Morning Reads for Tuesday, July 25

Good morning!

  • President Trump spoke to the Boy Scouts of America yesterday at their quadrennial Jamboree. It’s easy to find commentary on his remarks (that ran the gamut from yacht orgies to the size of the inauguration crowd to the possibility of firing Tom Price to the “war on Christmas”) so here’s a link to the transcript of the speech so you can interpret his words as you see fit.
  • The High Museum of Art will soon display Kara Walker’s large-scale bas relief sculpture “Jubilant Martyrs.”
  • The University System of Georgia may change the way it investigates campus sexual misconduct.
  • Here are the facts on what’s at stake for Snopes (right when we need them most).
  • If you have ever been in an American home with children, you won’t be surprised to read that many American families (from across the economic spectrum) are burdened and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff they acquire.
  • Justice Gorsuch faces his most daunting task since ascending to SCOTUS: the cafeteria.
  • Russell McMurry, Hero of I-85, may get a 40% pay raise.
  • How do drugs actually get across the border? It’s more high tech than tossing 60-pound bags of dope over a wall.
  • How criminals are grown – are these the “Lost Boys of Savannah?”
  • John Boehner (who would have been a better pick than Gingrich for the Ambassador to the Vatican, IMO) believes that the Obamacare repeal will fail.

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Indypendant
Indypendant

Trump’s “speech” to the Boy Scouts was a train wreck.

Why did he feel the need to slam Obama, who actually was a Boy Scout (unlike Trump)?

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I mean, do we really need to unpack the psychology behind Trump’s obsession with Barack Obama? He’s a dotty old racist that’s upset a younger, black man is smarter, more accomplished, more popular, more respected, and better looking than him.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

It’s time to Make America Great Again for white Americans when democracy allows a man born into wealth and given every advantage to be outperformed by a Muslim Kenyan raised by a single mom.

davidmac
davidmac

This was my letter to the Boy Scouts in light of Trump’s speech. To: Charles Dahlquist, National Commissioner Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive Tracy Techau, Scout Executive, Atlanta Council Matthew Cannon, District Executive, Northern Ridge District Dear Scouting Executives, I am livid at President Trump’s message to the assembled Scouts and Scouters at the Jamboree. I am an Eagle Scout and Adult Leader in my son’s Cub pack. While I agree that the President of the United States shall have a standing invitation to address the Jamboree, the content of his message was wholly inappropriate to a celebration of Scouting’s… Read more »

Noway2016
Noway2016

I’m sure you were equally appalled when the Dems turned Paul Wellstone’s funeral into a political rally! Zzzzzzzzz…..

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Thank you, Teri for sparking what may be the next great debate between Eiger and myself.

Longworth’s cafeteria is the best cafeteria on the Hill. But, if you actually want a good lunch within walking distance of the Capitol, the American Indian Museum is the correct decision.

The Eiger
The Eiger

There is no debate here. The American Indian Museum has the best lunch. It isn’t cheap, but it is good. Days like today though I prefer happy lunch or misery lunch at The Capitol Lounge.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I am hoping it’s a misery lunch day for you. Have you tried the African American History museum cafeteria yet? I haven’t been personally, but some old DOJ friends rave about it.

The Eiger
The Eiger

You can’t get in the building. The line is too long. I’d like to go take a look around soon. Now, one of my favorite places to drink not on the Hill is The Hamilton downtown or if I have time for a cigar, Shelly’s Back Room.

Lea Thrace
Lea Thrace

looks out of the window for flying pigs

Are you two having cordial discourse?!

😛

Friends of mine have raved about the AAHM cafe. Hoping to try it out when I go in a few weeks. Adding the American Indian Museum to my itinerary based off of both your recommendations (both the cafe and the museum).

The Eiger
The Eiger

The America Indian Museum is great if you have kids too. There are lots of activities for them and it’s less crowded.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Cannot recommend the American Indian Museum enough, in addition to activities in the museum, they have a great calendar of Native artists, craftspeople, and presenters. Eiger is right, way less crowded than the other museums on the mall.

Never went to The Hamilton, I’ll have to give it a shot when I’m back in town. I’m partial to The Partisan, Jack Rose’s, and (when it’s been a bad day and I need some fortification before taking the red line back to Dupont Circle) The Dubliner.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Lea,
They have both been fairly cordial since I told them they were both being pissy last Friday… They even defended each other.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

This is the calm before the inevitable storm. I don’t think we’ll be singing kumbaya after the motion to proceed vote this afternoon.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“I don’t think we’ll be singing kumbaya after the motion to proceed vote this afternoon.” Probably not. I’ll give you my prediction. The motion to proceed will pass. Susan Collins will vote no and either Murkowski or Captito. Not both. Pence will break the 50-50 tie. There will be 20 hours of debate and lots of failed amendments. Around 2:30am on Thursday morning, the senate will vote on “something” that will get 51 votes and allow us to go to a conference committee with the House. Then this will drag out for another few weeks while they debate what can… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Yeah, “skinny repeal” is the growing sense from the folks I’m talking to. I don’t think McCain would be coming back unless McConell knew his vote would be needed on the motion to proceed. . Rand Paul caving was not a surprise. McConnell will have a vote on 2015 repeal. It will fail. Rand will email all his supporters saying “well, I tried” and hope that they’re too dumb to realize he’s been grandstanding for two weeks with no intention of actually opposing “Obamacare Lite.” . I remain dumbfounded that Republican Senators are willing to take a bullet for Donald… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

“The fact that I was asking about ways to start a dialogue after Election Day should of course be viewed as strong evidence that I was not aware of one that existed before Election Day.” — Kushner on requesting a communications line from the Russian embassy to the Kremlin.
.
Should be viewed of course! No one would expect the lying highly educated scion of a wealthy family about to serve in a foreign affairs capacity to know there was a State Department or a US embassy in Moscow.

Benevolus
Benevolus

The State Department nor the embassy are populated by family and therefore cannot be trusted.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Continuing with respect to the State Department, Rex Tillerson didn’t think Trump’s upbraiding of Sessions was professional. Anonymous sources told CNN Tillerson may be looking to “Rexit”. Who needs the State Department when knowledge of history, intentional law, and diplomatic skills are unnecessary with dealmaker Trump in the White House? . The press acts as if Trump’s press secretary has a difficult job. It’s actually quite easy, since Trump White House spokespeople need only pretend that Trump’s lies are truth and that his word salads make sense. Tillerson, on the other hand, has to convince foreign leaders that Trump’s flip-flopping,… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

“Rexit?” Whoever crafted that needs to get fired.
.
I’m now in the weird position of hoping Sessions and Tillerson stay on because of how horrible their replacements (Giuliani? Bolton? Eric Trump?) could be.

MattMD_actual
MattMD_actual

Ted Cruz? Could you imagine that jerk as AG?

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

Possible solution for the kerfuffle: Sessions did a self-recusal. No court or higher authority “ordered” this. Since he simply chose to recuse, he can also choose to withdraw his recusal. That is what he should do, and reclaim his rightful authority as Attorney General of the US. The A/G’s voluntary recusal had the unintended consequence of a Democrat being appointed by the assistant A/G as a special counsel, and Mueller’s hiring of 13+ Democratic attorneys, including some of Clinton’s attorneys, to harass and disrupt the Republican presidency with, as CNN says, nothing burgers. This obvious witch hunt has cost taxpayers… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Sessions recused himself because Justice Department regulations prohibit employees from participating “in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship” with the subject of the investigation or with “any person or organization which he knows has a specific and substantial interest that would be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation or prosecution.” So no, he can’t “un-recuse” himself.

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

The rules state “Prosecutors MAY (caps added) have a conflict of interest when they have a political relationship with a potential target.” There are enough if’s and may’s in the rules to allow wiggle room. Most importantly, there was no Justice Dept. case prosecution underway, no prosecutor, nada, zip, when the A/G made a personal recusal from the “Russia!” general hysteria.

Therefore, Sessions simply unilaterally recused himself, and there is absolutely nothing to prevent him from withdrawing that self-recusal. So yes, he can and should.

Benevolus
Benevolus

Mueller is a Republican.

You are filling in well for Noway with the alternative facts.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

So I should trust the word of a lemon riding a horse over my own experience with the Justice Department? Staying on would have violated Justice Dept. regulations. Now maybe Sessions could have flipped the bird to Congress and the ethics watchdogs and just kept on trucking. But doing so would have inflicted serious damage on the institutional integrity of the Justice Department. While I disagree with Sessions on a number of issues, I also know he’s someone that, as a former US Attorney, has a great deal of respect for DOJ as an institution. Maybe you’re also unfamiliar with… Read more »

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

Happy-face icons don’t make fun of you! A self-appointed “expert,” it’s obviously hard to see reality from your lofty perch atop a high horse. You stated “…. what’s to stop other Justice Department officials from doing the same thing?” I guess you didn’t see the public statements by Comey describing his breaking the rules while chief investigator at the FBI part of Justice, e.g. leaking classified information and giving internal documents to a college friend, instructing him to give it to the media. And how about his usurping the A/G’s authority and deciding whether or not to prosecute a case,… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

What are you talking about? Comey broke the rules, many called for his firing at that time, he eventually was fired (under different circumstances, but still), and you are using this as justification for Sessions to break the rules too? You are making ACP’s point.
1. Mueller is a Republican.
2. Trump doesn’t want Sessions recused because he wants him to obstruct justice.

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

I’m talking about the double standard being conveniently applied in Washington. Comey played fast and loose ever since June 2016 with Obama’s blessing, and continued to be the lefties’ darling until Trump finally fired his butt a month or so ago.
And any A/G has a responsibility to oversee, make sure laws are followed — not recuse, withdraw themselves from the difficult things.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Comey was the “lefties’ darling?” You don’t read much outside of Lifezette and Stormfront, do you?

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

ACP, I don’t read either of those. I stick to things like the AJC and USA Today. Bene, Mueller is actually a hybrid politician who has been appointed to various positions by both Democrats and Republicans. His most recent was by Obama.
Gotta go now, folks. Later!

Benevolus
Benevolus

He didn’t recuse himself because it was “a difficult thing” He recused himself because he was personally involved with what is being investigated. This is expected behavior for judges, cops, and lawyers. It … I’m not even going to explain why it’s a good idea.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“Ted Cruz? Could you imagine that jerk as AG?” I would support Cruz for AG or Supreme Court just to get him out of the Senate.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

That confirmation hearing would be the most entertaining thing C-Span has ever aired. Eiger, just donate some cash to Beto O’Rourke if you really want Cruz out of the Senate for good.

The Eiger
The Eiger

He’s a dem. I can’t have it on my permanent record that I gave to a democrat. That can cause a bump in the road in the future.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Fine, donate to the “Ted Cruz is Awful” SuperPAC.

Ellynn
Ellynn

When Russell McMurry cuts the DOT wait time for the approvals of the projects effecting my life in half, THEN he can have a pay raise.

MattMD_actual
MattMD_actual

I don’t see a justification for a 40% raise, especially considering what the job pays in other states. CW Matthews did the work and Fed’s paid for most the reconstruction.

If he can make more money in private industry, I say go for it.

Ellynn
Ellynn

If you haven’t read the Lost Boys piece, DO it, because this is just not a Savannah story. It’s has a lot for everyone. The single paren’t family I started mentoring and just concluded a two year stretch with have the kids on the waiting list of the school mentioned. By test measurements, the charter is a failing school. What most do not understand, being away from the violence is a win for the students.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Heller and Portman are voting yes on the motion to proceed. I guess we’re doing this.

The Eiger
The Eiger

But I told you that. Why do you not believe me?

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I guess I still held out hope Senators gave a rip about the institution.

The Eiger
The Eiger

It is what it is. You feel how I felt when they passed the ACA.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Except the ACA received actual committee markup, debate, and invited Republicans into the drafting process. These aren’t remotely comparable.

Ellynn
Ellynn

I had already hit a life time limit for coverage of a condition I was born with prior to the ACA passing. My employer’s provider would not cover me. Can the two of you tell me what is going to happen to me now? I liked have employer insurance again for the first time in 7 years. Can you tell me as a 48 year old what I going to have to pay out of pocket now? (Every bill has a winner, every bill has a loser.)

The Eiger
The Eiger

That doesn’t mean it was a good bill. Take a breather and watch McCain give what will probably be his last floor speech. Or at least the most memorable. We will debate later.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

McCain warning against tribalism and calling for better deliberations in the Senate after voting “yay” on a motion to proceed on a healthcare bill crafted in secret that no one has seen is just a wonderful cherry on top of the partisan hackery sundae he’s been working on since 2008.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“voting “yay” on a motion to proceed on a healthcare bill crafted in secret” He voted yay so\ that the Senate could have 20 hours of open debate on the Senate floor with how ever many amendments can be offered. You are about to get your open debate. These aren’t new rules that republicans just invented. They have been around longer than the two of us have been alive.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

A speech about returning to regular order would have meant more if he actually voted in a way that was consistent with the ideals expressed in that speech. This isn’t how the Senate operates, this is a sham. You know it. I know it.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Waiting for an answer….

bethebalance
bethebalance

20 hours of debate? So goes the most deliberative body in the world…

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Elynn, I don’t have an answer and I likely won’t have one until debate is over and we know exactly what toppings wind up on the Chef McConnell’s turd sandwich. If BCRA and AHCA are any indication, states will probably be able to get a waiver from the ban on annual and lifetime coverage limits. They’ll also be able to get a waiver on the ACA’s EHB provisions (which is a way to allow insurers to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions). So, my tentative guess is that you’re gonna get screwed. So will my mom, who has also maxed out… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

Ellyn, Andrew and I are going to differ quite a bit on what we believe the solution is for you. He will offer one of two things. Both bad in my belief. He will say you should be placed on Medicaid or placed on the exchange with a government subsidy. The problem with Medicaid is that it’s taking a larger and larger share of the federal budget and in the very near future the feds will start making very difficult cuts that will harm you unless they get things under control. Also, there are fewer and fewer docs taking Medicaid.… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Ellynn indicated she currently has employer-based healthcare, so my proposal would not involve the exchanges or Medicaid, it would involve allowing her to keep her employer-based plan and not letting insurance companies bring back annual and lifetime caps. . Assuming Ellynn can’t get coverage through her employer, her alternative under the GOP’s plan would involve seeking coverage on the Obamacare exchanges. Despite Eiger’s optimism, the CBO’s latest assessment of BCRA found that while premiums for marketplace plans would be lower by 2020, the lowered premiums would be accomplished by selling you insurance that covers less (a 58% actuarial value benchmark… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

“I admire Eiger’s “sunshine and rainbows” optimism” And I admire your blind ability to continue to support the terrible legislation that was the ACA.
.
I’ve got work to do.

bethebalance
bethebalance

Employer-based plans could become the only viable way to have real coverage. Maybe one day policymakers will have the courage to talk about integrating what are now employment-based plans into the marketplace, which is the only real solution to a true community marketplace.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

You call the ACA terrible, but the AHCA and BCRA are really just Obamacare with fewer people receiving insurance, less-effective subsidies, a different mandate mechanism, and lower actuarial values on marketplace plans.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“but the AHCA and BCRA are really just Obamacare” And neither on will pass into law as is. You have to start somewhere. This is the second or third step along the way of crafting a bill. Even after the House and Senate passes a bill there will be work that still needs to be done. Trying to do everything in one bill just is not possible.

Ellynn
Ellynn

You two are depressing me. I don’t like any of your possibles. . I’m healthy 99.99999% of the time. I was born with multiple blood and bone marrow issues. I don’t absorb iron, I have Factor -II deficiency disorder, and an M-spike, all contained in rare genetic markers creating a rare blood type. It’s when I have surgery or emergency care that I need special drugs, rare blood type transfusions, even long term ICU recovery some times. Example -a ruptured apneic sent me into ICU for 2 weeks with multiple blood transfusions in 1981 (which also resulted in a few… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

Ellynn, No one should be priced out of the health insurance market place if they have a bad diagnosis. My question (not directed at you) is why are we are only talking about the health insurance side and not asking why your bone scan costs $1,800 and not $400. Why in the world does it cost $750 for your blood work? It shouldn’t be more than $100. We will never solve this problem if the only discussion we have as far as the “fix” is around finding a way to chase ever increasing healthcare costs with ever increasing insurance costs.… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Elynn, I wish I could give you happier news. I would encourage you, if you haven’t already, to share your story with staffers for Sen. Isakson. In Sen. Isakson’s office, Will Dent is the LA for healthcare and Jay Sulzmann is the LD. If Sen. Isakson has a Savannah office, personally drop by and speak with someone on staff there. The odds it will flip Sen. Isakson’s vote are, unfortunately, slim, but you never know unless you try. I would tell you to try talking to Sen. Perdue’s office, but I don’t think he actually cares about the lives or… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

To add one final thing, because I didn’t see Eiger’s earlier comment. … I agree we need to look at ways to tackle rising medical care and prescription drug costs. [Insert plug for Democrats’ “Better Deal” here] But curbing inflation in the medical services and pharmaceutical sectors isn’t going to be done overnight and throwing millions of people off of insurance while we work on it isn’t a feasible or humane solution. You know how hard PhRMA and similar groups are going to fight on this. … When it comes to cost savings and controlling price inflation, Democrats have taken… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

HSAs are even better than 401(k)s at avoiding taxes, not taxed going in, gains not taxed, andnot taxed when withdrawn.

The Eiger
The Eiger

Portman is presiding and has not voted. McCain will vote last and then have 15 minutes to speak. I don’t care who you are you should listen to McCain’s speech. Waiting on Pence to take over as presiding officer so Portman can vote then McCain vote. Then Pence will cast the tie break vote.

Sally Forth
Sally Forth

A statesman’s speech, McCain pleading for sanity from his colleagues. Let’s hope both sides of the aisle heed. And any Democrat who votes “no” on this simple motion to simply discuss the horrendous problem of our healthcare mess should be voted out in 2018. Both parties need to work together for a fix.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Pleading for sanity after rewarding insanity with his vote to go forward in this process is reason no one need heed his remarks.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Anyone can publicly come out against BCRA during a speech decrying the process by which the bill was drafted and calling for regular order. Only a real maverick can promptly sell out and vote “aye” on BCRA after giving said speech.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

I understand he thought enough of his colleagues to save them the suspense and gave the speech after the “aye”.