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Monday, December 30, 2013

The Budget Deal: Compromise or sell-out?



Socialism - 1
Free Market - 0

Over the Christmas holiday, our family was discussing the "compromise" budget deal as negotiated by Rep. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan - the deal that Tea Party Patriots - and veterans - are outraged about. One member of our family had watched Rep. Murray making the talk show rounds and was favorably impressed by Murray, who was touting the value of compromise. The Washington Times reported one of those TV interviews: 

Sen. Patty Murray said Wednesday the budget dealhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.pngshe struck with Rep. Paul Ryan “wasn’t easy,” but it had to be done to rebuild trust in Washington and clear the way for work on tax and entitlement reform.

Mrs. Murray, Washington Democrat, said she knew both sides of the political spectrum would not be pleased with everything that went into the deal, but that’s the pricehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png of compromise.

“In order to deal with the long-term challenges that our country faces … we have to have the trust of the American people, we have to have the trust of each other in Congress — in a divided Congress — to do that,” she told CNN’s “New Day.”

Compromise rebuilds trust, so compromise is a good thing. Or is it? 

Here is another way to look at these "compromise" pieces of legislation. Imagine the United States is the football, and Congress represents the competing teams. The blue end-zone represents the Free Market, supposedly the goal of the conservative team (supposedly comprised of Republicans). The red end-zone represents socialism, the goal of the Democrats/Socialists/Progressives. One could make the case that the United States is already about 2/3 of the way down the field toward the Socialism goal line.


The "compromise" budget means that instead of Socialist/Progressive getting, say, a one yard advance, they got only an inch this time. But it is another inch in the wrong direction. These much-touted "compromises" (including tax hikes and elimination of sequestration budget restraints) end up being compromises for only one side: those who champion the free market. For Rep. Murray and her team, "the price of compromise" was pretty much zero.
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Nervous Nellie legislators



Speaker John "If I Only Had the Nerve" Boehner

Amidst all the recent attacks on Tea Party Patriots by Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, or American Crossroads architect Karl Rove, here’s an excerpt from an article entitled "Harvard Prof: Tea Party Not Going Anywhere, More Likely To Win," an analysis posted yesterday at Breitbart’s Big Government:
"At the grassroots, volunteer activists formed hundreds of local Tea Parties, meeting regularly to plot public protests against the Obama Administration and place steady pressure on GOP organizations and candidates at all levels," they found. "At least half of all GOP voters sympathize with this Tea Party upsurge."
Though Skokpol and Williamson have their typical biases and describe the Tea Party movement as a "radical" one that may not like minorities--without any evidence of that assertion--they acknowledge that "even though there is no one center of Tea Party authority—indeed, in some ways because there is no one organized center—the entire gaggle of grassroots" and outside groups that support the movement "wields money and primary votes to exert powerful pressure on Republican officeholders and candidates."
Skocpol observes that the "Tea Party clout has grown in Washington and state capitals" because "Americans are also losing ever more faith in the federal government." In addition, "most legislators and candidates are Nervous Nellies," and they have seen the Tea Party defeat establishment Republicans like Charlie Crist in Florida in 2010 and David Dewhurst in Texas in 2012 in addition to knocking off incumbent Republican Sens. Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN). 
"That grabs legislators’ attention and results in either enthusiastic support for, or acquiescence to, obstructive tactics," Skocpol writes. 
So in 2014, let’s keep grabbing the attention of all those Nervous Nellie legislators!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Speaker Boehner and the GOP elite: stuck on stupid




On Christmas Day, The Wall Street Journal reported on the GOP Establishment's all-out attack on its conservative base:

Republican leaders and their corporate allies have launched an array of efforts aimed at diminishing the clout of the party's most conservative activists and promoting legislation instead of confrontation next year.

GOP House leaders are taking steps to impose discipline on wavering committee chairmen and tea-party factions. Meanwhile, major donors and advocacy groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates for Congress in 2014's midterm elections.

"Promoting legislation instead of confrontation"? "More centrist" candidates? Most Tea Party Patriots would prefer the repeal of Progressive legislation and unconstitutional Executive Orders - even if that means confrontation with the socialist Progressives in both parties. Most Tea Party Patriots would prefer candidates who will put Tea Party principles before party. 

The WSJ reporter identifies several GOP-proposed measures that will do nothing to stop the downward spiral caused by runaway spending, regulations that strangle free enterprise, and job-killing legislation. Thomas Lifson at The American Thinker pounced on the report with some blistering criticism of Speaker Boehner's ham-fisted "leadership" - based on intimidation and marginalization of any members of the House who dare to vote against Boehner's party line, even when it means breaking campaign promises and breaking faith with constituents: 

This is a recipe for suicide. We saw in November 2012 how well it works when a party pushes a presidential candidate who alienates the base. The GOP turnout was far too low because Romney did not inspire the base. Does anyone think John Boehner does? Does anyone care how turnout will go in November next year?
The GOP Establishment lives and breathes the Beltway, where the combined weight of the media, government bureaucrats, and all those lobbyists leads them astray. They have no idea how their arrogance plays to their natural constituency.
The midterm elections should be a slam-dunk. But the Beltway Republicans, traumatized by the media campaign against the shutdown, are fighting the last war, completely unaware that the base doesn't want another shutdown, it wants repeal of Obamacare and sees it in sight with victory on 2014 and then 2016. If only the Establishment can stop attacking them while it sucks up corporate money.


It does look like Tea Party Patriots have to challenge a GOP party run by establishment and Progressive “elites” AND a Democrat party controlled by establishment and Progressive “elites”. And Speaker Boehner thinks the best strategy heading into 2014 is to alienate the conservative base. He is Stuck on Stupid. 
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from Cleveland Tea Party Patriots




Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!




Monday, December 23, 2013

President Obama's "Christmas" card





The BookwormRoom has a perceptive take on President Obama's family Christmas card:

There’s been a fair amount written about the Obama Christmas card. It’s a pop-up card, which has an expensive look that’s unseemly as millions lose their insurance and millions more have joined the ranks of the perpetually unemployed.  It’s colors are cool, not warm, which seems to refute the warmth that Christmas brings to people in the dark of winter.  It shows a vacant building, which seems symbolic when one considers that Obama invariable answer to all the scandalsrevealed in the past year is to disclaim knowledge or responsibility.  And lastly, despite going out at Christmas time and despite Obama’s claims to be a Christian, the card makes no mention of Christmas.  Keep in mind with this last point that the card ostensibly comes not from “the government” but from a man and his family.  George and Laura Bush were not ashamed that they celebrated Christmas and always sent out cards that included Biblical verses.

Amidst all the buzz about the Obama Christmas card, there’s one thing I haven’t seen.  No one is talking about the card’s peculiar message:  “As we gather around this season, may the warmth and joy of the holidays fill your home.

Am I being a pedant, or is it bizarre to “gather around” a “season”? People gather around hearth fires and Christmas trees, and infant cradles and birthday cakes, and classic paintings in museums and street buskers making beautiful music.  That is, people gather around tangible objects.  People do not gather around something as abstract as a season.  It’s the same as saying “As we gather around this air” or “As we gather around this ambiance.”  Yes, those are nouns, but they’re not the type of nouns one “gathers around.”  In trying to create a card that is all things to all people (never mind that it coincidentally goes out at Christmas), the White House has managed to create nothingness. 


(To be charitable, it is possible to read the opening phrase as a muddy version of "As we gather around [tangible objects during] this season." Whatever.) Read the rest here
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

John Boehner's Betrayal


Below is an Op-Ed by Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder of Tea Party Patriots, addressing Speaker Boehner's latest attacks on the groups that allowed him to become Speaker by default. 

It should also be noted -- these are the same groups that will take Boehner's gavel!

From The New York Times --



WOODSTOCK, Ga. — THERE’S a political axiom that says if nobody is upset with what you’re doing, you’re not doing your job. We’ve seen this proved time and again in the liberal attacks on conservatives like Sarah Palin and Dr. Benjamin Carson, who provide principled examples to women and minorities and are savaged by the left for doing that job so well.

But cheap-shot politics isn’t relegated to Democrats. Last week the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, attacked conservative groups who criticized the budget deal, hashed out by Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, and Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, for failing to reduce spending and for raising taxes.

“They’re using our members and they’re using the American people for their own goals,” he said, calling the opposition “ridiculous.”

In one way, Mr. Boehner is correct. The goals of groups like ours are those that congressional Republicans once espoused: smaller government, less spending and lower taxes. Alas, those who demand such things today from their elected officials face unfounded attacks.

Make no mistake: The deal is a betrayal of the conservatives who fueled the Republicans’ 2010 midterm shellacking of Democrats.

It raises discretionary spending above $1 trillion for 2014 and 2015. It reneges on $63 billion of sequester cuts. Its $28 billion in deficit reduction over the next decade is a pittance compared with the $680 billion deficit piled up in 2013 alone. And it raises taxes, particularly on airplane passengers through new travel fees.

Perhaps most troubling is that the deal locks in spending for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, ensuring that the worst parts of Obamacare will continue unfolding to the shock of increasing numbers of Americans.

But the budget plan is about more than taxes and spending. It was a slick means by which Senate Republicans could appear to oppose the deal while in fact allowing it to sail through the chamber.

Take Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, the minority leader, who opposed efforts to defund Obamacare earlier this year while claiming to do everything possible to stop it.

After attacking conservative groups for their efforts to prevent the funding of Obamacare, Mr. McConnell, who is facing a primary challenge in his 2014 re-election race, is now seeking to portray himself as a conservative darling, championing fiscal austerity by voicing opposition to the budget proposal. (My organization has not endorsed a candidate in that race.) Doing so gives him some nifty talking points that align with most conservative groups, but it is little more than parliamentary sleight of hand.

Consider how he handled the vote on the bill. To defeat a filibuster, its supporters needed 60 senators to win cloture and move to a final vote. Instead of rallying his troops against the vote, Mr. McConnell allowed a handful of Republicans in battleground states — who needed to be seen as supporting the bill — to vote for cloture, while he and the rest railed against it, casting themselves in the role of budget hawks.

With cloture accomplished, a dozen Republicans were then free to vote against final passage if they need wiggle room when they’re confronted on the campaign trail next fall by voters demanding action on government spending. Mr. McConnell and many Senate Republicans used the vote to manipulate the system, allowing them to cast themselves as deal makers or principled conservatives, depending on their audience.

This is not principled policy making; what we’re seeing is simple gamesmanship that raises legitimate questions about which values Republicans truly hold and which are merely interchangeable with those of Democrats.

The job of Tea Party groups and other conservatives is pretty simple: to inform Americans about the need for restraint in spending, tax relief, pro-growth economic policies and individual liberty — and to support the men and women who pledge to promote these positions. To the extent that the speaker of the House and Senate Republicans are attacking such groups, it looks as if we’re doing our job.

But after this budget vote, our job expands to include informing Americans about who keeps their word in Congress and who does not.

When establishment Republicans call spending increases spending cuts, deny that raising taxes is a hike, and champion deficit reduction that doesn’t scratch the surface of our nation’s debt, it suggests a detachment from the facts. But when those who voted for them criticize their elected officials for not keeping their promises, and are then attacked for doing so, it suggests that Kurt Vonnegut was right in observing, “A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.”

Jenny Beth Martin is a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Protect 501(c)(4) organizations’ freedom of speech


Photo credit: planet.infowars.com


Protect 501(c)(4) organizations’ freedom of speech

Tea Party Patriots and most liberty groups are classified as 501(c)(4) by the IRS. The NumbersUSA outfit (whose sole mission is to educate voters on any legislative action that impacts immigration) sent out an alert concerning a new IRS regulation that will muzzle all 501(c)(4)’s — in the days leading up to an election. There’s a new website called Protect C4 Free Speech http://www.protectc4freespeech.com/ and here is the home page information:

The Internal Revenue Service has quietly announced a new rule that strictly limits the ability of 501(c)(4), tax-exempt organizations from working on their core missions in the months leading up to federal, state, and local elections. The proposed regulations would prohibit these organizations from engaging in candidate-related political activity, which, by the proposed rule's definition, includes any mention of a candidate's name or political party even if presented in a non-political context. Further, organizations would have to ensure that any references to candidates in past communications are not publicly available, including online, during the pre-election window. These regulations would, in effect, prohibit organizations from providing the public with candidate comparisons and voting records, engaging in get-out-the-vote activities, or encouraging informed civic participation, among other activities. They would severely limit both the organizations' First Amendment free speech and the public's ability to hold elected officials accountable for their actions.

“Under the proposed definition, any public communication that is made within 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election and that clearly identifies a candidate for public office (or, in the case of a general election, refers to a political party represented in that election) would be considered candidate-related political activity.”

Without your input, these proposed regulations will take effect and the rights of all Americans will be curtailed. It is our duty as Americans to make our voices heard and insist that our rights are protected. Please take a look at the sample comments and then submit yours directly to the federal government. The deadline for all comments is February 27, 2014, so act now!

Among the organizations participating with NumbersUSA are The Sierra Club, the pro-Amnesty National Council of La Raza (strange bedfellows!), and The National Rifle Assoc. If you go to C4 the website, you will find sample letters to the IRS (or members of Congress) to raise your objections to this latest regulation to chill free speech. 
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sen. Portman votes YES on Ryan-Murray budget



Photo credit: Business Insider

Sen. Rob Portman voted YES on the budget bill. The Hill reports
The Senate on Wednesday gave final passage to a two-year budget plan in a 64-36 vote.
Nine Republican senators voted with 55 Democrats and Independents to pass the budget deal, which sets top-line spending levels for 2014 and 2015, allowing appropriators to get to work on an omnibus spending bill for the current fiscal year.
. . .
The vote in the Senate was closer than in the House, where majorities in each party backed the compromise negotiated by Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and her House counterpart, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rand Paul (Ky.), seen as possible 2016 presidential candidates, all voted against the deal, as did GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ken.), who faces a tough primary challenge. That contrasted with the House, where GOP leaders and Ryan, another possible White House hopeful, backed the deal.
And from the Senate website, here are the Senators who voted NO on this bad budget "deal":

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Heller (R-NV)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kirk (R-IL)
Lee (R-UT)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

In voting YES, Sen. Portman was keeping company with, among others, Orrin Hatch (UT), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Susan Collins (ME), and John McCain (AZ). Ugh.




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

12 Republicans Vote to Advance Budget Deal





12 Republicans Vote to Advance Budget Deal That Boosts Spending 
And of course Sen. Rob Portman was one of them. Make sure he does not vote YES again. CNS News.com reports:

(Susan Jones at CNSNews.com) - The Senate voted 67-33 Tuesday to advance the Ryan-Murray budget compromise that conservatives oppose as fiscally irresponsible.
Helping Democrats get the votes they needed, 12 Republicans voted with all 55 Democrats to begin debate on the measure.
Republicans joining Democrats to invoke cloture include Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Susan Collins (Maine), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), John Hoeven (N.D.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), John McCain (Ariz.),  Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Rob Portman (Ohio). [emphasis added]
The two-year deal will ease the mandatory spending caps (sequester) imposed by Congress in 2011. This will allow a $63 billion increase in the discretionary budget, but it does nothing to reform entitlement programs, which are the main drivers of growing deficits and debt, The Heritage Foundation reported.
The deal also raises certain "fees," or taxes.
A simple majority is needed for passage, which is expected to happen later this week.
Tea Party Patriots: Call / email / tweet Sen. Rob Portman’s office
Senator Portman
DC Office: (202)224-3353
Contact: Click Here

Portman's Chief of Staff
Rob Lehman 

Portman's N/E Ohio District Representative
George Brown
PH: (216)522-1095

Sunday, December 15, 2013

There's hope yet




Alec Torres at National Review Online reports :
Senator Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) told CBS’s Bob Schieffer this morning that the Ryan-Murray Budget deal that passed the House earlier this week still doesn’t have enough votes to pass the Senate.
“The struggle is still on in the United States Senate,” Durbin said. “We need bipartisan support to pass it.”
He said the Senate needs only a “handful” of Republicans to pass the bill, but that Republicans are wary of signing the deal because they are either planning to run for president and don’t want such a “yes” vote on their record, or they are being threatened by the Tea Party and the Heritage Foundations to vote against it.

Cleveland Tea Party Patriots: Call / email / tweet Sen. Rob Portman’s offices. Vote NO.
Senator Portman
DC Office: (202)224-3353
Contact: Click Here

Portman's Chief of Staff
Rob Lehman 

Portman's N/E Ohio District Representative
George Brown
PH: (216)522-1095

Focus on Re-employing Americans Instead of Immigration Reform: Letter to the Editor


With Speaker Boehner now done with his temper tantrum and stomping his feet over conservative groups slamming his latest failure - passing the Murray /Ryan Budget -- he is now expected to angle for the passage of a weak immigration reform


With Obamacare causing many people to lose their jobs or have their work hours drastically reduced and with many Americans stuck in low-paying jobs, the allowing of 20 million illegal immigrants to flood our country and the work force will even further depress wages and take jobs from Americans.

Regardless of party affiliation, the first job of the elected elite in D.C. is to represent U.S. Citizens and the well being of our country, not open the borders or offer back door amnesty and reward law breakers to the detriment of the country & citizens they were elected to represent....

From the Plain Dealer --
With over 90 million Americans out of work, Congress should be more concerned with helping these out-of-work Americans get back to work and not on an immigration reform that will drive down wages and take jobs from the same hard-working Americans they were elected to represent.

In Ohio alone the illegal immigrant population costs our state an estimated $870 million per year. This works out to an average annual amount of $200 per Ohio household headed by a U.S. citizen. Nationally, the costs are a whopping $106 billion per year!

Opening the illegal immigrant flood gates will only increase these costs to the already financially burdened citizens of this state. Not to mention the increased costs and burdens this will cause to the social services network already struggling to meet the current needs of the low income and less than fortunate residents of our state.

Furthermore, it is also a travesty that union leaders and elected officials that claim to be "friends of labor" are so willing to use the dues of hard working union members to fight so illegal immigrants can come and take the jobs of these same union members they are to represent.

They say charity starts at home - let's put unemployed and under-employed U.S. citizens and hard-working Americans first.

Ralph King,

Bedford


Saturday, December 14, 2013

What Will It Take?


Where are we headed? A prognosis in an article by Canadian columnist David Solway, posted at PJ Media, should be Required Reading (read the whole thing here), but I wonder if the people who need to read it will do so.

Let me begin with a categorical statement that, given current events and recent political history, can be easily defended: Barack Hussein Obama is a willful, indoctrinated child of the Left with strong Islamic sympathies who is not fit to govern. Indeed, he would not be fit to govern Lower Slobovia, let alone the United States of America. Obama is a historic disaster of the first magnitude and, if not restrained, he will see to the irrevocable decline of the country which foolishly elected him, leaving the world on the brink of a conflict — or in the midst of one — whose repercussions cannot be underestimated.

. . .

What will it take to convince the ersatz aristocracy of frivolous intellectuals and brainless celebrities, partisan journalists, editors and academics, and an indifferent or deluded laity that they are heading for a crisis that will change our lives immeasurably for the worse? The evidence is beyond dispute.

. . .

One must hope that America will come to its collective senses before it is too late. But I am afraid that it will take nothing less than a major catastrophe, a fiscal implosion that takes the “food” out of food stamps, coupled with more high-casualty terrorist attacks both abroad and on its own soil, leading to the eruption of civil unrest and the possible impeachment of the most destructive president in the entire pageant of American history — a sorcerer’s apprentice in a house on fire or a Machiavellian schemer following a carefully contrived plan — before America emerges from its devastating slumber. Assuming, of course, that it ever does, or that a path to recovery will still be possible. For nothing is guaranteed in a nation so divided as America is today.


One wonders if Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Paul Ryan, or Sen. Rob Portman bother with articles at PJ Media? Maybe we should all be forwarding links, or cutting-and-pasting the text to their offices.


Obama Tells Lie of the Year: "If You LIke Your Health Plan - You Can Keep It"


At a recent fundraiser in Beverly Hills, President Obama touted himself as one of the most accomplished Presidents ever

Below Politifact confirms this to be true. In doing Pinocchio proud, President Obama is the most accomplished President ever -- at telling the biggest lie!

From PolitiFact --




It was a catchy political pitch and a chance to calm nerves about his dramatic and complicated plan to bring historic change to America’s health insurance system.

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," President Barack Obama said -- many times -- of his landmark new law.

But the promise was impossible to keep.

So this fall, as cancellation letters were going out to approximately 4 million Americans, the public realized Obama’s breezy assurances were wrong.

Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous, even for its promoter-in-chief. Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along. The stunning political uproar led to this: a rare presidential apology.

For all of these reasons, PolitiFact has named "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," the Lie of the Year for 2013. Readers in a separate online poll overwhelmingly agreed with the choice. (PolitiFact first announced its selection on CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper.)

For four of the past five years, PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year has revolved around the health care law, which has been subject to more erroneous attacks than any other piece of legislation PolitiFact has fact-checked.

Obama’s ideas on health care were first offered as general outlines then grew into specific legislation over the course of his presidency. Yet Obama never adjusted his rhetoric to give people a more accurate sense of the law’s real-world repercussions, even as fact-checkers flagged his statements as exaggerated at best.

Instead, he fought back against inaccurate attacks with his own oversimplifications, which he repeated even as it became clear his promise was too sweeping.

The debate about the health care law rages on, but friends and foes of Obamacare have found one slice of common ground: The president’s "you can keep it" claim has been a real hit to his credibility.

Why the cancellations happened

How did we get to this point?

The Affordable Care Act tried to allow existing health plans to continue under a complicated process called "grandfathering," which basically said insurance companies could keep selling plans if they followed certain rules.

The problem for insurers was that the Obamacare rules were strict. If the plans deviated even a little, they would lose their grandfathered status. In practice, that meant insurers canceled plans that didn’t meet new standards.

Obama’s team seemed to understand that likelihood. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the grandfathering rules in June 2010 and acknowledged that some plans would go away. Yet Obama repeated "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" when seeking re-election last year.

In 2009 and again in 2012, PolitiFact rated Obama’s statement Half True, which means the statement is partially correct and partially wrong. We noted that while the law took pains to leave some parts of the insurance market alone, people were not guaranteed to keep insurance through thick and thin. It was likely that some private insurers would continue to force people to switch plans, and that trend might even accelerate.

In the final months of 2013, several critical elements of the health care law were being enacted, and media attention was at its height. Healthcare.gov made its debut on Oct. 1. It didn’t take long for the media, the public and Obama’s own team to realize the website was a technological mess, freezing out customers and generally not working.

Also on Oct. 1, insurers started sending out cancellation letters for 2014.

No one knows exactly how many people got notices, because the health insurance market is largely private and highly fragmented. Analysts estimated the number at about 4 million (and potentially higher), out of a total insured population of about 262 million.

That was less than 2 percent, but there was no shortage of powerful anecdotes about canceled coverage.

One example: PBS Newshour interviewed a woman from Washington, D.C., who was a supporter of the health care law and found her policy canceled. New policies had significantly higher rates. She told Newshour that the only thing the new policy covered that her old one didn’t was maternity care and pediatric services. And she was 58.

"The chance of me having a child at this age is zero. So, you know, I ask the president, why do I have to pay an additional $5,000 a year for maternity coverage that I will never, ever need?" asked Deborah Persico.

The administration’s botched response

Initially, Obama and his team didn’t budge.

First, they tried to shift blame to insurers. "FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans," said Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to Obama, on Oct. 28. 

PolitiFact rated her statement False. The restrictions on grandfathering were part of the law, and they were driving cancellations.

Then, they tried to change the subject. "It’s important to remember both before the ACA was ever even a gleam in anybody’s eye, let alone passed into law, that insurance companies were doing this all the time, especially in the individual market because it was lightly regulated and the incentives were so skewed," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

But what really set everyone off was when Obama tried to rewrite his slogan, telling political supporters on Nov. 4, "Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law, and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed."

Pants on Fire! PolitiFact counted 37 times when he’d included no caveats, such as a high-profilespeech to the American Medical Association in 2009: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what."

Even Obama’s staunchest allies cried foul.

On Nov. 6, columnist Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune wrote that the public "was entitled to hear the unvarnished truth, not spin, from their president about what they were about to face. I don't feel good about calling out Obama's whopper, because I support most of his policies and programs. But in this instance, he would have to be delusional to think he was telling the truth."

The next day, Obama apologized during a lengthy interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd.

"We weren’t as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that were taking place, and I want to do everything we can to make sure that people are finding themselves in a good position, a better position than they were before this law happened. And I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," he said.

Political fist-fight

The reaction from conservative talk shows was withering. On Nov. 11, Sean Hannity put Obama’s statements up there with President Richard Nixon’s "I am not a crook," and President Bill Clinton’s "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

On the liberal network MSNBC, Joy-Ann Reid said the Obama administration’s intention was to fight off attacks like the ones that scuttled Clinton’s health proposals in the early 1990s.

"That’s why the administration boiled it down to that, if you like your health care, you can keep it. Big mistake, but it was a mistake that I think came a little bit out of the lesson" of the Clinton years, she said Nov. 12.

Two days later, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi defended Obama’s statement as accurate and blamed insurance companies. "Did I ever tell my constituents that, if they like their plan, they could keep it? I would have, if I'd ever met anybody who liked his or her plan, but that was not my experience," she said.

Obama offered an administrative fix that same day, allowing state insurance commissioners to extend current plans. But only some have chosen to do so.

In announcing the fix, Obama again conceded he had exaggerated. "There is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate," he said. "It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law, but it was insufficient."

It is too soon to say what the lasting impact of "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" will be.

The president’s favorability ratings have tumbled in recent weeks.

A Pew Research/USA Today poll conducted Dec. 3-8 found the percentage of people viewing Obama as "not trustworthy" has risen 15 points over the course of the year, from 30 percent to 45 percent.

Much depends on the law’s continuing implementation and other events during Obama’s final three years in office, said Larry Sabato, a political scientist who runs the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

Still, Obama has work to do to win back public trust, Sabato said.

"A whole series of presidents developed credibility gaps, because people didn’t trust what they were saying anymore. And that’s Obama’s real problem," he said. "Once you lose the trust of a substantial part of the American public, how do you get it back?"