A short review of 2017

Now that I’m back from vacation, I should stop procrastinating and do a quick year in review.

My biggest miss

The first week after the 2016 election, I was convinced that the entirety of the ACA minus the Medicare Advantage cuts was dead.  Medicaid expansion gone. Pre-existing conditions gone. Essential Health Benefits gone. Subsidies gone.

I was wrong.  The individual mandate is gone and Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR)subsidies are a mangled mess of ineffective sabotage.

My most important post

CSR and the limited time fuse

I argued that the threat to terminate payments for CSR subsidies was limited in scope and duration.

The CSR threat loses its ability to blow up the market by sometime in the fall.

This post led me to believe that CSR payments required Republican concessions and not the conventional wisdom of Democratic concessions. From there, it led me to believe and argue that there will never by an appropriation for CSR again.

Proudest moment

Every time every one of you picked up the phone and called.  Every time that we stood for our values.  Every time that we looked at our world and tried to figure out how to make it better and not worse.

End Notes

2017 was a huge transition year for me.

Read more



Open Thread: If It Weren’t for Their Mommy Issues, These Hipsters Would Have No Issues At All

So the grown-ups at Vanity Fair decided, during this (usually) slow-news week, to let their Bright Young Things make a clickbait twitter video about how much they despise that Hillary Clinton woman. If you haven’t already tripped over it, you can click on the link above. I try to remind myself I said some very dumb shit when I was that young… but I was never that irresponsible.


Read more



Please help a friend help us live up to our ideals

A lifelong friend of my sister is an attorney and an all around good person.  Melanie Gleason has been working as an immigration/asylum attorney with a specific focus on cases on our Southwest border.  Her clientele seldom can pay so she needs help.

I don’t often do this but I would like to ask our community to help her out if you can do so.  We need to hold to our ideals and help those who are fighting for those ideals day in and day out.

Happy Holidays! How are you? I hope this finds you doing as well as possible—I know it has been quite a year (oof). I also want to apologize for being more out of touch lately; work has honestly been rather tough down here on the border (e.g. on Thanksgiving, I was contacted by a handful of different people whose loved ones were actually detained by ICE that day). So, I am looking forward to being able to connect more in the new year—thanks so much for your support.

I also wanted to share what’s new with Attorney on the Move:

Today, I’m launching a campaign to continue to provide free legal services to asylum seekers here on the border in 2018. Please click here to find out more and contribute.

After providing legal services out of my car for a year a half & when #45 won the election last fall, I made the decision to move to the U.S./Mexico border to be on the immigration frontline to help asylum seekers seeking refuge and peace. There have been many difficult days and nights, but it has all been worth it—to see clients released from detention and not feeling alone because they have a lawyer representing them. For a number of immigrant detainees, I am the only person who comes to visit them at Eloy.

In 2018, in addition to providing full representation for asylum seekers on the ground, Attorney on the Move will aim for more scalable impact, including:

  • More op-eds elevating the voices of those who are detained and shining the light on other injustices within the immigration system and beyond—such as this piece I wrote featured in The Hill (and then a videographer from The Atlantic contacted me to see if my client’s voice could be featured in an upcoming piece)
  • A weekly newsletter starting in early January featuring a curated list of immigration and other social-justice focused articles and commentary—as well as updates on what’s going on here on the ground
  • Working closely with other social justice lawyers and advocates to help them launch their own social ventures to address systemic inequities around immigration and other important issues.

This project has been funded by grassroots donations since the very beginning—and it’d be an honor to receive your support. You can help create momentum early on by clicking here to chip in.

I always look forward to the next time our paths will cross—thank you for all you are doing during these wild times. And I’d love to hear more about what you’ve been up to and how things are going over on your end. Happy holidays and I’m grateful to be connected as we move into 2018!

In solidarity,
Melanie

 



Remember

If the Republican tax bill passes, it will be a dark moment in our nation’s history. Truly, the fact it is even close to passing makes today a dark moment in our nation’s history. There’s not a way to describe what’s going on that doesn’t sound sappy or melodramatic.

Days like this can be very depressing and very demotivating. So let’s remember the day that Obamacare passed. Pelosi’s not perfect, Obamacare’s not perfect, but that was a great day.

Like every good liberal blogger, I’m obsessed with “The Wire”. So I will close with some approximate Jimmy McNulty: “Trumps’s an asshole. He does not get to win. WE get to win!”



Late Night Open Thread: The Sunk Costs of Normalizing Nazis


.

The sad reality is: The NYTimes has been normalizing actual Nazis for going on eighty years now!

At some level, the people authorizing these stories — sending reporters out to collect “homey” anecdotes for yet another puff-piece — are defending their organizations’ sunk costs. If they admit now that normalizing Nazis always ends up with Nazis trying to murder the people of whom they don’t approve, what would that say about the Hallowed NYT Traditions?!?
.



I wake up screaming

Jake Tapper used to show up here and I always respected his attitude. I didn’t always agree with his positions, but it seemed like he gave a fuck. And giving a fuck is the most important thing. I like this a lot:

Jake Tapper sometimes wakes up angry. This may be a good thing for America.

Amid the chaos of the Donald Trump presidency, and the deep partisanship that filters through seemingly all aspects of American life in 2017, Tapper is motivated by the same forces that have animated much of his career in journalism. He can’t stand hypocrisy. He can’t stand unfairness. He can’t stop talking about it.

“I recognize that it’s probably a pain in the ass for a lot of people now,” he told The Atlantic. “But it is just who I am.”

“I’m just like, I don’t want any of this to be happening,” he added. “There are so many lies and so much indecency, and I’m not only talking about President Trump. There is just a world of it exploding—and we are, I fear, as a nation, becoming conditioned and accepting of it. And it’s horrific.”








Russiagate: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III Does Not Approve of Our “Free Press”

Head of the only Department of Justice we have, by the “grace” of the GOP and its figurehead thug now squatting in the Oval Office. This things are handled so much more discretely in Putin’s Russia, he thinks. Buried in a Washington Post story, “Sessions tells lawmakers he will not discuss his conversations with Trump on Comey firing”:

At one point, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) asked Sessions if he could commit to not putting reporters in jail for doing their jobs, a reference to the president’s attacks against the media and the many leak investigations the Justice Department is conducting.

“I don’t know that I can make a blanket commitment to that effect, but I would say this: We have not taken any aggressive action against the media at this point,” Sessions said. He added: “We always try to find an alternative way, as you probably know, Senator Klobuchar, to directly confronting a media person, but that’s not a total blanket protection.”…

Of his personal confidence in Mueller, Sessions said: “I think he will produce the work in a way he thinks is correct, and history will judge.” He said he was not involved in the case even before his recusal and that he did not know if it would be “appropriate” for Trump to pardon people who were under investigation by Mueller. But he added that the “pardon power is quite broad.”…

.

Nice democracy ya got here — shame if anything were to happen to it…

I truly hope Mr. Mueller will not allow himself to be intimidated by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.