Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

The GOP is setting aside a lot of stuff that needs to get done so it can take one last whack at killing Obamacare, this time through the awful Graham-Cassidy bill, which would convert federal healthcare spending for the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid into block grants to the state, while also making those grants much smaller than the amounts currently spent on both programs. Then the states will magically be more efficient in setting up 50 different healthcare systems, so the cuts won’t matter and everyone will be covered, maybe. At least until 2026 when the block grant funding goes away altogether. It’s “flexibility” and it’s “federalism,” and also it’s bullshit.

We’ve ‘splainered why Graham-Cassidy is a clusterfuck that would even hurt people with employer-paid insurance, and we’ll also keep pointing you to these more detailed pieces at Vox and WaPo, so lets’ get right into the latest developments.

First off, you’ll be glad to know that the consensus of health policy experts is that Jimmy Kimmel is right and co-sponsor Bill Cassidy is a lying liar about the bill’s impact — on people with pre-existing conditions, and on the healthcare system in general. Also, Kimmel got pretty shirty with Cassidy and Graham, who dismissed him as only a dumb comedian, and called Brian Kilmeade a “phony little creep,” which may be the nicest thing anyone’s said about Kilmeade lately.

Oh, but there are bigger fish to fry. One of the key parts of Graham-Cassidy, those very rules that would allow states to waive protections for people with preexisting conditions and to cut essential health benefits like prescription coverage, maternity benefits, mental health care, and even ER/hospital visits, may actually not pass muster with the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, according to a piece by U of Chicago Law professor Daniel Hermer. In order to pass the bill with just 50 votes and a tie-breaker by Mike Pence, the whole thing has to meet the conditions of the so-called “Byrd Rule” for budget reconciliation measures. That means it can’t contain any provision that “produces changes in outlays or revenues that are merely incidental to the non-budgetary components of the provision.” Hermer notes Graham-Cassidy includes several provisions that the parliamentarian rejected in the Senate’s previous attempt at strangling Obamacare, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” (BCRA), like banning funding of Planned Parenthood (probably included to attract “pro lifers” even though the provision would be doomed), and rules that weren’t really about the budget but that regulated health care, like the imposition of a six-month waiting period to buy insurance if people were uninsured for over two months; a rule allowing insurers to charge older enrollees five time as much as younger ones; and the provisions that allowed states to tell insurers they can charge any price for folks with preexisting conditions and wouldn’t have to cover all essential medical benefits.

If the parliamentarian rules them out, losing the provisions eliminating essential health benefits and protections for preexisting conditions could kill support from more than a couple of GOP senators, says Greg Sargent at WaPo, since then the block grants would cut federal health spending but would leave ACA regulations in place, requiring states to do what the ACA does, but with far less money. That would eliminate the “flexibility” that’s supposedly the whole point of Graham-Cassidy. As Hermer explained in an email to WaPo:

Without the waiver provision, Graham-Cassidy is a totally different bill. It doesn’t provide states with flexibility, but it still takes away a lot of money. This would change the terms of the debate entirely — and would do so just a few days before the senators cast their final votes.

University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Begley agrees the waiver scheme is likely to be tossed, based on what happened with the BCRA, and calls the basic premise of Graham-Cassidy “crap.”

So there’s the possibly hopeful news, not that the parliamentarian’s ruling slowed down McConnell and crew back in July. But it might peel away some of the GOP “moderates” (no such thing) who would love to kill Obamacare if they can crow about “flexibility.”

Don’t bet your prescription or ob-gyn benefits on that, though. As CNN and Vox both note, there’s really one big factor appealing to Republicans this week and next: It’s their last chance to keep rightwingers happy and say the voted to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Plenty of them — like the Leader of the Free World — don’t give two runny shits what’s in the bill, and would be happy to ignore the parliamentarian’s ruling if it goes the wrong way. They just want a win, no matter the cost, no matter how many people lose insurance, no matter how many babies max out their lifetime coverage caps before they reach kindergarten (oh, we’re not allowed to mention babies because that’s emotionally manipulative, and besides, we support abortion rights).

Vox ran an enlightening set of interviews with Republicans on why they’re supporting Graham-Cassidy. Some seem to have at least a wishful-thinking understanding of the bill, like Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe, who explained that huge budget cuts wouldn’t hurt anyone, since “the efficiencies that come with transferring the funding to the states can very well make up the difference between what the federal thing would be.” And if not? “Well, nothing protects everyone.”

And then there’s super-smart Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, who thinks all Indian doctors know each other (or should). He didn’t even seem to understand reporter Jeff Stein’s question, “What problems will this solve in the health care system?”

Pat Roberts: [Graham-Cassidy] is the last stage out of Dodge City. I’m from Dodge City. So it’s the last stage out to do anything. Restoring decision-making back to the states is always a good idea, but this is not the best possible bill — this is the best bill possible under the circumstances.

If we do nothing, I think it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections. And whether or not Republicans still maintain control and we have the gavel.

Jeff Stein But why does this bill make things better for Americans? How does it help?

Pat Roberts: Pardon me?

Jeff Stein: Why does this make things better? What is this doing?

Pat Roberts: Look, we’re in the back seat of a convertible being driven by Thelma and Louise, and we’re headed toward the canyon. That’s a movie that you’ve probably never seen —

Jeff Stein: I do know Thelma & Louise, sir.

Pat Roberts: So we have to get out of the car, and you have to have a car to get into, and this is the only car there is.

Gotta pass it. It’s the last train out of Dodge (where Roberts didn’t actually have a home during his last election, in 2014), so no matter how crappy it is, the bell’s ringing. It only makes sense to throw as many people as possible under the wheels. How many people? Oh, only about 32 million, according to the Commonworth Fund.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click right here and then make sure you call your senators!

[Politico / WaPo / Medium / WaPo / CNN / Vox / Vox again / Commonworth Fund]

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  • kaydenpat

    It’s sad when you have to beg your Representatives to not kill you.

  • SeeTrain65

    “This bill is terrible. I’m for it.”

    • mackafritz

      “I have no idea what this bill does. I’m for it.”

    • laineypc

      “This bill will hopefully re-elect me before my constituents die.”

      • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

        “This bill will keep those Koch and Mercer dollars flowing. I like my big house and my free franking.” You don’t hear much about free franking these days, do you?

    • OneYieldRegular

      “This bill will probably f*ck-up the lives of millions of people, but if we don’t pass it by September 30 we won’t have a chance to pass it again.”

      • SeeTrain65

        “The food is terrible.”

        “And such small portions.”

  • Toomush_Inferesistance

    Why, anyway, do the media allow them to get away with saying that the ACA is failing, when it is easy to contradict this with, ahem, The Truth?…

    • Swampgas_Man

      Because if the Media tells The Truth, the Reich-Winger Fake News Patrol will jump all over ’em.

      • Toomush_Inferesistance

        That’s the thing about The Truth. I always feel kind of weirdly proud when Rachel talks up a storm, then brings The Person Who Knows on her show and asks, “Did I get that right?” And the Person Who Knows says “Yep.”…..

  • memzilla Ω

    You’d have thought by this point that the Gods of All Things Ironic would have thrown eleventy jillion lighting bolts into the Capitol building at people with government-provided health insurance who are telling people that government-provided health insurance is bad.

    • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

      He keeps sending hurricanes but no one is listening.

  • Lance Thrustwell

    The last train out of Dodge, heading over a cliff. Got it.

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      The idea is that we jump off the cliff. Then, sometime in the near future, someone will do something so that we don’t end up a greasy smear on the canyon floor.
      Good plan, ain’t it?

      • OneYieldRegular

        Half way down, you’re supposed to somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps – if your state provides you with bootstraps.

      • Nockular cavity

        I’m sure Acme has some products that can prevent canyon-floor collisions.

    • Celtic_Gnome

      Kind of sums up the Republican Party, doesn’t it?

  • dslindc
  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    As Charlie Pierce said yesterday, they could take a Chinese take-out menu, write “Obamacare Repeal” on the top, and Trump would sign it.

    • TBF, a Chinese take out menu would provide better health coverage than graham-cassidy

      • msanthropesmr

        At least you get one from column a and one from column b with eggroll.

        • therblig

          contraception not covered – no eggrolls

        • SisterArtemis

          With Six You Get Eggroll

    • therblig

      their proposed savings are a dim sum

    • SisterArtemis

      “… they could take a Chinese take-out menu, write “Obamacare Repeal” on the top …”

      still a better healthcare bill than Trumpcare

  • btwbfdimho
    • Antonin Dvorak

      Your link returns a 404 error message; is that the joke?

      • btwbfdimho

        No, some problem with Disqus, I guess. I cannot even delete the post!

  • I am reminded of a stat EJ Dionne recently quoted:

    By 2040, 70% of us will live with 30 senators in 15 states. The other 70 senators will represent 30% of the population.

    Ensuring we live in this MAGA failed state for the next century.

    • Roadstergal

      The Electoral College is just the most obvious grab of power by the rural minority over the urban majority. It’s hardly the most egregious. :(

    • proudgrampa

      To my proudgrandkids: I am so sorry for the world you are being left with.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      The dumbfuckery is only going to get worse. Won’t matter if the President is Jesus Christ himself telling them not to do it.

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      I pointed this out to my husband, along with the fact that we could live fairly well in a cheaper state, but he said he didn’t want to be around conservatives. I pointed out that nothing will get better as long as all of us liebruls are concentrated in the expensive cities, but he wasn’t sold.

      • I have to say, I’m with your husband. Mr fuflans is from GA and we could conceivably leave Chi and have a support network – but there is no way in holy hell i’m moving south.

        • AnnieGetYerFun

          I get it, but you see where it’s leading, right?

          • oh totally. i’m just cowardly.

  • laineypc

    Wow that is some straight-up plain talk. “I really don’t give a fuck what is in the bill. Just so long as my idiot constituents hear “repeal and replace”, and vote for me before they die. Then they can die happy.”

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      It’s Grassley’s logic – “Sure, there are a lot of bad things in this bill. But we promised to do it, so we have to do it anyway.”

      • bbayliss

        But we promised to do it knowing we wouldn’t have to do it, FIFY

      • Coincidentally, that’s also the logic given by British politicians for carrying on with the ongoing Brexit clusterfuck.

    • proudgrampa

      This is the best explanation for this nut-fuckery.

      • laineypc

        I forgot to add “I’m happy to suck the dick of the insurance lobby, just so long as my idiot constituents….”

        • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

          Which is funny, since Anthem Blue Cross basically said “Get this bag of goose poop out of here.”

    • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

      Honestly, I truly think they’re just doing what they’re told. The Koch brothers are threatening to primary them if they don’t. You’d think they’d figure out if their “positions of power” only mean “do what the Kochs say” that it isn’t really a position of power.

    • Cornelius Fussbudget

      You forgot the part where the biggest cuts affect blue states. If they can just kill three million liberals, maybe next presidential election the conservatives can win the popular vote.

  • Persistent Tennessee Rain

    I hate these fuckers

  • SayItWithWookies

    “I’m not here to replace Obamacare with something useful — I’m here to vote for something that looks good in an ad with a cowboy and an American flag in it.”

    • dslindc

      “. . . or failing that, a raccoon fucking a banana peel is fine too, as long as it’s revenge on Obama.”

      • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

        “Whatever you say, Mr. Koch, please take your boot off my neck!”

        • SisterArtemis

          “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”

          ― George Orwell, 1984

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      And eagles. Don’t forget the eagles.

  • Mr. Blobfish

    I read somewhere, probably here, that one-term senator and failed presidential candidate Rick Santorum had his cloven hooves in writing this. True?

    • Persistent Tennessee Rain

      As heard on NPR. Yes.

    • dslindc

      Yup. He was walking with a group of them when I saw one of those reporter confrontations on the news yesterday.

    • Bill D. Burger

      He comes from a family of goat fuckers. So, it’s true.

    • Yup. Story was on NPR 2 days ago. Something about him and graham meeting in the barber shop or something.

      I’m too fucking pissed off to make a joke about that.

  • bubbuhh

    Congress still not volunteerin to share their health care plans

  • msanthropesmr

    Fuck these motherfuckers with a garden weasel.

  • I’s got an ideeer. They sooo want to repeal and replace obamacare. Why not create a bill called the “Repeal and Replace Obamacare Bill” RAROB for short. The bill would be this. It would repeal the “Obummercare” entirely. But at the same time it would replace the ACA with RAROB – in this case RAROB would be the exact text, word for word from the ACA.

    We keep things going as normal, the replugs get to say they repealed and replaced obamacare, and then we can stop this game and actually work to fix the portions of the ACA that are still wonky….

  • Oblios_Cap

    I guess the GOP’s idea of what makes America great is a whole lot different than mine.

  • OneYieldRegular

    I don’t get Pat Roberts. Is he saying this is the last stage out of Dodge that he can use to drive himself and his Republican colleagues over a cliff? Cuz that’s what it sounds like. Or is it that you have to get out of the car, or the stage, and can’t just stand there in the desert but have to get into another car and drive that over a cliff? All that seems clear is that some women are going to die no matter what action Pat Roberts takes.

    • bbayliss

      You don’t speak incoherence?

    • There’s a nonzero chance that he’s never seen the movie and doesn’t know how it ends. Similarly, it was pretty obvious Mike Huckabee hadn’t seen Jaws when he tried to make a reference to it last year. Or at least he’d never seen the ending.

  • bbayliss

    They lied about the ACA. They voted 50, 54 or 70 times, depending on who you choose to believe, to rescind it. They used it as a campaign slogan, but were never serious. They got voted into office on a lie.
    Now they have to pass something, anything, to prove they weren’t lying.

    • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

      No, to ensure the continuation of those Koch bucks.

    • SisterArtemis

      Now they have to pass something, anything, to prove they weren’t lying.

      …. while lying.

  • Anna Rompage

    The last GOP WealthCare bill was the most awful and draconian thing one could imagine…

    Here wait, hold my beer….

  • Electric Ukulele Land

    This is the mentality of an addict, not s legislator.

    • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

      Yes, exactly! They are addicts. They’re addicted to that sweet sweet Koch money. It’s almost literally the behavior of addicts: they don’t care about the consequences to anyone, to the people they’re supposed to be looking out for, even to themselves, or the corrosive price of that money (having to do the bidding of their dealers).

    • SisterArtemis

      Rather astute observation, there, pal.

  • Bub, the cynical zombie

    “I promise, that all Americans, will have health coverage. And it will be, beautiful coverage. The best coverage…bigly good.”

    • Really need to show an urn, or a body floating in the water, because with the price of funerals and plots today even that isn’t guarenteed. Speaking of which have you checked your life insurance policy lately?

      • Bub, the cynical zombie

        I’m dead, so…

        • Notreelyhelping

          So lucky!

  • dslindc
    • TJ Barke

      I kinda figured that’s what they would do, repeal obamacare and replace it with something meaninglessly different, and call it something else. I underestimated their sadism.

  • laineypc

    They should really call it the Thelma and Louise Bill.

    • HellhathnofuryDemme

      Susan Sarandon richly deserves this.
      Geena Davis, not so much.

      • laineypc

        I forget who was which…

        • HellhathnofuryDemme

          Me too.

  • Toomush_Inferesistance

    Will Jimmy Kimmel follow in Al Franken’s footsteps?…

  • Panika MCD

    so it doesn’t matter if people die as long as the ones that stay alive keep electing Republicans…what if the people who are alive don’t end up liking that plan so much?

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      That’s when the voter suppression, gerrymandering, and court-packing pieces go to work.

    • TJ Barke

      They’ll keep voting republican, because the reasons that bad things happen are immigrants and liberals and homosexuals.

      • SisterArtemis

        don’t forget the ‘bortionplexers

      • Panika MCD

        and the Satan words we force them to learn.

    • OutOfOrbit


      • Panika MCD

        I thought that’s what we called people who ride motorcycles without helmets…?

  • whitroth

    But.. but, the papers say they say they have to pass it, because it’s their last chance to repeal Romneycare, ah, sorry, Heritagecare!

    At this rate, “last chance” == “latest film in the neverending slasher film product line”.

    Music: the tale of Fenton, the Demon Sheep From Hell…..

  • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

    This is literally what is meant by “The tail wagging the dog”.
    Republicans employed a lot of baseless rhetoric to whip up their base ahead of elections.
    They now think they must pass “something” (anything) because of the fallacious rhetoric and promises made while trying to whip up their base.

    • proudgrampa

      “Well, we CAN’T say we were wrong, goddammit!!!”

  • Crank Tango

    I dunno but all these mixed transportation metaphors got me thinking about Evel Knievel.

    • PixieThis

      My brother had Evel, I had Pinkie Tuskadero. I loved those things.

    • Nockular cavity

      Not even Evel Knievel would jump from Thelma & Louise’s car into another car mid-cliff dive.

      • OneYieldRegular

        But would he try to jump the car as it was falling?

    • OneYieldRegular

      I totally wanted that thing when I was a kid. My parents thought it would encourage me to do dangerous things. So I ran away to California a few years later.

    • therblig
  • Wild Cat

    We Are All Oregon Now.

    • SisterArtemis


      [question-marking as an Oregonian]

      • laineypc

        Where has Ora gone now?

  • Resistance Ftr PuckStopsHere

    So, let me see if I’ve got this straight: These Lee Greenwood Patriots believe that hanging on to power is more important than doing right by their country? History (which it has been suggested is something we are doomed to repeat if we forget it) tells us in no uncertain terms that this is precisely how democracies die.

  • Bub, the cynical zombie

    Pat Roberts: So we have to get out of the car, and you have to have a car to get into, and this is the only car there is.

    ‘You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,’ Grassley said [to Iowa reporters]. ‘But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.’

    Sounds like a well-reasoned, carefully considered exercise in crafting vitally important, meaningful legislation to me!

    • SisterArtemis

      clearly they don’t listen to themselves talk

      • Bub, the cynical zombie

        Can’t say I blame them – it’s well nigh unbearable.

    • bubbuhh

      Cept this bill has no substance, except: Steal from the blues. Give to the reds. Fuck the the poors and middlins.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      AKA “we’re afraid of our base”

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      I guess I’ll have to be embarrassed for him, since he clearly can’t manage that himself.

    • Opalescent Riddles

      Yes, and strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is a fine basis for a system of government.

      • At this point, it might be better than a Republican Congress, which also doesn’t have a mandate from the masses.

  • PixieThis

    “What’s a meta for?” Asked pat robertson (Moron-KS)

  • arglebargle

    Wimmen drivers. Amirite?

    • OutOfOrbit

      i knew a wimmen trucker who could twerk with her semi-trailer

      • OneYieldRegular

        My sister was a wimmin trucker – the only job she ever had where she felt that men respected her as an equal.

  • Asterix

    Trump’s voters are morons – so are most republicans. So, let the Senate repeal Obamacare and replace it with the ACA. Then we can “fix” the ACA with universal… only call it something else because republicans are afraid of socialism. Or something.

    • h4rr4r

      No really, let him call it Trumpcare. Single payer, businesses don’t have to cover the employee premiums, freedoms! etc.

  • PixieThis

    I get straighter, more coherent answers from my Spirograph.

    • BearDeLaOursistance

      Or even from your Spiro Agnewgraph!

  • Bub, the cynical zombie

    You should go back to castrating hogs, Joni. At least they don’t ask awkward questions.

    • TJ Barke


    • arglebargle

      WTF? It took a bipartisan effort to defeat their clusterfuck.

    • dslindc

      A castrated hog would make a better Senator.

      • Raan

        As would the castrated bits.

    • OneYieldRegular

      “I can not believe that our colleagues across the aisle will not assist us in kicking 30 million people off of health insurance via a plan that we scraped together at the last minute after seven years of whining, that no one will get to debate, that is opposed by every major medical organization in the country, and that we’re just rushing through because the chances of passing it, whatever it is, are better now than they will be in 10 days. What is wrong with those people?”

      • Bub, the cynical zombie

        Ik, r? They’re just so unreasonable!

  • Cousin Itt un Mondialiste

    Crow T. Robot said it best,
    Well believe me, Mike, I calculated the odds of this succeeding versus the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid… and I went ahead anyway.

  • Ellie

    They wouldn’t care if they had to sacrifice babies to a Baal, as long as they can have their revenge on the blah man who used to be in the White House. The people haven’t mattered to the majority of the GOP for a long time.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      The ones who don’t actually have that level of vicious wingnuttery are deathly afraid of the GOP foaming at the mouth base

  • Relativicus

    Everybody quotes the Pat Roberts part, but I seem to be the only one giving any love to Johnny Isakson:

    Jeff Stein: What is the policy explanation for the Graham-Cassidy health care bill?

    Johnny Isakson: Policy explanation? I’m not into policy, so I don’t really know. I’m into facts.

  • Law Man

    Even though the Graham Cassidy bill is unlikely to pass muster and will be killed by the CBO scoring if it did actually pass it would probably get blue states like CA and NY to move to their own single payer system.

    California Single Payer Bill

  • Anna Rompage

    “So we have to get out of the car, and you have to have a car to get into, and this is the only car there is.”





    • C4TWOMAN

      Or….stop trying to fix what’s not broken, move on to the next shiny thing(OMG MESSICANS! TORTILLA CURTAIN!!11!) and hope everyone forgets.

      It’s not like they haven’t done that before….

    • SisterArtemis

      …. breathe…. breathe… don’t break keyboard… breathe….

    • Crystalclear12

      You seem upset.
      Are you allergic to stupid too?

      • Anna Rompage

        The stupid, it burns!

    • Smibo

      The Rethugs have been relying on a decades-old plan, for implementation when and if the Dems managed to pass some sort of health care legislation; whatever the Dems passed, they were going to run on “Repealing” that, and “Replacing” it with HeritageCare&#153, aka RomneyCare, aka ObamaCare. They probably figured that if Dems got anything passed, it would be something closer to single-payer, or at least include a public option. Barry threw a wrench into their plan though, by going with ObamaCare. The Rethugs had nothing to replace it with. ObamaCare was literally the best plan they could come up with, but once it got a black person’s name all over it, it just had to go.

      Don’t expect them to ever come up with anything to effectively replace what was their best plan already.

  • Nockular cavity

    the states will magically be more efficient in setting up 50 different healthcare systems

    Because economies of scale vanish when you’re talking about governments.


    It’s rather a good thing no nation state is actually making a military attack on the USA right now or we’d be screwed:

    “Mr. President, SIR! We’re under attack!”
    “Yeah, I know! Those Dems keep blocking my attempts to kill Obama care!”
    “No, sir, I’m taking about the Chinese armada off the West Coats!”
    “Yeah, yeah, but first we have to kill Obama Care.”
    “They’re invading Seattle!”
    “Well, they voted for Hillary…serves them right!”

    Who am I kidding? The USA owes so much $$ to China they don’t have to do anything but remind the USA who’s doing the manufacturing for them…

  • Robbertjan Brandenburg

    Explain to me: People decide on a moral issue and the country is taking a step back on some controversial figures of its history: Armed people in the streets.

    30 million people could die because of government decisions. Unarmed protests.

    For some reason I feel the 2nd amendment isn’t really carried out the way it was implemented by the founding fathers.

    • TJ Barke

      Fuckin’ tell me about it…

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Say, you know who else was in the back seat of a convertible being driven by Thelma and Louise?

    PS: greetings from an Obamacare phone bank!

    • SisterArtemis

      Good for you!!! Thank you!!!

    • Snark Tank Full of Resistance

      Brad Pitt? (and thx for your service!)

  • Robyn Ryan

    American aristocracy.

  • James Baskin

    So this bill is a movie? Starring Hop-along Cassidy and Phil ‘2 gun’ Graham?

  • Law Man

    OT: Ivanka Trump Faces Courtroom Showdown Over $785 Sandals

    Osorio, the co-founder and creative director of fashion label Aquazzura, calls the sandal one of his most iconic creations. Coveted by celebrities and fashion bloggers alike, these $785 suede numbers became a true “It” shoe since gaining traction in 2015. They helped catapult the designer and his label to international prominence. So when he discovered that the clothing brand run by the daughter of now-President Donald Trump was making a similar item for only $65, he called in the lawyers.

    Fed up with alleged duplicate shoe designs, Aquazzura fired off multiple lawsuits over his Wild Thing sandal. Arguably similar styles hit store shelves under labels including Mollini, Missguided, and Jessica Buurman. Aquazzura didn’t challenge the smaller brands, but instead went after what he claimed to be the larger copycats: Steve Madden, Marc Fisher, and Ivanka Trump.

  • Crystalclear12

    Someone. . . anyone in the Republican party needs to look up Pyrrhic victory.

  • bbayliss

    Republicans voted more than 50 times to “repeal and replace” when they knew their was no chance of it passing.
    Now they have put themselves in the position of having to pass something, anything, in order to prove they were not lying.
    32 million Americans and 1/6th of the economy will be affected in order to prop up a campaign slogan.
    This is not governance, it’s insanity.

  • nightmoth

    Have all good Wonkers done their homework yet of calling their senators? Mr. Nightmoth and I called today. As usual, he played good cop, explaining why this would cause financial harm to hospitals, and I played bad cop, telling them to keep their hands off my health care, unless they really want to help and go single-payer.

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      I emailed because I don’t do phones and I explained how much it would cost me per month if I had to pay for insurance on a private market without Obamacare. I know my ladies are going to vote against the bill, but it’s still worth noting. (and yes, I know calls are more effective, but I have hearing loss and hate making phone calls)

      • nightmoth

        Good for you. Also, thx for telling me phone calls are effective: I’ve wondered about that.

  • harryr

    ““Well, nothing protects everyone.” says Jim Inhofe. Has he even looked at Canada or Europe?

    • Raan


    • AnnieGetYerFun

      Those socialist hellholes? God forbid!

    • Resistance Ftr PuckStopsHere

      To look would be to be un-American.

    • eggs ackly-wright

      Unless you’re a congresscritter.

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    I assume if they vote and pass it in defiance of the parliamentarian, then they would get sued and their lapdogs in SCOTUS would vote No parliamentarian No parliamentarian YOU’RE the parliamentarian*.

    Mad props to me for typing out “parliamentarian” four five times instead of using C&P please and thank you.

    • Law Man

      I don’t think they can even bring it to the floor if the parliamentarian says it doesn’t pass legal muster. Doing so would set them up for immediate legal challenge.

  • Juan de Fuca

    Pat Roberts: Look, we’re in the back seat of a convertible being driven by Thelma and Louise, and we’re headed toward the canyon. That’s a movie that you’ve probably never seen —
    Jeff Stein: I do know Thelma & Louise, sir.
    Pat Roberts: So we have to get out of the car, and you have to have a car to get into, and this is the only car there is.

    Which Pat Roberts and the GOP are still going to drive while we’re in the back seat because they are Thelma and Louise. They are the ones driving us off that cliff, no matter what car we’re in.

    ETA: No offense to Thelma and Louise.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      Yeah, I was a little puzzled that the reporter didn’t respond with “so you’re just going to drive us all off a cliff?” which is what that reference *is*

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      Jesus, Pat, I know it’s an older movie, but it’s not THAT old.

    • Resistance Ftr PuckStopsHere

      How exactly did the GOP caucus get in the back seat of Thelma and Louise’s car? Something pervy, I’ll bet.

  • Bill D. Burger

    Bbbbuuttt…..Repukes are always, always….always telling anyone who will listen how much they love ~muuuaah~ our vets. (Actually, they inevitably say, “Thank you for your service. Now, fuck off.” )
    How could this happen?

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      Republicans love *troops*, not veterans: veterans have outlived their usefulness and are now moochers, duh.

  • Jenny

    My senators are Cornyn and Cruz. I don’t have to assume. I know they’re actively trying to kill anyone who isn’t giving to their coffers.

    • The Rain in Spain’s Therapist

      Same for mine: Cotton and Boozeman.

    • Johnatx


    • AnnieGetYerFun

      Mine are wimminz and liberal, but I wrote to them both anyway. Just in case they needed to know how many of us care.

    • nightmoth

      Mine are Isakson and Perdue (Georgia) and Tillis and Burr (North Carolina).
      I called them anyway. It’s getting to where I halfway enjoy calling and bitching at them. I’ve long quit being respectful. Today I was exasperated.

      • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

        I’ve been faxing Tillis and Burr using Resistbot daily.Nothing like getting up at 5AM for work and composing faxes pointing out how this shitty bill hurts Americans, especially in rural areas and how it’d help tank the economy.

        • nightmoth

          Yay, Tetsu! I bet your faxes are the first thing their pathetic interns find when they hit the offices in the morning.

          • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

            I love Resistbot! Especially since I work 12 hr shifts, calling isn’t always easy. Also, it gets around the voicemail is full/busy signal problem.

    • Persistent Tennessee Rain

      Toomey and Casey and it sucks that Toomey just got re-elected, but I still let him know, in no uncertain terms, that he barely won. He’s a jackass.

    • Lulu’s Mom

      Yeah, I called them anyhoo. I have one foot (and home) in TX but currently reside in CA.

    • And most who probably are

  • Bill D. Burger
  • Jack Had A Permit

    The Koch brothers. This whole shit show is because the Koch brothers will withhold $400 million from the RNC if they don’t do it. That’s how cheap tens of millions of Americans lives are. We’re only worth about twenty bucks a pop these days.

    • TJ Barke

      I want the very votiest things for them.

      • nightmoth


    • WeaselPoo

      IMHO this conjecture is highly plausible given the Koch’s past generosity to GOP candidates directly and through their shell organizations.

      Does the GOP have alternate benefactors with equally deep pockets ?

      Sheldon Edelson(?)maybe? Not as rich, basically got burned for $100 million in the primaries if I remember correctly, so probably gun shy.
      The Mercers? Rich enough but not as organized as the Kochs.

      Not to put too much stock in Trump regret from the Right, but the GOP needs a hella lot of money now to create a disciplined propaganda effort for survival in 2018, and also to just grift for those very flexible campaign fund ameros that can be used also for legal defenses and essential gravy while they still have a monorail to sell.

  • Bill D. Burger
    • Edith Prickly

      Are we allowed to post sexxxy Martin Heinrich videos when Evan’s away?

      • Résistance Land Shark Ω

        Of course. There are several here who will appreciate them.

        • Edith Prickly

          As do I.

  • Crystalclear12

    To do list:
    1. Call senator
    2. Then empty vodka bottle

    Sequencing is important.

  • Bill D. Burger
  • Bill D. Burger
  • Bill D. Burger
  • Bill D. Burger
  • Bill D. Burger
    • Going to post elsewhere: but if anyone is brave enough to call red state voters, indivisible has a great tool:

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        You call red state liberals, not Trumpanzees or teabaggers. The system transfers them to the phone lines of their GOP congresscretins so they can register their opposition. I think it’s targeted to Republicans likely to switch … no wasting time on the dumbfucks and Koch suckers.

  • Bill D. Burger
    • Rachel Book Harlot

      Best meme I’ve ever seen.

  • IdiokraticCulturalMarxist
    • Anna Rompage

      Even worse, I heard there was some stupid mother fucking republican ( I know, redundant) on capital hill that is submitting legislation that would ban states from creating their own, independent single payer systems, like what CA is trying to do….

      • States rights and local controls!
        Unless those states or locals do a thing we do not like

        • StarBangledSpammer

          Particularly Planned Parenthood, legal weed and anti-discrimination laws. Because ew.

  • Dok Zoom, “Plenty of them — like the Leader of the Free World — don’t give two runny shits what’s in the bill…”

    Angela Merkel does too care!

  • If anyone’s up for it, here is indivisible tool for calling red state folks:

    • bbayliss

      Last time I did this I made a friend.
      A disabled vet who’s been getting screwed for years.
      Likes to sit on his porch and watch the sun go down.

  • Scooby

    So basically this week Trump threatened to kill more Americans than North Koreans?

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    So the bill would ban funding of Planned Parenthood – but the states are “free” to spend the money without federal gubmin’t interference. GOPtard hypocrisy is written right into the damned thing.

    • WeaselPoo

      Like projection, always.

  • CindyinEncinitas

    “If we do nothing, I think it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections. And whether or not Republicans still maintain control and we have the gavel.” I’m sure that will be consolation to all of those who will be kicked off their insurance.
    btw- my call today to Murkowski’s office was taken by a live person, Collins, Heller and McCain took my voice mail, and shit-for-brains Issa’s phone message was that his voice mail was full. I don’t believe that, but if it was, I hope it’s because my buds in the Fighting 49th are calling the absolute fuck out of him. Considering there were 375 protesters at his office on Tuesday, this is a possibility.

    • Marsupial99

      Issa’s office will never EVER pick up! Neither will Duncan Hunter’s, in my experience, not that it’s even worth talking to those two at this point.

      Are you actually, Cindy, in Encinitas? Are you Issa territory down there? We’re north & in Hunter-land, which really sucks.

      • CindyinEncinitas

        I am indeed and I am very involved in Flipping the 49th. There are all kinds of groups down here doing all sorts of things and we are so organized and active that our Indivisible Action Council is being used as a model for organizing other districts. We are ALL OVER HIS ASS all the time! He fucking hates us! Yay, us!

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    “the efficiencies that come with transferring the funding to the states”

    Because 50 bureaucracies are way more efficient than just one. Thats just math.
    And what’s wrong with millions of sick people moving out of shithole red states to take advantage of better systems in the better states? That sure sounds good to Texas.

    • bupkus231

      They believe that only losers will move out of the red states because of hurtful health care policies – leaving only millionaires in their place.

      Win, win.

      • Opalescent Riddles

        More likely the losers will go “shopping” in the millionaires homes.

  • mardam422

    So the healthcare system is a car? And the internet is a bunch of dumptrucks and tubes? If so, what is the moon made of?
    Pat Roberts is an asshole, and an idiot.

  • bupkus231

    Gawd – I just got through one or two paras of Dok’s piece before the rage overwhelmed me. I tried to crush it down, but every little bit I read compounds with all the other ( admittedly “liberal” blogs ) stuff I’ve been reading about this shit.

    The rage wins.

  • Jonny On Maui

    Restoring decision-making back to the states is always a good idea

    Unless of course the states legalize cannabis…

    • Or euthenasia. Or enact universal background checks on guns

    • Poorly Behaved Pérsistanista

      Or they don’t want a stupid wall on their souther border, or they do want gun control, or be welcoming to undocumented immigrants, or ……………….

    • Or have liberal abortion policies, or promote birth control


    Look at these Conservatives, opting to radically change the way things have been done for decades.

    You know what? That’s not a “Conservative.”

  • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

    Hey republican’ts, there’s no way the Cock brothers will choke off the money. You’re the only people who will do their bidding. Everyone else has principles.

    • bookish

      Good point.

  • Poorly Behaved Pérsistanista

    I read somewhere today that the despicable, non-wiped ass behind this new horror is Rick Santorum who just loves him some block grants to states. Fuck him you-know-where.

  • bookish

    Operating out of a startup space in Washington, D.C., Indivisible’s leadership team is calling for a national day of action on Monday, Sept. 25, just as the Republican-controlled Congress returns for a make-or-break effort to deliver on the GOP’s promises to repeal and replace Obamacare.

  • Everrett Fanuelli

    So we got out of the Thelma and Louise car and are getting into one from Fury Road. Awesome.

    • counterlife

      Just a point of information from a Kansan. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Koch Whore) is said to be suffering from early stage dementia of some sort. He was never smart, but he is apparently also now old and ill. But he is also still a committed Koch whore and generally cruel Republican man. Dementia isn’t fixing that.

    • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨
  • f we do nothing, I think it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections.

    Fuckers admit their real reasoning with their mouth.

  • You know what? Fine let them have their block grants.
    But make sure that only taxes from that state can go to that state, and no where else.

    Let us see how THAT impacts 2018

    • Ms.Moon

      I love this, this absolutely needs to be added to this steaming heap of a garbage bill. Red states should not be benefitting from my blue state money in the first place.

      • H0mer0

        yeah, why should “healthy” states subsidize the “sick” states?/sn

  • bookish

    (CNN)CNN will host a town hall with Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, who will be debating health care with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar on Monday, September 25 at 9 p.m. ET.

    CNN anchor Jake Tapper and chief political correspondent Dana Bash will moderate the 90-minute live event from Washington.

  • Ron Spangler

    I’m just going to point out here that if Trump’s new BFFs Chuck and Nancy hadn’t done the deal on the CR and debt ceiling, the Senate maybe wouldn’t have time to deal with this turdwaddle of a healthcare bill.

    When that deal went down it looked pretty durn smart on Chuckandnancy’s part, but in the end it might be the assholes who win. Again.

    To summarize: Fuck.

    • Lefty Wright

      You keep saying that. You keep getting it wrong. If you want to blame anything on this resurgent ACA repeal, look at the Medicare for All circus over the blast 6 weeks. That has pushed the ACA and the latest repeal bill the GOP has been working on since late July totally off the Democratic radar. Meanwhile, the GOP has been working behind the scenes, bribing and twisting arms, with no push back from anyone on the left.

      This summer was not the right time to introduce a bill you don’t even have revenue and expense numbers on. Bernie admits it will go nowhere. In the meantime, the GOP continues to list after ACA repeal. They will not stop. September 30 will not stop it. Any time they can get 50 votes, with Pence as 51, they will simply remove the 60 vote filibuster rule. They did it for Gorsuch and repealing the ACA is a much more sacred goal for the GOP.

      We need to concentrate on fixing the ACA. Over 20 million people directly rely on it and millions more are linked to it. It will take years, even with a cooperative congress, to enact and implement a Medicare for All system costing well over a trillion dollars a year. Unless fixed, the ACA can start a death spiral in a few weeks simply by executive action by Trump.

      If congress passes a new bill, between 20 million and 32 million people will lose health insurance in just a few years. They may ask why you didn’t spend time protecting the coverage they have now and less on figuring out what they may get in 6 to 10 years. Hell, even Bernie admits this bill will go no where. It doesn’t even have a clear revenue source.

      • HazooToo

        FULLY 100% AGREED. Though now IS the time to be doing things like, ummm, figuring out a clear god-fucking-damn revenue source, Bernie-fucking-Sanders!

    • Toledo Window Box

      Nah. They’re not gonna pass this mess.

    • dshwa

      No, they’d have tied this bill to the debt ceiling vote to pressure Collins, McCain, and Murkowski into saving the country’s credit rating and preventing a financial collapse.

  • mfp, all 6s&7s&9s

    “Restoring decision-making back to the states is always a good idea”

    no…No…NOOOOOOO…IT’s NEVER A GOOD IDEA….fucking khaa-ryst, when will we ever be rid of this fucking states rights bullshit

    • Paperless Tiger

      Maybe after the New York AG indicts Trump.

  • And, apparently in an attempt to get Murkowski’s vote, they’ve added a provision that allows Alaska and Hawaii to keep the ACA, eliminating it for all other states. Which shows the superiority of this plan, how?

    • Toledo Window Box

      ACA is so shitty we have to ensure some states CAN KEEP IT in order to get their votes to kill it.

      Republican “logic”.

  • Mavenmaven

    and when Chris Christie withholds health care from Ft Lee, won’t that be hilarious?

    • Toledo Window Box

      That’ll be a bridge too far.

  • This Healthcare plan makes a lot of since.

  • Iron Monkey

    This bonehead from Kansas sums things up perfectly for the Republicans–we will do ANYTHING to keep control of Congress and the only reason to vote for this abomination is to keep the assholes who fund them happy.

  • Toledo Window Box

    They’re not going to pass this latest pile of excrement.

  • Celtic_Gnome

    32 million here, 32 million there, and, before you know it, you’re talking numbers people are going to pay attention to.

  • Celtic_Gnome

    Rand Paul’s being pissy about it because it isn’t a pure, free-market solution. What are the chances that the Freedumb Caucus will take that position, or just get pissy themselves because they got no input into the bill and are just expected to rubber stamp it?

    • Old Man Yells at Cloud

      One strategy would be to keep reminding them that the mainstream R’s think they are a bunch of wusses who will go along with anything they are told to.

  • Old Man Yells at Cloud

    For the life of me, I don’t understand why non medical businesses don’t support single payer. If the government provided health insurance, then businesses would not have to and they could become more efficient (e.g. profitable).

  • RugzYaBurnt

    If the only skills a Kansan need possess in order to become a Senator are clunky film references, why don’t they just elect college freshmen and be done with it?

  • VirginiaMorningBlend

    Don’t we have a law against torture? Especially in regards to non enemy non combatants? The GOP is torturing 32 million Americans every time they bring this kill healthcare thing up. Psychological warfare against innocent non enlisted people including little kids, their parents, and anyone with a tiny bit of love and compassion for other people is terrible. Vote!

  • fawkedifiknow

    THe geniuses behind this latest effort to deprive millions of affordable health insurance are arguing that if they don’t succeed, single payer is inevitable.

    If only that were true.

  • TakingAmes

    I love that they’re admitting to reporters’ faces that the bill sucks but they have to vote for it because they *begin whining* promised their voters to repeal and replace. For some reason they think their constituents also don’t care what’s in the bill.

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