Monday Open Thread | Intel panel wants wiretap evidence by Monday

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) have asked the White House to offer by Monday any evidence showing Trump Tower was wiretapped.

A congressional aide confirmed to The Hill that Schiff and Nunes made the request in a letter to the White House. The letter was first reported by The Associated Press.

Trump has kept his distance from the press since last weekend, when he accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower before the November election.

Trump did not provide any evidence of the claim, and a spokesperson for Obama denied that he or any White House official called for the surveillance.

The White House has asked that an investigation of the alleged wiretaps be part of the probe into Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

Nunes has said that the intelligence panel would investigate potential surveillance of political parties as part of its Russia inquiry.

Democrats have slammed Trump for the accusations, with Schiff calling them “outlandish” and destructive.”

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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54 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Intel panel wants wiretap evidence by Monday

  1. rikyrah says:

    found this at TOD…BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    March 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm
    I was talking to my microwave today, I told it to let Michelle and Barack know that I miss them. I ask how are Malia, Sasha, and Grandma doing? How is Bo and Sunny? Then I sat down and ate my warm up meal. Thanks Kellyanne for letting me know that I can talk to President Obama through my microwave

  2. rikyrah says:


    Translation: The GOP health bill would completely wipe out the predicted coverage gains (+23M) from the ACA.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Have Devised a Health Care Plan For the Healthy
    by Nancy LeTourneau March 13, 2017 11:57 AM

    Speaker Paul Ryan took a lot of heat for this part of his power point presentation on the Republican health care plan last week.

    Ryan says problem with ACA is that the healthy are “subsidizing” the sick…AKA *literally* the point of insurance:

    — Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) March 9, 2017

    He was proposing to take people with pre-existing conditions out of the group that would purchase insurance on the exchanges and put them into a high-risk pool. Other than the fact that there is not enough money allocated in their bill to cover those costs, states have pretty consistently shown that high-risk pools don’t work. But for the remaining healthy people, Ryan is right that such a move is likely to reduce their premiums. The takeaway is that the Republican plan works as long as you stay healthy. It would be a disaster if you get sick.


    Aside from the fact that not having coverage is a pretty substantial barrier to getting care, Mulvaney is right that high deductibles can inhibit the ability to get care. But rather than increase subsidies to cover those deductibles, the Republican plan will decrease them for those who are older and more likely to get sick. As a result, they are more likely to lose their coverage, meaning that they won’t drive up costs. The takeaway is that if you’re young and healthy, this plan will work. If you’re older, it is a disaster.

    Finally, Republicans have been clear that the current bill is merely phase one in their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Phase two involves the Trump administration (i.e., HHS Sec. Tom Price) getting rid of regulatory reforms contained in Obamacare. That is when we will witness a loosening of the 10 essential benefits that all insurance plans are currently required to provide and the return of “junk insurance.” Prior to the ACA, that meant things like “mini-med health plans” that covered the first $2000-$7000 dollars of health expenses, with the remainder coming out of the pocket of those insured. Once again, that works well for those that are relatively healthy, but would be a disaster if you got sick.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Lips Pursed.

    Report: ‘Republicans Are Counting On Democrats To Step In And Help Repair’ GOP Health Care Law
    By David
    3/13/17 9:00am

    Republicans are openly hoping that Democrats will clean up the mess after they pass a health care law that results in million of Americans losing coverage.

    The New York Times reported over the weekend that Republicans are moving forward with plans to replaces the Affordable Care Act even though voters in red states are expected to be hit hard by the changes.

    “If you ask someone to give up something, there will be resentment,” Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-TX), chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health, told the Times. “If that claims my congressional career, so be it. It will be worth it to me to have effected this change.”

    Regardless of warnings from experts that millions could lose coverage, Republicans are pressing forward with the belief that Democrats will one day help fix the mess they created, the paper said.

    “Ultimately, Republicans are counting on Democrats to step in and help repair what even Republicans anticipate as upheaval if a repeal measure is passed without a broad remake of American health care,” the Times noted. “Republican leaders have made no effort to hide the strategy.”

    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) explained the plan last week that would begin with allowing Republicans to vote to repeal the majority of the Affordable Care Act. It would be Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s job to use his new powers to stabilize the insurance markets. Ryan suggested that House leadership wold then pressure Democrats to vote for additional fixes to the law.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Why Did Trump Just Fire 46 Federal Prosecutors?
    by Martin Longman March 13, 2017 11:19 AM

    On Friday, forty-six “United States attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama [were] asked to resign — and to immediately clean out their offices.” This was normal in one sense and abnormal in another. It’s customary for U.S. Attorneys to resign whenever control of the White House changes. In fact, they can be replaced even when a president is reelected or is replaced by a member of his own party.

    For example, after George W. Bush was reelected in 2005, Karl Rove stopped by the White House counsels office to talk with Deputy Counsel David Leitch. He had to settle for leaving a message with Colin Newman, an assistant in the office, who dutifully wrote up a memo for Leitch. It read, in part, “Karl Rove stopped by to ask you (roughly quoting) ‘how we planned to proceed regarding U.S. Attorneys, whether we were going to allow all to stay, request resignations from all and accept only some of them or selectively replace them, etc.’”

    That was the seed from which the U.S. Attorneys Scandal grew. Before it was over, it would cause the resignations of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, Acting Associate Attorney General, the chief of staffs for the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (and his appointed successor), and the Department of Justice’s White House Liaison Monica Goodling.

    I bring this up now, though, to point out that Rove was at least considering asking all the U.S. Attorneys to resign despite the fact that they were all appointed by Bush during his first term. One of the reasons for not replacing them all was provided by Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Writing to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, he observed that it would be “weird to ask them to leave before completing at least a 4-year term.” To White House counsel Harriet Miers, Sampson argued that they should focus on replacing only a few of the prosecutors, and then only if they had replacements ready:

  6. rikyrah says:

    Kushners Set to Get $400 Million From Chinese on Marquee Tower
    A company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, stands to receive more than $400 million from a prominent Chinese company that is investing in the Kushners’ marquee Manhattan office tower at 666 Fifth Ave.
    The planned $4-billion transaction includes terms that some real estate experts consider unusually favorable for the Kushners. It provides them with both a sizable cash payout from Anbang Insurance Group for a property that has struggled financially and an equity stake in a new partnership.

  7. Liza says:

    Really interesting article. MSNBC is going to air Bernie Sanders tonight talking to folks in McDowell County, WV.

    They are poor, sick and voted for Trump. What will happen to them without Obamacare?

    By Jessica Contrera
    Photos by Bonnie Jo Mount
    March 11, 2017

    “Heartburn is just the latest problem for Clyde, a patient Keisha sees every three months. Like so many in this corner of Appalachia, he used to have a highly paid job at a coal mine. Company insurance covered all of his medical needs. Then he lost the job and ended up here, holding a cane and suffering not only from heartburn but diabetes, arthritis, diverticulitis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

    Because of the ACA, Clyde’s visit is covered by Medicaid. Before the law, most West Virginians without children or disabilities could not qualify for Medicaid, no matter how poor they were. The ACA — better known here as Obamacare — expanded the program to cover more people, such as Clyde, who can depend on Keisha to fix his heartburn without having to worry about the cost.

    As for the other problems in his life, he has put his hopes in Trump, who came to West Virginia saying he would bring back coal and put miners back to work. When Trump mentioned repealing Obamacare, Clyde wasn’t sure what that might mean for his Medicaid. But if he had a job that provided health insurance, he reasoned, he wouldn’t need Medicaid anyway, so he voted for Trump, along with 74 percent of McDowell County.”

    • rikyrah says:

      I could care less what happens to them. I save my sympathy for those smart enough NOT to vote for the people who would take my healthcare away. STOP WITH THE ARTICLES AND TOWNHALLS. I HAVE NO SYMPATHY FOR THEM. AND WILL NOT TRY TO UNDERSTAND THEM. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HELL WE NOW HAVE TO ENDURE.

      • Ametia says:


      • Liza says:

        I know, Rikyrah, they did this to themselves, to be sure. If some politician were to tell me that he/she is going to flood the country with good paying jobs and everyone is going to have healthcare, etc…, I would be demanding the details of the plan. Trump just told them what they wanted to hear and most of them voted for him.

        We know that the jobs are gone. If and when Trumpcare replaces the ACA, these people will be the first ones to pay. They will die one after another, quietly, and no one will count the bodies. They will die from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or whatever disease they have that they could not afford to get treated. They’ll just be gone.

        But their communities will remain essentially unchanged, and I suspect they will continue to support Republicans regardless of what that costs them in suffering and death. The children will be like their parents, and the cycles of poverty and ignorance and racism will hardly be interrupted.

        Keisha, the black nurse practitioner in the article, is interesting. She had her share of obstacles to overcome, but she got her degree and could now be working in the city making more money with significantly less stress. I know that McDowell County is her home and her family is there, but if it were my choice I would leave and get my shot at a better life. Even so, she has my admiration and respect.

        But almost everyone who manages to get an education and a ticket out of these rural counties does leave which is one reason why these communities never change, or actually change for the worse.

        Still, there are no good excuses for voting for Trump. Absolutely none.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Steve King’s racially charged comments put Republicans on the spot
    03/13/17 12:30 PM
    By Steve Benen

    A couple of months ago, in a brief item, I referred to Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) as an “anti-immigration congressman.” I’d used that phrase in relation to King before, as have others describing the far-right Iowan, and it didn’t occur to me that anyone would even bat an eye.

    A few days later, however, King’s office contacted MaddowBlog to complain. The Republican lawmaker, his aides insisted, is not “anti-immigration,” but rather, he simply opposes illegal immigration. For a congressman who’s literally compared immigrants to dogs, it seemed like an odd thing to make a fuss over.

    All of this came to mind yesterday afternoon, when King, touting right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders, said via Twitter, “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

    Today, responding to the controversy he created, King was eager to talk about how correct he thinks he is.

    In an interview on CNN on Monday, King said he “meant exactly what I said.”

    “You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies. You’ve got to keep your birth rate up and that you need to teach your children your values” and in doing so, then you can grow your population and you can strengthen your culture, you can strengthen your way of life,” King said.

    King called Western Civilization a “superior culture” and said some cultures contribute more to American society than others.

    “If you go down the road a few generations or maybe centuries with the intermarriage, I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same,” King added.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Republicans declare ‘war on their own voters’ with health care plan
    03/13/17 11:30 AM
    By Steve Benen

    On NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday, the New York Times’ David Brooks said the Republican health care plan is effectively “declaring war on their own voters.” The language may seem a little over the top, but the truth of the matter is, Brooks has a point.

    The people who stand to lose the most in tax credits under the House Republican health plan tended to support Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, according to a new Upshot analysis. […]

    The voters hit the hardest – eligible for at least $5,000 less in tax credits under the Republican plan – supported Mr. Trump by a margin of 59 percent to 36 percent.

    Older Americans and rural voters – which is to say, Donald Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters – tend to fare the worst under the Republican plan some are calling “Trumpcare.”

    Center for Budget and Policy Priorities published a related analysis last week, noting which states’ residents would stand to lose the most. Of the 10 states that would fare the worst, literally all 10 were “red” states that Trump won last fall. This comports with a new Wall Street Journal report that noted this morning, “The House Republican effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act could hit many rural areas particularly hard, according to a new analysis, sharply increasing the cost for some residents buying their own insurance.”


    But I’m not so sure. Matt Yglesias’ take rings true:

    It’s certainly true that Trump voters might still support Trump all things considered, regardless of his health care plan, since they likely agree with him about guns, immigration, the environment, abortion, and other topics. But Trump probably didn’t run around the country promising people lower deductibles, universal coverage, and no cuts to Medicaid for no reason at all. He said that stuff because it’s popular.

    He broke with the Republican establishment on a key issue, soundly beat their candidates in the primary, and then won a general election boosted by considerable outsider credibility but an unusually low level of institutional party support. And now, in his first major legislative act, he’s betraying that promise.

    If Trump and his team are counting on there being no political consequences for these betrayals, they’re placing an enormous bet that the Republican base will simply go along with their allies knowingly making their lives worse.

  10. rikyrah says:

    GOP plan would be ‘a major retreat’ in addressing addiction crisis
    03/13/17 11:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    MSNBC’s Chris Hayes hosted an event in McDowell County, West Virginia, yesterday – the event will air tonight – in which he asked attendees how many of them have lost someone due to opioid addiction. By some accounts, roughly three-fourths of the audience raised their hands.

    It was a striking reminder about the toll the nation’s addiction crisis can take on a community. It also raised anew concerns about Donald Trump’s budget plans, which would make a horrible situation vastly worse. The Washington Post reported the other day:

    The Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would strip away what advocates say is essential coverage for drug addiction treatment as the number of people dying from opiate overdoses is skyrocketing nationwide.

    Beginning in 2020, the plan would eliminate an Affordable Care Act requirement that Medicaid cover basic mental-health and addiction services in states that expanded it, allowing them to decide whether to include those benefits in Medicaid plans.

    The proposal would also roll back the Medicaid expansion under the act – commonly known as Obamacare – which would affect many states bearing the brunt of the opiate crisis, including Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

    Joshua Sharfstein, associate dean at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Advocates, told the Post, “Taken as a whole, [the Republican health care plan] is a major retreat from the effort to save lives in the opiate epidemic.”

    The fact that Donald Trump spent months assuring voters that he’d take the exact opposite course adds to the severity of the betrayal.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    WereBear says:
    March 13, 2017 at 11:32 am
    You know what a Republican voucher is? A piece of paper that says, “Pretend this works and go away.”

  12. The haters STILL mad…

    In the blue state of Illinois, where President Barack Obama launched his historic career, served as a senator and is widely lauded as a Chicago hometown hero, you would think proposing a holiday honoring him would be an easy call.

    Instead, state Rep. Andrew Thapedi was bombarded with a stream of death threats, “venomous” emails and phone calls in the days after he introduced legislation for an Obama state holiday in Illinois.

    “We’re digging a grave especially for you,” Thapedi, a Chicago Democrat, said one of the emails warned after the bill was written up in a story on “It has been a hodge-podge of responses, from one end of the spectrum to the other: joy, jubilation on one side; absolute, unadulterated venom on the other side.”

    The business of honoring Obama’s legacy is turning out to be another reminder of the nation’s bitter divide, with one side eager to salute the first black president and another positioned in stark opposition.

    Illinois isn’t the only place where efforts are underway to memorialize Obama, who closed out his eight-year tenure with high favorability ratings.

    In California, a state senator recently proposed naming a portion of the Ventura Freeway “President Barack H. Obama Freeway,” as a way of flagging that the president had attended Occidental College in Eagle Rock in 1979. In New Jersey, the Jersey City school board agreed last fall to name a public school after Obama — but only after a political clash on the board and a series of public meetings. In January, New Albany, Indiana, renamed one of its streets “Barack Obama Way” with the mayor crediting Obama’s stimulus plans with helping the town create jobs and redevelop a 40-acre site into an industrial park.

    Even if a full-fledged state holiday doesn’t happen anytime soon in Illinois, lawmakers have alternatives in the pipeline: bills to name two different highways after the president and a proposal to have an “Obama Day” without the day off from work. And, most prominently, the Obama presidential library and museum is slotted for a South Side locale, amid criticism that the cost could climb to an eye-popping $1.5 billion for building and endowment. That’s not all: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed naming a new elite Chicago high school after Obama in 2014, but the idea was torpedoed amid anger that the school was to be located on the city’s mostly white North Side.

    • rikyrah says:

      GOP Health Plan Would Hit Rural Areas Hard
      Poor, older Americans would see largest increase in insurance-coverage costs, analysis shows
      Updated March 13, 2017 12:01 a.m. ET

      The House Republican effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act could hit many rural areas particularly hard, according to a new analysis, sharply increasing the cost for some residents buying their own insurance.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Tom Price: Republicans will use right-wing hackwork to pretend Trumpcare won’t take insurance away from millions.

    Critics have rightly noted that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price lied on Meet the Press Sunday when he predicted “nobody will be worse off financially” under the American Health Care Act. This and other comments from leading Obamacare-repeal architects will haunt them for years if they somehow pass AHCA into law.
    But Republicans have been making false promises about health care reform for years. The newsier tipoff from Price was that Republicans are going to promulgate their health care lies with dishonest right wing think tank analysis projecting that AHCA will cover more people than currently have insurance under the ACA.

    “I think we’ll have folks that are evaluating this and modeling this come out and say, ‘yes, indeed, this plan will in fact cover more individuals than are currently covered,’” Price told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

    This is part and parcel of the GOP’s preemptive effort to discredit the Congressional Budget Office, which is expected to score AHCA as a humanitarian catastrophe. But, to be clear, it is bullshit. Credible analysts, on both the left and the right, project that AHCA will cause millions of people to lose their insurance. The only question is how many millions. Republicans in Congress want to paper over an ongoing and growing public relations fiasco with the health care equivalent of voodoo economics. Consider yourselves warned.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Tom Price: Republicans will use right-wing hackwork to pretend Trumpcare won’t take insurance away from millions.

    — Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) March 13, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    Rep. Steve King doubles down on his racist tweet. “I meant exactly what I said.”

    — Jim Roberts (@nycjim) March 13, 2017

  16. rikyrah says:

    How harmful are immigrants? Let’s see. In 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, 33 of 40 finalists had immigrant parents

    — Clyde Haberman (@ClydeHaberman) March 12, 2017

  17. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s budget chief thinks Obama admin ‘manipulated’ jobs data
    03/13/17 10:30 AM
    By Steve Benen

    A great video montage made the rounds over the weekend showing Donald Trump, before he was elected president, talking about the unemployment rate. It’s a jarring video for a reason: the Republican not only dismissed the nation’s unemployment rate as “phony,” he acted as if only an idiot would believe the official data.

    It was, to a very real extent, one of the core messages of his campaign: right-thinking people should listen to Trump and treat the unemployment rate as a ridiculous fiction. That is, until last week, when the GOP president and his team decided the phony number is now “real” – because Trump says so.

    Obviously, this is absurd, but as it turns out, the president isn’t the only one saying nutty things about U.S. job data. Take the new director of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, for example.

    Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that he has long thought the previous administration framed data to make the unemployment rate “look smaller than it actually was.”

    “What you should really look at is the number of jobs created,” Mulvaney said on “State of the Union.” “We’ve thought for a long time, I did, that the Obama administration was manipulating the numbers, in terms of the number of people in the workforce, to make the unemployment rate – that percentage rate – look smaller than it actually was.”

    Now, one might expect this kind of nonsense from Trump or some random conservative blowhard on Twitter, but Mulvaney is the nation’s budget director – and he really ought to steer clear of ridiculous conspiracy theories.

  18. rikyrah says:

    GOP congressman sees ‘shadow government’ conspiracy involving Obama
    03/13/17 09:30 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) has a habit of saying some pretty silly things. After the Obama administration decided to treat contraception access as preventive health care, the Pennsylvania Republican said the move was comparable to 9/11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Last weekend, Kelly spoke at a local GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in his home state, where the congressman found a new way to complain about the former Democratic president.

    “President Obama himself said he was going to stay in Washington until his daughter graduated. I think we ought to pitch in to let him go someplace else, because he is only there for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to run a shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda. It just doesn’t make sense.

    “And people sit back and they say to me, ‘My gosh, why can’t you guys get this done?’ I say, ‘We’ve got a new CEO, we’ve got some new heads in the different departments, but the same people are there, and they don’t believe that the new owners or the new managers should be running the ship.’”

    As Republican conspiracy theories go, this is quite odd, but the story became even stranger when Kelly tried to explain what he meant.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Can the ACLU Stop Trump?
    New legal director David Cole thinks he knows how.

    by Gilad Edelman

    On a sunny afternoon in the first week of January, I met David Cole at his office at Georgetown Law Center. In a few days, he would officially take over as national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union—but first he had to finish grading exams. Tall and gangly, with wire-rim glasses and unfussy clothes a size too big for his skinny frame, Cole looks every bit the public interest lawyer and professor he has been for nearly three decades. At fifty-eight, he has a permanently tousled mop of thinning gray-brown hair and an open, boyish face that breaks easily into a grin.

    It was lunchtime, so we headed down to the cafeteria. Around mouthfuls of tuna sandwich, Cole ruefully recalled his expectations for the ACLU job when he accepted it last summer. “I, like everybody else, thought that Donald Trump didn’t really have a chance,” he said. Hillary Clinton would win the presidency and pick Antonin Scalia’s replacement, and Cole would get to spearhead the ACLU’s effort to move the law to the left under the first liberal Supreme Court majority since the 1970s. “And no memos were written on ‘What if Trump wins?’ ”

    You know what happened next.

    “On November 8, the job completely changed,” Cole said. “Suddenly, instead of thinking about incremental ways to advance the law in a more progressive direction, we’re in full defense mode.”

    Trump’s election made certain jobs matter much more than they would have in normal times. Cole’s is one of them. As a candidate, Trump specialized in constitutionally suspect policy proposals: criminalizing abortion, “national stop-and-frisk,” mass deportations, a Muslim registry. Democrats in Congress simply don’t have the numbers to stop Trump from following through, and Republicans don’t appear interested. That means the only plausible place to challenge him is through the legal system.

  20. rikyrah says:

    The Wingnut Who Wants Warren
    by D.R. Tucker
    March 13, 2017 4:10 AM

    A right-wing folk hero is being created in real time.

    It will not matter that this fellow was, for a time, “anti-Trump.” He will fall in line and obey now, just like right-wingers always do. In return, he will be showered with hosannas and donations, feted by Fox and blessed by Breitbart.

    Who is the right wing’s new king?

    John Kingston, a wealthy businessman, philanthropist, and major Republican donor, has emerged as a serious potential candidate for the GOP nomination to oppose incumbent Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.

    For the past several weeks, Kingston, 51, has been meeting with the state’s top Republicans, including political aides to Governor Charlie Baker, state party leaders, and major GOP donors as he explore a candidacy.

    “I think he is moving down the path in doing it,’’ said one senior Massachusetts GOP leader who met with Kingston this week.


    If you’re donating to the likes of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, you’re no “centrist.” However, progressives should pay very close attention to this race, and not blithely assume that Kingston cannot win the general election if he obtains the Republican nomination. Scott Brown (and Donald Trump) proved that flukes can happen–and it is a guarantee that the right will do everything in its considerable power to remove Warren from the Senate. The right feels the same way about Warren that the left feels about Trump–and wingnuts will regard Kingston as their best chance to terminate Warren’s political career with extreme prejudice.

    Warren has proven to be a key part of the anti-Trump resistance. Will she be able to resist this crackpot challenger? We’ll find out soon enough.

  21. rikyrah says:

    White House’s claims about Flynn are falling apart under scrutiny
    03/13/17 08:30 AM—UPDATED 03/13/17 08:55 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The fact that Donald Trump relied on a foreign agent as a top campaign adviser – and a trusted member of his inner circle – during the presidential campaign looks bad. Not necessarily stop-the-presses bad, but the fact that the Republican was paying Michael Flynn while Flynn was also paid by Turkey is a tough controversy to simply explain away.

    What’s becoming a far more serious story is Team Trump lying about all of this now.

    The Flynn controversy has long been bizarre. Trump and his aides have never been able to explain why they brought on someone with close ties to Putin’s Russia to advise the GOP candidate ahead of the election. They also haven’t explained why it took a few weeks for Trump to fire Flynn after the Justice Department told the White House Flynn was lying about his communications with a Russian official.

    The story got worse last week when Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent, which sparked a series of questions. Trump asked a foreign agent to be White House National Security Advisor? Did the president not consider why this might be a bad idea?

    As if this weren’t quite enough, the story keeps getting worse. The Washington Post reported late Friday:

    Attorneys for Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, informed the incoming White House legal counsel during the transition that Flynn might need to register with the government as a foreign agent – a phone call that raised no alarms within Trump’s team, despite the unusual circumstance of having a top national security post filled by someone whose work may have benefited a foreign government.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Trump sparks new controversy with U.S. Attorney dismissals
    03/13/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    On the surface, the idea that a president would replace an existing slate of U.S. Attorneys with his own federal prosecutors doesn’t seem controversial. U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of a president, and there’s ample recent precedent for new administrations nominating new prosecutors soon after Inauguration Day.

    But as is often the case with Donald Trump, there’s nothing routine about developments that unfolded late Friday and over the weekend.

    Let’s start with the basics. On Friday afternoon, 46 Obama-era federal prosecutors were told to submit their resignations – and clean out their offices before close of business. These federal prosecutors weren’t given advance notice or any kind of explanation. To be sure, they knew this was a possible outcome, but they’ve been working under the Trump administration for nearly two months, overseeing a series of ongoing federal cases.

    And while Trump’s authority to make this decision is not in doubt, there are all kinds of questions about why the president made this call at this time. As Rachel noted on Friday’s show, and NBC News reported over the weekend, there’s one U.S. Attorney in particular that’s drawing more attention for good reason.

  23. rikyrah says:

    From Mayhew over at BJ – a primer on Medicaid:

    Medicaid 101

    by David Anderson
    at 8:34 am on March 13, 2017

    Medicaid is going to be a big area of debate, so let’s go over the mechanics of Medicaid in any state. I will be speaking at a very high level and without too much state specific detail. This is not a state specific guide-book to Medicaid. It is just a reference guide to build a light framework.

    What is Medicaid
    Medicaid is a federal-state partnership program that originated in 1965 to pay for health care and long term care for people who can not afford it. Eligibility has expanded significantly over time. The program varies significantly by state.

    Who gets covered
    There are several major groups that are eligible to receive coverage. Each state has to meet minimum baselines and can elect to change eligibility criteria to expand coverage to certain groups. But let’s break it down now:

    Old people in nursing homes
    Sick to very sick people
    Poor kids
    Poor pregnant women
    Working poor adults

    Rest of the Primer a the link above.

    • rikyrah says:

      just a reminder…

      Who gets covered
      There are several major groups that are eligible to receive coverage. Each state has to meet minimum baselines and can elect to change eligibility criteria to expand coverage to certain groups. But let’s break it down now:

      Old people in nursing homes

      THIS is who takes the largest % of Medicaid Dollars.

      Robert and Emily’s Grandma and Grandpa SHOULD be the poster children for Medicaid.

      In terms of Medicaid $$$$, the other groups are pikers compared to this one.

  24. rikyrah says:

    White House: Job totals were ‘phony,’ but they’re ‘very real now’
    03/10/17 04:16 PM—UPDATED 03/11/17 08:19 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The job numbers for February were released this morning, and the data was very encouraging: the U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in February, with an unemployment rate of 4.7%. The White House, not surprisingly, is thrilled that the job market Donald Trump inherited from his predecessor is this strong as the new administration gets underway.

    That is, if the president actually believes the data. Trump spent months telling Americans not to believe official jobs reports, so it was hardly a surprise when a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer about whether Team Trump accepts the latest job figures or not. Spicer replied, with an unusually broad smile:

    “Yeah, I talked to the president prior to this [briefing] and he said to quote him very clearly: ‘They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.’”


    Look, I realize it was a lighthearted moment, and my point is not to sound like a killjoy, but we can’t really have a credible political discussion if the president – and the president alone – is supposed to tell us when the jobs numbers are real and when they’re not, as if it’s our job to simply accept Donald Trump’s strange declarations as fact.

    As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent added, “It’s key that Trump explicitly told Spicer to recite this line to the press corps. He’s telling them who gets to say what’s true.”

  25. rikyrah says:

    Freedom Caucus member points to emergency rooms for uninsured
    03/10/17 03:35 PM—UPDATED 03/12/17 08:47 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, talked to CNN’s Erin Burnett this week about health care, and his intention to kill the Affordable Care Act. The host pointed to a Republican voter, featured on an earlier segment, who’d be dead if it weren’t for “Obamacare.” She asked for his reaction.

    DeSantis proceeded to complain about the reform law anyway, before turning to a familiar GOP refrain:

    “I would say though … there really is no lack of health care. If people really need it, if they show up to the emergency room, they do get care, it just gets passed on to other folks.”

    The host pointed to the fact that woman in question had $1 million in cancer treatments, adding, “You’re not going to get that by showing up in an emergency room.”

    DeSantis then changed the subject.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

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