Republicans are totalitarians, and they’re being more honest about it every day

We’ve long known that Republicans have little respect for traditional democratic norms and ideals. We’ve seen it in their hostility toward voting rights, their decimation of traditional norms in the House and Senate, their refusal to give D.C. residents a voice in Congress, their obstruction of the Obama agenda despite being in the deep minority, and their worship of big daddy strongmen (like Putin, even before Putin installed a puppet regime in our White House). 

But conservatives used to at least pay lip service to the idea of democracy. Yet the last few weeks have been rough on that facade, as more of the truth comes out every day. Witness:

Russian sanction bill isn’t just a punishment for Russia, it’s a rebuke of Donald Trump

Donald Trump is waking up on Friday to find he has a bill to sign. However, his usual joy in making his seismographic squiggle of a signature might be a bit hard to locate this time. Because what the Senate has sent him isn’t his much-desired opportunity to dance on President Obama’s legacy. It’s the Russian sanctions bill.

The Senate on Thursday delivered Donald Trump the first big bipartisan rebuke of his presidency, giving final approval to a package of sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea that constrains his bid to defrost relations with Moscow.

The sanctions specifically target the areas of Russia’s economy that it depends on to fund military activities: mining and oil. That includes the deal made by currently-in-hiding Secretary of State Rex Tillerson while he was helming Exxon. The legislation not only locks down the sanctions that President Obama put in place following Russia’s interference in the

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Trump responds to Republican repeal failure by threatening Obamacare

Senate Republicans failed in their latest attempt to take health coverage from 16 million people with so-called “skinny repeal.” So how’s Donald Trump responding? By lamenting the failure and promising to do what he can to blow up the system so that at least a few million people lose coverage:

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Very presidential. So populist. What a champion of working people. After sleeping on it, Trump expressed the deep thought that “If Republicans are going to pass great future legislation in the Senate, they must immediately go to a 51 vote majority, not senseless 60”—after a 51-49 vote.

As Trump’s initial tweet makes clear, Obamacare is still not safe. But things are a whole lot better than they would be

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Cartoon: Peak satire moonshot

Here’s a little peek inside my brain. Week after week, I strive to stay one step ahead of the satire curve but reality quickly catches up with absurdity. It’s a fast-moving target these days as satire goes from imagined to the real world all too quickly.

Who would think that we’d see a president riffing in front of 40,000 Boy Scouts about sex and politics? Who would think we’d see a president savaging his attorney general on social media, or urging the military to do his political bidding? See, it’s probably not that far fetched that Trump’s caddy would become the new attorney general.

And for late-breaking news, surely it is some sort of dog whistle, and not pure coincidence, that Donald Trump would eliminate transgender people from the military on the very day that President Truman integrated the armed forces back in 1948! Enjoy the absurdity

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In shocker, Senate Republicans fail to strip health care from millions in dead of night

A remarkable thing happened in the Senate tonight. Enough Republican Senators realized that they could stop a bill that they did not want to become law by voting against it. The skinny Trumpcare bill failed, 49-51, when Republican Sens. Susan Collins (ME), John McCain (AZ), and Lisa Murkowski (AK) voted no. We might have to say nice things about McCain for a while. Stupid Sen. Dean Heller (NV), who has the most to lose, did not take this opportunity and voted with his leader.

Enough Senate Republicans decided that they couldn’t use the excuse House Speaker Paul Ryan gave them in his half-hearted endorsement of the House and Senate going to a conference committee to vote for this thing. They didn’t want to  kick sixteen million people off of their health insurance next year. Or maybe they were just embarrassed by the whole dismal farce of a legislative process this whole

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CBO scores skinny Trumpcare: 16 million lose coverage, premiums increase 20 percent by next year

We’ve got skinny Trumpcare or Zombie Trumpcare 5.0—or the John McCain Surrenders the Last Shreds of His Integrity bill—finally on the floor and the CBO worked fast to figure out what it’s going to do.

What it’s going to do is kick 16 million people out of their health insurance in the next year. An election year. Because the bill doesn’t include Medicaid, by some miracle, the loss of insurance is somewhat curtailed compared to other bills the Republicans have been struggling with.  Besides that, it’s going to increase premiums in the non-group market “by roughly 20 percent relative to current law in all years between 2018 and 2026.” It’s also going to mean a death spiral kicks in, because as fewer healthy people sign up, the higher premiums go and more insurers leave the markets.

That’s as it stands now. The House may or may not decide to

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Scaramucci calls Priebus ‘paranoid schizophrenic’ and says Bannon sucks … Bannon

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Overnight, White House communications director Tony “Mooch” Scaramucci threatened to sic the FBI on chief of staff Reince Priebus for supposedly stealing documents that turned out to be in the public domain. That kind of royal screw up might be expected to produce a bit of contrition, but that would be back in the world where people still have some modicum of dignity or some scrap of humility.

Instead, when Scaramucci learned that Donald Trump’s dining arrangements had appeared on the internet, he went … insane seems too kind. As told by Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker, Scaramucci called him up to demand the scalp of whoever leaked this vital information.

“Who leaked that to you?” he asked. I said I couldn’t give him that information. He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. “What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone

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