Wednesday Open Thread | Biden: McConnell stopped Obama from calling out Russians

Former Vice President Joe Biden blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to sign a bipartisan statement condemning Russia’s interference in the run-up to the 2016 presidential elections.

Biden, speaking at an event hosted by the Council of Foreign Relations on Tuesday, said he and former President Barack Obama worried that speaking out about the meddling before Nov. 9, 2016, would inevitably look like a politically motivated effort to tip the elections, Politico reported.

They approached McConnell with the idea of issuing a bipartisan statement, but the senator “wanted no part” in it, according to Biden, who has repeatedly floated the possibility of a 2020 presidential bid.

A spokesperson for McConnell defended the senate majority leader and pointed to a letter he signed in September 2016 along with the three other congressional leaders, Politico reported.

But the letter to the president of the National Association of State Election Directors simply urged states to bolster their voting systems from cyberattacks, and did not include any mentions of Russia.

Evidence of Russia’s role in the Democratic National Committee hack began mounting in the summer of 2016, and senators who received intelligence briefings urged Obama to declassify reports surrounding the stolen emails.

One month before the elections, intelligence officials under the Obama administration issued a statement blaming the Russian government for undermining the U.S. electoral system.

But it wasn’t until after President Trump’s victory that a CIA report revealed Russia was acting in the interests of the Republican candidate.

Obama came under fire for not acting sooner, and Biden called it a “constant tightrope” on Tuesday.

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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63 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Biden: McConnell stopped Obama from calling out Russians

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Julius Lester, whose literature explored African American life, dies at 78”

    He wrote nearly 50 books, including works of nonfiction, fiction, memoir and folklore as well as literature for young readers. His output, wrote the late Roger W. Wilkins, one of the first black editorial board members of The Washington Post, “gives us a slice of America strained through a deeply sensitive and an enormously talented black spirit.”

    Mr. Lester first established himself as a folk musician in New York, co-writing with Pete Seeger the book “The Folksinger’s Guide to the 12-String Guitar as Played by Leadbelly” (1965). He ventured back to the South as a civil rights worker.

    “Going to Mississippi in ’64, you knew you could be arrested, you knew you could be killed, you knew you could be injured,” he once told PBS. “But there was this feeling inside of me that it was just something I had to do.”

    He worked as a photographer and spokesman for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was a speechwriter for Black Power leader Stokely Carmichael, and in 1968 published the book “Look Out, Whitey! Black Power’s Gon’ Get Your Mama!”

    In the book, he argued that “the world of the black American is different from that of the white American” and that “the difference comes not only from the segregation imposed on the black man, but from the very nature of blackness and its evolution under segregation.”

    …He once wrote that “the need to know more about my individual past led me to begin studying slavery.” Among his numerous books for young readers was “To Be a Slave” (1968), a Newbery Honor book.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Thank you for all that you gave toward making the world a better place, Mr. Julius Lester.

      May you rest in power and peace.

  2. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Exclusive: Blavity Publishes Erica Garner’s Final Essay On Her Relentless Fight For Justice We are exclusively publishing the last essay Erica Garner wrote in which she calls for answers in the ongoing federal investigation into her father’s death.

  3. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    New York Times book review of two books at this link:
    Excerpt from Amazon’s page:

    “From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and Asha Bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.”
    Excerpt from Amazon’s page:

    In A More Beautiful and Terrible History award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis dissects this national myth-making, teasing apart the accepted stories to show them in a strikingly different light…Moving from “the histories we get” to “the histories we need,” Theoharis challenges nine key aspects of the fable to reveal the diversity of people, especially women and young people, who led the movement; the work and disruption it took; the role of the media and “polite racism” in maintaining injustice; and the immense barriers and repression activists faced. Theoharis makes us reckon with the fact that far from being acceptable, passive or unified, the civil rights movement was unpopular, disruptive, and courageously persevering. Activists embraced an expansive vision of justice–which a majority of Americans opposed and which the federal government feared.

  4. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Off Broadway Review: ‘Until the Flood,’ a Docu-Drama Set in Ferguson, Mo. In her quietly moving one-person show, Dael Orlandersmith dramatizes reactions of St. Louis residents to the 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

  5. Folks have gone mad. They feel emboldened. We may never recover from the likes of Donald Trump.

  6. rikyrah says:

    New revelation fits with overarching theme of the day which is that Mueller is examining obstruction, efforts to undermine rule of law AFTER Comey dismissal.

    — Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) January 24, 2018

  7. rikyrah says:

    Not spelled out in the piece: McConnell/Ryan opposed going public about Russian hacks in to voting systems despite possibility it could hurt Repubs, or they opposed going public _because_ they knew it wouldn’t hurt Repubs, which they could know only if they knew about collusion

    — Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) January 24, 2018

  8. rikyrah says:

    NEW: Biden confirms earlier reports that Mitch McConnell stopped Obama from warning the public about Russian interference ahead of the 2016 election by refusing to sign on to a bipartisan statement of condemnation.

    — Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) January 23, 2018

  9. rikyrah says:

    Rick Gates is not only an ally of Manafort, he was also the Deputy Campaign Manager for @realDonaldTrump. If Gates flipped, that is more bad news for Manafort and @POTUS.

    — Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 24, 2018

    Because attorneys for Flynn ended cooperation with the White House last Nov, attorneys for @realDonaldTrump & Trump himself will not know what Flynn said to Mueller’s team. Nor will Trump know what Yates & other witnesses said. If @POTUS lies during interview, Mueller will know.

    — Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 24, 2018

  10. rikyrah says:

    This is true.

    hat tip- BJ

    The city’s police-officers union is cracking down on the number of “get out of jail free” courtesy cards distributed to cops to give to family and friends.

    Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association boss Pat Lynch slashed the maximum number of cards that could be issued to current cops from 30 to 20, and to retirees from 20 to 10, sources told The Post.

    The cards are often used to wiggle out of minor trouble such as speeding tickets, the theory being that presenting one suggests you know someone in the NYPD.

    • vitaminlover says:

      Makes you really wonder what caliber of people are in the police force if their family members routinely go to jail!

  11. Ametia says:

    Dude’s gonna rot in prison

    Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, a judge announced Wednesday after hearing statements from more than 150 women and girls who said he sexually abused them over the past two decades.

    “I’ve just signed your death warrant,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said. “I find that you don’t get it, that you’re a danger. That you remain a danger.”

  12. rikyrah says:

    hat tip — TOD

    Derek Thompson: Thanks, Obama


    President Obama has cultivated a reputation for approaching politics with a kind of medical clinicism. But with the full panorama of his presidency coming into view, Obama’s economic legacy is impressive, even historic. First, the centerpiece of Obama’s anti-inequality legacy is the policy that bears his name. Obamacare, a.k.a., the Affordable Care Act, has reduced the uninsured rate from about 16 percent in 2010 to less than 9 percent today, the lowest level in U.S. history. Second, several subtle yet significant tax changes under Obama have made the tax code more progressive. The stimulus bill passed in 2009, a.k.a., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (or, simply, the Recovery Act), included the most important changes. The law created the Making Work Pay credit, expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, and created new tax credits, like the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college attendees. The most significant change to the tax code since 2010 has been the eleventh-hour agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts for all families except for an increase in the top tax rate for households making more than $450,000 and an increase in the estate tax rate to 40 percent.


    Third, the Obama administration has supported initiatives outside of the tax code and health care policy to help the poor and middle class. They have been advocates for higher minimum wages at the national level, which have arguably buoyed the state-by-state effort to raise minimum wages toward $15 in richer areas. They supported extended unemployment benefits while long-term unemployment was perhaps the country’s most insidious economic plague. Unemployment insurance kept more than 11 million people out of poverty in Obama’s first term, according to Census analysis. The president also expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) and Temporary Aid to Needy Families (grants that states can use for a variety of measures including helping the poor). His Department of Education spent more than $60 billion to support states’ education budgets and prevent more layoffs of teachers and administrators. In sum, he grew anti-inequality spending more than any president, as a share of GDP. But at a time when both liberals and conservatives have become exquisitely aware of income inequality and its ills, the seemingly placid, cold, philosopher-in-chief did more to combat that inequity than any president in at least 50 years. For that, two words suffice: “Thanks, Obama.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Twitter truth

    Allow me to reiterate: There is NO WAY Obama could have 1) had an affair with a porn star 2) while Michelle was pregnant! 3) paid her $130k to keep it on the low 4) and STILL have religious folks defending him! There would have been a mob at the WH demanding for his removal!!!

    — Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) January 24, 2018

  14. These mofos are going to burn the whole place down to protect Trump.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Majority of Americans thinks Trump is biased against black people

    Source: The Hill

    BY REBECCA SAVRANSKY – 01/24/18 10:02 AM EST

    A majority of Americans thinks President Trump is biased against black people, according to a recent poll.

    The Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 52 percent of respondents think Trump is biased against black people. Forty percent of respondents believe strongly that Trump is biased, according to the poll.

    Another 41 percent of adults, however, don’t think Trump is biased against black people. More than 80 percent of Democrats see Trump as biased against black people, according to the poll, while less than 20 percent of Republicans feel the same way.

    Pollsters also found that about 80 percent of black people think Trump is biased against them and about two-thirds of Hispanics agree that the president is biased against black people.

  16. This little sweet baby just melts my heart…..


  17. rikyrah says:

    The Unconscionable Claim that Medicaid Fueled the Opioid Crisis
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    January 23, 2018

    Republicans like to talk about the need to “reform” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But most of us know that their real desire is to either kill these programs or so damage them that they can effectively be drowned in the bathtub (as Grover Norquist would put it). House Speaker Paul Ryan said the quiet part out loud when he suggested that he had dreamed about slashing Medicaid spending since his kegger days in college.

    While we’ve all be talking about shithole countries and government shutdowns, the Republicans have launched what might be their most malicious attack yet on Medicaid. The country is facing a severe opioid crisis, and they are actually trying to blame it on Medicaid. Here is the conclusion Sam Adolfsen reaches at the National Review:

    As legislators debate the specifics of repealing and replacing Obamacare, they should resist the feel-good talking point that Medicaid is a silver bullet for solving the opioid epidemic. In reality, Medicaid may be fueling the problem and may be largely responsible for starting the epidemic in the first place.

    Claims like that led Republican Senator Ron Johnson to issue a report, write an op-ed and hold a hearing focused on blaming Medicaid for fueling the opioid epidemic.

  18. rikyrah says:

    I have been worried about AquaGranny. She finally checked in:

    Aquagranny911 • 33 minutes ago
    Hola POU. Nothing like a little heart attack & breast cancer to take your mind off of politics. I’m finally home after 2 months hospital & rehab. I stand as example that cardiac rehab is not for sissies! I still have some health issues to address but I have no plans for giving up yet. I hope all is well with everyone. Now I’m home I can check in more often wi-fi in hospital & rehab was not reliable.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

    • rikyrah says:

      Uh huh 😒😒

    • Liza says:

      Ha. Well, there’s your backlash.

      In Arizona, the vacated Senate seat is filled by the governor’s appointment, and the governor must appoint someone from the same party as the person who held the seat. Then there is an election when the next statewide election is held (mid term or presidential) to finish out the term or start a new term if the term was finished by the time of the election.

      This is how Martha McSally intends to get two shots at a Senate seat. Rumor was that Gov Doug Ducey was going to appoint her if McCain resigned. Well, McCain isn’t resigning but Flake’s seat is open in 2018. So she’s running for that seat and if she loses she could still be appointed to McCain’s seat when he resigns. If she doesn’t get appointed she’ll challenge the appointee in the primary.

  20. Good morning, everyone!

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