34 thoughts on “News/Politics 7-29-17

  1. I suspect McCain was right this time. Healthcare reform needs to be bipartisan.

    McCain killed his party’s narrowly-crafted Obamacare repeal bill Friday not because he was opposed to dismantling the Affordable Care Act, but because he fundamentally believed the process — the lack of hearings, the one-party, closed-door negotiations, the fact that in the end all that Republican senators could agree upon was a shell of the plan they’d promised — was flawed.



  2. I don’t know that Noonan liked his campaign rhetoric but rather understood it and how it could resonate for commoners. She wrote a sympathetic piece after the election (around Thanksgiving if I’m not mistaken) detailing why her brother supported Trump. Anyway, it’s hard to deny her current description.

    However, as annoying as the tweets are, that’s not what has me concerned. I’m more concerned that the president seems to be leaning so much toward the military and on military type advisors—NOT that there is anything wrong with military personnel or having a robust military. But the President seems to be developing the disposition of a strongman. I would be much more comfortable if his Chief of Staff Kelly and close advisor/friend Dir. of Comm. Mooch, were not a former General and a mobster wanna be.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. McCain’s vote didn’t kill healthcare reform. Win or lose that vote, no major changes were going to be passed. All Republican plans enjoyed about 20% approval from the public. Big ideas have to be explained and sold to the public. Only Presidents can sell big ideas. LBJ sold Medicare, Medicaid and the rest of the Great Society. Reagan sold tax reform, the defense build-up, budget cuts, tax cuts and Social Security reform. Little Bush sold the Iraq Invasion. Sadly, Obama sold Obamacare.

    John Podhoretz explained what happened and didn’t happen on healthcare:



  4. Debra, Here is another way of looking at General Kelly and Priebus. Trump is not a strongman. As Noonan said, he is a whiny child. Trump’s Chief of Staff can not act like a normal Presidential Chief of Staff. He must be a babysitter for the whiny child. The child did not respect Priebus. Hopefully, (at least for a short while) Trump will respect Kelly. One of Kelly’s first jobs will be to kick the other naughty child (Mini-Trump Scaramucci) out of the house.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. WARNING: This Dreher post contains very explicit quotes from Mini Trump Scaramucci:

    I post it for two reasons:

    1. Dreher asks a great question at the end of the piece.

    2. It demonstrates that the pathetic events of the last six months (which are only getting worse) make most conservatives of a certain age think back to certain better days and a certain much better President.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t want ‘adult supervision’ for the President. There are national conversations that need to be happening now—healthcare, taxes, civil forfeiture, and national security (the story Tychicus and Michelle linked above is appalling). Instead, the press and the president are both directing attention away from these areas of concern. They both need an intervention. Divine intervention.

    Perhaps it’s too soon to expect anything constructive. With Trump’s personality issues and lack of political experience, we may have to wait a few more months for things to settle down—for him to settle into the job. I’m still not without hope that this presidency can be salvaged and become something more positive than currently seems probable. But I was serious about the intervention. There’s lots to pray about.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Debra, Perhaps we should consider whether the “adult supervision” may be the divine intervention.

    I am more inclined to think that this presidency (along with its predecessor) is a form of divine judgment.

    As my son continually reminds me, the ignorant, rude, sniveling, selfish Trump is probably the perfect representative of modern Americans.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Would the new babysitter please report for duty? The infantile lunatic is having another meltdown.

    First came this:

    There followed a two-part rant about China.

    We would all do well to pray for “adult supervision” of the 70 year old baby.


  9. I have often wondered whatever happened to public service announcements on tv and radio. The public owns the airwaves and they are regulated. Why are tv and radio not being used to disseminate public health information? We all like to moan and groan about the abysmal state of public education, but we don’t use the actual resources we have. This article is a few months old, but it’s relevant to the healthcare debate.

    As the country goes through another excruciating health-care fight in Washington, I find myself watching more CNN than I should, and I can’t help but notice the commercials. Half of them (I exaggerate only slightly) are for weight-loss schemes, in which the pre-packaged, highly processed meals sent to your door somehow shrink your waistline. The other half are for pharmaceutical drugs meant to treat diet-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. (Given that we’re the only country in the world except New Zealand that allows direct-to-consumer marketing of pharmaceutical drugs, these numbers are not altogether surprising.)
    Our health-care problem is often symbolized by the number 17: the percentage of GDP that we spend on it, a figure higher than almost any country in the world. Three different numbers should take its place: America’s rank in the global charts for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity……

    …..Approximately one-third of total U.S. health-care spending is on diseases related to excess sugar consumption alone. The simple fact is that a very large percentage—maybe even a majority—of U.S. health-care spending is on entirely preventable diseases.

    The role of personal dietary choice in these abysmal health statistics cannot be overlooked, and paternalistic laws monkeying with the size of soda bottles are not the answer. However, our food system is dominated by a relatively small handful of large, well-connected, and well-protected industrial agricultural firms and food manufacturers. Call it the agricultural-industrial complex.
    The most obvious nexus between industrial agriculture and complicit government regulators is the farm-subsidy system, which neither helps small farmers nor promotes the production of nutritious food. Its primary effect is to subsidize industrially produced corn and soy, as well as sugar, which in turn become the major ingredients or fillers for a vast cornucopia of highly processed and refined foods manufactured by the likes of Kraft, Nestle, and PepsiCo. This operates as an indirect subsidy for junk-food manufacturers, whose hundreds of brands and product lines fill shelf after shelf in the supermarket.

    Beyond farm subsidies, this cronyism manifests itself in certain laws. Michael Pollan reports in The Omnivore’s Dilemma that slaughterhouses are required to have bathrooms and sinks with regular plumbing. Polyface Farm, a tiny organic farm in rural Virginia, has no bathroom or sink because its slaughtering area is not a building but a semi-open pavilion. Joel Salatin, the proprietor of Polyface, struggled to convince regulators that he deserved an exemption, even though his meat products had fewer pathogens than those from industrial operations. And until recently, food-safety laws written with industrial manufacturers in mind effectively banned individuals or very small businesses from selling any food products. (This has now been largely remedied by “cottage food laws.”)

    Whether or not such laws and regulations are written for the benefit of industrial agriculture, the fact is that they appear and operate as though they were.

    Another aspect of the problem is the pervasive junk-food contracts that food giants have made with struggling public schools. In 2012, Mother Jones reported that a whopping 80 percent of public schools had exclusive contracts with either Coke or Pepsi to provide all drinks on premises, primarily as a means of augmenting tightening school budgets. The report also found that children in these schools were more likely to be obese than children in schools without such contracts. This is especially appalling because dietary and nutritional preferences are largely formed in youth and tend to become habits. Instead of funding our schools, we are funding industrial corn farmers, whose product sweetens the soda that is habituating our children to a lifetime of unhealthy eating.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ross Douthat just wrote one of the most insightful columns I’ve seen in a while. In fact, it is very reminiscent of a phrase that Husband has been repeating for several years: “It’s empty at the top.” Those people who knew how to work the Reagan/Bush deregulated, globalized, big-business system, have made their money and cashed out or are in the process of doing so.


  11. Debra, It is far different than you suppose, and my son (who has become a little Dave Ramsey) has commented on what he sees among his friends. The 45% who have done well under a free market economy (and are the only Americans paying income taxes) are far from “cashing out”. Charles Murray would be proud that they are working, paying taxes, going to church, having children in wedlock and not killing themselves with opioids. However, they also have student loans, have bought “too much house” and are going to really struggle to support their own families, the Democrats, the Trumpkins and their parents (who also depend on the Ponzi schemes of Social Security and Medicare).


  12. If the economy is such that only 45% of people are earning a living and paying taxes, it’s already a failed state. That didn’t happen overnight; it took a few decades. Those at the top knew what they were doing when they deregulated the banks, allowed enormous swaths of competition to be destroyed through mergers and acquisitions, and opened the borders to crush their labor problems.

    One of the more despicable parts of that dismantling process was paying off the citizenry with abundant credit lines and a surfeit of goods. Although the easy credit ran out quite a while ago, the materialism and consumption mentality that it bred (which is the life-blood of corporate capitalism) is still with us. It continues to acerbate the social disintegration we’re experiencing.

    The thing is, labor unions had gotten out of hand in the post-WW2 boom. But instead of working to solve the problem internally, big business and their government cronies decided to crush labor by opening the borders to flood the labor market, outsourcing labor, and offshoring production. Now that many of them have cashed out/retired and moved on to Singapore or Chile or Timbuktu, we’re left putting the pieces back together.

    The good news is I think we can put the pieces back together. But not with lies. And not without repentance. I think Trumpism is the end of Reaganism, and is, as such, a judgment on it. Going forward, we should be less concerned with ideologies and more concerned with the virtues that transcend them.


  13. If you move from Reaganism to Sanders socialism and Trump protectionism, if you end immigration and deliver a “fabulous” Donald/Bernie healthcare plan, this is what you will end up with:


    Reaganism started to end the first month Reagan left office. If you don’t believe that, go study what has been done to his efficient 1986 tax code. However, it has taken almost 30 years to undo the good he did.

    Trumpism is the end of decency, honesty, morality, manners and intelligence. By his election, we passed judgment on ourselves. Listen to Mini-Trump Scaramucci and then talk to me about “transcending virtues”.


  14. My wife did have the funniest reaction to Mega-Trump and Mini-Trump.

    Thursday night I was watching the news in stunned silence as reporters gave details of Scaramucci’s outrageous outburst and reported that Trump had not been displeased. My wife stuck her head in the room to listen for 45 seconds, frowned, muttered “Yankees!” and returned to the kitchen to finish supper.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Don’t ask me to be outraged by what’s going on in the WH. My outrage has been spent already several times over while watching co-workers, family, and neighbors dumped out of their jobs by Republican-led corporate capitalists—and often leveraging tax dollars to do it. If the end of the era is disquieting and uncomfortable, so be it. It’s time to stop calling materialism and consumerism good things, and to stop helping the ideological pseudo-religions controlling our country.


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