Less than 24 hours after demanding return to ‘regular order,’ John McCain votes against doing that

Yesterday evening, everyone’s favorite do-nothing “maverick” senator made an impassioned speech asking the Senate to cast aside their partisanship and work together, Democrats and Republicans, to pass meaningful healthcare reforms. For this he was once again feted by the punditry, for reasons that only they can adequately explain.

McCain asked in his speech that the Senate return to “regular order,” or as he put it two weeks ago in a similarly-themed press release:

The Congress must now return to regular order, hold hearings, receive input from members of both parties, and heed the recommendations of our nation’s governors so that we can produce a bill that finally provides Americans with access to quality and affordable health care.

This afternoon Democrats made a motion to do exactly that—send the health care bill to committee so that both parties could work together on it through regular Senate process rather than continuing this mish-mash of

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Top insurance CEOs openly blaming Trump sabotage for rate hikes and empty markets

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While the Senate stages the world’s deadliest bit of improvisational theater in an attempt to gut both the Affordable Care Act and, now, Medicaid as a whole, the Trump administration has been openly threatening to withhold federal subsidies to the insurers that make up the Obamacare marketplaces. That would obviously decimate those markets. Already, insurance companies are openly citing the uncertainty over whether they will be getting paid for double-digit rate increases.

Now Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish is making the point even more bluntly: If the Trump administration continues to threaten to withhold those payments, his company will be leaving some of those markets entirely.

Insurance giant Anthem, which has already withdrawn from the Obamacare marketplaces in three states, will pull out of more if the federal government doesn’t take action soon to stabilize the market, CEO Joseph Swedish told investors Wednesday. […]
“If we aren’t able

Continue reading “Top insurance CEOs openly blaming Trump sabotage for rate hikes and empty markets”

A rather gullible Sen. Bob Corker: ‘I don’t get any sense at all’ Trump will fire Jeff Sessions

Republicans lawmakers continue to give Donald Effing Trump the benefit of the doubt, despite no past instance in which the obsessive, narcissistic lunatic has earned such a thing. Here’s Republican Sen. Bob Corker, doing his best impression of a man standing in front of a burning fireworks factory, telling everyone else there’s nothing to see here.

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Mind you, Trump has gone out of his way to insult Sessions and make it perfectly clear he has no confidence in the now-insufficiently loyal toady, firing him has evidently been the subject of ongoing White House discussions, and the White House has been floating names like Rudy Giuliani or Ted Cruz to be his replacement. But rest assured Sen. Bob Corker has

Continue reading “A rather gullible Sen. Bob Corker: ‘I don’t get any sense at all’ Trump will fire Jeff Sessions”

Why won’t Reince Priebus quit? Because for better or worse, he’s Trump’s Republican Party handler

Donald Trump doesn’t like to fire people. He does, however, like to torture his staff to the greatest extent possible, pitting them against each other for his approval and, when he has become displeased with them, repeatedly humiliating them with the apparent goal of either entertaining himself or finally obliging them to resign.

News reports paint the raging narcissist as irritated that his public criticisms of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, haven’t been enough to get Sessions to resign. He’s reportedly been pondering whether he could replace him with Rudy 9/11 Giuliani, apparently as part of Trump’s ongoing effort to surround himself only with the most sycophantic of sycophants.

But it’s his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who’s currently bearing the brunt of Trump’s wrath. Jonathan Swan writes:

• President Trump knew that appointing Anthony Scaramucci as communications director would humiliate Reince, who fought hard against it.
• Scaramucci

Continue reading “Why won’t Reince Priebus quit? Because for better or worse, he’s Trump’s Republican Party handler”

House Republicans introduce amendments to defund the Congressional Budget Office

Faced with medical evidence that our nation’s epidemic of gun violence is, in fact, preventable, conservative lawmakers passed laws barring the nation’s government from investigating such things. Faced with mounting scientific evidence of global climate change, conservatives in various states have proposed or passed numerous restrictions on state governments developing plans to prepare for those changes.

So it stands to reason that when faced with the seemingly self-evident news that slashing Medicaid and undoing restrictions on which patients can be unceremoniously dumped by their insurers would, in fact, have the predictable effect of uninsuring millions, conservative House Republicans are introducing legislation to defund the Congressional Budget Office’s analysts and bar the agency from reporting such things in the future.

An amendment filed Monday by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) would eliminate the agency’s Budget Analysis Division, cutting 89 jobs and $15 million of the CBO’s proposed $48.5 million budget.

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Open thread for night owls: Goodbye to Sean Spicer, who was never one of the ‘good ones’

As longtime political hands react to the news of Spicer’s sudden retirement from the Trump White House with claims of an integrity on Spicer’s part that was never once evinced during his brief tenure—usually formulated with the assertion that Spicer is, in so many words, “one of the good ones”, let us take a moment to recognize that no, in fact, he was not. He was one of the bad ones. He was one of the worst sorts of political figures, one who would say anything that he was asked to say and gaslight whichever of his fellow Americans his momentary patron had tasked him with gaslighting. He did willful harm to his country for the sake of a temporary job and a temporary paycheck, and should be treated accordingly for the rest of his now-degraded life.

Jack Shafer:

The White House attracts all manner of toadies, suckups and flatterers

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Continue reading “Open thread for night owls: Goodbye to Sean Spicer, who was never one of the ‘good ones’”

Open thread for night owls: Goodbye to Sean Spicer, who was never one of the ‘good ones’

As longtime political hands react to the news of Spicer’s sudden retirement from the Trump White House with claims of an integrity on Spicer’s part that was never once evinced during his brief tenure—usually formulated with the assertion that Spicer is, in so many words, “one of the good ones”, let us take a moment to recognize that no, in fact, he was not. He was one of the bad ones. He was one of the worst sorts of political figures, one who would say anything that he was asked to say and gaslight whichever of his fellow Americans his momentary patron had tasked him with gaslighting. He did willful harm to his country for the sake of a temporary job and a temporary paycheck, and should be treated accordingly for the rest of his now-degraded life.

Jack Shafer:

The White House attracts all manner of toadies, suckups and flatterers

Organize-Fish-eating-fish_NoTEXT_BlueRed.jpg
Screen_Shot_2017-07-23_at_3.45.16_PM.png
 ad for facebook

Continue reading “Open thread for night owls: Goodbye to Sean Spicer, who was never one of the ‘good ones’”

Trump’s HUD turns a blind eye to housing segregation—and yes, it may benefit Trump’s own business

It turns out that hiring your family’s event planner and/or Vice President of the Eric Trump Foundation for a high-level spot in the government’s Housing and Urban Development agency may not lead to competent government decision-making.

Lynne Patton, a former event planner for the Trump family whose nomination to a HUD position drew criticism from policy experts and housing advocates last month, reversed HUD’s position on Westchester’s zoning laws on Tuesday. The agency had rejected 10 previous versions of the county’s “Analysis of Impediments,” a document which HUD grantees must submit to demonstrate their use of taxpayer money will not get spent into systems that tacitly reinforce racial segregation in housing.
Westchester’s fight with HUD originated from a lawsuit brought by the Anti-Discrimination Center. The county struck a settlement with HUD in 2009, but has failed to comply fully with it for close to a decade.

Despite being once again rejected just last April, Westchester

Continue reading “Trump’s HUD turns a blind eye to housing segregation—and yes, it may benefit Trump’s own business”

Trump’s HUD turns a blind eye to housing segregation—and yes, it may benefit Trump’s own business

It turns out that hiring your family’s event planner and/or Vice President of the Eric Trump Foundation for a high-level spot in the government’s Housing and Urban Development agency may not lead to competent government decision-making.

Lynne Patton, a former event planner for the Trump family whose nomination to a HUD position drew criticism from policy experts and housing advocates last month, reversed HUD’s position on Westchester’s zoning laws on Tuesday. The agency had rejected 10 previous versions of the county’s “Analysis of Impediments,” a document which HUD grantees must submit to demonstrate their use of taxpayer money will not get spent into systems that tacitly reinforce racial segregation in housing.
Westchester’s fight with HUD originated from a lawsuit brought by the Anti-Discrimination Center. The county struck a settlement with HUD in 2009, but has failed to comply fully with it for close to a decade.

Despite being once again rejected just last April, Westchester

Continue reading “Trump’s HUD turns a blind eye to housing segregation—and yes, it may benefit Trump’s own business”

Trump’s HUD turns a blind eye to housing segregation—and yes, it may benefit Trump’s own business

It turns out that hiring your family’s event planner and/or Vice President of the Eric Trump Foundation for a high-level spot in the government’s Housing and Urban Development agency may not lead to competent government decision-making.

Lynne Patton, a former event planner for the Trump family whose nomination to a HUD position drew criticism from policy experts and housing advocates last month, reversed HUD’s position on Westchester’s zoning laws on Tuesday. The agency had rejected 10 previous versions of the county’s “Analysis of Impediments,” a document which HUD grantees must submit to demonstrate their use of taxpayer money will not get spent into systems that tacitly reinforce racial segregation in housing.
Westchester’s fight with HUD originated from a lawsuit brought by the Anti-Discrimination Center. The county struck a settlement with HUD in 2009, but has failed to comply fully with it for close to a decade.

Despite being once again rejected just last April, Westchester

Continue reading “Trump’s HUD turns a blind eye to housing segregation—and yes, it may benefit Trump’s own business”

It’s slowly dawning on Republicans that Trump just might be the worst president ever

All is not well in Republicanville. No matter how slavish the Fox News segments become, it ain’t working; it is slowly dawning on powerful Republicans that the president they are so dutifully protecting and sucking up to may, in fact, be an idiot.

Trump’s struggles go beyond health care. More than six months into Trump’s presidency, Republicans have no legislative accomplishments other than the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a confusing foreign policy, and a White House that is perpetually in damage-control mode. From lawmakers and governors to donors and foreign policy experts, a certain realization is sinking in within the party, based on more than a dozen interviews in recent days: Donald Trump has been a historically weak and ineffective president.

That it took six months to start wondering whether the man who talked about grabbing women, who discussed his penis size during a presidential debate, who

Continue reading “It’s slowly dawning on Republicans that Trump just might be the worst president ever”

Trump White House prepares visual aides for press briefing in which cameras are barred

The White House continues to bar television cameras from their press briefings because Donald Trump gets too agitated when he watches them. Why the White House is now bringing visual aides to those no-cameras-allowed briefings, however, is a mystery.

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That’s AP reporter Jonathan Lemire, bringing us an impromptu snap of what the White House demands the American public be … barred from seeing. And it didn’t end there: While Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Epstein took a few stills herself during the briefing before apparently deleting them, the White House presentation on, ahem, “MAGAnomics” also featured, she says, “stacks of federal registers from Obama & Trump admins. Would have been more effective for WH on video.”

Alas, however, we may never know what “MAGAnomics” is intended to mean. Making America Great-nomics appears to mean

Continue reading “Trump White House prepares visual aides for press briefing in which cameras are barred”

Trump appears to be serious in his efforts to defeat insufficiently loyal Republican Sen. Jeff Flake

It’s beginning to look like Trump’s determination to screw Republican Sen. Jeff Flake may be more than just talk; his White House has been meeting with several of the Republicans mentioned as possible primary challengers.

Since taking office, Trump has spoken with Arizona state Treasurer Jeff DeWit, a top official on his 2016 campaign, on at least two occasions, according to two sources familiar with the talks. More recently, since June, White House officials have also had discussions with former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who has announced her bid, and former Arizona GOP Chairman Robert Graham, who like DeWit is exploring a campaign.

Trump has carried a grudge against Flake because Flake didn’t back him in the election. Trump’s allies have carried a grudge against Flake because disloyalty to Trump cannot possibly be tolerated, no matter what Trump has done or what the previous Republican stance on such things has

Continue reading “Trump appears to be serious in his efforts to defeat insufficiently loyal Republican Sen. Jeff Flake”

Trump says he’ll ‘let Obamacare fail’: ‘I’m not going to own it’

In televised presidential remarks that can only be described as pouting and pissy, Donald Trump declared that in the wake of Senate Republicans’ failure to advance legislation repealing Obamacare he will now “let Obamacare fail.”

From a transcript:

I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats will come to us and say how do we fix it, how do we fix it, or how do we come up with a new plan.

Whether or not this means Trump will use the powers of his office to sabotage healthcare exchanges by withholding subsidy payments from insurers—which would have a catastrophic effect on Americans insured through those programs—is unclear. If he did, the loss

Continue reading “Trump says he’ll ‘let Obamacare fail’: ‘I’m not going to own it’”

Trump says he’ll ‘let Obamacare fail’: ‘I’m not going to own it’

In televised presidential remarks that can only be described as pouting and pissy, Donald Trump declared that in the wake of Senate Republicans’ failure to advance legislation repealing Obamacare he will now “let Obamacare fail.”

From a transcript:

I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats will come to us and say how do we fix it, how do we fix it, or how do we come up with a new plan.

Whether or not this means Trump will use the powers of his office to sabotage healthcare exchanges by withholding subsidy payments from insurers—which would have a catastrophic effect on Americans insured through those programs—is unclear. If he did, the loss

Continue reading “Trump says he’ll ‘let Obamacare fail’: ‘I’m not going to own it’”

Sean Spicer: It’s ‘inappropriate’ to ask whether Trump’s businesses will be making things in America

During the kickoff to the White House’s “Made in America Week”, an event which may or may not have been orchestrated simply to give Donald the opportunity to sit in a fire truck, press secretary Sean Spicer returned to his no-cameras-allowed podium after a long absence to promote the latest White House rhetoric and pretend at indignation when reporters naturally asked if the companies Trump and offspring still own will be themselves following through on that rhetoric.

Asked if any of the Trump family brands will commit to no longer manufacturing goods abroad, Spicer said the president’s agenda focuses on making sure “all companies can hire here, can expand here, can manufacture here.”
On the Trump family’s companies, however, Spicer said, “It’s not appropriate for me to stand up here and comment about a business. I believe that is a little out of bounds.”

Really now, why do they hide

Continue reading “Sean Spicer: It’s ‘inappropriate’ to ask whether Trump’s businesses will be making things in America”

Fox News host: Trump family ‘has done more for this country than any Democratic elected official’

After Bill O’Reilly finally got himself good and properly canned by Fox News for his long history of grotesque behavior toward his co-workers, a clump of tissue cultivated from his second chin that had been cultivated in a Fox News laboratory until it had turned into a Real Boy was promoted into the Fox News lineup to take his place. We call that tissue-clump Jesse Watters, and you probably know of him from his past O’Reilly-sponsored racist segments and ambush interviews and his own attempts at being deeply creepy.

Watters has settled into the role as any lab-cultivated tissue clump might, meaning he has done his squishy little best to defend Donald Trump and offspring from all the various stuff Donald Trump and his offspring keep doing, whether that be profiting off the presidency in a manner that would lead to Fox-promoted armed marches in the streets if the dreadful Hillary had done

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Republican voters turn against book learning as the party’s enstupiding accelerates

As the Republican base’s voters get dumber, their resentment of people and institutions who are not dumb continues to grow.

A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.

That’s a 13-point change on the Republican side in just one year—and it happened after years of the number being fairly stable. Why? God only knows, but at this point it’s safe to write the whole thing off as a newly aggressive defense of idiocy. We seem to be living in a new golden age for stupidity, as is evidenced by the vapid, ignorant jagoff selected by Republicans as their preferred leader and king, and the Republican-voting public seems to have redoubled

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Republican ‘Listening to America’ poll makes no mention of Republican healthcare plans

The Republican Party is hosting a Listening to America survey. Which is pretty helpful, to be honest, because it’s not like elected Republicans are making any plans for listening to their constituents, so rather than having town halls this summer it’s likely that this one, lonely web page will be the extent of the “listening.” It’s just this, a spot to write down your email address, and the certain inbox doom of making yourself known to the fundraising apparatus of Team Treason.

Fine, let’s take a look.

5. Are your taxes too high?
9. Do you think legal immigration should be reduced until unemployment drops?
15. Do you think universities today indoctrinate rather than teach students?
18. Do you find the news to be generally too negative/hateful?
19. Do you think our country is too divided?
22. Do you feel that you cannot publically admit that you support Trump?
25. Do you

Continue reading “Republican ‘Listening to America’ poll makes no mention of Republican healthcare plans”

Trump Jr. emails point to Russian collaboration even before June meeting

It doesn’t add up. At all. Mind you, there are many questions raised by the emails Donald Trump Jr. released, only after the press had already gotten wind of them, relating to the June 2016 meeting between top members of the Trump campaign and a Russian attorney with ties to that nation’s government, but the central premise of Trump Jr.’s story is that the meeting came out of nowhere, and went nowhere, and nobody ever thought anything about the matter again. But the circumstantial evidence doesn’t support that. And the texts of the emails themselves suggest a different story.

Here’s the key part of the first message from meeting facilitator Rob Goldstone to Donald Trump Jr., a message offering information about “Hillary” that Goldstone asserted was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this

Continue reading “Trump Jr. emails point to Russian collaboration even before June meeting”