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Archive of Articles in the "Health Care" Category

Friday Talking Points [465] -- And The Horse You Rode In On!

[ Posted Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 18:45 PST ]

Democrats -- and not a few Republicans as well -- spent most of this week metaphorically dancing on Roy Moore's political grave. To the very end, Moore proved to be a rather cartoonish villain, riding up to the polls on a horse he couldn't even control (named -- you just can't make this stuff up -- "Sassy"). This led to much ribaldry at his expense, after he lost the election Tuesday night, most of which ended with the refrain: "...and the horse you rode in on!"

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The Persistence Of The Resistance

[ Posted Thursday, December 14th, 2017 – 17:59 PST ]

Donald Trump's election spurred a political backlash. Diverse groups took it upon themselves to protest what had happened to their country, from the massive Women's March On Washington (held the day after Trump's swearing-in) to the "Indivisible" groups that soon spontaneously popped up across America. "Resist!" was the battle cry, leading some to name the entire movement "the resistance." Cynical observers of Washington politics (and yes, I was among them at times) wondered whether the whole thing would eventually peter out or whether it could continue long enough to be a factor in the 2018 midterm elections. After a year's time, though, there are no signs that it is waning. In fact, this resistance is showing a dramatic degree of persistence.

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Democrats Begin Eyeing 2018 Senate Takeover

[ Posted Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 – 18:21 PST ]

Can Democrats retake control of not just the House of Representatives but also the Senate in 2018? Well, they'd pretty much have to run the tables to do so, but with last night's Alabama's upset victory by Doug Jones, what has changed is that it is now a distinct possibility. While many Democrats are giddily celebrating their surprise win, they should also take the time to examine the factors present not just in Alabama but also in the other races that have happened over the past year, to identify the key factors in winning. Because if they've got any chance at all of taking the Senate, they should work as hard as possible to maximize what has been going well for them.

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Friday Talking Points [464] -- Ending GOP Whataboutism

[ Posted Friday, December 8th, 2017 – 18:28 PST ]

In the same week that Time magazine gave its "Person Of The Year" award to the #MeToo movement, three members of Congress resigned because of it. The last week anything similar happened, according to historians, was during the Civil War, over the issue of slavery. On a single day in January of 1861, five senators resigned (as their states seceded from the Union). One historian noted: "If you look over the history of the 20th century in Congress, there just is no comparable event."

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Friday Talking Points [463] -- Lock Him Up!

[ Posted Friday, December 1st, 2017 – 19:35 PST ]

This morning, Donald Trump's first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to charges of lying to the F.B.I. He is now the highest-ranking Trump aide to be targeted by Robert Mueller, and also the highest-ranking person to have flipped on Trump. Flynn is still at risk of being prosecuted for other charges as well, including lying about his foreign lobbying on government forms. But he's now apparently cut a deal with the prosecution to possibly avoid further charges and also reportedly to avoid charges for his son.

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Can Trump Deal With The Democrats?

[ Posted Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 – 17:35 PST ]

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are apparently ready to play hardball at the start of the negotiations to work out a year-end deal with Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress. They signaled their intentions today by snubbing a planned photo op at the White House in response to a rather nasty tweet the president sent out about them, hours before the meeting was supposed to begin. Why negotiate when Trump is already calling them names, after all?

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Busy December Ahead For Congress

[ Posted Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 – 18:19 PST ]

Congress is currently tightly focused on the Republican tax-cutting bill, which is likely to consume most of their time when they return from the Thanksgiving break. But what is remarkable is how many other pressing issues they are currently all but ignoring which will have to be resolved before the end of the year. It's looking like a busy legislative December, in other words.

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Friday Talking Points [462] -- Speaking Out Causes A Sea-Change In Attitudes

[ Posted Friday, November 17th, 2017 – 18:24 PST ]

America is in the midst of a gigantic sea-change on how accusations of sexual misconduct are viewed. That much seems certain. You could say it began with the Access Hollywood tape during Donald Trump's campaign, or you could argue it began with the end of Harvey Weinstein's Hollywood career. Notably, the "Me Too" movement has actually been around for a decade, but it really caught fire this year in a big way. But no matter the origins of the shift, America now views accusations of sexual misconduct in a much different light than before.

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Interpreting GOP Moves On Tax Bill

[ Posted Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 – 17:58 PST ]

The most popular game in Washington right now is trying to figure out where the Republicans are on their tax-cutting plan, and what they're about to do next. This game exists because nobody is really sure what's going to happen, leaving lots of room for rampant speculation. But the moves the Senate is apparently making right now (or, reportedly, at least seriously considering) either show that Republicans are pretty confident of their ability to get the legislation passed or that they're essentially creating excuses for why it isn't going to pass at all this year. Since these positions are so contradictory, it's worth examining the developing GOP politics over the tax bills.

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Friday Talking Points [461] -- "Berenstain Bear Democrats" Win The Day

[ Posted Friday, November 10th, 2017 – 18:29 PST ]

Democrats just had the first very good week they've had in an entire year. Tuesday night, they absolutely swept the board in the few elections that were held. Now, granted, this was an off-off-year election, so it's too soon to say whether this presages a Democratic wave (or even a Democratic tsunami) in next year's midterm elections, but that doesn't detract from the gains Democratic candidates made all over the map this week. Michael Murphy, a Republican political strategist, summed up the impact of Tuesday night thusly: "Donald Trump is an anchor for the GOP. We got that message in loud volume in Virginia. The canary in the coal mine didn't just pass out; its head exploded."

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