So You’re A Republican Congressman Who Planned On Using The Debt Ceiling As Political Leverage

Rough day, buddy. Rough day.

Wednesday started out so promising. After your perfunctory daily blood sacrifice to Mammon, you attended a pancake prayer breakfast with your turtle friend Mitch and a dozen of his closest colleagues. “We’ve got a tough road ahead of us this September,” he intoned, jowls all aquiver, “But by gum, I’ve lubricated tax reform with our debt ceiling threat. We’ll be able to slide it through Congress to the president’s desk before month’s end.”

What callow youths you were this morning.

Apropos of nothing, the tangerine tyrant who roosts in your party like an obligate brood parasite smacked your best laid schemes upside the head.

President Trump, a man of few allegiances who seized control of the Republican Party in a hostile takeover, suddenly aligned himself with Democrats Wednesday on a series of key fiscal issues — and even gave a lift to North Dakota’s embattled Democratic U.S. senator.

Trump confounded his own party’s leaders when he cut a deal with Democratic congressional leaders — “Chuck and Nancy,” as the president informally referred to them — on a short-term plan to fund the government and raise its borrowing limit this month.

Trump’s surprise stance upended sensitive negotiations over the debt ceiling and other crucial policy areas this fall and further imperiled his already tenuous relationships with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

The episode is the latest turn in Trump’s extraordinary separation from his own party, as he distances himself to deflect blame for what has been a year of gridlock and missed opportunities for Republicans on Capitol Hill. It follows a summer of presidential stewing over McConnell and Ryan, both of whom Trump views as insufficiently loyal and weak in executing his agenda, according to his advisers.

After all you’ve done for the man, this is how he repays you and your party. After. All. You’ve. Done. You swallowed every pang of conscience, silenced every klaxon, stopped up your ears with candle wax so your party could take total control of Washington. You looked the other way when he groped other men’s mothers and daughters. You put up with his inane, embarrassing, counter-democratic blather on Twitter. You feebly defended his obstructions of justice. You turned off your brain and bowed so low your nose scraped the ground to get your way. For nothing. This cuckoo has offered only searing disappointment. And now he collaborates with the enemy?!

You realize you’ve grit your teeth so hard you’ve cracked a tooth. You wonder — and as you wonder, you know you’re not the only Republican congressman to be wondering this — has the time come for a 46th President of the United States? What do you need to do to get there? You hope Mike’s up for the job.

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Thirty)

The Totally Not Terrible Obamacare Replacement Bill Of 2017

It will make the American health care system an even greater debacle than it already is, but doesn’t House Republican Bill 1275 have a jolly good name?

The “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017” – its official title – has been introduced by Texas Representative Pete Sessions and begins its long slug through the House and Senate before hitting the President’s desk.

A lot to unpack there. “World’s Greatest?” It’s not even America’s greatest. Wouldn’t a truly great plan give women comprehensive access to contraception and reproductive health coverage? Wouldn’t it be great if single payer was universal?

The GOP shouldn’t take the same tack to sell us on the non-existence of their plan that Golden Fluff takes to selling us popcorn.

 

Paul Ryan And Mitch McConnell Want You To Die In A Gutter

Michael Hiltzik did a bang-up job of explaining why the GOP’s Affordable Care Act repeal bills are downright terrifying. Sure, they defund Planned Parenthood, kill the Medicaid expansion, would no longer require medical plans to afforably cover trifling things like hospitalization, maternity coverage and mental health coverage, but there’s also:

Income-based premium subsidies would be replaced by age-based subsidies, which will hurt working-class families in many states. Under the ACA, subsidies to help individual buyers afford premiums and (for poorer households) deductibles and co-pays were based on household income. The GOP measure will base them on the buyer’s age, instead, with older buyers receiving more help than younger. The GOP plan limits subsidies to $4,000 per individual; under the ACA, which also keys subsidies to the cost of benchmark insurance plans in the buyer’s home market, the subsidies theoretically could be several times higher.

When did the Republican Party’s motto become the chorus of a Dead Kennedys song?

Spice-r Up Your Life

House Republicans voted yesterday to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission. The EAC “helps states run elections and is the only federal agency charged with making sure voting machines can’t be hacked.” The NAACP and 37 other pro-democracy groups strenuously object.

Brain-warping video of the day: Following the Elizabeth Warren incident, Sean Spicelord performs verbal back flips to convince us that Coretta Scott King would have wanted shitbird Jeff Sessions to run the Department of Justice.

Hate ISIS? Great! Everyone hates ISIS! But Antifa activists have actually been shooting at them in northern Syria. Maybe that’s because they’re highly reasonable people.

Women’s March organizers have called for a general strike on February 17th. Alex Gourevitch says we’re nowhere near the point where a real general strike can be called.

This demand for a general strike looks less like that intensification and more like an attempt to leapfrog all the hard, long-term political work that goes before. At least some of those arguing for the general strike seem to sense that there is an element of bad faith here. For instance, Francine Prose added the qualification, which I have seen repeated in a number of places, that only those “who can do so without being fired” should go on strike. This must be the first time someone called for a general strike but exempted most of the working class.

BuzzFeed is doubling down on their antagonism of the new administration.

The Koch Brothers are concerned about the country’s slide into authoritarianism. They did their part to help get us to this place, but better later than never?

And now for something completely different: The Habits of Highly Erotic People.

According to a French audience member in her twenties, there is no French translation for a date, as in the official dinner/movie outing, which she clearly thought sounded deadly.

(Year Zero/Day Twenty)