Friday, November 11, 2016

Last Call For Losers, Losers and Losers

With Republicans now with unfettered control of most of America, President-elect Trump is wasting no time in letting everyone know that social programs, guarantees of health care, and reproductive rights are in for massive, generational-defining changes.

Tell the majorities of white women and white Millennials, both of whom who voted for Trump what they've won, Bob!

President-elect Donald Trump outlined some pieces of his health-care program, largely following ideas he laid out during his campaign, from a repeal of Obamacare, his predecessor’s signature health law, to language indicating opposition to abortion.

The brief, 310-word plan gives few details about how Trump will replace the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, except that it would include health savings accounts, and an ability for insurers to sell coverage across state lines.

The document, posted Thursday on the presidential transition website, is the first look at Trump’s plan since the election. It includes protecting “innocent human life from conception to natural death” and gives states a big role in regulating health insurance and in running their Medicaid health-insurance programs for the poor.

Bye, Obamacare.  Bye coverage of birth control under insurance.  Bye pre-existing condition protection.  Bye Medicare and Medicaid as we know it.

Bye, abortion.  And if you don't believe Trump, believe House Speaker Paul Ryan who will finally get 100% of his budget austerity plan.

During the campaign, coverage of the issues was blotted out by coverage of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Donald Trump’s broad suite of sociopathic tendencies. And of the issues that did receive any attention, a conspicuously missing one was Paul Ryan’s plan to push Medicare beneficiaries into private health insurance. Reporters just assumed that, since Trump never talked about it, it won’t happen. But Paul Ryan still wants it to happen. And in a Fox News interview with Bret Baier, Ryan said Medicare privatization is on.

“Your solution has always been to put things together, including entitlement reform,” asks Baier, using Republican code for privatizing Medicare. Ryan replies, “If you’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare, you have to address those issues as well. … Medicare has got some serious issues because of Obamacare. So those things are part of our plan to replace Obamacare.”

You'd better believe that Republicans are going to put block grants and massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid on the docket.  What Democrats can do to stop them is apparently to "hope Donald Trump isn't such a bad guy."

Let me know how that works out for you.

Pitmaster Trump's House Of BBQ

As David Roberts reminds us, limiting Earth to just two degrees of global average temperature gain was going to take a Herculean effort on the part of any administration that followed President Obama's.  Now that we know it will be a Trump administration, any hope of limiting catastrophic climate-based damage to merely "immorally awful"has gone up in smoke.

The truth is, hitting the 2-degree target (much less 1.5 degrees) was always a long shot. It would require all the world’s countries to effectively turn on a dime and send their emissions plunging at never-before-seen rates. 
It was implausible, but at least there was a story to tell. That story began with strong US leadership, which brought China to the table, which in turn cleared the way for Paris. The election of Hillary Clinton would have signaled to the world a determination to meet or exceed the targets the US promised in Paris, along with four years of efforts to create bilateral or multilateral partnerships that pushed progress faster. 
With steady leadership, the US and China would exceed their short-term goals. Other countries would have their willpower fortified and steadily ratchet up their commitments. All this coordinated action would result in a wave of clean energy innovation, which would push prices down lower, which would accelerate the transition. 
The promise of US leadership was never about tons of US emissions; they are only 15 percent of the world’s total. (Though, as Chris Mooney notes, pledged US reductions accounted for about 20 percent of total reductions pledged in Paris.) It was about the US acting as a catalyst that sparked a virtuous, self-reinforcing cycle of escalating ambition, eventually building up the momentum necessary for a chance at 2 degrees. 
That story is gone now. Dead. The US will not provide leadership — it will be an active, and very powerful, impediment. Under unified Republican leadership, progress on lowering emissions in the US will halt and reverse and US participation in international efforts to combat climate change will cease. (I will have more to say on the scope of the coming Republican policy disaster in another post.)

There is a small sliver of hope as far as fostering climate technology innovation: blue states.

Yes, there will still be plenty of action to cheer. California and other West Coast states will continue to move forward, as will New York and a few more. Cost reductions in clean energy will continue, though they will likely slow down. The broad, tidal forces pushing for decarbonization will continue. But speed is of the essence, and the best chance for speed is now gone. 
For all its troubles, the US is an indispensable leader of the free world. Its official posture is now going to be hostile to climate action
Under those circumstances, the story about the world unifying to take bold, dramatic action on climate change, beyond what was pledged in Paris, has gone from unlikely to utter fantasy. The best climate activists can hope for is that Trump loses in 2020 in a giant Democratic wave that involves redoubled commitment to climate action.

And that's looking like an even longer shot than limiting the carnage to just two degrees worth of damage.

It's Payback Time!

Understand that the regular order of business in the Trump administration is going to be revenge against slights both real and imagined, no matter how petty.  This is a man that has a long history of holding personal grudges and using the levers of power to satisfy those grudges, and now he's going to be President of the United States of America.

But first things first: the Orangenacht for the Never Trump movement.  He cannot wait to get out the long knives on that action and his team is letting everyone know that if you backed the wrong side, there's going to be a price.

Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich is being considered for Secretary of State or Health and Human Services secretary, Politico reports. And he wants to make it absolutely clear that a Trump administration will not be bowing to the forces of reason. 
On Fox News Wednesday, the former speaker of the House told Sean Hannity, “Their technique will be to say ‘Oh, be reasonable. Don’t push too hard. Don’t force the issue. Find a compromise with Democrats,” Gingrich said. “Maybe he shouldn’t name one of the justices who are conservative who’s on his list. Maybe he should find a nice moderate acceptable to the Democrats. Down that road is a disaster. And so we have to be aware that the danger is not that they’re going to actively fight. The danger is that they’re going to opt for honeyed words of subversion that undermines the entire movement to make America great again.” 

Perhaps Democrats are going to have a few problems working with a Trump administration, just saying.

Speaking of honeyed words, Gingrich also had a message for #NeverTrump Republicans who opposed the President-elect (and who, to be fair, have been pretty quiet post election). 
The little, whiny, sniveling negative cowards who were ‘Never Trumpers’ are beneath our paying attention to them. Let them drift off into the ashbin of history while we go ahead and work with Donald Trump and with the House and Senate Republicans to create a dramatically new future.”

Yep.  Democrats are definitely going to be punished.  Never doubt for a moment that the Trump administration will gleefully work to dismantle the civil rights era in every aspect.

But the Never Trump GOP is getting tossed in the trash first.  And the message is going to be pretty clear that Trump plans to assemble his Legion of Doom cabinet without interference from Republicans who suddenly might want to "keep him in check".

So if you're counting on Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, etc to move to block Trump, that's not going to happen.  They'll fold just like they have done in the past, and with Trump calling the shots, they'll fall in line in short order.


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