Monday Open Thread | Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Week

Happy Monday, Everyone. Welcome to Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Week @ 3 Chics!

Kenneth Brian “Babyface“ Edmonds (born April 10, 1958) is an American R&B and pop singer-songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, record producer, film producer, and entrepreneur.
Kenneth Edmonds was born on April 10, 1958, in Indianapolis, Indiana[1] to Marvin and Barbara Edmonds. Barbara was a pharmaceutical plant manager. Edmonds, who is the fifth of six brothers (which also included future After 7 bandmembers Melvin and Kevon Edmonds, the latter of whom later had a modestly successful solo career), attended North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana and as a shy youth, wrote songs to express his emotions.[citation needed] When he was in eighth grade, Edmonds’s father died of lung cancer, leaving his mother to raise her sons alone. At this stage, Edmonds became determined to have a career in music.

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66 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Brian Beutler‏Verified account @brianbeutler

    .@chuckschumer raised a good point on the floor. With AHCA in the dustbin, Trump needs to rescind the anti-ACA order he signed in January.

    • rikyrah says:

      Roger Wilkins, civil rights champion in government and journalism, dies at 85

      By Adam Bernstein March 27 at 4:30 PM

      Roger W. Wilkins, a ranking Justice Department official during the 1960s who later composed Pulitzer Prize-winning editorials about the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post and wrote unsparingly about the conflicts and burdens he experienced as a black man in positions of influence, died March 26 at a nursing home in Kensington, Md. He was 85.

      The cause was complications from dementia, said his daughter Elizabeth Wilkins.

      In a career that traversed law, journalism and education, Mr. Wilkins made matters of race and poverty central to his work as an assistant attorney general in the Johnson administration and later as one of the first black editorial board members at The Post and the New York Times.

      By kinship or friendship, he was linked to many black leaders of the civil rights era. Roy Wilkins, who led the NAACP from 1955 to 1977, was an uncle. In law school, Roger Wilkins was an intern for Thurgood Marshall, then director-counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund and later a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

      From a young age, he once wrote, he was compelled to spend his life “blasting through doors that white people didn’t want to open.”

  2. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Event to bring together Japanese American, Jewish and American Muslim communities”

  3. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Native Americans prepare to battle Trump over Utah national monument”

    When word came down on Dec. 28 that President Barack Obama had created a 1.35 million-acre national monument called Bears Ears, Jonah Yellowman celebrated. So did leaders of his Navajo people and other tribes that rarely have much to cheer about, such as the Hopi, Ute and Zuni.

    Yet the festivities did not last long. Angered at Obama, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and other Republicans quickly lobbied President Donald Trump to rescind or scale back the monument. For Yellowman, such a reversal would represent a historic betrayal. He and other activists have spent years trying to protect Bears Ears and its cliff dwellings and other antiquities.

    “People are target shooting at our rock carvings,” said Yellowman, a Navajo elder. “They are cutting out our pictographs, our stories, and taking them away and selling them.”

  4. Ametia says:

    March 23, 2017
    Library to Host Series of Disco Events
    Line-up includes Gloria Gaynor, Tim Gunn

    The Library of Congress is presenting a series of disco-themed events to celebrate and memorialize the era of the mid-1970s and early 1980s that changed American art, fashion, language and sound. “Bibliodiscotheque” will include two months of programs such as film screenings, lectures and a symposium followed by a disco party featuring Gloria Gaynor.

    “The disco era has left a lasting mark on our culture,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “The music, the clothes, those fantastic disco balls – they are a part of Americana that new generations are still discovering and embracing. I am so thrilled to announce these events and the incredible line-up of guests we will have at the Library in the coming months as we celebrate the era of disco and share related items from the Library’s collections.”

    Nearly 40 years have passed since the heyday of platform shoes and dazzling disco balls, but disco is recognized as a phenomenon that redefined cultural norms across the United States. “Lest anyone think that disco was an aberrant moment in the ’70s, disco culture is inextricable from the history of 20th century fashion,” said Emmy award-winning fashion icon Tim Gunn. “Its representation in the Library of Congress not only legitimizes the genre, but fully validates it.”

    The Library of Congress holds significant collection materials in various formats that showcase the American disco experience. These items will be on display for the duration of this series. Programming includes screenings of disco-influenced films as well as lectures and panel discussions presented by cultural experts, such as author, producer and fashion icon Tim Gunn, who will present a lecture on the influence of disco fashion followed by a book signing. The series will conclude with a symposium featuring the disco singing sensation Gloria Gaynor, followed by an evening extravaganza with a live performance.

    Gaynor will discuss and sign her new book, “We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song.” The book’s title hearkens to her 1978 classic “I Will Survive” which was selected for preservation in 2016 for the National Recording Registry. In “We Will Survive,” Gaynor shares 40 inspirational, true stories about survivors of all kinds — individuals who have found comfort, hope, and courage through the power of that song.

  5. Ametia says:

    Who is the next Speaker to exit?

    PBO gets the inside scoop! LOL

  6. SHUT UP! You lied under Oath, Jeff Sessions! Perjurer!

  7. I despise Jeff Sessions. He has no business as Attorney General. White privilege is a hellava drug.

  8. MuslimBan failed

    Healthcare bill failed

    So now Trump Team is after #sanctuarycities

    Black people, we’re next. They’re coming for us too!

    • Ametia says:

      SG2, they’ve got NOTHING. All these attempts are to distract, deflect, and discourage INVESTIGATING them and their EVIL NEFARIOUS deeds to STEAL from the GOVERNMENT.

  9. rikyrah says:

    For GOP, fallout from health care fiasco is just getting started
    03/27/17 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    It’s not surprising that Republicans are eager to move on from the health care fight they picked. The entire endeavor was an embarrassing failure, exposing intra-party divisions and governing challenges that are likely to dog the GOP for many months to come.

    But their Democratic rivals intend to make sure the political fallout is even more painful. NBC News reported over the weekend:

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is launching its first ad campaign of the 2018 election cycle Monday, targeting 14 Republicans who voted for earlier versions of the bill in House committees. […]

    That starts with the members of three House committees that took up and passed draft versions of the Obamacare repeal bill – the Budget, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce Committees. Fourteen of the DCCC’s targeted Republican lawmakers voted for the bill in one of those committees.

    To see the message Democrats are pushing, the party posted this sample clip, targeting Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.). The ad-buy appear to be modest – the DCCC is apparently targeting digital platforms, at least with this initial rollout – but as the NBC report added, the spots are “a glimpse of what voters will see on their TVs soon.”

    Which makes a lot of sense. The House didn’t end up voting for the wildly unpopular GOP health care plan, but Republican leaders pushed the bill quickly through three committees, which put a series of GOP lawmakers on the record, voting for the legislation before it was derailed.

    Each of them are now vulnerable to attack ads that will have the benefit of being true: these Republicans knew the bill was a mess; they knew the American mainstream hated it; and they knew it wouldn’t work – but they voted for it anyway, ignoring the chance to kill it.

    What’s more, plenty of other House Republicans went on the record ahead of Friday afternoon, stating publicly their intention to support the bill on the floor (when they assumed there would be a floor vote). They, too, made themselves vulnerable by directly tying themselves to the doomed legislation.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Trump giving broad new powers to his inexperienced son-in-law
    03/27/17 10:40 AM—UPDATED 03/27/17 11:23 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Jared Kushner has long been a curious choice to serve as a senior adviser to the president, but his apparent promotion within the White House is even tougher to explain.

    Donald Trump relied on his son-in-law as a confidant during last year’s campaign, so it stood to reason that Kushner would have a role in the White House, but he’s a 36-year-old lawyer with a background running his father’s real estate business. Kushner’s background in government and/or politics is effectively non-existent, and there have long been questions about whether his job is at odds with existing anti-nepotism laws.

    But in a striking new piece, the Washington Post reports that Kushner’s power and portfolio are poised to expand.

    President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises – such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction – by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.

    The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Trump keeps demanding credit for Obama’s successes
    03/27/17 10:00 AM—UPDATED 03/27/17 10:16 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Desperate for a little good news, Donald Trump seemed eager to boast on Friday about a company called Charter Communications moving forward with plans to add 20,000 jobs in the United States. Soon after, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer bragged about the news from the briefing room podium, and the White House’s communications office sent out a press release, pointing to the news as proof of a president who’s “delivering on jobs for the American people.”

    Just on the surface, this entire approach makes Trump appear more like a mayor than a president. It’s a massive country with the world’s largest economy, and individual companies are going to sometimes hire and fire people. Trump seems to think he can claim credit for every piece of positive economic news, which is plainly silly.

    But in the case of Charter Communications, it’s actually worse, because as the Washington Post noted, these jobs were actually announced in the Obama era, and had nothing to do with Trump.

    [P]arts of that pledge by Charter chief executive Tom Rutledge had already been made months ago…. [T]here is little evidence to suggest the Trump administration played a major role in securing those commitments.

    Charter had announced those intended hires as far back as October, and the jobs – which will largely be filled by customer service workers – are “new” only in the sense that they have yet to be filled.

  12. rikyrah says:


    Nunes was on WH grounds day before announcing Trump surveillance info
    BY REBECCA SAVRANSKY – 03/27/17 10:39 AM EDT

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was on the White House grounds the day before he announced information related to U.S. surveillance of President Trump’s transition team.

    Nunes said he was on grounds, but not in the White House itself, for meetings “to confirm what I already knew” and noted no one in the White House knew he was there.

    A spokesperson for Nunes told The Hill in a statement that he “met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source.”

    • rikyrah says:

      UH HUH
      UH HUH


      Juan Williams: If Obama had acted like Trump…
      BY JUAN WILLIAMS – 03/27/17 06:00 AM EDT

      Right-wing media to President Obama: We are so very sorry.

      That’s the message I got last week from the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page.

      The Journal abandoned efforts to make sense of President Trump’s outright fiction that Obama wiretapped him. Its editorial page — never a friend to Obama — wrote this last week about Trump:

      “[He] clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims.”

      Wow. The Journal was sharply critical of Obama but never said he had the credibility of a drunkard.

      They are not yet saying “Thanks, Obama,” but their words do stir new appreciation for the good old days under the previous president.


      Imagine the reaction from far-right talk radio — the people who raised hell and their ratings by attacking Obama daily with accusations about fake scandals — if the 44thpresident had lied about his predecessor or if people in his circle had been taking money from Russia.

      Imagine the outburst from Rush Limbaugh — the king of conservative talk radio — if the Justice Department told Obama that his National Security Advisor had lied about discussing sanctions with Russian government officials and Obama had waited three weeks to demand that person’s resignation.

      And what would Hugh Hewitt say on radio if it was later revealed that the advisor took over $65,000 from companies linked to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, in addition to pocketing more than $500,000 from moonlighting as a lobbyist tied to the Turkish government?

      What might my friend, conservative radio host Lars Larson, have said if Obama’s former campaign manager had taken $10 million from Russian oligarchs to — in his words — “greatly benefit” the interests of Putin’s Russia inside the U.S.?

      Of course, the reality is Obama’s team never engaged in such damaging acts. It is Trump’s team that is under investigation for all of these charges of scandalous behavior.

  13. rikyrah says:

    Man…video please!!!

    Report: Ryan pleaded on one knee for ObamaCare repeal vote
    BY CYRA MASTER – 03/26/17 08:14 PM EDT

    The Washington Post detailed the House GOP’s fight over the ObamaCare repeal and replacement plan this week, rounding up the dramatic details of leadership’s fight to win support for the measure.

    At one point, the paper said, House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) got down on one knee to plead with Rep. Don Young of Alaska – the longest-serving Republican in Congress — to support the bill. (He was unsuccessful.)

  14. Ametia says:

    Dedicated to my 6 year old grandson for his wonderful progress with learning how to swim.

  15. I’m loving Babyface this morning.

    couple dancing

  16. rikyrah says:

    A Grand Health Care Bargain: Let States Kill the Exchanges, but Add Public Options
    by Steven Waldman March 27, 2017 9:00 AM

    After President Trump hilariously blamed the failure of Trumpcare on the Democrats, no one but his most fervent supporters took it seriously. He and Paul Ryan never even tried to garner Democratic support to repeal Obamacare; nor did they have any right to expect Democrats to help repeal the first program ever passed to provide near universal health coverage. But then Trump said this: “when they come to make a deal,” he’ll be receptive. It could be total bullshit, but if Trump is genuinely willing to embrace an approach that’s not dependent on the Freedom Caucus (his new Worst Friends Forever), a very good grand bargain actually is possible.

    To see the shape of one possible deal, one must start by understanding the Democrats’ actual views about Obamacare (as opposed to the caricatures fed by conservative media and politicians for seven years).

    Democrats were divided in 2009 between those who wanted a single-payer system and those willing to accept more of a market-based approach, in which most insurance would still be provided by private companies. Obama pushed for the latter, based on Mitt Romney’s system in Massachusetts.

    So while Democrats like many things about Obamacare, they don’t actually have a deep allegiance to the state exchanges, which have ended up as the most problematic part of the system. Democrats have defended them because right now they’re the only solution for the individual insurance market.

    But Democrats should be willing to throw the state exchanges overboard for the right deal. Here’s an idea: let states kill the exchanges, but add a robust “public option” tied to Medicaid, Medicare or the Veterans Administration health system.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Dark Rhode: The Effort to Silence Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
    by D.R. Tucker March 27, 2017 5:00 AM

    It’s obvious why they want him gone.

    If you watched last week’s Senate confirmation hearings for unqualified Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, you saw just how effective Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) can be when it comes to challenging right-wing ideology. Gorsuch was intellectually overpowered by Whitehouse, a former US Attorney and state Attorney General.

    Whitehouse is arguably the right’s biggest nuisance. Conservatives cannot stand his criticism of the special interests responsible for destroying democracy in the United States in the seven years since the Citizens United decision. They cannot stand his condemnation of the fossil fuel industry on the Senate floor, and his full-throated call for the return of bipartisan action on climate change. They cannot stand his strict scrutiny of the Trump administration.

    If the Senate changes hands in the 2018 midterm elections, Whitehouse will have a more prominent platform to tear apart conservative claptrap. As David Bernstein noted last year, had Democrats won the Senate in 2016, Whitehouse would have likely become chair of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, currently in the clutches of arch-denier John Barrasso (R-WY). Whitehouse as EPW chair would be a nightmare for Carbon Inc.–a nightmare the fossil-fuel industry and its allied interests would rather avoid.

  18. rikyrah says:

    White Man Who Allegedly Went to NYC to Hunt Black Men Says He Meant to Kill Younger, More Successful Person: Report

    The white supremacist accused of fatally stabbing a black man with a sword in New York City said he would have rather killed a younger — or older and more “successful” black victim.

    “I’m sorry I killed that man,” James Harris Jackson told the New York Daily News at the Rikers Island jail on Sunday. “It was pitch black, I picked a dark place. I didn’t know he was elderly.”

    Jackson, 28, told the newspaper he would have killed “a young thug” or “a successful older black man with blondes … people you see in Midtown.”

    The Baltimore man is accused of taking a bus to New York City specifically to kill black men. Police say he confessed to randomly picking out victim Timothy Caughman on the street and stabbing him to death with a 2-foot sword.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Two months out of office, Barack Obama is having a post-presidency like no other
    By Krissah Thompson and Juliet Eilperin
    March 26

    The first cocktail party at Barack Obama’s new office last month was certainly more casual than any he had hosted in recent years. The wine bore a random assortment of labels, as if assembled potluck-style. The self-serve appetizers were set out in the narrow hallway. The host, tieless, eschewed formal remarks, as a few dozen of his old administration officials — Joe Biden and former chief of staff Denis McDonough, as well as more junior ones — mingled in a minimalist wood-paneled suite that could be mistaken for a boutique law firm.

    “It was a bit of a shock to the system,” said Peter Velz, who used to work in the White House communications office. “You’re bumping up right against the vice president as he’s getting cheese from the cheese plate.”

    As the dinner hour drew near, the former president exited with a familiar excuse, Velz recalled: “He was joking if he doesn’t get back to Michelle, he’s going to be in trouble.”

    So far, Obama is trying to approach his post-presidency in the same way as his cocktail-hosting duties — keeping things low-key, despite clamoring from Democrats for him to do more. “He is enjoying a lower profile where he can relax, reflect and enjoy his family and friends,” said his former senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

    But the unprecedented nature of this particular post-presidency means his respite could be brief. Even while taking downtime at a luxurious resort in the South Pacific last week, Obama put out a statement urging Republicans not to unilaterally dismantle his signature health-care law.

    Not only are the Obamas still young and unusually popular for a post-White House couple, but their decision to stay in Washington while their younger daughter finishes high school has also combined with the compulsion of the new Trump administration to keep pulling them back into the spotlight.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Schumer: ‘Art of the Deal is out the window’
    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talks with Rachel Maddow about the failure by Donald Trump and Republicans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and the power of the grassroots effort to thwart Trump.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Schumer: Wrong to vote on Gorsuch while Trump under investigation
    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer talks with Rachel Maddow about why Senate Democrats should oppose Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, and why the confirmation should be postponed until investigations of Donald Trump are resolved

  22. rikyrah says:

    In the wake of failure, Republicans eager to push tax cuts
    03/27/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 03/27/17 08:13 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The Republican effort to tackle health care reform was one of the more dramatic legislative fiascoes in recent memory, but GOP officials apparently don’t intend to spend much too time licking their wounds. On the contrary, Republicans want to quickly make the transition to tax reform.

    Politico had an interesting piece over the weekend, which quoted House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) on his party’s plans.

    Positing that health care was about to die, I asked Brady if re-writing the tax code would be any easier. “Tax reform is the hardest lift in a generation,” he told me, shaking his head. “So that would be a big challenge.”

    “If you couldn’t get health care done,” I ask him, “how can you get tax reform done?”

    Brady thought for a moment. “Every Republican is all-in on tax reform. We still have a lot of work. But it’s just a natural issue for us in a very positive way.”

    And while on the surface that may sound compelling – GOP lawmakers intend to move from one effort that cut taxes for the wealthy (health care reform) to a different effort to cut taxes for the wealthy (tax reform) – Republicans also seemed united in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act. As recent developments made clear, like-minded ambitions do not a legislative victory make.

    So why would tax reform be “the hardest lift in a generation”? In part because of the scope and scale of the task: Republicans aren’t just talking about tax cuts; they want to pass tax reform – the first time since 1986 that federal policymakers have effectively tried to re-write the nation’s tax code.

    To be sure, the U.S. health care system, which affects one-fifth of the American economy, is incredibly difficult to overhaul. But the U.S. tax code affects nearly all of the economy, making it that much more challenging.

  23. rikyrah says:

    On public policy, Trump combines ignorance and indifference
    03/27/17 08:42 AM—UPDATED 03/27/17 09:48 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The day before the Republican health care plan collapsed, Donald Trump met at the White House with some of the bill’s House critics. As Politico noted, the president knew that the members had substantive concerns, but he didn’t care.

    Donald Trump had heard enough about policy and process. It was Thursday afternoon and members of the House Freedom Caucus were peppering the president with wonkish concerns about the American Health Care Act – the language that would leave Obamacare’s “essential health benefits” in place, the community rating provision that limited what insurers could charge certain patients, and whether the next two steps of Speaker Paul Ryan’s master plan were even feasible – when Trump decided to cut them off.

    “Forget about the little s**t,” Trump said, according to multiple sources in the room. “Let’s focus on the big picture here.”

    This posture, not surprisingly, failed spectacularly. The “little s**t,” as the president called it, referred to the substantive details of the health care debate that stood between success and failure. But Trump was dismissive, in part because he knew effectively nothing about the policy he was trying to pass, and in part because he didn’t care to find out.

  24. rikyrah says:

    One can only hope.


    Following failure, Paul Ryan’s reputation may never be the same
    03/27/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    A month ago today, CNN ran a report on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) efforts to prepare his party to advance an ambitious far-right agenda. The piece described the Wisconsin congressman as a “legendary wonk.”

    Not just a wonk, mind you, but a legendary wonk.

    The phrasing was a striking reminder of Ryan’s most impressive skill as a politician: convincing much of the Beltway establishment that he’s a knowledgeable policy expert with few, if any rivals on Capitol Hill. Ask some of Ryan’s admirers to point to any specific examples of the Speaker actually earning such a reputation, however, and they’ll generally hem and haw – because for those who care about the details, the fact that the GOP lawmaker speaks in complete sentences, and occasionally uses jargon that makes him appear knowledgeable, is not enough to mask the fact that Ryan isn’t a wonk, a legend, or even an especially capable Speaker of the House.

    If there’s any justice, the failure of the ridiculous health care bill that Ryan wrote behind closed doors, and then failed to persuade his own members to support, should do permanent damage to the Speaker’s standing. The New Republic’s Jeet Heer noted last week that the demise of the American Health Care Act “should strike at the real root cause of the mess: The powerful, persistent Washington myth that Ryan is a policy genius.”

    Paul Krugman called him a “flimflam man,” pointing out that the numbers Ryan touted in his imaginary budget didn’t add up, with the proposed tax cuts creating much bigger deficits than Ryan acknowledges. The AHCA fiasco vindicates Krugman’s harsh judgment. The “reform” was hated not just by Democrats but by actual Republican policy wonks – people who were critical of Obamacare, but saw the AHCA as doing nothing to make it better. […]

    Ryan has been a scammer all along. He’s not a more serious Republican who offers a welcome relief from the frothing of the Tea Party. He’s an Ayn Rand acolyte who fully shares the agenda of the hard right on economic matters. And his long con is now obvious for all the world to see. “Never give a sucker an even break,” W.C. Fields used to say. Anyone who continues to think of Paul Ryan as a legislative wizard or a serious policy thinker richly deserves to be called “sucker.”

    • Liza says:

      “He’s an Ayn Rand acolyte who fully shares the agenda of the hard right on economic matters. And his long con is now obvious for all the world to see.”

      Paul Ryan has no more business in Congress than any other nutter and that is exactly what he is. Nice to see a few folks waking up to his con game.

  25. rikyrah says:

    The GOP Only Wants To Investigate, Not Be Investigated
    by Nancy LeTourneau March 24, 2017 8:48 AM

    One of the most ridiculous arguments made by Republicans during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday is that the real danger to our country is the actual investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. In other words, investigating those possible ties is more dangerous than finding out whether or not a sitting president worked with an adversary to influence our elections.

    Beyond the fact that this is an absurd argument to make, it also happens to be drowning in irony for anyone who has been paying attention over the last 25 years. You might recall that this is the same party that pursued investigations of Bill Clinton almost continually for his eight years in office. To do so they had to make the case that we faced an impeachable moment if our sitting president lied under oath about having sex. Clearly they didn’t think that an investigation into whether or not that happened was dangerous.

    But that was simply the crescendo moment of investigations. Republicans also didn’t think it was dangerous to investigate whether or not the Clinton’s improperly fired White House staff or if they somehow benefited from a failed land deal in Arkansas or any other of the myriad of things they investigated in the 1990’s.

    You might say, “Well, that was a long time ago. Things have changed.” But obviously the Republicans didn’t think it was dangerous to investigate whether a president (or a subsequent candidate for the presidency) nefariously failed to use the appropriate words to describe an attack on our facility in Benghazi. Even now, Republicans seem intent on finding a way to make Obama the culprit in Trump’s lies about being wiretapped.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Trump Built His Own Prison
    He’s barely been in office for two months and he’s already cut off every possibility for success.

    by Martin Longman March 25, 2017 10:42 AM

    A lot of people will read the following excerpt and take away from it more confirmation that Donald Trump doesn’t know or care about policy, and that’s a legitimate takeaway. But I think, ultimately, any Republican president would eventually get to the same place with the Freedom Caucus on health care or many other issues, regardless of the underlying merits of what they were discussing. So, I’d like to offer a limited defense of how Trump reacted:

    Donald Trump had heard enough about policy and process. It was Thursday afternoon and members of the House Freedom Caucus were peppering the president with wonkish concerns about the American Health Care Act—the language that would leave Obamacare’s “essential health benefits” in place, the community rating provision that limited what insurers could charge certain patients, and whether the next two steps of Speaker Paul Ryan’s master plan were even feasible—when Trump decided to cut them off.

    “Forget about the little shit,” Trump said, according to multiple sources in the room. “Let’s focus on the big picture here.”

    The group of roughly 30 House conservatives, gathered around a mammoth, oval-shaped conference table in the Cabinet Room of the White House, exchanged disapproving looks. Trump wanted to emphasize the political ramifications of the bill’s defeat; specifically, he said, it would derail his first-term agenda and imperil his prospects for reelection in 2020. The lawmakers nodded and said they understood. And yet they were disturbed by his dismissiveness. For many of the members, the “little shit” meant the policy details that could make or break their support for the bill—and have far-reaching implications for their constituents and the country.

    “We’re talking about one-fifth of our economy,” a member told me afterward.


    What’s important, though, is that reality has a way of asserting itself, and if there are limited paths for achieving basic minimal governance, those pathways will become better marked with every week that passes without progress on Trump’s legislative agenda.

    On the Breitbart front, it’s getting hard to tell when the organization is acting at Steve Bannon’s instruction and when they are running independently from him, but they’re going very hard against Paul Ryan. Their article looks to me like it contains concocted anonymous quotes. They just read less like how people actually talk and more like how a bad scriptwriter would create dialogue. The intent is clear enough, though, which is to try to foment a coup against the Speaker so that a Freedom Caucus member can take his place.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Anatomy of a Disaster: Trump Didn’t Care, and the GOP Didn’t Have a Plan
    by David Atkins March 25, 2017 3:52 AM

    s dawn breaks over the wreckage of the GOP’s failed attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, one thing is abundantly clear: the Republican Party is not ready to govern. Its chief executive is uninterested in policy details, and far too many of its Congressmembers are too beholden to AM radio platitudes to effectively govern.

    First, the President. During the campaign Donald Trump used Obamacare as a punching bag, but was all over the map in terms of what he would replace it with. The whimsical real estate developer was on the record praising Canada’s system of universal government coverage, saying that “it works.” Over the course of the presidential election Trump limited himself to more traditional Republican talking points, but in typical fashion never presented any specifics. But he did make promises that sounded good: universal coverage, no cuts to medicaid, more benefits, lower prices, and just about everything short of a unicorn in every stable. It was clear to anyone who listened that Trump had absolutely no background in healthcare policy or why the subject had bedeviled both parties for decades: as with his business empire, he simply assumed that if he snapped his fingers and told people to make it happen, it simply would. In Trump’s world, the only reason hard things don’t get done is because no one of sufficient power and Nietzschean will gets surly and angry enough to scare the little people into doing them. As with so much else in his first two months in office, President Trump was in for a rude awakening about how the world really works: “nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated,” he said. Not exactly. Everybody knew but him, and he didn’t really care enough to find out.

    Which leads us to Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP Congress. Paul Ryan is often touted as a policy guru, but he’s been unmasked as a dilettante. Seven years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Republican lawmakers still didn’t have a coherent plan to replace it. The bill that Ryan and team did come up with essentially maintained the basic structure of the Affordable Care Act, but replaced subsidies with measly tax credits while eliminating requirements that insurers actually cover a wide range of illnesses, and switched out the mandate for an even more onerous tax penalty. The result was a cruel, incoherent plan that didn’t commit to free-market ideology and please hardline conservatives, and was even worse in terms of cost and coverage than plain repeal would have been, thus angering moderate Republicans and ensuring a total blockade from Democrats.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Reality Distortion Field is Shattering
    by David Atkins March 27, 2017 3:26 AM

    Greg Sargent at the Washington Post has long been making the case that Trump’s main communications strategy is to assault the notion of shared objective reality itself. In Trumpworld, the only arbiter of crowd sizes or climate science or wiretapping is Donald Trump himself, and everything else is “fake news” regardless of what facts might invalidate his narrative.

    And for a while, it was working. During the presidential campaign, Trump lied with reckless abandon but never seemed to suffer for it. That’s partly because his opponent also suffered from perceived credibility issues, but it’s mostly because the news media treats presidential elections like a game where any claim is in bounds as long as a candidate can get people to believe it. And because Trump is the sort of figure it’s hard to take one’s eyes off of, his tweets and pronouncement manage to derail news cycles and capture attention. It was thought that perhaps we were entering a new political era in which reality simply no longer mattered.

    But campaigns are one thing. Governing is another. And Trump’s reality distortion field is failing him now that he has to grapple with something more than campaign coverage.

    Sargent himself noted this fact almost a week ago, referencing reports that Trump’s tweets were no longer having the narrative-driving force they once did. But the failure of the Republican health plan has cemented the degree to which Trump is losing his ability to gaslight and confuse enough people to get his way.

    Donald Trump has always carefully crafted the image of a tough guy negotiator, through ghostwritten books and reality TV show characters. But it’s not wholly clear that Trump has ever had more than a few tricks up his sleeve: bully people with money and influence, play hardball, pretend to refuse offers, and when all else fails swamp the opposition with attorneys. It’s not exactly a creative arsenal, and Trump wouldn’t have had it available to him in his business career without a lot of inherited wealth and strings pulled on his behalf.

    But when he attempted to play those games with the Republican Congress, they simply laughed in his face. When he attempted similar gambits against the federal judiciary over his travel bans, the judges simply used his own words against him.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Provocation-Based Foreign Policy is Dangerous
    by David Atkins March 26, 2017 4:52 PM

    Today brings news that Donald Trump literally gave German chancellor Angela Merkel a $300 billion bill for NATO expenses last weekend:

    Donald Trump handed the German chancellor Angela Merkel a bill — thought to be for more than £300bn — for money her country “owed” Nato for defending it when they met last weekend, German government sources have revealed.

    The bill — handed over during private talks in Washington — was described as “outrageous” by one German minister.

    “The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” the minister said.

    Never mind that this isn’t how NATO funding works. The gall of leveling such a juvenile stunt on a much-needed ally is appalling. But it’s not the first time. Trump has spent his presidency insulting a host of allied countries from Mexico to Australia to China to Sweden to Britain and others. And that doesn’t even mention potentially hostile powers like China and the countries included on his travel ban.

    Of course, the only country that Trump explicitly declines to insult is Russia. Nor is it an accident that Trump seems so upset at funding an alliance designed to help European allies keep Russian military threats at bay. Beyond darker conspiratorial possibilities, Trump sees in Putin’s right-wing, authoritarian, explicitly nationalist, anti-globalist religious conservative leadership a natural ally for him, while he sees Europe as part of the problem. They can’t say it publicly, but Bannon and Trump see Russian oligarchs not just as potentially helpful hackers and destabilizers, but kindred political spirits. Nor is it an accident that both Trump and Putin engage in foreign policy by provocation.

    The difference is that while Russia in its position of weakness and yearning for territorial expansion stands to gain from destabilizing the world order, the United States stands to lose. But Trump and Bannon don’t understand that. As racist nationalists, they see America as the victim of a world that takes advantage of trade deals to send away jobs, and allows immigration to dilute the racial and cultural purity of white western states.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

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