Saturday, July 25, 2015

Last Call For Mad Turtle Disease

Something something definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over again and expecting a different result, see Mitch McConnell and Obamacare repeal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has set up a vote to repeal ObamaCare in a bit do appease conservatives upset over a second planned vote to revive the Export-Import Bank. 
McConnell on Friday announced he would file cloture — a motion to end a filibuster — on amendments to fully repeal ObamaCare and to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. Both votes likely will take place Sunday. 
McConnell argued that taking votes on both amendments offered a "balanced" way forward.

"Ex-Im shouldn't be the only vote we take on this bill, and under the compromise I just filed, it won't be. That's a much fairer way forward," he said, adding that Republicans will "continue to fight for" a repeal of ObamaCare. 
The Export-Import Bank is staunchly opposed by conservatives, including presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who shortly after McConnell spoke denounced the decision. 
Bringing back the bank is important to vulnerable GOP Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.), one of the Democrats’ top targets in 2016, whom McConnell wants to help win re-election. 
Also, Democrats have insisted that the six-year highway deal McConnell negotiated with liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) include the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization. 
McConnell has often said he personally opposes reauthorizing the bank, an agency panned by conservatives as a tool of corporate welfare. 
He plans to file cloture to repeal ObamaCare and renew the bank’s charter after offering the highway bill on the Senate floor Friday.

So, bottom line, Republicans are planning to poison the must-pass Highway bill with a repeal of Obamacare. It won't pass, the amendment will need 60 votes, but it's amusing to see McConnell throw out a smoke bomb like this to cover his ass on the Export-Import Bank authorization.

But Mitch isn't very good at his job.  He does however think Republican voters are pretty stupid.

Bevin The Bulldozer

Earlier this week Kentucky Democratic AG Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin squared off at the Kentucky Farm Bureau forum, the first time the two gubernatorial candidates faced each other in debate.  Al Cross has more on the fact the forum's conversation quickly went to Bevin's promise to dismantle the state's successful Kynect health exchange and Medicaid expansion.

At a Kentucky Farm Bureau forum in Louisville, Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway were asked how they would pay for the expansion of the federal-state program once the state starts paying 5 percent of the bill in 2017, rising to the federal health-reform law’s cap of 10 percent in 2020. 
Conway cited a study for the Beshear administration predicting that the expansion would pay for itself through 2020, by creating health-care jobs and tax revenue. It says there would be a net loss in 2021, the last year of the study. 
Conway said there are too many people on Medicaid, but said the solution for that is a better economy. “What I am not going to do is what my opponent will do on day one, which is by executive order kick half a million people off health insurance based on whether we can or can’t afford it in 2021. To me, that’s not courageous, that’s callous. . . . If we can’t afford something, we can potentially scale back.” 
Bevin said the “day one” line was “an absolute lie,” but when he was asked in February about the expansion, he said “No question about it, I would reverse that immediately.” 
As he has done before, Bevin conflated the Medicaid expansion with Kynect, the state health-insurance exchange where Kentuckians can get subsidized health insurance or, if their household income isn’t more than 138 percent of the federal poverty line, sign up for free Medicaid.

“With respect to the Kynect program, we cannot afford to have 25 percent and fast growing toward 30 percent on Medicaid, period, whether you like it or not, whether you think it’s fair or not, whether there’s supposedly a need or not, truth be told, we can’t afford it.”

He said later, “We’re gonna dismantle the Kynect program. We’re not gonna have 25 percent of Kentuckians on Medicaid."

To recap, Conway will address the costs of Medicaid expansion, and there will be costs.  Bevin on the other hand doesn't give a damn, and will just scrap arguably the country's most successful state exchange in Kynect and throw 430,000 people off Medicaid and say "Good luck with"

Money shot in the last paragraph, though:

As the questioning continued, Bevin said he had explained what would happen to the 430,000 new Medicaid beneficiaries. Told that he hadn’t, he replied, “They’re Kentuckians. They will continue to live in Kentucky if they choose to.”

What a nice guy.

As I've repeatedly said, the entire point of Republicans killing Medicaid expansion is simple: you either die or move to another state.  Either way, you're no longer that state's problem.

Bevin absolutely is running for governor of the Commonwealth on that platform, and right now he's ahead in the polls because of it.  Meanwhile, Jack Conway is going to learn that as with Alison Lundergan Grimes, if you run away from Obama, you're going to lose.

Planned Out In Advance

It's almost like Republicans have been gearing up to destroy Planned Parenthood well before the doctored videos showed up.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell started a fast-track process Friday on legislation to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding in the wake of two controversial videos showing officials discussing delivery of fetal parts.

The Republican leader began "Rule 14," which will let the legislation skip the committee process and be placed on the Senate calendar so it can be brought up for a floor vote.

The move comes after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) slammed McConnell during a blistering floor speech earlier Friday, suggesting the Kentucky Republican wanted to dodge a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood.

It's not that is matter unless the bill can get 67 votes.  But the pressure on what few Red State Democrats are left will be pretty strong.  We'll see how it goes, but let's remember that this is a snow job from the beginning, and that Republicans have been in on this the whole time.

Racing To Conclusions

A new NY Times poll shows that most Americans believe race relations have gotten worse.

A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last week reveals that nearly six in 10 Americans, including heavy majorities of both whites and blacks, think race relations are generally bad, and that nearly four in 10 think the situation is getting worse. By comparison, two-thirds of Americans surveyed shortly after President Obama took office said they believed that race relations were generally good.

America found out the hard way that the backlash against a black President brought out the racism long ignored by most of us.  It was a rude (and in some cases, deadly) awakening.

The swings in attitude have been particularly striking among African-Americans. During Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign, nearly 60 percent of blacks said race relations were generally bad, but that number was cut in half shortly after he won. It has now soared to 68 percent, the highest level of discontent among blacks during the Obama years and close to the numbers recorded in the aftermath of the riots that followed the 1992 acquittal of Los Angeles police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King.

A big part of this is the rise of social media.  Where shootings involving black victims don't make the news, they do make Twitter and Facebook.  We're more aware of these killings, and they're happening more often.

The divide, seen in the answers to virtually every question in the poll, was stark when respondents were asked whether they thought most Americans had judged Mr. Obama more harshly because of his race. Eighty percent of blacks said yes, while only 37 percent of whites agreed.

“I’m not surprised it’s gotten worse under President Obama,” said Elizabeth Gamble, 33, an African-American cook from Albany, Ga., “because he’s black, and so he already had that strike against him once he got into office.” 
Deep racial schisms were also evident in responses about law enforcement and the criminal justice system. About three-fourths of blacks said they thought that the system was biased against African-Americans, and that the police were more likely to use deadly force against a black person than a white person. Only 44 percent of whites felt that the system was biased against blacks. 
Clearly, views of the police are informed by personal experience. Four in 10 blacks, and nearly two-thirds of black men, said they felt they had been stopped by the police just because of their race or ethnicity, compared with only one in 20 whites. Fully 72 percent of blacks said they had suffered what they perceived as racial discrimination, compared with 31 percent of whites. 
At a time when the unemployment rate for blacks is double that for whites and black households earn 40 percent less, blacks continue to assert they do not enjoy an equal shot at attaining financial success. The share of blacks who said whites have a better chance to get ahead rose by 14 percentage points in about a year’s time, to 60 percent. More than half of whites said blacks have equal opportunities, compared with about a third of blacks who said so.

The problem isn't race relations.  The problem is the reality of black America in the era of social media is coming into the homes, the TVs, the PCs, and the tablets of white America, and frankly white America doesn't know what the hell to do about it other than to lash out.

We're seeing the results of that now.

I'm sorry that existing as a black man in America in 2015 upsets you so.

Naah, I'm not sorry.  You needed your bubble popped a long damn time ago.
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