Tuesday Open Thread | Senate Intel Chairman Richard Burr Is Stalling Russia Investigations

The Senate’s investigation into Russian interference in November’s election seems to be going nowhere fast. From Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff:

More than three months after the Senate Intelligence Committee launched its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election — including allegations of collusion by associates of President Trump — the panel has made little progress and is increasingly stymied by partisan divisions that are jeopardizing the future of the inquiry, according to multiple sources involved in the probe.

The committee has yet to issue a single subpoena for documents or interview any key witnesses who are central to the probe, the sources said. It also hasn’t requested potentially crucial evidence — such as the emails, memos and phone records of the Trump campaign — in part because the panel’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., has so far failed to respond to requests from the panel’s Democrats to sign letters doing so, the sources said.

Isikoff writes that the committee has been dragging its feet on just about every aspect of its investigation. Access to intelligence documents has been limited to a handful of aides; documents from key witnesses like Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and Paul Manafort haven’t been requested; and interviews with those witnesses have yet to be scheduled, even though Page, Manafort, and former Trump adviser Roger Stone have volunteered for them.

“So what has the committee been doing for three months? The five staffers assigned to the case have been methodically reviewing the classified raw intelligence documents that formed the basis for the Jan. 6 assessment [of Russia’s interference in the election],” Isikoff writes, “and that, in turn, has lead to the discovery of more documents that are potentially relevant, sources say.”

The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak writes that those staffers don’t have any investigative experience. “Most of them lack a background in Russia expertise,” he wrote in a story published on Sunday. “Not one of the seven is a lawyer.” Those staffers moreover have other distracting obligations:

Of the seven, two are the staff directors of the committee—an enormously demanding job even in the calmest of circumstances, which limits their involvement. One of the seven even attends law school part-time.

“To do a serious investigation would require not less than a dozen full-time staffers … [with] counterintelligence, prosecutorial skills to do it, and people who have a very good sense of the forensic accounting world of Russia and Europe. Without that sort of expertise, you’re not going to get anywhere,” [attorney Scott] Horton said. “I don’t think they’re deploying the resources that are necessary to do a real investigation.”

The House’s investigation, you might recall, has itself been a mess. Until our elected representatives get their acts together, it’ll be up to the media to continue getting to the bottom of things. Super sleuth Louise Mensch, of course, remains on the case:

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68 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread | Senate Intel Chairman Richard Burr Is Stalling Russia Investigations

  1. eliihass says:

    Here’s hoping President and Mrs Obama continue to command record-breaking fees for book deals and speaking appearances forever…

    Here’s hoping that their books break sales records and their speaking appearances are not only much sought after, but completely break audience records every time…

    Here’s hoping that this decent, whip-smart, honorable, historic First Couple pay no attention to the very same folks who for years not only hounded and critiqued their every breath at every turn, but tried to control their every waking moment and every move, preemptively demanding that they not only abide by and comply with every single law, rule and suggestion, including those the critics themselves made-up as they went along….but actively scrutinized every last detail of every single breath the Obamas ever took…eagerly awaiting a gotcha moment and a chance to roundly scold, disparage and tar them…

    Same folks who now turn a blind eye…act as if the same laws and rules are now mere suggestions that now not only don’t have to be obeyed by the buffoon and his brood in their pretend positions…but don’t even apply…

    Same folks who have since January 20, 2017 all but shredded and abandoned the all-sacred constitution that they previously furiously wielded, effusively touted and claimed to have tattooed on their heart and never left home without …and from 2007 – January 20, 2017, never passed up on any opportunity to wave as many copies in the face of the ‘exotic’ ‘Muslim’ and ‘not so sure they’re American – and certainly not patriots’ Obamas, every time they stepped out of the White House – or dared sit on a sofa or sip a glass of water inside it …same constitution that they know-it-all faux-patriots now gleefully stomp on as they cheer on Putin’s very own buffoon now seated in the People’s House surrounded by Jim Crow grand wizards and Russian moles of every stripe …

    Same folks who denied the Obamas every last perk of the presidency previously more than taken for granted, and fully taken advantage of, and freely enjoyed without attack or petty insults, and invasive scrutiny, by every last one of their white predecessors…preemptive attacks and scrutiny so insulting, petty and ridiculous, the Obamas exasperatedly turned down the government funds typically provided each new First family to redo the White House residence, opting instead to dignifiedly pay for that expense and other things, out of their own pocket… but are still attacked as ‘moochers’ even as the cash-poor pretend-billionaire and his family of world-class con artists currently installed in our People’s House by a hostile foreign entity, are cheered on as they greedily grift their way through and in every way they possibly can as long as they can …on the tax payer dime…breaking spending, costs and expense records and stretching and eating up government resources in ways never before seen…

    Same folks who relentlessly pursued with such vigor and down every rabbit hole, every phantom sin of arrogance and aloofness…spitefully obstructed and nit-picked to death everything the historic President ever tried to do …gleefully knee-capping him every chance they got as they breathlessly and scoldingly tsk-tsked and wielded bludgeons at every turn, alongside their bogus accusations of ‘amateurism’ and not doing anything ‘right’ – or consistently adding caveats to diminish positive accomplishments … Very same folks that now suddenly see or hear no wrong even as Putin’s ignorant, dumb puppet bungles in the most embarrassing of ways and as he decimates our democracy and union…and they not only not ignore the actual glaring amateurism and intensely substandard mediocrity – if that’s even possible, but the ignorance, gross incompetence and assorted treasonous acts staring us all in the face…but they turn a blind eye, make lame and absurd excuses for the treasonous Putin-owned buffoon, spinning themselves dizzy as they declare him a ‘maverick’ ‘successful businessman’ …and elevate him as they cheer him and his Russian-mole cohorts on..

    Same folks who preemptively thwarted and shut down any chance of the first ever double Ivy League educated FLOTUS…our Princeton and Harvard educated historic First Lady, fully and freely utilizing her exceptional insights, big brain, brilliant mind, caring heart, extraordinary skill-sets and diverse talents in even more important ways to work alongside her husband …so that she had to devise clever ways of navigating the land mines they set for her…and chose to serve in as ‘non-threatening’ a way as possible while supporting her husband and making sure he was successful – the pertinent end-goal that mattered to her – by First Ladying in ways that as much as possible didn’t distract from or threaten his vision and overall presidency, by ‘triggering’ the raucous ire and unnecessary, unfounded and baseless outrage and whipped-up faux-controversies of the conscious and subconscious racists who perpetually hovered around, never taking an eye off her – and still don’t even though she’s no longer in their White House…because they were always suspicious and fearful of her and her unabashed authenticity …and petrified that she couldn’t be co-opted or used …because she had a core, had integrity and self-respect…and knew exactly who she was and what she was worth …and never kissed-up to them, sought their validation or approval – or a*rse-kissingly, gave them credit for her own hard-won successes…And yet, we now witness the very same folks talking up and trying to force-feed the world a two-bit, vacuous, lying, heartless, immigrant-hating, immigrant and proud Birther with all of a high school education, who parlayed a 3rd rate ‘modeling’ stint into a dubiously ‘lucrative’ 3rd wife to an old narcissist gig….and also absurdly elevating the equally hollow, surgically-enhanced, phony, complicit daughter who’s never worked for anyone but daddy…and insisting that she’s ‘very intelligent and successful’ …and suddenly trying to spin and sell her as somehow ‘relevant’ and ‘valuable’ and ‘substantive’ with something ‘important’ to offer…and who now conveniently and hypocritically, now suddenly espouses the need for ‘women to hold each other up’ 🙄🙄…even as she and her equally pouty, pose-y step-mom have participated and supported and alternately remained complicitly mute for all the years of dehumanizing attacks on the historic black FLOTUS and her minor daughters…and the despicable birtherism against her husband, that has incited hate and death threats against the historic black First Family – and specifically spearheaded and whipped-up by the buffoon…and the targeted and endless slanderous attacks via the National Enquirer courtesy of the buffoon and his pal…and the still nonstop attacks on a family that has very successfully done their time and gracefully exited the White House and are now busy minding their business and quietly living their lives as private citizens…but are still furiously targeted by the alt-right and Russian bots supporters the buffoon and his cohorts pay to invade all social media – including those who attack and slander in Russian from Russian ISP’s …and often in their poorly translated English..

    Like the whole world, the Obamas have been watching – and to whatever extent, have surely paid attention as the impossible to miss brazen lawlessness and double standards persists …and the madness and mad man that begot it all and that’s besieged our country and world, has played out since they left the White House… I bet they’ve watched as the buffoon and his brood have done stuff they couldn’t even begin to imagine doing let alone be allowed to get away with…they’ve watched as the buffoon and his family and their enablers tear up the constitution and age-old rules and institutions that guided and protected our democracy – and distinctly distinguished it and us from 3rd world countries and despotic governments…they’ve watched as these folks are busy brazenly emptying the nation’s resources into their family coffers, and selling our the country out to a hostile foreign entity…with nary a whimper from the normally raucous, perpetually outraged faux-patriots ….and even those who now demand that the Obamas reject or ‘donate’ their speaking fees…

    And Lord knows that the Obamas now enjoying and relishing their post-presidency …and thriving in their awesome capacity as private citizens, aren’t nearly so naive or dense that they are willing …and certainly not about to turn themselves back over to those same phony ‘patriots’ and disingenuous ‘appropriate police’ … leave themselves open and at the mercy and control of the very same petty, horrid, obnoxious, will never be assuaged, know-it-all, envious, selectively judgmental and nit-picky, faux-patriotic, faux-high-minded, perpetually outraged a-holes looking to once again contain the Obamas specifically… and control their lives and decisions…move into their pockets to try to slyly stem and contain their post-presidential greatness and expansive influence…by making a slick play for their honestly earned money and financial independence …under the guise of ‘respecting’ them and faux-high-mindedly tsk-tsking about being ‘appalled’ and ‘disappointed’ in who they’re delivering paid speeches to…and supposedly ‘expecting’ more of and from them – like disappearing into the night and living the rest of their lives volunteering and building houses like Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter – but only also being available to be summoned to do the bidding of these folks who think they know better how the Obamas ought to be spending their post-presidency….and trying their darnedest to faux-shame and faux-guilt them into submission….and only to forcibly cap their long-overdue, well-deserved, and honestly earned independent wealth that will ultimately free them and allow them to do the important and great work they already started doing and independently fund the plans they have to expand the programs they care about and the various ways they intend to keep serving and helping… Kneecapping the Obamas once again is the only agenda afoot …even as the very same tsk-tsking faux-high-minded, hypocritical, selective political-moralizing brigade gush and grovel all over, and are thoroughly impressed with the buffoon and his brood and the ‘trump’ed-up, barely-existent wealth of the so-called ‘successful businessman’ and faux-billionaire that scammed and lied his way around, but is now once again automatically treated with a ‘wealth’ reverence that automatically assigns a certain privileged and presumptuous benefit of the doubt, and the highest wealth perches to him and his brood…one that goes as far as even assuming that the People’s House that the Obamas were forever demanded to proclaim daily public gratitude to live in, is now somehow far beneath the buffoon and the crass, faux-opulence he normally dwells in…

    I can’t wait to buy as many copies of our historic First Couple’s books …thrilled and especially delighted now that I know that that awful Simon and Schuster group won’t be a part of, or profiting in any way from any of it…eager to pre-order the minute we can…order as many as possible ….to read and keep, a few to preserve as historic collector pieces…and as many to give away as gifts to as many people as possible…including those who might even already have bought copies for themselves…

    I hope they make a ton of money…but most importantly, I pray they never lose sight of what matters most…each other…I pray they thrive together forever as a couple, and with their daughters, and future grandchildren, always be that exemplary, loving, devoted couple and close-knit family…and very important, I hope they stay alert…and never let their guard down or allow themselves to be tripped up or sold out by folks..

    …As evidenced by the still scarily invasive and intense interest in their every cough, sneeze and Island vacation…that has folks booking spur of the moment holidays to fly out to wherever they supposedly are alone or together…and the numerous scolding articles by those determined to sniff out every last detail of every book or speaking contract they’ve entered or are entering into…and wagging their finger at them telling them how and when they can accept payment for their precious time, still to be shared unique experiences of 8 years in the White House as the first black First couple, and their still powerful oratory skills…the how much and from whom they are allowed to take payment…there are still some seriously dubious folks – including some masquerading as ‘friends’, ‘allies’ and ‘supporters’, and those out and about name-dropping them and exaggerating their access and ‘closeness’ to them – including to plug some project or to sell the first book that isn’t necessarily the book they actually want to write…the book complete with blazing pictures that isn’t supposedly about their time working for them, but is hawked more like it is…as it ever so slyly establishes those folks as bonafide ‘insiders’ …and sets them up to write the future book they actually really want to write…that may or may not be quite as complimentary of the Obamas…but more importantly, establishes them as and makes them ‘credible’ authorities on all things Obamas…even though some left their employ more than a few years ago…and dubiously pal around with or are married to folks known to be incredibly and very publicly hostile to one of or both the Obamas…and well-documented too for anyone who bothered to keep up…and laughable to watch some of these same folks peddle their supposed ‘insider status’ or books with prominent photos while suddenly inserting mentions of the historic FLOTUS they really have no relationship with – and actually disrespected when they worked for her husband, weaving her name into their heavily exaggerated yarns…in a bid to appear friendly with her …and so as not to raise eyebrows – especially from black women …who they also want to buy their book…

    All manner of folks still hovering about …some looking to exploit access, others dying to burst their bubble…looking to chip away and poke holes at their reputation…professionally and personally…set them up to destroy them and their hard-won reputation…and there’s a ready audience that’s been eating up the slanderous stuff for years, eager to unquestionably lap up whatever else they’re fed…and most importantly, there’s a petty, envious, vindictive and insecure buffoon who now temporarily resides in the House they just vacated..and even more discomfiting, commands, controls and easily accesses and exploits every official, formal and informal intelligence infrastructure and resource at his disposal …and all manner of sensitive information his small, crooked mind desires…a buffoon so desperately jealous and obsessed with one-upping them …and so incensed and blinded with envy and fury that he can never elicit the love and respect the black couple engenders ..or have their popularity…and determined to take them down any chance he gets, with the assist of his rabid, hate-filled, alt-right cohorts who were always especially miffed and resentful of the upstanding black couple that became beloved role models for so many around the world…

    Politics is not a noble endeavor as our historic FLOTUS has always intoned…It attracts all manner of dubious folks especially at its highest levels…it is incredibly disruptive for the long term – and long after you’ve served your time…And it certainly is not for the faint of heart…

    More than ever, we continue to hold this historic first black First Family in our hearts, and continue to lift them up in our prayers …for God’s continued guidance, protection and abundant blessings always..

    • eliihass says:

      Of course not…

      In a world that chooses to selectively see what and who they see, and how they see, no surprise that this murderer actually supposes that he can borrow, tweak and reuse the Mike Brown didn’t look like a teen…he was scary tall and big, routine…

      Don’t care how tall a 12 year old kid gets…there’s no mistaking a kid…

    • Liza says:

      This from the article: “Both Garmback and Loehmann also recalled the driver telling his younger partner that he should be prepared for the “worst case scenario” and have his gun already unholstered.”

      They had already decided to shoot Tamir Rice. That’s why it happened so fast. There was NO ASSESSMENT OF DANGER ever.

      The kid never had a chance.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Karma is wicked. Those who wanted to erase 44 and his accomplishments away have brought for themselves a man that makes Shrub look like a genius, thus cementing the legend of Barack Obama.

    Their vessel for White Supremacy is an international embarrassment.

  3. rikyrah says:

    “Though the colored man is no longer subject to be bought and sold, he is still surrounded by an adverse sentiment which fetters all his movements. In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress. If he comes in ignorance, rags, and wretchedness, he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome. But if he shall come as a gentleman, a scholar, and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence. In the one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice. Let him do what he will, there is at present, therefore, no escape for him. The color line meets him everywhere, and in a measure shuts him out from all respectable and profitable trades and callings.”

    —Frederick Douglass

  4. rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    Jane O’Meara Sanders‏Verified account @janeosanders

    @thenation provides actual facts vs fake news, political correctness & hypocrisy. Choose news sources /groups wisely

    • eliihass says:

      “… pretty, traditionally feminine…”


      And the 2 young black girls aren’t..??

      Sometimes, in a bid to counter brazen racism and double standards…and in trying to make a valid point to counter glaringly ridiculous stuff, it’s best that folks do not wittingly or unwittingly make matters worse – or further boost the undeserving subject while essentially dissing those they purport to be defending…

      There’s inherent in the expressed ‘defense’, a continued (sub)conscious? push of the same offensive and outdated standards of, and automatic assumption of white as ‘pretty’. ‘feminine’ in ‘traditional’ ways…whatever the hell that means..

    • eliihass says:


      There’s this ongoing attempt to reframe the story as a couple of Russian connected rogue outsiders trying to infiltrate the Trump campaign without his knowledge ..


  5. Liza says:

    White men made millions for crashing the economy. Obama should get at least 400k to speak on how he saved it. https://t.co/0H3RxSHA1L— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) April 25, 2017


  6. Liza says:

    Good picture…

    We just adopted a dog! His name is Abbot and he is a very cute one-year old Multipoo. #TuesdayMotivation pic.twitter.com/Oe3pnO5xa0— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 25, 2017


  7. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Michael Flynn concealed Russia payments

    Liberal Librarian
    April 25, 2017
    Well, the first shoe has dropped. Retired general Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s first National Security Advisor, took payments from Russia and concealed those payments on his security clearance forms, according to the House Oversight Committee.

    House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz says it appears that Michael Flynn accepted money from Russia https://t.co/Zg1v1CEk1P

    — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 25, 2017

    • eliihass says:

      Something’s up with Jason Chaffetz…he just hasn’t looked the same since he announced his plans to ‘retire’ and also snapped up the 2 websites as he explores his future phantom ‘presidential’ run…

      He just seems to have lost his glow…

  8. rikyrah says:

    Trump brags about executive orders he used to condemn
    04/25/17 12:53 PM—UPDATED 04/25/17 01:04 PM
    By Steve Benen

    Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Obama, asked a question of increasing relevance yesterday: “Remember when the GOP thought that signing executive orders during the week and playing golf on the weekend would cause the Republic to fall?”

    Why, yes, I do remember that.

    As Donald Trump’s 100th day as president quickly approaches, the White House has found itself with a difficult rhetorical pitch. On the one hand, Trump continues to say that the 100-day standard is “ridiculous” and unimportant, and the media’s preoccupation with the metric is a needless distraction. On the other hand, Trump and his team are desperate to tell everyone what an amazing 100-day stretch it’s been for the Republican administration. (The New York Times’ headline on this was perfect: “Trump Wants It Known: Grading 100 Days Is ‘Ridiculous’ (but His Were the Best”)

    With this in mind, the Trump White House issued a press statement today insisting that this president “has accomplished more in his first 100 days than any other President since Franklin Roosevelt.” As proof, the White House’s press office noted, “President Trump will have signed 30 executive orders during his first 100 days” – the most seen from any chief executive since World War II.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Delusions
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    April 25, 2017 11:58 AM

    As I alluded to yesterday, Donald Trump’s interview with the Associated Press was deeply disturbing. It is tempting to throw up your hands and simply say, “the man is unhinged.” But if you have any interest in the particular way he is unhinged, this interview provided multiple examples of how he is delusional.

    For example, he actually bragged about the “great chemistry” he has with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, when we all witnessed the exact opposite with our own eyes during their recent meeting. He went on to suggest that one of his great achievements will be the relationships he has established with foreign leaders.


    For a reality check, China has been propping up the yuan for the last couple of years — long before Trump even announced that he was going to run for president.

    On the topic of his address to a joint session of Congress, Trump actually said, “A lot of the people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber.”

    The list could go on as there were several other examples. But perhaps you get the point. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen these kinds of delusions from Trump. They started the first day he was in office with claims that his inaugural crowd was the biggest in history.

    What we are witnessing is someone who needs to reshape reality to put himself in the center as “the greatest” of whatever standard is being measured. It is one thing for someone to brag constantly about their actual accomplishments. That can be annoying and selfish. But that isn’t what Trump does. He creates delusions to pretend he has accomplished great things. In that endeavor, he gets constant assists from right wing media – which creates a dangerous feedback loop.

  10. Rep Adam Schiff is really emerging as a leader. Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters and Ted Lieu have been front and center while the other Dems are watching from the sidelines.


    • Liza says:

      I’ve been thinking the same thing, that Adam Schiff is looking good. Rep Waters, of course, is the voice of all reasonable people.

    • eliihass says:

      He was my pick to replace Barbara Boxer in the Senate…with Karen Bass a close second if the Democratic Party was really being honest about wanting more women in the Senate…and backing a black woman…

      It was clear that Schiff wanted the seat…like most House Representatives who wait around for years for one of the 2 Senate seats to finally open up…and had planned to run, until the party poobahs shut everyone down having selected their candidate…

      I’m glad that he’s gotten the attention of more folks recently, and the higher profile he deserves…and pleased that though he didn’t get the Senate seat that he should have been allowed to run for…and would certainly have won…that he’s been able to skillfully and dignifiedly and with integrity, outsmart and beat the crooked, treasonous republicans…And without ever acting a coward or being mealy-mouthed…or appearing self-serving ..

  11. @tedlieu didn’t come to play with them. He meant business. That’s what you gotta do‼️


  12. The whole thing is a SHAM. They have no intention of doing a fair and thorough investigation.


    • eliihass says:

      They’re hoping to drag it out until folks finally stop caring – or forget…whichever comes first…and in the interim, they’re busy throwing all sorts of shiny objects and distractions to not only normalize and legitimize the buffoon and his brood in the minds of Americans and the world, to make it even harder to pursue removal of the buffoon from his pretend place…

  13. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance speech used the same wording as the Holocaust Museum’s website https://t.co/TSvn3xqJ0D pic.twitter.com/Pfxb85JCL0

    — The Hill (@thehill) April 24, 2017

  14. rikyrah says:

    #TrumpLeaks Docs: Mitch McConnell led Super PAC took $2 million from a pro-Putin Ukrainian businessman last election cycle #trumprussia pic.twitter.com/bnOxaflKMl

    — Scott Dworkin (@funder) April 19, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    Public, GOP not on the same page on health care, Russia scandal
    04/25/17 10:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    In recent months, Republicans have worked from the assumption that the American electorate wants GOP policymakers to take a sledgehammer to the Affordable Care Act. After all, the thinking goes, Republicans made their contempt for “Obamacare” a key aspect of their 2016 platform, and voters rewarded the party with great power.

    But the GOP is clearly misreading its mandate. Quinnipiac’s latest national poll asked respondents, “Do you think that Republicans in Congress should try to repeal and replace Obamacare again, or do you think they should move on to other issues?” The results weren’t close: only 36% of the public wants GOP lawmakers to keep trying, while 60% want Republicans to move on.

    Other polling is pointing in the same direction.


    As President Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress gear up for another attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare, an ABC News/Washington Post poll finds broad public preference for keeping and improving it – including high levels of support for some of its key components.

    Just 37 percent of Americans in the national survey say Obamacare should be repealed and replaced; 61 percent say it should be kept and fixed instead. Even more broadly, the public by 79-13 percent says Trump should seek to make the current law work as well as possible, not to make it fail as soon as possible, a strategy he’s suggested.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Lips pursed.

    Under Trump, the era of big government is making a comeback
    04/25/17 11:23 AM—UPDATED 04/25/17 11:32 AM
    By Steve Benen

    An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this week found that 57% of the country believes the government should do more to solve problems and meet the needs of Americans, as compared to 39% who believe the government is doing too much. That’s striking at face value, but consider some historical context.

    This same poll has been asking this same question for more than two decades, and these results are the most progressive responses ever seen.

    The Pew Research Center’s latest results on a similar question were a little different, but the data nevertheless pointed to a similar trend in Americans’ attitudes.

    As Congress faces an April 28 deadline to fund government operations, the public is now split in their general preferences on the size and scope of government: 48% say they would rather have a bigger government providing more services, while 45% prefer a smaller government providing fewer services.

    This marks the first time in eight years that as many Americans have expressed a preference for a bigger as a smaller government. Support for bigger government has increased 7 percentage points since last September, when more said they preferred a smaller government offering fewer services (50%) than a bigger government providing more services (41%). The last time the public was divided on this question was in October 2008, just prior to the election of Barack Obama.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Another Way to Understand the Divide: Migration
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    April 25, 2017 8:00 AM

    Anyone who pays attention to politics is going to get flooded with various takes on how to slice and dice the electorate in order to explain past elections and predict those that are to come. But what I’ve noticed is that we tend to fall into ruts where you see the same kind of analysis run into the ground over and over again. We’re seeing this now with all of the attention being paid to urban vs rural, white working class vs people of color, etc. to explain the 2016 election and prepare for the one in 2018.

    My interest in thinking outside the box on these questions is why I noticed an article by Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox titled, “The Politics of Migration: From Blue to Red.” As the title suggests, they focus on a factor that is perhaps more significant in this country than just about anywhere else on the globe, but mostly ignored when it comes to political analysis: migration.

    Despite all the hype about a massive “back to the city” movement and the supposed superiority of ultra-expensive liberal regions, people are increasingly moving to red states and regions, as well as to suburbs and exurbs…


    How people plan to vote appears to correspond, albeit broadly, with whether they decided to move away from where they grew up. According to the just-released PRRI/The Atlantic poll, 40 percent of Donald Trump’s likely voters live in the community where they spent their youth, compared with just 29 percent of Hillary Clinton voters. And of the 71 percent of Clinton voters who have left their hometowns, most—almost 60 percent of that group—now live more than two hours away.

    The effect is even stronger among white voters, who already tend toward Trump. Even a bit of distance matters: Trump wins by 9 points among white likely voters who live within two hours of their childhood home, but by a whopping 26 percent among whites who live in their hometown proper.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Ivanka Trump’s influence reaches unprecedented heights
    04/25/17 10:14 AM—UPDATED 04/25/17 11:44 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The Women20 summit got underway this morning in Berlin, and the guest list featured some extraordinarily accomplished individuals. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting the event, appearing alongside speakers such as International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, among others.

    It was therefore a bit jarring to see Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s 35-year-old daughter, on hand for the event.

    Ivanka Trump was in Germany on Tuesday on her first international trip as a member of her father’s presidential team. In doing so, the billionaire’s daughter stepped into a land that prides itself on meritocracy. […]

    While Ivanka Trump was in Berlin to promote women, the president himself was front and center during a panel discussion at the summit. The first daughter defended Donald Trump after a handful of attendees booed and groaned when she mentioned his name, saying he had encouraged “thousands” of women who worked for him.


    Yesterday, for example, Ivanka Trump had a piece in the Financial Times on women in the developing world – an important topic the president’s daughter has no background in. A few hours later, Donald Trump was in the Oval Office, speaking to the International Space Station, with Ivanka Trump at his side.

    She’s the first presidential daughter (or son) to have an office in the West Wing. She’s one of the few presidential advisers to have her own chief of staff. She’s offering the president guidance on matters of national security. She’s meeting with world leaders – while the business she still owns expands its opportunities in those leaders’ countries.

    If Ivanka Trump had experience as a senator or a cabinet secretary, this would be a little easier to explain, but again, she has no background in government, politics, or international affairs.

    • Liza says:

      I didn’t know this woman existed before Trump got the GOP nomination. I paid very little attention to Trump until he became the Birther King and all I knew about his children was that he had two sons who went to Africa to murder exotic animals. Prior to becoming the Birther King, I knew that Trump was some kind of wheeler dealer real estate guy from New York and I knew he had a reality show on TV about firing people or some such nonsense.

      During his Birther King heyday, if someone told me he would be the president of the United State, I would have thought they were insane.

      Now this entire family is running the country (into the ground).

    • Ametia says:

      This is some SHADY BullSHIT right here.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Quick Takes: A Study in Contrasts
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    April 24, 2017 6:28 PM

    * Every time I read an interview with Donald Trump, I walk away horrified. At this point, I struggle for words that will capture his level of ignorance, delusion, narcissism and mendacity. But it also reminds me of who we’re dealing with. All those moments when the press tries to paint him as some kind of normal politician go up in smoke. That was exactly how I reacted after reading his latest interview with the Associated Press. In just one example, Julie Pace asks him whether or not he’ll sign a spending bill that doesn’t include funding for his border wall. Here’s his answer:

    I don’t know yet. People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall, my base really wants it — you’ve been to many of the rallies. OK, the thing they want more than anything is the wall. My base, which is a big base; I think my base is 45 percent. You know, it’s funny. The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the electoral college. Big, big, big advantage. I’ve always said the popular vote would be a lot easier than the electoral college. The electoral college — but it’s a whole different campaign (unintelligible). The electoral college is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it. They want to see the wall, they want to see security. Now, it just came out that they’re 73 percent down. … That’s a tremendous achievement. … Look at this, in 100 days, that down to the lowest in 17 years and it’s going lower. Now, people aren’t coming because they know they’re not going to get through, and there isn’t crime. You know the migration up to the border is horrible for women, you know that? (Unintelligible.) Now, much of that’s stopped because they can’t get through.

    First of all, about half of that is completely unintelligible. But simply the mention of his “base” takes him off topic and he feels the need to pontificate on the one thing he always wants to talk about – his yuuuuuge electoral college victory. It’s now been over five months and he can’t stop trying to convince everyone what a big deal it was. Sad!

  20. rikyrah says:

    Comey politics undercuts confidence in Trump Russia investigation
    Matt Apuzzo, reporter for the New York Times, talks with Rachel Maddow about how 2016 politics guided FBI Director James Comey’s actions on Hillary Clinton and what that means for how he’ll conduct the investigation into the Donald Trump campaign and Russian Ties

  21. rikyrah says:

    US military, State Dept key indicators of US world standing
    Rachel Maddow looks at some of the most consequential developments in world news and the importance of the U.S. State Department and military in determining America’s global standing.

  22. rikyrah says:

    The pipeline between cable news and the Trump White House
    04/24/17 04:51 PM
    By Steve Benen

    A couple of months ago, Fox News’ Heather Nauert announced her support for Ivanka Trump’s branded merchandise. Between that kind of endorsement, and Nauert’s role on the “Fox and Friends” program the president likes to promote, I suppose it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise that Nauert has now joined Donald Trump’s administration as the official spokesperson for the State Department.

    “Heather’s media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the Administration’s foreign policy priorities,” the department said in a statement.

    The “top-rated morning cable news show” Nauert anchored, as glowingly described by the State Department, is one of President Donald Trump’s favorites.

    In late November, Rachel had a segment about all of the people who were up for positions on Trump’s team because the Republican had seen them on TV. A month later, the list was even longer, and now it’s longer still. (Note, in February, Fox News’ Jonathan Wachtel was named the spokesperson for the U.S. mission to the United Nations.)

    The Washington Post joked a few months ago, “The Trump revolution won’t just be televised. It will be led by television talking heads.” It’s even truer now than it was then.

  23. rikyrah says:

    The problem with Trump’s massive corporate tax cut
    04/25/17 09:20 AM—UPDATED 04/25/17 09:33 AM
    By Steve Benen

    With Donald Trump’s presidency nearing its 100th day, the White House is, by all appearances, feeling a little antsy about its lack of accomplishments. It’s one of the reasons Team Trump is scrambling this week to fund the government without a shutdown, push Republicans on health care, and unveil some vague ideas about tax policy.

    We’ll reportedly see some kind of tax blueprint tomorrow, but in the meantime, the Wall Street Journal reports on one of the president’s top new priorities.

    President Donald Trump has ordered White House aides to draft a tax plan that slashes the corporate tax rate to 15%, even if that means a loss of revenue, according to people familiar with the directive.

    During a meeting in the Oval Office last week, Mr. Trump told staff he wants a massive tax cut to sell to the American public, these people said. He told aides it was less important to him that such a plan could add to the federal budget deficit, though that might make it difficult to sell to GOP lawmakers who are wary of such a large tax cut.

    It’s worth pausing to note that the idea of congressional Republicans prioritizing the deficit over tax cuts is very hard to believe. GOP interest in balanced budgets has long been a ridiculous sham, used primarily as an excuse to reject popular Democratic priorities.

  24. rikyrah says:

    To prevent a shutdown, Trump begins an embarrassing surrender
    04/25/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Just last week, Donald Trump’s White House tried to play a little hardball. With a government-shutdown deadline looming, Team Trump sent word to Capitol Hill that the president expects any spending bill to include taxpayer money for a border wall. Since there was no chance Democrats would agree to such a demand, it meant one of two things would happen.

    Either Trump would shut the federal government down on Friday at midnight, which would be politically problematic for him and his administration, or Trump would surrender, which would be politically problematic for him and his administration.

    The president has apparently chosen the latter.

    President Donald Trump has indicated that he’s willing to back away from his demand that a government funding bill include money to build a wall on the Southern border, a move that could help clear the way for Congress to avoid a shutdown.

    A senior administration official tells NBC News that the president is open to obtaining funding for the border wall in the regular appropriations process for 2018 later this year instead of insisting it be included as part of the large spending bill to keep the government’s lights on past this week.


    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters yesterday. “The president is working hard to keep the government open.” And by “working hard,” Mnuchin apparently meant, “crawling away from the corner he backed himself into without any plan for success.”

    Democrats are likely to agree to some new funding for border security, in the form of investments in “technology and border agents,” and it’s easy to imagine the president pretending that this is money for some kind of symbolic, metaphorical wall, but let’s not play games: Trump and his team effectively told Democrats, “Allocate money for the wall or else.” Calling the White House’s bluff, Democrats replied, “No.”

    And in response, Team Trump blinked.

  25. rikyrah says:

    State Department retreats after promoting Trump’s for-profit business
    04/25/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Either the State Department didn’t realize it’d be unethical to use official resources to promote one of Donald Trump’s for-profit business, or the State Department did realize it and the promotion happened anyway.

    A glowing description of President Donald Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago – calling it the “winter White House” – was posted on State Department websites, bringing criticism from ethics watchdogs and Democrats. […]

    The text appeared on the website for Share America, a State Department platform intended to “spark discussion and debate on important topics;” the website for the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom and the Facebook page for the U.S. Embassy in Albania.

    This was, for all intents and purposes, an advertisement endorsed by the U.S. government for one of the president’s business ventures. It touted, for example, the Florida resort’s “style and taste.”

    Norm Eisen, the chief ethics lawyer in the Obama White House, highlighted the obvious problem: there are ethics rules in place to prevent the use of government resources to promote private businesses, especially those owned by the president. The State Department promoting Mar-a-Lago is at least as problematic as Kellyanne Conway encouraging Fox News viewers to purchase Ivanka Trump-branded merchandise, if not more so.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Put that muthaphucka Burr on blast!


  27. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

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