China, Russia Chasing U.S. Carrier.

USS Carl Vinson. (Jo Jung-ho/Yonhap via AP, File).

China and Russia aren’t too happy with the Tiny Tyrant’s tough toddler obsession with nuclear weapons, nor his increasing instability without a first thought, let alone a second. They have dispatched intelligence gathering ships to dog the U.S. Carrier. I’m grateful for their intervention, such as it is at this time. I have not been this scared of nuclear war since I was a child. As nuclear tensions de-escalated through much of my lifetime, I had hoped to make it through the rest of life without having to worry about being crispy crittered or dying a slow death in nuclear winter. Now we have a maniac in the white house who is nursing a 30 year obsession with nuclear weapons with an itchy trigger finger.

China and Russia have dispatched intelligence-gathering vessels from their navies to chase the USS Carl Vinson nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which is heading toward waters near the Korean Peninsula, multiple sources of the Japanese government revealed to The Yomiuri Shimbun.

It appears that both countries aim to probe the movements of the United States, which is showing a stance of not excluding military action against North Korea. The Self-Defense Forces are strengthening warning and surveillance activities in the waters and airspace around the area, according to the sources.

The aircraft carrier strike group, composed of the Carl Vinson at its core with guided-missile destroyers and other vessels, is understood to be around the East China Sea and heading north toward waters near the Korean Peninsula.

China and Russia, which prioritize stability in the Korean Peninsula, showed concern over the tough U.S. stance, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying the issue should be resolved peacefully through political and diplomatic efforts.

The dispatch of the intelligence-gathering vessels appears to be partly aimed at sending a warning signal to the United States.

Full story here.

America The Ugly. Ugly, Ugly, Ugly.

Credit: Screenshot, Fox News.

In a disgusting, repellent display, even for those purveyors of disgusting, Fox News thought it would be appropriate to show the Moab bombing of Afghanistan, overlaid with treacly jingoism in the form of country music. As much as I love words, I don’t have enough for this perversion, my gorge is rising. I’ll include one of the videos here, if you can cope with it. I suggest not playing, I did, and it made me want to vomit.

That didn’t stop Fox News, however. President Trump’s favorite television program — Fox and Friends — celebrated the bombing, with a soundtrack to boot.

“The video is black and white. But that is what freedom looks like, that’s the red white and blue,” host Ainsley Earhardt said after the program showed the video of the bomb dropping in Afghanistan.

“One of my favorite things in 16 years at Fox News is watching bombs drop on bad guys,” Geraldo Rivera says.

Oh. In that case, I look forward to someone dropping a bomb on Fox News.

The video was shown overlaid with country star Toby Keith singing the chorus of “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue,” which celebrates the military with jingoistic fervor:

“Hey Uncle Sam, put your name at the top of his list
And the Statue of Liberty started shakin’ her fist
And the eagle will fly man, it’s gonna be hell
When you hear mother freedom start ringin’ her bell
And it feels like the whole wide world is raining down on you
Brought to you courtesy of the red white and blue.”

Later in the program, Fox and Friends showed the video again, again overlaying it with uber-patriotic country music.

“We’ll play a little music, demonstrate the moment of impact there in Afghanistan on the MOAB in Nangarhar province,” host Pete Hegseth says, as the video plays under Kid Rock singing “born free.”

[…]

Fox News, which was the most-watched cable network of 2016 and is a primary source of news for millions of Americans (including, it seems, the President), isn’t overly concerned about those deaths, however.

“I think it is very, very important we kill bad guys but there is no denying that the issue of friendly fire is really egregious,” Rivera said, only to be immediately rebutted by host Pete Hegseth.

“Why go there first, Geraldo?” said Hegseth. “Civilian casualties happen. We’re going against an enemy that cuts off our heads.”

Oh right, seems yours hasn’t been cut off, has it, you fucking moron? Have there been waves of the Mother Of All Swords landing here in the good ol’ U.S. of Amerikka, resulting in thousands of heads rolling? I haven’t noticed anything like that at all. Not that I’d be entirely against certain heads rolling, and I’m looking at Fox News. I’d most likely favour a guillotine though. More efficient. Goddamn disgusting asshole apes, chattering away, ever so excited over dead people. Celebrating. Yeah, why ever go there, ’cause you know, people die, who gives a shit, lookit that bomb go! Of course, when other people fight back against that sort of thing, they are the bad ones. And, they are the bad ones when they become radicalized because bombs keep being dropped on them, killing people. Those people that don’t matter, because hot damn, lookit at that thing go! Fucking barbaric animals.

:Spits:

Think Progress has the story.

Samuel L. Jackson Retorts.

Samuel L. Jackson.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson — star of the films Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained — recorded a “Get Out the Vote” ad for Democratic congressional candidate Joel Ossoff, who is running in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District for the seat vacated by newly appointed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

CNN reported that in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)-funded ad, Jackson called on voters to “stop Donald Trump, the man who encourages racial and religious discrimination, and sexism.”

“Remember what happened the last time people stayed home,” Jackson said. “We got stuck with Trump. We have to channel the great vengeance and furious anger we have for this administration into votes at the ballot box.”

The radio ad:

Via Raw Story. And, lest this day be an uneventful one or anything, China is warning about the likelihood of incipient nuclear war.

Well, it was nice having voting rights while it lasted.

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

By a 54–45 vote, the Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Friday.

Full Story.

Here We Go Again: Syria.

Airstrike on Syria (Photo: screen capture).

Airstrike on Syria (Photo: screen capture).

More than once, I’ve brought up the possibility of Trump starting yet another war, and I’ve been on edge for a while now, wondering when the fuck it was going to happen, because I think we all knew this was coming. The Tiny Tyrant is not bathing in adulation, he’s not everyone’s little baby, being cooed at. People are not happy, and they aren’t impressed. His low approval ratings are setting a whole new record. His Regime is a chaotic clusterfuck, his wife happily keeps her distance, while people are calling for her to get the fuck out of NYC, and no one in Florida wants the Trumps around anymore, as they are pure poison to plain folk, their wallets, and their businesses. There’s the collusion with Russia, the overwhelming evidence of corruption, fraud, and constitution violation. Donnie hasn’t gotten over his humiliation in not passing the Fuck You Care Plan, either. So, what’s a shallow, sociopathic idiot to do? War! Missiles! It’s the War on Terra 2.0!

And, just like with Bush, this is already working on at least some people, primarily the media it seems. Deciding to fire a missile from a long distance to slaughter people does not make a person “presidential”. Especially not in this case. Trump made this decision at his Mar-a-private club, without congressional approval. That’s not presidential. That’s a fucking dictator. And there’s something everyone really needs to remember – Trump does not give one shit about those Syrian children. Syria was on his personal hit list of bannination, and when he was campaigning, he compared Syrian refugees to venomous snakes. Don’t go thinking he had a sudden attack of empathy, he didn’t. Okay, let’s get on with the round-up, lots and lots to absorb out there.

In Think Progress’s main article about the strike, they include the seven tweets by Trump deriding President Obama for considering strikes against Syria. He ranted and raved about it quite a bit.

The actions represent a dramatic reversal from Trump’s position when Obama considered military action against Syria after Assad used chemical weapons in 2013. Trump repeatedly derided the idea of striking Syria, characterizing it as a foolish and expensive waste of time.

[All Caps] Again, to our very foolish leader, do not attack Syria – if you do many very bad things will happen & from that fight the U.S. gets nothing!

Think Progress also has an article about the excessive fawning by the media over the suddenly “presidential” Tiny Tyrant.

This isn’t entirely surprising. Trump’s approval ratings have been fairly low, but the President indicated in 2012 a certain awareness that decisive military strikes can help polling rebound.

Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.

And many are already terrified that Trump might use military action to shore up his popularity and distract from the massive scrutiny and investigations his administration has face in its first 11 weeks.

You can include me in that group. That’s exactly what this fucking sociopathic idiot is going to do.

Think Progress has an article about the unhappiness of Russia with this symbolic muscle flexing.

Though the strike was intended to degrade Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s capability to carry out another chemical attack in the future, it appears to have been largely symbolic. During a gaggle with reporters, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster acknowledged that after the strike, “the regime will maintain the certain capacity to commit mass murder with chemical weapons, we think, beyond this particular airfield.”

Raw Story has an article which reminds us all of Trump’s vow to commit war crimes and his love of torture.

Raw Story also has an article up about the selling of the Iraq war, and just how much news outlets had to do with that, primarily Fox.

The 10 Republicans who have done a 180 on Syria, now that Obama is not president.

The Conversation has an article about the current rationalisations for the new war.

Even the Nazis are upset.

And, just in:

Nine civilians including four children were killed in the U.S. missile attack on a Syrian airbase near the city of Homs on Friday, the Syrian state news agency said.

And: Trump administration edges toward war in Syria.

So Much for the “Investigation”.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., arrives for a closed-door GOP strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., arrives for a closed-door GOP strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

We are so far beyond a farce now, I’m out of words. It’s quite clear that any “investigation” into the corruption of the regime is not going to happen. Yes, Nunes has stepped down. Yes, the idiot is going to be “investigated”. None of that fucking matters in the least, because …

Nunes, who is the chairman of the committee, said that he will retain his post but will hand leadership of the investigation over to Reps. Mike Conaway (R-TX), Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Tom Rooney (R-FL).

Did anyone bother to think that perhaps having all rethugs in charge might not be the best idea? Also, who the hell thought it was okay for a compromised person to select those who would investigate? Everywhere you look, corruption.

Nunes designated Conaway as his lead successor, with Gowdy and Rooney as deputies. Conaway, like Nunes, is a Trump loyalist — one who was a member of the very campaign he will now be in charge of investigating. Conaway was a member of Trump’s Agriculture Advisory Committee, which Trump announced in August 2016.

The perfect person to put in charge of a corruption investigation, right? No problem there, no sirree. Jesus Tap Dancing Christ in a sidecar, there isn’t even going to be a pretense of objectivity here. What investigation? “Oh, hey, we looked, it’s all cool, the Tiny Tyrant is grate, grate, grate!” [Yes, that was on purpose.]

In January, Conaway gave his view on the Russian election hacking to The Dallas Morning News — and compared it to Mexican entertainers campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

“Harry Reid and the Democrats brought in Mexican soap opera stars, singers and entertainers who had immense influence in those communities into Las Vegas, to entertain, get out the vote and so forth,” Conaway told the local paper. “Those are foreign actors, foreign people, influencing the vote in Nevada. You don’t hear the Democrats screaming and saying one word about that.”

He then told the paper he considered it on par with the Russian election hacking. “It’s foreign influence. If we’re worried about foreign influence, let’s have the whole story,” he said.

Now, Conaway will be in charge of the investigation.

I’m sure we all know what the result will be. Jesus Fuck.

Think Progress has the full story.

Tin Cap Time.

1477417057308

The Heartland Institute recently had their “Fuck the Planet!” conference, attended by the Mercers, and all those others who have some sort of vested interest in killing off everyone and everything. I guess they’ll bug out to Mars with Musk when life becomes unsustainable.

The atmosphere was buoyant at a conference held by the conservative Heartland Institute last week at a downtown Washington hotel, where speakers denounced climate science as rigged and jubilantly touted deep cuts President Trump is seeking to make to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Front and center during the two-day gathering were New York hedge fund executive Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, Republican mega-donors who with their former political adviser Stephen K. Bannon helped finance an alternative media ecosystem that amplified Trump’s populist themes during last year’s campaign.

The Mercers’ attendance at the two-day Heartland conference offered a telling sign of the low-profile family’s priorities: With Trump in office, the influential financiers appear intent on putting muscle behind the fight to roll back environmental regulations, a central focus of the new administration.

The Washington Post has a full run down on the conference.

I’ll just focus here on the batshit element of such conferences, this time, embodied by ever loony Lord Christopher Monckton:

Raw Story has a rundown of his 5 main points, so click on over if you prefer to read.

The Farce That Is “The Wall”.

Ryan Zinke (Twitter).

Ryan Zinke (Twitter).

Just when you think rethuglicans really could not possibly go lower or more regressive, *bam*. Ryan the fink Zinke has a problem with the stupid wall – placing it on U.S. land would cede the Rio Grande, oh no wtfbbq!!!11!1 The solution? Doesn’t seem to be one right now, outside of making sure endangered animals are endangered right into extinction. It seems the only way to keep the Rio Grande would be to either steal land from Mexico, or build it on Mexico’s land and claim it for uStates. Or something. Jesus Fuck. There’s that Colonial mindset at work.

E&E News reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talked about the logistics of building a border wall while speaking at an event held by the Public Lands Council this week, and he said the Trump administration didn’t want to build the wall on American soil because it would mean ceding the entire Rio Grande river to Mexico.

“The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall,” Zinke said. “The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.”

Zinke didn’t elaborate on how the wall would get built if it wasn’t located on America’s side of the Rio Grande or in the middle of the river, which implies that it would be built on the Mexican side of the border.

Elsewhere in his talk, E&E News reports Zinke said the Trump administration will seek a waiver to the Endangered Species Act so it can build the wall in jaguar habitats that are for now protected from “destruction or adverse modification.”

Via Raw Story. And, Ryan fucking idiot Zinke has now said there’s no such thing as clean energy. Nope.

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.

A Congress of Tantrums: No, Vote First!

paul-ryan

There’s the face of Republican empathy, folks. Are you impressed? Didn’t think so. Ryan is emulating the Tiny Tyrant, and going with the Tantrum Method. This is one of those days I could just slam my head into a wall, yelling loudly “this is not how a fucking government is supposed to fucking work, noooo!” As that wouldn’t do much good, I’ll refrain and just cuss my head off here. The Fuck You Care Plan (FYCP) is meeting resistance from both sides of the aisle, and now Ryan is insisting that a vote is taken before the changes made to it can be scrutinized. Remind you of recalcitrant 3 year old? “No! Swallow it without looking first!” I don’t think so, Paulie. You’re a tad too toxic for that kind of nonsense.

Speaker Paul Ryan announced Sunday he would be willing to make major changes to the Republican health care bill this week, but not push back the scheduled vote Thursday. He’s considering those changes in response to division among party members over the bill in its current form: conservatives say they won’t vote for it because it’s “Obamacare-lite,” while moderates are spooked by the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment that 24 million Americans stand to lose coverage if it passes, among other warning signs.

He told Chris Wallace Sunday that unspecified changes would “help bring market freedom and regulatory relief to the insurance markets to dramatically lower the price of the plan for the 50- and 60-year-olds.” Other changes under discussion would impose work requirements for people receiving Medicaid benefits and increase tax credits for older Americans.

Oh, there’s a poison pill. Ryan has been trying to kill medicare for years. As for the regulatory blather, don’t be falling for that crap, either. Every single person in uStates is about to get royally screwed by all the deregulation, oh, pardon, not everyone. The billionaires will be okay. The rest of us, we’ll be screwed over, and we will be living on poisoned land, rivers which will once again burn, choking on pollution, dealing with food scarcity, no healthcare, all while trying to figure out how not to get screwed over financially by every single company we have to deal with in daily life. Oh, right, FYCP. Okay, here’s the little poster boy for sociopathy:

But Ryan wants members of Congress to vote on the updated bill before they know what its impact on constituents will be. The House will still vote on Thursday, before the CBO has a chance to make another assessment.

Emphasis mine. This is not how a government runs. It is how a regime runs, even if those in it are still trying to deny the switchover.

Still, Ryan says he is confident it will pass, despite his own admission that major components are still under construction. “The reason I feel so good about this is because the president has become a great closer. He’s the one who has helped negotiate changes to this bill with members from all over our caucus.”

This is not a godsdamned corporate raiding thing, you fucking dimwitted monstrous asshole. It’s supposed to be a fucking government. Wait, what am I saying? Yeah, it’s a corporate raider thing these days. Sorry, I’ve been accustomed to a government most of my life.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote Ryan last week and demanded he give the CBO an opportunity to analyze the changes health care bill before any floor vote.

“Republicans are terrified the American people will see the reality of their disastrous TrumpCare bill. If the GOP are afraid of the public having the facts about their bill, they shouldn’t be voting on it,” Pelosi said in a statement released Sunday after Republicans announced they will not wait for the CBO.

Yeah, that’s the truth, but what good is it going to do? FYCP it’s gonna be, praised to the skies by the filthy rich here behind the Gold Curtain.

Via Think Progress.

Let’s Talk Budget.

CREDIT: Adam Peck/ThinkProgress.

CREDIT: Adam Peck/ThinkProgress.

A person could easily conclude that budget is a nebulous abstract to the likes of Trump, which wouldn’t be terribly problematic if he was lost deep in his conman empire, but understanding a budget and how one works is crucial knowledge in the working of a government. To say that no one has been impressed with the Tiny Tyrant’s notion of budget is one hell of an understatement. It seriously underscores just how very unqualified he is, and it’s a terrible highlight on his base incompetency.

In his initial budget document released on Thursday, President Donald Trump called for huge reductions in government spending. Beyond simply handing some agencies and programs less money to work with, he wants to completely eliminate 78 programs — including the Appalachian Regional Commission, Community Services Block Grant, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Legal Services Corporation, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Minority Business Development Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, United States Institute of Peace, and United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

All told, the money saved from the functions that Trump wants to eliminate comes to just under $23.6 billion, according to a ThinkProgress analysis.

That may sound like a lot of money, but it’s not even half of the increase in funding he wants to give to the military: $54 billion. The United States already spends more on defense than the next seven largest military budgets around the world combined.

The sum is also dwarfed by the size of the tax cut that Trump has proposed enacting, which would cost the government $341 billion in the first year and $6.1 trillion over a decade. Under that plan, the poorest families would get just $110 in annual tax relief, while the richest 0.1 percent of Americans would get more than $1 million in one year.

The amount of money saved by eliminating these government programs wouldn’t even be enough to pay for the construction of Trump’s border wall, the price for which has been put at $25 billion. [Also see this about the idiotic fucking wall. – Caine.]

Even rethuglicans are flinching over the idea of dropping yet more money into military – even they know it’s bloated beyond excess. This is nothing more than an ego exercise on the part of Tiny Trump, who feels the need to have the bigliest toys, oh yes. Then there’s that tax cut. Wow, a whole $110 bucks a year. Well, most of us know just how far you can stretch a hundred bucks, right? Everyone will be fine on that big ol’ bonus for a year. (If you’re hard of sarcasm, insert a YUGE near-fatal eyeroll here.) Whereas, the filthy rich will get … more than one million a year! Wow, no disparity there, no sir. Y’know, I can’t even be sarcastic enough for this godsawful shit anymore. I need a sarcasm upgrade, more than weapons grade, so can I get in on that military money? It’s not enough to completely strip people of their healthcare, to kill off services for mentally ill people, to kill off pretty much every slim little safety net there was, to destroy any possibility of an education, let alone a good one, oh no, not enough. Let us toss those stupid little peons one hundred and ten dollars a year, while we shuffle the big bucks, and laugh all the way to our mansions.

I am reminded of the Marquis St. Evrémonde, played deliciously by Basil Rathbone, in the 1935 movie, A Tale of Two Cities:

Unfortunately, this is not a movie we are dealing with. This is a horror of reality, which is going to be just that for many millions of people, a horror. People who are already struggling will be locked into that struggle, with no hope of surcease.

Several of the programs Trump wants to cancel have very small price tags and very large impacts. Trump’s decision not to spare even these high-efficiency connections between the government and its people is impossible to justify in budget terms, given their low costs. Instead, these cuts seem to represent a philosophical choice to derail things the president doesn’t believe in doing — even if they help people.

There are murmurs of how unfeasible this budget is, but so far, no one has had the strength of character or the moral conviction to do the right thing. That’s what happens when you end up with republicans in charge. There might be a few weak protests, some workarounds, but in the end, no one will stand. This can be seen in the ramming through of the Health fuck you Care Plan, in spite of a minor muttering of objections. There’s a definite temptation to think that they all just want to rush the shit through, get it over with. In the end, that’s a rosier thought than the realization that most of them don’t have a problem with any of it. What will actually happen with the budget remains to be seen, but if there’s one thing I think we can all count on, it won’t be good news for all us common folk.

Think Progress has the full story.

The Response to Open White Supremacy.

Tucker Viemeister.

Tucker Viemeister.

Well, the response to Rep. Steve King’s open embrace of white supremacy has been, as Mrs. Slocombe would say, weak as water, weak as water!

In his Monday press briefing, Sean Spicer told a reporter who asked about Trump’s reaction to the tweet that he would have to check with the president to see what he thought. On Tuesday, Spicer clarified: “This is not a point of view he shares,” he said. That has been the White House’s only response.

Wow. There’s a bloodless response if there ever was one. Basically, a compleat non-response. The Tiny Tyrant doesn’t share that point of view, no, but all his actions speak to just how much he does share that view.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), initially responded to King’s comments through a spokesperson, who said “the speaker clearly disagrees and believes America’s long history of inclusiveness is one of its greatest strengths.”

Over 24 hours after King’s words hit Twitter, Ryan directly responded in a Fox interview, saying that he disagreed with King but that “I would like to think — and I haven’t spoken to Steve about this — I would like to think he misspoke, and it wasn’t meant the way it sounds, and I hope he’s clarified that.”

Oh, King misspoke. Right. I think it’s pretty damn clear that King did no such thing. He has held these views for decades, and he now feels supported enough to come right out with them, and stand by them without the slightest hint of apology. The apologetics have already started, with Nazis everywhere trying to somehow soften King’s words, and that no, his views aren’t really that stark, just y’know, he’s concerned and stuff.

For fuck’s sake, this wide open, blatant Nazism. We’re standing in it, folks, and it’s rising higher as you read. If you’re one of those people keeping their head down, ignoring everything, you’re going to drown in it first. Get that head up, open your eyes, pay attention, and get involved in The Resistance. This is seriously, horribly bad.

Via Think Progress.

Rewriting the Constitution.

Photo Credit: Kim Davies / Flickr.

Photo Credit: Kim Davies / Flickr.

Imagine if the U.S. Constitution barred the EPA and Department of Education from existing. All union protections are dead, there are no more federal workplace safety standards, and even child-labor laws are struck down, along with a national minimum wage.

Imagine that the Constitution makes it illegal for the federal government to protect you from big polluters, big banks and even big food and pharma—all are free to rip you off or poison you all they want, and your only remedy is in state courts and legislatures, because the Constitution prevents Congress from doing anything about any of it. The federal government can’t even enforce voting or civil rights laws.

To add injury to insult, the federal government has to shut down Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, because all of these programs (along with food stamps, housing supports and any programs that help the middle class, the less fortunate or disabled) are “beyond the reach” of what the federal government can do.

A few years ago, it would have been a thought experiment; now it’s nearly reality. Billionaires and the groups they fund are working to rewrite our Constitution to provide corprations and the rich with more and more protections and benefits, and chop away at anything smelling of “socialism” like Social Security or child labor laws.

The fact is that they’re just a few states away from meeting their goal, and have already held dress rehearsals in Washington D.C.—with representatives from all 50 states—for a Constitutional Convention that would change America forever.

[…]

On April 9, 1944, at the height of the war against fascist Germany and Japan, the New York Times published an op-ed by Vice President Henry Wallace discussing explicitly the issue of very wealthy people setting out to take over our government.

Wallace spoke directly to the danger of multimillionaire and corporate power, defining right-wing industrialists as people “who in case of conflict put money and power ahead of human beings.” He added that “in their search for money and power [they] are ruthless and deceitful. … They… follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.”

In his strongest indictment of that day’s equivalent of today’s billionaire class, Wallace wrote, “They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

As Wallace’s president, Franklin D. Roosevelt said when accepting his party’s re-nomination in 1936 in Philadelphia, “out of this modern civilization, economic royalists [have] carved new dynasties…. It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction.”

We stand at the same crossroads Roosevelt and Wallace confronted during the Great Depression and World War II, only this time the Supreme Court (in 1976 with Buckley, 1978 in Bellotti and in 2010 with Citizens United) has given American billionaires the power to spend virtually unlimited amounts of money to own politicians and demand behavior from them so outrageous that they’d even lie on live TV and deny science itself.

The billionaire right’s behavior today eerily parallels the day in 1936 when Roosevelt said, “In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.”

President Roosevelt and Vice President Wallace’s warnings have come full circle. It’s critical that we call out these economic royalists for what they’re doing, and not let them and their minions rewrite our Constitution.

Thom Hartmann’s full article is at AlterNet, and very scary reading, but it’s important reading. Highly Recommended.