Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012

Glenn Beck: ‘Freedom Is at Stake, and Freedom Lost Last Night’
by Tiffany Gabbay
November 7, 2012

In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, Glenn Beck ceded that his prior prediction that Mitt Romney would enjoy a victory with substantial margins was indeed wrong. Before an audience at his Dallas studio, Beck relayed what his thoughts and feelings had been prior to the election and also delved into where America should go from this point on.

“The biggest problem is not that we didn’t elect Mitt Romney,” Beck began. It is the “hole we have dug for ourselves.”

“Half of our country, our neighbors, are completely lost in darkness… Freedom is at stake and freedom lost last night.”

In speaking about the polarization of the nation, Beck noted that the United States of America “is in name only.”

Despite the grim outlook, Beck, an entrepreneur who, like other business owners across the country will face substantial challenges in the next four years, still believes that path forward is to “double down.”

Many conservatives, and even those other political orientation, will find that his words resonate with them. Watch Beck’s powerful segments via TheBlazeTV below:

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Obamacare Now in High Gear, Fully Operational in 11 Months
by The Associated Press
November 8, 2012

Its place assured alongside Medicare and Medicaid, President Barack Obama's health care law is now in a sprint to the finish line, with just 11 months to go before millions of uninsured people can start signing up for coverage.

But there are hurdles in the way.

Republican governors, opposed to what they deride as "Obamacare," will have to decide whether they somehow can join the team. And the administration could stumble under the sheer strain of carrying out the complex legislation, or get tripped up in budget talks with Congress.

"The clarity brought about by the election is critical," said Andrew Hyman of the nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "We are still going to be struggling through the politics, and there are important policy hurdles and logistical challenges. But we are on a very positive trajectory." Hyman oversees efforts to help states carry out the law.

In the two years since passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has been consumed with planning and playing political defense. Now it has to quickly turn to execution.

States must notify Washington a week from Friday whether they will be setting up new health insurance markets, called exchanges, in which millions of households as well as small businesses will shop for private coverage. The Health and Human Services Department will run the exchanges in states that aren't ready or willing.

Open enrollment for exchange plans is scheduled to start Oct. 1, 2013, and coverage will be effective Jan. 1, 2014.

In all, more than 30 million uninsured people are expected to gain coverage under the law. About half will get private insurance through the exchanges, with most receiving government help to pay premiums.

The rest, mainly low-income adults without children at home, will be covered through an expansion of Medicaid. While the federal government will pay virtually all the additional Medicaid costs, the Supreme Court gave states the leeway to opt out of the expansion. That gives states more leverage but also adds to the uncertainty over how the law will be carried out.

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It Begins: Reid Proposes Changing Filibuster Rules
by Guy Benson
November 7, 2012

No one should be the least bit surprised; Reid's been talking about this for awhile, and even moved unilaterally to alter long-standing Senate rules to shield his members from difficult votes last year (mission accomplished).  Filibuster "reform:" Coming soon to a Senate near you?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will try to push through a change to Senate rules that would limit the GOP’s ability to filibuster bills. Speaking in the wake of Tuesday’s election, which boosted Senate Democrats’ numbers slightly, Mr. Reid said he won’t end filibusters altogether but that the rules need to change so that the minority party cannot use the legislative blocking tool as often. “I think that the rules have been abused and that we’re going to work to change them,” he told reporters. “Were not going to do away with the filibuster but we’re going to make the Senate a more meaningful place.” Republicans, who have 47 of the chamber’s 100 seats in this current Congress, have repeatedly used that strong minority to block parts of President Obama’s agenda on everything from added stimulus spending to his judicial picks.
A filibuster takes 60 senators to overcome it. Leaders of both parties have been reluctant to change the rules because they value it as a tool when they are in the minority. But Mr. Reid said things changed over the last few years when he repeatedly faced off against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, who had said his chief political goal was defeating Mr. Obama. Mr. Reid said that led the GOP to abuse the filibuster. 
Reid's rationale is faulty and hypocritical.  I suspect he knows this, but doesn't care -- after all, his underhanded tactics and dereliction of duty was rewarded at the polls.  The historic uptick in attempted and threatened Republican "filibusters" (or some variant thereof) has correlated directly with Reid's strong-arm tactics as majority leader.  To an unprecedented degree, Reid has denied the minority the right to even offer amendments to legislation, meaning that Republicans would have no input in the structure or content of these laws.  Reid has employed this maneuver, known as "filling the amendment tree," more than his six immediate predecessors combined.  The reason he's done so is to prevent the GOP from advancing amendments that would paint Democrats into difficult political corners, a check on power that Senate minorities from both parties have used for decades.  Republicans essentially argued that if Reid insists on shutting them out of the legislation-crafting process, their only remaining recourse is threatening to block the entire bill, hence their filibuster "abuse."  The best solution to this problem would be for the Senate leadership to hammer out a compromise that would significantly curb the majority "filling the tree," in exchange for the minority curtailing their filibuster posturing.  Are our leaders capable of this?

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