Monday, November 4, 2019


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ISN’T IT RICH?

Who is not comfortable with Elizabeth Warren’s health care plan?

Predictably, the Wall Street Journal editorial board – although you really do want to read their whole piece to get a sense of what will be in all the negative Facebook and TV ads that will run if she is the nominee.

Slightly less predictably, Ross Douthat – read the whole thing here also to understand why even some people who can’t imagine four more years of Donald J. Trump might vote for him over Warren.

Perhaps unexpectedly, Bernie Sanders – this Washington Post story does a very nuanced job of running through the history and current status of the Warren-Sanders relationship in the context of the presidential campaign, including regarding health care.

Most importantly, apparently Elizabeth Warren is not all that comfortable with her own heath care plan – she had trouble with some of the financing facts this weekend.

My take: There is now probably a greater than 50% chance that the Democrats will nominate someone for president in 2020 who supports massive tax increases to pay for a new health care system that will take private health insurance away from about 170 million Americans. In the view of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and many, many other smart Democrats, that is the shortest explanation for the answer to the question, how can Donald Trump win a second term?

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Which makes Matthew Continetti’s New York Times op ed seem a bit off.  The underlying premise of the piece is that Trump will struggle to win another term.

Continetti writes:

“Mr. Trump has two ways he could regain his standing among independents and win over undecided voters. He can pray that Democrats nominate a candidate whose personality and policies independents find more unappealing than his own. Or he can modify the way he comports himself in public. It is telling that the least likely option is the one within Mr. Trump’s control.”

My take: That is a false binary. Team Trump is counting on the former happening, at which point there is a decent chance the incumbent will be inspired to do the latter.  If the Democrats nominate someone who, say, supports raising taxes massively to pay for a new health care system that will take private health insurance away from about 170 million Americans, the president will talk more about that and less about the streamofconsciousness “topics” that currently dominate his rallies.

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One topic the president will NEVER stop talking about is impeachment.

In that way, he is different from (a) most of the Democratic presidential candidates, and (b) almost all of the voters political reporters come across when they leave their Bethesda and Bronxville homes to travel to places such as Iowa, as Edward-Isaac Dovere writes in this essential read from the Atlantic.

My take: This disconnect continues to be the craziest thing going on in the politico-media firmament, and is the main reason (of many) to think that there will not be 20 Republican Senate votes for conviction.

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One person who IS talking (or, writing) about impeachment is Hugh Hewitt, who has a wicked smart piece of analysis about the role certain influential media voices will (or, could) play in determining if a Senate conviction is possible.

My take: Most analysis of the media’s role in impeachment is hopelessly biased to the point of uselessness. This piece is not partisan, just clever, in explaining one of the few moving pieces that could impact the outcome in a predictably unpredictable way.

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All week in Impeachmentville, summoned witnesses will not show up, or show up, to appear before House investigators.

My take: This will matter less than how quickly public hearings will begin and what they will look like.

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All week in the Democratic nomination battle, Team Biden will try to turn the debate to terms more favorable to their man; Team Warren will try to figure out how to turn health care into a plus; Team Sanders will try to decide if Bernie is playing the expectations game correctly; and Team Buttigieg will try to figure out if he needs to start acting differently now because he is in a new phase, or keep acting the same way because that is what got him to the new phase.

My take: That was my take.

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Top sports story: Lamar Jackson proves unstoppable, hands Bill Belichick’s team first loss of season

CBS Sports

Top business story: Under Armour Cooperating With Federal Accounting Investigation

New York Times

Top entertainment story: Box Office: ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Fizzles With $29 Million Debut

Variety

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