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DMC

U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

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Since this thread has the word Emergency in it, I guess it’s fair to talk about hospitals, right?

Rand Paul has a crazy neighbor, you may recall, who he is suing because of a physical attack on Paul. Now it has been revealed Paul needs hernia surgery (as revealed in court filings) and I ask you, where do you think he’s going for the surgery?

Canada. 

Isn’t this the ‘slavery’ system Paul has attacked so often? 

Mind you, to be fair, he’s going to one of the few private hospitals in this country, the Shouldice Clinic, world-renowned for their hernia surgery. Friends of mine have also gone there. 

But it’s damn funny!

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No, no need to be fair to Rand Paul. It shows how private hospitals (and world class, from the description) can co-exist alongside a UHC system. Rich, or at least, well to do people like him will always do fine in almost any system of health care so he shouldn't be opposing policies that would help others not as fortunate. He deserves all the mockery we can muster. 

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Hakeem Jeffries being a bit more blunt than Pelosi; Hoyer was too, though not to this extent.

 

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Anyone want to take a break from our regularly scheduled shut down coverage and discuss PG&E's Ch. 11 filing?  

Because this is a Thing That Is Going To Happen.  They are rate-regulated, which is interesting.  I'm not sure their structure.  When TXU/EFH went in, it was just the competitive side.  The regulated side was in a bankruptcy remote entity, Oncor (Oncor's 80% ish parent filed).  I think based on press coverage that this might be different.  The TXU/EFH deal still needed PUC of Texas approval for the regulated side ownership change, and it caused chaos from a deal perspective, but electricity delivery wasn't impacted at all.  I'm guessing that this will be a huge $hitshow with the California equivalent.  

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Oh, Pelosi. You're once again showing how women in power are loved, because you are fucking killing it. Her giving permission to Trump to do it from the oval office offhandedly is precisely the kind of sick burn that will work. Nice job. 

https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1085610482743037952

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1 minute ago, Kalbear said:

Oh, Pelosi. You're once again showing how women in power are loved, because you are fucking killing it. Her giving permission to Trump to do it from the oval office offhandedly is precisely the kind of sick burn that will work. Nice job. 

https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1085610482743037952

Or deliver it in writing.  Hah! 

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It’ll probably backfire because Democrat, but I think it’s brilliant. It’s taking away what he does all this for in the first place but can’t admit to, his need for attention and adulation. 

Also, she and Schumer seem to have overtly decided to take a parental tone with him, which given his age is very eloquent without being overtly offensive, and it’s working. 

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1 hour ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

No, no need to be fair to Rand Paul. It shows how private hospitals (and world class, from the description) can co-exist alongside a UHC system. Rich, or at least, well to do people like him will always do fine in almost any system of health care so he shouldn't be opposing policies that would help others not as fortunate. He deserves all the mockery we can muster. 

Shouldice Hospital is a private hospital that only does hernias. That is how they can be the best at doing one thing.

Edited by maarsen

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3 hours ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Anyone want to take a break from our regularly scheduled shut down coverage and discuss PG&E's Ch. 11 filing?  

Because this is a Thing That Is Going To Happen.  They are rate-regulated, which is interesting.  I'm not sure their structure.  When TXU/EFH went in, it was just the competitive side.  The regulated side was in a bankruptcy remote entity, Oncor (Oncor's 80% ish parent filed).  I think based on press coverage that this might be different.  The TXU/EFH deal still needed PUC of Texas approval for the regulated side ownership change, and it caused chaos from a deal perspective, but electricity delivery wasn't impacted at all.  I'm guessing that this will be a huge $hitshow with the California equivalent.  

I meant to post about this. Pretty shocking that it got to this point (I mean, that they couldn’t do things better and prevent fires). When the shares first started to fall I was hoping all the elderly people who hold their shares, and I assume, bonds, got the hell out. But I know many didn't and got burned again. Pretty sad story all round.

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1 hour ago, Fragile Bird said:

I meant to post about this. Pretty shocking that it got to this point (I mean, that they couldn’t do things better and prevent fires). When the shares first started to fall I was hoping all the elderly people who hold their shares, and I assume, bonds, got the hell out. But I know many didn't and got burned again. Pretty sad story all round.

I think it is pretty complicated.  Regulated utilities are weird.  On the one hand they are public companies, with private investors.  On the other hand, they have only a certain amount of profit that they can have each year because rates are set by the PUC, and my understanding is that they have to get capex approved as part of the ratemaking process (because a certain level of capex gets passed along to ratepayers in rates), and so are not particularly nimble.  I think we are really going to have to dig into how much of this has to do with too much leverage, how much has to do with not enough approved capex, how much has to do with a lack of appropriate government oversight, and how much has to do with just sheer incompetence.  I'm guessing there is a lot of blame to go around in each category (especially the last).  

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Just now, Mlle. Zabzie said:

House has passed a bill to reopen government.  It will now go to languish on Mitch McConnell's desk.

I believe that this would be the 8th bill so far passed. 

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Just now, Kalbear said:

I believe that this would be the 8th bill so far passed. 

I believe you are correct, Sir.  Should have added "another."  Over under on how many will be passed and sent on?  I think we have at least 2 more to go.  

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45 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Here's a really interesting article positing that it's almost better for Trump to be a Russian agent. The alternative, tthe author argues, might actually be worse:

https://www.wired.com/story/president-trump-mueller-russia-agent-putin/

Personally I subscribe to the theory that Trump is as thick as they come, and that he has been compromised by Putin. I suspect Putin has him by the curlies because he managed to default on the loans arranged by Russian oligarchs. No reputable bank deals with Trump because he is such a bad risk and he is stupid enough to borrow from the Russian mob and stupid enough to default again. And stupid enough to sell out anyone who believes in him. 

 

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17 hours ago, davos said:

This is also a very unusual shutdown.  For starters, its was largely the white house that instigated this. Past shutdowns have generally originated in congress.  It's also Trump and everything he does breaks the rules.  This may well be the case where it finally bites him in the ass by sticking to him for a long time rather than fading away like other shutdowns.

This is a good point to emphasize.  This is really only the third shutdown of any political importance, but even among all the other low salient ones, the "blame" is inherently attributed to the party that is attempting to change the status quo.  Looking back to 95-96 and 2013, both were plainly the GOP Congress.  In this case, considering Trump agreed to the deal the Dems continue to offer in December, it's plainly Trump that wants to change the status quo.  That's why he would have been at a disadvantage even if he was a smart politician and didn't claim responsibility for the shutdown before it started.

16 minutes ago, Mexal said:

@DMC thought you might enjoy this.

Interesting read, and well taken, but again the problem is the last two graphs:

Quote

Here’s where the opinion’s heft — literal and metaphorical — matters most. It would take five votes to freeze the decision’s effect. For Chief Justice John Roberts to undercut a district judge in this way, the opinion would have to seem obviously weak.

Furman’s opinion is so effective that Roberts would look nakedly political if he voted to intervene. Given Roberts’s recent defense of the judiciary against Trump, he’s unlikely to take Trump’s side in ignoring such substantial work by a widely respected, centrist district judge.

I don't know what Roberts is going to do, but neither does Furman.  Roberts has already repeatedly demonstrated that he's not concerned about how his decisions will be perceived.  I do have ever-increasing confidence that he'll do his best to ensure the court isn't kangaroo'd, but in this case he could easily fall on the other side.

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9 hours ago, Maithanet said:

50,000 federal employees are being called back to work (without pay), because their work is looking essential after all.

So...it seems like it's up to the discretion of the Trump administration whether someone does or does not need to come in.  So is there anything to stop him from just declaring that everybody is essential?  Then the "pain" of the shutdown would be 100% on federal workers, which seems like an ideal solution for Trump, who hates federal workers.  Obviously that would create medium term problems when they start striking en masse, but it would allow him prolong the shutdown many more weeks. 

I understand the judge's ruling on Tuesday, it really isn't in the judiciary's power to start dictating where federal money gets spent, and could lead to anarchy.  But at the same time, how long can federal workers be required to work without pay?  Can the federal govt just arbitrarily decide that workers will get paid only when they feel like it?  That doesn't sound legal. 

It is probably better if you are working without pay (for now) because then you will more easily be able to get a line of credit to pay bills, because once the shutdown ends you'll get backpay for the days worked in the shutdown. If you're furloughed you get nada. Also they are technically not doing unpaid work, it's just that there will be a bigger lag than usual between a day's work and when they get paid for it. I suspect that federal worker employment contracts stipulate fortnightly pay, in arrears. So it is a breach of contract to not pay someone within a fortnight of the days that were worked, and you could have federal workers taking a class action against their department for breach of contract, which could include damages over and above simply being paid for the days worked.

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2 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

It is probably better if you are working without pay (for now) because then you will more easily be able to get a line of credit to pay bills, because once the shutdown ends you'll get backpay for the days worked in the shutdown. If you're furloughed you get nada.

This is inaccurate.  Furloughed employees get backpay as well.

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