The Congressional Budget Office, as you know, has been forbidden by Republicans to disclose how much Obamacare repeal would affect the federal budget deficit -- but that doesn't mean it can't tell us other things, like that Obamacare repeal could throw 18 million folks off their insurance and result in a 50 percent health insurance premium hike just this year, followed by doubled health insurance premiums by 2026. Granted, premiums would continue to increase considerably faster than inflation by 2026 anyway, and the CBO's projection doesn't account for the possibility that Republicans will actually replace the Affordable Care Act with something -- though that's the way I'd bet, too! -- but it is nice to know the cost of the Republicans' mania to erase Barack Obama from history.
Jennifer Rubin, of all people, reminds us that Donald Trump's tax-cuts-for-the-rich are decidedly unpopular with the electorate, with more than six out of 10 Americans opposing. Still! Also, a near-supermajority of Americans oppose corporate tax breaks for infrastructure building, and another poll finds more than six in 10 Trump voters oppose corporate tax cuts! All of this will mean nothing, of course, if we don't clog their phone lines and demonstrate in front of their offices when they try to do all this unpopular, harmful crap.
As you may know, during that Obamacare repeal imbroglio, 13 Democratic Senators voted against cheaper drug importation from Canada -- all citing "safety" issues and not the real issue, which is their massive campaign contributions from big pharmaceutical corporations -- but Richard Eskow reminds us that this excuse is utter bunk, since "Canadian (drug) testing is as strong as its American equivalent, and most Canadian drugs are manufactured in the same locations as their US counterparts." He also reminds us that these very same 13 Democratic Senators voted for the 21st Century Cures Act, which actually weakens drug safety testing standards in a supposed quest to get to those "21st Century Cures" faster. Also, too, 13 Democratic Senators against drug importation meant that the 12 Republican Senators for drug importation meant nothing, almost like that was the whole idea. One can only hope this vote comes back to haunt Sen. Booker when he runs for President in 2020.
From Edwin Rios at Mother Jones, we learn that Betsy DeVos's confirmation hearing for Education Secretary didn't go very well. Her suggestion that schools might need guns to protect against "grizzlies" will probably be her Greatest Hit, but I bet right-wing punditoids use that as an example of how out-of-touch Democrats are with rural areas (this, though grizzlies normally avoid humans unless provoked). About her alleged non-involvement in certain donations to Focus on the Family by the foundation of which she was the Vice President until at least 2014, I'm sure right-wingers will be far more credulous. Still, the guy who nominated her did worse in just about every public performance, and still got elected, so we're going to have so make a lot more phone calls.
Finally, who's been an even bigger jerk to Rep. John Lewis (D-SC) than Donald Trump lately? Why, Maine Governor Paul LePage, of course! Mr. LePage thinks folks like John Lewis, instead of calling Mr. Trump an "illegitimate" President, should be thankful for all that Republicans have done for civil rights. Never mind that Mr. LePage's list of Republicans who did great things for black folk stops at the year 1880, or that he's just dead wrong about Jim Crow laws -- no one in America needs to "thank" a politician for doing good works for their constituents, because doing good works is their fucking job. Who should thank for civil rights advances? Folks like Mr. Lewis, who put his life on the line for it -- and each other, for making sure those advances don't get rolled back.