Tuesday, April 04, 2017

The Nuclear Option? I'll believe it when I see it

Speculation is swirling in Washington as the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court continues to make its way through the Senate.  Reports are now that there are 41 Senators committed to support a filibuster when the nomination comes to a vote.  These reports then blithely state that the Republicans will "invoke the Nuclear Option" in order to confirm Judge Gorsuch.  For those of you who went to public schools and thus never had a civics class, the Nuclear Option means that the Senate will change its rules to allow confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee via a simple majority (51 votes) rather than a three-fifths super-majority (60 votes).

The first thing we all need to realize is the Republicans, especially their leadership, have no courage at all.  They have proved this over and over during the 8 year reign of Barry the First, and even during the W administration when they didn't do anything they said they were going to do when they had control of both the legislative and executive branches.

So when I read these offhand remarks about Republicans invoking the Nuclear Option, I have to laugh, because they have never shown the least inclination to do anything that is hard, or will subject them to criticism.  And the criticism will be loud, long, and intense, starting with the vote they will have to take to change the rule in the first place.  Mitch McConnell has never shown the courage to face the outrage the press would put out when they find that this rule change is going to be brought to the floor.  He will pull the rule change, allow the confirmation vote to go forward and lose, and then shake his head sadly while lamenting the democrats intractability and unwillingness to cooperate on this very important nomination, and how sad it is that such a good man and eminently qualified judge will not be on the Supreme Court.  And once again a party and a philosophy that has lost over a thousand seats nationwide over the last decade will have won the political war, over the clear will of the people of this country.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Tigers Baseball 2017

Traditionally I have done a preview post on my favorite baseball team, the Detroit Tigers, as the regular season begins, so here is my attempt for this season. 

And honestly, I have no idea about this team. It's hardly changed from last years team that barely missed a wildcard slot and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. 

There are aging veterans in key positions (Verlander, Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Kinsler) but there are younger players in others (JaCoby Jones, James McCann, Matthew Boyd, Daniel Norris), and who knows how they are going to perform?

So here it is: if they stay reasonably healthy and everyone plays to their norms (or expected norms in the case of the youngsters) they should be somewhere in the vicinity of 90 wins and contending for a playoff slot. Otherwise, it's a third year of watching the playoffs instead of playing in them. 

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Healthcare repeal failure

I sent this message to President Trump via the WhiteHouse.gov website, so I'm sure he'll get it :)
I didn't vote for you to get Obamacare Lite, I voted for Repeal
I have written before in this blog about the "Replace" part of the commonly referenced "Repeal and Replace", and the need for government to get out of the healthcare business and into the tort reform business - thus "Repeal" is as far as I really want them to go.  Let the insurance companies (or other entities for that matter) sort out how healthcare gets delivered and paid for.

I also have to say that Paul Ryan has to go as Speaker of the House.  He seems to have no spine, and seems to be working for someone other than the people of this country.  And now he's walking away from repeal in a snit, saying "we've got other priorities". 

I would like to know what other priorities are more important than avoiding the collapse of the healthcare system in this country, and the great heaping mountains of federal money (created out of thin air, of course) it will take for it to continue to operate between now and that downfall?  Mr. Ryan, and yes, you too Mr. President - this is just irresponsible.  We elected you to extricate the country from the financial morass created by Emperor Barry the First (and yes, W as well), not to just walk away at the first resistance you got! Get back to work!