TGIF Open Thread: Lizard Edition

Here’s a lizard sunning on a painted bamboo:

Didn’t have my camera handy, so please excuse the poor quality iPhone photo. It’s amazing how quickly one becomes a camera snob! Unfortunately, my offspring’s entire childhood is documented with crappy phone camera photos. I suppose that’ll be her version of my “look at all these crappy Polaroids from the 70s!”

Open thread!

PS: There’s actually an existing tag for “Lizard Blogging!” Cole is right; we have too damn many tags!

234 replies
  1. 1
    bystander says:

    Rep. Leonard Lance of NJ is as gay as a May basket. Pukey repub talking about how much repubs are concentrated about healthcare and why aren’t Democrats helping? I hate these people and wish bad things for them.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Maybe there are too many lizards.

  3. 3
    J. says:

    Wow, that’s a pretty big lizard! I am envious of it. It is currently snowing up here in Connecticut — and we’re expecting a really big storm Tuesday. (For this I left Sanibel?) :-(

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    a lizard sunning on a painted bamboo

    Why’s it gotta be a “painted” one? What makes this lizard feel like he’s so special he’s gotta be puttin’ on airs and looking down on the rest of his fellow lizards?! If a regular bamboo was good enough fer his pappy then it’s good enough for him!

  6. 6
    jrharp says:

    Kevin Drum is Lizard Blogging too.

  7. 7
    debit says:


    Maybe there are too many lizards.

    Please eliminate three.

    P.S. I am not a crockpot.

  8. 8

    Cool lizard.

    High of 66 here today, so I’m rocking the only-one-light-jacket look.

    I read the comments on a blisteringly stupid Slate piece by Reihan Salam, and they were even worse than the piece itself. Why did I do that?

    @jeffreyw: ooh, lizard AND cat.

  9. 9
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Favorite game in my part of South Florida is: Giant Gecko or Small Iguana? Not as easy as you’d think.

  10. 10
    hovercraft says:

    Cheer up, this weekend proves that EPA chief is right, there’s no such thing as global warming, and if by some tiny chance there is, it definitely has nothing to do with anything mankind has done or is planning to do much more of.

  11. 11
    debit says:

    Also, too, all of my photos are crappy iphone photos. Sniff.

  12. 12
    MomSense says:


    P.S. I am not a crockpot.

    New beauty and the beast character?

  13. 13

    @debit: they’re actually pretty good cameras! I had a fancy digital point and shoot 12 years ago when I went to Iceland the first time, and my iPhone 6 pictures from when I was there last month are higher quality.

  14. 14
    debit says:

    @MomSense: Abe Simpson.

    @Major Major Major Major: To be honest, I’ve always been pretty happy with mine. Just got a 7 and wish I had gone for the 7 plus so I could have the portrait mode.

  15. 15
    Schlemazel says:

    5 degrees on the tundra today, WHAT GLOBAL WARMING?

    I also learned (first hand) something else I could have lived without knowing
    A potential side-effect of taking cipro is ruptured tendons. My achilles is now shot & I have been booted.

  16. 16
    ET says:

    I see Huntsman has accepted the nomination for being ambassador to Russia. What an idiot. Given Trump & Co’s overly cozy relationship and how that garbage is going to dribble out over time and damage a bunch of people (who should be damaged) WHY THE HELL would you deliberately put yourself in the middle of that hot mess? Honestly he is deliberately going to taint his own reputation. On purpose ?!?

  17. 17
    Mike E says:

    @Baud: Meteor! O sh

  18. 18
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    You’re a masochist?
    Remember way back when Reihan Salam and Ross The Cardinal Doughat were the bright young conservative poised to be intellectual leaders of the republican party?

  19. 19

    Am I the only one who find lizards creepy as hell? Lizards, snakes and other creepy crawlies do not want.

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    Looks like a green anole. Does he change colors? In the spring the males will fight over territory. Saw one fight that went on for about 45 minutes one time. They drew blood! It was like what you’d imagine a dinosaur fight would be like, but in miniature.

  21. 21
    debit says:

    @Schlemazel: Oh crap, I am so sorry. Will you recover fully?

  22. 22
    bystander says:

    @ET: The only reputation I know Huntsman to have is to be the biggest, most loquacious bore in the world. I don’t think serving as Trump’s smokescreen and thin veneer of deniability will damage that in the least.

  23. 23
    Yarrow says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Reihan Salam scares me. He looks like he eats people.

  24. 24

    @hovercraft: I didn’t realize it was him until the second paragraph, and then I wanted to see if the commenters agreed with me! Argh! Too early in the morning, brain not work.

    And yes, I do remember, lol.

  25. 25

    @Yarrow: Indeed he does. Those eyebrows, that bald pate, he looks a like a Disney animated villain.

  26. 26
    debit says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I can admire then at a distance, but do not want them in my immediate vicinity.

  27. 27
    scav says:

    I’m trying to fit politicians faces to lizards, wondering if one of that, less endearing, cold-blooded breed inspired the tag. I’m bad with names, but I think a few candidates float just out of reach.

    It may be sunny enough to weed here today. ha!

  28. 28
    hovercraft says:

    @ET: WHY THE HELL would you deliberately put yourself in the middle of that hot mess? Honestly he is deliberately going to taint his own reputation. On purpose ?!?

    He tainted it with the base way back in 2009 when he accepted the position of ambassador to China under president blackety black, which is why his presidential prospects are dead. Apparently he’s dumb and desperate enough o hope that by debasing himself to the orange shitstain the base will forgive his transgression. They will never forgive him, he will never be president, he screwed up, serving your country does not erase the sin of legitimizing not only a democratic president, but a black one. Stick a fork in him, he’s been done.

  29. 29
    The Moar You Know says:

    Cute anole. Just about the only thing I miss about visiting the South. That and the food.

  30. 30

    @hovercraft: Heh may be he’d rather be anywhere else than Utah. China, Russia, Antarctica anywhere is better than Mormon land.

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Disney animated villain–great description! And it’s not just his looks. His expression is always so…intense? Not sure that’s the right word. But he looks like wants to jump out of the TV screen and start gnawing on the limbs of anyone who happens to be in the room.

  32. 32
    Eric S. says:

    @hovercraft: Yep. In the first time since records began Chicago didn’t have a snowfall of 1″ or more in January or February but we might get one early next week. Snow in mid-March? Obviously no global warming.

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:


    If he’s from Virginia, what da hail is he doing taping people in Ohio?

    US man stalks Indians, posts video saying ‘they’re taking away our jobs’
    INDIA Updated: Mar 07, 2017 09:49 IST
    Siladitya Ray
    Hindustan Times, New Delhi

    Days after the fatal shooting of Indian-born engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an anti-immigration website that features photos and videos of Indian families relaxing in the city of Columbus, Ohio, has alarmed community members in the United States.

    A post on the website called ‘Welcome to Columbus Ohio suburbs – Lets take a walk to Indian park’ features a video of Indian families hanging out in a public park in suburban Ohio. The video’s description mentions how wealthy Indian families have ‘moved in’ to suburban homes in Ohio as “displacement of Americans has occurred”. As of March 6, the video has over 41,000 views on YouTube.

    A Buzzfeed report says that the website is created and maintained by Steve Pushor, a 66-year-old computer programmer from Virginia.

    In the video, Pushor’s camera pans over people playing volleyball and children riding bikes, as he narrates: “The number of people from foreign countries blows my mind out here. You see this whole area is all Indian, amazing. It’s an amazing number of jobs have been taken away from Americans. The Indian crowd has ravished the Midwest. It’s a takeover.(sic)” Pushor sarcastically describes the park as a “mini Mumbai”.

    Pushor initially posted this video and the accompanying document ‘Ohio – A Journey To Indian Park’ in August. The document labels India as a “hell hole” and highlights the loss of “Norman Rockwell white people class” in the US. A link to the document now directs to a 403-error page, but an archived version of the page are still available online.

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:


    Am I the only one who find lizards creepy as hell? Lizards, snakes and other creepy crawlies do not want

    Not the only one.

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    Unemployment is ticking up in this part of Ohio. I wonder when the Trumpsters will notice. In my personal opinion it’s because there was pent-up demand for new cars and we’re at the end of that cycle, but I plan on blaming Trump and if it keeps going up everyone else will blame him too.

    Because we’re blamers. We “play the blame game”, as my 4th grade teacher used to say :)

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: I saw him on the Maher show a while back, angry and hectoring and talking over people*… makes David Frum seem charming and gracious.

    * there was a story floating around a while back that conservative media coaches (or whatever they’re called) tell their peeps to keep talking, interrupt when you feel like it, never raise your voice. It seems to work, especially with a weak host like Maher

  37. 37

    @hovercraft: he never struck me as the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    In bizarro-earth, where the Republican Party moderated after 2008 or 2012, Huntsman could have been a formidable, media darling presidential prospect, or so the story went. That’s why Obama offered him the ambassadorship.

    @schrodingers_cat: he is, of course, Mormon aristocracy.

  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    @ET: His dad has ties to Russia somehow. Property or financial ties? Maybe he had no choice.

  39. 39
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: In my personal opinion it’s because there was pent-up demand for new cars and we’re at the end of that cycle,

    all the stories a few weeks back about Ford and GM opening new plants in the US were about trucks and SUVs, because apparently we’re counting on cheap gas and low interest rates. IANAn economist, but stories like that, and about rising housing prices here and there and everywhere, make me nervous.

  40. 40
    JMG says:

    @Yarrow: Related to the Marriotts of Marriott hotels. They have business interests in almost every country. Oddly enough, competing interests with those of his boss, but Trump may figure, “hey, if he knows the hotel business, that’s the guy for me.” He really does think like that.

  41. 41
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: Unemployment claims went up. Heard it on the radio yesterday. They also said layoffs went down and somehow it’s a sign of a strong job market. But I don’t understand how unemployment claims went up then.

    I asked in another thread if it could be related to the significant drops in tourism that we’re already seeing. I am very curious to see the numbers for the tourist related businesses when earnings are reported in a few weeks.

  42. 42
    Schlemazel says:

    I guess, doc said she didn’t think it was too bad. Bigger problem is it wipes another antibiotic off the list of ones I can take

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:


    Here’s a laugh for you this morning.To have the confidence of that first child…love it.

    Hilarious 😄😄😄😄

  44. 44
    Barbara says:

    @bystander: Huntsman, still trying to redeem his political career after the fiasco of serving as Obama’s ambassador to China, is licking the boot of any Republican who will deign to lift their foot off the ground.

  45. 45
    hovercraft says:

    @Yarrow: @schrodingers_cat:
    And the eyes, way too zealous, no I wouldn’t want to caught anywhere alone with him, if he didn’t eat me he’d talk me to death trying to convert me.

  46. 46

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: OPEC is slashing production right now and, of course, Russia wants high gas prices. That seems like a sucker’s bet.

  47. 47
    Eric S. says:

    @Schlemazel: I took cipro a bunch of years back. I came home from Costa Rica with some stomach bug and that’s what they gave me. Never any mention of the tendon issue and I was very sports active at the time. Would have been nice to know.

  48. 48
    rikyrah says:

    Please keep calling your reps about #Trumpcare. The bill has passed two committees already with no modifications. Updated call guide here:

    — The Resisterhood (@resisterhood) March 10, 2017

  49. 49
    Schlemazel says:

    I assume he is doing it for the chicks, man.

    Is there a retirement benefit?

  50. 50
    jeffreyw says:

    There are lizards in Viet Nam that say “fuck you”. I am not a crackpot.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Nearly 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria to fight against ISIS: Pentagon – @haaretzcom

    — Conflict News (@Conflicts) March 9, 2017

  52. 52
    Han says:


    The Indian crowd has ravished the Midwest.

    I feel so cheap and used…

  53. 53

    @rikyrah: T wants a ground war with Iran for which he is going to need conscription.

  54. 54
    Pogonip says:

    @debit: Hi Debit, are the cat and the other dog still looking for Walter? I hope the 3 of you are feeling better.

  55. 55

    @Han: I hope you at least got a good meal out of it.

  56. 56
    Yarrow says:


    I also learned (first hand) something else I could have lived without knowing
    A potential side-effect of taking cipro is ruptured tendons. My achilles is now shot & I have been booted.

    So sorry to hear that. I have heard about that side effect. So dangerous. I hope you make a full recovery.

  57. 57
    Schlemazel says:

    @Eric S.:
    No kidding, the risk is low but it does seem kinda important! I am running out of choices though & cipro was the recommended one of the remaining.

  58. 58
    mai naem mobile says:

    @ET: I believe Huntsman’s daddy made his fortune off chemicals etc. so I’m guessing Putin offered $$$ to Huntsman in the form of chemical business related stuff.

  59. 59
    Barbara says:

    @JMG: I thought Huntsman was associated with the Huntsman Corporation, which, I think, was founded by his father or uncle and still pretty much run by his family. That is why he was a good fit to be ambassador to China, similar to Branstad. The Marriotts were Mormon, but they are from Virginia, and their first hotel was in Crystal City (South Arlington) Virginia.

  60. 60
    gvg says:

    Since this is an open thread, I thought I would report that Wilmer has finally said something I agree with entirely. Apparently he called Trump a liar and some reporter deplored his uncivil tone and he responded to that with a post on the web about “What should we do when the President is a liar?” listing some of the most damaging lies Trump has uttered and why they are a problem for all Americans. He specifically mentioned the birtherism too.

  61. 61

    @jeffreyw: I know what you mean. I have seen a 3 ft long lizard in India. Perfectly camouflaged on a tree branch. I jumped 3 ft when I realized that I was sitting about few inches away.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Well, we won’t have any ‘new plants’ but they do buy trucks on credit. They weren’t working for a while so once they got caught up they bought new cars and now that sort of “rush” is over, as everyone knew it would be over.

    Won’t matter though. If it keeps going up they’ll blame Trump. Hourly workers are much more sensitive to cycles. They feel ups and downs more than salaried people. He promised them a boom. That means “overtime” and/or a raise in their base hourly rate and that’s all it means. If it doesn’t materialize and Wall Street is still popping champagne corks the disconnect will be noticed. The Bush recession hit here before it hit other places. You could feel it coming.

  63. 63
    hovercraft says:

    You’re not alone, I hate them, these translucent gecko things were always creeping around my mother house(outside for the most part) whenever I visited, they are so disgusting. What the hell kind of creature walks around with all it’s vital organs on display? Ugh!!!

  64. 64
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: Bwahahahaha! Thanks for the link. That actually made me laugh out loud. That child was priceless. The poor woman in charge of them. And the little detail of the map blowing about as the door closed, which just made the whole setup look that much less professional, was perfect.

  65. 65
    debit says:

    @Pogonip: Ellie is still looking for him, but not as much. She and the cats have been a little down, so we’ve been doing a lot of playtime. I set up a box in the kitchen, which is always a good time for cats.

  66. 66
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    I like lizards. I am not fond of snakes as pets when owners feed living animals to them. I once knew someone who’d buy baby bunnies and refer to them as “feeder bunnies.” He housed his snakes with his iguanas. Eventually the snakes ate the iguanas. His wolf hybrids eventually killed his damn snakes. By then he’d switched from bunnies to rats, which he over-purchased and which bred like mad! When the snakes died, he eventually released the rats across the street and into the neighborhood.

    Did I mention what an asshole he is?

    We have lots of salamanders here. Their breeding habits are kinda weird. Sometimes whole clots of them go at it. Not sure if they’re ganging up on one female or if it’s more of an any orifice in a storm sort of thing.

  67. 67
    JMG says:

    @Kay: Auto loans could be to the next financial/economic crisis what mortgages were to the last one.

  68. 68

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Eeeww thanks for the info, now I am going to see to it that stay to the east of the Rockies.

  69. 69
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Barbara: apparently there’s a lot of factionalism in the upper reaches of the Mormon church, and the Huntsmans and the Romneys don’t like each other. IIRC Orrin Hatch, while not from money is part of a family that has a lot of influence in the church, figures in there somewhere, but I don’t care enough to make a google.

    There was an article about Jon Huntsman’s kids– 20s and 30s– in 2012 and the reporter said when they got together with them a couple of them ordered wine. I wonder how a candidate with Jack Mormon kids would fare in a Utah election.

  70. 70
    Yarrow says:


    The Bush recession hit here before it hit other places. You could feel it coming.

    I can already feel the Trump recession. The drop in visitors to the U.S. is the shift in the wind that’s the tell. Businesses in other countries hesitating before wanting to do business here because we elected a crazy person president is another sign. It’s coming.

  71. 71
    Eric S. says:

    @Yarrow: IIRC, unemployment claims are the number of people actively seeking employment. If that nine goes up while layoffs are down it is an indicator that more people are coming off the sidelines and actively seeking employment. That in turn is an indicator that thone people see a better economy with job prospects.

  72. 72
    scav says:


    @rikyrah: The Indian crowd has ravished the Midwest.

    Isn’t the current policy the Midwest should have kept its knees together?

  73. 73
    hovercraft says:

    @JMG: @Barbara:
    Yes Huntsman corp. and they are real billionaires, and his parents are real philanthropists, so very different from the Twitler “empire”.

    The Huntsman Corporation was initially founded as the Huntsman Container Corporation in 1970 by Jon Huntsman, Sr. It went public as the Huntsman Corporation on the New York Stock Exchange NYSE: HUN in February 2005. Huntsman has grown through a series of acquisitions (with some divestitures) and today is a manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemical products.

    In April 1994, Huntsman acquired the Texaco Chemical company for $1.06 billion.[2] Texaco Inc. agreed to sell its last remaining petrochemicals plant to Huntsman in 1999 for about $600 million.[3]

    The Huntsman Corporation became the then third-largest petrochemical business in the United States when in 1999, it acquired Imperial Chemical Industries’ polyurethanes, titanium dioxide, aromatics and petrochemical global businesses for $2.8 billion.[4]

    Huntsman also acquired the Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) businesses of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. on October 1, 2014 to become the second-largest global producer of titanium dioxide and inorganic color pigments for uses like paints and industrial coatings.[5] Huntsman paid approximately $1 billion in cash and assumed certain unfunded European pension liabilities.[6]

    Russia makes sense.

  74. 74
  75. 75
    hovercraft says:


    People enter the job market when they think there are jobs to be had.

    ETA: more people therefore say they are actively looking for jobs than when they have no hope of finding work.

  76. 76
    Eric S. says:

    @Schlemazel: Keeping my fingers crossed for you the doctors find something for you soon.

  77. 77
    rikyrah says:



    Ryan On Millions Losing Care: ‘Never Going To Win A Coverage Beauty Contest’

    Published MARCH 10, 2017, 10:10 AM EDT
    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted Friday that the Congressional Budget Office will likely estimate that millions of people would lose health insurance under the GOP’s proposed health care bill.

    But he said that the the bill wasn’t meant to address the “beauty contest” of increasing coverage.

    “We always know, you’re never going to win a coverage beauty contest when it’s free market versus government mandates,” Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt, after Hewitt floated the possibility that the CBO would estimate 15 million people will lose health insurance because of the American Health Care Act.

    He was referring in part to the Obamacare’s mandate that individuals purchase insurance, and the tax penalties it imposes on those who don’t. But the law also provides more government assistance to buy care than the Republicans’ alternative, which provides tax credits based mostly on age.

  78. 78
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I wonder what Hindi or Urdu is for “Uncle Tom”. Or the equiv (gotta believe there was one, given the brutality of the English Raj). The man needs to check the back of his hand, ffs.

    ETA: I’m a dark-skinned South Asian, so I have standing, I assert, to point this out. Besides being a moral cretin, he’s a race traitor.

  79. 79
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    Anolis carolinensis, basically extinct here is SE FL, due to being out-competed by the Cuban immigrant A. sagrei. The Cuban anole is better at living on golf courses and residential landscaping than the native species.

  80. 80
    PPCLI says:

    @ET: Well, recent history has shown that you can make an awful lot of money as a Trump go-between in Russia.

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It seems to work, especially with a weak host like Maher

    Works all the time with Chris Hayes.

  82. 82
    Mike in DC says:

    Does anyone think there might be a niche market for a gun shop for liberals? Most of the shops I’ve been to have a strong wingnut vibe to them.

  83. 83

    @Chet Murthy: British Raj. Scots, Irish and Welsh were good foot soldiers of the Empire, the best!

  84. 84
    ArchTeryx says:

    Love wildlife blogs of all kinds. I’m a bird guy, but have a special place in my heart for lizards. They’re a vital part of the biosphere.

    Right now, trying to figure out just what strategy I can use to make hay from the fact that Ryan and his merry band of vandals want me (and everyone like me) dead. I’ve left messages with my Congresscritter (Paul Tonko, NY-20, D) and both my Senators. Having trouble locating an appropriate Crohn’s group that could “get out the word”…I see support groups, but they ain’t what I need right now. Still very reluctant to stick my neck out enough to contact local media – that can backfire in horrible ways (since I’m unemployed) and yield nothing. It’s happened before.

  85. 85
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: apparently he pushed back on two GOP MoCs last night, but I had it muted, and yeah he gets walked all over by the likes of AJ Delgado and Matt Schlapp, or whatever that goon’s name is.

    I had to chuckle the other night when he had Sam Seder on, who was so deep into left-blog speak that I suspect even the typical Chris Hayes viewer was left thinking, what the hell is he talking about?

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @Mike in DC: Probably not. We can’t even get our own media.

  87. 87
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I didn’t watch last night, but maybe he felt the sting of criticism from the other night when I did watch and he got walked all over.

    The Seder thing sounds like it might have been funny. What was he on to talk about?

  88. 88
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: Trump’s sub-cabinet appointments, like Gorka. Seder was saying something about how if Trump had lost he would’ve been auditioning for World Net Daily TV. I barely get that and I’m an internet/politics junkie. There was something else that I thought must’ve sailed right over the heads of people never read FDL

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:


    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I didn’t watch last night, but maybe he felt the sting of criticism from the other night when I did watch and he got walked all over.

    He got rolled again last night. TBF I could not watch all of it and turned it to Tiny House shows, switching back and forth.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, I got that Sam was calling Gorka an extremist nutjob but it seemed a little awkward for a bit.

  91. 91
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’ve been an active part of the liberal blogosphere since the Bush years, and the number of things that still go over my head is remarkable.

  92. 92
    PPCLI says:

    How far down the rabbit hole are the Republicans going to go? Rohrbacher in the House Intel. Committee defends Putin to a former President of Estonia, denies that Putin is threatening Estonia militarily, and talks about how the US assassinated Allende and Diem, ran the Phoenix program, then compares Putin to Richard Daley.

  93. 93
    Mike in DC says:


    Hmm. Anyone have Armed Liberal’s contact info?

  94. 94
    hovercraft says:

    Bonus! GOP Obamacare Repeal Bill Depletes Medicare Trust Fund Faster

    The long-awaited GOP health care bill finally unveiled this week strikes an immediate blow to Medicare funding, accelerating a solvency crisis that health policy experts say could open the door to even more devastating cuts down the road.

    By repealing a payroll tax on high earners that provided a critical additional revenue stream for the Medicare trust fund, the GOP’s proposed American Health Care Act would speed up the fund’s exhaustion by as many as three to four years, according to estimates from health care policy experts.

    “It’s clear, simple and undeniable that this bill would aversely affect the solvency of Medicare,” Paul Van De Water, a Medicare expert at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities told TPM.

    Critics say this provision is a prime example of the GOP bill granting tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the country’s neediest citizens, and that it paves the way for Medicare privatization. One former Obama administration official argued that by endangering the program’s funding, so-called “entitlement hawks” like House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will have cover to argue that Medicare as we know it is financially unsustainable—then realize their long-held dream of turning it into a voucher program.

    Andy Slavitt, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the last two years of the Obama administration, has been ringing this bell loudly since the AHCA was made public Monday night.

    “I think it’s a smarter play for them to move Medicare closer to a crisis, try to get this bill done, and then build a case about why this crisis needs to be addressed,” he told TPM in a Thursday phone interview.

  95. 95
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I can still be shocked at how badly people who cover current events for a living cover current events

    USA TODAYVerified account @ USATODAY
    Strong hiring for a second straight month: Employers add 235,000 jobs in February; unemployment drops

    Eric Boehlert Retweeted USA TODAY
    “second straight”? isn’t it more like 48 straight

  96. 96
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Does anyone think there might be a niche market for a gun shop for liberals? Most of the shops I’ve been to have a strong wingnut vibe to them.

    I have been to many gun shops, and many gun shows, in a variety of cities/states. I have not yet ever felt like the vibe was lower than about 11 on RWNJ scale of 1 to 10.

    ETA, that reads weird but I mean to say – they are all macho/RW/CT/NUTZ

  97. 97
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m still amazed by Tiny Houses. Maybe more so than with Trump’s election.

  98. 98
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:


    I missed the Walter thread, and just want to weigh in on a live thread to express my condolences and gratitude for the time and energy and care you devoted to that sweet soul. RIP Walter. And now I’m back to wondering what humans did to ever deserve dogs.

  99. 99
    Yarrow says:

    @ArchTeryx: Did you see my comment yesterday about maybe reaching out to Soonergrunt. His daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s. Here’s the link to the thread where he talked about it. Maybe he has some suggestions or connections. He doesn’t post here much, but he’s active on Twitter.

    I am calling all my representatives every day. I am encouraged that they were first talking about passing the bill this week, then next week and yesterday I heard on the radio that Ryan said “in the next couple of weeks.” So it getting pushed back is a good sign. They don’t have the votes at this point. Hopefully as it keeps getting bad reviews, they won’t.

  100. 100
    planetpundit says:

    Cole is never right; just ask Steve.

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    I like Ali Velshi, they should let him guest host All In a few nights so we can see the difference.

  102. 102
    rikyrah says:

    Conservatives want to blow up Senate rules to kill Obamacare
    03/09/17 05:49 PM EST

    House Republican leaders narrowly tailored their Obamacare repeal bill to avoid violating Senate rules, but conservatives are pushing back with advice of their own: tear up the rulebook.

    A growing number of conservative lawmakers on Thursday urged GOP leaders to push the limits of how much of the health law they can reshape under a powerful procedural maneuver known as budget reconciliation — and to overrule the Senate parliamentarian if she doesn’t decide in their favor.

    Such a gambit would require the unlikely buy-in of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a noted institutionalist who earlier this year avoided talk of changing his chamber’s rules to kill the ability to filibuster Supreme Court nominees.

    If the Senate changes precedent for what can be passed under reconciliation now, a future Senate — whether controlled by Republicans or Democrats — could enact a wide range of legislation with just a simple majority.

    “There are limits to what we can do” on Obamacare while complying with the Senate rules, Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Senate Republican, said in a Thursday floor speech. Under reconciliation guidelines, bills can be passed in the Senate with a simple majority and cannot be filibustered, as long as their provisions have a direct impact on spending or tax levels.

    But conservatives in both chambers are still trying to make the case for sending the Senate a more far-reaching Obamacare repeal bill than the one House GOP leaders unveiled this week.

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday kept up his pitch for a strategy that would see Vice President Mike Pence overruling the Senate parliamentarian, if necessary.

  103. 103

    @jeffreyw: Nice and by that I mean scary!

  104. 104
    hovercraft says:

    Looks like they can’t keep this all under wraps, better get those votes whipped soon, this is not going to end well.

    03.10.2017 – 11:23 AM EDT

    SAD! Bigly

    Faced with reports that 15 million or more will lose their health care coverage, Paul Ryan says his plan would “never going to win a coverage beauty contest.” Meanwhile arch-Medicare phaseout chief Tom Price, now HHS Secretary, says some may have to be “moved” to insurance that is “much more desirable.”

    – Josh Marshall

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    GOP Leaders Shoot Down Moving Up Medicaid Expansion Phase Out Date
    Published MARCH 10, 2017, 10:41 AM EDT

    The Republican House leaders pushing the passage of the GOP’s Obamacare repeal and replacement legislation shot down Friday the idea that they’d be open to negotiating how the bill handles Medicaid expansion. Conservatives are lobbying to speed up the process by which Republicans aim to phase out the program, by requesting that its enrollment be frozen in 2018 instead of 2020, as it is under the current plan.

    “I think right now, that would be very difficult to do,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said at press conference, when asked it leadership was open to the idea.

    If leaders’ concede to the conservatives’ demand to move up the Medicaid expansion phase out date, they risk losing the support of more centrist Republicans, and particularly those hailing from expansion states, which are represented by 20 Republicans in the Senate.

    “As we repeal Obamacare, we want to make sure that we don’t create gaps,” Energy and Commerce Chair Greg Walden (R-OR) said at the same press conference.

    “I’ve had discussions all along about different dates, different timelines, with governors, with insurance commissioners, with leaders of these different groups,” he added, while pointing to the fact that the current plan passed out of his committee Thursday with unanimous support of the panel’s Republicans.

    Conservatives have sought to get around leadership by appealing directly to President Trump. According to a CNN report Thursday evening, the White House is has shifted its stance on the Medicaid expansion issue in favor of what the hardliners are asking for.

    At Friday’s press conference, the Republican House leaders denied that they were being cut out of the loop, and also said they had no problem with the conservative members airing their concerns with the White House.

  106. 106
    SenyorDave says:

    @Mike in DC: Does anyone think there might be a niche market for a gun shop for liberals? Most of the shops I’ve been to have a strong wingnut vibe to them.

    You might be on to something. And maybe training at ranges. A couple of year ago I told my wife that I was interested in a Groupon for a 2 hour quickie course/introduction to firearms. But I went online and found one of the two principals in the company is a lunatic (he is completely unhinged on Facebook). So no chance of my giving money to his company. I would nice to have an option if I wanted to look into it again at some point.

  107. 107
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: I started out baffled by them. Who the hell would want one? I kept asking myself. And other practical questions about lifestyle, storage, etc.
    But after watching a few episodes the idea grew on me. Now I watch mainly because I enjoy the creativity of how they make solutions happen, even if to me some of them do not seem real world practical. I think it’s pretty neat now.

  108. 108
    Mike R says:

    Can anybody recommend some sites that would help a novice learn about solar energy. We are looking at installing a system and are becoming quickly aware that we know very little, well really next to nothing. Personal experiences welcomed.

  109. 109
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone: I can’t imagine. I like space.

  110. 110
    tobie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I warned about this jobs report yesterday. Expect lots of White House crowing, expect the supine media to ignore the 76 consecutive months of job growth. If the US takes Raqqa there will be more crowing. We do need to steel ourselves for this. The damage the GOP and Trump are doing to the US will take about 9 months to become evident. It will happen and it will be very ugly. But for now you have to be prepared to be like Cassandra or the proverbial canary in the coal mine–a voice/sound no one wants to hear when the going’s good.

  111. 111
    hovercraft says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Anything that happened before January 20, 2017, is irrelevant, by this summer we will be told the president Twitler is presiding over the longest period of job growth in the history of the world, isn’t he wonderful just look at what he’s done for our economy! When asked how he can take credit for his predecessors record, he will respond that those jobs were in anticipation of his presidency, employers realized years ago that Twitler would be elected in 2016 so they started hiring to be ready on day one.

  112. 112
    Yarrow says:

    @Baud: I think they work better in warmer places where the outside can also be your space.

  113. 113
    debit says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: Thank you so much. Walter was truly the most loving, sweetest dog I’ve ever known.

  114. 114
    Baud says:


    The damage the GOP and Trump are doing to the US will take about 9 months to become evident. It will happen and it will be very ugly. But for now you have to be prepared to be like Cassandra or the proverbial canary in the coal mine–a voice/sound no one wants to hear when the going’s good.

    I don’t know. I think we just let things happen without saying anything. People won’t believe you now and they’ll just blame you later for causing the problem by predicting the problem. When things go to hell, blame the Republicans.

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: There is no way I could do it with my son still at home. No. Way.
    But my plan is to sell everything and move away somewhere when he goes to college or whatever his future is, so at this point I doubt I will ever own anything again.

  116. 116
    vheidi says:

    @J.: Oh, that’s too bad – we’re headed to Captiva tomorrow, luck, lucky us

  117. 117
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @tobie: Yeah, David Frum (for whom I do not care, but he makes a persuasive case) has a long twitter feed arguing that trump will probably get a boost from the economy unless there’s some major revelation about Russia or some other financial scandal, and the more popular he is, the more Republicans will be afraid/too opportunistic to make a scandal happen

    myself, I think there’s at least an even chance that Putin will be the one to make that scandal happen when he decides it suits his interest

  118. 118

    @hovercraft: hey, if the CIA can pretend to be Russia to hack the Democrats to sink Hillary to tie Trump to Russia to discredit Trump before his presidency even begins (which is nuttier than pizzagate, at least that was linear)…

  119. 119
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone: If I were inclined to do something like that, I think I would purchase an RV or modified bus instead.

  120. 120
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yarrow: After a few of the episodes last night I was actually thinking how neat it would be to be somewhere cold, and socked in by a snowstorm with nowhere you have to get to.

  121. 121
    Yarrow says:

    @hovercraft: The tourism industry is already taking a hit.

    NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Travel Association on Thursday said the Trump administration’s immigration policies are hurting tourism.

    The nonprofit industry organization said in a statement that there are “mounting signs” of “a broad chilling effect on demand for international travel to the United States.”

    White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters disputed the contention, saying: “It takes several months for each month’s international arrival statistics to be processed and released to the public. To claim the executive order has had an impact on travel would be premature.”

    But the U.S. Travel Association’s statement added to a growing chorus of concern from the travel industry over the impact of Trump administration policies on tourism.

    Earlier this week, the tourism agency NYC & Company revised its 2017 forecast to predict a drop in inbound international travel to New York City, with 300,000 fewer visitors compared to 2016. It would be the first drop in visitation to New York since the start of the recession in 2008.

    But we all know that travel and tourism industry jobs aren’t real jobs.

  122. 122
    tobie says:

    @Baud: I agree that the person predicting doom and gloom is invariably the one blamed for it when it happens. But I will not let go of the fact–fact–that we’ve had 76 months of consecutive job growth. That is something every Dem should repeat when quizzed on the latest job report because no journalist will mention it otherwise. If we don’t do this, @hovercraft: is right:

    by this summer we will be told the president Twitler is presiding over the longest period of job growth in the history of the world

  123. 123
    Corner Stone says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Hannity, is that you?

  124. 124

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Trump is Putin’s toy, not his ally. Discrediting America and causing chaos is the goal. So this could happen any second, or never. (Not saying YOU are saying that, but just a mistake I’ve seen in many many analyses.)

  125. 125
    Baud says:

    @tobie: I agree. Credit Obama whenever you can. I’m still bitter that we spent eight years where all we could talk about was how imperfect everything we accomplished was.

  126. 126
    rikyrah says:


    I’m still amazed by Tiny Houses

    they fascinate me too.

    I’ve only seen 3 that I actually found plausible in all the episodes that I’ve watched.

    I totally don’t get the people doing it with children and/or pets. THAT is insane to me.

  127. 127
    JMG says:

    Warmest February ever likely had a good deal to do with jobs report. We’ll see next month.

  128. 128

    @Major Major Major Major: Putin has already succeeded, with T’s election.

  129. 129
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    First, I hope you saw Yarrow’s very thoughtful comment a little above…

    Secondly, is there any way you could find work in a related field? You’re a bio Ph.D, yes? Could you take some courses and become employable in an area where there are more jobs (medical research, synthetic organic chemistry)? Could you compose a textbook or other writing project? Are you networking?

  130. 130
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: On the other hand, much easier to pick up and move the whole thing to Canada, should the need arise.

  131. 131
    hovercraft says:

    @Mike R:

    These are all fron the Department of Energy website, as far as I can tell they haven’t fucked it up yet.

    Planning a Home Solar Electric System

  132. 132
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: The ones I’ve seen where the bed is so close to the ceiling that you can’t even sit up in bed properly kind of freak me out. I think I’d have panic attacks.

    I’ve lived in places so small that with two people in the room one of them had to get on the bed if someone wanted to open the door. I don’t have a problem with small spaces but you don’t end up spending as much time in them as you do with a larger house.

  133. 133

    @Baud: By we, you mean GG acolytes and BS minions?

  134. 134
    Pogonip says:

    @debit: I’M a little down and I never even met him.

    Don’t forget paper grocery bags! Cat heaven!

  135. 135


    I’m still bitter that we spent eight years where all we could talk about was how imperfect everything we accomplished was.

    I got absolutely furious by the end of the election any time I saw “I’m no fan of Hillary, but…”

    It seems like we’ve all been brainwashed in this country that we have to say something bad about democrats before we can say something bad about republicans.

  136. 136

    Right now T is coasting on Obama’s accomplishments but they won’t leave that well enough alone. They are all set to dismantle the underpinnings of a successful economy.

  137. 137
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t recall GG ever getting into the economy much. I mean mostly progressives, especially on blogs. It started well before BS became a big thing.

    ETA: Also the media.

  138. 138
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Agree 100%. If it weren’t so damaging, it’d be fascinating.

  139. 139
    liberal says:

    My dad is bitching that the MSM is crediting Trump with the jobs in the most recent jobs report, maybe 235K. Anyone see that? He mentioned Bloomberg.

  140. 140

    @Baud: I remember the time wasted by centrists pushing for austerity.

  141. 141

    @Baud: I imagine it’s part of the large-scale demonization of the word ‘liberal’, with a dose of ‘anti-war is anti-american’, seasoned liberally with baby boomer bullshit as is almost everything else wrong with this country.

    ETA: and of course the other two things I mentioned are also baby boomer bullshit.

  142. 142
    Miss Bianca says:

    @SenyorDave: You’re giving me an idea here…you have to be an NRA member to use the range here, and I absolutely refuse to become a member. But the local pawnshop (owned by a distinctly *non*-nut-job Republican) is up for sale, due to owner’s being elected county commissioner…and lotsa guns there. I could buy it, and then get some land for a gun range. Hmm…”liberals, load up here!”

  143. 143
    tobie says:

    @Baud: Completely agree. We were cautious to tout job growth for fear of being insensitive to those still struggling, and that laid the groundwork for both Democratic populists and Republican populists to lambaste the Obama economy. It worked–Americans are by and large convinced that the economy sucked these past 8 years.

  144. 144
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    large-scale demonization of the word ‘liberal’,

    Dude, shhh. He’s here.

  145. 145
    liberal says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: it’s partly due to their political leanings, but more than half odd due to their fucking stupidity.

  146. 146
    rikyrah says:

    New GOP-approved bill allows companies to mandate genetic testing of their employees.

    — Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) March 10, 2017

  147. 147
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: To be honest, I attribute it more to race than generational issues.

  148. 148
    Peale says:

    @Baud: Progressives sound like they care about the economy through “income inequality” but there are very few sectors of the economy that they actually want to have grow or develop. Income inequality is is largely about power and about breaking the power of the banks, mainly out of revenge for 2008. That’s about the extent of lefty economics these days. There isn’t actually a sector of the economy that they really wouldn’t eliminate if they could. Well, maybe free blogging. There could be free blogging. Preferably without advertising.

  149. 149
    hovercraft says:

    @Corner Stone:
    What I don’t like is the number of idiots who go on saying they want a house no bigger than 200 sqft, and then they bitch that everything is too small. As you say the creativity is interesting, even though I can’t imagine living in such tight quarters, but don’t ask for it and then complain. It reminds me of a certain type of person, it eludes me right now what kind of person, it will come to me.

  150. 150
    Peale says:

    @rikyrah: Maybe they just want their employees to do genealogies. Its kind of a fun hobby. What if you found some long lost cousins working for your company? Wouldn’t that be exciting?

  151. 151
    Baud says:

    @tobie: Right. We have the Dems zero chance. We always talk about the lack for long-term thinking on Wall Street, yet we don’t practice what we preach when it comes to politics.

  152. 152
  153. 153
    Mike in DC says:

    I don’t know whether this proves anything about WL, but it is interesting, at least.

  154. 154
    les says:


    I asked in another thread if it could be related to the significant drops in tourism that we’re already seeing.

    I heard yesterday the FIFA is worried U.S. visa systems may be too unstable for the World Cup we’re working to get.

  155. 155
    Baud says:


    Progressives sound like they care about the economy through “income inequality” but there are very few sectors of the economy that they actually want to have grow or develop.

    In my cursory review of capitalist vs. socialist debates, the capitalists always talk about production and handwave away distributional concerns, while the socialists always talk about distribution (political and economic) but never offer a theory of production. Either side seems very complete in its presentation.

  156. 156
    WereBear says:

    @hovercraft: Remember way back when Reihan Salam and Ross The Cardinal Doughat were the bright young conservative poised to be intellectual leaders of the republican party?

    Well, aren’t they?

  157. 157
    debit says:

    @Corner Stone: If I was living by myself and had no pets I could see the attraction. Or if I wanted to get off the grid. However, I am lazy and prone to clutter, so I can see myself going mad in the space of a few months.

    Even so, there was one designed by a sailor that I still think of wistfully; windows everywhere and a loft like a cabin in the prow of a ship.

  158. 158
    Yarrow says:

    @les: I saw that too and forwarded the Guardian article about it on to my friend who is a huge football fan. She hadn’t heard about it and I know she’ll make sure all her fellow football fan friends know. She already detests Trump and Republicans, but who knows what her football friends think. I like making sure people know there are direct consequences because of his actions.

  159. 159
    Corner Stone says:


    Progressives sound like they care about the economy through “income inequality” but there are very few sectors of the economy that they actually want to have grow or develop.

    You lost me here…

  160. 160
    GregB says:

    Business Insider drops some emails linking British neo-fascist shitheel directly to pasty Australian fascist enabler and Russian nationalist catspaw Julian Assange.

    Sorry if this sends some folks to the fainting couch, but it is just another chunk of cord wood into the the bonfire of Russian, American, world fascist and nationalist connections.

    On the economy front, the immediate embrace of all good numbers as result of Trump, means when the economy shits the bed, they own it lock, stock and barrel.

  161. 161
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Peale: I’m assuming this is sarcasm, yes? B/c otherwise, it’s filled with so much wrongness, it hurts.

    But I’m -sure- it’s sarcasm, so I’ll let it lie there.

  162. 162
    Mike R says:

    @hovercraft: Thanks, all help is welcome.

  163. 163
    JMG says:

    I don’t think even a complete collapse of the tourism industry would have much effect on Trump’s support, since the core of it lives in places that are, “off the beaten path” as the guidebooks say, meaning nobody has any reason to go there.

  164. 164
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Since the 1970s, Dems have been increasingly associated with the fight for racial equality (and eventually other types of equality). As we know, some whites have moved over to the GOP and are now entrenched there. But I think there are other whites who don’t like to think of themselves as racist, but are subconsciously uncomfortable with what the fight for equality might mean. The result of all this is a culture that looks for “neutral” reasons to be skeptical of Democrats as an outlet of this discomfort, and that manifests itself in how Democrats are talked about (both sides!, impure, imperfect) and in the escalation of mundane issues (earth tones, swiftboat, emails!). Of course, since it’s now a cultural thing, it’s not only whites that engage in this practice, but it is still predominantly whites.

    That’s the theory anyway.

  165. 165
    hovercraft says:


    I totally don’t get the people doing it with children and/or pets. THAT is insane to me.

    I’d like to see the follow up Where Are They Now of people with kids who choose this, maybe a single person with a pet, but kids and pets, insanity. After a few months let alone a few years, they’ve gotta to ready for Bedlam.

  166. 166
    Yarrow says:

    @JMG: I disagree. Sure, the rust belt counties that put him over the top aren’t big tourist destinations. But Florida is. If tourism takes a hit, a lot of that state’s economy will take a hit as well. All states have tourist industries. And even rust belt states have cities that would like to host international conferences, which are deciding against coming to the U.S. because they can’t guarantee people can enter the country.

  167. 167
    rikyrah says:


    Little girl caught stealing candy. Does NOT want to go to the police station

  168. 168
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: But I think there are other whites who don’t like to think of themselves as racist, but are subconsciously uncomfortable with what the fight for equality might mean.

    I think for a lot of white Americans, the litmus test for racism is using That Word. These are people who start conversations by unironically stating “I don’t have a racist bone in my body, but you have to admit…” or “I know it’s not politically correct, but…”

  169. 169
    Jeffro says:

    it’s Friday, it’s past noon…anti-Trump document dump coming any moment now…I can feel it!

    I’m betting there’s some nice stuff coming out about Carter Page, personally…

  170. 170
    Baud says:


    Does NOT want to go to the police station

    Smart girl.

  171. 171

    @Corner Stone: Much of the progressive/lefty ideas I see involve regulating finance or bringing back American manufacturing, one of which is impossible, the other of which wouldn’t address many of the underlying forces that exacerbate income inequality, like productivity gains from automation not going to displaced workers.

    @Baud: I was thinking you meant something similar as I was in between screens. It’s a polite way to say “Look, Jim, we both know I don’t like black people, but you have to admit the Democrats have a point…”

  172. 172
    hovercraft says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Democrats are the party of people of color, so whenever we talk about these policies and programs, to a lot of people we are talking about doing things for “them” not people in general. The reality that the vast majority of people who benefit from anything the government does are white is lost, we’ve lost the propaganda war, the young buck and welfare queen are bullshit stereotypes that have become deeply ingrained in society. That is why people are so willing to vote against their own interests, they think that most blacks are just sitting around enjoying these benefits, so they sacrifice themselves to this “greater good”.

  173. 173
    Schlemazel says:

    I don’t blame her, it could be fatal for a person with her melnin content

  174. 174
    Olivia says:

    Crappy phone pics and videos of kids must be better than those crappy snapshots of kids from the 70s and 80s. You know, the ones that turned brown or washed out pink after a few years. I have thousands of decent pics of my grandkids from phones and cameras and only dozens of so so pics of my kids, many of which are truly horrible. I am almost embarrassed to say that I am hardly ever using my digital slr anymore because my S7 takes fantastic photos. It is a lot easier for traveling.

  175. 175

    @hovercraft: I get that, but my question was how it’s connected to our knee-jerk instinct to say something bad about a Democrat every time we’re going to say something bad about a Republican.

  176. 176
    Yarrow says:

    @Jeffro: Yep. I think Carter Page is the one in danger. He’d better not drink tea he didn’t make himself.

  177. 177
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Uh …. lemme see …. top of my head ….

    (1) (re)building infrastructure
    (2) investing in education (a perfect Baumol’s cost disease sector)
    (3) strengthening unions (thus increasing labor share of GDP)
    (4) basic income
    (5) solar & renewables
    They’ve always been for (6) retraining for displaced workers, going back to NAFTA, but once upon a time, it wasn’t a vote-getter (or at least, not clearly so)

    [A while back, I pointed out how angry Feinstein made me. It was explained to me that she came into the Senate in 1992, and to ask somebody from that generation to be lefty like the kidz iz today, is a little much. In that vein, I’d say that there’s a spectrum of decency in the Dem/prog/left community, but all the ideas I listed above all play important roles, and with pressure from the left, maybe more and more.]

  178. 178
    bemused says:


    Definitely damaged but doubt he has the excuse he was dropped on his head as a baby.

  179. 179
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Did my explanation answer your question? I’m sure reality is more complex than my quick attempt to articulate a theory could capture.

  180. 180
    hovercraft says:


    FIFA is worried U.S. visa systems may be too unstable for the World Cup we’re working to get.

    Yup, the 2026 WC, US -Canada. When someone can make themselves look worse than FIFA they have achieved something, don’t know what but wow. It’s not just the ban, it’s the immigration piece, our neighbors to the south are not pleased with us, and there is also concern about second generation European players could become caught up in our visa system and denied entry.

  181. 181
    Lizzy L says:

    @Corner Stone: I live in a tiny house: 480 sq. ft.

  182. 182
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I remember when, not so long ago, Dems would say things like “I’m not afraid to say I’m a liberal”. And newscasters would say “the L word” (meaning liberal) with both subtext and even explicit statements that it was taboo, forbidden, etc. I think younger people are simply unaware of how much even the Dem population has moved left in the last 15 years. Things were very different in the 80s. It looked like liberalism was dying. And Dems reacted by moving rightward, b/c if you can’t govern, you can’t do ANYTHING.

  183. 183
    Baud says:

    @Chet Murthy: If you don’t discount racism and other social issues — and no one should — the current Democratic Party is the best its ever been in its history.

  184. 184
    bemused says:


    Where there is deep stupidity, arrogance follows.

    That goes for the entire GOP and WH.

  185. 185
    Miss Bianca says:

    @hovercraft: I think you’re right, and I don’t know WTF to do about it. Trying to reason/argue with other white people about our subconscious -or, in some cases, very conscious – biases is proving to be really exhausting and I don’t know how much good it’s actually doing. Like when I got up in someone’s grill at a Democratic Party committee meeting when he started talking about how in order to win in rural Colorado we had to get away from “identity politics”. I tried to be nice about it, but is there a really nice way to say, “Excuse me, but in what way is ‘white, Christian and rural’ not ALSO ‘identity politics’? Aren’t you really saying that we have to privilege THAT identity over others?” Which may be true in our county, but it just depresses the shit out of me.

  186. 186
    rikyrah says:

    To get what they want, Republicans learn to play Trump against Ryan
    03/10/17 10:14 AM—UPDATED 03/10/17 10:23 AM
    By Steve Benen

    It’s a trick many children learn at a young age: if one parent won’t give you what you want, quietly ask the other parent, who might offer a more satisfying answer.

    A similar dynamic is unfolding in Washington right now. The Huffington Post reported yesterday:

    Leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, unhappy with the Republican health care legislation being rushed through the House by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), are taking their concerns directly to President Donald Trump.

    Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and former Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) spent Thursday afternoon at the White House, meeting with budget staffers, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, and Trump himself…. Freedom Caucus members are demanding changes to the health care bill that Republican House leaders refuse to make.

    Paul Ryan has told his members that he’s simply not prepared to make major changes to his health care reform bill, the American Health Care Act, which some have begun calling “Trumpcare.” The White House, however, is far more flexible, with the president telling everyone he’s ready to negotiate.

    The result is hardly surprising. When the Huffington Post asked House Freedom Caucus member Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) if he and his allies who are critical of Ryan’s bill are deliberately circumventing the Speaker’s office to negotiate with the White House, the congressman didn’t exactly deny it.

    “We’re appealing to a president who likes to negotiate, who likes to win, and who likes to keep his promises,” Labrador said.

  187. 187
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    along the lines of privilege– here it’s class privilege, but race and class are so heavily intertwined, I think it fits– this tweet and the story it highlights says a lot about the cluelessness of what I gather we’re now calling “front row kids”

  188. 188

    @Chet Murthy: Those are for the most part mainstream Dem positions. I thought we were talking about those further to the left.

  189. 189
    bemused says:


    Republicans will decide what is desirable for you and your family. It’s the Trump/Gop Death Panel option or kick off faster. Choose your poison.

  190. 190
    Nora says:

    Don’t know if this makes anyone feel better, but when I called my Representative this morning (Nita Lowey, D, NY-17), the staffer was delighted to hear from me, told me (which I already expected) that Lowey is going to fight tooth and nail against the Trumpcare bill, and added how happy she was that people were calling and saying how much they liked the Affordable Care Act. Apparently nobody had called to praise it (or Lowey for supporting it) before, and the staffer found the new activism encouraging.

    This made ME feel better, at least.

  191. 191
    hovercraft says:

    She is so cute, and she’s very rational, she keeps pausing to pull it together, she’ll make a great defense attorney one day.

  192. 192
    JMG says:

    @Nora: People like encouragement and kind words. That’s why I think it’s just as valuable to call your Democratic Rep or Senator’s office to say “keep up the good work” as it is to tell one’s Republican legislators you are opposed to something they want to do.

  193. 193
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    good example of upperish-middle class privilege and the media that can’t break out of its own “everyone one knows…” bubble

  194. 194
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    hmmmm…. can’t figure out what it is in this tweet that’s sending it to the Great Beyond of WordPress, but his is a good example of the privileged cluelessness of the upperish middle class

  195. 195
  196. 196
    The Moar You Know says:

    Does anyone think there might be a niche market for a gun shop for liberals? Most of the shops I’ve been to have a strong wingnut vibe to them.

    @Mike in DC: Market? I think that potential market is huge. But the best I’ve been able to find is my local range that at least knows I’m a liberal, not to be fucked with, and they keep their mouths shut about their political bullshit, which is really all I can ask of anyone. In addition they are pretty safety conscious, which is my first requirement.

    Most of the ranges in my area I won’t go to. In addition to being jerks, they allow their customers to do stupid shit all the damn time, and I for one don’t want to end up as a “firearms accident” statistic.

  197. 197
    Weaselone says:


    It goes beyond this as well. Tourism is kind of the first wave in the Tsunami. We’ll see the drop off in hotel rentals, international flights and foreign visitors first, but other larger waves will strike later. Things like foreign companies choosing not to locate production here, or a drop off in the purchase of US products produced globally.

  198. 198
    rikyrah says:

    Republicans take aim at Congress’ nonpartisan scorekeepers
    03/10/17 09:23 AM
    By Steve Benen

    As the debate over health care heats up, Republicans are fighting battles on multiple fronts. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his allies have to worry about, among other things, intra-party divisions, Democratic criticisms, denunciations from industry stakeholders, spirted progressive activism, and opposition from most of the nation’s most prominent conservative organizations.

    But one foe looms larger than any other. The New York Times reports:

    President Trump showed an affinity for “working the referees” in his race to the White House, criticizing a federal judge as biased, panning polls as rigged and even questioning the aptitude of the nation’s intelligence agencies.

    Now, with Mr. Trump’s administration aggressively pitching the House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Capitol Hill’s official scorekeeper — the Congressional Budget Office — is coming under intense fire. As it prepares to render its judgment on the cost and impact of the bill, the nonpartisan agency of economists and statisticians has become a political piñata — and the latest example of Mr. Trump’s team casting doubt on benchmarks accepted as trustworthy for decades.

    At some point very soon, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is going to issue a non-partisan report on the impact of the Republicans’ American Health Care Act, which some are calling “Trumpcare.” The analysis will provide all kinds of important data, including the cost of the GOP bill and how many Americans are likely to have health insurance if the Republican proposal is implemented.

    The CBO’s conclusions are not likely to be flattering – which is why Republican leaders are scrambling to push their bill now, before lawmakers and the public have all the facts, since reality is likely to cast “Trumpcare” in a very unflattering light.

  199. 199
    ArchTeryx says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): I’ve been working on that project for 4 years. I’ve had several interviews, but no offers. Someone else always gets the job. (I’ve even done mock interviews with a hiring manager contact of mine to see if something about me is turning off potential employers. So far, nothing obvious. Just bad luck).

    The main problem is that every stinkin’ professional job listing these days comes with what I would call a Purple Squirrel List – a page-long list of qualifications you have to meet or you won’t even be interviewed. Sometimes, these lists get so long no suitable candidate can be found, in which case either a) the listing was fake all along (they already had a candidate) or b) they just keep the position open for several years.

    I’ve also networked locally, but none of my networking contacts have the clout to actually swing me into a job. They’ve gotten me interviews, but as above, no offers.

    That’s not even getting into the obstacle that my illness raises to me working McJobs, even entry-level professional ones.

    A job isn’t going to save me.

  200. 200
    Jeffro says:

    Hey check it out, John Kasich rises from the dead to call for Rs and Ds to “work together on health care

    and then proceeds to lie his ass off:

    Americans are relying on leaders in Washington to fix health care, not engage in yet another unproductive partisan standoff. In 2010, one side of the political aisle in Congress, the Democrats, chose to “fix” health care unilaterally, without bipartisan support. The result was Obamacare, which has run up government spending while failing to drive down the cost of health care.

    wrong, Wrong, WROOOONNNNNGGG.

    Anyway, he then proceeds to describe exactly what Dems would like to do:

    Republicans and Democrats can start by working together to stabilize insurance markets, which are slipping into crisis in both red and blue states. Americans without access to employer-sponsored coverage or government plans like Medicare and Medicaid need to have a market that allows them to choose a health plan that fits their needs and is affordable…

    …Health care is one of the most complex and pressing problems facing the country. If we are to establish a lasting and successful replacement for Obamacare, Republicans should reach across the aisle for help, and Democrats should accept the offer. Cutting Democrats out of the process will only make the results less effective. And if Democrats refuse to cooperate with Republicans, they will be forgoing the opportunity to solve a core problem for millions of Americans, including the most vulnerable, who are dependent on reliable health care coverage.

    But if both sides work together, we can fix Obamacare in a way that preserves coverage, stabilizes the market, reforms Medicaid and controls costs. It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to end the civil war over health care and fight for all Americans. That’s how big and necessary change can happen.

    John, m’man, this is almost Brooks-ian in its inability to correctly diagnose the problem. What you’re describing is exactly what Democrats would like to do: tweak Obamacare so that it works a bit better and continues to stabilize. YOUR party’s financial backers, and their lackeys in the Freedumb Caucus, want their big tax cuts, fellow citizens be damned. Make the leap – get on the right side of history – join us!

  201. 201
    hovercraft says:

    @Jeffro: John, m’man, this is almost Brooks-ian in its inability to correctly diagnose the problem. What you’re describing is exactly what Democrats would like to do: tweak Obamacare so that it works a bit better and continues to stabilize. YOUR party’s financial backers, and their lackeys in the Freedumb Caucus, want their big tax cuts, fellow citizens be damned. Make the leap – get on the right side of history – join us!

    He can’t, he still believes that he can one day run for president, acknowledging reality would preclude him from that. He has a fan base just waiting to help him coast to victory, Tweety and his ilk just love them some John Kasich, their type of good old fashioned republican, one who believes in fiscal discipline, one who can tell the WWC, hey I’m one of you, but the cost of entitlement programs is out of hand we need to cut your Social Security and Medicare benefits, America is just too generous.

  202. 202
    Yarrow says:

    @Weaselone: I agree. Tourism is the canary in the coal mine, so to speak. That’s why I’m watching for news on the tourist and hospitality industry here and will be looking for Q1 earnings reports for those businesses. I think they’ll be down and summer projections will be off. Everything else will follow after that. Construction down because people aren’t building things here, maybe?

  203. 203
    Gravenstone says:

    An observation from the prior thread. Watching Kay attempting to engage El Tiburon in good faith reminded me of nothing so much as witnessing the slide into pro-Russian monomania that afflicted Bob in Putinland. Granted, in ET’s case, his actions are driven by an obsessive need to defend the “great man” Greenwald, but the end effect is largely the same. And since Greenwald appears intent on defending Mother Russia, whether by verbal sleight of hand of outright misdirection and lies, the underlying focus is also very similar. Eerie.

  204. 204
    TenguPhule says:


    John Kasich rises from the dead

    Quick, shoot the zombie in the head before he can spread!

  205. 205
    Ruckus says:

    They have this thing called moving companies. He could just up and move. Maybe he He is that dumb.

  206. 206
    Ruckus says:


    The ones I’ve seen where the bed is so close to the ceiling that you can’t even sit up in bed properly kind of freak me out. I think I’d have panic attacks.

    You wouldn’t have done well in a pre 70s navy ship. The amount of room for sleeping was the absolute minimum for an average sized male from the 40s to squeeze into. You want to roll over, it’s easier to get out of bed and climb in opposite from your last position. Are you taller that 5’9″? Your bunk is shorter than you are.

  207. 207
    Ruckus says:

    I sometimes wonder if ET is GG in disguise. Or a paid protector. Something along the line of 1/10 cent per word. So, overpaid.

  208. 208
    Shell says:

    Wow, that’s a pretty big lizard! I am envious of it. It is currently snowing up here in Connecticut — and we’re expecting a really big storm Tuesday. (For this I left Sanibel?) :-(

    Ditto. Wouldn’t mind being that lizard right now. The sun just peeked through here, after the morning snow, but its gonna go down in the teens later.

  209. 209
    Gravenstone says:

    Posted without attribution (since it’s like fifth hand by this point):

    Jehovah: You SURE he’s not one of yours? Because I didn’t make him.
    Satan: Please. Give me some credit. Even I have standards.
    Jehovah: Buddha? Brahma?
    *Both shrug their shoulders.*
    Satan: Gaia?
    Gaia: *glowers*
    Satan: Right right. Sorry. Forgot about the “pussy grabbing” thing.
    Jehovah: Cthulhu?
    Cthulhu: What kind of monster do you take me for? *sips tea*
    Satan: Well SOMEBODY cooked him up.
    Flying Spaghetti Monster: …
    Jehovah: Wait…there is no way you could…
    Flying Spaghetti Monster: Look…it was my first time. I was a little drunk and someone asked for a “Tangerine Dream” so I thought..
    Satan: *facepalms.* F**king newbies…

  210. 210
    Gravenstone says:

    Argh!! Moderated because I included the verboten pussy without HTML chicanery.

  211. 211
    Это курам на смех says:


    may be he’d rather be anywhere else than Utah. China, Russia, Antarctica anywhere is better than Mormon land.

    Not remotely true, bigot, but on your behalf I will keep on enjoying my visits to the amazingly beautiful state of Utah.

  212. 212
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Purple squirrel… I hear that! I overheard the hiring committee discussing their wants for an English professor (they were having coffee at Starbucks). They wanted someone who could teach Chinese fairy tales, feminist theory, and Latino poetry.

  213. 213
    Yarrow says:

    @Ruckus: I would not have done well. Good thing I didn’t end up there.

  214. 214
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Broderism in action

    Simon Maloy‏Verified account @ SimonMaloy 1h1 hour ago
    just heard on CNN that Team Trump “deserves” a “victory lap” for the jobs report because clearly the economy is “having a confident moment”

    Yesterday the CNN Cuomo said it isn’t for Dems to criticize the Rs’ Obamacare replacement when they haven’t come up with one. It’s an ugly metaphor, but the Battered Pundit Syndrome has only gotten more true since Josh Marshall (I think) coined it

  215. 215
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    This man is one of the under-recognized scumbags of the Village

    Charles Lane‏
    @ ChuckLan
    Charles Lane Retweeted Alec MacGillis
    Which is not all that alarming an example because this is someone who’s just a year away from Medicare anyway.
    Alec MacGillisVerified account @ AlecMacGillis
    By AARP’s estimate, a 64-yr-old making $15K would pay $8,400 more for coverage under Ryan bill. Not a typo. Well over half of annual income.

    I almost typed “under-vilified”, but that, like “demonization”, implies that the criticism is unfair

  216. 216
    hovercraft says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Ugh, this is so stupid, the democratic alternative is fucking Obamacare, the thing the GOP and the media have been bleating about for the last eight years!

  217. 217
    catclub says:


    Please eliminate three.

    I have a cat that would be glad to help in the lizard elimination category.

    Can I just mention that the GOP tax credit plan is a big government one-size-fits-all solution imposed on the states, while the ACA tailors health insurance credits based on individual state insurance markets.

    I think that Democrats should bring this.
    I am also not a crockpot.

  218. 218
    Mnemosyne says:


    This is the part that kind of blows my mind: Trump is ostensibly in the tourism business. He builds puts his name on hotels and golf courses meant to appeal to travelers and tourists.

    Actually, I’m half expecting there to be a loophole in the EO’s saying that travelers from the 6 banned countries will be allowed in if they can show that they’re booked into a Trump hotel. Gotta make those bookings!

  219. 219
    Jeffro says:

    I’d just like to point out that this kind of propaganda from Spicey, coupled with wing nuts like Hannity talking about “Obama people ‘burrowing in’ to federal agencies” to undermine Trumpand the GOP’s embrace of Wikileaks’ nonsense about the CIA making it look like Russia hacked the DNC…it’s going to get people killed. It’s going to push us to the brink.

    It is not enough to say the GOP owns Trump and Trumpism and fucking idiot Trump voters: they are now going along with the cover-up, once which will turn ordinary Americans (albeit Trump voters, so ‘ordinary’ is a stretch) against innocent civil servants and IC members dedicated to protecting this country. It’s criminal.

  220. 220
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Gravenstone: And now St. Glenn of Greenwald is busy attacking Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s FM, for the alleged Nazi collaboration of her grandfather in Ukraine in the pre-WWII years. Following the Russian script to the letter, since Ms Freeland has been and is critical of Russia and supportive of Ukraine.

    I’ll note, for those to obtuse to see, that the *evidence* supporting those allegations is very thin and very complicated. But I suppose *requiring* actual evidence before tossing around allegations is beyond Sir Glenn’s ambit. Unless, of course, we’re talking about Trump, when nothing short of ironclad, court-worthy proof is necessary.

  221. 221
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I guess GG only likes neo-Nazis, not the real ones.

  222. 222
    hovercraft says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I’ve been a fan of hers for years, even back when she worked for the Financial Times.
    I don’t get it, say her grandfather did collaborate, before she was born, does that negate her views today? Nina Khrushcheva is a regular critic and commentator on Russia, who I’ve seen on TV for years, her grandfather, Nikita Khrushchev a close ally of Stalin, histories second greatest monster. What the fuck is GG’s point?

  223. 223
    germy says:

    @hovercraft: I think GG is deciding who and who isn’t worthy of elected office. Helping the process along.

  224. 224
    Peale says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Jesus Christ. And that’s $8,400 MORE. Not $8,400 total. That person could well be spending 110% of their paycheck on health insurance.

  225. 225
    germy says:

    @Peale: What must the Canadians think of us. This is a disgrace.

  226. 226
    Peale says:

    @hovercraft: I guess he’s mad that people kept pointing out that Trump’s father was in the KKK during the election. Fortunately, Trump has done wonders – actually more for colored folk than anyone since MLK – so clearly that was a below the belt jab by liberals.

  227. 227
    Peale says:

    @germy: Yeah. Jesus. Its as if Lane hasn’t met an actual person in his life. You know, Chucky, that before one is 64, one is actually 63, and before that, one is actually 62. I could go on. But under this bill I’m pretty sure that a low income adult will be expected to pay out more than 100% of their income to insurance more more years than the 1 year before medicare eligibility.

  228. 228
    Gin & Tonic says:


    What the fuck is GG’s point?

    I’m not going to wade through his BS to try to find out. I will note that there is a thriving industry in Russia of accusing current and prior Ukrainian nationalists and their descendants of being Nazis or collaborators, whether they actually were or not. This is parroted by useful idiots or fellow travelers in the West, whether they are named Assange or Greenwald or Bob in Portland, and is intended to discredit the anti-Russian positions.

    I apply the duck test to GG.

  229. 229
    Gin & Tonic says:


    What the fuck is GG’s point?

    I composed a lengthy reply which vanished. Oh well, no interest in recreating it. Maybe I can’t mention the name of the guest of the Ecuadoreans? Or of our old troll from Oregon? Who knows.

  230. 230

    @Это курам на смех: I have nothing against Utah, whatever I have seen of it looks beautiful and would like to visit someday. As for Mormons, I am good with anyone practicing any religion as long as they don’t try to proselytize me.
    No offense meant to Utah or Mormons. I was speculating about Huntsman’s motives, because taking up an ambassadorship to Russia doesn’t seem the most rational plan of action.
    ETA: I reread my sentence and see how it can be read like you did. I am sorry.

  231. 231
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Gin & Tonic: More to the point. How distinctly UNAMERICAN of Greenwald – the whole promise of this county and why racism is an attack upon American values is it doesn’t matter who your grandparents were, just who you are.

    My ancestors were Virgin Mary bothering, Croat. drinken, murdering rapist scum, and I am damn proud my family above that.

    Also, I lose track, are Nazis in our out of fashion with the Wingnuts this week?

  232. 232
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Это курам на смех:

    Not remotely true, bigot, but on your behalf I will keep on enjoying my visits to the amazingly beautiful state of Utah.

    I gather Mormon land is a nice place to live but a fantasically lousy place to party so Trump might not be the only one with hotel rooms and Russian call girls on his mind.

  233. 233
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Salt Lake City has plenty of great places to eat and drink. It’s not all Mormons, the mountains attract a good share of outdoorsy, ski-climb-mountain-bike people. There have been fine brewpubs in SLC for at least the 25 years I’ve been visiting. Moab also attracts an outdoorsy, beer-enjoying crowd, as I can attest from experience.

  234. 234
    J R in WV says:

    @Mike R:

    You should hire someone who dies it for a living. We did a whole house installation in Arizona, and hired a guy who got rave reviews, who did what he said he would do, for the price he said he would charge.

    More recently we connected with WV Sun, which is a co-op that makes wholesale agreements with solar installers, then collects groups of home owners with the installer, who evaluates each site for feasibility.

    We aren’t feasible here in WV. But here’s a link to see what the co-op action is like, in this case it’s an article about disasters and solar power:

    WV Sun Co-op

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