So How’s That Trump Vote Working Out for You, Coal Miners?

No one could have predicted:

The Miners Protection Act to address health and pension benefits for coal miners and their families will not be included in a continuing resolution bill, according to a Tuesday announcement.

Congress said the bill, which would continue to fund the federal government, only has four months of funding for those retired miners and their widows.

Cecil Roberts, international president of the United Mine Workers of America, called the announcement “a slap in the face to all 22,000 of them who desperately need their health care next month, next year and for the rest of their lives.”

In a statement released Tuesday night, Roberts went on to say:

“The notion that Congress needs more time to consider this matter is absurd. This legislation has been before Congress for four years, has been through regular order in the Senate as was requested by the Majority Leader, and was passed by the Senate Finance Committee by an overwhelming margin in September. The time to pass the full Miners Protection Act is now,” Robert said.

I’m sure this will be a top priority under the regime of the carrot colored Caligula. ***EYEROLL***

Tuesday Midday Open Thread


Looks like human beings aren’t the only creatures who believe camouflage renders them invisible: This little guy was hiding in plain sight on a beer can huggie yesterday!

We’re having weird weather in my neck of the woods. A line of squalls is heading our way, and after it moves through, the temperature is supposed to plunge into the 70s/50s for a couple of days. Then, after another front comes through, it’s going to drop to the 60s/40s.

But for now, it’s in the 80s with absurdly high humidity. It’s muggy as hell! But I refuse to shut the windows and turn on the A/C because the minute I do, it’ll start raining and turn colder. I hate being jerked around by the weather!

Anyhoo. Open thread.

Après nous le déluge

If you’re looking for an uplifting post, keep scrolling. This one is just a reminder that not only has the Republican president-elect undermined faith in American democracy with an outrageous lie about millions committing voter fraud to award his opponent a record-breaking popular vote victory, but as of this weekend, the four most powerful Republicans beneath Trump on the org chart are on record abetting that lie.

House Majority Leader Paul Ryan says it doesn’t matter to him if Trump is lying or not. Senatortoise Mitch McConnell says the claim is “irrelevant.” Reince Priebus says hey, maybe 2.6 million and counting really DID vote illegally. VP-elect Pence says lies about big, important things are just self-expression, so chill.

A clear pattern is emerging:

1. Trump says or does something outrageous through wounded vanity or rank ignorance.
2. Republican leaders rush to normalize the action or statement, regardless of the danger to the nation.
3. Trump’s business associates and/or the Republican Party capitalize on the fallout.

It’s an astounding combination of political cowardice and opportunism — without precedent in my lifetime, I think. Read more

The Tabloid Era

A lady wearing a hijab was in front of me in line at the grocery store yesterday, unloading her cart with the help of her two tween girls. While waiting my turn, I scanned the racks of magazines, puzzle books, comics and scandal sheets and saw this:

It occurred to me that we’re entering the Tabloid Era. Trump himself or one of his associates could very well be the source for that story. Some of Trump’s minions have advanced the theory that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the US government and that Huma Abedin was an agent of the Brotherhood somehow.

If I recall correctly, the shitgibbon cited the National Enquirer as a credible news source at some point during the campaign. The Enquirer’s publisher, the aptly named David Pecker, claims Trump as a friend and supposedly axed stories that might have reflected negatively on the shitgibbon, while publishing lurid tales claiming that Hillary Clinton was on death’s doorstep throughout the campaign.

Oh well, I was thinking, standing in that line. We’re a cheap, tacky joke of a country now, mirroring the character of our soon-to-be leader, so why not make the National Enquirer the “paper of record”? It’s not like The New York Times has been using that role to any good purpose anyway.

But my heart ached for the mother and two daughters who unloaded their cart while I waited in line behind them. I was hoping maybe they wouldn’t see the headline. But of course, they see it more clearly than I do. Every single day.

Update on Faces vs. Leopards

This is one of my favorite tweets from the post-election period:

Via TPM, we now have a (metaphorically eaten) face and name to attach to that sentiment:

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.

She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington, D.C. And she knew Trump’s pick for Treasury—Steven Mnuchin—all too well.

OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.

“I just wish that I had not voted,” said Colebrook, 59.

Me too, Ms. Colebrook. Me too.

It’s tempting to wish Ms. Colebrook would just start punching herself in the face now and not stop until 2020, but there is something admirable about her willingness to admit she fucked up.

I suspect that won’t be the case with the lion’s leopard’s share of Trump voters, who will continue to proudly and belligerently proclaim their allegiance to Hair Furor, even when he and his minions are feasting on their noses.

There’s a whole lot of gassing about whether or not Trump voters are reachable by Democrats, and as usual when we’re talking about millions of people, a straight yes-or-no answer is almost certainly too simplistic to be accurate.

I suspect at least some small minority of them are like Colebrook, stupid and/or uninformed enough to be willing to gamble on a terrible person like Trump despite his yawning deficits as a human being rather than voting for the shitgibbon because he’s a racist, sexist, xenophobic bully.

But it doesn’t make any sense to me to remake the party to pursue people like Colebrook, any more than I’d want the party to hand out Corvettes and bottles of Jack to sew up the drunk driver vote.

Anyhoo, open thread.

December Already (Open Thread)


I just had a panic attack thinking about the looming holidays. I’m not ready. Open thread.

Nuremberg on the Ohio


Trumpolini will begin his victory tour of the swing states this week, starting in Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday. This isn’t a normal thing; presidents-elect are usually too busy preparing to take on leadership of one of the largest organizations in the world to bother with staging mass circle-jerks with supporters.

But perhaps the Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer Tour presents an opportunity to show that we’re not all Good Germans. I’m not in Ohio, but if I were, I’d be combing through social media right now to find and/or start discussions about staging demonstrations to counter the fascist-scented adulation event.

And when the shit-gibbon takes his Hair Furor act to Florida, I will be there — regardless of where it is in the state. For the moment, we’re still living in a country where the president understands and respects the First Amendment.

Why bother? Well, Trump is a narcissist who thrives on adulation. But his ego is brittle enough that he is driven to tell embarrassing lies about facts that contradict his self-image, such as his massive popular vote loss and the spontaneous demonstrations that broke out nationwide when he won the Electoral College. It gets under his skin.

Trump’s takeaway from the RNC was that he is “very well-liked.” Well, he’s not; Trump will in fact be inaugurated as the most unpopular president-elect in the history of polling, who lost the popular vote by the widest margin ever. He should be reminded frequently that we don’t all love him, via news reports of peaceful demonstrations, if necessary. No honeymoon for you, you nasty old goat.

I’m sure opinions vary around here on the utility of protests. I think they have their place, and coming out in force to express opposition to a tin-horn fascist wannabe who’s trying to stage a self-love fest on my turf sounds like a good idea to me. What say you?

PS: Opposing Manhattan Mussolini and shoring up democratic institutions will require the ability to multitask. You can call your senators while you’re waiting for the demonstration to start.