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Will Trump Break With Ryan?

[ Posted Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 – 16:03 PDT ]

In the hyperkinetic political era we live in, change happens very quickly. President Trump is the driving force behind this increased speed of the political discourse, but Paul Ryan gamely tried to capitalize on the new frenzy by passing his own favored "repeal and replace Obamacare" bill as quickly as humanly possible. He was going to whip it through the House so fast nobody would know what was in the bill, and then the Senate was magically going to refuse to even debate the bill and instead move it directly to the floor for a vote. This would all happen at blinding speed, and then everyone in Congress could go home for the Easter holiday, having already put the bill on Trump's desk. Problem solved!

Instead, it is now looking like Ryan's "Ryancare" bill is going to face a very tough uphill fight, even among his own Republicans. Passage is in no way guaranteed even in Ryan's House, and the prospects of Ryancare emerging from the Senate in its present form is looking vanishingly small. If the Ryancare bill is in serious trouble, what I am now wondering is whether Donald Trump will at some point drop his support for what seems to be a losing proposition. Trump, after all, hates to lose.

What I've found remarkable thus far into the debate is the complete absence of any Republican supporters of the bill who do not work directly for the Trump administration (or who are not named "Paul Ryan"). Think about it -- who have you seen on television singing the praises of Ryancare (or even defending it against detractors)? In normal circumstances, Ryan would have a whole posse of supporters backing him up -- prominent GOP senators and House committee chairs, for instance -- all of whom would be downright eager to be interviewed on television in order to help frame the debate positively for the bill. So far, though, all the Republicans I've seen on television have been forcefully speaking out against Ryancare. It's not even just one faction, either -- there's a whole spectrum of reasons why Republican congresscritters are denouncing Ryancare. Some hate even the idea of tax credits (to help people buy health insurance). Some think the gutting of Medicaid should happen faster. Some think Medicaid shouldn't be gutted at all. Some hate the new penalty for not continuously having health insurance. Some GOP senators were shocked at the C.B.O. estimates, and see Ryancare as political suicide. There are a whole passel of reasons why Republicans don't like Ryan's bill. But so far there aren't many voices even trying to defend the bill other than Ryan himself and administration spokespeople.

This doesn't really bode well for the chances the bill can pass even in Ryan's own House, much less the Senate. Pretty soon, people in Washington will start to begin whispering that the bill is completely dead in the water -- that's usually the next step for doomed legislative efforts. If Ryan knows full well he doesn't have the votes to pass it, he probably won't even bring it to the floor for a vote (to spare himself the embarrassment). At this point, Republicans will either go back to the drawing board and start working on a different plan, or they'll throw their hands up and decide to move on to another of their agenda items (like passing other massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans). Sooner or later they're going to start facing budget deadlines, which will likely dominate the political scene and starve all other issues of oxygen.

Now, maybe things aren't as dire for Ryancare as watching the political news on television would have you believe. Maybe there are back-room deals happening which will give Ryan enough support to get his bill passed in the House. Maybe. It's certainly possible. Even so, the incredibly lopsided debate is what is playing out on television -- where Ryan appears to be on his own, unless you count people who directly work for Donald Trump. I have yet to see one prominent Republican congressman take Ryan's side in public (although I admit I might have missed it if it did happen). But here's the key -- while the debate happening on television might not fully reflect the reality (Ryancare might have a lot of silent support from backbenchers, in other words), television is how Trump gets his political news. So he's watching the same debate everyone else is seeing play out on their television screens.

Paul Ryan and Donald Trump seemed to come to a sort of handshake agreement during the campaign. If Trump became president, the arrangement would basically boil down to Ryan doing all the wonky detail work (that Trump isn't interested in), and then Trump would sign whatever bills Ryan got passed and immediately take all the credit for himself. That was the way it was supposed to work. Ryan puts in maximum effort and gets maximum return on his own ideological details. Trump puts in minimum effort and gets the maximum political capital for signing the bill. Easy-peasy, right?

The conundrum Ryan now finds himself in is exactly the same one John Boehner faced. Ryan is getting savaged from the right. In particular, Breitbart is whipping anti-Ryan feelings into a frenzy. He's caught in the old fable of the frog and the scorpion, to be blunt. The Tea Party faction is best at strenuously being against things. It's who they are. So while Ryan is boldly attempting to swim the river to get to the other side, the Tea Party is going to fatally sting him and cause both to drown. Again, it's who they are.

If this becomes obvious to Trump, he's got three basic choices (unless he wants to continue to be the only other Republican in Washington defending Ryan's plan). He could introduce his own "Trumpcare" plan to compete with Ryancare in Congress. He promised he'd do this repeatedly on the campaign trail, after all, but so far has not done so. Or Trump could identify which parts of Ryancare are unacceptable to him. He could either double down on some of his campaign promises (such as "everybody will be covered" or "I won't touch Medicaid"), or he could pick and choose which parts of Ryancare people seem to hate the worst. Either way, he'd be acting traditionally, since this is a normal dealmaking role for the White House to play in the legislative process, either within the president's own party or with the opposition. Thirdly, though, Trump could just completely flip-flop on his support for Ryancare and join the chorus of Republicans who are currently denouncing it for one reason or another.

It's really hard to predict which direction Trump will choose, because this is the first time he's ever been faced with the complexities of moving major legislation through Congress. The bill he's chosen to back is getting more unpopular by the day. Will he continue to be the biggest spokesman for a losing cause? Or will Trump eventually break with Ryan and chart his own political path through the health insurance minefield?

If Trump does break with Ryan, he's not likely to come up with his own Trumpcare plan. Much like many other Republicans running for office, Trump never had a plan, he just liked to say that he did to the voters. If Trump ever had any intention of introducing his own plan, he probably would have done so before now -- or, at the very least, worked with Ryan to make sure that his priorities were included in Ryan's bill. Neither of those happened, so neither is likely to happen any time soon. Trump having a plan was a lie all along, in other words.

Trump may just decide to attack certain parts of Ryancare, like many other Republicans are currently doing. He may eventually tell Ryan (in an early-morning tweet, perhaps) to go back to the drawing board and fix a few unacceptable things: "24m lose insurance? Not what I promised! Paul Ryan needs to FIX THIS NOW!" This may be provoked by yet another story on cable news about how awful the Ryancare plan will be for Trump's core voters, perhaps. If Trump stood up to Ryan in such a fashion, it might reassure his voters that he's looking out for them, it would distance Trump from an obviously unpopular bill, and it would validate all the other people on the right who are currently attacking Ryan. All of that might be tempting to Trump, at some point (especially if he sees his own approval ratings heading down in the midst of the debate).

Then again, there's the third option. Trump might not bother giving detailed reasons, he might just completely turn on Ryan. Trump's not normally known for nuance, after all, as he tends to see things through a black-and-white filter. If Trump just tweets out that Ryancare is "bad" (or maybe even "sad!") and starts personally trashing Ryan, then Ryancare as we know it can be pronounced completely dead. If Trump sees Ryancare as being doomed, then he might just decide to unhitch his own political wagon from it altogether. And if Trump bows out, it will truly leave Paul Ryan as the sole voice supporting the bill he put together.

That's going to get lonely fast, to put it mildly. It would also destroy the whole handshake agreement between Ryan and Trump -- which would have big repercussions when the budget battles get underway. If Ryan has already been undermined by the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, he's going to be in a lot weaker position within the Republican Party heading into budget season, that's for sure.

Donald Trump hates to lose. Ryancare, at this point, looks more and more like it's going to be a big loser. Unless Ryan immediately makes some very serious adjustments to his bill, it's doubtful whether it'll make it out of the House -- it may not even get the chance for a floor vote, if Ryan can accurately count votes in his own caucus. If Ryancare seems certain to die an ignoble death, how long will Trump continue to support it? Given the amount of information Trump gets from cable television, the temptation for Trump to cut and run away from Ryancare might just become overwhelming. Whether Trump edges away from Ryan or cuts all ties in one angry tweet, once Trump sees Ryancare as a guaranteed loser he may just start looking for a personal way out of the mess. Because Trump hates losing -- more than anything else.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

85 Comments on “Will Trump Break With Ryan?”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    trump really should break with ryan on an obamacare fix, at least he should if he wants to be successful.

    JL

  2. [2] 
    dsws wrote:

    I don't understand what the problem is. I don't recall Trump promising that any particular number of people would lose insurance: when did he ever commit to any wonky detail on anything. And besides, even if he is committed to a higher number than 24M, he still has three years and ten months to finish the job.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, everyone, going to tackle comments! I know, I know, it's been too long... mea culpa and all of that.

    Oh, and before I forget, LizM: email me! I tried emailing you a few weeks ago, but I think you've changed email addresses, because it bounced back. Send me your new one...

    :-)

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Ryancare really should be called Ryandon'tcare.

  6. [6] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Heroin junkie Trumpthugs love their Medicaid welfare.

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John From Censornati -

    Best moniker I've heard: It's from Donnie Trump, right? So let's call it DonTcare...

    or just "don'tcare"

    :-)

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, folks, I started in on answering comments, but I must admit I didn't get very far. I promise, I'll do better tomorrow!

    :-)

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    michale wrote:

    Well, ya'all got President Trump's tax returns.. :D

    Looks like he paid more in taxes than Obama and almost twice as much as Bernie Sanders!! :D

    Ya know, President Trump's tax returns reminds me of Obama's birth certificate "scandal"...

    A lot of hysterical smoke and absolutely NO FIRE.. :D

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Here's a little dose of reality for Michale ...

    Saying that Dana Milbank is a "dose of reality" vis a vis Republicans is like saying that Rush Limbaugh is a "dose of reality" vis a vis Democrats.. :D

    Having said that I did, in fact, read the article... And it merely confirmed my initial skepticism..

    Blaming the Republicans for the debacle that is TrainWreckCare is like blaming Democrats for the debacle that was President Trump's first Travel Ban EO...

    If the shit is tight to begin with, it can withstand the machinations of the opposition Party...

    One only has to look at the utter cluster-frak that was TrainWreckCare's rollout to KNOW that Obama's pet program's shit was NOT tight...

    Time will tell on the GOP's version, but so far, it's a step in the right direction. Getting rid of the mandate is a HUGE plus...

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    So far, though, all the Republicans I've seen on television have been forcefully speaking out against Ryancare.

    Of course.. Do you think the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party is going to put ANYONE on TV who actually supports the legislation!??

    Shirley, you jest.. :D

    Now, maybe things aren't as dire for Ryancare as watching the political news on television would have you believe.

    Ya think?? :D

    The Media's trust amongst Americans is lower than Trump's and even lower than Congress'... THAT says something.. :D

    Maybe there are back-room deals happening which will give Ryan enough support to get his bill passed in the House.

    It certainly worked for Democrats and TrainWreckCare... :D

    Donald Trump hates to lose. Ryancare, at this point, looks more and more like it's going to be a big loser.

    It's not as if TrainWreckCare never appeared dead in the water, eh?? :D

    This will play out according to Party ideology... Expecting anything different is like expecting the sun to rise in the west and set in the east...

  12. [12] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Michale - where do you get your health insurance, privately or through your employer?

  13. [13] 
    michale wrote:

    Michale - where do you get your health insurance, privately or through your employer?

    I am self-employed.. I have a family plan thru my wife's work...

    Personally, it sucks.. The deductible shot WAY up after TrainWreckCare. So much so that it is impossible to use unless something major happens...

    We were fortunate this year with my surgery for my arm. We actually were able to use our insurance because our deductible was met..

    And I don't need to worry about losing my house over medical bills..

  14. [14] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.mrctv.org/blog/twitter-just-shredded-rachel-maddow-over-trump-tax-return-story

    hehehehehehehehehehehehe

    Haven't seen this much hysteria since Obama's birth certificate fiasco.. :D

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    JFC,

    Ryancare really should be called Ryandon'tcare.

    Credit where credit is due..

    THAT's funny... :D

  16. [16] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    I tend to pick Door Number 3. TrumpCare was just another variation on Trump U....all sales pitch, no product. Trump will cut his losses and move on. The election is over. Governing is hard and Trump has a short attention span. So does the electorate. So does the media. Ryan is the new Boehner. Boehner seems so long ago...I had to look up how to spell his name.

  17. [17] 
    michale wrote:

    Rachel Maddow Turned a Scoop on Donald Trump’s Taxes Into a Cynical, Self-Defeating Spectacle
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2017/03/15/rachel_maddow_s_trump_taxes_scoop_was_a_cynical_self_defeating_spectacle.html

    :D heh

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Getting rid of the mandate is a big problem and betrays a general misunderstanding of healthcare insurance.

    Let me put it this way, again ... just as there is a mandate for all auto drivers to have auto insurance, there should be a mandate for all live people to have health insurance.

    Healthcare insurance is not something that any live person should be able to opt out of. That just doesn't make any sense.

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    The reporter who received these two pages of Trump's 2005 taxes should have just sat on them for a while.

    That's what I would have done, waiting to see what kind of response would emanate from the WH or from a certain twitter account when the tax news was not reported. After all, it wasn't much of a report, anyways. :)

  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    Getting rid of the mandate is a big problem and betrays a general misunderstanding of healthcare insurance.

    Pushing a mandate is a big problem and betrays a general misunderstanding of the US Constitution.

    Let me put it this way, again ... just as there is a mandate for all auto drivers to have auto insurance, there should be a mandate for all live people to have health insurance.

    Why??

    If someone never goes to a doctor, it would be as ridiculous to force someone to carry health insurance as it would be to force someone who never drives to carry car insurance..

    If someone is filthy rich and can pay cash for everything, then it's ridiculous to force them to buy health insurance..

    Further, if you want to use the auto insurance analogy then the states should the sole arbiter of health insurance, not the federal government..

    Healthcare insurance is not something that any live person should be able to opt out of. That just doesn't make any sense.

    It makes perfect sense, given the afore examples..

  21. [21] 
    michale wrote:

    That's what I would have done, waiting to see what kind of response would emanate from the WH or from a certain twitter account when the tax news was not reported. After all, it wasn't much of a report, anyways. :)

    Yea, I think President Trump released the info from those "returns" a year ago.. :D

    The Anti-Trumper group's credibility just took a huge hit..

    Like I said, it's akin to the Right Wingery and their Birth Certificate hysteria...

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    A live person would have to be superhuman not to ever have a need for health care.

    And, furthermore, any live American person, no matter how healthy or filthy rich they are, does not live on their own private island. They live in a country with some 300 million other live people, most with health issues that would very well affect that 'superhuman' live American if said issues were not dealt with through an effective healthcare system.

    Michale, we all live in a very interrelated, interdependent world. Your concept of healthcare insurance only makes sense if such a complex reality does not exist.

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    Between the Blizzard That Never Was and Maddow's Overreach taking the spotlight off GOP's TrainWreckCare, President Trump has the luck of the Irish... :D

  24. [24] 
    michale wrote:

    They live in a country with some 300 million other live people,

    So, what you are saying is that people should have to pay health insurance to subsidize OTHER people who can not afford it...

    Hmmmmm Sounds vaguely familiar.. :D

    Michale, we all live in a very interrelated, interdependent world. Your concept of healthcare insurance only makes sense if such a complex reality does not exist.

    The world is irrelevant..

    In the US, we have a Constitution and forcing an American to pay for something they don't want and may never need violates the Constitution...

    Change the Constitution and the Left can have it's mandate....

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, what you are saying is that people should have to pay health insurance to subsidize OTHER people who can not afford it...

    No. I'm saying that the only system that works is a single-payer system and one in which everyone must pay their fair share for healthcare insurance through income tax.

    Until Americans understand what works and what doesn't with regard to healthcare insurance, there will continue to be endless and pointless debates on the subject and a healthcare system that doesn't work and is not at all sustainable.

    The world is irrelevant..

    By 'world', I meant your American world, within the confines of the United States of America. Of course, your little world would be better off if the rest of the world has an effective healthcare system, too and not just the rest of the industrialized world. Ahem.

  26. [26] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Pushing a mandate is a big problem and betrays a general misunderstanding of the US Constitution."

    NOT really. There are plenty of mandates. Everyone participates in Social Security, everyone participates in Medicare, everyone pays taxes.

    "If someone never goes to a doctor, it would be as ridiculous to force someone to carry health insurance as it would be to force someone who never drives to carry car insurance."

    That's a completely FALSE analogy. Everyone goes to the doctor at some point, even if it's only to be born in the first place.

    "Further, if you want to use the auto insurance analogy then the states should the sole arbiter of health insurance, not the federal government."

    Except states can't afford health insurance on an individual basis. It's just another FALSE analogy. There are certain things that can ONLY be EFFECTIVELY done on a NATIONAL level. Health care is one of them. Defense, printing money and immigration control, just being other examples of many.

  27. [27] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "So, what you are saying is that people should have to pay health insurance to subsidize OTHER people who can not afford it..."

    YES, the should. That is what is currently done with Medicaid, Medicare, and Veterans health care. You are just objecting to including the rest of the population, which doesn't make sense.

    "The world is irrelevant."

    REALLY??? Say that the next time another pandemic hits. Ebola, the Spanish influenza of 1914, SARS, Bird Flu, take your pick. I'll bet you'll wish that everybody had both health insurance and could afford access to treatment then!!!

    "In the US, we have a Constitution and forcing an American to pay for something they don't want and may never need violates the Constitution...

    Change the Constitution and the Left can have it's mandate...."

    NOT necessary. Since I already cited Medicaid, Medicare and Veterans Health, all of which ARE constitutional.

    Also, if you will remember, the individual mandate you are so against, was a REPUBLICAN idea pushed by Newt Gingrich, originally!

  28. [28] 
    John M wrote:

    Elizabeth wrote:

    "And, furthermore, any live American person, no matter how healthy or filthy rich they are, does not live on their own private island. They live in a country with some 300 million other live people, most with health issues that would very well affect that 'superhuman' live American if said issues were not dealt with through an effective healthcare system."

    Right on Elizabeth! Exactly spot on correct!

  29. [29] 
    michale wrote:

    No. I'm saying that the only system that works is a single-payer system and one in which everyone must pay their fair share for healthcare insurance through income tax.

    And WHO decides "fair" share???

  30. [30] 
    michale wrote:

    That's a completely FALSE analogy. Everyone goes to the doctor at some point, even if it's only to be born in the first place.

    And is that person who is born at the hospital responsible for the bill??

    No..

    Ergo, your response is non sequitor..

    There are certain things that can ONLY be EFFECTIVELY done on a NATIONAL level. Health care is one of them.

    Yea???

    And TrainWreckCare is SO effective, right?? :^/

    REALLY??? Say that the next time another pandemic hits. Ebola, the Spanish influenza of 1914, SARS, Bird Flu, take your pick. I'll bet you'll wish that everybody had both health insurance and could afford access to treatment then!!!

    You had to go back over a century to find a relevant example..

    That should tell you something.. :D

    Also, if you will remember, the individual mandate you are so against, was a REPUBLICAN idea pushed by Newt Gingrich, originally!

    So??

    It's stoopid and unconstitutional regardless of WHAT moron came up with it..

    Forcing a person to buy health insurance simply because they exist is as assinine as forcing someone to buy auto insurance who doesn't drive...

  31. [31] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "And TrainWreckCare is SO effective, right?? :^/"

    Considering how much it lowered the uninsured rate, YES IT IS.

    "You had to go back over a century to find a relevant example."

    NOT TRUE. Ebola and the concern about the virus from China, were NOT THAT LONG AGO. Also, what about the Zika virus? That's was very recent also.

    "Forcing a person to buy health insurance simply because they exist is as assinine as forcing someone to buy auto insurance who doesn't drive..."

    To use your own favorite term, that statement of yours is non sequitor. Health insurance and auto insurance are in no way comparable.

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    Considering how much it lowered the uninsured rate, YES IT IS.

    It's called The AFFORDABLE</I? CARE ACT..

    It wasn't called The LET'S INSURE AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN ACT...

    By it's very own name, it was a dismal failure..

    It's utterly moronic to create a program that makes it IMPOSSIBLE to use health insurance because it's so expensive and then claim SUCCESS simply because more people are FORCED to buy plans that are too expensive to use..

    NOT TRUE. Ebola and the concern about the virus from China, were NOT THAT LONG AGO. Also, what about the Zika virus? That's was very recent also.

    And all was totally overblown and not any kind of threat to the US...

    To use your own favorite term, that statement of yours is non sequitor. Health insurance and auto insurance are in no way comparable.

    And yet, it was you and Liz who compared them.. :D

  33. [33] 
    neilm wrote:

    OK, Ryandon'tcare* is a bust.

    Where are the calls from the 45 fanboys to see the plan he promised? After all you keep telling us Obamacare doesn't work, so what is your alternative and why isn't your idol letting us in on his secret plan?

    * Good one JFC!

  34. [34] 
    michale wrote:

    Where are the calls from the 45 fanboys to see the plan he promised? After all you keep telling us Obamacare doesn't work, so what is your alternative and why isn't your idol letting us in on his secret plan?

    How long did it take Obama to bring us TrainWreckCare???

    President Trump has been in office, whaa?? less than 2 months...???

    Do you see how ridiculous you are sounding?? :D

  35. [35] 
    John M wrote:

    Two prostitutes were riding around town with a sign on top of their car that said: "TWO PROSTITUTES $50.00."
    A policeman stopped them and told them they'd either have to remove the sign or go to jail.
    Just then, another car passed with a sign saying, "JESUS SAVES."
    One of the girls asked the cop, "Why don't you stop them?"
    "Well, that's a little different," the cop smiled. "Their sign pertains to religion."
    The two ladies frowned as they took their sign down and drove off.
    The following day the cop noticed the same two ladies driving around with a large sign on their car again.
    This time the sign read: "TWO ANGELS SEEKING PETER $50.00."

    Ba dum dum!

  36. [36] 
    michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Don't you want to talk about President Trump's tax returns?? :D

  37. [37] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "It's called The AFFORDABLE</I? CARE ACT..

    It wasn't called The LET'S INSURE AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN ACT...

    By it's very own name, it was a dismal failure..

    AGAIN, NOT TRUE. If more people are covered, it's because more people can afford it who could not afford it before.

    "It's utterly moronic to create a program that makes it IMPOSSIBLE to use health insurance because it's so expensive and then claim SUCCESS simply because more people are FORCED to buy plans that are too expensive to use..

    EXCEPT, it is not too expensive to use and it is not impossible to use. Real world places like Kentucky PROVE this.

    "And yet, it was you and Liz who compared them.. :D"

    NOPE, it was ONLY Liz who used that example, not me. Please stop lumping me in with things I did not say.

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And WHO decides "fair" share???

    That would be up to whomever decides how your income tax system is set up, of course.

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Right on Elizabeth! Exactly spot on correct!

    Thanks John!

    Quite obviously, these are hard concepts for America Firsters to understand.

  40. [40] 
    altohone wrote:

    Delayed response to comment 55 from "Everyone will be covered"

    Once again, projection.
    Ignorance is what is driving the defense of unnecessary police brutality.

    I would find it funny that you believe tackling and beating someone who gets on his knees and surrenders is the only way for police to approach such a situation if not for the ugly reality it exposes about the mentality behind it.

    It is you who needs to go on a ride-along in areas or other countries where police training includes those other approaches... and hiring standards that exclude those incapable of seeing why they are better for society, and those incapable of following them.

    You are reveling in ignorance while accusing critics of ignorance.

    It is no different than the different approaches to peaceful protesters.
    Some countries guarantee the right and protect protesters, some countries beat them into submission.
    In America, we do both, but only one of those approaches is considered correct.

    You are clinging to outdated notions than un-coincidentally have been shaped by our racist history.

    A

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    To use your own favorite term, that statement of yours is non sequitor. Health insurance and auto insurance are in no way comparable.

    That is very true. My use of the analogy, however, was apt but does require a bit of nuance. :)

  42. [42] 
    neilm wrote:

    Neil,

    Don't you want to talk about President Trump's tax returns?? :D

    Without the schedule D they are meaningless.

  43. [43] 
    neilm wrote:

    President Trump has been in office, whaa?? less than 2 months...???

    Uh-huh, but he promised that he had a plan and that he was going to release it when he got elected ... then again when Price was confirmed (Price even laughed about that during the confirmation hearings).

    Can you please explain to me why 45 would claim to have a plan and give a release date, then not release it? And now Ryandon'tcare is exploding, why we don't get the plan from the amazing businessman who you keep telling us about.

    He is a complete BS artist and you should be ashamed for falling for his con.

  44. [44] 
    neilm wrote:

    More BS - there was no "wire tapp"

    Who'd have guessed?

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    Sessions throws 45 under the bus:

    http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/03/15/jeff-sessions-trump-wiretap-claim.cnn

    Everybody is figuring out the 45 reverse Midas touch effect.

    Lindsay Graham is so happy getting back for the release of his cell phone number. And even the politically spineless (the man is a genuine war hero) John McCain is showing some fortitude.

  46. [46] 
    michale wrote:

    AGAIN, NOT TRUE. If more people are covered, it's because more people can afford it who could not afford it before.

    Anyone who claims that TrainWreckCare is AFFORDABLE is delusional or pushing an agenda...

    EXCEPT, it is not too expensive to use and it is not impossible to use. Real world places like Kentucky PROVE this.

    First time I heard you claim that Kentucky is "real world"..

    Sure you can cherry pick a bright spot here or there..

    But TrainWreckCare is in a death spiral. Major insurers are leaving it in droves..

    This is fact...

    And yes, it IS factual that TrainWreckCare did NOT live up to it's namer AFFORDABLE CARE ACT..

  47. [47] 
    michale wrote:

    He is a complete BS artist and you should be ashamed for falling for his con.

    Why??

    You and me both fell for Odumbo's con..

    Do you feel ashamed for that???

  48. [48] 
    altohone wrote:

    John M
    37

    Most of your comment is spot on, but it is a reality that many people can't afford to use the insurance they have, and that high deductible plans and co-pays are the initial reason.

    That's another reason why Single Payer is vastly superior to the "corporate subsidies to middlemen who don't provide health care" system, developed by Republicans btw, that Obama and the Wall Street coddling corporatists implemented.

    Trumpcare giving people the choice not to have insurance only makes the problem worse though. The people who can't afford to use their insurance still won't be able to afford the health care they need even if they don't have to pay insurance premiums.

    A

  49. [49] 
    michale wrote:

    More BS - there was no "wire tapp"

    Cite????

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    And yes, it IS factual that TrainWreckCare did NOT live up to it's name AFFORDABLE CARE ACT..

    There is only one way to get excellent and affordable healthcare. I'll let you know when and if it ever gets proposed!

  51. [51] 
    neilm wrote:

    In case you forgot Michale:

    President-elect Trump on Wednesday [Jan 11th, 2017] said a "repeal-and-replace" plan for Obamacare would be submitted as soon as the Senate approves his nominee, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., for secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

    "It will be essentially simultaneously," Trump said. "The same day or the same week ... could be the same hour."

    Price's confirmation hearing in the Senate is scheduled for Jan. 18.

    Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/11/donald-trump-addresses-obamacare-repeal-and-replacement-at-press-conference-in-new-york.html

  52. [52] 
    neilm wrote:

    Price's confirmation hearing in the Senate is scheduled for Jan. 18.

    Price was confirmed on Feb 10th.

    Today is Mar 15th.

    The ides of March.

  53. [53] 
    michale wrote:

    President-elect Trump on Wednesday [Jan 11th, 2017] said a "repeal-and-replace" plan for Obamacare would be submitted as soon as the Senate approves his nominee, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., for secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

    "It will be essentially simultaneously," Trump said. "The same day or the same week ... could be the same hour."

    Price's confirmation hearing in the Senate is scheduled for Jan. 18.

    And Obama promised to close Gitmo...

    When you start holding Obama accountable for his BS, then you'll have some credibility attacking President Trump...

  54. [54] 
    michale wrote:

    You see, it's a win-win for me..

    I know you'll never seriously condemn Obama or hold him accountable so I will never have to seriously consider your claims against President Trump.. :D

    Saves me expending some brain cells.. And I need to save all the brain cells I can!!! heh

    :D

  55. [55] 
    michale wrote:

    The ides of March.

    You mean the IDES OF MADDOW

    :D heh

  56. [56] 
    michale wrote:

    There is only one way to get excellent and affordable healthcare. I'll let you know when and if it ever gets proposed!

    I await word with eager anticipation.. :D

  57. [57] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm [42]

    Without the schedule D they are meaningless.

    I know, right? Two pages of a tax return is a great big nothingburger. The devil is in the details.

    Still, we did learn that but for the Alternative Minimum Tax, Trump would have paid only 3% in income taxes for 2005.

    It's not like anyone has plans to abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax. ;)

  58. [58] 
    dsws wrote:

    I'm saying that the only system that works is a single-payer system

    What do you intend to say, by saying that a system "works"? For the vast majority of human history, there wasn't a single-payer medical system anywhere.

    I think private insurance can pay for at least some kinds of medical services, and continue to do so for decades at least. I think a philanthropic system can provide some minimum level of medical services. I think people could be allowed to opt out of receiving some categories of medical services, and thereby avoid paying the cost.

    There is no such thing as a perfect medical system, until and unless diagnosis can be done using only the hardware that ordinary people have in their homes for other purposes, together with software and computing power that can be paid for by watching 30 seconds of ads whenever you use it. Medical services cost, even if people don't pay for them directly: it takes labor, capital, and natural resources to provide them. Most medical services provide only very limited benefit: many people, if they could evaluate the actual odds, would be willing to forgo the medical services in order to have other goods and services that could be supplied with the same factors of production.

    We spend far too much on medical services -- we in the US much more so, but you do too in the civilized world.

  59. [59] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'm saying that the only system that works is a single-payer system

    I'm with Elizabeth on this one. If single payer works for Defense it can work for Healthcare. Otherwise what are we defending?

  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    I know, right? Two pages of a tax return is a great big nothingburger. The devil is in the details.

    And yet, to hear Maddow tell it, she had the Holy Grail...

    That's kinda my point.. :D

  61. [61] 
    michale wrote:

    Still, we did learn that but for the Alternative Minimum Tax, Trump would have paid only 3% in income taxes for 2005.

    And, but for the fact that I am bald, fat and ugly, I could be a GQ model.. :D

  62. [62] 
    michale wrote:

    It's not like anyone has plans to abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax. ;)

    A VERY wise Weigantian once said, "You can't fault someone for using the rules to their financial advantage, even if they speak out against those same rules"

    ....Or words to that effect... :D

  63. [63] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [60]

    And yet, to hear Maddow tell it, she had the Holy Grail...

    That's kinda my point.. :D

    Seriously now! But for the fact that Maddow actually did have 2 pages, it was almost like listening to Trump talk about his healthcare plan or his plan to defeat ISIS. :)

  64. [64] 
    michale wrote:

    But for the fact that Maddow actually did have 2 pages,

    Maddow's problem is that those 2 pages actually painted President Trump in a GOOD light..

    Paying almost TWICE as much in taxes as Bernie Sanders did..

    Maddow got played by Trump... :D

    it was almost like listening to Trump talk about his healthcare plan or his plan to defeat ISIS. :)

    Or Obama's plan to close Gitmo.... :D

  65. [65] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Dan,

    What do you intend to say, by saying that a system "works"?

    A healthcare system that works - in the here and now - is one in which every single person in the country is entitled to basic healthcare with most medical services covered by a single-payer system and where there is no freedom opt out of something that everyone is born into.

    By the way, by 'single-payer' I do not intend to mean "free" healthcare, just to be clear but, rather, everyone pays their fair share. One is free, however, to improve upon this basic healthcare and pay whatever amount they can or want to purchase more healthcare.

    For the vast majority of human history, there wasn't a single-payer medical system anywhere.

    I'm not sure what you intend to say with that ... ??

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, Dan, it sounds like you are confusing medical services with basic healthcare and, then further, healthcare with other goods and services.

    It all comes down to what kind of a country you wish to live in.

  67. [67] 
    neilm wrote:

    Still, we did learn that but for the Alternative Minimum Tax, Trump would have paid only 3% in income taxes for 2005.

    And, but for the fact that I am bald, fat and ugly, I could be a GQ model.. :D

    But you aren't trying to pass a law that makes fat, bald and ugly guys must get all the leading roles in Hollywood.

    If you do, let me know and I'll vote for you ;)

  68. [68] 
    neilm wrote:

    More BS - there was no "wire tapp"

    Cite????

    Easy:

    “I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” said Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

  69. [69] 
    michale wrote:

    “I don't think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” said Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

    And his word is gospel??? :D

    Let me get with you in the morning and I'll post all the facts about the 3 times the Obama Administration went to FISA court to obtain the authorization to wiretap Trump Tower... :D

  70. [70] 
    michale wrote:

    But you aren't trying to pass a law that makes fat, bald and ugly guys must get all the leading roles in Hollywood.

    And President Trump is not trying to pass a law to enhance the AMT...

    He has come out against it...

    The fact he uses it to his advantage??

    See comment #62 (or thereabouts..)

  71. [71] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [61, 62]

    And, but for the fact that I am bald, fat and ugly, I could be a GQ model.. :D

    Interesting... if not relevant.

    A VERY wise Weigantian once said, "You can't fault someone for using the rules to their financial advantage, even if they speak out against those same rules"

    I wonder if s/he would agree that you can't fault someone for doing away with the Alternative Minimum Tax in order to abolish their own taxes?

    I'm guessing NOT. :)

  72. [72] 
    neilm wrote:

    Let me get with you in the morning and I'll post all the facts about the 3 times the Obama Administration went to FISA court to obtain the authorization to wiretap Trump Tower... :D

    You mean the Tower with the Chinese State bank? And thousands of other tenants?

    Get back to me when you have some proof that 45 himself was targeted and that is was politically motivated, as 45 accused Obama of.

    Or you may find that there was a wire "tapp" on 45 during the last 18 months, and it is because there is evidence that he colluded with the Russians to steal the election.

  73. [73] 
    neilm wrote:

    Let me get with you in the morning

    Are you trying 45's trick of punting and hoping that the news cycle changes? 45 is discovering that this trick isn't working any longer.

  74. [74] 
    Kick wrote:

    michale [64]

    Maddow's problem is that those 2 pages actually painted President Trump in a GOOD light..

    Paying almost TWICE as much in taxes as Bernie Sanders did..

    Thanks be to the Alternative Minimum Tax (otherwise not so good at 3%). Since that AMT paints him in such a "GOOD light," Trump might want to rethink doing away with it.

    Then again, HRC in the first debate suggested the reason Trump would not release his tax returns might be that he paid no taxes, and Trump replied: "That makes me smart." So by his own definition, Trump is looking pretty stupid... probably why he wants to abolish that thing. ;)

    Maddow got played by Trump... :D

    It's so cute how a lot of righties think that to "believe" in something makes it a fact. Has Trump confessed to releasing his own tax return, or do you just "believe" that he did? :)

  75. [75] 
    neilm wrote:

    "[Republicans] are now in a position where, as the governing party, they don't have the luxury of just voting on things that were absolutely perfect. They have to vote “yes” on things the party absolutely despises. Every member is going to be in that position."

    - Doug Holtz-Eakin (R), former CBO director

    Cue upset in 2018. It is easy to pile on when everybody hates Washington, but now that they are Washington they need to put their big boy pants on and most of them don't own a pair.

  76. [76] 
    Kick wrote:

    And down goes Trump Travel Ban 2.0.

    Thud! :)

  77. [77] 
    Kick wrote:

    Who knew a Muslim Ban was unconstitutional?

  78. [78] 
    Paula wrote:

    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/3/15/1643692/-OK-senator-and-Trump-state-campaign-chair-caught-in-a-motel-with-minor-he-d-been-texting

    Trumpers. They loves them their Molester-in-Chief and emulate him -- gender being subject to taste, of course.

  79. [79] 
    Paula wrote:

    Travelban 2 suspended nationwide because its just one heapin' helping of "religious animus".

  80. [80] 
    neilm wrote:

    What a failure. Obamacare repeal in the toilet. Wiretap claim in the toilet. Muslim ban in the toilet.

    Maybe he should stop tweeting policy from the toilet.

  81. [81] 
    Paula wrote:

    [80] neilm: Maybe he should stop tweeting policy from the toilet.

    He probably already does!

    We can hope the ACA repeal is in the toilet but I'm not yet confident. GOP is quite capable of making a few cosmetic changes and passing it anyway. Really depends on just how stupid they are and how confident they are they can fool enough people sufficiently.

  82. [82] 
    Paula wrote:

    oops, I misread -- I thought you were saying he should START tweeting from the toilet. Which makes no sense either. Sorry.

  83. [83] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm [80]

    What a failure. Obamacare repeal in the toilet. Wiretap claim in the toilet. Muslim ban in the toilet.

    Maybe he should stop tweeting policy from the toilet.

    OMG, Neil! Now that's funny. :)

    Shit rolls downhill, and there's going to have to be a lot of fighting in order to avoid getting trickled down on.

  84. [84] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    there's plenty of toilet-worthy policy yet to come.

    JL

  85. [85] 
    John M wrote:

    neilm wrote:

    "What a failure. Obamacare repeal in the toilet. Wiretap claim in the toilet. Muslim ban in the toilet.

    Maybe he should stop tweeting policy from the toilet."

    I loved that too! Maybe the size of his hands had something to do with his fingers not being able to type things out correctly also? :-)

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