We won last night.
I had prepped myself with both a good whiskey and a mediocre whiskey. I anticipated I would have needed the mediocre whiskey to forget about the results of the vote. I was wrong. I enjoyed a very nice shot of eighteen year old Scotch in celebration.
We won last night.
There are many questions. What next? Sabotage or reconstruction? Is there a bipartisan repair bill possible?
But I don’t want to talk about that right now. I am too tired and too amped up for that.
You did it. We did it. We will still need to fight hard, we will still need to look out for each other. We will still need to fight some more.
We told our stories, we made our phone calls even though we were told that they would not matter, we consoled each other and picked each other. We kept on banging knowing that the odds were not great in our favor, but our values, our morals, our sense of self would not allow ourselves to rest without trying as hard as possible. Some days I could not do much more, but I knew that you and millions of other decent people who worried about their lives, families, friends and communities would bang the drum for me and I would bang the drum for someone who need a respite day later on.
We kept on going. We did not know if we would win, just that we could either win a policy and political victory that protected ourselves and our vision of an America where we are in this together or at least inflict massive political costs against a vision of America that is cruel, cold and atomistic.
So we will figure out what is next, we will figure out how to hold onto today’s victory, we will figure out how to make our country better. But let’s wait a day for that.
Today we celebrate.
Tomorrow we keep on banging the drum.
It’s one candle in the great darkness, but it’s a start. Cheers!
Thank you for EVERYTHING ????
I’m grateful for this brief reprieve at least but let’s not forget that we still have a bunch of vandals in charge of the Federal government. Do not doubt that Trump is likely to do whatever he can to sabotage Obamacare.
It’s the biggest candle in the room.
Iowa Old Lady
Holy cow. What great news to wake up to. It’s like I don’t live under R rule any more.
Wow, an Andrew Sullivanism used unironically here? We really did win last night.
I know that I was all..
We gotta fight fight fight..
But, we needed this win.
I just woke up (still under the covers) and I am too stunned to be happy. I have hopped and skipped all over the internet for ten minutes now, and I am still pinching myself.
But boy, when this sinks in, it’s going to be something.
La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes)
@rikyrah: Good morning! What a great morning it is!
I want to call Collins, Murkowski, and McCain, but I have no idea if anyone will pick up a number from an out of state area code. Anyone have any experience with calling Senators who aren’t your own? Does anyone answer?
You can send faxes and emails. That’s what I’ve been doing since I can’t call during work hours.
I dunno if I can deal with another three years of insomnia.
This tweet was at around 2am. He must be beside himself with fury. Glad!
I just can’t forget that 48 Senators voted in the middle of the night FOR a bill that had been written on napkins at lunch and allowed no debate. Banana Republic crap.
Like OhioMom, I woke up to a nice surprise.
Kudos to Collins, Murkowski, and McCain.
And a great big THANK YOU to everyone who did their civic duty to stop that travesty from being approved. The callers, faxers, twitterers, FBers, postcard writers, marchers, protesters, and the bloggers.
Kudos to you David Richard Mayhew Anderson. You deserve plaudits and epaulets and a hearty hug and kudos. You gave us the information we needed to see how truly awful this was, and the tools to fight back.
Thank you, everyone.
So Dean Heller decided to be Steve Wynn’s stooge instead of representing his constituents. I hope this sends him packing in 2018.
@Ian G.: Yes, most will answer, I think. I called Collins and emailed Murkowski yesterday afternoon to thank them for standing strong and doing the right thing on health care votes this past week, and asked that they continue on that path and vote no on the skinny repeal. Neither is my senator; I acknowledged that up front, but said that I still wanted to thank them b/c their vote iimpacts the lives of everyone in the country, not just the lives of their constituents.
Municipal elections are this fall – your local DTC has probably recently announced their slate. Time to work to get Democrats elected at every level, so we will have the deepest bench of qualified, progressive candidates.
Two rules for politics:
1) Winning is better than losing
2) (Correct response to the Leninist ‘worse is better’ strategy): Worse is worse.
It can’t be easy for Democrats in Congress to find the will to work with Republicans to improve Obamacare, when Democrats know what Republicans really want to do.
On another front, is it at all possible to restrain President Trump from further undermining Obamacare? You’ve held the ground against McConnell, but it seems to me that an executive with four years free rein is a fight with rather different rules.
Gin & Tonic
Good news to wake up to. But this Anderson interloper is stealing a lot of credit that belongs to that Mayhew dude. Would be nice to see him back to take a bow.
And, you know, props to McCain. Maybe the prospect of imminent death really *does* focus the mind.
@Amir Khalid: There’s various things Trump (and his cronies) can do to make things worse. The main thing is to prevent him from blaming everyone else for the consequences of his actions.
ETA: Or, at least, make sure everyone understands who’s to blame. We’re gotten better at getting that word out and making that clear.
@Amir Khalid: Yeah, cynically celebrate McCain as The Big Hero saving Republicans from themselves, and give them cover to blatantly resist Trump, whom they fear and hate anyway.
Trump’s failure to be loyal to Sessions is a fatal flaw here. It could easily lead to hanging all of it, all the dysfunction and toxicity, on Trump. (and McConnell.) As if it was never the Republicans’ fault. All Trump, he was the baddie.
All these people are disconnected from policy and the consequences of policy. They’re fools, and some part of them knows it, and right now they want a get-out-of-jail-free card (get out of guillotine?). I’d like to see them abandon all their stupid principles to save their necks, and it pleases me that Trump is personally taking responsibility for so much of what makes Republicans horrible people. He’s sticking his neck out because he doesn’t know anything else.
He can’t pass legislation all by his own self. I’d like to see all of Congress in a mood to spite him. Most effective way is, governing like half-sensible people, and that’s also the safest way to escape consequences. I don’t think it’s impossible.
@Gin & Tonic: FWIW, there is a conservative case for universal health care. Try googling ‘conservative case for single payer’.
Democrats’ message next year:
Remember how worried this asshole made you about your health insurance? Let’s not do that again.
It’s actually not a great campaign message, but it gives me some satisfaction to type it out.
@Gin & Tonic: He’ll always be Mayhew to me.
The HHS is working to tank the bill, and hopefully MSM informs the public of their dastardly deeds.
@Gin & Tonic: Or maybe the ridicule he received after he voted for the bill he had just hours earlier claimed he wouldn’t vote for stung. Mr. Maverick likes to sip his own kool-aid.
But I’ll take it either way.
Still shocking to me that 49 Senators voted for something they thought was such complete crap that they needed Paul Ryan to promise not to allow to become law. That is just so fucked up.
@MattF: Oh, but Trump has already decided that he’s not going to own it. He is going to totally be the opposite of owning health care. Believe me.
@sdhays: IMO, the politics has always favored single-vote margins on crucial votes. I believe that in most alternate realities, the vote fails– although possibly with different Senators.
Gin & Tonic
@sdhays: By all accounts he was genuinely friends with Ted Kennedy. I suspect he may be hoping for the same kind of funeral.
@sdhays: Right, but everyone knows by now that Trump lies about everything. I suspect it will be difficult for him to deny responsibility, although he’ll try.
There is zero chance the thugs will ever help the dems fix the ACA – and I mean zero in the mathematical sense of the word; not the quantum (no tunneling!) To improve the ACA is a far, far worse sin than not voting it down; voting to improve it makes it workable as well as something that will never go away. The Kook sucker brothers are gonna do everything in their power to kill the ACA and making certain no thug votes to improve it will be their #1 priority.
The ads write themselves.
We have everyone of those muthaphuckas with an on the record vote.
Now NAIL THEM
@Cermet: I agree. Bear in mind that McConnell’s comment that cooperation with Dems might be needed if Ocare isn’t repealed was a threat, meant to persuade Republicans to vote for repeal.
Dean Heller signing his own political death warrant for nothing is fantastic. I don’t know if Peter King is vulnerable out here on Long Island, but I’m sure any number of New York Republican Congresscritters are. Have a good stiff drink tonight, Elise Stefanik.
Don’t forget that many Republicans in Congress aren’t saying “curses, foiled again” this morning, although many are. There’s a sizable number who’re saying “leadership just made me take a very tough vote for nothing. Now the base is mad we failed, and everyone else is mad I voted yes.” They may be susceptible to a Democratic pitch that improvements to ACA could be sold as changing it enough their more retrograde voters won’t hear “Obama” every time the subject comes up.
mai naem mobile
I just want to point out that if they hadn’t insisted to have McCain come back to DC after his surgery they would have won with the current votes. I thought it was real assholish behavior on the part of Cornyn and Turtle to put pressure on him to come. I am talking on a human being level.
@mai naem mobile: no? it would have lost 50-49.
This is excellent news for John McCain.
Many thanks to Mayhew/Anderson. You have provided inspiration and facts. Motivation. Take another drink of that Scotch….a grateful nation turns its eyes to you. At least the BJ nation.
Funny how the whole story is McCain, McCain, McCain. Two women led the way and now time for glory, right?
A very tiny sparkle in a vast darkness, but we’ll take it, thanks.
Gin & Tonic
@Nelle: Well, their opposition was known going in. Turtle had two he could give away, and he gave away Collins a long time ago, and lost Murkowski for sure when Zinke tried to strongarm her. Lots of people, including many cynics here (including me) expected McCain to shut up and toe the line. So the surprise factor makes good drama.
They barely pick up for in-state calls so why not try. The fax option works well, too.
I’m so tired this morning. I think last night was the third or fourth in a row where I really couldn’t sleep.
I think my version of celebration will be to go home and go to bed early!
Many thanks to Richard/David for keeping us informed.
I can;t imagine that I’d be the only person in the country to have gone to bed anxious and depressed last night, only to to be elated to wake up to the best political news in a long time. Still good to see I’m not alone…..
The defeat of Obamacare repeal IS a big win, though, however narrow and/or dramatic. And the most encouraging thing about it, to me (Jay says in a bout of uncharacteristic optimism) is that the fundamental opposition to killing O-care – and GOP blather about “improvements” have always been pure BS ; killing the ACA outright out of political spite has always been their endgame – has come from public opposition. Widespread and vigorous public opposition from the actual public; despite the Republicans’ best efforts to ignore it. I mean. I’m
an old geezera veteran observer of political stuff, and I can NEVER recall any legislation attempted to be pushed through Congress with as little support and approval from so many people and organizations as the TrumpCare abomination (15% support? SRSLY?). Well, maybe Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s: but there, the unpopularity/opposition, however vigorous, was mainly sectional. In 2017, it seemed like everybody – with the notable exception of GOP Congresscraps – hated the TrumpCare “reforms”.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
This is all a bit surreal that the GoP can’t even cobble together something like a name change or some other face saver.
I literally hollered when I read this morning that the bill went down to defeat. I still can’t believe 49 senators voted for a bill that they literally wrote yesterday afternoon on a napkin at lunch. I feel 10 pounds lighter today!
Dr. Ronnie James, D.O.
My Senator (human block of cream cheese Pat Toomey) had a middling role in this, and his office didn’t seem very receptive to my calls, but I’m hopeful the political beating the GOP is taking on this leads him to reconsider. Even though he’s got almost 6 years before re-election, it was close then, and Trump’s approval in PA has turned negative since he took office. All the “Trump’s voters will never abandon him” fatalism seems to be a mirage. Will keep up the pressure, keep trying to boost registration and turnout here in Philly, and keep supporting any and all alternatives.
@Skepticat: A rainbow, also too.
Hey everyone, Maine has a referendum in November that would expand Medicaid. There really is nothing quite so beautiful as Autumn in Maine and you always come up here to phone bank and then have some lobster and take a pretty hike.
If you live in a non-expansion state, maybe find out if you could qualify a Medicaid expansion question for your November 2018 election. Wouldn’t that be the sweetest feeling to kick out the Republican bums and expand Medicaid all with the same ballot!
We’re six months into Trump’s disastrous term, and he hasn’t managed to pass a single piece of significant legislation. He’s done a lot of damage for sure, but it’s somewhat astounding that he’s gotten so little done with congressional control. Ha! What a fucking loser.
I went to bed with a heavy heart, but sent a text anyway at the last minute. I’m sure it was my message that turned the tide. ;-)
I dreaded waking up my iPad when I got up this morning, certain that I would be seeing my health care swirling down the drain. I was so shocked to read that the Republicans had failed again that I burst into tears.
Just a bunch of small bricks, stacked one at a time, but enough to build a wall that stemmed a flood of hate and selfishness. It may get knocked down soon, but it’s there now. And I’m glad.
A Ghost to Most
Grandpa Walnuts saves Obamacare? Still strong enough to stick a shiv through a turtle shell, I guess. Hoocudanode?
Back from Taos. Great trip, great place. Too many Texans. Now to check the pictures.
No time to really read everything that happened while I was [trying to sleep as a cat danced on my head], but I see McCain did the right thing, at long, long last.
My husband says, “I was praying!” So that did it! Thanks, hubby! /j/k — thanks to everyone for all your calls and protests. I got tired of bothering Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, who don’t need me to tell them what to do. I’ll call them today to thank them again.
The opening paragraph of Peggy Noonan’s WSJ column today:
LMAO! Noonan is a fucking idiot, of course. But she translates the half-baked notions of tens of millions of sub-literate goobers into what passes for high-minded prose with the conservative set, so it’s good to see her going for Trump’s stones like that.
@Gin & Tonic: Ditto; maybe cancer was a good thing for McCain – especially if he is cured – then it is win/win for all of us.
I wonder if the whole Sessions thing is the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as GOP loyalty to Trump. Noonan calling t
Trump out for not being a man is phenomenal.
The Republicans have fallen victim to their own spin. In the end, the American people didn’t hate their health care, they were just generally hating on taxes and gays and Obama and all that. The ACA was just a banner in that expression. But the Republicans came to believe that the bloody banner they waived was itself the cause.
But the match will continue
ETA I put this on the dead thread below by accident. Sorry for the repeat…..
mai naem mobile
@nycmt: duh ,I was flipping him to the other side.
Yes he really sucks at his job especially however at the level of regulation and staffing directed by his cabinet, they are incredibly effective at dismantling so many basic protections. And the brutal and cruel way ICE is rounding up people is abhorrent. So now that we have just stopped their attempt at legislative destruction, we have to fight to get them to fully implement ACA, restore the rights and protections we’ve lost, protect our vote, guard LGBTQ rights, and figure out how to provide sanctuary to our dreamers and immigrants.
@Ian G.: Just email them.
@Betty Cracker: When you’ve lost Peggy Noonan…
@Betty Cracker: “norms and forms of American masculinity”? Do tell, Ms. Noonan. Do tell.
@rikyrah: Yes, what Rikyrah said, and probably others too. Thank you, Mayhew/Anderson.
I think it’s worth calling or faxing, even if not a constituent, because you’re calling to say “thanks” and they don’t get a lot of that.
But in addition to Collins, Murkowski and McCain, how about showing some love to the 48 Democratic Senators who stuck together like glue throughout this ludicrous exercise? I’m sure any of their offices would appreciate a thank-you call. I once called Pelosi’s office to thank her for staying on as Minority Leader (I live on the other coast so definitely not a constituent) and the intern who took my call sounded like she was about to cry when she thanked me for the call.
Make a Democratic intern cry happy tears! Call!
mai naem mobile
@Betty Cracker: shhhh…let him think he’s doing awesome. Those post office naming bills are MAGA.
McCain isn’t cured of cancer. Not this new one, anyway. In fact, the prognosis is pretty grim. We discussed this at some length the day his cancer was announced.
@Betty Cracker: Aunt Peg defining ‘American masculinity’ is a laffer all by itself. Also, fwiw, Charles ‘The Hammer’ Krauthammer noted that Trump’s behaviors are mainly manifestations of dominance display, which is a good observation.
“And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he,
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.
And the turtles, of course… all the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.”
@debbie: Yup! And today is a day to celebrate and drink ol’ Mitch’s salty turtle tears. But the fight isn’t over yet…
A Ghost to Most
Those are words I never thought would apply to Nooner.
So Twitler’s unforgivable sin is he isn’t enough of a fascist strongman?
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Betty Cracker: He should put on a cowboy hat and be photographed cutting some brush in New York, i.e., trimming the hedges wearing Bermuda shorts, sandals and black socks. That kind of stuff always bolsters the male image.
Seriously, I’m glad to see a Republican recognizing what a sniveling not-at-all-manly baby he is. The stripping of the sanctions power recently is another good sign that Republican leadership is getting ready to [insert any metaphor that is not the “under the bus” one]. Not that Republicans will all of a sudden be on the right side of history for any issue. But it makes impeachment that much more plausible.
@Amir Khalid: That is why I said “if”; however, his chances depend highly on the genetic (or should I just say geriatric?) makeup of his cancer’s from what I understand. His surgery was highly successful I read and chem and radiation should greatly improve his odds. Still, he isn’t our fiend … I mean ‘friend’, since he voted to continue into this mess but last night, he finally acted (the only case I am aware of) on his principles – until now, that SOB was a stark raving hypo-critic bating a perfect 1000. Gues he is now down to 999.
I just wonder when Trump will start bombing Arizona in retaliation for McCain’s vote.
@Mark B: On the Barry Goldwater Bombing Range!
Silverman points out the importance of the defeat of Trumpcare last night:
It’s really nice to be proud of your Senator for once.
This must be what it’s like to live somewhere sane.
@Ian G.: Because of cell phones, they can’t really tell whether a phone number is in-state.
So it’s good news . . . from John McCain. Have to admit I never saw that coming.
Question is, what’s next? I don’t expect the Forces of Darkness to simply accept defeat and move on. They have no other agenda.
Trump’s Twitter response to Nooners is something to look forward to. Trump deserves to see his supporters turn on him. He has basically led the American right into disarray. It would be wonderful if disappointment with Trump took hold and helped dislodge the party’s hold on its base and the mainstream media
@rikyrah: Great. Just have to survive until November 2018 and do all we can to flip Congress.
This is why I wonder if his vote was a “this is what I want the history books to say about me” action. He has to know that Trump is going to get James Buchanan off the hook as far as worst presidencies in history. He’s got a big enough ego, and perhaps conscience, to want to be seen as a figure standing against that.
Went to Balloon Juice first thing…and the first words I see are “we won.”
Having a big ole grin while you’re crying feels great!
Thank you so much to everyone who called, wrote letters and postcards, sent faxes, visited offices, protested, marched and did anything to help make this happen. I’m calling Senators Collins, McCain and Murkowski this morning to say thank you. I’m so relieved I can hardly express it. I feel like someone has had a gun to my head for months and they just took it away.
Both my morning newspapers — The Cincinnati Enquirer and the NYT — were printed before the vote, so they were a bit of a time-warp.
The Times had a fairly long article featuring people who were, with good, sad reasons, pertrified of losing the ACA and the protections it affords them. Reading their stories and knowing “it ends happy” for them made it bearable. Else I don’t think I could have stood it.
Wrote emails to Collins, Murkowski and McCain, thanking them, left a message for Portman telling him I will never, ever forget what he tried to do to me and my family. Will also call Sherrod Brown later, just for good measure.
I’m still a little dizzy. It is all so unbelievable. For all our belief that our country is set up to distribute power widely, with multiple branches and levels, it all came down to one generally non-admirable man.
@James Powell: Comment #76 addresses how the failure to repeal the ACA hamstrings the GOP’s future policy plans.
It has been hard enough to get those Forces of Darkness just to acknowledge it when they’ve been defeated.
My thoughts exactly. If McCain had stayed in Arizona, the Motion to Proceed would have been defeated 49-50 because Sens. Collins and Murkowski had the guts to stand up to their own party’s leadership, and we could have relaxed after Tuesday.
Instead, McCain interjected himself into the process, drew it out for a few more days, and hogged the glory this morning. Fuck him.
Thanks for all your work, and for sharing your expertise on these issues. I tell somebody things I’ve learned from your blogging or your twitter almost every day.
@A Ghost to Most:
please send some to Alain
It is just possible that McConnell is humiliated and broken, that his time as a leader is done, that Republican Senators miss the days when they were a respected body and want to actually govern even if that means occasionally working with Dems, and that they’re sick to fucking Hell of McConnell strong-arming them into nihilistic uber-obstruction. Certainly McConnell started the ‘agree with nothing, total war’ schtick when he couldn’t handle a black guy’s election.
It seems like a long-shot, but last night surprised me. Who knows?
While Trump is sure a loser, the utter inaction is on McConnell. I am now entertaining the small possibility he has been sitting on his hands because his caucus was on the edge of open rebellion. It seems unlikely, but it would at least explain the giant empty space of nothing legislatively.
BTW, since I’m going to be calling 3 Republicans, I’m going to mention how the ACA has helped the BUSINESS I work for (a regional health insurer). We’re making money on the silver and bronze plans (gold and platinum not so much since very sick people are the only ones who sign up for those) and on the Medicaid expansion.
@MomSense: Medicaid expansion is the next battle, for sure.
@Cermet: With McCain’s type of cancer, all you can do is buy time. Maybe he buy a relatively good amount of it, and maybe the proverbial bus will hit him first before the cancer finishes doing its stuff, but he is not going to be cured.
Thems the breaks.
If the small chance does turn out and this was about Republican Senators letting McCain publicly shiv McConnell (they do hate how McConnell treats them), I’ll give McCain credit. Right now, yeah, I’m more greatful to Collins and Murkowski.
Republicans promised to fix your healthcare. They didn’t. They had Congress and the presidency and didn’t fix it. Blame Republicans for EVERYTHING to do with healthcare. Your premiums went up? Blame Republicans. Your medication isn’t covered? Blame Republicans. Democrats need to be out there blaming Republicans for everything. ESPECIALLY with employer-based health insurance. People who have it have more cushion and they’ve been blaming Obamacare for every hangnail that wasn’t covered by their health insurance. Time to turn the tables.
Gin & Tonic
@Cermet: 5-year survival rate for glioblastoma is under 15% IIRC.
@Yarrow: I’ve told my husband that I want the first line of my obituary to read, “Ohio Mom of The Resistance…”
Will hastily add, as far as I know, I am nowhere near my last days — No worries!
The real villain of this story is Dean Heller, who got rolled by the forces of darkness. McCain came for his share of glory (partly deserved, because he finally did the right thing for once), but the real heroes are the Democrats who held fast and the two Republican women who held up under intense pressure from Pence and McConnel to give up their constituents and did the right thing.
I was with my brother for six hours yesterday as he came out of cancer surgery. When I got home, I watched things on the internet until I got tired and went to bed at about 12:30. Not articulate enough to express my surprise and pleasure when I got up, turned on the laptop, and saw the headline this AM.
This healthcare stuff with the Republicans is like a neverending episode of The Walking Dead, but today I have some people to be proud of. Lots of them. Well played, all you callers, faxers, emailers, the 3 Republicans who did the right thing, and Dems like Manchin who did not peel off.
When the zombies come back, it will be with an even more punitive, hateful health care “plan.” It’s their nature. With persistence and luck, maybe the Republicans will make enough mistakes on topics that the general public understands from personal experience that they’ll lose seats in sufficient numbers for the human beings to resume control of the USA’s affairs.
@Frankensteinbeck: The orange fart cloud is far from done nor is it in any manner, in any real danger – at least, not yet. If he pulls sessions, then we will see the real effects and if the thug senators have any backbone (for jelly fish, that would be a surprise) they must take real steps (at least sessions is one of their “own”. That raises the possibility they will do something – maybe.) If, on the other hand, they just howl and don’t protect Mueller via special legislation if session’s is taken down, then all bets are off; then fart cloud will be free to act. If, or when, the fart crosses that Rubicon, then we will see what happens.
Yuuup! Trumpov doesn’t care about doing evil things but he sure hates being (rightfully) considered a loser…let’s help him out today with that, shall we? LOL
Just about crashed the car this morning when the news update came on NPR (yes, I know, but it’s just the classical music channel). And then I teared up and started whooping for joy!
I’m gonna call my Virginia Senators and thank them and then get on the phone to thank the GOP women who got it done. Glad to see McCain finally did the right thing, but let’s give the lion’s share of credit to those who were on the right side from early on.
“Republicans tried to kill you.” Our current shot at anything is if the public fury we’ve seen these last six months turns into a permanently motivated voter base like the Republicans have. The protests and extreme vote swings we’ve seen are not normal, or even precedented. We just wish they were. So… who knows?
@Ian G Don’t forget to also call Mazie Hirono. Diagnosed with Stage IV cancer a few months ago, she is recently post-op, and she traveled a great distance to vote ‘no’ on the bill. The big difference between she and McCain is that she hasn’t made her vote a theatrical event, or played politics with it. She’s ALWAYS voted no. She’s a real hero in my eyes.
@InternetDragons: I forgot about her. A real profile in courage.
I honestly think the work we have done here to expand Medicaid, including the referendum question, combined with the hospital and nursing home associations which tend to be conservative and Republican are the biggest factors in Collins’ votes.
This really ought to be the song of the day; “Hope The High Road”, by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.
(listen closely past the first eight lines…he’s talking to us, Juicers!)
Ohio Mom of the Resistance would make an outstanding memoir title.
Love Isbell. He’s an unabashed lefty (not many of those in country music, Steve Earle and Ryan Bingham are too). He’s telling all of us despairing over Trump not to give up and to fight back with dignity. We’re doing it, and it worked here.
@rikyrah: Adam’s analysis is spot on. McConnell and Ryan have to rethink EVERYTHING. And not in a good way for them. The “Freedom Caucus” will get angrier and harder to deal with. Most immediately, they will try to sink America’s good faith and credit by preventing raising the debt ceiling. The Republican leadership could avoid that by working with the Democrats to remove the whole stupid debt ceiling thing. They might have to consider working as real legislators for the good of the country.
@Gin & Tonic: I am surprised to hear that the odds are as high as 15%. That’s almost hopeful. Put another way though, McCain has an 85% chance of dying before 2022.
Those five-year cancer survival numbers are somewhat misleading. Those fifteen percent could all die at five years and one day, and that would not be captured. It’s a real bug-a-boo of breast cancer survivors because some breast cancers can wait 10-20 years to recur, so the five-year mark doesn’t tell you very much.
Also, I am under the impression that it counts people who have died “with” their particular cancer but of other causes.
Once you are a cancer patient, you learn to be gobsmacked at how loosely-goosey the statistics-keeping is.
@Ian G.: ya’lternative.
I’m a little late to this party but wanted to thank David Anderson a.k.a. Richard Mayhew for shedding light day-in day-out on the implications of every single policy twist. Thank you. And thanks, too to every repeated caller/faxer/town hall attendee. You did this. You saved healthcare.
@tobie: The way things have been going you might still be at the beginning of the thread!
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
@Cheryl Rofer: Democrats CARE about your health and well-being, so we don’t take kindly to the other guys fucking around with your access to health care. Democrats also CARE about a strong American economy (with good jobs at good wages), so we don’t take kindly to the other guys fucking around with a significant percentage of it like this. Democrats CARE ABOUT YOU AND TAKE THIS SHIT SERIOUSLY
– there’s your message, in a framework that easily expands to many other topics and issues.
@Nicole: YES! I called Representative Al Green’s office to thank him for introducing the Article of Impeachment. He got death threats for it. The staffer was so grateful she almost cried. I told her I wasn’t a constituent but she took my zip code anyway. She really appreciated the call. I thanked her for being there and said it must have been difficult and expressed sympathy for her work too.
That’s why I’m calling the three GOP “no” vote Senators today. To say thank you for their votes. Make their staffer happy!
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
@Nelle: Yes, thank you for everything Mayhew! And to all of you in this amazing community. Much love to y’all. Happy (!) Friday!
@rikyrah: Repeating thanks to David — so many days I would come here to get a basic understanding of the latest proposal and how they it hurt people, and it was great to have so many resources to share with my (admittedly not extensive) group of Facebook friends, in the hopes at least that people would be educated and have some grasp of what was happening. A few people I didn’t expect liked those resources too and shared them. I am still stunned and tired as all get out.
@Ian G.: @Raven: his latest record, along with the DBT’s “American Band”, have been the source of many a great conversation between me and my kids (in addition to being great music).
It’s great being a lefty – the music is so much better! ;)
@MomSense: I may take you up on that offer! Will talk to my sis to see how she(d like a visit from me this fall!
hedgehog the occasional commenter
Likely repeating much that’s been said—but thank you to David for all the resources. Thank you to Adam for reminding us to hold the line. Thank you to everyone who called, tweeted, protested, wrote LTEs, senf faxes, Resistbotted and all the things. Thank you to this community for being an island of sanity and snark (snarksanity?) There are more battles ahead, but this is a big win.
Johnny Ramone was a right winger who rocked (and, bizarrely, a close friend of big time lefty Eddie Vedder), but you’re right. When I think right wing music, I think of garbage like Kid Rock or Ted Nugent or KISS. We got Isbell and Steve Earle and Pearl Jam and many other great artists on our side.
@Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: Yes, much better than my start at things.
@InternetDragons: The CNN talking heads mentioned her last night too.
@Izabela: Unless he forgets about it and starts obsessing on something else. He does have a short attention span among, reportedly, other things.
Love it! And thank you for all your hard work in calling Portman’s office. I know what a chore it can be when you are calling Republicans. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to do. Thanks for doing it anyway.
I have been remiss in not thanking David for his hard work here. David, it’s so appreciative. It is always great to read your take on things–you make it easy for us to understand and your’e funny as well. Your work is very much appreciated Thank you.
@Cheryl Rofer: How bout a riff on the 3 am phone call ad, instead showing a person tossing and turning, checking their phone, shaking their head angrily, cut to- a person sleeping soundly with a slightly contented grin on their face. “Let Americans Sleep Again.”
@Ian G.: Jeff Tweedy supposedly responded to a heckler demanding that he shut down his liberal-minded comments by telling him that he didn’t have to come to their shows, “you could just go listen to all those great Republican bands.”
Oh my god yes. I don’t know how much more trumpsomnia I can survive.
I still say something with kids saying that they don’t like Republicans because they make their mothers cry.
One thing that Americans should not be allowed to forget is the fact that after SEVEN YEARS of howling about the ACA, the GOP could not come up with a) a plan that polled better than genital herpes, and b) pass even a clean repeal.
Can’t wait to see how badly they screw up “tax reform” and the debt ceiling.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that worked to get this defeated.
Aping His Boss, Scaramucci Tries To Use DOJ Like A Personal Enforcement Arm
By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND
Published JULY 28, 2017 6:00 AM
White House staffers aren’t supposed to just call up the Justice Department or FBI and complain about a personal grievance. Yet that is exactly what newly-minted Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci claimed to have done during a combative Thursday morning CNN interview, disclosing that he had contacted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and various “buddies” in the FBI over his concerns about leaks coming from senior White House staff.
“You know why I like bringing up the Department of Justice and the FBI?” Scaramucci said. “Because people who’ve done something wrong, it makes ‘em nervous.”
These comments came hours after Scaramucci offered an expletive-filled rant to New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza about how he believed his rival, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, was behind the latest leak, and that he’d “called the FBI and the Department of Justice” about this “felony.”
Setting aside that his concerns were sparked by misplaced anger over reporting on his financial disclosure form, which is a publicly available document, the Scaramucci kerfuffle marked just the latest example of a member of the Trump administration attempting to use the Justice Department as something of a personal enforcement arm. President Donald Trump has been the most public face of this norm-shattering: the FBI director he fired, James Comey, testified that the President asked him to swear his loyalty and end a federal investigation into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Contacts like Scaramucci’s run up again longstanding, binding regulations that strictly limit contact between the White House and Justice Department. Since the Watergate era, each new attorney general and each White House general counsel has laid out an updated version of their contact policy, dictating that only senior members of each body may be in contact with each other about investigations, and even then only in very specific instances.
Kenneth Starr, the former independent counsel who led investigations into President Bill Clinton, laid out the importance of this division in a Thursday Washington Post op-ed.
“The attorney general is not—and cannot be—the president’s ‘hockey goalie,’ as new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci described Sessions’s job,” Starr wrote. “In fact, the President isn’t even his client. To the contrary, the attorney general’s client is ultimately ‘We the People,’ and his fidelity has to be not to the president but to the Constitution and other laws of the United States.”
Debt ceiling will pass with a clean bill when Ryan realizes he can’t pass anything else. All Democrats and most Republicans would vote for that. The Freedom Caucus would whine and be ignored.
I was laying in bed texting with my Congressional staffer son as the whole drama unfolded. He was the health care staffer for one of the last two votes for the ACA in the House and has a copy of the act on his book shelf. He views its passage as the high point in his career. You can imagine how he feels about last night’s win. I’m exhausted this morning but elated as well. I can only imagine how all those Senators who are now on record as voting for repeal must feel about McConnell. Myself, I hate the bastard.
Like everyone here, I want to thank Dave for his posts on health care. I bet Balloon Juice’s readers are far and away the best informed people on the web about the topic. And he’s apparently a Steeler fan too! What a mensch.
@Cheryl Rofer: Earlier this week, Trump announced that he was the most presidential president except for Lincoln. That includes Reagan! How could Trump not lose Peggy Noonon on that one?
@MomSense: @Uncle Ebeneezer: So many possibilities now…
But her emails!!!
I agree that Senators Collins and Murkowski deserve a lot of credit, particularly as so many considered their opposition little more than an act of political theater enabled by McConnel having two spare votes. That’s not how this turned out. They apparently wanted to torpedo this turkey and did.
As for McCain. I’m still going to give him credit. Sitting in Arizona and letting this round end due to the failure of the motion to proceed simply does not deal the damage to this effort that his action this morning did. What he did was utterly demoralizing to the forces pushing the repeal. He kicked McConnell, Ryan, Pence and Trump so hard in the nuts that I’m surprised he hasn’t been brought in for questioning by the DC Police and Secret Service.
@But her emails!!!: Excellent point. McCain got his shiv in, but good. I hope the four you listed are walking very painfully this am.
I just wrote a short but hearty thank you to my D senator, and a real screed to the R, the odious Cory Gardner.
@StringOnAStick: yay, good on you! I’ll be doing the same later, once I’ve had a chance to breathe.
Thank you, David, for all of your efforts on this, and this eloquent post. You and the rest of health wonk Twitter have been incredibly helpful for staying on top of this. My med school was relatively progressive on exposing us a little to health policy, but it’s still a bit of a black box. I’m so grateful for what I’ve learned from all of you.
And yes, we take a breath, and then prepare to get back into the slog. Would also cosign what you said about being kind to folks who need a break because they’re feeling overwhelmed. I stayed away for a few days in order not to snap at commenters who were criticizing people who were feeling hopeless. As a certain nasty woman said, we stand together, because we’re stronger that way.
Thanks David Anderson, from a long time lurker for your writing on this topic.
It is a sad day when we have to feel grateful to people for doing what is supposed to be their job (eg. Sens McCain, Murkowski and Collins), but I guess it is better than the alternative. I think in addition to thanking our senators who voted against the bill, it is good to let the ones who supported the repeal, as to what we think of this support of theirs. I called mine (Sen. Toomey) both before the vote and today, to let him know how what I thought of his support for such cruel and unconscionable legislation.