Senate showdown on ‘Obamacare’ repeal set for Tuesday

Evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote on Tuesday in his last ditch strategy to repeal Obamacare:

Talking is no longer working. It’s time to vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking the rare step of forcing his members to take a tough vote on an Obamacare repeal bill, H.R. 1628 (115), that is on track to fail, making them own their votes.

Senior Senate Republicans believe the high-profile vote expected Tuesday — followed by conservative backlash over the GOP’s failure to fulfill its seven-year campaign pledge — might provoke enough heat from the base to bring senators back to the negotiating table.

It seems like a long shot. But McConnell may be playing the long game — making his members walk the plank not as an act of desperation but as part of a strategy that just might work. He’s used it before to get what he wants.

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If the strategy doesn’t bring senators back to the table, the vote could demarcate a decisive end to at least the public Obamacare repeal debate for some time. That would allow the Senate, which has already spent two months trying to dismantle and replace the health law, to move on and notch some legislative wins [or not]. Many are more than ready to turn to other priorities, like tax reform.

Still, holding a doomed vote is unusual for McConnell, who typically goes to great lengths to protect his members from politically difficult votes.

“Everybody has to be held personally accountable,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who has been furiously whipping the repeal effort. “Everybody is a good enough politician that if they’ve got a reason to justify their vote, they’ll be able to sell that.”

The vote Tuesday will be to start debate on Obamacare repeal. But it is unclear as of now which bill would serve as the actual policy — an extremely unusual move. McConnell said earlier this week the Senate would vote on a repeat of a 2015 bill that repealed much of the health care law. Since then, senators have floated the idea of voting on multiple options, including repeal, the Senate’s repeal-and-replace measure or a combination of these and other policies.

That would be moot if the Senate doesn’t even vote to start debate.

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11th Annual Loft Kids Fest July 22 to 30

Loft Kids Fest

Event Sponsors
Bookmans Trail Dust Town Rusing Lopex & Lizardi Broadway in Tucson Pima County Bicycle and Pedestrian Program UA Health Sciences Asthma & Airway Disease Research Center Presidio Schools
Saturday, July 22 – Sunday, July 30

Free Admission! Free Popcorn! Free Fun!

Thanks to our Loft Kids Fest program sponsors: Presidio SchoolsUA Health Sciences Asthma & Airway Disease Research CenterBookmans Entertainment ExchangeTrail Dust Town Rusing Lopez & LizardiBroadway in Tucson and Pima County Bicycle and Pedestrian Program!

“Every morning at 10:00 am (doors open at 9:15am). Encore screenings at 11:00am on Saturdays and Sundays only. Pre-show activities hosted by the gang from Mildred & Dildred Toy Store, every day starting at 9:15am!

Let the fun begin! Super summer excitement returns to The Loft Cinema with our ELEVENTH annual Loft Kids Fest!  Each morning, children and their parents can experience some of the best family-friendly films of all-time, along with a fabulous animated short before every feature! We’ve also got fun games, hands-on activities, live performances, great giveaways, tons-o-free-popcorn and crazy surprises. And best of all, it’s FREE!

Plus! There’s a FREE RAFFLE to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Mildred & Dildred Toy Store and other fabulous prizes each and every day!”

Check Loft website for full listing of these kids films: https://loftcinema.org/films/. “Cinderella” starts of the 9 day series, and don’t miss two Japanese animated films — “Kubo and the Two Strings” (July 23) and “Ponyo” (July 29).  Kids Fest ends with “Ice Age”, a very cool movie for the hot summer month of July.

https://loftcinema.org/film/underwater-adventure-kick-off-party-at-trail-dust-town/

The Film line up: in the newly renovated Theater 1 (which was just finished this week), 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

Sat 07/22 – Cinderella (2015)
Sun 07/23 – Kubo and the Two Strings
Mon 07/24 – Disney Nature: Oceans
Tue 07/25 – Akeelah and the Bee
Wed 07/26 – Bee Movie
Thu 07/27 – The Sandlot
Fri 07/28 – Looney Tunes on the Big Screen
Sat 07/29 – Ponyo
Sun 07/30 – Ice Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Trump to attack Justice Department investigators, explore pardons

As I posted yesterday, the Trump administration is seeking to discredit anyone in the chain of investigators investigating the Trump campaign and his financial connections to Russia in order to provide grist to the conservative media entertainment complex to wage a propaganda campaign against Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators, for the purpose of laying the groundwork for Trump’s eventual move to a “Saturday Night Massacre” and finding someone at the Justice Department to “Bork” (fire) Robert Mueller.

Trump is also working on a “get out of jail free” card by having his lawyers explore the parameters of his issuing a presidential pardon to his ne’er-do-well family of grifters and con men, and more importantly, to himself.

If Trump is as innocent as he claims, he would be cooperating with Congress and the Justice Department to resolve this matter as quickly as possible to clear his name. He would not be going to war with his own Department of Justice. Trump is plainly behaving as a man who has something to hide.

The Washington Post reports, Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation:

Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

One adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,’ ” a close adviser said.

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The Yin & Yang of Public Policy: Can We Achieve Balance?

The Yin and Yang mosaic

The Yin and Yang.

On one hand, the news media often tells us that we are a country divided. Social media fuels this idea with countless stories of political and ideological intransigence despite mounting societal needs.

On the other hand, the news media also often tells us how much the general population agrees on certain topics. For example, although Congressional Republicans have been working for seven years to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) and return to the glory days of market-driven health insurance, polls show an increasing majority of Americans “believe the federal government has a responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage.”

An Associated Press story published today reported that “Americans overwhelmingly want lawmakers of both parties to work out health-care changes, with only 13 percent supporting Republican moves to repeal ‘Obamacare’ absent a replacement.”

“Nearly everyone wants changes to the Obama law, while hardly anyone wants to see it abolished without a substitute in place,” according to the AP. If 80-90% of Americans think Republicans and Democrats should work together on healthcare insurance reform, why not do this? Why the complete disconnect between what the people want, what’s good for the health of the population, and what the Republicans in Congress are doing?

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Former Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll joins Amity Foundation

Five-term Pima County Supervisor to Confront Arizona’s Deadly Opiate Epidemic (press release)

Ray Carroll joins Tucson-based Amity Foundation, returning to his roots in state’s private non-profit sector.

 Just short of 20 years as Pima County’s District 4 Supervisor, rather than seeking a sixth term Ray Carroll has decided to focus on battling Arizona’s historic opiate crisis, which kills more than two Arizonans daily, a 74% increase since 2012, by joining Tucson-based non-profit Amity Foundation.

Former Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll

 

Amity formed in 1969 to address the opiate crisis of the 1960’s and was originally called Tucson Awareness House. Carroll will immediately address the threat of a $77 billion cut in Medicare & Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. If passed, it will drastically cut AHCCS funds over the next 10 years, which would be disastrous to health and mental health care systems in Arizona and hurt those in need.

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In Times interview, Trump foreshadows the Attorney General resigning and firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller

President Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he signaled time bombs that will go off in the days and weeks ahead. Citing Recusal, Trump Says He Wouldn’t Have Hired Sessions:

President Trump said on Wednesday that he never would have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision “very unfair to the president.”

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.

OK, two things. Sen. Sessions meetings with the Russian ambassador were not discovered and reported until after his Senate confirmation hearing, making him a potential fact witness and creating a potential conflict of interest which triggered his ethical obligation to recuse himself from the investigation. He could not have told Trump before he took the job that he would recuse himself under this timeline.

Second, Jeff Sessions serves at the pleasure of the president and has previously offered his resignation when the president expressed a lack of confidence in him. In an unprecedented move, Sessions now has been publicly undermined by the president who says he regrets hiring him. Session must resign, and he should do so today if he has any self-respect.

Actually there is a third point, Trump is expressing his view that he wanted an attorney general who would block and deflect any inquiries into his campaign’s coordination with the Russians, signaling that he believes the attorney general is loyal to him personally, and thus rejecting the independence of the Justice Department. See, Trump shows disdain for rule of law with new attacks on Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller. Update, President Trump’s Contempt for the Rule of Law.

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