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Resilient Constructs

Obamacare Stays... For Now

The Republicans’ effort to dismantle Obamacare fell apart. But that doesn’t mean the Affordable Care Act is safe. Over the past couple weeks, a Republican effort spearheaded by Paul Ryan attempted to push through the American Health Care Act, which was designed to strip away many of conservatives’ least favorite aspects of Obamacare, while changing the rules to benefit the wealthy and kick the poor and sick off of their insurance, especially if that insurance is subsidized (or outright paid for) by taxpayers.

GOP Healthcare Bill on Life Support

Not even a meeting with Trump could save the GOP’s thus far ill-fated “repeal and replace” for Obamacare. What’s going on? As you may know, Republicans unveiled the American Health Care Act recently, to much fanfare and quite a bit of criticism. After years of attempting to simply repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, it turns out that Republicans never really had a plan for replacing it, as evidenced by the fact that they can’t even come close to agreeing on a proposal now.

Trump Lies Again

Trump has been exposed as a liar yet again, as the Russia scandal deepens. What’s going on? On Monday, Trump tweeted that Democrats made up the Russia scandal to distract from their own failures, and that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated there’s no evidence Trump colluded with Russia prior to the election. But in fact, the FBI has been investigating these possible links since last summer, according to the Washington Post.

Block Gorsuch

Today marks the second day of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s Senate confirmation hearings. In case you didn’t know: he’s a radical reactionary. What’s going on? When Justice Antonin Scalia died in early 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a moderate who would not have significantly upset the liberal/conservative balance of the court. The Republican Congress refused to consider him at all, deciding that the issue should wait until after the election, hoping that they would win–which they did.

Trump: A President of Inaction

As of today, we’re two months into Trump’s Presidency. Has he really accomplished all that much? The early days of a Presidential administration are usually formative, sometimes transformative. A new President must learn the ropes while the country, the world, the Congress, and the vast executive apparatus all have to figure out how to deal with the newcomer. The first two months of the Trump administration have been rockier than most, in both directions.

Trump's British Embarrassment

Trump’s administration claimed that British intelligence agency GCHQ spied on him for President Obama during last year’s election. Thus ensued a painful diplomatic incident. What’s going on? It all began when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer quoted a Fox News commentator that GCHQ helped Obama spy on Trump during the election. GCHQ immediately denied it. British politicians quickly jumped on board to condemn the accusations. Why is it important?

Trump's Budget is a Nightmare

Trump released his budget proposal today. It’s a good thing the President’s budget doesn’t automatically become law, because this one is a turd. Here’s a partial list of what’s being cut: * Housing and Urban Development -- $6.2 billion cut, -13.2% * Transportation -- $2.4 billion cut, -12.7% * Health & Human Services -- $12.6 billion cut, -16.2% * Education -- $9 billion cut, -13.5% * Environmental Protection Agency -- $2.

Trump Probably Leaked his Own Taxes

Trump’s 2005 tax return was revealed on The Rachel Maddow Show last night, and all it did was make him look good. No one is sure where it came from or who released it, but given that it shows he paid an effective tax rate of 25% in that year, even with losses of $105 million, it’s hard to imagine this reflecting poorly on him. This leads one to suspect that Trump or someone close to him leaked it deliberately to improve his image, to help dispel rumors that he has routinely paid little or no federal income tax.

Trump's Government-Shrinking Order

Yesterday, Trump issued a new executive order meant to improve the efficiency of the federal government. But it won’t work. What’s going on? As Politico indicates, Trump has identified the right problem (for once), but is incapable of implementing the necessary solutions. The federal government–and the executive branch in particular–have experienced literally centuries of scope creep, with growing missions and ballooning budgets. As someone who believes the government can be a force for good in the lives of the people it ostensibly represents and serves, I don’t favor a whole scale dismantlement or anything like that.