Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday News & Notes: the AHCA & Army Sports

Happy Saturday, folks!

There's a lot of Army sports on TV today, but first, it'd be impossible not to mention what happened to the AHCA yesterday.  In the end, the House didn't even call their bill to a vote because it became clear that it was not going to pass.  Freedom Caucus members thought it was "Obamacare Lite," a fair charge if you ask me, and moderates in historically Democratic districts thought it cut benefits too much.  Also a fair charge.

In the end, the AHCA was a piece of shit that no one liked, and it went down because, well, no one liked it.

As I told my daughter Hannah before the vote, Republicans have become the Party of Nope.  The Freedom Caucus in particular have built a brand around "Nope!"  Those guys hate literally everything.  So they said, "Nope!" and Dems were all too happy to go along, and here we are.

My favorite piece on this topic came out yesterday from David Frum, who lost his job at a conservative think tank in 2010 by trying to argue in favor of compromise on Obamacare back when Obama was in office.

By refusing to compromise, the GOP has just proven that it's never going to get much done, and when the Dems retake the Congress in 2018, conservatives won't even have a voice in government.  And that's a disaster for everyone, even Dems.  Both parties need to be protected from their own worst instincts--is this news?--but instead we have the fringes on both sides trying to run the country.  I don't know if you've noticed, but that's not working.

What's worse is that the nation itself is sinking into despair.  People are just sad.  They mourn the loss of our once-great nation but don't seem to know where to go next.

As Frum himself said back in 2010:

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters—but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say—but what is equally true—is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed—if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office—Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

I was on the train yesterday talking to the conductor.  One of her colleagues just killed himself.  I said, "It's tough.  People are hurting."

She looked at me wistfully, nodded, and walked away.

In the aftermath of the AHCA's failure, the finger-pointing has become unexpectedly interesting.  Trump surprised everyone by blaming Democrats, who--astonishingly--decided not to own that straight-up and pointed back at Trump.

Why point?  If I'm a House Democrat, I take credit.

"Yes, *I* killed the AHCA."  That will play perfectly in Democratic districts.

It plays perfectly here in Connecticut, where my own sister-in-law, owner of an independent bakery, gets to keep her health care coverage.  She was really sweating this vote!

* * *

We've got a full day of Army Sports ahead of us.  It starts at noon with Army Women's Lax.

Game to be broadcast on the Patriot League Network.  This is the Women's first year as an NCAA program, and at 4-5, I think it's safe to say that they have dramatically exceeded expectations.

Bad field conditions locally have moved this series to Cary, NC.  First pitch is at 2 pm.  As of this writing, Army is 7-12 but on something of a hot streak as it approaches Patriot League play.  Sadly, I think the only way to follow the game is via Army Baseball on Twitter.

While we're talking Army Baseball, the Black Knights are taking on the Mets in Queens in an exhibition game on Friday next week.  That ought to be quite a game.

Army-Navy Rugby starts at 2 pm!

As of this writing, Army Rugby sits at 10-2, having beaten Air Force and a bunch of other teams but having dropped games to Penn State and San Diego State.  They'll face Notre Dame in the first round of the Varsity Cup playoffs on April 8th.

As of this writing, we're is down two in the Star series.  Go Army!

Starting at 3:30 pm, you're 8th ranked Army Men's Lacrosse team takes on Colgate at Michie Stadium, game to be televised via Twitter.

Locally, Fairfield Craft Ales has agreed to show the game in their taproom--I hope they've realized that they'll need either a smart TV or a Chromecast to make that happen--but now I'm not sure I can go.  I agreed weeks ago to accompany my wife to Hot Yoga, and apparently our Groupon is about to expire.

* * *

I think I'm done here.  Have a good weekend!

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