Government, Meet Bathtub

It’s easy to run a government that does (next to) nothing.

Here’s where Trumpism — or really Pence-ism, or really, exactly what the GOP has been promising (threatening) will have its most immediate, and quite possibly its most damaging impact:

Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned.

The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.

The NEH and NEA cuts are at once symbolic — the GOP is killing stuff liberals like, which is reward enough in those quarters — and, I think, intended to distract from other hugely reckless choices:

The Heritage blueprint used as a basis for Trump’s proposed cuts calls for eliminating several programs that conservatives label corporate welfare programs: the Minority Business Development Agency, the Economic Development Administration, the International Trade Administration and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The total savings from cutting these four programs would amount to nearly $900 million in 2017.

At the Department of Justice, the blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions.

At the Department of Energy, it would roll back funding for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, eliminate the Office of Electricity, eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and scrap the Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Under the State Department’s jurisdiction, funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are candidates for elimination.

The single most important point I can make is that this is the Kansas-ification of America.  This isn’t a Trump policy choice.  This is Mike Pence shepherding plans the Republican Party has been trying to implement for years, decades even.  I doubt it will all get through, but much of it will, I’d guess, and when it does we will need to hang every shitty outcome and terrible choice around the neck of every Republican officeholder.

This is what they want. This is what they told us they wanted. They’re likely going to get it, to some approximation.  And they’re going to have to own it, so that once again, Democrats can come in and fix the serial catastrophes we’re going to witness very damn soon.

Also, too — who wants to bet all the pieties about the deficit and restoring balance to the budget will fall to the tax cuts to come?

Fuck it.  I’m heading back to the seventeenth century.

Image: Francesco de Rossi, Bathesheba at her Bath1552-1554.

188 replies
  1. 1
    Chris says:

    The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.

    Because as everyone knows, that’s where the really massive spending happens.

  2. 2
    sigaba says:

    Fuck it. I’m heading back to the seventeenth century.

    Cromwell was right.

  3. 3
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    This will send the economy into the toilet. Combine that with the likelihood of a recession that based on the timing of past ones, should hit during the next 4 years, the 2008 meltdown might look mild by comparison.

    Which will lead to another Democratic president attempting to clean up after yet another GOP-induced shitstorm.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    dedc79 says:

    The Paul Ryan’s and Mitch McConnell’s are perfectly happy to have Trump tweeting and saying outrageous things and getting all the attention, because it provides cover for them to quickly unwind about 80 years of progressive progress at the administrative level. They’re going to gut environmental and labor/employment regulations, sell off vast swaths of federal land, eliminate the federal government’s little remaining involvement in fostering the arts, dismantle civil /voting rights protections and so on.

  6. 6
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    The total savings from cutting these four programs would amount to nearly $900 million in 2017.

    Or about 45 seconds of the Iraq invasion.

  7. 7
    From Both Sides of the Pond says:

    These assholes really don’t see the utility in public goods. We as a society should not simply aspire just to survive, or to depend on the dubious generosity of those with much to create the cultural achievements that allow us to be… more.

  8. 8
    RoonieRoo says:

    Say good-bye to our National Park system. It will be sold off and privatized.

  9. 9

    @Chris:

    Because as everyone knows, that’s where the really massive spending happens.

    More seriously, if you want to cut $1 trillion/year from the federal budget, you have to go at it with an axe, not a scalpel. Completely eliminating things liberals like is just icing on the cake.

  10. 10
    kindness says:

    And let’s not forget to add this to every dystopian future read we see. When it happens and when the citizens revolt Republicans will blame Obama, Clinton & Democrats no matter how little sense that makes. Since Fox will parrot them, most MSM will parrot Fox and it ends up being self fullfilling through the looking glass world. The MSM is the only linchpin and after this last election I believe we are completely screwed.

  11. 11
    Big Ole Hound says:

    Just remember when Trump quits within 2 years Mike pence will be in charge….shudder.

  12. 12
    James Powell says:

    They are not going to eliminate all that. Republicans have too many useless sons-in-law and idiot nephews who need phony baloney jobs. But they will eliminate most of it. It’s the red meat their followers want in exchange for the agreement to allow huge tax cuts for the rich, no regulation, and permission to pollute.

    And when they do, only the shrill and the far left will ever blame Republicans because, as we know, they said government doesn’t work and, look over here, it doesn’t work!

    Democrats will utterly fail to convince anyone not already convinced that Republicans are responsible for anything. We’ve had a solid 16 years of corruption, lying, stupidity, and the complete failure of every Republican policy idea, foreign and domestic, and it took a once-in-a-lifetime politician to win two presidential elections. The Republicans are stupid, evil, and wrong about everything, but they end up with a solid hold on all three branches of the federal government and nearly all the states.

    I can’t think of any political failures quite so large as that of the leadership of the Democratic Party.

  13. 13
    Belafon says:

    At the Department of Energy, it would roll back funding for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, eliminate the Office of Electricity, eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and scrap the Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

    Eliminate the US’s R&D budget. Because we all know businesses would have created the computer or the internet if government had just gotten out of the way.

  14. 14
    ruckus says:

    It seems like the seventeenth century may not be going back far enough. Which was the neadrathal era?

  15. 15
    Belafon says:

    @Belafon: Plus, we’ll just be conceding those to the Chinese.

  16. 16
    Ian says:

    OT but I am pissed off at Vox media. I tried to contact the website to complain about a story on immigration that was chock full of inaccuracies, and I got a virus uploaded to my computer. Shitty content, shitty security…

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    @dedc79:

    The Paul Ryan’s and Mitch McConnell’s are perfectly happy to have Trump tweeting and saying outrageous things and getting all the attention, because it provides cover for them to quickly unwind about 80 years of progressive progress at the administrative level. They’re going to gut environmental and labor/employment regulations, sell off vast swaths of federal land, eliminate the federal government’s little remaining involvement in fostering the arts, dismantle civil /voting rights protections and so on.

    You are right, but they will own it. No cover for them.

  18. 18
    rikyrah says:

    @RoonieRoo:

    Say good-bye to our National Park system. It will be sold off and privatized.

    you do not lie :(

  19. 19
    Butch says:

    @rikyrah: They won’t own it. They’ll find ways to spread the blame and the Trump voters will fall for it.

  20. 20
    James Powell says:

    @From Both Sides of the Pond:

    These assholes really don’t see the utility in public goods.

    It’s not just “these assholes;” at last count it’s about 63% of white people who are certain that every dollar the government spends is wasted on undeserving [insert racist epithet] and [insert sexist epithet].

  21. 21
    Yarrow says:

    @Belafon: This is actually a great place for an argument against what they are doing or pushback against it. Why do the Republicans want to stop funding research and development so the Chinese can beat us at every discovery and invention? Why do the Republicans hate America and want us to fail? Etc.Etc.

  22. 22

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Which will lead to another Democratic president attempting to clean up after yet another GOP-induced shitstorm.

    It’s almost as if that’s part of their plan: mess stuff up as badly as possible so the Democrats have to spend their time fixing stuff instead of building new things.

  23. 23

    @James Powell: The biggest failure being, letting BS run as a Democrat.

  24. 24
    bluehill says:

    @dedc79: Yep. I hope dems are able to focus because for the talk about how unprepared the new administration is I’m expecting a slew of executive actions, reg changes and legislation after the swearing in. If I were the repubs, I would push a lot of stuff with that expectation that even if it doesn’t all stick a lot will because it will be hard to keep track of it all or the dems will have to pick which battles to fight.

  25. 25
    Spanky says:

    eliminate the Office of Electricity

    Whatever. It’s all magic anyway.

  26. 26
    Waldo says:

    With an impulsive non-ideologue like Trump at the helm, I kind of doubt we’ll go the full Kansas route. Not sure if that makes it any better.

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    @Butch:

    They won’t own it. They’ll find ways to spread the blame and the Trump voters will fall for it.

    Nope.

    GOP President
    GOP Senate
    GOP House

    THEY.OWN.THIS.

  28. 28
    PGE says:

    They are deliberately creating a distopia.
    I’m thinking that in a couple of years Republicans are really going to be sorry Obama didn’t take our guns.

  29. 29
    Ryan says:

    There are constituencies for these programs. Not only people, but the business community as well. And their asses had better be paying attention and prepared to get on the line to mitigate the damage that Paul Ryan’s True Believerism is going to cause.

  30. 30
    Mathguy says:

    We can make them own it, but remember that the scumbag Brownback was re-elected after everyone realized the Kansas GOP were cow feces. H.L. Menken was a prophet.

  31. 31
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Waldo:

    With an impulsive non-ideologue like Trump at the helm, I kind of doubt we’ll go the full Kansas route. Not sure if that makes it any better.

    Don’t count on that. Trump is all about the grift and the looting. As long as he’s left to do that, the GOP, with Pence at the helm, will Kansify the country. Each component gets what it wants and the country is left holding the bag.

    Watching my country die is sad.

  32. 32
    Wapiti says:

    Speaking of cutting budgets, if the DoD were reduced to just marching soldiers, airmen, and sailors around, we could save a bunch on equipment costs. Trumpbus, LLC. will make a mint on transporting the servicemembers to different parade locations.

  33. 33
    Calouste says:

    @Belafon: It’s going to put the US economy in the shitter for a decade or so, because renewable energy is going to be cheaper than fossil, and will so soon. I read about a new windmill park off the Dutch coast that will power 1 million homes, and will do so at a cost that only a few years ago the industry itself thought they wouldn’t hit until 2030.

    On the other hand, oil will probably be cheap for the US, because demand in China and Europe will plummet.

  34. 34
    tpherald says:

    They’re going to get it because they win elections while Dems do not.

    We’re all too busy arguing over progressive purity and what the NYT editorial page thinks instead of turning out en masse every election to elect the party that is most closely aligned with us.

  35. 35
    Kryptik says:

    We’re looking at the full-on corporatization of America, in a way that I simply can’t see as ever getting fixed, even with a generation of work.

    They’re going to reshape the entire country in their image because this country really is theirs, from top to bottom, and no one will really be able to stop them. Fuck, I’m not sure if we’re even going to be able to mitigate any damage, even in the best case scenario of deep Dem wins in 2018 and 2020…

  36. 36
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Wapiti: Yeah, but you can’t have a proper military parade without a submarine in it.

  37. 37

    @Ryan: This will just set up more opportunities for Trump to play kingmaker by directing what government resources remain at favored corporations. This sets up a suck-up system whereby businesses compete with each other for the autocrat’s favoritism rather than banding together to fight against what’s bad for the business community as a whole. An ironic perversion of the tragedy of the commons, essentially.

  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    #Breaking WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stands by offer to go to USA now Chelsea Manning is being released, he tells press conference pic.twitter.com/b0MuYE584A— Press Association (@PA) January 19, 2017

    I wonder if he’ll be at the inaugural events in time to hear Tony Orlando sing?

  39. 39
    sigaba says:

    @Belafon: The problem is government invented the Internet, so everybody’s got this self-righteous idea that it shouldn’t cost $300 a megabyte (extra for long distances).

    There was always going to be an Internet, it was just a question of wether it was going to be a highway or a toll road, and wether people would be free to start their own businesses on it, or they’d only be able to “partner” with AOL-MCI-Enron first.

  40. 40
    oklahomo says:

    @Spanky: Fucking magnets. How do they work?

  41. 41
    SatanicPanic says:

    This is not the Democrat’s or voters’ fault this happened. We have a Constitution that was poorly designed, and it was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to break it. It was always too much to expect reasonable people to keep patching it up, and now it’s broken beyond repair. We need to start seriously considering what’s next.

  42. 42
    sigaba says:

    @oklahomo: Pretty well but they’re usually too damn lazy.

  43. 43

    @Yarrow: Does he know that he hasn’t been charged with anything?

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    Thursday’s USA Today has a color photo from the Trump Penthouse, decorated to resemble Versailles. Grotesque. We’re going to need to set up a guillotine in Times Square simply to rid the country of the Trump clan.

  45. 45
    hovercraft says:

    @PGE: I’d say good, let them shoot it out, but there are a couple of places where a lot of liberals live. I guess the good news is that the bottom ten are mostly North-East states, NJ is number 45 and NY is 51, CA just missed at number 40.

    The Top 10 Most Heavily-Armed States In America (Is Yours On The List?)

    December 14, 2015

    1 Wyoming: 195.7 firearms per 1,000 people.
    2. District of Columbia: 66.4 firearms per 1,000 people.
    3. Arkansas: 41.6 firearms per 1,000 people.
    4. New Mexico: 40.5 firearms per 1,000 people.
    5. Virginia: 30.1 firearms per 1,000 people.
    6. Idaho: 24.2 firearms per 1,000 people.
    7. Alabama: 20 firearms per 1,000 people.
    8. Nevada: 19.5 firearms per 1,000 people.
    9. Alaska: 15.2 firearms per 1,000 people.
    10. Louisiana: 15.1 firearms per 1,000 people.

  46. 46
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Kryptik:

    I’m not sure if we’re even going to be able to mitigate any damage, even in the best case scenario of deep Dem wins in 2018 and 2020…

    Don’t underestimate the power of a control shift on Capitol Hill. I work for an executive level agency and saw the damage the Bushies inflicted internally on the feds during their reign of error. When Nancy Smash took control, all that stopped.

    Cheetoh Donnie and VP Dence won’t be able to do jack if they lose control of either chamber much less both. Well, they could still start a nukular war in order to bring about a Dominionist orgasm, aka the Rapture, but as for anything else…

  47. 47
    Timurid says:

    A lot of the worst case scenarios about Trump involve a catastrophic terrorist attack followed by a State of Emergency, but:

    1. Al Qaeda/ISIS/Whoever might not oblige them
    2. The false flag equivalent would be extraordinarily difficult and risky to pull off

    A 2008 on steroids economic catastrophe, however, would be all too easy to engineer and exploit…

  48. 48
    Calouste says:

    @Kryptik: Germany, at least West-Germany, was more-or-less fixed in 30 years. And they literally started from rubble. Of course, they had the advantage of not having half of the population thinking that rubble was a good thing.

  49. 49
    SenyorDave says:

    @Yarrow: #Breaking WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stands by offer to go to USA now Chelsea Manning is being released, he tells press conference pic.twitter.com/b0MuYE584A— Press Association (@PA) January 19, 2017

    He and Trump can go hit the bars together after the inauguration. They are a good pair together, a rapist and a sexual predator.

  50. 50
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Kryptik: Is there a moral way for the the decent parts of the country to emulate Slovenia? Is my question.

  51. 51
    cosima says:

    @SatanicPanic: When I talked politics after the last election (2012) with our friends here in Scotland my common refrain was ‘broken, not fixable.’ It wasn’t functioning as intended due to GOP obstruction, the shite Supreme Court and their bullshit ruling on corporations being people.

    Nothing happened in the interim to change that, voters sucked this time around, and now it will certainly be irreparable. This election has shown that the constitution will not be upheld by one of the two parties, so how could things function going forward?

    I’ve got hope that the rest of the world will hold together to marginalise this illegitimate president, but I have little hope for the US itself. I hope that I will be pleasantly surprised.

    My cynicism and despair are at their peak right now.

  52. 52
    hovercraft says:

    @SenyorDave:
    Offer to whom? We don’t want him, Sweden wants him for rape or sexual assault. That is where he will be extradited to, this was always his straw man, that if he went to Sweden they would send him here. Now that he and Putin have installed Putin’s Bitch, he no longer has to fear being sent here, if anything Putin and his pet will do their best to ensure he gets off for his crimes in Sweden.

  53. 53
    Kryptik says:

    @Calouste:

    Of course, they had the advantage of not having half of the population thinking that rubble was a good thing.

    This is the exact reason for my persisting pessimism. Winning won’t be enough, not when America is going to be on board for a full rewind and more of everything Dems do or try to do if we get any modicum of power again, starting with what feels like an absolute ceiling of support at this rate whereas the GOP gets to deal with an absolute floor of support and sky’s the limit for fucking everything.

  54. 54
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Calouste:

    Germany, at least West-Germany, was more-or-less fixed in 30 years. And they literally started from rubble.

    30 years? Try fifteen. By 1960 in most of Germany you’d never have known it was in ruins only a short time ago. Meanwhile, in the same time span we still didn’t fully rebuild the World Trade Center site, and that was from ONE attack….

  55. 55
    D58826 says:

    @Butch:

    I doubt it will all get through, but much of it will, I’d guess, and when it does we will need to hang every shitty outcome and terrible choice around the neck of every Republican officeholder.

    And with the exception of the Pa. gov. every last GOP governor, including Brownbeck, was reelected, so I would not hold my breath waiting for the GOP to pay a price. .

  56. 56
    Calouste says:

    @Timurid: The shitgibbon doesn’t have to put in any special effort to engineer a 2008 on steroids economic catastrophe. That’s the expected outcome.

  57. 57
    SatanicPanic says:

    @cosima: This is where I’m at. I think working within the system with the intent of keeping it going is the right thing to do, but I feel like odds of failure are almost 100%.

  58. 58
    mai naem mobile says:

    @rikyrah: good luck with that Half will be blamed on Scary Black Muslim Man and another quarter on The Guy Who Got BJs in the WH and The Nice Ex President Who Didn’t Take Care of the Iran Hostages . The Gushing On Putin Party will just say it had to be done because they are the fiscally responsible party blah blah blah.

  59. 59
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Calouste: Actually, in the southwest US, solar costs per megawatt are half the price of coal – and that’s with ignoring the emissions costs of coal, which roughly doubles its price. In the midwest, wind is comparable – about half the price of coal. Both are cheaper than natural gas in certain markets, again ignoring emissions costs. Both are cheaper across much of the country if you factor emissions costs.

    There’s just no way to make oil cheap enough. The energy industry is fighting an impossible battle. Pretty much everything in markets can be (over)simplified to a function of at + b where b are capital costs and a are recurring costs over a period of t time. For solar and wind, a is effectively zero, while b is high, but falling each year. For fossil fuels, a is non-zero, and over time is generally increasing, with spikes down when certain technological gains take place like fracking. But in the end you have to pay people to hump out to where the oil is, spend energy to get it out of the ground, pay more people to transport it, refine it, etc. Those can automate their way near zero, but they can never get there, and over a sufficiently long period of time t, a will almost always exceed b in almost any of these scenarios. Any time you can drive your marginal cost to zero, scale will cause you to win the market. That was true for semiconductors where a is tiny and b is huge. That is true for damn near anything on the internet where a is tiny or zero. It’s true for software. It’s true for wind/solar/hydro/geothermal.

    Industry doesn’t really give a shit about the GOP ideological battles. Apple either has built or has under construction 2GW of solar capacity around the world, and is building another half GW of wind. To put that in context, at the end of 2015, the entire US had 25GW of solar. Apple doesn’t do this because they are hippies, they do this because its financially prudent for them to. They’re going to make money off of this. Unless the feds want to either start taxing renewables or start shoving BIG money into fossil fuel subsidies, there’s really no putting this genie back in the bottle.

  60. 60
    hovercraft says:

    @Mike in NC: Haven’t you seen the photo spread they did a while back, the entire place is exactly what you would expect from a crass, tasteless buffoon, the Daily Mail published this spread in December.

  61. 61
    Kryptik says:

    @D58826:
    The GOP doesn’t pay prices. Ever. They still get treated as the default ruling class of this country, forever and fucking anon. Individual GOPers maybe, MAYBE pay an electoral price, eventually, but the party itself will always be treated like the real ‘owner’ of America. Whereas Democrats get collective blame for any sin of one individual, and get forced to prove our worth beyond reasonable doubt, and even then, have to remain unimpeachable throughout or we prove just how evil and unworthy we are.

    If that sounds familiar, that’s likely by design.

  62. 62
    Bill says:

    The job losses from this plan alone will send us spiraling in to recession.

    We are so fucked.

  63. 63
    Spanky says:

    @sigaba: (Golf clap.)

  64. 64
    Spanky says:

    @Mike in NC:

    We’re going to need to set up a guillotine in Times Square simply to rid the country of the Trump clan.

    Oh, now you’ve gone and given VDE a chubby.

  65. 65
    ET says:

    Sigh. Pizzagate continues……

  66. 66
    ET says:

    Sigh. Pizzagate continues…… Local blog has a video of some losers gathering

  67. 67
    Calouste says:

    @Rafer Janders: Yes, you could lay the marker earlier. I picked the mid 1970s as they were at that point back as a well respected, influential, and powerful member of the international community.

  68. 68
    Timurid says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Even the best case of that scenario would be absolutely hideous. To wit:

    1. Red America and Blue America agree to go their separate ways… peacefully.
    2. The new government of Blue America publicly proclaims ‘all Americans are welcome in Blue America.’
    3. Then they stop to do the math.
    4. Their actual policy is ‘Nobody from Red America gets in without startup capital/marketable skills/family sponsorship.’ Immigration to Blue America for mere mortals will be just as difficult/impossible as it would be to anywhere else in the First World.
    5. Millions of just average women/minorities/gays/leftists/etc. will be left locked in the bear’s cage. ‘Sorry, kids. Shoulda finished that STEM degree.’

    The less awful, but still deeply unpleasant (and much less likely), alternative is an overcrowded Blue America with a huge refugee underclass. You think the competition for jobs and housing in California is harsh now?

  69. 69

    @Rafer Janders: Oddly enough, much of East Berlin still resembles a crumbling post-Soviet failed state.

  70. 70
    Citizen_X says:

    Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.

    This cannot be right. By eliminating all those penny-ante (relatively speaking) items, they’re going to cut nearly the entire federal budget?

    $10.5 billion over 10 years, I could believe, and that’s probably what they meant. But the Hill’s error will only fuel the people who think we spend all our tax $$$ on foreign aid and funding Piss Christ and whatnot.

  71. 71
    Yarrow says:

    Someone commented awhile ago that it’s going to take violence to get things to change. I am coming around to that view more and more. Not that I like it, but I think it may be the only thing that will work. Something has to make the oligarchy fear the peasants. Something has to make those in charge see that the rich running everything while the rest scramble for crumbs isn’t in their best interest. Facts and reasoned arguments don’t seem to make a dent. Fear might.

    What do they fear? Peasants at the gate with pitchforks and torches (reality–probably guns) in large numbers willing to die for their rights? Their own children being blown up in targeted terrorist acts? War on US soil? I am not advocating those things, but maybe it would have to come to that. I hope not. But I am not sure the other options are effective enough.

  72. 72
    randy khan says:

    I saw a note somewhere that the total cuts outline in the article were about half a percent of what would be needed to reach the goal and that $1 trillion essentially would require getting rid of all of the non-entitlement spending in the budget – including the entire military budget (which accounts for something over half of the total, and is unlikely to be cut much, if at all, with a Republican Congress). So, in practice, what the proposal means is big cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

  73. 73
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    @Mathguy: A lot of people think that election was stolen.

  74. 74
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Timurid: yeah, not buying this. Things are not that bad here, even with all the people who want to live here, plus you don’t think there wouldn’t be a few million people eager to move out?

  75. 75
    01jack says:

    @Timurid:

    Red America and Blue America agree to go their separate ways… peacefully

    Maybe it would work if they agrèed to separate gradually, in planned stages. The federal government would continue to exist, as more and more power devolved to the state unions until the final breakup.

  76. 76
    Immanentize says:

    @Yarrow: The thing is — maybe the US does want Julian A. for something, but Sweden has the best extradition claim on Assange right now for the sexual assault charges. He is avoiding that problem, not the US issues. I believe he feels he can get the new administration to grant him some kind of clemency.

  77. 77
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Yarrow:

    Take a gander at the dumbfuckery of these Trump supporters, then explain to me like I’m five years old where the consciousness raising begins to rouse these deluded morons into action. They’re cows out standing in the field.

  78. 78
    Timurid says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    There would be many more entering than leaving. The people leaving would be mostly from sparsely populated rural areas, and very few of the newcomers will be interested in taking over that deserted farm outside of Chico or wherever…

  79. 79
    Immanentize says:

    @hovercraft: sorry I see you get there first

  80. 80
    jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    I have a feeling that many of those who support drowning government would be extremely disappointed in the result.
    I don’t think they will like being the Koch brothers’ serfs. It would not effect the Chuck Todd’s of the world as long as they continue flattering the nobility.

  81. 81
    raven says:

    @Yarrow: Go outside and take a walk.

  82. 82
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Don’t forget to set your DVRs for the final episode of America: The Series. Starts at noon tomorrow.

  83. 83
    Spanky says:

    @Yarrow: Here is a snippet ending in a familiar quote. And said quote takes on a different tone when set in context. And that context is seems disturbingly familiar:

    Wonderful is the effect of impudent & persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, & what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & a half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.

  84. 84
    Svensker says:

    @Waldo:

    With an impulsive non-ideologue like Trump at the helm, I kind of doubt we’ll go the full Kansas route. Not sure if that makes it any better.

    You forget Steve Bannon behind him, working his Leninist destruction behind him. Trump doesn’t care as long as it’s yuge, but Bannon knows just what he wants done.

  85. 85
    kindness says:

    @Kryptik: That’s because Shakespeare was wrong. First thing is not to go after all the lawyers. First thing will be go after all the Sugar Daddies that fund the crazy right wing. 2nd will be to go after the shitty media. I mean, Republicans have been trying to kill all the funding that Democrats receive for decades. Turn around should be expected.

  86. 86
    TriassicSands says:

    I suppose it’s worth noting that after Brownback Kansas-ified Kansas he was re-elected. The people really aren’t very smart.

  87. 87

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: I’m coming around to the argument that we need to present a “come in, the water’s warm” front to all Trump supporters, so that enough will come over to our side. Strange bedfellows and all that. In private and in blog comment sections, fuck ’em all, but, public front.

    This of course won’t change the minds of the field-cows, but whatcha gonna do.

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: Final season, more like.

  88. 88
    Calouste says:

    @jake the antisoshul soshulist: Court jester has always been a stable, if maybe not entirely satisfying career.

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: I looked at them and they’re the same types of people saying the same types of things you saw at his rallies. I’m not sure what you’re saying. Consciousness raising with these people? I doubt it. War at home, another Great Depression? It might change things. I’m not advocating it. Just wondering if it’ll take something that dramatic to get things to really change. They certainly don’t listen to reason and facts.

    @raven: Because?

  90. 90
    🌷 Martin says:

    @randy khan: Well, I’m sure that about $400B of the cuts are just repealing Obamacare. That’s also $400B in lost revenue, but they are only interested in advertising the cuts.

    TPM has a good piece up today on Price and Ryan’s plans to try and eliminate employer provided health insurance.

    In a narrow sense, they aren’t wrong that employer health insurance is distortive. But at the same time, employer health plans are a kind of small scale single payer in that group policies are a good place for people to hide that would be discriminated against in the individual market. My family for example has 4 people with preexisting conditions. On the individual market, we’re pretty fucked. Even under ACA, things wouldn’t be awesome, but in a large group policy, my costs get shared with all of my coworkers. Sure, I have copays and all that, but those things are entirely reasonable. Turning this apple cart over would be hugely disruptive.

    Now, I doubt that the GOP will find much support for this idea. Large employers like the current setup. Benefits are a tax-free way to attract talent, and pushing those workers onto individual plans would necessitate increasing wages, which then incur payroll taxes and so on. It add some uncertainty to how competitive employers would be able to be. The upside to doing it is that it would increase tax receipts. All of those tax free benefits shifting to taxable would help, and pushing everyone in group policies into the individual market would create new, possibly positive dynamics in the individual market. But there would be a huge transaction cost to doing so. I may not stay in this job with those benefits gone, as those have been my primary motivation to be in this job. Some people won’t see their compensation increased enough to cover the cost of insurance, others would see it increased more than enough. It would be hugely disruptive. And most people have insurance through their employers, and I can’t imagine very many of us would be excited about this plan.

    In the end, it’s a question of how much are the GOP willing to burn their seed corn to win an ideological fight. Kansas has so far demonstrated that they’re willing to burn a hell of a lot of it, and the national GOP doesn’t seem too deterred by what the Kansas experiment has borne out.

  91. 91
    Calouste says:

    @Spanky: I think the Native Americans had a somewhat different take on the peacefulness of the century and a half preceding that quote.

  92. 92
    raven says:

    @Yarrow: Because you can’t feel any worse and you might feel better.

  93. 93
    Schlemazel says:

    Been traveling this week and ignoring the internet. Dropped by now just to see if I had missed anything. Nope.

    As for hanging the coming disasters around the GOPs neck; how much damage has the Kansas GOPsuffered? Last I checked Bareback was still rogering them.

  94. 94
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    @TriassicSands: As I said to the other guy, there is strong circumstantial evidence that Brownback and Co stole that election. See here.

  95. 95
    Immanentize says:

    @Calouste: I know this is a topic for a much longer discussion, but it seems a number of folks in the republican power structure are bent on ending native american sovereignty and “privatizing” native american lands. And yes, for a couple of decades, the federal courts have set up the legal structures to allow congress to abrogate all treaties with native populations.

    You heard it here first!

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:

    They’re not cows. They’re goats. And we need to tell them so in that exact language using that exact word, because they will understand it.

  97. 97
    Yarrow says:

    @🌷 Martin: I detest employer-based health insurance. It’s healthcare handcuffs. You stay in the job for the insurance if you have any relatively serious health issues. If all insurance is on the open market people will not stick with crappy jobs just for the health insurance. I’d welcome insurance being decoupled from full time employment, especially employment by larger companies that offer the better health coverage.

    However, if that is replaced with shitty insurance it’s not a win. And I’m sure that’s where the GOP is heading. They’ll call it an improvement and it’ll be terrible.

  98. 98
    Cacti says:

    Featured at Vox: “I voted for Donald Trump, and I already regret it”.

    I remember the precise moment that I realized I regretted voting for Donald Trump.

    It was during his 60 Minutes interview after the election. I was, like everyone else, shocked that he had won. It seemed so unlikely based on the polls and the confidence the media had that he would lose. It was a pleasant surprise, and I went to bed on election night thrilled that he would be our president.

    But sitting on my couch, sipping coffee as I watched the interview, I saw with my own eyes who Trump really was as a person. He backtracked on one of his signature campaign promises: pursuing an investigation into the Clinton email scandal. It’s not that I want Clinton to be crucified or “locked up” — it’s the nonchalance with which he went back on his word after hammering it repeatedly during the campaign. The ease and quickness with which he reversed his position shook me to my core. I realized in that moment that I had voted for a demagogue. And it was sickening.

    I don’t feel sorry for you, Sherri Underwood.

    You were a mark. A dupe. A sucker.

    Your Trump vote should be a scarlet letter of shame that you wear the rest of your life.

  99. 99
    Gretchen says:

    I’m in Kansas. Repubs got their wishes, and they own the results. And the people here hate, hate, hate them. Look here if you want to see your future – people mobilized like I’ve never seen before, and threw most of Brownback’s pals out and the new lege is telling him he needs to fix his mess. I got phone calls for stateSenate races, and that’s never happened before. I think people all over the country are fired up and ready to participate. It happened here.

  100. 100
    Suzanne says:

    @cosima: Cosigned.

    At this point, the only comfort that I can hope for is being right.

    I really do love being right. My favorite scenario is when I am so obnoxiously, egregiously, undeniably right that no one even attempts to argue and they just get all sheepish and I can magnanimously not rub their faces in it, but I get to feel all smug AND like the bigger person at the same time.

    That’s what I’m hoping for here. It will be cold comfort, but that is the best I can hope for.

  101. 101

    @Yarrow:

    I detest employer-based health insurance. It’s healthcare handcuffs. You stay in the job for the insurance if you have any relatively serious health issues. If all insurance is on the open market people will not stick with crappy jobs just for the health insurance. I’d welcome insurance being decoupled from full time employment, especially employment by larger companies that offer the better health coverage.

    This was, in fact, one of the major points of Obamacare.

    Vaguely related: They had a ‘group of one’ guaranteed-issue-no-subsidy policy in Colorado that was better than nothing that I used to use, but that only let you out of the handcuffs if you could afford it.

  102. 102
    patrick II says:

    O/T, but I didn’t think of any good signs for protesters Saturday, but overnight I thought that
    TRUMP HAS GRABBED AMERICA BY ITS PUTIN
    might not be the worst.

  103. 103
    Chris says:

    @James Powell:

    They are not going to eliminate all that. Republicans have too many useless sons-in-law and idiot nephews who need phony baloney jobs.

    Well, what are family businesses for?

  104. 104
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: Oh, trust me, I can feel a lot worse. I’m actually somewhat cheered by some of the things I’ve seen recently. Like this:

    Neither are the Senate and the IC all that Trump has to worry about. Several European intelligence agencies have watched the new president’s clandestine ties to Putin with interest and alarm. For small countries close to Russia, the prospect of an American president colluding with the Kremlin is terrifying. What they know was hinted at in a tweet by Harri Ohra-aho, in response to an all-caps claim tweeted by Trump: “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” Ohra-aho’s response, which translates as “Lord, give me patience, AND NOW!” is important mainly because the tweeter is a two-star general serving as the chief of Finnish military intelligence.

    Plenty of intelligence services know parts of the truth about our 45th president’s potentially unsavory ties to Moscow. Starting tomorrow, Trump will try hard to shut down IC inquiries, but he cannot curtail the Senate investigation and doesn’t have any power to silence worried allies and partners who consider him a threat to their countries.

    I wish I could go for a walk but I can’t. Meetings.

  105. 105
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @kindness:

    That’s because Shakespeare was wrong. First thing is not to go after all the lawyers. First thing will be go after all the Sugar Daddies that fund the crazy right wing. 2nd will be to go after the shitty media. I mean, Republicans have been trying to kill all the funding that Democrats receive for decades. Turn around should be expected.

    The following (paraphrased) is something I lifted from a comment posted here at BJ over the last year or three:

    If I were in charge, I’d probably declare martial law and drag 400 of the richest Americans, parade them thru the streets of a major metro area, Chinese Cultural Revolution style, into a large stadium, let’s say NYC ending up in Citi Field, or even Yankee Stadium in a pinch. I’d then publicly execute them, single bullet to the back of the head, again very Chinese Communist style, then make the families pay for the associated costs of the parade, security and the price of ammo. I’d then seize everything they have and redistribute it to the poor.

    And don’t get me started on tumbrels for members of our Elite Corporate Media. Yes I’m look at you Mrs Greenspan, Cokie Fucking Roberts, Chuck Fucking Todd, etc., etc.

    Fine, I’m a lunatic. Don’t let me be dictator and everything will be fine.

  106. 106
    Gravenstone says:

    As you state, this smacks of Pence (and his handlers) driving the ship of state onto the rocks with malicious intent. Which raises the question, who foisted Pence off onto the Trump train? We all heard the story about Trump panicking at the 11th hour and asking if he could rescind the offer to Pence. Was that honest uncertainty, or “buyer’s” remorse about the bargain he’d just signed onto to ensure his (eminently unqualified) elevation to the Presidency?

    And now, to actually read the thread…

  107. 107
    Cacti says:

    @Suzanne:

    I really do love being right. My favorite scenario is when I am so obnoxiously, egregiously, undeniably right that no one even attempts to argue and they just get all sheepish and I can magnanimously not rub their faces in it, but I get to feel all smug AND like the bigger person at the same time.

    After two terms of Dubya, and now at least one term of Trump, I think we’re past the point of trying to be big about having cretins installed in the White House every odd decade.

    When Trump inevitably fuck things up, the people who voted for him need to be reminded that they knew they were choosing a braying jackass, and that the country got exactly what they voted for. So, if you want good things, stop voting for jackasses.

  108. 108
    Emma says:

    So since y’all seem to be convinced that it’s hopeless, can we begin planning for the new Underground Railroad?

  109. 109
    Chris says:

    @Timurid:

    They will NEVER agree to let Blue America go its separate ways. Ideologically, they think this is all their country, and we’re interlopers no matter where we are. Practically, their entire economy survives only because it’s tacked onto Bluemerica’s. Take that away, and they’re just Venezuela with NASCAR.

    ETA: and they know it, no matter how loudly they may protest otherwise.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    Brachiator says:

    @RoonieRoo:

    Say good-bye to our National Park system. It will be sold off and privatized.

    Look on the bright side. The branding rights to Smokey Bear should raise hundreds of millions.

  112. 112
    Yarrow says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I know it was one of the benefits of Obamacare, but the best insurance was still with employers. Maybe it depends on the state, but I looked what was available where I am in no way approached the employer-based insurance. Cost a ton more too.

    I’d like to think that if all health insurance was de-coupled from employers it would improve options and lower costs but I also want a pony and that ain’t happening.

  113. 113
    Jeff says:

    @Big Ole Hound: I don’t think he will quit. I think he will drop dead. Has he ever put in an 8 hour day in his life?

  114. 114
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Tangential to that, can someone tell me how to see the comments on an article at USA Today? Their interface is horrific, and every “comments” thing I click offers to let me submit a Facebook comment of my own. Ugh. I wanted to see the reactions to that woman’s piece on “I voted for Trump, but why’s he taking away my Planned Parenthood?”

  115. 115
    Gravenstone says:

    @rikyrah: You’re forgetting one very critical element to all this. Idiot Americans with the collective attention span of gnats. Democrats can howl forever more about Republican perfidy leading to the collapse of society. In 3 months, no one will remember, let alone care.

  116. 116

    @Yarrow: Oh, I know, I was just remembering and lamenting. And I agree about decoupling.

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Don’t let me be dictator

    Deal.

  117. 117
    Eljai says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: Those people Daniel Dale talked to remind me of the Trump supporter I heard on NPR the other day. She said that she was looking forward to having a businessman in the White House because he would lower the deficit. So, by her logic, a man who owes $713 million in loans, and is on the hook for another $2 billion in real estate related debt, will magically lower the deficit. Okay then.

  118. 118
    Brachiator says:

    @Yarrow:

    Neither are the Senate and the IC all that Trump has to worry about. Several European intelligence agencies have watched the new president’s clandestine ties to Putin with interest and alarm.

    This will be an interesting chess game should right wing governments win big in European elections. They may push their intelligence agencies to soft pedal any negative Trump matter.

    And I get tinglings that in the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May wants to resurrect memories of the Reagan/Thatcher partnership in her dealings with Trump.

  119. 119
    p.a. says:

    @Yarrow: Ja Gould: “I can hire one half the working class to kill the other half.” (apocryphal.)

  120. 120
  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    Or, as I’ve been saying to the (fortunately very few) Trump voters I know, “This is what you voted for.”

    Also, I’ve been promising exactly the same amount of deference and respect for President Trump that they displayed to President Obama. Funny, they don’t seem to think that’s adequate. 🤔

  122. 122
    Calouste says:

    @Yarrow: The goal of the GOP is that you are either rich, work for the rich, or are dying quickly. Money spend on retirement and health care in old age for workers is money that should have gone to the rich instead.

  123. 123
    Spanky says:

    @Brachiator:

    And I get tinglings that in the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May wants to resurrect memories of the Reagan/Thatcher partnership in her dealings with Trump.

    I suppose it’s the schadenfreude that makes me remember that it’s impossible for Trump to gently, shall we say, turn away young ladies he finds unsatisfactory.

  124. 124
    cosima says:

    @Brachiator: May is not popular here. She’ll get no love or support if she begins to cozy up to Putin/Shitgibbon.

    The right is noisy here, but memories are long here, certainly long enough to remember the much more recent Blair/Bush fiasco. I don’t see the UK going down that road without a long hard fight from other politicians and the citizens themselves. There is a deep & profound horror here in regard to the current US situation.

    As for the right in Germany, Greece, France and other countries — the US’ problems may just be the wake up call that they desperately needed. It’s the only hope that I’ve got, and I’m holding on to it for dear life.

  125. 125
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Jeff:

    No. And he did absolutely no parenting of his various children until they were 21. Everyone should read the profiles of his brood in Vanity Fair. It’s a sad, sad story.

  126. 126
    EBT says:

    @Immanentize: The statute of limitations ran out on those a year ago, he is holed up in the Embassy because he factually thinks if he leaves he will be immediately given to the USA where he will be tortured and executed.

    And if Kansas is the blueprint then CA should absolutely say they will do whatever, take the money and keep on doing what we do best, dragging the red half of the country forward kicking and screaming.

  127. 127
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Yarrow: The problem with that line of thinking is that you have a real problem with information asymmetry in the individual market. That’s why ACA was needed so badly – insurers know a lot about you and want to choose to have you as a policyholder or not. Your way to remain one is to pay them more. Group policies just don’t work that way. Insurers don’t have the ability to single you out – they don’t tell employers “Hey, here’s a lower rate if you fire that sick guy over there” but they absolutely do that on the individual market.

    That’s why single payer works so well – you pay for a share of the aggregate cost, rather than the individual cost. By doing so, you eliminate all of the information incentives that exist between insurer and policyholder.

    In theory, insurers could stop investing in that information (which drives up costs) and settle for the aggregate model, but that only actually works in a monopoly situation. If you also want competition (which the GOP does), then insurers are incentivized to find ways to lower costs and compete, and a really appealing way to do that is to rate the policyholders and dump the expensive ones and keep the cheap ones. That’s always going to persist in the market. There is no economic model that allows for a fair and stable health insurance marketplace which also follows free market rules. A free market requires that both sides of the market can exit the market – that the insurer can reject the policyholder and the policyholder can reject participation. That’s actually impossible under federal law because ERs must treat patients regardless of whether they have insurance or not. So there’s a number of conditions that we will never tolerate that are needed for it to function as a free market. There’s simply no point in trying to pretend that market economics will ever work here. That’s why everyone ultimately goes to single payer in one form or another. Its an economic inevitability.

  128. 128
    Timurid says:

    @Chris:

    Yes, I was visualizing the ideal outcome, which would still be deeply shitly.
    The more realistic scenario is orders of magnitude worse.

    The problem is that we will lose a shooting war. Full stop.
    Starting tomorrow, they control all the levers of political power… both legitimate and illegitimate.
    Everything from the Senate and the New York Times to the basement bomb factories.

    They have:
    -The Presidency
    -Congress
    -The Supreme Court
    -Law Enforcement (national and local)
    -The Media
    -Most business elites

    Once things start getting really ugly they have:
    -Russia
    -Organized crime, both Russian and American
    -A majority of (active or potential) militiamen, terrorists and thugs. This includes most of the veterans and others with law enforcement/weapons training and experience, at least those still young enough to be fighters.
    -White people. Damned near all of them. Once serious violence starts, and the first school full of white kids gets bombed by some random dickhead, White America will check out. Even most of the liberals/Democrats. They’ll actively support the government, or at best, they’ll try to just sit it out.

    I’m not counting the military here. Non-interference in civilian government is in their DNA. They would not step in until it’s too late. And the Republicans would not need them to win.

  129. 129
    p.a. says:

    tRump to appoint Woody (duh) Johnson (Johnson&Johnson money), NY Jets owner, amb to GB. Shit, Woody’s so stupid just getting him off premise will improve the JetsJetsJets. Might take Woody a week just to learn to spell Brexit.

  130. 130
    Sab says:

    My ducking cat just ate my phone charger which is also my ebook charger. I love that cat bit he will die for this.

    >. May take a couple of days to catch him but he will die for this.

  131. 131
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Doesn’t this assume that those currently in power actually care about the populace? My sense has always been that the GOP wealthy looks at any program that they feel redistributes wealth from them to anybody but them as simply another manifestation of New Deal policies and thus must be crushed. I think they’d look at Single Payer that way.

    They oppose the ACA for that very wealth redistribution reason, plus it’s Unforgivable Blackness.

  132. 132
    EBT says:

    @🌷 Martin: I think a better argument why the health care system isn’t a free market is that everyone is by dint of birth factually compelled to participate in the health care system in one form or another. Even superficial non interaction actually can have deep long reaching effects. Both from public health standpoints and how the rich can use the threat of ending up like “them” to compel paying extraordinary fees.

  133. 133
    Doug R says:

    What a lot of defeatist whining.
    Trump is Starting with 32% approval and he got 2.8 million votes LESS.
    Why do you think Obama is going to concentrate on voting rights?
    Of course, that might mean a little work and bravery, just ask John Lewis.

  134. 134
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Sab:

    Not if he ducks!

  135. 135
    Elie says:

    If these folks are allowed to make these cuts and destroy much of the function of government there will be massive economic and cultural crises. We would be at each other’s throats. Exactly as desired by Putin. We have experienced a coup in my opinion and there is no easy fix. I pray like hell this ain’t so but all the announcements from the regime point to massive destruction of government. He hasn’t even filled over 600 positions that make things run. If appearances are correct we will be in one crisis after another. Who can stop this?

  136. 136
    Elizabelle says:

    Y’all are some depressing jackals.

    @Chris:

    Take [Blue America] away, and they’re just Venezuela with NASCAR.

    But that was brilliant.

  137. 137
    DBaker says:

    From a Hill article describing the RSC budget:

    “Similar to Price’s plan, the RSC budget would reform Medicare by 2020 by converting it to a premium-support system that would offer a range of coverage options to people born in 1955 or after. The plan would gradually phase in an increase in the eligibility age for those born in 1960 or after and would raise it by two months each year until the eligibility age reaches 67.

    The budget would also transform Medicaid by combining it with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expires later this year, and providing states with block grants”

    The RSC budget actually increases the DOD budget, while raising SS age to 70 and imposing chained CPI. Transportation would also be foisted onto the states. Finally, it would appear that they use some “dynamic scoring” and “tax cut” pixie dust to actually claim that revenues would increase due to all the magical cuts.

    Fox News, talk show radio and the underlying internet e-mail network has done a fantastic job misleading the rubes into thinking that the federal budget is spent on all those other people, but not them, and the GOP traded on this misrepresentation to get votes. The only way that the GOP makes this work is to actually cut the programs that are there for said rubes, i.e. Medicare, Social Security and the ACA.

    Finally – I would say that the one hope that we have is is that the people that Trump plans to put in place to implement his policies make the Bush administration seem like paragons of competence. About half of Trump’s constituency consists of “we hate Hillary” people who will quickly, if they have not already, obtain buyers’ remorse. I would not be shocked if Trump’s approval rating hits 25 percent in 2 months especially because the Congress will still not be able to get anything done, and that does not even count the unknown foreign policy issues undoubtedly to arise simply because our enemies are going to try and test us. Look for North Korea to set off a missile on day 2 or day 3, for starters. Don’t get me wrong – there will be a lot of pain and suffering – it will just be pain and suffering due to incompetence and unintended consequences.

  138. 138
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Eljai: a guy who was given a lot of money to begin with and had bankruptcies and made off with
    money from the bankruptcies and stiffed a bunch of contractors and,yet he’s highly leveraged . He shouldn’t be higlhy leveraged at this point. He should own a bunch of stuff outright. The guy is a loser.

  139. 139
    Brachiator says:

    @cosima:

    May is not popular here. She’ll get no love or support if she begins to cozy up to Putin/Shitgibbon.

    The right is noisy here, but memories are long here, certainly long enough to remember the much more recent Blair/Bush fiasco. I don’t see the UK going down that road without a long hard fight from other politicians and the citizens themselves. There is a deep & profound horror here in regard to the current US situation.

    Good points. Thanks for this. I listen to BBC news podcasts, and even some satirical podcasts such as the News Quiz and Now Show to try to get some sense of a UK perspective. I am not surprised at all that Trump makes someone like Farage feel tingly all over, and I think that Michael Gove crawled out from under something foul in order to interview Trump, so Trump is having some effect on some of those in power, and grasping wannabes like Farage.

  140. 140
    Calouste says:

    I’m not counting the military here. Non-interference in civilian government is in their DNA. They would not step in until it’s too late. And the Republicans would not need them to win.

    Revolutions have always gone with whoever ended up controlling the military.

  141. 141
    gene108 says:

    @ET:

    Sigh. Pizzagate continues……

    Someone on my Facebook forwarded something related John Podesta having a pool party and inviting kids to it.

    They were convinced this meant he and others at the party were planning on molesting the kids.

    They were very serious about it.

    The Podesta Pool Party conspiracy is a corollary to Pizzagate.

    The people, who are in to it are all in and nothing can convince them otherwise. Pizzagate will never go away.

  142. 142
    Elizabelle says:

    @Doug R: Thank you.

    I can only take so much self-flagellating. And the pessimistic hysteria. It takes on a life of its own.

    Not to say that I take any of these threats likely, but who says everyone who voted for Trump — or didn’t bother to vote at all — thinks this is a great platform? Don’t give them all this power they don’t actually have.

  143. 143
    catclub says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    to bring about a Dominionist orgasm, aka the Rapture, but as for anything else…

    I used to joke about the irony that those idiots were worried that Obama is the anti-Christ, but that actually Trump is.

  144. 144
    EBT says:

    @Elizabelle: If you want depressing look at how much former East Germany still looks like it did in 1983. The California/Kansas divide will only get worse. The productive, well off blue states will fight tooth and nail, while the red states will drift father in to economic oblivion. Between that and weather issues and the real chance China won’t be buying our garbage corn any more we could be seeing food insecurity in swaths of the country.

  145. 145
    bemused senior says:

    Kevin Drum points out that the number being quoted are from the Republican Study Committee budget, and the large amount over 10 years comes from big cuts in Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. So yeah.

  146. 146
    James Powell says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    I share your great vengeance and furious anger at those who attempt to poison and destroy our country, but I can’t get with all the executions. I’d prefer to sentence all those you named to clean the latrines in the FEMA camps.

  147. 147

    @Doug R: Trump’s favorability is 42%, which while low is certainly not 32%; and getting fewer votes and winning by questionable means didn’t stop Bush.
    ETA: And Bush didn’t have the Senate.

  148. 148
    Chip Daniels says:

    First of all, there is no way to “massively” cut Federal spending, because almost all of the big numbers are in things that are massively popular, e.g. Defense, SS, Medicare.
    The shit they are talking about – NEA, NEH are so tiny as to be rounding error at DoD.

    Secondly, the tax breaks they are talking about will explode the deficit. I watched this movie in the 1980s, and it was what turned me from a conservative to liberal.

    The difference is this time we have to make them own it.

  149. 149
    cosima says:

    @Suzanne: I want to be wrong. I would be willing to be labeled a tinfoil hat wearing alarmist. Because *everyone’s* future is at stake.

    But even after the last presidential election, with PO winning, I’d spent enough hours in the trenches to see that there were too few of us willing to do the hard work of effecting change. And it needed some monumental effort to overcome the obstructionism and the gerrymandering and the SC ruling on corporate cash for elections — so much working against us. We moved back to Scotland just after he was sworn in. And as happy as I was that he was again our president, I was completely demoralised in many ways, and feeling doubt & despair about the future of the US. This election has ratcheted that up to the 100th power.

    One of the benefits here is that I do not have to be subjected to anyone who supports the shitgibbon, and I have not had to be subjected to any republican for the years that we’ve lived here recently (that was *not* the case before, but there were a lot more American expats back then, long story for a different day). I don’t know how or if I could handle being around T/P voters. I had a pretty massive meltdown over the phone with my mother, one of my laments was that 2/3 of the US voters are loathsome to me — voted for T/P or didn’t vote at all, how do you function when that’s the case. So, I will not have to worry about being correct, at least not with the people that I mix with here, and that is actually a comfort — they all know to tread gingerly with me right now, because I’m probably handling all of this worse than they think is proper! And I hope every single day that I don’t have to move back to the US and figure out how to do it with 2/3 of the voters of America.

  150. 150
    Elizabelle says:

    Mike Pence was not popular in deep red Indiana. Please remember that. He threw himself onto the Trump bandwagon because he was going to go down to defeat if he had to run again.

    Or so it seemed at filing decision time.

    I am going to hope on bureaucratic inertia or actual pushback, and Trump/Pence stupidity and incompetence, the usual Republican overreach, and public opposition, to keep a lot of the worst here at bay.

    We do not know what the IC (intelligence community) is going to deliver up on Trump (and maybe other lawmakers too). Things could look a lot different a month from now. And if not, we will have to keep pushing back.

  151. 151
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator:

    The branding rights to Smokey Bear should raise hundreds of millions.

    Smokey the Bear Barbecue.

  152. 152
    NobodySpecial says:

    I’m gonna point out something a bit more long term to give ya’ll some hope.

    The election of Trump pisses away at least two generations for the Republican Party, which was already wobbly going into this election. Millennials who already disagree heavily with the social stances of the hardcore right and are already suffering under GOP led economic policy will never look favorably on them after they go too far trying to undo the New Deal. Add to that anyone old enough to remember when Obama took office versus what it will look like after one term of Trump. 8 year olds in 2009 will be 18 in 2020 and will remember Obama fondly and hate what Trump did to the country after that.

    The GOP has pinned everything on winning this election because they have nothing left after this. Yes, they’ll have the Supreme Court, maybe. The demographic trends don’t favor them, and it would take a quantum shift in policy to be able to expand their base from the already tottering older white demographic. The country won’t turn less ethnic in four years. It also will bleed older white voters faster than the GOP can replace them. They can’t put Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare back in the bottle, because people will punish them for it all the more. As much damage as they can do going out the door, this really is their last gasp, their Battle of the Bulge. Will it hurt? Hell yes, and I’ll be hurting right alongside ya’ll. But this is their end, with a 70 year old game show host leading the last charge.

  153. 153
    PaulW says:

    Republicans – thanks to Norquist and the rest of the Randian Objectivist assholes – believe not that government could do things, but that it shouldn’t do ANYthing (other than fight wars to protect rich people’s wealth and global status).

    they will slash and burn every department they can down to nothing, to free up their states to go back to segregation and persecution of the unwanted and the poor, to demolish health care and education and ANY social service that actually helps people – Gods forbid we do anything empathetic to those not of OUR tribe – and then lie their asses off when the collapse of the federal government coincides with the collapse of everything else including their vaunted economic engines of capitalism that, guess what, rely on government to make things work.

    The oncoming Great Depression II: The Quickening can’t come fast enough.

  154. 154
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @James Powell:

    I’d prefer to sentence all those you named to clean the latrines in the FEMA camps.

    Only if the FEMA camps were setup so that every man is forced to gay marry a convicted felon, every woman is given a choice of miscegenation or lesbianism, all full white babies are aborted and camp staffers say “happy holidays” on a daily basis as they create effigies of gay Robert E Lee and hand out Confederate flag toilet paper printed on Bible pages.

    If Obama had done this like he’d promised, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Yes, I’m feeling waaaaaaaay over-the-top stabby as the End of My Country As I Hoped It Would Become nears.

  155. 155
    XTPD says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: I’d personally add the entire staff of POLITICO (except for Grunwald and Gold), especially Jack Fucking Shafer.

  156. 156
    trollhattan says:

    @hovercraft:
    Well, well, well, all that’s missing is animatronic ducks. ‘Hey, look at me, I’m all growed up!”

    Retch.

    ETA If you decide your Florida joint needs twelve fireplaces you’re geographically challenged.

  157. 157
    randy khan says:

    @Spanky:

    Everything will be different by Saturday. In particular, all of the Metro stops will be open, and Metro will start at 5:00 a.m.

  158. 158
    oklahomo says:

    @trollhattan: I got motion sick from those pictures because I had a hard time telling what was floor vs. ceiling vs. window/wall. How could you stand to live in that cruft?

  159. 159
    randy khan says:

    @DBaker:

    Anything that touches Medicare is going to be a big mess for the GOP. I almost look forward to them trying.

  160. 160
    Elizabelle says:

    @NobodySpecial: Thank you, too.

    Love Balloon Juice, but not the despairfests.

  161. 161
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    I’ve been thinking – here’s what I want:

    1. A complete abandonment of labor and pay standards to a point where manufacturing work becomes hellish from a safety standpoint and horrendously underpaid. This has the double bonus of collapsing the market in automobiles so that Trump voters from Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio get to watch the economic decimation of their careers, all while GOP pols refuse to bail out the industry.

    2. I want to see mining environmental and safety standards collapse, so that Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania see stripped mountaintops, slag filled creeks and valleys, crumbling roads. I want them to feel and breathe the consequences of their votes.

    3. I want traditional Medicare to remain intact, or to be killed in full. Let today’s boomers and silents experience the marvels of America’s free market in medical services.

    4. I want Mattis to resign in disgust and to be replaced by some idiot CEO, whose mismanagement harms people. I also want Bolton as Secretary of State.

    I want Trump voters to mull this over like a mouth full of turds.

  162. 162
    Shomi says:

    @kindness:
    In that scenario, the Republicans won’t have the opportunity to blame the Democrats. Well, they will up until they’re put against a wall and shot anyway.

  163. 163
    Ksmiami says:

    @SatanicPanic: no we have to break the current system to start over- sorry

  164. 164

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: you really shouldn’t wish for things to get worse because you expect it’ll cause things to get better.

  165. 165
    burnspbesq says:

    The International Trade Administration administers the WTO anti-dumping rules. Is Trump unaware of that, or was he lying when he promised to protect American workers against unfair competition from China? Or is he being rolled by Republican donors who benefit from low-cost Chinese imports?

  166. 166
    Chip Daniels says:

    @NobodySpecial:
    Yes, and…
    How The Obamacare Town Hall Script Totally Flipped This Week

    Even Republican voters don’t want to live under Republican policies.

    Liberal policies are popular, when they affect people personally.
    Yeah, its easy to strike the Bootstraps pose when you’re talking about people faraway, but when its your own ass on the line, every one of these MAGA hat wearing folks want Medicare.

  167. 167
    rikyrah says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    TPM has a good piece up today on Price and Ryan’s plans to try and eliminate employer provided health insurance.

    A large portion of those who support the repeal of Obamacare are muthaphuckas who already have insurance through their employers.

    A lot of those comfortable Cheeto Benito voters.

    Yes…let’s tell them that they’re being thrown to the wolves.

  168. 168
    The Truffle says:

    @Bill: The only bright side is that the GOP would own the recession. Bigly. They would shoulder all the blame, and it would be gold for the Dems.

  169. 169
    cosima says:

    @NobodySpecial: I’m rooting for hope, really I am. You can continue being an optimist. I (we) need it.

  170. 170
    XTPD says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I’d just settle for giving Lake County IL to Wisconsin and for the Redneck Riviera to be obliterated ceded to Alabama.

  171. 171
    A Ghost to Most says:

    “Sometimes you wonder why you’re still talking,
    I passed that point long ago”
    – Jackson Browne

    Some of us are done talking, and are making preparations for if/when the talking stops.

    Wolverines!

  172. 172
    bemused senior says:

    @DBaker: And the RSC budget was voted on in 2015 and failed to pass in 2015 by a vote of 132 to 294. So it will probably not be as bad in the end, though bad. Remember that the loonies were free to vote for lunacy the last time because they knew Obama would veto it. This time they will pay the price politically.

  173. 173
    Mnemosyne says:

    @XTPD:

    Would that be to turn Wisconsin blue again? Because Lake County went for Hillary by a big margin. Up in the Round Lake area, they even tossed my mom’s Republican congresscritter out on his ear and elected the Democrat.

  174. 174
    glory b says:

    @kindness: No, you go after the lawyers because then the rule of law is meaningless.

    No longer a nation of laws.

  175. 175
    XTPD says:

    @Mnemosyne: For making it more reliably blue, yes.

  176. 176
    Anonymous patient says:

    @James Powell:

    Do you also post here as “NR” and “Bob in P0rtland”???

    Because you seem to be quoting them. Asking for a friend… ;-)

    Seriously, you really think Democratic politicians can beat the drumbeat of Republican propaganda being vended 24/7 by all the mass media outlets in the nation? Were you born yesterday, or are you really naive, or just not bright?

    This nation has been under attack by wealthy fascists since 1930, and their use of TV to sell their lies has been more and more successful, as they have cut the throats of anyone who disagrees with their fascist positions.

    To say that normal Democratic politics has failed is to say you cannot put out a California wild fire driven by Santa Ana winds by urinating on it. Well mannered people were unable to defeat the Nazis of the German Republic and we are unable to defeat the Republican Fascists as well.

    Grow up, and get some guns, the Nazis already have theirs, don’t go unprepared. Take some with you when they come for you, as they will.

  177. 177
    Mnemosyne says:

    @XTPD:

    Okay. It wasn’t clear since you were also calling for the Redneck Riviera to be obliterated.

    Lake County was solidly Republican (and mostly lily-white) when I grew up there, but the intervening decades have brought them to their senses, apparently.

  178. 178
    Captain C says:

    Unless the feds want to either start taxing renewables or start shoving BIG money into fossil fuel subsidies, there’s really no putting this genie back in the bottle.

    I’m sure they’ll try, and in the long run fail.

  179. 179
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anonymous patient:

    Seriously, you really think Democratic politicians can beat the drumbeat of Republican propaganda being vended 24/7 by all the mass media outlets in the nation?

    As noted above, even formerly red parts of Illinois are now solidly Democratic. It can be done, but it takes LOCAL commitment, not just people parachuting in every 4 years.

  180. 180
    J R in WV says:

    @Ian:

    A security warning is never off topic! Thanks for the warning. I just looked at my spam, and there were more phishing traps than Nigerian government ministers with millions of $ trapped, asking for my help.

    Be careful out there, I got fishing traps from people I regularly email. Since Yahoo was owned, there are millions of real addresses for these thieves to use. No wonder Podesta was taken, his IT guy was naive and uneducated about phishing traps. Don’t be a Podesta!

  181. 181
    Captain C says:

    @Mike in NC:

    We’re going to need to set up a guillotine in Times Square simply to rid the country of the Trump clan.

    If we’re going that route, I vote Vlad-style impalement, so they have a few last days to think about their sins.

  182. 182

    @EBT: As someone living in a blue state, I am abruptly a supporter of states rights. To the red states we officially offer our thoughts and prayers.

    Croak!

  183. 183
    Applejinx says:

    Can we stick him IN the Office of Electricity, and then turn it on? o_O

  184. 184

    […] Kevin Drum reminds us that the same Heritage Foundation report slashes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and Claire Landsbaum details the damage to domestic violence prevention programs, while Philip Kennicott explains the dangers of privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities. Is this, as Tom Levenson warns, “the Kansas-ification of America?” […]

  185. 185
    The Lodger says:

    @patrick II: How about
    TRUMP: PUTA DE PUTIN

  186. 186
    Seth Owen says:

    @SenyorDave: But will he go to Sweden? That’s where he faces charges.

  187. 187
    cmorenc says:

    @Gretchen:

    I’m in Kansas. Repubs got their wishes, and they own the results. And the people here hate, hate, hate them. Look here if you want to see your future – people mobilized like I’ve never seen before, and threw most of Brownback’s pals out and the new lege is telling him he needs to fix his mess. I got phone calls for stateSenate races, and that’s never happened before. I think people all over the country are fired up and ready to participate. It happened here.

    Well, Brownback is still governor and Kris Kobach is still Kansas SoS – I’ll believer how effective this Kansas citizen rebellion is when you succeed in running both these bozos out of office in 2018, and not merely replaced by equally toxic wingnut-clowns.

  188. 188
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    I guess they might try to do this, but they didn’t really run on it (or at least Trump didn’t) and they are now begging for help from Democrats to do the one thing they did promise to do, repeatedly, for years…namely repeal Obamacare. They’re already running scared on that front so I suspect these grand schemes will come to nothing. They might get some tax cuts that blow a bigger hole in the budget but probably not much else.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Kevin Drum reminds us that the same Heritage Foundation report slashes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and Claire Landsbaum details the damage to domestic violence prevention programs, while Philip Kennicott explains the dangers of privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities. Is this, as Tom Levenson warns, “the Kansas-ification of America?” […]

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