Senate votes 92-5 to confirm Christopher Wray as new FBI head

By a vote of 92-5, the Senate voted this afternoon to confirm Trump pick Christopher Wray to be the nation’s new director of the FBI. Wray replaces James Comey, who was fired by Trump over the department’s investigations into Russian election hacking and potential ties to Trump’s presidential campaign.

Despite being elevated into the position by a president who, we repeat, fired Wray’s immediate predecessor over his department’s investigation of Trump’s own campaign and administration, the vote to confirm Wray was overwhelming; Democrats Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, Ed Markey, and Kirsten Gillbrand were the only no votes; senators Burr, Franken and McCain were not present. Wray’s nomination was previously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a unanimous vote.

Wray, a former senior Justice Department official known for his low-key demeanor, pledged to lawmakers during his confirmation hearing that he would never pledge loyalty to the president and

Continue reading “Senate votes 92-5 to confirm Christopher Wray as new FBI head”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll

Sen. Dean Heller cannot be having a good day. A new poll shows the Nevada Republican in serious trouble as he heads for his 2018 re-election bid. Public Policy Polling has zero good news for Heller, and some very good news for Democrats looking to unseat him.

  • Heller’s job performance approval is just 22 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
  • Heller trails a generic Democratic opponent, 31 percent to 50 percent.
  • The poll was taken July 26 to 27, just before Heller voted (again) for Republican healthcare repeal plans. Asked if they approved or disapproved of “the Senate Republicans’ health care repeal and replace plan that is currently being debated, 54 percent of people said they disapproved. Again, and it can’t be emphasized enough, Heller voted for that plan.

To recap: Nevada voters don’t approve of the job Dean Heller is doing in Washington. They didn’t approve of it before

Continue reading “Bad news for Nevada Republican Dean Heller and good news for Democrats in new poll”

Trump’s Twitter rants don’t scare Republican senators enough to force another healthcare vote. Yet.

As Donald Trump has made clear in typically mature fashion—calling them “total quitters”—he wants Senate Republicans to keep banging their head against repealing Obamacare until they have passed some bill, any bill at all, so that he can call it a win. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t seem eager to lose publicly again, and many Republican senators find the idea of taking another unpopular vote on a bill they don’t have an obvious way to pass even less fun than the idea of being insulted on Twitter by Donald Trump.

“Do I think we should stay on health care until we get it done? I think it’s time to move on to something else. Come back to health care when we’ve had more time to get beyond the moment we’re in and see if we can’t put some wins on the board,” said Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member

Continue reading “Trump’s Twitter rants don’t scare Republican senators enough to force another healthcare vote. Yet.”

What we’re talking about when we talk about Trump sabotaging Obamacare

Campaign Action

Popular vote loser Donald Trump has had one remarkably consistent idea when it comes to Obamacare: his ability to destroy it from within, or try to anyway, by withholding critical payments from the federal government to insurers who are essentially subsidizing the out-of-pocket expenses for lower-income people buying insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. Basically, the payments compensate insurance companies who are making low-deductible plans available to lower-income people. Those enrollees, by the way, make up about 58 percent, or about 7 million, of all the Obamacare customers.

What happens if they go away, as early as today, as rumors suggest? The individual markets would be drastically disrupted and could potentially collapse completely. And who gets really hit? The middle class and lower-income people.

Insurers would have to decide whether to increase premiums for everyone in order to lower co-pays for people who get the

Continue reading “What we’re talking about when we talk about Trump sabotaging Obamacare”

Senate leader Mitch McConnell goes to war—against fellow Republicans

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t fire the first shot in his war with hardline Alabama conservatives, but he’s going to make damn sure he gives ten times as much pain as he receives. McConnell has tasked himself with defending newly appointed Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, who may or may not be crooked, against Strange’s even harder-right Republican primary opponents, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks and the Talibanesque yet-again-former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. If that means emptying his super PAC’s coffers against the pair and sabotaging whatever existing base of power they have, so be it.

[I]n a highly unusual step, one of McConnell’s top political lieutenants has begun quietly advising a long-shot Republican primary candidate running for Brooks’ House seat. The move is designed to get in the congressman’s head and dissuade him from emptying his campaign war chest in the race for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’

Continue reading “Senate leader Mitch McConnell goes to war—against fellow Republicans”

No rest for the so-far victorious: Republicans trying to revive the Zombie of Zombie Trumpcare

Campaign Action

We’ve had a weekend to celebrate, to rub popular vote loser Trump’s nose in the defeat of Trumpcare, but the party’s over. The fight continues because Republicans are assholes and won’t stop until only the people who can afford to pay directly for medical care can get it. Obamacare repeal can, and very well might, still come back.

Despite a reddit post to the contrary that’s been getting an awful lot of attention, the repeal bill is still on the Senate calendar with the threat of once again crawling out of its coffin. That doesn’t mean Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ready to bring it back—his last words on the issue were “It’s time to move on” directly following last week’s dramatic failure. That failure was on the Better Care Reconciliation Act which was just an amendment to the actual bill on the floor—the House-passed American Health Care

Continue reading “No rest for the so-far victorious: Republicans trying to revive the Zombie of Zombie Trumpcare”

Are Republicans learning from their Trumpcare failure? Of course not

It’s just possible that the Republican party will move on from the finger-pointing and circular firing squad over Trumpcare failure, but not likely. House Republicans are blaming Senate Republicans. Senate Republicans have been blaming the ignorant and unhelpful occupant of the White House. And popular vote loser Donald Trump is lashing out at all the Republicans. So much for the big blame the Democrats strategy. In all the finger-pointing, there’s little hope that Republicans will land on the actual problem: they can win elections, with a bit of cheating, voter suppression, and gerrymandering, but they are incapable of governing.

Now that Republicans have failed to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, the GOP faces an existential Obamacare problem with no immediate answer. Do they keep trying to undermine it, as they’ve promised for seven years? Or do they try to make it work better—even if that means

Continue reading “Are Republicans learning from their Trumpcare failure? Of course not”

Official policy of Trump White House: Senate should do nothing until it repeals Affordable Care Act

Donald Trump has tried bullying, mocking, threatening and … really that’s it. That’s the extent of his deal-making skills. That and proclaiming a do-over.

x

Trump has issued multiple tweets since the dramatic midnight vote that killed the “Skinny Repeal” of the Affordable Care Act calling for the Senate to end the filibuster and give it another try. Which is both an interesting philosophical point, and a clear sign that Trump can’t count, as every attempt the Republicans have made so far has been under rules that required just fifty votes plus a Pence. 

This basic innumeracy isn’t keeping Trump’s budget director from even going the boss one better

The Senate should not vote on anything else until

Continue reading “Official policy of Trump White House: Senate should do nothing until it repeals Affordable Care Act”

Official policy of Trump White House: Senate should do nothing until it repeals Affordable Care Act

Donald Trump has tried bullying, mocking, threatening and … really that’s it. That’s the extent of his deal-making skills. That and proclaiming a do-over.

x

Trump has issued multiple tweets since the dramatic midnight vote that killed the “Skinny Repeal” of the Affordable Care Act calling for the Senate to end the filibuster and give it another try. Which is both an interesting philosophical point, and a clear sign that Trump can’t count, as every attempt the Republicans have made so far has been under rules that required just fifty votes plus a Pence. 

This basic innumeracy isn’t keeping Trump’s budget director from even going the boss one better

The Senate should not vote on anything else until

Continue reading “Official policy of Trump White House: Senate should do nothing until it repeals Affordable Care Act”

Official policy of Trump White House: Senate should do nothing until it repeals Affordable Care Act

Donald Trump has tried bullying, mocking, threatening and … really that’s it. That’s the extent of his deal-making skills. That and proclaiming a do-over.

x

Trump has issued multiple tweets since the dramatic midnight vote that killed the “Skinny Repeal” of the Affordable Care Act calling for the Senate to end the filibuster and give it another try. Which is both an interesting philosophical point, and a clear sign that Trump can’t count, as every attempt the Republicans have made so far has been under rules that required just fifty votes plus a Pence. 

This basic innumeracy isn’t keeping Trump’s budget director from even going the boss one better

The Senate should not vote on anything else until

Continue reading “Official policy of Trump White House: Senate should do nothing until it repeals Affordable Care Act”

Official policy of Trump White House: Senate should do nothing until it repeals Affordable Care Act

Donald Trump has tried bullying, mocking, threatening and … really that’s it. That’s the extent of his deal-making skills. That and proclaiming a do-over.

x

Trump has issued multiple tweets since the dramatic midnight vote that killed the “Skinny Repeal” of the Affordable Care Act calling for the Senate to end the filibuster and give it another try. Which is both an interesting philosophical point, and a clear sign that Trump can’t count, as every attempt the Republicans have made so far has been under rules that required just fifty votes plus a Pence. 

This basic innumeracy isn’t keeping Trump’s budget director from even going the boss one better

The Senate should not vote on anything else until

Continue reading “Official policy of Trump White House: Senate should do nothing until it repeals Affordable Care Act”