The Crazy Goes Back to Tax Cut Jeebus

I’ve now watched the Trump presser yesterday three times. Not because I am a masochist who enjoys inflicting as much pain as possible on himself, but because I don’t think I appreciated the full madness of it the first time. The surreality of it all just overloaded my senses and I really couldn’t take it in.

It was like the first time I went to New York City as a teenager. When I was 16, I left little old Bethany to head to upstate NY to live on a farmhouse with my friend Jason and his father Nick In Verbank, NY (east of Poughkeepsie, west of Millbrook). Jason’s parents were divorced, and his mom lived in Bethany and taught there, and he lived here and went to school here, and then in the summers we would go up there and get jobs. At any rate, I would go to the bus station in Wheeling with my big old backpack (the old kind with a frame) and a dufflebag filled with all my possessions for the summer, head up to NYC, and then I would navigate my way to the train to take me up to Poughkeepsie.

This was around 1986, and NYC was a markedly different place than it is now, and this was the first time I had ever been out on my own. I think prior to my trip to NYC, the most people I had ever seen in one place might have been a rock concert down in the old Wheeling Civic Center. To cut to the point, my senses were just overloaded the moment I got off the bus. Everything was bright, loud, moving, smelly, crazy. All I really remember is keeping my hand in my front pocket over my wallet and just trying to get to the train alive. It was chaos and just too much to take in, and it wasn’t until I had been to NYC about 4-5 times that I started to actually notice things and be able to really pay attention to what was going on, and even then I am sure I had just scratched the surface.

That’s how I felt watching the press conference yesterday, and why I had to watch it so many times to fully appreciate the crazy on display. The third time I was watching it, I was also reading the local (somewhatish) newspaper, the Charleston Gazette Mail, and came across this story:

Poor roads cost the average Charleston driver $1,357 a year in additional expenses, according to the latest TRIP report on West Virginia roads.

Statewide, deficient roads cost West Virginia drivers $1.4 billion a year for additional vehicle repair and maintenance costs, crashes where road deficiencies are a contributing factor, and lost time and fuel from traffic congestion, the report from the national transportation association concludes.

“The quality of life of state residents, visitors and businesses is significantly affected by the quality of the state’s road and bridge network,” Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director, said during a news conference Thursday to release the latest report on state roads.

In what has become something of a tradition during legislative sessions, the TRIP report outlines the costs of deficient roads and bridges on the state’s economy and quality of life. The release of the report frequently coincides with the annual West Virginians for Better Transportation rally at the Capitol, scheduled this year for Friday morning.

In past years, the call for additional funding for highway construction and maintenance has gone unheeded, but the advocates this year have an ally in Gov. Jim Justice, who wants to sell $2.8 billion in road bonds to build and upgrade West Virginia’s highways.

On Thursday, Justice administration Transportation Secretary Tom Smith called the TRIP report “alarming.”

“Roads are getting worse. Bridges are getting worse,” he said. “It really makes the point Governor Justice has asked us to make.”

In his State of the State address, Justice proposed the massive highways construction program through bond sales that would be financed through a $20 increase in the annual license plate renewal fee, a 10-cent a gallon increase in the state gasoline tax (estimated to cost average drivers about $130 a year), and a $1 increase in tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike.

Justice called the proposal the “800-pound gorilla” of his legislative agenda, saying it will create 48,000 jobs and cause an explosion in growth for the state’s tourism industry.

Smith said Thursday it is important to invest now in upgrading highways, paraphrasing Justice by saying, “The longer you wait, the behinder you get.”

Taking care of roads is the most basic of government services. It’s quite literally one of the lowest level responsibilities that the government has, but the state of West Virginia, much like the rest of the nation, can’t even fucking do that because we have gone quite literally insane. And this insanity goes back to tax cut Jeebus, our lord and savior, the deal the Republicans made with the devil years ago to keep together the racists, the godbotherers, the war hawks, the nihilists, the glibertarians, and the uninformed. From the trickled down words of Saint Ronnie of the Alzheimers, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.”

In 2012, Garry Wills wrote a splendid piece called “Our Moloch” about the deference and sacrifices we make to our blood God, the gun. I’d argue that there is a higher power, one that even “Our Moloch” serves, and that is tax cut Jeebus. That’s how we found ourselves where we are now- where even Democrats dance around the concept of raising taxes to pay for basic services and a cheeto dusted lunatic rants incoherently on national tv in front of the world and a solid portion of the Republican party says nothing and goes along with it. That’s why Republicans are so dead set on killing ACA. It’s why they want to gut social security and medicare. Tax Cut Jeebus demands it, and so it must be done

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133 replies
  1. 1
    Hungry Joe says:

    (Variation on a theme)
    “Taxes! What have taxes ever done for us?”
    “The aqueduct?”

  2. 2
    raven says:

    When I used to go to the Sports Management School up at Oglebay we’d fly into Pittsburg and take the “Wheeling Limo”. It was a big checker cab with a steel plate welded to the bottom to protect it when it slammed into the potholes on that interstate!

  3. 3
    Citizen Alan says:

    Tax cut Jesus has a more familiar and scriptural name –Mammon. In his most famous commentary on the question of who is and is not getting it to heaven, Jesus said bluntly and unambiguously that you cannot serve both God and Mammon and that the people who chose the latter are going to hell. That is why it offends me so much when people say that America is a Christian Nation when I know that it is over willingly devoted to Mammon.

  4. 4
    scav says:

    If Mexico is paying for the wall, maybe Guatemala could pay for West Virginia’s roads. Every third workd nation could sponsor a poor suffering state over here. Imagine the adverts with the wide-eyed ‘merkan nnocents explaining how for only pennies a day the Masaii and Kurds could help keep bridges from falling and licence plate fees down.

  5. 5
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I imagine that you’ll disagree, but that press conference yesterday was Peak Wingnut.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    Taking care of roads is the most basic of government services. It’s quite literally one of the lowest level responsibilities that the government has, but the state of West Virginia, much like the rest of the nation, can’t even fucking do that because we have gone quite literally insane.

    It’s good politics.
    It’s good economics.
    We actually need it.

    I had feared that Dolt45 was actually sincere with the infrastructure proposal. Until, people hipped me that it was nothing but a privatization scheme for public resources.

    Since, he has no phucking sense, it doesn’t hurt to write this.

    A full-throttle infrastructure plan- a GENUINE ONE – would be just the boost this economy needs.

    The fact that this recovery has been totally in the private sector. If we had a huge infrastructure plan, put in place, it would buttress the economy against the inevitable slowdown. These are jobs that can’t be outsourced. These are jobs, that can go all over the country. This would keep us from going into a recession.

    Like I said…i was worrying that Cheeto Benito was serious about it. But, he wasn’t, and the GOP is too sociopathic to do ANYTHING that would say -see, here is what the government can and should do.

    So, our infrastructure continues to crumble.

  7. 7
    Mike in DC says:

    A request. Can we get a thread about the “it’s just a rough draft ” administration proposal to violate Posse Comitatus and use 100,000 National Guard for deportation raids in multiple states?
    Because holy fuckballs, are Latinos ever the epicenter of the white nationalist agenda. We as prog/lib/Dems need to be able to pivot our priorities as needed. Immigrants and POC need to know we have their back and we’re paying attention.

  8. 8

    I dunno, I imagine every politician everywhere dances around the idea of tax increases because nobody likes paying increased taxes.

    Even out here in California they had to do a full-court press to pass education funding as a plebiscite.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    @Mike in DC:

    A request. Can we get a thread about the “it’s just a rough draft ” administration proposal to violate Posse Comitatus and use 100,000 National Guard for deportation raids in multiple states?
    Because holy fuckballs, are Latinos ever the epicenter of the white nationalist agenda. We as prog/lib/Dems need to be able to pivot our priorities as needed. Immigrants and POC need to know we have their back and we’re paying attention.

    What he said.

  10. 10
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Too bad you were not blogging way back when. It would have been a hoot, from what I can infer from all of the available evidence.

  11. 11
    cmorenc says:

    @John Cole:

    I’ve now watched the Trump presser yesterday three times. Not because I am a masochist who enjoys inflicting as much pain as possible on himself, but because I don’t think I appreciated the full madness of it the first time. The surreality of it all just overloaded my senses and I really couldn’t take it in.

    I listened to it during an hour-long road trip late yesterday afternoon. Yes, you are a masochist to listen to that ranting lunatic more than once. While I do think it’s likely Trump is turning off significantly more people than he’s turning on with it – the scary thing is that like with his campaign, there actually is a significant portion of the electorate who are eating this shit up, thinking Trump is administering needed WORD! to the establishment and (in their view) lying, hating MSM. And a substantial portion of the electorate is simply tuning the whole thing out, going about their daily business and watching mainly sports and pure entertainment on TV and media, failing to absorb enough direct experience with Trump’s unhinged performances to well, comprehend just how far off the deep end he is and how it affects them in any tangible way. (Had enough of them done so, Trump would never have been POTUS in the first place, although we might have had a more conventional RW Republican instead, given the way Hillary was mistreated by the MSM).

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    The only Dem who said straight out that he’d raise taxes and got elected anyway, at least in the last 40 years, was Jerry Brown.

    Every other pol who has done it has lost hard at the polls, Dem or Republican.

    It’s our national religion. The only nation I know of who has a similar attitude towards paying up is Greece, and they’re not exactly doing real well.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    696 executive branch positions require Senate confirmation.
    For 662, Trump has not yet nominated anyone

    On time and under budget! Remember: this completely unqualified nutcase was hired for his business skills.

    Obama, who was derided as a “community organizer” and who actually did not have that much experience in government was a MUCH better manager than Trump or any of the weirdos and misfits Trump has surrounded himself with.

  14. 14

    So what boggles the mind is how were you ever a Republican? They have wanted to undo the New Deal since it was enacted. Republican party has always been the anti-immigrant, anti-labor party since its founding.

  15. 15
    sherparick says:

    And Grover Norquist, the slimy evil SOB is his prophet.
    In Congress, and reason that for the Republicans in Congress Trump could come out at his next news conference and start randomly shooting reporters and they would do nothing, is that Ryan is preparing this gift to the donor class and needs Trump to sign it into law.

    …but the highest income households would receive the largest cuts, both in dollars and as a percentage of income. The top quintile (or fifth of the distribution) would receive an average tax cut of about $11,800 (4.6 percent of after tax income)
    Three quarters of total tax cuts would go to the top 1 percent, who would receive an average cut of nearly $213,000, or 13.4 percent of after tax income. The top 0.1 percent would receive an average tax cut of about $1.3 million (16.9 percent of after tax income). In contrast, the average tax cut for the lowest income households would be just $50, 0.4 percent of after tax income. Middle income households would receive an average tax cut of $260, about the same relative to after tax income 0.5 percent, as for the lowest income households.” http://www.taxpolicycenter.org.....-plan/full

    Its really all about the money, and they want it all.

  16. 16
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    And Republicans actually introduced an infrastructure spending bill that does not raise taxes but relies on current revenue for projects. A combination of weight fees, most of which are used to pay off earlier transportation loans, new car sales tax revenue and vehicle insurance money — approx $5.6 billion — to get projects started immediately.

    Brown wants to increase registration fees and increase gas sales taxes (fuel efficient cars and less driving have led to a steep drop in that revenue stream) in an effort to generate more funds but the state is years behind in reimbursement it owes to the counties for road maintenance as it is and that won’t be a very popular option.

  17. 17

    @Kay: O knew what he did not know and hired competent people who filled the gaps in his experience and understanding. The definition of a fool, is one who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. No matter how smart you are, you cannot know everything.

  18. 18
    prob50 says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    The only Dem who said straight out that he’d raise taxes and got elected anyway, at least in the last 40 years, was Jerry Brown.

    I’m really gonna miss old Jerry when his term is up. All things considered he’s done well for us. Even though I haven’t always agreed with him I know he’s always cared about California and the people in it.

  19. 19
    grandpa john says:

    The same struggle we are having here in South Carolina. A republican controlled legislature that proposes a gas tax increase for our rapidly crumbling infrastructure, but gutless to over ride libertarian Haley’s veto because of no offsetting tax decrease . this seems to be an annual event every year.
    I think they had a giant party with her appointment by Trump. Her replacement although another good old boy repub, is considered to be sane and reasonable enough to try to work with the legislature on much needed actions, Hell , we may even get medical weed, and extended medicare for thousands of our needy, something that miss hypocritical bitch, Nikki refused

  20. 20
    Citizen_X says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    nobody likes paying increased taxes.

    I don’t like paying any of my bills, but if I don’t, bad things happen.

    How are taxes different?

  21. 21
    Mike J says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    So what boggles the mind is how were you ever a Republican?

    Kids are stupid, and it’s fun to be transgressive and tell everybody that blatantly awful ideas are good.

  22. 22
    debbie says:

    Watching Trump is like watching a drunk backslide.

    A blow, expected, repeated, falling on a bruise, with no smart or shock of surprise, only a dull and sickening pain and the doubt whether another like it could be borne – that was how it felt, sitting opposite Sebastian at dinner that night, seeing his clouded eyes and groping movements, hearing his thickened voice breaking in, ineptly, after long brutish silences.

  23. 23

    Reagan said that just 12 years after desegregation. The government ‘helped’ by forcing people to not discriminate. You can nibble around the edges with people not liking to be told their taxes will go up, and general conservative ‘You’re not the boss of me!’ but Reagan was talking about breaking down the institution that ended desegregation. As Trump’s rise so eloquently demonstrates, that is still #1 on the minds of Republican voters.

  24. 24
    Kelly says:

    Oregon with a booming economy and a liberal majority rejected a tax increase in November. It would have taken care of well understood shortfalls in public pensions, schools and infrastructure. Lost by about 60/40. People really think we can fund everything by eliminating waste fraud and abuse.

  25. 25
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Kay, have you had a chance to look at the “Border Adjustment Tax” plan yet? Seems to me if it passes as is, it’ll kill the middle and entrepreneurial classes.

  26. 26
    amk says:

    3 times? why? masochism aside.

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    A side note on what tourists experience in NYC– back in the ’60’s a few of us in high school would get together every now and then just for the fun of running through the crowds on 5th Avenue. Nowadays, of course, 5th Avenue is a lot less interesting than it was then.

  28. 28
    sherparick says:

    @Kay: And for everyone, the Democrats should ask for 30 hours of debate on the Senate floor. In the Senate and House, it should be delay, delay, delay.

    In this, the Democrats are being assisted by the incredible combination of laziness and homesickness on the part of Republicans as they really only have a 3 day work week (flyout Fridays and flyback in on Mondays) and insist on frequent long breaks and recesses. @Hunter Gathers:

  29. 29

    @Kelly: Like people think they can lose weight if you eat the latest miracle food. Is coconut oil still in?

  30. 30

    @Citizen_X: I don’t exactly see cell phone providers falling over themselves to advertise increased bills either.

  31. 31
    bemused says:

    Republicans will sell what left of their souls and sell out their country for tax cuts.

  32. 32

    @Mike J: JC was in his 30s when he had the epiphany about Rs IIRC. Not exactly a kid.

  33. 33
    debit says:

    I’m just waiting for President Beeblebrox to get that second head grafted on. Now THAT will make press conferences lively.

  34. 34
    scav says:

    @debit: Does that mean we get the guy talking to his cat as a package deal?

  35. 35
    Humboldtblue says:

    @Kelly:

    That one caught me off guard. I thought that would get through but the Corps fought back and that made a difference.

    What I have noticed over the past 12 years with my much greater focus on local politics and government (and we have very good local government) is that the old saw — all politics is local — works well. We have seen a county sales tax increase pass with the revenue specifically targeted at public safety — increased staffing at Sheriff’s Office, DA, probation and support for local volunteer fire depts through the purchase of new equipment and apparatus desperately needed — and that came on the heels of an earlier sales tax increase that had sunsetted. One local city you would consider very conservative just passed their own sales tax increase on top of the county’s, again primarily for public safety but also for public works, and the reason they have been successful is there is local oversight.

    The county-wide sales tax increase (that was followed by the passage of a local marijuana cultivation tax last year as well) comes with a public advisory board which accepts applications from groups and orgs who want some of the money and then recommendations are given to the board of Supes. It’s worked out very well and cities have used the same formula. Give people a direct say in how that tax money is spent, or at least a clear image of how its spent and they will respond. Otherwise it’s just “Sacramento and DC stealing our money”.

  36. 36
    The Moar You Know says:

    So what boggles the mind is how were you ever a Republican?

    @schrodingers_cat: Cole’s only a couple years younger than I. It was “a thing” amongst my 80’s teen peer group and I expect his as well. Reagan was an asshole and sticking it to the teachers and eggheads and weenies that we all collectively hated (listen to some of the music and especially watch some of the teen movies from that era to get an idea of the mindset against authority and competent people, it was 60s subversion curdled and gone VERY bad). A lot of people liked the murdering piece of shit. I wasn’t one of them, but that anybody in my age group was is not something I hold against them so long as at some point they figured out the guy and his party were full of shit. And some of the best Dems I know these days were Reagan Youth who joined the military. John’s one. I know more.

  37. 37
    Citizen_X says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If you want to repair stuff–which is what we’re talking about–you gotta pay for it. How is this any different?

    The only difference in American politics is that the tax burden got dumped on the middle class, ever since Presnit Great Communicator up there.

  38. 38
    david says:

    @Mike in DC: John Schindler has a short 3-tweet response to this story:

    1. So, the WH is bating MSM with fake stories which they run in order to discredit them. There’s a word for that….in Russian. #provokatsiya

    2. (RT) @20committee I have noticed this for a while now. When they are in hot water,they leak something fake so that they can say, see, fake news.

    3. MSM needs to approach Trump WH like a Russian intel op. Assume all info is fake until proven true. It’s 1 big operational game. Coincidence?

  39. 39
    cmorenc says:

    @debbie:

    Kay, have you had a chance to look at the “Border Adjustment Tax” plan yet? Seems to me if it passes as is, it’ll kill the middle and entrepreneurial classes.

    Unfortunately, this country might need the pain of a recession to throw enough of these GOP idiots (Trump included) out of office in 2018 and 2020. Simply being clueless fuck-ups doesn’t seem to be enough, unless enough of the electorate perceives themselves to be on the receiving end of the fuck-ups, and correctly identifies the source of their pain. But alas, the pain will also fall on the worthy and the unworthy assholes alike.

  40. 40
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @The Moar You Know: One of the charges against Bernie Sanders, right here at Balloon Juice, on the leftist fringe of America was that he was going to raise tax rates. Self-evident proof that he was the wrong guy for the job.

  41. 41
    debit says:

    @scav: If only!

  42. 42
    Humboldtblue says:

    @david:

    Nate silver just tweeted out something similar — Nate Silver ‏@NateSilver538 39m39 minutes ago Nate Silver Retweeted Benjy Sarlin

    Because then they can decry the press for reporting “fake news”. White House has used this tactic several times already.

  43. 43
    Citizen_X says:

    I think my comment’s in mod limbo; halp?

  44. 44
    satby says:

    @The Moar You Know: I told people in Michigan all the time that this

    Poor roads cost the average Charleston driver $1,357 a year in additional expenses

    IS a tax too, a huge one you don’t get to reduce by sharing the costs with other citizens. It’s the only argument that ever made headway, in a state where they were ripping up paved roads because there was no money to maintain them.

  45. 45
    scav says:

    @david: Plus, it gets talked about and those sweet sweet headlines and ratings keep the twit in chief amused and happy. Plus, the masses are made happy by the ritual violence and noise, and will forget outcome as those take time. All the parades and half-time shows with a quick flash of sacks and touch-down highlights, maybe even from other seasons. None of the dull inbetween stuff.

  46. 46
    Meyerman says:

    Even in liberal Massachusetts:

    BOSTON (2/15/17) — House Speaker Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop, said Wednesday that he will not include any broad-based tax increases in the House budget proposal.

    He says this every year during budget season despite the fact that cuts to education and social services are the only alternative to raising taxes. People want the nice things: roads, schools, airports, bridge, dams, but paying for them…not so much. So towns and cities that want these things preserved are forced to increase regressive property taxes (if they can afford it).

  47. 47

    @Lurking Canadian: Bernie Sanders numbers did not add up, that was the problem not the tax increases.

  48. 48
    scuffletuffle says:

    @debbie: Brideshead ftw…

  49. 49
    Kelly says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t know. Coconut oil was big back in the summer must be time for a new miracle.
    I’ve watched infrastructure deterioration play out on a micro scale. I live on a 1/2 mile rural gravel road that must be maintained by the couple dozen households here. The road would get potholes a couple of us would pass the hat trying to get $25~$50 per household for grading and gravel. There’s 5 guys that never ever kick in and another half dozen that complain about the constant expense. About 12 year ago a really wet winter sent it completely to hell and you could only drive at a couple mph. I asked everybody for $100 a for several years and fixed the road up really nice. Now that it’s nice I can keep it up for $50 a year and everybody that pays is happy. Still have the 5 free riders.

  50. 50
    NeenerNeener says:

    Someone on Twitter has been taking a deep dive into Mr. Ivanka’s finances, and it appears that he owes multiple billions on real estate in NYC, including 666 5th Avenue. He’s hoping his FIL will throw a billion dollar infrastructure bone to his creditors so they will stop chewing his ass. The Tea Party Caucus is not cooperating yet, tho.

  51. 51
    jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Now they clearly believe that “free market capitalism” is God’s Will. Just like God dictated the constitution to the founding fathers.

  52. 52
    satby says:

    @Kelly: And in the parts of the road in front of the free riders, you should let it go to shit. Because nothing will make the point more clearly. Maybe include a couple of signs about why the sections aren’t paved in those spots.

    Seriously, consequences.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Lurking Canadian: It was brought up as evidence that Bernie would be killed in a general election because of the the American aversion to taxes. People weren’t saying he was wrong; they were saying that it was political poison.

  54. 54
    MomSense says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Um, nope. Bill Clinton campaigned on raising taxes and he did. Barack Obama campaigned on raising taxes for individuals earning over 200k and families earning over 250k. He also campaigned on making sure that lower income workers weren’t paying more in withholding than millionaires and billionaires. Even had a bunch of billionaires endorse and campaign on that issue.

    Hillary Clinton campaigned on raising taxes.

    It’s a pretty standard Democratic policy proposal.

  55. 55
    kindness says:

    Jeez John, you come off sounding like a Manhattanite. Poughkeepsie upstate? Well, yea it’s about what 50, 60 miles north of Manhattan? Just hop on the Crotton/Hudson line, it’s the last stop. Having grown up in Tarrytown I always wondered why my NYC friends would call Westchester the country. It was 25 miles from Grand Central. You know NY goes almost a couple hundred miles up to Canada, right? Years later when I was a student in Ithaca, then I felt upstate. But Westchester? Suburban life. Really.

  56. 56
    Pogonip says:

    Cole, did the report calculate the agricultural impact of people storing their Subarus in farm fields?

    Roads. A subject I get really angry about, because I’ve been to Canada and so I know what properly maintained roads look like!

  57. 57
    tobie says:

    The other side of the idea we don’t have to pay for government with taxes is the conviction that regulations are there merely to kill business. Just got off the phone with Heidi Heitkamp’s office. She and Joe Manchin are voting for Scott Pruitt for EPA. They’re not even sure they will support a delay of the vote till Pruitt’s correspondence with the oil and gas industry can be reviewed. I donated to Heitkamp’s campaign when she first ran for Senate. I will not do this again.

  58. 58
    Kelly says:

    @satby: The problem with that is I live at the end of the road.
    People seem to think a road is a geologic feature that’s always been there. It’s a small neighborhood. Everybody knows who the tightwads are. The tightwads are proud of getting away with it.

  59. 59

    @Lurking Canadian: that’s not fair. What people were pointing out was two things. One, that republicans would be able to (accurately) say that he was calling for massive tax increases; and two, that if you ran the numbers, the tax increases required would be so big that even his biggest supporters said they didn’t want to pay them.

  60. 60
    JimV says:

    Flashback: a couple of competent, respected engineers in a GE plant sometime in Reagan’s first term, enthusing about how Reagan reduced their taxes by $100 or so, while I thought, that’s all it takes to bribe you guys? Really?

  61. 61
    Mike in NC says:

    To really appreciate crumbling infrastructure and terrible roads and rotten government you just need to visit South Carolina.

  62. 62
    Yarrow says:

    i couldn’t believe how bad that press conference was. Watched a bit on TV then heard the rest on radio while in the car. It was just jaw-dropping.

    It’s about time for someone to say, “The thirteen more terrifying words in the English language are, “Let’s run the country like a business and put a CEO in charge.” I wonder if the disastrous presidency happening now might change views on how amaaaaaaazing CEOs are. I’m tired of them being worshiped.

  63. 63
    Betty Cracker says:

    My husband and I were discussing something similar last night, noting how Trump and the madness on display during the press conference yesterday is the culmination of a decades-long project that began with Reagan. We focused on the GOP’s becoming completely unmoored from objective truth rather than tax cut mania, but it’s all of a piece: trickle-down, etc.

  64. 64

    @Mike in NC: Sorry, not visiting a red state if I can help it.

  65. 65
    debbie says:

    Ah, Philip Roth!

    “I was born in 1933,” he continued, “the year that F.D.R. was inaugurated. He was President until I was twelve years old. I’ve been a Roosevelt Democrat ever since. I found much that was alarming about being a citizen during the tenures of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But, whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/magaz.....s-on-trump

  66. 66

    @Betty Cracker: Agreed. All this has happened before, but now it’s all happening at once. Republican philosophy compressed to neutron star-density.

  67. 67
    VOR says:

    @sherparick: The sheer laziness of the Republican Congress seems to slide under the table. When Nancy Smash was running things there was a 5 day work-week. That was one of the biggest grumbles against her. Now it is a 3 day work week with lots of breaks.

  68. 68
    The Moar You Know says:

    To really appreciate crumbling infrastructure and terrible roads and rotten government you just need to visit South Carolina.

    @Mike in NC: Agreed save for the roads. California roads are worse than anything I’ve driven on in SC.

  69. 69
    grandpa john says:

    Our gas tax here in South Carolina ia one of the lowest in the Nation. We have 3 heavily interstate highways traveled mostly by out of state traffic especially I 85 and I 95 and I 20 which connects to the Myrtle Beach , Grand Strand area which are heavy tourist traffic areas,. I 26 connects the Charleston area tourism to I 40. I 77 connects Charlotte and traffic out of the DC area and I 85 to columbia and points south. This means that an increased gas tax would be paid mainly by out of state traffic and would not be a heavy burden on instate residents.
    This is fair, since the areas with the greatest needs are areas where much of the wear and tear is caused by out of state traffic

  70. 70

    @The Moar You Know: it’s really weird how shitty the roads are here. I know in San Francisco we have a major NIMBY problem when it comes to everything, including road repairs, but I can’t explain it elsewhere.

  71. 71
    bemused says:

    Off topic but seems appropriate. A friend told me to google “kalsarikannit” which is a popular Finnish word for getting drunk at home in your underwear. There’s even an emoji.

  72. 72
    The Moar You Know says:

    Sorry, not visiting a red state if I can help it.

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t have the choice (family AND work, yay!). Charleston is really nice. People are super nice, food was some of the best I’ve had anywhere.

    Outside of Charleston, the state seems to vary from “not bad” to “terrifying”, although SC’s “terrifying” can’t hold a candle to either Alabama or Mississippi’s “terrifying”. And I say this as a white guy with Southern roots stretching back to before the Revolutionary War.

  73. 73

    R-philosophy in a nutshell. Worship the rich and the powerful. Hate the right people. Greatness. Its a party of bullies and wannabe bullies and their chamchas.

  74. 74
    grandpa john says:

    @Mike in NC: True, largely thanks to our former ,thank God, libertarian governor and a gutless republican legislature

  75. 75
    🌷 Martin says:

    @The Moar You Know: I will qualify that. California road design is amazing – at least here in SoCal. They are wide and safe and drain well, etc. The road maintenance is a different story, I agree, and their construction/improvement planning is a mixed bag. I’ve seen they do a LOT better in the last few years, but they’ve had some real shitshows as well.

  76. 76
    Another Scott says:

    Nice post, and co-signed.

    I do wish, though, that these estimates of what it “costs” didn’t roll-in the cost of sitting in traffic due to excessive congestion. That seems like an easy way to inflate the costs into $BIG SCARY NUMBER.

    Yeah, there’s a real cost to sitting in traffic, but there’s a real cost for having to commute long distances on perfectly maintained roads and bridges, also too.

    And a problem with looking at infrastructure as being mostly a “roads and bridges” issue is that in far too many places there’s conservation of congestion. If some new highway is built or an existing one is expanded, more people will drive on it, so there will be more congestion at the side streets and interchanges of that new road. And more money spent to expand roads and highways often means less money spent on buses and rapid transit which can have a big positive impact on congestion.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for keeping our roads and bridges maintained and improved. But we shouldn’t over-sell the benefit (“We’ll save 11,308,295.237 hours and $BIG SCARY NUMBER a year!!1”), and we really need to think about transportation infrastructure as an integrated system. Paving over more of the WV mountains with superhighways may not be the best way to spend the money.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Who really appreciated it when US-40 was upgraded to I-68).

  77. 77
    hovercraft says:

    What You Saw At Trump’s Press Conference Is Modern Conservatism

    By Steve M.

    2/17/17 8:00am

    So this happened yesterday:

    After stewing in anger during four rocky weeks in the White House, President Donald Trump had his say Thursday.

    He spent 80 minutes in an impromptu East Room news conference shredding his critics, relitigating the election, bragging about his crowds, crowing about his accomplishments and denying, deflecting and obfuscating a series of mushrooming bad stories that have dogged his presidency and depressed his approval ratings….

    In Trump style, the news conference was heavy on braggadocio….

    “There has never been a president that has done so much in such a short period of time,” Trump said, reading a list of his own accomplishments.

    He said his administration is a “finely tuned machine” …

    More:

    Before the hour-plus session was over, Trump had told a reporter from a Jewish publication that his question about rising anti-Semitism was very unfair and to sit down….

    He ripped into CNN repeatedly…. The president also lashed out at “fake news” repeatedly, even while spewing falsehoods. He said he’d had the biggest electoral landslide since 1984. Not true…. He then said he’d been given “misinformation” about the size of his electoral win.

    Shorter Trump today:

    But that’s what conservatism is now — angry white people saying “Respect ME, dammit!” and insisting that everyone who doesn’t agree with them deserves to be harangued or intimidated into silence.

    Whether it’s white working-class voters demanding an end to “political correctness” and Mexican and Muslim immigration, or alt-rightists harassing opposition voices on the Internet, or billionaires describing progressive protesters as Hitlerian, the message is: Those people are the scum of the earth, and they should just shut up forever. I’m talking now. Listen to me. Listen only to me and my allies.

    During the campaign, many concerned political observers asked, “What does conservatism stand for now?” This is what it stands for. It stands for I have the floor, so you just shut the hell up.

  78. 78
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Major Major Major Major: True, but SF suffers from what all majors cities suffer which is that high density is a fucking nightmare to prioritize roadwork. NYC, Chicago, Boston, all other old major cities have this same problem. These cities were designed pre-car, and shoehorning cars into them really just doesn’t work. LA was mostly designed post-car and so you see some improvement. The only real solution for cities like NY and SF is to simply ban cars from the city center and build out epic mass transit.

  79. 79
    Brachiator says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    One of the charges against Bernie Sanders, right here at Balloon Juice, on the leftist fringe of America was that he was going to raise tax rates. Self-evident proof that he was the wrong guy for the job.

    Uh, no. The charge against Bernie Sanders by anyone with a brain was that his vision of S0cialist Nirvana could not be paid for by the tax changes he proposed.

    Also, despite 25 years of having his head up his ass, the best that he ever could come up with was, “we need to do it like they are doing it in Europe.”

    Actually, I initially liked Sanders. But that faded when he could not back up his rhetoric.

  80. 80

    @david:

    @Mike in DC: John Schindler has a short 3-tweet response to this story:

    1. So, the WH is bating MSM with fake stories which they run in order to discredit them. There’s a word for that….in Russian. #provokatsiya

    2. (RT) @20committee I have noticed this for a while now. When they are in hot water,they leak something fake so that they can say, see, fake news.

    3. MSM needs to approach Trump WH like a Russian intel op. Assume all info is fake until proven true. It’s 1 big operational game. Coincidence?

    Well, whether it was intentional today or not, conservative outlets are absolutely using this leaked national guard memo to slam the MSM for fake news. It would be a good move on a good strategy, I think.

  81. 81
    hovercraft says:

    @scav: Didn’t Hugo Chavez have a program to give cheap or free eating oil to the poors in New England or something? You are jesting but the sad thing is that real people are suffering and dying because they worship at the temple of no taxes evah!

  82. 82

    @🌷 Martin: NIMBYs shut out all mass transit projects too. God, for people who own some of the most valuable real estate in the world they sure are a bunch of whiny little bitches about it.

  83. 83
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Except it’s not fake. There’s an 11-page memo which says exactly what the AP said, and that memo is now circulating. The WH can say “it was never seriously considered” – but why do high-level people in DHS write 11-page memos? To put them in the shredder after they are printed?

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    I’ve now watched the Trump presser yesterday three times. Not because I am a masochist who enjoys inflicting as much pain as possible on himself

    Are you sure about that? We’ve seen over the years you seem to enjoy pain and other needless suffering while working on your house and with your pets.

  85. 85

    @Gin & Tonic: could be fake. There’s nothing stopping them from writing a fake memo and leaking it. I’m not saying it is fake, and I imagine after the fake doc incident with W the media is a lot more careful about these things, but a competent bunch (which they are not) could absolutely employ that strategy.

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    My enduring hatred of the shitty grade Z movie star is exceeded only by his living avatars: the deserting coward, the Dark Lord (who may just be animated, not living), and the current Offal in the Oval Office.

    The shitty grade Z movie star’s minions actually started this “deferred maintenance” of infrastructure craze in part to give the truly greedy a tax cut at the expense of everyone else’s general welfare.

    The GOP must go the way of the NSDAP and the CPSU….oblivion.

  87. 87
    scav says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Well, it’s not true just as Flynn’s actions are not true. Not true but Trump sees nothing wrong in it and would have told them to write the memos if they hadn’t done so. But it’s still not true, so shut up with the unfair rudeness to the man with the historic electoral triumph.

  88. 88
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    That is because Tax Cut Jeebus was so successful in convincing the masses that government wastes your tax dollars. Our side was outflanked, we thought that showing what government does would be sufficient, to get people to support a reasonable tax rate.
    We are now a nation that demands something for nothing, we want better roads, better schools, new dams, new bridges, fewer re-calls, cleaner water, more parks and green spaces, but we want our taxes to be lower, ever lower. How the hell do these morons think this shit is paid for? They squeal about the inefficiency of government and long waits, and bureaucracy, but they don’t make the connection to budget cuts, meanwhile this is exactly what the cult of lower taxes wants, break the government show it sucks, o we must cut it more, vicious cycle. You get what you pay for, and right now we are running government on a shoestring so we get shoestring government.

  89. 89
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The documents in the deserting coward’s case might have been contemporary, and not the originals, but their content was testified to as accurate.

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator: THIS. Bernie has great ideas, but not the first clue how to go about implementing them. He’s perfect for our brain-dead MSM, btw. That Clinton woman had pages and pages of policy proposals that the MSM went into the tl;dr mode, instead focusing on what was REALLY important, emails!

  91. 91
    James Powell says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Reagan was talking about breaking down the institution that ended desegregation.

    Exactly. And as Lee Atwater said, the propaganda moves from blatant racist language to “no tax increases” but the same white suburbanites who gave us the current resident understand that “tax increases” means “giving free money & stuff to the [insert racist epithet]” All you have to do to confirm this is to keep them talking.

  92. 92
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Mike in DC:

    I don’t know why he’s bothering with an option that involves publicly funded troops.

    He could just deputize a bunch of cranky old retired white guys with guns and give them badges – they’d gleefully do it for free and would feel zero PTSD induced remorse over the mistakes, brutality, racist insults they would deliver and occasional accidental discharges…

  93. 93
    Peale says:

    @hovercraft:

    How the hell do these morons think this shit is paid for?

    Government workers don’t need to be paid, because government jobs aren’t real jobs. That’s the solution. Government workers need to work for free.

    Want to increase ICE by 100,000? Why not call up the National Guard then. The guardsmen like all soldiers work for free. Yeah, they may have regular jobs during the day, but in reality, their service is free. Sure, some of you may think that there is no immigration crisis, let alone one that needs to be solved by the mobilization of the Guard. But they are really just temp workers to fill in holes. They cost us nothing. That’s why we should use them to build roads, too.

  94. 94
    patrick II says:

    I am wondering whether someday people will be reading a young latina’s diary. Some young girl who is hiding with her family in a friend’s house but get’s turned over to homeland security.

  95. 95

    @Peale: Then we could just do like Alabama did after their “get rid of the immigrants” law made crops rot in the fields, and use (coincidentally black) prisoners chained together to harvest our crops for free.

  96. 96
    hovercraft says:

    @kindness:
    To be fair, that’s is Upstate, once you go north of Westchester or north and west of Nyack you are talking about a completely different type of people. Staten Island and Suffolk County can be lumped in with upstate, Nassau is being overrun by City folks so they are more like the City folks.
    I have lived in Westchester where everyone is in the City all the time, Nassau where going to the City is no big deal, and Suffolk, where I met people in their 20’s and 30’s who could count the times they’d been to
    Manhattan on one hand if ever.

  97. 97
    marv says:

    I’ve thought this forever, and the only thing I can think of about Obama that I’m not in the tank about is the lip-service he paid Reagan. I was there, sentient and everything, when he said we could cut taxes, raise military spending, and balance the budget, and he was just never called on it. Ever. To this day. And I have also thought the single most destructive phrase a public official has uttered in my lifetime is the Government is not the solution…. Right-wingers I have known just seemed to absorb that at the cellular level

  98. 98
    hovercraft says:

    @Peale:
    I just love how they just love them some troops, then balk at paying them a decent wage, yet they don’t bat an eye about wasting trillions on weaponry, or billions on mercenaries like the ones at DeVos’s brother old criminal enterprise, where we were paying double what it costs us for real soldiers for their “troops”.
    Freedom to rip us off is what they want. “Contractors” have become the latest and greatest way to drive down our wages and strip us of our benefits.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Peale: Anyone who believes soldiers work for free has never been a soldier, or been around them.

  100. 100
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @marv: “Deficits don’t matter. Ronald Reagan proved that.” – Dick “the Dark Lord of the Sith” Cheney.

  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: The problem is the old retired white guys would demand to be paid, too. Satisfaction from killing a few mezikens doesn’t pay for booze, you know.

  102. 102
    trollhattan says:

    My supposed blue California county voted 65% in favor of a transportation fund sales tax hike in November. But since a tax hike requires 2/3 of the vote that’s a fail. Tyranny of the minority.

  103. 103
    J R in WV says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    @The Moar You Know: One of the charges against Bernie Sanders, right here at Balloon Juice, on the leftist fringe of America was that he was going to raise tax rates. Self-evident proof that he was the wrong guy for the job.

    You’re kind of correct about that, but more in error than not. People were saying that Werner’s tax proposals would, if he were the candidate in the general election, doom the Democratic party to a huge popular and electoral loss, because too many people automatically reject tax increases, even for good things like highways schools and fire departments.

    That isn’t the same thing as the Republican desire to weaken government until they can choke it to death in the bathtub.

    No one here said that the proposed tax increases were a bad thing, although there was debate on how big a tax hike should be to avoid damping the economy.

  104. 104
    Hungry Joe says:

    A libertarian once told me, with a straight face (it’s the only kind they have, I think), that he shouldn’t have to pay for roads he didn’t drive on. He said he looked forward to the day when all roads would be privately owned. They’ll have sensors that will identify our cars and how many miles we drive on their property, and at the end of each month we’ll receive bills from the various road-owning corporations. THAT, he said, would be fair.

  105. 105
    J R in WV says:

    @Kelly:

    Road work for non-payers:

    Do the potholes where the non-payers can’t avoid them, at the mouth of their driveway, but where most people can just swing wide away from the pond of mud. Be obvious, cut the ditch to flood right in front of their roads. They don’t deserve any consideration, they deserve to pay for brake repairs twice every winter.

    If you are doing the work, or paying for the work, stand right out there and point where the pond is to be. Scrape away all the rock, and replace it with clay mud, make it a foot deep. Make it so that after a hard rain, their high-water lifted $50K pickup will sink like the Titanic, and need to be trawled out of there by a hook and crane wrecker, with a diver to hook up the truck!

    OK, I’m just fantasizing now, but seriously,, don’t put any gravel in front of their driveway, ever. Make the road wide enough to get around that giant pot hole, and ignore it every time you work on the road. If they stand out there and shout at the gravel truck, that’s good. A chance to ask them to pay up for all the times they didn’t pay up, a total that will make them turn white. Loudly, in front of everyone else helping out.

  106. 106
    prob50 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    it’s really weird how shitty the roads are here. I know in San Francisco we have a major NIMBY problem when it comes to everything, including road repairs, but I can’t explain it elsewhere.

    Although there are way too many places with shit-awful roads down here in the L.A and Valley areas I have noticed quite a bit of road repair in this past year or so. But they are so very far behind it would take a much more`massive effort to bring things up to a decent level. It really needs to be done, but I don’t think the political will exists in the state legislature to make it happen.

  107. 107
    SFAW says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I imagine that you’ll disagree, but that press conference yesterday was Peak Wingnut.

    Not even close. It MIGHT be Peak Wingnut when, in response to some fresh Hell from Shitgibbon, Ryan and McConnell start planning the impeachment process, and their seditious/treasonous minions are 50-plus percent on board with that. And even then, I’d be skeptical.

  108. 108
    Peale says:

    @Hungry Joe: And I would just love to receive bills from 20 companies each month where I’d have to review each road to make sure I drove on it. Heck, I’d make a fortune myself sending out fake invoices to people.

  109. 109
    joel hanes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The documents in the deserting coward’s case

    The forgery bore Rove’s stinking fingerprints. Not the first time he’s played that trick.

  110. 110
    joel hanes says:

    I’m amazed at the complaints about California’s roads.
    I can only conclude that the complainers have never tried to drive through Missouri.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: For which he and his entire extended family need to be burned at the stake for. And Reagan’s bones need to be dug up and dumped out at sea. The Z-fcker doesn’t deserve to rest on American soil.

  112. 112
    Brachiator says:

    @patrick II:

    I am wondering whether someday people will be reading a young latina’s diary. Some young girl who is hiding with her family in a friend’s house but get’s turned over to homeland security.

    I quoted you in the thread just started by Betty Cracker.

    Sadly, I think this is where we may be headed.

  113. 113
    TenguPhule says:

    @SFAW:

    It MIGHT be Peak Wingnut when, in response to some fresh Hell from Shitgibbon, Ryan and McConnell double down and go all in to support the overthrow of the Constitution, and their seditious/treasonous minions are 50-plus percent on board with that.

    FTFY.

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Simple Solution. Rape, Pillage & Burn. They can loot to their hearts content from the melanin challenged!

  115. 115
    David Spikes says:

    @grandpa john: Now grandpa according to MSM miss nikki is the reasonable, caring face of the repubs-her and Paul Ryan. So I’d thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head.

  116. 116

    @joel hanes: Roads can be terrible in multiple places at once. Besides, we’re complaining about California’s roads in the context that it’s California and you’d expect better roads here, I’m pleased to hear that Missouri has roads at all.

  117. 117
    trollhattan says:

    @joel hanes:
    And certainly want to keep it that way. :-P

  118. 118
    trollhattan says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    The funding and responsibilities (city, county, state, fed) are such a crazy mix it’s impossible to cite a single reason, but overall it’s an unwillingness to pony up for preventive maintenance which, in turn, leads to repair after the damage is done–a far more costly pursuit.

  119. 119
    Van Buren says:

    @Pogonip: Best roads I’ve ever seen are the Swiss.

  120. 120
    zhena gogolia says:

    @joel hanes:

    Or Vermont.

  121. 121
    David Spikes says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Huge amounts of money are of course transferred from urban areas to the almost uninhabited mtn. and desert counties
    In addition all east-west traffic is funneled through two interstates. All truck traffic from port of LA and Oakland.
    I-80 through the Sierras, which I drive a couple of times a week, has been in continual reconstruction for the past 20 years but nothing can stand up to that volume of truck traffic.
    The weather this winter means that major work will be going on again this year-that drains enormous sums from projects elsewhere in the state.
    Perhaps all the truck drivers who lose their jobs to self driving trucks can get jobs rebuilding the highways.

  122. 122
    sukabi says:

    @Major Major Major Major: depends on how you define “fake”..

    To me a fake (fradulent, counterfeit) document would be something put out by an entity That portrayed itself and the document to be official but was in no way connected to or authorized by actual agency to produce the document or it’s contents.

    Disinformation or propaganda on the other hand is put out by the agency to distract, confuse population…it is also “fake” but is better defined as propaganda.

    The 100K Nat guard “memo” would fall under either straight up propaganda, or it’s a trial balloon to gauge reaction… But either way isn’t fake as it was produced by the administration at dhs.

  123. 123
    marv says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    No s…. It’s like they want my head to explode. I even remember back in the mid to late ’70’s, when Reagan was pretty much wandering in the wilderness politically, he had a five-minute daily radio commentary deal that played on my hometown station, and it seemed like every one focused on the horrible sin of deficit spending. Then nevermind during his term, Clinton has a budget surplus at the end of his term (still can hardly believe that), Nevermind again with the Cheney pronouncement, Until teh black guy is prez. Now presumably nevermind again, I guess

  124. 124
    Johannes says:

    @hovercraft: I grew up in Nassau, and my family still lives there. It’s GOP Central, with a strong conservative Roman Catholic contingent. Very near the City, true, but nothing like it.

  125. 125
    Gretchen says:

    Kansas legislature voted today to throw out Brownback’s tax cuts. They ran on restoring funding to schools and roads, and people here are mad at the cuts, so they won. Brownback’s cronies mostly lost. People do care about good public services when they’re used to having them and suddenly lose them.

  126. 126
    Spinoza is my Co-pilot says:

    “The Crazy Goes Back To Tax Cut Jeebus”?

    Nah, it goes back further and is even more basic than that:

    “I Got Mine, Fuck You/Devil Take The Hindmost” is the bedrock on which the entire insane and inhuman edifice of modern movement conservatism is constructed. Tax cut idiocy is just one room in that building (though a large main floor room, to be sure).

  127. 127
    Gravenstone says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    He could just deputize a bunch of cranky old retired white guys with guns and give them badges – they’d gleefully do it for free and would feel zero PTSD induced remorse over the mistakes, brutality, racist insults they would deliver and occasional accidental discharges…

    Not quite the same, but our regional fascist wannabe, Sheriff Mikey Clarke (R-useful idiot) wants to deputize his department to aid in the ICE crackdown on illegals. Earned himself a nice little demonstration against such jack bootery about a week ago in Milwaukee.

  128. 128
    leeleeFL says:

    I think the crazy goes back to the Civil War. The Party of Seccession became the Party of TaxCut Jeebus after a group of progressive Democrats and decent Republicans (yes Virginia, they existed) decided to try to end the awfulness of the post-Reconstuction era. There was a sorting, without a hat, and the beginning of life as we know it today. We should have hanged the Rebels and sent the wimmens and children into exile, to learn what suffering REALLY was. The land should have been given to the Freedmen…LOST CAUSE MY BUTT! If we don’t figure out how to fight these bastards like they fight us, this experiment is over.

    Addendum:. I am having a truly deeply crapalicious day. Thanks for the rant space.

  129. 129
    Captain C says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: In large part because unlike most Democratic proposals, which hit the rich, Bernie’s would have (as per the Vox tax calculator) hit the middle class pretty hard; according to said calculator a family of four making $50K/year would have an increase of about $500/month. The attack ads on this alone would have likely sunk Bernie’s general election campaign.

  130. 130
    Captain C says:

    @kindness: For some, upstate is anything above 96th Street.

  131. 131
    Captain C says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    culmination of a decades-long project that began with Reagan

    Arguably it goes back all the way to Goldwater.

  132. 132

    John Cole, your cogent and concise commentary belongs on the OpEd pages of the NYT and WashPoo. There is much there that could be replaced with your commentary that would make the world a better place. Thank you for creating and building this blogging community.

  133. 133
    leeleeFL says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: Seconded!

Comments are closed.