Reuters: Repubs.May Cut Up to $28 Billion in Medicare If Tax Bill Passes

Republicans voters are so clueless and gullible. They actually believe tax cuts for the wealthy will trickle down to them, that Medicare is an entitlement program. They also don't care that their leaders talk out of both sides of their mouths.

Paul Ryan has been determined to cut Medicare for years. It's his pet issue. He's now salivating at the prospect of achieving his dream.

Reuters reports that on Wednesday Paul Ryan said he has started convincing Trump changes to Medicare are needed. Trump said early in 2018, they will tackle "welfare reform". Trump supporters thinks that means food stamps and are all for it.


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Friday Open Thread

I'm sure there's news to discuss today. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Al Franken Resigns

Democrats just shot themselves in the foot. After his fellow Congresspersons began calling on Al Franken to resign, Al Franken has done just that. What a loss from a policy perspective.

It reminds me of the old adage, "one cannot serve two masters." I'd much rather have someone in Congress who was going to advocate for legislation that will help me and all Americans, than not have someone there there because of actions in his personal life before he became a member of Congress.

Here are some of the members calling for him to resign, even though he denies the latest allegation of an uninvited kiss, Franken told Politico:

This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous. I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation.”

Alice in Wonderland time: First the punishment, then the verdict.

If that's the new law of the land, why is Donald Trump still in office?

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Donald Trump's Slurred Speech

Donald Trump's speech pattern changed during his Jerusalem speech, and at the end, he slurred the word "States" in "United States."

CNN has an article about it but I'm not linking due to an auto-play video with a animated short bald man announcing some "breaking news." The LA Times has an article reporting the White House says Trump had a "dry throat" (no link due to ads popping all over.) A European paper asks if he has dentures.

My thoughts: I listened to the speech in the car, so I could not see Trump, only hear him. Sometimes that's better. [More...]

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Tuesday Open Thread

I'm running around for work and not online today, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Senate Passes Tax Bill

Every Democrat voted against the Senate Tax Bill. Every Republican except Bob Corker voted for it.

There were last minute changes. Here's the bill with the changes.

The Senate version still has to be reconciled with the House version. According to the New York Times, here's what they have to resolve.

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Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty, Is Cooperating

Via the New York Times:

President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations with the Russian ambassador last December during the presidential transition, bringing the special counsel’s investigation into the president’s inner circle.

Mr. Flynn, who appeared in federal court in Washington, acknowledged that he was cooperating with the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His plea agreement suggests that Mr. Flynn provided information to prosecutors, which may help advance the inquiry.

(my emphasis)

Flynn was not indicted, he was charged by Information (available here). The Information charges three sets of false statements to the FBI: One set concerns communications with the Russian Ambassador and Trump Transition Team officials about sanctions, one set pertains to communications with Russia about the U.N. Resolution submitted by Egypt and the third set pertains to the Turkey communications, which also involve his company and reportedly his son. [More...]

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Tax Bill Will Change Your Life, For Worse

The New York Times:

The tax cut package, for instance, could trigger rules mandating cuts to Medicare, the government health care program for seniors, the Congressional Budget Office warned. Some 13 million people could lose health care via the elimination of a key plank of Obamacare. Insurance premiums are also expected to rise by 10 percent.

“This tax bill is a grand deception,” said Arnold Hiatt, the former chief executive of Stride Rite, which makes children’s shoes. “It hurts the most vulnerable, and hurts health care and education, which are essential for a healthy economy.”

It is likely to pass the Senate, even John McCain now will vote in favor of it. The Joint Committee on Taxation says the bill "will add $1 trillion to deficit over a decade, even with economic growth."

Donald Trump Sells Another False Bill of Goods.

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Matt Lauer Apologizes

From Matt Lauer's apology today:

“Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed,” Mr. Lauer wrote in a message issued by his public relations team. “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”

“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Mr. Lauer wrote. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.

His statement ends with: [More...]

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Garrison Keiler Gets the Ax From Minn. Public Radio

Garrison Keiler and his radio program have been terminated from Minnesota's Public Radio station today after an allegation was made he inappropriately touched a woman's back. He gives this account of what happened: [More...]

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Matt Lauer Fired Over Sexual Harassment Allegation

Matt Lauer is the latest to topple. An allegation was made against him Monday Night, and today he is fired.

“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Variety has the raunchy details from the multiple women accusing him of sexual harassment.

These accounts of Lauer’s behavior at NBC are the result of a two-month investigation by Variety, with dozens of interviews with current and former staffers. Variety has talked to three women who identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer, and their stories have been corroborated by friends or colleagues that they told at the time. They have asked for now to remain unnamed, fearing professional repercussions.

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Monday News and Open Thread

Tuesday Update: I'm in court today,I won't be posting until tonight.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially engaged. I always enjoy seeing photos of them even though I lost interest in Suits after the second season. Good luck and a happy life to both of them.

The Bali volcano is about to blow.

Did anyone get any great deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? I did not find anything that I just had to have.

I spent most of my reading time this weekend on ISIS and the Middle East. It is such a mess over there. ISIS has lost so much territory in Iraq and Syria, it no longer has a "state" to govern, but it certainly is not dead. It is regrouping in other countries and causing and threatening more mayhem along the way. Al Baghdadi has issued a "text message" calling for attacks on the media, including Al Jazeera. ISIS released videos of new "wiliyats" this week, some in places I had to look up where they were. In Syria, HTS, a coalition rebel group that included what was left of al Nusra, which had been affiliated with Al Qaida, has just turned on al Qaida arresting some top former leaders of Nusra. The Taliban and ISIS, while enemies, are both fighting hard in Afghanistan. Like I said, it's a mess in the Middle East, but also in Africa and places in South Asia.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thanksgiving Open Thread: Alice's Restaurant Edition

My Thanksgiving has begun with the great Thanksgiving tradition of hearing the 18 minute version of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant, recorded in 1967 on the radio. This year is the 50th anniversary! If you miss it on your local radio, you can listen here at noon and again at 6:00 p.m. MT.

If you're wondering where Alice is, she's here. Does anyone besides me still have a hardcover edition of her 1969 Alice's Restaurant cookbook in their kitchen? (Photo here.) It's filled with tasty recipes and very easy instructions. Her red chili recipe is still my favorite. And she uses ingredients you'll already have in your kitchen.

The line that stood out to me today: "If you want to end a war, you have to sing loud."

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you haven't already told us, what's on your menu and who are you spending the day with. This is an open thread.

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Wednesday Open Thread

Thanks to all who donated to TalkLeft yesterday -- please keep the contributions coming, they are a huge help!

Articles I recommend reading:

  • Reuters: Ivanka and Fugitive From Panama
    Exclusive: How an alleged fraudster in Panama, working with Donald Trump's daughter, helped make Trump's first international hotel venture a success. The broker was in business with a money-launderer and two criminals from the former Soviet Union. Then he fled.
  • The ramped up security and forced removal of beggars in Hyderabad, India in preparation for Ivanka's visit next week, where she will resume her role as the Administration's spokeswoman for empowering female entrepreneurs.
    A US Secret Service team has made several rounds of visits to the hotels and the GES venue and reviewed security arrangements for Ivanka. They would bring their own bullet-proof vehicles for Ivanka to travel within Hyderabad, besides carrying their own specialised weapons and bringing squads of trained sniffer dogs.

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Donald Trump: An Exhaustive List of You Know What

I think Donald Trump made one of is worst decisions yet yesterday in expressing his support for Roy Moore over a Democrat. Why? Because it was so transparent that he cares more about getting his tax bill passed and scoring a win with Congress (after the total beating he took on health care) than whether or not the Republican who would be sitting in the Senate was a child sex abuser.

The about-face by Ms. Most Unimportant Person in the World confirmed it.

Kellyanne Conway suggested that the White House remains open to Roy Moore's embattled senate candidacy on Monday when she told Fox & friends that "we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through" -- less than a week after Conway said that "no Senate seat is worth more than a child" in the wake of a series of sexual allegations against Moo


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