Delaware Dem's Latest Posts
It looks like a few Republican Senators are trying to clip Paul Ryan’s wings when it comes to his plan to move forward on privatizing Medicare.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, was blunt about the outlook for a major Medicare overhaul. “I think we should leave Medicare for another day,” he said. “Medicare has solvency problems. We need to address those, but trying to do that at the same time we deal with Obamacare falls in the category of biting off more than we can chew.”…
Most Senate Republicans agreed that there was still a lot of work to do on Obamacare before the topic of Medicare changes could even come up in the Senate. “I’m all for a kind of step-by-step approach, so let’s do one thing at a time,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told TPM. “A step-by-step approach makes a whole lot more sense as opposed to something big and comprehensive. We don’t do big, comprehensive very well here in Washington, D.C.”…
“It’s just too much to bite off,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told TPM. He added that he thought Ryan’s plan was “worthy of consideration,” but that ultimately any changes to Medicare should be considered in a bipartisan manner.
Right now, Other is tied with Bryan Townsend with 22% and trailing Eugene Young in our nonscientific nonrandom purely for fun internet poll of who would be the best young upstart progressive candidate to actually defeat Senator Tom Carper in a primary, or who should replace him should the Senator realize reality and retire at long last. Senator Carper will be 71 years old on Election Day 2018, and has been in elected office in one form or another for over 40 years. He has been in Congress, either as a Senator or a Congressman, for 25 years. His Third Way brand of right wing Democratic politics has been discredited time and again. He yearns for bipartisanship as a goal in an of itself in a time when partisanship warfare is not only desired but required. His time is past, and we need a new Senator.
So who is the other candidates voters are thinking of? Or are you all just not satisfied with Townsend, Williams, Meyer or Young?
Politico: “Congressional Republicans are setting up their own, self-imposed deadline to make good on their vow to replace the Affordable Care Act. With buy-in from Donald Trump’s transition team, GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the law in early 2017 — but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years.”
“They’re crossing their fingers that the delay will help them get their own house in order, as well as pressure a handful of Senate Democrats — who would likely be needed to pass replacement legislation — to come onboard before the clock runs out and 20 million Americans lose their health insurance. The idea is to satisfy conservative critics who want President Obama’s signature initiative gone now, but reassure Americans that Republicans won’t upend the entire health care system without a viable alternative that preserves the law’s popular provisions.”
LOL. So they will repeal it, but then keep the law in place. Uh huh. And when those three years are up they will have no replacement and have to either pass another delay, or pass some minor change and call it Trump Care.
Meanwhile, a timely new Kaiser Health poll finds just a quarter of Americans say they wanted to scrap the Affordable Care Act, down from nearly a third in October. By contrast, nearly half say they want the law expanded or implemented as it is. Another 17% say they want the law scaled back.
The GOP has no replacement, probably because the Conservative idea for Health Insurance Reform was Obamacare. So if they repeal and do not replace, it will be a political disaster for them.
President-elect Donald Trump says he intends to set aside his business interests to focus on “running the country,” Bloomberg reports.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the President-elect wrote: “I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again!”
That’s insufficient if his children will be running the businesses and also acting as paid or unpaid, official or unofficial advisers. He must liquidate all his businesses and all his real estate holdings across the planet at once or face unconstitutional conflicts of interest that will require his immediate removal of office upon his inauguration.
Nate Silver: “Let’s not call it a ‘recount,’ because that’s not really what it is. It’s not as though merely counting the ballots a second or third time is likely to change the results enough to overturn the outcome in three states. An apparent win by a few dozen or a few hundred votes might be reversed by an ordinary recount. But Donald Trump’s margins, as of this writing, are roughly 11,000 votes in Michigan, 23,000 votes in Wisconsin and 68,000 votes in Pennsylvania. There’s no precedent for a recount overturning margins like those or anything close to them. Instead, the question is whether there was a massive, systematic effort to manipulate the results of the election.”
“So what we’re talking about is more like an audit or an investigation. An investigation that would look for signs of deliberate and widespread fraud, such as voting machines’ having been hacked, whole batches of ballots’ intentionally having been disregarded, illegal coordination between elections officials and the campaigns, and so on. Such findings would probably depend on physical evidence as much or more than they do statistical evidence. In that sense, there’s no particular reason to confine the investigation to Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania, the states that Hillary Clinton lost (somewhat) narrowly. If the idea is to identify some sort of smoking gun indicating massive fraud perpetrated by the Trump campaign — or by the Clinton campaign, or by the Russian government — it might be in a state Clinton won, such as New Hampshire or Minnesota. Or for that matter, it might be in a state Trump won fairly easily, like Ohio or Iowa.”
Donald Trump tweeted without evidence that millions of people voted illegally in November’s presidential election, Politico reports. Said Trump: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” This is a lie taken directly from InfoWars. But if Trump does believe that there are millions of frauduelent votes out there, it would seem that he just endorsed a nationwide recount. Thanks Donald.
Ezra Klein: “This tweet is an example of one of Trump’s other dangerous qualities: his tendency to believe what he wants to believe about the world, facts be damned. Trump lost the popular vote, and he lost it by a wide margin — more than 2 million votes and counting. A wise man would take that information seriously and think about how to staff his White House, set priorities, and moderate his message to win over a majority of the public. Instead, Trump appears to have told himself the vote count was riddled with fraud and that he really did win a majority of the legitimate vote — and thus he doesn’t need to consider what it means that most voters didn’t want him to win the presidency.”
Oliver Willis speculates that the Trump administration may face a formidable opposition in the form of a “shadow government” led by President Obama. As evidence, he cites comments Obama made last week in Peru.
“I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off in every instance.”
But he added, “As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I’ll examine it when it comes.”
Josh Marshall argues that Medicare is ground zero for where we launch the battle over everything — the whole social safety net.
But the politics of Medicare are also highly relevant to this political moment.
It’s not an either/or. The policy and politics are entirely harnessed together. And preserving Medicare will yield political benefits which will allow Democrats to defeat other Trump/GOP initiatives that will do the country grievous harm.
Trump’s election has sprung into overdrive a debate we’ve been having in the world of politics for more than a year: Is Trumpism largely about economic distress tied to globalization and neo-liberal economics or is it mainly driven by a white racial backlash against minorities Trump supporters believe are cutting to the front of the line in the race for economic preferment and cultural centrality? I largely put myself in the second camp. But as I think most people realize, these are not mutually exclusive explanations. And whichever side of the equation you come down on, what the Democrats need are issues that cut across the regional/racial/class divide we saw in the 2016 election.
Medicare does that.
Trumpism is white racial backlash. Not economic distress. The answer to white racial backlash is not to agree with them and abandon minorities and social progress as some idiot privileged white liberal men here suggest. Rather we fight back with more diversity. And yes, we couple that with fighting income inequality and for a living wage so that we have the economic message that Bernie Sanders so desperately wants to the exclusion of all else. It’s both. Not either or.
Cassandra requested that I include the Del DMV’s funny photo today. I hope each of you, and all of you, have a happy Thanksgiving today. I hope everyone relaxes with and enjoys their family and friends. If you have any Trump or Stein/Johnson voters in your family, resist the totally natural and acceptable urge to smite them. Come here and share your horror stories, but hopefully those are few and far between.
I hate the term “identity politics.” It is a made up word by privileged white conservatives that privileged white liberals mindlessly parrot because Bernie Sanders mindlessly parroted the term because Bernie Sanders wants to solely focus all political discussion on an economic message to the exclusion of a rights message. But since the term is here to stay, when you see the term “identity politics,” read it to mean “a politics that combats efforts to deny people fundamental rights because of their identities.” Because that is what we Democrats and liberals and progressives do.
Remember, we Democrats, we liberals, and we Progressives are supposed to be fighting for the equality, rights and opportunities of ALL OUR CITIZENS. Not just the white ones. Not just the straight ones. Not just the male ones. And guess what, when one party, the Republican Party, actively commits to ending the rights and opportunities of African Americans, Latinos, Gays and Lesbians and women, then “Identity Politics” becomes the mission of our lives. It is a monstrous betrayal for privileged white liberals and progressives, some of whom read and write comments on this blog, to demand we abandon African Americans, women, Latinos, and gays and lesbians just because we lost the white working class vote in one fucking election, or just because some racist whites say so, or just because one Senator wants the party to focus solely on economics and not rights. To these traitors I say a hearty fuck you, and get the fuck out. Join your racist Republican white friends and relatives.
We, as Democrats, liberals and progressives, will do both. We will fight for an economic message that wins back the white working class and we will protect and advance the rights of minorities.
And with that, Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
E.J. Dionne Jr. at The Washington Post writes—What Democrats owe the country:
However attractive an old-fashioned let’s-pass-good-stuff strategy might seem, the alarming signals emanating from Trump Tower require more than politics as usual.
If Democrats do not issue very clear warnings and lay out very bright lines against the most odious and alarming aspects of Trumpism, they will be abdicating their central obligation as the party of opposition. This is not a time for ideological and factional positioning or for focusing on the 2018 elections.
Before they even get to infrastructure, Democrats and all other friends of freedom must make clear that if Trump abandons the basic norms of our democracy, all the roads in the world won’t pave over his transgressions.