American Rand Stand, Con’t

Team WIN THE MORNING discovers Rand Paul is a self-serving Republican Glibertarian douchebag, and finds that civil liberties groups like the ACLU are 1) mad at Rand darnit and 2) staffed by people with the common sense of a three-week old bowl of German potato salad.

He could have voted against the bill on final passage. That would have been a completely different thing than shutting down the debate,” said Laura Murphy of the American Civil Liberties Union, one of Paul’s strongest allies on the issue. Both have filed lawsuits against the NSA surveillance programs.

This type of criticism may become a recurring theme as Paul’s presidential campaign blossoms — the purist libertarian beliefs that built the Paul brand are going to keep crashing into traditional Republican standards, especially on national security.

His “no” vote on NSA reform even raised suspicions that Paul just didn’t want to have the debate.

“Even if Senator Paul had problems with the text he still should have voted to advance the bill, offer an amendment to fix his problem, and then vote against the final bill if it wasn’t adopted,” said Mark Jaycox of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. By voting against the procedural motion, he said, “Senator Paul made clear that he didn’t even want to debate the bill.”

You mean Rand Paul is a politician who doesn’t really give a damn about civil liberties, and will say or do anything he feels to get elected, including using organizations like the ACLU and EFF?


Dumbasses.  Rand. Paul. Is. A. Right. Wing. Republican.  Get that through your thick skulls, guys.  Your champion doesn’t just have clay feet, he’s Evil Gumby.  You made common cause with the slimeball and now you’re horrified to discover the knife in your backs?

No sympathy from me.  None.

Bonus Rand Paul Glibertarian Nonsense:

Well, I think that I simply point to my record. I don’t think there has been anybody who has been a bigger defender of minority rights in the Congress than myself, and that’s not saying others aren’t trying as well. But I think you can see a history and a litany of bills that I’ve put forward to not only restore voting rights, but to try to prevent people from the tragedy of losing their employability through felony convictions and other things.

People will always do things for partisan purposes, and I think some of that drummed up in the beginning for partisan purposes when I was running for office. But no, I don’t think there’s anything out there that people are going to say, “Oh, look at this, this means that you’re a racist,” or something, and I think if they do, they probably pigeonhole themselves as being unreasonable by making that kind of comment.

No, you’re a racist who employs racists, and then you call people who call you out on it “unreasonable”. Screw you.  As a constituent, you embarrass me and I fervently want you out of office. You can fool the ACLU all you like, but as a black Kentucky voter, your comment on being a “defender of minority rights in the Congress” is not only factually incorrect, but completely insulting and asinine to boot.

Go talk to Rep. John Lewis, asshole.  Learn a few things from him.  Then apologize to him for your rank stupidity.

Not Even Trying To Hide It: Politico’s The President Must Die Edition

In the thread just below this one, Commenter JPL (update: and Rikrayh) pointed to this story at TPM* in which Ronald Kessler, writing at Politico, declares:

Agents tell me it’s a miracle an assassination has not already occurred. Sadly, given Obama’s colossal lack of management judgment, that calamity may be the only catalyst that will reform the Secret Service.

Give him credit (sic).  With this, Kessler hits the daily double.  He blames President Obama for something no other — and for “other,” read, I’m afraid, white — President would be expected to do:  get involved in the day to day management of his protective detail.  And then Kessler adds that in imagining a fix for the problem, he regrets the necessity of the president’s death.


I’m gobsmacked. Completely.  On the one hand, there’s nothing new here.  It is just one more instance in the long-running guerrilla propaganda war to delegitimize and disempower a twice elected president.  Its impulse is profoundly anti-democratic, deeply committed to the control of government by any means available.  It’s part and parcel of the series of incidents large and small that run from heckling during a State of the Union (imagine the reaction if someone had done that to C+ Augustus!) to a claim that somehow this President mustn’t appoint anyone to be approved by the current sitting Senate.

And yet, this ain’t just the eternal return of the same.  You have here a writer openly near-predicting the murder of the first African American president; accusing him of the basic failures that make that murder likely, and consoling himself that after that murder, things may get better.  It’s as near to cheerleading an assassination as I can imagine, while steering just clear of an explicit call for that event.

In a civilized society, advertisers and readers would flee Politico as if it suffered from the combined effects of Ebola, the bubonic plague and rabies.  And they would spit on the sidewalk anytime Mr. Kessler dared show his face.  In this one…

*No link to Politico; no rewarding the sewage rakers.

Image: Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Death of Caesarbetw. 1859 and 1867.

Good Jobs Report

We’re partying like it’s 1999:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised from +282,000 to +304,000, and the change for May was revised from +217,000 to +224,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May were 29,000 higher than previously reported.

Time for more tax cuts.

Good News Everybody

Via Charles Gaba:

Gallup’s new polling shows 5% of the country has gone from uninsured to insured over the past six months:

So, let’s see here. The Gallup poll only includes adults over 18, so…

By an amazing coincidence, back on May 5th Gallup issued similar survey results which showed a reduction in the overall national uninsured rate of at least 11 million, so this survey, using slightly different wording and a different approach, simply reinforces that one…although the earlier one included Medicaid as well, so there’s obviously some overlap/churn going on here.

This thing is working and it is working well within design parameters.  There are a couple more positive shocks to the system that we should anticipate as Pennsylvania, Virginia and Indiana are highly likely to expand Medicaid through the waiver process sometime this year with a 1/1/15 effective date.  The second round of open enrollment looks like it will have more plans, more competition and mostly functioning websites.  People are getting the “gay marriage in Massachusetts” learning by observing experience right now.  The teabaggers won’t learn, but quite a few people who are leery of Obamacare are seeing that not much is changing in a bad way.  Premiums are going up a little, deductibles and co-pays are going up a little, but hey, that has been the case for my entire life. 

This thing is going to work ( and soon enough I can breathe long enough to wonk out again).


From Balloon Juice to the NY Times

Me last week:

There are a couple of categories of people who are undeniably worse off under Obamacare than they would have been under a no change policy. They can be clustered into a few broad groups.

  • People earning over $250,000 per year in Modified Adjusted Gross Income who have employer sponsored health care or Medicare and are paying more in taxes
  • Young single males with absolutely no health problems, no relatives with health problems and incomes over 250% Federal Poverty Line that previously had a $42 a month, $25,000 deductible plans that did not cover maternity or mental health needs. Those policies got cancelled and they actually have to buy good insurance. Young guys making under $25,000 a year usually will get decent subsidies, past that, it is hard to be sympathetic to someone bitching that they (a member of a high accident group) have to buy decent insurance. Avik Roy has been trying to make this class sympathetic and failing miserably)

Those are the two big classes of losers under the law. Neither are particularly sympathetic.

Paul Krugman on the Op-ed page yesterday in the NY Times:

Why can’t the right find these people and exploit them?

The most likely answer is that the true losers from Obamacare generally aren’t very sympathetic. For the most part, they’re either very affluent people affected by the special taxes that help finance reform, or at least moderately well-off young men in very good health who can no longer buy cheap, minimalist plans. Neither group would play well in tear-jerker ads.

 I’ll take this as a win.