Open Thread: Turtles Trial Balloons, All the Way Down


President Donald Trump told Republican senators Tuesday that the House-passed health care bill he helped revive is “mean” and urged them to craft a version that is “more generous,” congressional sources said.

Trump’s remarks were a surprising slap at a Republican-written House measure that was shepherded by Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and whose passage the president lobbied for and praised. At a Rose Garden ceremony minutes after the bill’s narrow House passage on May 4, Trump called it “a great plan.”

The president’s criticism, at a White House lunch with 15 GOP senators, also came as Senate Republican leaders’ attempts to write their own health care package have been slowed by disagreements between their party’s conservatives and moderates.

Trump’s characterizations seemed to undercut attempts by Senate leaders to assuage conservatives who want restrictions in their chamber’s bill, such as cutting the Medicaid health care program for the poor and limiting the services insurers must cover. Moderate GOP senators have been pushing to ease those restrictions…

The remarks provided ammunition to Democrats who have unanimously opposed the Republican effort to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul…

Place your dearest wishes in the hands of a bloviating narcissist, discover he doesn’t care how much you suffer when he abuses them. World’s tiniest violin orchestra, stat!

76 replies
  1. 1
    Morzer says:

    That’s my Donny! Completely insincere, divorced from reality and with no interest in anything other than making his fat, fraudulent, traitor ass look good. Or what he imagines to be good.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Hey Kay…

    Andy Slavitt


    Rubber-stamping a deal where 23 million lose coverage.

    In Easing Objections, Kasich Helps G.O.P. Health Bill

  3. 3

    I fucking hate this movie. I heard so many people tell me last year that it was going to be such a great movie, the best movie. The best actors, the best director, the best crew. The best people. These people suck ass, the director sucks ass, all the actors suck ass, the script sucks ass, the crew spends all day on meth, the projector where I’m watching it is burning and about to set the theater on fire, this whole shit show is a shit show. I don’t even want to see the second reel. I’d walk out on this, only I live in the theater, along with 300,000,000 other people stuck here watching this. This movie is the worst.

  4. 4
    Morzer says:


    Moderate Republican = same corrupt racist cruelty, but maybe a day later and a Confederate dollar more.

  5. 5
    Manyakitty says:

    @rikyrah: That’s my governor. Never fails to disappoint.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    Pesach ‘Pace’ Lattin‏ @pacelattin

    Machines in Georgia, according to the NSA have been hacked. They have refused to work with DHS to audit them for next week.

  7. 7
    The Dangerman says:

    Veto the AHCA? Instant 25th Amendment.

    Not to worry; vetoing is slightly less likely than Trump self-impeaching since it’s nicknamed Trumpcare.

  8. 8
    amk says:

    Usual twitler con bs. The most corrupt lying admin and the most servile and corrupt gopee party.

  9. 9
    Aleta says:

    Makes sense I guess that he would celebrate meanness by hosting a beer party in the Rose Garden.

  10. 10
    eclare says:

    Calling Alexander again tomorrow. Don’t know what else to do.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The shitgibbon is not sane. Period.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    Is there an amount of money I would not pay to watch Sen Kamala Harris grab Mika by the throat tomorrow AM and full on body slam her into Joe S.?
    No. No, there is not.

  13. 13
    Spaniel says:

    Trump pushed the “mean” bill to get support from the Freedom Caucus to make sure he gets credit to gut ACA. He now is playing the middle to get something passed in the Senate? Sounds like a lovely time when it comes time to reconcile the two plans? Which group will be likely to be thrown under the bus?

  14. 14
    wuzzat says:

    Wait — Melania and Barron moved in over the weekend, right? Maybe Barron explained the problems with the health care bill to Pops. “We can’t pass that; it’s mean,” sounds like how an 11-year-old would summarize the situation. Fingers crossed that maybe one Trump kid won’t turn out to be a complete waste of carbon.

  15. 15
    GregB says:

    As the Congressman plummeted from the window of Trump Tower, he looked up and asked: Why, oh why did you push me out the window? I am a Republican.

    Trump replied: I told you from the beginning I was a greedy, self serving douche-bag.

    Thus the parable of the douche-bag was born.

  16. 16
    Morzer says:


    Maybe Tiffany finally used her Jedi one weird trick,

    Or maybe not.

    I suspect that Trump has finally worked out that kicking his voters off their healthcare/Medicare might not be helpful to his masterplan, This looks to me like an attempt to separate his “nice” presidency from the “nasty” GOP. I doubt it will mean much in the long run.

    Alternatively, the Russia stuff is getting hot and Donny is trying to divert attention. Not impossible, but I think government by brainfart is more plausible.

  17. 17
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.): I tell you,I just want my money refunded for this shit movie. Completely unbelievable. Who the fuck wrote this script? And wtf? We have to have Russians make our movies now? What happened to Hollywood?

  18. 18
    Morzer says:

    @mai naem mobile:
    Mumpsimus Trumpsimus!

  19. 19
    GxB says:

    It would instantly boost his approval rating. And he’s about ratings.

    Bingo – 60% and counting. The saffron shart is now, always was, and always will be about ‘popularity’. I take cold comfort in that it will eat him up to his dying day. BHO has more class, legitimacy, and deserved approval in his pinky toenail clippings than this stooge. Whatta country and whatta time to be alive.

  20. 20
    John Revolta says:

    @wuzzat: I was thinking the same thing- that Barron was the last person he talked to before the lunch meeting.
    Or else he’d just been watching the Care Bears.

  21. 21
    jl says:

    @mai naem mobile: I agree. Lousiest ‘who-done-it?’ flick ever. A ‘procedural’ with no procedure. The lead is unbelievable and completely unsympathetic,and can’t act to save his life.

    As for what Trump will do. He does have a fixed idea that he needs to do things that allow him to say he fulfilled campaign promises. He is willing and able to track that from day to day. Probably why he told Mattis to do whatever he thinks best in Afghanistan,and Trump will catch up with it on Fox News. Trump did promise to let the generals decide, and if tells one to go off and do what he wants and get back to him when the dust clears, that would be ‘letting the generals decide.’

    So, my guess is that the Senate bill will be less awful than the House version, at least in the short run even if equivalent in the long run. Trump will announce that due to his genius for great deals the ‘mean’ problem of the House bill is solved, and he will sign whatever comes to him with great fanfare.

  22. 22
    Morzer says:


    So, my guess is that the Senate bill will be less awful than the House version

    In the same way as being bitten by a cobra is less awful than being bitten by a krait.

  23. 23
    Eric says:

    Here is what I don’t get. I cannot think of a single person in his orbit that would make that particular complaint. Since he is a parrot, who said it first and why?

  24. 24
    mdblanche says:

    I have zero faith in Trump doing the right thing. But if this throws some sand in McConnell’s gears it could make a difference. This is getting dangerously close to passing but there is no margin of error in the timetable. Even a short delay could be enough to derail the bill.

  25. 25
    Morzer says:


    It could be that Trump thinks of mean (and vicious) as being complimentary terms.

  26. 26
    Peale says:

    @jl: my guess is that they will claim the new bill saves the coverage of 1 million people. So only 22 million will lose coverage. But since 1 million is a big number, they’ll talk about their heroic attempt that save 1 million.

  27. 27

    @GregB: That sounds remarkably like the parable of the snake that Trump loves to tell at his rallies.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Do you have a link for this? Thanks.

  29. 29
    RepubAnon says:

    @jl: That’s it – the so-called leak is just a marketing ploy. Trump neither knows nor cares what’s in the bill- he just wants to say he made it better due to his brilliant leadership skills…

  30. 30
    Quinerly says:

    It’s probably been said before…I would definitely subscribe to your newsletter. Do I need to send SASEs? I will.😉

  31. 31
    sdhays says:

    Oh, please. I’m tired of this “he’s just so crazy he might accidentally do something not disastrous this time” take. Stop it.

    Our Ambulatory Acne Pustule of a Preznit has only one direction when it comes to “surprising” – making shit worse. He’s not going to veto anything coming from a Republican Congress. Trump doesn’t come up with ideas on his own, and who amongst his cretinous advisors is going to suggest to him that what he really needs to do is detonate an atomic bomb in his/the Republican legislative agenda just as it’s on the cusp of victory? He has surrounded himself with deeply evil people, and he has no legislative agenda of his own. Everyone around him wants him to sign the bill, it will end Obamacare, it will be “big”, that’s it. That’s his level of engagement. That’s his level of policy understanding. That’s the depth of his strategy. That’s how much he cares. The End.

    And the Republicans in the House and Senate know this, so they don’t give a shit about what shit comes out of his shit hole. His only relevance to them is the signing pen, and that is not in doubt.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    sdhays says:


    He does have a fixed idea that he needs to do things that allow him to say he fulfilled campaign promises.

    I think even this gives him too much credit. Trump lies with such ease that reality doesn’t matter to him. He literally compared his first 100 days to FDR, and he said it in a way that suggests he thought that admitting FDR did a bit more than he had made him seem more humble, more grounded in reality.

  34. 34
    hovercraft says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    This movie is the worst.

    Relax, it just has a slow beginning, it will get better, soon. Maybe you you change movie theaters, go to an IMAX screen, the special effects will be so much better. I promise the winning is just around the corner, remember we haven;t even had a single Freidman Unit yet.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Morzer: That’s what I thought. I’d already read that. Thanks.

  36. 36
    Calouste says:

    I’m wondering how many GOP representatives this is going to piss off. Not many probably, but the bill only passed the House by 2 votes.

  37. 37
    Morzer says:


    To be fair, FDR didn’t cause a national depression. Trump’s well on his way to achieving that.

  38. 38
    John Revolta says:

    @sdhays: You’re mean.

  39. 39
    jl says:


    Also, NV gub showing more spine that Kasich. Maybe he thinks that he has to, given recent purpler hue of NV than Ohio.

    Topher Spiro
    This is big: in Nevada Gov. Sandoval splits with Sen. Heller to oppose repeal of Medicaid expansion.
    found vie Josh Marshall’s twitter feed

    Edit: OTOH, the 2 vote margin in House is misleading. Ryan let some GOPers slide. We don’t know what the margin really would be if more pressure on them for final vote after reconciliation. Remote chance the reactionaries would revolt if final bill less vile and cruel than the House version, but they’re more likely Moderate GOPers always cave (at least in Congress. We’ll see about the governors).

  40. 40
    John Revolta says:

    Movie just got better.

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 190 Democratic lawmakers sued President Donald Trump in federal court on Wednesday, saying he had accepted funds from foreign governments through his businesses without congressional consent in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

    The complaint said Trump had not sought congressional approval for any of the payments his hundreds of businesses had received from foreign governments since he took office in January, even though the Constitution requires him to do so.

  41. 41


    Trump did promise to let the generals decide

    I thought he told us he knew more than all the generals. Help me, I’m confused jl.

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:

    @John Revolta:

    More than 190 Democratic lawmakers sued President Donald Trump in federal court on Wednesday, saying he had accepted funds from foreign governments through his businesses

    So that’s at least three: Tribe’s suit, filed on inauguration day, the suit by the attorneys general of a couple of states, and now by congress.
    Lawyer people, help me out here: Do any besides congress have standing?
    Also, in a related matter, can suit be filed against the GSA to force them to enforce the contract terms of the Old Post Office/hotel vs the shitgibbon? Who would have standing? Random taxpayers?

  43. 43
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I saw your comment earlier that you use some kind of ‘thinking machine’. There’s your problem. Wise up.

  44. 44
    efgoldman says:


    Help me, I’m confused

    Nothing to be confused about. He has ceded civilian control over the military.
    Which is probably impeachable, but congress won’t touch it.

    ETA: Turkeybrain that he is, he probably doesn’t even know he’s done it, or why it’s wrong.

  45. 45
  46. 46
  47. 47
    Mary G says:

    @Corner Stone: Kamala probably thinks it’d be worth the $50,000 she’d have to pay Mika’s charity, but the law wouldn’t treat her like they treated the guy in Montana.

  48. 48

    @jl: I’m gonna go dye my hair, maybe that’ll help.

  49. 49
    Quinerly says:

    But I thought Mattis, Kelly et al were the sane ones…a check. Now, I’m confused.😈

  50. 50
    efgoldman says:


    you use some kind of ‘thinking machine’. There’s your problem.

    Be gentle on old Bill. Zombie administrative assistants are really hard to come by in California, because rents are so high.

  51. 51
    efgoldman says:


    I thought Mattis, Kelly et al were the sane ones…a check.

    Mattis, maybe. Kelly is turning out to be a fascist pig, running the American Gestapo. He’s crazy.
    Regardless, military in this country is NEVER supposed to have free rein without civilian control, even if the civilians are incompetent, evil schmucks like Darth Cheney, Rummy, and the baboon in the WH.

  52. 52
    Morzer says:


    Zombie administrative assistants are really hard to come by in California

    “Siri, tell me, what is Cortana?”
    “I’m sorry, Bill, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

  53. 53
    trollhattan says:

    Horrible. From stills the BBC shows it’s entirely enveloped, shocking for a highrise. Those poor people.

  54. 54
    Quinerly says:

    Yep. I never had a doubt.

  55. 55
    Juju says:

    @Corner Stone: I wish she’d kick Grandpa Walnuts in his other nuts.

  56. 56
    Morzer says:

    Rave Sashayed‏
    Now, I’m no fancy city lawyer. I’m just a small-town apple-cheeked demon and I came to this town with a briefcase full of dreams and racism

  57. 57
    Juju says:

    @John Revolta: Do you think he actually talks to Barron? My impression is that Trump regards him as a prop for photo ops.

  58. 58
    Juju says:

    @Morzer: nicely put.

  59. 59
    Morzer says:


    The ones he had removed when he pledged allegiance to Mitch McConnell the immortal leader of the turtle race?

  60. 60
  61. 61
    Morzer says:


    She and Cortana are the stars of the series Two Broke AI Girls.

  62. 62
    Juju says:

    @Morzer: Do you mean mental or economic depression? It could be either.

  63. 63
    sdhays says:


    Remote chance the reactionaries would revolt if final bill less vile and cruel than the House version, but they’re more likely Moderate GOPers always cave (at least in Congress. We’ll see about the governors).

    When they’re this close, I don’t think the reactionaries are going to play that game. The governors don’t get a vote, and the “process” by which the House passed its bill pretty much demonstrated that a working majority of Republicans there don’t consider vileness and cruelty obstacles to passing tax cuts for the wealthy. As for the Senate Republicans, they want to say “yes”, so they will find a way unless they make a tactical mistake that pushes the vote after their summer recess or something huge happens to spook them.

    I don’t know what type of event would make them reconsider, but presumably it exists.

  64. 64
    sdhays says:

    @Juju: To be fair, that’s how he treats most people.

  65. 65
    Morzer says:


    The mental variety, but I imagine the economic version isn’t far behind.

  66. 66

    @Morzer: I have the Cortana thingy on my thinkin’ machine, is this Siri hawt?

  67. 67
    Morzer says:


    “Daddy, what is impeachment?”

  68. 68
    sdhays says:

    @Morzer: Make America Depressed Again…

  69. 69
    Morzer says:


    Sweet as an apple on Christmas Day.

  70. 70

    @Morzer: I avoid apples, they upset my stomach.

  71. 71
    Morzer says:


    Maybe Cortana make an alternative orangement. Not that I want to impeach your taste or anything. I’d be bananas if I did and I imagine you wouldn’t give a fig for my opinion on the topic.

  72. 72
    Juju says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I have trouble with raw onions.

  73. 73

    @Morzer: Sounds like that could make me berry happy.

  74. 74
    Juju says:

    @Morzer: I think it’s a peach wrapped in parchment.

  75. 75
    akryan says:

    the only ones that are trying to give him any sort of support are the Republicans. if he vetoes their bills then that vanishes. even he must be aware of that. of course it would make really good tv though, so you never know.

  76. 76
    Amir Khalid says:

    As far as I know, the terrorist attacks around the world in recent years haven’t involved arson. I guess if you proclaim “We did it!” on the intertoobz, and then fire department attributes the fire to an undiscovered electrical fault or spontaneous combustion of building materials or some such, you could look a bit silly.

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