Wednesday Open Thread | Repealing Obamacare could violate international law

We’ve already seen that repealing Obamacare is politically perilous. Now there’s a new complication: It may also violate international law.

The United Nations has contacted the Trump administration as part of an investigation into whether repealing the Affordable Care Act without an adequate substitute for the millions who would lose health coverage would be a violation of several international conventions that bind the United States. It turns out that the notion that “health care is a right” is more than just a Democratic talking point.

A confidential, five-page “urgent appeal” from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva, sent to the Trump administration, cautions that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act could put the United States at odds with its international obligations. The Feb. 2 memo, which I obtained Tuesday, was sent to the State Department and expresses “serious concern” about the prospective loss of health coverage for almost 30 million people, which could violate “the right to social security of the people in the United States.”

President Obama Signs Health Reform Into Law

The letter urges that “all necessary interim measures be taken to prevent the alleged violations” and asks that, if the “allegations” proved correct, there be “adequate measure to prevent their occurrence as well as to guarantee the accountability of any person responsible.”

OHCHR requested that copies of the letter be shared with majority and minority leadership in both chambers of Congress and proposed that “the wider public should be alerted to the potential implications of the above-mentioned allegations.”

Apparently that didn’t happen. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s office said they didn’t receive the letter, and officials in House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s offices said Tuesday that they were unaware of it. The letter did make its way to the Department of Health and Human Services, where an employee leaked it to congressional Democratic leadership. A State Department spokesman said my inquiry was “the first I’m hearing of this.”

A spokesman for the U.N.’s human rights office in Geneva confirmed the authenticity of the letter, which was sent by Dainius Puras, a Lithuanian doctor who serves the United Nations under the absurdly long title “Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.”

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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87 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Repealing Obamacare could violate international law

  1. eliihass says:


    Folk are so fickle…everyone folding like a cheap suit…and eager to normalize and legitimize the devil they were so opposed to…and even now that it’s clear that not only did he not win the popular vote…he isn’t even legitimate…He was propelled by a hostile foreign entity…

    Don’t take any of these folks with you to a fight …especially if you’re hoping they’ll have your back …blink, and next you look and their playing footsie with the evil one…

    In the end, all these folks are aligned…don’t be fooled..

    There’s a reason there isn’t much push-back from all of these high-profile pals/supporters of Hillary…many of whom were right back at Trump towers meeting with him the morning after the election…

    It’s crazy…but more and more, it’s hard to know what’s what and who and what to believe any more…😏🤔

    Here’s Anna Wintour…Vogue editor…and one of Hillary’s biggest supporters…Vogue for the first time in history, endorsed a candidate – Hillary..

    “…IA: The environment here in the US is also so politically charged at the moment. You supported a very different presidential candidate quite vocally. It’s not even been 100 days yet, but what do you personally make of it?

    AW: I think we’re too close really to understand what the impact is going to be and what indeed is going to happen. There’s almost too much news. I don’t know what you see. I see everybody had been — or still to a certain degree is — so hyper-engaged in the Trump presidency and he gave them so many reasons to be engaged and it was almost like you were looking every morning just to see what had been said, or what might happen. I feel now that people are accepting it a little bit more, it’s becoming — I don’t want to say normal — but they realise this is just the state of play.

    Now is the time when we need to really start to assess what it’s going to be. Because I think it’s been so much, so fast and so incredibly different from what many of us have believed the direction that this country might go. I think it was very, very hard to really understand and process. I feel that it is calming down a little bit and now is the time when we really do need to see what we can do and how we can be helpful to the causes we believe in.

    Actually Diane [von Furstenberg] has a great quote in the March issue — there’s no point about whining or complaining or screaming. The country voted. So what can we do now to be most helpful and to also stand up for what we believe in? People can have disagreements. They feel equally strongly about what they think is right as we do about [what we think] is right. So let’s try — to use a well-worn phrase — to reach across the aisle and see what we can do to work together. I really believe that — because just dissent is not enough.

    IA: Is that why you held those meetings with President Trump? I think people were quite surprised.

    AW: Well I have known Donald Trump, I think, since the early ’80s. Anyone who was out and about in New York — and he was out and about in New York — [would know him]. Ivanka has had a long history with the magazine, and I have respect for Ivanka and everything that she has achieved. And, as I mentioned to you before, we have these ETFs where we invite outside people to come in and talk to us about their vision and what they see — and so obviously it made complete sense to invite the then-president elect to come in and talk to all of us here. We’re a huge media company. I believe he also went to the New York Times. I think it was a very natural thing for us to do.

    IA: And then there’s the complicated issue about how Vogue should cover Melania Trump. Vogue has for a very long time covered first ladies. Helen Taft was one of the first people featured in the magazine and Hillary Clinton was the first first lady to be on the cover. Is that a tradition that you’ll continue?

    AW: We always photograph or cover in some way the first ladies, so as I’ve said before, I can’t imagine that we wouldn’t at some point cover the first lady, but we’ve got nothing planned right now.

    IA: Do you see that as part of the responsibility of Vogue, to cover someone who represents the current administration?

    AW: Yes and I think we have to respect the Office of the President of the United States of America and I think we also need to respect different points of view. It doesn’t mean that we are necessarily agreeing with everything that they say, but a lot of the country does…”

    It’s not like those ‘economically distressed’ supporters of the buffoon read Vogue…more like they’ve all got their marching orders from the plutocrats that own them…or they’re looking forward to the tax breaks

    There are no people of integrity left…no honorable, fearless people who refuse to co-sign glaring bullshit and evil…


  2. eliihass says:


    So much for the ‘wokeness’ and ‘ode to black women’…

    Jesse Williams files for divorce from his wife of 5 years…mother of their 3 and 1 year old kids…black woman he’s been with for 13 years and who was the one making money and supporting both of them when he was a broke actor – and until he broke out…

    This black wife who just had a baby last year, and has been juggling a toddler and an infant while holding down the real estate business that supported her family when Jesse didn’t have two pennies to rub together..

    All while ‘woke’ Jesse is busy strolling the streets of Paris snuggling with Derek Jeter’s ex girlfriend Minka Kelly…who he’s said to be dating…bet his poor overworked wife could have used a couple of romantic Paris getaways…

    And there are actually women – including black women – swooning and actually hoping they have a chance with this self-involved phony….silly, callous women thrilled at the news that a supposedly ‘woke’ man has filed for divorce from the mother of his two children, both under 3 years old ….one a brand new infant…babies ….a wife who’s probably still lactating and probably dealing with any number of postpartum stuff – and more than ever, needing more love, doting, attention, spoiling and support – and HELP from a loving, caring, attentive partner…to get over the postpartum hump…A woman who held him up for years – until he became somebody…the mother of their two babies…shameful..

    Something’s terribly wrong with our society…people all seem to be missing the necessary sensitivity chip…

    At some point, black women especially need to stop turning a blind eye to the callousness of black men who treat their black wife so shoddily…they are essentially no better than scum…no matter how ‘chocolatey dark’ they are…or how blue their eyes are…or how chiseled their chins…or how ‘fine’…or woke…

    Actually, all women need to stop enabling…stop supporting and stop turning a blind eye to callous, self-indulgent men…no matter how seemingly charming…I felt exactly the same fury as I read about Hunter Biden dating his brother’s widow…after putting his wife Kathleen through hell for years with his irresponsible behavior…I know Rikyrah posted about it…it took a good deal of restraint at the time to stop myself from writing a long furious epistle in response..

    There was absolutely nothing right about it…nothing…no matter what V.P Joe put out in that ill-advised statement that should have been seriously re-thought…Kathleen, Hunter’s wife of many years, gave them their 3 oldest grandchildren…no matter what the issues are, she and her daughters deserved so much better than that statement …if he felt he needed to issue a statement, V.P Joe should’ve just said we are family and we will get through this difficult time together – pray for us…even if there was turmoil and expectedly, anger behind the scenes…he should have just left it at that…you don’t release a statement supporting your married son – even if he and his wife are separated…dating your other son’s widow…

    Taboo. Tawdry. Abomination. And there were actually folks chiming in about how ‘it’s biblical’ and how ‘wonderful’ that they found each other crap – 😒

    7 billion people on the planet and it had to be your married brother in law…another woman’s husband..? For crying out loud..

    Selfish, self-indulgent, callous behavior….crossing boundaries that should never be crossed….cannot be hidden behind grief…or supposed ‘bonding’ over grief…you don’t ‘bond’ with your sister in law’s husband…no matter how ‘estranged’…there are people who are simply off-limits…Heck, when I was in college, my friends and I knew that any guy who’d even tried to chase any one of us was no longer able to chase, little less date the rest…and we were all of 18…

    I read the court docs, and my heart broke … for Kathleen and their 3 daughters…

    The way a man handles his home front …the way a man treats the woman who was there when he was nothing …says everything about his character and the measure of the man…the walk, not the talk…that’s what’s important..

    As for Jesse Williams…I’m sorry, but I’m one who finds it impossible to separate the public person from the personal…I have no use for publicly/professionally ‘well-regarded’ folks who don’t hold up as well in the personal ..especially those who don’t live up to the hype at home…and fail to do better by their spouse…I’ve always contended that charity begins at home…can’t do better by the woman who birth your kids and held you up for years as you struggled to break out… ? No way you’re a good person deep down…and in the end, even the next woman will find out eventually what a selfish jerk she ‘won’…

    But in the end, it’s still his poor wife who’ll at this moment be humiliated …and again tagged ‘bitter’, ‘angry’ black woman…and ‘unworthy’ …just because he’s a ‘star’ and women think he’s ‘cute’…and yes, ‘woke’…even if dubiously so…can’t be running around fake-saving folks while your own wife and kids are left to fend for themselves…Worse, there are already such cruel and mean-spirited attacks on his wife’s looks dominating comment sections under articles about his impending’s shameful and sad…folks talking about how he’s hot and she’s not…how she looks like his mother…THIS WOMAN JUST HAD 2 BABIES IN A ROW…and folks wonder why a woman who carried a man for years…could possibly be bitter and angry and humiliated watching as the world cruelly disses and dismisses her – and as he romances some other woman – considered a ‘major upgrade’…now that he’s a big shot actor…even as she juggles their 2 young babies and her business that supported them for years …while he plays carefree bachelor …strolling the streets of Paris with another woman…I bet his overworked, clearly stressed-out black wife could’ve used a couple of romantic trips to and strolls in Paris…


    Act like you know, are you trying to get this dough @BarackObama….

    • Liza says:

      From the article: “…This is almost twice as much as the speaking fees Hillary Clinton charged for three speeches to Goldman Sachs after she left the State Department. She later came under immense criticism during her campaign for receiving so much money to speak to Wall Street firms.”

      Hillary was criticized for being a likely presidential candidate giving speeches for something like 200K a pop AND refusing to reveal the content of her speeches.

      PBO is a former president who will be a much sought after speaker and the wealthy will pay to hear him. I kind of doubt he is going to be secretive about the content of his speeches. He hasn’t so far.

      I hope he makes a billion dollars.

  4. rikyrah says:

    These are the GOPers whose district was won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 – call them:

    California 10 R+1 Jeff Denham
    California 21 D+2 David Valadao
    Arizona 2 R+3 Martha McSally
    California 25 R+3 Steve Knight
    California 39 R+5 Ed Royce
    California 45 R+7 Mimi Walters
    California 48 R+7 Dana Rohrabacher
    California 49 R+4 Darrell Issa
    Colorado 6 D+1 Mike Coffman
    Florida 26 EVEN Carlos Curbelo
    Florida 27 R+1 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
    Illinois 6 R+4 Peter Roskam
    Kansas 3 R+6 Kevin Yoder
    Minnesota 3 R+2 Erik Paulsen
    New Jersey 7 R+6 Leonard Lance
    Pennsylvania 6 R+2 Ryan Costello
    Pennsylvania 7 R+2 Patrick Meehan
    Texas 7 R+13 John Culberson
    Texas 23 R+3 Will Hurd
    Texas 32 R+10 Pete Sessions
    Virginia 10 R+2 Barbara Comstock
    Washington 8 R+1 Dave Reichert

  5. Liza says:

    Chomsky on the GOP: Has Any Organization Ever Been So Committed to Destruction of Life on Earth?— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) April 26, 2017


  6. rikyrah says:

    Republicans move forward on far-right health care overhaul
    04/26/17 12:55 PM—UPDATED 04/26/17 01:03 PM
    By Steve Benen

    After the Republicans’ American Health Care Act died last month, unable to garner enough support from within the GOP, there have been frequent reports about efforts to breathe new life into the far-right plan. By and large, the scuttlebutt was easy to overlook.

    The latest developments, however, seem different and deserve to be taken seriously.

    There’s new legislative language that amends the original Republican proposal, and the House Freedom Caucus is now on board with this new version – after having opposed their party’s bill in March. Conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, which also balked at the AHCA during the fight last month, have said the new changes are sufficiently right-wing to earn the organizations’ support.

    All of which leads us to two broad areas of interest: how bad is this bill and can it pass.

    On the former, the core of the original legislation – taking coverage from tens of millions of Americans, slashing Medicaid, cutting taxes for the wealthy, directing subsidies away from those who need them most – remains intact. What’s new is an amendment, negotiated in part by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), which moves the bill even further to the right. Vox’s report noted that the changes “would likely cause even more Americans to lose coverage than the last version.”

    In particular, this amendment would allow some states to charge higher premiums to Americans with pre-existing conditions. States would also have the choice to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits requirement, as well as the possibility of charging older Americans significantly higher premiums. […]

    But this amendment doesn’t do much at all to assuage concerns about the older proposals. While it meets many of the demands of the party’s far-right wing – namely, the deregulation of the individual insurance market – it does nothing to address concerns about massive coverage loss. Instead, it likely makes those problems worse.


    House members will likely be reminded of certain political circumstances that should give them pause: most Americans don’t want the Affordable Care Act repealed; most Americans want to see Republicans move on to something else; most Americans opposed the original GOP plan (and this one will be even less popular); and most Americans want a health care system that does pretty much the opposite of what this far-right bill intends to do. Protections for those with pre-existing conditions enjoy especially broad public support, and this Republican plan would gut them.

    • rikyrah says:

      THIS is who they are.


      Being led by a completely unqualified woman who had no qualifications for the job..

      A Rule is a Rule?

      You evil muthaphuckas make me SICK!!

      But, we’re supposed to find common ground with them…right?

      You want to take a guess as to the composition of the students that benefit from Upward Bound?

      Uh huh
      Uh huh


      For every student that will be hurt because of this?

      FUCK YOU.

      Dozens of Colleges’ Upward Bound Applications Are Denied for Failing to Dot Every I
      ‘It’s more about format than it is about content’

      By Goldie Blumenstyk
      APRIL 26, 2017

      For the want of double spacing in a small section of a 65-page grant application, 109 low-income high-school students will be cut off from a program at Wittenberg University that has been providing them with tutoring and counseling to prepare them for college. And they’re not alone. Over the past few weeks at least 40 colleges and organizations with similar Upward Bound programs have also had their grant applications summarily rejected by the U.S. Department of Education for running afoul of rules on mandatory double-spacing rules, use of the wrong font, or other minor technical glitches.

      The affected colleges, whose programs serve at least 2,400 low-income students, and the members of Congress who represent them are furious, especially because their appeals to the department for reconsideration have so far been met with little sympathy or indication of any sort of resolution.

      The program director for Upward Bound at Wittenberg, Eddie L. Chambers, said he did have a conversation with Linda Byrd-Johnson, acting deputy assistant secretary for higher-education programs. It was “gracious,” said Mr. Chambers, who has overseen the Wittenberg program for 40 of its 50 years. “But in the end, she told me, ‘A rule is a rule.’ She told me, ‘Eddie, I too have to abide by the rules.’”

      Wittenberg’s error, according to the March 22 letter it received from Ms. Byrd-Johnson: In its section on its budget, it apparently violated the double-spacing rule requiring “no more than three lines per vertical inch,” including text in charts and tables.

      “It’s more about format than it is about content,” Mr. Chambers said in an interview this week, just a few days after he informed the students that the program was imperiled. Funding for the Wittenberg program runs out May 31. The college, which was seeking $2.5 million for five years, is exploring other options and hopes to keep alive at least its bridge program this summer, for 10 high-school seniors who are slated to live on campus and take college-level courses in a supportive environment.

  7. rikyrah says:

    This is Amazing
    Published APRIL 26, 2017, 9:04 AM EDT

    This is really quite astounding. In this morning’s edition of Mike Allen’s not-Playbook from Axios he introduces what seems to be Ivanka Trump setting up something that sounds a lot like the Clinton Foundation, only in this case run from within the White House by a top presidential aide who is also the President’s daughter, who also runs her own large international company and who also has two brothers who are currently running the President/Father’s company and trying to rake in as much money as possible on the fame and power of the presidency. Also, let’s be honest, the Trumps are a notoriously corrupt family, especially when it comes to running foundations.

    No less astounding is that Allen never mentions that there’s anything problematic about this or that it doesn’t mimic in a wildly more corrupt way what President Trump nominally ran most of the 2016 campaign against.


    What’s worth asking is this: Is this even envisioned as a foundation and non-profit? Or is Ivanka setting up something like a venture capital or private equity fund? i.e., one designed to make a profit?

  8. rikyrah says:


    Official HFC position means at least 80% of its members now support the Obamacare replacement bill.

    — Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 26, 2017

  9. rikyrah says:

    Pete Souza’s book will be out November 7, 2017!!


  10. Ametia says:

    Good morning, Everyone. …..Sits on side of bed with laptop….

  11. rikyrah says:

    Trump has 99 problems, but Democratic obstruction isn’t one of them
    04/26/17 10:47 AM
    By Steve Benen

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” the other day and complained bitterly about congressional Democrats standing in the way of Donald Trump’s qualified nominees for administrative posts.

    “We’re behind,” Priebus said about filling key executive-branch posts, “but because of historical unbelievable obstruction from U.S. senators that are acting inappropriately.”

    That’s certainly how Donald Trump sees this dynamic. After initially saying he was leaving many key offices empty on purpose, Trump recently reversed course, saying he wants those posts filled but can’t because of “obstructionists.”

    Reality tells a different story. The Senate, which is responsible for confirming nominees, is run by Trump’s Republican Party, and under existing rules, Democrats can’t use filibusters to block any executive-branch nominee.

    So if Dems aren’t to blame, who is? The Washington Post makes clear that Team Trump should be looking in the mirror.

    President Trump’s Cabinet secretaries are growing exasperated at how slowly the White House is moving to fill hundreds of top-tier posts, warning that the vacancies are hobbling efforts to oversee agency operations and promote the president’s agenda, according to administration officials, lawmakers and lobbyists.

    The Senate has confirmed 26 of Trump’s picks for his Cabinet and other top posts. But for 530 other vacant senior-level jobs requiring Senate confirmation, the president has advanced just 37 nominees, according to data tracked by The Washington Post and the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition. These posts include the deputy secretaries and undersecretaries, chief financial officers, ambassadors, general counsels, and heads of smaller agencies who run the government day-to-day.

    • Ametia says:

      LOL Loves it! Get that $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ POTUS & FLOTUS


    • rikyrah says:

      Been saying this and will say it again….

      NOT ONE of my non-White coworkers has ANY problem with 44 and Forever FLOTUS getting PAID!!!

      • My lips perched…Hmmm… huh….

      • eliihass says:

        Even if they did…it wouldn’t matter..

        They’ve earned every last dime..

        Look how all the rules and laws that were strictly imposed upon them the last 8 years in the White House, suddenly no longer apply to the buffoon…and nobody seems to care…in fact, folks are busy hailing the buffoon ‘America’s hero’ for breaking every law…calling him ‘strong’…’maverick’.. folks are so unbelievably impressed with his treasonous act, immoral and boorish behavior …

        We are living in some dystopian sleep walk…a complete nightmare, and folks are more concerned with legitimate fees for a legitimate speech…

  12. Liza says:

    Trump to order broad review of national monuments to open up more federal lands to drilling, mining & development.— deray mckesson (@deray) April 26, 2017


  13. rikyrah says:

    So, the Nazi in the White House has a phony PhD?

  14. rikyrah says:

    He. Earned. Every. Damned. Penny.

    Liberal Librarian
    April 26, 2017

    So. Barack Obama is going to make a speech to Cantor Fitzgerald, for which he is going to earn an honorarium of $400,000. And Leftist Twitter is acting like he farted live on stage in front of 300 million people.

    I will use this tweet as a condensation of everything this segment of the commentariat is saying:

    In general, I don’t begrudge politicians who have spent lives in public service making $$ when they get out. But he doesn’t need this one.

    — Amy Sullivan (@sullivanamy) April 25, 2017

    She, “in general”, doesn’t begrudge politicians cashing in. But, for some UNKNOWN REASON, she begrudges this politician earning what his market value is.

    Why could that be?


    Is it because, as a certain librarian said, he’s supposed to be doing this?
    Barack Obama is supposed to put on a hairshirt and live in a monastery, apparently. Meanwhile, Bernie has a beach house. Sit down.

    — Liberal Librarian (@Lib_Librarian) April 26, 2017
    Yes. The country’s first black President must abnegate himself, while failed, putrid, white politicians can own three homes and not release their tax returns.

    It seems like I have to repeat myself, because people just don’t get the message: BARACK OBAMA OWES US NOTHING. He’s not your magic Negro. He’s not your Daddy. He’s not your Chosen One. You put all that on him. He is a man who answered a call to serve, and served better than most people who occupied his office. And he served while being castigated from both Right and Left. Don’t forget, St. Bernard of Sanders opined that it would be right and proper were Pres. Obama primaried in 2012. Barack Obama had to suffer slings and arrows from his “friends” as much, if not more so, than from his “enemies”.

    • Liza says:

      The Obamas, both PBO and the former First Lady, will make many millions of dollars from their books because of the sales of those books. People all over the world are going to be buying those books. Being able to sell your books is about having something to say that is interesting.

      And both will command high fees for their speeches because of who they are AND because of their speaking skills. Again, they are interesting.

      I do not expect PBO to get mired down in the clusterf*** that is our government and our politics no matter how hard they try to drag him into it. I fully expect him to work on what matters to him, because he knows that in these times someone has to take the long view.

      The Buddhists say never to return an insult, and strangely enough, it seems to work.

      I am also compelled to say that all of the hate I am seeing directed to Bernie Sanders is not likely to help any of us.

      • Liza, the handwriting is on the wall. Democrats are their own worse enemy. Hillary supporters still attacking Bernie Sanders instead of uniting against republicans. This will not end well.

      • Liza says:

        I don’t get it, SG2, I honestly don’t get it. I pray to God that they are not just simply depending on another “Trump is a Monster” strategy to take back the Senate and maybe the House in 2018. We have to stay focused, we have to listen to each other and stop eating our own. We have to talk about the future as if we actually have one after these liars and crooks have finished. They are racing to destroy as much as they can of the last 80 years of Democratic achievements.

        I wish we could just be done with the epic failure of Hillary’s campaign. It is useful to know which congressional districts went for Hillary and have Republican representatives. Those are your first targets in replacing Republicans with Democrats. Other than that, there is nothing to learn that will help us save our country. Why are people so desperate to prove that Hillary lost because of forces beyond her control? Saving Hillary won’t save us.

  15. rikyrah says:




    Cummings: May take White House subpoenas to get Flynn docs
    Congressman Elijah Cummings talks with Rachel Maddow about the frustration of the House Oversight Committee that the White House won’t produce documents on disgraced former Trump NSA Mike Flynn and what it may take to get those documents.

  16. rikyrah says:

    White House claims no documents on ex Trump NSA Mike Flynn
    Rachel Maddow reports on a bizarre impasse between the House Oversight Committee and the Trump White House when a request for paperwork on the security clearance of disgraced former Trump NSA was met with the claim that such paperwork could not be produced.

  17. rikyrah says:

    White House has privately told Pelosi it may stop ACA CSR payments NEXT MONTH, Dem aide tells me:

    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) April 26, 2017

  18. rikyrah says:

    Russians behind payments for Flynn’s work for Turkey: Report
    Rachel Maddow highlights the details of a new report from Politico into the people behind disgraced former Trump NSA Mike Flynn’s foreign agent work for Turkey which found not Turks but Russians.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s EPA chief keeps finding himself in hot water
    04/26/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The principal problem with Scott Pruitt leading the Environmental Protection Agency is that he appears to be overtly hostile, not only to environmental protections in general, but to the work of the agency he leads in specific.

    But while Pruitt’s work as the EPA chief is itself controversial, there are several other controversies swirling around Pruitt directly that, in a normal administration, might very well put the Oklahoma Republican’s career in jeopardy.

    We’ve learned recently, for example, that Pruitt used private email to conduct official business, though he gave sworn congressional testimony in which he said the opposite. Pruitt is also accused of illegally hiding correspondence that documented his cooperation with the oil and gas industries during his tenure as Oklahoma’s attorney general. As if this weren’t enough, there’s also evidence pointing to Pruitt’s role in a botched execution in Oklahoma.

    And yesterday, yet another controversy emerged regarding the EPA administrator’s work.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt is violating a federal anti-campaigning law with an upcoming Republican fundraiser, a Senate Democrat says.

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sent a letter Tuesday to Carolyn Lerner, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, seeking an investigation into Pruitt’s plan to be the keynote speaker an Oklahoma Republican Party gala next week.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Orrin Hatch inadvertently helps end the debate over the deficit
    04/26/17 10:09 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The White House will release some details today about Donald Trump’s new tax plan, but administration officials have already acknowledged the fact that the costs of the policy won’t be offset with spending cuts, and Team Trump doesn’t much care about the impact on the deficit.

    It’s likely Republicans on Capitol Hill will adopt a similar attitude. The New York Times reported late yesterday that “the powerful chairman of the Senate finance committee said Tuesday he was prepared to support President Trump’s plan to cut corporate tax rates to 15 percent even if it added to the budget deficit.”

    Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Republican finance committee chairman, is a critical voice on tax issues in Congress and support from him could make the difference in whether members of Congress fall in line and support the president’s proposal. […]

    “I’m open to getting this country moving,” Mr. Hatch said. He said that if the tax cut could stimulate the economy, then he was not as bothered by the impact it had on budget deficits. “I’m not so sure we have to go that route, but if we do, I can live with it,” Mr. Hatch said.

    Well, yes, of course he can – because Republican concerns about the deficit are, and have always been, a sham.

    In fact, Orrin Hatch offers a terrific case study on the matter. In the Bush/Cheney era, the Utah Republican voted for all kinds of Republican priorities – wars, tax cuts, Medicare expansion, etc. – by adding the costs to the national charge card. In 2009, Hatch told the Associated Press that “it was standard practice not to pay for things” during Bush’s presidency.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Republicans exempt their own insurance from their latest proposal—ensuring they’d still be covered by Obamacare regs

    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 26, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    Our last president wrote acclaimed books. Our current president. Can’t. Read.

    — Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) April 26, 2017

  23. rikyrah says:

    This grotesque need to micromanage and infantilize President Obama in every waking moment of his private life is INSANE. Yes, INSANE.

    — meta (@metaquest) April 26, 2017

    Because it makes perfect sense to ask 44 to make even more unrequited overtures to decency.

    — jelani cobb (@jelani9) April 26, 2017

  24. rikyrah says:

    Maddow’s entire phucking show last night was pretty much all Russia.


    If I followed her segments right, Flynn was not only taking money, but didn’t tell anyone about the money.

    His Security Clearance had EXPIRED.

    This White House will not produce the paperwork for the re-issuance of his Security Clearance.
    I am inclined to believe that there is NO PAPERWORK, and these muthaphckas hired a National Security Advisor with NO SECURITY CLEARANCE.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Laughable White House claim: Trump has ‘rebuilt’ US global standing
    04/26/17 08:43 AM—UPDATED 04/26/17 08:51 AM
    By Steve Benen
    With Donald Trump and his team struggling to spin the president’s 100th day in office, it makes sense for the White House to point to vague accomplishments that are inherently subjective. Trump likes to point, for example, to the nation’s improved “spirit” in the wake of his inauguration, which may seem silly, but it’s a claim that’s difficult to disprove because there’s nothing specific or quantifiable to examine.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer rolled out a related pitch at yesterday’s briefing:

    “The world is responding to the leadership that the president is bringing under this – bringing to Washington. In all, during his first 100 days, the president has made 68 calls with 38 different world leaders, and hosted a total of 16 bilateral meetings. The president has rebuilt America’s standing in the world.”

    The number of phone calls may be accurate – although with this White House, one shouldn’t make too many assumptions – but chatting with world leaders doesn’t exactly offer evidence of leadership. Trump, after all, spoke with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull by phone soon after taking office, and that was a disaster.

    But I’m fascinated by the White House’s broader, vaguer belief that Trump has “rebuilt America’s standing in the world.” At least for now, that’s tough to prove or disprove by any quantifiable metrics, but it’s still pretty easy to laugh at Spicer’s latest boast.

    Let’s back up for a minute to provide some useful context. Younger readers may not recall this, but towards the end of the Bush/Cheney era, the United States’ international reputation took a severe hit, largely as a result of the war in Iraq. There were anecdotal reports about Americans traveling abroad with Canadian flags sewn onto their belongings, hoping to avoid confrontations with critics of U.S. policies and leaders.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Humpty Trumpty


  27. rikyrah says:

    Ted Cruz wants to use $14 billion seized from El Chapo — to pay for the wall

    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 25, 2017

  28. rikyrah says:

    This just sounds like truth:

    Kay says:
    April 26, 2017 at 8:33 am
    @Betty Cracker:

    I know this sounds sanctimonious but what has gotten lost here is the public interest. Elections don’t belong to politicians. They belong to voters. Just keep it simple. An investigation into how a US election was interfered with. Remove all the names- take out “Trump” and “Russia”. What would an investigation by a functioning system or country look like?

    It shouldn’t look like this, where the FBI fucked up hugely right out of the gate and now Congress is failing and you can forget the rest of the executive branch because they’re all Trumpsters.

    There just doesn’t seem to be any urgency and this is an ongoing failure- the system is still failing. We know where we end up with that- we end up with interference in another election.

  29. rikyrah says:

    In Trump’s latest defeat, court smacks down another executive order
    04/26/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    After railing against presidential executive orders for a couple of years as a candidate, Donald Trump and his White House team have dramatically changed course, bragging about the Republican’s penchant for executive orders. That may not have been wise.

    While Team Trump points to these orders as evidence of the administration’s governing progress, the fact remains that many of the directives are little more than glorified press releases, with little to no policy impact. As for the orders that are substantively significant, the president keeps finding those policies blocked in the courts.

    A federal judge Tuesday blunted the impact of one of President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration, forbidding the White House from withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities –local governments that limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

    Federal District Court Judge William Orrick issued a nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by San Francisco and nearby Santa Clara County. They argued that the president’s January 25th executive order, declaring sanctuary cities ineligible to receive federal grants, was unconstitutional.

  30. rikyrah says:

    What Trump Didn’t Know
    by Nancy LeTourneau April 25, 2017 3:15 PM

    Here is another interesting tidbit from Trump’s interview with the Associated Press:

    They had a quote from me that NATO’s obsolete. But they didn’t say why it was obsolete. I was on Wolf Blitzer, very fair interview, the first time I was ever asked about NATO, because I wasn’t in government. People don’t go around asking about NATO if I’m building a building in Manhattan, right? So they asked me, Wolf … asked me about NATO, and I said two things. NATO’s obsolete — not knowing much about NATO, now I know a lot about NATO…

    In other words, all those times that the president talked about NATO on the campaign trail and during the first months of his tenure, he didn’t actually know much about it. He goes on to say that he knows a lot about it now. But that is obviously not true since he continues to claim that he was right back when he didn’t know what he was talking about (just try and wrap you mind around that one) because countries aren’t paying what they owe. These are the facts:

  31. rikyrah says:

    Quick Takes: The Smell of Desperation Emanating From the White House
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    April 25, 2017 6:00 PM

    We all know that the White House is desperate to change the narrative that is developing about what a complete and utter failure Trump has been in his first 100 days. But who knew that their attempt to provide an alternative narrative would be such a mangled mess? Today they released a press statement titled, “President Trump’s 100 Days of Historic Accomplishments.” It lists three areas of accomplishments:


    Rather than list actual executive orders or bills Trump signed, they compare the number of them to how many have been signed by previous presidents. On executive actions, they got it all wrong, as you can read in this tweet storm from Peter Shulman. In counting the number of bills Trump signed, Oliver Willis fills you in on some of the particulars of what was included. Here’s a taste:

    Allowing someone to serve as secretary of defense within seven years of leaving active military duty.

    Clarifying some of the details of the General Accounting Office.

    Encouraging women to be entrepreneurs (not any programs or initiatives, just recognition).

    Naming the “Abie Abraham VA Clinic” in Center Township, Pennsylvania.

    You get the idea. Real historic, huh? Especially in comparison to one of the measly little bills Obama signed in his first 100 days that was called the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”

    @imillhiser @charles_gaba Executive orders by black President =dictatorship. Executive orders by white President =accomplishment!

    — Deborah Roseman (@roseperson) April 25, 2017

  32. rikyrah says:

    From Balloon Juice:

    Time to call Congress
    by David Anderson
    at 11:30 pm on April 25, 2017

    The AHCA has more lives than a serial killer in a horror movie franchise.

    The House Freedom Caucus has an agreement to make the bill worse by allowing states to completely opt out of guarantee issue and essential health benefits.


    Most of the House Freedom Caucus is most likely on board with this bill. That reduces the firm no’s that are not in the HFC down to about 20. The No’s from March need to hear from you again. The unknowns and the shaky yeses need to hear from you.

    They also need to be reminded of the following:

    In Nov in #GA06, GOP turnout beat Dems by 4.7 pts. In April, Dem turnout beat GOP by 4.4 pts. We’re coming.

    — Swing Left (@swingleft) April 25, 2017

  33. rikyrah says:

    The Trump administration’s magical thinking on taxes would bust the budget

    By Editorial Board
    April 25 at 7:34 PM

    PRESIDENT TRUMP is set to reveal the outlines of a tax reform plan Wednesday. The country will be improved if Mr. Trump leads the way toward lower rates, fewer loopholes and a simpler code. Where the plan could go dangerously astray is if the administration bases it on wishful thinking — specifically, that tax-cutting will pay for itself.

    Specifics have been sketchy in the run-up to Wednesday’s announcement, in part because administration officials appear to be of different minds. But a few details emerged early in the week. The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Trump wants to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent and the top tax rate on so-called pass-through companies from 39.6 percent also to 15 percent. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, slashing the corporate rate by such a large amount would reduce revenue by $2.4 trillion over a decade, which is half of everything the government will spend in fiscal 2017. Cutting the tax on pass-throughs, meanwhile, would boost tax avoidance by encouraging people to take wages in the form of lower-taxed pass-through income.

    There are several honest ways out of the resulting budget hole: end or limit tax breaks such as the mortgage-interest deduction; raise the rates of other taxes; cut spending; or some combination. The dishonest way is to pretend the hole is shallower than the experts predict it will be — or even that the hole does not exist. That was the approach Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared to be taking last Thursday. “The plan will pay for itself with growth,” Mr. Mnuchin said, claiming that the Trump economic program could goose the economy so much that the government would recoup nearly $2 trillion over 10 years. He may be preparing some limits on deductions, but not nearly enough.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Sen Richard Burr got $8.1M from McConnell’s Super PAC in September 2016. Same PAC that got millions from pro-Putin Ukrainian #BurrMustRecuse

    — Scott Dworkin (@funder) April 26, 2017

  35. 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

  36. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone😄😄😄

  37. Good morning, everyone!

    Nancy Pelosi going for the jugular…

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