Right to Regurgitate

Jeb Bush can take credit for one good thing: His shameless exploitation of Terri Schiavo so disgusted our host that he turned from the Dark Side.

Now, with a floundering campaign and the candidate himself getting serially pantsed by the bulbous, evil shower-drain genie Trump, the super PAC for Jeb the Lesser digs up poor Ms. Schiavo once again. Via Salon:

An appalling ad created by the super PAC Right to Rise that’s currently running in South Carolina boasts that Bush is “a man of deep faith, who fought time and again for the right to life.” And among the images accompanying the words is a photograph of Terri Schiavo. It’s an inclusion the late woman’s husband Michael calls “simply disgusting.”

I was semi-rooting for Jeb to win the Republican nomination early on because I relished the thought of another Clinton beating the pants off another Bush. I figured he would win because he had the most money.

But now I’m glad it appears he’ll suffer the greater humiliation of being trampled in a stampede of vulgar clowns and finishing behind his erstwhile protégé Rubio after starting with such a huge head start. What a thoroughly despicable human being.



Terrifying Team Trump Tales

CNN decides to take a look at people who support The Donald and discovers that the people who support The Donald are pretty much exactly who you’d suspect of supporting aforementioned Donald.

They are showing up in droves to see Donald Trump: Men and women, overwhelmingly white, frustrated with the country’s first black president, fearful that they are being displaced by minorities and immigrants, and nostalgic for the way America used to be.

And Trump is thriving, tapping into the fears and anxieties that have erupted into the open in an extraordinary presidential campaign.

The voters pledging their allegiance to the Republican front-runner hail from all corners of the country. They work on farms, in nursing homes and run small businesses; they’ve voted for Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and participated in the tea party movement; they are high school students who will vote for the first time this November and retirees and veterans who came of age during World War II.

In Trump, these people see the next president of the United States.

His attitude, one voter said, is that he “seems to just not give a f—.” Trump’s nativist rhetoric and hardline immigration stance is a relief for those who see a segment of the population “getting away” with breaking the law. Post-San Bernardino, the candidate’s promise to “bomb the sh– out of ISIS” exudes an uncomplicated confidence rare in other politicians. His accomplishments in the business world offer reassurance that he’ll “put the economy back where it belongs.”

Perhaps most important is Trump’s imperviousness to the typical boundaries around race. He has made provocative remarks on the subject since the earliest days of his campaign — and his supporters are listening. They are rowdy, and at times, even violent. On more than one occasion, they’ve accosted protesters, lobbing racial slurs and physical abuse.

There is a significant bloc of voters who want payback, folks, for slights real or perceived over the last 8 years, folks who want to punish Obama supporters relentlessly and leave them crushed, broken, and forever powerless, never to dare challenge them.

They want someone to put them back on top to “make American great again.”

They’ve found their guy who they think will do it and to hell with everyone else. The mob is coming and they are pissed.

“I got mine, fuck the rest of you” as a worldview?  Really is that simple.

And they’ll vote.



Krugman Ain’t Feeling the Bern (Updated)

Paul Krugman kinda sounds like many commenters on this here blog on the topic of transformational rhetoric vs realpolitik in today’s NYT column. Like all Krugman columns, it’s worth reading in full, but here’s excerpt:

[O]n the left there is always a contingent of idealistic voters eager to believe that a sufficiently high-minded leader can conjure up the better angels of America’s nature and persuade the broad public to support a radical overhaul of our institutions. In 2008 that contingent rallied behind Mr. Obama; now they’re backing Mr. Sanders…

But as Mr. Obama himself found out as soon as he took office, transformational rhetoric isn’t how change happens. That’s not to say that he’s a failure. On the contrary, he’s been an extremely consequential president, doing more to advance the progressive agenda than anyone since L.B.J….

Yet his achievements have depended at every stage on accepting half loaves as being better than none: health reform that leaves the system largely private, financial reform that seriously restricts Wall Street’s abuses without fully breaking its power, higher taxes on the rich but no full-scale assault on inequality.

There’s a sort of mini-dispute among Democrats over who can claim to be Mr. Obama’s true heir — Mr. Sanders or Mrs. Clinton? But the answer is obvious: Mr. Sanders is the heir to candidate Obama, but Mrs. Clinton is the heir to President Obama. (In fact, the health reform we got was basically her proposal, not his.)

Krugman closes by reminding readers not to “let idealism veer into destructive self-indulgence,” which is sound advice. But I’m not sure his assessment is fair to former candidate Obama or current candidate Sanders, both senators and intelligent men who surely have/had some inkling of what they would face when trying to implement their agendas as president.

Maybe it’s more about what’s appropriate for the times. A couple of days ago in the “Town Hall” thread, valued commenter MomSense posited a theory of why a transformational campaign might be wrong for this particular election:

Part of the problem for Sanders this election is that this year isn’t a change election on the Dems side. The polls say 80-87% of Dems depending on demographics approve of the job the president is doing and think we are going in the right direction… It’s the flip side of the problem Clinton had in 2008… Her 2008 election was far too status quo than the mood of the Democratic base. 2016 is a guard the change and expand on reform election for the Democratic base. I just don’t think there is an appetite among the Democratic base to risk what we’ve gained on unrealistic promises of revolution.

The part about “change” vs. “guard-the-change” elections sounds about right to me. It’s not that Sanders is wrong to be aspirational about addressing wealth inequality, etc., now — even with the knowledge that Republicans will obstruct him at every turn — any more than it was wrong for then-candidate Obama to run on breaking down partisan divides and then paring down his goals and adjusting his strategy to accommodate GOP recalcitrance when he became president. But it may be that there’s too little demand for a revolution right now, at least among Democrats. We’ll see.

ETA: There’s a site maintenance thread downstairs to report bugs and comments about the design update.



Cruzing for coverage

Via TPM:

He said his coverage lapsed because Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas dropped its individual policies and he had not found a new plan by December 31, when those policies ceased.

Not surprisingly, Cruz used the revelation to bash Obamacare.

“I’ll tell you, you know who one of those millions of Americans is who’s lost their health care because of Obamacare? That would be me,” Cruz said, according to Politico. “I don’t have health care right now.”

Let’s point and laugh at him as he is blaming Obama for causing him to be lazy.  He is the epitome of the party of personal responsibility.

BCBS of Texas discontinued its PPO plans, they sent notice to all policy holders that specific plans that were massive money losers were being discontinued at the end of 12/31/15.  BCBS of Texas offered to map its policy holders to different coverage.  There is a federal regulation describing how this mapping can occur.  I am trying to figure out why the Cruz family was not passively mapped to a new policy during the autorenewal process.

But no matter what, the Cruz family is currently uninsured to guarantee their father a cheap laugh line that their insurance coverage changes every year because private insurers change their policy offerings, something that never in the history of mankind happened before 3/23/2010!

Honestly, this is not irrational.  The Cruz family is wealthy enough to self insure for a month or two.  If they are truly screwed with a $2 million dollar single incident claim, they can forget to report a loan from Goldman Sachs.  The odds given their ages are highly against that type of scenario, so if it buys him a point or three in Iowa, the gamble makes sense.

UPDATE 1: Congresscritters and their family used to be covered by federally provided insurance.  One of the provisions of PPACA that was supposed to be a poison pill mandated that Congresscritters get their insurance on Exchange.  That meant Congressional insurance was either going to be Medicare, spousal coverage or a PPACA compliant policy.   When Mrs. Cruz went on a leave of absence at Goldman Sachs, she gave up her employer sponsored family coverage and it seems like the Cruz family declined COBRA continuation.  So the Cruz family went on a Texas exchange PPO policy for 2015.



Dropping the Seventh Veil: Christianists Embrace Trump

Why should the other bigots have all the fun? In case Sarah “Bible Spice” Palin’s endorsement wasn’t enough to make it official, the Grey Lady lifted her soiled skirts and stepped into the morass, to explain how “Evangelicals See Donald Trump as Man of Conviction, if Not Faith”:

Brash, thrice-married, cosseted in a gilded tower high above Fifth Avenue and fond of swearing from the stage at his rallies, Mr. Trump, who has spent his career in pursuit, and praise, of wealth, would seem an odd fit for voters who place greater value on faith, hope and charity.

Yet polls increasingly show Mr. Trump well in front of the crowded Republican field among white evangelical voters, despite competition including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, whose father is an evangelical pastor; Mr. Huckabee, the 2008 Iowa caucus winner; former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Roman Catholic whose story of raising a daughter with a disability struck a chord with voters and helped push him to victory in the 2012 Iowa caucuses; and Ben Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist who brought prayer into the operating room as a neurosurgeon and has spoken frequently about his Christian beliefs as a candidate.

A New York Times/CBS News poll last week showed Mr. Trump, a Presbyterian, dominating the field with 42 percent of evangelical voters; Mr. Cruz was second with 25 percent.

In dozens of interviews with evangelical voters in 16 states, from every region of the country outside the Northeast, those supporting Mr. Trump sounded a familiar refrain: that his heart was in the right place, that his intentions for the country were pure, that he alone was capable of delivering to a troubled country salvation in the here and now

And on Monday, Mr. Trump spoke at Liberty University, the Lynchburg, Va., institution founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Mr. Trump has been wooing Jerry Falwell Jr., and Mr. Falwell lavished praise on him, comparing Mr. Trump to Jesus and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for voicing unpopular thoughts…

Rev. Hucksterbee and Rick Sanctorum — let’s face it! — are luzers, and nobody likes that guy Cruz. Their god is a strong god, a winning god, one never hesitant to rain down destruction or crush another horde of unbelievers. Their god is YOOOOOGE.

And the Trumpenfuhrer is ready to lead them to glory, per NYMag:

“Christianity, it’s under siege,” the GOP front-runner said at the Evangelical college’s morning convocation. “We don’t band together. Other religions, frankly, they’re banding together … we have to unify. We have to band together, we have to do really, in a really large version, what they’ve done at Liberty.”…

The mogul further argued that “the Bible is the best,” though he had some difficulty in trying to quote it.

“Two Corinthians 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame. ‘Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,’” Trump said, inspiring chuckles from an audience that knows that chapter of Scripture by its god-given name of “Second Corinthians.”…

“In my opinion, Mr. Trump lives a life of loving and helping others … as Jesus taught in the New Testament,” Falwell said on Monday…

Second-gen religious hustler knows: Hustler Trump got serious game.

Our own Siubhan Duinne linked to Daniel Danger‘s amazing Storify post, “I went to a Donald Trump rally and saw a man wearing a plastic bag as a shirt”:

… I picked seats on the floor, partially to commit to simply being a bit more “in the shit”. I chose an aisle seat that had a clear open line of sight to the podium, and also offered a moderate amount of “phone privacy” by having an empty space to my right. Which turned out to be useful because the people behind me were actively trying to read my phone all night…

I missed who the speaker was, but he went on a whole bit about how there were Democrats hiding in the audience, and they probably wouldn’t/shouldn’t identify themselves due to “past incidents”, and because they were basically outnumbered in the room. And this was said in a joking manner to get a laugh from the room. Perhaps “past incidents” referred to Trump supporters beating and kicking a Latino man at a rally in Miami, The Black Lives Matter protester kicked and beaten at a Trump rally in Alabama, or the Trump supporters beating and peeing on a homeless Latino man because “Donald Trump was right.”… Read more