Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Republicans Reach New Lows (Highs) of Stupidity on Cutting Taxes and Spending

The Most Idiotic Statement to Date

Now that they have failed on health care reform Republicans are looking to fail on tax reform.  For them tax reform is cutting taxes on the wealthiest, and the conservatives who were all worried about the national debt under Obama now don't care.  But that is not even the worst of their idiocy.  Look a this from the WaPo.

"Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) hinted at that last month on CNN, suggested he would be willing to consider new spending on some of Trump's priorities once taxes had been reduced. "Those spending pieces, we'll debate those coming up — the military, the wall, the infrastructure plan — but you've got to see tax reform in place first," Brat told CNN last month. "Otherwise, we can't afford it."

Yes this man is saying that unless the Congress reduces revenues the nation cannot afford to spend more money. In what universe does that make sense? Oh, the Republican universe, reality is optional there.

Thanks to Coal Country, Trump Won Coal States; Trump to Coal States – Screw You

And They Have Only Themselves to Blame

How gullible were the voters in coal states like West Virginia and Kentucky to vote for Trump.  Pretty  gullible.  Everyone else knew Trumpie didn’t care for coal miners and their families and their economy.  But he whispered sweet things in their ears and they voted for him.  Here is their reward.

Earl Gohl (C), co-director of the Appalachian Regional Commission, is participating in a coding demo with Interapt trainees in Paintsville, Kentucky, U.S. on March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Valerie Volcovici

Sorry, No Can Afford

Trump seeks to ax Appalachia economic programs, causing worry in coal country

"President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating funding for economic development programs supporting laid-off coal miners and others in Appalachia, stirring fears in a region that supported him of another letdown on the heels of the coal industry’s collapse.
The 2018 budget proposal submitted to Congress by the White House on Thursday would cut funds to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The Washington-based organizations are charged with diversifying the economies of states like West Virginia and Kentucky to help them recover from coal’s decline.
The proposed cuts would save the federal government $340 million and come as the Republican president seeks to slash a wide array of federal programs and regulations to make way for increased military spending.
But they are perceived by some in Appalachia as a betrayal of his promises to help coal miners.
"Folks that live in Appalachia believe that the ARC belongs to them," said federal ARC Co-Chair Earl Gohl, bemoaning the proposed cut. "It's really their organization."

So will these people change their minds and realize that they have been betrayed?  No way.  They would rather suffer than admit they were wrong and the Dems were right.

Devin Nunes - The Person Who Surfaces After the Bottom of the Barrel Has Been Scraped

Could Nunes Be the Worst Person Involved in the Investigation of Trump and Russia?

Let's hope so, it's hard to imagine a bigger partisan idiocy.

Devin Nunces, a fatal combination of arrogance, ignorance and incompetence.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Soviet Sean Spicer Says Trumpcare was a Bad Deal - But Trump Said Trumpcare Was Great

Confused - So is the Incompetent White House That Knows Nothing About Health Care

To listen to Trumpie is to believe the Republican health care bill was just great, exactly what he had been promising.  But then when it crashed and burned, well it was a bad deal.

“I think the president understood that where we were, that while you can get a deal at the time, that sometimes a bad deal is worse than getting a deal,” Spicer continued. “And I think he smartly recognized that what was on the table was not going to be keeping with the vision that he had, and so he decided that this was not the time and that a deal was not at hand"

Huh?  But no to worry Trump is looking forward to winning, that is to start winning, so far he ain't winning.

From Politico

Spicer: Trump 'eager' for legislative wins

Gosh, Trump looks forward to having a Republican Senate and a Republican House pass Republican bills.  Gosh, what a triumph that would be against just incredible odds.  Yeah right.

Not Sure ifPharmaceutical Companies are the Greediest Bastards on Earth? Well Marathon Pharmaceutics is Out to Prove That

Charging $89,000 for a drug that costs less than $2,000 in Overseas Markets

Ok Donnie, you said you were going to do something about high drug prices, well here's your chance.

"Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC says it will charge $89,000 annually in the U.S. for a decades-old steroidal drug that was approved for U.S. sale for the first time on Thursday, a price that is as much as 70 times higher than the drug’s price overseas.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the drug, called deflazacort, to treat a rare type of muscular dystrophy that affects some 12,000 boys in the U.S., most of whom die in their 20s and 30s. The drug isn’t a cure, but it has been shown to improve muscle strength compared with a placebo, the FDA said in a statement announcing the approval."

And what about the CEO of the company, well he thinks he's doing everyone a great favor.

"Marathon Chief Financial Officer Babar Ghias defended the price in an interview. He said the company will likely receive much less in net revenue than its $89,000-per-patient list price, after providing discounts to government insurers and financial assistance to patients who can’t afford the drug.

The company will start selling the medicine under the brand name Emflaza in March, Mr. Ghias said.

Mr. Ghias, a former mergers-and-acquisitions banker, said the company showed restraint in how it priced the drug. Other new drugs for so-called orphan diseases, which affect fewer than 200,000 people nationally, have carried price tags of $300,000 annually and higher, he said.

“It’s modestly priced for an orphan drug,” Mr. Ghias said."

Gee, Mr. Ghias is a former M&A banker, who would have guessed?  Babar Ghias, another named to be added to the deplorables list. As for action by Trump, well don't hold your breath.  As for action by his HHS Secretary, well that guy probably bought stock in the company.  As for those who suffer from MD, well your money or your life.

Memo to Paul Ryan: You Got One More Chance Buddy, Don’t Blow It

Actually We Hope You Do Blow It -  Good Riddance If You Do

Paul Ryan is a near perfect House Speaker when his party is not in power.  He can pontificate and polish his false persona as a man of ideas.  But when he has to deliver, the bankruptcy of his intellect goes center stage for all to see. 

After the debacle of so-called health care reform, which was actually a huge tax cut for the wealthy combined with the evisceration of Medicaid Paulie No-Nuts (apologies to the Sopranos) still had the support of the Trumpster.  Well, maybe.  See Trumpie publicly said he was supporting Ryan, but then he sent out this tweet.

Donald J. Trump 

Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.

Ok, so what’s the problem.  Well Judge Jeanine (who?) had this to say.

In her commentary, Pirro took aim squarely at Ryan for the bill’s failure.
“Speaker Ryan, you come in with all your swagger and experience and you sell 'em a bill of goods, which ends up a complete and total failure, and you allow our president in his first 100 days to come out of the box like that, based on what?” she said. “Your legislative expertise, your knowledge of the arcane ins and outs of the bill writing-process? Your relationships? What? Your drinks at the Hay Adams with your pals?”

Not very subtle way of the Cowardly Lion President getting the message to Paul.  But if Trump did not have the courage to tell Ryan these things to his face we guess the next best way is to use an obscure Fox News host.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Post Mortem on the Health Care Bill – Rest in Peace AHCA – Well at Least Rest

The First of Many Legislative Post Mortem’s to Come

What can be said about the crash and burn of Paulie and the Health Care Nuts?  Well there’s this

  1. The bill failed for the simple reason that it was a bad bill.  At the end it had the support of 17% of the public.  Even Republicans can understand 17%.

  1. Republicans came away from their meetings with the President amazed at his near total lack of understanding of health care.  The rest of us were amazed that they were amazed.

  1. The Republicans actually won here.  Had this bill been approved they would have been tarred with a policy that had no redeeming values.

  1. The challenge for VP Pence is to see if there is any way in which he can suck up more to Trump. 

  1. Plan B for the GOP is to blame future problems in the health care exchanges on the Democrats.  To assist in this HHS will do everything in its power to destroy individual health care policies.  They don’t care about a few million people losing health care, their goal is tens of millions losing health care.

The Good News: Xarelto Is Much Better At Preventing Blood Clots Than Low Dose Aspirin

The Bad News:  You Ain't Got Insurance, You Ain't Wealthy, You Ain't Going to Get It

For an illustration of the idiocy in America's health care system the story of low dose aspirin and prescription drugs is a vital lesson.  Low dose aspirin costs about 50 cents a month and is very effective at preventing blood clots that cause all sorts of health problems.  But a prescription drug is much better, per report in the WSJ.

In a study of 3,365 patients from about 30 countries, presented at an annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology here Saturday, researchers said a low dose of a blood thinner called rivaroxaban reduced the risk of a recurrence by about 70% compared with aspirin, without increasing the risk of bleeding. The patients, whose median ages were 59 or 60, had already been on blood thinners for up to a year; it was unclear whether they needed further treatment.
The researchers followed the patients for a year and found that 1.5% of patients on 20 milligrams of rivaroxaban daily, and 1.2% of patients on 10 milligrams daily, had a recurring blood clot. By contrast, 4.4% of patients on aspirin had recurrences. The number of patients who experienced bleeding was similar in the rivaroxaban and aspirin groups.

So what's the problem? Well the prescription drug costs about $5,000 a year. Oh. That. One can just imagine how giddy Trump and Ryan are that millions of Americans could lose health insurance coverage that reduces that cost to a manageable level.

Trump Gives Merkel Bill for Over $300 Billion for Nato Support

Real News Apparently, Not Even Real Fake News

Redefining and upping his game with respect to crassness, apparently the President of the United States gave the head of the German government a bill when she visited with him.  Really, unless the Sunday Times of London is joking (and they never joke) the Commander in Clueness gave Ms. Merkel a real bill.

Germany slams ‘intimidating’ £300bn White House bill

Donald Trump is insistent that other Nato countries increase their military spendingALEX WONG
Trumpie Shows Off his very small hands to merkelshe is not impressed
Donald Trump handed the German chancellor Angela Merkel a bill — thought to be for more than £300bn — for money her country “owed” Nato for defending it when they met last weekend, German government sources have revealed.

No, you cannot make this stuff up.  Actually, you can make this stuff up but no one would believe you. 

Donald Trump, lowering the bar even further than thought possible.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Justice is Served in Penn State Cover-up of Abuse of Boys in Shower Case

Former President of the University is Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

Nothing says more about how America’s willingness to put college sports above education and morality than the Penn State case where a football coach molested boys in the shower room of the athletic department and the school covered it up.  Now the former president of Penn State has been found guilty of a crime in covering up the abuse in order to protect the football program.

See, he was told about at least one incident but chose to do nothing.  That’s right, nothing.

A jury convicted former Penn State President Graham Spanier on one count of child endangerment for his handling of a 2001 complaint involving assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was later convicted of child sex abuse.
The verdict closes another chapter in the criminal cases stemming from the Sandusky scandal, which first rocked the university in 2011. The jury in Dauphin County Court in Harrisburg acquitted Mr. Spanier, 68 years old, on separate child endangerment and conspiracy counts. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Prosecutors said Mr. Spanier broke the law by not telling child welfare authorities in 2001 about a complaint that Mr. Sandusky acted inappropriately with a boy in a Penn State shower. They said he wanted to protect the university’s reputation.

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier leaves the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa., on Thursday.
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier leaves the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa., on Thursday. PHOTO: MATT ROURKE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Evil Wears Brooks Brothers or Something Like It
Wonder if His Wife plans on a long shower after toching him?

Hopefully this contemptible man will spend a lot of time in jail.  And hopefully everyone will learn a lesson.  But don’t count on either of these things happening, as leniency flows to people like Mr. Spanier and very little will stop the march to collecting millions from an athletic program at major colleges.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Old Headline: Repeal and Replace on Day 1

New Headline:  Reject and Disgrace on Day 64

How Do You Cut Millions in Expenses at Illinois Universities? Fire a Few $10.50 an hour Student Workers

Why Spread the Pain When You Can Direct It to Students

Higher education for state supported universities is in crisis in this nation as Republicans have taken control of more and more state governments.  But in Illinois it is a horrific disaster because government is split between a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature.  Here is the result.

With the budget stalemate in Illinois in its 21st month, public universities in the state are going beyond belt-tightening to deal with a funding drought that has no end in sight.

Campuses already have pressed pause on new construction and stopped hiring for vacant positions. Now, universities including Northeastern Illinois, Governors State and Southern Illinois are looking to fixes like hiking tuition, cutting academic programs or laying off student workers.

“We are in a crisis situation,” said Beth Purvis, the state’s education secretary. “The next set of cuts will affect outcomes for our postsecondary students.”

So what to do? Well how about going after the least amount of savings in a way that affects the hardest working students.

The Chicago school must cut $8.2 million to meet payroll through June. It will temporarily lay off 300 student workers during spring break and force about 1,100 employees to take a total of eight furlough days in an effort to save $2.8 million.

Amy Sticha, a biology major who works about 20 hours a week in a lab on campus, has been putting in applications at area bars and restaurants, and even at a bike tour company, in case her campus job falls through altogether.

“I have no idea if I will still have a job a month from now, and I’d like to have a backup,” said Ms. Sticha, who earns $10.50 an hour at the lab, which she says covers a big part of her rent and tuition.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Trump to Nation: We Are Going to Destroy Individual Health Care Insurance and Blame Democrats

President Forgets He and Republicans Are in Charge of Government.

Wondering Why Dems Are Not Participating in Health Care Debate on House Floor?

USA Today has that answer.

Republicans to Democrats:  Shut the Hell Up

Democracy in Action!!!

"The changes were offered in an attempt to attract support from the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 Republicans who have so far mostly opposed the repeal-and-replace bill because it retained too much of the structure of the Affordable Care Act. It was not clear Friday whether the changes were sufficient to appease that group. There will be no amendments allowed on the floor." (emphasis added)

The Coalition of Republicans Legislating Health Care in the United States - the Perfect Picture

White, Male and Mean

That's What They Are

How Did Conservatives Manage to Change the Republican Health Care Act and Raise Costs Over $150 Billion with no Increase in People Covered?

Amazing What Conservatives Can Do When They Really Try to Screw the Public

As the House scrambled last night to make changes to their health care bill to make it even more offensive so that conservatives would support it, the CBO announced that while the changes would not increase the number covered or lower the number who lose insurance, it would cost the government more than $150 billion over the next ten years.

It seems that not content with a $1 billion tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, the changes to mollify conservatives provides for another $150 billion plus in tax cuts, none of which will go to anyone but the greediest of the wealthy.

Not fair, huh, its Republican, what were you expecting.

Explaining the Inexplicable – Interpreting the Republicans on Health Care

Here’s What’s Really Happening

Why Couldn’t  Republicans Have a Vote Thursday Night?

Well Trump stepped into the negotiations directly, and the so-called deal maker could not make a deal.  Why?  Because he met some people who could not be bullied. 

How long before Trump blames Paul Ryan if this fails?

See Funk and Wagnall’s for the definition of micro-second.

Why are conservatives unhappy with the House bill?

There would still be people with health insurance, people who had low incomes and needed help with paying premiums.  Conservatives believe that no one who cannot afford health insurance should have it.

Can premiums really be lowered as conservatives want, is that possible?

Absolutely, you would be amazed how low premiums can go if coverage of medical needs is not in the policy. 

Why should men have to pay for maternity benefits?

Last we checked it was impossible to get pregnant without male involvement.

Are there any side effects to the Republican prescription for health insurance?

Yes, side effects include neuralgia, neuritis, sleep deprivation, hives, nausea, disease and death.  Some participants might turn into zombies and forced to walk the earth searching for real health care.

Do Republicans Like Sen. Heller (R. Nv) Lie Because They Have to or Just for the Fun of It

Well It Could Be Both

The standard for truth telling in politics, never very high, has now reached a new low with the new President.  Outright lying has replaced shading the truth or misleading the public.  Case in point is Senator Heller of Nevada in a Town Hall Meeting.

“It's been eight years, eight years since I've heard a treasury secretary talk about economic growth,” Heller said. “They never talked about economic growth. You know what? We didn't have economic growth for the last eight years."

United States GDP Annual Growth Rate
No, your eyes are not kidding you - the line is above zero since 2010
More facts with a liberal bias

Note that this is a totally un-necessary lie. First of all it is a statistical fact that is easily checked. Second, no on disputes that economic growth did not take place, Trump himself allows for that while claiming that he will increase it. So why lie Dean Heller? Oh, maybe you just can't help it, or maybe it is a virus that only infects Republicans seeking re-election or maybe it just feels so good.

Why Republicans Against Paul Ryan’s Non-Repeal, Non-Replace Health Care Fraud Aren’t Afraid of Trump

As a public service we take on the questions too difficult for other Forums

Question:  Why don’t the House Republicans fear that Donnie will sponsor candidates against them?

Answer:  They recognize him as a bully and bully are characterized as cowards afraid of a fair fight.  Trump will not go after these Republicans because it would involve stepping up to the plate and facing a pretty strong opponent.  Trump only goes after the weak and powerless, which explains his attacks on Medicaid.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Senate Republicans Want to Pass Health Care Bill With No Thought Whatsoever

But Maybe They Are Not Capable of Thought

If and when a health care bill passes the House the Senate Republicans want to rush it through the Senate.  The reason for the haste if obvious, if people understand what is going on they will oppose it.

“Mitch McConnell is being tasked with fixing what GOP senators and House members say is a flawed Obamacare repeal proposal — one with little to no chance of passing in that chamber in its current form — in a week’s time.

The Senate leader and his deputies are nevertheless barreling ahead — assuming a health care bill clears the House Thursday in what’s expected to be a razor-thin vote. Senate leaders say they have a plan to jam through legislation on a party-line vote next week before opposition has time to bubble up.”

Now normally Congress holds hearings on major legislation, giving supporters and detractors a voice in trying to have a rational debate on the issues.  But not this time.  The House held no hearings and it looks like the Senate is also shutting down an free speech on the issue.

Senate Republicans are unlikely to hold any committee hearings, and many of them haven’t even read what the House is about to pass. It’s unclear, to put it mildly, how proponents can placate enough moderates or conservatives to get the bill across the finish line.

But GOP leaders are showing no signs of applying the brakes.

“We’re not slowing down,” McConnell said on Tuesday. “We will reach a conclusion on health care next week.”

No, we don’t know what to call this either.  But we do know that democracy it ain’t.