Really out loud


As you have heard, last night the Senate voted down the umpteenth effort to kill off the ACA and several million Americans along with it.  People are celebrating, but I know they’ll just try it again, possibly as soon as next week.  McConnell and Ryan are acting as if their lives depend on it, after all; maybe someday we’ll find out why.

At this point it can’t be just a deep-seated hatred of Obama and his achievement that’s motivating them (although it is certainly one of Trump’s major motivations).  It has to be something more, and it has to be something to do with money; otherwise, why try repeatedly over a course of years — not to mention just the last several days — to push through a repeal with nothing but empty and dangerous nonsense to replace it?  Why all the secrecy?  Why induce senators to vote on something they haven’t even read?  Heck, just before the vote last night, which was minutes after the “replacement” was finally revealed, some senators said they were voting for it even though they hated it.

That.makes.no.fucking.sense unless there’s someone waving money at them, hard.  Or else, someone is threatening them.

But as I said we won’t find out what’s pushing this extreme behavior for a while, if ever.  Mensch has been chiming in with her fan-fic, crediting McCain and his buddy Graham with a sweet little patriotic conspiracy where they both voted to confirm Sessions and split their votes on the healthkill bill.  This was necessary so they wouldn’t blow their cover, and OF COURSE it’s top secret!

No.  Try again.  They are who they are — McCain is nothing if not unpredictable — and they did what they did.  I will never believe otherwise unless I hear it from their own mouths.

In the meantime, something far more illuminating has happened.  In fact there were four things:

(1) the Joint Chiefs of Staff has openly defied Trump on his new zero-tolerance policy for transgender soldiers/sailors.  It would appear that the generals are (to an extent) turning on Trump.  This is something I’ve never seen happen before in my several decades of life.

(2) Congress has passed a veto-proof extension (and, I think, a toughening) of the sanctions on Russia.  It’s on Trump’s desk right now, but it doesn’t matter.  It’s passed.  There is nothing he can do about it.  He probably doesn’t totally grasp that there’s nothing he can do about it, but he’s stuck with it.

Putin is already responding by throwing U.S. diplomats out of Russia; that’s fine because now there can be no more talk of the U.S. giving Russian compounds (on U.S. soil) back.  I predict Trump will try, anyway, simply because it’s within his control and he may see it as a way to save his considerable ass with Putin.  (No I don’t believe he’s actually done this already, but I may be wrong; if he has, he’s screwed either way.)

(3) More reps and senators are now talking openly about Trump and Russia on the floor of the House and Senate (and/or in the hallways) and refusing to be hushed.  It’s clear that what we’re hearing, they’re hearing — which means it isn’t “fake news” — and at least some of them are as fed up as we are.

(4) Lindsay Graham, for what he’s worth, is apparently cooking up a bill that will prevent Trump from dismissing Special Counsel Robert Mueller by shouting “you’re fired!” just like he used to on his TV show.  There has also been talk of a bill in the House that would prevent Trump from unilaterally starting a war, but I don’t know what happened with that.  Presidents were never supposed to be able to do that anyway; not that they haven’t — and that’s the problem, particularly with someone as desperate to cause a distraction as is Trump.

All in all it looks like the wheels are falling off, not only for Trump but for the entire Republican party.  I refuse to guess how much longer this is going to take.

I had predicted that things would start happening after June 30; it appears I wasn’t far wrong.  What’s happening now is that people are openly defying Trump and calling Congressional Republican leadership to task, and Congress itself defies Trump one day (the healthkill bill and the sanctions) and coddles him the next (money for the Mexican wall, which they previously said was dead — but it’s stupid enough where I’m sure they’ll go ahead with it anyway, magically pulling money out of their asses).

Next come actual indictments of people surrounding Trump.  There will be no impeachment; for all Congress’s recent bluster, they will not impeach Trump. As I said earlier, someone’s holding something over their heads, and whatever it is scares the hell out of them.

But some things are inevitable, and one inevitability here is that someone is going to jail for all of this, or at least part of it.  I have no idea when the actual legal action will start, but the latest rumor is “by the end of the summer.”  They just aren’t saying which summer.

 

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Read the Health-kill Bill (this is not normal)

Here it is in all its secretive glory, written by a handful of white men in a locked room:

Republican Heathkill Bill

And oh, you may be hearing a lot about Trump not actually being able to produce tapes of his conversations with Comey.  This is because there are none — or at least, if there were, they were deleted long ago.

Trump’s threat of “tapes” was just that — a threat, a distraction.  He’s a schoolyard bully who never grew up; he just doesn’t grasp that as president, people take what he says seriously and demand proof.  And if the proof isn’t there, Trump can’t get it through his head that he could be in far more serious trouble than merely a trip to the principal’s office; witness tampering/intimidation is a BIG deal and obstruction of justice is even bigger.  When you’re the president, people have notoriously long memories about what you have said and they tend to want to make you live with it.  It is not enough to tweet “never mind,” as Trump did today.  To put it simply, if he were Hillary Clinton, he’d be impeached and in leg irons right now.  But he’s Trump, so he is held to a much lower standard.

Meantime the White House just held a blacked-out press briefing, or whatever it was (I wonder if they brought any shrubbery into the room?).  And Jared Kushner is in Israel, talking to someone about something, and refusing to be photographed (is he Amish now?).  This puts me in mind of the rumors that Rex Tillerson won’t make eye contact with anyone and won’t let anyone sit in a room with him, or something like that.  Or that Pence has issues with the presence of women that are severe enough to suggest he may be more comfortable working in certain portions of the Middle East.

As the saying goes, folks, This.Is.Not.Normal.  These people are seriously weird, and they are, as the late Alan Rickman’s Snape enunciated so carefully, Up.To.Something.

If I can find it, I have an article somewhere from a few years back, about the inner workings of the Bolshoi Ballet.  It will shock you how similar it is to so much that is going on in the U.S. government now.  This is what the Russian government looks like when it’s transplanted in the U.S., folks (yes, the Bolshoi and the Russian government are interconnected).  Not very pretty.  Let’s not only hope it dies, but work to kill it.

P.S. Mensch chimed in and claimed that Comey’s telephone was some sort of super-duper auto-recorder, like a black box in an airplane, and that COMEY has tapes and so does Trump.  Right.  Then why did Comey write memos, dear?  Enough with the distractions, it’s getting old and in this case in particular, you’re adding nothing to the conversation.  And oh yeah…you lost me at Cheney.