Monday Morning Open Thread: Sisters Are Doin’ It


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Apart from savoring a hard-earned victory, what’s on the agenda as we start the new week?

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Jay Willis, GQ, three days ago:

At around 1:30 in the morning, after he was sure that he finally had the attention of the Senate clerk and of his nervous, exhausted colleagues who had been watching his every move, John McCain dramatically plunged his outstretched arm downwards, finally sealing the fate of Mitch McConnell’s “skinny repeal” bill in a gesture that had all the drama of a WWE heel turn. It was a wild, shocking moment that drew gasps from the gallery, and the only reason it mattered at all is because, from the very beginning of this debacle of an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, two women Republican senators—Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—never gave a fucking inch…

The Affordable Care Act is safe because of the courage of two women who were not swayed by threats, bribes, and every brand of public and private pressure. They might not be getting as much shine as John McCain today, but they are far more deserving of it.

#EveryVoiceMatters








So now what?

So now what?

That is a hell of a question but I think the right way to start probing towards some of boundaries of the possibility space is to ask what happened.

As I see it, the winning coalition that blocked the bill was a combination of unanimous Democratic opposition plus state level Republicans who actually have to balance a state budget and deal with real issues plus Republicans in districts that make them inherently vulnerable during a mid-term swing against the incumbent party plus the reactionaries of the House Freedom Caucus. We were also aided by the ineptitude of the wank “wonk” Paul Ryan and his coterie of enablers.

We told our stories. We mobilized. We stiffened the spine of Democrats whose spines probably did not need much stiffening. We put the fear of god into vulnerable Republicans. We scared the people who have to balance a state budget. We had on our side almost all of the interest groups that had bought into the ACA — doctors, insurers, hospitals, big drug makers and everyone else that gave a bit to get a bit. The only people who were not aghast at the AHCA were high income tax cut fanatics and policy illiterate decision makers.

We had a huge and unusual coalition pushing back against a bum’s rush. Most of this coalition was assembled in 2009 and 2010 to push the ACA through. And it was re-activated days after the election as everyone recovered from their shock, dismay and hangovers. Any time something changed, wonks were ripping through the documenation and making fast, rough and directionally right analysis with maps, figures, graphs and other hooks to allow advocates to tell personal, powerful stories that landed. And we kept on iterating powerful and emotionally connecting truth on every iteration of the bill.

We won. And our win helps our community:

Does it mean I finally can breathe again? That my health care won’t be pulled in a matter of weeks or months, on the eve of my starting biologic therapy for my Crohn’s?

This is why we fight. We’re not going to win every time. But we have to fight for conceding defeat and defeatism without making an effort means throwing ArchTeryx and others to the dogs. We’re not going to win every time, but we need to fight for both the chance to win as we did this week and to be able to look at our friends, our countrymen and ourselves with honesty as we say that we are doing everything that we can. We will need that for immigration. We will need that for global warming. We need that for our LBG and especially T allies. We might not win every time, but we can mitigate some damage, impose some delay, inflict some cost, and build effective coalitions for future action and progress every time that we hold to our values and our ideals.

So what does this mean for policy? The fear is that the ACA is here, but that the Trump Administration will sabotage it. This is a real fear, and it is one that the coalition that won this week will need to be engaged on to protect the implementation of the ACA.

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Late Night Open Thread: How You Like Me NOW?….








Friday Evening Open Thread: Repubs Be LOOOOSERRRSSSS!

Yes, it’s only one battle, the GOP will never give up, think of the Media Village Idiots whose cocktail-party weekend has just been ruint, yadayadayada. As a devout Cynic, I’ve always felt that one of our Democrats’ greatest weaknesses is that we can never stop looking for the defeat lurking behind every victory. Tomorrow, we gird for the next fight — tonight, we celebrate!

Apart from cheering our warriors, what’s on the agenda as we start our well-earned weekend?

(And I am “open” to being handed a large bag of money, no strings attached. LOSER!)








The possibility space for all daughters

As I was watching Nominee Presumptive Clinton speak tonight, I thought about my daughter asleep upstairs, and I also thought about a post I wrote last summer on the day that same sex marriage was declared constitutional.  I want to repurpose a chunk of that post tonight:

I don’t know much about how my kids will turn out when they get older.  I know a few things though.

I know my daughter will be a massive dork (as she cried last night that she missed school as she was not learning enough new things at summer camp, and could we buy her some new math workbooks).  I know she will be a goof ball with a massive amount of empathy and a strongly developed sense of fairness.  I know that when she is adult, her possibility space will be massive….

I have no clue…

Their possibility space just widened a little bit this morning.  Being their dad, that makes my day.

She could be president some day.

Now let’s go win so that she’ll have a positive example instead of a wistful what may have been when she starts her campaign in 2046.