Gary Cohn Does Not Live in the Same World I Live In

Presidential economic adviser Gary Cohn (R-Goldman Sachs) is making the rounds selling tax cuts for the rich that may (but probably won’t) lower taxes on the middle class (they really won’t). But if they did that would be cool, or so he says:

Cohn:  “If we allow a family to keep another thousand dollars of their income, what does that mean? They can renovate their kitchen, they can buy a new car, they can take their family on vacation, they can increase their lifestyle,” he said. “That’s what our tax plan has to do.”

Um, who?  Wha?

A thousand dollars can change your lifestyle alright, if it’s 1905.

Because Cohn was not happy with Trump’s Charlottesville meltdown, people in the press want to think he’s a different kind of Trumpkin.  It’s their strange form of optimism that keeps them coming back to assert that the worst people in the world might actually be just playing the role of shitheel, but they’ll come through in Act III when we really need them.  Spoiler alert:  no, they won’t.  It’s not an act, they’re shitheels.  Out of touch, arrogant, stupid shitheels.

Holy crap are we screwed.

Justice Gorsuch Makes an Appearance with the Guy Who Stole the Job for Him

Ethics, what ethics?

McConnell shows off prized accomplishment to Kentucky: Justice Neil Gorsuch

Most people in Kentucky raise prize pigs or distill a super new bathtub bourbon.  McConnell done caught hisself a Supreme Court Juztize.  From the Lexington Herald Leader:

Like a kindergartener showing off prized artwork to his parents, McConnell got to utter those three words again Thursday, this time introducing the man himself to about 500 of his constituents at the University of Louisville.

Fun facts:  Gorsuch keeps the head of an elk that Scalia shot in his office.

Gorsuch calls Antonin Scalia “Leroy”.  Either that or he named the elk Leroy.  Both seem weird to me.

So CHIP Program Will Expire

Confirmed by Sen. McCaskill to TPM.  As we feared.  And the TV has not covered this this week at all.  Jimmy Kimmel never mentioned it, so maybe it isn’t real.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who sits on one of the key committees in charge of health care, confirmed to TPM that Congress will likely allow CHIP to lapse by Saturday’s deadline, putting the health insurance of millions of children in jeopardy.

“I’m confident the money will come but obviously it’s not going to come on time,” she  said wearily.

“If I had had my way, we would have spent our week working on getting a Children’s Health insurance plan passed,” grumbled Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the top Democrat on the Finance Committee that oversees CHIP. “Regrettably, we had to spend a lot of our time trying to finally push back on Trumpcare 2.0. Let me tell you what the consequences are. Different states are affected in different ways, but we had testimony in the committee from a mom who said, ‘If the money runs out, I’m going to have trouble figuring out how to pay for prescriptions for my kid.’”


Acting Secy. of Homeland Security Has Her “You’re Doin’ a Heckuva Job, Brownie” Moment Blown Up, Courtesy of San Juan Mayor

Duke I am very satisfied. I know it’s a hard storm to recover from but the amount of progress that has been made — I really would appreciate any support that we get. I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people, and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.

Camerota: Go ahead, mayor.

Cruz: Well, maybe from where she’s standing it’s a good news story. When you are drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story. When you don’t have food for a baby, it’s not a good news story.

When you have to pull people down from buildings — I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me. I would ask her to come down here and visit the towns, and then make a statement like that which frankly it’s an irresponsible statement and it contrasts with the statements of support that I have been getting since yesterday when I got that call from the white house. This is — this is not a good news story. This is a people are dying story. This is a life or death story. This is — there’s a truck load of stuff that cannot be taken to people story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water. If I could scream it a lot more louder … it’s not a good news story when people are dying when they don’t have dialysis, and when the generators aren’t working and the oxygen is not providing for them.

Where is there good news here? The good news is we are getting heard. The good news is there’s boots on the ground. The good news is people from FEMA have their heart in the right place and the HHS people know what to do. For heavens sakes, somebody let them do their job. Let them get the food and the water in hands of the people and then talk about good news. And I’m really sorry, but when you have people out there dying, literally, scraping for food, where is the good news?

Not News – Donald Trump is a Disgusting Person You Wouldn’t Want to Know

Funny story he told on Howard Stern:

“So what happens is, this guy falls off right on his face, hits his head, and I thought he died. And you know what I did? I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s disgusting,’ and I turned away,” said Trump. “I couldn’t, you know, he was right in front of me and I turned away. I didn’t want to touch him… he’s bleeding all over the place, I felt terrible. You know, beautiful marble floor, didn’t look like it. It changed color. Became very red. And you have this poor guy, 80 years old, laying on the floor unconscious, and all the rich people are turning away. ‘Oh my God! This is terrible! This is disgusting!’ and you know, they’re turning away. Nobody wants to help the guy. His wife is screaming—she’s sitting right next to him, and she’s screaming.”

Thank God for the Marines. “What happens is, these 10 Marines from the back of the room… they come running forward, they grab him, they put the blood all over the place—it’s all over their uniforms—they’re taking it, they’re swiping [it], they ran him out, they created a stretcher. They call it a human stretcher, where they put their arms out with, like, five guys on each side,” shared Trump.

“I was saying, ‘Get that blood cleaned up! It’s disgusting!’ The next day, I forgot to call [the man] to say he’s OK,” said Trump, adding of the blood, “It’s just not my thing.”

That should only happen to him someday with Ivanka (Melania will be long gone) pleading softly and with poise, “but Daddy was once president, somebody help him!”  And even the Marines come over and say, “aw fuck that, leave him.”

And wishing that makes me a bad person too, but not president.

Common Sense and Conventional Wisdom Never Seem to Stop the Stupid

One of the most popular books, a phenomenon really, of 1910 was The Great Illusion by Sir Norman Angell, a British historian and social thinker, the Tom Friedman of his day.

It was extremely popular among the leaders of Europe, at this point still mostly plumed monarchs and their lesser royal advisers.  The central thesis of the work that spun conventional wisdom on its head and “changed everything” was that the nations of Europe were now, in this early part of the 20th century so intertwined in commerce that war and the time-honored methods of territorial expansion by projection of military power was unthinkable.  War was now unprofitable and thus, no country would be foolish enough to start one.

Lord Esher, a friend to King Edward delivered lectures at Cambridge and the Sorbonne on Angell’s work.

wherein he showed how “new economic factors clearly prove the inanity of aggressive wars.” A twentieth century war would be on such a scale, he said, that its inevitable consequences of “commercial disaster, financial ruin and individual suffering” would be so “pregnant with restraining influences” as to make war unthinkable.

Germany, Lord Esher felt sure, “is as receptive as Great Britain  to the doctrine of Norman Angell.”*

The Germans were reading other books.

Tuchman, Barbara W. “The Guns of August: The Outbreak of World War I”  Random House, New York, NY. 1962.


If You Support Roy Moore You Support a Lawless Theocrat Whack Job

Leave it to Alabama to potentially bring to the Senate the kind of absolutely bonkers, know-nothing, theocratic freak show like Louie Gohmert and Steve King.

If his predecessor, current cartoon Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was a 19th century white supremacist conservative turned up to 11.  Moore hooks the speaker up to nitrous oxide, bites the dial off, spits it into the air and shoots it.  His opinions are so out of step with the mainstream of American thought that he makes Trump look, well, okay, I don’t want to go too far with that.

As Charlie Pierce says:

If you think that Roy Moore belongs in the Senate, then you are a half-bright goober whose understanding of American government and basic civics probably stops at the left side of your AM radio dial. You have no concept of the national interest and very little concept of your own, unless, as I suspect, you’ve made your own fears, and hating people and hawking loogies in all directions, the sum total of your involvement in self-government. You are killing democracy and you don’t know it or care. If you had any real Christian charity in your hearts, you’d keep Roy Moore in the locked ward of your local politics and not loose him on a nation that deserves so much better than him.

NY Times lays out Moore’s greatest hits of crazy:

“There is no such thing as evolution,” he told The Washington Post this month. “That we came from a snake? No, I don’t believe that.”


Mr. Moore has often expressed his views in verse. A 2007 poem titled “America the Beautiful” concisely stated his positions on abortion and drugs.

“America the Beautiful, or so you used to be,

Land of the Pilgrims’ pride, I’m glad they’re not here to see

Babies piled in dumpsters, abortion on demand,

Oh, sweet land of liberty, your house is on the sand.

Your children wander aimlessly poisoned by cocaine,

Choosing to indulge their lusts, when God has said abstain.

From sea to shining sea this Nation has turned away,

From the teaching of God’s Law, and a need to always pray.”

If Trump is your crazy uncle actually sitting in the White House.  Roy Moore is the Westboro Baptist Church taking over the Senate.

The Assault on Healthcare is Not Really Over, This Part Nobody is Talking About

The CHIP program will end on September 30.  That program provides health insurance for 9 million kids.

About 9 million children across the country get coverage through CHIP, and it costs about $14 billion a year (the feds pick up about three-quarters of that bill). It is a smaller program than Medicaid and Medicare, but it is still a big reason why America has nearly eliminated uninsurance among kids.

That’s besides the Trump administration’s continued undermining of Obamacare.  If they can’t throw people off their healthcare coverage by legislation they can still do everything they can to make sure the markets can’t work and nobody knows to sign up for them.  Tom Price needs to save healthcare money for his private flights.

Republicans who pretend to care said all along that a deal would get made and there was plenty of time.  But then Graham-Cassidy came along, so here we are on September 27 and there are 3 days left.

My optimistic side says 50/50 a deal does get done because when people’s attention does get turned to 9 million kids losing healthcare coverage it’s going to go badly for them.




Virginia to Honor Nat Turner a Full 360 From the Confederate Statues

Interesting turn going on in Virginia as noted by Josh Marshall (Shock and Awe: Nat Turner and the Old Dominion).  As we all know there’s a lot of statues honoring the insurgents that fought against our flag for the continuation of slavery.  To the extent we honor the fighters for civil rights, in this country, they’re almost exclusively the non-violent activists like Rosa Parks and MLK. A statue “honoring” the leader of a very bloody slave rebellion would be new.

A state commission in Virginia is planning an anti-slavery monument which will be built in downtown Richmond, specifically on Brown’s Island. So far, nothing terribly remarkable. But one of the 10 figures to be honored in the monument is Nat Turner, who led the largest and deadliest slave rebellion in United States’ history in 1831….

If such actions, which are normally among the worst we can imagine, merit praise and public honor, the system they were meant to fight and destroy must have been barbaric and unconscionably violent beyond imagining. Very few of us would contest this description of slavery. But bringing Turner into the discussion of public commemoration will air these issues in a new (I think very positive) and jarring way.

Indeed.  Is a statue by itself a de facto honoring of the person depicted or merely a rendering of history like a diorama in a museum?  That question holds for those of the insurgents as well?  What’s the context of the work?

Whether Turner is even a positive figure in history is debatable, but that’s the point – anything that gets people thinking and talking and learning about that period and our history of race relations is absolutely positive.

That is until the Nazis riot in protest and someone gets killed.

Interior Secretary Says One Third of His Staff Aren’t Loyal to Trump

If this were a normal democracy I’d say it was the other two thirds that are the problem, bub.  But normal is out floating in the middle of the ocean, like Puerto Rico*.

In a speech to the oil industry, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed that nearly a third of his staff is disloyal to President Trump, saying that workers in Washington are reluctant to relax regulations to permit increased mining for coal and drilling for natural gas and oil on public land.

Yeah, because they’re humans with judgment who know that’s a horrible, stupid and godawful thing.  Our conservative crop is pretty twisted up these days.  They want to treat the national parks like they took a knee for the National Anthem or something.

*Trump said today it was hard to get help to Puerto Rico because it’s an island.  But he’s doing a great job helping them.

“We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico,” Trump told reporters in Washington. “The difference is this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. It’s a big ocean, it’s a very big ocean. And we’re doing a really good job.”

You know damn well he has no clue where it is on a map. He’s acting like it’s friggin’ Fiji or something.