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The Horror


I see it’s the anniversary of the end of American freedom.

This is why only President Trump can MAGA. When will my mom have the freedom to die many years too young?

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  • Drew

    Without the freedom to die young/in agony/penury, can America truly be free?

    • Erik Loomis

      Won’t someone think about the taxpayers, by which I mean Sheldon Adelson?

      • Are you sure Sheldon Adelson actually pays any federal taxes? (I’m willing to believe he may pay some state taxes. Maybe.)

        • allium

          Depends on where his phylactery is located.

          • Anne Nonymous

            Longtime lurker here. I finally made an account just to note that your comment caused me to connect the dots on a couple concepts that had been previously disjoint in my head — the fantasy/gaming idea of “phylactery” as an object storing a lich’s soul, and the real-world use of the term as a synonym for “tefillin”, which is a set of little boxes holding Torah verses written on scrolls that religious Jews wear during certain prayers.

            I assume from context that you were thinking of the lich’s soul type of phylactery, but may I humbly suggest “Horcrux” as a better term for Sheldon Adelson-related contexts?

            • M.

              D&D actually uses it both ways (there are magic items based on the tefillin).

              But c’mon, can’t we go old school rather than this JK-come-lately stuff?

              • Anne Nonymous

                I’m not what you might call a fan of Harry Potter (although I have to admit a soft spot for HPMoR, despite the Less Wrong community’s flaws), but I’m more comfortable with references to HP than with a term that, in the context of insulting a scumbag who happens to be Jewish, could give the impression of an antisemitic double entendre. YMMV, of course, but I have enough trouble discussing these issues with some of my Jewish in-laws as it is…

            • Origami Isopod


              /Jewish; heartily tired of this level of linguistic nitpickery

            • allium

              That is an excellent point. My apologies.

              • Anne Nonymous

                I wouldn’t feel too bad if I were you. It’s sort of an obscure linkage. My comment was intended more as a suggestion for linguistic refinement than as a condemnation.

        • david spikes

          Luckily Nevada gambling taxes can’t be fiddled with.
          Adelson proves at least one thing-you can’t die of ugly.

      • BaronvonRaschke

        One of the saddest aspects of the “freedom” argument that Repukelicans use is that it isn’t even new. It was the same freedom to contract argument the Supremes used to strike down child labor laws, maximum hours laws and minimum wage laws among others about 100 years ago. We have learned nothing.

  • Wapiti

    It's the government, always chipping away at our freedoms. Like when they cut down the sidewalk at the corner so the motorchairs can get to the crosswalks. There's your freedoms being chipped away like the sidewalk curb. Don't even get me started on those buses that kneel down to make it easier for old ladies to board.

    • carolannie

      Yeah, we old ladies just are sooooo freedom-hating! and those handicapped people, don’t get me started.

    • david spikes

      If people in wheelchairs want to use the streets they should pay for it themselves-after all I’m not in a wheelchair!!!
      Surprised Trump hasn’t criticized them-him being afraid of ramps and all.

      • Mike Hoyer

        Charles Krauthammer.

    • JerryRich

      When I moved to San Francisco in 1972, there was controversy about installing a wheelchair ramp to the front door of City Hall. “It’s defacing a classic structure! They can use the back door!” After the ramp was finished, I was taking a walk and went past City Hall. If there was not a saw horse in place to protect the drying cement, I wouldn’t have seen the ramp at all.

    • sanjait

      why can't people in wheelchairs just pick themselves up by the bootstraps?

  • hellslittlestangel

    So sad to imagine The Orange Better One sitting in the Oval Office this morning with a pen in his hand, forlornly clicking the ball-point in and out, in and out.

    • david spikes

      He’s going to sit there until they send him a bill, maybe even hold his breath until he turns blue.
      Then we’ll all be sorry-not.

    • sanjait

      More like, sitting in front of the TV watching FOX, in whatever is the White House equivalent of a “den” type room, forlornly muttering about any commentary that is complimentary.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    Anytime Medicare is the subject, it’s worth revisiting this evergreen quote from Ronald Reagan at the time:

    “From [Medicare] it’s a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay and pretty soon your son won’t decide when he’s in school where he will go or what he will do for a living.”
    Write those letters now [to Congress] and call your friends and them to write … If you don’t do this and I don’t do this, one of these days we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

    A real prophet, that Ronnie. If only we’d listened.

    • (((advocatethis)))

      For years, whenever I contemplated that quote, I’d wonder, “what kind off asshole wouldn’t want the elderly to have healthcare,” then be thankful that we’d moved beyond that. I’m sorry to have been reminded that there’s a legion of such assholes and they never went away, they were just quieter for a while.

      • david spikes

        People slam LBJ, but good god the amount of political capital and skill he put into getting Medicaire-and Civil Rights-passed is awe inspiring. When he said let us reason together people knew he wasn’t foolin’.

        • howard

          people (well, right-thinking people) don’t slam lbj for his domestic agenda: we slam him for vietnam.

          • JMP

            Which was supported by everyone in American foreign policy, and is far, far outweighed by his domestic accomplishments; people need to stop slamming LBJ and recognize that he’s up there with Lincoln and FDR as one of America’s best presidents ever.

            • howard77

              actually, it’s possible to walk and chew gum at the same time.

              you can admire what he did domestically without neglecting to note that it doesn’t matter who else agreed with the escalation of vietnam: it was a horrible, horrible, horrible policy error (only exceeded by the invasion of iraq, and we don’t let bush off the hook for that just because he wasn’t the only one in favor of it) whose unintended consequences included the election of richard nixon in 1968 and therefore the validation of the southern strategy.

              so no, you aren’t now or ever going to get me to say that he’s one of america’s best presidents ever: he was one of america’s best presidents ever on domestic policy, but that’s not all there was to his time in office and he doesn’t get a pass.

            • I have a picture of LBJ framed on my wall, but Vietnam was really, really bad.

      • Those assholes are getting louder every day, now. Paul Ryan has vowed to eliminate Medicare by turning it into a voucher program so that the elderly can buy health insurance on the open market. I figure that, between my mother’s $900/month Social Security check an Ryan’s $1500 voucher, she should be able to afford absolutely nothing.
        Or, as Ryan would put it, she would finally be freed of the onerous choice to seek medical treatment.

      • Ramon A. Clef

        Something that always strikes me when I read Ross MacDonald’s Lew Archer novels is his depiction of the suffering of elderly people who are unhealthy but unable to do anything about it. It wasn’t a focus of any of the stories; it was just a fact of life in the pre-Medicaid/Medicare era.

    • MikeG

      Reaganbot today: “The only reason this didn’t happen was the resolute freedom-loving efforts of Republicans like Ronald Reagan blahblahblah…”

  • david spikes

    How totally clueless is the Trump WH?
    Mick Mulvaney-who should know better-on the Sunday shows said Trump was serious about not allowing the Senate to move on to other matters until they settle health care. And that Trump would cut their health care if they don’t.
    I imagine there are going to be a lot of “NO, fuck you.” coming from the senate,even Yertle might find a spine.

    • DaftPunkd

      Trump totally has that power. All he has to do is get rid of the fillbuster and it’s done!

      • Hogan

        Apparently no one has told him that none of those Senate bills got even 51 votes.

        “Forget it, he’s rolling.”

    • petesh

      Not allowing the Senate … really?! Impeachment may be a long way off but conviction just got closer.

      • BaronvonRaschke

        The only way they would Ava don Trump is if he turned black overnight.

        • rm

          We need access to his tanning spray.

    • howard

      when i saw that quote a few minutes ago i thought “the nuttiness is just getting worse and worse.”

      it’s not merely the idea of trump “not allowing;” you left out the part about where mulvaney says he has trump’s endorsement to say they want to “hurt” insurance companies.

      personally, i give kelly a week before he considers slitting his wrists.

      • personally, i give kelly a week before he considers slitting his wrists.

        Ambiguous “his”, there.

        • howard

          brilliant point! and while i didn’t intend it to be ambiguous, i think the ambiguity may be merited….

      • petesh

        I am inevitably reminded of the last line of this famous scene from Dr Strangelove. The set-up, while delightful, is off-topic, but the denouement is precisely on topic.

        • (((advocatethis)))

          That is, by far, my favorite line in the movie

          • N__B

            When I was a kid, I never understood why my parents pronounced “pervert” as “prevert.”

    • Cheap Wino

      “. . . not allowing the Senate to move on to other matters. . .”

      3.5 more years of this nincompoop. This is a vain, stupid man.

      • JMP

        If he keeps antagonizing the Republicans in Congress, that might spur them to actually do their fucking jobs in which case it will be less than that many years.

    • Robbert

      What’s the over/under for Trump trying to fire McConnell?

    • hypersphericalcow

      If there’s one thing that all Senators share, it’s immense egos. I would say that going to war with your own party’s Senators is insane, but for Trump, it’s just a normal day.

    • N__B

      It all makes perfect sense when you accept that DJT thinks he was elected “boss.” Obviously, everything and everyone in the federal government should now be as he wants it. This isn’t strike three for the idea of a businessman as president, it’s something like strike 700.

  • sanjait

    Being charitable, it seems many conservatives view the world in zero sum terms. Any benefit offered to people sick or less fortunate is one taken from others. So they are averse.

    Being less charitable, they seem to think misfortune can reliably be attributed to deep moral and character flaw. So with this misanthropic attitude, the unfortunate don’t deserve help.

    Being less charitable still, they are a basket of deplorables who revel in the misfortune of “other” groups because it satisfies their tribal primal need to feel powerful.

    In reality they are a spectrum of these groups. The debate should be about where falls the preponderance (and how to deal with them.)

    Anyway, thank you LBJ for cementing policies that evidence our better angels.

    • sanjait

      Ok, feeling compelled to be very charitable … there must exist some segment of conservatives that honestly believes its ok for government to help people, but government tends to be inefficient and/or run into unintended consequences, so they oppose government as a practical heuristic.

      I mean, in theory these exist. Though when I survey the modern conservative movement, I don’t see a lot of “cautious technocrats”. I see instead a few who bother to use that perspective as a pretext for something dumber and/or uglier.

      • farin

        The problem is that isn’t true; in fact, it’s so gaudily untrue that anyone with sincere technocratic leanings recognizes its untruth. A cautious technocrat who actually wants to help people would…be Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

      • Lets not forget the crazy sections. Large crazy sections. Jade helm was a seriously strong movement. There are those who think the 2nd coming is happening in their lifetime. Don’t believe in evolution. Don’t believe in global warming (is the increasing temp going to make these people more violent?). Contraception is bad (while also thinking that abortion is evil even if the former helps decrease the latter). I mean yes a few can be swayed but at the end of the day there’s a certain amount of craziness on the other end.

      • What you are describing is the right of the Democratic party.

    • “That’s one thing that has always been strange about him. He treats words as if they were actions. He doesn’t listen to the meaning of words, the way other people do. He just decides whether they are hostile, and how hostile they are. He decides whether they threaten him or injure him, and he reacts at that level. If he reads chastisement into anything you say, it’s as if you had taken a shot at him. As if you had nicked his ear. “

      When conservatives hear a policy proposal, they don’t consider its meaning or its effects or impact– they just decides whether or not they consider it hostile or a threat and react to that. At this point, they consider Democrats themselves threatening, so ipso facto anything Dems support or propose is a threat and should be treated as such, not even being allowed to reach the cortex to be evaluated on merits.

      I think the left/Dems are guilty of this somewhat too, but to no where near the same degree. And it’s rapidly diverging.

    • Origami Isopod

      Being less charitable, they seem to think misfortune can reliably be attributed to deep moral and character flaw.

      Suffering cleanses you for Jeebus.

  • Damon Poeter

    Trump voters really only hated the fact that it was a black guy who was handing them their food stamps

    • efgoldman

      Trump voters really only hated the fact that it was a black guy who was handing them their food stamps

      "All those years growing up poor, nobody helped US! I mean. it was hard going to the bank and making sure the farm subsidy and crop support transfers got made, not to mention putting the kids on the bus and sending them to school every day; and Grandmaw's SSI checks weren't really a whole lot of money; they barely bought groceries when you added them together with the food stamps. But the gummint didn't do nothin' for us."

      How do you deal with that level of delusion, denial, and ignorance? How the hell do I know?

    • Deborah Bender

      AFAIK food stamps don’t exist any more.

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