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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

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

Obama breaks silence to slam GOP health repeal and rally the resistance

http://shareblue.com/obama-breaks-silence-to-slam-gop-health-repeal-and-rally-the-resistance/


President Obama released a statement marking the seventh anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The former president also used his statement to sharply rebuke the ongoing Republican activity designed to repeal the law, engineered by Donald Trump and Paul Ryan.

Obama makes clear that “any changes” should “make our health care system better, not worse for hardworking Americans,” a clear allusion to the Congressional Budget Office’s conclusion that the Republican-backed America Health Care Act would kick 24 million people off of the insurance they gained on Obamacare, with millions more remaining uninsured.

There has been a grassroots uprising against the Republican’s anti-health care agenda, with town hall meetings packed with angry and fearful constituents who want to hold on to the coverage they have.

Pointing out that the law has made clear that “health care is not a privilege for a few, but a right for everybody,” Obama highlights the benefits of the legislation: “Twenty million Americans have gained the security and peace of mind of health insurance” while “more than ninety percent of Americans are insured – the highest rate in our history.”
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A real president's statement:

White House has no answer for 7 million veterans who stand to lose health care ("get over it"??)

http://shareblue.com/white-house-has-no-answer-for-7-million-veterans-who-stand-to-lose-health-care/


Among the many other problems facing the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare, it turns out that one of their hastily-added "improvements" to the bill could leave 7 million military veterans ineligible for health care tax credits. When asked about the snafu, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had no idea what reporters were talking about.

In their desperation to gain votes for their unpopular plan to repeal Obamacare, House Republicans inserted a raft of “improvements” to the bill, including one that could harm up to 7 million veterans by making them ineligible for the bill’s tax credits.

Former Policy Advisor for the House Republican Conference under Chairman Mike Pence Chris Jacobs discovered the disastrous tweak, and described its impact:

The most recent estimates suggest about 9.1 million individuals are enrolled in VA health programs. However, a 2014 Congressional Budget Office score of veterans’ choice legislation concluded that “about 8 million qualify to enroll in VA’s health system but have not enrolled.” Subtracting for VA enrollment gains since that CBO score leaves approximately seven million veterans eligible for, but not enrolled in, VA health programs, and thus potentially affected by the House’s “technical” change.


Will Fischer, Iraq War Veteran and Director of Government Outreach for VoteVets, slammed the plan in an email statement:

“What started as a bad bill has now turned into a grotesque Frankenstein monster, a crude and rushed patchwork of mini-bills that hurt people who can least afford it.

Now, we find out that Trumpcare will strip tax credits from potentially millions of veterans, and flood the VA with new patients at a time the VA is understaffed to handle a rush, thanks to the Donald Trump’s hiring freeze.

Since the freeze went into effect, we’ve already seen wait times lengthen; the claims backlog that President Obama had virtually eliminated, starting to grow again. This will only cause things to get worse.

We cannot put it more simply than this: Trumpcare will punish veterans. You cannot be pro-veteran and vote for Trumpcare.”


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Trumps budget is everything scientists have been fearing - Vox.com

"The outline cuts at least $7 billion for research on climate change, diseases, and energy."

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/16/14940444/2018-budget-trump-science-nih



The top-line numbers of President Donald Trump’s budget proposal should give the nation’s scientists shivers. The administration doesn’t seem to think science should be a priority at all.

The blueprint released today is preliminary. The administration still needs to draft a full budget, which we won’t see until May. And ultimately, it’s up to Congress to decide who gets what.

But what’s important about this budget proposal is that it tells the public and Congress where the president’s concerns lie. And they don’t appear to be issues like climate change, disease treatment and prevention, or basic research funding for universities.

In all, we count up least $7 billion in reductions to science programs, including:

A $5.8 billion reduction in funding to the National Institutes of Health (18 percent of its total budget.) Most of the NIH’s budget goes to funding research in health care in universities across the country.


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A $900 million reduction in the Energy Department’s basic science research. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy — a $300 million program that provides grants for energy research — is wholly eliminated because “the private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive energy research.”

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If CNN's New Russia Report Is True, We May Be Seeing the Beginning of the End of DT's Presidency




http://www.gq.com/story/russia-donald-trump-cnn-report


The reports won't stop coming.

Donald Trump is in the middle of a non-stop waking nightmare. Every single day finds the nation's most powerful conspiracy theorist at the center of what might be the biggest conspiracy in our nation's history. And unlike the theories Trump likes to push (Obama having Trump's "wires tapped," Obama not being born in America, etc.), more and more this one seems like the real deal.

Yesterday reports came out that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had worked for a Russian oligarch with the intention of furthering Vladimir Putin's interests in the United States. That alone would usually make for the latest in a long line of bad weeks for the administration. Not unlike the week where Michael Flynn was fired because of his failure to disclose his Russian connections or the week where attorney general Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from any Russia investigation due to his lying under oath about his own contact with Russian officials during the campaign. Yes, if that was the last bad news for the administration on the Russia front, it would already have been a shitty week...

It was not the last bad news for the administration on the Russia front.

Last night CNN reported that it looks like the FBI's investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to swing the election may be looking bad for Donald Trump.

The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN.

This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source.


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EXTRAORDINARY: Nunes just annulled the House Intelligence committee's charge of a legitimate

nonpartisan investigation of possible links between the Crotch Groper's campaign committee and operatives of Bromance buddy, Vlad Putin.

Nunes obtained information from Intel community and shared it with the WHite House which is enough right there to finnish off this committee's claim of a legitimate, nonpartisan investigation.. but he also did not share this information with the other members of the committee (well, not with any Democrats on the committee. He may have shared it with REpugnants but they're not talking).

Rep Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratis member released a statement on Nunes perfidy.



Adam Schiff‏@RepAdamSchiff

Today, Chairman Nunes shared information with WH still withheld from our committee. He cannot conduct a credible investigation this way.

:large


here's a good article which shows a series of tweets by Schiff: WATCH: Adam Schiff Responds to Devin Nunes’ Trump Updates




Democrat Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, held a hastily-planned press conference to respond to committee chairman Devin Nunes‘ decision to give President Donald Trump updates on the Russia investigation and wiretapping without showing the evidence to Schiff. He said that Nunes’ actions mean that there is reason to create an independent commission to investigate Russia’s involvement.

Schiff, who is also from California, said that Nunes’ actions created “enormous doubt” that Congress can handle an independent investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He said he will ask House Speaker Paul Ryan about creating an independent commission.

“We have certainly made it clear now for many weeks … we do an investigation through our intelligence committees but we also have a truly independent commission,” Schiff said. “A commission would have a dedicated staff and resources solely on this … issue.”
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IN ANY LEGITIMATE CONGRESS (i.e. not run by the GOP) THIS WOULD MEAN AN INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR'S TIME HAS COME.


House Intelligence chair responds to Trump-Russia investigation by calling for new Clinton probe

https://thinkprogress.org/nunes-fbi-trump-russia-clinton-probe-cbaff7eaa008#.5xgm0hi3b


Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing opened with the revelation that the FBI’s inquiry into Russian electoral interference on Donald Trump’s behalf includes an investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia.

But later, citing no reasons whatsoever, House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) suggested to FBI Director James Comey that his bureau should also look into possible collusion between Russian officials and the candidate they wanted to lose — Hillary Clinton.

“You announced this morning that there will be an investigation into Trump associates’ possible — and President Trump and anyone around the campaign and any association with the Russian government,” Nunes began. “If this committee — or anyone else for that matter, someone from the public — comes with information to you about the Hillary Clinton campaign or their associates or someone from the Clinton Foundation, will you add that to your investigation? They have ties to Russian intelligence services, Russian agents — would that be something of interest to you?”

Comey — who is clearly never been shy about investigating Hillary Clinton — wouldn’t rule it out.

“People bring us information about what they think is improper and unlawful activity of any kind and we will evaluate it,” he said. “Not just in this context. Folks send us stuff all the time — they should keep doing that.”



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Economy grows as CO2 emissions drop, making mockery of Trump climate policy

https://thinkprogress.org/economy-grows-as-co2-emissions-drop-making-mockery-of-trump-climate-policy-41f4ae8f9196#.ka1s0ys2p


The premise of President Donald Trump’s plan to kill the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon pollution standards is that restricting CO2 hurts the economy. But Trump’s oft-repeated claim that EPA standards kill jobs is bogus.

“Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were flat for a third straight year in 2016 even as the global economy grew,” the International Energy Agency reported Friday, “signaling a continuing decoupling of emissions and economic activity.”

In fact, while CO2 emissions were flat, the global economy grew 3.1 percent.



“Renewables, coal-to-gas switching, and improvements in energy efficiency contributed to stalling emissions growth last year,” the IEA explained. “In 2016, renewables supplied more than half the global electricity demand growth.”

What has been happening in this country is even more remarkable. The IEA noted, “emissions in the United States last year were at their lowest level since 1992, a period during which the economy grew by 80 percent.”
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As Russia inquiry heats up, Spicer says Trumps campaign chair had very limited role in campaign

The White House is rewriting history in order to distance Trump from his campaign’s Russia scandal.

https://thinkprogress.org/spicer-manfort-very-limited-role-in-trump-campaign-russia-af2236885db8#.6wx7q2277


On Monday morning, FBI Director James Comey made it official — the Trump campaign’s ties with Russian officials are under investigation.

A few hours later, Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to distance Trump from two members of his inner circle who lost their jobs after their close ties with Russia came to light — former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

During his press conference, a reporter asked Spicer, “Now that we know that there is an ongoing investigation by the FBI, does the president stand by his comments that he’s not aware of any contacts that his campaign associates had with Russia during the election?”

Spicer replied that Trump does stand by the claims he, Vice President Mike Pence, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus have all made, insisting that no Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian operatives. But he then hedged his bets by suggesting that even if some campaign officials were in touch with Russian officials, they weren’t major players anyway.

“Even General Flynn was a volunteer of the campaign, and then obviously there’s been this discussion of Paul Manafort who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time,” Spicer said.

https://twitter.com/CNN/status/843888554451193856

Rep. Adam Schiffs short speech crisply lays out the evidence connecting Trump and Russia

https://thinkprogress.org/this-congressmans-short-speech-crisply-lays-out-the-evidence-of-collusion-between-trump-and-russia-d166801a11fa#.wn2ubpo95

When news began trickling out, months ago, that Russia may have tried to influence the American election, the actual news in the U.S. quickly became something akin to a Cold-war era spy novel.

There’s now a vast web of circumstantial evidence and questions surrounding the Trump administration’s alleged contacts with Russian state actors during the campaign, most of which leaked out over months. And for many people, the web of allegations and the Trump administration’s frequently shifting official story has been very difficult to follow.

On Monday, FBI director James Comey testified in front of the House Intelligence committee as part of Congress’ ongoing investigation in the matter. Before his testimony, the committee’s ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (CA) laid out of all of the circumstantial evidence that has built up so far connecting the Trump campaign to Russian state actors seeking the intervene in the election.

Schiff emphasizes in his opening that he is drawing only on public reports, not all of which have been confirmed. His opening statement, however, is a good summary of everything that has come out so far.

Watch it here:

Insurers Can Make Obamacare Work, IF Congress Was Willing to Help Them

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/insurers-can-make-obamacare-work-but-they-need-help-from-congress/


When the health insurance startup Oscar lost $92 million selling policies on New York’s insurance exchange last year, CEO Mario Schlosser could have joined the insurance executives blaming Obamacare for their companies’ struggles. Instead, he changed his business model.

Out went Oscar’s original New York model of selling traditional insurance — with access to nearly every doctor and hospital in town — to individual customers via the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace. In came “narrow networks” that offer customers less choice but lower prices. Schlosser believes the new approach will make the company’s offerings more attractive to customers — and more profitable for investors.

Recent weeks have brought a storm of questions about whether the health insurance exchange system at the heart of President Obama’s signature health law is already unraveling amid defections by major insurers. But as Oscar’s decision illustrates, the true picture is more nuanced. Companies lose — or gain — different amounts of money on the exchanges for different reasons. They need different changes, both in the law and in their own strategies, to make their businesses profitable, which would in turn help ensure Obamacare’s long-term success. And overall, the problem is significantly smaller than it looks.

The bottom line is that the Affordable Care Act is fixable — at least if Congress is willing to take some basic steps to save it.
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WELL, given that the legislature is under control of the GOP, there's no mystery as to whether Congress is willing to help make Obamacare work better.

..... But what this means is ---- Single payer is on it's way! But given the GOP's abhorrence of doing the grown-up, responsible thing and modify Obamacare to work better, we'll have to go through a melt down of the health insurance industry which will lead to an emergency action of expanding Medicare to cover people regardless of their age, which is far better than keeping for -profit medical insurers in business anyway.

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