Wednesday Open Thread | Mark Warner: Treasury’s financial crimes unit has handed over 2,000+ pages of docs to Senate Intel Cmte

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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89 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Mark Warner: Treasury’s financial crimes unit has handed over 2,000+ pages of docs to Senate Intel Cmte

  1. Did Van Jones really say that about Russia? “The Russia thing is just a big nothingburger” .

    Say it ain’t so?

  2. rikyrah says:

    Here is a new summary of the health bill the Senate is considering passing.
    RT if helpful.
    — Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) June 27, 2017

  3. rikyrah says:

    Fox News host argues stripping coverage from millions is no biggie since “we’re all going to die”
    — ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) June 28, 2017

  4. rikyrah says:

    Texas made $350 million in Medicaid cuts, leaving special needs kids without speech, occupational & physical therapy
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 28, 2017

  5. rikyrah says:

    Protesters are being arrested outside of Sen. Pat Toomey’s office as they chant “kill the bill, don’t kill me.”#ProtectOurCare
    — Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) June 28, 2017

  6. rikyrah says:

    We Don’t Let Black Boys and Girls Be Children
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    June 28, 2017 12:29 PM

    In the Trump era, we’ve been reminded that outright hatred of African Americans still exists. White nationalists like Richard Spencer have been given a platform, and some even occupy high level positions in the White House.

    But we also can’t dismiss the way that racism infects the entire culture in a way that can affect all of us. The phrase “unconscious bias” is being used lately to describe that form of racism. Recent research explains one of the ways it is manifest.

    The report from Georgetown University law school’s Center on Poverty and Inequality, released Tuesday, found that black girls, particularly those age 5 to 14, are seen as more sexually mature and know more about adult topics than white girls in the same peer group. The result, authors Rebecca Epstein, Jamilia J. Blake and Thalia Gonzalez wrote, is that black girls experience “adultification,” and are not afforded the same childhood benefits as whites.

    “What we found is that adults see black girls as less innocent and less in need of protection as white girls of the same age,” Epstein, the center’s executive director, wrote in a statement…

    “Ultimately, adultification is a form of dehumanization, robbing black children of the very essence of what makes childhood distinct from all other developmental periods: innocence,” the authors wrote. “Adultification contributes to a false narrative that black youths’ transgressions are intentional and malicious, instead of the result of immature decision-making—a key characteristic of childhood.”

    • vitaminlover says:

      This is why I made every effort to make sure my daughters could be children during their childhoods. I didn’t let them ‘grow up too fast’ . Children should be children and this includes our little boys.

      • vitaminlover says:

        Also, to this day, they will cuddle up with me and their dad. We hug them still and tell them “I love you”. They get called spoiled but we call it love and care.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Governors Led the Revolt Against the GOP Health Care Bill
    by Martin Longman
    June 28, 2017 9:46 AM

    In the New York Times, reporter Alexander Burns does a nice job of detailing how a bipartisan group of governors, led by Republican John Kasich of Ohio and Democrat John Hickenlooper of Colorado, teamed up to kill (for now, at least) Mitch McConnell’s effort to pass a health care reform bill that would cripple Medicaid and leave tens of millions of Americans medically uninsured. The most significant thing I learned in reading the piece is that the governors hatched their plot way back in February, long before they had any way of knowing the details of what would be in the House or Senate versions of the bill or how the process would proceed.

    Mr. Hickenlooper said in an interview that he and Mr. Kasich had agreed to team up after a February meeting of the governors’ association in Washington, where state leaders heard an alarming presentation about the potential consequences of a federal pullback in health care.

    Within weeks, Mr. Hickenlooper said, both Mr. Kasich and Mr. Sandoval had sought his help in taking on their own party. Mr. Kasich, the Colorado governor recalled, expressed confidence that he could find other Republicans who would “take a pretty strong stand that coverage shouldn’t be rolled back.”

    A tentative game plan emerged: They would assemble a nimble, informal group of governors, from the right and left of center, who would publicly express concern about health care legislation drafted in the House and Senate. The governors would press for a slower, less disruptive and more public legislative process, and insist on protections for states that had greatly expanded their Medicaid rolls.

    Joining Mr. Kasich and Mr. Sandoval on the Republican side was Mr. [Charlie] Baker [of Massachusetts]. On the Democratic side, Mr. Hickenlooper recruited Steve Bullock of Montana, John Bel Edwards of Louisiana and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania.

    Whatever was in that presentation must have been compelling, and it must have been easy even in February to read that Medicaid would be on the chopping block of any foreseeable bill. Therefore, before anything really happened in Congress, the governors already knew that they’d be able to criticize both the House and Senate versions of the bill, and to criticize the secretive and hasty process.

    What’s also interesting is that this bipartisan group of governors is united in thinking that the Democrats ought to be central to any reforms.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Mitch McConnell’s Sinister Role in the Russian Hacks
    With the normalization of Trump’s antics, it is unfortunately all too easy to overlook the sheer rottenness of Mitch McConnell.

    by Mike Lofgren
    June 28, 2017

    Recently, I broached the “T” word (treason) with respect to Donald Trump’s actions. Strange and wonderful to relate, the heavens did not fall and lightning did not strike, regardless of the Polynesian taboo that seems to prevail in polite society. (At most, the prestige media will venture with the tiresome word “collusion,” which is unfortunate, because there is no legal sanction against collusion; the word they are looking for is “conspiracy.”)

    This chasteness on the part of enlightened opinion follows from the unspoken assumption of good faith on everybody’s part unless there is overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence to the contrary—and sometimes not even then. But a glance at American history shows that accusations of treason, and even the overt deed, have been inextricably bound up with our politics.

    Every school child has heard of Benedict Arnold, whose mischief imperiled the very birth of the republic. The founders were terrified of potential sympathy for monarchical Britain or revolutionary France, and Washington’s farewell address was a fervent admonition against “a passionate attachment of one nation for another,” which be believed “produces a variety of evils.”


    But what about a persona as different from Trump as oatmeal from a Serrano pepper? Unlike the presumed novice Trump, Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. has been a U.S. senator since 1985, and has served as the majority or minority leader since 2007. This means that for the last 10 years, McConnell has been briefed on the most sensitive national security issues, topics not accessible even to other senators; he is no tyro on national security matters.

    In October, we began hearing rumors that McConnell directly or indirectly threatened Obama that he would make it a partisan issue if the administration went public with the full extent of what it knew about Russian interference in the presidential election. A month after the election, the Washington Post published what should have been a bombshell, but was surprisingly disregarded at the time.

    In the the Post’s account, in September the administration sent James Comey, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and Lisa Monaco, Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, to Capitol Hill to brief congressional leadership plus the chairmen and ranking members of the two intelligence committees.

    “According to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”

    Now, eight months since the election, the Post has published the fullest account to date on the Obama administration’s discovery of the Russian hacking and its early, fumbling attempts to respond. It reiterates the Republican role in pushing back against the revelation of Russian interference, and McConnell’s role in particular:

    The meeting devolved into a partisan squabble.

    “The Dems were, ‘Hey, we have to tell the public,’” recalled one participant. But Republicans resisted, arguing that to warn the public that the election was under attack would further Russia’s aim of sapping confidence in the system.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went further, officials said, voicing skepticism that the underlying intelligence truly supported the White House’s claims. Through a spokeswoman, McConnell declined to comment, citing the secrecy of that meeting.

    Key Democrats were stunned by the GOP response and exasperated that the White House seemed willing to let Republican opposition block any pre-election move.

    While it is frustrating that Obama seemed to handcuff himself into avoiding aggressive action, and that he even appeared to fall for Republicans’ “concern trolling” that going public with the allegations would somehow play into Putin’s hands, there is no question that the villain in this saga was McConnell.

  9. rikyrah says:

    From BalloonJuice:

    Brachiator says:
    June 28, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Would explain why WH and GOP have resorted to outright lying to push the approach of the House and Senate bills.

    Here’s the thing. Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare with something that would be better and continue all the best aspects of ACA. Later, Trump promised or implied that Medicaid would not be touched. The GOP leadership never promised the same thing.

    And of course, now the GOP is emphasizing how Obamacare is going to collapse any day now, and they are using this to signal a false sense of urgency in getting the bill passed.

    The Koch Brothers and their ilk want this thing passed ASAP because they want to see the net investment income tax surcharge and the additional Medicare tax repealed, so that when the inevitable tax reform bill comes up later this year, all the increased taxes on upper income taxpayers will have been eliminated. As a bonus, Medicaid will have been scaled back tremendously. And ultimately, the health insurance market will become unfair, inefficient and generally shitty again.

    So, yeah, outright lying is absolutely necessary. And the dash for cash for a few pet projects to secure the vote.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Public support for Republican health care plan reaches new depths
    06/28/17 01:12 PM—UPDATED 06/28/17 02:29 PM
    By Steve Benen

    The Kaiser Family Foundation has been publishing regular reports on the Affordable Care Act’s public support for several years, and last week, it found something new. For the first time, a narrow majority of the country – 51%, to be exact – expressed a favorable view of the health care reform law. This is roughly in line with other polling showing “Obamacare” reaching new heights in popularity in recent months.

    It’s against this backdrop that Republicans are trying to replace an increasingly popular law with a strikingly unpopular alternative.

    Just 12% of Americans support the Senate Republican health care plan, a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll finds, amid a roiling debate over whether the GOP will deliver on its signature promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

    In the survey, taken Saturday through Tuesday, a 53% majority say Congress should either leave the law known as Obamacare alone or work to fix its problems while keeping its framework intact.

  11. rikyrah says:

    How the debate over pesticides unfolds in Donald Trump’s ‘swamp’
    06/28/17 10:47 AM—UPDATED 06/28/17 11:02 AM
    By Steve Benen


    The Trump administration’s top environmental official met privately with the chief executive of Dow Chemical shortly before reversing his agency’s push to ban a widely used pesticide after health studies showed it can harm children’s brains, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s schedule shows he met with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris on March 9 for about a half hour at a Houston hotel.

    About three weeks later, Pruitt ignored the findings of his own agency’s chemical safety experts to allow the use of Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide on food. The AP’s report added that EPA scientists concluded “ingesting even minuscule amounts of the chemical can interfere with the brain development of fetuses and infants.”

    A spokesperson for Pruitt’s agency said that when he spoke to Dow Chemical’s CEO, the two did not discuss the pending decision on the pesticide. The timing, apparently, is supposed to be seen as a coincidence.

    A separate AP report noted in April, “Dow Chemical chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris is a close adviser to President Donald Trump. The company wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite Trump’s inaugural festivities…. When Trump signed an executive order in February mandating the creation of task forces at federal agencies to roll back government regulations, Dow’s chief executive was at Trump’s side.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s embrace of ‘fake news’ takes an embarrassing turn
    06/28/17 10:21 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump boasted a few months ago that “nobody” has been on the cover of Time magazine more than him. He made a similar claim, for reasons that still aren’t clear, at CIA headquarters two months earlier. The assertion isn’t even close to being true – Richard Nixon holds the record – but the president just keeps repeating it anyway.

    It’s possible, however, that Trump actually believes he set the record because he counts fictional Time magazine covers that feature his face. The latest gem from the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold ran yesterday:

    The framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least five of President Trump’s clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.

    “Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” the big headline said. Above the Time nameplate, there was another headline in all caps: “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS … EVEN TV!”

    This cover – dated March 1, 2009 – looks like an impressive memento from Trump’s pre-presidential career. To club members eating lunch, or golfers waiting for a pro-shop purchase, it seemed to be a signal that Trump had always been a man who mattered. Even when he was just a reality TV star, Trump was the kind of star who got a cover story in Time.

    It is, however, a fake. It’s not clear who made the bogus cover, or whether Trump realized it’s a fake or not, but a spokesperson for the company that publishes the magazine confirmed it’s not real. That cover didn’t exist on that or any other date.

  13. rikyrah says:

    FYI, the Senate Finance Office is tallying calls from people who want a public hearing of the healthcare bill: (202)224-4515. It’s v. easy.

    Heather & Jessica (@fuggirls) June 27, 2017

    Just say you’re calling to be added to the tally of people who want a public hearing for the healthcare bill and they’ll take your zip code.

    Heather & Jessica (@fuggirls) June 27, 2017

  14. rikyrah says:

    New Jersey mother tweets out $231,000 hospital bill for 2-year-old son amid health care debate
    — New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 28, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    New Quinnipiac poll:
    —Just 16% of Americans approve of GOP health plan; 58% disapprove
    —29% approve of Trump’s handling of health care
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 28, 2017

  16. rikyrah says:

    Admits Russians meddled with election. Reveals he intimidated Comey. Bullied media. Again. Today. Why APPEASE Trump?
    — Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) June 28, 2017

  17. rikyrah says:

    Kellyanne Conway: Those on Medicaid who will lose health insurance can always get jobs
    — CNBC (@CNBC) June 26, 2017

    As someone who works in a nursing home, please explain how ppl 65-100 (yes someone here is 100) w/ dementia will work?
    — Beauty in Color (@PoCBeauty) June 28, 2017

  18. rikyrah says:

    In 2018, your constituents will ‘choose’ not to vote for you.
    This isn’t a healthcare bill, it’s a death sentence to those most in need.
    — David Yankovich (@DavidYankovich) June 28, 2017
    Paul Ryan: 22 million Americans won’t be ‘pushed off’ insurance — they will ‘choose’ not to buy it
    — Raw Story (@RawStory) June 27, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:

    Obama Crushes Trump By A Huge 24 Point Margin As Americans Long For Effective Leadership
    — #TheResistance (@SocialPowerOne1) June 28, 2017

  20. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    USF’s ‘Black Pulp!’ and ‘Woke!’ exhibits reframe African-American representation

    While probably coined by Erykah Badu in 2008 in her song Master Teacher, “woke” and “stay woke” became closely affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement after the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. That event prompted artists William Villalongo and Mark Thomas Gibson to curate “Black Pulp!” and “Woke!,” now on view at the University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum.

    The two exhibitions are presented in separate galleries. “Black Pulp!” takes you on a journey of African-American history through print media. “Woke!,” which features Villalongo’s and Gibson’s artwork, picks up today.
    “Chillin’ with Liberty,” 1998

  21. eliihass says:

    We all know it is Warren…but are you going to just point it out, then take it …or will you outrightly reject it and put your money where your mouth is, and actually help fight it so that those who desperately need the services that are to be cut to provide said relief for the rich, don’t have to contend with the awful fate this portends..

    “…Warren Buffett is attacking the Republican Party’s plans to repeal and replace ObamaCare, claiming bills in the House and Senate would provide tax cuts for the rich.

    Legislation passed by the House, he said, should be called “Relief for the Rich Act.”

    Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the country, claimed his tax bill would have been reduced by $679,999, or 17 percent, from the House bill.

    “There’s nothing ambiguous about that. I will be given a 17 percent tax cut. And the people it’s directed at are couples with $250,000 or more of income. You could entitle this, you know, Relief for the Rich Act or something,” he said in an interview with PBS.

    Buffett also suggested that the bill would give many lawmakers a tax cut.

    The annual salaries for lawmakers are much lower, he noted, at around $174,000 a year.

    “But most of them have — if you look at the disclosures, they have substantial other income,” he said.

    “If they get to higher than $250,000, as a married couple, or $200,000 as a single person, they have given themselves a big, big tax cut, if they — if they voted for this.”

  22. eliihass says:

    “…More than 15,000 Americans were losing their jobs each day in June 2009, as the US struggled to climb out of a painful recession following its worst financial crisis in decades.

    But Jay Sekulow, who is now an attorney to Donald Trump, had a private jet to finance. His law firm was expecting a $3m payday. And six-figure contracts for members of his family needed to be taken care of.

    Documents obtained by the Guardian show Sekulow that month approved plans to push poor and jobless people to donate money to his Christian nonprofit, which since 2000 has steered more than $60m to Sekulow, his family and their businesses.

    Telemarketers for the nonprofit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (Case), were instructed in contracts signed by Sekulow to urge people who pleaded poverty or said they were out of work to dig deep for a “sacrificial gift”.

    “I can certainly understand how that would make it difficult for you to share a gift like that right now,” they told retirees who said they were on fixed incomes and had “no extra money” – before asking if they could spare “even $20 within the next three weeks”.

    In addition to using tens of millions of dollars in donations to pay Sekulow, his wife, his sons, his brother, his sister-in-law, his niece and nephew and their firms, Case has also been used to provide a series of unusual loans and property deals to the Sekulow family.

    “This is all highly unusual, and it gives an appearance of conflicts of interest that any nonprofit should want to avoid,” said Daniel Borochoff, the president of CharityWatch, a Chicago-based group that monitors nonprofits.

    Sekulow, 61, is the president of Case and the chief counsel of its sister organization, the American Center for Legal Justice (ACLJ). He has become one of Trump’s most vocal defenders since joining the team of attorneys representing the president amid investigations into possible ties between his campaign and Russia.

    Sekulow did not respond to a series of detailed questions from the Guardian.

    Sekulow is an ally of the conservative televangelist Pat Robertson and made his name in Washington by fighting against abortion rights and efforts to legalise same-sex marriage.

    He founded Case in 1988 to build on a successful appearance at the US supreme court on behalf of the group Jews For Jesus, after an earlier career as a real estate attorney ended in bankruptcy and legal disputes. Sekulow has gone on to use Case as a platform for legal action to defend Christians against perceived encroachments on their rights.

    Case raises tens of millions of dollars a year, much of it in small amounts from Christians who receive direct appeals for money over the telephone or in the mail. The telemarketing contracts obtained by the Guardian show how fundraisers were instructed by Sekulow to deliver bleak warnings about topics including abortion, Sharia law and Barack Obama.

    “It’s time to let the president know that his vision of America is obscured and represents a dangerous threat to the Judea-Christian [sic] values that have been the cornerstone of our republic,” one script from 2015 said.

    A 2013 script warned listeners that Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, promised to give Planned Parenthood federal funding to open abortion referral clinics “in your child’s or grandchild’s middle school or high school”.

    Sekulow has assured supporters that his organization “does not charge” for its services. “We are dependent on God and the resources He provides through the gifts of people who share our vision,” he wrote in a letter sent to contributors.

    For years, the nonprofits have made a notable amount of payments to Sekulow and his family, which were first reported by Since 2000, a law firm co-owned by Sekulow, the Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group, has been paid more than $25m by the nonprofits for legal services. During the same period, Sekulow’s company Regency Productions, which produces his talk radio show, was paid $11.3m for production services.

    Sekulow also personally received other compensation totalling $3.3m. Pam Sekulow, his wife, has been paid more than $1.2m in compensation for serving as treasurer and secretary of Case.

    Sekulow’s brother, Gary, the chief operating officer of the nonprofits, has been paid $9.2m in salary and benefits by them since 2000. Gary Sekulow has stated in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filings that he works 40 hours per week – the equivalent of a full-time job – for each of the nonprofits. Filers are told to specify if any of the hours were spent on work for “related organizations”. He does not.

    Meanwhile, a company run by Gary’s wife, Kim Sekulow, has received $6.2m since 2000 in fees for media production services and for the lease of a private jet, which it owned jointly with Jay Sekulow’s company Regency Productions. The jet was made available for the use of Jay and Pam Sekulow, according to corporate filings.

    Jay’s two sons, and Gary’s son and daughter, have also shared at least $1.7m in compensation for work done for the nonprofits since 2000.

    Federal law bars insiders at a nonprofit from receiving “excess benefit”, which is defined as payment exceeding the fair market value for goods or services the insider provides. If the IRS finds that an excess benefit has been paid, the recipient may be fined 200% of the benefit’s value, and the nonprofit could be stripped of its valuable tax-exempt status.

    “I can’t imagine this situation being acceptable,” said Arthur Rieman, managing attorney at the California-based Law Firm for Nonprofits. “That kind of money is practically unheard of in the nonprofit world, and these kinds of transactions I could never justify.”

    The way Sekulow’s nonprofits are set up may obscure how much money goes to his family, according to some experts.

    In addition to receiving payments for salaries and contracts, the Sekulows have also entered into a series of unusual financial agreements and property deals with their own nonprofits.

    The Sekulows also received assistance from Case in their accommodation. A townhouse in Washington bought by Case with $1.5m in contributions from its supporters has been used as a residence by Sekulow’s son Jordan, who is a director of the nonprofit. Jordan and his wife remain registered to vote at the property.

    For several years, Case leased yet another property it owned to Jay Sekulow’s parents. Case accounts said Sekulow’s parents paid the nonprofit $1,550 per month to rent the unidentified house, based on an estimate of “fair market rates”.

    Legal experts said the arrangements raised questions…said Jeffrey Tenenbaum, a Washington-based attorney who represents nonprofits….“Generally speaking, that would usually create significant risk of private inurement and impermissible private benefit.”

  23. eliihass says:

    “…The U.S. commerce secretary was cut off in mid-speech during a video feed to an event hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, underscoring how German patience with attacks on the country’s trade surplus is fraying.

    Attendees at the Christian Democratic Union’s business conference in Berlin laughed and clapped when organizers faded out Wilbur Ross after about 20 minutes for overstepping his time limit. Merkel, who had been craning her neck on the podium to watch Ross speak on a screen behind her, then took the floor to close out the evening.

    “That was the U.S. secretary of commerce, who had promised us a 10-minute statement,” Werner M. Bahlsen, head of the CDU Economic Council, told the audience Tuesday evening. “As you saw, he spoke a bit slowly, so it took a bit longer. Now we look forward to the chancellor’s speech.”

    Ross’s comments included renewed criticism of Germany’s trade surplus with the U.S., which President Donald Trump has used repeatedly to pillory Europe’s biggest economy. The episode hints at growing tension over trade and challenges such as climate change ahead a Group of 20 summit next week in Hamburg, where Merkel will host Trump and his global peers. German officials said earlier that Ross had canceled a trip to Berlin to address the meeting in person.

  24. Liza says:

    "It's okay to be racist in Israel today," Israeli activist Vardi says. "It's okay to say, 'Yes, Jews are better.'"— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 28, 2017


  25. rikyrah says:

    Here’s Trump threatening to use his powers as POTUS against Amazon because he doesn’t like WaPo reporting about him:
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 28, 2017

    Trump on Amazon: “If I become president, oh do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems”. • $AMZN
    — CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) February 26, 2016

    —Amazon pays taxes
    —Amazon collects state sales tax
    —There’s no internet tax
    —WaPo exposed Trump’s fake TIME covers
    —POTUS threatens company
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 28, 2017

  26. rikyrah says:

    Ron Johnson just said Rs will buy off moderates with a bit of added money.
    If so, their criticisms were lies:
    — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 28, 2017

  27. rikyrah says:

    I love y’all, but don’t sleep now. These bastards have no qualms springing up a different bill on July 5th w/o a CBO score. Keep pressuring!
    — Charles Clymer🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) June 27, 2017

    • eliihass says:

      “…The Russian foreign ministry has denied reports that its ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, is being recalled, even as plans for his departure are under way in Washington.

      The US-Russia Business Council in Washington confirmed on Monday it was hosting a farewell dinner on July 11 for Kislyak, who has become a controversial figure for his contacts with senior members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US presidential election.

      However, the Russian foreign ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, posted a statement on Facebook saying it was up to Vladimir Putin to decide whether to recall Kislyak to Moscow and appoint a successor, and that the process would take many months from the time a decision was made.

      “And if a decision is made to name a new ambassador to the United States … then Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, who has worked in the United States for nine years, will go down in the history of bilateral relations as a person who did everything to develop them even in the most complicated circumstances,” Zakharova said.

      Diplomats in Washington had been expecting Kislyak’s departure for some time. He had been tipped to take the top counter-terrorist job at the UN, but that was given to another Russian official, Vladimir Voronkov.

      Instead it was reported on Sunday, first by BuzzFeed News, that Kislyak would be going to back to Moscow, at a time when he is a central figure in the investigations into Trump links to the Kremlin.

      His contacts with Michael Flynn, the administration’s initial national security adviser, ultimately led Flynn to resign; and the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, came under fire during recent Senate hearings for his own undisclosed meetings with the ambassador during the campaign.

      Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is also reported to have met Kislyak, during the transition in December, and discussed setting up a secret back channel to Moscow…”

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:


    • Ametia says:


  28. Because he’s a vile racist bigot occupying the Oval Office.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Never forget this is not normal in a democracy. Presidents don’t crow over the firing of journalists. The offlce used to have more dignity.
    — Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) June 27, 2017

  30. rikyrah says:

    Police officer tickets Black man for made-up law of not having ID while walking
    — Boing Boing (@BoingBoing) June 27, 2017

    • Liza says:

      Now is the right time to get rid of the police officer. He needs to be FIRED. These are the red flag moments that indicate a particular person is not suited to be a cop.

  31. rikyrah says:

    GA-6 voter turnout data now final: Democrats benefit from big turnout, esp among young voters, but it wasn’t enough
    — Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) June 26, 2017

  32. rikyrah says:

    Experts say GA’s voting system is unreliable. Our voting machines are out of date and there is no paper trail.
    — New Georgia Project (@NewGAProject) June 27, 2017

  33. rikyrah says:

    From TOD:

    June 28, 2017 at 12:51 am
    See Lawrence tonight! On section called “Republicans Revolt Against Mitch McConnell”: Lawrence explains that 90% of GOP
    Senators were willing to KEEP the ACA. He said that McConnell was going to get 5 Yays and 95 Nays for the Deathcare bill,
    so he had to pull the bill rather than let us see Republicans lose face bigtime on TV. Remember the 60+ votes to repeal the
    ACA since 2010? GOP has spent $mega-millions playing intimidation games with healthcare. Yes Americans have stood up.
    Now we must stand up to this psychopathic Dicktraitor, the disgraceful abuses of McConnell’s grossly corrupt Death Party,
    the KOCH/Putin plutos who are pulling the strings. And give them the Giant boot.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Victorious activists stay vigilant for next GOP health bill
    Senator Cory Booker talks with Rachel Maddow about the public activism that contributed to the Republican failure to pass their health/tax plan and why it’s too soon for opponents of the Republican bill to celebrate.

    Health care activists press on as GOP stumbles
    Rachel Maddow looks at continued activism against Republican dismantling of health benefits even as Senate Republicans have failed in their first effort to bring a bill of their own.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Deutsche Bank adds lawyer with financial crime background
    Rachel Maddow reports that Deutsche Bank, at the center of a lot of questions about its business practices and loans made to both Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, has hired a new lawyer with a background in tax crimes and money laundering.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Manafort files retroactively as foreign agent
    Rachel Maddow relays reports that former Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort has filed retroactively as an agent of a foreign government, the second top Trump aide to do so.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Republicans see bipartisan policymaking as the worst-case scenario
    06/28/17 08:47 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly called Donald Trump on Monday to deliver what Politico described as “a reality check.”

    [F]ailing to repeal the law would mean the GOP would lose its opportunity to do a partisan rewrite of the law that could scale back Medicaid spending, cut Obamacare’s taxes and repeal a host of industry mandates.

    Instead, Republicans would be forced to enter into bipartisan negotiations with Democrats to save failing insurance markets.

    To hear GOP leaders tell it, the ongoing effort to approve a far-right health care overhaul is a strictly partisan enterprise, not because Republicans want to jam their bill down the nation’s throat, but because those rascally Democrats just aren’t interested in playing a constructive role.

    At a Capitol Hill press conference yesterday, at which McConnell announced he’d scrapped plans for a vote this week, a reporter asked if the ongoing discussions about the future of the bill might involve Democratic senators. “They’re not interested in participating in this,” the Republican leader replied.

    In that sentence, the word “this” is doing a lot of work.

    If the point is that Senate Democrats won’t help Republicans take health coverage from 22 million Americans, and force much of the country to pay more for worse insurance, then sure, Dems aren’t interested in “participating in this.” But to say there’s no room for bipartisan talks is plainly wrong.

    Democrats have practically been begging to work with Republicans on health care. They’ve put their appeals in writing for months. GOP leaders have thus far ignored every appeal.

  38. rikyrah says:

    It’s Painful to Watch Jonah Goldberg Try to Talk Sense on Health Care
    by Martin Longman
    June 27, 2017 4:30 PM

    It’s fascinating to see how Republicans talk to each other about health care. Over at the National Review, Jonah Goldberg tip-toes towards political reality, but always by jingling enough right-wing lunacy around to try to scare off the bears.


    Meanwhile, the Democrats know that Obamacare has been a huge albatross for their party and understand that the best thing that could happen for them is if the Republicans agreed to keep Obamacare in name (i.e., abandon the rhetoric of “repeal”) but do whatever is necessary to make the thing work. But the GOP is doing the opposite. It’s largely keeping Obamacare in terms of policy (at least the really popular parts) but rhetorically its claiming to destroy Obamacare utterly. So, both the Democrats and the Republicans end up claiming this is a repeal of Obamacare when it’s not. It’s all a war for the best spin, not the best policy.

    Of course, this isn’t even half true. While the Democrats would welcome a constructive effort to shore up the Affordable Care Act, they are actually protesting a bill that would undo all the gains in coverage that Obamacare created. And I mean that quite literally.

    But Goldberg is really aiming to make a different point.

    In different times, a Republican president might have come in and, like Eisenhower did with the New Deal, say, “We’re not going to throw away all that stuff, but we are going to fix it and shave the rough edges off.” A mend-it-don’t-end-it rhetorical approach to Obamacare would win over enough Democrats and moderate Republicans to pass a serious (albeit way-too-statist for me) health-care bill that gave Obama credit while reworking the whole thing.


    But Goldberg knows that he’s putting all his conservative credentials at risk by suggesting that Trump should have worked with the Democrats on health care, so he has to finish up by basically disavowing his entire point:

    I’m not saying that alternative universe would be better. For instance, I wish Eisenhower had been more hostile to the New Deal. But I do think it’s an interesting example of how rhetoric and the logic of tribalism is driving the debate far more than policy is.

    As for the Republicans’ refusal to say what they mean and mean what they say, Goldberg is fairly honest:

    As Yuval [Levin] noted yesterday, big chunks of the GOP-controlled Congress just don’t want to deal with health care or repeal Obamacare. As both the House and Senate legislation demonstrate, they’d rather tinker with it than tear it down. But they can’t say that.

  39. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Trevor Noah has been stopped by police 8 to 10 times in the six years he has lived here.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Speaker Paul Ryan Humble-Brags About Everything But Healthcare
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    June 28, 2017 8:00 AM

    In light of all the focus on Majority Leader McConnell lately, coupled with the fact that Donald Trump is constantly in the spotlight for doing/saying absurd things, it may be that Speaker Paul Ryan is feeling a little left out lately. Perhaps that is why he wrote an op-ed for the Independent Journal Review titled, “Ignore the Cable News Bickering: This Congress Is Getting Things Done.”

    As the title suggests, Ryan wants to humble-brag a bit about the things he’s accomplishing in the House.

    Here in the House of Representatives, we can do more than one thing at a time. And the truth is, even while carrying out our oversight responsibilities, we’ve been delivering on our promises to the American people. We are passing important legislation. We are doing our job.

    Back in December, Ryan said he had three priorities for the coming year.

    Repeal Obamacare
    Make changes to the tax code
    Roll back regulations

    Here’s the kicker: nowhere in the entire op-ed does Ryan mention Obamacare, healthcare or taxes. It’s understandable that the latter didn’t get mentioned because the Republicans haven’t been able to even put forward a bill on taxes yet. But while the Senate struggles with their version, the House passed the AHCA to much pomp and circumstance—including a Rose Garden victory celebration. I’m not sure what Ryan’s failure to mention that tells us. Perhaps he knows that public support for the AHCA is in the tank and would ruin his whole humble-brag vibe. But it is a glaring omission of the issue that is front and center on everyone’s mind right now.

    In terms of what Ryan did include, he talked about reforms to the Veterans Administration and suggested they would solve the problems associated with the scandal we heard so much about during the Obama administration. I doubt that is the case because, as readers here at the Washington Monthly know, that whole scandal was a Koch brother’s campaign designed to “dismantle the country’s most successful health care system.”

  41. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    New to me: In Florida you have to carry an ID card on you at all times. Bet a lot of people going on vacation there do not know that.

  42. rikyrah says:

    The failing attempt to erase Barack Obama

    Nancy the Artist
    June 27, 2017

    It is well known that on the night of the inauguration of President Obama that members of the GOP met in private with the intention of finding a way to insure that President Obama would fail. The GOP didn’t want him to be able to accomplish anything. They saw him as a threat to their authority and they wanted to be able to undo him. From the very beginning they wanted to erase him and because of this they became completely polarized and began a complete shut down to everything relating to President Obama.

    When Trump become aware of President Obama it’s clear that he sensed through his reptilian brain that Obama was a threat to him as well. He began tweeting disparaging things about President Obama and he went on Fox News to demean him. He became a major birther as a means of erasing his very existence. It makes sense that after the Correspondents Dinner where President Obama made jokes at Trump’s expense in front of the country that Trump made the decision to run for president. It is easy to see Trump as obsessed with the need to put President Obama beneath him.


    The reason that Trump and the GOP have been acting in the way that they have is because somewhere in them they know the gig is up and that their reign of power is over. They know that with the election of President Obama their worst fear had been realized and that they no longer are going to be able to have the power to impose their will on others. They all know it but because of the way they think they can’t accept it and because they can’t accept it they are acting out. They are panic stricken and they are behaving like cornered rabid animals.

    What the GOP has been doing and continues to do is the polar opposite of what is needed. They have brought us to where we are today where we are seeing tremendous disparity of all kinds. Diversity is growing and will continue to grow. The needs associated with this are not going away. What we are seeing is the polar opposite of what is needed. This is unsustainable. If what we are doing is unsustainable then we are going to need to change and engage in what is sustainable. The time that we are in demands that.

  43. yahtzeebutterfly says:
    Excerpt from article linked in the above tweet:

    “Earlier today, 34 Democratic U.S. senators, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos expressing disappointment and alarm over the Trump-Pence Administration’s efforts to diminish the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) enforcement of civil rights laws and calling on the department to provide specific documents relating to their enforcement efforts.

    “The letter details DeVos’ refusal to commit to protecting student’s civil rights, a recent ED event that featured anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council, and the appointment of staff who oppose ED’s guidance on schools’ obligations under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence. The letter also documents recent decisions by ED to narrow its investigations of discrimination and harassment, and end oversight by department headquarters of certain types of investigations.”

    Here is the link to the U.S. sentators’ letter:

  44. yahtzeebutterfly says:
    Excerpt from article linked in above tweet:

    “The set of consecutive sentences given to Lee Harold Cromwell, 67, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was greater than the 11-year sentence the prosecution recommended for the July 4, 2015, vehicular assault. Cromwell drove his large Dodge Ram truck in reverse through a crowd of about 200 people during a fireworks show at A. K. Bissell Park in Oak Ridge.

    “As he was under investigation for that incident, Cromwell and other sovereign citizens filed $137 million in liens against personal property owned by investigators, prosecutors and the judge initially assigned the vehicle assault case.

    “Sovereign citizen Lee Harold Cromwell, 67, who was sentenced last week to 12 years in prison for vehicular assault. Cromwell was convicted by a jury in February of vehicular assault and three separate counts of aggravated assault.

    “Before that jury verdict, Cromwell was handed a new indictment, accusing him of being one of 10 sovereign citizens – all Tennessee residents – who participated in the alleged scheme to commit forgery and file fraudulent liens.”

  45. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

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