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Member since: Thu Jan 23, 2020, 02:36 PM
Number of posts: 538

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I love Chuck Schumer, but he's too nice! I think he should be replaced by Michael Bennett

or by another senator who has the innate ability to go OFF on people. As the saying goes, this is something you are born with; this cannot be taught.

Remember this righteous rant of Michael Bennett's when he went after Ted Cruz's "crocodile tears"?


Bennett was enraged, but it was a controlled rage, backed up with incontrovertible facts.

Chuck Schumer is a wonderful senator and a good, decent man, but it's like bringing a butter knife to a gunfight when it comes to his facing off with Mitch "The Grim Reaper" McConnell.

(Sorry, Chuck! I do sincerely love you.)

How about combining the $15 minimum wage with universal health care so that employers

would no longer be required to provide health insurance to their employees? Freed from that expense, employers would absolutely be able to afford the $15 minimum wage.

I know, getting the $15 minimum wage passed is an enormous task in and of itself and combining it with the (perceived) horror of universal health care would really send the Republicans into a "But that's socialism!" hysteria. But just thought I'd throw the idea out there for discussion.

From a COTO Insurance website article:

There’s a growing number of businesses that have kept quiet when it comes to the health care debate. While they may be all about the free market, the reality is that the exponentially rising costs of providing health care to their employees is increasing overhead, reducing profits and making them less competitive with foreign markets.

Many believe a universal health care plan — a government-sponsored program in which medical care is provided to everyone regardless of their ability to pay — could help solve these problems. In short, companies could stop paying for health insurance. Presumably, that means they could pay their employees more, although much of the increase may be absorbed by higher taxes to fund the program. However, the competitive benefit for employers — both large and small — would remain.


The article describes many benefits to businesses of releasing them from the obligation of providing health insurance.

Small businesses would no longer lose out to larger companies when it comes to hiring talent, as health care would no longer be a competitive benefit. Employees who would rather work at a smaller company would now have that option without losing out on a robust health insurance plan.

Employees would also be released from the phenomenon known as “job lock,” when many people stay at their jobs solely for health insurance benefits. This has a lot of downsides, from poor morale and lower productivity to curbing labor mobility and entrepreneurship. In terms of economic growth, small businesses account for two-thirds of net new jobs and represent close to half (44 percent) of U.S. economic activity. If workers aren’t saddled by the need for employer-sponsored health insurance, they would have the option to quit and start their own businesses.

This issue was recently spotlighted by a report that over the past 10 years, the employee share of health insurance premiums has increased 71 percent, while average earnings increased only 26 percent. Even workers with robust employer-sponsored insurance are increasingly paying more out of pocket. On average, employees pay $1,242 (singles) or $6,015 (families) a year for insurance premiums, and deductibles have doubled from $826 to $1,655 on average.

There are many other potentially significant advantages to broad-scale universal health care. First, it could reduce the overall cost of health care because the government would be able to leverage volume to negotiate better pricing structures for medical services and prescription drugs. Administrative costs — particularly for hospitals and doctor’s offices — would decrease because they could file claims with a single entity instead of multiple insurance companies. That would reduce provider overhead expenses, allowing these entities to invest in more medical personnel.

People who get health insurance from their work would be sure to object. But if a well-planned and well-executed universal health insurance program were in place, that would help overcome their objections. And if they still object, they should be educated about the fact that empoyer-provided health insurance is the third-biggest government-subsidized health care expense, after Medicare and Medicaid, costing five times as much as the subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act.

From a 2017 New York Times article:

As Republican senators work to fix their troubled health care bill, there is one giant health insurance subsidy no one is talking about.

It is bigger than any offered under the Affordable Care Act — subsidies some Republicans loathe as handouts — and costs the federal government $250 billion in lost tax revenue every year.

The beneficiaries: everyone who gets health insurance through a job, including members of Congress.

Much of the bitter debate over how to repeal and replace the law known as Obamacare has focused on cutting Medicaid and subsidies that help low-income people buy insurance.

But economists on the left and the right argue that to really rein in health costs, Congress should scale back or eliminate the tax exclusion on what employers pay toward employees’ health insurance premiums. Under current law, those premiums are not subject to the payroll or income taxes that are taken out of employees’ wages, an arrangement that vastly benefits middle- and upper-income people.

That one policy tweak could reduce health care spending, stabilize the health insurance market and, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, shrink the federal budget deficit by between $174 billion and $429 billion over a six-year period.


Look at that stack of executive orders Joe is signing!

You go, Joe!!!

But why is it that he has to use a new pen with each one? Is that some kind of tradition?

I was so hoping that Melania would slap Trump's hand away again as they were walking

to the podium!

Did you see the weird death grip he had on her gloved hand???

"Is that a pardon in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

If the secret "pocket pardon" is a legitimate pardon that a president can grant, just think how Trump might use the power of the pocket pardon.

All of the white collar criminals currently crawling on their bellies to him and shelling out millions for any kind of pardon would be especially beholden to Trump if he gave them a secret pocket pardon. Trump could, I assume, hang onto the pocket pardon and reveal it at any time in the future—or not. Trump could use the threat of simply tearing up the pocket pardon if a recipient did not do exactly what he told them to do. He might even use it against sketchy bankers to get them to loan him money again. Or against Republican senators and representatives to get them to do his future bidding.

And he could also sell them pocket pardons without actually doing anything to document the pardons, and when, later, the recipients are like, "Where's my pardon I paid a million dollars for?" Trump can feign ignorance (something he's really good at due to already being for-real ignorant). The recipients can't sue him for Trump swindling them out of a million dollars for a pocket pardon because then they would open themselves up to charges of bribery.

The really scary thing? I think I'm starting to think like Trump.

It would be hilarious if Trump resigned the morning of Jan. 20 and VP Pence were nowhere to be found

to give Trump his pardon before Joe Biden got sworn in.

Maybe Pence got held up in traffic, or he forgot to set his alarm clock, or a mob of insurrectionists spotted him and gave chase . . .

Please, please, please forces of the universe, let this happen!

I wish I were the fly on Mike Pence's head right now.

And that fly were telepathic! What must Pence be thinking right now?

I'm sure Pence has secretly despised Trump from the beginning, but thought that being Trump's VP would be a sure ticket to the presidency for him. And now, after Pence has concealed his hatred for Trump for four years and has loyally supported through thick and thin the monster whom even his wife thought was vile, Trump is berating him and calling him the p-word.

How tempting it must be for him to go ahead and invoke the 25th Amendment! But Pence's political ambitions won't let him do that because he's afraid of sabotaging his future in the Republican Party. But now Trump's base wants to literally hang him! What to do? What to do?

Just throwing this out there: What if we had a higher governmental power to provide the ultimate

checks and balances on the three branches of government?

It would be a coalition of all former living presidents and all former living defense secretaries and all former living secretaries of state and select former military officers. The members of the coalition would have the ability to reject future members, such as Trump, based on misbehavior while in office.

This coalition would only convene at moments of extreme upheaval, like the one we are experiencing now, and they would, hopefully, provide a final, break-the-glass, emergency safety mechanism to remove a rogue president (Trump), remove an all-powerful Senate majority leader (McConnell), and restore balance to a lopsided Supreme Court.

This occurred to me after thinking about the warning letter that ten former defense secretaries published in the Washington Post on January 3.

We have all these former government and military officials still around, from former generals to former presidents, with hundreds of years of combined experience, and with the wisdom of hindsight and the protection of not having to run for office or be accountable to wealthy donors. If they could be convened in moments of crisis to make the final say on a president's or other elected official's ability to remain in office, I think we would have a better way of dealing with future Trumps and future McConnells.

Never gonna happen? Probably not. The Republicans already know that the only way they can win is by cheating. They would be very vocal in their opposition to any further obstruction to their efforts to lie, cheat, and steal to win elections.

But just sayin'.

The rioters have no idea what having an authoritarian government would truly be like,

and they are too stupid to realize that authoritarianism is exactly the path their Dear Leader is taking them down. They think they are defending freedom when they are actually kicking it to death with jackboots.

Speaking of which, remember when Turkey's Erdogan was in Washington in 2017 and his jackbooted thugs beat up peaceful American protesters?


This is what authoritarianism looks like. And the rioters have no idea that THIS is the 'Merica they are welcoming with their lawlessness and unfurled Trump flags.

Vice President Pence, you're already on Trump's shit list. Amendment 25 him NOW!

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