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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 25,555

Journal Archives

So much for all that winning: Will the health care debacle expose the fraudulent nature of Trump's..

MONDAY, MAR 27, 2017 08:56 AM EDT

So much for all that winning: Will the health care debacle expose the fraudulent nature of Trump’s presidency?

Republicans have lost any ability to govern or pass legislation — and their president is an unrepentant scam artist


Back in early December of last year I wrote a piece in which I recounted all of President Barack Obama’s attempts to woo Republicans and wondered whether the Tea Party — represented by the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus — would save Obamacare by once again refusing to go along with the leadership. And by gosh, they went and did it again. By all accounts, the HFC wouldn’t accept Paul Ryan’s draconian “replacement” for Obamacare because its members didn’t merely go back to the time before the ACA was enacted — they wanted to take the health care system back to the time of Dickensian England.

Mainstream conservatives, on the other hand, were willing to deny millions of people health care but they figured their seats might be in jeopardy if they went as far as the Freedom Caucus demanded. This bill died the way that everything dies in the Republican Congress — at the hands of fanatics who will not take yes for an answer.

The best meme circulating on Twitter during the negotiations was this one:


Speaker Paul Ryan deserves the lion’s share of the blame for this debacle. He’s the allegedly serious wonk who was supposed to be able to whip up a quick replacement in a matter of days that they could get through on reconciliation in the Senate with 50 votes, Trump would sign it and victory would be at hand in no time. That didn’t work out. Ryan’s alleged grasp of policy was always a Beltway delusion, largely based on his love of “Atlas Shrugged” and those blue, blue eyes. The health care bill he slapped together was a monstrosity that failed on every level, from cost savings to coverage, and it pleased absolutely no one. The trainwreck of a negotiation shows that Ryan is just as bad at political leadership as he is at policy.


Republicans are facing another government shutdown, and they may not be able to stop it

MONDAY, MAR 27, 2017 09:06 AM EDT

Republicans are facing another government shutdown, and they may not be able to stop it

Republicans run both houses of Congress and the White House, but the government still may shut down


Republicans are having trouble realizing that “as the heads of the government, they actually to do something beyond angrily shaking their fists at the world,” Salon’s Matthew Sheffield has pointed out. That’s a lesson that may come too late for GOP, as a government shutdown is looming.

A shutdown is “more likely than not,” Axios reported on Monday, pointing to April 29 as the day that the government will cease its routine functions after the last continuing resolution on funding expires. The last time the government shut down was in 2013, an event that lasted for two weeks. But that shutdown was a political maneuver, designed by Republicans who vehemently opposed former President Barack Obama’s immigration policies. But this isn’t 2013, and the Republicans aren’t against anything. They just have an inability to govern.

“There are some folks in the Republican House caucus who have yet to make the pivot from complaining to governing,” Republican pollster Whit Ayres recently told the Associated Press. “And this is a White House controlled by a politician who is not really trying to lead a party.”

The Republican congressional leadership is so desperate that it’s starting to consider approaching moderate Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus — a group that President Donald Trump singled out during a press conference last month — because the ultraconservative coalition known as the House Freedom Caucus is unlikely to work with the party to pass anything. That message was repeated by Rep. Ted Poe, R- Texas, who announced on Sunday he was stepping down as a member of the House Freedom Caucus.


Senate Committee to Question Jared Kushner Over Meetings With Russians

Source: New York Times


Senate investigators plan to question Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, as part of their broad inquiry into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to the Kremlin, according to administration and congressional officials.

The White House Counsel’s Office was informed this month that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, wanted to question Mr. Kushner about meetings he arranged with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, according to the government officials. The meetings included a previously unreported sit-down with the head of Russia’s state-owned development bank.

Until now, the White House had acknowledged only an early December meeting between Mr. Kislyak and Mr. Kushner, which occurred at Trump Tower and was also attended by Michael T. Flynn, who would briefly serve as the national security adviser.

Later that month, though, Mr. Kislyak requested a second meeting, which Mr. Kushner asked a deputy to attend in his stead, officials said. At Mr. Kislyak’s request, Mr. Kushner later met with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, which the United States placed on its sanctions list after President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia annexed Crimea and began meddling in Ukraine.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/27/us/politics/senate-jared-kushner-russia.html?emc=edit_na_20170327&nl=breaking-news&nlid=57435284&ref=headline

The innocent lives lost amid Trump's war on terror

(emphasis exists in the original article)

World Views Analysis

By Ishaan Tharoor March 27 at 1:00 AM

Though the incident is still shrouded in confusion, reports over the weekend indicated that the United States launched an airstrike on the Iraqi city of Mosul that may have killed more than 100 people.

U.S. officials have confirmed that the coalition conducted the attack March 17 over the crowded neighborhood of Mosul al-Jadida, located near the front lines of the Iraqi-led offensive against the city's Islamic State occupiers. The U.S. military and Iraqi authorities have both launched formal investigations into the incident. "If confirmed," my colleagues reported, "the March 17 incident would mark the greatest loss of civilian life since the United States began strikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria in 2014."

"We felt the earth shaking as if it was an earthquake. It was an airstrike that targeted my street. Dust, shattered glass and powder were the only things my wife, myself and three kids were feeling," said one Jadida resident to Reuters. "We heard screams and loud crying coming from the house next door. After the bombing stopped, I went out with some neighbors and found that some houses on my street were leveled."

The news from Mosul comes on the heels of another recently opened investigation into a U.S. airstrike, this one on an al-Qaeda target in northern Syria. That strike may have killed dozens of civilians seeking sanctuary in a nearby mosque. (Few in America would know about it: The official inquiry into the Syria strike was reported on the same day global media gave blanket coverage to a terror attack in London that killed five people.)


Nearly 1 out of every 3 days he has been president, Trump has visited a Trump property

By Philip Bump March 26 at 1:42 PM

For the eighth weekend in a row, President Trump has visited a property that bears his name. He has done so on 21 of the 66 days he has been in office, meaning that for the equivalent of three full weeks of his just-over-nine weeks as commander in chief, he has spent all or part of a day at a Trump property — earning that property mentions in the media and the ability to tell potential clients that they might be able to interact with the president. And, despite his insistence on the campaign trail that he would avoid the links — “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” he said in August — he has made 13 visits to his own golf courses since becoming president, likely playing golf on at least 12 of those occasions.

Below, a breakdown of Trump’s visits to his properties. They include:

• Trump International Hotel in Washington.
• Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Va.
• Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.
• Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.


Trey Gowdy claims Nunes never talked to Trump about Russia -- even though he admitted he did


SHOCKER: Trump Shows Government Can't Run Like a Business!

by Jordan Chariton | 1:19 pm, March 26th, 2017

Of all the silly, wrongheaded one-liners I’ve heard from conservatives over the years, “government should run like a business” ranks near the top. And for these folks, President Trump was their champion.

Trump campaigned as a faux populist and outsider who would “drain the swamp” (which really meant replacing it to instill a much larger swamp), routinely railing against the bloated government bureaucracy and inefficiency.

Having covered nearly two dozen Trump rallies on the campaign trail, Trump tossed out fairy dust to his supporters: he’d swoop into Washington, and with the mere touch of the Donald, bing, bing, bing, winning! And in 65 days, Trump’s gotten quite the crash course on running government like a business.

While trying to unilaterally pass autocratic, xenophobic executive actions, Trump was shocked to learn there are checks and balances embedded in U.S. government that wouldn’t allow him to do whatever he pleases.


'Bullshit Factory': On CNN, Ex-Obama Speechwriter Says CNN Puts on 'Stupid' Trump Surrogates

by Josh Feldman | 12:09 pm, March 26th, 2017

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett appeared on CNN this morning and took a moment to critique the network for putting “stupid” people defending President Trump on the air.

Brian Stelter asked about his issues with cable news, and Lovett said that while Stelter in particular has consistently called out Sean Hannity, CNN comes out with panels that are “smart person, smart person, smart person, stupid person, smart person, smart person, smart person, bullshit factory.”

He said he’s not insulting all Trump supporters, just saying that the pro-Trump people who appear on CNN are “terrible representatives of the views of conservatives” and they’re “not intellectually honest people.”

“The same criticism you direct at Hannity,” Lovett told Stelter, “you could direct at the people that CNN puts on the air.” In talking about the kind of discussion people are hungry for these days, Lovett said he wants a “no-bullshit conversation about politics” on his podcast. (And if you’re wondering, he was not censored either time he said it.)



Tom Cotton: GOP 'Moved A Bit Too Fast' On Repeal, Compared To Dems On ACA

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ESME CRIBB Published MARCH 26, 2017, 12:53 PM EDT

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Sunday said that the House "moved a bit too fast" on its bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which he compared unfavorably to the process Democrats used to pass the original health care legislation in 2010.

"I think the House moved a bit too fast. 18 days is simply not enough time for such a major landmark legislation," Cotton said on CBS News' "Face the Nation." He said that Republicans will have to "revisit" the bill, though House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the White House both appeared eager to move on to other areas of policy after the legislation was pulled on Friday less than an hour before it was scheduled to go to the House floor.

"We now have the time to do it in a more deliberate and careful fashion," Cotton said. "To release a bill that was written in secret and then expect to pass it in 18 days I just don't think was feasible."

He unfavorably compared Republican efforts to bring the bill to Trump's desk to Democrats' work on health care legislation in 2009. "For 60 years at least they had been pursuing a national health care system, yet they didn't introduce legislation for eight months," Cotton said. "They didn't pass it for over a year of Barack Obama's first term."

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/tom-cotton-gop-moved-too-fast-on-repeal-compared-to-dems-on-obamacare

Joy-Ann Reid: Paul Ryan is 'fine' taking eyeglasses from children

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