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This is how one starts a conversation with a Trump voter to start effecting change (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-08-01 02:16

I get a lot of flack because I attempt to engage the Trump voter on my radio show Politics Done Right. This listener gives me hope because even if he does not overtly change his opinions, he returns to the show each time a bit more civil.

How I intend to change the Trump voter eventually

Listen to the entire show here

The Trump voter is not lost if one takes the time to build a communication channel. But it takes a lot of time to build trust. It takes a lot of listening. It is slow.

It is true that many of these voters are racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, and misogynistic. But guess what? Many Progressives and Liberals are as well even though many of us attempt to give the impression that because we are Progressives and Liberals, all is okay or do not suffer the sin of prejudice.

It is the realization mentioned above that humbles me. Many times we are told not to bother. Many advise us that it is a waste of time to spend time trying to change their minds instead of working the Progressive non-voting base.

Given the results of the last four two-year election cycles, trying to make non-voters voters may just be as hard as changing the minds of the Trump voter.

It is important that engage the Trump voter as well as attempt to get the Progressive non-voter to vote. After all, our goal isn't solely winning elections by 50% + 1, but winning a governing majority. That requires more than a base election. It means growing the base. Whether some want to admit it or not, much of the Trump voting base share much in common with Progressive voters. The job we have is to break the cycle of indoctrination. That requires painstakingly listening to them and then entertaining a civil discussion.

Please support our radio show dedicated to Progressive political activism and information by liking our Politics Done Right Facebook page here.

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Martin: Hope General Kelly can counsel the biggest child in the White House, Trump (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-07-31 16:31

Roland Martin was brash in his comment on what America must expect from General Kelly as the new Chief of Staff. His language was colorful but accurate and necessary.

General Kelly must counsel the biggest child in the White House

General Kelly has begun ridding the White House of 'the children' and hopefully, he can discipline the biggest one in the White House. He accepted the Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci's "resignation" as one of his first personnel actions. The White House has not yet said if it was a firing or a forced resignation, but many can infer.

Roland Martin's assessment is spot on as he usually is.

"First of all, I would hope that with the arrival of General Kelly you now have adults who are now running the country as opposed to the children that we have witnessed over the last six months," Roland Martin said. "And I would hope that General Kelly is somehow can counsel the biggest child in the White House this president Donald Trump. Why am I saying that? You look at the comment that he has made. You look at look at his vulgar language and how he's basically not at the presidential. You need someone who can say, look, respect this office. You ought to act like the president. Scaramucci was ridiculous. The communications directors are not supposed to be the story. And he thought he was basically a mini-me Donald Trump. And he needed to go. Because it was embarrassing what took place last week and you would hope, again, for the country -- it does not matter if you are Republican or Democrat liberal or conservative -- we ought to respect the presidency. I would hope the president will learn from a general Kelly as to how he should behave as president the United States."

Donald Trump has had many resets. No one should expect a new disciplined Donald Trump to defer to General Kelly permanently. Like all other Trump servants, he is likely to face the same level of humiliation going forward. No one enters the White House and leaves without that stench of defeat from the president.

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Scaramucci resigns as communication director. Was it a suicide mission (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-07-31 15:06

Anthony Scaramucci has "resigned" as Donald Trump's White House Communications Director. He served less than two weeks on the job.

Was Scaramucci a suicide mission?

CNN reports the following.

(CNN) Anthony Scaramucci is out as White House communications director, two sources tell CNN.

It's the latest high-profile departure from the Trump White House. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus resigned at the end of last week, replaced by John Kelly, whose first day is Monday.

A White House official said Kelly wanted Scaramucci removed from his new role as the communications director because he did not think he was disciplined and had burned his credibility. Scaramucci, a colorful and controversial figure, was brought on during the latest in a long list of White House shake ups that have rocked the presidency with a sense of chaos.

This story is being updated.

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Nigerian to Fareed Zakaria: Your country’s gone crazy. I’m from Africa, I know crazy (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-07-31 00:37

Fareed Zakaria described the damage that Donald Trump has effected on America internationally as the world starts making plans to ignore our country, virtually. The precipitous fall of America to the rest of the world is astounding but understandable.

Fareed Zakaria details America's loss of respectability under Trump

The world's worsening opinion of America is real. Fareed Zakaria reveals some unfortunate truths about having Trump as the president of the United States of America. He wrote about it in his Washington Post article and spoke about it in the video included in this post.

In London last week, I met a Nigerian man who succinctly expressed the reaction of much of the world to the United States these days. “Your country has gone crazy,” he said, with a mixture of outrage and amusement. “I’m from Africa. I know crazy, but I didn’t ever think I would see this in America.”

A sadder sentiment came from a young Irish woman I met in Dublin who went to Columbia University, founded a social enterprise and has lived in New York for nine years. “I’ve come to recognize that, as a European, I have very different values than America these days,” she said. “I realized that I have to come back to Europe, somewhere in Europe, to live and raise a family.”

Zakaria said that a recent Pew Research Center study of 37  countries made it clear that they can make do without America.

Trump’s presidency is making the United States something worse than just feared or derided. It is becoming irrelevant.

President Obama is almost three times more percentage points than Donald Trump in Global Confidence.

Donald Trump has the worse poll numbers of all the key leaders around the world.

Even in the United States more expressed confidence in German Chancellor Angela Merkel than Trump.

Zakaria points out that Trump has done something most have been unable to do so far. He has unified Europe. Deeper European integration is on its the way.

Zakaria ended his piece on a sour note.

Even when U.S. foreign policy was unpopular, people around the world still believed in America — the place, the idea. This is less true today.

In 2008, I wrote a book about the emerging “Post-American World,” which, I noted at the start, was not about the decline of America but rather the rise of the rest. Amid the parochialism, ineptitude and sheer disarray of the Trump presidency, the post-American world is coming to fruition much faster than I ever expected.

Much of Trump's damage will live on for the foreseeable future.

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Fareed Zakaria slams Trump administration for smoke & mirrors budget (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-07-30 18:21

Fareed Zakaria has one of the most fact based programs on cable, but very few highlight his work on blogs. Here he exposes the Trump budget fraud on Americans in a comprehensive manner.

Trump's fraudulent budget debunked

Fareed Zakaria methodically takes down Trump's budget as he castigates the GOP for ignoring math, science, and facts to govern ideologically with lies.

Here is the transcript for Fareed Zakaria's excellent piece on the budget and the GOP's voodoo economics.

The number I want to focus on is three point four trillion dollars. At the end of May, the Trump administration released details of its proposed budget for the next fiscal year. And on July 13th the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released their analysis of President Trump's budget.

The CBO says the President's budget underestimated the loss in federal tax revenues caused by its proposed tax cuts by a whopping three point four trillion dollars. How could the smart Goldman Sachs guys on Trump's economic team, Gary Cohn, Steve Minuchin, make such a big basic math error. Actually, they did it intentionally.

The administration assumed that because of its tax cuts the American economy would grow by three percent a year for the next decade. The CBO instead says the president's plan would increase GDP growth to 1.9 percent which most economists agree is the sensible assumption. Note that the American economy has grown on average just 1.8 percent over the last years, no more.

This method of fudging the numbers is called dynamic scoring. Common sense would tell you that if the government cuts taxes it'll get less money in tax revenues. But sprinkle the magic pixie dust of dynamic scoring and you can project much higher growth rates and then the revenue numbers saw upwards in theory.

The story of dynamic scoring is the story of the Republican Party's abandonment of facts, science, and analysis in favor of ideology. Decades ago Republicans were advocates of fiscal restraint. They were the party of green eyeshades, conservative assumptions, and careful accounting. They did not believe in wide-eyed assumption and in counting chickens before they were hatched.

In fact, when Ronald Reagan proposed tax cuts that he claimed would pay for themselves his traditionalist Republican rival George Bush Senior derided his approach as voodoo economics. But with the Reagan Revolution came a new mantra. Tax cuts were the answer to every problem and the economics could be bent to make it all work out in theory.

In fact, the national debt tripled under Ronald Reagan. And After George W Bush cut taxes the national debt increased again. Bill Clinton by contrast actually raise taxes and ushered in stronger growth and higher tax revenues. But the mountains of evidence have not stopped Republicans from using dynamic scoring.

In 2010, Kansas governor Sam Brownback rode a tea party wave to power and he soon slashed taxes across the board predicting that there would be a boost to the Kansas economy and thousands of new jobs would be created. Except, the promised growth never materialized. Instead, between 2013 and 2014 the state's budget of 6 billion dollars was butchered as tax revenues fell by a massive seven hundred and thirteen million dollars. This year there was a 218 million dollar budget shortfall forcing state legislators to pass tax hikes despite Brownback's opposition. In 2015 the GDP of the state grew by an anemic 0.2. percent while the rest of the nation grew at 1.6 percent. Job growth since the cuts dropped to a dismal 3.5 percent while the rest of the nation experienced a rate of 7.6.%. Sam Brownback has been rewarded for his failure by being nominated this week to be the state department's Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom by Donald Trump.

Bruce Bartlett who was a senior policy adviser to presidents Reagan and Bush senior says that dynamic scoring is not about honest revenue estimating. It's about using smoke and mirrors to institutionalize Republican ideology into the budget process. Steve Minuchin, Gary Cohen, and others in the administration know better. Instead of smoke & mirrors, they should use facts and figures, economics and analysis on a subject as serious as the nation's economic outlook.

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Conservative on Trump: He is so bad he is in the running for the worst president of all time (VIDEO)

Sun, 2017-07-30 12:34

These three Conservatives were not kind to the president as one declared him the worst president of all time. The others made it clear in their "own way" why he is currently a failure.

Trump, the worst president of all time?

Every day that Trump is in office, he proves why it will be hard not to define him as the worst president of all time. Beck, Sykes, & Will made that clear.

Meet the Press Chuck Todd aired a segment where they asked many voters, journalists, and others if the president was successful thus far. As expected, some of Trump's most devout loyalists express support.

Ann Coulter gave an interesting answer. She said if the president builds the wall and does not go to war in the Middle-East, he would go down as the greatest president in her lifetime. She said it with a straight face. Another Trump supporter said that she believed with Trump God has given the country a second chance to redeem itself.

Conservative commentator George Will would have none of that. He scorched the president.

"Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is 25," George Will said. "But he is so good that if he quit today, he'd be in the Hall of Fame. Donald Trump has only served six months. But he's so bad that he is in the running for the worst president of all time."

Glenn Beck expressed the sentiment in a different manner. In fact, his analogy was the most ideal because it described the president's character best.

"Great leaders eat last," Glenn Beck said. "The best leader is the biggest servant of the lowest person on the ladder, not the one that gets the biggest cheer."

Charlie Sykes hit the nail on the head.

"Donald Trump never made the pivot to become president of the United States," Charlie Sykes said.

While Sykes is correct, there is an issue with his statement. Making that change presumes that the president had substance, that the president was capable of morphing into someone he simply is not. The president has little upstairs that makes him presidential material. And every day of the week he hits a new low.

Just in the last few days he,

No one knows how the Trump presidency will end. One thing most know is that it won't end well.

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ALERT: The fight continues as Trump still intent on cutting Medicaid without Trumpcare

Sat, 2017-07-29 15:34

By Phil Galewitz

After the Senate fell short in its effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is poised to use its regulatory powers to accomplish what lawmakers could not: shrink Medicaid.

President Donald Trump’s top health officials could engineer lower enrollment in the state-federal health insurance program by approving applications from several GOP-controlled states eager to control fast-rising Medicaid budgets.

Indiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Arizona and Wisconsin are seeking the administration’s permission to require adult enrollees to work, submit to drug testing and demand that some of their poorest recipients pay monthly premiums or get barred from the program.

Maine plans to apply Tuesday. Other states would likely follow if the first ones get the go-ahead.

Josh Archambault, senior fellow for the conservative Foundation for Government Accountability, said absent congressional action on the health bill “the administration may be even more proactive in engaging with states on waivers outside of those that are already planning to do so.”

The hope, he added, is that fewer individuals will be on the program as states figure out ways “to transition able-bodied enrollees into new jobs, or higher-paying jobs.” States need to shore up the program to be able to keep meeting demands for the “truly needy,” such as children and the disabled, he added.

To Medicaid’s staunchest supporters and most vocal critics alike, the waiver requests are a way to rein in the $500 billion program that has undergone unprecedented growth the past four years and now covers 75 million people.

Waivers have often been granted in the past to broaden coverage and test new ways to deliver Medicaid care, such as through private managed-care organizations.

But critics of the new requests, which could be approved within weeks, said they could hurt those who are most in need.

The National Health Law Program “is assessing the legality of work requirements and drug testing and all avenues for challenging them, including litigation,” said Jane Perkins, the group’s legal director.

The administration has already said it favors work requirements and in March invited states to suggest new ideas.

Before taking the top job at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Seema Verma was the architect of a Kentucky waiver request submitted last year.

Not all states are expected to seek waivers, because Medicaid enjoys wide political support in many states, particularly in the Northeast and West.

Medicaid, the nation’s largest health insurance program, has seen enrollment soar by 17 million since 2014, when Obamacare gave states more federal funding to expand coverage for adults. It’s typically states’ second-largest expense after education.

This year, Senate and House bills tried to cap federal funding to states for the first time. Since the program began in 1965, federal Medicaid funding to states has been open-ended.

Health experts say allowing the waiver requests goes beyond the executive branch’s authority to change the program without approval from Congress.

“The point of these waivers is not for states to remake the program whole-cloth on a large-scale basis,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a health policy expert at George Washington University who chairs a Medicaid group that advises Congress.

Rosenbaum noted that states received waivers for different purposes under the Obama administration.

In Iowa, state officials won the authority to limit non-emergency transportation. Indiana received approval to charge premiums and lock out enrollees with incomes above the federal poverty level if they fell behind on paying premiums.

“Now there is concern these more extreme measures would hurt enrollees’ access to care,” Rosenbaum said.

Three states seeking waivers today are home to three key GOP players in the Senate health debate: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Sen. John McCain (Arizona) and Vice President Mike Pence (Indiana).

If states add premiums, as well as work and drug testing requirements, the result would be fewer people enrolling and staying in Medicaid, said David Machledt, senior policy analyst for the National Health Law Program.

“How does that serve the purpose of the Medicaid program and what are the limits of CMS waiver authority?” he asked.












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Wisconsin, where Republican Gov. Scott Walker wants his state to become the first to require some Medicaid enrollees to undergo drug testing, is a prime waiver candidate.

State officials stress the effort is not to deter drug users from the program but to help provide treatment for drug users.

Wisconsin is also one of five states seeking a waiver to add a work requirement. People could meet the mandate through volunteering, job training or caring for an elderly relative.

In addition, Wisconsin wants to limit enrollees’ Medicaid benefits to 48 consecutive months, unless the beneficiary is working.

Enrollees with incomes from 50 percent to 100 percent of the federal poverty level, or between $6,030 and$12,060, would have to pay an $8 monthly premium.

All of these rules would apply to about 12 percent of people currently enrolled in Medicaid — adults who are not disabled and don’t have dependent children.

Wisconsin Medicaid Director Michael Heifetz said the main goal of the proposed changes is not to shrink the size of Medicaid but to get people into the workforce.

“The proposal is not designed to have folks leave the program except for positive reasons,” he said.

If the waiver is approved, the state anticipates annual savings of nearly $50 million and a drop in enrollment of 5,102 over five years.

Wisconsin now spends $7 billion on Medicaid and has 1.2 million recipients.

Asked why childless adults — not parents — are the focus of the waivers, Heifetz said Wisconsin wanted to test the provisions on a smaller population first and focus on adults who should be able to find work.

But the Wisconsin effort has sparked broad outrage from hospitals, doctors and advocates for people with disabilities.

The Wisconsin Council of Churches said the state would be punishing the poor with its waivers — and undermining the vitality of communities.

“We are concerned the proposed changes to the program will be detrimental for the health of our most vulnerable neighbors … and undermine the social fabric and vitality of our state,” said Peter Bakken, public policy coordinator for the group in Sun Prairie, a suburb of Madison.

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Democrats’ timidity & lack of a bold agenda dims 2018 blue wave hopes

Sat, 2017-07-29 12:08

Democrats' released their new slogan, "A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future" which is completely uninspiring and cookie cutter. It says nothing either Republicans or Democrats alike have implied is their goal.

Democrats' continue to fail to see that the country is looking for bold Progressive leadership and policies. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders proved that. It's not hard to postulate that the intersection of Trump and Sanders' voters who did not vote for Hillary, rank and file Democrats, Independents, and Progressive Republicans represent a winning coalition that supports a bold Progressive agenda.

A few weeks I wrote an article about Democrats spending too much time on Trump colluding with Russia and not enough on issues that directly affect Americans and another article about Democrats not fighting the health care battle smartly.

But the Democratic problem runs deeper. Miles Kampf-Lassin must-read In These Times article titled "The Democrats’ New Agenda Is Everything That’s Wrong With the Party" lays it out very well.

The story of the Democratic Party in 2017 has been one of timidity and stubborn resistance to real change. In the immediate aftermath of the party’s preferred candidate facing a humiliating defeat in last year’s presidential election, questions swirled over what direction the party would take to respond to the new political reality. With Democrats at their weakest position in decades, having lost over 1,000 seats in states and Congress over the previous eight years, it appeared that a drastic shift in how the party operated was in store.

And the party was offered an early opportunity to embark on such a shift, with the campaign by Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee chair. Ellison sported a resume as a bold progressive with popular support from rank-and-file Democrats and party activists alike. And he presented a clear break with the Democratic Party’s traditional establishment.

But rather than embrace the new direction presented by Ellison’s bid, party insiders conspired to instead elect Tom Perez, a candidate with much stronger connections to the party’s establishment wing. The result came as a dispiriting blow to many in the party’s base who hoped for a clear break in Democratic leadership.

In the ensuing months, the Democrats have turned to neoliberal architects such as Rahm Emanuel for advice, invested a historic amount of funding in centrist Jon Ossoff’s failed congressional campaign in Georgia and returned to the strategy of recruiting moderate “Blue Dogs” to run in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

And this week, the Democratic Party announced its new slogan and platform: “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.” Besides its possible plagiarism from Papa John’s tagline, the plan includes a repackaging of a number of longtime Democratic ideas, with some potential progressive offerings sprinkled in. But much like a pizza from Papa John’s, “A Better Deal” mostly amounts to an uninspired, stale and cheesy agglomeration stuffed neatly into a box.

The article is not an attack on the Democratic establishment but an urging that the party boldly support issues that affect all Americans without fear. The author further writes the following.

There’s no shortage of ambitious programs waiting for the Democrats to embrace. The party could pledge to break up big banks, offer free public college, tax the wealthy and financial transactions, provide a universal basic income and fight for universal collective bargaining rights. Add these ideas to single-payer healthcare, a federal jobs guarantee and sweeping climate action and you have the makings of the kind of bold economic agenda that Schumer claims is key to the party reclaiming its mantel as an unabashed advocate for the working class.

Such an agenda would require the Democrats to shed their timidity and prove that they are not beholden to corporate interests. And it would certainly mean providing more than a shiny, poll-tested new messaging campaign.

If Democrats are worried about the efficacy of adopting a broad-left platform in 2017, all they need to do is peer across the pond. Labour was able to score stunning advances in Britain’s June election running on the most left-wing platform the party had put forward in more than three decades. The manifesto that leaked before the election called for nationalizing utilities such as water, rail and electricity, eliminating tuition fees, instituting free childcare, expanding public housing, taxing the wealthy and corporations and transitioning to 60 percent low-carbon fuels by 2030.

Rather than sabotaging the party’s chances, the manifesto was hugely popular and was credited in boosting Labour’s late rise in the polls, leading to the shock outcome with Jeremy Corbyn and the party making huge gains and threatening Theresa May’s Conservative government.

It is time for Democrats to deliver what the Democratic Party Platform articulates. I pointed that out in my article "The Democratic Party needs to up its game for the 21st Century" which will be on the front page of the DailyKos, the largest Progressive site in the country, shortly. I pointed out that Democrats needed to up their fast response game. They need to use new technologies in real time to get their message across. I then wrote the following.

The Democratic Party is currently more reactive than proactive. It is more on defensive than on offense. Even the new Democratic slogan lacks the urgency needed for a party unable to win even though most Americans support the values and policies within its Democratic Platform.

The current leadership of the Democratic Party did a great job in 2006. The Party, mostly led by then Senator Barack Obama, took it a step further in 2008. Unfortunately, the party did not continue to build on those successes. There are many reasons why, some cynical, some based on the lack of new blood entering leadership.

The Democratic Party still has time to right the ship. The Republicans are giving them ample opportunities to rebuild, their decimated state and federal benches. It is time for the Democratic Party to invest in new technologies and to learn how to use the new social media paradigm effectively. Grassroots Democrats are answering the call throughout the country. However, it is imperative that the old guard does not become a hindrance to moving forward. It is time for Democrats to reach beyond the base to form a coalition that can govern. The Democratic Party needs to up its game for the 21st Century.

Progressive Democrats need to take the reigns of their party and bring it into the 21st Century. It is time for them to take control to start winning again so they can effect policies to move poor, working-class, and middle-class America forward.

 

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Reince Priebus OUT as Trump’s Chief of Staff after just 190 day

Fri, 2017-07-28 19:12

The chaos in the Donald Trump organization continues. Reince Priebus is out as Chief of Staff and replaced by a military man.

It was clear that Reince Priebus was not going to be around when Trump appointed the new thuggish Anthony Scaramucci to his communication team.

The Huffington Post reports the following.

Priebus resigned privately on Thursday, he reportedly told multiple media outlets.

“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve this president and our country. I want to thank the president for giving me this very special opportunity. I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the president’s agenda and policies. I can’t think of a better person than General John Kelly to succeed me and I wish him God’s blessings and great success,” Priebus said in a statement on Friday.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said Trump and Priebus had been discussing his role for weeks. She added that Kelly and Trump had also been discussing the job.  Priebus flew on Air Force One with Trump on Friday, according to a pool report. Trump waited on board the plane when it returned to Andrews Air Force base, and Priebus initially got into a car with White House aides Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino. They then left his car and got in another one. Some reporters approached Priebus’ car as they learned of his dismissal, and the vehicle left Trump’s motorcade before the president departed.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Priebus didn’t show any signs over being out of a job while riding Air Force One on Friday. “We didn’t even know it. We were sitting right across from him and he kept a poker face,” he told reporters. “Good poker face, showed nothing.” Trump also spoke to reporters on Air Force One. “Reince is a good man,” he said. “John Kelly will do a fantastic job. Gen. Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody. He’s a great great American. Reince is a good man.

[<a href="//storify.com/ewillies/trump-comments-on-reince-priebus" target="_blank">View the story "Trump comments on Reince Priebus" on Storify</a>]

America continues to be the laughing stock of the world. How far have we fallen since the dignified presidency of President Barack Obama? Very far.

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Trump encourages police brutality in a speech to law enforcement officers in New York (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-07-28 16:29

Donald Trump once again shows that he had no regards for the law or decent law enforcement protocol. He came across like a thug in his speech to law enforcement officers in Long Island New York as he encouraged police brutality.

A thuggish president encouraging police brutality

Once again Donald Trump has engaged in thuggish rhetoric but this time more seriously as he urged police officers to be violent with suspects. Is there any doubt why the president is willing to bring someone like Anthony Scaramucci, who continuously exhibits thuggish behavior, into the White House?

During the speech, Donald Trump attempted to give a rationale for filling his cabinet with the same swamp creatures he blazed about during his presidential campaign.

"I saw some photos where Tom's guys, rough guys, they're rough," Trump said. "I don't want to be; I don't want to be, you know say it because they'll say that's not politically correct. You're not allowed to have rough people doing this kind of work. We have to get; just like they don't want to have rich people at the head of Treasury. Okay! Like, like I want a rich guy at the head of Treasury. Right? I want a rich guy at the head of Commerce because we've been screwed so badly on trade deals, I want people that made a lot of money now to make a lot of money for our country."

Trump forgets that all of his Wall Street ilks are responsible for creating the environment that justified outsourcing and offshoring for various reasons. These are the guys who figure out how to get around our tax laws and starve the country from taxes even as they ask much of America. After all, it is the mighty United States military paid for by our taxes that secures their foreign investments. It is the American taxpayers who fund the infrastructure for their commerce. And it is the American people who buy their products.

Trump then further released his inner thug.

"Now when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon," Trump said. "You just see them thrown in rough. I said, please don't be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you're protecting their head. You know the way you put their hand. Like don't hit their head and they've just killed somebody? Don't hit the head? I said you can take the hand away okay?"

Trump gave this speech to police officers. As it stands, with the advent of cell phone cameras and other small cameras, a particular sect of police officers have been proved to be liars and very brutal. They do not need further encouragement from the president. The president is making it acceptable for every police officer listening to him to feel empowered to be more aggressive as they arrest suspects. This is dangerous and will get many suspects brutalized or killed. Ironically it may even get some police officers who otherwise are more cautious in trouble as in the back of their head they have the okay from the president of the United States.

 

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Trumpcare failure an ‘Exposé of the fundamental rot of the modern Republican Party’ (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-07-28 12:36

The colossal failure of this iteration of Trumpcare referred to as the Skinny Repeal Bill is but an example of the seriousness given to policies by the modern Republican Party. A party cannot govern by slogans, and this exposed them for what they are, and these panelists were merciless in speaking truth to them.

These panelists used the Trumpcare debacle to state a necessary truth

These panelists of various ideologies stated what should have been said about the GOP for a long time. This truth would have saved us if stated earlier.

It is important to understand how immoral and unprincipled the GOP has become. This is how Senator Lindsey Graham described the Skinny Repeal Bill the Senate was voting on last night.

"The skinny bill as policy is a disaster," Graham said. "The skinny bill as a replacement for Obamacare is a fraud. Not only do we not replace Obamacare, we politically owned the collapse of health care."

But Senator Graham still voted for the bill under the pretense that it would be improved in the conference with the more dysfunction House members. If that stance isn't morally corrupt, then what is?

Mark Halperin hit the nail on the head.

"No one knew what would happen if that measure had passed," Halperin said. "No one really knew what was going to happen as they tried to get assurances from Paul Ryan that the House wouldn't just pass this, but I think their fears were right. If next step with that the bill came out of that Senate it was possible that Paul Ryan would be left with no other solution but to just force the house to vote on that measure. And that measure, as Senator McCain and others, said, that's not a policy. That was a vehicle to try to move the process along. And now we have the unfathomable situation of Tom Price, the Secretary of HHS and President Trump are going to have to administer the Affordable Care Act."

John Heilemann excoriated the Republican Party for its fraud on the American people.

"There's no question this is a huge failure for Trump, and there's no question that it's a great setback to his agenda his possibility of getting things done the rest of the year," said Heilmann. "There's a much larger thing than that. It's not just a failure. It's an exposé of the fundamental rot at the heart of the modern Republican Party. This is a party that spent two successive presidential cycles saying the most central thing that it was going to do was to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The reason they failed is (A), it's really hard to repeal an entitlement but (B), they didn't take seriously the job of what would happen when they eventually got into power, and they spent eight years saying they were going to do this and never really seriously got down to the business of creating a workable alternative and that is what this last week's, seven months has exposed. There was no alternative. There was no replacement and in the end that as much as anything doomed this. And you look at the party now you say look, this is what you guys said you were going to do. You were totally unprepared for it when the time came where you had total power over Washington DC. If the Republican Party ever wants to be considered a governing party it's going to have to look at the lessons of this and learn that it has to be serious and responsible and if it's going to make promises it has to try at least to keep them."

Former Senator Ted Cruz Communications Director Rick Tyler then hit his party real hard.

"The fraud really is," Tyler said. "I hate to say this about my party. The fraud was there was a repeal and replace. There wasn't. And it's embarrassing. And there's no leadership. And no one took the time to say what happens if we get in power? Why aren't we a serious party right? And they had nothing to replace it with, and so here we are. The second problem is the president was a liability in the entire process. Even if they had something to replace it with, the president was a liability in terms of he's got the bully pulpit. He's the one who can move, and he's revealed now that he doesn't have a constituency that can move the Congress to do his bidding."

This is the modern Republican Party. They simply cannot govern. And it is time everybody understands that and vote accordingly. One cannot make policies with soundbites.

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Obamacare repeal failed: GOP Skinny Repeal Bill goes down in flames

Fri, 2017-07-28 02:44

BREAKING: Trumpcare, for now, is dead. Republicans' last attempt, the Skinny Repeal Bill, to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare failed in spectacular fashion.

Three Republican Senators voted against the GOP's Skinny Repeal Bill, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and John McCain ultimately killing Obamacare's repeal. These Republicans are heroes. They bucked the evil that their party was about to impose on many Americans. They likely saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. They did the moral thing.

The vote was held up for some time as the vice president attempted to convince John McCain to vote in the affirmative. He was not successful. President Trump was unsuccessful in his threat to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. She stood firm.

Obamacare is now more popular than not. Trumpcare is only supported by 17% of the population. It would have been a dereliction of duty to pass the bill.

Republican Senate Majority Leader said it is time to move on.Democratic Senate Minority Leader called for bipartisanship to improve the Obamacare. Senator Ted Cruz said that when Senators hear from their constituents, they will be bound to return and attempt to pass Trumpcare again.

In fact, soon after the vote, Donald Trump further revealed his evil character as he tweeted about letting Obamacare implode. He has little concern for the American people.

3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017

Here are the comments from various politicians.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Thousands and thousands of California calls and emails led the way to defeating this TERRIBLE bill. THANK YOU!

— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) July 28, 2017

Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we get back to work to improve the Affordable Care Act for all Americans.

— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) July 28, 2017

My full statement on the failure of Senate Republican health care bill: https://t.co/6wtQgbXqbH

— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) July 28, 2017

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

The American people have spoken loud & clear. It's time to move beyond #Trumpcare & work to improve the ACA in a bipartisan manner. pic.twitter.com/gP2KN8IPg0

— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) July 28, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

Thank you to everyone across the country who stood up and fought back. Tonight was a victory for the American people.

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 28, 2017

This is only the first step. We must now move forward to guarantee health care to all people as a right not a privilege.

— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 28, 2017

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

We are not celebrating; we are relieved--for the Americans who can now keep their #healthcare. We must work together to improve the law.

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 28, 2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

The nightmare is over, at least for now.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 28, 2017

The grassroots rose up. They were successful this time in giving Democrats the spine to stand firm and forced a few Republicans to bolt their party on this vote. The grassroots must, however, keep up the pressure on all their politicians. It is not the time to rejoice. There are many more progressive policies to defend. There is an election in 2018 to prepare for now. We must work towards passing a Single-Payer Medicare for All health care system.

Until Right Wing ideologues intent on dismantling America's social safety net are removed from office, the resistance must persist.

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Senate Skinny Repeal Bill – Affordable Care Act (ACA) Obamacare Repeal

Thu, 2017-07-27 23:06

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell release the so called Skinny Repeal Bill in the Republicans' attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The Skinny Repeal Bill language is here. Many Republicans say they do not want it but will vote for it if Paul Ryan promises a conference.

According to the New York Times,

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, pulled in his sails on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and unveiled a more narrow measure that would:

  • REPEAL THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE, which says that most Americans must have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
  • REPEAL THE EMPLOYER MANDATE, which requires large employers to offer health insurance to their workers.
  • GIVE FLEXIBILITY TO STATES, making it much easier for them to waive federal requirements that health plans provide consumers with a minimum set of benefits like maternity care and prescription drugs.
  • EXPAND HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS, increasing the limit on contributions to such tax-favored accounts
  • DELAY A TAX ON MEDICAL DEVICES.
  • INCREASE FUNDS FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS.

The insurance lobby has warned Republicans that the Skinny Repeal Bill will have adverse effects on the individual insurance market.

AHIP has addressed a letter to Senate leaders, calling for short-term stability and longer-term improvements in the individual health insurance market and emphasizing that the deadline is rapidly approaching for insurers to make final decisions about their premiums and participation for 2018.

Our letter states: “The mid-August deadline for finalizing 2018 premiums is rapidly approaching, yet significant uncertainties remain. This continued uncertainty – combined with targeted proposals that would eliminate key elements of current law without new stabilizing solutions – will not solve the problems in the individual market, and in fact will result in higher premiums, fewer choices for consumers, and fewer people covered next year. We would oppose an approach that eliminates the individual coverage requirement, does not offer alternative continuous coverage solutions, and does not include measures to immediately stabilize the individual market.”

We urge Congress to take action now on the following priorities:

  • Consumers’ cost-sharing reduction benefit, which low- and modest-income families depend on to afford their out-of-pocket medical costs, must be appropriately funded, or premiums will rise by about 20 percent.
  • The health insurance tax should be eliminated, so that premiums do not increase by 3 percent, which would cost hundreds of additional dollars per year for millions of Americans beginning in 2018, including seniors and small business owners, as well as states.
  • Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions should be covered and protected, and those protections must be coupled with either the individual coverage requirement or other continuous coverage solutions. Eliminating the individual coverage requirement by itself will likely result in fewer people covered and a deterioration of the risk pool, which will increase premiums.
  • A mechanism to stabilize the exchanges should be established for 2018-2019, to support care for people with serious health conditions and put downward pressure on premiums for everyone.
Skinny Repeal Bill

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WOW! GOP Senator makes case that Trump campaign colluded with Russia

Thu, 2017-07-27 12:19

This GOP Senator very calmly made the case that the Donald Trump campaign colluded with Russia in a systematic manner no Republican has expressed thus far.

Senator Lindsey Graham makes a case for Trump's Team collusion with Russia

Lindsey Graham did not pull any punches as he, in a very methodical and prosecutorial manner, made a case for the Trump's campaign colluding with Russia.

In the interview he did with CNN's Manu Raju, Lindsey Graham stated the unquestionable facts.

  • The main research body against Trump is funded by the Russians.
  • Trump's campaign is offered assistance through an intermediary by the Russian government.
  • Russians likely saw Manifort as an opportunity to get close to the campaign.
  • Trump campaign expressed a desire for Russian help which was likely provided.
  • The lawyer that Donald Trump Jr. spoke with in the meeting was a likely Russian agent.
  • The likelihood that there were more contacts must be researched.
  • Fusion GPS likely compromised the president.

"So what should we learn from all of this," Graham said. "The Russians were involved on both sides. They definitely tried to tip the scales against Clinton and for Trump. But the Fusion GPS organization that was trying to get the goods on Donald Trump was backed by the Russians. To me, this just shows how deep the Russians are into our democracy. And if you are a Republican or a Democrat, if you don't get what I was trying to, the point I was trying to make, that's a dangerous mistake cause they are trying to screw up our election and our democracy on both sides of the aisle."

Later in that same interview, Senator Graham made a significant threat to Donald Trump.

"If Jeff Session is fired," Graham said. "There will be holy hell to pay. Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency."

It seems like the Republican Party may be starting to box Trump in, rather late, but better late than never.

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The Democratic Party needs to up its game for the 21st Century

Thu, 2017-07-27 11:16

One of the reason institutions need to add new blood to their leadership is to ensure that they introduce new methodologies newcomers are likely familiar with to ensure their continued success. The Democratic Party is failing to remake itself for the 21st century.

On Monday Donald Trump gave a health care press conference. He paraded a few people presumably hurt by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare. He lied about an issue after an issue. It's not necessary to go over the lies here as the purpose of this article isn't to litigate Obamacare lies versus truth. It is the method of communicating with Americans.

It is crunch time. Republicans are in the majority. The only power Democrats have is the power of persuasion. That power comes from ensuring that they inform people appropriately and efficiently that Republican policies will materially harm them. To do so requires beating the opposition's misinformation. Democrats are doing a terrible job for one of two reasons. The first, an inability or resistance to leverage new technologies and methods to reach beyond its core base. And the second, an entrenched portion of the party intent on supporting a rightward moving center that fits between fixed rails.

If one's social media and other social networks consist of Progressives, Conservatives, Independents, and others, one's feed and environment capture a broader picture of what people of all political persuasions are seeing. Otherwise, one's environment becomes an echo chamber. Most Americans are currently existing in their ideological silos and echo chambers. To reach them one must invade those silos.

Conservatives and Republicans have been good at invading those silos. They have terrible policies but great snake oil salespersons. They are present everywhere. They show up with a concise and a precise narrative. Even as they are unable to come up with a health care plan, they turn to their standard song, Obamacare is collapsing and hurt many Americans. It is a lie, but when repeated over it gets traction. While it is true Obamacare is in a positive poll surge; concerns will mount when they release new rates October. After all, Democrats thus far have failed to lay the correct narrative that Republican created uncertainty and sabotage will be responsible for the October price shock.

President Obama did not wait for the Democratic Party to morph into modernity. His team did. They put the Howard Dean networking method on steroids. They evolved and kept growing and won even in difficult times.

Donald Trump upped the anti with big data. While Trump is a troglodyte, his campaign was not. MNost took him for granted. Trump did not have to win most of the people's vote; he just needed to win the right people's vote. His team understood that. Democrats remained set in their old campaign ways.

After Trump lied to Americans on Monday and bullied Republicans into passing the procedural motion to begin debate on Trumpcare, one would expect Democrats to be ready on every channel, radio, TV, social media, emails, and more. They were supposed to be on Facebook Live and Periscope. They should have had a fast response team ready for a live news conference simultaneously playing live cable, TV, radio, Facebook Live, Periscope, Youtube, and other streaming networks broadly targeted to reach more than the Democratic echo chamber. The news conference should have consisted of people helped by Obamacare and those hurt by the previous laissez faire morally corrupt health care system. They should have been ready to refute every single lie Trump told. Additionally, they should have used the opportunity to ensure that the narrative that the problems with Obamacare in 2017 and beyond are the deliberate sabotage by the Trump and his administration.

What most American on the Democratic mailing lists got was a plea for money with a canned message. The same happened when the motion to proceed passed. The Democratic Party is currently more reactive than proactive. It is more on defensive than on offense. Even the new Democratic slogan lacks the urgency needed for a party unable to win even though most Americans support the values and policies within its Democratic Platform.

The current leadership of the Democratic Party did a great job in 2006. The Party, mostly led by then Senator Barack Obama, took it a step further in 2008. Unfortunately, the party did not continue to build on those successes. There are many reasons why, some cynical, some based on the lack of new blood entering leadership.

The Democratic Party still has time to right the ship. The Republicans are giving them ample opportunities to rebuild, their decimated state and federal benches. It is time for the Democratic Party to invest in new technologies and to learn how to use the new social media paradigm effectively. Grassroots Democrats are answering the call throughout the country. However, it is imperative that the old guard does not become a hindrance to moving forward. It is time for Democrats to reach beyond the base to form a coalition that can govern. The Democratic Party needs to up its game for the 21st Century.

 

 

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WaPo Worships Principled, Humanitarian McCain That’s Never Existed

Wed, 2017-07-26 23:56

by Adam Johnson

In a fawning editorial Saturday (7/22/17), pillar of the national security establishment Washington Post fell over itself to commend a John McCain that never existed, instead lavishing praise on a well-curated PR facsimile developed over decades.

After praising McCain for issuing a “toughly worded criticism” on Twitter of Donald Trump for allegedly ending an entirely pointless, destructive and likely illegal CIA program supporting unnamed “rebels” in Syria (the highest act of moral courage for the Post is gunrunning to CIA proxies), the Fred Hiatt–run editorial board proceeds to paint McCain as the antidote to the problem of “partisan warfare, where politicians will say just about anything at all, true or untrue, to gain an advantage.”

This is clearly meant to be an opaque shot at Trump, but the Post is too cowardly to say so outright, much like McCain was too cowardly to actually vote against any of Trump’s cabinet—aside from the OMB director who McCain only opposed because he believed he would cut defense budgets. Never mind, the Washington Post had a childhood hero to worship:

And all over this world, Mr. McCain is associated with freedom and democracy. He has championed human rights with verve and tirelessness — speaking out against repression and authoritarianism, and inviting — no, cajoling — his colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, to bear witness with him on trips abroad. He has frequently welcomed victims of repression to the corridors of the capital, too, giving them succor and encouragement in the fight against tyranny.

One is curious if “all over this world” includes Iraq, which McCain lobbied to invade, resulting in 500,000–1 million deaths. Or Libya, which McCain passionately advocated bombing, turning it into an ungovernable bastion of extremism and slavery. Or Syria, which McCain helped rip apart by pushing for CIA-supported opposition groups for years. Or Gaza, whose destruction by Israeli forces McCain cheerled for in 2014. Or Yemen, which McCain, almost more than anyone in Congress, helped destroy by defending Saudi Arabia’s murderous war there.

The Washington Post doesn’t mention any of these countries; it simply recites platitudes about “authoritarianism” and “human rights.” The millions of Arabs whose lives McCain helped wreck simply don’t register in the Post’s moral calculus. And while it’s clear the editorial is a thinly veiled early eulogy, this does not relieve the Post of basic fidelity to history.

As for McCain’s supposed habit of “speaking out against repression and authoritarianism,” he had such an opportunity in 2015, when The Intercept’s Lee Fang (10/1/15) directly asked him about Saudi’s well-documented, US-backed war crimes in its bombing of Yemen—a siege that has since killed well over 10,000 civilians and lead to a cholera outbreak affecting nearly 600,000:

“They may be bombing civilians, which is actually not true,” McCain said, when asked about civilian casualties in Yemen.

“Civilians aren’t dying?” [Fang] asked.

“No, they’re not,” the senator replied. “Oh, I’m sure civilians die in war. Not nearly as many as the Houthis have executed,” McCain continued, referring to the Shiite militia waging an insurgency against the Sunni government in Yemen.

Asked about the recent reports of Saudi forces bombing a wedding party in Yemen, McCain said, “I’m sure in wars terrible things happen and the Houthis however are an extremist group backed by the Iranians who are slaughtering Yemenis.”

The reality is that McCain uses the rhetorical bludgeon of “human rights” as an arbitrary tool to push for war and demonize US enemies. For reasons that remain a mystery, the promotion and lobbying of war is not itself considered a human rights violation, nor does it sully one’s ability to act as an arbiter of them.

This is in stark contrast to the principles that animated the Nuremberg Tribunals. In his closing arguments, Justice Robert Jackson made clear that “the central crime in this pattern of crimes, the kingpin which holds them all together, is the plot for aggressive wars.”

If one had to sum up McCain’s political career, you could do worse than “aggressive wars”—seeing as how there’s never been one McCain didn’t promote with “verve and tirelessness.”

Nonetheless, the superficial morality being advanced by the Post—that prioritizes CNN posturing and strongly worded tweets over actual actions and voting record—seeks, above all, to promote a US NatSec mythology that positions the US as an indispensable good in the world and McCain as its most visible avatar. To achieve this marketing feat, the Washington Post must rewrite history and torture definitions to fit a childlike narrative of McCain as brave truth-teller, rather than predictable champion of war and empire who occasionally makes toothless references to human rights for the purposes of image curation.

Messages can be sent to the Washington Post at letters@washpost.com, or via Twitter @washingtonpost. Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

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