Thursday Open Thread | Trump Distancing Himself From Russia? You can’t be that gullible

From Politico:
Syria strike gives Trump anti-Kremlin credential
The strikes could burnish Trump’s defense against claims he is too close to Russia.
By Nahal Toosi

In Russia, they call it kozyrnut’. It means “to play a trump card.”

Donald Trump’s missile strike this week against the Russian-backed Syrian regime not only damaged its chemical weapons program, it also happened to give the U.S. president a useful political tool.

Now, whenever anyone accuses Trump of being too cozy with Russia, he can point to the strike against Syria as evidence that he’s willing to defy the Kremlin: Kozyrnut’.

The missile strike on a Syrian airbase came just days before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to visit Moscow, and the implications could be wide-ranging for Trump’s relationship with Russia, which kept its push-back largely rhetorical.

The political side effect, meanwhile, could burnish Trump’s defense against claims he is too close to Russia amid ongoing federal probes into whether Moscow tried to swing the 2016 election his way.

“Many people have had concerns that Trump was going to be too soft on Russian President Vladimir Putin, but clearly the actions this week would alleviate some of those concerns, at least in the short term,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist who previously worked for Sen. Marco Rubio, a Trump 2016 rival.

Now, for those of us in the REAL WORLD:

The Chinese President understood clearly:

BEIJING — With President Xi Jinping safely out of the United States and no longer President Trump’s guest, China’s state-run media on Saturday was free to denounce the missile strike on Syria, which the American president told Mr. Xi about while they were finishing dinner.

Xinhua, the state news agency, on Saturday called the strike the act of a weakened politician who needed to flex his muscles. In an analysis, Xinhua also said Mr. Trump had ordered the strike to distance himself from Syria’s backers in Moscow, to overcome accusations that he was “pro-Russia.”
…………………..

Mr. Shen added that many Chinese were “thrilled” by the attack because it would probably result in the United States becoming further mired in the Middle East.

“If the United States gets trapped in Syria, how can Trump make America great again? As a result, China will be able to achieve its peaceful rise,” Mr. Shen said, using a term Beijing employs to characterize its growing power. “Even though we say we oppose the bombing, deep in our hearts we are happy.”

And……

122 Paths to Putin

122 KNOWN Paths that have been documented….but, we’re supposed to be that a fraudulent bad attempt to Wag the Dog…

where the RUSSIANS were informed…BEFORE THE UNITED STATES STATE DEPARTMENT and Congress….

where NOTHING of consequence was damaged…BECAUSE THE SYRIANS ARE BACK TO USING THE AIRBASE…

this waste of 50 missiles..

is supposed to prove some ‘independence’ from Russia?

ARE.YOU.PHUCKING.KIDDING.ME?

No, Dear.

We have an illegitimate Administration up to its eyeballs in hock to Russia and involved with Russia at every turn…

but, we’re supposed to be dumb enough to fall for the Okeydoke.

Don’t think so.

Another interesting article:What really happened at the Mayflower Hotel?

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67 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Trump Distancing Himself From Russia? You can’t be that gullible

  1. rikyrah says:

    Like

    • Liza says:

      These are very dangerous stunts.

      Like

      • eliihass says:

        Not just dangerous, but extremely expensive…by the time he’s done, he’ll have squandered billions and billions of dollars of arsenal trying to ‘win’ approval and popularity…and more pats on the back from those including world leaders, who understand what a mindless, needy simpleton he is…and just how easy it is to work the People’s House desecrating fool Putin has wittingly temporarily installed to decimate the United States of America – as we’ve come to know it…

        The ignorant, bumbling, exhibitionist, know-nothing, buffoon who refuses to read a book or get a clue, is so desperate for validation and applause, that anything that even remotely gets him seemingly favorable ‘coverage’, or ‘approval’, no matter how dubious, he’ll only double down on…like a kid who never stops loudly singing the one song off key with wrong lyrics, ever since the babysitter humored him by clapping and cheering him on the first time..

        Perpetual finger in the wind and throwing stuff on the wall, hoping something sticks and somehow legitimizes him and somehow seals his place both as somehow relevant and ‘great’…and as important, beloved in people’s hearts…

        While the ‘generals’ and the military industrial complex – who’ve been mostly kept in their proper place for the past 8 years – gleefully urge their useful idiot on ..as they once again, all pumped up, take control …

        For the buffoon, it’s all about him and his delusions of grandeur…delusions of grandeur that’s got him playing silly, childish, dangerous, expensive ‘war games’, children’s coin-op arcade/game boy style…and idiotically and irresponsibly trying out any and everything …forgetting it all costs money…and using it all up fast…until it’s quite depleted…and the neocons who wind him up, get their bloated deals and contracts to build even more…

        Even as essential services are cut, and schools are shuttered or made to make do for lack of funds…and citizens in the so-called ‘greatest country’ in the world can’t afford healthcare and those that have a semblance of it, are in danger of completely losing it all, so that Junior can have his war toys to play with, and stay distracted…while the Neocons and the plutocrats get to work plundering and helping themselves to whatever their hearts desire…

        All while remembering to look up every so often from their heist in progress, to say attaboy to their newly-minted pet buffoon…and keeping their paid media mouthpieces talking up the buffoon, gushing about just how ‘presidential’ and ‘decisive’ he is …and how he’s put America ‘back in front again leading’….and how much ‘better’ he is than the historic President who wouldn’t give the Neocons and the Military Industrial complex, carte blanche like they wanted…not even when some of their acolytes embedded in his administration, tried to convince the President who reads, had a vision, a sense of history …and did his own independent research and analyses, to go along…

        P:S;

        Meanwhile, we mustn’t take our eyes off Beauregard Sessions…That Jim Crow white supremacist chipmunk, is evil personified…and is fast at work, doing Satan’s work in an appointed position he was never even marginally qualified for, and never could have even in his wildest dreams, ever imagined he’d even remotely be ever considered for in 2000 lifetimes…

        Like

      • Liza says:

        I cannot imagine how this ends. Or how we stop him.

        Like

  2. rikyrah says:

    Like

  3. rikyrah says:

    HUH?

    Like

  4. rikyrah says:

    CNN Breaking News‏Verified account @cnnbrk

    Trump privately signs bill that allows states to withhold federal money from Planned Parenthood http://cnn.it/2p12wLe

    Like

  5. Al Green – Love and Happiness

    Like

  6. I can’t believe that it’s real
    The way that you make me feel
    A burning deep down inside
    A love that I cannot hide

    Happy Birthday, Al Green!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rikyrah says:

    U.S. drug policy poised to take a step backwards in the Trump era
    04/13/17 12:45 PM
    By Steve Benen
    One of the striking things about the so-called “war on drugs” in recent years is the scope and scale of the progress. By popular support, a variety of states have voted to legalize recreational marijuana use, for example. When President Obama commuted the sentences of many non-violent drug offenders, few blinked an eye.

    There was a burgeoning consensus that the decades-long “war” was needlessly expensive, punitive, reactionary, and damaging. It was time to move forward with a newer, smarter approach.

    At least, that’s the way it appeared up until very recently. As the nation’s new attorney general, for example, Jeff Sessions has made no secret of his intentions to renew the “war on drugs.” Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), meanwhile, is poised to take over the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    And what does Tom Marino bring to the table on drug issues? The Washington Post reported yesterday on the Pennsylvania Republican’s approach to the issue.

    As a congressman, Marino called for a national program of mandatory inpatient substance abuse treatment for non-violent drug offenders. “One treatment option I have advocated for years would be placing non-dealer, non-violent drug abusers in a secured hospital-type setting under the constant care of health professionals,” he said at a hearing last year.

    “Once the person agrees to plead guilty to possession, he or she will be placed in an intensive treatment program until experts determine that they should be released under intense supervision,” Marino explained. “If this is accomplished, then the charges are dropped against that person. The charges are only filed to have an incentive for that person to enter the hospital-slash-prison, if you want to call it.”

    Got that? If some non-violent adult were caught with marijuana, for example, Marino envisions a system in which that person would be locked up in a “hospital-slash-prison,” and subjected to “an intensive treatment program.” He or she would eventually be released, but be subjected to “intense supervision.”

    Like

  8. rikyrah says:

    Manafort Admits He Was Paid Through Black Ledger
    by Martin Longman April 12, 2017 5:08 PM

    It can be dizzying to try to follow the ins and outs of the so-called #TrumpRussia scandal, and trying to understand Paul Manafort’s business dealings is no exception. I won’t try to explain it all here, but it looks like Manafort’s life just got more complicated because the Associated Press obtained some banking records that verify that something is true that Manafort has long denied.

    You may remember that Manafort stepped down as chairman of the Trump campaign after it was revealed that a black ledger detailing financial transactions had been unearthed in Kiev. You can re-read the article the New York Times published on August 14th, 2016. Manafort resigned on August 19th.

    The original reporting was fairly straightforward:

    Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.

    There’s now dispute about whether Manafort received “cash payments,” but it’s clear that in at least two cases he was wired the exact amount of money that was entered in the ledger next to his name. And that means that the ledger is not some fraud or trick concocted by one spy agency or another.

    Like

  9. rikyrah says:

    They know DAMN WELL why this Act was created…because Native children were being STOLEN FROM THE RESERVATIONS AND STRIPPED OF THEIR HERITAGE.

    PHUCK OUTTA HERE!!

    ………………………..

     A Right-Wing Think Tank Is Trying to Bring Down the Indian Child Welfare Act. Why?
    Native Americans say the law protects their children. The Goldwater Institute claims it does the opposite.
    By Rebecca Clarren
    APRIL 6, 2017

     On the wall above his desk,
 attorney Timothy Sandefur keeps a copy of The Liberator, a 186-year-old abolitionist newspaper that features an etching of a slave auction on its masthead. Sandefur is the vice president for litigation at the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, a nonprofit right-wing think tank with a donor roster that includes the Mercer family (Donald Trump’s biggest campaign contributors) and Donors Trust, a dark-money funnel for the Koch brothers, the DeVos family, and others. Goldwater is largely known for its efforts to limit regulation, promote tax cuts, expand school choice, and advance private-property rights. 


    Recently, the Goldwater Institute has stepped into an entirely different legal arena: an effort to dismantle a landmark law called the Indian Child Welfare Act. ICWA requires that before private and public agencies place Native American children in foster care or with an adoptive family, they try to keep nuclear families together or, if that fails, to place children with their extended family, their tribe, or a member of another tribe. It was passed in 1978 after government programs removed a large number of American Indian children from their families. But Goldwater and Sandefur argue that, rather than protecting Indian children, ICWA subjects them to an unfair set of rules that don’t apply to other kids—a type of discrimination that Sandefur likens to Jim Crow. 


     CWA “is obviously racial discrimination,” Sandefur said when I visited his office in March. Picking up a biography of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, he added: “I’ve been writing a lot about my great hero Frederick Douglass. I think his answer is that we all have a right to be treated equally by the law.”


    Cloaking its efforts in the language of civil rights, Goldwater has launched a coordinated attack against ICWA alongside evangelical and anti-Indian-sovereignty groups, adoption advocates, and conservative organizations like the Cato Institute. Since 2015, Goldwater has litigated four state or federal cases against ICWA, and filed several briefs in support of other cases. Goldwater’s stated goal is to have the US Supreme Court strike down ICWA as unconstitutional. The implications go far beyond child welfare: Many tribal members fear that if Goldwater is successful, it could undermine the legal scaffolding of Native American self-determination.

     Gary Williams, a member of Arizona’s Gila 
River Indian Community, was driving across the Arizona desert, listening to the radio, when he first heard about one of the Goldwater Institute’s ICWA lawsuits. Williams immediately pulled over to the slim edge of the highway to listen carefully. His heart raced.


    Williams is a living example of what could happen to American Indian children without what he calls “the safety net” of ICWA. His mother, a member of the Gila River Indian Community, died before he turned 1, and before ICWA was law. Williams and his three older siblings were placed in Arizona’s foster-care system. Over the next 15 years, he was separated from his siblings and sexually and physically abused. In all, he lived in seven different foster homes and one large institution.

    For most of his childhood, Williams didn’t know that his mother was Native American; all he knew was that he didn’t look like other kids. By the time he learned about his heritage, most of his extended family had died. 


    “I feel cheated,” Williams said recently. “I would have loved to grow up on my reservation. I would much rather be able to hug my grandparents than talk to a mound of dirt—but the state took that right away from me.” Williams can’t get that time back, but he has tried to reconnect with his tribe; he now works as one of Gila River’s gaming commissioners. 
 


    Liked by 2 people

  10. rikyrah says:

    does he lie?

    Former Australian PM Calls Trump ‘The Most Psychologically Ill-equipped President In US History’

    In a speech to Australia’s National Press Club, Evans called “manifestly the most ill-informed, under-prepared, ethically challenged and psychologically ill-equipped president in US history,”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rikyrah says:

    Mulvaney Lays GOP Budget Ideology Bare
    by Martin Longman April 12, 2017 3:14 PM

    President Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney was unusually blunt during an interview on CNBC. As Jonathan Chait notes, Republicans usually make some effort to justify tax cuts for the wealthy, for example by denying that they will cause the deficit to grow. But Mulvaney is candid about not caring whether the deficit grows.

    “Bad spending, to me, in terms of its economic benefit, would be wealth-transfer payments. It’s a misallocation of resources. Infrastructure is sort of that good spending in the middle, where even if you do misallocate resources a little bit, you still have something to show for it. It’s tangible, it may help economic growth, and so forth. At the other end of the spectrum, at the very other end, is letting people keep more of their money, which — while it can contribute to the deficit in a large fashion — is the most efficient way to actually allocate resources. It’s a little less important to me if infrastructure adds to the deficit. And I’m really not interested in how tax reform handles the deficit.”

    What I’d like to focus on is one turn of phrase: “wealth-transfer payments [are] a misallocation of resources.” Mulvaney essentially says that if you build a road or a bridge or a tunnel or an airport that you’ll have something tangible in the end even if there are cost overruns or the contracts are needlessly expensive. I think the idea is that maybe the government isn’t the most efficient source of funding for building stuff, but it can get the job done.

    On the other hand, wealth-transfer payments get you absolutely nothing. So, by his reckoning, a subsidy to provide health coverage or financial assistance in getting a college degree or money set aside to assure kids aren’t malnourished, none of these things ever result in anything worthwhile.

    I suppose there’s a broader ideology about efficiency here, in the sense that he’s framing this as a matter of using money in the most sensible way. But there’s also a value system on display. It’s not just that there is suddenly good deficit spending (tax cuts for the rich) but there’s also a belief that it’s a misallocation of money to invest in people. Maybe investment in people is a little harder to judge in “tangible” results than investment in physical infrastructure, but it’s not impossible. Because they were no longer hungry, someone could concentrate in class so their grades went up. A person became the first person in their family to get a college education. A doctor’s visit detected high blood pressure, which allowed the patient to take life-extending measures and medications.

    We can debate the precise meaning of the word “tangible,” but it’s pretty clear that Mulvaney doesn’t value these kinds of positive results of wealth-transfer payments.

    In any case, he provided proof that he doesn’t care about deficits. When it comes to deficits caused by failing to tax the rich, he says he really doesn’t care.

    Like

    • eliihass says:

      Mulvaney…another dumb, ridiculously unqualified ignoramus installed, courtesy of the Heritage Foundation/Cato institute, in his pretend position to do the bidding of the plutocrats and military industrial complex, doing as much as his silly little mind wittingly and unwittingly can at their direction, to wreak as much havoc as possible as he bungles his way through the enrich the rich even more, and screw the poor and vulnerable …while destroying our country and world as we know it… the GOP idea of ‘small government’..

      Like

  12. rikyrah says:

    On the Carter Page FISA Warrant, Be Careful What You Wish For, Republicans
    by Nancy LeTourneau April 12, 2017 12:48 PM

    The latest news to surface on the Trump/Russia story comes from the Washington Post.

    The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.

    The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.

    Placing this in context, the Post goes on to report that the FISA warrant was obtained last summer. It was in early July that Carter Page travelled to Moscow where he gave a speech criticizing American foreign policy and was said to have met with Igor Sechin, president of Russia’s state oil company Rosneft. The Steele dossier says that it was at that meeting that Sechin and Page discussed brokerage for a private sale of up to 19 percent of Rosneft in exchange for the lifting of Russian sanctions. The dossier also says that Page promised that “sanctions on Russia would be lifted” if Trump were elected.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. rikyrah says:

    Susan Rice Is Cleared. It’s Time to Shine the Spotlight Back Where It Belongs.
    The right wing attack on Susan RIce is part of a broader distraction from the activities of Ezra Cohen-Watnick.

    by Nancy LeTourneau April 13, 2017 8:44 AM

    One of the stories that got pushed aside when Trump decided to bomb an airfield in Syria is the one about Rep. Devin Nunes stepping aside as the leader of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Trump/Russia connections. The obvious explanation for that decision was that the House Ethics Committee had opened an investigation into whether or not he mishandled classified information.

    About the same time, Trump and the right wing media managed to shift all the focus onto whether or not former National Security Advisor Susan Rice had done something nefarious or illegal in unmasking Trump associates whose communication with foreign targets had been collected incidentally. Recent reporting from CNN has proven all of that to be another lie.

    After a review of the same intelligence reports brought to light by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides have so far found no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal, multiple sources in both parties tell CNN.

    Their private assessment contradicts President Donald Trump’s allegations that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice broke the law by requesting the “unmasking” of US individuals’ identities. Trump had claimed the matter was a “massive story.”…

    One congressional intelligence source described the requests made by Rice as “normal and appropriate” for officials who serve in that role to the president.

    Like

  14. Liza says:

    It’s every single day now. We wake up and have no idea what these lunatics are going to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Like

  16. An illegitimate person under FBI investigation ordering a 21,000 lb bomb drop on a country. WTF America? Where are our leaders? #Afghanistan

    Liked by 1 person

    • eliihass says:

      And Tea Party Mike Pompeo as pretend-CIA director is almost as absurd…even if he’s trying to look marginally ‘credible’ by throwing a few bones with his pretend-statements like the one today ..

      It’s incredibly disconcerting that these folks not only have access to, but are in control of not just highly classified Intelligence, but the entire apparatus that controls it all…

      Mike Pompeo was an ardent Wikileaks devotee…

      When one remembers that right now with this farce playing out….Comey at FBI, reports to freaking Beauregard Sessions…

      Just think about that..

      Hopefully, Comey is entirely insulted by the idea that the marginally literate hillbilly is currently positioned as his ‘superior’…and in true Comey form, here’s hoping it helps spur him to do something about that…

      Like

  17. Like

  18. Breaking News

    Jesus son of the living God….

    US military has dropped most powerful non-nuclear US bomb targeting ISIS in Nangarhar, Afghanistan @RVAwonk

    Like

  19. Ametia says:

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Liked by 1 person

  21. Dr Dao was thinking of his patients who needed him. He rejected @united’s money & put his patients before himself. Honorable man!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. rikyrah says:

    got this info from BJ:

    @Corner Stone:

    Holy shit. A severe concussion, broken nose, lost two front teeth and sinus damage. Dao will undergo reconstructive surgery shortly. That does not sound like this is going to go well for UAL.

    UAL and the CPD – CUT THOSE CHECKS$$$$$$$$$$

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Dr Dao comforts, heal, and help save folks lives and @united goons treating him like trash. The country won’t stand for it. Hell no!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ametia says:

    Lawyer for Dr. Dao on TV with his daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. rikyrah says:

    GOP rep asks constituents the wrong question at town-hall event
    04/13/17 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Why is it so important for members of Congress to hold town-hall events with their constituents? Because you just never know what they’ll end up saying.

    Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) faced off with constituents at a town hall this week, telling the audience that they don’t pay his salary.

    “You say you pay for me to do this? That’s bullcrap,” Mullin said at the town hall in Jay, Okla., according to a video of the incident.

    A typical member of Congress receives an annual salary of $174,000 a year, financed entirely by taxpayers. As best as I can tell, the far-right Oklahoman does not forgo his compensation.

    The Tulsa World, after speaking to the lawmaker’s office, reported that when Mullin said it’s “bullcrap” to believe taxpayers pay him to serve in Congress, what he meant was that he’s “paid more in federal income taxes than he’s received in congressional salary.”

    Indeed, the rest of the video shows the congressman saying he’s paid his “own salary” through his taxes, adding, “No one here pays me to go.”

    Like

  26. rikyrah says:

    There is no method to the White House’s flip-flopping madness
    04/13/17 09:20 AM—UPDATED 04/13/17 09:36 AM
    By Steve Benen

    ……………….

    These were not isolated incidents. Politico noted overnight that Trump is “shifting positions at breakneck pace.”

    Donald Trump promised to be open-minded on a number of issues. Over the past week, he’s delivered.

    The man who pledged to cut deals rather than adhere to any ideology – or to any detailed policy platform – has, in recent days, demonstrated an incredible willingness to bend his past positions, or abandon them entirely.

    A Washington Post report added, “Perhaps no politician is a bigger flip-flopper than President Trump.”

    That’s not hyperbolic. Just this week, Trump has reversed course on labeling China a currency manipulator, NATO’s utility, the administration’s hiring freeze, the Export-Import Bank, Janet Yellen’s job performance, his preference on interest rates, the White House’s interest in paying the national debt, and Trump’s willingness to move on from health care to tax reform.

    The sheer volume of flip-flops is amazing, but so is the time frame: it would take a normal president years to reverse course on this many issues.

    Trump tweeted last night, “One by one we are keeping our promises.” It was an embarrassingly defensive message – because Trump probably realizes that he’s furiously abandoning commitments and promises he made before taking office.

    Like

  27. rikyrah says:

    Trump blasts obstructionism that exists only in his mind
    04/13/17 10:03 AM
    By Steve Benen
    In late February, Donald Trump sat down with Fox News, which asked the president about the vacancies in key posts throughout his administration. Trump said the question was based on a faulty assumption.

    “When I see a story about ‘Donald Trump didn’t fill hundreds and hundreds of jobs,’ it’s because, in many cases, we don’t want to fill those jobs,” the president argued with a straight face. “A lot of those jobs, I don’t want to appoint, because they’re unnecessary to have… Many of those jobs, I don’t want to fill.”

    Six weeks later, Trump apparently no longer remembers this argument. He sat down with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, and complained about “waiting right now for so many people” to get confirmed by the Senate.

    …………………………

    Oh. Trump has gone from saying he wanted key executive-branch offices empty on purpose, which didn’t make any sense, to blaming Democratic obstructionism for the fact that so many executive-branch offices are empty, which makes even less sense.

    As the Washington Post noted, the reality in this case is both clear and quantifiable: “Out of 553 key positions requiring Senate confirmation, 478 still have no nominee, according to the Partnership for Public Service. Another 29 have been announced but not formally nominated; only 22 positions have been confirmed. Republican senators have said they are growing impatient with the White House’s slow pace.”

    Like

  28. rikyrah says:

    Tax reform shouldn’t be decided by a debate over branding
    04/13/17 10:42 AM
    By Steve Benen
    ………………………………….

    Slate’s Jordan Weissmann had a good piece on this yesterday, noting, “Tax reform is in many ways just as complicated and politically unwieldly. And at the moment, the president isn’t demonstrating any kind of firm grasp on the single topic that has defined the debate so far…. Trump’s intellectual vacuum could end up swallowing his whole party’s agenda.”

    If this sounds at all familiar, there’s a good reason for that. At one point in early March, Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke about the party’s health care legislation, and the president said he had had a problem with the bill: Ryan had used the word “buckets” to describe the additional steps of reform that would follow the initial legislation. “I don’t like that word buckets,” Trump reportedly said, preferring “phases.”

    The House Speaker obliged, but the anecdote was telling. As we discussed at the time, Trump’s focus was on branding and sales pitches, not how American families’ lives would be affected by the legislation he was purportedly eager to sign.

    Like

  29. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a such wonderful person! My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

    Like

  30. rikyrah says:

    Trump considers provocative new hostage strategy on health care
    04/13/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 04/13/17 09:22 AM
    By Steve Benen

    ……………………………

    Nearly three weeks after Republican infighting sank an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump dug back into the battle on Wednesday, threatening to withhold payments to insurers to force Democrats to the negotiating table.

    In an interview in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump said he was still considering what to do about the payments approved by his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama, which some Republicans contend are unconstitutional. Their abrupt disappearance could trigger an insurance meltdown that causes the collapse of the 2010 health law, forcing lawmakers to return to a bruising debate over its future.

    “Obamacare is dead next month if it doesn’t get that money,” Trump said, referring to cost-sharing reductions. “I haven’t made my viewpoint clear yet. I don’t want people to get hurt…. What I think should happen and will happen is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.”

    In other words, when the president says he doesn’t “want people to get hurt,” he means he will start hurting people by sabotaging the American health care system unless Democrats take steps to satisfy his demands.

    It’s a bit like a criminal who declares, “I don’t want to shoot the hostages, but I haven’t yet received my ransom.”

    What Trump may not realize is how truly ridiculous his new posture is. For a guy who paid someone to write “Art of the Deal” for him, the president doesn’t seem to have any idea how to negotiate effectively.

    According to Trump’s latest comments, he’ll take deliberate steps to undermine Americans’ health security unless Democrats agree to help him undermine Americans’ health security. What incentive would Democratic lawmakers have to participate in such an exercise? None.

    Indeed, the president seems baffled by the very nature of how threats are supposed to work. What Trump is describing is a form of political suicide: he’s publicly describing a scenario in which he alone starts hurting Americans, on purpose, so that everyone will know exactly who to blame. It’s like the aforementioned hostage-taker filming his crimes, while texting his address to the police, to make the prosecution easier.

    Trump’s original strategy involved allowing the Affordable Care Act to wither through neglect and then avoid responsibility, insisting he had nothing to do with the law’s creation. That, too, was badly flawed, but it was at least borderline coherent. This latest gambit is simply bonkers: the president is prepared to take it upon himself to create a crisis that doesn’t currently exist, guaranteeing that Americans blame him directly for the ensuing disaster.

    Like

  31. rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 4/12/17
    Fmr Trump campaign manager Manafort registers as foreign agent
    Rachel Maddow reports that former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has registered as a foreign agent, the second high-ranking former Trump official to do so after-the-fact.

    Like

  32. rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 4/12/17
    Secretary Tillerson fails to defend US journalist in Russia
    Rachel Maddow reports on how U.S. journalists can make leaders of less-free countries uncomfortable, and points out Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s failure to stand up for the American principle of press freedom and defend US journalists on his visit to Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. rikyrah says:

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 4/12/17
    Trump’s ‘not going into Syria’ vow ignores 1000+ US troops there
    Rachel Maddow discusses the ramifications of Donald Trump’s missile strike on Syria on the U.S. troops already stationed there.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. rikyrah says:

    Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2017

    he’s a MUTHAPHUCKING IDIOT!!!

    The grading on a curve for a mediocre White man.

    I always default back to…WHAT IF 44 had done this……

    and then go most times with lips pursed….
    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    Don’t wanna hear SHYT about any Non-White being ‘ unqualified’, after YOU elected this piece of garbage Mayo Nation

    Liked by 2 people

  35. STOP THIS INCOMPETENT FOOL

    Yemen raid killed a Navy Seal, an 8yr old & scores of civilians
    Mosul Iraq 200 civilians killed
    Syria 18 Democratic forces killed

    Like

  36. What is this mess? Has Jeffrey Lord lost his mind?

    Like

  37. Liked by 1 person

  38. rikyrah says:

    @EPA chief Scott Pruitt wants 10 additional security guards to protect him “from his own employees & ‘the left.'” https://t.co/mLlZQrCklR

    — Kate Brannen (@K8brannen) April 12, 2017

    Like

  39. rikyrah says:

    A hell of a sentence: “For Trump, one bright spot was the decision to launch 59 missiles in Syria last week.” https://t.co/NjEI9aeJdS

    — Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) April 13, 2017

    Like

  40. rikyrah says:

    President Trump on schedule to match within his first year all 8 years’ worth of President Obama travel spending — https://t.co/Q0bt2GAkfX

    — Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) April 12, 2017

    Like

  41. Like

  42. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone😄😄😄

    Liked by 1 person

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