Monday, July 30, 2018

Last Call For Russian To Judgment

The dark comedy that is the Trump regime has basically treated the entire Russian collusion story like this so far:

  • We didn't do anything wrong, we didn't even contact the Russians.
  • OK, we contacted the Russians but it wasn't about the elections.
  • OK, we contacted the Russians about the elections but it wasn't a face-to-face meeting.
  • OK we met personally with some Russians about the election but it wasn't collusion.

So we've taken another step down the road today, as we get to the next logical denial from Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Monday that he's not sure collusion with Russia would be considered a crime
But legal experts have repeatedly said that anyone found collaborating with Russia on the 2016 election could be charged with other crimes, such as conspiracy -- and special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is ongoing. 
Asked about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's upcoming trial, Giuliani told CNN "New Day" co-anchor Alisyn Camerota that Manafort "was not involved with intimate business relationships with Donald Trump." 
"Four months, they're not going to be colluding with Russia, which I don't even know if that's a crime, colluding about Russians," Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, continued. "You start analyzing the crime -- the hacking is the crime. ... The President didn't hack." 
The President has repeatedly denied that there was any collusion between his campaign and Moscow. But he has made a similar argument to that of Giuliani's, telling The New York Times in December that "There is no collusion, and even if there was, it's not a crime."

The next one will be of course "There was collusion and it was smart politics for us to do it."  It's at that point where we go over the cliff, but I'll be damned if there's not a large chunk of the country already over the edge and more and more bits of it are falling into the abyss daily.

The Revenge Of The Return Of Shutdown Countdown

Donald Trump apparently really wants the GOP to lose control of Congress, threatening once again over the weekend to shut down the government right before midterm elections unless he gets funding for his border wall boondoggle.

Congressional Republicans, already facing a difficult election landscape, confronted a prospect on Sunday they had worked feverishly to avoid: a threat by President Trump to shut down the government over funding for a border wall. 
“I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!” 
Last week, Republican leaders thought they had reached a deal with Mr. Trump to delay a confrontation on funding for the wall until after the November midterm elections, according to a person familiar with their discussion. 
But Mr. Trump’s shutdown threat, in which he also demanded several pieces of a comprehensive immigration overhaul that is stalled in Congress, has opened the door to a politically bruising spending fight as the fiscal year ends in September.
With the election coming just weeks later, the party can ill afford a disruption that voters — already disgusted by Washington dysfunction — may hold the president accountable for.
A shutdown would also distract from Senate Republicans’ main business in September: their push to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

You would think by now that House and Senate GOP folks would have realized that Donald Trump is a lying sack of incontinent yak dung who would gladly sacrifice each and every single Republican in DC in order to stay in power, but I never said Republicans were smart (just crafty and wholly evil.)  Trump of course has done this before.

Trump repeated his threat today during a press briefing with Italian PM Giuseppe Conte.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday again threatened to shut down the federal government if Congress does not pass the immigration reforms he seeks as part of a spending package that must be passed by the end of September.

If we don’t get border security, after many, many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown,” Trump said during a news conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 
Asked if he required the full $25 billion the White House has requested to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, as well as his other immigration priorities, in order to avert a shutdown, Trump replied, “I always leave room for negotiation.”

Surprise, Trump doesn't think your deal is worth crap, boys.  And these clowns never seem to understand that there is no such thing as a deal with Trump.

I hope Democrats have gotten this through their heads already.  Republicans certainly have not.

Putting A Price Tag On It

The Koch-funded Mercatus Center is putting a $32.6 trillion price tag on Medicare For All over ten years, and precisely nobody's happy about it, least of all Bernie.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a study by a university-based libertarian policy center. 
That’s trillion with a “T.” 
The latest plan from the Vermont independent would require historic tax increases as government replaces what employers and consumers now pay for health care, according to the analysis being released Monday by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia. It would deliver significant savings on administration and drug costs, but increased demand for care would drive up spending, the analysis found.
Sanders’ plan builds on Medicare, the popular insurance program for seniors. All U.S. residents would be covered with no copays and deductibles for medical services. The insurance industry would be relegated to a minor role. 
“Enacting something like ‘Medicare for all’ would be a transformative change in the size of the federal government,” said Charles Blahous, the study’s author. Blahous was a senior economic adviser to former President George W. Bush and a public trustee of Social Security and Medicare during the Obama administration. 
Responding to the study, Sanders took aim at the Mercatus Center, which receives funding from the conservative Koch brothers. Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch is on the center’s board. 
“If every major country on earth can guarantee health care to all, and achieve better health outcomes, while spending substantially less per capita than we do, it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the United States cannot do the same,” Sanders said in a statement. “This grossly misleading and biased report is the Koch brothers response to the growing support in our country for a ‘Medicare for all’ program.” 
Sanders’ office has not done a cost analysis, a spokesman said. However, the Mercatus estimates are within the range of other cost projections for Sanders’ 2016 plan. 
Sanders’ staff found an error in an initial version of the Mercatus report, which counted a long-term care program that was in the 2016 proposal but not the current one. Blahous corrected it, reducing his estimate by about $3 trillion over 10 years. Blahous says the report is his own work, not the Koch brothers’.

I would think there's a happy medium between spending $3 trillion a year and what we have now, of course when we tried that, Republicans and more than a few Democrats did their dead-level best to dismantle such a plan, maybe you heard of that whole Affordable Care Act thing.

Yes, this is the Koch brothers going after Bernie and unfairly, but Medicare For All isn't going to be free, either.  I would like to see Bernie's hard numbers too, but it's his own damn fault if he's silly enough to let the Kochs get ahead of him on this. 

Bernie can fix this by putting out his own numbers, and until he does, other right-wing think tank shops are going to keep beating him into the ground on this.  He hasn't done so yet, and that's nobody's fault but his own.


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