Archive | Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Scrambling to get a handle on Obamacare


Josh Marshall on the GOP realizing how much shit they’re going to be in:

This will get dark, comical and ridiculous. Republicans – particularly Marco Rubio – did significant damage to Obamacare by getting rid of the so-called ‘risk corridors’ in Obamacare by labeling them bailouts. They were not ‘bailouts’ but systems to cushion the transition to the Obamacare system, given the inability to make perfect guesses about the risk pools in the system. Now, according to The Hill, Republicans are looking at giving vast sums of money to insurance companies to give them a way to ride out the market collapse that the repeal of Obamacare would likely trigger – that is, ride it out until Republicans can think up something to replace Obamacare with.

The more I read about this mess, the more cautiously optimistic I am. They will do everything they can to kick the football down the field for at least two years, after the 2018 midterms.


Shouting match


I had to sit through one of these panels after the mayoral race was over, and it wasn’t fun. But these right-wing scum want to be treated like glorious victors when they pulled every disgusting trick in the book:

The extraordinary exchange came at a postmortem session sponsored by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where top operatives from both campaigns sat across a conference table from each other.

As Trump’s team basked in the glow of its victory and singled out for praise its campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, who was absent, the row of grim-faced Clinton aides who sat opposite them bristled.

Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri condemned Bannon, who previously ran Breitbart, a news site popular with the alt-right, a small movement known for espousing racist views.

“If providing a platform for white supremacists makes me a brilliant tactician, I am proud to have lost,” she said. “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.”

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, fumed: “Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform?”

(Pause here to puke. I did.)

“You did, Kellyanne. You did,” interjected Palmieri, who choked up at various points of the session.

“Do you think you could have just had a decent message for white, working-class voters?” Conway asked. “How about, it’s Hillary Clinton, she doesn’t connect with people? How about, they have nothing in common with her? How about, she doesn’t have an economic message?”

Joel Benenson, Clinton’s chief strategist, piled on: “There were dog whistles sent out to people. . . . Look at your rallies. He delivered it.”

At which point, Conway accused Clinton’s team of being sore losers. “Guys, I can tell you are angry, but wow,” she said. “Hashtag he’s your president. How’s that? Will you ever accept the election results? Will you tell your protesters that he’s their president, too?”

Fuck you, Eva Braun. You and your merry band of Nazis.


What Josh said

The real battle now is in the states:

Presidents are determined by the electoral college. We know this. But there are many reasons why this does matter, some good, some not good at all. David Wasserman of The Cook Political Report and 538 is my favorite election numbers counter at this point. Last night on Twitter he noted that in the last four House elections, Republicans have consistently won 4% more seats than votes in the last three House elections.

 2012: 49% of 2-party vote, 53% of seats 2014: 53% of vote, 57% of seats 2016: 51% of vote, 55% of seats

Needless to say, that consistency isn’t happenstance. It’s structural.

A significant amount of this is due to the GOP’s extremely effective 2010 gerrymandering. But it’s not just that and probably not mostly that. Democrats are geographically concentrated in ways that hurt them in federal elections. This is one reason it is absolutely critical for Democrats to focus on state legislatures and governorships in the 2018 and 2020. Geographical concentration creates inherent problems in our system. When you add the exacerbating effect of gerrymandering you can get close to a lock in a still roughly evenly divided polity.


Universal horror at teabagger appointed to HHS

Donald Trump Chooses Tom Price as Health Secretary

Tom Price has some severe “fixes” for health insurance in America. NPR reports that Price’s plan offers fixed tax credits so people can buy their own insurance on the private market. The credit starts at $1,200 a year and rises with age – but unlike Ryan’s plan, it’s not adjusted for income. Everyone receives the same… Continue Reading →


Checks and balances optional


Who could have guessed that GOP zeal against wrongdoers would so suddenly drop off a cliff?

Darren Samuelsohn asks various republicans about Trump’s massive violations, and gets a series of run-and-hide replies:

Asked if Congress had any oversight role on the potential conflicts connected to Trump’s many businesses, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell smiled and kept walking as he headed off the floor late Wednesday night, declining to say anything at all as he got into a private elevator.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) deflected a question about Trump’s potential conflicts to an aide. “Do you have an opinion on that?” the Iowa Republican asked, before he too stepped in an elevator.

Across the Capitol, the response from some of the chamber’s most powerful Republicans was largely one of indifference.

“That’s beyond my jurisdiction,” said Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for dishing out federal funds.

“Not for my committee,” added Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, the chairman of the House Ways and Means that has oversight of the IRS, the controversial agency that Trump famously used as an explanation during the presidential campaign as the reason he couldn’t release his tax returns.

“I don’t think that’s something that…the public is going to hold him accountable” for, said Rep. John Shimkus, an Illinois Republican running to chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “I don’t think people are thinking he ran for president of the United States to line his pockets.”

You’d think the famous straight-talker John McCain, who is now 80 years old and
fresh off reelection to a new six-year term in the Senate, might have some ability to exercise independent judgment. But McCain’s stated policy, as revealed to the Huffington Post’s Laura Barron-Lopez, is, “I will not discuss President-elect Donald Trump.” McCain added, “I’m responsible for the people of Arizona.”

It’s not like he is a member of some branch of government that the founders designed as a check and balance on the executive. As far as Republicans in Congress are concerned, they’re all working for Trump now.


Someone didn’t read the fine print!

Trump International Hotel

This is hysterical. Looks like Trump will have to give up his D.C. hotel:

The Post Office Lease differs from many of Mr. Trump’s other business arrangements. That’s because, in writing the contract, the federal and D.C. governments determined, in advance, that elected officials could play no role in this lease arrangement. The contract language is clear: “No … elected official of the Government of the United States … shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom…”

The language could not be any more specific or clear. Donald Trump will breach the contract on Jan. 20, when, while continuing to benefit from the lease, he will become an “elected official of the Government of the United States.”

The lease agreement, like many government contracts, is a lengthy document. Yet this clause represents a material (that is, significant) contractual term. While we recognize that some of the statutory ethics rules that generally apply to federal officials exempt the president and vice president, the prohibition on benefiting from the Old Post Office Pavilion lease does not exempt Mr. Trump. The terms of the contract were freely agreed to by the Trump Organization. Had President Obama or Vice President Biden (or any other elected official of the U.S. Government) attempted to participate in the original lease agreement in 2013, we are confident that GSA would have rejected their proposal. The lease’s plain language (a term favored by the late Justice Antonin Scalia) makes clear that Mr. Trump will be violating the lease’s terms when he becomes an elected official on Inauguration Day.


Voting rights activists urge Clinton to challenge PA, MI and WI vote counts

2016 Election Florida Voting

According to Gabe Sherman, a group of concerned voting-rights advocates and computer scientists are urging the Clinton campaign to challenge the results in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, J. Alex Halderman, were part of a group which held a conference call… Continue Reading →

Republican monkey business in North Carolina

Gov. Mcrory's visit to FEMA office

I know you are deeply shocked:

North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, champion of the country’s most notorious anti-LGBTQ law, lost his bid for re-election on Nov. 8—at last count, by 7,448 votes. Yet nearly two weeks later, McCrory still refuses to concede. Instead, he and his legal team are baselessly alleging that the results were tainted by fraud, petitioning election boards to review the results and determine their validity. McCrory is not so obtuse as to think he can actually overtake his opponent, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, in raw votes. His strategy is more insidious: He seems intent on delaying the formal declaration of a winner—and delegitimizing the voting process—in order to let the Republican-dominated legislature ignore the true result and re-install McCrory as governor for another four years.

Trump tells the press how it’s gonna be

This is the “official” version of what happened, and here’s the real one.

Donald Trump scolded media big shots during an off-the-record Trump Tower sitdown on Monday, sources told The Post.

“It was like a f–ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter.

“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.

“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added.

A second source confirmed the fireworks.

“The meeting took place in a big board room and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks,” the other source said.

“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.

“Trump didn’t say [NBC reporter] Katy Tur by name, but talked about an NBC female correspondent who got it wrong, then he referred to a horrible network correspondent who cried when Hillary lost who hosted a debate – which was Martha Raddatz who was also in the room.”

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