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Article posted July 28, 2017 at 6:20 PM
By Leslie Savan
Article posted July 28, 2017 at 5:41 PM
New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci threatened to call the FBI on White House chief of staff Reince Priebus for the high crime of releasing the Mooch’s top-secret financial disclosure form. Only Priebus didn’t release it: the form was public. And Scaramucci humiliated himself in front of everyone. Scaramucci also phoned up a reporter, called his colleague “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” then followed up by forcing news agencies across the world to worry about whether auto-fellatio is a hyphenated term.
So clearly someone is in trouble. And it’s Preibus. Because … look, Scaramucci is a foul-mouthed Goldman Sachs alum who worked in the private wealth financial group teaching billionaires how to hide their bundles, and who just sold his international hedge fund to Chinese investors in a controversial deal that’s still under investigation but could net the Mooch better than $100 million. Reince Priebus is … from Wisconsin. Done.
Donald Trump is totally loving Scaramucci’s attack. And with both Mooch and Kellyanne Conway informing Priebus and all those staffers who came from the RNC that they should start boxing up their desks, it’s time to look at the next candidates for White House chief of staff.
Chief of staff is generally thought of as the most powerful role in the White House. However, in the Donald Trump regime, it’s been slightly downgraded to somewhere between the guy that loads the official Trump Tower Taco Bowl for delivery on Marine One and the woman who scrubs the spittle flecks off the Resolute Desk. So … clearly a plum job.
Scaramucci himself was supposedly brought into the White House as a potential Reince-placement. And now that he’s nearing two weeks in his current job, it is clearly getting to be time to move along. Conway is also on the chief of staff short list. She could probably do that and keep her current job—it’s not as if adding Reince’s heavy load of fuming about being ignored would take a big chunk out of anyone’s day.
Article posted July 28, 2017 at 5:15 PM
The party was never able to unify behind an idea for a new plan.
Article posted July 28, 2017 at 4:50 PM
The president keeps inflaming the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and four Arab states. But it’s not hurting the oil and gas giant.
Article posted July 28, 2017 at 4:50 PM
Three weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made what he considered his worst threat: if the Senate Republicans didn’t pass an Affordable Care Act repeal, they would have to work with Democrats on fixing it.
“If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur,” McConnell said. “No action is not an alternative. We’ve got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state.”
Over-the-top rhetoric aside, it’s time to fulfill that promise. Insurance markets are NOT imploding all over the place, but popular vote loser Donald Trump is going to do his damnedest to make it happen.
Democrats are more than ready with their ideas for strengthening the ACA. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer laid out a few this morning, including resolving the issue of cost-sharing reduction payments that Trump has turned into a political football, and a reinsurance program to balance out the risk insurance companies take on with sicker patients. He pointed out that Republican Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander had already agreed to having committee meetings with his ranking member, Democratic Washington Sen. Patty Murray on some of this stuff. And while Sen. John McCain might not be the guy McConnell wants to listen to right now, he’s urging a return to a normal process here, working with Democrats, following last night’s drama. That’s something both Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have been calling for, though McConnell probably doesn’t want to acknowledge their existence right now, either.
Over on the House side, a group of 40 bipartisan members has been quietly working on approaches for stabilizing the markets, recognizing that political unpredictability has been a major contributing factor to that instability.
It’s dawning on at least some Republicans that, yeah, they really do own this now. While many have to be breathing a massive sigh of relief after last night’s failure, most of them took that terrible vote to take health insurance away from millions, in both the House and Senate. They’re going to be blamed for spending months on trying to do that instead of protecting insurance if Obamacare markets continue to falter.
Article posted July 28, 2017 at 4:26 PM
Helen Epstein, Claude Gatebuke
The post Rwanda’s Elections and the Myth of Women’s Empowerment appeared first on The Nation.
Article posted July 28, 2017 at 4:01 PM
We’ve long known that Republicans have little respect for traditional democratic norms and ideals. We’ve seen it in their hostility toward voting rights, their decimation of traditional norms in the House and Senate, their refusal to give D.C. residents a voice in Congress, their obstruction of the Obama agenda despite being in the deep minority, and their worship of big daddy strongmen (like Putin, even before Putin installed a puppet regime in our White House).
But conservatives used to at least pay lip service to the idea of democracy. Yet the last few weeks have been rough on that facade, as more of the truth comes out every day. Witness:
- Mike Huckabee calling for the elimination of an elected Senate, and specifically, the 17th Amendment, which literally has the words “elected by the people” in it. Note, this tweet didn’t emerge from a vacuum. ALEC has been agitating for this for years, and they’re only doubling down on the campaign these days. Ironically, the Senate has a strong natural GOP gerrymander—for example, the Dakotas get four senators to California’s two. But that’s still not enough for a GOP hostile to anything that might get in the way of dictatorial power.
- According to a YouGov poll, 45 percent of Republicans want the government to “shut down “biased or inaccurate” media outlets” (of course, they’re not talking about Fox News or Breitbart). And 35 percent are undecided about the bedrock U.S. guarantee of freedom of the press. Only 20 percent side with the First Amendment, apparently since everyone else has conveniently lost their pocket Constitution.
Article posted July 28, 2017 at 4:00 PM
The post John McCain Isn’t a Hero for Not Killing His Constituents appeared first on The Nation.
Article posted July 28, 2017 at 3:51 PM
Last night Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain delivered a reprieve not just for millions of people whose health care hung in the balance, but for the institution of the Senate and maybe even the republic. It’s impossible to overstate just how not normal this whole fiasco has been. Every false charge Republicans ever leveled against the process Democrats were forced to resort to in order to pass the Affordable Care Act in the first place became the blueprint for how they proceeded over the past months.
The first lie was that Republicans were entirely shut out of the process of crafting Obamacare. That lie has persisted for eight years, since meetings—bipartisan meetings—began on Obamacare in 2009. Just to recap that process, the Senate Health Committee had 60 hours of debate and mark-up for the bill, then the Finance Committee took it up and spent eight days in mark-up—more time than they’d spent on revising and amending a bill in 20 years. There were 130 bipartisan amendments considered, with 79 roll call votes taken. The bill was on the Senate floor for 25 days straight.
For seven years, Republicans have been portraying all that as Democrats shutting them out of the process, writing the bill in a dark room, springing them on it at the last minute, and forcing the vote on Christmas Eve. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an entire web page devoted to that fiction with the headline “FLASHBACK: Democrats’ ‘Secret’ Closed Door Obamacare Process” screaming across the top.
That was the fever dream that actually provided the blueprint for McConnell’s drive to repeal the ACA.
Article posted July 28, 2017 at 3:46 PM
He acted on his words when it truly mattered.