Blair Busted Big Time for Brexit Bashing

Theresa May slams Brexit meddler Tony Blair in blistering attack and says his second referendum push is ‘insult to office’

Theresa May has launched an attack on the former Labour PM and accused him of insulting the British public after his attempt to influence the Brexit result

By David Wooding, Sunday Political Editor
The SUN

THERESA May launched a blistering attack on Brexit saboteur Tony Blair.

She accused the former Labour PM of insulting the British people with his shifty attempts to thwart the referendum result.

 Theresa May has had a week of clashes with officials who have blocked her departure deal

EPA – Theresa May has had a week of clashes with officials who have blocked her departure deal

And she bluntly reminded him it was his own open-door immigration policy which spurred millions to vote leave.

Mrs May’s patience snapped after an exhausting week of clashes with MPs and Eurocrats blocking her departure deal.

In an astonishing broadside, she lashed out at her predecessor’s treacherous trip to meet EU chiefs in Brussels while Brexit talks were taking place.

She raged: “There are too many people who want to subvert the process for their own political interests – rather than acting in the national interest.

 Tony Blair was reminded by the PM that it was his own open-door immigration policy which spurred millions to vote leave

GETTY IMAGES – Tony Blair was reminded by the PM that it was his own open-door immigration policy which spurred millions to vote leave

“For Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the British people he once served.

“We cannot, as he would, abdicate responsibility for this decision. Parliament has a democratic duty to deliver what the British people voted for.”

It was the second time in 24 hours that the livid PM has publicly berated Brexit wreckers.

On Friday she angrily confronted EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker after he branded her “nebulous”.

Prime Minister Theresa May explains what went down between her and Jean-Claude Juncker at the EU leaders summit centre in Brussels

Her outbursts follow a week in which she survived a no-confidence vote triggered by her own MPs – hours after abandoning a Commons vote on her deal to avoid humiliating defeat.

Mrs May will begin a massive arm-twisting exercise this week in a bid to win further concessions from the EU on the Irish border issue.

She will call the ambassadors of all 27 member states into 10 Downing Street to persuade them to deliver legally binding assurances that the backstop – which keeps Britain in a customs union – will be time-limited.

Top government lawyer Jonathan Jones will fly to Brussels for talks with his EU counterparts to seek written legal undertakings.

 The PM accused Tony Blair of insulting the British people

The PM accused Tony Blair of insulting the British people

The Sun on Sunday says

FINALLY, some concrete planning for a clean-break Brexit.

This week the jumped-up bureaucrats at the top of the Brussels tree proved that they simply aren’t interested in negotiating a good deal, for us or for them.

They’d rather cut their nose off to spite their face, putting their ideological project ahead of the interests of their citizens.

Even national leaders seem more interested in trying to trap us into an undemocratic second referendum than ensuring their businesses can freely trade with the fifth-largest economy in the world.

The way Jean-Claude Juncker patronised the PM this week was an utter disgrace.

We will be humiliated no more.

When the clock strikes 11pm on March 29th next year, we WILL leave the European Union.

And we must put every penny and pound we can into ensuring that our exit is as smooth as possible.

The Brussels beast has wormed its way into just about every one of our institutions. Getting rid of it is going to take some work.

But the predictions of apocalyptic job losses? Instant recession? We’ve heard the doomsday predictions before.
Wrong then, wrong now.

There is one thing we are sure of, though, never more so than this week.

If we believe in ourselves we have nothing to fear.

Mrs May hopes this will give her enough ammo to win MPs’ backing for her deal when they return from the festive break on January 7.

But with just 103 days until Brexit, she will press ahead with planning for a no-deal departure.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday urged colleagues to hold their nerve and prepare for leaving the EU without an agreement.

He said: “The deal on the table is what we have.

“But, the thing that the House of Commons will not accept is any risk of us being permanently trapped through the Northern Irish backstop in the customs union.

“I think it is possible to get this deal through with those guarantees that we need on the backstop.”

But he added: “The reason I think, in the end, the EU will want to help us as far as they possibly can is because it is not in their interest to provoke a further political crisis in the UK.

“Because, although some people in the EU may say that Parliament would stop a no-deal scenario, they can’t be sure of that.”

 Theresa May has promised the public she will not disappoint with her Brexit deal

AFP OR LICENSORS – Theresa May has promised the public she will not disappoint with her Brexit deal

Mrs May said she remains determined to see Brexit delivered and declared: “I will not let the British people down.”

She added: “I am fighting for a good deal for Britain. I will continue to fight for a good deal for Britain.

I have never lost sight of my duty and that is to deliver on the referendum result and to do so in a way that protects British jobs, keeps us safe and protects our precision Union.”

But her Cabinet is deeply divided over what their Plan B should be if the deal is voted down in the New Year – with some wanting a Norway-style deal and others prepared to leave without one. Fury is mounting over Philip Hammond who is now leaning towards backing a second referendum if other options fail. He is believed to be wooing four other ministers to back him.

 Jeremy Hunt told his colleagues to prepare for leaving the EU without an agreement

REUTERS – Jeremy Hunt told his colleagues to prepare for leaving the EU without an agreement

The PM’s allies are also urging her to force a second referendum to defeat a “suicide squad” of Conservative Brexiteers attempting to bring down her government.

One Cabinet colleague said: “Phil has overstepped the mark once too often. Last week he went over the top with his remark about Brexit supporters being extremists and now this.

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/brexit/7989416/theresa-may-slams-meddler-tony-blair-brexit/

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Author: The Millennium Report

Are the globalists using massive gas explosions to coerce compliance with their New World Order Agenda?

Stunning Images Emerge After Massive Restaurant Explosion In Japan; Dozens Injured

ZeroHedge.com

Over 40 people were injured following a major explosion at a two-story izakaya bar in the Japanese town of Sapporo, Hokkaido on Sunday evening.

Police are investigating the cause of the blast, currently believed to be a gas explosion at approximately 8:30 p.m. local time at the izakaya Umi Sakura – a bar close to the Sapporo subway line’s Hiragishi station.

The explosion caused the 66-seater eatery to collapse. It also shattered the windows of nearby apartments and food and beverage outlets. The Hiragishi district is less than 15 minutes by train from the main Sapporo station that serves the capital city of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture. –Straits Times

Evacuation orders have been issued to nearby diners and residents who were warned of further explosions by police and first responders.

Continue reading at: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-16/stunning-images-emerge-after-massive-restaurant-explosion-japan-dozens-injured

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Author: The Millennium Report

Here’s One Remaining Question On The Takedown Of Kevin Hart

With more than a week’s distance from the Kevin Hart controversy, one question is still nagging at me. What was accomplished by pushing him out of the Academy Awards gig? I don’t mean that rhetorically. 

The effect wasn’t to punish or deplatform or distance the Academy’s brand from a homophobe: When detractors dredged up old tweets, and a bit he’d addressed years ago, Hart didn’t actually stand by the objectionable content. “If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you,” he said in an Instagram video. “If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you.”

“You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE,” Hart wrote in the caption.

He’d also basically admitted years ago that an infamous bit in one of his old routines about not wanting his son to be gay was a mistake. Here’s what Hart told Rolling Stone in 2015: “It’s about my fear. I’m thinking about what I did as a dad, did I do something wrong, and if I did, what was it? Not that I’m not gonna love my son or think about him any differently. The funny thing within that joke is it’s me getting mad at my son because of my own insecurities — I panicked. It has nothing to do with him, it’s about me. That’s the difference between bringing a joke across that’s well thought-out and saying something just to ruffle feathers.” 

The last sentence is important. It’s an admission that he failed his responsibility as a comedian.

As outrage over the jokes mounted earlier this month, Hart refused to apologize. “We feed into the Internet trolls and we reward them, I’m not going to do it, man,” he said, still insisting on his personal growth. The dynamic, then, was this: Hart was pushed out of a hosting gig over comments he did not endorse.

This brings us back to the question that’s been bothering me. What was accomplished by keeping him off the Oscars stage? Because Hart no longer stood by the jokes in question, the Academy’s decision to stick with him could not reasonably be seen as an endorsement of those jokes, or as a sign the Academy accepted them. So how does anybody benefit by keeping Hart from hosting the ceremony? Is the immense pressure supposed to function as a deterrent?

The notion that people must be purged from a given platform for past mistakes (often unearthed at key moments in their lives) seems to be quickly growing into a reflex and becoming our conventional wisdom, and that goes for both sides of the ideological divide. Is it the only reasonable consequence for these perceived transgressions? Is it reasonable at all when, in Hart’s case, a person’s views have changed?

Had he issued an apology, would he have been able to keep the job? I don’t know, although in announcing his decision to step down, Hart finally did just that. It’s a strange situation— the guy was all but forced to back out of the gig over comments he no longer stood by. 

I think it was easier to dismiss Hart than to grapple with his claims of personal growth. I hope we can learn to tread a new path forward in the future, whether the perceived offender is Hart or Sarah Silverman or Stephen Colbert. 

Did an LVMPD sniper shoot Stephen Paddock “right in the head”?

A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sniper may be responsible for shooting Stephen Paddock from an unknown vantage point outside of the Mandalay Bay hotel possibly from street level or at least it sounds that way in a newly released video.

Officer-worn body camera footage from the night of the 1 October massacre has surfaced in which you can hear the two final shots which may have ended Stephen Paddock’s life.

Astonishingly, in the video, a female officer appears to be looking through her rifle’s scope reticle and sounds as if she is fixated on the alleged shooter Stephen Paddock through a window opening presumably on the 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay north tower when two closeby gunshots can be heard.

The officer appears to be positioned at the driver side front of a patrol car and can be heard saying: “Right in the head,” following two gunshots which sound as if they had derived from street level.

Was the female officer acting as a spotter for a police sniper?

Please comment below and share this amazing information.

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Author: Lexi Morgan

The biggest loser: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes $15B hit in 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the biggest loser out of all of the world’s top 500 billionaires in 2018 and will end the year with about 25 percent less wealth which has to be a big blow to the tech guru’s ego.

Zuckerberg’s empire was worth upwards of $75 billion at the beginning of 2018 but will end the year with about a $15 billion less value which is mostly attributed to a data leak.

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
JD Lasica/Flickr

According to a report from Time.com: On a Saturday in March, Cambridge Analytica co-founder and former director of research Christopher Wylie threw Zuckerberg for a loop when he came forward to say the data analytics company had misused 50 million Facebook users’ data. Hired by the Trump presidential campaign to handle its targeted digital advertising for the 2016 primaries, Cambridge Analytica used the unauthorized Facebook data to target voters.

Despite the fact that Facebook tracks and traces its users’ habits and whereabouts at virtually all times, people are still willing to use the service. A total of 2.27 billion people have used Facebook through the third quarter of 2018 and the number keeps growing.

Should people really be using Facebook?

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Author: Lexi Morgan

The Embezzling Nuns From the Order That Helped Train Obama

It was reported recently that a couple of nuns out in Southern California had ripped off the Catholic school where they worked for many years to the tune of at least $500,000. They spent the money on gambling sprees to Las Vegas, among other pursuits. The habit-less sisters, who were henned up together in a Torrance townhouse inside a gated community (the neighbors, according to the Los Angeles Times, wondered how they afforded their matching Volvos), hail from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet — a “social justice” religious order, naturally.

But even richer than that, it is the order that played an important role in Obama’s Alinskyite education. It was at Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, a college founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, that Obama went for a ten-day seminar in the 1980s to learn Saul Alinsky’s rules for radicals. As reported in No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom, the Gay Mafia socialist from Chicago, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, paid for Obama’s trip out to Mount St. Mary’s College for that event.

The left-wing nuns in the order had long maintained a chapter for the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a group of socialist agitators that Saul Alinsky established with the help of Chicago priests who would later honor Obama at Notre Dame. The sisters were happy to let Alinskyite activists use their campus in the summer to train the next generation of subversives.

According to Obama’s latest biographer, David Garrow, those ten days at Mount St. Mary’s, where Obama rubbed shoulders with radical priests and nuns, proved seminal in Obama’s political education:

Mount St. Mary’s College was IAF’s long-standing summer location, with trainees arriving on a Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday was devoted to two basic staples of IAF teaching: “World As Is/World As Should Be ‘Power’ Session” and “Power and Self-Interest.”… Obama was already familiar with Alinsky’s major themes and principles…. Ed Chambers [a former seminarian], Alinsky’s lead inheritor, had articulated them in a small 1978 volume titled Organizing for Family and Congregation. Alinsky’s best-known principle was that “power tends to come in two forms: organized people and organized money.” But Alinsky had never fully grasped a second point that was now emphasized by Kellman, Galluzzo, and Chambers: “one of the largest reservoirs of untapped power is the institution of the parish and congregation,” because “they have the people, the values, and the money.”

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet can take credit, among other Catholic front groups (the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which gave grants to Obama in Chicago, is at the top of the list), for helping to breed one of the Church’s destroyers.

That this left-wing order is now entangled in an embezzlement scandal in La La Land shouldn’t surprise anyone. What begins in abstract theft ends in real avarice: the distance between Alinskyite “social justice,” which is just a glorified, government-backed form of theft, isn’t that far from secretly plundering school funds. Indeed, the ironically materialistic lifestyle of left-wing nuns who rail against materialism — they don’t wear religious clothing but secular garb; they don’t live in convents but in gated “townhouses” and the like — makes the costly temptations of worldly living irresistible.

The two embezzling sisters are Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang. Until this last spring, Kreuper was the principal of St. James Catholic School in Torrance and Chang was its vice principal. Peeved parents have noted that the duo, while pocketing tuition and fundraising funds, wouldn’t make school improvements on the grounds that it lacked money, reported the Los Angeles Times:

When parents would ask, year after year, for an awning to shade their children’s outdoor lunch area, the principal, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper, would respond, “How do you expect to pay for it?” “We would be pressured into donating,” said Jack Alexander, whose three children attended the K-8 school from 2003 to 2016. “We were always told how little money we had and how the sisters were so poor.”

Kreuper was also a “social justice” advocate. In one old story I found, she extols a fellow nun for her unusual attention to the “needs of the poor.” Meanwhile, Kreuper and Chang were hitting the gambling houses of Las Vegas and vacationing in Lake Tahoe. (I wonder if they ever ran into Theodore McCarrick, who, between shaking down Hollywood stars for money, enjoyed gambling.)

According to auditors for the archdiocese of Los Angeles, the $500,000 embezzlement figure is a low-ball one. They expect the number to rise as the investigation progresses. At first, the archdiocese, with typical tone-deafness, said it would not press charges against the nuns. But parents tired of episcopal cover-upsquickly caused the archdiocese to change its tune, reported the Los Angeles Times last Thursday:

Many parents have reacted with shock and outrage as details of the theft have come out in recent weeks. The Times obtained an audio recording of the two-hour meeting at which the situation was discussed. At one point, Marge Graf [the archdiocesan lawyer] asked the audience to delete any recordings of the meeting or to keep them private, drawing audible snickers from the crowd. “If this was me, I would be in jail!” one man yelled.

Were Saul Alinsky alive today, he might have greeted this news with a devious chuckle. One of his proudest accomplishments was turning nuns into socialist acolytes who would turn up to his IAF meetings in the latest fashions. If Kreuper and Chang do end up looking at jail time, maybe Obama can serve at the sentencing hearing as a character witness.

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Author: George Neumayr

From Your Table to Their Farm

Washington

Forget all the tongue clucking about Washington being so divided and nasty that Democrats and Republicans cannot work together. As the Senate and House proved this week in passing the $867 billion farm bill, when it comes to spending money they don’t have, party leaders really can reach across the aisle.

With the national federal debt approaching $22 trillion, President Donald Trump has praised the bill, which provides food stamps for the poor, but also hands out subsidies to American farmers, even though it does not include needed reforms or even modest spending cuts.

Conservative think tanks dismiss the farm subsidies as corporate welfare. On the left, environmentalist groups have opposed them as well. Fiscal hawks are appalled at the failure of Congress to do anything to ease the deficit.

And yet the farm bill lives.

Chris Edwards of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute has written that federal farm subsidies “redistribute wealth upward,” with the bulk of the money going “to the largest and wealthiest farm households.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the rare farmer in the Senate, was among the rump of Republicans to vote against the bill. Grassley explained that he could not support a measure that would not limit subsidies to the wealthiest farms — which he says puts young and beginning farmers at a disadvantage.

“I know it’s hard to believe, but I’ve never heard a single young or beginning farmer tell me that the way to help them is to give more money to the largest farmers,” Grassley offered in a statement.

Grassley also voiced horror at provisions to expand the definition of farm families to include cousins, nieces and nephews, even if they don’t work on a farm. The bill, he charged, seems “intentionally written to help the largest farmers receive unlimited subsidies from the federal government.”

Grassley wanted farm subsidy reform. House Republicans, on the other hand, held up the farm bill in a push to mandate work requirements for some Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients. To Edwards it seems wrong that the GOP House demanded work requirements for the poor, but not “wealthy farmers or landowners.”

Then once House Republicans gave up on that issue, Democrats apparently were hungry to pass a bill that would deliver on SNAP.

Be it noted that farm subsidies account for some 20 percent of the farm bill’s spending, while 80 percent goes to SNAP, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Environmental Working Group’s Scott Faber has been a longtime critic of farm subsidies. On Wednesday, however, Faber praised the measure’s drinking water reforms and provisions to promote organic farming.

The next day he released a statement that lit into the farm subsidies for “millionaires and city slickers.”

Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that there is a lot to like in the 2018 farm bill and farm bills in general.

Nonetheless, it is hard for Goldwein to fathom why the GOP-controlled Congress failed to find at least $1 billion annually in savings in a measure that has been a perennial target of the right. Federal discretionary spending has spiked by 16 percent over the last two years — and the farm bill offers “low-hanging fruit” ripe for fiscal discipline.

But in the two years of GOP control over the White House, Senate and House, there has been no zeal to budget responsibly. House Republicans offered a bill with work requirements, but no savings, said Goldwein. Senate Republicans offered a bill with no work requirements and no savings. And Trump has signaled his readiness to sign a bill with no savings.

Edwards sees “classic logrolling” at work. The marriage of food stamps and farm subsidies created common cause for urban Democrats and rural Republicans. Now funds for organic farming and support for industrial hemp mean lawmakers feel no need to economize.

The worst part, to my mind, is this: House Republicans always were going to cave on the work requirements, but they might have been able to hold out for savings. Goldwein figured cutting $25 billion to $50 billion would not be a heavy lift. But these Republicans cannot be bothered because they no longer care about the deficit.

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

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Author: Debra J. Saunders

Theresa May Is Sheriff Bart

Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles is the funniest movie ever made. Much of its humor illustrates the devastating stupidity of racism.

There’s a scene early in the movie when the new black sheriff, who has just ridden into town, faces a crowd of racists all pointing guns at him. After the preacher’s bible has a hole shot in it, even he says, “Son, you’re on your own.”

At that point Sheriff Bart points his gun at his own head, takes on two voices — a panicky parody of his own and the mad kidnapper’s — and threatens to kill the sheriff, i.e., himself. Bart then uses his left hand to yank himself into the sheriff’s office still pleading for the townspeople to do what the kidnapper says.

That scene is now being played in the Brexit drama, with Theresa May in the role of Sheriff Bart.

On Friday, shortly after surviving a no-confidence vote in Parliament, May was in Brussels to plead with the EUnuchs for mercy and changes to the Brexit deal she’d negotiated. It’s clear that the deal is about to go down to defeat in Parliament.

May threatened to hold a snap vote in Parliament next week and let her godawful Brexit deal be defeated unless the deal is changed. She reportedly made the threat to the EU’s leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and EU presidents Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk.

As she should have expected, they told her to go pound sand. Now she’s back in her office without the help of Mongo and the Waco Kid.

The failure of last week’s no-confidence vote leaves May in office for at least a year. (She has promised not to run for prime minister in the next election in 2020.)

May’s weakness — and the failure to renegotiate anything on the Brexit deal — will result in a cascade of events.

First, May’s Brexit deal will be voted on in Parliament this month or next. When (not if) it fails, May will seek to delay by a year or more the 29 March deadline for Brexit, or just cancel it entirely as an EU court has said she could.

That would bring about a level of UK political chaos unseen since Defense Minister John Profumo diddled around with Christine Keeler in the 1960s.

May is terribly weak but still a somewhat savvy politician. She will want to have a second Brexit referendum next summer to prove what she has always believed in: that the UK should remain in the EU. She will campaign on her own failure to negotiate a decent departure deal as evidence that no good deal can be made.

Her opponents — Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and a host of conservatives including former London Mayor Boris Johnson — are no stronger than May and will probably find the electorate bored with the whole idea of Brexit.

All of this means that the UK will be as weak as Theresa May at least until their 2020 election. The only good news — at least from the UK perspective — is that Merkel, Macron, and the rest of the EU leaders — aren’t any stronger.

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Author: Jed Babbin

Obamacare Unconstitutional, Now What?

“Compromise has an incredibly small constituency,” retiring Representative Trey Gowdy reflected in a parting-thoughts interview with Fox News Channel’s Martha McCallum. He lamented a prevailing, partisan mindset that it only takes 51 percent to govern.

Entering Congress by riding the Republican wave that followed the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act without a single GOP vote, Gowdy in some sense owes his congressional career to the hyperpartisanship he laments. But that congressional career coinciding with the inability of his party to win over Democrats to repeal Obamacare during his tenure shows that one-way-street legislating eventually becomes a two-way street, with the closed-mindedness of one side begetting closed-mindedness on the other side.

This my-way-or-the-highway mentality becomes harder to maintain once the 116th Congress convenes with a Democratic House and Republican Senate. Yet, the country needs compromise now more than ever — particularly given a Friday night ruling that deemed Obamacare unconstitutional.

Healthcare, the issue Americans cited as their top concern in 2018 exit polls, remains broken. Americans pay more than double per capita what Frenchmen, Canadians, and Japanese pay — and experience worse results.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act failed to make healthcare more affordable. Dissatisfaction presents itself in fewer people signed up, barring some incredible last-minute surge by Saturday’s deadline, for the Affordable Care Act’s federal “marketplace” than did last year. Even Democrat discontent with Obamacare manifests itself, most notably through the popularity of single-payer plans endorsed by Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and other presidential hopefuls. If Obamacare fixed healthcare, why so many proposed fixes?

Nobody full-throatedly defends Obamacare. Nobody goes to the mat to repeal it, either.

And maybe nobody in Congress needs to. On Friday evening, Judge Reed O’Connor ruled Obamacare unconstitutional. “In sum, the Individual Mandate ‘is so interwoven with [the Affordable Care Act’s] regulations that they cannot be separated,” the federal judge ruled in response to a lawsuit brought against the feds by 20 states. “None of them can stand.’”

Whether his opinion stands or not, Obamacare surely falls. It falls because it fails to do what it purports to do. It makes healthcare more expensive, not more affordable.

How might Democrats and Republicans come together to improve American healthcare? It starts with acknowledgement that their constituents regard out-of-control costs as the primary malady. This inflates the debt, which soon hits $22 trillion (more than U.S. gross domestic product), drags down the economy (big businesses pay more than $10,000 on healthcare per worker annually), bankrupts citizens, and limits the flexibility of legislators regarding both taxes and spending.

A fix requires give-and-take, a concept mostly foreign to scribes but essential to legislators. This means understanding that the approach to healthcare reform does not approximate the ideal. But the current healthcare regime falls so far short of perfect. Improvement, not idealism, should govern the fix. In alleviating what ails us, three principles should guide:

1. Competition benefits everyone. Any reform of healthcare should recognize that the move away from a market model corresponded with massive price inflation. In the market, competition reduces prices and improves existing products. The holiday shopping season makes it hard to escape from this truth. The increased involvement of Amazon and other tech giants in healthcare means more competition — good news for consumers.

2. Medicaid requires major surgery. Medicaid would be more efficient if used for vouchers to pay for private insurance. Short of this, merging the wasteful welfare program with the more streamlined Medicare entitlement could save money and please progressives seeking more equality in funding. Rather than beneficiaries drawing on vastly different benefits in, say, Mississippi and Massachusetts, need instead of geography could dictate benefits.

3. Third-party payers, whether private insurers or public programs, inflate cost. When people pay, even a portion of costs, they remain mindful of costs. When third parties pick up the tab, the tab grows. This is common sense. Though individuals naturally dread copays, premiums, and bills, the lack of all that stands as a major reason why we pay 18 percent of our gross domestic product on healthcare.

Republicans punted after failing to reform healthcare on multiple downs in 2016. Democrats continue to offer pie-in-the-sky schemes to reform healthcare. A judge in Texas may have just forced both parties to replace rhetoric with realistic action — and action that requires the compromise that Trey Gowdy found missing in action during his time on Capitol Hill.

Hunt Lawrence is a New York-based investor. Daniel Flynn is the author of six books.

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Author: Hunt Flynn