Trumpcare, true crime, and my complete inability to focus

I want desperately to pick up where we left off last week in our discussion about the Trumpcare bill being drafted in secret by Senate Republicans, and how it looks as though the Democrats have decided to fight back with every tool they’ve got at their disposal in hopes of delaying the vote, but I went and got hooked on the Netflix documentary series The Keepers last night, and I just can’t seem to break free of it. So I guess you’ll have to go somewhere else for your political insight tonight, as Senators Harris, Merkey, Shumer, Sanders, Warren and company set out to stop the bill from being pushed through without a single public debate on its contents, or conversation about the millions of Americans who will left without health care as a result… I know I should be watching our Senate Democrats filibuster through the night in hopes that the American people might take notice and start calling their Senators, but apparently there’s something about the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik that’s got a hold over me. Rest assured, though, I’ll be calling the offices of my senators tomorrow. [Find the phone numbers for your senators here.]

The American people, I hope you’d agree, regardless of the party you vote for, deserve to know what’s in Trumpcare. Not only are lives at stake, but the health care industry represents one-sixth of our entire economy, and it’s absolutely imperative that the ramifications be discussed… I get that Republicans in Congress want to fund massive tax breaks for the wealthy, but this is absolute madness. One doesn’t just pass legislation effecting nearly 20% of the economy without so much as a debate. In the case of Obamacare, as you’ll recall, there were 100 hearings in the Senate alone.

I know it’ll get messy, but if you want to discuss either health policy or the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, please leave a comment… And here’s a short video about The Keepers, for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about.

Oh, it’s also worth noting that a bipartisan group of governors has come forward to ask Senate Republicans not proceed in this manner. The following clip is from the Washington Post.

…“While we certainly agree that reforms need to be made to our nation’s health care system, as Governors from both sides of the political aisle, we feel that true and lasting reforms are best approached by finding common ground in a bipartisan fashion,” the governors wrote in a letter to Senate leaders of both parties.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the letter.

Kasich and Sandoval are particularly notable for their warning against the current Senate GOP approach, given that senators from their states, Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), are key votes on the bill…

So, if you happen to be reading this in either Ohio or Nevada, please consider picking up the phone and calling Portman or Heller, and asking whether or not they intend to do as their governors ask and bring this bill out of the back room, and into the light of day.

Oh, and, here, from the New Republic, is one more thing to consider. Not only are 13 men drafting this legislation is secrecy, but the men writing the legislation represent our least populated, reddest states. So, not only is this being written by older white men, but it’s being written by older white men from rural America… What could possibly go wrong, right?

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  1. Christopher Hayes
    Posted June 19, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Christopher Hayes of The Nation:

    “We try every single day to get Senate Republicans to simply come on and explain the bill and defend it. Zero takers. Every day.”

  2. Joe M.
    Posted June 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I keep hearing The Keepers is great. I need to start it when I can watch a few because I know I won’t want to stop.

    Re: healthcare – I love how the Republicans say they whisper little nuggets of the bill to the CBO to try and get an idea of the consequences behind their bill and say that they’ll have a “CBO score” so they can vote on the bill before the real CBO score on the bill’s entirety comes out.

  3. M
    Posted June 19, 2017 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t think it was legal for the Senate to vote on a bill without a CBO score. My understanding was that, because of that, the Republican plan was to jam it though a few hours after the score was announced.

  4. Iron Lung Larson
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    I blame all of you.

  5. Meta
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    From Vox:

    It’s worth asking why Republicans are lying about this, why they can’t give a clear explanation as to what their bill does, why they’re jamming the legislation through a secretive, rushed process that even their own members are criticizing. Because there is a reason. And it is damning.

    In 2009, Democrats had an easy answer to what the Affordable Care Act was meant to do: They wanted to cover more people and cut costs. They could give that answer because it was a basically popular position, and because it’s what their bill actually did, or at least tried to do.

    In 2017, Republicans have a similarly easy answer for their bill: They want to cover fewer people and use the savings to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. That is what their legislation does. But they can’t give that answer because it’s a horribly unpopular position.

    That is why they are trying to write a bill in secret and pass it before the public has a chance to mobilize against it. That’s why, when asked to describe the bill’s provisions, Republicans offer baldfaced lies or word salad.

    Read more:

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    S-Town podcast is a good diversion that in no way encourages the listener to believe that humans are decent or that answers are easy.

    I have grown weary of all narratives with cleanly good/bad characters or tidy endings.

  7. Demetrius
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    “It’s simply wrong for legislation that’ll affect 100% of the American people to be negotiated behind closed doors.”

    – (then future) Vice President Mike Pence, January 13, 2010

  8. Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    I loved S Town. I also loved Crimetown. Both are truly incredible.

  9. Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    And, as you know, Demetrius, the Obamacare wasn’t negotiated behind closed doors. In spite of Republican obstruction, they debated it for the better part of a year, with 100 hearings in the Senate, etc. While it’s true that the Democrats voted as a block, passing it though the Senate, the contents of the bill were well known and discussed, and the Republicans had opportunities to propose amendments. What’s happening now is completely different.

  10. Demetrius
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    @ Mark

    Yes, of course. Pence’s 2010 comment was a complete lie. I was just pointing out the hypocrisy of Republicans drumming up false outrage about something happening in “secret” … and then turning around and doing exactly that.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Both parties deride what their opposition does when in power and then turn around and do the same thing when they are in power. At this point, outside of critical elections, I’m doing all my political work with non-partisan efforts– like redistricting reform, adequate affordable housing, mental health and drug treatment support, and some climate action initiatives. That seems to be the only way to be effective anymore. The danger in all these initiatives is that they become too closely associated with one party and so half the citizenry will reject reactively and not come to understand the issue.

    I will say that the left when it held the mantle of climate change did not do shit to really get anything done but talk and plan but not implement– including this county. On the other hand, those neo-liberal (aka not governmental) capital venture projects have moved the ball so far forward it will be impossible for Trump to pull things all the way back to the carbon age.

  12. Lisa Bashert
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    This series was so deeply disquieting for me. I was just the same age as the girls and my high school was virtually identical to Keough (there musta been some kind of blueprint for Catholic high schools). Plus the habits of those sisters were indistinguishable from my grammar school nuns — and they were moving into modified habits when I was is Freshman-Sophomore year…

  13. kjc
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    yesterday’s most fun read.

    “The ordinary understanding of managerial liberalism — that it is a normal political faction of the capitalist center-left — leads inevitably to a number of difficult-to-answer questions. Why, for example, do liberals who routinely insist they support more ambitious progressive programs in their hearts, only rejecting them for now on pragmatic grounds, nonetheless oppose any such leftward movement when it becomes a realistic possibility? Why do they take up that opposition with a special enthusiasm, one that often feels more aggressive and personal than their rejection of their official rivals on the right? The reaction of American liberals to even the moderate-left candidacy of Bernie Sanders reached its apex not in any argument about policy but in Hillary Clinton declaring that single-payer health care was “never, ever” going to happen. The present campaign within the British Labour Party to sabotage Jeremy Corbyn moves along similar lines: the problem is that Corbyn is irresponsible and can’t possibly win, a position that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The left now reacts to its notional allies with the cluck-cluck chiding ordinarily directed toward disobedient kids. I do not expect this will be much abated by Corbyn’s extraordinary success in an actual election.

    … The language of irresponsibility and childishness is not just a messaging contrivance but an explicit statement of core values: the trouble with all of these radical politics is that they want to pull society up by the root — and the root, as any adult knows, must be kept firmly in place. The fact that the right receives a larger share of liberalism’s disdain is not a reflection of a larger distaste but simply of the fact that the right happens to be winning. That it might be winning because managerial liberalism has hamstrung progressive impulses is an unthinkable idea, dutifully suppressed.”

  14. LUMOS
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    My dossier in you is getting longer, Mr. Maynard.

    78- Never struck as a child by an individual with a man bun

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    kjc– the idea that the radical left has all the right answers or is even truly progressive is highly questionable. (see A2’s housing crisis and all the ‘anti-capitalist’ Berners who hate ‘greedy developers’ and resist growth thinking a limit on housing supply will magically reduce housing costs) I’m happy to live in a democracy, so eventually bullshit ideological narratives on all sides get disrupted. (no yoga shops and juice bars and fried chicken joints are not the problem. It all starts with housing and jobs) I support single payer but think the Dems need to talk about job creation not yoga shops or govt programs (even when to govt programs create the jobs) because ppl on the right fear the State and like business– and that needs to be understood, and no, Bernie didn’t get it. And no he would not have won either. The Dems are in fine shape going forward. It will take time but if we can pass redistricting reform for races after 2020 and meanwhile figure out how to get out the vote (and not just the radical left or wwc vote) and manage to maintain our ever infighting coalition, we can win easily. Reports of the Dem parties death are exaggerated. We are a party of wound lickers and ideologues though, so this navel gazing and failure to listen outside the box will go on…

    Thanks goodness there are other voices to mediate and cut through the nonsense. the Dems do need to re-craft their vision, but not into the hinterlands of left ideological field. The GOP let the far right wing (paranoid, angry, disruptive, pulling up the roots) ideologues take over. Not working out so well for them. Or do you consider Trump their victory?

  16. EOS
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    If you like The Keepers then you’ll probably like Spotlight as well. Certainly not lighthearted entertainment.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Spotlight was very good. I’m pleasantly surprised you liked it, EOS.

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