The president* popped up and took a few questions on Thursday afternoon. The president of Colombia was standing next to him as the ignorance and the crapola began to fly. A lot of attention will be paid to the fact that he rejiggered the timeline on the firing of James Comey again. (We’re now back to it all being Rod Rosenstein’s idea. Please watch this space for further updates.) He flatly denied telling Comey to back off on the investigation of collusion between his campaign and the Russians, pitting his memory against Comey’s notebook, which I believe will turn out to be a mismatch of heroic proportions. He also said that there was no collusion between himself and the campaign, which I rather believe, actually. But the crème de la crapola was his riff on healthcare.
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“Obamacare is dead,” he said. “It’s a fallacy. There is no healthcare.”
The formulation is, of course, completely nutty. The Affordable Care Act is still working, no thanks to, among other factors, the Trump administration, as The Los Angeles Times points out:
The growing frustration with the Trump administration’s management — reflected in letters to state regulators and in interviews with more than two dozen senior industry and government officials nationwide — undercuts a key White House claim that Obamacare insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own. Instead, according to many officials, it is the Trump administration that is driving much of the current instability by refusing to commit to steps to keep markets running, such as funding aid for low-income consumers or enforcing penalties for people who go without insurance. But privately, many executives, including chief executives of major health plans, offered withering criticism of the Trump administration’s lack of leadership. “It’s hard to know who’s home,” said one CEO. “We don’t know who is making decisions.” Another chief executive said: “There seems to be no coordination or coherent planning. … It’s a mess.” A third official observed: “There is a sense that there are no hands on the wheel and they are just letting the bus careen down the road.”
Now, it can be argued that these folks are covering their own carefully tailored hindquarters, but what they’re saying makes sense. The Republicans at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue have made a horrible hash of things, and there’s no end to the bungling in sight.
Bloomberg reports that legislative titan Speaker Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin, has stepped on another rake.
House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t yet sent the bill to the Senate because there’s a chance that parts of it may need to be redone, depending on how the Congressional Budget Office estimates its effects. House leaders want to make sure the bill conforms with Senate rules for reconciliation, a mechanism that allows Senate Republicans to pass the bill with a simple majority. Republicans had rushed to vote on the health bill so the Senate could get a quick start on it, even before the CBO had finished analyzing a series of last-minute changes. The CBO is expected to release an updated estimate next week. “Unaware,” said Representative Jeff Denham of California, with noticeable surprise Thursday, when advised that his party leaders still hadn’t sent the bill over to the Senate. Denham was one of the House Republicans who ended up voting for the measure, after earlier in the week opposing it.
According to several aides and other procedural experts, if Republicans send the bill to the Senate now and the CBO later concludes it doesn’t save at least $2 billion, it would doom the bill and Republicans would have to start their repeal effort all over with a new budget resolution. Congressional rules would likely prevent Republicans from fixing the bill after it’s in the Senate, the aides said. If Republican leaders hold onto the bill until the CBO report is released, then Ryan and his team could still redo it if necessary. That would require at least one more House vote of some sort.
So, yeah, the president* is still really bad at almost everything, including bullshitting this great nation, which actually has a great tolerance for people who are talented at it.