Democrats lose by pursuing “bipartisanship”…
Republicans don’t give a damn about what anyone thinks and ram through their agenda.
Until Democrats learn to shove it up Republican ass with a 4×4…Democrats will continue to lose.
Democrats have also become the “white women’s” Party – which is a losing proposition. They had better start paying attention to all of their bases.
Ralph Northam – biggest Democrat comeback in Va history, with Governorship, Lt Governorship, a majority in the House…And one vote away from a majority in the Senate…
And he is already going mamby-pamby.
Wake the fuck up!
When it comes to expanding Medicaid, Gov.-elect Ralph Northam shouldn’t bother with bipartisanship.
Ralph Northam ran on Medicaid. “We need to expand Medicaid in the commonwealth of Virginia,” the Democratic gubernatorial candidate said at a major rally in Richmond just a few weeks before the election. “Right now there are 400,000 working Virginians that don’t have access to health care. That is immoral.”
In his first interview since the election, Ralph Northam says he won’t take that step. “I have let our people know that I will work with the legislature that was elected by the people,” he said in an interview with the Washington Post. “I’m not approaching anybody … in the Senate or the House.” The Post notes that “Northam said he has no plans to try to force Republicans to accept a broad expansion of Medicaid.”
It’s true that Northam won’t enter office with Democratic majorities in the General Assembly. But he’ll be close. Democrats swept state legislative elections in a surprising wave that, after several recounts—including one race determined by a single vote—gave them 50 seats in the 100-member House of Delegates, with incoming Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax as the tie-breaking vote. Along with Republicans’ razor-thin minority in the state Senate—19 seats in a 40-member chamber—Democrats are a hair’s breadth away from the votes they need to expand Medicaid. Bringing a few Republicans into the Northam administration, or convincing one or two of the most vulnerable GOP members to switch sides, would open the floor to expanding the health care program.
Northam, who himself switched parties before entering electoral politics and was later courted to switch back by Republicans, is clearly committed to an Obama-esque vision of civility and compromise. But before heading down that road, the incoming governor should remember one of the lessons of Obama’s presidency: Voters may say they like bipartisanship, but they don’t actually vote for it.
Despite an electorate that clearly wanted Democrats to take the lead, Northam is preaching bipartisanship in Richmond. His advice to freshman Democratic lawmakers? “Learn the system, number one. And really make good relationships on both sides of the aisle. … I’ll try to lead that. We talk about the doctor being in, healing, and I’ll try to bring people together and emphasize doing what’s in the best interest of Virginia.”
We’ve seen this logic before. In the first year of his presidency, Barack Obama tried to find common ground with the GOP on issues of presumably mutual concern. He brought Republicans into his Cabinet, extending offers to Robert Gates, former Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois, and Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. A week after his inauguration, Obama met with congressional Republicans, seeking support for his stimulus plan and offering concessions on several items. And far from jamming health care through Congress, the White House deferred to a bipartisan “Gang of Six” led by Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. By the end of his first 100 days in office, most Americans—66 percent according to Gallup—believed Obama was making a sincere effort to find common ground with the Republican Party, fulfilling a key campaign promise.
But while the public likes bipartisanship, it doesn’t reward it. Obama’s overtures didn’t insulate him or his Democratic allies from a growing sense of discontent and a landslide that would obliterate the party’s majority in the House of Representatives. What voters typically reward is performance, and the administration’s zeal for compromise on stimulus and health care produced measures that weren’t large enough or generous enough to give voters a sense of security in the wake of a disastrous recession.
Compromise is part of governance, but given the yawning ideological gap between Republicans and Democrats, there is real tension between pursuing that bipartisanship and building legislation that works. During Obama’s presidency, the pressures of partisanship and ideology meant Republicans were never going to support an expansive health insurance program. Still, Democrats built their program around the possibility of bipartisan support, yielding a law with real weaknesses.
Ralph Northam clearly values compromise and bipartisanship, but he runs a risk in elevating them over his unambiguous promise to expand Medicaid. Northam won’t have to stand for re-election—the governor of Virginia can’t serve consecutive terms—but the energy that elevated state Democrats and delivered a shocking victory in the House of Delegates can dissipate as easily as it emerged. Indeed, in the wake of his interview with the Post, Northam was hit with a social media backlash, excoriating him for backing away from his Medicaid pledge.
If Obama’s experience doesn’t weigh on Northam, that backlash should. If Northam can lead Virginia to fully implement the Affordable Care Act, there’s a decent chance voters will remember in two years and vote accordingly. They won’t remember, and won’t care, if he reaches out to Republicans to craft a half-measure that doesn’t address the problem.
The first line of battle against the Chumph and Republican reprobates…
The United States is at another critical moment in history where Americans must decide what kind of country they want to be. That’s what former acting Attorney General Sally Yates wants the country to understand.
In an op-ed for USA Today, the foe of President Donald Trump once tried to warn and help the administration, only to be thrown out of office. Yates thinks this is part of a calling for Americans to decide if they’ll uphold the “country’s core values.”
“Our founding documents set forth the values that make us who we are, or at least who we aspire to be,” Yates wrote. “I say aspire to be because we haven’t always lived up to our founding ideals — even at the time of our founding. When the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that all men are created equal, hundreds of thousands of African Americans were being enslaved by their fellow Americans.”
She recalled the Jim Crow South when Americans were forced to decide whether they wanted to be defined by lynchings or a promise of equal justice. While Americans have sometimes fallen short of what it strived for, Yates explained that they still shared a vision of what the country meant and what was expected of leaders.
She listed values that unite the United States and asked Americans to look back at the Preamble to our Constitution to harness the inspiration:
“’We the people of the United States’ (we are a democratic republic, not a dictatorship),” Yates wrote. “‘In order to form a more perfect union’ (we are a work in progress dedicated to a noble pursuit) ‘establish justice’ (we revere justice as the cornerstone of our democracy) ‘insure domestic tranquility’ (we prize unity and peace, not divisiveness and discord), ‘provide for the common defense’ (we should never give any foreign adversary reason to question our solidarity) ‘promote the general welfare’ (we care about one another; compassion and decency matter) ‘and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity’ (we have a responsibility to protect not just our own generation, but future ones as well).”
She explained that the Bill of Rights similarly gets to the point of allowing for individual liberty and other rights that Americans are taking for granted.
“But without vigilance can erode and slip away, such as freedom of speech (our right to protest and be heard); freedom of religion (the essential separation between how one worships and the power of the state); and freedom of the press (a democratic institution essential to informing the public and holding our leaders accountable),” she continued.
The rule of law is generally another essential principle, according to Yates. It implied we are approaching a lawless world in which any possible criminality on the part of the president could be ignored by portion of the citizens.
“The promise that the law applies equally to everyone, that no person is above it, and that all are entitled to its protection,” she wrote. “This concept of equal protection recognizes that our country’s strength comes from honoring, not weaponizing, the diversity that springs from being a nation of Native Americans and immigrants of different races, religions and nationalities.”
Yates noted that one thing that separates the United States from an autocracy is the “strict separation between the Justice Department and the White House on criminal cases and investigations.” It should ensure the public would believe in the legitimacy of the criminal process. Truth is another thing that ensures the U.S. doesn’t stumble drunkenly into an autocracy.
“There is such a thing as objective truth,” she explained. “We can debate policies and issues, and we should. But those debates must be based on common facts rather than raw appeals to emotion and fear through polarizing rhetoric and fabrications.”
She said that failing to tell the truth is important. If Americans can’t trust their public servants and fail to hold them accountable for lies, “we look the other way and normalize an indifference to truth.”
She closed with a powerful call to action:
“We are not living in ordinary times, and it is not enough for us to admire our nation’s core values from afar…So stand up. Speak out.”
Even the Police knew of Roy Moore’s pedophilia…
Here is the Chumph defending the pedophile…
Numbers shouldn’t be any surprise The sanctimonious red state Republicans lead the country in most moral failures.
I mean,a small sample this year so far –
Kansas City Republican Rep. Huelskamp staffer arrested on charges with 17 counts of child sex crimes, including sexual exploitation of a child.
The New York Times‘ Nicholas Kristof reported Saturday on the results of the annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which found that people living in so-called blue states have lower rates of teen pregnancy, divorce and prostitution than their counterparts in conservative states.
In a survey of 32 states, the states with the highest percentage of teens who are sexually active were Mississippi, Delaware, West Virginia, Alabama and Arkansas.
As Kristof noted, “All but Delaware voted Republican in the last presidential election.”
“Meanwhile,” he wrote, “the five states with the lowest proportion of high school students who have had sex were New York, California, Maryland, Nebraska and Connecticut. All but Nebraska voted Democratic.”
When teens from evangelical backgrounds have sex, they are less likely to use birth control or protection against STDs. Of the 10 states with the highest teen birth rates, nine voted Republican in 2016. Of the 10 states with the lowest teen birth rates, nine voted Democratic.
“The conservative hostility to premarital sex also sometimes leads to early weddings, even to child marriages,” said Kristof. “I wrote in May about the hundreds of thousands of child marriages in America, and of the dozen states with the highest rates of child marriage, all voted Republican in 2016.”
“Child marriage is happening at an alarming rate across the U.S., but available marriage-license data show more parents, judges and clerks in red states than in blue states seem comfortable with this human-rights abuse,” said Fraidy Reiss, an anti-child marriage activist who founded the nonprofit Unchained at Last.
Red state marriages are more likely to end in divorce, the survey found. Furthermore, rates of marital infidelity and prostitution are higher in conservative states.
“One large international survey found that the largest group of customers on Ashley Madison, the dating website for married people, were evangelical Christians,” said Kristof. “And a major 2013 study found that men in the Houston and Kansas City metro areas were the most likely to call sex ads, while men in San Francisco and Baltimore were the least likely to.”
Kristof said it’s important not to confuse causality and correlation, however. Conservative values don’t lead to higher rates of adultery and divorce. Christians and conservatives are more likely to marry young, end their educations after high school and are disproportionately poor, according to statistical analysis.
He concluded on a conciliatory note.
“So let’s drop the wars over family values,” he said. “Liberals and conservatives alike don’t want kids pregnant at 16, and we almost all seek committed marriages that last. It’s worth noting that Bible-thumping blowhards like Roy Moore don’t help achieve those values, while investments in education and family planning do.”
Most pedopiles actually molest several hudred children before they are caught.I never is a “I did it once” for the Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Roy More type of serial molester/rapist – they harm dozens if not hundreds.
That the folks in Alabama are defending this scumbag is a national disgrace. General Sherman obviously burned the wrong state during the Civil War.
Another woman has charged Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her.
In an emotional news conference, Beverly Young Nelson said Moore groped her and tried to force her head onto his crotch in his car behind the restaurant where the then 16 year old worked.
Nelson, appearing alongside attorney Gloria Allred, said the incident occurred in 1977.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday, “I believe the women” and called on Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama to “step aside.”
McConnell made his remarks at a news conference in Kentucky. Moore has been accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old in 1979 when he was 32. Four other women have accused Moore of inappropriate contact when they were teens — one of whom came forward publicly on Monday.
McConnell had initially said last week Moore should end his candidacy “if” the allegations were true. McConnell had supported the incumbent senat
Moore has come under increasing pressure from GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill to step aside prior to the Dec. 12 special election in Alabama. He has refused, saying the accusations were “false and untrue” and threatening to sue The Washington Post, which first reported the storyon Nov. 9.
Moore responded to McConnell via Twitter, saying McConnell “has failed conservatives and must be replaced.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has pulled out of a joint fundraising agreement with Moore, and the list of prominent Republicans opposing Moore’s candidacy has steadily grown.
The most recent is Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins, who in a statement on Twitter Monday said she “did not find Moore’s denials to be convincing.”
Republican leaders in Alabama, however, have largely defended Moore. Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler said there is “just nothing immoral or illegal” about the allegations and compared them to biblical marriages. The comments drew criticism from some evangelical leaders.
Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey has called the allegations against Moore “deeply disturbing,” but on Monday she said, “I will withhold judgment until we get more of the facts,” according to WSFA in Alabama.
Monday afternoon, another woman charged Moore with assaulting her. Beverly Young Nelson appeared at a news conference alongside attorney Gloria Allred. Nelson said when she was 16, Moore groped her and tried to force her head onto his crotch in his car behind the restaurant where she worked in Alabama.
Moore’s campaign chairman Bill Armistead released a statement calling Allred “a sensationalist leading a witch hunt,” adding that Moore “is an innocent man and have never had any sexual misconduct with anyone.”
Following Nelson’s accusation, NRSC Chairman Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., issued a statement:
“I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office. If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate.”
While white non-Hispanics make up 68% of Virginia’s population, black folks make up 20%.
Turnout for the 2016 race was low for black voters, With Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate supporting Trump and being against the removal of confederate statues and memorabilia, and the recent events in Charlottesville – it is looking like black turnout this election will be the highest since the Obama years.
Northam’s campaign has pursued the normal mamby-pamby Democrat losing attempt to appeal to white voters who aren’t going to vote Democrat in the first place. The threat of having a white supremacist like the Chumph as Governor has electrified the Minority vote for him this round, but his strategy may have costs should he win and pursue higher office.
Democratic activists expect a surge in black political engagement fueled by backlash to this summer’s violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville could tip the scales in Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial race.
Black voter turnout rates have been down around the country in the post-Obama era, from the 2016 presidential election through a string of special elections in 2017. It has been a long-standing source of concern for Democrats in Virginia, where up to one in five voters in recent elections has been black and where some have criticized Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s outreach to black voters.
But amid a toxic political environment, activists going door-to-door say they have seen African-American interest in voting spike since the summer, when low engagement alarmed Democratic pollsters hoping to elect Northam over Republican Ed Gillespie. Turnout already shot upward in heavily black areas during the Democratic primary, compared with the last contested primary in 2009, and Northam won big in those regions in June. Since then, black political groups have run a steady stream of radio and digital ads invoking Charlottesville and inequality in the criminal justice system, including NFL players’ protests of the issue. And they are talking with voters one-on-one in Norfolk and other African-American population centers to make a personal case about voting this year.
“They feel that it’s not politics as usual,” said Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC, which has been working with the Northam campaign to turn out African-American voters in Hampton Roads. “They know that something else is going on here.”
When BlackPAC first polled voters of color in the state in August, what it found concerned it. The percentage who said they were extremely likely to vote was in the high 60s, and Northam was trailing Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 performance among voters of color.
But voters also said the political environment scared them. Fifty-four percent of black voters said they felt minorities were under attack, and 73 percent agreed with a statement that voting would “send a resounding message to [President Donald] Trump.”
Framing a vote as a way to stand up to racism increased willingness to turn out. Now, nearly 90 percent of those contacted by BlackPAC during door-to-door canvassing are willing to sign a pledge card to vote, and organizers said Gillespie’s ads accusing Northam of trying to “erase history” and take down “our statues” are part of the reason why.
As a BlackPAC canvasser went door-to-door in a majority-black Norfolk neighborhood on Halloween, voters mentioned crime, support for public housing, voting rights and the unfair criminal justice system as reasons they would be voting this year. But one issue loomed above all. Sharon Williams, a disabled middle-aged woman, mentioned how her mother used to talk about the Ku Klux Klan when she was growing up. Williams thought the stories were just to scare her, until one day she saw some hooded men drive down her street.
“They’re trying to start that all over again,” Williams said.
Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Keith Ellison, who recently campaigned with Northam in Prince William County, said he had a visceral reaction to Gillespie’s advertising promising to keep Confederate monuments up in Virginia.
“The people who erected them wanted to make a point about who mattered and who didn’t,” Ellison told reporters, noting many of the statues were built as African-Americans pushed for civil rights during the 20th century. “And so, my opinion? When somebody says they’re for keeping a Confederate monument in the middle of downtown, to me, that says ‘You are subhuman, you don’t have any right to do anything except serve others.’”
Ellison also said Gillespie’s campaign tactics, and Trump’s rhetoric, were alerting voters.
“When Trump makes false equivalencies about neo-Nazis and the KKK and when Gillespie stands up for the monuments, we all know what that means,” Ellison said.
BlackPAC’s ads in Virginia have also addressed Charlottesville directly, both on the radio and online. Another group, CollectivePAC, has run digital ads invoking former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is alleging NFL owners colluded not to sign him following his protests of police brutality last year.
“The first time I saw those people in Charlottesville trying to intimidate people of color, it made me angry,” a female narrator says in one of BlackPAC’s radio ads. “Trying to take away our voice. Then when they came back, it made me determined. No one is going to take away my voice.”
BlackPAC’s closing-argument ad uses images of the violent protests in Charlottesville and the civil rights movement.
“White supremacy stormed into Charlottesville and is being used for political gain,” a female narrator says in the 30-second ad. “We’ve fought too hard for progress to watch it pushed back in the name of Making America Great Again.”
Can you imagine the response from the Federal Government if any major city in the US was hit by a natural disaster that as a result it would lose electricity for 3-6 months?
Well..That just happened to Puerto Rico.
Houston Hurricane Harvey –
President Donald Trump has already made a $7.9 billion request to Congress for emergency funding, which the House passed Wednesday. It’s just a starting point for total Harvey recovery spending; the White House says it plans to request an additional $6.7 billion soon…
Trump promised last Monday “you’re going to see very rapid action from Congress” about approving recovery dollars. “We’re going to get your funding,” he told Texans.
Florida Hurricane Irma –
Puerto Rico –
Yeah …Puerto Rico has 4 things wrking against it
None of those things should count…But under the Chumph and the Reprobates they do.
In Puerto Rico, more than 3.3 million people—who are also U.S. citizens—are still without power, electricity, cellphone service, and, in many cases, the bare necessities for survival after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island nearly a week ago. And Congress doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to help them.
Jennifer Bendery, a HuffPost politics reporter, tweeted Monday that the White House was expected to send a disaster aid request to Congress sometime during the first or second week of October.
She went on to explain that FEMA and the Office of Management and Budget first need to assess the scope of the damage in Puerto Rico—where the governor said on Monday a “humanitarian crisis” is looming if help doesn’t arrive soon—then request money. Then Congress will act.
In a worst case scenario, that means Congress, a body not exactly know for its efficacy, could only start consideration of an aid bill for Puerto Rico sometime after October 10 (the legislature won’t meet on the 9th in observation of Columbus Day), nearly three weeks after the storm first made landfall on September 20.
For context, Hurricane Harvey—whose devastation, while significant, was nowhere near as horrific as what has happened in Puerto Rico—made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm on Friday, August 25. A massive aid bill easily passed through the House on September 6 and sped through a Senate vote the next day—pushing a significant aid package to start rebuilding parts of Texas and Louisiana decimated by Harvey onto the president’s desk less than two weeks after the storm hit.
So it’s hard not to read the somewhat lackadaisical approach Congress and President Trump are taking to helping Puerto Rico, an impoverished island that’s more than $74 billion in debt, as a cynical value judgement on what’s worth rebuilding. Trump’s Twitter page, his bullhorn of choice, makes the point even clearer. Since Maria, Trump has tweeted about the devastation in Puerto Rico twice. Just since Saturday, the president has tweeted (or retweeted) messages to stoke his ongoing war on the NFL over the national anthem protests 17 times.
There are a series of manmade issues which have resulted in the massive damage we are seeing in the Houston region of Texas. The major contributor is the lack of Zoning Laws which would require developers to use certain standards in location and construction. Much like what happened in Florida during Hurricane Andrew some years back, there are no laws requiring builders not to build on floodplains, or to utilize special construction. As such a lot of the lessons from Andrew, and Katrina (I worked on parts of the Katrina recovery) were ignored.
The second problem is the US Government and FEMA. While FEMA is really strict on rules for coastal homes built along the ocean, and insurance rates are sky high (if you can get it at all) – they take a highly permissive approach to insuring homes and property a few miles inland – even when that property is located on a floodplain which repeatedly floods. I live in a coastal area, designated as a “flood zone”. I was required to utilize certain building methods. For instance the roof and siding are designed to survive a Category 5 hurricane – 140 MPH winds. The house is on “stilts” 13′ above the ground, which were driven 20′ or more into the earth. It has survived 4 Hurricanes, including a direct hit by a Cat 5 with no significant damage despite a 12′ Storm Surge and flooding. Indeed as I write this, my area is being pounded by a Tropical Storm moving up the East Coast, and we are expecting 60 MPH winds and 2-4 inches of rain.
FEMA has paid on properties which repeatedly flood – far in excess of the property values. Properties and localities with no storm mitigation systems.
The National Flood Insurance Program, established in 1968 was meant to protect and indemnify people without creating economic catastrophe. Instead of avoiding the floodplain, insurance allowed people to build within it, within management constraints recommended by FEMA. In theory, flood-hazard mitigation hoped to direct development away from flood-prone areas through the disincentives of risk insurance and regulatory complexity. It isn’t working – especially in areas where there was substantial construction before the law (NOLA), and in Texas where there is no Zoning.
In Houston’s case, catastrophic floods have been anticipated for some time. The combination of climate change, which produces more intense and unpredictable storms, and aggressive development made an event like this week’s almost inevitable. The Association of State Floodplain Managers has called for a national flood risk-management strategy, and the Houston Chronicle has called flood control the city’s “most pressing infrastructure need.” A lack of funding is often blamed, and relaxed FEMA regulations under the Trump Administration won’t help either.
The famously “un-zoned” city has allowed developers to pave over natural areas that provide resilience to floods, and build homes in the way of cataclysm. According to a 2016 analysis by ProPublica and the Texas Tribune, 166,000 acres of coastal prairies have been destroyed by development since 2001.“More people die here than anywhere else from floods,” Sam Brody, a Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher, told us last year. “More property per capita is lost here. And the problem’s getting worse.”
Not counting the Harvey’s devastation in Houston, in the past two years, 16,000 buildings have been flooded, and $1 billion in damage was caused by the so-called “Tax Day” and “Memorial Day” floods. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison killed almost two dozen people and caused $5 billion in damage in Harris County, which includes Houston.
The next problem is Houston’s road system. Those giant highways are impervious surfaces which cause rapid rainfall runoff. In the case of the major superhighways in Houston, that runoff is along the road filling underpasses – making evacuation nearly impossible.
After Hurricane Sandy 36 Republican Senators refused to vote in favor of funding relief, including the two Senators from Texas. The political ramifications of that are floating around in the political miasma.
Maybe we need to take a different view of how to pay for this. The State, which is responsible for the laws leaving citizens defenseless – should bear a greater responsibility for its actions. Second – maybe we should put relocation on the table. Those buildings that have repeatedly flooded should be torn down, the owners should be provided FEMA Insurance money – but only to build elsewhere or to build with significant mitigation strategies. Ergo – the State, County, and City has to put a plan of mitigation on the table before a dime is spent for rebuilding.
Arnold Schwarzenegger –
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee
Senator Jeff Flake –
James Murdoch – President of 21st Century Fox and son of Rupert Murdoch –
Seems tone deaf Republican efforts to push a massively unpopular bill through Congress at the expense of the public has led to some reminders of just whom they work for…
And the fact that if you screw over the public, the public’s reaction may not be kind.
Why exactly are these folks pushing legislation which is so massively unpopular? It isn’t for America.
Police said a “threatening note” was found over the weekend after a break-in at the Las Vegas office of Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican who could be a critical swing vote on the GOP health-care bill.
Las Vegas police said officers responded to a call about a burglary alarm Saturday morning at Heller’s office in southwest Las Vegas. There, they discovered what they described in a statement as a “threatening note” addressed to Heller (R-Nev.) near the door to his office.
The Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston reported that the note was related to the Senate’s upcoming vote on the GOP’s health-care bill:
A note taped to Sen. Dean Heller’s campaign office was from someone asserting that he would lose his health care if the key senator voted for the repeal bill and that he would die if that happened and would take Heller with him, a law enforcement source said.
Police said Monday that they would not disclose the contents of the note, citing an ongoing investigation. Megan Taylor, a spokeswoman for Heller, confirmed the break-in but said that she could not comment, because of the investigation.
Heller has been under pressure from the left and the right over his vote on the health-care bill. Republican lawmakers have been steadfast for years in their promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health-care measure — a pledge Donald Trump frequently invoked on the campaign trail.
However, as The Washington Post’s David Weigel pointed out, Heller is the only Senate Republican facing reelection in 2018 in a state won by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton last year. His unique position has made him the focus of several advertising campaigns trying to lobby for his vote.
Last month, Heller came out against an earlier iteration of the GOP’s health-care bill, becoming the fifth Republican senator to do so at the time. At a June 23 news conference, Heller said he was particularly concerned about potential cuts to Medicaid, as well as the impending loss of insurance for those struggling with mental-health and substance-abuse issues.
“I’m telling you right now, I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans,” Heller said then….
The incident at Heller’s office follows similar incidents involving other GOP senators in recent weeks. Over the July Fourth recess, a protester was arrested outside the Tucson office of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) after allegedly asking a staffer: “You know how liberals are going to solve the Republican problem? They are going to get better aim.” And an Omaha man was arrested this month after walking into an Iowa motorcycle shop and allegedly saying that he “could kill” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who was scheduled to visit the shop the next day.
The break-in also came just three days after the Federal Election Commission ruled that House and Senate lawmakers may now use campaign funds to pay for security upgrades at their personal homes — a change from previous rulings that required lawmakers to petition the panel on a case-by-case basis. But after warnings from House and Senate security officials in the wake of the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), the FEC said that security upgrades now qualify as “ordinary and necessary expenses” lawmakers incur as part of official duties.
Security upgrades at congressional district offices are handled with taxpayer funding, and Congress is preparing to spend tens of millions more dollars to protect lawmakers and their staffs. All 435 House lawmakers are receiving $25,000 in emergency funding added to their annual office allowances to be used for any security purpose — a nearly $10.9 million expense that can be used to add bulletproof windows at district offices or to hire a private security guard for public events back home. And at least $5 million is earmarked for the House sergeant at arms to pay for security upgrades at House district offices that face threats or are considered vulnerable….
America has reached “peak stupid” with the “election” of Donald Trump”.
One of the reasons for this shift may well be the “r” word. White folks kids spent a lot of their college investment looking for business and financial degrees, which minorities, and immigrants increasingly shifted to STEM. We have a situation now where native white Americans at the graduate level in some of the STEM fields are either a minority or rapidly becoming a minority. Asians have the highest level of STEM Field participation, while despite gain, held back by programs which intentionally disadvantage black and Hispanic Students, black and Hispanic students make up only about 12% of those receiving STEM Degrees.
Which is why a growing number of colleges are dropping high-stakes testing as a make-or-break admission requirement. What this has caused is the number of black and Hispanics in the STEM fields to grow quickly.
So an American Education System which doesn’t support white supremacy is “bad” to Republicans.
Republicans increasingly say colleges have negative impact on U.S.
Republicans and Democrats offer starkly different assessments of the impact of several of the nation’s leading institutions – including the news media, colleges and universities and churches and religious organizations – and in some cases, the gap in these views is significantly wider today than it was just a year ago.
While a majority of the public (55%) continues to say that colleges and universities have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country these days, Republicans express increasingly negative views.
A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.
The national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted June 8-18 among 2,504 adults, finds that partisan differences in views of the national news media, already wide, have grown even wider. Democrats’ views of the effect of the national news media have grown more positive over the past year, while Republicans remain overwhelmingly negative.
About as many Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents think the news media has a positive (44%) as negative (46%) impact on the way things are going in the country. The share of Democrats holding a positive view of the news media’s impact has increased 11 percentage points since last August (33%).
Republicans, by about eight-to-one (85% to 10%), say the news media has a negative effect. These views have changed little in the past few years…more…
Been saying for a while that the Russian hacking and collusion treason went far beyond just the Chumph and his merry band of morons and nitwit children.
Here, Digby begins asking the right questions at least.
Leading Republicans knew about Russian hacking long before Trump’s nomination. They said nothing and did nothing
Despite Europe’s clear disdain for President Trump it seems as though he’s over there every other week. In fact he’s arriving in France on Thursday at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron to help celebrate Bastille Day and have dinner at the Eiffel Tower. Considering that Trump has implied repeatedly that Paris is nothing but a hellhole these days, it’s a testament to just how desperate he is to get out of Washington. The heat is on and he wants out of the kitchen.
You have certainly heard that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer to get some promised dirt on Hillary Clinton that was represented as being part of a Russian government program to help Trump get elected. Now we know their breathless protestations that they didn’t know nothin’ about no Russians were lies, and we also know that this particular tawdry scheme reached into the highest levels of the campaign. We’ll have to wait for the next shoe to drop. There is always another shoe.
There was one new story on Wednesday that added an interesting detail to the saga and points to a possible larger conspiracy. McClatchy reported that House and Senate investigators as well as the Justice Department are looking at the Trump campaign’s digital operation, one of Jared Kushner’s pet projects (financed by big-daddy benefactor Robert Mercer), to determine if it may have worked with Russia’s sophisticated micro-targeting and propaganda program during the 2016 campaign.
McClatchy also reported that the Justice Department is looking into “whether Trump’s campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states – areas where Trump’s digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton.” That’s an issue I’ve written about previously here on Salon, based on some post-election investigative reporting by the New York Times.
This raises once again the question of just what was going on in the Republican Party during this period. After all, it wasn’t just Donald Trump who benefited from Russian hacking. The GOP-dominated House majority was a major beneficiary as well.
Remember, the congressional leadership knew in 2015 that it was happening. Reuters has reported that the so-called Gang of Eight (Republican leaders in Congress) was told that Russian hackers were attacking the Democratic Party but that the information was so top secret they could not share it. As we know, hackers attacked the Democratic National Committee and the personal email of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. But they also hacked the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and information gleaned from that hack was put to use in some 2016 campaigns for Congress.
Also recall that one month before Donald Trump Jr. took that meeting with the Russian lawyer, House Majority Leader Kevin “loose lips” McCarthy was talking about Trump’s connections to Vladimir Putin in a room full of Republicans:
A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016 exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. […]
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy.
This was the day after news had broken that the Russians had hacked the DNC and Ryan and McCarthy had just come from a meeting with the Ukrainian prime minister, who “had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions.”
Republican leaders kept this from the public for a year, then lied repeatedly about it when confronted until someone produced an audiotape, at which point McCarthy, Ryan, et al., said it was just a joke. Maybe it was. But we know for sure that this idea about Trump being under Putin’s thumb was in the ether in GOP circles even as the party was getting ready to nominate him as its presidential candidate.
Fast forward to late August when the intelligence community was becoming frantic over the evidence of Russian interference and Director of National Intelligence John Brennan held private classified briefings with eight top congressional leaders, telling then that there was evidence the Russians were helping Donald Trump and that unnamed advisers to the Republican nominee might be working with them. In September, intelligence officials convened a big meeting with the Gang of 12, meaning the House and Senate leadership along with chairmen and ranking members of committees on intelligence and homeland security. It was assumed this would result in a “show of solidarity and bipartisan unity” to protest this threat to the integrity of the American democratic process.
That was an erroneous assumption. The Republicans refused to sign anything that implicated the Russian government, only agreeing to tell state elections officials to beware of “malefactors” attempting to hack election software. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly “an act of partisan politics.” That was that.
Since the election, when Republican officials aren’t actively helping the White House cover up and misdirect, as House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes did, with a few exceptions they still dismiss the scandal, even in the face of documentary evidence like the Donald Trump Jr. emails.
There’s a lot of punditry every day bemoaning the fact that President Trump refuses to admit that the Russian interference in the campaign happened, seeing it as a stubborn (and insulting) rejection of the U.S. intelligence community and a dangerous unwillingness to take needed action to prevent it happening again. But really, why is Trump the only one on the hook? The Republican leadership has turned a blind eye to what was happening since 2015. They knew. They may have even known more about it than Trump did, at least in the beginning. They did nothing about it then and have shown no signs that they plan to do anything in the future.
It’s not all on Donald Trump. He may been the principal beneficiary but the leaders of his party aided and abetted the crime. We may just learn that they benefited from it too.
Seems that even the die-hards are recognizing the very large writing on the wall…Even the Chumph realizes his stupidity.
Now that even Republicans are beginning to realize that gutting healthcare “means you too, stupid” support is dropping like a rock.
The reality that the GOP can’t overturn Obamacare is beginning to set in
Inside Congress and the White House, Republicans are beginning to admit that they’re not likely to be able to pass even a pared-down repeal of the Affordable Care Act, despite months of trying. The conclusion is one that many Republicans in Washington have long privately realized but not publicly discussed much.
As the prospects for the Senate GOP’s Better Care Reconciliation Act have continued to worsen, however, Republicans are openly discussing the idea that they may never be able to agree on a repeal of Obamcare. And it’s an idea that even President Donald Trump is considering.
Trump seemed to play good cop in a Monday morning tweet urging the congressional GOP to do something — anything, really — about health care.
Trump’s statement comes after Congressional leaders had all but given up on the idea that the Affordable Care Act would be repealed and replaced — or even just repealed.
“Clearly, the draft plan is dead,”Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Is the serious rewrite plan dead? I don’t know.” He added, “we don’t know what the plan is” in terms of what comes next for the Senate Republicans.
Cassidy’s morbid terminology was echoed by Arizona Sen. John McCain as he pronounced the bill’s prospects terminal during an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“I think my view is it’s probably going to be dead,” McCain said.
The Trump White House also appears to be coming to this realization as well. During a Sunday interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin explicitly stated that the administration is getting ready to focus attention on something else.
“If we don’t get this passed then the president as he said will go to the next plan,” he told host George Stephanopoulos.
Mnuchin even appeared to endorse a proposed modification to the bill sponsored by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that would allow insurance companies to offer plans for sale that are not compliant with Affordable Care Act regulations, provided they also offer at least one plan that is.
“I’m very hopeful that his plan and his changes will get supported. And I think we’d like to get health care done,” Mnuchin said.
Cruz’s idea has come under criticism from more moderate Republicans because they believe it will lead to many companies pricing out older and sicker customers.
Should Republicans decide to punt on health care or work with Democrats (as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been repeatedly threatening his caucus), it may not matter much with their core base of voters.
In a poll released last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, just 8 percent of self-identified Republicans said that repealing Obamacare should be elected officials’ top priority. Support for the GOP health care bill had fallen to just 55 percent among Republicans in the survey.
The man that racism put into office is too stupid to be there.
Conservatives are beginning to jump the Chumph scow as fast as they can.
Here is another one –
I’m starting to suspect that Donald Trump may not have been right when he said, “You know, I’m like a smart person.” The evidence continues to mount that he is far from smart — so far, in fact, that he may not be capable of carrying out his duties as president.
There is, for example, the story of how Trump met with the pastors of two major Presbyterian churches in New York. “I did very, very well with evangelicals in the polls,” he bragged. When the pastors told Trump they weren’t evangelicals, he demanded to know, “What are you then?” They told him they were mainline Presbyterians. “But you’re all Christians?” he asked. Yes, they had to assure him, Presbyterians are Christians. The kicker: Trump himself is Presbyterian.
Or the story of how Trump asked the editors of the Economist whether they had ever heard of the phrase “priming the pump.” Yes, they assured him, they had. “I haven’t heard it,” Trump continued. “I mean, I just … I came up with it a couple of days ago, and I thought it was good.” The phrase has been in widespread use since at least the 1930s.Or the story of how, after arriving in Israel from Saudi Arabia, Trump told his hosts, “We just got back from the Middle East.”These aren’t examples of stupidity, you may object, but of ignorance.
This has become a favorite talking point of Trump’s enablers. House Speaker Paul Ryan, for example, excused Trump’s attempts to pressure FBI Director James Comey into dropping a criminal investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on the grounds that “the president’s new at this” and supposedly didn’t realize that he was doing anything wrong. But Trump has been president for nearly five months now, and he has shown no capacity to learn on the job.
More broadly, Trump has had a lifetime — 71 years — and access to America’s finest educational institutions (he’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, he never tires of reminding us) to learn things. And yet he doesn’t seem to have acquired even the most basic information that a high school student should possess. Recall that Trump said that Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895, was “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.” He also claimed that Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War, “was really angry that he saw what was happening in regard to the Civil War.”
Why does he know so little? Because he doesn’t read books or even long articles. “I never have,” he proudly told a reporter last year. “I’m always busy doing a lot.”
As president, Trump’s intelligence briefings have been dumbed down, denuded of nuance, and larded with maps and pictures because he can’t be bothered to read a lot of words. He’d rather play golf.The surest indication of how not smart Trump is that he thinks his inability or lack of interest in acquiring knowledge doesn’t matter. He said last year that he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.”How’s that working out?
There’s a reason why surveys show more support for Trump’s impeachment than for his presidency. From his catastrophically ill-conceived executive order on immigration to his catastrophically ill-conceived firing of Comey, his administration has been one disaster after another. And those fiascos can be ascribed directly to the president’s lack of intellectual horsepower.How could Trump fire Comey knowing that the FBI director could then testify about the improper requests Trump had made to exonerate himself and drop the investigation of Flynn? And in case there was any doubt about Trump’s intent, he dispelled it by acknowledging on TV that he had the “Russia thing” in mind when firing the FBI director. That’s tantamount to admitting obstruction of justice. Is this how a smart person behaves? If Trump decides to fire the widely respected special counsel Robert Mueller, he will only be compounding this stupidity.
Or what about Trump’s response to the June 3 terrorist attack in London? He reacted by tweeting his support for the “original Travel Ban,” rather than the “watered down, politically correct version” under review by the Supreme Court. Legal observers — including Kellyanne Conway’s husband — instantly saw that Trump was undermining his own case, because the travel ban had been revised precisely in order to pass judicial scrutiny. Indeed, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in refusing to reinstate the travel ban on June 12, cited Trump’s tweets against him. Is this how a smart person behaves?
You could argue that Trump’s lack of acumen is actually his saving grace, because he would be much more dangerous if he were cleverer in implementing his radical agenda. But you can also make the case that his vacuity is imperiling American security.
Trump shared “code-word information” with Russia’s foreign minister, apparently without realizing what he was doing. In the process, he may have blown America’s best source of intelligence on Islamic State plots — a top-secret Israeli penetration of the militant group’s computers.
Trump picked a fight on Twitter with Qatar, apparently not knowing that this small, oil-rich emirate is host to a major U.S. air base that is of vital importance in the air war against the Islamic State.
Trump criticized London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, based on a blatant misreading of what Khan said in the aftermath of the June 3 attack: The mayor had said there was “no reason to be alarmed” about a heightened police presence on the streets — not, as Trump claimed, about the threat of terrorism. In the process, Trump has alienated British public opinion and may have helped the anti-American Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, win votes in Britain’s general election.
Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord apparently because he thinks that global warming — a scientifically proven fact — is a hoax. His speech announcing the pullout demonstrated that he has no understanding of what the Paris accord actually is — a nonbinding compact that does not impose any costs on the United States.
Trump failed to affirm Article V, a bedrock of NATO, during his visit to Brussels, apparently because he labors under the misapprehension that European allies owe the United States and NATO “vast sums of money.” In fact, NATO members are now increasing their defense spending, but the money will not go to the United States or to the alliance; it will go to their own armed forces. Trump has since said he supports Article V, but his initial hesitation undermines American credibility and may embolden Russia.
Trump supporters used to claim that sage advisors could make up for his shortcomings. But he is proving too willful and erratic to be steered by those around him who know better. As Maggie Haberman of the New York Times notes: “Trump doesn’t want to be controlled. In [the] campaign, [he] would often do [the] opposite of what he was advised to do, simply because it was opposite.”
The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet certify that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” he can be removed with the concurrence of two-thirds of both houses. That won’t happen, because Republicans are too craven to stand up to Trump. But on the merits perhaps it should. After nearly five months in office, Trump has given no indication that he possesses the mental capacity to be president.