Thursday, April 27, 2017

White House Extortion Exposed

I sound like the National Enquirer. Final draft of letter.

    Nice health insurance policy you got there. It'd be a shame if something happened to it. That sounds like the sort of protection racket the White House is running. "We'd offer them $1 of cost-sharing reductions for $1 of wall payments. Right now that's the offer we've given our Democratic colleagues." That's Mick Mulvaney from OMB. This is a tweet from President Trump. "Obamacare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going - otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought."
     Does that sound like low-income folks who depend on subsidies for their health insurance are represented by Democrats and not Republicans? "The Dems need big money to keep it going." The Republicans preference is to see it fail, that seems clear. Savings from the repeal of ACA are still needed to give tax reform any chance of succeeding. The wealthy still need their tax cuts. Both are more important than health insurance for the poor.
    This week Kaiser Family Foundation came out with an analysis of the effects of ending the CSR subsidies that are being held hostage. "The increased cost to the federal government of higher premium tax credits would actually be 23% more than the savings from eliminating cost-sharing reduction payments." It's worth losing money to eliminate every last vestige of President Obama and to build a big, beautiful wall. Maybe Mexico will pay for our health insurance, too.

The Money Was Laundered

So, no problem.

“I didn’t take any money from Russia, if that’s what you’re asking me,” Flynn said at first. Then, when asked who did him pay him, Flynn replied: “My speakers’ bureau — ask them.”

Blame-shifting seems to be a prominent feature of the Trump Administration. Along with money laundering, of course. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Never Know What You'll Find

I still want to know the back story on the red sports car, though.

A vast battlefield landscape of tunnels and trenches dug to train troops for the first world war has been discovered on army land being cleared for housing.

Archaeologists who worked on the site at Larkhill, in Wiltshire, said the century-old complex was a valuable discovery – although it posed hazards.

“This is the first time anywhere in the world that archaeologists have had the chance to examine, excavate and record such an enormous expanse of first world war training ground,” said Si Cleggett, of Wessex Archaeology. “These men were being trained for the real thing, using live grenades – we know that because we found over 200 grenades in the tunnel and 50% of them proved to be still live. We had to work side by side with experts in dealing with live ordnance, or it could have got very tricky.”

Rough Draft of a Letter

     Nice health insurance policy you got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it. That sounds like the sort of protection racket the White House is running. “We’d offer them $1 of cost-sharing reductions for $1 of wall payments. Right now that’s the offer we’ve given to our Democratic colleagues.” That’s Mick Mulvaney from OMB. This is a tweet from President Trump. “ObamaCare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going – otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought.”
     Does that make it sound like low-income folks who depend on subsidies for their health insurance are represented by Democrats and not Republicans? “The Dems need big money to keep it going.” And the Republicans preference is to see ACA fail. That seems pretty clear. There’s a smell of desperation as the 100 day mark draws near. I suppose pushing hard for a healthcare bill, even if worse than the original AHCA, is some sort of accomplishment. Savings from repeal of ACA are still needed to give tax reform any chance of working. The wealthy still need their tax cuts. That’s more important than health insurance for the poor.
     This week Kaiser Family foundation came out with an analysis of the effect of ending the cost of the CSRs being held hostage. “The increased cost to the federal government of higher premium tax credits would actually be 23% more than the savings from eliminating cost-sharing reduction payments.” It’s worth losing money to eliminate every last vestige of President Obama and to build a beautiful wall, though.

Let My Constituents Eat Cake

Or die from lack of health insurance.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), a deficit hawk and Freedom Caucus member who opposed the AHCA, said he would review the amendment. 

“Essential benefits and all the other mandates may be affordable in a wealthy state, but unaffordable in a poorer state like Mississippi or Alabama that causes people to go from some insurance to no health insurance,” Brooks said.

The only reason I can think of for his opposition to the original is because it was not draconian enough. 

The carrot for conservatives is the opportunity for states to apply for waivers from some of the ACA’s mandates, including its requirement for insurers to cover essential health benefits and its ban on swelling premiums for people with preexisting health conditions. Many conservatives don’t like leaving the law’s insurance regulations in place, but the waiver provision allows them to argue that they’re giving states more control over the situation.

But the revisions would also restore the law’s federal essential health benefits requirements for states that don’t obtain a waiver from them. The original bill would have turned over those regulations completely to the states.

Gee, I wonder how hard it'll be to get that waiver. Like buying a gun in a red state, I'm thinking. 

Carter Library Busts on Trump

Is this the greatest?

Amid Trump’s struggles, even the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library felt emboldened this week. On Monday, the library posted a tweet noting the laws and executive orders President Carter had signed in his first 100 days, before ending with the most devastating statistic of all — Carter’s approval rating of 63 percent. 

Trump, the least-popular new president in modern times, has an average approval rating currently hovering in the low 40s. 

Can you say Trump malaise? Or for our Spanish friends just say Trump mal. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Greatest Weasel Word Tweet of All Time

Congratulations Donald.

"Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall."

I don't believe you can make it much clearer than that.