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Fast Walker 52

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Southern California
Home country: USA
Current location: Indiana
Member since: Thu May 14, 2015, 06:31 AM
Number of posts: 7,723

Journal Archives

Sobering: how the Trump presidency is succeeding


Basically it boils down to 3 things that they are doing, many that aren't high profile:

1) rolling back huge number of regulations and environmental protections

2) cutting down the size of the federal bureaucracy (deconstructing the administrative state)

3) they will like succeed in getting Gorsuch on, who will be there a long time and is very anti-regulatory and pro-business
Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Mon Mar 27, 2017, 03:06 PM (25 replies)

Frank Rich: No Sympathy for the Hillbilly


Long but makes good points...

This is a separate matter from the substantive question of whether the party is overdue in addressing the needs of the 21st-century middle class, or what remains of it. The answer to that is yes, as a matter of morality, policy, and politics. Americans below the top of the heap, with or without college degrees and regardless of race, have been ill served by the axis of Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, and the Davos-class donor base that during Bill Clinton’s presidency helped grease the skids for the 2008 economic collapse and allowed the culprits to escape from the wreckage unscathed during Barack Obama’s. That Hillary Clinton pocketed $21.6 million by speaking to banks and other corporate groups after leaving the State Department is just one hideous illustration of how the Democrats opened the door for Trump to posture as an anti-Establishment champion of “the forgotten men and women.” In the bargain, she gave unenthused Democrats a reason to turn to a third-party candidate or stay home.

But it’s one thing for the Democratic Party to drain its own swamp of special interests and another for it to waste time and energy chasing unreachable voters in the base of Trump’s electorate. For all her failings, Clinton received 3 million more votes than Trump and lost the Electoral College by the mere 77,744 votes that cost her the previously blue states of Michigan (which she lost by .2 of a percentage point), Wisconsin (.8 point), and Pennsylvania (.7 point). Of the 208 counties in America that voted for Obama twice and tipped to Trump in 2016, more than three-quarters were in states Clinton won anyway (some by a landslide, like New York) or states that have long been solidly red.

The centrist think tank Third Way is focusing on the Rust Belt in a $20 million campaign that its president, a former Clinton White House aide, says will address the question of how “you restore Democrats as a national party that can win everywhere.” Here is one answer that costs nothing: You can’t, and you don’t. The party is a wreck. Post-Obama-Clinton, its most admired national leaders (Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren) are of Social Security age. It rules no branch of federal government, holds only 16 governorships, and controls only 14 state legislatures. The Democrats must set priorities. In a presidential election, a revamped economic program and a new generation of un-Clinton leaders may well win back the genuine swing voters who voted for Trump, whether Democratic defectors in the Rust Belt or upscale suburbanites who just couldn’t abide Hillary. But that’s a small minority of Trump’s electorate. Otherwise, the Trump vote is overwhelmingly synonymous with the Republican Party as a whole.

That makes it all the more a fool’s errand for Democrats to fudge or abandon their own values to cater to the white-identity politics of the hard-core, often self-sabotaging Trump voters who helped drive the country into a ditch on Election Day. They will stick with him even though the numbers say that they will take a bigger financial hit than Clinton voters under the Republican health-care plan. As Trump himself has said, in a rare instance of accuracy, they won’t waver even if he stands in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoots somebody. While you can’t blame our new president for loving “the poorly educated” who gave him that blank check, the rest of us are entitled to abstain. If we are free to loathe Trump, we are free to loathe his most loyal voters, who have put the rest of us at risk.
Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Sun Mar 26, 2017, 08:07 AM (18 replies)

David Frum: Republican Waterloo


Seven years and three days ago, the House of Representatives grumblingly voted to approve the Senate’s version of the Affordable Care Act. Democrats in the House were displeased by many of the changes introduced by Senate Democrats. But in the interval after Senate passage, the Republicans had gained a 41st seat in the Senate. Any further tinkering with the law could trigger a Republican filibuster. Rather than lose the whole thing, the House swallowed hard and accepted a bill that liberals regarded as a giveaway to insurance companies and other interest groups. The finished law proceeded to President Obama for signature on March 23, 2010.

A few minutes after the House vote, I wrote a short blog post for the website I edited in those days. The site had been founded early in 2009 to argue for a more modern and more moderate form of Republicanism. The timing could not have been worse. At precisely the moment we were urging the GOP to march in one direction, the great mass of conservatives and Republicans had turned on the double in the other, toward an ever more wild and even paranoid extremism. Those were the days of Glenn Beck’s 5 o’clock Fox News conspiracy rants, of Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” of Orly Taitz and her fellow Birthers, of Tea Party rallies at which men openly brandished assault rifles.

The conservative establishment in Washington caught the same fever that then raged among conservatives across the country. At that time, I worked at the American Enterprise Institute, the most high-toned of Washington’s conservative think tanks. In later years, AEI would provide a home for the emerging “reform conservative” tendency. Its president, Arthur Brooks, would speak eloquently of the need for conservatives to show concern for the poor and the hard-pressed working class. But all that lay ahead in 2010. The mood then was that supporters and opponents of the Obama administration were engaged in a furious battle over whether the United States would remain a capitalist economy at all.

In that third week in March in 2010, America committed itself for the first time to the principle of universal (or near universal) health-care coverage. That principle has had seven years to work its way into American life and into the public sense of right and wrong. It’s not yet unanimously accepted. But it’s accepted by enough voters—and especially by enough Republican voters—to render impossible the seven-year Republican vision of removing that coverage from those who have gained it under the Affordable Care Act. Paul Ryan still upholds the right of Americans to “choose” to go uninsured if they cannot afford to pay the cost of their insurance on their own. His country no longer agrees.

Basically, Republicans got owned by the ACA, and Frum called it back in 2010, as the rest of the party went increasingly insane.
Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Sat Mar 25, 2017, 12:04 PM (10 replies)

Mulvaney: If Your State Doesn't Mandate Maternity Care, Change Your State

Source: Talking Points Memo

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, one of the top administration officials who had been working to pass the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, on Friday morning brushed off concerns about a new provision in the bill that repeals the Essential Health Benefits requirement.

That provision would repeal a requirement that insurers cover a list of 10 essential benefits, including maternity care. Asked about this on CBS' "This Morning," Mulvaney argued that states can still require that insurance companies cover the EHBs.

"If you live in a state that wants to mandate maternity coverage for everybody, including 60-year-old women, that’s fine," he said.

Co-host Alex Wagner asked Mulvaney about people who do not live in a state that requires maternity coverage.

"Then you can figure out a way to change the state that you live in," Mulvaney replied.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mulvaney-states-maternity-care

It's just evil.
Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Fri Mar 24, 2017, 10:02 AM (52 replies)

The latest health care cut Republicans are weighing, explained

Source: Vox

Politico’s Josh Dawsey and Jennifer Haberkorn report that the White House is in negotiations with the House Freedom Caucus about getting the caucus's hard-line conservative members to support the American Health Care Act, the Obamacare repeal package put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan and backed by President Trump.

Key to the deal, they report, are changes to the law that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s “essential health benefits,” a list of 10 categories of procedure that all insurance plans offered to individuals or small businesses must cover. The 10 are, in the words of Healthcare.gov:

Outpatient care without a hospital admission, known as ambulatory patient services
Emergency services
Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
Mental health and substance use disorder services, including counseling and psychotherapy
Prescription drugs
Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, which help people with injuries and disabilities to recover
Laboratory services
Preventive care, wellness services, and chronic disease management
Pediatric services, including oral and vision care for children

These provisions set a baseline, mandating that all offered plans meet a certain threshold. They can't skimp out and not cover big things like emergency room visits or pregnancy or mental health. Particularly for previously undercovered areas like mental health and addiction services, which plans didn't have to cover before the ACA, this provision was a huge deal.

Read more: http://www.vox.com/2017/3/22/15030214/essential-health-benefits-freedom-caucus-cbo-byrd-rule-reconciliation

these cuts are NUTS!!! I mean, WHY have insurance if they don't cover emergency services or hospitalization???
Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Thu Mar 23, 2017, 07:01 AM (7 replies)

While Gorusch was testifying, the Supreme Court unanimously said he was wrong

Source: Think Progress

About 40 minutes after Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch began his second day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, all eight of the justices he hopes to join said a major disability decision Gorsuch wrote in 2008 was wrong.

Both the Supreme Court’s decision and Gorsuch’s 2008 opinion involved the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires that public school systems which take certain federal funds provide a “free appropriate public education” to certain students with disabilities.

Applying this law to individual students, the Supreme Court acknowledged in its Wednesday opinion in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, is not an exact science. “A focus on the particular child is at the core of the IDEA,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the unanimous Supreme Court. “The instruction offered must be ‘specially designed’ to meet a child’s ‘unique needs’ through an ‘ndividualized education program.’”

But while this process can be difficult, it must provide meaningful educational benefits to disabled students — which brings us to Judge Gorsuch’s error in a 2008 opinion. In Thompson R2-J School District v. Luke P., a case brought by an autistic student whose parents sought reimbursement for tuition at a specialized school for children with autism, Gorsuch read IDEA extraordinarily narrowly.

Read more: https://thinkprogress.org/while-gorusch-was-testifying-the-supreme-court-unanimously-said-he-was-wrong-33b9ff7eca77#.cgzbsr1n9

Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Wed Mar 22, 2017, 10:54 AM (32 replies)

New Russian dirty trick on the DNC revealed, and recalling Seth Rich


“After my sister visited Paul Manafort's hometown as part of her investigation: attempted home break-in, her phone/comp. Hacked, car trashed 2x.”

You had to be at least a part-time detective on the Trump-Russia beat to get the clues. The name of the tweeter, Andrea Chalupa, rang a bell. I looked her up. The sister she referenced was Alexandra, an operative for the Democratic National Committee who in 2015 had begun digging into the affairs of Donald Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort. Since the bigtime D.C. lobbyist for developing world kleptocracies was close to pro-Russia elements in Ukraine, Chalupa began to suspect Moscow would have some sort of connection to the Trump campaign. She didn’t pay much attention at first, because Trump’s campaign was just a clown show. But then he got traction and she looked again. And then came the suspected Russian hacks of the DNC, including her own email account. Even stranger things began to happen, as her sister’s tweeted shorthand reminded everyone on Monday afternoon.

Yes, there had been an “attempted home break-in” last year, in her leafy, virtually crime-free neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C., as Politico’s Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern reported in January. Her iPhone was hacked, too, and a death-metal track popular in Russia appeared on her playlist. Her car was broken into and trashed twice, with nothing stolen. The second time, the burglar left a red, traditional Ukrainian blouse draped across the back seat. She reported the incidents to the D.C. police and FBI, which by then had opened a counterintelligence investigation into Russian subversion. No arrests have been made.

More strange things have happened since, to her and some of her friends, that she’s not ready to go public about. But she did say that, like virtually everyone else in official Washington, she was glued to the TV Monday for the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Moscow’s campaign to destroy Hillary Clinton, put Donald Trump in the White House and rattle Americans’ faith in their core institutions. Over five and a half hours, the star witness of the astonishing event, FBI Director James Comey, absolutely obliterated the credibility of the increasingly unhinged president of the United States.

So if they were willing to do this back then in 2015, you wonder what else they might have done?

Remember the strange death of Seth Rich?

Of course there was a dumb conspiracy theory that he was murdered by the Dems because he exposed Hillary stealing the primary.

But more recently there was a suggestion that the Russians may have gotten him.

I think that theory makes more sense now. A lot more sense.
Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Tue Mar 21, 2017, 12:25 PM (6 replies)

A Positive Review of the Bill Clinton Presidency


At this moment in early 2017, Bill and Hillary are taking a no doubt much-needed hiatus from the political limelight. But as the 2016 campaign showed, Bill Clinton’s legacy as president still shapes our politics. Along with Barack Obama’s presidency—which was, in domestic policy, essentially an extension of Clinton’s—it will be a reference point in the Democrats’ debates about how to regroup and go forward. Michael Tomasky’s Bill Clinton, the latest volume in the American Presidents Series of Times Books biographies, deserves to be widely read, for its insights about the recent past—and the near future.

Tomasky’s is the best short biography of the forty-second president we have. Clinton’s rich life and momentous presidency would seem to defy encapsulation in 150 pages—the typical length of books in this series—but with his economy of prose, Tomasky manages to hit most of the big moments and air most of the key debates. He moves chronologically through Clinton’s life (the pre-presidential years deftly shoehorned into one chapter, the 1992 campaign into another), covering foreign policy and domestic policy, scandal and pseudo scandal. He does so with a literary style that is fluid, engaging, judicious, often witty, sometimes barbed, and above all deeply informed.


In the end, Clinton did much more than survive. He made the Democratic Party viable again in presidential elections. He reoriented liberalism, retaining its core commitments to a mixed economy, a welfare state, civil rights, civil liberties, and an internationalist foreign policy—while also acknowledging where its past policies on welfare, crime, and other issues had lost the confidence of the American people. He recognized the coming of globalization and sought new policies to deal with its challenges. His programs contributed—how much, exactly, is impossible to say—to peace and shared prosperity, declines in violent crime and out-of-wedlock births, and a liberalizing national temper on culture war issues. Race relations improved steadily, according to both whites and blacks.

To achieve all this, Clinton had to make concessions to conservatives. Sometimes this meant shameful opportunism (calling for public school kids to wear uniforms) or dubious compromises (giving the GOP a capital gains tax cut) or the articulation of traditional moral positions that rankled liberals (support for the death penalty). Yet without these gestures, Clinton would never have gained support from Republicans in government. As important, he wouldn’t have gained the immense support from the people, including many conservatives, that he enjoyed.

The whole piece is worth a read. I do think Bill gets bashed more than he should around here and by a lot of Dems. I know I've complained about his policies too. But we have to put him in perspective.
Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Mon Mar 20, 2017, 01:18 PM (0 replies)

"I Investigated Fox News' Poverty Claims (On My Mom)"


A brilliant, hilarious but ultimately sad piece.

Last week, after Representative Jason Chaffetz got into hot water for saying that poor people need to choose health care instead of iPhones, Dan Hopper posted the following four screenshots on Twitter, saying, "Forget iPhones, this is the level of animosity Fox News has towards poor people":

That comes from a 2011 episode of The O'Reilly Factor, in which they start out making the point that the living conditions of the poor in the U.S. has gotten better in the last however many years ... But it quickly devolves into "Can you believe these fucking people? Calling themselves 'poor' like that, when they own these things?"

I was outraged. I couldn't believe that I lived in a country where the impoverished could shamelessly flaunt those luxuries right in my face while I heroically sacrificed my tax dollars to support their laziness. I had to see this for myself, so I got in my car and drove an hour to my mother's house to see if Fox News' claims were real.

That's my mom's house. You'll note right off the bat that it's way better than your house, because she can move that bad boy any damn place she pleases. If she sees a plot of beachside property she wants to live on, it's as good as done. All she has to do is hook it to a pickup truck and she's good to go. This is the ultimate privilege, and I have to admit that it made me want to slap her in her stupid, greedy, tax-dollar-stealing face.
Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Sun Mar 19, 2017, 10:07 AM (8 replies)

Trump's billionaire backer Mercer is racist and cray-cray


He's quite a bit like Trump, in fact.
Patterson also recalled Mercer arguing that, during the Gulf War, the U.S. should simply have taken Iraq’s oil, “since it was there.” Trump, too, has said that the U.S. should have “kept the oil.” Expropriating another country’s natural resources is a violation of international law. Another onetime senior employee at Renaissance recalls hearing Mercer downplay the dangers posed by nuclear war. Mercer, speaking of the atomic bombs that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, argued that, outside of the immediate blast zones, the radiation actually made Japanese citizens healthier. The National Academy of Sciences has found no evidence to support this notion. Nevertheless, according to the onetime employee, Mercer, who is a proponent of nuclear power, “was very excited about the idea, and felt that it meant nuclear accidents weren’t such a big deal.”

Mercer strongly supported the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Trump’s Attorney General. Many civil-rights groups opposed the nomination, pointing out that Sessions has in the past expressed racist views. Mercer, for his part, has argued that the Civil Rights Act, in 1964, was a major mistake. According to the onetime Renaissance employee, Mercer has asserted repeatedly that African-Americans were better off economically before the civil-rights movement. (Few scholars agree.) He has also said that the problem of racism in America is exaggerated. The source said that, not long ago, he heard Mercer proclaim that there are no white racists in America today, only black racists. (Mercer, meanwhile, has supported a super PAC, Black Americans for a Better Future, whose goal is to “get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party.”)
Posted by Fast Walker 52 | Sun Mar 19, 2017, 09:34 AM (15 replies)
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