Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Obama's Outreach "A Joke"? 

Last week I said I was skeptical of President Obama's sudden outreach to congressional conservatives. But you don't have to take my word for it. In the past 24 hours, there have been several media reports indicating that Obama's outreach efforts are less than sincere.

Ron Fournier, a veteran political reporter, was told by a senior White House official, "This is a joke. We're wasting the president's time and ours. I hope you all (in the media) are happy because we're doing it for you."

Did you get that, my friends? White House officials view the outreach as a "waste of time," and they are only doing it to impress the media. That shows you not only how cynical some in this town are but also how gullible the liberal media are. The president goes to one dinner and most Washington reporters start gushing about a "charm offensive." 

But behind the scenes few are being charmed. In fact, a top Senate Democrat leadership aide told Politico, "Nobody is even talking about a grand bargain. It is not even on our radar right now." Why not?

The Politico report persuasively argues that President Obama likely made a big mistake in forcing conservatives to swallow a tax increase in the fiscal cliff deal. Riding high off his reelection victory, hubris got the better of him and the strong-arm tactics poisoned the atmosphere on Capitol Hill. 

The president thought conservatives would cave again on the sequester cuts, but they did not. And there is no way they will approve another tax increase. 

Post/ABC Poll Shows Divided Country 

A new Washington Post / ABC News poll shows something we have argued for a long time now -- this is a narrowly divided country. On key issues, the public is split 50/50. 

For example, on gun control the 42% of adults trust President Obama, while 41% say they trust congressional Republicans. On government spending, 44% of the public trusts congressional Republicans, while 43% side with President Obama. 

That said, there are some warning signs when it comes to getting spending under control. The devil is always in the details. While the public wants an end to the red ink, 71% rejected cuts to Medicaid and 60% rejected the idea of raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67. 

More Bad ObamaCare News 

The Associated Press has gotten a first look at draft forms for folks who want to apply for Obamacare. According to the AP, the process is "as daunting as doing your taxes." There are at least 15 pages and "at least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application." Best of all -- that's only the beginning of the process! 

If you are a pet owner, like I am, get ready to pay more at your next visit to the vet. Like the rest of us, veterinarians across the country are just starting to find out what is in Obamacare. They are learning that Obamacare's new tax on medical devices also applies to your pets, meaning that you will pay more. 

Gun Control Advocate Proves System Works 

Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), made headlines recently for buying an AR-15 style assault rifle. He told CNN that he was simply trying to prove that "public access to these [weapons] is too easy, as I demonstrated the other day." But what the liberal media failed to report was that Mr. Kelly did not walk out of the store with his assault rifle.

Breitbart News contacted the gun store and discovered that Mr. Kelly attempted to purchase a trade-in rifle. Local ordinances require that such trade-in weapons be held for 20 days. The gun store's owner confirmed that he did not give the rifle to him, meaning the store fully complied with the law.

If Kelly was trying to prove how easy it was to go into a gun store and walk out with an assault rifle, it seems to me that he failed. He proved that the system works. 

As the Breitbart story notes, if Kelly wanted to leave that day with an assault rifle, he simply needed to pick a new one rather than a trade in. This has some folks suggesting that either Mr. Kelly didn't know what he was doing or perhaps he just wanted to get the gun for himself -- while he or any American still can. 

Pope Francis 

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope today. He is taking the name Francis. 

A Jesuit, Pope Francis is the first non-European pope. We'll have more on what Francis's election will mean for our issues in the days ahead. For now, I invite you to read a piece I've written for USA Today on why evangelicals should care about the new pope. You can read it here.