An Unprecedented Cloud Of Ugliness Hangs Over Washington

“nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands”

With so much unabashed fury boiling from President Donald Trump this morning: loyalists getting stabbed in the back in broad daylight, party faithful being belittled, the 4th largest company in the country (with nearly a half-trillion dollars in market value) threatened with a tax investigation because its CEO owns the Washington Post, former political foes newly threatened with investigations, Ukrainians being blamed as the real election tampering culprits (except they were for Hillary,) his own “weak” Attorney General, current FBI Director, and congressional “witch hunt” committees under an incessant barrage (Trump suggests facetiously next they’ll be coming after his 11 year old son), and ‘“the grown-ups” in the administration apparently becoming just plain fed up, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that absolutely everything that’s happening right now is in the service of just two Presidential objectives:

• Killing Obamacare

• Killing the Mueller investigation

So, today we’ll focus exclusively on health care, where the President again reminded us he’s got “pen in hand”, as if his job is to have a pen and a hand. Tomorrow we’ll use this space to focus on the Mueller investigation.

McCain’s Return Puts Health Care Very Much Back In Play

John McCain will be back in town today for the Senate’s vote to start health care debate. And with that could come a wave of momentum to get something (which at this point could be literally almost anything,) to the floor. McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer just last week, so his return is yet another twist and turn, and possibly lucky break for a President who does seem to get a lot of them. (Never mind the fact that Trump cruelly belittled McCain’s war record during the campaign. We’re pretty sure the Arizona Senator’s not coming back to get revenge. But who knows? As this administration continues to prove: stranger things have happened.) Maybe that’s why Trump hedged his bets this morning, interrupting a series of vituperative Tweets to give McCain a hearty shout out and thank you: “Brave — American hero!”


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will try to open the Senate floor to debate, with some version of a plan, that then allows individual Senators to propose whatever amendments they might want. So it might end up looking more like one of the plans the Senate already proposed, or it might not. No one knows. And there’s also talk, if that doesn’t work, of going back to a plan simply to repeal Obamacare over a 2-year period.

We’d mentioned several times that without McCain the math just didn’t add up to enough votes to start debate, and it still might not even with McCain. Assuming Rand Paul and Susan Collins stand pat on “no”, and McCain votes yes, the margin is still razor thin: one more Republican “no” and it’s all over. Several Republicans are still expressing major doubts about the process, however McConnell has made it clear, with the blessing of the President, he has hundreds of billions of dollars to throw at their pet projects if they’ll go along.

An Ebullient Trump, At The Boy Scout Jamboree, Urges “Killing Horrible Thing Known As Obamacare”

Long gone are the days of any kind of positive messaging. Of a health care plan with “insurance for everybody” where everybody will be “beautifully covered.” Now, the President is making it clear all he wants is to watch Obamacare die a painful death.

We urge you to watch this video clip, and watch it til the end. It is informal, and frenzied, so we don’t want to make too much of it. Then again, yes we do: because there’s little we’ve seen of late that paints such a vivid picture of where our President has taken us, and what we’ve become. (And we didn’t even include the part where he again recounts, in detail, his victory on election night 2016.) Click here or on the photo below to play:

Did you catch his closing “humorous” aside to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, that he’d better deliver the votes “otherwise I’ll say ‘Tom’ you’re fired!”? 

We used to have a boss who often used the line “How long have you been working here, not counting tomorrow?” Seems Trump is fond of that kind of dig too. Only we never found it that funny, since it was most often directed at people who were not in a position to defend themselves.

What we do find funny these days is Trump’s got us almost feeling sorry for a whole long list of “ghosts of Trump Administration past, present and future”: Tom Price, Sean Spicer, Jeff Sessions…Speaking of Sessions: Trump brought along many former scouts in his administration to the jamboree. Notably absent, the Eagle Scout in the bunch, Jeff Sessions. (More on that tomorrow…)

Editorial: Hating Obamacare Was Never Really About Hating Obamacare, It Was About Hating Being Told What To Do, (Especially By Obama)

So people across America pushing back against killing Obamacare should’ve come as no surprise. There was no sudden “flip.” No sudden change in attitude. 

There was only a colossal miscalculation by the President, and Republicans, and it came from the fact that they thought people really, actually hated Obamacare, (especially the Medicaid expansion, which is actually what costs), when all they hated was being told what to do (especially by Obama)

And the President, and Republicans, were not ready for this. When Trump lectured Senators on how they didn’t do a good enough job selling “repeal and replace”, he was right: they weren’t ready to sell it, because they didn’t think they had anything they needed to sell.

(Although he blames it all on them, he spent a critical weekend at a golf tournament at one of his own properties instead of trying to close the deal.)

There are other events in recent history where exactly the same thing happened: politicians got blindsided because they failed to understand the simple fact that first and foremost, people just don’t like being told what to do

We have mentioned before that we believe a big reason Hillary Clinton lost is because people felt like they were being told they had to vote for her. We have no scientific evidence (polls, etc.) to back this up, but a lot of anecdotal evidence since we volunteered canvassing and on phone banks in New York and Pennsylvania. And we can say without equivocation, the number #1 reason people gave us for why they didn’t vote for Hillary, is they felt like they were being told they had to, and they didn’t like being told what to do. In that sense, Hillary’s “legendary” ground game may actually have backfired: people felt like they were being pushed around. (At one point on a phone bank, we were given lists of Spanish-speaking voters in Florida even though we don’t speak Spanish “just in case somebody who speaks English picks up.”) This was a big part of the reason we accurately (unfortunately) predicted Trump’s win.

But, Senators, unlike Hillary, you get another shot at this. So how about righting yourself by listening to the people, instead of shoving something down their throats they don’t want? Even Fox News says three-quarters of the country right now wants a bipartisan fix (including a majority of Republicans.) Why ram a bill through then that will only hurt you and your constituents? Because you think eventually they’ll get used to it? Because you think given time, you can sell it simply by delivering lower premiums? Until people discover those cheap-o policies cover almost nothing or they’re no longer covered at all…?


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