So, Trump is really going for it here, in his attempt to completely eliminate Obamacare, including pre-existing conditions protections. He’s returned to his “healthcare debate” form, suggesting that the Republican party will be known as the “healthcare party,” while pushing this lawsuit to eradicate Obamacare. He’s doing so apparently against the wishes of two key cabinet members, Alex Azar, who heads Health and Human Services, and William Barr, the Attorney General who actually has to argue Trump’s case in court. Congressional Republicans aren’t that keen on it, either, for obvious reasons (there’s an election in 18 months), but Trump is basically asking them to come up with a new healthcare law to replace Obamacare should it be struck down, which is still something of a longshot. Elsewhere, Susan Collins has decided to write a letter expressing her disappointment. I hope it’s not strongly worded!
Oh no! A letter? I hope she doesn’t use an exclamation point because Barr won’t be able to handle that heat. KEEP HER AWAY FROM THE SAD EMOJI. https://t.co/TUjSVOnuxw— pajiba (pronounced with a long i) (@pajiba) March 27, 2019
At any rate, it’s certainly given Democrats something they’re very happy to talk about. Meanwhile, Trump is also asking Republicans to attack the Green New Deal, but not too hard, because he wants to run against it in 2020. I don’t watch Fox News, so I don’t fully understand why there is so much opposition to a resolution to improve our climate, but I did see AOC defending it on the floor of the House, and I’m not so sure I’d want to run against this:
Safe to presume this is Ocasio-Cortez’s next viral video from a committee hearing pic.twitter.com/SrBd6MY5Xx— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) March 27, 2019
Maybe instead of voting “present” or running away from AOC’s Green New Deal, they should explain — as AOC does — why it’s so goddamn important, because Americans might just be more amenable to listening this upcoming hurricane season.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more horrors from the Republican party, how about this, from the NRA:
The @NRA opposes the Violence Against Women Act because “the legislation could lead to firearm confiscations over misdemeanor domestic violence or stalking convictions.”— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 26, 2019
Why are we letting the gun lobby write our gun laws? #vawahttps://t.co/uWWHQ6HWfh
Jesus, every f**king gun counts, doesn’t it, NRA? We have suffering survivors of mass shootings ending their own lives over depression and survivor’s guilt, and the NRA wants to make sure that Joe from You can still buy a handgun.
Meanwhile, while stalkers will still be able to buy AR-15s at Wal-Mart, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos wants to completely eliminate federal funding for the Special Olympics, as well as “a 26 percent reduction to state grants for special education and millions of dollars in cuts to programs for students who are blind.”
Imagine looking at the federal budget and thinking to yourself: Let's gut Medicare, slash Social Security, and defund the Special Olympics so we can buy more tanks we don't need and make the rich even richer.— Robert Reich (@RBReich) March 26, 2019
Yet these are the people now in charge of our government.
Does the Mueller Report exonerate the Trump Administration from being awful people?
I know that y’all don’t love Kellyanne Conway’s husband, George, but he wrote a pretty nifty op-ed for The Washington Post outlining the key findings of the Mueller Report from a legal perspective. There’s a couple of key passages, namely this one:
But Mueller isn’t prone to cheap shots; he plays by the rules, every step of the way. If his report doesn’t exonerate the president, there must be something pretty damning in it about him, even if it might not suffice to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. And in saying that the report “catalogu[ed] the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view,” Barr’s letter makes clear that the report also catalogues actions taken privately that shed light on possible obstruction, actions that the American people and Congress yet know nothing about.
At the same time, and equally remarkably, Mueller, according to Barr, said he “ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment” regarding obstruction. Reading that statement together with the no-exoneration statement, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Mueller wrote his report to allow the American people and Congress to decide what to make of the facts. And that is what should — must — happen now.
He also ends up by saying that, regardless of what the Mueller Report says, “If the charge were unfitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Word, George. Word.