“Repeal And Replace”–A Slower Pace

With all the chanting during the campaigns of 2016…the one that so many want to happen over night is the “repeal and replace” of Obamacare (ACA)…..ever notice those that chant the loudest are the ones that do not need or use it?

Obamacare is hated by many….but The ACA is so  misunderstood that few know what it is……

Ask some if they want ObamaCare repealed and they’ll say yes, but ask those same people if they want the Affordable Care Act repealed and they may have a different answer. That despite the two being one and the same, the New York Times reports, a fact that apparently a “sizable minority” of people don’t realize, per a new survey by Morning Consult. Around 17% of those who participated in the poll said they believed ObamaCare and the ACA were two different health-care entities, while another 18% just weren’t sure.

Younger people (ages 18 to 29) seemed to have the most head-scratching over this, as did those making less than $50,000 a year—both groups that could be hit hard by a repeal, the Times notes. This “apparent confusion,” per Fortune, also extended into what people believed would happen if the ACA were indeed repealed, with 29% thinking incorrectly that Medicaid coverage and private insurance subsidies would remain untouched, while another 24% admitted they didn’t know.

Typical in an age of misinformation and lies……

There is a growing problem with the promise…..not as easy as anyone thought it would be……a good slogan but not so good in action…..

How goes President Trump’s plan to immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare? It seems to be getting gummed up in the realities of DC politics. Trump himself acknowledged Sunday in an interview on Fox News that things might stretch into 2018. “It’s very complicated,” he said. “I would like to say by the end of the year at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.” Related coverage:

  • In a story about the delays, the New York Times notes the shift among some GOP lawmakers from “replace” to “repair,” and points out that lawmakers are facing angry crowds of people worried about losing coverage at town hall meetings—”the mirror image of 2009, when Tea Party activists assailed Democrats who supported the law.”
  • With this shift toward “repair,” the Wall Street Journal reports on growing friction from conservative Republicans in the House worried about losing momentum. The 40 members of the Freedom Caucus are agitating to push ahead with immediate repeal, which they see as the necessary first step.
  • The Journal story has this quote from Heritage Foundation exec Dan Holler: “House action is sort of imperative to get this kick-started and going. I think the longer this drags on, the more people are starting to understand the chance of a repeal is slipping away. Certainly it’s becoming harder and harder with each passing day.”
  • But more important than timing are the tough decisions Republicans must make on substance, writes Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post. Among them: “If they are determined to get rid of the individual mandate, are they willing to defend near-universal ‘access’ instead of near-universal coverage?” Full column here.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan promises progress, though he avoids a time frame in this update of what’s happening on Capitol Hill.
  • Supporters of the Affordable Care Act should avoid gloating, cautions an analysis at CNN. Remember that Trump already signed an executive order aimed at undercutting the law, and while Congress may seem to be softening on going further, the repair vs. replace shift may be mere semantics. “The risks to the program are very real in the coming months,” writes Julian Zelizer. “Rather than listening to what Republicans are saying, Democrats would be better served to watch what they are actually doing.” Full column here.

Such is life in DC…broken promises and wasted talk…..

Does VA Have A Future?

Before I begin I want to say good-bye to Mary Tyler Moore R.I.P.  She was there whenever you turned on the TV now she leaves us for a better place…Good-bye Mary we will miss you.

There have been hints that the VA could go through some changes and even a hint of those that want it privatized…..then there is Marco Rubio……

Rubio was an outspoken voice against a couple of Trump’s choices for the cabinet and in the end it was all bullsh*t he rolled over and did what he was told….just like those spineless twats, McCain and Graham, all their tough talk was just that…talk….they played to the cameras for all those gutless words will make a good campaign ad if needed…..political theater at its best.

Enough about the cowards….Rubio is offering up a bill to help the VA get its sh*t together……this has redeemed him in my eyes a bit…….

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has brought back his proposal to reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Last week, Rubio reintroduced his “VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act.” Back in July, Rubio teamed up with then U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., who was serving as the chairman of the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee, to bring out the bill last summer.

Source: Marco Rubio brings back his proposal to reform the VA

About time for someone to concentrate of fixing the VA….my problem is that it should start with seeing that the vets asking for help gets it and at a time no longer than 3 months…..fix the rest of the crap later…the vets should be the number one priority.  PERIOD!

This is a good start and maybe there will be some support, bi-partisan support, for this bill.

Tea For The Tillerson–Addendum

I wrote a piece earlier today on the president-elect’s choice for SecState….and his stand on issues that may impact his decisions as the secretary….

After his confrontation with Rubio there is a whole deal brewing around what could possibly happen if Rubio votes NO…..

When secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson testified before the Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, he faced the toughest scrutiny from Marco Rubio. The pair had a a number of testy exchanges, with Rubio skeptical that the ExxonMobil chief would be as tough as he needed to be on Russia in particular. As Quartz explains, this raises a potentially serious problem for Donald Trump’s nominee: The committee has 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats, meaning if Rubio votes against Tillerson, that could prevent the committee from sending his name to the full Senate for a final vote. (The GOP’s Lindsey Graham also sounded a bit skeptical, notes CNN.) “I’m prepared to do what’s right,” said Rubio after the hearing, per Real Clear Politics. “I’m not analyzing it from a partisan standpoint.”

All of which sets up three scenarios: The most likely seems to be that Rubio will vote yes, content with having made his point about Russia. The second is that he’ll vote no and Republicans will find a Democrat on the panel to flip. The third scenario is perhaps the least likely, but also “fascinating,” writes blogger Allahpundit at Hot Air: In this case, the committee votes against Tillerson, but Mitch McConnell, under pressure from Trump, sends his name to the full Senate anyway. The Senate then has a tough decision: “Do they defer to the committee by voting no on Tillerson, knowing how angry Trump will be? Or do they make Trump happy by voting to confirm,” which sets a precedent for ignoring committee judgments and thus makes “plum committee assignments” less valuable than they used to be.

Now this will be interesting…..to see how Rubio handles his vote and how McConnell handles the aftermath….

If Rubio stands by his guns then I will have found a new respect for the person that I have not had at all.

Will he keep his cajones or will the GOP remove them for him?

Closing Thought–10Jan17

A Dollar For Your Thoughts…….

I have said in the past in oh so many rants about the work ethic of our elected officials…that they are no more than part-time employees and should paid as such.

But I found an even more pathetic way for them to attack people…..

The Republican House majority proposed and passed a rules package on the eve of the GOP seizing control of the House, Senate, and the White House, and it contains more than a few surprises.

Republicans received widespread constituent outrage in response to a proposal to gut an independent congressional ethics office and bring it under the thumb of lawmakers, and they rolled it back in response. But the rules package contained other significant changes , including rules expanding Congress’ power to haul private citizens to Capitol Hill for testimony, and the revival of an obscure rule that would allow Congress to individually target and slash the pay of government workers and programs.

The Holman rule, named after the congressman who first proposed it in 1876, was nixed by Congress in 1983. The rule, now reinstated for 2017, gives any lawmaker the power to offer amendments to appropriations bills that could, legislatively, fire any federal employee or cut their pay down to $1 dollar, if the lawmaker so chooses.

Source: New House rules allow Congress to slash the pay of individual federal workers

If anyone in Washington deserves to have their pay cut to $1 it is those slackers in the Congress….I mean think about it…..they work 110 days last year and get full time pay…..

Can you think of anyone that deserves the pay cut more?

Closing Thought–03Jan17

Ethics Be Damned!

I have often stated that I think those elected officials in DC are worthless d/bags and they have proven it again.

The new Congress, the 115th, I believe will have a free ride on ethics….hiring weasels to guard the hen house….

Did the swamp just vote against drains? House Republicans bucked party leaders Monday night with a vote that the New York Times reports will hobble and “effectively kill” their independent ethics watchdog. Under a change that comes as part of a rules package for the 115th Congress, which will be sworn in Tuesday, the non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics will be put under the control of the House Ethics Office, which is run by House lawmakers, giving them the final say in investigating allegations of their own misconduct, PBS reports. The watchdog, which will be renamed the Office of Congressional Complaint Review under the proposal, will no longer be able to receive anonymous tips or make its investigations public. The OCE was created in 2008 after a series of scandals, including the one that sent corrupt GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff to prison.

House Speaker Paul Ryan was among those warning against the proposal, which was adopted by a vote of 119 to 74. Politico reports that lawmakers from both parties had complained that the OCE had been too aggressive in its investigations, and the effort to defang it was led by Republicans who had been investigated by the body. The proposal, which Congress will vote on Tuesday afternoon, was criticized by other watchdog groups, as well as Democrats. “The Republicans claim they want to ‘drain the swamp,’ but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House GOP has eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.”

Transparency be damned!

Now the Congress will police itself…..do you trust these toads to police themselves?

I don’t!

Update:  As I was writing this post I got word that there seems to be a change in plans…..

House Republicans at an emergency conference meeting on Tuesday withdrew a proposal to gut an ethics watchdog.

The new Congress hadn’t even formally gaveled in on before GOP leaders held an emergency conference meeting to discuss the blowback against the party’s vote Monday evening to gut the chamber’s independent ethics watchdog.

Tuesday’s meeting came after President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHouse GOP scraps plan to gut ethics watchdog after emergency meeting It’s no longer business as usual for the stock market this year Dem senator praises Trump for knocking House ethics move MOREissued a series of tweets questioning the timing of the changes, which would have put the independent Office of Congressional Ethics under oversight of the House Ethics Committee.

Source: House GOP scraps plan to gut ethics watchdog after emergency meeting | TheHill

Maybe someone is listening?

If so then it will be short lived.

What A Difference A Word Can Make

You have probably heard, as have I, your whole life that a single word could make a difference in so many ways…..so mind how you use your words……

Well our part-time Congress in a bi-partisan way have opened up a can of worms……which could be very difficult to shut if the need arises.

By removing a single word from legislation governing the military, Congress has laid the groundwork for both a major shift in U.S. nuclear defense doctrine and a costly effort to field space-based weaponry.

Source: Congress scrapped this one word from the law, opening the door to a space arms race – LA Times

Plus our brand new president has made it clear what he thinks about a nuke arms race……

Donald Trump woke everyone from their pre-Christmas slumber Thursday with a tweet calling for a strengthened and expanded US nuclear arsenal. His tweet followed remarks made earlier by Vladimir Putin in which he called for his country’s “need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces,” per Yahoo. On Friday, Trump doubled down on his previous remarks during what Politico calls an “off-air conversation” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Let it be an arms race … we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all,” he said. (Politico notes some flip-flopping on nuclear issues, citing a March New York Times interview in which he said, “It’s a very scary nuclear world. Biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation.”)

Not in on his latest stance, apparently: his own team. Per a transcript posted by NBC’s Katy Tur on Twitter, Trump’s new White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Rachel Maddow Thursday night “we’re getting ahead of ourselves” when Maddow mentioned a “new nuclear arms race.” And, per a tweet by CNN’s David Wright, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted on Today Friday that “there is not going to be” an arms race and that “we will all be just fine.” A short time later on CNN’s New Day, Spicer said the remarks Trump made to Morning Joes’ Mika Brzezinski “was a private conversation. I was not privy to that,” per Mediaite. Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star wonders: “Is there any point of quoting clarifications from Trump spokespeople? They’ve proven to be unreliable interpreters of him.” One person shrugging off arms race chatter: Putin, who said Friday Trump’s tweet was “nothing new,” per Politico.

Oh goodie….a return to the good old days of the 1950’s…..the days of paranoia and fear…..oh how I’ve missed those days….

DACA–Repeal And Replace

Well for as long as I can remember the Repubs have been on their high horse about immigration….and this election was NO different…even the mighty Trump had lots to say about people coming to this country….most of it was the typical rubbish and campaign bullshit…and question now is after 20Jan17 will he, Trump, do something or will it be later down the political line?  Or will he leave the high lifting to others?

We know that Trump has had his rhetoric about Obamacare…the repeal and replace chant that has been around since about 2010….but what about DACA?

DACA?  Anyone scratching their head about now?

Let me help those of the slower persuasion…….DACA is an acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals…..got it now?

The question is can this somehow be repealed and replaced?

Ike Brannon and Lyle Albright have written about it in Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard…..(a conservative mag that has all the GOPer loyal reading)……let me say here and now that I do NOT subscribe to much written in this site….but some of it is well thought out and bears scrutiny.

The issue of illegal immigration was a central plank in the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump and played no small role in getting him elected to the White House. His populist, “America First” position spoke to the economic anxieties of many Americans, and it could be argued that he has a mandate to make immigration enforcement a key priority in the first year of his presidency.

There are different ways to address immigration, however, and the path Trump chooses will go a long way towards setting the tone for his administration, as well as in defining him as a leader. Handling immigration enforcement in the right way is an opportunity for him to show that he actually cares about solving problems, as opposed to simply scoring political points and managing public perception. And a big part of this opportunity involves how he intends to deal with President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Source: How Trump Can Repeal and Replace DACA | The Weekly Standard

Is this the action that will be pursued by the Trump admin?  Or does he have his own plan that he will find more to his liking?

There has been talk even promises about immigration reform for years now and little has been accomplished….is this the admin to actually do something on this issue?

Once again….we will have to wait for the days and years after 20Jan17 to see what direction he will choose….but rest assured that I will visit this subject later down the line. (you have been warned…tee hee)