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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 64,440

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Thoughts from one Alaskan woman on Sen. Murkowski health care vote:

At the Other End

For better or worse, many things in our lives are impacted by decisions other people make; it often requires a fight, or at least assertiveness, to advocate for yourself and for what's right.

When I find myself (not infrequently) doing that, I try to remember one simple but crucial fact: there is always a human being at the other end making the decision.

Maybe it's a judge, an insurance agent, an airline representative, or a senator. But regardless, it's always just a person. A person who is nuanced and subject to all the vagaries of human decision-making.

This week, Alaskans and the rest of America saw this principle in action when Senator Lisa Murkowski refused to strip health care from millions of Americans for political expedience.

It's impossible to know if all the pressure that her constituents applied over the past few months made a difference, but I like to think it did, and I expect others do as well. Certainly, it makes us all feel less impotent and hopeless at a time when the only thing Americans can seem to agree on is that our democracy isn't working properly.

It helps that Senator Murkowski is smart and compassionate. I don't always agree with her, and she is a canny politician above all else. But she respects her constituents and the fundamentals of governance. Sometimes--even often--this yields decisions I disagree with, but other times it ends up with a human being simply doing the right thing on the back end of a decision.

Alaska has a tiny population and by accident of Congressional design, an outsized influence over national issues at times. Many of us have met Senator Murkowski or even know "Lisa" personally. It is at these times that we can and should aggressively leverage our civic influence for the common good.

None of us can read Senator Murkowski's mind, and people are complicated. But there is no doubt that a combination of intellect and compassion--two critical qualities of good leadership--led to Senator Murkowski's decision on health care this week.

That we got to the point where millions of American lives hung in the balance for a one-percenter tax break is another and much darker problem. That democracy worked because people applied pressure when and where it mattered is a beacon of light and hope.

In this particular case, people's lives were saved all over America because of many voices and three smart, compassionate decisions.



Posted on July 29, 2017

........I turned on the news (probably the wrong thing to do) and saw our 45th President standing in front of a large group police folks and saying something that placed me in a state of animalistic frenzy. At that moment I was ready to reach through the television set to do something violent.

Our president told the gathered police that they should be rough when they throw people to the back of the paddy wagon. They should also, when putting these people in the back of squad cars, remove their hands from the tops of these people’s heads presumably so that they would bask their skulls on the door frames.

Is there any doubt in your mind, having followed this megalomaniac for the past few years that he is not a stable human being? As with all people of this kind, he can never face the people he is berating face to face. I was struck by the words of a 20 year marine, who is transgender, saying to the president that he wants him to go face to face with him and have the president tell her that she is “not worthy.”

There is some evidence that during his tenure in business, he never faced anyone that he was going to fire. It appears that he is doing the same thing as president. He is the quintessential bully. He appears to put other people between him and the people he want to get rid of. Follow his act with Jeff Sessions, Jim Comey, Michael Flynn, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Sally Yates, and Preet Bharara among others.

Luckily, none of these people were taken away by the police or the palace guards. They left in a non-dignified manner, but were not manhandled.

However, this is now my most fervent dream. When the president is removed from office for obstruction of justice, or impeachment, or some other legal way, I hope that the police, the secret service or the federal marshals, do not put their hands on his head when he is shoved into the back of a police car.


Then & Now:

This wolf needs an orange wig...

People are saying...as 3 million Senators may have voted illegally.


Leak: Internal Documents Show How the Nations Top Spy Is Instructed to Talk About Trump

Leak: Internal Documents Show How the Nation’s Top Spy Is Instructed to Talk About Trump
“How can you work…for a president that undermines your work?”


ProPublica has obtained internal talking points, apparently written by one of Coats’ aides, anticipating questions that Holt was likely to ask. They offer a window into the euphemisms and evasions necessary to handle a pressing issue for Coats: how to lead the intelligence community at a time when the president has insulted it on Twitter and denigrated its work while questions about Russian influence consume ever more time and attention in Washington. Sixteen of the 26 questions addressed by the talking points concerned internal White House politics, the Russia investigation, or the president himself. One question put the challenges facing Coats this way: “How can you work as DNI for a president that undermines your work?”


DNI spokesman Brian Hale told ProPublica that the 17-page document was a small, unclassified part of “a thick binder” of preparation documents for Coats’ interview. The other pieces, according to Hale, “had substantive material on Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea.” The talking points document, he said, “was designed to address the questions we anticipated being asked because of the news cycle.”

Prepared questions and answers—talking points—have long been standard procedure in Washington for officials facing a major interview or public testimony. In this instance, the document anticipated far sterner questions than Holt posed in the actual interview and Coats, an experienced official, often departed from the script.

In the talking points, Coats was advised to say that he and the president have “a trusted relationship,” framing any disagreements as constructive ones. “We may not always agree,” the document stated. “We must maintain an open dialogue … the relationship portrayed in the media between the president and the intelligence community is a far cry from what I have personally experienced and witnessed … there is a healthy dialogue and a good back and forth discussion.”



We The People!

Assume there will be a vote.
Assume it’s just weeks away.
Assume that your visit to a local office or call will make a difference.[/i]

Because you never know.
What if this person had not talked to Sen. Murkowski—who could very well be the tipping vote?


USA-USA-USA: It All Begins with the People in the Streets-A victory on healthcare-by Charles Pierce


JUL 28, 2017


.....The primary force driving the events of Thursday night and Friday morning was the energy and (yes) persistence of all those people who swamped town hall meetings, who wrote, or called, or e-mailed various congresscritters to show them what real political pressure felt like. I remember watching town halls in Maine, to which people drove hundreds of miles to tell Susan Collins what they thought. Those people bucked up vulnerable Democratic senators so that Chuck Schumer could count on a united Congress.

They brought pressure on Republican governors, too. People like Brian Sandoval in Nevada and John Kasich in Ohio were handed put-up-or-shut-up choices from their constituents. Perhaps the most significant Republican governor was Doug Ducey of Arizona, whom McCain repeatedly said he would consult before voting. Late on Thursday afternoon, Ducey came out strongly against the bill. But it all begins with the people who put themselves in the streets, and the people in wheelchairs who got roughed up on Capitol Hill, and all those impassioned voices on the phone, just as Lisa Murkowski's continued political survival depended on all those Alaskans who took the extra time to write in her name on a ballot.

We all decide, ultimately and individually, if the country is worth saving, one heavy lift at a time, knowing that, if the country is worth saving, we never will come to the last of them.

the rest:

David Corn's "btw" tweet to Trump:

By the way, your own son's emails are proof your camp knew Putin regime wanted to help you
& proof your team provided cover for Putin's op.


In other words, Russia was against Trump in the 2016 Election
- and why not, I want strong military & low oil prices. Witch Hunt!

In other words, you still can't accept the intelligence community's assessment that Putin subverted the election to help you.


The West Wing has a regular fly problem & "Trump made Priebus kill flies for him"


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