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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: 29,835

Journal Archives

Conservative activists, media frame health-care battle as Trump against the world

By David Weigel July 19 at 9:11 PM

As they scramble to resurrect the Senate GOP’s last chance to repeal the Affordable Care Act, conservative activists and media figures have settled on a message that could fall flat: Do it for President Trump. From Tuesday night through the announcement of yet another Republican meeting on their repeal bills, pundits and outside groups cast senators as “traitors” if they did not deliver a victory for the president.

“Republicans don’t really want this to be repealed and don’t really want Trump to win,” Rush Limbaugh told his listeners on Wednesday. “They never sell the plan.”

“These people are being true to their school, just not true to their party, and maybe not true to their country,” said “Fox and Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade, before asking a guest why Congress had “let Trump down.”

It wasn’t clear what leverage conservatives had left. Key Republicans such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) were just re-elected to six-year terms. Calls and protests against the repeal bills vastly outnumber any actions to support them — on Wednesday, dozens more protesters courted arrest by sitting and singing outside Republicans’ Senate offices. Despite several rewrites of the basic bill, major insurers have continued to oppose it, and to oppose the “consumer freedom amendment” favored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).

“All of our effort is on the three senators who voted for the 2015 repeal but are telling people they won’t vote for it now,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in an interview, describing the new website ObamacareRepealTraitors.com and its attacks on Murkowski, Portman and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). “They’re not up in cycle, but they’re in Trump states. I’ve been using the analogy of [former senator] Arlen Specter — are they going to be loyal to the Republican Party, or starting out on their own path?”


Not Deep Throat: The Trump Scandal Figure Who's Too Open For His Own Good

By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND Published JULY 20, 2017 6:00 AM

You might assume that Carter Page is having a worse summer than Penn Station, but he doesn’t see it that way.

Page is one of a handful of former Trump campaign hands reported to be under federal scrutiny for his ties to Russia—putting him in the company of Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, figures much more central to the scandal—and he claims he’s being stonewalled by congressional Democrats who don’t want him to clear his name in an open hearing. But he’s confident that there is no merit to the multiple probes into Russian interference in the U.S. election, and has been eager to offer his account to anyone who’ll listen. He’s given numerous TV interviews and frequently blasts out to a list of reporters lengthy letters beseeching Congress for a date to testify in public.

Sitting on a bench at the Manhattan train station’s Starbucks on Tuesday afternoon, Page told TPM that his openness is not an act of self-promotion or the result of naiveté. Concerns that it may not be in the best interests of a person under scrutiny in of one of the most high-profile scandals ever to consume the White House to be so forthcoming don’t faze Page, either.

“It’s a cost-benefit analysis,” Page explained of his concerted effort to correct the record on the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, as Rihanna’s “Pon De Replay” pulsed through the coffee shop’s speakers.

He said he takes inspiration from a Marine he met at a Wounded Warrior Project fundraiser, who’d accepted an invitation to visit former President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas after losing his arm in Iraq. Page said when he asked the veteran how he felt while visiting the politician who launched the war that cost him a body part, the veteran replied, “I’m just doing my job. I’m doing the right thing.”

“It’s the same exact thing here,” Page said of his pushback against the various Russia investigations. “It’s not really worrying about the personal price you pay; it’s more about the broader mission and the national security of the U.S., right?”


Conway: Senators Who Vote Against Repeal 'Will Be Held Accountable'

Source: Talking Points Memo

By CAITLIN MACNEAL Published JULY 20, 2017 8:47 AM

After President Donald Trump on Wednesday pressured Senate Republicans to vote for a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, White House aide Kellyanne Conway echoed the President, noting that those who vote down repeal “will be held accountable” in a Wednesday interview on Fox News.

“Any Republican Senator who votes against a motion to proceed is basically saying, ‘we’re proceeding with ObamaCare,” she told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Hannity then jumped in to note that “we’re going to hold them accountable.”

Conway agreed, saying, “That’s right, they will be held accountable.” She then told senators who have issues with the bill to allow the legislation to proceed on the floor and then offer amendments.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kellyanne-conway-senators-repeal-accountable

Deputy AG Rosenstein Pretty Much Throws Comey Under Bus Over Memos

Source: Law Newz

by Ronn Blitzer | 9:05 am, July 20th, 2017

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum this week that provided some enlightening insight into his take on the infamous memos written and leaked by former FBI Director James Comey.

“What was your reaction to that, when he said he leaked that information to the press?” MacCallum asked.

Rosenstein said he would not comment on that specific situation, which was his answer to a number of pointed questions about various topics. However, MacCallum asked, as a general principle, if it would every be proper for an FBI Director to take notes of a conversation with the President and leak them to the press.

“We take confidentiality seriously, and so when we have memoranda about our ongoing matters, we have an obligation to keep that confidential,” Rosenstein said. When MacCallum said that based on that, her takeaway was that he would not approve of the release of any memo based on communication with the President. “The general proposition, I think, is quite clear.”


Read more: http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/rosenstein-comey-leak-improper-memos-were-confidential/

NYT Compares 'Fox & Friends' to Dora the Explorer

by Jon Levine | 8:14 am, July 20th, 2017

Ever since the birth of cable, television has been a rich panoply of channels with ideas and niche subjects to appeal to even the most specialized audiences and demographics.

With such rich content, the opportunity for cross-programming comparisons are boundless. On Wednesday New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik published an analysis of Fox & Friends, whose opening grafs compared the popular morning show to children’s television. In the Times’ Critics Notebook, Poniewozik specifically cited Dora the Explorer.

Per The Times:

The producers of children’s television know the key to holding a distractible audience’s attention: interactivity.

Dora the Explorer asks kids to repeat after her (“Swiper, no swiping!”). Mister Rogers broke the fourth wall to welcome them to his neighborhood. The hosts of “Romper Room” pretended to see them through a “magic mirror,” and read their names on the air.

It turns out you can apply the same formula to morning news. “Fox & Friends,” the three-hour wake-up program on Fox News, is an interactive magic mirror for Donald J. Trump.


#NOTHINGMATTERS. Trump Takes Four Health Care Positions in 48 Hours, Aides Shrug

Don’t like President Trump’s position on health care? Wait a few minutes. It might change.

07.19.17 6:05 PM ET

President Donald Trump can’t seem to decide what he wants Congress to do on health care, but internally, aides say there isn’t much point in keeping him on message, and they’ve generally stopped trying.

“There is no mechanism in place for making sure the president stays on message when he doesn’t have one,” a senior Trump administration official told The Daily Beast on Wednesday. There’s also “no real [internal] effort to keep him from contradicting” himself on what, exactly, the GOP’s next steps on health care should be, the official said.
But it may not matter.

Though Trump exhibits a lack of understanding of the health care system he hopes to reform, and often makes public statements that contradict the official White House message, the legislative process, aides say, is mostly out of his hands at this point. Trump will continue to be engaged in the fight for Obamacare repeal, White House and congressional officials said on Wednesday. But it’s not immediately clear that he has settled on what policy to push.

The president has floated no fewer than four different health care proposals in the past 48 hours. As the Senate GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill hit the skids on Monday evening, Trump mused that they should simply go for repeal and leave it at that. The following morning, as the repeal efforts prospect’s diminished further, Trump suggested leaving Obamacare in place—”as I have always said”—and waiting for what he’s described as its inevitable failure before officially repealing it and moving on a replacement.

On Wednesday morning, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had admitted that the Republican repeal effort lacked the necessary support, Trump was back to promoting Obamacare replacement. “The Republicans never discuss how good their health care bill is,” he complained.


Sally Yates: Trump Attacks on DOJ Violate 'Bedrock Principle of Our Democracy'

Source: Mediaite

by Jon Levine | 8:55 am, July 20th, 2017

After being fired by Donald Trump as Acting Attorney General, the former prosecutor seems to have found her new calling, as a liberal Twitter hero.

After announcing her entry to the social network on June 23 with a post was retweeted 43,000 times (not too shabby for a first effort) Yates has tweeted sparingly. In fact, she issued her third tweet ever on Wednesday. In it, she decried Donald Trump’s attack on the Department of Justice during a recent New York Times interview and accused the president of undermining a “bedrock principle of our democracy”


Like her previously pronouncements, the tweet went instantly viral racking up thousands of retweets in just two hours. In her previous tweets she has plugged her own work and hit Trump over Russian meddling.

Take a look.


The Trump NYT interview which Yates was alluding to, was a tour-de-force of bombshells. Over almost an hour of freestyling, Trump blasted his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, slamming his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe. In addition Trump issued a pointed warning to Rob Mueller and offered his thoughts recent European military history.


Read more: http://www.mediaite.com/online/sally-yates-trump-attacks-on-doj-violate-bedrock-principle-of-our-democracy/

The City Celebrating Putin, Trump & a Notorious War Criminal

Those who committed unspeakable atrocities to assert Serbian power are remembered by some as heroes. So are Russia’s president and his buddy Donald Trump.

Anna Nemtsova
07.20.17 1:00 AM ET

BELGRADE—The Serbian capital, Belgrade, often looks like “Putingrad,” with occasional splashes of passion for Trump. On these hot July days, a stroll around the Kalemegdan Park or Belgrade’s main shopping street, Knez Mihailova, reveals portraits of both men on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, on T-shirts, cups, flyers, and posters.

The worlds of President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin commingle in curious ways among the souvenirs. A popular T-shirt design that would leave Trump perplexed (and Sarah Palin infuriated) shows Putin in a pilot’s uniform with the caption: “Crimea is Russia, Alaska is Russia, Everything is Russia, except for Kosovo.”

Memories of the gruesome Balkan wars that tore Yugoslavia apart in the 1990s remain strong and bitter. Serbia, which once sought to dominate the region, saw its power eliminated in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Kosovo.

Those who committed unspeakable atrocities to assert Serbian power are remembered by some as heroes. The 1999 NATO bombing campaign that finally forced Serbia to relinquish its hold on the province of Kosovo—now an independent nation that Belgrade will not recognize—is a memory that does not fade.


Trump Reflects on World History During NYT Interview: 'Same Thing Happened to Hitler'

by Jon Levine | 6:30 am, July 20th, 2017

Obviously that Donald Trump – New York Times interview published last night was nuts.

Lost amid a lot of the clammer and bombshells, however, was a curious nugget when the president waded into world history. When reporters asked about his recent trip to Paris, Trump digressed into some analysis of European military history, reflecting on the doomed forays of Napoleon and Hitler into Russia.

The historiography appears to have been sparked by Trump’s visit to Napoleon’s tomb in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Per NYT:

“They froze to death. How many times has Russia been saved by the weather?” Trump remarked. “Same thing happened to Hitler.”

TRUMP: Well, Napoleon finished a little bit bad. But I asked that. So I asked the president, so what about Napoleon? He said: “No, no, no. What he did was incredible. He designed Paris.” (garbled) The street grid, the way they work, you know, the spokes. He did so many things even beyond. And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death. How many times has Russia been saved by the weather? (garbled)


TRUMP: Same thing happened to Hitler. Not for that reason, though. Hitler wanted to consolidate. He was all set to walk in. But he wanted to consolidate, and it went and dropped to 35 degrees below zero, and that was the end of that army.


But the Russians have great fighters in the cold. They use the cold to their advantage. I mean, they’ve won five wars where the armies that went against them froze to death. (crosstalk) It’s pretty amazing.

So, we’re having a good time. The economy is doing great.


THE ENEMY FROM WITHIN. Team Trump Used Obamacare Money to Run PR Effort Against It

Source: The Daily Beast

The administration is tasked with overseeing the health care law. Instead, it has made a major social media push to undermine it.

07.20.17 1:00 AM ET

The Trump administration has spent taxpayer money meant to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it.

The effort, which involves a multi-pronged social media push as well as video testimonials designed at damaging public opinion of President Obama’s health care law, is far more robust and sustained than has been publicly revealed or realized.

The strategy has caught the eye of legal experts and Democrats in Congress, who have asked government agencies to investigate whether the administration has misused funds and engaged in covert propaganda in its efforts to damage and overturn the seven-year-old health care law. It’s also roiled Obama administration veterans, who argue that the current White House is not only abdicating its responsibilities to administer the law but sabotaging it in an effort to facilitate its undoing by Congress.

“I’m on a daily basis horrified by leaders at the Department of Health and Human Services who seem intent on taking healthcare away from the constituents they are supposed to serve,” former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “We always believed that delivering health and human services was the mission of the department. That seems to not be the mission of the current leadership.”

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/team-trump-used-obamacare-money-to-run-ads-against-it
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