The Cover Up.

Republican congressman Devin Nunes (Latvian Foreign Ministry/Flickr).

Republican congressman Devin Nunes (Latvian Foreign Ministry/Flickr).

Key House Democrats are calling on Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes to recuse himself from an investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, widening a stunning partisan split over the probe.

[…]

Ryan still supports Nunes, spokeswoman AshLee Strong said Monday, and will not ask him to recuse himself.
“Speaker Ryan has full confidence that Chairman Nunes is conducting a thorough, fair, and credible investigation,” Strong said.
That is not a good thing, not in any way. Paul Ryan is a man with monstrous fantasies and desires, and little use for truth.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, in an interview Monday evening with CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront,” echoed Schiff’s call.
“Actions taken by the chairman have compromised the investigation,” Castro said. “Chairman Nunes at this point should recuse himself from this investigation.”
He said Nunes, who was a member of Trump’s transition team, was too invested in Trump’s political agenda, and acting in a partisan way.
“I understand that for members of Congress, there is of course an inclination to help a President who’s of your party,” Castro said. “You simply can’t do that. … You have to be able to separate yourself from that.”
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain — two frequent critics of the Trump administration and Russia — joined in criticism of Nunes Tuesday morning, though they stopped short of calling for the chairman to recuse himself.
Graham told NBC’s “Today” show that Nunes “has to repair the damage,” though he added that “the House is off track and probably can’t get back on track.”
“If he’s not willing to tell the Democrats and the Republicans on the committee who he met with and what he was told, he has lost his ability to lead,” Graham said, “and the Democrats on the committee are becoming prosecutors.”
And McCain said Nunes needs to provide more answers.
Oh. The mealymouthedness of democrats is despair making. FFS, discover some principles, some ethics, take a bloody stand already. This mess brought to you by CNN. Over at Think Progress, they have two articles about how there’s been a sudden turnabout on the subject of leakers, formally reviled in every way, oh yes, terrible, why, it’s treason! Not anymore. Now the Regime has embraced leaking. Turns out, the difference is in what direction the stream is going.
Article one, article two.

Awww, Who’s A Little Snowflake?

Patricia Rasmussen.

Patricia Rasmussen.

Remember Sean Hannity being all upsetty over the very dangerous, angry snowflakes? Well, he’s having a very special snowflake tantrum, after being schooled by Ted Koppel. I guess he couldn’t think quickly enough on the actual show, so he waited until he was back on his home ground to do his accusative yelling.

Discussing the interview on his radio show “The Sean Hannity Show,” Hannity insisted he “liked watching Ted” when Koppel was the host of ABC’s “Nightline,” before launching into an attack on the respected reporter.

“I’m an opinionated journalist and a talk show host,” Hannity began. “But the difference, Ted respectfully, is I’m honest with my audience, you’re not. You pretend to be fair and balanced, I don’t. And if you really cared about truth in journalism how do you work for a network that’s so abusively biased with the history it has?”

No, no, wait a moment here. You’re definitely a talk show host, and opinionated, but you’re no journalist, sir. As for honesty, I’m fairly sure you wouldn’t recognize it if it bit you on the nose. I remember watching Ted Koppel, and he didn’t pretend to anything. He’s an actual journalist, and the truth weighed the most with him. Appears that it still does. I don’t have TV these days, but it seems Koppel occasionally works for CBS these days. What is this abusive bias that I have somehow missed? And this idiocy coming from someone who works at Fucking Fox, an abuse factory if ever there was one, not only of people, those people primarily being women, but abusive when it comes to truth and integrity, two things it has little acquaintance with, or those who are cradled in said abuse factory.

Hannity continued his defense, asking, “How can I be bad for America when I offer the American people news and information your network will never touch because you have an agenda?”

Oh, you don’t offer news and credible information. You offer braying opinions, bullshit, outright lies, and the odd conspiracy theory. Oh, and of course, you don’t have an agenda, no. So, bad for America? Yes, you betcha. Put that sad face on, Cupcake.

“If you’re going to suggest I’m lying to people and I’m putting ideology ahead of facts, I want your examples,” Hannity added.

Oh for fuck’s sake, the man doesn’t have years on end to devote to your dishonesty and blatant ideology, or your outright worship of the Tiny Tyrant.

Via Raw Story.

Russia, U.S., What’s the Difference?

Russian security forces detain a protester in Moscow on Sunday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko.

Russian security forces detain a protester in Moscow on Sunday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko.

I have written many times about the current rounds of draconian legislation here in uStates, in an attempt to quell dissent and protest. As if the legislation isn’t bad enough, of course, there’s the constant narrative of lies coming out of the U.S. Regime, about protesters being paid and other such bullshit. It looks like Russia is going with the very same playbook, which is hardly surprising. What is surprising? The poisonous irony in the rather belated statement by the Tiny Tyrant’s regime about the treatment of Russian protesters:

Late Sunday evening, American time, President Donald Trump’s administration addressed the crackdown in a written statement bathed in irony. “The United States strongly condemns the detention of peaceful protesters throughout Russia on Sunday,” the statement from acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner — which was not issued until 12 hours after the first reports of mass arrests in Moscow — read.

“The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution,” Toner added.

Gee, isn’t that nice? Odd how none of that applies to American citizens, or American government, for that matter. The sheer weight of hypocritical irony in that should have been enough to flatten the white house and drive it a mile deep into the earth.

Toner’s words also contrast with Trump’s own pattern of rhetoric and behavior toward dissenters in his own country.

The weekend protests across Russia are not a particularly close analog to the anti-Trump demonstrations that American activists have staged since his election victory. Alexei Navalny, the prime mover behind the anti-Putin protests, is himself a nationalist hardliner whose political platform includes ethnocentric promises akin to Trump’s own stances on immigration, economics, and law enforcement.

But it is nonetheless odd to see criticism of Putin’s crackdown from the government of a man who has called for a criminal investigation into the Movement for Black Lives and encouraged his supporters to beat up protesters.

At rallies throughout his 2016 campaign, Trump relished opportunities to bash protesters — typically pausing his stump speech to peer into the crowd and ask his supporters to remove hecklers by force.

[…]

Today, Trump’s administration is also pursuing serious felony charges against hundreds of people who were rounded up in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day after a smaller group of black-clad Antifa protesters smashed a few shop windows and, in a handful of cases, scrapped with police.

Many of those facing felony charges were simply nearby when police “kettled” everyone who happened to be within a few blocks of the stores targeted by the radical fringe. Several journalists were arrested and charged with felonies that were eventually dropped by prosecutors.

Many of Trump’s allies share his disdain for dissidents. Milwaukee County Sheriff Dave Clark has said that protests “must be quelled” because “there is no legitimate reason to protest the will of the people.”

State-level Republican lawmakers in several states have introduced legislation curtailing the right to protest, usually by raising the criminal penalties marchers may face and broadening the scope of rioting statutes.

[…]

Trump’s team insists that such street-level dissent is not sincere but rather a synthetic display manufactured by wealthy liberal donors. The Kremlin is now saying the same about the Navalny-led protesters, many of whom were reportedly in their teens.

Sunday’s anti-Putin rallies were only as large as they were, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, because marchers were “promised financial rewards in the event of their detention by law enforcement agencies.”

Aww, isn’t that sweet, it’s the same story. Think Progress has the full story.

“We Have Angry Snowflakes!”

 Sean Hannity (CBS News/screen grab).

Sean Hannity (CBS News/screen grab).

Look at that face. Welcome to America, a country run by old white men who all have the temperament and visage of spoiled rotten 3 year olds. Ted Koppel confronted Hannity, and the usual tantrum ensued.

Koppel asked Hannity why he was pushing a “highly partisan agenda” on Fox News.

“Honestly, I think liberalism has to be defeated,” Hannity opined. “Socialism must be defeated in a political sense. We don’t want a revolution in this country.”

Right, can’t be getting any liberalism in the fascism, that would be bad! And of course, revolutions don’t figure into the history of this country at all, no. I do think we need a revolution, one in which it is pounded the fuck home that socialism is not bad. Socialism works great in other countries, which are stuffed full of happy, healthy, well educated people. That’s something to be desired and worked for, not defeated. The unreconstructed assholes have had way too much time to denounce anything which helps its citizens as some sort of horrible commie plot. There should not be pride in remaining backwards, in the face of all evidence showing you that you are wrong, wrong, wrong. The people in this country are dying young, drowning in poverty and violence. America’s answer: more guns, no social safety nets at all, let everyone descend into poverty, yeehaw! Jesus.

“What more do you want?” Koppel wondered. “You’ve got the White House, you’ve got the House, you’ve got the Senate.”

“And we have angry snowflakes,” Hannity replied. “And then we’ve got a Democratic establishment. I say the press in this country is out to destroy this president.”

Koppel traced the roots of the problem back to President Ronald Reagan’s abolishment of the Fairness Doctrine, which forced television and radio programs to present balanced points of view.

Hannity, however, argued that the American people deserved credit for being intelligent enough to seek out alternative viewpoints.

Oh, right. Like the fucking idiots who still persist in believing that “pizzagate” is a real thing? No, a lot of American people do not deserve credit for being intelligent, full stop. Too many of them are certainly not intelligent enough to even bother with news from credible sources, let alone actually think about any given issue. Too many American people don’t give one tiny shit that people like Hannity and others don’t ever bother to actually get their facts right before twisting them out of all credibility. Far too many Americans are devoted to obscurantism, even if they don’t know what that means. Anti-intellectualism could be considered to be a particularly American trait. Just ask someone who isn’t American, if you know anyone who fits that description.

“You’re cynical,” Hannity said, observing Koppel’s disdain. “You think we’re bad for America? You think I’m bad for America?”

“Yeah,” Koppel stated without hesitation.

“That’s sad,” Hannity complained.

Oh, look at that vocabulary! Oh, the clarity of expression! Not only do they look and act like terribly spoiled tots, they talk like them as well.

Full story here.

Called It!

ClipArtBest.

ClipArtBest.

A couple of days ago, I noted in comments that the Tiny Tyrant would be heaping blame on Ryan, and everyone else for the failed Fuck You Care Plan. Oh, the initial statements were along the lines of “no, no, I like Paul Ryan, did a good job” and “no, I don’t blame the freedom caucus, they’re my friends”, but I knew it wouldn’t be long before Mr. Tweet took over and started rage blaming.

Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!

Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.

Pirro opened her show by calling for the resignation of Ryan for not getting the replacement health care plan voted upon and passed.

“How could you possibly misjudge this,” Pirro said addressing Ryan. “I certainly have not spoken to the president about any of this, but I can only imagine that he and his aides took on healthcare because they believed you had his back, and you didn’t! They didn’t even test the waters.”

Pirro added that Ryan has “gotta go.”

The full story on that one here.

That’s not all from Mr. Tweet though, who was called out in no uncertain terms by Rep. Ted Lieu, who said the Tiny Tyrant was a truly evil man, and the Representative is right.

ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!

People aren’t worried, you fucking idiot, they are relieved they still have healthcare. This is not a situation where you hope and hope and hope millions upon millions of people get fucked over, and then you can just “get together” with your corrupt, filthy rich cronies, and “piece together” a sop to toss on top of already screwed over people. FFS. At this point, I think THE PEOPLE are those over a certain income line, but it doesn’t include all us peons down here. Rep. Lieu responded:

“President” @realDonaldTrump: You truly are an evil man. Your job is to help Americans. Not intentionally try to destroy their lives.

Mr. “President”: Art II of Constitution requires you to faithfully execute laws passed by Congress. Subverting #Obamacare violates your Oath.

That full story here.

Homicidal Cop, Good. Whistleblower, Bad.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo holds Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. CREDIT: YouTube/New York Daily News.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo holds Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. CREDIT: YouTube/New York Daily News.

A short while back, I posted about the history of the cop who murdered Eric Garner. It was an ugly history, one which was ignored in keeping Daniel Pantaleo employed. That employment continues, but the  person who disclosed that hidden history? No, they are no longer employed.

The release of previously secret disciplinary records of the NYPD officer that killed Eric Garner is stirring controversy in New York City, reinvigorating a heated debate among activists and city officials over transparency and police accountability.

On Tuesday, ThinkProgress published the disciplinary records of Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who used a prohibited chokehold against Garner in 2014. The records — which were previously hidden from the public — originated from the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the independent city agency that fields complaints about officer misconduct. They were leaked to ThinkProgress from an anonymous source who was discovered by the agency and forced to resign.

The news also forced the CCRB to formally confirm that the documents are real.

The CCRB’s actions triggered indignation from Cynthia Conti-Cook, a lawyer at the Legal Aid Society’s Special Litigation Unit. The group is currently involved in lawsuits to obtain disciplinary records from both the CCRB and the NYPD.

“When there is more political will to fire a whistleblower than an officer who killed an unarmed man, it sends a message about the Mayor’s capacity to act quickly and therefore simultaneously sends a message about his lack of political will to hold police like Pantaleo…accountable for misconduct,” she said, referring to the fact that Pantaleo remains employed by the NYPD, and received a raise last year.

I could not possibly agree more. This is shocking behaviour. Well, it should be shocking. I’m afraid we have all become much too inured, and given the increasingly open shite supremacist feeling in uStates, there tends to be little more than an ennui laden shrug over such heinous actions.

Civil rights groups and several city officials were also outraged by the content of the documents, which showed that Pantaleo had 7 complaints and 4 substantiated allegations years before his encounter with Garner—far more than the overwhelming majority of his fellow NYPD officers, according to CCRB data. The revelations also raised questions about whether Pantaleo was properly disciplined, as the documents showed that the NYPD repeatedly enacted lesser penalties than those recommended by the CCRB.

Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, said that earlier review of the records could have saved her son’s life.

“Someone should have taken a look at his record a long time ago,” Carr told the New York Daily News. “If they had done that maybe my son would still be alive.”

That’s assuming that anyone looking at Pantaleo’s record would have actually done something about it, which is more than questionable. Cop shops all over the country simply don’t have a problem with bigoted, homicidal cops, nor do they seem to be overly concerned about dead brown people. It seems the only time they do care is if they end up in the public spotlight, and even then, the result is rarely justice.

Think Progress has the full story.

Bannon’s Hit Shit List.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast.

According to multiple Trump administration officials speaking to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity to talk freely, the president is angry that his first big legislative push is crumbling before his eyes—and his chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon is advising him to take names and keep a hit list of Republicans who worked for Trumpcare’s defeat.

“[Bannon] has told the president to keep a shit list on this,” one official told The Daily Beast. “He wants a running tally of [the Republicans] who want to sink this…Not sure if I’d call it an ‘enemies list,’ per se, but I wouldn’t want to be on it.”

One aide described it as a proposed “hit list” for Republicans not sufficiently loyal. Courses of action stemming from any related tally is yet to be determined, but the idea and message is that “we’ll remember you.”

Two senior Trump administration officials with direct knowledge of the process told The Daily Beast that Bannon and Trump have taken a “you’re either with us or against us” approach at this point, and that Bannon wants the tally of “against” versus “with us” mounted in his so-called West Wing “war room.”

“Burn the boats,” Bannon (in his typical, pugnacious style) advised Trump, according to one official involved. Burning one’s boats is a reference to when military commanders in hostile territories order his or her troops to destroy their own ships, so that they have to win or die trying.

Sources also said that others including Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget and co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, endorsed the idea of the running list, and that Trump agreed with the idea.

The Daily Beast has the full story.

The Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You Care Plan. UPDATED.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

As most everyone now knows, the bill was withdrawn before a vote. Yes, be happy. That said, go ahead and read all the following, and remember. Remember just what they wanted to do, and still want to do. We cannot afford to forget.

 
This post brought to you with a leaden heart sinking in a simultaneous sea of fury and despair. It’s going to be a roundup, because I just can’t. I can’t.

Trump budget boss: If you want insurance to cover maternity care, lobby your state legislature. Trumpcare: Giving you the freedom to purchase health insurance that covers nothing.

On Thursday, President Trump and the House Freedom Caucus tentatively worked out a deal: Trump would agree to remove mandatory coverage of “essential services” from his health care bill in order to win the far-right caucus’ support for it.

Essential services include maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, emergency services, substance abuse treatment, and prescription drug coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, every health insurance plan sold in the US must cover them.

White House says maternity care won’t be more expensive for women —if they’re on a family plan: A story of male priorities on women’s health care, in two acts.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that women wouldn’t have to worry about paying more for maternity care under Trumpcare, as long as they’re on a family plan.

The exchange came as a reporter pressed Spicer on reports that the GOP is considering repealing Obamacare’s 10 essential health benefits mandate — a requirement that all insurance plans cover services such as hospitalizations, prescriptions, preventative care, and pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

Spicer called the furor over these benefits a “philosophical discussion,” and argued that repealing them was a way to bring premiums down.

The White House may have skirted federal law to try and save its failing health care bill: Several official Twitter accounts lobbied Congress in support of the AHCA bill.

On Thursday morning, as the Trump administration frantically tried to save its deeply unpopular Affordable Care Act replacement bill, White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted out a message to Trump’s dwindling pool of supporters urging them to call their congressperson in support of the American Health Care Act.

Hours later, similarly worded tweets were sent from the official @POTUS account and Donald Trump’s personal account.

But as some people were quick to note, directly lobbying Congress in support of (or opposition to) a bill using federal dollars—including White House staff who earn federal salaries—is strictly forbidden under 18 U.S.C. § 1913.

The Trump White House seems confused about how pregnancy works: Let me teach you about the birds and the bees.

The House is expected to vote Friday on a bill that, if a faction of the most conservative House Republicans gets its way, will eliminate the requirement that insurance plans cover certain essential health benefits. These benefits include maternity care, a fact that the Trump White House views as an opportunity to pit men against women.

It’s a common joke among the Affordable Care Act’s opponents. Why should a man pay for women’s health care? Hilarious!

At least with respect to maternity care, however, there’s a very simple answer to this question. Because of the unusual nature of pregnancy, either everyone must pay for pregnancy coverage, or no one will have pregnancy coverage.

The reason why is a problem known as “adverse selection.”

In last ditch effort for votes, Trump says goal of Trumpcare is to end Planned Parenthood: Trump quite literally plays politics with women’s health.

A photo of the House Freedom Caucus and Mike Pence went viral on Thursday, and for good reason — it showed that in a discussion over the future of women’s health insurance plans, the only people in the room were white men.

In a bid to get the far-right Freedom Caucus on board, President Trump and GOP leadership (again, all men) offered to repeal Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits provision, which mandates that health insurers offer coverage for basic care like hospitalizations, prescriptions, and notably for women, pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

According to reports, however, the Freedom Caucus still doesn’t think the bill goes far enough. And on Friday, Trump took to Twitter to levy one more threat at its members, dangling women’s health coverage in front of them as bait:


The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!

There’s many ways in which Trumpcare would disproportionately affect women. It would price abortion care out of reach for many women, even some on employee-sponsored plans. It would roll back Medicaid and charge seniors more for health insurance, hurting two populations that are predominately female. With the new revisions, it will roll back maternity coverage.

And, as Trump alludes to, it would federally defund Planned Parenthood —which in practice, actually means preventing low-income and rural women and men who depend on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, STD testing, and birth control consultations. In 105 counties, Planned Parenthood is the only birth control clinic. Annually, 2.5 million women and men seek care at Planned Parenthood clinics.

Trump knows this.

Do the Scandals Matter? Not to Trumpholes.

170322_scandals-1

Click for full size.

A poll done by Morning Consult and Politico shows that the constant quake of scandals simply don’t matter much to Trumpholes. If anything, it solidifies their faithfulness to the Tiny Tyrant. That’s a prime marker of how fascism operates, and it emphasises, starkly, just how much The Resistance and all manner of activism simply cannot stop, or slow down at all.

The full story is here.

Pants On Fire: Fact Check Time!

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In the Tiny Tyrant’s latest interview, he once again went straight back to the past, resurrected old lies, and brought out a couple new ones. Politifact has the fact check, and the truth.

Confronted by his most flagrant falsehoods, President Donald Trump finally faced the question of why he makes so many unsubstantiated claims.

“What have I said that is wrong?” Trump asked.

Trump said his instinct is usually right, and he usually finds evidence supporting his claims that the media and his critics ignore — even as he continued to cite nonexistent evidence.

Here are some of Trump’s most egregious claims from the interview with TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer on March 22. Many of the statements are things we’ve debunked again and again.

Fact-checking Trump’s TIME interview on truths and falsehoods.

So Much For An Investigation.

Nunes, speaks with reporters outside the White House on Wednesday following a meeting with President Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

Nunes, speaks with reporters outside the White House on Wednesday following a meeting with President Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) claims to have evidence that President Donald Trump was surveilled after all.

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday, FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers both said they know of no information supporting the president’s allegation. They also confirmed that President Trump’s connections with Russia are under investigation. On Wednesday, however, Nunes called a press conference and said he “recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition.”

He framed his claim as big news.

And there’s a problem. It’s not big news. It’s not a vindication. It is obstruction of justice, which Nunes doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about.

But incidental collection isn’t uncommon when American citizens are in touch with foreign agents. Leaks regarding Michael Flynn’s talks with the Russian ambassador were what led to Flynn’s ouster as Trump’s national security adviser, because they confirmed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence regarding the substance of those talks.

Any intelligence report detailing communications between Trump transition officials and foreign agents would be classified. But instead of bringing whatever information he has to the attention of the intelligence community, Nunes addressed reporters and then headed straight to the White House to inform the target of an ongoing FBI investigation.

[…]

After talking to the president, Nunes again faced the media and contradicted himself about what his evidence means, saying in the same breath that it both supports and refutes Trump’s wiretap allegations. He was also evasive about where the alleged surveillance occurred, who it targeted, and what form it took.

Yes, that happens when you don’t have evidence, and you simply make shit up out of whole cloth.

On MSNBC, Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff for the CIA, said he’s “never heard of a chairman of an oversight committee going to brief the president of the United States about concerns he has about things he’s read in intelligence reports.”

“The job of the committee is to do oversight over the executive branch — not to bring them in to their investigation or tip them off to things they may have been looking at,” Bash added. “I’ve gotta believe other members of the committee are horrified at what they just witnessed.”

I certainly hope someone other than all us reading about this are horrified. This is not on the same level of Keystone farce the rest of the regime show has been, this is very serious, and it should be taken seriously, and be investigated properly.

In a statement, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Community, released a statement saying that whatever information Nunes has “should have been shared with members of the committee” before the president was informed.

“The Chairman also shared this information with the White House before providing it to the committee, another profound irregularity, given that the matter is currently under investigation,” Schiff said. “I have expressed my grave concerns with the Chairman that a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way.”

I fully agree. It remains to be seen if a proper, credible investigation can even take place inside the big ol’ circus tent which used to be a government.

As chair of the Intelligence Committee, Nunes is currently overseeing the House’s investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia.

Right. An oversight chair who is going to go running to the press with nonsense every 5 seconds, and while busy decrying leaks, running off to leak to the Tiny Tyrant at every opportunity.

Think Progress has the full story.

The Key to Republican Votes? More Cruelty.

Disney.

Disney.

It seems the key to all the Republican Cruellas is Cruelty. The Fuck You Care Plan was looking at crashing and burning, but the two prime Cruellas, Trump and Ryan, have found a way to pull in the reluctant rethugs, who felt the “replacement” was simply too kind.

In a sane world, the problem with the House’s Trumpcare bill would be that it kicks 14 million people off of their health insurance in year one and uses the savings to give rich people a big tax cut.

In our world, though, the problem for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was that scores of his own members didn’t think the bill was harsh enough. With only a couple dozen votes to spare in the House, and party leaders rushing toward a vote to minimize public scrutiny, the initial revolt was enough to force tweaks.

Those changes landed Monday night in the form of a “manager’s amendment” to the Trumpcare proposal. The amendment makes Medicaid cuts even deeper, frees up governors to raid the program to plug other budget holes, and ends Medicaid expansion under Obamacare much sooner than Ryan’s original bill.

This would be why there was the previous insistence of a vote first, without looking over the changes. No one is being allowed all that close of a look, however, so there are no estimates as to how many people this version will screw over. You can be certain it will be more.

The new version accelerates that process of shoving poor, disabled, and elderly people off a health care cliff. Medicaid expansion would freeze immediately rather than in two years. While the 11 million slightly-less-poor-than-the-poverty-line Americans who today receive health insurance thanks to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid would technically be grandfathered in, there’s a false bottom to their recently-gained financial and medical security.

Anyone whose coverage lapses, or who takes a seasonal job that bumps their income up too high to be covered, would not be able to re-enroll in Medicaid after that blip. At the same time, the topline reductions in federal Medicaid spending would create fiscal attrition, effectively forcing states to throw Medicaid expansion patients back into the uninsured gutter a bit more quickly than the first version of Trumpcare.

The amendment also adds a cash incentive for states to impose work requirements for non-pregnant, non-disabled, non-elderly Medicaid recipients. Work requirements in anti-poverty programs are a longstanding and bipartisan white whale, despite their failure to achieve anything other than higher poverty rates.

Medicaid will be no exception, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities health care policy expert Judy Solomon told ThinkProgress. “While most adults on Medicaid already do work, the work requirement would likely prevent other eligible people from enrolling, including, for example, a young adult attending college, a married mother taking care of an infant, or an adult caring for an aging parent,” Solomon said.

There really is no limit to just how much rethuglicans want to stomp all over poor people. I expect what they’d truly like to do is “cull the herd”, but as that might meet some hard edged resistance, this slow way of killing people will have to do.

A few key low-ranking Republicans have already hinted the changes will secure their votes. A dozen members of the hard-right Republican Study Committee summoned to the White House on Friday agreed to embrace Trumpcare if the deeper Medicaid cuts were added, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) told the Washington Post.

Is everyone feeling loved by their representatives?

The amendments to Trumpcare effectively trade American lives for Republican votes. Like its predecessor, the 2.0 version is a swindle masquerading as technical, wonky reform. It will take medical care away from low-income families, which will mean more people in those families die sooner than they would have if they could still afford insurance coverage.

The bodies will be piling up against The Great Gold Curtain.

Via Think Progress.

Oh yes, almost forgot – this is what the Tiny Tyrant is concerned about:

According to CNN, Trump began his meeting with Republicans by congratulating himself for the crowd size at a Monday night rally in Louisville, Kentucky. The president warned that the value of his earned media would be diminished if the health care bill fails.

“We won’t have these crowds if we don’t get this done,” he reportedly complained.

There Was A Wiretap!

Brian R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images.

Brian R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images.

Oh my. There was a wire “tapp”. It was in 2013, in pursuit of Russian mobsters inhabiting Trump Towers. The Daily Kos has an excellent breakdown. Contrary to what Trumpholes might think, this isn’t, in any way, good news for the Tiny Tyrant. This simply highlights unsavoury and possibly illegal ties, and illuminates the nest of lies which pass for facts in Trumpland.

Via Daily KosABC News reports that the FBI obtained a warrant to eavesdrop on “a sophisticated Russian organized crime money laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower” starting in 2011 and ending in 2013.

ABC News notes that the FBI’s investigation into the mobsters led “to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including one of the world’s most notorious Russian mafia bosses, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov.” Despite the fact that the scheme was being run out of Trump Tower, Trump himself was not implicated in the FBI’s indictment.

Although Tokhtakhounov evaded arrest in the early part of 2013, he did manage to publicly resurface later that year when he appeared at the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in November — where he was spotted near Donald Trump in the VIP section.

Oh look, there’s Donnie, happily hanging with the other villains. Trump’s insistence that he “doesn’t know any of these people” is such a weak attempt at covering up, I’m surprised he’s trying it on. Ah well, Trumpholes will swallow anything.

Trump in 2013 took to Twitter to express excitement about attending the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow that year, and even wondered if Russian President Vladimir Putin would become his “new best friend.”

Yes. Look how that’s turned out. Tsk.

Via Daily Kos, ABC News, and Raw Story.