* Shot:

* Chaser:

Will they fight with the Kurds? or the Syrian rebels? What is the goal? To defeat ISIS? or Assad (and his partners Russia and Iran)? This is yet another example of how this administration is the embodiment of all Republicans stand for. Whenever there is a problem in the world, the playbook is to send in U.S. troops.

* In 2014, Reid Chernin attended a party at the “Breitbart Embassy” hosted by Steve Bannon. What he learned won’t surprise any of you who have already figured out that this guy is stark-raving mad.

There was lots of news on the docket, little of it grounded in accepted fact: Bannon described what he claimed were 10 counties in the Rio Grande Valley under full operational control of the drug cartels, and exposed only by the diligence of Breitbart Texas: “It’ll blow your fucking mind. We’ll take you on shit in Laredo and these other places; you literally will think, ‘I can’t be in America.’” U.S. immigration policy he said, had been designed expressly to undermine the labor market: “When you flood the zone, as Jeff Sessions says, with 50 million workers…” Then there was a theory that Ebola was spreading in West Africa because of the negligence of President Obama: “By the way, he’s never been briefed” on the virus. ISIS is actively plotting to assassinate the pope.

* Remember when Trump lied about focusing the deportation force on dangerous criminals?

U.S. immigration authorities have detained a 23-year-old Mexican man who was brought to the United States illegally as a child and given a work permit during the Obama administration, according to a lawsuit challenging the detention in Seattle federal court…

Ramirez was a “self-admitted gang member,” said Rose Richeson, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in a statement…

Dettmer said Ramirez “unequivocally denies” being in a gang.

“While in custody, he was repeatedly pressured by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to falsely admit affiliation,” said Dettmer. “The statement issued tonight by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not accurate.”

Ramirez, who has no criminal record according to court papers filed in his case, was taken into custody last week at his father’s home in Seattle by ICE officers.

I’ve got one word for that: deplorable.

* A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Republicans were facing problems in their efforts to block-grant Medicaid to the states due to the fact that current formulas would benefit those who expanded the program under Obamacare. Here’s an interesting twist on how that’s playing out.

Republicans determined to cut Medicaid may first have to pour more money into it to keep the peace between Republican governors who expanded health care for low-income people under Obamacare and those who resisted…

States of those hold-out governors could wind up the biggest losers if GOP lawmakers make good on their longstanding vow to cap federal spending by giving states lump sums tied to the number of Medicaid enrollees. So congressional Republicans are girding to spend significantly more money — at least in the short term — to effectively reward the non-expansion states for their resistance.

* Jonathan Chait asks, “Remember How Trump Was Going to Erase Obama’s Legacy Overnight?”

The notion that Obama’s presidency could and would be erased with a few strokes of the pen was a form of Republican propaganda that Republicans themselves came to believe. Conservatives took Trump’s grandiose rhetoric about repealing Obamacare and replacing it with something terrific, or bringing back coal jobs, at face value because they wanted to believe it. (Many despondent liberals yielded to the same conclusion out of characteristic fatalism.) But one of the lessons gained from a close study of Obama’s presidency, or any presidency, is that governing is hard. The reforms his domestic policies have wrought do not come easy. Even a highly competent Republican presidency would have difficulty unwinding them. And Trump has shown no signs so far of being even a minimally competent president. The expectation of a rapid erasure of Obama’s presidency looks like — to pick a cliché I read somewhere — hubris dashed against the sharp rocks of reality.

* Finally, as an old-timer, this tweet brought a smile to my face today:

To end this hump day, lets get ahead of the curve with a tune from the great boogie masters: Earth, Wind and Fire. I promise…shaking your groove thing to this tune is a great antidote to the shock and awe we’ve been living through lately.

YouTube video

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!