Tuesday, June 27, 2017

GOP Senators Still Struggling With The Consequences Of Voting For The Hated TrumpCare Bill


Paid for by Mike Pence

Sunday afternoon we asked a question about Trump’s deranged, uncontrolled vengefulness in regard to the GOP’s ability to hold onto the crucial Nevada Senate seat of Dean Heller who has flatly stated he won’t vote for TrumpCare. A very shady Trump/Pence controlled SuperPAC, America First Policies, announced they would retaliate against Heller with a million dollars worth of TV, online ads and a very lame social media effort that has completely and hilariously backfired, tying him to Schumer and Pelosi, just about the worst thing you can say about a Republican in the claustrophobic little world of Trump die-hards. (By the way, it's illegal for Trump and Pence to be coordinating with a SuperPAC.) The goal is probably not to get Heller to change his vote-- he’s probably been granted dispensation by Myrtle the Turtle in light of his uphill reelection prospects-- as much as it is to punish him and to warn other Republicans-- particularly Susan Collins (R-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK)-- not to mess with Señor Trumpanzee. Trump despises Heller, because Heller told the media he won’t vote for him in the 2016 election, and doesn’t care if he’s jeopardizing his seat or not. He just wants revenge, something driving McConnell-- who threw his hands up in disgust today-- insane, driving him to postpone the vote until... they can round up enough Republicans to vote for this turd. Meanwhile, McConnell made sure tp blame it all on Trump's lack of ability as a closer.

America First Policies has already launched a social media campaign to turn Trump supporters against Heller for “standing with Pelosi” and warning him-- and other senators-- “If you’re opposed to this bill, we’re opposed to you.” The NRSC is supposedly furious at the White House and feel this is a pure Bannon move that plays directly into Trump’s infantile id. Trump is revealing in their discomfort since he blames them for the disaster his Regime has already turned into and for his inability to snap his fingers and get whatever he wants immediately and without question. One DSCC staffer told me this is completely demoralizing and that his wife is urging him to quit for the sake of his own emotional stability. “We’ve been spending an inordinate amount of energy trying to save this seat and-- poof, in one stroke, Bannon has destroyed all of our efforts… I doubt that even Collins or Portman will be bullied by this and I know for a fact that Murkowski won’t be.”

Others are blaming Mike Pence, since, as their chief fundraiser, he’s been in control of the America First Policies purse-strings and because Pence staffers are calling the shots for the group. The Pence people were chastised by Bannon for not being aggressive enough against the small handful of mainstream Republicans who opposed TrumpCare in the House and insisted America First Policies make up for it in the Senate, irrespective of the fact that senators are very prickly creatures who don’t take kindly to being pushed around, especially not publicly.

John Ralston was rather definitive about Heller’s situation. Heller, he wrote Sunday, “is dead. Five hundred days before voters decide his fate, Nevada’s senior senator needed a life preserver. So with his poll numbers in the subterranean region, below President Trump’s in Nevada, Heller grabbed onto one named Brian Sandoval, an immensely popular governor. It’s hard to describe the surreality of Friday’s scene in which Sandoval, who was the first GOP governor to expand Medicaid and who has credited it with putting 200,000 more Nevadans on the health care rolls, protecting Heller, who has more than once called for a phase-out of the program. Suddenly, the protean Heller was against the cessation of expanded Medicaid after he was for it, against the new Obamacare repeal after saying he wanted to get to yes, and against losing his Senate seat after being willing to give it up to run for the job his new protector holds. (Heller really wants to be governor, not U.S. senator.)”
Politics is no different than life: If you try to please everyone, you please no one.

And that is where Heller is now: He has a base problem because he was similarly equivocal during 2016 about the president and now is on record opposing the bill Donald Trump supports. And even though he is now on the side that indies and Democrats like on health care, they don’t trust him to stick to his word.

…People can say that Heller did this out of raw political expediency and doesn’t believe anything he said Friday. He has earned that skepticism… [S]ome of Heller’s biggest backers are billionaires who work on Las Vegas Boulevard South, and they can be none too happy that their man just came out against their tax cuts.

A billionaire here and a billionaire there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money against him… Of course, any anger directed at Heller by these donors is foolish. If they would pause counting their money for a few minutes and stop obsessing about how much more lucre they need, they might realize that the only chance to keep that seat in GOP hands is for Heller to do what he did.
Heller is a mainstream conservative, what the media loves calling a “moderate” (which he really isn’t). No one will ever refer to Iowa freshman senator Joni Ernst as a moderate or as remotely mainstream. She’s a far right walking freak show who has been firmly allied with Trump. But she’s also coming to grips with the swingy nature of her state and has been noticeably quiet on whether or not she’s support the Senate version ion TrumpCare. No one ever mentions her name as someone who might not. But Sunday The Hill reported that she’s decided to poll Iowans on how she should vote. Iowans strongly oppose TrumpCare so this should be an interesting-- and probably dishonest-- exercise.

She e-mailed Iowans-- which Iowans I’m not certain-- with a typical GOP talking points slam against the Affordable Care Act, hoping, no doubt, for a vote in favor of TrumpCare. I doubt we’ll ever find out the results of her poll and no one expects her to vote against it no matter what. Meanwhile, next door in Nebraska, the very conservative and very anti-Trump senator, Ben Sasse was at the Koch brothers summit over the weekend and echoed their line that TrumpCare isn’t conservative enough. He says he’s not committed to voting for it. I would call it extremely unlikely that Sasse will vote no.

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Both Parties... Are Fumbling Around In The Dark Looking For An Identity


Fareed Zakaria had GOP establishment NY Times columnist David Brooks on his CNN show Sunday to talk about Señor Trumpanzee’s role within the conservative movement. I don’t know who watches Zakaria’s show-- no one I know-- but I bet there was a lot of teeth gnashing from Republicans when Zakaria opened the segment by setting up a comparison between Saint Ronnie and Trumpanzee. “Where does conservatism go from here? Where does the Republican Party go from here?… Is there a new conservatism developing?”

Brooks said he doesn’t think so-- “not in this administration.” In his universe Democrats want to use government to enhance equality and Republicans want to use government to enhance freedom. Most Republicans who want to use government to enhance freedom are thinking about the freedom of the rich and powerful to lord over the rest of us-- it’s like the freedom for everyone to have access to really expensive healthcare… if they have the money to afford it. But what he doesn’t mention is that the Grifter First Family wants to use government to enhance to enhance its own wealth, pure and simple. Is the Russian brand of kleptocracy the new conservatism? Brooks, I’d bet, hopes not.

Trump, Brooks says, opened a new debate-- populism vs statism-- but hasn’t delivered on the promises of his campaign “because there’s not a lot of Trumpians in the world of policy. So he hasn’t exactly helped the people who got him into office. He staffed his administration-- to the extent it is staffed-- with people who basically believed in the Reagan bargain of 1984… cut tax rates, reducegovernmoent regulation… I think he opened the door too a new kind of conservatism but has not fulfilled it. That’s for somebody in the future.” [This vicious little jerk?]

So what about Republican politicians? Do the party’s elected officials want to swing in a more populist direction? Trump, he says, punctured the worn out Reaganism balloon and now conservatives have nothing; they’re in a period of chaos, Trump’s preferred milieu. He sees various paradigms competing within the Republican Party for dominance-- libertarianism, Buchanan-like paleo-conservatism… But, he said, “if I had to bet, I would like an Alexander Hamilton open trade, lot of immigration, lot of economic dynamism… When I look at the polls, there aren’t a lot of people who want what I want. The Steve Bannons of the world, that’s where a lot of the people are; they’re older, they’re economically disadvantaged; they want a national conservatism that will protect them.”

Really? They want-- or will accept-- a snake oil salesman and kleptocrat like Trump, rather than a sensible populist like Bernie? I bet there were an awful lot of Trump voters at Bernie’s Sunday night rally in Charleston, cheering wildly when he called for Medicare-For-All, not exactly a conservative policy goal-- although it is certainly one that “will protect them.” There were over 2,000 in the Charleston Municipal Auditorium for his Protect Our Health Care Rally. Remember, Bernie pulverized Clinton in the West Virginia primary-- 123,860 (51.4%) to 86,354 (35.8%) but Wassermann Schultz had fixed the system so in the end, Bernie got 19 delegates and Clinton got 18. Bernie won every county in the state-- even the counties considered parti of the DC suburbs-- although Kanawha (Charleston) was close-- 48.0% to 45.0%. Bernie and Trump had virtually the same number of votes in Kanawha too.

If the Democratic Party was united, the ideological battlelines would be much clearer, with the Democrats behind a set of policies wildly popular among the American people while the Republicans argued about the benefits of a society with no rules and regulations versus a fascist state. Instead… the conservatives of “moderate” Republicans is competing for dominance of the Democratic Party under the guise of New Dems and Blue Dogs, “pragmatism” and-- the same kind of kleptocratic tendencies run wild under Trump. Last week, Lee Fang, writing for The Intercept helped focus attention on this unfortunate tendency with the Democratic Party elite-- Prominent Democratic Fundraisers Realign to Lobby For Trump’s Agenda. These are the people who call the shots at the DNC and who tell Pelosi and Schumer what’s to be done and not done. Fang points out that many Hillary backers who expected too be part of her administration are now “cashing in as lobbyists-- by working to advance Trump’s agenda.”

This is the Wassermann Schultz, Steny Hoyer, Joe Crowley, Chuck Schumer and Pelosi crowd:
Lobbying records show that some Democratic fundraisers, who raised record amounts of campaign cash for Clinton, are now retained by top telecom interests to help repeal the strong net neutrality protections established during the Obama administration.

Others are working on behalf of for-profit prisons on detention issues, while others still are paid to help corporate interests pushing alongside Trump to weaken financial regulations. At least one prominent Clinton backer is working for a health insurance company on a provision that was included in the House Republican bill to gut the Affordable Care Act.

While Republican lobbyists are more in demand, liberal lobbyists are doing brisk business that has them reaching out to fellow Democrats to endorse-- or at least tamp down vocal opposition to-- Trump agenda items.

“These cases are clear, disturbing examples of the gulf between the interests of many of the Democratic Party’s big-money donors and those of the party’s progressive base and America’s working families,” said Kai Newkirk, co-founder of Democracy Spring, a progressive coalition.
Remember when Hillary mumbled something about being part of the resistance?
A well-known lobbyist who runs in powerful Democratic circles, Heather Podesta, volunteered for Clinton during the New Hampshire primaries. She collected at least $407,000 for the campaign. In recent months, Podesta has tweeted from the Center for American Progress Ideas Conference, an event billed as a platform for the “Resist movement,” and has continued to give cash to congressional Democrats.

Podesta, however, whose New Years Resolution was to “Make Lobbying Great Again,” has adapted to Republican rule by rebranding her lobbying firm from “Heather Podesta + Partners” to “Invariant,” a name change to reflect “an expanding bipartisan team” with ties to the Trump administration.

Records show Podesta has lobbied this year on behalf of financial management and insurance giants Prudential and New York Life on the fiduciary rule, the regulation fought for by the Obama administration that was designed to require financial planning companies to act in the best interests of their clients. Early in his administration, in a decision cheered by the industry, Trump ordered a delay in the implementation of the rule.

Other Democratic lobbyists have found that their corporate clients’ interests align with the Trump administration. Some, like Podesta, are taking financial planning industry cash to work on the fiduciary rule.

Steve Elmendorf, a former senior advisor to Clinton’s 2008 run, maintained a high-profile role with Clinton’s 2016 run, raising $341,000 for the campaign. He is now one of the most prominent corporate lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Records show that Elmendorf, too, lobbied on the fiduciary rule. His client, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade group for firms like Prudential, has made delaying the rule a major goal and celebrated Trump’s move to delay implementation.

UnitedHealth, the health insurance giant, is also an Elmendorf client. Filings made to ethics officials on Capitol Hill reveal that Elmendorf is helping UnitedHealth work on issues related to the Affordable Care Act, including the health insurance industry tax, a provision of the ACA that UnitedHealth has made clear it seeks to repeal or delay. Congressional Republicans have said that, if they are successful with their overhaul of the law, the tax will be gone.

A former Democratic National Committee fundraiser from Bill Clinton’s days as president, Richard Sullivan, served as a major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s campaign last year. He bundled at least $345,218 for the campaign, according to Federal Elections Commission records. Sullivan is also registered lobbyist for the public relations and lobby firm Capitol Counsel, where he works on behalf of private prison giant Geo Group to convince lawmakers of the “benefits of public-private partnerships in the delivery of secure residential care in correctional and detention facilities.”

The Florida-based Geo Group is particularly close to the Trump administration; it was one of the few firms to donate corporate money to a Trump SuperPAC during the election, finance the inauguration, and openly celebrate Trump’s decision to vastly expand the detention and removal of undocumented immigrants. The firm was among the first private companies to win a contract from the Trump administration for a federal immigrant detention center, a deal worth $110 million.

Lobbyists often use their ability to bundle cash for candidates and party organs as a way of win an audience with lawmakers on behalf of their clients. As The Intercept has reported, lobbyists for Goldman Sachs and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the trade group, raised big money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, using their sway to pressure the party to adopt policies favorable to their industries and to abandon economic populist messaging that targeted the financial sector.

Trump’s election has been called a “bonanza” for Washington lobbyists, as K Street seeks to enrich itself by harnessing the administration’s zeal for rewarding corporate allies. For many Democratic insiders, there is fortune to made even in electoral defeat.

The Intercept spoke to several progressive activists who expressed outrage that leading Democratic Party officials are now advancing the Trump agenda, but were reluctant to comment on the record, for fear of angering powerful Democrats. But a few activists, like Democracy Sping’s Newkirk, decided to speak on the record.

Becky Bond, an activist and former Bernie Sanders adviser who also spoke out, said, “When Democratic insiders team up with Comcast and the private prison industry, they make it pretty difficult to see how the party can rebuild relationships with the voters it needs to bring back into the fold.”

“Destroying the internet and maximizing the profitability of mass incarceration,” she added, “is not what I would call a winning strategy for Democrats who want to take back power in 2018.”
A friend of mine is running a congressional campaign for a progressive candidate and he told me this morning that he’s about to get an endorsement from Howard Dean. I told him to think that through carefully before making a big deal of it. Today, Dean is known to many activists as just another Clinton shill who makes a living as a lobbyist for drug manufacturers and the old Howard Dean who inspired so many people is now just an historical monument unrelated in many people’s minds to the guy running around today being paid to push an ugly and despised agenda.

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In Honor Of Pride Day: A Compendium Of Mike Pence Memes


-by Noah

As I write this, today is Pride Day. By the time you read this, it will be over, however, that does not mean we shouldn’t spend some of our time reflecting on what it says about America that a vile, hate-filled homophobe named Mike Pence is our Vice President and 69 Million Republicans endorsed him and his severely mentally ill boss with their votes.

Here In New York, where I live, there’s one helluva large parade in support of the LGBTQ community. The parade began in 1970 as a way to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the Stonewall Inn rioting which galvanized the gay rights movement.

The parade is now the focal point of a whole week of gay pride and gay rights and heritage events. And, you don’t have to be non-hetero in any way, shape, or form to join in. I’m pretty sure that Mike Pence was nowhere to be found.

I even woke up this warm, muggy Sunday morning thinking of Pence. I know that’s a horrible way to start the day, but, it is what it is. So, instantly thinking what little thing a rapidly aging senior like myself could do about Pence, I made up a list… and chose one of the legal things.

As might be expected of me, I chose derision and snark, proudly. They are weapons that come naturally to me. I feel that one little thing we can all do for America is heap as much mockery and derision upon enemies of humanity as we possibly can. I do it in hopes of at least waking a few people up. The only other thing we have is the ballot box but that’s a ways off and I’m sure Putin is no friend of the LGBTQ community.

Since Mike Pence has such a virulent phobia in regards to so many of our fellow citizens, what better way to, as I say, legally, deal with such a malformed, horrid little man, a man who is the nation’s foremost supporter of torturing gay people with his Republican Party-endorsed sadistic dream of “gay-conversion therapy,” a man who soils the ground with every step he takes, a man who, because of that, was chosen for the VP slot by the orange fascist himself. Republicans have a very narrow idea of what a man or woman is after all.

When it came to choosing Pence and what he stands for, the Republican Party could not have stooped any lower but that’s who and what they are. Even now, in 2017, well into the 21st century, President Trump and his trusty sidekick are even being so petty as to “consider”, as apart of a review of the status of national monuments named in the last 21 years, particularly those named under President Obama, an effort to remove the landmark status of New York’s Stonewall Inn, a powerful symbol regarded as the flashpoint of the gay rights movement. Such a heinous act would be yet another in the endless expressions of hate for LGBTQ folks by Republicans. It would be no different than a political party (present or future) removing the cracked Liberty Bell from its display in Philadelphia and finishing the job, then melting down the pieces.

In the case of The Stonewall Inn, nothing should surprise us, not even Trump ending buying the property, tearing it down, and erecting another one of his gold-topped penis-compensating towers. But, I digress…

So, here’s to you, Mike Pence. It’s not giving you a dose of your own “medicine” but it will have to do. Not all of the memes below deal with your hate for gays but you have sooo many issues. Since there is so much speculation about you being a serious closet case yourself, I’ve even included a meme with a fictional quote about you and your own personal home “gay-conversion” machine. It is fictional, isn’t it?

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Is TrumpCare Toxic Enough To Help Tom Guild Win The Oklahoma City Congressional Seat?


One of the states the DCCC isn’t looking at at all for 2018 is red, red Oklahoma. Trump won there, overwhelmingly 949,136 (65.3%) to 420,375 (28.9%). It was one of Trump’s best performances anywhere-- although that probably had more to do with the dislike many Okalhomans have for Hillary. Bernie beat her in the primary 174,228 (51.9%) to 139,443 (41.5%). And Trump came in a distant second in the GOP primary that same day, winning just 130,267 votes (28.32%), far fewer votes than Bernie got. Bernie’s message resonated with a lot of voters in "red, red Oklahoma." Trump’s weakest area, of course, was the district with the highest education level, OK-05 (Oklahoma City), where he only beat Hillary 53.2% to 39.8%. Trump did 6 points worse than Romney had in the district, but Hillary under-performed Obama as well. (If only…)

In the OK-05 congressional race, right-wing incumbent Steve Russell crushed a very weak establishment Democrat, Al McAffrey, 57.1% to 36.8%. Russell did better than Trump and McAffrey did even worse than Hillary. The Democratic primary for that nomination was the closest in the country. It pitted the wishy-washy careerist establishment guy against Berniecrat Tom Guild. There were two rounds. First:
Al McAffrey- 10,013 (36.8%)
Tom Guild- 10,000 (36.8%)
Leonora Leonard- 7,190 (26.4%)
And the runoff:
Al McAffrey- 8,032 (50.1%)
Tom Guild- 7,988 (49.9%)
McAffrey wasn’t even a serious candidate, just the establishment’s pawn to keep the nomination from going to an outspoken progressive and Berniecrat. Once he won the primary, the DCCC didn’t come in to help their guy take on Russell-- quite the contrary; they never gave OK-05 a second glance. McAffrey didn’t campaign at all and only raised $134 to the $847,193 Russell spent. What a tragedy, but that’s how the DCCC works-- keep a progressive out of the race and then… whatever.

Tom Guild is running-- hard-- again and he’s determined to knock on every door in the district. This time EMILY’s List will try to play the role of spoiler for their DCCC allies, the same way they're doing in WI-01. A local EMILY’s List ally, Kendra Horn will be announcing right after the 2nd quarter filling deadline, the kind of phony timeline crap establishment candidates controlled by DC consultants always do. She was executive director of Sally’s List in Oklahoma (renamed Women Leading Women), a pure identity politics play. It’s never about who the best candidate is on policy-- always about personal identity. But while she headed the organization, it was an utter failure even on their own terms. Horn’s stated goal was to increase the number of women in the Oklahoma State Legislature, a reasonable goal. But in her three years as ED the number of women in the legislature went down, not up. Her brittle, officious personality turned off everyone-- except the DC people at EMILY's List.

Goal Thermometer Blue America has endorsed Tom Guild-- not because of any identity stuff, but because he’s a stalwart, dedicated progressive with a populist approach to politics and a fierce platform for working families. Yesterday, for example, he sent the letter below to his Oklahoma supporters. Please give it a look and if you would like to see Tom go up against a very vulnerable Russell in 2018, consider contributing what you can by tapping on the Blue America thermometer on the right. Remember, a swing in OK-05 the size of the swing Democrats in Montana, Kansas and South Carolina just experienced in the special elections, would send Russell packing and finally turn this relatively swingy Oklahoma district blue. The DCCC isn't taking OK-05 seriously. We are. Here's the message Tom Guild, who has pledged to co-sign John Conyers' Medicare-For-All legislation as soon as he gets to Washington, sent out yesterday:
There they go again! The Senate GOP health care proposal severely cuts Medicaid, defunds Planned Parenthood, and eliminates the mandate that Americans have health insurance. The bill provides states the right to eliminate many of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment. The proposal is hazardous to your health!

The Senate bill grants a huge tax cut to the wealthy, paid for by severe cuts in the Medicaid program. My opponent, incumbent Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK), who supported the “mean” bill passed by the House last month, is a reliable vote in the GOP’s quest to destroy health care in America. Stop Russell by donating to our campaign via Act Blue

The Senate bill takes money out of the pockets of middle and lower-class families who need health care the most. The bill shamelessly provides the nation’s wealthiest individuals with large tax cuts, while severely cutting Medicaid and eliminating health care coverage for millions. We must ensure that every individual has access to health care, regardless of his or her economic status or pre-existing medical condition. This proposal is a dream for insurance companies and the wealthy.

The bill repeals Medicaid over a longer period of time, but more severely than the disastrous House bill that Russell supported. The Senate bill imposes larger spending cuts on Medicaid and phases out its expansion over a seven-year period, in contrast to the House’s three-year phase out plan. Medicaid currently serves one in five Americans, with approximately two-thirds of those in nursing homes.

The Senate bill eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood. The bill blocks Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood, which provides a wide range of women's health care and abortion services. This would be devastating to millions of women who have Medicaid and whose insurance would no longer cover these services.

The bill allows states to drop essential consumer protections. It does not allow states to drop the protection of patients with pre-existing conditions. However, it does allow wider opportunity for carriers in states with less stringent rules to offer plans that provide minimal help to patients with extensive health issues. States would not be allowed to waive the ACA requirements to grant everyone coverage and charge the same rates.

The bill was drafted without a single public hearing. The Congressional Budget Office found the bill passed by the House last month, and supported by Russell, would leave 23 million more people without insurance in a decade. The CBO score for the Senate bill is expected to be released soon and will shed light on the millions and millions of people who will lose coverage as a result of this proposal.

If you would like to support our campaign and stop Rep Steve Russell (R-OK) and congressional Republicans from further destroying our health care system, you can contribute online via Act Blue. You can also mail contributions to P.O. Box 6621, Edmond, OK 73083.

Thanks for your support!
Yours in the cause,
Tom Guild, Democratic Candidate CD5-OK

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How Much Longer Will It Take To Institute Single Payer Here In America?


Saturday evening Bernie was in Pittsburgh Saturday for a Don’t Take Away Our Health Care rally at the Convention Center. He addressed Republican Pat Toomey directly. I hope he takes the same message to Ted Cruz in Texas and to Jeff Flake in Arizona, two Republicans up for reelection in 2018. (Dean Heller has already said he’s voting no.) Sunday he brought the message to Rob Portman in Columbus and then to Shelley Moore Capito in Charleston. Listen to his 27 minutes speech above; you can’t hear his points enough. “This so-called health care bill passed in the House last month is the most anti-working-class piece legislation passed by the House of Representatives in the modern history of this country,” he said to loud applause. “And the Senate bill... is even worse… We will not allow 23 million Americans to be thrown off of the health insurance they currently have in order to give over $500 billion in tax breaks to the top two percent, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, and to other multi-national corporations... What kind of a country are we if anyone can come before you and talk about cutting health care for children with disabilities in order to give tax breaks to the richest people on earth?”

After the Pittsburgh rally he appeared briefly on Meet the Press, where he told Chuck Todd much the same message he explained to the audience in Pittsburgh (and Columbus and Charleston), even though Todd just wanted to talk about disunity and divisiveness. Bernie’s learned how to use questions like that to springboard into getting to the message he wants to deliver. “For the last 9 years,” he replied to a question about why Ossoff lost, “Democrats have lost the White House, we’ve lost the Senate, we’ve lost the U.S. House. Two-thirds of governor’s chairs are controlled by Republicans. A thousand seats have been lost the Republicans in state legislatures all over this country… There is a massive amount of demoralization on the part of the American people, with the Democratic Party, with the Republican Party. I think the American people, in many cases, are seeing themselves work longer hours for lower wages. They’re worried about their kids not being able to go to college. They’re worried about what’s going to happen to them when they are retiring. They’re seeing almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1 percent. There is an enormous amount of pain in this country, Chuck. People are saying, ‘Does anybody in Washington know what’s going on in my life-- that I’m 60 years of age and I have nothing in the bank and I’m going too be retiring in 5 years or that I have $50,000 in college debt and can’t find a decent job. Does anybody know that? Do the Republicans know it? Do the Democrats know it?’ And I think what the Democrats have got to say is that we will be on the side of the working class of this country. We are prepared to stand up to Wall Street and the drug companies who rip us off everyday and the insurance companies. [at this point Todd got nervous that Bernie was attacking his advertisers and started trying to cut him off] And that we’re going to fight for an agenda that makes sense to working families.”

Ah, and there’s the rub… that elusive agenda. Look how close the Democrats in blue, blue California came to passing single-payer-- only to see Jerry Brown have Assembly Speaker Rendon kill it? The Intercept pointed out that someone who disagrees with Governor Brown’s opposition-- that single payer is too expensive, the Republican argument, which somehow always manages to manipulate the facts and forget to mention the “the efficiencies created from having one public insurer save a lot of money-- was, none other than presidential candidate Jerry Brown in 1992 (when he was still toying around with the idea of posing as a progressive).
It was a cornerstone of his unsuccessful 1992 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In April of 1992, Brown passionately argued for this system in a debate with then-Arkansas Democratic Gov. Bill Clinton on the nationally-syndicated Phil Donahue Show.

“My preference is that we create a single system, put everyone under a universal health care system. We treat health care not as a commodity to be played with for profit but rather the right of every American citizen when they’re born,” he explained.

He then went on to explain how this system would save money:

“You cut out all the private health insurance. You have one single payer either at the national level or through the 50 states. And that one single payer will be the one that negotiates with the doctors, the hospitals, and the other providers. And since you have only one source of income in the whole medical establishment, you can drive down the cost. With the holding down of the cost, you can eliminate the intermediary, the middle man, the bureaucracy. In some of these hospitals there’s more people doing the billing then there are in direct patient care on an eight-hour shift. It doesn’t make any sense. But through a single payer, as we’ve seen in Canada, you can eliminate tremendous amounts of paperwork both for the doctors, the hospitals, and the part of the insurance companies.”
We ran the video of this moment of Brown's long past progressive dalliance here yesterday, if you want to check it out. Here's the whole Meet the Press interview from Sunday morning:


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Monday, June 26, 2017

Don't Buy Into The Idea That Trumpcare Is Too Horrible To Pass-- That's Not Criteria Republicans Use


George Stephanopoulos had two very different Senate Republican opponents of TrumpCare on his show Sunday, Susan Collins (R-ME), who finds the bill cruel and even draconian, and Rand Paul (R-KY), who doesn’t find it nearly draconian or cruel enough. He started with Rand Paul, pointing out to him that his position is at odds even with Señor Trumpanzee, who said the bill that bears his name should “have more heart.” Paul scoffed and ran off in directions unrelated to the debate outside of the one in his own head.
Well, you know, the fundamental flaw of Obamacare was that it added regulations to insurance, mandates, which made insurance more expensive, but then it also told individuals, you know what, if you don't want to buy now, you can wait and buy it after you're sick. That still remains, 10 of 12 regulations that add cost to insurance remain under the Republican bill. And we still say you can still by insurance after you're sick.

If you add those two together, you still get the death spiral. The Republican plan acknowledges that we're going to still have this death spiral, which is sicker and sicker people in the individual market and the healthy people don't buy insurance, they acknowledge this by putting over $100 billion of insurance bailout money to try to say, oh we're going to tamp down prices. We're going to fix the problem, we're going to acknowledge the will continue forever and we're just going to pile taxpayer money into it. That is just not a conservative notion to add a new federal program to bailout insurance programs… I'm not voting for something that looks just like Obamacare and still doesn't fix the fundamental flaw of Obamacare.
It was a weird discussion. Stephanopoulos kept babbling about the politics on the bill-- how many no votes are there? What will it take for McConnell to get your vote? That kind of stuff-- while Paul just wanted to make a tired libertarian case about abolishing all regulations. So George said au revoir and moved on to Susan Collins. He started by asking her if there is “any way this week for Senator McConnell and President Trump to come up with a bill that both you and Senator Paul can support?”
Collins: It's certainly going to be very difficult. For my part, I'm very concerned about the cost of insurance for older people with serious chronic illnesses, and the impact of the Medicaid cuts on our state governments, the most vulnerable people in our society, and health care providers such as our rural hospitals and nursing homes, most of whom are very dependent on the Medicaid program.

So threading that needle is going to be extremely difficult.

Stephanopoulos: You just heard Kellyanne Conway say though that those are not Medicaid cuts. What is your response to that?

Collins: Well, I respectfully disagree with her analysis. But this is why we need the Congressional Budget Office assessment of the impact of the Senate bill on costs and coverage, including its analysis of Medicaid. And that will be coming out tomorrow.

But based on what I've seen, given the inflation rate that would be applied in the outer years to the Medicaid program, the Senate bill is going to have more impact on the Medicaid program than even the House bill.

Stephanopoulos: So that means-- if that's true, and if that is confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office, you're a no?

Collins: I want to wait to see the CBO analysis. But I have very serious concerns about the bill.

Stephanopoulos: You also have concerns about Planned Parenthood. This bill would deny funding of Planned Parenthood for a year. I know you're planning on introducing an amendment with Senator Murkowski that would restore the funding for Planned Parenthood.

If that amendment fails, will you oppose final passage?

Collins: Well, first, let me say that it makes absolutely no sense to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. There already are longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion. So that's not what this debate is about. And Planned Parenthood is an important provider of health care services, including family planning and cancer screenings for millions of Americans, particularly women.

And they should be allowed to choose the health provider that they want. That's one of the issues that I care deeply about. But there are many others as well.

Stephanopoulos: Even though you think you'll prevail on the amendment, but if you don't, I understand that you have other concerns with the bill as well. Is Planned Parenthood funding a bottom line for you? If this bill denies funding to Planned Parenthood, are you against it?

Collins: It is one of many factors and a very important one that I will consider in casting my vote. But I'm also very concerned about the Medicaid cuts, what it means to our most vulnerable citizens. And I'm very concerned about the cost of insurance premiums and deductibles, particularly for that very vulnerable group between the age of 50 and 64.

They are particularly at risk, based on my initial analysis. So I'm going to look at the whole bill before making a decision.

Stephanopoulos: Are there a critical mass? We know that Senator Paul and three other conservatives want more repeal from their perspective. How many more senators do you believe share your views on Medicaid?

Collins: Well, there are several of us who have been meeting under the leadership of Senator Rob Portman to look at the Medicaid provisions. And there are about seven to eight people in that group. I can't speak for them. But suffice it to say that they are certainly concerned. And that is why the CBO analysis quantifying the cuts and the impact is going to be so important.

You can't take over $800 billion out of the Medicaid program and not expect that it's going to have an impact on a rural nursing home that relies on Medicaid for 70 percent of the costs of its patients. So this is an access issue as well as one having to do with cost.

Stephanopoulos: Does the bill pass this week?

Collins: It's hard for me to see the bill passing this week. But that's up to the majority leader. We could well be in all night a couple of nights working through what will be an open amendment process. And I think that-- that at least is good. The process could have been a lot better. I would've liked to have seen the Democrats step up to the table and negotiate with us now, not wait till the bill is passed or defeated.

So now the CBO score she was waiting for is out-- higher premiums for less insurance-- not to mention 22 million kicked off healthcare-- include 15nnext year. How's that, Senator Collins? Ultimately, I don’t see any Republican tanking the bill. Cruz, for example, already said that if he’s the deciding vote, he’ll hold his nose and vote YES, as always, a real man of principle. I think McConnell will give Dean Heller (R-NV) a pass if his NO vote doesn’t kill the bill, because of the local politics. But I can’t see Rob Portman, Collins or the 2 Alaskans finding the courage to actually vote NO, no matter how much worse they make the bill to please the far right fringe. Odd that none of them fear their constituents enough-- other than Heller-- to back away from a bill that only about 20% of the country supports. Maybe they have some surprises during the long break that starts next week. And while her staff is going over the CBO analysis, she might want to look at this analysis too, since it pertains to her own constituents in rural northern Maine.

...And The UPDATE:

Even Lindsey Graham is predicting that the CBO score will make it much harder for McConnell to get to 50 votes. And just a few hours ago, Susan Collins said that not only is she a NO, she'll vote against even allowing the vote to take place! She tweeted that the Republicans should work with the Democrats to improve Obamacare instead-- the first Republican senator to come to that very logical conclusion. Meanwhile House Freedom Caucus sociopath is railing that the Senate bill will be blocked by the Freedom Caucus because it isn't conservative enough. This guy is insane! (Help repeal him and replace him with Matt Coffay, the very vocal Medicare-For-All supporter running in western North Carolina for the seat Meadows holds.)

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Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon Tosses California TrumpCare Victims Overboard


Remember how the first version of TrumpCare in the House wasn’t quite good enough for the far right savages in the Republican caucus? So they called in Freedom Caucus lunatic Mark Meadows to work with spineless south Jersey multimillionaire Tom MacArthur and they came up with a far worse and more deadly version that the radical right could-- and did-- get behind. That same process is playing out in the Senate now. You have the off-the-cliff extremists like Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee threatening to tank the bill if it doesn’t kill more people than the bill already worse than the House version will kill. And your have jellyfish Republicans like Rob Portman, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Dean Heller whining that the bill is already too extreme but… ready to make a deal with Cruz, who’s father was implicated in the assassination of JFK, as you know-- just ask the obese orange baboon who took a moment out from obsessing about his role as Putin’s cockholster to tweet some nonsense over the weekend about Obamacare being dead. In any case, soon after Pence was summoned into the Koch presence Friday, Koch operative Tim Phillips, went publicly bonkers that TrumpCare 3.0 isn’t “conservative” enough, describing it as an “immoral… slight nip and tuck” in the far right’s war against healthcare for working families. “This Senate bill needs to get better,” drooled the well-paid fascist Koch mouthpiece. “It has to get better.” By “better,” they want to see higher projections for likely annual deaths, thousands apparently not sufficient to sate their bloodlust.

In line with Trump’s bogus claim-- terrorism, pure and simple-- that Obamacare is dead, The Hill reported yesterday that “One of the primary arguments from Republicans for repealing ObamaCare is that the healthcare law is ‘collapsing.’ But experts warn that the GOP’s legislation might destabilize insurance markets even more over time” and drive premiums through the roof.
The Senate’s ObamaCare repeal bill, released Thursday, would abolish ObamaCare’s mandate for people to have insurance, but it would still bar insurers from denying people coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Experts warn that arrangement would allow people to wait until they get sick to buy insurance coverage, likely driving up premiums.

  On top of that, the GOP bill cuts back on ObamaCare’s tax credits, providing less financial assistance to help people afford a plan. So in addition to the lack of an enforcement “stick” to get healthy people to enroll, there would also be less of a “carrot,” in the form of financial assistance.

This combination could lead to more insurers pulling out of the market or spiking premiums, experts say, exactly the problems under ObamaCare that Republicans have talked about solving.

“A combination of repealing the individual mandate and diminishing premium subsidies would tend to destabilize the market,” said Larry Levitt, a healthcare expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Rodney Whitlock, a former Republican congressional staffer now a healthcare consultant, wrote on Twitter that the lack of a mandate combined with lower financial assistance “is pretty much the definition of a death spiral.”
The GOP seems to have rigged the bill to trigger a real collapse of the healthcare system to kick it in 2022, so after Trump or Pence theoretically wins the White House. So we were all waiting for California to offer the alternative, right? The state Senate passed a single payer bill and the state Assembly has a massive super-majority so… no brainer, right? Wrong. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who often pretends to be a progressive-- I realized he wasn’t when he endorsed uber-corrupt conservative Isadore Hall over progressive reformer Nanette Barragan last year-- killed the bill for at least a year by locking it up in the Rules Committee, claiming SB 562 is “woefully incomplete.” The L.A. Times explained what Rendon had done, aside from committing career suicide:
Liar? Coward? Both?
Rendon announced late Friday afternoon that the bill, SB 562 by state Sens. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), would not advance to a policy hearing in his house, dampening the measure’s prospect for swift passage this year.

“SB 562 was sent to the Assembly woefully incomplete,” Rendon said in a statement. “Even senators who voted for SB 562 noted there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation.”

Rendon took pains to note that his action does not kill the bill entirely-- because it is the first year of a two-year session, it could be revived next year.

But the move is nonetheless a major setback for legislation that has electrified the Democratic party’s progressive flank.

The California Nurses Assn., the bill's sponsors and the state's most vocal advocates for single-payer, blasted Rendon's decision as "cowardly."

"Acting in secret in the interests of the profiteering insurance companies late Friday afternoon abandons all those people already threatened by Congress and the Trump administration," Deborah Burger, the union's co-president, said in a statement.

Burger continued: "The people of California are counting on the Legislature to protect them now, not sometime next year, and as polls have shown Californians support this proposal by a wide majority. A solution to this health care emergency could be at hand; Speaker Rendon is standing in opposition."

In a joint statement, Lara and Atkins, the measure's authors, said they were "disappointed the robust debate about healthcare for all that started in the California Senate will not continue in the Assembly this year."

"This issue is not going away," they added.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who had signaled wariness about the proposal's costs, said in a statement that Rendon "made the case that there’s clearly more work to do before anyone is in a position to vote on revamping California’s healthcare system."

"I recognize the tremendous excitement behind the measure, but basic and fundamental questions remain unanswered," Brown said.

Many Democrats are embarrassed. Ro Khanna spoke up first, tweeting that Rendon should reconsider his decision. But he wasn’t the only one. Newly elected Democratic Party chairman, Eric Bauman, a former nurse, who is committed to single payer, has been politically close to Rendon. But that didn’t stop him from blasting him in a statement to the media:
"Today’s announcement that the Assembly will not be moving forward on single-payer, Medicare-for-All healthcare for California at this time is an unambiguous disappointment for all of us who believe that healthcare is a right for every Californian. We understand that SB 562 is a work in progress, but we believe it should keep moving forward, especially in light of the widespread suffering that will occur if Trump and Congressional Republicans succeed in passing their cold-blooded, morally bankrupt so-called healthcare legislation.

I call upon our Legislative Leaders to work together to find appropriate and acceptable solutions to enable SB 562 to advance as soon as possible.

Hundreds of thousands of people in California stand to lose their health insurance if Trumpcare 3.0 is signed into law. Countless Democrats passionately believe that Medicare-for-all healthcare is a bedrock principle of the Democratic Party, and I stand with them. Our message to our Legislative Leaders is clear: SB 562 must be given the chance to succeed.”

UPDATE: All Fingers Point To The Governor

Today’s bullshitter was yesteryear’s visionary, as you can see in the 1992 video clip below. But, alas, Jerry Brown seems to have changed his mind-- and Anthony Rendon’s mind. Will he now take the whole California Democratic Party down with him? Imagine him shrieking menacingly at Kevin De Leon: "Don't you dare let that bill hit my desk," with KDL stomping out of his office, unphased, not blinking, muttering, "Let the 562 veto be his legacy." He passed it through the Senate… and then Rendon blinked-- just as the details of the TrumpCare tax giveaway were hitting.

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California Blue Dog Ellen Tauscher Is Back-- Lock Away Your Wallet


She's back-- and up to no good again!

It’s 10 years later and right-wing Democrat Ellen Tauscher-- once the head of the New Dems, a vice chair of the DLC, and a proud Blue Dog-- is rearing her head in Democratic politics again. She’s the chair of the California 7 Project (AKA- Fight Back California), which purports to being trying to defeat 7 California Republicans in 2018: Jeff Denham and David Valadao in the Central Valley, Steve Knight in the L.A./Ventura 25the district and the 4 vulnerable GOPers in Orange County, Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher, Darrell Issa and Mimi Walters. Typical of crooked political operations, Tauscher’s outfit-- a shady SuperPAC-- is raising money for itself, not for any Democratic candidates. Tauscher told Roll Call she plans to raise $10,000,000, money that could be used to defeat conservatives that will instead be used to bolster conservatives and, in all likelihood, Tauscher’s and her cronies’ own accounts. You just have to trust she’ll spend it right. But you shouldn’t… because history shows exactly how she’ll spend it.

Tauscher is working with her original campaign manager, strategist Katie Merrill, who loses all her races, and they hiding who has already funneled 6-figures into their SuperPAC. So just what you would expect of a slimy character like Tauscher-- dark money fueling her efforts to sucker the grassroots into contributing to… probably herself and a gaggle of dreadful right-of-center Republican-lite candidates just like herself. Their main goal will be to make sure no Berniecrats win any nominations, just Tauscher-like offal from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. One source told me she’s getting money from the lottery winner the DCCC wants to sell the CA-39 nomination to, Gil Cisneros, but it’s impossible to confirm who’s giving Tauscher’s operation the cash, since she’s taking advantage of the dark money Supreme Court rulings to hide her sources.

My history with Tauscher goes back a ways. In 2006, she recruited an “ex”-Republican to run against the grassroots candidate in California she and Rahm were eager too defeat, Jerry McNerney. They decided McNerney was too liberal to beat Republican Natural Resources Committee chair Richard Pombo and they dug up a Republican masquerading as a Democrat instead. McNerney slaughtered the interloper in the primary and Tauscher and Rahm put a hex on the district, calling donors and telling them not to contribute to McNerney in the general. That’s how Rahm taught the DCCC to play-- a practice continued by Steve Israel and whoever tells the hapless Ben Ray Lujan what he should do. In any case, McNerney pulverized Pombo, shocking the GOP (and Tauscher’s and Rahm’s Republican wing of the Democratic Party). It was one of the biggest races of the year and McNerney, propelled by grassroots enthusiasm, took 109,868 votes (53.3%) to Pombo’s 96,396 (46.7%). Pombo spent $4,629,983 that year, to McNerney’s $2,422,962. The NRCC came to Pombo’s defense with a then-massive $1,442,492, while Rahm grudgingly allowed the DCCC to spend a mere $295,366, less that the Sierra Club or even the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

The media has always white-washed Tauscher and given her favorable treatment. Ten years ago, I wrote about a Washington Post puff piece on her.
Eilperin and Grunwald have written an inherently dishonest piece-- pure Inside-the-Beltway ass-kissery for the powers-that-be. Reading their whitewash you would never know that Tauscher recruited and pushed a pro-corporate, anti-grassroots shill to run against Democratic grassroots hero Jerry McNerney, only that she's being victimized by some left wing bullies for being a hard-working "moderate." From Eilperin and Grunwald a reader would reasonably conclude that Tauscher had merely "supported McNerney's centrist opponent in his primary, to the disgust of the Net roots." Not a word about the Tauscher-inspired financing that nearly caused McNerney to have to spend all his non-corporate, grassroots money in the primary, endangering his bid to oust the hated Pombo.

And every time Eilperin and Grunwald vomit out "moderate," as though the 135 House Dems with more progressive voting records than her are not moderates, but extreme leftists and dangerous communists, my skin crawls. Only reactionary Democrats have voted more frequently with the Republican extremists on substantive issues than Tauscher has, yet in the Post they phrase it a little differently: "Since 2003 she has voted with her party more than 90 percent of the time. This year, she has marched in lock step with Pelosi. But to Net-roots sites such as Daily Kos, Firedoglake, and Crooks and Liars, she's Lieberman in a pantsuit. 'I don't think it's a fair comparison,' Tauscher said. 'My colleagues look at this and say, "If they're going after Ellen Tauscher, holy moly!'" Yeah, holy moly! What's next? Will someone challenge Jim Marshall or John Barrow or David Scott, 3 Georgia Democrats who spend an awful lot of time voting with Republicans?

…This oversimplification to the point of willful distortion is a perfect example of how the Eilperin and Grunwald have delivered for Tauscher today. The Democratic grassroots' dismay with Tauscher is not about "a vote" in 2002 for Bush's Iraq War. Between October 10, 2002 and May 25, 2005, the House voted on 44 Iraq War bills. Tauscher's Iraq voting record is one of the worst of any Democrat's, and far from being in "lockstep" with Nancy Pelosi's, as Eilperin and Grunwald deceitfully attempt to convey. Starting on October 10, 2002 with Roll Call 454 on H.J. Res. 114, the final resolution authorizing Bush to use force against Iraq, Tauscher didn't vote with Nancy Pelosi and other progressive Democrats-- and the majority of Democrats in the House; she voted with Tom DeLay and Roy Blunt and the worst reactionary, warmongering scum in the Congress to give Bush the authority to do what he's done in Iraq. Bad enough to remove Tauscher? Absolutely. But that was just the beginning. Since then she voted with the right-wingers 13 more times to carry out Bush's war policies.
As one of McNerney’s top campaign staffers in 2006 told me yesterday, "Tauscher’s backing a former Republican against McNerney in 2006 almost saved Pombo's hide." Like me, he’s very wary of her current efforts. A former investment banker at Bear Stearns and Drexel Burnham Lambert, Tauscher is now on a number of corporate boards, like Southern California Edison, and, unfortunately, a few weeks ago Jerry Brown appointed the former Ready For Hillary corporate shill to the University of California Board of Regents. While she served in Congress, she was a virulent anti-progressive on every possible level, including, of course, policy. She worked with the Republicans to gut the estate tax and to screw consumers with a reactionary bankruptcy law written by credit card company lobbyists. She was also a bug proponent of NAFTA and every other unfair trade policy that helped wreck the Democratic Party brand and impoverish working families. A long-time war-monger, she voted against most Democrats to back Bush’s attack on Iraq. But she’s pro-Choice and pro-gay, so she can pass herself off as a "liberal," which is patently absurd... and dangerous to the serious efforts going on to win these seats and swap out conservatives for actual progressives.

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The Anti-Medicaid Bomb in the Republican "Health Care" Bill


Tom Toles/Washington Post (source)

by Gaius Publius

Just one more note on the Senate "health care" bill, to add to the information you're already reading. Via Robert Reich, the bill's real aim is the destruction of Medicaid (see explanation below), one of the three great social programs passed by FDR and his fervent New Deal acolyte, LBJ.

There's a trick with the Medicaid death trap though — most of the destruction is timed to occur after the CBO's 10-year analysis window, which means it's not going to show up when the CBO scores the bill.

Will Americans be fooled? Who knows? Will Republicans think Americans will be fooled? Likely.

Here's Reich on that (h/t Naked Capitalism; source RobertReich.org; emphasis mine):
The Secret Republican Plan to Unravel Medicaid

Bad enough that the Republican Senate bill would repeal much of the Affordable Care Act.

Even worse, it unravels the Medicaid Act of 1965 – which, even before Obamacare, provided health insurance to millions of poor households and elderly.

It’s done with a sleight-of-hand intended to elude not only the public but also the Congressional Budget Office.

Here’s how the Senate Republican bill does it. The bill sets a per-person cap on Medicaid spending in each state. That cap looks innocent enough because it rises every year with inflation.

But there’s a catch. Starting 8 years from now, in 2025, the Senate bill switches its measure of inflation – from how rapidly medical costs are rising, to how rapidly overall costs in the economy are rising.

Yet medical costs are rising faster than overall costs. They’ll almost surely continue to do so – as America’s elderly population grows, and as new medical devices, technologies, and drugs prolong life.

Which means that after 2025, Medicaid will cover less and less of the costs of health care for the poor and elderly.

Over time, that gap becomes huge. The nonpartisan Urban Institute estimates that just between 2025 and 2035, about $467 billion less will be spent on Medicaid than would be spent than if Medicaid funding were to keep up with the expected rise in medical costs.

So millions of Americans will lose the Medicaid coverage they would have received under the 1965 Medicaid act. Over the long term, Medicaid will unravel.
Note that date — after 2025. That means that the bulk of the damage will occur outside the 10-year window of the Congressional Budget Office's typical analysis.

Reich again:
Does anyone now know this time bomb is buried in this bill?

It doesn’t seem so. McConnell won’t even hold hearings on it.

Next week the Congressional Budget Office will publish its analysis of the bill. CBO reports on major bills like this are widely disseminated in the media. The CBO’s belated conclusion that the House’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would cause 23 million Americans to lose their health care prompted even Donald Trump to call it “mean, mean, mean.”

But because the CBO’s estimates of the consequences of bills are typically limited to 10 years (in this case, 2018 to 2028), the CBO’s analysis of the Senate Republican bill will dramatically underestimate how many people will be knocked off Medicaid over the long term.

Which is exactly what Mitch McConnell has planned. This way, the public won’t be tipped off to the Medicaid unraveling hidden inside the bill.
The long-term goal? To entirely delete the New Deal from U.S. social policy. This is step one:
For years, Republicans have been looking for ways to undermine America’s three core social insurance programs – Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. The three constitute the major legacies of the Democrats, of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. All continue to be immensely popular.

Now, McConnell and his Senate Republican colleagues think they’ve found a way to unravel Medicaid without anyone noticing.

Don’t be fooled. Spread the word.
The wicked plan might just work.

The Neoliberal Republican End Game

Have you ever wondered what will happen in this country if right-wing neoliberalism ("free market economics" in its most aggressive form) ever succeeds absolutely?

Imagine repealing...
...in a single two- to four-year span. Would the country not tip into chaos of the most unimaginable sort at that point?

And would Paul Ryan care? There's a word for behavior like this, and it applies perfectly.

I personally think Republicans like Paul Ryan would sacrifice any Republican chance of holding office for a generation if they could accomplish that transformation. Once destroyed, the New Deal government, as degraded as it has become, would never ever be rebuilt, even in the lifetime of the last person born tomorrow, were she to live to the age of ninety, and even if the Democrats achieved the kind of Congress and mandate Obama enjoyed in 2009.

The New Deal would fall to the floor of the historical past, never to rise in this country again.

And every Republican who helped pull off this coup, if they could do it, would be so richly rewarded by the Kochs of the world, they'd never need to work for a living again. They could float to their graves on Thank You money, enjoying government-paid health care right till their final breath.

Will they succeed? Who knows? But they're giving it their very best shot, and they have the votes in the Senate if they can get the Susan Collins of the world ("I vote Republican, but only when it matters" ) to cast them.

Will Democrats succeed in blocking them? They had better be giving it their very best effort. The next "designated Democratic villain" to step out of line — looking at you, Manchin and Heitkamp, McCaskill and Coons — might just be signing the death warrant for the entire rest of the Party as she does it.


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