Days 111-122(ish): Eyes on the Ball, People

Yes. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, what with Cheeto Mussolini (not my coinage) proving to be just as incompetent at obstruction of justice as he is with keeping state secrets. Lefty-Twitter has also been all abuzz over whether Louise Mensch is a crackpot conspiracy theorist or prophet, as she has been asserting that IMPEACHMENT IS ALREADY UNDERWAY (AND I WILL SUE ANYONE WHO CALLS ME A CRANK OR STEALS MY SCOOPS, BTW).

So, yes, the administration continues to be a clusterfucktastrophe™ and seems more and more likely to bumble its way into impeachment. But from the point of view of policy that affects of the lives of millions of people, we need to keep our eyes on the ball (and not that shiny orb thing, whatever the hell it is). The Senate is still working on a counterpart to the Dickensian AHCA bill proposed by the House. Despite all that performative harrumphing about the House version being DOA in the Senate, the GOP could be planning another stealth operation to gut Obamacare while Americans are busy arguing about whether Trump bowed to the Saudis or merely gave a definitively manly America-First curtsy.

The (dubious?) public comment email address is apparently closing after today, but of course you can still call the committee members directly:

McConnell, Mitch, (202) 224-2541

Hatch, Orrin, (202) 224-5251

Alexander, Lamar, (202) 224-4944

Enzi, Michael, (202) 224-3424

Thune, John, (202) 224-2321

Cruz, Ted, (202) 224-5922

Lee, Mike, (202) 224-5444

Cotton, Tom, (202) 224-2353

Gardner, Cory, (202) 224-5941

Barrasso, John, (202) 224-6441

Cornyn, John, (202) 224-2934

Portman, Rob, (202) 224-3353



Days 108-110: Tuesday Night Massacre


You’d think that thirteen dudes deciding the future of American healthcare would be headlining this week, but our master of incompetent distraction has delivered another whopper. The administration is spinning a tale about how Donald The Petulant had been pondering giving Comey the ax since inauguration day, but was pushed over the edge by revelations that the FBI director had misrepresented the gravity of new revelations in the Clinton email investigation. Aside from the improbability of Trump suddenly defending Clinton, the new story line also has Trump getting his undies in a bunch over the weekend, though the revelations about Comey’s misstatements seem to have happened Monday (at least for the rest of us). And speaking of timing, since CNN reported yesterday morning that grand jury subpoenas were expected soon for members of Team Trump and Comey had indicated an expansion of the Russia probe, we could call that a Nixonian coincidence.

Care to share your opinions on this investigation with members of the esteemed Senate? Here’s a list of how they stand on appointment of a special prosecutor, and here are all their office phone numbers (20 or so of which I called today).

Days 105-107: Get Mad, and Get Even

As you know, the GOP’s zombie AHCA bill has risen from the grave again, as it is at present lurching across the rotunda toward the Senate. This profoundly unpopular bill may face an icy reception in the Senate, but it’s nothing we can count on. On the bright side, this ridiculous sham legislation has inspired a flood of donations to liberal/progressive organizations, possibly $2M in the days since the bill passed. I’ve mentioned in the past that some organizations have created systems that allow you to fund the as yet unknown opponents of your favorite AHCA-supporter. For example, SwingLeft has started what they call district funds, allowing donations to be held for the eventual Democratic candidate in a given district. For example, I’ve just donated to the IL-06 fund, which will help defeat Peter Roskam in the 2018 elections. That money may go to Kelly Mazeski, who has just joined what could be a national wave of novice politicians by announcing her candidacy for his seat, but no funding will be awarded until the primary results are in.

Days 101-104: Another Day, Another Repeal Vote


House GOP leaders dug up $8 billion to appease moderate republicans concerned about the loss of coverage for preexisting conditions in the AHCA, so they have apparently whipped enough votes to at least bring it to a vote tomorrow. Despite the hat tip to covering those pesky chronic conditions, this version of the bill-that-refuses-to-die is more conservative than the previous version, making it a tough sell in the Senate. Still, a defeat in the House would be more satisfying, perhaps allowing us to think about something else for a while.

Speaking of distractions, how about those violations of the emoluments clause? If only we had some kind of government body to provide a sort of constraint on the behavior of the executive. Slate’s Amicus podcast had a great interview with ethicist Norm Eisen in which he describes in great wonkish detail the many offenses of our kleptocrat-in-chief. It’s worth a listen, and Eisen’s organization (CREW) is worth a look, and you can donate on their site to help with their lawsuits against the president.

Pictured above, a stack of prepaid post cards to bring a little old school flavor to my congressional correspondences. 38 cents each.