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  • June 20, 2017
    Commander in Chief Trump Goes AWOL

    "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." With that phrase, Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States ensures civilian control over--and accountability for--the American military. While the power to declare war rests with Congress, responsibility for America's global vision, its foreign policy and national security objectives, the military strategies to achieve them, the operational plans they entail and, most solemn of all, putting the lives of servicemen and women in harm's way, rest with the president alone.

    But what if the occupant of the White House fails to fulfill his constitutionally-mandated role as commander in chief? How would U.S. allies and enemies alike react to the strategic confusion and policy-making void left by the president's abdication of his or her most important job? What should the American people believe--what should their 1.5 million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines do--when the Pentagon's mission is a mystery?

    Sadly, these questions are not hypothetical. As his decision this week to delegate Afghanistan strategy and force levels to the secretary of defense once again showed, commander in chief Donald Trump is absent without leave.

    As the New York Times and the Washington Post reported this week, President Trump announced this week that when it comes to America's 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, the buck stops at the Pentagon.

    President Trump's decision to delegate authority to the Pentagon to set troop levels in Afghanistan has raised concerns that a few thousand additional troops expected to deploy soon could be just the beginning of a new surge in the country after 15 years of war.

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis assured lawmakers Wednesday that a large increase in deployed forced will not happen, but some experts and former battlefield commanders warned the White House and Congress should be careful not to give the Pentagon a blank check.

    Those experts are right to be worried.

    Continue reading at Daily Kos.

    Perrspective 9:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | Share

    June 19, 2017
    Ask Your Senator if Trumpcara™ is Right for You

    Are you ashamed to be seen with your health care bill? Do you fear facing your own constituents? Are you plagued by feelings of dread and mild nausea at the thought of disappointing your seething supporters, angry activists and demanding donors?

    If you answered "yes" to all these questions, you might be a Republican member of Congress suffering from moderate to severe Irritable Base Syndrome (IBS).

    That's where Trumpcara comes in. Brought to you by the good people of GOPLabs®, Trumpcara keeps your IBS at bay. With one simple vote, you calm the outbreak of red rage and make your pain and discomfort--and insurance for 23 million Americans--disappear!

    As for everyone else, ask your Senator if Trumpcara is right for you. Trumpcara (appallinghealthcareinamerica) legislation isn't recommended for anyone under the age of 65. Trumpcara can cause serious side effects, including:

    • The loss of coverage for three million children under the age of 18, 6.4 million young adults ages 18 to 29, 8.2 million people ages 30 to 49 and 5.1 million older Americans in the reliably Republican 50 to 64-year-old age range.
    • Between 21,000 and 50,000 needless deaths due to uninsurance very year.
    • Mild to severe cashectomies and even financial ruin, as insufficient, age-based tax credits that grow too slowly make insurance premiums unaffordable for older, sicker and less affluent Americans.
    • Conditions like "empty pocket disorder" and deductitis, as the end of the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reductions and essential health benefits along with new surcharges or disqualification to do preexisting conditions saddle families with massive new expenses.
    • "Collateral closures" of rural hospitals and clinics as the gutting of Medicaid puts the onus for covering 51 million uninsured on cash-strapped states.
    • Degenerative employer-provided insurance, as terminated Obamacare health care benefits bring back the worst excesses of the insurance industry including annual and lifetime caps on benefits.
    • "Red state blowback," a tragically ironic affliction of voters in states carried by Donald Trump, states with higher percentages of people of preexisting conditions and fewer choices of insurers.
    • Upward income redistribution caused by an $800 billion transfusion administered by the U.S. Treasury to the wealthiest people in America, a process doctors call "enrichening."

    Women should not handle copies of the legislative text. Nine out of 10 women who read the bill suffered from the immediate onset of severe depression due to the likely loss of coverage for contraception and maternity care. Women who are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant shouldn't take Trumpcara. In fact, in many states they won't be able to, as waivers from required "essential health benefits" will allow insurers to drop coverage for maternity care.

    So, if you're a GOP incumbent and want to make it to November 2018 without being primaried, take Trumpcara. It's not health care. And in the Senate, it's not even a bill.

    Trumpcara is trademark and GOPLabs is a registered trademarked of GOPLabs, Inc.

    Perrspective 6:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | Share

    June 15, 2017
    Republicans Betray Their Gray-Haired Base with Trumpcare

    Ever since Donald Trump's shocking victory on Election Day, press, pundits, and pollsters have engaged in a furious debate about which voters propelled him to the White House. Was Trump's win the revenge of the "guns and bitter crowd" in the Rust Belt, the white working-class voters whose racism, xenophobia and/or "economic anxiety" led them to pull the lever in 2016 for the reality TV star? Or was the Republican's core support throughout the primaries and the general election made up of more affluent and suburban backers? And as Trump's approval ratings continue to spiral downward to levels not seen since George W. Bush ambled out of the Oval Office, can he continue to count on an unshakeable "floor" of 35 to 40 percent support?

    While these are all interesting questions, one thing is certain. Donald Trump, like Republicans nationwide over the past decade, has enjoyed the steadfast support of older voters. Since 2008, Americans (especially white Americans) over the age of 50 have reliably rallied behind GOP candidates. But under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now trying to sneak through the Senate, it will be the gray and the graying who suffer the most.

    To fully measure the magnitude of the coming Republican betrayal of older voters with the AHCA (a.k.a. Trumpcare), it helps to first appreciate their recent loyalty to the GOP. As the charts of exit poll data since 2008 above show, Americans over age 50 show up to vote and vote for Republicans. During presidential election years, voters ages 50 to 64 and over 64 combined have represented between 42 and 46 percent of the electorate. But in the 2010 and 2014 midterm balloting, their share reached a staggering 53 and 55 percent. While John McCain narrowly lost 50- to 64-year-olds by one point in 2008, Mitt Romney and Donald Trump had no difficulty winning voters over age 50 in 2012 and 2016.

    The American Health Care Act is their reward for their loyalty. It's a loyalty expected by the GOP and (as we've learned) demanded by Donald Trump.

    Continue reading at Daily Kos.

    Perrspective 12:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | Share

    June 4, 2017
    CBO: Conservative Bulls**t Obliterator

    This past two weeks have been big ones for some very big promises from Republicans in Washington. It didn't go well for them.

    Three weeks after House Republicans voted to pass a new version of their "American Health Care Act," the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) weighed in on high-profile pledges from President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. While Trump guaranteed "insurance for everybody" that is "much less expensive and much better," Ryan insisted the revised AHCA "protects people with pre-existing conditions." Not content to rest there, HHS Secretary Tom Price boasted that Trumpcare's $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid will "absolutely not" result in millions losing coverage.

    Meanwhile, the Trump administration also unveiled its fiscal year 2018 budget proposal. With its draconian spending cuts to the social safety net programs, the White House blueprint was proclaimed "dead on arrival" even by some Republicans. But more embarrassing to Donald Trump was its double-counting of $2 trillion in revenue for Uncle Sam magically generated by "sustained, 3 percent economic growth." As Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared a month ago, "the plan will pay for itself with growth."

    Unfortunately for the White House and GOP leaders on Capitol Hill, the CBO demolished all of those Republican myths. Again. That's because whether the issue is health care, taxes, job numbers, or the impact of the President Obama's 2009 economic stimulus, the acronym "CBO" doesn't just stand for "Congressional Budget Office." It's also shorthand for "Conservative Bulls**t Obliterator."

    As it turns out, in recent years that's been true even when Republicans have their hand-picked choice running the agency.

    Continue reading at Daily Kos,

    Perrspective 8:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | Share

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    Commander in Chief Trump Goes AWOL
    June 20, 2017
    Comments (0)

    Ask Your Senator if Trumpcara™ is Right for You
    June 19, 2017
    Comments (0)

    Republicans Betray Their Gray-Haired Base with Trumpcare
    June 15, 2017
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    CBO: Conservative Bulls**t Obliterator
    June 4, 2017
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    In Praise of Donald Trump
    May 22, 2017
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    How Trumpcare Ends Health Insurance As We Know It
    May 9, 2017
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    Republicans Chanted Goodbye After Democrats' 1993 Vote for Clinton Tax Increase
    May 7, 2017
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    Trump's Tax Plan is a Laffer
    May 2, 2017
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    Only Trump Can Save ISIS Now
    April 27, 2017
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    Eight Years After Bogus Tea Party Rallies, Tax Marches Target Trump Returns
    April 15, 2017
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