A heavily-promoted Trump/Pence "conversation" about health care turns out to be a long, long wait for two-count-'em-two ideas: allow health insurance to be purchased across state lines (already tried, doesn't work), and, naturally, the "health savings account." OK, one more time: the whole point of insurance is that folks come together and pitch in toward a fund that helps one or another of those folk out at various times. A "health savings account" is thus, in that sense, not insurance, because you lose the bargaining power that comes from being part of a group. And you tell people working two jobs and still deciding which utility to pay this month while feeding their kids to "just save money."
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to advance a corporate tax amnesty and use the money to pay for infrastructure repairs, and, perhaps not surprisingly, liberals don't like it. And why should we? We should be keeping corporations from pretending they made their profits overseas in the first place, not let them bring those profits back at a reduced tax rate, like that will ever encourage good behavior. Three other things: one, noting that Mr. Schumer "has shown a willingness to take on the liberal base in the past" is faint praise in a land where every Democrat indulges in hippie-punching; two, his plan will face Republican opposition, because that's all Republicans do anymore; and three, where does he get off suggesting that "progressive" and "constructive" are such mutually exclusive terms?
U.S. "Trade" "Representative" Michael Froman thinks Congress could pass the Trans-Pacific "Partnership" if Congressional leadership would just hold a vote. What makes him so confident? That "lawmakers are increasingly recognizing industry support" for the deal, though Mr. Froman doesn't speculate on whether he's noticed that lawmakers have noticed the American people's utter lack of support, which I think, in a representative form of government such as ours, is a far more pertinent issue.
Ho hum, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr -- who might get cut down by a Democrat wave local only to North Carolina -- says he, too, will ensure the Supreme Court only has eight seats by the end of a Hillary Clinton first term. The best part? All the HOW CAN TEH SUPREME COURTZ ONLY HAVEZ TEH EIGHTZ JUSTICEZ!!!!!! handwringing he did in 2005 after Chief Justice Rehnquist died. (Oh, and BTW, BFD that he apologized for those nasty things he said about Hillary Clinton. Everyone says nasty crap so they can get attention, and then they apologize so they can get more; Mr. Trump's reluctance to apologize after saying/doing nasty crap is, in that light, almost refreshing. I said "almost.")
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the man who gives the Citizen Legislator a bad name, announces that he won't serve more than two terms in the Senate. Of course, he faces Wisconsin voters in less than a week, and he's widely considered to be the most endangered Republican in the Senate, so he's going to need a lot of help from Wisconsin Voter ID laws to even get a second term in the first place.
Finally, David Brooks at the New York Times excoriates the Republican Party for abandoning conservative principles. I know you hear right-wingers say that a lot, usually about how their party doesn't punch gays and women enough, but Mr. Brooks makes a convincing argument, in part by describing precisely what the GOP has abandoned: "conservatism stands for intellectual humility, a belief in steady, incremental change, a preference for reform rather than revolution, a respect for hierarchy, precedence, balance and order, and a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible." Any of that sound like Ted Cruz, the biggest "conservative" swordfighter of them all? Or Newt Gingrich? I'd feel better recommending this article to you if I didn't know that Mr. Brooks signed on to a lot of the "thousand small betrayals of conservatism" that helped get us here.