ProgressVirginia reported Tuesday afternoon that the Virginia Senate’s Privileges and Elections Committee killed Sen. Charles “Bill” Carrico Sr.’s electoral college-rigging bill, despite an offer by Carrico to amend the bill to award electors in proportion to the state’s popular vote. The vote was 11-4 against the bill, although it will not be official until the close of the committee meeting.
The man behind Breitbart, Donald Trump, and Bannon's hit book on Hillary Clinton has another bullet point to add to his resume. It turns out that Robert Mercer, reclusive hedge fund billionaire, also funded Milo Yiannopoulis' college bus tour, designed to dump on trans people and generally behave in a hateful way.
So who funds this endeavor? Who pays for a team of young men to travel the country in a tour bus? The answer resides in the organization behind the tour. Glittering Steel, LLC is a small production company located at the same address in Beverly Hills as Breitbart News and a number of other companies owned and supported by Trump-supporting Hedge funder Robert Mercer.
Behold my congressman, Rodney Davis, lying rather promiscuously to Ali Velschi about all the wonderful things that will happen with health care under The Bastard President one of these fine days. How costs will come down. How 51 million Americans who are still uninsured or underinsured will all be taken care of. (No, really, he said that):
REP RODNEY DAVIS (R-IL) We negotiated some changes, positive changes that will help states like Illinois, positive changes to make sure that the rug isn't pulled out from anyone right now. President Trump has been fully engaged. He understands the impact of this bill not passing. He understands the promises that he made and what we need to actually fix this broken health care system that still has left 21 million people without health insurance and 31 million people that can't afford to use the coverage that they have.
How President Trump will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away.
Did you notice how much blinking Rodney Davis is doing in this clip? Newbie liar needs practice.
And now is the time to mention that no, Rodney Davis is not in a safe district, and he has clearly sold his soul for a piece of that sweet, sweet, Paul Ryan fundraising cheesecake. Good luck with that Rodney. My wife is a knitter, and has had a hard time getting pink pussy-hat yarn locally. Let that sink in.
Fox Business' Stuart Varney, the acerbic host who usually saves his acid tongue for Obama and the Democrats, instead railed against the entire Republican establishment for refusing to pass the AHCA bill today, which he believes puts their entire agenda in jeopardy.
He opened his show with a blistering argument with Rep. Louis Gohmert, who is part of the Freedom Caucus and remains a no vote.
He then sparred with Freedom Caucus lover Charles Payne, who believes that if the bill should go down in flames, it's no big deal.
Varney said, "Do you not think this is a political cat astrophe for the Republican Party? - and the very first thing that comes up for a vote, they lose? They're not unified, they lose. We're playing politics here. It is not aquestion whether it's a good bill or a bad bill, This is political reality. Pass this thing and govern."
Interesting definition of "governing" you got there, Stuart.
Payne used the standard trope that since Trump is not a politician, nobody cares if he's not successful with this bill. And what matters is long-term success for the Republicans (which on Varney's program means tax cuts for the rich, every day, all day.)
Even though Trump has embraced this bill and the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan is being used as the scapegoat if it fails. Payne said, "I really wish Paul Ryan wasn't in charge of it from the very beginning. that is where they blew it."
BREAKING: Chairman just cancelled open Intelligence Committee hearing with Clapper, Brennan and Yates in attempt to choke off public info.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 24, 2017
Devin Nunes can't win.
If he had held the House Intelligence Committee meeting today with Sally Yates and other Intel chiefs (and yes, it is not easy to get schedules to coordinate that high up), the Sunday shows would be all about the information in that hearing and how damaging it is to the Trump White House.
Instead, the Sunday Shows will be about Devin Nunes and his totally not transparent attempt to cover up for the Trump White House by cancelling the hearing.
Good going, Devin!
Anyone else feel like Nunes is in waayyy over his head?
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 24, 2017
Part of what's so odd about the Nunes stuff is that his committee is totally unequipped to pursue an actual investigation in the first place
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 24, 2017
Do you hate it when GOP daddy and GOP daddy fight?
(Yes the GOP has two daddies. Or more. Don't forget President Bannon.)
Here's what some anonymous C&L staffers have been saying behind the scenes:
First thing that comes to mind is when they unveiled this, Trump sold it as a "great plan" and how it was orchestrated by his "great HHS secretary". Umm, what happened there?
Second. If I was Ryan I would announce tomorrow that they are pulling the bill and working on their own. If they pass it then Trump can either sign it or not. Put the ball back in his court.
Third. Trump is playing with fire because his only protection right now is Republicans wanting to pass their agenda, but if he starts throwing them under the bus, suddenly things like support for a select committee on Russia could become a bigger possibility.
This is going to be FUNNNN!
Here's the thing. Trump wanted that vote TODAY because he wanted to sh*t on Obama's accomplishment. The symbolism was everything. He may not have hired hookers to piss on a bed Obama slept in, but that's exactly what he wanted here. Now that he can't have it, he doesn't really care if he gets anything.
Negotiators are working frantically to win House passage of the GOP's health care bill. They're doing so mostly by offering to make the bill more punitive:
Conservatives are using their considerable leverage on the measure ... to extract concessions on the Essential Health Benefits section of the bill, which mandates that insurers offer plans covering 10 services: outpatient care, emergency room visits, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and addiction treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, lab services, preventive care and pediatric services.
But apparently it's not punitive enough:
Though the move represented a win for conservatives, many Freedom Caucus members refused to commit their support for the bill. They want to cut even more Obamacare regulations, including its popular provision requiring insurers to offer coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
And every change that makes the bill more appealing to conservatives makes it less appealing to Republican moderates:
... a last-ditch bid by the White House to win conservative support late Wednesday appeared to repel moderates.
So, I woke up yesterday morning thinking about the terrorist attacks in London, Republicans wanting to take health insurance away from 24 million Americans, a hearing for a Supreme Court Justice while the actual Supreme Court overruled him 8-0, investigations into the president’s participation in collusion with the Russians to steal our president election, Rex Tillerson not wanting to be Secretary of State so there, and the head of the House Select Committee on Intelligence scampering around like a squirrel to report to Donald Trump.
And this image (above) on the front page of my local newspaper. And it made the New York Times.
Yeah, Rick Perry took time out of his overloaded loafing schedule to pitch a walleyed snot nosed hissy fit that his alma mater, Texas A&M University, elected the first openly gay guy to be student body president. And that’s REAL. IMPORTANT to Rick.
Perry, oddly, claimed that the election was stolen and here’s the reason why I say it is odd: because the gay guy’s opponent was disqualified because he violated the rules of the election and Perry thinks that’s unfair.
Holy. Damn. Crap.
So Rick Perry thinks elections are knife fights and have no rules?
What Would Jack Do: Trump vs. Kaepernick -- compare and contrast.
TYWKIWDBI: Trump vs. Merkel -- compare and contrast.
Brane Space: Desperate Republicans tried to subvert the hearings into an attack on "leaks", but they really meant whistle-blowers.
Max's Dad: Comey suffers from buyer's remorse. Others have yet to wake up.
Blog round-up by Infidel753. Tips to mbru [at] crooksandliars [dot] com.
Yes kids, a sitting Georgia Congressman compared denying health insurance to millions of Americans as getting a goat out of his house.
What else can you do but auto-tune that goat man and sing along? (Also, Kellyanne and her microwave.)
Open thread below...
Rep. Mike Quigley joined Chris Matthews on Hardball tonight to discuss the latest news coming out of the House Intel Committee, which is currently being run by former Trump Transition Team Member (and current Trump bootlicker), Devin Nunes.
When asked about whether Nunes can be considered impartial after he chose to run to the White House with shady intel he may he received via a leak (ironic) versus talking to the Intel Commitee, Quigley said the following:
"Well, it makes it far more difficult for him. He has to overcome this assumption he has a different master than a chairman of this important investigation. I have to be fair the first two years that I have served with him, he has been a good chairman. He's run his meetings very well. Ever since Mr. tTrump has become President, though, unfortunately, it's been a different story.... I can't stress enough. This is the most important investigation of a President in our history since Watergate. The person investigating it has to be of an open mind and has to understand he cannot serve the President, he's a member of Congress."
After a little chit chat they went back Matthews proposed that the White House may have put some "heat on" Nunes to take a stand to support Trump.
When Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted came out in 1992 I listened to a lot. And I mean A LOT. One day I was on what was probably my eighth playing of the day of it when my neighbor came over and asked me "You ever heard of the Groundhogs?"
I had heard of the band but never heard them. "Aren't they some old man Brit blues band?" I replied. My neighbor said "Well, to an extent, yes but what you keep listening to reminds me of them."
The next day he brought me over a cassette he made of their album Thank Christ for the Bomb. You know what? I did remind me a little bit of Pavement too. Later down the road I read an interview with Steve Malkmus of Pavement where he said good things about the album too.
Tony McPhee has been the one constant member of the Groundhogs since their formation in 1963. He's still out there doing it. He turns 73 years old today.
What are you listening to tonight?
The White House has laid down the gauntlet to Paul Ryan and the Congress: No more negotiations, just vote on the "Die and Die Quickly" bill and if the bill dies, it dies.
The first vote, which appears to be a test vote, will take place at 8AM Eastern Daylight Time.
Politico reports that OMB director Mick Mulvaney laid down the final terms in a meeting earlier Thursday, ending by telling them Trump was finished with negotiating, instead demanding an up-or-down vote, regardless of the outcome.
All day Thursday, they did not have the votes. There is no evidence that they will have the votes in the morning. The holdouts are the Freedom Caucus, who believe this beast of a bill doesn't go far enough. They wanted repeal of the ban on annual and lifetime limits, risk corridors for insurers, and more.
There was even talk at one point about lifting the ban on pre-existing conditions, but apparently the White House drew the line at that.
Meanwhile, Trump is apparently having some regrets about taking on health care instead of tax reform. Since he couldn't get a repeal vote on the 7th anniversary -- his way of defiling Barack Obama's legacy -- he wishes he'd never attempted it at all.
Donald Trump, Jr. is an idiot, but you knew that. USA Today reports:
Donald Trump Jr. is under fire for tweeting hours after Wednesday's London attack a comment from London Mayor Sadiq Khan from a month ago that terror attacks had become "part and parcel" of life in a global city.
Trump Jr. tweeted : "You have to be kidding me?!: Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan." The tweet included a link to a Sept. 22 story from Britain's Independent newspaper that includes the quote from Khan asking Londoners to be vigilant following a bombing in New York City. Khan was quoted the day after three bombs exploded in N.Y. and nearby towns, wounding 29 people.
So Trump Jr. grabs a quote from when bombs hit New York City last fall, quotes the London Mayor out of context, and uses the quote against the mayor in a tweet the DAY of a terror attack on London?
The Mayor kept it classy.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan: "I'm not going to respond to a tweet from Donald Trump Jr, I've been doing more important things over the past 24h" pic.twitter.com/JGibM7vWOT
— CNN (@CNN) March 23, 2017
But one member of Parliament did take time to address Dummy Junior:
Craig Moss was an ardent Trump supporter. He went to many rallies, even sang songs for him. He was all in, until the cruel Trumpcare plan was introduced. Then things changed.
Moss believed in Trump because he believed he was going to do something about the epidemic of opioid addiction, which killed his 24-year old son in 2014. During this interview with Jake Tapper, he explained why he's so disappointed in Trump and the Congress, particularly with regard to the cuts in opioid addiction treatment.
"[Trumpcare] takes away the only hope these kids and these young adults have," Moss explained. It takes away the hope that the only lifeline that they have to get off this drug -- we were supposed to add to the services that are currently available and what's happened is we're taking away what we're supposed to add to."
"It's a tragedy that they're even considering trying to put this thing through," he added.
Moss actually had an opportunity to ask Trump during the campaign about his plans for opioid addiction and healthcare, which he described with regretful fondness.
Describing one encounter, Moss said, "[Trump] consoled me, he comforted me. he told me we are going to work at putting facilities more available for these kids and to get these kids off opioids and get them off the heroin and do the best we can in order to combat the epidemic we find ourselves in."
Roger Stone, a close friend and confidant to President Donald Trump, sent a letter to CNN host Jake Tapper to defend himself against allegations that he colluded with Russian operatives to damage Hillary Clinton's campaign.
In a report on Wednesday, CNN revealed that the FBI had learned that associates of the president appeared to have coordinated with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
And although the report did not explicitly accuse Stone of wrongdoing, Tapper said on Thursday that the Trump ally had sent CNN a letter to defend himself.
Stone's letter begins by accusing House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff (D-CA) of running a "Kangaroo Court" and "engaging in demagoguery, red-baiting, fear mongering half truths and innuendo."
"Neither the president or I have anything to fear from a full and fair investigation of these bogus charges of Russian collusion," Stone insists. "But now Adam Schiff, having slimed me in public session seems to be backing away from the confrontation. I demand a right to face my accusers. I will deconstruct their lies and spank them like children."
They just didn't realize healthcare was complicated. And health insurance is popular.
Most of these Republicans in the House were elected SINCE 2008. They've never known a day on the job when they weren't fighting Obamacare. But now their constituents (and let's face it, truly awful people even farther to the right on repeal) have convinced so many of them to vote NO that it would be embarrassing to Paul Ryan to actually, you know, hold a vote.
Who am I kidding, Paul Ryan is TOTALLY embarrassed by this.
Welp, back to the drawing board!
Maybe the House GOP can spend the next 22 months coming up with something better before they lose their majority in 2018.
#BREAKING US healthcare vote delayed in blow to Trump: Congressional source
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 23, 2017
Step 1 Create bill public hates. Step 2 Don't get enough Yes votes to pass. Step 3 Go home to talk to public. Step 4 Get enough yes votes?
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) March 23, 2017
After Rep. Nunes refused to rule out the White House as his source of information on his "incidental collection" allegations of Trump officials, Sean Spicer said, "it doesn't really past the smell test."
I wonder what it smells like every time Donald Trump tells a lie.
Rep. Nunes gave a tepid apology this morning over his keystone Cops routine from yesterday, but then a reporter asked him "did this information that you got come from the White House?"
Rep. Nunes didn't shut that down and replied, "As you know, we have to keep our sources and methods here very, very quiet."
During the White House press briefing, Spicer was then asked to respond, "Chairman Nunes refused to definitively rule out that he received the information - he got from the White House. so, will you rule out the White House or anyone in the Trump administration gave Chairman Nunes that information?"
Spicer said he wasn't part of Rep. Nunes' briefing with Trump, didn't understand why he would brief the president on something "we" gave him" and the reporter replied, "that's why it was confusing to many of us."
Spicer continued, "I don't know that that makes sense. I did not sit in on that briefing."
Bernie Sanders was interviewed by Mrs. Greenspan today.
ON ACHA: Let's also not forget, Andrea that we have a president -- I know I will shock your viewers by suggesting he doesn't always tell the truth. But this is a guy who campaigned by saying I'm going to provide health care to all Americans. It's going to be great, fantastic, all Americans. It's a lie. Over 20 million people lose their health insurance. What they will move toward is a system in which you will have catastrophic health insurance. You will have very high deductibles, very high copayments, it will cover very little. It will be in many cases cheap. But you are not going to have the health insurance you need to protect yourself and your family.
Just a reminder, Bernie is right. Watch Trump lie:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told his colleagues Thursday morning that he would not be voting for Judge Neil Gorsuch.
On the Senate floor Schumer said, "After careful deliberation, I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court." "His nomination will have a cloture vote. He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same."
"I'm voting no on Gorsuch for Alfonse Madden and workers across the country. For the Wong family and for others who don't want to choose between their health and providing for their children and for the Perkins family, who loved their children just as they are and want them no less than the opportunities afforded to every child in America."
He continued, " The American people deserve someone who sees average litigants as more than incidental consequences of precedent when that precedent produces an absurd result. Whose view of the law is not so cold and so arid so as to ring out every last drop of humanity and common sense. It requires only the bare minimum of juridical decency to rule the right way in the cases I mentioned and Judge Gorsuch did not."