Patterico's Pontifications

3/24/2017

Paul Ryan: There Is A Path To Repealing ObamaCare Without 60 Votes In The Senate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:59 pm

OK, I admit it: I cheated a little bit in the headline, by quoting Paul Ryan from 2016, rather than Paul “We’re Done Here” Ryan from 2017. But the principle is the same, even if the GOP wants to pretend it’s now impossible:

“It’s no surprise that someone named Obama vetoed a bill repealing Obamacare,” Ryan said in a statement.

“But here’s the thing. The idea that Obamacare is the law of the land for good is a myth. This law will collapse under its own weight, or it will be repealed. Because all those rules and procedures Senate Democrats have used to block us from doing this? That’s all history,” he added. “We have now shown that there is a clear path to repealing Obamacare without 60 votes in the Senate. So, next year, if we’re sending this bill to a Republican president, it will get signed into law.”

It’s next year, Paul Ryan. It’s next year, right now. You have a Republican president.

Send him the same bill. He’ll have no choice but to sign it into law.

Thanks to commenter JoeofPa.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

GOP Lawmaker: Previous ObamaCare Repeal Votes Were a Fraud

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:09 pm

Yup, this is pretty clear.

If the quote from Rep. Joe Barton isn’t showing up properly in your browser, I’ll repeat it. It deserves to be repeated anyway.

Reporters asked why, after Republicans held dozens of nearly-unanimous votes to repeal ObamaCare under President Obama, they were getting cold feet now that they control the levers of power.

“Sometimes you’re playing Fantasy Football and sometimes you’re in the real game,” he admitted. “We knew the President, if we could get a repeal bill to his desk, it would almost certainly be vetoed. This time we knew if it got to the President’s desk it would be signed.”

That’s about as blatant an admission of political fraud as you are ever likely to see.

Confirming that this was kabuki are Paul Ryan’s and Donald Trump’s reactions. Paul Ryan says they’re moving on from health care. After a very, very, very short effort. Trump is glad he got it out of the way:

Frauds. Charlatans. Liars.

I can’t exit the post without some reminders of how easy it was going to be:

And this:

My first day in office I’m going to ask Congress to put a bill on my desk getting rid of this disastrous law, and replacing it with reforms that expand choice, freedom, affordability. You’re going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost, and it’s gonna be so easy.

Con artists.

Today’s lack of a vote was glorious. We avoided a disaster. But giving up now? Unforgivable.

Pass the real repeal you promised.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

I Hope He Fails

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:15 am

As President Trump tries to strongarm Freedom Caucus members into voting for TrumpCare, I have just one thing to say:

I hope he fails.

Those words might sound familiar if you were following politics eight years ago. You youngsters may have to Google it.

Naturally, I want Donald Trump to succeed at the things he seeks to do that limit government and restore freedom. Appointing excellent Supreme Court justices and slashing regulation are some of the things I hope he succeeds in doing — and so far, so good.

But when it comes to putting political pressure on the few people in Congress who are for freedom, to get them to vote for TrumpCare, I do not want him to succeed.

TrumpCare retains the basic conceit of ObamaCare: that health care can be centrally planned. It must be voted down.

And then the GOP must deliver on what they promised: full repeal.

I want the country to succeed. And so, in this endeavor, I hope he fails.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

3/23/2017

There Is No Feminism. . .

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:09 pm

[guest post by JVW]

. . . quite like whiny Dog Trainer op-ed writer feminism.

– JVW

Nunes Spokesperson: Nunes Had No Idea What He Was Talking About

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:53 pm

They didn’t say that in so many words, mind you. But that’s what they said.

This is your big vindication:

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., does not know “for sure” whether President Donald Trump or members of his transition team were even on the phone calls or other communications now being cited as partial vindication for the president’s wiretapping claims against the Obama administration, according to a spokesperson.

“He said he’ll have to get all the documents he requested from the [intelligence community] about this before he knows for sure,” a spokesperson for Nunes said Thursday. Nunes was a member of the Trump transition team executive committee.

So the incidental collection of material relating to Trump’s team didn’t even necessarily involve any communications in which Trump’s team took part. In other words, for all this sh[vowel deleted]thead Nunes knows, the Big Reveal is people talking about Trump or members of his team?

Are you kidding me? This is what this clown held a press conference about?

Trumpalos

TRUMP VINDICATED!!!1!ELEVENTY!!!!11! NO TAKEBACKS ANYTHING ELSE IS JUST LAWYERS PARSING WORDS

/Trumpalos

If anyone here is vindicated, it’s me — since I warned people yesterday afternoon that Nunes appeared to be contradicting himself all over the place and was not inspiring confidence.

I’m willing to believe there was scandalous behavior on the part of many intelligence officials. That is a separate question from the idiot Donald Trump being even close to right about anything. Please keep claiming he was, Trumpalos. I enjoy watching you beclown yourselves.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Trump: Why Should I Apologize for Tying Ted Cruz’s Dad to Lee Harvey Oswald?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:00 am

On a day when Donald Trump is trying to get the House to pass TrumpCare (I hope he fails, by the way) and the Senate’s business is overshadowed by the Gorsuch hearings, we have a new interview in which Trump plays the jackass. And nowhere is his jackassery more on display than in this comment:

But you would agree also that some of the things you have said haven’t been true. You say that Ted Cruz’s father was with Lee Harvey Oswald.

Well that was in a newspaper. No, no, I like Ted Cruz, he’s a friend of mine. But that was in the newspaper. I wasn’t, I didn’t say that. I was referring to a newspaper. A Ted Cruz article referred to a newspaper story with, had a picture of Ted Cruz, his father, and Lee Harvey Oswald, having breakfast.

That gets close to the heart…

Why do you say that I have to apologize? I’m just quoting the newspaper, just like I quoted the judge the other day, Judge Napolitano, I quoted Judge Napolitano, just like I quoted Bret Baier, I mean Bret Baier mentioned the word wiretap. Now he can now deny it, or whatever he is doing, you know. But I watched Bret Baier, and he used that term. I have a lot of respect for Judge Napolitano, and he said that three sources have told him things that would make me right. I don’t know where he has gone with it since then. But I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.

This is why it’s difficult for me to get that upset if there’s a bogus story about Trump in a newspaper or on TV. I still criticize such stories, out of a sense of intellectual honesty, but I don’t feel the same fervor that I feel when almost any other Republican is unfairly attacked. Because that’s the standard he sets: If it appears in some media outlet or even blog and it benefits me, I quote it. No matter how bogus the story obviously is, I quote it. And I never apologize, even if the story was clearly wrong.

That’s the standard you want to set? OK. Live by the bogus story, die by the bogus story.

I won’t feel sorry for you.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Sen. Chuck Schumer Apparently Not Too Interested In Making Sure The People’s Business Is Getting Done

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

This morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer announced that he’s a “no” on Judge Gorsuch:

Untitled

Reminding us of that this is yet more partisan hypocrisy, here’s what Sen. Schumer had to say back in January when the Senate Republicans exercised their prerogative not to give President Obama’s nominee a hearing:

“The Supreme Court handles ‘the people’s business,’ as President Reagan put it. Every day that goes by without a ninth justice is another day the American people’s business is not getting done.”

Sen. Schumer’s grandstanding notwithstanding, Allahpundit points out:

In this year of all years, with the left pushing Schumer to filibuster Gorsuch on principle to avenge Merrick Garland’s honor or whatever, Gorsuch should want to present himself as being as unobjectionable as humanly possible. That way, if Schumer filibusters anyway, McConnell can nuke the filibuster with little political problem: Judge Gorsuch is eminently qualified, he’ll say (correctly), he gave not a single answer at his hearing that would disqualify him from this position (also correct), therefore Schumer’s obstruction is petulant and illegitimate and deserves to be overridden with brute force.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

3/22/2017

CNN: Trump Folks May Have Possibly Coordinated with Russia, Sources Might Say. Possibly.

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:35 pm

This is CNN:

The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN.

This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, according to one source.

The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.

Wow. So some anonymous sources, based on evidence we can’t see, have inconclusive maybes that suggest possibly there could have been this thing that happened.

After all the stories Big Media presents us with that fizzle out, forgive me if my attitude is: wake me up when you have actual evidence.

I’m really tired of this. And, just to piss off everybody in an equal opportunity fashion: I’m equally tired of all the partisans out there who are declaiming that this Nunes character somehow proved that Donald Trump was surveilled and wiretapped and PEOPLE OWE DONALD TRUMP A BIG APOLOGY!!!!1!!111!!!!1!! (If this confuses you, read Jay Caruso and learn about incidental collection. It ain’t targeted surveillance and it ain’t wiretapping.)

Good Lord. Settle down, people.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Confirms Info Was Collected On Trump Transition Team

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:08 pm

[guest post by Dana]

But, as Chairman Nunes (and Rep. Adam Schiff) make clear, they do not have any evidence supporting President Trump’s claim that President Obama wire-tapped Trump Tower before the election.

President Trump told CNN that he feels “somewhat vindicated” after being personally briefed by Chairman Nunes about this:

The U.S. intelligence community incidentally collected information on members of President Trump’s transition team and the information was “widely disseminated” in intelligence reports, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Wednesday.

“I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community collected information on U.S. individuals involved in the Trump transition,” Nunes told reporters.

“Details about U.S. persons involved in the incoming administration with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reports.”

He said that “additional names” of Trump transition officials had been unmasked in the intelligence reports and indicated that Trump’s communications may have been swept up as well.

The intelligence collected has nothing to do with Russia or the investigation into Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to Nunes.

“I want to be clear — none of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team,” Nunes said.

Professor Reynolds notes:

It’s the “widely disseminated” part that may be felonious.

Gabriel Malor clarifies the terminology:

1

2

…and follows it with the obvious question:

4

Two takeaways:

3

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Wall Street Journal: Trump’s Lack of Credibility Is a Real Problem

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am

Yesterday Jay Caruso said conservatives have to stop defending the indefensible when it comes to Trump and his often incredible statements. Today the Wall Street Journal echoes that sentiment with an editorial titled A President’s Credibility bearing the deck headline: “Trump’s falsehoods are eroding public trust, at home and abroad.” Here’s how it begins:

If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.

The latest example is Mr. Trump’s refusal to back off his Saturday morning tweet of three weeks ago that he had “found out that [Barack] Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” on Election Day. He has offered no evidence for his claim, and a parade of intelligence officials, senior Republicans and Democrats have since said they have seen no such evidence.

Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims. Sean Spicer—who doesn’t deserve this treatment—was dispatched last week to repeat an assertion by a Fox News commentator that perhaps the Obama Administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence.

That bungle led to a public denial from the British Government Communications Headquarters, and British news reports said the U.S. apologized. But then the White House claimed there was no apology. For the sake of grasping for any evidence to back up his original tweet, and the sin of pride in not admitting error, Mr. Trump had his spokesman repeat an unchecked TV claim that insulted an ally.

It’s all on target, except maybe for the part that Sean Spicer “doesn’t deserve this treatment.” Spicer looks for all the world like someone who has fully thrown himself into the task of shoveling B.S. for his boss.

When it comes to the credibility of Trump and his spokesholes, to borrow a memorable phrase used by John McCain in a different context: “there’s a lot more shoes to drop from this centipede.” Here’s some more shoes that have dropped recently. Remember this?

As I said at the time:

If Donald Trump denied it happened, you can take that to the bank.

Of course, if the bank is familiar with Trump’s reputation for veracity, they probably won’t accept it.

And of course now we know that Ivanka has gotten a security clearance. Well, I’m sure Trump was telling the truth at the time, right?

Then there’s Sean Spicer on March 13 telling us that all appointees are required to sign Trump’s ethics pledge:

Q Thanks a lot, Sean. I wanted to follow up with you on questions regarding Michael Flynn, who’s no longer in the administration. There’s a five-year lobbying ban that’s been imposed upon all Trump administration employees. Does that also apply to Michael Flynn? Would he not be permitted to lobby now for five years because of the agreement that he signed when he became the national security advisor?

MR. SPICER: That would be correct. I’d have to check and actually figure out when he signed or if he signed the form. But yes, all administration officials who come in are required to sign that ethics pledge banning them from lobbying for five years and then a lifetime ban on lobbying on behalf of any foreign government.

“All” apparently doesn’t include Flynn after all. Today we learn from Lachlan Markay:

The White House’s former top national security official did not sign an ethics pledge ostensibly required of all Trump administration appointees barring them from ethically questionable lobbying activities, The Daily Beast has learned.

Then we have Kellyanne Conway saying President Trump doesn’t know Carter Page:

Huh. Odd, given that Trump named him as someone on his team advising him on foreign policy, when speaking to the Washington Post editorial board:

RYAN: Thank you… We’ve heard you’re going to be announcing your foreign policy team shortly… Any you can share with us?

TRUMP: Well, I hadn’t thought of doing it, but if you want I can give you some of the names… Walid Phares, who you probably know, PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives caucus, and counter-terrorism expert; Carter Page, PhD; George Papadopoulos, he’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy; the Honorable Joe Schmitz, [former] inspector general at the Department of Defense; [retired] Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg; and I have quite a few more.

And, of course, Trump promised on the campaign trail to repeal ObamaCare, but yesterday was on Capitol Hill threatening Republican lawmakers’ jobs (as usual, Democrats are let off the hook) if they don’t pass a bill that does not repeal ObamaCare:

I’m asking for your vote on Thursday. I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this done.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

I guess someone could always argue that lying from the Oval Office or White House Press Room is hardly unprecedented, and that’s true. But we criticized Obama when he lied — and if we are to maintain our own credibility, we have to hold Trump and his spokespeople accountable for their countless falsehoods as well. The editorial today concludes:

All of this continues the pattern from the campaign that Mr. Trump is his own worst political enemy. He survived his many false claims as a candidate because his core supporters treated it as mere hyperbole and his opponent was untrustworthy Hillary Clinton. But now he’s President, and he needs support beyond the Breitbart cheering section that will excuse anything. As he is learning with the health-care bill, Mr. Trump needs partners in his own party to pass his agenda. He also needs friends abroad who are willing to trust him when he asks for support, not least in a crisis.

This week should be dominated by the smooth political sailing for Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and the progress of health-care reform on Capitol Hill. These are historic events, and success will show he can deliver on his promises. But instead the week has been dominated by the news that he was repudiated by his own FBI director.

Two months into his Presidency, Gallup has Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 39%. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn’t show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President.

Tough but fair.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

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