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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August 14, 2017

Crisis Time in America Again

 

It was so nice during the Obama administration. The nation was right all over and there was hardly any disturbance of America is normal, wonderful and happy, with no real problems. There was no homelessness, no opioid epidemic, no crime waves, no epidemic of murders even in Chicago, everything was white picket fences with gardens of sunflowers and roses down the sides of the walk and all days were sunny and not too hot and not too cold, everything was just right. Then somehow, everything went south as one of those nasty Republicans got elected, a horrible man, mean-spirited and just awful. His name was Donald Trump. Now we hear the news and there are crimes, illegals, opioids, homelessness, drug use, protests, and the sun no longer shines and the fences and flowers have been trampled. What has happened to our wonderful nation, which was so perfect with President Obama, and now the news is full of such awfulness all because of the election of President Trump.

 

Okay, so that was not exactly accurate but the tone and messaging by the newscasts has changed and this is not the first time such has been the case. The same thing occurred when Ronald Reagan was elected and also when George W. Bush was elected. When President Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were in office, the news avoided these problems but as soon as a Republican hit the White House, these problems became front-page news day in and day out. As far as the newsrooms are concerned, when the White House is held by the Democrats, there are few consistent problems which require immediate attention and all the so-called epidemics disappear, but when a Republican is elected, the nation is instantly in crisis with every problem and crisis peaking and coming to a point where they are unbearable and the main news is about how the President is overwhelmed and unable to address all the problems and the White House news teams at briefings demand answers to these problems with every reporter asking why the President appears stunned into inaction in the face of these crises threatening the nation. Everywhere the President turns he sees nothing but crisis after crisis and reporters with the media, all reminding him that he needs to put out these fires or he will look inept.

 

For the unwashed, also known as the younger generations who have not lived through these transitions before, this can come as a shock to their system and it is difficult to hold them completely responsible for their recoiling and initially believing that the new President is clueless. The image painted in the reports is that while these problems were being addressed by the previous administration and were being held in check, they are now running untreated because, as it has been claimed loudly in the news and social media, the Republicans have cut spending in every social program leaving all the problems out of control and untreated. Let us first dispel the claims that the Republican Congress and President have eliminated or cut spending to all the social programs. There is a funny thing about definitions and how things can be stated to imply one thing but because of definitions, they are nothing but lies. Cutting spending is probably the biggest lie the Democrats ever tell. When ever you hear that there have been spending cuts, go look at the real figures from the Treasury Department and you will get a surprise, the actual spending increased. Spending cuts means that the increase was less than the Democrats proposed. Example, the democrats proposed an increase of twelve percent but the actual result in the spending allowance was for seven percent. That is a five percent cut in spending because it did not meet the twelve percent and a seven percent increase must be made to appear as if the entire program has been denied of funds by the mean, spending-cutting Republicans. I bet if you went to your boss and requested a twelve percent raise and, after a lengthy discussion, you left his office with a seven percent raise, would you be claiming that he cut your pay by five percent? Of course not, but that is what the media and the Democrats use as their measure, if they do not get what they want, whatever they get must be a cut in spending, period. It is all part of the image painting where the Republican must be made to appear as if their main joy in life is going to the zoo and stealing candy from children.

 

There is another item the media is not telling the public. The budget the Republicans are working to put together, it will not take effect until the next fiscal year. The budget that is running the government currently was voted upon and put into effect before President Trump was even elected, let alone sworn into office. The government is currently running on the last budget from President Obama’s administration and the Congress that was replaced by the ineffective one currently bungling their way into oblivion. The Congress and President Trump have not cut spending to a single program this year and there is no budget yet formulated for next year or any year in the future. Everything that has been stated about spending is simply conjecture. Nothing has been cut, nothing has been increased, nothing has been changed one iota and if the Congress does not manage to agree on a budget, then one alternative could be a government shutdown. There is one nice thing about any government shutdown; it will most definitely be blamed on the Republicans whether the Congress or the President is credited with the responsibility. But it simply does not matter that the budget which the government is using is an Obama signed budget which presumably gave the President and the Congress everything that both could accept and seal a deal. That is the budget which the government is running under right now and yet we hear about how Meals with Wheels or Medicaid or Obamacare or any of a thousand other programs are being starved of funding and that places such as Planned Parenthood are being forced to close their doors because they have had their funding cut by the horrible budget in place presumably because President Trump refused to sign any budget with the correct funding. President Trump had not yet signed any budget and, as things appear now, he may never sign anything but continuing resolutions which simply continue the spending, more often than not, at near to the same level.

 

Oh, and when that day comes, if the Republican Congress continues to be as dysfunctional as a television sitcom family, the media, the Democrats, the leftists and social media (especially Twitter so please forgive the pun) will be all a twitter with how this is unprecedented and shows exactly what a dismal failure the Trump Administration has become. For the record as a prediction, if this should become the case and the Senate cannot agree to a budget, we will tell you right now why and who should get all the blame, and it will not be just the Democrats though if they continue to act a single block and never break ranks standing against Trump, theirs is the main reason as they will have simply become rejectionists and there are a few Republican, “Never Trumpist,” rejectionists who should be held for special mention in the blame department. The following Republicans will vote against every budget; Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and John McCain of Arizona, who will claim that a budget is too important to be passed on a strict party line vote and until the Democrats, at least five to ten of them, vote for a budget, he will side with the Democrats. The reason for his choosing a number is because should that number of Democrats support a budget it would pass so he will have to be on the winning side and perhaps, if things work out perfectly, he and a leading Democrat will waltz into the Senate chamber at the final moments and cast their vote together proving bipartisanship. One likely Democrat would be Chuck Schumer of New York. There are a few other probable Republicans who will also reject budgets for the reason that social spending requires more funding and they include potentially Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Dean Heller of Nevada, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

 

The Encourageables Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Dean Heller of Nevada, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Rand Paul of Kentucky

The Encourageables

 

Most of these names will not surprise the politically attuned as they realize that these are party loyalists; except for Rand Paul who, along with his father Ron Paul, reject all normative politics and hold everything to their strict Constitutional views and interpretations; who reject Trump as an outsider who does not belong to their little club, their righteous fraternity of the inner circle. These are people who have been in Washington D.C. far too long and consider themselves the protectors of the faith and of the true spirit of the government and its responsibilities to the people and they will decide the rightness of all things and when they are out of balance, they, along with some from amongst the democrats, will set everything to rights without regard to party loyalty. What we have observed over the years is that more often than not the things which need to be set right are more conservative leaning than left leaning proposals. That fits with a theory that the longer anyone spends in Washington D.C. the further left they will drift until there is no difference between a longtime Democrat and a longtime Republican as both will have drifted to the same warm home in the flaming far left.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 26, 2016

What if Trump Trumps the Competition for Nomination?

 

Trump is still there against almost every prognosticator and editorial writer who keep interpreting polls and explaining how when people have to actually vote they will become serious and then they’ll vote for a serious candidate. Initially that serious candidate was Jeb Bush who flamed out really fast, then it became Governor Scott Walker but he soon decided to walk on home, then it became Senator Marco Rubio who has slowly sunk into the more of mediocracy and now the latest is former Ohio Governor John Kasich who is in third and a fairly distant third which will likely also fade in the setting poll numbers after Iowa, New Hampshire and North Carolina. The betting line now is after Trump, providing Trump snags victories in Iowa, New Hampshire and North Carolina, who will have polled well enough to have a reasonable standing to attempt to catch the nomination starting from behind, a not completely unheard of happening and, except for blessings in the Torah of second born sons, only considered expected in elections and the last two months of baseball season and a few other sports. The latest New Hampshire polling we were able to locate a poll out of New Hampshire which placed Donald Trump at twenty-seven per cent, John Kasich at twenty per cent, Marco Rubio at ten per cent, Ted Cruz at nine per cent, Chris Christie nine per cent and Jeb Bush eight per cent, with at least fifteen percent undecided as of the polling with some obviously supporting Rand Paul or Mike Huckabee and wise enough not to admit so. What is interesting about these polling numbers is that Senator Ted Cruz is receiving much of the bloviating all a titter, not to be confused for a twittered, about the Donald-Cruz one-on-one bashing, smashing, slamming, screaming with blood flowing and bruises and contusions on the stage and some Twitter smears in one-hundred-forty characters or less free-for-all. Now we see a poll of real people, not to accuse media personnel as being other than real or people but me thinks they would all protest too much and break the one-hundred-forty characters or less Twitter limits, and Cruz is in single digits making his chances as remote as expected from the start. So, what are we to take away from all of this?

 

Firstly, there is a lot of room for improved polling for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and anyone else still in the race and below Senator Jeb Bush and his eight percent polling and that the media elite and controlling editors apparently have their own agenda. Let’s look at the media, or at least a wide swath of the media and even FOX from what we have seen and read. The media will push candidates which either have little hope of becoming the nominee such as Ted Cruz, one they expect would be a weak candidate against the expected Democrat candidate which will likely be Hillary Clinton or potentially Bernie Sanders. In either case, the universal choice happens to be the front-runner Donald Trump. The media was handed the perfect storm when Ted Cruz and Donald Trump held a one-on-one, mano-a-mano, slugfest which carried on for almost a week and was the only news event as all else fell off their radar screens. The media is simply giving their largest audience exactly what they are paying to hear, and that is whatever is the most sensationalistic and bombastic news with all the gory details and particulars their money can buy. The media live and breathe in the cities and the media which has a much larger area to cover is completely different and that is what conservative talk radio serves and they are covering the rest of the field and even they find they need to invest an inordinate amount of time covering the Donald Trump phenomena as that is where their audience desires to hear about because it affects them as well.

 

 

Democrat Front Runners Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders

Democrat Front Runners
Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders

 

 

The particulars about this year’s Republican race and the media covering it until the news is up to its neck in coverage of the Donald has part of its root in the fact that the Democrat race is a two person race from the outset and the only real question there is Hilary, Hilary and more Hilary. Bernie Sanders is sneaking up on the media because they did not believe the crowds he was drawing with his carnival like atmosphere were real because the media had been told by the Democrat establishment that they had piled all of their apples into Hilary as it was her turn. Well, the people have different ideas and Bernie has lit up their interest and he is now the face of the true believers on the left and the antiestablishment candidate. When the media realizes that Hilary had a credible challenger, even if it is Bernie Sanders, the media will clump around them and squeeze until the pressure breaks him or the primaries are over and all of a sudden Bernie will be their man and he was their man all along because Hilary was just too much yesterday’s news. If, or dare we say when, Bernie Sanders finished off the last gasp from the Clinton ‘machine,’ the question will be does the Clinton machine now swing in behind Bernie or will they hold their cards and donor lists close to their chests and hope he fails so they can begin claiming that 2020 was their target year all along. That decision may decide if there is a Clinton machine left after this race as if they do not back Bernie and he wins, that will be the end of it, done, over. Be that such as it may, the crash and burn by Hilary twice in a row and in both instances to what everyone claimed were too weak and unknown candidates who had one thing Hilary lacked, excitement. Hilary never ran for the nomination and simply waiting for what she claimed and honestly believed was inevitable, the White House and status as the first woman President and she offered nothing more and a whole lot less.

 

The Donald is proving that there is no inevitability in politics and that it truly has become a circus. Like Hilary on the democrat side there is Jeb, it’s my turn to be President, Bush who thought when he had the walk-in victory well in hand when he was the only candidate we had heard of and all the money was flowing his way, the republicans were almost giddy with the idea of another Clinton/Bush contest they figured they could win simply by showing up. Well, this year is looking anything but set in their ways, establishment backed Party politics and the people have finally decided it is their country and their Party and they are going to do what they desire and not just follow the Party line drawn for them. This is going to be the year of the populace come what may and the establishment is not what they want in either side. There is no ‘anybody but Bush’ line in the Republican race. The race was Jeb’s to lose and it appears he has done exactly that, lost it. What started this insanity which is quickly becoming the mainstream effort if, for no other reason, because that is the story the media may have caught onto right at the onset when Donald Trump, old Clinton friend and cohort grabbed large audiences to his appearances just as much to laugh and at some point turned and supported him just as Bernie has been doing on the Democrat side.

 

 

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

The Donald-Make America Great Again-Trump

 

 

So, what happens if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination? The question is more as to what will the Republican establishment do should Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination? It is important to remember that Donald Trump does not need the permission of the Republican Party as much as they will need his stamp of approval as he will have already passed the baptism by fire the campaign threw at him and came out on top. Further, Donald Trump does not need to rely upon the Party money to back him and he does not need the Party permission once he has won the nomination and he might do all that much better without the support of the Republican Party establishment. The favor the Republican Party elites would hand the American public would be for them to refuse to accept Trump as their candidate after he wins hands down the elective process and they deny him his rightful place through manipulating the Convention voting or other controls the Parties hold over their nomination processes in each state and in a larger part over their convention voting itself. It is still possible in both parties to win big in the primaries and still lose by a fairly surprising margin in the convention vote.

 

How is that, you ask? Without going through a ton of confusing math, here are the basics. Just because you win a state’s primary, do not go counting those delegates quite yet. Many states have adopted to use some method other than the winners take all allocation of their delegates. They get as confusing as having each voting district winner getting that delegate and the final delegates which would represent the Senators that state has in Congress usually going to the winner of the state overall but that can be altered and given by the Party bosses as they see fit. There are also the super delegates which are controlled by the elitists of the Party by which they retain some degree of control over who wins the nomination. Then there are all sorts of devious manner in which any selection process can be swayed and be controlled by the Party elite through such means as releasing the delegates from their presumed sworn obligation to vote as they were legally instructed by the states and then lean on the delegates seen as most likely to be susceptible to pressures and other manners of ‘buying’ their vote. Then there is the old adage that it is not who wins the election but who counts the votes that matters, also known as the Stalin approach to politics. After all, it was Joseph Stalin who pointed out this little fact that, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” So, assume it safe to say that as long as Donald Trump does not win the necessary number of votes outright, even going down to the Congressional seats level and delegate by delegate count, then the often referred to as the powers that be will control who the candidate representing the Party and then appoint the person most likely to lose and have their political career ended once and for all. There are serious consequences for crossing the people when it comes to negating the power of their votes. That is a part of the animus against President Obama as he takes matters into his own hands bypassing the Congress.

 

Finally, just as Donald Trump could do by running as a third Party or no Party candidate, the Republican elites could put their influences and resources behind a third Party candidate either overtly or covertly using all sorts of weapons the largest of which is their influence over money. The Party establishment could decide suddenly that the Presidency is less important than winning Congress and claim in panicked desperate soundbites that they must, in order to save the Party, take all the Party monies and use them to elect every office other than the Presidency thus taking huge sums of money and other resources from the Presidential campaign with the most damaging part being the voter rolls and donations from the Presidential candidate in the final two to three months. Against Donald Trump such a move would be suicidal as he could finance his entire campaign without a penny from the Party but his slogan of win against the dirty money; after all there is nothing cleaner than a candidate using their own money to mount their campaign. Any nefarious or clandestine manner used to steal the campaign from the obvious and going away victor from the primary system would simply be the final nail in the Party coffin as when it comes down to it, what makes a political Party if it is not votes from the public, so ignore them at your own peril.

 

So, now Donald Trump is the Party candidate and will be listed on every state’s ballots as the republican nominee for President, now what? This is where the runner meets the road and we stop using these silly catch phrases as this is where the sloganeering gets decisive. The slogans are chosen and the campaign commercials are shot and the final race to the finish has been run and it is Election Day. There are numerous kinds of Republican and Democrat voters. There are the voters who always vote Party line, the absolute, who else would they vote for base. There are the base behind each candidate which may place some voters who were a different candidate’s true supporter who now must choose between two people they did not support or chose to stay home and watch the Gilligan’s Island Marathon on the who are we kidding channel. It are these stay at home my guy lost and I’m going to pout on election day hoping that if the Party candidate fails they can blame the Party for not seeing your infinite wisdom and intelligence when you supported candidate X and the Party foolishly tempted fate choosing candidate Y. The thing which has changed in politics has been the importance of turning out your Party’s base supporters which, except in the most unusual of cases, is not simply the important thing but the most vital thing in the universe. Elections here in the Twenty-First Century are not won on winning the middle voters, the average voter, as almost none of those voters who will cross ideological lines and even Party lines exist any longer. There are all kinds of single or three issue voters and the candidate needs to turn as many of these from their Party’s voters out to the polls. This is why many politicians have mastered talking out of both sides of their mouths simultaneously and some even manage saying three things at once all while stating nothing at all. This is seemingly more important for the conservative candidate as they have far more to lose if they do not hold true to every single issue which gets tricky when there are opposites within your Party structure. The easiest issues are gun rights and abortion. There are those Second Amendment voters on both sides of the abortion issue just as there are pro-life voters on either side of the gun issue. There is no way of parsing these dichotomies which will produce a guaranteed victory and all one can hope to do is tell the truth and hope they have not hurt themselves too badly.

 

These such issues are often far more damaging for conservatives because liberal media types will always attempt to peel back supporters by asking pointed and sharp edged questions on the most contentious issues hoping to cut voters away from the conservative candidate one-by-one if need be and conservative media will question them similarly claiming to want to present the truth to the voters. In elections there is such a thing as too much truth, especially for conservative candidates as each truth may cost them the election. This is especially true in the Presidential elections as there are far more liberal voters who will hold their nose and vote for the liberal party candidate, the Democrat just because they are not that evil person over on the other side of the ballot. Conservatives need a reason to vote for you and not just I’m not that other person, I am the Republican as that does not walk the walk or even talk the talk according to all too many voters. Those who claim they cannot vote for Trump because he used to be a liberal would likely not have liked Winston Churchill as he was among the left when he was young and somewhere during World War I he became a conservative and an ardent proponent of being prepared to fight a war when it is easily won rather than refuse to face facts that a storm is brewing. He had a number of great sayings on just that subject but I would rather use a different category on which he was also a great and wise discerner of humankind. Sir Winston Churchill stated, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” That’s a great stopping point, till tomorrow.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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