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January 15, 2017

Comments

Yeah man, the ACA is not working for you. Something that works well for everyone would be better.

I guess I do have questions, Marty.

What sort of insurance would you have if Obamacare didn't exist, presuming you were shut out of employer coverage, as you are now?

What would you as a couple spend out-of-pocket in 2016 on medical care if you skipped insurance altogether and paid the Obamacare penalty?

Do you have pre-existing conditions which would disqualify/price you out of insurance coverage if Obamacare didn't exist, and presuming you would be shut out of employer-based coverage as well? You may have mentioned this in some previous comment section.

Nationally, 88% of Obamacare recipients qualify for the subsidies, which you and your significant other do not. Would you accept a tweak to the program to offer the subsidies to all enrollees, regardless of income or assets?

How would insurance costs be contained under any scheme that doesn't mandate and enforce coverage for all, including the young who face little or no medical costs and those with exorbitant chronic conditions or diseases, given that special pools for these unfortunate people have never been adequately funded at the state levels.

Since insurance costs are rising because medical costs are rising, and were before Obamacare was enacted, how does circumventing state insurance commissions and permitting any insurer to sell policies in all 50 states possibly lower costs to whatever you find to be an affordable level without sharply rationing medical care, even if it is YOU that would be doing the rationing, as conservatives/moderate liberals have sought for decades?

Philosophically, do you adhere to the notion that those above a certain level of income should have to spend down their assets to some low level to qualify for government medical assistance? I'm not talking Warren Buffet, I'm talking the upper middle class in this country.

What morality is being enforced by bankrupting those Americans with a decent income or substantial financial assets into a lower standard of living via unsupportable medical debt, even if they can no longer work?

Why NOT Medicare or the Federal Employees Healthcare Program for all Americans from birth?

When will you and your significant other qualify for Medicare?

So, where did all those insurance companies go?

So, where did all those insurance companies go?

Back to music.

If it comes out definitively tomorrow morning that Trump and associates/Republicans colluded with a foreign power to influence the election and the Marine Corps Band still plays "Hail To the Chief" on Friday, does that mean that ANY sod can become President with the approval of the Marine Corps, or does it mean that the Dixie Chicks should take over that job for future Inaugurals because they are allotted the freedom to discriminate based on their secular religion, whereas the Marine Corps will apparently follow any unsuitable mountebank's orders to let her rip?

Further, will the Marine Corps stand down at Trump's orders to defend a NATO country if Putin invades and the country hasn't paid Trump's bounty for U.S. defense?

A company I do work for offers group insurance with a $3000 deductible for a couple, with $1600 per month premiums (company subsidizes $300). So a group plan, with a smaller deductible, higher monthly premiums, and a smaller copay of $35/60.

The ACA mandates that 80% of total premiums pay for health care (so that insurance companies aren't profiting off of giant premiums). This applies to group plans as well as plans on the exchange.

This isn't the best group plan in the world, but I'm thinking that perhaps health insurance, even under employer plans, might have been going up quite a bit even in the absence of the ACA, and that plans in the individual market would be basically non-existent?

Had gone to bed and missed Marty's argument that veracity is proven if people were fired.

Shirley Sherrod

will the Marine Corps stand down at Trump's orders to defend a NATO country if Putin invades and the country hasn't paid Trump's bounty for U.S. defense?

Far more relevant, suppose a country has paid their prescribed share (I'm thinking Estonia, and maybe the other Baltics)? But Trump doesn't know. Or just blithely ignores the fact that they did what he demanded -- before he demanded it, because they have been doing so for some time, but who cares about those details.

Also, last I looked, treaties were considered to be the law of the land. In fact, to supersede laws passed by Congress, unless they were explicitly abrogated first. So would the military have a legal obligation to act, even absent explicit orders?** Seriously, I'm curious about the legal situation.

That's separate from the question of whether it matters if we have US troops stationed there, who get fired upon.

@Marty:
Do I care that Melania is staying in NY? Not a bit.

Unless you're a fan of wasteful government spending, you should care. It's costing NYC $1m per day to provide security for Trump. Either NY taxpayers are gonna get stuck with that bill, or US taxpayers will be reimbursing them, but either way it's a mountain of money being spent for frivolous reasons.

Marty, while I disagree with you about nearly everything, I'm still glad that you comment here. It must often be disagreeable, given the pushback you receive.

If in the future you need some help, I'd be glad to pitch in (I'm still employed, and have been fortunate pretty much my entire life, so lending a hand to a friend won't set me back noticeably.)

guess I do have questions, Marty.


What sort of insurance would you have if Obamacare didn't exist, presuming you were shut out of employer coverage, as you are now?

I would have had SBA group insurance probably, I used to have it at one point. It was not too difficult to qualify for, but I'm sure I would have had to wait a year for my preexisting condition and I have no idea what the premiums would be now.


What would you as a couple spend out-of-pocket in 2016 on medical care if you skipped insurance altogether and paid the Obamacare penalty?

About 25k, so close to the same.

Do you have pre-existing conditions which would disqualify/price you out of insurance coverage if Obamacare didn't exist, and presuming you would be shut out of employer-based coverage as well? You may have mentioned this in some previous comment section.

Yes, chronic RA and previous heart trouble now complicated with COPD. Definitely would have had to find a group to be in.

Nationally, 88% of Obamacare recipients qualify for the subsidies, which you and your significant other do not. Would you accept a tweak to the program to offer the subsidies to all enrollees, regardless of income or assets?

I don't think that would work, see my preferences below.

How would insurance costs be contained under any scheme that doesn't mandate and enforce coverage for all, including the young who face little or no medical costs and those with exorbitant chronic conditions or diseases, given that special pools for these unfortunate people have never been adequately funded at the state levels.


I think truly high risk pools etc. could help. One of the positive parts of Canada's system is that the basic requirements are national and all implementation is by province.

Since insurance costs are rising because medical costs are rising, and were before Obamacare was enacted, how does circumventing state insurance commissions and permitting any insurer to sell policies in all 50 states possibly lower costs to whatever you find to be an affordable level without sharply rationing medical care, even if it is YOU that would be doing the rationing, as conservatives/moderate liberals have sought for decades?

I believe that "rationing" has many faces without actually bending the cost curve on health care itself the insurance rates are not controllable. One of my most specific complaints about the ACA is it abandoned that goal in order to gain industry support. And it's questionable if it has helped in that area at all.

Philosophically, do you adhere to the notion that those above a certain level of income should have to spend down their assets to some low level to qualify for government medical assistance? I'm not talking Warren Buffet, I'm talking the upper middle class in this country.

No, a lifetime of hard work and frugality should not be spent on healthcare just because you have it.

What morality is being enforced by bankrupting those Americans with a decent income or substantial financial assets into a lower standard of living via unsupportable medical debt, even if they can no longer work?

None, ee above

Why NOT Medicare or the Federal Employees Healthcare Program for all Americans from birth?

I am, and always have been,a firm supporter of expanding Medicare to provide a basic level of healthcare for everyone. Well care, prescription coverage, hospital care. The key is to agree on the basic care levels. As I asked my daughter just this weekend, despite my support for contraception coverage and abortion within my acceptable bounds, is that the hill you want universal coverage to die on?

When will you and your significant other qualify for Medicare? 4 and 6 years.

Thanks joel! I appreciate the offer. I have made it through so far, and expect to be ok. But I am grateful for the sentiment.

It must often be disagreeable, given the pushback you receive.

It must. It sometimes is for the people pushing back as well.

You're a nice guy, joel. And if Marty's feeling pain, I feel bad for him too. I know other people from what I understand are in Marty's position, and it sucks. But Marty doesn't seem to be so interested in health care for all. We're all in this boat together, and demonizing people's attempts to figure it out for the common good isn't helpful.

Florida doesn't have Medicaid expansion. I wonder whether Marty might have qualified if it did. Or I wonder whether Marty might have supported it, in order to provide health care to people who could have benefited from it. I'm assuming he didn't, but maybe I'm wrong.

sapient: I know other people from what I understand are in Marty's position, and it sucks. But Marty doesn't seem to be so interested in health care for all.

Maybe you were typing when Marty's last post went up (the times are close). But his 7:19 post, next to last paragraph, says explicitly that he favors single payer government health care for all.

he favors single payer government health care for all.

No, I did not see that. It's kind of at odds with his libertarianism, but I'll take it.

Gary Johnson on health care.

People who desire certain outcomes should probably vote for people whose platforms most resemble those outcomes. Just a thought.

From Hillary Clinton's campaign website:

Defend and expand the Affordable Care Act, which covers 20 million people. Hillary will stand up to Republican-led attacks on this landmark law—and build on its success to bring the promise of affordable health care to more people and make a “public option” possible. She will also support letting people over 55 years old buy into Medicare.

Marty would have gotten his wish. Sad.

"and build on its success "

Staring from this premise the rest is a fairy tale.

Staring from this premise the rest is a fairy tale.

Says you who would be without any insurance at all without it. Whatever, Marty. Keep a'smokin' that good stuff.

joel hanes, I'm going to spend my "GoFundMe" money on people who care about other folks. There are a lot of those people.

Not Marty.

Timely factoid interactive map.

One of the positive parts of Canada's system is that the basic requirements are national and all implementation is by province.

Unless I'm missing something, that's the ACA approach.

The difference here is that the feds step in to establish healthcare markets if the states refuse to do so. So that some kind of marjet exists everywhere.

A lot of states refused. For example, FL. I find it hard to blame the feds for that.

I keep coming back to the same point on the healthcare issue. Every other developed country has figured this out. Each in a somewhat different way, but they've all gotten it sorted to a degree that we can only dream of.

Just pick one of those and do it. You could pick one out of a hat at random and be better off than we are.

I'm amazed we hold the position in the world that we do, frankly, sometimes I think we are the stupidest freaking country on the face of the earth.

This problem has been solved, repeatedly. Pick an approach and get it freaking done.

This problem has been solved, repeatedly. Pick an approach and get it freaking done.

Too late. Sad.

Also, last I looked, treaties were considered to be the law of the land. In fact, to supersede laws passed by Congress, unless they were explicitly abrogated first. So would the military have a legal obligation to act, even absent explicit orders?** Seriously, I'm curious about the legal situation....

Like the UN Convention against Torture ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_against_Torture
... under which their is an absolute obligation to prosecute.
How did that work out ?

Which rather answers your question, I think.
The legal obligation is there, but I suspect the Trumpian response would be 'so sue me'...

The "Convention against Torture" requires signatories to take action against those who torture (or order torture) via "judicial, executive or OTHER" means.

So 2nd Amendment actions are completely consistent with the treaty obligations.

The United States military is not going to war unless ordered to do so by the President, treaties or no treaties. See, e.g., the power to declare war vested in the Congress and yet.....

Treaty obligations are essentially optional for the United States because "wadda youse gonna do about it?"

Man these people are dumb:

They are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administrations who say, if called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again.
But their phones aren’t ringing. Their entreaties to Trump Tower in New York have mostly gone unanswered. In Trump world, these establishment all-stars say they are “PNG” — personae non gratae.
Their transgression was signing one or both of two public “Never Trump” letters during the campaign, declaring they would not vote for Trump and calling his candidacy a danger to the nation.

Serious, WTF did they think was going to happen if he won? Bygones? Did they not mean what they said? They call a notoriously think skinned narcissist into humiliation and revenge a "danger to the nation" and then expect him to hand them a job?

It's nice that they still want "serve their country" and all, but get a fncking clue.

"Staring from this premise the rest is a fairy tale."

That's why it's rude to stare.

Let me tell you a fairy tale. Once upon a time, there was a big bad wolf ....

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/dying-for-someone-elses-political-faith.html

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-comments-on-too-strong-dollar-send-shivers-through-stock-market-2017-01-17?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Now, the dollar is too high? He's not even Precedent yet and his chief economic guru Kudlow (whose unctuous, prattling certain self on CNBC pretty much alone caused me to get rid of my TV seven years ago, after shooting it, like Elvis), who has been preaching a strong dollar since the womb are trying to talk the thing down.

http://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2016-06-22/does-china-manipulate-its-currency-like-donald-trump-says

He doesn't realize that his entire rhetorically-thrown clown cream pie during the campaign has strengthened the dollar against the yuan. And, that he and his fellow conservative economists, not that trump is an economist, har har, have been begging the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to bail out the banks, which in and of itself is a dollar-strengthening ploy, not to mention maligning a fine public servant, Janet Yellen, all the way along, but what would America be without that behavior?

BMW produces far more cars in the U.S., and exports more than it sells here. They need to pull up stakes here and raise both middle fingers to Trump. Jamie Dimon doesn't need a fucking BMW anyway.

Toyota gets the trump treatment because it's moving production from Canada to Mexico? What business is that of the United States? It's maintaining its production here, right?

Hey, I'm all for the notion that American jobs should have stayed here. It wasn't my fucking idea that they should have been offshored.

It was Nixon's, and Larry Kudlow's, and Wilbur Ross's, and Trump Hotels' idea. The Clinton's and Obama helped them, sure. Every CEO and CFO jumped at the chance as shareholders reaped the bounty, including probably me.

Now, these preciouses are falling all over themselves bragging about the jobs they will bring back (most of it is bullshit of one kind or another to bootlick tariff-boy). They could have made that decision back in the day and said, you know, we care about our American workers, because they are our fellow Americans, and we don't think they should be cast adrift into the horse latitudes of low wages and no benefits.

But they didn't. You know why? Because they don't give a shit. They put their money in Barbadoes vaults, because who wouldn't, given the hard logic of business, while of course preaching to the rest of us the bullshit mantra of patriotism and pride of country.

Fuck off!

When jobs (trade has brought these countries into the second and first world) start disappearing in China, and the third world, and eastern Europe because, once again, the United States had yet another brilliant idea that everyone else must conform to, watch out!

You know what THEY do when folks are out of work, to keep chaos at bay? They put them in uniform and show them how to fire surface to missiles at whomever to keep their minds off blowing up their own countries and THEIR BMW-driving leaders.

And what the hell is the difference between moving jobs from Lancaster PA, to Shanghai, Mexico, and Houston, Texas, anyhoo?

If you see Governor Rick Perry or Xi Jinping in your Massachusetts mill town trolling for jobs because the hometown company won't have to pay livable wages, extend medical benefits, pay taxes for local infrastructure, or prevent pollution if they move their digs, who do you shoot first?

ugh, that's why most of the political appointees, if in fact the slots are filled, in the bureaucracy (not a dirty word, much as the usual suspects want it to be so) are going to be filled by the cow bell players in local cover bands.

Besides, it fits the narrative that has been rearing up like a tidal wave just offshore, doesn't it? All expertise is to be doubted. All experience vanquished. All norms cast away. America, the entire shebang, is about to remove it's troublesome teeth by tying them to a doorknob across the room and then slamming the door, because every profession is a conspiracy against the laity.

No Novacaine. If pain was good enough for Jesus, then waterboarding must work and screw the experts.

America is a stupid pet trick. By all means, try this at home.

Yeoman everything.

If the current mood prevailed at Kitty Hawk, onlookers would tell the Wright Brothers to go fuck themselves, the know-it-alls, and adopt these guy's technologies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw_C_sbfyx8

That said, of course, the professionals have fucked things up to.

Could it be because they ARE Americans. I mean, you notice when others fuck up, Americans are quick to generalize from the particular and blame it on EVERYONE else. When lots of Americans fuck up, it's shrugged off as, well, one guy's fault.

That's got nothing to do with me. Must have the wrong incentives. Now, connect a guy's testicles to a car battery, and we might get somewhere!

Take the Middle East, for example. Please.

It's like she's been living in a Funk and Wagnell's mayonnaise jar under Ed McMahon's porch these last eight years:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/cathy-mcmorris-rodgers-heckled-heath-care

Kumbaya, kumbaya, yay, thru the valley of death we shall kumbaya. What a Republican dick!

You know the difference between these politically correct protestors and the conservative ones we've seen at public meetings these last eight years.

The former haven't brought guns to the O.K. Town Meeting.

Probably a big mistake.

Now, the dollar is too high?

There go the vacation plans.

She made the ambiguous promise on Friday that “No one who has coverage because of Obamacare today, will lose that coverage the day it’s repealed — we’re committed to a smooth and stable transition for those currently receiving care.”

Note the phrase "the day it's repealed".

The basic problem is that health care costs more than people can afford to pay for it. Not everyone, of course, just the folks who actually need it. And you can't make enough money insuring people for health care to make it attractive enough for big money folks. At least, not without limiting coverage for people who are actually likely to get sick to the point where folks have to choose between bankruptcy and dying.

We dance around it chanting various forms of the obligatory market-driven incantations. But basically you can't make enough money selling health insurance if (a) you insure the folks who are actually likely to get sick without (b) requiring them to assume risk that is probably going to bankrupt them.

Tax credits don't help if you don't make enough to pay taxes. What's the maximum credit on $0.00?

HSA's don't help if you have no surplus income to sock away. Take a look at the rate of personal savings in the US right now.

"Informed consumer choices" are BS when you're talking about a domain that takes 10 years of specialized post-graduate study to master.

The straight dope is that we either have to treat it as a necessary public good - not an inalienable right, just something that is needed if we are going to function as a society, like schools, potable water, and electricity - or else sign up for millions of people living lives of unnecessary suffering and premature death.

Those are the choices.

Nobody wants to be seen as a meanie, so we're heading down the path of option (2) while trying to pretend we're not.

Net/net, the (R)'s have the votes, if they can find any way to do it without finding their heads on pikes they're going to gut the public contribution to health insurance, and a lot of people are going to get sick and die.

There is no market-driven solution. There isn't enough money to be made to compete with other places folks can park their dollars.

I'd say it's time to wake up and smell the coffee, but that was actually about 30 years ago.

By the way, Marty, thanks for your answers to my questions. See my 11:58 am yesterday, if you missed it.

Given the geopolitical news coming out of Russia and China overnight, I suspect any of my tax money on infrastructure is going to go solely toward building a gigantic bomb shelter under Trump Tower in Manhattan, even if he doesn't own the land, to house among other things, the toupees of the 1%, so they live to coif another day after half-life radiation degradation.

A bartender I know, and bartenders have their fingers on all pulses, looked at me across the bar the other night and said, without any prompting from me, "After Friday, I give us three weeks."

Along the lines of Count's 10:01am, this.

Thucydides, in his commentary regarding the deterioration (and ultimate collapse) of Athenian democracy, hits too close to home: “Men now did just what they pleased, coolly venturing on what they had formerly done only in a corner” — this, more than anything, seems like the hallmark of the emerging Trump regime, replete with norm-trampling transgressions. We are in the hands of an ignorant, amoral, petulant authoritarian who has been handed the keys to the most powerful office on the country, and the world.

Whee, as they say.

more:

Bitterness about the status quo, then, and demands for change, are thus more than understandable. But in the words of Garrison Keillor, “Resentment is no excuse for bald-faced stupidity.” And the argument that many were voting for “change for change’s sake” is, in a word, idiotic. It is also disingenuous in whole cloth. Voting for Louis Farrakhan for President would also have represented a radical break with the past. If the goal is to bring about radical change, regardless of nominal policy content, the sort of knock-the-table-over housecleaning that only an outsider can deliver, well then Farrakhan is your man (and as plausible, and as qualified). But how many Trump supporters would have pulled the lever for Farrakhan? Right.

But how many Trump supporters would have pulled the lever for Farrakhan? Right.

Fortunately, nobody here voted for Trump. At least, they've retained plausible deniability.

A bartender I know, and bartenders have their fingers on all pulses, looked at me across the bar the other night and said, without any prompting from me, "After Friday, I give us three weeks."

So, an optimist? Drink up!

I'd say russell's 10:55 is about the best executive summary of the health-care situation I've seen yet. The people who said the public option would end up being the same thing as single-payer because no one would be able to compete were right. My response to them was, and still is, "So?"

As the 20th gets closer, I keep hoping for 3 Jim Jeffords-like patriots to at least take away the Senate rubber stamp. Out of 52, there has to be 3 that see a clear and present danger that is worth sacrificing a career. Especially the old ones. Become independents, caucus with the Democrats, and you can still vote mostly conservative. But you have taken away some of the keys.

It might even be beneficial to the Republican Party to be able to share some of the governing blame with a Democratic Senate.

Ugh, that is an excellent piece.

Fortunately, nobody here voted for Trump. At least, they've retained plausible deniability.

OTOH, there are those here who decried as traitors anyone unwilling to blindly support a widely disliked "more status quo than the status quo" candidate who didn't really wanna campaign. They, too, retain plausible deniability.

NV: [citation required]

From Ugh's link (discussing something that's been confounding me throughout Trump's ascendancy):

Consider what it took in Germany to bring about a Hitler. That country fought — and lost — The Great War (World War I), a conflict that left two million soldiers dead and five million more wounded from a country of 65 million (in the contemporary US that would be the equivalent of about 10 million dead and 25 million wounded). Held under blockade and facing starvation, Germany had little choice but to sign the vengeful peace treaty imposed upon it, one that left the country demilitarized, dismembered, stripped of assets and forced to pay reparations. Amid the ruins of millions of disabled veterans and countless orphans and widows (and women who would never marry given the decimation of a generation of men), in the early 20s Germany’s fragile social structure was further disordered by high inflation which devolved into hyperinflation (prices rose hourly, and the currency presses were so busy trying to keep up eventually they only printed the notes on one side) that wiped out savings, impoverished workers, and abetted the rise of shadowy, once disreputable opportunistic operators. Then came the Great Depression, which saw unemployment, already high, soar to 25% in 1932. That’s what it took to bring a Hitler to power. After two decades of world war, total ruin, national humiliation and widespread misery, the Nazi party was able to claim 33% of the vote in 1932, running on its promises to ferret out and crush enemies within and restore German greatness. As a nation we’ve never faced a test of our national character as daunting as that, but we have faced plenty worse than what we’ve got today, and until now had never thrown in our lot with the first demagogue that came along.

Ugh, seconding GftNC's comment on Jonathan Kirshner's piece. Thanks for posting it.

We cannot recognize Trump as President.

Snarki: LMGTFY

(I.e., someone who is totally not still dwelling on the election; they've "moved on", so why can't we?)

As a nation we’ve never faced a test of our national character as daunting as that, but we have faced plenty worse than what we’ve got today, and until now had never thrown in our lot with the first demagogue that came along.

But we've come close. In an economic situation similar to today (the Gilded Age), William Jennings Bryan ran very strong Presidential campaigns, especially in 1896.

Interestingly, he won in many of the same places where Trump won. The reasons he didn't win may include changes in the population distribution across the states.

That was a great read, Ugh. Thanks.

(Heh, botched the query string, but Google figured it out. Probably because I'm almost certainly using archaic search syntax, d'oh...)

William Jennings Bryan and Donald Trump are not in the same category, wj.

True. But Bryan was the great populist demagogue of the day, demonizing the wealthy and promising prosperity for everyone. In short, Trump's offering.

Which was all I was saying, in response to the quote hsh offered. We may not have got with a demagogue in the past. But we have come close.

wj,

You need to look up the definition of "demagogue", and then get back to me and tell me how arguments for free silver and reining in the railroad robber barons was "irrational" or an "appeal to ignorance and prejudice".

Bobby, there's nothing to say that arguments for valid positions cannot be made by a demagogue. (Although I'm not totally persuaded that free silver was a rational one.)

Trump, for example, is a demagogue -- agreed? But the argument that he makes for increased infrastructure spending being needed are true even so.

For those looking for ideas for what to constructively do next, some offerings from Jonathan Capehart.

To return briefly to the OP:

Why people might not want to work for the Trumps.

On presidential inaugurations, there are words, some of which may not be the right ones. (These may be corrected by time you hit the link, but here's how I read them - italics mine):

On January 20, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower caused a raucous when he bucked convention and refused to wear a traditional cutaway coat and top hat at his inauguration.

and

JFK’s inauguration ceremony on January 20, 1961 was a comedy of sanctimonious errors. As Cardinal Richard Cushing was delivering the inaugural invocation, the podium caught fire due to a shortage in the electric motor used to adjust the height of the lectern.

Way to go, Newsweek.

Obama has commuted Bradley Manning's sentence!

Or as I should have said, Chelsea Manning. Apparently, the snake Assange said if she is released he agrees to extradition to the US. but I'll believe that when I see it...

but I'll believe that when I see it...

Why not? I'm sure he'll be perfectly comfortable with his BFF Trump.

AFAIK Assange there is no request from the US to extradite Assange. Sweden, yes.

Although I now see that the commutation won't take effect until May. Wonder if Trump will try to rescind it.

AFAIK Assange there is no request from the US to extradite Assange. Sweden, yes

Ugh, the whole reason Assange has always given for being holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy is that if he goes to Sweden to face the rape charges, or even ventures out into London, he will be extradited to the US. This rationale has generally been completely rejected by lawyers who know anything about the charges he faces.

Why not? I'm sure he'll be perfectly comfortable with his BFF Trump

Good point, sapient. But it would certainly be another wedge issue between Trump and regular Republicans in Congress.

Right. No charges even filed in the US AFAIK. That wouldn't preclude future US charges of course, although I'm not sure under what theory - assuming all he's done is publish information given to him.

I can't say, however, that his fear of future US charges and subsequent extradition is entirely unreasonable, especially starting noon Friday.


Re: HSH's 4:58 – Reliance on spell-check instead of human editors was a depressing development (many years entrenched by now), but reliance on auto-complete to write your articles for you is a new low. (Well, not totally new, just newer than spell-check.)

Turn the fNcking auto-complete off, for crying out loud! If you don’t want to actually write the words yourself, don’t be a writer!

Also, get off of my lawn.

I can't say, however, that his fear of future US charges and subsequent extradition is entirely unreasonable, especially starting noon Friday.

Since Assange has clearly been in league with Trump and Putin, I don't really understand the source of your worry. I'm sure that they would be happy for him to continue to conspire with them. Or maybe he has blackmail on them, who knows. In any case, I think that Assange will be in the clear (in the U.S. at least) for awhile. There are rape allegations still pending though, although if he hangs out for awhile longer, he'll beat the statute of limitations, apparently. Nice guy, I'm sure.

But it would certainly be another wedge issue between Trump and regular Republicans in Congress.

Not seeing a huge wedge.

sapient - that's fair. I guess I was thinking there was a fair bit of the military and intelligence community gunning for Assange, and that Trump or Sessions may be likely to assent to their pressure.

And of course not telling what Assange will leak next.

And of course not telling what Assange will leak next.

His track record is pretty consistent. Putin asks. Assange answers.

Trump has a reputation for stiffing those who work for him and are owed money. But apparently he is casual about other debts as well.

See this on the fact that the only cabinet post unfilled is Secretary of Agriculture. Great way to show gratitude to the rural voters who were so ardent in his behalf.

Apparently there is starting to be some serious unhappiness in agricultural circles at their apparently low priority with the new administration. Not least because of rumors that the administration is looking for a woman or Hispanic, in order to add some diversity to the cabinet -- apparently being put into the service of political correctness isn't going down well.

Thanks wj. Hope springs eternal that maybe Trump doesn't know how to scam all of the people all of the time. Sadly, once you're a dictator, it gets a lot easier.

By the way, I just had a look at NV's incredibly cute retrospective google search of my comments. I totally cop to having called people names. I stand by all of it, although I'm told that I'll be banned if I continue to accuse some of the people here in the "community" of being fascist collaborators and traitors and tools. So I won't do it anymore (will try not to). But I'm glad we're squared away on what I think of some of y'all.

Especially people who refused to vote for someone who was "widely disliked" (are you still in high school?) when the alternative was a catastrophic world-ending fascist. Excellent judgment.

http://pagesix.com/2017/01/13/drug-testing-floated-for-white-house-press-corps/

I look forward to this.

Will this be before the lamestream media has to eat out Sarah Palin and blow Steve Bannon, or after that? National Inquiring Minds would like to know.

Fuck the Republican Party.

Fuck America.

Civil War is here.

Hide.

OT:

anent the mascot

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PjE6bssKlUA/WG165NH0OhI/AAAAAAAA_Pw/Ty5UOpiwnlIrcVgfsx6YfQTISI0ln1YDgCLcB/s1600/catintree_reddit.jpeg

I have occasionally recommended reading Rod Dreher as a conservative voice, but when he is bad he is transcendentally off the charts magnitude 10 on the Richter scale crappy. Case in point--

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/obama-springs-transgender-traitor/

He lets all the little demons in his soul out for a picnic in that one. The update practically screams "stop me from writing anything on this subject."

I read the American Conservative pretty faithfully now. I for one welcome our-- well, no, but I do want to know what they think, though TAC isn't mainstream conservative. Not sure what that is these days. Their regulars vary in quality. Daniel Larison is consistently boringly good. With Rod, every post is an adventure.

All this by way of asking whether anyone knows any place on the web where people of wildly differing views on politics have relatively civil conversations. Obiwi used to be that, but it's mostly liberal/ left now. Dreher's blog can be good and his comment section can be pretty diverse, but if he doesn't back down from the post above it's gonna be a little hard to respect him in the morning.

"Obiwi used to be that, but it's mostly liberal/ left now. "

Perhaps, since this is mostly true, one should wonder why.

Dreher was a pig at the Dallas Morning News and continues to be at Amcon. How anyone can find this surprising is a mystery.

Considering how things have gone in the national political conversation, it may be at least worth raising the question: Has ObWi really gotten more liberal? Or is it just that the perceived center has moved?

Sheesh, that Rod Dreher column is a doozy, especially the update. You wonder how much is actually true and how much is him getting drunk on that conservative victim juice. Wikipedia has this

Dreher had argued that the [Catholic child abuse] scandal was not so much a "pedophile problem", but that the "sexual abuse of minors is facilitated by a secret, powerful network of gay priests" referred to as the Lavender Mafia.

He really should get that homophobia looked at...

Dreher drives me nuts. I'm a sucker for his literacy, but he goes off the rails so often that I want to comment there and ruin that blog too.

He had another piece the other day, warning of so much dire disruption by LGBT folks et al at the Inaugural that Trump would be forced to call in the National Guard and physically bang heads together.

Then I get near the end of the column rubbing my hands together at what sort of militancy Dreher is warning of, and it turns out LGBT folks might stage a dance party in front of Mike Pence's house in D.C.

Definitely time to deploy the snipers with trigger fingers.

Here's hoping they dance, but no window smashing, no car burning, and clean up afterwards. My idea of militancy in the face of THE FACE is showing up extravagantly armed like the Oath Keepers and other right-wingers do way too often and looking like serious f*cking people, but to the beat of the B-52s, say.

I'm all for dancing, however, and in fact it would be bizarrely ominous-looking if folks with AR-15s slung over their shoulders were line-dancing up and down Pence's street.

In fact, if the Oath Keepers and such really are so anti-government, why aren't they serving as totem militia security in defense of the Women's March and the LGBT dance party?

That's a rhetorical question.

joel, love the kitty!

This problem has been solved, repeatedly. Pick an approach and get it freaking done.

If you follow the ongoing squabbles among the health care providers, patients, government, advocacy groups, etc. in, say Ontario, you get the impression that the "problem has been solved" is still very much a work in progress.

In fact, if the Oath Keepers and such really are so anti-government, why aren't they serving as totem militia security in defense of the Women's March and the LGBT dance party?

Speaking of the LGBT dance party, Pence's temporary home is about a 90 second drive from my (soon to be sold) former house. Pretty much every other house, if not more, in the surrounding neighborhood is flying the rainbow flag.

Count: I hear that Trump managed to coerce the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes into performing at the inaugural, which is probably much more to Trump's "NYC" taste than all those Country/Gospel groups anyways.

I, for one, look forward to the Rockettes parading down Pennsylvania Ave, with their trademark "turn-step-kick" moves.

Only the evul liebrals or pathologically pedantic (but I repeat myself) would term it "goose-stepping".

If you follow the ongoing squabbles among the health care providers, patients, government, advocacy groups, etc. in, say Ontario, you get the impression that the "problem has been solved" is still very much a work in progress.

"ongoing squabbles" vs. "looming existential hellstorm", which is preferable?

Trump's voters have spoken, amirite?

Rod at his best can be good, which is why I read him, but he's got some personal demons and when they come out I usually just skip over the post. Last night I resd him in utter fascination-- he thought he was writing about Manning but it was entirely about his own obsessions.

There are some really thoughtful conservatives and liberals in his comment threads, people who don't necessarily fit neatly into the prevailing categories. There are also some nasty folk as well. You never know from thread to thread what you are going to get, but at its best it can be quite good. That is what initially impressed me about the blog. If there are others out there, preferably without the drawbacks, I would like to read them.

Only the evul liebrals or pathologically pedantic (but I repeat myself) would term it "goose-stepping".

Don't worry. That's really coming.

“And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military.

“That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military,” he added.

Lavender Mafia?

I think ObWi is definitely more leftish than it used to be. I don't know why.

And no, I can't really think of anyplace where you are more likely to have a thoughtful and polite conversation among folks with different viewpoints. IMO this is about as good as it gets.

I'm also not sure what conversation is available that isn't just sort of academic. In terms of the people and policies that are actually on hand as facts on the ground, what the hell is there to say? We can probably have interesting conversations about how True Conservative policies might compare to True Liberal policies, but the reality at the moment is Trump, Ryan, and McConnell. And a (D) party that has, IMO, bargained away its moral authority via DNC style triangulation.

In a choice between nice polite technocrats and revanchist kleptocracy, I'll take the technocrats. But there's not much here to inspire a spirited discussion of ideas.

One side wants to try to keep the wheels on, even if the bus is headed for a not-great place. The other side wants to set the bus on fire and drive it off the cliff.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Betsy DeVoss thinks each locale should make up their minds about guns in schools, because there are grizzlies in WY. And *of course*, she and her family will step back from any investment have in the for-profit schools industry. Her history with that movement and industry will have *no influence* on her actions or policies as SecEd.

And I am the Queen of Romania.

I believe there are times when candid discussion among people of different points of view are really useful. I'm not sure this is one of them.

While we are respectfully exchanging our thoughts, grifters are stealing what isn't nailed down, burning down whatever's left, and surrounding the whole mess with land mines on their way out.

Should we chat about that? Debate the pros and cons? I am asking in all seriousness.

Maybe the time for companionable debate among gentlepeople is over, at least for a while. It might be time to pick a side and fight.

There are some really thoughtful conservatives and liberals in his comment threads, people who don't necessarily fit neatly into the prevailing categories. There are also some nasty folk as well.

According to someone at LGM, Dreher moderates the comments, so if true, the nasty folk you are seeing there are ones he's letting in.

DeVoss...

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/schooled/2017/01/betsy_devos_confirmation_hearing_showed_she_s_either_underprepared_or_a.html
“Why, in 2017, are we still questioning parents’ ability to exercise educational choice for their children?” she asked. “For me it’s simple: I trust parents and I believe in our children.”

Bet she's a fan of the tooth fairy, too.

DeVos’ allies, like former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who introduced her, presented her lack of governing experience as a plus. Coming from outside the educational “establishment...is one of the most important qualifications you can have for this job,” Lieberman said....

I'd almost forgotten about Lieberman. Someone should update his Wikipedia page: "A former member of the Democratic Party, he was the party's nominee for Vice President in the 2000 election. Currently an Independent, he remains closely associated with the party."

Closely associated ??

I intend to oppose Trump on an issue by issue basis-- this will no doubt include most issues where he adopts a position. I seem to recall an issue or two where Bush was wrong and yet ObiWi had this notion that maybe it was useful to discuss things like torture or preventive war.

You talk to people to find out where they stand. The NYT interviewed some Trump supporting white women on Sunday. They seemed deeply naive about Trump, putting it mildly, but the good news is that some of them really thought Trump would bring back good jobs and really did vote in part because of economic anxiety. He doesn't have to lose all his support to lose in 2020.

Also, on some issues I am closer to some conservatives than to the right wing of the Democrats. Our interventions overseas, for instance. Unfortunately the mainstream Republicans opposed to Trump tend to be the people who favored going into Iraq. The same is true of some Democrats. On some issues, from where I stand it's like choosing between rival gangs. Which is why I go to places where there might be conservatives who agree with me.

True story, which I've been saving for these, my last end days at OBWI. I'm telling it to prove that I really do have face-to-face "reality show" personal experience with the current ominous, right-wing assholery/brownshirted performance art (yeah, it's art like Stalingrad was art) now abroad in the land.

Last October, I visited Pittsburgh to help the siblings clean out and distribute the contents of my late mother's house. I stayed at my brother's house a few miles away, actually his significant other's house and they live there together with her three sons from her previous marriage, who are in and out, and my brother's son, who lives in the house next door that my brother owns.

The youngest of her sons is nearly 16, and he's a nice kid, funny, smart, and his resolute goal in life is to become a Navy Seal, and he's constantly training physically and he doesn't mess with drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes like some of his peers.

Fine and noble so far. But along with this he loves his gigantic knives and his guns, which he keeps, most of them, in his bedroom, and I mean, as far as I can tell, the semi-automatic varieties.

He has preached the gospel of Ted Nugent to me on previous occasions. Like your typical teenager on the latest jag, in fact, it reminded me of when I was a teenager and would trap my grandfather in the den and make him listen to every track on Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart Club's Band and try to elicit from this man, who practically gagged at facial hair and amplified guitar cacophonies (and don't get him started on Martin Luther King, THAT Communist) back in the day (he was a Lawrence Welk fan; nothing wrong with that), some sort of recognition of the Beatles' talents. "But Grandpa, I would plead, listen to the string section on this song!"

He was very patient, looking back on it.

This kid is sort of like that, IF Sargent Pepper was Adjutant General Pepper and the celebrities on the cover of the album were wielding weapons in a bid to overthrow the Crown and Parliament in a violent military coup.

So one night on my visit, I'm sitting on the couch and he emerges from his bedroom fully-camoed with a pistol strapped to his belt and a longer, obviously semi-automatic weapon strapped over his shoulder and he plops down on the couch next to me, grabs the TV remote and pulls up a video/movie of Navy Seals ostensibly wiping out the "goatf*ckers" (the kid's language, repeated ad nausem, in wherever country they were doing it in, and then, since we're leading up to the election, I get an earful about how Donald Trump is going to round up all of the "goatf*ckers" in this country and kick them and their camels to the curb and Ted Nugent says Hillary Clinton is going to take all of our weapons, yadda, yadda, yadda, but she's gotta another thing coming.

All of this while pointing the longer gun at the TV screen, like an overmedicated, cracker Elvis, and communicated to me in a not unpleasant tone of voice, like maybe I might agree with some of it, how could I not (I haven't talked politics to the kid before), and don't I think Paul's middle eight in "A Day In The Life" is a perfect counterpoint to Lennon's other-worldly lyrical mourning in the rest of the song?

This happened again on one other night.

Now, let me say, that this kid knows how to use these weapons in hunting and target practice and I'm certain, though I didn't ask, that they are fully licensed, not loaded, and the safeties were on. In addition, I know, since I looked up PA state laws, afterwards, that there was nothing unlawful in that state about this behavior IN his own house.

No laws against being a f8cking a*shole behind closed doors, because freedom. If I called the police, they'd stand there with their weapons strapped to their belts and tell me the kid, also armed to the teeth, hadn't threatened me, so what's the problem?

Considering I'm outgunned here, officer, no problem whatsoever. Because we live in crazy land.

Now, someone might ask where were the parents when this was going on? Well, my brother, who is NOT the kid's Dad was reading the paper about ten feet away (I know this, because a couple of times I looked over at him with a "Are you getting a load of this?" look on my face. The kid's Mom was in the kitchen cooking. One of his brothers, who are both older, was sitting nearby watching the same show like it was Scooby-Doo.

Apparently, this happens quite often.

For my own self, I didn't feel it was my place to go full towering Countme-In on the kid, since we are friendly to boot, but I do have a way of looking at a person and asking at intervals "Is that so?" like a combination of Groucho Marx and pick any Mafia Don.

The only thing I really said was "So if your prospective Navy Seal commander was sitting here, what would he think about this display of distemper, given military discipline", to which the kid gave a look like I'd just corrected his posture, which is ramrod straight.

Under Trump, I don't think I know the answer to that question, do I?

But, as I sat there, I was formulating a course of action.

The only parent you need to know about is the kid's biological Dad, who lives in his mother's basement after the messy divorce, but has a Jones on about weapons and I'm sure, his right-wing bullsh*t, because he is a white male victim of the homo/swarthy/vaginal Axis and has purchased all of the weapons and the ammo his three sons own (the other two never flaunt the stuff) and off they go hunting and target-practicing on a regular basis.

I've never met him, and don't want to, but when his name comes up, just about everyone in the room performs an extravagant eye roll. Besides, I have no compunction about yelling at a guy near my age like that if I feel it's necessary.

Here's what I did. I returned home and was going to visit again at Thanksgiving, which I did, but with my 27-year old son along and his girlfriend. A couple of weeks before departure, I called my brother up and said. "Listen up. We're staying with you at Thanksgiving. Thanks ahead of time for the hospitality. But if the kid comes out of his room carrying weapons and carries on about other human beings like he did last time, we are out of there to a motel. So, you talk to your significant other, who is a great person, and one of you let him know about the new rules. Further, if he does present like that again, maybe the other two will head for the motel and I'll stick around and maybe fetch a pistol out of my suitcase and plop MYSELF down on the couch too, so things are equalized. Plus, as you know, I can get loud about assholes Trump and Nugent. Furthermore, I'd be happy to call up this kid's Navy recruiter, when that time comes, and tell them about what an undisciplined little twit the kid is among civilians when the Navy's not looking."

After a moment of silence, my brother said "We will absolutely lay down the law, and I don't know why we haven't done it before. It's been like background noise until now. And you know about HIS Dad."

So, I arrive at Thanksgiving. Everyone is all smiles. The kid, a good sort like I said, comes up to me before I can put down my bag in the foyer, says hello and asks me, without a trace of surliness, "Listen, while you are here, my Dad is taking me hunting on Saturday, so I have to carry my weapon thru the house and out to his car. Is that O.K."

"Yeah, that would be normal", I said, with a smile, resisting the temptation to ask what sort of human snipe they would be hunting.

We shook hands and had a great time for the duration of the visit.

But there is something very wrong in America, And the examples held up for these kids need to be confronted with their own tough talk and whatever implements of destruction they like to wave around like it's fucking normal.

"I think ObWi is definitely more leftish than it used to be. I don't know why."

I'm so old, I remember the day exactly. OBWI co-founder Moe Lane said he couldn't handle the lefties anymore, even though at the time we had a pretty equal distribution from both sides, and everyone in the middle, as was the original noble intention of the site.

Off he went, feelings hurt, with Tacitus/Trevino and the rest of the crew, to Redstate for some professional epistemic closure. The less sensitive, tougher conservatives, like Slart, Von, and Charles Bird stuck it out and a good thing too.

Will the military be flying over New York and Washington D.C. with the bomb bay doors open?

I agree that racism wasn't the ALL of the election, but what does it day that our new gummint is chock full of the notably racist murdering assholes among Trump gendarmes?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/17/new-trump-adviser-being-sued-for-hiring-whites-to-attack-blacks.html?via=newsletter&source=DDAfternoon

Must be a fucking coincidence.

Like Lester Maddox was an outlier.

That guy needs a dance party INSIDE his real estate.

Betsy DeVoss thinks each locale should make up their minds about guns in schools, because there are grizzlies in WY. And *of course*, she and her family will step back from any investment have in the for-profit schools industry. Her history with that movement and industry will have *no influence* on her actions or policies as SecEd.

Russell, I'm not doubting this is her position, but if you have a cite, that would help. Having a reference for this would be handy for future discussion.

Count, regarding a 16 year old strapping up to play video games and the adults sitting idly by, that is truly weird. Our home has always had guns for hunting, target practice and theoretical self defense and both our son and daughter grew up hunting and shooting. Guns stay in the gun cabinet unless being cleaned or being moved to the car for a hunt or a trip to the shooting range. What you describe is weird to the point of being disordered.

LJ and Marty--I thought the Gopnick piece was thoughtful and well presented. The part LJ posts above left me with what I inferred to be the impression left with Marty: a bunch of high profile lefties making a big deal about how they'd never do anything to support the D no matter what, i.e. a bunch of tasteless virtue signaling. There has been plenty of that.

The article didn't go that way. It did make a point about right wing bullying, which if it had been counter-balanced with the lefty Red Guard SJW tactics we see everyday now, would have made the article even better.

As for how awful Trump is going to be, I'm with Donald, oppose where opposition is right, support where support is right. If--and I think this is a big "if"--his more bizarre tweets become actual policy proposals, e.g. holding journalists accountable in some legal fashion (as opposed to denying them White house press credentials), then it's time to discuss impeachment.

If the D turns out to be as bat shit crazy as many here seem to feel will be the case, he will be impeached or removed from office. I think it's all a bit overwrought but my crystal ball is no better than anyone else's.

If you haven't looked at Sec 4, XXV Amendment, US Constitution, you should. The VP and a majority of the cabinet can declare the President unable to discharge the duties of the office and that remains the case until either President says he can discharge his duties and the VP and the cabinet agree or, if the VP and Pres disagree as to the Pres' fitness, congress decides the issue.

So, there are remedies for insanity in office. It's why, during the Cold War (1967), this Amendment passed.

I'm not doubting this is her position, but if you have a cite, that would help.

It's from her testimony in her Senate hearing. I listened to it on the radio, I don't have a link-able cite handy. If I can find one later today, I'll add it.

Yeah, McTX, what was weird about that absolutely true story was that it seemed so every day normal to them.

My brother doesn't own a weapon and doesn't want to.

The bad influence is the biological Dad. But if you met the kid, sans weapons, you'd find him to be a normal teenager with slightly too much devotion to the Navy Seal ethos

As for Trump's impeachment, and not surprisingly you might differ with me on this, I find Pence just as reprehensible and dangerous. That he is a calm, seemingly more relaxed version of Trump gives me no comfort.

The latest giveaway of that was Pence and the trump family members and staff standing off to the side laughing at the press and applauding Trump's nuttier statements, as they asked their perfectly normal questions at the press conference last week.

Very bizarre, unprofessional behavior.

Now Pence, Ryan and company might threaten impeachment, but Trump can reach a deal with them and brag that he was the winner. Deal: I'll sign any legislation you send up if you drop the impeachment proceedings or otherwise stymie them.

Calm, smiling psychopaths creep me out more than the flamboyant ones.

At least I can hear Trump coming.

You wanna hear overwrought? I predict someone, probably Mattis, will at some point over the next several years have to show up with an armed platoon at the Trump Tower and carry out the impeachment removal terms, arrived at months before, against Trump and Pence and much of the rest of the Cabinet AND a good part of the Republican House of Representatives holed up there.

There will be gunfire. Trump's last tweet will be "I never trusted Mattis, that third-rate General, and ....."

Then radio silence.

Tell me any time in American history that such an unhinged personality had his vengeful fingers on all the buttons.

Andrew Jackson? No, pales in comparison.

Richard Nixon. No, he of the tearful exit.

Trump is a sociopath. No conscience. He's the real item. Clinton was a poseur in that world of ruthlessness.

If I can find one later today, I'll add it.

Thanks. Now, I mean this in the nicest possible way: isn't there something else on the radio of interest? Seriously?

As for Trump's impeachment, and not surprisingly you might differ with me on this, I find Pence just as reprehensible and dangerous. That he is a calm, seemingly more relaxed version of Trump gives me no comfort.

As background, my engagement, even well before the election, has been slipping daily to the point of focusing mostly on work and fun, including grandson No. 2. So, I don't know enough about Pence to have a solid opinion. I thought he did well, in a conventional way, in the debate against Kaine. Like Gopnik, I think Pence works within the framework of the Constitution. I'm not sure the D gets the Constitution.

Tell me any time in American history that such an unhinged personality had his vengeful fingers on all the buttons.

If, in place of "unhinged personality", you said "someone like Trump", my answer would be "I agree, this is a first." He may yet prove to be unbalanced and mentally incapable of doing the job. If and when that becomes apparent, either impeachment or a Dem landslide or the 25th Amendment are available as a check on objective mental instability. He has two years until the mid terms. I predict the Republic will survive that long. I know I'm out on a limb here, but there you have it. I do not think the D is the end of life as we know it.

Trump is a sociopath. No conscience. He's the real item. Clinton was a poseur in that world of ruthlessness.

*Sociopath* is probably an overstatement, but since it's a subjective judgment, I'll just say I have to see a lot more to agree with your assessment. In the meantime, any launch order would involve the SecDef and I'm reasonably content that there is a strong firewall in place in that regard. Also, we have impeachment, mid-terms and the 25th Amendment. So, there are remedies if things are as dire as many here seem to think.

If the D turns out to be as bat shit crazy as many here seem to feel will be the case, he will be impeached or removed from office.

The fact that such a conclusion hasn't already been reached gives me very little confidence that Republicans in Congress (or anywhere else) see much of a problem here. Not sure what it will take, and how badly the United States will suffer, to make the case.

Also, could you not call Donald Trump "the D"? People use "D" for Democrat. DJT, maybe, would be better. Thanks.

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/01/17/putin-warns-of-a-maidan-in-washington/

Does Trump know the difference between a "maiden" and "maidan"?

isn't there something else on the radio of interest? Seriously?

Pop radio today mostly sucks, and the good local jazz programming isn't on during evening drivetime, so I listen to NPR on my way home from work. Often, on my way to work. That, or audiobooks.

DeVoss happened to be what was on.

Personally, it actually does concern me that the person nominated for SecEd has never been to a public school, has spent her adult life encouraging policies and institutions that are very arguably destructive of public schools, and has made a sh*tload of money from industries based on privatizing public schools.

And then there are theocratic tendencies, which are a whole other ball of wax.

I'm against privatizing public institutions. Period. So the nomination of DeVoss as SecDef disturbs me.

YMMV.

What do you listen to on the radio?

As far as Trump being removed: being a narcissist, or being irresponsible and reckless, or just being an obnoxious bloviating boor, are not in and of themselves evidence of clinical insanity.

So Sec 4, XXV Amendment is not likely to be of help.

Impeachment is also unlikely while the (R)'s hold the House and while Trump doesn't get in their way.

Barring KFC-induced cardiac infarction, I expect President Trump for the next 4 years.

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