Thursday Reads: Muslim Ban 2.0, Trump-Ryan Don’tCare, and a Federal Budget from Hell

Good Afternoon!!

Donald tRump’s campaign against American values is heating up. With his latest Muslim ban, he seeks to destroy the separation of church and state that was enshrined in the Constitution. With Trumpcare, he hopes to kill or sicken millions of poor and elderly people by taking away their health insurance. With his new budget, he hopes to kill off any of the poor and elderly who survive his “health care” plan.

The Muslim ban was supposed to go into effect late last night,

but two federal judges (so far) have stopped it in its tracks. The New York Times:

A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a stinging blow to the White House and signaling that Mr. Trump will have to account in court for his heated rhetoric about Islam.

A second federal judge in Maryland ruled against Mr. Trump overnight, with a separate order forbidding the core provision of the travel ban from going into effect.

The rulings were a second major setback for Mr. Trump in his pursuit of a policy that he has trumpeted as critical for national security. His first attempt to sharply limit travel from a handful of predominantly Muslim countries ended in a courtroom fiasco last month, when a federal court in Seattle halted it.

Mr. Trump issued a new and narrower travel ban, affecting six countries, on March 6, trying to satisfy the courts by removing some of the most contentious elements of the original version.

But in a pointed decision that repeatedly invoked Mr. Trump’s public comments, Judge Derrick K. Watson, of Federal District Court in Honolulu, wrote that a “reasonable, objective observer” would view even the new order as “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.”

In Maryland, Judge Theodore D. Chuang echoed that conclusion hours later, ruling in a case brought by nonprofit groups that work with refugees and immigrants, that the likely purpose of the executive order was “the effectuation of the proposed Muslim ban” that Mr. Trump pledged to enact as a presidential candidate.

Trump threw a tantrum about the decision in Hawaii last night during his “campaign rally” in Nashville in which he publicly state that the new ban is a “watered down version” of the old one and that he’d like to have the original ban back. That’s not going to help his lawyers defend it in court. Neither did Stephen Miller’s comments.

Huffington Post: Thank Stephen Miller’s Big Mouth For Trump Travel Ban’s Latest Court Woes.

Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser to the president, was one of Trump’s most vocal mouthpieces following the fraught rollout of the administration’s first travel ban that sparked massive protests at airports around the country. Shortly after federal judges struck down that order, Miller appeared on television to stump a watered-down version, assuring Fox News it would include only “minor technical differences.”

The ruling notes:

On February 21, Senior Advisor to the President, Stephen Miller, told Fox News that the new travel ban would have the same effect as the old one. He said: “Fundamentally, you’re still going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country, but you’re going to be responsive to a lot of very technical issues that were brought up by the court and those will be addressed. But in terms of protecting the country, those basic policies are still going to be in effect.”

Those “plainly worded statements,” it seems, helped lead U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson to issue a temporary restraining order against the ban on Wednesday. There is nothing “’secret’ about the executive’s motive specific to the issuance of the executive order,” Watson’s ruling reads.

The judge also cited Rudy Giuliani’s comments about how Trump asked him to find a legal way to do a Muslim ban.

On Paul Ryan’s wet dream “health care” plan,

tRump may be beginning to have doubts as he gradually learns from media sources what it actually involves. Heaven forbid he actually try to read the monstrosity himself. He’s much too busy worrying that Obama “wiretapped” his phone calls and is now encouraging federal employees to undercut tRump and his cronies. Since we already know what’s in the Ryancare or Trumpcare/Ryancare, here are a couple of not-so-serious articles about the GOP’s latest clusterf**k.

T.A. Frank at The Atlantic: Inside the Trump-Ryan Murder-Suicide Pact.

When the Congressional Budget Office released the numbers on Trumpcare—or Ryancare, or whatever you want to call the two-headed boar unveiled by Paul Ryan as a replacement to Obamacare—showing that more than 20 million Americans would join the ranks of the uninsured in a few years, what came to mind was Buck Turgidson making the case for a nuclear first strike in Dr. Strangelove. “Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed,” he promises. “But I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops.” Yes, some of the people losing their coverage would be dropping it by choice, freed up by the end of individual mandates. But many others would be pushed out by a massive increase in premiums. It takes a zealot like Ryan to be “encouraged” by that kind of analysis.

This has been an amazingly speedy descent into Republican self-sabotage. Ryan’s bill is almost universally disliked. Liberals and Democrats hate it for hurting lower-income Americans. Conservatives and Republicans hate it for either hurting lower-income Americans or for not hurting them enough. (Ohio governor John Kasich condemns the bill for reducing Medicaid coverage for the poor, while small-government Republicans like Rand Paulcall it “Obamacare Lite.”) Americans who currently subsidize Obamacare would be re-united with their money, while Americans who depend on the subsidies would be out of luck. The Ryan bill seems to promise a replay of hits from the George W. Bush years, when Republicans who preferred zero spending on the poor clashed with Republicans who preferred medium spending on the poor, but found common ground through their shared interest in big spending on the rich.

Much of this was to be expected, because Ryan is Ryan, and the G.O.P. is the G.O.P. What was up for grabs was the stance of Donald Trump. Was he going to insist on doing more to protect the little guy? Or was he going to throw his lot in with Ryan? We now see that, despite some concerns from his friends in the media, he chose the latter. (Or perhaps he chose it after Ryan incorporated some of Trump’s requests to protect the little guy—in which case Trump didn’t get very far.) Trump has been lobbying aggressively to get Ryan’s bill passed, inviting skeptics to meetings at the White House, promising rallies, and generally spending a lot of scarce political capital.

If the bill passes, many of Trump’s voters will get hurt, leaving Trump damaged. If it fails, the White House will have suffered a big defeat, leaving Trump damaged and his agenda weakened. It’s not a favorable set of choices. If nothing else, though, it will be the first big test of Trumpism. Its contradictions could be hidden during a campaign season. Now, they are coming into sharp relief.

 Read the rest at the link.

And from The Onion: Mitch McConnell Sees Infinite Healthcare Plans After Dropping Acid To Inspire Ideas For Obamacare Replacement.

WASHINGTON—Seeking to open his mind to new possibilities for overhauling the U.S. healthcare system, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly witnessed an infinite number of replacement plans Wednesday after dropping acid to inspire ideas for an Obamacare alternative.

Shortly after the 75-year-old Republican senator ingested two 100-microgram tabs of LSD in his Congressional office, sources said countless substitutes for the Affordable Care Act began to explode before his eyes in luminescent, hyper-vivid colors and patterns.

“Oh my God—I can see the CHIP provisions spreading out in every direction forever and ever and ever,” said a reeling McConnell, gazing wide-eyed as infinite, interlocking fractal combinations of health savings plans, employer-provided coverage, and government subsidies enveloped him in an accelerating stream, eventually passing over him with such velocity that they appeared to be an entire galaxy of stars swirling around him. “Now I can see…I can see the outpatient hospital visits covered for every child in the country! No, every child who’s ever been born, and will ever be born! Even the ones who haven’t yet been conceived!”

“The scope of coverage is so beautiful,” added the senator quietly. “Whoa.”

According to sources, McConnell’s hallucinations came on slowly, first appearing as a geodesic block grant spiraling gently in the center of the senator’s desk before morphing into a gigantic, prismatic spiderweb of plans whose out-of-pocket prescription expenses expanded and contracted with McConnell’s every breath.

And now for the federal budget from Hell.

tRump wants to spend more than a trillion dollars of taxpayer money on his godforsaken border wall and pay for it by cutting funding for science, the arts and of course the social safety net. As you read the next headline, keep in mind that we also pay for millions for tRump to travel to Florida to play golf and schmooze with Russian mobsters and spies and to keep Melania happy in Trump Tower in NYC.

Occupy Democrats: Trump Just Announced Plan To End ‘Meals On Wheels’ For Seniors.

One popular program facing elimination is “Meals On Wheels,” which uses federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to mobilize volunteers, businesses and donors to provide nutrition to thousands of senior citizens on a daily basis. It supports over 5,000 community-based organizations across America, reaching people in both urban and rural areas.

The money for Meals On Wheels is part of the Older American Act, first passed in 1965 as part of LBJ’s Great Society, and endorsed by every president until Trump. The total cost, which includes other programs, is about $2 billion a year, which is less than the government hands out in fossil fuel subsidies every year.

Meals On Wheels alone costs about $3 million a year, which is the cost of just one trip to Trump’s “winter White House.”

The Washington Post: Trump federal budget 2018: Massive cuts to the arts, science and the poor.

Trump’s first budget proposal, which he named “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” would increase defense spending by $54 billion and then offset that by stripping money from more than 18 other agencies. Some would be hit particularly hard, with reductions of more than 20 percent at the Agriculture, Labor and State departments and of more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency.

It would also propose eliminating future federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Within EPA alone, 50 programs and 3,200 positions would be eliminated.

The cuts could represent the widest swath of reductions in federal programs since the drawdown after World War II, probably leading to a sizable cutback in the federal non-military workforce, something White House officials said was one of their goals.

“You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it,” White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters.

You can read the entire mess at Vox if you want to: Read President Trump’s proposed federal budget. I think I’ll just stick with The Onion.

So . . . what else is happening? Post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a tremendous Thursday.

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47 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Muslim Ban 2.0, Trump-Ryan Don’tCare, and a Federal Budget from Hell”

  1. dakinikat says:

    The budget is slow motion mass murder. You’re right about that NW!!! Eliminate Meals on Wheels? WTF?

  2. bostonboomer says:

    This is a few days old, but I just came across it. Very good read with video of the author “interviewing” Sean Spicer.

    Such a Great Country, Such Nasty Bigotry

    View story at Medium.com

  3. NW Luna says:

  4. NW Luna says:

    I read over the budget cuts per department last night (WAPo has a good run-down) and felt nearly as much fresh despair as the night of Nov 8th.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Has anyone calculated how many jobs would be lost overall for non-military federal workers? 3,200 at EPA alone is a lot. And a lot of that is concentrated in the DC area, right? He’s going to make it a ghost town within the year.

      I try to resist despair and just hope he’s hanging himself and his chances for reelection.

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    Take a look at this NYT piece.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    I just hope everyone reads the Onion article on Mitch McConnell. It’s priceless!

    • Fannie says:

      HA! That was nice of the Onion to share his trip with us. LSD had no beneficial effects whatsoever, not even a dance for McConnell.

  7. dakinikat says:

    62 agencies and programs Trump wants to eliminate

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/62-agencies-and-programs-trump-wants-to-eliminate/ar-BByb5tr?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

    But for dozens of smaller agencies and programs, the cut is 100%.

    Community development block grants. The Weatherization Assistance Program. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The National Endowment for the Arts. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. All would be axed if Congress adopts Trump’s budget.

    Also proposed for elimination are lesser-known bureaucracies like the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program and the Inter-American Foundation.

    Many of those programs have constituencies in states and cities across the country — and their champions in Congress. “The president’s beholden to nobody but the people who elected him, and yes, I understand that every lawmaker over there has pet projects,” said Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney. “That’s the nature of the beast.”

  8. dakinikat says:

    This Is the Ending Conservatives Always Wanted
    You can draw a straight line from Reaganomics to Trump’s budget.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a53897/trump-budget-meals-wheels/

    Pierce at his finest:

    Every year, during the run-up to Halloween, when Jim DeMint goes to Hell’s mega-mall and sits on Satan’s lap, he has a list of things he wants for the holiday. The parents of the assembled demons and imps behind him in line often get frustrated because the list is so long. On Thursday, the Trump Administration released its proposed national budget. It’s been a long time coming, but DeMint and the rest of the greasy barbarians at Heritage finally got most of what they asked for.

    This proposed budget isn’t extreme. Reagan’s proposed budget in 1981 was extreme. This budget is short-sighted, cruel to the point of being sadistic, stupid to the point of pure philistinism, and shot through with the absolute and fundamentalist religious conviction that the only true functions of government are the ones that involve guns, and that the only true purpose of government is to serve the rich.

    • dakinikat says:

      This is it, right here, this budget. This is the beau ideal of movement conservative governance. This is the logical, dystopian end of Reaganism, and Gingrichism, and Tea Partyism, and all the other Isms that movement conservatism has inflicted upon the political commonwealth. This is the vast, noxious swamp into which all those tributaries of modern conservative thought have emptied themselves. People die in there, swallowed up in deep sinkholes of empowered bigotry and class anger.

      Meals on Wheels?

      Just gives me the shivers …

    • And let’s hope it is the beginning of the ending they deserve.

    • Fannie says:

      That too, was worth every minute of my time to read.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    The tRump budget guy just said that the “most compassionate” thing they could do is cut out things like meals on wheels and Head Start, because that means the government won’t be asking for people’s money anymore. He says programs like meals on wheels aren’t “showing results.”

    Except for the wall, of course!

    • bostonboomer says:

      “As for climate change, I think the president has been clear on that. We’re not spending money on that anymore.”

      • bostonboomer says:

        //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

        • Enheduanna says:

          I hope comments like this are these guy’s epitaphs engraved on their tombs, because some day in the not too far off future they are going to be proved wrong and proved wrong in a dramatic way.

          They want to eliminate the government’s role in research period. Idiots. Meanwhile China, EU and pretty much everybody else sails past us in development of renewables. They can’t even see the business sense of it.

    • Fannie says:

      Ashols what do they want to do, show results by spoon feeding them, and measure intake and output?

      • Enheduanna says:

        Hey you can’t show some old geezer’s stomach rumbles on a chart so old people hunger does not exist for them.

        Little kids and old people. JHC on a cracker.

    • NW Luna says:

      aren’t “showing results.”

      …because they never look at them. I was reading a medical piece the other day where a leading expert in the field said that he never looked at patient-reported outcomes because …. they weren’t important to him, and were different from the outcomes that physicians had earlier decided were important outcomes. (facepalm)

  10. Fannie says:

    Listening to Spicer, and he says that Trump will be adding to our debt by about 488 billion dollars………………yup, that’s right piling on 488 billion dollars.

  11. Fannie says:

    Trump is no longer going to be a soft dick, he’s going to be a hard power dick.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  13. bostonboomer says:

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    • janicen says:

      This is just astonishing. The Republican definition of compassion.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        The Community Development Block Grant programs do so much good work other than meals on wheels, there’s no way Seniors, poor and the disabled will not be affected by the vicious cuts to this program. From this program also comes childcare assistance to low income single mothers, transportation to physicians appointments for low income and disabled citizens. It also supplements the poor in housing and in upkeep of homes to the poor and seniors who are no longer able to care for their homes. It is an extremely important program for low income, poor and disabled Americans and will be a gut punch to the poor, especially the poor in rural America.

        I’m just sickened by this budget, it ruthlessness, it’s cowardice and it’s slap in the face to those who are the least among us.

        • janicen says:

          I’m sure the thinking is the same as with Trumpcare, that it will strengthen Social Security. How can Trumpcare strengthen Social Security when it doesn’t even mention it? Simple, old people will die sooner and not draw as many benefits.

          Then only good thing about any of this is that it exposes these sociopaths.

  14. dakinikat says:

  15. bostonboomer says:

    I thought Trump wanted to support law enforcement.

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  16. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      And the media is still wasting time interviewing and running articles on the idiots who still believe Trump. How can people be this stupid?

      McComic said she’s not worried about her disability benefits changing or her 3-year-old granddaughter getting kicked off Medicaid or her 33-year-old son’s premiums going up.

      “So far, everything’s been positive, from what I can tell,” she said, waiting for Trump’s rally here to begin Wednesday night. “I just hope that more and more people and children get covered under this new health-care plan.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/who-to-trust-when-it-comes-to-health-care-reform-trump-supporters-put-their-faith-in-him/2017/03/16/1c702d58-0a64-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_trumpnashville-815pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.25fbd46d60ab

      • quixote says:

        I saw that. I was sitting there, mouth opening and closing like a goldfish. It took a while to manage even my usual But-but-but-but-BUT.

        Earlier in the article it says her son’s premiums while working were $587 (something like that), dropping to $88 when he became unemployed. And she figures the new low price is all because of the new Prez and the brilliant tax credits to the states scheme.

        She has zero clue it’s because of an Obamacare provision. She doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of proposed legislation that hasn’t even been through hearings yet. She seems to think the process of “presidenting” involves occupying a big chair, making a duck face, and having your wishes come true.

        Or something.

        It’s more than mindboggling.

        Thing is, she’s not institutionalized. She’s not mentally deficient. So she’s got this mythology from somewhere. This is the price of allowing even only some of the media to lie to some of the people.

  17. NW Luna says:

    Couldn’t sleep through the night. Now I know why.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I follow her, I missed that tweet. Thank you for sharing it. It made me start to cry with anxiety.

      I think any reporter looking for a “scoop” should definitely check out if any mineshafts are being retrofit and redecorated in “dictator chic”…

      How much longer will it be? Will any one move to impeach this asshole and rid us of this threatening administration.

      • NW Luna says:

        Too much anxiety-inducing news going on already. And it’s easy to miss something in a Twitter TL. Sometimes there are weird gaps.

        The rest of the world is shaking its head at the US. From Obama to this gradeschool bullying grifter with paranoid delusions and nukes.

  18. NW Luna says:

  19. NW Luna says:

  20. NW Luna says:

    Because of course.

    Institute dedicated to forging peace is targeted for extinction

    The U.S. Institute of Peace has dispatched staffers from its ultramodern building near the Mall in Washington to some of the world’s most dangerous places, but now the federally funded organization is facing its own demise at the hands of the Trump administration.

    The USIP, created by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan to engage in conflict resolution around the world, is among more than a dozen independent agencies slated for elimination under the budget blueprint unveiled Thursday. Axing the USIP would save taxpayers $35.3 million.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/institute-dedicated-to-forging-peace-is-targeted-for-extinction/2017/03/16/0847c312-0a74-11e7-a15f-a58d4a988474_story.html?utm_term=.020d64bc05c3

  21. NW Luna says: