Fragile Bird

US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

402 posts in this topic

3 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

One and a half year from now, believe it or not, a lot of people will have forgotten the details of who rolled out what and why. Especially given the extremely high frequency of hot topics that this administration generates. And especially if the bill fails and fades into the background soon. But if it officially becomes TrumpCare, Dems will have a much easier time using it for campaigning next year.

Even if it fails, successfully terming it TrumpCare will weigh him down in the future.  See 1993 "Hillarycare" failure.

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Posted (edited)

I saw the headline the other day about Tillerson using another name in emails when he discussed climate change. I didn't think much more than 'scumbag', but now I see the issue is, when he gave access to his e-mails for his Senate confirmation hearing, he didn't give them the e-mails sent under the name of 'Wayne Tracker'. The e-mails were uncovered as part of a shareholder lawsuit against Exxon, saying Exxon misled shareholders about climate change.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tillerson-exxon-climate-change_us_58c7f3d1e4b081a56def6563

How the hell do you deal with a cabinet member who does that?

And so ironic, considering Hillary! E-mails!

Speaking of Tillerson, he's off to his Asian tour and meanwhile, back at the ranch, the two deputy Secretary of State positions below Tillerson have not been filled, the 6 positions reporting to them have not been filled, and the 22 positions below them have not been filled. In other words, there is absolutely no executive team at the State Department.

A quick look at Exxon's officers shows a senior management team of 5, the Chairman and 4 Seniors VPs, and 17 VPs. Exxon had sales of $218 B in 2016, and the State Department's budget has been just under $50 Billion (though Trump wants to slash that by 20%). So if you want to run government like a business (a stupid idea to begin with) the department should at least have one Deputy (geez, they have to have a deputy) 4 senior deputies, down from 6.

I heard an interview with a retired, 35-year veteran from the State Department (I don't remember his name) who had two reasons this might be happening, one fairly innocent and the other one darker. The innocent reason was that it's hard to find 30 people with the right expertise who have utter devotion and loyalty to Donald Trump who can fill the positions, a widespread problem across his administration. The second, darker, reason was that this is part of the administration's goal to dismantle government. I recall there was a thread a couple of years ago arguing for and against the role of the US in foreign affairs and whether or not the US should return to a policy of isolation. For those of you who supported that policy, you may be getting your wish.

Edited by Fragile Bird

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20 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Does it really matter all that much? The bill isn't going to become law, and on the off chance that it does, people will still associate all the negative outcomes with Trump. In my opinion, the best possible outcome for Democrats is for the bill to fail and for Trump to distance himself from it and throw Ryan under the bus. This will exacerbate Republican infighting and hurt them both legislatively and at the polls. 

If Ryan fails so completely that he resigns/is forced out, I have absolutely no idea who could become the Speaker. After a brief respite, all the old Republican divisions are out in the open again.

Sidenote: If Trump took an interest in policy and governing, he could've avoided this pretty easily. He's more popular than most of the Freedom Caucus are in their own districts. 

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2 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

I saw the headline the other day about Tillerson using another name in emails when he discussed climate change. I didn't think much more than 'scumbag', but now I see the issue is, when he gave access to his e-mails for his Senate confirmation hearing, he didn't give them the e-mails sent under the name of 'Wayne Tracker'. The e-mails were uncovered as part of a shareholder lawsuit against Exxon, saying Exxon misled shareholders about climate change.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tillerson-exxon-climate-change_us_58c7f3d1e4b081a56def6563

How the hell do you deal with a cabinet member who does that?

And so ironic, considering Hillary! E-mails!

Speaking of Tillerson, he's off to his Asian tour and meanwhile, back at the ranch, the two deputy Secretary of State positions below Tillerson have not been filled, the 6 positions reported to them have not been filled, and the 22 positions below them have not been filled. In other words, there is absolutely no executive team at the State Department.

A quick look at Exxon's officers shows a senior management team of 5, the Chairman and 4 Seniors VPs, and 17 VPs. Exxon had sales of $218 B in 2016, and the State Department's budget has been just under $50 Billion (though Trump wants to slash that by 20%. So if you want to run government like a business (a stupid idea to begin with) the department should at least have one Deputy (geez, they have to have a deputy) 4 senior deputies, down from 6.

I heard an interview with a retired, 35-year veteran from the State Department (I don't remember his name) who had two reasons this might be happening, one fairly innocent and the other one darker. The innocent reason was that it's hard to find 30 people with the right expertise who have utter devotion and loyalty to Donald Trump who can fill the positions, a widespread problem across his administration. The second, darker, reason was that this is part of the administration's goal to dismantle government. I recall there was a thread a couple of years ago arguing for and against the role of the US in foreign affairs and whether or not the US should return to a policy of isolation. For those of you who supported that policy, you may be getting your wish.

Yea, this is bad. Not to mention that Tillerson has not said a word to the press the entire time he's been SoS so we have zero idea what is actually going on. And it's clear that all diplomacy seems to be going through the WH and Kushner so not even sure why Tillerson has a job.

Either way, Russia is getting one of the things I'm sure they wanted from a Trump presidency, an impotent State Department.

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40 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

No, I agree with Kalbear on this. Some Republican voters refrained from signing up for ObamaCare, not because they didn't need it, but simply because of the name.

True, but I don't think we'd see similar behavior if the bill is called Trumpcare.

41 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

One and a half year from now, believe it or not, a lot of people will have forgotten the details of who rolled out what and why. Especially given the extremely high frequency of hot topics that this administration generates. And especially if the bill fails and fades into the background soon. But if it officially becomes TrumpCare, Dems will have a much easier time using it for campaigning next year.

Sure, but I don't think there's much of a chance that it passes. Given that it's more likely to die in the Senate, I'd prefer the result that causes the biggest fissure in the Republican Party.

 

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33 minutes ago, Fez said:

If Ryan fails so completely that he resigns/is forced out, I have absolutely no idea who could become the Speaker. After a brief respite, all the old Republican divisions are out in the open again.

Man I really have no idea. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that would be able to unit the party. That said, I don't expect Ryan to be ousted over this.

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Man I really have no idea. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that would be able to unit the party. That said, I don't expect Ryan to be ousted over this.

I don't either.  But i thought it was interesting that an article i read compared this bill to the 2010 Cap-and-Trade bill that passed the House but never came to a vote in the Senate.  That vote hurt a lot of House Democrats in the 2010 election, and in the end it was for nothing.  House Republicans do NOT want to go on record either way with this bill if they know it is going to die in the Senate.  Because they know that the "24 million lose their Health Insurance" attack ad is coming, and they don't want to step on that landmine unless the bill is actually going to pass. 

It makes me wonder if this is ever going to get voted on by either chamber.

Edited by Maithanet

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5 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

True, but I don't think we'd see similar behavior if the bill is called Trumpcare.

Sure, but I don't think there's much of a chance that it passes. Given that it's more likely to die in the Senate, I'd prefer the result that causes the biggest fissure in the Republican Party.

 

Aren't they trying to ram this through via reconciliation?

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2 minutes ago, aceluby said:

Aren't they trying to ram this through via reconciliation?

They are, and the CBO report actually helped with that part, because it doesn't increase the deficit beyond 10 years.  But, there are only 52 Republican senators.  There are already several Senators on both the right and the center of the Republican Caucus that have said this bill is DOA in the Senate.  There isn't much margin for error, and any improvement you could make to bring the moderates on board is going to piss off the far right, and visa versa. 

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16 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Man I really have no idea. I can't think of anyone off the top of my head that would be able to unit the party. That said, I don't expect Ryan to be ousted over this.

Maybe not over this; depends on what the end result is though. I saw Newsmax (which is close with Trump) now calling for Trump to support Medicaid-for-All as a national payer of last resort. If Trump actually pushed for something like that; it'd break the GOP.

But I could see him getting ousted by the Freedom Caucus if, as I kinda expect, Republicans can't come to a budget agreement and end up passing a CR of some sort with Democratic votes.

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4 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

They are, and the CBO report actually helped with that part, because it doesn't increase the deficit beyond 10 years.  But, there are only 52 Republican senators.  There are already several Senators on both the right and the center of the Republican Caucus that have said this bill is DOA in the Senate.  There isn't much margin for error, and any improvement you could make to bring the moderates on board is going to piss off the far right, and visa versa. 

They may say that, but I have a hard time thinking any GOP senator would go against Team Republican, when push comes to shove.  I actually have no faith in that scenario whatsoever.

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7 minutes ago, aceluby said:

They may say that, but I have a hard time thinking any GOP senator would go against Team Republican, when push comes to shove.  I actually have no faith in that scenario whatsoever.

If Republicans really, REALLY wanted to pass health care reform, I would agree with you.  But I don't think they do.  They would much prefer railing against Obamacare in 2018 than trying to defend Trumpcare.  For a lot of Republicans (Trump included) the sooner they can move on from health care, the sooner they can get to passing tax cuts. 

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13 minutes ago, aceluby said:

They may say that, but I have a hard time thinking any GOP senator would go against Team Republican, when push comes to shove.  I actually have no faith in that scenario whatsoever.

Republican senators break from the party somewhat regularly actually; pretty much whenever they think its in their political interest to do so. Its easy to stay together when you are just blindly opposing the President, or when you know the bill is going to get vetoed; its harder when what you vote on is going to become law for real.

This graph is a bit out of date, only going to 2011, and a bit hard to read, but I've seen graphs for years more recent and they look just like 2011 does. Recently,the Democratic party has the more notable outliers, but in general Democratic senators stay together far more often than Republican senators do.

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9 minutes ago, Fez said:

This graph is a bit out of date, only going to 2011, and a bit hard to read, but I've seen graphs for years more recent and they look just like 2011 does. Recently,the Democratic party has the more notable outliers, but in general Democratic senators stay together far more often than Republican senators do.

Intraparty support of the president, generally, has actually been higher in the Senate than the House over the past 30 years (since increased polarization/ideological homogenization).  When there are substantial drops/abandonment of the president, it is based on primarily on the unpopularity of the president, not a significant GOP/Dem difference.  That being said, this is only one bill so it would obviously have little impact on quantitative analysis.  

With that in mind, the notion of GOP Senators from certain states with Medicaid expansions and moderate electorates resisting the president due to their primary (arguable sole) self-interest in reelection is not only a possibility, but a likelihood.

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

I don't either.  But i thought it was interesting that an article i read compared this bill to the 2010 Cap-and-Trade bill that passed the House but never came to a vote in the Senate.  That vote hurt a lot of House Democrats in the 2010 election, and in the end it was for nothing.  House Republicans do NOT want to go on record either way with this bill if they know it is going to die in the Senate.  Because they know that the "24 million lose their Health Insurance" attack ad is coming, and they don't want to step on that landmine unless the bill is actually going to pass. 

It makes me wonder if this is ever going to get voted on by either chamber.

I thought about it a little more, and Marsha Blackburn is the only person I can think of. She's in good standings with several wings of the party, and having a female Speaker might help blunt some of Trump's overt sexism.

That said, I think your example is a really good one. The only thing I'd disagree with is that this bill is very likely going to receive a vote in the House. Ryan has said that he wants a vote to take place in a few weeks, and it could be more damaging politically  to not have any vote.

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So Trump is going to massively cut funding to the UN, by $20 Billion. The US contributes 22% to the UN's budget. Considering the US economy is about 25% of the world's nominal GDP, and 18% of the GDP (PPP) together with the EU and China (at about 19% each), and creates 30% of the growth in world GDP, it's stunning to hear him say it's time other countries pay their fair share. Isn't the US now paying it's fair share?

That's going to absolutely destroy the US's soft power in many parts of the world. No money for orphans in Africa or vaccination programs (one of his latest tweets seem to indicate he is now an anti-vaxxer) or peacekeeping.

If any of you want to travel somewhere in the world, I suggest you do it soon, before more people start actively hating Americans. And if you work in the US tourist industry, you might consider getting another job. 

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3 hours ago, Fez said:

Maybe not over this; depends on what the end result is though. I saw Newsmax (which is close with Trump) now calling for Trump to support Medicaid-for-All as a national payer of last resort. If Trump actually pushed for something like that; it'd break the GOP.

But I could see him getting ousted by the Freedom Caucus if, as I kinda expect, Republicans can't come to a budget agreement and end up passing a CR of some sort with Democratic votes.

Yeah I think that sounds a lot more likely than Ryan getting ousted for just a failed healthcare vote. 

17 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

If any of you want to travel somewhere in the world, I suggest you do it soon, before more people start actively hating Americans. And if you work in the US tourist industry, you might consider getting another job. 

Hey now, this it what Republicans do best. They claim they want to raise America's standing in the world and then proceed to do as much as humanly possible to piss everyone off. 

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9 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

Everyone should check this out. It highlights just how full of **** Republicans are about the CBO numbers, considering the White House's own estimates were worse (they're trying to claim that they were just trying to predict what the CBO was going to say, but at this point they have lost all benefit of the doubt). 

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Out of curiousity, how come there isn't a backlash against Trump for working with Republicans given his promise to not be a traditional Republican?

Actually, leave that as a rhetorical question. There's not really a sound reason.

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Posted (edited)

Lindsey Graham is warning the FBI that “they’re about to screw up big time” if they don’t respond to his request for evidence of President Trump’s wiretapping claim, and says he plans to make a big announcement at his hearing tomorrow on Russian election interference.

Quote

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is firing a warning shot at the FBI following his request that the agency hand over any evidence relating to wire taps of President Trump.

"They're about to screw up big time if they keep running to the [Intelligence] Committee and not answer that letter," the South Carolina told reporters, according to NBC News.

He said if the FBI doesn't provide copies of any relevant warrant applications or court orders, "I would say that we need a joint select committee because the regular order is not working."

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/323976-graham-fbi-will-screw-up-big-time-if-they-ignore-trump-wiretap

Kinda hard to get a fix on Graham. One day he proclaims his friendship with Sessions and Trump, the next he makes cryptic statements like this. Any idea about the announcement?

Also, I may have msised something, but what's he referring to when he says that the FBI "keeps running to the Intelligence Committee"?

 

Edited by denstorebog

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