An Ultimatum of Doom: Failure is Not an Option on Obamacare Repeal

On Thursday evening, facing mounting conservative opposition to a watered-down Obamacare replacement bill, President Trump let loose an ultimatum on Twitter. The frustrated 45th President told House Republicans via Twitter that they should “pass the bill today or keep Obamacare in place.” While I understand that this ultimatum was intended to push fence-sitters toward voting for the Ryan-backed American Health Care Act (ACHA), it is not an ultimatum the President can afford to keep. If the Republican Congress cannot come to consensus and repeal Obamacare completely, and replace it with a free-market cure in the short-term, Republican dominance of Washington will be a thing of the past come next November.

For seven years, congressional Republicans have campaigned on ending Obamacare and replacing it with a conservative reform package that would lower costs and increase access to care through the free-market system. That they are now scrambling at crunch-time to come-up with a replacement bill is appalling; they have had seven years to prepare for this moment and, yet, they have fumbled at the one yard line. President Trump has said that he is ready to move-on to tax and immigration reform in the absence of a “yes” vote on the AHCA. This would be a disastrous move for his presidency.

President Trump’s reform agenda is endangered by the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Speaker Ryan’s effort to pass a watered-down bill through Congress alienated the House Freedom Caucus, an organization founded with the help of now- White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, and led to the bill being twice pulled from the floor. Instead of writing the bill with the input of House Freedom Caucus members, Speaker Ryan set himself up for failure by excluding them from its formulation. There should have been inclusion of the Freedom Caucus on the front-end, not panicked outreach and threats once the bill was introduced.

President Trump was not well served by the Republican House leadership this week, and, yet, he went to the mat to defend a bill that was doomed from the start. Tweaking Obamacare is not what got Republicans elected; they promised a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare once and for all. The President cannot now pivot onto other issues until an Obamacare repeal is passed. Conservative voters are fed-up, and the Republican base will not tolerate leaving Obamacare in place one minute longer than necessary. The President and the Speaker of the House need to reconvene the entire House Republican Caucus and rewrite legislation that will have near-unanimous GOP support so that the House can pass a bill and send it to the Senate.

The American Healthcare Act is certainly better than Obamacare, but it needs to be better to keep Congress’s and the President’s promise to the American people. By ending the Obamacare “death spiral,” fully repealing Obamacare’s mandates, and providing for health insurance competition across state lines, the House Republican Leadership would make significant progress toward putting forth a passable bill. I understand President Trump’s frustration with this week’s failure of healthcare reform legislation, but walking away is not an option at this point. If Obamacare stays in place, tax and immigration reforms will not pass, and Nancy Pelosi will have a realistic shot at the Speaker’s gavel again in 2018. These are costs Americans cannot afford to pay.

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Convicted Terrorist Who Organized “Day Without Women” To Be Deported

In what was not a surprise to anyone familiar with demonstrations organized by the left, it was revealed that a convicted terrorist was one of the organizers of the “Day Without Women” march. If you recall, that was an even designed for privileged women to demonstrate their privilege by taking a day off from work and daring their bosses to even mention their absence in a less than laudatory way. In the workplace it was know as “Day Without Harpies.” The American left has long has a strong strain of terrorism baked in and it routinely turns terrorists–and garden variety murders who have the right politics–into heroes and makes them the mentors of presidents.

In the case of “Day Without Women” the terrorist was a delightful creature named Rasmea Odeh.

Instead of milling around Washington, organizers have in mind a “general strike” called the Day without a Woman. In a manifesto published in The Guardian on Feb. 6, the brains behind the movement are calling for a “new wave of militant feminist struggle.” That’s right: militant, not peaceful.

The document was co-authored by, among others, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, a convicted terrorist. Odeh, a Palestinian, was convicted in Israel in 1970 for her part in two terrorist bombings, one of which killed two students while they were shopping for groceries. She spent 10 years in prison for her crimes. She then managed to become a US citizen in 2004 by lying about her past (great detective work, INS: Next time, use Google) but was subsequently convicted, in 2014, of immigration fraud for the falsehoods. However, she won the right to a new trial (set for this spring) by claiming she had been suffering from PTSD at the time she lied on her application. Oh, and in her time as a citizen, she worked for a while as an ObamaCare navigator.

That’s right. Her PTSD was so bad she entirely forgot about spending ten years in prison. She was convicted of immigration fraud in 2014 but won a new trial on appeal because the trial judge didn’t allow her to present evidence to support her PTSD claim. She was due to go on trial again and was looking at an 18 month prison term. Her defense team cut a deal that lets her be deported in return for them not seeking jail time. This is all a Zionist plot:

However, the prospects for a fair trial are slimmer than ever. The prosecution team is now under the regime of racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and a new superseding indictment re-frames this as a case about “terrorism” rather than immigration. There is the great likelihood that a jury would be prejudiced by hearing the zionist Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel call Rasmea a “terrorist” and her supporters “mobs and hordes,” as he has done many times before. As a Palestinian who has dedicated her life to the cause of liberation, it is impossible for Rasmea to expect a fair trial in U.S. courts.

Under this current, racist political climate, and facing 18 months or more of imprisonment, as well as the possibility of indefinite detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Rasmea has made the difficult decision to accept a plea agreement. She will plead guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, lose her U.S. citizenship, and be forced to leave the country, but will exit the U.S. without having to serve any more time in prison or ICE detention, a victory, considering that the government had earlier fought for a sentence of 5-7 years. Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch and Tukel clearly want to dodge a public and legal defense that puts U.S.-backed Israel on trial for its crimes against Rasmea and its continuing crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

Through a massive, organized defense campaign, Rasmea Odeh—a long-time icon of the Palestine liberation movement—is now a name known in every corner of the movement for social justice in the U.S. From the Movement for Black Lives in Ferguson, Chicago, and beyond, to the call for a global #WomenStrike on International Women’s Day, Rasmea has become synonymous with resilience and resistance. This fight not only brought her story to the U.S. and the world, but also pushed forward the cause of the liberation of Palestine. She exposed Israel for what it is – a racist occupier and colonizer – and put its policy of torture and sexual assault on the permanent record in a U.S. court of law.

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AHCA Aftermath: Steve Bannon Wanted To Use The Vote To Create “Enemies List”

As was pointed out by Joe Cunningham earlier, former Breitbart CEO, current White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, thought he would bark out demands and the House Freedom Caucus would fall in line.

Congress isn’t Breitbart, dude.

Add to that a report from the New York Times that Bannon sought to use the AHCA vote as a means of creating an “enemies list.”

A Hill GOP aide involved in last-minute negotiations told the Times that Bannon and White House legislative affairs director Marc Short pressured the president to let the House vote on the ObamaCare replacement bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), however, strongly advised Trump against letting the bill go to a public vote on Friday, as several dozen Republicans remained opposed to the legislation.

Ryan’s concern was that the debacle could harm the Republican majority in the 2018 midterms.

He also doesn’t want to rankle those Republicans they’re hoping to pull on board for legislative moves in the future, such as raising the debt ceiling.

West Wing aides told the newspaper that the White House was privately stunned that the Speaker was unable to master the politics of the GOP conference.

Publicly, Trump and the White House press secretary Sean Spicer expressed confidence in Ryan, stating that the administration is fully behind the Republican House leader.

That means Ryan has a big, fat bullseye on his back.

 

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