The Open Thread for June 22, 2017

A draft of the Senate Healthcare Elimination Bill has leaked, as Senate leaders “were putting the final touches on legislation that would reshape a big piece of the U.S. health-care system by dramatically rolling back Medicaid while easing the impact on Americans who stand to lose coverage under a new bill,” the Washington Post reports.

“The bill largely mirrors the House measure that narrowly passed last month but with some significant changes. While the House legislation pegged federal insurance subsidies to age, the Senate bill would link them to income as the ACA does. The Senate proposal cuts off Medicaid expansion more gradually than the House bill, but would enact deeper long-term cuts to the health-care program for low-income Americans. It also removes language restricting federally-subsidized health plans from covering abortions, which may have run afoul of complex budget rules.”

Jonathan Chait: “The most important design feature is that the Senate bill retains all the tax cuts in the House bill. The tax cuts are what drive the bill’s inescapable cruelty. By eliminating nearly a trillion dollars in revenue, it necessarily creates a trillion dollars in cuts for coverage subsidies. The House bill reduces the insurance rolls by 23 million. The Senate bill won’t fare a whole lot better.

Senators have widely disparaged the House bill, and Senate moderates have talked a good game about protecting the sick and vulnerable. President Trump even admitted privately the House bill was “mean.” But the bill they’re voting on does pretty much the same thing. Now they have to decide if they want to make insurance unaffordable to millions of Americans too poor or sick to buy their own plans.”

If it were possible, Trumpcare is becoming even more unpopular. From Politico:  “Opposition to the Republican health bill is growing, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.  [O]nly 35 percent of voters surveyed approve of the bill passed by the House last month. Nearly half of voters, 49 percent, disapprove of the bill. [P]olling indicates the bill has become less popular since the House advanced it in early May.”

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that a majority of the country thinks the GOP health care bill “would be harmful for low-income Americans, people with pre-existing health conditions and Medicaid recipients.”  “Nearly 60% of adults said they thought it would make insurance more expensive for low-income Americans and people with pre-existing conditions. Fifty-seven percent said it would make Medicaid less available, and 69% said it would cut federal money for Planned Parenthood.”  Overall, 41% of American adults oppose the House plan, while 30% support it. Another 29% said they “don’t know.”

A new CBS News poll finds President Trump’s approval rating is a dismal 36% to 57%. Key finding: “The drop in the President’s approval rating is partially due to ebbing support among Republicans. Seventy-two percent approve of the job Mr. Trump is doing, a decline of eleven points since April.”

A new AP-NORC poll finds that less than a third of Americans support President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, with just 18% of respondents agreeing with his claim that pulling out of the international agreement to reduce carbon emissions will help the U.S. economy.

Randy Bryce (D), a Democratic veteran and iron worker, announced he will challenge Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district in 2018, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Dems do have a message.  This.  More of this.  All the time this.  Find candidates like this.

Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) plans to run against Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) for his Senate seat in Nevada, Politico reports.

“Heller is widely considered the most vulnerable Republican up for re-election in 2018 and is the only GOP senator this cycle who represents a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. A Public Policy Polling survey released Monday had Heller receiving just 39% of the vote if the match-up were held today against a generic Democrat, who earned 46% of support among Nevada voters.”

First Read: “Republicans are preparing for a marathon of votes on their Obamacare repeal starting next week. There’s no written bill yet, and there isn’t even an agreement that has leadership comfortable they have 50 votes to pass a bill. But the new expectation on Capitol Hill is there will be an outline of a proposal as soon as Wednesday. Why? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knows that if the Senate doesn’t deal with health care, there’s little chance of any other GOP priority ever seeing the light of day.”

“It’s an incredibly tough issue that’s been a bad political storyline for both Congress and the White House, and he’s essentially betting that when faced with voting yes or no on Obamacare repeal, he’ll have the votes he needs. And if those votes aren’t there — well — they’ll at least have moved on to other things. Keep in mind there’s pressure to lift the debt ceiling in July and then there will be a government funding crisis in September. (And they’re gone in August.)”

“A veteran federal prosecutor recruited onto special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is known for a skill that may come in handy in the investigation of potential ties between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 campaign team: persuading witnesses to turn on friends, colleagues and superiors,” Reuters reports.

“Andrew Weissmann, who headed the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal fraud section before joining Mueller’s team last month, is best known for two assignments — the investigation of now-defunct energy company Enron and organized crime cases in Brooklyn, New York — that depended heavily on gaining witness cooperation.”

Jonathan Swan: “Trumpworld has been worried about Weissmann since they first got wind that Mueller added him to his team. I started getting phone calls from Trump associates about two weeks ago suggesting I look into his background.”

David Leonhardt: “If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, Hillary Clinton would be president. Even with Donald Trump’s working-class appeal, Clinton could have swept Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.”

“If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, Democrats would control the Senate. Clinton or Barack Obama could then have filled the recent Supreme Court vacancy, and that justice would hold the tiebreaking vote on campaign finance, labor unions and other issues.”

“If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, the country would be doing more to address the two defining issues of our time — climate change and stagnant middle-class living standards. Instead, Trump is making both worse.”

“President Trump’s pick to be the next FBI director, Christopher Wray, billed New Jersey taxpayers more than $2.1 million in legal charges and expenses while representing Gov. Chris Christie as his personal attorney before during and after the Bridgegate trial,” WNYC reports.

“It is unclear what Wray and an extensive team from his firm, King & Spalding LLP, was doing for Christie — the bills provided to WNYC from the state Attorney General’s Office are heavily redacted, and Wray has never spoken publicly about his role.”

“The public did not even know that Wray was working for the governor until nearly two years into his work, when Christie’s spokesman said a cell phone that the governor used during Bridgegate was in Wray’s possession. Two former Christie aides who were indicted and ultimately convicted had unsuccessfully sought to subpoena the phone to use as part of their defense.”

James Hohmann: “Democrats pinned their hopes on a 30-year-old who had never run for office before and didn’t even live in the district. Ossoff became more dynamic on the stump as the race dragged on, but his lack of a record made it easy to caricature him. He was a vessel through which Democrats channeled their hopes, but he lacked charisma.”

“Handel, 55, has been a fixture of local politics for 15 years. She chaired the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, served as Georgia secretary of state and narrowly lost GOP primaries to become governor in 2010 and then senator in 2014. She had the baggage that comes with being a career politician, but her deep roots and relationships certainly helped far more than they hurt. She was a known commodity who came into the race with high name identification.”

First Read: “While national Republicans threw the kitchen sink at Ossoff, perhaps their most potent — and consistent — attack was linking him to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Democrats have to admit they have a Pelosi problem, especially in red states and districts. Yes, she brings money and legislative savvy to the party. But if Democratic candidates like Ossoff are going to campaign on change, Republicans can quickly undercut that message by simply showing Pelosi. It’s a legitimate question Democrats must ask themselves: Can they win back the House with Pelosi promising to stay in power?”

James Hohmann: “Republican operatives say that 98 percent of voters in the 6th District already had an impression of Pelosi when they conducted their first internal poll, and she was 35 points underwater. When presented with the choice of whether they wanted a representative who would work with Paul Ryan or Pelosi, six in 10 picked the Speaker and three in 10 picked the minority leader.”

David Wasserman: “Although it’s true Democrats have agonizingly yet to capture a red district, they have outperformed their ‘generic’ share of the vote significantly in every contest. Measured against the Cook Political Report‘s Partisan Voter Index (PVI), Democrats have outperformed the partisan lean of their districts by an average of eight points in the past five elections.”

“If Democrats were to outperform their ‘generic’ share by eight points across the board in November 2018, they would pick up 80 seats. Of course, that won’t happen because Republican incumbents will be tougher to dislodge than special election nominees. But these results fit a pattern that should still worry GOP incumbents everywhere, regardless of Trump’s national approval rating and the outcome of the healthcare debate in Congress.”

Nate Cohn: “If Democrats keep running ahead of expectations across those plausibly competitive Republican-held seats, many seats will ultimately fall their way. But they will certainly lose more than they win. The question is whether they win enough, and no special election offers the answer to that.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

25 comments on “The Open Thread for June 22, 2017

  1. Truth is the Republicans love Nancy Pelosi, their base hates her with a passion and always reacts when they start talking about her. She’s an albatross around the neck of the party on a national basis, then again the same could be said of the DNC as a whole. As for the senate version of Trumpcare I expect it to blow up in Mitch McConnell’s face as there is precious little difference from the widely hated AHCA. I’m anticipating losing my insurance, and so will millions of others, clever games designed to hide what’s going on or not.

  2. Can someone explain why the average voter hates Nancy Pelosi? I’m not her biggest fan, but what I don’t understand is why the average voter hates her. My guess is that the GOP has done its usual thing and demonized her and that a lot of Ds like parroting GOP talking points. I ran into the same thing this summer with Hillary. People would say they hated/couldn’t stand her and I would ask why. Crickets.

    None of my above statement means I don’t think new leadership is needed. I think new leadership is needed and would be beneficial.

    • Delaware Dem

      Why did the average voter hate Hillary? Same reason as Pelosi. She has been vilified by Fox for decades and she is a woman. And leftist men buy into it.

      • delacrat

        Do you really believe “leftist men” hate Clinton and Pelosi b/c they watch Fox ?

        How many “leftist men” do you know that watch Fox ?

        • cassandram

          Not many. But “leftist” men have certainly found a solid rationale for their own misogyny because they’ve heard it from other men. Who do watch Fox news.

          • It is possible to criticize her without doing so because she’s a woman. Personally, I’d boot Hoyer before her.

            • cassandram

              It’s possible, but that is not the criticism du jour. The current talking point is that the Republicans hate her so she has to go. There are no men they would do this to. Period.

              • She won’t be the last. They’re giving Elizabeth Warren the negative propaganda treatment, too, and I expect Kamala Harris to start getting pounded by the Hannity types, too. I finally saw the clip of her getting cut off when she pressed on Sessions, and it was crystal clear to me that he was having a panic attack at having to answer questions from an aggressive black woman.

                • True. And Warren got this treatment when she ran for senate – and not only from Republicans.

                  • You keep saying this. Why?

                    • “As Slate writer Jamelle Bouie has pointed out on Twitter, even progressive demigod Elizabeth Warren was seen as “unlikable” when she ran for the Massachusetts senate seat. Local outlets published op-eds about how women were being “turned off” by Warren’s “know-it-all style”—a framing that’s indistinguishable from 2016 Clinton coverage. “I’m asking her to be more authentic,” a Democratic analyst for Boston radio station WBUR said of Warren. “I want her to just sound like a human being, not read the script that makes her sound like some angry, hectoring school marm.”

                      There’s more like this.

    • Constant negative propaganda is exactly the cause. Most people, Republican or Democrat, could not name a single thing she has done in Congress except lead the Democratic caucus.

      Also, I don’t think the average voter hates Nancy Pelosi. The problem is the average Republican does.

      We must face the fact that 35% of the electorate thinks politics is like rooting for a sports team, and that their loyalty is somehow rewarded even though they receive nothing tangible for their support. Exactly like a sports team.

      • delacrat

        “Most people, Republican or Democrat, could not name a single thing she has done in Congress except lead the Democratic caucus.” – Alby

        Most people, Republican, Democrat, Independent or not registered know that their standard of living has circled the drain for as long Pelosi has led the Democratic caucus and can not name a single thing she has done about it.

        • Considering that she couldn’t do anything about that even if she wanted to, I tend to doubt that’s the source of this much anger. That was the question I was addressing, not whether she should continue in the job. Considering that the fellow from Ohio who wants to replace her is a Blue Dog, I have no dog in that fight.

          • it doesnt matter that she couldnt do anything. She never has once appeared to do anything. Politics is all optics. Even if your dont deserve to be a villain, if you find yourself a drag on your party, or philosophy’s goals, you do the selfless thing and step back.
            btw… to replace her, you go deep. The top of the Dem leadership is old and out of touch. No one will believe it isnt the Party of the Clintons if they dont bother to adapt.
            Do you think the average voter thinks the GOP is still the party of Bush? They are.. but most people dont think so and the cold, hard, not-caring-about-your-dreams-or-feelings reality says that perception is all that matters.

          • delacrat

            Red State Dems Lose Because Of Nancy Pelosi


            Pelosi is great at raising corporate $$$ that’s dispersed to weak corporate dems like Clinton and Ossoff (and away from left dems) to lose to corporate Republicans.

            • I’m more interested in her cat-herding skills. They’ll have to come up with someone better than Tim Ryan before I’ll agree with dumping Pelosi. Ryan gets us further to the center, not the left.

  3. Late in the day to be adding this, but I was outraged by the remarks of the second Cosby juror to go public, in today’s Daily News:

    • Holy crap! That guy could write the rape apologist handbook.

      • Or maybe he’s just parroting what he’s heard on right-wing talk radio about the case.

        • Sadly, this mindset isn’t limited to the right-wing.

          • True. But they talk about it all the time because they’re proud of themselves for it.

            Meanwhile, I was unaware until that interview that a bare midriff is now a sign that a woman is consenting to being drugged and violated. And a gift of incense apparently is another sign. Dress and give gifts accordingly.

            • It’s the old “what was she wearing” and “she was nice to him and liked him – look, she gave him a present!” line.

              Some Progressive men may not brag about it as loudly as conservative men, but, imo, they do more damage.

              • I think a lot of men think about the things they’ve done that could be made to look bad and think, “There but for the grace…” That especially applies to date-rape scenarios in which both parties are inebriated. I’m sure that there are cases like that where the line is indeed blurry.

                Why they would extend that kind of consideration to a married, predatory senior citizen is what I don’t understand.

                One of the dozens of women who came forward about Cosby said that she had already been intimate with him on previous occasions but he duplicitously drugged her anyway. This guy is sick, sick, sick.

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