Late Night Open Thread: SAD!

(Courtesy of Schroedinger’s Cat)
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Not us Dems, of course — but this guy:

What’s that again, Donald?…



Whats going to happen today?

The short answer is mass chaos.

The longer answer is we will seeing some non-controversial bills come up under suspension rules this morning.  Around 10:00 AM, the Rules Committee will vote on the most recent set of changes that were placed in the bill overnight.     Those changes (stripping or punting EHB mainly) are probably going to cost a quarter of a trillion dollars and could lead to millions more not getting coverage but they are not waiting for a CBO score.  Once a special accelerated rule is voted on, the actual voting starts.

My opinion is that we are in good shape if there is an immediate blocking coalition of 23 Republican No votes in the first six or seven minutes.  At that point, the internal logic of the Republican caucus makes voting Yes and seeing the bill Fail become a no reward position so we could see a cascade towards No.  If we don’t see that, I would not be optimistic.

My gut feeling is that AHCA either passes by less than three votes or fails by more than fifteen. I can’t see the incentive structure for a narrow failure as the House leadership will hold the vote open for hours to arm twist a couple of hold-outs.

So call the House one last time.

Update 1:

 

He is from New Jersey, part of leadership and as of this morning he was in the New York Times Undecided/Unclear column. So him moving to a clear No is intriguing.



Late Night Open Thread: Nazi Pajama Games

The Repubs have soooo much respect for our military, they want to use it as a dumpster for all the fantasists and grifters who aren’t sharp enough for the business grifts:

Mattis was widely embraced on both sides of the aisle when President Donald Trump nominated him. Republicans and Democrats alike expressed hope that the retired four-star general would be a moderating force on the volatile commander in chief.

But Republican lawmakers and senior congressional aides said in recent interviews they’re running out of patience with Mattis’ staffing decisions, which have disappointed Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee hoping to see their ideological allies elevated to senior levels in the Defense Department. Others are grumbling about Mattis’ refusal to advocate a bigger increase in the defense budget, which defense hawks believe was gutted disastrously under President Barack Obama.

“He certainly has got a tough job, but it sometimes feels like he forgets that we won the election,” said one aide to a GOP senator on the Armed Services Committee, who declined to speak on the record for fear of publicly alienating the defense secretary.

“We’ve waited eight years for this, to be able to fill these posts with Republicans,” said another top GOP Hill staffer. “We know Trump isn’t part of the establishment and that it’s going to be a bit different, but it should go without saying that a Republican administration is expected to staff federal agencies with Republicans.”…

Defense Department veterans say the White House has put Mattis in a nearly impossible position given that a large swath of the Republican foreign-policy establishment was openly critical of Trump during the campaign. Some say that has left Mattis with little choice but to turn to Democrats and to those without a political background to fill senior posts.

“In picking Mattis, the president got someone who had bipartisan credibility and was seen as a tough national security official who wasn’t going to toe the White House or the GOP line,” said Jeremy Bash, a former Pentagon spokesman under Secretary Leon Panetta. “Independence is an important attribute in a SecDef. But when you get that, you get frustration from the political folks. When you’re not coming out of the establishment, you have the credibility to do bipartisan things. You’re just going to take incoming from Democrats and from Republicans from time to time.”…

There’s also a longwinded story about Mattis paying insufficient attention to Senators Cotton and Cruz and their Very Serious Military Theorists cosplay, and a sidebar that he’s not sympathetic to re-introducing GOP grifters into Pentagon budget planning.

… Others said it’s crucial that Mattis embrace the reality of navigating the Hill. “Everybody thinks very highly of him, but he doesn’t have any political sense, and he doesn’t think he needs any political sense,” said one former Bush administration Defense Department official. “But it’s quintessentially a political job.”

We don’t want capable people with experience! We want cushy berths for our grifters and ideologues!

Bonus watching, another Trump ‘terrorism expert’ gets Bee-burned..



And he said one word to me and that was “dead”

I guess we have an answer to the old riddle “can Republicans create a health care bill so crappy that they themselves will not vote for it”. At least for now.

I guess they’ll try one more time tomorrow.

If it goes down tomorrow, this will have been one of the most remarkable failures in the history of American politics.








Trumpcare Going Down? Maybe! Plus: Parallel Universes

It was always a small and petty move — the drive to kill Obamacare on the seventh anniversary of its passage. But then again, the edict came down from a small and petty man, who in a Time interview released earlier today, revealed anew just how trifling and narcissistic he is. Money quote:

I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.

George W. Bush and his “Decider” blankie are now dismissed from consideration in the “dumbest verbal assertion of authority by a sitting president” sweepstakes.

Anyway, back to healthcare: I don’t know if Ryan and Trump can exert enough pressure on the tiny balls of their caucus to ram the Trumpcare bill through the House, but they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Everyone hates that fucking bill.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe…

In the morning thread, Anne Laurie alluded to how LBJ phrased his realization that he was toast politically: “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” There is no Cronkite in today’s fragmented media. Here’s the pablum Murdoch’s minions were spooning into Fox News viewers’ toothless gobs as more evidence of collusion between Trump campaign operatives and Russian spies came to light:

Devin Nunes doesn’t seem very bright, but whoever wound him up and sent him out to undermine his own committee’s investigation yesterday likely had two goal in mind: 1) deploy shiny object to give cover to Trump’s tweeted lies about wiretapping, and 2) create an alternative narrative about the Russia scandal that is engulfing the Trump administration.

Now, I’m firmly in the “shitlords, not masterminds” camp; I don’t believe Trump’s people (including the ones operating out of Russia) are slick enough to pull this off and escape the consequences if proof emerges that Trump operatives colluded with Russia to rig the election. And in addition to the strong circumstantial evidence of collusion, credible people have alleged the proof goes beyond that.

The only question is, will a sufficient number of Republicans continue to put party over country to prevent action, even if a smoking gun emerges? I can’t imagine a scenario in which they’ll suddenly become patriots, unless it’s clear their jobs are on the line. So, it all comes down to that.

But we have a powerful ally in our fight — Trump himself. At age 70, he’s not going to suddenly discover self-discipline and learn how to play well with others. So, I like our chances. See above.



What about Bob?

Bob Woodward has become a full-on Trump stooge:

The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward warned on Wednesday that there are people from the Obama administration who could be facing criminal charges for unmasking the names of Trump transition team members from surveillance of foreign officials.

[…]

“But the idea that there was intelligence value here is really thin,” Woodward said. “It’s, again, down the middle, it is not what Trump said, but this could be criminal on the part of people who decided, oh, let’s name these people.”

(He said all of this on O’Reilly)

And here he is being called out by Mika Brzezinski of all people:

Brzezinski asked him to clarify his suggestion that Obama might have wiretapped Trump Tower due to the large number of visitors.

“It almost seems fantastical,” she said. “I understand you want to have an open mind, but what’s your advice on covering this in the days and weeks to come? Let it go, because the president won’t let it go?”

Woodward said reporters should continue to cover the president’s backpedaling, which he said was just “part of the dance” that “just goes on forever and ever.”

“Wiretapping the president meant surveillance — okay,” Woodward said, as Brzezinski cocked her head in bafflement. “Hypothetically, suppose you are the Russians and you want to find out what’s going on in Trump Tower. You’ve got all these people coming in, as you’ve said. I think it would have been possible for anyone to monitor who these people were, what was going on.”

Brzezinski cringed before finally cutting him off.



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: “Just Not FUN Anymore, Paulie Boy!”

Okay, I’m a little obsessed right now. Because I’m hoping for the political equivalent of a Trump-Ryan murder-suicide pact, and I don’t even care which partner goes first.

Apart from keeping one eye on the perpetrators at all times, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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