The Widdershins

You think we’re buying that crap?

 

A good morning to you Widdershins!

Just a little something since DYB’s Wednesday post was so wildly successful.

So Frankencassidy Bill of Louisiana and Lady Lindsey of South Carolina would have you believe that their plan to abolish the A.C.A. is about giving Americans a “better choice” for healthcare.  And they would accomplish this by creating “block grants” to send to the states and the states would take care of healthcare and health insurance for their residents.  I call bullshit on it.

Here’s what NPR had to say about this atrocity.

Here’s what it does:

Graham-Cassidy essentially deconstructs all of the major programs created by the Affordable Care Act, gathers up the money and hands it over to states to run their own health care programs.

It gets rid of both the subsidies that help people buy individual health insurance policies and the reimbursements to insurance companies for offering price breaks on copayments and deductibles to the lowest-income customers.

It rolls back the Obamacare Medicaid expansion that was adopted by 31 states and Washington, D.C., and it eliminates the Basic Health Program that was created under the ACA and implemented in New York and Minnesota.

All the money that currently goes to those initiatives would instead be distributed to the states as block grants that would particularly benefit those states that did not expand Medicaid earlier and those states with lower health care costs.

There’s a huge graphic there that breaks down how the A.C.A./the House plan/First Senate bill/and Graham-Cassidy affect various groups.  Check it out.

Another thing is the fact that yes this sends money to the states and their legislatures to create some type of health care program for individuals and to manage their medicaid programs.  Now…take a look at this graphic of who controls the state legislatures in the country:

Now do you really think those red state legislatures are going to be very concerned about individuals with pre-existing conditions or keeping the guaranteed essential benefits of the A.C.A. plans?  Puhleeze!

And here’s another little sneaky thing the dynamic duds will accomplish: (again from the NPR piece)

Graham and Cassidy say their plan restores fairness to a system where currently more than a third of the money spent on the Affordable Care Act goes to just four states: Massachusetts, Maryland, New York and California.

[snip]

Timothy Jost, a professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law who wrote a widely used textbook on health law, says the proposed change also has political benefits for Republicans.

“In general, the legislation would over time move money away from states, predominantly Democratic, that have expanded Medicaid and aggressively pursued enrolling their lower income populations in Medicaid and exchange coverage,” he wrote in a Health Affairs blog post. “Money would move toward states, predominantly Republican, that have not expanded Medicaid.”

To quote someone famous:  “Aye, there’s the rub”.

And the biggie of all the biggies in the Repubs wanting so hard to push this deal simply comes down to money that their Lords and Masters say they want and they want it from the A.C.A.

The Kock Brothers (and yes I meant that) and the rest of their ilk have simply said their checkbooks are closed to the Repubs until they accomplish something.  And the something is a big, fat tax break for them courtesy of the money saved by getting rid of the A.C.A.

At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Dave Brat, a Repub from Virginia said:
“If we don’t get healthcare, none of us are coming back,” he said in a brief interview. “We said for seven years you’re gonna repeal Obamacare. It’s nowhere near repealed.”

It’s the same for tax reform, Brat said: “We don’t get taxes through, we’re all going home. Pack the bags.”

So there you go:  It’s all about the “dollahs” to the Repubs.

Speaking of dollahs to Repubs, I saw this on nola.com about Frankencassidy Bill and how much he has raked in through contributions:

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/issues/healthcare?type=P

If you look at the top of the heap there’s old Bill from La. raking in the most.

Lastly, here’s Jimmy Kimmel’s round 3 on Frankencassidy and his crappy piece of legislation:

Give ’em hell Jimmy!

And as far as Frankencassidy and Graham, well:

As usual, this is an open thread.

 

 

 

 

 

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There was a moment during the previous Trumpcare vote, when John McCain made his dramatic entrance and gave the melodramatic thumbs down, when Democrats spontaneously burst into applause. And minority leader Chuck Schumer angrily waved for them to stop, which was almost like someone hit the “mute” button. Schumer must have known that Trumpcare was not yet dead and gloating was premature. Sure enough, Trumpcare is back. And it is actually closer to passing now than it was back then. Lisa Murkowski, who with Susan Collins so resolutely stood against it then, is wavering now. It is impossible to read McCain’s intentions. His maverickness has always been an illusion. Will he waver until the last moment and deal Trumpcare another deathblow so he can bask in the glow of public praise? Or will he do his usually hyper-partisan right-wing thing and do what he has always done: vote right along party lines? Who can tell.

There’s a moment in Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened” where she mentions that at the inauguration McCain came up to her and hugged her, and had the same horrified expression on his face that she had. I’m sure this happened, but I’ve always been fascinated by how politicians can do and say such awful things to one another – and then talk about each other’s integrity. McCain’s behavior towards Clinton has been vile for many years. From Benghazi and emails through the entire campaign. And yet, Hillary considers him a friend. I know this sort of thing has been the gold standard for bipartisanship (fight during the day, share dinner and drinks at night), but when so much it at stake, how do politicians separate their personal feelings? How do they compartmentalize watching people do horrible things and go grab a smoke after? How does one continue to respect a man like John McCain?

Speaking of vile and no respect: Bernie. Yesterday socalannie posted a tweet from Sasha Stone, founder of the entertainment website awardsdaily.com.

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That’s a perspective on Sanders and his Revolution I hadn’t appreciated until Stone articulated it. And suddenly, so much of it makes sense. Bernie is the alien from “Aliens,” a parasite with acid for blood that latches on to a host because it can’t survive on its own, and then eats its way out through the chest cavity. It lays eggs (Bernie’s loyal minions like Nina Turner and Susan Sarandon), who do their own damage by killing their own hosts. And the cycle continues. Of course Sanders’ revolution is against Democrats. He and his believers have dedicated more time to attacking Democrats than Republicans and Trump. And they are doing it by infiltrating the party and are now eating their way out. Sadly the Democratic party is allowing it. Last week Sanders managed to bully a lot of leading Democrats, like Kirsten Gillibrand, Corey Booker and Kamala Harris into supporting his single payer plan, a plan each and everyone one of them knows has zero chance of passing. And a plan that they announced just as the newest version of Trumpcare, conceived by Lindsey Graham, began to dig its way out of the grave. Sanders convinced Democrats to take their eyes off the undead with the usual promises of magical unicorns. Even Bernie Bro Matty Yglesias tweeted that October 1 – the day after reconciliation of ACA repeal ends – would have been a better day to introduce single payer. Now it’s impossible to tell if ACA will survive. And no, contrary to what Bernie Bros maintain, death of ACA will not lead to single payer.

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On the plus side, NY Times’ Glenn Thrush announced he quit Twitter. Sayonara baby.

What’s your minds Widdershins? This is an open thread.

Oh my goodness. They couldn’t. They wouldn’t.

Well, maybe they would. Those Republican f*ckers Graham and Cassidy are setting their sights on the ACA, and this time they’re really trying to remove it completely. Who actually wants this to happen – the 200 people who came to the “Less is M.O.A.R” rally?

“This bill is far more radical [than previous repeal bills] in that it envisions going back to the pre-ACA world, where the federal government wasn’t in the business of helping low-income adults or moderate-income people without employer coverage get health insurance at all,” Aviva Aron-Dine, senior fellow at the center, told HuffPost. “Compared to pre-ACA, there would be some extra state grant money floating around ― but it would have virtually no requirements attached to it at all and, since the funding wouldn’t adjust based on enrollment or costs, it would be hard for even well-intentioned states to use it to create an individual entitlement to coverage or help.”

Oh, and the bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, and do so right away ― destabilizing insurance markets and causing premiums to rise right away, according to official projections [bolding mine].

Even though the actual defunding doesn’t start till 2020, the negative impacts will start immediately. Because, GOOPers are in charge and neener neener, they like screwing over poor people just for sh*ts and giggles.

Does this craptastic mess really have a chance to pass? No one is sure. After all, I don’t see why Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins would budge from their previous positions, and Rand Paul, who won’t be satisfied until the only entities collecting government aid are corporations, has also said he feels it’s Obamacare Lite. Um, sure, Rand. Maybe there’s a brain somewhere underneath that Brillo pad you call a hairstyle, although so far I’ve seen no evidence thereof. But you just go on with your crayzee self and help us prevent a massive humanitarian disaster for all the wrong reasons, mmmmkay?

I think we still need to call, write, tweet, and go to town halls. We must make absolutely sure the GOP knows we will NOT accept the removal of health care from tens of millions of people.  If you need to find a town hall near you, here’s a nifty site that will help.

Oh – and if you haven’t seen this, it’s reason #1,875,643 to institute the 25th Amendment. Is this hideous creature really our President? Good f*cking Christ.

This is an open thread.

Happy Saturday (and Sunday) Widdershins.

We have survived another week. This week was off to a rough start because Hillary Clinton’s book about the 2016 campaign, “What Happened,” was released and before its4c498a1fa3498d0d740dfb69e25bea87--american-life-time-magazine.jpg release virtually every pundit on TV and Twitter had a meltdown about it. How dare Hillary say anything? People have been talking about her publicly for 30 years, but at this point, they said, she needed to go away. But an odd thing happened as the week progressed: as people actually read the book, they found they liked it. Ok, so maybe not the usual pundits. Those have a case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome so strong that nothing would appease them. (No really: Slate wrote an article questioning why Hillary isn’t angrier… like really, this happened.) But the more reasonable types found themselves not unhappy. And Clinton gave a number of remarkable interviews, everyone from Vox (Ezra Klein) to Rachel Maddow to The View. Turns out what Hillary has to say is not only interesting, a lot of it is important. Like the discussion about Republicans potentially working their way to a Constitutional Convention. This needs to make bigger headlines.

So, we found ourselves lifted up by Hillary Clinton once again. She may not run for office, but she herself said that she is not retiring from public life and from politics. Things are too important and too dangerous to step away from.

So, like Hillary, we will continue to fight.

Our weekend fight: Trumpcare is back folks. It’s back, like a zombie that will not die. Republicans are trying to repeal the ACA again. This is not a drill and not a joke. Start telling your friends to call their Senators and Representatives again. It is important. It is happening. Start calling 202-224-3121.

And for our weekend musical theme, the theme is: Fight. Fight. Fight.

What’s on your mind Widdershins?

 

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Good morning Widdershins,

On Tuesday it finally happened. The book everyone had an opinion about, even though very few people had read it, finally came out. Hillary Clinton’s What Happened hit the bookshelves.

It is important to note that the overwhelming response from all The Usual Suspects on the cyber were predictably vile. Go Away! It’s too late! It’s too soon! Nobody cares! Bernie Would’ve Won! You’re destroying our perfect unity!!! The Chris Cillizza’s and Glenn Thrushes and Shaun Kings of the world all had twitter meltdowns bashing the book they had not read. They had only seen a few of the leaked pages, the one about Bernie (which Bernie had a fit about on Stephen Colbert), so did his minions like Nokimi Konst and Nina Turner. Matthew Yglesias declared the book an obvious money grab. Everybody’s main concern is that Hillary is dividing the Democratic party while Bernie is trying to save it. None of these things make sense here on Planet Earth. These people are really great at gas-lighting, they can give Trump a run for his money.

But as the publication came closer, something odd happened. A few reporters got early copies and were reading. Chris Hayes – a Bernie Bro – surprisingly tweeted that he was reading the book and it not what people expect. Dave Weigel of WaPo first tweeted “this book…it is good.” His review is here. NY Times’ Amy Chozick, 1/3 of the paper’s anti-Hillary axis, tweeted she likes the book a lot. And as the book came out and people really started to read it, the vitriol died down. Not disappear completely, but the temperature definitely dropped. Not a peep comment from Shaun King, though Cillizza is a snake, so he Cillizzas. Maggie has been mum.

The crowds for the book also were huge. In NYC the Barnes and Noble in Union Square Park had lines around the block to meet Hillary at the signing. Maggie Haberman tweeted about the lines and I can only imagine how her soul burned with rage. These interviews might be the first time Clinton supporters have actually been interviewed by the media! At some point during the day they said they were close to 1500 people at the signing. That’s a lot of people not caring about Hillary, some of whom camped out outside overnight.

I think it’s clear to anyone with an ounce of a brain: Hillary Clinton is not going away. Regardless of what Bernie and his Bros want. Hillary may not run for any office again, but she’s not giving up on politics and she thinks we are in more danger than may seem. In a Pod Save America podcast she told the hosts that Trump’s goal is to hold a constitutional convention, for which he needs 34 states. They are already at about 28, and they are packing the courts and States Attorney offices with loyalists. These people will do what Trump tells them. A reporter friend of mine (she works for Reuters) retweeted that Pod and drew a direct comparison to Venezuela and Turkey. That appears to be Trump’s agenda, with full support of the GOP, and full money backing by the likes of Mercers and Kochs, to turn America into some form of dictatorship because he doesn’t like not being in control.

The next few years are going to be interesting. “May you live in interesting times.” That Chinese curse has fallen on us all.

What’s on your mind? This is an open thread.

Good Monday, all. I seem to be posting on all the important occasions lately! Today, of course, is the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, which changed our country forever…and not in a good way.

Since that awful day, a massive rightwing ratf*cking has been perpetrated against the American people. The first illegitimate Republican Presnit, George W. Bush, used the fear and rage universally felt on 9/11 to run rampant over the Constitution, lie us into two unwinnable wars in the Middle East, and tilt the balance of the Supreme Court to the hard right for the foreseeable future. This opened the door to everything Drumpf has taken advantage of; from Citizens United (which, lest we forget, originated as a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton), which sent a flood of dark money into the political process. Focused and malevolent billionaires, like the Mercers and the Koch Brothers, set about facilitating the buying of Congresscritters, the growth of the conservative media, and the rigging of elections through gerrymandering, dodgy touch-screen voting machines and removal of Democratic voters from rolls. All through this long dark time, we also saw Bush massively screw up foreign policy, and tank the economy and the federal budget by cutting taxes during war, which no POTUS had ever done. Under Bush, the gap between rich and poor, steadily growing since the 1980s, began to increase exponentially.

Along with many other Americans, I often find myself tempted to think that Bush was better than Drumpf…but is that really the case? In hindsight, wasn’t Dubya more of a template, a trial run, for the carnival barker we didn’t elect – an entitled billionaire who was sold by the media as more of a “man of the people” than the very qualified and intelligent, non-billionaire Democrat running against him? And didn’t the media crucify Gore for idiotic transgressions, like sighing during a debate and “wearing earth tones” – just as they crucified Hillary for her femaleness, her “cackle” and her g*ddamn private email server?

If we look a little deeper, there is a real through line between Bush and our current pResident  For example, isn’t it interesting that David Bossie, the former President of Citizens United, now works for the Mango Meerkat? And that the Kochs and Mercers stand solidly behind him? I remember that so very much of what Dubya did was “unprecedented” as well…like, for example, “winning” the election even though the popular vote went against him, and basically being appointed by fiat of the Supreme Court, in a decision that could NOT be used as a basis for legal action in any other situation!

Hell, Dubya even legitimized the Republican love affair with dearest Pooty-Poot. As the Cowboy from Connecticut said in 2001:

“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”

Ewwwwww!

While many of these issues were boiling under the surface before September The Eleventh, Two Thousand and One, George W. Bush knew he “hit the trifecta” on that horrible day. He was free to ratf*ck as he saw fit, and he began to loosen the norms of Presidential behavior and economic good practice immediately.

The United States has never recovered from his tenure in office. Our peace, prosperity and safety evaporated with Bill Clinton’s departure, and despite the past 8 years of Obama, have never returned.

Let’s hope we’ve learned our lessons from 2001. We thought Bush was the Worst President Ever, but in just a few months, we’ve seen that in Der Drumpfenfuhrer, the Republicans had an even worse ratf*cker up their sleeves. Let’s keep our eyes open, our feet on the streets, and our Congresscritters on speed-dial. And hey, should the Tangerine Turd make it to 2020, we’ve got lots of options, as the guy in the video below notes.

This is an open thread.

Hillary at Code Conference May 2017

 

Good Morning Widdershins!

 

I’m writing this quick post because DYB’s post was soooo successful that it was taking time to load, at least for me.

I have a couple of links to share with just a taste of the articles.  I suggest you read the entire pieces to get the full story.

 

The People’s View had an article several days ago that goes into a discussion of the Unity Commission or whatever you want to call it that thing the DNC had.  Personally I call it a bunch of bullshit but that’s just me.  The gist of the meeting was about caucuses and “open” primaries.

This past weekend, the commission was scheduled to meet in Chicago and discuss the idea of creating a system that would move away from closed primaries and towards more open primaries and caucuses. This idea seems to have emanated from supporters of Bernie Sanders in the wake of his failed 2016 bid to become the 2016 Democratic nominee for president.

However, the article discusses how that’s not a good idea for the base.

And, most importantly, they vote. Every. Single. Time.

In order to have a reliable base, you need to know they are dependable. The Democratic Party is the party of historically underrepresented populations and because of that, they have to work harder to earn the vote of those populations through vigorous voter outreach that includes phone calls, voter registration, and canvassing efforts.

Read the rest of the article at the link.  It’s a good read.

Charles Pierce has a good article here on the DACA decision.  He says Undocumented Workers Will Help Rebuild Texas After Harvey and I’m sure he is totally correct in that statement.

Even though I was not there during the rebuilding after Katrina (I’ve explained the situation with the momster before) I know that Mexicans (no pun here) flooded into the nola area for the rebuild.  My neighbor from down there was the one who gutted our house but he told me that he hired two Mexican workers to help him with that and then the subsequent bleaching that had to be done with several treatments involved.  I had several friends who hired undocumented Mexican labor who did their tile floors, sheetrock and painting.  So yes, undocumenteds will be involved in the rebuilding.

And lastly, all of us Widdershins know how much tRump lies and has lied.  We can spot the lies just as easily as we can tell when there’s a used-car salesman desperate for that sale on the last sales day of the month.  However, WaPo has been cataloguing and counting them and tRump has crossed the 1k number back in August.  Of course the WaPo doesn’t say “lies”.  They say false or misleading claims.  Uh-huh, okay, whatever.

Says the WaPo:

At the president’s current pace, he averages nearly five claims a day. Many are repeats of claims that have been previously debunked. We also include statements that are unacknowledged flip-flops from previously held positions, such as touting new highs in a stock market that he previously derided as being a “big, fat bubble.”

More than 30 of the president’s misleading statements have been repeated three or more times.

And his biggest whopper is on, naturally, the ACA.

Trump’s most repeated claim, uttered 50 times, was some variation of the statement that the Affordable Care Act is dying and “essentially dead.” The Congressional Budget Office has said that the Obamacare exchanges, despite well-documented issues, are not imploding and are expected to remain stable for the foreseeable future.

Again, an interesting piece so go check it out.

That’s all I have for today.  Check out the links if you wish.  Naturally it’s an open thread.

Keep good thoughts going for the people in Florida as they deal with Irma.  Yeah I kid about them a lot but no kidding or joking for now.

 

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Bessie Smith can sing it like it is sometimes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blog Archive

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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

HRC bumper sticker

She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

Right-click the pic for more info

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar

Take the kids to work? NO!

3 turds control fate of healthcare for millions

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

***Hurricane Harvey support/donations***

Quick links for donations.

Charity Navigator **does** give their ratings/evaluations of the organizations.

Charity Navigator Harvey Page:

Charity Navigator – Harvey

Donations for our furry, and other critter friends:

Texas SPCA Donate Page

Houston TX SPCA Donation Page

Red Rover Group

What Cassidy/Graham bill would do: