As the Stomach Churns Open Thread: Budget Drama Update

Politics: the science of who eats… and who gets eaten.

Given what Paul Ryan and his fellow Trump enablers have been shoveling out to the rest of us, they’re all gonna spend their next million or so reincarnations as dung beetles…

[C]ongressional Republicans were jolted Wednesday morning by phone calls from White House officials, who confided that President Trump was unhappy with the party’s nearly finalized spending deal.

Trump had been up since dawn, keeping an eye on cable-television programs and venting to friends and aides as snow blanketed the executive residence…

Allies of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were alarmed, the people said, once again realizing that only Trump speaks for Trump.

They had been hammering out the details of the spending package with the White House’s legislative staff for weeks and were planning to give a brief update to the president in the afternoon, followed by final votes in both chambers later this week. The people familiar with the discussions were not authorized to speak publicly.

But as senior aides tried to sell Trump on the deal all week, he had hesitated to embrace it. In recent days, he has insisted to associates that congressional Republicans “owe” him more money for the wall since he has raised them millions for their reelection bids and signed the GOP-authored tax bill into law, according to one person close to Trump…

A White House official, meanwhile, said Trump loyalists who dislike Ryan and McConnell, such as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), have only stoked Trump’s gut feeling that the spending deal is lacking. They also have told Trump that he will be criticized for such a large sum of spending…

Ryan arrived at the White House around lunchtime in his caravan of SUVs. Vice President Pence attended the meeting, as did senior aides to the attendees. McConnell joined by speakerphone.

Over the next 45 minutes, gathered together in the residence, they all made their pitch to Trump in support of the spending agreement, the people said. They argued that he was getting money for the border wall at a level the White House had been signaling was acceptable. They told him that he was also getting infrastructure funding — one of his priorities. They told him the significant tick up in funding for the military was included and politically popular. These were all arguments he had heard before, from his own senior aides…

Eventually, Trump sighed and said he’s fine with the bill — and the meeting soon ended, with Ryan ducking out into the snow. A reporter for NBC News snapped a blurry picture of the speaker being whisked off in the snow.

White House officials and congressional Republicans quickly moved to issue statements affirming Trump’s support, almost “wishing it into reality,” as one official said late Wednesday afternoon. In private conversations at the Capitol, aides shook their heads at another dramatic encounter with Trump, another time when he had nearly brought his party to the brink of a shutdown…

“Our” hero, the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver of Janesville. I’ve been working on this post for a good half-hour — has Donny Dollhands refudiated Pauly Blue Eyes yet?

82 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Hse posted a staggering 2,232 page omnibus gov’t funding bill tonite. Mbrs must process this overnight before vote likely Thurs. Few will have truly read the bill. By contrast…Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was 864 pages. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens was 926 pgs

    This is a stupid tweet.

  2. 2

    It’s going to be a fun time when a bunch of people die in that 100 year old tunnel under the Hudson River. Good times. Trump fucked his own home town out of spite. Fuckwad.

  3. 3
    Ken says:

    Trump had been up since dawn, keeping an eye on cable-television programs

    If only there were some other way for the President to find out what Congress is doing…

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for the tweets.
    Don’t want to put in language to protect Mueller.
    Uh huh
    Uh huh 😒😒😒

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Once again the GOP proves that they have no problem with TREASON.
    They must be dealt with accordingly.

  6. 6
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Baud: Did you notice which media company tweeter Chad Pergram works for? (cough *Faux* cough)

  7. 7
  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    Did anyone FrontPage the story of Jared selling state secrets?

  9. 9
    SpotWeld says:

    Two things re: Trump’s tweet:
    1) The $1.6B for the “Wall” has been tied specifically to maintenance of the existing fence and a small extension for a specific area.
    Or this a situation where it can be claimed it’s all one pocket and that money can just go some sort of Blackwater-Type contractor as start-up money for the wall project?

    2) Where is this “Rebuilding the military” rhetoric coming from. Is it one of those taken-as-fact bullet points for Republicans that under a Democratic president the military is decimated?

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Anne Laurie: I didn’t. Figures.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: ‘Really sorry’ http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-.....1848515565

  12. 12
    Nora says:

    Sooner or later that tunnel under the Hudson is going to have to be built, because the current one is going to fail. It was proposed back when Obama was President and Christie was governor of NJ, and didn’t happen because Christie didn’t want to spend a penny of NJ money on it, even though the feds would be paying the lion’s share. Now Trump is turning it down just to screw with Schumer. The longer we put it off, the greater the chance of some catastrophe, and the more the tunnel is going to cost. If I can see this, why can’t they?

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    Job supposed to be signed, sealed and delivered by September 30 trundled out 173 days later on March 22.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    So Collins got screwed on her promise to constituents? Sucker.

    She should lose her seat over this. “Iron-clad promise” my ass.

    Sen. Susan Collins

    @SenatorCollins
    Follow Follow @SenatorCollins
    More
    It is extremely disappointing that Speaker Ryan chose not to include our health insurance legislation in the government funding bill due to opposition from Leader Pelosi. (1/3

  15. 15
    Brachiator says:

    @Baud:

    This is a stupid tweet.

    Yes, but then again, Trump is a stupid man. I guess he is trying to play to that old GOP lie about Democrats producing massive bills that nobody had time to read. But this time he is undermining his own party.

    Unclear if this is potentially veto saber rattling. But he is getting his Trump rage on. And he is supposed to unleash his tariffs today. Should make for a crazy Thursday.

  16. 16
    aimai says:

    @Nora: Its worse than that–Christie took some money and then used it to backstop NJ needs so he could tout himself as a tax cutter.

  17. 17
    Keith G says:

    I wonder if Mitch and Paul have ever mused with the idea (recently) that they could start playing hard ball with the president. They might could whisper in his ear that there are many possible outcomes to the Mueller investigation and almost all of them can be made much easier by a sympathetic Congressional leadership. And, in order for Trump to survive the worst of those possible outcomes, Congressional leadership would have to be willing to possibly take a bullet for the president. Metaphorically speaking.

    The Press uses the conventional wisdom that Congressional Republicans need Trump’s money and crowd support for their reelection. It seems to me that it could come to the point where Trump needs Congressional GOP for cover to ensure the lack of jail time of friends and family and his own possible impeachment.

    It seems to me that Trump is actually in the more fragile negotiating position. Mitch and Paul should be able to tell the president just to sit down and shut up. Not that I would want them to do that.

  18. 18
    Kay says:

    Just remember- Republicans haven’t paid for any of this. They gutted revenue to reward their donors and then spent a bunch of money they don’t have and won’t be collecting.

    And the moment a Democratic President is elected every media figure and lobbyist will be out scolding us on “belt tightening”.

    Over and over and over. Same cycle. In many cases it’s the same people. It isn’t just Obama/Trump. They have been doing this exact same thing for decades.

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    Open question whether Dolt 45 has read 2232 pages over his lifetime.

  20. 20

    This is the budget for the current fiscal year, which is more than half over. A budget should have been passed about this time last year.

  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    @Kay:

    It is extremely disappointing that Speaker Ryan chose not to include our health insurance legislation in the government funding bill due to opposition from Leader Pelosi.

    What’s the deal with Collins blaming Pelosi?

    Also, all the fools who want to see Pelosi step down and retire need to pay attention. She still knows how to get the job done when negotiating with the GOP.

  22. 22

    @NotMax:

    It’s worth asking whether he’s read 2232 words.

  23. 23
    Brachiator says:

    @Nora:

    The longer we put it off, the greater the chance of some catastrophe, and the more the tunnel is going to cost. If I can see this, why can’t they?

    Trump is a stupid man. This is how he thinks he can force opponents to make the deal that he wants.

  24. 24
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): “Trump to City: Drop Dead”

    We who study history are too often forced to repeat it due to the eejits with their little hands on the stolen levers of power

  25. 25
    Brachiator says:

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

    It’s worth asking whether he’s read 2232 words

    Trump doesn’t even know 2232 words.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    They have been doing this exact same thing for decades.

    To be fair, it keeps working.

  27. 27

    So, a classic compromise budget, which isn’t bad considering Republicans control both chambers. Once again, we see that Trump is too chickenshit to veto anything, and Ryan and McConnell give lip service to his opinions and that’s about it. Hell, blocking funds for the NJ tunnel is pretty standard GOP policy, and I bet McConnell and Ryan hate Schumer way more than Trump does.

  28. 28
    satby says:

    @Baud: yes, it keeps working. If only there was some entity that had the job of informing citizens on factual matters so that citizens had the knowledge to know what their representatives accomplished in legislation, rather than what representatives just claimed they did. Too bad we don’t have that in this country.

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Baud:
    I wonder about the word count per page. Knowing the Republican approach to these documents, I doubt it would come anywhere near that of a print copy of Anna Karenina.

  30. 30
    Leto says:

    @SpotWeld:

    2) Where is this “Rebuilding the military” rhetoric coming from. Is it one of those taken-as-fact bullet points for Republicans that under a Democratic president the military is decimated?

    There will always be that stupid talking point, but it’s also the fact that we’ve been at continuous war for over 20 years. Speaking from an Air Force-centric view, a good number of our airframes are WAY past their flying hour life expectancy. Our maintainers do a hell of a job ensuring that each aircraft if flight worthy, but then you get to issues that they can’t fix which require grounding half the fleet, leaving no replacement, but those missions still have to be fulfilled and they’re tasked onto an already overloaded fleet. And that’s not even talking about the F-22/-35, bomber replacement for the B-52, new helicopters, new tanker fleet…

    Of course a more “simplistic” position would be for us to not engage in these foreign adventures to begin with; to spend that money on diplomacy, diplomats, foreign aid… you know, the unsexy stuff that actually helps keep the world safe and stable. Soft power.

  31. 31
    Steeplejack says:

    Trump: “Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment.”

    He is such a complete and utter jagoff.

  32. 32
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Even more amusing and pathetic is Trump patting his own back and trying to disown this bill in the very same sentence with that tweet. That is the kind of stuff you can throw in a Trumpster face and mock them about “Ya’ your boy flip flops so fast the National Bureau of Standards is setting the time with his oscillations, which is pretty amazing for a some slob who sits in bed all day watching TV and eating cheese burgers.”

  33. 33
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @rikyrah:

    “Little Pocket Man” last night.

  34. 34
    Another Scott says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: TheHill says the Tunnel money is there (or about half of it is there), just under a different name.

    A deal on the Gateway tunnel-and-rail project connecting New York and New Jersey. The project can receive up to $541 million in federal funds, far short of the $900 million that Congress originally authorized and that Trump opposed.

    There’s also discussion that the money can’t be blocked by Trump or the Transportation Secretary.

    I haven’t looked at the actual final bill to see if it’s in there, but it sure sounds like it is.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  35. 35
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Leto: Soft Power isn’t going to look impressive in that Trump Day Parade on Pennsylvania Avenue Leto.

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    Senator Ben Sasse

    @SenSasse
    Follow Follow @SenSasse
    More Senator Ben Sasse Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    Total dysfunction. DC is about to add 1.3 TRILLION $ to your debt like it’s no big deal – and meanwhile both of our crazy uncles are fistfighting in the backyard. Happy Thanksgiving, America.

    Is there anyone worse than this sanctimonious phony who eagerly voted for that obscene tax bill and now wants to lecture us on frugality and restraint?

    I swear to God I prefer Ted Cruz. Shut up, Senator. You’re full of shit.

  37. 37
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Palmer Report
    ‏ @PalmerReport

    Donald Trump’s day so far:

    – Meltdown about Robert Mueller
    – Misspells Special Counsel six times

  38. 38
    chopper says:

    @Brachiator:

    she needs to blame some democrat to cover her ass for getting predictably screwed over.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid: Congressional bills have standard formatting. Large font, double spaced. Word count would be a more accurate comparison than page count.

  40. 40
    gene108 says:

    @Nora:

    Christie didn’t want to spend a penny of NJ money on it,

    That was his excuse. The reason Christie refused the money, is the same reason many Republican governors turned down Federal infrastructure money in 2010 and 2011: They wanted to make sure Obama got no wins. It wasn’t just the Senate that was part of the scorched earth Obama opposition.

    The longer we put it off, the greater the chance of some catastrophe, and the more the tunnel is going to cost. If I can see this, why can’t they?

    They see it, but scoring political points is more important than people’s lives.

  41. 41
    Brachiator says:

    @Leto:

    Of course a more “simplistic” position would be for us to not engage in these foreign adventures to begin with; to spend that money on diplomacy, diplomats, foreign aid… you know, the unsexy stuff that actually helps keep the world safe and stable. Soft power.

    Trump and his people don’t understand the idea of soft power. It’s another aspect of their incompetence, and inability to govern. They have rendered the State Department ineffective because they view diplomacy as a bunch of frou frou elitist nonsense.

    Also, it says much that Trump wants a military parade even as his bad decisions makes the military less effective.

  42. 42
    chopper says:

    @Leto:

    what’s crazy is that the DoD’s budget is over half a trillion a year. this budget wants it up to 650.

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    lowdown, nogood muthaphuckas!

    Mulvaney, Acosta Override Regulatory Office to Hide Tips Rule Data
    Posted March 21, 2018, 5:10 AMUpdated March 21, 2018, 11:58 AM

    ……………….

    Labor Department leadership convinced OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to overrule the White House regulatory affairs chief and release a controversial tip-sharing rule without data showing it could allow businesses to skim $640 million in gratuities.

    Mulvaney sided with Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta over the government’s rulemaking clearinghouse – a little-known but critical wing of the White House called the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs – three current and former executive branch officials told Bloomberg Law. That allowed the department to delete from the proposal internal estimates showing businesses could take hundreds of millions in gratuities from their workers.

    Acosta and his team elevated the dispute to Mulvaney, who as Office of Management and Budget director oversees OIRA, after Trump-appointed OIRA Administrator Neomi Rao and her staff attempted to block the Labor Department from issuing the tip pool regulation. Rao wanted the department to reinsert estimates quantifying how much workers could lose out on tips to their bosses, who would be allowed to participate in the tip pool.

    Bloomberg Law reported Feb. 1 that the original analysis compiled by DOL staff totaled billions of dollars. The department’s political leadership ordered new methodologies that progressively lessened the expected impact, according to sources.

  44. 44
    Leto says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: I’ve tried to write something witty/snarky about that for the past 5 minutes, and I’m just consumed by so much hate knowing that this will probably happen. Such a f’ing waste of money, manpower, and resources. I wonder if I can file a Fraud, Waste, and Abuse claim….

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    @chopper:
    If the DoD has nothing useful to spend it on and can’t give it back, you know what’s going to happen to the extra funding.

  46. 46
    Mike R says:

    @Kay: You should have this ass as one of your Senators, we do in Nebraska, and he is the good one. It harkens to the days of Carl Curtis and Roman Hruska, of mediocre people deserve representation on the supreme court, two worst senators of their era. Some times the people of this state can be so obtuse.

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    Mueller following the money on Trump Middle East policy

    Mark Mazzetti, investigative correspondent for The New York Times, talks with Rachel Maddow about Robert Mueller’s consideration of undue influence on Donald Trump’s Middle East policies on behalf of Saudi Arabia and UAE.

  48. 48
    Another Scott says:

    @rikyrah: TheHill:

    Spending bill prevents employers from pocketing tips under tip-pooling rule

    BY LYDIA WHEELER – 03/21/18 08:57 PM EDT

    The $1.3 trillion spending deal released late Wednesday night includes language to prevent employers from being able to steal workers’ tips under the Labor Department’s controversial tip-pooling rule.

    Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) reached the deal with Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to add a rider in the bill that amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to prevent employers, managers or supervisors from pocketing workers’ tips regardless of whether they earn gratuities on top of a full minimum wage.

    The language gives workers the right to sue to recover any stolen tips with added damages and gives the Secretary of Labor the ability to impose civil penalties on employers who violate the law.

    “When President Trump proposed a rule that would have allowed corporations to pocket workers’ tips for themselves, workers across the country organized and made their voices heard,” Murray said in a statement.

    “Those workers sent the Trump Administration a message—and I’m pleased that Secretary Acosta listened, reversed course, and worked with me on legislation to make sure that big businesses can’t steal their workers’ tips. For the millions of workers who rely on their tips to pay their bills and support their families, most of whom are women, this change comes as a sigh of relief.”

    […]

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  49. 49
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    It’s funny how the GOP leadership treats its own people. Republicans used to falsely blame Democrats for keeping them in the dark. From The Hill story:

    Conservatives complained bitterly about the rushed schedule and lack of transparency, lamenting that GOP leadership gave rank-and-file members little time to read and study what’s in the bill.

    “This process looks really bad; it looks swampy,” said Dan Holler, a spokesman for the outside conservative group Heritage Action.

  50. 50
    Leto says:

    @Brachiator: Exactly. It’s all about the show. It’s all “glitz and glam”. You have a third rate traveling carnival barker who’s been given to the keys to the kingdom and he’s bound and f’ing determined to put on a show. It’s the shit midas touch in effect.

  51. 51
    Brachiator says:

    @Keith G:

    I wonder if Mitch and Paul have ever mused with the idea (recently) that they could start playing hard ball with the president.

    Apparently, the GOP leadership had a hardball chat with Trump as part of this budget process. From a story cited by poster Another Scott:

    A short while later, Ryan set off for the White House to convince Trump that the deal was a good one, and to try to quash any further veto chatter. In addition to Ryan and Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, chief of staff John Kelly and White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short were on hand. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) called into the 45-minute meeting.

  52. 52
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    “Ya’ your boy flip flops so fast the National Bureau of Standards is setting the time with his oscillations, which is pretty amazing for a some slob who sits in bed all day watching TV and eating cheese burgers.”

    The Bureau of Standards is now the National Institute on Standards and Technology.
    (My father used to work for what we simply called “the Bureau.”)

    Which led me to look into what the Trump budget does with Standards and Technology:

    NIST
    The National Institutes of Standards and Technology, which develops compliance standards on everything from cybersecurity to digital authentication to information sharing for both industry and government, faces a massive cut in fund and personnel under the White House budget proposal.

    Under the FY19 spending plan, the Trump administration would defund NIST by more than a third of what it received in fiscal 2017 and 2018.

    The White House spending plan gives NIST a $629 million budget, more than a $316 million reduction from its current levels.

    In addition, the budget document would also cut NIST’s workforce by nearly 400 employees — more than a 15 percent reduction.

    The article also details cuts to IRS and EPA.

    Cut research and standards, cut tax collection, cut environmental protection – – yeah, that’ll make a country great.

  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    @chopper:

    what’s crazy is that the DoD’s budget is over half a trillion a year. this budget wants it up to 650.

    It is a strange article of faith that conservatives always want to increase military spending. This even overrides their pretences about favoring balanced budgets and a limited federal government.

    It is Second Amendment fanaticism projected onto foreign policy.

  54. 54
    jonas says:

    Does Trump figure when that NJ/NY tunnel eventually collapses or becomes otherwise too damaged to use and cuts Manhattan off from most of the rest of the world, that it will only affect liberal voters in those states or something? I want Bill De Blasio to arrange for continual sewage backups at all NYC Trump and Kushner properties until this is fixed.

    ETA: ok, I see upthread that *some* funding was provided, but not really enough to do the job right.

  55. 55
    Brachiator says:

    @Leto:

    It’s all about the show. It’s all “glitz and glam”. You have a third rate traveling carnival barker who’s been given to the keys to the kingdom and he’s bound and f’ing determined to put on a show.

    This parade nonsense angers me as much as it probably angers you. It will be little more than another ego boosting Trump rally.

    But as you note, this is what Trump is all about.

  56. 56
    The Moar You Know says:

    MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Fed’l govt barred from interfering with states that have legalized it

    That’s a BFD. Sessions is going to be enraged. Hopefully he’s not the last guy to talk to Trump before the signing ceremony, or else we’ll get a shutdown.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    The article also details cuts to IRS and EPA.

    Cut research and standards, cut tax collection, cut environmental protection – – yeah, that’ll make a country great.

    For the IRS, it’s not just tax collection. Budget and staffing cuts is making it harder for the agency to transform the recently passed tax law into regulations, forms, instructions and procedure.

    Also, these vile, short-sighted jerks want to prevent the IRS from going after tax fraud, or doing audits of rich people, you know, like Trump.

  58. 58
    Butch says:

    Probably among the least important of the provisions but how did the medical marijuana thing get in? Partner uses it, recommended by a doctor after a bunch of medications to treat a chronic condition turned out to be worse than the condition itself. Many of the local dispensaries closed briefly recently, which we suspected was a result of the actions by Mr. Sessions. Now they’re open again.

  59. 59
    Leto says:

    @Brachiator:

    Budget and staffing cuts is making it harder for the agency to transform the recently passed tax law into regulations, forms, instructions and procedure.

    This is across the government as a whole. Then when those agencies are unable to perform, point to government as “inept, dysfunctional”, and continue to vow to “reform it” aka, continue the slash/burn policy. Base falls for it every time. Actually, a lot people do.

  60. 60
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    What the fuck does the bloated, overpaid (and yeah, I can say that – I work with pay scales and DFAS statements on a routine basis) military need $700B for?!?!??

  61. 61
    Adrift says:

    @chopper:

    what’s crazy is that the DoD’s budget is over half a trillion a year. this budget wants it up to 650.

    So let me get this straight. The DOD is being allocated half of the budget? I’m gobsmacked.

  62. 62
    randy khan says:

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

    The stupidity of not funding the NJ-NY tunnel is staggering.

  63. 63
    Fair Economist says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I wonder about the word count per page. Knowing the Republican approach to these documents, I doubt it would come anywhere near that of a print copy of Anna Karenina.

    You can look up bills online and they do indeed have a lot of whitespace. I would guesstimate the word count is close to Anna Karenina in spite of many times the pages. The language is often very difficult to parse, though, and additionally there is a lot of “strike these words from section 8415.53 of the Federal Register and replace with those words“. It would take a long time to plow through it and understand it all. I assume legislators have their staffs team up with one staffer reading each section for gotchas.

  64. 64
    Fair Economist says:

    @Adrift:

    So let me get this straight. The DOD is being allocated half of the budget? I’m gobsmacked.

    It’s probably about corruption. Military spending always has a lot of that.

  65. 65
    jonas says:

    @randy khan: I’ve read analysis that argues that if that tunnel goes down, it will likely trigger a recession, not just in the NE, but nationwide. Tip for Trump: probably a bad idea to trigger what could be one of the largest man-made disasters in the nation’s history right in the middle of the country’s biggest media market.

  66. 66
    Fair Economist says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    That’s a BFD. Sessions is going to be enraged.

    There could still be trouble in places that have fully legalized it as few dispensaries there do *only* medical marijuana. Still a big step forward.

  67. 67
    randy khan says:

    @Another Scott:

    Good work, Senator Murray.

  68. 68
    randy khan says:

    @jonas:

    Yep. Something like 1/6 of U.S. freight rail traffic goes under the Hudson River. If one of the two tunnels goes down, it would be a disaster for the economy.

  69. 69
    Leto says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    overpaid (and yeah, I can say that – I work with pay scales and DFAS statements on a routine basis)

    So it’s you, and critical thinkers like you, that are the reason my Airmen/junior NCOs still qualify for food stamps. Noted. Glad to see that talking points from the right have made it here too. Mind telling me how else we’ve been “livin’ it up on the hog”?

  70. 70
    patroclus says:

    They’re voting on the rule right now – it’s very close. Pelosi told the Dems to vote no because of DACA and they are doing so. So, we’re gonna find out if the Freedom Caucus has enough votes to kill it. Nope – it passes 211-207.

  71. 71
    No One You Know says:

    @Steeplejack: He really does want us to be North Korea.

  72. 72
    pluky says:

    @Keith G: This presumes that the Russians have nothing on the GOP in general, or its leadership in particular. I’m not so sure of that these days.

  73. 73
    LAO says:

    John Dowd just resigned from Trump’s legal team. According to the NYT, it’s because Trump choose to ignore his advice. Hmmm.

    ETA:

    John Dowd confirms he resigned telling me: “I love the president and wish him very well”— Kristen Welker (@kwelkernbc) March 22, 2018

  74. 74
    jl says:

    Dung beetle seems too high class, they are useful and held in high esteem around the world, seem to have a pretty good life, and therefore would be a karmic injustice. On the other hand, Ryan and McConnell have the experience it rolling up and tunneling though shit. Karma will sort it out, it’s above my pay grade.

  75. 75
    catclub says:

    @rikyrah: @rikyrah:

    lowdown, nogood muthaphuckas!

    in other words, utterly predictable behavior for them.

  76. 76
    catclub says:

    @jonas: all true, and the collapse could come any minute, but the optimistic time scale for the replacement is probably more than 15 years, so Trump will more likely be gone if/when something happens.

    When the bridge collapsed in Minnesota they did not go back and figure out who delayed maintainance 25 years earlier to take the blame, they blamed the guy in office that day.

  77. 77
    TenguPhule says:

    @Nora:

    The longer we put it off, the greater the chance of some catastrophe, and the more the tunnel is going to cost. If I can see this, why can’t they?

    Feature, not a bug, for Republicans.

    It fucks over a blue state. Q.E.D.

  78. 78
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Leto:

    You need to see what non-union blue collars and bottom tier white collars make do with. They’re making a third less at similar age and responsibility levels.

  79. 79
    Shana says:

    @Nora: They can see it they just don’t care.

  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @Brachiator: Oh okay I see the issue now. He’s linking to the Dolt45 proposed budget. WaPo analysis shows an actual budget increase for the IRS, which would be the first in a really long time.

    Off to the Senate we go. Super Happy Fun Time Keeps Going!

  81. 81
    Brachiator says:

    @Yutsano:

    Oh okay I see the issue now. He’s linking to the Dolt45 proposed budget. WaPo analysis shows an actual budget increase for the IRS, which would be the first in a really long time.

    Yeah. I should have caught that, since I have to deal with this as part of my job. The IRS is getting a budget increase, but they have a load of work to deal with. I also know that retirements and the impact of previous budget cuts has resulted in a huge loss of institutional expertise.

  82. 82
    Ksmiami says:

    @TenguPhule: that’s why blue states must start protesting taxation without representation- defund these monsters until sanity returns

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