Time To Take Acting President Mike Pence Seriously

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From The New York Times:

One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. As a candidate, Kasich declared in March that Trump was “really not prepared to be president of the United States,” and the following month he took the highly unusual step of coordinating with his rival Senator Ted Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination. But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply.

Two obvious thoughts:

First:  the Trump folks can’t be bothered to hide the con, not even a little.

Every Trump voter out there, know this:

Remember:  in any good confidence game, most of the work is done by the sucker.  So you Trump voters?  You’re marks. Chumps. Just the latest in the long, long line of folks whom the ferret-headed Mussolini-of-Queens-County has played for losers.  You think you’re electing a tough guy who can get things done? He tells you himself that’s bullshit.

Second: as we confront the FSM-help-us-and-save-us possibility that Trump actually wins come November, who Pence is, what he thinks, and what he wants to do are much more important than they should be, more vital even than the Cheney history would remind us.

And that should scare the living piss out of us.  “Scare” isn’t the right word, actually.  Try “terrify.”  With Trumpismo as the public face of the United States and a theocratic, misogynist, bigoted incompetent administrator with zero effective knowledge/experience of the world beyond our borders in charge of domestic and foreign policy?….

Heed the words of Master Bruce:

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Image: Francisco de Goya, Night Scene from the Inquisition1810


Trump’s Supreme Court

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Here’s the list of potential Trump nominees,:

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia if he’s elected to the White House.

Trump’s picks include Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado and Raymond Gruender of Missouri.

Also on the list are: Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, Diane Sykes of Wisconsin and Don Willett of Texas. Trump had previously named Pryor and Sykes as examples of kind of justices he would choose.

Reading through the TPM comments on the post there on this subject, it seems like we’ve got some cherce* ones here.

Any of our legal types care to chime in?

*Cherce.

Image:  William Hogarth, The Court c. 1758.   I know that I’ve used this before.  But it’s just perfect whenever the topic of GOP jurisprudencerecklessness comes up.



Let’s encourage impotent wingnut rage

I am enjoying my schradenfreude and I feel fine as my pleasure is due to millions of people keeping affordable health care as weasel faces the call out to be punched were judiciously judicially punched today. I am also enjoying the wingnut explosion as they see their expectations of complete subservience to the Party dashed.

From the American Clarion:

I just sent this letter to my federal representatives: Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds, and Rep. Kristi Noem. I called for the immediate impeachment of the six lawless rogues on the U.S. Supreme Court who displayed their complete contempt for the U.S. Constitution and the American people by rewriting ObamaCare.

If you treasure freedom and the U.S. Constitution, you might consider contacting your representatives with similar correspondence.

We really should encourage this, although we must do the encouragement while we observe Cleek’s Law.

today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today: updated daily.

So liberals are terrified of the Supreme Court 6 being impeached as I’ll outline the consequences below the fold:

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The Super-Genius Shitweasel Strategy (Updated — Open Thread)

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Today’s Supreme Court decision on Obamacare makes the law about as settled as it can be given that congress and most statehouses are run by hairspray-huffing shitweasels who occupy an alternative dimension where “flush billions down the toilet” = “fiscal conservatism.”

Shortly after the Supreme Court decision today, our shitweasel governor here in FL announced that he’s dropping a lawsuit he filed against the Obama administration in an attempt to extract a $2 billion handout via a low-income care program — after declining to expand Medicaid to the 800K Floridians who would qualify under Obamacare.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Rick Scott is dropping a lawsuit against the Obama administration after reaching an agreement over federal hospital funds.

State and federal health officials reached an agreement in principle earlier this week to continue funding Florida’s hospital low-income pool for two more years, but at a lower cost. Florida will receive $1 billion this year — about half of what the state had been receiving — and $600 million next year. In a statement Thursday, Scott said his lawsuit was essential to getting the funds extended.

Scott’s lawsuit accused the federal government of tying the funds to whether or not the state expanded Medicaid.

The Obama administration and the Florida Senate wanted to expand Medicaid to roughly 800,000 Floridians. But Scott and Florida House Republicans opposed to taking money tied to so-called Obamacare.

Yes, you read that right: These morons turned down $6 billion or so annually because it has Obamacare cooties but were prepared to go to court to shake the feds down for a relatively paltry $2 billion. As a result of this super-genius bluffing strategy, Scott got $1 billion this year and $600 million next year, and he deems it a victory for fiscal prudence.

As far as I know, Scott hasn’t yet outlined his double-secret negotiating strategy for next time the money dries up, which will be 2017. God willing, President Hillary will send him home pants-less with a $400K mortgage note on Stately Scott Manor. This would all be laughable if people weren’t literally dying because of Scott & Co.’s pigheadedness.

ETA: Open thread for anyone who wants to use it for one. We’ve had a lot of Obamacare threads today. In other news, the AP says Chris Christie is going to announce a run on Tuesday. They’re gonna need a bigger clown car (and no, that’s not a fat joke — there are just so MANY clowns!).



Analyzing the Price plan Part 1

Time to start reading through Republican healthcare policy plans again as they are coming out in droves.  These plans have massive distributional, operational, financial and moral implications.  I’ll start looking at Rep. Tom Price’s plan HR 2300. Today,  I’ll describe the basic workings.   I’ll look at the distributional impact of the subsidies compared to current baseline tomorrow.

Price’s plan first repeals everything associated with the medical side of Obamacare, so the student loan reform stays in place.  This means a full repeal of the three legged stool of community rating, subsidies and mandate, it means re-allowing insurers to discriminate based on health status, it means the rates for a medically underwritten 64 year old could be a dozen times higher than the rates for a medically underwritten 19 year old male. Medicaid expansion disappears. It is a reversion to 2009 status quo.

So how does he “solve” the health insurance problem? Why with tax deferred savings vehicles — they do everything but solve the actual problem.

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Fables of the Restoration

As Election Day nears, the battle for King Shit of Turd Mountain, i.e., the contest between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott for governor of Florida, has produced a shit-storm of negative advertising. Commercial after commercial projects images of the combatants in sinister poses and evil lighting, accompanied by strained voiceover accounts of their misdeeds in office.

Obviously, the Crist Photoshop team has the cushier job: I don’t think there’s a photo in existence of Rick Scott where he doesn’t look like an alien creature from a reptile off-world come to foreclose an orphanage and grind the inhabitants into feed-paste.

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But yesterday, there was an ad I hadn’t seen before featuring former Governor Jeb Bush excoriating former ally Charlie Crist as a career politician only interested in personal aggrandizement. The stones. The fucking stones on those Bushes.

Bush 2016: The Restoration is apparently a thing. Here’s a puke-inducing paragraph from a NYT article published yesterday about the alleged upswing in Jeb Bush’s political prospects:

Just six years ago, at the end of the last tumultuous Bush presidency, this would have been all but unthinkable. But President Obama’s troubles, the internal divisions of the Republican Party, a newfound nostalgia for the first Bush presidency and a modest softening of views about the second have changed the dynamics enough to make plausible another Bush candidacy. And while Jeb Bush wants to run as his own man, invariably this is a family with something to prove.

Unpacking that paragraph is like opening a rancid diaper pail, but let’s brace ourselves and give it a go: “President Obama’s troubles?” Yes, he has them, mostly traceable to Stately Bush Manor and exacerbated by the Bush-aligned vandals in Congress.

“Internal divisions of the Republican Party?” Oh, you mean that GOP rebranding campaign gone awry in which the Republican Party nominated scads of pekoe-huffing troglodytes who lost winnable races and turned the GOP presidential primary into a crackpot bake-off?

“Newfound nostalgia for the first Bush presidency and a modest softening of views about the second?” Bush I is a doddering old fart who occasionally weeps with shame in public over his fuck-up namesake. He will be forever overshadowed by the half-wit he served as VP, and his son empowered a cabal of sociopaths to complete the cycle of destruction Poppy’s boss set into motion.

And now we’re seriously being asked to countenance another Bush run at 1600 Pennsylvania? Just shoot me now. (You can get away with it here in Florida — thanks to Jeb’s partnership with the NRA.) I can’t be objective because I utterly despise them all. But is there really a Bush restoration movement afoot outside of the Bushies, their minions and political columnists? Y’all help me out here: I haven’t seen any evidence of it.

God, that article. “This is a family with something to prove?” Fuck them. “The Bushes, Led by W., Rally to Make Jeb ’45’?” From the current generation until the sun goes supernova and vaporizes this planet, fuck the Bushes, and fuck the putrid media hacks who enable them by framing the ambitions of that clan of psychotic leeches as if writing a human interest piece on a sports dynasty.

When the Obama administration decided not to pursue its vile predecessors for their ghastly war crimes and corruption, I understood the rationale, even if I didn’t agree with it entirely. It would have paralyzed the government in the midst of a cascading global crisis.

But the question of justice denied aside, this spectacle of the Bush family rehab alone is evidence that the dirty fucking hippies were right: We should have driven a stake through the fat black heart of that bunch when we had the chance.



Poor Eric Cantor

Nobody likes him:

SHORT PUMP, VA. — Just a few miles from his family home, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) felt the wrath of the tea party Saturday, when activists in his congressional district booed and heckled the second-most powerful House Republican.

They also elected one of their own to lead Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Republican Committee, turning their back on Cantor’s choice for a post viewed as crucial by both tea party and establishment wings in determining control of the fractured state GOP.

I’ve always thought he was a bit of a short pump.

Cantor’s facing a Tea Party primary opponent in an open primary. The story contains the mandatory quote from an establishment Republican saying that there’s a “battle for the soul of the Republican Party,” even though it’s clear to anyone paying attention that the battle’s over and the TP won. When the Majority Leader of your party can’t even get his choice for District Committee elected, all that’s left to do is for him to either fall in line by adopting more-Teanderthal-than-thou positions, or to get run over.