Trump did a phone interview with a Fox News friendly this morning. It did not go well.
In the first clip below, Trump accuses Robert Mueller of a “crime,” claiming the special counsel “terminated” texts and/or emails between “stupid lovers” Strzok and Page.* Then he bellows about the content of the “illegally terminated” texts/emails, thus indicating that he somehow read them despite their being allegedly lost to posterity. It’s just incoherent.
The second clip is even worse since it pertains to a real issue rather than a demented fantasy: the Trump concentration camps at the border. Trump indicates he may not sign the funding bill from the House, underscoring yet again his intent to use abused children and their desperate families as pawns to get wall funding.
He also repeats the lie about the family separation policy (100% Trump’s) in short-hand fashion since, on Fox News, it’s an article of faith that President Obama created family separation and Trump is the hero who’s trying to end it. Trump then rants that his administration is doing a “great job” at the border and whines about people focusing on “one little site” (where children have been hideously abused!) instead of the big picture, which is also a heinous fail-parade of cruelty and misery by any objective measure.
Trump indicates he doesn't support legislation to provide funding for border facilities so children aren't living in squalor because "there's no money for protection." pic.twitter.com/fAf5DCMmJr
The clips are almost worth watching just for Bartiromo’s facial expressions. She’s one of the many amoral sleaze-bags at Fox News who helped propel this raving lunatic to power, so watching her failed struggle to shape the interview so that her subject sounds more like a human being in control of his faculties than a semi-sentient YouTube comments thread is almost comical.
I’m past believing that any unhinged public performance by Trump will move the needle with the media or the public and affect coverage or approval ratings. At this point, such a hope is probably as vain as the pundit yearning for a “pivot” in which the lunatic in the Oval Office suddenly starts acting like a president — even a regular old bad, corrupt and incompetent president. But damn!
*BTW, do Strzok and Page have any avenue of redress for their constant vilification and defamation by a sitting president? Trump is so bizarrely obsessed with those two, never failing to use the word “lover” multiple times (and with maximum creepiness!) when discussing them. He apparently derives some sick, hypocritical satisfaction from emphasizing their alleged infidelity.
Trump routinely and baselessly accuses the two of participating in a conspiracy theory to take him down, and I don’t doubt that each renewal of that accusation prompts Trump’s unhinged fans to threaten the two. Trump’s fans have a history of threatening violence, sending mail bombs and amassing weapons and creating “kill lists,” so “irresponsible” doesn’t begin to cover Trump’s treatment of Page and Strzok. It’s criminal, or at least it should be.
IANADavidAnderson but my suspicion is that this is the first step to doing to employer-provided health coverage what was done to defined-benefit pension plans. You’re going to end up with a health coverage version of a 401k.
In my opinion, employer sponsored insurance (ESI) is already a kissing cousin to a defined contribution plan than a defined benefit plan when we look at ESI offerings over a several year period.
My parents are retired. My parents have two very different retirement funding streams beyond the baseline of Social Security.
My dad has a union backed defined benefit plan. He gets a direct deposit of $XXX per qualified work year per month for the rest of his life and if he dies before my mom, she gets .67(XXX) per qualified work year per month for the rest of her life. The benefit dies with them. The union pension fund is currently over-funded (the construction actuarial tables understate mortality for the cohort of folks who had significant pre-OSHA/pre-EPA careers, so it will be interesting/scary when more cohorts like my Dad start to retire when most/all of their work years are post-OSHA) as the union fund is on the hook for longevity surprises and market shocks. If the retiree cohort dies quicker than projected OR the markets do better, my parents get no new upside but they also don’t face any downside. My dad effectively signed a 50 to 70 year contract for his pension benefit.
My mom has a 401-K. She explicitly contributed to it during the 20 years she spent at a particular employer. Her employer kicked in their contractually obligated match. The employer had a legal obligation to make sure the promised payments cleared and that the advisors were not complete, total and blatantly obvious frauds that a 3 year old could check. Once the matching and lump sum payments landing in my mom’s account, her employer had no further obligations. The matching rate and lump sum payments could and did vary by year and by who owned the corporate entity. My mom bears all the longevity risk and all the market risk. If both my parents die before her 401-K is empty, the remaining benefits can be passed along. If the 401-K is empty before mom and dad are dead, they are SOL unless my siblings and I can step in.
Employers sign short term contracts for health insurance. Most employer health insurance contracts are between one to three years with a few four and five year contracts. Unless there is a specific contract, there is no obligation for an employer to offer the same plan at a predefined price schedule to employees for one, three, or fifty years in a row. Instead, the benefit is re-adjusted every year. If the employer believes that they are spending too much on insurance and insurance is not a marked labor market differentiation, they have numerous ways to change the benefit while still offering some form of insurance in the next year.
An employer can reduce costs by shifting from a PPO to an HMO, or going from a broad network to a narrow network or a network with multiple tiers. An employer can move from an inefficient insurer to an efficient insurer. An employer can lower their total costs by shifting from a low deductible, high actuarial value plan design to high deductible, low actuarial value plans. All of these changes happen on a frequent basis. Employers offering insurance have very few obligations over time.
An HRA arrangement like that in the proposed rules just moves the behind the scenes decision making that is barely noticed on Box 12-DD of an employee’s W-4 and makes it explicit. I don’t think it moves employer sponsored insurance from defined benefit to defined contribution as it is, in my opinion, far closer to defined contribution in reality than it is to a defined benefit plan once we get past a single contract year.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00David Andersonhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgDavid Anderson2019-06-26 11:02:162019-06-26 11:02:16Employer Sponsored Insurance is already a Defined Contribution analogue
I got a lot of requests from people to start raising money for the Virginia state elections. Both the Senate and House are barely Republican (one seat majorities in both). Let’s raise some money for Democrats in Virginia (the fund here is split equally between the House and Senate Democratic caucuses, both of which have announced aggressive campaigns to flip their respective chambers).
I’ll be on the radio today at 1 pm on this program discussing the 2020 presidential election.
I thought of a topic, sort of related to the post title here (Exile on Main Street is my all-time favorite record but had only one radio hit on it): what are some examples of great bands whose biggest radio hits were awful? I thought of this because someone mentioned that Elvis Costello’s biggest hits were Alison and Veronica, and Veronica is in my opinion one of Elvis’s very worst songs. Another example is Neil Young with Heart of Gold (I’m not a huge Neil Young fan but he wrote some great songs and that’s not one of them). And another is Tom Waits, who didn’t have any real radio hits, but has a few songs they will play on smaller radio stations and one of them is “Jersey Girl”, which I hate.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00DougJhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgDougJ2019-06-26 10:05:242019-06-26 10:25:09Come on, come on down, you got it in ya
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00David Andersonhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgDavid Anderson2019-06-26 07:04:192019-06-26 07:04:19A little good news
I’m probably gonna ‘watch’ the debate second-hand, via liveblogs and twitter. NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com are supposed to be streaming the whole thing, but my laptop tends to be unreliable about such high-volume platforms.
Plenty of people working hard to bring you this week’s debates, but spare a thought for two groups: The audio team responsible for miking 13 people on stage at once, and the ?@TelemundoNews? team responsible for simultaneous Spanish translation. https://t.co/GfYEQYKUE6
NB: ‘PFT Commenter’ is a parody account by a sportwriter/comedian, and the dude is still better qualified to discuss the debate than Chuck Toadie Todd, not to mention Chris ‘Mad Bitcher’ Cillizza…
#BusinessTrip to Miami (NYC ?? MIA). Its that time of the 3 year poltical cycle again: Going to attend Presdential debates and treat elections like sports. You better watch ur ass @CillizzaCNN im coming for ur market share
Not to mention the Squatter-in-Chief. Per NYMag‘s Daily Intelligencer political blog:
Will Trump Actually Live Tweet the Thing? The president has gone back and forth over whether or not he will provide live commentary on both nights, although a commitment to watching two nights of fairly policy-intensive programming doesn’t really sound like his bag. Also, the 9 p.m. air time for the debates overlaps with Hannity…
As we move closer to the new site launch, I wanted to remind you to submit things now via the form or to hold off until the new site is live. The old email address is dead and until the new site is live, there’s no replacement.
I will push all submissions I get into drafts so that, when the new site launches, there’s a bunch of posts ready to go while the dust settles. I don’t expect the new site to launch immediately, but that time is fast approaching, and when it’s ready, it will birth. Now is the time to “stack up” some submissions to ease any content woes when the time comes.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/6010003-Edit_bj.jpg12791920Alainhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAlain2019-06-26 05:00:322019-06-25 22:33:58On the Road and In Your Backyard
MoveOn's straw poll result… Warren at 38% more than doubling Sanders (17%) and waaaaaay up from December… Biden coming up with 15%, which is typical for him. Overwhelmingly win the groups that favor him and don't collapse in more hostile territory. pic.twitter.com/qw1EpILJgm
At least among people who vote in the Democratic primary, there are probably more pro-establishment progressives than anti-establishment progressives, and in any event, Sanders needs significant support from both groups to win the nomination.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2019-06-26 03:58:252019-06-26 03:58:25Schadenfreude Open Thread: But It's His TURN!!!...
Who are you @drmoore ? Have you ever made a payroll? Have you ever built an organization of any type from scratch? What gives you authority to speak on any issue? I’m being serious. You’re nothing but an employee- a bureaucrat.
What Junior fails to mention is that his dad did the heavy lifting and they got to do the whole thing tax free. (This explains why he has such a soft spot in his heart for Biff Trump. That and the pool boy story.)
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2019-06-25 23:46:492019-06-25 22:14:52Late Night Open Thread: All the BEST People...
And here I thought Rep. Duncan was just a California-gated-community version of Jared Kushner — the entitled scion of a successful grifter who misused campaign funds because he felt he was entitled to a nicer lifestyle than he could afford honestly. Give Jared this much credit: either he has the sense keep his pants zipped, or he picks partners who have as much to lose from exposure as he does. Duncan was using campaign funds to ‘party’ with lobbyists — and using the campaign credit card he knew his ‘campaign manager’ wife would be auditing!
Here's the story: Prosecutors say Rep. Duncan Hunter illegally used campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs with three lobbyists, a leadership aide and one of his staffers. (Plus some other stuff.) https://t.co/u5xnWm1CBi
… “I’m saying when I went to Iraq in 2003 the first time I gave her power of attorney and she handled my finances throughout my entire military career and that continued on when I got to Congress since I’m gone five days and home for two,” Hunter said at the time. “She was also the campaign manager.”
“So whatever she did, that will be looked at, too, I’m sure,” he continued. “But I didn’t do it.”…
Hunter’s wife pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, who want her testimony to be used at trial in September.
"The marital communications privilege doesn't protect statements made by spouses who are partners in crime,” the filing read https://t.co/T7XsxoeBRp
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2019-06-25 19:24:592019-06-25 19:28:02Open Thread: Duncan Hunter, GOP Poster Boy of the Week
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Adam L Silvermanhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAdam L Silverman2019-06-25 18:33:182019-06-25 18:33:18Attention St. Louis Meet Uppers: Opiejeanne Is Coming To Town!
Got back from the vet with Lily and Rosie (Rosie just had her nails trimmed again). Lily had two perianal anedomas removed (one large and one small), as well as nine extractions of loose or broken teeth, which sounds worse than it is, but small dogs often get bad teeth. None of them were abcessed, which is good, and the rest of her teeth were cleaned. When I asked how many teeth she has left, Harry just told me “plenty.” So that’s good enough for me:
There was no puking on the car ride home, which is always a bonus whether I am driving my dogs or my friends, and Lily took a nice little walk around the neighborhood and seems to be doing well.
*** Update ***
Here’s a better picture of her resting behind me in her doggy bed:
Best dog ever. I love those big eyes and that wet nose.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2019-06-25 16:09:282019-06-25 16:45:32Lily Update- Home Again
BTW, if you’re on twitter, follow @_SJPeace_ StanceGrounded, he’s a good guy: “Also, if you don’t know a Muslim or have one as a friend, more than welcome to follow me. Trying to dispel Muslim stereotypes and End the hate. One Love”
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00TaMara (HFG)https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgTaMara (HFG)2019-06-25 14:27:482019-06-25 14:27:48This Is How You Do It