Tuesday Open Thread

Bob James, David Sanborn & Al Jarreau – Since I Fell For You

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37 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Liza says:

    The legal lynching of #PhilandoCastile. Video just released today. An abomination. This officer is a murderer. Philando obeyed the law. pic.twitter.com/JNXA1XTlVk— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) June 20, 2017


  2. rikyrah says:

    Kushner’s Office of American Innovation Is Cribbing Obama’s Ideas
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    June 20, 2017 1:30 PM

    Over the last couple of weeks, the White House has been trying to master the art of the tiny. First came Infrastructure Week, then it was Workforce Development Week and yesterday they launched Technology Week. The irony is that Jared Kushner is behind most of it via his Office of American Innovation and he seems to be busy cribbing Obama’s ideas.

    Last week I noted that for workforce development, the White House is focusing almost exclusively on apprenticeships, something that was a big push from Obama’s Labor Department via Secretary Tom Perez. It’s also true that many of the infrastructure projects being highlighted by Kushner—like high speed rail and broadband access—were major priorities for the Obama administration.

    For Technology week, here’s what they announced yesterday:

    President Donald Trump met on Monday with the heads of 18 U.S. technology companies including Apple Inc , Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp , seeking their help to make the government’s computing systems more efficient.

    The White House wants to update government information technology systems, cut costs, eliminate waste and improve service. Trump on Monday cited estimates that the government could save up to $1 trillion over 10 years through such measures…

    Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, said the administration wanted to “unleash the creativity of the private sector to provide citizen services in a way that has never happened before.”

    That’s all well and good…except for the part about providing “citizen services in a way that has never happened before.” Color me surprised (not) that Kushner didn’t mention that it was the Obama administration that created the U.S. Digital Service, whose mission is “to deliver better government services to the American people through technology and design.”

    We know that Kushner is aware of this service because just prior to the inauguration in January he sent this email to Todd Park, Obama’s chief technology officer:

  3. rikyrah says:

    We need just 3 Republican Senators to stand up and say this is not how it is done. You can’t repeal health care for millions in secret. pic.twitter.com/dTzqof7ye2
    — Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) June 20, 2017

  4. rikyrah says:

    Republicans intend to execute ‘a legislative heist’
    06/20/17 12:59 PM
    By Steve Benen

    The news last night was in line with expectations, but was nevertheless extraordinary: Senate Republicans really are moving forward with plans to hold a vote next week on a health care overhaul, bringing a still-secret bill to the floor. There will be no hearings, no testimony from industry stakeholders or subject-matter experts, and no meaningful deliberation among lawmakers themselves.

    MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, apparently flabbergasted, wrote on Twitter, “This is quite literally unprecedented. I’ve run out of adjectives for it. It’s like a legislative heist.”

    The more I thought about it, the more I liked that analogy.

    To a very real extent, Americans have already seen Senate Republicans pull off one of the most important political heists in at least a generation. GOP senators recently stole a Supreme Court seat, taking it from one administration and handing it to another, affecting the direction of American jurisprudence for decades.

    Last year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared, “One of my proudest moments was when I told Obama, ‘You will not fill this Supreme Court vacancy.’” As regular readers know, this is the kind of pride one feels when they steal something and know they’ve gotten away with it.

    But just as every great heist movie seems to get a sequel, McConnell & Co. may be pulling off an even bigger robbery in plain sight.

    Consider what goes into every successful heist:

    Deception? Check.

    Secrecy? Check.

    Misdirection? Check.

    The heist always culminates in the theft itself, which in this case involves stealing millions of Americans’ health benefits, stashing the savings in the bank accounts of the wealthy in the form of needless tax breaks.

  5. yahtzeebutterfly says:


    Excerpt from article link in above tweet:

    The group noted that Trump took down the Office of National AIDS Policy website when he took office and hasn’t appointed anyone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.

    They also said that the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill will dramatically hurt those with HIV/AIDS, making it the “final straw for us — more like a two-by-four than a straw” in deciding to leave the council.

    “We will be more effective from the outside, advocating for change and protesting policies that will hurt the health of the communities we serve and the country as a whole if this administration continues down the current path,” they wrote.

  6. yahtzeebutterfly says:
  7. rikyrah says:

    Devin Nunes: ‘I never recused myself’ from Russia probe
    06/20/17 11:21 AM—UPDATED 06/20/17 11:29 AM
    By Steve Benen

    By early April, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had become the punch-line to an unfortunate joke. The California Republican, who was supposed to be leading an investigation into the Russia scandal, took steps to effectively blow up his own probe by partnering with the White House, keeping secrets from his colleagues, and lying publicly about his own antics.

    With circumstances forcing his hand, and facing an ethics probe, Nunes announced on April 6 that he was recusing himself from the Russia investigation. Responsibility for overseeing the probe quickly shifted to other GOP members of the House Intelligence panel.

    All of which brought us to yesterday, when the GOP congressman said he didn’t actually recuse himself after all. The Washington Examiner reported:

    “I never recused myself,” the House Intelligence Committee chairman reportedly said in an interview with KMJ’s Ray Appleton. “This was essentially made up by the media.”

    Nunes announced on April 6 that he’d step away from the House’s investigation of the Russia issue, meaning a fair number of reporters were justifiably confused by his interview remarks.

    As Rachel noted on last night’s show, we were certainly led to believe Nunes had withdrawn from the process, “but he now says that was all fake news. He’s still in charge. He’s not recused and he’s still controlling the subpoena power on that committee. That’s weird.”

  8. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Congratulations Aaron on your graduation and on your amazing perseverance!!!


  9. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Excerpt from article linked in above tweet:

    This World Refugee Day, a record 65.6 million people worldwide are displaced in part due to war, famine, and political upheaval. Of those, roughly 22.5 million have registered as refugees in a host country, according to a United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report out this week.

    In its report, the U.N. found that Syria, currently in the midst of a civil war, led with the highest total number of refugees fleeing. Meanwhile, an end to peace efforts in South Sudan has led to 737,400 people fleeing the country — the fastest growing displacement of people in the world.

    …Somalia has continuously been in turmoil because of its civil war that began in 1991. Since that time, more than 1 million people have left the country while another million are internally displaced. Roughly 3 million people in the country are at risk of starvation from a widespread food shortage, according to the United Nations.

    …South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, has been beset by violence since 2013 two years after it broke away from Sudan in a referendum vote in 2011. As of December 2016, one in four people in the country have been forcibly displaced. People are fleeing South Sudan due to growing famine and drought conditions. Donor countries have failed to raise $1.4 billion the UNHCR said was needed to respond to refugee support as the country faces a desperate lack of basic services, shelter, food, and accommodations.

    (The article details refugee crises of other countries not mentioned in above excerpt.)



  10. rikyrah says:

    Former AG Eric Holder: ‘Now is the time to be heard’
    06/20/17 10:50 AM—UPDATED 06/20/17 11:16 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Former Attorney General Eric Holder has been making a variety of public appearances lately, including delivering a speech to the Virginia Democratic Party last weekend. Before his remarks, Holder spoke with NBC News about a recent trip he took with Barack Obama, and the discussion the two had about redistricting reform.

    In fact, Obama asked Holder to lead a new organization, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, “to prepare Democrats for 2020, when states will redraw the boundaries of their legislative and congressional districts for the first time in a decade.”

    Holder joked, “Part of my job is to make redistricting sexy” for Democrats.

    As it turns out, that may not be the only job the former attorney general has in mind. Yahoo News published an interesting piece this morning, noting that Holder is “re-entering the political fray,” perhaps with a national campaign in mind.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Women Are Leading the Charge in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District
    The local Indivisible chapter is campaigning hard for Jon Ossoff, but they have their eyes on a bigger prize as well.
    By Joan Walsh

    andy Springs, Georgia—Father’s Day morning was a little quiet in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, where Democrat Jon Ossoff is battling Republican Karen Handel in an epic special election. That’s because some of the women leaders behind the Democratic renewal there had taken the briefest of pauses to give the men in their lives some attention. “They don’t know where we went,” said Louise Palmer, a cofounder of the local Indivisible chapter. “My house is a mess. We’re eating a lot of takeout. And we’re getting a lot of favors from our husbands because we’re at meetings every night.”

    Palmer took most of Sunday off from the campaign, going to only one evening meeting. Essence Johnson, another Indivisible leader, took off an unprecedented—at least lately—full day. “I decided I needed to focus on him [my husband]. There’s been a lot of takeout. A lot of drive-by kisses.”

    These suburban Atlanta Indivisible activists once seemed invisible—middle-aged, most of them mothers, some natives, many transplants, voting Democratic, sometimes not voting at all, in a deeply red congressional district that once belonged to Newt Gingrich. Donald Trump’s unexpected victory over Hillary Clinton changed everything here, shattering Democrats, especially women. There were signs of hope, though, even in the depressing election result: Trump beat Clinton here by only 1.5 points. The district has the highest proportion of college graduates of any led by a Republican. Sorting through the post-election rubble, devastated Democrats here found some clues about how to rebuild—and how to find one another.

    Indivisible is just one of many new progressive groups that’s aligned itself with the Ossoff campaign. (Some of the women I spoke with belonged to all of them.) Liberal Moms of Roswell and Cobb came first, uniting women who met at preschool meetings and soccer fields to take the first steps toward more visible Democratic activism. Then there’s the women-led Pave It Blue, which is more Yippie than yuppie (though not many are old enough to know what that means). They describe themselves as “ninjas.” They dress up like dinosours and make Ossoff signs that “glitter bomb” (the signs are bordered in Vaseline with clear glitter, so people who attempt to remove them find themselves coated in Vaseline and glitter). It’s a brilliantly defensive move: Sign removal has been a problem in this traditionally red district. And when their Ossoff signs began being set on fire, they started attaching American flags to them, since conservatives believe flag-burning should be illegal.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Democrats push back as GOP sneaks health bill in secrecy
    Senator Jeff Merkley talks with Rachel Maddow about the push by Senate Democrats to raise awareness of the secret, partisan tactics Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP is using to sneak an Obamacare repeal with as little public notice as possible.

  13. rikyrah says:

    McConnell Keeps Winning by Playing the Villain
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    June 20, 2017 8:00 AM

    When the Republican plan to repeal/replace Obamacare, AHCA, was working its way through the House, some people started calling it ZombieCare. That’s because the bill died the first time, only to come back to life and survive. Now, Paul Krugman compares the Senate version to a vampire.

    Clearly, the goal is to pass legislation that will have devastating effects on tens of millions of Americans without giving those expected to pass it, let alone the general public, any real chance to understand what they’re voting for…

    Why this combination of secrecy and speed? Obviously, this legislation can’t survive sunlight — and I’m by no means the first to make the analogy with vampires…

    Vox.com asked eight Republican senators what problem the legislation is supposed to solve, and how it’s supposed to solve it. Not one offered a coherent answer.

    Of course, none brought up the one obvious payoff to taking health care away from millions: a big tax cut for the wealthy. As I said, while bloodsucking isn’t the main reason to call this a vampire policy, it’s part of the picture.


    What we are facing is a Senate bill that affects one sixth of our economy, whose House companion bill has the support of about 20 percent of the American public, but has been kept a secret to minimize any challenges. Yes, outrage is certainly called for. This is not how a democracy is supposed to work.

    Would Sen. Mitch McConnell really try to pull off something that unprecedented and inconceivable? We’re talking about the man who rallied Republicans to oppose anything the Democrats tried to do during the worst recession since the Great Depression. The same man who denied a sitting president the chance to even hold hearings—much less a vote—on his Supreme Court nominee.

    Not only did McConnell do those things, he won a Senate majority for his party and secured the nomination of a Supreme Court judge for a newly elected Republican president. So he got exactly what he wanted and never had to pay a price for taking the risk to go low with his political strategy.

    I’d suggest that the current Republican Majority Leader will keep on doing unprecedented things unless/until he pays a price for doing so. A profile of McConnell back in 2013 described him this way:

    While most politicians desperately want to be liked, McConnell has relished—and cultivated—his reputation as a villain.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Is Mike Pence raising PAC money for legal defense?
    Rachel Maddow explores the possibility that the fundraisers Mike Pence is holding to raise PAC money is being done in part to pay for his legal defense as the Trump Russia investigation moves ahead.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Remember when Trump vowed, ‘We’re not going into Syria’?
    06/20/17 09:20 AM—UPDATED 06/20/17 09:32 AM
    By Steve Benen
    In April, shortly after ordering a missile strike against a Syrian airbase controlled by the Assad regime, Donald Trump said in an interview that “we’re not going into Syria.” Even at the time, it was a strange thing for a sitting president to say.

    After all, not only had he just launched a new military offensive against Bashar al Assad’s government – putting the United States on more than one side in Syria’s civil war – but there’s also the fact that American troops are already serving in Syria.

    The assertion that “we’re not going into Syria” appears even more bizarre now in light of the developments from the last few days, as reported by the Washington Post:

    On Sunday, a U.S. fighter jet downed a Syrian warplane for the first time in the conflict. By Monday, a key ally of President Bashar al-Assad, Russia, had suspended a pact used to prevent crashes with the U.S.-led coalition in the skies over Syria and was threatening to target American jets. […]

    On Monday, Russia condemned that strike as a “flagrant violation of international law” and said its forces will treat U.S.-led coalition aircraft and drones as targets if they are operating in Syrian airspace west of the Euphrates River while Russian aviation is on combat missions.

  16. rikyrah says:

    McConnell, GOP prepare a showdown over secret health care bill
    06/20/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    As things stand, they’re actually doing this.

    Senate GOP leaders have set a timeline to vote next week on legislation to repeal large chunks of the Affordable Care Act, even though they don’t yet appear to have secured enough support to pass it. […]

    GOP aides and others familiar with the negotiations said they anticipate the Senate bill’s text will be released later this week. The CBO is expected to release its estimate of the Senate bill’s impact on the federal budget and insurance coverage early next week, and a vote could potentially be held next Thursday, before lawmakers scatter.

    As the Wall Street Journal report makes clear, the Republicans’ legislation – the life-or-death bill that will be voted on next week – does not yet exist. What’s more, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not yet secured the 51 votes he’ll need to advance the measure.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Perry sees climate denial as evidence of being ‘intellectually engaged’
    06/20/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    In the Obama administration, the first Energy Secretary was Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate and a physics professor at Berkeley. He was succeeded by Ernest Moniz, who led the physics department at MIT.

    In the Trump administration, things are a little … different.

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry told CNBC on Monday he does not believe carbon dioxide emissions from human activity are the main driver of climate change, joining the EPA administrator in casting doubt on the conclusion of some of the government’s top scientists.

    Asked whether CO2 emissions are primarily responsible for climate change, Perry told CNBC’s “Squawk Box”: “No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.”

    In an apparent attempt to drive the reality-based community batty, Perry added that his skepticism towards climate data is a sign of a “wise, intellectually engaged person.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    They’re writing this bill in secret because they can’t defend it.
    Together, we can defeat this. https://t.co/CIUmCwsIMQ https://t.co/XAUgT3GbYX
    — igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) June 20, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:

    As @SenFranken points out Dems held 25 days of debate on ACA…I’m reminded McConnell complained about having to be in session to debate it
    — igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) June 20, 2017

  20. rikyrah says:

    Wow: @brianschatz has the most succinct explanation for how undemocratic the GOP Obamacare repeal effort really is. It’s an embarrassment. pic.twitter.com/YfMHLIucXF
    — CAP Action (@CAPAction) June 20, 2017

  21. rikyrah says:

    13 men are drafting a bill without any input from women, from Democrats, from experts, or the 250M Americans not represented by the 13 men https://t.co/4RIewyDVFo
    — igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) June 20, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    “Why are my constituents not allowed to see the details of what’s about to happen to their lives?” — a frustrated @ChrisMurphyCT asks pic.twitter.com/s6EVaOAOJo
    — CAP Action (@CAPAction) June 20, 2017

  23. rikyrah says:

    Senator Merkley (OR) said to Rachel last night: “They just want to go with the Republicans. They’ve been very clear about that. The irony here is that in 2009 (ACA): “”We had – in just the Senate – a hundred hearings, round tables and walk-throughs. We had the longest ever meeting of the Health Care committee with television cameras rolling while we marked it up. The second longest meeting ever with the Finance Committee. Over 300 amendments considered. Over 100 Republican amendments are ACCEPTED into the bill. And 25 days of debate on the floor of the Senate…and (in 2009) the Republicans said “Wait that’s not enough. We need more input from the People”.
    And now they’re at the other end of spectrum and they’re saying ‘NO input’ from the People.””

  24. rikyrah says:

    4: I’m hearing the holdouts as of right now are CAPITO, FLAKE, COLLINS, MURKOWSKI, and HELLER. They need to hear from you!
    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) June 20, 2017

  25. Ametia says:

    Just gonna drop this TURD right here:

  26. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐 😐😐

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