GOP Strategy: Avoid and Refrain

“And so, the GOP strategy …  is to show that the party is ‘ready to govern’ simply by avoiding destructive and chaotic governing crises while refraining from trying to pass ‘major bills,’ because GOP policies are unpopular and Republicans can’t unite behind solutions in any case.”

Greg Sargent, the Plum Line at WaPo

So the GOP has nothing — except those millions and millions in ads from the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity that are already slamming incumbent Dems.

Employer Mandate Really About Politics, Not Health Care

From Sarah Kliff at WaPo’s Wonkblog:

“So what would happen if the Obama administration ditched the employer mandate altogether? Not a lot, most health economists say. Slightly more people might get coverage through the exchanges — and slightly fewer through their workplaces. The federal government would lose billions in revenue, from fees levied on companies that don’t provide coverage. But overall, the number of people with health coverage would remain nearly the same, with or without the employer mandate.

“‘At this point, getting rid of the employer mandate is more substantive politically than it is economically,’ adds Jon Gruber, an MIT economist who advised the Obama administration on the health-care law.

“‘The employer mandate has extraordinarily little impact on coverage,’ says Linda Blumberg, an economist at the Urban Institute. ‘It doesn’t effect [sic] behavior much at all.'”

Punching Down

Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) got an employee at a gourmet grocery store, Drew Swope, fired because he said, “Thanks for nothing” to McCrory.  McCrory couldn’t say “Off with his head,” so he settled for “Off with his apron.”  Instead of taking a little criticism, rich and powerful McCrory took Swope’s low-paying job.

If I lived in NC, I’d feel the same as Swope, given the pass that Duke Energy’s dangerous practices are getting from McCrory, who worked for them for almost three decades before becoming governor.

Duke just had the third largest coal ash spill in history.  Of course, the people of NC should have thought twice before they elected a Duke Energy guy.  Specifically, they should have thought about foxes and hen houses.

Hillary’s Age

Charlie Cook, at The Cook Report, bluntly asks the question “Is Hillary Clinton Too Old to Run?” that I have previously raised here.

She will be 67 this October, and would be 77 at the end of a second term, in the most demanding job in the world.  Neither party wants to nominate someone who can’t run for and serve two terms.

Is she too old?  I say yes.  The Oval Office is not a place for anyone in her (or his) late 70’s.

Obamacare, Depoliticized

From “Over 1 Million Added to Rolls of Health Plan,” Michael D. Shear and Reed Abelson, NYT:

“But industry experts and insurance officials say that the reality is murkier than either party wants to admit and that the numbers at the heart of the national political debate are largely meaningless outside of Washington’s overheated environment.  The determination about whether the law works from an economic standpoint will not be clear for years, when individual insurance companies are finally able to tell whether their expectations about the health of their customers — and the premiums they set for coverage — were accurate.

“And the economic fate of the biggest health care overhaul in decades will be decided state by state, in hundreds of individual markets across the country, not in a theoretical national insurance marketplace that does not really exist.

“‘There’s going to be tremendous variation in the country,’ said Drew Altman, the president and chief executive of the Kaiser Family Foundation.  He said the focus on national numbers, like reaching the target of enrolling seven million people in the first year, ‘never had anything to do with the real success or failure of the law.'”

Quote of the Day

“And yet, even post-Bridgegate, the prevailing interpretations of Christie fundamentally miss the mark. He has been so singularly successful at constructing his own mythology—as a reformer, a crusader, a bipartisan problem-solver—that people have never really seen him clearly. Over the past three months, I talked to more than 50 people who have crossed paths with Christie throughout his career—legislators, officials, Democrats, Republicans, lawyers, longtime New Jersey politicos. (Christie himself didn’t respond to a detailed request for comment.) The problem with Christie isn’t merely that he is a bully. It’s that his political career is built on a rotten foundation. Christie owes his rise to some of the most toxic forces in his state—powerful bosses who ensure that his vow to clean up New Jersey will never come to pass. He has allowed them to escape scrutiny, rewarded them for their support, and punished their enemies. All along, even as it looked like Christie was attacking the machine, he was really just mastering it.”

Alec MacGillis, “Chris Christie’s Entire Career Reeks,” The New Republic

The article is today’s must read.

I think Mitt’s people figured this out when they were vetting him for Veep and ran screaming.