It’s all good martinis today! Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news that the Oregon governor’s race is a toss-up thanks to a former Democrat running as an independent. They also celebrate news that the strong hiring numbers we’ve seen in the wake of the pandemic are overwhelmingly powered by Republican-led states. And they discuss why it was long past time for Brian Stelter to be shown the door at CNN after constantly turning a program designed to objectively evaluate the media into a cheerleading session for the left.
Join Jim and Greg as they dissect the much-needed resignation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. They also shudder as 19 Republicans in the Senate support the badly bloated infrastructure bill. And they fume as Oregon addresses its problem of some students of color failing to meet high school proficiency standards by getting rid of the standards altogether.
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Join Jim and Greg as they credit Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for taking action on the border crisis while the Biden administration dithers. They also react to the explosive Vanity Fair story exposing how State Department officials and scientists furiously tried to stop investigations into whether COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab. And they sympathize with residents in eastern Oregon who want to secede to Idaho. While they think the likelihood of that happening is low, they also devise an incentive system for state governments to improve.
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Join Jim and Greg as they cheer police in Oregon for vowing to pull back from parts of Portland after the local prosecutor refuses to press charges against rioters. They also slam Joe Biden for suggesting everyone needs to wear a mask outside of their homes regardless of the circumstances and for insisting on it for the next three months. And they vehemently disagree with New York City’s decision to cancel this year’s powerful 9/11 blue light display over COVID concerns.
Join Jim and Greg as they celebrate courts in Wisconsin and Oregon siding with freedom over heavy-handed governors, although Oregon Supreme Court just overruled the lower court and sided with the governor. They’re also exasperated as President Trump takes hydroxychloroquine, despite testing negative for coronavirus, in the latest salvo in this bizarre battle over whether the drug helps treat COVID-19. They also hammer House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for making the fight even more juvenile. And they respond to a liberal opinion writer in the New York Times pathetically changing what they really meant by #BelieveWomen so it doesn’t apply to Joe Biden and Tara Reade.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley’s decision to not run in 2020 but ask if his announcement was really necessary since very few Americans have any idea who he is. They also take a deep breath of fresh air as Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw gives a clear and calm defense of conservative principles that is often missing from our public dialogue. And Jim notes the Clinton era ends in a whimper as Hillary officially states that she will not run for president in 2020.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America begin by reflecting upon the grim news that Sen. John McCain will discontinue treatment for brain cancer. Then they tackle three good martinis, starting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi insisting she will run for Speaker of the House if Democrats win the majority, thereby preserving one of the GOP’s best arguments for keeping control. They also welcome the five-year prison sentence for Reality Winner, the NSA contractor who leaked classified information to the media. And they marvel at polls showing a dead heat in the Oregon governor’s race, which seems to be a result of non-stop protests in the state that snarl traffic, exhaust law enforcement, and leave areas thoroughly trashed.
After four years of resisting Medicaid expansion in Virginia, 20 Republican lawmakers in the House of Delegates relented and helped to push a limited, bipartisan expansion across the finish line, a vote one conservative member believes the GOP will live to regret.
“I think this is going to prove to have been a very, very bad decision,” said Republican Del. Nick Freitas, who is also a candidate for U.S. Senate this year.
Former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe pressed for full Medicaid expansion for four years. He failed each year, given the GOP’s roughly 2-1 majority in the House of Delegates. However, in November, Democrats picked up 15 seats, leaving the Republicans with a slim 51-49 majority.
Earlier this week, Virginia House Speaker William Howell announced a bipartisan agreement to expand Medicaid in Virginia, but with certain conditions, including work requirements and the ability to reverse the expansion if the federal government fails to deliver the funding it has promised.
On Thursday, the plan cleared the House of Delegates, 69-31, with all Democrats and 20 Republicans voting for it. There is still an uncertain future, however, since the Virginia Senate did not include Medicaid expansion in it’s budget, meaning the issue will be resolved in a House-Senate conference.
Freitas says Howell and other Republicans have reasons for what they did but he says it was still a big mistake.
“It’s frustrating. I certainly understand where the speaker and other members are coming from with respect to being concerned that a full expansion is in the works. So their attitude is that we’ve got to do something first in order to make sure that we get certain provisions in there that Republicans have asked for in other states,” said Freitas.
“We just voted on it on the House floor today and unfortunately it did pass with 31 Republicans voting against it. So it was actually a minority of Republicans in the House of Delegates that voted for the Medicaid expansion within the budget,” said Freitas.
Freitas says this is a terrible idea both fiscally and in terms of health policy.
“This is bad not only from a fiscal standpoint, which we tend to focus on a great deal but I think it’s bad also when you look at the underlying problems with respect to Medicaid.
“This is a program that is failing people not only from a fiscal standpoint, but it’s actually failing people with respect to the quality of health care that it’s supposed to be able to provide. I don’t think any of us should be shocked by that. That’s what happens when a government tries to micromanage a program,” said Freitas.
But were Republicans wise to head off a much worse program that could have passed instead of this one or should the GOP have avoided this path altogether?
“You can make a reasoned argument that something worse could come. The question is how complicit do you want to be in the end product. I don’t think there’s a good way to expand Medicaid, period,” said Freitas.
He also says the provision to reverse the expansion in certain circumstances may sound reassuring but believes that would never happen.
“If we don’t have the will to prevent a bad program from expanding, I don’t see how we’re suddenly going to have the will to kick off hundreds of thousands of people that we’ve made dependent upon that program once it’s gone into play,” said Freitas.
The argument that the bipartisan bill had to be pursued to avoid a more liberal version begs the question, since Republicans still control both parts of the legislature. Were some Republicans prepared to vote for full expansion without the GOP conditions?
“I think that’s a fair assessment. I do believe that there were some Republicans that were willing to vote for a full expansion,” he said.
Ian Tuttle of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the resignation of Alabama GOP Gov. Robert Bentley and a new poll showing the nation’s ten most popular governors are all Republicans. They also get to the bottom line of what went wrong on the United Airlines flight – quick escalation of hostilities and a failure to let capitalism solve the problem. And they get a kick out of Oregon possibly removing a ban on dueling from the state constitution.