The Death of Medicaid.

Al Franken at The BookExpo2017 in New York City, 6/1/17. CREDIT: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx.

Getting back to the Fuck You Care Plan, which gets worse at every small reveal. The denials over medicaid come in fast and furious, from evasive denials to outright lies, but the bottom line is quite simple: money will go into select filthy rich pockets; medicaid will be dead in few short years.

The bill would in fact massively cut Medicaid, threatening to completely phase out the program as we currently know it. The legislation would roll back Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, starting in four short years. It would also make deeper cuts to Medicaid by placing “per capita caps” on the program such that states will receive only a set amount of money for each recipient, no matter how much their care actually costs.

Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicaid in the Obama administration, said on Twitter that “the main event in the Senate bill is the destruction of Medicaid,” characterizing it as “far, far worse than even the House bill.” And the House bill, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office, would leave 23 million more people without coverage.

But Trump administration officials presented alternative facts on Sunday.

Full story here.

Monday morning on MSNBC, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) countered Roy’s argument. He noted that the tax cuts that Trumpcare would deliver to the richest 400 taxpayers would pay for 750,000 people to be on Medicaid. Franken didn’t rely on a single study but cited the more comprehensive analysis of recent research on Medicaid published in NEJM. These researchers found that for every 750,000 people who lose Medicaid coverage, 1,000 to 2,000 people would die.

Franken actually understates the case. The NEJM cited a recent study estimating that Medicaid expansion has saved one life for every 239 to 319 people covered. That means enrolling 750,000 people in Medicaid could actually save 2,300 to 3,100 lives.

Full story here.

Pence’s Pandering.

Yesterday was Focus on the Family’s 40th anniversary. I remember 1977 well enough, and I remember the low stirrings of this evil beast of christianity. Back then, no one took this sort of nonsense seriously; Wildmon was ranting about decadent television shows, which had little more effect than to boost ratings for said shows. The anti-abortion groups were just starting up, and most of the fanatical groups were focusing on that during the remains of the ’70s. They didn’t start getting serious traction until the mid ’80s.

Before Pence took the stage, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly announced that the group would donate an ultrasound machine to a crisis pregnancy center in Indiana in the vice president’s honor.

Pence began his speech by delivering greetings from Trump, “a good friend of mine, who’s a leader, who’s a believer, who’s a tireless defender of the values that will make America great again,” and praising firebrand Focus on the Family founder James Dobson as a “friend” and a “mentor.”

“I promise you, Focus on the Family, you have an unwavering ally in President Donald Trump,” he said.

This is why I wish people wouldn’t keep nattering on about how Pence would be so much worse than Trump as far as the presidency is concerned. Trump is beginning to lose support even among his faithful, he cannot afford to alienate those christians who would like a theocracy. They are, unfortunately, a powerful base, one most moderate christians won’t oppose for one reason or another. So far, Trump has gone out of his way to give these fanatics what they want.

Pence assured the group that Trump would stand beside them in defense of “those who are persecuted for their faith, no matter the country they call home or the creed they profess,”

Um, I, uh, no. No, that’s not what’s happening, not at all. The Tiny Tyrant is busy persecuting the hell out of a whole lot of theists.

“President Trump has stood without apology for the most vulnerable in our society, the aged, the disabled, the infirm and the unborn,”

:Snort: Yeah, right. The ‘unborn’ aren’t people. I’m aged, and while I don’t consider myself disabled, I do have specific health problems which impact my quality of life. Whatever side Trump is on, it’s certainly not mine, and it’s not anyone else’s, either, unless you count billionaire’s row. Stripping people of healthcare and safety nets? That’s not care, of any kind. The only thing Trump stands for is his own pockets.

But Pence saved his most impassioned praise for Trump’s opposition to abortion rights, telling the audience that Trump “stands without apology for the sanctity of human life.” He cited the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, also known as the global gag rule, the elimination of U.S. support for the UN Population Fund, and the passage of a law allowing states to pull funding from Planned Parenthood.

“And this summer, when we repeal and replace Obamacare, we’re going to defund Planned Parenthood once and for all,” he promised.

Oh, there’s the wet dream of all those fundies: no more Planned Parenthood. Today would be a good day for donations. There’s video of the whole mess at RWW.

Nurturing Hate.

Christian Picciolini, founder of the group Life After Hate, is pictured. | AP Photo.

If there is one thing the Regime is good at, it’s nurturing hate, encouraging bigotry, and fomenting unreasonable fear. Life After Hate is a small organization dedicated to de-radicalizing those in violent, extremist groups. They have lost their funding, because the Tiny Tyrant & Co. don’t believe in domestic terrorism.

The Trump administration has dropped federal support of an organization dedicated to countering white nationalist and neo-Nazi extremism, a Politico report revealed on Friday.

The organization, Life After Hate, was founded in 2009 and is run by a small staff of men and women who were once part of racist activist and extremist movements, and who now work to de-radicalize others involved in violent extremist groups.

In its final days, the Obama administration awarded the group a $400,000 grant as part of its Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) program. Life After Hate was the only group dedicated to fighting white nationalist extremism to receive a grant under the program.

It’s also in increasing demand: Picciolini told Politico that since President Trump’s election, Life After Hate has seen a 20-fold increase in requests for help, coming “from people looking to disengage or bystanders/family members looking for help from someone they know.”

But Life After Hate Founder Christian Picciolini told ThinkProgress in February the group never received its check from the federal government. And now, the organization has been dropped altogether from the list of grants associated with the CVE program, which the Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday.

[…]

“It sends a message that white extremism does not exist, or is not a priority in our country, when in fact it is a statistically larger and more present terror threat than any by foreign or other domestic actors,” Picciolini said at the time.

[…]

“We can simply look at recent history, from Dylann Roof to Wade Michael Page to countless others who killed innocent victims in the name of white supremacist ideologies,” Picciolini added. “We have hundreds of thousands of homegrown sovereign citizens and militia members with ties to white nationalism training in paramilitary camps across the U.S. and standing armed in front of mosques to intimidate marginalized Americans. The terror threat is already within our borders, yet we refuse to even call it terrorism when it happens.”

Picciolini told ThinkProgress that the Trump administration’s decision to shift away from efforts to combat far-right hate could actually make future terrorist attacks more likely. And, the shift comes at the very moment that reports indicate far-right hate is on the rise.

Think Progress has the full story. Life After Hate.

Tiny Tyrant: Poor People Need Not Apply.

Screen capture.

Politics tends to be a game for the wealthy, although every now and then, someone without significant monies gets in. A short while ago, the Tiny Tyrant, looking at crushing disapproval and clouds of scandals coming home to roost, decided to get back on the ol’ campaign rally trail, because by gosh, some people just love him. I’m getting the distinct feeling this “strategy” isn’t going to work out all that great for Donny. He seems to forget that he’s not a candidate now, so just saying whatever pops into that pea brain of his isn’t the brightest of plans. In Iowa, he explained how poor people just weren’t wanted, and how they are just, um, icky.

Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to appoint cabinet members with significant personal wealth, arguing he doesn’t “want a poor person” in charge of the economy.

Trump was speaking about Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs banker the president appointed as his chief economic advisor—despite promising to “drain the swamp” during his presidency.

“I love all people,” Trump said during a campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids, IA. “Rich or poor. But in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?”

No, it doesn’t make sense. Not one little fuckin’ bit, Donny. I’d like to know how Donny defines poor. What constitutes a poor person in TrumpWorld? I imagine a two income household that manages to scrape past the $100,000 mark each year would be considered pitifully poor to those on billionaire’s row. As for all of us well below that mark? I’m not altogether sure we’re even visible.

Trump has received significant criticism for his appointment of Cohn, as well as Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Although he ran on a populist platform, Trump’s cabinet has a combined net worth of $6 billion.

Six billion. There’s a figure which is little more than a nebulous abstract to this person. How does anyone in the rarefied, atrophic atmosphere of billions and billions define poor? And how does that definition relate, in any way, to those of us on planet earth?

Via Raw Story, where there’s video. Turns out, this post is hand and glove with one of Marcus’s, on Propaganda.

The Tiny Tyrant’s Tax Evasion.

Via Twitter.

The people of Briarcliff Manor, NY, are rather upset with the Tiny Tyrant, and for very good reason. Turns out, Trump doesn’t want to pay his taxes. Alright, everyone who’s surprise, raise your hand. Not wanting to pay taxes is no great shock, there’s a reason people want to see those tax returns; what is of interest is why Trump doesn’t want to pay the property tax on his golf course.

ABC News reports that the Trump organization has filed a legal challenge with Briarcliff Manor to knock $250,000 off the property tax bill for the Trump National Golf Club, Westchester. ABC News notes that the organization’s challenge is “who resent having to assume the burden of paying additional taxes to support town services and the local school district.”

Emphasis mine. I’m just gonna let that sit there and sink in. This is from the Major Moron who never shut up about “making America great again”.

And Gloria Fried, the receiver of taxes for Ossining, tells ABC that “it is very difficult when you see someone who has all these assets at his disposal who would rather pay lawyers to avoid his civic duty of paying taxes.”

I imagine that avoiding civic duties is a way of life for the Tiny Tyrant, and all the fucking idiots put him in the white house. If I thought they were capable of it, I’d say they ought to be absolutely mortified.

Via Raw Story.

When Words Come Back To Bite Your Ass.

In this photo taken April 21, 2010, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks about financial reform at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. In a letter circulated by Hatch Thursday, March 3, 2011. CREDIT: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak.

With all the secrecy and other slimy moves in the ramming through of the Fuck You Care Plan, an interesting op-ed has surfaced, from Orrin Hatch. It certainly highlights the ongoing hypocrisy of rethuglicans, and why you can never trust anything they might say, and certainly not what they might do.

In short, in less than a week, Senate Republicans are considering ramming through a major piece of legislation that the public has not seen and will not be able to respond to, and they’re using a method specifically designed to circumvent any mechanism the Constitution allows the Senate’s minority party to stop it.

But don’t take it from me: Take it from Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who agitated fiercely against the Senate Democrats’ rumored plan to pass Obamacare through reconciliation in 2010.

“This use of reconciliation to jam through this legislation, against the will of the American people, would be unprecedented in scope,” Hatch wrote in a 2010 Washington Post op-ed titled “Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process.” “And the havoc wrought would threaten our system of checks and balances, corrode the legislative process, degrade our system of government and damage the prospects of bipartisanship.”

In the op-ed, Hatch details exactly how reconciliation allows a majority party to abuse parliamentary power, and why it’s inappropriate for health care. “It sharply limits debate and amendments to a mere 20 hours and would allow passage with only 51 votes (as opposed to the 60 needed to overcome a procedural hurdle),” he wrote. “But the Constitution intends the opposite process, especially for a bill that would affect one-sixth of the American economy.”

Now, of course, Hatch is all for the terrible process, and defends the secrecy on the basis it won’t give democrats a chance to criticise, because as we all now know, criticism is just the worst thing ever.

According to Hatch, holding public hearings on Senate Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan would be useless, because those hearings would only give Democrats opportunity for criticism.

“We have zero cooperation from the Democrats,” he told reporters. “So getting it in public gives them a chance to get up and scream.”

When it was Obamacare on the table, Hatch was a staunch proponent of bipartisanship, arguing in an open letter to Obama that “our nation expects us to solve this challenge in an open, honest and bipartisan manner.” He added that “the American people deserve an open and vigorous dialogue on this critical legislation and the use of this process would be a clear signal that Washington continues to ignore their voices.”

Think Progress has the full embarrassing story. Well, it would be embarrassing to anyone except a rethuglican.

Media, Oh Media, Wherefore Art Thou?

CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

The Senate secrecy over the Fuck You Care Plan is working, and like a dream. It’s not being covered, anywhere, by anyone. Granted, there’s not a whole lot of story there, but media has no business ignoring it to the point that it seems it’s not a reality. If anything, media should be pounding on this, hard. If there’s a case of the death of democracy, it’s right there.

The informal July 4 deadline Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has set for Senate Republicans to pass a health care bill that could strip coverage from 23 million Americans is rapidly approaching — but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the front page of major newspapers across the country on Monday.

National outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post featured no front-page coverage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as Trumpcare, which is being secretly written by an all-male group of senators. The lack of attention being paid to the bill indicates McConnell’s strategy of avoiding publicity by drafting the bill behind closed doors, holding no hearings, and unveiling the bill’s text at the last possible minute is paying dividends.

[…]

People who consume their news online also didn’t see any coverage on major outlets’ homepages Monday morning.

Trumpcare has also been a blip on the TV news radar. According to an analysis by Media Matters looking at coverage from June 1 through June 14, the bill has received scant mention on broadcast and cable news, with Republican secrecy surrounding the bill barely even being mentioned.

There’s a reason Republicans want to Trumpcare on the down low — even Fox News is unable to spin the unpopularity of the bill, which is essentially a tax cut for the rich masquerading as health care reform.

[…]

Progressive senators are trying to make the media take notice. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to Republican committee chairs with jurisdiction over Trumpcare requesting that they “schedule hearings to discuss, debate and hear testimony about the health care bill you are currently drafting in secret.”

The letter, which goes on to list each of the 31 rooms where a hearing could be held, says the millions of American who would be negatively impacted by Trumpcare “deserve an open and public debate over the bill.”

“The American Health Care Act would fundamentally redefine health care in our country,” it concludes. “To draft it behind closed doors and pass it without even one hearing is nothing short of legislative malpractice and a repudiation of all the Senate stands for.”

So…how about it, media? Can we get a little bit of outrage over this travesty? A little bit of attention? Think Progress has the full story, along with many images showing the complete lack of coverage.

The Tiny Tyrant’s Vacancy Problem.

It seems that the Regime has a vacancy problem. A big one. Not only are appointments not being made, and many a key position left unfilled, it seems that all the qualified people don’t want to work for the Tiny Tyrant. Golly, I wonder why. Could it be people don’t want to be served up a shit sandwich at the Bates White House?

President Donald Trump’s volatile temperament, an intensifying investigation into his aides’ possible collusion with Russia, and his firing of FBI Director James Comey, have made it a challenge to recruit and fill top leadership posts across the government, according to the Washington Post.

The cloud of uncertainty hanging over the Trump administration has complicated what the Post described as an “already slow pace” in filling the government’s top ranks.

“Republicans say they are turning down job offers to work for a chief executive whose volatile temperament makes them nervous,” according to the Post, which interviewed 27 people — including federal officials, Republican party activists, lobbyists, as well as candidates who Trump officials have tried to recruit — as part of its investigation.

The White House told the Post it doesn’t have a hiring problem, and blamed the slow pace on the vetting process that each candidate must undergo before being announced publicly. But data cited by the Post shows that compared to Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Trump is lagging in confirmed appointees to senior posts: Trump currently has 43 appointees, compared to the 151 appointees by Obama as of mid-June of his first term, and 130 appointees by Bush.

Oh right, the vetting process. So, in plainer parlance, you can’t find people willing to get on their knees and sell themselves lock, stock, and barrel to the Tiny Tyrant. I guess there aren’t many people left who haven’t said something critical about Trump. Time to lower your standards, I’d think, to at least somewhat match the compleat lack of standards present in Trump.

Some vacancies, including the U.S. ambassador to Japan and the Navy secretary, became a diplomatic issue this weekend, as some criticized Trump’s delays for “leaving a communications vacuum” while the United States and Japan dealt with the collision of a container ship and a U.S. naval destroyer off the coast of Japan on Saturday.

Former Obama administration official Brandon Friedman told The Guardian that the U.S. ambassador to Japan and the Navy Secretary would have played key roles during the search, serving as communication links between the U.S. Navy and government officials from Japan and the United States.

“The USS Fitzgerald might sink off Japan and the US President can’t call our ambassador or our navy secretary because we have neither,” Friedman told The Guardian.

I expect the Tiny Tyrant cares about these veterans as much as all the others he has gone out of his way to disrespect and dismiss. The collapse of democracy might be slow, rather than explosive and showy, but it’s real, and the crushing weight of it is being felt by all of us.

Think Progress has the full story.

The Incompetency Path To Autocracy.

Slate has an interview with Masha Gessen on the current state of affairs:

[… ] You wrote a piece for the Times called “Trump’s Incompetence Won’t Save Our Democracy.” I think the common answer from many Trump opponents is that his incompetence has been the real saving grace. Why do you disagree?

I think that incompetence is actually an integral part of autocracy taking hold. Basically, what we mean when we say that he is incompetent, in large part, is that he doesn’t understand the way American government functions. But because he’s wielding power, he’s reshaping government very quickly to fit his idea of how government should function, and that is autocracy. His incompetence is actually an integral part of the damage that he’s doing by turning something like a democracy into something like an autocracy.

That may be true, but wouldn’t autocracy function better if he was competent enough to actually staff his administration with cronies and pass laws that would entrench his power?

I guess it depends on what your ultimate fear is. If your ultimate fear is that he will pass legislation that will do terrible things, then you’re right. My ultimate fear is different. My ultimate fear is that he is destroying the structure and culture of American government.

That’s my fear too, aside from nuclear war.

But you don’t do this legislatively. The thing is, if you pass this terrible legislation, that’s reversible because the mechanism is transparent, the mechanism of damage, and then in the post-Trump era you reverse it by passing a different piece of legislation. That’s great. When he destroys things by eviscerating institutions, by changing the way that they actually function, that’s a much more difficult thing to reverse in a post-Trump era. The fact that they haven’t been able to fill positions is actually part of what I’m talking about in terms of the way that government is breaking up into discrete, opaque parts.

The State Department, which I happen to know more about than other agencies, which isn’t a whole lot, but the State Department is basically missing that entire layer of political appointees who would normally ensure that there’s communication between the top and the career staffers who do most of the on-the-ground work. With that layer gone, they are all sort of functioning in a kind of airless space. If they still have money that they’re supposed to spend on programs that are still sort of maybe valid, then they will, but they’re not sure that that’s what they’re supposed to be doing, and they have no one to talk to about it, which is not to say that they’re making terrible decisions. They’re possibly, in fact probably making the best possible decisions under the circumstances, but they’re making those decisions out of the public eye. Restoring that system of accountability, which wasn’t that great in the first place, is much more difficult than reversing legislation.

The full interview is at Slate, and well worth reading. I’d say Ms. Gessen’s take on the incompetency factor takes on a new urgency, because this is the new strategy of the GOP, protecting and defending Trump from all accountability and accusation, “he didn’t know better” and “he’s not competent in politics”.  Think Progress has the full story on the new double speak of the incompetency defense.

Mr. Tweet: Witch Hunt! Witch Hunt! Witch Hunt!

Old drawing of the death of Giles Corey (Sept. 19, 1692) by being pressed with heavy stones for failing to enter a plea to the charge of being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials.

Mr. Tweet has been at it again, this time screaming WITCH HUNT in all caps.

Trump: “You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people!

Okay, let’s talk American witch hunts. While they never reached the same pitch and ferocity of those in other countries, the devastation was still tremendous, as it always is, when people are singled out for being different, or for various personal reasons, condemned, tortured, and executed. Lest we all forget, the Tiny Tyrant is highly favourable to singling out people for being different, or on the basis of personal bias. Trump is not the sort of person who would be persecuted, he’s the type who would be (and is) a persecutor. As always, wealth defines position, and power.

It’s infuriating when fucking idiots decided to screech “witch hunt!” over the slightest of criticisms, let alone over the consequences of their own actions. These things have absolutely no resemblance to a witch trial in any way, shape, or form. Even if you want to stick to ‘American political witch hunt’, as always, Donny is wrong. I’m pretty sure that the McCarthy hearings and the The House Un-American Activities Committee win that one. We can go farther back, too, but the bottom line here is that there is no terrible witch hunt, political or otherwise happening. Not that history would have any meaning to the Tiny Tyrant, why history didn’t include him! The whole crying witch hunt has always gotten stuck in my craw, especially now, because I saw that Christie’s will be auctioning off a rare deposition from the Salem witch trials, a deposition which helped to seal the fate of a poor, 76 year old widow. Margaret Scott was hanged, along with Mary Eastey, Martha Corey, Ann Pudeator, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Parker, Alice Parker, and Wilmot Redd. This was the last group to suffer and die at the hands of hysterical christians.

The deposition of Mary Daniel against Margaret Scott (August 4, 1692), sworn to on September 15, 1692 then introduced as evidence, with autograph endorsement signed by Stephen Sewall as clerk to the Salem court. Margaret Scott was one of the people executed during the Salem Witch Trials (courtesy the Eric C. Caren Collection/Christie’s).

It’s important to remember that people died, many of them in the worst and most gruesome ways, and it is not alright to decide that criticism or having to take responsibility for yourself is in any way a witch hunt.

You can see and read more about the deposition at Hyperallergic.

As for the not-a-witch-hunt investigation, Think Progress has the full run down.

Event Planner In Charge of Federal Housing.

Lynne Patton (YouTube).

An event planner with no political experience whatsoever, and a trail of bogus degrees has been placed in charge of federal housing programs in NYC. Ms. Patton was one of the people running Eric Trump’s fraudulent charity. So you can see why the Tiny Tyrant chose her: a liar, happily corrupt, with experience in committing fraud.

Donald Trump has named an event planner with no relevant experience and a sketchy resume to oversee federal housing programs in New York City.

Lynne Patton, who arranged Eric Trump’s wedding and tournaments at the president’s golf courses, was appointed Wednesday to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, reported the New York Daily News.

Patton will oversee the distribution of billions of dollars in taxpayer money to public housing authorities, as well as tens of thousands of rental vouchers and block grants to fund housing inspections and programs for senior citizens.

She has no housing experience, and Patton has claimed degrees she did not earn.

Her LinkedIn profile claims a law degree from Quinnipiac University, although the school’s registrar said Patton attended for two semesters but did not graduate.

She also listed Yale University on the social media profile, but HUD officials were unsure why.

[…]

Patton defended HUD Secretary Ben Carson last month, after he said poverty was a state of mind, and praised White House budget director Mick Mulvaney for saying the Trump administration would “measure compassion” by the number of people who were removed from government assistance programs.

If you are in NYC, and had hopes of help in this direction, you might want to start looking elsewhere. Via Raw Story.

Another Bad Bush.

John K. Bush, one of Trump’s federal judicial nominees, found himself in the position of having defend previous blog posts, which cited heavily from WorldNetDaily, the batshit christian conservative’s “news” source. Bush is a profound birther, and rabidly anti-choice. In spite of all this, he will most likely end up confirmed, unless some rethuglicans root around and find both a brain and a conscience.

Given Bush’s prolific history as a political blogger, those opinions were on full display during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

Birtherism came up after Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) noted a blog post where Bush relied heavily on World Net Daily, a conservative site famous for touting conspiracy theories such as the birther libel against President Obama. In the post — which bears the grammatically-dubious title “‘Brother’s Keeper’ — As In, Keep That Anti-Obama Reporter In Jail!”  — Bush touted a World Net Daily story claiming that one of the publication’s reporters was being held by immigration officials in Kenya after the reporter went there to investigate Obama’s Kenyan half-brother.

[…]

In any event, Bush felt that he needed to distance himself from the birther website he once cited, telling Franken that “I was certainly not intending to endorse any views of another group, as far as birtherism goes,” when he wrote this particular blog post.

Questionable citations aside, many of Bush’s other blog posts stated much more directly how the judicial nominee views the world. In one post in particular, for example, Bush claimed that “the two greatest tragedies in our country” are “slavery and abortion.”

After Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked Bush if he still held this view, Bush attempted to paint his views on Roe v. Wade as relatively innocuous. “I believe that [Roe] is a tragedy,” he said, “in the sense that it divided our country.”

Later in the hearing, however, Bush revealed that he either does not believe that all divisive decisions are tragic, or that he has a very poor command of American history.

“Wouldn’t you characterize Brown v. Board of Education,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Bush, as “a case that divided our country?” In response, Bush first pled ignorance, then gave an historically-inaccurate answer.

“I wasn’t alive at the time of Brown,” Bush said. “But I don’t think it did.”

Well. There’s a heaping dose of flaming stupid. I didn’t exist at the time of Brown either, but I’m certainly aware of it, and aware of the massive divisiveness it caused, ripples of which abound to this day. You would have to be somewhere in the realm of complete dedication to ignorance to claim unawareness in this regard, especially if your career in life is that of a fucking judge. Fucking Idiot does not even begin to cover this.

In fairness, Bush’s ignorance of American civil rights history, while certainly not an optimal trait in a judge, might not prevent him from performing the core responsibilities of an appellate jurist. Typically, judges spend far more time parsing statutory language and consulting legal precedents than they do digging into political history.

But Bush is not like most people named to the federal bench. In a 2009 panel hosted by the conservative Federalist Society — an organization which has played a major role in selecting Trump’s judicial nominees — Bush aligned himself with originalism, the belief that the only valid way to interpret the Constitution is to apply its text in the way those words were originally understood at the time they were drafted.

Whatever the virtues or demerits of originalism as an interpretive method, it only works if the judges applying it have a deep command of history and the skills necessary to sort good historical arguments from bad ones. After all, how can someone figure out the original meaning of a text if they don’t understand the historical and political context that brought that text into being?

The fact that Bush knows so little about one of the most famous judicial decisions in American history does not suggest that he is up to this task.

I’d say that’s quite the understatement. The reality? Bush is yet another toady who will do whatever the Tiny Tyrant wants, regardless of law.

Think Progress has the full story.  * RWW watch also has this, along with video of the questioning by Franken.

196 Members of Congress: Suing Trump.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik.

The lawsuits against the Tiny Tyrant are piling up, and a good part of congress has decided to join in, this time dealing with the emoluments clause, which has been utterly shredded by the Tiny Tyrant, who seems to think this whole presidenting thing is just like his many sleazy real estate cons. He’s not entirely wrong about that, but he hasn’t even so much as made an effort at appearances. Unfortunately, this particular lawsuit will only deal with forcing the Tiny Tyrant to abide by the constitution. If successful though, it may provide the means of exposing the so-called business empire, so people can finally have a peek inside and see what’s truly there, and what isn’t.

Nearly 200 Democratic lawmakers will file suit against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, alleging that he is violating the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause by accepting payments from foreign governments through his businesses while president.

The plaintiffs include 30 Senators and 166 members of the House of Representatives — but a source familiar with the lawsuit said more lawmakers could join an amended complaint later if they wished. The case will be lead by the nonprofit Constitutional Accountability Center.

The lawsuit — and the sheer number of members of Congress participating — reflects the deep frustration of Democratic lawmakers with the leeway the White House has been given by the Republican majority in Congress.

Traditionally, Congress is taxed with oversight and accountability of the executive branch, which they carry out through hearings and other means. But the way Congress is set up gives extraordinary control to the majority party — and the Republicans in charge of the oversight committees have refused to investigate Trump, a Republican president, on issues involving his business activities.

Hamstrung by more traditional oversight means, and already shut out of any sort of working relationship with the president, Democratic lawmakers have now turned to the courts to try to force Trump to comply with the Constitution.

[…]

They also serve another purpose: As part of their discovery process, it is likely that the plaintiffs will ask for Trump’s tax returns.

From foreign profits to foreign debt, Trump has been unprecedentedly opaque about his finances for an American president. His tax returns pose the best chance at clearing up lingering questions over conflicts of interest and whether his decisions as president stand to benefit his pockets as a citizen.

But Trump has thus far refused all calls to make his tax returns public — meaning that these lawsuits may pose the public’s best chance at finally getting a look at exactly what the president’s business empire really looks like.

Think Progress has the full story.