Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Republican Party Proves It Loves Power More Than Truth Itself @alternet

The Republican Party Proves It Loves Power More Than Truth Itself @alternet:

"To call Donald Trump and his administration corrupt and mendacious is to make the most obvious of statements. Too easy, really. Because if Trump and his boys have tread the path toward treason, so too has the entire Republican Party."

Warnings as GOP Aims to Gut Protections for Endangered Species
"The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a formal pledge by the federal government "to conserve to the extent practicable the various species of fish or wildlife and plants facing extinction." It was passed almost unanimously by Congress in 1973, following similar measures enacted in the 1960s. For more than four decades, the ESA has helped save from extinction 99 percent of species it covers, including the gray whale and the bald eagle."

GOP senator says Trump should just sign health care bill even if he doesn’t know what’s in it
"On Wednesday, President Trump revealed profound confusion about how health insurance works, suggesting to the New York Times that he thinks people can buy coverage for $12 a year. Asked about Trump’s comments during an MSNBC interview Thursday morning, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) defended the president, saying he’s “about broad principles,” not specifics. But Cassidy — who publicly expressed concern about the version of Trumpcare that went down in flames earlier this week, and has proposed his own replacement plan — took things a step further. He went on to say that he doesn’t think it’s important for the president to understand the details health care legislation at all."

Does Trump Even Know What A Pre-Existing Conditions Is??

Trump Vacations While Slashing Summer Programs for Low-Income Kids
"President Donald Trump’s frequent and lavish vacations have been well documented. He has been away on vacation at his resorts in Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster Township more than 40 percent of the weekends he has been president, asking taxpayers to foot a record-breaking $28.6 million bill. The job of president is grueling and taking some vacation is understandable. But Trump seems to have two standards for spending taxpayer dollars. When it comes to his own vacations at his family’s properties, money is no object. After all, it’s going back into his family’s own pockets anyway. But when it comes to the nation’s children, his Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney emphasizes that the government needs to eliminate summer enrichment programs for low-income children out of “compassion” for the taxpayer."

Trump’s Downward Spiral Accelerates As He Is Averaging Almost 5 Lies A Day
"President Trump makes a lot of false claims. So many that The Washington Post was obliged to track the lies of “the most fact-challenged politician that The Fact Checker has ever encountered.” They found that Trump averaged 4.9 false or misleading claims a day after the first 100 days. Now, at the six month mark, Trump is averaging 4.6 false or misleading claims a day.  Trump has taken to adding “I think” to his false claims, in hopes of getting dinged less by the fact checkers. This, it seems, is the New Republican Exceptionalism. However, even with all of his mighty effort to turn his feelings into facts, Trump averages almost 5 lies a day. Trump’s tally at the six month mark is 836 false or misleading claims, according to The Post."

Enabling a Dangerous President: The Jared Kushner Timeline
"Eventually, the public will learn the full story of Jared Kushner’s role in the controversies enveloping the Trump White House — and to what extent he shares responsibility for them. Like many of the lawyers surrounding and enabling Trump, Kushner has retained a personal attorney to help him navigate the troubled waters engulfing the White House."

What Medicaid Cuts Would Mean to Our Children

Trump Thinks Healthcare Costs ONE DOLLAR Per Month

Pardon Me? Trump Gives an Interview and Hell Breaks Loose
"Trump sounded nervous, and rightly so. His son took a meeting with a Russian accused of international money-laundering, a former Soviet counter-intelligence officer with ties to the international hacker community, and a Russian attorney devoted to lifting the sanctions against a bunch of Russian oligarchs who had their assets seized after the man who exposed their massive money-laundering operation died in prison -- all this, it seems, in service to the Russian government's professed desire to help the Trump campaign.  An investigation by former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara into Russian money-laundering with ties to "Manhattan real estate entities" ended when Bharara was fired by Trump. That investigation has been folded into Mueller's. The lawyer representing the Russian being investigated by Bharara was the lawyer at Trump Jr.'s meeting. Yeah, I'd be nervous, too. At the end of the conversation, Trump refused to say whether he would fire Mueller if he took the investigation in that direction because, Trump said, "I don't think it's going to happen." It happened, almost immediately. The next morning, Bloomberg News revealed that Robert Mueller is, in fact, pursuing an investigation into the financial dealings not only of Trump, but of Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and perhaps others. By Thursday evening, The Washington Post was reporting that Trump was in the mood to talk about his pardoning powers: "Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe … A second person said Trump's lawyers have been discussing the president's pardoning powers among themselves. " This is, simply, unprecedented. Of course, every single president at some point probably joked about pardoning themselves. Trump is the first president to really mean it. Even Nixon had more shame than that. The "red line" has been crossed, and all the secrets are waiting for daylight."

Bernie Sanders Calls Trumpcare The Most Anti-Working Class Legislation Ever

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Analysis | President Trump’s first six months: The fact-check tally
"In six months, President Trump has made 836 false or misleading claims. Often, he has said the same false thing over and over again."

Trump's Warning to Mueller Proves, Again, That It's All About the Money
"We can safely assume that special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into all of this, and more, but the outline of the essential corruption never has been clearer. The Trumps needed money and the Russians needed to clean a lot of it. Cui bono? Res Ipse loquitur. All of the rest of it, the dodging and weaving and, most recently, the unveiled threats to fire Mueller and unilaterally end the investigations, the almost blithe assault on all democratic norms and institutions, spin out from the possibility that Donald Trump needed money to continue to be Donald Trump to the world, and to himself, and that the easiest place to get that money was from the Russians."

Why did Deutsche Bank give Donald Trump loans when no one else would trust him
"Donald Trump’s recent history with banks has been … not good. By the 2000s, the property developer and casino owner with ready access to the capital markets and the biggest New York banks was no more. A series of corporate bankruptcies had limited his financing options. That was also the period in which Eric Trump said: “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” But that’s not quite true. There was one bank out there which was still willing to extend massive loans to Donald Trump, in spite of his extremely checkered financial history. The big question is: Why? Banking regulators are reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Mr. Trump’s businesses through Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management unit, which caters to an ultrarich clientele, according to three people briefed on the review who were not authorized to speak publicly. Those loans exposed Deutsche Bank to some extreme risks. That is, unless someone was underwriting the loans and limiting their potential loss. As Donald Trump growls about the possibility of Special Counsel Robert Mueller intruding on his “personal” space, these loans are already part of the information Mueller is examining. And there are reasons to be suspicious beyond the oddity of a bank dropping hundreds of millions on someone who had a record of losing money faster than he could borrow it. The activity Deutsche Bank engaged in that resulted in over $600 million of fines was borne out of the bank’s desire to move $10 billion out of Russia — in what one regulator said were transactions “highly suggestive of financial crime.” That scheme involved shuffling the money through another bank. A bank on Cyprus. This bank. Agents are also interested in dealings with the Bank of Cyprus, where Wilbur Ross served as vice chairman before he became commerce secretary. The connections on both ends make it very much seem that Deutsche Bank was in the middle of the Russian oligarch—Donald Trump pipeline."

Republicans Have Yet Another Health Care Bill. This One Would Leave 22 Million More Uninsured.
"The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is out with yet another report on yet another Republican proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare. And yet again, the CBO is projecting that 22 million fewer people would have health insurance as a result of the legislation."

Lawrence And Maddow On Donald Trump's Probe Of Pardon Powers

The President of the United States thinks health insurance costs $12 per year
"Other comments from Trump’s interview with the Times reveal that the president might not understand what health insurance is."

The Trump administration melts down—and McConnell STILL tries to take health care away from millions
"All hell is breaking lose at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Popular vote loser Donald Trump is actually trying to figure out if he can pardon himself and all of his family because of their Russia connections—connections that are just getting deeper and deeper and smack dab in the middle of the Kremlin. He's openly talking about firing Robert Mueller, the guy looking into those connections, essentially confirming that yeah, he's in Putin's pocket. His legal team is in turmoil, his White House staff is in turmoil. He just conducted an interview with The New York Times in which he demonstrated, repeatedly that he is losing what he had of his mind. Calling this a circus is an insult to the institution of the circus. And in the middle of all of that, after having declared defeat but being beaten back into submission by the deranged ring-master himself, Mitch McConnell is going to force his caucus into voting to take health insurance away from 22 million people. Even worse, a possible majority of that caucus is A-Okay with that, or he wouldn't still be trying. He's actually using all this confusion to force this vote. All as if it's business as usually as he horse-trades peoples lives away. They are about ready to vote to sentence untold tens of thousands of people to death—because that's what Obamacare repeal will do—and very possibly end their own careers. All for a president who might just have been elected by Vladimir Putin, and even if he wasn't, is working hard to make sure Putin gets to pull the strings of our government. This is not normal."

WaPo: Intel Intercepts Show Sessions, Kislyak Talked Donald Trump Russia

Here’s Exactly How Many People Will Be Uninsured Under Each Republican Health Care Bill
"Over the past few months, Republicans have trotted out a variety of ideas for killing Obamacare. Each of their various bills has shared one key trait: They would all leave tens of millions more Americans without health insurance."

Nation's doctors demand Republicans pull the plug on Trumpcare, work to shore up Obamacare
"Every major health advocacy group opposes it. The vast majority of the voting population opposes repeal."

For Facts Sake: U.S. Health Care Lags Others

Friday, July 21, 2017

Nixon’s Justice Department warned that the president can’t pardon himself
"This decades-old memo is likely to take on new significance, as another president caught up in a criminal investigation reportedly is considering a self-pardon. The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that Donald Trump “has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection” with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russian connections."

Former Trump associate Felix Sater helped fugitive Kazakhs in visa scheme

Former Trump associate Felix Sater helped fugitive Kazakhs in visa scheme

"Felix Sater, an ex-con and onetime senior adviser in the Trump Organization, helped the Trump family scout deals in Russia. He led an effort that began in 2012 to assist the stepchildren of Viktor Khrapunov, who that year had been placed on an international detention request list by the global police agency Interpol."

Trump Is Trying To Figure Out How To Pardon Himself And His Family

Trump could place himself in even more legal jeopardy if he pardons his inner circle
"Thursday night, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump “has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection” with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. If he does so, he is playing with fire. No one actually knows if Trump can pardon himself, as previous presidents typically avoided criminal activity — and those that did break the law did not use their official powers in such a transparently self-serving way. Though the president’s power to pardon other people is nearly limitless, many legal scholars believe that a president cannot issue a self-pardon for much the same reason that a judge cannot sit on their own case. But there’s also a very real danger to Trump if he starts doling out pardons to his inner circle. As Keith Harper, an attorney and former Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council under President Obama, first pointed out on Twitter, a pardon would protect Trump’s confidants from prosecution for past acts— but it could also strip them of their Fifth Amendment right to refuse to give self-incriminating testimony."

Trump declares war on rule of law, attacks every top law enforcement official in America
"Trump dismissed the entire notion of FBI independence, saying that the FBI Director only reports to the Justice Department “out of courtesy,” blaming the practice on Richard Nixon. Taken together, Trump’s comments amount to a full scale assault on the rule of law from an increasingly paranoid president."

Trump Gives A Truly Insane Interview: Slanders Comey And Sessions And Threatens Mueller | Crooks and Liars

Trump Gives A Truly Insane Interview: Slanders Comey And Sessions And Threatens Mueller | Crooks and Liars

"So we are still going with the "adoption" story? He continued (lying) and said “I actually talked about Russian adoption with him. Which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don had in that meeting.” This is a lie. Sessions and Comey had no comment. No one else cared to respond. Putin is probably laughing somewhere. Sessions may be in the fetal position crying. Comey is writing his memoirs. Mueller is adding this to the insane stack of evidence he has. When a defendant starts talking, what does a good detective do? Nothing. Let them go. Keep talking, Donnie. Keep on talking."

WaPo: Donald Trump Seeks Advice On Pardoning Himself, Family Members

Manafort owed $17 million to 'pro-Russia interests' before joining Trump campaign for free
"So to recap: Real estate and political consulting entrepreneur Paul Manafort, who had previously worked on behalf of pro-Russian interests in Ukraine, owed "pro-Russian interests" roughly $17 million dollars as of December of 2015. In March he went to work for the Donald Trump campaign—but requested no salary, despite being apparently deeply in debt, instead working for free, thus landing him in, for example, meetings involving government-connected Russians offering up intelligence on his opponent. Then, after Donald Trump is elected, Paul Manafort is curiously given roughly $16 million-ish in loans from a Chicago bank that would seemingly be only barely capable of loaning him such money."

CBO: Mitch McConnell’s Latest Health Care Bill Would Leave 32 Million More Uninsured
"Whether they do repeal-and-replace or straight repeal, the results would be devastating."

Here’s what Mitch McConnell wants to do to the U.S. health care system
"Whether they do repeal-and-replace or straight repeal, the results would be devastating."

Resignation Watch: Donald Trump Lashes Jeff Sessions, Justice Officials

Trump levels another threat at insurers, Obamacare
"Trump has every intention of destroying Obamacare, and he and his fellow Republicans are going to be the ones who take the blame for that."

Why Not Call It Treason? @alternet

Why Not Call It Treason? @alternet:

"The claim that the Trump campaign had no contact with the Russians and that the charge of collusion was “disgusting” has morphed into the claim that collusion with a foreign power is just “politics,” and doesn’t meet the legal definition of treason. The goal of this strategy is to exculpate Team Trump from criminal charges as new facts emerge. There’s no reason why Trump’s critics need to play along. The commonsense definition of treason is “betrayal of country,” the standard that Team Trump has interpreted broadly for its own purposes."

AG Jeff Sessions Will Be A Witness Against President Donald Trump

Eighth Participant In Meeting With Trump Jr. Once Linked to Russian Money Laundering
"A Russian-American lawyer who attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with key members of Donald Trump’s inner circle, including Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, was once at the center of a US government investigation into Russian money laundering."

Seriously? New GOP Budget Would Defund Election Security Agency
"Despite an ongoing investigation into the hacking of voting systems in more than a dozen states during the 2016 presidential election, the new budget blueprint from House Republicans includes a provision to defund the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), which the Wall Street Journal notes is "the sole federal agency that exclusively works to ensure the voting process is secure." Since it was established in 2002, the EAC has been under almost constant attack by the Republican Party. Earlier this year, the House Administration Committee voted 6-3 along party lines to eliminate the agency entirely. As The Atlantic's Russell Berman noted in February, "GOP attempts to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission have passed out of committee but not made it to the House floor for a vote in the last four years." Because they have failed repeatedly to eliminate the agency, Republicans now appear content to strip it of the funds it needs to operate effectively."

The Ultimate Hypocrisy? Trump Plan to Renegotiate NAFTA Resembles TPP Deal He Withdrew From

How Trump the Populist Became Trump the Corporate Shill
"After a meeting with Big Pharma executives in February, he backed down on his tough talk. This summer, this shameful retreat accelerated as evidenced by leaked White House documents detailing potential regulatory rollbacks sought by the industry but omitting any steps to lower drug prices. Why the turnaround? White House aide Joe Grogan, a former lobbyist for pharmaceutical giant Gilead, played a key role in this move, according to Kaiser Health News, which reported that the documents contained text "cribbed directly from policy papers" published by the main pharmaceutical industry lobbying group. Over at the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical's CEO just before deciding not to ban a Dow pesticide from being sprayed on food. Nancy Beck, a new official who formerly worked at a chemical industry lobbying group, played a key role in watering down the implementation of a crucial toxic chemicals rule, clashing with career experts in the process. And a coal industry lawyer appears likely to take the No. 2 job at EPA, beating out a coal industry lobbyist also considered for the job. These examples are representative rather than exceptional. Corporate America has captured the Trump administration. Public Citizen's research has found that more than 70% of Trump's picks for top sub-Cabinet jobs have clear corporate ties. In Trump's Washington, the populism of the campaign has been overtaken by conventional corporate cronyism on a grand scale. After his famous pledge to "drain the swamp," Trump issued a weak executive order allowing former lobbyists to immediately join the administration and then granted waivers to top White House staffers that render the ethics rules largely meaningless. For example, the White House concluded that it is "in the public interest" for Andrew Olmem, a White House aide who formerly lobbied MetLife, American Express and a major insurance trade group, to work on banking and insurance issues."

Trump’s National Anti-Labor Relations Board

Trump’s National Anti-Labor Relations Board:

"The president’s NLRB nominees portend a bleak future for American workers."

"Trump and the Russian Money Trail": Trump's Ties to Oligarchs Go Back Decades

GOP Eager to Repeal Rule that Allows Consumers to Sue Conniving Banks

GOP Eager to Repeal Rule that Allows Consumers to Sue Conniving Banks:

"Since its inception, Republicans have cast the CFPB as a liberal, job-killing, over-regulating, big-government boogeyman—a “rogue” agency with too much power and too little accountability. Meanwhile, the agency’s enforcement initiatives have returned almost $12 billion to some 27 million consumers who were defrauded in the marketplace."

Mitch McConnell Announces Plan To Harm Even More People With Obamacare Repeal Only Bill
"A stand alone repeal bill would take health care away from 32 million Americans. It is even worse than repeal and replace. If Republicans couldn’t get 50 votes for their bill that took coverage away from 22 million people, they aren’t going to get 50 votes for a bill that takes coverage away from 32 million people."

Married to the Mob: Investigative Journalist Craig Unger on What Trump Owes the Russian Mafia

Stephen Colbert kicks off “Russia Week” from the Red Square by joking about Donald Trump Jr.
"Stephen Colbert will debut not one, not two, but five field pieces this week that were taped in Russia, as “The Late Show” celebrates “Russia Week” in honor of the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Eastern European power."

Trump’s Lawyer Embarrassed After Absurd Defense for Russia Meeting is Soundly Debunked
"Donald Trump, his family, and the people he surrounds himself with have no ethics, standards, class, or morals. They will say and do anything to save their own backsides. Why anybody would trust anyone with the last name “Trump” is mind-boggling."

Trump Administration Using Obamacare Money To Run Ads Attacking Obamacare

Trump admin moves to close cyber office: ‘It’s a step back from everything done over the last ten years’

Trump admin moves to close cyber office: ‘It’s a step back from everything done over the last ten years’

"According to Healey, closing the cyber office “would mean the United States would be the only major country without a lead diplomat to discuss cyber norms and trying to reduce the ever-escalating cyberattacks we see around the world"."

Ali Velshi Deconstructs Trump's 'Made In America' Week | Crooks and Liars

Ali Velshi Deconstructs Trump's 'Made In America' Week | Crooks and Liars

"The White House kicked off a "Made In America" week to try to distract from the Russia scandal. Nice try? writes, "Today, President Donald J. Trump will host companies from across the country at the White House for the Made in America Product Showcase. The White House is highlighting and celebrating each state’s effort and commitment to American made products by bringing in and showing off products from all 50 states that are made and produced in the United States." For any other administration this would be fine, but when it comes to hypocrisy and a man using the Oval Office to enrich his own businesses, it's infuriating."

Donald Trump’s 6 Month Report Card: 991 Tweets, 836 Lies, 0 Legislative Accomplishments

Trump lawyer: Secret Service let the Russia meeting happen. Secret Service: Nope.
"The Secret Service wasn’t going to take that sitting down. In a rare rebuke, it answered Sekulow’s question — and implicitly said he was wrongly trying to use the agency as a political weapon."

Condoms don't work, smoking doesn't kill, GOP is saving Medicaid—the world class lies of Mike Pence
"His current boss aside, you’d be hard-pressed to name another politician who so openly and freely spews one lie after another."

Trump Polling Worse Than Any US President EVER

How Paul Ryan’s Hypocritical Fiscal Hysteria Threatens Working Families
"Speaker Ryan is a master at co-opting anti-deficit rhetoric to advance his agenda without being held accountable for the fiscal reality of the policies he supports. When George W. Bush was president, Rep. Ryan voted for tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a Medicare prescription drug benefit.32 Lawmakers did not pay for any of these policies. During the Bush administration, large budget surpluses turned into deficits.33 Despite this history, the conventional wisdom has been that Speaker Ryan is a “budget hawk,” and that was how the Ryan budget was marketed to the American people."

Trump grudgingly admits Obama’s Iran nuclear deal is working
"The New York Times reports that Donald Trump had an hour-long meeting with his top national security advisers last week, including the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the White House National Security Advisor, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They all told the president the same thing: he needs to preserve the international nuclear agreement with Iran. Trump, however, reportedly spent 55 minutes of the 60-minute meeting “telling them he did not want to"."

Unable To Kill Obamacare, Republicans Plot To Kill Medicare

Kansas, Sam Brownback, and the Trickle-Down Implosion

Kansas, Sam Brownback, and the Trickle-Down Implosion:

"The lessons of Sam Brownback’s disastrous experiment have become all the more important nationally as President Trump, whose economic doctrine is cut from the same cloth napkin on which Arthur Laffer first sketched his supply-side curve more than 40 years ago, tries to advance a similarly radical series of tax cuts in Washington. (Indeed, Brownback flew Laffer out to Kansas in 2012, where he was paid $75,000 to advise the legislature on the wisdom of slashing taxes, promising astounding dividends of economic growth in exchange.) Trump’s proposed budget echoes the Kansas experiment, slashing income tax rates for the wealthiest few and calling for a drastic rate cut for pass-through entities—a move that would inflict Brownback’s LLC debacle on the nation. Brownback’s should be a cautionary tale, of course, for the Republicans in Congress and the White House. Should they slash the provision of affordable health coverage to cut taxes for the rich, should they decimate government services while eliminating taxes on the wealthiest Americans, all their invocations of trickle-down economics—that the rich will invest their tax savings in job-creating enterprises, a theory disproved again, again, and again—ultimately won’t win them popular support. The fate of Sam Brownback—scorned by his state, overridden by his legislature, rejected by his party—should make that crystal clear."

Who Is Wilbur Ross?

Who Is Wilbur Ross?:

"Ross represents a class of people who put their own individual interests first, above all else. Their gains come at the expense of others—not only workers, suppliers, or creditors, but their own investors as well. While Ross was profiteering from bankruptcy proceedings at the expense of creditors and taking health and pension benefits from workers, he was mistreating his own investors as well."

Trump Thinks Healthcare Costs ONE DOLLAR Per Month

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mysterious 8th person at Trump Jr. meeting allegedly ran massive Russian money-laundering scheme
"Kaveladze is represented by Scott Balber, who has previously represented Donald Trump."

It Was Always About the Money
"It was always about the money. The reason we never saw the tax returns was because of what they would show about the money. The reason we can't get a straight answer about the family's dealings with the Russians is the money. Preet Bharara got fired because of the money and how the money had been allegedly laundered. James Comey got fired because of the money. Without the money, specifically the money from Russia, the Trump empire likely would have collapsed under a hail of writs and the paterfamilias would have been rendered invisible, even in the mirrors of Mar-a-Lago. It always was about the money. The meeting on June 6, 2016 ultimately was about the money, as we learned today from CNN. The network reported that it had identified the eighth participant in that now-famous Trump Tower confab. Contrary to the previous load of hooey dispensed by Junior and the first family, this dude was not a translator. Ike Kaveladze's identity was confirmed by his attorney, Scott Balber. Kaveladze is a senior vice president at Crocus Group, the real estate development company run by Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, according to Kaveladze's LinkedIn. His personal website says he "holds responsibility for multiple elements of the company's Russian development project"."

Trump and Putin had a second, undisclosed meeting during the G-20 summit
"If Trump did say something “out of school,” it wouldn’t be the first time he had done so while meeting privately with a top Russian official. In May, while speaking to the Russian foreign minister and another Russian diplomat in the Oval Office, he disclosed classified Israeli intelligence and bragged that he had successfully squashed an FBI investigation into his campaign’s alleged links with the Kremlin. The investigation is, in fact, still ongoing. People close to the Trump administration seem to have a habit of conducting undisclosed conversations with representatives of the Russian government — including not only the president himself, but his former national security adviser, his attorney general, and his own son."

Donald Trump, Putin Had Second, Undisclosed, Hour-Long Encounter At G20

How Circa, a Sinclair Broadcast Group subsidiary, rebuilt itself as a pro-Trump outlet
"In 2015, Sinclair bought Circa, which The Wall Street Journal described at the time as a “defunct mobile news site.” Sinclair has a history of pushing right-wing commentary that has been compared to “propaganda” and of selectively omitting stories that don’t fit its agenda. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner reportedly“struck a deal” with Sinclair during the campaign to “secure better media coverage” for then-candidate Donald Trump in exchange for “more access to Trump and the campaign.” Additionally, Sinclair has also made a series of conservative hires, including discredited former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson and former Trump White House aide Boris Epshteyn. Just this week, Sinclair announced it would be tripling the number of segments featuring Epshteyn that are sent to stations as “must-run” packages — a typical practice for the company."

The wrong president to tout ‘Made in America’ week
"What this week’s events will likely exclude is an exploration of Trump’s business practices, which have relied on product manufacturing in “a global network of factories in a dozen countries – including Bangladesh, China and Mexico.” Trump administration officials hosted a background briefing with reporters yesterday to highlight this week’s events. Asked whether the White House intends to comment about the Trump Organization’s outsourcing, a spokesperson said, “We’ll get back to you on that.” If there’s any follow-through, I’ll be curious to see what Team Trump comes up with. After all, the president, his populist-sounding rhetoric notwithstanding, has “sold foreign-made products under his name for years” and has relied extensively on foreign-made products for his hotels and properties. Trump clearly sees “Made in America” as a political winner and, as was the case during the campaign, assumes most of the public won’t look too closely at his own record on the subject."

NY Subpoenas Records On Huge Manafort Loans From Small Bank: WSJ

Why Republicans Want the 2020 Census to Fail
"Under cover of the non-stop Trump circus, they are quietly working behind the scenes to ensure that the 2020 census fails – and fails to their advantage."

Trump’s lawyer makes a curious argument about the Secret Service
"In a statement released yesterday, a spokesperson for the Secret Service said Donald Trump Jr., who helped organize the meeting in order to receive campaign information from the Russian government, did not have a protective detail at the time. “Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the USSS in June, 2016,” the statement said. “Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time.” It’s worth noting for context that the Secret Service rarely weighs in on political debates, but with the president’s lawyer giving misleading information about the agency’s work to a national television audience, the Secret Service apparently felt the need to clarify matters yesterday."

A Timeline of Treason | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

On infamous Russia meeting, Trump’s story keeps evolving
"We’ve gone from denials of contacts to denials of collusion to a bogus narrative about adoption policy to an argument that colluding with foreign nationals to win an election is just “politics.” When politicians argue, more than once, that we should disregard their previous claims and only focus on their new claims, there’s a problem."

Fox News moves from slanted reporting, to active involvement in cover-up of collusion
"Who told Fox News to move from the position that there was no collusion, to the idea that collusion wasn’t wrong?"

Trump's Been Trying To Lift Russia Sanctions Since Day One

Around Half of Trump Voters Don't Believe Don Junior Met with Russians Despite Repeated Confessions
"Yeah, so it appears as if a majority of Trump voters don't believe that Junior met with Russian government operatives even though Junior, as well as the president himself, confessed that the meeting took place. He not only confessed, but he did so in writing.  Further verifying the meeting, Trump tweeted about it today, making it seem as if the obvious collusion was politics-as-usual. While we're here, it's more than a little hilarious to see the president and his fanboys on Fox News defending this meeting as if it was no big deal -- as if there aren't countless other reports illustrating the broader extent of the Trump-Russia conspiracy to hijack the 2016 election. Even if Junior's meeting was nothing (it's not nothing -- it's treason), there are so many other fronts in this story, many of which are being actively pursued by congressional committees and, naturally, the special counsel and his team of "untouchables." Don't be shocked if you overhear Trumpers denying the roundness of the Earth, or that humans can't breathe under water. When a majority of Republican Trump voters are this detached from objective reality, especially knowing that reality, or a version of reality, has been confirmed by their own guys, including Trump, they're willing to believe or disbelieve anything. Are they unaware of the confession? Maybe. It's unclear whether Fox News is spending much time on the story, given how the confession is what it is -- concrete verification of a criminal conspiracy to meddle with the election and beyond. But if they're aware of the confession and yet refuse to accept it, it proves that around half of Trump's voters are completely delusional and disconnected from reality. It also indicates that it'll be nearly impossible for any of them to be redeemed and returned to sanity."

Trump's Lawyer Tries OBVIOUS Lie To Protect Don Jr.

White House announces 'Made in America' week, refuses to say if Trump family will, you know, do that
"In fact, Made in America week seems to have been crafted for the singular purpose of giving all of America's media outlets a fresh chance to mock the Trump family's notorious inability to make their products in America. We know the White House brain trust has been preoccupied as of late, but it still seems like they perhaps ought to have better thought this one through."

This is how the Kochs’ anti-renewable agenda becomes White House policy
"President-elect Donald Trump raised eyebrows late last year when he named the head of an obscure right-wing think tank, with close ties to petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, to lead his energy transition team. Since then, officials from the Institute for Energy Research (IER) have been appointed to high-level positions at the Department of Energy where they are playing major roles in implementing pro-fossil fuel, anti-renewable energy policies."

Sean Spicer Says It Is “Inappropriate” To Ask If Trump Will Make His Goods In The U.S.

More people support Trump impeachment now than Nixon at the start of Watergate
"This comes at a time when Trump’s approval ratings are at an all-time low, just 6 months after taking office. A Washington Post/ABC poll released Sunday put Trump’s approval rating at 36%, down 6 points from April. A Bloomberg poll from Monday, meanwhile, puts him at 40%. These results also mirror Nixon’s own ratings at the same point in his presidency — 39% approval, 49% disapproval. 1973 was a critical year for Watergate. It is the year Senate hearings were televised, a special prosecutor was appointed (and later fired in the “Saturday Night Massacre” which additionally led to resignations of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General), and Nixon declared that he was “not a crook.” All the while, his approval ratings did not reach the level of Trump’s current ratings until after the “Watergate Seven” were indicted, 4 months before Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. Trump has one advantage that Nixon did not: a shield of Republican lawmakers in Congress."

Tom Price Says Insurers Should ‘Dust Off How They Did Business Before Obamacare’
"Prior to Obamacare, 79 million — more than one in four Americans — either lacked health insurance or were underinsured."

Trump's 'Made In America Week' Backfires BIGLY

Joy Reid Humiliates Trump Defender, Fact-Checks His Conspiracy Theory Live (Video)
"We need more people to do what Joy Reid did on Sunday by fact-checking the lies and conspiracies conservatives are out there trying to con people into believing live, on-air, directly to their faces."

Trump Announces 'Made In America Week', But Family Merchandise Still Made in Asian Sweat Shops
"Trump is holding a "Made In America Showcase" on Monday afternoon, but he'll be about the only thing there named Trump that was produced in this country. On Wednesday he is supposed to sign a "Made In America Week" proclamation."

Donald Trump, Jr. Meeting With Russian Lawyer Alleged ‘Treasonous’

You Won't Believe How Much Time Trump Has Actually Spent Playing Golf Since He Took Office @alternet

You Won't Believe How Much Time Trump Has Actually Spent Playing Golf Since He Took Office @alternet: He's visited courses three time more frequently than his past three predecessors combined. When he wasn't questioning Obama's place of birth, Donald Trump spent much of the latter's presidency criticizing him for playing too much golf. But new research finds that Trump has hit the links nearly a quarter of his days in office—22 percent, or 37 of his first 170 days.

Office of Government Ethics head: America is 'pretty close to a laughingstock at this point'
"Outgoing Office of Government Ethics head Walter Shaub has made it loud and clear that he's resigning due to the agency's inability to enforce much of anything in the face of the ethics-averse Donald Trump."

Republican "Fiscal Conservatives" ALWAYS Balloon Debt To Justify Cuts

You need to watch this senator go after Trump budget on official who won't answer simple question
"Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester has been very vocal about how bogus the Trump administration’s positions on virtually everything under the sun are, and his exchange with Weahkee typifies how through the looking glass things are and how infuriating the abnormality of an oligarchical hostile takeover is."

REVEALED: Trump 2020 campaign paid $50,000 to Trump Jr’s lawyer two weeks before emails came out

REVEALED: Trump 2020 campaign paid $50,000 to Trump Jr’s lawyer two weeks before emails came out

"President Trump’s re-election campaign paying his namesake son’s criminal defense attorney was not the only bombshell in the Federal Election Commission reports, which were released Saturday. The Trump re-election campaign also payed $89,561 to the Trump Corporation for legal services, just three days after the payment to Futerfas."

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Donald Trump Jr Russian Meeting Story Unpacking Like A Nesting Doll

Donald Trump’s deep connections to dirty Russian money: The trail leads back more than 30 years
"criminals and oligarchs lived in and ran illegal activities out of Trump properties, including Trump Tower in Manhattan, for more than 30 years. They provided Trump with some of his most lucrative branding deals, the ones in which he was not required to make any personal investment. The unending flow of Russian money, Unger writes, that “provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics"."

Donald Trump's Story On Russian Lawyer Meeting Isn't Adding Up

Donald Trump Is Lying About When He Knew of Junior's Meeting with a Russian Lawyer @alternet

Donald Trump Is Lying About When He Knew of Junior's Meeting with a Russian Lawyer @alternet:

"There was no meeting. Except there was. It was just about adoptions. Except it wasn’t. Junior didn’t know the people involved. Except the family friends and business partners.  It wasn’t as if the whole meeting was introduced as just one part of a high-level Russian government effort to assist Donald Trump in securing the White House through illegal means. Except, that’s exactly how it was pitched, and how it was joyfully received."

Jared Kushner updated his security form, suddenly remembered more than 100 foreign contacts
"It is perplexing he was granted top secret clearance at all given how incomplete the initial form was when he submitted it. And now we know he privately, covertly met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin, who Sen. Chuck Grassley described as ”a former Russian military intelligence officer who acts as an “unregistered agent for Russian interests and apparently has ties to Russian intelligence.” When you add it all up, it is extremely troubling Jared Kushner still has top secret clearance."

Mike Pence Spokesman Squirms On Russia Question

Russia scandal goes well beyond Trump: GOP leaders definitely knew about hacking — did they benefit too?
"Fast forward to late August when the intelligence community was becoming frantic over the evidence of Russian interference and Director of National Intelligence John Brennan held private classified briefings with eight top congressional leaders, telling then that there was evidence the Russians were helping Donald Trump and that unnamed advisers to the Republican nominee might be working with them. In September, intelligence officials convened a big meeting with the Gang of 12, meaning the House and Senate leadership along with chairmen and ranking members of committees on intelligence and homeland security. It was assumed this would result in a “show of solidarity and bipartisan unity” to protest this threat to the integrity of the American democratic process. That was an erroneous assumption. The Republicans refused to sign anything that implicated the Russian government, only agreeing to tell state elections officials to beware of “malefactors” attempting to hack election software. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly “an act of partisan politics.” That was that."

Jared Kushner Letting Donald Trump Jr. Take The Fall

Fox News' Charles Krauthammer Torches Conservatives Pretending Donald Jr. Wasn't Colluding with Russians @alternet

Fox News' Charles Krauthammer Torches Conservatives Pretending Donald Jr. Wasn't Colluding with Russians @alternet:

"Contributing editor to the conservative Weekly Standard and Fox News panelist has blasted the defense being offered for the actions of Donald Trump, Jr."

Conservative David Frum: Donald Trump has made liars out of all Republicans
"what Donald Trump has reduced the Republican Party to and why. "Well I mentioned in an earlier segment how completely disoriented Republicans are this week," David Frum said. "I mean it is a bizarre thing if you're following social media or watching Fox News to watch some of the very cynical reactions. But understand the rug has been pulled out of everybody.Donald Trump has done to the entire Republican Party what he's so often done to his designated White House spokesman. He has made liars out of all of them. They have for months been repeating no evidence of collusion, no evidence of collusion, it's a hoax, it's a made-up story. And today Donald Trump is saying it's fine. Actually, it's all true. And it was a good thing. And anybody would do it. And now how does a Paul Ryan react? What is the answer he can give? He doesn't know where this story goes. The story can only get bigger. He must sense he is in a race against time to pass the measures he wants to pass before the bottom falls out. And he must also sense he's losing that race against time"."

The True Evil of Russia’s Cyber War on America | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

White House releases personal info of people mad that their personal info might be released
"So I guess now there is a penalty for exercising one’s constitutional right to petition the government for redress of grievances. And the penalty is White House collusion in your identity theft. The Russian Mob sure is getting their money’s worth."

Trump’s voter fraud commission turns transparency into intimidation: White House publishes personal information of concerned citizens
"The White House’s decision to publish the emails that contain the names, and in some cases, phone numbers, home addresses and places of employment of people concerned that Trump’s commission would make such information public was no accident."

The Newest Republican Lie – Collusion Is Not A Crime!

Once and for all: Obama didn’t crush US coal, and Trump can’t save it
"What’s distasteful about the whole thing is that Trump has won the allegiance of coal communities by reinforcing and amplifying the same lie they have been told by right-wing media and politicians for years: that Obama’s pollution regulations on the US coal industry are responsible for its (and their) recent woes. It’s not true. And the information that shows it’s not true is easily available, so they should know it’s not true. Many probably do. But it is a convenient lie, one that riles up a reliable political constituency and serves as a bludgeon in the culture war. It is not, however, a benign lie. The struggles facing Appalachian coal country are very real. Unemployment, ill health, drug addiction, stress, and depression have ravaged the region. Now thousands of retired coal miners are in danger of losing their pensions and health care benefits. (Guess who has refused to schedule a vote on a bill that would address that crisis? One Addison Mitchell McConnell, Republican leader of the Senate. Guess who had a plan to funnel $30 billion to suffering Appalachian communities? One Hillary Rodham Clinton, the competent, boring president America might have had, if not for emails.) It does people in the region no good to believe that coal jobs will come roaring back once pesky pollution regulations are overturned. It sets them up for more disappointment and wastes time and energy they could be devoting to finding a new and better future for their communities."

Republican voters turn against book learning as the party's enstupiding accelerates
"a Republican base that believes the first black president is probably a Kenyan because (insert Rush Limbaugh farting noises here) while being convinced that The Entire Worldwide Community Of Scientists is plotting against humanity and only the noble truth-tellers of Ma and Pa Oil Company can defeat them can go straight to hell, postage-paid. This is all while we watch them eagerly support presidential corruption and, just for good measure, foreign espionage efforts so long as Team Red tells them to there's at least some merit in noting for the record that the majority of the party is as dumb as a box of rocks and twice as stubborn. Is science telling you things you don't want to hear? Declare science the enemy. Is the media reporting news that makes you feel bad inside? Declare the news to be invalid. Is college turning out people who are able to read charts and graphs and numbers on their own without Sean Hannity's shouty explanations as to why Numbers are Bad? Burn them down. That way we will never have to hear bad news again, not now, not when Florida is underwater, not ever."

Most Republicans View Higher Education As Bad For America

Beyond Crazy Tweets, Sanders Says Policies Expose Trump 'For Fraud He Is'
"Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) urged opponents of President Donald Trump to not allow his "stupid tweets" to distract attention from his "destructive" policies, which include a healthcare plan that could strip insurance from 22 million people and tax proposals that would provide generous cuts to the rich and hikes for the middle class."

'Total Garbage': Senate GOP's New Trumpcare Bill Even Worse Than Original
"Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who spent this past weekend rallying the Trumpcare opposition in West Virginia and Kentucky, reiterated a point he has made frequently in recent months.  "Make no mistake about it," he wrote, "thousands of Americans every year will die unnecessarily if the Republican legislation is passed"."

Trump Has Handed Over Control Of Our Country To Corporations

New Health Care Bill Proves GOP Promises On Pre-Existing Conditions Were Never Serious
"If you have medical problems, this proposal probably won’t be good for you."

Republican Steve King's Astonishing Cruelty isn't the Exception, it's the Norm
"It should be remembered that the Republican Party, in collusion with Donald Trump, is attempting to pass a health care bill that could kill roughly 24,000 Americans a year. The Republican Party and Donald Trump are also seeking to slash $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives that include after-school programs for the poorest students in America."

Senate Postpones Recess So They Can Take Away Your Healthcare

McConnell's Latest Health Care Bill Is Even Worse, Gutting Coverage and Raising Costs for Tens of Millions @alternet

McConnell's Latest Health Care Bill Is Even Worse, Gutting Coverage and Raising Costs for Tens of Millions @alternet:

"The latest Trumpcare bill released by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a political dealmaker’s version of putting lipstick on a pig—taking a colossally destructive bill hurting tens of millions and dressing it up so it can win enough votes to pass."

Paul Krugman: Republicans Are on the Brink of Completing a Long, Deadly Con @alternet

Paul Krugman: Republicans Are on the Brink of Completing a Long, Deadly Con @alternet:

"It's really very simple. If the GOP manages to pass its health care bill, millions of Americans will be deprived of insurance, while those who manage to keep theirs will pay considerably more for less. As Krugman sees it, this is what Republicans have wanted all along."

President Donald Trump 'Has To Be Exposed For The Fraud He Is'

American Medical Association, health groups sound alarms over Trumpcare 3.0
"Other major industry groups agree. The president of the American Hospital Association, Rick Pollack, says it would mean "real consequences for real people. […] Among them people with chronic conditions such as cancer, individuals with disabilities who need long-term services and support, and the elderly." Darrel Kirch, president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, specifically address the harm the Cruz amendment would cause, saying that it "will hurt those with preexisting conditions and further destabilize insurance markets." Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, reinforces that, saying that the bill as a whole, including the Cruz amendment, would make health care worse for cancer patients and everyone. "This bill would leave patients and those with pre-existing conditions paying more for less coverage and would substantially erode the progress our nation has been trying to make in providing affordable, adequate and meaningful coverage to all Americans," he said. None of these groups or any others in the industry or representing patients had any say in this bill. Neither did at least 45 of the 52 Republican senators who are about to vote on this thing, if Mitch McConnell has his way. One, just one, of those 45 or so who've been shut out of the process could put an end to this thing right now. It only takes three to torpedo the bill, and Susan Collins and Rand Paul are already there."

The U.S. health care system has been rated the worst (by far) among high-income nations
"The Commonwealth Fund focused on care process, access, administrative efficiency, equity and health care outcomes, studying 72 indicators within those fields. The 11 countries analyzed were Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition to ranking last or close to last in access, administrative efficiency, equity and health care outcomes, the U.S. was found to spend the most money on health care. The U.S. rated especially poor in equality of coverage."

Liam's Letter to President Trump

Republicans Are Trying to Exempt Themselves from the More Brutal Aspects of Trumpcare
"the GOP is trying to carve out special language in Trumpcare to avoid the more punitive cuts in the embattled Trumpcare bill. They tried it once in the House bill, only to be forced to close the loophole. It's back."

Republican governor fact-checks Pence’s lie about Medicaid
"the Trump administration has no shame about the disinformation campaign officials are waging."

The Republican "health care" bill is back. Again.

What Trump’s GOP health cuts mean for rural America

What Trump’s GOP health cuts mean for rural America

"Rural health care has at times been characterized as patchwork. In part, that’s because the costs of sustaining health care infrastructure in rural areas are higher thanks to the large service areas, the inability to negotiate bulk pricing and lack of financial incentives to fill in provider gaps. The ACA, intended to turn this around, has in fact led to dramatic gains in insurance coverage among rural Americans. Broadly speaking, insurance rates in rural areas reached almost 86 percent in early 2015, up from an estimated 78 percent in 2013. In Kentucky – a state with high poverty, a large rural population (42 percent of residents) and a successful Medicaid expansion initiative – tens of thousands of newly insured low-income adults began using preventative services after previously being unable to afford it. The state’s uninsured fell by half and, as a result, fewer people skipped taking their medications due to financial hardships relative to other states that didn’t expand Medicaid. The ACA also strengthened rural health care institutions by investing in upgrades to hospitals and clinics, preventative health programs and support for providers to stay in rural areas. While rural hospitals are often laden with the expense of providing extensive care without payment to indigent patients, rural hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA finally were able to better balance their books when caring for this vulnerable group. At the same time, the ACA supported innovative models ideal for rural areas that prioritized outreach, integration of services and collaboration between safety-net players. Both the House and Senate bills to repeal and replace Obamacare would drastically reduce rural Americans’ insurance coverage and significantly threaten the ability of many rural hospitals and clinics to keep their doors open."

Trump voter fighting cerebral palsy fears life would be ‘destroyed’ by massive Trumpcare cuts

Trump voter fighting cerebral palsy fears life would be ‘destroyed’ by massive Trumpcare cuts

"An Arkansas man who voted enthusiastically for President Donald Trump last fall is now worried about how he’ll be affected by both the GOP’s proposed budget and the party’s proposed health care legislation. The Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell reports that 36-year-old Trump voter Bradley Ledgerwood is worried about proposed cuts to two programs that have helped him survive ever since he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of just two years old: Medicaid and legal aid."

New GOP Healthcare Bill Still a Huge Tax Cut for the Rich, Gutting Women's Care & Slashing Medicaid

Indiana Republicans ask for Obamacare horror stories and get ... something different
"Now, Obamacare is getting more popular as people are facing the prospect of losing it, and a lot of people have stories of their own or their loved ones’ lives being saved, or not being stuck in a bad job for the health coverage, or not facing mountains of debt for minor health problems."

Sean Hannity Pretends To Care About ‘The American People’ As He Demands GOP Take Away Health Insurance | Crooks and Liars

Sean Hannity Pretends To Care About ‘The American People’ As He Demands GOP Take Away Health Insurance | Crooks and Liars

"If Hannity really cared about upheld promises, he’d be bugging Donald Trump about violating his promises that Trumpcare would have insurance for everybody, regardless of their income; that he would not cut Medicaid; that people would still get coverage of pre-existing conditions; and that “nobody is going to be better on women’s health issues than Donald Trump,” for example."

Senate Republicans Exempt Themselves From Their Awful Healthcare Plan

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why did the DOJ abruptly settle Russian money laundering case with attorney at center of collusion?
"In March, U.S. Attorney Preet Bhrara was abruptly fired by Donald Trump, even though Trump had previously called Bhrara to Trump Tower and assured him he could keep his job after Trump took office. At the time, Bhrara was overseeing a case against Russian mobsters accused of massive money laundering. That case was abruptly settled in May by Bhrara’s replacement and raised eyebrows at the time. From CNN in May: The case aimed to expose how Russian mobsters allegedly stole $230 million and hid some of the cash in New York City real estate. Also sure to come up was the suspicious death of the Russian lawyer who exposed the alleged fraud, though US prosecutors weren't alleging that the defendants were behind it. The trial was set to start on Monday, but late Friday night, federal prosecutors in New York announced they settled the case with Prevezon, the company accused of buying up "high-end commercial space and luxury apartments" with laundered money. The abrupt conclusion has some involved in the trial wondering why this Russian investigation had been cut short. "What most concerns me is: Has there been any political pressure applied in this?" asked Louise Shelley, an illicit finance expert who was set to testify in support of the US government on Tuesday. Wow, Denys Katsyv, the owner of Prevezon, must’ve had one fantastic lawyer to make this all go away. What was her name? Natalia Veselnitskaya. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because she is also the same attorney who flew from Moscow to meet with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort at Trump Tower."

GOP In Crisis Over Donald Trump Jr.-Russia Email Revelation

The Trump-Russia Conspiracy Is Now Very Simple
"This is what ought to register: The scheme appears to have been put into play by a Putin regime official and a Putin-friendly oligarch who was Trump’s business partner in Russia—and Trump’s son, son-in-law, and campaign manager all joined in. (A pop singer, a Russian lawyer, and a talent manager all had supporting roles.) Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort were looking to collude with a foreign power to gain an advantage in the election—an allegation the Trump team has repeatedly and passionately denied. This is not Alex Jones stuff. This was straightforward conniving. Moreover, this is reality within the part of the universe where Trumpland overlaps with Putin’s world."

Donald Trump Jr. Scandal Sends GOP Seeking New Story

Every suspicion about Trump and Russia turns out to be true
"Every. Single. Statement from Donald Trump Jr.’s account of his meeting with a Kremlin-backed lawyer were themselves lies signed off on by his father, we’re reaching the point where there is nowhere for the Trump regime to hide. They have lied. About everything.  No meetings? There were meetings. Meetings with Junior. Meetings with Flynn. Meetings with Sessions. Meetings with Kushner. Meetings with Manafort, and Page, and … there were meetings. No attempt at collusion? They jumped at the chance for collusion. They “loved” it."

The blackmail factor: Trumpworld’s Russia lies are a major risk to national security
"The Trump team’s habit of lying in public about its contacts with various official and unofficial emissaries of the Russian government is problematic on its own terms, but especially troubling because it raises the possibility that American foreign policy could be influenced by the fear of blackmail."

Russia Enjoying Great Success With President Donald Trump In White House

Here’s exactly how Russia can hack the 2018 elections
"And while the Obama administration retaliated against Russia with some sanctions and the Senate recently passed a bill tacking on a few more, Donald Trump’s White House and the Republican-led Congress have done almost nothing to defend against the kind of election interference perpetrated by Russia in November. Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was behind the election cyberattacks and has extended an open hand to the country’s president, Vladimir Putin. In fact, Trump tweeted Sunday morning that he and Putin may be partnering on cybersecurity, an idea that lead to widespread criticism from lawmakers. (Trump later backtracked). But even the talk of a potential collaboration was confounding given that many current and former members of the American intelligence community believe Russia will use cyberattacks to sabotage future elections and that the U.S. is vulnerable to attacks on the most basic function of any democracy. The meddling in last year’s presidential election, which the American intelligence community maintains was coordinated by Russia, could very well be just a taste of what’s to come, and has the potential to infect hundreds of races around the country in 2018."

Donald Trump Jr. Collusion Admission Leaves Jared Kushner Exposed

Russia scandal presents congressional Republicans with a choice
"They know Trump and his team lied about their contacts with Russian nationals. They know Trump fired an FBI director because of the president’s opposition to an ongoing investigation in the Russia scandal. They know the Trump campaign was eager to accept support from a foreign adversary. Congressional Republicans, however, by and large, simply don’t care."

Trump’s Pick for FBI Director Made His Living Defending Shady Businessmen Just Like the President @alternet

Trump’s Pick for FBI Director Made His Living Defending Shady Businessmen Just Like the President @alternet:

"Wray’s Russian client conflicts deserve scrutiny considering Trump’s own Russian connections. As a lawyer at King & Spaulding, the giant Atlanta-based law firm that has been Wray’s home base since the 1990s, he represented Russian companies Gazprom and Rosneft."

Lawrence: Jared Kushner Faces More Trouble Than Donald Trump Jr.

Kellyanne Conway struggles mightily to defend Trump Jr.’s lies — and her own
"It’s hard to defend the indefensible. Not only did Conway make false public statements about the Trump campaign’s meetings with Russians, but so did Vice President Mike Pence."

U.S. officials say Russian government hackers have penetrated energy and nuclear company business networks
"The NSA has detected malicious cyber-based activity by Russia’s FSB spy agency, U.S. officials said."

GOP Advisor: Donald Trump Administration Under 'Avalanche Of Lies'

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Timeline: Russia and President Trump
"Investigative reporters are fleshing out the Trump/Russia timeline. To keep everything in one location, here’s an updated summary (so far)."

What did Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell know about Trump/Russia collusion and when did they know it?
"Don't forget that the CIA was giving confidential briefings to leadership with information "indicating that Russia was working to help elect Donald J. Trump president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Mr. Trump’s victory months later, former government officials say." The classified briefings that the C.I.A. held in August and September for the so-called Gang of Eight—the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate and of the intelligence committees in each chamber—show deep concerns about the impact of the election meddling. In the briefings, the C.I.A. said there was intelligence indicating not only that the Russians were trying to get Mr. Trump elected but that they had gained computer access to multiple state and local election boards in the United States since 2014, officials said. Here's what CIA chief John Brennan told then Democratic leader Sen. Harry Reid in a private, classified briefing: "Russia’s hackings appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election," and that "unnamed advisers to Mr. Trump might be working with the Russians to interfere in the election." It's too incredible to believe that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not get that same briefing, did not know that the CIA had solid enough intelligence that the Russians could possibly be in the Trump campaign, trying to influence the outcome of the election. In September, intelligence officials had a secret meeting with the Gang of 12—including the House and Senate leaders and the chairmen and ranking members of both chambers’ committees on intelligence and homeland security. That meeting was intended to get leadership behind a "show of solidarity and bipartisan unity" publicly condemning Russia for interference. Who stood in the way? "McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics"."

How Much More Absurdity Can You Handle?
"The government of the United States is a shambles. An incompetent administration headed by an unqualified buffoon is now descending into criminal comedy and maladroit backstabbing. It is an administration that not only self-destructs, but glories in the process. There seems to be no end to it, and no desire to end it by the people who actually have the power to do so. That, in itself, seems curious, and it probably should remind us all that Paul Ryan's Super PAC was hip-deep in the borscht itself. Ryan, who really is the person best situated to close the circus down, seems to be afflicted with one of his periodic bouts of invisibility, poor lad. There's a great unfolding treason now—not just the precise constitutionally defined treason, but a general betrayal of reason, of self-government, of honesty and of high office. They are now committing treason against themselves, grim betrayal winding around itself in coils ever tightening until there is nothing but the foul exhaling of the final breath of things that once belonged to better people than them."

Questions Of President Donald Trump Russia Collusion Gain New Specificity

Emails show Trump Jr’s eagerness to collude with Russia
"Donald Trump Jr. initially said he hadn’t spoken to any Russian nationals during the campaign. Then he said he changed his story, saying he attended a meeting, but it was about adoption policy. Then he changed his story again, saying he hoped to acquire campaign dirt, but was disappointed by what he’d been offered. Then, asked for comment about emails the New York Times had already obtained and was poised to publish, Trump Jr. decided to tweet the materials himself. If he thinks this is an example of being “totally transparent,” he’s very confused."

Here’s Why Donald Trump Jr’s Russian Meeting Almost Certainly Constitutes Treason
"To summarize all of this bluntly: Trump’s son, son-in-law, and then-campaign manager agreed to a secret meeting with a foreign agent, working for an enemy to the United States — in Trump Tower — under the guise of obtaining damaging information against an American political opponent that, at the time, they had no way of knowing, or seemingly any regard, for how it was obtained. I’m sorry folks, but the way I read Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. That June 9th meeting sure seems to constitute treason."

Donald Trump Jr. Hires Crime Mob Lawyer for Russia Investigation @alternet

Donald Trump Jr. Hires Crime Mob Lawyer for Russia Investigation @alternet:

"Donald Trump Jr. has hired New York lawyer Alan Futerfas to represent him in ongoing investigations regarding his father Donald Trump and his potential ties to Russia, according to Reuters. Futerfas, a criminal defense lawyer, has had experience in the past representing members of organized crime mobs, particularly the Gambino, Genovese, and Colombo families."

George W. Bush Ethics Lawyer On Donald Trump Jr.: This May Be Treasonous

Republican Lawmakers Buy Health Insurance Stocks as Repeal Effort Moves Forward
"Health industry stocks, including insurance giants like UnitedHealth, have surged as Republicans move forward with their repeal effort, which rolls back broad taxes on health care firms while loosening consumer regulations which prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for medical treatment"

“I love it”: Trump Jr.'s response to meeting about “Russia and its government's support”
"Trump Jr. appears to have posted the damning emails in an attempt to preempt a New York Times story that published shortly afterward."

NYT: Email To Trump Jr. Shows Russian Gov't Sought To Help Donald Trump

‘We’d have them in custody by now’: Bush lawyer says Trump Jr.’s actions ‘border on treason’

‘We’d have them in custody by now’: Bush lawyer says Trump Jr.’s actions ‘border on treason’

"An ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush’s White House said that what he’s heard about President Donald Trump’s son and campaign staff meeting with Kremlin-aligned lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya “borders on treason” and that his administration would already have taken Trump’s team in for questioning."

Trump’s Man With a Plan ... to Suppress the Vote Nationwide
"What is most troubling to voting-rights and civil-rights activists is the potential that this commission is ramping up and institutionalizing voter suppression, which has long been central to Republican electoral strategy. In the fall of 1980, Paul Weyrich, a conservative Republican activist who went on to found such right-wing institutions as The Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the American Legislative Exchange Council, addressed a conference in Dallas. “I don’t want everybody to vote,” he said. “Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” Think of Kris Kobach as the new Paul Weyrich."

Award-Winning Journalist Amy Wilentz on Just How Little Jared Kushner Knows About Foreign Politics

Trump administration steps on Trump’s ‘death spiral’ talking point
"The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, last week released a report about a wonky aspect of the Affordable Care Act related to insurance payments. Tucked away in the report, however, was evidence that the health insurance marketplaces set up by Obamacare were relatively stable in 2016.  Contrary to the “death-spiral” narrative, the CMS report found that the mix of healthy and sick people buying insurance on the Obamacare marketplaces in 2016 was surprisingly similar to those who enrolled in 2015."