Republicans

Republicans Dodge a Bullet. I Think.

Featured image Fifty Republican senators voted today to begin debate on an Obamacare repeal and replacement bill. Vice President Mike Pence cast the 51st vote to allow the legislation to move forward. The two Republicans who voted No were Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. It remains to be seen whether any Obamacare repeal bill will actually pass the Senate. All 48 Democrats will vote No, regardless of the bill’s specifics. Amendments will »

A humiliating farce

Featured image Within a few hours of the death of the Obamacare repeal-and-replacement bill in the Senate, a version of the repeal-only option appears to have died. That option represented Senator McConnell’s fallback position. Why not? Only eighteen months ago, in December 2015, Republican Senators (minus Susan Collins) voted unanimously to repeal Obamacare. They must have had their fingers crossed behind their back. The December 2015 repeal vote in the Senate was »

The Senate repeal and replace fiasco

Featured image Last night, Sens. Jerry Moran and Mike Lee announced that they would not vote for the latest Senate version of Obamacare repeal and replace. They argued, in effect, that the proposed legislation did not really amount to repeal. Sens. Rand Paul and Susan Collins were already “no” votes. Thus, the defection of Moran and Lee meant the demise of the bill. What now? President Trump has called for the straight »

Is the Senate About to Become More Diverse?

Featured image Liberals hate diversity and can’t stand change. So they are toiling 24/7 to assure us that the Trump administration–the aberrational election of a president who is not a professional politician–is a rapidly-unraveling disaster. I doubt that, but time will tell. In the meantime, more unorthodox candidates–better yet, more unorthodox non-liberal candidates–are coming forward, perhaps inspired by the election of a non-politician as president. Yesterday, Caitlyn Jenner said that she is »

Self-inflicted stupidity

Featured image CBS News anchor Scott Pelley — make that former CBS News anchor Scott Pelley — is the face of sanctimonious liberalism. The attempted assassination of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and his GOP colleagues on the baseball field in Alexandria last week somehow prompted Pelley’s comment on the day after: “It’s time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress, yesterday, was foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll decries A RACKET WRIT LARGE. She writes: A book that had a profound effect on me as a teenager was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Francie, the young protagonist, was, like me, a READER who discovers the library and it changes her life. Unlike Francie, however, we were middle-middle class, living in small towns in South Dakota and Minnesota, and Francie was starvation-level poor, living »

No women on the Senate GOP health care working group: So what?

Featured image CNN and other liberal media outlets are pointing out that the group of Republican Senators working together on the matter of Obamacare replacement contains no females. CNN’s Erin Burnett slammed Republicans for this fact. Here are the members of the group: Mitch McConnell John Cornyn John Thune John Barrasso Lamar Alexander Mike Enzi Orrin Hatch Ted Cruz Mike Lee Tom Cotton Cory Gardner Rob Portman Pat Toomey The first four »

House likely to pass Obamacare improvement legislation, maybe as soon as tomorrow [UPDATED — looks like tomorrow]

Featured image Two key moderate Republicans say they will support a Republican plan to “replace” Obamacare. I put the word replace in quotation marks because I think the word improve better describes what the proposal does. The two Republicans are Reps. Fred Upton (Michigan) and Billy Long (Missouri). They were won over after a visit to the White House by the addition to the existing proposal of $8 billion in funds over »

House approves spending bill

Featured image The House today voted to approve a spending bill that, if approved by the Senate, will keep the federal government up and running through September. The vote was 309-118 (NOTE: or 310-117, according to other reports I’ve seen). It had majority support from both Democrats and Republicans. More than 90 percent of Democrats supported it. Republicans were much more closely divided, with only about 55 percent of the caucus backing »

The new Obamacare replacement legislation — a solid step in the right direction

Featured image From a conservative perspective, I think it’s clear that the new House Obamacare legislation — the MacArthur Amendment — is an improvement over the original bill concocted by Speaker Ryan. But how much of one? Yuval Levin makes the case that the core concept of the new legislation — state waivers from Obamacare insurance regulations — represents a significant improvement, in terms of both substance and political pragmatism. He writes: »

Democrats Are Being Crushed In the Heartland

Featured image For good political news, you can’t do better than South Dakota, my home state. The Democrats haven’t yet ceased to exist, but they are on a death watch. The events of this week are classic. The Democrats are holding their big annual event, the McGovern Day dinner, next weekend at the Ramkota in Sioux Falls. They invited Minnesota’s Keith Ellison to be their featured speaker. But then they got cold »

Freedom Caucus endorses revised Obamacare replacement proposal

Featured image The House Freedom Caucus, which helped block Paul Ryan’s original Obamacare repeal and replacement legislation, has agreed to support a revised bill. The Washington Post describes, in general terms, the new approach. If the new incarnation gains sufficient support from moderate House Republicans, it will pass. This might happen quickly. For me, the key question in evaluating Obamacare replacement legislation is the impact on premiums. Not having studied the new »

Are Some Republicans Panicking? If So, Why?

Featured image News coverage these days is schizoid, as reflected in today’s daily “Morning Score” email from Politico. On the one hand, Politico describes a Republican Party in turmoil, if not outright panic: Republicans say President Donald Trump needs to turn things around fast – or the GOP could pay dearly in 2018. With the party preparing to defend its congressional majorities in next year’s midterms, senior Republicans are expressing early concern »

Hypocrisy abounds on Trump’s attack on Syrian air base

Featured image In a terrific post called “The Power of Silence,” Scott noted that Samantha Power, once the leading advocate of military intervention to combat genocidal practices, had nothing to say in favor of President Trump’s use of force to combat Bashar al-Assad’s genocidal use of chemical weapons. Such partisan hypocrisy was not confined to the left, though. Sen. Marco Rubio led the justified praise of Trump’s one-time missile attack. However, when »

The persistence of Obamacare

Featured image Republicans have campaigned against Obamacare roughly since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. After the failure yesterday in the House, however, they’re going to get back to us on that. Or the check is in the mail. Or something like that. Tim Alberta looks “Inside the GOP’s health care debacle.” Philip Klein offers a gimlet-eyed assessment of what just happened in “GOP cave on Obamacare repeal is »

Perception is reality. . .

Featured image for a few weeks. Then, something happens and perception changes. I agree with John that the failure of the House to pass Obamacare replacement legislation this week doesn’t necessarily mean GOP House members won’t be able to pass important legislation on other fronts. Health care legislation represents a special challenge because it is so complex, because the stakes are so high, and because Obamacare screwed things up so badly. However, »

We may be the stupid party, but are we that stupid?

Featured image Politico reports that “a group of Senate Democrats is beginning to explore trying to extract concessions from Republicans in return for allowing Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed.” What concessions? The deal Democrats would be most likely to pursue. . .would be to allow confirmation of Gorsuch in exchange for a commitment from Republicans not to kill the filibuster for a subsequent vacancy during President Donald Trump’s term. »