3/28/17

An email to Ken Buck

From your latest newsletter:

"We need to move forward and work on new legislation that makes insurance more affordable and that drives down the cost of care."

The GOP has had seven years to come up with something better than Obamacare. TrumpCare was a farce, a half-witted scheme that made Obamacare look like a work of genius in comparison.

The GOP has tried, rather stupidly and clearly ineffectively, to 'repeal' Obamacare some 60 times in the last seven years. TrumpCare was the culmination of ineffective, disorganized political buffoonery.

Do you really believe that TrumpCare was better? Seriously?

Take a read of this:

Paul Ryan brought down to size

and tell me, if you can, where they are wrong.

And tell me, if you can, where that disorganized, incoherent, lying-through-his-teeth-with-every-breath clown in the Oval is accomplishing anything worthwhile.


Coal smoke and sooty mirrors

The buffoonery, the lies, and the half-truths continue.

“We don’t import coal,” said Robert Stavins, an energy economist at Harvard University. “So in terms of the Clean Power Plan, this has nothing to do with so-called energy independence whatsoever.”

Yeah, but Stavins is an effete libtard eastern Ivy League snob, not a RealAmerican™. He's just trying to confuse the Trumpkins with fact.

"The new order would mean that older coal plants that had been marked for closings would probably stay open, said Robert W. Godby, an energy economist at the University of Wyoming. That would extend the market demand for coal for up to a decade.

But even so, “the mines that are staying open are using more mechanization,” he said. “They’re not hiring people.”

“So even if we saw an increase in coal production, we could see a decrease in coal jobs,” he said."

But wait ... didn't Mnuchin say that robotics and automation were fifty or more years down the road?


3/20/17

Trump's commissars

Ol' Heel Spurs is taking a page out of the playbook of his bestest bud, 'Bad Vlad' Putin:

White House installs political aides at Cabinet agencies to be Trump’s eyes and ears

At the Pentagon, they’re privately calling the former Marine officer and fighter pilot who’s supposed to keep his eye on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “the commissar,” according to a high-ranking defense official with knowledge of the situation. It’s a reference to Soviet-era Communist Party officials who were assigned to military units to ensure their commanders remained loyal.

Most members of President Trump’s Cabinet do not yet have leadership teams in place or even nominees for top deputies. But they do have an influential coterie of senior aides installed by the White House who are charged — above all — with monitoring the secretaries’ loyalty, according to eight officials in and outside the administration.

комисса́р

Commissar (sometimes Kommissar) is an English transliteration of the Russian комиссáр, which means commissary. In English, the transliteration "commissar" is used to refer specifically to Communist political officers ...


3/15/17

Russell Moore and the 'Christian' Right

Why evangelical opposition to Russell Moore is deluded

"Anyone who thinks Russell Moore should lose his job is advancing a vile heresy and a dangerous idolatry — that Christian leaders should ardently praise the Republican Party’s chosen leader no matter how vile, obnoxious and un-Christian he is.

The problem for the anti-Moore set — and it is a small club of crusty old insiders — is not political, but religious. Moore’s critics are blind to the lessons of politics, but they are also failing a spiritual test.

What immoralities would they not abide for a chance to eat crumbs from the president’s table? What sins and crimes would they consider severe enough to split with a Republican politician over?

Churches that would withhold support for denominational agencies also undermine and besmirch the work of Southern Baptists in other areas: evangelism, theological education, disaster relief, etc."

One might successfully argue that Isaiah's opening rant (Isaiah 1:10-20) applies directly to the 'anti-Moore set,' and a goodly portion of the GOP as well. Come to think on it, Matthew 23 in its entirety is not at all out of place in a critique of Ol' Heel Spurs' "administration" (or whatever that three ring circus is), as well as 'the anti-Moore set' particularly and the Religious Right generally.

Rachel Maddow, laughingstock

Well, Rachel Maddow made an ass of herself, with her ... dare I say it ... 'Trumped up' extravaganza over the cherry-picked tax return.

All that, for two pages of one return, that was, as we are beginning to discern, leaked by TeamTrump™ itself.

A cherry-picked return, without any of the additional data, out of 25 years and more worth of returns. Leaked conveniently in the midst of the blood-letting over TrumpCare™, and PutinGate.

Pretty Slick (no reference to Bill intended or construable) if you ask me. A good bit of the news cycle went to this bit of fluff, diverting attention from the slime oozing out of the Oval Office over the connection between Franklin Graham's Great Defender of the Christian Faith and ol' Heel Spurs ... as well as drifting the focus away from the shit sandwich called TrumpCare™. It's worthy of comparison with any obfuscation perpetrated by the Clinton Crime Syndicate.

Rachel Maddow. A perfect illustration of everything that is wrong with the left. Now stick your other foot in, Rache.

3/14/17

Wall Street traders

This one's a hoot:

"Much of America is not going to weep for the types of people depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street, yet this new AI reality could be devastating in many ways. Imagine the impact on high-end real estate in New York. Think of the “For Sale” signs on summer beach homes in Southampton. How will luxury retailers survive the likely dip in sales of $2,000 suits and $5,900-per-pound white truffles? Maybe Donald Trump will be driven to demand that somebody bring back traders’ jobs, thinking they’ve moved to Mexico."

Artificial Intelligence transforms Wall Street

It wouldn't bother me if they all ended up in line for food stamps.

Remember how they screwed us all back in 2008/2009?


Preet Bharara

"Preet Bharara is known for his fierce pursuit of insider trading and corruption cases. Now, he's out."

Yeah ... I can see why Ol' Heel Spurs wouldn't want a guy like this in the Department of Justice.



Another 'ism'

"We are facing another 'ism,' just like we faced Nazism, and fascism, and imperialism and communism," Flynn said. "This is Islamism, it is a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people on this planet and it has to be excised."

So then we find that Flynn contracted with the Erdoğan regime, probably as corrupt an Islamic regime as you will find anywhere, for more than half a million bucks.

That was our National Security Advisor, selected by Ol' Heel Spurs. Turns out the Trumpian regime knew about all this beforehand, but it made no difference.

A whore by any other name, is still a whore.

Meanwhile, not only do we have Russian tentacles wrapped around the US government at all levels, we now see that the white Christian evangelicals are in the sack with Putin and his gang of thugs. Franklin Graham has his nose so far up Putin's ass, it's a wonder Putin can fart, much less take a dump. Graham, the darling of the 'Christian' Right, thinks Putin is a stalwart defender of Christianity.

I'm not sure how that sits with this:

Russian/Syrian war crimes in bombing Aleppo

but I'm sure Graham can come up with some rationalization that the Trumpkins will suck up like so much Kool-Aid. Perhaps the old 'nits make lice' argument would work when it comes to bombing orphanages and killing children indiscriminately. After all, it was uttered by a good Methodist preacher; why not a repeat by a good Baptist preacher.

Unbelievable!

The Trumpoids claim that the CBO report is 'unbelievable.'
No ... what is 'unbelievable' is pretty much anything coming out of the mouths of Spicer, Conway, Price, and Ol' Heel Spurs himself.
They really do think that We the People are complete morons.

'Wiretapping' isn't really 'wiretapping'. And apparently, 'everybody' is not 'everybody.'




3/10/17

The Republicans in the Kremlin

Moscow cozies up to the Religious Right

Russia is equally keen on cultivating links to Republicans. Some of the officials who attended the dinner--including a deputy central banker and former Russian senator named Alexander Torshin, and his protégée, a young gun-rights activist named Maria Butina--have been part of a years-long campaign to build connections between Russia's leaders and American conservatives. The crusade, which predates the rise of Trump, has garnered scant attention but achieved significant success, sparking new alliances with leading U.S. evangelicals, lawmakers and powerful interest groups like the NRA.

and

Prominent social conservative leaders, like Franklin Graham, say they see Putin as a powerful partner in the quest to protect Christian religious minorities. In war zones like Syria, says Graham, Putin has been a stronger defender of Christians than U.S. leaders. "Islam teaches to kill Christians and Jews," claims Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Putin "sees himself in the Middle East as defending the Christian remnant that is left in Syria." 

Graham needs to get a grip. Putin is a 'champion of Christianity?'

Russian-Syrian war crimes

If Graham is representative of America's 'white Christian evangelicals,' I want no part of them.

The politics of health insurance



We Mapped the Uninsured. You'll Notice a Pattern.

There's a really good interactive map embedded in that link.

The remaining uninsured are primarily in the South and the Southwest. They tend to be poor. They tend to live in Republican-leaning states.


They tend to be poor.

The remaining uninsured tend to live in Republican-leaning states.

Or, mostly the Bible Belt.

What was that Sermon on the Mount thingie?

Let's hear some more, from those GOP pricks pimping TrumpCare, how this is a 'Christian nation.'

Or better yet, if Franklin Graham - one of God's consummate professionals -can pull himself away from staring soulfully into that Russian hottie's eyes, he can tell me how I really don't understand what Jesus was saying anyway.

You have to sitteth at the Right Hand so God can whisper the GOP platform into your ear, giving you the TrueScoop™ on the bible. Or do I have that relationship reversed ...

3/7/17

iPhones and TrumpCare

"Americans have choices, and they've got to make a choice. So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.

"They've got to make those decisions themselves," Chaffetz added.

I don't see anything wrong with that.

One of the counter-arguments to the so-called 'ObamaPhone' nonsense was that these days, you need a phone number for just about anything, including filing at Job Service. Wire phones, like pay phones, are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and like it or not, cell phones are the main means of communication these days.

Sidenote: The 'ObamaPhone' thing, wherein the 'conservatives' were vaporlocking over welfare recipients being given free phones and free phone service, is another myth. And, one that doesn't take much effort to debunk. But why would you want to debunk it, when it just sounds so good, and it's something else to rant and rave about. BTW ... the 'Lifeline' program, which is what the 'ObamaPhone' thing really is ... was created by Ronald Reagan and the 99th Congress.

Chaffetz isn't proposing 'no phones' as a modern version of 'Let 'em eat cake.' He is simply stating that maybe that iPhone 7 isn't such a good idea for those people whose income isn't all that an a bag of chips. A more basic phone, for basic communication, is a more pragmatic solution.

Chaffetz and I are in agreeance, at least on this little bit. Why should I fund Joe Burgerflipper's iPhone 7 indirectly by paying for his insurance? Mr. Burgerflipper needs to resist his need for material gratification, and cancel his kids' phones and lower his sights a bit on his own phone.

Joe Burgerflipper needs to make that decision himself, not let the government do it for him. One or the other. Health insurance for himself, Mrs. Burgerflipper, and the Burgerflipper kids ... or nice new iPhones all around. His choice.

What a concept.

3/6/17

"I can deny it ..."

We had whole weekend pretty much ignoring the lunacy of Merkin politcs ... till we returned to find that we have Ol' Heel Spurs having a hissy fit, because the Sessions Affair has drawn attention away from His Most Wonderful Speech In The Entire History of Man.

He had an ass-ripping Session (no pun intended) in the Oval, where more expletives are deleted than in any meeting since Nixon discovered that presidents really aren't above the law, though it can be hard to nail 'em down at times.

So Ol' Heel Spurs needed a distraction. Nixon ... Nixon ... hmmm ... Aha! The lightbulb came on, though dimly. Down at Mar-A-Lago, at six-ish AM, while no doubt sitting on his gold-plated-and-ivory shitter, with his dirty Hanes draped around his ankles, he let loose a flurry of twits. Tweets. Whatever. Obama (which is Satan spelled backwards; ask any Trumpkin, it's in the bible somewhere) WIRETAPPED TRUMP TOWER! Of course he did. It's as plain as the nose on your face.

John Comey has asked the Department of Justice to refute Ol' Heel Spurs' claim; no response yet from DoJ. Speaking of the FBI, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has explicitly denied that the FBI tapped Trump's phones via FISA; "I can deny it," he said to the talking head on 'Meet the News.'

Meanwhile, the Trumpkins are on a roll, what with CNN getting fined 30 million bux (not true of course but never let truth get in the way of a good Trumpkin roll) and ... Milo, the Perve-in-Chief, has determined that Snopes is full of lefties and is publishing fake news about fake news and the Trumpkins are eating it up. Never mind that Milo is so toxic not even the CPAC crazies would touch him.

And yet ... the Trumpkins insist that Ol' Heel Spurs is doing exactly what he said he would do. They keep saying that, but when I ask 'em, what exactly is that, other than sitting on his gold-plated ivory shitter in the wee hours of the morning, sharing his narcissistic nightmares with the world in the form of informal presidential policy, I don't get anything resembling a coherent answer.

And the band plays on ...

3/1/17

Ol' Heel Spurs' speech



Three failures of Trump's speech

Good assessment of The Speech. As noted elseplace, it was well-written, and delivered in good fashion. At least he didn't 'show up in a clown suit' and rattle and prattle about the size of his inauguration crowds. Or bitch about the press being mean to him.

OTOH, as noted in the article, it was pretty much empty fluff, long on rhetoric, containing a bit of tear jerker faux 'patriotism' - at least he didn't tell the widow it was all the generals' fault - long on rhetoric, devoid of substance.

There’s much more to the story of the fallen Navy SEAL Trump praised in his speech to Congress

Most presidents take responsibility for failed raids. Trump blamed the military.

"Still, Trump’s blunt refusal to accept personal responsibility for the Yemen raid burns because it marks such an incredible betrayal of his office and the awesome responsibility that our president must shoulder, especially in the national security sphere. A president who passes the buck is not one we can trust to lead our military or keep us safe."

Conway on the couch

The rightwing crazies went alpha sierra when Obama didn't wear a tie and put his feet up; the leftwing crazies are going alpha sierra over this Conway on the Couch nonsense. Good to see that both sides of the aisle are coming to grips with the vital issues of the day.

Kellyanne Conway on the couch

The 1500 pedophiles

The Trumpkins are making much of The 1500 Pedophiles, claiming that 'Trump has arrested 1500 ... etc etc etc.' since he took office.

That, like so much else, is sheer nonsense.

Here's the real story.

FBI hacked the Dark Web to bust 1,500 pedophiles

The FBI's 'Unprecedented' Hacking Campaign Targeted Over a Thousand Computers

The Feds seized the servers back in February of 2015. During Obama's regime. They gathered the data during 2015. During Obama's regime. The op was planned during 2015. During Obama's regime.

If Trump is so willing to blame Obama for the Yemen fiasco - because the planning, if not the execution, took place during the Obama regime ... then logically it would follow that the Bust of the 1500 would also be Obama's 'fault.'

Nope. The first is the fault of Obama and the generals; the second is nothing but Trumpian glory. Not gold-plated glory, though. Brass-plated, and so thin it's already wearing off.