Sign up for Trumpcare

Tell your conservative neighbors about these awesome new free market plans that they can sign up. President Trump’s actions this year will make plans a lot cheaper and better for more Americans than the old no good Obamacare plans. Go Trumpcare.

And don’t giggle too hard until December 16th.

Open thread



Excellent Read: “Men of the World, You Are Not Weather”

It is hardly the Christian God’s fault that Bill O’Reilly can’t keep his hands or his fantasies to himself. (If the publicly-pious O’Reilly paid any attention during his long-ago parochial school days to the discussion of the near occasion of sin, he’d have known that already. Being “mad” at God was, IIRC, considered a second mark against your permanent record.)

I second Alexandra Petri, in the Washington Post:

Smoke is not weather. Let me tell you why I have said this. Weather is something you can do very little to prevent; you can only prepare for it and warn people about it and buy protective gear. Smoke happens when someone decides to light a fire.

I am sick of having to treat smoke as though it is weather.

I am sick of having to bear witness about sexual harassment.

I am sick of being warned, or not warned, about interacting with certain people, as casually (Molly Ringwald’s words, not mine) as talking about the weather.

“Bring an umbrella. There is a man spitting on you from a great height and it is easier to treat it as though it is raining.”…

You thought you were being nice, maybe. That any attention from you was flattering, maybe. That I would see it as a compliment, maybe. I have forgiven you, maybe. Or I am embarrassed for you, or I never knew what your name was. But make no mistake: Nothing about this was inevitable. This was not weather. You are not the weather, and your buddy is not the weather.

This has to stop. Instead of saying, “You cannot smoke in here,” we are telling every woman, “there is going to be smoke in the restaurant, so encase yourself entirely in protective sheeting.” Instead of saying, “Do not go around lighting people on fire,” we are telling women, “Don’t be flammable.” But you can’t be human and not be flammable. This is not like walking down a dark alley and getting mugged, because for that to be true you have to have the option of not walking down the dark alley…

I am sick of having to suffer so a man can grow. What is this, every Hollywood movie ever made? I am tired of having to confess to someone else’s crimes. I am tired of showing up at the banquet dripping blood like Banquo’s ghost. This should be your ghost, not mine. I am not the one who should be ashamed that you have done these things. I am not here to make you see the error of your ways. I am here to get through my life every day without inhaling thick lungfuls of smoke.

Because that’s what this is. This is like getting people who have gotten cancer from secondhand smoke to come testify together as a way of solving the problem. But you are the one who needs to stop.

So let’s try something new: You don’t stop smoking because it kills other people, until those people are your family. You stop smoking because it makes your breath foul and your hair brittle and it will kill you, eventually.

If you don’t know that this is killing you, I should not have to tell you. It is in your interest to be a good person, not because of some abstract conception of sin but because you are poisoning yourself. You like the smoke, but you are choking on it and you can’t even see. You are making us tell these stories instead of all the other, better ones we could tell…

Everything in our lives does not have to smell like smoke. We could get rid of it. But we have to want to. You have to want to…



From the country to the town

A bunch of Third Way wankers did a tour of flyover country and were saddened by all the negativity. For some reason, I decided to skim the article about their trip, and I liked where these unions guys were coming from:

At the Labor Temple Lounge in Eau Claire, nine gruff, tough-looking union men sat around a table. One had the acronym of his guild, the Laborers International Union of North America, tattooed on a bulging bicep. The men pinned the blame for most of their problems squarely on Republicans, from Trump to Governor Scott Walker. School funding, the minimum wage, college debt, income inequality, gerrymandering, health care, union rights: It was all, in their view, the GOP’s fault. A member of the bricklayers’ union lamented Walker’s cuts to public services: “If we can’t help each other,” he said, “what are we, a pack of wolves—we eat the weakest one? It’s shameful.”

But their negativity toward Republicans didn’t translate to rosy feelings for the Democrats, who, they said, too frequently ignored working-class people. And some of the blame, they said, fell on their fellow workers, many of whom supported Republicans against their own interests. “The membership”—the union rank-and-file—“voted for these Republicans because of them damn guns,” a Laborers Union official said. “You cannot push it out of their head. A lot of ‘em loved it when Walker kicked our ass.”

This made the Third Wayers sad:

Debriefing after this particular group, the Third Way listeners said they found the union men demoralizing. “I feel like they can’t see their way out,” Hale said.

“They were very negative,” Paul Neaville, another researcher, concurred.

They were so fixated on blaming Republicans, Hale fretted. “It was very us-and-them.”

Here’s the thing though: those union guys are fucking right. If the right-wing really is out to fuck you, and they are, you should hate them and see it as us-and-them.

Doesn’t reality count for anything with centrists?



The Military Stand Up For Their Principles

It’s been remarkable how the generals have continued to stand up for equality and respect under the torrent of bigotry pouring from Trump’s mouth. Here’s one more, the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy.

Watch the whole thing. This guy really means what he says.

And open thread.



Rooting for Injuries Open Thread: Mitch McConnell vs. Trump

There’s at least one Repub happy about Friday’s news TrumpDump, and that person is the Senate Majority Leader, who has been given a respite to retreat into his shell. At TPM, Josh Marshall says “Trump Is Killing McConnell in Kentucky”:

McConnell is down at 18% approval. But Trump has a 60% approval rating in the state. If voters are upset with McConnell’s dogged efforts to repeal Obamacare, why is Trump doing so well? Or is it that McConnell failed to repeal Obamacare? And Good Lord, how can Mitch McConnell have a 74% disapproval rating?…

… McConnell appears to be getting hit badly on multiple fronts. He’s clearly taking a hit from those who opposed the effort to get rid of Kynect/Obamacare, a group which includes a lot of Republicans. But he’s also taking a big hit as the guy who failed to deliver repeal for Trump and the GOP. He’s getting it from both sides. The latter is intensified greatly by the fact that Trump has been repeatedly attacking McConnell and suggesting he should be replaced.

Remember, this is a very red and a very pro-Trump state. Trump had his 5th highest margin of any state in Kentucky – 62.52%. His ‘brand’ has been able to sail above his support for a bill that Kentuckians strongly opposed. This makes sense in a lot of ways. Trump is more a political brand than a set of policy proposals. And legislative leaders always take more hits for unpopular legislation. But it’s not hard to see an ominous pattern here for Republicans: Trump’s legislative failures end up causing negative responses on both sides of the political spectrum – both for what he was trying to accomplish and for having failed to accomplish it. Meanwhile, Trump’s reaction to these failures is often to attack the legislative leaders who carried the water for him in the first place. That is a rough combination…



Friday Morning Open Thread: A REPRIEVE!


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(If we can keep it… ) From the Washington Post:

Senate Republicans suffered a dramatic failure early Friday in their bid to advance a scaled-back plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, throwing into question whether they can actually repeal the 2010 health law…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had hoped to approve the new, narrower rewrite of the health law at some point Friday, after facing dozens amendments from Democrats. But the GOP defections left McConnell without a clear bill to push.

McCain had been seeking an iron-clad guarantee from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that, if the Senate approved this latest proposal, the House would not move to quickly approve the bill in its current form and instead engage in a broad House-Senate negotiation for a broader rollback of the law. Ryan issued a statement intended to assuage the concerns of McCain and two others, Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.), but the 2008 presidential nominee deemed the speaker’s statement as insufficient…

McConnell’s draft rattled both moderates – Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) were the other Republican votes in opposition – and Republicans who wanted a more robust uprooting of the existing law…

Media Mancrush McCain will be getting 99.9% of the public applause for this, but let’s — as Abigail Adams might say — Remember the Ladies.

It’s been rumored that Susan Collins is thinking of running for governor back in Maine, and her recent hot mic moment certainly sounds like she’s not happy in DC right now.

As for Senator Murkowski…



Still Not Ginger!

The BBC has announced the 13th Doctor:

From The Guardian:

Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who’s new head writer and executive producer, said: “After months of lists, conversations, auditions, recalls, and a lot of secret-keeping, we’re excited to welcome Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.

“I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice. Her audition for the Doctor simply blew us all away.

“Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The 13th Doctor is on her way.”

Whittaker said: “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey – with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet. It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”

At this moment, if you’re attuned to these things, you can feel the millions of gamergaters, men’s rights activists, and these gorilla mindset schmos crying out in despair. Or tweeting about it…

At the risk of crossing the meme streams: