Category Archives: Congress

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “And the loons shall lie down with the Lamb” edition


Okay people – coffee break’s over – back on your heads!

One subject for today’s Obsession – Pennsylvania special election live thread!

Lamb vs. Saccone Special Election PA18
NY Times ^ | March 13, 2018

Posted on 3/13/2018, 7:16:01 PM by Pinkbell

A thread to discuss the results.

I feel like Lamb has a lot of momentum, has run as a moderate, and has run a better campaign. I’ll predict he’ll win tonight (although I’d like to see Saccone win).

NYT does a good job with election results.

1 posted on 3/13/2018, 7:16:02 PM by Pinkbell
Oh, DO they, now? So the “New York Slimes” is always full of fake news, but suddenly they’re the go-to for factual election results?

To: Pinkbell

The republicans would have had more excitement excrement if they ran a head of cabbage.


How can these clowns lose a state like Alabama? They’re going to give it all back to the commies if they don’t get their act together.

I thought you Freepers loved you some commies?  Or is that just since 2016?

RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel needs to go home if they cannot do better than this.

10 posted on 3/13/2018, 7:21:54 PM by boycott

I wonder how long it’s going to be before the other Freepers strap on their blamethrowers?
To: boycott


The republicans do not want the majority because they cannot justify what they are doing, tax cuts aside.

12 posted on 3/13/2018, 7:24:39 PM by Lagmeister ( false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders Mark 13:22)

Twelve posts in – that has to be some kind of record.
To: VeniVidiVici


Marine officer and democrat…

Two terms that just don’t seem to right in the same sentence.

20 posted on 3/13/2018, 7:30:44 PM by NFHale (The Second Amendment – By Any Means Necessary.)

Nice try, wannabe. I’ve got a Marine friend named Dan who could cut you into pieces small enough to hide, and he’s as liberal as they come.
To: NutsOnYew


God…yet another potentially close race with a LOSERTARIAN also on the ballot. I wonder if Soros is back-channel supporting these idiots?

23 posted on 3/13/2018, 7:33:01 PM by House Atreides (BOYCOTT the NFL, its products and players 100% – PERMANENTLY)

And then –
To: Pinkbell


Saccone takes the lead by 14 votes!

woohoo it’s in the bag!

27 posted on 3/13/2018, 7:35:26 PM by JPJones (More tariffs, less income tax.)

You a fonny boy.
More below the “Read Roy Moore” link…

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The Lambslide

I am, of course, being sardonic, sarcastic, and other S words. Conor Lamb’s special election margin is 627 votes as I write this but a win is a win is a win. It’s a victory for coalition politics and a defeat for the president* and a feckless Speaker of the House who seems incapable of distancing his members from a wildly unpopular Trump. Paul Ryan is the most politically inept Speaker of my lifetime: the goal of any Speaker is to preserve their majority. Ryan is too afraid of the rabid right-wing base he’s pandered to all these years to even try to save his majority. Thanks, Paul.

This triumph will prove to be somewhat ephemeral since the crazy quilt Pennsylvania Gerrymander scheme was tossed out by the courts. Lamb will have to run in a differently configured district this fall but that somehow makes this victory even sweeter. Lamb beat a Republican in a district drawn to make it well-nigh impossible for a D to beat an R.  It took an asshole president* to produce a 20 point swing. Thanks, Trumpy.

In classic Trump fashion, he’s making excuses and absolving himself from any blame for the GOP’s latest special election defeat:

 “The young man last night that ran, he said, ‘Oh, I’m like Trump. Second Amendment, everything. I love the tax cuts, everything.’ He ran on that basis,” Trump said at the fundraiser, according to an audio recording obtained by The Atlantic. “He ran on a campaign that said very nice things about me. I said, ‘Is he a Republican? He sounds like a Republican to me.’”

In fact, Lamb ran a classic lunch pail/kitchen table pro-union campaign. It’s the way Democrats have won elections in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since the New Deal. I don’t recall Trump being a fan of organized labor. Fake populism can only get you so far.

Here’s how former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau described Landslide Lamb’s campaign:

It takes a coalition to win any election that doesn’t take place in the purest truest bluest district. For the 50 state strategy to succeed, that requires supporting candidates who can win in a given district. That was the strategy Howard Dean used to help Democrats take back the House in 2006. You might recall that Dean ran as the most liberal candidate in the Democratic presidential race in 2004. He was still a believer in coalition politics, which is what made Nancy Smash Speaker and Harry Reid Senate Majority Leader.

The important thing is to win and negotiate our differences later: the future of the Republic may well depend on a blue wave this fall. A candidate who can win in Berkeley or Brooklyn cannot win in Western Pennsylvania or statewide in, say, Texas. A lot of “non-partisan progressives” on twitter have been unhappy with Beto O’Rourke because he’s insufficiently pure. Do they prefer Rafael Edward Cruz who the last time I checked was the wingnut’s wingnut?

The sitting president is *always* the issue in mid-term elections, especially since the South became a sea of red. The days when Tip O’Neill could hold his majority with a popular Republican president in office are long gone. Trump will be the main issue even when a candidate chooses to treat him like Voldemort and not speak his name aloud a la Landslide Lamb. It’s a losing issue for Republicans and a winner for Democrats and sanity. Believe me.

The last word goes to Genesis with my favorite song with the word lamb in it:

Exhuming McCarthy

Trump with arch-McCarthyite Roy Cohn.

I spent the weekend in the Carnival bubble, which is a good place. I stayed there even when two of the leading resistance activists in my area came over for a parade party yesterday. We didn’t feel like dissecting the Nunes memo and what, if any, significance it might have.

The memo itself is a damp squib: Nunes has admitted that he hasn’t read any of the underlying material. He’s emulating his dear leader who was left alone with a 3 1/2 page memo for several hours. Trump claims to have read it but I think he watched teevee instead. The Nunes memo does, however, aid and abet the possibility of what many have called a slow motion Saturday Night Massacre.

It’s not an original insight to apply the label neo-McCarthyism to Nunes and his doings, especially now that he plans to give Foggy Bottom a spanking next. The State Department was Tailgunner Joe’s main target, after all.

One hears the word unprecedented a lot in the age of Trump. Sometimes it’s used correctly. But it is not unprecedented for Republican politicians to attack arms of government to suit their own political aims. It’s what Joe McCarthy did and it’s what Devin Nunes and Donald Trump are doing right now.

Once again Trump proves that he’s worse than Nixon. Tricky’s assault on the FBI and CIA was mostly subterranean whereas Trump’s is out in the open and on the tweeter tube. Trump’s is more egregious: he is willing to take down the FBI to save his own ass. It surprises but does not shock me that GOPers do not understand that if one is not-guilty one does not need to obstruct justice by finagling to shut an investigation down. One is not the loneliest number in this post.

Will it work? I’m not sure. Slate legal eagle Dahlia Lithiwck thinks it might. If nothing else, the Nunes memo has sown the seeds of chaos, confusion, and discord that Team Trump thrives on. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos. His operating principle is that if you throw enough shit against the wall some of it will stick.

The post title is taken from an REM song from their great 1987 album, Document. Exhuming McCarthy was written in response to the Iran-Contra scandal and the rise of the likes of Newt Gingrich who specialized in McCarthyite attacks on their opponents. The lyrics are just as relevant to the current situation and the Current Occupant who lie as easily as the worst of the Reaganites. The good news is that they’re not as good at it as St. Ronnie and his cohort. Reagan had an aura of niceness that mitigated his lies in the eyes of many. Trump is a prick who is only believed by hardcore cultists. The Reaganites attack on the truth worked: it remains to be seen if the Trumpers efforts will work. One thing I’m sure of: Reagan would be appalled by Trump’s fealty to the neo-Soviet government of Vladimir Putin. Even the Reaganites had their limits.

A reminder: Donald Trump considers Joe McCarthy’s henchman Roy Cohn a mentor as you can see in the featured image at the top of the post. As I wrote during the campaign, oy such a mentor.

The last word goes to-who else?-REM as it did in the Trump-Cohn post.

Cave Diving

This, pretty much: 

So Democrats staved off the worst effects of a government shutdown. They prevented a turn in public opinion against their party for this shutdown, as well as Dreamers. They got CHIP. They got a commitment from McConnell to bring up immigration legislation. And they gave up none of their leverage.

It may be tempting to insist that Democrats should have pressed on with the shutdown strategy until they got everything they wanted. But Congress works slowly ― barely ― until the moment that it all comes together in an instant.

Democrats took a step toward that moment.

I know they should have held out for DACA, sure, but you tell me how that was going to happen. I don’t believe Schumer trusts McConnell and I don’t believe McConnell is going to do the right thing and I don’t believe Paul Ryan is anything other than the vaguely sentient sexbot Ayn Rand wishes she had built. Of course they’re not going to bring up DACA again. Of course Lucy’s gonna pull the football away. Of course we’re just gonna have to do this again in three weeks.

Three more weeks for DACA recipients to be deported. That’s monstrous. That’s not in any way all right.

And there was no way for the Democrats to stop it. They don’t have the House, the Senate, the White House. They don’t have a majority of statehouses and they’re never gonna take the streets.

But in 10 months they can take two of those things back. Ten months from now they can take back the House, take back the Senate, and fix DACA for good. Authorize CHIP for a hundred years. Impeach the orange motherfucker whose chaos-enabling shitlord underlings engineered this whole mess. I believe this is the answer:

Conservative Dems are infuriating. Republican-lite Dems are infuriating. But it’s their disproportionate representation in Congress that makes them powerful. Elect 70 Dem senators and the four assholes we all hate don’t matter. Elect a few dozen more Dem House members and the 12 gutless pricks that drive us crazy every time lose all their leverage. Elect Democrats to hold every statehouse in the land AND NO REPUBLICAN POLICIES WILL EVEN COME UP FOR A VOTE.

You know who’s yelling loudest that Democrats are CAVING and it’s all terrible for Democrats?


So shout at your senators if you want. Tell them they should have held out for DACA. Shit, primary them if you want (though you come for Tammy Baldwin First of Her Name, you’re gonna have to go through me). That’s your right, and maybe I’m wrong here. Maybe in 3 weeks it’ll all go tits-up and you can all say I TOLD YOU SO NEOLIBERAL SHILL.

That’s your right, too.

But don’t add your voice to the Republican spin machine that would have said ANY outcome was terrible for Democrats, who are always In Disarray and always Letting True Progressives Down. Absent Republicans, absent ALEC, absent Koch/Murdoch/Fox, none of this would be happening at all.

Tell your senators they made a terrible compromise. And let’s try to get rid of the reason for terrible compromises in the first place.


America Held Hostage Day Three

If Yogi Berra were still with us, he’d say it was “deja vu all over again.” The last federal government shutdown was in 2013, which was when I inaugurated the first incarnation of this feature with this opening paragraph:

I keep dating myself (I kiss and tell too) on this blog but I do it for a good cause. I remember when ABC News launched a late night newscast after bored students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and took a bunch of hostages to avoid studying for finals. The show was originally called America Held Hostage before morphing into Nightline, which is apparently still airing but I haven’t seen it in eons. A late night network news show is now kinda quaint but it was cutting edge in 1979.

This could be called the Stupid Shutdown since the Republicans control both houses of Congress and the executive branch. Stupid is on brand for the Trumpified, post-Tea Party GOP as is the whole notion of a government shutdown. Anything that is the brain child of N Leroy Gingrich is presumed stupid until proven otherwise.

Since government shutdowns have been part of the GOP brand since 1995, Democrats should hold firm on their demands. A closely divided Senate gives them leverage on DACA, which is an idea everyone but the dimmer people on the White House staff claim to support. Despite Trump’s urging, Chinless Mitch ain’t nuking the filibuster. He’s been in the minority before and will be again, hopefully in 2019. Veteran senators take the long view on the filibuster. Besides, the filibuster was the Turtle’s best friend when he was minority leader.

As to the White House, I call Trump the Kaiser of Chaos for a reason. He thrives on chaos, disorder, and instability: they’re part of his brand. As far as he’s concerned, this is Congress’ problem, he’ll sign whatever they send over. Some leader, some leadership.

The White House has provided some unintentional comedy relief as you can see in this tweet from Krazy author Michael Tisserand:

I am, however, disappointed that Michael missed the Get Smart shoe phone:

As Agent 86 would surely say at this point: “Missed it by that much.”

FYI, the bad guy spooks in Get Smart were Chaos. Sound familiar? I hear they have a Kaiser, not a Tsar.

The bumbling in Washington would be funnier if the real life implications weren’t so potentially terrible. Republicans expect Democrats to behave as responsible adults and cave. It hasn’t quite worked out that way in the past but it’s their expectation. What tends to happen is bi-partisan caving. Repeat after me: moderates always cave.

The joker in the 2018 shutdown deck is the Insult Comedian. Other that his stupid wall, he doesn’t believe in anything or care about anyone, he just wants a win. Every time he opens his mouth or unleashes his itchy twitter trigger finger he upsets an apple cart. I figured I should use an arcane phrase because he’s trying to take us back to the pre-civil rights, pre-feminist era. What he wants to do when he gets there is beyond me. Chaos is the result.

The teabagger driven 2013 shutdown lasted 16 days. The 2018 shutdown is driven by stupidity and Trump’s love of disorder. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos. Right now, he’s stupidly happy:

Repeat after me: the Kaiser of Chaos is stupidly happy.


Bedlam was originally the nickname for an early psychiatric hospital in London. The word has subsequently become synonymous with madness, chaos, and disorder as well as this swell 1946 movie:

In the Trump era, our nation’s capital has become the world’s largest loony bin even if the president* passed a cognitive test administered by his doctor. He may not have early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, but he’s a fucking moron with a short attention span and impulse control issues. Boris Karloff might have said that he’s nuttier than a fruitcake. I concur: he’s every bit as nasty as one too; his “incredible genes” notwithstanding.

The Kaiser of Chaos has no idea what his policies are or how to argue for them. Congressional Republicans want to use CHIP as a weapon against Democrats to blame them for a shutdown.  Such subtleties are lost on the Insult Comedian who blew up this strategy on the Tweeter Tube:

He’s already tweeted against bills that his administration proposed and is likely to continue doing so. His position on DACA shifts hourly depending who he last spoke to. The result is chaos, confusion, and bedlam.

Trump has convinced himself that a 2018 government shutdown will be a “good shutdown.” There ain’t no such thing. The notion that voters will blame the party that controls none of the political branches of government fails the smell test. It’s the Insult Comedian pandering to a diminished base who are the only ones who still believe anything he says. The result is chaos, confusion, and bedlam.

Well-meaning personally decent Republicans like Jeff Flake are speaking out against the bedlam. Flake’s recent speech comparing the Trump to Uncle Joe Stalin was a good one BUT fine words aren’t enough in this situation. Flake has voted the Trump party line 90% of the time. Flake’s critique is increasingly reminiscent of someone who corrects your grammar or table manners. It’s all style and no substance. It contributes to the chaos, confusion, and bedlam.

Things are so bad that reports about Trump’s affair with Gret Stet born porn star Stormy Daniels are getting no traction. This is the sort of story that the Beltway press corps used to live for, but now they seem to have scandal fatigue. They’re increasingly numb to the chaos, confusion, and bedlam.  (Parenthetical aside: Stormy threatened to run for the Senate against Diaper Dave in 2010. There’s a swell account of this by Mitch Rabalais at the Bayou Brief. Y’all know how much I love sub-plots and this is a juicy one.)

The country has been battered, beaten, and abused before, but we’ve never had an administration with so many scandals that the press has a hard time prioritizing which one to cover. The extent and scope of the Trump administration’s crimes dwarf anything we’ve seen in our history. Teapot Dome was a tempest in an oily teacup compared to the Trump scandals. The result is chaos, confusion, and bedlam.

Kevin McCarthy: Candyass Candyman

In 2015, I wrote a funny post about how House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy blew his chance to replace Speaker Boner. It had a classic title if I do say so myself and I do, Untrustable in Hungria: The Kevin McCarthy Story. McCarthy has trouble with the language, which may be one reason Trump likes him; that and his obsequious toadying:

President Trump and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) were alone in the presidential suite on Air Force One, flying east toward Washington in early October, when the president reached for a handful of Starbursts, the square-shaped candy fruit chews.

But instead of unwrapping all the treats, the president was careful to pluck out and eat two flavors: cherry and strawberry, McCarthy noticed.

“We’re there, having a little dessert, and he offers me some,” McCarthy recalled in an interview. “Just the red and the pink. A bit later, a couple of his aides saw me with those colors and told me, ‘Those are the president’s favorites.’ ”

Days later, the No. 2 Republican in the House — known for his relentless cultivation of political alliances — bought a plentiful supply of Starbursts and asked a staffer to sort through the pile, placing only those two flavors in a jar. McCarthy made sure his name was on the side of the gift, which was delivered to a grinning Trump, according to a White House official.

First, Starbursts are nasty. I thought only small kids and teenagers ate that sticky and nasty shit. It makes sense that the arrested adolescent president* would like them. Ick. What is it with Republicans and nasty artificial fruit flavored candy? Reagan was a jelly bean freak. Now it’s the Insult Comedian and Starburst. One would think that a man with orange hair would favor that flavor instead of pink and red. Is it a subliminal message that he’s a pinko? His pal Vladdy used to be a red, after all.

Second, having a staffer sort Starbursts is an example of your tax dollars at work in the  Trump era. Admittedly, it beats the hell out of taking away health care from millions of Americans, but it still sucks. Plus it’s icky and sticky. Perhaps the staffer in question will quit and write an expose: I sorted Starburst  for Trump. I guess Kev didn’t know you could buy the red kind separately…

Kevin McCarthy is a dolt and  a world-class sycophant. His head is so far up Trump’s ass that the president* calls him “my Kevin.” That’s as sickly sweet as Trump’s favorite treat.

Writing this post has given me dueling earworms from an unlikely pair: Sammy Davis Jr. and the Grateful Dead and they’ll get the last word. We’ll go with the hit first:

Don Donaldo Wants To Wet His Beak

I haven’t used Trump’s wise guy nickname for quite some time: Don Donaldo, Il Insulto Comico. It’s not because he’s stopped grifting but because there’s so much shit going on, which is why I also call him the Kaiser of Chaos. It’s time for Don Donaldo to play a return engagement at First Draft.

<drum roll>

Today on Life Imitates The Godfather Theatre:

Remember the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere”? The Montana Sheep Institute or the now-shuttered North Carolina teapot hall of fame?

Congress years ago eliminated funding for these types of pet projects, known as earmarks, after they became derided as government boondoggles, largess and a pathway to corruption.

President Trump now wants to bring them back.

In a freewheeling meeting about immigration with congressional Republicans and Democrats this week, Mr. Trump lamented the gridlock that has gripped the capital in recent years and suggested that earmarks, the practice of stealthily stuffing funding for pet projects into legislation, be exhumed from the legislative graveyard.

“Our system lends itself to not getting things done, and I hear so much about earmarks — the old earmark system — how there was a great friendliness when you had earmarks,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday. “Maybe all of you should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks.”

So much for draining the swamp. Of course, he might have already changed his position by now. He’s an ignorant and erratic swamp critter, after all.

I have mixed feelings about earmarks. One person’s pork is another’s important project but the system *was* repeatedly abused. Pork barrel spending was a frequent target of the late Senator William Proxmire (D-Wisconsin) who was a liberal but a cheapskate and proud of it. Proxmire had his Golden Fleece Award, which he bestowed upon shady pork barrel spending projects from 1975 to 1988.

In contemplating earmarks and pork, one should consider the source. In 2018, the source is the most personally corrupt president* in American history. Don Donaldo has ties to both the Italian-American and Russian Mafia. In short, he’s in it for himself.

That brings me back to this episode of Life Imitates The Godfather Theatre. In Godfather Part II,  young Vito Corleone made his mark on the New York crime scene by whacking the greedy, cruel, and ugly Don Fanucci. Here’s Don Fannucci’s best known line:

Like the avaricious fictional mob boss, Don Donaldo wants to wet his beak. That’s why earmarks should not be revived as long as he’s the Current Occupant. Let’s keep his beak dry.

Fuck Yeah, Dianne

Dianne Feinstein is a cautious politician. In her four terms in the Senate she’s developed a reputation as an institutionalist who will work in a bi-partisan manner to get shit done. That has changed with her release of the Glenn Simpson/Fusion GPS transcript, which bends Senate norms in the national interest. I’m still working my way through the transcript so my focus is on Senator Feinstein who became a national hero yesterday.

Apparently, the final straw for the senior Senator from California came when Grassley and Little Lindsey referred Christopher Steele for prosecution last week. She was not consulted and thought the notion of prosecuting a whistleblower was ludicrous. Feinstein has a long fuse but, by all accounts, she was royally vexed. In releasing the transcript, she’s dared Grassely to do something about it. He seems to be folding like a poker player caught dealing from the bottom of the deck.

The big news coming out of the Feinstein-Grassley smackdown is confirmation that Senate Republicans have been lying about the origin of the FBI’s Kremlingate investigation. They’ve claimed that Steele and Fusion GPS started the investigation, which means that it’s somehow Hillary Clinton’s fault. Simpson’s testimony UNDER OATH proves that Grassley has been blowing smoke to divert attention from the fact that the FBI was already on the case when contacted by Steele.

The Insult Comedian chimed in on the tweeter tube:

That’s one of his worst nicknames ever. Dianne Feinstein is famously blunt and direct. If she’s sneaky, I’m a Trumper. Additionally, she has never said that collusion has not been found, and the release of this document is legal and in the public interest. It’s Senate Republicans who have disgraced and abased themselves to protect a criminal president*.

I chuckled when I typed the post title. Dianne Feinstein has always been a prim and proper pol. I doubt that she swears but fuck yeah is the ultimate accolade here at First Draft. So fuck yeah it is.

Dianne Feinstein is one tough cookie. It’s what happens when you’ve lost three elections and keep coming back for more. If Donald Trump thinks she’s going to crumple, he’s even crazier than I think he is. It’s just more dick waving from the idiot-in-chief. It’s a waste of time. Dianne don’t play that.

I am proud of my former mayor at this moment. She’s not always right but always tries to do the right thing. In this instance, she stuck the landing.

Fuck yeah, Senator Feinstein.

Willard Mittbot Romney Reboot?

That useless old hack Orrin Hatch has announced that he’s retiring from the Senate at the end of his term. In 2017, Hatch was best known for ramming through the GOP’s tax heist bill and for kissing Donald Trump’s ass in public. The greatest president* of your lifetime, Orrin? I didn’t know you’d broken up with Ronnie.

The MSM has anointed a successor who it believes will ride a horse named Rafalca into Washington and lead Republicans back to the conservative promised land: Willard Mittbot Romney. Say what? The stiff, robotic chap who lost to Obama in 2012 and sucked Trump’s dick so hard that he left teeth marks? Yeah, that guy. The guy that conservative columnist Ross Douthat is actually right about:

Romney’s direct role in Trump’s ascent was modest but telling. He didn’t just accept the Trump imprimatur in his campaign against Barack Obama; he flew to Las Vegas to have the endorsement bestowed upon him, issued some flattering words about his endorser’s awesome business acumen and essentially averted his eyes from the conspiracy theories about President Obama’s origins that Trump was then enthusiastically peddling.

Like most prominent Republicans at the time, Romney no doubt assumed that the fever swamp stuff didn’t need to be attacked, that it would evaporate once the G.O.P. won back the White House. But instead the fever swamp stuff helped hand the G.O.P. to Trump himself, and the birther’s grip-and-grin with an uncomfortable Romney was a small but notable milestone on that path.

Thanks to Willard I just quoted that dipshit Douthat approvingly. Thanks, Mittbot.

It *is* true that the Mittbot has harshly criticized Trump’s style. BUT do we really need another Republican who will criticize his crudity but vote for his polices a la Jeff Flake and Bob Corker? That’s my expectation of a Senator Romney. Willard has not exactly been a profile in courage during his public life. Remember: the ACA was based on Romneycare but he not only denied authorship of his signature public accomplishment, but became an advocate of “repeal and replace.”

Steve Bannon claims that he’ll run a humanoid against Mittbot but it’s unlikely to work. First, Utahns get the vapors over Trump’s manners. Second, the extended Romney clan has been big in Mormon circles since the early days. They’re not Nauvoo on the LDS scene. Finally, Bannon’s stroke in Trumper circles may wither and die as a result of his calling the Manafort- Slumlord Jared-Junior meeting with the Russians “treasonous.” Bannon finally got something right, y’all.

As a satirist, I’m glad to have Willard Mittbot Romney to kick around again. As a citizen, I wish the people of Utah would elect a Democrat to replace Hatch but that’s unlikely.

I went a googling and found this swell circa 2012 illustration by Danny Schwartz:

I hope those guys are available for the reboot. The Birther-in-Chief is ready to pounce on the MSM’s robotic “hero,” but Rafalca is ready to rumble and she’s bigger and much prettier than the Insult Comedian. Of course, who isn’t prettier?

Welcome to the New Gilded Age: The Great Tax Heist of 2017

Image by Michael F.

I woke up this morning to see that Michael F had “stolen” my tax heist theme. I decided to retaliate by “stealing” his image. Actually, it was the whole “great minds” thing, and I asked for permission to re-use his image. Unlike the Great Tax Heist of 2017, it was NOT highway robbery in broad daylight. And I am not a robber baron, not even a lesser earl or a discounted viscount. I guess you can tell we’re watching The Crown

Trump promised a throwback administration and this bill offers a throwback to the pre-New Deal tax code. It’s such a throwback that it makes me want to throw up. Ayn Rand believed that the New Deal enslaved people and her disciples are on the verge of perfecting her vision. Thanks, Speaker Ryan. We all know what happens next: proposed cuts to foreign aid, social programs, medicaid, and medicare. Why? Because they’ll suddenly care about the deficit that they themselves blew up. Welcome to the New Gilded Age.

The most horrifying thing about the Great Tax Heist of 2017 is that it emulates failed policies  in Kansas and the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Bloody Kansas has been bleeding red ink since that bloody fool Sam Brownback decided to roll the dice with the lives of Kansans. Bobby Jindal followed the same pattern in the Gret Stet: cut taxes, lose revenue, cut government spending thereby ripping huge holes in the safety net. Thanks, PBJ.

Like their late 19th Century predecessors, the 21st Century GOP only cares about those who are already rich. They don’t care about their ungrateful employees (the middle-class) or the undeserving poor. Welcome to the New Gilded Age.

There is so much else wrong with this bill that it’s hard to know where to begin. My new motto is: when in doubt, bullet point the hell out of it.

  • The president* has no clue what’s in the bill, all he knows is that he needs a WIN. The lyingest administration in history has claimed that Trump will NOT benefit from the bill. Gimme a break.
  • It’s a pay-off to the donor class so they will keep funding Republican campaigns. Sheldon Adelson, Robert Mercer, and the Koch brothers are happy plutocrats right now.
  • The Corker Kickback benefits not only the Senator from Tennessee but 12 of his colleagues *and* Donald Trump. In contrast, the three wealthiest Senators, all Democrats, voted against their own self-interest.
  • There is no plan to implement the bill. Congressional Republicans hope it will take effect in a few weeks, which is crazy to say the least. Do we really want the IRS acting as hastily as Congress?

Welcome to the New Gilded Age.

It’s an era where corruption is out in the open and celebrated as freedom. It’s really the freedom to be selfish and indifferent to the plight of people in need. I’d like to remind everyone that this bill reflects Congress’ vision *and* that of so-called establishment Republicans, not Trump. The only vision Trump has is of himself in the mirror. A different Republican president would be prepared to sign such a bill. They might, however, know what’s in it unlike the Insult Comedian.

Congressional Democrats and outside groups lost the fight over the bill, but won the messaging battle. I may prefer the term heist to scam but whatever works. This is a politically damaging bill and I cannot wait to see the attack ads with footage of Congressional GOPers celebrating their victory alongside their wildly unpopular president*. They’re all in with Trump and it’s going to cost them dearly in November, 2018. BUT only if we stay vigilant and organize the living shit out of the mid-term election.

The good news is that the Great Tax Heist of 2017 is reversible. The bad news is that it’s going to take years and it will inflict grave damage on the most vulnerable members of society. Congressional Republicans are so drunk on victory right now that they’re ignoring their promise to keep the CHIP program going. If I thought shaming them would work, I’d try it but we all know how shameless they are.

The abuses of the first Gilded Age led to the reforms of the Progressive Era. Of course, at that time there were many Republicans who supported those reforms. In the 21st Century, they’re all in with the plutocrats and those who want to deregulate everything. The sense of noblesse oblige that inspired Teddy Roosevelt and other progressive Republicans is alien to the current GOP. They’ve got theirs and they don’t care about the rest of us. They call it freedom, I call it willful cruelty.

Welcome to the New Gilded Age.

You Voted For This

Congrats, everybody who’ll be bitching in diners to NYT reporters in six months or eight months or a year about how everything sucks for you.

Congrats, because you voted for it.

You voted to gut your public school’s budget, because teachers have too many benefits and only work nine months out of the year anyway. Okay.

You voted to increase taxes on student loans, because if people can’t afford college they shouldn’t go, or should get jobs, or should study something useful like engineering and not dumb philosophy and basketweaving. Okay.

You voted to help kill Obamacare, because it was too expensive or bad or dumb, and you think being on your own, uninsurable and uninsured, is better. Okay.

You voted to repeal state and local property tax deductions. You voted to grant personhood rights beginning at conception. You voted to let churches openly politick. Okay.


In six months or eight months or a year, here’s what your world will look like.

Your public school will still be a shithole, your teachers will be on strike, your town’s test scores will be cratering.

Your property taxes — the taxes you bitch about like it’s your job — will skyrocket, and you can’t deduct them unless you’re living in a half-million-dollar crib in a prime community.

You won’t be able to sell your house, though, because the schools will suck, and school scores and property tax rates are all that matter in real estate.

Your pastor or priest will be telling you who he or she likes in the next election. If you want to remain a member in good standing, here’s who you’ll like, too.

The last insurance company serving your community will pull out because there aren’t enough customers. That’s okay, you can go on Medicare! Except you can’t, because that program had to be gutted to make up for the shortfalls caused by the tax cuts. 


That’s what you voted for.

You voted against the very benefits that made your life possible, that kept your family in their homes and jobs and lives, that sent you to school each day and put food on your table. You voted against the social contract that says we all need help sometime, and we all deserve second chances, and we all should take care of one another.

You did it out of ignorance or spite, out of selfishness or fear, out of racism or stupidity or greed or just plain meanness, but you did it to yourselves.

You know why we don’t rebuild our cities with our steel and our fuel and our workers? You know why our schools aren’t the best in the nation, shining beacons of education? You know why we don’t go to the moon anymore, why we don’t take care of each other, why we don’t succeed? You know why America isn’t fucking great anymore?

Because the Republican congressmen and senators you voted for, over and over, out of ignorance and spite and selfishness and fear and racism and stupidity and greed and just plain meanness don’t want to make it great. They want to profit. And they know you either don’t know that, or don’t care.

So when you look around the wreckage, as you try to figure out what happened to the society you once lived in, make sure one of your lingering glances is toward a mirror.


Louie Gohmert’s Brain Scan

Reunion week continues at First Draft. Our old “friend” Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert Piles is spinning conspiracy theories this week. It doesn’t matter that the Uranium One mishigas has been debunked by Snopes and even by Fox Newser Shep Smith. Gohmert Piles and his ilk want a special prosecutor and they want one now. The president* is threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue.  It’s what wannabe dictators do.

Louie Gohmert Piles was so upset by the mockery he’s received outside the right-wing bubble that he went in for a brain scan. Here’s the feverish result:

That is, of course, not a brain scan; one must have a brain to be scanned, and Gohmert Piles has an empty space inside his head. Instead, it’s a flowchart he presented before the House Judiciary Committee. Your tax dollars at work.

Contemplating the stupidest member of Congress always gives me a stupid earworm of one of the stupidest rock songs of all-time. Here’s a quirky-n-off-kilter version from Cajun music titan, Michael Doucet of Beausoleil fame:

It’s lagniappe time. My nickname for the nasty dumbass Congressman is inspired by the lovable dumbass teevee character, Gomer Pyle who was the only Marine never deployed to Vietnam. Semper Fi, y’all.

If She Was Your Daughter

Do you know how many women I know, who told their fathers? Who told their mothers, their friends, a “trusted adult” that they were being hurt or had been hurt? Do you know how many of these people, who have daughters, did nothing?

Homeless shelters are full of girls and boys whose parents chose their abusers over them. It happens every day.

Let me tell you what they’d do, these upstanding Republican congressmen, if it was their daughters.

They’d say to their girls, their beloved girls who they taught to throw a ball just like a boy and who they said could do anything a man could do and whose report cards they pinned to the fridge, they’d say:

You’re making that up.

They’d say:

He didn’t really mean it.

They’d say:

You led him on.


They’d say:

You should forgive him.

You know why they’d say those things to the girls they read bedtime stories to every night? You know why they’d back down in the face of someone who bullied their own flesh and blood?

Because nothing matters more than the status quo.

Do you know how many of these men have already faced the fact that it was their daughters?

Do you know how many of them did nothing?

I can even understand it, you know. It’s a human instinct to protect your relationships, and so you gamble: You call out a man for hurting your child, he might leave. He might cause trouble for you. He might get you fired or fight you or find a way to make you less, turn all your friends against you, refuse to work with you, tell others and embarrass you.

Your daughter? She will probably stay. She will probably quiet down. She will probably stop talking about it.

She will probably minimize what happened in her own mind and minimize it for you, so that her relationship with you can stay intact. Nothing’s worth destroying your relationship with your family, after all. She’s been socialized since birth to provide for men’s comfort and that means comfort of mind as well as body.

You can hear her telling herself: She survived it. It wasn’t that bad.

It’s a much safer bet, to discount her version of events, so that’s your solution. It keeps everything the same. It keeps everybody comfortable. And she stays. And she feels just a little less important to you, and a little less real, because whether you think about it in these terms or not, you’ve demoted her. She was your daughter.

Now she’s just another woman, another wicked female, who you don’t believe.

So when someone who looks just like her goes on the news and tells everyone that a member of a political party you admire and identify with, or a celebrity you like, tried to assault her, hurt her, rape her, you don’t see your daughter.

You see someone who’s trying to do what your daughter tried to do. Upset everybody. Get attention. Get something out of this.

And if you face the facts and say out loud that this didn’t have to happen to this stranger, this girl you don’t know on TV who’s accusing a man who looks and acts just like you, is in politics just like you, if you say out loud that someone should have stood up for her, should have done something?

Then you face the facts and say out loud that this didn’t have to happen to your daughter, and you should have stood up for her. You should have done something.

And oh, then doesn’t the whole nice polite reasonable world come crashing down?

I said back when Trump and Billy Bush were cackling about grabbing women by the pussy that the most insidious person on that bus wasn’t Trump but Billy, because lots of of guys wouldn’t be the bully but they would be the coward who laughed at his jokes.

They wouldn’t react differently if Roy Moore had hurt their daughter. Chances are someone like him already did, and they didn’t believe her.


The Aqua Buddha Gated Community Blues

Aqua Buddha by Bluewater Productions.

I’ve missed having Rand Paul aka Senator Aqua Buddha to kick around. The early days of his failed run for the White House were like spun satirical gold to me.  Just call me Rumpelstiltskin.

What other recent politician had their own comic book? I miss the halcyon days of the MSM swallowing his brogressive credentials. For some obscure reason, GOPers have stopped feigning racial tolerance. I cannot imagine why. #sarcasm

Apparently,  Aqua Buddha’s next door neighbor felt like kicking him around last weekend. Literally, not figuratively. A guy named Rene Boucher (he really oughta live in the Gret Stet of Louisiana) got into a  bizarre altercation with the junior Senator from the Bluegrass and Bourbon state:

Mr. Paul had just stepped off a riding lawn mower on Friday when Rene Boucher, a retired anesthesiologist who lived next door, charged and tackled him. Because Mr. Paul was wearing sound-muting earmuffs, he did not realize Mr. Boucher was coming, according to one of the Kentucky Republicans and a friend familiar with the altercation.

“Rand never saw him coming or heard him coming,” said the friend, Robert Porter, who visited Mr. Paul on Saturday.

The damage was severe. Aides to Mr. Paul said on Sunday that the Kentucky Republican had suffered five broken ribs and bruises to his lungs. When a Kentucky State Police trooper showed up at Mr. Paul’s home on Friday afternoon, the senator had small cuts around his nose and mouth, and had trouble breathing because of the injuries to his ribs.

Police have charged Mr. Boucher, 59, with a misdemeanor count of assault. Authorities on Monday were considering raising the charge to a felony, given the severity of Mr. Paul’s injuries.

Mr. Paul, 54, has long stood out in the well-to-do gated neighborhood south of Bowling Green, Ky., that he calls home. The senator grows pumpkins on his property, composts and has shown little interest for neighborhood regulations.

But the spectacle of the incident — one former doctor attacking another in broad daylight — was altogether different. Competing explanations of the origins of the drama cited stray yard clippings, newly planted saplings and unraked leaves.

He was knocked down like a Bowling Green bowling pin. Surely, there’s a bluegrass song in that.

It looks as if Aqua Buddha may have been assaulted over fauna. I don’t know about you but I wanna better explanation than fauna or even flora. I wonder if Dinah-Moe Humm is somehow implicated…

One would think that a retired doctor whose last name translates as Butcher would have a different method for taking out his NIMBY-ism on his neighbor. Instead he tackled the poor bastard. I’ve had a few cracked ribs in my day. They hurt like hell and very little can be done. Perhaps Aqua Buddha should fire up his boyhood bong. That’s good for pain. It beats the hell out of joining the “opioid crisis.”Party on, Rand.

We’ve all had our share of bad neighbors but as I said back in 2013, Rand Paul is a weirdo magnet. Perhaps he can call in the Confederate Avenger to deal with the French Butcher. They could duel with leaf blowers or chainsaws. I’d pay to see that but I’d need to borrow Aqua Buddha’s earmuffs.

It will be interesting to be see how this unneighborly dispute plays out in the legal system. I wish Senator Aqua Buddha a speedy recovery. The only way I want him departing the political scene is if he’s defeated for re-election in 2022. He’s good for the satire business, y’all. Besides, us weirdo magnets gotta stick together.

Flaking Out

I briefly considered calling this post Republicans in Disarray. It has the virtue of counter punching against years of Democrats in Disarray type headlines. It’s also true. Then I came to my senses, stuck to my punny guns, and went with Flaking Out, which has the virtue of sounding like the Bravo  reality teevee show, Flipping Out,  featuring the antics of another Jeff, designer/house flipper Jeff Lewis.  Of course, flipping out is what Donald Trump does whereas the junior senator from Arizona just flaked out on the people he should be leading into battle: Republicans who still have a semblance of common decency.

When historians ponder why members of his own party let the Insult Comedian get away with his shit, they’ll also wonder why his most prominent senatorial critics have punworthy names: Corker and Flake. I know I’m pondering it while trying not to be a ponderous pundit.

I’m somewhere in the middle on the Jeff Flake/Bob Corker question. Unlike some in the MSM, I don’t view either as “heroes” for standing up to a president* of their own party. I’m also not as hard on them as my publisher and others on the left, notably Rude Pundit and Charlie Pierce. I think it’s important for GOPers to call Trump on his shit regardless of their voting records. Remember: Trump does not care about substance so attacks on his  persona and style, or lack thereof, are infinitely more wounding that attacking his shifting views on taxes, health care, and Bob Corker’s height or lack thereof.

Flake’s speech to the senate was excellent but it would have been more effective if he planned to run for re-election, especially as an independent. His colleague Lisa Murkowski did so after losing in the primary to a teabagger in 2010. The Alaska Senator isn’t as eloquent as Flake but she was rewarded for her stand against extremists in her own party. Grit and determination matter. Jeff Flake lacked those qualities in handing a temporary victory to Trump and Bannon.

In fairness, Flake looks like a gone pecan right now BUT there’s over a year to the 2018 general election and an anti-Trump conservative might look appealing to Arizona voters by then. If standing against Trumpism and white nationalism is as important to Flake as he says it is, he should be willing to stand for re-election against long odds. Now that’s heroic.

One significant difference between Flake and Corker is to the former’s credit. Flake refused to endorse Trump in 2016 whereas Corker drank the orange Kool-Aid and campaigned with the Insult Comedian. It’s one reason I’m more critical of the Tennessean than the Arizonan. I do, however, believe that converts to the anti-Trump cause should be welcomed. We need all the help we can get in alerting people to the perils of having a deranged president* with his  tiny finger on the nuclear trigger.

The reason for my relative indulgence of dissident Republican is rooted in my formative political experience: Watergate. I know what you’re thinking, there he goes again. The reason Nixon was driven from office is that elected officials in his party turned against him. It was a slow process but it was devastating as the Republican dominoes tumbled; culminating in the Senate and House GOP leaders, Hugh Scott and John Rhodes, and 1964 nominee Barry Goldwater telling Tricky the jig was up in August, 1974. The latter two were Arizonans who showed courage in bucking a president who they owed politically. It should be easier to break with Trump but at this point in time Jeff Flake, who still opposes impeachment, is showing more profile than courage. He still has more balls than Trump’s chief enabler Speaker Ryan.

Unless more Congressional GOPers grow a pair, it will take a Democratic takeover of the House for an impeachment process to commence as I believe it should. Even if they lose their majority, Senate Republicans will be crucial to removing a corrupt, stupid, and deranged president* from office. The reason Bill Clinton survived impeachment is that he held Democrats whereas Nixon’s GOP support melted like an ice-cube in the Louisiana summer.

That’s why I look at the big picture and believe in encouraging Republican office holders when they break with Trump. The stakes are high: Trump shows signs of bumbling into war with both Iran and North Korea. The latter would be a catastrophe for our friends in the Republic of Korea and Japan. And war in the Middle East is folly as we’ve learned to our eternal regret.

Stop the madness.

A Corker Of A Feud

For most of his political career, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has been an off-the-rack mainstream conservative Republican. His views on most issues are ready-made, not bespoke. His 2006 campaign ran a race baiting ad against his opponent but otherwise he’s been stolid, solid, and boring. That ended with the electoral college victory of the Insult Comedian. The two men have traded the odd barb throughout the year but it exploded into the president’s* latest WWE-style feud yesterday.

The response was perhaps the best I’ve seen from a politician:

I don’t know if Corker mans his own twitter feed but that’s a masterpiece of social media snark. If it’s a staffer give her or him a raise. They’ll be out of a job by January 2019, after all.

There’s a post smackdown piece in the New York Times wherein we learned that Trump lied about Corker “begging” for his support:

Mr. Corker flatly disputed that account, saying Mr. Trump had urged him to run again, and promised to endorse him if he did. But the exchange laid bare a deeper rift: The senator views Mr. Trump as given to irresponsible outbursts — a political novice who has failed to make the transition from show business.

CNN confirmed Corker’s account. Besides, anyone who believes anything that comes out of the Insult Comedian’s pie hole is too stupid to live.

More importantly, Corker expressed genuine concern in the same interview about the militant craziness of Trump’s foreign policy:

Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”

Corker is referring to Trump’s increasingly unhinged and inaccurate comments about North Korea. The Kaiser of Chaos keeps confusing Kim Jong-un with both his father and grandfather. It’s unclear if he knows that the guy he derides as Rocket Man is the third member of the Kim family to be dictator since 1992. My hunch is that he hasn’t a clue, which would be par for the course for this president*.

Trump is out to disprove Teddy Roosevelt’s famous aphorism “speak softly, and carry a big stick.” Trump is screaming empty threats at the top of his lungs. At least I hope they’re empty threats. I’m afraid that the triumvirate (troika?) of Kelly, McMaster, and Mattis will have to bodily tackle Trump to prevent him from nuking Pyongyang.

I, for one, am glad that Republicans like Bob Corker are speaking out against Trump. Yes, some of them are responsible for electing the crazy motherfucker but Watergate teaches us that you can only dispose of a criminal president when their own party turns on them. Nixon was headed to conviction in the Senate. The reason Bill Clinton survived was that his party stuck with him. Thanks in part to research by Abbie Lowell who is now Slumlord Jared’s attorney. Ironies abound, y’all.

I’m in favor of building coalitions on an issue-by-issue basis. If previously hawkish Republicans are aghast by Trump’s insane pronouncements, working with them to stop a nuclear exchange is not only sensible but imperative. Does anyone think that Bob Corker wants to nuke North Korea? Donald Trump is the only one who seems to think making such threats is a winning strategy. He should look at a map sometime and see how close Seoul and Tokyo are to Rocket Man’s missiles. Of course, that would involve work and that’s not what this president* does. Instead, he watches teevee, golfs, tweets, and lies.

I eagerly await the next salvo in the war of words between the Republican president* and the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committe. It’s a Corker of a feud.

Love Is (Luther) Strange But Roy Moore Is Even Stranger

Yeah, I know, the Senator who was appointed to replace Jeff Sessions by disgraced former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley lost to a lunatic. I’d been meaning to use the first part of the title forever but ain’t it funny how time slips away.

Republicans are rallying around the erratic former Alabama Supreme Court Justice. I’m not sure if it’s because of the hat he wore at a recent rally, the gun he waved around, his homophobia, or Islamophobia:

 Those bearhugs come in spite of Moore’s decades-long bigotry and radicalism.

He has suggested the 9/11 attacks happened because America turned its back on God, called Islam a “false religion,” claimed parts of the Midwest were already living under Islamic Sharia lawwarned that “immorality, abortion, sodomy, sexual perversion sweep our land,” and continued to claim that President Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. — and that’s just in the course of this current campaign.

In past years, Moore has argued Muslims should be barred from serving in Congress and that “homosexual conduct should be illegal.”

Crazy is in right now thanks to Donald Trump and the morons who voted for him. I guess Ken Kesey would have called him the Bull Goose Loony In Chief. Of course, Trump is a sinner and Roy Moore is a religious zealot who’s out to baptize the world. In a sane world, the religious right would hate the twice divorced Trump but, at the risk of being repetitive, crazy is in right now. Bigly.

There are two good things about Moore’s victory. First, Strange’s loss caused a presidential* hissy fit with the tiny finger of blame pointed at Chinless Mitch. Second, Moore is so barking mad that he’ll automatically be the most entertaining member of the Senate. And the most appalling.

The chances of Moore losing the general election to Democrat Doug Jones are slim and slim is  unlikely to turn out to vote in December. The reasons are obvious: it’s Alabama where Trump’s brand of crazy is still popular and Moore’s hardcore supporters will vote even if it’s raining hellfire.

A brief word about Luther Strange. Trump dubbed him Big Luther in the closing days of his doomed campaign. Strange is 6’9″ and played college hoops at Tulane from 1972 to 1975.

He wasn’t much of a player. His stats are those of a graceless white goon, which apparently carried over into his career in Alabama politics. Btw, I still don’t know what the hell a Green Wave is.

I never heard whether or not Moore attacked Strange for having lived in Sin City whilst in college and law school. I guess the big fella (God, not Luther Strange) didn’t tell him to do it.

The lessons of Roy Moore’s success are that bigotry works and that Trump cannot control Trumpism. I doubt if he even wants to: he thrives on chaos and disorder. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos. I predict he’ll have an uneasy relationship with Roy Moore who fancies himself a contemporary old testament prophet. Trump is into profits, not prophets.

That last word goes to the song that inspired the post title. I’m not sure what Mickey and Sylvia ever did to deserve this:


Malaka Of The Week: Bill Cassidy

Republican attempts to repeal the ACA started before the ink was dry on the bill.  After the 2010 Teabagger wave election, the House GOP’s hobby was voting for a bill that could not become law because there was a real president ready to veto it. But the bad repeal and replace idea refuses to die. It has more lives than a bad cat thanks to Little Lindsey and one of my senators. And that is why Doctor/Senator Bill Cassidy is malaka of the week.

There’s a lot of talk about the Zombie Health Care bill. The analogy is apt but trite due to the gazillion zombie shows and movies out there. I prefer to think of the Graham-Cassidy atrocity as belonging to the Frankenstein family of horror flicks wherein the characters are reanimated, not undead. The current clusterfuck reminds me of this scene from The Bride of Frankenstein:

That was a (James) Whale of a movie but Graham-Cassidy is an ugly, mean-spirited bill that should be buried, not reanimated.

2017 has been a weird  year in American politics but this week *may* take the cake. We have the supporters of a reality show host president* telling a late night talk show host to STFU and stay out of politics. This is more surreal than a gallery full of gory Dali paintings or any Edward Gorey image for that matter.

The Bill Cassidy-Jimmy Kimmel face-off has really been something. The chat show host has accused the Gret Stet Solon of “lying to my face.” Doctor/Senator Cassidy has compounded the lie by asserting that Graham-Cassidy passes the Jimmy Kimmel Test when it clearly does not. The comedian has asked Cassidy to stop invoking his name but Cassidy has no shame and is unlikely to do so. He’s the center of attention. What pol would exit such a glaring spotlight?

Here’s a tweet from a certain internet smart ass on the Graham-Cassidy-Kimmel mishigas:

I was referring to the fact that Cassidy double billed LSU for his work when he was quacking his way around the Gret Stet public health care system. Take a gander at my publisher’s recent piece about that at the Bayou Brief. That’s right, Senator Malaka is an expert at ripping off the government and poor people. It’s second nature to this so-called moderate.

I also tweeted about the Jimmy Kimmel factor:

I am impressed with Kimmel’s guts and fortitude on this issue.  I am ready to light a torch and stand beside him as we storm Double Bill’s castle or some such shit.

A few words about Cassidy. I called him Cassidybot throughout his successful 2014 challenge to incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu. He is stiff, lifeless with beady, sunken eyes, which makes the Frankenstein monster analogy spot on. Cassidy’s Victor Frankenstein was our old “friend” former Senator David Vitter. Vitter recruited Cassidy to run against Landrieu and dictated his campaign strategy. It involved relentless dog-whistle attacks on then President Obama, especially over the ACA. It worked.

As  long as Vitter was in the senate, Cassidy was his creature. He didn’t do anything unless his master approved. I guess he was more like Igor in Young Frankenstein at that point. Vitter’s departure from the political scene left Cassidy adrift: he’s a follower, not a leader. In 2017, Cassidy made fucking up the health care system by fucking over the poor and elderly his life’s work. Graham-Cassidy is the fruit of his labors. I liked him better when he was a fake moderate.

I have no idea what’s going to happen in next week’s vote on this hastily stitched together legislation. It’s the worst version of repeal and replace yet. But it has the aura of respectability of being sponsored by phony moderates like Graham, Cassidy, and Dean Heller whose master is right-wing casino mogul Steve Wynn. It savages Medicaid, which is bad for Louisiana. It stripped away the last bad bill’s  provisions to help with the opioid epidemic, which could put a few votes into play. In the end, it may come down to whether or not John McCain believes what he’s said about restoring regular order. Everything about this bill is irregular including the insane deadline of September 30. This is nuts. Believe me.

Here’s hoping that the MSM will stop calling the likes of Graham and Cassidy moderates. This bill is not only procedurally irregular, it is substantively immoderate. The attempt to destroy the ACA was dead until Doctor/Senator Cassidy reanimated this monster. And that is why Double Bill Cassidy is malaka of the week.

Speaking of monsters, the last word goes to Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer:


The Buck Passer In Chief’s DACA Debacle

We all knew it was coming. We all knew that Donald Trump would rescind DACA. I actually believe that he has qualms about ending the program, not because he “loves the dreamers,” but because even he understands the optics of rounding up some 800K young people and deporting them. The title of Josh Marshall’s blog post after the announcement says it all:

Trump Wishes Dreamers Luck as He Tosses Them Out of the Plane

As does this passage in Josh’s post:

What the President is doing is the executive action equivalent of flying the plane up to 10,000 feet, tossing the Dreamers out the door and yelling after them, “I hope you have a parachute or if you don’t that Paul Ryan can get you one really fast!’ Actually, one small difference. He had Jeff Sessions toss them out of the plane.


Trump the phony tough guy  once again proved his cowardice by having true believer white supremacist Jeff Beau make the announcement.  As always, Jeff Beau prevaricated and demonized his way through the statement. I’m surprised he didn’t gleefully rub his hands together in celebration like a cartoon villain. Bigots like Jeff Beau have much to celebrate: mass deportations of service people, first responders, teachers, and on and on and on. DACA has a rigorous vetting process so its beneficiaries are the best of the best. I doubt many people at the Trump White House could pass muster. Slumlord Jared would have to amend his form because he’s such a forgetful boy.

What Trump has done is to punt this clusterfuck to the Congress. The six month deadline is an arbitrary one and major legislation rarely passes both houses in six months or less. The president’s* sole aim is to accept as little responsibility as possible for this heinous and callous action. Feral Trumpers will howl in approval but this is yet another incredibly unpopular move done solely to placate the MAGA Maggots.

There *may* be majorities in both Houses of Congress to pass a new Dream Act. I’m uncertain if there’s a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and dubious that it can get past the so-called Hastert Rule in the House. The rule named for Coach Pervert applies to the Republican caucus: only legislation with majority support in the caucus reaches the floor. There are enough nutbars and white nationalists to keep it off the floor UNLESS the GOP leadership gets around a rule named for a convicted felon. It’s a caucus rule, not a law, after all. Stay tuned but I am not optimistic. Speaker Ryan is as cowardly as the Insult Comedian.

The administration* is sending mixed messages about its DACA debacle. Trump is holding out hope of a change in plans but nobody believes anything he says about anything. If LBJ had a so-called “credibility gap” on Vietnam, Trump has a credibility canyon on everything. I put more stock in a White House memo telling dreamers to prepare for deportation.

A detestation of buck passing was instilled in me as a child. I always got in more trouble with my parents if I deflected responsibility for my words and deeds. They went easier on me if I fessed up and took the blame. Donald Trump is incapable of taking responsibility for his actions. It’s never his fault, the finger of blame always points elsewhere.

Trump’s perennial buck passing made me think of Harry Truman who famously had “the buck stops here” sign on his White House desk. This is Trump’s second pairing with a man whose ass he is not fit to wipe. Trump’s stunning 2016 electoral college victory surpassed Truman’s 1948 shocker as the biggest upset in American political history. Thanks to the DACA debacle, Trump is now fated to be the anti-Truman. Just call him the Buck Passer in Chief.

A new nickname has been born. And a new benign earworm has hatched. Let’s hope it doesn’t come true.

I’ll give the last-ish word to the late Ted Kennedy. It’s the closing passage of his 1980 speech to the Democratic convention. It is *not* about the dreamers but it could be:

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

It’s time for people to both hit the streets and call their GOP Congresscritters. Make the fuckers squirm like the worms they are.