Friday :: July 28, 2017

Media Coverage of Republican Health Care Fail

Most mistakes in one article I've seen yet on the health care vote: NBC News. I suspect it will be gone by morning, so I printed and uploaded it. How did they even release it? It seems like it was written before the vote by someone who was convinced the Republicans would succeed:

Senate Republicans narrowly passed their pared-down amendment of an Obamacare repeal bill at 1:00 a.m. Friday morning, less than three hours after the text of the legislation was released.

Update: I was right. NBC has already replaced the article with this version by the same reporter.

Some better coverage with interesting details:

Reuters on McCain's apparently last minute decision to vote against the bill: [More...]

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Senate's Midnight Vote on Health Care: Another Republican Fail

Update: 1:35 a.m.: Republicans fail to repeal Obamacare and pass its "Skinny Repeal" bill. Sens. McCain, Murkowski and Collins voted against the Republican bill, making the final tally 49 (yes) to 51 (no).

I rarely quote a Donald Trump tweet but I can't resist this one from a few days ago:

So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave - American hero! Thank you John.
Thank you John, indeed. [More...]

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Thursday :: July 27, 2017

Scaramucci Goes Off the Charts With Fuming Tirade

Don't miss this article by Ryan Lizza in today's New Yorker. Anthony Scaramucci called him last night and went beserk over Lizza's reporting who was eating at the White House last night. He demanded to know who leaked it and when Lizza would not say, he unleashed his fury on leakers, threatened to fire the whole team, and in a graphic, expletive-filled tirade, went after Chief of Staff Reince Priebus:

They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a f*cking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: “ ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the f*cking thing and see if I can c*ck-block these people the way I c*ck-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ” (Priebus did not respond to a request for comment.)

Same thing when he talked about Steve Bannon: [More...]

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Wednesday :: July 26, 2017

Another Health Care Setback for Donald Trump

The bully in the oval office lost today. The Senate voted against repealing the Affordable Health Care Act (Obama Care) without a replacement. Also,

On Tuesday night, a version of a repeal and replace plan, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, failed to overcome a parliamentary objection that the bill had not yet been scored by the Congressional Budget Office.

Here's how they voted

There are a lot of Republican plans in the works. Here's how they compare.

There may be a vote later this week on whatever Republicans settle on. But they are all bad.

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Tuesday :: July 25, 2017

John McCain's Speech to the Senate

Sen. John McCain gave a speech to the Senate today. The transcript is here. There are two highlights:

We are an important check on the powers of the Executive. Our consent is necessary for the President to appoint jurists and powerful government officials and in many respects to conduct foreign policy. Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the President’s subordinates. We are his equal!


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Trump Ramps Up Criticism of AG Sessions

Donald Trump is increasing his attacks on Jeff Sessions. In addition to his recusal on Russia, he's now focusing on investigating Hillary Clinton. He says Sessions is weak on this.

This is classic deflection. He wants the attention off of his children. In his desire to protect them, he's turned into even more of a bullying dictator. Now he not only wants to dictate the outcome of DOJ investigations, he wants to choose what DOJ investigates.

With every turn of the media pump's handle informing us of new allegations of malfeasance by Team Trump, he blasts up the pressure on Republicans. At what point do they feel like fools for voting for him?

Trump seems worried. He must know he's in deep water. He also knows that calling for investigating Hillary will re-energize his under-informed base. He can't afford to lose their support.

Now that he's has a few cabinet and judicial confirmations under his belt, I wouldn't put it past him to try and sneak Rudy Giuliani in the back door to replace Jefferson Sessions. I doubt he's seriously considering Ted Cruz (as was speculated in yesterday's media) because I don't think he'd ever fully trust him. (Cruz will never forget how he used to call him "Lyin' Ted". Neither will we.)

If Rudy Giuliani gets any speaking role in the Trump Administration, I'm going to have a lot of fun re-posting all his peccadilloes. And there are legions of them.

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Repeal of Affordable Health Care Act Advances in Senate

An ailing John McCain flies in to vote, Republicans once again kowtow to the Charlatan's boisterous threats, and Mike Pence breaks a tie vote. The Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act advances.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows..... The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles.

This is an utter train wreck that is barreling towards us. [More...]

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Monday :: July 24, 2017

Monday Night Open Thread: This and That

I have seen zero news today and just got home -- our last open thread is about full, so here's a new one while I catch up.

First catch up: Donald Trump took a "public swipe" against AG Jefferson Sessions
. Is it time to start the Sessions countdown clock? I see Ted Cruz' name being tossed around as a possible replacement. We'd go right from the frying pan into the fire. While Sessions is ultra-conservative in his views, I don't think he's a liar. As for Ted Cruz, I don't trust a word that comes out of his mouth. Plus he looks like the grim reaper.

Jared seems to have gotten a pass today playing the innocent mistake and bumbling neophyte cards at his closed door hearing. No links due to auto-play video on every article I checked.

On a lighter note, this GQ article on spin classes at the gym may be the funniest article on exercise I've ever read. By the time I got to the end, I was laughing out loud.

Last but not least, James Corden is finally back tonight on the Late Late show after a three week absence. James, you were missed. Congrats are also in order for James and his wife -- they are expecting their third child.

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Saturday :: July 22, 2017

Jefferson Sessions vs. Sergey Kislyak: Whom to Believe?

According to the Washington Post:

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

The source of information is current and former U.S. officials. Did Donald Trump order this leaked as payback for Sessions' recusal or Sessions' statement this week he won't step down? If so, the only person I can think of who fights dirtier is Senor de los Cielos. [More...]

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The Extraordinary Wealth of Jared and Ivanka Trump

The Washington Post has a new article on Jared and Ivanka amending their financial disclosures to disclose additional assets. That's not the interesting part of the story.

The interesting part is how together they have earned more than $100 million since 2016 and have more than $200 million in assets. [More....]

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Friday :: July 21, 2017

Donald Trump on Sessions' Russia Recusal

[Note: I wrote this Wednesday and it got stuck in draft mode]

Donald Trump's recent interview with the New York Times reads like a self-pity party. He berated Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his recusal on the Russia Probe and said he wouldn't have hired him had he known he would recuse himself. He said the recusal was unfair to him [More...]

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Thursday :: July 20, 2017

Thursday Open Thread

Sorry about the lack of open threads the past few days. Here's a new one, all topics welcome.

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OJ Simpson Granted Parole

Update: the vote was unanimous for parole among the four board/commission members. Each spoke individually. They said their vote was fair and consistent.

Update: Looks like OJ will get parole. They have a Florida parole officer explaining the procedures for transfer from Nevada to Florida.

OJ told his version of the robbery he was convicted of during the hearing. It's live on CNN and other channels now.

My view: OJ should get and will get parole. [More...]

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Second Circuit Voids Former London Trader Convictions

The Second Circuit has voided the convictions of two former London traders.

Allen and Conti, who worked for Dutch-headquartered Rabobank [RABO.UL], were convicted in November 2015 of fraud and conspiracy for trying to rig U.S. dollar and Japanese yen Libor.

They were sentenced to two years and one year in prison, respectively, but remained free during the appeal.

The case is United States v. Allen and the opinion is here.[More...]

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Wednesday :: July 19, 2017

Ride Sally Ride, Continued

I'm more into riding my Peloton and watching the new season of Senor de los Cielos than I am reading about Donald Trump and Russia. (Warning: auto-play video on SDLOC link.)

I've had the bike for two weeks now and have taken 26 rides. Some were only 5 minute instructional classes, but some were 20 and 45 minute full-length classes with difficulty ratings of 7 and 8 (out of 10). I promised a review when it first came, and here it is: In a nutshell, I absolutely love it. [More...]

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