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Paul Ryan’s Steamroller

[ 216 ] October 6, 2016 |
An outtake from the Paul Ryan photo shoot that was inspired by his Facebook photos showing him working out with P90X creator Tony Horton

An outtake from the Paul Ryan photo shoot that was inspired by his Facebook photos showing him working out with P90X creator Tony Horton

The most terrifying thing about the fortunately dwindling chances of a Trump victory remains the fact that he would sign whatever legislation Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell put on his desk:

If Donald Trump is elected president and Republicans hold onto Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan is bluntly promising to ram a partisan agenda through Capitol Hill next year, with Obamacare repeal and trillion-dollar tax cuts likely at the top of the list. And Democrats would be utterly defenseless to stop them.

Typically, party leaders offer at least the pretense of seeking bipartisanship when discussing their policy plans. But Ryan is saying frankly that Republicans would use budget reconciliation — a powerful procedural tool — to bypass Democrats entirely. It’s the same tool Republicans slammed Democrats for using to pass the 2010 health care law over their objections.

While GOP leaders have made empty threats to use reconciliation to repeal Obamacare in the past, Ryan is making it clear that this time he plans to use it when it counts. And he would likely have support from a Trump White House. Larry Kudlow, an economic adviser to the GOP presidential nominee, said he is also strongly urging Trump to embrace reconciliation in order to pass sweeping tax cuts.

Anybody who thinks that the Democrats would be able to filibuster any legislation that is important to the Republican conference would probably sign a power of attorney form given to them by a Wells Fargo salesman.


It’s Like, How Much More Jill Stein Could This Be? And the Answer Is, Well, It Could Mention How Both Candidates Are Slaves to BIG VAXX

[ 155 ] October 5, 2016 |


Jill Stein has a take so hot it can melt steel beams, everyone:

I mean, your typical apologist for vanity candidates will at least concede that the parties differ on abortion, and then argue that it’s BLACKMAIL to observe that one party supports a woman’s right to choose and another fiercely opposes it and perhaps this should influence one’s voting behavior. Stein is just a talking robot that can only say BOTH SIDES DO IT, like Ron Fournier with more vacuous lefty posturing and less coherence. And this is leaving aside the fact that the pro-choice party has a woman on top of the ticket, a fact of which Stein may or may not be aware.

[HT Jean-Michel]

The Reasonable, Moderate, Sane Mike Pence

[ 105 ] October 5, 2016 |


Is a complete fiction. For example:

But, to be Scrupulously Fair, he is pretty good at maintaining a straight face while systematically lying.

Outsourcing to the Pain Caucus

[ 249 ] October 5, 2016 |


Elaine Quijano, who was a disaster on pretty much every level as a debate moderator last night, literally did this:

Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate felt, as Ezra Klein noted on Twitter, as if it “fell out of a time warp.” Moderator Elaine Quijano spent far more time on Russia than she did on domestic policy as a whole. She roped together an entire raft of topics under the outdated phrase “social issues.” And she asked a grand total of two question on the economy — and both of those were literally outsourced to a deficit scold organization whose Twitter handle is “@BudgetHawks.”

Quijano did not ask either candidate about their plans to foster job growth. She did not broach the subject of trade. Or ask about home ownership. Or wages. Or job training. Or poverty.

Instead, she asked just two questions about economic policy, and she explicitly attributed both of them to the “nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.” The first asked if the two vice presidential candidates are “concerned that adding more to the debt could be disastrous for the country.” The second warned of a grim future, “when the Social Security Trust Funds run out of money.”

So who is the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget? They are probably the leading advocacy group promoting the idea that federal deficits are out of control and shrinking them should be a top priority. Their board members include both Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of a government commission that tried and failed to advance various proposals supported by deficit hawks in 2010. Pete Peterson, a billionaire who is probably the nation’s leading funder of anti-deficit advocacy, is also a board member.

Beltway elites who otherwise believe in Both Sides Do It and Shape of the Earth, Views Differ also apparently still believe that Deficits are the Most Important Issue and Social Security Will Go Bankrupt are objective truths.

Those Who Forget History Are Doomed To Keep Losing Elimination Games

[ 85 ] October 5, 2016 |


As we recently discussed, Buck Showalter lost a chance to manage the pending dynasty he played a major role in assembling in the Bronx by completely screwing up an elimination playoff game.  Because he is a very good manager overall he had the chance tonight to manage in another playoff elimination game. And…he committed a similar massive blunder, having a well-below-average starter pitch the 11th inning with a reliever with a 0.54 ERA rested and healthy in the bullpen, with predictable results. It’s quite astounding. I dunno if the Orioles should fire Buck, but they should bribe the umpires to eject him in the 7th inning of any elimination playoff game and put him in an isolation booth somewhere.

In related news, Mike Pence has held a news conference denying that Ubaoldo Jiminez ever pitched in tonight’s game.

…Jonah has more.


Will Trump-Endorsing Senator Kelly Ayotte Lose Because of Her Endorsement of Donald Trump?

[ 132 ] October 4, 2016 |

trump_birdsAbove: Role Model!

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte is supporting, and is therefore endorsing, Donald Trump. Will Kelly Ayotte’s endorsement of Donald Trump because Ayotte wants Donald Trump to be president of the United States, cause her to lose her seat? Maybe:

When you’re walking a virtually non-existent line between supporting a presidential candidate but not endorsing said presidential candidate, it can be tricky to know when to show your support and when to turn it off.

That’s the awkward position Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) routinely finds herself in as she battles for her political career. The latest: In a debate Monday night with her challenger, Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), the moderator asked Ayotte if she thinks Donald Trump is a role model for New Hampshire children.

Ayotte seemed caught off guard by the question but eventually came up with this answer: “There are many role models we have, and I believe he can serve as president and so absolutely.”


And if Hassan’s team has their way, the word “absolutely” that will ring throughout New Hampshire between now and Election Day, especially since it comes after a week in which Trump got mired in a duel with a Latina beauty queen, appeared to mock Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia and raised unfounded questions about Clinton’s marriage.

Democrats are moving quickly to seize on this unexpected gift they’ve been handed. Hassan is holding a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning to talk about it, and the political arm of the abortion-advocate group NARAL Pro-Chioce America released a digital ad…

I hope Hassan is able to use Ayotte’s endorsement of Donald Trump, the fact that Ayotte and her conference are holding a Supreme Court seat open for Donald Trump, etc. etc. as a potent political weapon. Because right now Ayotte would appear to be slightly ahead, and without New Hampshire we’re probably looking at a Republican Senate majority and most likely an 8-person Court for a long time.

If You Can’t Stop Taking Julian Assange Seriously After the First Half Hour, You Are the Sucker

[ 177 ] October 4, 2016 |


Paranoid anarcho-bros are very upset that Assange made them stay up until 3AM to listen to him plugging some books on their way to joining The Year of Voting Dangerously at remainder tables:

Over the course of two hours Tuesday — with the world’s media and bleary-eyed Trump die-hards across the United States tuning in — Assange and other WikiLeaks officials railed against “neo-McCarthyist hysteria,” blasted the mainstream press, appealed for donations and plugged their books (“40 percent off!”).

But what they didn’t do was provide any new information about Clinton — or about anything else, really.

The much-vaunted news conference, as it turned out, was little more than an extended infomercial for WikiLeaks on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its founding.


Infowars, the pro-Trump and virulently anti-Clinton media vehicle launched by Texas radio host Alex Jones, had touted the WikiLeaks news conference as “historic” and promised that “the Clintons will be devastated.”

Before Assange took the stage, Jones — who broadcast through the wee hours of the American morning — told viewers and listeners he was so excited he was worried his heart couldn’t stand it.

But by the end, Jones realized he’d been played — or in his words, “#wikirolled.”

He wasn’t the only one. Sleep-deprived Trump backers and Hillary-haters all across the country took to Twitter to convey their displeasure.

EL. OH. EL. I also like this bit:

He said the material would focus on war, weapons, oil, mass surveillance, the technology giant Google and the U.S. election, but declined to give any details.

“There has been a misquoting of me and Wikileaks publications … (suggesting) we intend to harm Hillary Clinton or I intend to harm Hillary Clinton or that I don’t like Hillary Clinton. All those are false,” he said.

Oh, sure, she’s a “demon” who “is going to put nooses around everyone’s necks as soon as she wins the election,” but that doesn’t mean I don’t like her! But, hey, as long as he’s trolling people who expect him to deliver the Whitey Tape he’s welcome to his incoherence.

The Libertarian Jill Stein

[ 161 ] October 4, 2016 |


Gary Johnson is a joke:

For state lawmakers here who used to work with Gary Johnson, something is familiar about the former governor’s baffled looks, which have turned into an embarrassment for his third-party presidential campaign.

Longtime state Sen. Stuart Ingle (R) recalled how Johnson, soon after taking office in 1995, mostly shrugged and stared during their first meeting together. As Ingle asked Johnson questions about his agenda, Ingle said, Johnson’s most common refrain was, “I don’t know.”

At the end of the meeting, Ingle said, Johnson revealed the one position on which he would hold firm: The state’s budget should not grow. And if legislation to do so passed, the new governor added, “I will veto it.”

Over the next eight years, New Mexico lawmakers would struggle to work with a governor who paid little attention to details. Those who worked closely with Johnson, then a Republican elected as a political novice vowing to shake up the established order, recall a chief executive who would speed through meetings and often preferred to discuss his fitness routine than focus on the minutiae of policymaking.

He doesn’t explicitly race-bait or lust after his daughter, at least, but in terms of his interest in policy details and his policy substance he’s scarcely better than the Donald.

Your Reminder That Maureen Dowd Is No Better When Her Targets Are Republicans

[ 60 ] October 3, 2016 |


Shorter MoDo: “All Democratic men are women, all Democratic women are men, and Trump’s men are so bad that they’re women.”

BREAKING! Donald Trump is an Asshole Who Hates Women

[ 100 ] October 3, 2016 |


Garance Burke’s highly useful reporting on The Apprentice reaches conclusions that may not be entirely surprising:

In his years as a reality TV boss on “The Apprentice,” Donald Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language, according to show insiders who said he rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he’d like to have sex with.

The Associated Press interviewed more than 20 people — former crew members, editors and contestants — who described crass behavior by Trump behind the scenes of the long-running hit show, in which aspiring capitalists were given tasks to perform as they competed for jobs working for him.

The staffers and contestants agreed to recount their experiences as Trump’s behavior toward women has become a core issue in the presidential campaign. Interviewed separately, they gave concurring accounts of inappropriate conduct on the set.

Eight former crew members recalled that he repeatedly made lewd comments about a camerawoman he said had a nice rear, comparing her beauty to that of his daughter, Ivanka.

During one season, Trump called for female contestants to wear shorter dresses that also showed more cleavage, according to contestant Gene Folkes. Several cast members said Trump had one female contestant twirl before him so he could ogle her figure.

However! Here at LGM we strive to be Fair and Balanced and to present Opposing Viewpoints. Perhaps we can turn to the list of SUPERGENIUSES for Donald Trump, which among various frauds, Nazi apologists, and felons includes Pajamas Media founder and the man who made Pauline Kael quit film criticism, Mr. Roger L. Simon. I’m sure his thoughts on the subject will be highly illuminating:

And as for the sexism, please-louise, it’s the reverse. If anything, Trump’s a closet gynosupremacist. He’s nuts about women (well, except Megyn Kelly). Ivanka and Kellyanne Conway are the dominant figures in his campaign and are likely to have key positions in a Trump administration. I’d take either of them over Valerie Jarrett, by a long shot.

Ah yes, the old “what do you mean, he married one!” defense. Donald Trump, from deep in the closet, loves women! Why, he finds many of them almost as sexually attractive as he finds his daughter, and he’s not shy about saying so! GYNOSUPREMACY!

This post also contains some entertaining UNSKEWING of the polls:

I know it sounds crazy to say in a presidential year when the two candidates are supposedly the two most reviled in modern history that one of them is going to win — I think going away — because he’s vastly more likable, but it’s true.

And I say this not just because Donald Trump’s rallies are better attended than Hillary Clinton’s by a factor somewhere in the vicinity of 5000%. (No exaggeration. Donald routinely draws 10,000 people. A recent Hillary appearance at Temple University — where she was supposed to make that final, serious pitch to nail down the votes of vacillating millennials — attracted barely 200 out of a student body of 37,000.)

In my ‘hood in the mega-blue Hollywood Hills where Hillary is certain to win upwards of 97% of the vote, there is nary a Hillary-Kaine yard sign to be seen, nor an “I’m With Her” bumper sticker blemishing a single newly minted Tesla. Four years ago the neighborhood was swarming with Obama signs and stickers. Nobody cares about Hillary. Everyone knows she’s a sourpuss. Nobody wants to see her. They’ll vote for her, if she’ll only leave them alone. (Of course you won’t find a Trump bumper sticker within miles of here. The few of us who support him don’t want to get our cars keyed. And forget the yard signs. Staying on decent terms with your neighbors is a necessity in earthquake country.)

Cherry-picked rallies! Yard signs! The very useful measures Peggy Noonan used to predict Mitt Romney carrying the Electoral College, only without even the yard signs! In conclusion, Donald Trump will win because he’s very likable. This seems almost as plausible as the idea that Donald Trump isn’t a misogynist because he would totally make his daughter Secretary of Breast Augmentation Subsidies in his administration.

BREAKING: I Will Miss Harry Reid

[ 159 ] October 3, 2016 |


Somehow, it’s hard to imagine Tom Daschle, say, issuing this statement:

“As I was saying.

“Trump is a billion-dollar loser who won’t release his taxes because they’ll expose him as a spoiled, rich brat who lost the millions he inherited from his father. Despite losing a billion dollars, Trump wants to reward himself with more tax breaks on inherited wealth while stiffing middle-class families who earn their paychecks with hard work.

“Trump is over-leveraged and deeply indebted to someone, but until he releases his taxes we won’t know who. The implications for America’s security are severe. The American people deserve to know who has leverage over this man who wants to be president. In the name of the public interest, the Senate should immediately pass the Presidential Tax Transparency Act, which would force all presidential candidates to release their tax returns. If all senators agreed to pass this act for the good of the country, we could pass it in a matter of minutes.

“Let’s step back and take stock: Senate Republicans have put party so far ahead of country, they’ve endorsed a racist, incompetent failure who managed to lose a billion dollars in a boom year. Now they are helping Trump hide his tax returns and preventing the American people from knowing what individuals, businesses or foreign interests could have leverage over Trump.”

Still, I yearn for the Golden Age of the Democratic Party when real liberals like Robert Byrd led the party in the Senate.

MLB/NFL Open Thread

[ 119 ] October 2, 2016 |

  • Leave it to the Mariners to end the chance of a 4-way tie for the wildcard spot in the most Mariner way possible. The can console themselves with knowing that they were 50 runs better than the Rangers, which can go into the Seattle sports pantheon with the Seahawks DVOA 4-peat.
  • For reasons I can’t explain, Adam Gase became a hot head coaching prospect by carrying a clipboard while Peyton Manning ran the Bronco offense. (Admittedly, he did do a decent job at Chicago’s OC last year, although I’m not sure that getting a QB with a lifetime adjusted QB rating of 101 to post a 104 really deserved the mountain of plaudits it received. Cutler really is better than he gets credit for.) Year 1 in Miami is not going so well, although to be Scrupulously Fair I’m not sure a young Don Shula could win consistently with Mike Tannenbaum’s players.
  • If you’ll forgive the diversion into minor league peonage ball for a second, Christ, what a disgusting operation Ken Starr and Art Briles were running.
  • To pre-empt the demand for QB mea culpas, I was dead wrong about Carson Wentz. I would not have been surprised if he developed into a good QB, but for him to do it from day one with that team and a rookie coach? You can’t call him a star yet, but there’s nothing not to like about his first three games. I have to give the Roseman et al. a lot of credit there, with extra kudos for hiring Jim Schwartz, who is clearly an A grade defensive coordinator. On Trevor Siemian, though, I’m going to wait an see. After two games, he was one of the worst QBs in the NFL. In the first half last week he was awful, bailed out by several dropped INTs and one nice throw to a wide-open Emmanuel Sanders. Then he had a very good second half. Was that one half more representative than the previous five? Maybe, but I’ll need to see more. For the majority viewpoint, though, see Chuck Mindenhall.
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