19 mins ·
House Speaker Paul Ryan believes that if someone doesn’t buy health insurance because it’s become unaffordable, that person is exercising “free choice.” Here’s an exchange from this morning’s “This Week”:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS [to Paul Ryan]: The CBO analysis says that, over ten years, 24 million people will lose their coverage. It says for most Americans, deductibles will go up. It says that, for a lot of Americans who are in that age range just short of Medicare, 55-64 years old, particularly in rural areas, they're going to be paying thousands more in premiums every single year.
PAUL RYAN: What the CBO is basically saying, and I agree with this, if the government's not going to force somebody to buy something they don't want to buy, then they're not going to buy it. So they're basically saying people, through their own free choice, if they're not mandated to buy something that's unaffordable, they're not going to do it.
Ryan and the Republicans are taking free market fundamentalism to a new level of absurdity. Under his logic, if someone can’t afford antibiotics when they get an infection and therefore die, they've “chosen” to die.
If people try to equate the GOP to ethics or humanity, they'll have to ignore logic. Trumpcare is a simple concept; take away ACA to give money to the wealthy. 24 million will lose their health insurance to save money for the rich.
Pointless comment with no real defense for telling people what is good for them, it's a stupid personal attack which shows your ignorance.
44 mins ·
So how does Trump deflect attention from his firing of Comey and what appears to be increasing evidence of collusion with Russian operatives to win the 2016 election? He repeats his unsubstantiated claim that “3 to 5 million” people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton, and today sets up a commission to investigate.
Trump’s “voter fraud” commission is also a means of encouraging more states to enact voter suppression laws such as strict IDs. The commission will be headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Kobach – who has been accused of extreme racism and ties with white nationalists – was the driving force behind a Kansas law requiring new voters to produce a passport, a birth certificate or naturalization papers as proof of citizenship in order to cast a ballot. He worked last year to disqualify the state and local votes of thousands of people who did not meet those criteria. He has advocated the proof-of-citizenship requirement at the federal level as well, alleging rampant voter fraud without producing proof of a widespread problem. And he has been the prime mover behind some of the nation's strictest immigration laws in at least a half-dozen states, such as Arizona's SB 1070, which requires police to determine a person's immigration status when there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are not legally in the US. (The law was partially upheld by the Supreme Court, but had other sections struck down by the court in 2011.)
Trump has no evidence for his claim of widespread voter fraud. After Trump reportedly told several senators in a February private White House meeting that much of the fraud took place in New Hampshire, former New Hampshire Republican Party chairman Fergus Cullen offered a $1,000 reward for evidence of a single illegal vote in New Hampshire. "The idea that people are coming to New Hampshire to commit fraud on a massive scale like this is just preposterous and it needs to be called out as untrue," he said. The New Hampshire secretary of state's office said it had not received any complaints of voter fraud.
Things like this bothers me. Does it bother you at all?
Kobach – who has been accused of extreme racism and ties with white nationalists... He has advocated the proof-of-citizenship requirement at the federal level as well, alleging rampant voter fraud without producing proof of a widespread problem.
Reich besmirches the guys name and immediately turns the reader against Kobach. Reich makes allegations of Kobach being racist without producing proof of actual racism.
In the same paragraph, Reich then accuses Kobach of not having proof of a widespread problem regarding rampant voter fraud.
This is why Reich, in my mind (And I just produced proof of actual fraud) is nothing more then a Democrat shill and a huckster.
You are certainly free, white and over 21.
The Senate will soon be taking up Trumpcare. Make sure your senators know how you feel about taking from the poor and sick and giving to the wealthy and healthy.
Many are hood-winked to think that the republicans will help the middle class and the poor, all while the gap between the rich and poor continues to increase with republicans control of congress and the administration.
People fail to see what's right in front of the eyes.
Even the OMB predicts that Trumpcare will take away health insurance from 24 million people.
The End of Trump
SUNDAY, MAY 14, 2017
The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Donald Trump. It is when enough Republicans will put their loyalty to America ahead of their loyalty to their party.
Trump’s statements last week about his firing of former FBI director James Comey provide ample evidence that Trump engaged in an obstruction of justice – a major charge in impeachment proceedings brought against Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton.
It’s worth recalling that the illegality underlying Nixon’s impeachment was a burglary at the Watergate complex, while the illegality underlying Clinton’s was lying to a grand jury about sex with an intern in the White House.
Trump’s obstruction is potentially far more serious. It involves an investigation about whether Trump or his aides colluded with Russia in rigging a presidential election – the most direct assault on American democracy in history,
Last Thursday, in an interview with NBC News’s Lester Holt about his firing of Comey, Trump said: “I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.” Trump also said that he had pressed Comey during a private dinner to tell him if he was under investigation.
Trump conceded that the ongoing investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election, which includes a probe into the possibility that Moscow was coordinating with the Trump campaign, was one of the factors Trump considered before firing Comey.
“In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,’ ” Trump said.
The law is reasonably clear. If Trump removed Comey to avoid being investigated, that’s an obstruction of justice – an impeachable offense.
On Friday, Trump tweeted that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Here, the law is also clear. Seeking to silence, intimidate or even influence someone who is likely to offer evidence in a congressional or criminal proceeding is also an obstruction of justice – and an impeachable offense.
As a practical matter, though, nothing will happen until a majority of the House decides on bringing a bill of impeachment. Which means, under the present congress, twenty-two Republicans would have to join with House Democrats to put enough pressure on the Speaker of the House to allow such a bill to be considered.
The odds of this occurring in this Congress, under present circumstances, are approximately zero.
So – barring a “smoking gun” that shows Trump’s complicity with Russian operatives in interfering in the 2016 election – Trump’s fate seems to hinge on the midterm elections of 2018.
Those elections are less than eighteen months away. That’s a long time in American politics. Under a Trump presidency, that’s an eternity.
But there’s another possibility.
In my experience, most elected politicians have two goals – to do what they consider to be the right things for the American public, and to be reelected (not necessarily in that order).
If Trump’s poll numbers continue to plummet – particularly among Republicans and Independents – twenty-two House Republicans may well decide their chances for being reelected are better if they abandon him before the 2018 midterms.
Paul Ryan and the House Republican leadership might make a similar calculation, at least enough to put a bill of impeachment on the table.
Most House Republicans prefer Vice President Mike Pence to Donald Trump anyway. As one said to me several months ago, “Pence is a predictable conservative. Trump is an unpredictable egomaniac. Most of us are more comfortable with the former.”
There’s a good chance Trump’s polls will continue to fall. First, he’s shown to be his own worst enemy. Even when things are going reasonably well, he seems bizarrely intent on stirring controversy – and saying or tweeting things that get him into trouble.
There’s also a matter of the economy. The expansion that began in 2009 is getting long in the tooth. If history is any guide, we’re due for a slowdown or recession. And justified or not, presidents get blamed when Americans lose jobs.
Donald Trump doesn’t have the character or the temperament to be president of the United States. But this obvious fact isn’t enough to get him fired.
He’ll be fired when enough Americans decide they can’t abide him anymore.
Then, maybe in an impeachment proceeding, it will come out that Trump did something incredibly stupid – like give a nod of approval to one of his campaign bottom feeders like Roger Stone to tell a Russian operative to go ahead with their plan to interfere in the 2016 election.
The House impeaches. The Senate convicts. That’s the end of Trump.
A big part of Republican success is based on discriminatory laws and voter suppression and a system that allows them to get away with it. It will be extra hard to get these bassholes out of office so more reasonable voices be heard.
2 hrs ·
6 new signs Trump is in trouble with congressional Republicans (as Republican and Independent voters grow increasingly rattled):
1. Republican House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz is demanding all FBI documents pertaining to communications between Trump and former FBI Director James Comey. Comey reportedly kept copious notes of his meetings, including the one in which Trump pressured him to drop his investigation of Michael Flynn. If Chaffetz subpoenas Comey's memos, the evidence could take Trump a major step closer to impeachment.
2. Republican Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr and Virginia Senator Mark Warner are asking Comey to testify about Trump’s request to Comey to drop the investigation, in an open Senate hearing.
3. Yesterday, Senator John McCain said the situation is "reaching the point where it's of Watergate size and scale."
4. Some Republicans are predicting the party will inevitably have to support a special prosecutor or independent commission, according to today's Washington Post.
5. Rep. Justin Amash from Michigan today became the first Republican member for Congress to raise the possibility of impeachment, if reports of Trump pressuring Comey are verified.
6. In response to news that Trump shared highly classified information with the Russians, Republican Senator Bob Corker, usually a staunch Trump defender, said the White House is in a "downward spiral."
Several congressional Republicans have told me they'd prefer Mike Pence (a "principled conservative," one said) to Donald Trump (who's "becoming more unhinged by the day.")
Once Trump's Republican support erodes, Trump is toast.
Of course anyone who knows Reich knows he's not gonna simply fall in line with the party for its own sake
I give Reich a decent amount of the blame/credit for the state the Democrats and America are in right now.
2 mins ·
Kudos to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein for appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation into the Trump administration's alleged ties with Russia and interference in the presidential election.
Bear in mind, though, that Mueller won’t have quite the independence of a special prosecutor appointed under the Office of Independent Counsel. That office no longer exists. The law establishing it was enacted in 1978 in response to the Watergate scandal, and expired in 1999. The office was separate from the Justice Department, and counsel were appointed by a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
So if Trump doesn't like what Mueller is doing or discovering, he can fire Mueller just like Nixon fired Archibald Cox.
Which is why we also need an independent commission to get to the bottom of all this, and report back to the public.
European governments, preparing for a round of major summits with Donald Trump next week, are wary.
I've spent much of the past week speaking with officials and cabinet ministers in Europe. All they wanted to talk about was Trump. Here, in summary, are the most frequent remarks I heard, in rough order of frequency:
1. Trump is unstable, and we're not going to count on anything he says or commits to.
2. Trump doesn't support NATO or European integration.
3. Trump is actively encouraging racist nationalists in our country.
4. Trump is allied with Putin to bring Europe down.
5. There’s no doubt Trump worked with Putin to win the U.S. presidential election.
6. If Trump's polls drop too low, he’ll start a war in order to get Americans to rally around him. (Opinions varied on whether Trump's war would be with North Korea, Iran, terrorists in Nigeria, or an escalation in Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan.)
7. How did you Americans come to elect this ego-maniac? (Others called him an infant, moron, ignoramus, fool.)
8. He’s another Berlusconi (or Franco, Mussolini, Salazar, Hitler).
9. We remember fascism. We never thought it would happen in America.
10. The world depends on American leadership. We’re very worried.
My overall impression: Anti-Trump sentiment is even stronger in Europe than it is in the U.S. If Trump expects his European trip to give him a reprieve from his troubles at home, he's mistaken.
1 hr ·
The Democratic establishment is rejecting calls to fight for single-payer universal health care, free public higher education, higher taxes on the wealthy to subsidize low wages of the working class and poor, and campaign finance reforms to get big money out of politics – even in Democratic strongholds like California. They think resistance to Trump will be enough to win in 2018.
Rubbish. Democrats can’t just be anti-Trump. They also have to address the forces that created Trump – widening inequality of income, wealth, economic security, and political power. Unless or until they do, we’ll have more Trumps in the future – more demagogues who channel anger into hate, and anxiety into blind willingness to follow authoritarian strongmen.
While I am highly suspicious of shorty's willingness to subject us all to equally authoritarian demagogues of the social democratic left, I believe he has a point here. The Democrat establishment, DNC donors, and office holders, sorely needs to let go of its denial and empty conspiracy theories, and come to grips with the reasons for its defeat in the last election. Chasing phantom conspiracies about how the election was stolen from them may assuage Hillary's inflated but injured ego, and sustain the truly remarkable denial that appears to still animate her, but it does the Democrat Party no good at all.
The fights between Republicans and establishment Dems is horse **** to me. We have to build effective resistance to both, eject them all.