Senate Parliamentarian Rules Against Healthcare Provisions

The Senate Parliamentarian gives rulings on all bills before they are voted on. Because the healthcare bill is being passed under reconciliation rules to make it possible to ram it through with 50 votes plus a Pence tiebreaker, it is subject to what are called “Byrd Rules.”

The Parliamentarian has found several points in the bill that she judges not subject to reconciliation rules and therefore would need 60 votes to pass. The Parliamentarian’s findings are subject to Senate approval, so this all might seem like a waste of time, but her findings can be used by the Democrats as delaying tactics and might be the subject of lawsuits further down the line.

The questionable topics are

  • Restrictions on abortion coverage
  • A provision defunding Planned Parenthood
  • A newly permissive state waiver process
  • Changes to rules governing insurance pricing by age
  • Funding for cost-sharing reductions
  • Elimination of the medical-loss ratio rule
  • The Cruz Amendment

These are pretty significant pieces of the bill. The New York Times has an explainer and the judgement of a panel of experts as to how likely each provision is to be struck. They also have an article on the politics of it, as does New York Magazine. There are a couple of others, but those seemed best to me. Here’s an explanation from the Senate Budget Committee’s Minority [Democratic] staff. Maybe David will have more to say.








When they kick at your front door how you gonna come?

The firing of Comey presumably means that the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia is now over. I didn’t think that Trump would do this. I’ve mostly been laughing at my friends talking about Trump being fascist, about the possibility that we’ll be living in Gilead-style police state.

I’m not laughing now.

Worst case scenario: what can we actually do to fight against a fascist police state? I haven’t given this a ton of thought before.



Vive La France!

Via The Guardian, Macron wipes out Le Pen:

The centrist Emmanuel Macron is the next president of France, defeating his far right rival Marine Le Pen by a comfortable 65.1% to 34.9%, according to a usually reliable vote estimate by pollsters Ispos/Sopra Steria for French state TV and radio and Le Monde.

Vote estimates by other polling organisations for different French media show a broadly similar result, although some are showing marginal variations.

I exhale.

Also — don’t our obligations to Lafayette require us to perform a do-over of our recent 11/8 debacle?

ETA the inevitable:

 

Image: Jacques-Louis David, Design for the Republican costume, engraved by Vivant Denon, 1794.



100 Days of Resistance

For my money, “The Simpsons” provided the definitive recap of the nonstop fail parade that is Twitler’s first 100 days:

As the announcer says, we’re 6.8% of the way home!

January 20, 2017 marked a modern low for the United States of America with the swearing in of a racist, sexist, xenophobic demagogue who scraped to electoral college victory with an assist from a hostile foreign power, GOP voter suppression, the ineptitude and/or malice of James Comey and the worst instincts of our fellow citizens.

Trump has since compounded the eternal shame of his election by behaving exactly as the decent people who opposed him said he would: he’s a bumbling, corrupt, narcissistic, clueless, feckless asshole who is more concerned with filling his pockets and feeding his massive ego than running the government.

But if January 20, 2017 showed how low the U.S. could sink, the next day provided clues to how it might rise again. I was in D.C. to witness it, and many of you were there too or at sister events held all over the world:

It may have been the largest single-day demonstration in the history of the United States. It almost certainly set a record for the most women rejecting a specific man in the history of humankind. That’s kinda cool.

Even more cool, resistance to Trump hasn’t been a one-off. I’ve never seen such sustained outrage about anything, ever. And it’s not just inchoate rage; the bone-deep anger people feel has translated into action, including boycotts of Trump products and follow-up marches to support science and protest Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.

Never thought I’d see my wingnut congressman in a +20 GOP district jeered and shouted down in a packed town hall, but it happened. Never thought our sleepy local Democratic committee meetings would be flooded with new members who not only showed up at the first post-election meeting but continue to show up and mobilize for local protests and receive training to run as candidates and turn out voters.

Trump’s presidency and the GOP agenda have been stymied, not only due to their own epic ineptitude, not only because this administration is mired in scandal and infighting but also because Republicans are fearful. I look forward to making them fear us for the next 100 days, and the next 100 after that.

What have you seen that gives you hope?



Such a long way to go, to make it to the border of Mexico

The reviews are in: everybody hates Dolt 45’s plan for a wall on the border with Mexico.

If you get a chance, give your reps a call and tell them to vote against funding this wasteful piece of shit.








Luxury Denied (Open Thread)

Who was it who said (paraphrasing) a competent administration provides its citizens the luxury of not thinking about politics all the time? This cartoon is my life now:

I hope the science marches are HUGE today. I can’t go because of a family thing, but my encouragement, admiration and good wishes go with those of you who are marching!

Open thread.



I done told you once you son of a bitch

It’s baaaaack:

The White House is pushing for another showdown vote on repealing Obamacare next week, to coincide with President Donald Trump’s hitting the 100-day milestone in office.

Legislative text of a new deal that could revive the House Republican bid to repeal Obamacare is likely to be circulated Friday “or by the weekend,” according to two senior White House officials, with an eye toward holding a House floor vote next Wednesday or Thursday.

I don’t say this lightly but….to the barricades.

If you can hit a townhall, do it.