Category Archives: Politics

Healthcare Uninsured rate begins to climb back up…

It’s much lower than before the ASffordable Healthcare program began, so the Obamacare program IS working….

But with the Republicans working hard to get rid of the program, which now is liked by a majority of Americans?

A drop isn’t a good thing…(The Blame HAS to involve the Republicans)

The Gallup report doesn’t include data proving the causes of the uptick in the number of uninsured, but the likeliest explanation includes a mix of factors that include shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace itself, and actions taken by President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress.

Although premiums for people who get health benefits from their employers ― the most common source of health coverage in the United States ― have held relatively steady in recent years, the same can’t be said for the price of health insurance from an exchange or bought directly from an insurer. The share of Americans in this segment of the insurance market without health insurance increased from 20 percent at the end of 2016 to 21.3 percent as of Sept. 30, Gallup reports.

Premium increases on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges rose sharplyin many parts of the country from 2016 to 2017, putting coverage out of reach for households that qualified for little or no financial assistance. Those who are eligible for tax credits to reduce their monthly insurance bills generally are shielded from rate hikes because their subsidies increase to compensate, but those who must pay full price bear the brunt of the rate hikes. Even so, the uninsured rate rose slightly more last quarter for low-income households than for higher earners.

In addition to those underlying issues in the market regulated by the Affordable Care Act, Trump and the GOP Congress have created uncertainty about the state of the exchanges and the future of the health care system that likely depressed enrollment…..

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A look at College Republicans in the age of Trump…

The LA Times looks at the state of  Republicans on the college level in California …..

 

“This election will determine the very future and soul of college Republicans — and maybe even the conservative movement as a whole,” said Eric Lendrum, a recent UC Santa Barbara graduate who writes for the conservative online Millennial Review.

Long overlooked on California’s overwhelmingly liberal campuses, college conservatives are now drawing national attention thanks to free speech dust-ups at UC Berkeley, UC Davis and Cal State L.A.

Campus conservative leaders said Trump’s election boosted their numbers even if it intensified hostility toward them. At Berkeley, College Republican Troy Worden says he still gets doxxed, spat on and cussed out by fellow Bears — but now as many as 80 people come to club meetings that usually drew about 10 last year.

“Republicanism is becoming cool,” said Brock Bauer, a UCLA sophomore majoring in financial actuarial math. “It’s a counterculture. It feels like you’re rebelling against your generation.”

At a recent UCLA club festival, a stream of students ventured to the Bruin Republicans table, which was covered with buttons, pamphlets and “Socialism sucks” bumper stickers. Like a carnival barker, club officer Tyler Fowlkes called out to students to join UCLA’s “premier right-of-center club,” a haven on the leftist campus, complete with outings to a shooting range. “We even pay for the ammunition,” he told them…

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image…Jordan Sadlier, president of the Bruin Republicans, standing next to a cardboard figure of former President Reagan, and Tyler Fowlkes, the club’s vice president, try to recruit new members at UCLA’s annual student activities fair in September. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

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The Senate has the votes to pass compromise Healthcare fix…The House?

The problem is getting a bill vote….

And getting past Conservatives in the House?

On Thursday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that every single Senate Democrat would back a bipartisan bill to restore the subsidy payments to health insurance companies defunded by President Trump. Combined with the 12 GOP senators who officially co-sponsored the bill, that gives the measure a filibuster-proof supermajority if and when it comes to the floor for a vote.

But with a powerful committee chairman and several other lawmakers in staunch opposition, hostility to the bill radiating from the House of Representatives, right-wing advocacy groups mobilizing against it, and a President who appears to hourly change his mind on the policy, there is no guarantee the bill will pass.

The list of Republican co-sponsors of the bill unveiled on Thursday includes half a dozen committee chairs, making it more difficult for Senate leaders to refuse to hold a vote. But Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who chairs the Finance Committee that would take up the bill if it goes through the committee process, is not one of them.

“I’m concerned we’re just perpetuating a bad process,” Hatch told TPM. “They want to do it for another two years. I’d rather face the problem now.”

Hatch is referring to the heart of the bill, which provides two years of funding for cost-sharing reduction subsidies to health insurance companies that go towards lowering the cost of care for low-income patients.

Bill co-author Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told TPM Thursday that if the bill does go through a regular committee markup, an open question at this point, it would go through Hatch’s Finance Committee. Asked if Hatch would commit to holding a hearing and markup on the bill, a GOP aide called the question “premature.”

“He would have to talk to committee members about it to see how they want to move forward,” the aide said…..

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Arpaio charges will stay on the record…..

Trump pardoned the ex-Arizona Sheriff….

But the federal judge is refusing to erase the charges that Arpaio was found in contempt of her orders citing the fact that Arpaio DID disregard a court order…

The judges actions could implications for any of the people that Specaol Council Robert Mueller ‘s Grand Juries end up charging that might be conviced and Trump might offer pardons to…

The federal judge who oversaw the criminal case against Joe Arpaiosays President Trump‘s pardon of the former sheriff’s convictions does not require their legal reasoning be thrown out.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an order Thursday shutting down requests by the sheriff’s attorneys to have the facts behind the conviction thrown out after the pardon.

Bolton said in the order that Trump’s pardon was an “executive prerogative of mercy, not of judicial recordkeeping,” according to Politico.

“The pardon undoubtedly spared Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed. It did not, however, ‘revise the historical facts’ of this case,” Bolton wrote. …

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Trump hire’s and send’s people to work without Congressional confirmation…

He’s Donald Trump….

The King….

He doesn’t need Congress to ok his hires, right?…That just the Law….

The Trump administration is pushing the limits of an obscure federal law that restricts nominees from serving in federal positions before they’re approved by the Senate.

A POLITICO review has identified four officials at three different agencies doing substantially similar work to the position for which they have been nominated – despite not yet getting a green-light from the Senate.

The hires reflect increasing impatience in federal agencies that key jobs remain unfilled nine months into the new administration.

President Donald Trump has complained repeatedly that Democrats are moving too slowly to confirm his nominees, though he’s also said he intends to leave many jobs empty. Democrats counter that the onus is on Trump, who has not yet announced nominees for a slew of key positions across the government.

Either way, lawyers and other experts said the moves – including by the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget – to have unconfirmed nominees show up for work appears to skirt the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which prohibits most people who have been nominated to fill a vacant government position from performing that office’s duties in an acting capacity.

It’s unclear whether the officials in question are in direct violation of the law, but some experts said the administration appears to be defying its intent…..

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Looser state concealed carry laws equal more gun deaths…

Not surprising at all….

States that have more relaxed criteria for allowing residents to carry concealed handguns have a higher rate of gun deaths than states with stricter requirements, according to a study released Thursday.

Researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health found that states that have so-called “may issue” laws — which give law enforcement officials wide discretion to decide who can receive a concealed carry permit — have lower gun death rates than states that call for little discretion once basic criteria for obtaining the permit is met, also known as “shall issue” laws.

The study found that states with “shall issue” laws had handgun homicide rates that were 10.6 percent higher than “may issue” states. Additionally, “shall issue” states had firearm homicide rates that were 8.6 percent higher and overall homicide rates that were 6.5 percent higher than “may issue” states.

On opposite ends of the spectrum, Louisiana, a shall-issue state, had a firearm homicide rate of 9.96 per 100,000 residents in 2015; Hawaii, a may-issue state, had a firearm homicide rate of 0.75 per 100,000 residents in 2015….

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US Senate narrowly passes Budget Plan….

Republican Senator’s worked the bill so that they would only need THEIR members simple majority for passage….No Democratic filibuster can stop it…Only Republican Senator Rand Paul voted with the Democrats against the bill…

The media reports are that the math in the spending sets up the Republican effort to pass a Tax Cut bill next which have been pushing for along with Trump…

The bill now goes to the House….

And if passed in the House would be the firsts major legislation the Republicans have voted in since Donald Trump became President….

In Congress, the annual budget resolution provides an outline of federal spending and revenues. The Senate’s blueprint, for the 2018 fiscal year that began Oct. 1, claims to achieve a balanced budget within a decade, assuming greater economic growth and using an accounting method that excludes Social Security. In order to erase projected deficits, it calls for trillions of dollars in spending cuts over the coming decade.

But the cuts exist only on paper, without legislation to achieve them.

Even so, Democrats sounded the alarm, warning that the aspirational cuts in the budget plan called for slicing more than $1 trillion from Medicaid and about $470 billion from Medicare over a decade.

They also lamented the approach that Republicans are taking on taxes, which mirrors the strategy that they employed in their failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. On that matter, Republicans successfully laid the groundwork for a repeal measure that could pass without any Democratic votes, but party leaders could not ultimately get 50 Republican senators to agree on a health bill.

Though Democrats have pleaded to have more say in the tax overhaul, parliamentary language in the budget resolution would allow Republicans to pass a tax bill without any cooperation from the minority party. The tax measure could add as much as $1.5 trillion to budget deficits over a decade.

“Passing this budget is not a requirement for passing tax reform,” said Senator Gary Peters, Democrat of Michigan. “Passing this budget is only a requirement to pass a tax bill with as few votes as possible, without input or buy-in from members of the minority.”

For Republicans, the budget debate provided a moment to showcase their main goal in the coming months: Approving an overhaul of the tax code for the first time in decades, which they hope will lead to greater economic growth.

But before they can move ahead with a tax bill, the House and Senate need to agree on the same budget resolution….

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Could Democrats pick up a House seat in Utah?

Democrats ARE making high hopes in challanging Republicans across the board including in states that might not be where you might NOT expect them to….

Image result for love/mcadams utah house race

On Wednesday, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams announced his challenge to GOP Rep. Mia Love in Utah’s 4th District. A significant chunk of the district has already voted for McAdams for mayor. Plus, while Trump carried this district in 2016, he did so with just 39 percent of the vote. Clinton garnered a meager 32 percent, while independent candidate Evan McMullin collected votes from those who weren’t satisfied with their major-party options.

We’re changing the Inside Elections rating of the 4th District race from Solid Republican to Leans Republican.

Love lost a close race to Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in 2012. Two years later, she won a close race for the open seat against Democrat Doug Owens when Matheson retired. The congresswoman won a rematch with Owens by a wider margin last fall…..

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image of Democratic Salt City Mayor and GOP House Rep. Mia Love…KUER 90.1

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George W. Bush disses his party leader….

No he didn’t mention Donald Trump’s name at a New York ‘bipartisan conference that his presidential center sponsored in New York to promote democracy and freedom.’…..

But everybody in the room knew who he was talking about….

Former President George W. Bush never mentioned his name but delivered what sounded like a sustained rebuke to President Trump on Thursday, decrying nationalism, protectionism and the coarsening of public debate while calling for a robust response to Russian interference in American democracy.

In a speech in New York, Mr. Bush defended free trade, globalization and immigration even as Mr. Trump seeks to raise barriers to international commerce and newcomers from overseas. He condemned the “casual cruelty” he sees in public discourse and denounced white supremacy two months after Mr. Trump suggested that “both sides” were to blame at a neo-Nazi rally that turned violent in Virginia.

“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America,” Mr. Bush said. “We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade, forgetting that conflict, instability and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism. We’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places.”

The former president said these afflictions have created a crisis of confidence in the United States that has endangered its historic ideals. “In all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity,” he said. “Americans have great advantage. To renew our country we only need to remember our values.”….

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image….Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Note….

We’ll see if Trump goes after another Bush…

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Key Senate Republicans want Trump to back Healthcare compromise deal….

This won’t just go away because Conservitive Republicans keep mentioning ‘Repeal’, which is a goner with THIS Senate….

And actually?

Donald Trump wants a deal and win….No Matter what it is….

And it is no fluke that he keeps trying to bring the Democrats into the picture with his adopted party…

None at ALL…

Key Senate Republicans are urgently trying to get President Donald Trump to reconsider his apparent opposition to a bipartisan deal shoring up health insurance markets, several senators said Thursday morning.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who negotiated the deal with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, both spoke to the president about it on Wednesday evening. Trump has variously praised the deal and trashed it as a “bailout” of insurance companies, and both Graham and Alexander are trying to pull him back from the brink.

In a conversation on Wednesday, Trump told Graham: “I want a deal. I want to get something for this money,” Graham recounted. The South Carolina Republican responded by explaining that Republicans’ bills to repeal and replace Obamacare continued the law’s subsidy payments and argued the plan is a bridge to the Obamacare repeal bill he wrote with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

“I told him that if Graham-Cassidy became law tomorrow, you’ve got two or three years before this thing gets implemented. You’ve got to do something in the interim period,” Graham said in an interview. “You can’t save Obamacare but you can keep the markets from collapsing until we get a replacement, which will be Graham-Cassidy.”

Alexander said it was his fourth phone call from the president over the last 10 days…..

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In the end?

I keep mentioning here that Republicans WILL HAVE TO make deals with the Democrats and ignore the rightwingnuts of the party to get ANY major legislation passed…

It IS the way the Congress is designed to work….

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New Hampshire GOP voters wary of Trump second term in Oct. 2017…

It’s early….

But reflecting Donald Trump’s polling numbers acros the board?

His support among his adopted party supporters isn’t as strong as it could be in an early Republican primary state right now…

Less than half of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters intend to back President Donald Trump in the state’s 2020 primary, according to a University of New Hampshire poll released Wednesday.

Forty-seven percent of likely Republican primary voters say they will vote for Trump in the next presidential primary, a significantly lower percentage than the 64 percent of likely Democratic primary voters who said in October 2009 they would vote for then-President Barack Obama in 2016. Nearly a quarter of likely GOP primary voters say they will vote for another candidate in 2020, and 30 percent say they are unsure.

Just 5 percent of likely Democratic voters in New Hampshire said around this time eight years ago that they would vote for a candidate other than Obama, and 30 percent had also said they were unsure at the time.

Trump won New Hampshire’s primary last year with 35 percent of the Republican vote…

Note ….

For Democrats it’s Sanders first with Biden behind him for 2020 this early….

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Schumer wants his party to stay clear of Gun Control…

Smart Man….

The issue is a non-starter for Democrats who need to get wins next year so they can THEN go the issue…

Better to focus on bread and butter issues…

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) is urging his colleagues to stay away from gun control in the budget debate despite pressure from activist groups that argue the party needs to take a stand given the string of mass shootings across the country.

Schumer, focused on next year’s midterm elections, thinks it is smarter to focus on economics — specifically President Trump’s tax plan, which Democrats say is a giveaway to corporations and the rich, and GOP proposals to cut Medicare and Medicaid.

The approach isn’t sitting well with everyone, given that the country experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern history less than three weeks ago, when 58 people were killed by a single gunman who may have used bump stock devices that allowed him to fire more rounds per minute….

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Democratic Presidential Nomination Super Delegates are here to stay….

Anybody who thought they where going to be phased out was fooling themselves…

Bernie Sanders complaints and wishes are just that,,,,’

The guy isn’t a Democrat….It isn’t his party….

The Democratic Party this week plans to name 75 people including lobbyists and political operatives to leadership posts that come with superdelegate votes at its next presidential convention, potentially aggravating old intraparty tensions as it struggles to confront President Donald Trump.

The new members-at-large of the Democratic National Committee will vote on party rules and in 2020 will be convention delegates free to vote for a primary candidate of their choice. They include lobbyists for Venezuela’s national petroleum company and for the parent company of Fox News, according to a list obtained by Bloomberg News. At least three of the people worked for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in 2016 while also casting ballots as superdelegates.

The superdelegate system has been a focus of complaints from supporters of Sanders, the Vermont senator who challenged Clinton, and activists on the left, who have said the party’s nominating system is rigged in favor of corporate interests. While most superdelegates are elected to a public or party office, the at-large DNC members are chosen by party leaders….

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Trump floats another GOP/Dem Congressional approach…This one for Tax Cuts effort…

I’m begiinning to think SOMEONE has been working on Donald J. Trump’s view of how Congress works….

Strung by several attempts to get things done within the confines of his own adopted Grand Ole party?

He is once again saying that he wants BOTH parties to take a crack at tax (cuts) reform……

This isn’t gonna make Republicans happy….

They don’t want to go back and bring the Democrats on board….

But them doing things by themselves ?……Ain’ t working….

President Donald Trump suggested at a meeting with senators Wednesday that the Senate create a bipartisan working group for tax reform, surprising Republicans who’ve been planning to pass a party-line bill, senators said afterward.

As the Senate worked to advance a budget that would set up a partisan tax reform bill on Wednesday, the president repeatedly indicated at a lunch with senators from both parties that he wanted a bipartisan process headed by Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), senators said. While everyone in the room nodded along with Trump’s hopes for bipartisanship, there was no agreement among senators to actually create such a group, which is viewed by some Republicans as redundant to the existing Finance Committee.

“The president basically asked them to work on that,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). But “that’s what we do as a (finance) committee. I don’t really personally see the benefit of creating additional structure. I think we’ve got all the tools we need.”

Republicans already have a partisan tax framework to reduce corporate rates, alter individual tax brackets and increase the standard deduction. Democrats largely oppose this plan, and Republicans are skeptical that opening it up to new negotiations would pay any dividends. Cornyn said he is “always” skeptical of Democrats being serious about negotiating with the GOP on a tax plan…..

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Retired CIA officers line up to run for Congress…. as Democrats….

Remember the part during last years campaign when Donald Trump was knocking the intelligence community which was screaming bllod murder that Trump was trying to dance with the Russian’s?

Turns out THEY where Right….

Now Trump has FBI investigators talking to people about this….

Seems all that didn’t make the ‘spooks ‘ happy….They have come in from the cold…..

Some of them are now looking to run for office….

As Democrats….

Trump has antagonized the intelligence community by questioning the expertise and professionalism of employees at the various spy agencies. He has never fully accepted their conclusion that Vladimir Putin ordered a comprehensive cyber campaign to boost his campaign and sabotage the presidential election. “The whole Russia thing was an excuse for the Democrats losing the election,” Trump said again Monday during a news conference in the Rose Garden.

Shortly before taking office, Trump memorably compared the intelligence community he now oversees to Nazi Germany. The day after being inaugurated, Trump visited CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., and drew criticism for delivering self-referential remarks before a wall of stars memorializing fallen officers. Visiting Poland in July, the president said U.S. intelligence analysts were wrong about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction — so they could also be wrong again about the Russians. In March, Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government. Both refused….

The former CIA officials, seeking elected office for the first time, are full of wisdom about how to deal with global hotspots, but they also understand that voters are primarily motivated by breadbasket issues. On the stump, each puts the heaviest emphasis on the economy and health care. That said, they’ve also discovered that — because the world is such a tinderbox right now — people are remarkably engaged on national security…..

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Forget all the Bull Shit…Congress WILL repay the Health Insurance Companies….

I mentioned this fact earlier today in a post here at the PDog before any of the paid media types did THEIR posts,  whose  get better play than mine…

No Matter….

By January 1, 2018?

The American Congress WILL find a way to pay healthcare insurance companies for offering policies for low income people…And they will NOT Repeal the Affordable Healthcare Law known also as Obamacare…

Bet on it ….

The Republicans put themselves in  this jam by selling the public that the Affordable Healthcare program was ‘BAD’….

Turns out that now, a Majority of Americans do NOT want the program Repealed….

They want it fixed…

As I pointed out in my earlier post?

No changes in the program with TONS of media screaming about increases that will effect millions, and cause them to drop out of the plan, which rich people get tax breaks from,  is simply NOT what you run on during the midterm season….Unless you REALLY do NOT want to be a Majority party anymore…

Even if the deal struck by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray goes nowhere, Republican sources say it’s only a matter of time before Congress must find some way of addressing the reeling insurance markets — a vote the GOP sources know will infuriate lawmakers and their base. Put simply, the fight over Obamacare is nowhere near an end.

Alexander plans to introduce the bill Thursday along with a “significant” number of Republican and Democratic cosponsors. He predicted Wednesday that “by the end of the year chances are very good this agreement or something like it is law.”

The most likely scenario is to push the matter off and fold a yet-to-be-determined solution into a year-end package they hope will include some GOP concessions as well as Democratic perks. Such a strategy, they argue, would be less painful than voting on a stand-alone bill that conservatives view as a “bailout” for insurance companies — and a vote to “prop up” a law they’ve tried to dismantle for years.

“We do know there’s a problem with the high premiums and high deductibles because of the failures of Obamacare,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “And until we can come up with a long-term solution, I think stabilizing the marketplace and keeping premiums affordable is not a bad idea.”…

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Note…

I repeat….

Trump IS right to throw this BACK at the Republicans in Congress …

They deserve NOTHING LESS….

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