Keep calling!

The so-called “skinny repeal” bill (I like valued commenter Oldgold’s “Trojan Hearse” nickname better) is being written on cocktail napkins in the Senate commissary today:

So much has happened already this morning: the West Wing has gone full-metal “Heathers,” Trump is threatening to veto the Russia sanctions bill, etc. But here’s one thing we can actually do: call about that bill.

The smart money is on the craven GOP worms passing some piece of shit legislation that harms millions of Americans, even if it doesn’t contain all the plutocratic goodies that have been dancing like sugar plums in their corrupt heads since November. But imagine the meltdown if they hit a wall again. That’s worth a call right there. We’ve already made a difference.

Open thread!

86 replies
  1. 1

    Apparently Senate rules require a CBO score 28 hours before voting, so Friday is the earliest the final vote can take place.

    And (OT): Zaid Jilani is the dumbest idiot

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    First They Came For …’
    Charles M. Blow
    JULY 27, 2017

    It is no longer sufficient to brand Donald Trump as abnormal, a designation that is surely applicable but that falls significantly short in registering the magnitude of the menace.

    The standard nomenclature of normal politics must be abandoned. What we are witnessing is nothing less than an assault on the fundamentals of the country itself: on our legacy institutions and our sense of protocol, decency and honesty.

    In any other circumstance, we might likely write this off as the trite protestations of a man trapped in a toddler’s temperament, full of meltdowns, magical thinking and make believe. But this man’s vindictiveness and mendacity are undergirded by the unequaled power of the American president, and as such he has graduated on the scale of power from toddler to budding tyrant.

    This threat Trump poses — to our morals, ethics, norms and collective sense of propriety — may be without equal from a domestic source.


    This has come as a great shock and demoralizer to many Americans, not necessarily because they didn’t think Trump was capable of such depravity, but because they simply were unprepared for the daily reality of living a nightmare.

    There is an enduring expectation, particularly among American liberals, that progress in this society should move inexorably toward more openness, honesty and equality. But even the historical record doesn’t support that expectation.

    In reality, America regularly experiences bouts of regression, but fortunately, it is in those regressive periods that some of our greatest movements and greatest voices had found their footing.


    Unlike the examples listed above, Trump’s assault is intersectional and nearly universal. Multiple populations are being assaulted at once, across race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual identity.

    So, in this moment of regression, all the targets of Trump’s ire must push back with a united front, before it is too late.

    As Martin Niemöller so famously put it:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

  3. 3
    Yarrow says:

    Stripping essential health benefits. Pre-existing conditions won’t be covered. They’re voting to kill me.

    UPDATE FOR CALLS: skinny now includes "1332 waivers." DC speak for letting states waive essential health benefits. Aka insurance gets worse.— Chad Bolt (@chadderr) July 27, 2017

  4. 4
    Yarrow says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    Apparently Senate rules require a CBO score 28 hours before voting, so Friday is the earliest the final vote can take place.

    Ha ha. Rules. Like McConnell won’t steamroll right over those.

  5. 5
    edmund dantes says:

    He keeps sticking his neck out on Russia sanctions.

    Good to see he is keeping up that whole “transparency” thing.

    It couldn’t be more transparent.

  6. 6
    zhena gogolia says:


    He is the ONLY person who seems to see what’s really happening as I’m experiencing it.

    ETA: the only person with a public platform in the MSM

  7. 7

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): I’ve said for a while that Trump could have very easily co-opted these people (now helpfully known as ‘dirtbag lefties’) if he’d followed the Herrenvolk socialist playbook, but in this sense we’re fortunate that republican legislators are shameless craven plutocrats first and power-mad nihilists second; their principles prevent them from the ‘socialism’ part of ‘white socialism’.

    That and Trump is too stupid to pull it off, even if he cared, which he doesn’t.

  8. 8
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Today’s call to Perdue ✔️

    Today’s call to Isakson ✔️

  9. 9

    @zhena gogolia: @rikyrah: this is all basically what I try to articulate when I say that, no, Pence would not be worse.

  10. 10
    randy khan says:

    From WTOP, the DC news radio station:

    The U.S. will continue to permit transgender individuals to serve openly in the military until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has received President Donald Trump’s “direction” to change the policy and figured out how to implement it, the nation’s top military officer said Thursday.

    Go figure.

  11. 11
    eclare says:

    @Yarrow: Fuck. Just called Corker and Alexander, for what it’s worth. Specifically asked why they want to kill their constituents.

  12. 12
    m0nty says:

    Vetoing the Russia sanctions bill seems impossible given the numbers. It is an underreported but welcome aspect of this whole shitshow just how universal is Congressional support for Russian sanctions. In a Hill riven by partisanship and distrust, it is a minor miracle.

  13. 13
    justawriter says:

    So which two Trumpkins will be the first to actually take a trip to fist city? Scary and obvious anagram Reince Priebus seem to be the early favorites!

  14. 14
    Fair Economist says:


    UPDATE FOR CALLS: skinny now includes “1332 waivers.”

    That’s a change to legislation that’s not supposed to be reconcilable.

  15. 15
    Yarrow says:

    @Fair Economist: Rules are for losers.

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    What continues to amaze me is how little self-respect the Republican Senators have. The vast majority of them are OK with jumping off a cliff with essentially no understanding of what sort of parachutes or soft landings might be provided, just because Mitch McConnell says “jump”. Even though it’s blindingly obvious that Mitch McConnell also doesn’t know where he’s going with this.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    @randy khan:

    Go figure.

    They will have to ‘ study’ it….

  18. 18
    Sloegin says:

    Funny that nobody has really drove home the story that the entire Congress voting for sanctions which Donny Moscow can’t override is really proof that they think the President is either a Russian asset or that he is completely compromised by them.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:


    Vetoing the Russia sanctions bill seems impossible given the numbers.

    He has to veto it, to give a show for Vlad.
    and, then, hope that he can bully the Congress into repealing them.

  20. 20
    Keith P. says:

    They must have a bingo machine with all the stock GOP positions written on the balls, so that every iteration of the bill is just some random combination of wishlist items that they hope magically get the light to turn on.

  21. 21

    @Keith P.: kind of starting to seem that way!

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Left a message for Johnson saying that vote for any of the bills is a vote to kill people. Asked how he could live with himself.

  23. 23
    Yarrow says:

    McConnell: “This is becoming overly complicated"— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) July 27, 2017

  24. 24
    The Moar You Know says:

    He has to veto it, to give a show for Vlad.
    and, then, hope that he can bully the Congress into repealing them.

    @rikyrah: He will do the first and succeed at the second. Half the GOP is getting Russian money.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    MJS says:

    @dmsilev: They know the fix is in. They believe that no matter what shit they vote for, voter suppression, hacking, etc. will save their bacon whenever they’re up for re-election. Their bigger concern is NOT voting as the Koch’s intend them to, and being primaried.

  27. 27


    McConnell: “This is becoming overly complicated”— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) July 27, 2017

    “<a href="“>Awww, who thought a nuclear reactor would be so complicated??
    –Homer Simpson

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    If every proposal to “fix” the ACA leaves millions uninsured, at some point you have to be honest: this isn’t about fixing anything.
    — Rev. Dr. Barber (@RevDrBarber) July 27, 2017

  29. 29
    El Caganer says:

    I’m suggesting to Rubio that if he really can’t say “no” to the idea of killing his constituents, at least he should consider abstaining on the grounds that he doesn’t know what he’s voting for or against.

  30. 30
    randy khan says:


    I think the Pentagon is hopeful that the tweets will never turn into an actual instruction to do anything.

  31. 31
    MomSense says:

    If you text


    to 50409 you will be connected to a free fax service. They will take you through all the steps and fax your rep and senators.

    Easy and you won’t get a busy signal or a voicemail.

  32. 32
    Yarrow says:

    I fucking hate Republicans. I hate them so much I can hardly breathe. Which isn’t really going to be a big deal going forward anyway, I guess.

  33. 33
    MomSense says:


    I’m firmly back in the feeling rage all the time place.

  34. 34
    dmsilev says:

    @Yarrow: Gee, I wonder whose fault that is?

  35. 35
    Feebog says:

    Eliminating the individual and employer mandates will kill the ACA just as surely as any of these other so called plans. It will just take a little longer.

  36. 36
    MCA1 says:

    @The Moar You Know: That’s still not enough to stop an override, though. The GOP is smart enough to have figured out that this is a good way to corner the scary monster they released into the streets, and set themselves up as opposed to him rather than perpetually enabling him. Or, if he relents, they get to look like they’re actually concerned by and taking the interference seriously.

    They’ve also become aware, finally, that Drumpf is a crap leader who knows nothing and cares less than nothing about anything other than himself. He has no legislative agenda, zero capability to persuade anyone of anything, and no inclination to actually practice politics. It’s been 6 months, they’ve got nothing on the scoreboard, the White House is spinning out of control and T’s approval ratings haven’t topped 40% in months. They’re actually hoping Mueller comes up with enough devastating things at this point that they can all feign shock, impeach and install Pence.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Mike in DC says:

    He will likely veto it, then get overridden. Russia will offer enough token concessions for Trump to sell the GOP on lifting sanctions. Of course, any substantive concessions mafe by Putin will turn into vapor the minute sanctions are lifted. If Trump can’t get sanctions lifted, Putin may start dumping kompromat into the public eye.

  39. 39
    Yarrow says:

    I finally got through to a staffer in one far-flung local office of one of my evil Republican Senators. When I said a vote for this bill is a vote to kill me, and asked him if he felt comfortable working for someone who is doing that, he said, “There’s no need to get personal. ” I said it was personal to me. He said, “You don’t need to attack staffers.” I asked him how asking him a question was an attack. He didn’t have an answer so tossed some word salad about me getting personal again. They must have gotten their talking points on how to handle desperate constituents.

    I hate them beyond all reason. Evil is upon us.

  40. 40
    eclare says:

    @MomSense: It is disgusting how they are inflicting undue stress and worry on people. It is exhausting.

  41. 41

    Maddow said it wasn’t clear to her that Trump knew trans folks were already serving openly in the military.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    me too. Never really left that place.

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:


    thanks. I spread the word

  45. 45
    Yarrow says:

    @Feebog: I really, really, really hope it hits employer plans for 2018. Maybe lifetime caps come back. Maybe essential benefits are cut. That will be the ONLY way the bulk of America realizes what has happened.

    Repeating what I said yesterday, starting RIGHT NOW TODAY, if you hear ANYONE say ANYTHING bad about their health insurance then you blame Republicans. They had to wait on hold calling the insurance company? Republicans were going to make it better and didn’t. Their co-pay is too high? Blame Republicans. Treatment not covered? Why didn’t Republicans improve insurance? Blame them over and over again. Repetition works.

    Why didn’t Republicans fix your healthcare? Republicans are to blame. Republicans said they’d fix it and didn’t. Blame them over and over to get it in people’s heads. It happened with Obama – everything someone didn’t like about their health insurance was blamed on Obamacare. Time for us to turn the tables starting NOW.

    Edit: To be clear, I don’t want this to pass at all. I want them to fail. But if it passes, I want employer-based plans to suffer as well so people know what has happened.

  46. 46
    NotMax says:

    @Mike in DC

    Wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to find out that Dolt 45 (and his inner circle) believe he can veto an override.

  47. 47
    nightranger says:

    If the calls are making a difference why are they trying to push this garbage through as fast as they can? So they don’t have to put up with the calls! Whatever gets passed or not passed would be the same no matter how many calls you make.

    You know what would have made a difference? If more people voted in Nov.

  48. 48

    @Yarrow: Anyone still working for them is just as complicit as they are. They would resign if they had any human decency.

  49. 49

    @NotMax: Good point.

    I do agree with rikyrah that he’ll make a show of vetoing it though.

  50. 50
    MomSense says:



    WTF. Do they think we are not feeling this personally? Do they think that taking away access to our medical care is not personal to us? I don’t even know what to say. I want to break things when I hear that.

  51. 51
    Shell says:

    ‘Heathers’ is right, but go a little younger. The WH is turning into Middle School on the Potomac.

  52. 52
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    @MomSense: Yep. I use this constantly for Cory the Weasel. I called Bennet’s office and said “thank you, keep fighting.” Staffer seemed glad to get a supportive call. (It took three rings to pick up so maybe he’s being deluged too). Also shared with my network.

    Am with everyone else who is really, truly beginning to hate Republicans and those who voted for Dolt or third party.

  53. 53
    MomSense says:

    It took 4 tries for my fax to get through to KIng and Collins so the fax lines must be as busy as the phone lines. I hope that’s a good sign and it doesn’t mean that Putin paid callers in a basement in Murmansk aren’t messing with this, too.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    rikyrah says:



    WTF. Do they think we are not feeling this personally? Do they think that taking away access to our medical care is not personal to us? I don’t even know what to say. I want to break things when I hear that.

    That’s part of what boggles my mind. This isn’t about not being able to buy a chair or a sofa.

    THE THOUGHT….that 32 million people… are just going to shrug their shoulders about losing healthcare so that Charles and David Koch can get a tax cut…..


  56. 56
    Barbara says:

    @Yarrow: FWIW, the Senate has not been willing to push back on this particular rule. That could change.

  57. 57

    @NotMax: Isn’t there some Cold War-era joke about how something isn’t official until the Kremlin denies it?

  58. 58
    Miss Bianca says:

    @MomSense: Nice! just used it.

    @Major Major Major Major: “There were no riots today in Red Square. Absolutely no protestors were killed, because there were no protestors.”

  59. 59
  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    ICYMI: VERY important overview on Russia, Magnitsky Act & the Trumps from Bill Browder in this Congressional hearing
    — meta (@metaquest) July 27, 2017

    This is a MUST SEE for background and perspective for what is happening with Putin’s incursion into our democracy. He even outs Rohrbacher!
    — meta (@metaquest) July 27, 2017

  61. 61
    LAO says:

    Well, Josh Marshall just made a funny:

    So today the White House Comms Chief accused the Chief of Staff of a felony & threatened FBI probe. But it turns out he was just confused.— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 27, 2017

  62. 62
    david spikes says:

    Can’t deny the evidence of our own eyes-the Mooch is real. But jeeebbuzz is this guy fucking for real?
    Trump’s brilliant counter intuitive counter punching?
    I’m leaning to the idea that Mooch is actually a brilliant post modern, deconstructionalist, satire on the clueless toady who brings the whole structure flaming down while proclaiming his utter devotion.
    We really need Shakespeare to write the story of these guys.
    Oh please, oh please, let Trump veto the sanctions bill and then claim he did it because he wants to get really tuf on the Russkies, oh lord, let it happen.

  63. 63
    ruckus says:

    I wonder if anyone has questioned why the Russians don’t just call in their loans. Maybe those loans really are so under water that the only way for them to get any money back is to squeeze drumpf. And real hard.

  64. 64
    ET says:

    Yesterday I posted some images of the goings on at the Senate from a local DC blog. Another local blog has a few pictures as well.

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:


    I wonder if anyone has questioned why the Russians don’t just call in their loans. Maybe those loans really are so under water that the only way for them to get any money back is to squeeze drumpf. And real hard.

    The sanctions lifted was the HALF TRILLION DOLLAR PAYOFF.

  66. 66
    MattF says:

    @Shell: Right. They’re all 13 1/2. On a related topic, is there a way of describing the degree of Scaramucci’s dishonesty? Saying ‘Infinity and beyond!’ doesn’t work for me.

  67. 67
    david spikes says:

    It just keeps getting better and better-and more weird.
    Reporter;What about Trump’s latest tweet. . . .
    Paul Ryan: I don’t read that stuff.
    Sounds like poor Paulie has just given up.

  68. 68
    misterpuff says:

    @Keith P.: Manatee random generator….

  69. 69
    MattF says:

    @david spikes: So, the Speaker of the House isn’t interested in policy? That can’t be right.

  70. 70
    Betty Cracker says:

    @nightranger: You should repeat this message in Dave’s post upstairs. I’m sure you know lots more about healthcare policy and related political maneuvering than he does.

  71. 71

    @MattF: There was a funny piece in I think the WaPo after Don Jr.’s tweets where every Republican senator anybody talked to was basically “what’s a Twitter?”

    @Betty Cracker: Why encourage the doom troll?

  72. 72
    bemused says:


    So the staffer has no worries about his own health insurance in the future.

  73. 73
    ruemara says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): He blocked me sometime last year for daring to question him and disprove him with basic facts. The man is an utter idiot.

  74. 74
    TenguPhule says:


    Eliminating the individual and employer mandates will kill the ACA just as surely as any of these other so called plans. It will just take a little longer.

    ACA nothing, total and utter devastation of the whole medical insurance market is more like it.

    This isn’t cutting off the nose to spite the face, this is charging head first into the woodchipper screaming “LEEROY JENKINS!!!”

  75. 75

    I just called my Senators* to oppose the repeal bill. I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room (fortunately, I’m on FEHB** being married to a retired rural mail carrier), and when I said the words “Trojan Hearse”, two people sitting nearby gave me the thumbs-up.

    *I punched in (202) 224-3121, then pressed 1 for the Senate, then entered my ZIP code, then pressed 1 for my junior Senator, made my spiel, then repeated and pressed 2 for my senior Senator.

    **Which ought to become the Federal EVERYBODY Health Benefit.

  76. 76
    TenguPhule says:


    Blame them over and over again. Repetition works.

    I seem to recall that was my suggestion during the whole debate about messaging many threads ago.

    “Its the Republicans Fault”

    Repeat as needed.

  77. 77
    MattF says:

    Speaking of Scaramucci, it seems he sold his little hedge fund to a Chinese group:

    The decision to transfer Mr. Guan’s stake to the foundation, HNA said, was to allay concerns over its shareholding. Scrutiny of its ownership had escalated after Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, announced in January that he was selling his hedge fund to an HNA subsidiary.

    And what, exactly, is HNA? Good question.

  78. 78
    david spikes says:

    @MattF: Talk about your fondest dreams turning into ashes.
    Paul thought he was the John Galt and instead he’s Wesley Mouch(gratuitous Atlas Shrugged reference.)
    I picture him in his office, head in his hands, thinking “What the fuck, what the fuck, it wasn’t supposed to be like this-IT”S NOT FAIR.”

  79. 79

    @ruemara: Think of this as exemplar of a sibling rivalry between the peoples who are darker than blue (to steal a thesis from Jeet Heer and a song title from Curtis Mayfield).

    In terms of sheer stupidity among the self-proclaimed left, only Khalek, DeMoro, Patrick Smith & James Carden can provide competition.

  80. 80
  81. 81

    @Major Major Major Major: The musings of a man whose intellect is the envy of several arthropod species and a score or so of the stupidest mammalians.

  82. 82

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): I can’t even tell if I agree with any of the people on that thread!

  83. 83
    TenguPhule says:

    Scaramucci lobs grenades in already chaotic White House

    Just one of those headlines.

    His arrival marked the first in a series of falling dominoes that seemed to be leading toward Priebus, the chief of staff who as of Wednesday insisted he isn’t going anywhere.

    Press secretary Sean Spicer, a close ally of Priebus, resigned last week.

    Scaramucci then forced out another communications aide close with Priebus.

    Then came Wednesday night.

    Scaramucci tweeted that someone had illegally leaked financial information about him, conspicuously mentioning Priebus’s Twitter handle. Scaramucci later deleted that tweet and said he had only mentioned Priebus to show that all senior leaders are taking the leak crackdown seriously.

    “In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony, I will be contacting FBI and the JusticeDept #swamp Reince45,” his since-deleted tweet read.

    Scaramucci’s financial disclosure form wasn’t leaked at all. It was released after a public records request by a Politico reporter.

    In the CNN interview, Scaramucci said he’d be reaching out to his “buddies” in the FBI about the matter.

    Figuratively of course.

  84. 84
    TriassicSands says:


    Or maybe Trump could pardon the Russians. He has, after all, unlimited pardon powers.

  85. 85
    Fair Economist says:


    Vladmir Putin denies US election hacking claims: ‘Read my lips: No’

    Is that a sarcastic reference?

  86. 86
    ET says:

    Am I the only one that when I think or say the name Scaramucci I actually end up singing in my head:

    Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
    Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright’ning me
    (Galileo.) Galileo. (Galileo.) Galileo. Galileo figaro magnifico
    I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me
    He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
    Spare him his life from this monstrosity
    Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
    Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
    (Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
    (Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
    (Let me go.) Will not let you go
    (Let me go.) Will not let you go. (Let me go.) Ah
    No, no, no, no, no, no, no
    (Oh mamma mia, mamma mia) Mamma mia, let me go
    Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me!

    Which just make the beginning of those lyrics take on a different meaning:

    Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality

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