Getting in the mood. Looking forward to some Irish Stout and maybe some Irish Whiskey too!
Getting in the mood. Looking forward to some Irish Stout and maybe some Irish Whiskey too!
Vox – A key Trump friend and ally is urging the president to dump Paul Ryan’s Affordable Health Care Act and embrace something that sounds sort of like a lightweight version of a single-payer health care system. Christopher Ruddy, CEO of the conservative Newsmax brand, isn’t normally considered a major thought leader on policy issues, but he is a longtime friend of Trump’s, and counts as one of a relatively small number of conservative players who have closer ties to Trump than to congressional Republican leaders.
And he is warning loud and clear that Trump “could inherit the bad political baggage of both Obamacare and the House Republicans” if he insists on going along with Ryan’s version of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Instead, Ruddy puts forward the rather radical notion that Trump should attempt to live up to his campaign promises on health care rather than signing on to legislation that betrays them all. To do it, he encourages Trump to ditch his effort to court the Freedom Caucus and instead come up with a bipartisan plan that accepts a large government role in providing insurance coverage.
WHOA! Finally. A sensible conservative voice who has El Presidente’s ear?
In an op-ed published Tuesday, Ruddy argues that Trump “should be sticking to his own gut on healthcare reform.” He did this during the campaign, which helped him “win Democratic states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.”
And he offers the following seven-point “game plan for Trump to regain the initiative”:
- Ditch the Freedom Caucus and the handful of Senate Republicans who want a complete repeal of Obamacare. They don’t agree with universal coverage and will never be placated.
- Find a few parts of Ryancare II [i.e., the AHCA; Ryancare I refers to Paul Ryan’s longstanding desire to privatize Medicare] that can win passage in the House and Senate with either GOP support or bipartisan support. Declare victory.
- Rekindle the bipartisanship in Congress that President Obama destroyed. Impanel a bipartisan committee to report back by year’s end with a feasible plan to fix Obamacare.
- Reject the phony private health insurance market as the panacea. Look to an upgraded Medicaid system to become the country’s blanket insurer for the uninsured.
- Tie Medicaid funding to states with the requirement that each pass legislation to allow for a truly nationwide health care market.
- Get Democrats to agree to modest tort reform to help lower medical costs.
- While bolstering Medicare and improving Medicaid, get Republicans and Democrats to back the long-term fix of health savings accounts. This allows individuals to fund their own health care and even profit from it.
As a pure political strategy, the key elements here are probably the first three points. A commission probably won’t lead to any major changes, but that’s okay. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act exchanges will probably stabilize in the next year or two even if nothing changes. Trump can do nothing and fix it.
But steps 4 through 7 do suggest a route to a possible future vision of American health care.
There’s more so do CONTINUE READING.
With republicans controlling both houses of congress and Trump in the Oval Office we knew environmental concerns, especially climate change, would be a very low priority. One of Trump’s stated first order of business was to cut regulations. Giving those businesses who have impact on our environment and climate a clearer path to profit, at the expense of us all. The scientific community’s consensus it that the climate is warming. A direct result of greenhouse gases. Trump’s, and the GOP’s, denial that anthropogenic global warming is real shows their basic scientific ignorance as well as putting human life form at greater risk in the future.
Bloomberg – President Donald Trump is set to sign a sweeping directive to dramatically shrink the role climate change plays in decisions across the government, ranging from appliance standards to pipeline approvals, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plan.
The order, which could be signed this week, goes far beyond a targeted assault on Obama-era measures blocking coal leasing and throttling greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that has been discussed for weeks. Some of the changes could happen immediately; others could take years to implement.
It aims to reverse President Barack Obama’s broad approach for addressing climate change. One Obama-era policy instructed government agencies to factor climate change into formal environmental reviews, such as that for the Keystone XL pipeline. Trump’s order also will compel a reconsideration of the government’s use of a metric known as the “social cost of carbon” that reflects the potential economic damage from climate change. It was used by the Obama administration to justify a suite of regulations.
Environmentalists said the president’s action will erode the international leadership the U.S. has played addressing climate change and encouraging other countries to limit the heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that are the primary driver of the phenomenon.
The anticipated action “puts our country, our communities and our people at great risk,” said Paul Getsos, national coordinator of the People’s Climate Movement, a coalition of labor, civil rights and faith-based groups. “It also sends a dangerous message to the world that the United States does not care about climate change or protecting front-line communities.”
Trump’s coming order has been discussed by his staff since before he took office. Asked about when the executive order would be issued, White House spokesman Kelly Love said she had “nothing to announce at this time.”
It will set in motion some discrete policy changes designed to make coal easier to extract and more enticing to burn.
For instance, the directive will compel the Environmental Protection Agency to undo the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule that forced states to slash the use of coal-fired electricity. Trump also is set to direct Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to reverse an Obama administration order that blocked the sale of new coal-mining rights on federal lands to producers such as Cloud Peak Energy Inc. and Peabody Energy Corp.
The measure also is set to direct regulators to rescind Obama-era regulations limiting oil industry emissions of methane, a particularly potent — though short-lived — greenhouse gas.
It is clear that Trump has zero concern for the environment and that he will keep his campaign promise to coal miners. After all his disregard fr the climate and the future IS one of the things that got him elected.
More BELOW THE FOLD.
Many say a leopard can’t change his spots. Hell, I’ve even said the narcissistic Liar In Chief President Donald J. Trump, a leopard of sorts himself, cannot change his spots after 70 years of being him. Then along comes this. Glenn Beck taking responsibility. Cleansing his soul and repenting of his divisive rhetoric. Perhaps he had an epiphany that changed him, who knows. But if sincere it is indeed a good thing.
The Washington Post – The so-called liberal media are preaching the good news about Glenn Beck in unison: He is redeemed! “Glenn Beck Is Sorry About All That,” the New York Times says. The New Yorker announces that “Glenn Beck Tries Out Decency.” The Atlantic catalogues “Glenn Beck’s Regrets.”
In the publications that Beck for years dismissed as an effete elite that had led the nation astray, the notion that Beck has now apologized for everything he did to make America an uglier, louder, more fractious place is just too delicious to resist. Now, in a moment of deep gloom for the nation’s intellectuals, life delivers a gleaming gift: Glenn Beck, godfather to the tea party, cable news rabble-rouser of the first order, a hawker of ornate and dire conspiracy theories, not only has spent the past year as a Never Trumper but also has spurned his past and is testifying to the power of love, understanding and empathy — for liberals!
For those who yearn to believe the movement that made President Trump possible is having serious second thoughts, the new Glenn Beck seems heaven sent.
Seven years ago, Beck was the fourth most admired man in the country (just ahead of the pope). He shouted, he explained, he wept, he drew intricate charts on his chalkboard to show how evil forces were conspiring against good Americans. He sowed fear and gathered up his minions to form an army of righteous anger, who stormed the nation’s capital a hundred-thousand strong to stand tall for the Constitution, determined to fulfill the prophecy that Beck, a Mormon, had described to them: a stirring tale of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith’s followers parading through the streets of Utah, with only the Constitution to protect them.
Back then, Beck was the bad boy of cable, on CNN’s HLN channel and then on Fox News — one more former Top 40 radio disc jockey who, like Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern and many other influential stars of talk radio, had switched from spinning the hits to spinning the news, always remembering the laws of Top 40: Keep it simple, keep it moving, never stop selling.
Beck has stopped the music.
“I’m not willing to do this anymore,” he says. He leans over, drops his head as if in penitence and pronounces himself riven with regrets.
Now, at 53, Beck sees a nation of people who are at one another’s throats, and he blames his language, his meanness and his assaults, his constant selling of the idea that the other side was evil and that his side had the one true answer. He believes that his radio show and his TV shows and his rallies on the Mall paved the way for the incivility, intolerance and general indigestion that now plagues the body politic.
“I did and said terrible things,” Beck says. “I did my thinking out loud and it’s one of my worst aspects. But I haven’t changed my principles. I’ve changed the way I phrase things — for example, I’m trying to ban the word ‘evil’ from my lexicon. I didn’t notice how my language could be interpreted by half the country as racist. I lacked humility. I was the height of arrogance.”
But has Glenn Beck REALLY changed? Continue on BELOW THE FOLD to find out.
Interesting thoughts. Trump’s firing of Obama appointed federal prosecutors possibly benefiting democrats? People of the caliber and talent Trump fired may result in republicans losing elected offices in the next 2 to 4 years perhaps? certainly something we would be more than happy to see!
Until Friday, Barbara McQuade served as United States attorney in Eastern Michigan. By Saturday, one day after the Trump administration demanded her resignation, her prospects as a candidate for governor or attorney general were the talk of the state Democratic Party.
McQuade was among more than 40 U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Barack Obama and let go by President Donald Trump last week, an act that suddenly flooded the political marketplace with experienced federal prosecutors of the sort both parties love to tap to run for high office.
It’s a move that could come back to haunt the GOP. New York is buzzing with rumors about what’s next for Preet Bharara, the highest-profile of the former U.S. attorneys, who has been tipped for elected office in the past. Kenneth Polite, the former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, resigned Friday and immediately reinvigorated talk of a run for state attorney general, mayor of New Orleans or sheriff of Orleans Parish.
“They come with a lot of advantages,” said Ian Russell, former political director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, whose committee department recruited federal prosecutors as potential candidates. “There’s the prosecutorial experience, the sense of respect Americans have for the impartial Justice Department. They’ve got political connections, but their work is nonpolitical in nature, and there are firewalls to protect that. Many have fundraising and political support networks they could tap.”
The last time the presidency changed hands, it was Republicans who reaped the benefits of U.S. attorneys’ prestige and connections.
Within a year of the end of the George W. Bush administration, Chris Christie was elected governor of New Jersey and a collection of fellow former U.S. attorneys were already running high-profile campaigns. Matt Mead, a Bush-era U.S. attorney, won election as Wyoming governor in 2010, the same year that Pennsylvania’s Patrick Meehan and Arkansas’ Tim Griffin were elected to the House. Meehan quickly became one of the best fundraisers in the House landscape when he jumped into the race for a Philadelphia-area swing seat, which he won.
Two other Bush-era U.S. attorneys would follow them into the House: Susan Brooks of Indiana in 2012 and John Ratcliffe of Texas in 2014.
“There is a lot of political skill that is invested in people assigned to those jobs,” said Thomas Heffelfinger, a former U.S. attorney during both Bush administrations, who noted that President Bill Clinton removed him from office in a fashion similar to Trump’s recent oustings. “And, to be blunt, you don’t get those jobs without asking for them, so there’s that kind of small-level electioneering.”
Russell said it is “logical” to expect Democrats to try recruiting as many of the ex-prosecutors as possible for state and federal offices in 2018.
Take every opportunity to make lemonade whenever possible.
More UNDER THE FOLD.