Wednesday Open Thread | Where We Are Now On Trumpcare

I know today is a rotten day. I know that you are probably sad, disheartened, pissed off, and just absolutely disgusted.

Disgusted that those SOB’s voted to take away healthcare from at least 23 million people…so that the Koch Brothers and the Mercers can get a tax cut.

Because, that’s what this about.

And, watching the spectacle of them cheering that lowdown muthaphucka, who had the nerve, while sick, to come and vote to take away someone else’s healthcare.

MILLION someone else’s…

Enough to make you shake with complete and utter rage.


But, we have work to do. We have a fight to continue.

From Senator Murphy:

Chris Murphy‏Verified account @ChrisMurphyCT

1/ A “scaled back” repeal bill, just so Senate GOP can get to conference, equals unconditional surrender of Senate GOP to the House bill.
2/ Since Senate would go to conference without a bill (effectively), House bill would act as a default for any negotiations.
3/ And negotiations would be minimal, bc Senate GOP would have lost all bargaining power by their inability to produce a bill.
4/ House bill, with minor changes, would emerge from conference. 23 million losing care, end of Medicaid as we know it, etc etc.
5/ Bottom line, any Republican voting for a “stripped down bill” is voting to fast track the House repeal bill into law. Make them own this.


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95 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Where We Are Now On Trumpcare

  1. Liza says:

  2. rikyrah says:

    From Very Smart Brothas:

    Donald Trump Is Just A White Man Allowed And Encouraged To Be As White As He Wants To Be
    By Damon Young

    ..this is capital letter WHITENESS at its whitest. It’s Whiteness with unfettered access to unforeseen Whiteness rooms and hidden Whiteness portals. It’s Whiteness completely unencumbered with constraint; Whiteness encouraged to seek and find an even whiter White. Donald Trump exists as a concretized distillation of all the things the creation of Whiteness was meant to be. He’s a messy agglomeration of a thousand million trillion American Dreams; curated and congealed into a singular and sentient and terrifying reverie.

    He’s the Whiteness we’ve known since there was Whiteness to be known. Which is why, for those schooled in detecting pervasive Whiteness, nothing he’s done or will do is a surprise. Still, seeing this destructive Whiteness unleashed is jarring; even for true believers, the violence of its language and the bruteness of its actions is unbelievable. The calamity it causes is unfathomable; its predilection for self-sabotage and self-destruction preposterous; its intentional obliviousness singular and total. And if we do not stop it, if we can’t at least find a way to stem its damage and cauterize the wounds it inflicts, it will kill us all.

  3. Liza says:

    A vote for ‘skinny repeal’ is a vote to take health insurance from 16 million and drastically increase premiums for everyone else.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 26, 2017


  4. Liza says:

    Dems get CBO scores on what they think skinny bill will look like
    BY NATHANIEL WEIXEL – 07/26/17 08:22 PM EDT

    Repealing ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates would result in 16 million additional people without insurance by 2021, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates released by Senate Democrats.

    Senate Republicans are running out of options to use for ObamaCare repeal, and momentum for a bare-bones ObamaCare repeal plan is growing. But senators don’t know for sure what the final bill will look like.

    It’s widely believed the skinny bill would repeal ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates, as well as a tax on medical devices, but the final version won’t be released until the end of a marathon voting session expected to begin tomorrow.

    As a way to draw attention to that lack of transparency, Senate Democrats asked the Congressional Budget Office to score the impact of repealing those policies.

    It’s not clear if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has the votes yet to pass a skinny repeal bill, and Democrats are hoping the CBO score might convince more Republicans to kill it.

    Democrats also asked CBO to score the impact of defunding Planned Parenthood, the repeal of ObamaCare’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, and the repeal of the Community Health Center Fund.

    Most of those provisions were included in the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill that passed Congress.

    According to a senior Democratic aide, the CBO told Senate Democrats that if all those policies were in a “skinny” repeal bill, premiums would be about 20 percent higher each year than under current law.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Up next: Many more amendments. And a likely vote on GOP “skinny repeal” — with big consequences — is still looming.
    — Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) July 26, 2017

    BREAKING: Insurers say “skinny” repeal will destabilize markets and lead to “steep premium increases and diminished choices”
    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 26, 2017

    NEW: Premium rate shock by state under “skinny” repeal.
    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 26, 2017

    The latest: @SenDeanHeller rejects ACA repeal, says he will vote for “skinny repeal” if Medicaid is left intact.
    — Megan Messerly (@meganmesserly) July 26, 2017

  6. rikyrah says:

    WaPo: The head of the State Department’s diplomatic security bureau has resigned.
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 26, 2017

  7. rikyrah says:

    The wall — it always comes back to the wall. This story is astounding:
    — Megan Cassella (@mmcassella) July 26, 2017

  8. rikyrah says:

    “Skinny repeal” should be called “gut it and run.” Voting to destroy insurance markets and kick millions off health care remains immoral.
    — Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 26, 2017

  9. Liza says:

    EJI’s Lynching Work on Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum
    July 26, 2017

    The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America opened yesterday at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, and will run through September 3. Coordinated in collaboration with EJI and Google, the exhibition presents EJI’s groundbreaking research into the history of racial terror lynchings and connects it to artworks and archival material from the Brooklyn Museum’s collections.

    EJI’s multi-year investigation into lynching in 12 Southern states during the period between Reconstruction and World War II documented more than 4000 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia between 1877 and 1950 – at least 800 more lynchings of black people in these states than previously reported in the most comprehensive work done on lynching to date.

    In 2017, EJI supplemented this research by documenting racial terror lynchings outside the South, and found these acts of violence were most common in eight states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Thanks for posting about this very important exhibit, Liza. People need to confront the past. The White community needs to acknowledge these heinous, violent acts of cruel prejudice and hateful racism. (And, take responsibility for doing as much as possible to repair the damage from the past and offer reparations.)

      I was shaken by the exhibit section on lynching at the National African American Museum of History and Culture last week. Below the exhibit window, on plaque after plaque were the names of victims.

      The EJI created a memorial “Community Remembrance Project” in Montgomery, Alabama to the victims of lynching:
      ” Published on Jul 5, 2016
      As part of EJI’s campaign to recognize victims of lynching, we will be collecting soil from lynching sites and creating a memorial that acknowledges the horrors of racial injustice.

      Between the Civil War and World War II, thousands of African Americans were lynched in the United States. Lynchings were violent and public acts of torture that traumatized black people throughout the country and were largely tolerated by state and federal officials. EJI has documented more than 4000 racial terror lynchings in 12 Southern states between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and 1950 — several hundred of these victims were lynched in Alabama.

      Lynching profoundly impacted race relations in this country and shaped the geographic, political, social, and economic conditions of African Americans in ways that are still evident today. Terror lynchings fueled the mass migration of millions of black people from the South into urban ghettos in the North and West in the first half of the 20th century. Lynching created a fearful environment in which racial subordination and segregation were maintained with limited resistance for decades. Most critically, lynching reinforced a legacy of racial inequality that has never been adequately addressed in America.

      Public acknowledgment of mass violence is essential not only for victims and survivors, but also for perpetrators and bystanders who suffer from trauma and damage related to their participation in systematic violence and dehumanization. Yet most lynchings, and their victims, have never been publicly recognized.

      To create greater awareness and understanding about racial terror lynchings, and to begin a necessary conversation that advances truth and reconciliation, EJI is working with communities to commemorate and recognize the traumatic era of lynching by collecting soil from lynching sites across Alabama.

      The Community Remembrance Project is intended to bring community members closer to the legacy of lynching and to contribute to the effort to build a lasting and more visible memory of our history of racial injustice. Jars of collected soil will be part of an exhibit that will reflect the history of lynching and express our generation’s resolve to confront the continuing challenges that racial inequality creates.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    I’m sick of these stories. She’s a two-bit phony just her grifting Daddy.

    Ivanka opposed Trump’s trans ban — but decided to spend her ‘political capital’ elsewhere: report
    Brad Reed BRAD REED
    26 JUL 2017 AT 13:25 ET

    First Daughter Ivanka Trump — who has in the past positioned herself publicly as a champion of LGBT rights in the Trump White House — was reportedly opposed to President Donald Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

    However, the Daily Beast reports that Ivanka decided not to raise too much of a stink about her father’s decision because she had more pressing issues to work on.

    “The more socially liberal factions of Trump’s inner circle — including his family members and staffers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner — have been opposed to all the anti-LGBT initiatives of this administration,” the Daily Beast reports. “However, they quickly determined that their ‘political capital be spent elsewhere,’ as one senior White House official characterized it, given that their advice on LGBT issues has been routinely overruled, if not overlooked, by this administration and President Trump.”

  11. Liza says:

    In a nutshell…

    Republicans’ health care plans:1-Take health insurance from 32 million.2-Take insurance from 22 million.3-Take insurance from 15 million.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 26, 2017


  12. rikyrah says:

    The alt right thinks they’re the new punk rock but they’re actually just this shitty, racist accountant from North Dakota.
    — Joe Berkowitz (@JoeBerkowitz) July 26, 2017

  13. rikyrah says:

    Anthem’s CEO says will withdraw from more marketplaces in 2018 if can’t get “certainty” on issues, particularly future of CSRs.
    — Maureen Groppe (@mgroppe) July 26, 2017
    Important. Recall that Blue Cross Blue Shield explicitly blamed Trump and Rs for high premiums:
    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 26, 2017

  14. rikyrah says:

    For your planning: Senate just bumped previously scheduled 11:30 a.m. vote on Obamacare “straight repeal” to 3:30 p.m. today.
    — Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) July 26, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    From MaddowBlog:

    * In keeping with a recent string of state legislative special-election wins, Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh won a state Senate seat in New Hampshire yesterday, flipping a district that had been held by a Republican. This is, I believe, the fifth time this year a Dem has flipped a “red” seat in a state legislative special election.

    • majiir says:

      Hensley is claiming the women made a derogatory comment about Jesus. I’m not buying it. Hensley most likely said something derogatory about them and they responded. Their response is what sent her on a verbal tirade against them and made her threaten their lives. Muslims don’t disrespect Jesus. They view him as an important prophet, and he’s mentioned in the Quran. I interact with quite a few Muslims who immigrated to the U.S. from other nations, and they seem to know more about Jesus than most Christians.

      • Amber Hensley is lying now that she has gotten caught threatening to kill people and then fired. She need to be arrested for making a terrorist threat.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Atul Gawande‏ Verified account @Atul_Gawande

    “Skinny repeal” is a known disaster.
    1995: WA state repealed mandate; kept guaranteed issue
    1999: no insurers left

    6:15 AM – 26 Jul 2017

  17. rikyrah says:

    So wait, right now Tillerson is taking time off, Mattis is on vacation, & McMaster isn’t chairing NSC mtg? Who’s in charge, Cohen-Watnick?
    — Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) July 26, 2017
    It is very curious to me that Tillerson, Mattis and McMaster have all disappeared from view. Anybody remember “Seven Days In May?”
    — Greg Pinelo (@gregpinelo) July 26, 2017

  18. rikyrah says:

    Corker says “content” of skinny bill not the point, rather it is “forcing mechanism” for conference with House— Peter Sullivan (@PeterSullivan4) July 26, 2017

  19. Muslims need to remember they have a right to defend themselves like everyone else. Stay vigilant. Keep your eyes peeled.

  20. rikyrah says:

    🚨 It was never “skinny” repeal. THEY’RE OPENLY ADMITTING IT’S A TROJAN HORSE.
    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 26, 2017

    Cornyn says House bill could be “template” in conference, plus Cruz and Portman amendments
    — Peter Sullivan (@PeterSullivan4) July 26, 2017

  21. rikyrah says:

    Thread. Don’t be fooled – “skinny repeal” is a trojan horse for conference committee to bring back Medicaid cuts. #ProtectOurCare #VoteNo
    — CAP Health (@CAP_Health) July 26, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    So reporters should stop calling it “skinny” repeal. It’s really AHCA/BCRA, a.k.a. full Trumpcare.
    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 26, 2017

  23. rikyrah says:

    Totally Random OT:

    But, since I’ve been listening to James Bond themes this morning..

    if they did a biography of Shirley Bassey, if she can get the accent, I think Maya Rudolph could do a good job. She resembles Bassey.

  24. Ametia says:



  25. rikyrah says:

    Cantor comes clean, admits he didn’t believe his own ACA rhetoric
    07/26/17 11:26 AM—UPDATED 07/26/17 11:37 AM
    By Steve Benen

    For several years, in his capacity as House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor helped lead the charge on repealing “Obamacare.” Put Republicans in charge, the Virginian told voters, and they’d dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

    It was Cantor who helped bring ACA repeal bills to the House floor dozens of times. It was Cantor who helped spearhead “defund Obamacare” campaigns. And it was Cantor, we now know, who didn’t genuinely believe his own nonsense.

    The former GOP leader in the House talked to the Washingtonian’s Elaina Plott and conceded that his Republican Party is in a tough spot – parts of the conservative base expect the party to repeal the ACA, because that’s what they were promised – in part because of promises he and his colleagues made that they never intended to keep.

    Asked if he feels partly responsible for their current predicament, Cantor is unequivocal. “Oh,” he says, “100 percent.”

    He goes further: “To give the impression that if Republicans were in control of the House and Senate, that we could do that when Obama was still in office….” His voice trails off and he shakes his head. “I never believed it.”

    He says he wasn’t the only one aware of the charade: “We sort of all got what was going on, that there was this disconnect in terms of communication, because no one wanted to take the time out in the general public to even think about ‘Wait a minute – that can’t happen.’ ” But, he adds, “if you’ve got that anger working for you, you’re gonna let it be.”

  26. rikyrah says:

    There are some 11,000 transgender soldiers serving in America. There are zero Trumps. Resistance is patriotism. #LetsDoSomething— Brian Santa Maria (@briansantamaria) July 26, 2017

  27. rikyrah says:

    .@POTUS anti-trans pronouncement is ugly and wrong. Discrimination isn’t patriotic — allowing all who love this country to serve, is.
    — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 26, 2017

    Every patriotic American who is qualified to serve in our military should be able to serve. Full stop.
    — Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 26, 2017

    .@POTUS has shown his conduct is driven not by honor, decency, or national security, but by prejudice.
    — Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) July 26, 2017

    JUST IN: Statement from former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter regarding transgender military service
    — NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) July 26, 2017

  28. rikyrah says:

    HERE is WHY Trump is tweeting about transgender troops. Debate is threatening to tank a House bill
    — Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) July 26, 2017

  29. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama Addresses Racist Attacks She Endured As First Lady @LiberalPhenom
    — debdlund (@DebdLun) July 26, 2017

  30. rikyrah says:

    George Takei did not mince words over Trump’s ban on transgender military members.
    — HuffPost (@HuffPost) July 26, 2017

  31. Liza says:

    Well, y’all. McCain (actually his aides) must be getting an earful from constituents.

    I called a little while ago to express my horror that he voted to deprive millions of healthcare while receiving the best healthcare money can buy at the expense of the taxpayers.

    Normally, they just say, “Thank you, we will let the Senator know”. Well, today the aide kept interrupting me to suggest that I didn’t actually know what the vote was about. “Do you even know what they voted for”? So, I talk over her but she manages to get in that “the Senator won’t vote for the bill in its present form and he is working with Governor Ducey”.

    Well, someone should tell McCain he can’t have it both ways. GOP party loyalty and folk hero are mutually exclusive. I truly believe he thought he could get away with this. No one would notice.

    I hope all those folks out there who thought he would do the right thing as kind of a last act of kindness and compassion given his situation have learned that a terminal diagnosis does not necessarily change a person for the better.

    Hell, I’ve never liked McCain.

    • Liza says:

      When I called Flake the Fake and said I was horrified by his votes to repeal the ACA and he should be voted out of office they just said, “Thank you”. Code for “Go f*** yourself”.

  32. rikyrah says:

    So… he’s banning an entire class of people from military service as a pure campaign maneuver? That’s not how commander in chiefing works.
    — Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 26, 2017

  33. rikyrah says:

    From Kay at Balloon Juice:

    Kay says:
    July 26, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Boy, what an asshole Capito is. Portman voted yes too but everyone knew he would. That whole song and dance she did was intended to deceive her constituents.

    I don’t care what happens to them when they lose their healthcare, just like I don’t care what happens to people in this county, which went 70% for Trump.

    They HAD health care and they managed to LOSE IT because they are poor judges of character. They’re bad at voting. If they hadn’t have lost it this cycle they would have lost it next. It was just a matter of time.

    Obama got ZERO political gain from extending health care to poor white people them and they were too blind and racist to keep it. If someone wants me to advocate for health care in an AA or Latino majority county I will be happy to canvass but I’m done with poor white people. They’ll die young of treatable disease. Their kids won’t get treatment. Their elderly and infirm won’t get nursing home care. Their paychecks will be garnished. They’ll overdose in the convenience store rest room and no one will be there to revive them. They lined up to do this to themselves.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Trump bans transgender Americans from military service
    07/26/17 10:14 AM—UPDATED 07/26/17 10:34 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The Obama era was a period of great social progress in the United States military. The Democratic administration ended the ban on gay and lesbian soldiers serving openly; the Pentagon made women eligible for combat roles; the Secretary of the Army was an openly gay man; and the administration ended the ban on transgender Americans serving in uniform.

    On that last point, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in June 2016 that transgender service members are “talented and trained Americans who are serving their country with honor and distinction.”

    Donald Trump apparently doesn’t care.

    President Donald Trump announced a ban on transgender military service in a series of tweets Wednesday morning.

    “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…… Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming….. victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,” Trump wrote in a trio of tweets Wednesday morning.


    That was before Trump decided to undermine the rights to transgender kids in public schools, which came before Trump decided to ban transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. military.

    What’s not at all clear is what Trump and his Republican administration intend to do with the transgender Americans who are already serving in uniform. Remember, Barack Obama’s policy didn’t open the door to transgender troops; transgender troops were already there. Obama simply allowed these soldiers to come out and share their gender identity with their colleagues and commanding officers.

    Trump, however, says he will not “accept or allow” transgender Americans “to serve in any capacity.” While we wait for further guidance from the military, it would appear this means a whole lot of dishonorable discharges are on the way, because our confused amateur president says so.

    After Trump’s announcement, a Trump administration official told an Axios reporter, “This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to take complete ownership of this issue.”

    It’s almost as if the White House is unconcerned with civil rights or military recommendations, and is solely interested in partisan political considerations.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Explainer for the circus today.

    This revised iteration of BCRA — which included an amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to allow non-Obamacare plans back on the market paired with $100 billion in funding to partially offset the Medicaid cuts — was subject, because of the Senate budget rules, to a 60-vote threshold for a procedural vote. It failed handily, 43 to 57, with nine Republicans and all of the Democrats opposing it.

    Next up: a vote on clean repeal of Obamacare’s spending and health insurance coverage expansion with no replacement, which is scheduled for midday Wednesday. That bill is also expected to fail.

    Neither result would be a surprise. Health care lobbyists and Senate aides believe the most likely destination is a skinny Obamacare repeal bill that undoes the individual mandate, the employer mandate and a few of the law’s taxes.

    Vote-a-rama is a series of amendments that have to be germane to the bill. There will be 2 minutes of debate and roughly 10 minutes of voting on each amendment. Those can go on for a long time. Some Democratic Senators have already indicated that they have 100 or more amendments ready to file. Very few, if any, of these amendments are expected to pass but they are designed to highlight the differences between the parties and put Republicans in awkward positions.

    And then after that, the Senate votes. Assuming there are 50 plus the Vice President, either the House accepts the Senate bill as is or they go to conference. And at that point, health policy wonks will figure out exactly what just passed as the Senate won’t know what they did.

  36. rikyrah says:

    At least 45,000 people were dying each year from a lack of insurance before ACA. This isn’t hard info to find.
    — Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) July 25, 2017

  37. rikyrah says:

    John McCain raced to DC to vote to destroy 32 MILLION LIVES.
    What a shameless pathetic disgusting legacy.
    — Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) July 25, 2017

    John McCain is a COWARD and that is his legacy. Anything he says from now on is pure trash.
    — Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) July 25, 2017

  38. rikyrah says:

    The Girl Scouts announced it is adding 23 new badges related to science, tech, engineering, math and the outdoors
    — CNN (@CNN) July 25, 2017

  39. rikyrah says:

    When our people are sick and tired and terrified. When they’ve given everything they’ve got. We don’t abandon them. We pull them up.
    — Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) July 25, 2017

  40. rikyrah says:

    The Skinny Repeal does more than repeal the IndvMandate. It also repeals the Employer Mandate & many taxes. Those 3 = industry collapse. 1/
    — bardgal (@bardgal) July 26, 2017

    -raises. Trump & GOP PROMISED BETTER than the ACA. So far there’s NOTHING BETTER. Only WORSE & more EXPENSIVE, along with everything we- 3/
    — bardgal (@bardgal) July 26, 2017

    willing to kill people just to destroy Obama’s legacy & give a tax cut to people who don’t need one. They’re not serious on HEALTH. 5/
    — bardgal (@bardgal) July 26, 2017

    Junk policies legal again. Kicked off your plan for being sick, legal again. Pre-existing conditions back. Coverage denied. 7/
    — bardgal (@bardgal) July 26, 2017

    The ACA is still FAR BETTER than any GOP bill. Hold them to their promise: Better insurance for LESS money. For EVERYONE.#NoRepeal 8/8
    — bardgal (@bardgal) July 26, 2017

  41. rikyrah says:

    Book of Michelle Obama White House photographs set to hit stands in October
    — Blavity (@Blavity) July 17, 2017

  42. rikyrah says:

    John McCain mustering the strength to cross the country & strip health care from millions is like some kind of fucked up reverse Make-a-Wish
    — Erin 🎶Gloria🎶 Ryan (@morninggloria) July 25, 2017

  43. rikyrah says:

    Trump: no transgender people will serve in U.S. military – Twitter
    — Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 26, 2017

    • rikyrah says:

      Guy who skipped the draft because he’s heel ached doesn’t think trans people deserve the right to serve.
      — LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) July 26, 2017

  44. rikyrah says:

    And allow me to agree with @BernieSanders, who just told @mitchellreports if Republicans pull this off, Medicare & Social Security are next.
    — Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 25, 2017

  45. rikyrah says:

    From Mayhew over at Balloon Juice:

    Today in the peanut gallery

    by David Anderson
    at 9:31 am on July 26, 2017.

    The Senate is going through the mandated 20 hours of debate and vote-a-rama. What should we expect?

    Vox has the explainer:

    This revised iteration of BCRA — which included an amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to allow non-Obamacare plans back on the market paired with $100 billion in funding to partially offset the Medicaid cuts — was subject, because of the Senate budget rules, to a 60-vote threshold for a procedural vote. It failed handily, 43 to 57, with nine Republicans and all of the Democrats opposing it.

    Next up: a vote on clean repeal of Obamacare’s spending and health insurance coverage expansion with no replacement, which is scheduled for midday Wednesday. That bill is also expected to fail.

    Neither result would be a surprise. Health care lobbyists and Senate aides believe the most likely destination is a skinny Obamacare repeal bill that undoes the individual mandate, the employer mandate and a few of the law’s taxes.

    Vote-a-rama is a series of amendments that have to be germane to the bill. There will be 2 minutes of debate and roughly 10 minutes of voting on each amendment. Those can go on for a long time. Some Democratic Senators have already indicated that they have 100 or more amendments ready to file. Very few, if any, of these amendments are expected to pass but they are designed to highlight the differences between the parties and put Republicans in awkward positions.

    And then after that, the Senate votes. Assuming there are 50 plus the Vice President, either the House accepts the Senate bill as is or they go to conference. And at that point, health policy wonks will figure out exactly what just passed as the Senate won’t know what they did.

  46. rikyrah says:

    My rage has not dimmed.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Why it’s unwise for Trump to target Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski
    07/26/17 09:23 AM—UPDATED 07/26/17 09:26 AM
    By Steve Benen

    At a White House event yesterday afternoon, Donald Trump acknowledged that his party had cleared a procedural hurdle as part of its health care crusade. The president’s Republican Party, however, was not unified in the endeavor.

    “So we had two Republicans that went against us, which is very sad, I think,” Trump said. “It’s very, very sad – for them.”

    This morning, the president kept it going, this time singling out Sen. Lisa Murkowksi (R) of Alaska with an angry tweet:

    “Senator @lisamurkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday. Too bad!”

    First, the idea that Murkwoski let down the entire country by standing up for health care benefits is plainly bonkers.

    Second, it’s not at all clear why Trump is singling out the Alaska Republican for a very public rebuke. Murkowski wasn’t the only GOP senator to vote against the procedural measure yesterday afternoon, and she was one of nine GOP senators to break ranks on a “repeal and replace” measure last night.

    But even putting that aside, Trump’s tweet was strategically unwise if he’s serious about reaching his own goals.

  48. rikyrah says:

    just worth noting again that not a single democrat is voting for this crap health care bill. not even the dems w terrible voting records.
    — Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 25, 2017

    “dont vote to kill vulnerable people” is a very low bar for public servants, but all the democrats are meeting it and most republicans arent
    — Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 25, 2017

  49. rikyrah says:

    Because today was a pretty awful day legislatively speaking. #fosterpuppies make everything better @darth
    — Megan Kerr (@megankerr) July 26, 2017

  50. rikyrah says:

    For all the pissing & moaning Republicans have done over ACA, they’ve gone almost a decade without proposing a single plan to IMPROVE care.
    — John Dingell (@JohnDingell) July 26, 2017

    Do not forget this. Every proposal they plan to vote on will hurt MILLIONS of Americans.
    They no longer care about policy. Only politics.
    — John Dingell (@JohnDingell) July 26, 2017

  51. rikyrah says:

    “Our president is cyberbullying, public shaming a sitting member of his own Cabinet. That’s never happened before.”
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 26, 2017

  52. rikyrah says:

    ‘Obviously crazy’: Trump’s new ethics chief’s ‘loosey-goosey’ standards could score Scaramucci millions
    — Raw Story (@RawStory) July 26, 2017

  53. rikyrah says:

    Who Is Betsy DeVos?
    And how did she get to be head of our schools?

    By Lisa Miller
    July 25, 2017
    8:00 am

    Betsy DeVos used to have more friends. Way back in 2016, a coalition of reputable, fair-minded education reformers — some of them Democrats — got together to vouch for her. Sure, she was inexperienced in the policy realm. Also, an outsider to Washington. Also, naïve to the demands of living under the internet’s ever-watchful eye. Still, it seemed to these surrogates that in choosing a secretary of Education, the president-elect might have done a lot worse. DeVos, a Michigan billionaire and Republican stalwart, had been pouring her energies and her fortune into education for years. Besides, she had signaled a strong distaste for Trump. She attended the convention as a delegate for John Kasich, leading these hopefuls to think that she might approach her new post with the venerable reasonableness of her party’s middle branch. “She is the Establishment. She reeks of Establishment,” says someone who used to work for her.


    Now these cheerleaders have gone quiet, evading the opportunity to offer further praise. Campbell Brown cites a conflict with her new employer, Facebook. Jeb Bush won’t come to the phone. Teresa Weatherall Neal, the superintendent of schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who in November said she was “excited for the children across the nation” at the thought of DeVos’s leadership, declines to comment. Richard Mouw, a prominent Evangelical intellectual, met DeVos through church and was more than happy to write a recommendation to the Senate at her request, he says. “I thought she was a breath of fresh air.” But after he’s seen her in action these past six months, his enthusiasm has dissipated. “Oh, gosh,” reflects Mouw, “I’ve been kind of disappointed in her positions” — especially on the disabled and the poor.


    Trump has hired other oligarchs to run his federal agencies, and he has staffed the Executive branch with people who, like DeVos, might have been called “lobbyists” in former lives. But DeVos is a hybrid of the two. Fortified by great wealth and strong religion in the shelter of a monochromatic community, she has throughout her life single-mindedly used that wealth to advance her educational agenda. DeVos believes passionately in “school choice,” the idea that poor families should have the same educational options as rich ones do — and that the best way to achieve this is to deregulate schools, creating an educational free market driven by consumer demand. (In the first regard, DeVos has good company; in the second, she is an outlier.) She was raised to believe she knew exactly what was right. And for decades, this certainty has propelled her ever forward, always with her singular goal in mind. But what’s right in the bubble in which she has always lived doesn’t translate on YouTube, or in Cabinet meetings, or on the battlefield of public schools, where stakeholders have been waging vengeful politics for years. This is what those advocates who had admired the zeal she brought to their cause didn’t have the foresight to grasp. Out of Michigan, without her checkbook, DeVos is like a mermaid with legs: clumsy, conspicuous, and unable to move forward.


    As in other federal agencies, hiring has become a crisis for DeVos, with qualified candidates declining to join her band. No one wants to be deputy secretary, the No. 2 job, and DeVos has interviewed many prospects. No one wants to be undersecretary either, with responsibility for higher ed. (A longtimer named Jim Manning was brought out of retirement to assume the “acting” role.) Hanna Skandera, who ran New Mexico’s schools, had been DeVos’s choice to lead elementary and secondary ed but was dinged by congressional Republicans because she supported the Common Core. (Now that job is filled by Jason Botel, a charter-school operator and Democrat, who is viewed by conservatives as somewhat more restrictive toward state freedoms than they expected and by DeVos opponents as a glimmer of hope.) In a statement, a ED spokesperson suggests that the White House and Congress are to blame: “When the secretary is able to hire freely, she’s able to find incredible candidates and get them onboard quickly.”


    That must have been how Tim Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics, felt when he read one morning in the Washington Post that his entire federal budget had been killed. The Special Olympics receives about $12 million annually — which it matches with private dollars — for a program that rewards schools for including disabled athletes on their sports teams and has been proven to reduce the depression and isolation that disabled students feel. Republicans like the program. So do Democrats. It’s not that much money, and spending it makes everyone feel good. Another Cabinet secretary — especially one who stood up and publicly identified herself as “a partner” of the program — might have given the chairman a heads-up in advance, made future promises, or bought goodwill, but “we were given no advance notice that we were going to be eliminated from the president’s budget,” Shriver says. Perhaps this was another blunder, another unintentional oversight, but the result is the same: The kids who were at the Marriott that night will be the first to recognize a bully when they see one, no matter how graciously she shakes hands.

  54. rikyrah says:

    Kushner not credible on Trump Jr’s Russia collusion e-mail
    Congressman Eric Swalwell, member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, talks with Rachel Maddow about Donald Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner testifying before Congress in the Trump Russia investigation.

  55. rikyrah says:

    Warren: It’s up to us to say ‘no deal’ on GOP health/tax plan
    Senator Elizabeth Warren talks with Rachel Maddow about the urgent need for the people who rely on the Affordable Care Act to make their views known to Republican senators who are poised to take health insurance away from millions of Americans.

  56. rikyrah says:

    What’s dangerous about a compromised person in public office
    Rachel Maddow tells the story of Walt Nixon, a federal judge who ended up in heaps of legal trouble and impeached from his position when illegal practices opened him to being manipulated.

  57. rikyrah says:

    Democrats fight for time and transparency on gop health/tax bill
    Senator Chris Murphy talks with Rachel Maddow about what is at stake in resisting the Republican health/tax bill and how he hopes to use amendments to buy time for Americans to read the Republican plans and make their voices heard.

  58. rikyrah says:

    It’s not enough for John McCain to say the right things
    07/26/17 08:52 AM—UPDATED 07/26/17 09:00 AM
    By Steve Benen


    Roll Call published a related piece, telling readers, “Years from now, when the history of the modern Congress is written, John McCain’s address to the Senate on July 25, 2017, is likely to stand among the defining summations of the era.”

    I realize that the political media has its favorites, and for a variety of reasons, McCain has long been a media darling. I’m also aware of the unique circumstances: a man who’s devoted much of his life to public service, including heroic military service, is facing a serious health crisis. Those who want to celebrate McCain’s work feel an added incentive to do so quickly and vigorously.

    But the adulation paints an incomplete – and to a very real extent, misleading – picture for the public. One can respect McCain’s lifetime of sacrifices while still acknowledging the glaring gap between the senator’s words and his actions.

    In isolation, McCain’s speech was, to be sure, a powerful rebuke to institutional breakdowns in the Senate. He made a compelling case for a more constructive and more deliberative legislative process, and he did so while holding both parties to account, which all but guarantees reverence from much of the Beltway press.

    The remarks did not, however, arrive in a vacuum. McCain had just cast a partisan vote in support of an indefensible health care process, which intends to end with a bill that does not currently exist. The senator sang the praises of “regular order” in the Senate after casting a vote that ensured there would be no regular order on this issue.

    McCain simultaneously condemned and protected a process he apparently opposes and supports. He expressed severe disappointment in his colleagues trying to pass major legislation without hearings or deliberations, and then rewarded those who’ve disappointed him, ensuring their victory.

    The senator proceeded to announce his opposition to his party’s latest proposal, which he then voted to support just six hours later.

    If McCain’s speech “stands among the defining summations of the era” in future history books, let’s hope the chapter also acknowledges the profound contradiction between his words and deeds – which, in a crushing sense, really did make this “a Washington moment for the ages.”

  59. rikyrah says:

    ‘Repeal and replace’ plan’s defeat spells trouble for Republicans
    07/26/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Yesterday’s developments on the Senate floor offered plenty of drama, and the Republicans’ procedural measure to begin the health care debate in earnest succeeded, but that simply opened the door to substantive work on the GOP’s goal.

    And last night, Republicans suffered an important defeat – the first of several.

    With Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote, Republicans moved forward on health care reform Tuesday as the Senate successfully opening debate on the issue. But just six hours later, Republicans faced their first defeat in that process, failing to pass a measure that they’ve been working on that would have partially repealed and replaced Obamacare.

    At issue was the latest iteration of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) bill – the Better Care Reconciliation Act (or BCRA) – which has been in the works for over a month. The measure needed 60 votes, but failed to even get 50: as the roll call shows, the final tally was 43 to 57, with nine Republicans voting with Senate Democrats against the measure.

    It wasn’t, in other words, particularly close.

    The Senate then broke for the night, with plans to vote this afternoon on an even-more-radical “repeal and delay” plan that would gut the Affordable Care Act and figure out what to do about it two years later. That will need 50 votes, and by all accounts, the measure will fall short.

  60. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐 😐

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