Thursday Open Thread


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62 Responses to Thursday Open Thread

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:
      (video in article)

      WALLER, Texas — Sandra Bland’s mother said Tuesday she has moved to Waller County permanently to support families experiencing racial injustice.

      Geneva Reed-Veal collected her daughter’s last belongings from the Waller County Jail where she died two years ago.

      “It’s time for my journey here,” Reed-Veal said. “If I have to stay here forever, I will do that. I am on a mission.”

      …She said she is continuing her daughter’s legacy of activism.

      “I’m gonna show up in Waller County and I’m gonna bring some fire to this little town,” Reed-Veal said. “You won’t do this to anyone else’s baby. And that’s how I feel right now. I feel like I have to be this protector, this protector of kids.”

  1. Republicans plan to defend collusion with a hostile foreign govt
    Department of Justice defying court orders

    This WILL NOT end well……

  2. rikyrah says:

    Congratulations Venus for making the Finals!!!

  3. rikyrah says:

    Trump World has found its enemy: the Congressional Budget Office
    07/13/17 10:47 AM—UPDATED 07/13/17 11:43 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Later today, Senate Republican leaders will unveil the latest iteration of their regressive health care plan, and we’ll take a closer look at its details once it’s released. In the meantime, however, proponents of the GOP’s approach are hard at work – trying to tear down the Congressional Budget Office’s credibility.

    If all goes according to plan, the Republican bill will be unveiled today; it will receive a CBO score on Monday; and then the GOP-led Senate will vote on the proposal soon after. Of course, if that plan sounds familiar, it’s because this is identical to the schedule created a few weeks ago by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) – a schedule that was derailed when the Congressional Budget Office found that the GOP legislation would take health care benefits from 22 million Americans.

    This time around, Republicans are investing more energy in trying to convince the relevant players that the CBO’s numbers are not to be trusted. The Huffington Post explained yesterday:

    The White House attempted to discredit the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday, releasing a video that questions the accuracy of the agency’s previous projections on health insurance coverage under Obamacare.

    Issued as a heated health care debate continues on Capitol Hill, the administration seems to be arguing that because CBO estimates have been off before, there is no reason to trust its recent reports predicting that a Republican-led effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act would have devastating effects.

    But just 10 seconds into the video, the White House instead managed to strain its credibility with a misspelling of the word “inaccurately.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    McConnell unveils regressive new health care plan
    07/13/17 02:57 PM—UPDATED 07/13/17 03:05 PM
    By Steve Benen

    About a month ago, when the Senate Republican leadership unveiled its initial health care proposal, it was widely assumed that the less conservative GOP senators wouldn’t like the plan. Party leaders, however, were confident that the so-called “moderates” would succumb to pressure and toe and party line.

    “Moderates always cave,” one senior GOP aide said at the time.

    This was certainly true in the House, where more centrist lawmakers proved to be useless, and it appears that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hopes that it’s true in the upper chamber next week. The Huffington Post explained that the new GOP is “basically the same as the old one.”

    [T]he revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act ― which McConnell pulled two weeks ago because too few Republican senators planned to vote for it ― remains a vehicle for massive cuts to Medicaid, less financial assistance for people who buy private health insurance, and the return of skimpy junk insurance policies and discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. Taxes on the rich would remain, but health care companies would enjoy a major tax cut.

    The Senate Republican leadership, in other words, is still counting on the so-called “moderates” to cave. Today’s proposal is effectively a dare to the Collins/Murkowski wing of the GOP conference.

    In the wake of failure in June, McConnell was presented with a daunting challenge: opposition to the original iteration of his plan was so broad among his own members, the Majority Leader needed to move his bill to the left and the right simultaneously.

    To that end, as NBC News’ report documented, McConnell tweaked his original proposal in some ways to appease more centrist members: the bill now includes, for example, more money for treating the opioid epidemic and keeps the Affordable Care Act’s tax on investments, which affects the wealthy.

    These are pretty modest changes, largely unrelated to the concerns raised by the bill’s less conservative opponents. At the same time, however, McConnell also moved the bill to the right in more dramatic ways, including Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) measure about empowering insurers to sell plans that ignore the ACA’s insurance safeguards alongside plans that do.

  5. rikyrah says:

    McConnell sells his health plan in the most cynical way possible
    07/13/17 12:30 PM
    By Steve Benen
    As the political fight over health care continues, congressional Republicans are divided along several lines, but one of the more contentious issues is the GOP’s deep proposed cuts to Medicaid. In the Senate, several Republicans have pushed back against their leadership, insisting that the plan simply goes too far – doing too much damage to too many people.

    The Washington Post reports today, however, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has an argument intended to reassure his members concerned about Medicaid’s future.

    Here’s what McConnell has told several hesitant senators (including Portman and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.): The bill’s deepest Medicaid cuts are far into the future, and they’ll never go into effect anyway.

    “He’s trying to sell the pragmatists like Portman, like Capito on ‘the CPI-U will never happen,’” a GOP lobbyist and former Hill staffer told me.

    In other words, the current iteration of the Republican health care legislation will include brutal cuts to Medicaid, but the GOP’s less conservative senators can vote for it anyway, confident in the idea that, in the future, policymakers will intervene to make sure this policy isn’t actually implemented.

    Take a moment to consider just how cynical this is. Senators are supposed to vote, on purpose, for legislation they know would do real harm to their constituents, based on assurances from Mitch McConnell that someone, at some point, in some way, will clean up the mess they voted for.

    This isn’t how responsible legislating in a mature democracy is supposed to work.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Russian cyber propaganda attack eyed for US helpers
    Greg Gordon, investigative reporter for McClatchy DC, talks with Rachel Maddow about how investigators are looking into whether Russians had assistance from Americans in strategizing where to direct their online propaganda.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Trump Jr. collusion mails spark reassessment of older intel
    Shane Harris, senior national security writer for the Wall Street Journal, talks with Rachel Maddow about his reporting on new perspectives on some of the earliest indications of interactions between Russia and Donald Trump associates.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Intel cites Trump Russia timeline starting in spring 2015: WSJ
    Rachel Maddow looks at revelations in a new report from the Wall Street Journal that Russian officials were heard discussing Donald Trump in the spring of 2015. A year later European intel warned of Russian money flowing into the US election.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Trump camp tries to turn narrative as Russia scrutiny intensifies
    Rachel Maddow explores the latest reporting in the investigation into Trump campaign collusion with Russia as the investigation expands and Trump supporters struggle to recast the Trump Jr. collusion scandal

  10. rikyrah says:

    GOP’s Senate Moderates Not Sold on McConnell Health Care Bill
    by Martin Longman
    July 13, 2017 12:42 PM

    Mitch McConnell had some time to try to rework his health care bill and a version of his revisions has leaked out. It looks like he made the calculation that he needed to keep the Medicaid cuts to hold conservatives in line. Despite some tweaks in the new draft, that’s the bottom line, and it means that more moderate members are simply not on board.

    There are several other complicating factors for McConnell, but the Medicaid issue is the most confounding because he can’t find a way to turn the dial in either direction without causing a loss of support. His attempted solution seems to be that he will cave to conservative demands and then try to convince the moderates that the Medicaid cuts will be so unpopular that they will never go into effect. In other words, much like the Doc-Fix, future congresses will perpetually write patches to prevent the law from going into effect.

    McConnell could be correct about that, but it’s not something his conservative members want to hear. A similar argument was used by the House leadership to convince moderate members to support their version of Obamacare repeal. Essentially, they said that whatever the problems might be with the bill, the Senate would fix them. Better to just pass something and send it to the Senate and let Obamacare repeal be their problem for a while.

    The reason this is different is that the Republicans are reaching the point where they actually need to pass something. They can’t play ping-pong, sending unacceptable versions of the bill back and forth between the House and Senate. McConnell can’t argue that the House will fix the Medicaid problem, so he insists that future congresses will do so.

  11. vitaminlover says:

    I love the little girls’ dresses.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Fulton County BOE has voted in FAVOR of closing 9 precincts. This is an injustice to Fulton’s African American neighborhoods.
    — New Georgia Project (@NewGAProject) July 13, 2017

    Voters shouldn’t have to be connected to government insiders to find out about what’s happening in their communities.
    — New Georgia Project (@NewGAProject) July 13, 2017

    Closing precincts in predominantly African American neighborhoods is not just or fair.
    — New Georgia Project (@NewGAProject) July 13, 2017

    We know that moving precincts has a depressing effect on voter turnout.
    — New Georgia Project (@NewGAProject) July 13, 2017

  13. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Russian Laundromat
    How to use Trump Tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House.

  14. rikyrah says:

    #Breaking: Imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo dies at 61
    — NPR (@NPR) July 13, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    🔜 Check for the LOCAL offices of your senators and call those. Today and each day.
    — Ben Wikler (@benwikler) July 13, 2017

  16. rikyrah says:

    This is disastrous. A refresher on why:
    — Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) July 13, 2017

  17. rikyrah says:

    Xu Ji et al.: Disruptions in #Medicaid coverage can have costly consequences. #churn
    — Adam Wilk (@AdamSWilk) July 13, 2017

  18. rikyrah says:

    🚨 Here we go. This is your last chance to have your calls rain down like 🔥🔥🔥 through Senate phone lines. RETWEET AND DIAL.
    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 12, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:

    Keeping taxes on investment income in the Senate bill means this bill is basically just about destroying Medicaid.
    — Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) July 13, 2017

  20. rikyrah says:


    4: The bill will still slash Medicaid by more than $700 billion. This will explode to more than $2 trillion after this decade.
    — Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 13, 2017

  21. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: DOJ releases single, redacted page of Sessions’s SF86 security clearance form to American Oversight.
    — American Oversight (@weareoversight) July 13, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    NEW: Accused Russian spy was with Veselnitskaya at House hearing days after Trump meeting
    — Justin Miller (@justinjm1) July 13, 2017

  23. rikyrah says:

    I keep asking how @SenMajLdr knew to keep that SCOTUS seat open and waiting for a Trump appointee. I think we’ve got the answer.
    — Ellen Hopkins (@EllenHopkinsLit) July 13, 2017

  24. rikyrah says:

    So junk insurance is *not* junk & nickel-and-diming the poor to compensate billionaires is okey-dokey by you?
    — Kathryn Hall (@kingsfoil2550) July 13, 2017

  25. rikyrah says:

    The lede of this excellent @peterbakernyt “Conspiracy or Coincidence?” timeline
    — Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 13, 2017

  26. rikyrah says:

    We Shouldn’t Follow the Texas Model on Women’s Reproductive Health
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    July 13, 2017 8:00 AM

    In response to their anti-abortion base voters, Republicans are determined to defund Planned Parenthood as a part of their health care bill. Given their fondness for the idea of states as the laboratories for experimentation, they might want to check in to what happened in states that passed similar laws.

    As reported by Laura Bassett, Texas Republicans slashed the state’s family planning budget in 2011, shutting down more than 80 women’s health clinics. A study conducted by economics professor Analisa Packham showed that “the abortion rate among teenagers in the state rose 3 percent over what it would have been had the clinics remained open.”


    The greatest rises in abortion rates occurred in rural areas, where access to affordable family planning care was already scarce. In Gregg County, where the local health center lost 60 percent of its family planning funding, the abortion rate increased by 191 percent between 2012 and 2014. The Austin American-Statesman reported that at least five counties in East Texas also saw “considerable increases” in abortions over that two-year period.

    At a time when the abortion rate in the United States is lower than it’s been since the Roe v Wade ruling in 1973, that is a horrific indictment on the state of Texas.

    Of course there are other issues at play. Not mentioned in this report is the fact that Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country and rejected the federally funded expansion of Medicaid in Obamacare. All of these factors intertwine in another horrific issue facing the women of Texas.

    New mothers in Texas are dying of pregnancy-related causes at a higher rate than anywhere else in the developed world, “a life-or-death issue” that Walle says is “getting drowned out” by distractions such as the so-called bathroom bill. The state’s maternal mortality rate has doubled within a two-year period, according to a 2016 study, though experts say more research is necessary to explain the troubling spike.

  27. rikyrah says:

    The long-dormant account of CyberBerkut, alleged to be linked 2 Kremlin, comes alive & begins tweeting about links between Clinton & Ukraine
    — Raphael Satter (@razhael) July 12, 2017

  28. rikyrah says:

    Agree. How is a president under federal investigation, along with admin and campaign team, appointing head of the FBI?
    — Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 12, 2017

    i simply have no faith in this appointment, there is no world in which trump should be appointing anyone to head the fbi period
    — lastnightinamerica (@americalastnite) July 12, 2017

    Trump’s pick to run the FBI is literally a specialist in defending rich clients from federal investigations.
    — Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 7, 2017

  29. rikyrah says:

    Trump ordered federal task forces charged w/ finding regulations to weaken/ eliminate, help us ID task-force members
    — ProPublica (@ProPublica) July 13, 2017

  30. rikyrah says:

    They aren’t just threatening the laws that protect us. They’re threatening the very idea that we are all worthy of protection.
    — Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) July 12, 2017

  31. rikyrah says:

    Reported on @maddow :
    Jared Kushner-run digital operation being investigated for aiding Russians in damaging Hillary Clinton
    — Unite Alberta (@UniteAlbertans) July 13, 2017

  32. rikyrah says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama is a stunning bombshell.
    — Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) July 13, 2017

  33. rikyrah says:

    Anytime Michelle Obama makes a public appearance
    — Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) July 13, 2017
    Wadn’t nothin to do, but just bask in the glow
    — Dudette (@Dudette9t9) July 13, 2017

  34. rikyrah says:

    We need to have a #HowManyGOPAreGuiltyPool… Many dots are right in front of us, screaming to be connected…1/
    — bardgal (@bardgal) July 13, 2017

  35. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    Justice Department Defies Court Deadline To Release Sessions’ Contacts With Russians
    July 13, 20176:28 AM ET

    In defiance of a court order, the Justice Department is refusing to release part of a security form dealing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ contacts with the Russian government.

    On June 12, a judge had ordered the agency to provide the information within 30 days, a deadline which passed on Wednesday.

    A recently-launched ethics watchdog group called American Oversight filed a Freedom of Information Act request in March for sections of the Standard Form 86 relating to Sessions’ contacts “with any official of the Russian government.”

    The group then filed a lawsuit in April after it said the government didn’t provide the documents.

    “Jeff Sessions is our nation’s top law enforcement officer, and it is shocking one of his first acts after being named Attorney General was to mislead his own agency about a matter of national security,” the group’s executive director, Austin Evers, said in a statement.

    He continued: “The court gave DOJ thirty days to produce Attorney General Sessions’s security clearance form, DOJ has already confirmed its contents to the press and Sessions has testified about it to Congress, so there is no good reason to withhold this document from the public.”

  36. rikyrah says:

    Maddow had a segment last night with about Dense Pence.

    With his spokesman just being asked a direct question about if Pence had met with the Russians.

    Gave a non-answer answer.

    Keep a lookout for the drip drip drop on Pence.
    He’s already up to his eyeballs in the Flynn mess.


    Pence spokesman squirms on Russia question
    Rachel Maddow shows how Mike Pence has had a hard time making truthful denials about the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia, and notes that Pence’s spokesman couldn’t give a straight answer on whether Pence himself had met with Russians during the campaign.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐 😐

  38. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone.

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