The Widdershins

Six Circles To Go

Posted on: March 22, 2017

Comey

James Comey is the strangest, most mysterious man in the known universe. And boy, does he have a poker face. What is his deal? What is his game? Officially people in the world of politics still vouch for his integrity. But the rest of us mortals can probably say: “Comey, I hate you. I love you. I hate you. I love you. I hate you. I like you. I’m not sure. I hate you. Huh?”

Most citizens probably never gave Comey much thought until his press conference announcing FBI would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private e-mail server, although Clinton was very very naughty. The bizarre “She broke rules but we won’t prosecute” announcement brought out angry responses from Republicans and grudging gratitude from Democrats. When Comey was called to explain his actions before Congress, Democrats shielded him. Then the tables flipped when 12 days before the election Comey sent The Letter, making Republicans dance with joyful glee and sending Democrats into apoplectic fits of rage. There is no doubt that The Letter swung the election to Trump. Through all this Comey was investigating Trump’s connections to Russia. FBI started their investigation at the end of July. (July 27th is when Trump called on Russia to hack Clinton’s e-mails, but rumors of Trump’s relationship to Putin were already swirling. See Robby Mook/Jake Tapper clip below.) How in the world does the head of the FBI throw one candidate’s candidacy into chaos while knowing that the other candidate may be colluding with a foreign power to manipulate the election? These actions are inexplicable. And through it all Comey’s Mona Lisa smile is infuriating.

Now again Comey, with Trump installed in the White House, has unleashed the wrath of the Republicans and weary excitement from Democrats in Congress. Democrats need him. Republicans and Trump need him to shut up. If you’re keeping score, Comey has pissed off Republicans more often than Democrats. But he also handed Republicans the ultimate gift: The Presidency of the United States. What is his deal? What is his game? Will we ever actually know? Or will his motives and actions forever be the source of speculation? What will history books say about James Comey?

Of the people within Trump’s administration who seem likely to go down hard are Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone. (Davis Nunes says he’s never heard of Page and Stone… make of that what you will… )  CNN put together a handy guide to Stone’s public comments regarding his connections to Assange, WikiHacks and Guccifer 2.0. These are great for when Stone says he didn’t know anything about anything. The timeline spans from August 10, 2016 (“Stone tells a local Republican Party group in Florida “I’ve actually communicated with Julian Assange”) to March 20, 2017 (“It’s only fair that I have a chance to respond 2 any smears or half truths about alleged “Collusion with Russians” from 2day’s Intel Hearing.”) I hope Stone starts prepping himself for a stone cold cot.

Alfa Bank

One of the sources of concern to Trump and Co. is Alfa Bank. The second largest private bank in Russia it came to some people’s attention when it was caught trying to communicate with a Trump server. The original story on the bank’s strange behavior came to light before the election, but the story was dismissed by almost the entire media. NY Times infamously dismissed it on October 31, 2016 with the following headline: “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia.” And with that, the media’s interest in the Trump/Putin connection died. The only person who followed up on it was a Republican writer Louise Mensch. She reported days later (late evening of November 7, to be exact) that the FBI had a FISA warrant to examine communications between Trump’s campaign and a Russian bank. Mensch claims the NY Times (Erich Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers wrote the article) knew about the FISA warrant. And that they even interviewed then Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid about it. But threw out the entire Reid interview and buried the FBI/FISA detail. She continues to question Lichtblau on twitter about why he did these things and he largely ignores her. Meanwhile Alfa Bank is now claiming they have been hacked and are suing one of the analysts who examined their suspicious communications with Trump organization.

The information on Trump’s connections to Russia were discussed in public as early as July 24, 2016 by Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager. On CNN’s State of the Union, on the first day of Democratic convention, Mook told Jake Tapper there were great concerns regarding potential Trump campaign collusion with Russia, stolen DNC e-mails published via WikiLeaks, and RNC’s watering down of Republican platform on Russia/Ukraine. These are now all vital parts of FBI’s investigation that could sink Trump and will most certainly sink many of the key players of his campaign. The media did not investigate this story until it was too late. (Notice also the chyrons on the Mook/Tapper video. An intellectually dishonest representation of the e-mails being published by WikiLeaks.) The media dedicated all of their resources to the Clinton e-mails. They dedicated no resources to potential collusion between Trump and Russia. This will always be one of the great journalistic disasters of all time. Perhaps greater than their failure to vet the Iraq War (NY Times again.)

Trump

Which brings me to Donald Trump himself. I won’t use any of the big words like sociopathic or narcissistic. I think he’s just a man who has never in his entire life had to deal with consequences for any bad behavior. Rich white man. If he did anything wrong, he got a gold star from daddy and lawyers took care of the fallout. He said and did as he pleased. No blowback on anything his entire life. 70 years of this. Imagine what this complete lack of accountability and self-awareness can do to a human brain. He goes bankrupt 7 times? Meh, someone will take care of the fallout and get him more loans. Wife isn’t pleasing anymore? Meh, someone will take care of the divorce and settlement. Being sued for racial discrimination? Meh, someone will take care of the settlement. This is a man who has thrown money at his problems and the problems went away for 70 years. He behaved during his campaign the way he has behaved his entire 70 years on Earth. Badly. Rude, arrogant, mean, vicious, malicious. Said everything that came into his head. And the crowds adored him. Think about what a crowd of 10,000 people chanting “Lock her up!” can do to your brain. Adoration. Say and do anything you like – and TV gives you hours of non-critical coverage. The crowds go crazy. Your approval ratings go through the roof. Your opponents, seasoned politicians all, go down in flames. And you don’t even have to do anything different! It just happens. For a man who has spent his entire life with zero accountability runs his campaign the same way – and he is rewarded with the Presidency of the USA. Think what that does to your brain. Everything he has ever done and said has been vindicated. He does not recognize that things are different now. His brain can’t process this information. Incapable of self-awareness or awareness of others. For 70 years he has done as he pleased, said as he pleased. And an army of Yes-Men have enabled and encouraged his delusions for 70 years. But it is different now. He is stunned that his inauguration crowd isn’t as big as his predecessor’s! (A Black Man!)

“No, it’s just not possible. Fake news! The Black Man wire-tapped me! Obviously. Why do I have to retract this? I don’t have to do anything I don’t want. I want to golf. Why can’t I golf? I said I want to golf! This is my resort! This is my home away from gilded home in NYC! I’ll do what I want! I’m President! I won! I did everything the way I always do! And I won! People love me! They all voted for me! All voted for me! Because I’m President! Those who didn’t vote for me have no right to exist! Deep state is out to get me! How else to explain that these things I said are being held against me? I always say what I want! Why are you ganging up on me?! I’m not a puppet! Tillerson will go to Russia! Because I said so! Because I won! This is a conspiracy to destroy me! You can’t tell me what I can and can’t say about Putin! You don’t like Putin? Too bad! I love Putin! I’ll say what I want! I won! I’m President! And you are nothing.”

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I will finish on a completely different note. It is a story of love, regret and perseverance.

Through all the madness music has been a great source of solace to me. (Classical music and opera generally, but then…) Here is my favorite performer Madonna, in a “pirate” recording of her classic song “True Blue” at Barclay Center in Brooklyn on September 19, 2015, as part of her “Rebel Heart Tour.” Two nights earlier Madonna celebrated 30 years since her Madison Square Garden debut with a concert at MSG. (Amy Schumer was Madonna’s opening act at the NY shows in 2015, that’s why Madonna gives Schumer a shout-out in the clip below. At that tour way back in 1985, “The Like A Virgin Tour,” her opening act were the Beastie Boys.)

“True Blue” was written in thL. Cohene mid 1980’s by Madonna as a declaration of love for her then-husband Sean Penn. He was in the audience at MSG two nights earlier and there is private video of him watching Madonna singing the song. At Barclay’s (one of the two times I watched this show), Madonna told the story that after the MSG anniversary concert she received a letter from Penn. In it he wrote that watching her perform that night, after so many years and everything they’d each been through, he really appreciated everything she had accomplished and he acknowledged he was a fool to not have recognized her talents when they were married. “Thirty years!” Madonna screamed to the audience. “Thirty years I’ve been waiting for those words! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is marriage and why I will never get married again.”

Last time she sang “True Blue” live was in 1987, just as her marriage to Penn was falling apart.

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142 Responses to "Six Circles To Go"

Comey strikes me as one of those men who believes his integrity is unimpeachable.
That type leaves disaster in his wake.

This didn’t age well.

Remember Harry Reid’s letter to Comey.

So I spent most of my morning writing the following post on Facebook. A friend, who worked on HRC’s campaign in 2016 as a senior video editor (edited a lot of the video spots and things like that), posted an article about how Bernie supporters got taken by bots and fake news. Which prompted a huge backlash from Bernie Bros who are his “friends.” Quite literally some people started calling him a liar. He demanded an apology and they started attacking him for that. They are unhinged. I know a lot of these people myself, have worked with them. It’s astounding how nasty they are and condescending, and then refuse to acknowledge it. They are just like Trump! So I wrote this long response addressing a lot of the issues they raised to attack Hillary and our mutual friend (and his wife.)

“I’m only going to make one comment here (it’s long and all based on many months of observation and easily sourced, and none of it I personally wish to debate because it’s not up for debate, which is why it’ll be the only comment.)

First, thank you Allan for your work on HRC’s campaign.

Second, as a Hillary Clinton supporter (including in 2008 primaries) the right-wing-cum-left-wing attacks on her (it’s a circle-jerk) have always been personal (it’s not that she’s a woman, it’s because she’s THAT woman) and based on innuendo. (In pocket of Wall Street and other special interests! War monger! Etc.) Her actual voting and policy records do not back up these accusations. And she has an actual voting and policy record. The actual record (where she and the pure Bernie Sanders voted identically 93% of the time in the Senate, and she was ranked the 11th most liberal member of Senate, and (per Nate Silver) 85% more liberal than all other members of Congress). The accusation that she was a right-winger (“neoliberal” is a word people throw out all the time but don’t actually know what it means), is simply false because it is not supported by Clinton’s voting and policy records. Her votes and policies are not debatable, they are history.

The white working class whose plight Clinton supposedly ignored is not borne out by the content of her speeches and proposed policies. Vox put together all of her speeches during primaries and general election and economy/jobs was by far the single most discussed topic. The extremely conservative voters who she was supposed to pander to even more than she already did should not be treated like children who mommy didn’t hug enough during the election. These are adults who lived through a nearly 2 year campaign and on November 8 made a decision. Start treating them like adults who only watch Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones, and then walked into a voting booth and chose Trump.

As far as voting demographics, 95% of black women voted for Clinton, over 80% of black men did as well. The issue on turnout of minority voters is an issue of voter suppression and gerrymandering, which Republicans have turned into a science over the past 10 or so years via a sustained and well-funded (by Kochs and Mercers) effort. With disappearing voting stations (in the South there were at least 868 fewer voting stations) and disappearing DMVs in minority neighborhoods, and strict voter ID laws which require one to go to DMV to get the proper ID, did incalculable damage to minority voter turnout.

It has also been shown very convincingly that James Comey’s letter 12 days before the election flipped many voters to Trump in closing days of the election. In Florida 70% of people who made up their minds in the final week said they chose Trump.

The role media’s coverage of the campaign can not be understated. Trump rallies received hours of non-interrupted coverage on cable news networks. The 3 Nightly News shows (ABC, NBC, CBS) spent 3x more time on e-mails than all policy issues combined. E-mails received over 600 consecutive days of coverage from newspapers. Meanwhile stories of Trump’s connections to Russia, stolen e-mails by Russians distributed via WikiLeaks, were out as early as July 2016. But no reporters were assigned to research these stories. All hands were on deck for e-mails. As we get more info, for example, about Paul Manafort’s deep and long standing connections to not only Russia, but to other despotic regimes around the world that goes back decades, I can only recall that when Manafort was appointed Trump’s campaign manager the only stories about him were that as a seasoned Washington insider Manafort was bound to help Trump pivot to the election and create a disciplined Trump. No member of the press googled Manafort, it seems. The “breaking news” stories about Manafort over the past 48 hours is information that has been known for decades, but received zero coverage until now. Because all news media was only concerned about e-mails.

As far as Sanders, I confess I’ve always been puzzled by the appeal of Bernie Sanders. An Independent from a state that is 95% white who has done very little for the Democratic party before the election or after, runs as a Democrat openly admitting because he knows as a Democrat he would get more publicly and funds than if he ran as an Independent. He and his supporters are then surprised to find out that long-term Democrats are not falling head over heels in love with him. He lost the primary not because Donna Brazile’s stolen e-mails said something inappropriate. (As Brazile pointed out to Trevor Noah, WikiLeaks only leaked her e-mails with Clinton’s campaign, none with Sanders’ campaign or O’Malley’s campaign. And she communicated with all 3 campaigns equally.)

Sanders’ apparent 100% purity on issues is not supported by his record (arms manufacturing in his state, soft on NRA, dumping nuclear waste in Sierra Blanca, waffling on gay rights (sometimes it’s a “states rights” issue, and as mayor of Burlington he signed a declaration defining marriage as being between man and woman.) His financial purity is unproven too because, like Trump, Sanders never released his tax returns, and a man who has a 30 year career in Congress does not stay there by holding bake sales.

Sanders’ “I would have won” victory tour since the election (a claim not based on any science unless somebody owns a time machine), his constant attacks on Democrats and not Trump or Republicans (Sanders is still not a Democrat…), his supporters’ attacks on Clinton for first staying quite for several months, and then attacks on Clinton for giving a speech at a fundraiser, and then attacks on Clinton for making a public appearance (the obsession with Clinton is only rivaled by obsession Republicans have with the Clintons), do incalculable damage to the Democratic party as a whole, which they claim to detest and wish to remake in Sanders’ own image. He, however, remains NOT a Democrat.

Let’s get something straight: Democratic nominee won almost 3,000,000 more votes than the Republican. The Democratic platform received more votes. Let’s everyone start treating that like the winning strategy.”

Bravo indeed, DYB! I’ve never understood the adoration of Sanders. The points against him (pandering to the gun lobby, shipping waste to poor communities, disrespect for women, and tepid Congressional record) more than outweigh the few stands he took which involved work. Plus his lack of understanding about economics and the systematic discrimination faced by people of color and women is telling (recall the NY Daily News interview with him).

The gullibility of his fans is worse than that of the Obama supporters in ’08. There at least you had a candidate without the decades of lackluster history that Sanders has. The Sanders’ idolizers have swallowed so many vile and demonstrably untrue slanders against Hillary that I can’t tell them from the Trumpists. They look to be closet misogynists and racists.s

The Voting Rights Act reversal, Russian hacking, 3rd-party votes (no thanks to Sanders), and a push from Comey cost us the election.

Also, nice wrap-up of the Russian connections, DYB.

I totally agree: Trumpists and Bernie Bros are indistinguishable.

Are you guys following the crazy Devin Nunes story today?? He held a press conference (people need to stop doing that) where… I can’t even really figure it out. He basically said the FBI got members of Trump team on tape… did I get that right? But he tried to say it was accidental, but not legal. Or something. I didn’t see the actual presser, so I’m just seeing the twitter meltdown and it’s a bit vague. Most of the meltdown though seems to suggest he was a) leaking classified info to the public, b) did not discuss it with other members of the intelligence committee (like Schiff), but briefed the White House on it instead. He went to Trump and told him about it and Schiff didn’t even know. Reporters on twitter are all saying his behavior is unprecedented, many are suggesting he can be prosecuted/jailed. And this was a fascinating observation on the subject:

This just sounds like pure, insane, unadulterated desperation on Nunes’ part. This is the most dangerous time for people like him because fear makes them do crazy things.

DYB, where to start? Great post, but even greater FB proclamation. That, my friend, is a piece of art. Hang it on your wall and proudly show it to everyone.

Ever wonder what it’s like to work as a porn fluffer? We saw what it is like with Nunes today. He came out and tried furiously to again change the subject for Dolt 45. He actually said, “I wanted him to have the reports I have.” Like the occupant of the WH couldn’t have any effing report he wanted at any time and only if he reads them does he knows they exist.

Nunes was trying to go down the rabbit hole of “unmasking” in the reports. In other words, everything would have been fine for a foreign agent to be the NSA if only he wasn’t “unmasked”. That is the argument. Flynn wasn’t going to be fired had he not been unmasked.

These people are treasonous leeches. All Nunes has done is increased the demand for an independent commission to take Dolt 45 apart. Nunes is as much a part of the cover-up as Manafort and Stone at this point.

Schiff is not amused.

Ok, we need some laughter now:

Just when you thought things couldn’t get more bananas and that we hit the bottom of a fiery pit – we slip on another banana peel and fall further. Today Nunes created a whole new level of BATSHIT CRAZY!

@11> Spicer is so unhinged that I don’t even know how Melissa McCarthy could make him more unhinged!

Of course:

Trump’s Vegas Partner Says Business Is Not Dividing Profits From Foreign Governments As Promised

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2017/03/22/phil-ruffin-trump-las-vegas-emoluments-profits-constitution/#4af8614a24d7

Oy. So much sleeze and corruption bubbling up now, underneath the lies and coverups. @13, yeah, it’s hard to keep track of it all.

@15> That is so shocking I just literally can’t even! 🙂

DYB, enjoyed the post very much. I do think Trump has some kind of mental issue. Didn’t Vox call him a malignant narcissist or something like that?

I remember buying the True Blue album in the 80’s and watching all her videos back then.

@1, Sweet Sue, think you nailed it there.

@4, Brilliant. I’m going to save that.

@7, Wow! God I hope this takes him down.

@9, agree with Prolix, DYB you should tweet your fb comment and then “pin” it to the top of your twitter acct.

@13 & @14, you said it!

From the post:
Davis Nunes says he’s never heard of Page and Stone… make of that what you will…

And that’s because it’s difficult to hear very much when:

@15 & @16, wow, wow, wow. I’m speechless.

Fredster, LOLOL! Nunes is such a liar.

@12, Luna, thanks for posting that

@3: Reid made some good points. I don’t understand why he sent it to Comey and not the AG for a legal determination on a hatch act violation.

@4: epic slap to the heads of the Bernie bots. Did you receive any intelligent, mature responses?

@15 & 16: talk about double standards, can you imagine if this had been Hillary instead of 45 or tillerson?

And last but not least, great post as usual DYB.

The DNC on Nunes.

I didn’t even realize David Brock had a heart-attack today.

Schiff: “There is more than circumstantial evidence now…”

GREAT post DYB!

McCain just threw Nunes under the bus. Says we need an independent investigation.

We’re going to need a bigger bus, folks.

@16, Oh my. Just another sheer co-in-ci-dence. The Trump team is raking them in.

@31: Here ya go:

@33 Fredster, LOL. It’s a start! We’re gonna need to daisy-chain a few by the time this is over.

34: I have a feeling you are totally correct on that one. Perhaps we should get an aircraft carrier and put wheels on it. LOL

@35 Fredster, OMG yes, that is the perfect visual summary of our current situation!

@37: It’s from a not-so-great movie called The Big Bus.

A couple of my synapses got together and decided to fire and I thought “I’ve seen some picture of a YUGE bus somewhere.”.

@29, I think I see the hint of a delighted smile on Rep Schiff’s face when he states there is “more than circumstantial” evidence. Anyone else think so?

Given the numbers of Rethugs who need to be removed from civil society, why not pitch them into the Chernobyl Containment Facility? It’s the largest movable structure ever made — seems about right. Trouble is, the life span of the containment arch is only 100 years. I suspect these Rethugs are either zombies or vampires.

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Heh, even Reuters is using “Trump” and “Tantrum” together. His Colluding Orangeness is going to be yuugely pissed!

Trump Tantrum looms on Wall Street if healthcare effort stalls

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-markets-trump-analysis-idUSKBN16T2YH?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FtopNews+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+Top+News%29

@42, methinks there is blood in the water and it is orange. The sharks are circling. Nunes pedaling over to the WH like he did seems to indicate things are getting close to King Don Dumb.

Wanna see something funny?

@39: Love it!

@41: Could we then encase the entire thing in concrete perhaps?

@40: I’m not sure. He has an inscrutable look at times.

@44: Makes you want to bitch slap him about 5 times.

@44: I guess Hillary would only be able to see classified info if she was in the Mar-a-Largo dining room.

I forgot that I bookmarked this last night. It’s our fave spoxwoman Kellyanne!

Although “fragrant”? As in stinky? At any rate, I do hope he is hugely fearful about the payback.

The Trump Presidency Is Already a Joke

Trump’s one brief moment of acting presidential—when he read off a teleprompter for 60 minutes and 10 seconds during his address to Congress—served only to show just how low the bar for presidential behavior has plummeted since January. Watching TV commentators applaud him for containing himself for a little over an hour was like hearing a parent praise a difficult child for not pooping in his pants during a pre-school interview. Besides, vintage Trump is not going anywhere anytime soon. A couple of weeks earlier, during a visit by the Japanese prime minister, Shinzō Abe, the president told an acquaintance that he was obsessed with the translator’s breasts—although he expressed this in his own, fragrant fashion.

Trump may be a joke, but the chaos and destructive forces around him are not. If he can cause this much havoc during his first few months in office, imagine what the country and the world will look like at the end of four years. Watch him when he walks into a crowd of people. There is a slight grimace, a tightening of the mouth that to me indicates a hesitation, perhaps based on fear. The thing is, if Trump has made any sort of arrangement with the Russians—Kremlin, oligarchs, F.S.B., Mob, or any combination of the four—to drop the Obama-era sanctions in return for past favors, the hoo-ha surrounding his Russian connections now makes that almost impossible to deliver. Whatever support he has received from the Russians over the years presumably came with promises of a payback. If Trump can’t follow through on this, he might be in serious trouble.

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/graydon-carter-trump-presidency-is-already-a-joke

Orange chum sighting…sharks seem amused…beaches are now closed.

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@52> Yes here’s the CNN story. I an so angry right now. So angry right now. So angry right now.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/22/politics/us-officials-info-suggests-trump-associates-may-have-coordinated-with-russians/index.html

In other fun news, Kochs said they will provide millions to protect any GOP member who opposes Trumpcare.

Bravo DYB – I so needed all, your post and these comments. I may be able to sleep tonite! Thanks to all of you.

@54, in keeping with the long-held philosophy of the Rethugs, in order to increase the pain and suffering, things like the 26-year old coverage, free annual check-up, opioid treatment, local health care clinics, and other ACA provisions are being chucked overboard to bring the Freedom Caucus along.

There is no reason to pass this bill other than hatred of a black man having inhabited the White House. There is no reason to pass this legislation. Increased costs. Increased deductibles. Less coverage. Why?

The Koch’s are a g a I n s t Trumpcare?!? Why?

Diane Feinstein just said that Trump will resign soon.

That’s great, but I hope Democrats are better prepared for that eventuality than Republicans are about repealing ACA. Rethugs talked about ACA for 7 years and when given a chance to do something about it, they were unprepared. I hope Democrats have a plan for a post-Trump world. Where getting rid of Trump is not the end goal. What price do Republicans pay for Trump?

McConnell says he’s ready to go nuclear on Gorsuch and Democrats are saying they’re willing to compromise. That’s a bad sign. Them compromising is already McConnell winning a nuclear option without even using it.

Here’s the CNN article on Kochs demanding GOP vote NO on Trumpcare.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/22/politics/kochs-reserve-fund-health-care/index.html

I want our President Hillary Clinton NOW!

If Trump resigns then Pence gets sworn in, and he’s got to be complicit also. The Republican EC “win” is not legitimate. Why TF don’t we have a system where new elections are held in a case like this?

(wailing)

Luna, yes Pence… And if not Pence, Paul Ryan.

*WAILING*

One temporary reassurance in the news — N Korea is still fumbling its launches.

A North Korean missile fired Wednesday morning exploded within seconds of launch, the South Korean and U.S. militaries said, a reassuring sign for those worried about the speed at which North Korea’s weapons program has been progressing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/north-korean-missile-explodes-seconds-after-launch/2017/03/22/6e55d36e-0ebc-11e7-b2bb-417e331877d9_story.html?utm_term=.800e385582e5

This is what the Freedom Caucus is bargaining for to be CUT in order to vote for the Death Panel Atrocity Bill — these people give Satan a backache:

Outpatient care without a hospital admission, known as ambulatory patient services
Emergency services
Hospitalization
Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
Mental health and substance use disorder services, including counseling and psychotherapy
Prescription drugs
Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, which help people with injuries and disabilities to recover
Laboratory services
Preventive care, wellness services, and chronic disease management
Pediatric services, including oral and vision care for children

http://www.vox.com/2017/3/22/15030214/essential-health-benefits-freedom-caucus-cbo-byrd-rule-reconciliation

They are making these changes tonight and rewriting the bill. Tomorrow, without a CBO review, one hearing, one expert, one whit of review, Republicans will pass this crap. Democrats should be shouting from the mountaintops about this.

It took a year, one year with dozens of hearings to pass ACA — they are passing something affecting 1/5 of the economy on less than 12 hours of work.

60 NW Luna
March 22, 2017 at 10:10 pm
I want our President Hillary Clinton NOW!
If Trump resigns then Pence gets sworn in, and he’s got to be complicit also. The Republican EC “win” is not legitimate. Why TF don’t we have a system where new elections are held in a case like this?

I don’t want another effin’ election. If the proof turns out the election was stolen from Hillary by Dumpster and his thugs working with WikiPutin and gang, then no Pence, no Ryan, no Tom, Dick or Harry…no Rethug…

The winner was Hillary and has to be Hillary or I am going to go bonkers.

@63: Frm the Vox article:

But many free market conservatives hate this provision, because it runs counter to the goal of having wide consumer choice among different kinds of health plans offering different types of procedures. They note that this drives up the cost of insurance, and insist that people should have the chance to buy less protective plans that are cheaper.

Right because anyone paying for a policy would want to NOT have these coverages. Here’s a suggestion to the Freedom Caucus: LEAD BY EXAMPLE! You purchase plans like that mkay?

@63, 65, Soa ll this hoopla about the “rights of the unborn,” and then they cut pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care. Hypocrites, all of them.

As far as I can see it doesn’t cover anything. Hey! That’s the plan all along!

@66: You know, I understood the reason why my ACA plan covers pregnancy and the rest even though it’s pretty certain I won’t need them. By the same token I hope a single female ACA insured would understand why I need something like, oh, say, coverage for prostate issues. LOL! But it’s to cover issues for the total population of subscribers. It’s like that Spock thing: The needs of the many….

@67, funny how the Rs love “economy of scale” until it comes to healthcare for all.

FOFLMYAO! Where do they pull these delusions from?
No, on 2nd thought, don’t tell me.

Up to the minute score on where the Ryan health atrocity is at midnight. Finally, maybe, reporters will catch on to the “earnest Ryan” really being a two bit shill who doesn’t know his arse from a badger hole or vice versa.

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@69: The bad thing is there are probably some folks who will believe this crap. So, bake the gay away?

Some info on various Titles in the A.C.A. including a breakdown of Title 1.

https://www.thebalance.com/obamacare-bill-3306057

@69: Went to the link and…I just could not play that video.

@70, they are just now catching on to how clueless Trump is. (eyeroll, swearing)

@73, I was laughing so hard just at the headline I didn’t think I could survive the video. And I usually get too upset at that kind of hate & fear being expressed, so I’m probably better off not watching it.

Fredster, did you know there are miniature doxies?
Kida saccharine, but a charming alternative to sleaze and stealing elections:

omg! That little pooch is adorable!

@76: Yep, knew about them. My Chloe was kind of a tweenie, not as small as that little one.

@78: We can’t say we weren’t warned.

That mini-wiener is adorable!

The speech at 78> Just ugh. And did the media have anybody investigating any of it? It’s not like they couldn’t have googled “Paul Manafort.” But nope, nobody was even looking. They were looking at e-mails. I will never forgive the NY Times especially. They’ve now been at the center of two of the biggest journalistic failures of our time: the Iraq War/WMDs and Trump/Russia collusion vs. Clinton e-mails. Disgrace.

@82: Because: EMAILS!!! They should never forget or be let to forget.

@78 Annie, thanks so much for that. Hillary’s voice is what I need now, no matter the noise.

Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch.

Reports are that Nunes apologized to the Intel Committee for not briefing them. To which I say: “Ok. Now resign.”

IMHO the emails would have been (were, see Powell, Colin) ignored by the media if she were a Repub or had a penis. Same with Benghazi which got us to the emails. It’s always been about HER and the threat she poses; let’s face it, the citizenry, by and large, loves a feeding frenzy, and who do the media and the RW sharks love more than Hillary?

@78, LOVED the video Socal. Wish Rachel and others would play it now, her prescience and the contrast with 45 are all the more stunning with the passage of time. We was robbed. The perps must be punished and the victims made whole.

Catscatscats, absolutely, the e-mails and Benghazi as scandals were created by Republicans to bring down Hillary. (Also Clinton Foundation). Since the election they both seem to have gone away as issues of great concern. From Republicans (looking at you Trey Gowdy!) and from the media. It’s almost as if they weren’t important enough to continue covering and investigating.

78 | socalannie
March 23, 2017 at 1:51 am

———
That video absolutely makes me cry. Our girl, telling the truth in plain and simple terms and the media dismisses and degrades her to get the reality criminal in as the leader of our country.

Yes, TrumpCare may pass before he gets impeached…stabbing the most at risk and vulnerable Americans, before he is pushed out of office in total disgrace.

84 | GAgal
March 23, 2017 at 4:54 am
Hillary’s voice is what I need now, no matter the noise.
__

I agree…

Mook on Hillary Clinton 2020 Run: ‘I’m Going to Let Her Answer for That”

http://freebeacon.com/politics/mook-on-clinton-2020-run-im-going-to-let-her-answer-for-that/

Welp. Seems like finally lots of people are starting to pay attention to what was there all along.

@91: I would really be surprised if she decided to go through that again.

House puts off vote on death care bill.

@92, it’s about time as long as they don’t blame Hillary!

I hope when this is over, the media gets the dressing down it deserves for failing to fulfill their purpose under the first amendment. I’m sure Fox, Breitbart and InfoWars will always be with us but I hope they lose all relevance, loss any undeserved credibility they now have and are relegated to the lunatic fringe where they rightfully belong.

Cats, you inspired me:

Fredster, we need to make “death care” go viral.

@93> I will say I would be stunned if Clinton decided to run again in 2020. Granted, I didn’t think she’d run in 2016. But 4 years from now is a different ballgame and in light of 2016… I would be shocked if she did this again.

@95 catscatscats> I would love to see the media do some soul-searching, but it won’t happen. They’ll never do that. I keep going back to that clip of Soledad O’Brien on CNN’s Reliable Sources in September 2016. One panelist says there will be a reckoning for the media after the election and she says “No there won’t be.” And she’s right. Even now you put the NY Times headlines side by side (Comey’s letter (entire above the fold of the Times is on this) and the Trump/Banks accusation (Times exonerates Trump in the headline)), and Times reporters (Lichtblau) get defensive and dismiss the criticism as invalid. They will never admit a mistake. Look at Judith Miller and Iraq War. They threw her out, washed their hands and pretended like it was all her fault.

Serious question: new elections. America doesn’t do that sort of thing. Other countries have had new elections after courts declared the last one invalid. Can this happen in the US? Has it ever happened in the US on local level? Is there a precedent?

@!00, there you go again harshing my mellow with the clear-eyed facts, DYB. Just kidding. You are right of course. Not only are they irresponsible, they have no shame or conscience. As long as the media is a corporate profit-making entity and the citizenry continues to communicate and gather facts with two thumbs and tweets, the press will not be “free” and real journalism will be reduced to a few stalwart souls until they too become extinct.

Soledad O’Brien was wonderful in that clip you posted. Where is she these days? Has she been punished for speaking the truth?

Soledad O’Brien hosts a program (is it web-only?) called “Matter of Fact TV.”

http://matteroffact.tv/about-soledad/

@101: DYB, I hate to use this word but it would be *unpresidented*. 😉
I don’t believe there is anything in the Constitution that would allow for it.

Re: new elections idea. I don’t have the education to follow the legal reasoning here. Hope prolixous can comment sometime. socalannie RT’d this:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I don’t want Hillary to have to run in 2020 either, she won this election and the sooner our spooks prove it, the better. She should be sworn in as the official winner of 2016 while they cart Dumpster and his thugs off to jail.

Joy Reid on Chris Hayes’ show tonight. (Thank the deities)

Agree with you on that, Fredster. But now Maddow is having Bernie on

@111: I muted it while that turd was on.

How are you feeling? Missed you while you were absent.

@107> As with so many things, on its own that wouldn’t raise any flags. But coming from a well-established pattern – the red flags are Russian.

How are you feeling contrask?

Bernie can suck it.

Matt Taibbi has been attacking Louise Mensch on twitter. Kind of funny. She might be a conservative Republican, but at least she’s not a Trump/Russian shill and Taibbi is.

Loooong tweet series, but yet more suspicious shit from last year.

@114, Sanders is shameless. He helped lose the election.

Thank you guys for asking. I’ve been living on the news but staying off the boards. I got more hopeful Mon after Comey verified they are investigating. Trying to stay hopeful that we can get him. Also, getting busy with local politics & trying to heal. Still 2 weeks away from walking any and 4 weeks away from driving. School year winding down and I’m teaching a novel set at Pearl Harbor and the Japanese interment camps. I hope they go home for the summer with a few thoughts in their heads.
Hope our ACA is safe.

contrask said: I’m teaching a novel set at Pearl Harbor and the Japanese interment camps. I hope they go home for the summer with a few thoughts in their heads.
Hope our ACA is safe.

Food for thought, indeed. And yep I’m holding my breath on ACA, with fingers, toes (eyes?) crossed for failure by the repubs. That is my health insurance.

Glad you are coming along with your healing of the ankle.

R.I.P. Sib Hashian of the group Boston.

Fredster, I saw that. And their great lead singer committed suicide years ago. I loved them in the 70s.

@120: Oh wow, I didn’t know about the suicide.

@115: Wow! Luna, that was incredible.

Contrask, glad you’re on the mend and staying busy! Nice to “see” you. 🙂

Looks like Seth Abramson has a lot of good stuff on the traitors. My brain started bleeding about half way down that thread.

DYB, I think I would rather read Louise Mensch than Matt Taibbi! This election has turned everything on its head.

Dump is totally throwing Paul Ryan under the bus. Some tweets I’m reading from reporters saying it was actually Pence’s idea. And, of course, Bannon said long ago he wanted Ryan destroyed. You sort of feel sorry for Paul Ryan for a minute – and then you remember he’s Paul Ryan and just laugh and laugh.

Dump threatening GOP to vote for the bill or he considers them their enemy. Someone tweeted that tonight Dump said to his advisors at WH that he’s not playing nice anymore and he’s ready to see who in the GOP is with him and who is against him.

Also, I was thinking about Kochs opposing this bill and saying they’d support anyone who voted against it. I wonder if it’s Kochs way to try to regain supremacy from the Mercers in the current GOP world. Mercers really came out strong and are controlling basically the White House, sidelining the Kochs. Getting this bill to fail and embarrassing Dump, and getting rank-and-file GOP back in their pockets, might be something they’re thinking about here. It’s the fight of the billionaires.

@124, enjoyed your take on this, interesting ideas.

@108, Fredster, that is hilarious! We’re all laughing here.

Trump has only been prez for 2 months and his administration reminds me of the movie “The Departed” (Nicholson, DiCaprio, Damon, Wahlberg, set in Boston).

I can’t believe I’m retweeting Dobermann, but this is funny:

This is the tweet Dobermann was responding to:

Omigosh! It keeps getting funnier!

Folks, I have a post hitting at 7:01 EDT.

The first procedural vote is going to be around 8:00 a.m. Given the way this railroad runs, I wouldn’t set my clock by it.

Prolix, looking forward to it! Ok, one last funny, then I’m calling it a night.

[[[[[Contrask]]]]]] missed you. Glad you are back amongst us. Glad you are healing. Take care of yourself.

@106, the person who came up with the Marks v. Stinson thinking gets an A+ for originality and wishful thinking, but I fear a big fat F for judicial practice. First, the remedy in the Marks case was extraordinary. The remedy was extrajudicial and based in the equitable powers of an Article 3 court as prescribed by Congress.

Here’s the rub, the only real remedy within the Constitution is impeachment. To try and get a District Court, then a Court of Appeals, then the Supreme Court to equitably order a new election or the seating of Hillary would be so extraordinary, I can never see it happening. In fact, by the time it would be litigated, years will have passed. There is no original jurisdiction in the Supreme Court for such cases.

I’m afraid the best we can hope for is the anime-eyed granny-starver if we could get Pence tarred and feathered along with Dolt 45. I just don’t see any legal basis for voiding the constitutional remedy. Now, personally and emotionally I do, but legally I don’t.

@135, Annie, how is Laker’s play coming along?

@137 Prolix, yes of course.

I’m afraid the best we can hope for is the anime-eyed granny-starver if we could get Pence tarred and feathered along with Dolt 45.

But, let’s just have a little fun here. We’re allowed to have fun, after all. Let’s say we take back the Senate in 2018.Very possible. And take back the House. Tough row to hoe, but there’s a lot of ire out there, so not impossible. Impeach Trump, push Pence out in anyway possible. Who would be President? Speaker of the House. If those events happened, it would be Nancy Pelosi… provided she had votes in the House to remain Speaker. Quite the kicker there. Not gonna happen, but it’s fun to think about the resulting meltdowns. 😀

One point to throw into the backs of our collective mind as this Russiagate progresses. I’m pretty sure the FBI, over and above the counter-intelligence investigation, is looking at the crime of conspiracy. It might even take the form of a RICO charge. The conspiracy would be “to hack” the DNC — that’s a big honking felony with plenty enough years that Roger “Baby” Stone could have a Dolt 45 tattooed on his chest to match the Nixon on his back.

This is the thing about conspiracy — all it takes to get you wrapped up in it is an affirmative act in the furtherance of the underlying crime. In other words, there doesn’t have to be a formal agreement, but these snippets about conversations on the “release” of emails would be enough to put someone away. All it takes is two or more for a conspiracy to exist. If the nexus was someone in Russia, all the calls to that person or organization gets swept up into the underlying conspiracy.

@139, you are absolutely right. I just don’t think Dolt 45 is going to last that long. I think he’s already on the downhill slide. The way I look at it, it is Pence we have to worry about taking the time to impeach, but by that time maybe Nancy would be Speaker. I like that thinking. Wouldn’t that just be delicious!

Have y’all seen that Jared and Ivanka are skiing out west and aren’t even around for all this craziness? Talk about dilettantes — their pictures are in the dictionary.

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