Documentation. Witnesses. Facts. Truth. That's what they're afraid of.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Flipping the Switch

Last night I was concerned about the sheer authoritarianism of Trump and his followers, but we also need to remember that there are extreme policy reasons for our leadership to do something about him before his Putin-pounded butt gets into the White House.

Medicare and Medicaid getting into Paul Ryan's grubby hands:

Under Ryan’s plan, once you reach retirement, instead of being automatically enrolled in Medicare, you will be given the option to buy insurance from a number of private plans. At first glance, this might not seem like a bad idea since the option to enroll in the traditional system will remain in place. However, it is very possible — and we would argue very likely — that this measure is only the first step towards a full privatization of the program.
Assuming the GOP can pass this bill, then  Ryan’s goal of privatizing Medicare will be that much closer to reality. If they are successful then it’s possible Social Security could be next.

Paul Krugman reminds us:

Then, there's a nightmare bill regarding civil rights going through Congress that I wasn't aware of:

FADA would prohibit the federal government from taking "discriminatory action" against any business or person that discriminates against LGBTQ people. The act distinctly aims to protect the right of all entities to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on two sets of beliefs: "(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage."
Ironically, the language of the bill positions the right to discriminate against one class of Americans as a "first amendment" right, and bans the government from taking any form of action to curb such discrimination—including withholding federal funds from institutions that discriminate. FADA allows individuals and businesses to sue the federal government for interfering in their right to discriminate against LGBTQ people and would mandate the Attorney General defend the businesses.
A few months ago, we thought we were done with the gay marriage arguments.

Once again, Republicans are terrible people. And now they're going to be extremely hard to stop. I have to keep reminding myself that despite my tendency to describe the approach of the Apocalyse, I really want to highlight potential ways to mitigate as much of the harm that we can. Rude Pundit has an idea that doesn't seem so wacky:

So while we're still tilting at the burning windmills of Russian interference and possible Obama spine-stiffening on things like Merrick Garland, let's not overlook one real Hail Mary pass on confronting Donald Trump and halting his history-demolishing agenda. What about trying to turn three Republican senators into Democrats (or, at least, turn independent and then caucusing with the Democrats)? It's crazy, sure, and unlikely, in that it relies on the possibility of there existing rational Republicans, but surely there are ones who have a gut-level fear of what Trump might do.
My guess is that it can't work. Of the Senators mentioned, I think Murkowski is the only realistic flip, because she might only be in the party because of her family history. Too many give McCain, Collins, and Graham credit, and I think they sold their souls long ago and are basically with Ryan on most policy issues. However, it really is worth a shot because it could be a world-saver. I would be SO much less nervous if the Democrats had one house of Congress.

I think the Democrats would do well to hire bloggers as strategists. Not kidding.