Sunday, June 25, 2017

Signed And Delivered

Dear media: While you were obsessed with Russia, President Trump was getting stuff done:
The bills include an act to improve weather forecasting, a long-term vision for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and reforms for the Department of Veteran Affairs.

The three pieces of legislation all had bipartisan support.
....

The other bills, while not as consequential, still involve Trump carrying out his agenda. The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act prioritizes giving federal grants to law enforcement agencies that hire veterans. The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act works to reduce the time families of fallen officers have to wait to receive survivor benefits.

Fifteen of the 40 signed bills repeal Obama-era regulations. Examples of these regulations include a rule that made it tougher for states to drug test welfare recipients and a regulation that imposed permitting requirements on mining sites. These bills signed by President Trump utilized the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to nullify any rule or regulation created in the previous administration’s final six months.
Things happen when you aren't paying attention...

Common Core Is Hard

It's the new math:
“It’s a tough test—but not so tough to pass,” the Post reported. “New York high-schoolers who took the Regents Common Core Algebra I exam this month had to earn just 27 of 86 points, or 31.4 percent, to pass.”

“On the Regents grading scale, that gives them a minimum passing score of 65,” the Post reported. “The required number of right answers remains at its lowest level since the exam—which kids must pass to graduate—was introduced three years ago, records show.”

This manipulation of passing grades is “aimed at raising the overall pass rate,” according to the Post.

In August 2014, 31 points, or 36 percent was a passing mark, with last year’s cutoff at 30 points, or 34.9 percent.

“As a result, 72 percent of students statewide passed the exam last year, back to the pre-Common Core level in the 2013-2014 school year,” the Post reported. “The pass rate had plunged to 63 percent in 2014-2015, when the harder exam was launched.”
If you want your failure, you can keep your failure...

Stamped Out

Georgia discovers that work works:
Last month, 7,251 of the estimated 11,779 people receiving food stamps in 21 Georgia counties dropped out of the program—a drop of 62 percent, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The steady decline comes as the state continues to expand its work requirements for food stamps recipients.

The work requirement is active in 24 counties currently, with 60 more counties being added next year. The state’s goal is to include all 159 counties by 2019.

Georgia’s unemployment rate has bounced back to pre-recession levels; however, the decline in the state’s food stamp program has not dropped at the same rate.
Give it time...

The Trump Papers

Pay no attention to the firm behind the files:
Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” But congressional sources says it’s actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda.

“These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”

Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And in 2015, Democrat ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group.

More, federal records show a key co-founder and partner in the firm was a Hillary Clinton donor and supporter of her presidential campaign.
Shady is as shady does...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Russia Fatigue

People are tired of it:
The poll, conducted by Harvard-Harris, found that 64% of voters view such investigations as dragging down the country; 56% think that there are more important matters to be focused on, and another 73% fear that the Trump-Russia investigations are distracting Congress from issues that are actually relevant to the American people.

In fact, 62% felt that there wasn't enough evidence to substantiate claims of collusion.

Additionally, 58% of voters don't think Trump committed obstruction of justice for requesting that fired FBI director James Comey go easy on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, although 37% of those voters did feel that Trump's request was "inappropriate." Another 60% felt that Comey should have publicly stated that Trump is not being investigated.
Russian overload can cause apathy...

Big Men Fighting

It's Tom Brady sumo wrestling:

Twilight Of The Guitar Gods

Who killed the electric guitar?
According to the Post, electric guitar sales are down by 500,000 units in the last decade, and the two biggest manufacturers—Fender and Gibson—are both in debt. Back in April, Moody’s downgraded Guitar Center, which is facing $1.6 billion in debt.

One prominent guitar store owner, George Gruhn, who’s sold guitars to Eric Clapton, Neil Young, and Paul McCartney, thinks it has to do with the death of the “guitar hero.”

Of course, there is no dearth of legacy heroes like Clapton, Young, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and B.B. King. But young guitarists who are learning the instrument for the first time don’t have contemporaries to look up to. As Gruhn notes, young guitar players aren’t trying to emulate pop star-guitarists like John Mayer.

It’s also about how the younger generation of musicians is making music—as the impact of all the digital shortcuts and more electronically minded music that kids are streaming or listening to on their mobile devices.
Rock on, if you still can...

Government Property Values

When is a man's home not his castle?
Writing for a 5-3 court, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained that state and local officials can combine separate parcels of land in assessing whether local government has effectively seized private property through regulation, requiring compensation. Kennedy’s opinion was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts filed a fiery dissent, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

The case concerned a Wisconsin family called the Murrs, who argued that the government has unconstitutionally taken their land by refusing to allow them to sell it.

“This is an unfortunate decision for the Murrs, and all property owners,” said John Groen, general counsel and vice president of the Pacific Legal Foundation, a public interest group that represented the family. “We are disappointed that the Court did not recognize the fundamental unfairness to the Murrs of having their separate properties combined, simply to avoid the protection of the takings clause.”
What's yours is somebody else's?

Land Of Junk

Illinois goes to the financial scrap yard:
Ratings agencies have been downgrading Illinois' credit rating for years, though they've accelerated the process as the stalemate has dragged on between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who control the General Assembly.
The agencies are concerned about Illinois' massive pension debt, as well as a $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills and the drop in revenue that occurred when lawmakers in 2015 allowed a temporary income tax increase to expire.
"In our view, the unrelenting political brinkmanship now poses a threat to the timely payment of the state's core priority payments," S&P stated when it dropped Illinois' rating to one level above junk, which was just after lawmakers adjourned their regular session on May 31 without a deal.
Moody's did the same, stating: "As the regular legislative session elapsed, political barriers to progress appeared to harden, indicating both the severity of the state's challenges and the political difficulty of advocating their solutions."
Nobody wants to pay for their state's mistakes...

Fake News Falls Flat

Fake news is forced to apologize:
Frank, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012 while at USA Today, had reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating a “$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team four days before Trump’s inauguration.”

In addition to retracting its story, CNN also apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, an adviser to Trump during the presidential campaign and a member of his transition team’s executive committee, who was mentioned in the story as having met Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that the network said is overseen by Vnesheconombank, a state-run bank that is currently under U.S. sanctions.

According to the report, the meeting between Scarmucci and Dmitriev could have included the issue of sanctions being lifted, but a spokesperson for the RDIF told Sputnik News, a state-run Russian news channel, that the fund is not a part of Vnesheconombank.
Facts matter! Even with fake news...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mail Call

The real scandal begins:
The letters, dated Thursday and signed by the committee’s bipartisan leadership, demand answers and documents related to the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, especially reports that Clinton campaign operatives expressed confidence Lynch would keep that investigation from “going too far.”

The demand comes as the Judiciary Committee investigates the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of ex-FBI Director James Comey, in which the material may take on a new significance.
....

According to a press release from Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the investigatory letters come “as the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director.” Lynch, Renteria, Bernardo, and Open Society Foundations General Counsel Gail Scovell all were sent letters. By July 6, the Judiciary Committee requests copies of the documents and emails in question, and well as answers as to whether they existed in the first place and if the FBI had previously tried to obtain them for the recipients.

The Washington Post claimed that by August of 2016, the FBI was confident the Russian report was a forgery. Wasserman Schultz and Bernardo have denied sending any emails to or even knowing each other. Renteria has similar denials about knowing Attorney General Lynch.

Whatever the doubts about it’s authenticity, however, the document is widely claimed to have played into Comey’s decision to make his public pronouncements about the Clinton email investigation, the putative reason for his firing by President Donald Trump this May. Comey’s concern that the document might be leaked supposedly went far in convincing him he needed to get out of ahead of it and accurately characterize the investigation.
They'd like to hear from all of you...

His Other Half

Bernie Sanders' wife has some problems:
Jane Sanders served as president of Burlington College from 2004 until 2011 and is blamed for leading the school into bankruptcy by falsifying a loan application. Rich Cassidy, a lawyer based in Burlington, Vt., and Larry Robbins, an attorney from Washington, D.C. who previously defended politicians on both sides of the aisle, are representing Jane Sanders against the allegations, a representative for Sen. Sanders confirmed to Politico.

The Daily Caller News Foundation first broke the news of the allegations against Jane Sanders in March 2015. The Department of Justice and the FBI will not confirm the existence of an investigation, but recent interviews conducted by officials from the FBI and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), independently confirmed to TheDCNF, suggest an investigation is ongoing.

The federal probe is allegedly weighing on Sen. Sanders’ decision whether or not to run for president in 2020.
He could at least say "I'm not my wife..."

As The Worms Turn

Loretta Lynch will take the stand:
In a letter to Ms. Lynch, the committee asks her to detail the depths of her involvement in the FBI’s investigation, including whether she ever assured Clinton confidantes that the probe wouldn’t “push too deeply into the matter.”
Fired FBI Director James B. Comey has said publicly that Ms. Lynch tried to shape the way he talked about the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and he also hinted at other behavior “which I cannot talk about yet” that made him worried about Ms. Lynch’s ability to make impartial decisions.
Mr. Comey said that was one reason why he took it upon himself to buck Justice Department tradition and reveal his findings about Mrs. Clinton last year.
The probe into Ms. Lynch comes as the Judiciary Committee is already looking at President Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey.
One investigation deserves another...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Master Of Disaster

Because she's got mad political skills, or something:
“History is on our side,” she said, noting that presidents almost always lose House seats in their first midterm election.

“You want me to sing my praises?” she asked defiantly. "Well, I'm a master legislator. I am a strategic, politically astute leader. My leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I'm able to attract the support that I do."

Pelosi added that Republican opponents will always go after the other party’s leaders — “and usually they go after the most effective leader.”
Nancy's the best. She says so!

Obamacare Staggers On

Somehow, it's still alive:
Johnson told NBC News that he “would not call this Obamacare repeal,” adding that “it’s definitely not repealing Obamacare.”

“I’m just saying, I think I have a difficult time thinking, again, I’m an accountant, I’m a business guy, I know it takes time to develop this information in such a complex system, I have a hard time believing I’ll have the information prior to when leadership may want to vote on it,” Johnson reportedly said. “I would certainly say it’s trying to address and fix some of the mess, just some of the mess, created by Obamacare. But that’s my concern, I’m not sure it’s fixing enough.”

Paul, who has criticized the House’s bill, told MSNBC that “it looks like we’re keeping Obamacare” and “not repealing it.” He said he and other Senators would be releasing a more detailed statement on the matter later in afternoon.

President Donald Trump said that “a little negotiation” would be needed but the end product would “be very good.”

“Obamacare is dead and we’re putting a plan out today that is going to be negotiated,” Trump reportedly said.
But why would you negotiate over a dead body?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hacked By Their Own Design

You can't help people who want to be hacked:
In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, Johnson also said that the DNC, much to his “disappointment,” did not cooperate in any way with DHS to respond to the hacks.

Johnson said that he first became aware of intrusions into DNC systems sometime last year, several months after the FBI had learned of the breach.

He testified that hacks in 2015 on the Office of Personnel Management spurred him to press his staff “to know whether DHS was sufficiently proactive, and on the scene helping the DNC identify the intruders and patch vulnerabilities,” according to prepared remarks he submitted to the committee.

“I was anxious to know whether our folks were in there. The response I got was FBI had spoken to them, they don’t want our help, they have CrowdStrike,” Johnson testified, referring to the cybersecurity firm that investigated the Russian hacks on behalf of the DNC.

“And that was the answer I got after I asked the question a number of times over the progression of time.”
The fault, dear Democrats, lies not in the hackers, but yourselves...

A Fool And Their Money

Now he tells us:
In an interview Tuesday, NPR’s Rachel Martin asked Ossoff whether or not the amount of money spent during the campaigns — more than $56 million between both candidates’ campaigns and their supporters — disturbed him.

“The role of money in politics is a major problem and particularly the role of unchecked anonymous money,” Ossoff replied. “There have been super PACs in Washington who have been putting up tens of millions of dollars of attack ads on air for months now. When you have that kind of an environment, it’s necessary to raise the resources to fight back.”

Ossoff’s campaign raised at least $24 million, with 65 percent of the funds coming from small donations of $200 or less, according to OpenSecrets.org. He also received support from many Hollywood celebrities, including Samuel L. Jackson, Chelsea Handler, and George Takei, who led their fans and followers in supporting and donating Ossoff’s.

According to the New York Times, most of Ossoff’s itemized contributions came from large Democratic states, with just 14 percent coming from within Georgia. Handel’s in-state itemized fundraising was at 56 percent.
Will the real reformer please stand up?

The Queen Is Dead?

No more for Nancy?
Some Democrats want to replace Pelosi atop their caucus, as they have since last November’s poor showing at the polls; they say there is no way to get back in the majority with her as their leader. And others who backed her in last year’s leadership challenge have now flipped their stance.

“I think you’d have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top,” said Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas), who supported Pelosi in her last leadership race. “Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost. But she certainly is one of the reasons.”

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), who backed a challenge to Pelosi last year, said the results of the Ossoff race further underscore that Pelosi should let someone else take the reins.

“There comes a time when every leader has to say, ‘For the good of the order and for the betterment of the party, it’s time for me to step aside.’ And I wish that that would happen right now,” Rice said in an interview. “This is not a personal thing. I want to get back in the majority.”
It'll take more than a name change to do that...

Team Players

Turnabout is fair play:
Under sworn questioning, Comey has veered off the topic of President Trump and Russia and revealed several damning incidents in which his predecessor’s administration politically interfered in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And now the Senate will investigate Team Obama for obstruction of justice.

Specifically, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced last week it will hold hearings to “examine then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s involvement in the Clinton email server investigation.”

The findings of the powerful panel, which has oversight of the Justice Department and FBI, could lead to a separate criminal investigation and the naming of another special counsel — exactly what Trump needs to distract attention from his growing legal woes.
Special counsels for everyone!

Who Killed Journalism?

RIP real news:
Paglia called what she said the Democratic Party had done to journalism “absolutely grotesque” and warned it would take decades to recover.

“It’s obscene,” she said. “It’s outrageous, OK? It shows that the Democrats are nothing now but words and fantasy and hallucination and Hollywood. There’s no journalism left. What’s happened to The New York Times? What’s happened to the major networks? It’s an outrage.”

“I’m a professor of media studies, in addition to a professor of humanities, OK?” she continued. “And I think it’s absolutely grotesque the way my party has destroyed journalism. Right now, it is going to take decades to recover from this atrocity that’s going on where the news media have turned themselves over to the most childish fraternity, kind of buffoonish behavior.”
Children shouldn't play with dead trees...

Three Time Winner

Daniel Day Lewis calls it quits:
The 60-year-old star, praised for his versatility and known for going to extreme lengths for his performances, reportedly has one untitled film awaiting a December 25, 2017 release.

Day-Lewis is the only actor to ever win three best actor Oscars—for playing paralyzed writer and artist Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989), as an oil baron in There Will Be Blood (2007) and for the title role in director Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012).

He also received two Academy Award nominations for In the Name of the Father (1993) and Gangs of New York (2002).
He drank their milkshake...

Portraits Of The Bad Artists

It's the Bad Art Museum:
With over 700 pieces in its collection, the MoBA is the “only museum dedicated to bringing the worst of art to the widest of audiences.”

Founded in 1993, the museum is a community-based, non-profit institution that has received attention from the likes of NPR and the New York Times.

The name doesn’t mean the pieces go through much less scrutiny than higher brow art. Submissions sent it to the museum are reviewed by curators and must be original works of art, and pieces that would never hang in a museum.

Unfortunately, the museum will not accept children’s art submissions.
Bring on the best of the worst...

Clinton Clearance Sale

Hillary Clinton, in trouble again:
The department’s investigation aims to determine whether Clinton and her closest aides violated government protocols by using her private server to receive, hold and transmit classified and top-secret government documents. The department declined to say when its inquiry began, but it follows the conclusion of the FBI’s probe into the matter, which did not result in any actions being taken against Clinton or any of her aides.

Depending on the outcome of the current State Department inquiry, Clinton and her aides could have their access to sensitive government documents terminated.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, confirmed to Fox News the department’s formal inquiry.

Meanwhile, Grassley’s committee launched its own inquiry into Clinton’s handling of emails, an inquiry that began in March. Grassley cited among his concerns the July 5 statement of former FBI Director James Comey that the agency found Clinton and her staff members were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” Grassley also contended there is “evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information...”
At least it's an investigation of actual wrongdoing...

Marching Past Georgia

There was no Blue Wave after all:
Democrats will say it should not have been so close, but Republicans can counter than outspending the GOP and still losing is a big deal. It is. The Democrats can note that the GOP was winning this district by twenty points regularly and now are barely winning. That is true, too.

But there are some fundamental problems for Democrats that they are going to overlook as they declare moral victory.

First, the national netroots rallied to Jon Ossoff, who was completely unknown to the sixth congressional district. There was a state senator from within the district who had a built in constituency that crossed party lines. But that guy got rejected for this unknown who lived out of the district.

Second, Ossoff did live out of the district and that cost him a number of votes. Democrats want you to believe this race was about health care and a referendum on Trump. The reality is more voters talked about Ossoff being a carpetbagger than they talked about where either candidate stood on the issues.

Third, Democrats got cocky. In the last two weeks of the race they started knocking on Republican doors to try to turn out the vote. Yes, they needed to persuade persuadable Republicans to vote Ossoff, but they did not just target those voters. They blanketed the district, knocking on the doors of Trump voters. They saturated the district with robocalls. They overbought television advertisements. They overexposed their candidate.
And they overplayed their hand...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Land Of Lotto

Who killed the lottery?
A top financial official just warned 100 percent of the state's monthly revenue will be eaten up by court-ordered payments. Rauner is calling a special session of the Democrat-led General Assembly in a bid to pass what he hopes will be the first full budget package in almost three years.

And Illinois will – literally – lose the lottery if the budget fails.

The state lotto requires a payment from the legislature each year. The current appropriation expires June 30, meaning no authority to pay prizes. In anticipation of a budget deadlock, the state already is planning to halt Powerball and Mega Millions sales.

“It is disappointing that the legislature’s inability to pass a budget has led to this development and will result in Illinois lottery players being denied the opportunity to play these popular games,” Illinois Lottery Acting Director Greg Smith told Fox News.
Don't worry; the state government still has plenty of other scams...

Holder's Run?

Are you ready for...President Holder?
“Up to now, I have been more behind-the-scenes. But that’s about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. A certain familiarity as the first African-American attorney general,” Holder told Yahoo News. “There’s a justified perception that I’m close to President Obama. So I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country.”

The former attorney general has been working against Trump administration initiatives ranging from crackdowns on illegal immigration to increased prosecutions of drug dealers.

Holder further explained that Hillary Clinton’s loss inspired him to step into the spotlight.

“I thought, frankly, along with everybody else, that after the election, with Hillary Clinton as president, I could walk off the field,” the former attorney general elaborated. “So when she didn’t win, I thought, ‘We’ll have to see how this plays out.’ But it became clear relatively soon — and certainly sooner than I expected — that I had to get back on the field and be in effective opposition.”
Well, he would certainly know how not to follow the law...

The Pause That Changes

Climate change has in fact hit pause:
According to the paper’s abstract:

In the early twenty-first century, satellite-derived tropospheric warming trends were generally smaller than trends estimated from a large multi-model ensemble.

And:

We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.

Translation: the real-world temperature increases were much smaller than our spiffy, expensive computer models predicted.
Real science speaks...

Some Reporters Are More Equal Than Others

What are they so scared of?
The Free Beacon was approached immediately upon entering Ossoff's Monday night event by Ossoff spokesperson Sacha Haworth, who proceeded to escort the reporter out of the event.

Asked why the Free Beacon was being restricted from covering the event, Haworth said, "Thank you very much for your interest in covering our race."

The Ossoff campaign has previously declined to provide the Free Beacon with information on the campaign's schedule.
Now go away, they said...

Friends Of Mac

The Soros slush fund?
The institute is intended to serve as a “legacy” for McCain and “is dedicated to advancing human rights, dignity, democracy and freedom.” It is a tax-exempt non-profit foundation with assets valued at $8.1 million and associated with Arizona State University.

Conservative and liberal critics, however, believe the institute constitutes a major conflict of interest for McCain, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

McCain, a former Navy pilot who was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967 and was then a prisoner of war in the infamous Hanoi Hilton until 1973, is a major political force in Washington, D.C. He is presently chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Critics worry that the institute’s donors and McCain’s personal leadership in the organization’s exclusive “Sedona Forum” bear an uncanny resemblance to the glitzy Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) that annually co-mingled special interests and powerful political players in alleged pay-to-play schemes.
Grandma and Grandpa do seem interchangeable at this point...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Free Offense

You can keep your name:
This case concerned a rock band called the “The Slants,” a reference to the racial slur for Asians. When Simon Tam, the band’s Asian-American frontman, tried to register his group’s name with the trademark office, he was told he could not get a valid trademark because the name was offensive to Asians. Before the Court, Tam’s attorneys argued that his intention was to “reclaim” the term “slants” and subvert its offensive potential.

The anti-disparagement provision, 15 USC §1052(a), has rarely had any practical effect, but has come to public notice in recent years as left-leaning advocates and public officials sought to use it to invalidate “offensive” trademarks. Most prominently, the Washington Redskins football team, who have twice had their trademark protections revoked for having a name that “disparages” American Indians.

Writing for the Court, Justice Samuel Alito reasoned that the entire purpose behind the provision rendered it facially unconstitutional. “It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” he wrote.
What's in a name? It depends on who's offended...

The Cost Of Being Single

Who's responsible for the price of single payer?
Single-payer health care systems, such as those seen in Europe and Canada, have always been popular with the liberal wing of American politics, with top liberal Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) calling for such systems in America. President Barack Obama also publicly supported single-payer when he was a senator.

The Post editorial is certainly sympathetic to those aspirations, arguing that such models are simpler for patients and employers. However, it says “the government’s price tag would be astonishing.”

When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed a “Medicare for all” health plan in his presidential campaign, the nonpartisan Urban Institute figured that it would raise government spending by $32 trillion over 10 years, requiring a tax increase so huge that even the democratic socialist Mr. Sanders did not propose anything close to it.

Countering the argument of single-payer advocates that government-run systems tend to be more cost-efficient than the American system, the Post says the reason for that is political, blaming Republicans for framing ObamaCare’s Medicare cuts as attacks on the program instead of reform.
It's the cost, stupid...

Summer Jobs

Would politicians actually be willing to forego their vacation to do their jobs?
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) has pushed Senate Republican leaders for the past two weeks to cancel the August recess.

“I think absolutely we should truncate or cancel recess. We have a huge agenda. I think we can get a lot of it done, but what we don’t have is time,” said Sullivan. “We can make more time.”

The idea is gaining steam with colleagues elected to the Senate more recently.

“Congress has no business taking a recess when the people’s business remains unfinished,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

A Senate GOP aide expressed doubt, however, that Perdue, Sullivan and Daines will get very far in convincing McConnell to cancel the recess.
Class is still in session...

Georgia On Their Minds

So why does Georgia matter so much to the Democrats?
Democrats have much riding on the outcome. On the surface, conditions seem ripe for a nationwide Democratic renaissance, with a historically unpopular Republican president entangled in an investigation for possible obstruction of justice and the Republican agenda largely stalled in Congress.

But Democrats lost two special House elections earlier this year in conservative Kansas and Montana districts that Trump won by double digits last November. A failure in a more competitive district in Georgia, which Trump carried by just 1 percentage point, would be a morale killer for a party that has struggled to develop a coherent message beyond "We're not the party of Trump."

Democrats have steadily lost ground in recent years in state and local races. Republicans not only control the White House and both chambers of Congress, but also hold 33 governor's offices, the most in nearly a century.
When you have to outspend your opponent, is that really winning?

Signed And Delivered

Dear media: While you were obsessed with Russia, President Trump was getting stuff done: The bills include an act to improve weather forecas...