Monday, January 9, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: How Trump Is Like Reagan … And How He Is Not

Bill Scher
How Trump Is Like Reagan … And How He Is Not
Both had a nontraditional celebrity background that caused Democrats to underestimate him but help forged a bond with voters. Both recoiled at policy details and in-depth briefings. Both said things on the campaign trail that many wrongly assumed would be politically damaging. Both employed right-wing populism to make liberals pay for challenging their intellectual capacities ... [But] they diverge in one significant respect...
URGENT: Sessions Attorney General confirmation can still be stopped
Senate Republicans are trying to rush through one of the most dangerous Presidential appointments of all time. Sen. Jeff Sessions has a history of attacking civil rights organizations, undermining women’s rights and is out of step with our country’s core values. Call your Senator today and tell them to vote “no” to confirming Jeff Sessions.


Senate Majority Leader sticks with plan to fast-track Trump cabinet noms. Politico: “…there are nine Cabinet confirmation hearings scheduled in the Senate this week, with as many as five on Wednesday — the same day the president-elect will hold his first news conference in months, and senators will participate in a budget ‘vote-a-rama’ expected to go late into the night … [Some,] including Betsy DeVos for education and John Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security, have yet to finish their ethics reviews…”
Dems still plan “extreme vetting.” Bloomberg: “…Chuck Schumer is in talks with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the full scope of the hearings — demanding, among other things, full paperwork in advance and at least two days of hearings on eight of the most troublesome nominees … One of Democrats’ top goals is to highlight splits between the nominees and Trump’s populist message and campaign rhetoric …”
“Day of Denial” protests today. The Nation: ” To show that we won’t stand for a climate-denying cabinet, people across the country will gather at their senators’ offices to demand that they reject Trump’s reckless picks.”


Partisanship may turn Obamacare into a GOP liability. CNN: “Making the difficult task of enacting healthcare reform a millstone for Republicans could end up helping Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections … ‘We’ve had six years of opportunities to work together on a bipartisan basis to improve or change the Affordable Care Act. They have never, ever, accepted an invitation for that,’ [Sen. Minority Whip Dick] Durbin said.”
Health industry leaders panic over repeal & delay strategy. Politico: “Their doomsday scenario: Millions of people could lose their health care coverage, hospitals could hemorrhage cash and shocks to the $3 trillion-a-year health system could send ripples through the entire economy … Hospitals estimate that repealing Obamacare could cost them $165 billion by the middle of the next decade and trigger ‘an unprecedented public health crisis’ if sick people are unable to get care … The Advisory Board Company, which provides services to health care firms, announced last week that it is laying off 220 people because hospitals hit the brakes on spending following the GOP sweep.”
McConnell to move full steam ahead. Reuters: “Speaking on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation,’ McConnell said: ‘There ought not to be a great gap” between repealing the act and replacing it and that Republicans would be “replacing it rapidly after repealing it.’ McConnell did not define what he meant by ‘rapidly.’ Another top Republican, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, told Fox News that it could take two years to fully replace the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.”
Some GOP governors aim to protect Medicaid expansions. The Atlantic: “…GOP Governors John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan have raised concerns about the impact a full repeal of the health law would have on their states, which rely on billions of dollars in additional federal funding to cover an expansion of Medicaid they carried out …”
The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman counsel Dems to confront GOP at grassroots level: “Every time a member of Congress does a town meeting, he should be asked questions like: Why do you want to re-open the Medicare prescription drug ‘donut hole’? … Why do you want to take away the subsidies that make insurance affordable for so many people? Why do you want to bring back lifetime limits on coverage? … I’m not happy about my out-of-pocket costs, but all the Republican plans look like they’ll increase my out of pocket costs—that’s what you and your buddies call ‘skin in the game.’ Can you promise me that won’t happen?”


Simon Johnson calls Trump’s economic plans “folly” in the American Prospect: “It has been a long time since we had significant inflation in the United States, and many people seem to have forgotten how unpopular it is. Ronald Reagan told Americans they should care about the ‘misery index’—the sum of inflation and unemployment. And inflation is almost always bad for people on lower incomes, including pensions (which will not be fully indexed to rising costs). Trump’s supporters will not be so delighted once the full implications of his tax cuts and other macroeconomic policies begin to sink in.”
Dems introduce bill to apply conflict of interest law to the presidency. Politico: “The bill has slim if any chance of advancing while Republicans control the House and Senate. But it gives Democrats a substantive counterattack for Trump’s planned Wednesday press conference…”

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