Obamacare Repeals Back

And this time it’s inside a snazzy Tax reform Bill!

God fucking dammit, enough already. To break it down, Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas has managed to put in a repeal of the Obamacare mandate, getting the government $338 Billion back in money which can be spent beefing up the bill. Now, the CBO has reported this is an accurate number, but has also acknowledged that it will likely lead to a drop off in enrollment numbers and people receiving healthcare due to the mandate. Importantly, this means than not only is the republican senate trying to pass a tax reform bill that will over 10 years cost the middle and working classes more in taxes than they pay now, it’s also going after their healthcare. You know, through the program they’ve decided they like now.

So the Left is gonna be galvanized, and vocally opposed to the tax bill rather than letting the special interests complain, one Republican senator, that’s Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, has denounced both bills from the House and Senate, and of course Senators Collins, Murkowski and McCain are now people to watch because healthcare is now involved.

In terms of paying for the bill, repealing the mandate was actually a somewhat clever move and has allowed the senate more money to secure more votes. Politically they just shot themselves in the knee.

Oh, and according to Ryan the House republicans have enough votes to pass the bill Rep. Brady designed, so there’s another possible disaster in the wings as well. Ain’t that just fucking lovely.


The Accusations against Roy Moore, and why complaints against it are bullshit.

As far as I am aware, five women have come forward detailing attempts by Senatorial Candidate for Alabama Roy Moore to engage in sexual activity with them, during which they themselves were teenagers, and he was a 32 year old district attorney. One of these cases involved a fourteen year old girl, under the age of consent according to Alabama state law. Another has recently come forward with another significant allegation, that he attempted to force himself on her physically. The man in question has denied these allegations, though he has confirmed he did date teenage girls during this time in his life. He has asserted however that this is clearly a witch hunt due to these allegations only surfacing when he was running a senatorial race with national attention.

So let me explain how journalism works. When interesting events occur, such as a Senatorial race involving a firebrand conservative that has most every politician worried and the attention of the president, a paper will send a journalist or sometimes more than one to investigate the event in question. In this case that includes candidates in the Senatorial race. During this time they may hear rumors and stories regarding certain conduct a candidate engaged in, which they will proceed to follow up on. If during this time they can confirm these rumors or gather enough evidence, say witness testimony, to make a compelling case they will with approval from their editor and paper publish the story.

This is basic journalism. It’s not a witch hunt, it’s called doing their job, especially in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandals and similar, at a point in time where much of the public (the market for these papers) has little time for sexual misconduct. If Moore didn’t want this sort of attention he shouldn’t have run for office. Actions have consequences, now grow the fuck up.


Democratic Sweep in elections

I brought this up yesterday but many more results have been publicized and the results are far more wide spread and reaching than I knew. The Virginia governor race was won by 8 points, as well as multiple delegates to the Virginia house and the potential to take it back if a few recounts go their way. Additionally New Jersey’s governor race was also won by a high marginĀ  and multiple new mayors across the country were elected, which included women running for the first time, in some cases cities having their first black mayors, men and women, and New Jersey also elected its first Sikh mayor.

This was a sweep for the democrats, and is being presented as a significant turn in the election cycles in the coming years. And yes, it could mean that though it’s by no means a guarantee that a similar sweep will occur in the federal level. Still its a very good reason for the Senate republicans and maybe even the House to be worried about the coming 2018 elections. Though given the way the conservative media has either decided not to report on this or blamed the candidates for not being suitably Trumpish, it might not be wishful thinking to say they’re worried.

But let’s be clear, the republicans still have control over 26 states, by which I mean they have the governor’s mansion, the state legislature and often times the representatives at the federal level in their control, compared to the Democrats 6, and many more democrat seats are under fire during the 2018 elections compared to republicans. This is not going to be some easy sweep, and complacency is not going to help anybody. If the democrats want to take back the senate and the house, they will need to be active and motivated, not content with the idea of a wave pushing them back into power.

Arrogance doesn’t win elections.

Update November 8th edition

Quick update because I’ve left this for too long, I will have a better piece tomorrow I swear! Probably.

Anyway, first off the Texas Church attack, at least 26 people were killed, before the gunman was run off, shot by a passerby and another man, and then killed himself. The shooter was a former member of the air force before he was court martial-ed for a domestic abuse charge, in which his wife and step-son were harmed, the latter having his skull fractured. He was not supposed to gain access to the weapon in question used in this attack, unfortunately the Air Force did not report his court martial or the attacks on his family effectively. This is another deeply horrific event, and I can only offer condolences to those suffering its after effects.

Secondly, two Gubernatorial races in the US, Virginia and New Jersey, have been won by democrats, both solidly. This is significant due to the losses of all levels of power the democrats suffered in the last eight years, and may signal a shift in that dynamic. Still to soon to say however, and I’m not one to assume the best given their track record. Still anything that puts pressure on Trump and his group is good in my book.

Finally, the Tax Bill is out! It’s been met with stiff opposition from the get go, and while it benefits corporations and the wealthiest in America, it most certainly harms damn near anyone else, with blue states, students, sing parents, divorcees, and just generally anyone not in the top 10% ending up paying more in one form or another, if not immediately then certainly over the 10 year period it is being measured by. The important thing to note here is that this will not stop republicans from fighting for this bill, their donors want a tax cut and this will benefit a large number of them. Secondly their argument will inevitably be that all these potential losses will be offset by wage and job growth, so people will end up with more money regardless. I’m not really sure what their basing this off of, certainly not recent history, but that’s my bet on their argument.

These last few days have been big, unfortunately, so as odd as it sounds I do hope things die down a bit. The fewer people harmed the better frankly.

Lazy Thursday November 2nd Edition

Why? Because I’m lazy.

Yeah so this is gonna be short, but lets summarize a few stories and move on, yeah?

So first, further reports on the Manhattan Attacker, seems he was a guy from Uzbekistan, came through the diversity visa lottery, and was sympathetic to ISIS propaganda and attacked. Thus far no further deaths or injuries have been named, and ISIS, as far as I’m aware has not yet claimed the attack. So that’s a thing. I know this sounds blase, I’m just struggling to convince myself this is ever going to end and considering the consequences the opposite would bring. It’s not fun.

In the wake of the tragedy congress representative Kevin Brady has delayed the release of the tax reform bill until tomorrow, which is totally not also because they haven’t written the damn thing yet. Also Trump really wants it to be called the ‘Cut Cut Cut Act’. Seriously, because this whole process hasn’t been stupid enough.

So that’s the relevant stuff, a lot more minor things are floating around the media right now, but these are to me the two that matter. Oh well, always some disaster tomorrow right?

Manafort got Indicted

Paul Manafort, GOP operative and former campaign chairman for Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury. Now, the charges do not relate to his time as the Trump campaign chairman, however they do relate to his work with foreign governments, charges of money laundering, and include a charge of conspiracy against the United States. So this is a big deal, a big fucking deal, but again this does not implicate Trump in any way.

So why has Manafort been indicted? Well, firstly because he committed a crime. Because no matter what some people might like to think that does in fact matter. But importantly it also proves the effectiveness of Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation, and gives him more time to look into all the areas he deems necessary. Additionally this may well give Mueller and his team the chance to ‘flip’ Manafort, that is convince him to confess regarding actions taken by his former boss in exchange for a better deal, which is certainly an option.

For now the big deal here is that Mueller and his team are getting things done, are not wasting time and can point to this to justify his continued efforts. Given the Republicans and White Houses questions regarding the continued need for a special counsel, and one run by Mueller, this sort of defense is very important.


How likely is Tax Reform to pass?

I mean, it could happen. Maybe.

The Republicans in the house are currently working on presenting tax reform bill, which will entail a large tax cut on the corporate rate, a huge expansion of the standard deduction, and combing the current brackets in the US tax code into three. The point man in the House is Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and to his credit he and his team have been working on this bill for the better part of the year. However upon preparing to release it, Trump immediately attacked a key proposal, and other Republicans did their best to protect their favored loopholes.

So, there’s that problem, keeping in mind that the House Republicans really needs as many members as possible to pass this bill, since the Democrats are definitely not playing ball. And then there’s the Senate, which has not yet signaled agreement with the bill Brady has written, assuming they’ve seen it, and may well be doing their own thing be it due to policy differences or the expectation that the House may not succeed.

So, the bill hasn’t been presented yet due to being blocked by other members of the party, the Republican President also has problems, at least for one part of the bill so far, and the Senate has yet to endorse Brady’s efforts for one reason or another. So it is definitely gonna be struggle to pass this bill, not impossible mind this is a significant deal for the Republican party and may well be their only chance for years to come. But at the same time given the current struggles the unreleased bill is dealing with there’s no guarantee this bill will even pass the house, much less the Senate.

I’m leaning towards 50/50 at this point. We’ll see how it develops.