And by the way …

don't count on it though ...

Here’s another thing for you to worry about if you’re not a Republican fat cat.

While the rest of the country has been transfixed by Trumpian chaos, members of the Senate have spent the last two weeks talking about taking health insurance from millions of Americans.

There is an alarmingly large chance that they’ll decide to do so. But if they do, they will almost certainly rely on a political sleight of hand to disguise their bill’s damage. Understanding that sleight of hand — and calling attention to it — offers the best hope for defeating the bill.

That quote is from an article by David Leonhardt of the New York Times, an article that is the best brief analysis I’ve seen to date of what is happening with health care legislation in the Senate.

While the rest of us have been focused on Trump’s scandalous behavior the last couple of weeks, a dozen or so white Republican men have been getting together in private behind closed doors to decide just how much they can screw you without provoking a national revolt.

Is it any surprise then that the news would not be good? What else would you expect from a bunch of tired old men who have no interest in understanding the health challenges ordinary Americans face; only how much they can cut to provide tax cuts for their rich and powerful friends.

Like I said, it’s a terrific article and a must read for anyone interested in the future of health insurance; and quite frankly everyone should be interested in that topic.

Because if you think the American health care system is bad now, wait until the Republicans and Trump get done with it.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at what Trump has in store for kids.

Weekly Toon …

Here is Washington's real nut job ...

Not much to add to this toon since it pretty much speaks for itself. It comes to us via Stuart Carlson, whose work you can find more of here.

I like this cartoon because there are definitely times when I think of Trump as a petulant child who just never grew up. But if this article is to be believed, that’s apparently being unfair to children.

Alternatively, to use Trump’s own words, it’s possible the man is a complete nut job. Whatever the case may be, Trump needs psychiatric help big time and it’s apparent he’s needed it for a very long time indeed.

That isn’t going to happen any time soon, however; and that being the case, the United States will continue to suffer the consequences of his mental illness for years to come. Sad for the man to be sure, but sadder still for the American people.

Our runner-up for the week is also from Stuart Carlson and may even be better. You should definitely take a look.

Trump as victim …

Lock him up ... in a psychiatric ward!

It’s a witch hunt, folks; and not just your ordinary kind of witch hunt either. If you believe Donald Trump, he’s the victim of the “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

As David Fitzsimmons, the editorial cartoonist for the Arizona Daily Star whose work is featured here, points out, this is ironic coming from a man who knows a thing or two about inciting a witch hunt against an American President.

Of course, Trump is an incredibly stupid man who knows less about American history than most elementary school students in the United States. So please allow me to make two points.

First, if this is a witch hunt, most people seem to agree that Robert Mueller will tell the American people that’s what it is and that will be the end of the matter for all intents and purposes.

It’s also important to keep in mind that this witch hunt, if that’s what it is, was initiated by a Deputy Attorney General that Trump selected himself, one who was then confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate.

Nice job, doofus! Congratulations on doing something right for a change.

As with most things Trump says, this is just more bullshit from the bullshitter-in-chief. If he had half a brain, Trump would keep his fat mouth shut and try to do something that would actually benefit the American people.

But, then again, that’s probably asking too much. The man is a clueless narcissist who wouldn’t know what the public interest is if it was staring him in the face.

To put it another way, Trump makes a poor victim. He brought all of this on himself and deserves whatever comes from it.

To use a Trump-speak superlative, he’s the single biggest a**hole to ever occupy the White House, someone who divides the country every day. As such, he deserves no sympathy at all.

Which comes first?

Indeed ...

When will Republicans in Congress decide that enough is enough? Do they need Mr. Trump’s approval ratings to dip below 30 percent? Do they need first to ram through their deeply unpopular agenda? Or it is possible they might at last consult their consciences, and recall that they took an oath to uphold the Constitution?

That quote is from an editorial entitled Did Mr. Trump Obstruct Justice? You can read the entire editorial by clicking the link. The cartoon is from Marshall Ramsey, the editorial cartoonist for the Jackson, Mississippi, Clarion-Ledger, more of whose work is featured here.

Honestly, we are beyond the point of absurdity here. What more can one say about Donald Trump that hasn’t already been said? He disgraces our country every day. If the man had any decency at all, he would recognize he is beyond his depth and resign immediately.

But don’t hold your breath waiting. There is nothing a narcissist revels in more than being the center of attention.

Sad!

Weekly Toon …

Trump is the problem, McConnell his enabler ...

With so much happening this week, it was tough to select a single cartoon. But I had to give Tom Toles of the Washington Post the win for the toon featured above. It’s another one of those cartoons where two get skewered for the price of one.

We have the reference to Trump’s wall, but we’re not talking the border wall here. Instead, we’re talking the stonewall being used to undermine the investigation into the Trump administration’s connections to the Russians; and the biggest enabler for that stonewalling is Mitch McConnell, of course.

Just as he blocked a vote on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, he’s determined to prevent any independent investigation of Trump and his cronies. Given the choice between doing the right thing for the country, like GOP Senator Howard Baker once did during the Watergate scandel, or the right thing for the Republican Party, McConnell will always choose what’s right for the GOP.

He is another cancer on the American body politic who should have been retired by the voters long ago, but who manages to get reelected every six years so he can continue spreading the toxic partisanship he has practiced his entire life. Like his House counterpart, Paul Ryan, he has contributed greatly to the debasement of our political life as a nation and deserves only the contenpt of the American people.

Our runner up this week comes from Matt Davies, Newsday’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist whose work is featured here. His cartoon lampooning Nicole Kushner Meyer’s efforts to cash in on her brother’s (Jared Kushner) prominence is a tellibg commentary on the stench emanating from the family that occupies the White House.

Most people aren’t familiar with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. If you are, however, his cartoon, linked to above, is devastating in a very subtle way. Tom Toles was a bit less subtle on the issue. You can catch still more of Toles here.

When Will Republicans Stand Up to Trump?

I wouldn't hold your breath waiting the right decision to be made ...

If the controversy over the firing of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, has done anything, it has confirmed my decision on Nov. 9 to leave the Republican Party after a lifetime as a loyal member.

The Republican Party was once the party of small government, free trade, traditional values, principled foreign policy leadership and, most important of all, adherence to the Constitution. Republicans spent decades fulminating against activist judges like Earl Warren and activist politicians like Barack Obama, claiming they were undermining the founders’ vision of limited government.

And then, the party sold its soul to the soulless charlatan who now occupies the Oval Office and makes a mockery of every one of the party’s principles.

Very thoughtful article by someone who, intellectually at least, is still a Republican, but who wonders whether there are any Republicans left who will put loyalty to the republic above their fealty to the Republican Party?

You should definitely read the entire article. The cartoon above is by Chan Lowe, more of whose work is featured here.

No politicizing the FBI …

The firing of FBI Director James Comey is unlikely to put even a dent in Donald Trump’s support among his coalition of supporters.

And what a diverse coalition it is: Wealthy golf cart jockeys with warm-weather homes along America’s greenest fairways; high-school-dropout meth dealers in Appalachia; middle-aged white women who appreciate an occasional slap on the butt from their bosses; guys who wear cammo and cowboy hats and stockpile assault rifles in their suburban cul-de-sacs; Internet trolls with Wehrmacht haircuts; people who think “The Apprentice” was a documentary; Gary Busey, Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin and other third-tier celebrities — and so many more.

In spite of this excellent description of Trump’s constituency, which you can read more of here, it’s hard to believe that Trump would appoint Jared Kushner as FBI Director. But reports that prominent Republican politicians like Senator John Cornyn, Representative Trey Gowdy (famous for his impartial work as chairman of the House Benghazi special investigation), and former New Hampshire GOP Senator Kelly Ayotte are under consideration for the job are quite worrisome indeed.

These people are Republican partisans who have no business being considered for such a sensitive post at a time when the integrity of the Bureau is under assault from the White House. Even former GOP Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, who once served as an agent in the Bureau, is a partisan Republican whose appointment would raise many questions.

Trump seems determined to put someone in the job who will be loyal to him personally, not to the mission of the Bureau or to the country. This is something that needs to be watched closely in the coming weeks. What is needed is a professional who commands support within the Bureau and across the political spectrum; not another political hack like Jeff Sessions who gets confirmed because he is a member of Washington’s political insider club.