Monday Open Thread- Poebe Snow Week

Happy Monday, Everyone. I need music this week that soothes.

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28 Responses to Monday Open Thread- Poebe Snow Week

    • majiir says:

      The Kushner Family needs money and lots of it. Jared made a multi-billion dollar purchase of a hotel/building in NYC, and a huge loan payment is due early next year. The family, including Jared and Trump, have had major problems with getting large U.S. banks to loan them money. This is why Jared’s sister got caught telling wealthy Chinese investors they could get permanent residency visas here a few months ago if they invested $500,000 in the family’s projects. Jared has access to these wealthy persons around the globe via his position in the WH, and I think these email trails that lead from him to his family members is tied to his family’s desperate need for money.

  1. Liza says:

    Captain Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords on yesterday’s shooting in Las Vegas. Captain Kelly starts at 7:55. Good speech.

  2. Liza says:

    Tom Petty, RIP.

  3. rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Trump’s company had more contact with Russia during campaign, according to documents to investigators
    — Holly O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) October 2, 2017

  4. rikyrah says:

    Tom Petty has passed :(

  5. rikyrah says:

    The Trump Doctrine: ‘I’m a Madman’
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    October 2, 2017


    Let’s break that down. First of all, against the advice of his foreign policy experts, Trump continues to attempt to inflame the situation with name-calling. Secondly, in suggesting that his predecessors were “being nice to Rocket Man,” the president demonstrates his total ignorance of history, which was documented most thoroughly in this Washington Monthly story by Fred Kaplan. Thirdly, Trump makes it sound like he wasn’t aware of what his Sec. of State was doing in talking directly to North Korea. Otherwise, why would he tweet that it was a waste of time almost immediately following Tillerson’s remarks? One has to wonder how foreign policy decisions are made in this administration. Rather than discussing options in the situation room and agreeing on a course of action, it sure looks like members of the administration are free agents and Trump reacts on Twitter.

    But the message the president is sending is that foreign leaders shouldn’t put any stock in what his Cabinet members do or say. These few tweets completely undermined anything Tillerson was attempting to accomplish and ensured that, if there was ever the possibility for diplomacy with North Korea, that is a dead end at this point. By saying, “we’ll do what has to be done,” Trump signaled that he’s the madman who can’t be trusted or predicted. To paraphrase what he told Lighthizer, “this guy is so crazy, he’ll do anything.”

    The foundation of this madman approach to foreign policy was laid during the presidential campaign when Trump said, “We must as a nation be more unpredictable.” Given that I have always been skeptical that this president actually has a strategy for anything, I suspect that he gravitates towards this approach in order to avoid committing to a policy for which he might be held accountable. In other words, it keeps all of his options open at all times. It’s also a perfect cover for his ignorance. He doesn’t ever outline what he will do because he doesn’t know what he will do. Finally, being the unpredictable madman who never commits to a particular course of action, but might do anything, gives Trump the illusion of dominance.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Obama-Trump Voters Need to Apologize to Puerto Rico
    by D.R. Tucker
    October 2, 2017

    Remember Colin Powell’s “Pottery Barn doctrine” with regard to the Iraq War–”You break it, you own it”? That same rule should apply to the consequences of bad voting decisions. Those who voted for Donald Trump last November–especially the folks who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, only to take leave of their senses by voting for the bigoted billionaire to succeed him as President–broke this country…and they certainly own the mess we’re in, including the humanitarian tragedy in Puerto Rico.

    Just as it is impossible to imagine a President Al Gore or a President John Kerry leaving American citizens to die on the streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, so too does it beggar belief to think that a President Hillary Clinton would leave American citizens to suffer and starve in Puerto Rico. As Keith Olbermann notes, Trump’s response to Puerto Rico is saturated with racial prejudice; in fact, actor and comedian John Leguizamo’s analysis of Trump’s deliberate mishandling of the Puerto Rico crisis is even more direct than Olbermann’s.

    Those who voted for Trump generally, and former Obama voters who actually thought Trump was a worthy successor to Obama specifically, bear responsibility for this nightmare. With their votes, they gave Trump the power to hurt the people of Puerto Rico, to scoff at their suffering, to place the desires of supporters wearing hats of red over the needs of people desperate for water, shelter and bread.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Don’t Let The Vultures Shock Doctrine Puerto Rico
    by David Atkins October 1, 2017

    When I am asked my recommendations for political non-fiction books, the top of my list is almost always Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine (Chris Hayes’ Twilight of the Elites is a close second.)

    Seven years after its publication, no other book better explains the state of the modern political world. The thesis of the book is simple: vulture capitalists saw profit to be had in institutions that eschewed profit to serve people, and when people would not give up those institutions, the vulture capitalists shocked entire populations into submission using disasters both natural and manmade as an opportunity to privatize entire industries. Kleptocracy, religious fundamentalism, ethnic sectarianism and dictatorship arose quickly from the ashes of stunned, impoverished and subjugated peoples, creating blowback for Western democracies even as the jet set luxuriated in champagne and caviar.

    We are living that story today all over the world. Vladimir Putin’s takeover of Russia was the direct result of American-led privatization of the former Soviet Union’s assets, as Bill Clinton and Yeltsin worked to convert the USSR from Soviet Communism to American libertarianism overnight rather than manage a responsible transition to a Scandinavian-style democratic socialist system that might actually benefit a disoriented Russian people. Poverty and anger was the result, and desperate Russians (particularly from rural areas) sought to make their country great again by electing a despot who they imagined would bring back the glory days. Now with Russian interference in the U.S. election, many American elites who instigated the Yeltsin-era collapse have paid the price for their greed in spades, with a particularly bitter irony for the Clinton family.


    And, of course, it happened here in America. The same vulture capitalists who devastated the Russian and Iraqi towns and countrysides and gave rise to Vlaidimr Putin and ISIS, also did the same to the American Rust Belt. Entire communities were left to rot and die as factories were closed and jobs automated and sent overseas, just to boost next quarter’s stock returns and make the .1% even more fantastically richer. Youngstown, Ohio, shared much the same fate as Vladivostock and Baghdad, its citizens left behind and turned to indentured servants in a dystopia of despair so that a few incompetent elites in a pretend meritocracy could profit more obscenely from the excess than any Roman Emperor or French King. As in Russia, they voted to make their country great again by punishing the elites they rightly felt had betrayed them–even if it meant electing a racist, ignorant buffoon to the Oval Office.

    It’s not always the direct doing of the vultures through military or economic aggression. Sometimes they swoop in after natural disasters, as occurred in New Orleans after Katrina when the public schools were converted into a failed privatization experiment. In the case of climate change, lucrative fossil fuel consumption neatly causes Arctic melt that in turn allows further irresponsible exploitation of carbon reserves. It also coincidentally worsens natural disasters that create the opportunity for more creative destruction and privatization at the expense of vulnerable people, species and habitats. It’s a perfect circle of greed and death.

    And now the same thing is being done to Puerto Rico. Vulture capital has spent the last decade slowly grinding down the island territory into a cruel debtor’s prison so that Wall Street can scoop up unearned nickels from the impoverished populace. No sooner had Hurricane Maria departed than the same debt dealers were offering Puerto Ricans even more rope with which to entrap them. Wall Street has long been slavering over Puerto Rico’s electric utility, and now sees even more opportunity for privatizing it in the wake of the destruction.

    There is no particular reason for America’s pro-business conservatives to come too quickly to Puerto Rico’s aid. The entire ideology of vulture conservatism is that government is incapable of helping, and that communities must fend for themselves (particularly if they lack the right skin tone and dialect.) But beyond that, there is no incentive for the hedge fund class to see Puerto Rico recover too quickly. It’s in their best interest to see Puerto Rico make a painful, grinding transition to full privatization, more debt and endless punitive interest payments.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Why the Jones Act Is Robin Hood in Reverse
    The previously obscure law not only slowed delivery of relief supplies to Puerto Rico—it represents a whole category of ‘rent-seeking’ policies that redistribute income upwards.

    by Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles
    October 2, 2017

    In the midst of almost unimaginable horror in Puerto Rico, a bright light has shone on one of America’s most unjustifiable and economically backward laws, the previously obscure Jones Act. First created in the aftermath of World War I to buffer the impact of post-war demobilization, the Jones Act requires that all ships that carry cargo within the United States be built in America, with American crews.

    The cost to American consumers each year runs in the billions of dollars, with particularly large impacts on places like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands that (unlike the mainland) depend almost exclusively on shipping for everything from food to fuel. What in normal times just increased prices on essential goods—bad enough for the poorest island-based Americans—has turned tragic.

    The Jones Act is now approaching its centennial. Despite the huge cost to consumers and the puny size of the American ship-building industry—U.S. ships carry only 2 percent of global cargo—the law has proven all but politically bullet-proof. But what the law’s beneficiaries lack in numbers, they make up for in geographic concentration (in and around a few major ports), and the doggedness of their lobbying. In the American political system, these are powerful sources of influence, especially when playing defense in institutions with multiple veto points.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Blasting ‘ingrates,’ Trump unravels in the face of Puerto Rico crisis
    10/02/17 08:00 AM—UPDATED 10/02/17 09:29 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Donald Trump’s presidency has been plagued by a series of fiascoes, but one of the common threads tying his problems together has been the prevalence of crises of his own making. The fact that the Republican is failing may be obvious, but less obvious is the fact that Trump and his team have been largely responsible for every scandal, outrage, misstep, and debacle.
    As Matt Yglesias explained yesterday, the crisis in Puerto Rico is a different kind of challenge for this president.

    For the first nine months of his administration, observers have had occasion to wonder – and wonder, and wonder, and wonder – how exactly Donald Trump would manage to handle a real crisis imposed by external events rather than his own impulsiveness. The answer is now apparent in the blackened streets of San Juan and the villages of interior Puerto Rico that more than a week after Hurricane Maria struck remain without access to food or clean water.

    Phase One of Trump’s response to Puerto Rico’s crisis was passive indifference. Last week, for example, as Americans on the island struggled without access to power or water, the president’s focus was on racially inflammatory criticism of professional athletes. When Trump finally acknowledged the catastrophic conditions in Puerto Rico, the president’s interest seemed largely limited to money the island owes to Wall Street.

    Phase Two was the president’s overly defensive posture. The more the administration’s response to the crisis faced criticism, the more Trump proudly bragged about how amazing he and his team had performed. At different times last week, he said, “We have had tremendous reviews”; “Everybody has said it’s amazing the job that we’ve done in Puerto Rico”; “It’s been incredible the results that we’ve had”; “People can’t believe how successful that has been”; and “We have done an incredible job.”

    In Trump’s mind, much of Puerto Rico’s crisis appears to be about him, and he’s eager to tell you how awesome he thinks he is.

    But Phase Three began in earnest over the weekend, when the president shifted from an overly defensive posture to an overtly offensive one.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Trump undermines the Trump administration on North Korea
    10/02/17 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen


    “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man. Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done! Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail.”

    We know, of course, that the United States hasn’t been “nice” to Kim Jong-un for 25 years for a variety of reasons, starting with the fact that he’s only 33. Trump is probably thinking of a different North Korean dictator. (He really should try to keep up on basic details, such as the fact that Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il are not the same person.)

    But even putting that aside, there are basically three angles to this story.

    First, there’s no reason to believe Trump administration officials will have any credibility with North Korea so long as Trump himself is undercutting his own team’s efforts. Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, called this “life-or-death presidential malpractice,” adding, “How could any other country take seriously the assurance that America seeks a peaceful solution?”

    Indeed, cabinet members serve at the pleasure of the president. If Trump believes the process is a “waste of time,” he has the option of simply ordering the State Department not to pursue this diplomatic opportunity.

    Second, there’s also no reason to believe this will work in the president’s favor. His ostensible goal is to contain North Korea and persuade it to forfeit its nuclear program. One need not be an expert on international diplomacy to realize juvenile name-calling and threats of violence will not convince Kim Jong-un to cater to White House demands.

    And third, for the love of all that is good in the world, Rex Tillerson’s resignation should be a foregone conclusion at this point. He and the president have been on wildly different pages over and over and over again, to the point that there’s no reason anyone on the planet should believe the Secretary of State can speak with authority on what U.S. foreign policy entails.

    Trump is humiliating Tillerson on a global scale. The only way he can end this fiasco is to walk away.

  11. rikyrah says:

    GOP senator: Health care coverage is ‘a privilege,’ not a right
    10/02/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Nearly six months ago, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) acknowledged, “There’s a widespread recognition that the federal government, Congress, has created the right for every American to have health care.” Whether Cassidy still believes this is an open question – the Louisiana Republican seems to have changed quite a bit – but the question of whether Americans have a right to health care is hardly a resolved question within his party.

    For example, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) spoke to a group of high-school students near Milwaukee on Friday morning, and he heard from one student who asked, “Do you personally consider health care as a privilege or a right?” The far-right senator replied:

    “I think it’s probably more of a privilege. Do you consider food a right? Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Past that point, we have the right to freedom. Past that point everything else is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us to afford those things.

    “Sen. Rand Paul talked about this on the floor of the Senate. He’s a doctor. He said the minute you consider health care a right, well, who’s going to satisfy that right? And those people who have the skills to satisfy that right, what does that make them if they’re forced to provide you with that rightful product or service?”


    Six years later, many Americans might hear Rand Paul’s argument and find it ridiculous. Ron Johnson, however, finds it a persuasive reason to deny the existence of Americans’ right to health care.

    I don’t imagine the Wisconsin Republican is open to alternative ideas on the subject, but the question Johnson and his allies should take a moment to consider is what it means to have a right to “life” – and the severe limits those with that right face when they lack access to quality and affordable medical care.

    For example, if an American needs chemotherapy to protect and extend her life, Johnson’s argument is that she may enjoy the “privilege” of the cancer treatment if she can afford insurance, the cost of the care, or both. If not, then her right to “life” will depend almost entirely on her personal finances.

    In other words, in Johnson’s vision, your right to life effectively means you have the right not to be killed – but that’s all it means.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan’s defense of Trump on race falls far short
    10/02/17 10:01 AM
    By Steve Benen
    House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has made a spirited effort to defend Donald Trump throughout the president’s first year in office, though this was put to the test on “Face the Nation” yesterday. CBS’s John Dickerson brought up race relations and Trump’s “ability to bring this country together.” It led to this exchange:

    RYAN: I think, like you say, like I said before, he’s learning. I know his heart’s in the right place. And –

    DICKERSON: How do you know that?

    RYAN: Just – I’ve had some candid conversations with him about this. Especially during that time [following the Charlottesville violence]. I’ve had some very candid conversations. And so I do really believe his heart’s in the right place.


    But the more I thought about the Speaker’s assessment, the more I wondered whether his defense of the president misses the point of the broader controversy.

    When it comes to presidential leadership – or more to the point, attempts at presidential leadership – what matters is what Trump says and does. Ryan’s argument seems to be that, deep down inside, there’s a core goodness in the president that the public doesn’t necessarily see, but which the Speaker has come to appreciate following candid conversations in private.

    Reasonable people can debate whether that core goodness exists or not, but the significance of the answer pales in significance to the president’s actions.

    What’s more important, Trump’s heart being in the right place or his defense of some racist activists as “very fine people”? Or his Muslim ban? Or his contention that Mexican immigrants are rapists? Or his hesitation in denouncing David Duke?

  13. rikyrah says:

    Trump hasn’t implemented Russian sanctions that he signed 2 mos ago & now he missed a deadline to issue guidance to ID Russian intel agents.
    — Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) October 1, 2017

  14. rikyrah says:

    Sunday’s front page…
    After Trump insults Puerto Rico’s leaders, Lin-Manuel Miranda tells the President:
    — New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 1, 2017

  15. rikyrah says:

    Ppl of 🇵🇷, if you flee devastation & come to mainland, hope you settle in a swing state- FL, PA, OH… Register to vote & don’t forget this!
    — Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) October 1, 2017

  16. rikyrah says:

    Where did former president Jimmy Carter spend his 93rd birthday? At Sunday school, of course
    — Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 1, 2017

  17. rikyrah says:

    A big deal. Congratulations to @theJagmeetSingh on his decisive victory. First person of color to lead a major political party in Canada.
    — Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 2, 2017

  18. rikyrah says:

    The whole team, black and white, kneeled to pray *before* the Anthem. The team was still booed. It was never about the Anthem.
    — Jeff Yang (@originalspin) October 1, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:

    White House economic adviser Gary Cohn says eliminating state, local tax deductions up for discussion
    — New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 2, 2017

  20. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

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