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“Yah, okay, I’ll have my girl send you over a copy, then.”

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Fargo_128Pyxurz

Chait highlights perhaps the most ridiculous part of the NYT’s embarrassing Paul Ryan hagiography Erik highlighted earlier:

The magical-realism version of the Ryan platform involves heaping doses of empathy and wonkishness. As always, the evidence for this lies not in any concrete commitments but in promises lying somewhere over the horizon. The key passage from today’s Times story: “For example, if the Republican nominee does not provide an alternative to the Affordable Care Act — something Republicans have failed to do since it passed in 2010 — Mr. Ryan intends to do so, just as he will lay out an anti-poverty plan.”

Note the “intends to,” a phrase that captures Ryan’s uncanny ability to have his assurances taken at face value. Republicans have been promising that they were on the cusp of unveiling a party-wide alternative to the Obama administration’s health-care reform since the debate began in 2009, but they have never quite managed to do so. Republican alternatives to Obamacare have lain just over the horizon for half a dozen years, and oddly enough, the pace of their imminent unveiling appears to have increased. Consider a small sampling of the recent time frame. In January 2014, Ryan promised he would develop a Republican plan that year. By March, the Washington Post was reporting the unveiling of this plan as a fait accomplit…

The plan never came. In April of that year, it was still in development but due to come out extremely soon. “Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Paul Ryan are collaborating on an Obamacare alternative and could announce the proposal as early as this month, according to Republican sources,” reported the Washington Examiner.

The next year, Ryan renewed his commitment to reveal his plan very, very soon. In February, 2015, Ryan announced the plan would be out by the end of March. By the end of March, there was still no plan, but Ryan did declare that Republicans “must have a plan to replace Obamacare by late June.” June came and went, and summer turned to fall, and fall to winter. By December 2015, Ryan proclaimed the need for a Republican plan “urgent.”

By January of this year, Ryan — asked if the promised plan would come to a vote — said, “Nothing’s been decided yet.” Later that month, his spokesperson was insisting that many steps had yet to take place, and it was out of Ryan’s hands. “As the speaker has said many times, committees, not leadership, will be taking the lead on policy development,” Ryan spokesperson AshLee Strong told the Washington Post. “The next step will be forming committee-led task forces that will hold listening sessions with Republican members … The task forces will then develop the specific policy.” Task forces, committees, listening sessions — there is just so much to do.

The reason the dog keeps eating the Republicans’ health-care homework is very simple: It is impossible to design a health-care plan that is both consistent with conservative ideology and acceptable to the broader public. People who can’t afford health insurance are either unusually sick (meaning their health-care costs are high), unusually poor (their incomes are low), or both. Covering them means finding the money to pay for the cost of their medical treatment. You can cover poor people by giving them money. And you can cover sick people by requiring insurers to sell plans to people regardless of age or preexisting conditions. Obamacare uses both of these methods. But Republicans oppose spending more money on the poor, and they oppose regulation, which means they don’t want to do either of them.

The fact that Republicans can claim to have an ACA replacement and anti-poverty plan forthcoming and be taken at face value by credulous journalists is about as pure a distillation of the felt necessity to present a “shape of the world, views differ” perspective as you can find. “I fully intend to put forward a replacement for Obamacare, really” is not even a complicated scam. It’s the most obvious and pathetic one: “my check’s on the mail” and “my Audi’s in the shop” from a man who has never made a payment on his loan and has been driving a ’93 Geo Metro since you met him six months ago. But it’s an iron law among a certain kind of journalist that there must be a Serious, Moderate Major Republican, and when the competition is the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Paul Ryan gets the gig purely by default.

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  • so-in-so

    They are still looking for the right wording to make “vouchers and tort reform” look like a comprehensive replacement for the ACA.

    • Bitter Scribe

      Don’t forget “medical savings accounts” (i.e., save up enough years in advance to pay for that cancer treatment) and “competition across state lines” (i.e., let all the health insurance companies flock to Mississippi or whichever state has the most bribeable legislature).

      • so-in-so

        See, a page for each and North Carolina could run with it!

      • ChrisS

        And fraud, waste and abuse …

        That boondoggle has only resulted in the addition of hundreds of contracting specialist jobs and onerous record keeping to make sure that the contracts aren’t wasteful.

        The GOP outsourced a bunch of government services to private contractors to save money and ended up hiring a bunch of babysitters, who soaked up all the money the government was going to save.

      • Scott Lemieux

        flock to Mississippi

        South Dakota just refuses to lose any race to the regulatory bottom!

        • Denverite

          My money is on Florida or Arizona. Less constituent outcry about crooked insurers setting up shop because so many of the residents are on Medicare.

          • Casey

            They’re all states that have had great songs written about how terrible they are, which is probably not a coincidence…

            “Mississippi Goddam”, Nina Simone
            “South Dakota”, Liz Phair
            “Moving to Florida”, The Butthole Surfers
            “By the Time I Get To Arizona”, Public Enemy

            • Casey

              They’re also all songs that quoted/sampled wholesale in other songs:

              “Missasauga Goddam” by the Hidden Cameras is a re-imagining of the Nina Simone song.

              “South Dakota” is just Liz Phair making up new lyrics to Iggy Pop’s “Funtime”

              “Seven Nation Army (Harry Potter and George W. Bush Severed Head Mix)” is The Flaming Lips singing “Moving To Florida”‘s lyrics to the White Stripes song.

              Evolution Control Committe’s “By The Time I Get To Arizona (Whipped Cream Mix)”, widely considered the first mash-up, setting Public Enemy to Herb Alpert’s “Whipped Cream And Other Delights.”

              If you want, I could make you a mixtape? I could bring it by your dorm tonight. Oh, you’re still digesting the last one I made? Well OK then, that’s cool too.

      • Anna in PDX

        I love my medical savings plan which is a work benefit. It’s pre-tax and it comes out of my gross pay before I get a paycheck. However it can’t be saved over years. It has to all get spent that year or you lose the balance anything over I think $500 (which is a recent thing to allow that to carry over). Not sure how they’d have to change it to make it carry over since it is taken off taxable income on a tax year basis.

        • Denverite

          HSAs carry over (I just funneled our medical expenses through ours to save $1200 or so in taxes!). They’re great so long as you can afford to be out $5k or so in any given year for the HDHP deductible.

          • Chuchundra

            I rolled the dice on the HSA/High Deductible plan this year.

            My employer puts in $1000 to start me off and I put in the difference in my cost between the high deductible plan and the best plan available, which is $300 a month, plus another $100 a month on top of that.

            It’s worked out well so far. I pay the medical bills with my HSA debit card.

            It’s interesting because I’m move involved in the actual costs of medical care for my family. A trip to the pediatric urgent care for my daughter cost me $188 where last year is was just a $30 copay.

            • Denverite

              I just keep track of medical expenses and then when I’m doing my taxes transfer whatever the total is to the HSA and then transfer it back. It’s a bit of a hassle but then at the same time it magically makes that amount tax free (which given that we usually spend around $5k in medical expenses, is $1200 or so back in our pockets).

          • Warren Terra

            Some do roll over, some don’t. My employer’s don’t, and expire at the end of the year. In theory they’re an advantageous way to plan ahead for very predictable medical expenses (new eyeglasses, say, or scheduled checkups such as maintaining care of a known condition), but I really doubt whether MSAs – especially the type that don’t roll over – are otherwise any use at all. I suspect they’re actually a bit of a boondoggle, that a lot of people lose the money they put in the MSA to no benefit.

        • Pseudonym

          That sounds like a Flexible Spending Account, not a Health Savings Account.

  • Steve LaBonne

    And people wonder why I say I wouldn’t wipe my ass with the Times. It’s been many years since it was a useful, credible source of news.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      You say that every time there’s a post about a bad Times story, but you never pop up when a post is based on a good or great Times story, as many, many LGM posts are. Do you also deprive yourself of the good stuff?

      • Steve LaBonne

        There are no “great” Times stories. There are instances of them still doing actual reporting, which is not something above and beyond but what they’re fucking supposed to do all the time. But those are buried in a pile of crap, and there’s no way for readers who aren’t political junkies to know which is which. Times readers would be better informed by watching Comedy Central.

        • efgoldman

          Times readers would be better informed by watching Comedy Central.

          Well Jon Stewart made a whole career out of that premise, didn’t he?

      • cpinva

        the odds of me being hit by lightening and struck by a mack truck, simultaneously, are better than the odds of the NYT’s printing a good/great story. it’s basically (with extremely rare exception) expensive birdcage lining.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      I’m not even particularly a Times fan but these comments are IMO representative of Times-blindess: the perception that stories broken (or reported in unprecedented detail) by the Times, which are legion and linked constantly at LGM and similar blogs, are simply Things That Happen in the World, so the Times gets no credit for its work, whereas when the Times makes mistakes, it’s all See I Told You So.

      Steve, efgoldman, cpinva, come back and treat us to your “Times sux!” the next time Erik or Scott links to a valuable Times environmental or labor story, which I guarantee will be fairly soon.

      • Scott Lemieux

        I agree. It’s a valuable news source that also publishes some crap. The idea that people would be better off relying on Trevor Noah is absurd.

  • marcel proust

    Hey, microsoft built a monopoly, and what was at one time 3 of the 10 largest fortunes in the country if not on the planet, on vaporware. Why shouldn’t Ryan see if it works for him; it has worked pretty well so far.

    • kped

      ? That’s a nonsense post.

      In the computer industry, vaporware (also spelt vapourware) is a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled. Use of the word has broadened to include products such as automobiles.

      Microsoft built its monopoly on products that were released. The various Windows OS’s, MS Office, and server software. That’s the exact opposite of vaporware.

      • jmauro

        See, Microsoft Cairo and Microsoft Longhorn.

        Both of which announced wiz-bang features that were just around the corner, but then never seemed to materialize. At the same time taking the wind out of the sails of their competitors who were much closer to providing those features.

        • brugroffil

          But MS didn’t built their empire on those products. They built it mainly on their OS’s which were and are actual products installed on a majority of computers.

          • cpinva

            ” They built it mainly on their OS’s which were and are actual products installed on a majority of computers.”

            true, even when they had no business doing so. I give you Windows ME & Windows 10, as prime examples.

            • kped

              Windows 10 is pretty damn good I think. The example you should have used was Windows 8 and 8.1, which were just not adopted on any level because of the huge change.

              • LosGatosCA

                Vista forever, baby!!!

            • brugroffil

              Windows 10 is fine. Windows ME was a dumpster fire stop-gap from about 17 years ago now, and it came after they had already established their empire with 95 and 98.

              • sparks

                95 sucked massively. I spent years using anything other than Windows products until XP.

          • Bill Murray

            of course, while Windows 95 did eventually come out, they also did the look at all these features that are just around the corner in like 93/94 to keep OS/2 WARP from getting large inroads into the Microsoft monopoly.

  • brad

    I’m casually acquainted with someone who works in CBS’s executive production offices and all I can say is some rubes plain want to be played. He thought Romney was “inevitable”, and that things like polls and reality and Silver/Wang analysis were partisan ranting. In a frustrating way it’s fascinating.
    Having opinions is hard, hurts brain, and puts you at risk of offending someone who thinks otherwise. Easier just to find a false middle that not coincidentally makes it easy to always agree with the person signing the checks. That all this makes him unqualified for the degree of gatekeeping he and his ilk are equipped with is not a thought he can process. Ever.

    Oh, and of course he considers himself a true liberal, as opposed to a crazy extremist like me.

    • NewishLawyer

      To be fair, I think not-questioning things does make it easier to get ahead. I’m too much of a misfit for that and while I do think this hurts my career and this can be frustrating, I can’t stop being a misfit and questioning things.

      Politics is often a war between pragmatics and romantics. Pragmatics can be too accepting of the way things are and romantics are often too blind to the fact that people might disagree with them and the importance of compromise in politics.

      Why did your CBS person think Romney was inevitable? Was he just surrounded by wealthy Republicans?

      I don’t know what causes people to just accept things the way they are. My girlfriend had one of the brass ring scenarios in terms of education and employment. She went from a top undergrad to a big Consulting firm to top MBA to back to Consulting to Tech. Her hours in tech are much more reasonable but still usually between 50-55 a week. When she was in consulting, she did those long hours. She will note that a lot of her friends did burn out but not make a connection between hours worked and chance of burn out.

      This is all the way of the world to her. When I complained about how my old firm wanted lawyers to work over 55 hours a week (preferably closer to 65-75 hours a week) she just took as the way things were. Meanwhile I am questioning why we are so crazy about super-long hours for everyone. I am willing to do it for important deadlines or trials and sometimes you need to but the idea of working close 60 hours a week just to work 60 or more hours a week is madness.

      • brad

        The best way to sum up the guy which I can think of is imagine Jon Stewart without a curiosity for the world beyond what’s on his intern’s Spotify mixes. He is, and I don’t say this with any truly negative connotations, a good Jewish boy who’s playing the game by “the rules” without any real questioning of how much they’re designed for his benefit and comfort.
        That inevitable bit is hard to truly explain, I’m still in ways puzzled. I think the best explanation is sheer laziness. The bosses and elders were in that bubble and his friends and people like me who were saying otherwise are dirty hippies lost to partisanship, which he sees as inherently negative (aside of course from business oriented “centrism”). In a very real sense I suspect he chose that view because he saw it as socially polite.

        • JustRuss

          I have an old friend who works there too, probably knows your friend. He likes to post about how proud he is to work at CBS, which I kind of get, but really, CBS, like the other networks, is pretty much a dinosaur these days. 30-40 years ago it was the top of the heap, but those days are long gone. And who are the champions of days long gone? Not progressives. I’m guessing “Hope and Change” didn’t resonate for folks at CBS.

          • Anna in PDX

            Just starting to read a bio of Edward R. Murrow – yes, CBS has changed a lot. And not for the better.

            • Sev

              They need to get back on the cigarettes. Would improve turnover.

    • cpinva

      “Having opinions is hard, hurts brain, and puts you at risk of offending someone who thinks otherwise.”

      not true at all. any numbnuts can have an opinion, devoid of any pretense of factual basis. it’s the opinions that are supported by facts and analysis that are hard.

  • Denverite

    I guess I don’t really get why Ryan hasn’t put out some sort of plan along the lines of:

    1.) Allow insurers to sell across state lines with some minimal federal EMB protection.
    2.) Make all insurance premiums tax deductible.
    3.) Expand HSA/MSAs.
    4.) Handwave away the preexisting coverage problem by saying “state-run high risk pools” a bunch of times.

    It’s true that this would be a super crappy plan (unless the federal EMB protection was strong enough that Republicans would never go for it, and there was enough federal dollars spent on the high risk pools that ditto), but why does Ryan care about that? He’s got his “plan.”

    • NonyNony

      What does he gain by having an actual plan? Let’s think about it from his perspective. With no plan at all but with the promise of a plan he gets:

      * to be considered a Serious Republican Politician
      * to be considered one of the Smart Guys In Washington DC
      * lots of money from the handful of Republican donors who want the Republican Party to be the Serious Party Of Ideas
      * lost of ego-stroking journamalism penned about how great he is

      With an actual plan he would get:

      * an analysis of his plan telling him why he sucks
      * articles questioning his Seriousness
      * articles questioning his Intelligence
      * attacks from the conservative wing of the Republican Party (Ted Cruz) who find his ideas Offensive To Conservatism
      * attacks from his primary challenger who will find his ideas Offensive To Conservatism
      * attacks from Democrats – including a general election challenger – who find his ideas Offensive To Humanity, to Decency, and/or to Common Sense
      * second thoughts from the handful of Republican donors who want the Republican Party to be the Serious Party Of Ideas
      * fewer ego stroking articles. Or at least a smaller percentage of all articles written about him will be about how great he is

      From the political angle and the self-promotion angle (same thing in the modern GOP) having an actual plan is all loss, no gain. It’s all about the incentives.

      • ChrisS

        The same way with how spending cuts go hand in hand with tax cuts to balance the budget. The GOP is for cutting spending, all the candidates are for cutting spending. Very few actually propose what they’re specifically going to cut.

        • NonyNony

          Yup. Proposing actual spending cuts is a surefire way to get some faction of conservative voters angry with you, gives an opening to primary opponents on the right to attack you for cutting this thing but not that thing, and gives an opening to opponents in the general election on the left to attack you for being a heartless out-of-touch politician who doesn’t understand how beneficial this thing you’re cutting is for voters in your own district.

          Proposing “spending cuts”, OTOH, is a winner. Nobody likes taxes, everyone “knows” that the government spends too much, your opponents on the right won’t attack the nebulous idea of “spending cuts” and your opposition on the left can’t really attack it without sounding like they just like spending for the sake of spending.

          There is zero upside in our current electorate for conservatives to propose actual plans rather than just mouth the right code words and pretend to have a plan. Conversely Democrats who try to do this generally get hammered by at least half of their voting base who want to see a plan before they’re ready to commit to a politician. It’s another way that Dems and Republicans are not symmetric groups.

          • efgoldman

            gives an opening to primary opponents on the right to attack you for cutting this thing but not that thing, and gives an opening to opponents in the general election on the left to attack you for being a heartless out-of-touch politician

            And yet, a considerable cohort of the Republiklown konservative krazy klown kaukus votes against things that benefit their own state or district (like disaster aid).
            And get re-elected.
            “Please sir, may I have another?”

            • alex284

              Yeah, but to actually propose any sort of spending cuts that would offset the massive tax cuts that Republicans all want, they’d have to cut into Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or the military.

              And they aren’t about to make old people or the military mad.

              • efgoldman

                And they aren’t about to make old people or the military mad.

                Yeah, the Granny Starver will leave my SS and medicare alone. My 35 y.o. daughter? Not so much.
                But I raised her to be a good liberal voter, and she is, and she married another.

                • Ahuitzotl

                  once President Crump trebles the economy and everyone gets richer than average, they’ll change their minds

      • cpinva

        “*lots of money from the handful of Republican donors who want the Republican Party to be the Serious Party Of Ideas”

        I’ve often heard rumors of such a beast, but much like the fabled unicorn, I’ve never actually seen one, or had one identified by name.

    • wengler

      Real plans can be trashed as dogshit. Fake plans can never be failed. See how Nixon achieved victory in Vietnam.

      • efgoldman

        See how Nixon achieved victory in Vietnam.

        Ah yes. The “secret plan” to end the war.

    • L2P

      The “deductible insurance premiums” bit doesn’t work well. There’s two problems:

      1. He now has to fund the tax break, which most people estimate would be much higher than the current employer-method+ACA subsidies (because the insurance would cost more, mostly). This would make his plan DOA.

      2. All the ACA subsidies go to people who have little, if any, taxable income. Tax deductions don’t help them buy insurance. So you’re left with no way to get insurance to low-income people. (That might not matter to him so much, but it’s hard to sell the plan as a replacement for the ACA).

      The HSAs are a similar problem. Hugely expensive if they’re actually meant to be a major part of health care payments.

      • Anna in PDX

        Thanks, I was using anecdote of how my HSA works above to try to get at some of the problems with it and this explains it a lot better.

      • Denverite

        Just to be clear, I’m not saying *I* favor the above hypothetical Ryan plan.

        • efgoldman

          I’m not saying *I* favor the above hypothetical Ryan plan.

          It would be historically great.

      • JKTH

        Well, 2 takes care of 1 and 2 is a feature not a bug for them.

      • The solution to this problem is Dynamic Scoring, where Ryan instructs the CBO to estimate the impact of the bill using the assumption that we are at the far end of the Laffer Curve and, as a result, the tax break pays for itself thrice over.

        • Sev

          Actually, I think the health plan’s dynamic scoring will assume that ever larger numbers of people simply surrender to fate and contrive to die more quickly and rather more thriftily than at present.

  • georgekaplan

    Corollary: if Ryan finally does produce some sort of “plan” that’s the legislative equivalent of an Encyclopaedia Britannica article copied in pencil onto notebook paper, the press will treat it like it’s the Code of Hammurabi.

    • kped

      The treat him like a dumb child who tries hard when he does release something. “Sure it doesn’t add up,but he deserves credit for trying”. No, no he doesn’t.

  • leftwingfox

    It’s interesting, since the GOP probably could say whatever they wanted as a plan, and thanks to “both sides” and “equal time” in major networks, those plans for the ACA could be “Free market!” and “Tax breaks!” and they’d get reported as alternatives.

    I wonder if the reluctance to release a plan might have to do with having burned all their bridges already: they’ve salted the earth so thoroughly against every aspect of Obamacare that everything they come up with has already been compared to tyranny, fascism and communism. “Let the poor die” is about the only stand that works with the base anymore, but won’t wash with anyone else.

    • DrDick

      Their replacement for the ACA is the same as it has always been, nothing. This of course leads to their antipoverty plan, which is allow all of the poor to die in the gutters. Presto, no more poverty problem!

  • Ryan’s boss did give him permission to take $100 off that TrueCoat though.

    • LosGatosCA

      And then put him in the chipper.

  • njorl

    Paul Ryan has plans. It would just not be appropriate to reveal them until he is slowly lowering us into the pool full of sharks with (freakin’) lasers on their heads.

    • so-in-so

      “Health insurance, Mr. Bond? No, I expect you to die!”

  • Hogan

    Ryan is the George B. McClellan of health policy: the right time to give battle is always next week.

    • MattT

      It would be a mistake to give up all the progress Republicans have made toward developing a health care plan over the past 20 years. The next 6 months are critical in determining whether Ryan can succeed.

      • JustRuss

        Coming soon to an editorial page near you….

      • ColBatGuano

        What is the ratio of Ryan units to Friedman units?

        • efgoldman

          What is the ratio of Ryan units to Friedman units?

          Cannot be calculated by mere mortals. It’s like finding the end of pi, or the largest prime number.

          • Sev

            x/0

          • N__B

            It’s like finding the end of pi

            e

          • Bill Murray

            Cannot be calculated by mere mortals.

            of course it can you just have to understand how the derivatives approach 0 or infinity. Were now playing by L’Hospital’s Rules

          • Hogan

            It’s like finding the end of pi

            Shyaaa. It’s irrational.

            • Ahuitzotl

              so is my appetite. Which is usually the end of pie.

  • Peterr

    But it’s an iron law among a certain kind of journalist that there must be a Serious, Moderate Major Republican

    That would be the kind of journalist that is part of the DC Villager community, and if there is no SMMR to be found, well by golly they’ll go out and invent one.

    • LosGatosCA

      I’m not sure why you question the veracity of a man who can run up dozens of 14,000 foot peaks in the Rockies in under 3 hours.

      What exactly does he have to do claim to do?

  • efgoldman

    It’s the most obvious and pathetic one: “my check’s on the mail” and “my Audi’s in the shop” from a man who has never made a payment on his loan and has been driving a ’03 Geo Metro since you met him six months ago.

    You forgot “Of course I live you….”
    I don’t know whether the Zombie-Eyed-Granny-Starver (or any of the rest of the RWNJ Republiklown TeaHadis) actually believe their own bullshit, are putting one over on the rubes, are more evil, or more stupid. But it seems not to matter very much.

    • kped

      Combination. I believe Ryan believes his own press. He believes the hype that has been built around hi. And as an Ayn Rand fanatic, he believes his stuff, as poorly thought out as it is, would “help”.

      That doesn’t make him any less vile and repulsive. But at least in Ryan’s case, I think he believes his own stupidity.

      • JustRuss

        I’m not sure what that means, helping is anathema to Objectivism. I get that you put it in quotes, but a Rand fanatic doesn’t believe in helping at all. Not arguing with you, just not sure what you mean.

        • efgoldman

          Not arguing with you, just not sure what you mean.

          It’s hard for any of us to be sure of anything, except that they’re either lying every time they open their pieholes (like Granny Starver) or dumber than a box of lag screws (Gohmert and his gang). Or both.

        • kped

          Well, he believes he is “helping” them by forcing them to be their better Randian selves and stop relying on the government.

          • JustRuss

            Yes, the old “Clearly they’re not suffering enough, let’s motivate them by making them more miserable”. Works every time.

          • Warren Terra

            their better Randian selves

            I was at the LA book fair yesterday, and as usual the Ayn Rand Society had a booth full of books and other publications. I was tempted to go up to them and ask what they were giving away, but in the end I chickened out.

  • shewasthenaz

    Why would they need to come up with an actual plan when “Repeal it immediately” is working so well for them.

    They have to do something with all of their time in DC, and multiple repeals seems to be their primary business at the moment.

    • Murc

      Why would they need to come up with an actual plan when “Repeal it immediately” is working so well for them.

      This. They’ve been rewarded grandly at the ballot box over the past seven years just doing what they’ve been doing. Sure, not the Presidency, but you can’t win’em all. Why stop? 2010 and 2014 were great years for them, and if 2018 isn’t also I’ll be surprised.

    • They have to do something with all of their time in DC

      Are there no brothels (or bathhouses, as the case may be)?

  • Crusty

    The typical republican plan-

    1) Repeal Obamacare
    2) ?????
    3) Live happily ever after

    Trump’s plan-

    1) Repeal Obamacare
    2) Replace it with something really terrific
    3) live happily ever after

  • FMguru

    Karl-Heinz: The winner will receive 10,000 marks and a 1990 Chevrolet Geo.

    Dieter: Geo. Stylish, sporty, economical. That’s Geo.

  • Downpuppy

    ’03 Metros are as rare as viable Republican health care plans.

    The last year they made Geo Metros was 1997. The line was continued as Chevy through 2001, and then abandoned.

    I had a 1995, bought new for $7000. Used to drive to New Jersey on $5 of gas. Finally smashed it through some stupid driving on a merge.

    • Murc

      Scott should have gone for the Saturn burn instead. Or Ford Focus.

      (I drive an ’01 Saturn. 140,000 miles on the clock. Only two major repairs; needed a new exhaust system two years ago and my AC gave out last summer. That’s pretty good for a fifteen year old car.)

    • efgoldman

      The last year they made Geo Metros was 1997.

      Weren’t they relabeled Toyota Corollas, but made in a GM plant in CA?
      Yeah, I know I could look it up, but I’ve been googling stuff for my daughter for the last couple hours, and my googler is worn out.

      • witlesschum

        A Geo Metro was way smaller than any Corolla I recall.

      • Srsly Dad Y

        Geo Prizm was on the Corolla body.

        • efgoldman

          Geo Prizm was on the Corolla body

          Thx. I knew it was a Geo something. Rented one once, drove it all over Florida. Liked it.
          In my current configuration, I probably couldn’t get in and out of it.

      • The Geo Metro was a re-badged Suzuki.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Dammit, I meant to type ’93. Fixorated!

    • Denverite

      My spouse had a 1995-ish Metro when I met her. She drove it all over the eastern half of the US. I still remember driving it from Texas to Chicago around New Year’s in 1999 or 2000, when there were bad ice storms and they closed the roads in Oklahoma and Arkansas. You try getting from Texas to Chicago without going through Oklahoma or Arkansas.

      In 2003 or so we gave it to the guy who mowed the grass at the two-flat we were renting because his car broke down and he could fit all his gear in it with the back seat folded down. (We had been gifted a 1991 Ford Taurus by that point.)

  • Pseudonym

    Wouldn’t it be a bit more credible for Paul Ryan to at least claim that his Aston Martin or Jaguar’s in the shop?

  • tsam

    Paul Ryan is the human equivalent of a participation medal.

    • LosGatosCA

      Or a celebration for 18 month old taking their first dump on the baby potty seat.

      Mommy: “Look at my big boy! Got most of it into the bowl!”

      Daddy: “Very good, I’ll just get the mop for the rest of it. Not bad for the first time. But let’s put the potty in the bathroom next time, he just missed the rug.”

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