passage. Graves says the main thrust is to streamline the contracting process and make life easier for virtually all business owners. But Graves also says there’s still a ton of uncertainty among business owners because of concerns related to the Obama health care laws, the tax code and many new EPA regulations. Graves explains why most business owners are in a holding pattern before engaging in expansion or additional hiring.
Three Martini Lunch 3/26/12
Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are unnerved by President Obama telling Russia’s president he can be more flexible towards their desire to scrap another missile shield in Europe. However, they are glad the American people got the chance to see Obama in his true light during this unintentionally public comments. They also unpack the latest Rick Santorum denunciation of Mitt Romney that leads to confusion. And they have some fun with Obama campaign guru David Plouffe still saying people will love Obamacare once it’s fully implemented.
Obamacare and IPAB
Friday marks two years since President Obama signed the health care laws that are now commonly referred to as Obamacare. Interestingly, President Obama and his allies are making almost no mention of it and Republicans are making every effort to make mention of it. Louisiana Rep. John Fleming is also a longtime physician. He says there’s no mystery as to why the administration is downplaying the president’s most significant domestic accomplishment. He contends every fear voiced by the Republicans in 2009 and 2010 has been proven true – from cost to loss of choice to concerns over rationing. Rep. Fleming also explains why House Republicans passed a bill to repeal a portion of Obamacare that would allow presidential appointees to make critical life-and-death decisions for Medicare patients in order to control costs. Fleming explains why this panel could not only refuse to cover certain procedures but eventually rule out treatment for specific people. He also offers the GOP strategy for bringing down the skyrocketing cost of health care.
The Atheist Agenda
This weekend, about 5,000 atheists will gather in the National Mall in Washington to hold a “Reason Rally” and demand a completely secular approach to government. Larry Taunton is founder of the Fixed Point Foundation and author of “The Grace Effect”. He says just the name of the event sends a message that people of faith are supposedly irrational and he wonders why secular activists aren’t happy with the pace at which government is severing all ties to expressions of faith. Taunton tells us how much clout secularists have in Washington and why the Soviet Union, Red China and Nazi Germany are stark examples of what happens when godless regimes are in power. He also explains why he’s troubled by the secularist words, actions and attitudes of President Obama.
Whitfield Fights Overseas EPA Grants
Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power. He is also spearheading legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency from using taxpayer dollars to issue grants to foreign researchers. Whitfield says the $20 million that would be saved is a drop in the bucket when it comes to overall spending, but he says an important principle is at stake. Whitfield describes his efforts to bring change in the EPA policy and tells us why the appropriations process is a likely means of stopping the overseas grants.
Senate Seat for Sale
Shortly after the 2008 elections, then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich attempted to essentially sell Barack Obama’s soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. A media circus of epic proportions followed as Blagojevich was constantly seen on television and he somehow dodged prison on a mistrial. The retrial ended with the result everyone expected the first time. Blagojevich was found guilty on multiple counts of corruption and will serve a lengthy sentence in federal prison. This week, the Capitol Steps reflect back on the Blagojevich scandal with their song, “Senate Seat for Sale”. Our guest is Steps impressionist Mark Eaton.