Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
- Well, she was talking about those ‘other’ women – Michelle Obama said that “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.” No word from the former First Lady on what she was doing during the 2008 Democrat nominating contest when she actively campaigned for a mean ol’ man against Mrs. Clinton and presumably voted for her husband rather than her “own voice” in the Illinois primary that year.
- Tired of winning yet? Part 1 – all the stock indexes closed at all-time record highs yet again on Friday, as the U.S. economy continues to hum along in response to the Trump Administration’s ongoing program to remove the shackles of unnecessary soviet-style regulations that were piled onto it during the Obama years. This has happened so often during the last 8 months that it has become passe’ to even mention it. But there, I mentioned it.
- Tired of winning yet? Part II – U.S. GDP for the 2nd quarter of 2017 was raised to a final estimate of 3.1% on Friday, the highest quarterly rate of economic growth in many years. If you want to know why, see the bit about removal of soviet-style regulations above. This is not exactly rocket science.
- Because that’s what happens when a Republican charges taxpayers $1 million in air travel in just 8 months – To literally nobody’s surprise, President Trump fired HHS Secretary Tom Price Friday afternoon, after it had been revealed that he felt his entire job was to fly in high style all over the damn world every week at exorbitant taxpayer expense. He apparently didn’t break any laws, and he didn’t do anything myriad Obama officials had not done the past 8 years, but unlike Democrat presidencies, Republican administrations must hold their people accountable for this kind of behavior. Mr. Price apparently didn’t understand that, which means he was too dumb to hold a secretarial position in the first place.
- I wrote on Thursday about my belief that the just-begun effort by the GOP establishment leadership in congress to move a tax reform bill is just a Kabuki dance, and that the outcome is already fore-ordained to be a McConnell/Ryan joint presser in December in which they tell us all they did their best but they just ran out of time. If you don’t believe that, read the piece linked here in The Hill, in which various House Republicans are already speculating how the bill will ultimately be killed in the Senate, maybe by the same group of RINOs who killed the Obamacare bill.
- Hell, you’ve even got the Chairman of Senate Finance, Utah Senator Orin Hatch – who is likely to retire next year, and thus never have to face the voters again – talking about ways to kill the effort in public. The probable truth is that Mitch McConnell already has 8 or 9 members of his GOP caucus who can be counted on to vote against any version of a tax reform bill if he needs them.
- They’ll couch their votes with objections like Hatch’s, i.e., “I feel very strongly we need to preserve that wonderful deduction for state and local taxes, oh my”. Maybe Susan Collins’ objection will be her strong feeling that we need to give a special tax credit to any woman who seeks an abortion at Planned Parenthood clinics; Lamar Alexander might want to preserve some special tax break for his state’s whiskey distillers; Lisa Murkowski might feel strongly about the need to preserve some tax program that benefits polar bears; John McCain might think he’s voting on the EPA appropriations bill rather than a tax bill; regardless, the three GOP ‘no’ votes needed to kill this thing are already out there in some combination of senators or another.
- I hate to be the bearer of this bad news because we really do need to reform our absurd tax system, but watching this all play out is like going to a movie whose previews have already revealed the final scene. You already know how it’s going to end, but you go anyway just to see the details of how it all plays out.
Just another day in GOP congressional Kabuki dance America.
That is all.