Saturday, October 24, 2015

Last Call For The Nothing

Over at Steve's place, Tom Hilton wonder aloud if the breakdown in GOP "governance" was the plan all along.

Less than two weeks before we hit the debt ceiling, there's no clear pathto raising it. And as hilarious as Paul Ryan's fail may be, it just makes things that much more difficult, since he'll be as much a hostage to the Freedom Caucus as Boehner was. Maybe someone can see how this plays out without a default, but I can't.

And if there is a default, it won't be the Republicans who get punished. Sure, they'll get some bad press for a while. There'll be scolding editorials, maybe even calls from constituents. And...not much more.

But the longer-term economic consequences--we know who'll pay for that. If default throws us into a recession, if we're in a recession a year from now, the weakest Republican will beat the strongest Democrat. The GOP will strengthen their hold on Congress, and finally take the White House. At which point it's game over. All Dark. Forever.

And the Republicans incompetence or deliberate sabotage (likely both) will end up achieving what a billion dollars of Koch money couldn't.

That's my recurring nightmare. Someone, anyone, tell me I'm wrong about this. Please.

I wish I could Tom, but right now the health of our economy is 100% dependent on Paul Ryan and the notion that not even the Republicans are willing to destroy the economy to win in 2016. And Tom's right: Obama is president, and the Democrats will be blamed for an economic meltdown next year brought on by a debt default the way Bush was in 2008.  I'm still convinced that Obama would have lost handily in 2008 if the economy had held on for McCain for just two more months rather than coming unraveled in September, six weeks before the election.  In 48 hours, McCain had lost the election he should have easily won.

So no Tom, I can't talk you down. I'd ask "Are you willing to be America on that?"  But that's a pointless question.

We already have.  Better hope Paul Ryan can control the lunatics, or America is done.

Jeb Comes To Jesus

It looks like Bush, Inc. is making some frank decisions about the candidacy of Jeb, and the big guns are coming out to try to save him.

Jeb Bush will attend a finance meeting this weekend in Houston convened by former President George H. W. Bush and attended by Bush's brother, former President George W. Bush, CBS News has learned.

The session, designed to assess where Bush's candidacy stands in the face of large-scale staff cutbacks and underwhelming poll numbers, will also be attended by Bush's mother, Barbara Bush. The governor's campaign confirmed the meeting will be held Sunday and Monday.

CBS News has also learned George W. Bush will headline a fundraiser for Jeb Bush in Georgetown (Washington, DC) on Oct. 29. The fundraising email, which went out earlier this week, was sent by George W. Bush's two former chiefs of staff, Andy Card and Josh Bolten. Jeb Bush will not attend the fund-raiser.

The email, sent to Bush-Cheney alumni, praised Bush's "extraordinary record of accomplishment and conservative innovation" and said that George W. Bush "looks forward to seeing his old friends at this event and to sharing his enthusiasm for Jeb's candidacy." Bolten and Card suggested that for those who can't make the event, there would be "other opportunities around the country," and the email closed, "Your help today will help position Jeb for a successful outcome."

The event underscores the need for the former Florida governor to lean on his brother's fund-raising prowess to aid his struggling campaign.

Don Poppy, Barbara and Dubya are making it clear that playtime is over and the "real adults" are in charge of Jeb's campaign now.  He's blowing it, and the operatives are now taking over the reins. Their first act is getting the rabble back in line and that line is "Jeb will be the nominee and next President" and all the weight of the Bush network is being brought to bear.

We'll see just how much power the Bush crime family has left these days.  It's still considerable, but enough to counter the rage of the Tea Party and the rise of Trump/Carson as clear front-runners?

I don't know about that one.  But I'm still not convinced Jeb's done.  There's still tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, and that will keep him in the race through at least the early primary states.

After that though, who knows.

Like A Kansas Tornado, Con't

The Great Brownback Austerity Regime rolls on in Kansas, crushing everyone in its path, and state Republicans are starting to get nervous about all the cuts.  After all, they'll still have to face voters in 2016, unlike Brownback.

A Republican state senator in Kansas has blasted a memo from a spokeswoman for Gov. Sam Brownback that claimed expanding Medicaid in the state would be “morally reprehensible.” 
The newsletter, from GOP state Sen. Jeff King, provides further evidence that at least some Kansas Republicans are stepping away from the governor’s office, on issues from tax reform to Medicaid expansion. 
King — the vice president of the state Senate — represents the district that includes the now-closed hospital in Independence, Kan. His release takes aim at a memo from Melika Willoughby, the governor’s deputy communications director, that sharply criticized the idea of expanding Medicaid in the state. 
Willoughby called that expansion “morally reprehensible.” 
King denounced her claim. “I refuse to make moral judgments based on a person’s view of Medicaid expansion,” he writes in the newsletter. “I wish Ms. Willoughby would have done the same. 
“Maybe if her hospital were closing. Maybe if her parents were wondering where to go for emergency care. Maybe if she faced uncertainty in her health care future, she would view those looking for health care answers in a little less judgmental light. I leave that for her to sleep on at night,” he added.

Don't feel too bad for state Sen. King here, because he doesn't actually want Medicaid expansion either. Rather, his solution of course is to replace Medicaid with a "private insurance" program, where Kansas takes the Feds' money and then does everything but provide health insurance with it.

King says he supports expanding Medicaid, but through a private insurer.

“Our health care system failed Independence and it is failing tens of thousands of hardworking Kansans,” the letter says. “I don’t have all of the answers, but saying no to everything isn’t an option. I look forward to exploring the benefits of a conservative, Kansas-focused Medicaid expansion based on private insurance.

“Maybe, after we weigh our options and the costs of doing nothing, Ms. Willoughby will be less hasty to morally condemn those trying to solve our state’s toughest problems.”

But then again, Brownback is so hated that this fake Medicaid expansion looks great in comparison. That's how the game works, kids.

Read more here:

Read more here:

The Great Texas Uterus Roundup Of '15

Meanwhile, in "Republicans champion smaller, unobtrusive government that respects privacy rights" news, Texas Republicans are actually happy to use political power to target and destroy people who don't agree with them as the GOP War on Women becomes literal.

Texas sent agents to Planned Parenthood facilities on Thursday seeking documents, the group said, calling it a "politically motivated" move that comes on the heels of the state's Republican leaders barring it from receiving Medicaid money. 
Members of the Texas Office of the Inspector General made unannounced visits at Planned Parenthood health centers in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, staying in some cases for several hours and giving Planned Parenthood 24 hours to deliver thousands of pages of documents stored at its facilities across the state, the organization said. 
The Inspector General Office declined to comment, as did health officials. Inspector General agents were seen on local news reports entering a Planned Parenthood facility in San Antonio.
Texas, the most populous Republican-controlled U.S. state, said it would launch a probe of Planned Parenthood after the release of videos in July by anti-abortion activist group Center for Medical Progress in which a Planned Parenthood official is seen talking about transactions involving fetal tissue. 
“We believe this is a fishing expedition," Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region Chief Executive Officer Ken Lambrecht told a news conference in Austin, calling the request "politically motivated." 
Lambrecht said Texas had requested what Planned Parenthood sees as unnecessary information such as the home addresses of all its employees as well as their salaries and bonuses.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said this week: "The gruesome harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood will not be allowed." But the state has so far released no evidence of illegal activity by the group.

If this had been a raid by California or New York state agencies on an NRA office, Republicans would be announcing congressional hearings and subpoenas before the end of the month.  But Texas going after Planned Parenthood and raiding their offices, taking personal information of employees to use against them later, to scare them out of business?  Those abuses of power are exactly why Republicans want to be in office.

They are exactly who we know they are to be.
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