After-Party Open Thread: Would-Be Funnyman Delighted to Find His Audience

Not just golf — he also did a GOP fundraiser: money for him and his cronies, expenses billed to the rest of us schmucks! At heart, in his revanchist daydreams of a vanished America where men were men, women were body parts, ‘colored people’ knew their place, and foreigners were comic props, he’s just the World’s Greatest Tummler…

Happier than you, putz. Sure, there’s the neverending GOP tsuris about imaginary violations for her to bear, but she’s not the one in Robert Mueller’s cross-hairs.


Then it was on to the Gridiron Dinner in DC, where “journalists” traditionally suck up to “poke gentle fun” at the sitting president:

Read more

IANAL: Hold my beer edition

I am not a lawyer but is this as dumb as trying to ford the Amazon during flood season with an open wound or dumber than that?

Lawyers — what is the dumbest thing that you can reveal without breaking confidentiality/ethics rules that a client has ever done against your advice?

Open thread

Late Night Open Thread: Olympian Advice We Can *All* Get Behind


And the guy in the Oval Office should definitely lead the way on that — don’t worry, even Taco Bell sells (what they call) churros now!

(Anybody piping up that a fat old guy with rage issues who never exercises shouldn’t be indulging in sugar-frosted fried dough deliciousness… shutupshutupshutup…)

Further, because branding is all-American, I hope for Ms. Kim’s sake that San Diablo Artisan Churros are delicious.


Also Olympian, in a different sense:

Late Night Open Thread: To Infinity, With Branding!


The Trump Administration wants all kinds of stuff it ain’t gonna get:

The White House plans to stop funding the station after 2024, ending direct federal support of the orbiting laboratory. But it does not intend to abandon the orbiting laboratory altogether and is working on a transition plan that could turn the station over to the private sector, according to an internal NASA document obtained by The Washington Post.

The plan to privatize the station is likely to run into a wall of opposition, especially because the United States has spent nearly $100 billion to build and operate it. Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said he hoped recent reports of NASA’s decision to end funding of the station “prove as unfounded as Bigfoot.” He said the decision was the result of “numskulls” at the Office of Management and Budget…

“The ISS is built for science and human exploration, it’s not built for profit seeking,” said Andrew Rush, the chief executive of Made In Space, a company that uses 3-D printing to manufacture objects on the space station.

Frank Slazer, the vice president of space systems for the Aerospace Industries Association, said the plan also could prove sticky with the station’s international partners.

“It will be very hard to turn ISS into a truly commercial outpost because of the international agreements that the United States is involved in,” he said. “It’s inherently always going to be an international construct that requires U.S. government involvement and multinational cooperation.”…

Progressives support the ISS, because science, and conservatives support it, because WIN THE SPACE RACE has been a Repub applause line since the 1950s. (Not to mention, Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ miracle missiles.) Declaring bankruptcy and walking away, not an option.

Per the New York Times, “NASA Budgets for a Trip to the Moon, but Not While Trump Is President”:

Sending astronauts back to the moon is one of the top space priorities of President Trump. But his administration wants to accomplish that without giving NASA additional money, and it won’t occur until after he leaves office, even if he wins re-election…

In future years, the administration would like NASA’s spending to drop to $19.6 billion and stay flat through 2023. With inflation, NASA’s buying power would erode, effectively a budget cut each year…

The proposal is just an opening bid. Congress decides the final spending numbers, sometimes adjusting them or ignoring a president’s priorities. But an administration’s wishes are often incorporated.

NASA’s budget will be announced at a moment when the agency has no permanent leaders to carry out the new directions. Mr. Trump nominated Jim Bridenstine, an Oklahoma congressman, to be the next administrator, but the Senate has not yet confirmed him. Whether the administration has the votes to confirm him remains uncertain. This is by far the longest period in NASA’s history without an administrator…

Apart from the photo-op, Trump doesn’t really give a damn, so the scientists still there are trying to slow-walk his wilder demands until he’s out of office, right?

Olympics Open Thread: Watch Out for Those Vikings…


Nope, of course I am absolutely not qualified to discuss the actual sports, so please take over the comments and enjoy!

Meanwhile, like many of my fellow couch potatoes, I’ll revel in the sideshows. My Norwegian-born mother-in-law always assured me that the really dangerous Norwegians took their genes out of the Scandinavian pool some centuries back, but then again, per the Washington Post, “Every four years, they come from Norway to plunder your gold”

DAEGWALLYEONG, South Korea — If you surmise that your Olympic nation is as strong or as cool as Norway, then you are suffering some sort of delusion. In your defense, it’s not like the Norwegians sit around up at the 59th parallel crowing about being the greatest. They just come to the harder, hardier version of Olympics, the Winter Games, bring along their majestic lungs and return home with medals by bushels.

They probably pay the odd baggage fee.

They have merely 5.3 million citizens yet a global all-time lead with 329 winter medals, making them a medals-per-capita Godzilla. In the first Winter Olympics, they led the medal table in Chamonix, France, in 1924, and in the most recent Winter Olympics, they finished third in medals and tied for first in golds in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. (And they might yet pull ahead in those latter charts, given they tied with doping-scandalized Russia.) Their past six Olympiads saw them finish first, second, third, sixth (in their big bummer of 2006 in Italy), fourth and third, with medal counts of 26, 25, 25, 19, 23 and 26.

This time, they’re talking, in calm, matter-of-fact tones, about outdoing themselves with 30…

But this year, I would submit, the Norwegian curling team has finally lost the Weird Fashion competition to… THE MEXICAN ALPINE SKI TEAM!

(Yes, that’s a Day of the Dead theme, designed by the guy on the right of the photo, Mexico’s ski-team emeritus Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe.)

Low-Impact Interlude Open Thread: “Murphy Brown” Is Being Rebooted

I love both Candice Bergen and her most prominent avatar as much as anyone, but isn’t it about time we stopped relying on 30-year-old arguments?

(On the other hand, if the news makes Mike Pence melt down in public… )

CBO, Medicaid and the Apothecary

Maine’s voters look like they are about to authorize a Medicaid expansion.



The Congressional Budget Office throughout 2017 analyzed Republican Repeal bills. They consistently estimated that several million people would have lost coverage by the end of the projection window because they lived in states that had not yet expanded Medicaid but would have expanded Medicaid at some point.

This makes sense. We knew that Maine was continually trying to pass Medicaid Expansion only to see it vetoed. We saw Virginia’s Democratic governor try to accept Expansion. We saw Kansas approve expansion and only see it vetoed. We are seeing Idaho doing back-flips to not expand Medicaid while expanding coverage for tens of thousands of people who make under 100% FPL (<$12,060 for a single individual). Oklahoma has a complex waiver plan to cover everyone under 100% FPL as well. There is a desire by states to have the federal government pay to cover the healthcare costs of more of their citizens. I could see quibbles about how many states that have not expanded will expand and how fast, but the core assumption makes sense to me. It did not make sense to the Apothecary’s Josh Archambault:

But a cursory look at the CBO’s own data raises serious questions about its headline conclusion and should make many in Congress ask CBO some tough questions.

CBO’s projected Medicaid losses have their own problems. For example, 5 million are projected to “lose” Medicaid expansion coverage in states that never expanded Medicaid in the first place….

AEI’s Joel Zinberg made a similar attack on the CBO assumption that Medicaid Expansion would continue:

The CBO predicts the AHCA will decrease Medicaid by 4 million by 2018, 9 million by 2020, and 14 million by 2026. It estimates 5 million of this loss will come from, “… people who CBO projects would, under current law, become eligible in the future as additional states adopted the ACA’s option to expand eligibility.” But there is little evidence that the 19 states which have thus far not expanded eligibility under the ACA would choose to do so in the future, particularly since under the ACA states will now have to start sharing some of financial burden for these newly eligible enrollees with the federal government.

Maine is a demonstration case that states will continue to expand. Kentucky is a demonstration case that Expansion so far is a one-way ratchet. A 9:1 match with the ability to shift some state costs to the Feds is an attractive offer. It is reasonable to assume that more states will take it up.