Tuesday, 6/13/17, Public Square

history lesson


by | June 12, 2017 · 2:28 pm

12 responses to “Tuesday, 6/13/17, Public Square

  1. The most important Comey takeaway is that congressional Republicans don’t care

    (From the link): Forget Russia. Trump, like any president, has a wide range of contacts with friends, political supporters, donors, and the broader social and professional networks of his subordinates. He also oversees a vast executive branch that is responsible for supervising a huge range of law enforcement officials and regulatory agencies.

    He could, if he were so inclined, sit in the Oval Office and spend his time making various phone calls to various law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and regulators and suggest to them that they should drop various investigations and enforcement activities into his various friends and donors. That would, of course, end up transforming the United States into the kind of authoritarian kleptocracy that the founders feared.

    The safeguard would be Congress. Congress is supposed to stiffen the spine of executive branch officials by reminding them that their oath is to the Constitution and not to the president. Congress is supposed to oversee the executive branch and police not only legal misconduct but political misconduct, like perverting the legal process to benefit his friends and allies.

    Instead, congressional Republicans have chosen to stand on the ground that it’s okay to order an investigation quashed as long as you do it with a wink-wink and a nudge-nudge — even if you follow up by firing the guy you winked at. And they’re standing on the ground that it’s okay to quash an investigation as long as the investigation you quashed targeted a friend and close political associate, rather than the president himself.

    That’s a standard of conduct that sets the United States up for massive and catastrophic erosion of the rule of law, not only, or even especially, because the president is behaving corruptly, but because Republican Party members of Congress have chosen to allow it.


  2. Bob White

    “What happens next?’ Apparently, ‘bad news.’
    I read some irony yesterday in our local newspaper. A letter to the editor regarding all the local contempt at removing Gen. Lee’s memorials all across Lee county, the state of Florida and the South. He recounted the following (paraphrased) fact that it is the current Republicans who are supporting the memorial tributes to Southern Democrats who fought for Lee and who hated all Republicans, especially President Lincoln. And, today, all those southern Democrats are now all Republicans supporting their own Republican President after attempting for the destruction of the Democratic President during the last eight years.

    • Rick Liebst

      It is a often repeated saying for me, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it!”. The Civil war and the entire conflict that cause it is a part of this nation’s history.

  3. I find this interesting —

  4. Sessions has a really BAD memory. Seems he put all his recollections in the non-existent “appropriateness bucket.”

    • Sessions reminds me of another Republican male with a bad memory – Ronald Reagan during the Iran Contra scandal.

      I’ve often wondered if I would remember when I sold war arms to our known enemy – those evil Iranians.

      But – that’s just my thinking. What do I know – I am just a Liberal Woman.

  5. Thirteen white Republican men of privilege are secretly shaping a Health Care Bill that will eliminate coverage for 23 million Americans. The real purpose is to give millionaires and billionaires tax breaks. The Republican Party should rename itself The Oligarchy Party. If you are rich and white we will fight for you. You bought our votes and we honor the purchase.

    The Senate Hides Its Trumpcare Bill Behind Closed Doors

    A coterie of Republicans is planning to have the Senate vote before July 4 on a bill that could take health insurance away from up to 23 million people and make changes to the coverage of millions of others. And they are coming up with the legislation behind closed doors without holding hearings, without consulting lawmakers who disagree with them and without engaging in any meaningful public debate.

    There is no mystery why the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is trying to push this bill through quickly. The legislation would repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Opening it to scrutiny before a vote would be the congressional equivalent of exposing a vampire to sunlight.

    That is one mistake Mr. McConnell, a master of the Senate’s dark arts, is not about to make. As one Republican aide put it to Axios on Monday, “We aren’t stupid.” Better to pass a terrible bill in the cover of darkness just as the House did with its version, the American Health Care Act, in the hopes that critics do not have much time to raise a stink. And then there is President Trump, who is standing ready to applaud whatever turkey the Senate produces as long as it gives him a chance to claim a win.

    Mr. McConnell’s strategy belies the disingenuous Republican complaint that Democrats jammed the A.C.A., or Obamacare, into law in 2010 without sufficient analysis or discussion. The Republican effort to undo the A.C.A. bears no resemblance whatsoever to that much more thorough exercise. Congress and the Obama administration spent a year on health care reform from March 2009 to March 2010. The House and Senate came up with several competing bills, held dozens of hearings, accepted Republican amendments and spent countless hours soliciting feedback from public interests groups and the health care industry. The Congressional Budget Office produced several reports to analyze the various proposals and the legislation that ultimately became law.

    By contrast, instead of public drafts and hearings, we now have to settle for a series of leaks from Capitol Hill about what is or isn’t in the bill. On one day, news organizations might be told that Mr. McConnell’s health care working group (which happens to be composed entirely of men) has found ways to win over more moderate senators like Rob Portman of Ohio by agreeing to phase out the expansion of Medicaid more slowly than the House bill would. Such a policy would mean that millions would still lose coverage but not as quickly as in the House version.

    But on another day, the public might learn that conservatives like Rand Paul of Kentucky are furious because the draft does not do enough to turn the American health care system into a facsimile of “The Hunger Games.”

    In other words, the country is getting only glimpses of half-formed policies and mere hints of the back-room deals offered to win support for them. The Washington Post recently reported, for instance, that Mr. McConnell might cobble together a slim majority for his bill by offering senators from Appalachian states a fund for the opioid epidemic. He might also have to come up with something to accommodate Lisa Murkowski of Alaska because her state has high health care costs and stands to lose a lot if Congress reduces spending on health care by $1.1 trillion over 10 years to give the wealthiest American families a fat tax cut.

    It would be tempting to find all this negotiating a purposeless charade if it didn’t have the potential to hurt millions of people and wasn’t already taking a toll. In recent weeks, health insurers have ended coverage in some parts of the country for next year and proposed raising premiums substantially elsewhere. The companies say they are trying to protect themselves from the uncertainty around the A.C.A. Blame for that rests with Congress and Mr. Trump, who has threatened to destroy Obamacare through administrative changes.

    Republican leaders seem to think they will gain a tactical legislative advantage if they can negotiate a deal behind the scenes and then suddenly spring it on the full Senate. Those gains will quickly evaporate when voters learn what they have done.

  6. And when have Republicans cared about health care for All Americans?

    The only time these folks care about health care is when they need it themselves – and can get the taxpayers to pay for it.

    Or when their bribes from lobbyists (oops – campaign donations) are pushed into their gold-lined pockets.