Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) warned of the consequences of a ruling against Obamacare, insisting that Republicans must have a plan to deal with them. “Chemotherapy turned off for perhaps 12,000 people, dialysis going dark for 10,000. The horror stories will be real,” he recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal, calling for using the 1985 “COBRA” law to protect existing coverage.
Republican committee chairmen recognize this dilemma, too. They have been working to convey to the Court publicly that they’ll be ready with an Obamacare replacement plan when the decision (expected by the end of June) comes. A Washington Post op-ed published Sunday by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and John Barrasso (R-WY) sketches out a proposal to provide “financial assistance” for Americans to temporarily keep their coverage and give states “freedom and flexibility” to devise their own solutions.
There are no details, and there is no bill. There’s certainly no consensus in the Republican Party about what to do, and it’s doubtful there will be by the time of a ruling. If the Supreme Court finds that Obamacare subsidies are limited to state-run exchanges, Congress has just given it a glimpse of what to expect.
Read more: via Dysfunction In Congress Complicates GOP Lawsuit To Topple Obamacare.
Flattery of leaders might lead to recklessness, but flattery of the populace can breed complacency. The president’s job is not just to tell us how great and exceptional we are; it’s to motivate us to become even greater, even more exceptional, and to show us how to get there. If Obama has failed on these fronts, upping his suck-up quotient seems unlikely to help.
Indeed, the most disturbing aspect of Giuliani’s comments (and those of his sympathizers) is not the smears against Obama’s motivations; it’s his insinuations about the motivations of Americans more broadly. Is our City on a Hill really so fragile, so devoid of self-esteem, that we need constant, unblemished compliments — spangled with flag pins, whitewashed history books and other ready-made trappings of patriotism — in order to continue our pursuit of exceptionalism?
More via Obama doesn’t have to say he loves us – The Washington Post.
The ex-president’s brother thinks he shouldn’t have to address all the bloodshed his brother caused. Sorry, Jeb: That’s insane.
I wouldn’t want to talk about the past either, if I were John Ellis Bush. I trust you caught that little moment last Friday, when he said, in response to questions about his “major foreign policy speech” coming this Wednesday, that running for president is not about “re-litigating anything in the past.”
Right. As Daniel Larison pointed out, no one running for president should be allowed to get anywhere near the Oval Office without giving voters a very full understanding of their assessment of American foreign policy in these last tumultuous and sanguinary 15 years. But for someone named Bush, that goes triple. It would be like Bernie Madoff’s brother trying to get a seat on the stock exchange while insisting that the past was irrelevant.
All right, Madoff is a bit of a stretch, I guess. But only a bit. We—the United States of America, under George W. Bush and his lieutenants—unleashed oceans of mayhem on the world, leading to many tens of thousands of deaths; leading to the rise of ISIS, which grew directly out of the failure of our favored government in Baghdad to deal reasonably with the Sunni population; and leading, finally, to some of the most shameful moments in modern American history (torture, black sites, and the rest). Gee, now that I put it that way, I think I actually insulted Madoff, who only stole money. The George W. Bush government did that too, in essence, with its $2 trillion, off-the-books war, on a scale Madoff could never have dreamed.
More via W’s Wars: Is Jeb His Brother’s Keeper? – The Daily Beast.
This, for me, brings into clear focus the patent harm caused by Citizens United: The ability of money to highjack [sic] American political processes is a dangerous thing. And the, shall I say, chutzpah of Israel, a foreign power, to inject itself (with disrespectful swagger) into the heart of the American political process should be seen as a real harbinger of those dangers. How much of the dark money being invested into 501(c)(4)’s has its origins in foreign treasuries? Israel is a potent example of how a savvy foreign power can, with careful political management and financial investment, hijack American politics. The analogy to a virus or a cancer springs to mind. And the vector is money. And its ability to neutralize our own self-protective evaluative and deliberative mechanisms very directly resembles an auto-immune disorder …
More via The Case for Democrats Skipping the Netanyahu Speech – The Atlantic.
After General Eric Shinseki stepped down as VA Secretary, President Obama nominated former Proctor and Gamble CEO Bob McDonald to replace him and turn things around at the VA. McDonald is a Republican. And from the looks of things he doesn’t really care who does or does not like him in Washington.
Today McDonald was testifying before a House Committee when a yahoo Representive from Colorado, Mike Coffman launched into him about mismanagement, cost overruns and a bunch of other stuff at the VA. Most often when administration officials – of either party – are testifying on Capitol they take a generally deferential tone, even in the face of grandstanding and grilling.
That doesn’t seem to be McDonald’s approach.
In the face of Coffman’s harangue, McDonald began by telling Coffman he was “highly offended by your comments, Mr Coffman.”
When Coffman went off again about all the things McDonald hadn’t fixed, McDonald responded: “I’ve been here six months. You’ve been here longer than I have. If there’s a problem in Denver, I think you own it more than I do.”
And then finally, when Coffman lambasted McDonald’s failures as a manager, McDonald told the congressman: “I’ve run a large company sir, what have you done?”
According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, prior to coming to Congress, Coffman ran a property management firm with just over 20 employees. Proctor and Gamble has 118,000 employees.
TPM VA Chief Gives Congressman Short Lesson in STFU.