How bad is it? It’s so bad that in Montana, a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives attacked and body-slammed a reporter who kept asking him about the GOP health care plan in the wake of the CBO rating that it was a terrible, no good, aweful health care plan. It’s so bad that a Representative who’d voted for it broke down in tears when it was explained to him by a reporter just how bad the plan really was. Because he’d had no idea. He’d been told by his party leaders that the bill would be better than Obamacare, and he believed them. Either that, or he is a sociopath who is good at faking tears.

So, that’s the Representatives who voted for the bill — they’re either brutal thugs with no compunctions about hurting people, or they’re idiots who just voted it on blind faith in their party leadership. So, let’s look at what’s so bad about it, according to the CBO report:

  • It’d cut the already-too-scarce Medicaid funding by over $800 billion and put per-capita caps on how much money went to Medicaid. So if you were a state with a lot of old people — old people are the biggest users of Medicaid, btw, the majority of Medicaid funding goes to old people — you’d see a huge cut in your overall Medicaid funding, while if you were a state with a lot of insured young people, you might actually see a gain in the amount of Medicaid funds that you get. Guess which states have a lot of old people? Yep, that’s right, the Trump-voting red states. Gosh, go figure.
  • Rich people would see tax cuts of almost a trillion dollars over the next ten years. Gosh, why does that not surprise me?
  • 23 million currently-insured people become uninsured. So basically 25,000 people per year die who would have otherwise lived, because an emergency room is not health care, an emergency room is a bandage and a splint.
  • In about 1/6th of the country, individual health insurance will basically become unavailable. And yep, again we’re talking about red states, mostly.
  • Health insurance for older people would increase drastically. Premiums for 60- to 64-year-olds would increase to average unsubsidized premiums of almost $18,000 per year, well beyond what the majority of people in that age group can afford.

In short, Trumpcare reduces the federal deficit by a tiny amount, but increases the number of dead people by a large amount. As such, it’s even worse than Obamacare — something that Trump promised wouldn’t happen, but I guess he’s too busy playing President to actually care.

– Badtux the “It’s terrible, no good, and evil” Penguin

No reflection

Deap Vally, “Smile Moore” off their 2016 album Femejism. Grungy music ain’t dead, I guess.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

Wet forgiveness

Local girl AJ Lee sings a song by Becky Buller, “Carolina Rain”. The song actually has never been recorded by Becky Buller or by AJ Lee, but some little-known obscure artist by the name of Ryan Adams had a huge hit with it a decade or so ago….

– Badtux the Music Penguin

Tonka and Mommy and me and a guy in a dress!

Dear Diary: My big boy trip continued! I got to see this really big house. There was a man there wearing a dress! He was really friendly a lot of the trip but as it went on he started looking sadder and sadder as he tried to explain things to me with really big words that I don’t understand. Like, what is this evil-looshon stuff? Or glow ball climb and change?

There were lots of pictures taken of me and Tonka and Mommy and the man in the dress. We all head a great time. I wonder who he was?

[From the secret diaries of Donald J. Trump, 5 year old]

— Badtux the Snarky Penguin

… but not a bomb.

A bomb is what went off at her concert in Manchester, UK, as crowds of young teenagers left the concert. A bomb is what an asshole Islamist suicide bomber set off in the middle of that crowd, killing at least 22 people and injuring at least 59 others.

And the bombing suspect was already known to have ties to Al Qaeda. Had even been ratted on by his family who told authorities that he was dangerous. Was even on a watch list after he got back from a stint in a terrorist training camp in Libya.

What is needed to stop terrorism isn’t Big Brother listening in on every phone call, observing every street corner with video cameras, or other things of that sort. What is needed to stop terrorism is simple human intelligence — following up when a family calls you and says their kid is a violent Islamist extremist, for example. No amount of listening in on phone calls was necessary in order to identify this asshole as a threat to public safety. All that was necessary was for the authorities to listen to his family, who was saying loud and clear that their kid was a time bomb waiting to go off.

And they didn’t, so people are dead.

I expect there to be plenty of folks who now are going to want to impose all sorts of draconian bullshit to “stop terrorism”. All that’s going to do is add more noise to hide the signal. What’s needed is to listen to the human beings who are already telling us who the dangerous people are, not bullshit like spying on everybody’s phone calls or keeping people from taking their laptop computers onto airliners.

But I suppose that’s common sense, and common sense is no good when there’s power to seize and money to be made pushing snake oil…

– Badtux the Exasperated Penguin

Shaken, not stirred

And a fond farewell to Roger Moore, who has passed on, ceased to be, expired, gone to meet his maker, pushing up daisies, bereft of life, and joined the choir invisible. Roger Moore was always a controversial Bond. He lacked the virile brutishness of a Sean Connery or, more recently, Daniel Craig, and his take on the character was far different from theirs and indeed far different from the books by Ian Fleming. Still: Roger Moore put the bon vivant into James Bond. Roger Moore’s James Bond was an elegant wit always quick with a quip who also happened to be a secret agent capable of taking out bad guys with his little pinky (or at least with one of the many gadgets secreted upon his person). He managed to single-handedly make some of the worst Bond movies ever scripted watchable, despite scripts that were laughably bad in many cases (Octopussy? Really?!).

And of course his non-Bond stint as “The Saint” was the prototype of his Bond character.

Despite the criticisms of his performances, criticisms that in many cases were more a function of the appallingly bad scripts that he was given than of Moore’s performance itself, Roger Moore brought the class to the Bond franchise. He lived, he made his mark, and now Roger Moore is no more.

Bon voyage.

– Badtux the Obituaries Penguin

… and where it’s goin’, everybody knows.

Bruce Springsteen, channeling his inner Woody Guthrie with The Ghost of Tom Joad off his 1995 album by that name. 22 years later, and things ain’t really changed.

– Badtux the Music Penguin