Archive of Articles in the "Health Care" Category

McCarthy Releases Wish List

[ Posted Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 – 15:55 UTC ]

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has finally made his opening bid, in the showdown with President Joe Biden (and the Democratic Senate) over raising the nation's debt ceiling. Today McCarthy released a proposal he thinks he will get 218 Republican votes and actually pass the House. It remains to be seen whether that's even true or not -- a vote won't be held until at least next week, and to say that not everyone in the GOP caucus is on board yet is an understatement. But at least he's finally put some numbers down on paper for all to see.

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McCarthy Tries To Herd His GOP Cats

[ Posted Tuesday, April 18th, 2023 – 16:21 UTC ]

After their first 100 days in power, the cracks are beginning to show in the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Speaker Kevin McCarthy is going to try to pass a bill with a bare-bones summary of a budget within the next few weeks, but at this point no bill has actually been written and no GOP consensus has emerged about what that bill should (or shouldn't) contain. It is still unclear whether any plan is going to get the 218 votes to pass. Factionalism within the Republican conference is a tough hurdle to get over, what with the razor-thin majority McCarthy has to work with. But the debt ceiling looms, so it is now "put up or shut up" time for McCarthy's Republicans.

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Friday Talking Points -- Sleeping Giants Awaken

[ Posted Friday, April 14th, 2023 – 18:07 UTC ]

There's a new reality in American politics, and one political party is reaping the benefits of it while the other is trapped in a downward spiral of ever-increasing extremism. Some Republicans are beginning to understand the power of the sleeping giant they have awoken, but there's really no easy way out from the conundrum they have created for themselves. Abortion is going to be a potent political issue for at least the next few elections, and Republicans' only answer so far is to double down, triple down, or quadruple down on forcing the most extreme positions they can come up with on as many of the American people as they possibly can.

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Down The Rabbit Holes Of Extremism

[ Posted Tuesday, April 11th, 2023 – 17:26 UTC ]

You can choose your metaphor for the bind the Republican Party has created for itself on the issue of abortion. The most popular (since it seems to be the most fitting) is that they are the dog who finally caught the car and now don't know what to do with it. Or maybe they've painted themselves into a corner and are now trapped on a shrinking piece of political real estate. But I'm going to start this off with a different one: Republicans riding down a very slippery slope on a toboggan.

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The Era Of Big (Republican) Government Is Here

[ Posted Monday, April 10th, 2023 – 16:10 UTC ]

Republicans seem to be increasingly fond of using the levers of government -- any levers of government they control -- to get their own way, no matter what. Perhaps this was spurred by Donald Trump's attitudes (and/or lawlessness) or perhaps it is the end result of a gradual Republican slide towards authoritarianism, but whatever the actual cause Republicans are now engaged in rather extraordinary uses of government power to punish those whose political opinions they disagree with. This is a far cry from the traditional Republican stance against "Big Government" it should be noted -- just one more in a long list of previous ideological positions they have completely abandoned in the Trumpian era. They now seem to have settled on: "The era of Big (Republican) Government is at hand!" as a guiding principle.

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Friday Talking Points -- Merry Arrestmas!

[ Posted Friday, April 7th, 2023 – 18:01 UTC ]

Today's Republican Party is not just the Party of Trump, it also is now the Party of Trumpism -- or to put it in plainer terms: authoritarianism. "We're going to do whatever we want to do, because we can" seems to be the new rallying slogan for Republicans. Never mind what the public thinks or wants, never mind the possible political backlash, it's just going to be full steam ahead for as long as they can get away with it.

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A Good Night For Progressives In Wisconsin And Chicago

[ Posted Wednesday, April 5th, 2023 – 17:29 UTC ]

Significant political news was made yesterday, and it happened far from a New York courtroom. Two elections were held, in Wisconsin and Chicago, and in both cases the progressive candidate emerged victorious. This will have some wider repercussions on the Democratic Party, so it's worth taking a look at what just happened in a little more detail.

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McCarthy's Opening Budget Bid Nothing But Vague Spin

[ Posted Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 – 16:17 UTC ]

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy just made his opening bid in the high-stakes poker game he wants to play with President Joe Biden over raising the debt ceiling. Biden's position from the start has been that America can't afford playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States on the table, and he has called on McCarthy to play exactly the same game of poker that gets played every year, but with only the usual stakes -- which, at worse, might lead to a temporary government shutdown. Biden wants a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling from Congress and then he will be open to holding negotiations for the annual federal budget (which is an entirely separate matter).

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Friday Talking Points -- Will No One Rid Trump Of This Meddlesome D.A.?

[ Posted Friday, March 24th, 2023 – 18:01 UTC ]

On one of the last days of the year 1170, an English king seems to have begun a long tradition of what might now be known as "mobspeak." Like unto a mobster capo who is cautious about saying or ordering his minions to do specific things which he might later be found guilty of, King Henry II -- speaking about a man who was a powerful rival at the time, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket -- uttered the ultimate in "deniability" to his knights. The wording is in doubt, since this all happened a very long time ago, but the most common phrasing known today is: "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" We personally prefer the version that calls him a "meddlesome priest" instead, just for the Scooby Doo vibe, but the only account written by a contemporary of Henry worded it (in Latin): "What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric!" This version, we feel -- with only slight modernizations of the language -- could easily have been uttered by Donald Trump. It includes shaming his own followers ("miserable drones and traitors") for being insufficiently loyal and fervent in his defense, a personal playground insult to the object of his wrath ("low-born cleric"), as well as overdramatizing his own victimhood ("treated with such shameful contempt"). The whole statement is downright Trumpian, when you think of it.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden Takes The Fight To The MAGA Republicans

[ Posted Friday, March 10th, 2023 – 17:45 UTC ]

We have to warn everyone up front here that this week's Friday Talking Points column is not going to follow the normal format. Most of it is actually going to review the speech that President Joe Biden gave yesterday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biden went to Philly to introduce his annual budget proposal, which was publicly released just before he spoke.

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