Obamacare Repeals back. Again.

Oh for the love of…

The Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the ACA, also known as Obamacare, has twelve days to pass before reconciliation ends, and their chance is gone. The bill would in effect transfer all of the funding for the ACA into block grants, parcel them out to states and overhaul Medicaid and repeal some protections, like pre-existing conditions. The only question I have is:

Why. Is this. Still. A thing.

I mean, I know why. It’s Obamacare, and the whole GOP has been basically redefined as the repeal and replace party, and this really is their last chance to do it. On the other hand, they’ve already lost. Four times (they had four bills, and McCains dramatic final No vote on the skinny repeal was the final straw. Or so I thought). And yet this persists.

Likely this will come down to the wire, assuming it can get past the CBO and the parliamentarian in less than two weeks, and then Leadership okays it (likely, again “repeal and replace”), and no more than two senators vote against it (Rand Paul is already opposed, and Murkowski and Collins haven’t yet weighed in), but hey. It could happen.

We’ll see what the CBO has to say about this.

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Trump to Escalate war in Afghanistan

So, Trump is authorizing another surge in troops to train Afghans to fight the war, and encouraging allies like Pakistan to further assist in the conflict. Which means he’s basically doing what the last two presidents did, which really only caused Afghanistan to collapse.

I’m sorry, but what is the point of this?

If he sends in more troops, after being the President who wanted to disengage with the world remember, the most it will mean is the military and whatever form of government structure remains over there will be propped up buy the US, until he either changes his mind or his successor removes them. The current Afghan soldiers there are unlikely to have any great impact on the Taliban insurgents even with support, certainly over the long term, and all of this is going to cost billions.

Seriously. Why?

(yes I know this is short, but I don’t have a lot to say on military conflicts. Not really my thing)

Charlottesville

I don’t know how to respond to this.

The “Unite the Right”rally was held in Charlottesville Virginia, was made up of the Alt-Right, Neo-Confederates, the KKK, literal nazis, and other assorted groups of angry white men. There was a response from a number of left-wing groups, including from what I can tell antifa, who I generally consider to be little different from any other band of thugs, who naturally clashed and fought.

And then a car crashed into the counter-protesters. A woman died, Heather Hayer, 32, and many others were injured when a twenty year old lunatic decided to attack them with a car. Later on two police officers monitoring and trying to contain the violence died when their helicopter malfunctioned and was brought down.

This isn’t right, this isn’t normal, or good, or fair.

This is wrong. And it needs to stop.

Short update: 11 August Edition

So, let’s roundup the day: North Korea did not back down from Trumps threats and has detailed a plan for a test near Guam, Trump blustered back and declared the opioid crisis a national emergency. Also Jeffrey Lord was fired from CNN, cause referencing Nazi’s never ends well.

When this is the new normal, you know things have gotten real weird.

So, North Korea made a very specific reference to launch a missile near Guam, an American Territory, which Trump was obliged to respond too. The problem here is neither side seems to grasp where this is going to go. Trump may talk big, but the man has never shown a willingness to actually back up his words. Typically anyway, and given the sheer level of reticence from his generals he may not do much more than bluster. The other side however needs to not only maintain face like Trump, they also feel the need to assert themselves to ensure their Sovereignty or so they believe. And again, Trump despite being something of a coward is also unpredictable. I don’t know how he’ll react to any significant provocation on any given day.

On the other side, Trump said the Opioid crisis is in fact a national emergency, which might sound big but means little unless it is officially declared as one. That has not happened yet, so it’s not quite the change in response some might be hoping for. Nor does it mean anything will change immediately, a national emergency allows new options and funds to respond to the crisis, but it’s also not designed to deal with a long term problem. How it’ll respond to a long lasting crisis that may well take years and maybe decades to get a grasp on is frankly anyone’s guess (which functionally means I haven’t the slightest clue).

And Jeffrey Lord was fired from CNN, after linking an article about Media Matters, and responding to a retaliation tweet with the Nazi Salute. Why did he think this was a good idea? Good question.

Shits just weird I swear.

 

Citations:
The Atlantic: Trump informally Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency 
The Atlantic: Trump Blusters at NK