One More Bit Related to Charlottesville

…and the attack on Southern heritage (according to some, who have nothing to do with any hate group) or on symbols of slavery and oppression (according to some others, who also have nothing to do with any hate group).  This one is by Steven Hayward of Powerline:

So we seem to be on our way to tearing down every statue related to the Democratic Party’s largest achievement in American history—the Confederate States of America. Funny how the Confederate battle flag, and now statues, didn’t start to come down until Republicans became ascendant in southern states. Democrats who had a monopoly grip on the South for decades had lots of time to take these steps, but didn’t. You’d almost think they were opportunists.

Obamacare and Drug Abuse

From a Wall Street Journal op-ed, come a couple of very telling statistics regarding the opioid addiction epidemic.

…overdose deaths per million residents rose twice as fast in the 29 Medicaid expansion states—those that increased eligibility to 138% from 100% of the poverty line—than in the 21 non-expansion states between 2013 and 2015.

And

There were also marked disparities between neighboring states based on whether they opted into ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. Deaths increased twice as much in New Hampshire (108%) and Maryland (44%)—expansion states—than in Maine (55%) and Virginia (22%). Drug fatalities shot up by 41% in Ohio while climbing 3% in non-expansion Wisconsin.

Right Idea, Wrong Target

Charlottesville, VA, Mayor Mike Signer (D):

I’m not going to make any bones about it.  I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in America today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president.

True enough; that is where last weekend’s sorry events began.  The identity politics of the last eight years by the White House of ex-President Barack Obama (D) and by his mentee, Democratic Party White House hopeful Hillary Clinton, and those associated with the two created the conditions that caused the rioting in Charlottesville last Friday and Saturday.

Jeff Flake Misunderstands

Senator Jeff Flake (R, AZ) thinks the Republican Party should have put the kibosh on then-citizen Donald Trump’s birtherism regarding then-candidate and later then-President Barack Obama, and he’s right about that.  The birtherism bit was just a bit of trolling and head gamesmanship, but it spread and became a distraction for Republicans.

But on the matter of Hillary Clinton and Trump-supported and occasionally -led chants of “lock her up,” Flake misunderstands.

We shouldn’t be the party for jailing your political opponents[.]

Gun Control

A bill is making progress in Congress that would allow concealed carry license holders, whose license was issued in one State (their State of residence) to concealed carry their weapons in all States: the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.  The bill also would require such a carrier to abide by the laws of the State they’re visiting, including all of that State’s gun-free zone designations.  In this way, the reciprocity law is similar to drivers license reciprocity, under which it’s legal to drive in any State so long as the driver both is licensed in his home State and obeys the driving laws of the State he’s visiting.

Mueller’s Grand Jury

Judge Andrew Napolitano thinks the reason Special Counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury as part of his “investigation” into alleged Russia collusion by members of President Donald Trump’s campaign staff is so Mueller can use the jury’s subpoena power to compel testimony and the delivery of documents.  Napolitano also said, in FoxNews insider‘s paraphrase, that the jury’s convening is

a sign that Mueller has found something from some source….

Collapsing Obamacare

These data are from the Kaiser Family Foundation.  There was such hope by the health care coverage providers at the start; then the realities of the “market” place hit, and hit hard.  Following the early expansion of coverage providers into ObamaMart, the drop-off in companies between 2016 and 2017, and the resulting collapse of choice—in too many counties, even of any availability at all—is stark.  It’s expected to get worse in 2018 and 2019, too.

The State-by-State drop off is presented in the table below, constructed from KFF‘s table at the link.  The average drop-off across all States is nearly 23%.

Brexit and Taxing

Great Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has committed to the EU that, if he has anything to do with it, the Brits will remain, post-Brexit, a “socially responsible” nation with a taxing régime that will match the EU’s taxing régime.  In other words, he’ll do his best to prevent Great Britain from attracting business by being a business-friendly, tax competitive nation.  Like Ireland is, with its 15% tax rate.

The Wall Street Journal has characterized Hammond’s commitment to economic disarmament “a mistake for the ages.”  I think the WSJ is mistaken.

Senate Workings

Senator Jim Lankford (R, OK) had some thoughts on this in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal.  In the main, he was pushing back against the desire of some to get rid of the filibuster, and he offered instead some other corrective actions that are worth considering.  In the main, I agree with him on the filibuster; although I believe that the Progressive-Democrats, when (not if) they next become the majority party in the Senate, will get rid of the filibuster altogether, and for the same reason they got rid of the filibuster on judge nominations other than for the Supreme Court: to stop those uppity Republicans from getting in the way.

A Bit More on Health Care Coverage

Senator Susan Collins (R, ME) is worried about health care plan availability to our poor, which she thinks would be endangered were President Donald Trump to act on his thoughts regarding cutting off the funds the Feds pay to health coverage plan providers to get them to charge (artificially) lower deductibles and copays from the poor.

It really would be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable citizens if those payments were cut off. They’re paid to the insurance companies, but the people that they benefit are people who make between 100% and 250% of the poverty rate.