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Why not cut out the middle man?

Ezra Klein asks a very good question that so far I haven’t heard anyone ask before:

OMG, that makes so much sense!! Think of how much time has been wasted by Republicans moving their mouths and uttering sounds about supply side economics and trickle down and laffer curves. We could have spared them all the trouble if the tax cuts had gone directly to the middle class and poor people. After all, it’s their money, shouldn’t they use their own discretion spending it?

This makes almost too much sense. I can’t see the flaw in it. Wait, let me think… no, I can’t see any problems.

And what if we went back to one person one vote in sensibly drawn and sized congressional districts and electoral college maps? We might have stayed out of the Iraq war and elected a qualified presidential candidate who wouldn’t get a thrill out of taking away the health care of little children!!

I’m sure the clever people at Fox News will come up with a counter argument for why it’s audience should trust its betters, who are in office or power, after all, and by divine wisdom know what’s good for us or just good at annoying liberals.

But let’s just savor the crystal clarity of the moment

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Another day at the zoo

If Donald’s development goal for the year is learning how to be the most callous person in the country then he has exceeded expectations.

Obamacare is dead, he says, jumping up and down with glee while simultaneously stomping on the heads of “the underserving”, whoever they are.

He still hasn’t called the families of the 4 US servicemen killed in Niger recently. He doesn’t have time, or so he says.

Puerto Rico is still experiencing a catastrophe and he’s pretty much written off 3,500,000 Americans, leaving most of them without clean water or electricity. Well, did they pay their creditors?

I don’t know, Donald, did you?

And California is hurting big time over devastating fires that have killed over 40 people but you know, that’s not a tragedy like Katrina.

Greg Sargent says Republicans are trying to hold themselves hostage over tax reform. “Give the wealthy their tax cut or we’ll shoot ourselves.” Supposedly, the uber (alles) donors have read Republican lawmakers the riot act.

Like we have a problem with that. If they manage to get voted out of office because they got primaried from the right, well, jeez, how much worse can it get??

He’s accusing the Democrats of not supporting his agenda. Yes!! That’s what we’re going to run on next year. WE didn’t support this crap. Are you kidding me? Please gift us some more.

And there is a series of YouTube videos about how Democracies Fall taken from a symposium a couple of weeks ago at Yale. The first speaker, Timur Kuran of Duke University, says what is happening here isn’t caused by globalization or the racism backlash to any significant extent. No, it’s caused by the collapse of the class compromise that we prospered under for the last 80 years due to The New Deal. It started at about the time Jimmy Carter was president. This actually sounds about right. I just wish I’d stayed awake to hear the rest of it. Worth it if you’re into cause and effect and reality based stuff.

Ayayay! No matter how apolitical you claim to be, this stuff has a way of catching up to you.

I’m outta here, Conflucians. I need some down time:

The War on Solstice

For some reason, the so-called “values voters” (self titled), are celebrating that they can now say “Merry Christmas” after years of tyranny by the vast atheist conspiracy outlawing Christmas and any references to it.

Who can forget the years of deprivation, the disappearance of Christmas Trees, the day the colored lights went out, the Anti-Christmas patrols, riding around in riot gear on the backs of flat bed trucks ready to shoot out Christmas stars and transport Merry Christmas greeting violators to the prison planet of Chiron Beta Prime.

Oh, wait that only happens to Jehovah’s Witness kids.

Or was that 17th century England during Oliver Cromwell’s party days?

Never mind.

I love Christmas time. Hey, it was stolen from people who have been celebrating Solstice since time immemorial. But, ok, sure, if you want to call it Christmas, it’s no skin off my nose. {{rolling eyes}}

You don’t have to be a witch to celebrate Solstice. It’s for anyone who marvels at creation and the natural world, regardless of your flavor of god, Flying Spaghetti Monster or non-god belief system. Really, we Solstice celebrators aren’t going to lose sleep over what you celebrate. Knock yourselves out. It’s none of our business.

But “Happy Solstice” is the original greeting. So all you values voters, get over yourselves already.

We just don’t care.

Why are these people so happy?

They just watched Donald sign away the healthcare insurance subsidies for millions and millions of low income people!! Of all colors. Yes, now black and white, poor and just getting by, the economically insecure and the irrationally aggrieved can all have more freedom to pay the full freight on their already expensive policies or go completely without and risk bankruptcy!

And what’s wrong with bankruptcy?? Donald has done it a few times.

Oh, look, Rand Paul is front and center. Free at last! Free at last! Ugly middle aged white guys who don’t think they have to share the planet with the rest of us are free at last from the stultifying grasp of the takers who can’t seem to get their shit together and become independently wealthy.

Suck it up, you whiners.

*********************************

*********************************

Over at The Conversation, JB Silvers, Professor of Health Finance at Case Western Reserve Univ says Trump’s executive order gutting the subsidies is unlikely to fix Obamacare.

Silvers is the master of understatement. Or irony.

Nevertheless, his explanation as to why Trump’s EO is so phenomenally bad is remarkably easy to read. I encourage Trump voters to give it a try. For one thing, it’s in English, so, you know, no immigrants involved. And secondly, it’s about time you guys realized what you’re up against.

No one said Obamacare was perfect, well, no one at THIS blog. I grew up as a Navy brat and had the equivalent of socialized medicine and you know what? The clinics were plain and generic, the waiting rooms busy and the waits were sometimes long but I really can’t complain about the medicine. It was pretty good. Go ask my sister the chronic asthmatic whose life was saved many times by military doctor’s. You don’t need valet parking at your doctor’s office. Making you feel special does not always equate to good healthcare.

I suspect many of us could get around all the fancy accoutrements as long as we got an ice pack while we waited for our broken arm to be set without said ice pack costing a fortune. (True story. Happened to me). There are all kinds of varieties of national health care strategies to choose from. They all involve some measure of cost control, which is the real bugaboo. And Obamacare had no cost control measures except high deductibles so that everyone would “have skin in the game”.

But Obamacare was better than a sharp stick in the eye, which will now go untreated. Now, it’s pretty much stripped of any meaning.

Isn’t it funny how it all goes to hell at once??

The American citizens in the Country of Puerto Rico are starting to die from dirty water.

DOH! Didnt see that coming.

Meanwhile, California wine country, home to a $50 BILLION industry is still burning. There are now 23 dead. But you know, California is a blue state and they have just passed a bill protecting sanctuary cities and Donald has a base who want him to beat the living crap crack down on immigrants so… you know, there’s that…

(For more on the crisis in California, follow Lady V’s twitter account @ChaliceGarden.)

Child Donald is hating everyone in the White House. They’re all scrambling to keep him from going to the “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!” phase, to be followed by “I WANT TO DO IT ALL BY MYSELF!!”

(this is when most parents put plugs in their ears, traffic cones around the screaming toddler on the floor and patiently wait it out. This kid is going to be trickier. Well, for one thing, he’s 6’2”, overweight, ugly and has found the matches. Note to Melania: stop feeding him carrots)

Today, he is threatening to make healthcare cheaper and better. Since this isn’t going to happen without it being prohibitively more expensive and way less better for people with pre-existing conditions, not to mention 9 million children whose existing healthcare is going away very, very rapidly, it can only mean that Donald cares only about young white males between the ages of 18-35. The rest of us can die, die, die because he hates all of us.

But it’s not enough to ruin Americans’ lives. He’s about to bring down the world economy with his rash, ill-informed and badly planned destruction of NAFTA. (You might hate it but destroying it is the equivalent of Brexit and who wants to see that happen?)

Where are the smart ass dwarf and Essence of Nightshade when we need them??

Ooo, Joffrey insults a veteran. Can we get John McCain to play Tywin? Pretty please??

Everything’s fine. Why do you ask?

Oh I dunno. Maybe it’s because the annoying orange’s cabinet in the White House is seriously considering invoking the 25th amendment?

He doesn’t even know what that is.

According to two sources familiar with the conversation, Trump vented to his longtime security chief, Keith Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!” (A White House official denies this.) Two senior Republican officials said Chief of Staff John Kelly is miserable in his job and is remaining out of a sense of duty to keep Trump from making some sort of disastrous decision. Today, speculation about Kelly’s future increased after Politico reported that Kelly’s deputy Kirstjen Nielsen is likely to be named Homeland Security Secretary—the theory among some Republicans is that Kelly wanted to give her a soft landing before his departure.

One former official even speculated that Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have discussed what they would do in the event Trump ordered a nuclear first strike. “Would they tackle him?” the person said. Even Trump’s most loyal backers are sowing public doubts. This morning, The Washington Post quoted longtime Trump friend Tom Barrack saying he has been “shocked” and “stunned” by Trump’s behavior.

Ahhh, the Jaime Lannister Maneuver. Lol! How much do you want to bet they’re calling it that in private.

Jeezus Tap Dancing Christ.

Lady V said this would happen eventually. Let’s hope he doesn’t take the rest of us down with him.

Woot! It’s National Coming Out Day.

Live authentically. It’s good for you. It’s good for business. It makes life more interesting when everyone is not all the same flavor.

I don’t get why there is so much opposition to LBGTQ people. Usually, the argument goes, “you shouldn’t be gay because people will treat you badly”. I don’t get that. So, if people didn’t treat you badly, what exactly would be the problem?

Anyway, love is love. Happy Coming Out Day to everyone.