The "Single Mom of Two in Detroit" Attack
by Deacon Blues
On a day when FBI Director James Comey confirmed what we already knew, that 1) Donald Trump lied about Obama wiretapping him, and 2) the FBI is investigating Russian ties to the Trump campaign, a new Gallup poll shows the president’s approval has fallen under 40%.
Political capital? What political capital?
Keep in mind these numbers are before the full public debate, short-circuited as it will be, of TrumpCare and TrumpGrab, the president’s health care and budget plans to Make America Great Again.
But while Democrats flail around on Trump and the Russians, which is really nothing more than a massive money laundering operation, Trump is keeping focused on getting the Supreme Court back into the hands of Corporate America with Justice Gorsuch, while he is also gutting regulations on climate change, at a time when two-thirds of those polled want him not to, and at a time when nearly half of registered voters are “very concerned” about climate change.
My worry is that the Democrats are missing the real issues right under their noses, even as OMB Director Mulvaney gave them the roadmap last week in selling Trump’s harsh budget cuts, where he tried miserably to justify all sorts of cuts by using the “Single mom of two in Detroit” metaphor. Mulvaney’s lame defense that he and Trump care about wasting taxpayers’ money with programs for the poor should be thrown back into the administration’s face on everything.
How does cutting Medicaid and social programs to pay for tax cuts for the rich help that single mom of two in Detroit? How does jacking up the Defense budget by $54 billion help that single mom of two in Detroit? Why does cutting environmental and public health protection and climate change activities help that single mom of two in Detroit?
Why does Trump feel a $54 billion Pentagon increase without identifying what it’s for guarantees that “money will be used in a proper function” whereas spending on the poor, health care, and the environment doesn’t? We all know the answer; it’s not about fiscal responsibility, it’s all about rich versus poor, and the GOP is just being stupidly more overt this time than in the past. And Democrats should get wise and aggressive in calling it out.
Lies, Damn Lies, and Trump
by Deacon Blues
In the latest pathetic effort to avoid admitting his boss lied in a tweet two weeks ago, White House Crap-Spewer Sean Spicer told another lie yesterday in claiming that a secretive British intelligence agency did Barack Obama's wire-tapping of Donald Trump. Without concern for his own credibility or that of his boss, Spicer indicated it must be true because a crackpot on Fox News said it was so.
The British were not amused, and immediately fired back privately last night and publicly later to demand the misinformation stop, and allowed for a full repudiation of the claim by several spokespersons. Several media outlets have since reported that the White House through both Spicer and National Security Advisor General H. R. McMaster directly apologized to the British.
And then Trump himself blew it all up again by refusing to apologize this morning in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying that the White House did nothing wrong in repeating crap from Fox News.
By the end of this day, it will become painfully clear to Merkel, the Brits, and the rest of our key allies that the current president is a despicable, unstable partner not worthy of serious attention or respect.
It is already clear from Trump's emasculation of Rex Tillerson and the State Department through budget cuts and unfilled key appointments that foreign policy under Trump isn't a serious endeavor. This not only undermines America's role in the world irreversibly, but also makes a mockery of Tillerson's statements about North Korea or Trump's trade agenda with other countries, none of whom will take him or his administration seriously from now on. Why for example would any ally sign up with Trump for a military attack upon North Korea or any other target?
Just because Trump and his lackeys in Congress are stupid enough to sink themselves with self-inflicted wounds over repealing Obamacare and pushing a budget that savages those that voted for them doesn't mean our allies will heed our call anymore for the next war or "coalition of the willing." Thanks to Trump, our international political and moral capital is now gone.
24 Million Victims
by Deacon Blues
You would normally assume that a lethal Congressional Budget Office analysis that confirms Paul Ryan's wet dream of blowing up a Great Society entitlement program costs 24 million victims their health care would kill that proposal.
But then, you don't know Ryan and the GOP's bloodlust for getting the scalp of Obamacare, even if there are 24 million victims from that travesty.
Make no mistake, there is no guarantee that Ryan can get a bill out of the House now, with the news of the CBO's analysis, nor is there any guarantee that Mitch McConnell can get 50 votes for a Mike Pence tiebreaker to pass a bill back to the House for a conference committee. But do not be surprised if both the White House and Congressional Republicans blow up four decades of congressional rules to kill off Obamacare, primarily because the Trump White House has gone all in to use its limited political capital to get the Ryan plan through, and we know Trump won't let 24 million screwed Americans get in the way of saving face.
And the only way for Ryan and Trump to get it done now is to break the rules surrounding reconciliation bills and let the GOP kill off Medicaid as we know it with only a simple majority vote.
The White House is putting its political capital behind the Ryan proposal, however, sending emissaries to the Hill and meeting with skeptical lawmakers — including Cruz, who went to the White House on Thursday along with a small group of conservatives.
Among the commitments White House staff members have pledged to support is a series of amendments at the budget panel later this week, according to one senior White House official. But special budget rules established more than four decades ago make that plan impossible to fulfill.
So Trump and Ryan will simply break those rules, so that Ryan can bag an entitlement program, and Trump can claim savings that will immediately go into funding the Pentagon and the tax cut for the rich.
This will not end well for Trump, or the GOP.
Remember, No Difference Between Hillary and Trump
by Deacon Blues
Like dummies about to step on a rake and get hit in the face, Trump Republicans are about to seal their fate with the electorate. First, Senate Republicans want to ignore the rules allowing only budget issues to pass through “reconciliation” with only a majority vote and instead want to blow up the entire Obamacare program through a simple majority, rather than being forced to get past a filibuster 60-vote threshold to undo actual policy.
Now the new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, a whore for the Koch Brothers, is publicly denying climate science and the effect of carbon on the Earth’s atmosphere, as a pretext for wiping out his agency’s commitment to stopping global warming. Pretty soon, Pruitt will be rolling out the “Welcome Polluters” doormat at the front lobby of the EPA.
But these are not the only dummies who deserve scorn.
I want the millions of millennials who stayed home last November because they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary to wear this. You saps actually thought there was no difference between Trump and Clinton, and whined and sulked and stayed home because you couldn’t vote for Bernie. Now you get to watch the country and the planet be destroyed, as well as your personal health and finances be sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed, all because you couldn’t hold your nose and vote for Hillary.
Showing Their True Colors
by Deacon Blues
“You know what, Americans have choices. And they’ve got to make a choice. And so maybe, rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest in their own healthcare.”
--House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah on CNN this morning.
Says the man who benefits from taxpayer-paid healthcare of the highest order.
Mr. Chaffetz is not an outlier; this class-warfare, looking-down-his-nose, moralistic disdain for those of color who are less fortunate is imbedded in the DNA of the House and Senate Republicans. And the rollout of the House GOP destruction of the Affordable Care Act will shine a light on that insipid attitude for the whole world to see. It won't even matter to Mr. Chaffetz if he is presented evidence that his party's "fix" cripples hospitals and the lives of actual white constituents, because to Chaffetz and the rest of his caucus, life should be all about choices. His constituents now get to make choices of their own.
But candidate Trump said that he would make America great again, and said he would be a defender of the working class. How exactly does blowing up the Affordable Care Act make America great again and help the working class? Then again, candidate Trump said a lot of lies about his plans to replace the Affordable Care Act, and Mr. Chaffetz at least is giving a face to the reality that he, like the rest of his party simply don't give a damn about people outside of the Beltway.
All the evidence you need is that large parts of today's GOP are coming out against the proposal made yesterday - because it doesn't go far enough to rip up the coverage currently provided to millions of Americans. Sure, most of these brave and callous conservatives come from safe gerrymandered districts where they fear little from their calls to take us back to the days of medical cost bankruptcies, failing and closed hospitals, clogged emergency rooms, and runaway HMO's and drug companies running roughshod over consumers.
But there are vulnerable Senate Republicans up for re-election next year who thanks to Mitch McConnell's decision to take any House-passed bill straight to the Senate floor will have to vote up-or-down on whatever Darwinian nightmare Paul Ryan sends over. And I don't think Jeff Flake (Arizona), Dean Heller (Nevada), Bob Corker (Tennessee), or even Orrin Hatch (Utah) want to carry the baggage tied to voting "yes" on a bill that savages their constituents, particularly their hospitals.
On the other hand, this will be heaven-sent for the 2018 Democratic Senate incumbents who up until just weeks ago were being written off already.
Without Adult Supervision
Through DailyKos, ABC News reported this weekend that a pissed-off Donald Trump, angry at not knowing in advance that AG Jeff Sessions was recusing himself from investigations over Russia’s ties to the president, had his Chief of Staff and Chief Strategist booted off the weekend plane to Florida. This left the president with only his family around, and led to Trump’s paranoid tweets about imaginary Obama wiretapping against Trump, which have been debunked by Obama, former DNI James Clapper, and now FBI Director James Comey.
If the ABC News story is true, and Trump ditched Priebus and Bannon this weekend and left himself with only Jared Kushner, Ivanka, and other underlings to constrain him, only to see Trump soil himself with this mental instability, what does this tell us about whether this man can be trusted at all?
Update, Monday March 6th: And what proof does Trump and his lackeys like lying snake Kellyanne Conway and clueless nitwit Sarah Huckabee claim to have? Trump has "information" that it is true. Just like he had information that Obama had a false birth certificate in Hawaii.
Trump is so warped that he rejects James Comey's assertion that it isn't true. So if the commander in chief is so paranoid that he believes the voices in his head over the same FBI director that got him into office, then it's time for people of conscience to resign. Since Comey himself was floored at Trump's tweets and has now seen Trump summarily reject FBI requests to withdraw the allegation of Obama wiretapping, then let the FBI Director go first.