Friday Open Thread

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”

–Mark Twain

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Let me open the day's events with a rousing declaration that Trump Stinks.  Stay upwind my friends.

     

  2. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    The slippery slope to anarchy….

    Judge Tosses Jury’s Conviction Of Woman Who Laughed At Jeff Sessions

     A D.C. judge has tossed out a jury’s conviction of a protester who laughed during Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate confirmation hearing, finding on Friday that the government had made improper arguments during the trial. 

    Desiree Fairooz, 61, who was associated with the group Code Pink, had been convicted of disorderly and disruptive conduct and demonstrating inside the Capitol. But Chief Judge Robert E. Morin of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia tossed out the guilty verdict because the government had argued that the laugh in and of itself was enough to warrant a guilty verdict.

     

  3. ParkHill says:

    ROTD (Read of the Day from Brad DeLong – 2014): What's Wrong with Obamacare (i.e. stuff easily fixed)

    Obamacare is primarily: "an expansion of Medicaid coupled with the creation of exchanges to give individuals and small groups access to something like the benefits departments that large bureaucracies already had".

    The more people know about Obamacare the less they like it. The opposite is true.

    20 states… have so far refused to take part in [Medicaid expansion]: 90% of the counties with one or fewer insurance options are in Republican states that refused to expand Medicaid. Insurance options and Safety-net hospitals in expansion states are doing fine. Insurance and health care options are collapsing in the rural parts of Red states. The economic impact of the federal funding for medicaid expansion is on the order of +/-3% (to the benefit of expansion states, and the detriment of non-expansion states.)

    Community Rating and Pre-existing Conditions require enforcement of the mandate. "freeloading is even more of an infringement of somebody's liberty than a mandate-to-purchase is." Community Rating is the alternative to High-risk pools.

    A final note from Uwe Reinhart:

    The idea that American patients should have “more skin in the game” through higher cost sharing, inducing them to shop around for cost-effective health care, so far has been about as sensible as blindfolding shoppers entering a department store in the hope that inside they can and will then shop smartly for the merchandise they seek.

     

     

     

  4. ParkHill says:

    Actually, the ROTD is and always should be Talking Points Memo. Maybe Vox.com as well.

    Meanwhile, in the WTF of the day: 

    Can anyone explain why Jared Kushner's Security Clearance application did not mention 100 meetings with foreign nationals, and specifically hid the presence of a Russian intelligence officer turn lobbyist at a meeting at Trump Tower that had the express promise of producing dirt on Hillary Clinton?

    Now we know why he needed a frickin' secure method of communication with the Russians.

    Calling all minions! Minions to the quarter deck! Moldy? Cornholio? 

    • unnamed says:

      Here to tell us your sad ACA story Cornholio?

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      You gotta be kidding….right?

    • DawnPatrol says:

      CarnHolio, you two-bit, dissembling dirt bag, your whining and desperation grow more obvious and pathetic every day.

      Of course we all certainly understand why you're so desperate and whiny.

      Your White House crime family, your entire corrupt, criminal party, and its entire despicable, deplorable agenda, are all circling the bowl.

      Please join them for the ride down and out. And take your idiot mini-me Shemp with you.

      FLUSH!

      • unnamed says:

        Still waiting for the story about how he lost someone due to the ACA.  He won't tell his story.  It would be nice to see that he actually gives a shit about people.  But I have seen nothing beyond a temporary, practiced show of humanity from him on occasion.  

        Nothing but the most base of desires matter to him.  He's the perfect Republican.

        He's also a skanky poser

         

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        DP

        You and your kind have not been this mad since we took away your slaves.

        • DavieDavie says:

          Spoken like the truly remorseless sociopath that you are, Gerbils.  How many thousands will suffer and die and face financial ruin because of your party's lust for money?

          And you've become such a joke on this site that you can't even come up with an original comment.  Are you having a hard time getting it up these days?

          Oh and I should mention that now that your Clown Party has had complete control of all three branches of government for 6 months now, and have demonstrated their evil intent mitigated only by incompetence, it seems that your self-destruction will be a necessary inoculation against this ever happening again.

        • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

          "Your kind".  I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.  This being the second day you've offered that response, I'm guessing you're running short on talking points today? 

          Dixie's Long Journey From Democratic Stronghold To Republican Redoubt

          While Polsby's observation clearly applies in states such as Florida and Georgia, many other observers have tended to attribute the Southern shift to Republicanism to changing party alignments on issues. Salient among these are views on race, civil rights and federal power.

          Many Southerners have stood by traditional values on social issues as well — including guns, school prayer, abortion and same-sex marriage. And these voters have found their conservative stands more welcome in the Republican Party than in the Democratic.

        • unnamed says:

          Man Cornholio.  You are so witty.  It's not like you recycled that bit from yesterday.

           

          Yet you still won't tell us your sad ACA story.

        • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

          Sorry, A.C. but no. Most of the Dixiecrats fled the Democratic Party during the Civil Rights Movement and signed on with the Republicans. They're all yours now. Strom Thurmond and Jessee Helms died as Republicans and there were no fiercer Dixiecrats than they.

  5. DavieDavie says:

    As Ann Landers used to say to some of her crazier letter writers —  You've got bats in the belfry:

    Turning to immigration, Mr. Trump said he had not been joking when he said recently that a wall on the Mexican border would pay for itself if it had solar panels.

    He also said the wall would have to be transparent, using an offbeat example to explain why.

    “When they throw large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over,” he said. “As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.”

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Well, that's a new definition of "transparency". Perhaps this is why the Trump crime family is so against it? Transparency is all about avoiding people throwing 60# sacks of drugs over walls at you?

      Maybe they want the sacks of drugs?

      Sheesh. This makes as much sense as Tweetledumb's daily hairballs.

  6. DavieDavie says:

    Things are just hunky-dory at the White House!  Nothing to see here, move along please 🙂

    Nick Anderson - Washington Post Writers Group and Cartoonist-Group.jpg

  7. Gilpin Guy says:

    In regards to today's quote, I like this one from a Tyson Gibson Facebook post.  Sometimes big things start out small.

    Blockbuster refused to buy Netflix for $50 million (Netflix was literally laughed out of the meeting).  Netflix is now worth $64.7 billion and where is Blockbuster?

    MySpace rejected Facebook's original purchase price.  Facebook is now worth $439 billion and where is My Space?

    Ross Perot refused to buy into Microsoft for $60 million.  Microsoft is now worth $507.5 billion and where is Ross Perot?

    George Bell the CEO of Excite refused to buy Google for $750,000.  Google is now worth $641 billion and where is Excite?

    When people say "no" to you, keep going.  You are worth more than you know and your time is coming.

  8. DavieDavie says:

    Drip, drip, drip…  Turns out yet another Russian agent was at the Little Donny and gang get together:

    A Russian-American lobbyist, who is also a former Soviet military officer, was in the room during a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, according to multiple reports.

    Rinat Akhmetshin participated in the meeting, he confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday after NBC News first reported that a Russian-American lobbyist was present when Trump Jr. met with Natalia Veselnitskaya.

    Even Republicans knew this guy was dangerous:

    Akhmetshin was the subject of a letter that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in April as part of an investigation into potential violations committed by the lobbyist under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    In the letter, Grassley wrote that Akhmetshin had admitted to being a former Soviet counterintelligence officer. He also cited a Radio Free Europe report that described the operative as a “Russian gun-for-hire.”

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Davie:

      So what do real lawyers think about this?

      From The Hill:

      "Noted attorney Alan Dershowitz slammed The New York Times on Wednesday, telling Fox News's Neil Cavuto he can't believe the newspaper "had an op-ed in which treason was mentioned" regarding Donald TrumpJr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer. 

      "There’s really no difference on the First Amendment between a campaigner using information obtained from somebody who obtained it illegally and the newspaper doing it," said Dershowitz, who is also an opinion contributor for The Hill, on "Cavuto Coast to Coast" show on Fox Business. "So I think this is conduct that would be covered by the First Amendment.

      "It is also not prohibited by law," Dershowitz continued. "There has been so much overwrought claim. People are talking about treason. I can't believe The New York Times had an op-ed yesterday in which treason was mentioned."

      Seems after your renewed excitement in undoing the last Presidential election wears off, you will still be left with President Trump.

       

      • DavieDavie says:

        Hahahaha!  Gerbils, you can dissemble and distract all you want.  I didn't quote from an Op-ed.  I quoted from a news article that shows for the umpteenth time what incredibly deceitful liars Trump and his minions are.

        You should watch this — It answers the question of how you know Trump and his shills are lying?  Their lips move:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/charles-krauthammer-trump-jr-criticism_us_59682ff3e4b0d6341fe7cd09?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

        Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer once again criticized Donald Trump Jr. for meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in 2016 after being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton obtained by the Russian government.

        Krauthammer, speaking Thursday on “Special Report With Bret Baier” on Fox News, said the emails Trump Jr. released earlier this week “totally undermine a six-month story from the White House … that there wasn’t any collusion.”

        He added, “This was a bungled collusion. This was amateurish collusion. This was Keystone Kops collusion. But it doesn’t change the fact that it was attempted collusion and it undoes the White House story completely.”

      • Old Time Dem says:

        The US Supreme Court has specifically carved out contributions from foreign persons as an area in which Congress can regulate. It is a crime for a campaign to accept anything of value from a foreigner. Dershowitz is simply wrong.

        Trump Jr, Kushner, and Manafort appear to have conspired to break our campaign finance laws.

      • unnamed says:

        Cornholio, you may have won the election, by the skin of your teeth. But your victory is looking increasingly pyrrhic by the day.

         

        Btw, where's your sad ACA story?

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        Always Confused, you can't even post the right link for your story.  More like "won't" than "can't" – if people really referenced your links, they'd see the context and the rest of the story.

        On this particular article, it's true that it's unlikely that formal charges of treason will be brought, because nobody's taken up arms on behalf of a enemy in a declared war. (as defined in the Constitution)

        But as the op-ed Dershowitz quotes says, {all emphasis mine}

        Although we do not yet have enough facts to judge, Donald Jr. and others may also be liable for conspiracy with respect to espionage, depending on how any illicit information was obtained and the level of their awareness of any spying. Because the Russian campaign that followed was nothing less than an assault on our democracy, we understand why some are raising issues of treason as well. Prosecution under the federal treason statute is ultimately unlikely because we are not at war with Russia. But during the Cold War, treasonous conduct was often prosecuted under other statutes. (Alger Hiss was sentenced to four years in prison for “forgetting” in sworn testimony that he had met with Whitaker Chambers, an American working for the Russians.)

         

  9. SamCat says:

    OMG!!

    I just watched FAUX "news"for a few minutes on the theory that since they probably didn't want to talk about the orange elephant in the room and they didn't have Hillary to kick around, that they might be actually reporting, you know, news.

    To my shock, they were telling the latest Trump atrocity pretty accurately and, in fact, broke the news that there was still another person in the celebrated meeting that even NBC et al hadn't known about it.

    They were talking about all the lies coming out of the Trump gang.  The talking head, Shepard, seemed not very sympathetic at all.

    Earlier in life, when I took my EMT training, they never discussed self-administered CPR and it's too early in the day for brandy.  wink

    Is it possible that these scandals have rocked the boat so much that even FAUX can't or won't toe the line?

    Peace

     

     

     

  10. DavieDavie says:

    Rut-Roh!  There was yet another person at the meeting with Little Donny and the Crime-Makers!  And he's a registered Democrat!

    When President Donald Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign chairman met last June with a Russian lawyer they’d been told had “incriminating” information from the Russian government about Hillary Clinton, there were other people in the room. One of the previously unidentified attendees was Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian-born American translator who previously spent years working for the U.S. government.

    Freelance interpreters who work for government agencies often hold a security clearance so they can sit in on sensitive, high-level meetings, said Bradley P. Moss, a lawyer who has represented interpreters with government contracts. Interpreters with security clearance are in high demand. Doing jobs for a foreign government or a foreign national with ties to a foreign government could make it hard, but not necessarily impossible, to obtain such clearance, Moss noted. A spokesman for the State Department told HuffPost that all interpreters and translators, “as a rule,” are required to hold at least a Moderate Risk Public Trust clearance.

    A registered Democrat, Samochornov works with clients on all sides of American and international politics. But his own views appear to be progressive. On Facebook, he has shared clips from MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s show, labeled former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Bush-era adviser Karl Rove as losers, and posted in favor of expanded health care coverage and more restricted access to guns. When PEN, the literary and human rights organization, invited a gaggle of Russian writers critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin to New York, he became “great friends” with them, Gessen said.

    So a smart, liberal interpreter heard everything, and would probably like to keep his lucrative gig and security clearance intact, so will provide an unbiased account of the true events of that day.

    Gerbils is desperately downloading his new talking points right now devil

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