ChrisWeigant.com

Why Is Everyone So Certain "Skinny Repeal" Will Go To Conference?

[ Posted Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 – 16:40 UTC ]

As the Senate's "vote-a-rama" continues, it's looking more and more likely that the only bill that has any chance of passing is what's now known as "skinny repeal." Who comes up with these labels, anyway? Nomenclature aside, though, there is a rather large assumption being made right now that may prove to be faulty -- that the skinny repeal bill will immediately move from passing the Senate into a House/Senate conference committee. This would serve to slow the process down and give Congress (at the very least) all of August to contemplate their next step. But this conference may not happen at all, which pretty much everyone in Washington is currently ignoring.

Let's unpack all of that a bit, for those who haven't followed every twist and turn in the healthcare bill saga over the past 24 hours. The Senate's "vote-a-rama" is a freewheeling procedure where any senator can offer up amendments to the bill under discussion, for a minimum of 20 hours of debate. As of this writing, the score stands at three major amendments considered, all of which failed to pass.

To start the whole debate process, John McCain gave a wonderful speech yesterday on the Senate floor, in which he tried to shame his fellow Republicans into supporting "regular order" for bills -- sending them through committee, holding hearings, getting input from the minority party, etc. This was sheer hypocrisy from the get-go, however, which I explained in detail yesterday. In a nutshell: McCain could have forced the Senate to do exactly what he said he wanted them to do if he had either voted "no" on the motion to proceed or even if he had just stayed home and not voted. But he didn't -- he voted to give the finger to regular order and just steamroll ahead towards a partisan tribal win. Thus the stinking hypocrisy of his wonderful speech.

Mitch McConnell has brought up two major amendments which would replace (pun intended, I guess) the House bill with the third version of his own McConnellcare plan. This "repeal and full replace" bill went down in flames, with nine Republicans voting against it. McCain wasn't one of them, by the way. Then McConnell put forward a "repeal only" bill which also quickly went down in flames, with seven Republicans voting against it. Democrats, meanwhile, took McCain's lofty sentiments to heart and proposed a bill which would have sent the bill back to committee and restored the precious regular order McCain so dearly lionized in his speech. This amendment went down on party lines. It only needed a majority to pass, so if three Republicans had supported it, McCain would have gotten his wish. McCain, however, voted against this amendment (once again proving the rank hypocrisy of his speech). So far, the Democratic amendment has gotten the highest vote total (48-52) of any of these proposals.

What will now follow will be a scramble to offer more and more amendments on the fly, completely winging the complete redesign of one-sixth of the American economy. How responsible! Nothing like batting a few ideas around over beers and pizza in a brainstorming session for solving all the world's problems, eh?

In the background, a consensus seems to be emerging, or at least trying to. This is to pass a "skinny repeal" bill, which would just repeal three or four of Obamacare's regulations (the individual mandate, the mandate on businesses to provide health insurance to their workers, and a tax on medical devices). The thinking is that a minimalist approach would serve to nicely solve a whole handful of Republican political problems, so the Senate could then go home for vacation, having "done something." Such a skinny bill wouldn't completely undercut Medicaid, it wouldn't slash spending on the poor in order to give a breathtaking tax cut to billionaires, and it wouldn't defund the Medicaid expansion or undercut funds currently fighting the opioid epidemic. This would address many Republican senators' concerns, this thinking goes, so maybe they could all see their way to voting for it.

This is nothing short of an attempt to kick the can down the road, in a big way. Which is kind of ironic, since the Republicans seem to be caught in an eternal game of: "Somebody, please save us from ourselves!" The House version, you'll recall, was sold to reluctant GOP representatives with the promise: "Don't worry, the Senate will fix it!" Now the Senate is considering doing exactly the same thing: "Don't worry, the House/Senate conference committee will fix it!" In other words, skinny repeal is being sold as a risk-free vote which will allow senators to brag to their constituents that they "passed a bill to repeal Obamacare," which (politically) is seen as a lot better than admitting "we tried, but we failed to pass anything."

The skinny repeal bill hasn't even been written yet. So of course the Congressional Budget Office hasn't been able to score it. However, a very similar bill was considered a while back, and the C.B.O. said it would mean 15 million fewer Americans with health insurance and a 20 percent hike in premiums. It's probably safe to say the numbers will be similar for whatever Mitch McConnell jots down on the back of an envelope in the next few days.

So, to recap, "repeal only" failed, which would have kicked 32 million off insurance. "Repeal and replace" failed, which would have meant 22 million losing insurance. McConnell's hope now is to exhaust everyone with the vote-a-rama and then at the end offer up a "skinny repeal" which would only kick 15 million off insurance.

But there's a fly in this ointment, to use a medical metaphor. Because if skinny repeal passes the Senate, there is absolutely nothing stopping the House from just quickly passing the exact same bill, right before they scarper off for a month's vacation. Everyone in Washington (including the media, who should really know better) is making the assumption: "Of course there will be a conference committee, since the Senate bill will be so different than the House version." This assumption is based on absolutely nothing, as far as I can see. What it essentially takes for granted is that after a process of jamming a bill through in both houses by the seat of their pants, suddenly both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will see the wisdom of returning to regular order at the last moment. Really? Everyone believes that? Why?

Why is nobody even considering that Paul Ryan would, instead, make the following political calculus: "It was so hard getting a bill through the House the first time that I initially gave up. The only way we could get a bill through the second time was by promising everyone that the Senate would fix it. If we go to conference committee, then we'll spend months fighting within the Republican caucus, bickering over what should be in the final bill. The committee might not even be able to reach consensus on any bill, in the end. But all that could be avoided by just hustling through the Senate's skinny repeal bill in the House, right before vacationtime. Trump could sign it by the end of this week. All Trump has ever cared about is signing some bill with the title 'repeal Obamacare' that would give him a political victory to brag about. He's never cared what is actually in any bill, he just wants to have his signing ceremony. Skinny repeal can be sold to the Republican base voters as 'a good first step' toward total repeal of Obamacare. We will have proved we can get legislation to Trump's desk, which will blunt the complaints that we haven't fully repealed it yet. So let's just move on the Senate's bill, and get this thing over with before the weekend."

It's really not that hard to imagine such a scenario. But currently nobody seems to even be considering it, at least from what I've read and heard. Everyone (politicians and pundits alike) is completely buying into the assumption that a conference committee is downright inevitable. But it isn't. All it would take would be Paul Ryan deciding that some version of the above paragraph is the way to go, and skinny repeal could be the law of the land before the end of this week. People need to start facing this reality.

I've long said the smartest thing Republicans could have done would have been to pass a one-page bill that merely mandated that every government official and department never use the term "Obamacare" again, and instead be forced to call it "Trumpcare." Nothing else would change, and the change itself would be meaningless (the law has always officially been the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," not "Obamacare"). Trump could triumphantly sign it, and nobody's lives would be negatively affected. It would be the ultimate proof that Trump does not care what is in a "repeal Obamacare" bill, in other words.

Republicans seem to be moving in this general direction with skinny repeal. But skinny repeal will still do a lot of damage to the healthcare system. It's not as benign as just swapping "Trumpcare" for "Obamacare." Even so, how can people not see the appeal to Ryan right now of passing something -- anything -- through Congress as fast as humanly possible, just so Trump can have his precious signing ceremony? If skinny repeal does take this route and Ryan decides to put skinny repeal on the House floor unchanged and unamended, there are going to be a lot of astonished people caught completely unawares by the move.

Personally, though, I won't be one of them.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

71 Comments on “Why Is Everyone So Certain "Skinny Repeal" Will Go To Conference?”

  1. [1] 
    neilm wrote:

    SCARAMUCCI: "Why not disrupt and decentralize the system, make it more price-competitive, increase competition for the insurance companies, reevaluate the way we’re entering the primary care market the way Secretary Price wants to do it, and trust the process of the free market like in telecom, like in airlines."

    Honestly, you can't make this stuff up.

    This guy has to be playing a long troll on 45 - this is too absurd to be real. This has to be the World's biggest ever punk.

  2. [2] 
    neilm wrote:

    Telecoms.

    Airlines.

    Our shining vision for healthcare service.

    :)

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    BTW CW, I think you are absolutely right. I'd never have thought of such an outcome, but it has a lot going for it from the Republican leadership perspective.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    neilm -

    After I posted this, I did note that WashPost has begun discussing it as a possibility. According to them, there's a lot of pushback from House GOPers, but I bet the whole "we'll be done with it for now" aspect hasn't been fully appreciated yet. We'll see what happens. I won't believe the possibility of a conference is even 50/50 until the House adjourns for their August recess (Senate will still be in session for two weeks after that).

    Anyway, check out WashPost. I can dig up the links, but right now they've got a couple leading skinny repeal stories on how the House is seeing things...

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    michale wrote:

    Neil,

    Our shining vision for healthcare service.

    You mean, like the VA???

    :D

  6. [6] 
    michale wrote:

    President Trump does it again!!! :D

    Apple supplier Foxconn invests $10B in Wisconsin
    http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2017/07/26/apple-supplier-foxconn-invests-10b-in-wisconsin.html#&_intcmp=hplnws16,latestnews

    Making America Great Again

    Every day I wake up at between 0300 and 0400.. I get up to start my day. Going thru all the challenges I will face this day is daunting and somewhat depressing..

    Then I remember that President Trump is *STILL* President. I get a little smile on my face and I say to myself, I say "Self?? It's not going to be THAT bad of a day!!"

    And that makes everything just a bit better.. :D

  7. [7] 
    michale wrote:

    Every day I wake up at between 0300 and 0400.. I get up to start my day. Going thru all the challenges I will face this day is daunting and somewhat depressing..

    Then I remember that President Trump is *STILL* President. I get a little smile on my face and I say to myself, I say "Self?? It's not going to be THAT bad of a day!!"

    And that makes everything just a bit better.. :D

    But I don't have to tell ya'all about that feeling.. I am sure ya'all felt it during the Odumbo years.. :D

  8. [8] 
    michale wrote:

    Sen. Ted Cruz also supported the motion to proceed, saying, "The American people rightfully expect us to keep our promises and get the job done."
    The reality is that Obamacare has been dying on the vine. In 2009, Democrats made promises: if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor; if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. For millions of Americans, that was not the case.
    Although Obamacare implemented a higher standard for policies, a report from the Department of Health and Human Services noted that, since 2013, premiums have more than doubled nationwide and next year, people buying insurance in Obamacare exchanges in 45 counties across the country could have no insurance carriers to choose from.
    Voters sent Republicans to Washington to make good on their campaign promises to deliver relief from the Obamacare nightmare, and Congress needs to follow through and do just that.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/opinions/republicans-take-step-on-health-care-stewart-opinion/index.html

    A well reasoned article.. From CNN, no less...

    "Yer stock is rising, Number Two"
    -Austin Powers

    :D

    The GOP should never hold their heads up if they can't repeal this abortion that is TrainWreckCare...

  9. [9] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Every day I wake up at between 0300 and 0400.. I get up to start my day. Going thru all the challenges I will face this day is daunting and somewhat depressing..

    Then I remember that President Trump is *STILL* President. I get a little smile on my face and I say to myself, I say "Self?? It's not going to be THAT bad of a day!!"

    And that makes everything just a bit better.. :D .

    That is one of the saddest things I have ever read! Trump really is the wind beneath your wings, isn't he? Not sure if this is a cry for help, but 1-800-273-8255 is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline just in case.

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    As to your question, CW??

    Why Is Everyone So Certain "Skinny Repeal" Will Go To Conference?

    Because TrainWreckCare went thru very VERY similar sausage-making..

    And it survived to ruin Americans' lives..

  11. [11] 
    michale wrote:

    That is one of the saddest things I have ever read!

    No more sad then when ya'all felt the same way about Obama... :D

  12. [12] 
    michale wrote:

    The simple fact that President Trump has been GREAT for this country....

    Ya'all can't see that because you are still stuffing your faces with crow and sour grapes...

    NOT-45 WILL NEVER BE POTUS...

    It's time ya'all accept that and accept the FACT that President Trump is your President...

  13. [13] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Our shining vision for healthcare service.

    You mean, like the VA???"

    APPLES AND ORANGES. Two COMPLETELY different animals.

    The VA is actually a government run health service. Where doctors are direct employees of the government.

    Medicare is a government provided health insurance. Where you take it to any PRIVATE doctor you choose, just like Blue Cross.

    I don't know of ANY SENIORS who want to give up their MEDICARE insurance coverage, DO YOU????

    Medicare FOR ALL, is what SINGLE PAYER IS, is what Obamacare SHOULD have included from the very start as a public option, and is what every other advanced Industrial Democracy has, and would go a long ways towards fixing the current Obamacare shortcomings.

    But of course, Republicans won't consider it for several reasons:

    1.) They have been trying to KILL Medicare itself since it first started.

    2.) They would much rather put profit ahead of people's health, especially those they consider to be "undeserving." A survival of the fittest law of the jungle way of looking at your fellow humanity.

    3.) They have an "R" after their names.

  14. [14] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "President Trump does it again!!! :D

    Apple supplier Foxconn invests $10B in Wisconsin"

    1.) Foxconn, best known for making the Apple iPhone, has made similar announcements before in the U.S. In 2013, company said it would spend $30 million to build a plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The planet NEVER got built.

    2.)The next year, Foxconn announced a $1 billion investment in Indonesia. The year after that, $5 billion in India.

    So much for Trump "DOING" it again!!!

  15. [15] 
    michale wrote:

    2.) They would much rather put profit ahead of people's health, especially those they consider to be "undeserving."

    Says the guy who supported TrainWreckCare. A dismal abortion that did EXACTLY that...

    :D

    So much for Trump "DOING" it again!!!

    And how is Trump responsible for what FoxConn did in 2013 and 2014???

    That was your guy, Odumbo... :D

  16. [16] 
    michale wrote:

    In other news..

    California has too much pot, and growers won't be able to export the surplus
    http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-california-producing-pot-surplus-1501101923-htmlstory.html

    How ya feelin', CW??? :D

  17. [17] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "The simple fact that President Trump has been GREAT for this country...."

    No, the fact is Trump is a "DISASTER" for this country.

    "NOT-45 WILL NEVER BE POTUS..."

    And Trump will never be elected to a second term, so what's your point???

    "It's time ya'all accept that and accept the FACT that President Trump is your President..."

    NOPE, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Trump is the Legal President, but that's all.

    Also, sorry for the earlier typo, "plant" not "planet."

  18. [18] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Says the guy who supported TrainWreckCare. A dismal abortion that did EXACTLY that..."

    DAMN right I support it, and proud of it!!! AND NO, it did NOT DO THAT. How can you say that when over 20 million people have health insurance who did not have it before, and it has saved lives???

    "And how is Trump responsible for what FoxConn did in 2013 and 2014???

    That was your guy, Odumbo... :D"

    Says the guy who was just crowing about Trump getting that company to bring jobs to the USA, right after I proved him WRONG. TOO funny!!!

  19. [19] 
    michale wrote:

    No, the fact is Trump is a "DISASTER" for this country.

    That's your opinion and I respect that..

    But the facts from the things *I* care about say otherwise...

    And Trump will never be elected to a second term, so what's your point???

    My point is my claim is factually accurate..

    YOUR claim is supposition brought on by Party loyalty..

    NOPE, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Trump is the Legal President, but that's all.

    Unless you are renouncing your US citizenship, President Trump is YOUR president.. Just as Odumbo was MY president...

    DAMN right I support it, and proud of it!!! AND NO, it did NOT DO THAT.

    Ask the millions of Americans who were thrown off their plans and their doctors after REPEATEDLY being promised they could keep them...

    Says the guy who was just crowing about Trump getting that company to bring jobs to the USA, right after I proved him WRONG. TOO funny!!!

    How can you prove me wrong on an event that hasn't happened you..

    You proved that Odumbo let FoxConn off the hook in 2013 and 2014..

    But now we have a PRO-BUSINESS President and history is NOT going to repeat itself..

  20. [20] 
    michale wrote:

    SHOWDOWN: SCARAMUCCI VOWS TO BUST WEST WING LEAKERS
    http://www.mediaite.com/online/scaramucci-calls-in-to-cnn-clarify-priebus-leak-tweet-fish-stinks-from-the-head-down/

    Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
    Thunderbolt and lightning
    Very, very frightening me
    (Galileo) Galileo
    (Galileo) Galileo
    Galileo Figaro
    Magnifico-o-o-o-o

    -QUEEN, Bohemian Rhapsody

    :D

  21. [21] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Ask the millions of Americans who were thrown off their plans and their doctors after REPEATEDLY being promised they could keep them..."

    FACTUALLY WRONG. Since those plans were replaced by, in many cases, cheaper plans that met the ACA requirements where the earlier plans did not. NO ONE LOST their health care PERMANENTLY.

    "You proved that Odumbo let FoxConn off the hook in 2013 and 2014.."

    AGAIN, FACTUALLY WRONG. Obama HAD NOTHING to do with it.

    Then-Gov. Tom Corbett (R) personally helped craft the deal and hailed the plan in a statement, saying “Pennsylvania is once again leading the way through integrating technology into manufacturing.”

    Again, a plant that NEVER got built.

    Whether Trump is pro business or not has nothing to do with it. Corbett was a pro business Republican governor as well.

  22. [22] 
    John M wrote:

    Foxconn has a PROVEN track record of NOT KEEPING its promises.

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    FACTUALLY WRONG. Since those plans were replaced by, in many cases, cheaper plans that met the ACA requirements where the earlier plans did not. NO ONE LOST their health care PERMANENTLY.

    Factually irrelevant..

    Millions of Americans were PROMISED that they could keep the plans THEY LIKED.. Keep the doctors THEY LIKED...

    They were lied to..

    AGAIN, FACTUALLY WRONG. Obama HAD NOTHING to do with it.

    Exactly.. Obama didn't do a damn thing.. Leading from behind or leading from the golf course..

    Foxconn has a PROVEN track record of NOT KEEPING its promises.

    And, if they break this promise, you will have an argument..

    As of now, you have none...

  24. [24] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "And, if they break this promise, you will have an argument..

    As of now, you have none..."

    And as of NOW, you have NONE EITHER. Since you cannot praise Trump for jobs that do NOT YET EXIST and MAY NEVER EXIST.

  25. [25] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Factually irrelevant.."

    Funny how those "Facts" become ether irrelevant or "alternative" when they are ones you either "personally" disagree with, become "inconvenient" for you, or upset your "preconceived" worldview.

    "Millions of Americans were PROMISED that they could keep the plans THEY LIKED.. Keep the doctors THEY LIKED...

    They were lied to.."

    Again, your point is???? We ALL AGREE that they were lied to. That wasn't the POINT. The point was that many more people got better, cheaper health insurance, in many cases for the very first time. Far more people GAINED health insurance than lost it!

    "Exactly.. Obama didn't do a damn thing.. Leading from behind or leading from the golf course.."

    And HOW is that any different from Trump??? Who has spent more time on the golf course than Obama EVER did???

  26. [26] 
    michale wrote:

    And as of NOW, you have NONE EITHER. Since you cannot praise Trump for jobs that do NOT YET EXIST and MAY NEVER EXIST.

    I praise President Trump for making the business environment such that not only did FoxConn make the promise, but now that the business environment is much MUCH better than under Odumbo, NOW FoxConn will follow thru..

    Again, your point is????

    My point is they LOST the insurance they there were promised they could keep..

    The fact that they got other insurance is irrelevant..

    The LOST their insurance that they were promised they could keep..

    Put another way..

    Let's say I told you that you have to move, but that you can keep your Rottweiller.....

    When you move, you find out you CAN'T keep your Rottweiler, but you DO get to have a goldfish..

    Are you going to be happy???

    You have a pet, so how can you complain!??

    The problem is you don't have the pet you were promised you could keep..

    And HOW is that any different from Trump??? Who has spent more time on the golf course than Obama EVER did???

    Cite???

    The difference???

    Stock Market sent to unheard of heights... JOBS JOBS JOBS...

    And Americans are PROUD to be American again..

    NONE of which happened under Odumbo...

  27. [27] 
    michale wrote:

    Funny how those "Facts" become ether irrelevant or "alternative" when they are ones you either "personally" disagree with, become "inconvenient" for you, or upset your "preconceived" worldview.

    You have it backwards..

    Your so-called facts don't become irrelevant because I disagree with them..

    I disagree with your so-called facts BECAUSE they are irrelevant..

    You claim that NO ONE lost their health insurance plans.. That is factually inaccurate... If I were like others, I would call you a lying troll for making such a claim..

    But I am not, so I won't.. :D

    But the fact is, millions of Americans DID lose their healthcare plans because of TrainWreckCare..

    And unlike ya'all's crocodile tears over Americans who will lose health insurance under GOPcare, under TrainWreckCare, millions lost their health insurance NOT BY CHOICE.....

    THAT is the difference that makes ALL the difference...

  28. [28] 
    michale wrote:

    Funny how those "Facts" become ether irrelevant or "alternative" when they are ones you either "personally" disagree with, become "inconvenient" for you, or upset your "preconceived" worldview.

    "What am I!?? A DEMOCRAT!!???"
    -Boyd, LAST MAN STANDING

    :D

  29. [29] 
    michale wrote:

    We ALL AGREE that they were lied to.

    Actually, you're the ONLY one (outside of the Grand Poobah hisself and maybe one or two others) to agree with me on that... :D

  30. [30] 
    michale wrote:

    "What am I!?? A DEMOCRAT!!???"
    -Boyd, LAST MAN STANDING

    We've been binge-watching LAST MAN STANDING..

    Can't WAIT to get to the election episodes.. :D

    I wanted to jump ahead, by wife vetoed that.. :(

  31. [31] 
    michale wrote:

    And, in other news..

    Chaos Erupts At City Hall Hearing For Proposed Gun Bill
    http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2017/07/25/baltimore-gun-bill-hearing/

    Gun legislation that I can actually GET behind and support...

    Why??

    Because it punishes the CRIMINALS and the SCUMBAGS, no law-abiding citizens...

  32. [32] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It is difficult to tell which is less inspiring or more depressing, the constant articles about the healthcare distraction and the Democrats "new" and Better Distraction Points Plan or the same old comments that follow.

    Do you think you can tell?
    Did they get you to trade
    your heroes for ghosts,
    hot ashes for trees,
    warm air for cool breeze,
    cold comfort for change,
    did you exchange
    a walk on part in the war,
    for a lead role in a cage?

    How I wish,
    how I wish you were here.
    We're just two lost souls
    swimming in a fishbowl,
    year after year.
    Running over the same old ground,
    what have we found?
    The same old fears.
    Wish you were here.
    -Pink Floyd
    Wish You Were Here

  33. [33] 
    michale wrote:

    And ya know what is really SAD, Don??

    Democrats say they're ready for a culture war as Trump bans transgender people from military service
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/27/politics/trump-transgender-military-ban-politics/index.html

    It only took a couple days for Democrats to chuck the economic/middle-class Americans out the window and re-affirm that they will continue with their identity politics platform that has lost them every election in the last 8 years...

  34. [34] 
    michale wrote:

    It only took a couple days for Democrats to chuck the economic/middle-class Americans out the window and re-affirm that they will continue with their identity politics platform that has lost them every election in the last 8 years...

    Which is likely EXACTLY what President Trump had planned..

    Showing the American people that Democrats haven't changed in ANY way, shape or form...

    Once again.. President Trump sets the tune and the Democrats leap to dance to it... :D

  35. [35] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    What is even sadder is that citizens are only offered a "choice" between Depublicrat candidates masquerading as two separate entities that set the tune and the media and the public leap to dance to it.

    "Every schwartz has an upside and a downside. I got the downside."
    -Dark Helmut
    Spaceballs

    The Depublicrats are the downside. All they are offering is a stupid ring that is nothing more than a prize in a Crackerjack box and people keep falling for it.

  36. [36] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Looks like the Senate Parliamentarian has put the 3/5's majority kibosh on the Skinny Repeal.

  37. [37] 
    michale wrote:

    Looks like the Senate Parliamentarian has put the 3/5's majority kibosh on the Skinny Repeal.

    Cite???

  38. [38] 
    TheStig wrote:
  39. [39] 
    michale wrote:

    Awesome.. Thanx.. :D

  40. [40] 
    michale wrote:

    The easy way around this would be to just get rid of the legislative filibuster..

    I have no problem with that.. :D

  41. [41] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    We're off to read the Twitters -
    The mystical twitters of Trump!
    The twitters of Trump are fun, its alleged,
    Because of the things he says.

    Because the preposterous things he tries
    to have us believe are usually lies,
    and lies, and lies, and lies, and lies, and lies -
    Including the things he'll later deny!

    We're off to read the Twitters -
    The mystical twitters of Trump!

  42. [42] 
    michale wrote:

    Balthasar,

    Credit where credit is due..

    THAT was funny :D

  43. [43] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    It could have been much better if I'd have spent more time on it.

    Then again, I'm not the only one having that problem today...

  44. [44] 
    michale wrote:

    But what is even FUNNIER is that President Trump has got ya'all chasing yer tails over his tweets, that ya'all are missing how massively he is kicking the Democrats ass all over hell and half of Georgia!! :D

  45. [45] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    michale [16] -

    I'm sorry, but the phrase "too much pot" just does not compute.

    Heh.

    -CW

  46. [46] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Charles C.W. Cooke, a principled conservative who is allergic to anything resembling groupthink that emanates from the mainstream media, finds Trump wearing on his patience after the president has spent just six months in the White House.

    He writes:

    Calvin Coolidge was a great president not solely because he sought to limit the federal state, but because he did not feel a need to inject himself into the nation’s consciousness every single day. Donald Trump is the least Coolidge-like president we have ever had. Compared to him, Barack Obama looks like a Carthusian monk. Every morning Trump is in the United States is a morning during which he is drawing attention to himself.

    The pattern is familiar: He wakes up, he picks up his phone, and he throws grenades onto Twitter—most of which, it should be said, rebound immediately off the wall and explode in his face. He announces policies in the most counter-productive way imaginable; he defends himself as might a cartoon character; he dredges up old fights and throws punches at skeletons. And then, of course, come the responses: Online, on Twitter, on TV, in the newspapers, in the magazines, on the streets, at the Oscars, at dinner tables across the land.

    In effect, the president is deciding daily what America will discuss, and more often than not that “what” is him. Whatever one’s politics, this is extraordinarily unhealthy. The president is the head of the executive branch within a free republic, he is not a King or spiritual leader. When the government is as big as it is, we will inevitably be forced to care what he thinks.

    But the attention that this man insists upon bringing upon himself transcends that inevitability, and ranges into the realm of narcissism and vaingloriousness. This is, in other words, a choice. It is a decision that Trump is making, day in, day out. Those who want to live their lives without constantly being dragooned into endless political hostility should band together and speak with one voice: “Mr. President. Please, please, please be quiet.”

  47. [47] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [32] -

    The one that's been running through my mind is "Welcome To The Machine," personally...

    -CW

  48. [48] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    michale [33] -

    Right. John McCain and all those other Repubilcans denouncing Trump's transgender ban are really secret Democrats. Or something.

    Good headline I read today: "2003 called. It wants its culture wars back."

    What Trump doesn't seem to get is that the American public has evolved in the meantime. This is a loser issue for Trump and he hasn't even realized it yet...

    -CW

  49. [49] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig [36] -

    got a link?

    -CW

  50. [50] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig [38] -

    Whoops! Disregard previous comment. Thanks!

    -CW

  51. [51] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Balthasar [41] -

    Bravo! That was truly funny!

    :-)

    -CW

  52. [52] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Then I remember that President Trump is *STILL* President. I get a little smile on my face and I say to myself, I say "Self?? It's not going to be THAT bad of a day!!"

    And that makes everything just a bit better.. :D

    I recognize that extreme brown-nosing! Who here knew that our very own Michale was actually Vice President Michale Pence??? His bromance with the Orange Idiot finally makes sense!

  53. [53] 
    michale wrote:

    Good headline I read today: "2003 called. It wants its culture wars back."

    Yep.. Exactly..

    Democrats CLAIM to be going forward, but it's the same old retreaded schtick..

    Schtick that has lost them elections since 2010....

  54. [54] 
    michale wrote:

    TheStig [36] -

    got a link?

    -CW

    I get yelled at when I ask that.. :D

    "I get yelled at when I just lay there.."
    -Andrew McCarthy, WEEKEND AT BERNIES

    :D

  55. [55] 
    michale wrote:

    What Trump doesn't seem to get is that the American public has evolved in the meantime. This is a loser issue for Trump and he hasn't even realized it yet...

    That's your opinion, unsupported by facts..

    Read thru yesterday's commentary for the FACTS...

    Or I can bring them forward.. yer call..

  56. [56] 
    michale wrote:

    The Military is 1000% behind President Trump on this issue..

    And so are patriotic Americans...

  57. [57] 
    michale wrote:

    This is a losing issue for Democrats because it emphasizes EXACTLY why they lost every election since 2010...

  58. [58] 
    michale wrote:

    OK OK I'll bring them forward...

    So, let's look at the FACTS...

    Over half of trans people (53%) ages 18 to 25 have reported experiencing current serious psychological distress. That compares to 10% in the nation overall...

    40% of trans people have attempted suicide in their lives. That compares to less than 5% of the general population..

    48% of trans people have seriously thought about killing themselves in the past year. 4% of the U.S. population has seriously thought the same...

    A full 82% of trans people have thought about killing themselves at some point in their lives..

    29% of trans have used illegal drugs or non prescribed drugs in the past month.. Normal US population for that is almost 3 times as less.. 10% . .

    The presence of HIV or AIDS is also much MUCH higher amongst the trans group than the general population..

    And THIS is the group that should be considered for military duty???

    Yea.. If you want the military of Venezuela... :^/

    The high rate of suicides and suicidal thoughts alone are sufficient to disqualify ANYONE from military service..

    Opinions on this vary of course, but being transgender is not a biological issue, it's a psychological one. If a 98-pound woman was starving herself because she thought she was fat, would you tell her that's okay so she feels good about herself, or would you gently tell her she's emaciated, hurting her body, and needs to look to the path of recovery?

    This Johns Hopkins psychiatrist believes making drastic physical changes, such as undergoing transgender reassignment surgery, do nothing to help the psychological troubles plaguing the mind of the transgender person -- in fact, it can make them worse. That's why throwing people who are already struggling with their own identity, psychologically and, in their minds, physically, into a combative, war-torn, physically-demanding, mentally-exhausting environment may make units fall apart, thereby rendering the military less effective than before.

    This veteran says it best:

    Follow
    J.R. Salzman @jrsalzman
    In war if it comes down to kill or be killed, and you hesitate, you're dead. It's a simple as that. It's not a fucking video game.

    War is no place for people who are mentally, emotionally, or physically confused or in turmoil. You have your shit together, or you don't.
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trumps-transgender-military-ban-is-psychologically-justified/article/2629868

    Word....

    Given the **facts** above, there is absolutely *NO WAY* that *ANYONE* could argue that transgenders are well adjusted and have their shit together..

    I don't care HOW many credentials you have...

  59. [59] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:
  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    OK I would love to debate this, but dinner is ready and LAST MAN STANDING is waiting..

    So, I'll catch ya'all in the AM...

    I'll be up around 0300 EDT if anyone wants to LIVE debate it.. :D

  61. [61] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    I'll defer to Senator McCain on this one:

    The President’s tweet … regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter. … There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military — regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so — and should be treated as the patriots they are.

    -CW

  62. [62] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-49, 50

    Business Insider (pay walled) offered some interesting insights how the Byrd Rule makes it hard to scuttle AHC quickly thru the budget reconciliation gambit. Roughly speaking, the Senate parliamentarian is ruling that legislative "head shots" will require 60 votes. So where and how do the Republicans come up with 10 more votes - from skeptical Democrats? Republicans could change the senate rules, but it would basically end The Filibuster as we now know it, and that still requires sweetening the pot with "stuff." I doubt Republicans really want to go there.

    Softer legislative sabotage might act as slow poison and eventually kill Obama Care, but if it's too soft the fire eaters like Rand Paul will likely jump ship to keep their base happy. The Democrats know this. Why should wavering Democrats bolt rank for crumbs that probably won't happen?

    The other problem with the slow poisons is that they are likely to wallop the insurance markets, probably across the age demographics, not just in the middle of the age curve, as companies chose not to subsidize their employees. Insurance companies are making noise, and have lot of lobbyists to throw into the fight.

    Maybe McConnell can pull a rabbit out of his hat, but he's kind of trapped in an adverse payoff moat. Center is a loss, moving to the right is a bigger climb, as is moving more to the left. At root, I think the whole Republican circus is driven by that old engine "look busy, the boss is watching." The Republican Base, not Trump is not the boss they are worried about. White House, Senate, House? Why did we bother?

    Speaking of rabbits pulled from hats, it's been announced that the Voice of Bullwinkle's pal Rocky has died. ;(

  63. [63] 
    michale wrote:

    We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so — and should be treated as the patriots they are.

    And transgenders are NOT able to meet the standards..

    As I have aptly PROVEN and NO ONE has refuted..

    It's THAT simple...

  64. [64] 
    michale wrote:

    Speaking of rabbits pulled from hats, it's been announced that the Voice of Bullwinkle's pal Rocky has died. ;(

    Dean Winchester has died!!!!!!!!????????

    :D

  65. [65] 
    michale wrote:

    Here's a link for you:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/07/27/daily-202-growing-gop-backlash-to-transgender-troop-ban-underscores-trump-s-political-miscalculation/5979535630fb0436795432a6/?utm_term=.9164a2fbeadf

    Probably where I saw that headline, too...

    And I have a link from Fox News that says the American people and the military LOVE the trans ban... :D

  66. [66] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    48

    What Trump doesn't seem to get is that the American public has evolved in the meantime. This is a loser issue for Trump and he hasn't even realized it yet...

    Existing military policy will not be revised on the basis of a Trump Twitter thread. Trump's Twitler BS is nonbinding nonsense where the military is concerned. He's going to have to follow protocol, and that'll be Trump and his 4-year term versus the many who've made protecting our country their careers. :)

  67. [67] 
    michale wrote:

    He's going to have to follow protocol, and that'll be Trump and his 4-year term versus the many who've made protecting our country their careers. :)</I

    And THOSE people are firmly against trans in the military...

    That's the fact that YA'ALL just don't get...

  68. [68] 
    michale wrote:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-democrats-biggest-problem-is-cultural-1501193226

    I applaud the Democrat Party's move towards identity politics and social justice wars..

    Nothing guarantees further GOP dominance and a President Trump second term more than that.. :D

  69. [69] 
    michale wrote:

    CW,

    I'll defer to Senator McCain on this one:

    After calling him the biggest hypocrite on the planet!?? :D

    I have to imagine that such extreme 180s CAN'T be good for the bonal structure. :D heh

  70. [70] 
    michale wrote:

    Welp... Apparently no one can debate President Trump military trans ban...

    Chalk up another win for Michale.. :D

    President Trump was wrong..

    I am NOT getting tired of winning.. :D

  71. [71] 
    michale wrote:

    I know, I know..

    I need to work on being a good and humble winner...

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