A $2 Trillion Error and More…

CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

The math in crafting the budget was seemingly too difficult for an administration embroiled in scandal. President Donald Trump promised that he would balance the budget for the first time in over a decade and he would do it without cutting spending for defense or Social Security. The numbers were flawed, however.

According to New York Magazine, Trump’s budget assumes a $2 trillion increase in revenue through economic growth that can’t be verified or supported by any estimations by anyone, anywhere. Even the Trump administration’s supposed economic growth wouldn’t pay for the $2 trillion error. Previously, Trump claimed his cuts would be paid for by the growth expected to come in, as a result of his tax breaks. The plan is akin to a credit card that has an interest rate that pays off your card as you spend money on it. The administration has double counted the growth.

Via Raw Story.

This whole mess is turning out to be worse than the Fuck You Healthcare Plan. Apparently, our Tiny Tyrant is not in the least disturbed by numbers which simply do not work. It will be great, yes, of course it will, because it has ‘greatness’ on the label, see, and if you have branding, you don’t have to care about anything else. Might be best if everyone prepares for bankruptcy. There’s a great deal to be disturbed about, so here’s the Oh Fuck Roundup:

Congressional Republicans balk at the arrival of Trump’s cruel budget: Not everyone’s on board; in fact, plenty aren’t.

Trump’s budget sacrifices diplomacy for bigger guns: The State Department would see massive cuts, while the Defense Department would get its budget padded further.

Here’s where the White House got its insane growth projections: Trump’s budget sets a wildly implausible growth target and then seeks to achieve it by cutting food stamps and disability benefits.

Student loan borrowers should brace themselves for Trump’s budget: The news is particularly grim for graduate students.

The outrageous assumptions hiding a $6 trillion hole in Trump’s budget: The budget is so detached from reality, it’s created its own theory of economic growth.

Trump’s budget would destroy the health coverage of at least 14 million poor people: The budget blueprint embraces Trumpcare’s massive cuts to Medicaid — and then cuts the program even more.

Trump’s ‘welfare reform’ will destroy the program: Welfare fails to help families in poverty. Trump would make it much worse.

Asshole Mulvaney’s Take.

That’s enough bad news, ennit?

Caitiff.

Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Photo: Defense Intelligence Agency).

It will be a surprise to exactly no one that Flynn has decided to go full court coward, a common trait in military persons who try to go political. That Flynn plans to invoke the 5th, that’s hardly a shocker.  Flynn has also stated he will not comply with a documents subpoena. Golly, wouldn’t it be grand if us regular folks could get away with that sort of thing? I rather doubt Flynn will be locked up until he decides to comply.

Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn plans to ignore the subpoena issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee and will cite his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

According to an Associated Press report, Flynn plans to officially invoke the Fifth Amendment sometime on Monday.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) said last week that Flynn had not yet complied with the Senate’s subpoena, and added that he didn’t expect Flynn to agree to testify under oath.

Flynn asked for immunity from the Senate in exchange for testifying, but so far the Senate has been unwilling to grant his request.

Raw Story has the full article.

$100 Million and Ethically Questionable.

Ivanka Trump participates in a presentation ceremony of The Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal to President Donald Trump at the Royal Court Palace, Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

Oh, palace intrigue, it never ends. Once again, a deal struck now reverberates back to the Tiny Tyrant condemning something done by others, but it’s okely dokely for him and his family. Y’know, Donny has to absolutely love it there, in spite of that little curtsy gaffe, look at all that gilt! Is it too much to hope he’ll stay?

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $100 million to the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund, an initiative proposed by first daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump. The fund, which was first announced in April, has already raised serious legal and ethical questions about how a White House adviser can both shape foreign policy and actively solicit donations from foreign countries for the fund.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the initiative would provide technical assistance and investments for projects that support the economic empowerment of women around the globe. Ivanka Trump does not control the money, though she first pitched the idea to World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and has discussed the idea with leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On Sunday, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim praised “Ivanka’s leadership” in spearheading the fund, and called it “a stunning achievement.”

Getting people to shovel money your way is a handy talent, no doubt. A stunning achievement, though? Oh, I don’t think so. Could the bar for this family possibly be lower?

President Donald Trump was extremely critical of Saudi Arabia’s contributions to the Clinton Foundation while campaigning against Hillary Clinton, going so far as to call for Clinton to return all the money given to the foundation, both in speeches on the campaign trail and during the October presidential debate.

Credit: Facebook.

Donald J. Trump: Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries.

“You talk about women and women’s rights. These are people that push gays off business — off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly, and yet you take their money,” Trump said during the debate. “So I’d like to ask you right now. Why don’t you give back the money that you’ve taken from certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly? Why don’t you give back the money. I think it would be a great gesture.”

The Clinton Foundation received between 10 and 25 million from Saudi Arabia. Gosh, that’s barely a peach pit next to 100 million, isn’t it? Naturally, Trump has not brought up receiving that amount of money from Saudia Arabia, because now that sort of thing is just fine. Great, in fact.

Think Progress has the full story.

The Dept. of Just Us: Cease and Desist!

Volunteer lawyers wait at the international arrival area for travelers detained at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Friday, March 10, 2017. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast).

The Department of Justice is now insisting that lawyers helping immigrants shut down, and stop offering their services, because helping people, well, that’s a bad thing to do. This all hangs on a technicality, but one which is being exploited by the DOJ to remove legal help which is already scant on the ground for immigration matters. Immigrants do not have the right to legal representation here, which means that legal teams reaching out and offering help are doing it on their own time and dime. This is a devastating attack, yet another one which undermines one of those supposedly great pillars of America. It’s also outright white nationalism.

While the country has been fixated on President Trump’s firings, leaks and outbursts involving the Department of Justice, that agency has itself been stealthily attacking our democracy by telling good lawyers to stop representing people. Four weeks ago, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)—a respected nonprofit in Seattle that represents immigrants in deportation proceedings—received a “cease and desist” letter from the DOJ threatening disciplinary action. The letter demanded that NWIRP drop representation of its clients and close down its asylum advisory program. The reason: a technicality, perversely applied. NWIRP is accused of breaking a rule that was put in place to protect people from lawyers or “notarios” who take their money and then drop their case.

Last week, NWIRP filed a lawsuit to defend itself against the DoJ’s order. What’s at stake extends far beyond NWIRP and the 5,000 people it serves every year. The outcome of this legal battle will profoundly impact access to legal representation for the tens of thousands of immigrants who apply for asylum in the United States every year and the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants whose cases are currently in front of an immigration judge.

Before I explain more, let’s step back for the context: You have no right to counsel in immigration proceedings. If you are not a citizen—or if the government merely alleges you aren’t—you can be taken from your home, jailed, and permanently deported without ever seeing a lawyer. This is perfectly legal. It happened to more than a million people under the Obama administration, which vastly expanded the machinery of deportation. (If you want this to be an “Obama was good, Trump is bad” story, sorry to disappoint.)

[…]

When lawyers rushed to airports this winter to protect our friends, our neighbors, and our Constitution, people cheered. The Trump administration took offense, and now those lawyers are in their cross hairs. The president is taking a sledgehammer to the pillars of our government: the FBI, the Justice Department, the federal courts. America, we are under attack.

The full story is here.

Sheriff David Clarke Gets His Trump Appointment.

Sheriff David Clarke Jr. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin.

I’m sure that Dave Clarke is just giddy over being appointed to homeland security. For the rest of us, it’s a walking, talking, nightmare. No one could possibly be less qualified than Clarke, whose hatred knows no bounds. Many times over, this man should have been tried for his crimes, and if there was any justice, he’d be sitting in a prison cell for the rest of his life.  He’s in the midst of a prison deaths scandal right now, but apparently, that doesn’t matter, anymore than his previous crimes. This is just the tip of the Clarke iceberg:

Clarke has called the Black Lives Matter movement “black slime” that “needs to be eradicated from the American society and the American culture,” “garbage” and a “subversive movement” that seeks to overthrow the government, and said that the movement is driven by “an ideology of victimhood with a list of grievances that do not exist.” He has dismissed concerns about police brutality by saying that “black criminal abuse, black criminal brutality” is “the real brutality going on in the United States.” The real problem in “the American ghetto,” he has said, is “modern liberalism.”

Clarke said that Michael Brown, the black teenager shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, was a “co-conspirator in his own demise” because he “chose thug life.” After Sandra Bland, a black woman who had been thrown to the ground during a traffic stop, died in police custody, Clarke went on Fox News to chastise her. He said that he would have used even more force against a group of black teenagers who were thrown to the ground by police outside a public swimming pool in Ohio, telling people who saw a racial component in the action to “shut up already.”

Clarke has been colorful in his condemnation of President Obama and Hillary Clinton for sympathizing with the Black Lives Matter movement, calling them “straight-up cop haters.” He called Obama a “heartless, soulless bastard” for speaking up about “goons” killed by police and said that the Obama administration’s attempts to address racial disparities in policing were a plot to “emasculate the police” in order to impose dictatorial control.” He accused the president of worsening racial divides in the country by pitting “whites against blacks” and “Hispanics against Americans.”

The sheriff is also happy to throw red meat to his conservative audience on a number of other topics. After the Supreme Court struck down state marriage equality bans, Clarke called for a “revolution” to “get this country back,” complete with “pitchforks and torches,” urging his audience to launch a standoff against the federal government the next time a bakery or the like is fined for refusing business to a same-sex couple.

When Trump caused a national uproar when he attacked a judge because of his Mexican-American heritage, Clarke took to his radio show to defend the candidate.

Clarke first became a conservative hero when, in 2013, he aired radio ads in his county urging citizens not to rely on calling 911 but instead to learn to protect themselves against crime. Speaking at the National Rifle Association’s convention last year, he proposed adding a semi-automatic rifle to the Great Seal of the United States. Appearing on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio program, Clarke warned that a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban would lead to gun confiscations that would spark “the second coming of the American Revolution, the likes of which would make the first revolution pale by comparison.”

While Clarke has no patience for African Americans who have deadly run-ins with the police, he has repeatedly associated himself with anti-government militia groups who have staged armed standoffs with federal government agents or who threaten to defy federal law. Earlier this year, when a group of armed activists took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, Clarke backed their cause, saying that the country had reached a “pitchforks and torches moment” that couldn’t be solved by an election.

In 2013, after he aired his ads discouraging citizens from relying on 911, Clarke accepted the “ Constitutional Sheriff of the Year” award from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, an anti-government group that promotes the idea that county sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officers in the country and thus have the power to defy federal laws that they believe are unconstitutional. In his acceptance speech , Clarke declared that “government” was the “common enemy” of the “patriots” in the room. In a radio interview that year, he said that “on an everyday basis, to me, federal government is a bigger threat” than terrorism.

Just this year, Clarke spoke at a fundraising event for the New York chapter of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government group aligned with the Constitutional Sheriffs that urges law enforcement officers and military personnel to defy laws they believe are unconstitutional and encourages its members to form militias ready to defy an out-of-control federal government. At that event, Clarke called Black Lives Matter a “hate group” and vowed to do “everything I can” to get Trump elected president.

Via RWW, click on over for the full story.

Also see: Why Sheriff Clarke will be a disaster in his new job, according to his predecessor: ‘Just plain awful’.

Fear! They Must Fear!

Tucker Viemeister.

Conservative allies are now poking and pushing the Tiny Tyrant to indulge in more firings, because naturally, the fault of the current mess lies with them! And them! Oh, and them too! One GOP operative even managed to blurt out a tiny bit of conservatruth, the importance of fear, because what good is a regime without that?

President Trump’s allies are pushing him to make drastic changes as the White House deals with persistent leaks and a communications strategy they believe has spun out of control.

There is a broad sense among Trump’s media boosters and early supporters that his staff is failing him, beginning with chief of staff Reince Priebus and extending to press secretary Sean Spicer, whose job security has been the subject of endless speculation.

Now, some of the most influential figures in conservative media are openly auditioning for Spicer’s job, calling for the ouster of communications director Mike Dubke or pushing the White House to fight back against the media by ending press briefings altogether.

Some of those measures — in particular the measure to freeze out the press — are catching on among Trump’s conservative base.

“I have always been against the White House doing daily press briefings and agree that an overhaul of how the communications team deals with the media is in order,” said Mark Meckler, cofounder of the Tea Party Patriots. “We are dealing with a media that is, by and large, hostile to conservatives, hostile to Republicans, hostile to ideas of limited government, fiscal responsibility and constitutionalism, and certainly hostile to this president. So the president and his staff should act accordingly.”

Why yes, of course, people being generally hostile to such ideas, that has nothing at all to do with ideas, no. Instead, stomping all over media and attempting to restrict information, that’s the ticket, yeah!

Hannity accused reporters of seeking publicity for themselves through public combat with the White House.

He said the White House should strike back by having reporters submit questions in writing, “giving the White House time to respond with clarity and specificity.” Following that, Spicer or deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders could then take a handful of questions from reporters on prearranged topics, Hannity said.

“If the White House follows this plan, I think the destroy-Trump propaganda media will have a much harder time misrepresenting the Trump administration positions and you, the American people, will be better served,” he said.

Oh my, just look at that radiating pile of wrong. We certainly wouldn’t want a president and spokespeople who were capable of actually thinking before talking, no, that would be bad. Instead, we’ll quash media by treating them like naughty kindergartners. Trump administration positions are not being misrepresented. They are being represented, which is why you’re all in such a stew. Can you imagine the reaction if anyone suggested such a plan with an earlier president? The cries of “Unamerican!” would roll like thunder across the land. As for being better served, count me out on being an American people.

Trump’s allies blame the uproar on a failure of Trump’s chief of staff to assert authority inside a White House bitten by daily leaks to the press that paint a chaotic and unflattering picture of the president.

“It all comes back to the chief of staff,” said one GOP operative with close ties to the White House.

“Nobody respects him; nobody is afraid of him,” the operative said of Priebus. “You need someone in there who makes people feel their career in Washington would be ruined by running afoul of the president.”

Ah, and there we have it, the core attitude of the Plutocrat Party™.  Fear! Fear is the key. Sounds Regime to me.

The Hill has the full story.

Like A Cat Covering Shit.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh.

By now, most people are aware that the Tiny Tyrant divulged classified information to the visiting Russians, and Mr. Tweet has had a whirlwind of justifications over it all, he can do whatever the fuck he wants because president! Yeah. The whole mess, and the tweets, are detailed at Think Progress, along with the standard problems in what passes for thought in Trump. The Fucking Idiot not only undercut all his aides by admitting to leaking all over the place, he’s been bragging about it, even to the point of referring to said leakage as humanitarian. Trump wouldn’t know humanitarian if it jumped up and gnawed his face off.  Why on earth anyone would be surprised by this, I don’t know. It’s all too standard behaviour on the Tiny Tyrant’s part. Nathan also has a good piece on the leaking of classified material.

Of more concern, I would say, is the journalistic rush to report that rethuglicans are pulling away from the wannabe dictator now, but unfortunately, that is not so, and this is no time to become complacent, and think they are going to kick his plush arse to the curb.

Source: NYT.

“Questions and concerns” do not mean jack shit when it comes to rethuglicans. It’s a handy, shopworn phrase tossed out to make them sound like they have the same concerns as all us peons, but they don’t. They are interested in two things: covering their asses, and more importantly, protecting their wallet and the various things which feed it. Think Progress has a breakdown of the actual sentiment right now.

And, Politico reports on the shambolic mess that is Trump House, where people are running about like chickens with heads cut off, not having the slightest idea of what is going to happen. Also per usual, Trump is like a cat jumping in a box, furiously digging in an attempt to cover up stinking shit, spraying sand and shit particles all over the place. There will be a shake up! There will be a reorganization! Oh hey, we have a trip coming up, and everyone will forget about Comey and leakage, you betcha!

What A Fuckin’ Mess Roundup.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks up during a meeting about healthcare at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque.

What a clusterfuck the regime does weave. This isn’t the proverbial web woven by lies and deception, it’s more like the spit-cement cocoons in Alien. There’s a whole lot of clusterfuck out there, here’s some of it.

If you haven’t quite figured out WTF yet, a good run down of recent events is here: James Comey, Donald Trump, Russiagate and the Mother’s Day Massacre.

Going with the theme of highly suspicious timing: Trump to meet Russia’s Lavrov day after Comey firing.

Naturally, Mr. Tweet appeared in a whirlwind to blame Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for, well, everything.

They fired Sally Yates. They fired Preet Bharara. And they fired James Comey.’ Yes, they certainly did, and that should make the need for an independent prosecutor clear, but I expect that will be another fight all on its own.

Kellyanne Whatsherface is back with “inappropriate to question the almighty Trumpety” and alternative facts, upsetting both Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper.

Conservative Rick Wilson begs GOP to get off the ‘mindless, soulless Trump Cult Train’ after Comey firing.

Trump advisers at heart of Russia probe celebrate Comey’s firing: “Somewhere Dick Nixon is smiling.”

The most powerful reactions to Trump’s abrupt firing of the FBI director: “We are in a full-fledged constitutional crisis.”

The two things you need to know about the Comey firing: Trump is an authoritarian. But Comey is a rank incompetent.

I think that’s enough Alien spit cocoons for now.

Oh, I guess not, a few more to add to the spit pile:

BOMBSHELL: Comey sought ‘significant increase’ in resources for Russia probe days before firing.

Trump excludes US media from meeting with Russian ambassador — but Russian state news allowed in.

‘Game of Thrones for morons’: Bannon-McMaster feud reaches new heights.

‘President Putin can fire anybody’: Federal official says Comey ouster is absolutely about Russia.

Those Primitive Indians Just Don’t Understand, No.

Obama Legacy; Bears Ears National Monument.

The Fight for Bears Ears has been going on for a very long time; people have been happy with Pres. Obama’s protective national monument status. Now the GOP is arguing that us dumb Indians, gosh, we just don’t understand. If places are declared national monuments, it will seriously impact our primitive lives, and we wouldn’t be able to do native stuff, like gather firewood, so um, just give us the land, and everything will be great! There really isn’t deep enough mockery for these arrogant colonialists.

Speaking alongside Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about the Trump administration’s order to review — and potentially shrink or eliminate — nearly 30 national monuments, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Native Americans were “manipulated” into their support for the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument southeastern Utah.

“The Indians, they don’t fully understand that a lot of the things that they currently take for granted on those lands, they won’t be able to do if it’s made clearly into a monument or a wilderness,” Hatch said on Sunday. “Once you put a monument there, you do restrict a lot of things that could be done, and that includes use of the land… Just take my word for it.”

Oh, right. We should just take the word of a white man. Gosh, that’s worked so well in the past.

Hatch’s dismissal of native voices is not only condescending, it is incredibly inaccurate in the case of Bears Ears. Protections for Bears Ears were nearly 80 years in the making. Most recently, the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, which brought together five tribal nations, pushed for the protection of the Bears Ears region. After the group received no substantial response from the Utah Congressional delegation about protecting the area, the group opted to propose that President Barack Obama should create a national monument, which he did in December 2016.

[…]

But variations of Hatch’s argument have been routinely made by critics of the national monuments — namely, Republican politicians in Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has long purported that a national monument would get rid of critical tribal activities, such as firewood gathering. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) similarly stoked fears that the federal government would seize native American land for the monument. Utah state legislator Mike Noel (R), who is looking to join the Trump administration, launched an investigation into the tribal support of a Bears Ears National Monument, calling it a “charade.”

These accusations are part of a continued misinformation campaign targeting tribal members that started during the lead-up to the monument designation. In the summer of 2016, flyers meant to antagonize local Navajo were found posted around towns adjacent to the now national monument. One of the flyers impersonated an Interior Department press release that claimed the government would be taking over four million acres of Navajo reservation land. Others suggested the national monument would ban firewood gathering and Native American access.

Think Progress has the full story.

“That was before we became this dark, dystopian data company that gave the world Trump,”

The Guardian.

Carole Cadwalladr has an extensive and in-depth piece on the shadowy world of the Mercers and others, and their aims, none of which will make you rest easy. The age of reasoned paranoia is upon us. Recommended reading.

“That was before we became this dark, dystopian data company that gave the world Trump,” a former Cambridge Analytica employee who I’ll call Paul tells me. “It was back when we were still just a psychological warfare firm.”

Was that really what you called it, I ask him. Psychological warfare? “Totally. That’s what it is. Psyops. Psychological operations – the same methods the military use to effect mass sentiment change. It’s what they mean by winning ‘hearts and minds’. We were just doing it to win elections in the kind of developing countries that don’t have many rules.”

Full story at The Guardian.

“The roadblocks end where the white people start.”

Madison County Sheriff Randall Tucker. CREDIT: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis.

Oh my, segregation and a demand to show “papers”, along with the constant milking of people of colour for cash, which helps to keep them in a cycle of poverty as well. Anyone surprised this is going on in Mississippi in 2017?

Madison County, Mississippi, is among the most segregated places in America. Past court decisions have made note of its “racial isolation” and “confluence of…geography and demography.”

Part of the reason the state’s wealthiest county remains so divided, according to a new class-action lawsuit filed Monday, is that county leaders want it that way — and are willing to use local law enforcement to enforce an unofficial cordon around the county’s roughly 40,000 black residents.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) “has implemented a coordinated top-down program of methodically targeting Black individuals for suspicionless searches and seizures,” the suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and pro-bono lawyers from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett says. The suit names 10 individual plaintiffs but seeks injunctive relief on behalf of “thousands of victims” of the county’s policies.

The roadblocks and checkpoints MCSD allegedly maintains are not like the random DUI stops many motorists have encountered here and there. Plainclothes deputies typically wait in unmarked cars, giving the stops an ambush feel at odds with the sirens-and-orange-cones officialdom of a typical checkpoint.

What’s more, the complaint says, the department locates these camouflaged identification inspections in and around the few communities in Madison County where there is a concentrated black population.

The alleged system requires African-American residents submit to unconstitutional searches and seizures as part of the normal course of going to and from their homes, which the suit argues is a violation of the Constitution as well as of their personal dignity.

“Forcing citizens of the United States to ‘show their papers’ in this fashion runs afoul of the law as well as the most basic norms of decency in domestic policing,” the suit says.

There’s much more to the story, click on over to Think Progress.

Sunday Facepalm.

artika.info.

Yesterday, I briefly mentioned the stupidity of Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). Rather than just admitting his “no one ever died from not having access to health care” was extraordinarily wrong and stupid, he is, of course, doubling down, and blaming the media for focusing on a “5 second clip”. I think they are focusing on the stupid which fell steaming from your mouth, Mr. Labrador, especially in light of your history of saying equally stupid things in regard to health care.

On Saturday, Labrador posted a statement on the exchange, saying that his response “wasn’t very elegant” and criticizing the media coverage.

“In the five-second clip that the media is focusing on, I was trying to explain that all hospitals are required by law to treat patients in need of emergency care regardless of their ability to pay and that the Republican plan does not change that,” he said. “It certainly doesn’t help that the media is only highlighting a five-second video, instead of the entire exchange.”

Labrador’s longer explanation, however, also doesn’t hold up.

No kidding it doesn’t hold up. One of the reasons the Affordable Care Act was so necessary was because those without coverage would go to the ER, usually waiting until they were in a dire state. People taking care of their health in such a way drives up cost all the way around, for everyone. Mr. Labrador is also woefully ignorant of the fact that hospitals do come looking for their money, and they are quite serious about that, too. So, a really stupid, ineffective way to have a healthy citizenry, but that’s good, because you still have that option! I mean, if you don’t feel well, just go park yourself in a busy ER for 10 hours or so, you don’t need to work, right? Then, after you’ve been treated, and realize you can’t afford medicines or aftercare, you had best gather up all your stuff, get a new identity and move, because a big damn bill will be chasing you. Yeah, excellent choice, that. Well, as the rethugs have pointed out time and time again, there are options: there’s Jesus, or you could just die.

Think Progress has the full run down, with all the necessary numbers and links.