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June 22, 2017

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Silence when you speak to me!

[GftNC will know :-)]

I see it as the further spreading of a dangerous stain into the commonly accepted level of discourse inhabiting the public sphere. It typifies a level of right wing extreme rhetoric not seen since the KKK's heyday in the 1920's if you ask me.

Adam Silverman at Balloon-Juice has been doing occasional posts about this, framing it as the attempts of various groups around the world to destroy what he calls "the gray zone" -- the public sphere where we all co-exist relatively peacefully.

In fact, he has a post up at this very moment about this NRA ad. (I haven't read it yet but Adam is always good.)

I don't know whether this is an escalation of the level of incitement or business as usual.

This also occurred to me after I posted, but all in all, what bobbyp says sounds about right.

Trump accomplishes the impossible! Unifies Congressional Republicans and Democrats:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/06/29/mr-president-please-grow-up-lawmakers-slam-trumps-shocking-mika-brzezinski-tweets/?utm_term=.c3289b5ed48c

we can thank the internet for giving us the ability to instantaneously amplify all the abhorrent things that previously would have never made it to the general public.

i'm sure wingnuts were saying the same things in 1995, but their message couldn't spread very far and the public mostly never heard about it.

now, every time some asshat says something outrageous, everybody knows about it - detractors and sympathizers.

I check in here for my hate watch.

Link is also on the blogroll.

I'm very keen on the jackhammer of compassion, I must say....

Murdochs found to be "fit and proper" in the enquiry into their Sky bid, although the bid has now been referred to the Monopolies Commission. This is not good, it's a serious hurdle overcome by them. Meanwhile, as far as I know, Tom Watson (Labour MP) still awaits an answer to his question to Teresa May about whether May received any input from Murdoch when she re-appointed Michael Gove (someone she is said to detest, and who she fired the minute she became PM, but who works for Murdoch) to her cabinet after the recent election.

i'm sure wingnuts were saying the same things in 1995

I can say from experience that folks have been saying exactly the same stuff for the last 15 years.

Longer than that if you want to include the hippie punching BS from the 60's and 70's.

Americans are violent. The NRA has just figured out how to make a brand out of it.

I always found Compasinate Conservitism annoying myself.

I caught the NRA fisting ad, and if Loesch, that cuck c*nt, wants to engage in fisting, I suggest she enter a trump beauty queen contest and await her turn.

She and her fellow conservative murderous infestations are not of the same species as we are:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0VW6sg50Pk

She's the one with the tail and the triple extending jaws.

How many sequels featuring the murderous evolving republican party do we need to witness before we nuke from space to prevent them from killing all of us?

Apparently, he's going to go farther:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/sarah-sanders-trump-attack-morning-joe

Tell me one other venue in violent America where trash talk like trump's does not result in the trash talker being taken down physically and savagely?

To paraphrase conservative republican filth, among them Laura Ingraham, is Scarborough not a man?

C'mon Joe, be a tough talking piece of conservative shit like you were in Congress and have trump on the show and beat the shit out of him with your fists.

Do something for American for a change, tough guy.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/ryan-shrugged.html

I love it when they fist each other with the truth.

More fisting among murderous fuckers. I think we have a gang problem in the republican party:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/ryan-shrugged.html

Birds of a feather ....

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/29/1676418/-Trump-s-mass-murdering-buddy-Rodrigo-Duterte-is-killing-even-more-people-than-anyone-knew

... flock together:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/29/1676510/-CBO-says-Trumpcare-would-slash-Medicaid-dollars-by-a-quarter-in-2026-by-more-than-a-third-in-2036

via eschaton:

http://fusion.kinja.com/this-is-normal-1796496747

trump is them and they are trump.

trump is them and they are trump.

They have been yahoos ever since they imbibed deeply from the well of Social Darwinism back in the late 19th century. To paraphrase one wag, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They have gotten worse over time....Taft Jr., Nixon, Reagan, Bushie boy, now this loon.

If only it was funny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th5uVIhQ8VY&t=17s

Thus should have been the link to my 4:46pm:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/06/29/maybe-men-just-dont-have-the-temperament-to-be-secretarys-of-state/

There are two different things going on here. One is that Trump is a criminal boorish buffoon. The other is that Republicans in the legislature are amoral at best.

It's only the boorishness which distinguishes Trump from George W Bush - someone who, unlike Trump, I'd enjoy having a drink with before he went to jail.

The legislature Republicans are worse than they were, but not by very much - it's just not possible to go far downhill from Newt Gingrich.

it's just not possible to go far downhill from Newt Gingrich.

It's just that all of them are Newt now.

Count, it's not my post but I'd really appreciate it if you'd pull back on calling people you hate "not human", "vermin", "not our species", etc. As a Jew, I find this kind of dehumanizing language WAY too historically familiar.

bobbyp,

Why does the GOP want to kill people by cutting back the availability of Medicaid?

I think it's because they are pro-life. That makes sense, doesn't it?

That makes sense, doesn't it?

Well, perhaps. What makes more sense to me is they are pro plutocrat, and have been since McKinley.

OK, I do get carried away.

This is an interesting story, perhaps a parable...
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/30/colorado-springs-libertarian-experiment-america-215313

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-senate-republicans-kill-obamacare-104921559.html

Perhaps they are merely charming.

One thing about Mr Trump's tweets: they remove a lot of the obfuscation around what he thinks the Republicans in Congress are supposed to be / intending to be doing. For those who were somehow having trouble seeing the priorities for the smoke and haze.

We have seen here, and not just in this thread, a number of rants (I don't know what else to call them) concerning Republicans -- all Republicans. This may give a somewhat different perspective. Money quote:

On one side stand the ossified conservatives, who espouse an anti-government animus that has little resonance with an electorate demanding more, not less, from government. They embrace the know-nothingism of populism but plant their flag on the far-right wing of the party on everything from discrimination against gays to climate-change denial to anti-immigrant hysteria. On the other side stand, in both the House and Senate (and importantly, the governorships), the so-called moderates, some of whom are actually quite conservative but nevertheless reject both Trump and the zombie conservatism from the 1980s. As we’ve discussed, these are not split-the-difference compromisers. They have strong views on immigration (pro), the safety net (they want one), climate change (they believe in it), globalization (it’s here to stay) and Russia (against).
That second quote feels a lot more like my personal views than either the first group description or the caricatures that adorn this thread. Just sayin', there is rather more diversity(!) in my party that we sometimes see in the Congress.

Those making over $200,000 are already deliberately increasing the federal deficit so that the United States of America will be forced to default on its debt payments on October 1, 2017.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/06/donald-trump-has-finally-done-something-hes-increased-the-deficit-by-a-trillion-dollars/

"They have strong views on immigration (pro), the safety net (they want one), climate change (they believe in it), globalization (it’s here to stay) and Russia (against)."

Then they will be replaced during the next election cycle by the right-wing base and its right wing money who believe none of those items, just as they have been purged across the country repeatedly over the past 30 years.

wj, you are a decent conservative on a life raft in heavy, blood red seas with sharks circling. But you keep mistaking the sharks for porpoises come to play.

The NRA ad is a recruiting strategy for mass murder:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/reddit-backs-its-neo-nazis-four-months-after-banning-alt-right?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

Nigel: This is an interesting story, perhaps a parable...

I read the article. The best I can tell, "libertarian" was inserted in the headline as click bait.

There has been an effort to turn NH into a libertarian state for a while now. They've made some progress. NH is a place that is quite congenial for libertarians.

As a movement, they're most visible and notable for harassing meter readers in Keene.

But as a general tendency, I think the folks who've moved there have more or less just blended in.

I'm not sure how you'd tell the difference between somebody who moved to NH to forge a libertarian lifestyle, and somebody who just happened to be from there. I guess initially their accent would be a little different, but over time even that would probably just start to blend in.

Live free or die! as they say up there.

As a movement, they're most visible and notable for harassing meter readers in Keene.

The only "harassing" I've heard of is that of staying ahead of the meter readers to pop nickels in expired meters.

They have strong views on immigration (pro)

As long as the they are highly skilled, docile wrt labor rights, and not eligible for citizenship....all is cool.

the safety net (they want one)

As long as it is small, means and drug tested and a bit on the cheap side...OK!

climate change (they believe in it)

Until the time comes to adopt an actual effective policy to combat it...yes!

globalization (it’s here to stay)

As long as it benefits me, it's just ducky! Others--go suck eggs.

and Russia (against).

Gotta'a have a bugaboo to justify all that defense spending to keep the business community afloat.

...also generally against the following:

abortion rights
labor rights
actual full employment policies

They also generally plumped for austerity as a fiscal response to the crash of 2008, and buy in to the concept of the "inevitable crisis of entitlement spending" (Pete Peterson propaganda).

Further, when pressed, they are really really not all that keen on the basic concepts underlying the New Deal regulatory state.

But other than that...reasonable people!

Kasich is a classic example. He is an asshole.

Have a good day, wj. :)

Regards,

The only "harassing" I've heard of is that of staying ahead of the meter readers to pop nickels in expired meters.

as always, views differ.

Meanwhile, since this is an open thread, excellent news from the other side of the world. Cardinal George Pell has been charged with historic child abuse, and is having to go to Australia to face the charges. This gives me a chance to post a link to a single by the wonderful Tim Minchin, which I believe he wrote, recorded and put up in one day last year in order for the proceeds to go towards paying for airfares to Rome for all the historic victims whose cases had been brushed under the carpet by Pell, and who had been made to sign confidentiality agreements after paltry payouts, when he refused to come back to Australia to testify before a public enquiry on the grounds of ill health. He was allowed to testify in the Vatican, where of course few if any of the victims would have been able to attend, so enter Tim Minchin:

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

I'm out of New York Times freebies at the moment. But the activists are off base if they're directly confronting or otherwise making the meter readers' jobs difficult.

Let's see, Bobby:

  1. (immigration): No We can't handle unlimited immigration. But we can handle, indeed we need, more immigrants than we currently permit.
    And if we are going to persist in unnecessarily restricted immigration, enforcement has to start with the folks hiring the illegal immigrants. If they aren't hurting, a lot and personally, for breaking the law, then enforcement is nonsense.
  2. (safety net): No. We need a better one than we have now. And not just on medical care (see "full employment, below).
  3. climate change): No. We ought to be doing something about it. It will cost money, both government funding for some things, and private money (i.e. increased costs for some things). But it needs to be done. The alternative being to pay more later to try (probably unsuccessfully) to mitigate the damage which was not prevented.
  4. (globalization): It is indeed here to stay. We need to do more to address the negative side effects. But trying to reverse it is only going to make everybody (except, perhaps, the very rich) worse off.
  5. (Russia): Not really. Russia is a real (not bugaboo) threat. They work at it -- IMHO for the same reasons that Trump acts like a bully: severe inferiority complex . . . rooted in the reality of being inferior.
What you have laid out is a combination of a reactionary (and unrealistic) worldview, combined with bits of extreme (and also unrealistic) libertarianism.

As for the rest:

  • abortion rights: should have figured out long ago that the need for government intervention in these kinds of medical decisions is minimal.
    When the fetus reaches the point of being viable outside the womb without massive medical intervention, that's another story. One which needs to be addressed by improved adoption support -- which is something we need anyway. Our foster-care system as it currently stands just isn't getting the job done.
  • labor rights: not entirely sure where you are going with this. I'm opposed to public sector unions. But private sector ones should be up to those involved. If that is what you meant.
  • actual full employment policies: I can see some government policies to provide a better safety net for the unemployed than, for example, (falsely) claiming disability. Like retraining, and perhaps relocation, assistance. But beyond that, as long as you recognize that "full employment" means an unemployment rate of around 4%-5%, not 0%, I don't really have a problem with it.
So how far off the same page are we?

New Hampshire

the activists are off base if they're directly confronting or otherwise making the meter readers' jobs difficult.

Well, they sorta are off base, but I don't think it's because they're libertarian, specifically.

Some folks are just nutty.

This probably deserves its own thread, but I don't have the time right now to jump over the Typepad.

16 years seems long enough for such an open-ended authorization, it seems to me.

Weren't libertarians telling us just the other few minutes ago that the best way to allocate and ration a scarce resource like parking spaces is to make us pay for them, and jack the price up at peak parking hours?

Or am I getting them mixed up with the Rosicrucianists?

I knew a guy once (no, I didn't, but I expect to before long, should trump and republicans remain in office) who managed to find and ration parking places on behalf of himself by rolling down his car window and showing a loaded pistol to other drivers competing for the same space.

GFTNC:

Thanks to cleek, I can now reveal to you how the Pell child molestation scandal is being spun to sizable audiences of drooling right wing (insert whatever you want) by right wing media in America, including the occupants of the White House:

see the linked video in cleek's post:

http://ok-cleek.com/blogs/?p=26234

We have an interplanetary scandal on our hands and it's the fault of the entire moderate left cited by the NRA's Dana Loesch as targets for gunfire.

via Charles Pierce, a tweet from Yoni Applebaum quoting E.P. Whipple's assessment of
Andrew Johnson trump:

"Insincere as well as stubborn, cunning as well as unreasonable, vain as well as ill-tempered, greedy of popularity as well as arbitrary in disposition, veering in his mind as well as fixed in his will, he unites in his character the seemingly opposite qualities of demagogue and autocrat, and converts the Presidential chair into a stump or a throne, according as the impulse seizes him to cajole or to command. Doubtless much of the evil developed in him is due to his misfortune in having been lifted by events to a position which he lacked the elevation and breadth of intelligence adequately to fill. He was cursed with the possession of a power and authority which no man of narrow mind, bitter prejudices, and inordinate self-estimation can exercise without depraving himself as well as injuring the nation. Egotistic to the point of mental disease, he resented the direct and manly opposition of statesmen to his opinions and moods as a personal affront, and descended to the last degree of littleness in a political leader, — that of betraying his party, in order to gratify his spite. He of course became the prey of intriguers and sycophants, — of persons who understand the art of managing minds which are at once arbitrary and weak, by allowing them to retain unity of will amid the most palpable inconsistencies of opinion, so that inconstancy to principle shall not weaken force of purpose, nor the emphasis be at all abated with which they may bless to-day what yesterday they cursed. Thus the abhorrer of traitors has now become their tool. Thus the denouncer of Copperheads has now sunk into dependence on their support. Thus the imposer of conditions of reconstruction has now become the fore- most friend of the unconditioned return of the Rebel States. Thus the furious Union Republican, whose harangues against his political opponents almost scared his political friends by their violence, has now become the shameless betrayer of the people who trusted him. And in all these changes of base he has appeared supremely conscious, in his own mind, of playing an independent, a consistent, and especially a conscientious part."

At least Johnson ascended to the Presidency through the honest American way, via assassination, rather than stealing an entire election by teaming up with a foreign power.

Count, I had read that post over at cleek's, but not watched the clip - thanks for making me do it. The whole Alex Jones situation, of course, leaves one speechless. I truly don't know what to say about the general fact that anybody takes this lunatic seriously...

As for your Whipple quote above, it is simply terrific. I think I read it somewhere before, but it certainly bears re-reading, and is eerily suitable to current times.

"At least Johnson ascended to the Presidency through the honest American way, via assassination, rather than stealing an entire election by teaming up with a foreign power."

Uh, are you sure that there wasn't foreign collusion in that assassination? It seems like a not uncommon occurrence in the world at large.

Well, John Wilkes Booth, father of the modern republican party, hailed from the slave-owning border state of Maryland, which did not (with considerable pressure from the Union) secede to join the Confederacy, a self proclaimed foreign power for whom Booth's bullets accomplished their bidding.

True, the Booth family hailed originally from England, a foreign power.

Now, if you examine the noxious influence of the Scots/Irish (excluding poetry, good whiskey, fine tenors, and public farting) on the chief sins of America's rise to prominence, continuing to this day, you may concede that we have been under the sway of foreign powers from day numero uno.

But back to the foreign powers who will bring the Republic to its knees for an interim of savage public vengeance:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/07/trump-oppo-group-sought-hacked-clinton-emails-even-if-they-came-from-the-russians/

So how far off the same page are we?

Obviously, you are in the very tiny pinko wing of the GOP. :)

More food for thought: The rot is deep.

Haven't read the entire article at bobbyp's link, but can I just say how much I despise the phrase "thought leaders"? Anyone who uses it instantly gains my mistrust. After my company was taken over by sales/marketing minds, I used to edit stuff for them that was constructed of long strings of such empty phrases. Part of the rot that goes so deep is the misuse of language to mislead and befuddle. Grrrrrrr.

Tiny in some places -- of that I have no doubt. But actually fairly numerous around here.

I think I mentioned that my state Assemblywoman is a Republican. In this district where the Democrats outnumber the Republicans by nearly 2 to 1 (and independents are around 1/3 of the total). She's pro-choice, believes the safety net needs improvement not elimination, etc.

Granted, California's "top-two" primary system means that she can get nominated without winning a strictly Republican primary. On the other hand, lots of similar places with that system manage to nominate two Democrats to run in the general election. Cf California's most recent contest for the US Senate seat.

I'm not arguing against your thesis that the rot is deep. Just that it is a long way from universal.

It looks, around here, like we are seeing an increasing number of what one of my liberal friends once called "tolerant conservatives." Which I would consider more like "non-reactionary conservatives." It's a philosophy of making change when necessary, but not just for the sake of change. Of allowing others to live their lives as they wish, to the extend that them doing so does not negatively impact others. I think it grows, in part, out of experience at the local level, where the more wild-eyes bits of current "conservative" orthodoxy do not survive encountering the real world. (See the experience of Colorado Springs linked to above.)

Yes, well the entire real world is about to get a bellyful of wild-eyed bits of current conservative "orthodoxy" that have escaped their local enclaves to being ruination on every front:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-trumps-disastrous-secret-drug-war-plans-for-central-america?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/oh-good-maniac-is-plotting-trade-war.html

https://www.axios.com/exclusive-trump-plots-trade-wars-2450764900.html

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/03/the-diplomat-who-defied-the-administration

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/06/30/trump-isnt-draining-the-swamp-hes-drowning-diplomacy/

Declare economic and military war on multiple fronts as you dismantle the entire diplomatic apparatus.

I hope conservatives enjoy thermonuclear war coming right on their heads here, because I'm willing to perish in that conflagration if means the entire worldwide reactionary conservative movement is incinerated once and for all.

I suppose it's nice however, that assholes, jagoffs, and sociopaths have been temporarily sidelines in Colorado Springs.

it's a shame the GOP is dominated by the insane wing of the GOP. the need to deny them any more seats in any legislature keeps from even considering sane Republicans.

The trouble is, if you refuse to elect sane Republicans, where is the incentive for the more extreme voters to turn away from the nutjobs? After all, they are going to lose anyway.

If you are willing to elect a sane Republican, at least there is some reason for them, however reluctantly, to nominate one.

can't do it. can't give the party of Donald Trump a bigger caucus.

So do it in the state legislature. A move to sanity will have to start more locally anyway.

if i was in NY or CA or someplace i could maybe justify a vote for a reasonable Republican over a crappy Dem just for the sake of balance. but the NC GOP is pretty scummy - and they have a veto-proof majority right now.

come on SCOTUS, let's kill some gerrymanders!

So then you work at the city and county level.

I do understand that I've got a luxury at the state level that does not obtain everywhere. But you gotta start somewhere. Otherwise you leave us in a place where, when the democrats go off the rails, there is nobody sensible to turn to.

But you gotta start somewhere. Otherwise you leave us in a place where, when the democrats go off the rails, there is nobody sensible to turn to.

I think it's you who's gotta start somewhere. It's your party, not mine. If I'm going to expend my own little quantum of effort trying to keep the whole system from going [further] off the rails, why would I expend it trying to get the party I don't like anyhow back on the rails, instead of trying to keep the party I'm at least okay with from going off them?

I don't mean this as snarkily as it sounds. I just don't see the logic.

The logic, as I see it, is the good of the country. Which sounds both more pompous and snarkier than I intend. The country needs two viable "parties of government" -- that is, parties capable of governing. Somehow, I can't see you arguing that the past half year demonstrate that that fits the current Republican Party at the national level.

I'm not suggesting anything so radical as working for a party with which you disagree. But there will be occasions, surely, when the Democrats have put up a poor candidate. Then you face a choice between going straight tribal, and voting for him anyway. Or giving the Republican a look, to see if he might be acceptable.

Note that this also serves your desired end of keeping your own party from going off the rails. If crazy candidates will lose, there is an incentive not to nominate one -- in the Democratic Party, too.

Not sure what to say, wj. I don't agree with Republicans, even when they're nice people. I am hugely grateful to Evan McMullen, for example, for being a patriot, and for calling out Trump. But the domestic policies he supports are, to my way of thinking, wrongheaded. I don't want a tax cut and less government (assuming responsible government, not the Trump appointees). The fact that so many elected Republicans are completely off the rails - of course, it's my problem. But I can't solve it by becoming a "wj Republican".

I must be being exceptionally unclear today. I'm not trying to suggest that those of you who are liberals should become "wj Republicans". Just as I don't buy the suggestion that those of us Republicans who reject the KnowNothings and reactionaries should become Democrats.

All I am saying is that we need to embrace the concept that voting for a (relatively) moderate member of the other party is not anathema. Doing so doesn't even require us to first decide that we are "independents."

Perhaps an example will help. I never even considered voting for Senator Boxer. Just way too many areas of disagreement. But I could, and sometimes have, voted for Senator Feinstein in preference to some incompetent nutcase that my party put up. Similarly for a raft of state (and local) elections.

I get there are cases where, as cleek observed, considerations of control of the legislature may intrude. But surely there are, in most parts of the country, some races where voting for the individual rather than the party is possible. And, I submit, doing so can have positive effects beyond the particular office in question.

i voted for bill weld rather than john silber for MA governor in (IIRC) '90.

i've probably voted for (R)'s for local town offices, because they don't usually run for those on a party basis (now there's an idea!).

i could imagine voting for a (R) state house rep or senator. it depends.

for that matter, my US house rep (Moulton) could pass pretty easily for a (R) is saner times.

but then, Obama could have passed for a (R) in saner times.

with all due respect, I'm with Janie. I don't see it as being on me to build a better (R) party.

Not my circus, as they say.

and (D)'s going off the rails is the least of our worries, as far as I can tell.

the (R)'s have gone over to some weird reactionary dark side. not my doing, and i'm not in any position to fix it.

you and mck and marty take it on.

If we manage to survive the current administration, forestall the efforts at voter suppression, etc., there will be a rebalancing of the parties eventually. Look at what has happened to party allegiance in the South in my lifetime.

When that happens, if we still have Ds and Rs but people shifting between them, it will be middle-of-the-road Democrats sliding across the center line, not people as far to the left of center as I am. There's no way, policy-wise, I would ever ever vote for a Republican to go to Washington, even if I hadn't made that promise to myself when we went to war in Iraq.

I have voted for the local R to go to the state legislature a few times -- but only in circumstances like wj describes with Feinstein vs a very extreme R. The R I voted for was well-known and respected statewide as a moderate centrist who was instrumental in keeping Maine's budget negotiations going for many terms. Look what's happened now that he's retired from the legislature!! (We are in the first day of a state shutdown.) (It didn't hurt his chances of getting my vote that he was one of the guys who played basketball in "my" barn for twenty years. Not to mention that when the legislature voted on same-sex marriage in 2009, he gave an eloquent speech in favor, despite the pressure he was under to vote the other way.)

Susan Collins is an interesting study in relation to wj's idea. She gets a lot of press for doing things like promising to vote against a motion to proceed on the health "care" bill the men in charge have concocted behind closed doors. She then gets almost no press when the bills are tweaked slightly and she votes for them in the end anyhow. So even a so-called "moderate" like Collins doesn’t have any impact in the direction(s) I want to see, either policy-wise or off-the-rails-wise.

What is paid for in single payer countries:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/07/a-very-brief-primer-on-single-payer-health-care/

Marty, for example, will sign up for single payer health insurance called Medicare (not mandatory, mind you), with a supplemental policy at comparably low cost if he so chooses, in a few years.

He will so choose.

So will McKT.

The republican party will try to take it away from them, or at least make the cost to Marty so onerous that he throws up his hands and moves to Canada, Switzerland, or France, from whence he'll blog to us how great it is compared to Obamacare.

I will not call the two of them socialists, parasites, or welfare queens.

Obama could have passed for a (R) in saner times.

It's amazing how few people can, or perhaps how few are willing to, see that reality.

It's amazing how few people can, or perhaps how few are willing to, see that reality.

Yes. Quite a few people I know think he was a wild-eyed flaming socialist. What does that say about the Overton window?

"saner times"

I'm trying to pin down when that was.

Perhaps the 1950s, but neither party would have had him as a national candidate for the usual reasons.

The 1960's? Not sane times.

A running mate for Richard Nixon? Not likely.

Maybe 1976, but after Reagan's racist fat black welfare queen bullshit, Obama would have bolted the republican party.

Since then, Reagan, Gingrich, Bush and now the catastrophe.

You think he could have bookended J.C. Watts during the 1990s on that team of dyspeptic thieves?

But, yes, Obama, by just about any measure, is a moderate guy on just about all of the issues.

And yes, the republican party is nuts beyond anything any of the decent ones would have conceived of in earlier times.

I'm for a two party system, too, I suppose. The Democratic Party and another one.

This "R" thing needs to be disbanded, defunded, and harassed by force out of existence, much as the American Nazi and Communist parties were, though the Nazis seemed to have suited up for a reprise.

The lot of them can join their kidnapped children in the sex slave camps on Mars.

Count, that’s saner times. Which is, let's face it, a pretty low bar.

That said, if you look past Obama's permanent suntan, he's a pretty generic Republican (outside the South) any time before 1994. Which is what I, at least, consider times.

That said, if you look past Obama's permanent suntan, he's a pretty generic Republican (outside the South) any time before 1994.

That's really not true. Obama was not Ronald Reagan. Period.

It's amazing how few people can, or perhaps how few are willing to, see that reality.

There is no, none, nada, group of 'sane' Republicans who would have initiated and passed the most earth shaking safety net program in over 50 years.

NONE.

To call Obama a 'Republican' in all but name is also a favorite pastime of the atomistic self indulgent left. Now I see it is adopted by so-called reasonable conservatives. It is a misguided analysis.

It's like saying Romneycare is a "Heritage Plan". You mean the program that was passed in MA by a veto proof Democratic Party controlled legislature over repeated vetoes by some guy named Romney?

Really?

People tend to forget that Joe fucking Lieberman cast his vote in the Senate for the ACA. Without his vote, it is not passed.

Look....a two party system is baked into the cake under the Constitution. So you gotta' pick one. If you vote for the so-called reasonable GOP asshole, then you are effectively endorsing the GOP program because that asshole will caucus with the GOP and if they run things, they will pass reactionary GOP legislation.

But then I guess you get to sleep well and make highly principled sounding noises that you "voted for the candidate, not the party".

Sorry. I could not disagree more.

The Feinstein Senate campaign committee has endorsed this message.

Take a look at this clip of Everett Dirkson, hero of the "reasonable right."

His line of political hogwash is virtually indistinguishable from what you hear from nearly all current crop of Republicans.

The tune may vary, but the message is unchanged.

That's really not true. Obama was not Ronald Reagan. Period.

Quite true. But in 1980, for example, a huge portion of the Republican Party weren't all that big enthusiasts for Reagan either. In fact, for all that he was Reagan's VP, I seem to recall that the elder George Bush wasn't much in the mold of Ronald Reagan.

There is no, none, nada, group of 'sane' Republicans who would have initiated and passed the most earth shaking safety net program in over 50 years.

Or created the EPA or OSHA either. Oh wait, that was a Republican, wasn't it. Then, certainly, not now. But it's counterproductive to insist that Republicans are irredeemably horrid and always (or at least since 1900) have been. Which we have heard rather a lot of lately.

I've got no brief for either the Trumpistas or the KnowNothings. But I can remember when such people were considered beyond the pale. A fact which informs my hope that they can return to that position. (And good riddance.)

Or created the EPA or OSHA either. Oh wait, that was a Republican

Wrong. Nixon signed those because the Dems had overwhelming majorities in Congress, not because he thought they were beneficial public policy. It wasn't the GOP that introduced those bills.

He was basically playing defense.

But it's counterproductive to insist that Republicans are irredeemably horrid and always (or at least since 1900) have been.

Asserts facts not in evidence. It may be counterproductive to you, but your are an admittedly tiny minority clinging with baffling allegiance to a rancid political organization run by a bunch of lunatics.

You would have a lot more ideological comfort and possibly influence as center or even right Democrat.

I seem to recall that the elder George Bush wasn't much in the mold of Ronald Reagan.

elder Bush could be as reactionary as the rest of them.

Reagan nearly unseated Ford in 1976 and swept through the primaries in 1980 (cite).

Claiming he was not viewed favorably by a large part of the party is simply not in line with the facts.

So Bobby, are you arguing that there is no need for more than one viable party of government? Or are you of the opinion that there is a realistic possibility of a third party somehow rising to replace the Republicans? (And if the latter, where do you see signs of it?)

If a viable third party would rise, it would imo be to the left of the Dems who in turn would either move to the position of the old center right party or split, one part becoming the new center right party and the other merging with the new center left one.

But I consider the chances to be rather low that there will be such a peaceful shift to 'normal'. If the RW loonies face the abyss, they are more likely to finally drop the last pretense of democracy and try to hold on to power by all means. The question then will be, whether they will rely on government means alone or unleash 'the base' (look out for ads like the new NRA one) in the (imo vain) hope that they then can control it and put the leash on back again when the dirty work is done.
Fortunately, I do not think Trump is the one who could pull it off (a good Mussolini impersonator but lacking the political skills that the duce displayed at least in his early years).

Dubya was Wilhelm II without the intellectual curiosity, Trump is Benito M. without skills beyond the stump/tribune. What will be next?

What will be next?

This is the fearful question I ask myself. Although I see no immediate signs of the "RW loonies" facing the abyss, as Hartmut puts it, despite wj's thoroughly decent-minded prescriptions of how to pull the Rs back from the brink of the madness they've dragged themselves to. I desperately hope that the midterms and their aftermath prove me wrong.

"What will be next?"

I think we've seen "What's next", Macron is as troublesome as Obama, the definitively not R nor middle of the road but clearly authoritarian, is.

The most likely downfall of America is a bunch of people willingly handing absolute control to a dictator who can hide for a while behind a"mandate". And Trump isn't it, he is the pendulum swing.

The next Obama will likely destroy our country.

As for Medicare, I'm for it. Have been. But if you really want to keep pissing off the middle class keep comparing something they have paid for out of their paycheck, identified, specific, taxes sold as old age health insurance to single payer. Same goes for calling SS an "entitlement".

And, despite the challenges, both D and R leaders have talked about "entitlement" reform for decades. The clearest answer to that charade is the reaction to the current healthcare bill.

In a nutshell, we simply can't imagine a world in which anyone could solve a problem except by spending more money on it. Block grants? No way that would slow growth in expenditures. But wait, isn't that what entitlement reform is? Your just a murderer trying to cut taxes. But wait, isn't that the desired result of entitlement reform?

Week, no it's not. Entitlement reform on the left is removing all the last of the illusion that these programs are not designed to create a permanent underclass in order to have a sufficient number of voters who rely completely on the government to ensure a permanent majority for the "intellectual" elite direct.

The reaction post election to Trump was that they thought with Hilary they could consolidate the progress toward that and simply thought they were almost there. The pain of realizing there was still a substantial number of people willing to vote for ANYTHING but them was a major insult, thin skinned and self righteous as they are, despite the fact that in the larger scheme of things it is a minor detour on the way to a socialist, read Mussolini style, dictatorship.

There is a reason (besides his incompetence in general) Trump can't consolidate his power. He doesn't believe in strong centralized government although I doubt he could articulate that.

there's a lot in your comment that is, I think, profoundly wrong-headed. i have no time right now so i'll just reply to this:

In a nutshell, we simply can't imagine a world in which anyone could solve a problem except by spending more money on it

there are ways to address the issue of health care availability that don't requre throwing money at it. most of them aren't acceptable because they involve constraining some folks' ability to make money hand over fist.

allowing the feds to negotiate pharma prices, frex.

we don't like those solutions. why?

so, instead the answer is to cut funds for programs that help poor and poor-ish people.

FUBAR

I think we've seen "What's next", Macron is as troublesome as Obama,

Hélas, Marty, notre conseiller sans parti pris ni préjugé et dans le respect pour tous les points de vue! N’importe quoi...


...are you arguing that there is no need for more than one viable party of government?

christ almighty...ok, i admit it, I stopped beating my wife some time ago. There. Are you happy now?

Entitlement reform on the left is removing all the last of the illusion that these programs are not(??? -ed.) designed to create a permanent underclass in order to have a sufficient number of voters who rely completely on the government to ensure a permanent majority for the "intellectual" elite direct.

Yes. Libruls are the real fascists.

The secret is out.

Wasn't much of a secret

The next Obama will likely destroy our country.

the GOP will never be reformed until it's no longer in the grip of such colorful delusions.

Wasn't much of a secret

Yes. The ur text has been available to scholars for some time.

A classic takedown of somebody trying to pretend to be a reasonable conservative about health care.

Marty, here's a classic takedown from Presifent Pendulum Man you can use to answer bobbyp:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.balloon-juice.com%2F

I just re-read Marty's 7:10 a couple of times, in the hope of trying to make sense of it.

It just seems like a delusional paranoid rant. To me.

Obama as a stepping stone to a Mussolini style dictatorship? A pernicious left wing agenda to create a permanent underclass that will vote (D)?

My first response is don't take the brown acid.

My next response is to say don't tell me what the middle class will or will not tolerate, I'm middle class and you by god don't speak for me.

My next response is WTF is wrong with you.

None of these are particularly charitable reactions.

Basically, as far as basic, fundamental social and political values, we do not live on the same planet. We do not. Your opinions seem like the rantings of a paranoid loony to me. I'm sure mine seem the same way to you.

I'm not sure what there is to talk about. I don't know how to get to common ground with somebody who thinks Obama is a crypto Mussolini. I can't find a basis for discussion.

It's one thing to try to talk about possible ways to lower health care costs. Shut off the free money? Move away from fee for service?

These are feasible conversations.

Liberals just want to create a dependent underclass so you can seize power forever?

Well, fnck you too, buddy.

Really, this is no longer one nation, we're just trying to pretend. I see no other way to look at it.

Alas, alas, alas: WRS.

"In a nutshell, we simply can't imagine a world in which anyone could solve a problem except by spending more money on it."

Thus also the nutty Citizens United, blockbuster action movie sequels, Mercedes dealerships, my plumber, major league baseball team owners who require a closer, my landlord (except the problem is never identified specifically, but I have a feeling I know what it is), and boutique valet medical services, I spose.

Welcome to America, kid, where a rip-off $24 downpayment in beads on Manhattan was turned into Trump Tower and the contractors can't get paid

Here's a plan to spend peanuts:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/07/medical-care-bargain-hunting-bret-stephens

If spending more was not baked into the American cake, those who use crowdfunding sites to pay for their kids' tumor surgery would disperse the crowds with dogs and fire hoses after accepting the first nickel, to incentivize their own thriftiness in our bizarro-world Monte Hall medical setup where the offer is "whatever you do, do NOT come on down!"

And, inevitably:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKMK3XGO27k



marty says the next obama will destroy the nation.

i say no need for that, knee-jerk free market fundamentalism and reagan's nine scariest words are already getting the job done.

place your bets.

meanwhile - ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states.

if obama is mussolini, trump is pere ubu.

actually, trump is probably pere ubu either way.

we're not even 6 months in.

christ almighty...ok, i admit it, I stopped beating my wife some time ago. There. Are you happy now?

Bobby, I tried, really I did, to offer alternatives. If I had a failure of imagination (wouldn't be the first time), feel free to explain what you see as the path forward. Because beyond
- reform the Republican Party
- start a new (probably center-right, although Hartmut may be right) party
- go with just a single party
I just can't come up with anything.

From Russell's link:

At a re-election fundraiser on Wednesday, Trump said it would be “fun” to sue CNN
And that is probably one of Trump's most honest statements in months. Suing people (in order to intimidate them) really does seem to be his idea of fun.

It would be SAD (deliberate referback) if it wasn't so appalling -- in anyone, much less a President.

we'll always have two parties, in the US.

if the GOP splits, one part will dominate and the other will fade or assimilate - that's been the history of third parties for as long as the US has existed.

Liberals just want to create a dependent underclass so you can seize power forever?

at least he didn't go for the old "Democratic Plantation" line.

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