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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: 29,890

Journal Archives

Key Trumpcare Holdout Says He's A Yes If Guaranteed A Vote On His Amendment

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ALICE OLLSTEIN Published JULY 20, 2017 2:50 PM

For months, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been a staunch critic of Senate Republicans’ replacement for the Affordable Care Act, publicly blasting it as “Obamacare-lite” because it leaves many of the law’s taxes and some of its regulations in place and allocates billions of dollars for insurance market stabilization that he derides as a “bailout.”

Paul has blocked previous iterations of the bill from ever seeing debate on the Senate floor, and was generally considered an un-winnable vote. But on Thursday, he said he would relent and support a motion to proceed—if GOP leaders guaranteed him a vote on an amendment that would swap in the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill.

Despite widespread reluctance from both moderate and hardline GOP senators, with Paul on board the bill is much more likely to come to the floor next week.

“If they want my vote, they have to at least agree that we’re going to at least vote on clean repeal,” he told reporters Thursday afternoon, adding that he will not be satisfied if the option is voted on late in the debate process. “There’s a difference between saying you can offer it at three in the morning on the fourth day, versus up front we have a vote on clean repeal, maybe BCRA, maybe Collins-Cassidy. I want equal billing, up front with other choices.”

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-paul-relents-obamacare-repeal

Trump counterterrorism adviser blames Russia for election hacks

Source: Politico

In a break with his boss, Thomas Bossert said Russian entities clearly tried to meddle in the 2016 race.

By ALI WATKINS 07/20/2017 12:49 PM EDT

ASPEN — President Donald Trump’s chief counterterrorism adviser said Thursday that the Russian government clearly tried to manipulate the 2016 election, and declared that the Obama administration’s retaliatory sanctions didn’t go far enough.

“There’s a pretty clear and easy answer to this and it’s 'yes,'” Thomas Bossert said when asked whether the Russians worked to manipulate the U.S. election — a widely held conclusion that his boss in the Oval Office has repeatedly questioned.

The Obama White House’s response — kicking out 35 diplomats and closing two Russian diplomatic facilities in December — “wasn’t adequate in my mind,” Bossert, a top national security aide under former President George W. Bush, added during a wide-ranging discussion at the National Security Forum in Aspen.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election with the intent of helping Trump win. Trump said he pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue during their recent meeting at the G-20 in Germany, but the two sides offered different accounts, with Russia saying Trump accepted Putin’s denials.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/20/tom-bossert-blames-russia-election-hacks-240763

House GOP Leaders Can't Get Votes for Budget

July 20, 2017 at 7:00 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

“Speaker Paul Ryan and his top lieutenants have a serious math problem when it comes to their budget. After weeks of delays and false starts, House Republicans are expected to advance their fiscal blueprint through committee on Wednesday night. But they’re far from the 218 votes needed to pass it on the floor,” Politico reports.

“With only one more week until the House leaves for the August recess, it looks increasingly likely that Republicans will punt once again on the most fundamental task of governing: passing a budget. Missing that deadline will leave the GOP exposed to criticism at home and undermines their chances of moving on to another key agenda item.”



Rhode Island bans ex-gay 'conversion therapy' torture aimed at LGBT youth

Source: LGBTQ Nation

By Bil Browning · Thursday, July 20, 2017

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, has passed a bill into law banning licensed health care providers from using so-called gay conversion therapy to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Providence Journal reports Rhode Island has become the 10th state along with Washington D.C. to pass such a law. It is the fourth state this year to enact protections for LGBT youth.

The law bars providers from advertising or engaging in conversion therapy for those under 18. It does not bar religious leaders or adults who choose the therapy.

The American Psychiatric Association says conversion therapy is not effective and possibly harmful. The association says there is no evidence changing childhood gender behaviors affects later sexual orientation.

Read more: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/07/rhode-island-bans-ex-gay-conversion-therapy-torture-aimed-lgbt-youth/

Chechnya's leader defends families committing 'honor killings' of gay relatives

By Jeff Taylor · Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has said families would be justified in committing “honor killings” of their gay relatives.

“If we have such people here, then I’m telling you officially, their relatives won’t let them be, because of our faith, our mentality, customs and traditions,” Kadyrov said. “Even if it’s punishable under the law, we would still condone it,” he added, PinkNews reports.

Kadyrov has denied the existence of gay and bisexual people in the region whenever challenged about reports of the abduction, torture, and killings of over 100 men. Gay and bi men are reportedly being killed by both Chechen police forces as well as by their families once outed by the roundups.

He repeated the claim in an interview with HBO that aired on Tuesday, saying that if there are such people in Chechnya, they should be sent to Canada to “purify our blood.” He added that those who report being abducted and abused are lying, calling them “devils.”



Did Jill Stein help Russia elect Trump?

July 20, 2017
Alexander Nazaryan

She’s back, and nobody knows why.

There are 41 names included in the document requests sent to Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer, Alan S. Futerfas, and Paul J. Manafort’s lawyer, Reginald Brown, by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The requests include communications involving many individuals known to be ensnared in the Russia investigation, from President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.

But while this roster of characters would have made for a fine John Le Carré novel, one name included therein immediately attracted online speculation: that of former Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein.


What, exactly, Stein has to do with Trump Jr.’s meeting last summer with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya is unclear, as the Senate Judiciary Committee provided no context for its demands, which are to be honored by August 2nd. A request for an explanation to Stein’s former campaign manager remains unanswered at this time. And though she is active on Twitter, Stein has made no acknowledgement on that social media network of her name’s appearance in the Trump Jr. inquest.

None of this, of course, prevented some on Twitter from rejoicing at the prospect, however, unfounded, that Stein was herself the subject of investigation. The glee is premature, but understandable. Stein’s self-righteousness exasperated many supporters of Hillary Clinton, as did her portrayal of Clinton as effectively no better a choice for true liberals than Donald J. Trump. Some have blamed Stein for “spoiling” the election, doing for Clinton what her fellow progressive Ralph Nader had done 17 years before for Al Gore. Her demand for a recount — a demand for which she reaped $7 million in donations — struck some as a pointless publicity ploy.


San Antonio-area Trump supporter threatened Cruz, sources say

Source: San Antonio Express-News

By Guillermo Contreras Updated 11:28 am, Thursday, July 20, 2017

A death threat left on the voicemail of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has led to the arrest of a Live Oak man.

The official allegedly targeted by James Amos Headley, 59, is not identified in court records, other than by the initials T.C., and prosecutors and the FBI won’t name him. The Express-News confirmed it is Cruz through other sources.

“Pretty soon you’re gonna be runnin for your life, just hope your family is not with ya because I'm not gonna insult them, I'm gonna kill them, right after I shoot you right in front of them...” court documents quote Headley as saying in a July 11 voicemail left at the official’s office at the U.S. Capitol.

Agents quietly arrested Headley last week on a federal felony charge of threatening to assault and murder a public official with intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with the official and his duties. Headley remains in jail, and his court hearing this week was postponed until next week.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/San-Antonio-area-Trump-supporter-threatened-Cruz-11302379.php

CBO: 22 Million More Uninsured Under Latest Version Of Senate Trumpcare Bill

Source: Talking Points Memo

By TIERNEY SNEED Published JULY 20, 2017 12:49 PM
The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that a new draft of the Senate Obamacare replacement legislation would result in 22 million fewer people with health coverage by 2026, compared to current law.

By 2026, 15 million fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid, 5 million fewer people would have nongroup coverage and two million fewer people would have coverage through their employer when compared to current law, the CBO said.

The score did not reflect any analysis of a proposal being offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that would let insurers sell unregulated plans because that amendment was not in the bill text submitted to the CBO its Thursday score. The coverage losses were akin to the ones predicted under the office’s first score of the Senate health care legislation, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Like the previous version, the latest bill imposed major cuts on the Medicaid program.

“By 2026, spending for that program would be reduced by 26 percent,” the CBO said Thursday. The latest bill would impose $756 billion in cuts to Medicaid by 2026 compared to current law. Three-quarters of those cuts would be the result of the phaseout of the Medicaid expansion, the CBO said.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/cbo-score-senate-trump-care-july


New CBO Score Of Senate Trumpcare Bill Won’t Include Cruz Amendment

By TIERNEY SNEED Published JULY 20, 2017 11:46 AM

The score that the Congressional Budget Office is expected to release Thursday of the latest version of the Senate Obamacare replacement legislation will not include analysis of the biggest change to the bill senators may or may not be voting on next week: An amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that the insurance industry already warned would cause “millions of more individuals” to “become uninsured.”

The Senate Budget Committee posted a draft of the legislation dated July 20 that did not include the Cruz language, which had been placed in brackets in a draft dated July 13. His proposal, called the “Consumer Freedom Option,” would allow insurers to sell skimpy, unregulated plans as long as they also sell Obamacare-compliant policies. The concern among insurers, actuaries and policy experts is that such a scheme would severely segment the market and cause premiums to rise beyond the point of affordability for consumers with pre-existing conditions who needed more comprehensive Obamacare plans.

Last week, Republicans hinted that they would move ahead with a vote on Cruz’s proposal without a CBO score on it, claiming that the nonpartisan office was taking too long for their aggressive timelines. Instead, the Department of Health and Human Services offered analysis that was made public Wednesday.

That HHS report painted a rosy picture of the Cruz proposal, claiming that it lowered premiums and boosted enrollments. The report’s methodology was very opaque, however, and the assumptions that it did make were questionable, if not outright bizarre. For instance, it looked at the effect of the Cruz amendment by comparing the Affordable Care Act with that amendment and without it, rather than study how it would interact with the GOP replacement bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act.


Lewandowski: Trump's Putin meeting really just a conversation with first lady


President Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski this week downplayed the president's second, previously undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 summit by saying it was really just a conversation with the first lady.

“Our best representative, who is stunningly beautiful and incredibly intelligent, sat next to Vladimir Putin at the request of the German chancellor," Lewandowski said on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday. First lady Melania Trump was seated next to the Russian leader at the dinner.

"She had a conversation with Vladimir Putin. He was her dinner partner for a few hours, big deal,” Lewandowski said. “(Trump) got up and walked over and he saw his beautiful wife, the first lady of the United States, and he had a conversation with her," Lewandowski went on.

"How is this anything other than the president of the United States going over and seeing a first lady, who by the way speaks five languages, is incredibly beautiful, is incredibly intelligent, and is a great representative of our country,” he continued.


Trump on more U.S. troops in Afghanistan: 'We'll see'

Source: Politico

By JACQUELINE KLIMAS 07/20/2017 12:18 PM EDT

President Donald Trump, arriving at the Pentagon to huddle with national security leaders Thursday, said “we’ll see” if more U.S. troops are going to be sent to Afghanistan.

Trump convened a closed “political-military” meeting that lasted about 90 minutes and covered a range of national security topics, including a review of Afghanistan troop levels and the ongoing U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State.

In response to a shouted question about whether the U.S. will send more troops to Afghanistan, Trump said “we’ll see.”

“And we're doing very well against ISIS. ISIS is falling fast, very fast," he continued.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/20/afghanistan-us-troop-levels-trump-240759
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