Round one

The first big battle of the Trump administration is going to be over Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with vouchers. We’ve got to win this battle. Remember, Bush losing the battle to privatize Social Security was the beginning of the end for him. I’m calling my Congress people about this later today. Josh Marshall says Dems don’t have a plan yet:

Over recent days, as I’ve spoken to people in the world who might lead the fight against Paul Ryan’s plan to phaseout Medicare and replace it with private insurance vouchers and one message is quite clear: No one is paying attention. No one is ready. No one has a plan. Half the people are still too shell-shocked to think about anything. The other half are telling themselves something so crazy can’t happen. But wait, at least one person on TV is starting to talk about this.

254 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    I can’t make calls from work, but I will be faxing letters to all of my federal reps even though I’m in a deep blue part of California. They need to know that their voters are behind them.

  2. 2

    Call your representative even if you’re in a red district.

  3. 3
    Trentrunner says:

    @PaulWartenberg2016: Shouldn’t that be “especially” if you’re in a red district? I mean, for a bill not to pass in this Congress, we’ll need GOP defections (assuming no filibuster), yes?

  4. 4

    Well, think Chuck Schumer’s going to fight?

  5. 5
    JMG says:

    @Raven Onthill: Yes. Question is how effectively he will/can. That’s where we come in.

  6. 6
    kirbster says:

    Even in blue Massachusetts, I’ll be calling my reps to register my objections to Ryan’s “Coupons and Catfood for Codgers” plan.

  7. 7
    WereBear says:

    I am hoping this is disinformation put out to lull the enemy, because otherwise, WTFAHFATT?

  8. 8
    waspuppet says:

    No one is paying attention. No one is ready. No one has a plan. Half the people are still too shell-shocked to think about anything. The other half are telling themselves something so crazy can’t happen.

    God I hate us sometimes.

    Republicans ALWAYS hit the ground running. They know if people are paying attention, they lose.

  9. 9
    waspuppet says:

    @WereBear: WTFAHFATT?


  10. 10
    kindness says:

    @Raven Onthill: WTF does that mean? Honestly have more class than that, eh? Schummer sucks on Wall Street but I don’t doubt him where Social Security and MediCare are concerned.

  11. 11
    NMgal says:

    Saw evidence from those who already called per Mayhew’s earlier thread on Medicare that even many Democratic congresspeople seem to be taking the “we don’t have a position yet because there’s no bill yet” line. Call and tell them you don’t want to see them wait for a bill, vote nay, lose, then issue a regretful news release about how they tried. They know what’s coming down the pike, start figuring out now how to counter it as effectively as possible. May still go down, but go down fighting, not simpering dammit.

  12. 12
    Alabama Blue Dot says:

    We have some fired-up people down here in Alabama and this is something we can get them engaged in right away. Our Democrats are…..disorganized on a state level but lots of grass roots enthusiasm (250 people at a meeting in Birmingham Monday night!). If there are some Reps or Senators who emerge as leaders, we’ll add them to our call list.

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    @waspuppet: What The Freakin’ Asshole Fuckery Are They Talking

    It was spontaneous. Not necessarily grammatical.

  14. 14
    Oatler. says:

    Schumer’s still waiting for Wall Street to allow him to fight.

  15. 15

    Hit Trump on his vanity. “Does the president-elect really want his legacy to be dismantling Medicare? The president who made the elderly scared to see a doctor for the first time in two generations?”

    Be cheeky about it. “The President-elect didn’t run on demolishing Medicare. We should let the people decide in 2020. If they re-elect him, he can go ahead.”

    @Raven Onthill: Of course he is, don’t be ridiculous. This will be his first test though.

    ETA: @Oatler.: Jesus, people, can we cut this shit out? The man was just elected this morning.

  16. 16
    NR says:

    @Raven Onthill: Like I said: Democrats don’t learn. Trump just got elected running against Wall Street and the big banks, and who do we pick for the highest profile position in opposition to him? The Senator who’s closest to Wall Street and the big banks.

    Get ready for another big loss in 2018, folks.

  17. 17
    Steeplejack says:


    Or comprehensible.

  18. 18
    Poopyman says:


    Republicans ALWAYS hit the ground running.

    Yeah, like Trump’s transition team.

    Don’t get me wrong, Trump’s people are pikers compared to long-time congresscritters, and there’s much work to be done and little time to do it.


    I haven’t seen (nor do I expect to) evidence that Ryan has a firm majority behind him on this in the House. And the Senate? I think there are plenty of wobbly Republican senators (insert your own joke here.)

  19. 19
    tobie says:

    Called the office of Andy Harris (District 1, GOP, Maryland) about this and was told that he would fight to keep Medicare. I made it clear that I didn’t want Ryan’s premium support, just traditional Medicare, and the fellow on the phone said that’s what the Congressman would fight for. I don’t believe it for a moment but wanted to make sure at least one Dem called him as the representative of Maryland’s one super-red district.

  20. 20
    Poopyman says:

    @NR: You’re so boringly predictable.

  21. 21
    MomSense says:

    This is what happens when you elect a bunch of sociopaths.

  22. 22
    Shalimar says:

    @WereBear: The Republican House has passed it 5 years in a row. Why would you think it is disinformation now that they have the Senate and Presidency too? They want to do this really badly. The only thing I don’t understand is talking about it in November rather than quickly passing it with no notice or discussion on January 20th, which makes a lot more sense from their point of view.

  23. 23
    Shalimar says:

    @NR: Sure, sure, but you should say it in Russian for a more ominous effect.

  24. 24
    Glidwrith says:

    Fuck. As part of getting more organized I looked for the closest Democratic party near me, which is in Poway. They had had a meeting on Nov 10th, which I imagine was no fun at all but I was hoping for one later this month.

    They won’t meet again until Jan 12th. Way to drop the ball guys. Guess I will have to find someplace else.

  25. 25
    Mike in dc says:

    Where does AARP stand on Medicare privatization? I know they make a bundle on Medicare advantage, so I wonder if they are compromised on this issue.

  26. 26
    BGinCHI says:

    I live in a deep blue district, and while I can tell Jan Schakowsky I’m behind her, I think she already knows.

    But what I CAN do, and did yesterday, is to email relatives and friends in red districts the info and some tips for calling their reps and asking hard questions about Medicare, the deficit, and so on. You can do this too. The more these emails get forwarded to people who will make calls, the more impact it has.

    Email at least 1 person today!

  27. 27

    I just told Senator Patricia Murray to fight it, and asked her to come out fighting. Talked to Washington state Senators Murray’s and Cantwell’s offices. Neither seemed aware; I’m pretty sure I caught Cantwell’s staffer entirely flat-footed. Murray’s staffer said that they’d already had one call on it (it’s 10:20am here.) I can’t find contact information for my incoming representative Jayapal.

  28. 28
    dogwood says:

    Get real. Trump ran against blacks, hispanics, muslims, women. I live in a red WWC community. They don’t give a shit about bankers, trade deals or anything else. They hate minorities, gays, educated people, and democrats. They love guns more than they love their own children. I read the Newsweek oppo dump on Bernie. Plenty of stinky stuff. His white populist movement wasn’t gonna be as effective as Trump’s.

  29. 29
    NR says:

    @Shalimar: Sure. Let’s keep blaming the Russians for our problems.

    Say, what do you think the 28th through 33rd amendments to the Constitution will look like? After the Republicans win just a few more state legislative chambers, they’ll be able to amend it at will, after all. Do you think they’ll settle for just passing an amendment banning abortion, or do you think they’ll go all the way and repeal the 19th ammendment?

  30. 30

    @Shalimar: Maybe they don’t actually want to pass it and Yertle is counting on the filibuster to save everybody’s legacy.

  31. 31
    Inmourning says:

    I have emailed my rep and my 2 senators. I told them my personal situation (RA), and how any move to modify Medicare would negatively affect my health ( constant pain and crippled hands). I reminded them that Trump had said before the election he would support no change to these programs, but now he has changed his mind. He will sign anything Ryan sends him, and moments after the inauguration. So the time to act is now. I expressly notified them that I would consider any vote to support Ryan’s plan a betrayal of the promises they have made to Senior Citizens. I plan to include any response in a letter to the editor. We need all hands on deck and we need them now!

  32. 32
    Shalimar says:

    @NR: The point was that Russian intelligence has staffers paid to put out the exact type of discord you specialize in. If you’re doing it for free, you’re an idiot.

  33. 33
    Dia says:

    No no no no. Let’s just repeal all of it immediately — the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, NAFTA, everything.
    Especially Nafta:
    (my favorite line in the article: “After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we sealed the border with Mexico and Canada, and within a week auto plants in Michigan had to begin shutting down because they were not getting access to parts they depended on from Mexico,” said Rob Scott, director of trade and manufacturing at the Economic Policy Institute.)

    No grandfathering of any existing program. No safety net. Nothing.

    People don’t want big government? That’s what they voted for, didn’t they?

    So let’s do this, and see what happens.

  34. 34
    Emma says:

    @NR: Spare me. You don’t want to do anything except receive our surrender to your political positions. All the posing as a concerned citizen doesn’t change that.

  35. 35
    NR says:

    @Shalimar: It’s you guys who just lost to Trump. If anything, the Russians should be paying you.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    When calling remind the reps or senators, that Ryan said Obamacare bankrupted Medicare. Explain why this is a lie.

  37. 37
    dogwood says:

    You’re just the type of voter the Russians are laughing about right now. If you want to get in bed with the people working with hostile foreign powers to influence elections, go ahead. But anybody on my side who gets in bed with guys like Weaver isn’t going to get my support.

  38. 38
    NR says:

    @Emma: Oh, come on, Emma. With your spectacular record of electoral success over the last eight years, why would I possibly want you to change anything?

  39. 39
    coin operated says:

    No position yet? How about “No Vouchers”. That’s a position.

    Simple argument, if nobody has made it above me; We know that Medicare is the most efficient health care system we have as far as overhead is concerned. The majority of fraud and abuse that occurs is on the provider end…the insurance companies and doctors that bill the system. Vouchers will make it easier to hide that fraud/abuse.

  40. 40
    gogol's wife says:

    @Mike in dc:

    Still waiting for an answer from AARP. Spent a half hour on the phone this morning trying to find someone who wasn’t just trying to sell me insurance. I think they’re probably worthless, but we’ll see.

  41. 41
    Shalimar says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I have 0 doubt that Republican office-holders want to eliminate Medicare and Social Security. Every time someone has pointed out over the last 25 years that eliminating discretionary spending like food stamps and roads won’t even dent the budget because most of it is Defense, Social Security and Medicare, they say to themselves “hell, yes, get rid of those too, except the military to protect from a coup. Fuck the government.”

    McConnell might hold them back, but only if he believes the backlash will cost them the 2018 midterms.

  42. 42
    gogol's wife says:


    Да, Россия виновата. Без всякого сомнения.

  43. 43
    Turgidson says:

    I’m surprised the Granny Starver isn’t being more coy about all this. He apparently thinks his Better Way (to go broke and die) plans were the real reason Trump “won”.

    If they’re serious about doing this, they’ll do it in the first couple weeks after Trump is sworn in and then hope it goes down the memory hole in time for the midterms. Many in the party (maybe not the True Randian Believer Granny Starver) know that the electorate, even the angry white crackers who keep sending them to Washington, want nothing to do with a Medicare demolition scheme. If they tried this close to an election, the blue hairs might even flip to the Democrats or stay home in enough numbers to knock some of them out of office.

    Most of the party, in its current, demented, cruel state, wants to do this. But they don’t want the blame. That’s why they kept trying to get Obama to sign off on benefit cuts – get some Democratic fingerprints on it, then run against the Dems for doing it even though it was what they wanted.

    But this election was so bizarre and has so scrambled the Democrats and the media that GOP leaders probably think they can pass it right away, take a few weeks of criticism for it, then assume the electorate will move on to new outrages, possibly created by Trump foreign policy. It’s the Scott Walker strategy. Do the really high profile heinous shit no one wanted and you deliberately didn’t campaign on right away, then hunker down and do less-visible dirty work until the next election. Enough voters who disapproved of the early shit will have forgotten or convinced themselves that you’re OK in the meantime.

    If the Democrats can’t unite on this and either stop it cold or at least make it stick to the GOP for the long haul, they might as well just hit the bricks. It’s a total no-brainer to raise unceasing hell on this and not stop until those cruel fucks pay for their assholery with their jobs.

  44. 44
    gogol's wife says:


    Da, Rossiia vinovata. Bez vsiakogo somneniia.

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    It’s amusing how hard they’re pushing back against the Trump Family Presidency idea that is taking hold. They know it looks terrible. Ivanka promised to stop hawking her merch under the Presidential seal, too. They’re afraid of this- know this tacky, amateur hour impression will be hard to shake if it sticks:

    Donald Trump has reportedly asked son-in-law Jared Kushner to obtain security clearance so that he can sit in on presidential briefings, according to NBC News, but Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer has denied the report.
    Trump wants both retired Gen. Michael Flynn and Kushner to join him for the briefings, but while Flynn has the required top-secret security clearance, Kushner has not yet obtained that status, NBC News reported.
    Spicer quickly denied the NBC report Wednesday morning.

  46. 46
    gene108 says:


    Schumer’s still waiting for Wall Street to allow him to fight.

    Wall Street is a major employer in his state and a major source of revenue for his state. Why should he shit on an important part of his state’s economy?

  47. 47
    Shalimar says:

    @coin operated: We can also point out that the voucher system Ryan has proposed in previous versions is basically an Obamacare-like exchange, only strictly for seniors. I don’t agree that Obamacare was the Republican healthcare reform plan pre-2009, but it did take every good idea they had ever had up til that point and include them. They have no good ideas left for controlling spiralling healthcare costs that aren’t rehashed Obamacare.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    On January 21, they will repeal ACA, as soon as the replacement pkg is ready. Remember when they do that the Medicare patch that pushed the full date of all benefits out, eleven years is gone. It’s important to attack it now.

  49. 49
    Shalimar says:

    @Kay: Kushner is the imperial heir, if you believe that they really want to dispense with the pesky election-rigging and just establish a dictatorship. Of course the heir needs to be ready to step in at any moment for the old ruler.

  50. 50
    NR says:

    @dogwood: Actually I’m pretty sure the Russians are laughing at you. People tend to have that reaction to losers.

    And make no mistake – you guys lost. And I’m not talking about just the White House. That was just the most recent episode in a debacle that’s been going on for a long time. No, you lost the whole country. The Democrats were the dominant political party in America in 2009. Today, they’re a regional party confined to the northeast and the west coast, and with only a couple of exceptions they basically don’t exist anywhere else.

    Now, you can blame your problems on a Russian bogeyman if you want. Or you can actually take a serious look at the reasons we got into this mess and maybe think about making some changes. It’s really up to you.

  51. 51
    Stan says:


    Wall Street is a major employer in his state and a major source of revenue for his state. Why should he shit on an important part of his state’s economy?

    THE major source of revenue in our State. This is why people who want upstate NY to shed NYC are idiots. Without NYC, upstate NY looks just like the middle part of Pennsylvania but with much poorer farms.

    No NY senator is ever going to take on wall street.

  52. 52
    coin operated says:

    I could see if vouchers were used as an extension of an Obamacare-like plan…but they won’t be. The whole idea behind vouchers, and the gutting of Obamacare, is to get the government out of the middle so the fraud/waste/abuse can flow free once again. Keep hammering the fraud/waste/abuse line and make Republicans own it.

  53. 53
    Ian says:

    We should dress up in silly costumes, go to our congresscritter’s town meetings, and scream “DEATH PANELS!!!” at anyone who supports this proposal.

    Sounds stupid? Absolutely. But it works in convincing enough voters that the other side is trying to kill them.

  54. 54
    mai naem mobile says:

    I is just gonna sit and pray to the lord.Thats what mah republican buddies do and they seem to git everythin they want.

  55. 55

    @Shalimar: Well, yes, I meant politically. Of course they want medicare gone as a matter of policy.

  56. 56
    lowercase steve says:

    I notice that implicit in the OP is the understanding that the ACA is toast and Medicaid and SNAP will be block-granted and there is little the Dems can do about it. So the first point where we can actually put up a fight is Medicare. In other words, we can get the old people on board to defend Medicare and SS. But nobody gives a crap about the poor who will be screwed by the above.

  57. 57
    debit says:

    I live in blue Minnesota, but still sent a letter to Al Franken and am composing one to Amy Klobucahr and Keith Ellison. Would it help to pester any congresscritters in red districts, as I am not technically their constituent?

  58. 58
    Stan says:


    The Democrats were the dominant political party in America in 2009. Today, they’re a regional party confined to the northeast and the west coast,

    In other words, we dems are severely hemmed into those tiny areas of the USA where almost everyone lives. I almost feel sorry for us, surrounded by all that big red empty.

  59. 59
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Shalimar: I think you are confusing Obamacare and Medicare. Not the same.

  60. 60
    Another Holocene Human says:

    OT: There is a project that helps prevent suicides by Trans* people known as Trans Lifeline. This charity is based in SF, CA and raised a few thousand after the election. Now there is a hoax post from Australia going around calling Trans Lifeline a scam. Trans Lifeline helped me when I was going through a transition crisis, but they badly need more funds and more volunteers as more and more trans folk are coming out all the time and times are tough! please give what you can and spread the word that they are under attack by what is described as “Australian 4chan”.

  61. 61
    WereBear says:

    Aaaaand we have a first post up on our Tumblr blog, CouldHappentoYou, where we will be sharing health care stories and reasons to oppose the Republican plan to kill all of us, some faster than others.

  62. 62
    OGLiberal says:

    @Inmourning: They’ll be certain to put something in there that says nothing will change for current retirees and those nearing retirement – and they may define that as young as 50. So this will be good for you if you’re in that grandfathered group but it’s not you that it will be in there for…they don’t care about you. They just care about retaining their old, white base “I got mine, eff you” voters. You know, the folks who were yelling about keeping the government out of my Medicare.

    Of course, if they pass it, at some point they’ll say, “well, with a much smaller pool of people who will need Medicare, let’s cut payroll taxes.” That will blow up the trust fund and then they’ll say they have no choice but to privatize it for everbody.

  63. 63
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @mai naem mobile: Except for that time they got pregnint anyway and they had to cut back on lifestyle to take care of the “blessing”.

  64. 64
    Peale says:

    Remember to write. Letters with stamps. Also make sure you’re writing to the correct ngressman. The one you have in January. Not the one you have now.

  65. 65
    NR says:

    @Stan: You have a very strange definition of “almost everyone.” Maybe that’s part of the problem.

  66. 66
    mai naem mobile says:

    Jared Kushners major at Harvard was sociology. His daddy was convicted of tax evasion.

  67. 67
    Fair Economist says:


    I am hoping this is disinformation put out to lull the enemy, because otherwise, WTFAHFATT?

    The Dems have a good reason to soft-pedal disagreement until the next Congress convenes, because they want McConnell to keep the filibuster. Yes, he can nuke it afterwards, but that’s going to be harder than just not having it in the first place.

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Nick says:

    I think that this first issue could actually drive a serious wedge between Congressional Republicans and Trump. The former are focused on institutional looting — they’re ideologues working for other people. Trump is a small-time grifter, his looting is going to be more personal. I don’t think he cares about entitlements or Ayn Rand either way at all, and I’m not sure Bannon does either. They’ve both got stuff they want to do, but it’s not necessarily hard-line entitlement gutting.

    One of the interesting things about Trump’s campaign was the way that he supported his white voters using social services. There’s no reason to think he didn’t mean it, at least at the time.

  70. 70
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Kay: And exactly why would anyone believe anything Spicer says?

  71. 71
    D58826 says:

    Josh Marshall says Dems don’t have a plan yet

    Democrats don’t have a plan to make water run down hill or have the sun come up in the east.

    When Glen Beck begins to sound like the voice of reason you know that we have run out of sharks to jump

  72. 72
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Glidwrith: Is there a Drinking Liberally group in your area? Have you looked around for meetups?

  73. 73
    Kay says:


    It’s just funny that they didn’t see it coming. It was always weird how dependent this man is on his grown children. In a President it looks bizarre and weak. What were they thinking to put the son in law out there as the brains behind this operation? It’s so dumb. Also- “Eric” should stop making statements. He has no role in our system of government. I refuse to encompass “Eric” as somehow representing the executive branch. He’s a random person as far as I’m concerned.

  74. 74
    Fair Economist says:


    And make no mistake – you guys lost.

    Notice choice of pronouns, folks. It’s admitting it’s an opponent of ours. Remember that when considering a response.

  75. 75
    Botsplainer says:


    My senators are McConnell and Paul – their staffs will just sneer at me. I work in John Yarmuth’s district, so am good there, but my home is in cherub cheeked wingtard Tom Massie’s district, and he’s probably got both my cell and office numbers on block.

  76. 76
    Barbara says:

    I have posted this elsewhere. Do not call your reps unarmed, especially if they are Republican.

    The House has already voted on this plan multiple times. The Congressional Record of March 25, 2015, has a somewhat detailed explanation of the plan, which was part of the budget resolution. There is a complete list of who voted aye and nay. Here is the link:

    If you go to this link you can tell your rep whether they, in fact, voted for this plan and you can ask whether they still support it. The roll call is towards the end. It’s the last roll call that matters. Even in 2015, the vote was incredibly close — only 219 voted aye because of the number of reps who no doubt could not bear to be tagged with having voted for this legislation.

    You can also get it as a PDF, but the most relevant language is as follows.

    (A) For Medicare, this budget advances policies to put seniors, not the Federal Government, in control of their health care decisions. Future retirees would be able to choose from a range of guaranteed coverage options, with private plans competing alongside the traditional fee-for- service Medicare program. Medicare would provide a premium-support payment either to pay for or offset the premium of the plan chosen by the senior, depending on the plan’s cost. The Medicare premium-support payment would be adjusted so
    that the sick would receive higher payments if their conditions worsened; lower-income seniors would receive additional assistance to help cover out-of-pocket costs; and wealthier seniors would assume responsibility for a greater share of their premiums. Putting seniors in charge of how their health care dollars are spent will force providers to compete against each other on price and quality. This market competition will act as a real check on widespread waste and skyrocketing health care costs. As with previous budgets, this program will begin in 2024 and makes no changes to those in or near retirement.

  77. 77


    Also- “Eric” should stop making statements.

    How did the SNL skit go?
    “I’m Don Jr., I’m the brains.”
    “I’m Ivanka, I’m the beauty.”
    “I’m Eric!”

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:


    And make no mistake – you guys lost.

    So it IS true you don’t live in the United States. It seemed probable but is helpful to be verified.

    Now sod off.

  79. 79
    Shell says:

    I’m surprised the Granny Starver isn’t being more coy about all this.

    It amazes me that a man who’s spent nearly his whole life living off the government (SS benefits when his father died; various government positions and all the benefits that go with them since then..) is so determined to gut any help for anyone else.

  80. 80
    trollhattan says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Have we nailed down which spawn is Uday and which, Qusay? I suddenly want some specificity.

  81. 81
    Another Holocene Human says:

    NR is just on the new Bernie project, which apparently is to go DINO hunting. Moar purity! Purity cannot fail, it can only be failed! Permanent minority status (and moral superiority) ahoy!

  82. 82
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Shell: Clarence Thomas complex.

  83. 83
    Shell says:

    But, but Trump is insisting that the transition is go ing smoothly. SO smoothly. In fact, it must be the most, HUGELY smoothest transition in history.

  84. 84
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Except Ivanka is the brains.

  85. 85
    Marmot says:

    I just called representative Michael McCaul’s office to ask whether he supports replacing Medicare with a voucher plan. The staff guy on the line said that McCaul doesn’t have a a policy position on that yet, and they’re taking opinions.

  86. 86
    amk says:

    @Fair Economist: It has always been a rw pos since 2006. Pity the ‘librul’ cole still persists with his naive stupidity about ‘first amendment’ bs while whining here about msm normalizing rw bs.

  87. 87
    NR says:

    @Fair Economist: Yes, I’m opposed to the people who have led us to disaster after electoral disaster, and the people who support them. That latter category doesn’t have to include you anymore, and shouldn’t after everything that’s happened, but that’s really your decision.

  88. 88
    Eljai says:

    @BGinCHI: I like this strategy. We can encourage Democrats to stand up strongly for universally popular social programs. And we can force republican representatives to go on the record to say they agree with Ryan’s unpopular plan or they agree with Trump’s campaign message to preserve Medicare. Drive a WEDGE!

  89. 89
    Shalimar says:

    @Felonius Monk: You are incorrect. I know they have already said the Obamacare bills will be done on the 20th. What I am saying is the longer we have a national discussion about Medicare vouchers, the more it becomes a deadly issue for them. Be on the lookout for it to be pushed fast too.

  90. 90
    WereBear says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Better?


    So share those healthcare stories.

  91. 91
    Barbara says:

    @Marmot: If you use the link I provided you will see that McCaul voted aye to exactly this plan in 2015. Search for “219” and then for McCaul.

  92. 92
    dogwood says:

    Take a break. Read some Sanders “women enjoying rape” erotica and put on your red hat. Stop trying to sell some leftist fantasy of America. The backlash against single payer would have made the anti-Obamacare movement look tame. You can buy into the economic anxiety claptrap that the MSM is selling, but there is no real evidence that Trump voters’anxiety is anything other than cultural. And you can buy into the propaganda the Russians used to sow discord, if that pleases you as well.

  93. 93
    Shalimar says:

    @Eljai: Republican voters are the key. Panic them about losing their Medicare and the plan dies. No amount of appealing to Dem leaders is going to change the Republicans who will push this shit through, though we do need to get all Democrats united in opposition too.

  94. 94

    @WereBear: Yes! Trying to get some folks close to me to write some.

  95. 95
    Shalimar says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Eric and Donald, Jr. are the tiny hands grabbing all the cash. Every crime family needs them.

  96. 96
    NR says:

    @Another Holocene Human: It’s really hilarious to hear someone who supports the party leadership that took us from state legislatures that were 27D-15R-8 split (in 2009) to 13D-33R-4 split (after last week’s election) lecture me about “permanent minority status.”

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:


    Call and write just to annoy them. You spend half your day doing it here anyway.

  98. 98
    hovercraft says:

    @Mike in dc:

    Where does AARP stand on Medicare privatization?

    AARP Has Not Changed Its Position on Social Security

    Reaffirms that program must be strengthened to maintain critical benefits

    WASHINGTON – AARP CEO A. Barry Rand offered the following statement in response to inaccurate media stories on the association’s policy on Social Security:

    “Let me be clear – AARP is as committed as we’ve ever been to fighting to protect Social Security for today’s seniors and strengthening it for future generations. Contrary to the misleading characterization in a recent media story, AARP has not changed its position on Social Security.

    “First, we are currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social Security to reduce a deficit it did not cause. Social Security should not be used as a piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit. Any changes to this lifeline program should happen in a separate, broader discussion and make retirement more secure for future generations, not less.

    AARP, the lobbying powerhouse for older Americans, last year made a dramatic concession. Amid a national debate over whether to overhaul Social Security, the group said for the first time it was open to cuts in benefits.

    The backlash from AARP members and liberal groups that oppose changes in the program was enormous — and this time around, as Washington debates how to tame the ballooning federal debt, AARP is flatly opposed to any benefit reductions for the nation’s retirees.

    The group’s backing was influential in passing what liberals called a flawed Medicare prescription drug plan in 2004. Then, AARP’s opposition doomed President George W. Bush’s proposal to partially privatize Social Security. And its support was instrumental in helping to enact Obama’s health-care overhaul, which reshaped parts of Medicare.

    “It is the 900-pound gorilla,” said Frederick R. Lynch, a Claremont McKenna College professor who wrote a book about the organization. “All AARP has to do is whisper.”

    Their profits are dependent on their members getting maximum benefits, so unless Hair Furrer and the Granny Starver find a huge of cache somewhere to offset their losses, they will not be on board with this.

  99. 99
    JPL says:

    @Shalimar: Once the ACA is repealed, the tax increases that strengthened Medicare is also gone. ACA pushed the full payment date out an additional eleven years. The plan is to make medicare appear to be insolvent.

  100. 100
    Botsplainer says:

    I’m now thinking of what happens to real estate occupied by seasoned older Americans and what it will do to property values and local tax rates as the market gets flooded by sellable valuable residences by them as they suddenly have to downsize to afford premiums and copays.

    The pain will be appar by quite quickly.

  101. 101
    Srv says:

    NR=Nativist Racist.

  102. 102
    Cat48 says:

    Trump always told his supporters he would not do anything to SS or Medicare. He said he would only fix Obamacare. Now Ryan has added Medicaid cuts and sev programs for Seniors & Disabled to the cut pile: SSI, Meals on Wheels,Home Health Care, etc.

    This is highway robbery on the disabled & seniors. I have called my Reps & will continue. They have a mandate to fix OCare, but nothing else. I plan to write all of them too.
    The Group called working families is gearing up to fight it. The programs are on the Speakers website, Better Way, written in Luntz TP to sound great! Forbes has more info on what Ryan wants to do, several articles. The tax cuts are there too. Ughh

  103. 103
    hovercraft says:

    Hi Srv, long time no see, come to think of it I haven’t seen @srv around here recently, did the ban hammer come down or something, I would have expected endless gloating.

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:


    It’s almost like something happened between 2009 and 2016 to cause that. What could it be, what could it be …

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    what plan?





  106. 106
    SenyorDave says:

    @Shalimar: Republican voters are the key. Panic them about losing their Medicare and the plan dies

    That is the one thing that might tip the balance. The Dems should actually try to do some real political strategy from now on. Make the GOP own eliminating Medicare and Social Security, and frame the argument that way. They did it. The goal should be to save Medicare and Social Security and make sure that the public knows it was Democrats who were responsible.

    I want no compromise anymore with the GOP unless it accomplishes what Dems want and helps them politically (or is, at worse, neutral).

  107. 107
    Emma says:

    @NR: And your idea was that we should vote for a former Communist (which, by the way, is the lesser sin) with a lot of issues (taxes, anyone), whose only issue was “income inequality.” Yeah, right.

  108. 108
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    It is quite fascinating how NR just happens to show up and disrupt every thread where we talk about taking action against the Trump regime, isn’t it? Like he has a Google alert set up to warn him that independent thinking is happening.

  109. 109
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    Way off topic, but anyone notice how red Steve Bannon’s beak is? He looks like a serious drunk.

  110. 110
    SuzieC says:

    Wrote to my Rep. R in safe gerrymandered district.

  111. 111
    rikyrah says:

    NO PLAN?!?!

    These muthaphuckas have taken an actual VOTE on this…

    and the Dems DON’T HAVE A PLAN?

    DA PHUQ?

  112. 112
    Kay says:


    White working class voters don’t want to stick it to the rich, NR. They just elected a rich person. They don’t hate rich people. They hate elites- people who think they are better for a whole host of reasons and a big reason is level of education.

    They don’t mind at all if he cuts taxes- they think it doesn’t make a bit of difference to them because they don’t make enough to pay federal income taxes anyway. They’re really not closely aligned with Lefties. The economic calculus they make is really much different.

    You’re just kind of cramming them into this category where they don’t really fit. I get doing it- I get why Sanders is doing it- he wants to move the Party Left, but Bernie Sanders has to know money doesn’t = “elite” to white working class. It’s more complicated than that- there’s a whole cultural element.

  113. 113
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:


    Bernie wants to be Trump Lite, except demonizing millyunaires and billyunaires instead of Mexicans, Muslims, women, educated liberals and gays. What fucking Trump voter cared about Wall Street?

  114. 114
  115. 115
  116. 116
    dogwood says:

    I actually was surprised the other day when I called the offices of my two republican senators. I was civil but firm, and the staffers were very professional. One staffer assured me that the senator would see my questions and read back to me the notes she took to make sure she had everything down. I’m going to keep calling.

  117. 117
    germy says:

    Renegade Facebook Employees Form Task Force To Battle Fake News

    The task force, which sources tell BuzzFeed News includes employees from across the company, has already rebutted a statement made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a conference last week that the argument that fake news on Facebook affected the election was “a pretty crazy idea.”

    “It’s not a crazy idea. What’s crazy is for him to come out and dismiss it like that, when he knows, and those of us at the company know, that fake news ran wild on our platform during the entire campaign season,” said one Facebook employee, who works in the social network’s engineering division. He, like the four other Facebook employees who spoke to BuzzFeed News for this story, would only speak on condition of anonymity. All five employees said they had been warned by their superiors against speaking to press, and feared they would lose their jobs if named.

  118. 118
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    Called Judy Chu, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein’s local offices. All seem to be on the right side but haven’t specifically addressed this plan yet.

    A friend of mine created this good spreadsheet for what to say.

  119. 119
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: What happened was the utter failure of third-way, neoliberal incrementalism. CU didn’t help, sure, but votes matter more in elections than money, and the Democrats lost them through their policies and their approach to tackling the nation’s problems.

  120. 120

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:

    What fucking Trump voter cared about Wall Street?

    Why, the economically anxious™ ones, of course!

    The “Bernie is the Trump of the left” parallels aren’t looking like such lazy journalism any more.

  121. 121
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Yup… Angry, drunk CT-driven fools.

  122. 122
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: The irony of someone who unthinkingly and unquestioningly supports the same leadership that just gave us disaster after electoral disaster claiming to be an independent thinker is hilarious.

    Why don’t you share some more of your vaunted independent thought with us, like how liberals are to blame for Merrick Garland not being confirmed. That was good for a laugh.

  123. 123
    hovercraft says:

    I just went over to the Plumline to see what was going on. Their two headlines are just depressing, I didn’t even read the stories.

    Republicans are now a minority party wielding near-absolute power

    If Democrats want to overcome the distortions that favor the GOP, they have to work twice as hard.

    Welcome to the Trump kleptocracy

    How the Trump family will use his presidency to rake in the cash.

    We need to fight this on every front. The one benefit to all these attacks on our way of life, is that it forces us to get off our asses and fight back. Call your congresscritters now !!!!
    For Congress
    For the Senate

    Call them now, and keep calling!!!

  124. 124
    Kay says:


    They won’t care at all that Trump appoints Wall Street people anymore than they cared when Bush did it. Trump isn’t saying “I’m one of YOU”. He’s saying “you’re one of US”- white people, hard working people, successful people. That’s the appeal. He’s letting him into HIS circle, not going into theirs.

  125. 125
    NR says:

    @Emma: My idea is that we should change leadership and get back to representing the working class instead of caring more about making our corporate donors happy.

    But apparently that’s too radical for this place and people here would rather keep losing.

  126. 126
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @hovercraft: I kind of expected RtR to resurface under another name–ONE of his guys finally won, right? Surely that’s good for some gloating? Of course it was the fourth or fifth Republican candidate he supported this cycle, after insisting repeatedly that he’d never get the nomination and that we were the Trump boosters, but it was a win.

    Unless he really is just a paid hack, and his job here is done for the time being…

  127. 127
    dogwood says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:
    Bernie has always been Trump-lite.

  128. 128
    Inmourning says:

    OGLiberal. My rep has already tried to claim that it will not affect me, but I know that the current solvency of Medicare depends on both current payroll tax receipts and savings brought about as the result of the ACA. If I am protected, my children’s generation pays the price, somehow. If they don’t have to pay the price, then I will not be protected. Neither is acceptable to me. Same for SS, for which there is a fix. I recall when St. Ronnie Reagan “fixed” SS and was hailed as a hero.

  129. 129
    germy says:

    @hovercraft: Unless I’m mistaken, Srv (capitalized first letter) is a clever parody of the all-lower-case srv.

  130. 130
    Barbara says:

    Everyone should ignore NR. Even if you agree with some of what he says, he is only saying it to be a disruptive naysayer.

  131. 131
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Kay: Exactly, it’s soy lattes not regular coffee, it’s icky trans people, it’s people who eat arugula, it’s people who like dijon mustard on their hamburgers, people who read the New Yorker not Guns and Ammo, people who don’t hunt or own guns. The list is fuckin’ endless.

  132. 132
    Lizzy L says:


    Now Ryan has added Medicaid cuts and sev programs for Seniors & Disabled to the cut pile: SSI, Meals on Wheels,Home Health Care, etc.

    Please provide a source for this information.

  133. 133
    Kay says:


    And anyone can be in Trump’s circle. They just have to love and follow Trump. It’s different with “elites”, right? For that they’d need credentials, college degrees, a different vocabulary but not NECESSARILY money. You can be an “elite” with no money.

  134. 134
    gbbalto says:

    @NR: Fine, forget about us losers! Go find a blog for winners!

  135. 135

    @Barbara: He’s on my troll filter. It makes everything sooooo much better.

  136. 136
    MaryL says:

    I called my Senator and Senator-elect (both Dems) to say that I hope the party is putting a plan together to oppose Ryan’s medicare phaseout. I’ve never done that before, and I have minor social anxiety, so I’m pretty proud of myself. Unfortunately, I can’t find any contact info for my newly elected Representative.

  137. 137
    amk says:

    @hovercraft: nah, this is a parody of real srv.

    I will give real srv this. I personally haven’t seen him here after nov 9th disaster/shitfest to gloat.

  138. 138
    Cat48 says:

    I forgot the most important part. It will be passed by Reconciliation. No Filibusters that way.

  139. 139
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:


    Bernie hand delivered Trump the template to run against Clinton, right down to not releasing tax returns, and how everything is rigged against him if he lost. His bros were the worst people on the internet until the Russian Pepe trolls showed up, and I suspect the overlap of those was fairly substantial.

  140. 140
    cmorenc says:


    The House has already voted on this plan multiple times.

    OTOH, they’ve never ever had to do this for real before (i.e. where it had the slightest realistic chance of passing). Their voters supported them for other cultural reasons and not because many of these voters wanted to end Medicare, which almost certainly critically benefits several people within their own family.

  141. 141
    Barbara says:

    @Inmourning: The response is:

    So basically, you are going to tax my kids to pay for benefits that they will never get. Do you think that’s fair? How are they supposed to save money if they are paying for the benefits of not only current recipients but people who probably won’t be dead until 2050 or later? How is that going to work?

  142. 142
    Barbara says:

    @cmorenc: That’s the WHOLE POINT. Let them know you are watching and you already know that they have voted for it. Do they still support this?

  143. 143
    The Truffle says:

    Uh oh.

    Didn’t the president-elect say he wouldn’t touch Medicare?

    Can you say “GOP civil war brewing”?

    And what will health care providers/lobbyists say, given that this will cut into their profits?

    This needs to go the way of GWB’s plan to privatize Social Security.

  144. 144
    Mnemosyne says:


    The Myths Democrats Swallowed That Cost Them The Election

    Hint: you’re going to find the majority of your talking points debunked there.

    Though it does amuse me to have a Berniebro claiming that dark money doesn’t matter in elections, especially small, local elections where the Republican gets $1 million from the Koch brothers and the Democrat raises $50,000 if s/he is lucky. Wasn’t preventing that kind of thing supposed to be Bernie’s signature issue before he turned his whole campaign into Clinton-bashing?

  145. 145


    The Republican House has passed it 5 years in a row. Why would you think it is disinformation now that they have the Senate and Presidency too?

    Because they might have been doing it for show all along. This is the problem with a lot of the stuff they talked about when they knew the Senate or Obama would reject it: they could get away with posturing because they were protected from the negative consequences that might result from the stuff actually being implemented. We really can’t tell how much of the stuff they talked about was empty posturing and how much was genuine belief in those insane policies.

  146. 146
    dogwood says:

    White working class people started leaving the Democratic Party after the passage of the Civil Rigts and Voting Rights acts of ’64 and ’65. They don’t care about trade, banksters, or tax cuts for the rich. In my working class community they hate unions too.

  147. 147
    germy says:


    They don’t hate rich people. They hate elites

    If a single-truck contractor and a landscaper eat lunch together (combined yearly income ~ $200,000) and the waiter pouring their coffee has a degree in comparative literature and an interesting haircut, they will consider him an elite, even though he makes less than minimum wage.

  148. 148
    Kay says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap:

    This is a white working class area and my eldest used to get it in high school. He has a huge vocabulary. They were mean to him about it! “Okay Mr. FANCY WORDS” Thank God he had teachers who were thrilled with it.

    He left for college and never came back and can you blame him? We weren’t rich and he (particularly) had absolutely no interest in material things. They pegged him as elite for different reasons. It just means snobby- it’s not about relative income.

  149. 149
    MomSense says:


    Call Jan anyway so she can talk about how many calls she has received.

  150. 150

    @germy: There was a something somewhere (HBR?) that was pretty interesting, that included the tidbit that they don’t hate the wealthy, they hate professionals. So they don’t mind the millionayuhs and billionayuhs, but damn that pointy-headed doctor of theirs!

  151. 151
    dogwood says:

    He never respond to actual analysis.

  152. 152
    FlipYrWhig says:


    My idea is that we should change leadership and get back to representing the working class instead of caring more about making our corporate donors happy.

    Like we did in those halcyon days of 2009, when battling progressives like Phil Bredesen, Jay Nixon, and Dave Freudenthal strode the plains?

  153. 153
    germy says:


    In my working class community they hate unions too.

    And they cheer themselves hoarse watching their beloved sports (the players all unionized) and get teary-eyed watching the movie “Sniper” (every single person in the closing credits, from the stars to the gaffer and focus-puller is unionized). And of course the boys in blue are unionized.

  154. 154
    Barbara says:

    @The Truffle: He has already changed his website to state that he supports Medicare modernization. In other words, Trump said one thing and changed his tune in less than a week of being elected. Message: You’re being screwed by a con man. See TPM for details.

    For those over 50, you also can call AARP and ask them what they plan to do about this.

  155. 155
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Do you have a tip jar for the use of “economically anxious” , it has been co-opted by the BJ family and will soon be trending on twitter.
    Bernie and his bots need to understand that their “anxiety” is emotion driven not policy driven, so they need to give them something that will make them feel less anxious. Something like cutting food stamps, or taking away public transportation projects, also harsh penalties for criminals makes them less “anxious”. So if the democrats can do all of these things and also seal the Southern border, there will be much less “economic anxiety.”

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:

    I will never tire of pointing out that Tad Devine, campaign manager for St. Bernard the Incorruptible, worked for Trump’s campaign manager in Ukraine when Trump’s campaign manager worked for Putin’s puppet.

    But I guess that’s all just another co-inkydink. Funny how every one of these strange coincidences this year begin or end in Russia, isn’t it?

    But the problem was the Democratic message. Uh-huh.

  157. 157
    WereBear says:

    @Shalimar: Republican voters are the key. Panic them about losing their Medicare and the plan dies.

    And this is one of those rare instances where their ignorance and lack of thinking works FOR us.

    Just got off the phone with my rep, Stephanik, and they are assuring me they aren’t doing anything to Medicare. But I called about Obamacare. They didn’t get away with that.

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: Shared! That is great stuff.

  158. 158

    NR= Propagandist for Russia (N == P in Ruski), ignore Putin’s stooge.

  159. 159
    sukabi says:

    @MomSense: there’s elected and elected….

    Who really knows?

  160. 160
    Barbara says:

    @Roger Moore: Well yes, they could get away with posturing so let them know that you know how they have voted in the past and you want to know what they are going to do now that they are no longer posturing. Why is everyone so hell bent on giving these people any benefit of the doubt?

  161. 161
    hovercraft says:

    Yes I know, that’s why I was welcoming her/him back. The other one can stay lost or banned.

  162. 162
    MomSense says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Thank you for the heads up. Christmas is just causes this year.

  163. 163
  164. 164
    gogol's wife says:


    Still waiting for a reply from AARP after spending half an hour this morning trying to find somebody who didn’t want to sell me insurance.

  165. 165
    germy says:

    @WereBear: Stephanik (karl rove’s protege), the first time she was running, had the nerve to visit a senior center and give a vague speech about “protecting” medicare. Then she ran away from a reporter asking for details.

    When they use words like “protect” and “modernize” they mean “slash” and “privatize”.

  166. 166
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:


    Putin had 4 cards to play in this election – Trump, Bernie, Stein and wikileaks. That’s a pretty good hand to play, when you’re playing against a bunch of Fox news misinformed dumbasses.

  167. 167
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Kay: And their propaganda operation has been spewing hate of cities, elites, etc. for DECADES !

  168. 168
    hovercraft says:

    So I guess Ellison will be the next DNC chair.

    Warren Officially Endorses Keith Ellison For DNC Chair
    Tom Williams

    TPM November 16, 2016

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Wednesday formally endorsed Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to lead the Democratic National Committee.

  169. 169
    NR says:


    Though it does amuse me to have a Berniebro claiming that dark money doesn’t matter

    I never said it doesn’t matter. Stop making shit up. I said it matters less than the party’s policy and approach to governing, and it does.

    And I’ve read that article. I must say it’s pretty funny to hear the people who told us with such certainty that Hillary was going to win, now ask us to trust their judgement that Bernie would have lost.

    In fact it’s hilarious that you feel that your record of extremely poor judgment now entitles you to tell us that your judgment on how Bernie would have performed is correct.

    The fact is that we don’t know whether Bernie would have won or lost.

    But we do know for certain that Clinton lost.

    And we also know for certain that you guys have been losing steadily for the last eight years.

  170. 170
    gogol's wife says:

    I also subscribed to Newsweek, and told the person on the phone I was doing it because of Kurt Eichenwald. He was a very nice, intelligent, responsive person and subscribing was easy. Then I tried the Washington Post and failed to subscribe. First I got passed around to various phone numbers that were just voice mails where I could leave a message, then I got somebody who told me my e-mail address wasn’t yet registered and I had to go online and register before he could sell me a subscription. So I said adios.

  171. 171
    germy says:

    @hovercraft: Schumer also endorsed Ellison.

  172. 172
    SenyorDave says:

    @hovercraft: Unless he gives up his seat in Congress I’m disappointed. How is this not a full time gig?

  173. 173
    dogwood says:

    Money from corporate America is unacceptable; money from Russian oligarchs is just fine.

  174. 174
    Applejinx says:

    @Glidwrith: Saddened but not shocked. Go find a Bernie meeting. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find one of those and they’ll be happy to have you. If you can’t find a Democratic meeting until January, maybe they don’t want you right now.

    I have not suggested that this would be the case but this really is part of the problem: contributes to the downticket weakness. Grassroots can’t be just for Republicans anymore. If it can’t be for Democrats because that’s not how we do things, then it’ll have to be for the Left, because opportunities will arise.

    By that I mean: Trump will fuck up and Republicans will do antipopulace, unpopular things. They just will. Therefore there will be opportunities to peel off voters and activists who are let down by those they thought were supposed to help them.

  175. 175
    Bess says:

    @lowercase steve:

    I notice that implicit in the OP is the understanding that the ACA is toast and Medicaid and SNAP will be block-granted and there is little the Dems can do about it. So the first point where we can actually put up a fight is Medicare. In other words, we can get the old people on board to defend Medicare and SS. But nobody gives a crap about the poor who will be screwed by the above.

    I think we should at least have a discussion of letting Republicans have their way. Let them kill everything they want to kill. They’ll be cautious to not kill (most) programs abruptly but to put them on track to die.

    Let the country see up close what the Republican party wants to do. That should be the end of the Republican party as we have come to loath it.

    In four years take back control. Repeal and replace despised Republican programs with better versions of what we had. We might even be able to get single payer, or at least a public option, as part of the rebuilt programs.

    Best idea? I have no way of knowing. But I think it should be discussed.

  176. 176
    germy says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Still waiting for a reply from AARP after spending half an hour this morning trying to find somebody who didn’t want to sell me insurance.

    That’s their #1 goal. I’ve played phone tag with them. I used to get their magazine and newspaper delivered. Every editorial; every Q&A column, they basically advised “Don’t retire!”

    Rather odd for a group advocating for retirees, or people hoping to retire.

  177. 177
    WereBear says:

    @germy: She has people answering the phone. My two NY Dem Senators have had busy signals for the last two hours.

  178. 178
    germy says:


    On Sunday, Ellison sidestepped a question about whether he would be willing to give up his post in Congress to better serve the party.

    “The most important criteria for the DNC chair is going to be vision,” Ellison said during an appearance on ABC News’s “This Week” when asked whether he would resign his position in Congress. “It’s not about one person. It’s about millions of people all working together to protect and advance the interests of working Americans.”


  179. 179
    MomSense says:


    I’m apoplectic about the voter suppression and the fact that the Russians hacked the Florida Elections System vendor. I can’t believe we are just going to throw up our hands and say oh well about this.

  180. 180
    EBT says:

    I like how the place that the main draw is dick jokes has gotten the circular firing squad out of it’s system. But here the somber, sober, Adult Words Blog you all let probable trump voter NR start that fight every post.

  181. 181
    dogwood says:

    So we’re gonna have our own Steve Bannon problem now. I guess having someone there full time was just a bitching point. If Warren and Sanders want this then that’s what we’ll get. And trust me, Bannons anti- semitism is off the table for good now.

  182. 182
    The Truffle says:

    @Barbara: I’m not surprised that the president elect isn’t keeping his stories straight. I’m not being conned. I’m convinced he is simply winging it at this point.

    Maybe it’s time to start pointing this out.

  183. 183
    Kay says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap:

    The Democrats who avoid it are interesting because of course they are “elites”, right? So Bill Clinton was obvious- he came from very little and was pretty blatant about good ‘ol boyness. Obama is more interesting because he didn’t downplay it at all- he really is professorial. That’s the same professorial air they rejected in John Kerry. I knew Kerry was in trouble after attending a rally in Ohio- I could tell he just wasn’t “clicking” with them. Obama seemed to me to connect on some male measure- for some reason lower income white men connected to him as a man- they didn’t do their usual thing where “elite” rapidly morphs into “feminized”. I’m not sure what it was. Obama has a fatherly air- it might have been that. It seems to me the central way he sees himself is as a husband and father. Maybe that was the connection point.

    I knew they weren’t connecting with Clinton but I was hoping women would and that would be enough.

  184. 184
    Это курам на смех says:

    NR is here to provide a service, to remind us that lefties must preserve their purity by keeping mainstream Democrats from winning elections.

    The Left is not our friend.

  185. 185
    NR says:

    @Bess: I disagree. We need to fight the Republicans hard on all the bad shit they want to do. They’re probably going to get most of it anyway, but it’s important that Dems are on record fighting against it as hard as we can. It’s really our only chance.

    “Sit back and wait for the Republicans to implode” just isn’t going to get it done.

  186. 186
    Mnemosyne says:


    I would call or email the head of the club and ask if there’s going to be an emergency meeting. They may not have had a chance to post it yet.

  187. 187

    @EBT: Where is dick joke place? Asking for a friend.

  188. 188
    Mnemosyne says:


    Da, comrade. Do you get paid by the word?

  189. 189
    Kristine says:

    @MaryL: I’m in the same boat–not a phone caller. Called both senators, but my new rep doesn’t have office contact info yet, either. He has tweeted against Bannon, though. He and Sen. Duckworth were in DC yesterday for orientation.

  190. 190
    EBT says:

    @Это курам на смех: Which sucks because I am an actual lefty, Not a trump voter like NR likely is. and I busted my ass getting bernie folk to vote for Hillary.

  191. 191
    NR says:

    @Это курам на смех: Because mainstream Democrats have done such a great job winning elections over the last eight years, right?

    It’s hilarious that you people who continue to support the party leadership that has all but wiped out the Democratic party in a large majority of the country are now bleating about the left costing Democrats elections. No, Democrats are doing just fine losing elections all on their own without any help.

  192. 192
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NR: Tell us some more about how the Democratic Party of 2009 was built on proletarian revolutionary consciousness.

  193. 193
    Shalimar says:


    It was always weird how dependent this man is on his grown children.

    I grew up with a narcissistic mom. Never paid any attention to me at all, but I was the golden child. She told myriad stories to anyone who would listen (which was everyone from George Wallace down in 1970s Alabama for a political reporter) about how wonderful I was. Having impressive children was a reflection on her, even if most of the stories she told were grotesque exaggerations. I’m guessing some similar dynamic is at play with Trump. The children are a subset of his glory, not individual human beings.

  194. 194
  195. 195
    BRyan says:

    @NR: My God but you’re tedious.

  196. 196
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: Your inability to respond to any of the points I’ve made has been duly noted.

  197. 197
    FlipYrWhig says:


    It was always weird how dependent this man is on his grown children.

    If it wasn’t tragic it would be the other kind of sad: Donald Trump’s only friends are people he begot.

  198. 198
    The Truffle says:

    I don’t think that Congressional Dems can or should fight this on their own.

    Doesn’t sound like AARP would want it. Neither would health care providers or lobbyists.

    We have our own “death panels,” people.

  199. 199
  200. 200
    SenyorDave says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And he’s frustrated that the the one woman in the world he wants more than any other he can’t have, because she’s his daughter.

  201. 201
    Applejinx says:


    It’s you guys who just lost to Trump. If anything, the Russians should be paying you.

    I think NR is intentionally trying to fluster traditional party Democrats so intensely that they freak out and double down on the losing direction, unable to react to changing conditions. If you think about it, there’s no special reason working class or economically declining voters should find refuge with Republicans, and in fact they didn’t: they went with Trump who explicitly and loudly made lots of unkeepable promises about rescuing them, in an environment rendered incomprehensible by noise and flak much like the kind NR is constantly throwing out. The Republicans were left far behind, in the wreckage of their primary.

    Think about it. Does NR’s behavior tend to make you more likely to abandon the established Democratic direction and go to play with the birds and unicorns with radical leftwingers, or is it consistently tailored to make it far less likely that you’ll even hear anything of that nature? When your hackles are up in that way does he back off and bite his tongue, or double down? There are many possible reasons (simple asshattery being one of them) but this is consistent with an intelligent person actively trying to make certain divisions impossible to bear.

    I just don’t feel NR can be accepted at face value. I think he’s some sort of plant: too obnoxious to be true, at times. There’s folks ‘on the opposing side’ who say things comparably shocking, and I wonder about them as well.

  202. 202
    sukabi says:

    @MomSense: I know…I spent a good deal of time 2004 – 2010 talking, blogging, trying to get people interested in even LOOKING at the process of how the votes are “counted”. Surprisingly not very many people are actually interested in knowing exactly what the process is. It’s enough to know the votes were counted and we lost again. Commence circular firing squad. Rinse, repeat.

  203. 203
    Millard Filmore says:


    Make the GOP own eliminating Medicare and Social Security

    And never let them forget it. Every election bring this up.

  204. 204
    Kay says:


    That’s interesting and probably dead-on. I recognize what you’re talking about- I see it in some parents. The Tiffany thing is weird. One of them is just shunned? It wouldn’t be bizarre if they were a normal non-celebrity family to have this rejected member or non-participant- that happens- but as it is it’s just this glaring hole. I’m like “wait,where’s that other one?” :)

    Seems a little cruel.

  205. 205
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Applejinx: NR’s behavior is consistent with the idea that NR is a dick, which goes back to his first seconds of life. Don’t overthink it.

  206. 206
    sukabi says:

    @SenyorDave: or maybe he wants her because she is his daughter..keeping the clan pure, so to speak.

  207. 207

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I think what they hate most is uppity people. That obviously includes minorities and women demanding equal treatment, but it also means people from their own social group who try to move up. Going to college, getting a fancy degree, or just trying to do stuff that’s a bit more cultured than the local norm all make you uppity.

    Basically, the people who describe them as serfs are only half right. They’re right in that they like accept the idea of a social hierarchy, but mostly the part where they get to shit on the people lower than them. They don’t like, but are grudgingly willing to deal with, shit flowing down on them from above. But what they absolutely can’t abide by is people who “ought” to be equal or lower than them moving up above them. When they see somebody like that, they interpret everything that person does as trying to shit on them, because they know they’d want to shit on the people in their group if they somehow managed to move up themselves.

  208. 208
    glory b says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): I have, and I also noticed that he looks constantly disheveled, someone said he looks as if he always sleeps in his clothes.

  209. 209
    WereBear says:

    @Roger Moore: I have been accused of being a “stuck up” solely on getting good grades in school.

    Starts early.

  210. 210


    I think we should at least have a discussion of letting Republicans have their way. Let them kill everything they want to kill. They’ll be cautious to not kill (most) programs abruptly but to put them on track to die.

    Hell! No! Maybe we can’t stop them from killing everything they want to kill, but at the very least we need to go down fighting and making as much noise doing it as possible. We need to stake ourselves as the defenders of those popular programs so that Republican attempts to gut them are visibly done over our (figurative) dead and broken bodies. Anything less will be seen as tacit cooperation and prevent us from getting the political benefit.

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  212. 212
    The Truffle says:

    @Kay: It’s sad that knowledge and a wide vocabulary are considered “snobby.”

    Your son’s experience reminds me of mine.

  213. 213
    jacy says:


    This is exactly right. Narcissists play out their fantasies through their children whenever possible, and attempt to control those children mostly by withholding love, time, and approval. For a narcissist, everyone they are in contact with is tolerated only as long as they feed the narcissists habit. When they cease to feed the habit, they are marginalized or abandoned.

  214. 214
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Crabs in a bucket mentality, or kicking the ladder out from behind you if you make it out. It’s the hallmark of cultural resentment, which the white working and middle class has way more of than sense.

  215. 215

    @glory b:
    He exudes an aura of poor health. He looks like he’s going to suffer from a massive cardiac event any day.

  216. 216
    Applejinx says:


    @Applejinx: NR’s behavior is consistent with the idea that NR is a dick, which goes back to his first seconds of life. Don’t overthink it.

    You’re defending him? Odd, given that you’re the nym I most associate with normalizing ‘YASQUEEN’ and bold cries to let rural towns fester and die because we’re supposed to hate them that intensely. To see you coming to NR’s defense and immediately asserting ‘nothing to see here’ is interesting.

    I’m gonna have to say nope on that ‘let rural towns die’ business, by the way. Neither you nor NR are helping. You’re false lighthouses, evil rodeo clowns trying to get Democrats to charge into walls and be stunned. I’m sure it’s just as prevalent in Republican circles: the occasional times people have linked to Red State illustrates that. None of us have coherent, functioning political systems anymore. It’s all fallen apart, and I think that’s intentional.

  217. 217
    dogwood says:

    Democrats never understood or appreciated Obama’s extraordinary skill. I had a Republican friend who didn’t vote for Trump call me and apologize for any anti-Obama stuff she might have said over the past 8 years. She really never said anything aggregious. On the phone she told me deep down she was jealous that Obama was a democrat.

  218. 218
    CaseyL says:

    I just spoke to Maria Cantwell’s office. i said I was concerned that Paul Ryan would have the privatization of Medicare and SocSec ready for a vote on Jan. 20 and that I hadn’t heard anything from the Democrats indicating that they were ready, had a strategy in place, anything.

    I asked if she (the lady answering the phone) was aware of any discussions in Sen. Cantwell’s office about this. She said, no, but she would pass my concerns on to the Senator.

    One does wonder WTF our elected Democrats are doing with their time, if they didn’t see this coming and aren’t already working on opposing it. Too busy holiday shopping?

  219. 219
    Barbara says:

    @CaseyL: For whatever it is worth, in the legislation that I linked to above, not a single Democrat voted aye.

  220. 220
    WereBear says:

    @Shalimar: What I meant was, are the Dems pretending to no have a plan?

    Because to have no plan after it passed the House 5 times is a real jerk move.

  221. 221
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Applejinx: NR is a horrific waste of skin. I’m not defending him. The prospect of his nonexistence delights me.

    I never once said anything about Hillary Clinton ending in “queen.” You’re making that up, because you are daft. Not malevolent like NR, but daft.

  222. 222
    Barbara says:

    @CaseyL: here is an even cleaner link, just showing who voted yes and no. Not a single Democrat voted yes, and 26 Republicans voted no. You can find the entire list and as broken down by party at

  223. 223

    @WereBear: I sincerely doubt we’re that smart.

  224. 224
    dogwood says:

    My sister is on Cantwell and Murray too.

  225. 225
    quakerinabasement says:

    Calls placed to two senators and my district representative (2 Dem, 1 Rep) to let them know that I am 2 years shy of my 65th and I expect to receive the benefits I have earned through a lifetime of work.

    None of the three have any announced position at this time.

  226. 226
    dogwood says:

    I think we should be clear that we expect our children and grandchildren to receive those benefits as well.

  227. 227
    dogwood says:

    Thanks for the link. My tea party, freedom caucus guy voted no.

  228. 228
    catclub says:

    @Millard Filmore: It will be a tough sell. The GOP won in 2010 lying that Obama was taking $500B from Medicare. The Democrats never refuted that effectively. The Democrats closed the donut hole. Nobody cares. The democrats instituted medicare, they get no electoral benefit from that. The Democrats instituted better healthcare in the ACA, If Bill Kristol is convinced doing that will kill the GOP for good, it is one more example of him being wrong.

  229. 229
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Kay: There is a certain Beverly Hillbillies feel to it all. The Trumps are as out of their element as the Clampetts.

  230. 230
    Steve in the ATL says:


    It amazes me that a man who’s spent nearly his whole life living off the government (SS benefits when his father died; various government positions and all the benefits that go with them since then..) is so determined to gut any help for anyone else.

    He married a very rich woman.

  231. 231

    If we fight among ourselves, we have lost before the war even begins.

    Seriously, everyone, put it away.

  232. 232

    My guess is Wall Street will support a privatization scheme because they stand to make lots of money from it, and anyway they think they can do it better.

    We’d better do just what Josh Marshall suggests and press the Democrats hard.

  233. 233
    dogwood says:

    I realize this country is in an uncertain time, but does anyone really think Democrats are going to support privatizing Medicare? And does anyone really believe Trump is going to be a popular president? Only thing that might raise his numbers would be to tell Congress he won’t sign the bill.

  234. 234
    Barbara says:

    @quakerinabasement: By leaving that message you play into their hands. They are banking on you caring only about your own benefits.

    Also, let me just say to everyone that the basic contours of this plan was passed in 2003 as part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. It wasn’t exactly the same, because it did not provide for vouchers, but it provided for an exchange for Medicare Advantage plans plus a fee for service option with the premium established by averaging all premiums for all options. That provision was supposed to go into effect 7 years after passage, but it was repealed in 2009. When something is held out for the future you should never lose hope that you can change it even if it does come into legislative shape. You should still try to keep it from being enacted anyway, but it does mean that a Plan B is possible and achievable.

    ETA for clarity

  235. 235
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Peale: I have heard that calls are as effective as letters, maybe even more so. They just skim the letters enough to know which pile to put them in. Then they tally them up.

    On the other hand, if you call, they still put a tally mark down AND you get to talk to an earnest Young Person who has probably never heard our side. The two I talked to this morning did not know the history of Medicare, did not know it came into being because old people are uninsurable. I told them families used to struggle with the choice of helping Granny pay her medical bills in order to keep her alive, and helping their children get started life. That was something I thought they could identify with.

    Yes, it’s just a drop but drop by drop and eventually you have the Grand Canyon.

  236. 236
    The Lodger says:

    @amk: I think you have Adam to thank for that.

  237. 237

    @dogwood: “Does anyone really think Democrats are going to support privatizing Medicare? And does anyone really believe Trump is going to be a popular president?”

    They’ve accepted lots of damnfool things, so why not this? And, yes, probably. Reagan was an absolute disaster on policy: tripled the national debt and ignored the AIDS epidemic. But conservatives still think he was a damn saint.

    BTW. the early reports from Josh Marshall are horrific: most elected Democratic officials aren’t even aware.

    I feel like we’re losing this damn war before battle has even been joined.

  238. 238
    Applejinx says:

    @FlipYrWhig: You know what? I apologize. I conflated you with somebody else, and I was wrong.

    It was ‘David Koch’ the whole time. He was the one posting hashtag #YASQUEEN, not you.

    I stand corrected, and I’ll do my damndest to not conflate you two again.

  239. 239
    rikyrah says:

    @lowercase steve:

    I notice that implicit in the OP is the understanding that the ACA is toast and Medicaid and SNAP will be block-granted and there is little the Dems can do about it. So the first point where we can actually put up a fight is Medicare. In other words, we can get the old people on board to defend Medicare and SS. But nobody gives a crap about the poor who will be screwed by the above.

    I will say it again…..

    The posterchild of Medicaid should be A WHITE GRANDMA AND GRANPA.

    WHO do you think eats up a majority of those Medicaid $$$$?

  240. 240
    Barbara says:

    @Raven Onthill: The reports are not “horrific.” Alarmism is going to kill us if we react like this the minute we hear about something. Of course Ryan has had this on his radar. As I said above, the House has voted on this plan previously and Democrats not only did not vote for it but they had an alternative then and they will have an alternative this time. Calling your rep and getting the lowest level staffer in the office does not mean there is no response or plan.

  241. 241

    @Barbara: read Josh Marshall’s page on it and look at the long list under “We’ll get back to you;” many Democratic officials are not even aware.

    I called my Senators; I couldn’t reach my Representative. Senate offices should be tracking this very important program, and the very important Rand Paul. Especially Sen. P. Murray should be aware; she has worked with Paul and knows him personally.

  242. 242
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Where is that filter again?

  243. 243
    NR says:

    @Applejinx: I speak up because, even after everything that’s happened, people here still want to blame liberals for all of the Democratic party’s problems. I swear, people here hate liberals far more than anyone on the right, and love to blame them for anything and everything under the sun. What this ignores, of course, are the facts that a) the Democratic party’s electoral woes go back much further than this most recent election, and b) the third-way neoliberal party leadership were the ones in charge for all these disasters, not liberals.

    Hell, yesterday someone here even blamed liberals for Merrick Garland not being confirmed, which has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen on the internet. To their credit, some people disagreed with this person, but others cheered her on and proclaimed how right she was. There are a significant number of people here who would love nothing more than for the narrative to settle in that liberals were at fault for the Trump disaster, as well as all of the Democratic party’s losses over the last eight years, and what we need to do is tell them to sit down and shut up, and then people will finally realize that what they wanted all along was more status-quo neoliberal incrementalism.

    The problem is, that narrative is pure bullshit. And I’m going to fight it wherever I see it. I’m sure as hell not going to let people blame me and the rest of the left for both the disasters that have already happened and the ones still to come when we were the ones who were right all along.

  244. 244
    Barbara says:

    @rikyrah: On a cost adjusted basis, clearly, much more per person is spent on old people and disabled people by the Medicaid program. It varies a lot by state, but for instance, in Louisiana 53% of beneficiaries are children but they account only for 27% of spending. Whereas, 27% of beneficiaries are elderly or disabled, but they account for 65% of expenditures. Nonetheless, Medicaid is for poor people, so that even elderly Medicaid beneficiaries are probably disproportionately from minority groups.

  245. 245
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Applejinx: Thank you.

  246. 246
    CaseyL says:

    I reached Senator Murray’s Seattle office. They advised me that Murray had already made a strong statement the day after the election that she would fight Trump’s bigoted agenda. I said that was great (and it is) but is the Senator aware of, and getting ready to fight, specific legislative agendas such as the plan to privatize Medicare and SocSec?

    I noted that the GOP would want to ram through a lot of things very quickly, because we’ve already seem them do that (when W was selected), and therefore the Dems also have to mobilize very very quickly, and be ready to oppose immediately, a show of solidarity and strength.

    The office person said the issue was too broad and undefined for her to respond to, and I should call the Senator’s DC office.

  247. 247

    @CaseyL: Yeah. Not real happy with Senator Murray, here.

  248. 248
    Deborah says:

    I’m in Missouri and just emailed Claire McCaskill. Will call her tomorrow. And call Roy Blunt’s office (for all the good it will do).

  249. 249

    […] The next urgent item is to get on the horn and demand that Medicare not be privatized or cut. Medicare battle […]

  250. 250
    Beckya57 says:

    @JMG: Agreed. I couldn’t find my congressman on Josh’s list, but both my senators are on the clueless list (all 3 are Dems, I live in WA). I’m planning to call all of them on Friday (day off from work for me). This is a classic example of GOP overreach–even their base loves Medicare–and thus a great opportunity for Dems, if they play it right. I wish Reid wasn’t retiring, and I don’t like Schumer’s ties to big banks, but this is his chance to show Dem skeptics he can handle the role.

  251. 251
    Beckya57 says:

    @Raven Onthill: Good to know, I’ll call the DC office. I’m particularly concerned about Murray because she’s worked with Ryan in the past.

  252. 252
    Beckya57 says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Don’t bother with Trump. He’s going to focus on enriching himself at the taxpayers’ expense, not on legislation. McConnell has already publicly blown him off on the infrastructure idea. It’s clear that he and Ryan think he’s a joke.

  253. 253
    SWMBO says:

    My daughter sent me this and I’m putting it out there just in case. There are others who think like us.

    This is a spreadsheet that is a call to action.

  254. 254
    Chocko_Rocko says:

    @PaulWartenberg2016: Call Rep. Ryan even if you do not live in his district. As the presumptive Speaker for the 115th Congress, Ryan is 3rd in the presidential succession and therefore has a national constituency. Call his office, write letters to his office, no matter where you live. If you get blown off, report back and make a fuss.

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