Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, July 20, 2017

"The collapse of the GOP effort to repeal the ACA..."

(Light posting the rest of the week because our family is dealing with the imminent passing of a very close family friend.)

E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes—

Why Obamacare won and Trump lost: 

 The collapse of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a monumental political defeat wrought by a party and a president that never took health-care policy or the need to bring coverage to millions of Americans seriously. But their bungling also demonstrates that the intense attention to Obamacare over the past six months has fundamentally altered our nation’s health-care debate. Supporters of the 2010 law cannot rest easy as long as the current Congress remains in office and as long as Donald Trump occupies the White House. 

On Wednesday, the president demanded that the Senate keep at the work of repeal, and, in any event, Congress could undermine the act through sharp Medicaid cuts in the budget process and other measures. And Trump, placing his own self-esteem and political standing over the health and security of millions of Americans, has threatened to wreck the system. [...] 

 As long as “repeal Obamacare” was simply a slogan, what the law actually did was largely obscured behind attitudes toward the former president. But the Affordable Care Act’s core provisions were always broadly popular, particularly its protections for Americans with preexisting conditions and the big increase in the number of insured it achieved. The prospect of losing these benefits moved many of the previously indifferent to resist its repeal. And the name doesn’t matter so much with Obama out of office.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Rest In Peace, Jersey McJones

One of our blogging buddies, Jersey McJones, who commented here, has passed away.

I'm posting this poem by Dylan Thomas in memory of Jersey:


And death shall have no dominion. 
Dead man naked they shall be one 
With the man in the wind and the west moon; 
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone, 
They shall have stars at elbow and foot; 
Though they go mad they shall be sane, 
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; 
Though lovers be lost love shall not; 
And death shall have no dominion. 

And death shall have no dominion. 
Under the windings of the sea 
They lying long shall not die windily; 
Twisting on racks when sinews give way, 
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break; 
Faith in their hands shall snap in two, 
And the unicorn evils run them through; 
Split all ends up they shan't crack; 
And death shall have no dominion. 

And death shall have no dominion. 
No more may gulls cry at their ears 
Or waves break loud on the seashores; 
Where blew a flower may a flower no more 
Lift its head to the blows of the rain; 
Though they be mad and dead as nails, 
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies; 
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down, 
And death shall have no dominion.

-- Dylan Thomas

The Trump administration: "...the moral bankruptcy and gross incompetence..."

Eugene Robinson of the WaPo:

It’s exhausting, I know, but don’t let outrage fatigue numb you to the moral bankruptcy and gross incompetence of the Trump administration. This ugly departure from American norms and values must be opposed with sustained passion — and with the knowledge that things will probably get worse before they get better. [...] 
As long as there are pro-Trump majorities in the House and Senate, there will be no real congressional oversight and no brake on an out-of-control president’s excesses. Incumbency and gerrymandered districts mean that winning anti-Trump majorities in 2018 will be difficult. But not impossible.
The Democratic Party needs a plan, a message and a sense of urgency. Trump hopes to bully critics into submission, but the country is bigger than this one president. And much better.


Here's the moral bankruptcy of the Trump administration:

ComradeTrump's goal is to allow the ACA "to collapse" and his pledge is to "not own it."  

That statement would leave millions and millions and millions of Americans without insurance: Infants, toddlers, children, the elderly, men, women of all ages. No health insurance.

That is morally reprehensible and inhumane, an outrage to Americans by an incompetent and buffoonish president. His children and grandchildren will not be hurt -- billionnaires won't suffer. But the rest of us who are not billionnaires will.

That's not leadership; that's "I don't giveaship!" 

But not all GOPers are on board with that kind of nihilism and irresponsible "I don't giveaship!"

This GOPer along with two other legislators are not going to support the catastrophic Trump solution to health care reform:

West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

GOP women shut down repeal-only scheme: “I did not come to Washington to hurt people”

Brava! to her and every legislator who puts country above party.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

WSJ to Trumps: Don't you get it guys?

From GOP friendly Wall Street Journal:

Even Donald Trump might agree that a major reason he won the 2016 election is because voters couldn’t abide Hillary Clinton’s legacy of scandal, deception and stonewalling. Yet on the story of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, Mr. Trump and his family are repeating the mistakes that doomed Mrs. Clinton.
That’s the lesson the Trumps should draw from the fiasco over Don Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with Russians peddling dirt on Mrs. Clinton. First Don Jr. let news of the meeting leak without getting ahead of it. Then the White House tried to explain it away as a “nothingburger” that focused on adoptions from Russia.
When that was exposed as incomplete, Don Jr. released his emails that showed the Russian lure about Mrs. Clinton and Don Jr. all excited—“I love it.” Oh, and son-in-law Jared Kushner and Beltway bagman Paul Manafort were also at the meeting. Don Jr. told Sean Hannity this was the full story. But then news leaked that a Russian-American lobbyist was also at the meeting.
Even if the ultimate truth of this tale is merely that Don Jr. is a political dunce who took a meeting that went nowhere—the best case—the Trumps made it appear as if they have something to hide. They have created the appearance of a conspiracy that on the evidence Don Jr. lacks the wit to concoct. And they handed their opponents another of the swords that by now could arm a Roman legion.


Don’t you get it, guys? Special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate intelligence committees are investigating the Russia story. Everything that is potentially damaging to the Trumps will come out, one way or another. Everything. Denouncing leaks as “fake news” won’t wash as a counter-strategy beyond the President’s base, as Mr. Trump’s latest 36% approval rating shows.
Mr. Trump seems to realize he has a problem because the White House has announced the hiring of white-collar Washington lawyer Ty Cobb to manage its Russia defense. He’ll presumably supersede the White House counsel, whom Mr. Trump ignores, and New York outside counsel Marc Kasowitz, who is out of his political depth.
Mr. Cobb has an opening to change the Trump strategy to one with the best chance of saving his Presidency: radical transparency. Release everything to the public ahead of the inevitable leaks. Mr. Cobb and his team should tell every Trump family member, campaign operative and White House aide to disclose every detail that might be relevant to the Russian investigations.
That means every meeting with any Russian or any American with Russian business ties. Every phone call or email. And every Trump business relationship with Russians going back years. This should include every relevant part of Mr. Trump’s tax returns, which the President will resist but Mr. Mueller is sure to seek anyway.
Then release it all to the public. Whatever short-term political damage this might cause couldn’t be worse than the death by a thousand cuts of selective leaks, often out of context, from political opponents in Congress or the special counsel’s office. If there really is nothing to the Russia collusion allegations, transparency will prove it. Americans will give Mr. Trump credit for trusting their ability to make a fair judgment. Pre-emptive disclosure is the only chance to contain the political harm from future revelations.
This is the opposite of the Clinton stonewall strategy, which should be instructive. That strategy saved Bill Clinton’s Presidency in the 1990s at a fearsome price and only because the media and Democrats in Congress rallied behind him. Mr. Trump can’t count on the same from Republicans and most of the media want him run out of office.
If Mr. Trump’s approval rating stays under 40% into next year, Republicans will begin to separate themselves from an unpopular President in a (probably forlorn) attempt to save their majorities in Congress. If Democrats win the House, the investigations into every aspect of the Trump business empire, the 2016 campaign and the Administration will multiply. Impeachment will be a constant undercurrent if not an active threat. His supporters will become demoralized.


Mr. Trump will probably ignore this advice, as he has most of what these columns have suggested. Had he replaced James Comey at the FBI shortly after taking office in January, for example, he might not now have a special counsel threatening him and his family.
Mr. Trump somehow seems to believe that his outsize personality and social-media following make him larger than the Presidency. He’s wrong. He and his family seem oblivious to the brutal realities of Washington politics. Those realities will destroy Mr. Trump, his family and their business reputation unless they change their strategy toward the Russia probe. They don’t have much more time to do it.

Senate Republicans Just Killed Their Health Care Bill Again

Mitch McConnell Says Senate Will Vote To Repeal Obamacare And Replace It Later

This may be in jeopardy as was the bill that collapsed yesterday since many Republicans are nervous about hanging on to their seats in the 2018 elections.

Let that sink in: The GOPers are not worried about leaving millions of Americans without health care coverage, they're worried about losing an election.

That neatly and concisely tells us all what the current Republican Party is about: 

It's not about governing; it's about holding onto power, no matter what damage they do to Americans -- especially their own constituents.


In other news: 

Trump administration recertified the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Remember the deal that Lord Dampnut said was the worst deal ever made in the entire history of the United States? That worst deal ever -- the one that Donald J. Trump, POTUS, would rip up the first day in office?

That's the deal that Trump just recertified. 

But his core supporters, the Thirty-Six Percenters, still cling to him like lint on a wet wool suit.

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