Michael Maiello's picture

    The War on New York: State Medicaid Director on Trumpcare

    No commentary from me here, just a signal boost for a caring public official.

    **

    Michael,

    As New York's Medicaid Director, I couldn’t be more appalled by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s health care plan.

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    Keep Calm & Carry On, ISIS Edition (pt 2)

    Not quite the #2 I'd planned, but in checking on progress for Mosul, I noted RT (Russia Today) continually using the term "indiscriminate strikes" when describing US/allied shelling and street action. Among their continued "3rd party independent" verifiers of this was a group called "Airwars".

    Knife in the Back - Monsters on Main Street

    Even as Hillary is sighted, somewhat like that bear, slipping out of the woods back into the mainstream, I see again and again the disgruntled comments arising in each story, the "we wuz robbed", the "DNC rigged the primaries", the "crooked woman", and the "party left us" kind of betrayed mentality you seldom see so strong except for WWI German vets distraught over Versailles. Not just a few comments - *DOMINATING* the comments section.

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    librewolf's picture

    Lie Alert: Obamacare Imploding; Trumpcare the Best for Patients

    Obamacare is "imploding", "collapsing under its own weight" etc. That is, and has been, the Republican drum beat, but is it true? I would argue that the answer is a flat out "No." But, but, but, what about those 130% premium increases, providers bailing on the Exchanges, etc. Yes, there are those issues ... in states who failed to implement the ACA (Affordable Care Act) the way it was crafted to function.

    Keep Calm & Carry On, ISIS Edition (pt 1)

    On April 8, 2014, al-Baghdadi announced Al-Nusra & Islamic State Iraq were joining forces, and soon unleashed an impressive series of attacks that gained large swaths of Iraqi & Syrian territory (see below). Tied to the seemingly unstoppable progress was the horror of ISIS' fanaticism and cruel behavior towards any non-adherent to their fringe beliefs. Besides fodder for those who believe all Islam is like this, it renewed criticism of how the Iraq War was managed, helped fuel the mass emigration from Iraq & Syria that swamped Europe for a time (and almost dented the US), and provided a key thread of fear and loathing for the 2016 campaign trail.

    The threat & ease of spread by ISIS wasn't just do to its methods and persuasion. It relied on the in-fighting of those that might in saner times approach it - in short, they relied on a philosophical vacuum much as they relied on the huge areas of unoccupied desert to make their gains look more impressive.

    3 years later (in 3 weeks) we see what happens when Kurds, Shi'ites, Sunnis and any other factions join together to confront a regional pariah. It hasn't been easy - the Caliphate gained land much faster than the slow, plodding effort to retake control. Even back in October there was some feeling that defeat of ISIS could be just a few weeks away - but instead the much more extended re-capture of Mosul has enlightened us to the new realities of lightning war, or its non-existence in a terrain where we worry about civilian life rather than raw advance.

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    Bruce Levine's picture

    Appealing for Healthcare Consensus--From Patchogue to Pasadena

    I grew up in a town called Patchogue, and although I haven't lived there for forty years it will always be my hometown.  Patchogue is about 60 miles from Manhattan, and so it was and continues to be bit too far from the city to be a commuting town.  

    Much of Patchogue is Trump country, and I often find myself with some, but few like-minded thinkers when it comes to the fitness of the president to serve.  And, until the election, after repeated admonishments from my more rational spouse, I was basically silent -- with Patchoguians -- about my firm views on Donald Trump and what he represents.  I do get a chuckle out the talking heads, however, when they speak of separate bubbles of Americans.  I have no doubt I am far from the only Clinton voter whose life-long acquaintances believe in Donald Trump. 

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Corporate Thug Dealers

    As I was reading about the drug crisis in West Virginia there was a passage from the article that really stuck out to me: 

    A Charleston Gazette-Mail investigation last year found that...drug wholesalers shipped over 780 million doses of opiate painkillers hydrocodone and oxycodone to the state, or roughly '433 pain pills for every man, woman and child in West Virginia.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Trump-Putin Quid Pro Quo?

    Did Donald Trump agree to a quid pro quo with the Russian government? This is what we know.

    On March 19, 2016, John Podesta received an email, purportedly from Google, warning him of a potential security breach. He clicked the link and inadvertently delivered his email account to state-backed Russian hackers.

    Two days later, on March 21, Donald Trump announced his five-person foreign policy team, which included Carter Page, a previously unknown investment banker with extensive dealings in Russia.

    On March 28, nine days after the hack, Trump confirmed to the New York Times that he had hired Paul Manafort. Manafort had recently returned from Ukraine, where he helped organize the Russian-backed Ukrainian opposition. 

    On March 31, Trump met with his foreign policy advisors at the new Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., where they discussed the Republican Party's position on arming Ukraine against pro-Russian rebels.  According to advisor J.D. Gordon, Trump opposed this language in the RNC platform because "he didn't want to go to 'World War Three' over Ukraine."

    Bruce Levine's picture

    Anticipating the Revised Executive Order Restricting Entry Into the United States--Updated

    President Trump is expected to issue a revised immigration order today that will supersede the initial order that was enjoined last month by a temporary restraining order issued by a district court in Washington. We will know more about the actual contents of the order and that of course will generate additional discussion.  At this point, it appears that the revised order will eliminate Iraq as one of the seven countries that was specifically referred in the original order, and in fact may be replaced by a a worldwide temporary ban on incoming refugees to the United States--without reference to any nation expressly. It also appears that the revised order will clarify that it is not meant to apply to non-citizen but lawful permanent residents of the United States. [See Update below.] 

    Natasha Gural's picture

    Fellow Americans: Please Freeze the Cold War Rhetoric

    It's offensive and regrettable to hear Democratic politicians blame "the Russians" for Putin's crimes against humanity. The Russian people are not to blame, and, are in fact, among his most direct victims.

    This inappropriate Cold War rhetoric reeks of what I had hoped was a bitter, retrograde and bygone era in American discourse. While I understand the desire to criticize, even despise, Trump and Putin, there is nothing progressive about blaming "the Russians." This thoughtless language will only widen the rift that is damaging our country.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    DC Spy Novel Roundup: March 4 Edition

    Do you ever feel like John Le Carre's writing a novel called "American Politics?" Because U.S. politics are looking seriously Le-Carre-ified right now. Let's try to catch up on the story so far, leading up to the President's Saturday-morning tweetstorm accusing Obama of illegally wiretapping Trump Tower. (Boy, does Jared Kushner have a surprise coming when he gets back on line tonight.) Okay, let's walk through the last few weeks of front-page counterespionage.

    1) Michael Flynn ousted as Nation Security Adviser after lying about meetings with Russian ambassador.

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    Trump Administration, Cyprus & Putin Billionaires

    Trump's fantastic real estate deal in 2006 with Russian billionaire  Dmitry Rybolovlev:

    “Maison de l’Amitie,” or the House of Friendship. It was the trophy of a Boston-area magnate, until he lost his fortune in 2004. That’s when Donald Trump scooped it up. After paying $41 million for the place in November 2004, Trump called it “the finest piece of land in Florida, and probably the U.S.” ......Trump had no intention of living there. He intended to flip it for a quick—and huge—profit. His initial asking price, less than two years after buying it, was $125 million. By the time Trump listed the property, in early 2006, the real estate market was already cooling off.... In the summer of 2008, Trump found a solution to his problem in the form of one of the world’s hundred richest men: a 41-year-old Russian billionaire named Dmitry Rybolovlev....

    Bruce Levine's picture

    The President's State of the Union Address and What to Expect

    Below is a checklist of what I am looking for in tonight’s State of the Union address.  In addition to what is written below, I confess to feeling a certain relief—however temporary—in having the opportunity to focus on substantive policy choices and our "normal" divisions on the left and the right . So with this mind, here is what I’m looking for tonight:

    Intermezzo - Springtime for Hitler

    Today is my dip into happy land, my safe haven, my respite from the madness. Yesterday was the first sign of spring, still chilly but warm enough to go out with only a suit jacket - time for that springtime optimism.

    They used to say no news is good news, but now we have it 24x7, so let's just talk up the good news for a change. Today I'll be largely untouched by political chaos, except to note the bright sides.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    The Outrage Will Not Be Televised

    When six Muslims were killed in Canada Donald Trump gave us silence. Last week, when a legal immigrant from India was killed in Kansas we got the same thing. Our president and his administration seems to be more comfortable talking about the fictional terrorist attacks that occurred in Atlanta, Bowling Green, and Sweden than addressing the renaissance of white nationalism. I hope people of color and religious minorities are taking these slights seriously.

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    Pop Quiz - Fight Harder or Smarter?

    I was at a pub quiz last night, answering questions with an impromptu team sitting around a table.

    At one point, there was a question about which of 3 early 60's events happened first. I quickly gave an answer that I was pretty sure was correct, and gave me reasons for it. But over the course of the next couple of minutes, my teammates talked me out of it and chose another.

    When we scored the paper a couple minutes later, my answer would have been right. One of the guys who was largely leading the group looked at me and said, "But you didn't fight for your answer hard enough".

    Michael Maiello's picture

    David Brooks Does Not Understand How Wages Work

    Today, David Brooks made the absurd claim that the construction industry is experiencing a labor shortage because Americans won't take construction jobs:

    "Construction is hard, many families demean physical labor and construction is highly cyclical. Hundreds of thousands of people lost construction jobs during the financial crisis and don’t want to come back. They want steadier work even at a lower salary."

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Stop Dancing: Milo Isn't Dead!

    “...it doesn't matter if people love you or hate you, as long as they feel strongly one way or the other. The worst place you can be is in the middle.”

     

    ― Eric Bischoff, Controversy Creates Cash

     

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    librewolf's picture

    Blacks for Trump?

    Hey Joe, get me some black extras to sit on the dais. I need to show some "diversity" in all those TV shots. Trump may not know much about government and being president, but he does know about entertainment. He regularly uses "extras" - like folks to applaud at press conferences. It is all one big show and Trump is the (prima donna) star.

    Ramona's picture

    Wherein I'm forced To Admit Only The GOP Can Save Us

    So here we are, a month into Donald Trump's wacky version of an American presidency and every day it's something new and nutty. If the actor in this saga weren't actually the president of the United States, this whole thing would be highly entertaining.  A daily heart-pounding serial, picking up where the cliff-hanger from the day before left off--confusing, terrifying, laugh-out-loud--what's going to happen next?

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