The Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You Care Plan. UPDATED.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

As most everyone now knows, the bill was withdrawn before a vote. Yes, be happy. That said, go ahead and read all the following, and remember. Remember just what they wanted to do, and still want to do. We cannot afford to forget.

 
This post brought to you with a leaden heart sinking in a simultaneous sea of fury and despair. It’s going to be a roundup, because I just can’t. I can’t.

Trump budget boss: If you want insurance to cover maternity care, lobby your state legislature. Trumpcare: Giving you the freedom to purchase health insurance that covers nothing.

On Thursday, President Trump and the House Freedom Caucus tentatively worked out a deal: Trump would agree to remove mandatory coverage of “essential services” from his health care bill in order to win the far-right caucus’ support for it.

Essential services include maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, emergency services, substance abuse treatment, and prescription drug coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, every health insurance plan sold in the US must cover them.

White House says maternity care won’t be more expensive for women —if they’re on a family plan: A story of male priorities on women’s health care, in two acts.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that women wouldn’t have to worry about paying more for maternity care under Trumpcare, as long as they’re on a family plan.

The exchange came as a reporter pressed Spicer on reports that the GOP is considering repealing Obamacare’s 10 essential health benefits mandate — a requirement that all insurance plans cover services such as hospitalizations, prescriptions, preventative care, and pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

Spicer called the furor over these benefits a “philosophical discussion,” and argued that repealing them was a way to bring premiums down.

The White House may have skirted federal law to try and save its failing health care bill: Several official Twitter accounts lobbied Congress in support of the AHCA bill.

On Thursday morning, as the Trump administration frantically tried to save its deeply unpopular Affordable Care Act replacement bill, White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted out a message to Trump’s dwindling pool of supporters urging them to call their congressperson in support of the American Health Care Act.

Hours later, similarly worded tweets were sent from the official @POTUS account and Donald Trump’s personal account.

But as some people were quick to note, directly lobbying Congress in support of (or opposition to) a bill using federal dollars—including White House staff who earn federal salaries—is strictly forbidden under 18 U.S.C. § 1913.

The Trump White House seems confused about how pregnancy works: Let me teach you about the birds and the bees.

The House is expected to vote Friday on a bill that, if a faction of the most conservative House Republicans gets its way, will eliminate the requirement that insurance plans cover certain essential health benefits. These benefits include maternity care, a fact that the Trump White House views as an opportunity to pit men against women.

It’s a common joke among the Affordable Care Act’s opponents. Why should a man pay for women’s health care? Hilarious!

At least with respect to maternity care, however, there’s a very simple answer to this question. Because of the unusual nature of pregnancy, either everyone must pay for pregnancy coverage, or no one will have pregnancy coverage.

The reason why is a problem known as “adverse selection.”

In last ditch effort for votes, Trump says goal of Trumpcare is to end Planned Parenthood: Trump quite literally plays politics with women’s health.

A photo of the House Freedom Caucus and Mike Pence went viral on Thursday, and for good reason — it showed that in a discussion over the future of women’s health insurance plans, the only people in the room were white men.

In a bid to get the far-right Freedom Caucus on board, President Trump and GOP leadership (again, all men) offered to repeal Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits provision, which mandates that health insurers offer coverage for basic care like hospitalizations, prescriptions, and notably for women, pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

According to reports, however, the Freedom Caucus still doesn’t think the bill goes far enough. And on Friday, Trump took to Twitter to levy one more threat at its members, dangling women’s health coverage in front of them as bait:


The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!

There’s many ways in which Trumpcare would disproportionately affect women. It would price abortion care out of reach for many women, even some on employee-sponsored plans. It would roll back Medicaid and charge seniors more for health insurance, hurting two populations that are predominately female. With the new revisions, it will roll back maternity coverage.

And, as Trump alludes to, it would federally defund Planned Parenthood —which in practice, actually means preventing low-income and rural women and men who depend on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, STD testing, and birth control consultations. In 105 counties, Planned Parenthood is the only birth control clinic. Annually, 2.5 million women and men seek care at Planned Parenthood clinics.

Trump knows this.

Do the Scandals Matter? Not to Trumpholes.

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Click for full size.

A poll done by Morning Consult and Politico shows that the constant quake of scandals simply don’t matter much to Trumpholes. If anything, it solidifies their faithfulness to the Tiny Tyrant. That’s a prime marker of how fascism operates, and it emphasises, starkly, just how much The Resistance and all manner of activism simply cannot stop, or slow down at all.

The full story is here.

One Big Facepalm.

 

Photo: Tyler Lake.

Photo: Tyler Lake.

After a good double face palm, I’m sitting here, staring at a story, shaking my head and sputtering. Oh, I just don’t grok some people. I really don’t. There’s a level of extreme cognitive dissonance that I don’t even understand how people reach in the first place.

The family of a northern Indiana restaurant owner who ICE detained during a routine check-in in February says he’s scheduled for deportation Friday.

Roberto Beristain is the owner of a popular restaurant in Granger called Eddie’s Steak Shed. His family says he came to the United States from Mexico City illegally in 1998. He later obtained documentation to work in the country and checked in with ICE each year.

It was during one of those check ins last month that ICE took Beristain into custody because of an incident in 2000. Roberto and his wife, Helen, were visiting Niagara Falls that year and accidentally crossed into Canada. Officers there detained Roberto when they realized he was in the U.S. illegally. Helen says a lawyer helped get Roberto out on bail, but he was told he had to voluntarily leave the country within a month.

Roberto decided not to self deport because Helen was pregnant at the time. An ICE spokesperson says when Roberto failed to deport himself, his voluntary order revered to a final order of removal, meaning ICE could detain him. They didn’t act on that order for more than a decade.

[…]

During an interview earlier this month, Helen said she voted for President Donald Trump because she supports his immigration policies. She said criminals should be deported, but she didn’t think her husband would face that fate.

“[Trump] did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked,” Helen said.

For Chrissakes, how do you, I uh, okay, I give up. I don’t know how anyone could think this way. It’s a mystery to me. I would have thought that someone who loved a person who was initially an illegal immigrant, then legal, would at least have had more sympathy for other immigrants, if not compassion, but no. I guess all those other ones are bad ones.

Via IPM.

Ugly America.

(Photo: Courtesy of Pleasant Run Elementary School).

(Photo: Courtesy of Pleasant Run Elementary School).

INDIANAPOLIS — The day should have been one of glory and celebration for five fourth-graders.

The Pleasant Run Elementary students had just won a robotics challenge at Plainfield High School, and the students — new to bot competition this year — were one step closer to the Vex IQ State Championship.

The team is made up of 9- and 10-year-olds. Two are African American and three are Latino.

As the group, called the Pleasant Run PantherBots, and their parents left the challenge last month in Plainfield, Ind., competing students from other Indianapolis-area schools and their parents were waiting for them in the parking lot.

“Go back to Mexico!” two or three kids screamed at their brown-skin peers and their parents, according to some who were there.

This verbal attack had spilled over from the gymnasium. While the children were competing, one or two parents disparaged the Pleasant Run kids with racist comments — and loud enough for the Pleasant Run families to hear.

“They were pointing at us and saying that ‘Oh my God, they are champions of the city all because they are Mexican. They are Mexican, and they are ruining our country,’ ” said Diocelina Herrera, the mother of PantherBot Angel Herrera-Sanchez.

These are minority students from the east side of the city, poor kids from a Title I school.

“For the most part, the robotics world is kind of a white world,” said Lisa Hopper, the team’s coach and a Pleasant Run second-grade teacher. “They’re just not used to seeing a team like our kids.

I have no doubt it’s true that they are not accustomed to seeing a team like the PantherBots, but how is that an excuse, in any way? That is disgusting behaviour, and I have no doubt if slurs were being slung at their milk white children, they would be beyond offended, and threaten to sue. This is the exact sort of shit that the Tiny Tyrant has enabled, and I have no doubt the bigots are all faithful Trumpholes. And I’m supposed to listen to their “side of things”? I don’t think so.

…Three weeks after the incident, the PantherBots won the Create Award — for best robot design and engineering — at the state championships, which qualified them for the Vex IQ World Championship next month in Louisville. They will compete there with students from all over the world.

And they say they’ll walk in with confidence.

“They yelled out rude comments, and I think that they can talk all they want because at the end we’re still going to Worlds,” said team leader Elijah Goodwin, 10. “It’s not going to affect us at all. I’m not surprised because I’m used to this kind of behavior.

The fact that any 10 year old child is accustomed to such vile behaviour should break the heart of any adult, it should certainly affect those who are parents, but this is not the case with Trumpholes, no. A brown child just couldn’t possibly be as smart as a white child. And they wonder why they are called racist and deplorable.

“I was afraid they would let it get in their heads and wig them out,” Hopper said. “We sat down and talked to our kids, and obviously we let them share their feelings.

“They were on top of it already,” she said. “They said: ‘We know they are mean. We know they were jealous. We’re not going to let it bother us.’ One of our guys said ‘to take stuff like that and let it make you stronger.’ ”

Just a few months ago, the PantherBots knew nothing about robotics.

The low-income school was given a grant to develop a robotics program. Fourth-grade teachers were asked to identify 10 students who had potential and exhibited leadership qualities.

And yet, we have Trumpholes in the Regime who think that no poor people should be getting in on that education business, oh no.

A huge shout out to the PantherBots, for a job well done, a great attitude, and best of luck at the Worlds! These are the kids who would grow up to make America great, if they were allowed.

Via USA Today.

$50,000 to Meals on Wheels, Just A Stunt.

Colin Kaepernick -- via Facebook.

Colin Kaepernick — via Facebook.

Colin Kaepernick recently donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels, a fine thing to do in these dark days. That wasn’t Sarah Palin’s view though, who called it a “political stunt”.  Huh. I’d call it helping people.

Sarah Palin complained about Colin Kaepernick’s latest “political stunt” — and got absolutely roasted on social media.

The failed vice presidential candidate and former half-term governor of Alaska posted a link early Wednesday to her own website, which published an article on Kaepernick written by Mary Kate Knorr.

Unfortunately, there will be no evisceration of said article, because it has been scrubbed. If there is one thing that Palin did learn, it was to immediately remove all evidence of her idiocy upon the first wave of criticism.

The free-agent quarterback donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels, which could lose its federal grant — which makes up more than 35 percent of the program’s funding — under the budget proposed by President Donald Trump.

Kaepernick angered conservatives last year by kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence against black Americans, and Trump has claimed credit for the player remaining unsigned after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

“And he wonders why he can’t find a job,” Palin posted on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, along with a link to the story about his donation.

My first thought was the same as many of the Twitterati: “when the hell is Palin going to find a job?” Seems that these days, spreading your ignorance all about is a job, of sorts.

Twitter users heaped scorn on the political celebrity, whose website complained that reports about Meals on Wheels losing its federal funding were “misleading.”

It’s true that Meals on Wheels is not directly funded federally, however, it does receive federal funding, which is very important in keeping it going. You can see the tweets at Raw Story.

The Dubious Dealings of Shite Supremacists.

NPI.

NPI.

The largest donor to Richard Spencer’s nonprofit National Policy Institute had no idea the funds were going to a white nationalist.

A Georgia community group, the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area, gave $25,000 to Spencer’s group in 2013 and 2014, according to three years of tax returns Spencer provided to the Los Angeles Times.

The community foundation, which receives much of its funding from the Masters golf tournament and promotes a wide range of philanthropy, gives away between $5 million to $9 million a year, according to the newspaper.

Neither Berry nor Spencer would reveal the original donor’s identity, the newspaper reported, and those funds were then funneled through the community foundation in a common arrangement in the charity world.

The foundation’s chief executive, Shell K. Berry, told the Times that money was given to Spencer’s group as part of a “donor-advised fund,” a common arrangement for charitable groups where donors give money to one organization with the intention of those funds being passed on to others.

Not being a rich person, I’m not so sure that the “donor-advised fund” leaves everyone involved innocently unaware of where the money was going. I have to think that some people certainly did know. I know that if I had $25,000 to give, I’d be very sure of where it was going.

Spencer, who says the nonprofit organization is his full-time job, collected salaries of $3,156 in 2013, $7,984 in 2014 and $13,275 in 2015, according to the tax returns.

The records also show the National Policy Institute used donor money to pay off more than $26,000 in credit card debt since 2011.

Spencer refused to tell the Times how that debt was accumulated, saying those details weren’t important.

Oh, the devil is in the details, as the old saying goes. Those tax returns certainly strike me as suspect, but I’m not an agent of the IRS.

The white nationalist also declined to tell the newspaper how he supports himself financially, but a recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting showed his parents received at least $2 million in federal farming subsidies over the last decade.

Goodness. I guess part and parcel of the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States is to game the system, then sit back and blame it on all those brown people who happen to be poor. That’s quite the gig.

The Times reported last week that Spencer’s group lost its tax-exempt status after failing to file required forms with the IRS.

Spencer stated that was an embarrassing mistake, and the NPI’s bookkeeper has been fired. A bookkeeper, fancy that. I wonder if they were getting by on three thousand a year, too.

Via Raw Story.

The Key to Republican Votes? More Cruelty.

Disney.

Disney.

It seems the key to all the Republican Cruellas is Cruelty. The Fuck You Care Plan was looking at crashing and burning, but the two prime Cruellas, Trump and Ryan, have found a way to pull in the reluctant rethugs, who felt the “replacement” was simply too kind.

In a sane world, the problem with the House’s Trumpcare bill would be that it kicks 14 million people off of their health insurance in year one and uses the savings to give rich people a big tax cut.

In our world, though, the problem for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was that scores of his own members didn’t think the bill was harsh enough. With only a couple dozen votes to spare in the House, and party leaders rushing toward a vote to minimize public scrutiny, the initial revolt was enough to force tweaks.

Those changes landed Monday night in the form of a “manager’s amendment” to the Trumpcare proposal. The amendment makes Medicaid cuts even deeper, frees up governors to raid the program to plug other budget holes, and ends Medicaid expansion under Obamacare much sooner than Ryan’s original bill.

This would be why there was the previous insistence of a vote first, without looking over the changes. No one is being allowed all that close of a look, however, so there are no estimates as to how many people this version will screw over. You can be certain it will be more.

The new version accelerates that process of shoving poor, disabled, and elderly people off a health care cliff. Medicaid expansion would freeze immediately rather than in two years. While the 11 million slightly-less-poor-than-the-poverty-line Americans who today receive health insurance thanks to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid would technically be grandfathered in, there’s a false bottom to their recently-gained financial and medical security.

Anyone whose coverage lapses, or who takes a seasonal job that bumps their income up too high to be covered, would not be able to re-enroll in Medicaid after that blip. At the same time, the topline reductions in federal Medicaid spending would create fiscal attrition, effectively forcing states to throw Medicaid expansion patients back into the uninsured gutter a bit more quickly than the first version of Trumpcare.

The amendment also adds a cash incentive for states to impose work requirements for non-pregnant, non-disabled, non-elderly Medicaid recipients. Work requirements in anti-poverty programs are a longstanding and bipartisan white whale, despite their failure to achieve anything other than higher poverty rates.

Medicaid will be no exception, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities health care policy expert Judy Solomon told ThinkProgress. “While most adults on Medicaid already do work, the work requirement would likely prevent other eligible people from enrolling, including, for example, a young adult attending college, a married mother taking care of an infant, or an adult caring for an aging parent,” Solomon said.

There really is no limit to just how much rethuglicans want to stomp all over poor people. I expect what they’d truly like to do is “cull the herd”, but as that might meet some hard edged resistance, this slow way of killing people will have to do.

A few key low-ranking Republicans have already hinted the changes will secure their votes. A dozen members of the hard-right Republican Study Committee summoned to the White House on Friday agreed to embrace Trumpcare if the deeper Medicaid cuts were added, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) told the Washington Post.

Is everyone feeling loved by their representatives?

The amendments to Trumpcare effectively trade American lives for Republican votes. Like its predecessor, the 2.0 version is a swindle masquerading as technical, wonky reform. It will take medical care away from low-income families, which will mean more people in those families die sooner than they would have if they could still afford insurance coverage.

The bodies will be piling up against The Great Gold Curtain.

Via Think Progress.

Oh yes, almost forgot – this is what the Tiny Tyrant is concerned about:

According to CNN, Trump began his meeting with Republicans by congratulating himself for the crowd size at a Monday night rally in Louisville, Kentucky. The president warned that the value of his earned media would be diminished if the health care bill fails.

“We won’t have these crowds if we don’t get this done,” he reportedly complained.

The Hidden History of A Homicidal Cop.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo holds Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. CREDIT: YouTube/New York Daily News.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo holds Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. CREDIT: YouTube/New York Daily News.

The cop who murdered Eric Garner is still employed. As of last year, his salary was $119,996 , a 14% increase over what he was making when he murdered Garner. A person could get ideas about that. I certainly have number of ideas, none of them painting cops in a good light. Think Progress has gotten an exclusive look at hidden documents which highlight Pantaleo’s past behaviour as a cop, and it’s not a good record in any way. The article is long and in-depth, so head on over for a read.

Now, documents obtained exclusively by ThinkProgress indicate that Pantaleo, who is still employed by the NPYD, had a history of breaking the rules. These records are the subject of an ongoing lawsuit, and the city refuses to release them.

Before he put Garner in the chokehold, the records show, he had seven disciplinary complaints and 14 individual allegations lodged against him. Four of those allegations were substantiated by an independent review board.

Neither Pantaleo nor the NYPD responded to Think Progress requests for comment.

EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS: The disturbing secret history of the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner.

Outside the Gold Curtain: Ugly Americans.

Students party on a beach in Cancun (Screen cap).

Students party on a beach in Cancun (Screen cap).

The Gold Curtain is on its way down, to encompass oh-so-special Amerikka, but unfortunately, the ugly is still escaping, and is busy leaving trails of Trumpslime all over the place.

CANCUN — What would be a dream night for Suly and Anaximandro Amable, a newly married couple who went to Cancun for their honeymoon, became a bitter experience on Monday March 13.

During a family show on the high seas, young American spring breakers began to sing the controversial “Build That Wall” chant, which shocked Mexican national tourists and workers.

This is just one of the many blameworthy behaviors that young spring breakers have shown recently in Cancun and that are described as acts of xenophobia and discrimination against Mexicans within their own country, which is (or should be) totally unacceptable.

Anaximandro, from Perú, made the following statement on social networks: “Today I was with Suly, my wife (who is a native of Mexico), watching an entertainment show off the coast of Cancun aboard a boat, and at the end of the show, a flock of Americans (maybe under the influence of alcohol, or maybe not), began to sing the infamous “Build that wall” chant louder and louder”.

[…]

Several Mexican tourists on board the ship expressed their annoyance, but the Americans did not stop at all and continued singing the racist hymn.

This situation is far from being an isolated incident, and it adds to the growing number of complaints from tourism sector workers, who point out that in recent days many Spring Breakers have been offensive, rude and haughty towards Mexican people.

This is way beyond embarrassing. Light years beyond. This is a type of terrorism: ugly, screaming, insistent braggadocio of invasive idiots, who are utterly certain of their greatness and specialness. Well, you’re special alright, you excel at being fucking idiots. Here, have a teeny star for mindless braying, never once having a thought invade those shit filled heads, about how you would feel, if upon arrival for your drunken revelry, you were greeted with “Back behind the Gold Curtain!” and swiftly expelled from a place you expected to enjoy. Americans have a tendency to assume they are oh so grand, and of course, always welcome, and oh yes, always right. There’s little realization of just how many Americans are poisonous, entitlement-stuffed bigots, whose mouths are one hundred times larger than their brains. Many times, even when that’s realized, there’s a bit of scuffing, grabbing a broom to sweep such under the rug, and an assumption of innocence. This doesn’t even cover the exceptional stupidity attached to exceptionally ugly Americans: they are spending money in the country they so denigrate. Heeeeeey, we’re spending Amerikkkan money here, so we have a perfect right to be shit-filled, obnoxious fucking idiots! Yaaaaay Amerikkka!

Christ. I’d think such fucking idiots would have been insistent on being really truly good Amerikkans, and spending behind the Gold Curtain, in Florida or something. Guess the good ol’ USA ain’t good enough for the Trumpholes.

Given the incredible ugliness of too many Americans, I don’t think it’s going to be long before other countries decide they have had enough, and just ban us all. If you want a fine example of the ugly I’m talking about, head on over to the Yucatan Times, and read the comments. You might want to make sure you have an empty stomach.

Via The Yucatan Times.

The Expressive Rights of Others.

The California Aggie, Jay Gelvezon/Courtesy.

The California Aggie, Jay Gelvezon/Courtesy.

“The expressive rights of others.” Quite the phrase, isn’t it? That’s the new free speech, at least applied to those with repugnant viewpoints. In the ongoing effort to quell dissent, this is the new rallying cry of the decidedly exclusive conservatives and lovers of fascism.

…The intent of these bills isn’t to protect student speech; it’s actually to suppress it in favor of guest speakers who, at times, support white nationalism, LGBTQ discrimination and other hateful worldviews. By funding the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, wealthy conservatives are enabling the promotion of hate speech while stifling student dissent. Whether or not Koch, for example, agrees with the hate speech he indirectly sponsors, he certainly benefits from a more friendly academic environment for far-right ideologues who often deny climate change and praise his extreme brand of tax- and regulation-free capitalism.

The Goldwater Institute’s model bill allegedly ensures “the fullest degree of…free expression,” but it explicitly states that “protests and demonstrations that infringe upon the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity shall not be permitted and shall be subject to sanction.”

It goes on to say, “Any student who has twice been found responsible for infringing the expressive rights of others will be suspended for a minimum of one year, or expelled.”

Under this code, imagine that a student protests a climate change denier and gets a brief suspension. Then the College Republicans group brings in a full-on white nationalist. Will this student do what she thinks is right and protest a racist who’s given a platform at a respected university, or stay home because she’s risking expulsion? This campus “free speech” legislation is essentially an attack on student speech and an elevation of ultra-conservative ideas that many people in university communities think have no place in American society.

“These laws would create a chilling effect on students who reject the idea that white supremacists or climate deniers are simply representing an ‘opposing viewpoint’ that should be tolerated, and who are rightfully relying on their first amendment freedoms to stop the rise of fascism and prevent global climate catastrophe,” Wilson, UnKoch’s senior researcher, told AlterNet. The group has been conducting research into Charles Koch’s considerable ideological donations to higher education, most of which goes toward free-market programs.

Charles Koch Foundation representatives say that conservative views are underrepresented in higher education, and the foundation’s massive university donations—which fund free-market academic centers, professorships, grad students and lecture series—are necessary for academic freedom. This view is shared by other conservative billionaires and higher ed donors including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who recently said to the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference, “The education establishment [tells you] what to think…the real threat is silencing the First Amendment rights of people with whom you disagree.”

the real threat is silencing the First Amendment rights of people with whom you disagree.” Okay, then why are you doing just that? Oh, because you don’t mean that at all, no. You’re fully in favour of free speech, er, expressive rights, as long as those expressive rights are extolling the virtues of white supremacy and fascism. Anything else, not so much. It’s of minor interest to note how much the cons have jumped on the branding wagon. “Different words will make it great!” No, they won’t. To paraphrase Shakespeare, fascism by any other name would still stink.

Legislators in some states including Illinois and Tennessee have introduced bills in 2017 that explicitly mention sanctions on student protesters. Illinois’ bill, proposed by two Republicans, lifts this language, and additional passages, nearly verbatim from the Goldwater model. Also sponsored by Republicans, the bill in Tennessee—nicknamed the “Milo Bill” after an event at the University of California at Berkeley featuring the racist “alt-right” icon Milo Yiannopolous was canceled due to protests—directs universities to enact free speech policies that include “sanctions for anyone under the jurisdiction of the institution who interferes with the free expression of others,” and it gives faculty “the right to regulate class speech.”

In North Carolina, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest intends to work with legislators on a Restore Campus Free Speech Act, which would create “a discipline policy that would punish students who shout down visiting speakers or deprive others of their right to free expression, a tactic commonly known as the ‘hecklers’ veto.'”

Last year, Forest floated a measure calling on the University of North Carolina’s board of governors to create a system-wide policy that would impose harsh penalties, including expulsion, on students, staff and faculty members who disrupt classes, public meetings or events. The Koch-funded Generation Opportunity lauded the effort at the time. Forest has said that yelling at a guest speaker “has never been free speech,” and he’s called campus protest methods “terrorist tactics.” No one introduced a free speech bill that year.

Other proposed laws, like North Dakota’s, which was introduced by six Republicans, omit sanctions provisions but state that a university may restrict student speech if it blocks entrances to buildings, obstructs traffic or interferes with events. Much of the North Dakota bill comes directly from the text of the Goldwater model legislation.

That’s by no means the end of it, either. Alternet has a good, in-depth look at the “new” expressive rights of others, and how it will strip a great many people of their expressive rights. Recommended reading.

The Poisonous Glee of Paul Ryan.

Another one heads to President Trump’s desk. This legislation allows states to have drug testing to receive federal unemployment benefits.

Another one heads to President Trump’s desk. This legislation allows states to have drug testing to receive federal unemployment benefits.

Last year, President Obama’s Department of Labor issued a regulation restricting the number of unemployment insurance beneficiaries that would be subject to drug testing. The move infuriated Republicans like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who had made such a program a centerpiece of his agenda.

Despite their vows to eliminate wasteful government spending, the Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump are now poised to overturn that rule — despite significant evidence that similar drug testing regimes cost a lot more than they save.

In February, the House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 42  — nearly along party lines — disapproving the regulation. Because such rules are not subject to filibuster, the Senate approved the same last week on Friday 51–48, strictly along party lines. The Trump administration has indicated it “strongly supports” the effort, making it very likely the bill will be signed very soon.

A smiling Ryan could barely contain his glee, tweeting out a picture of himself signing the House version of the resolution, alongside its author, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX).

That crushing sensation? Oh, that’s the federal thumb of the regime over your head, about to come down. All that constant talk about getting “government” out of peoples’ lives. Hmmm, what happened to that not so brave sentiment? It seems to be limited to removing healthcare. Unfortunately, people are still refusing to see and understand what is happening to them, and amazingly enough, there’s still a great deal of blind trust in the Tiny Tyrant, “oh, he wouldn’t do anything bad!” Even people who do understand simply sigh and have another beer. (That’s explained in the AJC link.)

Many states — including Ryan and Walker’s home state of Wisconsin —  have adopted rules in recent years to require beneficiaries of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to be screened for drug use. ThinkProgress published examinations of the 2014 and 2015 data provided by each state with those rules and found that the states paid millions of dollars to implement the testing and combined to find only hundreds of positive tests.

[…]

TANF is a federal welfare program through which the states provide aid to their poorest citizens. Unemployment is an insurance program; employers are required to pay-in to it for their employees during the time they are employed. Now, in Wisconsin and other states that followed its lead, people will have to endure drug screening just to get access to their own insurance benefits.

Emphasis mine. Right. A massive waste of money, to no point at all, outside of punishing people for not being wealthy. Now, there’s going to be an even bigger waste of money! But it’s not some kind of commie socialist plot, like healthcare, so I guess it’s all okay. Yep, everything is grand behind the Gold Curtain.

Via Think Progress.

“No One Is Safe.”

Hassan Aden -- via Facebook.

Hassan Aden — via Facebook.

Writing on Facebook on Saturday, retired cop Hassan Aden said he was returning from Paris where he helped his mother celebrate her 80th birthday when he was singled out and pulled from line by a customs official at John F. Kennedy International Airport who asked, “Are you traveling alone? Let’s take a walk.”

“I was taken to a back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility with three desks and signs stating, ‘Remain seated at all times’ and ‘Use of telephones strictly prohibited’—my first sign that this was not a voluntary situation and, in fact, a detention,” Aden wrote. ” By this point I had informed CBP Officer Chow, the one that initially detained me, that I was a retired police chief and a career police officer AND a US citizen—he stated that he had no control over the circumstance and that it didn’t matter what my occupation was.”

According to Aden after handing his passport over he was told that someone was using his name and that he had had to be cleared “so that I could gain passage into the United States… my own country!!!”

Aden said that he was not allowed to leave or contact his family at the same time an official told him he wasn’t being detained.

“He had the audacity to tell me I was not being detained. His ignorance of the law and the Fourth Amendment should disqualify him from being able to wear a CBP badge—but maybe fear and detention is the new mission of the CBP and the Constitution is a mere suggestion,” he wrote. “I certainly was not free to leave.

[…]

“I spent nearly 30 years serving the public in law enforcement. I interface with high level U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Court officials almost daily,” he wrote. “Prior to this administration, I frequently attended meetings at the White House and advised on national police policy reforms. All that to say, if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone with attributes that can be ‘profiled.’ No one is safe from this type of unlawful government intrusion.”

I’m a little torn here. What happened to Mr. Aden was not, in any way, right. Just another instance of the police state. Mr. Aden, unlike many people being caught up in the nets of the current police state, had considerable resources to call on. I’d say it’s a good thing for a cop to experience what it’s like, being in the clutches of such; that said, it’s not an experience I would wish on anyone. In the end, Mr. Aden was released, and reunited with his loved ones. That certainly cannot be said for scores and scores of people who are being picked up, detained, and wrenched away from their families and their lives. And no, please don’t point out that what happened to Mr. Aden was somehow in defense of stopping a terrorist; it wasn’t, and no, please don’t point out this is way different from the current “round ’em up and deport them!” business, it isn’t. It’s all one and the same thing: xenophobia, accompanied by the clang of The Gold Curtain™. America First, y’all.

Via Raw Story.

Paul Ryan’s Fantasy Life.

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

Unfortunately, this is not as amusing as the rest of today’s posts. It’s not amusing at all. There’s no more hedging or obfuscation over The Fuck You Plan, Trump has been interviewed, and admitted it will aid rich people and fuck over the poor (and everyone else), and now Ryan is blathering away about just how long he has yearned to rip healthcare away from people. From where I sit, this isn’t fantasy, it’s an obsession, an evil one.

…And, if you were House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), it was a time to dream about how, someday, you would take health care away from millions of poor people.

In a conversation with the National Review’s Rich Lowry on Friday, Ryan bragged about how conservatives now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take health coverage away from the most vulnerable Americans.

“So Medicaid,” Ryan told Lowry, “sending it back to the states, capping its growth rate. We’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around — since you and I were drinking at a keg. . . . I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a long time. We’re on the cusp of doing something we’ve long believed in.”

Ryan is 47 years old, which means that, if he started “drinking at a keg” early in his college career, he’s fantasized about all the poor people who could be stripped of health care for nearly three decades.

And he’s downright gleeful about finally being able to culminate his long standing obsession. Why? Why are these people voted in to government in the first place? I do not want to belong to a country in which its so-called leaders have long standing fantasies about fucking people over in the worst possible way, and spend their whole lives in pursuit of that fantasy. People like Ryan should be ashamed, and wondering just what in the fuck is wrong with them, but that never seems to happen.

Full story at Think Progress.