Open line: Plus, more Huckabunk, Republicans surrender on Obamacare | Arkansas Blog

Open line: Plus, more Huckabunk, Republicans surrender on Obamacare

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Here's Saturday's open lie and a couple of things to mention from the afternoon mail check:

* HUCKSTERING: Mike Huckabee of course is running. You can tell by his pandering to the wild-eyed religious right that is so influential in the nutty Republican caucus in Iowa. Get a load of this from Huffington Post:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) suggested Friday that young Americans planning to join the military should wait until President Barack Obama leaves office to do so because his administration has an "open hostility toward the Christian faith."

The possible 2016 presidential contender was asked about a Washington Times report citing "religious freedom advocates" who said that Christians are leaving the military because of a “hostile work environment."

Huckabee told Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson that the Obama administration “orders its chaplains to put its Bibles away, not to pray in Jesus' name, not to counsel people on the issues of sexual morality.”

“When you have this attitude that is more about promoting gay marriage and gay rights in the military than it is about being able to protect religious liberty for those people of faith,” Huckabee said, “it’s going to be hard to find people that are truly devoted people of faith and Christian believers and Orthodox Jews and others.”

He then suggested that parents should stop their children from enlisting until America has a new commander in chief.

And should Huck be that commander in chief? Imagine the chaplain corps under his command. No women, for starters.

* SURRENDER ON OBAMACARE: Interesting article in LA Times on Obamacare. Despite having persuaded Republican voters to oppose Obamacare to the death (even those who benefit from it), Republican politicians are bowing to reality and turning to other subjects.

GOP congressional leaders, unable to roll back the law while President Obama remains in office and unwilling to again threaten a government shutdown to pressure him, are focused on other issues, including trade and tax reform.

Less noted, senior Republican lawmakers have quietly incorporated many of the law's key protections into their own proposals, including guaranteeing coverage and providing government assistance to help consumers purchase insurance.

And although the law remains very unpopular with GOP voters, more than 20 million Americans now depend on it for health benefits, making even some of the most conservative Republicans loath to cut off coverage.

Facing the prospect that the Supreme Court this year could strip away insurance subsidies provided through the law in most states, several GOP lawmakers have proposed extending the aid, perhaps even until a new president takes office.

Great irony in Arkansas. Republicans here helped adopt Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in Arkansas and backed the blended health exchange, including new Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson. But he vows to quit it in 2017. (That's really a lie. He CAN'T quit the federal money. He'll take it, add a bunch of punitive elements for poor people  and proclaim Asacare the anti-Obamacare. A few principled Republicans will point out that the opposition was ALWAYS about spending more federal money on entitlement programs and no rebranding changes that essential — to them — flaw.)

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