Thursday, January 5, 2017

Kasich's Bill Comes Due

Understand that Trump and his administration are motivated by greed and petty revenge, and as we get closer to his inauguration, you're going to start seeing those in the GOP who dared to oppose Trump start to pay a higher and higher price for doing so.  Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich is definitely on the top of that list.

On Friday, President-elect Donald Trump and Gov. John Kasich will face off in their latest proxy battle for the hearts and minds of Ohio Republicans – and the president-elect himself on Thursday entered the fray.

Trump supporter Jane Timken, a Cincinnati native and Walnut Hills High School graduate, is challenging Kasich-backed incumbent Matt Borges for the Ohio Republican Party's top spot.

On Thursday, Trump himself called at least two Southwest Ohioans who have a vote in the race for chairperson, pushing for Timken's election, according to a person close to the situation. Kasich has also made personal calls.

Kasich and his supporters installed Borges as chairman in 2013 after they deposed former leader Kevin DeWine and replaced much of the party's governing body with supporters. But some Republicans, including Trump, aren't thrilled with Borges' tepid support of the president-elect – or with the opposition Trump experienced this fall from Kasich.

Why would a president-elect care about a state GOP chair?  Just to piss off Kasich, of course.

Even before Trump started making phone calls on her behalf, Timken had Trump's support to challenge Borges. "I spoke with President-elect Trump and he agrees that it is time for a leadership change at the ORP," she wrote in an email to the Ohio Republican Party's 66 central committee members.

Kasich is backing Borges. "He has done an outstanding job running a complex organization and has an unparalleled record of winning," the governor said in a statement.

Trump and Kasich waged a war of words throughout the GOP primary campaign, when both were presidential hopefuls, and into November. In July, Trump's then-campaign manager Paul Manafort bashed Kasich before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Kasich later refused to endorse Trump or even vote for him.

Borges largely stood by Kasich, speaking out against Trump's policies and demeanor before ultimately backing him in the general election. Many Republicans thought Borges should have kept his mouth shut.

The Trump-Kasich fight continues with this latest round, the battle for control of the Ohio Republican Party. If the state's top Republican is out of step with the nation's top Republican, where will the state party stand?

And they'll have to tread carefully.  Maybe it'll make an opening for Ohio Dems.  Maybe.  We'll see.

The Rhetoric Has Consequences

Since Trump and the GOP have declared war on American Muslims over the last year and change, things have gotten very bad for our friends and neighbors, to the point now where local governments full of Trump-voting bigots are using everything from traffic studies to zoning ordinances to get rid of Islamic centers and places of worship in an effort to NIMBY them out of town.  This is particularly bad in Virginia, where hate is running rampant.

Turns out the Islamic Center of Fredericksburg has been operating in Spotsylvania County for 28 years. And Shalaby’s family has been there for 31. Until last year, they were viewed as neighbors. They were engineers, car salesmen, moms picking up their kids from soccer games or band practice. 
But then Donald Trump began running for president, pledging to ban Muslims from entering the country and establish a registry for Muslim Americans
It was amid that heated and ugly rhetoric that the center announced its expansion plans — and promptly ran into a wall of opposition. And now, a year later, the Islamic center is still tied up in traffic-pattern objections and subdivision squabbles. 
In Culpeper, about 40 miles away, local officials rubber stamped pump-and-haul permits to handle sewage for businesses or houses of worship. The county board approved 26 of them since 1992, including nine for churches. 
But when the Islamic Center of Culpeper bought a parcel of land and proposed a small mosque, a local Republican activist whipped the community in a frenzy over the sewage permit, which became a sneaky way to block the entire project. 
“I understand the Islamic Center of Culpeper wishes to rehabilitate the existing home and use it on a weekly basis as a place of prayer. . . . Hmmmmmmmmm,” he wrote. And right after that — just like Fredericksburg — there was a raucous community meeting with abnormally high attendance, there was grandstanding and a round of applause after the board broke its quarter-century streak of issuing permits and denied that one. 
Its decision was so ham-handed that the Justice Department hit Culpeper County with a lawsuit last month based on the Religious Land Use act. Justice has plenty of ammo on this case, from the emails sent out before the meeting to the communications that other board members got from folks opposing the mosque — emails that mentioned terrorists, not sewage.

This is the other real problem.  Does anyone believe for a moment that a Trump administration would ever direct a Department of Justice headed by Jeff Sessions to go after a city denying permits to an Islamic center?  What happens to the lawsuit against Culpeper County after January 20? How much do you want to bet that the lawsuit quietly vanishes?

And now we’ve got Nokesville. 
About 200 Muslims who hold their prayers in rented hotel space in Manassas want to build their own space. It would be the Nokesville branch of the All Dulles Area Muslim ­Society (ADAMS), one of the country’s largest and most prominent mosques. ADAMS has 11 chapters around Northern Virginia and the District. 
They’ve been working with county officials for two years now on the building’s height, lighting and parking on the parcel of land they bought. But that cooperation hasn’t been enough for some opponents. 
“No more suburban sprawl!” they say. And they’re pushing their leaders to deny connection to the public sewage system the mosque would need. 
Two churches recently got this very same approval. Churches. 
Rizwan Jaka, chairman of the ADAMS board, told The Washington Post’s Tara Bahrampour that the concern over sewage is a red herring and something he’s seeing across the country. 
“With over 30 mosques being prevented from being built based off of anti-Muslim bigotry or implicit bias wrapped in land-use arguments, that gives us some concern,” he said.

It's this bad now before these local governments start having the DoJ weigh in to help them persecute Muslims, as will most certainly happen.  Why would anyone think a President who has openly advocated rounding up Muslims would ever start enforcing their religious freedoms?  That only applies to Christianity (and remember who is in the Trump camp these days, the First Amendment's application to America's Jewish population would be selective at best.)

But this is the new reality, folks.  Expect a lot more of this in the months to come.

All Over The Place On The ACA

Yesterday was a bad day for the GOP on Obamacare repeal, judging from the headlines at Talking Points Memo.

First, that's NC Republican Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones in a state of near-panic over the lack of a replacement for the ACA, even though Republicans have been working on one for more than six year.

Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) on Wednesday joined a growing, if not extremely vocal, chorus of Republicans warning that the GOP should not move forward with its longtime goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act until it has a replacement plan ready to go.

You cannot repeal and not replace,” Jones told MSNBC’s Peter Alexander. “You have to replace.”

Asked to elaborate on what a replacement would look like, Jones acknowledged that he and his fellow GOP lawmakers have yet to see a proposed bill in writing.

Second, Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso doesn't think anyone's actually getting insurance through the ACA because it's all a big lie or something.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) accused leading Democrats, including President Obama, of making up the number of people insured under Obamacare.

"It’s interesting the numbers because the president uses one number. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi came out with a much higher number. I think they're making them up," Barrasso told reporters Wednesday on Capitol Hill when asked about whether the GOP plans to maintain Obamacare's coverage levels. "We've done a lot of research into what the numbers truly are."

Which brings us to Kellyanne Mouth of Sauron Conway, who says "If you like your Obamacare plan, you can keep it!"

Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway says that the Trump administration doesn't want anyone who currently has health insurance to lose it due to Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

We don't want anyone who currently has insurance to not have insurance,” Conway said Tuesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Conway was responding to co-host Joe Scarborough, who asked if Americans who “have healthcare today under the Affordable Care Act” would be covered under the Republican replacement plan for the healthcare law.

Conway didn’t present any details on what a replacement for Obamacare would look like in the interview. She said it would be "the ideal situation" if Republicans had a replacement plan for the ACA immediately available upon repeal, but said “some experts say that it could take years to actually complete the process.”

I'd laugh at this upcoming disaster, except for the fact that millions of Americans are going to suffer because these assholes hate the fact a black president did more for America than these idiots ever will, and all the people who voted for him will have to be punished.

Never forget that's the plan.


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