Politics

Trump indicates he only wants Mueller report made public if it doesn't say anything mean about him

Daily Kos - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 09:34

Donald Trump claimed in a Sunday interview that he’ll leave it up to his attorney general to decide whether to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. That isn’t much comfort, since everything in Trump’s record points to him leaning on the attorney general to do what he wants, and when Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan asked Trump about the Mueller investigation, he became agitated, referring to the investigation as a “witch hunt” four times, dismissing the fact that 34 people have been charged with “many of them were bloggers from Moscow or they were people that had nothing to do with me,” trying to change the subject to Hillary Clinton, and saying that Roger Stone “wasn't on my campaign except way at the beginning.” 

Asked whether he’d be comfortable having Mueller’s report released, Trump said “I don’t know.” Because “It depends. I have no idea what it’s going to say.” In other words, he’s waiting to find out how damning it is.

In the same interview, Trump bragged about his pen pal relationship with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, saying “We have had tremendous correspondence that some people have seen and can’t even believe it”; lied about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell having tried to recruit Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to run for the Senate; and, of course, harped on his border wall dreams. Always with the border wall and the fearmongering about “an invasion of our country by human traffickers.” Though, notably, Trump didn’t repeat his own personal fantasies about women with tape on their mouths.

Trump refused to rule out another government shutdown, calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who so notably drank his milkshake in the last shutdown, “very rigid.” He followed that up with the laughable claim that “she can keep playing her games, but we will win. Because we have a much better issue.” That’s … not what the American public thinks.

In other words, water is wet and Trump is still dug in on his unpopular positions and lying shamelessly to defend them. 

Categories: Politics

'Willful Ignorance': Trump Rejects Any Intelligence He Doesn't Like

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 09:16

Lots of talk this morning on Morning Joe about Trump's CBS interview last night, and the TIME magazine piece about Trump's "willful ignorance" displayed during intelligence briefings.

Senior briefers are leaking like crazy, warning that Trump is jeopardizing the country's security. Mika Scarborough read from the TIME article:

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s renewed attacks on the U.S. intelligence community this week, senior intelligence briefers are breaking two years of silence to warn that the President is endangering American security with what they say is a stubborn disregard for their assessments.

Citing multiple in-person episodes, these intelligence officials say Trump displays what one called “willful ignorance” when presented with analyses generated by America’s $81 billion-a-year intelligence services. The officials, who include analysts who prepare Trump’s briefs and the briefers themselves, describe futile attempts to keep his attention by using visual aids, confining some briefing points to two or three sentences, and repeating his name and title as frequently as possible.

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Categories: Politics

Flipping the NFIB results — some speculation

Balloon Juice - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:55

The Atlantic reports on a book review that involved the internal politics of the Supreme Court decision on the ACA in 2012:

She writes that he initially voted with the four other conservatives to strike down the ACA, on the grounds that it went beyond Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. Likewise, he initially voted to uphold the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid. But Roberts, who kept the opinion for himself to write, soon developed second thoughts.

Biskupic, who interviewed many of the justices for this book, including her subject, writes that Roberts said he felt “torn between his heart and his head.” He harbored strong views on the limitations of congressional power, but hesitated to interject the Court into the ongoing health-insurance crisis. After trying unsuccessfully to find a middle way with Kennedy, who was “unusually firm” and even “put off” by the courtship, Roberts turned to the Court’s two moderate liberals, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. The threesome negotiated a compromise decision that upheld the ACA’s individual mandate under Congress’s taxing power, while striking down the Medicaid expansion.

Over at Lawyers, Guns and Money, two commentators ask a pair of great questions:

1) What would the exchanges look like without a mandate in 2014?
2) How the hell does Balloon-Juice work?

I’ll try to answer only the easy question — in a counterfactual universe that the major holdings of NFIB were reversed, how would things look?

As a reminder, NFIB held that the individual mandate was constitutional as a taxing power and mandatory Medicaid expansion was unconstitutional because it was too coercive of states and therefore it had to be a voluntary expansion.

What would the ACA look like if the mandate was found to be unconstitutional but fully severed from the rest of the ACA? This is what Congress decided to do in the tax reconciliation bill in 2017 by the way.

The obvious and important point is that the working poor in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and a few other states would have Medicaid coverage on January 1, 2014. That is probably another two million people who have coverage because of Medicaid expansion and ten to twenty million person years of additional coverage as late expansion states would have gone live on 1/1/14 as well.

Now lets move onto the individual market. NFIB was decided in the summer of 2012 while the rate review process for the 2014 plan year would only have the first submission in the spring of 2013.

I am a firm believer that insurers can and will price for things that they know about if they have enough time to figure out the rules. Insurers would have had at least nine months from the time of the counter-factual NFIB decision to figure out their underlying actuarial assumptions. I think insurers would have had these thoughts:

  • Subsidies (both APTC and CSR) are creating a class of price insensitive buyers
  • The market is going to be smaller than we expected pre-SCOTUS
  • The market is going to be sicker than we expected

I think those are three solid assumptions that any slightly caffeinated actuary would and should make.  And those assumptions can be priced on.  Average morbidity (disease burden) would be estimated upwards while the risk pools would shrink.  This combination could scare off a few smaller and less well capitalized insurers but the big Blues and the major regional players like my former employer (UPMC Health Plan) would still want to get involved in a multi-billion dollar market.

I think that the announced rates in the summer of 2013 would be higher in this counterfactual than they were in reality.  Universal Medicaid expansion would pull out a portion of the sickest cohort from the individual market pool.  At the same time, the lack of a mandate would have been perceived as a repulser of the expected to be low cost healthy folks (overwhelmingly young but not necessarily young) .  These two directional impulses would be in opposition to each other.  I think the lack of a mandate would have dominated the risk pool improvement by universal Medicaid expansion.  This would be most evident in states like California that in this universe expanded Medicaid on Day 1.  It would be attenuated in states like Texas which never had the Medicaid expansion risk pool improvement bonus.

Since counter-factual NFIB would have been decided early enough for insurers to adapt to the new rule set, I think the markets would have formed at a point of lower enrollment and higher premiums in 2014.

Categories: Politics

'He's lost the authority to lead': Calls continue for Virginia governor to resign over racist photo

Daily Kos - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:41

“Resignation is an active consideration” for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam as he handles the fallout from a medical school yearbook photo showing people in blackface and a Ku Klux Klan robe, sources tell the Washington Post. Northam met with senior staff on Sunday night and planned another meeting for Monday morning to discuss his options. But voices throughout the Democratic Party are making clear that resignation is Northam’s only option, especially after he first apologized for the photo and then insisted it wasn’t his, but acknowledged having donned blackface to dress as Michael Jackson for a dance competition in 1984, the year the yearbook came out.

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday that “It doesn’t matter whether he was in the photo or not in the photo at this point.” Northam was McAuliffe’s lieutenant governor and ally, and McAuliffe described himself as “heartbroken,” but that Northam should choose “the right moral course for Virginia” by resigning.

On Meet the Press, Rep. Donald McEachin, a Virginia Democrat and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that “He’s lost the authority to govern. He has to resign. It’s in the best interest of the commonwealth. It’s in the best interest of the party.” The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus also continued to call for Northam to resign.

Northam would be replaced by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, currently Virginia’s only black statewide elected official.

Categories: Politics

Maybe They Won't Keep All The Money And Power For Themselves If We Ask Them Nicely

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:24
Maybe They Won't Keep All The Money And Power For Themselves If We Ask Them Nicely

In a New York Times op-ed, Michael Tomasky argues that our current troubles started in the 1970s, with inflation, flat wages, and the loss of manufacturing jobs:

... inflation ... hit 5.7 percent in 1970, then 11 percent in 1974. Such sustained inflation was something that had never happened in stable postwar America. And it was punishing. For a family of modest means, a trip to the supermarket was now a walk over hot coals.

... the Great Inflation, as the author Joe Nocera has noted, made most people feel they had to look out for themselves. Americans had spent decades just getting more and more ahead. Now, suddenly, they were falling behind.

Throw in wage stagnation, which began in the early ’70s, and deindustrialization of the great cities of the North....

Inflation also produced the manic search for “yield” — it was no longer enough to save money; your money had to make money, turning every wage earner into a player in market rapaciousness....

Even as Americans scrambled for return, they also sought to spend. Credit cards, which had barely existed in 1970, began to proliferate.

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Categories: Politics

This Is How You Do It

Balloon Juice - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:24

AOC stikes again:

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) invited one of the women who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in the elevator with her story of sexual assault to be her guest to the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, The Intercept reported. 

The woman, Ana Maria Archila, is one of AOC’s constituents.

Categories: Politics

Trump Admits He Prefers 'Acting' Cabinet Members

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:24

Donald Trump has had a notoriously difficult time keeping staff in his cabinet and White House. As of the beginning of this year, a record-breaking 65 percent of his staff has turned over. And that doesn't include the number of positions he just has opted not to fill. Per Wikipedia (I know, I know), of the approximately 4,000 positions that Trump must find people for, there are approximately 2,000 left unfilled, a number of which Trump has said he has no intention of filling.

But then there are those that he just can't get away with not filling, like Attorney General and Chief of Staff. Those positions require senate confirmation and that's just another of those pesky constitutional limits and "co-equal branches" nonsense that Donald Trump just doesn't have time for. As best as I can tell, a full 25 percent of those have an "Acting" placeholder in position rather than an actual Senate-confirmed officer, which is just the way Trump likes it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Cause you have an acting AG until you get Barr confirmed--

DONALD TRUMP: Yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: An acting defense secretary. An acting chief of staff. An acting interior secretary.

DONALD TRUMP. It's OK. It's easier to make moves when they're acting.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you are going to shake up--

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Categories: Politics

Sam Nunberg: Mueller Team Has 'A Strong Case Of A Conspiracy'

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:24
 Mueller Team Has 'A Strong Case Of A Conspiracy'

Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg revealed in a recent interview that he believes special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators “have a strong case of a conspiracy” involving Russia.

Nunberg made the assertion while speaking to John Heilemann on Showtime’s The Circus program.

“When I went to the special counsel for the voluntary interview, it was, ‘Roger, Roger Roger, Roger,'” Nunberg said, referring to Trump confidante Roger Stone.

Nunberg said that prosecutors wanted to know “what did Roger and Trump discuss in their phone calls.”

“I could tell what they were going to do to Roger,” he explained. “I think Roger could tell what they’re going to do to Trump. These aren’t the guys you fuck around with. They have a strong case of a conspiracy.”

Nunberg said that he didn’t believe that President Donald Trump personally spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign.

“But what I do know is that there’s something going on there,” he added. “There’s a lot of stuff to look into.”

Watch the video above from Showtime.


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Categories: Politics

Mike's Blog Round Up

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:01
Mike's Blog Round Up

No More Mister Nice Blog: A bigger pie with bigger slices, all for the rich is just one legacy of the 1970’s.

Pharyngula: Jordan Peterson is really mad at the American Psychological Association.

Brad Delong: Marco Rubio is shocked—SHOCKED—to find out GOP tax cut law he voted for has led to a massive wave of corporate stock buybacks…exactly as predicted.

Stonekettle Station: President Trump follows his own intelligence on Iran. What could possibly go wrong?

Speaking of which, your quote of the day:
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages." (Ronald Reagan, March 4, 1987

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Categories: Politics

Morning Digest: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam defies universal calls to resign over racist photo

Daily Kos - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:00

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

VA-Gov: On Saturday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam defied calls from every corner of the Democratic Party to resign after a racist photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook emerged showing a pair of men, one dressed in a KKK robe and hood and another wearing blackface.

Campaign Action

Northam initially apologized when the photo first appeared on Friday, admitting he'd appeared in it. However, in a bizarre press conference the following day, Northam backtracked, saying he wasn't portrayed in the photo and claiming it had appeared on his page in an unexplained error.

But at the same event, Northam confessed that he had worn blackface at a dance contest, also in 1984, where he sought to impersonate Michael Jackson. "I had the shoes, I had a glove, and I used just a little bit of shoe polish to put under my—or on my—cheeks," he said. "And the reason I used a very little bit is because, I don't know if anybody's ever tried that, but you cannot get shoe polish off." Northam also claimed he did not know why he'd been given the offensive nickname "Coonman" in his college yearbook, which surfaced not long after his medical school yearbook did.

Northam's press conference did nothing to sway his fellow Democrats, who've universally condemned both the photo and Northam’s behavior, and have demanded he step down. The lengthy list includes both of Virginia's senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine; all seven Democrats who represent the state in the House; the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus; almost every prominent contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020; the DNC; the Democratic Governors Association; and a host of progressive organizations, including the NAACP and Planned Parenthood.

If Northam resigns, he'd be replaced by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Democrat who'd be the state's second black governor. Though Virginia normally limits its governors to a single term, Fairfax would be eligible to run for a full term when the seat is next up in 2021.

Categories: Politics

Cartoon: Coffeebucks-Man!

Daily Kos - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:00

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Categories: Politics

Cheers and Jeers: Monday

Daily Kos - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 07:49

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Monday Margaret and Helen Blogging

Whoa. Helen, one half of the blogosphere's feistiest octogenarian duo ("Best friends for 60 years and counting") published a rant for the record books, taking on twitter…

I came. I tweeted. And I got covered in shit. Probably because Twitter is chock-full of assholes who don’t know the difference between your and you’re.

Roger Stone's delicate fee-fees…

On Friday, a jackass named Roger Stone whined that the FBI had raided his home leaving himself, his dog, his wife (in that order) and even his neighbor forever traumatized.  From his description, it’s hard to believe he was able to pull it all together in time to make a speech, do a few radio interviews, and then finish it off with a couple of cable news shows, all while hoping someone would ask him about how he once took out personal ads referring to himself as a body builder with a hot wife looking for muscular studs for threesomes. Yep. True story. Stone is a real asshat.

Trump and his cult…

One day the history books will tell the story of how Trump became president because a bunch of racists inbred to the point that they had the attention span of a gnat.

Margaret and Helen blog photo I say every progressive senior citizen should have the right to keep and bear battleships.

If your family tree goes in a straight line, I’ve got a red hat to sell you. Yep. I’m a bitch. Screw you MAGA nation. You screwed up Christianity and now you’ve screwed up the United States of America. All because you think an immigrant stole your job. Well here’s 280 characters for you:

An immigrant who achieves the American Dream didn’t steal anything from you or your family. They just wanted it more than you and worked harder than you. And they did it with all the odds stacked against them.  If your life sucks lemons, a wall isn’t going to turn it to lemonade.

Sexism…

Nancy Pelosi is one hell of a leader despite the fact that we require her to work twice as hard and endlessly prove herself worthy of her job. Nancy isn’t just matching Fred Astaire’s dance moves step-for-step backwards and in heels, she’s reminding the entire world that if women were allowed to take the reins, some important shit could finally get done.

And also bad journalism, good journalism, the recent Texas voter fraud hoax, Tucker Carlson, twitter again, and gun violence. Oh, and the F-word…

[D]o you realize how hard it is to talk about Donald Trump and not use that word?  It’s god-damn near fucking impossible.  I mean it.  Really.

Pour a tall cuppa java (but not that Starbucks sludge at least until Captain Four Percent leaves the race) and savor the rest here. Chances are you won’t need caffeine for the rest of the day.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold...[Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: How weakness manifests in the WH... and the state house

Daily Kos - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 07:30

Josh Kraushaar/National Journal:

The GOP Foreign Policy Resistance Against Trump

Rank-and-file Republicans have been loyal to the president’s agenda. But on foreign policy, party leaders are working to undermine the commander-in-chief’s isolationist tendencies.

But Trump is facing an unyielding Republican resistance, working to check his agenda when it runs against long-standing principles. It’s a very rare phenomenon to see such independence in today’s tribal Washington. It’s a reminder that Republicans aren’t all marching in lockstep to the beat of Trump’s drum. And it’s a sign that Trump’s foreign policy views have a lot in common with Democratic dogma—as much as they’d loathe to admit it.

Nice thread here by Matt Glassman:

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Categories: Politics

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 07:00

Welcome back. It’s Monday, again.

Trump shuffled off to Perv-a-Lago, but there were plenty of reminders of how painfully inept he is, in the form of several lengthy, recorded interviews, and still more bean-spilling from alleged insiders, anxious to expose his unparalleled stupidity.

U-S-A!

In other news, I liked the Game of Thrones/Bud Light ad best.

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET!

PODCAST LISTENERS: There’s a new podcast platform in town, and the big news is: this one pays! RadioPublic pays podcast producers on a CPM basis, for listens on their native app (available for iPhones & Androids), financed by pre- and post-roll ads they insert. Not a bad way to support the show, with somebody else’s money!

So if you’re a podcast listener, please consider downloading the RadioPublic app on your Android or iOS phone. Yes, you can still download directly from their site, or listen to the player embedded here at Daily Kos. But it’s listens in their app that count toward payment.

Nothing changes on our end. It’s still Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando. Plus also, me. And you! As always, we still want your voice on the air with us. Sit down with your smart phone or other electronic recording device and send us your stories and commentary to share with the audience. There’s no easier way to try your hand at podcasting, without all the hassle!

Of course there’s no substitute for having your support via Patreon, or one-time contributions via Square Cash. (And hey, if you want a cool trick for donating sorta-kinda cost free, get their cash.me app and use this share code to get $5 in your account (plus $5 in mine) when you send your first $5 (to anyone)!

For now, how about one on the house? Here’s what we did last time out, on our previous LIVE show:

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RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!)

It’s “TL-David Waldman-DR” Friday on KITM. That, and the internet playing three card monte with the paragraphs as he reads them means there is only so much two hours can do. So, listen to the show, but also hit the links below and get the big picture for the weekend: Donald Trump fixed everything, and plans to hit some links himself this weekend. Rick Scott wants Trump to skip over democracy and dictate his way to success, which could work with 5 MAGA hats in the Supreme Court. Mike Pompeo signals the start of our new arms race and the destabilization of Europe. If nuclear armageddon isn’t happening fast enough for you, move to Las Vegas for the secret plutonium shipments. The Trump administration moves to lift sanctions on Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, and would you believe conflicts of interest have shown up? These include the interests of Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell. It took about a decade, but Alexander Acosta might pay for aiding Jeffrey Epstein in avoiding federal sex trafficking charges. The FBI investigated a civil rights group as the terrorism threat and viewed the fine people at the KKK as victims. Eric Posman delivers a recorded segment to KITM listeners: When justice finally comes, and our Orange Dwarf in Chief finally gets sucked up his own wormhole, what will be left to mankind and how do we rebuild? David reads a warm retrospective on Charles Schulz’s… no, wait, it’s this ignoramus again. Howard took over, then ruined a public park, made it his front yard and then moved.

(Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more!) Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
Categories: Politics

On the Road and In Your Backyard

Balloon Juice - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 05:00

Good Morning All,

This weekday feature is for Juicers who are are on the road, traveling, or just want to share a little bit of their world via stories and pictures. So many of us rise each morning, eager for something beautiful, inspiring, amazing, subtle, of note, and our community delivers – a view into their world, whether they’re far away or close to home – pictures with a story, with context, with meaning, sometimes just beauty. By concentrating travel updates and tips here, it’s easier for all of us to keep up or find them later.

 

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

 

Today, pictures from valued commenter Mike in Oly.

Winter days have me longing for colorful spring flowers and warm sunshine, so I thought I would share pics from a trip I took last spring to Salem, OR, to visit Schreiner’s Iris Gardens. Schreiner’s is one of the largest commercial producers of bearded irises, and they have been in the business (still family owned) since the 1920s. Driving down I-5 you can see fields filled with blooms in the spring. And their display gardens are a masterpiece in garden design. May is the best time to visit.

Taken on 2018-05-21 00:00:00

Salem, OR

While the focus is irises, there are many lovely companion plants creating a lovely backdrop for the main displays.

Taken on 2018-05-21 00:00:00

Salem, OR

The weather in the PNW doesn’t always cooperate for a nice spring day, but this one was perfect.

Taken on 2018-05-21 00:00:00

Salem, OR

This variety is named ‘Magical’, and it sure is. The alliums floating above like bubbles set the scene nicely.

Taken on 2018-05-21 00:00:00

Salem, OR

There is no missing ‘Picasso Moon’ – this variety shines across the garden.

Taken on 2018-05-21 00:00:00

Salem, OR

The amazing ‘Wonders Never Cease’. Hpe you enjoyed this little peek at spring in the Willamette Valley!

 

Thank you so much Mike in Oly, do send us more when you can.

 

Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.

 

One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

Categories: Politics

Monday Morning Open Thread: Bread & Roses

Balloon Juice - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 04:33

I still hope I won’t have to give up my senior Senator. But as a childhood survivor of the ‘duck’n’cover’ era (the nuns at our primary school didn’t bother, since — as they pointed out — Manhattan was most assuredly one of the primary Soviet targets, so the only preparation we needed was to keep our souls in a perpetual state of grace), I think Warren’s already found some damned good talking points. Per NYMag:

In a bold and controversial move, Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation this week that would revoke Donald Trump’s existing authority to trigger a nuclear holocaust whenever he feels like it. The “No First Use Act,” which Warren co-authored with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, would legally establish that it is the policy of the United States to never be the first power to use nuclear weapons in an armed conflict…

Advocates of “no first use” believe the adoption of such a measure could spur more concrete changes in atomic policy, like putting our nuclear arsenal into a lower state of readiness (and thus reducing the probability of an accidental world war).

But leading Republicans believe that maintaining “calculated ambiguity” about whether America is a rogue, terrorist state that just might wipe a city off the face of the Earth at any moment is cool and good. Nebraska senator Deb Fischer said of Warren’s bill Wednesday, “With Russia and China increasingly attempting to intimidate their neighbors — some of whom are U.S. allies — this is the wrong message to send. It betrays a naïve and disturbed world view.”

Thank God our current leaders have a worldview that is sophisticated and sane.

Yeah, about that…

Categories: Politics

Early Reviews Open Thread: Super Bowl Not A Fave

Balloon Juice - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 01:27

From what I read on Twitter, this game seems to have been a multifaceted disappointment to a great many people. Including the football-phobic Spousal Unit, who is thinking of taking Tuesday as a sick day, so he won’t have to drive into Cambridge in the company of a great many non-commuters hoping to watch the ceremonial duck boat parade for the ‘winners’…


.
At least you weren’t stuck watching this sporting competition…

Categories: Politics

Laziest. President. Ever.

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/03/2019 - 23:22
Laziest. President. Ever.

On Saturday, Trump spent even more "executive time" playing golf with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. This is a guy who just doesn't like doing the work of being president, preferring instead to play one on tv and at his cult rallies.

Source: news.com.au

A leak of Donald Trump’s schedule has revealed he enjoys a lot of unstructured private time and sources reveal he doesn’t spend much time in his office.

The leaked schedules, which cover almost every working day since the midterms on November 6, show Mr Trump spends about 60 per cent of his day in “executive time”, according to Axios.

Mr Trump wakes early — often before 6am — and his schedule suggests he is in the Oval Office from 8am to 11am, but sources have told Axios that he is never usually there during those times.

Instead he spends his morning in the executive residence (where he lives with the First Family) reading newspapers, watching TV and talking to aides, friends and other members of Congress and advisers on the phone.

According to the 51 schedules obtained by Axios, Mr Trump doesn’t usually have his first meeting until about 11am.

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Categories: Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Tim Presley's White Fence

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 02/03/2019 - 23:01

I've been digging White Fence since their debut album in 2010. Each album from this Tim Presley masterminded project (he once of hardcore band the Nerve Agents as well as a member of the Fall for the Reformation Post TLC album) has had something of a clanging and arty garage-psych thread running through it, but also each of those album fashions something differently from it.

The early songwriting sessions for new LP, I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk, took place in the small English village of Staveley. I have not had a chance to pick up the album yet to give it my full attention but I plan on making a trip to the record store this week. The songs I have heard range from smeared visions of pastoral scenes to the one were gonna hear tonight, "Neighborhood Light", which sounds like prime proto-punk 1976.

What are you listening to tonight?


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Categories: Politics

Open thread for night owls: Edging towards impeachment

Daily Kos - Sun, 02/03/2019 - 23:00

In The Washington Post, book critic Carlos Lozada reviews an assortment of impeachment-centered books and asks the question: "[C]ould the American public, already so divided and cynical, regard whatever outcome emerges from that process as nonpartisan and fair?"

When scholars argue that the removal of a president must be bipartisan, they are expressing less an opinion than a historical fact. Nixon still enjoyed the support of roughly a quarter of American voters when he resigned, and he could have counted on some 10 to 15 Republican votes in the Senate, writes Williams College legal scholar Alan Hirsch in “Impeaching the President.” But the public would have accepted his removal, Hirsch explains, because significant numbers of Republicans in both chambers supported it. Similarly, it was the partnership between Sens. Tom Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat, and Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, that made the conclusion of Clinton’s Senate trial a somewhat bipartisan undertaking.

In some ways, the Trump era combines the most toxic elements of the Nixon and Clinton episodes: the likelihood of impeachment-level wrongdoing, as well as inflamed — and deeply personal — partisan opposition.

Organize-Fish-eating-fish_NoTEXT_BlueRed.jpg Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2003Bush’s budget-busting budget:

Keep in mind that even using the White House's optimistic numbers (private economists expect the deficit to top $400 billion this year), that's a $1.08 trillion problem that Bush is leaving behind "to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations."

And the kicker? These numbers don't include the costs of a new Iraq war. Given that such a war is a certainty in Bush's mind, why not include the costs in the budget? Because it'll be politically more palatable to do so after the shooting has begun and people are distracted by matters of life and death.

But here's the bottom line:

But perhaps the most dramatic change in recent years in the budget is the erosion in the nation's fiscal picture since a record surplus in 2000. The White House now expects deficits to total $1.084 trillion over the next five years. As recently as 2001, 10-year budget surpluses of $5.6 trillion were forecast.

This is one mess that won't be cleaned up by this Republican president, or his GOP Congress, or this generation. It's the gift that will keep on giving until a Democratic president is forced to clean it up.

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