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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 72,643

Journal Archives

Ads for "Trumpcare," which doesn't exist, are everywhere


Do a quick search for health insurance, and you'll find plenty of ads for "Trumpcare" plans that cost $59 or less per month. But there's a catch: Trumpcare doesn't exist, and many of these advertised plans offer bare-bones coverage.

Why it matters: For people who buy health insurance on their own instead of receiving it through an employer, searching for a plan is already challenging. And deceptive marketing only makes it harder, especially when these plans will leave consumers on the hook for potentially ruinous medical bills.

Reality check: The primary way the Trump administration has altered the insurance market is by expanding niche products — including short-term plans, association plans and health reimbursement arrangements.

After seeing Trumpcare ads in search engines, I submitted contact information to get quotes about coverage options. Over the the next week, I was bombarded with 70 phone calls and 12 texts from insurance brokers.
- Every broker I spoke to admitted there is no such thing as Trumpcare, and that it is a marketing ploy from the lead generator site.
- When I asked how I could get the plan that was advertised for $59 or less per month, brokers said the ads were in reference to short-term plans or fixed indemnity plans that offer little to no coverage for serious illness or injury.

Morning Joe: White House considering bringing back Steve Bannon to help fight Impeachment...

'A stinking fish': Dems see impeachment as weapon against Republican Senate


Senate Democrats are growing increasingly giddy at the prospect of seeing a half-dozen vulnerable senators squirm for weeks and months about Trump’s behavior before eventually being forced to go on the record to convict or acquit Trump if he’s impeached by the House. While conventional wisdom holds that trying to remove the president could cost House Democrats in battleground seats that Trump won in 2016, there’s a sense in the party that it could improve Democrats’ bid to seize the Senate.

“Voters are going to see this as a stinking fish. I don't think voters are going to want their member of Congress or Senate to be up here defending the president's actions,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “It'll be interesting to see what happens when Republicans come back from this [October] recess."
Story Continued Below

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) argued, “We need to do the right thing regardless of who’s benefiting,” before noting that there is an outsize number of Republican seats up for grabs next year.

A Senate trial “will make it make it very difficult for them to choose,” added Stabenow, the No. 4 Senate Democrat. “If I were them in many of the states where people are running, I certainly would, politically, be concerned about taking that vote.”

What Pelosi is telling vulnerable Dems about impeachment


It’s not about President DONALD TRUMP; it’s about the Constitution. That’s the message Speaker NANCY PELOSI wants House Democrats to remember as they gear up for what will be a key week in their march to impeachment. “We have to proceed with our hearts full of love for America and our hearts full of love for the Constitution. And not with negative attitudes towards him, but a positive attitude towards our responsibility,” she said on a conference call with House Democrats on Sunday.

“The polls have changed drastically about this,” Pelosi added, pointing to numbers showing that support for impeachment has surged since her announcement.

THE CALL underscored the tricky position Democrats, particularly those in districts that Trump won in 2016, are in as they move to sell the impeachment inquiry over the two-week recess. It also comes amid growing frustration among many Democrats over inconsistent messaging about how to talk about impeachment.

THE DEM STRATEGY … SARAH FERRIS and ANDREW DESIDERIO: “Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, who leads House Democrats’ campaign arm, advised the caucus’s most vulnerable members to gauge support and test their message through the use of polling in their respective districts — surveys that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee would help fund, according to multiple people on the call. She also said the campaign arm could deploy digital ads in the future.

“Bustos also shared the results of the DCCC’s first poll focused on impeachment since Pelosi formalized an inquiry last week. The poll found that 54 percent of likely voters support the Democrats’ inquiry, according to a summary obtained by POLITICO.

Bernie Sanders Is in Trouble


Though Sanders leads Trump in virtually every head-to-head national poll, the nebulous concept of "electability" has dogged him in a year in which many Democrats care more about defeating Trump than anything else. Surveys show Biden is winning the argument that he's the Democratic Party's surest bet in a general election, and Warren’s perceived electability among voters has risen faster than Sanders’.

But party operatives, and even some Sanders allies, aren’t convinced that the swing through Iowa was strategic. “Bernie has no idea how to right the ship and neither does anybody around him,” a Democratic activist with knowledge of the campaign says. “They don’t know where they’re going. They know things aren’t going well and they’re grasping at ideas.”

As Sanders has stagnated and Warren has soared, even some of the Vermont senator’s supporters are expressing alarm. Something is off, they say privately, adding to the chorus of people in establishment political circles saying the same thing. Maybe he should explain how he’s different from Warren — he has deliberately avoided any hint of criticism of her — or commit to out-organizing her in the early nominating states. Or perhaps he needs to make nice with the media and hire more seasoned pros. Or what about going all-in on Iowa?

The ideas from his volunteers, former aides, past delegates, steering committee members, and even some people within his campaign, vary. But they almost all come back to the same fundamental question, a question that has confounded the campaign since its earliest days: Can Bernie Sanders — a 78-year-old iconoclast whose entire identity is about standing firm in his beliefs, damn it — change?

Fox News: Giuliani was not working alone in Biden Ukraine probe

Rudy Giuliani was not the only attorney trying to get damaging information on Joe Biden from Ukrainian officials, and President Trump’s decision to withhold aid from Ukraine this summer was made in spite of several federal agencies supporting the aid, Fox News’ Chris Wallace revealed on “Fox News Sunday.”

In addition to Giuliani, Washington, D.C., lawyers Joe DiGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing worked alongside the former New York City mayor. According to a top U.S. official, the three attorneys were working "off the books" -- not within the Trump administration -- and only the president knows the details of their work.

DiGenova and Toensing have been staunch supporters of President Trump, and were close to joining his legal team during Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. That ultimately did not happen due to conflicts, as Toensing had previously represented witnesses who had already spoken to Mueller’s team.

A whistleblower complaint citing “multiple U.S. government officials” accused Trump of pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden in a July 25 phone call. Democrats claim that Trump used military aid as leverage over Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, although Zelensky insists there was no pressure at all.


Prosecutors: Army official at Mar-a-Lago uploaded suspected child porn to Russian website

Miami Herald

military official formerly in charge of all White House communications for the U.S. Army at Mar-a-Lago was sentenced to three years of probation on Friday after he made false statements to a federal agent during a child pornography investigation.

Richard Ciccarella — a non-commissioned officer who told federal agents he was in charge of communications at President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach resort — became a target of an investigation after he uploaded photos of a young girl to a seedy Russian website between 2017 and 2018, according to court documents.

People should take the time to read Woodward & Bernstein's OTHER book...

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN goes through the investigative journalism that kicked off a watergate, but THE FINAL DAYS talked about the political battles that led up to Nixon’s resignation.

Trump has had a hard week, so I sent him something to cheer him up --good thing I had a sharpie handy


BREAKING: Pelosi updates Democrats on the upcoming Impeachment inbvestigatino

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