Beyond the Cusp

November 29, 2017

Votes for Change Mostly Useless

 

The odds are that numerous Representatives and Senators are the meat of the problem when it comes to the graft, malaise, inaction and unresponsiveness which have become the largest problem facing President Trump and the American People. This is driving voter dissatisfaction with numerous Representatives and Senators who will face rough battles in trying to keep their seats at their next run for office. The problem is that these two groups are largely separate and have only the smallest of overlaps (see diagram below). This means that the greater number of members of Congress vulnerable to change from voter actions is not part of the problem and the problem stems largely from those members of Congress who hold seats which from gerrymandering or simple numbers are safe from the voters, as they will be reelected short of anything except intervention from the Almighty. This has been the truth for the longest time as the two parties have operated in such a manner as to all but cement the members of Congress in their respective seats almost permanently. This was because once these parties had control over a state during an election year or census year, they fixed the boundaries for Representatives such that their party would win the most seats and the opposition party would win the fewest seats possible. Even with this working against change, change does occur once the populace is united for change. Right now, the populace is not at all united and is as far apart as possible. The desire for change is largely with one party which makes things worse, that means those elected by the party desiring change are most vulnerable. The depth of the problem gets even deeper as the members of Congress are masters at deceiving the public on their record. When the Congress faces a piece of vital legislation that the people back home desire and the big moneyed interests want quashed, there is a means by which every member of Congress can claim they voted for the legislation while actually voting to kill the measure. Each bill will come up for a vote many times before it might pass or be voted down. As each preliminary vote arrives, the opening comes for many members to vote in favor at one of these junctures and still vote against the legislation on the final vote, thus killing the legislation. Once before the voters they can claim to have supported the legislation and voted for it at one of the most crucial votes that it faced and these statements are valid though misleading. Now this Congresscritter will garner the support they need both from the big money interests and from the involved public voters as they gave both sides their desired result. For the voters they honestly told of voting for the legislation even having the rollcall vote result with your vote in favor while you voted against the legislation in the only vote that counted, the final vote for pass or fail on the legislation. Isn’t elective office fun? You can vote for and against every piece of legislation and when the time comes for reelection, you can put your finger into the wind, determine the direction, and tailor your record to match the will of the majority.

 

Diagram of Problematic Congresscritters and Vulnerable Congresscritters

 

The above demonstration explains how people like Senator John McCain get elected claiming their full support for every measure for replacing Obamacare and then at the most critical juncture, be the point man leading the Republican “Never Trump”ers in their six Senator vote against replacing Obamacare leaving it entirely intact. You need understand that Senator McCain told his voters about how he had supported every single one of the fifty, sixty, some places claim hundreds of times that the Congress over the last six years that President Obama was President and Congress was with a Republican majority in both houses. There was a secret which Senator McCain was not telling his constituents. Senator McCain was beholden to some very wealthy people and their corporations, specifically pharmaceuticals and health insurers, as well as he is really a “Big Government” stalwart. Thus, he supports government healthcare whether it is Obamacare or the only thing better, single payer government healthcare system like in Canada and Europe. When these bills to repeal Obamacare came which he supported, he did so confident that President Obama would veto them and they were not able to overrule his veto with the required two-thirds vote of each House of Congress. This made his support nonthreatening to his wealthy and interested parties who he assured that the President would protect his healthcare system and he would not allow it to be replaced by anything other than full government run healthcare. His reelection campaign was centered on his voting consistently when it did not matter to repeal Obamacare and how he was guaranteed to continue his opposition to Obamacare as it stands (see McCain Reelection Poster below). This, too, is truthful. Senator McCain would vote immediately to repeal and replace Obamacare with a single payer government run healthcare bill such that Senator Sanders Medicare for All legislation would be the perfect fit. Such was the perfidy applied to the campaign for his reelection to the United States Senate where he now leads the “Never Trump” contingent of the Republican Party which is assuring that President Trump fails to fulfill a single campaign promise thus all but assuring he will lose any bid for serving a second term in the White House. These Republican “Never Trump” stalwarts are guaranteeing the election of a Democrat in the next Presidential elections in 2020 and most likely with a willing Congress led by these same Republicans.

 

Senator John McCain Reelection Poster Depicting McCain Leading the Fight to Stop Obamacare

Senator John McCain Reelection Poster Depicting
McCain Leading the Fight to Stop Obamacare

 

The above are a perfect example about which we are speaking. Senator McCain is all but impossible to defeat in Arizona. In his most recent election, he won with 53.7% of the votes. Something becomes evident if we are to track Senator McCain and his vote record on previous election results as in his first election to the Senate in 1986 he won with 60.48% of the vote, in 1992 in a five person race he took 55.82% of the vote, in 1998 and a four person race he won with 68.75% of the vote, in 2004 in a three person race he took 76.74% of the vote, in 2010 with another four person race he won with 59.29% of the vote, and in the recent 2016 in a three person race he garnered 53.70% of the vote. Looking at the last three elections it appears as the percentages drop from 76.74% through 59.29% down to a slim 53.70% that John McCain has been fooling less and less of the populace as this drop is far greater than the changing demographics. By our reasoning, and knowing Senator McCain’s general health with a debilitating cancer of the brain, this will very probably be his last term if he should survive and finish even the coming six years. We wish Senator McCain to find a miracle which cures his disease and renders him full health but at the same time, considering his recent rantings about not supporting any legislation unless it is supported by a bipartisan group knowing that the Democrat Party has already made it clear they will vote as one against every proposal by President Trump and the Republicans. Quoting from the New Yorker Magazine, “When McCain returned to Washington for the first time after his diagnosis of brain cancer, he gave a speech on the Senate floor that called for bipartisan health-reform legislation that was the product of so-called regular order, where legislation goes through a transparent committee process and both parties are able to shape it.” From the same article quoting Senator Schumer who applauded Senator McCain for his stance claiming that he influenced Senator McCain stating, “I have assured Senator McCain that as soon as repeal is off the table, we Democrats are intent on resuming the bipartisan process.” That helps, if you promise not to repeal, which also removes replace, then we will work on how to throw more funds at Obamacare until it works, yea, that will help, NOT!

 

This will be the problem going forward as the Democrats in the Congress, at least in the Senate, have given their word to their leaders that they will vote as a group against every proposal from President Trump unless they are told they may do otherwise on a case-by-case basis. With Senator John McCain leading six recalcitrant Republicans who have promised to vote with the Democrats, President Trump is facing a deadlocked Senate which will reject everything he attempts to do unless he bows before the Senate Democrats and grants them veto control over his proposals. Lack of Republican vote discipline in the face of total vote discipline by the Democrats places everything which President Trump proposes on a fast track into the trash. Yes, the Republicans voted 100% against Obamacare and it passed on total Democrat support. That was the sole time the Republicans voted in such a manner. The Democrats have voted as a block against every Republican President since Reagan if not Nixon. The Democrat Party has a simple rule, if they are not making every decision, then nothing gets done if they can prevent such. Meanwhile you have McCain and friends siding with this Democrat Party undemocratic approach that they get final say on all legislation. Yet the Senators and Representatives who will mostly pay for this recalcitrant behavior are probably the Republicans who are working to try and pass repeal and replace Obamacare, tax cuts, border security and the other Republican and Trump proposed legislation. That is because a few of them fall into the red zone and deserve such but the vast majority is in the green area and are supportive of the President and Republican proposals. The odds favor the Republicans losing the Senate simply because their base is angry with John McCain and his five followers and this can cost the Republicans Senatorial seats and they only have a two-seat advantage now. It is the slight majority which allows the likes of Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joining with John McCain which ends any hopes of passing the President’s proposals to the Congress. Unfortunately, the majority of the opposition falls in the light blue region of the diagram given earlier in the article with some decent safe seat Senators who vote for their constituents first and foremost, and they are unfortunately not the majority. That is why in the coming election the votes for change in Congress will have little if any effect on the final outcome of votes in Congress. Those supporting more government will continue to control the vote and the people will not be decently represented, as most Americans would like the government to govern responsibly and not just throw money at problems with no oversight or guidance, which dooms the programs to failure.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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October 1, 2017

So You Didn’t Think We Were Serious?

 

Back about a year ago, the Republican base went to the primaries and chose what had to be the most vulnerable, most crazy, most eccentric whack-job out of the entire list of seventeen candidates. Then the Republican base turned out in numbers sufficient to elect that very Whack-job President of the United States. Still, the establishment did not believe that perhaps the base finally was not going to take it any longer. Then, until yesterday, this same group of Republicans elected every single person that President Trump backed until the choice of Roy Moore instead of Luther Strange, and Roy Moore was the outsider in that race. The one time Trump sided with the Republican leadership and backed their candidate, he lost and the outlier, the more unusual candidate wins. Perhaps there were two messages in the Alabama election, one to President Trump demanding he stay with the story that won him the election and go for everything he promised because they have his back and the other was to the Republican leadership demanding they get with the program and start with repeal and replace Obamacare, complete Tax Reform, no easy path for DACA or any other illegal immigrants and all judges had best continue to be like Gorsuch, true conservatives who will not wilt with time. The Republican base, their mainstream, regular Joe and Jill are demanding that they be listened to and that they demand changes from business as usual. Number one is that the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare be kept. Second is complete and total Tax Reform like President Trump promised on the campaign. Lastly, no amnesty for illegal immigrants as promised, none. No more Mr. and Mrs. Nice voters, that is their promise.

 

The Republican Party has not had a real majority since Newt Gingrich and the contract with America. The Republican base is now believing that the promises made by President Trump and the claims made by Republicans over the past several years are the new contract with America and are expecting action, not infighting and main players in the Republican Party deciding that their ego means that they cannot allow Trump to succeed. The professional politicians may have decided that Trump must fail in order to teach the electorate a lesson about sending a non-political professional to Washington and expect them to accomplish what they promised. These professional lifetime political hacks are insisting on teaching the public a lesson about how the political structure works and how only those who have paid their dues and served lower offices and worked their way up the ranks are to be permitted to run for the Senate, for President. But they have miscalculated in thinking that they are going to teach the public a lesson.

 

The people know who these people are though after a few important lessons they decided to play things closer to their vests. During the first vote to repeal Obamacare there were seven Republicans who voted against the three plans including Lamar Alexander, Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Rob Portman and a selection of others which voted against at least one of the three plans. Since then there have been two who have submarined any hopes for repealing and replacing Obamacare, John McCain and either Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski. The last two are very liberal Republicans who come from states which will reelect them so they are safe and John McCain is doing this largely because of his principles. He was against Trump from the start, in the closing of the primaries and probably secretly desired his loss in the general election and was a “Never Trump” leader through and through. He has decided to make it his life’s purpose to see to it that President Trump becomes an embarrassment in order to make sure that no outsider ever again tries to enter politics without paying their dues and working within the system. For Senator McCain it is all about the system, the system which has kept him and his cohorts on both sides of the aisle in power safely spending other people’s money until the national debt of the United States has cleared twenty-trillion dollars and is a threat to every man, woman and child in the United States.

 

The people have had enough, well, at least many Republicans. These are not the elites within the society, they are the regular people who have worked in a factory, a mill, a coal mine, or some other job which where it may not have been the most satisfying occupation, it paid the bills, put food on the table and kept a roof over that table. They have watched as the coastal elites and their corrupt functionaries from both parties have taken a once functional country and changed the face of the nation through bribery to gain votes and turning neighbor against neighbor and breaking the nation into bands of special interest groups each one pitted against the rest and used to keep the same people who caused the problems in office promising ever more government in order to fix those exact problems their last great idea caused.

 

Let us take healthcare as our example. Way back when the entire insanity started, they came up with Medicare for the elderly to be taken care of against rising healthcare prices. Why were the prices rising? Well, it might have had something to do with increasing regulations, restrictions, and paperwork which slowly forced the neighborhood doctor to need to hire an assistant to handle the paperwork and then another to file even more paperwork and then they made it all but illegal through regulations for a doctor to operate from their home. The doctors then would join and have a clinic which brought more regulations and paperwork. Then they went after the insurance companies forcing increases in rates and that influenced healthcare costs. The huge lawsuit monetary rewards forced hospitals and insurance companies to settle without going to court even if they were not at fault, as they could not afford to risk a trial. Then along came Medicaid and medical costs jumped even higher. During President Clinton’s first term, they attempted to pass Hillarycare but public protests prevented that from passing. President Obama got a very similar plan passed by using the Democrat supermajorities in Congress all without a single Republican vote. Everyone has seen how well that has worked out but still there are parts of that disaster which people are demanding be kept because they give something for nothing. Now, in order to repair the damage done by Obamacare they want to have the government take over healthcare completely because that has worked so well absolutely nowhere. Every nation with such plans has virtually no military and is totally dependent on the United States for their protection. What they do have is long wait lines, rationed care, and a crumbling healthcare system with moribund of any advances in medical care and treatments. Total government healthcare has been an unmitigated disaster and will drive the United States to complete and utter financial ruin where there will be no funds left for infrastructure, no military funding, almost nothing but healthcare which will still be underfunded and taxes will need to double or more. And all that the people have to do is sacrifice one of, if not the best, healthcare system in the world. It is currently mortally wounded and if Obamacare is not repealed and healthcare returned to the public realm, then that will bring the end of the United States in more ways than just healthcare.

 

The system is broken and it is going to take drastic measures to roll back the Federal Government and put the genie back into the bottle. The promises of something for nothing sound wonderful and if you are on the receiving end and in the bottom forty-five percent of the tax bracket and pay no taxes, then it really is something for nothing. If, on the other hand, you are in the top twenty-five percent of earners, you know, the super-wealthy, those making over $75,000 a year, then it is not something for nothing as you get to pay for yours and two other peoples something for nothing and often you do not even get to have your something. The sad thing is even if the people wise up and come to their senses and realize that they are being had because if only they would pay their own way, then prices would fall, taxes would fall and eventually the debt would start to be paid. The first step is to minimize the ever-increasing deficit spending which adds more than half a trillion dollars to the debt each year. Once the deficit spending has been curtailed which will require sacrificing programs, often popular programs, then work can begin on the actual debt. One of the first realizations which the people must reach is that the government cannot raise children better than parents, cannot help the needy better than charities and religious institutions, and that private will always be an improvement over public programs. Finally, the best means of addressing any problem is locally, even down to each individual neighborhood. The entire idea of the United States Constitution was for each state to be more powerful than the Federal Government with the Federal Government addressing things with restrictions placed upon it by the Constitution as stated in the Tenth Amendment which states,

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Tenth Amendment

 

The simplest explanation of the concept put forward by the Tenth Amendment is that primarily each person is most responsible for his or her own business. Next up is the family which is supposed to assist the individual especially with things they are not able to handle alone. Next would be the neighbors, the community, your religious institutions, the city government, county government and finally the state government would each handle those things beyond the lesser level. The system is presumed to work best which is closest to the people and the problem. The final step of having the Federal Government handle a problem is the system of last resort. The Founding Fathers believed that if each locality tried to take care of the every day activities and problems there would be literally hundreds of differing systems and the ones which worked the best would be copied and used until somebody tried and found something better but that things would be kept at the lowest governmental level such that the people could keep a close watchful eye on their governance. That went away with the onset of the progressives and their egalitarian movements which put forth that the level of government which could affect the widest good should be tasked with doing so. That turned the Tenth Amendment on its head and basically started the idea that everything was to be handled by Washington D.C. and that the States, Counties and Cities would only be required to do those items which the Federal Government would task them to do and otherwise behave and wait for the big boys to handle their problems. That led to one size fits all solutions which were not tailored to localities in any manner and often resulted in waste and the more local governments having to fix things which they should have done themselves and thus would not have been anywhere near as broken. But why mess with such a perfect way of making even more of a mess.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 24, 2017

Obamacare in the Balance

 

The Graham-Cassidy partial repeal and replacement for Obamacare is rapidly approaching the September 30 reconciliation deadline by which it must be enacted to be of any real usefulness. The problem facing the Republicans is very simple, they probably will never have the votes to do any replacement and a straight repeal is even less likely. The problem is very easily stated from their last fiasco where the votes which sunk them all came from the Republican side, as they knew going in that the Democrat vote would be a single block of solid against any repeal of their President Obama signature accomplishment. The Democrats are going to double and triple down on Obamacare as without Obamacare they stand behind eight years of nothing. The problem this time includes everyone from the last go-round Lamar Alexander, Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Rob Portman plus one additional, Rand Paul. Many a pundit and Capital Hill expert claim that this list can be narrowed down to probably just four names, Rand Paul, Susan Collins, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski. The good side is apparently the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare Replacement Bill has addressed the concerns of the rest of the Republicans and cemented the opposition of the entirety of the Democrats. With reports that place Rand Paul and Susan Collins in Schumer’s Democrat opposition column, McConnell cannot lose a single other Republican vote; and with too many placing John McCain and Lisa Murkowski as still in the undecided column, the entire idea of calling a vote should be in doubt. Still, it appears that McConnell will call for a vote next week. Now many articles are going to talk endlessly about how the Republicans are committing suicide playing these games while the entire healthcare insurance business burns to the ground. They will claim that their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare was a sacred oath which will cost them dearly in the midterm elections. Well yea and yes on all of that and what more can be said. That has been covered ad-nauseum. Why not talk about Chucky Schumer and the Democrat solid block of opposition for a change.

 

The one item which has escaped coverage in the debate over repeal and replacement of Obamacare has been the lockstep denial of any need to do so by almost every single Democrat and every single democrat in the Senate. Senator Chuck Schumer has been leading them to what might be for them an inglorious end come the midterms. The people who have witnessed their insurance premiums go up or their plans nixed all together or who have lost their physician were not merely Republicans, many were also Democrats who may feel betrayed if something is not done to turn these events around. One need recall that President Trump won thirty states outright in the Presidential elections which would appear to depict that there are some very upset Democrats who either voted for Trump and thus favor the repeal and replace of Obamacare amongst other items or an equal number of Democrats who stayed home as they are done with the Democrats until they get their bearing back. Either way you look at this, it means that the Democrats tripling down on Obamacare is very likely to bode poorly for them come the midterm elections. Sure, the Republicans will face some anger but their anger will be focused on those who refused to vote according to their promises of seven years when they were repealing Obamacare once a month on average, or so it seemed. The voters know that Obamacare was passed purely on Democrat support and lies, but mostly on forced Democrat unity while the Republicans in both the House of Representatives and Senate voted against it, not a single Republican vote was cast to pass Obamacare. Apparently, there is a difference between voting for Obamacare and voting to remove Obamacare on the Republican side, not so on the Democrat side, as they remain lockstep voting as a block without any defectors to save Obamacare at all costs. This has apparently become a position upon which the leadership of the Democrat Party are willing to hang their shingle upon and run as the Obamacare Party in elections for as long as this remains an issue, which apparently will be at least through the midterm elections. They are following Chuck Schumer in the Senate as if he were the Pied Piper.

 

Chuck Schumer and his Democrats

Chuck Schumer and his Democrats

 

The idea that not being capable of repeal and replace will sink the entire Republican Party is what we hear from critic after critic and apparently, the Democrats have been sold the concept that Republicans and only Republicans are going to pay for any failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. This is a false picture as what is far more likely is that should Obamacare not be repealed and replaced then on the Republican side Rand Paul, Susan Collins, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski will be held to blame and face the ire of their voters. Senator McCain will not likely be running for another term due to health issues and thus does not care about the ire of his constituents, but the rest, if they are not also retiring, should. On this issue, all those hurt by Obamacare will likely have very long memories even to lasting six years out for those just reelected. Meanwhile, the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare Replacement has been revamped and though not a complete repeal and replacement, it fills in many of the gaps and repeals much of the hurtful sections of Obamacare, retains the most popular, and is still not the complete fix desired but a long step in the right direction. There is plenty to be happy over and there will be further legislation to tweak and patch the remaining problems both foreseen and unforeseen but soon to crop up. The voters are not in favor of the complete repeal because Obamacare did give voters free things and they want to retain all the free stuff which is understandable even if unwise. Where the problems arise is it took far too many things people have relied upon for a long time and destroyed those systems. Many realize that should Obamacare continue that it would destroy the entirety of the healthcare insurance business leaving only government healthcare for all and this was completely unacceptable to a large sector of people. This includes a good percentage of Democrat voters and they are scared, just as scared as the Republican voters, and this will be shown as the Democrats become the Obamacare Party and seen to represent little else than complete takeover of healthcare by the government. Has it even occurred to anybody that the people of the United States do not want to become just another European style government handout nation? If that thought has escaped you as a representative of the people, perhaps it is time you weighed that thought before you vote to retain the one piece of legislation designed to do exactly that. That includes Democrats as well as Republicans. If the Democrats wish to go down as the Obamacare Party, that is their choice, but as the Whig Party went down over opposition to slavery and the Republican Party was thus born, perhaps some of the Democrats should consider what to call the party that will be founded on the remains of the Democrat Party as its brand dies over Obamacare.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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