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I wanted bipartisanship. And for my sins, they gave it to me.


How grim are things looking for the Senate's Fuck The Poors Agenda, Medical Care Division? Now that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the Better Move To A Country That Cares bill will leave 22 million more Americans without health insurance, more Republicans are saying "ummmm" and remembering really important fundraising calls they need to make when asked about the thing. Senate Rs have decided to put off a vote on Affordable Care Act repeal until after the 4th of July recess. They might even have to talk to constituents, now! At the very least, they're going to try rewriting the thing, maybe with a different font and wider margins so the CBO will give it a better score. Donald Trump has also asked all Republican senators to meet him at the White House this afternoon to talk strategy, and maybe so he can spill some top secret intelligence information (we kid -- they're not Russians!). That meeting is scheduled for 4:00 this afternoon.

The delay seems to have averted a far more frightening possibility: Earlier today, Politico reported that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had warned Trump that if the Senate can't pass ACA repeal, Republicans might be forced to work with Democrats to fix problems with Obamacare instead of eliminating insurance for tens of millions of Americans. Truly, that prospect is too horrible to contemplate.

This all had to have come as a huge disappointment to Trump, who just yesterday told the nation via Official Statement Twitter he's thinking of maybe just withholding ACA cost-sharing payments from insurance companies, and how would you like it if the market collapsed, which would totally be Democrats' fault for writing a law Trump could sabotage so easily.

Now that Senate Republicans have decided they can't scrape together 50 votes by Friday, it's unclear whether Trump will still go through with unilaterally trying to destroy the individual markets; here's hoping some of those at today's meeting might persuade him that's a bad idea. For all we know, maybe Elizabeth Warren will have to tell the President she'd like nothing better than for him to withhold the cost-sharing payments, which might convince him to increase subsidies just to spite her.

Reportedly, McConnell recently raised the specter of bipartisanship with both Republican senators and with Trump, explaining that a Republican failure to pass a repeal could have terrifying consequences, according to several Senate aides:

“If we fail, we’re going to be negotiating with [Democratic Leader] Chuck Schumer,” said one Republican staffer.

Such a fate, far worse than slashing Medicaid and jacking up premiums so high that many would be priced out of the market, appears to have receded with the delay.

So now we can look forward to a nice quiet Fourth of July, a chance to appreciate what really makes America great: Senators secretly drafting a plan to remake a sixth of the economy -- possibly leading to an economic crash, starting with the healthcare industry -- and returning the uninsured rate to where it was in 2010, with a resulting increase in deaths from treatable illnesses and a return to medical debts causing half of the nation's bankruptcies.

While we'd like to think that maybe this setback might lead Senate Republicans to just give up, we also thought the House wouldn't manage to pass its horrorshow of a bill, either, so we won't be surprised if the main thing McConnell and crew learn is that the bill was far too public this time around, so next time, they'll spring the real bill on the public an hour or so before the Senate votes on it.

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[Politico / WaPo /Politico / Image from Trumpaholics Anonymous]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Image: Dana Rohrabacher's office

The Associated Press finally called the race in California's 48th Congressional District late Saturday for Democratic challenger Harley Rouda, bringing an end to nearly 30 years in Congress for US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Over the years, Rohrabacher had represented not only his super-conservative Orange County district, but also the Taliban and Russia, and as his district has become more liberal -- or at least less frothingly rightwing John Birch Society-esque -- it was probably only a matter of time until his seat went blue. Rohrabacher's enthusiastic defenses of Donald Trump and of Vladimir Putin only hastened the swing this year. Too bad, so sad!

Let us bid a fond but not drawn out farewell to one of Congress's more spectacular idiots while we hope he's joined by many others, soon.

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HOLY WEEKEND NEWS DUMPS! While Donald Trump was across the ocean getting dunked on by Emmanuel Macron and skipping ceremonies for war heroes because he was scared his shithole hair would get messed up, journalists kept digging into the life and times of Trump's fake acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker, and DAMN. All's we know is that the Deep State must fuckin' HAAAAAAAAATE that guy, whose appointment was probably completely illegal and unconstitutional in the first place so why are we even talking about this.

We already knew bits and pieces about Matt Whitaker's scammy scummy fraud-y old gig, on the advisory board of a scammy scummy fraud-y company called World Patent Marketing, that did some MILD FRAUDS. When customers got mad, Whitaker would write them mean threatening letters. (You should read about how they "scammed US military veterans out of their life savings," as The Guardian puts it. Happy Veterans Day!)

What we didn't know -- and what one of the victims and also some other unknown people (deep state!) were more than happy to tell the Wall Street Journal -- is that FUCKIN' COMPANY IS UNDER FBI INVESTIGATION. And Whitaker was on the advisory board! And he made videos for the company! And he sent those mean threatening letters! What we're saying is that Whitaker is in deep.

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