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    • How to Stop Russian Election Interference
      Let us take as a given that Russia interfered in the last US election (though many of the accusations are unconvincing, some appear to be be true). I’m pushing this back to the top, for what I assume are obvious reasons. Originally published Feb 1, 2018. Why did they interfere? They most likely did so […]
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The Whipping of Beggars -with iPhones. 

The American Health Care Act gives a whole new meaning to the word American. It reminds me of Freedom Fries, remember that meme?  Leave it to Republicans to put a creative spin on Orwellian language that makes the rest of the country cringe with embarrassment. 

John Oliver gets into the weeds and explains just how many people will get screwed by this bill while the top .01% walks away with an additional $197,000 that they’ll never even notice. 

That reminds me of this passage from Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies about how Thomas Cromwell tried to get an infrastructure bill through parliament so that the poor wouldn’t riot in the streets when they couldn’t feed themselves: 

“In March [1536], Parliament knocks back his [Thomas Cromwell’s] new poor law. It was too much for the Commons to digest that rich men might have some duty to the poor. If you get fat, as some men do who profit from the wool trade, you have some responsibility to the men turned off their land, the laborers without labor, the sowers without a field. England needs roads, forts, harbors, bridges. Men need work. It’s a shame seeing them begging their bread, when honest labor could keep the realm secure. Can we not put them together, the hands and the tasks?

But Parliament cannot see how it is the State’s job to create work. Are not these matters in God’s hands, and is not poverty and dereliction part of his eternal order? To everything there is a season- a time to starve and a time to thieve. If rain falls six months solid and rots the grain in the fields, there must be Providence in it. God knows his trade. It is an outrage to the rich and enterprising to suggest that they should pay an income tax only to put bread in the mouths of the work shy. And if Secretary Cromwell argues that famine provokes criminality, well, are there not hangmen enough?

The King himself comes to the Commons to argue for the law. He wants to be Henry the Beloved, a father to his people, a shepherd to his flock. But the Commons sit stoney faced on their benches and stare him out. The wreckage of the measure is comprehensive. “It is ended up as an Act for the Whipping of Beggars”, Richard Rich says. “It is more against the poor than for them.”

plus ça change…

Don’t expect Donald Trump to try to make this bill better. For one thing, he doesn’t know how. He’s not a politician or a policy expert. And that’s what Trump voters apparently wanted. Someone with zero expertise on a very complicated issue. They should be delighted to finally actually get what they voted for. 


29 Responses

  1. Impeach and 2018 or 2018 and impeach, which one would you like?

    • I just got en e-mail from the DSCC stating that T-Dump had a close door meeting with billionaires asking them to give him a filibuster in 2018 of 27 democratic seats to republicans. The donations will start pouring.
      If something or someone does not derail all this tDump’s machinery, it will very likely happen.

  2. Yes.

  3. Opinion: Trump just created a formidable enemy
    After firing Preet Bharara, President Trump beware
    Paul Callan

    By Paul Callan

    Updated 5:52 PM ET, Sat March 11, 2017
    Bharara: I did not resign — I was fired


  4. I wonder what the results will be. In theory, if this bill passes, it could destroy the Republican Party for many years. Of course, we must take into account an Orwellian effect where they tell everyone that they are better off. This is what the absolutely odious Paul Ryan, someone who would probably embarass Ayn Rand and Herbert Spencer, is trying to do, telling people that this will cut the deficit and give them more choices! Yes, the choice between eating meals two days a week or one, depending on what insurance plan one buys. Or maybe it is just going without, not paying the fine, and trying to live in an abandoned car. Will the Trump/Ryan government ladle out soylent green crackers, like in the movie?

    On a brighter note, if the Democrats get the word out effectively, there might be an immense repercussion in the next election. And I do hope that the current crop of Broders and Greenfields, genial and decent people who quadrenhially chided the Democrats for “scaring people about Republican plans for Social Security or Medicare” might take a look around at what happens when the Rerpublicans have untrammeled power.

    On a completely different note, but maybe not so different at that, last night I saw a filmed version of Shaw’s “Saint Joan” from the Donmar Theater in England. I was not at all thrilled with some of the attempts to “modernise” the play with various gadgetry, but the acting was very good, and Gemma Arterton is superb. It was interesting that in the unforgettable trial scene, the lead inquisitor is played by a man who I think is British, but uses an American accent. And I could think of little other than the Behghazi hearings, all those cold and relentless men hammering away at HIllary. I am pretty sure that this is at least part of what the director had in mind. I do recommend it for anyone who loves theatre and classic plays; it will be showing at selected theatres next week as well, as part of the National Theatre film series.

  5. However bizarre this seems, the average white American proletarian actually respects, if not reveres, the rich man. The proles reserve their scorn and hatred for the managers and professionals (the latter being RD’s group).

    I have little use for Matt Taibbi the Hillary-basher, but one of the two times per day Taibbi the stopped clock was correct was when he wrote about the “peasant mentality” of non-elite white Americans.

    “A good peasant is loyal, simple-minded, and full of misdirected anger.”

  6. He’s not a politician or a policy expert.

    And he is not a lawyer.

    He has dug himself many holes at this point. On Russia, yes he recently blurted out wiretaps, if true he is in trouble, if not, he is in trouble. On immigration, he is acting like a mob landlord with thugs for enforcement doing eviction notices. He signs a Muslim ban EO and leaves breadcrumbs all the way to show that in its intent it IS a Muslim ban and therefore, unconstitutional. His minions who are non-lawyers spout non-lawyer things about it that can be used against it to strike it down. They are all fucking stupid. Yeah, let us say it again in his own words, words he can understand, they are STUPID. On healthcare, why are they so ugly and vicious, all of them, the whole GoP? We need to wrest power out of their hands before they steal and run our beloved country/democracy to ground. For a country brimming with lawyers, they can’t save us soon enough.

    And is something wrong with that guy Rex Tillerson? How the hell did this motherfucker run a big corporation? If he is not incompetent in that regard, all I can say is that he is not even remotely interested in his current job. He looks stupid in Trump’s words. I don’t think we can win anymore with this guy.

    • Tillerson was nominated for his ties to Russia and Putin. Competence is never a consideration with Trump.

      • Right. But something about his expressionless face. He knows he is a placeholder and is not there to run the department. But there is not even any hiding it. He looks bored.

        • They are brazen in their incompetence.

        • He looked bewildered and a little scared in those photo op clips with the ungreat Andrea Mitchell throwing questions at him.

  7. Preet Bharara, the proud immigrant… incredible video footage of his farewell to his colleagues. I hope he is appointed the special prosecutor and he and Comey bring the mfers in the WH to justice.

    • Preet Barara did not put any bankster fraudsters in jail. Nothing but fines. Seemed more like a shakedown than justice. Maybe should have been fired earlier. He had to be “fired” so he could claim victimhood to run for some political office in near future. Barf..Arara !!

      • Yeah, I am hearing other things too like why he didn’t go after the Wiener laptop case and Guiliani’s part in it during the campaign. But he knows a lot of awful Trump stuff and hope he does the right thing now.

  8. Feeling good… saw it in a Volvo commercial on TV first and it is so haunting that I had to hunt it down and found that the original song was by Nina Simone. The singer in this video is Audra Mae.

    • It’s actually from the musical “The Roar of the Greasepaint The Smell of the Crowd” by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse

  9. Anyone looking at the new Executive Order to dismantled the federal agencies??? Bannon’s plan to “deconstruct the administrative state.”

  10. OMG!!

  11. Off topic:

    Happy Pi Day! (3/14)

  12. ICYMI, Maddow is tweeting she has the buffoon’s taxes, show at 9.

    China and Russia bringing the mighty USA to its knees by installing and bribing a corrupt and amoral mfer in the WH. Shredding its democratic ways piece by piece. Oh, Kushner got his 600 (or is it 400) mil loan forgiven from the Chinese. Wonder why they would do that? I bet people have never seen anything like this before in US history. The media is neutered, stupid people are duped and hoodwinked.

    What is puzzling to me is that they are so arrogance that they are not even hiding their full bore corruption. They are daring us to dismantle them.

    • taxes are from 2005, meh…

      • And two pages only without forms from a non-bankrupt year. The usually clueless WH toadies could state this client copy is real, so smells like it’s a leak from The Donald. I’m waiting for the video.

  13. Word on the street is that Geraldo Rivera gave Rachel Maddow tips on how to pull off a scoop.

  14. Rachel was very deliberate in how she laid out the story and all its moving parts. She set the stage. She had a large audience and more people heard about what has been going on. The taxes are just a piece and the information that was presented last night, supports the reason why people should care about his taxes and why they should be released.

    More sh*t is hitting the fan today. Grassley and Feinstein looked gobsmacked when they came out of the intelligence meeting with Grassely. They couldn’t talk about anything they had heard. A video of it was on Twitter.

    • I agree. Her intro about why taxes are important especially from the foreign power/influence/agent context and corruption is very important here. This is like the head of state selling the country away to a foreign power piece by piece for self enrichment notwithstanding the fact that he may have been installed there by the same foreign power for that very purpose. Even the stupidest Trump supporter ought to understand that.

    • There are a bunch of theories for why 2005 out there — he had a lawsuit going on that year for which he need to produce tax returns though that are sealed; Melania became a citizen the next year so he needed to get it right. And there was enough there to benefit him from this leak for people to speculate that he himself leaked it.

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