“The mouth that won’t stop giving — and that has Democrats and the Obama administration cringing — has been caught shooting off yet again on video, this time bragging how the Massachusetts health care system he helped design worked by ripping off millions of dollars from the federal government.
On top of that, another video has surfaced from Vermont showing him mocking a critic of single-payer health care, comparing him to an “adolescent” child.
The latest videos of Jonathan Gruber come after House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi claimed Thursday she didn’t know who he is. Though Pelosi actually cited Gruber’s analysis — repeatedly — several years ago to boost the passage of ObamaCare, her office continued to insist he played no real role in the crafting of their bill.
Yet video after video has emerged of Gruber boasting about the behind-the-scenes crafting of the Affordable Care Act, and how law-writers supposedly took advantage of the “stupidity” of the American voter.
The latest videos pertain to state health overhauls, in Massachusetts and Vermont.
One video, from a January 2012 forum, shows Gruber discussing the Massachusetts overhaul under then-Gov. Mitt Romney. He explained how the state was able to bilk the feds over hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars.
“The dirty secret in Massachusetts is the feds paid for our bill, okay?” he said. “In Massachusetts we had a very powerful senator you may know named Ted Kennedy. … Ted Kennedy and smart people in Massachusetts had basically figured out a way to sort of rip off the feds for about 400 million dollars a year.”
“The Republicans are clueless and the Democrats are complicit”, the strong words are those of Robert Spencer. He calls for “a massive change of the political culture in Washington.” His is practically a one man crusade to educate people to the danger of our ignorance. He points out that there simply is very little understanding of Islam, the Qur’an, Muslims, and the Middle-east, so we meet resistance and at times cowardice from the politically correct and politically fearful, despite the bloody evidence splashed in headline banners of 9-11, the Ft. Hood shooting, and the Boston Marathon bombing. Why does it take kidnapping, rape, and mass murder, genocide and beheading to get the attention of our leaders?
Men like Spencer are needed to help us know our enemy and get real. The United States and probably the entire western world, think they can provide Band-Aids to heal century old wounds, scores, and rivalries. When Condoleezza Rice, in 2007, can say that the Middle East still has a tendency to see things in “Sunni-Shi’a terms,” and that they’re just going to have to “overcome” that, you know we are living in the realm of, not merely wishful thinking, but Geo-political and historical ignorance.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In.
R.J. Moeller graduated from Taylor University in 2005 with a degree in business and is currently a…Read more about RJ Moeller
It’s been a few weeks since I last posted something in my “Bible & Economics” series, but I think a return to the topic is well served by the verses from II Thessalonians I’ve selected to delve in to today. This passage, more than perhaps any other in all of the New Testament, is responsible for directing a younger version of the R.J. Moeller that blogs before you today on a path leading sharply away from conventional modern thinking on the topics of welfare, wealth redistribution and the seemingly inescapable “social justice.” (By the way, is there “social truth” or “social patience”?)
From II Thessalonians 3:6-12:
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
A simple, straight-forward reading of this text is a clear and present danger to advocates of a welfare state, but especially to those who also claim allegiance to the body of Christ and his word. However, in a sinful, fallen world—one wrought with hypocrisies, guilt, past societal sins, etc.—“simple” and “straight-forward” are luxuries the thoughtful believer can rarely enjoy, at least not when entering the contentious fray of the public square with their theological convictions in tow (as they most definitely should).
So let me quickly give my brief exegetical overview of the passage above, and then connect a few dots between what Paul wrote and some of the appropriate conclusions one ought to be able to draw in terms of public policy debates.
Now there are some who try to deflect the very real importance of these verses to a Christian’s attitude about how best to help the poor by saying that the “idlers” Paul is calling out are simply misguided believers who are under the impression Christ’s return was imminent. This is a distinction without a difference. Being lazy on a nuclear submarine with the key that launches Armageddon might be different in form, but is no different in substance than an idle Dairy Queen worker who procrastinates sweeping up the sprinkles his portly manager asked him to take care of the previous day.
Habitual idleness is a matter of the heart. (Believe me, I know first-hand.)
Refusing to work or provide for your family because you’re convinced Jesus is returning over the upcoming three-day weekend is, according to scripture, just as much of a sin as an able-bodied human being refusing to work or provide for their family because some well-intentioned bureaucrat is intent on giving them money they didn’t earn.
Right off the bat in verse 6, Paul exhorts the church body to “keep away from” anyone who is living an idle, lazy life and remains needlessly dependent on others. Pretty harsh, no? Not very “social” of him, right? I’ll even admit that nearly every time I read these words, I wince a little. All of the “But what about…” exceptions and exemptions start piling up on my conscience.
But if we’re serious about scripture, we know that scripture is serious about sin. Idleness and making yourself a prolonged and unnecessary burden on someone else, is a sin. There’s no way around that. The Greek translation for the phrase “in idleness” translates to “in an undisciplined, irresponsible or disorderly manner.” Keep that definition in mind for later.
Verses 7-9 are Paul’s reminder that he hasn’t simply preached against things like idleness and being a burden on others, but has modeled for the good people of Thessalonica the appropriate way to live. Paul was a minister of the gospel, and therefore was entitled to living off of the charity that came from other believers. But he feared that a lifetime of such dependency would weaken his witness, and, I don’t think it is unfair to infer, his character.
Verse 10 is the big one: “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” Paul did not teach this difficult practice of the Christian life from afar, but said it face-to-face. Christian friends don’t enjoy confronting friends. Christian parents don’t delight in having to withhold certain things from their beloved children. Confronting people with difficult subject matter is made no less daunting by how true the subject matter is. It stinks. No way around it.
Joseph Bottum writing in Bad Medicine grieves:
…….I was utterly mistaken. I did warn that Stupak and his fellow pro-life Democrats in the House are, after all, people who have always favored health-care reform—and they were going to vote for the Democratic program if they possibly could. But after Stupak stood firm during the debates over the House version of the bill, forcing his amendment through even while enduring the fury of what seemed like every mainstream editorial page in the nation, I thought he would not desert the pro-life organizations when it came down to a vote on the Senate’s version. But desert he did. Praise Bart Stupak now, I demanded—and, like many other pro-lifers, I was left with nothing to show for it.
Bottum writes of arguments that were used to give cover to the Democrats who call themselves pro-life, from Harry Reid and Bob Casey in the Senate to Bart Stupak in the House.
The first was the claim that, through its complicated payment procedures, the Senate bill ensured that the government portion of the new insurance program wouldn’t actually fund abortions. The second was that nationalizing the health-care system would result in a net drop in the number of abortions performed. And the third was that an executive order from the president would ensure that abortion funding would not follow from the new bill.
Meanwhile, the desertions of Harry Reid and Bob Casey and Bart Stupak mean that the pro-life cause must look entirely to the Republicans for leadership. Oh, they may pick up a few Democratic votes along the way for pro-life measures, but we now know that those Democrats will not take the lead in a pro-life fight. This is a bad result for the pro-life movement—in part because the Republican party platform is not a unified whole: People can oppose abortion while rejecting all the rest. But it’s also bad for the pro-lifers because it weakens the leverage they have within the Republican party.