Reasons to be Cheerful

I continue to look at the glass as half-full.

And up top, is the title of one of my favorite weird pop songs of the 1980’s.So here is a list to start this new week, apparently by popular demand:

  1. Our most militaristic pro-sports league, the NFL, is now a hotbed of anti-Trump sentiment and public protests.  And aside from Jerry Jones, even the team owners are standing by their players.  Just guess how this is going to turn out!
  2. The Germans dodged a bullet and kept Mrs. Merkel as their leader.  It was close, and the far-right party has seats in their national legislature for the first time in years, but they still have Merkel, and Putin did not win.
  3. Robert Mueller is still hiring new staff and is forging ahead.  We are only eight months into this national farce and the first serious indictments are expected soon – to shake the obvious perps down, regarding the real targets.
    In historical terms, this is fast.  Really really fast.

The original song counted “one, two, three” so I’ll stop there and let you all add to the list.

 

49 Responses to Reasons to be Cheerful

  1. KevinNevada says:

    Followup, on the one-two-three theme:

    (BTW, I drafted that list as “1., 2., 3.”, when I hit “post” it changed them to “A., B., C.”. Weird.)

    There are three major threads to Mueller’s investigation, any one of which may be sufficient to bring down this regime:
    simple financial corruption/conflicts of interest/Emoluments Clause violations, OR
    obstruction-of-justice, OR
    collusion with the Russian elections-interference campaign.

    Reasons to be cheerful, indeed.

  2. I drafted that list as “1., 2., 3.”, when I hit “post” it changed them to “A., B., C.”.

    Yeah, WordPress does that. No idea why.

    Meanwhile, Cassidy has unleashed a “new and improved” version of Graham-Casiidy, now with more unpleasantness (to lure Paul and Cruz) and oceans of cash for Alaska and Maine (to bribe Murkowski and Collins).

    This resets the CBO scoring clock back to zero, of course, so there can be no meaningful input from them between now and the closing of the reconciliation window.

    Place your bets.
    Will they get it passed this time, or will they open another reconciliation window next session and make us go through all this shit again?

  3. KevinNevada says:

    9T:

    The CBO wasn’t going to report this week, anyway. That is part of McCain’s objection, and also Collins’.

    If they accept the bribes for those two states, they run two risks: other states will insist on getting similar deals, and if that does not transpire, then both states will be deluged with medical refugees, moving into Maine and Alaska to get their operations financed.

    Murkowski doesn’t face the voters for five more years. She can reasonably expect to outlast the O.H. in the District, by at least two years, more likely four. Even better, she survived a Teeper challenge seven years ago, if you recall.

    I’m still betting that it does NOT pass.

    The changes in the bill provide my Sen. Heller with an excuse to back out. He sponsored something different.

    No telling if he has the guts, hasn’t shown much courage yet.

  4. KevinNevada says:

    Here’s a bonus “reason to be cheerful”, our old pal Mike Tomasky just wrote his best column
    in months.

    Check it out.

  5. The CBO was scheduled to release a “preliminary” report, which they did today.
    It nudged Collins into the “nay” column.
    So far it’s McCain and Collins voting no.
    I don’t trust Cruz or Paul to keep to their word about anything, so I’m not counting them.
    Still need one more. Probably Murkowski.

    Tomasky’s latest is fine so far as it goes, but to my eye he’s basically been writing the same column for months on end.
    a) Describe Trump’s latest outrage.
    b) Put it in some kind of historic context to give the column a sheen of respectable scholarship (an analogy to HUAC in this case.
    c) Bemoan the loss of congeniality and bipartisanship in US politics.
    d) Speculate about whether—this time—the outrage may start the dominoes falling at last.
    e) Close with an expression of hope, though recently that hope has been expressed with a clearly increasing taste of gloominess and uncertainty.

  6. NatashaFatale says:

    Is it possible that even a single breath was being held while the CBO considered the advanced actuarial question “If you spend $133bn less on health insurance premiums, will some people wind up with less health insurance?” The report itself, which said little more than “Yes, they will” with the straightest of faces, appears to have actually shocked some people. This shocked-shocked act is buffoonery in its purest, most refined form. Even CNN, even Fox, know and have reported that the reason McConnell has to cut at least $100bn is so he can redirect it to maybe a hundred guys who already have a billion or so each – either that, or fail to deliver the # 1 item on the GOP shopping list – a failure for which there will be no forgiveness.

    But the debate (if you can stand to hear this orgy of posing called a “debate”) has not been without its edifying moments. Here’s my favorite, from Senator Ron Wyden: “Right now, there is a frenzy of special deals being considered, elbow-twisting behind the scenes to bring swing votes from off the fence,” The New Yorker of my youth used to print quotes like that as part of a recurring public- service thread they called Block That Metaphor. I’ve wondered for years why they dropped it.

  7. KevinNevada says:

    My guess is that the additional Nay votes will come as surprises, to the bill sponsors and the O.H., but not to others.

    Someone like Sasse of Nebraska, or Little Marco from Florida, who may eventually remember that he was just re-elected and can act without fear. Maybe even Jeff Flake, if he has worked out his survival strategy for next year.

    Also, the more they give away as appeasement spending, the more certain that Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and maybe even Jodi Ernst will vote Nay, on grounds of excessive niceness.

    Gunny, I agree that they are not to be trusted. But we can predict that they will probably act in their own interest. The O.H. winning at something, is NOT in Ted Cruz’s interest. I tell you, Jeebus is whispering in his ear again. His destiny awaits.

  8. NatashaFatale says:

    Kev-

    If the bill goes down, as it probably will, and McConnell calls a vote anyway, which he’d be the kind of idiot he isn’t to do, I’d expect up to a dozen Republican nays. Because then they’d be free to please their constituents and. more importantly, their state officials. (In the vernacular, they’d be free “to vote their consciences.”)

  9. Squirrel says:

    I suppose I could add ‘2a’ or ‘B.1’ : the AfD leader resigned the minute she was elected . . . so the AfD is now two parties . . .

    But . . .there’s a nasty political divide that obviously Macron’s seen but doesn’t actually have a real answer to: the ex-communist countries in the EU is where authoritarianism is most popular, and it’s increasing.

    (I think—having been shocked by what some people from the former communist east have said to me the last few years—the demise of authoritarian regimes just led to a subconscious desire to be told what to do and think again, and keep ‘the other’ well away. Cosier. Less messy.)

  10. KevinNevada says:

    Squirrel:

    the mental habits of freedom take a while to sink in. More people who lived under the old Soviet-style dictatorships will have to just die off, then we can expect these ideas to fade away.

    Wider view, imagine the problems free Korea will have, when they eventually have to absorb the programmed masses of the Hermit Kingdom. TV and radio equipment for private use up there, only have one channel, no tuners. They cannot hear any views but what their regime tells them.
    It will take decades to flush the nonsense out of the heads of some.

    It will resemble the nuttiness of a US big-mob evangelical church.

    And speaking of US nuttiness . . . Judge Roy Moore won that GOP primary for a seat in the US Senate, in Alabama yesterday. He is so crazy that even Trump campaigned against him.

    Among other things, he wants the public government to outlaw “homosexual behavior”, literally lock up anyone who isn’t straight. Because, you know, Jeebus.

    Trump will now be forced to endorse him. Hilarity will ensue.

  11. KevinNevada says:

    Three more Reasons to Be Cheerful

    1. That nasty “health care reform bill” died yesterday.

    The Senate is the Zone of Death for this regime’s worst ideas.

    2. Moore’s victory ensures there will be a nasty primary-phase Civil War among the Republicans, in every state, next year.

    3. Even Jerry Jones of the Cowboys took a knee on Monday Night, arm in arm with his meal tickets, his current gladiators.

  12. Squirrel says:

    More people who lived under the old Soviet-style dictatorships will have to just die off, then we can expect these ideas to fade away.

    Sadly, I don’t think we can. Some of them are going to take another 40 or 50 years to die off. Authoritarianism is more popular than we imagine.

  13. Squirrel says:

    ‘Betrumping’ continues, as the Odious One rewrites Twitter history again:

    Vote for Senator Luther Strange, tough on crime & border – will never let you down!
    [Deleted]

    Luther Strange has been shooting up [!] in the Alabama polls [oh] since my endorsement. . .
    [Deleted]

    Spoke to Roy Moore of Alabama last night for the first time. Sounds like a really great guy who ran a fantastic race.
    [Current]

    By next week WH spokespeople will be denying he ever knew anybody called Luther. And 60 million voters (plus one president) will believe it.

    Roy Moore – Loser! Sad!
    [Forthcoming late 2017 early 2018?]

  14. KevinNevada says:

    Squirrel:

    It’s possible that the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, will vasty exceed expectations in the runoff in December. There certainly is a pile of interesting material in the Roy Moore Opposition Research File, and I’m sure there are also some Alabama Republicans who are ready and willing to share their own contributions to that file.

  15. KevinNevada says:

    Followup on the Roy Moore matter:

    the dirt is already being revealed. The Moores are probably in deep trouble for inconsistent disclosures on various forms.

    And as a former Chief Justice of the Alabamy Supreme Court, Roy cannot plead ignorance or undue complexity.

    He disclosed about $150,000 in speaking fees to the Alabama ethics commission, then two months later as a Senate candidate, told the Senate Ethics Committee he hadn’t earned any such income.

    And in a recent year, his “charity” reported that it paid his wife over $60,000 as CEO, but she apparently did not report that income to the IRS.

    Now, in a normal Alabama election these would not matter. But their Governor was just removed in a nasty ethics scandal, the whole Trump World is promising to ‘drain the swamp’, so these little matters may actually really matter to some of the voters.

    We shall see.

  16. StillBernie says:

    (No mention of Puerto Rico on here yet, which jacks up Trumps utter douchebaggery dial up well above 11. As the Dems tweet and splutter.)

    (Housemate reports that Patriots all stood hand on heart for anthem today. They then lost to Panthers by 3. Kraft and Brady are Trumpsters.)

    Stuff they’re trying to slip by you, while the outrage machine is in full force –

    California did indeed switch their primaries to Super Tues.

    Joe Biden, never as dumb as they like to paint him, called bullshit on the Universal Basic Income. As one who would most likely benefit from it if it covered the bare essentials, i’d happily never work again. But i’m with Uncle Joe here, and the NYT tried to paint him as a centrist because of it. Watch out for any candidates supporting it as a “progressive” position. Look for big tech donors, and as a crumb tossed to the proles in exchange for lisence to rape, pillage, and decimate what’s left of the American work force. A nation of serfs we will be.

  17. StillBernie says:

    Reading an article in Vanity Fair, come to find that Jared was a slumlord in my neighborhood while at Harvard. A couple of properties right down my street.

  18. NatashaFatale says:

    Puerto Rico … jacks up Trumps utter douchebaggery dial up well above 11.

    There has to be something Trump could do or say that would cost him the support of his base. Maybe nuclear war could do it – but then again, maybe not. But I know one thing it absolutely will not be: letting Puerto Rico founder and die. From his perspective the optics could not be better. What a blessing this storm was and is and will be! Usually the kind of neglect that kills millions operates at a deeply frustrating glacial pace. You can argue all you like that you’re doing all you can to kill a lot of them and immiserate the rest, but where’s the proof? The no-fooling, sure-as-shit corpses? The sodden. crumbling hovels, the pleas for food and water? Or any of the other essential components of the promised psychic payoff? Anyone who thinks Trump would fail to grasp an opportunity as sweet as this one just hasn’t been paying any attention at all.

  19. StillBernie says:

    I think to seal the deal he should do like Bush did in Afghanistan, and rain down rice packets from helicopters saying “Courtesy of the United States of America.”

    But it’s seriously stupid of him not to do anything about it, and keep insulting the people there. Because those that can manage it will be over here in droves, fully entitled to join the workforce and recieve benefits, and there is jack shit Trump or his supporters can can do about it. And they can vote too.

    And in other news, maybe check in, Kev? Hoping you’re not a country music fan.

  20. StillBernie says:

    Which brings on one of my rants over the past week or two. Trump is the most obvious offender here, but does no one have any idea as to how to pick battles anymore? Seriously Trump, the NFL and Puerto Rico? You’re not going to win them, nor should you. And i won’t even get started on the Dems.

  21. NatashaFatale says:

    What could be more important to more people than the NFL? What could be more devastating to more true American psyches than to sit helplessly quaking in outrage while that hallowed source of joy and inspiration is brought low – and brought low by them, the source of so many of our many miseries? But now at last we have a Leader who, amazingly, does not stand idly by and fret and dither while they run amok – run amok in our own living rooms. So go ahead and mock, but he’ll stand up to your kind too when the time comes, that much I can promise you.

  22. StillBernie says:

    More important to people than the NFL? (ok, maybe Nascar, to his base.) It’s so important that i think he’d be hard pressed to get the players fired and the games boycotted. Kaepernick notwithstanding. So fire them then. Replace them all with white guys and watch your team get crushed. (And at your alma mater too.) Tough for them to process too, but football isn’t just a Republican thing.

  23. bluthner says:

    It ain’t about getting rid of those n-word players, SB, it’s standing up to them and forcing them to obey. Showing them, as it were, who holds the whip-hand.

    And even if he doesn’t manage to stop them kneeling, he sure as fuck showed his base that for once they’ve got a leader who says what they are thinking. Same goes for Puerto Rico- in the end we will get it up and running again, but while doing it no way did Trump ever even suggest that their lives were worth even a quarter or an eighth as much as the lives of real (white) Americans.

  24. StillBernie says:

    But that’s the point Bluth, you can’t force them to obey. What are you gonna do? Fire them, get the people to boycott? Have fun with that. So you look like the complete douche that you are. As for PR – yep, you can try starve them out, suggest their lives are worth not an eighth of mainlanders. But you’re herding cats, it’s like trying to stop Mass residents from migrating to Fla, or from voting there. Americans is Americans, whether they like it or not.

  25. StillBernie says:

    And in other news, you had Moulton, Tim Ryan, and Cheri Bustos apologising in Iowa for the Dem party ignoring them for so long. And giving Trump a bit of credit for recognizing what the latte Dems didn’t.

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/30/iowa-steak-fry-bustos-moulton-and-ryan-call-democrats-refocus-midwest-working-class/708859001/

  26. StillBernie says:

    Trump didn’t come from nowhere.

  27. bluthner says:

    SB

    So you look like the complete douche that you are.

    Doh. That is Trump’s entire whole fucking point. To make sure the base that voted for the douche, that loves the douche, that will vote again for the douche no matter how douchey he behaves, gets the point: Trump is your kinda douche.

    Did you even read the entire small paragraph to which you responded?

  28. Kev is fine, fyi.
    Says he had to make an appointment to donate blood because the line to do so was so long.

  29. StillBernie says:

    Bluth –

    Yep. I suppose we see it differently – you think his base sees him as a guy who cracks the whip, and i can’t imagine they wouldn’t see him as (i should have added this qualifier) the impotent douche that he is. And if i had any psychology bonafides, i’d speculate that the escalating impotence feeds the escalating douchebaggery in an endless feedback loop.

    Gunny –

    Thanks, i guess he’ll check in with us then. I tried to donate blood after 9/11 and they all said thanks but no thanks, we’re all full up.

  30. NatashaFatale says:

    Trump didn’t come from nowhere.

    Of course not. He came from Trump. Fred Kaplan put up a nice anecdote a few minutes ago:

    What is driving Trump? Probably what has always driven Trump: an assumption that bluster and bluffing will yield results. Maybe they do in New York real estate transactions, but they generally don’t in global politics. Around 1990, when President George H.W. Bush was engaged in nuclear talks with the Soviet Union, Trump approached Richard Burt, Bush’s negotiator, and offered advice on how to cut a “terrific” deal with the Russians. As Bruce Blair later recounted the conversation in Politico:

    Trump told Burt to arrive late to the next negotiating session, walk into the room where his fuming counterpart sits waiting impatiently, remain standing and looking down at him, stick his finger into his chest and say “Fuck you!”

    There is no reason to suppose that his hard core sees him as even remotely impotent, much less douche-like. God knows I wish there was, but those numbers have never been firmer. If you put that finger-jabbing “Fuck you!” in a movie, those stalwarts would stand and holler all night.

  31. StillBernie says:

    Well, yeah, they fall for the blowhardery. Lotta people fall for varieties of lip service from politicians across the spectrum, and twist themselves into knots to defend their guy or gal (ask the Hillbots). But there is, unsurprisingly, a solid chunk of his supporters who, incredibly, intend to hold him to what he promised. They’re not happy campers these days. And i reckon the Republican donors aren’t too happy with the lot of them either.

  32. StillBernie says:

    Unhappy campers – the FAIR crowd, the repeal crowd, the foreign policy crowd, the drain the swamp crowd, and i reckon the tax crowd will be joining in that as well.

  33. KevinNevada says:

    OK, Kevin here checking in.

    I was out of town when the shit hit the fan last night. Our home is over five miles away, so no stray bullets flew near us.

    We cannot donate blood today. They are taking appointments. There is a direct measure of the basic generosity of this community, probably of any in this nation. The line is too long to process today. No one had to ask them to show up. They just did. In droves.

    The list of scumbags is short, here. One. And he killed himself rather than face arrest.

    The list of heroes is growing by the hour.
    Lots of police officers, who ran towards the sound of gunfire, and knew it was automatic long gun fire, too. They didn’t flinch.
    Ditto, EMT’s who were already there, covering the concert, who treated the wounded under fire.
    And more EMT’s who rolled up as the gunfire continued, and got busy.
    And a slew of the civilians present, who scooped up the fallen to help them, as they ran themselves, or got to their cars and found people bleeding behind the vehicles, so they just loaded them up and drove FAST to the hospitals, saving their lives. (With gunfire wounds, time is the enemy.)
    And taxi drivers who did the same, loaded up bleeding people and just drove.

    Lots of heroes. One scumbag.

  34. KevinNevada says:

    As for the effects of the past few weeks on 2018 and Trump’s coalition, I think they can kiss off Florida. At least a half million more people will move from PR to the mainland, many will get jobs rebuilding homes in Florida (the labor shortage in construction is one yuge problem everywhere), and they won’t be inclined to vote Republican next year.

    Next decade, for that matter.

  35. KevinNevada says:

    Followup to the above,

    I think that a lot of the displaced folks from PR will also end up in Houston, rebuilding there also.

    The climate will be familiar and the jobs, abundant.

    The hairball will discover that karma does actually exist. He may not think that the residents of PR are part of his country, but they actually are. They can vote. And they don’t need his permission to move to the mainland.

    The Texas GOP already had a long-term demographic challenge and it’s about to get worse.
    Much, much worse.

  36. StillBernie says:

    Yep, they can vote, they can go on the books and get paid properly, they’re entitled to benefits, many have family already here, and they’re as American as he is. So nyeah. And him looking like he can’t raise a stiffie to save his sagging ass.

    Kev – maybe there were two scumbags? Last i heard, they were looking for a woman too.

    Also, seems that ISIS tried to take credit, but bullshit was called.

  37. bluthner says:

    Construction down here is booming, and it’s completely true there are jobs begging. If Fla Republicans have anything to do with it, though, and they have plenty to do with it, all those citizens shifting from PR to here to fill those jobs, and their families, won’t find it at all easy to establish residency soon enough to vote next year. But down the road, sure. If Trump is still around down the road. And voting is as well. I’m guessing it’s either one or the other.

    So how does the NRA spin this latest atrocity? No amount of good guys with guns at the concert could have done a damn thing. Nothing at all, except some limit on the guy’s capacity to acquire the kinds of weapons he used, could have done a damn thing. And now this shit-bag has gone and given every other shit-bag on the planet an object lesson in how to really do a mass shooting.

    And to get back to the paltry business of the NFL kneelers: Trump loses nothing with his base, at all, by his inability to force them to quit doing it. The message he intends to send, and is sending, loud and clear, to his base, is “I am so powerful I can make them obey”, it’s “Give me more power and I will, and only I will, make them obey”.

  38. StillBernie says:

    Seth Moulton is refusing a moment of silence, because he says it’s bullshit and action is what’s needed. And is hammering Paul Ryan to do hs fucking job and pass gun laws. Alas, I’m afraid that Seth is going to be pissing in the wind in the face of Republican donors.

  39. KevinNevada says:

    SB:

    Regarding our scumbag Pollard,

    the woman is his living companion, apparently not his wife. She is an Aussie citizen, may be of Indonesian background and beyond that I know nothing.

    And she’s not in this country at present. But her location was known, last night at least.

    It’s possible, that the more important fact is that this creep is from Mesquite. Nevada.
    That town is just up the road from Cliven Bundy’s place. I don’t know if that matters.

    ***
    And, that book about Trump’s mental ailments drops for sale, at least via Amazon, tomorrow.

    ***

    The transplanted folks from PR will certainly be able to vote in Florida or Texas by 2020.

    It’s a nightmare for the GOP in both states, certainly without Florida they are screwed.

    ***
    And speaking of Florida, we need a moment of serious rocking music for Tom Petty.
    RIP.

  40. StillBernie says:

    Oh dear. That’s a shocker. I’m off to the music forum.

  41. bluthner says:

    meant to type:

    The message he intends to send, and is sending, loud and clear, to his base, is not “I am so powerful I can make them obey”, it’s “Give me more power and I will, and only I will, make them obey”.

  42. StillBernie says:

    Another instance of impotence – backing the dude in Alabama, only to have the other one win, and Trump deleted his tweets in support. That’s not especially good news, supposedly the Repub who won is even more Trump than Trump. The Dems supposedly have a bona fide genuinely good candidate down there. The advice to Dems is give money, but very quietly, and don’t let Pelosi or Schumer anywhere near the state.

  43. NatashaFatale says:

    Gee. I wonder how high Refugee ever got on the charts in Puerto Rico.

  44. KevinNevada says:

    SB:

    Petty was taken off life support early Monday. According to one report, they could not detect any brain activity, and apparently he had a DNR filed for that situation. His body ceased other activity sometime Monday evening. Exact moment of his death is a matter of definition. I vote for ‘loss of brain activity’.
    It’s confusing, yes, but our news media are not the problem in this case.

    It’s certainly time to give this another listen.

  45. StillBernie says:

    Kev-

    They shouldn’t have posted death until it was confirmed. It’s just vultures trying to get a scoop, that jerked a lot of people around. Apparently his daughter was incensed that RS posted it yesterday afternoon.

    I love Free Fallin, Handle With Care, Learning to Fly, so many. I’ll go for this one.

  46. StillBernie says:

    That seems to be the one people are posting everywhere. It was Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger for Manchester.

  47. KevinNevada says:

    More on the Las Vegas Murderous Scumbucket, Pollard:

    he was a hard-core gambler, tens of thousands at a session.

    That girlfriend is Philippina, is over there right now. One revelation is that Pollard wired $100,000 over into the Philippines, about a week ago.

    So hard questions need to be asked of her.

    “Accomplice before the fact” becomes serious when it’s 59 deaths.

    She HAD to know about the weapons. Their Mesquite, NV home had more, besides the 19 he took into the Mandalay Bay (using her credit card for the rooms), and the cops also found thousands of rounds of ammo still in Mesquite, too. And explosives. That, too.

    And I’ve seen vague references to a second property in “northern Nevada”, also being raided.

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