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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: 29,890

Journal Archives

Trump's New Hail Mary For O'Care Repeal Is A Total Freaking Mess

By TIERNEY SNEED Published JULY 21, 2017 3:53 PM

Senate Republicans eager to rescue their flailing Obamacare repeal effort — or at least, eager not to be blamed if it fails — are clinging to a vague idea reportedly being pitched by top Trump administration officials that they say will mitigate the replacement bill’s massive cuts to Medicaid.

The idea is being called a “wraparound” by GOP senators, and they say the goal would be to funnel the low-income people who would lose Medicaid coverage into private plans, using a combination of tax credits for private insurance, the legislation’s stabilization fund and existing Medicaid revenue streams.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said “it certainly can work,” and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) called the idea, coupled with a proposed extra $200 billion for the bill’s stabilization fund, “progress.”

The idea sounds tidy enough in principle, but runs into massive problems when one delves into the details of how to pay for it. To make the idea work, experts tell TPM, Republicans would need to massively increase the money they’re willing to spend on assistance for lower income people, and face legal challenges doing so, through Obamacare repeal’s legislative process.


'I'm surprised he didnt pull his shirt up to show us his MAGA tramp stamp': Ex-GOP strategist...

‘I’m surprised he didn’t pull his shirt up to show us his MAGA tramp stamp’: Ex-GOP strategist blasts Scaramucci


Senate Intel Chair: 'The Unmasking Thing Was All Created By Devin Nunes'

By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND Published JULY 21, 2017 3:15 PM

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) on Friday accused his counterpart in the House, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), of creating a false narrative about Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice.

Speaking to CNN after Rice was interviewed by the panel in closed session, Burr said he asked no questions about whether she improperly requested and revealed the identities of U.S. individuals swept up in intelligence reports—an accusation Nunes has made repeatedly.

“The unmasking thing was all created by Devin Nunes, and I’ll wait to go through our full evaluation to see if there was anything improper that happened,” Burr told CNN. “But clearly there were individuals unmasked. Some of that became public which it’s not supposed to, and our business is to understand that, and explain it.”

With an assist from the White House, the House Intelligence chairman in March embarked on a one-man crusade to accuse Rice of improperly unmasking the identities of members of Trump’s campaign in intelligence reports. Though President Donald Trump said he believed Rice’s actions broke the law, bipartisan lawmakers who viewed the same classified reports from which Nunes drew his conclusions said they saw no evidence of wrongdoing. National security experts also told TPM that it was within Rice’s purview as national security adviser to request that names be unmasked as she tried to determine the extent of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Nunes ended up temporarily stepping aside from the House investigation after ethics watchdogs accused him of improperly disclosing classified information in his public statements about Rice. He recently told CNN that he remains fully “read-in” to the House probe and never formally recused himself, however. “I can do whatever I want, I’m the chairman of the committee,” Nunes said.



WATCH: Obama once gave new Trump hire Scaramucci an embarrasing Wall St. history lesson


Parts of Senate GOP Health Care Bill Break Rules, Parliamentarian Says

Source: Roll Call

Abortion, insurance regulations, cost-sharing subsidies would require 60 votes

Posted Jul 21, 2017 7:04 PM
Mary Ellen McIntire

Several parts of the Senate health care bill would violate the chamber’s budget reconciliation rules, the Senate parliamentarian said in a guidance late Friday.

Provisions related to abortion, certain insurance regulations and funding the law’s cost-sharing subsidies could be struck under the so-called Byrd rule and would require 60 votes to survive.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said the Senate will take a procedural vote to proceed to debate on the health care measure early next week. It’s unclear whether enough Republican senators will vote to start debate or which version of the bill the Senate would consider. The parliamentarian's ruling is on an early version released last month.

Additionally, a provision that aims to incentivize individuals to purchase coverage and replace the health care law's individual mandate was ruled out of order with the Byrd rule.

Read more: http://www.rollcall.com/news/parts-senate-gop-health-bill-break-rules-parliamentarian-says

Anthony Scaramucci Might Be Trumps Trumpiest Hire Yet

By Daniel Gross

Of course Anthony Scaramucci is joining the White House. If you look at his career on Wall Street, in media, and in public life, he checks just about every box that Trump would want for a communications director—in part because there’s a remarkable level of Trumpiness to him. He’s like Trump’s younger, shorter double, except he’s a bit of a globalist and he can speak in complete sentences. But just how similar are they?

Two-word nickname beginning with the word the? Check. Everybody calls Scaramucci “the Mooch.”

Ivy League background married to a streetwise persona? Check. Scaramucci, a 1986 graduate of Tufts University, attended Harvard Law but trades on his blue-collar roots in Port Washington, Long Island.

Ideological fluidity and willingness to switch loyalties on a dime? Check. He supported Obama in 2008, only to switch to Romney in 2012. Then he loudly opposed Trump in highly personal terms in 2015—“anti-American”—before jumping aboard the Trump train.

Eagerness to be accepted by the great and good? Check. Scaramucci became a fixture at Davos, where he was a genial presence, known for throwing parties and back-slapping. (Would that I had the foresight to shoot video of his dancing.)


NRA Spokesperson Doesn't Seem Happy About White Houses Scaramucci Hire

Source: Talking Points Memo

By NICOLE LAFOND Published JULY 21, 2017 3:30 PM
Cameron Joseph contributed reporting.

Conservative radio host and spokesperson for the National Riffle Association Dana Loesch spoke out against the White House’s hiring of Anthony Scaramucci as director of communications Friday.

In a tweet that has since been deleted, Loesch said she finds it “concerning” that the new hire has a “contrary position on #2A from President Trump,” referring to the Second Amendment.

Loesch pointed to tweets Scaramucci posted in 2012, saying it’s “just common sense to apply more controls,” referring to gun control legislation.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/nra-unhappy-about-scaramucci-hire

Scaramucci Apologizes For Calling Trump A 'Hack' In 2015

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published JULY 21, 2017 2:52 PM

Newly minted White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci apologized “for the 50th time” Friday for calling his new boss, President Donald Trump, “A|another hack politician.”

“I know you’ve been one of the President’s strongest supporters for a while now,” ABC News’ Jonathan Karl said at the first on-camera White House press briefing since June 29. “But does he know what you said about him back in 2015 when you said he was a hack politician?”

“He brings it up every 15 seconds, OK?” Scaramucci said, responding to Karl. “One of the biggest mistakes that I made because I was an unexperienced person in the world of politics. I was supporting another candidate.”

“I should have never said that about him, so, Mr. President, if you’re listening, I personally apologize for the 50th time for saying that,” he continued. “But here’s the wonderful thing about the news media. That was three minutes of my life. He’s never forgotten it, and you’ve never forgotten it. But I hope one day, Mr. President, you’ll forget it.”

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/scaramucci-apologizes-for-calling-trump-a-hack

Scaramucci: 'I Actually Think The White House Is On Track'

By NICOLE LAFOND Published JULY 21, 2017 2:56 PM
In his first press briefing as the new White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci pushed back on questions from reporters about getting the White House back on track after the shakeup in the communications shop.

“I’m going to take a slight issue with the question because I actually think the White House is on track and we’re actually, I think, doing a really good job,” he said. “We have a whole list of things, and I didn’t want to come out here with our list of accomplishments and start a whole advertisement infomercial right now. I wanted to talk about personnel movement and how we’re thinking about things. But I think we’re doing an amazing job.”

He said he spoke with President Donald Trump earlier Friday about “letting him be himself” and “express his full identity” when it comes to communicating with the public over social media.

“I think he’s got some of the best political instincts in the world, and perhaps in history. If you think about it, he started his political ascent two years and two months ago, and he’s done a phenomenal job for the American people. And the people I grew up with, they so identify with the President and they love him and so we’re going to get that message out,” he said.



Breaking From Campaign Rhetoric, Trump Brings Terrorism Suspect to U.S. for Trial

Source: New York Times


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has brought a Qaeda suspect to the United States to face trial in federal court, backing off its hard-line position that terrorist suspects should be sent to the naval prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, rather than to civilian courtrooms.

The suspect, Ali Charaf Damache, was transferred from Spain and was scheduled to appear Friday in federal court in Philadelphia, making him the first foreigner brought to the United States to face terrorism charges under President Trump. A court clerk confirmed that Mr. Damache was due to appear Friday afternoon.

Authorities believe Mr. Damache was a Qaeda recruiter. He was charged with helping plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who depicted the Prophet Muhammad in cartoons.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly said that terrorism suspects should be held and prosecuted at Guantánamo Bay. Mr. Sessions said terrorists do not deserve the same legal rights as common criminals and that such trials were too dangerous to hold on American soil. With Mr. Damache’s transfer, Mr. Sessions has adopted a strategy that he vehemently opposed when it was carried out under President Barack Obama.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/world/europe/al-qaeda-suspect-court-trump-sessions-guantanamo.html?emc=edit_na_20170721&nl=breaking-news&nlid=57435284&ref=headline&_r=0

From his second day on the job, we knew Sean Spicer wouldn't last

By Erik Wemple July 21 at 1:57 PM

That Sean Spicer wouldn’t last as the White House press secretary was apparent on his second day on the job. On Saturday, Jan. 21, he appeared before a group of reporters and blasted them for not properly reporting the enormity of the crowds that had assembled for his boss’s inauguration. “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period,” said Spicer to the reporters. After wrapping up, Spicer, in a famously ill-fitting suit, stormed out of the briefing room without taking questions.

Scolding the media; lying and relying on bogus facts; stiffing legitimate questions: That inaugural moment in the briefing room said all that you needed to know about his tenure.

Which is now over. Glenn Thrush of the New York Times this morning broke the news that Spicer had resigned his post after the hiring of Anthony Scaramucci, a Trump ally, to the position of White House communications director. A Wall Street executive, Scaramucci initially supported other Republican candidates in the 2016 primary but eventually pushed hard for Trump. He lacks experience in Washington communications and occupies a tough-to-fill position. Mike Dubke resigned from the post in May.

According to Thrush’s initial report, this is how things went down: “Mr. Trump offered Mr. Scaramucci the job at 10 a.m. The president requested that Mr. Spicer stay on, but Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake, according to person with direct knowledge of the exchange.”

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