A rolling Constitutional Crisis

And this is Good News for John McCain as it helps him consolidate his Teabagging base.

This is basically saying that any Democrat is fundamentally illegitimate and they are not allowed to do their job. A Senate that is split 51-49 in either direction with Clinton in the White House gives the Republicans plenty of space to haggle over nominees. They could make it clear that nominees X, Y, Z could easily get approved by eighty votes while nominees A,B,C would need either a party line vote (which is a tough vote for Plain state Democrats) or would fail completely.

But no, no to haggling, no to norms, no to anything other than control. This is a rolling Constitutional crisis.

But it is good news for John McCain.

Open Thread: Dangerously Dumb Drudge

I sincerely doubt Matt Drudge is dumb enough to try this (or to believe it), but no doubt there’s the odd Trumplodyte idiot already planning for their cellphone SUCK ON THIS MATTHEW WOO HOO!!! videos to go viral. Which would be fine — some people can only learn experientially, as when they get literally thumped around by natural forces — except that rescuing these sorry putzes will put first responders in harm’s way. TPM, “Conservative Hurricane Truthers Downplay Danger Of Hurricane Matthew”:

Hours ahead of Hurricane Matthews’ landfall on Florida’s Atlantic coast, some climate change skeptics downplayed the danger of what meteorologists say could be the worst such storm since Hurricane Katrina…

“This storm will kill you. Time is running out,” Gov. Rick Scott (R) said in a press conference Thursday. “There are no excuses. You need to leave. Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate. Are you willing to take a change to risk your life? Are you willing to take a gamble? That’s what you’re doing.”

Yet in the face of those pleas conservative aggregator Matt Drudge, who has a house in Florida, tweeted that “The deplorables are starting to wonder if govt has been lying to them about Hurricane Matthew intensity to make exaggerated point on climate,” and “Hurricane Center has monopoly on data. No way of verifying claims. Nassau ground observations DID NOT match statements! 165mph gusts? WHERE?”…

On Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh expressed a similar sentiment on his radio show, saying that government scientists might be “playing games” with storm data in order to “sell” the role climate change has played in making hurricanes stronger…

Nah, but you can bet he’ll shove his way to the front of the line to collect any available storm-damage mitigation funds… whether or not he’s actually eligible.

A Question For Mitch, Paul And Friends

Sopan Deb tweeted out a truly illuminating passage of the thoughts of our would-be dear leader, AKA the Mangled Apricot Hellbeast.






Every Republican leader — and especially all those facing the voters this fall — should be compelled to explain how all this adds up to a commander who could be trusted with a push broom, much less the nuclear codes.

Image: Marie Lobrichon Timoléon, Une Surprise 1891.

Late-Night “You Really HOPE This Was Staged” Open Thread

Okay, it’s nut-picking. But one begins to suspect there’s some pattern as to why potential Trump voters haven’t been susceptible to arguments from logic…

I mean, I know the scientific reason why my little dogs want to eat turds, but there’s no way I can look at the cat box and think to myself, now there is a tempting snack display. When I look at Donald Trump, I cannot imagine what it feels like to think yeah, this is a guy who belongs in the Oval Office.

APTC Hacks – buggering the competitors

On the whole I want as many insurers and states to engage in a Silver Gap strategies.  However there are situations where it can be used offensively to bugger and beggar competitors.  Let’s walk though an example.

The scenario needs one insurer that actually wants to cover people in a county.  It also needs an insurer that for political/strategic/publicity reasons wants to be on Exchange while selling as few policies as possible.  I can think of at least one situation where that is an accurate assessment of the pricing configuration.  The way that a company stays on Exchange but does not sell many policies is to offer a plan design that meets minimum requirements but is a horrendous value proposition while being priced very high compared to its competing plans.

Silver Spamming strategies by the active insurer enable this sit out and wait strategy by the passive/avoiding insurer.  Mild Silver Gapping strategies where the active carrier offers a low price narrow network Silver and then a broader network plan priced 12% higher as the benchmark Silver when the passive Silver is priced 80% above the benchmark will also allow for a passive presence with low enrollment.

However if the active carrier decides that it wants to screw its competitor it can by embracing an extreme Silver Gap strategy.  It would offer its low cost narrow network plan only.  All of the sudden, the passive carrier’s Silver is now the #2 Benchmark Silver.  The #1 Silver by the active carrier has extremely low post-premium prices so it will suck in all of the healthy risk in the market.  The plan that was supposed to be a placeholder gets significant membership that the offering carrier was not anticipating and it is higher risk membership.

So in odd corner cases like this, the Silver Gap strategy can be deployed offensively.

Saturday Afternoon Open Thread: ‘But Our Horse Race!…

We need to GOTV and run up Clinton’s totals, because the hierophants of the Conventional Wisdom are pushing as hard as the Republicans for a Donald Trump win.

Possibly harder, given how dispirited Reince & Ryan seem at the moment.

What’s on the agenda for the afternoon?

Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread

If Trump doesn’t lose, and resoundingly, we won’t be able to say he didn’t warn us exactly what to expect.

Phillip Bump, in the Washington Post, “After dismissing intelligence experts, Donald Trump heads in for his classified briefing”:

… In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, Trump expressed skepticism of his own: about prominent members of the intelligence community. Asked if he “trusted intelligence,” Trump replied, “Not so much from the people that have been doing it for our country.”

“I mean, look what’s happened over the last 10 years,” he said, referring to the war in Iraq. “Look what’s happened over the years. I mean, it’s been catastrophic. In fact, I won’t use some of the people that are standards — you know, just use them, use them, use them, very easy to use them, but I won’t use them because they’ve made such bad decisions.”

This is probably mostly a reference to a letter released earlier this month in which 50 members of the Republican national security establishment warned of a Trump presidency. Many of them were involved in the decision-making process before the Iraq War…

Politico, “Trump makes intel community queasy”:

… Asked about Trump’s criticisms, the CIA deferred comment to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which in turn declined to comment. Such reticence is in line with the agencies’ traditional mandate to stay out of the political realm. And in many ways, most people in the intelligence community’s rank and file will follow that mandate no matter what happens in the campaign or on Election Day, analysts said.

“It’s probably, within the agency, extremely apolitical,” said Soufan Group analyst Patrick Skinner of the CIA, where he used to be a case officer. “You really just don’t talk about it.”

Skinner, added, however, that people at senior levels in the agencies “might be wondering about priorities.” He and others also said a Trump win in November won’t necessarily repel future recruits nor lead to mass retirements, at least not immediately.

“If there is a President Trump — that’s kind of a funny sentence to say — then there will probably be a lot of hope that the directors — all the top appointees — would be very diligent in their duties,” Skinner said. “There has to be some kind of faith that the system works, but he’s running on a no-faith-in-the-system campaign.”…

Within the broader intelligence industry — which includes companies that produce the technology and weaponry used by the various agencies — people are “incredulous,” according to a consultant with extensive contacts in that field. “People can hardly believe that it’s happening.”

“What people like is predictable outcomes,” the consultant said, pointing to Trump’s mercurial policy shifts as especially problematic for an industry that craves certainty. That being said, he added, “If the public indicates or seems to show that they’re going to vote for Trump, I would think that businessmen would revert to their typical behavior and figure out how they can get their share.”…