Political Roundup for July 17th, 2017


Harris: Ambition apparently knows no bounds for America’s favorite multiracial progressive/nullification proponent, Sen. Kamala Harris (D). The very freshman Senator was seen at a meeting in the Hamptons with big-name Democratic donors. The speculation is that she’s thinking about running for President in 2020. But wait, progressives! Don’t let your hearts be too aflutter, because she was meeting with those nefarious Clinton Donors. The corrupting influence of Corporatist Money knows no bounds!


CA-Sen: Speaking with J-Cats on the New York mogul’s radio show, Olympic gold medalist and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner (R) says that he/she is considering running for the Senate. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is on retirement watch, so there could be an open seat. Other than that, I’m just kind of speechless on this one.

IN-Sen: I actually feel a bit bad for Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) on this one. Donnelly is selling $50,000 worth of stock in his brother’s arts and crafts company because the ink for the inkpads is made in Mexico. Big Whoop. I know that Indiana has been hard-hit by outsourcing, and this can’t be popular there, but it wouldn’t sink him either. I probably shouldn’t feel too bad for him, though, because with $15,000 in dividends produced on that equity last year, it shouldn’t be hard to sell for an increased price. This will likely come up at some point in his 2018 race, but he’s probably neutralized early.

MO-Sen: The Club for Growth commissioned a poll of a McCaskill-Hawley matchup, and their polling firm found a 46-42 Hawley lead. It should be noted that this is less of a lead for Hawley than he had in a previous poll, but that the 12% who are undecided are mostly right-leaning voters.

PA-Sen: It’s Reporting Season once again, so we’re getting a flurry of fundraising numbers. One of them that caught my eye was that rich guy Jeff Bartos (R) raised over $1 million this quarter in his bid to oust Sen. Bob Casey (D). Barton faces a very uphill climb, and several other Republicans are thinking about entering the race, but it’s not a bad start.

TX-Sen: In a slight surprise, progressive darling Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) has outraised his opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in this year’s second quarter. O’Rourke raised $2.1 million to Cruz’s $1.6 million. However, Cruz quickly sent out an email pointing out that he has $5.7 million in COH. O’Rourke got over $1 million in online donations, largely from small donors. It shouldn’t matter much, though, as long as Cruz doesn’t fall asleep at the wheel. This is Texas, after all.

WV-Sen: The Republican primary to take on Sen. Joe Manchin (D) is already getting nasty. AG Patrick Morrisey (R) is challenging Rep. Evan Jenkins (R) to a series of debates and is questioning the former Democrat’s conservative credentials. Meanwhile, Jenkins is calling Morrisey a former DC lobbyist a ‘profiteer.’ This one will likely get even uglier, folks, so strap in.

PA-06: The NRCC has written a blog post attacking Rep. Ryan Costello’s (R) opponent, Chrissy Houlahan (D). Whoop-di-doo, right? Right, accept that it may reveal a key Republican tactic for 2018. The blog post notes that many Democrats are currently taking stances in favor of single-payer (read: government-run) healthcare and challenges Houlihan to reveal her stance on the issue. It’s a great little bit of ratfucking, because if she comes out against it, she might hurt herself in the Democratic primary, but a stance in favor would almost certainly hurt her in the swingy and affluent Main Line suburbs that comprise the heart of the district. If she’s smart, she’ll attempt to avoid taking a stance on the issue, but who knows? Maybe she or some other Democrat will take the bait.


TN-Gov: State House Speaker Beth Harrell (R) has officially announced her candidacy for Governor. She joins rich guys Bill Lee and Randy Boyd and state Sen. Mae Beavers in the Republican primary. Rep. Diane Black (R) is also said to be mulling a run of her own. What’s amazing isn’t how many Republicans are running, but that all of them are from Middle Tennessee (as is the only announced Democrat, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean). There’s a real opening for an East Tennessee Republican, especially since they could easily play a regional dogwhistle game. West Tennessee often feels as if Nashville purposefully neglects it. If someone from East Tennessee could connect with that sentiment, they’d unite two Grand Divisions and be pretty much unstoppable.

TX-Gov: It’s not like anyone was in suspense about it, but Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced his campaign for a second term over the weekend. Somewhat interestingly, he currently has no declared opponents.

WV-Gov: Yes, I’m linking to Hoppy Kercheval twice in one roundup. He’s great. Read his stuff. Anyway, Gov. Jim Justice (D) seems to be having a liquidity problem. Though valued at approximately $1.6 billion, the newly-minted governor owes over $15 million in back taxes in six states through various companies. A lot of the debts are related to coal severance. It’s causing him a few minor headaches now, but he’s still likely to have this problem come his reelection bid in 2020 unless he settles these debts soon.


NV-Voting: The Silver State has passed a new bill that expands voting rights for felons. It’s somewhat complicated, but basically it makes eligible for voting restoration about a quarter of the felons released each year. They were not previously eligible due to reasons that were problems, such as unpaid bills or probation violations, but not in and of themselves enough to cause revocation of parole.

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    • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      So much wrong here I dont even know where to begin! For starters how the heck is government funded non-profit with a $30 million budget paying its CEO $514,042 a year in salary! That is a disgrace.

      Greenfield’s move is totally scummy and anti-democratic but would you expect anything less from this guy? As for Yeger he would have to move into the district by election day in order to be able to run. They still have until July 20th (Thursday) to file Opportunity to Ballot petitions to force a write in primary and independent petitions are due on Aug 25th so it is still possible (although very difficult) to get a challenger here.

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • GerGOP July 17, 2017 at 8:03 am

    You know nothing, SoS! (how cool was the first episode!)
    Dem big donor money is not corrupt corporation money. It’s rightful money, given to the people of the #Resistance.

    • HS July 17, 2017 at 9:47 am

      You guys are missing the main reason Harris is getting Clinton support – Bill probably is going to put the moves on her. Then he can divorce Hillary and marry her for the campaign. After all, he only married Hillary because he thought she would help him politically.

  • RogueBeaver July 17, 2017 at 8:05 am

    AZ-SEN: WH courting Graham & DeWit. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/17/white-house-squeezes-jeff-flake-240613

    QC/Blue Tory/M

    • andyroo312 July 17, 2017 at 8:31 am



    • MosheM July 17, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Actually might not be a dumb move in this case, as long as we get a decent candidate. Flake has burned many bridges and has become unpopular as a result. He’s no John McCain.

      29, M, R, NY-10

      • cer July 17, 2017 at 9:03 am

        I will take Flake over McCain. IMHO Senator McCain, after this health care bill gets resolved one way or the other, should resign!

        Conservative first, Republican second!

        • HoneyBee July 17, 2017 at 10:01 am

          McCain’s voting record is not that bad. He’s conservative on every issue except for immigration, which Flake isn’t conservative on either. He obviously acts like an obnoxious jerk in the media constantly bashing our President, but so does Flake sometimes. In fact, Flake was even less pro Trump than McCain. McCain endorsed him and then unendorsed him while Flake never endorsed him. And McCain is much better electorally than Flake. Flake gets zero crossover appeal because he’s an extreme fiscal conservative who will do dumb things like vote against the sequester deal because (really because Club For Growth and Heritage Action tell him to) they’re not “Conservative enough”

          So basically both Flake and McCain act like obnoxious jerks in the media (McCain moreso recently, but Flake moreso during the campaign when it actually mattered) but McCain is better on foreign policy, and he’s probably better on economics too because he doesn’t do dumb things like vote against good conservative bills from the right all the time. It’s not like McCain is Lisa Murkowski or Susan Collins or even his buddy Lindsey Graham, he’s a reasonable conservative. And McCain is much better electorally.

          So while Flake and McCain both do dumb things I’ll take McCain over Flake any day.

          Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

        • Tekzilla July 17, 2017 at 10:12 am

          When Tek and Cer agree you know it should happen!

          36/M/NY-01 (D)

          • cer July 17, 2017 at 10:59 am

            OMG, mark this one down for the RRH archives.

            Conservative first, Republican second!

          • fzw July 17, 2017 at 11:15 am

            I’m guessing because McCain resigning would give Democrats a semi-legitimate chance at 51 seats?

            Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
            R-leaning Indy.

            • cer July 17, 2017 at 11:23 am

              Right now NO because the GOP Governor would appoint his replacement.

              Conservative first, Republican second!

              • fzw July 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

                I’m well aware of the appointment process. It’s the special election I’m referring to

                Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
                R-leaning Indy.

              • cer July 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

                I don’t even know if Arizona requires a special election for US senators!?

                Conservative first, Republican second!

                • californianintexas July 17, 2017 at 1:03 pm

                  So far none of Arizona’s senators were elected in specials. It looks like the way vacancies are filled there are that the governor appoints a replacement (from the same party as the preceding senator) and the election for that new Senator takes place in the next scheduled statewide election. If McCain resigned, the Republican appointed to replace him would face the voters in November 2018. http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vacancies-in-the-united-states-senate.aspx

                  34, Female, Libertarian, UT-02 (hometown CA-31), theelectionsgeek.com

              • roguemapper July 17, 2017 at 11:29 am

                While the appointee might get a boost, there would be a special election next year. By the way, Arizona requires that a Senate vacancy be filled by a member of the same party as the former Senator anyhow.

                Dem NC-11

      • FiveAngels July 17, 2017 at 9:38 am

        Flake’s a conservative ideologue who is completely out of step with the base on immigration and Trump. He’s a base panderer who is doing everything to piss off the base. Unlike McCain, he has no “reach across the aisle” legendary moderate appeal. His re-election path is really unclear IMO.

        • HS July 17, 2017 at 9:52 am

          Flake is also bad on foreign policy. He was in play for the Iran Deal, which no Republican should ever have considered.

          It is amazing to me how many Republicans seem to think they can continuously antagonize different factions and get away with it. Like the others, Flake really does deserve a primary challenge (although I am not sure I support one yet).

      • andyroo312 July 17, 2017 at 9:58 am

        Will prove a dumb move if Flake loses in the primary and a chunk of his supporters either sit on their hands or cross over to the Democrat. Also, the White House’s opposition to Flake may end up resulting in a handful of Trump Republicans skipping the Senate race on the ballot.


        • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:17 am

          Flake has no crossover support whatsoever, so unlikely. Which is part of why he is so unpopular. He is John McCain with no corresponding crossover support.

          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • Greyhound July 17, 2017 at 10:02 am

        The problem of course being that any primary challenge to Flake is almost certainly going to come from someone even less electable than he is. This is Arizona–Sharron Angle is far more the mold of your average GOP primary challenger than your Marco Rubios or your Pat Toomeys.

        R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

        • MosheM July 17, 2017 at 10:13 am

          That’s why if we get a statewide elected official, then it’s much better.

          29, M, R, NY-10

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:20 am

          In many ways, Jeff Flake is a microcosm of the entire Republican Party. Horrible at the being a politician thing, widely disliked, utterly tone-deaf, and still manages to win, largely because his opponents are even worse.

          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • krazen1211 July 17, 2017 at 10:45 am

        If Kelli ward stays in I think Flake is more likely to win a 3 way primary than a 2 way primary.

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

        Flake is such a terrible politician, I could see us keeping Nevada and losing Arizona. In many ways, he is our Claire McCaskill, since it’s not clear what’s stronger: the strength of incumbency or the toxicity of the specific incumbent.

        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • fzw July 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

          For all her faults, McCaskill is a much better politician than Flake. You don’t outrun the party Presidential nominee by 25 points on the same ballot by accident, even if it was largely Akin. She still got the most votes in Missouri in 2012.

          Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
          R-leaning Indy.

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:36 am

            Fair enough. I suppose the Democratic equivalent would be an incumbent doing very poorly in a modestly blue-state. I’m not sure they’ve actually had anyone like that in the last decade.

            How the hell do we always end up picking these flops?

            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

            • krazen1211 July 17, 2017 at 12:27 pm

              Martha Coakley.

              • pstchrisp July 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm

                Did she ever lose as an incumbent?

        • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 1:09 pm

          How is Flake a terrible politician? He consistently won re-election to the House by 30 point margins, he won the GOP primary in 2012 with 69% of the vote and was elected statewide by a 3 point margin in 2012. You not liking his conservative voting record does not make Flake a bad politician. Flake has one of the most conservative voting records in Congress. If they want to primary him from the left with a grievance type populist it will only end badly for everyone.

          Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm

            He has the worst approval rating of any Senator in the country. Thus, he sucks at the politics thing. The fact that you like his policies doesn’t mean he’s good at politics. There are plenty of substantively conservative politicians with strong approval ratings.


            The only thing preventing Arizona from being a tossup or even tilt-D is the (current) lack of a credible Democratic challenger.

            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

            • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm

              Flake’s disapprovals are because he is not holding Trumpkin Republicans. McCain had similar problem in AZ in 2010.

              Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

              • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 1:26 pm

                So he’s doing worse than senators like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who slammed Trump throughout the primary campaign and are now perfectly well-liked. There’s a vast array of extremely conservative Republican senators in swing states, many Trump skeptics, all of whom are considerably more popular than Jeff Flake. From Pat Toomey to Ron Johnson to Joni Ernst to Ted Cruz to Marco Rubio to Thom Tillis to Cory Gardner (Colorado is interestingly the bluest state with a Republican senator).

                I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

              • fzw July 17, 2017 at 1:51 pm

                McCain is the kind of moderate who is capable of getting significant D crossover votes and he was running in a year where many Clinton voters in Arizona probably voted for him under the assumption that Clinton would win the Presidency. Flake has shown no ability to get significant D crossover support, and his problems with R-leaning voters may be somewhat analogous to Martha Roby’s. It wouldn’t take very many Trump’s ’16 voters to sit on their hands in a general election or even vote for Sinema or Stanton out of spite for him to lose. Then ther ‘s the Trump and Penzone swing voters on top of the arch Trumpists for him to worry about maintaining, and he can’t afford to lose either group

                Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
                R-leaning Indy.

                • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 2:03 pm

                  Honestly, if Stanton gets in the race, and there’s a pretty good chance he does, the race should just be thought of as Lean-D. And if Republicans can’t get anything passed with 52 Senators, well, having 50 Senators will be even funner!

                  I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

          • Vosmyorka July 17, 2017 at 1:58 pm

            Flake was a very good fit for his House seat, but he under-performed a great deal in his 2012 seat (49/46 was a rather weak result while Romney was winning 54/45 upballot) and in general has not been a very popular Senator, a problem which predates Trump. I still would not really recommend primarying him if you’re looking for maximizing electability, just because then you lose the incumbency effects and you pretty much always create bad blood (of 6 Senate incumbents who lost renomination this century, only 2 of their challengers went on to win the general election).

            Arizona is kind of a weird state in that it has a very pro-Trump wing and a very anti-Trump wing who really hate each other — this wasn’t an issue for McCain who attracts a lot of votes from the opposite-party, but if non-negligible parts of these wings stop voting for each other, as seems decently likely, statewide AZ Dems could really enjoy a banner year in 2018.

            Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

            • Greyhound July 17, 2017 at 2:05 pm

              Is Ducey Popular? He might have to carry an important ticket in the state.

              R, 26, CA-18. Anti-Anti-Trump

            • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 2:08 pm

              I largely agree, which is why I think the GOP is really screwed in Arizona no matter what happens. Flake is terrible and Ward would be worse. Hypothetically, you might avoid bad blood with a moderate-ish likeable guy who appeals to all three wings of the party, but that person probably wouldn’t be able to galvanize enough people to actually win a primary. Such a person also likely doesn’t exist.

              Still, I don’t think it’ll be THAT much of a banner year for Democrats because Governor Ducey appears to be decently popular. Which makes sense since he’s been a good governor and in general, GOP governors tend to be popular unless they do something hyper-ideological and bungle it (sup Kansas and Louisiana).

              I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

              • fzw July 17, 2017 at 11:24 pm

                I don’t know what would count as a D banner year, but if Michele Reagan is renominated for SoS and Diane Douglas for SPI, I think it’s more likely than not that they’d both lose general elections given their disastrous tenures. Reagan is facing a credible primary challenger though who would probably have a much better chance of holding that seat. Ducey’s numbers appear to be decent, but that depends on the poll.

                Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
                R-leaning Indy.

            • krazen1211 July 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm

              There may be some merit in primarying him if you could cleanly beat Flake and move on. Otherwise you run the risk of a weakened Flake in the general election.

              He wasn’t considered a squish in the House…It seems to trace back to amnesty for illegals.

              • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm

                The amnesty for illegals thing seems less toxic for Republicans than conventional wisdom suggests. It may not be the majority opinion of Republicans, but it’s not hideously unpopular. More Republicans probably support amnesty for illegals than they do tax cuts for the top 1% of earners.

                Yes, Marco Rubio took a hit for supporting amnesty, but he’s still relatively well-liked today among his own voters in Florida. And amnesty couldn’t have been the cause for his defeat when Donald Trump managed to BEAT him in Florida among Republican voters who supported amnesty for illegals.

                I’d just say that supporting amnesty is a modest negative that tends to correlate well with other negatives. Like being having a holier-than-thou persona. And being willing to tweak the party base on a bunch of other issues. Or taking your political stances from crappy political consultants.

                I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

          • HS July 17, 2017 at 2:07 pm

            He isn’t a very good politician. Rooney won AZ in 2012, and he did better than Flake. And Flake was heavily favored originally, but barely won. And Flakes House district is a heavy Republican area.

    • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      This is a VERY dumb move for Trump and his people. The smart play for Trump would be to bear hug Flake and throw 100% of his support behind him. That’s what McConnell did with Bevin in 2015. Supporting Flake is an ideal opportunity for Trump to unite the GOP and show #NeverTrump conservatives they were wrong and President Trump is on their side. Furthermore going after Flake will antagonize other GOP senators when Trump needs them to be united to pass his agenda. And if Trump goes after Flake and loses it shows he’s a paper tiger. There really is no upside in this for Trump but a ton of downside. Smart move is for him to make peace with the Senators he needs not start dumb primaries to help elect Democrats.

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

    • segmentation_fault July 17, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Jeff Flake is probably my favorite Republican senator because of his courage on Cuba

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 2:40 pm

        Being your favorite Republican senator is like being my favorite Democratic senator. It is not a good sign.

        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • segmentation_fault July 17, 2017 at 2:43 pm

          Heh well I like Joe Manchin too even though I don’t agree with him on a lot of issues

  • Mayor Perk July 17, 2017 at 8:47 am

    NV-Sen: Dean Heller’s Las Vegas office was burglarized yesterday.


    30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

    • TennesseeMike July 17, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Russians strike again!

      TN-2 District. A Social and Fiscal Conservative Republican

  • shamlet July 17, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Oregon Labor Commissioner and obnoxious SJW extraordinaire Brad Avakian (D) won’t seek re-election. Ex-State Rep. and 2016 SoS candidate Val Hoyle (D) is running to succeed him and should be the front-runner. http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/07/brad_avakian_oregons_labor_bur.html

    R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

    • Tekzilla July 17, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Still angry that idiot lost in 2016.

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

      • Son_of_the_South July 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        Yeah. I’d be angry too if I were y’all. Avakian was so unlikable that he allowed a Republican to win a row office for the first time in something like three decades. Not only that, but the guy who won is next in line for the governor’s mansion and is a certified right-winger.

        24, R, TN-09
        Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

        • HoneyBee July 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm

          And he’s in control of redistricting if he gets re-elected!

          Former Anti-Trump Rubio supporter in the primaries. Trump is now my favorite Republican

  • RogueBeaver July 17, 2017 at 9:24 am

    TX-23: Gallego forming an exploratory committee, says decision won’t depend on redistricting. https://www.texastribune.org/2017/07/17/gallego-third-tx23-campaign/?utm_campaign=trib-social&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=1500295286

    QC/Blue Tory/M

  • Tekzilla July 17, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Hoppy is a GREAT follow for anyone interested in WV. Been following him for a while, hes also really good at responding to questions via DM.

    36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • GerGOP July 17, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Hartzler wouldn’t have made a great statewide candidate anyway, imho.

    • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Kabuki dance for Hawley! “Oh no will no GOP candidate run? Please oh please Hawley will you run. We need you so consider this a draft!”

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

    • Ryan_in_SEPA July 17, 2017 at 11:49 am

      Despite what some say, the Republican brand is stronger than Trump. This shows it.

      31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

      • w920us July 17, 2017 at 12:15 pm

        I wonder if we might get lucky nationwide in this same theme next year. With the GOP brand standing separately from Trump.

        R, South Philly, 47, Gay, WFU Alum
        #TrumpVoter #NeverHillary

    • GerGOP July 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      That’s a solid place to be for Ernst.

  • Manhatlibertarian July 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Re the Round Up article on restoration of voting rights to some felons in Nevada – not likely to have much electoral impact although ex felons normally vote something like 75-80% Dem. For starters it will not affect the close Senate race in Nevada in 2018 because it will not take effect until 2019. Also, according to the article it will affect about 1700 people, and not all will register to vote (particularly since you have to bring a document along showing your voting rights are restored when you register) and not all that register will bother to vote. So the best this will do for the Dems is produce maybe a few hundred extra votes, and statewide unless a race is very close it won’t have much impact.

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    35% of Americans view healthcare as the most important political issue right now. Voters also disapprove of Trump and the GOP on healthcare, 28-64.


    The healthcare bill has turned into an utter debacle and I don’t think anything can be done besides abandoning it. There’s absolutely no way this has the votes to pass. A bipartisan solution is also likely impossible as well, just because the Dems have turned so far-left and would probably be unwilling to accept any Obamacare-fix package that didn’t include a public option.

    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • Manhatlibertarian July 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      You are 100% right on this one. The GOP should turn to other issues like tax reform instead of wasting time on legislation that just is not going to get 50 votes in the Senate. Nor can the GOP expect the Dems to do anything to help them pass some kind of “bipartisan legislation.” The Dems are only interested in sabotaging the GOP on healthcare as much as possible.

    • Boehnerwasright July 17, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      I have written a lot of comments and even a diary about healthcare in the last months. I said from the beginning that passing a bill would be difficult/unpopular as trump and republicans both way overpromised on healthcare (trump promised no medicaid cuts) and had no clear plan and/or ideological goal for the healthcare system after obamacare.

      But even I think it might be better to push an unpopular bill through as the alternative might be even worse. Not hard to envision a scenario where this bill failing leads to an even worse electoral outcome.The republican base stays home as republicans with the trifecta still couldn’t deliver on a prominent 6 year promise. Dem base is even more motivated as they see winning the house as their only chance to stop the ACA-repeal for good.

      Furthermore republicans could get blamed for the insurance exchanges getting worse as existing problems are made worse by uncertainty about the future of obamacare, questions about how the mandate will be enforced and the funding for the CSR still unclear.
      House republicans will get attacked for their vote for the AHCA, regardless of the bill becoming law.

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 2:36 pm

        Yeah, I’m pretty much entirely in agreement. The alternative might be worse. Where I disagree is that I’m not sure passing the bill is a viable strategy anymore. It simply doesn’t have the votes. And between the alternative of the bill failing this week and the bill failing in three months, I’ll take the bill failing today.

        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

      • roguemapper July 17, 2017 at 2:36 pm

        It would be very easy for the Donald to deliver on his promise not to cut Medicaid (the way you do that is by not cutting Medicaid). The Donald didn’t “overpromise” or whatever you want to call it. The Donald simply lied. Like most conmen it’s the only thing he’s good at.

        Dem NC-11

        • Boehnerwasright July 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm

          Trump and some republicans promised both obamacare repeal(and repealing all obamacare taxes) and more people having better insurances.
          Which is simply impossible, so regardless of medicare some promises had to be broken.

          The chances for passing the AHCA looked bad in the house after the first vote was pulled but it passed in the house. McConnel has less of margin and more independant members, but is also a better leader than Ryan.
          I think it is an uphill battle to pass the BRCA but senators like Heller not coming out directly against the latest version of the bill is small positive sign.
          But yes, McConnel should give himself a private deadline after which he switches over to tax reform.

          • roguemapper July 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm

            An “overpromise” is when one makes a sincere promise but is then unable to deliver. A promise that one never intends to keep is simply a lie.

            Dem NC-11

            • FiveAngels July 17, 2017 at 3:17 pm

              You mean like “you can keep your plan if you like it”?

              • roguemapper July 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm

                Yep, and that’s exactly how Republicans should respond when asked about it in 2018 and 2020.

                Dem NC-11

          • krazen1211 July 17, 2017 at 3:40 pm

            There’s a private deadline already in the clock. The reconciliation instructions expire I believe at the end of September.

            • Boehnerwasright July 17, 2017 at 3:57 pm

              It is not 100% clear that the reconciliation expire at the end of september as the parlamentarian has not ruled on that question- But republicans should really not drag healthcare into september.

    • gladstone July 17, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      So Ted Cruz actually has a point with his position that the current structure is so near to implosion anyway you might as well just let it and clean up the pieces, but as usual his solution is to throw oil on a burning man such that the GOP gets the blame. If the GOP wants to do a quick shot and walk away, they might as well do something that is both popular, and a good idea. Right now US drug prices are inflated by the fact that national health services in other countries directly compete for agreements with drug manufacturers, but as they have government power behind them, they can act in a manner that would be blatantly illegal if they were private to drive down costs. In turn, the result is drug manufacturers force US insurers and providers to eat higher costs, which is why even on decent employer plans, co-pays are often higher than buying drugs off-the NHS in the UK(ADHD medication for some reason is really bad in this way). Americans end up subsidizing the rest of the world’s single payer, which is one reason the US spends more on healthcare as a % of GDP to get less.

      If the GOP wanted to cause some real fireworks they would pass a bill allowing both drug re-importation internationally and for coverage to be sold across state lines. Tying the two together would create a death spiral; if no one else picked up the slack. But because that would be a death spiral not just for the US system but for Europe and Canada, it would force other interested parties to cough up some cash and potentially pay more.

      Right now, no system, private or public option is going to be affordable without doing something about government health providers abroad basically using monopoly tactics to shake down US drug companies, and this would play to Trump’s America First/Fair Trade appeal.

      • Boehnerwasright July 17, 2017 at 4:12 pm

        There are 2 major problems with your idea.

        1) Just how would it be legal to pass drug-reimportation and selling healthcare across state lines under the reconciliation rules? You would very likely have to nuke the filibuster to do that.
        Just where is the proof that selling planes over statelines would change much in the healthcare system, 90% of article I read on this topic say it would change very little as long as the states can regulate which plans are sold in their states. Even now it is possible to sell out-of state plans in some states but to my knowledge not a single insurer is willing to do that.
        You could mandate that plans could be sold everywhere as long as long as they are legal in one state, but that would lead to a MASSIVE change in the healthcare system and seems dubious to push this giant change through with 50 votes.

        2) Just how would it lead to a death spiral if companies would invest less money in R+D for new drugs/treatments? The single-payer systems in europe can function perfectly well with the current treatments/drugs being available. The effects of such a change would take a decade+ to really take place, as new treatments/drugs take a very long time to be developed/tested/brought to the market and existing projects would still be completed after this change.

        • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 4:32 pm

          It wont work with the mandates Obamacare imposes. It would work with a high deductible insurance plan if people were allowed to buy such plans.

          Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Americans largely think Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with the lawyer was inappropriate (over 2-1), but they still largely do not believe there was any “collusion”. That proposition was 38% in April and 40% now, which is more or less within the margin of error.


    Further convinces me that every moment spent talking about Russia and not about the healthcare debacle is a “victory” (in the hollowest imaginable sense) for Republicans, since Vladimir Putin is more popular than the Republican healthcare agenda.

    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

  • Manhatlibertarian July 17, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Monday NY Tidbits:

    Annoying NY Dem AG Eric Schneiderman has $7.5 million in COH, the most he has ever had, and so far no Repub has announced against him.

    However, with regard to the NY State Senate, the one thing the GOP in the state controls, even if just barely, the GOP State Senate campaign fund has $1.4 million in COH compared to $600,000 for the Dems.

    Meanwhile Likely GOP NYC Mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis has raised about $350,000 since April. Mayor deBlasio keeps trying to link her to Trump is his fund raising emails. In the latest one he notes she has received donations from Robert and Rebekah Mercer, and links them to Breibart News and Trump.

    Former Dem Assemblyman Richard Brodsky warns Gov Cuomo that as bad as things may get on subways and commuter railroads in the NYC area this year, his actions likely will not cause enough improvements by next year when he is up for re-election, and next summer will be a “Summer of Hell” for commuters. This could negatively effect his re-election campaign, although he is still the favorite.

    all at:


  • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Oh, turns out I’m not the only thing thinking this. Apparently, several of the negotiators whipping the healthcare bill are actually pleased that the Donald Trump Jr. stuff is distracting the media from the healthcare bill.

    Also, Sandoval will never support any healthcare reform bill, so the goal is just that he doesn’t speak to the media (good luck!)

    The bill probably wilts from the double-punch of McCain’s surgery and what will likely be a terrible CBO scoring.


    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

    • rdw72777 July 17, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      I can’t figure out the message being sent by those withholding support until the CBO score comes back. I know it’s just pushing the responsibility for their eventual no vote onto the CBO rating but the Senators doing this really aren’t fooling anyone. What I can’t tell is if they are trying to send subliminal messages about a way to get a bill they will vote for if they’re just amusing themselves with their schtick.

      • krazen1211 July 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm

        The CBO provides the buffer zone for which Murkowski and others can ask for Pork.

  • Mayor Perk July 17, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    GA-Insurance Commish: Incumbent Ralph Hudgens (R) not running for re-election.


    30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

  • Manhatlibertarian July 17, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Kudlow, Laffer, Forbes and Moore have proposed a “keep it simple” tax cut that focuses on cutting tax rates on small and large business and doubling the standard deduction for taxpayers. They argue this is something that can pass and will stimulate economic growth and also decrease taxes for middle income people (as opposed to mainly helping rich people). They are also negative on the border adjustment tax that Ryan has floated. This could unite the Repubs and maybe attract a few Dems, as opposed to the current legislative quagmire we are in.


    • rdw72777 July 17, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      The increase of the standard deduction is over-stated in impact; of the 30% who itemize it’s pretty likely that a large chunk get next to nothing from the increase in standard deduction. Particularly people in states with higher income taxes or any person still paying a monthly mortgage payment will probably not see any benefit.
      An increase in he dependent deduction would probably be needed for those people.

      Of course if you really want to sell the proposal just do a tax cut on social security benefitss…once the AARP is on board they’ll be no stopping it (Medicare Part D all over again).

      • Manhatlibertarian July 17, 2017 at 3:06 pm

        Well the tax cut on SS benefits is also a good idea, but doubling the standard deduction will still help a lot of people who are not from blue states like Cal, NY and NJ that have high income taxes they deduct when they itemize. It will help a lot of people in swing states in particular, so there is a political component of this plan.

        • rdw72777 July 17, 2017 at 3:18 pm

          Oh I’m not saying it wouldn’t help. But figure it’s about 70-30 standard vs itemized. Of the itemized I’d guess that only a quarter would benefit. So essentially 20+% of filers get nothing from that simply because they itemize. Then you have to guess what % of the itemizers and standard deducters don’t actually pay any income tax…an increased standard deduction does nothing for them either.

          So you end up with a bizarre mix of people on the low income end, people in high muni/state tax places and people who pay a lot of mortgage interest all getting little to nothing. That’s an odd mix of people…probably say 25-40% of taxpayers who explicitly get nothing. I’m one of them I’m guessing; even in Trump’s $20k standard deduction world I don’t benefit but also neither would my elderly mother on SocSec and my brother’s family (standared 4 person household) who are upper-middle income (by rural standards) but pay plenty in mortgage interest, incomes taxes and property taxes. You have to throw at least one of those subsets a bone of some sort I’d think.

          Meanwhile just doing the social security thing practically guarantees passage (Can Bob Casey vote NO heading to 2018? Can Angus King? Can Heidi Heitkamp?). So why not just go all in and do a big old cut? I’m not in favor (duh) but to me it seems like a pretty easy way to get any tax cut approved, including ones that wouldn’t normally be palatable in a vacuum.

      • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 4:16 pm

        Eliminating the AMT would help folks that itemize. A lot of people from high tax states end up paying the higher AMT tax rate because there deductions from their state taxes are so high.

        Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

        • Jon July 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm

          Every proposal I’ve seen that eliminates the AMT includes as payfor removing a lot of itemizations; such as basically everything not deductible under the AMT.

          45, M, MO-02

      • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm

        The tax on SS benefits is how SS gets means tested. High income seniors have to give back up to 39% of their SS benefits to the government in the form of income taxes.

        Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • Red Oaks July 17, 2017 at 4:35 pm

        That’s part of the reason for the centrality of increasing the standard deduction. The well off all use itemized deductions so a tax cut that focuses on the bottom 70% can’t be demonized as “tax cuts for the rich”. A “tax cut on social security” might attract new supporters but it would disproportionately help the well off seniors. The reason for this is that there really isn’t a tax on social security benefits – the tax is only on those with higher other sources of income who simultaneously collect social security benefits. Many seniors don’t have enough other income to make any of their social security benefits taxable.

        The itemized deduction part of the plan is good. The bad part is the “15% tax rate for all businesses”. This would be like the Kansas pass-through exemption all over again on a national scale.

        MI-03: Tired of Presidency; Focused more on downballot races; Chris Afendoulis for State Senate

      • Jon July 17, 2017 at 6:44 pm

        I currently itemize : $13K is slightly more than I itemize. It would still be a great time saver on income tax not to worry about that.
        Now it does have somewhat negative consequences to my MO state income tax as under current state law, you aren’t allowed to use state itemization of Missouri unless you also itemize at federal level. (MO Itemization = Fed Itemized amount + FICA – MO Income Tax.) OTOH, I’m currently working in IL and the IL income tax hike just flipped things back to IL income tax being higher.
        Now, this article didn’t state so, but there was a previous version that as a pay for also removed from those that itemize some deductions and one of the targets was state income tax.

        45, M, MO-02

    • edtorres04 July 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      This doesn’t address the AMT, corporate AMT, and death tax. Other than that, it’s a very good start.

      • Manhatlibertarian July 17, 2017 at 7:04 pm

        Well you can argue over the size of the business tax cut but if you want to encourage more investment in business and job creation, some type of tax cut should do that. Meanwhile doubling the standard deduction will help a lot of working middle class people in states without high state taxes than can be deducted; a lot of these people are relatively new to voting GOP and this is one way to keep them in states like Oh, Mich, Wis, Pa, etc. If Repubs go back to being “Romney tax cuts for the rich Republicans” they won’t keep these voters. So with this kind of simple tax cut, you help keep a working middle class base but also begin to starve the Federal Gov’t money machine of some of its revenues. And probably some centrist Red State Dems will vote for it to boot.

        • Indy1975a July 18, 2017 at 1:19 am

          Well now you go from 47% not paying any taxes to perhaps 60+% not paying any federal taxes. I know that kind of thinking is a killer with the Obama/Trump voters, but it’s outrageous to have 60% of the country not paying a penny in federal taxes.

          Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

  • Mayor Perk July 17, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Wv-02: Not a good look for the carpetbagging story line. Rep. Alex Mooney (R) hires a sitting MD State Senator as his CoS.


    30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

    • Vosmyorka July 17, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Mooney is an incredibly lucky pol. After nearly beating him in the 2014 (!) general election, Dems punted in 2016 by nominating a guy who once tried to clone his dead son. Their two candidates who’ve already declared in 2018 are Hillary’s 2016 WV campaign manager and a guy who just moved into the state from New Jersey.

      He also has remarkably failed to attract any serious primary challengers so far; a total nobody held him to 73-27 in 2016.

      Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

    • zbigreddogz July 17, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      He won his last re-elect with over 60% of the vote.

      He’s in no danger.

      • LVGOP July 18, 2017 at 1:32 am

        Mooney is living on borrowed time. Even if Dems never get him, redistricting will. WV will lose a seat and Republicans will have no issue dumping an eastern panhandle outsider in a heartbeat.


        • Son_of_the_South July 18, 2017 at 3:09 am

          Yes, but by that time he can probably cash out.

          24, R, TN-09
          Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

  • FiveAngels July 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I have to say this, to me the McCain situation sounds like it might be more serious than they are letting on. This “waiting on lab results” sounds like stalling. What, a sitting Senator can’t get biopsy results done right after the cut?

  • GorrestFump July 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    The IA Dem primary is officially a clown car with some 21 Dems running/considering. If no one gets 35% which is likely then it goes to a convention(party insiders).

    • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Which I am sure is what IA Dem party leaders want!

      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • krazen1211 July 17, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Big cash pileup in VA-10. Comstock is probably a goner regardless, but maybe they can beat each other up a bit.


    If Comstock somehow survives I suppose that would be the biggest win in the House since Gerlach and Reichert survived 2006/2008….or I guess Colin Peterson 2014/2016?

    • rdelbov July 17, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      I personally think Comstock wins and maybe by a similar margin to 2016. Comstock won by 6% even as there was a massive 400K turnout in her district. I don’t have the numbers of voters by CD for 2016 but 400K has to be in the top tier of voter turnouts. My guess for 2018 is 230 to 240K. A massive 40% reduction in the number of voters. The difference is a yuge decline in low information younger more liberal and less white voters. The pool of voters will so much smaller in 2018. Let’s also be clear that Comstock and her district staff works tirelessly on servicing the needs of her voters and yes many either government employees or workers who deal with government contracts or contractors. Thousands upon thousands of voters in her district will get some sort of help from her office every two years. Hey that is why Wolf was unbeatable.

    • cer July 17, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Comstock will hold the seat by at least 5-10 thousand votes.

      Conservative first, Republican second!

    • Vosmyorka July 17, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      It’s really, really difficult for me to imagine a Republican incumbent in the age of Trump holding on in a DC suburbs seat that voted Clinton 52/42, especially since it seems like the Democrats will be nominating someone who is a local and not Jim Moran’s ex-wife, a factor that really didn’t help LuAnn Bennett and would’ve helped many once-Republican now-often-Democratic definitely-very-anti-Trump voters pull the lever for Comstock. That won’t be a factor in 2018. (Plus, in general, when someone is a candidate for an office they’re a hypothetical; they exercise more influence when they actually hold office).

      Lots of Blue Dog Democrats in the Deep South or Appalachia had great constituent services. But over the course of a few elections they were ALL wiped out, and most of the ones who survived 2010 (thinking of Rahall, Barrow, Boren) were simply ones the GOP failed to target. There are some fairly Democratic seats where it looks like the best candidate for a D pickup won’t be recruited, like AZ-2 (where they seem intent on running an elderly insider carpetbagger) or FL-26 (any remotely credible Democrat in the area is running for Ros-Lehtinen’s seat), giving Republicans chances to hold on in logically unfavorable territory. But I don’t think this seat is it.

      Right-leaning anti-Trump Indy. OH-3. Male, Russoanglohispanophone.

      • Izengabe July 17, 2017 at 9:57 pm

        Hillary only got 52.2% of the vote in 2016 in VA-10 up from Obama’s 49.4% in 2012 and 51.2% on 2008. I dont think its fair to compare VA-10 to those Deep South or Appalachia districts where the GOP presidential candidates were getting over 60% of the vote.

        Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • krazen1211 July 17, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        More importantly, this is a district that was drawn as a Republican district and slid as opposed to a district that was marginal from the start of the decade……and is full of angry white women. Coffman, Royce, and Issa can at least bank on less non-white turnout (though I suspect Coffman retires). Paulsen might be dicey but incumbents in Minnesota do well, and Curbelo has machine politics on his side.

        Bush won 255 districts in 2004, so we didn’t hold too many Kerry districts at the time….although looking it up, WA-08 and PA-06 were 48% Bush at the time of the 2006 election.

        • rdelbov July 17, 2017 at 10:53 pm

          Not to sound like I am repeating myself but no one has to do as much district work as DC area congressman. Every beltway bandit needs a contract renewed and the number of employee issues related to work or retirement issues is astounding. Basically Comstock and the other DC area congress people the quantity of issues that no other congressman has to deal with.

  • Manhatlibertarian July 17, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    April state income tax revenue fell in 24 out of 41 states surveyed by the Rockefeller Institute of Government. In addition, monthly cash flow forecasts fell in April and May in 19 out of 21 states in which such info could be obtained. This could partly be due to more affluent people shifting taxable income out of 2016 into 2017, expecting better tax treatment under the Trump Admin. But the other partial explanation is that forecasts for economic growth in 2016 were higher than was the case, leading to lower tax revenues in the end. All this may impact state tax and spend policies.


  • RogueBeaver July 17, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Lee and Moran oppose this version of BCRA. Back to the drawing board. https://twitter.com/SenMikeLee/status/887107244688650241

    QC/Blue Tory/M

    • GOPTarHeel July 17, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      Lee and Paul are literally useless as members of a governing party.

      R/NC-13. I'll never regret a vote that resulted in Neil Gorsuch.

      • roguemapper July 17, 2017 at 9:19 pm

        Did Moran ever bother to say what exactly is his problem with BCRA?

        Dem NC-11

        • Mike1965 July 17, 2017 at 9:41 pm

          What is going on with the KS GOP is one of the more interesting stories in politics. There is no Democratic party to speak of but the Republicans keep moving to the left.


          • GOPTarHeel July 17, 2017 at 9:44 pm

            Club for Growth style policy failed there so they’re going back to the same interest group driven politics that most single party states have.

            R/NC-13. I'll never regret a vote that resulted in Neil Gorsuch.

      • roguemapper July 17, 2017 at 9:24 pm

        Never mind. I found it. He wants unicorns: “We must now start fresh with an open legislative process to develop innovative solutions that provide greater personal choice, protections for pre-existing conditions, increased access and lower overall costs for Kansans.”

        Dem NC-11

        • Ryan_in_SEPA July 18, 2017 at 7:46 am

          I think finding a unicorn is more likely than that.

          31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

      • TexasR July 17, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        Given that the next time they face voters, it will be in a midterm, possibly with a Democrat in the White House, I’m not sure that that’s electorally relevant.

        Whatever we're talking about, it's all Frank Meyer's fault
        Be careful what you wish for

    • OGGoldy July 17, 2017 at 10:18 pm

      Given 2 dozen guesses, I wouldn’t have come up with Jerry Moran as the 3rd/4th no vote. Just when you think you have politics figured out…

  • Ryan_in_SEPA July 17, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    PA-6: The strategy is pretty novel, but considering the typical Democrat in SEPA mentality of believing they live in a D+15 seat instead of a R+2 seat, it will likely work. Coupled with having weak candidates, I cannot rate PA-6 or PA-7 lower than Likely R at this point.

    31, PA-6, fiscally conservative communitarian, Giant Meteor 2020 - Just End It Already!

    • Son_of_the_South July 18, 2017 at 12:19 am

      Eh, it’s always possible that a big shift just happens (maybe even more suburban Rs bolt from the party as a whole because Trump won). Still, yeah, these Dems are usually pretty hilariously tone-deaf. That’s probably because most of them live in Philly.

      24, R, TN-09
      Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • Son_of_the_South July 18, 2017 at 12:16 am

      What is it with the MNGOP and conflicts of interest due to screwing each other? Isn’t this like the third time now?

      24, R, TN-09
      Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

      • Daniel Surman July 18, 2017 at 1:45 am

        If we are only counting publicly, yeah. But in this case both parties are single, so as long as there isn’t any improper backing of Hagedorn before an endorsement or Carnahan lobbying delegates for him, it should be ok.

        R, TX-14

  • Tekzilla July 17, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Repeal & Replace DOA according to McConnell thanks to Lee and Moran giving the moderates cover. He will now move to pass a full clean repeal with 2 year delay.

    Can that pass through reconciliation though? And I doubt they have the votes for that.

    36/M/NY-01 (D)

    • Tekzilla July 17, 2017 at 11:07 pm

      CBO Score on the 2015 Bill that McConnell will likely base this on was scored as having 35 Million people losing Insurance in some fashion. Not sure how people like Capito, Collins, Heller etc. vote for this if they couldn’t vote for BCRA.

      36/M/NY-01 (D)

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:23 pm

        Presumably, McConnell would argue that it wouldn’t be a real repeal because they’d have two years to work out something with the Democrats. Of course, Democrats might stonewall and go “no, we won’t restore anything except full single payer.”

        At the very least, it’d be very interesting.

        Oddly, I thought AHCA/BRCA was too cutty for my tastes, but I’d be on board with this. Then again, I have a much higher tolerance for risk and terror than almost any elected politician.

        Edit: Coincidentally, I’d be interested in what date it’d be a better idea to set full Obamacare “repeal” on. November 1, 2018 or November 1, 2020.

        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • segmentation_fault July 17, 2017 at 11:36 pm

          Democrats would say that Republicans are being reckless and trying to take away 35 million peoples’ healthcare and not settle for anything less than repealing the repeal bill (i.e. status quo). They wouldn’t stonewall and demand single payer – that would be politically stupid and playing into McConnell’s hands. Although if Obamacare was actually completely nuked then they would probably do something more left wing than Obamacare when they retook the WH and Congress in 2021, at least public option.

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:38 pm

            I don’t think anyone could really predict how the public would perceive for example, the Republicans offering to bring back 80% of Obamacare and Democrats saying NO. Though my best prediction is that public approval of both parties crashes outside of hardcore partisans.

            Which is still better than the current impasse where Democrats soaring and Republicans crashing.

            Senate Democrats IMO, are unlikely to stonewall for single payer. But the progressive base is going to be livid if they don’t. Californian Democrats are being deluged with death threats for not voting for that sham of a single-payer bill.

            Really, I just can’t imagine any scenario worse than the current one that Republicans have. This is quite really a Flight 93 legislative move.

            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

            • segmentation_fault July 17, 2017 at 11:43 pm

              Basically Democrats are not going to agree to anything that would result in anyone being kicked off of Medicaid expansion. That was the major problem with AHCA and BRCA. And Republicans are going to have a hard time agreeing to anything that keeps Medicaid expansion because it’s extremely difficult to cut costs if you do that.

              • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:46 pm

                Why do we assume Republicans actually care that much about controlling costs? We’re the party of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D. As long as we get a healthcare bill that isn’t called Obamacare and presumably outsources out more of its responsibilities to the state-level, I’d consider it a victory. Keeping 95% of Obamacare in a bill not called Obamacare and watching both parties get shredded by their bases and pissed off independent voters is at the very least, a better outcome than what the GOP was hurtling towards (all of that happening to only one party with 100% of Obamacare retained).

                I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

                • segmentation_fault July 17, 2017 at 11:50 pm

                  We assume Republicans care about cutting gov’t healthcare spending because their stated goal is to cut gov’t healthcare spending in order to pay for tax cuts.

                  • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:56 pm

                    I suppose in their ideal world they might just do that, but cutting gov’t healthcare spending really does seem like an impossible outcome at this point. Avoiding total political annihilation is a desirable consolation prize.

                    And dragging Democrats into the darkest pit of despair and doom with them (having to actually make policy) seems like a plausible way to do it.

                    I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

            • Indy1975a July 18, 2017 at 12:41 am

              No it isn’t a Flight 93 move. Repeal and delay should have been the move from the beginning. It was outrageous to think you can do the Obamacare replacement within a month with so many different views in the Senate caucus.

              As far as how the public would perceive these negotiations, there is one wildcard, Trump refusing to make the Obamacare insurance bailout payments. The Rs might get around that by guaranteeing such payments in the repeal bill until the repeal date.

              Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

              • Izengabe July 18, 2017 at 9:13 am

                Repeal and delay is a copout. It leaves Obamacare in place for 2 more years with only a promise that this gang that cant shoot straight might get to it in 2 years. If repeal and delay was the GOP’s strategy from day 1 and the GOP passed this in the 1st couple of days then fine it would be a political win. But doing it after flailing around for 6 months makes them look like idiots and will leave everyone with no faith that they will ever get to it.

                Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

                • roguemapper July 18, 2017 at 9:34 am

                  No one seems to think that repeal and delay can pass besides the Donald and a couple of people on RRH, so I don’t see much reason to get worked up over it. McConnell just needs to check off that box before he can move on to the next fiasco (probably so-called tax reform, assuming the GOP can pass a budget for FY 2018).

                  Dem NC-11

    • MosheM July 17, 2017 at 11:23 pm

      Dumpster fire.

      29, M, R, NY-10

    • segmentation_fault July 17, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      WTF??? Instead of actually replacing (however bad the replacement might be) they’re moving to repeal and not replace and try to blame the Democrats for the lack of replacement??? It’s like triggering Article 50.

      No matter what political calculations Trump or McConnell has made, I don’t see how Hard Obamacare Repeal in 2019/2020 is not a political disaster for the Republicans.

      • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:32 pm

        Mike Lee and Rand Paul had a chance to be part of an Obamacare replacement that passed with 50 Republicans. Now at best, it’s going to be an Obamacare replacement that passes with 30 Democrats and 20 Republicans. Unless Democrats decide to make a single-payer stand. I’d actually have no idea how the politics of tht would work out. I don’t think anyone does. Would Democrats get eaten alive if they refused to work with Republicans at all, demanding single payer? Alternatively, would they get eaten alive just for reinstating Obamacare?

        Risky as hell, but better than the guaranteed failure of AHCA/BRCA. Since the worst outcome is the Congress reinstates 90% of Obamacare and the progressive base rages at Democrats for not DEMANDING single-payer in addition.

        Think of it as the Flight 93 healthcare option.

        I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • MosheM July 17, 2017 at 11:39 pm

          I don’t think clean repeal will pass.

          If it does, Democrats will not work with Republicans on a replacement. They will watch it burn. They will have no incentive to do otherwise.

          29, M, R, NY-10

        • segmentation_fault July 17, 2017 at 11:40 pm

          Not going to happen, Republicans senators would be ripped apart by the base if they agreed to any bill that was left wing enough to get more than 5 Democrats. The reverse is true as well. Repeal and delay is a political stunt almost guaranteed to result in deadlock and repeal only.

          • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 17, 2017 at 11:43 pm

            Republican senators are already getting ripped apart by the base, so I don’t really see a difference here. Especially since it’s only going to worsen if Obamacare repeal/replace totally fails, which it already has. The repeal gambit obviously wasn’t McConnell’s Plan A or Plan B, but it’s quite literally the only thing that hasn’t failed yet.

            I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

        • Indy1975a July 18, 2017 at 12:29 am

          Congressional Ds are not going to the mat for single payer, not even in California. What they probably will demand is a Medicare buy in for over-55, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and perhaps some sort of “public option”. All of which are nonstarters for the Rs, except maybe allowing the gov’t to negotiate drug prices in some form.

          Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

      • Izengabe July 18, 2017 at 12:00 am

        Kicking the can down the road for 2 years is not repeal. It is leaving Obamacare in place for 2 more years until the GOP can come up with a new excuse not to do anything.

        Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

        • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 18, 2017 at 12:02 am

          That is probably word-for-word what Mitch McConnell is telling Jeff Flake and Dean Heller right now.

          I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

          • Indy1975a July 18, 2017 at 12:32 am

            And if that gets out, Paul, Cruz, Lee, and Johnson will bolt. Basically what McConnell should tell his caucus is this; everyone here campaigned on repealing Obamacare, and everyone voted to repeal Obamacare (to the extent permitted by reconciliation) in 2015. We may not agree on what the replacement should be, but that can be negotiated later.

            Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

            • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 18, 2017 at 12:35 am

              I doubt they’d bolt even if they know. Seriously, what are they going to say if they kill the bill?

              “Oh yeah, full repeal of Obamacare FAILED because I voted against it because it wasn’t REAL repeal since there’s a good chance other politicians would pass a bill undoing the repeal.” That’s utterly insane. Talk about alienating perhaps every imaginable voter in the universe.

              I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

              • Indy1975a July 18, 2017 at 12:48 am

                Ron Johnson today threatened to withhold support for the Senate bill because McConnell was telling moderates that many of the Medicare reforms in the bill “will never actually happen”. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Lee’s opposition was also partly due to this.

                So yes, it is a serious possibility that several hard right senators could bolt if McConnell is suggesting to moderates that “Obamacare will never actually be repealed”.

                Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

                • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 18, 2017 at 12:51 am

                  Yes, but Ron Johnson actually had leverage in that case. As in he could have voted against the Senate bill on grounds of it not being a non-full-repeal of Obamacare and going to his conservative base “well, it wasn’t a full repeal.”

                  If he does that for a full repeal bill and tries to defend it to this his conservative base, they’ll lynch him.

                  It’s not an issue of what they WANT to do. It’s an issue of what they CAN do. The Paul-Lee-Cruz-Johnson crew got everything they wanted. They thus have no more leverage. They don’t matter anymore on healthcare. They can’t vote against the full repeal and any replacement healthcare bill won’t involve them.

                  I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

                  • Indy1975a July 18, 2017 at 12:56 am

                    Well their argument would be what Izengabe said above, that delay is kicking the can down the road, and that is not really full repeal. It is a dumb argument, granted, but they don’t need much.

                    Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

                  • fzw July 18, 2017 at 12:58 am

                    Johnson has even more leverage than that. He has said that he will never face the voters again. He can vote however he wants for the next five and a half years and no one can control him. Same with Burr and Toomey (I think he limited himself to two terms too?), but Burr is Intel Chair, so he stands to lose influence.

                    Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
                    R-leaning Indy.

      • Indy1975a July 18, 2017 at 12:26 am

        Frankly it is the only bill that can get through the Senate. The moderate Rs and hard right Rs simply aren’t going to agree on anything now except that Obamacare sucks and should be replaced. All the R senators campaigned against Obamacare and voted to repeal it in 2015, but they never campaigned on an exact replacement.

        Blaming the Ds won’t work at all though. The best path forward now is to repeal and delay until 2019, where you hope to have a two or three more senators that would allow for a little more leeway. The flip side of that is getting a replacement through the House could be a lot more difficult in 2019.

        Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

        • segmentation_fault July 18, 2017 at 12:40 am

          Susan Collins and Mark Kirk did not vote to repeal in 2015.

          • Indy1975a July 18, 2017 at 12:52 am

            Kirk is gone. Collins may well vote against repeal-and-delay. Where are your other two votes against this bill? Maybe Heller? Maybe Murkowski if Planned Parenthood is completely defunded. But besides Collins, it is going to be awfully hard for the others in the centrist to refuse to support this this path. The hard right is a different story, but Rand Paul has stated he would support a clean repeal (even w/ a delay).

            Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

            • VastBlightKingConspiracy July 18, 2017 at 12:56 am

              It’d be idiotic to include a PP defunding in the bill. PP will be up for discussion later (and lets be honest, it’s probably staying in). Collins leaves the GOP with one spare vote. Give it to Dean Heller, since Jeff Flake probably actually supports full repeal. Then legislative Gotterdämmerung starts.

              I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Republican.

              • Indy1975a July 18, 2017 at 1:01 am

                But how many senators do you lose if PP is not defunded at least for one year? Social conservatives/pro-lifers were promised in the last budget agreement that PP defunding would be included in the Obamacare repeal bill. We may just have to accept Murkowski’s no vote and twist Heller’s arm on this.

                Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

                • FreedomJim July 18, 2017 at 11:24 pm

                  Could they defund PP as a separate bill before the vote on the broader health care bill?

                  • Jon July 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm

                    I suspect CBO scoring of the savings of a measure defunding PP would be so low that it couldn’t be in reconciliation (in part because CBO would add the costs of defending such a measure in federal courts throughout the country) and so would need 60 votes in the Senate; which there aren’t.

                    45, M, MO-02

                    • FreedomJim July 19, 2017 at 11:11 pm

                      Jon, thanks for the explanation. Perhaps they could defund PP as part of an appropriation bill but separate from health care reform. Even if it needs 60 votes, it is worth making the red-state Dems vote on it.

  • fzw July 17, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    To continue the Arizona point re: SoS and SPI races I mentioned above, apparently a poll came out last week and, well…


    Katie Hobbs and David Schapira would probably win those races in landslides against the incumbents. The other Republican row officers seem to be doing okay though

    Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
    R-leaning Indy.

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