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Author Topic: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 New Administration  (Read 103805 times)
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the captain
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« Reply #550 on: March 24, 2017, 05:46:00 AM »

I am watching the House today with much interest. The GOP healthcare plan, which has been dramatically revised in recent days to contradict numerous of the president's promises on the subject to win far-right appeal, still lacks the votes among both the farthest right and the farthest center of the GOP, and yet the president has basically levied an ultimatum: vote today. Whether they can corral the votes within however few hours they have left remains to be seen. The electoral fallout for various yes and no votes, of course, will be interesting: one can easily imagine primarying of those who didn't fall in line, resulting in a further right set of House members; yet might some of those legislators in places where the ACA (if not Obamacare...  Roll Eyes ) is popular be ousted for Democrats? I don't know.

It would be quite a stunning failure for the first major legislative proposal of this administration. And yet, of course, it hasn't happened yet. They may still get the votes, though I think the bill as-is wouldn't stand a chance in the senate.
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Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #551 on: March 24, 2017, 06:27:34 AM »

Here's hoping it doesn't go through.
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SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #552 on: March 24, 2017, 06:45:03 AM »

Agreed, CSM doesn't have room at home for Trump refugees! Grin
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And production aside, Id so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #553 on: March 24, 2017, 06:50:51 AM »

Cap you watching Cspan?
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And production aside, Id so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
the captain
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« Reply #554 on: March 24, 2017, 06:53:59 AM »

I've got a job, you know!

[That said, I am working from home and may or may not be watching CSPAN.]

[The answer is "may not be." Actually. I am half-watching a debate about religion.]
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« Reply #555 on: March 24, 2017, 07:20:56 AM »

Cool, I am just at home! (work didn't need me today)

I am watching lighter fare like this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBnhT9FJbXk
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And production aside, Id so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #556 on: March 24, 2017, 07:23:44 AM »

Though on a serious note, the healthcare bill is not good for working americans since it cuts care to 24 million people and gives the rich $5,000.
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And production aside, Id so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
the captain
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« Reply #557 on: March 24, 2017, 07:36:27 AM »

What I'd honestly like to see from this entire 7-plus-year debacle is for the parties to jointly identify the goals of a healthcare law and then jointly pass a bill that tries to achieve them. My personal preference is single-payer, tax-funded basic healthcare, with private insurance available to anyone who wants to make those above-and-beyond coverage decisions. But I realize that this isn't about to happen in this country, and so even if the Democrats were in the majority and able to ram that through, I don't think they should. Similarly, I don't think the GOP should try to ram through its ideal package (which it seems--much as was the case for Democrats 7 years ago--it cannot actually agree upon).

Rather than work so hard to gain their own parties' votes, I really wish they could come to a bipartisan bill that could pass. Otherwise I think this is going to just go on and on with the temporary loser in a furor at being shoved aside, and the temporary winner in the untenable position of having to get 100% agreement (and thus inevitable leverage from those holdouts).

The resulting law would not be something I'd like very much, I don't think. But if we at least had a set of objectives agreed upon (as I said above) and then had some kind of law in place that we could measure against those agreed-upon objectives, at least we'd be in a place where we could test those laws and refine them over time. Hopefully.

Call me a dreamer...
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« Reply #558 on: March 24, 2017, 07:38:43 AM »

Common Sense Cap!

Your system sounds workable with those who can pay for healthcare still able to buy it with the rest of us with single payer care. Only in america....
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And production aside, Id so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
the captain
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« Reply #559 on: March 24, 2017, 07:45:43 AM »

The real issue has to be agreeing on the policy objectives. That's the major sticking point, so any resulting bills or laws are going to be widely hated by someone or other.

Is the objective to ensure everyone has access to healthcare? Access to health insurance? That healthcare is affordable to more people? That health insurance is affordable to more people (or even everyone)? That healthcare is high quality for everyone? That health insurance is more standardized to cover a certain range of issues? What is it we are trying to do?
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« Reply #560 on: March 24, 2017, 07:47:17 AM »

Yeah the republicans seem to be struggling with those questions after eight years of "repeal and replace" slogans for Obamacare.
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And production aside, Id so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
the captain
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« Reply #561 on: March 24, 2017, 08:18:50 AM »

I think most of the country struggles with those questions, not just Republicans. They're just the ones who are on the spot at the moment. Democrats had some similar questions seven years ago, which is why it was so hard for the president and party leaders to get everyone on board that time (not to mention part of why so many people lost their seats after their "yes" votes).

What most people actually want, of course, is a fairy tale: affordable or free healthcare to everyone. I can't imagine anyone of any political stripe saying "well hopefully the poor will just get sick and die." But how to get to broadly available healthcare isn't easy. Or cheap. And so we're in arguments about how best to get the most affordable coverage to the most people ... and then in the more libertarian-minded circles, the question of choice is also key.

(For me, that question is unrealistic, since once someone becomes seriously ill, he rarely says "well, I chose not to get insurance and I can't afford care right now, so I'll die at home quietly. That's only fair." And we have agreed as a nation that emergency room care will be provided regardless of ability to pay. As long as those things are true, some sort of mandate seems not only acceptable, but necessary. My opinion.)

These things are really basic, and yet they're really hard to solve--especially for anyone wedded to political ideologies. For anyone who has the time, I strongly recommend listening to the most recent episode of the podcast "Common Sense" by Dan Carlin, released about a week ago and on this topic.
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Chocolate Shake Man
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« Reply #562 on: March 24, 2017, 09:01:09 AM »

What most people actually want, of course, is a fairy tale: affordable or free healthcare to everyone. I can't imagine anyone of any political stripe saying "well hopefully the poor will just get sick and die." But how to get to broadly available healthcare isn't easy. Or cheap.

Not easy but studies show that a single-payer health care system would inevitably be cheaper than the health care systems that have existed in the United States:

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/bernie-sanders-health-care-plan-could-save-the-country-20-trillion
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the captain
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« Reply #563 on: March 24, 2017, 09:10:52 AM »

Oh I agree with that. Our healthcare services here are far more expensive than those of most developed countries, many of which are single payer. I was just trying to make the fantasyland point of pie-in-the-sky, as if it could be perfect and free.
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« Reply #564 on: March 24, 2017, 09:12:29 AM »

Oh I see. OK I'm with you.
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the captain
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« Reply #565 on: March 24, 2017, 09:13:26 AM »

I've tuned in to CSPAN now. Quite an amusing display of political theater from all legislators.
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« Reply #566 on: March 24, 2017, 09:57:29 AM »

Anyone have any thoughts on the Gorsuch hearings? I realize it's not the most popular political topic of the week, but I listened to most of the proceedings on Monday and Tuesday and have read numerous articles in recent days. I was kind of surprised at the democrats incessant use of the phrase "little guys". I found it condescending. Also, there was a lot of (in my mind) inappropriate questioning by democrats that had little or nothing to do with Gorsuch. I guess they scored some political points? Congrats. Based on the actual questions, many democrats just seemed to be interested in determining whether Gorsuch would rule in favor of their interests (the actual law and separation of powers being of secondary concern, if at all). That was their litmus test. Granted, there could be other motivations for that line of questioning, but it didn't feel like it to me. There were certain senators I found particularly annoying and dishonest, but Hirono was an embarrassment. I literally had to mute my phone, I couldn't take it.

As for Trump's ultimatum...well I guess he's looking for a win...how about getting it right? Seems entirely childish.
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the captain
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« Reply #567 on: March 24, 2017, 10:05:18 AM »

I find confirmation hearings really depressing. The Democrats are very blatantly doing whatever (little) they can out of (legitimate) spite stemming largely from the Garland non-hearings. And both parties have for years now focused almost exclusively on the outcomes of cases that haven't even been brought to the Court yet, not on nuances of those particular cases; the judges in question then talk a good game about their own integrity and lack of ideology, only to end up voting the predictable way on most of the divisive, high-impact cases. It's all a charade.

Garland deserved to be confirmed. Gorsuch now deserves to be confirmed.
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« Reply #568 on: March 24, 2017, 10:26:51 AM »

Yeah, there was a lot of talk about Garland during the hearings. I wonder how out-of-bounds that really was (the non-hearing). I don't doubt that it was, just interested. It does seem to me that Garland and Gorsuch are both qualified and deserving of nomination/confirmation.
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the captain
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« Reply #569 on: March 24, 2017, 10:39:49 AM »

Quick aside first, NYT reports that Speaker Ryan went to this White House this afternoon to inform the president he doesn't have the votes to pass AHCA and ask whether it could be pulled from consideration. (I don't know which would be more embarrassing for the GOP: pulling the bill because they don't have the votes, or letting it fail by votes.)

As for Garland/Gorsuch, I believe the non-hearing was unprecedented. The idea that an election-year nomination could not go through hearings and a vote is absurd and has no basis in history or the constitution. We don't let our elected officials take vacations for their final six months, or year, in office because there's an election coming up that might go another direction. They are in office until they are out of office and should do their jobs until then.

Even more annoying to me was that Garland was what in any other era of my lifetime would have been seen as a consensus-building, moderate choice. He had a reputation as being pretty middle-of-the-road, ideologically. So that was an olive branch of sorts to the right, almost acknowledging that a fringe progressive judge taking Scalia's seat was too dramatic an upheaval, too much to ask of senators in their confirmation votes. (I'm not saying that it would have been WRONG for Pres. Obama to go far left on that nomination; just that he seemed to be making a concession to the opposition with the pick in a show of good will.) And not only was that nomination of a highly qualified and respected judge ignored, but the next president did indeed go to a pretty ideologically driven judge instead. Gorsuch is qualified and should be approved, but the Republicans in the senate acted like sh*t last year.

My biggest issue with that behavior is that it's myopic. Does anyone think that bad behavior will serve to moderate the opposition? Obviously not. It begets similar behavior from the opposition. And so on, and on, and on. This is why I wish Democrats would act like grown-ups and not scream fire at every opportunity, not block everything they possibly can as long as they can, even if the bratty Republicans did exactly that. They should behave like adults, working together, passing whatever they can pass in good faith, etc., and most importantly, do the best P.R. job they can possibly do to the American people to show they've done exactly that, thus showing exactly the contrast with the Republicans that makes the latter look like bratty children. Alas, that isn't what is happening, or what is going to happen.
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« Reply #570 on: March 25, 2017, 05:41:39 AM »

The real issue has to be agreeing on the policy objectives. That's the major sticking point, so any resulting bills or laws are going to be widely hated by someone or other.

Is the objective to ensure everyone has access to healthcare? Access to health insurance? That healthcare is affordable to more people? That health insurance is affordable to more people (or even everyone)? That healthcare is high quality for everyone? That health insurance is more standardized to cover a certain range of issues? What is it we are trying to do?

The problem is that the objectives aren't shared - not because people aren't sensible enough to organize and identify them but because they actually aren't shared. Almost all Democrat voters support single-payer. Some Republican voters do. But a strong minority of Republican voters think it should go back how it was with maybe a small expansion of Medicaid. A smaller but powerful Republican minority think it should just be the market.  The representatives of the lattet two recognize that those aren't going to happen outright but their policy goal is to chip away. The former realizes it's not going to happen outright, but their policy goal is to tack things on.

Caveat - for the sake of this exercise, I pretended that representatives are actually representative of their constituents on this issue, but of course that's not accurate.
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the captain
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« Reply #571 on: March 25, 2017, 06:16:56 AM »

I know. The difference between universal healthcare for all and no government intervention in healthcare is about as wide a chasm as one can have on the subject. In my little dream scenario, though, by actually publicly attempting the exercise, the public could theoretically weigh in more strongly and put pressure on their representatives to act accordingly.

But don't get me wrong, I have no illusions. The Democrats were only able to push through the ACA, which even the kindest GOP legislators considered to be big, bad socialism (while the fringe shouted about it as if it were a war crime). So something more progressive is probably impossible without a sea change, and we've just seen that something further right is also impossible for the time being.

If there is a way forward, though, it has to be bipartisan. That's the reality. Anything else will just result in the same kind of bullshit we've been living through.

Back to reality, though: yesterday was really interesting to witness. It was still more evidence that Trump wasn't in any way a unifying figure for the party (which, let's recall, had been seriously divided for years and unable to work together). And tax reform is on deck... I keep hearing that will be harder to pass, but I suspect the opposite, unfortunately. I think the GOP is more unified on those ideas, and the public is less likely to weigh in as vociferously as they do about healthcare, to which they more easily relate. .
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« Reply #572 on: March 25, 2017, 07:33:29 AM »

Totally agree, including about tax changes ("reform" seems a misnomer.)
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« Reply #573 on: April 05, 2017, 08:58:32 PM »

Heard this on the radio today. It made me think of the Captain.
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the captain
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« Reply #574 on: April 06, 2017, 05:38:52 AM »

Heard what?

I'm currently intrigued by Bannon's removal from Sec Council and can't wait to watch the dynamics.
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