— “It is unlikely that House Republicans will take the vote to repeal the health care law, shrug their shoulders when it doesn’t reach the Senate, and move on,” writes The Daily Caller’s Chris Moody. “We aren’t going to just check the box off and say that we had one vote and we’re going to move on to other topics,” Rep. Michele Bachmann said Tuesday. Rep. Steve King echoed Bachmann’s sentiments, saying, “This is going to be a debate that goes on not just today and tomorrow and next week. It’s going to go on for the next year or two. It’s probably going to go on until we elect a president that will sign a final repeal of Obamacare. So this is an ongoing debate.” The GOP will fight, just like the Spartans fought at Thermopylae, until they are all dead of old age/exasperation, or until Americans return both the legislative branch and the executive branch to the second worst party in the country. In the meantime, House Republicans will build their own health care bill, starting with the key accomplishment of Obamacare: “A measure to restrict insurance companies from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions.”
— Do you remember a few news cycles ago when House Speaker John Boehner was asked what he would cut, and he said he’d have to think about it (or something)? No need! Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe of Freedom Works have done all that yucky thinking for him! “Scrapping the departments of Commerce and Housing and Urban Development saves $550 billion; ending farm subsidies would produce nearly $290 billion. Cutting NASA spending by 50% would save $90 billion. Repealing Davis-Bacon labor rules produces $60 billion. Ending urban mass transit grants would save $52 billion,” write Kibbe and Armey. But that sounds like so much, you might be thinking right now. Armey has you covered there, too. “Some in the Republican establishment have already started complaining that this is too politically difficult. These naysayers misread today’s political climate. Should they succeed in blocking change, tea party voters will hold them just as accountable as big-spending Democrats.”
— “So let me get this straight,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is going to say in a speech later today. “We need to slash retirement and health benefits for the elderly because we are on the brink of fiscal crisis — but we can afford to squander hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for the super-rich? Only at the Mad Hatter’s tea party does this make sense.” Then he is going to say, “People who live in Wonderland may not have noticed, but there is a lot of work to be done here.” After that, Trumka is going to say something about the “Alice in Wonderland political climate,” and how wacky it is that dangerously underfunded pension plans are not a universal human right. Because once you find a metaphor that really works, you should force it into the trunk of your car and drive it around in circles until it has no idea where it is.
— “Sen. Chuck Schumer proposes that when prospective military recruits admit drug use in interviews — as Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner did — they should be reported to the FBI and entered into the database of people who are forbidden to buy guns,” writes Robert VerBruggen in National Review. But there are a few problems with Schumer’s approach: “The first is that Americans have a Second Amendment right to own handguns, and this right cannot be denied without due process,” writes VerBruggen. “Schumer’s policy, as outlined in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, contains little in the way of process: The military would report to the FBI, and the individual’s gun rights would be gone.” The other problem is that Schumer’s plan suggests that drug users should be banned for life, and as VerBruggen points out, “there’s no reason to deny rights to people for life on the grounds of their smoking pot at 17.” The next step should be to prohibit anyone with a DUI or a public intoxication/disorderly conduct conviction from buying a car. After that, Congress can just ban insanity.
— Pres. Obama is loosening restrictions on traveling and sending money to Castro’s utopia in hopes of liberalizing the communist island through commerce, reports TheDC’s Alexis Levinson. Republicans, however, are divided on the move. “I have always felt that the best way to promote democracy in Cuba is to allow American values to be displayed there, and more travel to the country by Americans will do just that,” Rep. Jeff Flake said in a statement. “It is unthinkable that the administration would enable the enrichment of a Cuban regime that routinely violates the basic human rights and dignity of its people,” said Sen. Marco Rubio in a different statement. Actual Cubans, many of whom shave with pieces of broken glass and child-sized machetes, are overjoyed at the prospect of being able to buy only the finest multi-blade products from Gillette.
— Oh joy! Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele sat down with the FrumForum recently to discuss his ouster from the debt-saddled party machine. Here is what he had to say about the “defection” of Reince Priebus: “I know exactly how Caesar felt. It is what it is….I trust my friends. Well, I guess the adage is right. In Washington, you should get a dog… We put a lot of resources in Wisconsin over the last two years… that’s what you do for [the] team.” If self-pity were money, Steele could’ve made up that $22 million deficit in a single breath.