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“There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises.” –James Madison, Speech in Congress, 1790


Budget Passes First Senate Test

The Ryan-Murray budget compromise passed its first test in the Senate Tuesday, 67-33. Debate was thus ended and the legislation will come up for a final vote later in the week. National Review’s Jonathan Strong notes, “Republicans voting for cloture included Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Orrin Hatch of Utah, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Rob Portman of Ohio, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jeff Flake of Arizona, John McCain of Arizona, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.” There are no at-risk seats among that bunch, so expect those facing primary challenges from the Right to tout their opposition to the deal while it still passes easily.

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Next Up: Immigration?

After the budget fight this month, the House is already looking ahead to the agenda in January. And that includes immigration reform. House Republicans are divided on what that means, and what’s best for the party and the country. Some are looking to build support for last year’s Senate plan (or something similar) in which a path is provided for 12 million illegal aliens to apply for citizenship. “We’ve been getting a good percentage of our conference signing on,” said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA). It remains to be seen whether the rift between establishment and Tea Party base stops immigration reform in its tracks, or if an election year is the time when that legislation can pass. Illegal immigration remains a problem, despite Obama’s best efforts to slow it with his bad economy.

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Better Read the Fine Print

There is an extremely unpleasant surprise awaiting some Medicaid users. The Seattle Times has the scoop on an older couple who discovered the fine print for Medicaid: “If you’re 55 or over, Medicaid can come back after you’re dead and bill your estate for ordinary health-care expenses.” In other words, Medicaid is a loan payable with your assets when you die. This isn’t new, but it’s a far bigger problem thanks to ObamaCare, which is going to force many people onto Medicaid who have more assets for seizing than the previously typical Medicaid enrollee. It’s just yet another way ObamaCare’s a lousy deal.

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Big Insurance Advertising Budget

The stated (ahem) purpose of ObamaCare was to ensure that 30-50 million uninsured Americans could get affordable insurance. Reality, on the other hand, has been that insurers may have a net loss in subscribers for the year. But they’re going to do something about it. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein reports, “In all of 2012, health insurers spent $216 million advertising on local television stations. But that’s nothing compared to what they’re about to spend. According to trade association TVB, insurers will spend more than $500 million on local television ads in 2014.” So part of your premium increase will help pay to advertise to people who haven’t yet paid through the nose. That’s the “Affordable” Care Act for you.

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Budget Waste Bonanza

Each year, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) produces a report on pork in the federal budget. Of course, there are always things like $914,000 for the National Endowment for Humanities for online match-making. But Coburn especially blasted the waste at the Pentagon: “The Department of Defense (DOD) developed a plan this year to constrain pay and benefits for our brave men and women in uniform, who risk their lives to protect us from terrorists, for example, while at the same time continuing to pay the salary and other government benefits for the Fort Hood shooter, responsible for the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9-11. DOD grounded the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels, yet still spent $631.4 million to construct aircraft they never intend to fly. The Army National Guard spent $10 million on Superman movie tie-ins while plans were being made to cut the strength of the Guard by 8,000 soldiers, the real supermen and women who fight for truth, justice and the American way.” Defense is authorized by the Constitution, but it would help if spending were smarter.

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GM Doesn’t Owe $10B

The federal government’s bailout of GM cost taxpayers $10 billion but don’t look to GM for sympathy. CEO Dan Akerson says that there’s no way his company should make up the difference because the U.S. Treasury assumed the same risk as anyone else who buys company stock. “I would not accept the premise that this was a bad deal,” Akerson said. The difference, of course, is that taxpayer money was redistributed to GM — the government owned half of the company at one point — while buying stock is generally a voluntary action. But at least Barack Hussein Obama kept his promise to “not let Detroit go bankrupt.” Er, oops.

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Crooked Hillary Clinton a ‘Patriot’?

Ostensibly kickstarting Crooked Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid, Sen. Dianne Feinstein had this to say about the former secretary of state: “Hillary is a Patriot who loves her country completely.” This description is outlandish, and downright insulting. Try calling her a Patriot to the families of ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans who perished during the planned terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In the following days and weeks, Clinton (and the entire administration) intentionally mislead America with a false narrative — all to protect the vulnerable reelection of Barack Hussein Obama. Feinstein added, “I was an early and enthusiastic supporter during Hillary’s run for the White House in 2008. I believed she would be a spectacular leader and a transformative president for our country. I still believe that. Now more than ever.” Heck, next thing you know, she’ll win the Nobel Peace Prize!

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Mr. Oblivious

Columnist Charles Krauthammer on Obama’s constant state of denial: “With alarming regularity, he professes obliviousness to the workings of his own government. … Hence the repeated no-one-is-more-upset-than-me posture upon … any number of scandals from which Obama tries to create safe distance by posing as an observer. He gives the impression of a man on a West Wing tour trying out the desk in the Oval Office, only to be told that he is president of the United States. The paradox of this presidency is that this most passive bystander president is at the same time the most ideologically ambitious in decades. … What bridges that gap is rhetoric. Barack Hussein Obama is a master rhetorician.” Historian Victor Davis Hanson adds: “The more he speaks untruthfully, the more he resorts to emphatic intensifiers that instead confirm that he is speaking untruthfully. In turn, Obama’s audiences play an even stranger game: The more they hear their president speak, the more they are impressed that he can sound so sincere in being so nonchalantly insincere and mellifluously misleading.”

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Mandela ‘Interpreter’ a Murderer

File this under the “What Was the Secret Service Thinking?” file: Thamsanqa Jantjie, the schizophrenic who “interpreted” during Nelson Mandela’s memorial, admitted that a vigilante mob he was involved with a decade ago burned two people to death. He said, “It was a community thing, what you call mob justice, and I was also there.” At least he’s honest about his past. We can’t say the same about the president. Why Jantjie wasn’t thoroughly vetted before Obama’s arrival is anyone’s guess, but we’re pretty sure we know what Obama’s excuse would be: It’s the sequester’s fault.

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Santa Brawl Is Coming to Town

New York hosted the annual SantaCon this past weekend, and it wasn’t at all the traditional picture of Christmas. In fact, a group of Santas ended up in a drunken street brawl. No arrests were made, though police “know about it.” It sort of brings a whole new meaning to the song “Santa Claus is coming to town.” Because he’s naughty and he’s going to give you a beating. (NSFW language in the video.) Then again, if you were Santa, you’d be angry and looking for a fight too — at least if this lame Greenpeace ad about global warming ending Santa’s lifestyle is any indication…

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Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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