Thursday Open Thread

David Sanborn week continues. I know one thing, I definitely need music a healing force.

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108 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Thanks for holding it down on Twitter, SG2!!!!!

  2. Ametia says:

    ANOTHER COONNTASTIC IDIOT Like clock work the fake dems come out of the woodwork and do the GOP’ biddinng.

    Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) added a new subliminal wrinkle to this line of thinking when, in an interview with MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, he explained Pelosi’s problem, while referring to her as “Miss Pelosi” about a zillion times:

    FORD JR.: This is nothing personal against Miss Pelosi, Mr. Hoyer, or any of them. But the reality is what Tim Ryan said, Miss Pelosi is featured in all of these ads and many of these ads, of these Democrats are running in […]

    KORNACKI: You are from Tennessee. You are from a red state. What does that communicate to voters when there’s Nancy Pelosi, and they say Nancy Pelosi and her values? What does that say?
    FORD JR.: I’m not, I’m not smart enough — we could get into it. But one thing I know, it translates into a loss in a lot of ways. Now, to your point about her insulating herself: if all of that was resulting in victories and legislation being passed on infrastructure and taxes and health care and favor the things that we Democrats want, it’s hard to quarrel with. But when that’s not happening, I think you have to be willing to have the uncomfortable conversations that need to take place now. And the reality is, Miss Pelosi was as toxic among Republicans in Georgia in that district as Mr. Trump was amongst the Democrats. The difference is, more Republicans came out and voted against Jon Ossoff and presumably what Miss Pelosi represented.

    Ford, as Kornacki noted earlier in the interview, lost the 2002 race for Democratic leader by a tally of 177-29. Maybe Nancy Pelosi ran a Nancy Pelosi ad against him.
    Ford’s arguments, such as they are, don’t make a lot of sense. As Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) pointed out, the job of a House leader is to lead the House, not to avoid being placed in Republican attack ads. Forming a national electoral strategy isn’t Pelosi’s job; it’s the job of Democratic Party campaign organizations, which didn’t pull their weight in these special elections.

    I suspect the real crux of Ford’s argument, though, is his concern about “values” and their relationship to competing in the areas he identifies. Unfortunately, he never got around to describing the Democratic values he thinks Pelosi represents poorly, and Kornacki didn’t ask. However, the conservative description of Pelosi as a “San Francisco liberal” isn’t all that hard to figure out. Neither is “Miss Pelosi.”

    What this really is about is an attempt to shift Democrats away from the values of inclusion and equality that a San Francisco liberal and first woman speaker of the House represents. And hell, maybe Ford is right. Maybe without Pelosi around their necks, Democrats could have improved more than 20 points in these districts. I mean, look how badly this Nancy Pelosi ad hurt Harold Ford Jr. when he lost his Senate bid in 2006:–lIv8

    • eliihass says:

      If any thinking Democrat ever listened to that slimy, corrupt, self-serving weasel Harold Ford jr., there’d be no Democratic Party…and no progressive gains made…And we’d all be wearing camouflage, kissing Bubba’s a*se…and saluting the confederate flag..

      He should take his slimy, transparently deceptive, greedy, grasping, can White folks please, please validate and approve of my sorry mediocre b*tt, desperately manufactured formulaic-politico and disappear…

      We were done with, and well-rid of him ages ago..Thank God!×307.jpg

    • eliihass says:

      Ametia, SG, Rikyrah…can you please delete this ⬆️⬆️…It’s a duplicate…Didn’t realize it posted as I was still making edits..

  3. Ametia says:


    • rikyrah says:


    • eliihass says:

      Self-loathing, psycopathic, massa-pleaser, with a gaping hole in his soul…I bet many in his extended family and community, will be negatively impacted by the evil shenanigans he volunteers his blackface on behalf of, to absolve and provide cover for..

      He really thinks he’s slick…

      Notice the use of the narrow, weasel words ‘binary’…and ‘affirmed’…

      When it comes to healthcare, citizens in the greatest, wealthiest country in the world should not be limited to a ‘binary’ choice between an originally well-intentioned but hobbled initiative that could be easily improved upon, and another that essentially destroys the good intention, and uses it as an opportunity to further short-change and destroy the sick and vulnerable, while sabotaging and bankrupting the original initiative to further enrich and enable profit-motivated Health Insurance companies to make-off with even more money, while screwing over the sick and providing even less coverage…and also more importantly, to give the wealthy even more tax breaks they absolutely don’t need..

      And ‘affirming’ the need for pell grants, is not the same as actually budgeting for and actually making them available…And especially not when that ‘affirming’ is coming from a well-known liar and narcissistic racist buffoon for whom everyone is merely a prop to advance and elevate himself…

      Where do the republicans find these soulless, self-loathing people of color like Tim Scott, Avik Roy, Ajit Pai etc..who will for money and a temporary position, tap and jig and do just about anything for massa…including gleefully collude with the very same massa who hates them and only exploits them and uses them to do in people who look like them..

      • Ametia says:

        Fuck Tim Scott with his “ACCESS” to healthcare BULLSHIT

        Definition of access
        a :  permission, liberty, or ability to enter, approach, or pass to and from a place or to approach or communicate with a person or thing Investigators wanted to get access to his home. consultants who have easy access to the president
        b :  freedom or ability to obtain or make use of something paying for access to the Internet
        c :  a way or means of entering or approaching A canal provides access to the river. a building that provides wheelchair access [=a way for people in wheelchairs to enter]
        d :  the act or an instance of accessing something

        We all have ACCESS to healthcare, but

        Definition of affordable

        :  able to be afforded :  having a cost that is not too high products sold at affordable prices an affordable purchase affordable housing [=housing that is not too expensive for people of limited means]


  4. Ametia says:

    King: “Alien child…”

  5. eliihass says:

    We have the republicans cowardly and greedily concurring and brazenly rolling with… and very gleefully decimating hard-won protections, alongside its ridiculous leader, – a corrupt, treasonous, Putin-propelled buffoon perched in the people’s house – and at 37% approval …

    But, the same media who won’t usually invite Democrats on to have a say, or to make a push and lay out the strong case for any number of policy issues that directly impact the electorate…in the way they give republicans a monopoly of airtime to shape, direct and dominate the conversation…

    In the thick of heartless republicans – too weaselly, too unpatriotic and too greedy, to confront the brazen, treasonous shenanigans of their very own representative impostor in the people’s house…and all while brazenly and cruelly yanking basic health care and other basic human rights from much of the electorate, and only to cater to their rich benefactors…

    This same media is now busy once again concerning themselves with what they shouldn’t be…not with the treasonous buffoon holding court over meatloaf with the nuclear codes in his hands…The media is eagerly doing the bidding of republicans by stoking unrest among Democrats…trying to distract elected Democrats from focusing on the most pressing matters on behalf of the constituents who out them in office…and providing the extra narcissists media opportunity to parade their various egos and ambitions..

    There will be time to *privately* discuss ‘leadership’…and a smooth passing of the baton in a way that does not damage the party in the short and long-term …especially by disrespecting and alienating those with much-needed institutional knowledge… this time is not it…

    There was an opportunity – missed – to effectively push back against vile political ads…You answer those swiftly with smart, well-done counter-ads reminding the republicans of the demons among – and controlling them…Money was available and plentiful enough to do both high-minded ads…and a couple of good old hard-hitting come-backs …

    And at some point, if we are ever going to win another election, Democrats will need to stop personally scheming …with each plotting, and kneecapping and undermining each other to specifically advance their own ego and political ambition…to the detriment of the party…

    And it’ll be useful also for elected Democrats to understand that preening and grandstanding at hearings may elicit cheers from easily impressed folks…but there are those of us who see through that and aren’t…

    There’s a stark difference between just plain doing ones job well – and getting it done with actual, useful, tangible results that get us to the actual goal, all while organically capturing the attention of folks…and playing to the cameras to get ones name out there… auditioning, serving up little more than the same contrived, pre-packaged, self-aggrandizing, corny offerings…and gleefully riding another manufactured wave, courtesy of the same usual raucous ‘influencers’…eager to begin the process of force-feeding us once again, their hand-picked political flavor of the season…

    Folks aren’t stupid…and just like it didn’t work last time, it won’t work again…

    Sure, all politicians are narcissists, but it’s also still very easy to differentiate between manufactured politicians playing entirely to their ambitions…and those who are focused first and most importantly, on getting the job done – and done well and delivered with the desired results – period…and not simply because it gets them the attention they crave and angle for …and so push to score contrived brownie points that inorganically ‘propel’ them to the fore…and onto that manufactured ‘fast track’ to their desired ultimate destination, the Oval Office…with a manipulated electorate dragged forcibly along..

    • Liza says:

      Well said. I’m mostly at a loss for words, just watching this horrifying train wreck in disbelief.

      • eliihass says:

        I hear you…It’s all just so exasperating..

        It’s like, will we ever learn…

        As a people…as the so-called ‘greatest’ country and democracy in the world…

      • Liza says:

        It could have been.

      • eliihass says:

        LOL…@ it could have been..

        It’s not quite over yet Liza…even if it often feels like it these days…especially when we look up and see a rambling, lying, ignorant, ridiculous orange blob being reverently addressed as ‘president’ on t.v and in print…

        Hold on with the rest of us…and let’s hope against hope, that something gives…soon..

    • eliihass says:

      But only because the bill is not wicked enough or devastating enough to the vulnerable…

      Chances are that he will still turn and vote for it…He is after all, fellow Kentuckyian McConnell’s little b*tch now…he owes McConnell…and introducing Mrs McConnell – Elaine Chao at her confirmation hearing, was just the chaser..

    • Ametia says:

      GO directly to HELL rug head, ‘STATES’ RIGHTS Rand.

    • Ametia says:

      Rug head Rand and the other 3 GOP-ers staged their announcement; it’s purely pre-meditated to cover their asses and pander to their STUPID BASE.


    • eliihass says:

      That poor person in the white pick-up minding his business..

      • Liza says:

        Doesn’t that give you chills? That could be anybody.

        • eliihass says:

          I only hope the red scooter guy is tracked down too…He and the guy in the sedan are equally liable for this awful incident..

          My mother always said to never engage or take the bait from random folks/other drivers while in traffic..

          She said to always just let them ‘win’…

          It’s better to lose 3 minutes or 5, in traffic by allowing them cut in – no matter how rudely, or how annoying…than to lose so much more…She always said to think…’this could easily get out of hand’…and then, let the agitator ‘win’..

          She always said it was God’s way of teaching us patience…And she also said, you never knew what the other driver was going through in their life…so just indulge them…let them ‘win’…

          And then get home safely, even if 5 or 10 minutes later than you’d normally..but at least safe and sound…and with your car intact..

      • Liza says:

        Your mother gave some really good advice. It’s always better to be safe.

  7. Oh God! 😢

    Police pulled her from the wheel chair….

  8. rikyrah says:

    I talked to a GOP member of Congress about what they think of angry constituent calls. Their answer was revealing.
    — Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) June 22, 2017

  9. rikyrah says:

    READ THIS: it’s amazing. Medicaid could get decimated using waiver process. With incentives to.
    You should be in shock. And then action.
    — Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) June 22, 2017

  10. Cruel beyond description. Police removing wheel chair bound people protesting Trump’s wicked healthcare bill. I feel like I watched something out of the Twilight Zone. This can’t be real?

  11. rikyrah says:

    Hey @DNC here’s your talking points catchy phrase for the AHCA. It’s not a health care bill, it’s a #wealthcarebill. You’re welcome.
    — Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@lauferlaw) June 22, 2017

  12. rikyrah says:

    Elderly people in wheelchairs outside McConnell office are being forcibly removed/arrested for protesting Republicans #HealthcareBill. #BCRA
    — The Baxter Bean (@TheBaxterBean) June 22, 2017

  13. rikyrah says:

    The Senate #HealthcareBill bill cuts BILLIONS from Medicaid, which 1.75 million #veterans use for coverage, to fund tax cuts for the rich.
    — VoteVets (@votevets) June 22, 2017

  14. rikyrah says:

    Schumer unloads on “heartless” Senate GOP health bill (via @MSNBC)
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 22, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    SCOTUS holds that naturalized citizen may not lose citizenship based on false statements that were immaterial to gaining citizenship
    — SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 22, 2017

  16. WHAT COUNTRY IS THIS? Removing wheel chair bound people objecting to a wicked healthcare bill? Make it stop!

    • eliihass says:

      There has to be a succinct, easily understood and more effective way of sharing with everyone – especially the poor deluded MAGA fools, that this will – and how it negatively affects them..

  17. rikyrah says:

    Ben Wikler‏Verified account @ benwikler 3h3 hours ago
    These Medicaid cuts are insidious. Designed to get bigger every year—so, outside window that CBO scores, they asphyxiate the program. 1/
    Right now, Medicaid is a guarantee. if you’re on Medicaid, you wake up w crushing headache, docs find brain tumor, your care is covered. 2/
    If there’s a spike in cancer—or say opioid addiction—in your state, federal funds will help cover it all. Trumpcare ends that. 3/
    Under Trumpcare, states get a fixed, capped amount of $ per person (diff amt for kids, older adults, etc). If need grows, $ doesn’t. 4/
    Medical costs have always grown faster than general rate of inflation. Under Senate Trumpcare, Medicaid caps lock to rate of inflation. 5/
    Senate Trumpcare means a giant Medicaid cut—and one that gets more vicious every passing year. Even worse during health crises. 6/
    State budgets will be crushed by a vise. As Federal Medicaid $ disappear, they’ll slash schools, roads, public safety to fill the hole 7/
    Trumpcare won’t just devastate health care. Everything your state government does is in danger. 8/
    Rural hospitals will literally close. Class sizes will rise. The only people who benefit: the wealthy who get a tax cut. 9/
    Senate Trumpcare is worse than House Trumpcare. And House Trumpcare was horrible. 10/

  18. rikyrah says:

    Democrats Should Do to McConnell What the GOP Does to Pelosi
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    June 22, 2017 8:00 AM

    The three leaders of the Republican Party right now (Trump, McConnell and Ryan) pose very different threats. The threat Trump poses as president is on obvious display for everyone but his most ardent supporters. His lies are blatant and his attacks are vicious, but childish. In many ways Trump would be forgettable in any public office other than the one he now holds. As the executive in charge of the entire federal bureaucracy and the leader of America’s foreign policy, we’re seeing how dangerous it is to have someone as mentally unbalanced as Trump in that role.

    Ryan is the only real ideologue of the group. His philosophy is rooted in the survival of the fittest as espoused by people like Ayn Rand. While that is a challenge, it is his youthful-looking sincerity as he obfuscates and lies that poses the real threat. That worked so well that most of the media even bought into the idea that he’s some kind of policy wonk with his power point nonsense.

    Mitch McConnell is no ideologue. He rose to power in the Republican ranks by raising money and defending the right to do so by any means necessary. Jordan Weismann has a pretty good run-down on the way in which McConnell poses a threat.


    Given how we’ve seen the Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare unfold, I think it is safe to say that McConnell poses a bigger threat to our democracy than Ryan. With the latter, his ideologically-based approach appeals to those who already agree with him. When he lies and obfuscates, it is possible to call him out. As a result, the American public was pretty energized in fighting back when the AHCA was making its way through the House.

    As Weismann suggests, McConnell’s approach relies on complicity from the public in order to be successful. Neither voters nor the media are willing to engage on the minutia of congressional processes to hold him accountable. That is what Mike Lofgren was on to way back in 2011. He walked through the strategy as well as why it works with both the public and the media.


    The media is never going to tackle this threat because their only tools are to lay out the process in a technical way and readers just aren’t interested. Democrats tend to either craft ideological arguments against each position or critique the process is a technical way. Neither of those ever get the public engaged in the root of the problem.

    In the wake of the special election in Georgia yesterday, there is some talk about how Karen Handel ran endless ads linking Jon Ossoff to Nancy Pelosi. As Kevin Drum pointed out so effectively, Handel wasn’t making a direct connection to the policy positions of Pelosi. What Republicans have done over the years is make the minority leader the symbol of the threat Democrats pose to conservative values.

    That made me realize that McConnell poses a threat to “people who genuinely value the tenets of democracy, meaning no more than the passionate desire to settle differences by debate and argument, rather than by power and cruelty and clan.”

    My suggestion is that Democrats should start making that argument against McConnell (which, unlike the attacks against Pelosi, has the benefit of being true). Then in 2018, every Democratic candidate for Senate could make the case that a vote for their opponent is a vote for McConnell and against our values in a democracy. This is one time when I don’t mind taking a page out of the Republican playbook.

  19. yahtzeebutterfly says:,204,203,200_.jpg

    Excerpt from article linked below:

    “It didn’t stop there. In the 1950s, following a Supreme Court decision that restricted the scope of racial covenants, an African-American veteran bought a house in a second Levitt development outside Philadelphia. A white mob formed, the house was pelted with rocks and crosses were burned on the lawn. Amazingly, the black family held out for several years before moving back to a segregated neighborhood. Rothstein sees this incident, and dozens like it, as an insidious form of de jure segregation — the failure of racially biased police and public officials to protect African-Americans from unlawful intimidation.

    “One of the great strengths of Rothstein’s account is the sheer weight of evidence he marshals. A research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, he quite simply demolishes the notion that government played a minor role in creating the racial ghettos that plague our suburbs and inner cities. Going back to the late 19th century, he uncovers a policy of de jure segregation in virtually every presidential administration, including those we normally describe as liberal on domestic issues.

    “Indeed, some of the worst offenses occurred with Franklin Roosevelt in the White House. One of his New Deal centerpieces, the Public Works Administration, built 47 public housing projects, all rigidly segregated, 17 for blacks, the rest for whites. His vaunted Tennessee Valley Authority put white employees in a “model village” of 500 homes, while blacks endured “shoddy barracks” far from their jobs. When war came, the Roosevelt administration provided housing for white defense plant workers, but only temporary, poorly constructed dwellings for black workers. The few protesters included Eleanor Roosevelt, whose pleas for fairness fell on deaf ears. The president, no friend of civil rights, argued that ending the Great Depression and winning World War ll must take precedence over divisive social issues.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    10 health insurers speak out against Medicaid cuts
    — The New York Times (@nytimes) June 22, 2017

  21. rikyrah says:

    Why Republicans don’t fear the consequences of passing a disastrous health care bill:
    — Slate (@Slate) June 22, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    6 swing states + Texas account for almost all of the gerrymandering—MI, NC, PA are consistently the most extreme.
    — Brennan Center (@BrennanCenter) June 22, 2017

  23. rikyrah says:

    Looks like the Senate bill could effectively phase out Medicaid *entirely.* via @imillhiser
    — Ned Resnikoff (@resnikoff) June 22, 2017

  24. rikyrah says:

    Pence not without options to pay legal defense bills
    Rachel Maddow follows up on previous reporting on the possibility that Mike Pence would use PAC money to pay for his legal defense noting that absent that he could also use Trump/Pence campaign money.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Concern spreads as GOP works in secret on health bill
    Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, talks with Rachel Maddow about the threat of the Republican health bill to American women’s health care.

  26. rikyrah says:

    US piecing together Russia cyber attack strategy
    Congressman Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about the effort to understand the extent and intent of the 2016 Russian election attack and preparing for what might come next.

  27. rikyrah says:

    US election officials still assessing Russian 2016 cyber attack
    Rachel Maddow looks at how the US voting system consists of thousands of individual precincts, making it harder to hack as a whole, but also more difficult to monitor and defend, making assessment of Russia’s 2016 hack tricky.

  28. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Dr. Lonnie Robert Bristow became the first Black president of the American Medical Association in 1995:

  29. rikyrah says:

    From Mayhew over at BJ:

    How to read the Senate Bill

    by David Anderson
    at 8:40 am on June 22, 2017

    The Senate healthcare and tax cut bill is expected to drop in a few cups of coffee. There are a ton of rumors floating around. Here is a cheat sheet on how to read it.

    1) Reconciliation places severe constraints on the bill
    a) The Parliamentarian is most likely going to be stripping out significant non-germane to the budget items
    b) $1 billion in savings must come from each of two committees (HELP and Finance)
    c) Anything the Senate passes must meet or beat the $119 billion in budget window deficit reduction that the House AHCA was scored at.

    2) Three major pots of money

    a) Tax cuts
    b) Individual market changes
    c) Medicaid cuts to pay for tax cuts

    3) Follow the money
    Any extra dollar used to pay for a slower Medicaid termination has to come from either Medicaid on the back-end, fewer tax cuts or lower individual market changes. Anything used to up subsidies on the individual market has to come from itself, faster/steeper Medicaid cuts or fewer tax cuts. Anything that ups the tax cuts must come from the individual market or Medicaid…etc.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Trump White House is trying to get House GOP to water down the new Russia sanctions bill that passed the Senate 98-2
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 22, 2017

  31. rikyrah says:

    Colbert: “GOP has set July 4 as deadline to gut Obamacare. So if you’re going to blow off your fingers with fireworks, do it on July 3.”
    — Roger Simon (@politicoroger) June 22, 2017

  32. rikyrah says:

    Everything the GOP pretended to hate about Obamacare is WORSE in Trumpcare, except the real reason they hate Obamacare — it taxes the rich.
    — LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) June 22, 2017

  33. rikyrah says:

    @RepTimRyan focus pls; Dems have few days to save Obamacare; energy of ALL Dems is needed 2 pushback vs corrupt gop & devastating #Trumpcare
    — Linda Kyambadde (@globalcitizenln) June 22, 2017

  34. rikyrah says:

    CNN: Intel chiefs Coats and Rogers tell investigators Trump suggested they publicly refute collusion with Russians.
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 22, 2017

    Coats and Rogers described interactions with Trump about Russia “as odd and uncomfortable”, did not believe Trump ordered them to interfere.
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 22, 2017

    “Both men told Mueller’s team they were surprised the President would suggest that they publicly declare he was not involved in collusion.”
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 22, 2017

    “One source said that Trump wanted [Coats and Rogers] to say publicly…that he was not under investigation for collusion.”
    — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 22, 2017

  35. rikyrah says:

    Trump loves to talk about his TIME covers—was reportedly annoyed when Bannon got one
    New cover: Special Counsel Mueller: “The Lie Detector”
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 22, 2017

  36. rikyrah says:

    40 seconds to death: The horrifying truth of Philando Castile’s killing
    Dashcam video shows Officer Jeronimo Yanez took less than a minute to decide that Philando Castile had to die

    The dashcam video of Philando Castile’s public execution was finally released, days after the acquittal of his killer, Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer, on charges of felony manslaughter and reckless discharge of a weapon.

    Castile was shot by Yanez almost a year ago, on July 6, 2016. Many remember the incident vividly because Diamond Reynolds, Castile’s girlfriend, live-streamed a huge part of the disturbing tragedy on Facebook.

    The dashcam video shows Castile’s car pulling over and coming to a complete stop. Yanez exits his vehicle and approaches the driver’s side of Castile’s car. He tells Castile, who is calm and wearing a seat belt, that the car’s brake light is out, before asking for Castile’s license and insurance documentation. Castile reaches for his paperwork and properly informs Yanez that he has a weapon.

  37. rikyrah says:

    WEDNESDAY, JUN 21, 2017 11:00 AM CDT
    No regrets for Trump voters: The media needs to stop looking for buyer’s remorse
    Psychological research shows people are too tribal and afraid to admit they were wrong to regret their votes

    What’s it going to take to get Donald Trump’s supporters to see the light? It’s a question on the minds of not only liberals but also anyone who still cherishes our democracy, and it grows more intense as evidence piles up of corruption and even suspicions of criminal activity by members of the Trump administration. Indeed, waiting and watching for signs of buyer’s remorse among Trump supporters has become a minor cottage industry within the mainstream media, with reporters and TV anchors displaying an almost pornographic interest in watching the mental hoops that Trump voters will go through so as to stand by their man.

    “Trump voters want jobs. Not noise about Russia,” reads a May 16 headline from CNN. A June 7 Vox headline notes that Trump voters are “disappointed” but “still voting Republican.” After the congressional hearing with former FBI Director James Comey, CNN held an on-air focus group of Trump voters and correspondent Gary Tuchman could barely contain his surprise at how they had not budged one bit from believing Trump was a good guy.

    When will these people see? Those of us who are not in the cult of Trump keep tuning in to find out. How many times does he have to admit to obstructing justice in public? How many angry, incoherent tweets about the investigation before his guilty-acting behavior gets to them? How long do we have to wait for Trump’s biggest fans to call their friends and apologize for their votes?

    Well, folks are going to have to keep on waiting because the answer to the question of when Trump voters will come around is somewhere between “a long, long time from now” and more likely “never.” Don’t be fooled by news stories for which journalists have dug up the occasional person who was willing to say he or she was wrong to vote for Trump. Those people are the exceptions, not the rule. Don’t be fooled by polls that show his approval ratings slipping; he’s losing only people who didn’t like him that much to begin with. Meanwhile, that quarter to a third of Americans who love him now will likely stay with him to the bitter end.

    And those who do change their minds about Trump? Most will never admit it but will move seamlessly into pretending they were never that into him in the first place.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Trump defends economic team: ‘I just don’t want a poor person’
    06/22/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    After last fall’s presidential election, as Donald Trump’s team took shape, it was hard not to notice that the new administration would be led in part by several Wall Street billionaires. Last night, the Trump campaign hosted a rally in Iowa, where the president shed some light on his perspective.

    “So somebody said, ‘Why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy,” Trump said to a group of his supporters at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. “I said, ‘Because that’s the kind of thinking we want … because they’re representing the country. They don’t want the money.”

    “And I love all people – rich or poor – but in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person,” Trump continued.

    As the Washington Post’s report added, in context, “those particular positions” referred to Trump’s secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross, whom he called a “the legendary Wall Street genius,” and Gary Cohn, his economic council director who was the president of Goldman Sachs – a title that Trump repeated four times.


    What’s more, note the underlying assumption behind the boasts: the president genuinely seems to believe that it’s just common sense to put Wall Street millionaires and billionaires “in charge of the economy” – because they’re Wall Street millionaires and billionaires.

    Trump doesn’t “want a poor person” in a position of authority, because in his mind, a poor person must be incompetent. Otherwise, as the president sees it, he or she wouldn’t poor.

    It was an unscripted peek into Trump-brand populism: rich people should be seen as smart, Wall Street insiders should be seen as capable, Goldman Sachs must be synonymous with expertise, and it’s best to be skeptical of poor people.

  39. rikyrah says:

    After tough talk, Trump is poised to deliver for the drug industry
    06/21/17 12:51 PM—UPDATED 06/21/17 01:42 PM
    By Steve Benen
    One of the few key areas on which Donald Trump broke with Republican Party orthodoxy was lowering prices on prescription drugs. In fact, shortly before taking office, he complained bitterly about the pharmaceutical industry’s powerful lobbyists, and said drug companies are “getting away with murder.”

    For some on the left, this offered at least some hope that the Trump administration would be progressive on the issue, though those hopes faded soon after the president took office. In late January, Trump reversed course, saying he no longer wanted to use the government’s buying power to lower costs, denouncing such a policy as “price fixing.”

    Vox explained at the time that the White House’s approach appeared to amount to little more than “lowering taxes” and “getting rid of regulations.”

    That turned out to be exactly right. Five months later, the New York Times reports on a draft of an executive order the president intends to sign on drug prices that “appears to give the pharmaceutical industry much of what it has asked for.”

  40. rikyrah says:

    The underappreciated detail about Nancy Pelosi’s public standing
    06/21/17 04:03 PM
    By Steve Benen

    About a month ago, when Republicans were quite concerned about losing special elections in Montana and Georgia, the GOP leaders made no secret about their plan to prevail: they’d just keep complaining about Nancy Pelosi and count on conservative voters to have the conditioned, knee-jerk response.

    “I think we’ll see if it works,” NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) said. “I believe it still works.”

    And despite four congressional special elections in which Dems easily outpaced last year’s Democratic performance in red districts in red states, there’s apparently a growing consensus that the House Minority Leader has become a political problem for her party. NBC News wrote this morning, “Democrats have to admit they have a Pelosi problem.”

    Politico reports today some on Capitol Hill are drawing the same conclusion

    There is no challenge to Pelosi’s leadership, and none is going to happen at this point, said numerous Democrats. But it’s clear frustration is growing with the longtime Democratic leader following the extensive losses Democrats have suffered over the past half-decade.

    And the fact that Republicans spent millions of dollars on TV ads tying Democratic hopeful Jon Ossoff to Pelosi – and the brand of progressive policies she represents – shows that she will once again be an issue for Democratic challengers in the very districts that the party needs to win to make her speaker again.

    Some Democrats want to replace Pelosi atop their caucus, as they have since last November’s poor showing at the polls; they say there is no way to get back in the majority with her as their leader. And others who backed her in last year’s leadership challenge have now flipped their stance.

    While I don’t know the degree to which that’s true, it’s plainly obvious that for much of the right, the House Democratic leader is effectively a culture-war totem. We don’t see multi-million-dollar ad campaigns attempting to tie various candidates to Chuck Schumer; we never really saw comparable attacks featuring Harry Reid; and we’re long past the point at which connecting Dems to Barack Obama would be effective; but Nancy Pelosi, for reasons that deserve quite a bit more scrutiny, remains the villain of choice for Republicans and their allies to bash with glee.

    There’s just one salient detail that gets overlooked amid this discussion.

    Less than a month ago, Quinnipiac released the results of a national poll, which included gauging public attitudes on congressional leaders. The results showed Nancy Pelosi with 30% favorable rating and a 50% unfavorable rating.

    And while numbers like those won’t win any popularity contests, the same poll showed House Speaker Paul Ryan with a 27% favorable rating and a 54% unfavorable rating.

  41. rikyrah says:

    I have read the story, and it still makes no phucking sense to me.
    THE PHUCK????

    Michael Flynn was present for weeks of daily CIA briefings, despite concerns that he was vulnerable to blackmail

    — The New York Times (@nytimes) June 21, 2017

  42. rikyrah says:

    Trump: I’m gonna intro legislation so new immigrants can’t get welfare for 5 years
    (It’s been the law for 21 years)
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 22, 2017

    This has been the law since 1996. It was signed by Bill Clinton.
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 22, 2017

  43. rikyrah says:

    For accuracy’s sake, let’s go a bit further. The ACA actually limits undocumented immigrants from receiving many of its benefits.
    — Craig Garthwaite (@C_Garthwaite) June 22, 2017

    And to be clear: ACA doesn’t require providing care to undocumented immigrants. Some counties chose to do it anyway.
    — Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) June 22, 2017

    Some undocumented *do* get access and free care. But overall, they get much less than their counterparts.
    — Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) June 22, 2017

  44. rikyrah says:

    Want to know what GOP’s Medicaid cuts would do to poor people?
    This letter from insurers is really striking:
    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 22, 2017

    Interesting how “repeal” has become “reshape.” cc @philipaklein
    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 22, 2017

    AP sources: Senate GOP health bill would reshape Obama law (from @AP)
    — DonnaCassataAP (@DonnaCassataAP) June 22, 2017

    RESHAPE must be a Frank Luntz focus group approved word.

  45. rikyrah says:

    George Clooney’s Tequila Company Sold for Up to $1 Billion
    By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED
    JUNE 21, 2017

    George Clooney is an award-winning actor, a new father and a world-class prankster.

    Now he can add “start-up founder who hit the jackpot” to his résumé.

    Casamigos, the tequila brand that Mr. Clooney founded with his friends Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman in 2013, said Wednesday that it had sold itself to the spirits giant Diageo. The deal values the company at up to $1 billion: $700 million in cash upfront and up to $300 million more if it hits sales targets over the next decade.

    “If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion-dollar company, I don’t think we would have said yes,” Mr. Clooney said in a statement. “This reflects Diageo’s belief in our company and our belief in Diageo.”

    The transaction makes Mr. Clooney one of the most successful celebrity investors around.

  46. rikyrah says:

    Vote is as soon as next week and the only people who have seen this garbage bill are the lobbyists.

    — Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) June 21, 2017

  47. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐 😐😐

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