Let’s begin with the Republican Healthcare Wealthcare, and save Comrade Preznint for dessert .
There are 237 House Republicans and 215 need to vote yes to pass this bill. They can lose 22 lawmakers.
From Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie:
As of publishing time this morning, House Republicans planned to bring this bill to the floor Thursday no matter what the whip count looked like. We wouldn’t be surprised if the vote came after the market closed…
HERE’S THE DEAL. The conservative House Freedom Caucus — which will meet with PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP this morning at 11:30 a.m. — wants to not only eliminate coverage requirements for health insurers in the Obamacare bill (known as essential health benefits)…
— Kay Steiger (@kaysteiger) March 23, 2017
[Ed – I’m inserting this tweet as it has a list of things that they have pulled out of insurance coverage. I have no idea what is covered; basically NOTHING IS COVERED. — TG]
…but they also want to repeal the law’s Title One, which includes rules on coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing children to remain on their parents’ plan up to age 26.
…Republicans should get used to it. Their agony on health care is just beginning. For the past seven years, the party benefited from its powerlessness, which usefully maximized its ability to criticize Obamacare and minimized its responsibility to do anything about it. Now, with unified control of government, the party will pay the piper. Nothing good will come of the Obamacare repeal-and-replace debate. If anything resembling the current bill passes and is signed into law, Republicans will spend years trying to fix it and live it down. If the bill fails, the rest of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda may sink with it.
Mike ‘Payola’ Allen at Axios:
How it could pass … Axios’ Jonathan Swan tells me one key may be for the White House to make big enough changes that the hard right can say it was a victory for Trump, not Speaker Paul Ryan. The hardline House Freedom Caucus will return to the White House late this morning.
The Koch organization last night announced a “seven-figure fund” to sink the bill.
And now, like Napoleon, let’s go into Russia (Axios):
But the Russia story is going from fishy, to career-ending (Manafort, Flynn), to investigation-worthy, to FBI criminal probe, to a wide, Watergate-like scandal that could bring all of government to a halt:
- House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), without informing his Democratic counterpart, saying he “recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.” (What he revealed, what he didn’t.)
- Trump saying he feels “somewhat” vindicated.
- Feds have evidence suggesting Trump associates coordinated anti-Hillary releases with Russians.
- The Manafort contract: You don’t pay $10 million to play small ball. You pay it to blow up enemies.
If you read only 1 paragraph … Watergate was a coverup of a burglary. This could be the coverup of a nuclear-armed U.S. nemesis that infiltrated our politics with the specific aim of disrupting the very foundation of our democracy — a presidential election — and did so, possibly, in a manner that elected its preferred candidate and locked in all party control that could decimate the opposition party for years.
Bulletin … APNewsAlert at 6 a.m., “US probes banking of ex-Trump campaign chief”: “Treasury Department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman.”
“[T]he information about Paul Manafort’s transactions was turned over earlier this year to U.S. agents working in the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.”
Paul Manafort worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Vladimir Putin a decade ago. I think this is the key to the whole thing. We’re being myopic in our America is the center of the Universe way. Putin wants to get his gas/oil to the market; it’s why he invaded the Ukraine to have access to the ports. If the American embargo are lifted, he will make a fortune. You don’t pay someone $10M Ameros to be annoying.