Paul Ryan is a lousy housekeeper. That’s to be expected from a man who grew up in a privileged household were the hired help were the housekeepers. So it’s also to be expected that he’s not doing so good on two promises he made when he was elected Speaker of the House: to fix a”broken” House and the House would work to pass legislation that would raise incomes and help lift people up out of poverty.
“Ryan Scores Dual Wins With Obamacare Repeal Vote” says the headline of the linked article. This shows how insulated D.C. beltway pundits are from what is actually happening in America. Ryan gained no victories with anyone other than Republicans who want Obamacare repealed and Planned Parenthood defunded. For the rest of us this is GOP-business-as-usual with yet another attempt at repealing Obamacare. With a Democrat-controlled Congress, neither of those bills pass their respective chambers of Congress.
These are not wins for Ryan or any Republican. These are yawns, as how boring, more of the same. “’The good news is, with this reconciliation bill, there will finally be some clarity,’ Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told the Washington Post Tuesday. ‘The president will very glibly veto it. But at least then it will be on him and everybody will know it.’”
And while you’re being so glib with your comment, Franks, that work so well with your constituents in Republican-controlled Arizona, get it through your thick skull that there are tens of millions more of Americans who not only approve but depend on Obamacare for their affordable healthcare plans.
OK, you’re asking “Who’s Trent Franks? THIS is Trent Franks: “In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?” (from politicalcorrection.org 2/26/10 quoting from an interview Franks gave to Mark Starks of starksreport.com)
Let’s dispense with Frank’s insincere apology for slavery. His point was that unspecified policies of today are far more devastating to the African-American community than slavery ever was. This is the type of Republican who has repeatedly voted to overturn Obamacare. So with the backing of this kind of Congressman, exactly what was the victory for Ryan again?
The dual victory is all Obama’s. The first victory will be President Obama’s when he vetoes this worthless piece of partisan effluent. The victory would be that much sweeter if Obama first looks at the bill with pen raised and with a smile quotes Ronald Reagan: “There you go again.”
The second victory for the president is, in this article’s own words, “the issue is likely now settled until after the election.”
After the election we hopefully will be looking at a much different Congress than the Republican-controlled one which insists on making life harder for tens of millions of financially struggling poor Americans and further victimizing low-income women in dire need of medical care—legal abortions and otherwise.
I’ve been commenting for years on NPR’s slanted-toward-the-Republicans reporting. The right wing’s contention that it’s part of the liberal media is just a smoke screen. However, this morning NPR’s Morning Edition hit a new low with its hit piece on what it insists on calling Obamacare, which is the Republican-devised epithet for The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or Affordable Care Act for short. Because the job given to NPR by persons or persons unknown is to keep pushing the myth that the ACA is unaffordable and that is why millions of people are risking federal tax fines by gleefully dropping it. If the ACA is unaffordable for millions of people it is due to the concerted efforts of the Republicans, as I show below.
I don’t know who is ultimately responsible for this hit piece. What I do know is that Steve Inkeep’s lead-in is misleading. What I also know is that typically, the written text underneath the audio link to a news story is identical to the audio story. In this case, the audio version barely resembles the written text. Inskeep intros the story “Millions of Americans have found the Affordable Care Act to be unaffordable.” Thus the story is framed that the ACA is essentially a failure, especially where lower-middle class individuals are concerned. Contrast this with the actual written headline to the story: “Obamacare Deploys New Apps, Allies To Persuade The Uninsured”. Now it’s a story about how the Obama administration is attempting to get more uninsured people the health insurance they lack.
Another difference between the audio and written stories: the audio leads off with sound bites from Dave Egbert of Huron, South Dakota, stating that he and his partner, Rich Davis, dropped Obamacare because it was too expensive. In the written version, Egbert and Davis are buried near the bottom of the story. The audio story says that there are only three insurance plans to choose from. But the story doesn’t explain why and this is where the slanted reporting comes in.
The fact is that Republican South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard and the Republican-controlled state legislature refused to expand Medicaid in that state on February 24, 2014. Expanding Medicaid in all states was a primary goal of–what else?—the Affordable Care Act. Just about all—if not all—Republican-controlled states refused to expand Medicaid even though the federal government was picking up the tab for the first few years. So Egbert and Davis should be blaming Governor Daugaard and their state legislature—people they most likely voted for in prior elections—for the lack of affordable healthcare in their state, along with the paucity of health plans to choose from. That’s under the control of your state, gentlemen, not the Feds.
This hit the working poor, like Egbert and Davis, hardest of all. Had state Republicans not blocked this expansion, it is very likely Egbert and Davis among 25,000 other people would have had the affordable healthcare Davis needed at the time. I have no information to back this up but I wonder if both Egbert and Davis are Republicans? What I do know is that NPR contacted Egbert after he posted a comment on its Facebook page. Whether or not they vetted Egbert and his story is unknown.
Something else I do know is that, right before next year’s elections, South Dakota has now decided to expand Medicaid and has gotten the initial “go ahead” from a health official in the Obama Administration. http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2015/09/29/medicaid-expansion-plan-gets-initial-go-ahead-dc/73067220/
So, Messers. Egbert and Davis, and the other 25,000 uninsured inhabitants of South Dakota, it looks like with your South Dakota state government finally embracing Obamacare just before election time, you will get your affordable health insurance. And if it gives you gentlemen any solace, Obamacare started off as Romneycare (an advisor to then-Gov. Romney re-worked it for the Obama administration) which had its genesis with a plan devised by the Koch Brothers own Heritage Foundation as far back as 1989.
So, gentlemen, stop seeing Red over Obamacare. And in next year’s elections, start feeling Blue.
And you, Steve Inskeep and all at NPR Morning Edition, have you no shame? Apparently not.
Speculation is rife that Mitt Romney might be thinking the third time’s the charm and try to pull a Richard M. Nixon phoenix rising from the political ashes act in 2016. I don’t think so. I’m seeing the Mitt Romney in 2016 Facebook pages, all the media questions but I think the presumed presidential campaign is a smokescreen. Mitt could be floating this 2016 rumor just to gauge how popular he is. He may be delusional, disconnected and arrogant enough to think he could still be elected president OR he might be thinking his political future lies in PICKING the next Republican candidate for president and bringing him across the finish line. Kingmaker Mitt Romney may be looking better to Mitt than President Mitt Romney. He’s hosting a big Republican confab at a fancy, shmancy resort in Park City, UT, and his old 2012 campaign people are telling the media that Mitt is the head honcho who put this thing together himself. He’s bringing together the old and new faces of the GOP—just for unity and to link the GOP past with its future in the minds of voters, you see? The old and new guards together again for the first time.
The thing is, Mitt can’t run for president in 2015 because he will be 69 years old. So what—Ronald Reagan was 69 when he took the oath of office. True, but Hillary Clinton will also be 69 in 2016 and the GOP wall of propaganda machine—Fox “News”—has been feeding its viewers a steady diet of “Hillary will be too old and infirm to be president in 2016″. Again, never mind that Reagan was 69 and not-so-slowly sinking into the depths of Alzheimer’s and general dementia right there inside the Oval Office walls. C’mon, Nancy brought in a Taro card reader to help determine federal government policy-or was it because Reagan liked to play solitaire with the cards because he couldn’t tell the difference? We’ll never know.
Anyway, if 69-year-old Romney runs for president with 69-year-old Clinton in the race as well, either Fox has to slam Romney’s age or it has to lay off Clinton—those would be the only two options. And Romney, with his group of powerful old and new guard GOP buddies backing him, wouldn’t take kindly to Fox quips about Grandpa Romney and Grandma Clinton walking—literally walking with walkers—neck and neck in the race. So, I think Romney opts for a behind-the-scenes but in-front-of-the-curtain role in 2014 and 2016, leaving Hillary to the age discriminatory Fox wolves. Does it matter to Fox and friends that John McCain turned 72 before the November 2008 presidential election? Nah, not with the short memories of GOP voters. Besides, why else do you think he chose what he thought was a youthful babe to be his running mate? Because to have picked an older-looking man would have made him look older, and I don’t think any of the younger up-and-comers in the GOP wanted anywhere near the ticket headed by an old man with “Loser” already printed on his forehead before the Republican convention.
And regarding the Nixon analogy I brought up earlier? Well, here’s the thing: this isn’t 1968, we’re not deep in the Vietnam War; LBJ is not the president most of the country has grown to hate, and Romney isn’t Nixon allegedly committing treason by secretly negotiating with both the North and South Vietnamese to stay away from the peace talks table and Nixon would make it worth all their mutual whiles after he was elected president. Romney’s got nothing new in his career or in his personality to make GOP voters take a third look at him like they’re seeing him for the first time. His ideas haven’t changed since 2012 and neither has his tortured rhetoric and stiff attempts at humor. What he does see is his Romneycare a national success repackaged as Obamacare, which means he can’t claim neither credit nor glory for being its genesis since the GOP is staking many Congressional and Senate races this year on trying to sell the Affordable Care Act as a boondoggle that needs to be put to a House repeal vote—again.
And what’s Mitt been doing since 2012, anyway? Well, there was that documentary carried exclusively—and solely—by Netflix. You missed it? So did most of America, every chance they got. So, all this leads me to believe that Mitt Romney will not be entering the political ring as a contender, but as a promoter sitting in a ringside seat smoking a stogie and sitting next to his blonde trophy wife wrapped in mink and diamonds, or, next to Ann Romney. But still and all, if Mitt does run in 2016, it won’t be a phoenix flying in the air, but pigs.
Rassmussen Reports just released one of its famously pro-Republican polls
showing a virtual tie in the Colorado U.S. Senate Race between Democratic incumbent Mark Udall and Republican challenger Corey Gardner and, coincidentally (?), NPR News runs a tory primarily to make Republican challenger Corey Gardner a national name in pursuit of the NPR News campaign to convince the American voter that this is the year of the Republicans.
After all, NPR trashes Obamacare at least weekly, and now almost daily (and several times daily) mentioning Rand Paul’s name and frequently accompanying it with a sound bite. There are 45 Republicans in the U.S. Senate but from NPR News you’d think that Paul is the only saying or thinking anything important because he’s about the only one in heavy radio rotation. So Ted Cruz is now SO last year’s chopped liver for wrapping himself around and making himself the voice and voice of the GOP/Tea Party’s federal government shutdown. And Marco Rubio? He’s got the charisma of any fresh-faced little boy who looks like he’s wearing his father’s U.S. Senator’s clothes.
It’s been decided somewhere that Rand Paul needs to be pushed into the psyche of the American public and as frequently as possible. For what purpose, I don’t know—yet. He’s not up for reelection until 2016 and two years from how he’s got as much chance of getting the Republican nomination for president as he has getting elected president this year. To show how little chance the guy has to send out bids on a new design for the Oval Office rug, his GOP buddies in the Kentucky state senate are pushing a bill that would allow him to be on the 2016 state ballot as candidate for both president and reelection to the US Senate (much like Wisconsin state law enabled Paul Ryan to lose his VP bid and still keep his day job in Congress in 2012). The state House of Representatives doesn’t like that idea so much and will most likely shoot it down if it passes the state senate.
It’s perfectly plausible that Paul has been positioned to be the once and future Head Mad Hatter of the Tea Party at a time when the Karl Roves of the GOP are attempting to separate and isolate it from the mainstream party because frankly, my dear, most Republican voters don’t give a damn about the Tea Party (except when it shuts down the federal government and then the word “damn” is heard a lot preceding the words “tea party”) except in the smallest and poorest Southern states with the highest numbers of uneducated people in America. Rove once had pull in the GOP until his meal ticket ran out of presidential terms and he had to settle for a new career as PAC Man. The meal ticket’s brother, Jeb, is undoubtedly planned by Rove to be his entrée to eight more years of White House entrées in 2016.
So, with Jeb in the top ticket slot, who would be the chosen one to slide into the number two spot? Hmmm, the name is on the tip of my psyche…Rand Paul. It now all makes sense. In front of closed doors guys like Rove decry how the Tea Party is destroying the GOP. But behind closed doors perhaps Paul’s name was bandied about as a sure way to bring the Tea Party—and its voter base—back into the fold and under control of the mainstream Republican Party. The GOPowers-that-be may be willing to risk a Rand Paul presidency if it gets them a Jeb Bush presidency first.
So in the pursuit of that end, the orders went out to the subsidiary media outlets like Fox, CNN and NPR to put Rand Paul in heavy rotation and to keep his erstwhile rivals out of the limelight. Too many choices make tea partiers nervous. They like to keep things simple, you know.
Dear Chuck and Dave,
That’s some creative team you’ve got working for you there. Yeah, some creativity coursing through their little minds. No wonder you guys are such a potent political force with such creativity ready to be called upon at a moment’s notice.
Take this Generation Opportunity campaign targeted at young, healthy people—especially college students–in an effort to convince them to opt out of Obamacare. Stroke of genius, that. Obamcare needs young, healthy, low Obamacare-usage people in the income pool to offset the costs of paying for all the healthcare for older and much younger, not as healthy, high-Obamacare usage people. Problem is, you overlooked one tiny but ever so critical detail. You targeted young people—many of them college students–and by and large, young college students are in their early 20s. Under Obamacare, these young people don’t have to opt out of anything because they will already be covered under their parents’ Obamacare health plans until they are 26. What’s that Mr. President? The President just said, “Checkmate.”
And have you checked the statistics, fellas? Young people are more prone to drive fast and recklessly so they get into more serious auto accidents…where they would need healthcare coverage to pay their medical bills. Young people engage in contact sports like football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and rugby. Young athletes get hurt, they get concussions, they need medical attention which would be paid for by…Obamacare. Ever watch “Jackass” or see the movies? Young people love to emulate these stunts because young people like to prove their indestructibility and immortality by performing stupid and potentially lethal stunts. The ERs are full of these young people and Obamacare will pay their bills. Young people—especially college students—like to drink alcohol—a lot. And when they’re drunk they may drive fast and recklessly, engage in contact sports, and perform “Jackass” stunts. And you want them to feed off their self-image of indestructibility and immortality and opt out of Obamacare under your imposed delusion that they don’t need it? Granted, not all young people are this prone to serious injury but enough of them potentially sure as hell are.
Is there no bottom to your sociopathic callousness and greed? I think that if we keep digging, we’ll reach China long before we hit bottom with you guys.
I can see what no other person sees. I can see the future crystal clear and in high-def. I see older and younger low-income, uninsured people and families being dragged into the new Affordable Care Act healthcare insurance exchanges during the Openbamacare season 10/1/2013 to 3/31/2014—almost 30 million of them. Low income people and families seem to need more medical care than most others, and I can see them get their monthly premium quotes which are…surprisingly affordable. I see them getting health care and those who receive bills find them…surprisingly affordable. They learn there are no lifetime caps, no pre-existing condition exclusions and they seem…surprisingly happy. The Medicare recipients have a Part D donut hole that is no longer larger enough for them to jump through. They are surprisingly happy, too.
I just had a vision that clouds that first one: the Republicans can clearly see what I see. That is why they are scrambling to de-fund the ACA. Will they be successful? I don’t see it…