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Breitbart Feed Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:40:09 GMT  

MN State Rep Wants $329,000 Refund from Jonathan Gruber for Work With 'Beyond Laughable' Error Rates

Minnesota State Representative Greg Davids is calling for embattled MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, the "architect" of Obamacare, to return all $329,000 he was paid by the state of Minnesota as a subcontractor on a 2011 contract to analyze the state's plan to develop its Obamacare health care exchange, MNSure.

On November 21, Davids sent a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson requesting her to investigate Gruber's work.

"In recent weeks," Davids wrote, "significant concerns have been raised regarding the contract between the State of Minnesota and Dr. Jonathan Gruber entered into in March 2011. In light of troubling remarks by Dr. Gruber and MNsure, I believe that a review of Dr. Gruber’s work, and payments made to him, is necessary."

On December 9, Davids sent a second letter to Swanson.

"Earlier today," Davids wrote, "in testimony before Congressional investigators, Dr. Jonathan Gruber refused to answer questions regarding compensation for his work with state-based insurance exchanges. The evasiveness displayed by Dr. Gruber reinforces my concerns expressed in the previous letter."

"I implore your office to investigate Dr. Gruber’s work and its relationship to MNsure’s fiscal troubles," Davids requested again, "and urge you to explore all possible remedies for recovering the taxpayer funds wasted on his report."

"To date," Davids told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement on Wednesday, "I have received word via phone call that the Attorney General's office was working on a response, but nothing in writing yet."

Davids blasted Gruber's projections for the state of Minnesota about enrollment for the state's health care exchange, MNSure, when it launched.

"MNsure, Dr. Gruber and Governor Dayton's Administration repeatedly guaranteed that the exchange would serve 1.3 million Minnesotans by 2016, including over 600,000 in commercial plans - a financial necessity to avoid a taxpayer bailout," Davids told Breitbart News.

"Those projections were so far off that it has proved absurd," Davids said.

"Instead of 500,000 private enrollees by the end of 2015, MNsure has repeatedly lowered Dr. Gruber's projections and now estimates that fewer than 70,000 will enroll in private plans by the end of next year," Davids added.

"The error rate for Dr. Gruber's work is beyond laughable," Davids stated.

"It is a shame," Davids continued, "that nearly $600,000 in public funds was used for projections that were inaccurate from the moment MNsure opened. The Dayton Administration has essentially used over $150 million in taxpayer money to build a broken IT system for public health programs."

Davids, who has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 1991, is scheduled to become Chairman of the powerful House Taxes Committee in January.

"There has been little to no transparency in Dr. Gruber's work with MNsure," Davids told Breitbart News. "Given that Dr. Gruber missed the deadline to submit his final report by four months - thereby avoiding scrutiny during the legislative process that led to MNsure's creation - it is sadly unsurprising that he may have failed to live up to other aspects of his taxpayer-funded contract," Davids concluded.

A Breitbart investigation into the state of Minnesota's 2011 contract in which Gruber was paid $329,000 as a subcontractor to develop economic projections using his proprietary Gruber Microsimulation Model has uncovered a disturbing pattern of billing practices that indicate a lack of oversight. April Todd-Malmlov, the former executive director of MNSure, the state's Obamacare health exchange, was the official responsible for that oversight.

Breitbart obtained copies of the Gruber invoices, the contract,  and the Gruber subcontract in a public records request filed with the state of Minnesota.

Though the contract, which was signed by former executive director Todd-Malmlov, clearly specifies that all Gruber's invoices should be itemized in detail, the invoices submitted by Gruber and paid by the state of Minnesota were notably lacking in itemization.

Gruber's invoices do not specifically tie to deliverables specified in the contract other than to assert vaguely that some of them were delivered. The invoices do not consistently refer to the deliverables specified in the contract, nor, with the exception of the final report, do they specify the dates the deliverables were completed, to whom they were delivered in the state of Minnesota, nor whether they were formally accepted by specific bureaucrats in the state of Minnesota.

Despite these shortcomings, former executive director Todd-Malmov authorized all of Gruber's interim payments as well as his final payment.

Gruber delivered two final reports, one in 2012 and one in 2013, each about 60 pages long. Todd-Malmlov formally certified her acceptance of both these reports.

But records obtained by Breitbart News from the state of Minnesota indicate there is no auditable trail for the work product that resulted in those final reports.

In addition, Gruber's invoices do not track specifically to the deliverables identified in Exhibit B of the contract. The deliverables in that exhibit are labeled Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, and Deliverable D. None of Gruber's invoices refer to Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, or Deliverable D.

The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable B is cryptic at best in describing what was delivered. The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable C actually does not match what is specified as Deliverable C in the contract. Only the final Gruber invoice--which refers to the final report referenced in Deliverable D-- tracks with any degree of specificity to the contract.








New York to Ban Fracking; Environmentalists Cheer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits.

New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby states, has banned shale gas development since 2008, when the state began an environmental review of the drilling technique also known as hydraulic fracturing.

Wednesday's announcement, though not final, means a ban is all but etched in stone.

"Never before has a state with proven gas reserves banned fracking," said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney with Earthjustice, adding that the decision "will give courage to elected leaders throughout the country and world: Fracking is too dangerous and must not continue."

Industry and its supporters expressed outrage at the decision.

"We are very disappointed that it appears the governor is unwilling to be a leader and is going to pass the buck at the expense of New Yorkers," said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

"This technology has been used for over 65 years in the United States. It's been demonstrated repeatedly after drilling millions of wells that we're able to do it while protecting the environment and protecting the people."

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he is recommending a ban, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, responded that he would defer to Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker on the decision.

The Department of Environmental Conservation will put out a final environmental impact statement early next year, Martens said, and after that he will issue an order prohibiting fracking.

About 30 anti-fracking activists cheered the decision at a rally outside Cuomo's New York City office, chanting "Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for saving our air!" and "New York banned fracking — and next, United States!"

Zucker and Martens on Wednesday summarized environmental and health reviews that concluded fracking carries risks that haven't been studied enough.

The drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale, which also runs under Ohio and West Virginia, was made possible by high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which releases gas from rock by injecting wells with chemically treated water at high pressure.

The technique has generated tens of billions of dollars in industry profits and landowner royalties, and has reduced energy bills and fuel imports. But it has also brought concerns and sparked protests over air and water pollution, earthquakes, property devaluation and truck traffic.

Zucker said he had identified "significant public health risks" and "red flag" health issues that require long-term studies before fracking can be called safe. He likened fracking to secondhand smoke, which wasn't fully understood as a health risk until many years of scientific study were done.

Martens noted the low price of natural gas, the high local cost of industry oversight, and the large areas that would be off limits to shale gas development because of setback requirements, water supply protections and local prohibitions. Those factors, he said, combine to make fracking less economically beneficial than anticipated.

Even if drilling were allowed in New York, it probably wouldn't take off any time soon because of the uncertainty around regulations and legal challenges and the huge number of promising drilling locations that remain in Pennsylvania, David Spigelmyer, president of the industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition, said last week.

The Marcellus Shale is enticing to energy companies because of its proximity to the major demand centers of New York City and New England, which is paying more for gas because of delivery constraints. But the regulatory uncertainty remains too high to commit to drilling in New York, Spigelmyer said.

In states where fracking is not yet allowed or is happening but is subject to criticism, New York's move excited some anti-drilling activists.

"The more fracking expands, the more opposition grows," said Sharon Wilson, of the group Earthworks, who has organized anti-fracking activists in Texas, California and Colorado. "Industry is its own worst enemy because they continue to deny the impacts."

Fracking supporters decried the New York move. Karen Moreau, executive director of New York's branch of the American Petroleum Institute, said the Cuomo administration is denying landowners the right to develop their mineral resources.

"The secretary of energy, the U.S. EPA administrator and President Obama recognize the benefits of fracking, and yet the Cuomo administration simply did not want to anger their activist base," Moreau said.

Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition, which represents leaseholders, accused Cuomo of appeasing "environmental extremists" for political gain.

"Is our health department ignoring impacts of other energy options and suggesting that we continue with our reliance on coal and nuclear energy?" Fitzsimmons said. "Did our health department consider the health effects of poverty and unemployment?"

Cuomo said he is expecting lawsuits will be filed "every which way from Sunday."

In California, energy companies have been using a type of fracking to extract oil for many years and are pushing to expand such drilling. Environmental groups hope the New York decision will influence Gov. Jerry Brown, who has largely supported fracking. A scientific study is due to be released next month.

Californians will ask now, "If it's not safe for New Yorkers, why should we think it's safe for us?" said Charles Margulis, with the California branch of the national Center for Environmental Health, a nonprofit organization.

___

Associated Press writers Jon Fahey and Jenn Peltz in New York, Emily Schmall in Dallas and Don Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report.








Goodlatte: Court's 'Unconstitutional' Executive Amnesty Opinion 'Good Sign'

The recent court opinion declaring portions of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration to be “unconstitutional” bodes well for future litigation against the president’s recent order, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte tells Breitbart News. 

Tuesday, District Court Judge Arthur Schwab ruled that aspects of Obama’s executive actions go “beyond prosecutorial discretion” to actually legislating. He made these judgments as part of an opinion dealing with a criminal case.

“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” Schwab wrote.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Goodlatte — whose committee has jurisdiction over immigration matters — said he agreed with Schwab’s analysis and expressed optimism about future court challenges to Obama’s executive actions. 

"I agree with Judge Schwab that President Obama's unilateral rewriting of our immigration laws violates the separation of powers and the President's duty to enforce the law,” the Virginia lawmaker said. “This ruling is a good sign for the states' lawsuit challenging President Obama's unilateral, unconstitutional actions.”

Goodlatte continued, saying that when Congress returns next year it must look at all options to take on Obama’s executive actions.

“Congress will continue fighting the President's actions early next year and should consider all the tools it has at its disposal, including potential litigation. Additionally, I am hopeful that the states will be successful in their effort to stop the President's actions from being implemented.”

Goodlatte recently signed on to an amicus brief the conservative American Center for Law and Justice submitted Tuesday in support of the recent lawsuit 24 states have filed challenging Obama’s executive amnesty. 

“The President’s executive overreach on immigration must be stopped,” he stressed Tuesday in announcing his support of the brief.









Politics and Election News Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:40:09 GMT  

Update on migration, latest polls
I'm making great progress getting the new site ready to go. It looks like the transition could happen as early as this weekend. In the meantime, do check out the latest polls. The last couple of days have produced quite a few head-to head ...
Election Projection migration underway
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I certainly enjoyed the few days of rest, relaxation and .... food. As a result of the festivities, there haven't been many posts of late. That will continue for a while this month as I work feverishly ...
Edwards win bright spot for Dems in not so bright season
On Saturday, Democrat John Bel Edwards handily defeated Republican David Vitter and won election as the next governor of Louisiana. While the victory is certainly a positive outcome for the blue team, its significance is limited. Viewing the result though ...

DrudgeReportArchives.com Recent Discontinued Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:40:09 GMT  


MichelleMalkin.com Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:40:09 GMT  

The metaphor gods were smiling upon Fidel Castro’s funeral procession

**Written by Doug Powers

Fidel Castro’s supporters are sure to praise his funeral procession for doing its part to limit emissions in order to fight global warming:

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s ashes were interred in a private ceremony Sunday morning, ending nine days of official mourning.

The Russian-made jeep ferrying Castro’s ashes broke down and needed to be pushed on Saturday en route to the late leader’s final resting place.

The breakdown of the jeep in the midst of adoring crowds chanting “Long live Fidel!” was symbolic of the dual nature of Castro’s Cuba. While his legacy inspires fierce adulation by many of the nation’s citizens, others continue to grumble about Cuba’s autocratic government, inefficient bureaucracy and stagnant economy.

Proof-positive: Communist dictators, even after they’re gone, walk the walk when it comes to combating man-made climate change:

null

A John Kerry statement saying the procession’s small carbon footprint was emblematic of the late dictator’s commitment to fighting global warming coming in 3… 2… 1…

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Carbon footprint limited
Trump’s chat with Taiwan leader poses threat, says admin that shipped $1.7 billion in cash to world’s #1 sponsor of terror (Sunday open thread)

**Written by Doug Powers

All hands on deck for another Sunday open thread & news recount. A few things to kick it off…

Is there anything funnier than watching the people who applauded the Iran deal, approved sending almost $2 billion in cash to the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism and powder-puffed the life of a brutal communist dictator freak out over Trump accepting a phone call from the president of Taiwan?

Over the past two decades, Taiwan has slipped from its position atop the list of flash points in the complex relationship between the United States and China. In meetings between President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China, it has typically come up after half a dozen more pressing issues, like trade, cyberattacks and Beijing’s aggressive moves in the South China Sea.

Now, though, in a single protocol-shattering phone call with the president of Taiwan, President-elect Donald J. Trump has thrust it back on the table. Not since President Richard M. Nixon met with Mao Zedong in 1972 — when the two issued the Shanghai Communiqué clarifying the status of Taiwan — has an American leader so shaken up the diplomatic status quo on the issue.
[…]
In the short run, Mr. Trump has rattled the entire region. Representatives of several Asian countries contacted the White House on Saturday to express concern, according to a senior administration official.

The DNC said Trump’s Taiwan call threatens national security, and Josh Earnest urged Trump to first seek advice from the State Department that thinks the Iran deal and normalizing relations with communist Cuba is a good idea before acting so rashly again:

“Donald Trump is either too incompetent to understand that his foolish phone call threatens our national security, or he’s doing it deliberately because he reportedly wants to build hotels in Taiwan to pad his own pockets,” said DNC spokesman Eric Walker.
[…]
White House press secretary Josh Earnest urged Trump to take advantage of diplomatic know-how as he contacts foreign leaders ahead of his inauguration in January.

“I’m confident that as President-elect Trump takes office, those same State Department employees will stand ready to offer him advice as he conducts the business of the United States overseas,” Earnest said. “Hopefully he’ll take it.”

Trump’s call with Taiwan also had the Hollywood Left sweating all over their Che t-shirts and Hugo Chavez signature bed sheets in fear that Trump’s talk might have ticked off some communist China leaders.

*****

If Trump really wants to send some people over the edge, his next conversation will be a call to some national figures with a huge following who are now accused of being a threat to human rights everywhere. I’m referring of course to HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” couple Chip and Joanna Gaines. Buzzfeed had quite the scoop earlier in the week:

null

If the Gaines’ pastor ever called the president of Taiwan the headquarters of Buzzfeed would collapse. Come to think of it, would make for the funniest “Fixer Upper” episode ever.

*****

Jill Stein’s finally raised enough money and padded her 2020 email list for the Green Party under the guise of attempting to ensure “election integrity” that she’s ready to accept the results and move on. JUST KIDDING:

null

If this pace keeps up each extra Hillary vote discovered in the recount will cost about a million bucks each.

*****

Jennifer Granholm has helpfully pointed out how even Democrats in Michigan didn’t like Hillary, though that’s probably not what she had in mind:

null

Granholm doesn’t give herself nearly enough credit for creating a lot of disenchanted Michigan voters as she should.

*****

Nancy Pelosi, who House Dems elected as their leader again, was on Face the Nation this morning discussing the future of the Democratic Party.

If what the Democrats have done the last several years were a stage play, the following announcement would be heard before each performance: “Due to an illness in the cast of ‘DNC: A Night To Remember,’ Rep. Pelosi will be playing the roles of Titanic AND Iceberg this evening.”

*****

It sounds like Anthony Weiner’s having financial trouble, but at least now he has his phone back:

Anthony Weiner is apparently so broke that he had to cut short his rehabilitation for sexting addiction at a Tennessee ranch.

“His family wanted him to stay 90 days, but he had to leave because he ran out of money,” one source told me.

It is believed Weiner — known as Carlos Danger by some crotch-shot recipients — was billed $25,000 for the 35-day program at the Recovery Ranch.

“His parents took out a mortgage on their house to pay for his rehab,” my source said.

What are the odds that Hillary will loan him some money?

*****

Meanwhile, the NY Times is breaking the stories that matter:

null

*****

The Hunt for Hill:

*****

Need a good Christmas gift idea? Keep looking:

null

The scent is a rich mixture of chai tea, maple and a hint of Castro’s Cohiba.

Have a good Sunday all!

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Gonna need a second opinion
The MSM talking points about the transfer from Obama to Trump have obviously been distributed

**Written by Doug Powers

The latest batch of MSM talking points have successfully made the rounds. All these stories were published/broadcast on Friday within hours of each other:

null

null

null

null

That same angle being taken at the same time was a total coincidence though.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

A sudden boom in "Trump inherits Obama's economic boom" stories.

http://kkk.bz/?feed=rss2 Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:40:10 GMT  


RedState Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:40:10 GMT  

Mitch McConnell’s Credibility On the Line As Democrats Vow To Refuse To Allow Votes On Trump’s Cabinet

If you were expecting Senate Democrats to be anything but churlish you were deluding yourself: Senate Democrats are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks through a grinding confirmation process, weighing delay tactics that could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper his first 100 days in office. Multiple Democratic senators told POLITICO in interviews last week that after watching Republicans sit on | Read More »

The post Mitch McConnell’s Credibility On the Line As Democrats Vow To Refuse To Allow Votes On Trump’s Cabinet appeared first on RedState.

If you were expecting Senate Democrats to be anything but churlish you were deluding yourself:

Senate Democrats are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks through a grinding confirmation process, weighing delay tactics that could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper his first 100 days in office.

Multiple Democratic senators told POLITICO in interviews last week that after watching Republicans sit on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court for nearly a year, they’re in no mood to fast-track Trump’s selections.

But it’s not just about exacting revenge.

Democrats argue that some of the president-elect’s more controversial Cabinet picks — such as Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Steven Mnuchin for treasury secretary — demand a thorough public airing.

“They’ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice. We’re going to help them confirm their nominees, many of whom are disqualified?” fumed Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “It’s not obstruction, it’s not partisan, it’s just a duty to find out what they’d do in these jobs.”

Keep this in mind as you consider the “obstructionist” Republicans had confirmed basically all of Obama’s nominations before February 1, 2009 and a great majority of them were confirmed by voice vote the same day Obama was inaugurated. The worst treatment any of Obama’s nominees received was Secretary of Labor-designate Hilda Solis who was obviously a lying liar obviously lying during her confirmation hearing. Even she was on the job before the end of February.

We’re seeing two early tests of Mitch McConnell’s usefulness as anything but a container for entrails. The first is this week when the issue of filling a vacancy on the Federal Communications Commission will come up. The current make up is 2 Republicans and 2 Democrats. McConnell had promised Reid a vote on Obama’s nominee but that stalled. Now Reid is trying a last minute move to stack the FCC with progressives. The second test will be McConnell’s willingness to break heads to get timely votes on Trump’s cabinet. If he can’t break Democrat obstructionism on these nominations and deliver the FCC to the GOP then he needs to join Bob Dole in flogging Viagra.

The post Mitch McConnell’s Credibility On the Line As Democrats Vow To Refuse To Allow Votes On Trump’s Cabinet appeared first on RedState.

Joe Manchin Calls Out Democratic Senate Colleagues For Saying They’ll Obstruct Trump Cabinet Picks

Democrats are in revenge mode. They’re still peeved Republicans didn’t confirm Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, whining about how he was “treated.” The finger of blame for that should be directed at President Obama. When Justice Scalia passed away in February, Republicans immediately said they would not consider a replacement for him in an election year and shouldn’t bother nominating one. Obama went ahead, | Read More »

The post Joe Manchin Calls Out Democratic Senate Colleagues For Saying They’ll Obstruct Trump Cabinet Picks appeared first on RedState.

Democrats are in revenge mode. They’re still peeved Republicans didn’t confirm Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, whining about how he was “treated.” The finger of blame for that should be directed at President Obama. When Justice Scalia passed away in February, Republicans immediately said they would not consider a replacement for him in an election year and shouldn’t bother nominating one. Obama went ahead, regardless, falsely claiming the GOP had a constitutional duty to give Garland hearings and a vote. Republicans refused, and now Democrats want pay payback.

So they plan on making it a difficult process for Trump to have his cabinet nominees confirmed:

“They’ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice. We’re going to help them confirm their nominees, many of whom are disqualified?” fumed Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “It’s not obstruction, it’s not partisan, it’s just a duty to find out what they’d do in these jobs.”

Senate Democrats can’t block Trump’s appointments, which in all but one case need only 51 votes for confirmation. But they can turn the confirmation process into a slog.

Any individual senator can force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold procedural votes on nominees. Senior Democrats said a series of such votes are likely for many of Trump’s picks.

Democrats could conceivably force up to 30 hours of debate for each Cabinet nominee, which would be highly disruptive for a GOP Senate that usually works limited hours but has big ambitions for next year. The minority could also stymie lower-level nominees and potentially keep the Senate focused on executive confirmations for weeks as Trump assumes the presidency and congressional Republicans try to capitalize on their political momentum.

Poor Sherrod. He’s “fuming.” Also, which nominees is Brown arguing are not qualified?

Thankfully, one Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin is speaking up:

Informed that Democrats might hold up Sessions and other nominations past Jan. 20, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia responded: “That’s just bulls**t.”

“My God, I think we should have an attorney general in place on Jan. 20. I sure do believe that,” added Manchin, one of five Democratic senators up for reelection in 2018 in states that overwhelmingly supported Trump.

He’s right. Democrats don’t seem to have learned their lesson despite all of the losses they’ve suffered since Barack Obama was first elected in 2008. Other Democratic seats up for re-election in 2018 besides Manchin are:

Bill Nelson – Florida, Joe Donnelly – Indiana, Claire McCaskill – Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp – North Dakota, Tim Kaine – Virginia, Jon Tester – Montana.

Democrats should tread carefully lest they want to lose even more Senate seats.

 

The post Joe Manchin Calls Out Democratic Senate Colleagues For Saying They’ll Obstruct Trump Cabinet Picks appeared first on RedState.

Civics 101: Speaker Ryan Gives President-Elect Trump Crash Course on the Constitution

The bar has been set pretty low for the incoming administration. Frankly, I’m not sure if we should be relieved by this, or scared to death that the man who would be king has to have remedial Civics lessons before taking office next month. During a Sunday interview on “60 Minutes,” House Speaker Paul Ryan attempted to assure the American people that all is well, | Read More »

The post Civics 101: Speaker Ryan Gives President-Elect Trump Crash Course on the Constitution appeared first on RedState.

The bar has been set pretty low for the incoming administration. Frankly, I’m not sure if we should be relieved by this, or scared to death that the man who would be king has to have remedial Civics lessons before taking office next month.

During a Sunday interview on “60 Minutes,” House Speaker Paul Ryan attempted to assure the American people that all is well, they have nothing to fear from a President Trump. They are in the process of getting him presidentially ready, and the Trump train will run on time.

Part of that is teaching him about the Constitution, apparently, because at 70-years old, he’s missed a few things about our nation and how it runs.

House Speaker Paul Ryan revealed he has talked with President-elect Donald Trump about the importance of the Constitution.

“I think he understands there’s a Constitution,” Ryan said on “60 Minutes” in an interview that aired Sunday.

You think, Mr. Ryan, as in, you’re not sure, but maybe?

In all honesty, I believe Trump knows there is a Constitution. At some point in his life, I have to imagine he’s heard of it, even before Paul Ryan became a tutor to him on Constitutional do’s and don’ts.

The problem lies in that he very likely doesn’t think it applies to the president, but rather, that it was written to serve as a weapon in the president’s hands.

We have, after all, lived through eight years of a president who played fast and loose with the Constitution, and met little resistance from the other branches of government.

When asked if Trump understood about Congress and their role, Ryan offered:

“We’ve talked about the Constitution, Article I on the Constitution, the separation of powers. He feels very strongly, actually, that, under President Obama‘s watch, he stripped a lot of power away from the Constitution, away from the Legislative Branch of government,” Ryan said. “And we want to reset the balance of power, so that people and the Constitution are rightfully restored.”

That’s good to know, because he’s not wrong.

However, just because he recognizes that, it’s no assurance that his goal isn’t to take advantage of that momentum and wrest power away for himself.

Maybe a few more Civics lessons and some altar time with one of those preachers he used for photo-ops during the race to talk to him about the power of humility will do the trick.

The post Civics 101: Speaker Ryan Gives President-Elect Trump Crash Course on the Constitution appeared first on RedState.

Will a Republican Senate Stick a Republican President with a Democrat FCC?

The GOP ain’t called “The Stupid Party” for nothing. Reports last week indicate that Senate Democrats – the minority Party – had pulled together enough of their Republican majority cohorts to have a lame-duck session vote to give Democrat Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel a brand new term. A lame-duck session – as in a vote by members whom We the People just | Read More »

The post Will a Republican Senate Stick a Republican President with a Democrat FCC? appeared first on RedState.

The GOP ain’t called “The Stupid Party” for nothing.

Reports last week indicate that Senate Democrats – the minority Party – had pulled together enough of their Republican majority cohorts to have a lame-duck session vote to give Democrat Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel a brand new term.

A lame-duck session – as in a vote by members whom We the People just said we don’t want voting anymore. To preemptively foist upon incoming Republican President Donald Trump – a Democrat-controlled FCC.

Seton Motley | Red State | RedState.com

Now that’s stupid.

Here’s how the FCC is populated. There are five voting Commissioners – one of whom also serves as Chairman. Thus the partisan split is 3-2 – with the President’s Party holding the majority. They serve Senate-confirmed terms – which means Commissioner tenures often bridge administrations.

Current Democrat Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s term does. So do the terms of both current Republicans – Ajit Pai and Mike O’Reilly. Commissioner Rosenworcel’s term ends this year – in other words, imminently. Thus the Democrat push to renew.

One problem that has arisen – is chronic-problem-creator Chairman Tom Wheeler. The longstanding precedent is that the sitting Chairman resigns when an opposing-Party president is elected. Wheeler has been saying for almost a year that he might not do that.

Because Wheeler likes breaking bad from FCC precedent. For instance, the Commission is usually a fairly non-partisan entity – despite the 3-2 split. They vote on lots of technical stuff that nigh always garners 5-0 votes. But Wheeler has jammed through power grab after power grab – and as a result has overseen more 3-2 votes than the last five FCCs combined.

These were executive branch fiats – no different than if President Barack Obama his own self had signed them. And if regulations live by the fiat – they can die by the fiat. Enter President-elect Trump.

From all appearances, Trump intends to oversee a sea change regulatory rollback. He has repeatedly pledged to cut regulations of all types. And he plans to start right away.

Per the FCC specifically, Trump has slammed the Obama-Wheeler signature power grab – Network Neutrality. He in November 2014 Tweeted “Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media.”

And personnel is policy – he has named two huge fans of deregulation to his Tech transition team.

Trump looks ready to release the Internet from the Obama-Wheeler regulatory straight-jacket. Which is undoubtedly why Wheeler is threatening to stick around – to try to protect his authoritarian legacy.

Wheeler staying, even with Rosenworcel’s term ending, would mean Trump would be stuck with an even 2-2 split. Which means he couldn’t begin rolling back anything.

And now Senate Republicans are considering renewing Rosenworcel? Which would turn the 2-2 split – into a 3-2 Democrat majority?

That seems…unintelligent.

Thankfully, some Senate Republicans grasp this concept: “Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, told Morning Consult on Tuesday that whatever decision Wheeler makes about his future at the FCC will be a deciding factor – if not the deciding factor – in whether the Senate holds a vote to reconfirm Rosenworcel….Thune said there’s ‘no question’ that Wheeler’s indecision is ‘a complicating factor. It’s an extenuating circumstance that I think bears on that progress.’”

Senate Democrats have even held Senate Republicans – and are now holding the incoming-Trump Administration – hostage. Because Wheeler won’t promise to leave, Republicans have rightly held off on a new Rosenworcel term. So Democrats have blocked a slate of Republican Tech bills. Which is, of course, absurd.

Here’s what should happen.

Wheeler’s obstinance is and has always been the only reason for Rosenworcel’s tenuous position. And it should now cost her her gig – at least until Wheeler actually, officially leaves. Wheeler and Clyburn make two Democrat Commissioners – that’s all they get under a Republican President.

A newly-sworn-in President Trump should immediately nominate a Republican FCC Chairman – or promote either of the excellent current Republican Commissioners and simultaneously name a Republican replacement. To get to the proper 3-2 partisan population.

And Trump and Senate Republicans should promise to reconfirm Rosenworcel – just as soon as a Democrat seat opens up. Which is entirely up to the two seated Democrats.

Let’s not help with – and actually reward – FCC Chairman Wheeler and Senate Democrats for their ongoing, pernicious intransigence.

The post Will a Republican Senate Stick a Republican President with a Democrat FCC? appeared first on RedState.


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