The Open Thread for September 26, 2017

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said that she would oppose the latest plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, leaving Republican leaders clearly short of the votes they need for passage, the New York Timesreports.

Said Collins: “Health care is a deeply personal, complex issue that affects every single one of us and one-sixth of the American economy. Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target.”

She added: “Today, we find out that there is now a fourth version of the Graham-Cassidy proposal, which is as deeply flawed as the previous iterations. The fact that a new version of this bill was released the very week we are supposed to vote compounds the problem.”

“Republicans in the Senate and White House are increasingly resigned to defeat in their final bid to repeal Obamacare this week, despite a flurry of last-second revisions meant to win over skeptical senators,” Politico reports.

“GOP leaders have yet to pull the plug on the effort, but a massive change in dynamics must occur in the sharply divided Senate for the Graham-Cassidy measure to pass.”

A new CBS News poll finds that just 20% of those polled said they approved of the Graham-Cassidy health care bill aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama.  Even more striking: Only 46% of Republicans said they approved of the bill.


Hillary Clinton called out the Trump administration Sunday for its response to the devastation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. “President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens,” Clinton said in a Sunday morning tweet, referring to the Department of Defense, Secretary James Mattis and a US Navy ship that serves as a medical facility.

Mitt Romney made a plea to lawmakers to “put aside controversies” and “prioritize rescue” efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria tore through the Caribbean last week, The Hill reports.

He said the American territory is on the “brink of a humanitarian disaster.



“Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joined his team’s players in kneeling before the national anthem prior to their game Monday night at Arizona,” the Washington Post reports.  “They stood, with arms still interlocked, for the anthem.”


Politico: “The supposedly hard deadline at the end of the month to repeal Obamacare might not be so hard after all.”

“Here’s how it could be done: While the Senate parliamentarian has ruled that the repeal push under fiscal 2017 must die after Sept. 30, Republicans could provide reconciliation instructions for both health care and tax reform in the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that Congress must pass to again unlock the fast-track procedural powers. That might entail some procedural hurdles, but one GOP aide said Monday that because the Finance Committee has jurisdiction over about 95 percent of health care policy, ‘it’s not like we couldn’t slip it in anyway.’”

Said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “We’ve got to do both. They’re complicated by necessity. So I don’t think that takes away the complications. But I think we’re supposed to be able to handle complications.”



“At least six of President Trump’s closest advisers occasionally used private email addresses to discuss White House matters,” the New York Times reports.

“The disclosures came a day after news surfaced that Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, used a private email account to send or receive about 100 work-related emails during the administration’s first seven months. But Mr. Kushner was not alone. Stephen Bannon, the former chief White House strategist, and Reince Priebus, the former chief of staff, also occasionally used private email addresses. Other advisers, including Gary Cohn and Stephen Miller, sent or received at least a few emails on personal accounts.”  “Officials are supposed to use government emails for their official duties so their conversations are available to the public and those conducting oversight.”

“Ivanka Trump, the first daughter and adviser to the president, used a personal email address to communicate with a government official after her father took office,” Newsweek reports.

“The documents show that on February 28, Trump—identifying herself as Ivanka Kushner—emailed Linda McMahon, the administrator of the United States Small Business Administration, from a personal domain.”

“Trump became an unpaid federal employee in March. But multiple government ethics experts say she likely could have had access to a White House email account in February, given that she is first daughter. Radford, her chief of staff, had a White House email address at the time.”

“House Democratic investigators are launching a congressional probe of Jared Kushner’s use of a private email for work purposes, a development that threatens to escalate the Russia-related controversies already surrounding President Trump’s son in-law,” Politico reports.


Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke “that nearly one-third of employees at his department are not loyal to him and President Trump, adding that he is working to change the department’s regulatory culture to be more business friendly,” the AP reports.

Said Zinke: “I got 30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag.”

100% are loyal to the flag, you Nazi authoritarian piece of shit.  You are not the flag.   You are a Republican fascist who deems himself and the party to be the state and all dissenters to be enemies of the state.



“The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social divides in American society, with some ads promoting African-American rights groups including Black Lives Matter and others suggesting that these same groups pose a rising political threat, say people familiar with the covert influence campaign,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Russian campaign — taking advantage of Facebook’s ability to simultaneously send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics — also sought to sow discord among religious groups.”


Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) believes Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) “should be recalled while he battles brain cancer and so that the GOP can replace him with someone who will support the party’s latest effort to repeal the 2010 health care law,” Roll Call reports.

Said Gohmert: “Nothing inhibits recovery from cancer like stress. I think Arizona could help him, and us. Recall him, let him fight successfully this terrible cancer, and let’s get someone in here who will keep the word he gave last year.”

During an interview Monday morning on the Alabama-based “Rick and Bubba” radio show, President Donald Trump blasted Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) over his last-minute vote against Obamacare repeal in August.

“What McCain has done is a tremendous slap in the face of the Republican Party, tremendous,” Trump said. “That’s the only reason we don’t have it, because of John McCain.”



“North Korea’s foreign minister asserted that the pariah state has the right to defend itself by shooting down U.S. planes, even if they are not in the country’s airspace,” the Washington Post reports.  Said Ri Yong Ho: “The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country.”

He added: “Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”  On Saturday, President Trump tweetedabout North Korea saying “they won’t be around much longer!”

New York Times: “Mr. Trump’s willingness to casually threaten to annihilate a nuclear-armed foe was yet another reminder of the steep risks inherent in his brute-force approach to diplomacy. His strengths as a politician — the ability to appeal in a visceral way to the impulses of ordinary citizens — are a difficult fit for the meticulous calculations that his own advisers concede are crucial in dealing with Pyongyang.”

“The disconnect has led to a deep uncertainty about whether Mr. Trump is all talk or actually intends to act. The ambiguity could be strategic, part of an effort to intimidate Mr. Kim and keep him guessing. Or it could reflect a rash impulse by a leader with little foreign policy experience to vent his anger and stoke his supporters’ enthusiasm.”


“Roy Moore would be the Todd Akin of 2017 and 2018 for every Republican on the ballot. Republicans will be asked, ‘Do you agree homosexuality should be punished by death, do you believe 9/11 was a result of God’s anger?’ He’ll say outrageous things, the media will play it up, and every Republican will be asked, ‘Do you agree with that?’”  — Karl Rove, quoted by the New York Times, on Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R).

A new Optimus poll finds Roy Moore (R) leading Sen. Luther Strange (R) in the GOP Senate primary runoff, 55% to 45%.  Key finding: “80% of those surveyed and 86% of primary voters know Trump endorsed Strange, which is up 5% since Tuesday and 15% since last week. Moore has maintained similar leads throughout this period.”

The primary election is today.



New York Times: “Over the course of just 17 hours this weekend, President Trump assailed John McCain, Chuck Schumer, Stephen Curry, the National Football League, Roger Goodell, Iran and Kim Jong-un — the ‘Little Rocket Man.’ And that was on his day off. … While he has restrained himself for brief stretches, his penchant for punching eventually reasserts itself. Never in modern times has an occupant of the Oval Office seemed to reject so thoroughly the nostrum that a president’s duty is to bring the country together. Relentlessly pugnacious, energized by a fight, unwilling to let any slight go unanswered, Mr. Trump has made himself America’s apostle of anger, its deacon of divisiveness.”

“In his brief career as president and a candidate for president, Mr. Trump has attacked virtually every major institution in American life: Congress, the courts, Democrats, Republicans, the news media, the Justice Department, Hollywood, the military, NATO, the intelligence agencies, the cast of ‘Hamilton,’ the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ the pope and now professional sports. He has attacked the Trump administration itself, or at least selected parts of it (see Sessions, Jeff), and even the United States of America (‘you think our country’s so innocent?’).”


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

1 comment on “The Open Thread for September 26, 2017

  1. Tom Price is gone. He resigned, thereby denying Trump firing him.

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