It was always a small and petty move — the drive to kill Obamacare on the seventh anniversary of its passage. But then again, the edict came down from a small and petty man, who in a Time interview released earlier today, revealed anew just how trifling and narcissistic he is. Money quote:
I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.
George W. Bush and his “Decider” blankie are now dismissed from consideration in the “dumbest verbal assertion of authority by a sitting president” sweepstakes.
Anyway, back to healthcare: I don’t know if Ryan and Trump can exert enough pressure on the tiny balls of their caucus to ram the Trumpcare bill through the House, but they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Everyone hates that fucking bill.
Meanwhile, in a parallel universe…
In the morning thread, Anne Laurie alluded to how LBJ phrased his realization that he was toast politically: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” There is no Cronkite in today’s fragmented media. Here’s the pablum Murdoch’s minions were spooning into Fox News viewers’ toothless gobs as more evidence of collusion between Trump campaign operatives and Russian spies came to light:
.@oreillyfactor on potential @POTUS surveillance: "We have to find out what @BarackObama knew and that puts the thing in the stratosphere." pic.twitter.com/5jmvtS0Fr3
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 23, 2017
.@newtgingrich: “This is one of the most incredible breaches that I can think of since World War II.” #Hannity pic.twitter.com/SSdPZdQyyc
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 23, 2017
Devin Nunes doesn’t seem very bright, but whoever wound him up and sent him out to undermine his own committee’s investigation yesterday likely had two goal in mind: 1) deploy shiny object to give cover to Trump’s tweeted lies about wiretapping, and 2) create an alternative narrative about the Russia scandal that is engulfing the Trump administration.
Now, I’m firmly in the “shitlords, not masterminds” camp; I don’t believe Trump’s people (including the ones operating out of Russia) are slick enough to pull this off and escape the consequences if proof emerges that Trump operatives colluded with Russia to rig the election. And in addition to the strong circumstantial evidence of collusion, credible people have alleged the proof goes beyond that.
The only question is, will a sufficient number of Republicans continue to put party over country to prevent action, even if a smoking gun emerges? I can’t imagine a scenario in which they’ll suddenly become patriots, unless it’s clear their jobs are on the line. So, it all comes down to that.
But we have a powerful ally in our fight — Trump himself. At age 70, he’s not going to suddenly discover self-discipline and learn how to play well with others. So, I like our chances. See above.
We need to waterboard all of FOX News to figure out which ones are Russian spies and which ones are Nazi sympathizers.
The smart money says both.
Masterminds, but shit at it.
This has been another edition of SATSQ.
We’re going down, down in an earlier round
And, sugar, we’re going down swinging
I’ll be your number one with a bullet
A loaded God complex, cock it and pull it
The blue knight rules! The red knight sucks the big one! Down, down, down. Right knight goin’ down. Down, down, down. Red knight goin’ down.
Dems gonna filibuster Gorsuck…good for them…
It would be rejected by every publisher as unbelievable.
Thing is, the reports about Manafort and Kelly all by themselves should be enough to blackmail anyone. I guess they’re all fake facts. Or something.
Considering that the Republicans are fundraising off the false claim that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump — party over country every time. Unless and until Trump becomes truly toxic — they we shall see the rats fleeing the sinking ship.
@TenguPhule: ‘All of them, Katie’. With the arguable exception of Shep Smith.
I think many Reps will jump ship if this gets really real. Don’t forget everyone he humiliated on the way up. Oh the gauntlet he will be walking on the way down…
@LAO: We’re going to find out who gave Nunes that “information”. It *will* come out.
And then we’re going to see some rubber hit some asphalt.
Oh, heavens if only so. It’s a war with the Ratcheted Wheel they’re fighting, and a true test of whether or not it can be broken for all time. Not to mention whether they can repeal my own ‘right to life’. We’ll see, but I’m having a giant plate of medium-rare crow if it fails in the House – and I’ll be eating it with a shit eating grin on my face.
And, btw, the WSJ has had enough.
Wherever wheels are turning….
“Masterminds” reminds me of some comedian (can’t remember who) sneering at the idea that terrorists have masterminds behind them:
@Gatchaman: Hollywood saying-“be nice to everyone on your way up because you will see all of them on your way down”
Doesn’t this fall under the Geoffrey category of “if you have make people call you king then you’re really not” or however it went with grandpa Lannister
Can you stop the bloodlust for thirty seconds please?
I’m frankly somewhat afraid of Trump getting impeached. It’s a balancing act:
Pence is less likely to start a war with Putin or China because his bluster didn’t work / because he doesn’t realize other countries have real nukes with real icbms too, but Pence is wildly more likely to be competent evil. Trump seems to lack the discipline to pass many bills. And Ryan is second in line.
Just got off the phone with my D congressman’s office. He is, of course, a no but the person on the phone said he was just heading out to the floor to vote. Anybody else out there hearing that the voting on the bill is starting?
@Marcopolo: They are voting on other bad things today.
@Earl: If we have the opportunity, we impeach Trump.
Honestly Trump is the best option going down the line of succession (Pence, Ryan, Hatch, Tillerson, Mnuchin) until you get to, maybe, Mattis. The only silver-bullet you can hope for is enough of a clusterf* that 2018 is a huge Dem wave.
@lollipopguild: His whole life has been a study in making sure that he never goes downward, even if it means destroying those around him. I just can’t imagine how sane adults could look at him and not see the worst, most entitled, most two-faced boss they have ever worked for.
@Ian: Tune your snarkometer to Aim, Captain.
Dave Brat’s office says he’s still a no.
Stand your ground, you Ayn Rand acolyte with a divinity degree.
@Ian: Whaa?? And spoil my good time?
Major Major Major Major
In Earth 2, progressives are slamming President Clinton for not offering single payer as a legislative option to improve Obamacare. “We might as well have elected Donald Fucking Trump,” says Cenk Uygur. “Although at least he doesn’t believe in empire.” Meanwhile, SCOTUS nominee Srinivasan is under fire for his 2015 decision upholding a ban on protesting at the Supreme Court building he hopes soon to work in.
@Earl: And all of em are traitors. So Keep moving down the chain till you hit the non-Republican.
@Barbara: You are right and yet—-he still finds adults who are willing to work for him.
@Major Major Major Major: In Earth 3, Baud! is coasting the Obama recovery to a new Pax Americana.
Major Major Major Major
@Earl: I am absolutely not going to play Realpolitik about whether we should have a mentally ill manchild in charge of the world’s largest military because the alternative knows how to give an interview.
@Earl: Why I’ve been advocating fresh elections. Poison fruit of a compromised election. Do a one-off fresh election for the 2016 federal seats up.
Unprecedented, yes, but so — to our knowledge — is rampant foreign influence and black money.
@Elizabelle: It really is mind boggling that people think Ayn Rand and Christianity are compatible. Rand herself did not. She was an atheist all the way to the end. Basically, Ayn Rand was trying to provide the secular justification of the values of tsarist Russia — to justify the vast wealth of very few people even if it meant the great suffering of vast numbers of people. It’s no wonder very few people rose up to fight alongside the white army.
I’ve been wondering who sent Nunes out yesterday too. I believe he met with Paul Ryan before he blabbed to Trump. I know Ryan has a highly inflated opinion of his abilities and is smugly overconfident but would he be stupid enough to advise or order Nunes to do something that just dug a bigger hole? There’s such a huge shitload of arrogance, recklessness, veniality and utter stupidity in the GOP and WH, I don’t think anyone can even guess what insanity they are capable of and will produce next.
@Barbara: The heart wants what it wants.
@Major Major Major Major:
@Major Major Major Major: Well said.
Major Major Major Major
@Barbara: Religions change and interpretations always proliferate. The prosperity gospel is real.
@Baud: No, the head perceives how it needs to be perceived by others in order to maintain power.
@Baud: On earth 4 God and Emperor BAUD! is minting gold coins with his likeness while interviewing nubile young ladies for jobs as his wives and concubines.
Americans reject Republican health plan in striking numbers
03/23/17 02:01 PM
By Steve Benen
A week ago, there was ample evidence that showed Americans just weren’t buying what Republicans were selling on health care. National survey data from Fox News, Public Policy Polling, and the Kaiser Family Foundation showed most of the country souring on the GOP’s American Health Care Act, which some call “Trumpcare.”
Of course, polls can change, and in the case of the Republican legislation, public attitudes have, in fact, shifted – but not in a direction GOP leaders will like.
@Barbara: I know. Brat must have a really big … brain. To square that one.
I can’t be doing too badly, because Trump’s under FBI investigation and I’m not.
Today’s thing that is making my head hurt: Trump and his minions are bragging that being surveilled by the FBI EXONERATES them?
@Baud: Our housepets can drive us around too, on Baud Earth 3. No Uber. No nasty Travis Kalanicks. Just Rover and Toonces, at the wheel. Pax Americana.
eta. We are sedated, with Bombay Sapphire or whatever we like. Some of our pets are not skilled at steering. On the plus side, they cannot shoot.
@rikyrah: Lets take something that works for people and helps people and mess with it and change it so that it f#@ks all of the people that it used to help and then we tell people that it is BETTER! Yes, that’s the ticket!
Offered without comment because sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
Thru the Looking Glass...
Hell, they won’t crack until their ASSES are on the line, and then, and only then, will they budge…
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@LAO: is the entire Freedom Caucus em-penised? How has Marsha Blackburn not figured out how much camera time she could get by being their only woman member?
Thru the Looking Glass...
@TenguPhule: I dunno… Regnery Press might go it…
@LAO: they could only look more empathetic in Roman collars and skirts.
@LAO: There aren’t enough curses in enough languages to express that picture.
@LAO: Dave Brat’s in there. Goldbug tie. Just behind Pence. Represent.
Well they’re really pulling out all the stops to get this thing passed.
Spicer: Older Men ‘Can Generally Say’ They Don’t Need Maternity Care
Republican leaders on Thursday signaled to hardline conservatives that the Senate may add a provision to the bill gutting Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits (EHB) rule, which mandates that insurance plans cover a basic minimum of health care services, including maternity care.
“A lot of people buy insurance not knowing what they’re going to need,” RealClearPolitics reporter Alexis Simendinger noted to Spicer during his daily briefing.
“Well, I think if you’re an older man you can generally say you’re not going to need maternity care,” Spicer replied.
@Thru the Looking Glass…: Fiction has to make you at least suspend disbelief.
Thru the Looking Glass...
This kind of maneuvering smacks more of Steve Bannon than Paul Ryan… it’s not unlike that phony tax return stunt that got ran on Rachel Maddow…
My money goes on the WH for the origination of this one… especially seeing how quickly Nunes was able to get in to see Cheeto…
The sound you just heard was my head bouncing off my desk. I just realized where the photo originated. Offered again without comment.
Oh and lookie here.
Federal Landlord Rules Trump’s DC Hotel Doesn’t Violate Lease Terms
The federal government agency that owns the building housing President Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel has determined that it not violate the terms of its lease, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
The General Services Administration’s ruling comes as a huge blow for watchdog groups and Democrats who’ve charged that Trump’s presidency put his company in breach of the lease, which states that an elected official may not be involved with or benefit from the agreement.
Thru the Looking Glass...
@TenguPhule: Yeah, but happens when it drives you to sniffing glue?
Thru the Looking Glass...
Yeah, but what about prostate cancer or Viagra?
Do I get to refuse to pay for treatments for testicular cancer and prostate cancer now? After all, why should I be burdened with paying for cancer treatments for cancers I will never get?
Today in Soviet America….Crooks decide they are not in fact crooks.
How in heaven’s name (literally) can anybody square that circle, given Rand’s militant atheism? Even Paul Ryan had to back the hell off his Rant proselytizing to keep making nice with the fundies (not that he isn’t still a True Believer).
A Facebook friend reports that Chris Smith (NJ-4), who once upon a time was my representative, has moved from undecided to no. He’s one of the so-called moderates. That puts at least 2 of the 3 NJ Rs in the no camp.
How old was Trump when his youngest child was born, again?
But I guess Melania should have paid for that care out of her own pocket and not bothered the Master of the Universe about such petty things once he’d planted his seed.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
to add little bit to what the Canadian Ali Veshey (sp?) just said on MSNBC: No woman, younger or older, needs treatment for prostate issues
(also, I almost wish Strom Thurmond was on this side of the gates of hell so we could ask him if older men have any interest in maternity care)
I saw this pointed out on another forum, but it appears that Nunes got himself a little boo-boo in between his two meetings with the press…
(Note the mark on his forehead in the second video that was not present in the first one.)
@trollhattan: He also has a Ph.D. in the dismal science.
Reality-based. You be the judge.
@Baud: I can imagine that status from a Baud presidency more than I could have imagined what is going down now.
Our country is being run on the basis that everything said on Fox, no matter how preposterous, is the gospel truth. And furthermore, that’s all their base is hearing. So in that context, this is evidence for Trump’s insane conspiracy theory about being wiretapped by Obama, and wingnuts will totally believe that. In wingnut media, the Russian allegations are dismissed as “fake news” if they are mentioned at all, and the only treason is Obama doing on them and leakers leaking.
I always glance at the Washington Times headlines if I happen to pass a news track, and yesterday’s (pre-Nunes) was about how Adam Schiff was just reciting the “discredited” dossier as if it were true, not taking about any actual evidence. Just started as fact that it was discredited, of course.
I don’t think any of that will save them from reality, but they do seem to fully believe that wingnut world is reality.
@Timurid: Mark of Cain or his human-mask is wearing thin?
@Baud: If we have the opportunity means if it’s proved he did serious illegal things that most people consider treason. I think we HAVE to impeach then or be like Ford pardoning Nixon which in hindsight has not worked out well. However I am no longer worried about President Pence or Ryan because I think if Trump’s actions are actually provable, there will be others going down too/first. Not sure if it will actually be Pence and Ryan but enough important republicans that the party will be seriously constrained. Possibly lose their large majority due to jail. However the whole situation keeps changing (for the worse for republicans so far) so dramatically that pre guessing is looking like a waste of time. Just deal with it when it’s a real decision not theoretical.
@Baud: On Earth 6, Republican prisoners duel to the death for the amusement of the masses under the benevolent reign of the Dalek occupation.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Paul Ryan has postponed his news conference
well. oiled. machine.
Sadly I don’t even think you have to venture all the way to the Soviets, the GOP has internalized the Nixon mantra, It’s not a crime if the Presidents does it”. Every day, multiple times a day, Twitler and Co. do things that if a democrat even contemplated doing they’d howl like crazy, and the villagers would all expire on their fainting couches. Nixon is where way too many of these roaches were spawned, and the GOP still has not recovered from the fact that he was a crook. They will see no evil and hear no evil to make sure that another one of theirs isn’t drummed out of office.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner share a chuckle.
@bemused: The NRCC is fundraising based on an intentionally false misreading of what Nunes said. Ryan and company were absolutely in on the planning of what Nunes did. In FoxWorld now, everything Trump tweeted about Obama has proven to be true. This was a coordinated effort by the whole Republican machine.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Again?
Just vote this sucker down and be done with it.
I don’t trust them with tax reform either. Pink hats to the ready! Aux barricades.
@Mnemosyne: @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I start and end with V.i.a.gra, why should I pay for you to pretend you are still a stud? Stop covering boner pills and then we can talk. Till then STFU.
@bemused: Lawrence O’Donnell’s description last night was that Nunes was shown something -> Talked with Ryan about it -> Headed to Trump -> Stopped to hold a press conference -> Talked with Trump about it -> Held a second press conference about it.
You’ve never heard of the “success / prosperity” gospel? Where the flow of good material things follows Jesus. It’s right there in the New Testament, in the Gospel According to (You Better Call) Saul.
@hovercraft: And so can older women and women who have had hysterectomies, and older women can also confidently predict that they will not need care for prostate cancer, unlike men, who also cannot totally predict that they won’t need care for breast cancer. The thing here is, these guys are operating on almost no sleep, and as they get to the end of their rope, the more likely it is that they are going to show their true selves and let slip what they really think, a la Senator Roberts. It will not be a pretty sight.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Tom Cole, Ryan loyalist, says he’s not surprised at reports the vote won’t happen today. Multiple (unnamed) sources saying the same thing. Alex Witt calls it “reportable”
Iowa Old Lady
@Mnemosyne: An older man who thinks we each should pay only for the health care we need would lose bigly. Older men are prone to problems with cholesterol, blood pressure, etc before you even get to prostate problems.
Strom Thurmond was 70-something when his last kid was born.
Awful awful thought: Therefore, another Trumpenkinder could be foisted upon us.
@Redshift: “The fact that they have video of me murdering that guy on that night TOTALLY PROVES I didn’t rob that liquor store.”
@gvg: Even if there weren’t a large number of GOP critters imprisoned and literally removed from the playing field, impeachment would impart some massive collateral damage to their brand. Pence would be completely hamstrung, as would Ryan and McConnell, all the attention of every GOP congressperson would go exclusively to distancing themselves from the Fallen One before their next election, and on and on.
Even if McConnell, for instance, can’t be jailed for what he knew and did nothing about during the election, the enabler label will be stuck on all these guys. They’ve been so aggressively party over country that their reputation is shot. The Republican name will be shit for a good long time if this keeps going down the path it is.
And the vote tonight is cancelled. (maybe — who knows who to trust)
Just announced on CNN: health care bill vote will not take place tonight! Good work everyone and keep the pressure on :).
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
WHAT??? But today’s the anniversary and everything!
The AP is reporting it, too.
ETA: So far, it’s a textbook example of how not to do significant legislation. I’m hoping they can add several chapters to that tome as this Congress goes on.
@cmorenc: It’s called Calvinism. If you have a successful business, it’s because god wants you to be successful. Predeterminism to the nth degree.
Everything about the political history of the US over the last 45 years says this will not happen.
There really isn’t anything that’s over the line for them. There is no line.
Then 2 to 4 years will pass and all will be forgotten.
ETA: And for the people with memories longer than a fly’s lifetime, we’ll have NEW! IMPROVED! REPUBLICANS!!!! that are 80% the same people and a bunch of new, principled conservatives (for real this time).
Not if Melania has anything to say about it.
Trump feeling exonerated reminds me of the headstone that reads “I told you I was sick”
Trump is always on the lookout for his next ex-wife, so it’s not really up to her.
Suffragete City elftx
So what happens if they find someone in IC they can pin and haul before Congress? Based on what the State news is pushing I would not put them past it and I don’t think it would be pretty.
I think this is more important than the Liberty caucus clowns who will only back it if it is made more regressive. I want to see the Alaska rep say no because it is HORRIBLE for his constituents.
If Hair Furor gets removed from office or quits, I would have to think that President** Pence would be too tarnished to accomplish all that much evil before the next election, and will probably suffer a sound defeat in said election. Even the zombie phoenix-like resiliency of the GOP (their motto should be “no matter how badly we fuck up, we always come back!”) will need some time to recover from the catastrophe of their president being forced out of office for being a Putin stooge, or mentally unfit, or both, or a petulant child who quits, or all of those, or whatever.
Pence has perversely been something of a beneficiary from his alliance with Hair Furor in that he seems sane and competent by comparison, but if he actually has to step into the presidency, I have to think, beyond having the stink of Hair Furor all over him, he’ll demonstrate to the country what the voters of Indiana already knew and were getting ready to tell him at the ballot box when he got tapped for VP – he’s a bumbling, extremist dipshit who should not be anywhere in the vicinity of power.
@bemused: child molestation is still over the line. So far. It’s the threat of that becoming public which is keeping them in line with the Russians.
@Turgidson: Pence would be the dock next to Trump. He’s in too deep not to be pulled in as part of the plot.
@Thru the Looking Glass…: Ask your boss about that, Spicer…
I think a divorce while president would be a really bad idea for him. All his dirty laundry would be aired in public. It would be hard to imagine his taxes not being relevant, and you can bet people would be suing like crazy to get access to them. I think he’s going to avoid that if he possibly can. An affair and illegitimate spawn, though, I can certainly imagine.
@Kropadope: You and dr. bloor are probably right, of course. I’m trying to be hopeful that there is a line that can’t be safely crossed and that the ratcheting up of the bender so aggressively and for so long means the crash is truly hard. At the least, I don’t think a President Pence would have any juice, and clearly lacks the personal magnetism it would take to make it.
No One You Know
@hovercraft: Good thing these old men don’t have daughters. Or mistresses. Eh, Spicer?
@MCA1: I think you have some good points. The one thing we know about the rethugs and their fans is that they are purely tribal; wouldn’t a huge political scandal and their hero being revealed conclusively to be a Russian stooge be too far out of the tribe for them to accept? How about if Kelly is shown conclusively to have sold out to the Russians, plainly committing treason and being charged by the military courts, not the now-toothless DOJ? Or any of the rest of the campaign advisors and cabinet picks, how about all of them at once? At what point does their Stockholm Syndrome break? Even if it never does, the non-base voters will have to be impressed by just how much corruption is going to be revealed here very soon (FSM willing).
At what point do we start calling it Moscow Syndrome?
Not if those US Today stories about Melania are true.
EDIT: Or what Roger Moore #99 said two and a half fucking hours ago.
J R in WV
Well, we can hope that as the evidence is revealed, it will be from indictments being unsealed naming politicians such as Ryan, McConnell and Pence, executives like Tillerson and Mnuchen and then ending with a wheelbarrow full of evidence against Trump, leading to his impeachment the same week all the others are taken into custody.
It would be fabulous to have the Supremes direct that new “Snap” elections be held two weeks after the former president is removed. For example.
We have such fine fantasies!
@Barbara: It’s always fun to point out to so-called Christians who are also (for some reason) Ayn Rand fans that occultist Anton LaVey used Rand’s Objectivist philosophy as the basis for his Church of Satan.