BREAKING: GOP’s ‘Obamacare’ repeal bill is pulled for a lack of GOP votes


John Boehner, the “TanMan,” was the “Worst. Speaker. Ever.” He was weak and ineffectual, and could not herd cats in his caucus, i.e., the radical right-wing GOP House Freedom Caucus. The lunatics eventually forced him to resign from his Speaker position.

John Boehner’s successor, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin” and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, is giving the “TanMan” a challenge to his title as “Worst. Speaker. Ever.” He also is weak and ineffectual, and cannot herd cats in his caucus, i.e., the radical right-wing GOP House Freedom Caucus. It is now an open question whether he also will be forced to resign from his Speaker position.

And then of course, there is “The Donald,” the self-proclaimed master of “the art of the deal.” White House Press Secretary “Baghdad Sean” Spicer said during his daily briefing that Trump had personally lobbied 120 lawmakers, either in person or on the phone. Trump had “left everything on the field.” Asked whether the president would continue to fight for the bill if it does not pass Friday, Spicer said, “This is it.”

The GOP’s “Obamacare”repeal and replace bill, now “Trumpcare 3.0,” was scheduled for a vote at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Instead, at 3:33 p.m. the House was recessed with the bill subject to call.

The Washington Post reports, House Republican leaders abruptly pull their rewrite of the nation’s health-care law:

House Republican leaders abruptly pulled a Republican rewrite of the nation’s health-care system from consideration on Friday, a dramatic acknowledgment that they are so far unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“We just pulled it,” President Trump told the Washington Post in a telephone interview.

The decision came a day after President Trump delivered an ultimatum to lawmakers – and the defeat represented multiple failures for the new president and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

The decision means the Affordable Care Act remains in place, at least for now, and a major GOP campaign promise goes unfulfilled. The decision also casts doubt on the GOP’s ability to govern and to advance other high-stakes agenda items, including tax reform and infrastructure spending. Ryan is still without a signature achievement as speaker – and the defeat undermines Trump’s image as a skilled dealmaker willing to strike compromises to push his agenda forward.

The decision came hours after Ryan visited the White House to warn Trump that despite days of intense negotiations and sales pitches to skeptical members, the legislation lacked the votes to pass.

The effort to repel “Obamacare” is now off the table for the foreseeable future. It could come back up again later this year.

This is a major failure and a defeat for both Speaker Paul Ryan and Donald Trump. Let the blame game begin.

UPDATE: House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday said his party “came up short” in a news conference minutes after pulling the GOP healthcare bill off the House floor, acknowledging that ObamaCare will stay in place “for the foreseeable future.” Ryan: ObamaCare will be law for ‘foreseeable future’:

“We came really close today, but we came up short,” he added.

“I spoke to the president a little while ago and I told him the best thing I think to do was to pull this bill, and he agreed with that. I will not sugarcoat this; this is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard.”

President Trump is “moving on” after the House GOP pulled its healthcare bill from a floor vote, he told The Washington Post’s Robert Costa Friday afternoon. Trump: White House moving on from healthcare push:

Trump told Costa by phone that a push to repeal and replace ObamaCare — the centerpiece of Republican messaging throughout the last several elections — won’t come up again in the near future.

“He’s going to let things be on healthcare, the bill is not going to come again, at least in the near future,” Costa recounted on MSNBC.

Don’t worry, Trump will use executive orders to sabotage Obamacare, and the Tea-Publican Congress will use tax policy to sabotage Obamacare. Health care policy is not what the GOP does.


  1. Barf bags ready? Here’s Rep McSally’s statement following GOP failure to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a tax cut for the wealthy:

    “The Affordable Care Act is still failing families in Arizona, and so the mission has not changed. Since I was first elected to Congress, I have been committed to fighting for the best healthcare possible for Southern Arizonans, and I have never ceased to do that. Throughout this process I submitted detailed proposals, negotiated with House Leadership and the White House, and ultimately added two amendments to the bill that looked out for the vulnerable: our seniors, the disabled, expecting and new mothers, newborns, those who struggle with mental illness and those who wrestle with substance abuse. Whatever the legislative vehicle going forward, I will continue to strive towards better healthcare for my constituents.”

  2. For some reason many on the left refuse to understand the deepest strongest most primal urge in Republican leadership, and Ryan especially, is to do away with any form of social safety net, environmental protection, and benefits of organized labor. They live for these things. Any idea of joining together with Democrats to do anything that goes against those core instincts will not happen!

    They live by the mantra “I’ve got mine”.

    • No, conservatives understand that “safety” net is not safe, it is a trap. Just look what it has done to Black economic advancement and cultural formation over the last 50 years – brought it to a dead stop.

      Not only is welfare dependency destructive to the poor, it is enormously destructive to the creation of the true safety net – business formation and jobs.

      • I’m sure the historical trend of the private sector’s treatment of minorities has been fair and just. Just 300 years of slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow, lots of ‘separate but equal’ establishments (not just schools, but also businesses as well), institutional redlining and discriminatory housing practices, all while your generation got the biggest government handout in the history of the world in the form of the GI bill and its racialized implementation.

        But sure, let’s take your word for it. I’m sure the left-wing government of Minnesota is doing poorly, while job growth is exploding in the right-wing capitalist utopias of Kansas, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. Oh wait.

        • “…all while your generation got the biggest government handout in the history of the world in the form of the GI bill…”

          Edward, using the GI Bill is not a good example of a government handout. First, it was self limiting; people could only use it for a short period or until certain goals were reached then the program no longer accepted them. Second, it truly did improve peoples lot in life; it resulted in increased education opportunities for the recipients and that increased earnings during their lifetime and a better standard of living. Third, the program more than paid for itself; the recipients experienced better salaries and income during their lifetimes and that meant more taxes were collected from them. Fourth, people had to perform service to benefit the goverment before they were eligible to receives the GI Bil; the recipients had to serve in the Armed Forces and give up some years of their lives in service to the American People. Fifth, the GI Bill truly DID help the recipients and the Nation; they received tangible benefits that made them better, more productive people and the Nation got a more productive workforce and population. And sixth, We are still receiving benefits from the GI Bill today; Your generation has the GI Bill, as well, and it is still doing the same thing it always has: Benefiting the American people.

          The GI Bill was, and is, one government program that was, and is, successful.

          • You’ve just proven my point, though. The GI bill was a large expenditure of taxpayer funding to support education and other benefits for our veterans, and it has paid massive dividends to our economy and to our nation in non-economic benefits. Not all government programs are bad; some of them are poorly designed, and they all have tradeoffs. But we shouldn’t use as an excuse that some programs have not been successful as an excuse to throw out every government program. We do have to be responsible citizens and demand the money is well-spent.

            I would make the same claim about food stamps or WIC, or housing assistance, or Pell Grants, or the National Interstate System under Eisenhower. I don’t think there are too many seniors who would seek a repeal of Medicare, which is why so many of the politicians make damn sure that they grandfather current recipients in (so as not to anger that voting bloc).

            But the GI bill, or at least the first one, covering the veterans of WW2, Korea, and Vietnam, was very racialized in its implementation, so that ladder into the middle class was unfortunately not available to most Blacks or other racial minorities; these effects do percolate through to the present day. That was the point that I was going for.

        • Kansas, West Virginia and Oklahoma are far from right wing utopias. As a composite, their state and local taxation burdens are almost exactly equal to the average of the United States (their average taxation rank burden is 21).

          Minnesota however, is a left wing utopia. They have been a top ten taxation burden state every decade going all the way back to at least 1980 and probably further.

          In 1980, they had over 70% more jobs than Arizona. Today, they have 35% fewer jobs and that’s after our 10 year long crater.

          They have fewer jobs paying more than $100,000, fewer jobs paying more than $80,000, fewer jobs paying more than $70,000, fewer jobs paying more than $60,000, fewer jobs paying more than $50,000, fewer jobs paying more than $40,000.

          • That’s cute, you forgot to mention that those jobs in Minnesota were manufacturing jobs that have left the country or been automated you also forgot to mention the Phoenix is had a huge influx of growth over the last few decades.

            In Johnny’s world cherries are always in season.

          • How much of that is attributable to population changes? Absolute figures aren’t super meaningful for making quality of life comparisons. A lot of that change is due to population and demographic shifts into the Sun Belt and the West independent of changes in governance, so it’s not intellectually honest to try to make comparisons intertemporally like that; you’re getting a spurious correlation.

            And yes, you have to take Kansas, WV, and Oklahoma as states under complete GOP control. No going ‘no true Scotsman’ when the numbers don’t line up your way; those states are the result of decades of GOP dominance, and paint a very bleak picture for what might arise if taken nationally. However, Minnesota’s economy is doing far better than Wisconsin’s or Indiana’s, which are a lot more similar on other features than is Arizona.

          • Of course it has to do with population growth. People go to where the jobs are.

            In 1980, Social Security was supposed to go bankrupt in 1990. But it didn’t. According to mythology, Alan Greenspan saved the day. But, that’s not what really happened. The US population started to grow much faster than the population forecast in 1980, much faster than France, much faster than Europe. The entire world started to move to where the jobs were being created: The US.

            Now, our US population is stagnating. There aren’t any jobs.

            Same thing happens to states. People move to where the jobs are and, over the long run, jobs are heavily but not completely influenced by taxation levels. Thousands of things affect job creation at the state level but one of the top five influences is taxation burden.

          • John Lott has been discredited? Only in your mind. Your side has an absolute rule – they never go up against him in debate, never ever, because he destroys them.

            He knows econometrics and its application to public policy as well as any human being on the planet.

            I mapped every conflict that he and Donahue engaged in and what the issues were. Let me assure you there is only one person here who should be embarrassed – you.

          • John Lott has been discredited multiple times over more than a decade, this is a boring argument.

            No one can replicate his findings, he claims to have “lost” his original research, his junk science is funded by gunmakers and the NRA, and his use of econometrics was debunked in 2001.

            If you want to plead your 2A case, using John Lott’s long ago discredited “research” hurts your case.

            You like him because you want to believe what he says, and because like you, Falcon9, Lott used a sock puppet he called Mary Rosh to brag about himself online.

          • Tom, it was me that defended John Lott, not John Huppenthal. And you are full of BS in your assessment of Lott and his work. Not much else to say about it…

          • Scroll up, Steve, Huppenthal jumped in.

            Falcon9 can’t get enough junk science. Climate change, charter schools, supply side economics. Some people are more susceptible to industry propaganda than others.

            And the John Lott debate is tired and boring.

            You want to believe his work is real, it confirms your bias.

            I have a family member who wants to believe aliens are visiting earth. I can’t convince him otherwise.

            You should try another course, defend your 2A rights on something other than John Lott. He’s a shill for the industry.

            The John Lott debate was settled a decade ago by everyone except the NRA and gun makers.

            Here’s where you tell me I hate John Lott, whenever you feel a discussion getting away from you, you claim the other person hates conservatives or hates Trump or hates America.

            That’s gotten boring, too.

          • Except that, as far as population demographics are concerned, the birth rate tends to be negatively correlated with wealth, both within countries and between countries; this is one of the tenets of introductory development and environmental economics. What happened in the 1980’s is most likely attributable to an increase in immigration, and the fact that a large number of immigrants to this country have considerably higher birth rates for cultural reasons than do native-born Americans.

            So, there really isn’t any reason to believe that ‘more and better paying jobs’ will ‘fix’ Social Security. Particularly given that, at this point, excluding net immigration, the birth rate in the US, as well as in many parts is below the replacement rate.

            Another thing to note is that you are assuming away massive frictions in the labor market. Most people can’t afford the several thousand dollars in moving expenses it would take to move halfway across the country; if your hypothesis were correct, employment rates between states would be roughly equal, but that’s clearly not the case; in the presence of transactions and search costs, there is no reason to expect that an equilibrium will ever be achieved.

          • There is enormous net migration between states and we know that migration is from low job creation states into high job creation states which also are heavily low tax states.

            At the beginning of the journey, the low tax states, states in the bottom ten of taxation every decade since 1980 had half the jobs of the high tax states, states in the top ten of taxation every decade. At the end of the journey, they had more jobs.

            That’s a huge difference.

            Also, after Reagan reduced tax rates, birth rates defied your nonsense on industrialization and increased by 5%. Since Obama came in, birth rates have plunged 12% to a new all time low. This has yet to be completely incorporated into Social Security but when it is, it will decisively move the bankruptcy rate forward because it will reduce the ratio of retirees to workers by close to 12% in the 75 year acturial horizon used to analyze the financial health of Social Security.

          • Brownback and the Kansas based Koch’s promised cutting taxes and gutting regulations would cause explosive growth.

            Now that the opposite is happening you can’t distance yourself from Kansas fast enough.

            Go pick cherries somewhere else, no one’s buying your fruit here.

        • Years ago when I lived in California I spent a summer knocking on doors in poor neighborhoods as part of a PG&E program to insulate homes for low income residents.

          I got $75 bucks for each house I found that qualified. Easy money for a young me, and it’s cheaper to heat the home after we’re done, so win-win.

          I was literally in several hundred homes with poor folks that summer, and they had to show proof of income, or more accurately, proof of little or no income, to qualify.

          Trust me, way more than half of those folks were white, and they were living on food stamps and other government assistance.

          And trust me on something else, they needed it. Those folks making tens of millions a year on Fox News or the Billionaire Koch brothers telling you that America has the richest poors in the world and are living the good life are liars.

          I met a lot of people that summer that never had a chance at the good life in the USA, and if they had a medical condition, OMG, I don’t even like to think about some of the things I saw.

          Conservatives live in an imaginary world where everyone gets what they deserve. In the real world we don’t all win the sperm lottery, have perfect health and parents and are born into the good part of town. We’re not all going to be CEO’s and “self-made men”.

          And in an allegedly “Christian” nation, my reading of the Good Book says those allegedly “Christian” conservatives are supposed to care for those poor folks or be denied entry into the Big Cloud City in the Sky.

          And one last thing, did I see any welfare cheats that summer? Yeah, maybe two, and I think one was actually going to the local community college for her degree. She was white, using the system to get her degree.

          Huppenthal has no idea what he’s talking about, he just reads right wing think tank propaganda and repeats it over and over until you give him a cracker.

          • The Just-World Hypothesis is one of the most societally damaging facets of human cognition.

            Every day I see the Walton heirs mooching off their daddy’s wealth and the work of millions of employees, while those employees are working a hundred times harder for a hundred times less, I know that justice hasn’t been achieved.

          • “…I know that justice hasn’t been achieved.”

            Edward, you are smart enough to know that your definition of “justice” will never be achieved so long as people are people. Inequities will always exist. Many – nay, the majority – of those who suffer at the bottom today would act just like the 1%ers were they to suddenly change places with them. Greed, avarice, selfishness…these are more common human attributes than kindness, empathy and a willingness to share.

          • You can tell your stories, I will go with census data, Saint Louis Federal Reserve data, World Bank data, Tax Foundation data – not exactly right wing think tanks. In fact, I can’t recall even visiting a “right wing think tank.”

            You wax idyllic about the state of all the poverty that left wing ideas have created.

            Your whole world is built on a very fundamental error – the calculation of the revenue and prosperity maximizing tax rate.

            Your economists have built a fairy tale world where that number is over 60%.

            In fact, careful calculation reveals it to be somewhere below 25% certainly below 35%.

            The comparison with France reveals it all. Since 1980, France has lost 3 billion hours of work while the United States has gained over 80 billion hours of work.

            To quote Picketty “all modern industrial economies grow at about the same rate.” Really????????

            Your economists are fraudsters and charlatans.

          • And Mr. Huppenthal lives in a world where the people who make predictions consistent with his priors are accurate and do the math correctly, and all the ones who dispute his ideological disposition are ‘fraudsters and charlatans’.

            Just like how 97% of climate scientists and 99.9% of peer-reviewed studies over the past 20 years have demonstrated the existence and severity of anthropogenic climate change, but that 3% (which, by the way, includes some of the exact same ‘scientists’ who have published studies disputing the link between smoking and cancer) are the ones we should be listening to., since it’s some massive hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, according to Don and John.

            P.S. Please go look up spurious correlation sometime today. All of your ‘facts’ seem to be rooted in it.

          • Picketty is measuring growth and then making an absolutely false pronouncement.

            That’s not a prediction, that’s a false, completely false, analysis of historical data.

            Nothing about the analysis that Picketty used to make that pronouncement is a look into the future.

          • What I’m telling you, Falcon9, is that it’s a myth that most people on government assistance are able bodied minorities.

            In my direct, first had experience being in the homes of several hundred poor, needy, sick and elderly people is that easily more than half of them are white, I did not see beer cans and bongs in the homes, I met people who’s lot in life was truly unfortunate.

            I had one guy who had to write out the name of the brain disease he had because he couldn’t pronounce it, and even thirty years later I remember the horror and sadness of walking into a living room that had a TV, a broken hospital bed with a guy who couldn’t move, and a potty chair with a half full container.

            I wouldn’t wish these people’s lot in life on you, SockPuppetMaster, and as you know I am not a fan.

            There are not enough family, friends, and charities in the world to care for all the people who need help.

            It would be refreshing for a “conservative” to just admit that they’re insensitive privileged jerks who don’t care if that guy in the hospital bed dies.

          • “What I’m telling you, Falcon9, is that it’s a myth that most people on government assistance are able bodied minorities.”

            I don’t recall ever reading on this blog that they were able bodied. Obviously, statistics indicate some are, but I don’t think a large number are. The majority need the assistance. The problem is that the assistance becomes the way of life and it is a nasty way of life living at the bottom of the barrel. There should better incentives to move off of asistance and onto self sufficiency, but the programs are not structured that way. The programs actually punish those who make efforts to become self sufficient. I have watched my Brother get trapped in that cycle of poverty because every time he started doing better, the program would hurt him by taking away something. He needed a hand up, but the program are designed to be perpetual hand outs. It is a sick cycle.

            “It would be refreshing for a “conservative” to just admit that they’re insensitive privileged jerks who don’t care if that guy in the hospital bed dies.”

            If you truly think that is the case, Tom, then you don’t understand what motivates conservatives at all. In demonizing conservatives this way, you show a complete unwillingness to see what really motivates us. And it ISN’T penny-pinching hard-heartedness.

          • I do know your motives, and they are penny-pinching and hard-heartedness, but your motives don’t actually matter if the results of your actions are death and suffering.

            Today’s conservatives are more Ayn Rand than Ronald Reagan, and Ayn Rand hated the sick and poor, and hated the people who helped them.

            You can pretend all you want, your party is mean and ugly.

          • Tom, you remind me of the quote from the Bible: “There are none so blind as those who will not see”. I don’t think you have a clue about what makes conservatives tick. You hate them and that hatred blinds you. In order to justify your hatred you attach to conservatives the basest and most demeaning motives you can think of.

            But that’s okay…I think we’ll survive despite that. And I know how much pleasure you derive from name calling. Besides if Sun Tzu is correct (and he is) that whole “Know your enemy as you know yourself” means you are rather ineffective in the great culture war since you are clueless about the true nature of your enemy.


          • Steve:

            “The programs actually punish those who make efforts to become self sufficient. I have watched my Brother get trapped in that cycle of poverty because every time he started doing better, the program would hurt him by taking away something. He needed a hand up, but the program are designed to be perpetual hand outs. It is a sick cycle.”

            I concede this point. Our systems of government assistance are not well-designed, and don’t provide the proper incentives to help people get (or return to) self sufficiency. We have repeatedly applied asset caps, layers upon layers of means-testing, and countless facets of government bureaucracy to try to prevent a handful of ‘undeserving’ (i.e. people who don’t ‘qualify’ for assistance) people from having access to those services. I’ve thankfully never been dirt-poor like some of these folks have, but based on everything I’ve read and heard from people, it’s damn expensive to be poor. You pay more (in the long run) for just about everything, whether it’s housing, transportation, food, etc. And I’d like to fix those issues so that when your brother (or whoever else) falls upon hard times, the programs are designed to taper off gradually, so the ladder isn’t pulled out when a person is halfway up the wall. But it’s hard to talk about making those fixes when half the nation seems to yell ‘government handouts and lazy freeloaders’, as though we can all just pull ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps by the grace of divine providence.

          • We may or may not be ugly but your policies are absolutely mean. Here is the result of your toxic public policy, your completely sham “compassion”:

            1. African Americans born out of wedlock: 72%
            2. African American children in poverty: 62%
            3. African American lifetime incarceration rate: 32%
            4. African American students below academic proficiency: 85%

            Be proud of your 45 years of work.

          • I wonder if racism has anything to do with your numbers? Maybe it has something to do with a racist court and prison system?

            I can tell you from first hand experience that there are slightly more drugs in the white suburbs than minority areas of town. I liked to party when I was a kid, so did everyone else at the time.

            I lived in a very white part of town.

            But it’s easier to make their numbers if the police patrol more crowded parts of town, so poorer, mostly minority areas. So while blacks, for example, are slightly less likely to have some nose candy in their pocket than a white kid, they’re far more likely to be stopped.

            And since we’re talking about poorer areas of town, they’re less likely to have bail money.

            So if I get popped with some cocaina, I’m going to post bail, hire a lawyer, the lawyer is going to get me to attend some 12 step BS meeting and when I show up for court, I’m a clean shaven white man in a suit, and my lawyer tells the judge I’ve turned my life around.

            Meanwhile, the black dude has been sitting in a cell for three days, shows up looking like it, wearing jail clothes and surprise, gets time.

            And since he’s more likely to be serving time than I am, cause I’m as white as can be, his family is more likely to miss him, and his kids will grow up without him, because once you’re in the system the system likes to keep you.

            His family will grow up without him being the breadwinner, but my family will have daddy at home, and what with all the white privilege I’ll have no trouble getting a job.

            So, there’s some poverty for you.

            But you like quote facts out of context, because critical thinking and a natural curiosity are not in your genes, so here’s some fun facts:

            Did you know that 85% of crimes against blacks is black on black crime?

            And did you know that 85% of crimes against whites is white on white crime?

            See how that works!

            You should probably recuse yourself from posting racial statistics given your history of posting racist comments under sockpuppets, or “sway do nims” as you kids say.

            You do not know what you’re talking about.

          • ”So while blacks, for example, are slightly less likely to have some nose candy in their pocket than a white kid, they’re far more likely to be stopped.”

            Where did you come up with this little gem of information, Tom?

            ”…his family is more likely to miss him, and his kids will grow up without him…”

            You are making an invalid assumption here that he is part of the family unit to begin with. Statistics show otherwise.

            ”So, there’s some poverty for you.

            Statistics play havoc with your little story again because “poverty” you speak of should affect all minorities equally if modern sociological mythology is true. But it seems to affect blacks more harshly than any other ethnic group. Could it possibly be something about the black culture that contributes to the more serious effects of poverty on blacks? It isn’t low self esteem. Studies have shown that young blacks have higher self esteem than most other groups. So, since you focused on blacks for your story, what is it that makes it so much more difficult for blacks? And please don’t call me a racist and ignore the question. Call me a racist (I know how much pleasure you get from that) and answer the question.

            ”But it’s easier to make their numbers if the police patrol more crowded parts of town, so poorer, mostly minority areas.”

            You sort of put the cart before the horse here. Police tend to patrol parts of town where there is more crime. That tends to be poorer parts of town. If they don’t the residents complain they are being ignored. It has nothing to do with “making their numbers”…a phrase unheard around Police Officers. Where I live, if we have two minor crimes a month, it is a busy month. Why would we have a heavy police presence around here? It would be a waste of manpower.

            ”You do not know what you’re talking about.”

            I am not certain you do, either, Tom. Your message has a certain “made up as you go” smell to it.

          • Here you go, Steve:

            http://www . politifact . com /punditfact/statements/2016/jul/13/van-jones/van-jones-claim-drug-use-imprisonment-rates-blacks/

            (Just remove the spaces between the . on either side, since the site likes to block comments for pending moderation if you post links otherwise.)

      • “…Black economic advancement and cultural formation over the last 50 years – brought it to a dead stop…” – John Huppenthal

        • Sadly, though, the majority (or at least, a greater than average share) of Black Americans do still live in the states of the former Confederacy, which have been under the control of the prevailing conservative party (Democrats prior to about 1965, GOP after they largely swapped platforms 50 years ago). The states of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas, and South Carolina have been among the states fighting hardest against welfare, cutting benefits, refusing the Medicaid expansion, and bemoaning government ‘handouts’.

          And yet, despite doing everything ‘right’ (pun intended), those states both consistently rank among the lowest for per-capita income, the highest for obesity, heart disease, and other malaise, and consistently receive more in benefits from the federal government than they pay in taxes, relative to the rest of the nation. So I’m not sure where the confounding variable that I’m missing is (weather? Is it because their capital keeps getting drowned by hurricanes every few years?), because it certainly seems like bad government policies have something to do with things.

          • Education has a very low priority in the Republican dominated states in the Confederacy. And not just K-12, this includes workforce development.

          • “Sadly, though, the majority (or at least, a greater than average share) of Black Americans do still live in the states of the former Confederacy, which have been under the control of the prevailing conservative party…

            Edward, can you honestly say that blacks have done better in states controlled by liberals? Are they better off? Do they go to prison in fewer numbers? Do they have stronger family ties? Do they have lower murder rates within their communities? Are they more educated? Are they better educated?

          • Steve, I don’t have those numbers on me. What I do know is that the states of the former Confederacy have the highest rates of obesity, heart disease, and other obesity-related illnesses. They tend to have lower levels of income; the bottom decile of counties by per-capita income are concentrated in Appalachia and the Deep South. Lower levels of education are also reported among the Deep South states. Along with Arizona, the Deep South reports much greater levels of incarceration per capita; at 1.2%, Arizona incarcerates nearly twice as many adults as Russia (that authoritarian wasteland we like to belittle). Georgia has 2.5 times as many people per capita under parole or probation than does the nation as a whole.

            I don’t know the causes, and I’m going to pretend that I do. But I can speculate government policy at the state level has at least something to do with it. Does that extend uniformly across racial, ethnic, and gender boundaries? I do know that a few years ago, back when I still lived in Oklahoma, that OK led the nation in female incarceration per capita. I wouldn’t be surprised if a commensurately higher proportion of Black Americans in the Deep South are incarcerated compared with the rest of the country, but perhaps the data shows that’s not the case.

          • FSNTom loves to heap scorn on the work of John Lott. He and you ought to read it carefully instead.

            Lott found no correlation between length of sentences and crime rates.

          • I only keep scoring on John Lott because he famously said the dog ate his homework .

            Like most of your sources he’s been so thoroughly discredited that I am embarrassed for him

          • “Like most of your sources he’s been so thoroughly discredited that I am embarrassed for him.”

            Discredited by whom, Tom? Other left wingers like yourself? You have a quaint habit of “discrediting” any source with whom you disagree and can’t refute. John Lott is an author and scholar that heavily documents and provides sources out the wazoo for his findings. It has been almost impossible for anti-gun zealots to discredit him so they resorted to defaming him in the classic leftist traditions of slander and muckraking. You are familiar with it: If you can’t attack the position, you attack the person. John Lotts work has survived the all important peer review proceess, often by peers that really wanted to find something wrong with his work. So go ahead and be embarassed to mention him…it doesn’t change the fact Lott knows what he is doing.

          • Seriously, go find something useful to do. You’re committing the only unforgivable sin on an internet forum, you’ve become boring.

  3. God forbid these knuckleheads reach out for a genuine bipartisan effort to tweek the ACA to make it better for American people, their hatred for all things Obama overrides the peoples’ interests.

    • Devega writes:

      “On the level of practical politics, there have been no substantial negative electoral consequences to Republicans’ decades-long war on the social safety net and the common good. Thus, there is no rationale in terms of an electoral calculus for the Republican Party to stop pursuing such policies. Moreover, it is unlikely that conservative red-state voters will “wake up” and stop supporting a political party that actually leaves them less economically prosperous and financially secure. Here, poor and working-class Republican voters are like Pavlov’s dogs, seeking out abuse from their masters in the hope that the latter will hurt other Americans even more.”

      • If more Teabaggers would do their homework and knew who they were voting for, the world would be a better place.

        Back in the 1920’s the most famous killer in America was William Edward Hickman. If you have a strong stomach look up “Murder of Marion Parker” on wikipedia.

        I won’t repeat what Hickman did to that child or what he put her father through. The guy was a special kind of evil.

        Ayn Rand had a big girl crush on William Hickman, and wrote about him “Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should…no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.”

        Paul Ryan has a big boy crush on Ayn Rand. Well, except when he running for VP, then he’s a pretend Catholic.

        Ryan, in a 2005 speech to the Atlas Society, said “It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are. I always go back to, you know, Francisco d’Anconia’s speech (at Bill Taggart’s wedding) on money when I think about monetary policy. And then I go to the 64-page John Galt speech, you know, on the radio at the end, and go back to a lot of other things that she did, to try and make sure that I can check my premises so that I know that what I’m believing and doing and advancing are square with the key principles of individualism…”

        Paul Ryan doesn’t look to Jesus for moral guidance, or Buddha, he looks to Ayn Rand, who thought a child killer was an example of her ideal man.

        Fun Fact – Alan Greenspan spent a lot of time with Ayn Rand, and is believed to have had a affair with her. Remember Greenspan? Had to admit his Randian philosophy was wrong to congress. But not until we all lost trillions of our dollars.

        Another Fun Fact – about Ayn Rand – Anton LaVey, leader of the Church Of Satan, freely admitted to stealing whole passages from Ayn Rand for his book, The Satanic Bible.

        LaVey thought Rand’s philosophy fit right in there with Old Scratch’s. Probably because Ayn Rand said stuff like people who need charity were parasites and the people who donated to charity were no better.

        So the only real difference between Paul Ryan and a Satanist is that the Satanists gets to dress like heavy metal rock stars.

        And it may explain Ryan’s Eddie Munster haircut. Do what thow wilt.

        • I’m sure he wouldn’t submit to testing, but I think there is little doubt that Ryan is a sociopath. In a perfect world, he would be flipping hamburgers or stocking shelves at Walmart. But in his current position, he is literally playing with the health and security of millions of lives while he attempts to live out his fantasies. He failed yesterday, but he’ll keep coming back.

          I actually have some much harsher words for Paul Ryan and his Siamese twin Mitch McConnell, but I’m holding back for the time being.

          I like the video of Greenspan admitting he was wrong, obviously very difficult for him.

          • It’s funny that you bring up Greenspan. Under the last four Fed governors (Yellen, Bernanke, Greenspan, and Volcker), the Fed’s de facto policy for tightening interest rates and slowing down the economy has been based on tightness in the labor market. Specifically, the Fed’s policy has been to keep the economy just tepid enough that labor doesn’t get an advantageous bargaining position and wages start rising. I’m sure that pitting workers against each other in a race to the bottom by the union busting actions of Clinton and Reagan didn’t help, but I would find it difficult to believe that Fed policy hasn’t had anything to do with the divergence between productivity and pay since the 1980’s.

          • Greenspan said he liked to keep unemployment at or near 5% because it provided “liquidity” in the workforce.

            In other words, the game is rigged, there will never be full employment in the US.

            This is why when conservatives whine about the social safety net enabling lazy people or being the cause of poverty they are either lying or ignorant or both.

            This is why when you hear a conservative say “if you’re not rich and don’t have a job blame yourself”, you know you’re talking to an idiot.

            And when they use code words like “there’s a reason they’re poor” you know your talking to a racist conservative.

  4. Trump gave health care reform what, three weeks? Now he says he gave it his all and is walking away?

    I’m not a fan of Nancy Pelosi, but she was clearly a stronger Speaker than Ryan. When she had the majority she got things done.

    The 2018 mid-terms have officially begun.

    • “I’m not a fan of Nancy Pelosi, but she was clearly a stronger Speaker than Ryan. When she had the majority she got things done.”

      You are so right about that, Tom. I don’t like her but she was darned effective as a Speaker of the House and as a democrat, in general. She is a formidable opponent and anyone who doesn’t take her seriously – even when she spouts idiotic things – does so at their own risk.

  5. The Speaker could always kill the Hastert rule, tell the ‘Freedom (to Die) Caucus’ to take a hike, start working to build a coalition across the aisle, and maybe make some improvements to the ACA.

    But that would require telling the anti-government and No Taxes Ever GOP Congressmembers off. So, don’t expect much.

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