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Tennessee Two-Stepping

A potentially very important development this evening on the Obamacare repeal front, as TPM's Lauren Fox reports. HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), a key figure in internal GOP wrangling over repeal and eventual (if ever?) replacement, told reporters on the Hill that Obamacare repeal should come after a replacement is in place and "available" to consumers.

At the same time and in a similar vein, Alexander's fellow Tennesseean, Bob Corker, was expressing his frustration that repeal as planned would wipe out the tax revenue to pay for an Obamacare replacement.

Just to emphasize the point: these comments, especially Alexander's, are very much at odds with the McConnell-Ryan plan for immediate repeal.

This Chart May Stun You (Or Not)

The statistics covering American manufacturing are complex. American manufacturing is by many metrics doing great. It's American manufacturing jobs which have declined steeply. That's a result of international competition but even more automation. Most of us know this broad story. What most don't know is how recent the drop is.

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Obamacare's Barbed Hook

Philip Klein has an important piece on the politics of Obamacare repeal in The Washington Examiner. It's dressed up with a lot of digs at the law and the promises which were made on its behalf - not all of which are unfair. But the key point he makes is very much on the mark. Republicans are going to have a very hard time with Obamacare repeal as long as they claim that no one will lose their coverage in the process.

Klein puts it this way.

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Times of Israel: "The Palestinian truck driver who killed four IDF soldiers in a truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem on Sunday was reportedly motivated to act after hearing a sermon at his local mosque attacking US President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."

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