Matthew DesOrmeaux

Recent Posts From Matthew DesOrmeaux

Why Full Obamacare Repeal May Go Even Worse Than GOP’s Failed Replacement

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It turns out changing the way Americans receive their health care is pretty unpopular, no matter how you try to do it.

That’s the lesson Democrats received in 2010 when they lost their majority in the House after passing Obamacare. Republicans’ effort to reform that system this year have gone even worse, when two consecutive Senate plans never even received a vote.

Plan C (D? Z?) is to pass a more complete repeal of Obamacare without a replacement system. They think this will be easier and less controversial, but they’re in for a surprise.

The main argument against the stillborn reform efforts this year was the Congressional Budget Office score. The government calculator found that while deficits and average premiums would go down over the next 10 years, tens of millions of people would no longer have insurance.

Democrats sprung into attack mode, claiming that millions would die. As a result, support for Obamacare actually eclipsed opposition for the first time ever this year, and the GOP plan had almost as little approval as Congress itself.

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Rep. Higgins is Dangerously Naive About the Military’s Role in a Holocaust

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Clay Higgins, the newest congressman from Louisiana, fancies himself a champion of all things uniformed. Before being elected, he was a sheriff, bragadociously recording YouTube videos taunting criminals, and since then has made the Border Patrol, Homeland Security, and the military some of his biggest issues in budget fights. Higgins’ latest fight shows how dangerously naive he is about the nature of those institutions.

In a video recorded - I hope you’re sitting down - in a gas chamber in the Auschwitz concentration camp, Higgins played amateur documentarian, highlighting the need for a strong military and homeland security apparatus to protect us from that kind of terrorist attrocity. Needless to say, the outrage and condemnation were swift and universal. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum and others are places for quiet reflection, not political internet bluster. Higgins has since apologized and taken down the video, a rare show of remorse for the alpha bro.

However, a weapons-grade lack of common sense and decency aren’t the only thing this incident has exposed in Higgins. He is also historically ignorant about the role governments and militaries play in atrocities like the Holocaust.

Once Again, AHCA Changes to Medicaid Are Not “Cuts”

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Here we go again.

One month ago today I was forced to defend President Trump’s terrible budget proposal (that has not and will never pass) against charges that it cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. It doesn’t, obviously. It lowers their growth rates, but still leaves them almost doubling in spending over 10 years. That’s not a cut. And neither are the American Health Care Act’s changes to Medicaid.

The Atlantic describes those changes as follows (emphasis mine):

 

No, Trump’s Irrelevant Budget Doesn’t Cut Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security

 

If there’s one thing you can count on from Washington (besides death and taxes), it’s annual hysterics over the presidential budget proposal. What makes those hysterics even more obscene is that the presidential budget proposal never comes law. Never. Not even once. It’s as relevant as State of the Union wishlists.

Ever since Paul Ryan became the scion of Republican budgeting in 2008, the main fiscal argument against the GOP has been that they want to cut or eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. Even though 2016 proved that lol nothing matters, this year is no different, as the first argument out of the gate against President Trump’s proposed budget is that it cuts all three.

It doesn’t, of course.

Spending for all three programs increases dramatically over the 10-year budget plan, with Medicare spending actually doubling in 2027.

Impeaching and Removing Trump is Risky but Probably Worth It Now

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Impeachment talk began before President Trump took office an excrutiatingly long four months ago, but after the reports about the Comey memo it’s become deafening. Democrats would need Republican help to get it done, but removing him from office might be the only way to return our national insanity to more tolerable levels.

Many analysts and friends discussing the recent revelations and the possibility of impeachment are trying to pinpoint exactly what law Trump may have broken. They’re missing the point.

Articles of impeachment filed in the House of Representative typically cite laws broken by the president, but they don’t have to. The only process required for impeachment is a simple majority vote in the House. The articles on which they vote can say anything they want to get those votes.

Additionally, everyone is talking about impeachment, but no one is following it up by talking about conviction. Impeaching a president doesn’t remove him from office; the additional step of a conviction is required. Like impeachment, conviction is determined by only a vote in Congress, but this time in the Senate.

The Alt-Right Are No Allies of LGBT Americans. Obviously.

Milo

The recent alt-right movement of American nationalists, white supremacists, and online trolls is by definition opposed to most minority groups - Muslims and Hispanic immigrants most prominently. But some in the movement purport to be LGBT allies, defenders of gays and lesbians against other minorities who would do them harm. They’re lying; I found out first hand this week.

One of the primary talking points in favor of alt-right/LGBT synergy is their support of the Assad regime in Syria. “Wut?”, you might say. The argument is indirect to be sure. ISIS persecutes and kills gays, Assad opposes ISIS (but not really), the alt-right supports Assad, therefore the alt-right supports gays.

As absurd as this argument is, they extend it even further to their general opposition of Muslims as a whole.

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This is what we call “concern trolling”. This person and his allies do not actually care about me or my LGBT family, but are feigning concern in an effort to undermine my argument. Everything else they say proves it.

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Neobamacare 2.0: House Passes New AHCA That Still Doesn’t “Repeal Obamacare”

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If you don’t follow the news out of Washington carefully, you’d hardly know this was coming. The House today passed a new version of the American Health Care Act on a close 217-213 vote (20 Republicans voted against). Republicans are cheering, saying Obamacare has been repealed and replaced. It hasn’t.

This new bill does not repeal the Affordable Care Act in full, or even close. It eliminates three main planks: the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, the employer mandate to offer health insurance, and certain taxes that funded parts of it.

The rest of the “repeal” it leaves up to the states. It allows states to apply for waivers (that Secretary Price will undoubtedly approve) remove most of the mandates on insurance companies to cover certain things. These mandates drove up premiums and deductibles, but Democrats got to claim everything was covered for everyone, even though that coverage was largely unaffordable.

New Orleans Begins Erasing White Supremacy, Not History, By Removing Confederate Monuments

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This week the city of New Orleans began removing monuments to Confederate figures from public areas. This process began two years ago when the city council voted to remove the monuments but was then stalled by lawsuits attempting to keep them in place. The fact that it is considered “controversial” to remove monuments to a failed state that waged war against the United States of America in order to preserve its economic base of chattel slavery should appall every American.

The first monument removed on Monday was an obelisk in Liberty Place on Canal Street. This was no statue to an honorable general or great leader who happened to be on the wrong side of history. It was erected in 1891 to commemorate the attempted uprising sixteen years prior by the Crescent City White League to overthrow the recently elected Union-allied governor. They succeeded and occupied the state house for three days before President Grant sent in federal troops to clear them out.

The next monuments to come down will be statues of General Robert E Lee, PGT Beauregard, and first and only Confederate President Jefferson Davis. These are not the only honorifics bestowed on Confederate figures in the state. There are numerous schools, streets, and even parishes named after them. I happen to live in Jefferson Davis Parish, but there is also a Beauregard Parish and Allen Parish, named after a Confederate governor.

Conservatives REALLY Don’t Want to Call Syria a War; It’s Definitely a War

 U.S. Bombs Dropped on Foreign Soil  | Statista

The United States military has dropped almost 50,000 bombs on Syria and Iraq over the last two years. Most of that has been against ISIS targets in the desert regions between the two countries, but some, including President Trump’s airport bombings last week, were against the Assad regime itself.

 The U.S. dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016 | Statista

Eliminating the Filibuster Makes the Senate More Democratic, Not Less

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Apparently we needed more evidence that everyone in politics now holds the exact opposite positions on every process issue that they did for the entire eight years of the Obama presidency.

In 2013 the Democrats were fed up with Republicans’ obstruction of Obama’s judicial nominees, so they changed the rules of the Senate to only require a simple majority to stop debate and proceed to a vote, down from the usual 60.

Republicans condemned the move as against the character of the chamber, and anti-republican. They were right, in a sense.

Since Democrats now hold a 48-vote minority in the Senate after President Trump was elected, more than enough to block his Supreme Court nominee, both parties switched sides. Republicans eliminated the 60-vote threshold and confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Court with 54 votes.

Matthew DesOrmeaux

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married, father of two, atheist, libertarian, introvert.

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