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Updated: 5 hours 14 min ago

Jason Chaffetz: Congress Would Be Happier With $2500/Month Housing Allowance

6 hours 34 min ago

While average Americans wait to see if they will have health insurance next month, "retiring" member of Congress and "I can't investigate Hillary Clinton so bye" Republican Jason Chaffetz has a helpful suggestion as the door hits his buttocks.

The taxpayers should give each member of Congress $2500 a MONTH for housing in Washington DC!

Chaffetz doesn't think there's an environment for a congressional pay raise, but this is the equivalent of a $30,000 a year raise. $30,000 is nearly double what is considered "the poverty line," you know, what people who will LOSE THEIR OBAMACARE make in a year.

I am totally not making this up. The Hill:

“Washington, D.C., is one of the most expensive places in the world, and I flat-out cannot afford a mortgage in Utah, kids in college and a second place here in Washington, D.C.,” Chaffetz said. “I think a $2,500 housing allowance would be appropriate and a real help to have at least a decent quality of life in Washington if you’re going to expect people to spend hundreds of nights a year here. ...

There are dozens upon dozens of members living in their offices, and I don’t know how healthy that is long term.”

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GOP Donors Threaten Congress: No Tax Cuts, No Money

7 hours 24 min ago

The fate of the disastrous and craven Trumpcare bill hangs in the balance, with the final vote tally in limbo after Monday's awful CBO report.

Yahoo is now reporting that big name GOP donors are cutting off donations to Republicans until they see "major action on healthcare and taxes." What they really want is a guarantee that the middle and lower class will be punished, broken and bankrupted so that the top 1% gets richer, pays less in taxes and gets to stomp all over the rest of us.

You know, exactly what you would expect from the pro-life, god fearing, bible thumping party, right?

Donors are trying to strong-arm Republicans by cutting off donations and refusing to host fundraisers until they make sure millions are at risk of death by losing access to healthcare.

Yahoo reports that a donor from Texas, Doug Deason, has "refused to host a fundraiser for two members of Congress and informed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., his checkbook is closed as well"

Deason told GOP leaders: "Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed. You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There's no reason you can't get this done. Get it done and we'll open it back up."

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Sen. Angus King: Syria Is 'One Of The Most Complicated Situations'

8 hours 24 min ago

Morning Joe's Willie Geist asked Sen. Angus King about the statement from the White House "suggesting that an attack by Syria, a chemical attack on its own people was imminent.

"You sit on Intel and Armed Services. Did the White House talk to you or anyone in the Senate before putting this statement out?" Geist asked.

"Certainly not to me," King said.

"I don't know whether they were in touch with the leadership of the intelligence committees. They might have been, but I have not heard anything along those lines.

"I do know from President Obama's experience, you have to be careful when you draw red lines, and you have to be prepared to back it up. That was one of the things that undermined President Obama's credibility in the Middle East."

"What should we read into that statement from the White House? What was the point of the statement?" Geist asked.

"At the end, I recall, it said if they do this, they'll pay a heavy price. That sounds like a red line, and it sounds like they're preparing to take action," King said.

"A month or so ago, they did take action with a strike on the airport. That's a possibility."

He warned that Syria is "one of the most complicated situations," with 1,200 opposition groups opposing Assad.

"Who is on which side? Who do we want, and what happens if Assad goes? These are complicated situations. Plus, Asaad has one of the best air defense systems in the world, so it's not like we can just fly into Syria and do something, and not have some results or consequences."

Trump Supporter: 'My Family Won't Be Insured' If Obamacare Goes Away

8 hours 39 min ago

CNN's Don Lemon brought on two guests whose families will suffer if the Republican health care bill passes. The first is the woman who went viral in a video of her lobbying Sen. Shelly Capito.

Pastor Janice Hill of West Virginia said her daughter, who has been under treatment for a very rare cancer for four years, would have died without Obamacare.

"She's hanging in there," she said. "Every treatment she's been on since her diagnosis four years ago has been experimental. Things work for a while and they stop working and they get something new. Something new has been added. They're just learning all the time."

Lemon asked if she thought Sen. Capito understood her situation.

"I'm not sure," Hill said.

"I think she heard what I had to say and I think she listened to what I had to say. I don't -- that is not something that gives me a lot of comfort. I want her to act on it, because it's not just my daughter. That's a face that i hope she will have in her mind when she is voting. Amy is one of thousands and millions of people that this horrible, immoral bill is going to affect."

Lemon then introduced Bob Riscoe.

"You're a lifelong Republican, yet you and your wife are insured through Obamacare. What will happen to that insurance if Obamacare is repealed?"

"We probably won't be insured," an emotional Riscoe said.

"We won't be insured if Obamacare goes away. We won't be able to afford premiums."

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Ivanka Trump Earnestly Claims She 'Tries To Stay Out Of Politics'

9 hours 24 min ago

You know, there is literally nothing that shocks me anymore because I just assume anything coming out of a Trump's mouth is a BS lie that deserves mockery all around and little else.

But I confess, this one made me guffaw, first because it's absurd, and secondly because I actually believe gullible idiots who watch Fox & Friends (like her dad) will totally believe this.

“I try to stay out of politics,” Ivanka Trump said this morning when asked whether she advises her father, President Trump, on his tweets.

“I don't profess to be a political savant. So I leave the politics to other people and really lean into the issues that I care deeply about,” the first daughter said on “Fox and Friends” today.

Of the president's often-incendiary tweets, Trump said her dad’s “political instincts are phenomenal.”

Yeah, Ivanka and I'll bet you don't swipe shoe designs either.

Tell us more, Ivanka, about how hard you try not to be political.

Thank you, Prime Minister Modi, for inviting me to lead the U.S. delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this fall.

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 27, 2017

Politics And Reality Radio: The Right’s More Divided Than The Left!

9 hours 54 min ago

This week, we're joined by political scientist Lee Drutman, the author of a new study that finds -- yet again -- that cultural divides between the parties are more consequential than differences over economics and other concrete policy disputes. But what might be a more controversial finding is that the supposed existential battle for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party is overblown, and those who supported Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in last year's primaries are more similar ideologically than the conventional wisdom would suggest.

Then Joshua Holland takes a quick look at the politics of Senate Republicans' disastrous health care bill.

Last but certainly not least, we speak with Meighan Stone, a fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, about her new study looking empirically at how the mainstream press covers the Islamic community and refugees -- who speaks, what topics are selected and the overall tenor. What she found goes a long way toward explaining why large numbers of Americans' hold negative attitudes about the world's second largest religion.

Pauline Henry: "Feel Like Making Love"
Santiago y Luis Auserón: "Las Malas Lenguas"
Pluto Shervington: "Kung Fu Fighting"
Donald Fagen: "Snowbound"

Mike's Blog Round Up

10 hours 24 min ago

As I write this, our preznint has not made any effort to declare LGBTQ Pride month, and as a contrast Justin Trudeau is marching in Canada's Gay Pride celebration. The Supreme Court will hear a case about bakers being discriminated against for discriminating against LGBTQ people; the SCOTUS have given a church tax payer money, and have also (somewhat) upheld the Russian Usurper's Muslim Travel Ban. Welcome to the United States of Theocracy.

If You Only News goes to the playground.

Sandalwood and Sunlight gives us a good 'splainer on Planned Parenthood structure and funding.

Political Irony gives us an object-lesson in con men running the country.

Bonus Track: The Rectification of Names takes Matthew Dowd to the Harry Potterverse.

This Is What Hope Looks Like

17 hours 1 min ago

Monday night, MoveOn Washington director Ben Wikler headed to Capitol Hill. On his way, he encountered something that became magical.

1. Tonight, something kinda magical happened on the steps of the Capitol. It started like this:

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) June 27, 2017

Just Senator Cory Booker and Rep. John Lewis, having a conversation.

3. Booker and Lewis started a Facebook Live to talk about Trumpcare and what this moment means for America.

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) June 27, 2017

The Capitol was quiet, or so it seemed.

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Open Thread - Mitch 'The Turtle' McConnell Interviewed On Trumpcare?

Mon, 2017-06-26 23:30

Has anyone seen Mitch McConnell actually DO an interview about his crafted-in-secret Death Care bill?

Open thread below...

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Sean Spicer Issues Statement On Syria No One Should Believe

Mon, 2017-06-26 23:09

Tonight Sean Spicer released a statement about Syria and chemical weapons. No one should believe a word he says.

Here is the statement:

The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children. The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack.

As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.

As Rachel Maddow notes, there is no background, no administration officials helping the press to understand why this statement was released, nothing.

Since this administration lies with impunity, you should assume it is a move toward war, and one which is not based in anything factual. Zero facts. Nothing.

Either this is a distraction so Fox News has some breaking news to discuss which is not the disastrous CBO score, or it's a distraction from Russia, or Trump actually wants to start laying the groundwork for more war in that region by lying to us about what is happening.

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Queens Of The Stone Age

Mon, 2017-06-26 23:00

Though the album isn't out to August, many a rock-n-roll pundit are having a debate on what the new Queens Of The Stone Age album is going to sound like. Some are already scoffing due to the fact that Mark Ronson was at the production helm. Many others are already grooving to the single "The Way You Used to Do" and looking forward to hearing the rest.

Like a lot of previous QOTSA tracks, it's a grower instead of immediate impact kinda jam. It's now stuck in my head.

What are you listening to tonight?

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Oh Look, David Brooks Serves Up Pizza From The Reagan Era

Mon, 2017-06-26 22:00

Hey, Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times dines out on moldy pizza from the back of the fridge, so why shouldn't I?

Specifically. America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual took time out from his many side gigs gassing on about "Whiter Conservatism?" for PBS, NPR, TED Talks, the college lecture circuit and Meet the Press to appear on Fareed Zakaria's GPS this Sunday to gas on about "Whither Conservatism?"

And here's a fun fact: it was all leftovers.

From Sunday:

There was a book that was really useful to read -- a short book -- called the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn.

If this sounds mighty familiar, it should. This was the crutch on which Mr. Brooks was leaning hard over a year ago ( NYT, March 25, 2016, "The Post-Trump Era"):

According to Kuhn, intellectual progress is not steady and gradual. It’s marked by sudden paradigm shifts. There’s a period of normal science when everybody embraces a paradigm that seems to be working. Then there’s a period of model drift: As years go by, anomalies accumulate and the model begins to seem creaky and flawed.

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MSNBC's Katy Tur: 'Does Anything [Trump] Says Matter? I Think The Answer Is No'

Mon, 2017-06-26 21:55

MSNBC's Katy Tur was subbing for Chuck Todd today and during a panel discussion about the newly released CBO results of the Senate Trumpcare healthcare bill, she wondered if Americans can believe anything Trump says, then immediately answered, "And I think the answer is no.”

The NY Times ran an article on June 23rd, that catalogues every time Donald Trump has lied and it's simply called "T r u m p ’ s L i e s."

As you can imagine, it's a very big article.

The Washington Post's Fact Checker did something similar by collecting all of Donald's claims since he took office and found that "as of Trump’s 100th day, we counted 492 false or misleading claims."

Both lists are increasing on a daily basis.

So after Trump ran his campaign based on not cutting Medicaid or pre-existing conditions, it is quite legitimate to question the man's believability in the Oval Office.

After Amy Holmes said it would have made more sense if Republicans had ran on reforming Medicare instead of reforming the entire US healthcare, Tur then asked Glenn Thrush, "The president ran on not touching entitlements, ran on not touching Medicaid. Ran on making sure that no people were dying in the streets. How does he square this argument or how does he square his new argument that they need to do something, period, even if it doesn’t benefit everyone?”

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WATCH LIVE: Senate Dems Hold The Floor To Protest TrumpCare

Mon, 2017-06-26 20:25

They'll be on the floor as long as they possibly can. The hashtag is #holdthefloor.

Here is the live video. Please feel free to share with as many people as possible, particularly those who live in red states.

The bill is cruel. So far, there are 47 Senators who have not come out against it. That is shameful.

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AHCA Is About A Mean Ideology. Tax Cuts Are A Bonus.

Mon, 2017-06-26 20:00

The senate version of the AHCA has invoked justifiable criticism from the Democratic party for being less of a "health care" bill and more of a "tax break for the rich" bill. For once, I agree with Donald Trump; it is a "mean" piece of legislation, but that alone is not what this is about. It is once again about that great Republican pastime of suppressing those who are not their wealthy donors. It's about rigging the system for corporate welfare.

In typical Republican fashion, it will affect poor and middle-class citizens significantly. The lack of access to affordable health care will cause families to have to work longer hours and perhaps even take on more jobs. There is no question that the AHCA will break the average American family. The funds being stripped away from Medicare will leave people without a safety net, without any means to obtain the health care they so desperately need and deserve.

None of this matters to Republicans as they could care less. In their collective mind, they got theirs, figure out how to get yours. A highly hypocritical attitude considering both their leaders (McConnell and Ryan) benefited as children from forms of social welfare as children. Of the handful that are considering voting no on the bill, all but two (Heller and Collins) has stated that the bill did not go far enough in cutting funds. Republican senators writing the bill did not cut programs because they were not affordable. They cut them to give the funding to the wealthy. Because, you know, they need it.

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CBO Serves The Senate A Health Care Sh*t Sandwich

Mon, 2017-06-26 17:12

The CBO has just dropped the score for the Senate Sh*t Sandwich Act (SSSA), otherwise known as the ironically named "Better Care Reconciliation Act," which is the Senate version of the AHCA, or "Trumpcare."

As those of us following the matter closely knew, it is a nasty sh*t sandwich served between two slices of sourdough Republican rhetoric.

First and foremost, the CBO confirms that millions will be uninsured and lose their access to health care immediately, with 22 million more uninsured by 2025.

Medicaid is cut by $772 billion, which directly contradicts the Orwellian talking point amongst Republicans that it's not really a cut, but more a question of how much it doesn't increase. It's a cut, and it's a big cut too.

The other savings in the bill comes from cutting subsidies for co-payments and deductibles for low-income earners, called CSRs. That, along with an end to essential health benefits, brings home $408 billion, just enough for those nice fat tax cuts McConnell and his Koch friends long to bring home.

Millions would lose coverage right away, with the most affected group being those in the pre-Medicare age group who are also low-income earners. Those people would see their costs double, or perhaps even triple. Here is a table.

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GOP Rep. Francis Rooney Slams Medicaid Patients: 'These People Don't Understand How Capitalism Works'

Mon, 2017-06-26 17:00

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) defended his party's plan to strip Medicaid from hundreds of thousands people while passing the saving on as tax cuts to the richest Americans.

"Those that would be hurt the most," MSNBC host Chris Jansing told Francis in an interview on Monday, "are those who would, in fact, be those who have the most difficulty: the poor, the elderly, the people most in need of the help that Obamacare provides."

According to Rooney, people who are current on Medicaid could expect to have "favorable outcomes" under the Republican plan.

The congressman explained that he would support the GOP health care bill even if the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined that millions would lose health insurance because of the policy.

"The voodoo economics of the CBO score was faulty the first time around," he insisted. "It assumes that nobody will buy insurance unless they are mandated to by a statist system like Obamacare. It doesn't give any credit for behavioral modification and incentive through the tax credit."

Jansing noted that experts have said that the Republican plan "is a bill that makes sure the wealthy get tax cuts."

"The savings, a lot of it is expect to go in this bill toward tax cuts," she observed. "Seven million dollars a year in the tax cut -- a year -- that each of the 400 wealthiest families in America we get as a result of this. That's okay with you as people are losing their coverage?"

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Sean Spicer Moronically Says Trump Always Believed In Russia's Election Interference

Mon, 2017-06-26 15:07

You can't make this sh*t up.

Last week on June 20th, when Trump's press secretary decided he could go on camera, he told the world that he had no idea what Trump thought on the Russia election tampering charges:

"I have not sat down and asked him about the specific reaction. I'd be glad to touch base with him and get back to you," he said.

Spicer feigned ignorance after Trump made repeated statements denouncing the idea that Russia played any part in screwing with our general election - and routinely called it a hoax.

However, during today's audio-only presser, Sean ridiculously said that since January, Trump always believed that Russia did interfere in the U.S. election.

A reporter asked, "Over the weekend in an interview on Fox, President Trump seemed to acknowledge that he does believe that Russia interfered in the U.S. election. Is that how that statement should be interpreted? Does he believe that Russia interfered in the election?"

Spicer replied, "The statement he made in January is consistent with what he said the other day, which is he believes that Russia probably was involved, potentially some other countries as well, could have been equally been involved -- or could have been involved, not equally, and he stands by the statements that he made in January."

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Ohio Councilman Wonders Whether City Can Stop Responding To Repeat Overdoses

Mon, 2017-06-26 15:00

An Ohio councilman has a novel approach to the opioid crisis in that state: Just stop responding to repeat overdose emergency calls. If they're so irresponsible they overdose over and over and need Narcan to be brought back from the edge of death, they're not worth saving, according to Councilman Dan Picard of Middletown, Ohio.

Via the Journal-News:

Saying the city needs to think outside the box, Middletown City Council member Dan Picard asked if it was possible for EMS to not respond to overdose calls.

Noting people with cancer don’t get free chemotherapy from medics nor do people having heart attacks get a free heart bypass in an EMS run, Picard asked if there was a law that requires the city to respond to overdose calls.

Picard is frustrated over the fact that costs for Narcan doses are in excess of $100,000 when the city only budgeted $10,000.

Picard clearly appears to be a Republican, since he's also a proponent of privatizing emergency responders if costs keep being so high. God forbid he should pay one penny of taxes to help save lives.

Unless, of course, it's to force women to have babies. That is always okay with these guys.

AMA Says Senate Bill Violates 'Do No Harm' Tenet For Doctors

Mon, 2017-06-26 14:12

I think anyone that has followed politics in recent years understands that Republicans don't mind at all "doing harm" to Americans as long as they fall below the top 2%ers!

Whether it's ending unemployment benefits, cutting food stamps, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, etcetera...

Even though Trump has said otherwise, many of their most heinous statements this year during their debate to repeal and replace Obama's ACA focuses on how covering Americans with preexisting conditions is just not acceptable.

According to Trump's most trusted news programs, covering pre-existing conditions is a luxury!

Senators like Ron Johnson believes people should be treated just like automobiles.

And Rep. Mo Books famously said that people with preexisting conditions just didn't live "good lives."

How dare you get a disease! Live better!

But the American Medical Association does follow basic medical tenets and James Madara, AMA’s CEO, wrote a letter to Senate leaders, denouncing their health care bill and telling them to stop "harming" Americans.

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