Afternoon Update

The Senatortoise from Kentucky shamelessly played the McCain card, and The Washington Post says Republicans are close to moving forward on renewing the wealthcare debate:

Senate Republican leaders appeared close to securing the support they needed Tuesday to begin debate on their plan to rewrite the Affordable Care Act, according to lawmakers and aides, though the proposal they would consider could change dramatically once senators begin voting.

Republican leaders now see a scaled-down version of the bill as perhaps their best chance of winning final passage on some kind of measure to overhaul Obamacare. If senators passed this stripped-down version — which some Republicans refer to as “skinny repeal” — they would set up a House-Senate conference to resolve the differences between the two proposals, buying Republicans more time.

The new strategy will allow Republicans to sustain their years-long effort to unwind the 2010 health-care law, though they have yet settle on a replacement for it. But it is also is a tacit acknowledgment that more sweeping efforts to revise or even simply repeal the law cannot succeed, even as Republicans control both Congress and the White House.

They’ll probably pass the motion to begin debate — and hail it as a great victory. Celebrating truly basic shit is what they do now that President Poopy-Star is on the Golden Throne. But as the article above notes, agreeing to debate a face-saving compromise is a far cry from the grandiose promises the pack of lying grifters, including Donald “I’ll Repeal Obamacare on Day One” Trump made to the donor class.

Every day we thwart these greedy, mendacious pricks is a victory — never forget that. Infighting is on the rise, the Purge has begun, and cracks are appearing in the facade. I’m willing to talk to the bored shitheads at Rubio’s office every weekday for the rest of my life to keep that going.



Russiagate Open Thread: Trump Is Really Angry At “His” Government

Yeah, he’d be just about as terrible to everyone-not-a-rich-Republican as the Malevolent Leprechaun, but I’m not sure Cruz could even get confirmed, given how much his colleagues do not love him.

And it could be argued that, while his intentions are equally horrible, Cruz doesn’t have Jefferson Beauregard Session III’s lifelong bone-deep Confederate indoctrination to help him disguise his deep-seated racism.

Props to the CBC, though:

I wanna do a Jared ‘Simple Tootsie from the Country’ Kushner post, but there’s TOO MUCH BREAKING NEWS. How do the paid professionals keep up? (answer: they’re paid to do so!)



Monday Evening Open Thread: Gathering the Ghouls

They really don’t care. If they can’t be arsed to provide a halfway plausible cover story for whatever pile of manure they’ll present as a bill tomorrow, why should they worry about coming across as second-time-as-farce?

[9 July 2008] – The cancer-stricken Democratic senator Edward Kennedy made a dramatic return to Congress today, providing the boost needed to pass a bill securing healthcare coverage for senior citizens.

Kennedy, 76, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in May after suffering a seizure at his home on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The youngest brother of John and Robert F Kennedy, a revered figure in US politics, was not expected to return to Washington until September.

But Kennedy made an unexpected appearance on Capitol Hill as Democrats prepared to vote on a plan that shores up Medicare, the country’s government-run programme for senior citizens’ healthcare…

Apart from [facepalm]-ing, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
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Trump Screams “Death”

Remember Trump’s bizarre “Democrats scream death” tweet 500 years ago? Actually, it was only five days ago. Well, now HE’S the one screaming “death,” in a speech this afternoon. Via NBCNews:

Trump: ‘Obamacare is Death’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared the Affordable Care Act a “meaningless promise” Monday, using his presidential bully pulpit to amplify his calls for action on stalled Republican attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare — which he called “death” at one point.

“Obamacare has wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent, hard-working Americans,” Trump said at the White House, joined by families whom he said had suffered under the ACA.

The president hammered Democrats for their lack of bipartisanship and decried their criticism of Republican efforts to reform health care.

“They say death, death, death. Well, Obamacare is death,” Trump said. “That’s the one that’s death.”

Trump’s remarks come amid failed GOP pushes so far to repeal and replace Obamacare, with the White House urging Republicans to act this week.

Of course, he doesn’t have a fucking clue what Obamacare is or what provisions are in his own party’s bill. All he sees is a big, fat goose egg on the scoreboard under his name, and if Republicans don’t get in line, he’ll turn his fire on them. Yesterday, Trump threatened Republicans as follows:

I think he’s right about that — the infighting will consume this rancid pustule of an administration and rip that putrid turd of a party apart if this bill goes down. So yeah, keep calling!



First, we kill all the facts…

The Congressional Budget Office has been an obstacle to Republicans bent on stripping access to healthcare from tens of millions of Americans. Every time Zombie Trumpcare rises from the grave and totters toward the finish line, the CBO score provides one of the stakes that brings the monster down, albeit temporarily. It would be so much easier to shovel money from working people to plutocrats if Republicans could substitute figures pulled out of a Koch Brother’s ass for CBO estimates. Via The Hill:

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, plans on offering an amendment to spending legislation this week that would cut the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s staff by 89 people.

The proposed cuts come after a series of CBO reports predicted that tens of millions of people would become uninsured under various Republican plans to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said Monday that, instead of relying on the CBO’s expertise to assess how much congressional bills would cost, the office should aggregate estimates produced by various think tanks like the Brookings Institution and the Heritage Foundation.

The Republican president and his minions tell bald-faced lies at such an unprecedented clip that statements that would have triggered months-long scandals in a normal presidency pass with barely a ripple. The GOP has its own propaganda network in Fox News (and lesser imps and demons) to lie to the American people about the dangers we face and make rational discussion of political or cultural issues with its brainwashed viewers impossible. And now Republicans want to drown the federal agency that provides budget and economic information to lawmakers. Makes sense.



I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’m still mystified

It blows me away that, as Dave points out, McConnell won’t even tell the GOP Senators what the fuck he wants them to vote for this week. This piece by former GOP Senator David Durenberger is very good. He details how little is known about the bill and concludes:

A vote in these circumstances will rightly provoke anger and distrust unlikely to abate. Take it from me: A no vote on the Motion to Proceed this week is the only one that will be defensible in the years to come.

I have had my arm twisted by the best of them — presidents and Senate leaders and party whips alike. I know how uncomfortable it can be. Usually, they were able to attempt a convincing argument about what is good about the bill for the country or my state. But I never would have voted for something so far reaching without knowing the answer to all the questions above.








Monday Morning Open Thread: Nope, Can’t Nobody There Play This Game

(John Deering via GoComics.com).

As a lifelong Democrat who grew up reading Finley Peter Dunne, I always assumed the Republican Party was doing its best to destroy our shared community. But I was never cynical enough to guess the GOP itself would end in the hands of a failed real estate developer shoving around a gang of nitwits and nihilists in a pathetic gated-community imitation of a cargo cult, where they build intricate non-working models of ‘legislation’ in the hopes that the kleptocrats will rain money and power down upon their upraised mouths in benevolent response. SAD!

Per the Washington Post:

Six months after seizing complete control of the federal government, the Republican Party stands divided as ever — plunged into a messy war among its factions that has escalated in recent weeks to crisis levels.

Frustrated lawmakers are increasingly sounding off at a White House awash in turmoil and struggling to accomplish its legislative goals. President Trump is scolding Republican senators over health care and even threatening electoral retribution. Congressional leaders are losing the confidence of their rank and file. And some major GOP donors are considering using their wealth to try to force out recalcitrant incumbents…

Winning control of both chambers and the White House has done little to fill in the deep and politically damaging ideological fault lines that plagued the GOP during Barack Obama’s presidency and ripped the party apart during the 2016 presidential primary. Now, Republicans have even more to lose.

On Capitol Hill, Republicans are increasingly concerned that Trump has shown no signs of being able to calm the party. What Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) called the “daily drama” at the White House flared again last week when Trump shook up his communications staff and told the New York Times that he regretted picking Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general.

“This week was supposed to be ‘Made in America Week’ and we were talking about Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” Dent grumbled in a telephone interview Thursday, citing White House messaging campaigns that were overshadowed by the controversies…

It’d be a lot more fun watching them drill holes in the lifeboat, if only the rest of us weren’t sharing it with them.

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Apart from staying #EverResistant, what’s on the agenda for the start of a new week?