Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Oh heck. Does this mean Trump's a Republican after all?
After all that nonsense abut Trump being an independent, transactional pragmatist who wants to work across the aisle because he has so much more in common with Chuck and Nancy and really "likes" them, it appears everyone just wanted the Democrats to take the heat for passing bills the wingnuts knew they needed to pass and now the Republicans are all on the same page again:
House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House have informed Senate Republican leaders that they oppose a bipartisan plan to stabilize Obamacare being written in the Senate, according to Trump administration and congressional sources, in a clear bid to boost the Senate's prospects of repealing the health law.
After Senate Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare in July, talks began on fixing the law rather than dismantling it. The dose of cold water from senior GOP officials will put pressure on Republican senators to back a last-ditch bill to gut Obamacare before a Sept. 30 deadline. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backed that approach publicly on Tuesday.
Republicans say that while the bipartisan talks between Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) initially seemed promising, many in the GOP fear providing money for Obamacare but offering little for conservatives — especially after Republican lawmakers have been throttled by President Donald Trump and the GOP base for failing to repeal the health law.
Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that the Trump administration is all-in on the latest repeal effort, flying to Washington with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to deliver a message to the Senate GOP on repeal: "This is the moment. Now is the time," according to a pool report. Ryan and Trump called them during the plane ride as well.
Yeah, thinking the Republicans want to do anything in a bipartisan manner unless it's to benefit them and only them, is foolish. If they need to Dems to get something off the table that causes them problems with the base, fine. They can blame the hippies. But there is no other reason they will work with Democrats unless Democrats are ready to completely capitulate on every point. Even then, I'm not sure they wouldn't reject it.
This is really bad, people. Call McCain's office and lie your ass off. Tell him that you have admired him all your life and his legacy will be decided by him fulfilling his reputation as a maverick who doesn't play politics and a hero who always does the right thing. Say this whether you believe it or not.
digby 9/19/2017 04:00:00 PM
The Mexico earthquake was terrifying
There are at least 44 dead, obviously there are many more. When building collapse like that ...
digby 9/19/2017 02:30:00 PM
Trump the peacenik
This is working out well:
President Donald Trump threatened Tuesday to "totally destroy" North Korea and its "Rocket Man" leader, warned the "murderous" Iranian government that it cannot endure, and declared that much of the world is "going to hell."
The rest of the world now believes that scourge of our planet is us.
In his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Trump also urged nations to band together to fight "evil" — even as he extolled the virtue of respecting national sovereignty and insisted that America isn't looking to impose its "way of life" on others.
The at-times contradictory remarks were filled with soaring rhetoric that touched on everything from "God" to "chaos," and the dark tones were reminiscent of Trump's inaugural address, in which he promised to bring an end to "American carnage." The singling out of a handful of "rogue" nations also seemed to borrow from former President George W. Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech.
"The scourge of our planet today is small regimes that violate every principle [on which] the United Nations is based," Trump said. "They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph."
I wish I understood why people persist in seeing his rhetoric as isolationist. He sounds to me like a Bond villain announcing that he seeks world domination. Of course he always issues disclaimers that he doesn't. But it's obvious that he believes the US has the right to dictate how the world works and has no respect for multilateral institutional or international law or treaties.
It's not the "madman" theory. It's the "Goldfinger theory." And that's not exactly he same thing.
He's itching for war. You can feel it.
digby 9/19/2017 12:00:00 PM
GOP and their little friends BFFs forever
Greg Sargent points out that Russia may sabotage the next election, too and asks, "What will Trump and Republicans do about it?" His piece points out that he hasn't done jack so far and there's little evidence that the Republicans in congress are taking the threat seriously either.
They don't want to do anything about it because they are laboring under the illusion that it will always help them. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. But unless it hurts them personally they are fine with it. After all, that's how they are with everything. Empathy is for losers and winning is for winners, period.
digby 9/19/2017 10:30:00 AM
The new woman in Trump's life
My Salon column today:
On Sunday night's Emmy awards show, many people were dismayed to see former Fox News chair Roger Ailes mentioned in the "In Memoriam" segment, given that he was a truly odious human being who ran a brothel that doubled as a news network for decades. His legacy is hardly confined to his reputation as a cable news pioneer and unique television talent.
I think the Emmys could have skipped the tribute, but there is no doubt that Ailes changed the face of television and was, not incidentally, one the most influential political figures of the last 50 years. We are all living in a political world at least partially created by Roger Ailes.
Dylan Matthews at Vox.com recently reported on a truly frightening study published in the American Economic Review showing that "the Fox News effect translates into a 0.46 percentage point boost to the GOP vote share in the 2000 presidential race, a 3.59-point boost in 2004, and a 6.34-point boost in 2008; the boost increases as the channel's viewership grew." The study's authors say this alone explains nearly "all the polarization in the US public's political views from 2000 to 2008." You have to assume that this effect only grew during the Obama years.
The other networks had no such effect in persuading people to vote Democratic. Indeed, during the early 2000s they moved right as well, although they didn't have much luck persuading anyone of anything. Whatever the secret sauce was in Ailes' formula, it didn't translate to any other entity. Ailes understood his audience and knew how to draw others into it.
So Fox is a hugely important feature of our political life. But it is also a hideous hellhole for women, as has been amply demonstrated by dozens of sexual harassment complaints against Ailes himself, as well as many of the network's top executives and on-air talent. On Monday, The New York Times reported that yet another woman, Scottie Nell Hughes, filed a lawsuit claiming that she was sexually assaulted by anchor Charles Payne and then blacklisted by the network after she came forward. The most shocking thing about that story is that it's not shocking. There are a few on-air female personalities who never complained but many who have, including such major stars as Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly, both of whom left the network.
None of this dissuaded one female conservative star from joining the network, however:
Ingraham obviously has no problem with men committing sexual harassment in the workplace, since her own failing website Lifezette, originally billed as the right-wing answer to Huffington Post, is reportedly yet another abusive sexist cesspool and she apparently doesn't care.
Ingraham had been courted by the Trump administration for months and has apparently finally said no. You may recall that she gave a passionate endorsement of Trump at the Republican Convention and as one of talk radio's top anti-immigration zealots, fervently supported him in the election campaign. Immediately after the election, Trump very much wanted an attractive woman in the press secretary job and had offered it to her and later to Kimberly Guilfoyle of Fox News' "The Five."
Ingraham claimed to be considering joining the administration early on, saying, "If your country calls you, if God opens that door, you have to seriously consider it. If I can really help, it is hard to say no to that. If I think I can help, which I think I could." God opened the door but she closed it: "I’m not sure if that’s the role I would pick for myself, but I have a legal background, strategic, you know, political communications planning. I’m not sure the press secretary thing is something I’m dying to do.”
It was clearly beneath someone of her stature to do such a menial task. All those previous presidential press secretaries like Bill Moyers, George Stephanopoulos, Tony Snow and Jay Carney must have felt so embarrassed at having lowered themselves to that level. But it all paid off for Ingraham. She will now have a job that's truly worthy of her talent: nightly Fox News host.
This hire puts to rest any thought that Fox was going to shift to a less ultra-conservative editorial line after Ailes' departure and the toll of all the scandals. The network has lately seemed to be in perpetual turmoil, losing both their visionary leader and their biggest star, Bill O'Reilly (due to yet another sexual harassment scandal). While it has generally maintained its lead in the ratings, it has not been as dominant as it once was. Some people thought that with the rise of Breitbart and the direct supervision of Rupert Murdoch and his sons, the organization would change gears and become more mainstream. Ingraham's hire puts that notion to rest. There are very few people in the media business as hard right as she is.
Think Progress compiled just a few of her greatest hits:
"On her radio show, Ingraham has attacked the pope for talking about climate change, railed against affirmative action, said “the Muslims” never support “the conservatives” on anti-LGBTQ issues, called Planned Parenthood a criminal organization, said many minorities voted for Obama because of his race, and suggested the U.S. should shoot undocumented immigrants who want to re-enter the country, among a litany of other hateful and fact-challenged takes."
I also recall her "comedic" riffs using the "yo quiero Taco Bell" commercial to demean child refugees at whom she railed, “Oh no, you won’t. This is our country. Our borders matter to us, our way of life and our culture matter to us, our jobs and our wages matter to us. No, you won’t.”
Laura Ingraham will now be on Fox for an hour every night, carrying on Roger Ailes' legacy, spreading all that ugly rhetoric to millions of people as the network has always done. But she'll really be speaking to one special Fox viewer, the man who records all his "programs" to watch late at night when he's alone: the president of the United States, for whom nothing is real if it isn't on TV. Laura Ingraham just became one of the most influential women in the world.
digby 9/19/2017 09:00:00 AM
Run like a business
by Tom Sullivan
A quick refresher from Wikipedia:
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.
SLAPP suits are now illegal in twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia, but there is no federal prohibition. (We'll get to that.) Several federal anti-SLAPP bills, like the latest, have never made it out of committee. Here are a few examples from Texas and more via the Ohio ACLU. Typically, the suits are brought by individuals, or by corporations against consumers.
In June, Murray Energy filed what looks for all the world like a SLAPP suit against HBO, Jon Oliver, Time Warner and the writers of Last Week Tonight for a segment satirizing the coal industry that mentioned Murray and its CEO by name. In what looks even more ironic this morning, the Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff wrote, "Parts of the complaint read like it had been written by President Donald Trump."
And here we go (Associated Press):
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Oregon parent wanted details about school employees getting paid to stay home. A retired educator sought data about student performance in Louisiana. And college journalists in Kentucky requested documents about the investigations of employees accused of sexual misconduct.
Do you insist government be run like a business? Enjoy. Then again, if you are an authoritarian, you probably do.
So far Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has not sued the Kansas City Star over its FOIA requests for emails pertaining to his participation on the president's voter fraud commission. His office simply asserts he is not bound by the new Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) because he is serving on the panel as a private citizen.
Instead, they got something else: sued by the agencies they had asked for public records.
Government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive. Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests — taxpayers, government watchdogs and journalists who must then pursue the records in court at their own expense.
The lawsuits generally ask judges to rule that the records being sought do not have to be divulged. They name the requesters as defendants but do not seek damage awards. Still, the recent trend has alarmed freedom-of-information advocates, who say it’s becoming a new way for governments to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics.
“Secretary Kobach’s personal emails concerning the Commission are therefore not subject to KORA, since he is not conducting public business on behalf of the State of Kansas while serving on the Commission,” said a spokesperson.
Max Kautsch, a Lawrence attorney who served on a state panel that helped draft the 2016 law, called the private citizen dodge, “obviously totally insane.”
And your point is?
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Undercover Blue 9/19/2017 06:00:00 AM
Monday, September 18, 2017
"We were torn apart in the Civil War - brother against brother, North against South, party against party. What changed?" Moore asked in footage provided to The Hill by a Republican monitoring the race
"Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What's going to unite us? What's going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It's going to be God."
Moore's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his language.
The judge is no stranger to controversial comments - reporters have dug up a handful of eye-popping comments from Moore's past, even as his campaign sits in strong position ahead of next week's Senate GOP primary runoff.
Last week, CNN reported that Moore implied that the 9/11 terror attacks could have been caused by a lack of religious faith.
Moore leads Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in all recent public polling of the runoff. The winner of that contest will advance to the general election and be expected to beat a Democrat to serve out the rest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions's term.
He's just standing up for our cultural heritage.
digby 9/18/2017 04:30:00 PM
The biggest hands in the whole wide world
I'm awfuly glad we don't have a warmonger in office right now. This isolationist peace president is so refreshing.
He is a four year old.
digby 9/18/2017 03:00:00 PM
Get on the phone people
We knew we weren’t completely out of the woods on TrumpCare, but we got good news on September 1, when the Senate Parliamentarian (basically the referee on Senate rules and procedure) announced that the legislative vehicle that Republicans were trying to use for TrumpCare would expire on September 30.
Nothing motivates Congress like a deadline. Senate Republicans are whipping votes and moving things around the Senate calendar to make room for one last push—a bill known as “Graham-Cassidy”—and they are as close as they’ve ever been to passing it.
Go here to get the full kit that includes what you will need to do. This is serious. Goddamit.
FYI: I agree with Indivisible's policy director, Angel Padilla, although it's all spilled milk now ...
“Early on in September, we said, ‘Look at how crazy jam-packed this month is. This is going to be a tough month for them to do anything.’ But that deal that Schumer and Pelosi cut made it a lot easier for Republicans to pursue what they really want, including this.”
They could have demanded something from the deal and at least strung out the negotiations on the debt ceiling and the disaster relief until the end of the month and it was too late for them to use reconciliation. Democrats keep having premature victory parties. Over and over and over again. They love to celebrate themselves and this is almost always what happens.
The Republicans brought back their monstrosity in the House and passed it and it had several lives already in the Senate. Why the Democrats continued to take chances with this I'll never understand.
Anyway, here we are. So lets hope this finally kills the zombie for 2017. Jesus...
By the way, if you live in a big blue state they really stick it to you. That's one of their features.
digby 9/18/2017 01:30:00 PM
The Mean Girls of DC High
I'm not going to review Hillary Clinton's book "What Happened," since there are approximately 12,576 reviews out there already, with more to come. But I do want to discuss one issue that came up in the book that has been addressed in a couple of those reviews. That would be the fact that the press regularly and tiresomely slags Clinton for her failures in the 2016 campaign but have still completely failed to acknowledge their own.
There are many aspects of this story that are unique to Clinton. As Politico's Jonathan Allen, then of Vox, wrote at the beginning of the campaign, there was an establishment media groupthink about her that was obvious, although the press itself seemed completely oblivious to it. (I wrote about this on Salon in real time as it unfolded and after the race was over. )
Allen put it bluntly:
The Clinton rules are driven by reporters’ and editors’ desire to score the ultimate prize in contemporary journalism: the scoop that brings down Hillary Clinton and her family’s political empire. At least in that way, Republicans and the media have a common interest.
Indeed they did. (As it turns out, maybe some members of the Russian government did too.) And one aspect of the coverage verged on outright corruption: the "deal" The New York Times and The Washington Post made with a Steve Bannon associate to publish excerpts of a book of lies called "Clinton Cash" that set the tone for much of the coverage to come.
The Atlantic's James Fallows addressed the press obsession with the Clinton email story in his review of "What Happened":
No sane person can believe that the consequences of last fall’s election — for foreign policy, for race relations, for the environment, for anything else you’d like to name (from either party’s perspective) — should have depended more than about 1 percent on what Hillary Clinton did with her emails. But this objectively second- or third-tier issue came across through even our best news organizations as if it were the main thing worth knowing about one of the candidates.
David Roberts at Vox took on the subject by analyzing in depth the way the media reported one particular incident in the campaign: Hillary Clinton's alleged "coal gaffe," which he described as "navigating a hall of mirrors." Her comment about putting coal miners out of business was poorly phrased, but as it was reported, it was also truncated and taken out of context. The way her response was then distorted by the GOP and the press as an illustration of Clinton's disqualifying character flaws was the real crime, Roberts writes:
Mainstream news outlets should stop treating “how it looks” as though it’s some fact in the universe that they discover. They are the arbiters; they decide how it looks. They build and reinforce narratives. They seek out confirming evidence and ignore disconfirming evidence. They amplify some voices and not others. They direct attention, which is the coin of the realm in modern politics. If they draw attention to a bullshit scandal, they are the ones ensuring that it damages the campaign. If they play along with the ludicrous notion that Clinton loves firing coal miners, they are sanctioning and disseminating misinformation. They are not doing their jobs.
Whether you are convinced by these arguments or not, it's tempting to write them all off as something that only pertains to Hillary Clinton. There is no doubt that the narratives spun around her in the campaign and for years prior were informed by systemic sexism. The press is no different from the rest of society in being unable to grapple with that reality. But in fact, this wasn't the only time this happened.
The coverage of the 2000 presidential campaign, and to a lesser extent the 2004 campaign as well, had similar characteristics. In the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, the media mercilessly abused the latter with a series of shallow character attacks that were both unfair and untruthful. Roberts' analysis of Clinton and the "coal gaffe" is exactly the same sort of prejudicial coverage the media gave Gore for his "I invented the internet" and "Love Canal" gaffes, among a dozen others.
One vivid illustration of journalists' collective disdain for Gore was reported in Time's article about an early New Hampshire debate between Gore and his Democratic primary rival, Sen. Bill Bradley:
The 300 media types watching in the press room at Dartmouth were, to use the appropriate technical term, totally grossed out. Whenever Gore came on too strong the room erupted in a collective jeer, like a gang of fifteen-year-old heathers cutting down some hapless nerd.
Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank explained why the press corps was so hostile:
Gore is sanctimonious, and that’s sort of the worst thing you can be in the eyes of the press. And he has been disliked all along, and it was because he gives a sense that he’s better than us -- he’s better than everybody, for that matter, but the sense that he’s better than us as reporters. Whereas President Bush probably is sure that he’s better than us -- he’s probably right, but he does not convey that sense. He does not seem to be dripping with contempt when he looks at us, and I think that has something to do with the coverage.
Reporter Margaret Carlson explained in her book that one of the reasons the media gave Bush such good coverage was that he served Dove bars and designer water on the press plane, while Gore only offered granola bars and sandwiches.
As far as I know, the media have still never given their coverage of that campaign a second thought. Four years later, John Kerry was mocked for ordering the wrong cheese and drinking green tea and otherwise being a snobby New Englander without the common touch of George W. Bush, originally of Kennebunkport, Maine. And then there was 2016 and "her emails."
None of this is to say that these candidates weren't flawed or bear no responsibility for the outcome. The point is that the press corps made a collective decision that they didn't "like" these people and obsessively covered them in a trivial manner, as if they were running for Prom Queen instead of President of the United States. With fake news and social media and foreign propaganda distorting our democracy the press has got to grow up and stop behaving like the mean girls of DC High.
digby 9/18/2017 12:00:00 PM
QOTD: Huckleberry Graham
John McCain has said he'll vote for the latest repeal monstrosity if his Governor is for it. Here's Lindsay Graham on Breitbart:
Number 45, Donald Trump, is on the phone. He's the Mariano Rivera of presidents. He's gonna come in and close the deal with some of these governors who are showing reluctance. To everybody out there, from Arizona, this is the last best chance you will have to take the power away from Washington and put it in Arizona.
I don't know if he was reassuring his bestie John McCain or what but somehow I doubt that kissing Trump's ass will get the job done.
Whatever he's trying to do, that quote is enough to make me lose my breakfast.
digby 9/18/2017 10:30:00 AM
Trump's lawyers,every single one of them, are weirdos:
Mr. Trump’s legal team has been a caldron of rivalry and intrigue since the beginning. His first private lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, grew alienated from the White House in part over friction with Mr. Kushner. The lawyer was unhappy that Mr. Kushner was talking with his father-in-law about the investigation without involving the legal team.
At one point, the private lawyers explored whether Mr. Kushner should resign because he was involved in the investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported. People close to the situation confirmed that talking points were drawn up to explain such a resignation, although it was not clear how directly the issue was raised with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Kasowitz was eventually pushed to the side, and Mr. Trump elevated John Dowd, a Washington lawyer with extensive experience in high-profile political cases, to take the lead as his personal lawyer. At the same time, Mr. Trump decided he needed someone inside the White House to manage the official response since Mr. McGahn, whose professional experience is mostly in election law, already handles a vast array of issues from executive orders to judicial appointments.
Mr. McGahn’s first choices turned down the job, in part out of concern that Mr. Trump would not follow legal advice. Eventually, Mr. Dowd introduced Mr. Trump to Mr. Cobb, another veteran Washington lawyer known for his high energy and expansive, curly mustache, and he was tapped as special counsel to the president, much to Mr. McGahn’s chagrin.
Tension between the two comes as life in the White House is shadowed by the investigation. Not only do Mr. Trump, Mr. Kushner and Mr. McGahn all have lawyers, but so do other senior officials. The uncertainty has grown to the point that White House officials privately express fear that colleagues may be wearing a wire to surreptitiously record conversations for Mr. Mueller.
Admirers said Mr. Cobb has developed a rapport with the president and does not report to Mr. McGahn, who they believe feels insecure about his place in Mr. Trump’s orbit. Mr. McGahn’s supporters argue that Mr. Cobb is wildly over-optimistic to think he can steer the investigation away from the president, given that Mr. Mueller has now hired 17 prosecutors.
The suspicion within the legal team seemed evident in the lunch conversation Mr. Cobb had last week with Mr. Dowd at BLT Steak, not far from the White House and a few doors down from The Times’s office. Mr. Cobb could be heard describing varying views of how to respond to Mr. Mueller’s requests for documents.
“The White House counsel’s office is being very conservative with this stuff,” Mr. Cobb told Mr. Dowd. “Our view is we’re not hiding anything.” Referring to Mr. McGahn, he added, “He’s got a couple documents locked in a safe.”
Mr. Cobb expressed concern about another White House lawyer he did not name. “I’ve got some reservations about one of them,” Mr. Cobb said. “I think he’s like a McGahn spy.”
While Mr. Cobb advocated turning over documents to Mr. Mueller, he seemed sensitive to the argument that they should not necessarily be provided to congressional committees investigating the Russia matter. “If we give it to Mueller, there is no reason for it to ever get to the Hill,” he said.
Mr. Cobb also discussed the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting — and the White House’s response to it — saying that “there was no perception that there was an exchange.”
You can't make this stuff up.
digby 9/18/2017 09:00:00 AM
Right now, there is a hideous genocide unfolding in Myanmar, carried out, incredibly, by a Buddhist government. But that is not what this post is about. This post is about how genocides like Myanmar's begins, and it happens with events like this.
Jack Phillips bakes beautiful cakes, and it is not a stretch to call him an artist. Five years ago, in a decision that has led to a Supreme Court showdown, he refused to use his skills to make a wedding cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage, saying it would violate his Christian faith and hijack his right to express himself.
Unbelievable. The highest court in the land is wasting its valuable time listening to a bigoted cake-maker. Meanwhile, our cities burn with inequality and a man who may have colluded with a foreign government is the president of the United States.
But that's hardly the worst of it.
Simply by agreeing the hear this case, the Supreme Court is openly signaling its interest in taking America back to segregated lunch counters, separate drinking fountains. Because what other reason besides revisiting how to legalize discrimination is there for hearing this ridiculous case?
Even worse, even though he didn't get far in the lower courts, he may win. My guess is he will. And if he does, regardless of how eloquent Ginsburg's and Sotomayor's opinions are (and I know they will be searing), we'll see the same stunt pulled off by newly-empowered White Supremacists against inter-racial couples, against Jewish/Christian couples, against couples with Arabic-sounding names, and so on.
For shame.This is how genocides start, with something both obscenely preposterous and dangerous.
tristero 9/18/2017 07:30:00 AM
You should do what they say
by Tom Sullivan
Photo by cacophonyx via Flickr / Creative Commons.
Senate Democrats yesterday began issuing the call for supporters to take to the phones once again to stop the Republicans' last-gasp attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare with underfunded block grants. (The GOP loves them some block grants.)
The Hill reports:
The measure, put forward by Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), aims to give more power to states by converting ObamaCare funding for subsidies — which help people afford healthcare coverage and pay for Medicaid expansion — into a block grant to states.
Don't discount the possibility that they might, writes Hullabaloo alum David Atkins:
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has withheld full-throttled support by telling Cassidy and Graham find the necessary 51 votes on their own, Cassidy says leadership is asking the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to prioritize its analysis of the measure in an effort to get it to the floor.
September 30th is the deadline for any bill to be considered under reconciliation, which allows Republicans to pass budget-related legislation with only 50 votes. So action would need to come quickly, perhaps even before a full scoring by the CBO. Of course, the less the public knows about the legislation and the less actual analysis of its effects, the better for Republicans.
Good advice. Just because they've failed so far doesn't mean under the right circumstances they might not get lucky. "The Affordable Care Act isn’t truly safe until the clock strikes midnight on October 1st," Atkins writes. Even a stopped clock, you know?
... Most analysts think the bill will die because Republicans are tired of working on healthcare and have too many other priorities to tackle in the waning days of September. But that’s precisely when the calendar becomes most dangerous.
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Undercover Blue 9/18/2017 06:00:00 AM