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Thread: 2017 American Political Scene

  1. #1876
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Obama is significantly to the left of the last Democratic President before him.

    Also, even if you are a moderate Republican, a moderate Democrat is still significantly to the left of you.
    Is that the yardstick, Bill Clinton?
    OK, you win: Obama is significantly to the left of Bill Clinton.

    In other words, dead center middle-of-the-road.


    Think about it.
    Clinton worked with the GOPers on eliminating the budget deficit.
    Hardly the position of a Democrat, according to GOPer lore.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  2. #1877
    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    this is about the new guy, the scary mooch of whatever

    http://fortune.com/2017/07/27/scaram...schizophrenic/

    "They’ll all be fired by me," Scaramucci reportedly said. "I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly." He added: ""Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac."
    Channeling his target, Scaramucci said: "Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months."
    I am loving this Presidency, where is the popcorn smiley when you need it?
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

  3. #1878
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    DOR,

    OK, you win: Obama is significantly to the left of Bill Clinton.

    In other words, dead center middle-of-the-road.
    heh, i suppose it's all relative, but of course that's how politics is.

    reminded me of this little nugget from Bill:

    “Where are all the Democrats? I hope you’re all aware we’re all Eisenhower Republicans...We’re Eisenhower Republicans here, and we are fighting the Reagan Republicans. We’re standing for lower deficits and free trade and the bond market. Isn’t that great?”
    he meant that with some sarcasm and anger (IIRC, he was venting about how he was using far too much of his political capital to pursue traditionally Republican goals), but he was essentially correct.

    of course, the enormous rightward shift of the GOP in the last two decades has essentially made this characterization moot. if obama is two clicks to the left of Bill Clinton, then today's median Republican is probably at least five or six clicks to the right of -Reagan-, let alone figures like HW or Dole. we've seen several Congressional and right-wing thinker "firebrands" that have essentially become characterized as RINOs, starting from Buckley to Boehner and now even Paul Ryan.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #1879
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Congratulations GOP, 'skinny repeal' of Obamacare has failed. After 7 years of hysteria you've simply reminded us of something any parent of a young child knows - defiance is a lot easier than constructive solutions. I'm sure the kool aid drinkers will see this as proof that the GOP is not in 'lock step' or whatever other internet derived talking point they can find to regurgitate. For the rest of us this simply proves that when the Dems called the GOP the 'party of no' they were 100% correct.

    Clearly part of this relates to the increasingly extreme nature of GOP politics, but part of it is also the President. Obama was deeply engaged in getting the ACA passed into law. Trump looks like a dilettante. He seems to have more interest in twitter than policy. He can't even be bothered sending up names to fill hundreds of positions in the Administration. As I've said from the start, he wants the title, not the job.

    The highlight of the week, however, is 'the Mooch'. How can you not love a guy who refers to himself in the third person and talks like a coked up 80s Wall St exec.

    The first thing I thought of was this guy. Would probably have done a better job.



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  5. #1880
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    What a shambles.

  6. #1881
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    What a shambles.
    Malcolm Tucker had the word for it - omnishambles (warning, naughty language).



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    i love how the first major legislation of the GOP Congress is a bill that places more sanctions on Russia...and allows Congress to block any attempts by Trump to lift it.

    the failure of the "skinny" healthcare bill is just the cream of the jest. the funny thing is that McConnell PROBABLY could have pushed this through the first go-around before Republicans started to fully realize what a political nightmare it would be for them.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #1883
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Is that the yardstick, Bill Clinton?
    OK, you win: Obama is significantly to the left of Bill Clinton.

    In other words, dead center middle-of-the-road.


    Think about it.
    Clinton worked with the GOPers on eliminating the budget deficit.
    Hardly the position of a Democrat, according to GOPer lore.
    Why wouldn't Bill Clinton be the relevant yardstick? He was the last (D) President. The last (D) President before Clinton was Jimmy Carter, a Southern Democrat who spent most of his Presidency deregulating.

    The last President as liberal as Obama was LBJ. You have to go back literally decades to find such a left-wing President.

    This is what Jimmy Carter ran on:
    Two tax cuts have been enacted, in 1977 and 1978, reducing taxes on individuals and businesses by an amount equal, this year, to about $40 billion.
    Airline and banking regulatory reforms have been enacted; further regulatory reforms are now under consideration.
    Tax Reductions—We commit ourselves to targeted tax reductions designed to stimulate production and combat recession as soon as it appears so that tax reductions will not have a disproportionately inflationary effect. We must avoid untargeted tax cuts which would increase inflation. Any tax reduction must, if it is to help solve pressing economic problems, follow certain guiding principles:
    The modern D party is vastly to the left of any Democratic party since the 1960s...and it's only going to get worse as Generation Socialist rises in power.


    Given the nature of Big Tent parties, (R) will also shift left. That there are more fire-brand R senators ignores the left-ward shift of other (R) senators which is depriving the (R) leadership of the majorities they need to actually do anything.

    i love how the first major legislation of the GOP Congress is a bill that places more sanctions on Russia...and allows Congress to block any attempts by Trump to lift it.

    the failure of the "skinny" healthcare bill is just the cream of the jest. the funny thing is that McConnell PROBABLY could have pushed this through the first go-around before Republicans started to fully realize what a political nightmare it would be for them.
    Going to be in a huge shock when 2018 rolls around and they have nothing to hang their hat on. They really don't have a lot of time to pass something, either. Can't just dilly-dally all day long.
    Last edited by GVChamp; Today at 14:16.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  9. #1884
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimony View Post
    I am loving this Presidency, where is the popcorn smiley when you need it?
    I keep waiting for the clown car to do a circuit around the ring.

  10. #1885
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    Well, it certainly looks like several republicans voted for a bill they did not believe in....especially Lindsey Graham

    The Senate Republican healthcare process descended into disarray Thursday evening, as four GOP senators threatened to withhold support for a more moderate, "skinnier" attempt at repealing certain parts of the Affordable Care Act.

    "I am not going to vote for the skinny bill if I'm not assured by the House there will be a conference where my idea and other ideas will be taken up so we can actually repeal Obamacare," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a press conference Thursday with Sens. John McCain, Ron Johnson, and Bill Cassidy.

    Graham added: "I'm not going to vote for a bill that is terrible policy and horrible politics just because we have to get something done."

    The last-ditch, so-called skinny repeal effort would consist of a series of amendments would aim to repeal certain unpopular parts of the Affordable Care Act, including mandates to get health insurance.

    At the end of the 20-hour debate period, if no bill has been picked up, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would move on to the "skinny repeal" plan. If passed, it could lead to the House and Senate working together to compromise on one final bill in conference.

    The aim is to find common ground with the House on a bill that becomes more fleshed-out. But the House doesn't necessarily have to call a conference on the bill. It could simply pass the bill and send it to the president.

    After the press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed a willingness to take the bill to conference.

    "If moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do," he said.

    The four GOP senators said they wanted assurances from House Republican leadership — including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — that they would not pass the bill, which Graham called a "fraud."

    The senators didn't specify what kind of assurances they would request.

    "It's like pornography. You'll know it when you see it," Graham said.

    The House is supposed to go into recess starting on Friday, but on Thursday, they were told to stay flexible with their travel plans.

    "While last votes are currently scheduled to take place tomorrow, Members are advised that — pending Senate action on healthcare — the House schedule is subject to change," McCarthy wrote. "All Members should remain flexible in their travel plans over the next few days."
    What 'skinny repeal' would look like:

    The "skinny repeal" bill would repeal both the individual and employer mandates, which requires individuals to have health insurance, and employers to provide health insurance to employees. If they don't, they face a penalty fee under Obamacare.
    It would also repeal some of the taxes that the ACA put in place — most significantly, a tax on medical-device makers.
    The skinny bill would likely leave everything else untouched.
    The bill could also have some language around waiving essential health benefits, which could require the bill to get 60 votes to pass without a filibuster.

    While the text of the "skinny repeal" bill hasn't been released yet, the bill would be nowhere near as extensive as the full-repeal plan or the BCRA. But it would seek to alter the much-criticized mandates that Republicans have targeted for years.

    The Congressional Budget Office scored the "skinny" plan on Wednesday and found that it would leave 16 million more Americans without health insurance.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/skinn...th-care-2017-7


    Further I wonder if SEC Zinke's threatening the Alaska delegation will backfire on the Administration

    Democrats vow investigation, lawsuit over ‘political blackmail’ against Murkowski

    By ELANA SCHOR and BEN LEFEBVRE

    07/27/2017 12:55 PM EDT

    Updated 07/27/2017 04:46 PM EDT
    Democrats and their allies off the Hill pushed back hard at the Trump administration on Thursday after a report that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke threatened projects important to Alaska in retribution for Sen. Lisa Murkowski's vote against health care legislation.

    House Democrats vowed to seek an investigation into Zinke's call to Murkowski and fellow Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan on Wednesday — a day after Murkowski voted against taking up Obamacare repeal — to warn them that the administration's support for energy projects in the state are now at risk. And a conservation group that often works with Democrats sought internal documents on Zinke's calls as well as to any others that he may have made to other GOP swing votes on health care.

    The Freedom of Information Act request filed by the group, the Western Values Project, seeks records of any contact Zinke made with the Alaskan senators as well as Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), according to a copy shared with POLITICO.

    The group plans to sue Interior to force the release of any relevant information that it doesn't receive by the time its legal window closes, Executive Director Chris Saeger said.

    Meanwhile, Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee plan later Thursday to seek an investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Office or Interior's independent inspector general, according to a spokesman.

    Murkowski confirmed to reporters Thursday that the call with Zinke took place, as well as a second call she received from President Donald Trump on Tuesday, the day she voted with Collins against taking up the GOP's Obamacare repeal bill.

    She denied any suggestion that she had used her power as chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over Zinke's department, to hit back by postponing a committee meeting that would have included votes on three Interior nominees.
    The most reliable politics newsletter.

    In addition to her energy panel gavel, Murkowski chairs the Senate Appropriations subcommittee in charge of deciding how much money Interior has to spend each year.

    Zinke holds ample sway over the state of Alaska, where the federal government controls 61 percent of the land in the state. Interior is reviewing a multitude of projects tied to Alaska energy development, including a possible opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas drilling and allowing offshore oil drilling in currently off-limits Arctic waters.

    Sullivan touted that potential to develop more of the state's resources in urging that his senior senator and the Trump administration return to harmony.

    "[T]hat cooperation has been very useful and very important in the last six months, reversing what the previous administration did to Alaska," Sullivan told reporters. "So, from my perspective, the sooner we can get back to that kind of cooperation between the administration and the chairman of the [energy] committee, the better for Alaska and the better for the country.”

    Asked if he had any advice for Murkowski, Sullivan demurred: “I’m not telling Sen. Murkowski anything. I work super closely with Sen. Murkowski, but that’s my statement.”

    Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) offered advice of his own to the Trump administration on the matter. "I've been doing this for a long time and I’ve seldom seen threats to be very effective," Blunt said.

    Arizona's Raul Grijalva, the House Natural Resources panel's top Democrat, said Zinke had crossed the line.

    “Running a department of the federal government means you serve the American people as a protector of their rights and freedoms,” Grijalva said in a statement. “It doesn’t mean you serve the president as a bag man for his political vendettas. Threatening to punish your rivals as political blackmail is something we’d see from the Kremlin."

    Beyond its stewardship over oil and gas resources, Interior also has the final say over whether to allow a road through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to take residents of an isolated village reach a nearby hospital, something Murkowski has pushed for years.

    “Even if this road provides health care access to hundreds, which is very much in doubt, Secretary Zinke thinks the price to build it is a vote to deny health care access to millions,” Grijalva said.

    Zinke's phone call, first reported by the Alaska Dispatch News, came after Trump tweeted his displeasure with Murkowski's vote. But Murkowski is unlikely to face serious political consequences in the near term. She will not be up for reelection until 2022, and she has previously proved her political mettle in the state — winning a rare write-in victory to be reelected in 2010 after she lost the GOP primary to a Tea Party challenger.

    House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop on Thursday defended Zinke's call to Murkowski.

    "That is not unprecedented, [he] has a right to do that," Bishop told reporters in the Capitol. Bishop said former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell would call him "complaining about some things that we were doing."

    Spokespeople for the Interior Department, Murkowski and Sullivan did not respond to requests for comment.

    Alaska Oil & Gas Association President Kara Moriarty called the threats “unfortunate.”
    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is pictured. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP

    House weighs 'martial law' for Obamacare repeal

    By RACHAEL BADE

    “As the secretary has said, they want to have American energy dominance, and the only way to do that is through Alaska,” Moriarty told POLITICO. “When the time comes when Alaskan energy projects are in front of Congress, I hope they are considered on their merits and not used as a political chits.”

    Environmentalists were unsparing in their assessment.

    “Ryan Zinke is revealing himself as Trump’s hitman. He’s now threatening to hold public lands and energy policy hostage over a health care bill. This is the U.S. government, not the Corleone family," Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, said in a statement.

    Zinke is not the first member of Trump's Cabinet without a health care portfolio to insert himself into the debate over the Senate's effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Energy Department earlier this week posted, then deleted, a tweet saying it was time to "discard" the law, with a link to an op-ed on the subject from DOE Secretary Rick Perry.

    Energy and Commerce ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) asked GAO Wednesday to investigate whether Perry or others at DOE violated federal laws relating to lobbying and influencing the public.

    Meanwhile, some Republicans back in Alaska said Murkowski’s vote was stirring up trouble for her at home, with state GOP Chairman Tuckerman Babcock saying his party is in “full revolt.”

    “I think among Republicans it is causing tremendous damage,” Babcock said in a phone interview Thursday, citing “a grass-roots swell” of comments on Facebook pages for the party, Murkowski and Sullivan. “It’s evident to me that the Republicans [in Alaska] are in full revolt over the idea that these promises aren’t going to be kept.”

    He added that Interior’s ownership of so much of Alaska raises the stakes of any clash with Zinke.

    “What the secretary of Interior does will have a major impact on Alaska. He’s absolutely vital to moving forward with the development of the coastal plain at ANWR, National Petroleum Reserve on the Western North Slope, building the road from King Cove, the land exchange that Congressman [Don] Young has gotten through the House of Representatives,” Babcock said.

    “I’m just hitting the tip of the iceberg on how important a cooperative relationship is with that department.”
    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...ackmail-241031

    So, yeah, Zinke can make things really rough for Alaska. But it's a two way street. Murkowski can totally hose Zinke's budget.

    Standby for circular firing squad analogies.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
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  11. #1886
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i love how the first major legislation of the GOP Congress is a bill that places more sanctions on Russia...and allows Congress to block any attempts by Trump to lift it.

    the failure of the "skinny" healthcare bill is just the cream of the jest. the funny thing is that McConnell PROBABLY could have pushed this through the first go-around before Republicans started to fully realize what a political nightmare it would be for them.
    Omnishambles.

    Now that the Senate has beaten itself to a standstill it can get back to confirming Trump nominees. The down side for Trump is that he'll have to not only get off twitter for a while, but he'll have to find people who a) don't have so many conflicts of interest that they will never get confirmed; b) are happy to join an this walking disaster area of an Administration.


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