The floor is yours…have at it!

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We should be safe here because we are using the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage:

NEW YORK—Law enforcement officials confirmed Friday that four more copy editors were killed this week amid ongoing violence between two rival gangs divided by their loyalties to the The Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual Of Style. “At this time we have reason to believe the killings were gang-related and carried out by adherents of both the AP and Chicago styles, part of a vicious, bloody feud to establish control over the grammar and usage guidelines governing American English,” said FBI spokesman Paul Holstein, showing reporters graffiti tags in which the word “anti-social” had been corrected to read “antisocial.” “The deadly territory dispute between these two organizations, as well as the notorious MLA Handbook gang, has claimed the lives of more than 63 publishing professionals this year alone.” Officials also stated that an innocent 35-year-old passerby who found himself caught up in a long-winded dispute over use of the serial, or Oxford, comma had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Two quick related posts tonight. And the second one might be a repeat…but whatever…shrug!

How Trump Betrays His Supporters : Politicians are often criticized for being too ready to reward their supporters, at the expense of the broader national interest. Oddly, Trump seems to have reversed that practice. Rather than finding ways to reward his supporters in places like Crawford County, and the other 50 Mississippi counties in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota that went for him, or the other places feeling they are losing out in a changing economy, he is supporting a replacement plan that goes out of its way to punish them.

National Press Discovers Rural Wisconsin : In past elections, Wisconsin has drawn the attention of the national press because as a prime example of the “big sort”— with Democrats increasingly concentrated in big cities and Republicans in suburbs. Over time, Milwaukee and Madison have become steadily more Democratic, while Milwaukee’s suburbs, the “WOW counties” (Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington) more Republican. This year Wisconsin drew attention for the opposite reason—political changes in the less polarized, less populated areas of the state, particularly in the North and West. As I noted in a previous column, a substantial number of people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 switched to Trump last November. Without these swings in voting (and similar swings in Michigan and Pennsylvania), Hillary Clinton would be president.

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When it was obvious that they didn’t have the votes in the House to pass the American Health Care Act, House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump agreed to pull it from consideration. They claimed it was close but the Washington Post was touting 36 confirmed no votes and 15 leaning towards no in a situation where the GOP could only afford 21 defectors since there was no Democratic support whatsoever.

But don’t think this is over, no matter what the White House says. A new bill or a revised version of AHCA will most likely rear its ugly head before the 2018 elections. They may have lost their way right now but they will start making noise ahead of the election…just so they can say “you need to re-elect us so we can finish the job!” Just watch.

This was a victory for Americans…but it was a loss for Democrats. They didn’t really get their voices out there…they didn’t provide alternatives…they didn’t offer any fixes for the Affordable Care Act…they just sat back and let the GOP self-destruct (ok that was a small win). But they didn’t make any impression on America. There is still time to make that noise…there is still time to sell the ACA…there is still time to present bills to improve on it. And yes I am realistic enough to know they can’t actually pass any such bill but they aren’t even making an effort.

for reference, my thoughts from earlier this week (it’s still not too late to do this): Countering With The Fixes for Obamacare?

And this whole episode re-enforces my feeling about the Democratic leadership in the House: Nancy Pelosi Has Got To Go.

The internet is entertaining a number of interesting possibilities: Merrick Garland, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Bill Clinton…LOL!

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You’d think after seven years of kvetching, the GOP would have a robust plan to provide all Americans with health insurance. Well they didn’t need to. All they wanted to do was run against Obamacare…and promise to repeal it…and pass the bills to do so since they knew President Obama would veto whatever bill they proposed.

And then last fall the common knowledge was that Hillary Clinton would win the presidency and they would have four more years of running against Obamacare and a president who was guaranteed to veto anything they put forward.

And then Donald Trump won. And now they had to put something together…but the American Health Care Act is the best that they can come up with? Seriously?

Now their butt is in the sling…and they can’t even agree amongst themselves…and most all of them know the bill they’ve put forward is worthless…but they are willing to put it out there anyway.

President Trump is right…they are going to have to face the voters in 2018…but I don’t think not repealing Obamacare will be as big an issue as actually repealing it and replacing it something of so little value to Americans!

Just because you promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act doesn’t mean you have to put just the first piece of nonsense that comes into your head…something that doesn’t actually solve the issues Americans face affording health care nor fixes the issues around Obamacare.

And when does one promise supersede the other one? Which one? Donald Trump’s promise to cover everyone and reduce the cost of insurance…than one!

It’s a rare day when I agree with anything that comes out of the mouth of Wisconsin’s Republican Senator, Ron Johnson. Even though he’s hard core tea party, he recognizes when the health insurance plan being pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan is totally whack.

Senate Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin expressed deep skepticism Tuesday about the Obamacare replacement bill his party is struggling to pass in the U.S. House this week.

“I’ve got a lot of problems with the House bill as it’s written right now,” Johnson said at a gathering hosted by WisPolitics.com.

But normally you’d expect his skepticism would be based on his hard core tea party leanings, but he actually makes serious sense in his opposition:

Johnson told a reporter that “skeptical” was an “understatement” in describing his attitude toward the plan.

He noted that the House proposal reduces the overall pot of money available under Obamacare to subsidize the purchase of insurance by enrollees.

But at the same time, it makes subsidies available to a larger number of people by expanding eligibility to those with higher incomes.

“Why spread out the subsidies to more people? Why expand the entitlement? It doesn’t make any sense,” he told a reporter Tuesday.

The effect, Johnson noted, is to reduce the subsidies going to poorer people while giving some people with higher incomes an entirely new benefit.

Lower-income people get less, he said, “but we’re helping (higher-income) people that Obamacare never helped. Politically, it doesn’t make any sense. Economically, it doesn’t make any sense.”

No, it doesn’t make sense to cut subsidies from people who really need support to afford health insurance and then award subsidies to those of us who don’t need help. So Senator Johnson’s got it right.

Unfortunately Senator Johnson isn’t actually going to step up and present a logical comprehensive health insurance repair bill nor a functional replacement bill…but we can be a little hopeful:

Said Johnson: “Let’s be honest. Not a whole lot of people are loving the (House bill) right now. I will not vote to support it until I have enough information that whatever we’re going to pass will work.”

Missed a day or two…

US Officials: Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians : The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN. This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, according to one source. The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.

Citizen Action Research Shows Massive Increase in Health Premiums in Wisconsin Cities under House GOP Replacement Bill : Statewide: On a media call this morning Citizen Action released a research brief showing dramatic increases ranging from 313% to 910% in health insurance premiums for older moderate income Wisconsinites under the House GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act.
WSJ: Trump clings to wiretap claim ‘like a drunk to an empty gin bottle,’ damaging his credibility : President Trump is clinging to his wiretapping claim “like a drunk to an empty gin bottle,” the Wall Street Journal said in a scathing editorial published Tuesday night. And that claim, floating in the president’s “seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods,” is severely damaging his credibility, both at home and abroad.

Chuck Berry, rock’s first singer-songwriter : Remembering a music icon and storyteller

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