The God-King, Pat Robertson, Wealthcare, Brexit, and other thisses and thats…. (More)

Except they’re not thisses and thats, the BPI Grammar Department insists. They’re these and those. Okay, I thought the Grammar Department was female faculty, staff, and students who have grandchildren. Nope, they said, that’s the Gramma Department – without that ‘r’ at the end – not to be confused with the Gamma Department, they said, who glow in the dark because they have no r’s at all. Ubbish.

I was still ready to object, but they sent me to a link citing a squirrel. Yes, it’s a chipmunk, but chipmunks are squirrels too so it’s a reliable source. Thus thisses and thats are these and those.

“He would like Hillary where she wants to have windmills”

“He,” of course, is Vladimir Putin, the God-King explained to Pat Robertson:

[F]rom Day One I want fracking and everything else to get energy prices low and to create tremendous energy. We’re going to be self-supporting, we just about are now. We’re going to be exporting energy – he doesn’t want that. He would like Hillary where she wants to have windmills. He would much rather have that because energy prices would go up and Russia as you know relies very much on energy.

At that Washington Post link, Philip Bump explains why the God-King is wrong: wind energy is now cheaper than coal. Bump also suggests the God-King made that argument because he’s still pissed off at Scottish legislators who allowed a wind farm off the coast from the God-King’s golf resort. Maybe.

Or maybe the God-King made that ridiculous argument because he knows Robertson is crazy enough to tell a grieving mom that God let her three-year-old son die so he wouldn’t grow up to become a dictator or a serial killer. Yes, really:

As far as God’s concerned, He knows the end from the beginning and He sees a little baby and that little baby could grow up to be Adolf Hitler, he could grow up to be Joseph Stalin, he could grow up to be some serial killer, or he could grow up to die of a hideous disease. God sees all of that, and for that life to be terminated while he’s a baby, he’s going to be with God forever in Heaven so it isn’t a bad thing.

Someone crazy enough to say that to a grieving mother will reliably nod and agree to pretty much any bullshit, so the God-King commenced to shovel.

I should note that Robertson did not explain why God let Hitler, Stalin, and serial killers grow up to become themselves. My guess: because Hillary Clinton likes wind farms.

“Why do we not focus on the urgency of the concerns with the ACA?”

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is not happy with her GOP colleagues’ stubborn determination to gut Medicaid:

In a closed-door meeting of Senate Republican chairmen Wednesday, Lisa Murkowski ripped GOP leaders’ attempt to scale back Medicaid spending in their Obamacare repeal bill.

The two matters were unrelated, she argued, because the Affordable Care Act did not change Medicaid spending levels across the entire program. The independent-minded Alaska senator was backed up by Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, a Republican generally aligned with leadership, according to senators and people familiar with the conversations.

“The ACA allowed for Medicaid expansion. The ACA didn’t address traditional Medicaid. … Why do we not focus on the urgency of the concerns with the ACA?” she said in an interview afterward. “Let’s deal with the urgency of the issue. Let’s set Medicaid off to the side.”

That would be a very reasonable question … if Republicans were actually working on a health care bill. But they’re not. They’re trying to pass a massive tax cut for rich people, and making it “deficit neutral” by gutting health care for working families. That’s why I call it the Wealthcare Act.

She’s not alone in her frustration:

Even Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), usually a reliable vote for leadership, complained Wednesday about the bill’s evisceration of Medicaid. “I’m a Medicaid expansion state. I’m happy with the way it is in Arizona,” he said, noting that his final vote on the bill will depend on the recommendation of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who recently said the bill “falls short.”

“Like a chocolate orange”

Across the pond, British Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to cut a deal on a bill to implement Brexit:

Theresa May is facing the threat of a humiliating parliamentary defeat over Brexit after Labour warned that it would vote against her flagship “great repeal bill” unless she makes significant concessions.

The issue is a bill to transpose EU laws – many of which have been in effect for decades – into UK laws. After losing 13 seats last month’s snap election, May is likely to need at least some Labour votes, and shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer is not happy with the current bill:

Starmer said that the bill would not gain Labour’s support in its current form. “We have very serious issues with the government’s approach, and unless the government addresses those issues, we will not be supporting the bill,” Starmer said.

He said Labour would demand concessions in six areas. These include ensuring that workers’ rights in Britain do not fall behind those in the EU; incorporating the European Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law; and limiting the scope of so-called “Henry VIII powers”, which could allow the government to alter legislation with minimal parliamentary scrutiny.

“These issues are serious, they’re reasonable and we’re very firm about them. So we’re really putting the government on notice,” he said.

For the record, by British tradition the out-of-power party forms a “shadow cabinet,” naming members to follow the workings of key government agencies. The idea is that if that party gains a majority in Parliament, the “shadow cabinet” members will be ready to step in as the acting cabinet.

May’s cobbled-together-in-secret approach to Brexit has a lot of people … skeptical:

The head of the government’s public spending watchdog, Amyas Morse, suggested that the government’s approach to Brexit could fall apart “like a chocolate orange.”

I nominate that for Quote Of The Day. Just sayin’….

“It’s very clear the intent is to purge more and more groups who possibly don’t vote the way they want them to vote”

And back home, the God-King’s bizarre Election Commission is a complete mess but Klanmaster General Jeff Sessions may be doing the real damage:

The voting rights community isn’t holding its breath for a “report” expected out of President Trump’s sham election commission that advocates predict will be used as a cudgel for restrictive voting laws. They already have a good idea of how the Trump administration, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will seek to scale back access to the ballot with an approach that has its antecedent in the scandal-plagued Justice Department of George W. Bush.

It was signaled clearly in an under-the-radar letter sent by the DOJ to most states late last month. The letter did not get as much as attention as the wide-reaching data request from the Trump election commission – which is being led by Vice President Mike Pence and hard-right Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) – but voting rights advocates told TPM they find it just as concerning, if not more so.

“It’s very clear the intent is to purge more and more groups who possibly don’t vote the way they want them to vote,” League of Women Voters President Chris Carson told TPM.

This is all about the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, the so-called “Motor Voter” Law that was enacted “to enhance voter opportunities for every American.” Because that was its goal, the NVRA includes many provisions that require states to make it easier to register and update your registration.

But the NVRA also requires states to make “reasonable” efforts to keep voter rolls up-to-date, and Sessions’ DOJ is pushing states to more aggressively purge voters who may have died or moved away. The Social Security Administration maintains a death index but an Inspector General report found there are about 1000 erroneous entries per month. Oh, and a person’s name in the Social Security index may not match his/her name on the voter rolls, because John Robert Smith might register to vote under his full name – what Social Security records would have – or under a name he commonly uses: John R. Smith, J. Robert Smith, J.R. Smith, Jack Smith, Bob Smith….

As for addresses, the U.S. Postal Service National Change of Address database includes only about half of the people who move.

Semi-aggressive voter purges rely on sending out “confirmation cards” – fill this out if you still want to vote – and deleting voters whose cards are returned as undeliverable or not returned at all. More aggressive purges cross-match names across multiple databases – is the John R. Smith in Miami the same person as the J. R. Smith in Fort Lauderdale and/or the R. John Smith in Key Largo – and the most aggressive use very loose matching rules to “cast a wide net.”

Worse, Big Data analytics make it easy to create a seemingly neutral algorithm that will disproportionally purge young voters, women, people of color … in other words … Democrats.

The only solution is to educate voters to check their registration status at least once a year, and correct it when necessary. But tens or hundreds of thousands of eligible voters may still fall into those intentionally-widened cracks … and that’s exactly what Republicans want.

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Image Credit: Periwinkle (YouTube)

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Good day and good nuts