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Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Art of the Health Deal

Oh how the press chortled last week when President Trump called for a House voted on Ryancare, which humiliated House Speaker Paul Ryan -- who had to call off the vote because he lacked the votes.

President Trump is about to get the last laugh.

His tweet this morning was "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!"

Speaker Ryan subsequently held a press conference and said:
"I share frustration. About 90 percent of our conference is for this bill to repeal and replace Obamacare and about 10 percent are not. And that's not enough to pass a bill. We're close. What I am encouraging our members to do is keep talking with each other until we can get the consensus to pass this bill. But it's very understandable that the president is frustrated that we haven't gotten to where we need to go, because this is something we all said we would do.
"And so he is just expressing his frustration. You all know that he does that in various forms, including Twitter. And I understand his frustration.
President Trump is not frustrated. He's pushing buttons. He wants to win. He will.

Ryan may be frustrated. He's 90% there? He needs to be 91% there, as he needs 216 to pass the bill and there are 237 Republicans. Give vacancies in the House drops the minimum from 218.

Thus Ryan can afford to lose only 21 of them. Looks like he has to nail down another three or four more votes. They know it and will extract the highest price they can get.

How much easier Nancy Pelosi had it eight years ago. She had a 37-seat cushion.

President Trump actually helped Ryan by bashing the Freedom Caucus, which raised the cost of being in the Freedom Caucus by giving them bad press.

From "The Art of the Deal":
"You can apply all kinds of pressure, make all sorts of pleas and threats, contribute large sums of money to their campaigns, and generally it gets you nothing. But raise the possibility of bad press, even in an obscure publication, and most politicians will jump. Bad press translates into potential lost votes, and if a politician loses enough votes, he won't get reelected."
President Trump's disdain of the press is both exaggerated by him, and earned by them.

But that quote explains why the press thinks it can bring him down, because so many politicians fear the press.

He doesn't. He knows there is no such thing as bad press.

Last week, the press thought President Trump was done.

From the Washington Post:
‘The closer’? The inside story of how Trump tried — and failed — to make a deal on health care
Jeff Bezos got hosed by the Graham family when he bought that newspaper.

From an editorial in the Never Trump Wall Street Journal:
House Republicans pulled their health-care bill shortly before a vote on Friday, and for once the media dirge is right about a GOP defeat. This is a major blow to the Trump Presidency, the GOP majority in Congress, and especially to the cause of reforming and limiting government.
That was published on Day 63 of his 1,461-day first term.

Took Obama 427 days to pass and sign Obamacare.

However, the PC Conservative newspaper has been wrong so long about presidential politics that it will desperately grasp at any and all straws in the faint and fading hope of de-railing the Trump presidency.

From Politico:
Donald Trump crowed for months he would strike a "terrific" deal on health care. His ambitions ended in a brief phone call Friday afternoon, in which Speaker Paul Ryan told him the truth: He was nowhere close.
The businessman president, who sold himself to tens of millions of disillusioned voters last year as the only outsider who could tame a broken capital, ended his first confrontation with lawmakers overmatched, outmaneuvered and ultimately empty-handed.
“We learned a lot about some very arcane rules,” Trump said in the Oval Office soon after the defeat of his effort to undo President Obama’s health care law.
It was actually the most basic fact of Congress that set Trump back: the majority rules. And despite a 22-seat margin for error in the House, Trump had proved unable to corral support for a plan to repeal the law, one of Trump’s key campaign pledges.
The rush to declare Trump a loser stems from the press being the Washington Generals to his Harlem Globetrotters.

From CNN:
President Donald Trump likes winning. But on Friday he failed.
Lacking sufficient support, Republicans were forced to pull their bill to replace Obamacare from the floor of the GOP-controlled House. Speaking soon after accepting defeat, Trump didn't shoulder the responsibility himself, nor did he pin the blame on House GOP leadership or any of the warring Republican factions' whose competing demands ultimately sunk any chance of a consensus bill.
Instead, he blamed Democrats and vowed to let Obamacare "explode."
"We had no Democrat support. We had no votes from the Democrats. They weren't going to give us a single vote, so it's a very very difficult thing to do," Trump said. "I think the losers are (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi and (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer because now they own Obamacare. 100% own it."
Meh. It's posturing.

The real story is Speaker Ryan -- an establishment nemesis of President Trump -- is on the ropes and desperate to cut a deal.

"Trump the Establishment" is now on Kindle.

"Trump the Establishment" is also available in paperback.

This is the sequel to "Trump the Press," which covered the nomination. The original -- "Trump the Press" -- is available on Kindle, or in paperback on Amazon.

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  1. Somethin's definitely up--Rand is apparently in radio silence for the last few days as far as I can tell. Maybe tomorrow he'll come out for some face time. "Trump's Book of Last Laughs" has how many chapters now?

    The Katie Walsh method should convince a few of the nevertrumper HFC intransigents to pull up a chair.

  2. It's obvious they never read TRUMP THE PRESS, specifically chapter 5: "Trump Cannot Win." And then there's chapter 6: "Peak Trump," which makes me chuckle every time I read it.

    1. You should have been there when I wrote Chapter 6. I felt like a kid, typing and laughing.

  3. "Jeff Bezos got hosed by the Graham family when he bought that newspaper." OR...he could be doing a Mrs. Carlson, using WKRP as a money loser to offset gains elsewhere.

    1. He is using the paper to kiss the asses of the uniparty congress. They, in turn, will leave Amazon anti-trust issues alone.

  4. As a former basketballer, I learned: When you full court press there are games when many minutes go by without success. Then, all of a sudden, you score six buckets in sixty seconds. Game over. Keep pressing, Mr. Trump.

  5. The Dimocrats always have owned Obummercare 100%.

  6. If I see Washington Post, Huffington Post, NY Times, LA Times headlines I just ignore them now. We have to learn from the former Soviets how to read the newspaper.

  7. Someone told the MSM to target the tracks if they want to fix Trump. So they're out to de-rail him.

    Pity for them he's in a tank.

  8. Once in a while, the Washington Generals led at halftime.

  9. The idiot Left, for 2 years laughed at the notion that Donald J. Trump could ever be president. For weeks before the election in November 2016, they laughed at the notion that Donald J. Trump could ever be president. The Obama Dimocrat left on election day and up to 9:00 p.m. of election night, as the votes came in, laughed at the notion that Donald J. Trump could ever be President.
    Why would anyone take them laughing at PRESIDENT Donald J. Trump now seriously?

  10. Trump and the ENTIRE Republican Party will be huge LOSERS if any version of Ryancare passes.

    There's zero constituency for it.

    The R voters, who put the R majority into Congress and Trump into the WH, voted for FULL REPEAL of Obamacare. That's what the R politicians campaigned on, and that's what we voted for. Because that's what we want.

    The D's, of course, want Obamacare - or to morph it into Single Payer.

    Ryancare merely Amends Obamacare in a variety of trivial ways, leaving virtually all of it intact. It will continue to fail catastrophically, of course. But, the BLAME for the failure will shift to the Republican Party, most of whom (minus the Freedom Caucus) will find themselves having to defend it.

    If elected R's, from Trump down, had the first clue - they would FULLY REPEAL Obamacare, include a provision to ensure continuous coverage for the trivial # of people (3% of the population) on Exchange Plans, and for those taking advantage of the Medicaid expansion. Tack on a few Free Market reforms - like abolishing federal minimum coverage requirements and forcing States to allow us to buy across state lines (using the Commerce Clause for its only actual intended purpose for a change), and then declare VICTORY and move on to Tax Cuts and Tax Reform.

    But, no, the only R's with a clue are the 25 or so in the Freedom Caucus, along with a few in the Senate. The rest are on board the Trump/Ryan political suicide train of transferring the blame for Obamacare's failure from the D's to the R's.

  11. So for the left Trump is one minute a dictator, the next an incompetent who can't pass one single bill.
    And Mike Pence is giving homos anal electrocutions while neglecting his duties investigating voter fraud.

  12. Ocare was passed because large numbers of middle class voters lost, then could not afford insurance coverage in a recession Obama did not cause but did little to end for selfish reasons. It was these voters who gave him the power to ruin the finest health care ever devised, although admittedly not available to all, largely because if it was it wouldn't be the best. Whatever deal Trump comes up with will be basically weak because of this basic concept. Free stuff is always worth what you pay for it but for many this is what they need or have become habituated to. In democracies the people revile their politicans as one worse than the other but it is they who are being stroked by these same reprobates to get elected, to which stroking they always offer no resistance, then later complain about the outcome. Personally I would like to have a more free market system, and it could be done, if it could be made so as not to stoke so much fear of change in the people it would serve. On the other hand if Trump can get the economy to 4% growth change to a better system will be easier from the confidence it would create. This is what his political enemies fear the most, success of capitalistic reforms. Trump should concentrate on these, maybe leave health care for another day, make his enemies weaker than ever as wealth spreads from his policies, not theirs.

    1. Ocare was passed to wreck private health insurance and pave the way for single payer. Mission Accomplished, with Trump's help so far.

  13. "The Art of the Deal" ~ Donald Trump
    "The Art of War" ~ Sun Tzu