Tag Archives: GOP

Blankets, Grandma! Buy lots of blankets!

Because all you freeloading old people can forget about being fed and then you won’t have enough money for heat because fuel assistance is also being eliminated. 

So much win for everyone!

Today’s Republican Party

“We only provide you with “access” to health care. Don’t bother us with details about how to pay for it. Stop being not rich. That’s your problem, ya know. Stop being poor and middle class. “

Reminder when GOP tries to change the subject

The Congressional Budget Office may release numbers on the GOP’s ACA replacement as early as 4 PM EDT today. Just remember who appoints the CBO’s leader as the Republicans try to backpedal and say the numbers are biased when the CBO estimates just how many poor  and middle class people are going to lose health care coverage under Trump and the GOP.

We must protect the children

From everything but real threats.

GOP getting hammered at home


Influence Of GOP Doctors Caucus Grows As Congress Looks To Replace Health Law

“Their views are driven more by political affiliation,” said Mona Mangat, an allergist-immunologist and chairwoman of Doctors for America, a 16,000-member organization that favors the current health law. “It doesn’t make me feel great. Doctors outside of Congress do not support their views.”
Tom Price, a member of the GOP Doctor’s Caucus on Capitol Hill. at his confirmation hearings as Secretary of Health and Human Services. (Photo: NPR)

The confirmation of Tom Price, the orthopedic surgeon-turned-Georgia congressman, as secretary of Health and Human Services represents the latest victory in the ascendancy of a little-known but powerful group of conservative physicians in Congress he belongs to — the GOP Doctors Caucus.

During the Obama administration, the caucus regularly sought to overturn the Affordable Care Act, and it’s now expected to play a major role determining the Trump administration’s plans for replacement.

Robert Doherty, a lobbyist for the American College of Physicians, said the GOP Doctors Caucus has gained importance with Republicans’ rise to power. “As political circumstances have changed, they have grown more essential,” he said.

“They will have considerable influence over the considerable discussion on repeal and replace legislation,” Doherty said.

Price’s supporters have touted his medical degree as an important credential for his new position, but Price and the caucus members are hardly representative of America’s physicians in 2017. The “trust us, we’re doctors” refrain of the caucus obscures its heavily conservative agenda, critics say.

“Their views are driven more by political affiliation,” said Mona Mangat, an allergist-immunologist and chairwoman of Doctors for America, a 16,000-member organization that favors the current health law. “It doesn’t make me feel great. Doctors outside of Congress do not support their views.”

For example, while the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has worked to increase access to abortion, the three obstetrician-gynecologists in the 16-member House caucus are anti-abortion and oppose the ACA provision that provides free prescription contraception.

While a third of the U.S. medical profession is now female, 15 of the 16 members of the GOP caucus are male, and only eight of them are doctors. The other eight members are from other health professions, including a registered nurse, a pharmacist and a dentist. The nurse, Diane Black of Tennessee, is the only woman.

On the Senate side, there are three physicians, all of them Republican.

While 52 percent of American physicians today identify as Democrats, just two out of the 14 doctors in Congress are Democrats.

About 55 percent of physicians say they voted for Hillary Clinton and only 26 percent voted for Donald Trump, according to a survey by Medscape in December.

Meanwhile, national surveys show doctors are almost evenly split on support for the health law, mirroring the general public. And a survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January found almost half of primary care doctors liked the law, while only 15 percent wanted it repealed.

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, a caucus member first elected in 2002, is one of the longest serving doctors in Congress. He said the anti-Obamacare Republican physicians do represent the views of the profession.

“Doctors tend to be fairly conservative and are fairly tight with their dollars, and that the vast proportion of doctors in Congress [are] Republican is not an accident,” Burgess said.

Price’s ascendancy is in some ways also a triumph for the American Medical Association, which has long sought to beef up its influence over national health policy. Less than 25 percent of AMA members are practicing physicians, down from 75 percent in the 1950s.

Price is an alumnus of a boot camp the AMA runs in Washington each winter for physicians contemplating a run for office. Price is one of four members of the caucus who went through the candidate school. In December, the AMA immediately endorsed the Price nomination, a move that led thousands of doctors who feared Price would overturn the health law to sign protest petitions.

Even without Price, Congress will have several GOP physicians in leadership spots in both the House and Senate.

Those include Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee, the caucus co-chairman, who also chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and Burgess, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana sits on both the Finance and the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committees. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming chairs the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

Roe acknowledges that his caucus will have newfound influence. Among his goals in molding an ACA replacement are to kill the requirement that most people buy health insurance (known as the individual mandate) as well as to end the obligation that 10 essential benefits, such as maternity and mental health care, must be in each health plan.

He said the caucus will probably not introduce its own bill, but rather evaluate and support other bills. The caucus could be a kingmaker in that role. “If we came out publicly and said we cannot support this bill, it fails,” Roe said.

The GOP Doctors Caucus has played a prominent role in health matters before Congress. For example, in 2015, when former House Speaker John Boehner needed help to permanently repeal a Medicare payment formula that threatened physicians with double-digit annual fee cuts, he turned to the GOP Doctors Caucus. It got behind a system to pay doctors based on performance — the so-called doc fix.

“When the speaker had a unified doctors’ agreement in his coat pocket, he could go to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and show that, and that had a lot to do with how we got this passed,” Roe said.

But not all doctors are unified behind the caucus. Rep. Raul Ruiz, one of the two physicians in the House who are Democrats, said he worries because few doctors in Congress are minorities or primary care doctors.

Ruiz, an emergency room physician from California who was elected in 2012, said he is wary about Price leading HHS because he is concerned Price’s policies would increase the number of Americans without insurance.

Indeed, many doctors feel the caucus’ proposals will not reflect their views — or medical wisdom. “My general feeling whenever I see any of their names, is that of contempt,” said Don McCanne of California, a senior fellow and past president of the Physicians for a National Health Program. “The fact that they all signed on to repeal of ACA while supporting policies that would leave so many worse off demonstrated to me that they did not represent the traditional Hippocratic traditions which place the patient first.”

Christina Jewett contributed reporting. This story also appeared on National Public Radio (NPR).

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Agency protecting everyone from banks still on chopping block

Dear Precious Angry Collegiate Snowflakes Who Voted Anyone-But-Clinton:

Congratulations. The only thing standing between you and the big banks owning your student loan ass for most of your adult lives — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) — is likely going away under the Trump administration, as this article in today’s Chicago Tribune makes clear:

Trump’s transition advisers already are evaluating ways to legally fire CFPB Director Richard Cordray, according to people familiar with the matter. If they move forward with such a plan, many Republicans want Trump to replace him with someone committed to dismantling the agency. In Congress, another aggressive tactic being considered is forcing through an overhaul of CFPB funding so lawmakers can starve it of money.

The many, many ways that the Trump administration is going to make sure the banksters have high-interest rate, rapacious access to your money — including the high-rate credit cards you will take out to make ends meet — are only just beginning to be made clear.

If there were any election where the perfect was the enemy of the good, this one was it.

Clinton made loads of money off speeches she made in front of Wall Street movers and shakers. But she would have not only kept the CFPB, she very likely would have strengthened it. 

Because that is what Democrats do, and it is one of the major ways they make a key difference for the better in the lives of average Americans, despite their having to play many distasteful political games to have access to campaign cash in the system which Republicans largely created.

I’m not excusing some of the issues on which Democrats have not been able to keep their campaign promises on the national level. But it should be pointed out that they failed on most of them because the GOP effectively blocked them at every turn.

And now the Republicans are in charge of the Congress, the White House and likely will change the all-important third branch — the judiciary — for a generation or two.

This is why I have a hard time getting too angry at many conservative voters. At least many of them voted their values.

The Left? Well, much of the Left — Jill Stein voters, BernieBots — are getting the government they deserve.

Too bad for the rest of us. And too bad for the nation.

I understand voting your convictions. But your convictions ought to include the possibility that not getting everything you want is better than your worst nightmares coming true. 

Despite all of this, I still feel sorry for college students who protest voted against Clinton or simply stayed home. That one decision may affect many of them for the rest of their lives. A tough lesson to learn.

The continuing assault on the Constitution and rule of law by the GOP

Republicans lost the governorship in North Carolina. Instead of conceding to the voters’ wishes, they pass legislation curtailing the governor’s powers.

In the clip above, the Rev. Dr. William Barber, head of the North Carolina NAACP, explains that despite all-out efforts by the GOP to disenfranchise voters, Democrats fought back and won:

We were able to change the consciousness of the state. And the [Republican] governor lost the election.

Now, what this was after, Amy, they — the Republican-led state Board of Election put in place 158 less voting sites, early voting sites, than we had in 2014 and ’12. They lost the most — the worst voter suppression bill that they pushed, in the courts. The court said it was “surgical racism.” They lost on redistricting. The courts have now demanded that we have to redraw lines and have a new election next year with the Legislature. They lost the governor’s race, the secretary of state’s race, the auditor’s race, the attorney general’s race. And the Supreme Court became more progressive with an African-American winning 76 of the 100 counties, and winning by over 300,000 votes.

It’s a sign of things to come, when we organize in the South. And so, the governor and those extremists refused. They did everything they could. They even purged votes, Amy, during the election. They lost again, and we forced votes to be put back on the books. So they have seen that they have tried everything, but when there is a movement of the people, a moral movement of the people, we can, in fact, change the South. And if you do that, you change the nation. 

Republicans cannot win fair and square. What they cannot win by simply letting people vote, they will try to win by attacking democracy itself. 

Or by turning to Russia to do their dirty work for them, as an ever-increasing body of evidence suggest they did in the presidential race.

Defeated GOP Governor Pat McCrory’s reaction after being asked by a reporter if it wasn’t better and more fair for his Republicans in the state Capitol to just follow the rule of law and let his successor govern under the same rules McCrory had to follow.


Good article with great quotes on GOP’s sinking ship


This Oct. 15 article from HuffPo on the ongoing break-up of the GOP is good insofar as it has some quotes I had not seen from Republican funding sources and GOP functionaries. Such as the ones in this section:

“It is job of the party to do everything it can to keep Democrats from winning office, number one. Number two is to fulfill the will of the people who determine our nominees,” said Sean Spicer, a top official at the RNC who works closely with Trump headquarters. “What do they want us to do? Tell me what it is that they want. What is that alternative they are asking for?

“It doesn’t make sense,” Spicer added. “If you are turning out a voter to vote in Ohio and Pennsylvania you don’t turn him out just to do certain things. And frankly if you talk to [Sens. Pat] Toomey or [Kelly] Ayotte, they won’t win unless they get the Trump supporters. It is a non-logical argument.”

Boo effin’ hoo.

“Frankly,” the guys from the GOP are the ones who made the deal with the devil in order to get people such as Toomey and Ayotte elected. If their being on the ballot means they now have to dance with Trump and his supporters, it’s a dance card of their own making. Too bad.

Then there is this section:

It’s a dynamic perfectly personified by one top Republican fundraiser who is backing the nominee. Watching an interview Trump gave with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly this past week, this fundraiser said he was practically dumbfounded.

“O’Reilly interviewed him and threw him 15 softballs that he should have hit out of the park and what does he do? He sits there and stares and denounces [Paul] Ryan and McCain. I was watching with interest and my wife turned to me and said: ‘I don’t know if I could vote for him.’ I said, ‘You’re voting for him!’ But it went through my mind: What if Putin insults him? Does he drop a bomb on Moscow or something? I’m not sure he is stable.”

You’re not sure a candidate for the presidency is “stable” and he might use a nuclear weapon to settle a grudge and you’re still going to vote for him? WTF?

These people deserve every bit of the predicament in which they find themselves. They need to be taught a lesson.

Which is why everyone, no matter how blue a state in which you live, has to vote.


The GOP has decided to try and win dirty

The would-be con artist-in -chief  Donald Trump and his grifter family.
The would-be con artist-in-chief Donald Trump and his grifter family.

If it was at all unclear before, the last night of the Republican National Convention proved one thing definitively: the Trump family and the GOP have decided that no lie is too outlandish, no talking point too slimy or untrue to use.  I suspect they know they cannot win with the truth so they have decided to try to win dirty because that is the only hope they have.

I was watching CBSN, the internet-only arm of CBS News, and one of their real journalists on a panel commented on how Trump’s presentation of himself as a successful businessman who is a friend of the little guy is at odds with his record of stiffing contractors, subcontractors and hourly employees for sums large and small, often leaving small businesses bankrupt.

The pro-Trump person on the CBSN panel answered without shame that if that many people complained about not being paid, imagine all the people whom he did pay and how that helps the economy!

I cannot tell if the other CBSN panelists were too shocked to respond as they should have done, or if their rules of absolute impartiality required that they let any ridiculous claim pass unchallenged, no matter how outrageous.

This all happened shortly before Ivanka Trump appeared to introduce her father with a gauzy video and speech that were as huge glops of Vaseline on a video camera lens — meant to obscure what the rest of us are truly seeing. 

According to Ivanka, her father is not some lying fascist megalomaniac who hungers for ever more fame and power. Rather, she insisted, it is Donald Trump who is giving up time building the businesses he loves in order to save America from itself.

So this is how it will be: the would-be first family will make every effort to lie its way into 1600 Pennsylvania, with the assistance of a Republican Party so shorn of morals and standards that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who previously could have represented the wingnuttiest arm of the GOP, is now seen as a wise elder statesman. 

Just minutes before Ivanka (and Trump himself) did their song-and-dance, GOP Chair Reince Priebus, the oily weasel who has overseen the Republican descent into madness, opened the final night of the convention with a 15-minute speech that, as near as I could tell, contained not a single statement of truth in it. He blamed Hillary Clinton and the Democrats for just about every ill which could be laid at the GOP’s doorstep, including jobs moving to Third World countries, the shabby treatment of veterans, and others.

Fortunately the following day Trump himself came to the rescue with his grubby, greedy, petty ego in tow, as this article in the New York Times explains

Donald J. Trump lashed out at Senator Ted Cruz on Friday, rehashing a long list of grievances from their primary battle during a news conference here only hours after he accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination at a weeklong convention meant to unite the party.

After bragging that he had unified the party in one of the most “love­filled” conventions in political history, Mr. Trump launched an extended diatribe against Mr. Cruz, who pointedly declined to endorse him during his own convention speech on Wednesday night, instead urging people to vote their conscience. The speech embarrassed Mr. Trump and cast a shadow of discord over the convention, which had already been marred by plagiarism in Mr. Trump’s wife’s speech Monday night. “I don’t want his endorsement,” Mr. Trump said angrily, in a rambling stream-o-­consciousness performance that seemed half standup routine, half­ vengeful rant.

“If he gives it, I won’t accept it.” The remarks were a remarkable display of lingering tension within the party and Mr. Trump’s own inability to let go of grudges from the past.

They also represented a seemingly inevitable reappearance of Mr. Trump’s irrepressible id; The Republican nominee, having spoken from a teleprompter for more than an hour Thursday evening for the final night of his convention, seemed almost incapable of restraining himself any longer as the campaign moved to its next phase. “Now it was the summer of Trump, it was the autumn of Trump, it was as the Christmas of Trump,” Mr. Trump said, with characteristic braggadocio. “It was everything.”

Clearly still stung by Mr. Cruz’s actions, Mr. Trump ruminated aloud about why the senator from Texas would not back him. He recalled their personal fights during the nominating contests, including the unflattering picture that Mr. Trump reposted on Twitter of Mr. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, and he defended his suggestion that Mr. Cruz’s father might have had a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, citing a report in The National Enquirer. “This is a magazine that frankly in many respects should be very respected,” Mr. Trump said of the tabloid.

Mr. Trump’s comments about Heidi Cruz — which prompted an audible gasp from a member of his traveling press corps as he began his riff — is also likely to remind voters that he attacked Mr. Cruz’s wife during the nominating contest. Mr. Trump is already struggling to woo female voters, who still view him overwhelmingly negatively, polls show.

Trying to explain away the incident also left him in the slightly uncomfortable situation of mentioning Penthouse, a risqué magazine known for its nude photographs….  (He mentioned the magazine in asserting that a nearly nude picture of his wife, Melania, was “artsy” and in GQ, which he said was hardly Penthouse.)

LOL. Yes, that’s what Melania’s photos have been. Artsy. One looks forward to the day when they appear in the Louvre, especially the ones of her in nearly crotchless panties leaning on a jet holding a gun and a can of beer. 

So there you have it. For less than 24 hours Trump kept this lid on himself while his family and the GOP tried to polish him up for public consumption.

Our only hope is that Trump continues in his inability to be anyone but who he really is.

One of Melania Trump’s many art photos.