"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Another Train Wreck For McConnell”: Wow, Republicans Revolting Against The Elimination Of Medicaid Expansion. Imagine That!

You might remember that back in early 2010 Senate Democrats used a rule called budget reconciliation to by-pass a Republican filibuster and tweak their version of the Affordable Care Act to make it consistent with the one in the House. As a result, Republicans had a bit of a hissy fit, making the dubious claim that a simple majority vote in the Senate signaled the end of democracy as we know it.

In a move that should break all of our irony meters, Senate Republicans will soon attempt to use that same budget reconciliation rule in an attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act with a vote on a bill that has already passed the House. And we wonder why the practice of politics gets a bad name.

But hold onto your hats. This one is running into some trouble because, even with 54 Republicans in the Senate, McConnell is going to have trouble rounding up the 51 votes he needs.

The first problem comes from the Senate’s version of insurgents – Cruz, Rubio and Lee – who say that simply throwing a monkey wrench into Obamacare is not enough.

“On Friday the House of Representatives is set to vote on a reconciliation bill that repeals only parts of ObamaCare. This simply isn’t good enough. Each of us campaigned on a promise to fully repeal ObamaCare and a reconciliation bill is the best way to send such legislation to President Obama’s desk,” the three senators said.

The House version of the bill also contains provisions that defund Planned Parenthood – which is a problem for some Republican Senators representing more moderate states.

But if the Planned Parenthood provision is in the final bill — Senate Republican aides say no final decisions have been made — a handful of votes from the moderate wing could also break away. They include Murkowski, and Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Susan Collins of Maine.

And now a third front of opposition has opened up.

“I am very concerned about the 160,000 people who had Medicaid expansion in my state. I have difficulty with that being included,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia…

Sen. John Hoeven (R), who represents North Dakota, where an estimated 19,000 people gained access to Medicaid after Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple decided to broaden the program, said he was unsure about repealing the expansion.

“I respect the decision of our legislator and our governor on Medicaid expansion,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R) of Montana, which has a Democratic governor. “I’m one who respects their rights and voices.”

Wow, Republicans revolting against the elimination of the Medicaid expansion. Imagine that!

When you risk losing Republicans from red states like West Virginia, North Dakota and Montana, just imagine what that means to incumbents running for re-election in places like Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

Mitch McConnell proved himself to be a master at corralling Republicans into line to obstruct everything the Democratic majority tried to do for six years. But the job of getting them together to actually pass legislation has proven to be a much more difficult task. The fact that this particular effort will simply result in a presidential veto – even if successful – shouldn’t be lost on anyone. It is increasingly looking like another train wreck for McConnell.


By: Nancy LeTourneau, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, November 12, 2015

November 14, 2015 Posted by | Affordable Care Act, Mitch Mc Connell, Republicans | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Donald Trump Vs. Ben Carson; Something Very Ugly Here”: Violent Criminal? Or Pathological Liar? We Don’t Need Either As President

Donald Trump is not being at all subtle in his latest wave of attacks on his current main opponent, Dr. Ben Carson, and it’s triggered yet another round of pundits wondering if The Donald has finally gone too far and crashed his campaign. But recall what has happened every other time people said Trump went overboard, whether he was tearing down Mexican immigrants, John McCain and POWs, or Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly: No matter what, he just keeps rising in the polls.

Carson has built up a following among conservative, evangelical Christian (and largely white) voters in Iowa with his tales of moral redemption from a violent childhood, and The Donald is now setting out to depict Carson as dangerous — and maybe even inhuman.

Carson’s violent behavior in his adolescence is key to the salvation element so integral to his narrative — though lately the press has been inquiring whether the doctor may have fabricated or at least somewhat exaggerated those anecdotes. So it probably helps Trump that Carson has already spiked the ball for him, by putting himself in the uncomfortable position of insisting to the media that, yes, he was prone to violence as a youth.

Thus, Trump sees Carson in the predicament of being either a serial fabulist — and Trump has enjoyed playing up this possibility, too — or the violent menace that Trump wants to paint him as.

So, from that candidate who first made his political mark broadcasting conspiracy theories regarding President Obama’s birthplace, and kicked off his campaign by railing against immigrants, here is the message in brief: Ben Carson isn’t one of the good ones.

“He’s said in the book — and I haven’t seen it — I know it’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper or temperament. That’s a big problem, because you don’t cure that,” Trump said during an interview Thursday on CNN. “That ‘s like — you know, I could say, as an example: child molester. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. ‘Pathological,’ there’s no cure for that. Now I didn’t say it — he said it in his book.”

The Donald wasn’t done yet, though — far from it. At his rally Thursday night in Iowa, during an epic 90-plus-minute stump speech, Trump upped the ante on grotesque sexual imagery, when he hinted at a literal castration of awful people like Carson.

“If you’re pathological, there’s no cure for that, folks. Okay? There’s no cure for that. And I did one of the shows today, and I don’t want to say what I said — but I’ll tell you, anyway. I said that if you’re a child molester, a sick puppy, you’re a child molester, there’s no cure for that. There’s only one cure, we don’t want to talk about that cure — that’s the ultimate cure. No, there’s two — there’s death, and the other thing.”

Initially, Carson tried to take the high road while speaking to reporters Friday morning, during an appearance at Bob Jones University, a center of religious-right politics. (Note: Bob Jones University did not admit African-American students until the 1970s, as they felt the squeeze of the new civil rights laws — but then prohibited any interracial dating, until changing that policy under political pressure during the 2000 presidential campaign.)

“Now that he’s completed his gratuitous attack, why don’t we press on and deal with the real issues. You know, the reason that I”m in this race is because there are some real, profound issues that affect the trajectory of our country right now. That is what the American people are concerned about,” Carson said.

But then when he did attempt any substantive rebuttal, Carson fell utterly flat.

“I’m hopeful that maybe his advisors will help him to understand the word ‘pathological,’” Carson said, “and recognize that does not denote ‘incurable’ — it’s not the same. It simply is an adjective that describes something that is highly abnormal, and something that fortunately I’ve been able to delivered from for a half a century now.”

In sum, Carson’s response to Trump saying that the doctor is incurably “pathological” was to didactically explain that such a person could be cured!

It wasn’t exactly the kind of response that would make Trump back down. Later on Friday, Trump’s campaign posted a Friday the 13th-themed horror-movie video about Carson, and the stories concerning whether or not Carson was really as angry a young man as he’s made himself out to be.

“Violent criminal? Or pathological liar? We don’t need either as president.”


By: Eric Kleefeld, The National Memo, November 13, 2015

November 14, 2015 Posted by | Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Evangelicals | , , , , , , | 1 Comment


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