Revolted Colonies

U.S. Politics and Culture

Category: Government (Page 2 of 8)

Prez to PR: I Know a Boat You Can Get On

UNICEF Puerto Rico Relief

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As far as Puerto Ricans are concerned, future ex-President Donald Trump has given literal meaning to the expression, “fair weather friend.”  The entire island was devastated by Hurricane Maria: no power, food or drinking water; destroyed buildings and submerged land.  Puerto Rico got pulverized, worse than Naples, Florida and Houston, Texas combined.  

You wouldn’t know from the White House reaction that anything but a Boricua Festival was going on down there.  The future ex-President, while barnstorming for 2020, has been consumed with  NFL and the NBA players who are protesting against police brutality, a subject he chooses not to acknowledge (see, e.g., Arpaio pardon). While he’s been profaning African-American athletes and lecturing them on ingratitude, the people of Puerto Rico, mostly Latino US Citizens all, have been largely ignored.  Some would say that he ignores them because they have no federal voting rights.Maybe he’s drawing plans to turn it into Trump Island.

Trump is sending a message to Puerto Rico. In so many words, “Vaya con Dìos.”  His purposeful neglect is part of the Bleaching of America, a White nationalist  regression to a White Protestant majority. Okay, and add White Catholics from Western European stock. Oh, and Jews – we’ll get back to you. But the brown people south of Key West need not apply.  Please don’t scratch the Wall. It was just painted.

Trump said that he will not rest until Puerto Ricans are safe, just before he took his afternoon nap.  In Puerto Rico, Governor Ricardo Rosselló begged for aid to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.  As reported by CNN:

“The governor joined others in emphasizing that Puerto Ricans are American citizens. ‘We need something tangible, a bill that actually answers to our need right now,’ he said.”  
 
Lest the carrot fail,  he added the stick. Rosselló continued:
 
‘Otherwise, there will be … a massive exodus to the (mainland) United States.’
 
Now, there’s a thought that would twist the Presidential nutsack. Massive immigration turning powerless islanders into weaponized voters once they establish state residency. As a matter of fact, Democrats are planning settlements in rural Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania for all comers. The runoff will land in Florida.  One would think that’s enough to scare Trump into action.  Of course, he’s overselling FEMA’s response, sending teams in to towns to take claims. 
 
Maybe he’s hoping the territories, thoroughly disgusted will decide to break away. Maybe he’s counting on that. In that case, you can expect new suitors offering Yuan, Rupees and Rubles.  Don’t say it can’t happen. China has run roughshod over Africa and no doubt would like to establish a beach head in San Juan, once the beaches are rebuilt of course.  Chinese Russian or Indian entrepreneurs,.  Anyone with the money to rebuild Puerto Rico will effectively own it.
 
Trump may chase Latinos out of the US but he is inviting other global powers into the Western Hemisphere.  President Monroe would be rolling over on his doctrine, John Kerry’s rejection of Monroe notwithstanding. The US would be very sorry to see Sanskrit, Cyrillic lettering or Chinese pictographs along the barren Condado boulevards.
 
The Donald’s dilemma: Rebuild the US territories and maintain hegemony or cast them aside, leaving them open to other influences. The tempests and US indifference have created the potential for Colonialism in the Caribbean. This may sound ridiculous.  Nevertheless, whoever saves the people of Puerto Rico will then hold the trump card.
 

A Pox on the Donor Class

When the True Media reported that the latest Repeal Obamacare Putsch is being spurred by the fury of Republican donors, I was, well, furious. This GOP-controlled Congress has spent most of its term trying to repeal our health care law with nothing to replace it. Improvements are out of the question. It’s a tax reduction wolf  in sheep’s clothing. 

These Senators are so beholden and beaten down that they cower before their corporate overlords. Money in politics has made the very idea of representation laughable. Our system is grotesque, a freak show unspooling daily, reality TV with consequences.  The wealthy GOP backers have been promised repeal for seven years, and they’ve paid a pile of money for it. With repeal failing, the donors are shutting the spigot. The pols are groveling to save themselves from financial ruin, from having that carpet of cash pulled out from ‘neath their feet. This is their last chance.

The exception proves the rule.  John McCain, diagnosed with brain cancer, no longer cares about the money, and he’s virtually alone in opposing the bill. He’s calling for bipartisanship, a pitch for unity in the waning days of his career.  Maybe he thinks that this will become his legacy, pushing Sarah Palin into the second paragraph. 

It would be naive to think that money in politics is new.  Its impact was never so blatant, its minions so obsequious.  They’re dispensing with hearings and an analysis by the impartial Congressional Budget Office. It’s yet another Bum’s Rush that affects one-sixth of the country’s economy.  Desperation’s in the air. Failure has few friends and fewer financiers. 

 

The Art of the Stall

One negotiation theory holds that your opponent will give in if you’re unpredictable, maybe really unhinged. Take North Korea, for example. Kim Jung-Un gets people thinking that he’s a rabid dog who’s broken into his master’s cocaine stash. He may say he’d drop a nuclear bomb on the US even though he knows that we’d turn the Hermit Kingdom into a radioactive sinkhole. That’s why he hasn’t done it and probably never will.  The Crazy Card works only when the other guy believes it, doesn’t know when it will happen and has a lot more to lose. Still, the lunatic might extort some lagniappe, like reduced sanctions because, well, you never know.

A career spent playing the Crazy Card against banks, bankruptcy trustees and trade creditors may convince a person – maybe a real estate developer-that outrageous behavior and the threat of self-destruction will always scare his enemies into submission.  When it comes to government work, though, that particular ploy isn’t transferable. It’s no longer a game of one-on-one. It’s one maniac invested with power threatening to unleash his demons against a roomful of powerful and, perhaps, less crazy people.

The other drawback with the Mad Dog act is that it is usually good for one roll of the dice. Once you show that you’re not really so bonkers, it’s tough to draw the same rubes in for a second round.  Say he’s screwed every major bank in the country, they’re not likely to jump into any more of his deals. It’s about that time that he would call Moscow or Cyprus banks for some of their cash, to put into American real estate, a nice way to clean up a hamper full of dirty money.

Playing crazy doesn’t work so well when your opposite number is  the rest of the developed world.  If he goes to the countries of the Paris climate accord and threatens to pull out, those other countries don’t feel any pressure to cave.  He’ll only hurt himself while the rest of the world watches.  It’s especially transparent when the ink on the resignation won’t be dry for a while.  No genuine threat, no imminent peril.  Those other countries will Ignore him.

The future ex-President promised to withdraw from the Paris climate accord because he thought it was one-sided. He went ahead and did it but no other signers gave him so much as a shudder.  Lately, getting no traction, the White House leaked that maybe it won’t withdraw or that it would reëngage if it could get better terms.  It took two 500-year storms to convince him that he was playing a losing hand. At some point, the Mad Dog will be thrown a bone, face-saving only, then he’ll get back in his kennel.

He’s trying a similar tactic with DACA, with a six-month sunset provision, to give Congress time to fix it before he blows up nearly a million Americans.  Within days he undercut his own declaration, because he realized from the backlash that he couldn’t carry out his plan. And to put a cherry on it, he bypassed his own party and made a deal with the Democrats.

The Wall is another exercise in the Art of the Stall. His first outrageous declaration – that he’d build a border wall and get Mexico to pay for it.  There ‘s still no wall. Mexico refuses to pay for it. He didn’t even get Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, his new BFFs, to kick in. About now, he’s deployed a group of five contractors to the southern border with some sheets of aluminum siding, a roll of chicken wire and some paint chips while  he looks for a bank to finance it.

No, Not Another Outbreak of Clinton Fatigue!

Pundits are speculating, “whither Hillary,” prompted by the release of “What Happened” (sans ?), her campaign memoir. Unfortunately, she is thrust back into the national spotlight. If it were solely a book tour, that’s one thing. However, people are gaggling about Clinton’s future role in the Democratic party. That road leads to ruin.

If I were her adviser and if she were receptive to advice, I’d tell her to step back. She, along with former Presidents Obama and Clinton, and former Veep Biden, doesn’t belong on the front lines anymore. She is now a party elder, a Super-Duper Delegate, a Democratic MasterCard. She is a power broker but no longer for herself. We’re not ready for an octogenarian in the White House unless it was Poppy Bush paying a social call. She is still formidable. She can play a part in realigning her party for the next chapter in our nation’s life.

Hillary should turn her considerable brain power and experience to building a new generation of public servants. She can mold a new class of men, women and fluids, whose values and political skills will draw powerful support.

I’d tell her to speak at colleges and high schools and even elementary schools all over the country, with little or no honorarium. She can be a role model as a former First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and Presidential candidate. She can teach and write about political science and politics. In other words, part Work Horse, part Show Horse.

Indeed, we’ve got to get the Russians out of our politics and back into their own, but that’s work for the current office holders. The record on 2016 is closed. Hillary has now said her piece. It is part of the historical record. It’s time to finish that particular book.

We face new challenges, and we need the best talent to rise to these challenges. The best thing Hillary can do is to help return honor and glory to public service, which in her case means receding from it.

Trump Tacks to Test The Wind

I made a list of all the reasons the future ex-President swiftly adopted the Schumer-Pelosi pitch this week.

– I immediately struck Crisis of Conscience and Enlightened Self-Interest but did retain Unenlightened Self-Interest as a possibility.
– He needed funding in place for Harvey and Irma.
– Payback to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan for paying him back.
– Recognition of the consequences of his DACA position after the protesters hit the streets, combined with knowing that this Congress won’t pass a savings bill without Democratic support.
– His reputation. He don’t know much about history, we know, but he knows about public sentiment. He wants better poll numbers, and a petting session with the opposition might drive his disapproval rating down. He doesn’t want a lasting reputation of incompetence or of being the most backward-facing chief executive in our history.
– It’s not about Russia.

Likely he put the squeeze on his Congressional leaders to bring the divided party together by weaponizing the Democrats with a big basket of year-end budget issues, DACA among them.

Who knew that running the free world could be so complicated?

This may be too much credit for him, or maybe this is the first bold move in a game of three-dimensional chess. If so, who’s his tutor?

The GOP rift has been the Bane of Boehner and looms as the Ruin of Ryan. The House can only pass draconian bills if the Speaker has room to bargain with a more moderate Senate. If not, Congress can realign by bringing a handful of moderates together with united Democrats. This is political heresy, but for Trump, politics is a means to an end.

Maybe we will finally reach common ground on DACA, tax reform and health care. Or maybe this is an aberration. He may retreat to his base. Follow your Twitter account for the latest change of course.

It’s no time to break out the hats and hooters naturally. It’s a very good time to press issues that will deliver broader acceptance to a besieged President.

Congress to Salvage DACA? Dream On

After Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 Presidential run, the Republican Party elders decided that they had to reach out to Hispanic voters to recapture the White House. Despite their stated goal to improve the effort, three years passed without significant outreach. Yesterday the GOP finally extended its hand to the Latino community. Unfortunately, the hand was holding a net and a grappling hook.

AG Jefferson Sessions announced that DACA, Deferred Action against Childhood Arrivals, would terminate, effective immediately. This action primarily affects Mexicans, who entered the US as kids. These kids, many now adults with at least a high education or a service history, a means of support, a record free of serious criminality and substantial. ties to their communities and families, will be refused the opportunity to remain here. They’ll be forced to return to their country of origin, in which they will be strangers and will have to make a new start.

The formal declaration was farmed out to the Department of Homeland Security, not the Immigration and Naturalization Service, suggesting this to be a security issue. It’s not. The rollback of the brown segment of the population is part and parcel of the administration’s goal of the Bleaching of America. The GOP tent is not big enough to allow brown Americans, even those who serve the country, pull their weight and obey the law. The administration’s intention was clear by its failure to make a serious Congressional effort to address the issue over the past sixteen years.

Every outbreak of nativism and violence brings reminders of the temporary legitimation of White Supremacy and intolerance in the 1920s, when the robed Klan marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. The movement went back underground. It’s never gone away.

The point was driven home with the election of Donald Trump. Trump’s attitude was clear from his support of the cockamamie Birther attack on President Obama. He put on the finishing touch in his candidacy declaration. Striding to the microphone in his gilt palace, he declared Mexicans, specifically, criminals and rapists, unleashing the white supremacist fervor to purify the American Birth Stock. We’ve already seen the emboldening of their xenophobic movement in Charlottesville and in the Justice Department.

Their tactic repulsed Latino citizens, not just the Dreamers which DACA was meant to assist. Outrage was immediate. Protesters took to the streets in many cities and states that are home to a significant Latino populace. Trump, expressing faux compassion for the Dreamers, granted a six-month window for Congress to come up with a plan before canceling deferments and renewals. This is ripe, given the GOP’s inability in this Congress to reach a consensus on any meaningful policy so far. More than a few GOP senators in states like Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have meaningful Latino voting blocs they are not willing to ignore.  On the other hand, their party as a whole reconsidered its effort to capture the Latin vote, then concluded that if they can’t join the Latinos, they’ll beat them.

 

No Messenger To Kill, No Message To Deliver

The midterm election campaigns have started. You might have missed it if, like me, you unsubscribed from the Begging Machines; blocked the robocalls; refused those few pleas that are still sent by mail.

The first quarterly report is in, and it’s dismal. The Democrats have no message for these times. They have announced no plan, no agenda, no defining vision. They slog from year to year with the same beloved bromides but no strategy. They could have been the party of Take Back Our Country, but they missed out on that one. Their platform reflects the views of a majority of voters, but they aren’t clever enough to beat the Republicans at the Game.

What they need first is a vision that sweeps into it the disaffected voters whose departure cost the 2016 elections. It doesn’t have to be novel, only compelling. Spoiler alert: it has to be more centrist. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama got elected on mainstream platforms. Much as one might see the virtue of revolution, revolutionaries don’t win elections here – although Bernie Sanders might have pulled it off against Trump.

The second issue is the messenger. When the most popular figure in the Democratic Party isn’t a regular member – a socialist septuagenarian- the problem is readily apparent. There is a scarcity of electable candidates.  The current aberration aside, the path to political success hasn’t changed. Hard work, a solid, affirmative vision and a little charisma, and they have a chance to catch fire.

America is a global power still, wrestling like other developed nations with the challenges of industrial turnover, technology and scarcity. It’s a time for creativity aimed at broader communal goals. We’ve been through this before. We can get through it again.

 

Closing Time: GOP Begins Its Push for Trump To Resign

 

It’s one thing when former Vice President and ex-officio former President-elect Al Gore called for the future ex-President to resign.  It’s quite another when, the following day, two GOP Senators – prospective jurors in any impeachment proceeding – smacked him on the snout, saying  that he has demonstrated a lack of the moral authority to be President.  It says that he has lost the Senate. Now, the only thing standing between him and impeachment is a House full of vulnerable candidates who will be running in 2018.  Rupert Murdoch has jumped ship. Steve Bannon is working his exit strategy.

 If he doesn’t resign it may be forced on him. With Nixon, a unanimous Supreme Court ruling forcing him to disgorge his tapes was the final blow. Trump is not in obvious legal jeopardy, as was Nixon. Still, he has alienated many of his allies, and has given no coverage to his team.   He has appalled many of those who voted for him. He is a lame duck, six months into his administration.

He risks starting wars along the 38th parallel and the Mason-Dixon line. 

 As Trump will admit, he is not an experienced politician. He knows how to lie, he just doesn’t know when. People say he is impulsive, unable to contain himself.  In Tuesday’s return to Trump Tower, after delivering a short statement on infrastructure, he was goaded into further discussion of the fallout from Charlottesville. No doubt his staff had prepared him but he couldn’t contain himself.  It tripped a circuit breaker in his head, and sparks flew out of his mouth. That would not have happened with a disciplined politician.  A seasoned pro would have stuck to the script. He can’t do it, and doesn’t want to do it. 

There’s blood in the water.  The nobles are fleeing.  The generals are ignoring his commands and publicly rebuking him.  The Senators are meeting in the Capitol’s  recesses. Mike Pence is getting fitted for Air Force One flight jacket.  Plots are being hatched,  and people are positioning themselves for regicide if he does not go quietly.  

 Here’s the deal. He won’t quit unless it’s clear that he will lose his fortune or the children their fortunes or liberty. Impeachment won’t happen. Besides, it would take too long.  As for the GOP, time is against them. The longer it takes to make the change in the White House, the worse their chances in 2018’s House election.  So, do you wonder which lucky  party leader will get to say, “You’re fired.” My guess is that he’ll have a Kentucky drawl on his tongue and a smirk on his face.

 

Gas Has Been Passed

The Tesla Model 3 has received rave reviews so far. In its souped-up version it has a range of over 300 miles, The basic model still gets about 220 miles before requiring a charge. The car has more space than its BMW and Mercedes competitors. It accelerates better. it is today’s car of the future. Pending repair and maintenance feedback, the Tesla is not only a winner but a game changer. Gas-fueled cars are on the way out or on the way down, however you want to look at it.

Land yachts, with names like Denali, Sequoia and Yukon, are a dying breed. They will be replaced by jumbo’s with names like Callisto, Io, Ganymede and Europa – the mammoth Galilean moons of Jupiter: ships of the sky.

It’s going to take time for the world to convert to electric cars, but convert it will. In 1973, OPEC first flexed its collective muscle by shutting down oil exits to the US. Citizens pulled together long enough to curse their tormentors. Then in a show of unity, we moved onto to learning ways of syphoning gas out of a neighbor’s tank.

Few heeded the omen of shortages to come; the politics of energy. US manufacturers were slow to react with economical vehicles. The 1976 model year showed no evidence of recognition For example, Lincoln brought out its Continental In four design packages Hence, the Bill Blass Mark IV, a car that has taken its place along side the Edsel.

In 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran from political exile; seized the American embassy and shut down oil production – just a little. It was enough to send a second shockwave through the United States automobile culture. Prices rose, gas lines formed. As soon as the crisis ended, automakers returned with new breeds of behemoth: minivans, SUVs, crossovers, land cruisers. Real progress in fuel economy efficiency stopped in the early 1990s. Petroleum-dependent cars of the 2015 model year showed negligible improvement in the 15 year window.

Meanwhile in another part of the world, the first electric/hybrid car was being designed and built. Toyota’s Prius was introduced to the world in the 1990s, making landfall in the United States in 1999. With average air and water temperature levels rising annually, the push was on to make progress for environmental as well as economic reasons. Thus, the Tesla, an electric car that cuts our dependence upon petroleum and eliminates the carbon emissions that are destructive to the earth’s atmosphere.

Naturally, this is the perfect time to discuss whether or not climate change is real. Do you want to ignore that ice

Naturally, this is the perfect time to discuss whether climate change is real. Do you want to ignore that iceberg the size of Delaware floating around in the southern hemisphere? Or that we keep hitting a record temperature annually? Or that there is a hole in the ozone layer that will not close? Go right ahead and be doubters about climate change. Persist in your belief that we have done nothing to cause these shifting paradigms. Have at it! Mr. Musk will be driving his Jetsons car all the way to the bank.

The debate over the reality of climate change would be amusing if it were not frightfully stupid. Less than two months ago, an Ice Shelf broke off of Antarctica.

Whether human beings are altering the environment or not, the environment is changing the planet in extremely fast and terrifying ways. Human beings need to respond by preventing additional change and by adapting to emerging conditions. The Tesla is a phenomenon because it breaks through in both ways.

This is the really stupid part. Blaise Pascal, who is a 17th-century French mathematician and philosopher. Like others of his age he had to reconcile his findings in natural philosophy with the belief in God. Pascal happened to be a man of faith, and he was challenged by his colleagues for the discrepancy between his belief and his professional findings. Pascal devised an argument known as the Wager.

Pascal’s argument was that people should believe in a God and act in accordance with religious principles. Naturally, Pascal was contemplating a Christian God but it really doesn’t matter for our purpose. If it turns out that there is a God and you have been a person of good will, you have lost nothing of significance – material wealth maybe, libido running wild perhaps. But if there is a God and you have not acted as if there were, you will be in a colossal mess. You will have sinned without seeking absolution. That’s trouble with the capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for perdition. In the words of that great 21st century moral philosopher, Donald J. Trump, “What have you got to lose?” Or as Pascal put it:

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.

 

Many of my philosopher friends, of which there are none, are prepared to point out the flaws of the Wager as proof of the existence of God. However I do not suggest this as proof of the divine. Pascal’s wager is a good practical approach to dealing with uncertainty when the consequences are significant.

The same principle applies to environmental practice. If there is no climate change and we have developed less toxic and invasive means of producing energy, we lose very little. But the water and air will be cleaner, and our environmental practices will not cause any further deterioration. However, if mankind is destroying the environment through its energy industry and we do nothing about it but continue the same destructive ways, we will lose the World.

Think about energy production in terms of Pascal’s Wager, The best course of action is obvious. With the benefit of revolutionary propulsion technology, independent of the petroleum industry, belief is beside the point.

 

Maverick: The Legend of John McCain

  John McCain is the most unusual political character of our time, President company excluded. He has been a conscientious conservative, a rank-and-file Republican, an across-the-aisle kind of bipartisan, and a zombie presidential candidate. McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, withstanding five horrendous years in captivity. He is a genuine hero and an American legend.   This week, after receiving the awful news that he has a fatal brain tumor, he boarded a plane and returned to Washington, D.C., to play assassin to the Republicans’ calamitous effort to unravel the Affordable Care Act. McCain again played the hero in preventing his beloved Senate from shooting itself in the head.  

 McCain is one of the few big-name politicians who keeps things interesting by keeping us on our toes. His willingness to buck party leadership earned him the nickname, “Maverick,” a sobriquet he embraced.  His political story will be an interesting one to tell. Unquestionably, he is a hawk and a fiscal conservative. He also believes in  tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others.  Nevertheless, he caucuses with many politicians who do not.  One of his signature moments occurred in the late days of his unsuccessful 2008 Presidential campaign.  When an ignoramus called Obama an Arab during a town hall event, McCain quickly reclaimed the microphone and extolled his opponent’s decency.  Yet this is the same man who put an obviously unqualified Sarah Palin on his ticket – one long, lingering look from the Bering Strait and  a single heartbeat from the Presidency.  McCain is the person responsible for letting loose the hounds of nativist amateurism on Presidential politics.

After losing the 2008 race and despite his civility toward Candidate Obama, McCain became a constant critic of the President.  In 2012, McCain won a tough race for a sixth term in the Senate, He made the repeal and replacement of Obamacare a prominent plank in his platform.

McCain is the son of a soldiering family, one of whose members fought alongside George Washington.   An Annapolis graduate, he served as a navy pilot in Vietnam.  After his plane was shot down, he was a long-term guest at the Hanoi Hilton, As a high value POW, he had a chance to be released, but he wouldn’t trade on the status  of his Admiral father. He refused preferential treatment.  After five years of physical and mental torture, solitary confinement and abuse that eventually broke him, he was released in 1973. This is the man belittled by Candidate Trump, who prefers his heroes not to be captured.  

McCain held his water, though.  He would never have been a Trump supporter in any normal time but the 2016  election was anything but normal. He threw his support beyond the military school brat who kicked dirt on his reputation, while the only thing to capture the Hypocrite-in-Chief was an Access Hollywood microphone.  

Two weeks ago, McCain flew home to Arizona to have eye surgery, during which it was discovered that he has an inoperable brain tumor, the same type of cancer that killed Ted Kennedy.  The Senate faced the threshold vote on its healthcare bill, a bill so bad it was kept out of sight for as long as possible.  With two certain GOP defections (Collins, Murkowski), an absence by McCain would have doomed the opening gambit, called a motion to proceed.  Earlier this week, McCain returned to the Capitol, struggling physically but resolute to attend the roll call.  McCain joined his party’s vote, ensuring that debate on a bill would take place.  However, Majority Leader McConnell struggled to find common ground between his party’s conservative and alt-right factions.  Two proposals failed to garner enough votes.  On Thursday night, he called for a vote on the so-called skinny repeal, a rollback of Obamacare so marginal that it was only a placeholder to get into a conference with the House over its own odious bill.

When called to vote on the skinny repeal – no replacement, McCain voted no.  He remained consistent with his position that the law was insufficient because it failed to repeal and replace.  But the no vote gave the Maverick the added pleasure of driving  a retaliatory ice pick into the neck of the future ex-president. Trump’s plan to repeal healthcare died with McCain’s vote. He trumped the President at his own game of political theater. To say the President was enraged doesn’t begin to tell the story. The White House Chief of Staff was found the following day floating in the Potomac.

 McCain issued a statement explaining his position.

While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.

McCain hasn’t talked about whether he drew any personal satisfaction from defeating one of the cornerstones of the Trump agenda.  But he exhibited the kind of grit that his hosts at the Hanoi Hilton would recognize.

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