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The Left Column


Carrier workers facing layoffs feel betrayed by Trump

(CBS News) A promise made before Christmas is fizzling before the Fourth of July.

In December, then-President-elect Trump told hundreds of workers at the Carrier manufacturing plant that he had worked out a deal to save their jobs.

But it's not working out that way. A steady downpour today did little to wash away the fact that the jobs of 600 union employees are going south.

"They're going to Monterrey, Mexico," said Robert James, president of the local union. Reynolds said he felt betrayed, since Mr. Trump told workers during his December visit to the plant that 1,100 jobs would be saved.


New York Times lists all of Trump's lies since taking office

(NYT) Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.

question everything

Matthew Dowd, a career Republican, said this on This week

(ABC News) "It think this all boils down, we can debate all the words, this boils down in a choice, a fundamental choice. The choice is this. The choice is do you take $1 trillion and help the poor, and vulnerable, and working class in the country in their health care, subsidized by the federal government. or do you take the $1 trillion and return it to basically the wealthy of the country? That's the really the fundamental choice there."


Mitch McConnell Refused to Meet With Group That Funded His Polio Recovery

(Vice) Say a charity group helps you recover from polio. Decades later, representatives from that same organization ask to have a word about your bill being drafted in secret that would reportedly gut healthcare for millions, including people with disabilities, while giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy. You might at least hear them out. Some people might even say that you owe them one.

Southern gentleman and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, though, apparently disagrees. As Death and Taxes recently pointed out, McConnell contracted polio as a two-year-old. As he described years later, on the 50th anniversary of the polio vaccine being introduced, polio is a virus that comes on like the flu, but can paralyze people for life. In McConnell's case, after he'd gotten over the initial illness, he had residual effects in his left quadriceps muscle.


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.


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...


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.


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...


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.

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