Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust

Time was, you had one person write the music and another person write the lyrics and then another person sang the song. It worked well! Then the Beatles came along, and they did everything, and after that everyone had to do everything. That’s the thesis of an article I read in New York Times magazine 15 years ago, so it’s probably not true but I like the story.

Of course it’s more complicated than that because during the 80s and 90s sometimes you had one group of people sing the songs and then another group of better looking people dance on stage while pretending to sing the songs. That didn’t always work out quite so well, but now fortunately we have autotune so good-looking people can perform as musicians without fear of being unmasked as impostors.

In politics, if you look at successful bills like ACA, what happened was you had one group of policy people write the bill, then another group of people (Pelosi and Reid) round up the votes for the bill, and then a more charismatic, better-looking person (Obama) sell the bill to voters. Maybe it could have been written better and sold better but the goddamn thing passed for Christ’s sake.

That brings me to the topic of Paul Ryan. The media made Paul Ryan into the Beatles of politics. He writes the bills, runs the House that passes the bills, and is the pretty face (or what passes for a pretty face in a profession rightly described as “show business for ugly people”) that sells the bills to the public. He’s the mop-topped wonk that stole America’s heart.

But let’s think about what just happened. Paul Ryan wrote a bill that was panned by policy experts. He bizarrely chose to schedule the vote for the bill before he knew he had the votes. He did such a bang up job of selling the bill to the public that a whopping 18% of the public supported the bill. Even the pundits are on to him now.

At least Milli Vanilli could dance.








I’m the number one fan of the man from Tennessee

Paul Ryan is against working with Democrats:

“What I worry about, Norah (O’Donnell), is if we don’t do this, then he’ll just go work with Democrats to try to change Obamacare — and that’s hardly a conservative thing,” he said.

“If this Republican Congress allows the perfect to become the enemy of the good, I worry we’ll push the President to working with Democrats. He’s been suggesting that much.”

Who calls him out on this? Not the media which continues to see St. Paul as the serious, wonky bipartisan the country needs at this juncture, but a Republican Senator.

Not that I really love Corker, but that’s where we’re at: the media is holding Paul Ryan to a lower standard than elected Republican officials are.

Sad.








Just another word for nothing left to lose

I’m not a fan of the Freedom Caucus, but let me get this straight: Paul Ryan writes a health care bill that only 17% of voters support (with 56% opposing), that is projected to cause 24 million people to lose health care, that calls from constituents oppose 35-to-1….and it’s all the fault of the Freedom Caucus that the piece of shit didn’t become law?

Paul Ryan, like conservatism itself, can never fail, he can only be failed.








It’s all over now








Juliet was waiting with a safety net

Trumpcare isn’t dead yet. I won’t be surprised if the Freedom Caucus caves and votes for it this afternoon. If you live in a district with a Republican Congressional representative, get on the phone and tell them to vote against it pronto if you can. Try district offices as well as the DC office.

Things will get worse, not better, for Republicans if they pass this piece of shit onto the Senate. But there’s a real risk of this thing passing, becoming a law, and ruining millions of lives. So let’s kill it now while we can.

Update by Dave Anderson








I lay traps for troubadors

This is a sad story. I’m glad at least that this guy has come to his senses about Trump and I hope others do before more damage is inflicted on Americans, whether they voted for him or not:

Beginning in January 2016, Kraig Moss traveled to 45 rallies, belting out songs in support of Donald Trump and telling the story of his late son, Rob, who died three years ago from a heroin overdose. In this way, the musician earned the title of “the Trump Troubadour,” a true believer said to symbolize “the voice of unheard America.”

[….]

But this bill backed by the president “disgusted” him. He no longer sings songs about Trump, and he now wonders if any of his sacrifices were worth it.

[….]

“The one platform that I was just so genuinely involved in with my heart was the one thing that he just turned right around,” Moss said. “He’s turning his back on all of us.”








Tuesday’s gone with the wind

I’m assuming that the Freedom Caucus will get Trump to cave in completely to their demands on AHCA, even if those demands make it impossible for the Senate to pass it without a filibuster. I’d like to think that at a certain point, these turn off the GOP moderates. Maybe that’s starting to happen:

The Republican push to replace Obamacare – backed forcefully by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan —is in jeopardy, as a last-ditch bid by the White House to win conservative support late Wednesday appeared to repel moderates.

Moderate Republicans huddled with Speaker Paul Ryan and House leaders for nearly two hours Wednesday night but emerged without consensus. Immediately after exiting the meeting, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), leader of the House’s moderate Tuesday Group, panned the bill, known as the American Health Care Act.

“After careful deliberation, I cannot support the bill and will oppose it,” Dent said in a statement upon leaving the meeting. “I believe this bill, in its current form, will lead to the loss of coverage and make insurance unaffordable for too many Americans, particularly for low-to-moderate income and older individuals.”