While the American Health Care Act sputtered in Congress, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced plans Thursday to invoke a filibuster of SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch after the judge’s third day of confirmation hearings. More impressively, he urged his fellow senators to follow suit. Here are the five most devastating lines from Schumer’s speech on… Continue Reading →
— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) March 21, 2017
Sheldon Whitehouse on the rightwing machine that puts cases before the Supreme Court:
— Fight For 15 (@fightfor15) March 20, 2017
If you support public, secular education, it’s important to read this. I know it’s long, but it’s important. And I’m tired of trying to point out what these people are up to. I’ve been warning about this for almost 15 years, and now it may be too late to stop them — although I’m hopeful people will fight:
A staple in modern evangelical teachings is the concept of Christian spheres of influence – or what the evangelical business guru Lance Wallnau dubbed the “Seven Mountains” of society: business, media, religion, arts and entertainment, family, government, and education – all of which urge the faithful to engage in secular culture in order to “transform” it. The goal is a sweeping overhaul of society and a merging of church and state: elevating private charity over state-run social services, returning prayer to school and turning the clock back on women’s and LGBTQ rights. It would also be a system without a progressive income tax, collective bargaining, environmental regulation, publicly funded health care, welfare, a minimum wage – a United States guided by a rigorously laissez-faire system of “values” rather than laws.
In the 33 states where Republicans currently hold power, some or all of these goals are being pursued, thanks to both the financial and ideological investment of families like that of Betsy DeVos, whose breadth of influence has now been sanctified in Washington with her appointment to run the Department of Education. This, as she told the Gathering in 2001, is what it means to be in the Shfela. It’s about “changing the way we approach things,” she said, “in ways which will continue to help advance God’s kingdom.”
Just go read it all.
If this is true, it is the most evil kind of political retribution that’s possible. The Trump administration’s “travel ban” has apparently had an immediate impact on a Gold Star family. That family are the Khans. “The Muslim-American parents of a fallen U.S. Soldier who posthumously won the Gold Star and the Purple Heart. Their 27… Continue Reading →
Without question, Betsy DeVos came across during her senate confirmation hearing as a wee bit dense. It appeared that she lacked the basic understanding of how our educational system works. Many times she left senate Democrats with a puzzled look on their faces, not understanding how Trump could have nominated a woman who lacked basic knowledge… Continue Reading →
In the wake of news that Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III lied to the Senate about his contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, he must resign. He did not simply lie in his testimony (shown above). He also lied about it in his written statements, and now he is trying to cover his… Continue Reading →
Big Media is falling all over itself to praise Trump for being able to read off a teleprompter this morning. “Presidential!” “Pivot!” “Extraordinary!”
Meanwhile, he announced a new office to track violent crimes by immigrants. And if you think that won’t be used to whip up the mobs for mass deportation, you are a more trusting person than I.
At CPAC last week, Sebastian Gorka stood near his allies at the Judicial Watch booth while texting and reading on his phone while a reporter tried to get him to put the allegations of white supremacy in the White House to rest once and for all. It’s really quite chilling. The reporter asks him to clear… Continue Reading →
The next time Speaker Paul Ryan starts talking about “freedom and personal responsibility” instead of the ACA, or any other politician rails about “government-run, taxpayer-subsidized health insurance,” remember this:
The federal government subsidizes between 72% and 75% of a congress member’s health insurance plan, which is purchased through the ACA marketplace known as DC SHOP. They are limited to the Gold tier, which currently offers 57 plans.
Unlike state ACA exchanges, which vary premiums based on age, geography, or tobacco use, the DC SHOP varies only by age.
Current members also receive (allegedly) limited services from the Office of the Attending Physician in the U.S. Capitol for an annual fee. Services include routine exams, consultations, and certain diagnostic tests. The office does not provide vision or dental care, and prescriptions can be written but not dispensed.
According to the OAP internal website, the office provides staff with emergency treatment, first aid, immunizations, flu vaccinations and physician referrals. But members of Congress can enroll in “additional services” by paying an annual fee of about $600.
A 2001 Congressional Research Service report on the OAP noted that members of Congress who enroll in those additional services or “routine care” are also provided “laboratory, X-ray, physical therapy, and electrocardiographic services, as well as 24-hour assistance and referral.” (No referrals. No trip to a far-off facility because they take your insurance. My current insurance requires a $30 co-pay for each physical therapy visit — or $90 a week.)
The service is supposed to serve as urgent care, not primary care. But it seems like it doesn’t work that way.
They operate 10 clinics the size of small community hospitals, including in the Capitol, House, and Senate buildings. Isn’t that handy?
They described a culture centered on meeting the needs and whims of members of Congress, with almost no concern for cost.
Members of Congress do not pay for the individual services they receive at the OAP, nor do they submit claims through their federal employee health insurance policies. Instead, members pay a flat, annual fee of $503 for all the care they receive. The rest of the cost of their care, sources said, is subsidized by taxpayers.
Last year, Congress appropriated more than $3 million to reimburse the Navy for staff salaries at the office. Next year’s budget allocates $3.8 million for the office, including more than half a million dollars to upgrade the Office’s radiology suite. Sources said additional money to operate the office is included in the Navy’s annual budget.
In 2008, 240 members paid the annual fee, though some sources say congressmen who didn’t pay the fee were rarely prevented from using OAP services.
Oopsies! The same people who block school lunches for kids who haven’t paid still get concierge health care they haven’t paid even this minimal amount for!
Oh, and no appointments. Walk-in service, because they’re so important and busy.
An important warning.
This is a powerful essay from an Obama Administration colleague https://t.co/xbWUzwHR7Y
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) February 23, 2017