A reminder: a political party needs defeating

It’s possible I have readers who remain devastated that federal marshals will not frogmarch Donald Trump and his children out of the White House. I had to talk a white male acquaintance off a Facebook ledge yesterday after he moaned that Donald Trump was good as re-elected.

Put simply, I’m fucking tired of some friends implicitly hoping Trump wins so they can return to moaning about how awful the state of the world is. Those of us who are brown and gay in a state that Ron DeSantis barely won thank you for the leftist solidarity.

At any rate, here’s a reason to keep fighting every GOP candidate running for office between now and 2020, possibly forever: the Trump administration, in a move that surprises no one, has asked a federal court to dump the entire Affordable Care Act, including protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. More:

“The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed,” three Justice Department lawyers wrote to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is now considering the case. “[T]he United States is not urging that any portion of the district court’s judgment be reversed.”

Regardless of the outcome, legal experts anticipate that the 5th Circuit’s ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. If the courts ultimately strike down Obamacare — over the objections of a group of Democrat-led states, which have spent more than a year defending the health law in court — the consequences could be substantial for patients, health care organizations and other groups that have adapted to the nine-year-old law.

The story mentions the fate of the prescription drug controls for which the administration has theoretically fought, a fate dependent on the ACA, but Donald Trump cares about prescription drug controls like I do about Michael Bolton B-sides. He cares about prescription drug controls like he does about infrastructure. That his most fervent voters depend on the ACA matters not a whit.

Another phenomenon, reported by the paper of record:

Between 2015 and 2018, support for laws aimed at protecting L.G.B.T. individuals from discrimination fell by nearly 10 percentage points among Republicans under the age of 30. This was one of the key findings from a survey of more than 40,000 Americans’ views on L.G.B.T. issues that the Public Religion Research Institute released Tuesday.

One theory: “The ranks of young Republicans are thinning, with more socially liberal individuals opting to identify as independent.” I have my own theory: the Trump administration’s contempt for trans citizens has liberated young men and women from the tyranny of courtesy.

Purge them from public office. All of them.

Florida — the state with the prettiest name, part XVIII

While Governor Ron DeSantis helped break the impasse over medical marijuana and has made clear his opposition to Big Sugar, the Florida House remains a cloaca in which ideas like this fester: on Wednesday a panel approved a bill requiring Florida public universities to survey faculty members and students about their politics. Continue reading

State of the Union 2019


9:38 p.m. The president needs MS-13 boogeymen like college men need sex.

9:33 p.m. Almost four thousand troops the president will deploy to the Mexican border — a “tremendous onslaught” he calls it while Dems hiss and Pelosi holds up a peremptory hand.

9:28 p.m. Jared Kushner’s response to the presence of Alice Marie Johnson, whose sentence the president commuted, is the only human spasm this protozoa has shown.

9:25 p.m. The president bemoans the number of nominated judges waiting “years and years,” nodding sadly at the memory of Merrick Garland.

9:23 p.m. What a scene: hordes of aged GOP red white prime sirloin chanting “USA!” while the women in white sit on their hands.

9:20 p.m. “Companies are coming back to our country in large numbers.” Meanwhile Joe Manchin applauds like a man with fleas on his palms on learning that we produce more natural gas.

9:16 p.m. “Tonight I ask you to choose greatness.” Warren G. Harding: “America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality….”

9:14 p.m. “A more prosperous American way of life is within reach.” If you make over a million bucks a year.

9:08. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Tim Kaine stand and applaud as if at knife point.

9:07 p.m. Watch Pelosi get crap for net getting up to say howdy-do to the First Lady.

9:04 p.m. The only woman to shake the president’s hand in the last minute? Elena Kagan.

9:03 p.m Speaker Nancy Pelosi, looking as if she took a hit of battery acid.

9:02 p.m. [Senator] Mitt Romney spotting!

9 p.m. Justices Kagan, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Chief Justice Roberts are the only Supreme Court justices present. Kavanaugh, grinning ear to ear, is the only one who looks as if he arrived at a kegger where the beer is cold and the ratios fine.

8:58 p.m. I avoid running photos of the president. Let me run instead a photo of a SOTU by a president who was a uniter.

8:55 p.m. I’m going to live blog no more than 30 mins of the SOTU b/c I want to see Nancy Pelosi glower and how this diverse congressional class respond.

Abortion and rightist lunacy

I wondered what had gotten Erick Erickson upset again earlier this week besides the rise of atheism among convenience store employees. When he and the Plankton with a Hairpiece, the senior senator from Florida, agree on a rhetorical point, I figure I better investigate. Testifying before a subcommittee, a Democratic legislator in the Virginia House of Delegates supported a bill that would eliminate words “substantially and irremediably” from an existing law allowing third trimester abortions under life-threatening circumstances. Continue reading

Steve King is not the only racist in the GOP caucus

I suppose my heart should swell with the news that the GOP minority in Congress (by the way — what sweet relief to write that phrase!) has moved to strip Rep. Steve King of committee assignments. But if Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wanted an Aegean stables moment, he needs to start immediately from the bottom up. Continue reading

On the luridness of gay conservatives

The New York Times‘ Sunday magazine has run a story about the frustrations of gay conservatives. One Ben Holden, a Suffolk University student, explains himself:

Though he said he is liberal on most social issues and wishes the Republican Party would take climate change seriously, Holden aligns himself with conservatives and libertarians in many other ways — he’s anti-abortion, free-market-oriented and skeptical of big government. But perhaps above all else, Holden rejects what he considers a bedrock of contemporary liberalism: that, as he put it, your “immutable characteristics” — race, ethnicity, sexual orientation — “should determine what your position is on every political issue, or what you’re allowed to express an opinion about.” He added that he feels alienated from progressives on his campus and across the country, many of whom he believes are unwilling to debate issues “without resorting to shaming or name-calling.”

Continue reading

What privilege looks like

White men have endured so much pain in America. They need to take their country back.

Beginning in October 1968, records show, Mr. Trump had a 1-Y classification, a temporary medical exemption, meaning that he could be considered for service only in the event of a national emergency or an official declaration of war, neither of which occurred during the conflict in Vietnam. In 1972, after the 1-Y classification was abolished, his status changed to 4-F, a permanent disqualification.The Times began looking into Mr. Trump’s draft record anew when an anonymous tipster suggested that a podiatrist who was a commercial tenant of Fred Trump’s had provided the medical documentation.

The tipster offered no names, but The Times used old city directories, held by the New York Public Library, and interviews with Queens podiatrists to identify Dr. Braunstein.

The doctor’s daughters said his role in Mr. Trump’s military exemption had long been the subject of discussions among relatives and friends.

“It was family lore,” said Elysa Braunstein. “It was something we would always discuss.”

She said her father was initially proud that he had helped a “famous guy” in New York real estate. But later, her father, a lifelong Democrat who had served in the Navy during World War II, grew tired of Donald Trump as he became a fixture in the tabloid gossip pages and a reality television star, she said. The daughters, both Democrats, say they are not fans of Mr. Trump.

Thanks to the medical deferment, Donald Trump avoided serving in a war whose largest casualties included Vietnamese men and on whom the burden on poor and black young Americans was grievous.