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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 30,070

Journal Archives

Voter by voter, GOP super PAC tries to separate the party from Trump

By David Weigel July 26 at 3:32 PM

OMAHA — It was a humid Saturday morning, four hundred and seventy-three days before the next election, and Jack Mowat was walking door to door to support his congressman. At home after suburban home, voters heard a knock, then heard the pitch.

“I’m with the Congressional Leadership Fund,” Mowat, 17, told a voter in workout gear. “Do you support Congressman Don Bacon?”


The CLF’s multi-million dollar campaign, unfolding now in 20 targeted districts and expanding next year to 30, is an ambitious bet that the Republican House majority can be spared from a Trump midterm backlash. If it works, each endangered Republican will be reintroduced to voters as a post-partisan who delivers on their key issues; each Democratic challenger will be framed as a vote for Nancy Pelosi to snatch back the speaker’s gavel, while empowering an anti-Trump “resistance” that only wants to wreck the country.

In an interview at the CLF’s Washington office, where the targeted districts are scrawled on the wall across from his desk, the PAC’s executive director, Corry Bliss, said the strategy was the culmination of what he’d learned in a run of winning campaigns. Veterans of Bacon’s 2016 campaign were running the CLF effort in Omaha; they’d scoured local high schools for volunteers who’d work for free to help their congressmen, gaining political experience while no other campaigns were underway.

“We don’t care about the national narrative,” said Bliss. “You can’t control the national narrative. You can control the narrative in 30 districts.”

The CLF spent more than $10 million to rescue Republicans in four special elections this year, investing early in opposition research and get-out-the-vote campaigns. In Georgia’s sixth district, Republicans won just 97,777 total votes in an April 18 jungle primary. Over the nine-week runoff campaign, the CLF complemented its TV ads with get-out-the-vote money; on June 20, Rep. Karen Handel (R-Ga.) won 134,799 votes, beating Democrat Jon Ossoff. In the CLF office, the race is commemorated with a banner that waved outside the final candidate debate: “San Francisco Loves Ossoff.”

For 2018, the strategy is to do more of the same, framing races as a choice between local heroes and “resistance”-obsessed Democrats, on a hoped-for $100 million budget.

“Donors get really excited about this,” said Bliss. “For the cost of one TV ad buy, you knock on tens of thousands of doors. We do a microdata survey in every district, and our goal is to come out of it in the 60,000-80,000 voter range. If we can switch 20,000 votes in the district, that’s the difference between winning or losing.”


Blue Cross Blue Shield Lists Crucial Elements Of Any Final OCare Repeal

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ESME CRIBB Published JULY 26, 2017 3:50 PM

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on Wednesday listed “crucial” elements of any final health care bill, as Senate Republicans work to pass a so-called “skinny repeal” proposal to eliminate elements of Obamacare.

The association cited “strong incentives for people to obtain health insurance and keep it year-round,” funding for Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction program — subsidies that help insurers keep out-of-pocket costs down for low-income consumers — and funding for “those with significant medical conditions” as vital matters for a health care bill to address.

“In order to ensure a stable individual insurance marketplace, any final legislation must include these crucial elements to avoid steep premium increases and diminished choices that would make coverage unaffordable and inaccessible,” the federation of health insurance companies and organizations said in a statement.

Republican senators narrowly passed a motion to proceed to debate on a proposal to repeal Obamacare on Tuesday, though many remained uncertain even after the motion passed exactly which repeal bill they would be considering.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/blue-cross-blue-shield-senate-obamacare-repeal

White House Won't Say If Transgender Individuals Will Be Kicked Out Of Military

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ESME CRIBB Published JULY 26, 2017 2:59 PM

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday would not say whether transgender individuals currently serving in the U.S. military will be thrown out after President Donald Trump announced a ban on allowing transgender individuals to serve “in any capacity.”

“That’s something that the Department of Defense and the White House will have to work together as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully,” Sanders said during the daily White House briefing. “I would imagine the Department of Defense will be the lead on that and keep you posted as that takes place.”

She said Trump announced the ban “based on a military decision,” though the President previously claimed he would work on policy to help the LGBT community.

“It’s not meant to be anything more than that,” Sanders said. “And it’s simply about — obviously it’s a very difficult decision. It’s not a simple one.”

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/sarah-sanders-transgender-military-ban-no-answers

Sanders Threatens To End Briefing Over Barrage Of Transgender Ban Questions

By NICOLE LAFOND Published JULY 26, 2017 3:23 PM

During an on-camera White House press briefing Wednesday, questions about the President’s announced ban on transgender individuals serving in the military dominated the discussion.

After press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answered at least 10 different questions about President Donald Trump’s rationale for the new policy, Sanders threatened to end the briefing early if “those are the only questions we have.”

The final straw came when April Ryan of the American Urban Radio Networks asked what the White House might say to members of the transgender community who may lose their health care and who are “scared” because of what is happening right now.

“As I’ve said before, and I’ll try to make this clear, this was a military decision. This was about military readiness. This is about unit cohesion. This was about resources within the military and nothing more,” Sanders said. “Guys, I really don’t have anything else to add on that topic. As I do, I’ll keep you posted. But if those are the only questions we have, I’m going to call it a day.”


Repeal-And-Delay Goes Down In Flames In The Senate, With More Votes To Come

By ALICE OLLSTEIN Published JULY 26, 2017 4:12 PM

After a wave of Republican defections Tuesday night tanked the Senate GOP’s main Obamacare replacement plan, the Senate held a vote Wednesday morning on bill to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act but delay its effect until 2020 to allow time to cobble together a replacement.

That vote similarly failed, 45 to 55. Seven Republicans joined with every single Democrat to defeat the bill: Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), Dean Heller (R-NV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rob Portman (R-OH) all voted no.

Several Republican senators from purple states that have expanded Medicaid voted yes on repeal-and-delay, including Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

The so-called “clean repeal” bill championed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) would have cut more than $800 billion from Medicaid, ended the Medicaid expansion in one fell swoop, scrapped the subsidies that help low-income people buy insurance, and eliminated the individual mandate, sending the market into a death spiral. To the consternation of some hardline conservatives, it would have left many of Obamacare’s regulations in place.


'WE F*CKING TOLD YOU': Internet hammers Caitlyn Jenner for being shocked by Trump's trans betrayal

26 JUL 2017 AT 14:53 ET

Transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner, who has outraged many in the LGBT community for her support for President Donald Trump, expressed shock and indignation on Wednesday after the president announced that he opposed allowing transgender people to serve in the military.

“There are 15,000 patriotic transgender Americans in the US military fighting for all of us,” Jenner wrote on Twitter. “What happened to your promise to fight for them?”


The responses to Jenner were fiercely negative, as many asked her how she could possibly be shocked that the president would throw the trans community under the bus given his past flip-flops on several key issues.

A sample of the top reactions to Jenner follow below.




Trump Bows to Religious Right, Bans Trans Troops -- pushed by Vice President Pence

Insiders say the move—pushed by Vice President Pence—was designed to achieve a political purpose, not an explicitly military one.


07.26.17 12:33 PM ET

On the anniversary of Harry S. Truman’s desegregation of the military, President Donald Trump on Wednesday abruptly reversed the move to openly integrate trans service members. The announcement came in the form of a tweeted edict that was designed to appeal to the religious hard right, White House officials told The Daily Beast.

Trump claimed in his tweets that his decision was made “after consultation with my Generals and military experts.” Yet the announcement took some staff in the Pentagon, White House, and Capitol Hill by surprise. Trump also cited “tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail”—an argument undercut by the most reliable studies on the subject.

While Trump tweeted that he would no longer allow “transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” he did not specifically say what would happen to the estimated 4,000 transgender troops now serving openly in the active-duty military after the Obama administration lifted the ban on such service in 2016. Last month, Pentagon chief Jim Mattis had delayed a decision to allow transgender recruits.

It was unclear Wednesday if Trump’s stance against trans service “in any capacity” indicates that the few thousand out trans service members would be immediately forced to separate from the military.


'Eliminate North Korea': Trump adviser John Bolton floats 'doable' plan for China to 'reunite...

Source: RawStory

‘Eliminate North Korea’: Trump adviser John Bolton floats ‘doable’ plan for China to ‘reunite the Koreas’

26 JUL 2017 AT 13:59 ET

President Donald Trump’s rumored replacement as national security adviser called for China to “eliminate” North Korea’s nuclear program by forcibly merging the nation with South Korea.

John Bolton, the former United Nations ambassador under President George W. Bush and Trump foreign policy adviser, told Fox News he saw no good options for dealing with the hostile state.

“Our options are very limited,” Bolton said. “After 25 years, in my view, of pursuing the wrong policy with North Korea, of trying diplomacy and sanctions to affect their behavior, it was never going to work, it didn’t work through three successive administrations, it won’t work if we try it in year 26.” He said there’s only one long-shot option to avoid U.S. military action against North Korea.

“You’re down now to one diplomatic option, and that’s to convince China that it’s ultimately in their interest to reunite the two Koreas,” Bolton said. “The way you eliminate the North Korean nuclear program is to eliminate North Korea. It’s a hard argument to make, but it’s doable.”

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/eliminate-north-korea-trump-adviser-john-bolton-floats-doable-plan-for-china-to-reunite-the-koreas/

Al Franken blasts Trump for 'effectively spreading Russia's misinformation' with Scaramucci


Senators alarmed by Russian influence on U.S. politics

Source: Politico

High-profile Trump campaign witnesses were absent from the hearing after agreeing to behind-the-scenes interviews.

By JOSH GERSTEIN and KYLE CHENEY 07/26/2017 11:52 AM EDT Updated 07/26/2017 01:27 PM EDT

Senators of both parties expressed alarm Wednesday that Russia and other countries are working to influence the U.S. political process — and said that the Justice Department is doing far too little in response.

Their comments came at a long-awaited Senate hearing on foreign influence on U.S. politics, which was earlier set to feature Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. The top Trump campaign figures cut deals with the Senate Judiciary Committee to give their testimony behind the scenes, draining much of the drama from the hearing.

Still, lawmakers raised serious concerns about the broader issue at hand, with the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr., Manafort, Jared Kushner and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya hanging over the hearing.

"People should know if foreign governments, political parties or other foreign interests are trying to influence U.S. policy or public opinion," said the panel's GOP chairman, Chuck Grassley of Iowa. "Given recent Russian and other efforts to influence our election this law has never been more important. Unfortunately, it appears the Justice Department and FBI have been seriously lax in enforcement of the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Justice Department officials cannot even agree on what makes a good case for enforcement of the law," Grassley declared.

The committee's ranking Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, agreed that too little is being done to make sure people acting for foreign governments are registering.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/26/senators-russia-influence-us-politics-240983

A comprehensive list of Presidents who were more presidential than Trump

By Bil Browning · Wednesday, July 26, 2017


To help Donald Trump out, we’ve compiled an exhaustive list of Presidents who were more presidential than Trump. In order, they are:

George Washington, 1789-1797
John Adams, 1797-1801
Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809
James Madison, 1809-1817
James Monroe, 1817-1825
John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829
Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837*
Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841
William Henry Harrison, 1841
John Tyler, 1841-1845
James Knox Polk, 1845-1849
Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850
Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853
Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857
Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865
Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869
Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877
Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1877-1881
James Abram Garfield, 1881
Chester Alan Arthur, 1881-1885
Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889
Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893
Grover Cleveland, 1893-1897
William McKinley, 1897-1901
Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909
William Howard Taft, 1909-1913
Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921
Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1921-1923
Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929
Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945
Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953
Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-1961
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-1963
Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-1969
Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974
Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-1977
James Earl Carter, Jr., 1977-1981
Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989
George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993
William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001
George Walker Bush, 2001-2009
Barack Hussein Obama, 2009-2016
Presidents who were worse than Donald Trump

James Buchanan, 1857-1861, is often considered the worst president by historians. He allowed seven slave states to secede from the nation, kicking off the American Civil War. He did nothing to prevent it and said it was not his job to “restore peace and harmony among the states.”

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