Damn I Love The Jag and the Jet and the Mansion

The Graham/Cassidy bill is bad policy. It will devastate many GOP states and hurt tens of millions of Americans. It will gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions, something Trump claims he is against. It’s bad politics. It betrays every alleged GOP “principle” (we all know they have none, but they claim they do) in that it will add to the debt, has not been debated properly, no one has read the bill, etc. It’s wildly unpopular. The members of the Senate don’t even like the bill and don’t even really know what it does. But yet, they are desperate to pass it.

Here’s why:

As more than 40 subdued Republican senators lunched on Chick-fil-A at a closed-door session last week, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado painted a dire picture for his colleagues. Campaign fund-raising was drying up, he said, because of widespread disappointment among donors over the inability of the Republican Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act or do much of anything else.

Mr. Gardner is in charge of his party’s midterm re-election push, and he warned that donors of all stripes were refusing to contribute another penny until the struggling majority produced some concrete results.

“Donors are furious,” one person knowledgeable about the private meeting quoted Mr. Gardner as saying. “We haven’t kept our promise.”

The backlash from big donors as well as the grass roots panicked Senate Republicans and was part of the motivation behind the sudden zeal to take one last crack at repealing the health care law before the end of the month. That effort faltered Friday with new opposition from Senator John McCain of Arizona, the perennial maverick who had scuttled the Senate’s first repeal effort. Now Republicans must confront the possibility that they will once again let down their backers with no big win in sight.

It’s all about the Benjamins and catering to the donor base. Literally nothing else matters to these guys. Fucking the poors and pissing off teh left would just be a bonus.

157 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    There exists not a violin tiny enough.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    BC in Illinois says:

    Senator Bedfellow:
    “Now . . . can any of you little nits tell me what great principle our political system is based upon?”

    Milo:
    “Money talks!”

    Bloom County, November 22

  4. 4
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Irony is that had McConnell not gone all in on repeal and obstruction from 2009 forward, we’d be pretty functional as a country, with a rational loyal opposition. Money would be coming in and expectations would be tempered.

    He has himself to blame.

  5. 5
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @BC in Illinois: Originally September 23, 1981.

    For two or three years back then, Bloom County was the best strip ever.

  6. 6
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @NotMax:

    There exists not a violin tiny enough.

    Damn straight. Couldn’t be happening to a more deserving group of people.

    Let’s keep those calls coming for one more week. This thing is only mostly dead right now, they could still try to reanimate it during the next week.

  7. 7
    BC in Illinois says:

    @low-tech cyclist:
    Yes. Thank you. I got part way into getting the date, realized that my reference was wrong, and didn’t fully erase it. Thanks for the correct date.

    And yes, back in those days Bloom County was great.

    ETA – The fact that I remembered this particular comic strip over 35 years later is a tribute to how right on it was.

    ETA – – Of course, that was the Reagan era.

  8. 8
    Kay says:

    It’s worth mentioning that they also have no popular and workable ideas to actually improve the law. They’re panicking now because of the donors but the reason they didn’t draft a good law during the 7 years they had to work on it is that they can’t – their positions on health care are misinformed or uninformed, are unpopular and won’t work.

    There aren’t two Parties with health care solutions- there’s just one.

    How could they STILL be grappling with pre-existing conditions this late in the game? That has been debated for twenty years. They can’t get there- they can’t increase coverage and reduce costs and maintain quality- they can’t improve on Obamacare. That’s the real reason – the votes they can’t get are the result of the substantive failure of their work. “More time” won’t make it better. They had 8 years.

  9. 9
    JMG says:

    Why don’t these guys see the obvious about their donors? Just pass a nice big tax cut for the well-to-do to super wealthy spectrum and the donors will write checks until they get carpal tunnel syndrome. Forget health care.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    Putting it in block grants and shoving the problems off on the states won’t work either. Conservatives run plenty of states, and have for the last 30 years. Show me the GOP state with a great health care solution. No one was stopping them from solving this at the state level. Mitch Daniels got the furthest with it in Indiana and no one talks about it because it failed.

    If conservatives could actually do this – cost, quality, access- we’d see it in one of the states they run. Collins wants the federal Medicaid funding for Maine because they can’t.

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    I am so proud of the Democrats for standing firm and protecting the Affordable Care Act.

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    I love how they’ve twisted “federalism” into “no state can have a better health care system than Mississippi or that’s unfair”.

    It’s an absolute perversion of “federalism”. It’s anti-competitive.

  13. 13
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Kay:

    There aren’t two Parties with health care solutions- there’s just one.

    The words “health care” are superfluous, but other than that, right on target.

    How could they STILL be grappling with pre-existing conditions this late in the game? That has been debated for twenty years.

    Because the luxury of not being in power for the past decade gave them the freedom to just attack everything on bullshit grounds, without having to know how to accomplish anything or be responsible for anything.

    Now that they’re in charge, the fact that they are functionally and ideologically incapable of governing is out there in plain sight. The Dems need to say this out loud, at every opportunity.

    It’s especially obvious with pre-existing conditions. As Krugman has pointed out probably hundreds of times by now, it’s not complicated. If you’re going to insure people against pre-existing conditions without charging them more for it, you can’t have them waiting until they get sick to buy insurance, hence the individual mandate. And if you’re going to require that everyone buy insurance, you’ve got to subsidize people sufficiently that they can afford to do so.

    Cover pre-existing conditions => individual mandate => subsidies. The ACA in a nutshell.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    The 2020 primary is going to be a mess.

    Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer might not be a household name, but he’s not ruling out a 2020 presidential run or a 2018 run for California governor.

    In a recent interview, Steyer expressed skepticism at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s deal-making with President Trump. And he talked about how fes his background as a former hedge-fund manager with a Democratic Party whose progressive grassroots insists big money should be driven out of politics.

  15. 15
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Well then there’s this guy:

    Bruce Brown, a Donald Trump devotee in rural Pennsylvania, thinks that Hillary Clinton should be “shot or put in prison” and that liberals have a “mental disease.”

    He also thinks Trump’s latest health-care plan might kill him, at least leave him homeless.

    Brown, 58, has severe diabetes, and he is awaiting a leg amputation. He and his 11-year-old son, who has autism, get health insurance from Medicaid, the program the new plan would subject to major cuts.

    “I barely make it month to month as it is,” said Brown, who is unable to work. “I saw how many billions and billions they want to cut from Medicaid. I depend on Medicaid. Without Medicaid, I have nothing. I couldn’t afford any insurance.”

    How do you solve the problem of tens of millions of Bruce Browns ?

  16. 16
    Cermet says:

    The whole point of repeal is to create the budget ‘savings’ from this to make as large a tax reduction for the top 0.001%; also,they need to get the kock sucker brothers to remain on board by taking away the peoples ability to decouple work and health care – .That is why this process is likely to continue; both the kocker sucker brothers and the other wealthy demand this to occur and these people re the thug party

  17. 17
    HinTN says:

    @JMG: They cannot do it without this health care fraud. For all the sausage making I recommend Booman but in simple terms the only way to avoid a filibuster is through the reconciliation process and the arcana of the Senate rules constrains them there. They need fraudulent savings from health care reform to permit the budget busting of the tax cuts.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    This observation doesn’t get enough media play. The GOP has been proven to have no ideas.

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    That’s WHY they refused to participate in drafting the first law. Their ideas on healthcare are bad and they don’t work. Insert a conservative “idea” and 15 other problems arise as a result of putting it in there. They’re not all dumb. They know this.

    They COULD NOT solve preexisting conditions while remaining within their ideological boundaries.

    There aren’t endless solutions to cost, quality and access. Everyone keeps going back to the same set of solutions because there are X number of ways to do it, and no more and we’ve tried a lot of them and they failed. The reason people freak when they pull out one section of Obamacare is because the pieces intersect.

  20. 20
    donnah says:

    The Democrats have been desperate in the past, fighting to pass legislation or get things accomplished. But they’ve not sunk to the depths of this Republican party, where donations from rich, greedy corporations are more important than people’s lives. And the Republicans are brash enough to say out loud and on the record that they will pass a heartless and dangerous health care bill just to fulfill a misbegotten promise by a megolamaniac. Or to insure that those billions of dollars to fund campaigns still keep rolling in. It’s sickening and chilling state of affairs. It’s nothing new for them, it’s just a higher level of contemptible behavior.

    I’ll keep calling and emailing because it ain’t over til it’s over. But I hope this disgusting bill dies an ugly death.

  21. 21
    Wag says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Bloom Coynty is back ( on FB) ant it is living up to its old standards.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:

    How do you solve the problem of tens of millions of Bruce Browns ?

    Give Dems control of the federal government for three straight elections, two of which are presidential. That breaks their spirit and their movement.

  23. 23
    Honus says:

    @Baud: Brown is 58 and diabetic. He’s not unusual for his demographic. The problem may slowly solve itself, especially if we can at least mitigate voter suppression a bit.

  24. 24
    debbie says:

    Don’t forget that $400,000,000 Koch bribe that’s slipping through their fingers…

    WINNING!

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: You missed three zeroes there.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @debbie: You left off some zeros.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @Honus: They’ll make more.

  28. 28
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    If Mitch were smart (and I don’t think he is), he’d change to working on the cost of healthcare, truly making it more affordable for all Americans.

  29. 29
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: I don’t know how you get through to the Bruce Browns out there, it may not be possible. It takes a lot of ego strength to change your mind and not everyone is so equipped. Plus there is the whole Fox News thing. Too much of the public is uneducated, un- and mis-informed.

    But something could be done about gerrymandering, which gives the Bruce Browns of the world a disproportionate say.

    As a small example, the City of Cincinnati used to send a Democrat to Congress. Then we were split in two and now send two Red Reps to D.C.

  30. 30
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle: @Baud:

    Oops. I blame the heat. Fixed.

  31. 31
    SFAW says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:

    How do you solve the problem of tens of millions of Bruce Browns ?

    Let ol’ Mr. Darwin work his magic.

    As Niven/Pournelle wrote: “Think of it as evolution in action.”

    The ironic thing is: the RWNJs who subscribe to that concept don’t understand that THEY are the ones who would be gone from the gene pool, if left to their own devices.

  32. 32
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    All one needs to do is point to the failure of public education to prove C-G would not work.

  33. 33
    SFAW says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    As a small example, the City of Cincinnati used to send a Democrat to Congress. Then we were split in two and now send two Red Reps to D.C.

    Ummm … if the geographical area covered by the two districts is the same as the original district, then they’d still send a Rethug. If the new districts pulled in additional red areas, then, yes, gerrymandering had an effect. But otherwise, no. (I’m assuming each Rethug won a majority, not plurality, of each district.)

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    I wish there was more analysis of what the Medicaid expansion did. Just in this county we have TWO new health care providers- one is a local non-profit and the other is a walk-in clinic owned by a Toledo hospital. I think that was a RESPONSE to our local monopoly provider not taking Medicaid patients but we needed some competition among providers, like a lot of rural areas. I don’t think it’s an accident 2 appeared as a result of Obamacare.

    Enough interviewing individual Medicaid patients. What were some of the sum effects of Medicaid expansion?

  35. 35
    Honus says:

    @Ohio Mom: this. A republican hasn’t won a statewide election in Virginia in nearly a decade, yet 8 of 11 congressmen are republican.

  36. 36
    Sab says:

    OT. My town is having its annual marathon. It’s weird this year. Very slow. Usually they get past my house at 8:05. This year the didn’t get here til 8:29. And all the runners are white. Not a Kenyan in sight. Thanks, Trump.

  37. 37
    Martha says:

    @TaMara (BHF): with a rusty chainsaw.

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    @debbie:

    He can’t “work on the cost” because he has ideological boundaries so he has only one tool- competition. He could get more competition by increasing access but he just runs into another ideological boundary because these people don’t have any money, so “increasing access” means public funding.

  39. 39
    SFAW says:

    @debbie:

    All one needs to do is point to the failure of public education to prove C-G would not work.

    “Failure”? People keep electing Rethugs, and an inordinately large number can’t tell truth from bullshit (civically/politically-wise), so it sound like it’s working just the way the Republicans intended.

    Oh, wait — you meant “failure” from a non-evil viewpoint? Never mind.

  40. 40

    @SFAW:

    As Niven/Pournelle wrote in a really racist book (Oath of Fealty): “Think of it as evolution in action.”

    Fixed that for you. Niven and Pournelle are terrible guides to decision making. If you ever find yourself quoting them in this way, you’ve made some terrible life choices.

  41. 41
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    If Mitch hasn’t seen the problem with his “ideological boundaries,” he never will. Time to go.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    he just runs into another ideological boundary because these people don’t have any money, so “increasing access” means public funding.

    Or more chickens.

  43. 43
    SFAW says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym:

    If you ever find yourself quoting them in this way, you’ve made some terrible life choices.

    As Homer, or Shakespeare, or someone else said: bite me. I’m reasonably aware of Niven and Pournelle’s politics, etc. Just because their RW/Libertarian assholes doesn’t mean that everything they wrote is to be shunned. And considering that the quote’s first use in the book was a lot more in line with dealing with someone like Brown, than any racist sentiments, you might want to un-jerk your knee.

  44. 44
    SFAW says:

    @Baud:

    Or more chickens.

    Isn’t that only for the Nevada implementation of Trumpcare?

  45. 45
    The Golux says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:

    How do you solve the problem of tens of millions of Bruce Browns ?

    The one thing Republicans know how to to (as far as legislating goes) is to give their shitty bills catchy names. (Never mind that any such bill invariably does the opposite of what its name implies.) “Affordable Care Act”? Booooring. The Democrats should have named it the “Health Freedom Act”, and watched as the Republicans tied themselves into knots trying to be against the bill without being against freedom. The name has the advantage of being accurate, too.

  46. 46
    jonas says:

    @Kay:

    They’re panicking now because of the donors but the reason they didn’t draft a good law during the 7 years they had to work on it is that they can’t – their positions on health care are misinformed or uninformed, are unpopular and won’t work

    It must suck when your donors are demanding you commit political suicide. The fundamental problem Republicans face on repealing and replacing Obamacare is that Obamacare *was* the Republican healthcare plan before it was finally passed by a black Democratic President, at which time it became the Antichrist Plan Nr. 666.

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    They’ve gotten away with this forever. Bush used to say people could get care in emergency rooms. They could, but they can’t pay for it and someone has to pay for it because it’s not free, so we’re just back to access, cost, quality aren’t we? He “solved” one of three, did a crap job on even the one he did solve, “access” and made “cost” and “quality” worse.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    So the president withdrew the Warriors invite to the White House cuz of Steph Curry!
    Who’s the baby now

  49. 49

    @SFAW: Regardless of how it is first used, the overall meaning of the line in Oath of Fealty is appalling. You can’t separate it from the politics of the book.

  50. 50
    germy says:

    last night’s rally

    All of a sudden, Trump summoned his chief of staff, retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, to jump onstage and be recognized.

    “Where’s General? Where is he? Where is he?” Trump said. “General! Come up here. Quick! Come here, come here. Four star. Come here. Come, come, come, come.”

    Kelly ran onstage and shook the president’s hand. Trump pulled him toward the lectern, but Kelly declined to say anything. Instead, he pointed at the president with a smile and told the audience to direct their applause to Trump, not him. He then slowly backed his way off the stage.

    “He just wants to work,” Trump said. “He’s done a good job. Four-star Marine. That’s good.”

  51. 51
    debbie says:

    @JPL:

    What, the other players aren’t good enough for him? Sad!

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @SFAW: State flexibility.

  53. 53
    ThresherK says:

    The focus is on McCain, Collins, and…whichever other R Sen who’ll play Zeppo this week.

    That means ~4 dozen R senators vote for this piece of shit and draw absolutely no attention at all.

    What kind of financial or sexual favors do you think those 4 dozen are providing to the few who are taking all the heat and sucking up all the oxygen? This is the worst fcking bill to come along in years, and it has over 40 nearly-anonymous GOP votes in the Senate!

  54. 54
    debbie says:

    An SI writer wore a Kaepernick jersey to a Bills game and survived.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    @jonas:

    that Obamacare *was* the Republican healthcare plan

    I say this all the time but I fundamentally disagree with this. Obamacare had a huge liberal slice- Medicaid. Republicans never would have expanded a single-payer program to poor and working class.

    It bothers me that Lefties ignore it- I think it’s elitist. Medicaid is the plan for working poor. To ignore a huge expansion there is to ignore them and they are supposedly the reason Lefties exist. The reason Democrats didn’t benefit politically from it was they don’t vote in numbers – they don’t punch their weight. 50% of the births in this county last year were Medicaid. Half.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @ThresherK: I assume it won’t come to a vote if it won’t pass.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    The backlash from big donors as well as the grass roots panicked Senate Republicans and was part of the motivation behind the sudden zeal to take one last crack at repealing the health care law before the end of the month. That effort faltered Friday with new opposition from Senator John McCain of Arizona, the perennial maverick who had scuttled the Senate’s first repeal effort. Now Republicans must confront the possibility that they will once again let down their backers with no big win in sight.

    All I have to say is

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    And they can’t strip down the 1%’s taxes any more unless they get that healthcare bonus. Looks like being bondservants to the 1% maybe wasn’t such a good idea.

    ETA: Stay at the phones until September 30. Sounds like they really are desperate.

  59. 59
    Ken says:

    @germy:

    “Where’s General? Where is he? Where is he?” Trump said. “General! Come up here. Quick! Come here, come here. Four star. Come here. Come, come, come, come. He just wants to work. He’s done a good job. Four-star Marine. That’s good.”

    “See Spot! See Spot run! Run, Spot, run!”

    Although I’m being unfair to the Dick and Jane readers. Their sentences were individually coherent, and strung together to tell an actual story.

  60. 60
    Kay says:

    @jonas:

    Republicans don’t care about “Obamacare”- the exchanges. They care about the huge expansion of government funded health care to poor and working poor- Medicaid They knew it would be hard to get rid of because they know white people in states like Maine and Ohio would like it and want to keep it. And they do like it- that may be because they had NOTHING before- but they like it a lot.

  61. 61
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    There’s a report of a smallish earthquake in the vicinity of the North Korean nuclear test site. I don’t see much more than that so for. The usual crowd that does the earthquake analysis isn’t very active, and I’ve just gotten up, so there’s not more than that out there. I usually let others do the analysis, and I will need some breakfast before I decide to do it myself.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @jonas:

    Republicans here never talk about the exchanges. They’re mad about the Medicaid expansion. That’s where the rage comes from. The exchanges they can live with- “good people” buy policies on exchanges.

  63. 63
    rikyrah says:

    Well yeah, Cole. Someone else pointed it out and I and others have posted in the Guardian article about the Koch brothers threatening to take away their funding unless people lose their healthcare.

    Not Reid, and others have pointed this out.
    Ralston , in Nevada, has written that Heller’s about face is because of Adelson and Wynn.

  64. 64
    Mary says:

    Did Cole just quote Lady Gaga? My day is off to a good start :)

  65. 65
    rikyrah says:

    Chris Hayes brought this point up to a Republican yesterday.
    The reason why the Trumpcare proposals are so bad is because they don’t care about healthcare. They don’t think of it as a right, so they don’t take it seriously.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    It is elitist. And I am glad that you consistently bring it up.😃

  67. 67
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization is reporting that the North Korean earthquake is a natural event.

  68. 68
    Elizabelle says:

    @germy: The WaPost is having fun with Trump’s appearance at the rally.

    Trump praised Alabama for sheltering “17 million people” displaced by recent hurricanes, a number that seemed high given that the state has fewer than 5 million residents and that nearby Florida has 20.6 million residents.

  69. 69
    Shalimar says:

    That is hilarious that they had to eat at a Chick-fil-A to chat about getting billionaires to donate again. If only the owner of Ruth’s Chris steakhouses were a wingnut hero too.

  70. 70
    Tracy Ratcliff says:

    @SFAW: My congressional district runs for an hour’s drive along US50 from the Cincinnati suburbs through three rural counties to sweep up all the Republicans and divide the Democrats. My rural county went for Obama twice, but has never had a Dem US representative in that time, and the Dems didn’t even run a candidate for my House seat.

  71. 71
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    Rep Mark Meadows trotted out that old bs on CNN just last March.

  72. 72
    Shalimar says:

    @Kay: If there were a God, He/She/It would come up with a way that all these precious assholes never had to come into contact with anyone poor or anything made by the working poor. Of course, since almost everything they own and consume is produced by people with income low enough to qualify for the Medicaid expansion, they would mostly be doing without. But at least they would be happy wallowing in their hatred.

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Shalimar:
    I too am surprised by that detail. I know US Senators can afford better — or at least tastier — food. With the group at risk of losing a great deal of billionaire funding, was the choice of venue meant to somehow symbolise austerity?

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    Do yourselves a favor, and read the WaPost article that germy linked. It will go well with coffee, but watch your screen.

    ‘I love Alabama — it’s special’: At rally for Sen. Luther Strange, Trump vents frustrations in rambling speech

    Reporter Jenna Johnson distilled the crazy, annotated it, demonstrates snarkily how loopy last night’s Trump rally in Alabama was. It’s great, for those of us who cannot watch or listen to the man, but it’s so funny — and horrendously sad — in print.

    Right down to Trump musing that he might be supporting the wrong candidate, at Strange’s rally.

    People here mentioned how off Trump sounded last night. I don’t know about that, but this is a fun story. If it were in a novel, you’d say it’s too farfetched and could never happen.

    Trump spoke for over an hour. People were leaving. This article takes mere minutes.

  75. 75
    JMG says:

    Since fracking leads to earthquakes, stands to reason underground nuclear tests could as well. In the meantime, Trump is rage tweeting at Steph Curry, rescinding the invitation to the Warriors to visit the White House.

  76. 76
    SFAW says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym:

    Regardless of how it is first used, the overall meaning of the line in Oath of Fealty is appalling. You can’t separate it from the politics of the book.

    Of course you can, unless one decides its use just ain’t pure enough for one’s delicate sensibilities. This is not exactly a case of using a swastika and then claiming that it’s innocent because the swastika predated the Nazis.

    I guess another possibility is that it’s offensive if one doesn’t understand the context of its first use, so I guess I’ll cut you some slack.

  77. 77
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Natural, but not a result of the nearby testing? We get plenty of tremors here because of fracking.

  78. 78
    Shalimar says:

    @jonas: As Kay said, Obamacare was the most liberal reform plan you could get by Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman in 2010. Major parts of it like Medicaid expansion never would have gotten a single Republican vote even if they weren’t voting lockstep against everything Obama proposed at the time.

    What you could say accurately is that Obamacare incorporated every good healthcare idea Republicans had ever put forward, leaving them with only horrors left to campaign on against it.

  79. 79
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  80. 80
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @debbie: It could be a cave-in from the last test. But not a nuclear test. They have a definitive seismic signature.

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:
    Do not vote for the muthaphuckas who want to kill you. Have no time for his stupidity.

  82. 82
    rikyrah says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Because Twitter drug his azz.

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid is about to show the interview that she did with Hillary

  84. 84
  85. 85

    @Amir Khalid:

    was the choice of venue meant to somehow symbolise austerity?

    No, Chick-fil-A is a conservative brand.

  86. 86
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @Baud: A lot of the people and orgs that I know that are doing the most and have the most skin in the game on Immigration issues, are supportive of the pushback towards Pelosi/Schumer on the DACA deal. Many of them are undocumented and/or have undocumented family. So I have to defer to them on the issue. If they think that the price of increased border security is too much to pay for saving 800,000 DACA recipients, it’s really not in my lane to argue with them, and I see pushing Pelosi and the party as a valuable thing. But…there’s also a lot of Pelosi-Is-The-Problem/BlameDemocrats type of rhetoric and Rose Twitter attitudes in there as well, and that’s the part that unsettles me. Many of the activists I know are all for pushing Pelosi and the party, but are also realistic enough that they would be happy for a DACA deal, however they are currently doing the activist’s job which is to push for their cause and Pelosi is doing her’s (try to make the best deal possible given the political landscape.). What always irks me though, is that the activists will be happy for 800,000 DACA recipients to be protected, but they will still gripe about Pelosi selling out, bargaining with their lives, Dems Suck!, etc. I suppose it is what it is and activists will NEVER be happy (which is why they are activists) and in it’s own way is a good thing, but it’s frustrating to see the Dems who take risks and make compromise and ultimately work deals that do great things, never get any praise for doing so. For another obvious example see all the griping about the myriad Failures!!1! of the ACA, from the Single Payer Now crowd, that never acknowledges the tremendous good and huge step that the ACA passage, was for our country, because Corporate Dem Sellouts and Obama Didn’t. Even. Try…

  87. 87
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I too am surprised by that detail. I know US Senators can afford better — or at least tastier — food. With the group at risk of losing a great deal of billionaire funding, was the choice of venue meant to somehow symbolise austerity?

    Isn’t Chick-Fil-A’s CEO (or some such) a big RWNJ contributor? I seem to recall he was big into opposing marriage equality a few years back. Maybe eating there was a two-fer? (Meaning your austerity idea plus RWNJ love.)

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: I don’t think we can continue to afford activists who lack political judgment. YMMV.

  89. 89
    Elizabelle says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Chik- Fil-A would like to help pray away teh gay.

    Albeit: I love their billboards, with the cows encouraging us to eat mor chickn.

    And SFAW has illustrated, it’s moar grift, all the time. You think those Senators paid for their hot lunches?

  90. 90
    Sab says:

    @rikyrah: My RWNJ voted against Hillary becuz she’s a “warmonger”. I am in my sixties with a heart condition. “She’s a warmonger.” I have trouble having a civil conversation with him. He voted to have me die because he doesn’t like that female Methodist grandmother.

  91. 91
    dmsilev says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: When even the NFL Commissioner thinks you’re an authoritative asshole…

  92. 92
    Shalimar says:

    @Amir Khalid: Austerity and a connection with their base. Chick-fil-A is actually good food for a fast food chain, politics aside, but no one with the wealth and power of a U.S. Senator eats at fast food chains voluntarily.

  93. 93
    scav says:

    @rikyrah: Not so much weakazz but seemingly carefully crafted as capable of being read as supportive by both / any sides. Which are the “divisive comments” is left unspecified, as is exactly who is failing the NFL and that sense of “unity” in the country. Blah blah NFL as powerful force for good preening.

  94. 94
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @rikyrah: I’m not a sportsball fan and so haven’t been following the back and forth in detail. So I appreciate your evaluation – helps me to understand a little more, but I won’t ever have that one all down. Just saw that tweet and the discussion here.

  95. 95
    vtr says:

    A couple of evenings ago, I saw Wyoming Senator Barrasso say that he wants to by health insurance for himself and his family, not for anyone else’s. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytech and Georgetown University with BS and MD degrees. He is not a moron. He knows how insurance works. There’s are no insurance companies with only one client. He is a liar.
    The new GOP motto: I am not my brother’s keeper.

  96. 96
    Shell says:

    Donors, eh? Why do these rich fucks care so much about repealing the ACA?

  97. 97

    @Baud: Activists tend to have political tunnel vision.

  98. 98
    Shalimar says:

    @SFAW: Chick-fil-A has always positioned themselves as a conservative brand, to the point of being closed on Sundays. The gay marriage boycotts from a handful of years ago and subsequent rightwing support made it the chain to use when demonstrating your cult loyalty. It is part of their shorthand code. The base all get the message senators were sending.

  99. 99
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elizabelle: I don’t know half the things he’s apparently alluding to. He’s a fucking crazy person on a good day, but this seemed like a bad day. People who work in VA hospitals abusing elderly patients with impunity because of unions? What the what?

  100. 100
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @vtr:

    The new GOP motto: I am not my brother’s keeper.

    I think of them as the seagulls in ‘Finding Nemo’:

    Mine! Mine! Mine! …

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Understandable. That’s why there needs to be a countervailing force.

  102. 102
    Elizabelle says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: Don’t get us started on the crazier of the activists. Some of them discredit the causes they claim to support. You do not want to make your cause ripe for parody.

  103. 103
    david says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=730Q-baXOhE

    “Don’t put the money in the bank, kid. ‘Cause if I don’t whip you now, I’ll whip you next month in Dallas.”
    “You mean Houston… there’s nothing coming up in Dallas.”
    “Houston… Dallas. And, if not then, then the month after that in New Orleans.”
    “What makes you so sure?”
    “Hey, I’m BACK!”

    Even if it takes another dozen runs, they’ll keep coming back for that repeal. In fact, if the Dems should
    somehow get lucky and win the House, expect Congress to hold sessions over the Christmas holidays to
    make one last attempt to ram it through before Jan 3, 2019.

  104. 104
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Shalimar:
    Chik-fil-A doesn’t operate in Malaysia, where they would have to serve halal-slaughtered chicken. (The horror!) I’ve only heard of them at all because of aviation blogger Patrick Smith; he eats there quite often because it’s what’s available, but isn’t a big fan of the food.

  105. 105
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Kay: They aren’t struggling with the concept. They’re trying to find a somewhat acceptable way to “We’re fine with you dying in pain as long as our taxes get cut. “

  106. 106
    cynthia ackerman says:

    So the traditional source of the GOP’s money — the 0.01 perceny and those stupid or unfortunate enough to align with them — is holding back, while a rather untraditional source — foreign-connected criminals — opens tje spigots for a special campaign fund which is paying attorneys to defend the President and his son from obvious treason.

    And apparently this is normal, becausr no one is concerned. Except the assholes trying to save their butts.

  107. 107
    Shalimar says:

    @Amir Khalid: They were the first fast food chain to put a chicken breast patty on a bun many decades ago, and their chicken sandwiches are a lot better than those offered by the major hamburger chains. That said, the menu is very limited for anyone who eats there regularly and if you don’t like the one food item they are known for, it probably isn’t that good.

    I haven’t eaten at a Chick-fil-A since the gay marriage flap. Not boycotting per se, just Popeyes is much better on the rare occasions I want chicken so no point helping C-f-A’s business.

  108. 108
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Kay:

    “no state can have a better health care system than Mississippi or that’s unfair”.

    You mean the same way no state can have a better educational system than Mississipi?

  109. 109
    Sherparick says:

    The Guardian ran this story almost 3 months go, and the NYT story also fails to specifically identify the donors. It is primarily the Koch brothers and their network. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/26/koch-network-piggy-banks-closed-republicans-healthcare-tax-reform.

    The Koch brothers and their network of billionaire and millionaire libertarians and Christianists hate the ACA in particular as the expansion of the New Deal Federal Government, the Government intervening for the good of the whole country in general. If they can’t get the ACA repealed, well, that will end the hope they have to “reform” Medicare and Social Security out of existence. These are the people who are driving Republican Party politics for the last 25 years since the Gingrich counter-revolution.

    Why do the Harold Browns vote and feel the way they do? Because of tribal affiliation, watching Fox, and listening to right-wing radio.

  110. 110
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Chik-fil-A doesn’t operate in Malaysia,

    Another feather in Malaysia’s cap.

  111. 111

    @Amir Khalid: Their waffle fries used to be quite good. Last I ate there was when I lived in MD about 8 to 9 years ago.

  112. 112
    ThresherK says:

    @Shalimar: Chick-Fil-A is a safe space for those who wish to wear their “God Hates Fags” tee shirts. We got a new one here in CT and I don’t know if people know it’s notoriety.

  113. 113
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @jonas: They brought this on themselves. Instead of demonizing the ACA they could have been out explaining to their donors that they could work on this, massage it, add or subtract individual items said donors find objectionable, play up the benefit to their medical industry stocks, etc but noooo. It had to be repeal because THEY attached a black man’s name to it. So, not instant karma but close enough.

  114. 114
    Sherparick says:

    Trump does what he does best last night, wave the white identity flag and body hugged the police unions (which appear now to be in control of white racists). His NFL owner friends can’t be to happy with him dragging them into his identity and wedge issue wars. Robert Kraft, Belichek, and Brady are finding out the hard way that Trump does not have friends, but useful props.

  115. 115
    Elizabelle says:

    @Sherparick: I was struck by how timid the FTF NYTimes story.

    Also that it is given no prominence on their front page of website. It’s the top story in “Politics” but does not even appear in the front page features there.

    The FTF NYTimes can be so cowardly. They do have room for a prominently displayed video feature on Melania Trump’s fashion designer. And Business Day tells us that Megyn Kelly is Ready for her Morning Closeup.

  116. 116

    […] John Cole: Damn I Love The Jag and the Jet and the Mansion: “Graham/Cassidy… bad policy… will devastate many GOP states… hurt tens of millions… https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/09/23/damn-i-love-the-jag-and-the-jet-and-the-mansion/ […]

  117. 117
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Amir Khalid: Lucky for you. They closed down a pretty good barbecue place here to put in one of those abominations. Faugh!

  118. 118
    Caphilldcne says:

    @Elizabelle: wow. Thanks for pointing that out. What a loopy speech. “The future belongs to us” dog whistle to the neo-nazis at the end is chilling.

  119. 119
    Kay says:

    @Shalimar:

    You have to count and add. Medicare plus Medicaid plus SCHIP plus Medicaid expansion. SCHIP alone is 7 million children.

    You’re halfway to single payer already! :)

    I would have happily supported Obamacare if it was JUST Medicaid expansion, because it would be crazy not to. OMFG take it and run.

  120. 120
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    It bothers me that Lefties ignore it- I think it’s elitist.

    Purity ponyism is deeply elitist. Only people who don’t depend on the solution to a problem would consider giving up an imperfect but workable solution in favor of the hope of getting the perfect solution some indefinite time in the future.

  121. 121
    WaterGirl says:

    @germy: Oh my god, he talks to General Kelly like he is a dog:

    “Where’s General? Where is he? Where is he?” Trump said. “General! Come up here. Quick! Come here, come here. Four star. Come here. Come, come, come, come.”

    “He just wants to work,” Trump said. “He’s done a good job. Four-star Marine. That’s good.”

    Oh. my. god. face-palm

  122. 122
    Kathleen says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: Hard to say. Because everyone knows elitist out of touch Democrats have done nothing to help this man and the white working class.//

  123. 123
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I hope their chickens finally come home to roost.

    But this from that quote enrages me: “perennial maverick”. argh!

  124. 124
    Jeffro says:

    @Shalimar:

    It is part of their shorthand code. The base all get the message senators were sending.

    Well put.

    America 2017: where even your choice of fast food can double as RWNJ tribal signaling.

  125. 125
    Roger Moore says:

    @Shalimar:

    no one with the wealth and power of a U.S. Senator eats at fast food chains voluntarily.

    I don’t think that’s true. Fast food is comfort food for a lot of people, even rich and powerful people who can afford “better”.

  126. 126
    Kathleen says:

    @SFAW: In 2012 in the state of Ohio there were more Democratic votes cast than Republicans. Gerrymandering is a problem here across the board.

    As an example, my precinct in city of Cincinnati has changed several times. My state senator represented District 9 and we had solid Democrats for several terms (Mark Mallory and Eric Kearny). When I voted and expected to see a Democrat on my primary ballot, there was no Democrat. My Senate district changed and now my state Senator is a Rethugican. My state rep was also a Democrat for several terms (Steve and Denise Driehaus). They gerrymandered that district so badly that the rep left the west side district and campaigned in the new district, which encompassed the more conservative suburbs. I now also have a Rethuglican state rep.

  127. 127
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: Am I going to have to take my Molly Ivin’s sticker off my car? The one that says “It’s hard to convince people that you are killing them for their own good”.

    Apparently, that’s not so hard after all. sigh.

  128. 128
    Elizabelle says:

    @Caphilldcne:
    @WaterGirl:

    I read the Fuck the Fucking New York Times account of the Alabama speech. It’s all politics and logistics, and more normalizing of Trump. “The future belongs to us” — not in there. They glossed right over the craziness.

    Yet Mr. Trump, appearing at ease in campaign mode after a week of scripted speeches and diplomatic maneuvering at the United Nations General Assembly, thrilled Alabamians with tough talk about national security and immigration, and dismissing as a “hoax” the notion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election despite the unanimous consensus of the nation’s intelligence officials.

    He indulged himself on several pet topics that were of no apparent help to Mr. Strange, including the president’s Electoral College success, his decision to work with congressional Democrats and what he argued was the growing penchant of N.F.L. referees to throw flags for hard hits.

    The tiniest bit of snark: “no apparent help to Strange.”

    NY Times is all about the politics, the potential for internecine war between Republicans over and in Alabama.

    Shabby, shabby ass paper.

    Fuck the Fucking New York Times.

  129. 129
    Kathleen says:

    @Ken: If he had car keys he would have shaken them. “C’mon, Boy! C’mon!”

  130. 130

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: For starters, stop giving them so much attention.

  131. 131
    Kathleen says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: Thank you for stating my ranty, angry thoughts so clearly, coherently and powerfully. I am only capable of spewing against these effers at this point. So sick of “The Left”.

  132. 132
    Greg in PDX says:

    It will reward Texas mightily which is reason enough to vote against it.

  133. 133
    LAC says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: Do the letters “F U” help?

  134. 134
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: It’s not just garbage. I wouldn’t wrap dog poop in it.

  135. 135
    Faithful Lurker says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Still is.

  136. 136
    SFAW says:

    @Kathleen:

    In 2012 in the state of Ohio there were more Democratic votes cast than Republicans. Gerrymandering is a problem here across the board.

    Not saying it isn’t. It has clearly been a national problem (for Dems) for a number of years.

    I was merely attempting to point out that if a geographical area is subdivided, and the aggregated subdivisions are identical (geographically/geometrically) to the original, with both/all districts voting red, and with no significant third-party presence, that means the entire, undivided area would vote red. In other words, it’s mathematically impossible for subdivisions C1, C2, C3, C4 etc to each go 50+ percent red, and have the un-subdivided area go blue. [Assuming voter turnout is the same, etc.]

  137. 137
    The Lodger says:

    @germy: Good general! More treats for you!

  138. 138
    Raoul says:

    Trimp voters wanted to drain the swamp, but the GOP is swamp all the way down. Sad!

  139. 139
    Ohio Mom says:

    @SFAW: Yes, the two “halves” (not actually the same size) of the original Congressional district have each been attached to very rural Red areas. My district includes part of the city proper, some suburbs, and then a very long snake of land following the Ohio River for several counties east — all rural and Republican.

    The other district that was carved out of the City of Cincinnati also includes rural/Rec areas, mostly to the north (not much area to the west of the urban area before you hit the Indiana border).

    Each district sends Republicans to Congress — I was represented by the infamous Mean Jean Schmidt. Meanwhile, Hamilton County, which includes the entire City of Cincinnati, went handily for Hillary.

    Gerrymandering is also why the statehouse is controlled by Republicans, helped along by term limits.

  140. 140
    Davebo says:

    Trump praised Alabama for sheltering “17 million people” displaced by recent hurricanes, a number that seemed high given that the state has fewer than 5 million residents and that nearby Florida has 20.6 million residents.

    Good Grief!

  141. 141
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Tracy Ratcliff: You answered SAFW before I did — I was out running errands. I see by your answer, you are a neighbor.

    I’m sorry you didn’t come to the meet up in Mason a couple of weeks ago — if we gave another, will you come?

  142. 142
    SFAW says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Yes, the two “halves” (not actually the same size) of the original Congressional district have each been attached to very rural Red areas. My district includes part of the city proper, some suburbs, and then a very long snake of land following the Ohio River for several counties east — all rural and Republican.

    OK, thanks for Momsplaining.

    @Tracy Ratcliff:

    Thanks also. Didn’t quite follow your explo, originally. OhioMom’s addition re: that area getting tacked on to Cincinnati put me on the same page as y’all.

    Not re: gerrymandering: I was there a long time ago. I’m fortunate to live in a very blue state (Mass), so I don’t have to deal with it locally.

  143. 143
    Ruckus says:

    @low-tech cyclist:
    Maybe it would be good to call/write on a regular basis. Let them know we are watching them, building up momentum to defeat them next time around. Let them spend all the money they want, if we can have a big enough grassroots program of paying attention and informing them of their shittyness, they might realize that they still have to win votes, no matter how much they spend.

  144. 144
    Sherparick says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: McConnell is a tactician & a fund raiser. His ideology has drifted right as the ideology of the primary fund raisers, the Kochs, the Mercers, etc. has drifted right. They believe “personal responsibility” & that people should get no assistance if they lose their job, get sick, get hurt, or have family member in trouble. Fear of hunger, illness, or living under a bridge is necessary to motivate people to work.

  145. 145
    hueyplong says:

    @JMG: I am extra proud that Steph Curry is a fellow Davidson Wildcat. Rage away, Pig, Warriors weren’t coming anyway. Seems like a repeat of his canceling the business board after they embarrassed him.

  146. 146
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Kay: Rethug donors resent every last red cent spent on Those Other People®, and the donor class is voicing its displeasure that the GOTea isn’t running slash-and-burn across Washington like a Brazilian rainforest. The one amazing thing about the GOTea rank and file is that the folks paying for all the campaigning have persuaded them that they have common goals.

    If there ever were a better argument for publicly-funded campaigns than this clusterfvck, I have yet to see it.

  147. 147
    Ohio Mom says:

    @SFAW: Yes, you got it. Here’s another example: My Democratic State Representative was term-limited out, and to prevent her from running for the State Senate, the Republicans in Columbus redrew the Senate district around her house! Our Republican State Senator reminds safe.

  148. 148
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @low-tech cyclist: It always amazes me how Heritage can disown their own ideas as Too Soshulist.

  149. 149
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:

    Here’s a modest proposal: Before anyone is allowed to get either Medicaid or Medicare or even an Obamacare subsidy, they have to sign a piece of paper that says “I understand that this program was put into place by liberals over the objections of conservatives. I am grateful to liberals for providing me with this benefit. Liberals are awesome.”

    People like Bruce Brown would die before signing that. Everybody wins.

  150. 150
    J R in WV says:

    @debbie:

    Mitch McConnell is an evil mendacious bigot.

    One of the reasons our health care is the most expensive in the world, while still ranking below that of 36 other nations, even Costa Rica and Dominica (probably less so after Dominica was blasted by hurricanes just recently, but still….) is so that big Pharma can continue to steal from the sick and injured, and pay off politicians like Mitch to allow them to continue to steal from everyone else.

    I could go on with personal details, like a $500 co-pay at one drug store for the same medication at another store for $50 cash, no insurance involved. And you know that lower cost store is at least making their cost back!

    How much money is that insurance company raking in with an order of magnitude theft margin?

  151. 151
    J R in WV says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I ate at a Chik-Fil-A once, as an experiment. They put sugar in everything, even the batter on their chicken. Revolting. Won’t ever be back, even McDonalds is better, a little.

  152. 152

    @Raoul:
    ‘Drain the swamp’ is a euphemism for ethnic cleansing. It’s one of the finer examples of how conservatives and liberals hear the same slogan differently.

  153. 153
    SFAW says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    My Democratic State Representative was term-limited out, and to prevent her from running for the State Senate, the Republicans in Columbus redrew the Senate district around her house! Our Republican State Senator reminds safe.

    Sounds like the voting machine bullshit Kenneth Blackwell pulled in 2004 was SOP. I had hoped otherwise, but I guess Kay’s excellent reporting over the years, plus this anecdote, have pretty much dashed that hope.

    Well, at least Kasich is moderate. [Ducks, watches for the brick about to be hurled my way by Kay.]

  154. 154
    Captain C says:

    @SFAW:

    The ironic thing is: the RWNJs who subscribe to that concept don’t understand that THEY are the ones who would be gone from the gene pool, if left to their own devices.

    I think a significant number of them are fine with that, as long as they can tell themselves that Those People are getting screwed worse.

  155. 155
    Captain C says:

    @Amir Khalid: Or support for bigots.

  156. 156
    SFAW says:

    @Captain C:

    I think a significant number of them are fine with that, as long as they can tell themselves that Those People are getting screwed worse.

    Trying to find the flaw in your logic. Not succeeding.

  157. 157
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym:

    Niven and Pournelle are terrible guides to decision making. If you ever find yourself quoting them in this way, you’ve made some terrible life choices.

    Holy cow yes! I read _The Prince_ and the other parts of his CoDominium series. Shit, what utter drivel. Economically illiterate. Geezus. That said, it was a ripping yarn, and as a former repressed teenager, I can completely identify and dig that shit. But lordy, what an imbecile, that Pournelle.

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