Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Last Call For Georgia On My Mind

Meanwhile, since Trump HHS Secretary Tom Price moved from the House to take over the task of letting several million people lose their health coverage and left his House seat behind, Democrat Jon Ossoff has been making his move to flip the seat in what could be merely the first major win in the 2018 midterm blue wave.

Democrat Jon Ossoff has raised more than $8.3 million for his campaign to represent suburban Atlanta in Congress, the most significant sign yet that the political newcomer has become a national symbol of the resistance to President Donald Trump.

Ossoff’s financial disclosure, to be released Thursday, shows he has $2.1 million on hand for the final stretch of the campaign. His contributions came from across the nation, including more than $1 million raised by the liberal advocacy site the Daily Kos. Sure to raise eyebrows in Georgia, however, is the campaign’s revelation that 95 percent of all of Ossoff’s donors are from out of state.

The fundraising haul is an astounding figure for a 30-year-old former congressional aide virtually unheard of in Georgia political circles before he jumped in the race to represent the state’s 6th District.

You read that right.  Ossoff has raised $8.3 million.  As a Democrat in Georgia.  For a House special election.  "Unheard of" doesn't begin to cover it.  This is the kind of race that maybe sees half a million combined.  And Republicans in the district are now so terrified they're in full panic mode and going for broke on vicious attack ads.

Just look at this new web ad from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC “focused exclusively on preserving and expanding a Republican Majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.” The ad attempts to tie 30-year-old Ossoff to Osama bin Laden — who was killed by President Obama’s administration in 2011 — and suggests that Ossoff is being funded by terrorists, by using ominous music, a photograph of bin Laden, and an old quote from American Journalism Review, an obscure online publication that shut down in 2015.

They've got nothing left at this point other than to call the Democrat a terrorist.    Ossoff is helped by the fact that the field is flooded by Republicans who never thought he had a chance and they're splitting the conservative vote.  If Ossoff can get to 50% +1 he wins outright, if not, the top two vote-getters advance to a June runoff.

But now Ossoff has the ammunition to battle back for this seat.

Hopefully it will the first of many newly blue seats.

Abandon Ship On A Bannon Ship

Looks like Trump regime Minister of White Supremacy Steve Bannon might be on the way out.

President Donald Trump reorganized his National Security Council on Wednesday, removing his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and downgrading the role of his Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, according to a person familiar with the decision and a regulatory filing. 
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was given responsibility for setting the agenda for meetings of the NSC or the Homeland Security Council, and was authorized to delegate that authority to Bossert, at his discretion, according to the filing. 
Under the move, the national intelligence director, Dan Coats, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, are again "regular attendees" of the NSC’s principals committee. 
Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, was elevated to the National Security Council’s principals committee at the beginning of Trump’s presidency. The move drew criticism from some members of Congress and Washington’s foreign policy establishment.

Imagine that.  Ol' Steve looks to be in more than a bit of trouble over the recent revelations involving NSC leaks, Devin Nunes, and former Trump staffers cooperating with the FBI.  Kicking Bannon out of the intelligence loop and restoring DNI Dan Coats to the position (shockingly Coats and the friggin Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Joe Dunford were not on Trump's National Security Council) may mean that Trump is serious about using military muscle on someone, likely North Korea or Syria.

The big winner in this shuffle is new National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.  If he's calling the shots and Bannon is out of the way, I'm betting these recent events overseas has enabled somebody to talk Trump into taking a much more belligerent tone, starting with turning the NSC towards a "war room" setting.  If McMaster, Dunford, and Coats are calling the shots now, things could get very serious, very quickly.

So we've gone from the NSC being Bannon's toy and front for laundering Russian propaganda and playing spy games to Bannon getting booted and the military now being in charge.  I'm not sure which will be worse in the long run for the world.

We're going to find out shortly, I'd imagine.

TrumpCare 2.0 Is Just As Dead

Hopes by the Trump regime to get to a point where Trumpcare legislation is cruel enough and kills enough poor Democratic voters to satisfy House GOP Freedom Caucus members are quickly turning to ashes as what constitutes the slightly less monstrous rump of House Republicans are fleeing in droves from the plan.

It's a bad sign for Republicans ahead of Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Capitol tonight. From a senior Republican source:
While we haven't picked up any votes yet, this concept is already showing signs of losing a ton of them.

The Freedom Caucus and conservative group perspective: The bill's text is changing for the worse, and it no longer looks like some of the Obamacare regulations will be waived. Conservatives are growing doubtful that the White House and House leadership are willing to get rid of Obamacare's ban on charging sick people higher premiums. Conservatives also want to know what leadership has to say about the "medical loss ratio," or the Obamacare regulation limiting how much of insurers' revenue can be profit.

They're also not happy about the accusation that getting rid of the Obamacare ban on charging higher premiums would nullify its protections for pre-existing conditions.

A Freedom Caucus source: "We've never ever wanted to go after pre-existing conditions. That's spin (well a lie) meant to undermine us. Pence said he supports our plan of reforming, and funding changes to high risk pools, specifically to deal with pre-existing conditions."

House leadership perspective: Where the plan is heading will potentially lose more votes than it picks up. The Freedom Caucus, they say, is moving the goal posts again and trying to shift blame.

And all indications are that the meeting with Mike Pence last night didn't help at all, more meetings will reportedly continue, but the odds of an actual vote ahead of Easter recess are approaching nil.  The basic issue persists: after seven years and the largest margin in the House since the New Deal, House Republicans still don't have the votes to pass their own health care legislation, and there's no reason to believe they ever will, mainly because their barely unrestrained glee at killing millions of people keeps getting in the way of their plans.

The Freedom Caucus wants to dump millions of people into "high-risk pools" which is to say that "They'd be able to afford their individual insurance plans if they weren't lazy poors" and "I'm glad they're not driving up insurance premiums for my constituents still on group employer plans" although technically, they will be.  But of course who's counting, poor people don't actually count.

Meanwhile the slightly less evil Republicans don't want any part of this plan because they know it's going to get them killed in 2018 elections.  People hate it.  Most importantly, Republican primary voters hate it because even they've figured out at least some of them will be losing their health insurance, meaning they can't pay for health care and will, you know, get sick and die.

The answer to the age-old question of "Republicans: evil or stupid?" is, as always, both.


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