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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,383

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

100 days of Trump claims: in 56 days in office: "we've counted 219 false or misleading claims."-WaPo

Donald Trump earned 59 Four-Pinocchio ratings as a presidential candidate. Now that he’s president, he has continued his proclivity for making dubious, misleading or false statements. He also often repeats the same debunked claims even though they have been fact-checked. It’s hard to keep up with all of Trump’s rhetoric, so the Fact Checker is assembling in one place all of his suspect statements from his first 100 days as president. You can sort them by various categories and see how many times he has repeated the same false statement.

Washington Post says it's keeping track of the Donald's lies and Big Lies for the first 100 days. Suggest everyone email of comment on Post's Sunday open thread (see Plum Line) asking them to continue this project through out this entire ordeal.

Donald Trump's first budget outline, explained - Vox.com

Donald Trump's first budget outline, explained
(emphases my own)
President Clown-in-Chief, Donald Trump’s first official budget document includes massive changes to the one-third of federal spending going to “discretionary” programs. Programs to mitigate climate change are cut or eliminated across the government. Programs to assist the poor are slashed. And while almost every department would face large cuts, three would see sizable increases in spending: Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs.

The impact of the cuts and hikes laid out in the document would be massive. Trump wants to fund a border wall, deportation raids, a hiring spree for Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and purchases of new F-35 fighter jets and a variety of Navy vessels. And it would dramatically hamper enforcement of environmental and labor regulations, end grant and loan programs for clean energy and disadvantaged regions, and significantly reduce funding for biomedical research.

The document is a “skinny” budget that ignores taxes and entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps. It only specifies changes to “discretionary” spending by agencies. In total, this is about a third of the overall federal budget; non-defense discretionary is about 16 percent.

The budget will not pass in full, and provisions are already provoking political backlash on Capitol Hill. It will be up to Congress to actually implement spending policy; Trump can only offer suggestions. But the document is revealing and important nonetheless. It gives a clear signal of the administration’s priorities on agency spending, and signals that it will support any efforts by Congress to crack down on international programs, environmental protection, and anti-poverty programs.

Trumps budget blueprint is a war on the future of the American economy - Yglesias, Vox.com


President Donald Trump’s debut budget proposal is a stark declaration of war on the future of the American economy that substitutes a curious mix of ideology and blind nostalgia for any effort to think critically about the actual needs of a 21st-century nation.

The war starts with reducing spending — even though an aging population, plus the government’s role in inherently labor-intensive activities like education and long-term care, militates overwhelmingly in favor of a somewhat larger role for the state. But it continues with the priorities Trump set for where the remaining cash gets spent.

The picture that emerges is overwhelmingly one of nostalgia — more money for men with guns, less money for education, caring, and pointy-headed science. But nostalgia is not memory. The midcentury economy Trump yearns for was, almost by definition, less technologically advanced and educationally intensive than today’s.

But it was an extraordinarily forward-looking time. Propelled by the imperatives of Cold War competition, the United States made investments on an unprecedented scale in institutions dedicated to education and research, while engaging in massive public-private partnerships to disseminate then-new technological marvels like cars, phones, and televisions.

Rachel Maddow Stands Tall And Refuses To Back Down When Threatened By Donald Trump

Rachel Maddow refused to bow to Donald Trump's baseless threats. After the Trump White House had threatened her, the MSNBC host reported on a leak of Trump's 2005 tax return.


Rachel Maddow refused to bow to Donald Trump’s baseless threats. After the Trump White House had threatened her, the MSNBC host reported on a leak of Trump’s 2005 tax return.


Maddow said, “The White House confirmed to us tonight that this return is real. They threatened us and said it is illegal for us to publish it. It is not illegal for us to publish it.”

It’s true that the unauthorized release of federal tax returns is a criminal offense, however Maddow argued on the air that releasing the tax returns was a matter of public interest, given that every single president has done so since Nixon except for this one, who just so happens to be under scrutiny for his foreign ties. Thus MSNBC was exercising its First Amendment right.

Trump promised to release his tax returns if elected, and then once elected had his surrogates announce that no one cared. Polls disagree with the Trump administration’s claims on the matter of his tax returns. Americans think they do matter and they want to see them.

here's a funny video. till you realize this is what the GOP does to "average" Americans every chance

... they get!


a couple figures the CBO scoring of TrumpCare bill left out..

We all know that the CBO scoring of the Trumpcare bill will result in 24 million people, who are now insured thanks to Obamacare to lose their health insurance coverage.

Trumpcare could cost 24 million people their insurance, government analysis finds

But what the CBO report in estimating costs and potential savings from that bill left out was:

1) The cost of providing care to those who lose their insurance

Medical care needs won't go away just because people have lost their health insurance - except for those who die of course (yeah, for those who would have lived under Obamacare, that will save money because the dead don't need healthcare. - Hoo-ray!... thank you GOP). For those who lose their insurance, they will return to emergency rooms for medical care. That is the most expensive way to provide healthcare. Also, without insurance they won't be seeing a doctor on a regular basis and almost all the serious health concerns won't be caught early on, when you can treat them more effectively (and more economically). Hospitals will see their costs of uncompensated care increase. Where will the money come from to reimburse hospitals? This is a cost the CBO didn't examine.

2) TrumpCare allows insurance companies to sell 'bare bones' plans, in other words: FAKE insurance.

That is, insurance that doesn't really provide complete or adequate coverage of all costs incurred when the policy holder needs medical care. This means again, increased costs that will fall to the hospitals to 'eat'. How much will the extra costs be which will NOT be covered by the 'bare' bones insurance (i.e. FAKE insurance)?

Any estimates of the costs / savings from passing the Trumpcare plan that does not consider these costs is not complete or realistic.

Cons insurgents rage 4 more HRC emails, while Bush admin "lost" millions of emails never supplied to

National Archives and Records Administration. While the Conservative insurgents of Judicial Watch are demanding further harassment of Hillary Clinton via emails, nobody seems to have any interest in millions (yes, I said "Millions") of emails the Bush administration claimed were lost - later to be "found", when Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued the Executive Office of the Presidency to reveal them. While the Bush administration "found" some of these emails millions have still not been provided the National Archives and Records Administration.

In Bush administration there were a dozen or so, White House staff and advisors using an email account with a commercial emails service provider. Actually, the account owned by the Republican National Committee, and since it was an account with a commercial email service provider, these emails can be 'found' by that email service provider - even if the Bush administration "couldn''t find" them.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive (the Archive) asked U.S. Archivist David S. Ferriero to restore all of the millions of missing emails from the Bush White House based on newly-obtained evidence that 83% of emails from 21 days between September 2003 and August 2005 were never archived. Rather than restoring the missing emails, the Bush White House spent over $10 million trying to prove no emails were missing.

As part of a settlement of the lawsuits CREW and the Archive brought against the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) over the millions of Bush-era emails missing from White House servers, EOP agreed to conduct a comparison of archived email and email restored from backup tapes for 21 days previously identified as having a suspiciously low volume of email. The comparison revealed that 83% of emails found on the backup tapes was not part of the archived collection of Bush emails and would be lost if not for CREW’s and the Archive’s lawsuits. But, as CREW and the Archive explained in their letter to the archivist, because EOP used a patently flawed process to identify low volume days, a large volume of unrestored emails on backup tapes still remains missing. The archivist now has custody and control over all the backup tapes that would be used for further restoration.

CREW and the Archive also sent a second letter to White House Counsel Bob Bauer, Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator Cass Sunstein, asking them to lead a broader effort to address the government-wide problem of managing and preserving emails. NARA recently released a report showing that 79% of federal agencies responding to a NARA survey may be improperly destroying records in violation of federal law. CREW and the Archive called on the White House to convene a high-level commission to develop a plan of action to respond to this systemic problem.

Anne Weismann, CREW’s chief counsel, said, “The Bush administration spent millions of dollars trying to prove there were no missing emails in the first place. Now we know the truth: emails did in fact vanish from White House servers. Unless the archivist takes further action, most of the emails lost from a 2 year period critical to our nation’s history will never be recovered.” Ms. Weismann continued, “As troubling as the missing Bush emails are, the Obama administration has a much bigger problem on its hands. With the majority of federal records at risk of destruction, the government simply cannot sit back and do nothing while valuable records are lost to history .”

for backround, see: FLASHBACK: When Millions of Lost Bush White House Emails (From Private Accounts) Triggered a Media Shrug - Alternet


the Untold Story of the Bush WH emails - 22 million "lost" then "found"


You Want a Real Email Scandal? Take a Look Back at the Bush-Cheney White House. - Mother Jones

Flashback: Rove Erases 22 Million White House Emails on Private Server at Height of U.S. Attorney Scandal – Media Yawns - Pensito Review

Congressman Swalwell Launches Webpage Outlining Trumps Ties To Russia


SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — East Bay Congressman Rep. Eric Swalwell launched a new webpage Wednesday for the sole purpose of highlighting the ties between the Russian government and the Trump administration.

The new webpage, Protect Our Democracy, lays out what Rep. Swalwell (D-CA) says are the many ties between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

ALSO READ: George W. Bush: ‘We All Need Answers’ On Trump & Russia

In January, Swalwell a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, introduced the Protecting Our Democracy Act to set up an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

“Our intelligence agencies have concluded with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated these cyber attacks in order to influence the 2016 election to favor then-candidate Donald Trump,” Swalwell said.

from Protect our Democracy site:

Russia: Trump & His Team’s Ties
President Trump has also surrounded himself with people who do business with and are sympathetic to Russia. The New York Times reported that members of Trump’s 2016 campaign and other Trump associates had frequent contact with senior Russian intelligence officials throughout the campaign. In addition to these questionable communications, here are a few other associates with ties to Moscow:


Watch Trumps Health Secretary dodge millions who will lose insurance under Trumpcare

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was Sean Spicer's opening act at the first televised White House briefing in over a week, and he gave a stunning non-answer when asked if the Republicans' replacement plan would result in millions of people losing health insurance.


REPORTER: Keeping in mind that the CBO score isn’t in yet, can you guarantee that this plan will not have a markedly negative impact on the deficit, or result in millions of Americans losing health insurance?

PRICE: What I can say is that the goal and the desire, I know, of the individuals on the Hill, is to make certain that this does not increase the cost to the federal government.

Of course, the CBO has already stated that a repeal of Obamacare would result in 36 million more uninsured Americans by 2026, and Price’s response indicates not only a refusal to guarantee that will not happen, but that preventing such an outcome is not even a goal. According to Standard & Poors, the GOP plan could result in 10 million fewer insured.

As to the cost, the CBO has also previously stated that repeal would blow a hole in the deficit, and the Republican plan does not address that at all.

The Republican plan may indeed be much shorter than the Affordable Care Act in actual pages, but that means it is shorter on substance, as well. And as Price’s non-response makes clear, the GOP’s “plan” will likely lead to millions of Americans losing their affordable health insurance.

Here's the secret payoff to health insurance CEOs buried in the GOP Obamacare repeal bill

“Consumers across America should know that when they pay their hard-earned dollars to cover the soaring cost of premiums, they are not just chipping in to pay for the CEOs’ next new yacht,” said then-Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).


Concealed within the 123 pages of legislative verbiage and dense boilerplate of the House Republican bill repealing the Affordable Care Act are not a few hard-to-find nuggets. Here’s one crying out for exposure: The bill encourages health insurance companies to pay their top executives more.

It does so by removing the ACA’s limit on corporate tax deductions for executive pay. The cost to the American taxpayer of eliminating this provision: well in excess of $70 million a year. In the reckoning of the Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank that analyzed the limitation in 2014, that would have been enough that year to buy dental insurance under the ACA for 262,000 Americans, or pay the silver plan deductibles for 28,000.

As part of an effort to rein in soaring executive pay, the ACA decreed that health insurance companies could deduct from their taxes only $500,000 of the pay of each top executive. That’s a tighter restriction than the limit imposed on other corporations, which is $1 million per executive. The ACA closed a loophole for insurance companies enjoyed by other corporations, which could deduct the cost of stock options and other “performance-based” pay; for insurance companies, the deduction cap is $500,000 per executive, period.

The idea was to signal that the ACA, which cemented health insurance companies into the center of American healthcare, wasn’t a pure giveaway to the industry.
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