Two Tweaks for ‘Ryancare’

by Jon N. Hall3/24/17
The structure and character of the federal government is largely the creation of Democrats. From Woodrow Wilson to FDR to LBJ to Barack Hussein Obama, every time progressive Democrats seize the presidency and Congress, they expand the size and scope of the central government. When Republicans recapture power, they are either unable or unwilling to roll back the Dems’ expansions. And so the New Deal, the Great Society, and quite likely Obamacare become permanent parts of government, and the Leviathan continues to grow.

Although Republicans have promised for years to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, since the March 7 unveiling of their replacement plan we see division in their ranks. The replacement plan is called the “American Health Care Act.” But let’s call it “Ryancare.” In its current form, Ryancare appears better than Obamacare, (that’s a low bar to clear). But Ryancare has some of the same problems as Obamacare. Herein are two tweaks to improve the bill.

One of the big pluses of Ryancare is that it ends the mandates. The employer mandate is a huge drag on the economy and the individual mandate may be fascistic. But the reason the hated mandates were part of the Obamacare is so insurance companies could accommodate “guaranteed issue” and “community rating,” which supposedly make it possible for “pre-existing conditions” to be covered. The idea was to enlarge the pool of policyholders with healthy young people so that the sickest among us could be paid for. Ryancare retains the two requirements: “Prohibit health insurers from denying coverage or charging more money to patients based on pre-existing conditions.”

Without the mandates, how’s that going to work?

One way for insurance companies to continue covering pre-existing conditions without the mandates for healthy people to buy health insurance is to raise premium prices, deductibles, copays, etc., of those who choose to buy insurance. Even under Obamacare, we’re seeing a rise in those costs. A better solution would be this: End the “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” requirements for private health insurance companies. That’s the first of the two tweaks.

Democrats are enamored of all things “comprehensive.” And so it is with Obamacare, which is a comprehensive makeover of the U.S. healthcare system. Not only did the new system intrude into business and people’s lives, it further intertwined the public and the private by creating a new entitlement: federal subsidies for the purchase of private health insurance. Unfortunately, Ryancare features a similar system: “Help Americans access affordable, quality health care by providing a monthly tax credit — between $2,000 and $14,000 a year — for low- and middle-income individuals and families who don’t receive insurance through work or a government program.”

Although Ryancare’s tax credit program would work differently than Obamacare’s subsidy program, it still amounts to a new entitlement; it’s still an open-ended draw on the treasury. And just like Obamacare, it involves the IRS. But here’s the thing: we already have a healthcare program for those who can’t afford to pay health insurance premiums; it’s called Medicaid. Rather than instituting another entitlement, Republicans might put those receiving Obamacare subsidies into Medicaid. But regardless of what Congress does about Obamacare’s subsidy enrollees: The proposed tax credit program should be dropped. And there’s your tweak number two.

Of course, some Obamacare subsidy users won’t like being thrown into Medicaid because not all doctors accept Medicaid. But if one can’t afford to pay the full price for something, including private health insurance, then one shouldn’t get it; one should have to settle for whatever charity is doling out, whether from private sources or the government. If Medicaid is a lousy system, well then fix Medicaid. But don’t create a whole new entitlement when the ones already on the books have serious problems.

Although there are things to like in Ryancare, it has retained two of the worst features of Obamacare, and neither feature is conservative. The tax credits are a new entitlement. And by retaining “pre-existing conditions,” Ryancare continues to treat the health insurance industry like a public utility or some government social safety net. Why not let businesses operate like businesses? Without the mandates, “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” are a prescription for higher premiums for everyone in an insurance pool.

The genius of Democrats is that they get folks addicted to “free stuff,” knowing that if the GOP even talks about taking it away, Republicans will be seen as Nazis. (But Obamacare is the fascist system, as it’s an intertwining of public and private. The decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, which put the Supreme Court’s seal of approval on the coercive individual mandate, should be seen in that light.)

The GOP is not the Santa Claus party, and may not be able to “win” on healthcare. Perhaps Republicans should look elsewhere for wins, such as getting the economy into a higher gear, tax reform, and balancing the budget. Congress is running a half-trillion-dollar deficit this year. I remember a time when Paul Ryan would warn folks about a looming “debt crisis.” Whatever happened to that guy?

Speaker Ryan has talked recently about the unique opportunity conservatives have to set the ship of state aright. But the grog with which he’s filling our tankards is Democrat Light, and it’s not even chilled. As currently configured, Ryancare won’t do much to roll back the Leviathan state.


Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City. • (1268 views)

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105 Responses to Two Tweaks for ‘Ryancare’

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    One of the most obvious errors in Ryancare is the failure to repeal Obamacare. They should have started with that, then put in the reforms (including the popular, if misguided, features of Obamacare) they wanted. But as it is, the thousands of pages of Obamacare and associated regulations remain in place, with (comparatively) slight modifications.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Dammit, why is it taking them so long to give me my free stuff? I don’t understand this process. How hard can it be to soak the rich?

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, Ryancare has been pulled. It wasn’t a good bill, though no doubt an improvement over Obamacare (which is certainly a low bar). Perhaps they can work up a new bill, to be voted on later this year (when budget reconciliation comes up again), that actually repeals Obamacare and then replaces it. That bill might (and certainly should) pass, but it requires the will to try, and the YBRs don’t seem to have it.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Thanks for the update on that, Timothy.

      I think this takes some of the gloss off the Trump Presidency. It was patently stupid and amateurish to try to fix Obamacare with something so obscurely the same. Why own it? And in terms of public relations, they now do to some extent for the cry will be “They could have fixed it but they didn’t.”

      This is what I always feared would be Trump’s biggest flaw. It’s not his vulgar mouth, his serial marriages, his groping of pussy, or running fancy, glorified titty bars. It’s that he has no solid ideology that can come to bear in terms of actually fixing this stuff. If, as others have written, making a deal itself (and having winners and losers) is the only virtue, you really can’t expect much more from this man.

      And, of course, Paul Ryan should be ousted as Speaker of the House as soon as they can make this happen.

    • David Ray says:

      (Pls define YBR for us evil white european males.)

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Yellow-Bellied Republican. I’ve long thought that the electoral map colors should be pink and yellow rather than blue and red, Far more appropriate.

  4. oldguy says:

    Maybe it would help if we put all government workers in Obama care.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One thing I would have liked to know about Ryancare (but never saw mentioned anywhere) was whether or not Congress was covered. Any bill that doesn’t cover Congress the same as it covers ordinary Americans should automatically be considered suspect.

  5. Timothy Lane says:

    Philip Klein has a piece at the Washington Examiner (which I encountered in a link at Hot Air) on the failure of Ryancare. He sees it as the worst broken promise in political history, and primarily (and rightly) blames the House leadership for most of the failure. His conclusion is that while the GOP leadership may have been willing to get rid of Obamacare, they never wanted to put the necessary effort into it. This was a gross failure of ethics. and also of leadership. The link is:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gop-cave-on-obamacare-repeal-is-the-biggest-broken-promise-in-political-history/article/2618413

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Here are a couple interesting articles as well:

      Who Deserves the Blame for the AHCA Failure?

      Whether people like it or not, Donald Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. A focal point during his campaign, Trump slammed Obamacare any chance he got. He repeatedly called it a “disaster.” Unfortunately, he also made promises about “everybody” having coverage without ever offering a plan on how to do it. Trump’s single biggest problem is one I’ve spoken of before. He has no ideological core. His opposition to Obamacare centers around being anti-Obama and not an understanding of Obamacare’s faults. He can’t articulate why he’s opposed to it. He also cannot adequately explain his support of the AHCA. Trump touted his business acumen as a reason he’d get things done. Proclaiming himself King Dealmaker, he was going to make the deals other people could not. Put that coffee down, Mr. President. Coffee is for closers.

      GOP Lawmaker: Previous ObamaCare Repeal Votes Were A Fraud

      Trump and Winning as a Political Philosophy

      Laudably, President Trump has started down a path of winning in key areas in order to reverse what has been set upon the American individual at the caustic hands of politicians under the banners of progressivism and statism.  However, his winning as a political philosophy must include the basis of moral ethics and individual liberty, or we will be left with only a short-term postponement of further destructive advances and attacks by the progressives and statists.

      The end result is that the swamp has not been drained. It has been further muddied. Trying to implement socialism is a “better way” has long been the black hole down which civilizations have plunged.

      Here’s an article that shows the ideological bankruptcy of Trump’s top man: Steve Bannon Thought He Could Bully The Freedom Caucus. One Member’s Reply Was Awesome.

      Now the spin starts that repealing and fixing healthcare was really a Ted Cruz thing and Trump didn’t make any promises.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Ultimately, I place most of the blame on Ryan and his team. They’re the ones who chose not to repeal Obamacare. It’s the same old story we saw so many in Obama’s last 2 years: Why even try when you can’t succeed? Except in this case they didn’t even know for sure that they couldn’t succeed, and they still didn’t try. Already there are those calling Ryancare RINOcare, and it certainly seems apt.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          If so, if it’s Ryan’s fault, then that leaves Trump as sort of a brainless, unguided idiot who must be wound up by others and sent in the right direction.

          This fiasco exposed the primary weakness of Trump which is he doesn’t care about the policies to any extent other than he can get a “win.”

          For Ryan, there isn’t much we didn’t already know. Whether the country at large understand what is going on is another matter. But the GOP has successfully rope-a-doped the electorate for quite some time now. And it is my belief that most of the electorate wanted to be fooled.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            But the GOP has successfully rope-a-doped the electorate for quite some time now. And it is my belief that most of the electorate wanted to be fooled.

            How does the saying go?

            “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

            A large percentage of the “public” is either too stupid to pay attention or has no interest in derailing the gravy train of government entitlements.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              A very apt saying, Mr. Kung. And I think you have encapsulated the issue. It reminds me of Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Ultimately, I place most of the blame on Ryan and his team.

          While I might agree with you in this instance, the mess is just a preview of what we should expect for the foreseeable future. And as a side note, it appears doubtful this legislation would have made it through the Senate anyway.

          Trump made promises which he simply cannot keep. A president must have the cooperation of his party if he wishes to have half a chance to succeed in passing legislation. Executive orders will only take one so far.

          As I have told some of my friends overseas, Trump has done the easy stuff, but now the heavy lifting starts and we don’t know what he can get done. With the Dimocrats united in their opposition to him, he had better figure out a way to unite the Republicans. If he does not, he will likely have a very disappointing four years.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Good article by Klein.

      I think the fallout from this, at least amongst the freedom-loving, is that “pragmatism” (that ideas don’t matter) has been ratcheted down a couple notches in terms of desirability and that the GOP, as a party, are near useless in terms of reform.

      Also tainted — unfairly, for sure — is the idea of conservatism itself. We non-liars may not like it, but the GOP, particularly at the national level, have severely, perhaps fatally, tainted that brand with their serial lying and cowardice.

      As for Trump…what did anyone really expect? Did they expect a man with supposedly no ideological core but “winning” and creating “losers” to have any kind of fix for a subject (socialism) he either doesn’t understand, doesn’t care about, or simply agrees with?

      Our “Daniel” just got his ass bitten by the lion.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        One way to think of Trump might be to consider another president with a non-political background who won a modest victory at the polls — Zachary Taylor. He ran with no fixed beliefs, though he was a member of the Whigs. Lincoln, making lemonade out of lemons, even praised this — Taylor would do what the people (through Congress) wanted. (I believe Taylor and Cass split the states evenly, but Taylor won the bigger states — helped by the Free-Soil votes in New York for Van Buren.)

  6. Steve Lancaster says:

    Its a simple idea:
    1. All aspects of government intervention in American healthcare are repealed. This includes Obamacare, LBJcare, Nixoncare, Cartercare, Regancare, Bushcare, Clintoncare, Bush43care and any part of Ryancare. HHS is disbanded, employees are thanked for their service and discharged or transferred.
    2. Individuals and corporations are free to contract directly with providers only subject to contract law.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Good luck finding even a single politician to vote for that. Getting rid of Obamacare is still theoretically possible, assuming we can find Republican leaders who are actually willing to do it. I doubt anything earlier can be repealed; even reform will be very difficult (i.e., politically unpopular).

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      On the whole, Steve, I don’t disagree. But let me revise and extend my remarks. I think this is a case of…

      Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned From Gilligan’s Island

      The choice that Obama and Trump/Ryan have given us is analogous to being offered the choice of Ginger and Mary Ann. Both girls are obviously beautiful — and certainly enough so that, stuck on a desert island, the pros-and-cons between them are but a quibble.

      Kinda-sorta invert that image and we are on an island with two beasts to choose from: RyanCare or ObamaCare. Because (like the unattached girls of the TV show) both seem to offer “free stuff” at no personal cost to us, what’s not to like?

      But what we really need to do is to build a boat and to keep Gilligan the heck away from it. And Washington DC is surrounded by nothing but Gilligans.

      No government mandate or five-year plan built any of the wonders that the free market has done without specific governmental direction. There’s a whole ocean of possibilities out there if only we’d fix the holes in that free market boat and let it set sail. And if, from time to time, someone falls into the ocean, we are a prosperous enough and compassionate enough society to have some sort of safety net for the least fortunate.

      But such a system cannot be run by Gilligans. People who throw themselves into the ocean — or simply like the taste of salt water — must be separated from those who genuinely need and deserve help. A pool that covers, say, 20 million of the worst hard luck cases is very doable in a society run by, let us say, Professors rather than Gilligans. And the rest of us are free to buy premium Howell plans if we can afford it or just the bare-bones Skipper plans for catastrophic insurance coverage.

      So first we must not cast away the very things that have made this country rich, and they are liberty, innovation, personal responsibility, and the free market. And we need to stay away from the various Wrongway Feldmans in DC who keep poking holes in the boat.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        There you go again, trying to confuse me with the facts.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        So you’re basically saying the Ryancare vs. Obamacare choice is sort of like what you would have if Ginger and Mary Ann both had VD. Of course, to get off the island would probably require the combined efforts of the Skipper and the Professor. Who in DC can play their roles? Ted Cruz and Mark Meadows, perhaps?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          LOL. The VD revises and extends that analogy perfectly.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I did a parody song once, “The Girl With Treponema”, which is appropriate to the subject. (I don’t remember exactly, but it started something like, “Tall and tan and slender and foxy, the girl with Treponema is poxy . . .”) Treponema pallidum, of course, is the spirochete that causes syphilis.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          Yep, a choice between syphilis and gonorrhea and no penicillin in sight. I do not have any high hopes for this group of mugs to have any kind of a free market moment. My guess is that there is a less than 10% chance any free market solution will evolve out of DC and I must admit that is wildly optimistic.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            One thing you can say about the Left: They are committed to their cause. The GOP, on the other hand, either isn’t committed to their cause or their “cause” is so fuzzy that’s it’s difficult to determine what it actually is. Nevertheless, do not let it be said that I had forgotten…

            Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned From Star Trek (original series)

            Last week, or the week before, on MeTV they replayed the graphically enhanced version of The Cloud Minders. (In this enhanced version it was a much more realistic cloud city, I guess…this is before and after…the “new” Stratos looking more like an industrial factory.)

            Surely, you must be thinking, “Brad, what can we learn about today’s politics from Diana Ewing’s stunning outfit?” Well, the obvious point is that Trump, the RINO GOP, and the Democrats live in Stratos. We call it “Washington DC.” The rules they write do not apply to themselves. They live like kings while purporting to be such benevolent caretakers of the schlubs who must live on the rocky and barren planet below.

            We are all those below-dwelling Troglyte miners, in one guise or another, mining the zenite in harsh conditions for our betters up in comfortable cloud city. Whether you have just undergone your twelfth gender identity change or commonly wear a wedge of cheese on your head at a Packer’s game, we’re all like the Troglytes, our minds and intelligence becoming degraded and numbed due to the exposure to the zenite (or “the daily drama,” as I call it).

            I suppose the one big difference is that you’ll never see Nancy Pelosi in a dress like that worn by the fabulous Droxine although the same might not be said for Melania. Any analogy breaks down with enough scrutiny.

            The solution to the Troglyte grief (who are artificially made stupid by the mainstream media, Fox News, and the education system) was to wear a filter mask. Yours truly has also recommended various filters as a way out of our conundrum. Filter the stupidity as much as you can and do what you can do to make sure you have the sophisticated tastes and virtues of a citizen of Stratos. Take over the clouds by not letting your lessers pass as your betters.

            Even Spock’s head is turned by the fantastic outfit worn by Diana Ewing — comparable to the way a lot of conservative and Christian heads were turned by Trump. But I suppose every seven years or so we can go crazy because of our own Pon farr.

            So the tale of this analogy is that we need to drain the swamp. But the swamp isn’t the land of the Troglytes (who need mere filters, not drains). It’s Washington DC or Stratos where our would-be masters live in luxury and keep us all rope-a-doped with the common belief that they really care for us. They insist they need their Stratos. We lesser people need these Super Beings to lead us, fogged as our brains are by zenite, fake news, clinging to guns and religion, etc.

            Because of that prime directive (and, really, because Stratos is a member of the Federation), Kirk can’t just bitch-slap the leader of Stratos, Plasus, who is leader of an aristocracy that is a bit dizzy on its presumption of superiority. Kirk must first go through the legislative process of repealing Stratos via sleeping with a couple of the babes. Or maybe that’s in the super-graphically enhanced version.

            What he actually does is grab Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan and force them to dig zenite in the mines below (that is, make them try to find the practical value in health insurance with a $2000 deductible). Both then magically recognize that they have been wrong, that the Troglytes are just as good as they are and deserve to live in cloud city as well.

            Well…this is why it is called science fiction. The only way to bring down this cloud city is if Mr. Smith goes to Washington with phasers set on something higher than stun.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              As I recall, “The Cloud Minders” is based on a story idea by David Gerrold, who wrote “The Trouble With Tribbles”. He’s also a liberal, for whatever that’s worth, and wasn’t thrilled by the conveniently easy ending with the filters.

              Note that I often refer to Washington, DC as Versailles-on-the-Potomac. The basic concept is the same as yours.

              Incidentally, Trump has made one good move recently regarding healthcare: he appointed a social conservative, Roger Severino, to the civil rights office at HHS. Liberals are very unhappy at this, because Severino believes in religious liberty and doesn’t believe that gender and sex are different.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                A liberal? Not pleased with the filter ending? I suppose he wanted all the Cloud Minders to be shoved off the balcony sort of like that one Troglyte who threw himself off in order to avoid being interrogated and thus giving away his friends.

                “Zenite,” in the case of the substance that causes the Troglytes to be violent and rebellious, is certainly analogous to the poisonous cloud of victimhood spread by the Left. Whether the agitating “Troglytes Lives Matter” faction would have created a bloodbath had not Kirk shown up to distribute filter masks is unknown. The Troglytes said they wanted mere equality, but it was clear they had the sort of reverse superiority complex so typical of today’s lower classes. The Troglytes were truly offended at the idea that what was causing their agitation wasn’t “social justice,” per se, but the zenite gas.

                It was this zenite gas that made them into lower-class citizens. Today we spend thousand of dollars for college to achieve that status, at least mentally.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I don’t remember the details, but Gerrold was looking at the idea of incremental change — and the question would be how many Troglytes would suffer until reform of the society was fully completed. He didn’t like easy answers (though, when you get down to it, he chose that approach in the one episode he wrote).

                And, of course, the situation 50 years ago was very different from today.

    • pst4usa says:

      I agree Steve, very simple to state. Repeal every word of 0bamacare, et-al, do not try to replace any of it until they kill the 0bamanation. As long as we continue to allow the idea that government should be involved in health care, at all, then there can be no limit on what the government should provide for us poor unfortunate souls.
      There have been many that are correct about the fact, that this will be tough; but we are only talking about our survival as a nation, so no big deal. So we should go ahead and just piss on all those that fought and died to give us the right to toss away the country because it might be tough.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    He didn’t like easy answers

    Timothy, I think the fact is that some answers may be easy…although as Reagan noted, the solutions may not be simple. The answer to the Troglytes’ mental deficiency (and aggression) was the zenite gas given off by the ore. A simple bit of technology fixed this (and the social aspects were just assumed to be solved as easily as well).

    In the confines of this episode, the masks solved the main basis of the separation between cloud and quarry. Those in Stratos believed that they were truly an advanced (evolved) species and that the Troglytes were inherently beastly and inferior. One can get into the messy and controversial subject of IQs among races, but this was much the same situation in the Old South. It was (at least to their more primitive, manual-labor-based system) economically advantageous to think of blacks as inherently inferior. One could then posit that the social structure followed from this. And once the social structures become engrained, well, don’t bother me with the facts of how free-market labor would be more efficient and probably even cost less.

    In many ways, the author of “The Cloud Minders” ought to be disappointed in the final script, but perhaps not for the same reasons. In our day and age, the filter masks are, for all intents and purposes, the “free stuff” handed out to the rabble to not only placate their sense of equality but (for the cloud dwellers) to keep them from toppling Stratos. One way to view Paul Ryan, in particular, is a man trying as best he can to keep the fly-over-country Troglytes placated with various disguised forms of bread and circuses (free stuff), as well as feeding all the conceits of the various Troglyte factions, including blacks, feminists, and even La Raza so that, while still inferior in terms of rights, powers, and privileges, they don’t feel that way.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      There was an anti-slavery book published in 1859 by a man named (I rhink; I don’t have access to my copy of Allen Nevins’s Ordeal of the Union series) Helper. He was a southerner arguing that slavery was actually bad for the south, and his book was as popular in his home region as you’d expect. The Republican candidate for Speaker of the House had endorsed the book, and this led the southerners and doughfaces to effectively veto his selection.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Apparently Trump had a hissy fit and now says he’ll try to work with Democrats on fixing health care. I will state again, better Trump than Hillary. But we are the frog that is ferrying the scorpion across the river.

  9. Timothy Lane says:

    There’s an article at RedState today that has some interesting ideas on fixing the healthcare system, starting with the 2015 repeal bill (which in fact is available in committee, but currently being ignored). Much of it comes from suggestions by Ted Cruz on specific reform ideas — such as finding a good replacement the pre-existing conditions problem.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Clearly the rat-bastard Republicans don’t want to repeal Obamacare. The rat-bastard Republicans have had seven years to come up with a sensible solution and have done nothing. What do you believe to be the most likely reasons the rat-bastard Republicans have done nothing? 1)Special interests are telling them what to do, 2) A large percentage of those who have an R behind their names are actually Dimocrats, 3) They are idiots, 4) Inertia is their actual political philosophy.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I assume we’re not limited to a single choice. As for the fourth choice, a lot of voters are inclined toward inertia. For example, they didn’t want Obamacare, but now that they’ve been living with it, they’re not so sure about replacing it (even though they still dislike it). Especially those getting “free stuff” from it, of course. So those pols (probably a great majority) whose greatest concern is giving the people what they seem to want will also be inclined to inertia.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          One can select one or as many as one wishes. All apply to some degree or another.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Here’s a sober (and good) thought as well regarding this whole business.

            David French (I think it was him) had a recent article citing a doctor who noted that health insurance is not the same as health care. He noted the heavy rise of addiction and suicide. Doctors and hospitals are flooded with self-inflicted wounds, for the most part. No amount of health insurance can deal with the rising despair.

            Of course, we (or we damn few) at StubbornThings via our contributions and interests have noted that above all one must:

            + Eat well

            + Get a little exercise

            + Live well (drop the stress, try to smell the roses, be light and enjoy life as you can)

            No amount of ObamaCare or anyone else’s care is a substitute for that. So, by all means, I’d like to hear more suggestions and articles for good living in all its guises and variety, from recipes to good hiking trails to conservative ways to deal with stress.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I’ve seen many articles pointing out that insurance isn’t the same thing as care. It’s only a means to an end. For that matter, insurance is supposed to handle unexpected expenses; coverage of normal expenses is prepayment, not insurance.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Given the reality that these various health care bills increase the bureaucracy, increase costs, and often function as little more than a means to transfer wealth from one set of people to another, we might consider what those “ends” are, for they surely don’t look like ends that have maximizing people’s health in mind.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                and often function as little more than a means to transfer wealth from one set of people to another

                Never forget that the single largest group which receives these transfers is the bureaucracy. I don’t recall where I read it, but someone estimated that of all the funds that go to D.C., the bureaucracy takes their 35-40% cut before forwarding the funds to any particular program.

                How else do you think they earn more and have better insurance and retirement packages than the average American?

              • Timothy Lane says:

                The biggest step to draining the swamp is cutting back — extensively — on the bloated bureaucracy. And it’s actually feasible and legal, unlike wiping out K Street.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      One of the most annoying aspects of the recent circus surrounding Ryancare, was the fact that few reporters, commentators or elected officials actually discussed the merits of Ryancare or what was in it.

      Most made a big deal about who was going to win or lose politically. It seems just about everyone employed by the government and/or news media in D.C. and NYC are simply rat-bastards who have no interest in truth, justice and the American way. (Rat-bastards is now my term of choice for the so-called elites of our country.)

  10. pst4usa says:

    Mr. Zu, I am getting the impression that you are none to fond of Rat-bastards.
    Getting rid of the bureaucracies in DC will be impossible until we restore the work ethic that Americans had in the past, and the just plain stay the hell out of my way attitude that made us what we once were. Song lyrics come to mind: (“I ain’t asking nobody for nothin, I f I can’t get it on my own. If you don’t like the way I’m livin, you just leave this long haired country Boy alone…” Charlie Daniels Long Haired Country Boy, I think).

    Bureaucracies are the “They”, the “Them”, the “Boogey man” that can be blamed for everything in DC. It will take congress”MEN”, ones with some balls to give up the built in scapegoat, the unaccountable unelected bureaucrat, and say the buck stops here; if you don’t like what we do in your name here in DC then by all means show us the door. But I was sent here to stop government from controlling you and start you controlling the government. No more “they, them, its just the system”, BS. You Mr. and Mrs. America, you are just going to have to suck it up and take care of each other, the government has left the welfare game and will start doing the things it should do and not do the things it should not. The old saying of no-one ever said life is fair, will now be applied as evenly as possible, (to be fair). The federal Santa Claus is dead, the giving tree has fallen and it can’t get up, and you for the most part are on your own.

    What am I saying, this is America, soak the rich, take care of everyone, make more dependence and little baby birds chirping for more from mama bird. If everyone would just pay their fair share, (meaning I pay nothing and anyone that makes more than me pays for everything), then we could have UTOPIA.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This is why, after the 2012 election, I referred to Big Brother Barry’s vote base as the leeches and sheep coalition. I don’t know if leeches and sheep are yet a reliable majority, but at the least it’s dangerously close to one.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Pat,

      You are so right. And I think the term”rat-bastard” is about as good (or bad) a term as I can think of for these low-lives.

      As little as I like rat-bastard politicians, I think rat-bastard bureaucrats are more dangerous. One of the reasons speaking against term limits is the strong possibility that the bureaucrats would gain even more power than they now have. Few politicians would have the time to learn the arcane ways of D.C. before they have to leave office. Sir Humphrey Appleby x ten.

      The American citizen truly is between Scylla and Charybdis when it comes to our present political situation.

  11. Timothy Lane says:

    Robert Tracinski has a nice piece at the Federalist (linked at Hot Air) on the failure of Ryancare. He credits the Freedom Caucus for this victory, and compares it to other GOP Establishment efforts. The link is:

    http://thefederalist.com/2017/03/28/the-freedom-caucus-is-the-silver-lining-in-the-obamacare-debacle/

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      As I explained, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s big claim to fame was his willingness to tackle entitlement reform, and that’s exactly how he approached this: Democrats pass the new entitlements, and Republicans reform them. It’s a long and depressing old story, filed under the heading, “Me Too.”

      The man’s head is clean-and-sober….a rarity amongst conservative writers these days.

      The Republican leadership would decide they need to nominally “repeal” Obamacare to appease the base, while actually keeping major parts of it to avoid being called mean and horrible (which they will be called anyway). So they cobble together an awful, botched compromise, then force it down everybody’s throat, and nobody is able to stand up and stop it.

      Again, a rare man in touch with reality.

      They certainly tried to do it this time. President Trump just wanted a bill and didn’t care what was in it, responding to objections from the Freedom Caucus by telling them to “Forget about the little sh–,” which is a really great way of confirming to someone that you don’t care about the things he cares about. But they were expected to swallow what was served to them, with Steve Bannon thundering, “This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill.”

      We see that “the art of the deal” is tantamount to a one-man (or two-man, if you cunt Bannon) thugocracy. Granted, if Trump showed this type of stiff spine and intransigence against socialism, I’d praise him. But as I noted during the campaign, the people Trump hates most isn’t Democrats or socialists, it’s conservatives. That should be clear by now.

      Notice how this turns the big narrative of the last election on its head. We were supposed to support Trump because he was the guy who was finally going to break the corrupt Republican “establishment.” Now he’s the guy launching tweet-storms on behalf of the establishment and against the House Freedom Caucus—the guys who actually did break the GOP establishment.

      Trump is a fraud coming and going. His main attribute is that he’s not Hillary and that he’s pro-business. But in no way is this man actually going to drain any swamp. To a large extent, he is the swamp.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        An important point made by Tracinski is that they’ll be denounced no matter what they do. I remember that in 1998 they wrote a tax cut that was means-tested to exclude the rich — and the Demagogues still denounced them for “tax cuts for the rich”. The Beltway Bandits simply refuse to learn that the Left hates them, no matter what they do (e.g., their treatment of Judge Gorsuch).

        I think one reason the GOP has some real accomplishments at the state level (such as all the recent right-to-work laws in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Kentucky) is that they do realize it away from the toxic culture of Versailles-on-the-Potomac.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I think one has to be somewhat philosophical about Trump.

        As I said during the campaign and after his election, I will be satisfied if he appoints one or two originalist Supreme Court justices and “builds the wall”, i.e. gets illegal immigration under control.

        So far, he has nominated Gorsuch who would appear to be a good choice, and the government is taking bids for building long stretches of the wall. He is also taking on “Sanctuary Cities”, and appears to be throwing a fair number of illegals out of the country.

        Anything else is cream on the top of my coffee.

        By the way, I love what he is doing as regards rolling back Obama’s environmental laws which throttled the energy industry.

        But as I adv my friends overseas who want to understand what is going on here, Trump has done most of the easy stuff. Now things will get more difficult. Healthcare is just an example of this.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Your coffee is half full. With the attempt to ram RyanCare down our throats, my coffee feels pissed in. Trump/Ryan have officially accepted the premises of the Left on this big issue. And there will be others.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I was never had any illusions that Trump was a conservative. Therefore, I expected and still expect a leftward move on many big issues which face the country.

            The best I hope for is a slight deceleration in some areas. It is up to us to try and take advantage of this deceleration.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Again, I find your eyes-wide-open even-handed realism to be refreshing. Sad to say, the GOP, at its best, is the party to slow down socialism and Leftist social policies. It is not a reform party. Maybe the best we can do is give the patient a shot of penicillin as needed and send him back out to troll the wharfs and seedy bars for quick and cheap thrills.

              What I will not do is pretend that shit doesn’t stink. And that aspect has infected the religious right and conservatives to an astonishing degree. It is, if not nobler, at least more honest to be an Alinskyite and not apologize for it than be one of those on the right who find it very easy to accommodate nonsense and repackage shit as Shinola.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                It would appear Trump is beginning to show his true colors. (Black with a white stripe down his back.)

                http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/30/trump-on-freedom-caucus-must-fight-them.html

                As I have mentioned, I expected this type of thing as the man is not a conservative. It seems his impulses lean toward leftist bullying.

                This should not be surprising to anyone who has observed the man.

                Now that both his daughter and son-in-law are ensconced in the West Wing, we can expect an expedited move to the left on most policies.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            With the attempt to ram RyanCare down our throats, my coffee feels pissed in.

            I am still a bit confused as to what this exercise was actually about.

            There was never any chance that the bill would pass in the Senate. Furthermore, I do not believe Ryan truly expected the bill to get past the Freedom Caucus. So why the big show?

            Did they, in fact, not want to repeal Obamacare? Did they want to damage Trump? Was it a trial of strength by Ryan? Was Ryan and Co simply stupid?

            Suffice to say, I don’t believe all the nonsense which is being spouted about this in the media.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Mr. Kung, I give you full marks for even-handedness and objectivity without being an ass-kisser. There are numerous good articles out there right now noting the cringe-worthy “conservative” apologists (Jeffrey Lord, Sean Hannity) out there for Trump who blame it all on Ryan or the conservatives in the house, but Trump can do no wrong.

              Your questions regarding “What this is all about” are good ones. You know my mind well on this. I think as the days pass, Trump will create and reinforce alienation amongst the GOP and his other would-be or former allies. It is entirely possible that this was Ryan taking a jab at Trump, trying to put Trump’s prestige (such as it is) on a bill that had no chance of passing.

              Your questions are particularly good because I do not believe we can take this situation at face value.

              Conclusion: Either get on to single-payer and do it as well as you can or repeal this socialist canker sore on the body of our society. But being “a little bit pregnant” and prescribing some other pill for morning sickness, rather than a competing brand, is not the answer.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Unfortunately, I suspect that’s what we have to look forward to. At least partial control by government (if they can get us back to that, which is at least theoretically possible at present) isn’t as bad as total control.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Ann Coulter doesn’t get to her point but she has a point in her latest article about healthcare. You are forced to pay for all types of coverages that you don’t need or want. She doesn’t get to the point in that all these extra things mandated to be covered are not a function of health care but a function of social policy…that is, it is part of the indoctrination into the Religion of Leftism.

                Obviously there are peripheral issues. It’s true, as Mr. Kung would surely point out, that in the short term that ObamaCare (or RyanCare) is good for big business. Surely it is. And surely ObamaCare empowers an ivory tower DC elite. That is true too (of both parties). But as my friend, Pat, often says: Democrats are the party of evil. We Republicans are the party of stupid. It is not known if Paul Ryan and his ilk understand or really care that ObamaCare is first and foremost about implementing social change, not improving anyone’s health care.

                It’s as if the devil himself had put this together. Appeal to an overwhelmingly materialist/feminist culture with “free stuff” and security and you can sell them on anything.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I think I first encountered the idea that the Demagogues are the Evil Party and the GOP the Stupid Party in a column by the late Samuel Francis (a paleoconservative).

                Actually, many of these specific coverage mandates are the result of corrupt deals. Some group of medical specialists buys off the legislators who add those mandates. That’s not liberalism per se, it’s politics as usual.

  12. pstmct says:

    The actual quote I use comes from Dennis Prager, “There are two political parties in this country, the destructive and the stupid. I am a member of the later” But both ways are correct, we Republicans keep sending reinforcements and the GOPe finds some way to crush them. Since 0bamacare was past more than 900 Democrats have lost their elections, (state leg level or higher, if you added local it would be much higher) ,think about that, 900 less destructive individuals in office, and yet, almost no change. There are 535 congress”men”, (almost men), 435 congressional district. Let’s say for the sake of argument that their are 10 state reps per district, (there is not that many), that means out of 4350 state legislators, plus 535 congress”men”, 50 governors, 500 or so various other statewide offices; 5435 offices, over 7 years, we have taken about 17% of those offices. Why is that not enough to bring about change?
    17% is the approve rate of Ryancare? How can the morons in my party be so stupid? If that 17% that approve of Trumpcare/Ryancare/Rinocare/BS-Socialistcare can force the Republicans to cave, why can’t the 17% new re-enforcements we sent get them to do what, (I think), they know is the right thing to do?
    Well then I remember the quote and sigh.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Pat,

      While many in government are stupid, I don’t believe that is the main force compelling the betrayal which we have experienced.

      Never forget that many of those in office with an R behind their names are actually Dimocrats. They come from districts which would not elect a Dimocrat so they lie to gain office.

      For these people, big government is better. It gives them more power and money while in office. And it affords them more opportunities for gain when they leave office, think lobbying/etc. It also gives many of their relatives a chance to cash in on the gravy train.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      LOL. I love the way Prager says it, Pat.

      Funny how things work out. We had ObamaCare rammed down our throats, the final votes bought by various give-aways. Now we have RyanCare with Bannon and Trump demanding that legislators rubber stamp yet another bloated proposal. This is insanity. And why is Ryan still speaker of the house?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Ryan is Speaker because there’s no one to replace him at present. I’m not sure anyone even wants the job. But one of my disappointments is the way he repeats the bad practices (such as bloated bills without enough time to study them) of his wicked predecessor, the Wicked Witch of the West.

  13. Gibblet says:

    My gut says the Tweets, Ryancare, a few bold moves…..are a smokescreen. I’m still hoping for the best, but curious about what’s going on behind the screen? And when is the “big reveal”?

  14. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The gift that keeps on giving. Ed Straker notes that Trump declares war on conservatives. Here’s the relevant soundbyte from Trump:

    The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” he wrote. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!”

    Starker (Straker, whatever) does the nearly unthinkable today: He parses reality clearly:

    Trump doesn’t care about ideology, or principles; he simply wants people to “get on the team.” Having lied to Republican primary voters about repealing Obamacare, he now wants conservative House members to go back on their promises to repeal Obamacare as well.

    When Trump was running for president, he promised to repeal Obamacare. He didn’t promise to repeal part of it, and keep the worst half, the half that contained regulations which kept premiums sky-high and subsidies which are bankrupting the federal government, and soon state governments as well. But by embracing the House bill, that is exactly what President Trump has done. He never even tried to push for a full repeal; all he wanted was a “deal” he could take credit for.

    Make no mistake, the viciousness of Trump’s attack on conservative House members is a direct attack on conservatives themselves. He used many of you to get elected and now wants you to shut up and toe the line. Whatever Trump says and does is brilliant, you can be sure. His contempt for the voters who nominated him in the primary is breathtaking.

    Your truly repeatedly warned you the conservatives were Trump’s biggest enemy, not the Democrats. Not the Left.

    If we are to have a Timothonian “to be fair” moment regarding all this, we should point out that “conservatives” have proven themselves to be very gullible and malleable, holding to principle with less affinity than burnt eggs stick to Teflon. He is a statist. He campaigned that way. It was clear he had contempt for conservatism and his only governing philosophy was Big Government which was a field of power that could supply him with his necessary train of “wins” and “losers.”

    It’s a pity low information voters in the Republican primaries picked a Democrat with a thin veneer of Republicanism on the surface.

    That is the truth of things, Ed. And as conservatives, we shouldn’t “bllppptttt” here either.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      It would appear Trump is upping his rhetoric against the Freedom Caucus. He is attacking some of them by name. This is not only wrong, it is stupid.

      Now, I am not surprised at this because Trump is a polecat and a polecat has got to do what polecats do. However, it is irritating that Trump and so many of his followers have been selling him for a mink.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One Republican has already proposed a bill to repeal Obamacare (with no plan presented for replacement). It would be interesting to see how Trump reacts if asked. No doubt that’s why he won’t be asked about it. Of course, Rycancare was a poor bill — but Trump hasn’t yet had a chance for a better one (though Price, in theory, could have proposed one).

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      If the below survey is to be believed, Trump is taking a big hit among Republicans and Independents.

      Some reasons for this are, 1) His handling of Ryancare, 2) People are beginning to believe the Russians actually had something to do with Trump winning the election.

      The first reason is self-inflicted. The second shows how the Big Lie, if repeated enough, begins to be believed.

      The survey also claims people are unhappy with Trump’s proposed budget, but I have my doubts about this. I do not believe that many people actually know enough about any budget to comment intelligently about it.

      http://www.investors.com/politics/trump-approval-plunges-amid-russia-inquiry-obamacare-repeal-failure-ibdtipp-poll/

      I believe the survey proves my contention that Trump had better concentrate on uniting the Republican Party if he wants to be successful.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Mr. Kung, I thought David French had a good article on the quagmire of the Russian question: A Beginner’s Guide to the Trump/Russia Controversy.

        Although it may be true that the Russians tried to sway our election (the Cold War continues…we certainly, and rightly, at times tried to undermine Communist dictators and puppet governments of the Soviet Union), I think Trump won on the merits of Hillary (or lack of same). Plus he appealed to people’s sense of patriotism combined with their sense of accumulation. Trump looked much more likely to improve the economy and he promised to either fix or not touch the “free stuff.” And, of course, a large number of alienated conservatives/Christians simply wanted a “win” at any cost. Now we are paying that price.

        It certainly seems that Trump and his sycophants have some ties to Russia. It is suspicious why Trump was so effervescent with his praise for Putin. Of course, “rigging” the election is disingenuous as this is being presented. There is zero evidence of any ballot boxes having been tampered with.

        But where is the conservative press on this? Has anyone pointed out that the Left has long allied with the Putin types if it would forward their cause? Didn’t Teddy Kennedy praise or get help from Mother Russia? Has not the Left used its vast propaganda machinery to “rig” elections as best they could?

        Of course they have. Why Putin should apparently prefer Trump over Hillary is not known to me. I would think that Putin thinks that Trump is an easier mark. Just flatter the man and he’ll give you Poland.

        But what I predicted about Trump is coming to pass. His erstwhile allies will fall away as Trump alienates them one by one. With Trump there is always a villain he can blame for his own faults and always a supposed “good guy” around the corner he can praise as an example of how people should really be. It’s funny that as a wedge against the House Freedom Caucus this despicable man started saying nice things about Chuck Schumer. And Schumer, being a fool but not the kind who can’t see through someone else’s superficiality, wasn’t having any of it.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          A number of people have pointed out the hypocrisy of the Left’s new-found russophobia, including Rush Limbaugh. This is what is called “low-hanging fruit” — but it’s always good to remind people of what the Orwellian left has tossed into a memory hole.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Glad Rush picked up on that. One can see why certain presidents have warned of the danger of partisanship. This is just another example of that.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Brad,

          See my post under Cybersecurity.

          I think French left out the most important point, i.e. that the only case of criminal activity which has come to light is that someone in the intelligence community, FBI, foreign service or White House leaked unmasked information on General Flynn. That is a felony.

          As to Russia’s interference in the election, I must say that the is really nothing new. The Soviet Union started interfering in U.S. polities shortly after it was formed. They continued doing so even after the Soviet Union became the Russian Federation. People should remember that the Soviets had a spy in the FDR White House.

          While French points out that the Russians’ biggest success had to do with its hacking into Clinton’s email server, he neglects to mention that it was likely able to do so because the server was not properly protected due to Clinton’s own actions.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Some writers, including Byron York in a major analysis of the “scandal”, have pointed out that the leaking is the only known crime in the matter. Actually, the major penetration by the hackers was caused by an error by John Podesta (in response to a fishing expedition), not by Slick Hilly — but since she did nothing even when she found out about it, the buck has to stop with her.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Yes, Russian interfering in our (or anyone’s) elections is nothing new. That is one reason we have historically been on opposite sides (or, rather, a symptom that we were). So, yeah, it’s a little troubling that the Soviet Union (err…I mean “Russia”) pulled some strings and aided, if only in a minuscule way, the election of their useful idiot.

            You might email that additional point to French. Maybe he could add it to his article or to a future one. This really is a Rube Goldberg situation for the average person to try to work out, especially with exactly NO trustworthy sides in this debate.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              If Putin wanted Trump in, he’s probably rather disappointed. Ms. Reset would probably have given him what he wanted in the end anyway. But what if all he wanted to do was to weaken the expected winner? And as a bonus, he ended up hurting both (aided and abetted by the Demagogues, of course).

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                But what if all he wanted to do was to weaken the expected winner?

                I suspect this was Putin’s intent all along. No serious Russian leader could actually count on stealing an American election. But he could count on causing “confusion and delay”, as Mr. Conductor says.

                This has been one of the many ways the Russkies have caused trouble in American for decades. I think they are still mad at us for Seward’s folly.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                In one episode of The Wild, Wild West (I think it’s “The Night of the Cossack”), John Astin plays a Russian aristocrat seeking some treasure hidden in San Francisco. At one point he talks of sending some troublemaker to Alaska (since he theoretically is in Siberia, though they eventually find out otherwise), and West notes that he can’t — they sold it to us.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Even “Rolling Stone” admits that many are going nuts about Putin, Russia and Trump.

          http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-putin-derangement-syndrome-arrives-w474771

  15. pstmct says:

    Come to think of it, Trump is the perfect political chameleon. He is both destructive and stupid, Democrat and Republican at the same time.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      That’s an interesting thought,. Pat. Likely a lot of truth to that. If he means to repeal ObamaCare, root and branch, he can certainly write his own bill and have a member of Congress introduce it. What’s the holdup? I thought the point was to drain the swamp?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        More proof that Trump is no democrat and is a bully.

        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/01/trump-vs-freedom-caucus-president-takes-names-starting-with-amash.html

        Clearly some of those surrounding him are also somewhat thuggish.

        Trump is a demagogue and like all such bullies has sycophants who are willing to slither to any depth to please him.

        I think some of the man’s actions are disgraceful. I think he is potentially dangerous. Like a Leftist, he attacks the people if they dare oppose him. He doesn’t argue the merits. He tries to scare people into silence. He must be called out on this.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Mr. Kung, here’s a particularly creepy rationalization by the caving Congressman, Edgar Allan “Ted” Poe: Why I Left the Freedom Caucus.

          This is bilge of the highest caliber. Note the stale “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good” nostrum which has become the rallying cry of the men without chests. This guy has just declared himself to be a creep. I won’t be surprised if he is re-elected.

          The basic premises of StubbornThings are simple and unalterable:

          + Entitlements corrupt people

          + Big Government corrupts people and politicians

          + Socialism corrupts society

          + Self-lying has become a cultural norm

          + The GOP is the antithesis of the party of reform and freedom.

          We can’t be shocked, shocked that Trump is the opportunistic lying (aka “pragmatic”) statist megalomaniac that we know him to be. Just as with Obama, there was no missing who this guy is/was. He telegraphed it in every vapid speech. And it’s arguable there has never been such a mentally fragile person in the White House, even including Mary Todd Lincoln.

          Rather than Andrew Jackson, his is more of a Mussolini kind of nationalism. It’s a cult of blustering personality fed by megalomania and threats. But he is the “strong man” who will right the wrongs of the long-suffering working classes.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            You might notice that the first response to that article at Town Hall was by me, and it wasn’t praise. In particular, I noted that a minimum requirement for the bill was to fulfill 7 years of promises to repeal Obamacare, which it failed to come even close to doing.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Yes, I saw that comment. It was very very fair. However, I think the Congressman needs a good (if erudite) tongue-lashing. He comes off as little more than a cowardly opportunistic liar.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I just read the nonsense by Poe. I also saw him on TV the day after Ryan decided not to have a vote on the bill. Needless to say, I believe the man is nothing more than a typical prevaricating politician. His article says nothing about specifics. Instead he uses the same old focus-group tested words like, “solutions and inclusive.”
            What a phony.

            I read a good number of the posts in response to the article and Tim’s set the mood for the vast majority of those which followed. Only one or two people claimed to believe there would actually be a part 2 and 3. This shows a good percentage of the public has woken up and will not be fobbed off with phony politician promises any longer. I mentioned this point in the email I sent the White House yesterday.

            And it is a lie that the Freedom Caucus keeps changing their demands. On Friday, Rush Limbaugh read out a statement from the Freedom Caucus which stated they would go along with Ryan’s bill if he would change two more of the 12 points which have been discussed when talking about the repeal of Obamacare.

            This would bring the total of changes which the Freedom Caucus demanded to 4 out of 12. Oh my God!!! How horrible.

            I hope someone primaries Poe.

            I like your “Edgar Allen” reference as this Congressman’s writings are clearly as fictional as those of the author of “A Cask of Amontillado.”

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Well said, Mr. Kung. Much more thoughtful than I was. All I could do was muster that face I had after watching “Interstellar.” 😀

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I think there will be a phase 2, since that simply involves Secretary Price taking advantage of all the discretionary power Obamacare gives him. Of course, it would be unnecessary if Obamacare were actually repealed. Phase 3 was a pipe dream.

              “The Cask of Amontillado” is probably my favorite Poe story. It has a touch of humor (such as how Montresor made sure he didn’t have to worry about any of his servants witnessing the crime), features a strong theme of vengeance (I would love to be able to live up to the Montresor motto myself), and the spark for the revenge came when Fortunato “ventured into insult”.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I think there will be a phase 2, since that simply involves Secretary Price taking advantage of all the discretionary power Obamacare gives him.

                A couple of problems with this is that even if Price did annul some of the more outrageous directives, he might not annul all of them and might even add some of his own. More importantly, any changes he made would not be permanent as the next Secretary could add or subtract as he saw fit.

                So carrying through with Phase 2 is only a passing phase. Sorry I couldn’t help myself.

          • pstmct says:

            From the article;
            “Times have changed. Republicans – mostly conservatives – control it all now. It is our time to lead. It is our time to unify and deliver on the promises that we made for years.”
            Mostly conservative? This guy must be sampling too much weed. This bill, Trumpcare, Ryancare or RinoCare, whatever you want to call it was opposed by both ends of the Republican spectrum, left and right, why does this weasel think that the blame, (or credit from my perspective), for the moderates failure to ram more crap down our throats should fall mainly on the Freedom Caucus? And why was he ever a member?

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              And why was he ever a member?

              A mole who was inserted into the Caucus in order to report on and influence the group’s policies? When he couldn’t he had to get out?

              • pstmct says:

                A mole by any other name would be just as destructive. I hate those little bastards. almost a “Rat like bastard”.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Why was he ever a member indeed. Good question, Pat. Good observations although I feel bad about besmirching weasels who otherwise are sleek, active, useful little animals. They eat rats and stuff, right?

              I suppose “cockroach” is the only animal no one will stick up for. Still…at least insects have the excuse of having a simple brain.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Cockroaches . . . or bedbugs. Our house is severely infested by both, which is one reason neither of us has set foot there since December 22.

              • pstmct says:

                Some where in Alaska, there is a restaurant that has a billboard that reads “There is room for all of God’s creatures on this Earth… Right next to the mashed potatoes and corn” I cannot seem to fit bugs into that saying, but my grandson loves to shoot rodents and cook em’ up and eat them. (mostly squirrels but he is not limited).
                I do not think Mr. Po would fit on the plate either, but he sure should be hunted down and targeted by conservatives in his district, until his political career is over.
                “Come see the violence inherent in the system”…

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                LOL. Love that restaurant sign from Alaska. I’ll stick to chicken, turkey, and beef for the present. But I’ve always wondered what RINO would taste like.

  16. pstmct says:

    Brad, I am pretty sure that everything about the RINO you speak of is just like chicken.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      LOL. Good one, Pat. By the way, I’m wondering what “MCT” stands for. Perhaps “Mister Conservative Trumpster.” No, probably not.

  17. pstmct says:

    Pat, Sandy, Toby, Maegan and Cori Tarzwell. It is very intricate and complex, NOT… just like me. The other choice is People Suck Too Many Chicken Toes.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      LOL. I like your other one. But a man has a good right to be proud of such a fine family. And I say that without any expectation of inheritance. 😀

      Probably should talk more concrete topics.

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