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riversedge

Half of Americans want Democrats to control Congress as Trump struggles, poll shows

(CNBC) As President Donald Trump continues to struggle, Democrats have moved into a stronger position to challenge Republicans for control of Congress next year, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The survey shows that just 40 percent of Americans approve of Trump's job performance, while 55 percent disapprove. That's virtually unchanged since last month.

At the same time, Americans now say by 50 percent to 42 percent they want Democrats to control Congress after the 2018 mid-term elections. That's the largest lead either party has held on that generic ballot question in the NBC/WSJ poll since 2013, and the first time either party reached 50 percent on that question since 2008.

DonViejo

President Obama's Statement on Trumpcare

(Facebook) Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.

I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.

We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course...

H2O Man

Georgia on My Mind

The recent election loss in Georgia reminded me of a staff meeting I attended at the county Mental Health Clinic on a sunny Monday afternoon years ago. One of my co-workers was presenting a case that involved a family that lived on a small farm. The family had requested appointments at a specific time of day, and that didn't fit conveniently in the therapist's busy schedule.

Now, because the case involved domestic violence, and treatment was mandatory, my friend was not feeling particularly flexible as far as scheduling sessions. “They are farmers. They don't work that hard. Farmers only work twice a day – mornings and evenings,” my friend said. This “opinion,” as it turned out, was not based upon any familiarity with farming, beyond driving past a few farms on the way to and from work. Mornings and evenings.

I grew up on a small family farm. I do remember working before and after school. And weekends. When other kids from the neighborhood were out having fun, my brothers and I were building fence, cutting brush, moving large piles out rocks out of the pasture, avoiding angry Angus bulls, and cutting firewood off the mountain with our grandfather's two-man saw. We did our “haying” the old-fashion way – loose – which creates difficulties when the hay loft was on the barn's second story. And, of course, feeding all the animals daily...

DonViejo

Report: Congress Investigating If Trump Team Used Voter Data Stolen By Russia

(TPM) Congress is investigating whether any private voter information allegedly stolen by Russian hackers was passed to or used by the Trump campaign, Time reported Thursday.

Ken Menzel, general counsel of the Illinois State Board of Elections, told Time that 90,000 state voter records were obtained through cyberattacks on their system, 90 percent of which contained drivers license numbers and a quarter of which contained the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers. Two anonymous sources close to congressional investigations into Russia’s election interference say lawmakers want to know if any of this stolen data eventually ended up in the hands of Trump’s team.

TheFerret

Oh, just a light madness check-in

Fucking hell, what a week. Welcome to the dark American joke: What do a serial rapist and cop who murders a black man while he's complying with said cop's orders have in common? They're both walking around today totally free of consequences. And as you scan every other column of the day's newspaper, are you starting to think maybe we don't live in the America your middle school Civics textbook promised? Me too, Resisters...me too.

Ugh. Anyhow, let's catch up on the madness.

Hey, I dunno if you saw this, but the President of the United States is under FBI investigation! For obstruction of justice! Everybody's yelling at teevees and getting lawyers and lawyers for their lawyers, are you supposed to get a present for your lawyer's lawyer at Xmastime, or is just a card fine? Asking for a Bloated Orange Asshole...

BumRushDaShow

Trump Acknowledges He Is Under Investigation in Russia Inquiry

(NYT) President Trump acknowledged publicly for the first time Friday that he is under investigation in the expanding inquiry into Russian influence in the election and appeared to attack the integrity of the Justice Department official in charge of leading it. In an early-morning tweet, the president declared that he is being investigated for his decision to fire James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director. And he appeared to accuse Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, of leading a witch hunt.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017 "

The tweet was the first explicit acknowledgment by the president that Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel for the Russia inquiry, had begun examining whether Mr. Trump's firing of Mr. Comey last month was an attempt to obstruct the investigation.

Jimbo101

Ezra Klein: Republicans are about to make Medicare-for-all much more likely

(Vox) On Friday, McConnell reportedly “delivered a private warning to his Senate Republicans: If they failed to pass legislation unwinding the Affordable Care Act, Democrats could regain power and establish a single-payer health-care system.”

History may record a certain irony if this is the argument McConnell uses to successfully destroy Obamacare. In recent conversations with Democrats and industry observers, I’ve become convinced that just the opposite is true: If Republicans unwind Obamacare and pass their bill, then Democrats are much likelier to establish a single-payer health care system — or at least the beginnings of one — when they regain power.

MelissaB

Lobbyist for Russian interests says he attended dinners hosted by Sessions

(Guardian) An American lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft an important foreign policy speech for Donald Trump has confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign, apparently contradicting the attorney general’s sworn testimony given this week.

Sessions testified under oath on Tuesday that he did not believe he had any contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests over the course of Trump’s campaign. But Richard Burt, a former ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, who has represented Russian interests in Washington, told the Guardian that he could confirm previous media reports that stated he had contacts with Sessions at the time.

NRaleighLiberal

Josh Marshall: "The WaPo Obstruction Blockbuster and the World of Hurt To Come"

(TPM) After marveling at the lede of this new Washington Post bombshell – Mueller investigating Trump for obstruction of justice – I went back and read the whole piece again. You would think that news would be enough for a single piece. But when you read it all the way through the picture it paints is actually considerably more dire.

One key point is that Mueller did not start this obstruction investigation. According to the Post, that probe began “days after Comey was fired on May 9…” Mueller was appointed on May 17th. Reading the Post piece closely, I do not think it explicitly says that the probe began prior to the 17th. But the wording and logic of the piece strongly suggests that is the case.

BumRushDaShow

Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say

(Washington Post) The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

The move by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s own conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.

Trump had received private assurances from former FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey’s firing.

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