'85 Motoryacht,'

As proof that the Republicans' Big Fat Tax Cuts for Rich Fuckwads Act of 2017 was a boon to all working and middle-class Americans, let us offer the example of US Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican who represents Florida's 16th Congressional District. Last November 16, the very same day Buchanan voted with other House Republicans to pass the first version of the tax cut bill, he also spent several million bucks on a very nice luxury yacht for himself. Mercy -- If Buchanan hadn't voted himself an estimated $2.1 million tax cut, he might not have bought a yacht at all, so don't you go saying tax cuts only help the rich. Some portion of that purchase helped pay a fiberglass technician's salary, so how's that for good for the economy?

Rep. Buchanan, according to Roll Call, is worth $73.9 million -- sadly, that means he's only the eighth-richest member of Congress, but he still has a lot more money than that submillionaire pauper Marco Rubio and his dumb $80,000 "luxury" fishing boat, an off-the-lot model that probably hardly created any jobs at all.

Buchanan's yacht purchase came to light in his May financial disclosure, which isn't especially specific about the yacht's cost -- just that Buchanan had a transaction with Ocean Alexander for somewhere between $1 million and $5 million (page 11 of the disclosure form, incidentally). The least expensive of Ocean Alexander's offerings, the "70E Motoryacht," is a dinky little thing that'll set you back about $3.25 million. (We've illustrated our piece with the manufacturer's pic of the Model 85, though, because why would an important congressman settle for a base model? We have no idea what it costs.)

Asked about the tax cut's wondrous financial boon to the luxury yacht market, Buchanan spokesperson Max Goodman didn't deny the purchase. Instead, he explained this is all part of a "coordinated attack" on Buchanan, which is an odd way to describe a publicly available federal disclosure form:

It's no coincidence that this partisan smear comes at the same time a dark money group is airing a TV ad against Vern that is so dishonest one newspaper called it "stunning in its deception." Vern has owned boats for more than 20 years and it's no secret to his constituents that he has lived the American Dream.

In other words, yes, Buchanan spent millions on a yacht, and maybe it even has a really tacky name like "American Dream" or "Wretched Excess" or "Congressional Privilege." You have to admit "Screw The Yokels Who Elected Me" is considerably less mellifluous. It's his boat, it's a nice boat, and you can't complain, peasant.

Florida Politics notes that, since the Big Fat Tax Cut hasn't exactly left the yachtless masses singing its praises, Buchanan has said relatively little about the thing in his campaign, even though as chair of the Tax Policy Subcommittee in Ways and Means, he had a lot of influence in drafting the bill. Funny, that. Probably just humble, and didn't want to focus on himself as the poster boy for who is really benefitting from those beautiful "middle class" tax cuts. For that matter, the piece points out, Buchanan's campaign ads have been stressing his bipartisanship and not even mentioning which party he belongs to.

We bet Buchanan's likely Democratic opponent, David Shapiro, doesn't even own a yacht, much less one as nice as Buchanan's, so it seems fair to dismiss this tweet as mere jealousy:

This is all so terribly unseemly. Why is everyone so hateful toward a man who's living the American Dream of voting yourself a tax cut that helps offset the cost of your luxury yacht? Maybe Buchanan could promise to use the yacht to deliver hurricane relief if it's needed later this summer. Just as long as no poor people dirty it up.

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[Florida Politics / ShareBlue]

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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The producers of your favorite live-action Jack Chick pamphlet, "God's Not Dead" -- you know, the one where the Hercules dude plays an evil philosophy professor who tells all of his students on the first day that they are no longer allowed to believe in god? As all secular professors do? -- have come out with a thrilling new movie, all about how abortion is bad or whatever.

The movie tells the "true" story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic worker turned professional anti-choicer. Johnson has been a darling of the forced birth circuit ever since she made up ridiculous and provably false reasons for quitting the Planned Parenthood that was about to fire her for being bad at her job.

Basically, she claims that Planned Parenthood was pushing her to make more abortions happen so they could reel in more dough, and also that she witnessed (for the first time ever!) an ultrasound-guided abortion and saw the baby move from the light and then immediately realized that what she was doing was wrong.

The thing is, however -- no ultrasound-guided abortions were performed on the day she said it happened, and the only reason there was an uptick in abortions at her clinic was because they started offering the abortion pill on a daily basis (and had previously only been performing surgical abortions every other Saturday).

As you may have guessed, the movie does not address any of these things. It also looks very, very bad.

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Ever since Ruth Bader Ginsburg successfully underwent surgery for lung cancer, conservative sites and message boards have been trafficking in a ridiculous theory that she is actually dead and that there is some kind of Weekend at Bernie's-esque conspiracy to pretend she is still alive.

Now, one would think that her recent public appearance at a concert held in her honor would have put this to rest. Alas, it did not. Rather, the "researchers" (as they hilariously call themselves) determined that the concert was actually her funeral.

No. Really. That was a thing.

I admit that I gave this a lot more thought than I should have. Like, how did they think this would go? How long did they imagine this would go on for? Why would they risk having a full on funeral concert, open to the press? Wouldn't they just have not bothered to have a funeral at all? And what did these people think was going to happen when it was announced that she died for real? Or did they think that we were going to pretend that she is immortal and thus never announce her death? It's so confusing!

Being very up to date on the "RBG is secretly dead!" nonsense, I was very curious about which way the "anons" would go with this when they announced her return to work on Friday. They did not disappoint!

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