Archive | Politics As Usual

House may have to vote again on Obamacare repeal

Protesting Trumpcare Chicago 5-11-17 6201

So if your congress person voted for it, you get another chance to yell at him or her!

House Republicans barely managed to pass their Obamacare repeal bill earlier this month, and they now face the possibility of having to vote again on their controversial health measure.

House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t yet sent the bill to the Senate because there’s a chance that parts of it may need to be redone, depending on how the Congressional Budget Office estimates its effects. House leaders want to make sure the bill conforms with Senate rules for reconciliation, a mechanism that allows Senate Republicans to pass the bill with a simple majority.

Republicans had rushed to vote on the health bill so the Senate could get a quick start on it, even before the CBO had finished analyzing a series of last-minute changes. The CBO is expected to release an updated estimate next week.

“Unaware,” said Representative Jeff Denham of California, with noticeable surprise Thursday, when advised that his party leaders still hadn’t sent the bill over to the Senate. Denham was one of the House Republicans who ended up voting for the measure, after earlier in the week opposing it.


Another perspective

McMaster about to go on...

Marcy Wheeler:

So multiple people learned of this event, and went out and leaked it (which is illegal to do for most anyone besides the President, the WaPo helpfully notes), not just with the WaPo’s two reporters, but with reporters from Buzzfeed, NYT, WSJ, and more. They leaked it to reporters who they presumably knew would then report it, alerting the frustrated ally that Trump had shared the information, which is a blow to that relationship, and also alerting the frustrated ally that they then proceeded to go leak it more.

I’m confused, is that a blow to that relationship too, leaking the sharing so it can be revealed? Or did, say, the Saudis call up a bunch of members of Congress and former spooks and permit them to leak this to the press so Donald and his close relationship with the Russians can be undermined?

And these sources who are outraged that Trump shared the city where our frustrated ally that shouldn’t learn we’re leaking it without its permission learned of the plot? These sources shared plot details, including the name of the city, with journalists whose job it is to publish stuff like this, though the journalists didn’t share it with us or the Russians.

Now, I’ll grant you, WaPo’s reporters aren’t an adversary (depending on who you ask), though neither are they tasked with keeping a nation that has already lost a plane to ISIS safe. WaPo’s reporters aren’t fighting for power in Syria like Russia (and our frustrated ally), so they can’t personally use this information for advantage there.

So, yeah, it’s different. But these very outraged sources are still sharing the information that it is so outrageous to share.

Me? I’m hoping all this sharing and leaking about sharing will reveal what the underlying threat really is supposed to be. Because some of our frustrated allies have a habit of exaggerating threats so we implement stupid transportation policies and grow ever more reliant on their intelligence that they seem to keep sharing even though it seems to keep getting leaked.

This will be a joke if it happens

Rally for ACA at Congressman Frelinhuysen's Office, Morristown NJ

The House ethics committee is more of a paper tiger, but we can hope if there’s enough publicity, something will happen:

A government watchdog organization on Tuesday asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to look into whether Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) broke ethics rules by exposing a local activist in a letter to her employer.

In a letter to Omar Ashmawy, the office’s staff director and chief counsel, Campaign for Accountability said that Frelinghuysen appeared to use his position “to coerce a New Jersey bank into constructively terminating an employee.”

In a March fundraising letter to a board member of a local New Jersey bank, Frelinghuysen warned of “organized forces — both national and local” working against his agenda.

“P.S. One of the ringleaders works in your bank!” a postscript to the letter noted, written in the same ink as the congressman’s signature.

A news article attached to the letter quoted Saily Avelenda, a member of a nonpartisan group that has pressured Frelinghuysen to meet with constituents.

Avelenda formerly served as senior vice president and assistant general counsel at the bank. She told WNYC that she resigned from her position in part because of pressure she received for her political involvement, and said Frelinghuysen “used his name, used his position and used his stationery to try to punish me.”

Good old Rodney is already in trouble over his Obamacare repeal vote, and his refusal to meet with constituents. This won’t help. Ha ha!

Twitters of the morning

Former CIA director questions Trum’s credibility

Hubert Védrine, former Foreign Minister of France & John E. McLaughlin, Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and former Deputy Director and Acting Director of the CIA

John McLaughlin, the former Acting Director of the CIA under George Bush told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that Trump’s big problem is a lack of an established “moral authority because he is so frequently into falsehoods that he can’t be believed.” On Andrea Mitchell Reports, the discussion revolved around the disintegrating excuses the Trump administration first used… Continue Reading →

Scarborough on Pence: ‘It appears he lied’

A lot of people think Pence will be the next president. I’m not so sure, because when someone like Joe Scarborough, in a conversation with New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush, openly calls a Republican VP a liar, it’s because he doesn’t expect him to be an issue:

GLENN THRUSH: Let me just backtrack for a second. You showed Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We now forget, almost like a sideshow, Mike Pence went up on Capitol Hill yesterday and told reporters that the president — precisely the same thing that sarah huckabee sanders said — the vice president of the United States, Joe, said the very exact same thing, that the deputy attorney general did this and Trump was following his recommendation.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: We don’t know whether Sarah Huckabee Sanders was set up to go lie for the White House. We do know from your reporting that Mike Pence was in the room when Donald Trump decided that he wanted fire Jim Comey.

GLENN THRUSH: Not only that —

JOE SCARBOROUGH:: and it’s much harder for Mike Pence to say I was given bad information. It appears he was not lied to. It appears that he lied.

GLENN THRUSH: Joe, it’s one — I can’t speak to motive on that. What we know is what he said in front of the cameras is untrue and what our reporting also bore out — we got this from half a dozen people who were around at the time. Pence was one of the most forceful proponents for removing James Comey. Here is another thing people forget about Mike Pence. After Chris Christie was sacked on the transition, Pence took over. And Pence, despite the fact that he claimed former national security adviser Flynn lied to him, Pence was read in on these early interactions that Flynn had. Pence has been in the room, Joe, as you know, from the very beginning.

FBI raids GOP campaign firm

I heard lots of rumors yesterday morning from journalists and national security types that something big was going down, and it turned out to be a raid on a GOP campaign consulting and fundraising firm in Annapolis. Until late in the dayRemember Fitzmas, when we all thought Karl Rove was going to be indicted? I’m reluctant to believe every rumor I hear.

‘You have played into the Democrats’ hands’


Joe Scarborough is very, very annoyed that Republicans have handed Democrats such an easy campaign issue. (He didn’t seem all that worried about the people losing healthcare — just that they now present a political liability.) “Republicans, as we have been warning non-stop, you have just played into the Democrats’ hands, because you had a day… Continue Reading →

Comey’s testimony on Huma Abedin forwarding emails was inaccurate

James Comey’s testimony on WikiLeaks, Assange, and journalism during yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing | C-SPAN /r/WikiLeaks

FBI director James Comey generated national headlines last week with his dramatic testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, explaining his “incredibly painful” decision to go public about the Hillary Clinton emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Perhaps Comey’s most surprising revelation was that Huma Abedin — Weiner’s wife and a top Clinton deputy — had made… Continue Reading →

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