Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Trump’s links to Russian money laundering raise new questions about secret real estate deals since election

Trump’s links to Russian money laundering raise new questions about secret real estate deals since election

"The Bloomberg report, written by Trump biographer Tim O’Brien, takes a deep dive into the president’s business relationship with Felix Sater, a mob informant and felon with possible links to Russian intelligence, and real estate firm Bayrock Group. Bayrock, which operated out of Trump Tower but is now dormant, funded Trump real estate projects by funneling foreign investment through an Icelandic bank called the FL Group, which investigators suspect laundered dirty money from Russia and elsewhere. Trump himself appeared to care little where the money came from, or about Sater’s seemingly obvious ties to Mafia figures in the U.S. and Russia, according to the Bloomberg report. Sater conducted much of his Bayrock business with Trump’s two eldest children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, during a series of deals between 2002 and 2011, including the troubled Trump Soho hotel and condominium."

Paul Manafort Files Retroactively As Foreign Agent

Republicans blocked President Obama from telling the public about Russian actions to help Trump

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/23/1674509/-Republicans-blocked-President-Obama-from-telling-the-public-about-Russian-actions-to-help-Trump
"The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump."

A Timeline: Russia and President Trump

http://billmoyers.com/story/the-trump-resistance-plan-a-timeline-russia-and-president-trump/
"Investigative reporters have begun to flesh out the Trump/Russia timeline. To keep everything in one location, here’s an updated summary (so far)."

Jared Kushner Hires Prominent Lawyer With Extensive Scandal Experience

Who is Felix Sater? Meet the shady Russian investor who may be a centerpiece of the investigation

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/23/who-is-felix-sater-meet-the-shady-russian-investor-who-may-be-a-centerpiece-of-the-investigation/
"Not only does the Trump-Sater linkage provide startling evidence suggesting that Trump’s has not been truthful about his relationship with Russian money, but it also speaks volumes about the kind of underworld characters the president has been willing to align with over the years of his business career. It makes sense that Trump would treat his White House, including former officials like James Comey, as if Trump were the don (literally and figuratively) of a powerful Mafia family, complete with loyalty oaths and ham-fisted efforts at intimidation."

Russian Election Hacks Took US To Brink Of Cyberwar: Report

Trump, Russia and a Shadowy Business Partnership

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-21/trump-russia-and-those-shadowy-sater-deals-at-bayrock
"One of Bayrock's principals was a career criminal named Felix Sater who had ties to Russian and American organized crime groups. Before linking up with the company and with Trump, he had worked as a mob informant for the U.S. government, fled to Moscow to avoid criminal charges while boasting of his KGB and Kremlin contacts there, and had gone to prison for slashing apart another man’s face with a broken cocktail glass."

Malcolm Nance On WaPo Report: That Is ‘Crown Jewels Intelligence’

This Top Mueller Aide Once Worked on an Investigation of a Trump Associate Tied to the Russian Mob

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/trump-felix-sater-andrew-weissman/
"While President Donald Trump fumes about the expanding Russia investigation, the man in charge of the probe has been busy assembling a murderer’s row of experienced prosecutors boasting backgrounds in government corruption, fraud, cybersecurity, corporate crime, and organized crime. One of the first hires made by special counsel Robert Mueller was Andrew Weissmann, the leader of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud division. And in a curious twist, Weissmann once played a role in an unusual case—involving the Mafia, the Russian mob, and securities fraud—that is now oddly linked to Trump."

US Officials Still Assessing Russia 2016 Hack

Trump’s latest comments prove he has no idea how health policy works

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-does-not-understand-health-policy-we-are-in-trouble-73cd71569745
"Trump’s lack of familiarity with the bill’s contents was made evident by the exchange, but this is only the latest indicator from Trump that he doesn’t have the slightest idea how health policy works — his own, or anyone else’s."

Trump’s ignorance about health care carries real consequences

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trumps-ignorance-about-health-care-carries-real-consequences
"the president has literally never demonstrated any real familiarity with the details of the debate, and accounts of his private interactions with lawmakers bolster concerns that Trump simply has no idea what he’s talking about. Either he’s ignorant about the substance of health care or he’s doing a remarkable imitation of someone who’s ignorant about the substance of health care. Eight years ago this week, then-President Barack Obama hosted a 90-minute public forum exclusively on health care policy, fielding questions from doctors, reporters, and the public at large. Can anyone imagine Donald J. Trump doing something similar? Does anyone seriously believe he’d want to try?"

The Amazing New Trump Defense | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

Paul Krugman Sums Up Senate Health Care Bill in One Devastating Chart

https://thedailybanter.com/2017/06/krugman-sums-up-senate-health-care-bill/
"You can discount Trump and the Republican Party's promise of affordable health care that covers more people for less money. You can discount their promises to look after seniors and ensure the vulnerable get the care they need -- and you can particularly ignore Trump's promise to cover all Americans with his tremendous health care bill. This is, and always was complete bullsh*t. The Republican health care bill is about one thing, and one thing only: transferring more money to the rich.  It isn't clear whether Trump and the Republicans intend to hurt women, the poor, the disabled, the old, and the vulnerable. What is clear though, is that they don't care if they do. Every reputable analysis shows Trumpcare and the latest Senate bill to be a tragic disaster in the making. As long as the Republicans fulfill their obligations to the rich people who paid for them to get elected, they are willing to spend every ounce of political capital they have to get the harmful legislation through."

Why are 13 men in charge of healthcare for all American women?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/28/womens-healthcare-republican-senate-bill
"The Senate healthcare bill would increase the number of uninsured people in the US by 22 million, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, and is opposed by the American Medical Association on the grounds that it violates the Hippocratic oath. It would also be particularly devastating to women’s health, in a number of ways."

Congressman Decries Voodoo Economics While Pushing For... Voodoo Economics

Seth Meyers: Republicans Are Lying About ‘Cartoonishly Evil’ Health Bill

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/seth-meyers-republicans-lying-about-cartoonishly-evil-health-bill_us_595218b2e4b05c37bb79152c
"In the wake of a CBO report that the Senate version of Trumpcare would deprive 22 million more Americans of health coverage while providing tax breaks for the rich, Seth Meyers got animated."

Republican defenses of the health care bill: Fatuous half-truths, misdirection and lots of blatant lying

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/27/republican-defenses-of-the-health-care-bill-fatuous-half-truths-misdirection-and-lots-of-blatant-lying/
"Defenders of this grotesque bill are willing to dissemble, obfuscate and blatantly lie to the public about what is in it. They have no choice. It’s indefensible on the merits."

Mitch McConnell Admits Obamacare Won't Fail On Its Own

GOP Donors Threaten Congress: No Tax Cuts, No Money | Crooks and Liars

GOP Donors Threaten Congress: No Tax Cuts, No Money | Crooks and Liars

"big name GOP donors are cutting off donations to Republicans until they see "major action on healthcare and taxes." What they really want is a guarantee that the middle and lower class will be punished, broken and bankrupted so that the top 1% gets richer, pays less in taxes and gets to stomp all over the rest of us. You know, exactly what you would expect from the pro-life, god fearing, bible thumping party, right? Donors are trying to strong-arm Republicans by cutting off donations and refusing to host fundraisers until they make sure millions are at risk of death by losing access to healthcare. Yahoo reports that a donor from Texas, Doug Deason, has "refused to host a fundraiser for two members of Congress and informed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., his checkbook is closed as well" Deason told GOP leaders: "Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed. You control the Senate. You control the House. You have the presidency. There's no reason you can't get this done. Get it done and we'll open it back up." Sounds like Deason really wants to see his taxes go down. My bet is he doesn't give a damn about the 15 million that will lose health insurance next year. Just that his bank account grows."

GOP donors threaten to withhold funds unless their agenda is passed

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/26/gop-donors-threaten-to-withhold-funds-unless-their-agenda-is-passed/
"Large donors, not just the Koch brothers, have an immense influence in Republican politics. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the 20 largest donors to the political action committee controlled by Donald Trump accounted for nearly 15 percent of funds raised in the 2016 presidential campaign. The son of outsourcing pioneer Darwin Deason, Doug was one of several large GOP donors who tried to push reluctant Republican billionaires to increase their giving in support of Trump’s operations. “There is urgency,” Tim Phillips, president of the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity told the AP. “We believe we have a window of about 12 months to get as much of it accomplished as possible before the 2018 elections grind policy to a halt.” While the donors want the GOP to push their agenda faster, they also appear to be part of the reason why Republicans haven’t been able to deliver. Phillips, who somehow managed to survive as the leader of the organization despite his disastrous leadership in the 2012 elections, has been directing employees to lobby Senate Republicans to make the Better Care Reconciliation Act more conservative. Likewise, Americans for Prosperity is spending money on advertisements and rallies in 36 different states to boost support for an overhaul of the U.S. tax code."

22 Million Americans Will Lose Insurance

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

G.O.P. Senators Might Not Realize It, but Not One State Supports the Republican Health Bill

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/upshot/gop-senators-might-not-realize-it-but-not-one-state-supports-the-ahca.html?_r=0
"New estimates show that Republicans have stumbled upon the rare thing that unites red and blue states: opposition to the health care bill."

The nation’s largest medical group opposes Trumpcare

https://thinkprogress.org/ama-opposes-senate-bill-4b7ff8b0c0e2
"On Monday, the American Medical Association (AMA), a nonprofit organization made up of doctors and medical students, released a letter to Congress detailing the organization’s concerns with the bill. “Medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or ‘first, do no harm.’ The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels,” reads the letter in part."

Republicans reduced to lying about GOP health plan’s Medicaid cuts

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/republicans-reduced-lying-about-gop-health-plans-medicaid-cuts
"Donald Trump promised Americans, over and over again, in writing and in public remarks, that he would never cut Medicaid. And yet, the president is now an enthusiastic proponent for a Republican health care plan that makes brutal cuts to Medicaid."

The GOP bill isn't just 22 million Americans losing health insurance—it's 28,600 murders

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/27/1675680/-The-GOP-bill-isn-t-just-22-million-Americans-losing-health-insurance-it-s-28-600-murders
"In what may be the year’s most timely study, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a study on Monday showing something that should be obvious, but needs to be stated: Insurance saves lives. The evidence strengthens confidence in the Institute of Medicine's conclusion that health insurance saves lives: The odds of dying among the insured relative to the uninsured is 0.71 to 0.97. What does that mean? It means that for every 1 million people who lose health insurance, 1,300 will die early. Combine that with the CBO score of the latest Senate healthcare bill and the cost for Republicans meeting their “repeal and replace” talking point isn’t just measured in the huge increases in cost to individuals. It’s 28,600 dead Americans who would be alive if Obamacare stays in place. It’s murder to score political points with their base. Where do those deaths come from? Uninsured people are less likely to engage in preventative care. They’re more likely to wait until conditions are more serious before seeking treatment. They’re less likely to get the best quality care or necessary follow-up care. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the ranks of the uninsured have been cut by 20 million. That’s 26,000 lives saved. But Trump and the Republicans are ready to throw those lives and more down the drain … because that’s the real price of getting revenge on Barack Obama."

Paul Ryan Desperately Wants To Give Your Tax Money To His Wealthy Donors

'It's Not Hyperbole': Study Finds Thousands Could Die If Trumpcare Passes

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/27/its-not-hyperbole-study-finds-thousands-could-die-if-trumpcare-passes
"On the heels of the Congressional Budget Office report projecting 22 million people could lose health insurance if the Senate's version of Trumpcare becomes law, a new analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (AIM) suggests the legislation could cause the deaths of thousands of people per year."

An Open Letter to the GOP: You Are Sentencing Me to Death

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41077-an-open-letter-to-the-gop-you-are-sentencing-me-to-death
"People with disabilities deserve to live."

All Of President Donald Trump's Lies

Jason Chaffetz: Congress Would Be Happier With $2500/Month Housing Allowance | Crooks and Liars

Jason Chaffetz: Congress Would Be Happier With $2500/Month Housing Allowance | Crooks and Liars

"While average Americans wait to see if they will have health insurance next month, "retiring" member of Congress and "I can't investigate Hillary Clinton so bye" Republican Jason Chaffetz has a helpful suggestion as the door hits his buttocks. The taxpayers should give each member of Congress $2500 a MONTH for housing in Washington DC! Chaffetz doesn't think there's an environment for a congressional pay raise, but this is the equivalent of a $30,000 a year raise. $30,000 is nearly double what is considered "the poverty line," you know, what people who will LOSE THEIR OBAMACARE make in a year."

Catholic bishops condemn Senate’s ‘simply unacceptable’ Trumpcare bill

https://thinkprogress.org/faith-groups-health-care-109aa634022
"Within hours of news that the Senate bill will likely leave 22 million people uninsured over ten years, Bishop Frank Dewane, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Domestic Justice and Humane Development Committee, issued a scathing critique of the Republican-led effort."

22 million reasons we need to fight back

Nation’s Largest Doctors’ Group Slams Republican Health Care Bill

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/nations-largest-doctors-group-slams-republican-health-care-bill/
"The largest association of doctors in the country released a blistering statement Monday blasting Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal Obamacare. “Medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or ‘first, do no harm,'” reads the letter sent by American Medical Association to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels"."

Rural hospital association representative: 'This bill will close hospitals. ... People will die'

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/26/1675375/-Rural-hospital-association-representative-This-bill-will-close-hospitals-People-will-die
"All the while Republicans were screaming about death panels in Obamacare, they were actually plotting out the most cruel way to create them."

Trump Supporter Gets Emotional On CNN, Says His Family Will Lose Healthcare Under Republican Plan

AMA opposes Trumpcare because it violates their standard 'First, do no harm on many levels'

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/26/1675398/-AMA-opposes-Trumpcare-because-it-violates-their-standard-First-do-no-harm-on-many-levels
"No major healthcare organization—whether hospital association, provider group, patient advocacy group—none supports this legislation. In fact, all of them are ringing alarm bells about how it's actually going to close hospitals and kill people. What the bill does first is harm, it harms millions of people. Except, of course, for the one percent. They make out like bandits with its tax cuts."

Opposition To Trumpcare Surges As American Medical Association Say GOP Bill Harms People

http://www.politicususa.com/2017/06/26/opposition-trumpcare-surges-american-medical-association-gop-bill-harms-people.html
"Forty economists, including six Nobel Prize winners, also came out in opposition to the bill on Monday. All told, it is virtually impossible to find a non-partisan group within the medical community that supports this legislation. From all corners, the warning has been consistent. The Better Care Act is a bad bill that will harm millions of Americans."

Senate GOP Healthcare Bill Estimated to Kill 28,600 More in U.S. Each Year & Drop 22M from Insurance

40 Economists Just Destroyed Every Big Republican Lie About The Healthcare Bill

http://www.politicususa.com/2017/06/26/40-economists-destroyed-big-republican-lie-healthcare-bill.html
"The forty economists who signed the letter included six Nobel Prize winners. The message from the economists has nothing to do with partisan politics. What they are discussing the true economic impact of the health care bill. Every single one of the major lies that Republicans are telling about this legislation was debunked by the experts. People will lose their health insurance, and those who still have insurance will see their coverage narrowed. The Republican bill is going to increase costs and deductibles while reducing financial assistance for millions of people, and states will be allowed to strip protections from patients. The Trump White House and Congressional Republicans have decided to go with a strategy of lying about what’s in the bill. The economists aren’t letting it happen."

Republican Health Bill Would Leave 22 Million More People Without Insurance, CBO Projects

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/republican-health-bill-would-leave-22-million-more-people-without-insurance-cbo-projects/
"Senate Republicans kept the bill secret until last Thursday, but they are nonetheless rushing forward with a plan to vote on it by the end of this week so they can wrap things up before they head home for the Fourth of July. In a nearly unprecedented move, the entire drafting of the bill happened behind closed doors, with zero public hearings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hopes that the accelerated schedule will help his members pass the controversial legislation before they are confronted by angry voters in their home states over the holiday recess."

Steve Schmidt: Republicans Like Lemmings Jumping Off Cliffs

Are you 64 and making $56,800 a year? Welcome to a $20,500 Trumpcare insurance premium

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/26/1675491/-Are-you-64-and-making-26-500-a-year-Welcome-to-a-20-500-Trumpcare-insurance-premium
"In some areas of the country—particularly sparsely populated ones (are you listening Lisa Murkowski)—the CBO foresees a market collapse, the classic death spiral. “Some sparsely populated areas might have no nongroup insurance offered because the reductions in subsidies would lead fewer people to decide to purchase insurance—and markets with few purchasers are less profitable for insurers.” Yes, this bill is mean, mean, mean. But hey, it’s got lots of tax cuts for the very rich, so expect most Republicans to overlook the other parts."

The CBO Score Proves It: This Healthcare Bill Is a Con

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a55900/senate-republican-healthcare-bill-cbo/
"So, instead of the 23 million Americans that would lose their insurance under the House bill, Mitch McConnell and his merry band of male caucasians have gone into their secret clubhouse and produced a bill that will deprive of insurance only 22 million Americans. I am really tired of all this winning."

Former GOP Congressman David Jolly: Why I Changed My Mind On Obamacare

The Real Human Impact of the Senate GOP's Trumpcare Disaster

https://thedailybanter.com/2017/06/the-senate-gops-trumpcare-disaster/
"Yep, all those "pro life" Republican senators are perfectly amenable to cutting off healthcare access for a significant percentage of poor children, disabled children and, well, all children in general. Once again, they're proving Barney Frank's theory: "For Republicans, life begins at conception and ends at birth"."

Jimmy Kimmel discusses health care with kids

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/23/jimmy-kimmel-discusses-health-care-with-kids/
"The big story of the week was the health care bill the Senate unveiled Thursday, so Jimmy Kimmel celebrated the occasion by talking to children, who will undoubtedly be affected by the “mean” legislation."

CBO: Trumpcare Would Kick 22 MILLION Off Healthcare

Republicans: Defenders of the Rich, Pushers of Hate, Bigotry, & Fake Christianity

https://forwardprogressives.com/republicans-defenders-rich-pushers-hate-bigotry-fake-christianity/
"This is a party that does nothing but support policies that benefit the rich. Nearly every single policy they support is nothing more than a massive handout for the wealthiest among us wrapped in some sort of manipulative propaganda aimed at blinding people from realizing how disastrous the legislation’s going to be for them, personally. Look at their “health care bill.” It shouldn’t even be called that because it’s not a bill to improve health care in any way. These are nothing more than massive tax cuts for the rich that will not make health care better, cheaper, or provide coverage for more Americans. They’re masking their anti-Obamacare propaganda in a “health care bill” that has nothing to do with health care, and almost everything to do with screwing over the majority of Americans while giving the wealthiest among us bigger breaks. Why else do conservative voters think Senate Republicans wrote this plan in secret and are now trying to push it through Congress as quickly as possible? A political party doesn’t do that unless it’s ashamed of what it’s trying to do. When Democrats passed Obamacare, Congress debated on that law for a year — Republicans are trying to force theirs through in a couple of weeks. Then just look at how Trump built his campaign. Sure, there were many aspects to it, but his main core principles were vilifying immigrants, pushing Islamophobia against Muslims, pushing hate against Hillary Clinton, and pandering to racism. It’s not a coincidence that Trump inspired a resurgence in public displays of white nationalism, as well as garnering enthusiastic support from the KKK and neo-Nazis. Oh, and when Republicans embraced Donald Trump, possibly the least Christian candidate to ever run for president, they lost any right to call themselves Christians — because there’s absolutely nothing Christian about him. He’s a vile, greedy, corrupt, conspiracy-pushing adulterer on his third marriage who has five children from three different women."

Paul Ryan's Challenger Randy Bryce: Ryan Not Listening, Trump Untrustworthy

Message to Sen. Portman: 220,000 Ohioans with substance abuse coverage will lose it if ACA repealed

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/25/1674077/-Message-to-Sen-Portman-220-000-Ohioans-with-substance-abuse-coverage-will-lose-it-if-ACA-repealed
"Meanwhile, behind closed doors in the Senate, a small group of Republicans worked with industry lobbyists to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that currently covers 2.8 million people with substance abuse disorders, including 220,000 Ohioans. The Senate bill was released Thursday and it too will make the heroin crisis worse."

Trump Confirms He Called House Repeal Bill ‘Mean,’ Claims Obama Copied Him

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-confirms-he-called-repeal-bill-mean
"President Donald Trump confirmed in an interview aired Sunday that he called House Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare “mean” in a private meeting, and claimed former President Barack Obama copied his one-word phrasing. “He actually used my term, mean. That was my term. Because I want to see, and I speak from the heart, that’s what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox and Friends” with Pete Hegseth. Obama on Thursday said the newly revealed Senate repeal bill is built on “fundamental meanness"."

Senator Warren on the Senate GOP's health care bill

Medicaid, Obamacare more popular than ever now they Republicans want to kill them

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/26/1674696/-Medicaid-Obamacare-more-popular-than-ever-now-they-Republicans-want-to-kill-them
"No wonder Majority Leader Mitch McConnell feels compelled to rush it through."

Trumpcare Truth: A Gift to the 1% and a Kick to the Sick and Poor

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/26/trumpcare-truth-gift-1-and-kick-sick-and-poor
"If this shameful bill is enacted, McConnell and Trump – as well as every Republican senator who signs on – will bear the burden of hundreds of thousands of deaths that could have been avoided, were they not so determined to make rich Americans even richer."

The Faces of Medicaid: Jenny & Sean

Republicans settle on public strategy to sell their healthcare repeal bill: Lie, lie, and lie.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/25/1675120/-Republicans-settle-on-public-strategy-to-sell-their-healthcare-repeal-bill-Lie-lie-and-lie
"So after producing a tax cut bill that guts the Medicaid program as we know it, tosses tens of millions off of insurance, and tells the individual states that they're on their own with that, the official Republican platform is to simply deny that any of that is happening. The cuts don't exist. The Medicaid expansion isn't being defunded. Millions won't lose the ability to buy affordable insurance. These are lies. The lies are being peddled in order to block the public from knowing the effects of the Republican legislation before that legislation is voted on. If the bill becomes law, we can expect that the individuals losing coverage will be treated as imaginary and that the results of the massive Medicaid cuts will be simply denied, on-camera, again. This isn't a functional democracy, at this point. It's not. There may be an argument to be had in how much government ought to do to ensure health coverage for citizens; we aren't having it. There may be a number of deaths that may be considered acceptable in order to give an "economy-boosting" tax cut; no such number has been presented. There has been no debate on what happens to poor Americans with diabetes or cancer. There has been no debate on how Americans almost but not yet at Medicare age are supposed to cope with rate increases that could top $10,000 per year. There is no argument being made, period. The public is told that there are no cuts, there will be no loss of services, there will be no price increases, there will be no harm to those with preexisting conditions, or those that lose their jobs and cannot afford continued coverage, and none of the rest of it will happen. And you cannot blame that on Trump, or on the public, or even on the media. The Republican Party as a whole has adopted intentional misinformation—that is, propaganda—as their prime vehicle for selling policies that directly damage the public. It was their choice."

STUFF IT, Mitch. Same To The Turtle You Rode In On. | Crooks and Liars

STUFF IT, Mitch. Same To The Turtle You Rode In On. | Crooks and Liars

"The stark fact of the matter is that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and virtually every member of the Republican congress are trying to pass a bill that will literally result in the deaths of tens of thousands of people, bankruptcy for many more and suffering for millions. And why are they doing this? They want to get their hands on 800 billion dollars that funds Obamacare so that for the first time since 1986 they can give permanent tax cuts to the likes of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Because when you get down to it, that’s what all this is about."

The Faces of Medicaid: Marika & Josh

These pictures are worth a thousand words (and an untold number of lives)

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/26/1675303/-These-pictures-are-worth-a-thousand-words-and-an-untold-number-of-lives
"Who stands to gain the most from this Republican bill? It’s a winner winner chicken dinner jackpot for the 400 wealthiest families in America."

Disabled Activists Put Their Bodies on the Line to Defend Health Care

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/26/disabled-activists-put-their-bodies-line-defend-health-care
"Given how cruel the GOP bill is, it is no surprise that its negotiations took place in secret."

Paul Ryan Says Cutting Taxes On The Wealthy Will Grow Economy. Seattle Just Proved Him Wrong

Trumpcare's national numbers are horrifying. The state numbers bring the horror home.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/26/1675313/-Trumpcare-s-national-numbers-are-horrifying-The-state-numbers-bring-the-horror-home
"The numbers of people who would be harmed by Trumpcare at the national level are horrifying—so horrifying that it can be hard to wrap your mind around them. But the state numbers can be a little more manageable, and feel closer to home, literally, and that’s where local news can have a major impact. The New York Times has rounded up local reporting on Trumpcare, and while it’s powerful to hear the director of Delaware’s Division of Public health saying that “The bills under consideration by Congress are simply inhumane … people will die,” the by-the-numbers reporting may bring it home the most directly: This could affect you, too."

Donald Trump Confirms He Called House GOP Health Care Bill ‘Mean’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-health-care-bill-mean_us_594fb481e4b0da2c731c1b1c?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009
"President Donald Trump confirmed that he privately called the House Republicans’ health care bill “mean,” the same legislation he publicly celebrated with a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden."

Bloodthirsty Koch Brothers Warn – Cut Our Taxes Or No More Campaign Money

The Word "Women" Literally Never Appears in the US Senate’s 142-Page Healthcare Bill

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/26/word-women-literally-never-appears-us-senates-142-page-healthcare-bill
"Since the ACA passed, the number of women of child-bearing age without health insurance has dropped significantly. It is a full bill more than 900 pages long, not a draft working document like the Senate’s bill. But there’s little indication from that first draft that the men who wrote it are thinking about women’s health at all."

White House threatens to sabotage insurance of low-income people if Trumpcare isn’t passed

https://thinkprogress.org/white-house-threatens-cost-sharing-reduction-payments-in-effort-to-pass-trumpcare-2710dc080817
"During an off-camera briefing on Monday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer signaled that the Trump administration is willing to use low-income Americans’ health insurance as a bargaining chip to persuade Congress to pass Trumpcare, which will result in tens of millions of Americans losing their health insurance."

Kochfest 2017 Billionaires: Time To Get What We Paid For!

Monday, June 26, 2017

AHCA Is About A Mean Ideology. Tax Cuts Are A Bonus. | Crooks and Liars

AHCA Is About A Mean Ideology. Tax Cuts Are A Bonus. | Crooks and Liars

"The thing to remember about these Republicans is that they are, with rare exception, only in it for themselves. What elected leaders like Trump, Ryan, McConnell, Cruz etc. want more than anything is power. They want to be a Koch, a DeVos, an Adelson, but they will never be. They are and always will be a tool for these uber rich families. An easily replicated and replaceable tool. I would even venture that this is why we are seeing these notoriously private super wealthy people come out and hold public office. Republicans have not moved fast or harsh enough for them and must be whipped into shape. Financing of campaigns is not the only control these wealthy families have over elected leaders though. Perhaps an even bigger control mechanism is to threaten NOT to fund them. If Mitch McConnell or Ted Cruz suddenly did not do the bidding of their uber rich supporters, they would be immediately cast out into that barren desert of campaign no-man's land. The Kochs and such would simply fund a contender; something that Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) is facing. The threat of NOT being supported is often times more influential to a politician than being supported. With Kris Kobach’s Crosscheck kicking minorities off of voter rolls and Republicans’ decades worth of extreme gerrymandering, these politicians need not worry. This is not to mention the real possibility that our voting systems are still compromised by the Russian hacking. So far, only Illinois has admitted that hacking led to voters being kicked off their system. In North Carolina’s heavily minority and blue districts, hacking is thought to have caused the computer database of registered voters to shut down during the 2016 election. This led to poll workers having to check registration by hand, and in turn caused such a delay that many left without casting their votes. Now a report has come out that 1 in 4 African Americans were not allowed to vote in Florida during the election. So, you see, they are not too concerned about being voted out of office."

Saturday, June 24, 2017

GOP Threat To Medicaid Threatens Liberty Of Millions Of Americans

In a strong statement, AARP vows to 'hold all 100 Senators accountable' for health care bill

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/23/1674543/-In-a-strong-statement-the-AARP-vows-to-hold-all-100-Senators-accountable-for-health-care-bill
"Why are Republicans so hellbent on harming so many Americans in exchange for private insurance and Big Pharma profits and a tax cut to 400 of the wealthiest families in America?"

Ruthless, Soulless, Vicious: Three Reasons the Senate GOP's ACA Replacement Is a Disgrace

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41045-ruthless-soulless-vicious-three-reasons-the-senate-gop-s-aca-replacement-is-a-disgrace
"the Better Care Reconciliation Act is a genuinely cruel piece of work that will deliver millions of people to the gutter or the grave."

The window of opportunity to stop the GOP health plan is closing

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-window-opportunity-stop-the-gop-health-plan-closing
"We’re looking at a landscape in which the Senate will vote next week, and if it passes, House Republicans will almost certainly act quickly to rubber-stamp that legislation – at which point, it’s game over. At the risk of sounding overdramatic, the next six days will dictate the health security for tens of millions of Americans."

Bernie Sanders On Health Care Bill: Thousands Will Die

Once again, 13 men wrote a bill that’s bad for women’s health

https://www.vox.com/2017/6/22/15845832/republican-senate-healthcare-bill-planned-parenthood-better-care-reconciliation-act
"Senate Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, would make it harder for women to access crucial health benefits — from birth control to maternity coverage. This may come as no surprise, given the bill was written by 13 men."

Bernie Sanders Absolutely Unloads on Senate Republicans' 'Barbaric' Health Care Bill @alternet

Bernie Sanders Absolutely Unloads on Senate Republicans' 'Barbaric' Health Care Bill @alternet: 'This is what oligarchy is all about.' Senate Republicans have finally unveiled their Better Care Reconciliation Act, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) can't hide his disdain for the newest version of Trumpcare.The bill Republicans announced today is even worse than expected and by far the most harmful piece of legislation I've seen in my lifetime.

Republican Healthcare Plan Includes Huge Bonuses For Insurance CEOs

Add higher deductibles to the ways Trumpcare will hurt you

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/23/1674561/-Add-higher-deductibles-to-the-ways-Trumpcare-will-hurt-you
"there’s plenty of pain to go around, all to pay for a tax cut for the wealthy."

GOP 'Health' Bill: Death, Disaster, and Gilded Age Greed

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/23/gop-health-bill-death-disaster-and-gilded-age-greed
"The Republican Senate’s draft health bill differs from the House version, but its basic purpose is the same: give millionaires and billionaires a massive new tax cut by slashing health benefits for millions of Americans, and take care away altogether from millions more."

Bernie Responds to Republicans' Health Care Bill

Republicans’ main argument for Obamacare repeal is a lie

https://www.vox.com/health-care/2017/6/23/15856322/republicans-marketplaces-collapse-repeal
"Republicans have long predicted an Obamacare death spiral. So far, it hasn’t happened. But their plan would near certainly move the individual market much more in that direction."

McConnell's "health care" bill fails the moral test

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/23/1674528/-McConnell-s-health-care-bill-fails-the-moral-test
"the moral test posed by the late Hubert H. Humphrey, who said It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped It will fail this moral test on all three counts"

President Donald Trump’s Bait And Switch On Health Care

Does Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito have a heart?

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/23/1674596/-Does-Republican-Senator-Shelley-Moore-Capito-have-a-heart
"In this clip she’s meeting a mother who talks about her adult daughter who has lived with cancer for four years, imploring the senator to understand how Trumpcare could ruin everything for her daughter. She's 41 years old. She's been fighting this cancer for four years, very diligently. [She] has maintained her job, has gotten promotions, has led teams. As sick as she has been, she would not be alive today if it wasn't for the ACA (Affordable Care Act). […] With the cap, if she ever lost her insurance—in seven months she went over $1,200,000, and this has been going on for four years. Pre-existing condition, and we're not sure how long she's gonna be able to work. Maybe forever, that's what our goal is. But these are real people. My daughter. And so I just want you to have that in your brain when you look at this [healthcare bill]. So, Sen. Capito. Will it be in your head when you vote on this next week? Or will you stay true to form and capitulate to McConnell?"

Obama's Blistering Post on Republican Health Care Bill Must Be Read by Every American

https://thedailybanter.com/2017/06/americans-must-read-obama-response-to-trumpcare/
"Yesterday, President Obama weighed in on the bill proposed by Republicans in the Senate, and he was very clear about what this means for Americans -- less healthcare for more money, and an enormous transfer of wealth to the richest Americans. "This bill will do you harm," wrote Obama. It will, and every American absolutely needs to read this, regardless of what side of the political aisle they are on. Because this about the health of you and your family and the consequences of stripping away rights every other industrialized country on earth guarantees for their citizens."

Trumpcare: Billionaire Tax Cut Disguised As Healthcare Plan

Jimmy Kimmel discusses health care with kids

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/23/jimmy-kimmel-discusses-health-care-with-kids/
"The big story of the week was the health care bill the Senate unveiled Thursday, so Jimmy Kimmel celebrated the occasion by talking to children, who will undoubtedly be affected by the “mean” legislation."

Here's the simplest takedown of the Republican scheme to take away health care from millions

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/22/1674202/-Here-s-the-simplest-takedown-of-the-Republican-scheme-to-take-away-health-care-from-millions
"How bad is this Republican wealthcare bill? It is nothing short of vicious. This is a longer thread, but if you are one of the 130 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, if you’ve ever been pregnant or plan to have a family, if you or a loved one survives on Medicaid, or if you are age 46 or older, this is an absolute must-read. Senator Bob Casey breaks down this AHCA wealthcare bill, starting by noting the essential health benefits requirement of the Affordable Care Act would be revoked. This scheme sells out the middle class, seniors and individuals with disabilities to pay for a tax cut for the wealthy. That's obscene. Page 41. They revoke the essential health benefits requirement. Why is that a big deal? Because that means insurance companies would no longer be required to cover critical preventatives services like mammograms, colon cancer screenings, vaccinations, check-ups. No longer required to cover prescription drugs, pregnancy and childbirth, emergency room visits and more."

No Wonder Republicans Were Hiding Trumpcare...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Big Pharma Gets $28 Billion Tax Break in GOP Trumpcare Plan

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/22/big-pharma-gets-28-billion-tax-break-gop-trumpcare-plan
"There will be a lot of losers if the House GOP’s disastrous plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ever becomes law: people with preexisting medical conditions, working families, older folks, kids. One of the few winners would be the nation’s pharmaceutical industry: $28 billion richer thanks to a big tax cut. The Senate is likely to keep this tax break in its version of the legislation. Do America’s drug makers deserve a $28 billion tax cut over 10 years, when the profits of the top 10 companies topped $83 billion last year alone, with the top 5 pocketing nearly $58 billion? Hardly. In fact, they need to start paying their fair share. The Republican plan passed by the House and endorsed by President Trump this spring would cost 23 million Americans their health care while handing out $660 billion in tax cuts, mostly to wealthy individuals and big health-care companies."

Trump's Plan for Drug Pricing Executive Order Is a Big Pharma Wish List

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41039-trump-s-plan-for-drug-pricing-executive-order-is-a-big-pharma-wish-list
"Raise your hand if you believed Donald Trump's repeated promises to take on Big Pharma. What about the presidential boast that drug prices for the American people "will come way down?" Anyone? Sadly, skepticism about the true impact of Trump's populist posturing on drug pricing has proven to be well justified. As a worried nation focuses on the looming danger of the Senate vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the pharmaceutical industry has joined hands with the president who once said its corporate members are "getting away with murder." This week, the New York Times obtained a draft of a planned President Trump executive order on drug pricing. As Patients for Affordable Drugs founder and cancer patient David Mitchell told the Times, the text indicates that "Pharma has captured the process." The order, which appears likely to be rolled out after the dust settles on the Affordable Care Act repeal effort, was reportedly written largely by Trump budget staffer Joe Grogan, who was hired by the administration fresh from his role as a drug industry lobbyist."

A First Look at the Senate Republican Health Bill

A Message to Trump Voters on the Occasion of This Healthcare Bill

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a55824/senate-republican-healthcare-bill/
"Today is not the day for you to ask for my understanding as to how you're going to afford Grandma's chemo now that she's busted the lifetime cap on her insurance. Today is not the day for you to ask for my sympathy for Grandpa who's going to get his ass hoisted out of his rest home and dropped onto the couch in your basement family room because his Medicaid ran out. Today is not the day for you to moan into TV cameras about how Cousin Clyde with the opioid problem has to go back to sticking up tourists for his fix because the little hospital up by the mountain closed. Not today. Not this particular Thursday. Maybe by Monday. The Senate unveiled its big secret tax-cut plan on Thursday morning. It also contains some elements dealing with healthcare that will make the lives of millions of sick and elderly Americans immeasurably worse, but, since it's actually a tax-cut bill, and it actually does cut taxes for the wealthiest among us, then I guess you can say the strategy was a success. And they say the Republicans can't govern. Hah."

The Impact of the AHCA on Veterans: State-by-State Breakdown

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/news/2017/06/22/434928/impact-ahca-veterans-state-state-breakdown/
"Contrary to common misperceptions, the majority of the nation’s 20 million veterans do not get their health care coverage from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs but instead depend on other types of insurance. This includes Medicaid, which currently covers nearly 1.8 million American veterans. The cuts not only break President Trump’s pledge to support veterans, they also disproportionately harm voters in the areas that most strongly supported him."

Senator Elizabeth Warren Speaks About the Recently-Revealed GOP Health Care Bill

Mitch McConnell's Sh*tty "Healthcare" Abomination is a Massive Tax Cut for the Rich and That's the Entire Point

https://thedailybanter.com/2017/06/eat-the-poor/
"There's more but the most important thing to keep in mind is that Republicans are literally going to send people to their death so they can shower billions in unnecessary tax cuts to the rich. The Koch brothers will be able to buy a few more super yachts while tens of thousands of people die every year because they lost their heath insurance. Republicans are not doing this because they want to "fix" the system they deliberately broke. They don't actually care about fighting "big government" because they clearly like using oppressive government regulations to their own ends. The GOP doesn't even really care about the detrimental impact on the economy their bill will have outside of giving them a new excuse to cut food stamps for children. The bottom line is that this entire episode has to do with cutting taxes and making those cuts permanent. Period. End of line. Every other horrible thing that goes along with it (like erasing Obama and savagely hurting the poor) is just icing on the cake. But it's even worse because Republicans will use the "savings" gained by stealing healthcare from 23 million people to "pay" for a second set of tax cuts. So, really, the rich will be getting two separate tax cuts at our expense.  The AHCA is the result of a worldview based on a visceral hatred of the poor and middle class. There really isn't any other way to put it: Republicans despise every American that isn't part of their 1% club."

The face of Republican evil: It’s not Donald Trump

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/22/the-face-of-republican-evil-its-not-donald-trump/
"This Republican contempt for democracy was evident long before Trump started grasping for the presidential nomination with his stubby orange fingers. McConnell was so unwilling to accept the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s two substantial presidential election victories that the Republican leader refused to acknowledge Obama’s right to nominate a Supreme Court justice after Antonin Scalia’s death. Not only did that work out perfectly for McConnell — he got Neil Gorsuch onto the high court, instead of rightful nominee Merrick Garland — but it proved once and for all that bedrock conservative voters don’t care about niceties like the rule of law or government by the people. They just want to punish women for having sex and gripe about “Obama phones,” and don’t care if the price paid is the ultimate ruin of this country. Trump didn’t make Republicans corrupt. They were already there. That’s why he hasn’t really needed to do any arm-twisting or commit blackmail, no matter how much he’d like to, in order to get a GOP-controlled Congress willing to look the other way when presented with a growing pile of evidence that something weird is going on with Trump and the Russians. It’s easier to not care if Russian intelligence is actively seeking to subvert U.S. elections for those who aggressively try to deny voting rights to millions of Americans, especially people of color and younger voters who insist on voting for Democrats. At this point, the Republican rejection of democracy is an established fact. The only question is how far the ruling party is willing to take it. The antidemocratic, secretive process surrounding the GOP’s health care bill suggests there may be no real limit."

Sen. Brian Schatz: Senate GOP Bill 'Extremely Cruel'

Heartless! Senate Trumpcare Plan Every Bit as 'Ugly' and 'Cruel' as Expected

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/22/heartless-senate-trumpcare-plan-every-bit-ugly-and-cruel-expected
"After weeks of secrecy, the Senate GOP's Trumpcare plan—described as "a tax cut wrapped in the veneer of a healthcare bill" that could portend a "near-apocalyptic scenario for the poor"—was made available (pdf) to the public on Thursday and is largely living up to the gruesome expectations of analysts and critics."

WATCH: Capitol Police Drag Disabled Protesters Out Of McConnell's Office | Crooks and Liars

WATCH: Capitol Police Drag Disabled Protesters Out Of McConnell's Office | Crooks and Liars

"Senate Republicans have finally released a version of their healthcare bill. It was written in complete secrecy by 13 Senators, all of them wealthy. Of course, it's devastating to the 75 million Americans on Medicaid, does away with preexisting conditions, and is a boondoggle to the rich."

The gigantic lie in Mitch McConnell’s introduction of the Senate’s health care bill

https://thinkprogress.org/gigantic-lie-in-mcconnells-obamacare-repeal-speech-66498351bf9a
"As a candidate, Donald Trump promised not to cut Medicaid at all. If he signs this bill, or the House bill, it will represent one of the biggest broken promises of his presidency. After the Senate draft’s release, Trump noted that “it’s going to be negotiated.” Reaction on the Hill for Sen. McConnell was swift. People with disabilities staged a “die-in” outside his office over the Medicaid cuts. They were then arrested and dragged away."

Republicans Release Summary Of Senate Healthcare Bill, And It Is Terrifying

We Have Less Than a Week to Preserve the Health Care of 24 Million People

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41026-we-have-less-than-a-week-to-preserve-the-health-care-of-24-million-people
"I am asking you to act. Today, tomorrow, the next day, repeatedly, until this thing is dead. I am asking you to raise the alarm, call your senators and take direct action as though you are standing between 24 million people and a force of imminent destruction, because that's what this fight has come to. It is not enough, in this moment, to be informed, or even reiterate what you know to others. It is not enough to be a voter who believes in your civic duty. Forces that would kill disabled people, defund medical services for children, and rip health care away from the sick and dying are knocking at our door, and we have to push back."

Trumpcare tax cuts to nation's 400 wealthiest families is Medicaid blood money

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/22/1674114/-Trumpcare-tax-cuts-to-nation-s-400-wealthiest-families-is-Medicaid-blood-money
"The tax cuts for the wealthy bill masquerading as an Obamacare "replacement" bill destroys Medicaid, the 52-year-old program that covers 1 in 5 Americans, providing coverage from conception to grave. Half of all births, two-thirds of nursing home residents, a third of all adults with disabilities, three-quarters of poor children—that’s who Medicaid covers."

Arrests of Trumpcare Protesters, Some in Wheelchairs, Outside McConnell's Office

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/22/arrests-trumpcare-protesters-some-wheelchairs-outside-mcconnells-office
"Amid chants of "Don't Touch Medicaid!" and signs suggesting the same, many of those protesting the Senate bill were either elderly or in wheelchairs, offering a stunning visual as police tried to remove them from the hallway."

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Women's Health Care

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

GOP Sneak Attack on Health Care Nears a Critical Moment—and It's a Total Monstrosity @alternet

GOP Sneak Attack on Health Care Nears a Critical Moment—and It's a Total Monstrosity @alternet:

"The fact is that Republicans are willing to destroy the health and financial security of millions of Americans so they can give massive tax cuts to Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and others like them who are lucky enough to be vastly wealthy. This is their first real chance to enact permanent tax cuts since 1986. (This Vox article explains why that is.) Republicans have been chasing this dream a very long time. It is their white whale, so important that even the prospect of millions of people suffering and going bankrupt is not enough to make them think better of it."

New bombshell report reveals Trump’s lengthy ties to Russian mobsters and money laundering

New bombshell report reveals Trump’s lengthy ties to Russian mobsters and money laundering

"A bombshell Bloomberg View report dropped Wednesday morning detailing President Donald Trump’s shadowy business partnerships with Russian investors on New York City real estate deals."

Maddow previews bombshell report linking Trump to Putin-connected money pouring into his real estate deals

Maddow previews bombshell report linking Trump to Putin-connected money pouring into his real estate deals

"On Tuesday night while the country was transfixed by the special election in Georgia’s 6th district, Rachel Maddow took a look at an upcoming report by Tim O’Brien of Bloomberg News, that may provide a road-map between financing of Donald Trump’s real estate deals and “money connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin"."

Robert Mueller Team Paints Picture Of Donald Trump Russia Investigation

Lawyers push to unseal documents about Mafia-linked ex-Trump associate

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-sater-mafia-mob-bayrock-russia-court-brooklyn-fraud-behar-627408
"Lawyers seeking to unseal documents related to the criminal past of a former business partner of President Donald Trump said in federal court on Monday that the documents may contain evidence that Trump committed fraud. The sealed documents are from a federal case against Felix Sater. Trump reportedly tapped Sater as a senior advisor for his real estate business in the 2000s even after Sater’s earlier role in a Mafia-linked stock scheme became public."

Trump’s new conservative Christian lawyer Jay Sekulow is just another right-wing grifter

Trump’s new conservative Christian lawyer Jay Sekulow is just another right-wing grifter

"Sekulow also serves as president of the Georgia-based nonprofit Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, or CASE, which raised more than $52 million in 2015, according to IRS records. Four of Sekulow’s family members — including his wife, Pam, and Gary Sekulow — serve as the board of directors for CASE, which transferred nearly $16 million to ACLJ and paid almost $1.2 million to businesses owned by Jay Sekulow. An analysis by The Tennesseean newspaper found ACLJ and CASE had paid out more than $33 million between 1998 and 2011 to members of Sekulow’s family or to businesses they own. Sekulow boasts that he’s taken no salary from ACLJ since 2002, but he has outsourced his own legal services to the group and became a private contractor. That role requires no public disclosure of his salary, which he told the Legal Times was “above $600,000 a year.” “Through the ACLJ and a string of interconnected nonprofit and for-profit entities, (Sekulow) has built a financial empire that generates millions of dollars a year and supports a lavish lifestyle — complete with multiple homes, chauffeur-driven cars, and a private jet that he once used to ferry Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia,” reported Legal Times. Former employees complained that Sekulow told them they were doing God’s work, while jetting off at donor expense — on private jets owned by his family — to play golf."

CIA's Mike Pompeo Ducks Senate Judiciary's Query

Special counsel Mueller also investigating possible ‘money laundering by Trump associates’

Special counsel Mueller also investigating possible ‘money laundering by Trump associates’

"In addition to investigating whether or not Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey, special counsel Robert Mueller is also reportedly investigating “money laundering by Trump associates,” the New York Times reports. The Times report corroborates a separate bombshell Washington Post article, published Wednesday, that said in addition to possible obstruction, investigators are also “looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates"."

Who is buying Donald Trump's properties? It's a secret

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/14/1671786/-Who-is-buying-Donald-Trump-s-properties-It-s-a-secret
"Shell companies aren’t that unusual in real estate. What is unusual is the extent to which they’re being utilized to purchase Trump properties. Over the last 12 months, about 70% of buyers of Trump properties were limited liability companies – corporate entities that allow people to purchase property without revealing all of the owners’ names. That compares with about 4% of buyers in the two years before. What’s particularly interesting about this is: It’s not the first time. A decade ago, when Donald Trump’s seventh bankruptcy had wiped out his ability to borrow, he was dragged back from the brink of financial failure by money from Russian oligarchs. That infusion of money came not only in the form of big investments in new building projects, it also came through a money-laundering scheme that created LLCs for the express purpose of grabbing Trump properties at premium prices. Among the dozens of companies the Almaty lawyers say the Khrapunov laundering network used were three called Soho 3310, Soho 3311 and Soho 3203. Each was a limited liability company, meaning their ownership could easily be concealed. What was sold then is a fraction of what secretive LLCs are buying from Trump today."

Democratic Senators Ask CBO For Copy Of Republican Secret Health Care Bill

Trump picks right-wing blogger for a judgeship, his confirmation hearing was a complete train wreck

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-picks-right-wing-blogger-for-a-judgeship-his-confirmation-hearing-went-just-as-youd-expect-a9d7c70ca9ef
"Here’s a pro tip. If you are a judicial nominee, and you have to spend much of your confirmation hearing denying that you endorsed birtherism, maybe “judge” isn’t the ideal job for you. And yet John Bush, a lawyer and conservative blogger who spent years publishing many of his most controversial opinions under a pseudonym, is in line to be a judge on a powerful federal appeals court. Given Bush’s prolific history as a political blogger, those opinions were on full display during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday."

Seth Meyers Delivers a Takedown of Senate Republicans to End All Takedowns of Senate Republicans @alternet

Seth Meyers Delivers a Takedown of Senate Republicans to End All Takedowns of Senate Republicans @alternet: Calls GOP's handling of health care bill 'one of the most cynical acts of governance in American history.' While much of the country is focused on Trump's expanding collusion scandal, the GOP is inching ever closer to passing the House's calamitous health care legislation.

Bernie Sanders On Secret Health Care Bill: "I'm Speechless"

Jeff Sessions is misleading Congress to advance his inhumane war on medical marijuana

Jeff Sessions is misleading Congress to advance his inhumane war on medical marijuana

"what Sessions is doing with this letter is wrong. It is disingenuous, underhanded, and incredibly counterproductive."

Here Are The Numbers that Prove Trump’s a Pathological Liar Who Can’t be Trusted

https://forwardprogressives.com/numbers-prove-trumps-pathological-liar-cant-trusted/
"As it stands on June 9, 2017 (the date I’m writing this), only 17 percent of what Trump says is honest, while a jaw-dropping 69 percent of the comments Politifact has investigated have been dishonest. Furthermore, 49 percent of these comments didn’t contain a shred of truth, earning Politifact’s two lowest scores for honesty of “False” and “Pants on Fire"."

Senator Elizabeth Warren Speaks on Health Care

Voting Machine Digital Ballot Images Could Let Public Recount Elections, But Many Locales Aren't Saving or Sharing This Data @alternet

Voting Machine Digital Ballot Images Could Let Public Recount Elections, But Many Locales Aren't Saving or Sharing This Data @alternet:

"These new digital systems scan paper ballots and create exact copies; enable trackability through each link of the chain-of-custody, reconcile ballots by precinct, and empower anyone to audit and verify election results."

WATCH: Samantha Bee Rips Attorney General Sessions on His Hideous Drug Policies @alternet

WATCH: Samantha Bee Rips Attorney General Sessions on His Hideous Drug Policies @alternet: The Full Frontal host slices and dices the 'apple-cheeked hate goblin' in a bleakly hilarious critique of his embrace of longer drug sentences. Samantha Bee ripped into Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his embrace of a return to harsh drug war sentencing policies on Full Frontal this week. By directing federal prosecutors to seek the most serious charges possible in drug cases, Sessions is undoing long overdue sentencing reforms embraced by both the Obama administration and Congress.

Sanders Floor Speech on Republican Health Care Plan

In an Aging Nation, Single-Payer Is the Alternative to Dying Under Austerity

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40930-in-an-aging-nation-single-payer-is-the-alternative-to-dying-under-austerity
"Meanwhile, the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that passed the House last month would gut ACA provisions that kept insurance companies from gouging older customers and cut $839 billion from Medicaid over the next decade. The bill would increase private insurance rates for older people with lower incomes and leave 5.1 million people between the ages of 50 and 65 without insurance by 2026, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Despite the popular misconception that Medicare covers all of seniors' health care needs, millions of Americans over 65 are also enrolled in Medicaid. Elderly people would certainly suffer if the program saw deep cuts. The proposed cuts to Medicaid are generally unpopular, and the Republican House bill has slumped in the polls. The repeal effort has recently stalled in the Senate due to deep divisions among Republicans. However, reports now indicate that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been hammering out a compromise on Medicaid behind closed doors, with the goal of holding a vote on a Senate repeal package before a July 4 recess. A repeal is not a given, but it will take a sustained push from those who value affordable health care for low-income and working families to prevent a repeal while the GOP has a majority in Congress. Amid this crucial resistance, a renewed push has also emerged for the creation of something different: a single-payer system. A House bill for a "Medicare for All" health plan has more co-sponsors than ever among progressive Democrats, and grassroots activists are rolling out campaigns across the country. When it comes to the issue of how to best serve elderly patients, advocates say guaranteeing health coverage for everyone would help prepare the system for an aging nation."

Trump, You're Debunked: California Has Added Jobs and Cut Emissions—at the Same Time @alternet

Trump, You're Debunked: California Has Added Jobs and Cut Emissions—at the Same Time @alternet:

"In withdrawing from the landmark Paris climate agreement June 1, President Trump tried to set up a false conflict between the "well-being of American citizens" and the "economic burden" of honoring commitments to reduce emissions. Yet California is hardly hurting as it leads the way on climate progress. Enacting climate-friendly policies has proven to be an economic asset to California, one that delivers cleaner air, jobs, and opportunity."

Franken: Where Is GOP's "Terrific" Health Care Bill Trump Promised? - Full Speech

Global renewables rise from the ashes of coal’s collapse

https://thinkprogress.org/biggest-drop-in-global-coal-production-ever-70177840e53d
"While President Donald Trump touts a new coal mine that provides fewer jobs than a typical supermarket, the world is switching off coal at a stunning pace to create millions of new clean energy jobs. World coal production had its biggest drop ever last year, 230 million tons of oil equivalent (mtoe), BP reported Tuesday in its 2017 Statistical Review of World Energy. China led the way with a 7.9 percent decline in coal production (140 mtoe), followed by the U.S. with a 19 percent drop (85 mtoe). And while Trump is proposing to gut clean energy funding by a staggering 70 percent, the world saw the largest jump ever in renewable power production last year. Of particular note among BP’s findings regarding renewable energy: For the first time, China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s biggest producer of non-hydro renewables."

Donald Trump is handing the federal government over to fossil fuel interests

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/6/13/15681498/trump-government-fossil-fuels
"Trump has been erratic and unpredictable in many ways, but when it comes to fossil fuels, there is no wavering. The administration has moved with remarkable speed and consistency to prosecute the industry’s interests — stocking government agencies with industry-friendly staff, removing regulatory constraints, and hacking away at support for competitors — without any resistance from Congress or its base. The Washington Post calls the takeover of the federal government by fossil fuel interests a “breathtaking power grab.” But they didn’t have to grab anything. They barely had to lift a finger. Trump and the GOP are already united in doing their bidding."

Sen Klobuchar: MN Wants To Know What's In GOP Health Care Bill - Full Speech

The GOP is working stealthily to shred health and financial protections for ordinary Americans

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gop-is-working-stealthily-to-shred-health-and-financial-protections-for-ordinary-americans/2017/06/13/4ee9f190-4f8a-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?utm_term=.c4e92a02d540
"While Trump scandals dominate the headlines, Republicans are quietly working on legislation that could hurt millions."

How the Republican Coward Caucus is about to sell out its own constituents — in secret

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/06/13/how-the-republican-coward-caucus-is-about-to-sell-out-its-own-constituents-in-secret/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.7dbdf785eeef
"A bill of stunning cruelty, crafted in secret, and all that stands in its way is a bunch of weak-kneed GOP senators."

Sen Markey Blasts GOP Secretive Health Care Bill- Full Senate Speech

Trump’s brand of populism goes out of its way to help Wall Street

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trumps-brand-populism-goes-out-its-way-help-wall-street
"In February, Trump spoke at CPAC and assured conservatives, “The GOP will be, from now on, the party also of the American worker…. We will not answer to donors or lobbyists or special interests.” It was as audacious a lie as any Trump has ever told."

Republicans lack public support for new health care scheme

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/republicans-lack-public-support-new-health-care-scheme
"Republicans are no doubt aware of this. Indeed, it helps explain why they’re trying so desperately to legislate in secret. But as an electoral matter, for GOP policymakers to ignore Americans’ attitudes on life-and-death legislation is to play with fire. Given partisan instincts and widespread tribalism, it takes effort to come up with a proposal as unpopular as the Republican health care plan – but they’ve managed to pull it off anyway."

Sen Cortez Masto: GOP Healthcare Bill "Insult" To American People- Full Speech On Senate Floor

Jeff Sessions moves forward with his regressive drug war

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/jeff-sessions-moves-forward-his-regressive-drug-war
"It was clear before the election that a Donald Trump victory would almost certainly take the country backwards on drug policy. Sessions is now helping prove the point."

Senate Trumpcare Bill As Devastating For People With Pre-Existing Conditions As House Version | Crooks and Liars

Senate Trumpcare Bill As Devastating For People With Pre-Existing Conditions As House Version | Crooks and Liars

"Senate Republicans are going to try to sell this bill as a kinder, gentler Trumpcare. Don't let them. If you have a Republican senator call them through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and let them know you won't be fooled."

Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren DESTROY "Cowardly" Republican Health Care Bill

Think you're safe from Trumpcare in your blue state? Think again

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/12/1671100/-Think-you-re-safe-from-Trumpcare-in-your-blue-state-Think-again
"There is really no one who will escape the disastrous effects of Trumpcare if it passes. If you've got a pre-existing condition, you're screwed. If you're on Medicare, you're not safe, either. If you're a child, it's potentially catastrophic. If you have insurance through your employer, you're sunk, too. You might feel shielded because you live in a blue state, with a Democratic governor or legislature, and you think the waivers for states that would make the Affordable Care Act's provisions protecting people with pre-existing conditions won't be taken by your lawmakers. But that's probably not how it's going to work, say most experts, refuting the claim made by Republicans like Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) who told people not to get worked up"

Senate Republicans Hope You Won’t Notice They’re About to Repeal Obamacare

http://billmoyers.com/story/senate-republicans-hope-wont-notice-theyre-repeal-obamacare/
"Quickly and in secret — that’s how lawmakers operate when they’re about to pass legislation that is both harmful and deeply unpopular. Last week, while everyone was distracted by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the Republican health care overhaul on fast track. His caucus is writing its bill in secret, and McConnell’s move means he could bring the legislation up for a vote anytime, without holding a single public hearing. All signs indicate that Senate Republicans are preparing to copy their colleagues in the House and jam through a massively destructive piece of legislation before the public knows what’s going on."

Democrats Push Back As GOP Sneaks Health Bill In Secrecy

Senate Republicans ask Trump administration to kneecap Obamacare

https://thinkprogress.org/senate-republicans-seek-end-to-obamacare-regulation-e4be39bb539b
"Even as they seek to repeal the Affordable Care Act, GOP lawmakers look for ways to undo it from the inside."

Senate Trumpcare bill as devastating for people with pre-existing conditions as the House version

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/12/1670435/-Senate-Trumpcare-bill-as-devastating-for-people-with-pre-existing-conditions-as-the-House-version
"As a result, people with pre-existing conditions in waiver states would face significantly higher costs and find it much harder to find insurance plans that actually covered treatment for even relatively common conditions such as mental health problems or diabetes."

Voter Suppression Accusations Against GOP Persist

The Unstoppable Green Power Revolution

The Unstoppable Green Power Revolution:

"Now we have the Trump/Koch oligarchs fighting renewables at every turn. They are rushing to assure Detroit that fuel efficiency is once again not a concern and electric cars will never come. They are working to pull back investments and progress in renewables. The jobs, says Trump, are in the coal mines and pipelines, and in subsidized oil and gas fracking projects. Trump is trying to lead the nation in the wrong direction. More than a quarter-million Americans now work in the solar industry. Almost a hundred thousand more work in wind. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, jobs dedicated to increasing energy efficiency employed more than 830,000 in 2014, with up to 1.9 million possible by 2050. Musk’s SolarCity, part of a burgeoning project known as the Buffalo Billion, will be by far that city’s biggest employer, and installing the solar panels it produces will employ thousands more. According to the Independent, more Americans now work in solar power than in all of America’s coal mines, oil fields, and gas extraction operations combined."

Trump budget would devastate vulnerable Southern communities

https://www.facingsouth.org/2017/05/trump-budget-would-devastate-vulnerable-southern-communities
"Southern communities where poverty rates and food insecurity are high and employment opportunities are scarce would feel the cuts particularly hard."

Trump Infrastructure Plan Lays the Foundation to Build Corporate Corruption and Greed

Donald Trump in Wonderland: Literally everything our president says and does reflects the opposite of reality

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/13/donald-trump-in-wonderland-literally-everything-our-president-says-and-does-reflects-the-opposite-of-reality/
"Everything that’s real is fake and everything that’s fake is real."

Donald Trump "loves those vets" but blocked a veterans group on Twitter

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/13/15792822/trump-twitter-blocks-vote-vets-progressive-twitter-war
"The president’s Twitter account is an official arm of the White House. If veterans choose to address the Trump by tweeting at him, it’s likely because that seems to be his most favored method of communication — at all hours of the day and night. And being president means Trump doesn’t really have the luxury of picking and choosing which veterans he commands. He commands all of them. And if they have a grievance, it would behoove him to listen, rather than close his virtual ears."

Trump Cutting Drug Treatment Programs Mid-Opioid Epidemic

Trump's lies and Russian propaganda become a potent and inseparable weapon

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/9/1669164/-Trump-s-lies-and-Russian-propaganda-become-a-potent-and-inseparable-weapon
"Donald Trump is no friend of the truth—he's got no mind for details, lies liberally whenever it suits him, is uniquely vulnerable to conspiracy theories and perhaps has no grasp on reality at all. But Trump's penchant for telling bold-faced lies has become extra dangerous in the hands of a diffuse network of Russian operatives and bots. As former FBI agent and cybersecurity expert Clint Watts explained to NPR in April, the tag-team effect of Russian media playing off Trump and vice versa is like a revolving door of misinformation."

Putin, Russia, The Religious Right – And The Trump Base

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/9/1670247/-Putin-Russia-The-Religious-Right-And-The-Trump-Base
"One of the less well-reported stories of Russia's role in American public life is the relationship between Moscow and key players of movement conservatism – particularly among those of the Religious Right. Indeed, it may very well explain how the president may be maintaining his popularity among one of his core constituencies. As recent as a decade ago if any objective political observer were to have warned about an admiration of Russian political motives by anyone on the American Right, the commentary would have been met with highly audible guffaws. Not anymore. This is not your father’s Russia. Indeed, Russia is clearly on the path to becoming an authoritarian state tinged with Mussolini-style fascism.  President Putin has displayed a particular disdain for Western liberal democracy, evidenced by the way he has surrounded himself with, vehemently anti-liberal thinkers. Alexander Dugin immediately comes to mind. It is in Dugin’s writings and pronouncements that we begin to understand why many fringe conservatives; especially those of the Religious Right would admire Putin’s increasingly authoritarian agenda."

Naomi Klein: How to Resist Trump's Shock Doctrine

Crafted by Wall Street Titans, Trump Treasury Plan Latest Consumer Betrayal

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/13/crafted-wall-street-titans-trump-treasury-plan-latest-consumer-betrayal
"But as Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) noted, the industry couldn't have been surprised by the report's contents, given that banking groups were consulted heavily during its creation. As Brown wrote in a statement, "Treasury consulted with banking industry groups at a ratio of 17-to-1 over consumer groups when formulating the report." Brown concluded by providing a list that starkly illustrates where Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, looked for advice. Government Entities: 18 Consumer Advocates: 14 Academics: 13 Think Tanks: 15 Banking Industry Groups: 244"

Jeff Sessions continues his obsession with a war on drugs, this time targeting medical marijuana

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/13/1671413/-Jeff-Sessions-continues-his-obsession-with-a-war-on-drugs-this-time-targeting-medical-marijuana
"Cracking down on medical marijuana doesn’t seem to have support from anyone, not some Republicans, not even from Trump himself. When he was a candidate, he supported the right of states to decide on their own policies as well as state-level medical marijuana regulations. Then again, he gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “the devil is a liar.” No one knows what Trump really believes. Does he even know? It’s doubtful. What we do know, however, is that he and this entire administration specialize in deceit and harm."

Full Interview: Naomi Klein on "No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics"

The Worst of Donald Trump’s Toxic Agenda Is Lying in Wait – A Major U.S. Crisis Will Unleash It

https://theintercept.com/2017/06/10/the-worst-of-donald-trumps-toxic-agenda-is-lying-in-wait-a-major-u-s-crisis-will-unleash-it/
"A centerpiece of Trump’s economic project so far has been a flurry of financial deregulation that makes economic shocks and disasters distinctly more likely. Trump has announced plans to dismantle Dodd-Frank, the most substantive piece of legislation introduced after the 2008 banking collapse. Dodd-Frank wasn’t tough enough, but its absence will liberate Wall Street to go wild blowing new bubbles, which will inevitably burst, creating new economic shocks. Trump and his team are not unaware of this, they are simply unconcerned — the profits from those market bubbles are too tantalizing. Besides, they know that since the banks were never broken up, they are still too big to fail, which means that if it all comes crashing down, they will be bailed out again, just like in 2008. (In fact, Trump issued an executive order calling for a review of the specific part of Dodd-Frank designed to prevent taxpayers from being stuck with the bill for another such bailout — an ominous sign, especially with so many former Goldman executives making White House policy.) Some members of the administration surely also see a few coveted policy options opening up in the wake of a good market shock or two. During the campaign, Trump courted voters by promising not to touch Social Security or Medicare. But that may well be untenable, given the deep tax cuts on the way (and the fictional math beneath the claims that they will pay for themselves). His proposed budget already begins the attack on Social Security and an economic crisis would give Trump a handy excuse to abandon those promises altogether. In the midst of a moment being sold to the public as economic Armageddon, Betsy DeVos might even have a shot at realizing her dream of replacing public schools with a system based on vouchers and charters."

Republican Healthcare Plan Will Cost U.S. 1 Million Jobs, At Least

The House GOP health care bill is a job killer, says a new report

https://thinkprogress.org/ahca-job-killer-new-york-11c09483dde0
"In addition to potentially increasing the number of uninsured by 23 million and being unequivocally unpopular, House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan could leave nearly a million people unemployed."