Time to Call the Senate about the Abominable Tax Bill

To echo something Cole said, I get tired of calling my stupid senators every week and begging them not to kill me or my fellow Americans. Why can’t they just suck less? (Note: this is a rhetorical question!)

But call the assholes we must. I just visited the big network websites, and only NBC had a story above the fold about this shitty plutocrat wishlist masquerading as a “tax reform” bill. Here’s a brief (not at all inclusive) list of why it sucks:

1. The individual mandate repeal would cause health insurance premiums to rise sharply and millions to lose coverage.

2. The CBO estimates the bill’s automatic spending cuts would slash Medicare by $25B annually.

3. It would blow up the deficit by at least $1.4T, providing Republicans with an evergreen excuse to cut popular New Deal programs. (Lil’ Marco has already admitted this.)

4. It would hurt the poor, the middle class, students, retirees, etc., to give rich parasites like the Trumps, DeVoses, Princes, Kochs, Mercers, et al, billions in tax relief annually. Forever.

5. It will exacerbate the already critical problem of wealth inequality and undercut local blue state governments’ ability to assist their vulnerable populations.

I could go on, but the bottom line is, this is a really shitty bill, and it’s deeply unpopular. It’s such a transparent screw-job of a bill that support for it is polling at Crazification Factor levels.

Because Republicans control the government, the odds are against us, but if we can marshal a massive citizen push-back like we did against Trump’s initial efforts to repeal the ACA, maybe we can stop it. It’s worth a shot.

U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Anyhoo, discuss the tax bill or whatever amongst yourselves. I’ll be contacting Lil’ Marco’s local staff again, no doubt eliciting rolled eyes and hissed comments between interns, such as: “It’s that crazy Cracker person again — it’s your turn to talk to her today, Emma!” “Guh! Nope, it’s your turn, Kaitlyn!”

127 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    FWIW, GMA was good this morning covering the tax bill.

  2. 2
    pluky says:

    But they this know this is a putrid turd of a bill. They know we know this is a putrid turd of a bill. THEY DON’T CARE! The only thing that matters is payback to the plutocrat donors for decades of contributions in support of this goal. To that end they are willing to take whatever the electoral fallout might be. We are screwed.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    @pluky: I don’t recognize your nym, but stop discouraging people. Especially in a thread about fighting back.

  4. 4
    debbie says:

    I send faxes. I don’t know that I could keep myself from screaming at whoever picks up in the Congresscreep’s office.

  5. 5
    zhena gogolia says:

    @debbie:

    You couldn’t, take it from me. I only have experience of this from our horrible Repub State Senator. I have the great fortune of having Murphy, Blumenthal, and DeLauro as my national reps, so my calls to their offices are only love fests.

  6. 6
    Kay says:

    More
    Replying to @daveweigel
    Also, Trump very explicitly shut down talk of entitlement cuts. He was going to grow the economy so fast that there’d be no cuts to Medicare or Social Security.

    he lied and no one will hold him accountable. Instead we’ll hear some bullshit about how he’s deranged or means well or we need Trump Whisperers to explain this mystery to us.

    He lied and this is what he’s DOING. That’s ALL the information citizens need. It’s not your job to translate Trumpism and clean it up for him. They’re big boys and girls. Make them defend this fucking HEIST they’re pulling off.

  7. 7

    @Baud: Thanks. Balloon Juice and the political news in general is adding to my SAAD.

  8. 8

    @zhena gogolia: Same here, my entire Congressional delegation is blue. Why can’t other states be like the Commonwealth.

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    Time to call political media to account too. We were told Trump was a “populist”- they covered his imaginary infrastructure plan with the zeal and focus they otherwise reserved for Hillary Clinton’s emails.

    He’s a garden variety Right wing plutocrat with the addition of overt racism. Like a Koch but without the good manners.

    That’s ALL he is. The rest is myth-making and bullshit.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat: There are times when I completely understand why the GOP wins as many elections as they do.

  11. 11
    Brachiator says:

    Good story here about how wide ranging the impact of this tax bill could be. And it ain’t good.

    The tax plan has been marketed by President Trump and Republican leaders as a straightforward if enormous rebate for the masses, a $1.5 trillion package of cuts to spur hiring and economic growth. But as the bill has been rushed through Congress with scant debate, its far broader ramifications have come into focus, revealing a catchall legislative creation that could reshape major areas of American life, from education to health care.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/business/republican-tax-cut.html

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    Have you noticed the fawning profiles of Bannon have stopped? Golly gee whiz- where did the “populists” go?

    He never fucking shuts up but now it’s crickets. Call him for an interview NOW.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    The Trump tax bill will destroy public schools. They’re robbing second graders to line their pockets.

    Ask Ivanka about that instead of going with the fawning story her publicist fed you.

  14. 14
    sixthdoctor says:

    FWIW, AARP seems to have woken up:

    We're mobilizing our members to take action — CALL 844-502-4371 and tell your Senators to vote NO on Medicare cuts and a tax hike for seniors! Keep following us for updates https://t.co/YdUhRxSQ5b -Caroline D.— AARP (@AARP) November 30, 2017

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    NY Times alert: Tillerson on the way out. To be replaced by CIA chief Pompeo.

    Does anyone know if Rex makes his 366 days?

  16. 16

    @Baud: If anyone pushes back against the gloomy rhetoric they are savaged. Its tiring. Yesterday a commenter (not me) who was pushing back against the pervasive doom got called a snowflake and was basically told to get out (don’t let the door hit you on the way out). I have been called an asshole and worse.
    ETA: Rs win because they know how to fight.

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    BTW, the story I noted showed up in my Google stuff as being from NBC or CNBC. But I guess it links to the NY Times story.

    Another tidbit.

    Some measures are barely connected to the realm of taxation, such as the lifting of a 1954 ban on political activism by churches and the conferring of a new legal right for fetuses in the House bill — both on the wish list of the evangelical right.

    With a potentially far-reaching dimension, elements in both the House and Senate bills could constrain the ability of states and local governments to levy their own taxes, pressuring them to limit spending on health care, education, public transportation and social services. In their longstanding battle to shrink government, Republicans have found in the tax bill a vehicle to broaden the fight beyond Washington.

    The result is a behemoth piece of legislation that could widen American economic inequality while diminishing the power of local communities to marshal relief for vulnerable people — especially in high-tax states like California and New York, which, not coincidentally, tend to vote Democratic.

    Oh yeah, it’s worth it to try to defeat this thing.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: I read somewhere yesterday (maybe here!) that Sam Brownback (of wrecking the fuck out of Kansas fame) was on Capitol Hill urging senators to pass this tax bill and replicate his failed state policies on a national scale. Just straight-up lied his ass off without being tarred, feathered and run out of DC on a rail. Maybe we should make tarring and feathering a thing again. Some lies are so outrageous they call for extreme responses.

  19. 19
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud: Sadly, so too do the Republicans and it seems, the Russians. Our Eeyoreism is Universally understood.

  20. 20
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle:

    NY Times alert: Tillerson on the way out. To be replaced by CIA chief Pompeo

    WTF?

  21. 21
    Elizabelle says:

    Jesus. Tom Cotton proposed for CIA. Yeah, right.

    The whole of the NY Times alert:

    President Trump has soured on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and is planning to replace him with the C.I.A. chief, Mike Pompeo
    Thursday, November 30, 2017 9:49 AM EST

    The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with President Trump has been strained, and replace him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, within the next several weeks, senior administration officials said on Thursday.

    Mr. Pompeo would be replaced at the C.I.A. by Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who has been a key ally of the president on national security matters, according to the White House plan. Mr. Cotton has signaled that he would accept the job if offered, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive deliberations before decisions are announced.

    Work faster, Mr. Mueller. Although, no one gets out of the Trump circle without being seriously diminished. Tom Cotton could use some time in a circle of hell.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    Thank you, Baud.

  23. 23
    pluky says:

    @Baud: Not meaning to be discouraging. But damn, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep my inclination to utter cynicism in check these days.

  24. 24
    Immanentize says:

    .@Elizabelle:

    Ha!! Two days ago I said his anti-Russia statements meant he was on his way through the golden door.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @pluky: Cynicism is the GOP’s best friend. It’s why we have Trump in the first place.

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: Thank you for patrolling for us, brave one.

    I loved the BJ reader comment a few months back.

    Along the lines of “if persuading others to give up gives you the strength to go on…” Loved it. Jackalworthy.

  27. 27
    rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 11/29/17
    World astonished at yet more falsehoods from Donald Trump
    Eric Mouthaan, correspondent for RTL Dutch TV, talks with Rachel Maddow about Donald Trump’s retweet of a false anti-Muslim propaganda video and the reaction of the world to a U.S. president who so regularly disgraces himself and his country.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Kay:

    Ask Ivanka about that instead of going with the fawning story her publicist fed you.

    I damn near threw up this morning listening to NPR’s Julie McCarthy give Ivanka the world’s sloppiest tongue bath. Just disgusting.

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T: Rep. John Conyers has been hospitalized.

  30. 30
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I like your inner asscatishness. It has saved a few threads. Work it.

    No reason to play nice with Nazis, or other thieves and radicals. Be adult, and be firm.

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    Thank you for this thread, Betty. It’s hard work to fight these horrible people but fight we must. I appreciate the reminders to call.

    Some possible indication the Republicans are getting nervous about this tax bill. Rick Wilson, long time Republican operative, had this thread about Republicans supporting Trump in his Twitter feed this morning. Click through to see the whole thing, but this part is relevant to the tax bill discussion.

    4/ More than a few Members have told me, "We have to get the tax bill out. That's why we put up with him." Now, that's not *entirely* why they put up with him, but ride with that as the framing idea for a moment.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) November 30, 2017

    5/ Win or lose on the tax bill, what happens *next* is dark for the House and Senate. “No more lands to conquer” is a bad place to be. Trump is restless, manic, frustrated.

    6/ I suspect the glue Ryan used to hold the caucus together — “The donors will slaughter us if we don’t pass the tax bill” — is cracking already. Winter is coming.

    And then someone asks:

    Is there any talk that “The voters will slaughter us if we DO pass this bill?” (since it so clearly only benefits big corps/wealthiest, significantly costs middle/working class and escalates the deficit)

    Reply:

    Some whispers of nervousness. https://t.co/IMIHBsX2DO— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) November 30, 2017

    Just whispers, but they hear us. Keep calling. Make it harder for them to ignore us.

  32. 32
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Damn few of our media outlets have covered themselves in glory this year, but NPR has been especially horrible. Almost as bad as the Times Beltway gang.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Pelosi don’t play.

    In all seriousness, is it serious?

  34. 34
    germy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    O/T: Rep. John Conyers has been hospitalized.

    NPR called it a “stress condition”

  35. 35

    If you use twitter, it’s worth following Lin-Manuel Miranda for his morning and evening tweets alone. They’re always hopeful and kind. They’ll make you feel better. Example:

    Gnight. You're stunning and the world is lucky to have you. We are LUCKY TO HAVE YOU.Get some rest.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 30, 2017

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @Elizabelle:

    asscatishness

    There are asshats, and then there are asscats.

  37. 37
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Reposting from the previous open thread. Call Senator Collins.

  38. 38

    @Elizabelle: Thanks.Its not just the commenters either. DougJ’s contrarian schtick about how Mueller is going to get fired, and how that’s good news for Ds, now appearing daily or twice is not as clever as he seems to think and frankly getting tiresome.

  39. 39
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: And we haz us a good, whipsmart asscat here.

  40. 40
    Yarrow says:

    @Elizabelle: Pompeo is even more of a Russia asset than Tillerson. I guess Trump got his orders from the boss.

    Beyond hilarious if Tillerson left Exxon for the Sec of State job to get the big tax break, spends a year being insulted by Trump and having his reputation destroyed only to be dumped weeks before the tax break would take effect. Bwahahahaha! Trump’s loyalty goes only one way.

  41. 41
  42. 42

    @Betty Cracker: Round faced giggle sister (Tamara Keith) of the Politics Monday* team, compared this tax atrocity to ACA. I wanted to smash the TV and grab her by the shoulders and shake her. WTF?

    * Of the Snooze Hour.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    germy says:

    @Kay: Bannon will be campaigning with Moore in a few days. He’s still keeping busy.

  45. 45
    Kay (not the front pager) says:

    So Republics are always calling for allowing states to keep tax money instead of sending it to the Federal government because states know best how to spend it. But then they penalize those states who choose to spend the money they kept due to lower federal taxes on their own citizens by taxing twice the income paid as state taxes.

    Not that I expect Republic senators & congressmen to make logical arguments. They will just say anything in order to pay off their oligarch masters.

  46. 46

    @Elizabelle: @Baud: Thanks
    *blush*

    ETA: You guys keep me coming back. Also, if we give up, they win by default and win or lose, it is better to go down fighting than wallowing.

  47. 47
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Kay:

    The aim is to create Mississippi 1930 on a broad scale.

    To recap:

    1. Donald is right – the Mueller investigations are done before the end of the year, because he’s pardoning everybody, including himself. The GOP will do nothing outside of a couple of expressions of concern.

    2. Crosscheck is going to be weaponized for 2018 so as to institutionalize the GOP as the American version of the PRI.

    3. This tax bill is intensely ideological, and fits a number of categories that ALEC has been chipping at for years. Those blue city/blue state taxation schemes fund a lot of things that make life broadly better. Conservative ideologues want government large enough for some slush and sinecures for high level cronies, and for badly trained cops to kick the shit out of n****rs, sp*cs, f*gs and poor white trash, but little else. This gets them toward that goal.

    4. Next up will be repeal of the 17th amendment. What little black and urban representation that will be allowed will be swarmed in the state legislatures by white rural/exurban members.

    5. What this country looks like 10 years from now economically and socially resembles a cross between Russia after the Crimean War, 1920s China and Spain under Franco.

  48. 48
    Betty Cracker says:

    Update: Finally got through to Lil’ Marco’s Orlando office (he still hasn’t found new digs in Tampa since resistance protesters got him evicted from his old office) and registered my objections to the bill. He’s still going to vote for it, of course, but it took a long time to get through, and the intern who answered was harried. Sounds like they’re getting a lot of calls. Good!

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: You stop too. At least wait until Betty posts her bird pictures in the Afternoon Open Thread.

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Stuart Rothenberg‏ @ StuPolitics
    It’s interesting that so many members of the media think passing the tax bill is more important for Trump & the GOP than what is in the bill and who wins/loses.

    Credit where it’s due: Stephanie Ruehle was spitting nails about the content of the bill this morning

  51. 51

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Politics is a sport for these one percenters.

  52. 52
    debbie says:

    Hmm. The GOP Senate whatever Committee has started running anti-Sherrod Brown ads up top here. A year before the election! Hope they’re very, very scared!

  53. 53
    dmsilev says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Let me guess: This tax bill is being passed in the same way as the Democrats passed the ACA, except without the year’s worth of hearings by stakeholders of every description, multiple rounds of revisions to take into account CBO scores, multiple committee votes in both the House and the Senate, and a 60 vote majority voting for passage in the Senate. But, other than that, all the same.

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    @Baud:

    Cynicism is the GOP’s best friend. It’s why we have Trump in the first place.

    QFT.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 11/29/17
    NBC News fires Matt Lauer over sexual allegations
    Stephanie Gosk, correspondent for NBC News, talks with Rachel Maddow about the firing of Matt Lauer for “inappropriate sexual behavior” and the challenges of reporting on a story within one’s own company.

  56. 56
    dmsilev says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    4. Next up will be repeal of the 17th amendment. What little black and urban representation that will be allowed will be swarmed in the state legislatures by white rural/exurban members.

    5. What this country looks like 10 years from now economically and socially resembles a cross between Russia after the Crimean War, 1920s China and Spain under Franco.

    Oh, for fucks sake.

    For homework, please identify 14 Democratic Senators who would vote to repeal the 17th.

  57. 57

    @dmsilev: According to Keith both sides do it because ACA was as unpopular as the tax “reform” and each party believed that it was the right thing to do. If this is their analysis I would rather just read press releases from the Rs directly.

  58. 58
    Kathleen says:

    @debbie: I left msg at Portman’s DC office. Spoke to staffer in Toledo. All other offices busy signals or full mailboxes.

  59. 59
    dmsilev says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The funny thing is, a lot of Republicans evidently _don’t_ believe their tax cut bill is the right thing to do, but they’re going to vote for it anyway. If they did believe it was good on the merits, they’d be doing a much better job selling it. Instead, it’s all “ram through before the country wakes up and figures out what we’re doing.”. Eerily reminiscent not of the ACA, but rather of the ACA repeal effort.

  60. 60
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: So true. Cillizza leads the fucking pack on that line of thinking, babbling endlessly about whether or not Trump will “get a win” because “Trump needs a win” and Republicans have to “give Trump a win” blah blah blah. As if this were a completely abstract exercise that had no real-life repercussions — a red-blue cornhole game on the South Fucking Lawn or something. Drives me batshit.

  61. 61
    Doug R says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The generic ballot is D+11, trump is at record low approval for any President at this stage of a term. Even Doug Jones is within striking distance of roy moore, in a state that voted trump 62%. New Jersey, Washington state and Virginia all showed us what is coming.

  62. 62
    debbie says:

    @Kathleen:

    I’ve never had a fax not go through. Once, it took about 15 minutes, but otherwise, they’ve always been delivered.

  63. 63
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Gene Sperling‏Verified account @ genebsperling
    The GOP tax plan designed to politically punish California & dramatically increase impact of CA state & local taxes moves closer & closer. 11 House GOP from CA have complete power to block. Instead, they’re caving to crass GOP politics at expense of CA families. Time to speak up.

    If you live in one of these districts call your critter. NY and CA get all the attention on this, but I believe anybody who lives in a state with a local income tax or property tax is looking at a hit.

    ETA: the twitters I follow have a well-known bias, but it seems to me that the back door attack on Medicare and Social Security is getting some attention

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 11/29/17
    Jared Kushner met with Robert Mueller in Trump Russia probe: NYT
    Rachel Maddow replays breaking news from the New York Times that Jared Kushner has spoken with special counsel Robert Mueller, with additional reporting from CNN that the main subject of discussion was Mike Flynn.

  65. 65
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It’s interesting that so many members of the media think passing the tax bill is more important for Trump & the GOP than what is in the bill and who wins/loses.

    Sadly the political press is conditioned to repeat gop talking points. For example, if the gop rails against deficits then they rail against deficits. If the gop likes deficits, then they like deficits.

    And always, always ryan is a leader because he exercises in the morning.

  66. 66

    @Doug R: You wouldn’t know that if you read the news either here or on the prestige media. Narrative is Ds always lose and Rs always win. Because shut up that’s why.

    ETA: This time of the year is particularly hard on me and the relentless negativity of the news is affecting me more than it did in the summer.

  67. 67
    randy khan says:

    @Elizabelle:

    If I were at the State Department, I would think of this as something of an early holiday present, although more like underwear than that bike I desperately wanted. There’s lots that’s bad about Pompeo, but he’s unlikely to think that the right solution to his problems is to cut the size of the department by 1/3 and to get rid of the people with the most experience.

  68. 68
    debbie says:

    @dmsilev:

    No, it’s all “I can’t lose my donors!”

  69. 69
    Doug R says:

    @schrodingers_cat: That’s bullshit about the ACA. Less than 50% thought the ACA was perfect. The total who thought the ACA went too far and those who thought it didn’t go far enough were COMBINED in those headlines.

  70. 70
    Kay (not the front pager) says:

    @Baud: Thanks. I couldn’t read his whole comment, it was too discouraging and depressing.

  71. 71
    Doug R says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Well, share the good news then.

  72. 72
    Emma says:

    Rubio’s office in Miami is not answering. Mailbox full.

  73. 73

    @Doug R: Giggly liar with horrid costume jewelry (TK) doesn’t care.

  74. 74
    Kathleen says:

    NPR also refused to use word “torture” so I find any reports suspect.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 11/29/17
    Trump campaign had at least 19 Russia-connected contacts
    Rachel Maddow updates a running list of Russia-connected contacts by members of the Donald Trump campaign, bringing the count to 19, with the open possibility of new ones being exposed

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    FTF NYTimes story on Tillerson being pushed to the exit. By Republican whisperers extraordinaire Peter Baker and Maggie Kneepads Haberman:

    It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Trump has given final approval to the plan, but he has been said to have soured on Mr. Tillerson and in general is ready to make a change at the State Department. John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, developed the transition plan and has discussed it with other officials.

    Under his plan, the shake-up of the national security team would happen around the end of the year or shortly afterward. But for all of his public combativeness, Mr. Trump is notoriously reluctant to fire people, and it was not known if Mr. Tillerson had agreed to step down by then. Public disclosure of Mr. Kelly’s transition plan may be meant as a signal to the secretary that it is time to go.

    …. The ouster of Mr. Tillerson would end a turbulent reign at the State Department for the former Exxon Mobil chief executive, who has been largely marginalized over the last year. Mr. Trump and Mr. Tillerson have been at odds over a host of major issues, including the Iran nuclear deal, the confrontation with North Korea and a clash between Arab allies. The secretary was reported to have privately called Mr. Trump a “moron” and the president publicly criticized Mr. Tillerson for “wasting his time” with a diplomatic outreach to North Korea.

    Mr. Tillerson’s departure has been widely anticipated for months, but associates have said he was intent on finishing out the year to retain whatever dignity he could. Even so, an end-of-year exit would make his time in office the shortest of any secretary of state whose tenure was not ended by a change in presidents in nearly 120 years.

    ….Mr. Tillerson’s appointment was something of an experiment from the start. Never before had a president named a secretary of state with no prior experience in government, politics or the military. Mr. Trump, who himself had no government or military experience before this year**, bet that Mr. Tillerson would be able to translate his formidable skills in the corporate world to international diplomacy after 41 years at Exxon Mobil. [** I think I see your problem, folks.]

    But Mr. Tillerson has often been on a different page than Mr. Trump, and he has spent much of his time reorganizing the State Department, slashing its budget and pushing out more than 2,000 career diplomats. Even on that he ran into serious troubles. Just this week, the counselor he brought in to execute his plan quit after just three months.

    A sign of his fading fortunes in the White House has been the changing views of Mr. Kelly. Once a defender of Mr. Tillerson, Mr. Kelly is described by colleagues as now having mixed opinions, seeing him as a wounded figure who may no longer be able to be as effective as the president needs his secretary to be.

    So Kelly was the source of the NY Times story? What think you all?

    And I wanna know, did Rexxie make his 366 days or not? And is that actually a thing? For his multimillion dollar pension or whatever planning.

  77. 77
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @dmsilev:

    After the 2020 cycle’s suppressions and hacked voting machines? You really feel like taking that bet?

  78. 78

    @Elizabelle: Fuck Kelly and his fan club.

  79. 79
    burnspbesq says:

    The Senate is going to pass the bill, because all the Republicans have sold their souls to the Forbes 400.

    “Help us, House Freedom Caucus, you’re our only hope.”

  80. 80
    Yarrow says:

    Ryan scraps fundraiser for GOP rep who voted against tax bill https://t.co/e45EHQ8FZO— Issue One (@IssueOneReform) November 30, 2017

  81. 81
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Elizabelle: Story on Tillerson is being confirmed by Reuters and AP.

  82. 82
    rikyrah says:

    The Trump campaign’s Russia-connected contacts – annotated list
    11/29/17 09:50 PM—UPDATED 11/30/17 12:26 AM

    1. Sergey Kislyak (1, 2, 3)
    2. Sergey Gorkov (4)

    3. Felix Sater (5)

    4. Sergei Gordeev (6)

    5. Konstantin Kilimnik (7, 8)

    6. Oleg Deripaska (9)

    7. Alexander Torshin (10, 11)

    8. Natalia Veselnitskaya (12, 13)

    9. Rinat Akhmetshin (14)

    10. Ike Kaveladze (15)

    11. Emin Agalarov (16)

    12. Shlomo Weber (17, 18)

    13. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich (19, 18)

    14. Andrey Baranov (20, 18)

    15. Igor Sechin (21) (disputed by Carter Page)

    16. Joseph Mifsud (22)

    17. Ivan Timofeev (23)

    18. Olga Polonskaya (23, 24)

    19. Kirill Dmitriev (25)

    Each number links to a story about them and Trump Campaign contact. Find those links at the story.

  83. 83
    But her emails!!! says:

    @Kay (not the front pager):

    So Republics are always calling for allowing states to keep tax money instead of sending it to the Federal government because states know best how to spend it. But then they penalize those states who choose to spend the money they kept due to lower federal taxes on their own citizens by taxing twice the income paid as state taxes.

    They’re also the group that constantly whines about the unfair “double taxation” of corporate profits and dividends/capital gains.

  84. 84
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: the minor detail about Tillerson that keeps coming back to me was that he was reluctant to take the job, but his wife told him “I told you God’s not done with you”. Not only did she, apparently, say it, he, apparently, found it persuasive. And they wanted people to know this story. And now that his tenure has been pretty much a reputation-destroying disaster, have either of them looked up at their Sky Daddy and said “So, what the fuck?”

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    @Elizabelle:

    You mean that the Secretary of Exxon might not get his $ 71 million dollar tax break?

    Oh, the horror.

  86. 86
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @burnspbesq:

    That’s why they make guillotines.

    Very few people understand the society reordering intent of the elimination of deductions for SALT and the inclusion of tuition waivers as income.

    Marches that don’t include violence WILL NOT WORK. Calls WILL NOT WORK. We are whistling in the graveyard as neither the conservative pols, their donors nor the wealthy who will initially disproportionally benefit have any genuine fear of consequences.

  87. 87

    @Elizabelle: Sadly, Barron’s says Tillerson doesn’t have to stay a year to get his tax break:

    I asked a number of tax and legal experts about this idea. Unfortunately, they all said that nothing in the ethics and tax rules sets a minimum term of service. David Herzig is a law professor at Valparaiso University who has written about the tax treatment of ethics divestments. “If you’re following the form of the statute,” he says, “I don’t know why it wouldn’t apply, even if you worked for just one day.”

  88. 88
    debbie says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    And so we’ve come full circle. Back in the days of SDS and Nixon, I’d have agreed with you about needing violence. Now, I just think someone bigger and faster would knock me on my ass.

  89. 89
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Query on North Korean rocketry – absent a satellite network that can help with terminal guidance, are they past the point of essentially throwing a rock in the air in the general direction of what they wish to hit?

  90. 90
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    I agree that the PRM (Party of the Mexican Revolution, today the PRI) is the institutional model they want. They didn’t call it the perfect dictatorship for nothing:
    El Pais:

    Vargas Llosa: “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship”

    Mexico / Madrid 1 SEP 1990
    Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian writer turned politician, came to Mexico and took the floor to Octavio Paz and the rest of the organizers of the meeting of European and American intellectuals: with. total freedom spoke at length about the government Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and its permanence in power, as another example of Latin American dictatorships. At one point he considered Mexico “a perfect dictatorship.” Several Latin American and Spanish intellectuals responded yesterday to Paz’s accusations against Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes.

    […]

    “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship, the perfect dictatorship is not communism, it’s not the USSR, it’s not Fidel Castro, the perfect dictatorship is Mexico,” said Vargas Llosa, who by now seemed like the intense politician of a few years ago. months Mexico, he continued, “is the dictatorship that is camouflaged.” “It has the characteristics of the dictatorship: the permanence, not of a man, but of a party, and of a party that is inarble.”

    But America has a deeper democratic tradition that Mexico has ever had. People won’t stand for it. If it comes down to blood in the streets that will be what will have to happen. Always go down fighting. But let’s give peaceful but aggressive tactics a chance first. Call Congress and scare the shit out of them.

  91. 91

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: You don’t have a crystal ball. I reject your calls for violence.

  92. 92
    sixthdoctor says:

    Unfortunately, the “maverick” is on board.

    John McCain’s statement endorsing the tax bill. pic.twitter.com/apJX599EvH— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) November 30, 2017

  93. 93
    Timurid says:

    It’s odd how Republicans have closed ranks in recent weeks.
    There is greater consensus on the tax bill, even though it is more toxic and destructive than Trumpcare.
    The public scolding of Trump has largely stopped, even though he is giving them more, not less, reason for concern with his latest words and actions.

  94. 94
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @debbie:

    I want every wealthy person, conservative pundit and pol to have to hire food tasters and people to sweep their cars for explosives every morning. I want their country clubs and churches to resemble gated camps to the point where it is inconvenient to go. I want their favorite restaurants to hire armed security squads for patron safety (with concomitant price increases). I want them to have to purchase expensive kidnap insurance for their children when they go abroad, or to nightclubs or to school.

    I want the fuckers trembling over the bad things that happen, now that they have fucked with the lives of so many.

  95. 95
    The Moar You Know says:

    FWIW, AARP seems to have woken up

    @sixthdoctor: Checked my inbox. Still empty. Most AARP members don’t do Twitter. Gotta email.
    They have been absolute shit on getting any messages out this year.

  96. 96
    dp says:

    My senators (Cassidy and Kennedy) are exceptionally hard to reach by telephone. They’re even hard to reach by voice mail. Nevertheless, I succeeded in leaving messages for both (1) urging them to oppose the tax bill, (2) urging them to oppose the gutting of net neutrality, (3) urging the passage of a clean CHIP renewal, and (4) urging them to answer their damn phones.

  97. 97
    Timurid says:

    @sixthdoctor:

    This makes no sense. If McCain was angered by Trumpcare, this bill should drive him to homicidal rage.
    What exactly is going on behind the scenes?

  98. 98
    debbie says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    I share your anger, believe me, and I wish them no good, but I guess I believe the universe ensures that things will even out. I’ll hold out for that.

  99. 99
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    I live in KY04, “represented” by Thomas Massie (R-Koch Bros). Work in KY03, ably repped by by the reliably progressive John Yarmuth. My senators are MConnell and Paul. Their votes are graven in stone.

  100. 100
    Timurid says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Mexico and other countries are like that already, but their elites see it as worthwhile tradeoff.

  101. 101
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Timurid:

    Our elites haven’t experienced it yet.

    They should.

  102. 102
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @pluky:

    Not meaning to be discouraging. But damn, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep my inclination to utter cynicism in check these days.

    Keep you eyes on the big picture

    * this tax bill is an act of desperation on the Republicans part to keep their doners for bailing on them.

    * Otherwise the Republicans with control of the government have been utterly incapable of enacting any legislation this year.

    * Meanwhile, while they play Austerity Fantasy Football, the Republicans have until 12-8 to keep the government from shutting down. The Dems just signaled they won’t help the Republicans this time which means it will shut down because the Freedom Cacus will never vote yes on any spending. Doesn’t that strike you as an interesting coincidence with this Tax Bill, like the Dems are actually strategically thinking?

    * The press is opening debating if Trump isn’t going insane his statements are getting so bizarre. They never did that with Bush and his Bushism.

    * Even if they manager to bumble this bill threw it will screw the every part of their voting base that they need to win elections.

    * The incompetence for the GOP leadership is beyond belief. If that was merely GW Bush and company their agenda would have been a done deal last spring. These guys don’t know how to pour water from a boot with instructions on the heel and are incapable of learning.

  103. 103
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Timurid: McCain is mercurial, and also… (what’s a nice way to say not that bright?). Apparently neither McConnell nor trump have pissed him off enough in the last two weeks to pull his Heroic Thumb move here

  104. 104
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: McCain always waits for the dramatic last second for that. Though I imagine McCain is driven by how much him voting no humiliates Trump.

    My take on the whole bill is everyone in the GOP is depending on some senator doing a McCain at the last second so they can tell the donors “I am good, but it’s this guy is why you can’t have good things” and their middle and rich voters “you see, I am protecting you from the swamp”

  105. 105
    gene108 says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    * Even if they manager to bumble this bill threw it will screw the every part of their voting base that they need to win elections.

    That doesn’t mean their voting base will stop voting for them.

    Between gerrymandering and voter suppression, they figure there’s a good chance they will get re-elected. The Senate map in 2018 favors Republicans.

    They are taking a calculated risk. They are not setting their house on fire.

  106. 106
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That story has to be junk. They always do that: Vitter said God had forgiven him for dressing up in diapers while hiring hookers.

    He got involved cuz he wanted to lift the sanctions stopping a $500 billion deal.

  107. 107
    Neldob says:

    We are all Churchill now. We will fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall never surrender.

  108. 108
    catclub says:

    Like a Koch but without the good manners.

    @Kay:

    I would put it as like the Koch’s but without the actual donations to good causes they make. (Yes, I know that probably ALL their donations are ones that get mentioned in PBS. So much for giving in secret.)

  109. 109
    catclub says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    The press is opening debating if Trump isn’t going insane his statements are getting so bizarre.

    although the US press is still completely shocked when British politicians describe Trump in accurate terms – like liar and delusional – that they have not had the courage to use.

  110. 110
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @gene108:

    They are taking a calculated risk. They are not setting their house on fire.

    I don’t accept that

    a) If they could calculated or even had their shit together in the slightest, they would have done it last Spring to give their voters more time to forget and forgive. Not as the 2018 election cycle is starting.

    b) They spent the last 30 years preaching tax hikes are EVIL and that’s what they are doing. This isn’t the think using a TV WWC that’s getting hit by this, but the greed is the only virtue middle class and rich and they will remember. The Republicans need to those people organize at the local level and vote when the WWC is to drunk to get to the polls.

  111. 111
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: everything you are saying contradicts everything I believe as a human being, but I’m finding very hard to disagree with you….

  112. 112
    gene108 says:

    @Timurid:

    This makes no sense. If McCain was angered by Trumpcare, this bill should drive him to homicidal rage.
    What exactly is going on behind the scenes?

    Elimination of the estate tax means his wife’s fortune can be left to his kids and grandkids tax free.

    That’s a big incentive.

    A lot of Congresscritters are rich and greedy.

  113. 113
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Steve in the ATL: yeah, that’s where I’m at, too. Faith, it’s a mad world entirely.

  114. 114
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Neldob: I don’t know if we’re Churchill or not, but I take my inspiration from my (late) Tante Marianne, who lost everything and rebuilt her life at least three times: first during World War I, then during the hyperinflation of the 20’s, and finally fleeing the Russians and enduring aerial bombing during WWII, with the added trial of post-war starvation while caring for 6 nieces and nephews whose parents had collapsed into despair.

    Tante Marianne was indomitable. She exemplified persistence, resourcefulness, courage, and humor even though she barely reached 4′ 11″. She nearly made it to 100. I don’t want her trials (and neither did she), but I take heart from the memory of her strength and energy. If that little woman could persist and rebuild, so can we.

  115. 115
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    oom got called a snowflake and was basically told to get out (don’t let the door hit you on the way out).

    Let’s get some chronology straight, here, as I was one of the persons who told Emma not to let the door hit her etc.:

    One of Emma’s comments included the line:

    Me, I have no children, so no worries. I’ll pick up stakes and lose a country for a second time.

    To which I responded with the comment about the door hitting her on the way out.

    I don’t see too many commenters here — whether of the “WASF” ilk, or the “STFU with your ‘WASF’ shit” ilk — talking about leaving.

    You (s.c.) don’t like the WASF comments, and although I think you sometimes go overboard about it, I do not recall you saying anything like “Fuck it, I’m leaving” [which is one of MY hot buttons], for which I am glad, and appreciative of you. But persons who, in one breath, complain about the “Eeyores” here, and in the (almost) next breath talk about getting the fuck out because of reasons, are not quite at the top of the respect-worthy list. And THAT is why someone else referred to her as a snowflake.

  116. 116

    @SFAW: You and some others were being harsh with Emma. Emma is an immigrant IIRC, so I have some idea of how she feels. United States under T admin is a not a safe haven for immigrants, that it used to be. I too have questioned whether I belong.

  117. 117
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    Just sent a Resistbot fax to Cory Fucking Gardner. Bennet is a solid NO and I left a message with his office thanking him for standing strong.@O. Felix Culpa: Thank you for sharing that story. I’m also remembering Adam’s post from The Day After–we hold the line. No, it’s not easy, and yes, we have been pushed back; yes, I’m tired, yes, I’m tired of the Rethugs trying to kill us. But surrender and despair are not alternatives.

  118. 118
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    Her comment about her “second country” indicated she immigrated here. I assumed she is, as you are, a citizen. But that’s neither here nor there …

    Her comment had to do with saying “fuck it” and getting out, and part of that had to do with her being pissed at the “Eeyores” (as she and others have called them), not with a (not unreasonable) concern for the plight of immigrants. The thread was about the Tax Scam 2017 bill, not about the rampant xenophobia in the US. She talked about leaving, as glibly as Susan Sarandon talked about “heightening the contradictions.” [Yes, I realize that deciding to leave a country is somewhat more “impactful” than anything Sarandon will suffer.]

    Talking about leaving, and (apparently) putting some of the blame on the Eeyores, is (to me at least) not a statement worthy of respect. Had she taken the position that she was getting out because she feared for the safety of herself or her family, that would be a different story, but that was not part of the conversation/fight she and I were involved in.

    United States under T admin is a not a safe haven for immigrants, that it used to be. I too have questioned whether I belong.

    I am really sorry to hear that. I know how much it took for you to come here, stay here, become a citizen, and work to make things better here. I hope things get better for you (and the US of course), because I think your leaving would be a big loss.

  119. 119
    TenguPhule says:

    @Miss Bianca: Come sit by me.

    There’s cookies.

  120. 120
    J R in WV says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    You know that the 2020 election is 3 years away, right?

  121. 121
    The Truffle says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: They’re really hoping to punish blue states…why, exactly? If it comes to that, expect to see more Calexit-type movements popping up.

    Ugh. I am so tired of “we’re all in this together.” If I were in my twenties, I would be looking to emigrate. I don’t care how that sounds. I’d be hightailing out of here.

    In the meantime, I think it’s time to admit that we’ve tried and tried and it didn’t work out. The political polarization is such that, IMO, bipartisanship is not possible.

    I’ve said it before, but an amicable divorce may be what this country needs, and I really believe everyone will be happier in the long run.

    I’d love a 2018 blue wave, and it could well happen, if 2017 is an indication of things to come. But I think it would only delay the inevitable. I really think that national healing in this country is not possible.

  122. 122
    bluefish says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: It appears that they too want this. Maybe that would be their point.

  123. 123
    The Truffle says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: It seems that the GOP is handing a lot of their beloved wedge issues off to the Democrats.

  124. 124
    SgrAstar says:

    @Elizabelle: He definitely does not, if they can him asap. Blotus wasn’t inaugurated until Jan 20, 2017. It would really be a heartbreaking travesty if tillerson missed his tax windfall, wouldn’t it. Ummm…….NO.

  125. 125
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: People here who are better informed than I am say he will still get the break, that the “one year” thing doesn’t hold.

  126. 126
    SgrAstar says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Fuck that. We even have « wealthy » people here on BJ. To have clout with the congressional cretins, you have to occupy the « mega donor » slot, which requires wealth on the $billion scale. Of course this means that we can easily identify the villains, if things degenerate to the level you’re talking about.

  127. 127
    jonas says:

    the bill’s automatic spending cuts would slash Medicare by $25B annually.

    It used to be a verity in politics that you can do anything you want, but just don’t piss off elderly voters. They rely on SS and Medicare and *they vote*. How do you slash half of the Medicare budget and not expect the entire senior health care system in this country to implode? Have they even begun to game this out? Donations from the Kochs can buy a lot of shit, but it can’t save you from thousands of seniors coming after your ass with torches and pitchforks next election day.

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