Thursday Open Thread | Sen. Kamala Harris plans to back Medicare for all legislation

Sen. Kamala Harris will co-sponsor a Medicare-for-all plan proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), she told Californians at a town hall in Oakland on Wednesday.

The freshman Democratic senator from California has previously said she supports the concept of universal healthcare, but this is the first time she has explicitly said she would join Sanders when he files the bill. The House version of the measure, sponsored by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), has 117 sponsors, including 27 California Democratic House members.

The idea of single-payer healthcare has grown in popularity among Democrats since the 2016 election, with some members of the so-called Sanders wing of the party urging Democrats to use support for it as a litmus test in 2018.

Such a program is unlikely to become law while Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Sanders quickly jumped to thank Harris on Twitter on Wednesday.

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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59 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Sen. Kamala Harris plans to back Medicare for all legislation

  1. Look, y’all! In the words of my Aunt Daisy…..OOOOOOHHHHH ISHHHHHH

  2. rikyrah says:

    Hiking in Mallorca today. Pass a group of Americans. It’s Michelle Obama on a walk. #starstruck #coolsecurityguys
    — Polly Smith (@plantypal) August 31, 2017

  3. rikyrah says:

    “Mr. 30 Percent”: New polls show Trump collapsing during callous response to Harvey via @shareblue
    — Oliver Willis (@owillis) August 31, 2017

  4. Ametia says:

    Pence sent to Houston for RECOMPENCE after #45’s dismal FAIL

  5. rikyrah says:

    Blaming Identity Politics Is Like Saying ‘All Lives Matter’
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    August 31, 2017


    I thought of that when I saw yet another article, this time from James Baker and Andrew Young, suggesting that it is identity politics that is causing all of our divisions today. Just as “all lives matter” dismisses the fact that, for too many people, Black lives don’t matter—at least not as much as white lives—blaming our divisions on those who have been demanding a seat at the table is a way to say that they are the problem for wanting to be included.

    The truth is that identity politics has been a feature of our government since its founding. It’s just that the identity that has been at the center of everything has been white male. The journey to include anyone else has been the long, hard struggle we’ve undergone to take steps to “perfect our union” and expand the “we” to include other identities. We are now at the point in that struggle when some of those who identify as white males are feeling threatened by the inclusion—and are mounting a backlash.

    Need I point out that our current political environment is seeped in attempts to exclude anyone who identifies as something other than white male? Just yesterday the Trump administration tossed out the very idea of collecting data to track the exclusion when it comes to disparities in pay. We are in the midst of attempts to roll back the enforcement of civil rights, abandon affirmative action, suppress access to voting, promote police brutality and send brown people into the shadows. This country just elected a man to be president who mocked the disabled and bragged about committing sexual assault.

    The idea that, while all of that is going on, we’re hearing women and people of color being blamed for causing our divisions is nothing short of appalling. Don’t come at me with your calls for unity until/unless you are willing to fight against these efforts and join in demanding that our “we” has to include everyone.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Why would Republicans try to cut FEMA’s disaster relief fund?
    08/31/17 11:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Following a lengthy summer break, Congress will return to work on Tuesday with a daunting to-do list. Among the priorities lawmakers will have to tackle in September are a budget bill to prevent a government shutdown, a debt-ceiling increase, reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

    Some in the Republican majority are also hoping to squeeze in time for tax reform and maybe another crack at health care. We may even hear some discussion about infrastructure at some point.

    But as the deadly crisis continues to unfold in southeastern Texas, Congress also has a responsibility to take up disaster relief. It’s against this backdrop that the Associated Press published a striking detail about a pending Republican spending bill.

    President Donald Trump is promising billions to help Texas rebuild from Hurricane Harvey, but his Republican allies in the House are looking at cutting almost $1 billion from disaster accounts to help finance the president’s border wall.

    The pending reduction to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief account is part of a spending bill that the House is scheduled to consider next week when Congress returns from its August recess. The $876 million cut, part of the 1,305-page measure’s homeland security section, pays for roughly half the cost of Trump’s down payment on a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Dems hope to block Trump businesses from receiving federal funds
    08/31/17 10:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    The U.S. Secret Service is facing real financial difficulties, in part because of the unusual circumstances surrounding the protection of Donald Trump and his family. Complicating matters, the agency isn’t just protecting the president, it’s also paying properties the president owns and profits from.

    It may seem like a small, anecdotal detail, but when the Secret Service spends $60,000 “on golf cart rentals alone this year to protect Trump at both Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster,” it’s a tough point to forget.


    If Rep. Adam Schiff has his way, the Secret Service wouldn’t be able to pay any businesses owned or operated by President Trump.

    The California Democrat announced Wednesday his plans to introduce an amendment to an appropriations bill meant to fund the government for fiscal 2018. The amendment reads: “None of the funds made available by this Act to the United States Secret Service may be used to purchase, rent, or otherwise acquire goods or services, including hotel rooms, office space, or golf carts, from entities that are owned or operated by the President or the immediate family of the President.”

    In other words, Trump would be required to comp the Secret Service, whose agents are protecting him and his family.

    “The immense honor and responsibility of serving as president of the United States should never be exploited for profit or personal gain,” Schiff said. “That the Trump Organization is profiting off the Secret Service is an abuse of taxpayer money and an improper method of enrichment.”

    As it turns out, the California Democrat isn’t the only one thinking along these lines.

    Last week, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) announced plans to push related measures that would prohibit federal spending – not just through the Secret Service, but across the government – at all “Trump-owned hotels, resorts, and other Trump-owned businesses.”

  8. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s controversial Arpaio pardon faces new legal scrutiny
    08/31/17 09:22 AM
    By Steve Benen


    Yesterday, however, the story took another step forward. The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, a conservative commentator, highlighted a letter from a group called Protect Democracy, which is combating Trump’s violations of legal norms, to the public integrity section of the Justice Department’s criminal division. The letter made the case that the Arpaio pardon is, at best, legally suspect.

    While the Constitution’s pardon power is broad, it is not unlimited. Like all provisions of the original Constitution of 1787, it is limited by later-enacted amendments, starting with the Bill of Rights. For example, were a president to announce that he planned to pardon all white defendants convicted of a certain crime but not all black defendants, that would conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

    Similarly, issuance of a pardon that violates the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause is also suspect. Under the Due Process Clause, no one in the United States (citizen or otherwise) may “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” But for due process and judicial review to function, courts must be able to restrain government officials. Due process requires that, when a government official is found by a court to be violating individuals’ constitutional rights, the court can issue effective relief (such as an injunction) ordering the official to cease this unconstitutional conduct. And for an injunction to be effective, there must be a penalty for violation of the injunction – principally, contempt of court.

    f you read the whole letter, Protect Democracy makes the compelling point that the presidential pardon power is considerable, but it’s not limitless, and the Arpaio pardon deserves more scrutiny.

  9. rikyrah says:

    After Texas visit, White House struggles to defend Trump falsehood
    08/31/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump made a brief visit to Texas on Tuesday, ostensibly to check in on the governmental response to Hurricane Harvey, though the president steered clear of devastated areas and the storm’s many victims. It was therefore a bit jarring to see use Twitter yesterday morning to make a dubious assertion:

    “After witnessing first hand the horror & devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, my heart goes out even more so to the great people of Texas!”

    The point of the message was obvious: one of the most important mistakes Trump made on Tuesday was his failure to recognize those who matter most. A Dallas Morning News reporter, on hand for Trump’s brief visit, noted that the president made no mention of those killed, injured, or displaced by the storm. Yesterday’s tweet was likely the president’s way of showing compassion – literally a day too late.

    But that wasn’t the only problem. If Trump was nowhere near the flooding, and didn’t spend any time with the hurricane’s victims, how exactly did he witness the horror and devastation “first hand”?

    Last night, the White House tried to clear this up. It didn’t go well.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Poll: U.S. majority believes Trump is ‘tearing the country apart’
    08/31/17 10:02 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Following Donald Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio earlier this week, the Washington Post published an analysis that explained, in no uncertain terms, that the president “has chosen to be a divider, not a uniter, no matter how many words to the contrary he reads off a teleprompter or from a prepared script.”

    There’s fresh evidence that most Americans agree. A Fox News poll released last night included this interesting finding:

    Do you think Donald Trump is drawing the country together or tearing the country apart?

    Drawing the country together: 33%
    Tearing the country apart: 56%

    The same poll included this gem:

    Who do you think Donald Trump dislikes more: white supremacists or the news media?

    White supremacists: 13%
    News media: 70%

  11. rikyrah says:

    Trump loses leverage as Russia scandal investigation intensifies
    08/31/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    For Donald Trump, the Russia scandal has long been an existential threat to his presidency, but he’s likely taken comfort in the idea that there’s an escape hatch: if all else fails, Trump can abuse the powers of his office and simply start pardoning everyone.

    Indeed, the president has reportedly sought information from aides on his power to issue pardons to White House aides, members of his family, and even himself.

    Which makes last night’s Politico report all the more important.

    Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into Paul Manafort and his financial transactions, according to several people familiar with the matter.

    The cooperation is the latest indication that the federal probe into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is intensifying. It also could potentially provide Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Trump finds interest in corn ahead of Jr’s Judiciary testimony
    Rachel Maddow notes that just ahead of Donald Trump Jr’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, Donald Trump reached out to Grassley to discuss ethanol regulations.

  13. rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    Trump wants Alfa Bank Trump Tower clean-up lawyer in key DoJ role
    Rachel Maddow explains the role Brian Benczkowski served in trying to clean up the Alfa Bank Trump Tower server story now that Donald Trump wants him to become Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Justice Department.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Mueller working with NYAG Schneiderman on Manafort case: Politico
    Josh Dawsey, White House reporter for Politico, talks with Rachel Maddow about the revelation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on the Paul Manafort probe in the Trump Russia investigation.

  15. rikyrah says:

    One of the Maddow pieces about this plant:

    Harvey-damaged Arkema chemical plant explosion expected
    Matt Dempsey, data reporter on the investigative team at the Houston Chronicle, talks with Rachel Maddow about the immediate peril from the damaged Arkema chemical plant northeast of Houston and the lack of regulations in Texas complicating the problem.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Obamacare’s popularity is at an all-time high, poll shows
    — CBS MoneyWatch (@CBSMoneyWatch) August 30, 2017

  17. Ametia says:
  18. Ametia says:

    Tuesday, August 29, 2017
    Hurricane Harvey and its epic flood waters are a reminder of how white racism hurts white people too

    The flooding of Houston and its surrounding areas caused by Hurricane Harvey is a blockbuster disaster movie made real. This is a human tragedy of epic proportions.

    The flooding of Houston and its surrounding areas is also a reminder of how white racism hurts white people too.


    In a time of national crisis, the United States looks to the president for leadership. His or her behavior should be an example for us all and should serve as a beacon to guide the American people through their travails.

    Instead, America is led by Donald Trump. He is manifestly unqualified to be president. In almost comical fashion, Trump played on Twitter and engaged in ego aggrandizement and braggery while Houston flooded. Nero had a fiddle. Trump has a phone.

  19. Ametia says:

    Wells Fargo says a deeper dig into the bank’s broken sales culture has found a total of up to 3.5 million potentially fake bank and credit card accounts, up from its earlier tally of approximately 2.1 million. The additional 1.4 million fake accounts were discovered by a previously announced analysis that went back to January 2009 and that reviewed the original May 2011 to mid-2015 period.
    The bank also discovered a new problem: thousands of customers were also enrolled in online bill pay without their authorization. The review found 528,000 potentially unauthorized online bill pay enrollments.
    Wells Fargo has blamed the scandal, which began last September, on unrealistic sales goals placed on employees.

  20. Ametia says:

    Find Out How This Millennial Couple Became Soul Food Pioneers in Fargo, North Dakota

    With homemade staples like collard greens, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and fried chicken, their thriving start-up is the talk of the town.

  21. sunshine616 says:

    Did u guys just see this #arkema press conference? Holy crap!!!!! Don’t believe a word these people say. Profit over people. They aren’t telling the truth. If u live anywhere around here get out!!!!!!

  22. rikyrah says:

    While in Saudi Arabia, Rex Tillerson was present for the signing of an agreement b/w ExxonMobil & SABIC.
    — Emily A (@emzorbit) May 31, 2017

    (3/3) Since DJT Adm autocratically specifies which events USmedia is allowed to cover, we must rely on foreign media
    — Arapaho415 (@arapaho415) June 1, 2017

  23. rikyrah says:

    In the Himalayas, kung fu nuns teach young women how to defend themselves
    — NBC News World News (@NBCNewsWorld) August 31, 2017

  24. rikyrah says:

    Harvey releases 2 million pounds of pollutants from refineries and plants
    — NBC News (@NBCNews) August 31, 2017

  25. rikyrah says:

    Explosions reported at flooded Crosby chemical plant via @houstonchron
    — Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) August 31, 2017

  26. rikyrah says:

    Beset by financial woes, Jared Kushner’s family hunts for $$ overseas.
    — Charles Ornstein (@charlesornstein) August 31, 2017

  27. rikyrah says:

    Judge’s order says Kobach index must be detailed and list every record created by commissioners in “all mediums” — includes personal email
    — Daniel Jacobson (@Dan_F_Jacobson) August 30, 2017

  28. rikyrah says:

    What Trump Doesn’t Want You to Know About Corporate Taxes
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    August 31, 2017

    As had been broadcast prior to his speech in Missouri yesterday, Donald Trump tried to make his tax cuts sound like a populist proposal to help American workers. Part of that meant trying to sell us on the idea that cutting the corporate tax rate would grow the economy and increase wages. To make that point, he said that the corporate tax rate in this county was the highest in the developing world—limiting our competitiveness. In a way that has no meaning, what he said is true.

    The reason I say that has no meaning is because that chart represents the “statutory corporate tax rate,” or the one that is on the books. It has nothing to do with what corporations actually pay in taxes. To answer that question we have to look at “effective corporate tax rates”—what they pay once all of the loopholes are factored in. Here is how the U.S. compares to the other G7 countries on that score.

    What we see is that the effective corporate tax rate in the U.S. is actually below average when compared to other G7 nations. That helps explain this chart that Kevin Drum shared yesterday to demonstrate why it is not corporate taxes that have been choking American growth.

  29. rikyrah says:

    The Fate of the DREAMers is on the Line
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    August 30, 2017

    I watched Trump’s speech in Missouri, not because I was interested in what he had to say about tax cuts (another of his agenda items that is likely DOA), but because I wanted to see if he had anything to say about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That is the name given to President Obama’s executive order that protects young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, otherwise known as DREAMers. He didn’t address the issue.

    There is a reason why many people have been suggesting that an announcement about that program is imminent. A federal court in Texas halted a similar program for parents of childhood arrivals to the U.S. (DAPA), but the case is ongoing. Litigants have said that if Trump doesn’t halt the DACA program before September 5th, they would add it to the court challenge on DAPA. At that point, the administration would have to decide whether or not to defend DACA in court—a responsibility that would be up to AG Sessions.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Ivanka Trump Backs White House Decision to Stop Obama’s Equal Pay Rule
    — Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) August 30, 2017

  31. rikyrah says:

    Kushners’ China Deal Flop Was Part of Much Bigger Hunt for Cash
    — Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 31, 2017

  32. rikyrah says:

    General who oversaw Katrina relief rips federal response to Harvey
    BY JOHN BOWDEN – 08/30/17 09:17 PM EDT

    The commanding officer who led the federal response to Hurricane Katrina blasted current relief efforts in Louisiana and Texas following Hurricane Harvey, warning on Wednesday that officials were unprepared for the scope of the disaster.

    “In Katrina, we had 40,000 National Guard [troops], 240 helicopters on the fourth day,” retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré told CNN. “They just got 100 helicopters in Texas. Something is significantly wrong in our command and control.”

    “They need to stop patting each other on the back while these poor people are out here waiting to be rescued,” he added.

    Honoré told CNN that the disaster caused by Harvey was “a lot bigger” than the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, which in 2004 left more than 1,200 dead and caused $108 billion in damages.

    “This is a lot bigger. I went out on a boat this morning in this very same community right here. This is huge,” Honoré told CNN. “After Katrina, the air elements and air component of northern command created a significant grid system for search and rescue.”

    “I don’t know where that is,” he said. “It didn’t look like anybody in Texas had ever read the plan.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    The Arkema Chemical Plant has exploded.
    Prayers for all those down there.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Prayers for everyone in Harvey ‘s path.🙏🙏🙏

  35. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😐😐😐

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