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The Further Adventures of Paul Ryan, Policy Wonk of Seriousity

[ 57 ] March 21, 2017 |

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TrumpCare represents the absolute state-of-the-art in Republican policymaking. That is, it involves using a farcically slapdash process to try to attain reprehensible substantive ends:

In an effort to blunt the disastrous impact of the American Health Care Act on older Americans, House Republican leaders are adding a provision that would set aside $75 billion to do … something unspecified.

Really. According to Politico, the new version of the bill will not say at all what to do with the $75 billion. Instead it will just “instruct the Senate” to come up with a plan to use the money to help people between the ages of 50 and 64.

This is a very unusual way to legislate and reflects House Republicans’ desperation to pass basically anything as soon as possible and pass the buck to the Senate.

[…]

But Paul Ryan is determined to have the House vote on this bill on Thursday, which means they don’t have time for any big rethink or prolonged negotiation. So what they’ve come up with instead is, apparently, this $75 billion magic asterisk. The House will pass a bill with what amounts to a blank spot, and then members can say they repealed Obamacare and toss the hot potato of working out the details to their colleagues in the Senate.

The Heritage Uncertainty Principle strikes again!

A bunch of fanatics led by a guy who’s the ultimate example that any conservative white guy who wears a suit and can complete sentences without drooling will be taken seriously producing a pathetic quasi-bill — it was hard to see this coming! The optimistic take is that having passed a useless bill that can be sold as ‘Repealing Obamacare” the House will consider its work done and let the whole thing fall apart. The attempts to blame McConnell — who, unlike Ryan, whatever his faults is a very able legislative mechanic and not just a bullshit artist “policy entrepreneur” — will be hilarious if that happens. But precisely because McConnell is competent we can’t consider TrumpCare dead yet.

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  1. efgoldman says:

    I read elsewhere on Monday that enough members of the kkkrazy kkkaukus have come out against this mess that another eight or so Republiklowns, fearing for re-election, will croak it. And half of Granny Starver’s grifters haven’t committed one way or the other yet.

  2. Nobdy says:

    I wish I were starting a band so I could call it “75 Billion Dollar Slush Fund.” I think it has a nice ring to it.

    I also think that this is an exciting legislative innovation that can be applied to all kinds of future policy goals.

    How do we solve the opioid crisis?

    First we create a 75 billion dollar slush fund.

    And then?

    I don’t know. Pay people not to take drugs? Pay rich people to tell poor people not to take drugs? I’m not part of the executive branch, I don’t do implementation.

    How do we resolve income inequality?

    First we create a 75 billion dollar slush fund.

    And then?

    Breed hyenas and train them to feed on the poor, I guess. That should cause the median income to rise, as the poor are eliminated.

    How do we solve government corruption?

    First we create a 75 billion dollar slush fund.

    And then?

    Give the money to our friends.

    How does that solve government corruption?

    Oh. You were saying there’s too MUCH of it. Gotcha. Umm…don’t worry about it.

    • Dennis Orphen says:

      Start at the beginning. First, create an opiate crisis, create income inequality, create government corruption, and so on…….

      The Republican Party is a criminal organization that will create problems that can only be solved by paying them money.

      • weirdnoise says:

        The Republican Party is a criminal organization that will create problems that can only be solved by paying them money.

        So no wonder its fearless leader wants to run our military alliances like a protection racket.

      • JohnT says:

        So your saying the plan is:

        1. Create a problem
        2. Create a $75bn slush fund
        3. Profit!

        Now that’s a good plan. For Paul Ryan’s paymasters.

      • catclub says:

        The GOP will create problems that can only be solved by paying them money.

        Except you cannot pay them to go away.

    • sigaba says:

      …when winter comes the man-eating gorillas will freeze.

    • easilyconfused says:

      Dear Sirs:

      When you load the pallets with the hundred dollar bills, please make sure you use PLASTIC pallets, not wood pallets. Last time, our interns in Iraq kept getting splinters loading up their new Mercedes SUV’s. It was a serious morale problem.

      Sincerely,

  3. Captain Oblivious says:

    I’m beginning to think that Ryan’s grasp of policy is only about an inch deeper than Trump’s.

  4. William Berry says:

    Just stop with the “seriousity” thing. The word is literally unpronounceable.

    Drop the “u”‘and make it “seriosity”. Euphony and sensible orthography are important!

    Maybe. YMMV, as the kids say

    • Colin Day says:

      My previous demand for that was rejected. Good luck.

    • Brian 13 says:

      Lame. I want ‘supraseriouslyizationity’.

    • JohnT says:

      You’re complaining that about a word that’s theoretically unpronounceable because its spelling harks bark to the origin of the word rather than its exact pronunciation?

      You do know we are writing in English, right?

      I mean, in Dutch we still pronounce the ‘k’ and ‘gh’ in our equivalent of ‘knight’, the ‘w’ in ‘who’ etc etc ad inifinitum – but that’s just not how English rolls…

      • William Berry says:

        It’s a made up word. It makes sense for the spelling to suggest the pronunciation. Think of Louis Carroll: every nonce word he created followed the rules of regular orthography, clearly signaling the intended pronunciation.

        The weird spelling of so many English words is an indication of how they used to be pronounced.

        Also, English is not Dutch,

        This is not difficult.

        • JohnT says:

          I was just noting the fact that as a foreigner who is trying to teach his young son to read English, ‘insane orthography with an overwhelming focus on the history/etymology of a word rather than its pronunciation’ is more or less the defining feature of English. Only French is even half as bad

          I used Dutch as a comparator of slightly more sensible spelling because I know it well, but I’m happy to repeat the exercise in Russian, Italian, German, as takes your fancy – stop by in my office after work…!

          Also note that many new English words are still spelled based on their origin not maximum clarity of pronunciation

          So
          emailed not ee-mailled
          Audiophile not awdiofile
          Dramedy not drammeddee

          etc

    • efgoldman says:

      Euphony and sensible orthography are important!

      We are marching to Pedantia
      Pedantia
      Pedantia
      We are marching to Pedantia
      Pedantia, hooray!

    • Hogan says:

      At the sight of Paul Ryan
      Passing the buck to Mitch,
      Even the bawds of euphony
      Would cry out sharply.

  5. los says:

    bill will not say at all what to do with the $75 billion. Instead it will just “instruct the Senate” to come up with a plan to use the money to help people between the ages of 50 and 64.

    Whereupon the Senate will just instruct the Trump administration to come up with a plan to use the money to help people between the ages of 50 and 64.

    Whereupon the Bannon administration will just instruct Putin to come up with a plan to use half of the money to help Americans between the ages of 50 and 64.

    Whereupon Putin will just instruct Kim Jong-Un to come up with a plan to use 1/10th of the money to finish the ICBM project and help Republicans avoid dealing with Americans between the ages of 0 and 128.

    • Dennis Orphen says:

      The blackmails need the payoff. What’s the point otherwise? I wouldn’t worry about the 1/10 part though. A good parasite doesn’t kill its host.

    • sigaba says:

      Whereupon Kim Jong-Un instructs the Chinese government to take the money and just put all the Americans on fucking Chinese healthcare because the entire planet is just Too Fucking Tired of the fate of the human race hanging in the balance while old whites work through their shame issues.

    • CP says:

      I mean, this is how business works, isn’t it? The CEO makes some grand pronouncement, and then, “my guys’ll work out the details.”

  6. Colin Day says:

    Heritage Uncertainty Principle strikes again!

    But what is the Fourier conjugate of money?

  7. wengler says:

    Hey look, Ryan just turned this steaming pile of shit into a loyalty test. Which Republican will stab him in the back first?

  8. keta says:

    A dying health bill needs to be cured,
    Gets a prescription completely absurd.
    An injection of billions
    Or maybe it’s trillions!
    From the experts on polishing turds.

  9. Bootsie says:

    Mitch the Magic Turtle slams his head on his desk.

    “I just want my fucking tax cuts…” he mumbles.

    • John Revolta says:

      “that derned rabbit thinks he’s so slick…………………..wellll, I’ll show him a trick or two………………..yyyyyyyyuuupp!”

  10. Hells Littlest Angel says:

    If you’re going to earmark money which won’t actually be spent, earmarking such a small amount is ridiculous. Do they take their party’s base for fools? The fund needs to be at least a trillion.

  11. How does the CBO score a random slush fund? I suppose it’s just a string of blinking asterisks. MS Word used to have blinking fonts, devised by a mad teenage nerd. These would come in handy.

  12. C.V. Danes says:

    Really. According to Politico, the new version of the bill will not say at all what to do with the $75 billion. Instead it will just “instruct the Senate” to come up with a plan to use the money to help people between the ages of 50 and 64.

    Does it really take 75 billion to create and market Quietus?

  13. Derelict says:

    According to one analysis I read yesterday, by 2022 (when I’m 63 years old) I will probably not be able to get health insurance because no insurance company will even offer policies to someone that age. But if I do find an insurer, my policy will likely cost $18,000 to $24,000 per year.

    But Obamacare is teh suxxor because my premium went up $20 last year and besides–Bill Gates needs to buy another island or three. So there’s that.

  14. Grumpy says:

    Isn’t this unconstitutional under Schoolhouse Rock? I don’t think the House can get away with passing a bill that says “do something with the olds” and then the Senate comes up with a 145-page implementation. Doesn’t the version of the bill voted on in both houses eventually need to be identical? I guess the Senate could come up with a way to use the $75B and then kick it back to the House, but then what would have been accomplished by punting?

    • jim, some guy in iowa says:

      I think what’s going on is that Ryan is telling the Senate, “come up with something you can pass and then I’ll make my people pass it”. The thing is, in admitting he can’t get *his* branch to do its job, he’s also admitting he won’t be able to get them to accept whatever the Senate would come up with. It will be up to trump and his damned executive orders to kill the ACA- Congress is too dysfunctional- or, in just enough spots too *rational* to do the deed itself

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Doesn’t the version of the bill voted on in both houses eventually need to be identical?

      Yes.

  15. sk7326 says:

    The only good thing about TrumpCare has been the chance to revisit the Underpants Gnomes of South Park.

  16. DrDick says:

    Paul Ryna, master of the Magic Asterisk(tm)!

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