Fast Walker 52Fast Walker 52's Journal
The Federal Bureau of Investigation cannot tell us what we need to know about Donald Trumps contacts with Russia. Why? Because doing so would jeopardize a long-running, ultra-sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin and to Trump.
But the Feds stonewalling risks something far more dangerous: Failing to resolve a crisis of trust in Americas president. WhoWhatWhy provides the details of a two-month investigation in this 6,500-word exposé.
The FBI apparently knew, directly or indirectly, based upon available facts, that prior to Election Day, Trump and his campaign had personal and business dealings with certain individuals and entities linked to criminal elements including reputed Russian gangsters connected to Putin.
The same facts suggest that the FBI knew or should have known enough prior to the election to justify informing the public about its ongoing investigation of potentially compromising relationships between Trump, Putin, and Russian mobsters even if it meant losing or exposing a valued informant.
His argument is because overall survival of Medicare recipients is going down, the law doesn't save lives, never mind larger societal trends.
What is most disturbing is that he doesn't even try to make any argument that having health insurance prolongs lives.
So of course Republicans will be using this argument in their endless evil quest to repeal the ACA. We need to be on guard for it.
The White House is asking Congress to cut $18 billion from discretionary spending bills for the current fiscal year that have been long settled a move that could threaten a major showdown just a month ahead of the deadline to keep the government funded.
In an extensive document shared with House and Senate appropriations committees on Friday, and obtained by POLITICO, the Trump administration is offering its most detailed instructions to date on how Congress should shape the trillion-dollar spending legislation Congress must enact by April 28 to prevent a government shutdown.
The department-by-department breakdown shows Trump is targeting domestic programs including education, health care and housing, as well as international food aid cuts that are in line with the administration's "skinny budget" for next year.
The $17.94 billion cut would help pay for Trumps military supplemental request, which was sent to Congress earlier this month. About $2 billion would also go towards Trumps proposed wall along the Mexican border.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/donald-trump-cuts-to-domestic-programs-congress-236579
So insane and evil. The science cuts are terrible for scientists. Here's a DKos piece on it.
Basically it boils down to 3 things that they are doing, many that aren't high profile:
1) rolling back huge number of regulations and environmental protections
2) cutting down the size of the federal bureaucracy (deconstructing the administrative state)
3) they will like succeed in getting Gorsuch on, who will be there a long time and is very anti-regulatory and pro-business
Long but makes good points...
This is a separate matter from the substantive question of whether the party is overdue in addressing the needs of the 21st-century middle class, or what remains of it. The answer to that is yes, as a matter of morality, policy, and politics. Americans below the top of the heap, with or without college degrees and regardless of race, have been ill served by the axis of Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, and the Davos-class donor base that during Bill Clintons presidency helped grease the skids for the 2008 economic collapse and allowed the culprits to escape from the wreckage unscathed during Barack Obamas. That Hillary Clinton pocketed $21.6 million by speaking to banks and other corporate groups after leaving the State Department is just one hideous illustration of how the Democrats opened the door for Trump to posture as an anti-Establishment champion of the forgotten men and women. In the bargain, she gave unenthused Democrats a reason to turn to a third-party candidate or stay home.
But its one thing for the Democratic Party to drain its own swamp of special interests and another for it to waste time and energy chasing unreachable voters in the base of Trumps electorate. For all her failings, Clinton received 3 million more votes than Trump and lost the Electoral College by the mere 77,744 votes that cost her the previously blue states of Michigan (which she lost by .2 of a percentage point), Wisconsin (.8 point), and Pennsylvania (.7 point). Of the 208 counties in America that voted for Obama twice and tipped to Trump in 2016, more than three-quarters were in states Clinton won anyway (some by a landslide, like New York) or states that have long been solidly red.
The centrist think tank Third Way is focusing on the Rust Belt in a $20 million campaign that its president, a former Clinton White House aide, says will address the question of how you restore Democrats as a national party that can win everywhere. Here is one answer that costs nothing: You cant, and you dont. The party is a wreck. Post-Obama-Clinton, its most admired national leaders (Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren) are of Social Security age. It rules no branch of federal government, holds only 16 governorships, and controls only 14 state legislatures. The Democrats must set priorities. In a presidential election, a revamped economic program and a new generation of un-Clinton leaders may well win back the genuine swing voters who voted for Trump, whether Democratic defectors in the Rust Belt or upscale suburbanites who just couldnt abide Hillary. But thats a small minority of Trumps electorate. Otherwise, the Trump vote is overwhelmingly synonymous with the Republican Party as a whole.
That makes it all the more a fools errand for Democrats to fudge or abandon their own values to cater to the white-identity politics of the hard-core, often self-sabotaging Trump voters who helped drive the country into a ditch on Election Day. They will stick with him even though the numbers say that they will take a bigger financial hit than Clinton voters under the Republican health-care plan. As Trump himself has said, in a rare instance of accuracy, they wont waver even if he stands in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoots somebody. While you cant blame our new president for loving the poorly educated who gave him that blank check, the rest of us are entitled to abstain. If we are free to loathe Trump, we are free to loathe his most loyal voters, who have put the rest of us at risk.
Seven years and three days ago, the House of Representatives grumblingly voted to approve the Senates version of the Affordable Care Act. Democrats in the House were displeased by many of the changes introduced by Senate Democrats. But in the interval after Senate passage, the Republicans had gained a 41st seat in the Senate. Any further tinkering with the law could trigger a Republican filibuster. Rather than lose the whole thing, the House swallowed hard and accepted a bill that liberals regarded as a giveaway to insurance companies and other interest groups. The finished law proceeded to President Obama for signature on March 23, 2010.
A few minutes after the House vote, I wrote a short blog post for the website I edited in those days. The site had been founded early in 2009 to argue for a more modern and more moderate form of Republicanism. The timing could not have been worse. At precisely the moment we were urging the GOP to march in one direction, the great mass of conservatives and Republicans had turned on the double in the other, toward an ever more wild and even paranoid extremism. Those were the days of Glenn Becks 5 oclock Fox News conspiracy rants, of Sarah Palins death panels, of Orly Taitz and her fellow Birthers, of Tea Party rallies at which men openly brandished assault rifles.
The conservative establishment in Washington caught the same fever that then raged among conservatives across the country. At that time, I worked at the American Enterprise Institute, the most high-toned of Washingtons conservative think tanks. In later years, AEI would provide a home for the emerging reform conservative tendency. Its president, Arthur Brooks, would speak eloquently of the need for conservatives to show concern for the poor and the hard-pressed working class. But all that lay ahead in 2010. The mood then was that supporters and opponents of the Obama administration were engaged in a furious battle over whether the United States would remain a capitalist economy at all.
In that third week in March in 2010, America committed itself for the first time to the principle of universal (or near universal) health-care coverage. That principle has had seven years to work its way into American life and into the public sense of right and wrong. Its not yet unanimously accepted. But its accepted by enough votersand especially by enough Republican votersto render impossible the seven-year Republican vision of removing that coverage from those who have gained it under the Affordable Care Act. Paul Ryan still upholds the right of Americans to choose to go uninsured if they cannot afford to pay the cost of their insurance on their own. His country no longer agrees.
Basically, Republicans got owned by the ACA, and Frum called it back in 2010, as the rest of the party went increasingly insane.
Source: Talking Points Memo
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, one of the top administration officials who had been working to pass the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, on Friday morning brushed off concerns about a new provision in the bill that repeals the Essential Health Benefits requirement.
That provision would repeal a requirement that insurers cover a list of 10 essential benefits, including maternity care. Asked about this on CBS' "This Morning," Mulvaney argued that states can still require that insurance companies cover the EHBs.
"If you live in a state that wants to mandate maternity coverage for everybody, including 60-year-old women, thats fine," he said.
Co-host Alex Wagner asked Mulvaney about people who do not live in a state that requires maternity coverage.
"Then you can figure out a way to change the state that you live in," Mulvaney replied.
Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mulvaney-states-maternity-care
It's just evil.
Politicos Josh Dawsey and Jennifer Haberkorn report that the White House is in negotiations with the House Freedom Caucus about getting the caucus's hard-line conservative members to support the American Health Care Act, the Obamacare repeal package put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan and backed by President Trump.
Key to the deal, they report, are changes to the law that would eliminate the Affordable Care Acts essential health benefits, a list of 10 categories of procedure that all insurance plans offered to individuals or small businesses must cover. The 10 are, in the words of Healthcare.gov:
Outpatient care without a hospital admission, known as ambulatory patient services
Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
Mental health and substance use disorder services, including counseling and psychotherapy
Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, which help people with injuries and disabilities to recover
Preventive care, wellness services, and chronic disease management
Pediatric services, including oral and vision care for children
These provisions set a baseline, mandating that all offered plans meet a certain threshold. They can't skimp out and not cover big things like emergency room visits or pregnancy or mental health. Particularly for previously undercovered areas like mental health and addiction services, which plans didn't have to cover before the ACA, this provision was a huge deal.
Read more: http://www.vox.com/2017/3/22/15030214/essential-health-benefits-freedom-caucus-cbo-byrd-rule-reconciliation
these cuts are NUTS!!! I mean, WHY have insurance if they don't cover emergency services or hospitalization???
Source: Think Progress
About 40 minutes after Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch began his second day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, all eight of the justices he hopes to join said a major disability decision Gorsuch wrote in 2008 was wrong.
Both the Supreme Courts decision and Gorsuchs 2008 opinion involved the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires that public school systems which take certain federal funds provide a free appropriate public education to certain students with disabilities.
Applying this law to individual students, the Supreme Court acknowledged in its Wednesday opinion in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, is not an exact science. A focus on the particular child is at the core of the IDEA, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the unanimous Supreme Court. The instruction offered must be specially designed to meet a childs unique needs through an ndividualized education program.
But while this process can be difficult, it must provide meaningful educational benefits to disabled students which brings us to Judge Gorsuchs error in a 2008 opinion. In Thompson R2-J School District v. Luke P., a case brought by an autistic student whose parents sought reimbursement for tuition at a specialized school for children with autism, Gorsuch read IDEA extraordinarily narrowly.
Read more: https://thinkprogress.org/while-gorusch-was-testifying-the-supreme-court-unanimously-said-he-was-wrong-33b9ff7eca77#.cgzbsr1n9
After my sister visited Paul Manafort's hometown as part of her investigation: attempted home break-in, her phone/comp. Hacked, car trashed 2x.
You had to be at least a part-time detective on the Trump-Russia beat to get the clues. The name of the tweeter, Andrea Chalupa, rang a bell. I looked her up. The sister she referenced was Alexandra, an operative for the Democratic National Committee who in 2015 had begun digging into the affairs of Donald Trumps campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort. Since the bigtime D.C. lobbyist for developing world kleptocracies was close to pro-Russia elements in Ukraine, Chalupa began to suspect Moscow would have some sort of connection to the Trump campaign. She didnt pay much attention at first, because Trumps campaign was just a clown show. But then he got traction and she looked again. And then came the suspected Russian hacks of the DNC, including her own email account. Even stranger things began to happen, as her sisters tweeted shorthand reminded everyone on Monday afternoon.
Yes, there had been an attempted home break-in last year, in her leafy, virtually crime-free neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C., as Politicos Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern reported in January. Her iPhone was hacked, too, and a death-metal track popular in Russia appeared on her playlist. Her car was broken into and trashed twice, with nothing stolen. The second time, the burglar left a red, traditional Ukrainian blouse draped across the back seat. She reported the incidents to the D.C. police and FBI, which by then had opened a counterintelligence investigation into Russian subversion. No arrests have been made.
More strange things have happened since, to her and some of her friends, that shes not ready to go public about. But she did say that, like virtually everyone else in official Washington, she was glued to the TV Monday for the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Moscows campaign to destroy Hillary Clinton, put Donald Trump in the White House and rattle Americans faith in their core institutions. Over five and a half hours, the star witness of the astonishing event, FBI Director James Comey, absolutely obliterated the credibility of the increasingly unhinged president of the United States.
So if they were willing to do this back then in 2015, you wonder what else they might have done?
Remember the strange death of Seth Rich?
Of course there was a dumb conspiracy theory that he was murdered by the Dems because he exposed Hillary stealing the primary.
But more recently there was a suggestion that the Russians may have gotten him.
I think that theory makes more sense now. A lot more sense.
Profile InformationGender: Do not display
Hometown: Southern California
Home country: USA
Current location: Indiana
Member since: Thu May 14, 2015, 06:31 AM
Number of posts: 7,723