The Widdershins

Who’d a’thunk it…

Posted on: March 28, 2017

Sometimes when presented with esoteric information I find myself thinking, “Why would I ever need to know that?” Without being psychic, there’s a better than even chance you are about to have that exact same thought, because…

This post is about budget reconciliation, the Senate Byrd Rule, and tax cuts.

Stick with me for about 400 more words and I promise everything will come together.

First, a quick story. Let’s say you are an enterprising high school student who, on occasion, visits your parent’s liquor cabinet. The parents, just as enterprising, mark the level of happy juice remaining after they partake. Therefore, fun is calibrated by hash marks running down the spine of the bottle indicating how much happy juice remains to be imbibed.

How does the enterprising teenager cover his surreptitious “borrowing” of fun juice?  A “C” student would use water to fill the bottle back to the hash mark. An “A” student would find the pen used to make the hash mark and just make a new, lower one.

Folks, that’s a synopsis of the federal budget reconciliation act for purposes of tax cuts. I’ll explain.

Being discerning Widdershinners, the velocity with which the Republican American Health Care Atrocity Act (AHCA) moved was worrisome. Why the breakneck speed to alter almost one-fifth of the economy? The reason: Paul Ryan didn’t want anyone to notice the tax cut hash marks were being changed.

What the AHCA did was to lower the liquor bottle hash marks for tax cuts. It changed the tax baseline. The reason this is important is that the Senate rules require any tax cut to end after ten-years unless it is “paid-for” – ergo, the lower the hash mark, the less you have to replace. That’s the Byrd Rule.

The Republicans wanted to eliminate $1.0 Trillion in taxes over the next ten years by repealing the A.C.A. That meant $1.0 Trillion less they would have to replace in “pay-fors” in the next round of tax cuts, which they euphemistically call “tax reform”.

Paul Ryan doesn’t care about health care policy. He cares about tax cuts. The AHCA was merely a means to an end. Ryan, with a complicit White House, was merely figuring out a way to make the coming tax cuts larger and permanent.  He was lowering the hash mark on the liquor bottle so he and his overlords could swill more of that sweet, delicious juice of the tax cut. The repeal of the A.C.A. taxes make the next tax cuts coming through “tax reform” look more affordable.

The chart below demonstrates what a massive redistributive tax cut the AHCA represented. It was redistribution from those least able to pay to the wealthiest collective in the country – the One Percenters.

Why am I taking your time with this? The quest for larger and permanent tax cuts isn’t over.

Ryan and his tax cut swilling cohort aren’t quitting – just like drinkers, nobody likes a quitter. Yesterday, a purloined recording of Ryan cooing to Republican donors surfaced. He promised:

We’re not going to just all of a sudden abandon health care and move on to the rest. We are going to move on with rest of our agenda, keep that on track, while we work the health-care problem. . . . It’s just that valuable, that important.

The anime-eyed granny-starver isn’t giving up. He might announce his grand plan as early as Thursday or Friday. Hell hath no fury like a Republican denied tax cuts. Who would have thought Republicans would seek to cut taxes, end regulation, rollback civil rights, and then for good measure, cut some more taxes? Who’d a’thunk it?

This class on budget reconciliation is now adjourned.

What’s on your mind today?


56 Responses to "Who’d a’thunk it…"

Haven’t read the article yet, but wanted to post this:

Dump and Nunes conspired to “gag” Sally Yates.

WaPo has the story too.

According to letters The Post reviewed, the Justice Department notified Yates earlier this month that the administration considers a great deal of her possible testimony to be barred from discussion in a congressional hearing because the topics are covered by the presidential communication privilege.

From a legal standpoint, you can’t muzzle testimony before it happens. In other words, potentiality of “privilege” isn’t a blanket nullity of testimony. It has to be objected to “by the ones” — but that kind of legal analysis would be lost on Dolt 45 and garden gnome Sessions.


They should read TW:


@4, that is subhuman.

@4, pure evil. It’s terrible that its taking so long to get isis out of Mosul. I thought they were close to taking it back (Mosul), but I guess its still dragging on. Poor young man. The horror goes on…thanks W.

“If you are Hillary Clinton you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You are held to conflicting standards and judged by people who can’t admit they were taken in by GOP lies, Russian trolls and an old man from Vermont who hasn’t ever been challenged outside his liberal Vermont bubble or undergone the scrutiny and testing that has been the fabric of Hillary Clinton’s life for over 30 years.”

Prolix, another great illustration for your post. Hubs and I love the liquor bottle illustration. (He’s off for 3 weeks before he starts his next job).

My Dad used to mark his liquor bottles like that, and we did exactly what you said, added water or a new mark. My Dad was never into alcohol, but he turned the wet bar in our family room into a nice walk In bar. He loved doing carpentry and did the whole thing himself (you wouldn’t believe the playhouse he made for me when I was little). My parents entertained a lot, so he wanted the bar for that reason, and stocked it full of fancy booze. We actually didn’t dip into it very often, but we had a couple of parties when the folks were away on vacation and my older sis did the marking thing. Once, an entire bottle of vodka went missing! We scoured the place and couldn’t find it, so my sis (who is 7 years older than me and was taking care of us younger ones) went and bought another bottle then had to empty out to the right amount and remark it the way she thought it had been. All went well, and we didn’t get busted for the party (our neighbors minded their own business), but a YEAR later, my Dad came in from our garage with the missing vodka bottle saying “look what I found in back of my work bench–how’d this get there?” Anyway, my sis and her husband were there cuz they had just had a baby and were always over, and we looked at each other thinking “oh shit” but we acted dumb and fortunately for us my Dad wasn’t interested in the mystery of it. However, my Mom KNEW! She made funny little comments to Sis & I throughout the day. When Sis & I could escape, we fled upstairs to my bedroom, threw ourselves onto my bed and screamed with laughter into my pillows. Ah, happy memories!

Spicer told April Ryan earlier today to stop shaking her head.

Spicer’s a pig. He thinks his job is to browbeat and dominate the media. I hope they roast him.

EO by the Dumpster to turn back environmental policies that prevent further global warming…and allow pollution, coal, nuke energy, whatever makes money for the 1%…to Hell with the planet and the people living on it.

May he be taken down and rot in Hell.

Another one offering to testify before Congress. There’s a lot of people rushing to testify…it’s almost comical.

@17: What will their testimony be worth even if they were under oath? They are all criminals, traitors, thieves and/or self-serving manipulators. Vipers all. Now, Sally Yates, under oath or not, I am all ears!

@20, thanks DYB, she’s magnificent.

@11, that is a great story. You had a great big sister. It would have been so much fun to have an automatic “in” to parties.

I thought and thought about how to explain the reconciliation issue and landed on marking liquor bottles. I’m not sure Prof. Krug would approve.

@12, Spicer is a pig. I can overlook stupid, but I can’t overlook malice. He knew what he was doing and playing to his one-man audience, the Umber Pustule. He knows attacking a black woman would play to his audience and the base. He is a weak, sniveling, little man.

@14, that couldn’t be more perfect.

@15, 75,000 miners, 650,000 clean energy jobs — I’m not good at math, but it seems like one number is a lot bigger than the other.

@16, I wonder what Bill Gates is thinking.

@19, agree, agree, agree — Sally Yates will be must see teevee.

Rep. Downton Six Pack had a snitch on his staff. Aaron was a’errin’ when he thought he was too “cute” to go to the big house.

The FBI wired a congressional staffer and turned him into a secret informant during its investigation into former Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-Ill.) alleged misuse of government and campaign funds, Schock’s attorneys said Tuesday in federal court filings.

@23: Oh, Prolix where do you come up with such creative descriptors of 45? “Umber Pustule,” indeed! I hope you are keeping a list of these pearls. You are a genius at storytelling, easily consumed lessons on all and sundry and painting pictures with your words to include a visceral response from time to time…. Bravo, sir.

@27: I’d also like to hear from Steele on that dossier. I don’t give a shit about the golden showers, but everything else in that doc? Gimmee!

@29, how nice Cats. What a kind thing to say! You made my day. Thank you.

Prolix, finally read the actual post! I’m terrible at math. I can do 2+2, but 3+3 is harder. When I was going to film school my parents wanted me to also major to be an accountant. I did one semester of accounting. That’s a lie. I signed up for a semester of accounting. I walked out of my 4th accounting 101 class and dropped the major. I had no idea what the hell the professor was talking about. My idea of balancing the check book is to just look at the last number on my checking account and say: “Ok that’s right, now let’s pretend nothing happened before this and this will be my new balance.”

My point is: you made it make sense!

Granny-Starver declared that ACA was law of the land after the bill was pulled. That was a lie. They’re working on a new version, talking to French Fries Caucus, Bannon taking part. They tried to make us think it was safe to leave the house… it’s not…

I also love Prolix’s descriptions. You should make a tear-off calendar with a new one for each day!

Yates and Steele would be the two must-see testimonies! I wonder if they would do them publicly.

18 DYB
March 28, 2017 at 6:32 pm
SCOOPLET: In a speech in SF this afternoon, @HillaryClinton will stand up for @AprilDRyan and @MaxineWaters.

Holy$hitSticks, when I first started watching Hillary speak in her black leather jacket, her hair done up like it was in 2008…my heart skipped a few beats.

There’s our girl, telling it like it is, standing up for women and it’s from the heart, her broken heart…but putting that aside, she still steps up to the plate for everyone.

❤ Hillary!!!

33 | DYB
March 28, 2017 at 8:05 pm
I also love Prolix’s descriptions. You should make a tear-off calendar with a new one for each day!

I absolutely agree!!

I also agree with Cats!

Just got an email from Fredster. He’s not feeling too chipper today. Not sick, just not swinging from the treetops today.

He said he would be by later and to tell everyone hey and hi.

@32 & 33, thanks D. Appreciate it. I must say, I was just HORRIBLE at math. Honestly, if math deficiency was a disability, I would be in a full body cast. In college, as part of the general ed requirements, I had to take at least 3 credit hours of math. Okay, one math class. Now, mind you, I could walk, talk, and passably dance, so I ought to be able to take a math class. Took the easiest, remedial math class — I bailed the third day and went outside and set my hair on fire in front of an oscillating fan. Hated it. Just hated it. Could not stand it.

So I took an Intro to Statistics class from this professor who was Gomer Pyle’s long-forgotten twin. He was such a good soul, but I swear, he knew no more about statistics than I did and I was lost counting to 21 with my shoes off.

This budget reconciliation and tax issue isn’t getting any press. The reason is that it takes some explaining plus I don’t think there are many reporters who really understand it in the first place.

Ryan is not dumb, but he is a devotee of Ayn Rand and Jack Kemp. Jack Kemp was a nice man, but he was hit one too many times playing football. He was actually the guy who brought the voodoo to voodoo economics and convinced Raygun of its efficacy.

Ryan comes by it honest. Born to a well-to-do family that owns the better part of Janesville, WI. Went to school on SS survivor benefits and has never worked a day in the private sector. Been in Congress 18 years and lectures us on the holiness of bootstrap economics. People like him just enrage me. He’s doing his dead level best to take insurance from the poor so he can give long-term permanent tax cuts to the 1% — Ryan will be shunned even in Hell. I’m not sure they even have a place for people that awful.

@35, maybe they can go drinking and then go down to the Trump Hotel and have a pee party promising video for the Vermilion vas Dumbferens.

@38, thanks Shadow. I had to read and reread and reread again before I could figure it out with a story that made sense because it is like one of those tricky Olympic dives, a forward, backward, triple-gaining back flip. That is what these moral reprobates are counting on — no one understanding what they are doing.

Too much GOP crap in 1 day for me! Please let it be they are closing in on indictments for these crooks. Meanwhile, the crap dow nthe pike in Oklahoma is still flowing:

Now this is karma.

Tea Party darling Steve Stockman, who served two non-consecutive terms in Congress from 1995 to 1997 and 2013 to 2015, used to be best known for inviting an Obama-mask wearing rodeo clown to perform in his state and walking out of the former president’s State of the Union address.

Stockman was the crazy knuckle dragging cretin who was always my nominee for the next Darwin Award.

@41, there you go again, Prolix. DYB is right, we need a calendar of these gems!

@45, I get worked up with all this weapons-grade stupidity. I mean really, you have to go to graduate stupidity school to do some of these things.

@44> I remember that idiot. Lock him up!

Karma be workin’ overtime tonight:

Anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos of Planned Parenthood talks charged with 15 felonies in California.

Good on Xavier Becerra who left Congress to become CA Attorney General after Sen. Harris took office.

@47, he’s been in trouble before. I hope they throw him under the prison. He really is disgusting. There are stories all over the place about his manufacturing “fake news” before it was a thing. He’s the lowest of slime.

Here was another idiot. Remember Aaron Schock? He had abs of steel and brain of barley.

Great post once again Prolix. Lordy what would we do here without your great way of explaining these confusing things.

DYB: I signed up for my required accounting course and was struggling through it when I got sick with bronchitis and had to withdraw from my two classes. (When I was going to school part time and working full time)

I got an incomplete but did not finish the required project of taking a set of books through the entire accounting cycle so my incomplete went to an F. So that summer I took it again and by the good graces of someone/something I passed it with a C-. I was more than happy and thankful that I never had to see that stuff again.

@20, oooooh. That’s Our President! (sniff) Preach it!

@43, those nauseating legislators need to slither back into their mud. Fetuses with conditions incompatible with life often don’t survive to term. Going to force women to carry decomposing fetuses? That’s a death sentence, you perverts. Helluva message to try to get re-elected on.


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