Wednesday Open Thread | Senate panel calls for open hearing with Trump lawyer

(CNN) The leaders of the Senate intelligence committee said Tuesday they want President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and longtime associate to testify in public after Michael Cohen released to the media his opening statement he planned to give at a closed door meeting.

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, announced Tuesday evening they had invited Cohen to reappear before the committee on October 25 in public session. Cohen has accepted the invitation and expects to appear, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The invitation for a public hearing with committee members came just hours after the panel postponed its planned staff interview Tuesday. Burr and Warner released a joint statement saying they were “disappointed that Mr. Cohen decided to pre-empt today’s interview.”

“As a result, we declined to move forward with today’s interview and will reschedule Mr. Cohen’s appearance before the committee in open session at a date in the near future,” the senators said. “The committee expects witnesses in this investigation to work in good faith with the Senate.”

Burr told reporters that the committee had changed its policy about witnesses releasing statements after Jared Kushner did so during his closed-door appearance.

“What we do is behind closed doors,” Burr said. “We don’t expect individuals who come behind closed doors to publicly go out and tell (their side only).”

After spending about 90 minutes in the intelligence committee’s secure meeting room, Cohen and his lawyer told reporters the committee has postponed his testimony and he would return voluntarily at a later date. Cohen did not answer questions about why he was meeting with the committee staff for an hour if the meeting had been postponed.

Cohen was expected to vigorously deny participating in any collusion with the Russians to help Trump get elected in testimony before the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday, according to a copy of his opening statement obtained by CNN.

“I emphatically state that I had nothing to do with any Russian involvement in our electoral process,” Cohen’s statement says.

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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91 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Senate panel calls for open hearing with Trump lawyer

  1. rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Hold my earrings.

    These muthaphuckas HERE!!

  2. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire ‘private briefings’ on 2016 campaign
    September 20 at 5:04 PM

    Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions.

    Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said.

    “If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, portions of which were read to The Washington Post along with other Manafort correspondence from that time.

  3. rikyrah says:

    WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, has asked the White House for documents about some of President Trump’s most scrutinized actions since taking office, including the firing of his national security adviser and F.B.I. director, according to White House officials.

    Mr. Mueller is also interested in an Oval Office meeting Mr. Trump had with Russian officials in which he said the dismissal of the F.B.I. director had relieved “great pressure” on him.

    The document requests provide the most details to date about the breadth of Mr. Mueller’s investigation, and show that several aspects of his inquiry are focused squarely on Mr. Trump’s behavior in the White House.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Koch network ‘piggy banks’ closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform
    Koch officials said that the network’s midterm budget for policy and politics is between $300m and $400m, but donors are demanding legislative progress

    At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

    One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.

    “Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

    Nonetheless, Koch officials said that the network’s midterm budget for policy and politics is between $300m and $400m.

    The Senate will this week seek to pass its version of healthcare reform – at present it does not have enough Republican support to overcome blanket Democratic opposition.

    “There is urgency,” said Tim Phillips, who leads Koch network’s political arm, Americans for Prosperity, at the industrialist brothers’ retreat in Colorado Springs. “We believe we have a window of about 12 months to get as much of it accomplished as possible before the 2018 elections grind policy to a halt.”

    The window for action may be even smaller, some Koch allies warned at the weekend retreat that drew roughly 400 participants to the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The price for admission for most was a pledge to give at least $100,000 this year to the Kochs’ broad policy and political network.

  5. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Mueller Seeks White House Documents Related to Trump’s Actions as President
    — Holly O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) September 20, 2017

  6. rikyrah says:

    NEW: 100 percent of Puerto Rico reportedly without electricity as Maria slowly edges away from the coast:
    — Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) September 20, 2017

  7. rikyrah says:

    Breaking: #Iran is adhering to Nuclear Deal, says Head of US Strategic Command Gen John Hyten
    — Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) September 20, 2017

  8. rikyrah says:

    Because he’s a petty cowardly man-baby.

    Trump blocks woman with stage 4 cancer on Twitter after she criticized his latest health care plan
    — Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 20, 2017

  9. rikyrah says:

    Grassley: Repealing Obamacare is more important than whatever replaces it
    — Talking Points Memo (@TPM) September 20, 2017

  10. rikyrah says:

    Russian-Controlled Facebook Accounts Organized Trump Events
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    September 20, 2017


    That was followed up by this one today:

    Suspected Russia propagandists on Facebook tried to organize more than a dozen pro-Trump rallies in Florida during last year’s election, The Daily Beast has learned.

    The demonstrations—at least one of which was promoted online by local pro-Trump activists— brought dozens of supporters together in real life. They appear to be the first case of Russian provocateurs successfully mobilizing Americans over Facebook in direct support of Donald Trump.

    The fact that this most recent report identifies events that were advertised to provide direct support for Trump takes this story to a new level. As does this:

    When asked for comment, the White House referred The Daily Beast to the Trump campaign, which, in turn, did not respond to emailed questions. But Susie Wiles, who served as Trump’s campaign manager in Florida, told The Daily Beast that the Broward County portion of the flash mob “was not an official campaign event.”

    That’s despite the fact that the event was promoted on “Official Donald J. Trump for President Campaign Facebook Page for Broward County, Florida.” Photos and videos of the demonstration were posted there afterwards.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Sen @BillCassidy called our reading of his health care bill on pre-existing conditions false. Here’s how we read it:
    — NPR (@NPR) September 20, 2017

  12. rikyrah says:

    Police Identify White Cornell Student Arrested Following Assault of Black Cornell Student
    By Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Zachary Silver and Drew Musto

    Ithaca Police on Tuesday identified the Cornell student charged with assault following a recent Collegetown altercation in which a black Cornell student said he was called the N-word and punched in the face by a group of white men.

    Police identified a 19-year-old, John Greenwood, as the Cornell student charged with misdemeanor assault after he was arrested early on Friday morning. A city official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Greenwood is white. Police did not release a mugshot.

    Greenwood appears to be the same student who goes by Jack on a now-deleted squash player profile on the Cornell Athletics website. There is only one John Greenwood who is currently a Cornell student, according to the University’s people search website.

    Greenwood did not respond to an inquiry, but Ithaca Attorney Raymond Schlather J.D. ’76, said in an email late on Tuesday that he is representing Greenwood and that his client “was in no way involved in any physical altercation of any kind” and did not commit any crime.

    “To be clear, the use of the n word, and any related racist or derogatory language, is completely unacceptable not only at Cornell but anywhere in America,” Schlather said. “My client understands this well; such language not only offends his values but does not reflect the person he is.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    On health care, the GOP literally doesn’t know what it’s doing
    09/20/17 12:57 PM—UPDATED 09/20/17 01:19 PM
    By Steve Benen

    A Bloomberg News report noted in passing yesterday that Senate Republicans are gearing up to pass a sweeping health care overhaul, but they’re also “still trying to figure out what it’s in the bill.” It was practically the basis for an awkward joke: the GOP lawmakers who are ready to cast one of the most important votes of their careers are the same Republicans who have no idea what they’re voting on.

    And I mean that quite literally. Vox asked nine GOP senators yesterday to explain why Graham-Cassidy is a worthwhile proposal, and not one of them could come up with a good answer. Asked how the health care system would be better under this proposal, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) replied, “Look, we’re in the back seat of a convertible being driven by Thelma and Louise, and we’re headed toward the canyon…. So we have to get out of the car, and you have to have a car to get into, and this is the only car there is.”

    Axios reported this morning that Republicans have adopted a “Repeal first, ask questions later” posture.

    Senate Republicans are on the verge of passing a sweeping health care bill not only without knowing what’s in it, but without particularly caring. The political abstraction of “Obamacare” – and the seven years of promises to “repeal Obamacare” – have almost totally overshadowed even the broad strokes of policy, much less the details. […]

    “I am just in shock how no one actually cares about the policy any more,” one GOP lobbyist told [Axios’ Caitlin Owens].

  14. rikyrah says:

    Graham-Cassidy: Can the Senate Republicans Get to 50?
    by Martin Longman
    September 20, 2017

    Senate Republicans seem exasperated with Rand Paul’s contempt for their stupid Graham-Cassidy health care idiocy. But apparently they aren’t even trying to change his mind. I don’t think most Democrats trust Sen. Paul to vote ‘no,’ but his Republican colleagues seem convinced that he will. That’s why they’re focused on flipping two votes from the three members who voted against and killed the moronic skinny repeal bill back in early August.

    Of the three, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine seems like the hardest case. But if they can’t convince her to basically walk back everything she’s said about health care over the last two months, they’ll have to get both Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to come over to their fantasyland idea of rational health care policymaking.

    Now, Murkowski and Collins are both supporters of Planned Parenthood and while they might not have the best voting records, they’re more pro- than anti-choice. I suppose neither side would really want to claim Murkowski, but she’s definitely an unnatural ally of the Graham-Cassidy bill.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Rich Lowry, Donald Trump, and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
    by Martin Longman
    September 20, 2017

    It’s kind of amazing what Republican politicians are willing to say once they’ve made the decision to retire. For example, Rep. David Reichert of Washington’s 8th congressional district, recently had some candid things to say about President Trump. The congressman has an interesting background. While serving in the King County sheriff’s department in the 2000’s, he helped track down and arrest the Green River Killer. Gary Ridgway was responsible for murdering perhaps as many as 90 women, primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Reichert became a bit of a hero for apprehending him, and that launched his political career. It probably also helped him survive in a competitive district through a couple of rough election cycles for Republicans. For whatever reasons, however, Reichert doesn’t want to test 2018 and he recently announced that he won’t seek reelection.

    Now that he doesn’t really need to worry about what his right-leaning constituents think, he’s willing to be honest about what he thinks of our president:

    Retiring Republican Rep. Dave Reichert said if President Donald Trump had made his 2005 comments about grabbing women in Washington when he was a cop, he would have arrested him.

    Reichert was speaking in an interview with Vice News about the difficulty moderate Republicans face.

    Reichert, a former sheriff in King County, Washington, said he never endorsed Trump last year. He also said that as a former police officer, Trump’s “Access Hollywood” comments revealed in October resonated with him.

    “When somebody says that — you know, those recordings came out regarding sexual assaults,” he said. “If the statute of limitations was still in existence, and he made those comments in King County, and you know it happened in King County, that’s a person that I would have to arrest.”

    Reichert said Trump’s comments were “sort of an admission of guilt from him.”

    “There was no reasonable explanation for those words,” he said.

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Koch Brothers vs. Jimmy Kimmel
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    September 20, 2017

    I have written before that, for Republicans, the 2018 midterms are shaping up to be a battle of the oligarchs, pitting the Koch brothers and so-called “establishment Republicans” against Robert Mercer and his band of insurgents led by Steve Bannon. One thing that could empower the Mercer side of that equation is that the Koch brothers are not happy with what their wholly owned subsidiary—the Republican Party—has accomplished.

    At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress…

    The Senate will this week seek to pass its version of healthcare reform – at present it does not have enough Republican support to overcome blanket Democratic opposition.

    “There is urgency,” said Tim Phillips, who leads Koch network’s political arm, Americans for Prosperity, at the industrialist brothers’ retreat in Colorado Springs. “We believe we have a window of about 12 months to get as much of it accomplished as possible before the 2018 elections grind policy to a halt.”…

    In between meetings, Dave Brat, a Virginia Republican representative, predicted dire consequences in next year’s midterm elections should his party fail to deliver on its repeated promises.

    “If we don’t get healthcare, none of us are coming back,” he said in a brief interview. “We said for seven years you’re gonna repeal Obamacare. It’s nowhere near repealed.”

    Perhaps that gives you some idea of the urgency many Republicans feel about repealing Obamacare. Failure could mean massive losses in the midterms followed by a hostile takeover of the party by Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Puerto Rico is without power…those poor folks…

  18. rikyrah says:

    A great catch from @charles_gaba: Graham-Cassidy could make thousands of Obamacare plans illegal next year.— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) September 20, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:

    Kay lives in a rural area of Ohio. Here’s her tip while calling about Trumpcare:

    Kay says:
    September 20, 2017 at 12:03 pm
    I take a little different approach. I name-drop the local hospital and mention it is the single largest employer in the county- which it is. It’s fudged a bit- they’re the largest but they have lots of 30 hour people, but still. True.

    They’re paranoid about rural hospitals – all of them. I feel it’s a vulnerability for the GOP that screams to be exploited :)

    • rikyrah says:


      Kay says:
      September 20, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      If you have a big provider or best yet, a SINGLE provider, mention that. A lot of people work there. It would be a real body blow to a lot of these places if people had to travel 30, 40, 50 miles for health care, especially elderly people.

  20. rikyrah says:

    another hint for faxes:

    This will send faxes, calls, or letters to your various elected officials. After you do it a few times the suite of features opens up (signature etc). You do it all from text message and it’s SUPER easy.

  21. rikyrah says:

    IF you send a fax, here’s a sample of what you could put in yours:

    Here is today’s fax. Feel free to take/adapt for use with your Congress critters.

    There are Senators working on a bi-partisan fix to improve the ACA. I think that is an important step and I hope the __________ delegation will all work to make that happen. I also want to express a big thank you to Sen. __________for being so steadfast against these attempts to take away our access to health care.

    I was already very upset by the extreme cuts to Medicaid, the end of Medicaid funding in 2026, and the loss of protections for those of us with pre-existing conditions that are all included in Graham Cassidy. Then I saw an interview Sen. Barrasso did with Katy Tur. When she asked him why Graham Cassidy doesn’t guarantee Essential Health Benefits, he replied that it shouldn’t. This is shocking. Pre-natal, maternity, and newborn care are essential benefits. Contraception is an essential benefit. Outpatient care, ambulatory services, laboratory services, prescription drugs, mental health, and substance abuse services are all essential benefits. Are we really going to keep all the ACA taxes in place while losing all of these benefits? This is madness.

    Please stop this terrible bill. There is no excuse for this kind of cruelty when it comes to something as crucial as health care. I fear for what will happen to the people of our state. Most of us cannot afford to take such a dire financial hit if this bill passes. Please use every measure of your influence with your colleagues to stop Graham Cassidy. We are counting on you to protect us.

  22. Ametia says:

    Serena Williams Celebrates ‘The Power Of A Black Woman’ In Open Thank You Letter To Her Mom
    Serena thanks her mother for being a great role model in the letter.

  23. Heads up, everyone!

    If you’d like to donate to Mexico earthquake relief efforts, check out the links at the top right on the sidebar. Lets help our neighbor. Give what you can. Thank you so much.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Trump Appoints Unqualified HBCU Chief … Then Skips Town

    Michael Harriot
    Yesterday 2:40pm

    White America’s president furthered his anti-black agenda Monday when Donald Trump selected an untrained, ill-equipped executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and then skipped town before HBCU presidents could ask him what the hell he was doing.

    Continuing the Trumpster Fire regime’s policy of selecting appointees to positions for which they have no experience or education, Safety-Vest Stalin selected Johnathan Holifield to lead the HBCU initiative, even though Holifield has never attended an HBCU. He has no formal training in higher education; nor has he ever been employed by an HBCU … or any college or university, for that matter.

    NBC reports that Holifield, a former NFL and tech entrepreneur, will start the job Oct. 2 and will be introduced to HBCU presidents at a White House event that Trump will not attend, because some HBCU presidents have announced they will boycott the summit, while others plan to air their grievances with the president. And also because he’s Donald Trump.

    Holifield’s only qualification seems to be that he’s black, which is akin to appointing Betsy DeVos as secretary of education even though she has no experience in education (except destroying public schools in Michigan), choosing Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy (even though he said he wanted to eliminate the department), and having Ben Carson lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To be fair, Carson has actually lived in a house. Plus, he’s black, which apparently fills the “urban” requirement

  25. rikyrah says:

    McCain 202-224-2235

    Murkowski 202-224-6665

    Collins 202-224-2523

    Portman 202-224-3353

    Capito 202-224-6472

    Alexander 202-224-4944

  26. rikyrah says:

    This new study deals a blow to Trump’s latest Obamacare repeal push
    By Greg Sargent
    September 20 at 9:11 AM

    Senate Republicans are stumbling forward with their new zombie Trumpcare bill to repeal Obamacare — and they will hold a vote this month, before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office tells them how many people might be tossed off of coverage if it becomes law. The drawback of this — or is it a benefit, given that the public is also being kept in the dark? — is that Republicans will vote on the bill without knowing all that much about how it would impact their own states, not to mention the rest of the country.

    Unfortunately for the bill’s supporters, a new study just came out that will enable Republicans to make a somewhat more informed decision about this legislation, after all. And it could deal a blow to the bill’s chances. It should, anyway.

    The study, which was released this morning by Avalere Health, a consulting firm, finds that many states will see sizable cuts to the federal money that would flow to their states, relative to current law. Some of those states are represented by the GOP senators who are currently deciding whether to back the bill, including Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Rob Portman (Ohio) and John McCain (Ariz.).

  27. rikyrah says:

    Accused by Kimmel of lying, Cassidy lies some more:
    — Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 20, 2017

  28. rikyrah says:

    Senate Republicans derail bipartisan health care compromise
    09/20/17 10:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    The effort hasn’t generated much attention, but in recent weeks, there have been meaningful bipartisan negotiations in the Senate on a compromise health care measure. As of late yesterday, however, that measure is now dead – and it’s important to understand why.

    The top two members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) – Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) – have quietly been moving forward on an important bill, acting like you’d expect real senators to act. They’ve held real hearings, listened to real testimony, and have tried to find a real solution that both parties could live with. The emerging agreement was fairly narrow, but senators like John McCain (R-Ariz.) have praised the work and urged his colleagues to support it.

    That won’t happen. Yesterday, as TPM reported, the compromise measure was taken off the table.

    Senators who have been working for months on a bipartisan bill to stabilize Obamacare’s individual market and take away one of President Trump’s ways to sabotage it are throwing in the towel, saying the GOP’s last-minute effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act has ruined their chance of passage. […]

    The news broke a few hours after House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the White House told Senate leaders on Tuesday that they oppose the stabilization bill and want all efforts focused on repeal.


    With Republicans opposing the compromise, that window quickly closed. Patty Murray left no doubt that the GOP’s repeal crusade was responsible for killing the bipartisan deal.

    As a matter of partisan strategy, I suppose this isn’t too surprising. Republicans want to destroy the existing system, not make it more stable. So long as there was a bipartisan compromise in the works, McCain and others would see it as a better alternative to the right-wing Graham-Cassidy bill.

    So GOP leaders scuttled the deal, narrowed everyone’s focus, and left Republicans with a choice between Graham-Cassidy and nothing.

  29. rikyrah says:

    JUST OUT: Independent analysis shows $4 Trillion in Federal cuts from ACA repeal Graham Cassidy.
    — Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) September 20, 2017

  30. rikyrah says:

    This Trumpcare bill decimates the states that have done the most to cover their residents:
    — LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) September 20, 2017

  31. rikyrah says:

    From Andy Slavitt:

    Andy Slavitt

    JUST OUT: Under Graham Cassidy ACA repeal…..
    – a 31% cut to Medicaid FOR KIDS
    – a 15% for people with disabilities

    I say never.

    Please RT
    8:31 AM-Sep 20, 2017

  32. Hurricanes originate at the same spot — off the coast of Africa

  33. rikyrah says:

    Tom Price’s private-jet travel raises eyebrows
    09/20/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    In September 2009, Tom Price, at the time a far-right congressional Republican, appeared on CNBC and railed against government use of private jets. Now, in September 2017, Politico has a report on that same Tom Price, the current Secretary of Health and Human Services, taking full advantage of private jets.

    In a sharp departure from his predecessors, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last week took private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel.

    The secretary’s five flights, which were scheduled between Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, took him to a resort in Maine where he participated in a Q&A discussion with a health care industry CEO, and to community health centers in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, according to internal HHS documents.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Lawrence: Why Trump’s UN speech worst, most dangerous in history
    Donald Trump says the U.S. could “totally destroy” North Korea. Lawrence O’Donnell revisits a speech by Amb. Adlai Stevenson in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis and argues Trump’s speech is the worst ever delivered by the United States at the United Nations.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Winners and losers in GOP’s last-ditch health overhaul

    The GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal “Obamacare” would redistribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal financing for insurance coverage, creating winners and losers among individual Americans and states in ways not yet fully clear.

    Independent analysts say the latest Senate Republican bill is likely to leave more people uninsured than the Affordable Care Act, and allow states to make changes that raise costs for people with health problems or pre-existing medical conditions.

    After closed-door meetings Tuesday, supporters seemed confident but acknowledged they’re not sure if the bill can pass. There’s only a narrow window for the Senate to act under special budget rules that expire at the end of the month.

    The Congressional Budget Office has said it doesn’t have time to complete a full analysis of the impact on coverage before the deadline.

    The biggest changes would start in 2020 — the next presidential election year. That’s a political risk for Republicans, since health care changes often involve unforeseen problems.

    A key feature of the legislation from Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana would put the ACA’s financing for subsidized private health insurance and Medicaid expansion into a giant pot and redistribute it among states according to new formulas. States could obtain federal waivers allowing them to modify insurance market safeguards for consumers. For example, states could let insurers charge higher premiums for older adults.

    The 31 states that expanded Medicaid are likely to see a funding reduction over time, as well as states, like Florida, where many residents received subsidies for private health insurance, said Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

  36. rikyrah says:

    Jimmy Kimmel: GOP’s Cassidy ‘lied right to my face’ on healthcare
    09/20/17 08:40 AM—UPDATED 09/20/17 08:41 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Several months ago, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel took on an unexpected role in the national health care debate, talking to his audience about his young son’s heart surgery, and his belief that all Americans should have access to affordable, potentially life-saving, care.

    Soon after, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) began referencing the “Jimmy Kimmel Test”: for a health care proposal to have merit, the Louisiana Republican said, it should ensure families are covered regardless of income. Cassidy even appeared on Kimmel’s show, vowing to protect Americans who need protecting.

    That was then; this is now. Cassidy is currently pushing his own right-wing Graham-Cassidy legislation, which does largely the opposite of what he publicly vowed to do, and which clearly fails the “Jimmy Kimmel Test.” Last night, the ABC host let the country know just how outrageous this is.

    [I]n his monologue on Tuesday, Kimmel said that Cassidy “wasn’t very honest,” pointing to the legislation that Cassidy co-authored with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

    “I don’t know what happened to Bill Cassidy,” Kimmel said. “But when he was on this publicity tour, he listed his demands for a health-care bill very clearly. These were his words. He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on preexisting conditions, lower premiums for middle-class families and no lifetime caps. Guess what? The new bill does none of those things.”

    The host added that “this new bill actually does pass the Jimmy Kimmel test, but a different Jimmy Kimmel test. With this one, your child with a preexisting condition will get the care he needs if, and only if, his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise, you might be screwed.”

    Before pleading with his audience to call Capitol Hill and urge lawmakers to defeat the bill, Kimmel went on to note that Cassidy “just lied right to my face.”

  37. rikyrah says:

    Trump joins history’s list of unhinged speakers at UN
    Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly, and the emaciation of the State Department under Trump/Tillerson.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Manafort indictment may have already happened
    Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether it’s unusual for a prosecutor to inform a target of imminent indictment, and whether former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort could already be indicted under seal.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Mueller office interviewed Rod Rosenstein on Comey firing: WSJ
    Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney, talks with Rachel Maddow about breaking news that special counsel investigators interviewed Assistant A.G. Rod Rosenstein about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Trump lawyer violates deal with Senate Intelligence Committee
    Rachel Maddow reports on Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen violating his agreement with the Senate Intelligence Committee and being forced to reschedule his testimony to October for a open hearing.

  41. rikyrah says:

    Trump paying Russia scandal legal bills with RNC donor money
    Rachel Maddow shares new reports that Donald Trump is using money donated to the Republican National Committee to pay for lawyers for himself, family and staffers in the Trump Russia investigation.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Trump uses RNC donor money to pay his Russia scandal legal bills
    09/20/17 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    As the Russia scandal has intensified in recent months, Donald Trump has been forced to assemble an outside legal team, featuring a curious mix of attorneys who keep making embarrassing mistakes. What we didn’t know until yesterday, however, is who’s paying their bills.

    Many assumed the president himself was footing the bill for his own legal team – as a self-professed billionaire, he can afford it – but as Reuters was first to report, it looks like Trump prefers to have Republican donors pick up at least some of the tab.

    U.S. President Donald Trump is using money donated to his re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee to pay for his lawyers in the probe of alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

    Following Reuters exclusive report on Tuesday, CNN reported that the Republican National Committee paid in August more than $230,000 to cover some of Trump’s legal fees related to the probe.

    RNC spokesperson Cassie Smedile confirmed to Reuters that Trump’s lead lawyer, John Dowd, received $100,000 from the RNC and that the RNC also paid $131,250 to the Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group, the law firm where Jay Sekulow, another of Trump’s lawyers, is a partner.

    As Rachel noted on last night’s show, no other American president has ever used donor money this way – a decision made all the more curious given Trump’s vast independent wealth.

    Making matters slightly worse, the Wall Street Journal reported overnight that the Republican National Committee has also helped pay for the legal defense of Donald Trump Jr.

  43. rikyrah says:

    Trump Is Isolating the U.S. From the Rest of the World
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    September 20, 2017

    Here is the part of Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly that has received the most attention.

    No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about. That’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.

    The president of the United States just threatened to destroy a nation of 25 million people. He also taunted their leader with one of his ubiquitous nicknames: rocket man. That is exactly the kind of alpha male approach we’ve come to expect from Trump. It also plays right into the hands of the other alpha male he is dealing with.

    We are becoming the existential threat Kim Jong Un told his people we were to justify their oppression.

    — John Cho (@JohnTheCho) September 19, 2017

    Of course, the same could be said for the president’s remarks yesterday about Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela. That is why this tweet struck me as the best summary of the entire speech.

    Hard to overstate how much work Trump is doing here to isolate the US instead of our adversaries.

    — Matt Duss (@mattduss) September 19, 2017

  44. rikyrah says:

    ‘We Are Allowed to Punch, Kick’: Ohio Police Attempt to Justify Brutal Beating of Unarmed Black Man

    Breanna Edwards
    9/12/17 2:51pm

    It’s another day ending in y, and another group of police officers—this time in Columbus, Ohio—were caught on cellphone footage repeatedly punching and kicking an unarmed black man during an arrest inside a local market.

    However, although the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Timothy Davis, is seen in his booking photo with multiple bruises and marks on his face, authorities are apparently attempting to justify the use of force that the officers took in restraining him.

    “We are allowed to punch and we are allowed to kick,” Columbus Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Dean Worthington told WCMH-TV, explaining that use of force depends on the behavior of the suspect at the time of the arrest. “That’s part of our use-of-force continuum, and it all depends on what the behavior of the suspect is at the time. Certainly, we don’t want to go out there and punch citizens of our city, but we have the authority, we have the responsibility to arrest people, and sometimes arrests can be ugly.”

  45. rikyrah says:

    The Danger to Obamacare Is Real
    by Martin Longman
    September 19, 2017

    In this case, the Democrats are correct. The reason that House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House are loudly signaling that they have no interest in pursuing the bipartisan negotiations between Senate HELP Committee leaders Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray is because they’re engaged in a whip operation in support of the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill:

    Democrats portrayed the rejection of the bipartisan push as intended to create pressure on Senate Republicans to hold their nose and support the Graham-Cassidy bill, and as the only way out of the party’s political quagmire. If that bill fails, Republicans may have to return to bipartisan talks, particularly if Trump again threatens to halt subsidy payments.

    A few things have happened in recent weeks that have revived the Republicans’ interest in giving repeal another go. One is that Trump started talking aggressively about turning to the Democrats to make deals since the Republicans clearly cannot deliver on their own. Another is brutal polling data. Gallup has approval of Congress at somewhere between 16 percent and 18 percent in August and September among Republican voters. It was at 50 percent among Republicans in February. For context, Democratic voters give Congress a 14 percent approval number. Probably more importantly, a quick glance at the generic congressional preference polling shows that the GOP’s position has deteriorated badly since the failure in early August to repeal Obamacare. Before August, the Dems’ advantage ranged roughly between two and six percent, with only a couple of more disturbing outliers. Since the failed vote on Obamacare, however, the range is more like six to nine percent. The RealClearPolitics rolling average is actually at 9.2 percent at the moment, which is high enough to predict a wave election that could cost the Republicans control of the House of Representatives. A third recent development is that the Senate parliamentarian clarified that the Republicans must repeal Obamacare by September 30th or give up trying. That’s because their special budget reconciliation instructions will expire at the end of the fiscal year.

  46. rikyrah says:

    This muthaphucka HERE:

    Asked for a response to Kimmel’s comments, Cassidy focused on the looming Sept. 30 deadline for Senate Republicans to pass a health care bill.

    “We have a September 30th deadline on our promise. Let’s finish the job,” he said in a statement provided by his office. “We must because there is a mother and father whose child will have insurance because of Graham Cassidy Heller Johnson. There is someone whose pre-existing condition will be addressed because of GCHJ.”

    “I dedicated my medical career to care for such as these,” Cassidy said. “This is why GCHJ must pass.”

  47. rikyrah says:

    Prayers for those in the path of Maria. And continued prayers for those hit by the earthquake in Mexico. May they find survivors.

  48. rikyrah says:

    they are showing their true colors:

    Katy Tur: there are no protections for essential health care benefits in Graham-Cassidy

    Sen. Barasso: There shouldn’t be

  49. rikyrah says:

    Even though we don’t have a CBO score, people have been working on the financial impact of Cassidy-Graham.
    Here is Mayhew and Balloon Juice’s take, complete with a nice graphic about how this would steal monies from those states who expanded Medicaid, while giving monies to the states that didn’t. Also contains links to other folks who have done the math.

    Three Cassidy-Graham State Funds Flow Analysis
    by David Anderson
    at 5:30 am on September 20, 2017

    Cassidy-Graham-Heller is a real threat. The post below is an inventory of three separate analysis of the flow of funds between states under C-G-H in 2026 compared to current law as projected by the Congressional Budget Office. I am just collating and collecting the information.

    Center for Budget Policy and Priorities is a liberal think tank. They use the 2016 budget baseline and attempt to approximate eligibility through the Current Population Survey. They analyse state funding swings in millions of dollars.
    The New York Times uses Census, Kaiser Family Foundation, CBPP and CMS data to estimate per capita changes in expenditure by state in 2026.

    Manatt is a program design and evaluation consulting firm. They are using 2017 as their cost baseline year with 2015 Medicare spending variations to simulate state level risk adjustment.

  50. rikyrah says:

    Another comment about calling about Trumpcare:

    Not only McCain, but Collins and Murkowski.

    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:
    September 20, 2017 at 8:13 am

    I called McCain’s office yesterday – it’s really easy and worthwhile. I plan to call again, today and every day, until reconciliation runs out on the 3oth.

    What the hell: though I’m not an AZ resident, I have a relative who is.

    WashingtonDC (202) 224-2235 – press #1

    The DC has voice mail, at first the automated message suggests using email, but if you hang on it will connect you to voicemail.

    I asked him not to vote for bill that has no bipartisan support, nor a bill that only has 50 votes, nor a bill that tampers with pre-existing conditions, nor a bill that tampers with medicaid. Today I’m going to add don’t vote for a bill that doesn’t have a CBO score.

    Every bit helps.

  51. rikyrah says:

    This is from Mayhew at BJ

    Keep on calling
    by David Anderson
    at 7:00 am on September 20, 2017

    Keep on calling.

    Call the Senate.

    Call your governor.

    And if you live in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, North Dakota, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, call your Representative in the House. The Senate plan is to jam it through with 50 votes and present the House with a take it or leave proposition.

    This is a harder vote for non-Southern Republican representatives than the AHCA for a couple of reasons. First, there has not been an external shock to the system that has improved the bill’s popularity nor improved Trump’s popularity compared to March or May. Secondly, the AHCA was a general cut with local implications but the money that got cut from a district or a state just disappeared. Now the money that is cut goes to Texas or Mississippi.

    NEWS. Third House GOPer from NY has doubts about Graham-Cassidy

    All three voted FOR repeal already

    This is worse

    — Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson) September 19, 2017

    It takes very little imagination for a challenger to come up with an ad that goes like this:

    “Representative Poppins was the decisive vote to send a billion dollars a year from our community health center and hospital and send it to Texas. I’ll fight for our town hospital and for health insurance for the good people of this district while Rep. Poppins cares for Texas. I’m Johanna Hometowner and I approve this message”

  52. Lonnie Starr says:

    The reason gov’t need the best and brightest, is because we have so many laws and regulations. The reason we have so many laws and regulations is because, circumstances, research and court rulings, to name a few reasons, result in findings that new situations need to be covered to protect the public. Remember, people “actors” are not sitting idly by and accepting regulations and laws, they are actively working to find loopholes and workarounds for them. Some of these “workarounds” are quite dangerous to the public good and must be prevented.

    Unless every household is going to staff their own labs and research centers, the public is going to have to rely on gov’t to control things on their behalf. Once the gov’t stops doing that, we descend into an abyss of chaos where the public does not know what to trust from what not to trust. In such a state of affairs, the next calamity, e coli or disease out break will be more devastating than it otherwise should be and there are bad actors out there who will not stop themselves from producing the next emergency, just to earn a few more bucks profit. In short, we are in deep trouble and only time will reveal its dimensions.

  53. Lonnie Starr says:

    This is added to the report that Trumps attorneys were overheard discussing the Russia matter at a restaurant by a NYT reporter. They’re aghast at the jejune behavior of these attorneys, but what they forget is, the best and brightest Washington attorneys declined to get involved with Trump. Obviously, his conduct, which has impugned those who have attempted to defend him, has sent a grave and serious warning to anyone who values their own reputation. It is for this same reason I cannot see him attracting the best for positions in his administration government wide, which means this cannon possibly end well.

  54. rikyrah says:

    Here is Jimmy Kimmel slamming the latest version of Trumpcare

    Pointing out that Cassidy is a liar

  55. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

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