News Sips Tipsheet 7/28: McCain, The Mooch, and MD’s John Quixote

Here’s for what you need to know before your skinny iced coffee gets warm, the July 28, 2017 edition of the tipsheet.

What DC’s Talking About: The McCain Betrayal

Senators John McCain (Arizona), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) joined with every single Democrat in the wee-hours of this morning to demolish the best hope Republicans had at getting to a repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Of course, the law is collapsing and people are losing healthcare coverage, but, that seemed not to phase the senior senator from Arizona and former GOP Presidential nominee (who voted in 2015 to repeal Obamacare and ran for re-election promising the people of Arizona that he would… repeal Obamacare). McCain’s “triumphant” return to the Senate earlier this week following his receiving a likely-terminal diagnosis of brain cancer, gave Republicans enough support to begin debate on an Obamacare fix.

McCain, who has been in the Senate for nearly thirty years, warned earlier in the evening that, without assurances from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan that the so-called “Skinny Repeal” was just a vehicle for conference changes, he would be a “no.” Speaker Ryan gave those assurances, but McCain seemed not to care, giggling with Murkowski and Collins as they deliberately killed any hope millions of Americans had at relief from the failing Obamacare system.

The President offered tepid (for him) critique of the Senate in a tweet (we should expect more in the coming hours if past is prologue). The President has fallen back on the rhetoric that Republicans will just have to let the law collapse and force Democrats to the negotiating table.

The path forward: A dejected Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to express a path forward for reform of Obamacare outside of expressing his disappointment over the failure of the Skinny Repeal bill. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that Senator McConnell really should never be counted out. However, this vote is likely to put any changes to Obamacare on the back-burner for months.

The real problem: There just aren’t enough Republican Senators. Democrats are united in their opposition to anything Trump (because it’s easier to fundraise that way). So, Republicans can only afford to lose two Senators on any piece of legislation.

2018 Looks Promising for Republicans with the right message. Senators in Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, West Virginia and Indiana are Democrats in states Trump won. Picking up eight seats would mean that Republicans wouldn’t need to use the strictures of reconciliation to pass important legislation and would be a great vehicle to get everyone on board.

News for About Five Hours: The Mooch Lets Loose

Before the healthcare debacle sent shockwaves through DC, the talk of the town was a piece from Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker where newly-minted White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci let loose a profanity-laden tirade against other folks in the West Wing including Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

The reason for the call to Lizza was, ostensibly, Scaramucci following up on an apparent leak from the West Wing to Lizza about a dinner the President was having with FoxNews’ Bill Shine and Sean Hannity. Lizza was not about to give up his sources and Scaramucci didn’t ask for the conversation to be off-the-record. The result? An unabashed look at the way people in the White House actually feel about one another.

This, of course, triggered holier-than-thou outrage and pearl-clutching from the DC media establishment despite the fact that they understand this is just the way some people talk. Scaramucci, for his part, tweeted that this article was the last time he trusted a journalist.

The President should be happy with Scaramucci’s interview, however. The one thing he displayed throughout the “interview” was an unshakable loyalty to Donald Trump. Lizza even notes in the article that Scaramucci’s loyalty to the President is uncommon, even in the Trump White House.

Despite the DC media catching the vapors, it looks like Scaramucci is being given freedom by the President to shake things up in the communications shop at the White House, and those changes can’t come soon enough for an Administration that is often getting tangled in its own messaging.

Maryland News: John Quixote: Delaney for… President?

Congressman John Delaney, in the judicially-recognized-to-be-politically-gerrymandered Sixth Congressional District will not be running for Governor of Maryland (as many, including your author had expected). In fact, he won’t even be running for re-election in Congress. Rather, the third richest member of Congress will be setting his sights on… you guessed it: the White House.

Don’t laugh. Seriously. Sure, John Delaney may be a complete political unknown with few legislative wins to speak of, but he has the same superpower as Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne: he’s amazingly rich. Before running for Congress and unseating long-time left-leaning Republican Roscoe Bartlett after Democrats in Annapolis redrew Congressional maps to remove the Republican stronghold in Western Maryland, Delaney was a successful banking executive.

Joking aside, Representative Delaney has been, by all accounts, a moderate Democrat in a House of Representatives whose left-wing has spiraled into a progressive parody.

Delaney was eyed by Maryland Republicans as having the best chance of unseating popular Republican moderate Governor Larry Hogan. With Delaney looking elsewhere, the only Democrats left in the race are sprinting to the left.

What the Rest of the World is Talking About: Pakistan

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif be removed from office over allegations of corruption. If you’re wondering why this matters, let’s remember where Osama Bin Laden was hanging out before we got him… and the fact that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Political instability is a bad thing in countries with nuclear weapons.

The charges stem from the Panama Papers, a detailed leak of offshore holdings for some of the world’s most powerful people. The issue got some coverage in the United States but largely didn’t capture the American attention as much as it did the rest of the world.

What We’re Reading

BBC: Russia Retaliates Over US Sanctions

Bloomberg: Oil Prices May Stay Low Forever

IJR: House Passes $1.6 Billion in Funding for Trump’s Border Wall

Matt McDaniel

Attorney and Political Commentator

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