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6 months ago

Paul Ryan — still an entitlements reform crusader?

Concerning Paul Ryan’s decision to leave Congress, I am more troubled by its implications for entitlement reform than the impact it may have on the GOP agenda or the November elections.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page said, “Ryan will leave Congress in January with no substantial progress on (reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), few lawmakers interested in picking up the torch, and a clear signal that prospects are dim for any big overhaul in the foreseeable future.”

Entitlement reform is not only the least sexy of all proposed legislation; it is the kiss of death for any would-be Republican reformer, because Republicans are already depicted by leftist demagogues as reverse Robin Hoods and curbing federal benefits for the poor and elderly would just “confirm” the slander.

It is tragic that we haven’t the maturity to responsibly discuss amending these programs to prevent the inevitable national bankruptcy they guarantee in the absence of reform. Republicans are culpable on this, to be sure, but it’s nothing compared with Democrats, who would rather demagogue than breathe.

I have been concerned about these runaway federal programs for decades but became especially interested during the Barack Obama years, when Ryan gained national prominence for making them a national issue — for a while.

This was Ryan at his best — a policy wonk, meticulously crunching the numbers, preparing the position papers explaining their implications and presenting them to Congress and the public in intelligible language. I was encouraged when Mitt Romney chose Ryan as his running mate, because I saw Ryan’s potential position as increasing the chances that the country would finally tackle the problem.

Though the details of the math might put some to sleep and experts might disagree on the timetable for our economic destruction, it is indisputable that unless we legislatively reform the programs, the country will swallow itself in debt. Any solution involves some pain, but the longer we delay the greater the pain will be and the more difficult reform will become politically.

Part of the problem is that many have been crying wolf for decades over the looming dangers of federal deficits and the accumulated federal debt. As no catastrophe has ever materialized, it’s no wonder the public has been lulled into complacency and disregards the predictions of doom.

It is human nature to focus more on immediate problems than on long-term ones, and Washington’s ever increasing demands on the public through onerous taxes and unending regulatory control keep us plenty busy. Endless partisan warfare also militates against soberly addressing this issue.

Some criticize Ryan for dropping the ball on entitlement reform after spending years convincing us that we ignore this issue at our own national peril.

But let’s be realistic here. Does anyone think that in this politically hostile, hate-Trump atmosphere fomented by the media and the Democratic Party — with the distractions they spawn over the Russia-collusion myth — Ryan would have had a snowball’s chance in Hades of getting to first base on any entitlement reform proposal?

Does that mean Ryan or other Republicans should abandon reform? No. But when you are under relentless fire, you’d better fire back right then, or you won’t be around to fight another day.

And it’s not just Democratic demagoguery and the unpopularity of reforms that stand in the way of action but also the tyranny of the urgent. Ryan didn’t choose the speakership. He even resisted the position. But he eventually relented. It soon became clear that the mood of the country was to work on Trump’s agenda, and that did not include entitlement reform. Ryan can be fairly criticized perhaps, along with many others, for the GOP failure on repealing and replacing Obamacare, but if he had dreams of addressing long-term entitlement reform in the short run as speaker under Trump, they would have been just that — dreams.

The hard, cold fact is that we do have more pressing problems than entitlement reform, and we always will — until we finally bankrupt ourselves. But the political climate has made current attention to such reform almost impossible.

Every year, entitlements will gobble up an increasing percentage of the federal budget, so that in the near future, even draconian cuts in discretionary spending will not put a dent in the federal deficit.

People often lament that democracy contains a poison pill that guarantees its own demise, in that the voting public will vote itself money from the public trough and commit suicide by greed. (Yes, we have a constitutional republic, but our representatives are democratically elected.)

This poison has infected our system in multiple ways — with the redistribution of income, certain people abusing federal power to control others, and the possible bankruptcy of future generations at the behest of irresponsible present generations.

I have no illusions that we’re going to make appreciable headway in the near term or that Democrats will ever approach this problem in good faith to allow us to achieve reform by consensus. But because the budgetary doomsday clock is ticking, we don’t have the luxury of forever shelving it.

As such, I am just going to be Pollyannaish for a change and humbly propose and pray that after Paul Ryan returns to his family and rejoins the private sector, he carves out time from his new position, whatever it is, to use his expertise and passion on entitlements to crusade for reform and keep that torch burning before it is too late for anything other than extreme reform. If you say that that reform is impossible, then you are necessarily saying the country is headed for destruction — sooner than we imagine. Are you willing to live with that?

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 hours ago

Will Ainsworth slams Democrats for Kay Ivey health ‘October surprise’: ‘Sick,’ ‘despicable’

ENTERPRISE — On Tuesday, a report surfaced questioning the circumstances of a hospital visit then-Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey made in Colorado in 2015. That has led some to suggest the resurfacing of the story was part of a so-called  “October surprise” deployed by Democrats against the incumbent governor and intended to better Ivey’s general election opponent Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox’s chances in next month’s contest.

Ivey has disputed the report in an appearance at the Tuscaloosa Republican Party Lincoln-Reagan Dinner later in the day and called it “plum sad” Maddox’s campaign would resort to such tactics.

On Wednesday after speaking to the Republican Women of Coffee County at the Enterprise Country Club, Republican lieutenant gubernatorial nominee Will Ainsworth also criticized Democrats believed to be behind the report.

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Ainsworth told Yellowhammer News the Ivey report and the weaponization of it was part of the Democratic Party’s “playbook,” and he likened it to what Brett Kavanaugh faced during his U.S. Supreme Court associate justice confirmation process before the U.S. Senate over the past several weeks.

“That’s just the Democrat’s new playbook,” Ainsworth said. “I mean, if you look at what they did to Kavanaugh, what they’re doing to Kay Ivey – they just try to destroy people based on lies. I think that’s sick. I think that’s despicable. I think Governor Ivey is in great health and certainly doing a tremendous job as a leader. I think it’s terrible what they’re trying to do, but they’re desperate, and that’s the only tactic they can go back to.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

6 hours ago

The sky is holding up just fine in Alabama

“The sky is falling, the sky is falling,” cried Chicken Little in the ancient European folk tale about a manic chicken who believes the world is coming to an end. The expression “the sky is falling” has passed into the English language as a common idiom indicating a hysterical or inaccurate belief that calamity is looming.

Twenty-five centuries later, lets cue, stage left…Walt Maddox.   The Mayor’s recent stump speech to a business luncheon in Birmingham was a cavalcade of doom and gloom.  A melancholy prognosis based on a miserable catalogue of what the liberal mayor believes is wrong with Alabama.  The Democrat from Tuscaloosa has hitched his caboose to the Chicken Little express.  Destination “Glum Town, USA.”

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Maddox told the suit and tie audience that he fears the millions of Alabamians who drive over the state’s roads face death every day, simply by crossing a bridge.  By his account Alabama’s bridges will collapse at any minute, killing commuters in droves.

The Democratic nominee, wants to bring Obamacare to the state – as his number one priority.  Maddox inferred if Alabama took the “free money,” the state could “afford to build a new UAB, think about that’.  We did think about that Walt, the money isn’t free.  Cash doesn’t fall from the money tree to be scooped up by liberals paying for socialist policies.  He believes “…there are literally two Alabamas.”  Sorry, you are wrong Walt.

While on the subject of free money – a recurring theme throughout the Maddox pitch – he wants to provide every felon released from Alabama’s jails a free iphone, so they can get about their business.  Not sure why, or who pays, but this smacks of the Obama Phone vote buying scandal.

Maddox is endorsed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group “Mom’s Demand Action.”  Despite assurances to the contrary, Maddox toes the liberal anti gun line and is fundamentally opposed to the Second Amendment.  “[L]et me make my position clear. I will never favor taking any existing constitutional right away from any American unless we, as a people, come to the conclusion that restraint of some rights helps ensure the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by all.”  Ummm, ok Mr. Mayor.

Sure, Walt Maddox is erudite, speaks without notes and is photogenic.  But Bobby Kennedy he is not.  There was no uplifting message.   No inspirational vision for Alabama.  There was no call to action.  Instead there was a pall of pessimism.  As Mr. Maddox trashed Alabama’s constitution, he conveyed despondency.  The Democrat downplayed the strong state economy that has a record number of Alabamians working in the state. Dismissed Governor Ivey’s 2019 education budget, the largest in Alabama in a decade.  He seemed disinterested in Alabama’s historically low unemployment.  But he did want to teach felons how to work their new iphones….so there is that.  Seem’s Mayor Chicken Little is afraid of a leaf falling on his tail.

LCDR Greg “GW” Keeley, USN (ret) is the Managing Partner of Dreadnaught. Keeley is a contributor to The Hill, Washington Times, Daily Caller, Fox News. He is a veteran of Iraq and, Afghanistan and served in the U.S Congress as Senior Advisor to the Vice Chairman of the House Armed Service Committee, the Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee and the Chairman of the Republican Senate Policy Committee.

7 hours ago

The “October Surprise” in the governor’s race is something we heard about a year ago?

If this is really the final push for Walt Maddox to get his campaign’s “Kay Ivey is sick” narrative into the news, they may want to try again.

The Alabama Political Reporter published a “bombshell” is just a regurgitation of an old story. Their report includes comments from the former head of ALEA, Spencer Collier, who is currently suing former Governor Robert Bentley and is probably unhappy that Governor Ivey’s office has spent money defending Bentley because the law requires it.

Again, we already heard all of this, from this same outlet, in 2017. Ivey denied it then, too, Collier was part of this denial.

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Pretty damning? I guess.

Or not. Kim Chandler from the Associated Press used the APR report as a jump-off into a story on Ivey’s health. The big takeaway? Ivey’s doctor calls BS.

Ivey said she had altitude sickness during the trip and released a letter from her doctor saying he saw no evidence of a mini-stroke when he examined her a day after her discharge and that hospital tests in Colorado were also negative.

I guess the Collier angle is new, but is this it? The Governor is sick, trust us? Her opponent says she is too sick to be Governor, so vote for him?

There are no public incidents, except clear deception by APR’s Josh Moon and NBC’s affiliate in Mobile portraying some meltdown. There have been no spills, no stumbles, and don’t pretend she not out there on the trail because she is.

If I believed she was too sick to be Governor, why would I vote for a guy I disagree with on most things instead of voting for her and a Lieutenant Governor from the same party with the same general views?

This is Roy Moore 2.0, she must be viewed as unacceptable so you have to vote for the other guy regardless of what he believes.

To further highlight how sad this all is, al.com’s Kyle Whitmire finally got around to writing about how disastrous Walt Maddox’s first campaign ad was and declaring the gubernatorial election over. Whitmire used the APR story in his piece, too, talking about how it is all too little too late.

Don’t bank on that. This is literally the only thing Maddox and his media allies have going for them.

This will get much worse.

Yes, it is October, but this is hardly a surprise.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

8 hours ago

Company seeking to fill 850 jobs between two South Alabama locations on Thursday

According to a press release published by NBC 15, one company is seeking to fill a massive amount of jobs between two of its locations in southwest Alabama on Thursday.

Alorica, “the largest provider of customer experiences to North American consumers,” will attempt to hire 550 employees at its site in Saraland and 300 employees at its Mobile facility.

This comes as a part of the company’s first “National Recruiting Day” spanning more than 80 sites across the United States and Canada on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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The expansive initiative will focus on growing Alorica’s existing global workforce of more than 100,000.

For those who are unable to attend the hiring event this Thursday, prospective employees can still apply for a position online or by using the company’s walk-in hours Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Alorica’s two Mobile-area locations are:

  • 727 US Hwy 43 (Saraland Blvd.), Saraland, AL 36571
  • 5441 HWY 90 W Suite 1, Mobile, AL 36619

Find out more about the company here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

9 hours ago

Ivey’s doctor confirms the governor is in good health

The primary care physician for Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday released a letter confirming the governor is in good health and refuting a report alleging that she had suffered a ministroke in April 2015.

Dr. Brian Elrod of Montgomery, who has been Ivey’s doctor for “many years,” wrote that the governor had indeed been hospitalized at a conference in Colorado that month in 2015, however “extensive” tests conducted at the hospital “were all negative.” Additionally, Elrod himself examined Ivey the day after she was released from the hospital, saying that “I saw no evidence of a transient ischemic attack (ministroke).”

More tests later that year, including an EKG and echocardiogram, were deemed “unremarkable” and “normal.” Then, a cardiologist visit in December 2015 “also showed no new concerns” and “her nuclear imaging study in January of 2016 was likewise unremarkable and suggested ‘a relatively low risk of cardiovascular events.'”

Elrod added that he could not comment “on what condition may have led to her hospitalization in April of 2015,” but that the governor’s health since then “has remained good with no indication of increased cardiovascular risk.”

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In vintage fashion Tuesday night, Ivey responded to a question on the allegations about her health with gusto while hitting at her Democratic opponent, Walt Maddox, who is trailing in the polls by 20 – 25 percent.

“The letter I released today from my doctor clearly confirms what I’ve been saying all along: I’m in good health,” Ivey said.

On the timing of the allegations against her, she added, “It makes me have to assume that Mayor Maddox is desperate because his liberal record is not connecting with Alabamians. Besides, y’all covered this issue a year ago.”

The allegation that Ivey had suffered a ministroke in 2015 was first published last year by the Alabama Political Reporter (APR), with it gaining little to no traction. Now, with Tuesday marking exactly 21 days until the November 6 general election, APR republished the same allegations.

When questioned directly whether she had experienced “stroke-like symptoms,” Ivey responded by saying “altitude illness, they called it.”

The reporter then asked Ivey if she is confident that she is in good health.

“You’re right about that, friend,” Ivey quipped. “No step too high for a high-stepper.”

This comes after Elrod in May released a general letter about the governor, writing that “Governor Ivey has had physicals for the past 15 years, and she is in excellent health.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn